Friday, December 29, 2006

Special report: Bloody tale of the Abu Sayyaf’s notoriety

COTABATO CITY (John Unson / Dec 29) - If Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani is really dead, his death will only cause a major setback for his notorious group, but will never mean its end.

This is how many analysts and peace advocates here believe, though still weary on whether it was indeed Kahadaffy’s remains the Marines had unearthed three days ago in Barangay Kabuntakas, a secluded district in Patikul, Sulu.

The youngest among Janjalani siblings, who were born and raised by their parents in Isabela, Basilan, the leader of the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) was feared for his ruthlessness against enemies.

Kahadaffy merely assumed the leadership of the ASG after his older brother, Ustadz Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, was killed in a brief gunbattle with policemen in a coastal village in Basilan in 1998.

Abdurajak first underwent guerilla training in Kandahar , Afganistan, before joining in the 1980s the mujahideen forces that fought the then Soviet-backed regime of Afgan President Mohammad Najibullah.

A member of the Moro National Liberation Front, who was a key staffer of jailed MNLF founder Nur Misuari when he was still governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Abdurajak stayed long in Pakistan to study Islamic theology in one of the schools there prior to his sojourn to Afganistan.

“He was a very good baker. He worked part time in a bakery in Pakistan while we were studying there. We even asked him to teach us how to bake bread. We learned from him that he had worked as a baker while in Isabela, where he grew up,” the source, who asked not to be identified, said.

Abdurajak, according to the source, then never showed signs he would rise as a leader of a group both Mindanao ’s Muslims and Christians would fear.

The soft-spoken, silent-type Kadaffy was still a minor when Abdurajak was abroad.

There are neighbors of the Janjalanis in Isabela claiming to have been shown by Abdurajak photos of him and a “a very wealthy Arab mujahideen,” purportedly Osama bin Laden, the man who could have recruited him into joining the forces that fought the Afgan-backed government in Afganistan in the early 1980s.

Local preachers who studied abroad said Bin Laden, indeed, operated a recruitment office for the Afgan mujahideen forces somewhere in Peshawar , Pakistan in the early 1980s.

When Abdurajak returned to the country in the early 1990s, he wasted no time in organizing a tightly-knit group aimed at propagating da’awah (preaching) activities as a pretext to putting up a puritan Islamic community in Mindanao .

Abdurajak established a 15-member “council of emirs,” and enlisted a preacher named Amilhussin Jumani as its senior adviser.

From 1990 to 1992, Abdurajak established a core group composed of 10 units, support, under Ustadz Benhamad; security, under Calona Mutalan; finance, under Bashier Latiff; operations, under Omar Gahalin; supply, under Jalali Bakal; recruitment, under Basiri Jillang, urban sector, under Abdullah Jainal; planning, Edwin Angeles, also known as Ibrahim Panduga; intelligence, under Abdulhamad Samad; and logistics, under Amiludin Muin.

Samad and Muin were to be arrested by government agents in June 3 and, subsequently, June 10, 1994 respectively. Angeles, who surrendered to the government, was briefly incarcerated in Camp Crame and was gunned down in Isabela, while coming out of a mosque, after Abdurajak was killed by policemen.

Angeles was then a strong contender for the post left vacant with the death of Abdurajak. There has been no information on the whereabouts now of the other pioneer members of the units the slain ASG founder established.

Khadaffy was never a part of a any of the ASG’s 10 pioneer units. Neither was he allowed by Abdurajak to join the ASG’s four operating arms, the hit squad, led by Ustadz Wahab Salajin, demolition, under Ustadz Munap Salajin, the mujahideen sector, under Ramon Sangkula Hassan, and training section, under a certain Mustapha, believed to be a preacher trained in Egypt.

The operating units of the ASG first had its “baptism of fire” when its members perpetrated the bombing in the early 1990s of the M/V Doulos in the Zamboanga City port, and, subsequently, carried out the murder of Italian priest Salvatorre Cardezza in a nearby district on May 20, 1992.

As the ASG spread its wings in the Basilan, Sulu and the Zamboanga peninsula, Abdurajak also hopped from one Southern island to another, preaching and encouraging Muslims to rise and fight for an independent Islamic state in the region.

“He was an eloquent speaker. He spoke well of the verses in the Holy Qur’an and used certain verses to justify his quest for a Muslim state in Mindanao and as excuses for the ASG’s use of violence to pursue its objectives,” another MNLF member, who hails from Sumisip, Basilan, told The Cagayan de Oro Journal.

As a preacher, Abdurajak spoke ill of the Philippine government and the United States , like his benefactor, bin Laden, who was rabidly against US foreign policies too.

Part of the ASG’s ploy to catch international attention then was the abduction, one after another, of local and foreign Christian missionaries, among them Catholic priests and nuns, to project the “religious dimensions” of its bid for an Islamic state in the South.

The group, apparently aimed at catching the attention of the United States , abducted in 1994 linguist Charles Walton in Sulu, while studying there the Tausog and Sama dialects.

As a preacher, Abdurajak spoke ill of the Philippine government and the foreign policies of the United States .

He was said to have attempted to expand the ASG’s operation in Central Mindanao , but was reportedly rejected by the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), whose leader then, cleric Hashim Salamat, was keen on preventing “contamination” of his group with any influence from terrorist organizations.

Salamat’s position of furthering his bid for Moro-rule in Mindanao, was more premised on the framework of unity and co-existence with all sectors in the south, under the Islamic context of inter-faith solidarity and economic advancement that would not displace, but rather empower Mindanao ’s native Moro and other indigenous groups.

MILF insiders said Salamat’s principles and vision of “peace with justice” for Mindanao ’s Moro, Lumad and Christian groups are being carried on by his successor, Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim, who assumed the front’s leadership after Salamat’s demise in 2004 in Butig, Lanao del Sur.

Peace advocates, among them Catholic priests, are certain, it was for the MILF’s being a revolutionary organization and different in its religious and political convictions from the ASG that forced Khadaffy out of Central Midanao , where he hid from June to November 2005 to escape from government offensives against him in the Zamboanga peninsula.

Sources from Basilan, some of them local officials, said it was during the ASG’s plunder of Ipil, Zamboanga del Sur on April 4, 1995, where the young Khadaffy, already a combatant and a close-in security aide of Abdurajak, underwent his most crucial initiation in combat.

Abu Sayyaf fighters arrived at Ipil on board trucks and pumpboats that landed on its coasts, attacked the town proper, killed 42 civilians, seven soldiers and six policemen, and, before they fled, set 53 commercial establishments on fire. More than a hundred residents, trapped in the crossfire between the local police and military, were wounded in the attack.

Most of Khadafy’s followers were either children of MNLF fighters who perished in the so-called Mindanao conflict during the 1970s, or victims of abuses of the Marcos Regime, when the country was under martial law.

Misuari, while ARMM governor from 1996 to 2001, has repeatedly urged Malacañang to include in the Mindanao peace process special, extensive programs aimed at rebuilding the lives of victims of human rights abuses, quality education for the so-called “orphans of conflicts,” and employment that would give them jobs for them not to resort to religious extremism that tend to undermine the efforts of fostering peace and sustainable development in the south.

“Religious extremism is a concern now confronting Mindanao ’s moderate Muslims, which is strongly against terrorism. There are radical Islamists in schools, even in government offices,” said a ranking education official in Central Mindanao.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Probers look into Turk's links to fire

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce) - Cagayan de Oro City fire marshall Oscar Abecia yesterday ordered arson investigators to look for a Turk reportedly responsible for the fire that destroyed over 40 houses and more than P1 million worth of property in Barangay 15 of the city the day after Christmas.

Abecia said they would file charges against Norris Glandlandan if warranted.

Lucresia Vallego, owner of the house where the fire started, claimed the blaze began at the room being rented by Glandlandan and his family.

"Glandlandan was the one renting at my apartment. The fire started at his place," Vallego said adding that a day before the fire, she heard Glandlandan ordering his son to buy gasoline.

Abecia, however, said one of his fire investigators said the fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring.


Councilors declare BIR director persona non grata

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce and Mark Francisco) – The city council yesterday declared the director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) here persona non grata for supposedly snubbing an official inquiry into the alleged corruption in the local offices of the bureau here.

Declared persona non grata was Mustapha Garandosa, BIR director.

Two of his subordinates, assistant director Alberto Olasiman and Cagayan de Oro revenue district officer Ester Palala suffered the same fate.

