todays top stories

Cop hurt in an NPA highway ambush

July 19, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur-- A rookie policeman was hurt when gunmen believed to be New People’s Army rebels ambushed the patrol car they were riding along the national highway in Prosperidad town at around 9:00 am yesterday (Friday).      The rebels who were positioned on a hill peppered with bullets the moving police car as it passed by the village San Jose hitting Patrolman Carmelo G. Estioco on his combat shoes that penetrated on his feet prompting responding policemen to rush him to the nearby hospital.      All other policemen on board the patrol car of the Provincial Mobile Force Company were unscathed from the ambush.      Investigators believed there were injuries from the rebels side after finding some blood seen on the ground where the perpetrators were positioned.      On its Facebook Post, the Agusan del Sur Provincial Police Office has condemned what they called as treacherous ambush perpetrated by the leftist armed group even as the local police strives hard to keep the Province peaceful.      “They did this to threaten the people which caused fear to the populace, “ the statement said.

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2 suspects with P16.8 Million worth of shabu arrested in Cebu City

July 18, 2019

CEBU CITY (Visayas News digital, July 17) - A woman carrying paper bags, containing P8.8 Million worth of illegal drug known as shabu, was arrested Tuesday by police operatives during a buy-bust operation. The police have identified the suspect as a 21-year-old Judy Ann Longgakit. She was arrested during a buy-bust in Barangay Duljo fatima, Cebu City. But the suspect denied owning the paper bags, and instead pointed to Johnrey Jabagat as the true owner of the illegal drugs seized during police operation. Police Colonel Gemma Vinluan, city police office director, she clarified the real target was Judy Ann herself. The police official said she has been closely monitored for months now before an operation was conducted by the Mambaling and Guadalupe police precincts.  The police official said “Matagal na nilang minaman-manan tong tao to, si Judy."  Vinluan told the media that Judy Ann has been under surveillance after a previously arrested suspect confessed that she was the source of illegal drugs.  Police Major Dindo Juanito Alaras, Guadalupe Police Precinct chief has confirmed their office has been monitoring Longgakit for quite a while. But theh received info about her whereabouts, the police have immediately conducted the buy-bust operation.  Meanwhile, in separate operation last week, operatives of the Drug Enforcement Group busted last week over Eight Million Pesos worth of illegal drugs known as shabu during a buy-bust operation. During the operation, operatives recovered 48 sachets of the suspected illegal drug concealed in a tea pouch from the suspect, alias Landoy. Landoy, was known in the underworld as a member of one of the big drug groups allegedly operating in Cebu Province. DEG chief Police Lieutenant Glenn Mayam confirmed the operation of alias Landoy in the greater areas of Cebu Province. During interrogation, the suspect said it was his first "drug transaction" and told police probers that a certain 'Mark'contacted him and told him about a supposed drug transaction. Police operatives traced the whereabouts of Landoy thru a suspect earlier arrested by the Consolacion Police.     Initial findings by police investigators showed that drugs may have come from other countries because of the tea pouch used by the suspect. ###

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LTO men ambushed in Surigao City: 1 dead, 2 hurt

July 18, 2019

SURGAO CITY (Mindanao News digital, July 17) A leader of the regional enforcement team of the Land Transportation Office in Caraga region was ambushed Wednesday morning by still unidentified gunmen while going to Surigao City proper. The LTO team leader died on the spot while two of his companions survived the ambush. Police identified the slain LTO man as Felixberto Loayon, team leader while his companions were also identified as Rene O. Sinangute and Frede V. Frediewabina. They were hurt but luckily survived the ambush, police authorities reported.  Investigation by police investigators revealed that on July 17, the victims were enroute to Surigao City proper. But when they were already in Barangay Ipil, Surigao City, two unidentified gunmen alighted from the scene and shot Loayon which resulted to his instantaneous death. Police Regional Office 13 spokesperson Christian Rafols confirmed the death of the LTO team leader Felixberto Loayon.  Based on initial findings, the victims were onboard a vehicle going to the city proper, but upon reaching sition Bioborjan, barangay Rizal, undetermined number of gunmen peppered him bullets.   Meanwhile, Maria Kristina Cassion, LTO officer-in-charge and Regulatory Board in Caraga, claimed that the ambush could be “a retaliatory attack” on the agency’s massive drive against ‘colorum’ public utility operators. Cassion added “We are saddened by the untimely death of sir Loayon; he has been our partner and counterpart in the field in enforcement operations.” ###  

