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

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Seal of Zamboanga del Sur Province
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Zamboanga del Sur Map Locator
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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
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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

Contents

Dengue cases up 70% in Zamboanga del Sur

By Leah Agonoy (News Briefs, Philippine Daily Inquirer

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) in Zamboanga del Sur on Friday reported a sharp rise in dengue cases, which killed 19 persons in the province this year.

The DOH here said dengue cases in the province from January to early July this year had reached 2,991, a 70-percent increase compared to the 684 cases recorded in the same period last year.

Epidemiology Surveillance Unit officer Wilfred Agtina said Pagadian City had the highest number of cases at 406, from only 164 cases in the same period in 2018. Agtina said majority of the dengue patients were aged one to 10.

Other towns with high number of cases included Margosatubig, with 254 cases; Vincenzo Sagun, with 230; Dimataling, with 148; Labangan, 115; Midsalip, 111; and Kumalarang, 103.

Canvasser dies, 2 others unscathed in ambush

By BONG GARCIA (SunStar Philippines)

A CANVASSER of a business establishment was killed while two others escaped unscathed in an ambush in Zamboanga del Sur, the police said Thursday, July 4.

Police Major Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, said the incident happened around 2 p.m. Wednesday at Purok 1 in Bag-ong Ariosa village, Molave, Zamboanga del Sur.

Galvez identified the fatality as Dionesio Omayao, Jr. alias Tatay, 50, canvasser of Rachel Emporium products and resident of the village of Upper Sta. Cruz, Lala, Lanao del Norte.

Unscathed were his two co-workers Roberto Montejo and Donald Miñoza.

She said investigation showed Omayao and his two companions were aboard two motorcycles traveling towards the national highway in Molave when ambushed by two unidentified gunmen.

She said Omayao died instantaneously while his two companions, who were riding on another motorcycle, managed to escape although the gunmen chased them.

The motive of the incident was believed to be robbery since Omayao’s P5,000 sales of the day and wallet were missing, Galvez added.

TESDA hastens delivery of services in conflict-prone communities

By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Zamboanga Del Sur Provincial Office bared its plan to drumbeat delivery of government services in depressed and conflict-affected areas in the province.

TESDA Provincial Director (PD) Engr. Adrian Ampong said the authority is set to create programs that will support value chain.

“Value chain, meaning, ang prevalent livelihood sa barangay, sudlan nato ug training,” (value chain means whatever prevalent livelihood that the community is into, we will come in with training) he said.

“The rest of the agencies nga naay mga programa, mo participate, mo counterpart o compliment sa atong ipadala nga training,” (Other concerned government agencies with programs will compliment the training that we will bring-in in the community), Ampong added.

“Halimbawa, magpa training tag agriculture, sa rice farming, so naa ta’y tabang gikan sa Department of Agriculture (DA) para sa ilang pag supply sa similya sa rice; sa training part pud nato, mupadagan ta’g training sa masonry para sa paghimo sa dike; mupadagan ta’g training sa plumbing para maghimo sa irrigation; so kana tanan nag evolve na sa usa ka product na rice production, so ang barangay mahibalo nga naa ta’y gobyerno na mutabang nila.” (For example, if we bring to the community training on agriculture, specifically for rice farming, DA will come in to compliment the services by providing rice seeds. For our part, we will conduct training on masonry for the installation of dike and plumbing for the construction of irrigation. These all evolve in one product, which is rice production, so the community will realize that there is a government that is willing to help them.) Ampong explained.

The said program is specifically focused for rebel returnees and identified barangays in the province prone to insurgency to help them have a better quality of life as anchored on Executive Order No. 70 under President Duterte’s directive to craft a concrete program that covers shelter, employment and livelihood that will eventually lead to a sustained peace and order in the country. (ALT/JPA-PIA9/Zamboanga del Sur)

Napolcom holds orientation for Zambo Sur execs

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur --The National Police Commission (Napolcom) held a seminar Thursday to orient police chiefs and newly-elected local chief executives on deputation and service-oriented policing system.

Lawyer Pablito Abad, Napolcom-9 director, shared the concept of community service-oriented policing (CSOP) system to 21 municipal mayors and 27 chiefs of police of this province who attended the orientation seminar at the Provincial Capitol here.

Abad said local officials and the police force can help improve the country's policing system by working together to deliver basic services to the community.

Lawyer Alexis De Lima, the representative of Napolcom Satellite Office in Zamboanga City, discussed the basic powers and functions of local executives delegated to them by the commission.

De Lima said the newly-elected officials, by operation of law, are officially deputized by the commission even without the formal oath-taking.

Among the powers of the mayors, he said, include the deployment of police personnel and formulation safety plan, as well as the authority to choose the chief of police according to the eligibility standards provided by law.

Abad said Napolcom's role is to ensure that local chief executives and police chiefs "properly exercise their tasks based on the authority given them by the law."

Zamboanga del Sur first district Rep. Divina Grace Yu, the activity’s guest of honor, underscored the importance of the seminar in raising the awareness of local officials on their roles and responsibilities.

“We look forward to a real peace and order. Not a peace and order instilled by fear but knowing that we are safe as we go out to our community,” said Yu, whose husband, Victor, is the governor of the province.

The seminar is a requirement of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to orient the elections officials on the priorities of the current administration and their state of local development and preparing them for effective local governance.