Garandosa did not show up during the city council inquiry two Mondays ago because, supposedly, he was on leave. He failed to show up again during the council session yesterday.

In a letter written on his behalf by Olasiman, Garandosa said he regretted that he could not face the city council supposedly because a BIR memorandum prevented him from doing so.

The letter cited BIR Memorandum Order no. 25-2005 issued by BIR Commissioner Jose Mario Buñag on Oct. 12, 2005, that ordered all BIR employees nationwide not to issue statements or release documents pertaining to their jobs without his direct consent.

But Councilor Jose Benaldo said the basis of Buñag’s directive was Executive Order No. 464 prohibiting government officials and employees from appearing in legislative investigations.

Two sections of the executive order had since been nullified by the Supreme Court, he said.

“The (line of) reasoning of Gandarosa is unfounded and baseless,” said Simeon Licayan, adding that the council only wanted the BIR officials to shed light on the complaints.

Licayan said Gandarosa’s failure two show up in two-occasion was enough to declare him persona non grata.

Councilors said they were not checking the records of BIR but were questioning the bureau’s officials in regard to numerous complaints on extortion.

The city council passed a resolution requesting the Office of the President, the BIR, the Ombudsman, the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and the Revenue and Incentives Protection Service of the Department of Finance (DOF) to investigate local BIR officials.

The councilors passed a third resolution asking the BIR to recall the three officials to its central office in Manila and ground them there pending the result of an investigation.

Councilor Cesar Ian Acenas said copies of the two resolutions would be furnished to local governments throughout the countrty to warn them of the alleged illegal modus operandi of some people in the BIR.


2 MGB execs slapped with graft charges

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce) – The Office of the Ombudsman in Davao has ordered former Mines and Geosciences Bureau director Glenn Marcelo Noble and a department head of the Bureau to answer a graft complaint filed against them.

Abner Fortaleza and Eugenio Sepulveda filed a complaint against Noble and Paul Salise before the 20th branch of the Regional Trial Court here last Oct. 25.

But earlier, they also filed a complaint against the two officials before the ombudsman.

In a three-page order dated Nov. 6, a copy of which was furnished this paper, ombudsman Maria Corazon Arancon directed Noble and Salise to submit their answer.

Arancon also directed Sepulveda and Fortaleza to submit a certificate of “non-forum shopping.”

Noble is now assigned at MGB Central Office in Manila while Salise is the chief of the Mining Environment and Safety Division of MGB-10.

Cagayan de Oro Journal tried to contact Noble and Salise for comment but to no avail.

Noble and Salise were accused of obtaining two sets of round-trip plane tickets each when they attended a conference in Baguio in November 2002. Public funds were used in buying the first sets of tickets since it was supposedly an official trip. But here’s the catch: a private firm based in Iligan City allegedly paid for the other set of tickets, supposedly for the same purpose.

Fortaleza and Sepulveda said it was unethical and a violation of law against graft.

The complainants also accused the officials of failing to account for solicitations made for a seminar in November 2002.

They alleged that some 90 people attended the seminar and that participants supposedly paid P1,500 each.
They called on the environment department to suspend Noble and Salise.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Happy Problem: ARMM & MSU System Teachers need more PCs

Excellence Awardee Maryam Manalundong with her family strikes a pose with MSU president Ricardo De Leon (left) and USAID representatives during graduation ceremony at Grand Caprice, Cagayan de Oro City.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mike Baños / Dec 21) - Teachers in the MSU-System of High Schools and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have what EduQuest, Inc. general manager Teresita Medado calls a "happy problem". They don't have enough computers and peripherals to integrate computers and the internet into classroom instruction.

During the Recognition and Awards Night for the IBM eMentor Scholarship program held last week at a local restaurant in Cagayan de Oro, Ms. Maryam Q. Manalundong, who was cited as the "Best Trainer" among the 27 graduates of the program, said they don't have enough computers to enable students to learn "hands-on". They also lacked LCD projectors to make up for the lack of PCs by projecting their lessons to the board for all students to see.

But Ms Medado called this is a "happy problem" because that particular batch of eMentors have "found good use for their PCs" and said she "wanted it recognized." Apparently, EduQuest worked with other schools before which "over-invested" in hardware and software but eventually found little use for it.

Even prior to that, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Growth in Equity for Mindanao (GEM) program already recognized the need to develop the "humanware" for this project by bringing in the IBM eMentor scholarship program for its Computer Literacy and Internet Connection (CLIC) program.

CLIC aims to promote computer literacy and the use of information and communications technology (ICT) among students and teachers in the ARMM and other conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. It provides internet-linked computers, software, printers, reference materials on computers and the internet, and training on basic troubleshooting and repairs to CLIC-beneficiary schools.

To improve the quality of ICT-facilitated learning in the ARMM, IBM and USAID through GEM launched the IBM eMentor Scholarship Program (also known as the IBM eMentor Teacher Professional Training and Practicum Program) in the ARMM and the MSU System of High Schools.

The IBM eMentor Scholarship Program is implemented and managed by EduQuest, Inc., an affiliate of Asia Pacific College, an institution founded by IBM Philippines and the SM Foundation. As a training provider and consultant on teaching strategies and tools, EduQuest designed the training course and certified the acquisition of competencies gained by teachers through the program. It was also responsible for monitoring the implementing the program by qualified and trained teachers in their own schools.

The program was developed with the rationale that improving the quality of education in the ARMM would help accelerate economic growth in Mindanao, improve the quality of life and bring about a just and lasting peace in the region.
ALUMNI 2006: Views of the video showing featuring the graduates.

In January 2006, 30 teachers were selected from a pool of 85 program applicants using a highly competitive process managed by GEM. Selection criteria included reading diagnosis rating, technology skill level and professional qualifications. As program beneficiaries, each teacher-scholar committed to share the skills they acquired with at least 10 teachers from their schools within 7-10 months after graduating from the program.

From the original pool of 30 qualified applicants, 28 teacher-scholars went through an intensive 8-day training program at the STI computer laboratory in Davao City last January. The training taught them how to maximize ICT applications, tools and resources in the classroom to inspire greater interest and increase the motivation to learn of students, thus increasing the quality of classroom instruction in the region (which has among the lowest literacy rate in the entire country) and also improved their ability to facilitate community participation in the learning process. Outputs and peer feedback were discussed on the last day of training.

Upon returning to their respective schools, the teacher-scholars now turned mentors applied their newly acquired skills and trained at least 10 other teachers, thus increasing the base of trained and qualified teacher-users for CLIC-partner schools.

Through the next 10 months, CLIC and IBM, through EduQuest, monitored and evaluated the implementation of the teacher-mentors' portfolio in their own schools. Twenty seven teacher-mentor scholars completed the requirements of the program and were graduated last December 3, 2006.

The three highest achieving teacher-scholars and who excelled in their specific fields were recognized with awards from IBM and EduQuest. The teacher-mentors were evaluated based on three major criteria: 1) Development and Implementation of Instructional materials using ICT; re-echo training or passing on what they have learned from the IBM eMentor program to their co-teachers, and teacher collaboration through various tools in the internet.

The 27 IBM eMentor Teacher-Scholars are Kusain M. Abas, Leticia S. Adjaril, Ma. Venus P. Aman, Floravel K. Ambas, Saliah Datucali H. Amin, Nor-ain M. Ampang, Aquil S. Andog, Arnold B. Asotigue, Achmad Dimalutang, Camaro T. Edzraphil, Arnel B. Hajan, Renette H. Jecostan, Aidyl Jeffrey A. Jikiri, Florida D. Maddie, Ma. Corazon G. Maguate, Mayleen P. Malagamba, Maryam Q. Manalundong, Caroline T. Marohom, Barbara Ann E. Pangcoga, Ranilo R. Remonde, Jemima O. Ruiz, Rheinjohn A. Sampang, Mariam A. Sunggod, Reynald L. Sykimte, Arlene B. Tawan, Ricardo B. Tarro and Nazer K. Usman.
(Left photo) MSU System President Ric de Leon addresses the graduates. Right photo shows Best Trainer Maryam Manalundong with De Leon and the USAID representatives.

Recognized as the top eMentor Scholars were Ms. Maryam Q. Macalundong, MSU Balindong, Lanao del Sur (1st place), Ms Caroline T. Marohom, Malabang National High School, Lanao del Sur (2nd Place) and Ms Nor-Ain M. Ampang, MSU Balo-i, Lanao del Norte.

