todays top stories

MisOcc mayor shot dead in Cebu

October 26, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - An incumbent mayor of Clarin town in Misamis Occidental was ambushed and shot dead by still unidentified heavily armed men Friday (October 25) while he was brought by a police car to the fiscal's office for inquest proceedings.  The victim was identified by police authorities as Mayor David Navarro of Clarin town in Misamis Occidental, Mindanao. He was peppered with bullets by one of the gunmen which caused his instant death a few minutes later.  The unknown suspects on board a white van, according to police investigations, were heavily armed with M14 armalite rifles when they ambushed the mayor on his way to the fiscals office. The mayor was arrested on October 24 after facing several charges for allegedly assaulting a male masseur at the hotel along Fuente Osmeña in Cebu City. Mayor Navarro, report said, was in Cebu attending a workshop-seminar regarding development plans of Clarin town. The said workshop was held at the hotel in Fuente Osmeña, while the massage parlor was also located at the hotel's third floor. Police investigation disclosed that around 2pm on Friday, October 25, the Mahindra police mobile carrying the mayor was waylaid by heavily armed men while negotiating a curve along Velez St., in barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.   Based on information gathered by police investigators at the National Capital Region Police Office, Mayor David Navarro was related to Dante Navarro, leader of the Alferez Robbery Group, and was reportedly enjoying the full support of druglord Herbert Colango.   Last October 19,2019, a few of the jewelry shops inside J Centre Mall in Mandaue City was robbed by still unidentified suspects believed members of the Alferez Robbery Group. Five of the suspects were later arrested in Pulangbato pier in Bogo City. The arrested suspects reportedly fought back at the police which also caused their deaths, police report said. A police investigation later identified some of the suspects as members of the Alferez Group. Meanwhile, the mayor of Cebu has already ordered a thorough investigation of the ambush that took the life of Clarin, Misamis Occidedntal Mayor David Navarro.  

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City Hall happy with latest CDO Competitiveness Rankings

October 25, 2019

The Cagayan de Oro City Government expressed its satisfaction with the city’s latest competitiveness rankings. Cagayan de Oro was ranked as the 7th Most Competitive City in the Philippines in the Highly Urbanized City Category during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held 24 October 2019, at the Reception Hall, Philippine International Convention Center. “We’ve very pleased-and proud-of CDO’s latest CMCI rankings,” said City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno. CMCI stands for Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, an annual ranking of Philippines cities and municipalities based on a tool developed by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) with the assistance of United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Department of Trade and Industry, through its Competitiveness Bureau recognized LGUs with exemplary performance in the four pillars of the index – Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure and Resiliency. “Firstly, over these years, we’ve consistently been in the country’s Top 10 Highly Urbanized Cities,” Moreno stressed. “Secondly, in each of the four pillars, CDO was in the Top 10 also.” Cagayan de Oro ranked #2 in Resiliency, #6 in Government Efficiency and #10 in both Infrastructure and Economic Dynamism of the latest CMCI rankings. Although Cagayan de Oro slipped to #7 from its #5 overall ranking last year, it recorded improvements in government efficiency, climbing to #6 (from #7 last year and #16 in 2017), and Economic Dynamism jumping 3 ranks to #10 from #13 last year (from 15th in 2017). It slipped one rank from #1 to #2 in Resiliency after rising 21 ranks in 2018, and five to #10 in Infrastructure (from #5 last year and in 2017). “Thirdly, 4 HUCs outside Metro Manila (two from the Visayas and two from Mindanao) landed among the country’s Top 10 HUCs, a clear statement of the competitiveness improvement of HUCs in these areas.”   The two cities in Mindanao which made it this year’s Top 10 in overall competitiveness were Davao and Cagayan de Oro, while Bacolod and Cebu were the two which made it from the Visayas. The four cities maintained their competitiveness rankings from last year, with Davao (4th), Bacolod (8th) and Cebu (9th) remaining the only cities along with Cagayan de Oro outside of Metro Manila which made the Top 10. Despite the slight slippage from last year’s overall competitiveness rankings, Moreno still remained ebullient and praised the close public-private partnership which made it possible. “I’d like to thank CDO’s bureaucracy and our community for this sterling record.” A total of 1,518 LGUs participated in this initiative and awards were given to LGUs in four categories: 3rd to 6th Class Municipalities, 1st to 2nd Class Municipalities, Component Cities, and Highly Urbanized Cities. For the fourth year, Quezon City was overall most competitive Highly Urbanized City (HUC), making it to the CMCI Hall of Fame. Manila was second followed by Davao City in 3rd place. Antipolo City was the overall most competitive Component City (CC), with Calamba, Laguna and Santa Rosa, Laguna in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. Cainta, Rizal reclaimed its top spot as overall most competitive 1st-2nd Class Municipality, while Taytay, Rizal slipped to second spot, followed by Baliwag, Bulacan in 3rd place. Mambajao Camiguin again tops For the 3rd-6th class municipalities, Mambajao, Camiguin again topped this category followed by San Remigio, Cebu (2nd) and Baler, Aurora (3rd). Mambajao placed first in economic dynamism and third in government efficiency. It also topped the CMCI rankings for the overall category in 2015. Rizal Province was adjudged the most competitive province overall for the fourth consecutive time, with Laguna 2nd and Cavite at 3rd. All three provinces are from the CALABARZON region. "I am glad to hear that more and more Local Government Units (LGUs) are seeing the importance of the CMCI project," said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. “The CMCI now has 1,518 cities and municipalities, from 122 cities and 163 municipalities in its pilot run in 2013. Beyond being an annual ranking event, it is a vital opportunity for policymakers and public officials to see where things are, compare it to past performance, and relate it to the experience of other localities. As such, the program serves as a driving force to do better, to be more innovative, and to utilize and manage resources more effectively," he added. Most improved LGUs DTI also recognized local government units that significantly improved their performance in the CMCI. For the HUC Category, Valenzuela and Malabon shared the top spot, followed by Angeles, Pampanga (2nd) and Parañaque and Caloocan (3rd). For Component Cities, Meycauayan, Bulacan topped the list, while Tangub, Misamis Occidental and Toledo, Cebu tied for 2nd place and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan ranked 3rd. For 1st-2nd class municipalities, Plaridel, Bulacan ranked 1st followed by Pandi, Bulacan (2nd) and Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija (3rd). For 3rd-6th class municipalities, Poro, Cebu was the top placer, followed by Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija (2nd) and Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur (3rd). (with a report from DTI)