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Siargao in the Philippines voted the best island in the world

July 17, 2019

SIARGAO ISLAND (Mindanao News digital, July 17) - Wondering why many people especially travelers and surfers want to visit Siargao Island? The reason for this is, of course, the awesomeness and happiness this island in Surigao del Norte can offer to everyone. In fact, Siargao Island in the Philippines was just voted the best island in the world as compared to other great destinations! Isn't it nice and awesome guys! So, if you're planning to have a family vacation, then this awesome island is the best answer. Why? It's because Conde Nast Traveler readers has voted Siargao the best island destination all over the globe. Siargao is very popular and the place offers a lot of its splendor, including the big waves in Cloud 9, its wonderful cave for caving enthusiasts and a lot more. By just looking at the photos, you will be mesmerized by its nature coupled with very beautiful and attractive white beaches and palm trees surrounding the island. The island has a population of over a 200,000 people and many tourists consider the island a beautfiul paradise to discover.  You can't find international airport in Siargao, so that, if you want to visit the place for a weekend escapade with family and friends, you can fly to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and from Manila get another commercial flight and go to Surigao City, and from there you can arrive at your destination by bus, van rental or jeepney ride. Remember that your escapade in this small island in the Philippines is worth the experience of a lifetime because you are going to paradise called Siargao to enjoy life and the best that nature can offer during your stay. The island is absolutely perfect for surfing lover as you enjoy Cloud 9, one of the biggest waves of the world. Siargao is tagged as best and surfing capital of the Philippines for both newbies and international surfers. The crystal clear water in the island can surely give you great amazement of the beauty of nature in this part of the country.

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Go: Department of OFWs will end burden of Filipino migrant workers

July 16, 2019

In a phone-patched interview, over the weekend, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go explained the need to establish a new executive department that will focus on the needs and concerns of Overseas Filipinos particularly Filipino migrant workers or OFWs. Go said that the functions of government agencies must be streamlined in order to provide fast, accessible and quality services to the Filipinos working or based abroad and to aid their families here in the Philippines.  “We need to streamline the functions of government agencies to provide (fast) services. Huwag natin sila ipasa-pasa sa iba’t ibang ahensya. Kung lalapitan nila ang Department of OFWs, ito na po ang makikipag-coordinate sa lahat ng ahensiya ng gobyerno para matulungan sila,” Go said. Go added that President Duterte plans to certify as urgent the creation of the Department of OFWs so that Congress can act swiftly on the passage of the proposed measure. Go noted that President Duterte would like to put an end to manpower agencies that demand excessive fees from Filipinos seeking jobs abroad and to protect Filipino migrant workers from abusive illegal recruiters. This will be one of the primary functions of the department of OFWs once it is established.  “Gusto pong iwasan ni Pangulong Duterte itong nangyayaring illegal recruitment. Marami pong nagiging biktima nito. Humihingi ng saklolo, gustong umuwi. Itong magiging bagong departamento na lang po na ito ang lalapitan nila,” Go said.  In line with this, one of Go’s first legislative measures filed on July 02 is Senate Bill 202 or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019.  Senate Bill 202 seeks to address these issues, such as the need to improve coordination among concerned offices, hence the proposal to put them together under one roof to avoid finger-pointing among agencies concerned with OFW affairs.  The Bill proposes that the following agencies and their powers and functions, funds and appropriations, records, equipment, property, and personnel will be transferred to the new Department to be established: (1) Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); (2) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA); (3) Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO); (4) International Labor Affairs Bureau of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and (5) National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO).  The powers and functions of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs under the Department of Foreign Affairs and all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices and their officials under the DOLE will also be transferred to this new Department as stated in the proposed law.  “Itong Department of OFWs primarily para sa mga OFWs na lang talaga natin. Kasi alam niyo po, minsan kung saan-saan sila humihingi ng tulong at ng advice. Hindi nila alam kung saan sila pupunta,” he added. Go also assured the OFWs that they will not pay anything in excess in able to avail the services of the proposed department once it is done. He, likewise, said that he and President Duterte would push for the passage of the law and the completion of the creation of the Department of OFWs by December. “We will make sure na hindi po (dagdag na) gagastos ang ating OFWs sa gagawing bagong departamento. Nag-usap na rin kami ni Pangulo that he will certify it as urgent. Sabi niya kung maari by December maisagawa na ito,” he added.  Aside from the new department, Go said that President Duterte would also build hospitals specifically for Filipino migrant workers. The President is also eyeing to provide more livelihood assistance and trainings to migrant workers and those who wish to go back to the country as part of government’s reintegration program, the Senator shared.

