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Navarro sibling fights back, slams critics of slain brother

October 29, 2019

ILIGAN City--The brother of the late Mayor David Navarro said the allegations on robbery and involvement on illegal drug trade of the latter is too much and the people is taking advantage of the situation by bringing it to social media. In an interview with the media on Sunday (October 27), upon the arrival of the mayor's remains from Cebu, former Misamis Occidental board member Dan Navarro said the issue of the mayor's involvement in the crime of robbery has been resolved when the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3 in Makati City issued a certification that the former mayor has "no pending case/s" and was not included in the said case filed against three suspects. Dan also showed to the media a certification from the Department of Justice, dated July 25, 2018, certifying that the mayor has no pending cases in the agency. The certification was requested by certain Sam Norman Fuentes, in behalf of David Navarro, for police requirement purposes. On the issue on the involvement of the mayor on illegal drugs and being included in the narcolist of the president, Dan said his elder brother's name has been cleared from it since now Senator Ronal Dela Rosa was still the chief of the Philippine National Police. "Hepe pa sa una si Sen. Bato, mi-sumitar si Mayor didto sa Crame, mao ni resulta nga nakakuha mi sa maong documents," Dan said referring to the major crime investigation report of the Major Crime Investigation Unit (MCIU) of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) clearing David's name from the narcolist. The MCIU conclusion "surmised that Mayor Navarro was not directly involved in illegal drug trade, engaged in related financial activities during his terms as mayor of Clarin", according to Dan, reading the last part of the documents. Meanwhile, Elsa Navarro, wife of the mayor posted on her social media account the screen shot of the mayo'r last text to her at 5:07 in the morning on October 26. Mayor Navarro was killed around 2:30 pm on that day. In his text message, David apologized for shaming her and the family. The mayor admitted he hog-tied the masseur as seen in the CCTV footage but it was the only thing he did because he was provoked. "Kanang uban wala namana nako nabuhat, God knows. Grabe pagka set-up nila nako, grabe ila ko kwartahan jud. Sorry kaayo dili ko kabalo mabuhi pako diri Cebu sa mga kamot sa mga pulis," the text message said. David ended his text message by telling her wife to take care of "Sonson and CD", his children from his first marriage. Sonson is Mel Davidson, the number one municipal councilor who took over as vice mayor. "Ikaw na bahala sa mga bata, Palangga, ikuyog lang jud sila sa church every Sunday, Palangga. Si Sonson ug CD, please take care of them pud. They respect you and love you man jud na. Sorry and thank you. I love you very much," Navarro's last text to his wife.

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Zubiri leads turnover of Tesda training centers in Bukidnon

October 29, 2019

SENATE Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri led the turnover ceremonies last week of four Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) training centers in Bukidnon to Tesda Secretary Isidro Lapeña. The training centers in Impasugong, Cabanglasan, Lantapan and Maramag towns are part of Zubiri’s initiative to establish local government unit-based Tesda training centers in Bukidnon aligned with antipoverty and anti-insurgency goals of thea province. “We want Bukidnon to be the pioneering tech-voc–educated province in the country,” Zubiri said. The partnership between Zubiri and Tesda is geared toward providing accessible tech-voc education to the province. More Tesda training centers will be established in the city of Malaybalay, and the towns of Kitaotao, San Fernando, Kibawe, Quezon, Talakag, Malitbog, Baungon, Kalilangan, Sumilao, Damulog, Kadingilan and Dangcagan. With the recent turnover, Bukidnon now has Tesda training centers in its two cities and 20 towns, making it the pioneer province to have local government unit-based Tesda-operated training centers, bringing skills education to grassroots communities. The creation of Tesda training centers are part of Zubiri’s education-focused poverty alleviation projects for the province, complementing the expansion of Bukidnon State University through its extension campuses. Joining Zubiri for the turnover ceremonies in the four towns were Lapeña, Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri and Rep. Manuel Zubiri of the Third District. Also present were Mayor Anthony Uy and Vice Mayor Norly Pepito for Impasugong; Mayor Renante Inocando and Vice Mayor Lolita Obsioma for Cabanglasan; Mayor Ernie Devibar and Vice Mayor Sulpicio Gallano for Lantapan; and Mayor Jose Joel Doromal and Vice Mayor Ed Laure for Maramag. “We want every single person in Bukidnon to physically have access to our schools. It is hard enough to balance school and work—as many of our youth have no choice but to do—and it just becomes more difficult when geographical challenges get in the way, discouraging attendance or even application,” Zubiri said. “Bukidnon is one of the largest provinces in the nation in terms of land area. It follows that we would need a large network of educational centers to reach all our constituents, at minimal cost to them,” he added. “With these Tesda training centers in every city and municipality of the province, we are bringing education and opportunity right to our peoples’ doorsteps,” he explained.

