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Public, Private sectors optimistic on Gwangyang City sisterhood

November 14, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO - Both public and private sectors are optimistic the recent signing of a sisterhood agreement between Cagayan de Oro and Gwangyang City, 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.” The private sector led by the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Oro Chamber) expressed similar sentiments. “Thank you very much to all who participated in the weeklong preparation and work for the successful visit of the delegation from Gwangyang City, Republic of South Korea,” said Oro Chamber President Irene Floro. Floro said among the matters being considered for mutual cooperation between the two cities are technology transfer from both countries related to steel manufacturing, product exchange, the setting up of businesses in Economic Zones and a planned outbound trade mission to Gwangyang on March 2020. “To the local Government of Cagayan de Oro, our gratitude and thanks for paving the road for this partnership. The business sector will benefit from this partnership as we work closely with the Gwangyang Chamber,” Floro added.    Although Gwangyang and Cagayan de Oro have been sister cities since October 29, 2012, it was only last year when a delegation from the city visited Gwangyang to explore how the sisterhood agreement could be further substantiated. City Councilors Suzette Magtajas-Daba and Jay Roa Pascual, were joined by Oro Chamber President Robert Pizarro and former Vice Mayor Antonio Soriano visited Gwangyang last September 18, 2018. In his terminal report to the city council, Councilor Pascual, chair of City Council committee on tourism,  said the Oro delegation attended the sisterhood conference with representatives from other sister cities of Gwangyang from Indonesia, Japan, and China, among others. Of the seven countries and twelve cities represented, Cagayan de Oro was the only sister city of Gwangyang in the Philippines. Pascual presented the city’s current status updates on tourism, financial, business, infrastructure projects, during the symposium. Aside from the booklets about the city, a video presentation featuring the latest Higalaay Festival was also screened. The councilor  said the business sector of Gwangyang was impressed with the presentation and expressed their intention to visiting Cagayan de Oro. City Councilor Suzette Magtajas-Daba, chairman of the committee on Education and also a member of the committees on tourism said the delegation met Gwangyang City Mayor Jeong Hyunbok and Gwangyang Chamber of Commerce President Lee Baekoo. “The purpose of our visit was to strengthen our friendship ties by bringing it to a new level of cooperation and widening it to various fields-education, culture, tourism, business and commerce,” Magtajas-Daba said. Mayor Jeong and Mr. Lee promised to visit CDO soon for the MOA signing, she added. Besides Gwangyang, Cagayan de Oro currently also has sisterhood agreements with the cities of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States; Harbin City in Heilongjiang, China and Tainan City in Taiwan.

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Lima: Paghanduraw, HIV Monologues Part 3 to be staged this November

November 13, 2019

After a two-year hiatus, Lima: HIV Monologues is back for its third installment. First staged in December 2015, Lima is a collection of five stories about real people – mostly Kagay-anons – who share their experiences about the challenges they had to face because of HIV and AIDS. The stories are also about people who are caught in the middle of the fight for HIV and AIDS awareness. This year’s show will focus on “paghanduraw” or reminisce. The five featured stories will take us back to significant events in the lives of Olivia, Billy, Divine, Ethan, and Aaliyah – events that somehow changed the course of life for them. Like the two previous HIV monologues, Lima: Paghanduraw aims to educate and inform – and to remind us that awareness is just as important as prevention, especially since Cagayan de Oro is considered one of the hots pots – or an area with a concentrated epidemic. Likewise, awareness will help people understand that a person Living with HIV (pLHIV) should not be discriminated or condemned. The Paghanduraw stories will be brought to life by actors Christy Bacoto, Christy Aboniawan, Benjie S. Manuel, Kale Alphe Ramons, Zilpha Ibañez, John Teves, Karl Owen Sayson, and  Reynards Abaloyan Tan under the direction of Maia Fortich-Poblete. Lima: Paghanduraw will be staged on November 29&30, 2019, 6pm, at Viajero Outdoor Centre along Domingo Velez and Aguinaldo Streets (across Echo Store). The show is free but donations starting at PhP50 are encouraged. Proceeds of the shows will be used for various HIV and AIDS awareness campaign. (MFP)