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DOTr inaugurates six projects in Northmin

July 16, 2019

Biggest, most modern port passenger terminal launched CAGAYAN de Oro City--Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade announced six new key programs and projects for Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao during the July 15 inauguration of the biggest and most modern seaport passenger terminal building in the Philippines. PPA PMO Misamis Oriental Cagayan de Oro (MOC) Port Manager Isidro V. Butaslac, Jr. disclosed the key infrastructure has been in the back burner for the past decade and half. From a 300 square meter makeshift passenger shed in the 1980s to the conversion of one of the port’s warehouses to a temporary passenger holding facility in 2004, today after 15 long years of waiting the seaport of Cagayan de Oro is happy and the proud recipient of the most  modern and biggest passenger terminal building that can ably serve and afford passengers with the much needed comfort, convenience, safety, security and connectivity,”Bustaslac said. In his keynote speech, Tugade disclosed the programs and projects being launched or inaugurated during the occasion. Upon his arrival, Tugade said he inaugurated the new Opol seaport, which will help decongest the Cagayan de Oro Port by serving tramping vessels. “San Miguel Beer and Asia Brewery told me they will henceforth no longer proceed to the Cagayan de Oro Port to load and unload their cargoes, which help decongest the CDO Port and at the same time help create livelihood and business opportunities for Opol residents, “Tugade said. The DOTr Secretary also announced three key programs in relation to the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program. These included raising the Pantawid Pasada for all franchise holders from P5, 000 to P20, 000; the availability of scholarships for drivers, operators and their dependents; and the 5-6-7-80 (for 5% equity, 6% interest, 7 year term and P80, 000 subsidy) as the government subsidy to help franchise holders replace their overage jeepneys with modern vehicles for the safety of their passengers and mitigation of environment impact of pollution emitted by overage jeepneys and other PUVs. Third, Tugade launched a new extension office for the Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 10 at the SM City Cagayan de Oro Uptown Mall where he exhorted the regional personnel to exert maximum efforts to cut down the processing time for all renewals and applications. Fourth, Tugade inaugurated the new six-lane electronic gate complex at the Cagayan de Oro Port. The 6-Lane, ISPS compliant Electronic Gate Complex through Gate 3 will relieve traffic congestion at Gate No. 2 by providing 6-lane electronic controlled access to port users and eliminate long queues at the entry point.  This facility will be fully equipped with CCTV cameras, weigh bridges for cargo, electronic gates, and payment booths. The Electronic Permit System (EPS) and Electronic Payment System (ePayment) will be eventually embedded and complemented by the LTO’s Motor Vehicle Recognition System through the use of the RFID. (as part of system (RFID). Not the least, Tugade led the unveiling of the commemorative marker at the new Passenger Terminal Building at the Cagayan de Oro port, which he said is the biggest and most modern in the country. “This is the center point of the Visayas and Mindanao and will promote convergence and connectivity among the regions,” Tugade said. “This facility will also have a fully electronic body scanner which will do away with physical contact with the passengers for their increased comfort and peace of mind while traveling through this facility.” However, Tugade was not done yet and added to much applause that he was proceeding to Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental to order the extension of its present runway from 2.1 kilometers to 2.4 or 2.5 kilometers. “This will enable Laguindingan to accommodate wide body aircraft and vastly increase incoming and departing passenger traffic to this key facility to further promote business and tourism,” he added. At present, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Technical Working Group is still evaluation Aboitiz Infrastructure’s unsolicited proposal for a Public-Private Partnership to expand the airport’s passenger terminal. Even upon its opening in 2013, the passenger traffic through Laguindingan already exceeded its design capacity and its present volume of over 2 million passengers annually is already swamping the present facility.

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