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.”


Friday, November 17, 2006

BUILDING A PERSONAL IDENTITY: The practical importance of mastering one's native language


MOST Filipino parents want their children speak the English language in that they enroll them in exclusive schools. Without them knowing it, they have become easy preys of the highly commercialized Philippine educational system. But becoming themselves gullible to the demands of these exclusive schools they do not mind. It’s because they feel a certain degree of pride seeing and hearing their kids speaking like birds!

In Cagayan de Oro City where I live, there are a number of exclusive pre-schools run either by religious groups or enterprising educators.

And while in a public utility jeepney, I seldom hear these children of well-to-do families speaking these lines: “Where man ta mag-watch og movie?” or “Mommy, when man diay si Daddy mouli?” or “Mommy, ingon si teacher, bad baya ang mangaway og baby.”

From those who are in exclusive colleges and universities, these lines are quite familiar: “Mag-faster ta oy kay hapit na baya ang time!” or “Pa-borrow og money, please. Mo-pay ko tomorrow” or “Nag-eat naka?” or “Mag-buy tag food.”

What language is that? Certainly, it is neither English nor Cebuano.

Dr. Leoncio P. Deriada, of UP in the Visayas, said: “The greatest evil in the Philippine educational system is the use of English as the language of instruction in the classroom. The greatness of the Filipino is preserved in the various languages of the country.”

“We must teach in the language of the learner,” he urged writers, teachers and educators in his keynote speech during the 2005 National Conference of the Philippine Center for International PEN held in Iloilo City on December 3, even as he challenged them to master their own languages before they master another’s.

For his part, former UP President Francisco Nemenzo Jr. said: “Filipinos should not abandon their regional tongue but must also develop it.”

In his visit to Romblon, the first and only place he knew, NVM Gonzalez asked a faculty from English Department whether she enjoyed teaching English. The teacher replied: “I have no regrets, even though it’s a second language.”

Gonzalez retorted: “You have an English department and a Filipino department. But Tagalog is a second language and English a third. Don’t you want a Romblon department? Your language defines your world, including the history of our enslavement by the English.”

On one hand, Gonzalez had regrets that English became the official language of the Philippines. “The learning process could hardly be called slight; we had to do everything in a received language, every single word truly an alien presence,” he said, describing his difficult foray as a young writer using the “borrowed language”.

On the other hand, Dr. Macario Tiu, of Ateneo de Davao University, castigated those self-proclaimed pundits when they insist that students’ poor English is the culprit why most of the college graduates are jobless.

The solution to unemployment problem, according to Tiu and which I fully agree, is not to improve the ability of the students and graduates to speaking English but the opening of more businesses and industrial plants that will provide them jobs.

Speak English

I GREW up in a remote village of Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte whose name rendered it more bucolic—Lungsodaan. The word “daan” means old in Cebuano [Until now, as its name goes, our place remains “daan”].

There, I studied in a public school for my elementary education and was forced to enroll in a private school for my secondary education because our place had—and until now, has—no public high school. Though I am 33 years old now, the order of our teachers directing us to speak in English is still very fresh in my memory. During those years, I, together with some of my classmates coming from poor families, religiously obeyed the order because we had no money to pay for the fine. Yes, our teachers would impose fines upon those caught speaking “Bisaya”. The result, many of us got the Most Behave awards every closing of a school year!

In part, I can say that my teachers must have been good motivators because I have become an addict to English subjects in that I would listen to them attentively telling us the stories of Rip Van Winkle, King Arthur, Perseus, etc. or explaining when to use comma, semi colon and other punctuation marks.

Through their motivations, I learned to love the language, romanced it more deeply, and gave it the respect it richly deserves.

Truly, I can speak the English language but always stammer no matter how hard I have practiced it. And all along, I only mastered this line: “Ma’am, may I go out.” It was my favorite sentence in English while in high school.

Intelligence, progress

AS I am a son of poor parents, I worked hard to earn a college degree—I finished a BA degree from a school in Cagayan de Oro, majoring in, accidentally, English.

In the campus, my classmates had looked up those who spoke English inside the classroom. But when I transcribed what they said, I found out that they spoke in bad English grammar.

And I was much surprised later when I learned that those brandishing their supposed English-speaking expertise would always get the low scores during quizzes and examinations.

Yes, man’s intelligence is not measured through his ability to speak the English language fluently, much more his success in life.

Yes, our country’s progress is not measured through the people’s fluency to speak English.

Language of my birth

IN MY case, I love the language of my birth—Cebuano. The reason is simple: It is rich of words and terms that most appropriately describe certain event, occasion or activity.

For one thing, Cebuano language has many terms for an English word “carry”. When you carry a thing using your hand, it is “bitbit”; pas-an, when using your shoulder; lukdo, when using your head; sung-ay, when using your nape.

