Saturday, August 05, 2006

LP sees Palace hand in Garci's likely bid

THE Liberal Party yesterday said it sees the hand of the Palace in the likely bid of controversial ex-commisioner Virgilio Garcillano to become a Bukidnon congressman next year.

With Rep. Nereus Acosta of Bukidnon’s 1st District out––he is now serving his 3rd and last office term––the chances of a Malacanang-backed candidate for congressman in the same district is almost certain.

Acosta, the leader of LP for Mindanao, quoted the party’s head, Sen. Franklin Drilon, as telling him: "So you now have Garcillano who undoubtedly will win the election, and now will be called honorable gentleman from the province of Bukidnon."

"I’m sure he will run,’’ said Acosta in a telephone interview, adding that the former elections commissioner ran for the position but lost to his mother, now Manolo Fortich Mayor Socorro Acosta, in 1987.

This early, Garcillano has been meeting with political figures in Bukidnon and in Manila.
Quoting Drilon, Acosta said Garcillano has also been meeting with ‘‘field operators,’’ including presidential chief-of-staff Michael Defensor, apparently to ensure a 2007 victory in Bukidnon.

Garcillano, who owns a farm in Lingating, Baungon town in Bukidnon’s 1st District, became widely known for the role he played in the ‘‘Hello, Garci’’ scandal that nearly cost President Arroyo her seat last year.

Garcillano, whose voice fitted the man in the wiretapped phone conversations supposedly with Arroyo, repeatedly denied he engineered the alleged rigging of the 2004 election results in favor of the President.

"That can be read at Gold Star Daily>Link

Friday, August 04, 2006

Flash flood wipes out family of four, one still missing

BALINGASAG, MISAMIS ORIENTAL (MIKE BAÑOS / Aug 3) – The flash flood which rampaged through this town and two other adjacent municipalities Wednesday dawn wiped out an entire family of four.

The remains of the wife of a farmer who drowned in Wednesday's flash flood in this municipality was recovered around 10AM today by rescue teams in Macajalar Bay while the bodies of their two children were recovered in the seas off Camiguin island late Thursday afternoon. Neil's remains were recovered at Baliti, Sagay while Joy's body was found in Cantaan, Guinsiliban.

Teddy Sabugaa, acting provincial social welfare officer, said residents believe Ronald Ayuman, his wife Ana Marie and children Joy, 3 and Neil, seven months, were crossing the Balatukan River in Bgy. Kibanban when they were swept away by a flash flood which struck around 4:30AM Wednesday.

Ayuman's remains were fished out of the Balatukan river late yesterday afternoon by the Rescue 2000 team led by Michael Bustamante. The family's remains will be interred tomorrow.

Sabugaa said another farmer identified only as Jamiro from Bgy. Talusan, Balingasag remains missing as of Thursday afternoon.

Provincial Board Member Jaime Caina inspected the damage to infrastructure yesterday and estimates the flash flood caused P20-million in damages to a dike and spillways. Region 10 agriculture director Bebot Rudinas was also in the area and estimates losses to livestock and agriculture could reach P3-4 million. All the crops in the farming village of Napiliran were wiped out by floodwaters and at least 19 houses destroyed in Balingasag alone.

The flash flood hit three municipalities: Sugbungcogon, Lagonglong and Balingasag, hometown of Misamis Orienal Gov. Oscar Moreno. Balingasag was the hardest hit of the three with Cogon, Napiliran and the lowland barangays of Binitinan, Mandangua, Talusan, Tulay Grande and San Isidro. Also hit was Bgy Kauswagan in Lagonglong and some portions of Sugbongcogon along the river.

Sabugaa said some 181 families were affected in Balingasag and 150 in Lagonglong where Mayor Jovenal Puertas Jr. evacuated villagers to the Lagonglong Multi-Purpose Court since the floodwaters had already risen to three feet.Balingasag vice mayor Alexis Quina called an emergency meeting of the Sangguniang Bayan today to declare the municipality a disaster area to enable the local government to access its 5% calamity fund.

Caina said in a radio interview heavy rains started to pour around 11:00PM Tuesday but flood waters started surging around midnight when the dike was breached. However, the flash flood only struck around 4:30AM after the dike was believed to have collapsed under the sheer volume of the rainwater.

Pag-asa senior weather specialist Leo Rodriguez, Sr. said the three-feet height of the floodwaters indicates heavy rains of four hours or more. He said the speed with which the flood waters rose and overcame the flood dike indicates a cloudburst, or a sudden heavy fall of rain from a cumulo-nimbus cloud with a rate of fall exceeding or greater than 100 millimeters ( 3.94 inches) per hour.

"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 :>Link

Flashfloods hit Misor villages, displace 300 families

FLASHFLOODS struck 17 villages in two Misamis Oriental towns yesterday morning, displacing at least 331 families and destroying farms.

A man identified as Ronald Ayuman drowned as floodwaters submerged a village in Balingasag town.

Another man was declared missing.

Balingasag, the hometown of Gov. Oscar Moreno, was the most badly hit. There, floodwaters submerged communities in Cogon, Barangay Napaliran and the lowland villages of Mandangwa, Talusan, San Isidro.

Floodwaters also submerged communities and farms in Kauswagan, Lagonglong.
Capitol workers counted at least 19 houses destroyed by the floodwaters in Balingasag as of yesterday afternoon.

Capitol’s social welfare chief, Teddy Sabugaa, told The Gold Star Daily the floodwaters hit the populated Napaliran around 4:30 am following a night of heavy rains.

Sabugaa said some 181 families were displaced in Balingasag and 150 other families fled for safer grounds in Lagonglong.

