latest headlines

Militiaman who strafes team of soldiers surrenders

January 23, 2020

ILIGAN City--The commander of a Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) detachment in Lanao del Sur who shot to death his fellow soldiers surrendered to authorities after almost a month of hiding. Captain Clint Antipala, acting Public Affairs Officer of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, said Corporal Nao Mohammad Lassam was turned over to Marantao Police Station in Lanao del Sur after he surrendered last January 12 to the Army troops of the 10th and 1st Infantry Divisions in Tagum City. Lassam strafed a team of soldiers who were clearing the area in sitio Banisilan, Barangay Bandaraingud in Pagayawan town in Lanao del Sur on December 24, that resulted to the death of two Army soldiers of the 55th Infantry Battalion: Second Lieutenant Mark Linne Banua and Sergeant Jhanjihan Carumba. Five other soldiers were wounded in the incident. He was made as guide in the clearing operation after the chief of police of Binidayan Municipal Police Station of Binidayan town was ambushed on December 23 in the area. The ambushed resulted in the death of Police Executive Master Sergeant Amen Lucman Macalangan and his driver, Ramel Pangcatan. Lassam, who hails from Maguindanao, fled after the shooting. The clearing operation is in connection with the ambush of a chief of police in Binidayan on December 23. Antipala said Lassam is facing two counts of murder, serious physical injuries and multiple frustrated murder cases which were filed at the Office of Provincial Prosecutor in Marawi City. Brigadier General Generoso Ponio in a statement sent by the 1st Division Public Affairs Office said that the 1st Infantry Division sees to it that their erring personnel "will be given due process and face the military's and the country's justice system and we will not hesitate to put them behind bars if proven guilty."

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Govt busted fake cigarette makers in 2 barangays in Oro

January 23, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro CITY--Authorities raided two warehouses here that yielded close to five thousand boxes of counterfeit cigarettes last Tuesday estimated at P882 million, the Bureau of Internal Revenue said on Wednesday. Atty. Jonaidah Darimbang, a BIR officer from the legal department, said 4,707 boxes of cigarettes were seized by a joint team of BIR and the National Bureau of Investigation in barangays Cugman and Bayabas. The cigarettes were confiscated in gross violation of Sections 130 in relation to Section 255, 236 in relation to Section 258, Section 263 and Section 265 of the National Internal Revenue Code as amended, Darimbang said. Sections 236 and 258 refer to the unlawful pursuit of business; sections 130 and 255, failure to file excise tax returns; section 263, unlawful possession or removal of articles subject to exciste tax without payment of tax; and section 265, unlawful possession of spurious internal revenue stamps. She said BIR regional director Nuzar Balatero issued mission order nos. 10756 and 10766 dated Jan. 21, 2020 authorizing the agents to raid a warehouse in Cugman, and another one in Bayabas. Darimbang said some 3,000 boxes of cigarettes were taken at the Bayabas warehouse with excise tax deficiency of P562.5 million, while 1,707 boxes were seized at the Cugman facility, with excise tax deficiency of P320 million, or a total of P882 million. “With the use of the BIR Taggant Reader, a device used to detect whether or not the BIR stamp is fake, various brands of cigarettes were found to have fake BIR stamps or no stamps at all,” she told reporters when the seized items were presented to the media in a storage facility in Bayabas on Wednesday. Among the brands confiscated bore the names YS Filter, RED, Jackpot, Bravo, Marvels, Astro, and Two Moon.

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P882m fake BIR stamps, untaxed cig busted in CDO

January 23, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) busted fake revenue stamps and untaxed cigarettes worth P 882 million here Wednesday. Nolan Gadia, an NBI operative, said that armed with an order from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the operatives swooped down on two warehouses in the villages of Cugman and Bayabas, all of Cagayan De Oro City. He said that the operatives, accompanied by BIR agents from Manila, seized the fake stamps and untaxed cartoons of cigarettes worth P 882 million in the warehouses. Gadia said that the fake stamps were mixed with “genuine” BIR stamps, which were sorted out by revenue officials. According to Gadia, the contraband was stored in the warehouses owned by Gaisano Inc., a firm that owns a string of shopping malls in the country. He said that nobody was around when the law enforces raided the padlocked warehouses. “The BIR order authorizes the operatives to forcibly open the warehouses and discovered the contraband,” Gadia said. He said that the NBI are now conducting a probe to identify the owners of the contraband while determining the liability of the Gaisano management although the warehouses were reportedly rented from them. The operatives have deployed security forces to secure the warehouses to make sure that the contraband would be safe pending relocation to a safer place.