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Pangandaman ambush: Gunmen scot free, police escort dies

November 13, 2019

ILIGAN City--The police escort of Masiu, Lanao del Sur town Mayor Nasser Pangandaman Jr. died on Monday afternoon, a day after he was hit by a bullet on his abdomen when unidentified gunmen ambushed the mayor's convoy on Sunday morning in Barangay Gata, Buadipos Buntong, Lanao del Sur. Colonel Madzgani Mukaram, chief of Lanao del Sur Provincial Police Office, on Wednesday said Staff Sergeant Jabbar Romato Pangandaman expired around 7 a.m. at Amai Pakpak Medical Center due to fatal gunshot wounds in his adbomen. The two other wounded civilian-companions of the mayor are now in stable conditions at the same hospital. The convoy of Mayor Pangandaman was on his way to the municipal hall in Masiu to preside the municipal peace and order council meeting when his convoy was ambushed by unidentified gunmen using high-powered firearms. Mukaram said after processing the crime scene, police have able to identify one possible leader of the gunment after a wallet with identification cards was left at the area where the gunmen positioned. "We cannot divulge yet the identity of the person of interest because we are still looking for witnesses who are willing to submit affidavit," Mukaram said. Following the recovery of the wallet at the ambush area, police is eyeing politics as the motive of behind the ambush. "The ID we recovered from the wallet led us to the possibilities na may pulitika ang motibo. Pero mas pinalalim pa natin ang imbestigasyon," Mukaram said.

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ML admin says Terrorists 'can no longer do a Marawi-type operation'

November 12, 2019

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, concurrent martial law administrator, does not favor a fourth extension of martial law in Mindanao beyond December 31,2019 because it has taken so long and because terrorists “can no longer do a Marawi-type operation.” Lorenzana told Defense reporters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday that terror threats are “under control na” and that “we have sufficient military and police in the area to ensure that terrorists can no longer do a Marawi-type operation.” He also cited the clamor of local government units to lift martial law, “such as Mayor Sara,” referring to the Davao City mayor and daughter, Sara, who proposed the city’s exclusion from martial law last June 20, at the 5th Davao Investment Conference. In August, the city’s legislative council passed a resolution requesting President Rodrigo Duterte “for the possible lifting of martial law in Davao City.” Lorenzana said he will wait for the recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) “but kung ako lang (but if it were just me), I will not recommend anymore the extension.” “Matagal nang masyado eh” (it has taken so long), Lorenzana said. The third extension of martial law ends on December 31, 2019 or 952 days after it was declared. President Duterte declared martial law while in Russia on May 23, 2017, barely eight hours after the first shots were fired between government forces and the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group and its allies on Day 1 of the Marawi Siege. The declaration covered all of Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities and was extended thrice from its original duration of only 60 days. When it was to expire, the President requested for an extension up to yearend 2017. In December 2017, two months after President Duterte declared Marawi “liberated from the terrorist influence,” he again asked Congress again for an extension until yearend 2018 and in December 2018, again asked for an extension until yearend 2019. From supposedly a period of only 60 days as declared under Proclamation 216, martial law was extended to 222 days until yearend 2017, to 587 until yearend 2018 and to 952 days until December 31, 2019. Lorenzana said they can “do the job” of countering terrorism, especially if Congress can strengthen the human security act, “then that’s a better arrangement than martial law.” Asked what he would do if the military recommends extension of martial law, he replied, they will evaluate the reasons of the military and the police and act accordingly. “Personally, I am not inclined to recommend its extension. Unless the AFP and PNP recommend otherwise. I will await their recommendation which I should receive before December,” Lorenzana added. Mayor Duterte in her July 8 letters to top military and police officials in the Davao region asked for an assessment “of the present overall security situation” in the city and that if it is encouraging, “may we request for a favorable indorsement from your office supporting our request for the lifting of Martial Law in the entire area of Davao City.” The mayor told the officials that while Davao City welcomed martial law when it was declared in May 2017, “we also acknowledge that being under Martial Law may have affected otherwise promising prospects for the City in terms of business and investments.” Davao City’s Sangguniang Panlungsod on August 6 this year passed a resolution sponsored by Councilor Maria Belen Sunga-Acosta, chair of the SP Committee on Peace and Public Safety, requesting President Rodrigo Duterte “for the possible lifting of martial law in Davao City.” The resolution cited the July 16, 2019 letter of Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos, Eastern Mindanao Command, to the Armed Forces Chief of Staff “favorably indorsing the City’s proposed exclusion of the entire Davao City from martial law.” “We support the exclusion of Davao City from martial law, provided that all present security forces in place and security measures and initiatives being implemented shall still be operational to avoid giving the terrorist groups an opportunity to stage another attack in any part of Davao City,” he said. The Philippine National Police’s regional director, Police Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, in a letter dated July 23, 2019, in his letter to Mayor Duterte, said the regional PNP “supports the recommendation of the city’s Martial Law exemption to give way for the favorable visions of Davao City in terms of business and investments.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