So with the word “harvest”. When you harvest rice, it is ani; sanggi, when you harvest corn; tuba, when you harvest banana; guno, when you harvest mangoes; dugnas, when your harvest coconuts.

And so with the word “wash”. It is hunaw when you are washing your hands; himasa, when you are washing your feet; hilam-os when you are washing your face; ilo, when you are washing your anus!

And so on.

For another thing, I considered the Cebuano language as the foundation of my culture and existence. I will not abandon it wherever I may be. And because I am proud of it, I speak it most of the time in my daily routine.

As Prof. Madrileña dela Serna, of UP Cebu bluntly put it: “If we are good in Cebuano, we can be good in English.”

Mastering the native tongue

IN THE long list of Nobel Prize winners for literature, literary laureates coming from non-English speaking countries are writing in their own languages. So why concentrate on a borrowed tongue?

Once, an elementary grader schooled in an exclusive school asked in English her playmate enrolled in a public school. The playmate understood the question but answered in Cebuano. But the student from exclusive school did not understand the answer and had to request the poor student to do some explaining. Now, the question: Between the two, who has appeared smart and intelligent? And who has appeared dull and brainless?

To me, learning, studying, speaking and writing in the English language is not that bad. It helps.
It’s a good decoration of our own being!

But, first thing first: We have to master our own language. Now!

It is an assurance that we will not get lost in the abyss of cultural diversity. Otherwise, we will exist without identity, like a gypsy in the ocean of uncertainties, floating aimlessly.

(Raul G. Moldez has been a fellow to the Iligan National Writers Workshop, the UP National Writers Workshop and the Panagsugat Creative Writing Workshop and is editorial assistant of Peryodiko Mindanao, a weekly newspaper in Cagayan de Oro City)


Bgy execs complete computer literary training

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—(RAUL G. MOLDEZ / Nov 17) - Most of the barangays officials here, particularly those from mountain barangays, have not yet keyed in words in computers. Neither have they any inkling as to how to turn it on, operate it using the mouse and write a letter in the Microsoft Word.

But now, however, such ignorance could be considered as ‘a thing of the past,’ thanks to the training jointly sponsored by the Rotary Club Centerpoint, STI College and the Mindanao Polytechnic State College.

The three pooled their resources together and offered the barangay officials with a one-week hands-on training dubbed as Computer Literary Program. The training was held at the two STI campuses in Cogon and in Kauswagan and at the MPSC on October 31-November 6, 2006.

Councilor Alexander Dacer, president of the Association of Barangay Councils, said the program is aimed at enhancing the capability of barangay officials.

“This is also in preparation for the adoption of the e-governance next year,” he added.

During the training, the 240 participants were exposed to Internet system teleconference, tutorials on operations of word processing, Excel and Power Point presentations.

At the culmination program, MPSC president Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, who is also the president of Rotary Club Centerpoint, pointed out that the computer literary course was part of the state college’s extension program.

He expressed optimism that through the computer literacy training, barangays officials will be able to deliver basic services to their constituents faster and implement various project efficiently.

Rotoras said MPSC, STI and Rotary Club Centerpoint shared one goal, that is, to uplift the lives of the people in the barangays through the computer technology.

STI College president Colbert Rabaya, for his part, said it’s being a proponent of the project is one way of expressing the school’s social responsibility.

As this developed, Dacer urged his colleagues to include in their 2007 budget allocations for the purchase of computer units including accessories.

In a related developed, Dacer exhorted his colleagues to attend a seminar on Systems and Procedures Manual in Monitoring Barangay Funds and Properties slated on the last week of this month.

At the recent ABC general assembly, City Auditor Olivia Flores said the seminar is aimed at familiarizing the barangay officials on the new procedures, even as she added that barangays would enjoy full fiscal autonomy starting next year.

She said that starting 2007, barangays would be the ones managing their funds, subject however, to existing laws, rules and regulations of the Commission on Audit.


Alagar receives 4 buses from anonymous donor

PSSUPT Rolando dela Vega, PNP PRO-10 information officer, with the four units of 48-passenger buses recently donated by an anonymous donor to the PNP PRO-10. The buses will bolster the crime fighting capability of the PRO-10 and its provincial offices in Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon. (MIKE BAÑOS)


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Intelligence gathering and detective work pay off:

Cops nab No.14 Most Wanted Person in Region X

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mike Banos/Nov 16) – Police ended the long trek of one of the most wanted criminals in Region 10 by dint of intelligence gathering and detective work.

Chief Supt. Florante Baguio, regional director of PNP Region-10 Office presented to media Wednesday morning Vincent P. Villanueva alias Jojo, 26, a native of Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental, the No. 14 Most Wanted Person in Region X. Pujeda carried a P140, 000 bounty which the DILG will later reward to the informants which provided the tip which led to his captor.