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BREAKING NEWS: Ex-Vice Mayor Acenas, 4 others arrested in Cebu for "double your money investment scam"

October 24, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Former Cagayan de Oro City Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas and four others were arrested Tuesday (October 22) in Mandaue City, Cebu Province during an entrapment operation conducted by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7). Their arrest came after alleged victims of their alleged  "double your money scheme" reported to police authorities. Investors in Cebu reportedly complained regarding their presence in the Visayas and how they were lured to invest millions of pesos to the alleged investment scam. CIDG-7 agents conducted surveillance operations for more than 2 weeks and later botched their entrapment plan and agents acted as investors and met the group at a cafe in Mandaue. When both parties already exchange money and products, fully armed CIDG-7 agents who acted as back up immediately swooped down at the cafe and arrested the suspects. CIDG-7 case investigator identified the suspects as former Cagayan de Oro City Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas, 43 of Xavier Estates; Ailyn Matulac, 41 a resident of Green Meadows Subdivision in Davao City; Arjon Gumban, 26 of Mlang, North Cotabato; Maria Esperanza Makinano, 34 of Camp Alagar, Cagayan de Oro; and Adjector Daya Jr., 35 of Purok 6, Barangay Tugbok, also in Davao City. Initial investigation disclosed that Ailyn Matulac was the chief executive officer of Phoenix EA Holding International Inc. Complaints pointed to her as the leader of the group. Meanwhile, former vice mayor Acenas also denied involvement in the group but arresting operatives maintain their position that the vice mayor was with the group who transacted to them. MDN tried to contact the former vice mayor to shed light on the issue but failed. He was unavailable for phone interview yesterday. Acenas told investigators he was also a victim of the groups false promises and he is willing to testify against them in court to prove his innocence. Acenas was dragged on the alleged investment scam after he joined with the group during the supposed pay ins made by CIDG operatives who acted as investors. CIDG-7's Police Major Edwin Lacostales said the actual target of the entrapment was actually Ms Ailyn Matulac but since Matulac was with the group, her companions were also arrested. Matulac, according to CIDG-7 will be charged with estafa, while her companions including former vice mayor Acenas, are still to be interrogated to confirm their alleged involvement to the "double your money in 45 days scheme." Lacostales told reporters the group would assure the victims of promised return of their investment after 45 days. And this did not happen, prompting more than 10 investors to report the scam to police authorities in Mandaue. It took the police at least a week to hold surveillance and properly identify those involved in the scheme. The compainants also reported that the alleged scammers  would entice their alleged victims of 30 percent return of investment (ROI) in 30 days only, OR double if they choose to be paid after 45 days.  ###  

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Recuerdos de Ayer: - The salad days of Nene Pimentel, Journalist