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John Gokongwei Jr, Philippine's 3rd richest man dies at 93

November 10, 2019

The country's 3rd richest man, John Gokongwei, died of a natural death last Saturday. He was 93 at the time of his death. John was the main man of Gokongwei's business empire. With his brilliant mind oozing with extraordinary ideas the family business is able to grow into a sprawling business empire in the fields of banking, real estate, air transportation, food and beverage, among others.   "Our beloved husband, father and grandfather John Gokongwei Jr. passed away peacefully 11:41 pm, November 9th, at the Manila Doctor's Hospital surrounded by his loved ones. Please pray for the repose of his soul. Details of his wake to follow. Rest In Peace, Mr. John," Lance Gokongwei told reporters in a text message. JG Summit Holdings, Inc, one of the business empire of the family, business executives and rank and file employees said they are mourning the passing of a great man, with super natural ideas, work ethics and his passion for business. "Mr. John, as we fondly called him, was a visionary. He was an inspiration to entrepreneurs and businessmen around the nation, with his pioneering ideas, his strong work ethic, his passion, and perseverance," it said in a press statement said to the media. John's remains now lie at the Heritage Park in Taguig. His wake will be from 12 noon to 10pm from Monday to Friday, while his funeral mass will also be hedld on the same venue on Friday. The family of the late John Gokongwei has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations would be given to the donors' respective charities. Meanwhile, Forbes Park has recently included JOhn in their list of Asias's richest businessmen. John ranked no. 3 in the Philippines with his networth of $5.8 billion. John said "I earned about P20 a day by working longer and harder than everybody else. But it didn’t matter since I really loved my work. I loved being an entrepreneur."  "And so all through the years, I stayed as an entrepreneur, loving what I did and working hard. And always learning from the school of life." In 2006, John donated P20 billion, or an equivalent to half of his shares in JG Summit Holdings to the foundation established by the family.  

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2 construction workers shot dead in Marawi

November 7, 2019

ILIGAN CITY -- Two construction workers died on-the-spot while another one was wounded when an unidentified assailant shot them around 7am on Thursday, November 7, at the national highway along Barangay Emmie Punud in Marawi City. The crime scene near Area 1 is a transitory shelter site in Barangay Sagonsongan, where more than a thousand families were displaced during the Marawi siege. Colonel Madzgani Mukaram, chief of Provincial Police Office in Lanao del Sur, identified the victims who succumbed to gunshot wounds and died on the spot as Jorge Ambad Butad and Arturo Nadayag Macasero while the wounded victim is Dave Ranario Morsua, all are residents of Matampay, Matungao, Lanao del Norte. Mukaram said the victims are working as carpenters of a house in Marawi City. They were on their way to work onboard a motorcycle driven by Macasero when still unidentified suspect flagged them down and had a brief conversation with the victims. "Suddenly the suspect without apparent reason shot the victims several times that caused the death of Butad and Macasero who sustained multiple gunshot wounds," the police report, sent by Mukaram, stated. The suspect then fled onboard motorcycle heading towards the direction of Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur. Morsua was brought to the nearest hospital for medical treatment. Police is investigating the motive of the crime. -end-  

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