Also granted special awards were Marohom (Best in Classroom Demonstrations), Manalundong (Best Teacher's Portfolio, Overall Best Online Discussant, Best Online Discussant/IBM Mentor Place, Best Online Discussant/IBM Yahoo group, Best Trainer), Edzraphil (Simplest Use of Technology to Achieve Maximum Impact) and Mr. Aquil S. Andog (Best Online Discussant/IBM eMentor Blogspot).

Although the program partners committed to continue supporting CLIC through the program, a formidable obstacle over which they basically have no control continues to hound the integration of computers and the internet in the ARMM, especially in Lanao del Sur: inadequate and unstable supply of electricity.

Dr. Ricardo de Leon, MSU- System President, acknowledged this problem but said the National Transmission Corporation (Transco) can hopefully address it in the near future upon the completion of a 69KV transmission line in Lanao del Sur aimed at stabilizing the power supply. Ironically, Lanao del Sur, together with Iligan City, are the hosts communities for the Agus hydro-electric power complex which supplies over half of Mindanao's present power needs.

The CLIC program in the ARMM is managed by Arcille Catherine "Happy" Raagas, herself a former teacher and mentor based in Cagayan de Oro City.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Peace pact struck with NPA breakaway group

Hostilities between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Mindanao (RPMM) panels as they sign on December 19 the guidelines and ground rules for the implementation and monitoring of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities. GRP Panel chairman lawyer Franklin Quijano shaking hands with RPM-M panel member Armando Orbis as independent secretariat head Kaloy Manlupig of Balay Mindanao looks on. Photo by DANTE SUDARIA

Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Mangagawa ng Mindanao (RPM-M) Peace panel Members Armando Orbis, Freiderick Montes and RPM-M panel adviser Ike de Los Reyes signing on Tuesday the agreement with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) on the cessation of hostilities in Mindanao at Pryce Plaza hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce / Dec 20) – An agreement for a cessation of hostilities between government and a breakaway group of the New People's Army (NPA) here in Mindanao was signed at the Pryce Plaza here Tuesday, paving the way for the resumption of peace talks.

Signing the agreement, which was the third round formal talks, were government Peace Panel chairman Franklin Quijano, and RPMM Peace Panel Moniva Pascual. Other signatories were GRP Peace Panel member Froilan Melendrez, RPMM Peace Panel members Freiderick Montes, Armando Orbis, and RPMM political consultant Enrique delos Reyes.
The GRP and RPMM panels agreed on the following:

To commit the GRP and RPMM to the guidelines and ground rules operationalizes the implementation of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities that previously signed on Oct. 28, 2005.

To create of monitoring and coordinating committees, both at national and local levels, and mutual adoption of rules to handle issues relating to hostilities.

Also the RPMM signed with the government peace panel and independent secretariat Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. the "Joint Resolution to Further Advance the Gains of the government-RPMM Peace Process", in order to provides directions in terms of safety protocols and environment threats.

The third party, Independent Secretariat Charlito Manlupig and Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. executive director Ariel Hernandez also signed the agreement.

“These peace efforts exerted by the government with the RPMM shows how the current administration is trying to reach out to all groups in its pursuit of peace, Quijano said adding the focus of the talks is purely on development and not on violence.

Quijano said they both (GRP, RPMM) hoping that with the new development would contribute to address the inequity, underdevelopment and poverty in areas in Mindanao.

Pascual on his part said the strong convictions that the political crisis the country is going through will not be a hindrance or discouragement to their efforts to find peace in Mindanao. Manlupig said RPMM submitted a list of 104 barangays that need consultation and immediate intervention. ”Already 93 barangays have been attended to by the panels and the development are still ongoing,” Manlupig said.
The former NPA members dubbed as the "rejectionist group" also voiced their commitment to pursue attaining peace in Mindanao.

Manlupig said there are 93 of the 104 barangays have been consulted and rendered "immediate intervention" by the government-Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Mindanao (RPMM) Peace Panels. In an interview, Lanao del Norte police provincial director PSSupt. Laut Sarip said the current political crisis that presently encounter by the State is not a bar to the pursuit of peace. Laut who represented Police Regional Office 10 regional director Chief Supt.. Teodorico Capuyan said the signing would benefits not only both parties but the civilian communities in Mindanao.

Both the GRP and the RPMM also regarded the signing of the two documents as an important gesture in support of the fulfillment of confidence-building measures and in the eventual signing of final peace accord.

The parties also jointly acknowledged the threat to the environment caused by illegal logging operations in Upi, Shariff Kabunsuan and some other areas in Mindanao.
The panels also agreed to follow and enforce environmental protection laws such as the Indigenous People's Reform Act (IPRA) and other customary laws and implement sustainable environment programs. The GRP and the RPMM panels also specifically lauded the Independent Secretariat who witnessed and signed the above guidelines and ground rules.
Pascual said that “pursuing peace is more of paramount importance today and onward” and that the signing is “another significant milestone forward for the peace process.”

Quijano lauded the talks as “a much welcome development in arriving at a just conclusion to this peace process.”

“It must be noted that the “just end to all peace process” or the completion of comprehensive peace agreements with the rebel groups resulting in the permanent cessation of armed hostilities by 2010, is a major component of the President 10-point Agenda,” said Quijano.


Monday, December 18, 2006

URGENT HELP: Ysa, 2 year old, missing since Nov. 23

Warm greetings,

I apologize if this appears to be an unsolicited mail, an off-topic message (in an e-group), or if you have received more than one copy of this. I rarely send messages to multiple recipients, unless I have carefully verfied it.

Please help a family recover their 2 year old daughter by sending this to as many recipients possible, particularly those residing in Metro Manila and nearby provinces (Cavite, Rizal, etc). Thank you very much. You kindness is very much appreciated.

Please forward.

This 2 year old girl had been missing since Nov. 23, 2006. She had been featured in QTV Channel 11 last Dec. 12, 2006, 10 PM, in the program "Sana'y Muling Magkapiling".

There's been a suspicion that a syndicate might be using her right now to beg on the streets, so please try to remember her face (or print this out and help in letting other people know). You might come across her during your Christmas shopping. If you do, please immediately seek the help of proper authorities. If you have companions, stay with her while someone gets help from nearby policemen, barangay tanods or other persons of authority. We hope that she could be found soon and be reunited with her family before Christmas.

Here is another reason not to give anything to beggars...instead, course your acts of charity to the appropriate institutions. Help keep children off the streets, especially the highways. Don't give these syndicates a reason to abduct children and make them beg. If nobody gives anything, there's no reason for people, especially children, to beg on the streets. Support the institutions that help the homeless and the poor. Do what is right.

- M I S S I N G -
Name: Ma. Ysabelle Sim Age: 2 years & 7 months old(Wearing Pink Sando and White Pajama)If found, pls. contact: Ms. Gilda Sim / Ester Rosales / Chairman Elvin "Allan" Patao Tel. No. 563 00 11 / 563 38 12 / 589 02 16 Add: 336 Kaingin St., cor. Labores Extension, Pandacan, Manila, Brgy. 858, Zone 93

****Just in case you may spot her. . .dear all,pls find attached picture & some info of my niece, Ysabelle. Nawawala since yesterday, Nov 23, around 11am, naglalaro malapit sa gate ng haus nmin. May nagsabi nakita daw xa away from our place kasama 1 badjao na babae, around 4pm nman nakita daw nung isang jeepney driver iyak na ng iyak, tulala na, karga nman ng isang badjao na lalake naghihintay ng masasakyan, pinagpapasa-pasahan xa para cguro maligaw kung sino man ang nakakita sa babaeng unang kumuha (i think isang grupo 2 ng nangunguha ng bata, d din cgurado kung talgang badjao un or nagpapanggap lng) Meron din kami nakausap kagabi isang batang pulubi, nakita nya nga daw c ysabelle may kasama isa pang bata along Taft Ave namamalimos na. Since yesterday na nawala xa until now naghahanap p din kmi, d kami makatulog kakaisip kung ano na ngyayari sa kanya, im sure gutom na un. Nag-report na kmi sa pulis, madami na nga daw case ngaun ng nawawalang bata.Pls include her in your prayers, na sana makita nmin cya agad. Baka makita nu cya, pls inform us immediately. U may also contact me thru Mobile No. 0919 2756394. Malaking tulong ito sa pamilya nmin. PLS. PASS....Maraming Salamat!Sandra Sim-De Niro
Below is the most recent information about Ysabelle.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Daddy Jojo Date: Dec 18, 2006 1:22 PM
Subject: Ysabelle update 1 Day Agosandra_ysabelle

