davao

9 injured as five-story condo partially collapses in Davao

October 31, 2019

 Nine persons were injured but only one was rushed to the hospital when portions of five-story condominium collapsed during the Magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck at 9:11 a.m. Thursday.  Capt. Nolan Tagsip, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office, said eight sustained minor injuries and were treated in an onsite ambulance while one was rushed to the hospital due to a laceration wound on the head.  Tagsip said the Himeji Building of the Ecoland Residence 4000 along Ecoland Drive has 56 units but only an estimated 15 units were occupied when the quake happened.  Most of the unit owners had abandoned the building following the Magnitude 6.6 quake at 9:04 a.m. two days earlier, on Tuesday. The quake then registered Intensity 6 in Davao City.  It is not clear how many occupants managed to get out of the building and how many are still trapped inside. Nine persons, however, have been accounted for as “injured.”  Paul Dumlao returned to his Unit 502 on Thursday morning to get some things after Wednesday’s quake forced him and other unit owners to “self abandon” what he said was a structurally unsound building.  “We didn’t trust the integrity of the structure,” said Dumlao, who has lived in that unit for about a decade now. He said they noticed cracks in the five-story building after the October 16 Magnitude 6.3 and more after the October 29 Magnitude 6.6 quake, and had in fact reported them to the management.  But safety engineers of the DM Consunji Inc., Dumlao said, repeatedly told them the building was safe.  The City Engineer’s Office, however, gave notice to the building’s owner on Wednesday that it is already not safe for occupancy and that it should be condemned. Dale John Llanario of Unit 413 said he was roused from sleep by the quake but he and his companions could not get out of the unit because the door got stuck between debris from walls that had collapsed.  He said they broke open some windows to get out of the building.  The city’s 911 responders were quick to reach the area that police immediately cordoned off. Also among the first to arrive was Mayor Sara Duterte, later followed by siblings Paolo, 1st district representative, and Sebastian, the city’s vice mayor.  The police identified the “rescued wounded” as Catley Ubas, 27 (head injury); Naser Inog, 27 (minor injury on right hand); Baswil Ledya (minor hand injury); Park Jung O, a Korean national, 61 (minor head injury); Christian Vicente; Ledy A. Notarte, 60 (head injury). “Death and/or Missing is not yet determined. Rescue Teams are still conducting rescue operations. Six vehicles were destroyed,” the DCPO progress report “re collapse of Ecoland 4000 condo” as of 11:30 a.m. said.

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Duterte's house suffers minor cracks

October 31, 2019

The residence of President Rodrigo R. Duterte sustained minor cracks after the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck parts of Mindanao Thursday morning, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Thursday. Go, Duterte’s former aide who was later appointed as special assistant to President, told reporters in an interview that the cracks were seen at the ceiling of the President’s bedroom on the second floor at his house in Doña Luisa Subdivision in Matina. He said the President was in his comfort room when the earthquake struck, the third major tremor that hit mainly North Cotabato in two weeks. Go said the President was safe after the earthquake. He added that Duterte would push through with his scheduled trip to Thailand on Friday to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit despite the destructive earthquake. “Don’t worry about our President because he’s safe,” the senator said. Go said they had Duterte’s 25-year-old house checked by an engineer to check its stability. He pointed out that the President’s residence is old, originally a one-story house. Duterte later added a second floor, but Go hinted that the house’s structure was probably designed for only one floor. 

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Alvarez to convene meeting on ‘People’s Initiative for Federal Constitution’

October 26, 2019

After several failed attempts in Congress, proponents of the shift to a federal system of government, are now pushing for people’s initiative as the mode to effect that change. Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Speaker of the House of Representatives from June 30, 2016 to June 30, 2018, is convening a meeting in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday, October 27, with leaders, including members of the now defunct Consultative Committee (ConCom) that President Rodrigo Duterte created last year to review the 1987 Constitution and propose amendments towards a shift to federalism. The October 27 meeting was mentioned in the eulogy for former ConCom member and former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., by Reuben Canoy, former ConCom member and like Pimentel, a former Cagayan de Oro City mayor.  The eulogy was written by Canoy and read by his daughter Rhona at the necrological service for Pimentel in Cagayan de Oro on Thursday evening. Pimentel and Canoy had been pushing for a federal form of government for half a century. “This Sunday, October 27, 2019, at the instance of former House Speaker Congressman Pantaleon ‘Bebot’ Alvarez of Davao del Norte, we are scheduled to meet here in Cagayan de Oro with our (ConCom) Chairman, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno,” Canoy said, adding that “Cong. Alvarez convened a group of governors and congressmen on his proposal to launch a People’s Initiative for a Federal Constitution.. Nene should have been part of this important meeting.” Asked if Sunday’s meeting in Cagayan de Oro is the launching of the “people’s initiative,” Alvarez told MindaNews in a text message: “discussion and consultation pa lang with some leaders.” Canoy said Pimentel’s death is considered by some as a setback to the federalism efforts but “God has a purpose for all of us, and every event has a meaning.” He added that instead of weakening the federal movement, Pimentel’s death has “aroused public sentiment and strengthened our resolve to carry out the historic political change that must be made now -- or the Philippines will remain forever mired in systemic problems that none of our leaders have been able to solve since we became a republic 73 years ago.” Pimentel was dubbed “Father of Local Government Code” as principal author of the landmark legislation to empower local governments within the framework of a Presidential, unitary system under the then newly-ratified 1987 Constitution.  During the campaign for the 2016 Presidential polls, then candidate Rodrigo Duterte pushed for the shift to a federal system of government. The shift however, can be done only if the 1987 Constitution is amended. Canoy noted that in Pimentel’s view, empowering the local governments through federalism “would enable the regions to develop themselves, and the nation’s economy to prosper by leaps and bounds -- to the point of eradicating poverty, the root cause of drugs, lawlessness, corruption and rebellion.” “When this happens, our country will have entered a golden age of peace and progress. In gratitude, many will look back and ask the names of those who made it possible,” he said. The ConCom in its recommendations to President Duterte in July last year, proposed the creation of 18 federated regions with powers to impose taxes and generate their own revenues. The ConCom said the “least disruptive transition” would be to stick to the present regional configuration of 17 administrative regions plus the Negrosanon Federated Region in Negros including Siquijor. Of the 18 federated regions, 16 would be symmetrical and two asymmetrical – the Bangsamoro and Cordillera regions. Concom senior technical assistant and spokesperson Ding Generoso in July last year explained that the  Bangasamoro and Cordillera have different designs from other regions because of their “identity-based demands.” The federated regions will have a regional governor, deputy regional governor and a regional legislative assembly. The 1987 Constitution provides for three ways to amend or revise the Constitution: Constitutional Convention, Congress convening as a constituent assembly or People’s Initiative.. Section 2 of Article XVII states that amendments “may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein.” The provision adds that “Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. In July last year, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said the House of Representatives cannot use the people’s initiative option to amend the Constitution because a law must be enacted first in order to implement this provision. 

