cagayan de oro

Archbishop who led anti-casino protest buried in CDO

August 7, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/07 August) – Archbishop Emeritus Jesus Tuquib, who led the protest against government plan to put up a casino in the city in 1993, was laid to rest inside the Metropolitan Cathedral here Wednesday morning.  Tuquib served as archbishop of Cagayan de Oro for 18 years. He was 89 years old. Current Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, a fellow Jesuit, led the Mass attended by five other Mindanao bishops. Ledesma said Tuquib succeeded in preventing the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) from opening a casino at the defunct Pryce Plaza Hotel overlooking the city. Believing that the casino will “gradually and surely destroy the positive and moral values“ of the Cagayan de Oro residents, Ledesma said the late prelate instructed all parishes to bring the people to the streets. Over 15,000 parishioners joined the march to Pryce Plaza Hotel on June 15, 1993, according to Monsignor Tex Legitimas, then the vicar general of the archdiocese. Legitimas said Tuquib and the late Cagayan de Oro Mayor Pablo Magtajas led the parishioners in marching up the hill where Pryce Plaza Hotel stands to show their resolve. He said Tuquib later sent a letter to then President Fidel Ramos reminding him that Pagcor “should operate in areas where there is public acceptance”. Ramos relented and ordered Pagcor to stop its plan to open a casino. “That was Tuquib’s legacy to Cagayan de Oro which until today has remained casino-free,” Ledesma said. In 2001, Tuquib also figured prominently by leading the protest marches against former President Joseph Estrada who was accused of corruption and later on forced to step down. Tuquib, a native of Clarin town in Bohol, was the first Filipino archbishop of Cagayan de Oro. The first archbishop, Santiago Hayes, was an American, and his successor, Patrick Cronin, was an Irish Columban missionary. Tuquib served as bishop of Pagadian Diocese before becoming archbishop of Cagayan de Oro Following tradition, he was buried alongside Cronin and Hayes at the back of the Cagayan de Oro Metropolitan Cathedral. Father Cerilo Isnani, Tuquib’s constant companion said Tuquib’s remains was placed in a donated expensive white coffin. Before the donation came it was placed inside a poor man’s coffin, Isnani said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

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Burial of bishop who kept Cagayan de Oro casino-free set Aug. 7

August 5, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 04 August) – The burial of this city’s former archbishop, who successfully led a campaign to block the entry of a casino, has been set on Aug. 7. Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said Archbishop Emeritus Jesus B. Tuquib would be interred at the Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral in keeping with Church tradition. Two other former bishops – James Thomas G. Hayes and Patrick Henry Cronin – were also buried at the cathedral.. Tuquib, the first Filipino archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, died last Aug.. 2 after a long illness that brought him in and out of hospital. He was 89.. Appointed on Jan. 5, 1988, Tuquib was the first Filipino prelate of the Cagayan de Oro diocese since it was founded on Jan. 20, 1933. When he retired on March 4, 2006, Ledesma took his place. The Cagayan de Oro faithful best remember Tuquib for leading protest actions against the operation of a casino in the city in 1993. The absence of a casino in Cagayan de Oro until today is a legacy of Tuquib’s reign as leader of the Catholic flock here. In 2001, Tuquib also led rallies demanding the resignation of then President Joseph Estrada because of corruption. Estrada was forced to leave the Palace by people power. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)  

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CDO Archbishop Emeritus Jesus Tuquib dies at 89

August 1, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 1 Aug) – Archbishop Emeritus Jesus Tuquib of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro died late Thursday afternoon after a long, lingering illness.  Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said Tuquib “passed away quietly at 5:30 p.m.” at the Maria Reyna - Xavier University Hospital.  He said Tuquib served as archbishop of Cagayan de Oro for 18 years, from 1988 to 2006. Tuquib retired on March 4, 2006. As archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, Tuquib led a successful protest action against the opening of a gambling casino in a local hotel here. He was born on June 27, 1930 in Clarin, Bohol. Tuquib was ordained as bishop of Pagadian on May 29, 1973 until 1984, when he was named as Co-Adjutor Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro. Archbishop Ledesma said funeral details will be announced later. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