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Leveraging seaweed into savings with sci-tech

January 21, 2020

SEAWEED farming has long been a reliable source of income for coastal communities in the country; fringed by waters of the Sulu Sea and the Moro Gulf, the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao is no stranger to the seaweed trade. Only recently, four communities in the city, namely barangays of Sta. Catalina, Mampang, Arena Blanco, and Tigtabon have moved to adopt technologies that target seaweed efficient drying process and quality dried seaweed. The Gap While seaweed type is a factor in determining value, the quality of the dried seaweed is what ultimately dictates price. The current drying practice, which is basically open area sun-drying, can take up to a number of days, and puts the seaweeds at the mercy of the elements. Farmers resort to covering or storing stocks at the first hint of rain or bad weather, which does little good for the dehydration process among others. This usually translates to poor seaweed quality, which in turn greatly reduces the farmers’ command on the commodity’s price.    The Intervention The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) has developed a seaweed drying system that is capable of drying newly harvested stocks at a faster rate, while protecting the seaweeds from unpredictable weather. At present, two types of the solar seaweed drying tech are available: the floating-type, which stays on the water surface, allowing farmers to tow the structure close to their production area for faster harvesting, and the permanent-type, which doubles as a storehouse sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather conditions, and provide easy, all-around access for farmers. The structures are also designed to reduce direct exposure to sand, dirt, and other contaminants usually contaminated during the harvesting and hauling of fresh seaweeds to the drying area. Aside from the greenhouse/U-V treated sheets that cover both facilities, they are also fitted with built-in solar-powered exhaust fans for the quick and uniform drying of stocks. At present, studies have shown the structures to be capable of drying two tons of high quality fresh seaweeds in a matter of three days, without any inconsistency in the production. Through the Department of Science and Technology in Region 9, the abovementioned communities can expect the technologies to be on their shores as early as the second quarter of 2020. (PR)

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Coco sugar from Misor now available nationwide

January 21, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The coconut sugar produced by Linabo Agrarian Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LAMPCO) in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental is now available in all Bukidnon Pharmaceutical Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BUPHARCO) outlets nationwide. The partnership between the two cooperatives was announced by its chairmen during the Product and Market Launching of Coco Sugar held Saturday, January 18, at Pearlmont Inn Hotel, this city. Reyno Molo, LAMPCO chairman, said the selling of their coco sugar in BUPHARCO outlets is a big boost to sustain their operations and business growth. Molo admitted that marketing the coco sugar has been a challenge to LAMPCO. For his part, BUPHARCO chairman Eugene Pabualan said they will assist in marketing LAMPCO’s coco sugar since they believed that cooperation among cooperatives could bolster local economies and lead to improved cooperative services. LAMPCO’s coco sugar which is produced from coco sap is a healthy alternative to white and brown sugar. It is organic, Halal-certified, and carbon-neutral certified. The product and market launching was graced by Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary Bernie Cruz who lauded the collaboration of the two cooperatives citing it as an example of people-to-people partnership. In his message, Cruz reminded the LAMPCO members to take good care of the quality of their coco sugar. Such, he said, is the key to sustaining the success of the product. He also advised them to continuously work for the quality improvement of the product. LAMPCO's coco sugar is one of the projects assisted by the DAR Region 10 under the Project ConVERGE, a six-year project that aims to contribute to the reduction of poverty by providing support services to agrarian reform beneficiaries, small farmers, and rural workers. The project is jointly funded by the Philippine government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. (APB/PIA10)

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Re-exportation of last batch of waste from Sokor Feb. 9

January 21, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--After 25 months, the last tranche of 2,700 metric tons of garbage will be re-exported back to South Korea on February 9, a Customs official said. This, as Bureau of Customs (BOC) district collector for Northern Mindanao John Simon led other officials Sunday (January 19) in loading 2,400 metric tons of the trash to M/V L8 Nordmarsh at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental. Under the Basel Convention , Simon said the South Korean government paid for the shipping cost of P10 million. The event capped the saga that started 25 months ago in October 2018 when residents of sitio Buguac, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Tagoloan town first reported to Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) committee on environment chair Gerardo Sabal III of huge volume of foul-emitting garbage in their vicinity. Sabal’s committee immediately summoned Simon, the then Mindanao Container Terminal Customs collector, to shed light on the matter who reported that the garbage was able to breach through Customs port under the previous collector. Simon then said that the garbage was misdeclared as recyclable plastic pellets but on inspection were actually household wastes. On his own, Simon went on national television and reported the presence of the smuggled garbage in his vicinity thus capturing the national spotlight and sending a congressional committee to investigate the matter. Simon, who initiated an inter-agency task force on the matter, was able to secure assurance from the South Korean government which committed P27 million for the shipment of the wastes back to its port of origin. The first reshipment of South Korea wastes from consignee Verde Soko actually occurred a year ago in January 2019 but at 1,400 tons, this was only minimal in volume, and is not part of the July 2019 wastes wallowing in Sta. Cruz. This earlier reshipment consisted of the second wave of Verde Soko-consigned cargo which was immediately intercepted by Customs in October 2018 at Mindanao Container Terminal days after Simon already assumed his post as port collector. For the main bulk of Verde Soko wastes (the July 2019 cargo), it took another year for the reshipment to get done with Misamis Oriental officials such as Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano, Rep. Juliette Uy and Tagoloan Mayor Gomer Sabio providing manpower and logistics to load the trash to the 60 containers. An emotional Simon thanked all those involved in the reloading of the trash and rallied stakeholders here to never again allow foreign wastes to be unloaded in this part of Mindanao.

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