Friday, November 23, 2007

Arroyo urges Mindanao leaders to unite

CAGAYAN de Oro Journal ( Ben Balce / Nov23) - President Gloria Macapagal-Aroyo called on the religious leaders of Mindanao to work together during the opening of the Bishops-Ulama Conference, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police (BUC-AFP-PNP) Forum for Peace held at Pryce Hotel, this city late last week.

She even urged the people to rally their support, unity and cooperation to eradicate hunger and poverty in the country.

The President reiterated that Love of Country is one spirit that makes people move forward in her message to the participants.

Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID) commanding general Major General Jose Barbieto earlier said that the BUC-AFP-PNP forum for peace promotes and supports the process of building bridges of peace with the peace officers from the AFP and PNP by holding dialogues in attaining peace.

"The Peace Forum aims to encourage the promotion of peace, mutual understanding, acquaintances and fellowship among Christians and Muslims amid religious diversity," said Barbieto.

Barbieto said the AFP and PNP are mandated by law to maintain, promote, and protect peace and order in our country.

"The Bishops-Ulama (Buc) is committed to the principle of Respect as the only way of human and humane way of solving problems and conflicts," said Barbieto.

4ID's civil military operations chief Lt. Colonel Emmanuel Sinogba said the President called on the participants to be united in turning the country into a First World nation.

Sinogba said the President was supposed to speak to the participants of the forum, but bad weather in Manila prevented her from flying in to the city.

Sinogba said Arroyo was able to send in a copy of her speech which was read by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza.

"The peace forum aims for total reconciliation, repentance in the culture of peace and forgiveness that supports the peace process between the government and rebel groups," said Sinogba.

Arroyo in her short message, read by Sec. Jesus Dureza, emphasized on the "Socio-Economic Development' program of the government.

Nations must love and take care of the Armed Forces to preserve the nations they are sworn to protect, based on the current guiding points of soldiers in building a "Strong Republic" the President further said.

Sinogba said the AFP hosted the Bishops-Ulama Peace Forum with Arroyo, as the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the occasion on Nov. 15-16, 2007.

The two-day interfaith affair with the theme, "Building Bridges of Peace With our Peace Officers," is a yearly activity participated in by Bishops-Ulama Conference (Buc) members who are leaders and clerics of Christian and Muslim religious groups from the AFP-PNP to support the Peace Process in Mindanao.

Sinogba added that the BUC forum started in November 1996, after the signing of the Peace Agreement between the (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with the mission to help attain a lasting peace in Mindanao.

Major AFP services, unified command, division and brigade commanders in Mindanao attended the said activity which included Lt Gen Alexander Yano, Lt Gen Horacio Tolentino, EASTMINCOM Commander Lt General Cardozo Luna, and Western Mindanao Commander, Major General Nelson Allaga.

Others who attended were Major Gen Alexander Pajarito, to include their respective chiefs, chaplains, Pastors and Imams, and Brig Gen Roland Rodriguez, Assistant 4ID Commander, Civil Military operations personnel led by Lt Colonel Sinogba of G7, 4ID, Lt Colonel Greg T Almerol, CRS, AFP, Major Edgar Rivas, 52nd CRU, 5th CRG, CRS, AFP, and Captain Arnaldo L Manjares, Commanding Officer, 4th CMOU, Civil-Military Operations Group, PA.

The Buc convenors who attended the peace forum included Davao Archdiocese Archbishop Fernando R Capalla, representing the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Bishop Emeritus Hilario M Gomez, of the National Church of Christ in the Philippines (NCCP) and Dr. Mahid M Mutilan, President of the Ulama League of the Philippines (ULP) representing the Muslim sector.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

AFP hosts BUC-AFP-PNP peace forum

CAGAYAN de Oro Journal (Ben Balce / Nov 21) - The Armed Forces of the Philippines hosted a two-day Bishops-Ulama conference (BUC) APF-PNP Forum for Peace with the theme: "Building Bridges with our Peace officers" relative to the 33rd general assembly of the BUC held at Pryce Plaza Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City, military officials said Tuesday.

