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NPA bomb expert, 2 minor amazons yield

November 14, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Two rebel Amazons and a male bomb expert of the outlawed New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the military camp in Buenavista, Agusan De Norte, the military said Thursday. The report reaching Camp Evangelista here, the army’s largest military camp in Northern Mindanao, identified the male combatant as a certain “Marco,” reportedly a bomb expert. The two minor amazons were identified as “Gethel” and “Cristine,” not their true names, both 17 years old. Gethel, a political guide and Cristine, medic, belonged to the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee, said Lt. Roel T. Maglalang, of the army’s 23rd IB in his report. He said that Marco, the bomb expert of the Guerilla Front 21, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee, also surrendered to the army’s 23rd IB in Buenavista. Maglalang said that Marco guided the military to an arms cache hidden by the communist rebels in the hinterlands of Sibagat, Agusan Del Sur. On checking Marco’s information, the military recovered three M14 rifles, 35-meter-electric wire, two blasting caps with detonating cord, one hand guard for M16, one pair of AR18 hand guard and one improvised anti-personnel land mine, Maglalang said. He said that Marco was recruited to join the communist insurgency movement at the age of 14, became a full-time combatant at 16 and was trained in bomb making and planting and disposing land mines. -0- Upon reaching the area, the troops recovered recovery of three (3) M14 Rifles (serviceable), thirty-five (35) meters electrical wire, two (2) Blasting caps with detonating cord, one (1) pair Handguard for M16, one (1) pair AR 18 Handguard and one (1) Improvised Anti-Personal Mine which was still planted inside CPP-NPA hideout. Alias Marco was used as a courier by the CPP-NPA as young as 14 years old. He became fulltime NPA combatant at the age of 16. He was also taught how to plant and disposed landmines.

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Public, private sectors optimistic on Cagayan de Oro-Gwangyang City sisterhood

November 14, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Both public and private sectors are optimistic the recent signing of a sisterhood agreement between Cagayan de Oro and Gwangyang City in South Korea bodes well for both parties. Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar S. Moreno and Gwangyang City Mayor Jeong Hyunbok signed a Memorandum of Agreement for Substantial Exchanges between Cagayan de Oro City and Gwangyang, Korea last November 6, 2019 at a local hotel. “Sisterhood relations encompass many areas of common interests (such as tourism, culture and educational exchanges, trade) but these also manifest a city’s respectability in the domestic and international fronts,” Moreno said. “To me, the more important angle is not what to expect (although improved relations produce many reciprocal benefits), but rather what the sister cities can do together.” Gwangyang is a city in South Jeolla Province, South Korea. It is the home of POSCO's Gwangyang Steel Works, the largest facility of its kind in the world. Gwangyang is at the center of development for the Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone (GFEZ) which hosts port container handling, steel production, and shipbuilding as well as leisure facilities. The Cagayan de Oro City Council earlier enacted an ordinance authorizing Moreno to enter into and sign the Memorandum of Understanding for substantial exchanges with Gwangyang. In his endorsement, Mayor Moreno said the collaboration further enhances the policy of the city to promote sisterhood with other local government units here and abroad which have been determined to be beneficial in the delivery of services to its constituents. Both cities have agreed to carry out cooperation in various fields to further promote friendly relations and jointly make efforts for improved friendship between both cities’ citizens and better economic development. Exchanges will be in various areas of local governance such as, but not limited to economic trade and investment, education, culture and tourism for the promotion of friendly relations of the two cities and their people, Moreno said. “We expect more robust programs in education, tourism and investments,” said Local Economic & Investment Promotion Officers (LEIPO) Eileen E. San Juan. “Before the signing of the MOU on Education, Gwangyang officials met with local private schools on accommodation of Korean students. Gwangyang is inviting Cagayan de Oro to their Plum Festival next year,” she added. As a further sign of goodwill and friendship between the two cities, San Juan said the Gwangyang City Government has designated one of their roads as “Cagayan de Oro Road.”