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EU widely known as center of excellence in higher education

October 26, 2019

IF you’re looking to pursue higher education that is better than the usual, then the EU is the best place for you!     Beyond countless picturesque spots and the diverse cultures of its Member States, the European Union is widely recognized as a center of excellence when it comes to higher education.     The EU has long established its educational  preminence with superior academic courses, mobility and scholarship opportunities, and cutting-edge technology.  Its academic and cultural environment is proven to be conducive to higher learning, research, and a well-rounded educational experience.     One such example is Kent Tangcalagan, who earned summa cum laude honors for his Master’s Degree in Comparative Local Development.     Kent credits the EU’s innovative facilities and cutting-edge technologies in providing him the perfect tools to excel in his chosen programme.     He said, “The expertise made available during our classes came from professors who were in different fields (i.e. academia, corporate, third sector), different sciences (i.e. economics, sociology, natural sciences, etc.), different genders, cultures, and countries of origin. That diversity provided us different perspectives that challenged our way of thinking, our ideologies, and our concept structures that have been based from how we were brought up and educated in our own countries.”   Another proud EU summa cum laude alumna is Katy Macaso, who earned her Master’s degree in Food Science, Technology, and Business said “Studying (in Europe) was eye-opening especially the practical courses and site visits which let you engage with high tech instruments and machineries not currently available or just off-limits in the Philippines.  Overall, it was just enriching.”   For dance guru and entrepreneur Georcelle Dapat-Sy, studying in the EU provided her with new perspectives with regard to her passion and craft. “In 2016, I realized I could not run my dance company for the next twelve years based on gut feelings,” Georcelle said.  “I needed a new formula.  I learned more about myself as a leader when I went to THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam.  You can unlearn things, become a blank canvas again, be a sponge and absorb new knowledge.  EU’s diversity unlocked innovation within me.”   EU’s high standard of excellence in higher education also enabled Danie Laurelto be a multi-hyphenate woman.  Aside from being a news anchor, a business journalist, and a business events host, she’s also a finance professor, thanks to her MBA and PhD degrees—all earned in the Europe.  Because of what she has achieved, Danie is very passionate in telling Filipino students—especially women—to pursue higher education abroad.  “Studying in the EU has made me who I am today: a strong, independent, confident, and highly educated woman who above all things believes in the power of learning in changing peoples’ lives and in education as the cornerstone of our country’s future.”   And for Ella Laxa-Pangilinan, who took an Interior Design course in Florence, Italy. Her EU education led her to a profound realization about what she wants to do in her budding career.  “You get to learn a new way of living and thinking. Art and culture is everywhere, and so you’re constantly surrounded by different sources of inspiration to the point it actually made me appreciate my culture so much more. It also gives one the chance to bring home these learnings to be able to add a different value to society.”   For Kent, Katy, Georcelle, Danie, and Ella, an EU education is definitely the right path towards excellence.     Do you want to study in the EU?   Start you own journey to excellence in higher education and come to this year’s European Higher Education Fair on October 26 at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza, and on October 28 at the Lyceum of the Philippines University in General Trias, Cavite.   This highly anticipated showcase event gathers some of the EU’s topnotch universities and higher education institutions and connects them directly with Filipino students.   The event will also feature country presentations and discussions about scholarship and mobility opportunities.   The EHEF 2019 is organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, together with EU Member States’ Embassies and Cultural Groups, and in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and supported by venue partners Shangri-La Plaza, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Cavite, and media partners: ANC, Business World Spark Up, Click the City, Philippine Business and News, Primer PH, Radyo Inquirer, Roots and Wings Online, and WhenInManila.com.