October 24, 2019

(We are bringing back this updated vignette on Cagayan de Oro’s beloved statesman first published in Business World back in 2006 as our tribute to his heritage to us journalists in the Cagayan de Oro Press Club where he was a member for life.) Mrs Bing Pimental and co-teachers CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Even before he was cutting his teeth as a lawyer and teacher, Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., without question one of this City of Golden Friendship's Golden Boys, started out as a cub reporter for the Mindanao Star, then the No. 1 weekly newspaper in the city.   The late Manuel Quisumbing, Sr., who was fondly known as Mr. Q, was editor-in-chief and the future Senator of the Philippines was in the company of an illustrious band of writers and journalists who represented the cream of Cagayan de Oro's men and women of letters at the time: Sarah Velez, Ronulfo Sabanal, Pureza Ramos, Eustaquio Gonzales. "The newspapers of that time tended to be more tame and sedate than those we have today. News which used to be relegated to the tabloids then are now making headlines in the broadsheets." Eventually, Nene became Legal Counsel for the Cagayan de Oro Press Club when he finished law school and passed the bar. He was also appointed in the same capacity for the Mindanao Press Club in 1963, when Mr. Q became president of that organization. Later, when Nene was elected as the Cagayan de Oro delegate to the Constitutional Convention of the 70's, he rejoined the media as a columnist for Mindanao Star. He also wrote a column for The Manila Times for a year in 1994. We asked, “Is there a basis for government's criticism of today's media as overly critical of the present administration to the point of overlooking its good points and accomplishments?” "There is a basis for the criticism. Negatives are emphasized more than the positives. Crime, sex and violence are sensationalized. However, overall, we are beginning to get responsible reporting. The Philippine Daily Inquirer's battle with the windmills of influence in this country is good for the nation. The Philippine Star is also fast gaining the same reputation.” “However, the print media in Cagayan de Oro today tends to be abrasive and condemnatory of public officials without convincing evidence of their allegations, thus maligning people in the process. Sources are not always verified and grave abuse has been committed in a number of cases. I hope our journalists could be a little more concerned about people even if they are in public office and the basis for complaints regarding the public service should be properly verified.” “On a scale of 1-10, the local print media is 7 on the average, with a lot of room left for improvement. In contrast, newspapermen of Mr. Q's heyday in the Mindanao Star were first and foremost trained to be accurate in their reporting.  Mr. Q was a veteran newspaperman who was also an instructor for the journalism course then offered by Xavier University, and his writing, as well as those of the reporters working under him, were founded on accuracy." The former senator has also authored four legal tomes to date: “The Local Government Code of 1991: The Key to National Development and Barangays” and “The Local Government Code,” both published by Rex Book Store; “Cooperatives: Theory and Practice” and “Primer on Cooperatives,” both published by Cacho Hermanos. However, he is in the process of writing a totally different book entitled “Politics and Religion,” started while he was still in the Senate and which he personally works on a little at a time. The book is based on his experience in politics and reflects his desire “to stress the fact it is time to imbue our political process with a spiritual dimension which should permeate the whole political spectrum.” “We have the spirit of renewal in the hearts of our people as the only Christian nation in the Far East. New generations actively handling political power should not forget we can start renewing only when you go back to the fundamentals of your religion, as long as he believes in God to use his talent and make religion relevant to his life as a citizen.” “The Ten Commandments tell us “Thou shall not steal,” yet politicians steal all the time. It likewise tells us “Thou shall not kill,” yet politicians are probably responsible for more deaths than any other professions.” Nene also wrote a column for Teddy Berbano's “MoneyAsia” and Oscar Jornacion's “California Express,” a Filipino-American newspaper based in the US. Nene never forgot his journalistic roots and at the height of Martial Law in 1982, he signed Executive Order 241 in May 1982 mandating every last week of May as Press Freedom Week, the first ever such celebration in the world, even predating the United Nations declaration of World Press Freedom Day in 1993 by over a decade. Former Cagayan de Oro Press Club President Gerry Orcullo recalls: "But he was not afraid, and because of that unbending courage, we will persevere and continue the search for truth," Orcullo stressed. The Cagayan de Oro media community recently celebrated the 37th anniversary of Cagayan de Oro Press Freedom week last May 26-31, 2019, as it had unfailingly done during the last 37 years. Nene was born on December 11, 1933, in Claveria, Misamis Oriental (coincidentally the same year as the establishment of the Ateneo de Cagayan.  He spent his high school up to law school (1948-1959) at Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan as a bright and remarkable student and leader, earned his law degree and  passed the Bar the 1959. In April 1960, he married Lourdes “Bing” de la Llana, and they had 6 children, among them future senator Koko Pimentel and future Human Rights Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel Gana. Nene became the dean of Xavier's College of Law from 1962 to 1967. The 1967 edition of the Xavier University Yearbook edited by Rico Nazario was dedicated to outstanding XU graduates, among them Nene Pimentel. Nene was XU High School Class 1952 and became dean of the XU Law School in 1967. Xavier 67 Yearbook cover The tribute to Nene on the 1967 Yearbook reads: “From the class ’52, Aquilino Pimentel Jr. has risen to occupy the seat of the Dean of the College of Law of Xavier University.” “Commenting on his profession, he stated that the practice of law is interesting and challenging. Interesting, because there never is a dull moment in the study and trial of a case. Challenging, because one’s convictions are often put to the test whenever a case is accepted and tried in the courts of law.” And Nene, a former moderator of the Xavier University Law School Journal, never flinched in his defense of press freedom as demonstrated by his successful defense of the two staffers of The Varsitarian, the University of Santo Tomas school paper, in 2011 against a libel case filed against them by one of the country’s most prominent businessmen, who was represented by one of the country’s top law firms. Not only did he help draft their counter-affidavit, but appeared in their behalf during the preliminary investigation that the case never made it to court and was dismissed by the Makati prosecutor. As quoted in the recent editorial by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pimentel expressed his decision to take on the case: “Speak out when you see something wrong. We are a democracy, that is the job of the people,” he had said time and again.  “One of the most fundamental freedoms accorded to citizens like us who live in a democratic country is the freedom of speech and of the press,” said the closing paragraph of the counter-affidavit he helped draft.  “If no law can abridge our freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, we submit that no whimsical complaint [s]hould be allowed to trample upon the freedom of the press [w]hich we exercised in our student publication with due care and without malice even if the attempt is made by wealthy and presumably powerful individuals,” Pimentel wrote in conclusion of the counter affidavit. (Thanks to Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz, XUGS Class 1967 for reconstituting Nene’s picture from this yearbook. Monching is the CEO and President of MUSE Books and Media Wise Communications, publishers of a series of award winning books on the Jesuits and the Ateneos including the latest multi-awarded and internationally recognized On the March: The Jesuits in the Philippines since the Restoration and Jesuits in Mindanao: The Mission.)