HI GUYS! ds s sandra, ysabelles aunt. update re ysa: somebdy txtd me earlier...her name is diobel... they made a search ds aftrn along pedro gil & U.N. ave malapit sa ABE school May nakakita daw ky ysabelle ksama maliit na lalake last nyt sa UN, inutusan p daw manlimos c ysa, nakita daw nung 1 tindero. Kanina 1pm nakita nman daw ng tga-ABE sa pedro gil. they searched the place bt didnt find ysa. cguro timing lng tlga makikita dn natin xa. we really appreciate all ur efforts. GOD is really GOOD, knowing na marami kming karamay sa paghhnap ky ysa, it makes us strong. we hope & pray na sana makita n nmin xa before Christmas. May GOD listen to our prayers. 2 Weeks Ago hondatwin (friend of Ysabelle's aunt, about an inquiry on other marks to recognize Ysa)she has a scar on her upperlip, 6to7mm.well update pics..X X XThe above information is from a discussion forum of motorcycle enthusiasts:

This may also be a good source of information on the search for Ysabelle.You may want to read their exchange of messages, especially the sentiments of the daddys in the group and those that search even if they are alone. There have been organized as well as individual searches to find her. Many would like to find her and reunite herwith the family before Christmas. Please be aware na lang po kung sino ang mga kakampi natin at magtulong-tulong tayo dahil siguradong nasa paligid lang ang mga abductors. If she's found, someone has to get the police while the others secure her safety.
May mga medyo mainit na (because they've been searching for days and worried about Ysa's condition), kaya ingat lang po ang mga mukhang badjao at baka mapagkamalan po kayo...tumulong na lang po kayo sa pagtawag ng pulis.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bruce Date: Nov 28, 2006 11:27 AM
Subject: Help find missing child
Forwarded by my friend na si Herald....

Hope we could help the family to find their child (kindly forward it to your friends para madaling mahanap ang batang ito

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Guys,I confirmed the authenticity of this....nakausap ko yung nanay and totoo nga since Nov. 23 pa daw nawawala yung anak nya.....hope we can help.... thanksHeraldHere is her pix.

---------- Forwarded message ----------From: DaddyJojoDate: Nov 28, 2006 12:07 PM
Let's all pray that God is taking good care of this child right now while her folks are looking for her. It has been 5 days and this 2 year old girl could be out there with strangers, scared and hungry. Let's keep a close watch at the children in our homes so that they will remain safe with us, Please forward this so that Ysabelle can be found immediately.


December 05, 2006 07:21 PM Tuesday
Article read 134 time(s)
Badjao gypsies tagged in kidnap of girl, 2
By: Ferds Sevilla

NO WORDS can probably describe the pain and suffering of the family of the two-and-a-half-year-old girl who has been missing since Nov. 23.Witnesses accounts said Ma. Ysabelle Sim, together with other young children, has been spotted begging on streets with a woman and her group of Badjaos. Young Ysabelle was last seen standing at the gate of the family compound at 336 Kaingin St. in Pandacan, Manila, shortly before noon. Her mother Orencia "Ching" Sim, 29, said she found only the young girl's step-ins when she came out to check on her daughter. "Naglalaro siyang mag-isa sa gate at saka pinapanood niya 'yung mga batang lumalabas ng eskuwela, tapos bigla na lang nawala," recalled Mrs. Sim.The family compound is a block away from J. Zamora Elem. School. "Mahilig kasi siyang bumati sa mga batang nagdaraan. Parati nang nagboo-boom-tarat-tarat 'yan, tapos sasabihin joke lang," mumbled Orencia as she broke into tears.A tricycle driver told the Sims he saw a scarfed-woman carrying a girl that resembled Ysabelle around the time she disappeared. "Nu'ng ipakita namin 'yung picture ni Ysabelle, iyung-iyon na nga raw 'yung batang dala-dala nu'ng babaing naka-belo. Wala ngang tsinelas iyung bata," said the girl's grandmother Gilda, 52."Magulung-magulo pa ang aming isip na mag-anak. Paskung-pasko pa naman. Humihingi kami ng tulong sa mga awtoridad na hanapin ang anak ko," Jomar, Ysabelle's 30-year old father, appealed. The Sims are engaged in small-scale manufacturing of dry-goods and upholstery.Ysabelle's only sibling Pamela, 14, has also been traumatized by Ysabelle's disappearance.Hours after Ysabelle was abducted, the parents reported her disappearance to the Manila Police District (MPD) but no concrete action were taken. At one time, the Sims responded to a phone call about a sighting of Ysabelle outside Harrison Plaza, however, only a policewoman was available to accompany them."Nakita raw 'yung anak ko na kasa-kasama nu'ng mga Badjao na namamalimos pero nakaalis," Orencia said. The Badjao gypsies were reportedly seen Friday night at a slum area in San Marcelino, Malate but no policemen were available to assist the Sims.P/Supt. Hilario Orallo, MPD Station 9 commander in Malate, ordered his men search for the girl but the official was apparently ignored. The Sims also went to a house in a squatters area on Batallion St., Fairview, Quezon City, last Saturday following a call that Ysabelle was again seen with a group of street people begging for alms."Nakita raw sa bahay ng mag-asawa pero, nang puntahan namin, wala naman doon," said another relative, Ester Rosales, 56.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: suzetteDate: Dec 12, 2006 1:09 PM
nabasa ko yung rgarding dun kay ysabelle (missing), sya po ba yung ipapalabas sa ch. 11 mamayang gabi? 10pm hosted by jessicasoho yung pic kc na inattached d2 pareho cguro sya yun... yung title mamayang gabing show is SANAY MULING MAKAPILING..

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: DaddyJojo
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 1:46 PM
Subject: Re: ysabelle (missing)
Hindi pa ba siya nahahanap? I have reformatted the email to show the pic with the text and sent the message to all the discussion groups I participate in. I continue to pray for her and hope that she'll be found soon. My God, I can't imagine how a 2 year old child could cope with being abducted by strangers...crying out, perhaps, hungry...sleepless...on the street. My prayer is that she will not be in such a condition and that God is taking care of her. Inaabangan ko rin ang TV program tonight. Akala ko nahanap na siya.
I just txted the cell number. Hindi pa rin daw nahahanap si Ysabelle.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Shirley wrote:
Yes, am also praying that she'll be found the soonest time possible. The email made me cry imagining the condition of the child, without herparents... It's sickening to think why and how such people who have kidnapped her could ever exist. I pray that nobody will experience this.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: johannDate: Dec 13, 2006 8:41 AM
Subject: Re: ysabelle (missing)

Qtv episodeNapanood ko sa Qtv yung episode sa paghahanap kay ysabelle, oh, napaka cute na bata... sobrang na fefeel ko ang sakit na nadarama ng mother nya pati nung lola nya, kahit madaling araw talagang naghahanap sila. napakawalang puso naman ng kumuha sa batang yun para maging kasangkapan lang sa panlilimos... haynaku! bakit pa kaya may nilikha ang Diyos na ganun klaseng tao... Pardon me, pero sobra talaga yung mga taong dumukot sa bata... Nakikiisa kami ng pamilya ko sa pagdadasal para mabawi nila ang bata....



6,000 teachers flocked at Misor Capitol on Teacher's Day

Senator Joker Arroyo poses with Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno and a group of teachers during Teacher's Day held at the Provincial Capitol grounds last Friday.

At least 6,000 teachers and non-teaching staff from all over Misamis Oriental flocked at the Provincial Capitol yesterday to grace the 2006 Teachers Day celebration. Sen. Joker Arroyo, who used to shun invitations for such gatherings, honored the teachers by his presence in this momentous occasion. All the teachers received an amount of P1,500 each as cash gift from the Provincial Government. Gov. Oscar Moreno increased the cash assistance from P1,000 last year to P1,500 this year. Capitol allocated an amount of P8.3M to cover the cash gift and expenses of the entire event. (Photo Supply from Prov'l Capitol Press Office)


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

'People's initiative' still the best option, says Dongkoy

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Balce / Dec 13) - Never mind if no one’s talking about it anymore, and never mind if the Supreme Court already killed it. For Cagayan de Oro Mayor Vicente Emano, the so-called ‘‘People’s Initiative’’ remains as the best option for constitutional reforms.