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6 LGUs turn over 30 loose firearms

October 26, 2019

BALOI, Lanao del Norte--Thirty loose firearms were turned over to the Army's 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion by six local government units from this province last Friday afternoon (October 25). Since the start of 2019, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) urged local chief executives to direct their constituents to surrender or turn over their loose firearms to authorities. The move is in compliance to the Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunitions. The local chief executives and representatives of Matungao, Linamon, Pantar, Munai, Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat led the turn over ceremony inside the headquarters of the 4th Mech in Barangay Nangka, in Baloi town as witnessed by Col. Facundo Palafox, commander of the Army's 2nd Mechanized Brigade that has operational control of the area. Since January this year, around 150 loose firearms have been turned over by the LGUs to the AFP through the battalions in the area. Seventy five of these are high-powered firearms while 71 are low-powered. Nineteen of these were recovered in series of focused military operations against lawless elements according to Palafox. "We are sustaining the program to be successful. In the coming days, mapaigting po natin ang ating seguridad by helping ng ating kapulisan at kasundaluhan sa pag-surender po ng ating mga loose firearms para maiwasan po natin ang magkasakitan sa ating kapwa," Palafox said in his message during the ceremony. LtCol. Bernardo Taqueban, commander of 4th Mech, said implementing the law is also helping the government to make the people in the area safe and secured. "Ito ang tools kung saan nagkakaroon ng kremin. Hindi na po kailangan ang mga ito dahil ang ating lugar, unti-unti ay nakikita natin na peaceful na ang ating lugar," Taqueban said. He added that aside from helping the government, the military is also helping the public because a civilian's mere possession of firearms would expose somebody to be harmed. Munai town mayor Racma Dansal Andamama in her response said Munai LGU has been supporting the military in implementing the program because they believe that there is development if there is stable peace and order. "Kami sa Munai, alam natin na ang Munai ay kasali sa conflict area sa Lanao del Norte. Nagpapasalamat ako sa 4th Mech sa pagpapanatili sa kaayusan at kapayapaan sa Munai," Andamama said.

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A TRIBUTE TO OUR CHAMPION AND HERO: AQUILINO “NENE” PIMENTEL, JR.: The Father of Cooperativism