2 nabbed in Pagadian City drug bust

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY--A high-value target and a former drug surrenderer were arrested in a buy-bust operation in this city, a police official said on Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Alvin Saguban, Pagadian City police chief, identified the arrested suspects as Ian Belano Chiu, 39 and Amir Pakil, 29. They were nabbed in a buy-bust operation around 11:50 p.m. Monday in Barangay Santiago.

Saguban said Chiu, a high-value target, and Pakil, who had already surrendered under the government's Oplan Tokhang, yielded some PHP10,000 worth of suspected shabu and marked money.

He said the suspects were being detained at Pagadian City police headquarters while a case of violation for Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, is set to be filed against them.

Soldier dead in Zamboanga Sur road collision

By Leah Agonoy [Inquirer Mindanao, Leti Z. Boniol (Editor)]

PAGADIAN CITY –– A soldier was killed when his motorcycle collided with a passenger van in Barangay Navalan, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur Monday night, July 8.

Police Captain Nur Mahadi of the Tukuran police identified the victim as Staff Sergeant Delfin Balansag Austria, a resident of Molave town and assigned at the 1st Infantry Division in Camp Cesar Sang-an, Barangay Pulacan, Labangan town.

Mahadi said Austria was driving his motorcycle from Molave, en route to the military camp, when it swerved towards the left lane of the road.

Austria’s motorcycle then collided with a passenger van driven by Silvestre Maata Villar, who was en route to Molave from Pagadian City.

Austria was immediately brought to the Camp’s hospital but was declared dead on arrival by Dr. Ester Irene Lacson, the attending physician.

Mahadi said the driver of the van was temporarily held under the custody of the Tukuran Police Station for further investigation while the soldier’s body was transferred to a funeral parlor in Pagadian City.

DSWD gives food aid to farmers affected by El Niño

By BONG GARCIA (SunStar Philippines)

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced that so far some 34,454 families have benefited from the agency’s distribution of family food packs here in the region.

Fatima Caminan, DSWD assistant regional director for operations, said this came about as the agency continues to distribute food assistance to farmers affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon here in the region.

Caminan said the beneficiaries, who head of the family are farmers, are from the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Caminan said each family food packs contain sardines, coffee, three kilograms rice, and other canned goods.

She said they had been distributing food packs “two months ago and is still on-going.”

She said the distribution of food packs is aimed to help alleviate the plight of the farmers, whose crops were damaged due to the El Niño weather phenomenon.

She said the beneficiaries of the food packs was provided by the local government units and validated by the provincial and municipal agriculturist.

Meanwhile, she said they have requested the DSWD central office for funding intended for cash-for-work program for the farmers affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Troops nab ex-soldier, most wanted person

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

TWO people, including a former soldier and most wanted person, were separately arrested in law enforcement operations here in the region, the police said Saturday, July 6.

Police Major Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, identified the arrested suspects as Edward Acosta, 32, a former Philippine Army personnel, and Renato Ordaneza, 32.

Galvez said Acosta was arrested after being served a search warrant around 10:50 p.m. Friday at Purok 4 in Tigbangangan village, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

She said confiscated from the possession of Acosta were 12 small-size heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride), a caliber .45 pistol with ammunition, a sling bag, and illegal drug paraphernalia.

Ordaneza was nabbed after being served a warrant of arrest around 3 p.m. Friday at Purok 3 in Kagawasan village, Dimataling, Zamboanga del Sur, Galvez added.

She said Ordaneza has two standing warrant of arrest for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and murder issued by the court of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur.

The police officer said the suspect is listed as the Top 6 most wanted person in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

Craft law to stop punishment, shaming of children, group urges gov’t

By Tina Santos (WITH A REPORT FROM LEAH AGONOY, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The nongovernmental organization Save the Children Philippines has asked lawmakers for the immediate crafting and passage of a measure prohibiting physical and humiliating punishment on children as it condemned the abuse of an 8-year-old girl in Pagadian City, who was made to kneel on live embers for a perceived misdeed.

According to lawyer Albert Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines, hurting children, through physical and psychological means, is never acceptable as this could lead to permanent and harsh results, including death.

Early dismissal

“Physical and humiliating punishments have devastating impact on children,” Muyot said in a statement on Wednesday.

“What the 8-year-old little girl from Zamboanga del Sur experienced in the hands of her mother clearly constitutes child abuse,” he added.

The girl, a third grader, was forced by her mother to kneel on live ember as a punishment over suspicion that she skipped classes on June 24.

It turned out that the girl’s teacher dismissed the class early to allow the children to celebrate the feast of St. John the Baptist.

The girl left her bag in the classroom and when she returned to get it, the room was already locked.

When she went home, her mother told her to go back to school and get her bag. When the girl returned still without the bag, her mother hit her then went to the kitchen to get burning firewood and made her kneel on live embers.

The teacher found out about the incident after she visited the girl in the family’s house on June 28, as she had been puzzled by her student’s unusual absence for days. The teacher immediately reported the girl’s condition to barangay officials and the police.

Corporal punishment

Muyot lamented that the practice of physical and humiliating punishment is acceptable to many Filipino parents. He said the girl’s parents were reported to be in the habit of beating up their children.

“Every year, corporal punishment kills thousands of children around the world, and injures and handicaps many more,” Muyot said.

He cited the results of the 2016 National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children published by the Council for the Welfare of Children, which showed that in the Philippines, three of five children suffer from physical violence, most of which happen at home and in the hands of their parents and caregivers.

