cagayan de oro

Army brigade lauded CHR for specifically demanding the NPA to stop recruiting minors and cease from utilizing them as child warriors.

December 10, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Army's 403rd "Peacemaker" Brigade based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon expressed appreciation to the initiatives and prompt action of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) calling on the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA), as non-state armed group, to respect and adhere to the provisions of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). CHR specifically demanded the NPA to stop recruiting minors and cease from utilizing them as child warriors. In a statement released by CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia, the CHR said, “The Commission strongly denounces the use of child soldiers in armed conflict. Nothing can justify this deplorable practice. Under the International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, even non-state armed groups must respect the prohibition to recruit and use children in armed conflict and hostilities. We remind all armed groups that the use of child soldiers constitutes a war crime.” The government has been condemning the CPP-NPA for its deception activities in schools and communities to recruit minors for later utilization as child warriors, mostly victimizing Indigenous People youths and students. Parents were crying for the loss of their children as they were taken by CPP-NPA to bear arms and fight the government.  The IP children were promised that their families will be receiving compensation and food supplies upon entry to CPP-NPA. While these seem impossible, many children were deceived and victimized. Former NPA members that have returned to the folds of law and are now leaving a new life with their loved ones can attest to this.  "It pains us to see children’s rights being violated and children being used for the selfish desire of the communist terrorists to take control of the government and bring an end to our democratic system," said 403rd Brigade Commander BGen Edgardo De Leon  "We are hopeful that the investigation of this crime against humanity will commence soon. We shall fully cooperate with CHR in their investigation and provide assistance if necessary. We can help them interview former rebels who were recruited and utilized as child warriors. As soldiers, we reaffirm our commitment to respect International Humanitarian Law in the performance of our constitutional mandate of protecting the Filipino people," De Leon added. (403rd Infantry Bde, PA)

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Xavier University has a new president

December 9, 2019

The first Jesuit University in the Philippines and the first university in Mindanao has elected a new president. In a memo dated December 8 posted on its website, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan Board of Trustees Chairman Francisco F. Guerra III announced the election of Fr. Mars Platino Tan, S.J. as the new university president “after a thorough search and discernment process.” Tan will succeed incumbent president Fr. Roberto C. Yap, S.J. who has been elected president of Ateneo de Manila University effective June 1, 2019, the same day Yap takes up his new assignment. Tan has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame Australia; an MS in Environmental Science from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Q.C., M.A. Theology from the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University, and B.S. Biology from the Ateneo de Davao University. Born and raised in Surigao del Norte, Tan has been engaged in various capacities in Mindanao including teaching High School Instructor as a Jesuit Volunteer in 1984-86 at the Ateneo de Davao University Branch, Compostela, Davao del Norte;  High School Instructor (Jesuit regency), 1992-94 at the Xavier Ateneo High School in Cagayan de Oro City and still teaches as an Assistant Professor –College Biology Department, XU since 2009 to the present and previously as Director of Xavier Ateneo’s McKeough Marine Center from 2010 to 2015, and again in  2017 – 2019. Tan is also currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Xavier Ateneo and the Xavier Science Foundation, Manila Observatory, Child Fund Philippines and Institute of Social Order. His priestly/Jesuit ministries include the Jesuit First Studies Sub-community (Vice-Superior and Formation Team member - 2001 to 2007), Assistant Parish Priest in Bukidnon (1998-2001) and currently as Rector of the XU Jesuit Community  since 2009. Tan has had a lifelong engagement  as a True Blue Steward of the Environment through his teachings and advocacy, research and publications, most prominently as the proponent of the Jesuit Universal Apostolic Preference, “To collaborate in the care of our Common Home,” very responsive to the call of Pope Francis in his landmark encyclical, Laudato Si.   His PhD Dissertation on Sedimentation dynamics of the Cagayan de Oro River Catchment and its             implications for the coastal marine habitats of Macajalar Bay and MS Thesis in Environmental Science Seedling survival and growth responses of Enhalusacoroides (L.f.) Royle using  bamboo “pipes” under outdoor culture conditions were borne out of his  actual experience in leading XU Projects like   Ridge-River-Reef Project(R3), Mineral Recovery Project, XU - 2012 to 2015, 2017; Mangrove Mapping in Macajalar Bay; Coral Resource Assessment and Marine Debris Audit, Barangays Bayabas, Macabalan, and Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City. Tan has been recognized for his scholarly and academic achievements among which are Most Outstanding Nicolanian (MONICA 2017) in Environmental Science by the Saint Paul University-Surigao, Surigao City; International Postgraduate Research Scholar (IPRS) Award  and University Postgraduate Award (UPA), University of Notre Dame Australia; University and College Scholar, University of the Philippines Diliman and Cocofed Scholar, Ateneo de Davao University. Besides his affiliation with the Society of Jesus and Jesuit Volunteer Philippines, Tan is also affiliated with the Philippine Association of Marine Sciences, Federation of Institutes of Freshwater and Marine Sciences, National Research Council of the Philippines and NAUI Scuba Divers. “We thank Fr. Mars for his gracious acceptance of this important mission of leadership,” the university memo  concluded. “We also thank Fr. Bobby for his enormous contributions to the University and Northern Mindanao over these past nine years. Let us keep Fr. Mars and Fr. Bobby and our beloved Xavier Ateneo in our prayers.” (RMB)

