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Himugso Heritage Feature: Guerrilla Submarines in Northern Mindanao during World War II (Part 1)

June 12, 2019

During World War II, US Navy submarines helped supply the Filipino and American guerrillas with arms, ammunition and supplies, also ferrying personnel in and out of the islands. Known as the Spyron Operation, it supported the Filipino and American Guerrillas resistance to the Japanese occupation after the Philippines fell to the Japanese Imperial Forces in early 1942. The Spyron operation was key to the success of the resistance. Without the arms and supplies ferried by US submarines, the guerrillas would have been unable to sustain their intelligence gathering and sabotage operations against the Japanese forces. Even before Corregidor surrendered, submarines were already playing a key role in the Battle for the Philippines supplying arms and ammunition to the beleaguered island, and ferrying people in and out the war zone. The Quezon Mission Notable among these missions was the USS Swordfish (SS-193) under Lt. Cmdr. C.C. Smith which picked up President Manuel L. Quezon, his wife, two daughters, and son; Vice President Tomas Osmeña; Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos; and Philippine Army officers General Valdes, Colonel Nieto, and Chaplain Captain Ortiz from Corregidor on February 19, 1942.  Swordfish then departed via a safety lane through the minefield in the harbor and headed for San Jose on Panay Island, where she arrived on February 22nd, and transferred President Quezon and his party to a motor tender. Quezon and his family proceeded to Iloilo and were ferried to Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental by PT-41 and from there motored to Del Monte Airfield in Bukidnon where they were subsequently flown to Australia by B-17.(Source: John Clear's collection of more than 63,000 pages of U. S. submarine World War II patrol reports, compiled from original U. S. Government microfilms.  Spyron in Normin The first Spyron operation in Northern Mindanao and seventh Spyron mission overall,  involved the Bowfin (SS-287) under Cmdr. J. H. Willingham on Sept. 3, 1943 when it embarked nine persons and  delivered seven tons of radio equipment and supplies at Iligan Bay, 1 ¼ mile east of Binuni Point (off present day Bacolod, Lanao del Norte). Four weeks later on Sept. 29, 1943, at the same location, Bowfin evacuated nine guerrillas, selected by their superior officers, to be transported to Australia. Among them were Luis Morgan, executive officer of Col. Wendell Fertig, who headed the organized Filipino-American Resistance in Mindanao ; Edward M. Kuder, a well-known superintendent of schools in Mindanao and Samuel C. Grashio, a U.S. Army Air Corps fighter pilot prior to his capture on Bataan. Grashio had survived the infamous 'Death March' to be confined in three different Japanese prison camps before finally escaping from the Davao Penal Colony with a group of 10 POWs and two Philippine convicts and then joining the guerrillas. The Narwhal Cometh But perhaps the most famous submarine to figure in Spyron operations in Northern Mindanao was the  USS Narwhal (SS-167), the lead ship of her class of submarine and one of the "V-boats", the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the narwhal. She was named V-5 (SC-1) when her keel was laid down on 10 May 1927 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. At 371 feet long and with a displacement of 4,000 tons submerged, Narwhal was one of the biggest US Navy submarines during WW2, but was not really suited for attack, thus was assigned to transport supplies and personnel to guerrillas in the Philippines especially, eventually became the leading submarine in supporting the Philippine guerrillas with nine secret transport missions to her credit, five of which were conducted in the Caraga and Northern Mindanao regions.   First Mission to Nasipit On her seventh war patrol and ninth Spyron mission, Narwhal skippered by Lt. Cmdr.Frank D. Latta, entered Butuan Bay submerged at 0508 hrs on November 15, 1943. At 1605 hours, she sighted a launch flying the proper security signal. She surfaced and Colonel Wendell W. Fertig, commander of the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) and head of the organized resistance in Mindanao, came aboard. Narwhal then proceeded to Nasipit Harbor. On her way in she ran aground on hard sand in the channel's west bank, but managed to free herself quickly. At 1746 hours, Narwhal moored starboard side at the Nasipit dock as a Filipino band played “Anchors Away.” At 2330 hours, she completed offloading 46 tons of supplies. Early the next day, she embarked 32 evacuees, including POW escapees Shofner, Hawkins and Dobervich, women, two children, and one baby, and got underway. Spyron Operations Chief Lt. Cmdr. Chick Parsons left Narwhal with the harbor pilot. Remarks in Narwhal's patrol report: "The very real need for any kind of stores in guerrilla occupied areas led us to transfer considerably more stores than were actually consigned as cargo. Additional arms and ammunition as well as foodstuffs were transferred to Col. [Wendell] Fertig. An eyewitness account of this story is told in the book “My Faraway Home” by Mary Mackay Maynard, who was one of the two children evacuated. It is also related in John Keat’s book “They Fought Alone” which relates the guerrilla war in Mindanao under Fertig who was on hand to meet the submarine.   Seventeen days later, on Dec. 2, 1943,  Narwhal entered Butuan Bay and surfaced at 1706 hours, some 1,000 yards off Cabadbaran. Shortly thereafter, a 150-ton barge came alongside. Fertig and Parsons came aboard.  Narwhal embarked seven evacuees - two soldiers, three civilian men, one woman, and one eight-year-old girl. She unloaded 92 tons of supplies, 300 gallons of lube oil, a small amount of hand tools, received three messages regarding the next phase of her mission, and used the portable radio station on the barge to send three messages. At 2205 hours, she got underway with Parsons aboard.  (Guerrilla photos courtesy of MacArthur Memorial) (to be continued)