The study, he added, indicated that corporal punishments in the home include spanking with a bare hand, rolled paper or stick and pulling the hair, pinching or twisting of ears. Other forms of severe abuse are slapping, kicking, smothering, tying, drowning and burning.

Save the Children Philippines, Muyot said, is advocating positive discipline that promotes stronger bond and open communication between children and parents.

“The group conducts positive discipline training for parents and teachers to ensure that children do not suffer from physical and humiliating forms of punishments,” he said.

“Discipline is not the same as punishment, but rather teaching and guiding them in ways that make them feel loved and respected. If our goal is for children to grow up to be self-disciplined, responsible, nonviolent, respectful and good people, then we need to teach them that by treating them right and by being good role models, particularly in their homes where they should feel the most love and protection,” Muyot said.

Pagadian mayor vows to pursue pro poor program

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- After six years of being out of the political limelight, the newly-installed mayor of Pagadian City promised to pursue his flagship programs for the poor.

In the recent turn over and acceptance ceremony at the city hall grounds, Mayor Samuel S. Co announced that after his political party won the 2019 midterm elections by a landslide victory, he vowed to fulfill his promises he made to the people during the campaign period.

Co said his administration will focus on the following priorities: infrastructure projects, medical care for the poor, improved peace and order, development of tourism, and reducing poverty.

Co said in one or two months- time, he will prioritize the operation of Danlugan Hospital and conversion of the 3rd and 4rth floor of City Commercial Center as temporary tertiary hospital for the poor people to access mainstream health care services.

The good mayor said he wants that no one will be denied care because of inability to pay.

He also said that he will equip the Pagadian City Police force with vehicles and communication equipment saying that these are the key factors in making the city peaceful and orderly.

He also said that he will stop the illegal operation of unregistered tricycles particularly the Bajaj (locally known as “Bao-Bao”) that continue to infuriate the tricycle operators and drivers who religiously pay for franchise and mayor’s permit.

“Starting next month there will be no more illegal tricycle (Bao-Bao) that will operate in the city,” Co urged.

Co said that in pursuing the social and infrastructure programs of his administration, Pagadian will become the fastest growing city of Mindanao.

Zambo Sur governor-elect values honest service, love, care for people

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA)-- “This administration values honest service, love, sacrifice and care for the people”.

Thus disclosed Governor-Elect Victor J. Yu during the mass oath-taking ceremony of the 266 newly elected officials of Pagadian City and Zamboanga del Sur recently at the city gym here.

As a strong advocate of good governance and transparency, Yu said his administration is fully dedicated to the welfare of the people.

He said his administration does not prevent people from coming in.

“My administration is open to all. There is no wall or fence that will prevent people from coming in,” Yu proudly said adding that it is their great commitment and integrity to serve the public.

He also said that in their 3-year term of office, his administration will fulfill their campaign promises by not delaying the implementation of the social and infrastructure projects to better serve the people.

“I encourage the LGUs through their local chief executives to maximize their time and submit development plans for their projects in order to help our constituents,” Yu urged.

Meanwhile, First District Representative Divina Grace Yu appealed to the governor to include in his top priority agenda the programs and projects for the women, children and tourism.

“I am appealing to the hardworking governor to include the programs and projects for women because they are the active drivers in bringing about positive change, the children because they are our future leaders and tourism, to promote the province to foreign investors,” she said.

Second District Representative Leonardo Babasa, Jr. encouraged the newly-elected officials to perform their duties with utmost responsibility.

“It is now our business as public servants to serve our constituents 24/7 and make sure that the needs of our people are fulfilled at a day,” Babasa urged.

Governor Yu thanked the many inspiring individuals, organizations and friends for their support and made a landslide victory in the 2019 midterm elections.

Ma makes 8-year-old daughter kneel on embers

By Leah Agonoy (Inquirer Mindanao)

FOR COMING HOME WITHOUT SCHOOLBAG

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — An eight-year-old girl in third grade failed to go to school for days after her mother forced her to kneel on embers for a perceived misdeed on June 24, the Feast of St. John the Baptist.

That day, the teacher dismissed the class early in the afternoon to allow the children to celebrate the St. John the Baptist Day by enjoying the rain.

Claire (not her real name) related to the INQUIRER what had happened to her.

On being dismissed, she left her bag in the classroom, planning to get it later. But when she returned to the classroom it was already locked.

So she went home, which was just walking distance from school, without her bag.

The mother, suspecting that Claire had skipped classes, told her to go back to school and get her bag.

The girl did so. Of course, the classroom was still locked.

Man Held for the Crime Of Attempted Murder

(Zamboanga Del Sur Police Report)

V. SAGUN, Zamboanga del Sur - Operatives of Vincenzo Sagun Municipal Police Station conducted manhunt operation (Service of Warrant) at Purok Mangga, Barangay Linoguayan, Vincenzo Sagun, Zamboanga del Sur at about 6:00 PM June 13, 2019.

Police Brigadier Gen. Froilan F Quidilla, PRO9 Director said the operation resulted in the arrest of Florencio Bustamante Y Albaracin, 46 years old, married, farmer and a resident of Purok Mangga, Barangay Linoguayan, Vincenzo Sagun, Zamboanga del Sur.