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Marines discover marijuana plantation in Sulu town

October 26, 2019

Elements of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 7 on Wednesday discovered a marijuana plantation in Kalingalang Caluang town in Sulu while in combat operations in the area, the Western Mindanao Command’s Public Information Office said in a press release Friday night. It said the 1,800 square-mater marijuana plantation, located within the residential area of Adzhar Juamidim Mundoc in Barangay Masjid Punjungan,  could fetch an estimated cost of 3.6 million pesos.  The Westmincom report said the area was immediately cordoned off by troops of the 37th Marine Company and that the troops had subsequently coordinated with the barangay officials to determine who really owns the plantation. The MBLT-7 also coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Sulu for the PDEA-Sulu. Lt. Gen. Cirilo Sobrejana, chief of the Western Mindanao congratulated the Marines for this “very commendable accomplishment.”  “Our peace efforts do not only focus on ending terrorism but (also in) addressing its root causes which include the campaign against illegal drugs,” he said.

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Clarin mayor killed in Cebu ambush was in Duterte’s narco list in 2016 and 2019

October 26, 2019

The mayor of Clarin town in Misamis Occidental who was killed in an ambush along Velez St. in Cebu City Friday afternoon while on his way to the City Prosecutor’s Office for inquest proceedings was among those named in President Duterte’s ‘narco list’ in 2016 and 2019. Clarin  Mayor David Navarro was on his way to the prosecutor’s office a day after he was arrested due to complaints of physical injuries and acts of lasciviousness he was reported to have committed against two massage therapists on Wednesday night. The Cebu Daily News (CDN) reported that Navarro was wearing a bullet proof vest and was with two police escorts when shot by still unidentified gunmen at close range. CDN quoted Police Major Eduardo Sanchez, chief of the Abellana Police Station, as saying they did not notice the white van approaching and were taken by surprise by the ambush. Clarin was among those named in President Rodrigo Duterte’s August 2016 list of personalities allegedly involved in illegal drugs and in his March 2019 list of alleged narco politicians who should not be voted to office. In the 2016 list, Navarro was  erroneously referred to as mayor of “Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.” In the May 2019 polls, Navarro, who ran under the Nacionalista Party, got 12,164 votes against 6,587 votes received by the PDP-Laban’s bet, Marisa Villa Navarro was in Cebu City for a workshop on comprehensive development plans of the Clarin Municipal Government in a hotel with a massage parlor on the third floor.

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Davao, Mambajao among most competitive areas

October 25, 2019

Davao City and Mambajao in Camiguin emerged as among the most highly competitive cities and municipalities in the country this year, according to the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2019 of the National Competitiveness Council (NNC). Leading the Mindanawon cities and municipalities, Davao City, the only highly urbanized city outside Luzon that made the cut, emerged as the third overall most competitive highly urbanized city. Mambajao, on the other hand, placed first overall most competitive town in the third to sixth class municipalities category. Davao tailed behind the cities of Quezon and Manila, adjudged as the first and second most competitive highly urbanized cities, respectively. Davao’s ranking this year improved from fourth in 2018. According to NNC, the cities and municipalities are ranked on their competitiveness based on an overall competitiveness score, the sum of scores on four main pillars—economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency. It said Davao City placed third for government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency, except for economic dynamism where the city placed second, behind Pasay, in highly urbanized cities category, according to NNC. Aside from Davao, Cagayan de Oro placed second in resiliency pillar among the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines. Tagum in Davao del Norte placed second in government efficiency while Koronadal, second in resiliency among component cities. Meanwhile, Mambajao placed first in economic dynamism and third in government efficiency. Joining Mambajao is Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, adjudged as third in resiliency. Tangub, Misamis Occidental was declared second most improved component city while Tabina in Zamboanga del Sur as most improved town in the category of third to sixth class municipalities.

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