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LWUA chief faces graft raps

November 13, 2019

SAN Francisco, Agusan del Sur--Top officials of local water utilities here and in Butuan City have filed a graft complaint against Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Administrator Jeci A. Lapus. The complaint was filed by San Francisco Water District general manager Elmer T. Luzon and Butuan City Water District general manager Engr.  Anselmo L. Sang Tian against Lapus for allegedly engaging in “moro moro” transactions with private partners that were disadvantageous to the welfare of local water districts in the entire country. In their complaint sent to Ombudsman Samuel R. Martires, Luzon and Sang Tian claimed Lapus engaged in irregular transactions between private companies and at least 100 water districts in the country  which were flawed from the very start because of the shortcuts in the processes and without public hearing as prescribed by Executive Order No. 68, series of 1999 signed by former President Joseph Estrada. The two complainants also cited Lapus issued a travel ban to LWUA designated representatives to water districts joint venture selection committee meetings leaving water districts vulnerable to questionable transactions with the private partners. Inquirer has sent a query to get a reaction from Lapus at the Contact Us online form of LWUA website but has yet to get a response at press time. Luzon said Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between water districts and private water suppliers rapidly proliferating in the country are grossly disadvantageous and a heavy burden to the consuming public because the operation, maintenance, billing and collection are taken over by the private partner putting the government into lesser control. He noted the Primewater Infrastructure Corp. owned by former Senate President Manny Villar has dominated the PPP scheme in the country and had already engaged three large category B and C water districts in Mindanao including Metro Ozamiz Water District in Ozamiz City, Panabo Water District in Panabo City and recently the Surigao Metropolitan Water District in Surigao City. This despite the assurance of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar in 2016 that their family-owned companies will not bid for any PPP projects to prevent conflict of interests. Of the more than 500 water districts in the country, 76 of these utilities were engaged under the concession-type partnership with a total of  1.4  million service connections equivalent to some 6.7 million consumers.Local water districts are Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations. “Clearly, the concession-type PPP is highly irregular,if not, unlawful because the local water districts’ core functions were outsourced to private partners,” Luzon said. The EO 68 has mandated LWUA to conduct preliminary and final reviews of Build-Operate-Transfer and similar proposals on water supply projects of local water districts.

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Cops kill Mindanao’s most wanted robbery gang leader in Oro

November 13, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The leader of Mindanao’s most wanted robbery group was killed in a running gun battle with the local police here Tuesday. Archolito Palubon, a.k.a “Bingcol,” the leader of the notorious “Bingcol robbery gang,” the group believed responsible for various unsolved armed robberies in Mindanao, was killed in a running battle with the pursuing police Tuesday evening. The “Bingcol” robbery group was believed to be responsible in the robbery holdup of the Quality Appliance center here a few months ago and the LBC cargo offices in the past. A Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) camera led the police to Palubon’s identity whose face was recorded clearly by the security camera. The police then issued a Mindanao-wide alarm placing the Palubon and his “Bingcol” group in the top list of the wanted criminals in the island. Police investigators said that the “Bingcol” robbery gang operated in Zanboanga Peninsula, and in the regions of Caraga and North Mindanao. Cagayan De Oro City is the “rest and recreation” place of the “Bingcol” robbery gang, a police officer said. Two of Palubon’s companions, now the subject of a manhunt, escaped after the police responded about an ongoing robbery on a hardware, a few meters away from the police station in Ipil, Carmen Tuesday evening. Palubon attempted to hostage the cashier of the New Cagayan CCH Hardware along Ipil Street, but ran away under cover of the market goers while the police gave chase. In a bid to mislead the pursuing police, Palubon threw bundles of the loot money along the escaped route resulting in a melee among the bystanders and marketers who scooped money bills scattered along the street. The police, however, cornered Palubon along Lerio Street in Carmen killing him in the ensuing shootout. Dr. Christian Caballes, the Chief of the Scene of the Crime Office, said that Palubon died of multiple gunshot wound on the body. He said that a fully loaded.45 pistols were recovered from Palubon along with a crystalline substance in a cellophane in his pocket. Caballes said that the firearm would be subjected to a ballistic examination while the unknown crystalline substance would also be submitted for laboratory exam.