He was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest issued by Presiding Judge of RTC, Ninth Judicial Region, Branch 29, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur for the crime of Attempted Murder docketed under Criminal Case Number 19-075 dated June 4, 2019, with bail bond recommended amounting to Php 120,000.00.

The arrested person is now in custody of Vincenzo Sagun MPS for proper disposition.

SK officials play vital role in campaign vs illegal drugs

By Gideon C. Corgue (EDT/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur(PIA)-- The local government unit of Labangan town, in partnership with the Philippine National Police and Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, joined the kickoff celebration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADAIT) at the Municipal Covered Court here on June 26.

IDADAIT is a yearly event observed simultaneously every 26th of June by UN-Member Countries as an manifestation of its purpose to fortify action and cooperation to attain the goal of an international society free of illegal drugs and drug abuse.

The celebration was highlighted with an opening of volleyball cup with the theme “Bola Kontra Droga, Bola Para sa Kapayapaan”, signing of pledge of commitment, and Zumba dance.

Vice Mayor Marlon Valenzuela said the LGU officials are determined to help and cooperate with the PNP in their anti-drug campaign saying that illegal drugs destroy family and society and it can deter the progress of our country.

He also recognized the vital role of the SK officials in the anti-illegal drug activities in the community.

“The active involvement and cooperation of the Sangguniang Kabataan in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign is very important because they are the future leaders of our country,” Valenzuela said.

Zarouf Dhen Manupac, the SK Federated President, said the youth have contributed in the anti-illegal drug campaign of the government.

He said that the SK officials are firm in their commitment to solve the problems of drug by signing the pledge of commitment .

“The signing of pledge of commitment is a manifestation of our strong support to the Anti-Illegal Drugs Program of the government. We pledge to carry out our obligations to keep ourselves , our families, and our country drug- free,” Manupac said.

He also said that through the sports program, it will serve as an opportunity to divert the attention of the young people from illegal drug activities.

Magnitude-4 earthquake hits portions of Mindanao

By Carmela Martinez

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake shook Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao Sunday morning, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

The earthquake was tectonic in origin and its epicenter was located 39 kilometers northwest of South Upi, Maguindanao.

Phivolcs said it was felt at 9:10 am with a depth of focus of 1 kilometer.

The following intensities were felt in these areas:

• Intensity 2

Cotabato City

Phivolcs also said it was felt under the following intensities:

• Intensity 2

Cotabato City

• Intensity 1

Kiamba, Sarangani

No aftershocks and damage are expected from the tremor.

Key road network in Zamboanga Peninsula nears completion — Villar

By Betheena Unite

A key road network that will link two provinces in Zamboanga Peninsula is nearing completion and will soon drastically cut travel time from six hours to only two hours, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar bared.

Villar on Friday announced that the Sindangan- Bayog-Lakewood Road linking Zamboanga del Sur to Zamboanga del Norte is now almost complete as construction is now “substantially completed.”

Its 36-kilometer section has been substantially completed, Villar said, while an additional 15-kilometer portion of the road traversing multiple municipalities in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte is underway.

The secretary furthered that the road network will connect Dipolog-Sindangan-Liloy Road in Zamboanga del Norte to Jct. Tubod-Lakewood Road in Zamboanga del Sur.

The road is also expected to provide better access to services and help tourists discover the hidden wonders of Zamboanga Peninsula.

Meanwhile, the 26.68-kilometer road leading to Nancy Falls in Zamboanga City is being paved to boost economic and tourism activities in Zamboanga del Sur.

According to the secretary, a total of P1.1-billion was allotted for the improvement of the road leading to the tourism site from the junction of the national Highway to Ayala – La Paz Road in Barangay La Paz. The road project is now 80.77 percent complete.

Soldier, sis dead in Zamboanga Sur road crash

By Leah Agonoy [Leti Z. Boniol (Editor), Inquirer Mindanao)

PAGADIAN CITY –– A woman soldier and her sister were declared dead upon arrival at the hospital here after the motorcycle she was driving crashed into a passenger bus in Barangay Lantian, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur at 6:30 a.m. Friday.

Chief Master Sergeant Kit Mayol of the Labangan police said Private Elmae Joy Indangan assigned at the 54th Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army and her sister Niezel Mae Indangan, were traversing the national highway in Barangay Lantian on their way to Pagadian City when they suddenly lost balance and collided with a Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. passenger bus heading towards the opposite direction.

The two were rushed to the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center in Pagadian City but were declared dead on arrival by attending physician Dr. Felipe Son.

Bus driver Julius Calimpong of Barangay Bag-ong Valencia, Dumingag town told the Inquirer he was shocked when the motorcycle hit the left side of the bus.

Calimpong immediately surrendered to the local police to clear his name while the bus company gave a copy of the video of the incident taken from their dash camera.

Man makes bomb joke in SSS office, lands in jail

By Futch Anthony Inso (/dbs)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A 20-year-old man was arrested and detained in the Carbon Police Precinct after cracking a bomb joke inside the Social Security System (SSS) office in Jones Ave., Cebu City around 9:40 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, 2019.

Police identified the suspect as Jefferson Jaca, a resident of Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur and temporarily residing in Barangay Hipodromo, Cebu City.

Police Corporal Noel Tinagos of the Carbon Police Precinct said that while Jaca was inside the SSS premises at that time to follow up on a transaction with the office when he made the bomb joke.

He is the latest person arrested for making a bomb joke. The last time a person was arrested for this offense was in July 2018 when a woman made a bomb joke inside a mall in Cebu City.