Pujeda is accused of raping a 16-year old resident of Lawndale Spring, Bgy. Taguanao last 13 August 2004 around 8:00PM at Adela Subdivision, Bgy. Camaman-an. The suspect's efforts to escape the law led him to Manila, Cebu, and Bukidnon before his capture last 12 November 2006 at a shopping mall in Bgy. Lapasan by elements of the PRO-10 led by SPO4 Nilo B. Delgado.

Villanueva was about to be presented to the media yesterday morning but attempted to take his life just as he was taking breakfast by slashing his belly with a kitchen knife. However, he sustained only minor injuries after he was subdued and immediately brought to a local hospital for treatment.

The suspect is the fifth most wanted person in the region recently captured by police in Region X. Baguio attributes their success to the judicious use of intelligence gathered by confidential agents and straight up detective work.

In the same press conference, Baguio also disclosed a benefactor who prefers to remain anonymous has donated four (4) units of 48-seater buses which will be distributed to the provincial police offices of Lanao, Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon and the PRO-10. He said the units will greatly add to the capability of the PRO-10 and its provincial units in responding to threats to internal security.

ASEAN Summit in Cebu: PRO-X bolsters Cebu security with 432 personnel

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The PNP Regional Office -10 (PRO-10) has bolstered internal security for the upcoming ASEAN Summit in Cebu City by dispatching some 432 policemen from PRO-10.

Chief Supt. Florante Baguio, PRO-10 regional director, said the initial batch of 235 personnel was dispatched a month ago to Cebu and was bolstered by an additional 197 fresh graduates from the Region X Police Academy only yesterday.
(MIKE BAÑOS / Nov 15)


Baguio to retire this month:

RPOC Recommends Capuyan as incoming RD for PNP PRO-X

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mike Banos /November 16)- The Regional Peace and Order Council for Region X has endorsed Chief Supt. Teodorico Capuyan as incoming regional director for the PNP Regional Office-10 (PRO-X) vice Chief. Supt. Florante Baguio who will be retiring this month.

In its resolution sent to PNP Director General Oscar Calderon, RPOC-10 cited Capuyan's sterling record and his extensive exposure to Northern Mindanao where he was assigned for many years in various capacities.

Before his present assignment as executive director of the Office of the PNP Deputy Director for Operations at Camp Crame, Capuyan was at one time or another assigned as Deputy Regional Director for Operations (DRDO), Deputy Regional Director for Administration (DRDA), Chief of Staff (COF) in PRO-X, besides being previously assigned as provincial director at various times for the Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin provincial police offices.

The turnover ceremony to the incoming RD for PRO-10 has been set for November 24, 2006 at 9:00AM at the PRO-10 parade grounds in Camp Alagar, PRO-10 Headquarters in Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Conflict reporting training at Eco-Village

TOURISM VILLAGE. The Eco-Tourism Village, also known as “The Gardens of Malasag,” in Malasag , Cugman, a 20-minute drive from downtown Cagayan de Oro, has chosen as venue by an international network of journalists for a training program that would be participated in by at least 35 media practitioners from all over northern Mindanao from Nov. 17 to Nov. 20. Photo shows the view of Macabalan Bay from the hills of Malasag. (Photo by BEN BALCE)

PECOJON'S TRAINING AT EDEN. Photo shows Mindanaoan journalists including Cagayan de Oro Journal editor Ben Balce (wearing cap, 2nd from right) working on a group exercise held at Eden Natural Park in Davao City on May 13-15, 2006. The scheduled seminars in Cagayan de Oro City (Nov 17-20) would be the third time this year. Balce (inset photo) is Cagayan de Oro-based correspondent writing in Malaya, The National Newspaper and Mindanao Gold Star Daily.

CAGAYAN de Oro City ( BEN BALCE / Nov. 15) - A training on Peace and Conflict Journalism Network (PECOJON) seminar will be held at the Malasag Eco Tourism Village in Cagayan de Oro from Friday to Monday (Nov. 17 – 20).

The tourism village is situated in Sitio Malasag, Cugman here and would accommodate at least 35 media practitioners from the cities of Iligan, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon.

In cooperation with InWent, PECOJON an international network of journalists, chose Malasag for its featured rows of cozy guest cottages, camp ground, picnic shed, native restaurant including multi purpose hall that fits during seminars especially in group trainings.

“Malasag is not far from the participants who are mostly from Cagayan de Oro City,” said Pecojon’s organizer Ledrolen Manriquez.

“Pecojon’s trainings on conflict reporting for journalists in war and crisis regions need a peaceful place like Malasag,” Manriquez said.

The village serves as the learning center for eco-tourism in northern Mindanao. At the same time, it generates revenues and livelihood for the tribal groups.

The training program consists of two weekend courses, Peace and Conflict Reporting I and II.

