Friday, October 24, 2008

63 internally displaced families in Barangay Paiton returned home

ILIGAN CITY (Oct 24 2008). Pakigdait Incorporated facilitated the safe return of sixty three (63) families from the evacuation centre of the Madrasah in Ceanuri Subdivision, Iligan City to their home in Brgy. Paiton, Municipality of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.

The sixty three (63) families had been under the custody of Ustadz AbdulKarim Ambor since after the August 18 MILF attack in Kauswagan and Kolambugan.

“It’s about time for the families to go back home and continue with their lives”, said Ambor during the coordination meetings.

The initiative was coordinated with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, duly supported by the AFP’s 104th Infantry Brigade under the leadership of Col. Benito L. de Leon through the Capt. Alonto T. Maamo, Civil Military Operations Officer (CMO) of the 1st Infantry Division.

Over the last couple of weeks, these families had been expressing their wishes to go back home and get back to normal living. But the AFP had to assess the feasibility of the areas for safety and security before they finally gave clearance for the evacuees to go back home in a coordination meeting held at the Ceanuri evacuation centre on October 20, 2008.

“There is no place like home”, was heartily expressed by one evacuee as they started to ride the military trucks to bring them home. A convoy of four (4) military trucks serviced the sixty (63) families in going back home.

The convoy also paid a courtesy visit to the Municipal Mayor of Kauswagan, Hon. Yasser Samporna at the Municipal Hall followed by a distribution of relief assistance to the families by the MSWDO and Pakigdait.

The Chairwoman of Brgy. Paiton, Hon. Monaida A. Mactamok, warmly welcome the convoy in the Poblacion where she expressed gratitude to Pakigdait, the MSWDO, and the AFP for assisting her people in coming home.

“It was truly a hopeful realisation to see the civil society, the government and the military establishment cooperate in such initiative, for the people”, she expressed with so much enthusiasm and gratitude.

The initiative is a component activity of the Humanitarian Assistance Project in response to the impact of the conflict and displacement in Lanao del Norte. The Humanitarian Assistance Projects is jointly implemented by the Pakigdait and EcoWEB in partnership with the Diocese of Iligan through the support of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD-UK).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

U.S., RP partners expand Jolo airport runway

U.S. –RP PARTNERS EXPAND JOLO AIRPORT RUNWAY. U.S. Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney (2nd from right) and Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan (3rd from left) lead the groundbreaking for the Jolo runway improvement project. The airport project, a partnership among the Department of Transportation and Communications, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Sulu provincial government and USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, will replace and widen the asphalt runway, and extend it from 1,200 meters to 1,845 meters, to ensure safer airport operations and higher-capacity air linkages between Sulu and the rest of the country. Joining them for the ceremony on October 14 were (l-r): USAID Mission Director Jon Lindborg, Vice Governor Lady Ann Sahidula, Governor Abdusakur Tan, and Undersecretary Nabil Tan of the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process (BEN BALCE)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Oro media invited to presscon for indie film "Hunghong sa Yuta"

CAGAYAN de Oro City (By MIKE BAÑOS / Oct 3) - The Brothers of the Sacred Heart based in Matina, Davao City is inviting members of the local media to a press conference at the Sunriva Restaurant 10:30am to 12:00 noon on Saturday, October 11, 2008 regarding the indie film "HUNGHONG SA YUTA".

Bro. Levie O. Requilme said the press conference is in preparation for the sneak preview of Arnel Mardoquio's film about war and peace in Mindanao scheduled later the same day at the Xavier University Little Theatre from 3:00-5:00pm. The preview is intended for tri-media partners, heads of schools, government and non-government organizations, the private sector and other groups advocating for peace.

In his invitation to Cagayan de Oro Press Club President Jerry Orcullo, Requilme said the sneak preview is in preparation for the Peace Advocacy Mission and Campaign which aims to show the film to all sectors of society.

Bro. Joe P. Palabao said the premier screening of "HUNGHONG SA YUTA" has been scheduled for the second week of December 2008 at SM Cinema, Cagayan de Oro City.

In a film review published in a national broadsheet, Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature, wrote: "What distinguishes it from the usual advocacy project is the meticulous care given by the director and his staff, and the passion and excellence of the finished project."

In a column entitled "War and Peace in a Movie," noted female columnist and feminist Rina Jimenez-David decribes how Mardoquio made the movie with a single camera and under harsh conditions. Despite these, she found the movie "unexpectedly engrossing, moving and entertaining.

When she asked Mardoquio if the violence in the movie was somehow off-putting in a movie about peace, the director said that to him "the message of the movie is also about the ugliness of war," especially the fact that often the biggest victims are civilians, especially children, and that to get across the cruelty of armed violence, he needed to show it in all its horror.

"I believe only a Mindanawan can make a movie about the conflict in Mindanao," Mardoquio said.