Read more: Police arrested a woman for allegedly making a bomb joke on Saturday

While he was there waiting for his turn to be served by the SSS representatives, he suddenly said in jest that he would bomb the office.

SSS clients inside the office who heard Jaca making a bomb joke got worried and reported this to the office’s security guard.

Security Guard Dexter Albarico then held Jaca and made a citizen’s arrest.

He then informed the Carbon police and turned Jaca over to them when they arrived at the SSS office.

Jaca was detained at the Carbon Police Precinct.

He would be facing charges in violation of Presidential Decree (P.D.) 1727 or the Malicious Dissemination of False Information of the Willful Making of any Threat Concerning Bombs, Explosives or any Means of Destruction.

Student dies of heart problem after ROTC training in Zamboanga del Sur

By Marlon Panares (for CNN Philippines)

Pagadian City — A student suffered cardiac death after attending a Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) training in Zamboanga del Sur.

The 21-year-old cadet, identified as Roel Sedenio, was rushed to the hospital last Saturday after passing out during a morning physical fitness routine that was part of a one-month advanced training in Barangay Dao, Pagadian City.

Doctors at the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center said he suffered from hyperventilation. They discharged Sedenio, saying he only needed some rest.

But while Sedenio was resting at the barracks in the compound of the Army Reserve Command, his co-trainees observed he was having seizures. Sedenio was brought back to the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Doctors said Sedenio died of cardiac dysrhythmia or abnormal heartbeat secondary to sepsis and pulmonary congestion.

Major Alberto Ramirez, director of the 903rd Community Defense Center, said Sedenio had fever prior to the incident and was advised to skip the activities the next morning, only to surface during the exercise. He said a thorough investigation is underway.

Sedenio's mother, Julita, told CNN Philippines she could not believe her son's death, noting that he seemed fit and healthy.

Sedenio, a third-year information technology student of Josefina H. Cerilles State College, was among the 272 aspiring cadet officers who participated in the training.

The ROTC program may soon be required for grades 11 and 12 students, as President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent Senate Bill No. 2232. Under the proposed measure, those physically or psychologically unfit or are part of the school's varsity team are exempted from mandatory ROTC training.

Give blood, save a life

By Gideon C. Corgue (Desk man)

VOLUNTARY AND unpaid blood donors realize the great importance of donating blood as the only way to save lives for those who are in dire need, particularly the poor.

Teachers, students, soldiers, and other civilians actively participated in the blood letting activity to highlight the celebration of World Blood Donor Day on June 14 organized by the Provincial Department of Health Office (PDHO) and in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) at the City Commercial Center (C3) Mall. Jasper Locson, 21 years old student of Provincial Government College donated his blood because he wanted to help a 6-year old boy, the nephew of his friend who was diagnosed with leukemia almost two years ago.

“I felt pity for the child. He has been suffering from leukemia and he absolutely needs blood,” Locson said. He said although it was his first time to donate blood, he was not scared since what prevailed in his mind was to save the young boy’s life.

Ismael Amir, coordinator of the National Service Training Program (NSTP) of Pagadian Capitol College, said he voluntarily donated his blood since he observed that more and more people are in need of blood transfusion because of the different diseases that are rising nowadays.

Amir said he saw a post on facebook that a child badly needs blood transfusion. .

Upon learning that a blood letting activity will be held at C3 Mall on June 14, without any hesitation, he contacted his NSTP students and encouraged them to participate in the blood donation campaign.

“Our blood is given free by our Almighty Father, we will also give it free to those who are in need,”said Amir who had donated blood to PRC five times already.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Cherry Jay Alfanta is one of the eight NSTP students who donated blood.

Alfanta said she willingly donated again her blood because every drop of blood counts, as one bag of blood can save the lives of three persons.

“My blood donation was founded on my motto ‘it is better to give than to receive,’ said Alfanta who donated blood for the third time.

At least sixty-two (62) bags of clean and safe blood were collected from the participants during the activity.

Pagadian cited for economic dynamism, better infrastructure

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA)-- Philippine Information Agency Region 9 Director Noemi B. Edaga who was the guest speaker during the 50th Araw ng Pagadian anniversary program held at the city gym on Friday, recognized the important contributions of the local officials and stakeholders for making Pagadian a progressive city.

Pagadian, which became a chartered city on June 21, 1969 thru Republic Act 5478 strives to be recognized by Mindanao Economic Boom in the Top 15 Most Competitive Cities in Mindanao.

“Pagadian ranked No.10 in economic dynamism and No. 2 in infrastructure. It is way to go for the city to gain a spot in economic dynamism and resiliency,” Edaga proudly announced.

Edaga said the people can change the landscape of Pagadian into a highly developed urban city but they should also work to preserve peace.

“Let us keep the culture of peace and sobriety in trying times. Let us keep the joy of peaceful living,” Edaga urged.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Ernesto Mondarte said the golden year celebration is worthy to be remembered, first and foremost because of the blessings of the Almighty Father and the efforts, initiatives, and significant contributions of the past leaders.

“We are gathered here to show our unity, peace, love, respect and cooperation,” Mondarte concluded.

The anniversary program was highlighted with a civic-military parade and mass dance presentation of public secondary schools students.