“Part 1 would last from two to three days each. The participants are expected to stay full time during the seminar,” Manriquez said.

On Day 1, Manriques said the participants would analyze and discuss the actual situation they are working in and define challenges and difficulties of reporting the conflict.

The course introduces concepts of conflict analysis and conflict transformation for journalists and gives an overview on war and peace concepts.

The course discusses the role and influence of media in conflict situations and the problems of objectivity. It introduces concepts and techniques of a constructive conflict reporting.

“In this course special emphasis is given on the aspect of journalists’ security,” said Manriquez adding that media creates the “battlefield” of modern conflicts.

“The journalists’ voice decides how conflict parties are seen: as victims or perpetrators, as suffering human beings or as the incarnate evil,” said Manriquez.

The members of the Pecojon are print, radio and broadcast journalists, journalism teachers and students as well as writers and filmmakers who are committed to implement a constructive conflict reporting.

The database of the Peace and Conflict Journalism Network (PECOJON) will be introduced as a tool for improving the journalists’ capacities and access to information through networking.

A course would also focus on practical additional skills for conflict journalists. Journalists would identify needs and gaps they want to work on, and also capacities and special skills they already have and would like to share. Emphasis would be given on communication skills.

In addition, the course would look back to the first course and deepens topics of how to do constructive conflict reporting.

Included are media objectivity, people-oriented investigation, how to avoid being used for propaganda, and how to connect with peace initiatives as a rich source of information.

The resource speaker during seminar would be Antonia Koop a German journalist and filmmaker. Her company, the C./CREAT film production has produced documentaries since 1998, mainly on political and conflict issues.

As a war journalist, Koop covered conflicts in Israel and Palestine, Kenya and other countries. She studied peace journalism at the Transcend University, Romania.

Aside from her journalistic work, she holds journalism training programs particularly on peace and conflict journalism – and teaches conflict transformation in a University.

Since April 2004, Ms. Koop has lived in Bacolod City coordinating the training program for PECOJON.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Mercado opens COPC 55th Foundation Day, Graduation Ceremony

SEARSOLIN Module on Independent
& Responsible Journalism
Nov. 11, 2006, 7:00 P.M. SEARSOLIN


Our partners from the COPC, its officers and members, distinguished guests, SEARSOLIners, friends of SEARSOLIN and COPC, leaders and gentlemen – Maayong Gabii.

Three things I would like to do in my “Welcome Remarks.”
Firstly, in the name of SEARSOLIN and Xavier University, let me welcome all of you to our joint program and ceremonies this evening. What we are celebrating tonight are two milestones. For COPC, it’s a big milestone for having come this far - - 55 years and still going strong (more than 90 members now, I was told). The other milestone is the COPC-SEARSOLIN joint project, which is not as big, but a milestone nonetheless – the successful completion of the first training on “Independent & Responsible Journalism.”
We are happy to see all of you here. We are honored y your presence and we are very grateful to you for being here to celebrate these milestones with us tonight.
This brings me to the second thing I would like to do. Again, in the name of SERSOLIN and Xavier University, I would like to convey our heartfelt congratulations to COPC, to all its members and officers, past and present, for its 55 years of life and blessings. I am sure COPC’s presence and impact have been felt by our people and society.
One can only look back and say: “COPC has accomplished quite a lot! One can also further say: “There’s a lot more that COPC can do to make a positive contribution to society.” As we congratulate you tonight, we also offer our prayers and good wishes to COPC for more blessings and success in your future work and challenges.
Thirdly, let me say a few remarks about our joint COPC-SEARSOLIN project.
This project is really a product of our partnership which we forged sometime in the year 2004. The objective of our partnership was and still is (let me paraphrase it):
To help bring this about we have embarked in this joint project to offer a training program, consisting of ten related subject areas, that has a 2-pronged aim:
1. To promote the understanding of the role of media in civil society, and
2. To enhance the investigative journalistic skills of journalists in government, NGOs, schools and others especially in reporting on corruption and development issues.
During the past year, this joint undertaking has had its “trying moments” to recruit, to select and to conduct our first training course. It has not been an easy task.
However, even with some degree of disappointment, we are still pleased to be able to complete our first training course. Tonight, we are happy and proud to present our first two successful graduates and to award them with Certificates of Completion. We are also happy to note that others, like our
Searsoliners of this year’s batch, have been able to partially participate in our training course.
In the name of our joint partnership, COPC-SEARSOLIN, let me congratulate our two graduates of the
First COPC-SEARSOLIN course on “Responsible and Independent Journalism.”
In conclusion, let me offer our prayers and hope that our COPC-SEARSOLIN partnership will continue and strengthen, not for its own sake, but for our partnership to be of genuine service to our media professionals ultimately to benefit our people and society.
Daghang salamat ug maayong gabii!