MILF mourns Pimentel’s death; CPP describes him as “patriot”

October 20, 2019

The Bangsamoro people are one with the nation in mourning the death of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. on Sunday, Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said.   Pimentel, who was among the courageous Mindanawon leaders who fought the Marcos dictatorship,  contributed a lot in finding solution to the Mindanao conflict, Ebrahim stressed, as he expressed the group’s sympathies to his family.   “Senator Nene will forever be remembered by the Bangsamoro people for his very significant contribution to the efforts in finding genuine solution to the Bangsamoro problem,” Ebrahim said in a text message.   He added that since the administration of former President Corazon Aquino (1986 to 1992), Pimentel was among those “who worked very hard to attain peace in Mindanao until the recent conclusion of the peace process.” He was the Cory Aquino’s chief negotiator in the peace talks with the MILF in 1987.  No peace agreement was signed under the Cory Aquino administration but a peace agreement was finally signed on March 27, 2014 under the administration of Cory’s son, Benigno Aquino III: the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro which paved the way for the establishment of the BARMM.   The BARMM replaced the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao early this year, with Ebrahim appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the new region’s interim Chief Minister.   Ebrahim also expressed the sympathies of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to the family of Pimentel, founder of the Partiod ng Demokratikong Pilipino and “Father of the Local Government Code.”   The BTA which Ebrahim heads is the body tasked to govern the BARMM until its regular officials are elected in 2022.   In a statement issued on Sunday, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) described Pimentel as “a patriot, a democrat and friend of the Philippine revolution.”   “He locked arms with the Filipino people in their fight against the US-Marcos dictatorship. He was detained several times and accused of helping the underground movement,” the statement read. It also noted that in Pimentel was among 12 senators who voted on September 16, 1991 against a proposed treaty that would have extended the stay of American forces in Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base.   “He has steadfastly opposed efforts to distort Philippine history and depict Marcos as a hero. The Filipino people and youth thank him for keeping alive memories of past struggles. His lifestory inspires the people in their present resistance to tyranny,” the CPP said. 

Group asks Mayor Sara to sustain ban on pigs, pork products due to ASF

October 18, 2019

The Hog Farmers of Davao, Inc. (Hog FADI) has asked City Mayor Sara Duterte to sustain her Executive Order banning the entry of live pigs and pork products in Davao City after Local Governments Secretary Eduardo Año encouraged local government units in Visayas and Mindanao to lift the temporary ban on pork products. Speaking on behalf of Hog FADI, Alvin Teves, said lifting the temporary ban would endanger the local hog industry as the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to affect some parts of Luzon. The City Government of Davao has temporarily banned the entry of live pigs and pork products following the outbreak of the dreaded AFS in some areas in Luzon, 16 days after the Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of the disease in the country. In an executive order issued last month, the mayor said the temporary ban “applies to all live pigs, pork and pork-related products and by-products, whether fresh, frozen, processed or cooked, including but not limited to frozen boar semen, from the entire island of Luzon and the other ASF-affected areas.” The same measure prohibited the swill feeding to the backyard hog raisers to prevent the spread of the virus to other swine, as the food scraps may contain infected pork meat. Teves said his group is against the lifting of the temporary ban since the government admitted it lacked the facility to test the presence of the ASF in pork products. “Unsay i-protect sa DA sa amoa? Wala (What will the DA do to protect us? None),” he said. Last Tuesday, Teves said the Samahang Industrya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), the umbrella organization of various agricultural groups engaged in farming, fisheries, and livestock, of which Hog FADI is a member,  sent a letter to Secretary, expressing their concerns that lifting the ban “will run counter to the efforts that were put in place by several local government units like Bohol and Cebu in the Visayas and Davao City in Mindanao to protect the local hog industries from the global outbreak of the African Swine Fever.” Teves said checkpoints had been established at all entry and exit points, including airport and seaport, here to inspect the entry of the products so pork products from outside the city will not be brought in. He said Mindanao Visayas remain safe from ASF but added the LGUs have to remain vigilant. He said SINAG members emphasized that “there is no other sector that has incurred more losses because of the ASF outbreak than the hog industry as the processed meat industry is minusculeas compared to the P500 billion hog industry and allied businesses.” According to Teves, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) had confirmed that canned goods seized at the Clark International Airport last June 14 were contaminated with the ASF virus. “In that same month, more than 600 kilos of banned imported pork products from Belgium and another batch from Poland, but originating in Germany were seized by the City Veterinary Office in Cebu. Another shipment containing 4,000 kilos of imported frozen pork from Germany was seized in Sta Maria, in Bulacan last June 30,” he said. 