1 person killed in Shooting Incident

(Zambo del Sur Police Report)

PAGADIAN CITY – One prson was killed in Shooting incident transpired in front of J. Cabahug Hospital along Rizal Avenue corner Roxas Street, San Pedro District, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur at about 8:10 AM of June 13, 2019.

Police Brigadier Gen. Froilan F Quidilla, PRO9 Director identified the victim as Samer Nian Maguindanaon Esmael, 39 years old, male, married, farmer, and a resident of Bulanit, Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur. (Cousin of Vice Mayor-elect Matt Nian of Dinas, Zamboanga Del Sur.

Suspects were two (2) unidentified male persons riding in a motorcycle.

Initial investigation disclosed that the victim was on board in a tricycle with two other passengers when it stops in front of Cabahug Hospital for the other two passengers to dismount.

At that juncture, suspects onboard Mio motorcycle approached the victim and without any words shot the victim three (3) times. He tumbles into the pavement sustaining three (3) fatal gunshot wounds in different parts of his body.

Intel and Detective personnel of Pagadian City Police Station are in pursuit of fleeing suspects.

SOCO personnel arrived at about 08:40 AM of June 13, 2019 and conducted crime scene processing procedure.

The duty Doctor of J. Cabahug Hospital in person of Dr. Liz Corazon Cabahug-Parangan, M.D. responded at the crime scene for possible immediate treatment but it was declared dead on the spot.

The victim sustained Two (2) gunshot wounds in front of his chest, and one (1) gunshot wound at the back of his chest, and one (1) gunshot graze at his left face.

The SOCO Team turned-over the crime scene to the Investigator on case at around 9:50 AM of same date.

The cadaver of the victim was brought by his immediate family to Dinas, Zamboanga Del Sur on board on Ambulance vehicle.

Pagadian City Police Station is still continuing its investigation as to the circumstances of the incident to determine the real respondents of this case. Motive of incident is yet to be determined.

Cop, 4 others nabbed in Pagadian City drug bust ops

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- Four people, including a policeman and barangay councilor, were arrested and PHP3.4 million worth of suspected shabu were seized in an anti-drug operation here on Friday.

Agent Cesario Judilla Jr., Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Zamboanga del Sur head, identified the arrested suspects as Police Senior Master Sgt. Ricky Usman Sabturani of the Basilan Police Provincial Office and Omar Sadon, a councilor in Barangay Bayanga Norte, Matanog, Maguindanao.

Judilla identified the other suspects as Jam Macaraya, Daniel Kusain, and Amis Juma Anas.

He said the suspects were arrested after they allegedly sold suspected shabu to an undercover agent around 10 a.m. along the national highway in San Jose District.

He said the PDEA agents and policemen recovered from the suspects 18 large sachets containing suspected shabu and nine bundles of marked money worth PHP900,000.

Sadon denied any knowledge and involvement in the illegal drug trade, claiming he was just hired to drive the other suspects from Maguindanao to the city.

Sadon, the driver of the van (DAK-1806), claimed the other suspects told him to proceed and pick-up “someone” at the Integrated Bus Terminal.

Sabturani also denied involvement in the illegal drug trade.

Judilla said appropriate criminal and administrative charges will be filed against the policeman and his companions.

3 suspected assassins dead in clash with cops

LEAH AGONOY [Inquirer Mindanao, Tony Bergonia (Editor)]

PAGADIAN CITY—Three suspected members of an assassins’ gang were killed in a police operation on Thursday (June 20) at San Carlos village in Tukuran town, Zambaonga del Sur.

Police have not released the identities of the dead suspects but police Capt. Nur Mahadi, of the Tukuran police, said they were residents of Labangan town.

Mahadi said the three were killed in a legitimate police operation which he called “stop and freeze.”

Two of the three dead men, according to police, were suspects in the fatal shooting last May 4 of Ibrahim Ungad, chief of the village of New Labangan in Labangan town.

Ungad was leaving his house when he was attacked by two men and shot once with an improvised 12-gauge shotgun, according to city police chief Lt. Col. Alvin Sanguban. Ungad was declared dead in a hospital.

The three slain suspected assassins were riding a tricycle when stopped by policemen. But instead of yielding, the three allegedly opened fire at the policemen with their handguns. Not one of the policemen was hit.

The suspects’ guns, of unknown make and caliber, were recovered, according to police.

1 dead, 1 hurt in 2 motorbikes collision

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

ONE person died while another was critically injured in a head-on collision of two motorcycles in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, the police said Thursday, June 20.

Police Major Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, said the incident occurred at 5:25 p.m. Wednesday at Sitio Gusahan in Canipay Sur village, Midsalip town.

Galvez identified the fatality as Antonio Enomo, 29, who did not reach the Midsalip Infirmary Hospital alive.

Critically injured was Edimar Selim, 32. He was rushed to the infirmary hospital and later transferred to the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center in Pagadian City.

Galvez said investigation showed that Enomo was traveling from the village of Sigapod to Canipay Sur when he collided head-on with Selim, who was also driving motorcycle and traveling the opposite direction.

She said that both Enomo and Selim do not have driver’s licenses and respective motorcycle registration.

Zamboanga del Sur town's most wanted nabbed

By BONG GARCIA (SunStar Philippines)

LAWMEN have arrested one of the most wanted persons in Zamboanga del Sur in a manhunt operation in Ozamiz City, the police reported Wednesday, June 19.

The Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office identified the arrested suspect as Sergio Ramonal, 34, alias Jun-Jun, the number one most wanted person in the town of Kumalarang.