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National ID system starts in September, says Malacañang

June 11, 2019

  Share METRO MANILA (MDN National News, June 11) - Malacañang announced Tuesday that the National ID system already signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte will start in September, this year.  Principally authored by Senator Panfilo Lacson, the national ID system's implementation was tackled during a cabinet meeting spearheaded by President Duterte. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told the media that there will be a pilot testing which will run from September to December 2019 to register a substantial number of Filipinos nationwide.  With the system, the Philippine Government aims to register around 107 million Filipinos until 2022, the year that the president's term of office also ends. In August last year, Duterte signed the national ID law purposely to reduce corruption and red tape in government, enhance governance, as well as a tool to safeguard the public from fraudulent usage by unscrupulous individuals.  Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) assured the public that all data will be safe from unauthorized access. But despite PSA's assurance, opposition from the Makabayan bloc also looms at the House of Representatives, adding that the national ID system is a big threat to invasion of privacy among Filipinos. Makabayan bloc suspects that said law could lead to state surveillance on all citizens of the country. The Kabataan partylist represented by Sarah Elago also expresses concerns that the National ID system, otherwise known as PhilSys, could be used to harass Filipinos oppose to the Duterte administration and its policies. But based on the law, local folks should be given enough information before they will register for PhilSys. They will be informed how their data can be used in a manner provided by law. It said that the PhilSys data will include, among others, the demographic data of the person, including the name, gender, date of birth, place of birth, blood type, address, classification whether Filipino or alien. It will also include the mobile number of the person, marital status and email address, but they are optional only. The issuance of the PhilSys ID card for Filipinos, according to thr report, is FREE of charge. ###    ---    ABOUT JOEL Joel Calamba Escol is a journalist since 1991, author and all around person. He plays billiards, paints, does some comic illustrations, cartoons and likes watching CNN and AljazeraTV. He is also an SEO expert. When he's not working, you'll find him gaming and watching hard action movies. He's a total sucker of news and current events.  Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter    

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Prizes for Mindanao Daily digital edition "Like and Share Challenge" up for grabs

June 11, 2019

  Share CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN Local News, June 11) - Prizes for the giveaway promo spearheaded by the Mindanao Daily digital edition are now up for grabs. This was announced by Mindanao Daily News Publishing Corporation President and CEO Dante M Sudaria on Tuesday. He said the office has already purchased a brand new Android mobile phone for the main prize and cellphone loads for the special prizes. On Saturday, June 15, there will be a live awarding session called "Facebook Live where participants can join the fan while waiting for the results of the traditional raffle draw that will also be aired live on Facebook.   MINDANAO DAILY FB FAGE LIKE AND SHARE CHALLENGE WANT A BRAND NEW HUAWEI Y6 PRO PHONE NOW FOR FREE? HERE ARE THE STEPS TO WIN!!   Want to get your brand new HUAWEI Y6 PROPhone? We would like to say THANK YOU for joining "FB PAGE HUAWEI Y6 PRO PHONE GIVEAWAY CONTEST." Below are some of the details to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance to win this brandnew cellphone and load! ·         Our give away promo winner will be drawn on June 15, 2019. See Official Rules for more details. ·         The Winner will be announced on both our Facebook Fan Page  ·         This includes liking and sharing Mindanao Daily News Fan Page for our online edition to gain maximum mileage with your help ·         Sharing our social media promotion to just 3 of your friends and commenting "I want to win a cellphone will give you 1 official entry to the contest.  If you haven't done so already make sure to post on your Facebook page the following message (so your friends and family can enter!)… Just copy and paste the below message to your Facebook wall! Don't miss out! The easiest way to own a brand new phone. Here's how you can connect with us right now:  ·         Become a Facebook Fan (if you’re not already)  ·         Join Our Group Page        All of these activities will increase your chances of winning a brand new Huawei Y6 PRO Phone. Plus help you stay connected with us for additional promotional offers! VISIT OUR PROMO PAGE NOW TO JOIN AND CONFIRM YOUR ENTRY

