cagayan de oro

Haze detected in CDO but “nothing conclusive yet”

September 18, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 18 September) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau has detected small amounts of the Indonesian haze over this city but said “nothing conclusive yet.” Florencio Dominguez Jr. head of the Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement in Region 10, said their air quality monitoring equipment detected the increase of particles in the air over Cagayan de Oro last weekend. Dominguez said they first detected a slight increase when their Thoren Air Sampler detected an increase to 34 micrograms from 25 micrograms last Saturday. He said their equipment monitored a spike from 34 micrograms to 54 micrograms last Sunday. Dominguez said the DENR has set the normal air quality at 50 micrograms “Our tests have nothing conclusive yet. We need more test results to come up with a trend,” Dominguez said. Unfortunately, Dominguez said only the DENR regional office in Barangay Puntod has the Thoren Air Sampler capable of detecting haze from Indonesia’s forest fires. He said the plan to set up similar equipment in Ozamiz City, Malaybalay City and one more in Cagayan de Oro has been set aside for lack of funds. “We have only one of this air sampler in the entire region,” Dominguez said as he showed reporters the equipment. The EMB in Cebu said they have detected the haze in the Visayas and SOCCSKSARGEN but have not linked it directly to the haze in Indonesia. Dominguez said it is possible that favorable winds have carried the haze to the Philippines with the prevailing southwest rains. He said they are hampered with the lack of monitoring equipment in Ozamiz and Iligan. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

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2 convicts freed under GCTA Law yield in Bukidnon

September 10, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Two convicts freed under the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law surrendered to authorities in Valencia City, Bukidnon on Monday. Supt. Surki Sereñas, chief of the Valencia City police, said Larry Canunay, 48, and Elias Berdin, 61, went calmly with the policemen who fetched them in their respective villages last Monday. Canunay was convicted for rape and arson on March 22, 1991 and have served his sentence for 28 years at the Davao Prison and Penal Farm until he was released last March 22, 2019. Berdin, on the other hand, was convicted for murder and frustrated murder on August 5, 1993 and have served 26 years in Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan until he was released last July 16, 2019. Sereñas said Canunay and Berdin immediately contacted their barangay officials after knowing that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the re-arrest of all heinous-crime convicts freed under the law. “They seemed to be resigned that they are going back to prison life which they have served for half of their lives,” he said. He said both convicts lamented that their friends no longer stay in their villages or had died while they were in prison. “They stayed mostly in their houses during the entire time of their release and rarely went out,” he said. He said the two will be sent back to the prison farms once they received the instructions from higher headquarters. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

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MESSAGE ON THE FEAST OF ST. AUGUSTINE

August 27, 2019

MESSAGE ON THE FEAST OF ST. AUGUSTINE Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ               As we approach the feastdays of Sta. Monica and her son, St. Augustine, on Aug. 27 and 28, we can also keep in mind this year's designation by the Catholic bishops as the Year of the Youth.  Sta. Monica herself never tired of praying for the return of her wayward son, Augustine, who in his youthful search for the truth in various philosophies had strayed away from the truth of his Faith.              Pope Francis, in his pastoral exhortation, Christus Vivit, addressed to the youth, reminds us that Christ is indeed alive -- for the youth and for all of us.  Youthfulness is a special grace and a state of mind for every human being.  The youth are not only the future, but the present of the Church -- in sheer numbers as well as in the living out of our Christian Faith.   The Church herself, in continuing Christ's mission to the world is "the real youth of the world", making possible for us "to encounter Christ, the companion and friend of youth."                Let us then celebrate our fiesta with the spirit of youthful joy in the presence of a loving and merciful God who is ever by our side to heal us and strengthen us as we confront the challenges in our society today.              Foremost among this is the call for waging peace, instead of waging war, among our tri-people communities in Mindanao.  Last February, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar issued a joint statement in Abu Dhabi on "Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together."  This was addressed to the world-wide Christian and Muslim communities to heed the call that "faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved."  In the face of long-held prejudices, armed conflict, and terrorist attacks against innocent persons, the two religious leaders "declare the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path, mutual cooperation as the code of conduct, and reciprocal understanding as the method and standard."             The joint statement in Abu Dhabi was also adopted by a gathering of bishops, presidents of Catholic schools and Muslim leaders in Davao on August 14, in support of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).  The religious leaders particularly pointed out the need for continuing the horizontal dialogue among ordinary Christians, Muslims and Lumads in daily life situations.  Their conference was aptly entitled, "Walking and Working Together for Healing and Reconciliation."             For us in the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, let this also be our standard in peace-building in conflict-ridden areas.  We can do away with the red-tagging of certain church groups, journalists and human rights lawyers who advocate addressing the root causes of un-peace.  We can also do away with the yellow-tagging of some church officials and political opposition leaders by the filing of sedition charges without credible evidence.              Another challenge confronting us is the care of our common home, our planet Earth.  Last July, the Catholic bishops issued "An Urgent Call for Ecological Conversion, Hope in the Face of Climate Emergency."  Here in our city, government officials have passed an ordinance for waste segregation while Xavier University has led the ban against single-use plastic containers.  The CBCP letter points out the moral basis of our response to climate emergency, intergenerational responsibility, the rights of Nature itself, and the commitment to live the spirit and principles of Laudato Si', Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment.              One measure that is now pending in our local legislature is the passage of an ordinance for the Payment of Ecological Services (PES), which would institutionalize the rehabilitation of our watershed areas to protect Cagayan de Oro River and other tributaries.  On our part, we can exercise the judicious use of water as indeed the source of life for our community and all living beings.             Let these threefold challenges then be our way of celebrating our feast day -- in a return to the youthfulness of our faith in an ever-present God;  in our efforts at building peace in Mindanao;  and in our care for the environment and integral ecology.  May the intercession of our Birhen sa Kota be our guide and protection.   #         