Emano said this after the Lower House decided to shelve moves to convene a constituent assembly and push for constitutional convention instead in an effort to change the 1987 Charter.

"If it’s Con-con now, I would rather go back to ‘people’s initiative,’" said Emano. "The last to decide is the people––so go back and ask the people by way of a ‘people’s initiative.’"

Emano maintained that there is an enabling law for a people’s initiative, adding that it is legal and the only way to directly hear the voice of citizens.

Which is why, Emano said, he is hoping that the SC would reconsider its position on the petition of Sigaw ng Bayan and the Union of Local authorities of the Philippines (Ulap). (Editor's note:
The petition was rejected by the SC on Dec. 12, 2006, according to reports).

"It is important to hear the voice of the people and that’s through a people’s initiative," Emano said.

The two pro-Charter change groups have filed a second motion for reconsideration before the SC which trashed their petition.

"I think people behind the people’s initiative will not stop and they will not surrender," Emano said.

If the SC reconsiders and rules in favor of Sigaw ng Bayan and Ulap, Emano said he would be fully behind it.

But if pro-Arroyo allies succeed in pushing the Con-con, Emano said the election of delegates can be held simultaneously with next year’s May 14 elections or the barangay elections.

But first, Emano said, the people ‘‘must be convinced that the electoral system is trustworthy."

Emano added: "Let’s see if the people would begin to trust the Comelec again after the 2007 elections."

Any change to the Constitution should be done in "a calm manner and not in a period of confusion," he said.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fraudulently illegal, says Ledesma of Con-ass; Emano, Jaraula counter: Ignorant

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (By Ben Balce, Joel Escol and Susan Palmes / Dec 9, 2006) -CAGAYAN de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma yesterday lashed at the House majority over its moves to convene a constituent assembly for Charter change, calling the efforts "fraudulently illegal and scandalously immoral."

But Cagayan de Oro Mayor Vicente Emano and Rep. Constantino Jaraula, the chair of the House constitutional amendments committee, have this to say about critics of the Lower House’s efforts: ‘‘Ignorant.’’

Protest actions aimed at pressuring the House to drop its plan to effect constitutional amendments by way of a constituent assembly without the Senate’s participation would start tomorrow in the city.

Ledesma was set on presiding over an emergency meeting of residents opposed to ‘‘Con-ass’’ at the Archbishop’s Palace late afternoon yesterday.

Ledesma, in an interview, said he would issue an official statement against ‘‘Con-ass’’ on behalf of the local Roman Catholic archdiocese anytime soon like other bishops in the country.

"We have not favored Con-ass ever since," said Ledesma, referring to the position of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

A bigger ‘‘prayer rally’’ is being organized on Dec. 15 to stop the House juggernaut.

"It will be staged nationwide. The local churches, including those in other places in Mindanao, will participate," said Ledesma.

President Arroyo’s allies here said ‘‘Con-ass’’ critics ‘‘don’t know what they’re saying.’’

"It’s easy to say ‘illegal’ and ‘immoral’... Those who are saying that are all ignorant,’’ said Rep. Jaraula.

Over DxIF-Bombo Radyo, Emano singled out ex-vice mayor Antonio Soriano who has been criticizing moves to change the Charter through a constituent assembly.

"I don’t agree with Soriano," said Emano who has been advocating for Charter change.
Over ABS-CBN-Caga-yan de Oro, Vice Mayor Michelle said the matter would have to be decided by the Supreme Court.

Archbishop Ledesma said he disagreed with politicians pushing for Charter change by way of a constituent assembly.

"There is really a need to respond more collectively to the present crisis," said the archbishop.
‘‘The Catholic Churchs has to respond to this crisis produced by the prospect of Charter change by administration congressmen desperately bent on creating themselves into a constituent assembly."

Ledesma also called on citizens to be vigilant. "The temptation to manipulate and to hold on to power endangers the common good and the safety of the greatest number."

Meanwhile, a multisectoral group opposed to ‘‘Con-ass’’ would start street demonstrations in the city starting from the capitol grounds tomorrow, announced Soriano, the chair of the Black and White Movement here. Soriano is also the regional chair of the opposition PDP-Laban.

The local chapter of the human rights watchdog Karapatan headed by lawyer Beverly Musni and the group of Iglesia Filipina Indiependente’s Fr. Antonio Ablon are expected to join.

On Monday, noise barrage would also be staged at 5 pm to decry congressmen who were taking part in the House juggernaut.

"People should act now. We should be vigilant to protect the Constitution,’’ said Soriano.

Musni, for his part, said Karapatan would join the upcoming nationwide protest actions.

"We cannot let this pass. They (House majority members) are deceiving us,’’ said Musni.

IFI’s Fr. Ablon said his group was expected to issue an official statement against ‘‘Con-ass’’ today.

Meanwhile, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) strongly raised its opposition to the move of the House majority.

‘‘It was a cavernly act… a show of the tyranny of numbers for self-serving interests. The process is clearly wrapped in the agenda of those who want to further perpetuate themselves in power, including President Arroyo, who is facing serious doubts to the legitimacy of her rule,’’ said NCCP.

NCCP general secretary Sharon Rose Joy Duremdes said the move was ‘‘an obvious attempt to postpone the May 2007 elections, a con that will turn the people into big losers.’’

Duremdes said congressmen disregarded the true aspirations of Filipinos, hence the ‘‘desperate attempt to resurrect an unpopular initiative that was already junked by the Supreme Court.’’

‘‘We are reiterating that the NCCP is not against Charter change. Constitutional amendments are necessary in order for the Charter to ensure the welfare of the citizens. No doubt, the present Constitution stands in need of substantial improvement, but definitely not at this time and certainly not for the wrong reasons,’’ reads a portion of the NCCP statement.

The NCCP also called on its member churches to be vigilant and ‘‘not allow anyone... to ride roughshod on our God-given right to participate in political processes that directly affect us.’’

It called Charter change through a constituent assembly ‘‘double jeopardy where the people are concerned.’’

‘‘We believe that every deed which disregards the well-being of people shall be brought under the stern judgment of our God,’’ it said.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Opol mayor bags award for governance

CAGAYAN DE ORO JOURNAL (Ben Balce / Dec. 8) MAYOR Dixon Yasay of Opol, Misamis Oriental, received on Wednesday (Dec. 6) the Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence on behalf of the Municipal government, which has been adjudged as the best managed local government in the country.

German Ambassador Axel Weishaupt, assisted by Klaus Preschle of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, presented the award.

Like Yasay, other awardees who received awards were Calbayog Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado and barangay chairperson Carlos Ringor of Paco, Mankayan, Benguet.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Champagne Salon of the Manila Hotel.

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is an international foundation that assists developing countries in various areas of governance, among are about best practices in local government management and administration.

They conduct visitations, workshops and conference among officials of local governments and even among members of the executive and legislative branches of government to assist them on the mechanics and implementation of democratic principles and institution.

Opol, Misamis Oriental Mayor Dixon Yasay delivering his acceptance speech during the awarding ceremony of the Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence for the best-managed local government in the Philippines.

German Ambassador Axel Weishaupt (4th from left), assisted by M. Klaus Preschle (3rd from left) of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung presents the Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence for the best managed local government in the Philippines to (from left) Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, Bohol Governor Erico Aumentado Opol, Misamis Oriental Mayor Dixon Yasay (2nd from right) and Barangay Captain Carlos Ringor of Paco, Mankayan, Benguet. The Simple awarding ceremony was held at the Champagne Salon of the historic landmark Manila Hotel. The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is an international foundation that assists developing countries in various areas of governance, among which are about best practices in local government management and administration. They conduct visitations, workshops and conferences among officials of local government units and even among members of the Executive and Legislative branches of government to assist them on the mechanics and implementation of democratic principles and institutions.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Normin’s top fugitive falls

FUGITIVE FALLS: Peter Herbito, region 10,'s No. 12 most wanted fugitive, with P140,000 cash reward for his capture was presented to the press by regional director C/Supt. Teodorico B. Capuyan after his arrest at Quezon, Bukidnon. Herbito has a pending case for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act and for bolting out of jail.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (BEN BALCE / Dec. 6) - Barely a week after assuming his post as northern Mindanao’s topmost police official, C/Supt. Teodorico Capuyan made his first haul.