HUNGHONG SA YUTA is an advocacy project of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Youth Ministry under the leadership of Bro. Noelvic Deloria SC. in cooperation with Lozadren Foundation and Sky Phoenix Production.


Misuari meets Sulu governor; commits to help maintain peace, development

A US soldier scribbles a note as former Moro National Liberation Front rebel leader Nur Misuari speaks to Sulu Governor Sakur Tan during a meeting on Thursday, October 2, 2008 in Patikul town in the southern Filipino island of Sulu. Misuari has committed to help peace and development efforts in Sulu, one of six provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, where US forces are currently deployed and helping Governor Tan in various humanitarian and development projects and at the same time training Filipino troops.

Misuari meets Sulu governor, commits to help maintain peace, development in Sulu

A US soldier scribbles a note as former Moro National Liberation Front rebel leader Nur Misuari speaks to Sulu Governor Sakur Tan during a meeting on Thursday, October 2, 2008 in Patikul town in the southern Filipino island of Sulu. Misuari has committed to help peace and development efforts in Sulu, one of six provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, where US forces are currently deployed and helping Governor Tan in various humanitarian and development projects and at the same time training Filipino troops.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

50 Normeca’s linemen help restored 90% Panay’s power system supply

CAGAYAN de Oro Journal (Ben Balce / July 25)- Some fifty Northern Mindanao Electric Cooperative Association (NORMECA) linemen lend a hand to assist the typhoon (Frank) victims in Panay after 90 percent of the island’s power system was adversely affected.

Linemen from Moresco-1, Moresco 2, Moelci, Buseco, Fibeco, Laneco and Camelco went to Panay on June 25 on its mission helped out restoring and alleviating the living condition of the residents after the typhoon.

Panay was one of the islands typhoon Frank vehemently heaved on during its visit in the country. Almost 90% of the island’s power system was not working.

With the situation, Rural Electrification secretary Fr. Francisco Silva with National Electrification Administration (NEA) Editha Bueno initiated immediately “Task Force Kapatid Panay” that has alleviated if not restored the living conditions of the residents after the typhoon.

As part of NEA’s guidance and supervision, the ECs have always been and will continue to give support to one another to achieve its missionary objective which is rural electrification, among others to its member-consumers.

On July 16, the Normeca’s linemen was given a grand welcome home program commending the task force for a job well done at the Moresco’s training center in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental.

“The major task were accomplished in a week’s time instead of the resident’s anticipation of a two-month-power-restoration,” said Normeca president Pedrito Baculio.

The task force restored the different affected barangay of Panay in tandem with Akelco, headed by general manager Chito Peralta and other electric cooperatives in the Visayas region.

“Daghan na ang mga kalampusan sa mga electric cooperatives (EC) nga isig ka EC ra usab ang nakahibalo,” said Baculio adding: “Apan alang sa kasayuran sa publiko, kini nga kalampusan nagtuki ra gihapon sa maayong serbisyong nahatag sa EC ngadto sa mga membro o kunsumador niini.”

Baculio said the “bayanihan” culture has always been embedded in the electric cooperatives of the Philippines.


Friday, June 27, 2008

:: Malaya - The National Newspaper ::

Fire razes 40 houses in CDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - A fire on Thursday razed some 40 houses made of light materials and left 300 persons homeless near the seashore in Barangay Tablon this city.

Cagayan de Oro city fire marshal F/Chief Insp. Benigno Amomonpon said almost all the residents in the area were using flying connections and the substandard electrical wiring and overloading caused the fire.

He said strong winds and narrow roads exacerbated the problem, slowing the arrival of firemen by half an hour which left them very little else to save.

Amomonpon said the fire started at the house of an Elmer Endoma of Purok 13. He said initial estimate of damage was P350,000 up to P400,000. - Benjamin Balce
:: Malaya - The National Newspaper ::
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Sulu officials support possible term extension of AFP chief

JOLO, Sulu (January 25, 2008) – Sulu provincial officials expressed support Friday on the possible extension of the term of Armed Forces chief General Hermogenes Esperon.

Esperon, a veteran army commander in Mindanao, is set to retire on February 9 at age 56, but government sources said President Gloria Arroyo is likely to extend his term so he can continue his programs and reforms in the military.

Arroyo is in Switzerland since Tuesday for a series of meetings
with the officials of the Aragon Financial Group (AFG) and the Swiss Chamber of Commerce. The AFG could help the Philippines in its policy to ensure continuous and adequate supply of energy through integrated and intensive exploration, production, management and development of the country's indigenous energy resources such as oil and natural gas.

The President may announce Esperon's extension when she returns to Manila, sources said on Friday.

"General Hermogenes Esperon has done a very a good job and he is one of the proponent of many AFP-related humanitarian program in Sulu. We are very supportive of General Esperon and will support his extension as Chief-of-Staff," Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan said.