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Ikatlong Tanghalan sa KampoJuan: IN-BETWEEN Chris Gomez and his Art

June 11, 2019

One of the things I’ll always remember from the recent Tanghalan sa KampoJuan is a friend’s solo exhibit at the newly opened Galleria de Socorro. Named after Dame Socorro Coring Acosta, former city mayor of Manolo Fortich and First District Representative of Bukidnon, it was billed as a Sustainable Design exhibit of our good friend Chris Gomez, a multidisciplinary creative and advocate showcasing his artworks and artistry through his paintings, and creative designs in furniture, fashion and accessories. Chris is a multi-awarded artist and designer whose accolades include the 2014 Look of Style Awards by the British Council; Grand Prize (Water based Category) in the 2012 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Awards and finalist in the 2011 National Philippine Art Awards. He also became a finalist at the China ASEAN Youth Artwork Creativity Contest in 2008 at Nanning, China before finally bagging the Award of Excellence in 2016. The artists explained to us the IN-BETWEEN of this particular exhibit: “In my travels from one place to another as designer for communities and enterprises, my constant companion has always been my artist self.” “Yes, the bare essential self, equipped with my childhood medium, the pencil, a quick eye and a bag of memories.” “Nothing is too small or mundane; I process everything with the combined mind of a man-child to create studies, drawings, and works final or in progress.”  “These works serve as pit stops or in-betweens in a hectic designer life of meetings, client assessments, and deadlines.” As one of the most sought after designers not only in the region but from all over the country as well, Chris considers his work as the connection between his art and his family. “My art also serves as fulcrum between a day job and my family. It connects the two in a very organic way, a sort of translation device.” “For me, design is always answering the question “is this product good for my family?” “The drawings for In-Between are additions to my childhood-themed series which started with Filipino handmade toys and now continuing with images of children.” “Having three children today has connected me more to the child I was before, fearlessly and innocently drawing in between studies, chores and games.” You can still catch Chris Gomez’s IN-BETWEEN Solo Art Show at Galleria de Socorro, Kampo Juan Resort until 25 June 2019. Please contact Laclac Bongcawelat 09551539105 or email tanghalan.kampjuan@gmail.com. Mindanao Daily and BusinessWeek Mindanao are proud Media Partners of Tanghalan sa KampoJuan.            

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FDA, City Vet Office in Iligan City seize pork products from countries affected with African swine fever 

June 10, 2019

By Divina M. Suson, Correspondent ILIGAN City--The Foods and Drug  Administration (FDA) in Northern Mindanao and the City Veterinarian's Office here seized Friday morning (June 7) almost a hundred of imported canned goods from the grocery section of two big malls and a big grocery store in this city. Iligan City Veterinarian Dr. Dahlia Valera said they conducted the operation based on the order of the FDA, issued last May, the seizure of all pork products from countries affected by African swine fever (ASF). African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family. It is the causative agent of African swine fever (ASF). The virus causes a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs; some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection. It persistently infects its natural hosts, warthogs, bushpigs, and soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros, which likely act as a vector, with no disease signs. It does not cause disease in humans. ASFV is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and exists in the wild through a cycle of infection between ticks and wild pigs, bushpigs, and warthogs. The disease was first described after European settlers brought pigs into areas endemic with ASFV and, as such, is an example of an "emerging infectious disease." --wikipedia   "We actually requested the FDA to visit Iligan City because these malls are still displaying imported canned meat products declared banned by the FDA," Valera said. Following the declaration that the Philippines is still free from ASF, Valera said his agency has not monitored any cases involving ASF-infected swine products in Iligan City. "Although ASF does not affect human, it is still better to take extra precautionary measures because it (ASF) can kill pigs that would eventually affect our swine industry," said Valera adding that her office will continue to monitor grocery stores and malls. The ASF has reportedly spread to more than 55 countries on three continents. In China and Vietnam, more than 2 million pigs have been destroyed due to ASF.

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Official statement of SunStar Davao on the recent arrest of Valle

June 10, 2019

THE SunStar Davao expresses concern on the recent information that our former columnist, Margarita Valle, was arrested yesterday by authorities at the Laguindingan Airport. There is still no clear picture of what had happened, but what is clear to us is that a 61-year-old mother and writer poses no threat to anybody having dedicated her life to journaling the lives and helping the underprivileged. We hope that there is a valid reason for what had transpired and the law enforcers will be straightforward with this case -- a balanced investigation, no trumped up charges, and no unverified accusations. As a columnist and contributor, Valle used to write about women, children, and the environment. She raised valid issues and featured strides being made to address these, giving space and coverage for the voiceless and underrepresented.

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