Capuyan yesterday presented to the media an arrested fugitive who had eluded lawmen for the last eight years, tagged as 12 most wanted person in the region.

The joint operatives of the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division (RCDG) and the Police Regional Office 10 based in Camp Alagar, this city, arrested a certain Peter E. Herbito, 32, married, on December 3 at Balangay 9 Quezon, Bukidnon.

Capuyan said Herbito is tagged as number 12 most wanted person in the region carrying a reward of P140,000.

"The suspect escaped from his cell at Misamis Oriental Provincial jail in 1998," Capuyan said.

Capuyan said Herbito was once a drug (marijuana) courier getting his supplies of prohibited drugs from Damulog and disposed it in Cagayan de Oro City and nearby places in Misamis Oriental.

"Herbito’s arrest boosted the morale of our policemen," Capuyan said.

Herbito was arrested by virtue of arrest warrant issued by Branch 19 Judge Evelyn Gomotin-Nery of 10th Judicial Regional Trial Court in Cagayan de Oro.

Capuyan said the case is docketed as Criminal Case Number 97-848 with no bail bond recommended.

Herbito was turned-over to the proper authority for proper disposition, according to Capuyan.


Monday, December 04, 2006

11 PNP officials named; get new postings says Calderon

NEWLY assumed northern Mindanao police head Chief Supt. Teodorico B. Capuyan (right) in pleasant conversation with PNP chief Director General Oscar C. Calderon (center) and the outgoing Chief Supt. Florante J. Baguio (left) during the turn over of command of Police Regional Office 10 (PRO 10) at Camp Alagar, Cagayan de Oro City.

CAGAYAN de Oro Journal (BEN BALCE / Dec. 5) - ELEVEN senior police officials including the newly assumed northern Mindanao police head Chief Supt. Teodorico B. Capuyan were named and given new assignments due to the impending retirement of a number of other senior police officials.

PNP chief Director General Oscar C. Calderon said the reorganization was recommended by the Senior Officers Placement and Promotions Board based on the review and evaluation of merit, seniority and competence of all the nominees.

The officers given new assignments were Chief Supt. Charlemagne Alejandrino as acting director for the Directorate for Plans; Chief Supt. Teodorico Capuyan, regional police chief of Northern Mindanao; Chief Supt. Andres Caro II as acting regional director of the Davao Region Police Office; Chief Supt. Pedro U. Tango as director of the Northern Police District; and Chief Supt. Roberto Rosales as acting district director of the Southern Police District;

Senior Supt. Fidel A. Cimatu as acting deputy chief of the Directorate for Plans; Senior Supt. Raul Castañeda as the new acting deputy director of the Directorate for Human Resources and Doctrine Development; Senior Supt. Orlando Mabutas as acting executive director of the DHRDD.

Senior Supt. Rolando Añonuevo, acting deputy director of the Intelligence Group and acting Task Force Commander of Task Force Sanglahi, the anti-terrorist unit of the PNP; Senior Supt. Edwin Corvera, deputy task force commander of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force; and Senior Supt. Atilano Morada, acting Airport Security Group director.

Former SPD acting director Senior Supt. Ricardo Padilla will have to wait in the wings to assume as Bicol region police director until current head Chief Supt. Victor Boco, who is retiring on Jan. 11, completes the PNP’s part in all relief and rehabilitation efforts for the typhoon-ravaged region.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

The pretty Meliza Gould shining

MONALISA's SMILE. This pretty lass Meliza Gould in all smiles as she pose for souvenir photos before a professional photographer.



It was a good afternoon I waited for Ms. Meliza Gould at the lounge of VIP Hotel for our scheduled personal interview at around 3:00 pm.

Exactly at 3:00 pm the beauteous lass arrived at the hotel. She came very calm and confident. Although it maybe her first time to huddle with a media personality, but I would say she’s really smart and composed.

This gorgeous Meliza, who just celebrated her debut party at Mallberry Suites here, is half Filipina half New Zealander that maybe one of the reasons that would explain why she looked amazingly smart and ready for all questions when she seated in front of me for the interview.

Meliza is now currently on her 2nd year in International Studies Course at Xavier University . She’s the proud daughter of the late Frank Gould, a New Zealander and Emie, a Filipina.

JOEL ESCOL: Hello Meliza. Thank you for accepting my invitation for this interview. You’re really tall and in great shape like any other beauty queen.

MELIZA GOULD : Hi, thank you for that great introduction.
JE : Okay, let’s immediately get down to business. What’s the feeling of being chosen as Ms. Kauswagan and Ms, Guinsiliban ?

MG : Well, I feel great. Although am a little bit nervous during the coronation night. But my life is still the same now. I think nothing changes, except for the fact that I am now holding two titles in the same year.

JE : Was your being a beauty queen now one of your wildest dreams ?
MG : No. I didn’t really dream of becoming a beauty queen. It just happened. I don’t’ know (laughs)

JE : So who introduce you to this pageant thing. I mean, who encourage you to try your luck in beauty tilts ?
MG : (Laughs again) Actually a family friend visited our house and asked permission to my mom for me to join Ms. Kauswagan. Then that was it.

JE : Of course, among the important factors considered in beauty pageants are the way you walk, you talk and carry yourself on stage. In your first appearance was there someone who help you on these ?
MG : I have a gay friend who became my mentor. She’s the one responsible in taking care of me especially during competition nights.

JE : Being an ambassadress of goodwill now, are there any assignments from Chairman Roger Abaday of Kauswagan or from the mayor of Guinsiliban.
MG : Well, in Guinsiliban, I attended one of the activities of the town, but here in Kauswagan not yet. I heard the chairman was busy. That maybe the case I had not been given any assignment yet.

JE : Any message for the youth ?
MG : I just wanted to say that education is one of the best gift given to us by our parents so keep studying. I believe that education liberates man. Even though how hard life is but just keep yourself busy studying. Being educated is the best weapon to prepare us from the real challenges of life.
JE : Thank you again Meliza and God Bless.


Monday, November 27, 2006

It’s fair enough, Kagay-anons say of new fair market values

CAGAYAN de Oro City – (RAUL MOLDEZ / Nov. 27) - The City Council late last week assured the public it will take note and consider their reactions, suggestions and comments on the proposed new schedule of fair market values and building permit fees and other charges.

In a public hearing, Vice Mayor Michelle Tagarda-Spiers said the adoption of both schedules is long overdue.

“Since 1997, there were no changes. We should have done three revisions already,” said Spiers adding, under the 1991 Local Government Code, local government units are mandated to revise fair market values every three years.

“It is not only mandated by law. It is long overdue,” she said.

The public hearing was held at the City’ Tourism office Thursday as Spiers thanked civic groups, nongovernmental organizations, landowners, developers, barangay officials, regional offices and other sectors for attending the public consultation.

“If you compare Cagayan de Oro City between 1997 and 2006, there is a world of difference. Cagayan de Oro has boomed, bloomed and blossomed so much,” the vice mayor pointed out.

Vice Mayor Spiers said the adoption of the new fair market values is necessary to enable the city to “keep pace with the changes” of time.

“We will consider your proposals before we will finally approve the schedule,” she added. City Assessor Atinodoro Asequia pointed out that under Sections 219 and 212 of RA 7160, also known as the 1991 Local Government Code, each LGU is authorized to revise fair market value schedule every three years.

In the proposed schedule, the City Assessor claimed that the increase is very minimal. Based on the figures presented by the City Assessor, the increase is pegged at the average of 20-percent from the existing rates, except in posh housing subdivisions.

“The increase is arrived at after making consultations with the realtors and other sectors. It is fair, just and reasonable,” Asequia said, adding that the valuation is based on the actual use.

Assessment officials said the city’s assessment level is lower than Cebu’s and Iligan’s. Barangay kagawad Camilo Sario of Bugo said the new valuation is fair enough. “It means 2 percent a year,” he said, referring to the number of years the city had not effected changes in the fair market value.

After the presentation of the fair market values by the City Assessor, officials of the City Building Office presented the new schedule of building permit fees and other charges based on the new provisions of the IRR of the National Building Code.

The public hearing was presided by Councilor Juan Sia, chair of the City Council committee on finance, and attended by Vice Mayor Spiers, Councilors Maryanne Enteria, Reynaldo Advincula, Ian Mark Nacaya, Alexander Dacer, Caesar Ian Acenas and Alfonso Goking.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Nurturing the young and the restless

From a friend in Isulan

WHAT do children, public officials, and company executives have in common?