The police said Ramonal was arrested by joint police team of Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur and Ozamiz City around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 19, in the village of Baybay Triunfo, Ozamis City.

Police said Ramonal, a resident of the village of Diplo, Kumalarang, has two standing warrants of arrest: the first one is for the crime of murder issued on January 28, 2016 by the court of Pagadian City, and the second was issued on December 2, 2014 by the same court for the crime of murder and frustrated murder.

Ramonal was detained pending his turnover to court authorities, the police added.

DA names Zamboanga Del Sur town Nat’l quality corn achiever

By ANTONIO P. RIMANDO

PAGADIAN CITY: The mountain municipality of Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur was named recently by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as the country’s “National Quality Corn Achiever” awardee this year.

Dinas Mayor Felicito Chavez, Jr. received his town’s award during a ceremony held late last month at the D’ Leonor Inland Resort in Buhangin, Davao City.

Aside from a Plaque of Recognition, Chavez said the local government unit of Dinas also received a P1-million check “which will be primarily utilized to finance more projects and programs of the Municipal Agriculturist’s Office for corn and other corn production in the community.”

The Dinas executive said the national competition was participated in by 25 qualifiers out of 1,489 towns throughout the country.

Sea turtle in Zamboanga del Sur found dead with hack wounds on neck

By Kaela Malig (/MDM, GMA News)

A sea turtle was found dead floating in the waters off Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur with hack wounds on its neck.

According to a report on Balitanghali on Saturday, local children were playing near the seashore when they spotted the floating carcass of the sea turtle.

Based on the authorities' investigation, the sea turtle have been dead for days now and the hack wounds could mean that the animal was slaughtered before it was left in the sea.

Because the sea turtle was in the advance stage of decomposition, authorities decided to bury the sea turtle already.

Dance, beauty contest highlight CDW Day

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA)-- The Federation of Child Development Workers recently conducted 'Bayanihan Para sa Kabataan' showcasing their beauty and talents in the Search for 2019 Miss CDW to celebrate Child Development Workers’ Day. Winners of the contests were awarded with cash prizes and tokens.

About 100 CDWs from the four clusters of the city participated during the event.

The celebration carries the theme “CDW: Katuwang Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan ng Kabataan,” recognizing the vital role of CDWs who provide pre-school education and social development service to the children.

Myrna M. Kwan, City Social Welfare and Development Officer, said these workers play an important role in children’s development by caring for them when their parents are at work or when their parents place their children in their care to help them socialize with other children of their age.

“The DCWs are loyal, committed and dedicated workers in spite of not receiving an honorarium. They are celebrating CDW day because they want to show that the child development workers are functional,” Kwan stated.

She said that despite no resources to finance their week-long activities, they decided to pursue with the celebration to let the government feel that the DCWs are the government’s partner in nation-building.

Jossie Romarate, DCW Federation president, said the DCWs will continue to provide their services to ensure that children in Pagadian City will receive quality early education and social development services in their early and formative years.

Zambo Sur town holds agro-trade fair

By Leah Agonoy (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY -- The town of Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur, opened Wednesday an agro-trade fair in line with its 63rd founding anniversary celebration.

Dumalinao Mayor Junaflor Cerilles said the trade fair, held in front of the town hall, showcases local products available at the cheapest prices.

Cerilles said the products on display and sale included organic tea, coffee, banana chips, and other farm and fishery products.

“All these (products) are from our very own farmers and fisherfolk,” Cerilles added.

The trade fair opened after the town officials of Dumalinao joined the nation in commemorating the 121st Independence Day of the country.

The municipality of Dumalinao is set to celebrate its 63rd founding anniversary on June 26. A fourth-class town, it has 30 barangays. The town was created by virtue of Republic Act 1593.

Pagadian conducts door-to-door measles immunization drive

By ANTONIO P. RIMANDO

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur: With the increasing cases of measles in this coastal community, Mayor Romeo Pulmones directed City Health Officer Noel Ceniza to intensify its all-out campaign against the dreaded ailment.

Ceniza said the city health office personnel had initiated a house-to-house drive against measles, which recorded close to 100 cases from January to April 2019.

He assured the residents that the measles vaccine “is safe, effective and inexpensive, and has been used since two decades ago.”

Several parents have voluntarily submitted their children for measles vaccination.

Mercy Monciller claimed she took her five-year-old daughter to the health center after her neighbor’s child was afflicted with measles, which is a contagious ailment.

Joel Dalugdog, a kindergarten pupil, was also accompanied to the city health door-to-door team in their village by his grandmother, who believes that vaccination would keep her grandson from acquiring measles.

Municipal government employee shot dead

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

A GOVERNMENT employee was killed in a gun attack in the province of Zamboanga del Sur Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

Rico Lipalam, 40, a utility worker of Tambulig municipal government, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman while he was drinking coffee at the terrace in his mother’s house in Barangay Pelocuban, Tambulig at around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Police Major Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, said Lipalam sustained three gunshot wounds. He failed to reach the hospital alive.

Investigation is ongoing, Galvez said.

Canning firm to give temp jobs to displaced workers

By Julie Alipala [Reporter, Inquirer Mindanao, Alexander T. Magno (Editor)]

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Another canning company in this city has announced that it would give interim employment to some 300 workers who were displaced by the temporary shutdown of South West Asian Canning Corp.