Tan said business and religious leaders and the mayors in Sulu are also supporting Esperon's possible term extension. "We have a relatively good peace and order condition in Sulu because of AFP and other stakeholders of peace. The AFP is our partner in peace and progress and we are the government's partner in nation building," he said.

Tan has previously hailed Esperon for creation of the National Development Command, a new unit in the AFP that especially focus on the basic socio-economic development and infrastructure projects in conflict-affected areas.

Through the NDC, the AFP hopes to contribute in the convergence of efforts by the different line agencies of government in the repair and construction of schools, health centers, sources of potable water, roads and bridges and in the process rebuild lives that have been disrupted by terrorist activities and violence.

Esperon on Friday inspected troops in Sulu and Basilan provinces as part of his farewell visit in southern Philippines, where he started his military career. Esperon said it would be an honor is President Arroyo extends his term.

Radio reports on Friday quoted Esperon as saying: "Hindi ko alam kung magkakaroon ng announcement. But kung magkaganoon man, tulad ng sinasabi ko, I'd be very honored to serve for some more time kung gaano katagal ibibigay sa atin na extension lalong lalo na, kailangan nating pursue ang ating momentum nagawa natin against the New People's Army and Abu Sayyaf terrorists." (I don't know if there will be an announcement (by the President), but if there will be as I have said, I would be much honored to serve for some more time. We need to pursue the momentum (of what we have already achieved) against the New People's Army and the Abu Sayyaf terrorists.) (Sulu Media Desk)


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sulu launches own ID system

SULU, Philippines (Jan. 21, 2008) – Sulu province in the southern Philippines has launched its own citizen identification system aimed at curbing crimes and deter terrorism and served as a database for local census, officials said Monday.

Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan said the provincial ID system was launched over the weekend in the town of Patikul, whose population now is more than 50,000.

"We are going to issue identification cards in all towns and we have the support of the local government officials and the citizens themselves," Tan said.

Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, has 19 towns – Hadji Panglima Tahil, Indanan, Jolo, Kalingalang Caluang, Lugus, Luuk, Maimbung, Panamao, Omar, Pandami, Panglima Estino, Pangutaran, Parang, Pata, Siasi, Talipao, Tapul and Tongkil.

PATIKUL town Mayor Kabir Hayudini shows reporters his Citizen Identification Card during the launching of Sulu province own version of the National ID Card. Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan says the ID system will help deter crimes and terrorism in the province. (Sulu Media Desk)

Patikul Mayor Kabir Hayudini said his town will serve as a model for the implementation of the citizen identification card in other areas in the province, about 950 kilometers south of Manila.

"The people are really very supportive of the ID system and that's why we have Patikul as model for this citizen identification card system in cooperation with the Sulu provincial government, the military and police authorities and the national census (office)," Hayudini told reporters, adding, that those covered by the ID system are citizens 12 years old above.

Tan said the provincial government shouldered all expenses needed for the ID system.

"The identification card system in Sulu province is a collaborative effort between local governments, the Armed Forces (of the Philippines), the Philippine National Police and other stake holders of peace and development in the province."

"The ID system will deter crimes and prevent terrorism because it would be easy to identify those who are not from Sulu and this will protect the citizens. It will also be beneficial for business and other transactions," he said.

Tan said the local ID system is not part of the proposed national ID system.

"This is our initiative and while politicians and other groups in Manila argue about the national ID system, my province is already implementing our own citizen identification card system. This will also establish an accurate census in Sulu," he said.

A census is an enumeration of all the people of a village or a systematic and complete count of all who are living in specified places.

The local ID system includes a photo of the holder and the following information - the date and place of birth, civil status, blood type, age, address, thumb prints and sex among others.

Provincial mayors and Muslim religious leaders and business groups lauded the ID system in Sulu province. The launching of the ID system in Sulu coincided with the closing of the two-day peace caravan joined by thousands of Muslims.

The caravan was a collaborative effort of government agencies and various non-government agencies to address the immediate health, education and livelihood needs of communities affected by conflict.

Tan said the caravan, which began on Friday in the town of Jolo went around Patikul and Kalingalang Caluang towns, scene of previous clashes between rebels and soldiers.

He said the caravan was also aimed at consulting with the communities on their medium and long term concerns particularly on livelihood and employment aspect as well as provides a humanitarian face to the ongoing conflict in Sulu.

He said the caravan provided several millions of pesos in aids to support peace and development in Sulu. The Department of Education also pledged to send at least 15 tons of assorted books to different government schools in the province, Tan said.

Tan also released buffaloes for local farmers and led government officials in medical and dental missions in far-flung villages in Luuk and Patikul town during the caravan.

A similar caravan was also held Monday in Basilan province, which is also part of the Muslim autonomous region. (Sulu Media Desk)