"This forum promotes a greater understanding in the attainment of lasting peace where the military and police are given good insight about their role in peace process," said AFP chief General Hermogenes Esperon.

Esperon in his welcome remarks said in the process, this activates their support command to peace and development area by which it complements in the work of the Bishops-Ulama Conference.

Primarily the office of the AFP's J7 under Brigadier General Alfredo Cayton hosted the two-day forum.

The Army's 4th Infantry Division commanding general and the BUC-AFP-PNP committee chairman Major General Jose Barbieto said the AFP's participation in this endeavor will enhance closer relationship with the various Christians and Muslim religious groups in Mindanao.

"It is an opportunity for the AFP to showcase its sincerity in supporting the peace advocacy of the inter-faith groups," said Barbieto adding that the government is an active partner in pursuing peace and development in the region.

4ID's civil military operations chief Lt. Colonel Emmanuel Sinogba said the participants are composed of 24 catholic bishops who are members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, (CBCP), 26 Ulama and Ustadz, members of the Ulama League of the Philippines, (ULP), and 18 Protestant Bishops and Pastors who are members of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines.

Sinogba said that 38 military officers including military chaplains from the AFP headed by EASMINCOM chief Lieutenant General Cardoso Luna and 14 officers from the PNP led by Police Regional Office 10 (PRO 10) head Chief Supt. Teodorico Capuyan.

The Convenors of the conference were Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao Archdiocese, Ulama League of the Philippines president Dr. Mahid Mutilan, and Bishop Mariano Gomez Jr, Bishop Emeritus of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines.

"All the participants were given a chance to participate during the discussion," said Sinogba adding that a healthy and constructive dialogue with the peace officers through out the region participated.

Sinogba said that a lawyer Alonto of Marawi City asked the BUC to resolve and asked the DepEd to integrate Peace Education in elementary and high school levels.

Cagayan de Oro's 1st District Representative Rufus Rodriguez mentioned that he proposed for a meeting with BUC and Mindanao legislators to come up with a better interfaith understanding.

Archbishop Capalla, the BUC convenor, mentioned that the CRSAFP orchestrated a Peace Initiative in Mindanao and he also requested the AFP and PNP ground commanders to attend peace initiatives at the local level.

The Bishops Ulama conference is in pursuit of a common vision, these religious leaders organized themselves whose mission is to support the ongoing peace process in the region to promote mutual knowledge and understanding, acquaintance and friendship as well as reconciliation through repentance and forgiveness as indispensable dements of the culture of justice and peace for total development and progress in Mindanao.

Sinogba said the last day of the conference was held at the Dynasty Hotel, in Cagayan de Oro City as continuing efforts on peace building.

The forum was formally opened at 9:30 am at the conference of the Dynasty Hotel with interfaith prayer led by religious leaders (Priest and Imam) and followed by the opening statement of Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro City.

Archbishop Capalla, one of the convenor, read about the Proclamation Nr. 127 signed by PGMA last Nov. 26 2001, declaring the last Thursday of November up to the first Wednesday of December of every year, as the "Mindanao Week for Peace" celebration.

Sinogba said that all the participants came up with their plans for the forthcoming Mindanao Week for Peace Celebration on Nov. 29 until Dec. 5, 2007.

The groups came up as they presented their output during the conference according to Sinogba.

The groups came up with their plans such as: "Bishops and Ulamas inter religious gathering for interfaith prayers," "Walk for Peace," "Caravan for Peace," and "Convocation Program of all Elementary, High School and College Level" in their respective areas in commemoration of the Mindanao Week for Peace Celebration.

"Even Archbishop Capalla was impressed on the result of the workshop presented by the different group leaders," said Sinogba.

"The BUC forum with its life long processes on dialoguing with the different stakeholders in the society, continue to exert efforts by making a covenant to share the dynamics happening from the top down to lowest level," said Sinogba adding that the efforts have been filtered in achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace in Mindanao.


food for thought for journalists and editors

not to promote denzel, but to think on the questions asked at the end of the message -- food for thought for journalists and editors... indeed, WHY???