South West Asian was forced to stop operations to give way to the repair of its factory boiler which exploded on Tuesday, killing one worker and hurting two others.

Edgar Lim, manager of the canning firm Permex Producer and Exporter Corp., assured all 300 canning workers of South West Asian would have jobs in Permex while waiting for the resumption of work in their own factory.

“No one will be displaced. Permex is glad to have them. We need more than 300 people for a shift,” Lim said.

Lim, who is also the president of Industrial Group of Zamboanga Inc. (IGZI), of which Permex and South West Asian Canning are members, said that canning factories usually help each other to ensure that no worker would end up jobless, especially in an emergency situation.

Permex is one of the country’s leading exporters of its own brand of canned sardines and tuna products. South West Asian Canning Corp. produces King Cup sardines, which is also being exported by Permex.

South West Asian, which is located in Barangay Talisayan here, had to suspend its operation when its industrial steam machine or boiler exploded at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28.

An assistant boiler operator, Zacarias Alberyo Rico, 49, died in the incident.

Two other workers — Anthony Romano Villaflores, 28, a safety officer, and Francisco Caunsag Dumagal, 39, boiler head operator — suffered minor injuries.

Dumagal earlier told the police that erratic pressure movement of the boiler caused it to explode. The company placed the cost of damage at P1.2 million.

3 dead in Zambo Sur mine tunnel collapse

By Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star)

ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines — Three persons died when a mine pit collapsed in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur on Friday.

Maj. Helen Galvez, Zamboanga peninsula police spokesperson, identified the fatalities as Emmanuel Sarabia, 26; Edwin Paran Jr., 22, and Lloyd Baylon, 21, all residents of Barangay San Pedro.

Galvez said initial investigation showed that Sarabia was buried alive while digging a 30-foot mine hole in the property of a certain Edwin Poresores at about 1:45 p.m.

Paran and Baylon, who volunteered to rescue Sarabia, were trapped when the mine pit caved in as they went down. Their companion, Junifer Narido, was pulled alive and brought to a hospital for treatment.

Sarabia’s body was recovered after almost 10 hours.

Lightning kills 16-year-old boy

By BONG GARCIA (SunStar Philippines)

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy was killed in a lightning strike in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, the police reported, Sunday, May 26.

The Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office reported the incident occurred around 7:15 a.m. at Purok Quarry in the village of Abong-abong, Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur.

The police identified the fatality as Roger Guillena, Jr., a Grade 8 student.

Investigation disclosed that prior to the incident, Guillena went to the village of Poblacion aboard on a canoe to buy spare parts of a motorized banca.

The police said that Ronilo Ocang saw Guillena returning home around 7:15 a.m. when a lighting struck the canoe throwing the boy overboard.

The police said that Ocang along with other fishermen managed to recover Guillena around 8:05 a.m. and tried to resuscitate him.

The police added they rushed the victim to the nearest hospital but Guillena expired before they reached Tabina Rural Health Unit.

Zamboanga del Sur lawmaker acquitted of graft

By Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines — Zamboanga del Sur second district Rep. Aurora Cerilles has been cleared of graft over an advertisement deal that the provincial government entered with a local radio station when she was governor in 2005.

“Review... of the records of this case shows that... the prosecution evidence failed to meet the quantum of proof required for the conviction of... Cerilles,” the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division said in a 39-page decision promulgated on May 17.

Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2013, the case stemmed from the release of a check amounting to P483,840 as payment to Baganian Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) for advertisements of the provincial government’s programs and activities.

The ombudsman said the payment was illegal because the contract with BBC did not undergo public bidding.

However, the Sandiganbayan said the prosecution failed to present a single evidence or witness that established Cerilles’ direct participation in the selection of BBC and release of payment.

“The only purported participation attributed to the accused... was her supposed signature stamped on the check... The prosecution utterly failed to establish that said stamped signature... is the true and authentic signature of the accused,” the second division said.

The court did not give weight to the prosecution’s allegation that the deal was awarded to BBC because Cerilles’ husband Antonio, a former congressman and now Zamboanga del Sur governor, was the owner of the company.

The Sandiganbayan said the Cerilles family had long divested its shares in BBC, citing a deed of sale dated Sept. 20, 1996 to a certain Alfonso Ortega Jr.

“The prosecution’s evidence failed to overcome the presumption of innocence, thus the accused is entitled to an acquittal... Suspicion, no matter how strong must never sway judgment,” the court said.

ZamSur donates books to far-flung areas

By ANTONIO P. RIMANDO (Campus Press)

PAGADIAN CITY: The Zamboanga del Sur government, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) provincial schools division and OneHope Philippines, recently distributed books to far-flung local public elementary schools to enable their pupils to improve their reading and comprehension capability.

In this modern world where almost everything can be learned through technology, Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio Cerilles said “there are still children, mostly living in rural communities, who have difficulty in learning how to read and to comprehend what they are reading.”

Cerilles said, “If a child learns how to read and understands what he is perusing, then he can read to learn more. But what happens to a child full of potentials but doesn’t know how to read or lacks reading capacity?” Advertisements

Under Cerilles’ leadership, the local government, Program in partnership with the DepEd, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and local Jaycee chapter, crafted the Reading Comprehensive to address the reading capacity problem of local grade school learners, particularly those enrolled in remote villages.

The initiative includes the distribution of books throughout the province.

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.

Caution

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 (Rappler.com)

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.

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