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Xavier Ateneo seeking Jesuit approval for campus of the future

July 20, 2019

Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (XU) is seeking approval from the Jesuit central leadership in Rome to develop a new campus for XU Higher Education Colleges on 21 of its 63-hectare Manresa property in uptown Cagayan de Oro (CDO). As part of the process of seeking approval, Xavier Ateneo is conducting stakeholder consultations with parents, students, faculty & staff, alumni of XU; and CDO civic & government leaders. The objectives of the consultations are to present the proposed project, raise concerns, address issues, and generate possible solutions. The consultations will ensure a forward-looking and comprehensive masterplan. For the past decade, XU has been considering moving most of its operations out from its 6-hectare main campus in downtown CDO to provide a better learning environment for its college students. The current campus in Divisoria has been found to be too congested; too noisy from outside traffic and from activities in the covered courts and football field; and at risk of flooding. For almost three years now, the XU Board of Trustees has been developing a masterplan for a campus of the future. After considering several national real-estate players, the Board chose property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) as its partner in developing the proposals for this new campus project. CLI was recently recognized as the Best Developer in the Philippines by Property Guru Philippines Property Awards. The planned campus of the future will feature well-designed school buildings and administration facilities that will cater to several academic and technical courses such as Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Business & Management, Computer Studies, Education, Engineering, and Nursing. The campus will also be adaptable to future developments in academic disciplines and technological innovations. Main masterplan elements will include an abundance of open spaces and greeneries – a main plaza, interconnected courtyards, sports facilities, an amphitheater, and a University Forum which will incorporate a museum, theatre, and a gallery. The state-of-the-art Manresa campus will provide innovative spaces for learning, pioneering research, artistic expression, whole-person formation and experiencing excellence. The new main campus will retain the 25-hectare forest reserve in Manresa. It will be near XU’s 12-hectare basic education campus at Pueblo de Oro, allowing integration of campuses for greater efficiency and modernization. The College of Agriculture facilities (e.g. demonstration farms, workshops, field laboratories) presently located in Manresa is envisioned to be transferred to XU’s 104-hectare property in Bugo known as El Gaucho. The Aggie facilities will be reconstructed and upgraded there. To finance the construction of the new campus, XU is proposing to sell around 14 of the 63-hectare Manresa property to CLI. CLI plans to develop a township project which will integrate complementary commercial, residential, office, and leisure uses to the Manresa campus town. XU is also proposing to sell around 4 of its 6-hectare property in Divisoria. CLI plans to convert this portion of the Divisoria campus into downtown CDO’s Central Business District, with XU’s Church of the Immaculate Conception at its heart. In the project proposals, Xavier Ateneo will continue to be present in downtown Divisoria with the University Church and a redesigned campus for the XU School of Medicine, College of Law and most of its graduate programs. XU will retain 2 of the 6 hectares of the Divisoria campus. If the new campus project is approved by the Jesuit authorities, it is expected to be developed over an 8- to 10- year period. The new campus is proposed to be named the Masterson Campus honoring the visionary Jesuit Fr. William Masterson SJ who foresaw the potential of Manresa in the 1960’s. This proposed masterplan for a campus of the future is in line with the Jesuit university’s strategic plan to be the best university in Mindanao and among the best in the Philippines especially as Xavier Ateneo moves forward to celebrating its centennial in 2033, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. ###

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RIVERMAN’S VISTA: Reopen the Lumad schools!