October 24, 2019

“From time to time, there appear on the face of the earth men with rare and consummate excellence who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light. Like those extraordinary stars of whose origins we are ignorant and whose fate once they have vanished, we know even less, such men have neither forebears nor descendants: they are the whole of their race.” Indeed, no greater love there is than a fearless man who is willing to give his life so that others may be free.  Sen. Nene did what was probably the most difficult task in the restoration of democracy in the Philippines. A freedom-fighter, Sen. Nene was imprisoned four times during the 14-year Martial Law Rule. During those painful years, a poem, Veritas Liberabit Vos” loomed:       “My name is Veritas. So simple is my language. Mankind runs after me because I am a precious position. But to the rule of a dictator, I am a threat, so I have to be imprisoned. But there will always be lovers who will search for me because they cannot live without my presence.  Dictators do not know that in the silence of the prison cell, I am gaining strength. One day, when the Filipino people are awakened, I will burst out in the open and through a people powered revolution, I will unfetter the people from oppression. Indeed Veritas Liberabit Vos!”  (The Truth shall set us fee!)      After Martial Law, it was so amazing how he dismantled the entire martial law apparatus by replacing en masse incumbent officials with handpicked officers-in-charge.      A brilliant lawyer, he had been the Dean of the College of Law of Xavier University, then becoming the City Mayor of Cagayan de Oro. He was one of the chosen few who framed the 1987 Constitution that amazingly captured the essence of  cooperativism in Chapter XV, Article XII, “to promote  the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of social justice, equity and economic development,” to pave the way to institutionalize “people power” through cooperatives to transform a highly skewed pyramidal societal order not through armed struggle but through cooperativism by harnessing peacefully the collective power of the people.          Sen. Nene had seen cooperativism as the one to democratize wealth and power which is under the strangled hold of the oligarchs in a country where 73% of the economy is controlled by just 200 families.      Through that empowerment constitutional provision, then Senator Nene who later became the Senate President co-authored the twin laws: RA 6938 (the Cooperative Code of the Philippines) and RA 6939 (The Creation of the Cooperative Development Authority).  Sen. Nene also shepherded the enactment of the crucial Local Government Code which included the LGU’s mandate to advance cooperativism in their respective territorial jurisdiction.      The amazing mindset of a transformative leader has indeed been manifested in the said laws especially in debunking gross social inequities and social injustices which have been looming in so many ways. These are evident in the life of the farmers tilling land that they do not own or if they do, they do not control the mode of production and marketing.  That’s the reason why everyone is profiting from farming except those who struggled to make the land productive – the poor farmers.  In a land controlled by Cartel, our beloved Nene wanted to rectify a social wrong especially in the life of the eleven (11) million member-consumer-owners (MCOs) of the so-called Electric Cooperatives.  Sen. Nene’s counter measure then  was the provision in the law creating CDA that it is “the “sole registering office” of all types of cooperatives” and that all agencies of government which are doing registration especially the National Electrification Authority (NEA) must turn-over the registering power to CDA but it never happened manifesting how powerful the electric cartel is.      Let us make the “Father of Cooperativism” our model in advancing “Transformative Cooperatives for People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace,” so that the cooperatives can become a countervailing force against poverty, gross inequities, social injustices, ecological turbulence due to climate change and violent extremism which is so alarming as manifested recently by a Filipino suicidal bomber.      Sen. Nene was not only the father of the cooperatives, he was a cooperative hero and champion, bringing a beacon of light during those martial law years and a beacon of hope amidst poverty and social inequities. In a world with so much veneration to the profit motive “that has captured the mindset of all governments, institutions, universities and religious group and denigration of spiritual values, Sen. Nene had indeed crafted cooperativism as the countervailing force to effect social transformation which is the real essence of cooperativism in a world beset with so much consumerism and materialism.      As Sen. Nene’s remains will soon be buried, what comes to my mind is the 12th stanza of the 17th century poem written by Thomas Grey in a Country Churchyard, to quote: “Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid, some heart once pregnant with celestial fire, hands that the rod of empire might have sway’d, or walked to ecstasy the living lyre.”      To our dearly-beloved hero, father and champion, you had lived with us with that “celestial fire” to advance cooperativism as a liberating force to make life better for the poor and the oppressed. Where ever you are, now with us, then with the stars and in the loving embrace of the Being, you must now walk to ecstasy the living lyre, all for God’s greater glory – with our firm salute and warm embrace.  All the more than 10 million members of the cooperatives all over the country are now shouting: WE LOVE YOU SEN. NENE! Marami pong salamat!