"Kalit kuno kaayo ang maong panghitabo kay kusog kaayo ang ulan unya natingala na lang sila kay mitakilid naman ilang mga balay didto," Sabugaa said.

From Napaliran, floodwaters reached Talusan and other lowland villages where and destroyed crops.

The floodwaters reached as far as the village of Mandangwa where some 20 hectares planted with vegetables were destroyed.

Balingasag Vice Mayor Alexis Quina called on the capitol to immediately declare the town under a state of calamity. A delaration would facilitate the speedy release of emergency funds for the town.

Quina said the town government was still assessing the damages.
Of the 11 Balingasag barangays that sustained damages in Balingasag, Napiliran was the hardest hit with damages to crops and structures estimated at some P20 million.

This included a P10 million dike which was washed out by the flashfloods.
"We badly need help from the national government on this," said provincial board member Jaime Caina, adding the capitol’s funds were not enough to rebuild the dike.

In Lagonglong town, local officials had to evacuate villagers from Kauswagan because the floodwaters were already three feet deep.

Lagonglong Mayor Jovenal Puertas Jr. ordered the evacuation of some 50 families from Barangay Kauswagan to the Lagonglong Multi-Purpose Court.

A team from the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council headed by Danny Matias rushed to the towns to distribute food to the evacuees.

The problem on floodings was also felt in Cagayan de Oro.

Areas flooded in Cagayan de Oro included San Juan I and II in Lapasan, Purok 2A in Gusa, Cugman, Camaman-an, Kauswagan, Consolacion and Iponan.

City Engineer’s Office head Emmanuel Abejuela said he sent a team to declog drainages in the affected areas.

That can be read at Gold Star Daily

Emano points to Customs, BIR, DPWH

CAGAYAN de Oro Mayor Vicente Emano said national government offices have been contributing to the problem on corruption in Cagayan de Oro.

Emano, over DxIF-Bombo Radyo, said the survey cited by President Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address (Sona) did not refer to city hall alone. He said it also refers to the local offices of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and the Department of Public Woks and Highways (DPWH).

In her Sona, Arroyo congratulated Emano for the drop in reports of corruption in the city from 65 percent in 2005 to 38 percent this year.

If there are still reports on corruption here, Emano said the survey refers to public contracts made by these offices.

Emano said the survey, conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) was focused on these offices and not city hall alone.

"The surveys on corruption in the Philippines were not only focused on local government units but also on the government’s collecting agencies," Emano said.

He said the government agencies he cited were widely perceived to be corrupt.
While Emano warned officials and employes against engaging in corruption in city hall, he said ‘‘corruption is more evident at the BIR, Customs and DPWH."

Emano added: "I would say that corruption at the city hall, if any, is less compared to these offices.’’

Emano also lashed back at his critics for calling his administration corrupt.

"The city (hall) has not engaged in any illegal contract," Emano said.

Proof that he is not corrupt, Emano said city hall’s coffers are not empty.

That can be read at Gold star Daily

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lawyer: No hidden agenda behind Sulog

LAWYER Rogelio Bagabuyo, a convenor of the newly formed Socialist Union of Local Opposition Groups (Sulog), yesterday said there is no ‘‘hidden agenda’’ behind the moves to unify groups opposed to the Emano administration.

"Sulog is not competing with any opposition group," said Bagabuyo, adding that he and ex-Emano lawyer Frederico Gapuz were just doing their best to unite all those opposed to the present city administration.

"It’s because we know that unless the opposition groups unite, they will be ‘slaughtered’ once again to the detriment of Cagayan de Oro. Fred (Gapuz) and I have no hidden agenda," Bagabuyo said. "All I can say is that when someone kicks you from behind, it means you are ahead."

Bagabuyo said this obviously as a response to the criticisms of another opposition leader, lawyer Manolo Tagarda Sr. of Pundok Mindanao. The other day, Tagarda said Sulog was infiltrated by ‘‘scalawags’’ and ‘‘DPAs’’ (deep penetration agents) of Mayor Vicente Emano.

Gapuz said it was a bit unfair to call Sulog’s initiators ‘‘scalawags’’ and ‘‘DPAs’’ because Sulog was created out of the desire to unify all groups opposed to Emano’s PaDayon Pilipino.
Gapuz said it was possible that some of those who attended last Saturday’s Sulog meeting were agents of Emano.

‘‘Yes, maybe since the meeting was open to anyone. We had no control over people who may have wanted to spy on us," Gapuz said.

But Gapuz said Tagarda should rethink his position since his group, Pundok Mindanao, ‘‘can’t stand alone’’ in the fight against PaDayon Pilipino.

"Remember that in politics, one needs some allies to win in an election," said Gapuz.
"Is Tagarda really with the ‘opposition’? Yes, but what kind?" Gapuz asked.

He said he would rather not quarrel with Tagarda. He said he would just respect Tagarda’s opinion.

Instead, Gapuz said he would continue working to unite local opposition groups to fight the Emano administration.

"If we can unite the opposition groups, at least 70 to 80 percent, Tagarda’s group would become irrelevant," Gapuz said. "So let him (Tagarda) do his own, and I will do own my own.’’

Meanwhile, Bagabuyo said Sulog’s critics were the ones causing chaos in the local opposition.
"I’m not saying that he (Tagarda) is the one causing chaos. They are the ones who do not want change in the city," Bagabuyo said.

He said the political oppositionists in Cagayan de Oro are now moving toward one direction.
"From 74 people during the first meeting to 145 participants during last Saturday’s meeting... This is a good sign," he said.

At the rate things are going, he said he was confident Emano would soon lose his grip over Cagayan de Oro politics.

"That can be read at Gold Star Daily"