July 20, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 19 July) -- On July 13, the order mandating the temporary shutdown of 55 Lumad schools operating under the nonprofit Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Centre Inc. in the Davao region became public. The order was hinged on the findings of National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who heads the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. According to the task force’s report, the closure was based on the finding that the Lumad schools deviated from the curriculum set by the Department of Education, and that the students were taught by the school officials to rebel against the government, among others. The task force also considered a statement from Melvin Loyod, a former teacher at one of the schools, to be persuasive in the decision to order a closure. In the statement, he claimed that teaching materials included the anthem of the New People’s Army and firearm instruction. Many individuals and groups have since expressed their dissent with this decision, with Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate stating that Education Secretary Leonor Briones can be filed with graft charges for arbitrarily shutting down the schools without due process. In this article, written with my lawyer colleague Joy Reyes, I argue that such closure of Lumad schools is in violation of domestic and international laws, and that instead of closing these institutions, the government should instead provide support for their continued existence. Lumad schools   This most recent closure is not the only instance where Lumad schools were accused of indoctrinating children. In 2017, President Duterte claimed that these Lumad schools are operating illegally and threatened to shut them down. Since then, plenty of other claims have been made against the creation and operation of these schools, which has prompted many rights groups and representatives of the communities to clamor for the saving of Lumad schools. Situated in areas that government schools may not be able to reach because of their geographical isolation, these Lumad schools are the main sources of instruction for many of the children in the area, where literacy, numeracy, and skills are taught by mostly volunteers. The curricula of these indigenous peoples are also slightly different from those in other places because of the circumstances affecting their location and the socioeconomic realities of the communities. For this reason, in 2015, the Department of Education adopted the indigenous people (IP) education curriculum framework in order to provide guidance to schools. This was a response to the need to design a curriculum that is culturally-responsive and appropriate. Its materials are contextualized to the community and is composed of concepts that are relevant to the community, including respect for their cultural identity and ancestral domain. Such a method of instruction envisions to empower the communities and, according to then DepEd Secretary Luistro, “enable learners to be future culture-bearers, capable of exercising their right to self-determination as they interact with other cultures.” It is for this reason that I am in support of the Lumad schools. One must also know the context of this recent decision by the DepEd and see the big picture of what this is about.   Context of the closure   This is not the first time the national government, upon the egging of the military, has clamped down on Lumad schools. During the Aquino administration, there was even a wave of killings of Lumad leaders in 2015. That led me to write an article in Rappler “Leave the Lumad alone!” where I explained what was happening: “Why should we care about the Lumad? We must be concerned because they are among the poorest and marginalized in our society. “The Lumad are also among the most peaceful and gentle, and therefore the most vulnerable. When provoked however, like their counterparts in Luzon and the Visayas, the Lumad fight back as they have done with the Spanish and American colonizers and the national government in the more recent past. Because many of the island’s natural resources, especially minerals, are in Lumad territory, they are frequently attacked and their ancestral domains encroached upon by outsiders. Such development aggression in turn becomes the breeding ground of the national democratic revolution and the communist insurgency.  “There will be no peace in Mindanao and in the Philippines if the rights of the Lumad are ignored and disregarded. Even the successful establishment of the Bangsamoro will not lead to peace without the full inclusion of the Lumad.” My perspective on this is based on my experience of having worked in many Lumad areas for 30 years now as an environmenta l and human rights lawyer. I know the dynamics very well in Lumad areas and am aware that are two elephants in the room here – at a superficial level, the communist insurgency and the national democratic revolution which finds the Lumad squeezed between the military and the New People’s Army; But at a deeper level, this is about control over natural resources, especially the minerals, that are abundant in Lumad territory. I also wrote in 2015 about the complicity of DepEd in what was being done to the Lumad, repeated again today. Knowing the good people that led the department then and are leading the department now, I have to assume that they did and do not intend to marginalize the Lumad more. But these are the unintended consequences when redbaiting propaganda is accepted without question. People die as a result when that happens. School are closed at the detriment of childre Domestic and International Law   No less than the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines mandates the State to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make education accessible to all. Section 2(4) of Article XIV provides that the State shall “encourage non-formal, informal, and indigenous learning systems, as well as self-learning, independent, and out-of-school study program particularly those that respond to community needs.” Section 17 of the same Article states that “The State shall recognize, respect, and protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to preserve and develop their cultures, traditions, and institutions.” Finally, Section 