The Media Missed this one!!!! Please read this,

then send it to everybody you know. They'll thank you as they forward this to others as well.

Subject: Denzel Washington, and Brooks Army Medical Center Don't know whether you heard about this but Denzel Washington and his family visited the troops at Brook Army Medical Center , in San Antonio , Texas (BAMC) the other day. This is where soldiers who have been evacuated fromGermany come to be hospitalized in the UnitedStates, especially burn victims. There are some buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is a Hotel where soldiers' families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the Hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base, but as you can imagine, they are almost filled most of the time.While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. He took his checkbook out and wrote a check for the? full amount right thereon the spot. The soldiers overseas were amazed to hearthis story and want to get the word out to the American public, because it warmed their hearts to hear it.

The question I have is why does:

Brad Pitt,


Tom Cruise

and other Hollywood fluff

make front pa ge news with their ridiculous antics and Denzel Washington's Patriotism doesn't even make page 3 in the Metro section of any newspaper except the Local newspaper in San Antonio .

This needs as wide a distribution as we can create

First Mindanao agriculture forum starts today

CAGAYAN de Oro Journal (Ben Balce / Nov 21) — The College of Agriculture of Xavier University, in collaboration with its partners, is convening the First Mindanao Agriculture Forum starting today until Friday.

Trel Borja, forum coordinator, said the forum intends to articulate issues, formulate resolutions and adopt a declaration as a commitment towards a more sustainable and equitable agriculture development in Mindanao.

Borja said the this year’s forum carrying the theme, "Strengthening Partnerships in Agriculture for Mindanao Development" will bring together the leaders in agriculture, including farmers, agri-industries, civil society organizations, academe and research institutions, local government units, financial institutions and government agencies.

Borja said that they are expecting over 200 participants in a side forum in which students from agriculture schools will compete in 10 skills and four literary contests.

The competing seven schools in Northern Mindanao are Central Mindanao University, Mountain View College, Misamis Oriental State College of Science and Technology, Misamis University, Camiguin Polytechnic State College, Northern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology, and Xavier University.

On Nov. 23, Friday, a multi-stakeholder Mindanao Agriculture Forum will culminate the event at the Pryce Plaza Hotel covering a wide range of topics including climate change to be presented by XU President, Fr. Jett Villarin; Agriculture for Peace and Development by Usec Dimasangcay Pundato of the Office of Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process; and Prospects for Mindanao by Carolina Figueroa Geron of the World Bank.

The Mindanao Agriculture Forum is made possible with the help of its partners: Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc., Philippine Development Assistance Programme, Peace and Equity Foundation, Asian NGO Coalition, Xavier Science Foundation and the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 10, together with national government agencies and local government units.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Floods hit Iligan, Mis Or towns, 1 killed, 2 missing

CAGAYAN de Oro City (Ben Balce / Nov 20) — One person was killed and two others were reported missing after flashfloods hit Iligan City and towns in Misamis Oriental Monday.

Chief Insp. Benbo Jumalon, police chief of Opol town, identified the fatality as an Eliza Osip, 47. Those who were reported missing in Manticao and Tagoloan have not yet been identified.

Jumalon said Osip was living under the Iponan bridge and fell into the water. She was found dead on the shore of Zone 1 later.

Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno said continuous rains and flooding caused landslides in Manticao and Magsaysay.

He said, however, that the floods are "manageable," relief operations are already ongoing and the provincial engineering office is working at the repair of roads made impassable by landslides.

Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz said over DxIF Bombo Radio that residents of nine barangays have been affected by flashfloods.

In a phone interview, he said all vehicles going to Lanao del Norte are being rerouted to Barangay Tambacan after Tubod Bridge cracked reportedly due to a cyclone.

Cruz said they are still quantifying the damage wrought on farms and other sources of livelihood in the area.