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Misor garbage for shipment back to South Korea end of December

October 30, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The remaining 5,000 tons of garbage in Misamis Oriental would be sent back to South Korea before the year end, provincial governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano announced Wednesday. Emano made the announcement following the turnover of 4,000 tonnage bags to Customs officials Tuesday. He said that the tonnage bags would be used to secure the 5,000 tons of garbage deposited in the 4-hectare yard in the Phividec Industrial Estate in Sta. Cruz, Tagolo-an, Misamis Oriental. According to Emano, the provincial government has approved about P 2 million budget to hire personnel and earth moving equipment to be utilized for the total cleanup of the dockyard. He said that the garbage would be put in the tonnage bags and would be piled in a 40-footer van to prepare it for shipment. According to Emano, the personnel tasked to clean up the garbage at the Phividec Industrial Estate would be required to use basic health equipment to prevent them from possible contamination. District Customs Collector John Simon, of the Port of Cagayan De Oro City, said that the South Korean government would provide the cargo vessel that would transport the garbage back to its origin in Pyongteak, South Korea. He said that the garbage was the first of the 6,200 tons of garbage disguised as “recyclable materials” that arrived in Misamis Oriental sometime in July 2018. Simon said that the second batch, which arrived late October in 2018 was immediately shipped back after the environment officials from South Korea found out that the shipment were garbage materials. Simon said that the 5,000 tons garbage, which are still in Misamis Oriental would be shipped back before the end of December this year. He said that the repatriation of the garbage could be done immediately once the cleanup of the garbage site is accomplished by the provincial government of Misamis Oriental earlier. Simon said that the owner and officials of the Verde Soko, the company that transported the garbage to Misamis Oriental, are now facing charges with violation of the environmental laws in a local court here. He said that Charles Chu, the Verde Soko owner and some Filipino associates, are expected to appear in the local court at a hearing scheduled in November.

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SAF trooper dies, another hurt while serving arrest warrant

October 30, 2019

ILIGAN City--A member of the police Special Action Force (SAF) died while serving an arrest warrant Wednesday morning (October 30) in Barangay Lilod Saduc in Marawi City. The suspect was also killed in a police operation, the report said. Police Colonel Madzgani Mukaram, head of the provincial police office in Lanao del Sur, said joint forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was serving the arrest warrant for Abdullah Angantap Taurac, when he opened fire with a .45 pistol prompting the arresting operatives to return fire that led to his death. Staff Sergeant Reagan Salbino of the PNP-SAF succumbed to death when he was hit at the left side of his body while his fellow SAF trooper, SSgt. Mohaimen Urandig was hit at his rigth hand. Mukaram said Taurac is facing homicide and illegal possession of firearm for killing certain Saidamen Pagayaon Dimapingun in Marawi City months ago. Police arrested Taurac's family that include his wife Nojuma, his three sons Hamza, Hazim and Abdul Azis and his daughter, Najma and her husband, Benjamel Datualabi. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Pantaleon, chief of Marawi City Police Station, said the whole family was arrested because of the firearms and believed to be shabu siezed from their respective rooms. "Three rooms kasi, Maam. Sa room 1 occupied ni Polpol (the target is known) and wife, na-recover baril at shabu. Room 2, Polpol's daughter and husband, na-recover baril at shabu. Room 3, occupied by Polpol's 3 sons, na-recover grenade," Pantaleon said. Police report said Taurac is a known notorious gun-for-hire and a watchlisted drug personality Major Chris Cabugwang, chief of Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) in Lanao del Sur, said Taurac is suspect of the series of shooting incidents in Marawi City including the killing of the personnel of Army Engineer and the freshman students of Mindanao State University-Marawi who died after nine days at the hospital. "Yes, suspect siya kaya subject for cross match sa Crime Laboratory ang baril na na-recover sa previous incidents," Cabugwang said. The cadaver of Taurac was immediately claimed by relatives while his family members are now at the Marawi police for processing of the cases, illegal possession of firearms and possession of illegal drugs, against them. The remains of the SAF trooper is at a funeral parlor in Iligan City, to be transported to his hometown in Benguet, while the wounded colleague is now recuperating in a hospital in Iligan City and is in a stable condition.

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