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4ID commemorates Bonifacio Day with LGUs and stakeholders in Cagayan de Oro City

December 5, 2019

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – On the observance of the entire Nation on the commemoration of Bonifacio Day celebration, the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Army participated in the 156th Birth Anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio at El Pueblo A Sus Heroes Monument, Plaza Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday, November 30, 2019. The declaration of November 30 as a national holiday started when the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 2946 on February 16, 1921, making that day of each year a legal holiday to commemorate Bonifacio’s birth. Bonifacio was a national hero and he is often called “the Father of the Philippine Revolution”. At around 5:00 o’clock in the morning, some 90 Diamond troopers composed of honor guards, firing party, marching band, security elements and general staffs led by BGen Oliver T Vesliňo, the Assistant Division Commander of 4ID, assembled in the Heroes Monument, Plaza Divisoria, this city for the Bonifacio day celebration. Also, thousands of people coming from various government and non-government agencies, civil society organizations, people’s organizations and other stakeholders participated and have shown their full support during the celebration crowding Plaza Divisoria early in the morning. Meanwhile, the activity started with the sounding of sirens at around 7:00 o’clock in morning. A formal program immediately followed wherein a mass wreath laying highlighted the event participated by various agencies and sectors headed by Hon. Oscar S Moreno, the city mayor, together with BGen Vesliňo. The program ended with a meaningful message coming from Mayor Moreno which emphasized on EO 70, the Whole-of-Nation Approach in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict. MGen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander of the 4ID said, “Let us look back with pride on the heroism done by Gat Andres Bonifacio. The freedom that we enjoyed today was paid by the blood, sweat and tears of our brave heroes. We should cherish the freedom which was entrusted to us by our forefathers. It is everybody’s  By 2028, a world-class Army that is a source of national pride “Honor. Patriotism. Duty” responsibility to take good care of our country’s future as we are going to entrust it also for the new generations to come. “I urge everyone to do your share, let us join hands to fight insurgency and end the local communist armed conflict in order for us to attain lasting peace and sustainable development in Regions 10 and Caraga.” Gacal ended

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The refurbished Metropolitan Cathedral among the 14 Christmas attractions in Tangub City

December 5, 2019

(PHOTO) The refurbished Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lord of Transfiguration also known as "Palo Cathedral" in Leyte is among the 14 Christmas attractions in Tangub City during this year's opening of "Festival of Lights."  - Photo by Ercel Maandig

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Markado goes home: a Kagay-anon Filmmaker's homecoming

December 5, 2019

Kagay-anon Film Marker Joe Bacus’ Markado: The Moon Devourer is the first ever full-length film to be made in Cagayan de Oro decades after Lorenzo M. de la Serna’s Sa Imong Lawas ug Dugo. A live action film combined with doll animation, the film follows the story of Sab, a transporter for local drug cartels. Amidst an imminent war between her superiors, Sab also deals with her dying grandmother's last wish that she bear a child. When Sab learns that she's barren, this leads her to darker practices and revelations. The film boasts a mix of drugs, dolls, and aswang folklore resembling a smorgasbord of influences and references from Bacus’ earlier works such as Ika-3 Putahi (2014), The End of War (2014), and his seminal short Happy Fiesta (2014), all of which have won awards and been programmed in national and international film festivals. After the premiere of Markado at QCinema International Film Festival 2018, it has since been featured in a slew of film festivals such as Fukuoka International Film Festival 2019, Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival 2019, Binisaya Film Festival 2019, and Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival 2019. I sat down and talked to Joe Bacus about his film and how this film developed into what it is. RV: The most striking thing to me about your film is the mixture of live action and doll stop motion scenes. Would you care to elaborate about how this came to be? JB: It was a creative choice I had to make when we were having trouble with the live action unit. We ran short of time and some of the actors couldn’t be bothered outside the projected shooting schedule. Recasting them wasn’t a choice either since our budget couldn’t allow for reshoots. So I decided to purchase dolls as actors and shoot the remaining scenes with them in place. RV: Would you rather have shot everything in live action? JB: At the time of production, I would have said yes. But now, I don’t think that would be the answer. The mixture of live action and stop motion scenes seems to add another facet of meaning to watching the film and I definitely like that about Markado. RV: So the pressure was high for you since you were about to produce Cagayan de Oro’s first full-length feature film after decades? JB: It was high but I try not to think about it a lot. As you know, I really advocate to put Cagayan de Oro on the map in terms of filmmaking. But even then, the pressure that got to me was not about Markado being the first full-length feature film to come from CDO after decades but rather, it was more about making a film that I can be proud of showing to the world. After all, I am an artist first before being an advocate of CDO’s film scene. RV: So I guess the last question would be what’s next for Joe Bacus? JB: I am currently starting a homegrown film festival here in my hometown called Cine de Oro Film Festival and we are set to show Markado as the opening film in Limketkai Cinema 4 this December 15, 2019 at 10AM. We’re selling tickets at Kanto main branch for P145  and a discounted price of P100 for students. I am really hoping we can share this film to as many Kagay-anons as we can because this is what our festival is about. I believe we can start a new wave of filmmaking here in Cagayan de Oro. We already have some talented filmmakers here and the only thing that is lacking is our unity in making a movement. So as a Kagay-anon filmmaker, I’ll do my very best to help make that happen. Stay tuned for updates about Cine de Oro very soon. Tickets for the screening of Markado: The Moon Devourer in Limketkai Cinema 4 on December 15, 2019 10AM are available for purchase in Kanto main branch and its off-site stall in front of Xavier University.