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3 suspects in cop slay arrested after six years of hiding

October 24, 2019

ILIGAN CITY ----- The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CDIG) turned over to court on Tuesday, October 22, three suspects who killed a policeman and attempted to kill his companion, after they were arrested early morning on Monday (October 21) in Barangay Cadayonan, Munai town, in Lanao del Norte. The law enforcement operation was conducted jointly with the Special Action Force based in Iligan City. Police Captain Jerome Villegas, head of CIDG Lanao del Norte Provincial Field Unit, said the suspects identified as Alnor Panontongan, 35; Kairodin Mutto, 35; and Abdul Razzaq Mutto, 26, all residents of Munai, were arrested by virtue of arrest warrant issued by Judge Ali Balindong of Regional Trial Court Branch 6, Iligan City. The suspects are also also bringing another name: Alnor Panontongan as Komine Malo Panontongan, Kairodin Mutto as Norodin Baunto Mutto and Abdul Razzaq Mutto as Mahid Baunto Mutto, as indicated in the arrest warrant. They are suspects in the killing of a PO1 Mohammad Nur Mutto, who was a cousin of the suspects, and his companion identified as Saaduddin Jalaludin in 2013 in Barangay Matampay, also in Munai. The arrest warrant was issued in 2014 according to Villegas. Mahid was listed as number 4 while Norodin was number 6 most wanted persons of Munai Municipal Police Station. Aside from the three targets in the arrest warrant, five other men were also arrested for firing at the arresting officers when they arrived in the area. “There was exchange of fire for few minutes. Good thing no one was hurt and we successfully disarmed the five men and arrested them,” Villegas said in an interview. The armed men, Harry Panontongan, 23; Naiem Mutia, 35; Jebber Mutto, 28; Almasan Mutto, 20; and Abduljabar Abdulazis, 26, are charged with violation of Republic Act 10591 or the illegal possession of firearms. Villegas said these personalities are newly-identified members of a Raphakar group that engages in gun running and illegal drugs in Lanao del Norte and neighboring provinces. They were committed yesterday to the provincial jail in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.  

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Cagayan de Oro is 7th Most Competitive Highly Urbanized City in PH

October 24, 2019

Images courtesy of Kag. Jay Roa Pascual Cagayan de Oro has been ranked as the 7th Most Competitive City in the Philippines in the Highly Urbanized City Category. The latest rankings were announced during the  7th Regional Competitiveness Summit  held 24 October 2019, at the Reception Hall, Philippine International Convention Center. The Department of Trade and Industry, through its Competitiveness Bureau recognized LGUs with exemplary performance in the four pillars of the index – Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure and Resiliency. Cagayan de Oro ranked #2 in Resiliency, #6 in Government Efficiency and #10 in Infrastructure and Economic Dynamism. A total of 1,518 LGUs participated in this initiative and awards were given to LGUs in four categories: 3rd to 6th Class Municipalities, 1st to 2nd Class Municipalities, Component Cities, and Highly Urbanized Cities. Awards for the Most Competitive Province and Most Improved City and Municipality will also be conferred this year. (RMB)  

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