Family buried in DavSur town, 2 died and 3 rescued

October 17, 2019

 A family living in a far-flung community in Barangay Malawanit in the municipality of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur was buried in a landslide shortly after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Wednesday evening, killing the mother and her nine-month-old son. Anthony Allada, information officer of Magsaysay town, said that responders were able to rescue the father, identified as Joyjoy Lakay, and his two other children. But the rescue team failed to save the mother, 22-year-old Arjean Abondo, who was still cuddling her baby, Jayjay, when retrieved from among the debris. The rescued family members were immediately brought to the National Hospital in Digos City for proper treatment. Allada earlier confirmed that there were three recorded fatalities in Magsaysay, one of them two-year-old Chris Joy Chuan Roda, of Barangay San Isidro, who was pinned to death when the kitchen collapsed. The Roda family tried to bring her to the Gonzales Maranan Medical Center Inc. in neighboring Digos City but failed to reach the hospital alive. As of 7 a.m. Thursday, Allada said 21 residents were brought to different medical facilities in nearby areas—in Bansalan municipality in Davao del Sur, and in the cities of Digos and Davao. Many of those injured suffered from bruises and wounds on their feet, but a survivor had lost an arm after a concrete wall collapsed, according to Allada. “Most residents in the Poblacion were shocked and traumatized after the earthquake… Some residents also would not want to go back yet to their homes because of fear of the aftershocks. They slept on the streets, and brought tents and folding beds,” he added. Allada noted that several aftershocks were felt. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported 170 aftershocks as of 1 p.m. Thursday. Several houses in the Poblacion were totally and partially damaged, he added. Magsaysay Mayor Arthur Davin had already announced a suspension of work and classes both in public and private schools at all levels. He said municipal hall workers had already been advised not go inside the town hall, which had incurred partial damages. In a report released by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, some government buildings, schools, and houses had sustained damages. The Bala National High School, San Isidro National High Schools, and Doña Salud High School in Magsaysay, and Cor Jesu College in Digos City had incurred partial damages. At least 10 houses in Magsaysay were partially damaged while one house was totally destroyed.

Site preparations for Davao’s waste-to-energy project underway

October 16, 2019

 Despite the resistance of environmentalists here, Mayor Sara Duterte said the local government is pushing through with the waste-to-energy (WTE) project as among the programs and campaigns that her administration is undertaking to achieve a “cleaner and greener city.” In her State of the City Address (SOCA) at the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Monday, Duterte bared that the initial preparations for the site of the proposed WTE project in Biao Escuela, Tugbok District are already in progress. “The establishment of a waste-to-energy facility is on the planning stage, with initial preparations underway in an identified area in Tugbok District,” she said. As part of the city’s preparation for the WTE, Duterte said the local government plans to implement in the coming weeks a new garbage collection system to address complaints on the present garbage collection system of the local government. Under the new plan, Duterte said the standard collection point infrastructure will have a trash cage for the plastic bottles, sachets, wrappers, and plastic bags; and separate cages for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes. The biodegradable wastes will be collected by a separate hauler and will be brought to the compost pit of the barangay or the compost machine of the city government while the non-biodegradable will be collected by the city and segregated before delivery to the sanitary landfill. “An intensified information and education campaign targeting households, offices, schools, and business establishments will be pursued to involve as many people as possible to our new system in our collection points which will also prepare everyone for the eventual operation of the WTE,” Duterte said. She added that the local government has hired a “collection manager to oversee daily collection and project potential problems to ensure that collection is adjusted whenever there is an urgent need. We have tasked all barangay captains to adjust our collection points to accommodate the garbage increase.” In a statement, No Burn Pilipinas, a coalition of environmental advocates in the Philippines, opposed the construction of the WTE project, claiming that there are “documented failures of WTE from economic and investment perspectives and these are mostly from advanced and rich countries such as UK, Germany, and Australia.” The coalition said “emissions from incinerators contain heavy metals, dioxins and furans, which may be present in the waste gases, water or ash. Plastic and metals are the major sources of the calorific value of the waste.” “The combustion of plastics, like polyvinyl chloride (PVC), gives rise to these highly toxic pollutants,” it added. It said WTE is the most expensive way to produce energy. “It is 10 times costlier than coal-fired power plants and 4 times the nuclear. The one being proposed in Quezon City is said to produce 1kW at P524 while solar energy can be harnessed for only P53 or even less. These are just some of the reasons why WTE incineration in other countries are being phased-out,” it added