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Taskforce asks groups to help the govt against communist insurgency

December 4, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Region X made a call to the people’s organizations (POs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and civic organizations (COs) in the region to help the government address communist insurgency. MGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, RTF-ELCAC X Technical Working Group (TWG) chairperson and commanding officer of the 4th Infantry Division, said the capability, competence, and commitment of these groups in humanitarian aid, grassroots initiatives, local spaces for peacebuilding dialogues, and conflict resolutions and reconciliation programs are vital in attaining just and lasting peace and sustainable development in Northern Mindanao. Forum for Sustainable Peace and Inclusive Development The RTF-ELCAC X on Monday, December 2, organized a forum for sustainable peace and inclusive development with more than one hundred participants coming from the different POs, NGOs, and COs in Northern Mindanao. The forum was conducted in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) and Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc.(BMFI). The forum aimed to provide a venue to discuss and identify areas of convergence and complementation between the RTF-ELCAC TWG and POs, NGOs and COs in the region in implementing the Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) program in identified priority and focus areas. In his welcome remarks, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the bottom line of the whole-of-nation approach is Bayanihan.  He also emphasized the importance of solidarity in attaining lasting peace. “Mindanao has lived divided and polarized for far too long already. It’s about time that we leave the bias and prejudice behind, we leave the conflict and division of Mindanao behind, and learn to live in peace and harmony in spite of our diversity. Let us be united not only for Northern Mindanao but for the entire Mindanao,” he said. “As we pursue this agenda, we can attain peace and order that will lead us to growth and development. Hopefully, we can sustain it and see Mindanao becoming the land of fulfillment, a land of sustainable growth and development,” he added. Dialogue Towards Harmony Archbishop Antonio Ledesma underscored the need for understanding the root causes of inequality and the lack of basic services to remote communities. “If we can continue with local peace conversations, where we can bring together representatives of remote communities and representatives of the government agencies then there can be an acceleration of development projects in the right place,” he said. He further said that the government and non-government organizations have different services to offer and if these can be harmonized through convergence and dialogue, then they can build a society that is peaceful and developing for all. “We hope that with this gathering, the church and other church leaders can continue our roles as facilitators and mediators of development. It is important for government agencies to have this linkage so that we can bring to their attention what are the needs of the communities that see themselves as being deprived and being left out in the development process,” he added. Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Ariel Hernandez, the co-chair of the Joint Normalization Committee, said one of the keys to attaining just and lasting peace is reconciliation and social healing.  “While we talk about social conditions and how to end the root causes of insurgency, one of the most difficult part of ending any conflict is how to close it. How do we bring the discussion of peace reconciliation and unity? How do we repair the emotions and relationships? The armed conflict may end but many will remain unhealed,” he cited. He said the POs, NGOs, and COs can come on board to help in local dialogues. The more that we are on the ground, the more we can be of help in pursuing localized peace and unification efforts. According to him, OPAPRU will also continue to pursue partnership and constituency building with NGOs and POs and church organizations. BRIDGE to Communities Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, NEDA-X Regional Director, said the PO, NGOs, and COs can help in communicating that “the government will try its best to bring services to where it is needed.” She considered the PO, NGOs, and COs as the BRIDGE of the government to communities and the people.  Addressing the PO, NGOs, and COs representatives during the forum, Cariño said, “We need you to Bring government closer to the people and people closer to the government, Relay to government what the people needs because government cannot be everywhere, Inform the people about their rights, and what the government can do for them, Develop programs and projects for the communities and bring them to the attention of government agencies for funding; Guide the people correctly and Empower them so that they can also determine the kind of development they want to attain. Meanwhile, Gacal said the support of the civil sector will be the last component that would interlink the three major sectors in the society – the government, private sector, and civil sector - to go full on steam towards ending local communist armed conflict. In October, a similar forum was conducted by RTF-ELCAC X to elicit the support of the private sector and channel their corporate social responsibility programs into the conflict-affected areas. “To effectively address the challenges brought upon by the root causes of insurgency, it is evident that the approach to peace and nation-building should go beyond what the military is doing. We cannot move forward without everyone’s help and support,” Gacal added.  In response, the participating POs, NGOs, and COs committed to support RTF-ELCAC in community mobilization and social preparation as well as in the provision of basic services to identified development-ready barangays. (APB/PIA-10)  

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