A storytelling contest, that's what, at least in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

The provincial government of Sultan Kudarat and the Department of Education teamed up with Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) to put together a series of competitions for schoolchildren. What unfolded inside the posh new provincial offices in Isulan were not only a storytelling contest, but oratorical and ethno-modern dance ones as well.

Schoolchildren from all over Sultan Kudarat came in buses to the provincial capitol recently to compete, in full regalia, with one another. High school co-eds shunned inhibition and performed in full costume, with painted faces and glittering bodies. The three events were a high point during celebrations for the province's 33rd founding anniversary. It was also the 8th Kalimudan Festival, the latter lumad term meaning "gathering."

One by one, the young storytellers and orators gave flesh to the theme: "Government, private sector and community partnership—The Path Towards Sustainable Peace and Development." All pieces were delivered at "performance level, that's why we had a hard time in deciding," admitted one of the judges.

"Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of folk art," said Provincial Board Member Eliseo Castro. Speaking on behalf of Vice Governor Don Ligo, Castro said that as the province was celebrating its founding anniversary, "we continue to adapt this traditional storytelling and oratorical contest as we continue to develop our province."

He recalled that "early storytelling combined stories, poetry, music, and dance. Many people told stories, but the best storyteller was chosen to be the entertainer of the community."

Castro said that the province had an important message to impart in terms of its history and potentials, and that "the best place to find a good story is at the public library."

Flora Valmonte, Assistant Director of the National Library, commended the young competitors for their talents and determination during her keynote address. Valmonte was in town also to introduce e-library to the provincial capitol, courtesy of the national Library.

"The success of these competitions and the spirit of camaraderie that they have fostered inspires us more to continue this partnership," said Rolando Doria, SMI overall project coordinator. Doria was referring to the tie-up with the provincial government, the type of team work that SMI has been cultivating across its host communities.

The string of contests was enlivened by indigenous songs, colors, and dances. The Silek B'laan Musical Ensemble rendered a particularly spirited number.

MIKE BAÑOS501 V. F. Cabaraban St., Cabaraban Subdivision,Puntod, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City, PhilippinesPrimary Mobile 0906-889-8484 (Touch Mobile)Secondary Mobile 0921-469-6305 (Smart) IM alternate email :


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Capuyan set to replace Baguio

CAMP ALAGAR, Cagayan de Oro City (BEN BALCE / Nov 21) - A Police general who spent most of his career in Northern Mindanao would replace retiring Chief Supt. Florante Baguio this week.

Camp Crame named Chief Supt. Teodorico Capuyan as the next police director for Northern Mindanao. The order takes effect on Friday.

Baguio is scheduled to turn over the Camp Alagar command to Capuyan on Nov. 24, a day he before he turns 55.

Camp Alagar warmly greeted the news on Capuyan’s appointment. The last time it had a regional director who was considered homegrown was when Camp Crame appointed the now retired Chief Supt. Reuben Cabagnot.

Like Cabagnot, Capuyan also served as police chief for Misamis Oriental.

“Capuyan is no stranger here and he’s very capable to lead the entire (police) command,” said Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno.

Capuyan presently serve as executive director for operations of Camp Crame.

Capuyan held key positions at Camp Alagar before he was promoted to the rank of general. He has served Camp Alagar as chief of staff, deputy regional director for operations and deputy regional director for administrations.

On separate occasions, he also served as provincial director of the Bukidnon and Camiguin police offices.

Capuyan told Cagayan de Oro Journal he would announce his plans and programs during the Nov. 24 turnover.

“Let’s wait for the turn over and rest assured during the assumptions of command, my plans and programs will follow,” said Capuyan. “After the turnover of command, all things would be put in place.”

Gov. Moreno welcomed Capuyan’s appointment. “I have no questions on General Capuyan’s credibility as a police officer. He’s a good officer, a fighter and a gentleman.”

Moreno said he could not recall any issue raised against Capuyan when the police official held various positions under Camp Alagar.

He said he would support Capuyan the way he supported Chief Supt. Baguio whose “legacy in serving Region 10 is incomparable.”

It was learned that Capuyan’s appointment was endorsed by the Regional Peace and Order Council who cited the police official’s “sterling record and his extensive exposure to northern Mindanao where he was assigned for many years in various capacities.”


Monday, November 20, 2006

Simply devastating

Pacquiao demolishes Morales in 3 rounds

UNLEASHING a ferocity befitting his status as one of the world’s top pound-for-pound—if not the best—boxer, Manny Pacquiao knocked Erik Morales down three times en route to a third-round knockout victory Saturday night at the Thomas and Mack Center here.

Fighting Morales for the third time in 20 months, Pacquiao reduced what was expected to a be a long and suspense-filled bout into just nine minutes of frenetic combat, his first combination to the last knockout punch containing power that left the Mexican contemplating retirement.

Although the last episode of their memorable trilogy didn’t last as long as their first two matches, Pacquiao, 27, ended it on a sweet note to the cheers of a highly-partisan Filipino crowd that competed for space with their Mexican counterparts at the arena. In all, the bout drew a crowd of 18,276, the second-biggest in the history of the Thomas and Mack Center.

Pacquiao, who improved his career record to 43 wins against three draws and two losses, with 23 knockouts, handed Morales his fifth defeat in 53 fights. More importantly, the loss may have ended the 30-year-old Morales’ career.

"I thought it was going to be a long fight, but it was a good fight—more action," Pacquiao said, adding that while the Filipino crowd cheered him on before the opening round, all that was on his mind was to "make a move and make it fast, in and out, in and out, use your speed."

Pacquiao was guaranteed $3 million for the match while Morales will get at least $2.75 million.
Pacquiao’s victory more than made up for Brian Viloria’s failure to regain his WBC light flyweight crown in one of the supporting bouts. Viloria knocked down Mexican Omar Nino twice but Nino retained his crown with a majority draw.

Morales, who had to lose at least 30 pounds to make the 130-pound weight limit for their super featherweight encounter, matched Pacquiao’s ferocity at the outset but was soon sent against the ropes late in the second round by a counter left hand that Pacquiao delivered while his back was against the ropes.

Probably thinking he would lose steam if the fight goes the full 12 rounds, Morales returned every shot that Pacquiao threw but failed to keep pace with the Filipino boxing star’s every move.

A right hand by Morales caused Pacquiao to wince at the start of the third, but the Filipino southpaw responded with a left to the chin, right to the body and another left to the head.

Smelling blood, Pacquiao launched a vicious two-fisted barrage that chased Morales across the ring and sent him into the ropes for a second knockdown.

Morales appeared to hurt Pacquiao with a right hand as his opponent came charging forward looking for the finish, but it would be his last stand. Another series of devastating rights and lefts had Morales in trouble again and he went down along the ropes in the same spot as the second knockdown.

The Mexican appeared to signal to his corner that he had had enough, and was counted out by referee Vic Drakulich with just three seconds remaining in the round.

"He was coming to me, and he was not able to handle me," Pacquiao said. "I felt so much stronger than him. I was prepared to fight the best of Morales."

Morales managed to sit up after the final blows but shook his head at his trainer-father, Jose, while Pacquiao celebrated another big victory over the only man to beat him since 1999.

Morales said the fight might be his last. He has lost four of his last five bouts.

"For the first time in my career, I actually felt the power of an opponent like I’ve never felt it before," said Morales, who also figured in a trilogy with fellow Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera, losing two fights.

Barrera is the reigning World Boxing Council super featherweight champion and could be Pacquiao’s next opponent. Pacquiao retained his WBC International belt with his devastating win.

"I was hurt by the power of his punches, and maybe it’s time to think about not doing this anymore. I had a great career. Maybe it is time," said Morales, although he later said he may fight again in his native Tijuana.

Morales won their first meeting in March last year, scoring a unanimous decision win over a bloodied Pacquiao. The Filipino, however, stopped Morales in the 10th round of their return bout last January.

Pacquiao, who gained 15 pounds after tipping the scales at 129 pounds last Friday, said: "I was faster and bigger than him. I could tell in the second round he was surprised by my right hook."

To typify Pacquiao’s domination of the fight, he threw 175 punches in just nine minutes, landing 54 percent, including 51 of his 71 power shots in the third round. Morales landed just 26 percent of his punches.