DPWH commits P2.6B for new roads and bridges in Davao next year – Mayor Duterte

October 15, 2019

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has committed to allocate P2.6 billion to build more roads and bridges in Davao City next year, Mayor Sara Duterte said. In her State of the City Address (SOCA) on Monday, Duterte said the DPWH would undertake more road and infrastructure projects in support of the local government’s “Peace Project” that is “envisioned to finally interconnect all the barangays of Davao City.” The DPWH here, however, said they do not know the details of the projects referred to by the mayor. “I have yet to ask what these projects are and their locations,” said DPWH spokesman Dean Ortiz. Boasting of the success of the localized peace campaign under the Task Force Peace 911 or Peace 911 program, Duterte claimed the Area Clearing Validation Board of the Armed Forces of the Philippines had declared all of the 13 barangays in Paquibato District insurgency-free.. Peace 911—comprising, among others, representatives the from City Social Services and Development Office, City Health Office, City Agriculturist's Office, and City Veterinary’s Office—was established by Executive Order No. 12 issued on May 10, 2018 as the implementing arm for the peace-building efforts of the city government. Peace 911 was the successor of the Davao City Advisory on Peace and Development (DC PEACE DEV), created in 2017 supposedly to conduct community consultations in pilot barangays and through which the localized peace talks with the communist guerillas operating within the city were supposed to happen. The implementation of Peace 911 had led to road rehabilitation, construction of school buildings, improved health services, and tourism and socio-economic activities in Paquibato. Duterte said the local government is expanding the campaign’s coverage to the city’s Third District. She added that Peace 911 is also “supporting the indigenous tribes in the city in the implementation of their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan and in strengthening their Indigenous Political Structures.” During Peace 911’s first anniversary last May, Duterte said the local government awarded P1.985 million to livelihood projects to 14 former rebels.

Davao del Sur’s Petecio is AIBA Women’s World Boxing champ

October 14, 2019

The new champion in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing featherweight class is a Mindanawon from Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur. The 27-year old Nesthy Alcayde Petecio on Sunday won the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia, less than 24 hours after 19-year old Carlos Yulo won the championship at the Artistic Gymnastics in Stuttgart, Germany. She is the second Filipino boxer to win the gold after Josie Gabuco in 2012. According to the website of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the featherweight class was the most crowded weight class of the championships, with 36 athletes. Petecio won against Russia’s Liudmila Vorontsova, 3-2. Five years earlier, in the 2014 AIBA tournament in Jeju, South Korea, Petecio lost to Russia’s Zinaida Dobrynina, 2-0 in the gold medal match. GMA News 7 quoted Ricky Vargas, President of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) as saying that Petecio "deserved the win not only because she fought brilliantly but also because she sacrificed so much for this.” "Am shedding tears of joy for her. Mabuhay ka, Nesthy!" GMA News 7 quoted him as saying. Vargas also credited Petecio's coaches Boy Velasco and Reynaldo Galido, ABAP’s head coach Pat Gaspi, including their foreign consultant Don Abnett for “a great job.” In March this year, Petecio was honored as “Best Female Fighter” in the 19th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Awards held at Okada Manila Grand Ballroom, for capturing the gold medal for the Philippines in the 1st Indian Open International Boxing Tournament held in February 2018. Sun.Star Davao reported that Petecio also pocketed golds in the 2nd Kapolri Cup Boxing Tournament Open in Manado, Indonesia, on July 9, 2018, in the 10th International Boxing Tournament in Honor of Konstantin Korotkov in Russia in May 2018 and in XXXV International Felis Stamm Tournament for Elite Men and Women in Warsaw, Poland in March. According to the Sun.Star report,  Petecio did not expect the award because she was not included in the PSA (Philippine Sports Association) Awards. It quoted the now Baguio City-based national boxing team mainstay as saying “Thanks to God og sa Elorde family kay ilaha gi-recognize ako mga achievements last year bisan wala ko naka-medal sa Asian Games (I thank God and the Elorde family for recognizing my achievements last year even if I did not win a medal in the Asian Games).” Petecio on August 5 this year, posted on her FB page that “when the world says ‘give up,’ hope whispers ‘try it one more time.’” Jeremiah Opiniano of the Batangas-based ‘The Filipino Connection’ in an article titled “Nesthy Petecio: Five years of heartaches, and a 2019 world championships gold medal” said Petecio’s silver medal in Jeju in 2014 gave her a chance to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic games “but the succeeding years of world and Asian jousts were struggling moments” for Petecio. She did not make tit to the Rio Olympics, she lost in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon Korea, lost in the Asian Championships in China in 2015, in the 2017 Asian Championships, and in the 2018 Asian Games. 


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