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CDO civic parade on eve of city fiesta draws biggest crowd ever

August 27, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Aug) – Thousands participated in the Higalaay civic-military parade here Tuesday morning and many more Kagay-anons watched it by the street side despite stringent security measures implemented by the local police. Major Ivan Vinas, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro Police Office, said more than 10,000 students, government employees, soldiers and priests joined the parade, a traditional event held the day before the city fiesta honoring Saint Augustine. Vinas said even dogs and clowns in colorful costumes participated in the parade, making it the biggest in the city’s 69-year history. “This is the biggest and the crowd really behave well following the orders of the police,” he said. Vinas said an estimated 30,000 people lined up along the parade route from Rodelsa Rotunda to Lim Ketkai Center, a stretch of 2.5 kilometers, via the city’s main thoroughfares. A big delegation of soldiers from the Army’s 4th Infantry Division spearheaded the 120 contingents that participated in the parade. Police implemented stringent security measures aimed to deter possible terrorist attacks. The two major phone companies – Globe and Smart – cut off their mobile phone signals during the duration of the parade, from 8 a.m. until noon. Vinas said they also imposed a “no wearing of hats and no backpacks” policy for the crowd. “We did not hear a whimper of complaints. The people just followed our orders,” he said. The tradition of holding civic-military parade a day before the Cagayan de Oro fiesta celebrating the Feast of Saint Augustine dates back after World War II ended. Historian Antonio Montalvan II said by tradition Cagayan de Oro celebrates its municipal fiesta on August 27 while the city celebrates its religious fiesta on August 28. “After the war, political and religious structures were more defined,” Montalvan said. He said there are old pictures of Cagayan de Oro residents riding World War II type vehicles participating in the parade. Montalvan said there are some suggestions that the tradition of holding civic-military parades began before the war. President Elpidio signed Republic Act No. 521, which granted the status of a chartered city to the Municipality of Cagayan de Misamis (the former name of Cagayan de Oro) on June 15, 1950. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

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Suspect in killing of Jesuit volunteer arrested

August 24, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 24 August) --  The suspect in the killing of a Jesuit volunteer and the wounding of her housemate last Friday afternoon in Pangantucan town in Bukidnon has been arrested. Police S/Sgt. Michael Villasan of the Pangantucan police station said the suspect, Arnold Naquilla, 36, a resident of Santo Nino Village in Pangantucan town, was arrested in his residence at around 5 p.m. Friday. Villasan said Genifer “Gen” Buckly, 24, and lawyer Anne Kathleen Gatdula 30, of Batch 40 of the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP), allegedly caught Naquilla stealing their belongings inside their boarding house early Friday afternoon. “We don’t know his motive year but Naquilla stabbed the victims instead of surrendering,” Villasan told MindaNews on Saturday. Lawyer Antonio La Vina, a Jesuit volunteer, Batch 2, said Buckly was “our first violent casualty in 40 years. One volunteer died of natural causes more than 20 years ago.” Villasan said Naquilla but was arrested based on the accounts of witnesses who saw him running away from the victims’ house. He said they brought Naquilla to the hospital where Gatdula was recuperating but the victim was “too traumatized” to see the suspect. “Gatdula is still in shock and traumatized by the incident,” Villasan told MindaNews by phone. He said they instead brought a cartographic drawing of Naquilla to Gatdula for identification. “Gatdula confirmed said Naquilla is the suspect but we know this is still circumstantial,” he said. Villasan said they are hoping Gatdula would be well enough to publicly identify Naquilla. Buckly, who is a member of  Batch 40 of JVP, has a BS-Secondary Education degree from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University in Zamboanga City. Villasan said members of the JVP went to Pangantucan on Saturday to bring Buckly’s remains to her hometown in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

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Oro officials join anti-dengue drive

August 20, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/20 August) — Local officials down to the barangay level have been mobilized to counter the spread of dengue fever which has widely spread in 10 barangays of the city. City Councilor Maria Lourdes Gaane, a physician who chairs the Sanggunian Panlungsod health committee said the local government is launching “Oplan Kontra Dengue” to get rid of the breeding ground of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species that carries the dengue virus. Gaane said all local officials down to the barangay level will be out on the streets to clean drainage canals and other possible breeding grounds of the mosquitoes. “It will be an all-out war today. We will fog the drainage canals and clean the schools today,” she said. This came after 184 more dengue patients were rushed to various hospitals over the weekend, doctors said. These included children from middle-class families. Dr. Ramon Nery, chief of the government-run JR Borja General Hospital said this raised the number of afflicted residents to 1,964 from 1,780 cases in the city last week. “We have to open more wards to accommodate the patients this week. Other hospitals  in the city have opened more rooms too,” Nery said. Cagayan de Oro ranks as one of the areas in Region 10 with the highest incidence of dengue cases. The City Health office reported 15 deaths from January to August 16 this year. Eight deaths happened between July and August. City Health Officer Dr. Fe Bongcas said the10 barangays with the highest dengue incidence are Canitoan, Lumbia, Balulang, Lapasan, Patag, Iponan, Bugo, Bulua, Macabalan and Macasandig. Nery said many of those afflicted with dengue came from the clusters of houses or middle-class neighborhoods families not the urban poor. He said many children got bitten by the mosquitos in schools. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

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