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Nat'l, local interventions underway to address IPs educational disparities in Mindanao

October 12, 2019

THE improve the access of ethnic groups to education, especially those who are in Mindanao, said Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) President Celia Reyes.   According to Reyes, it is important to reexamine the inequality of education among indigenous peoples (IPs) across the country, especially those in Mindanao, to identify their needs and help government come up with appropriate interventions that will equip them with the skill set required in the era of the New Globalization.   “One of the drivers of the New Globalization is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For us to be able to take advantage of the advances of modern technologies, we need to have a well-educated workforce—those who can easily adjust to new technologies,” Reyes stressed.   Reyes presented her study on ‘Inequality of Opportunities among Ethnic Groups’ during the Fifth Mindanao Policy Research Forum (MPRF) held recently in General Santos.   “Mindanao ranks low in terms of enrolment rates in basic education, literacy, and school completion (from grades 1 to 6), while it ranks high in terms of school dropouts. Regions 9, 12, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) exhibited the lowest net enrolment rates in elementary and secondary education in 2017. The net enrolment rates in Region 9 is 90.3 percent, 91.9 percent in Region 12, and 72.6 percent in BARMM,” she explained.   The study also showed that the net enrolment in elementary is higher than that of the secondary level. According to Reyes, one possible reason for this is because secondary education is costlier both in terms of direct costs, such as fees and transportation cost, and opportunity costs as older children can already be sent to work to help augment household income. She also noted that Regions 9, 10, and BARMM have the lowest completion rates in basic education and the highest dropout levels compared to other non-IPs across the country.   The completion rate for elementary education is 78.2 percent in Region 9, 79 percent in Region 10, and 62.1 percent in BARMM. For secondary education, Region 9 has 89.7 percent, 90.1 percent in Region 10, and 54.2 percent in BARMM.   In terms of dropout levels in elementary education, Region 10 has 1.8 percent, Region 9 has 2.4 percent, and BARMM has 11.5 percent. As to dropouts in secondary education, Region 10 has 7 percent, Region 9 has 7.4 percent, and BARMM has 14.1 percent.   Simple and functional literacy rates are also generally lower in Mindanao, particularly in BARMM, compared to other regions in the country. BARMM has 86.1 percent and 72.1 percent in terms of simple and functional literacies, respectively. Simple literacy refers to the ability to read and write simple sentence while functional literacy involves computational skills, among others.   The expansion of the coverage of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to include children in secondary education is one of the government interventions that addresses the inequality in education among IPs.   “We were happy when the Department of Social Welfare and Development took note of our recommendation to expand the coverage of the 4Ps. Dati kasi naka-focus lang siya to children in elementary but we pointed out that the problem really is in accessing education in the secondary level especially now that we have senior high school under the K to 12 program,” Reyes explained.   Another government initiative to improve IP education is the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) Program Support Fund (PSF) of the Department of Education. This program aims to address learning needs of IPs who lack access to basic education services, as well as make school curricula culturally responsive to the specific community context of IP learners, and capacitate teachers, school heads, and other concerned players in implementing culture-based education for IPs.   Local actions to improve access to, quality of educ   Meanwhile, Dr. Anshari Ali, Chancellor of the Mindanao State University-General Santos (MSU-GenSan), said their university is intensifying its efforts to help Muslim and other indigenous communities pursue education.   “We usually invite young people, including children of [those who are members] of revolutionary movements to join the university and study in order to become professionals so that they can help their parents in [improving] their economic conditions and in developing their cultural communities,” Ali said.   Ali also shared that MSU is enhancing its fundamental educational system by reintroducing Eastern tradition and teaching universal moral values and good moral characters based on religious injunction in order to produce young generations of wise, responsible, and upright professionals.   The local government of General Santos City is also doing its share to ensure that its constituents are given the opportunity to access quality education.   “As we are transitioning into a new phase of globalization, what local actions are being done by our local government? First and foremost, we prepare our people through adequate education. The city has focused on providing free early childhood education and scholarships for deserving and qualified college students”, said City Councilor and former Mayor Rosalita Nunez, who represented City Mayor Ronnel Rivera during the forum.   Nunez said the city’s Local School Board has developed a strong partnership with DepEd to continuously improve the quality of education to make it responsive to the demands of the New Globalization.   The MPRF is a regular event jointly undertaken by PIDS and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), in partnership with a local university. This year, PIDS and MinDA collaborated with MSU-GenSan. Launched in 2015, the MPRF is part of a series of activities organized every September to celebrate the Development Policy Research Month.

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