"He was too fast and too strong," said Morales. "I did everything in camp necessary to win this fight. I didn’t win it. It wasn’t my night."(Malaya, The National Newspaper)

Oro-based pop band to launch debut album

Fayeed Tan: Meet the Boys in the Band

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MIKE BAÑOS/Nov 20) - Cagayan de Oro-based alternative pop band will be launching their debut album under the MindaTone indie label at the Limketkai Mall rotunda on November 25, 4PM.

Here are some bullets 'bout the Boys in the Band:

Fayeed Tan – 23, vocals, piano and rhythm guitar, composer/arranger and Beatles fanatic. Penned most of the tunes in the album, and all three English tunes (for the international market?) written when he was still a solo act; while the Beatles remain the major influence in his music, he also admits to having the spirits of B.B. King, Tommy Emmanuel, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Dahong Palay, Gary Moore, Eric Johnson and John Meyer in his tunes. How fanatic a Beatle fan, you ask? He can tell you which Beatle album any Beatle song title you throw at him came from, and the year when it was released. Yup, that freaky, man…Solo acoustic act before the band happened, did solo gigs for Frostway, The Site, XCite and Ja's Ground; hosted a radio show on Sandy 101, believe it…

Eurd – 26, bass guitar, used to have a last name, before going U2 (like, The Edge, you know); session bassist for the likes of Osang and Joey 'Pepe' Smith, already cut a solo album, brings tradition and experience to the new sound; wrote all the Tagalog lyrics of the six Pinoy cuts in the album (can't trust Fayeed with that one huh?) Influences in his music include Joey Ayala and Gary Granada (with whom he played with in Musicians for Peace), Noel Cabugan, Pendong Aban, Jr. and in the one band where our musical paths cross, the Kupka-Castillo band "Tower of Power" (Sparkling in the Sand, So Very Hard to Go, You're Still A Young Man). But then, you guys are all too young to remember. Most of you weren't born yet!

Allan Inovero - 24, lead guitar, from Nazareth (sorry, the place, not the band, dude!) ; previous stints as lead guitarist for a show band in CDO; did gigs with Picasso, other clubs…started with the charismatic group at San Antonio de Padua parish during the time of Msgr. Ray Monsanto but God obviously has other plans for him….

Sonny Boy Tan – 21, drums; Fayeed's kid brotha. Taga Macasandig sila, sorry, still no bad ass metal band by that name yet! But give him time, after all, he just recently gained license to drink beer….

Fayeed Tan, The Band…guys got together August 2005, when Fayeed met Eurd while doing a gig for a fashion show; Guys got to play together for a one-show gig but liked the chemistry so much, they're still at it, so far...have opened for Rampage, David Pomeranz, Bamboo, Mark Bautista…pretty soon those names would qualify for this band's opening act….
Have done Marawi, Bukidnon, and the Bacolod-Silay-Iloilo areas…today CDO, tomorrow the World!

Di Na Mag-iisa (The Album Launch)

Here's a brief snapshot at the tunes and what to expect during launching their debut album under the Minda-TONE indie label at the Limketkai Mall rotunda on Nov. 25 at 4 p.m..

There's eleven (11) cuts in the album entitled "Di Na Mag-iisa", also the title of their carrier single. A Lennon-MacCartney kinda collaboration, the lyrics were penned by Eurd and the music and arrangement by Fayeed. Eurd's not talking but am pretty sure it's about someone he knows well, judging from passion with which he talks about it. Catch the music video megged by Direk Gelbert Cabunoc of ABS-CBN and produced by DigitalTree Productions now on heavy rotation over MTV Philippines every morning from 7-10AM. You can also catch it on MYX starting last week. The album's 11th cut is a piano version of the same song with Fayeed at the keyboards.

Chuy! Started out as a theme song from the ABS-CBN show of the same title but grew into something more "about the city where the guys grew up and the cool people who live in it." Its English-Tagalog-Bisaya lyrics should strike a chord in the young people who can identify with the stuff Eurd and Fayeed sing about, as CDO icons like DVsoria, Ketkai, the river taxi, motorela, the Cagayan river and the Ysalina bridge at Carmen flash before your eyes.

She, Insomniac, and Bitter Sweet are the three English cuts penned by Fayeed while he was still a solo act in 2004; blended and osterized with a full band, they've been reborn mainstream as Fayeed Tan (The Band).

The remaining cuts in the album are "Bagay Daw Tayo", "Gusto Ko Sana", "Timpla ng Pag-Ibig"; "Kwentong Waiting Shed"; and "Hahanapin Kita". Like Lennon and McCartney, all lyrics were by Eurd with music and arrangement by Fayeed. What about them?

Come see for yourself and do your own critiquing at the Ketaki Rotonda Saturday, 25 November, 4PM. Opening acts are Tabula Rasa and Joey Ayala (yes, the Joey Ayala). They'll also be doing covers of Jason Mraz's "The Remedy" and the Beatles "Come Together". Adto ta, kita rata didto…

MIKE BAÑOS501 V. F. Cabaraban St., Cabaraban Subdivision,Puntod, 9000 Cagayan de Oro CityPhilippinesPrimary Mobile 0906-889-8484 (Touch Mobile)Secondary Mobile 0921-469-6305 (Smart) IM mike_banos_2000@yahoo.comalternate email :

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Moreno doubts that most of Misor’s mayors have left him; welcomes Baculio’s likely bid

CAGAYAN de Oro City - (BEN BALCE / Nov. 18) - MISAMIS Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno has said he doubts reports that 23 of the province’s mayors have thrown their support for the likely gubernatorial bid of 2nd district Rep. Augusto Baculio Jr., next year.

Moreno said this is in reaction to a claim made by a radio commentator of DxIF-Bombo Radyo that only Tagoloan Mayor Yevgeny Vincente Emano has remained a political ally of the governor.

“In politics, it’s always addition. But I don’t believe that (claim). Maybe three or four mayors are with him (Baculio) right now,” said Moreno, adding he, Emano and most of the other town mayors in the province were in good terms, and they have remained supportive his administration.

Baculio, who is serving his 3rd and last term as congressman, has reportedly declared that he would run for governor of the province in May next year.

Moreno said he would not stand in the way of a Baculio candidacy, adding that he understands that the congressman would be displaced unless he takes a shot at the gubernatorial post.

Moreno said he also realizes that the congressman’s staff and his supporters were prodding Baculio to seek the governorship because they, too, would be displaced unless the lawmaker runs for another elective position next year.

“Jun’s (Baculio’s) bid is the product of his staff and the people around him. Nabalaka na sila kung asa mopaingon,” Moreno said.

Moreno called Baculio, his classmate at San Beda in 1972, “a good man” which is why, he said, he has no problems with the lawmaker’s announcement to run for governor next year.

“I have nothing against him (Baculio) and I don’t even plan to do anything might block his candidacy,” said Moreno.

At least 17 municipal mayors from the province who were brought to the US by Baculio in October have pledged to support Baculio’s like bid next year, according to a DxIF report.

While it was for a Dairy Congress, the US trip was widely perceived as a move to woo the support of the town mayors.

In January, Baculio also brought a group of towns mayors to Thailand.

The trips were in line with efforts to make Misamis Oriental the country’s “dairy capital,” according to Baculio. He said the trips were “educational.”

“It’s a sign that there’s going to be an election next year,” Moreno said. “If Jun believes that he could serve better, I respect that, and it is only right for him to declare and file his certificate of candidacy.”

But over local radio, Moreno said he would face Baculio and other politicians who might challenge his likely reelection bid in a “gentleman’s way.”

“It’s still November but already the province’s politicians are talking, with much interest, about the forthcoming elections. I’m also very excited too,” admitted Moreno.

But he said he would rather focus on implementing his programs for the province.

Meanwhile, Moreno claimed that majority of the members of the provincial board have remained in tact and unwavering in their support for his administration despite the alleged demolition job supposedly involving two of its members, Henry Clyde Abbott and Alejo Olano, and what some journalists now refer to as the “Stronghold Group.”

The “Stronghold Group,” coined from a insurance company called Stronghold which Abbott runs, is one of the places where the people allegedly involved in the alleged smear campaign against Moreno have been meeting. The group includes controversial radio blocktimers Eddie Dangcal and Ronnie Waniwan.

“I am upset because these people are behind this demolition job which started in July,” Moreno said. “But the fundamentals are still there. The people who really work hard to rebuild and reform the province are still there, and I have nothing to worry about.”