22 of Article II dictates the State’s recognition and promotion of the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. Being the supreme law of the land, the Philippine Constitution calls for the protection, preservation, and celebration of indigenous communities, including the Lumad, and their right to an education that is relevant to their needs and the needs of their communities. In order to alleviate concerns after the closure, the Department of Education has pronounced that the 11,000 Lumad students may enrol in public schools. However, such is a violation of the fact that Lumad students, being part of the indigenous communities, have different learning priorities, and should be taught using the medium that is most relevant to them. Such is the concept of self-determination. In addition to the Constitutional provisions, Republic Act No. 8371, or the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997, provides that the State shall provide a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education, without prejudice to their right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions by providing education in their own language, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.   On a global scale, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) defines the rights of indigenous peoples, including, but not limited to, their ownership rights to cultural expression and education. It reaffirms that the indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind, and it recognizes the urgent need to respect and promote these inherent rights which stem from their political, economic, and social structures. Article 13 of the UNDRIP provides that indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems, and literatures. In the next article of the UNDRIP, it says that they have the “right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning,” and that “indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.” This document encompasses the responsibility of all member-states to uphold the dignity of their indigenous peoples, and to work alongside them in order to solve global issues. All told, it is evident that over the last couple of decades, it has been witnessed and internationally acknowledged that indigenous peoples comprise a significant number of the population. Gone are the days when indigenous peoples are ignored when it comes to policy-making. Today, with their increasing populations and their continued contributions to the development of the nation, they are rightfully put to the forefront. Our indigenous peoples are the first to be affected by natural calamities given their geographical locations, and oftentimes are the last to receive governmental aid should these calamities strike. They are the first to feel the effects of rapid industrialization, and usually the first to be displaced from their communities when it happens. It is precisely because of these that they should be even more empowered. Reopen the Lumad schools! The indigenous peoples, and the Lumad students specifically, should be given the opportunity to learn more about their culture and how to preserve it, learn more about their environment and how to defend it. They should be taught in a manner that upholds their dignity both as a Filipino citizen and a member of their community. Instead of having their schools taken away from them, where they are taught tools that are valuable to their daily living –tools that may not be taught in the mainstream educational system– the government should instead support these schools and ensure their continuous operations, not close them down and leave the Lumad students in a state of loss. The Lumad schools underlie the realities of the Lumad struggle and equip the students with skills necessary for them to navigate daily life, including not just literacy and numeracy but also agriculture, weaving, and working. They empower the Lumad youth and impress upon them their individual human rights, especially in the areas where the schools are located which are usually heavily militarized. They are run and taught by teachers, many of whom are volunteers, who, despite the lack of facilities and manpower, still continue to educate the youth. Truly, to allow and support the continued operations of the Lumad schools is for the betterment of our Lumad students, and for the betterment indeed, of our nation. For the sake of justice and the future of Mindanao, and for the children of the Lumad, reopen their schools!

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73 OFG-compliant PUVs deployed in Northern Mindanao

July 18, 2019

The deployment of the units highlighted the launching of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) in the region held at SM City Cagayan de Oro on Monday, July 15.   Among those featured was a Euro-4 compliant double-decker tri-axle bus which will ply the Cagayan De Oro-Bukidnon route.   DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade who led the launching was amazed by the amenities of the bus saying it is the first time that he saw a double-decker bus with wifi, tracking system, CCTV, and other amenities plying a long-distance route.   In his message, he instructed the LTFRB in the region to ensure that transport operators and cooperatives follow the mandate of the modernization program.   In order to soften the impact and assist small operators who will be affected by the PUVMP, he said a special loan program with Landbank and DBP is being proposed which will provide access to operators and drivers to adequate funding.   Tugade was accompanied by LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III and LTFRB Region 10 Director Aminoden Guroduring the inspection of the units.   Delgra thanked transport operators and cooperatives in the region for supporting the PUV modernization program. He said the transport coops are the backbone of the modernization program which aims to bring commuters to their destinations safely and comfortably using modernized and environment-friendly vehicles.    The PUVMP is a flagship initiative of the Duterte administration that envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable public transport sector. It aims to make public transport safe and comfortable for commuters and drivers alike. 

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