northern mindanao

PRESIDENT DUTERTE LEADS AFP’S ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, ASKS FILIPINOS TO SUPPORT SOLDIERS

December 18, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday led the 84th anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) asking the nation to rally behind the Armed forces for its significant role in national security and disaster response.   “Let me take this occasion to recognize your significant contributions not only in defending our nation from external and internal security threats, but also in humanitarian and disaster response in times of natural and man-made calamities,” President Duterte said during the event held in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo.   The public relies on the AFP in times of distress particularly with the recent earthquakes that rocked Mindanao and the storm and flooding that inundated parts of Luzon and some areas in the Visayas.   “Ang sundalo kasi natin, sundalo ng bayan at utusan ng bayan at runner ng bayan at lahat na. Kagaya nangyari sa Mindanao, may earthquake, nandoon sila. ‘Pag magbaha, nandoon sila. ‘Pag may pumutok na volcano, sila ‘yung nauna,” he said.   “If there is disorder, they establish order. If there is a lawless environment, they provide stability. Ang sundalo natin, atong mga sundalo, they are everything and that is why you should love your soldier. Tayong mga Pilipino, tulungan natin.” he added.   The President also enumerated various security challenges that the country still has to address such as the New People’s Army (NPA), kidnapping-for-ransom groups, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and drug traffickers.   The government is fighting for survival of the nation, he stressed.   “We have to assure that the next generation will be freed of these vagaries of life, especially itong droga for it will affect the quality of our nation tomorrow,” said the President.    “We cannot afford to get something like one-fourth of the population disoriented, insane because of drugs. It is our sworn duty to protect them,” he further said.   The Chief Executive said the administration continues to intensify efforts to eradicate the ills that still plague the society, adding that he expects the AFP to also fight corruption within its halls through internal reforms that will not only improve the financial state of its soldiers, but also develop their character, competence and capacity to fulfill their mandate.   The President has expressed optimism that the AFP will remain committed in its duty as the primary force in realizing lasting peace and sustainable development across the country.   The Filipino people will continue count on each member of the AFP, he said, asking the country’s security forces to remain steadfast in their noble mission to defend sovereignty and maintain peace.   “Protecting the People, Securing the State,” is AFP’s 84th founding anniversary theme. PND

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[Transcript] Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the 84th Anniversary of the AFP

December 18, 2019

Kindly sit down. Thank you.   The commander kindly give the tikas pahinga. Thank you.   Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the other members of the Cabinet; AFP Chief of Staff General Noel Clement and the major service commanders; the officers and enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; mga kasama ko sa gobyerno; mga kababayan. It is an honor for me to stand before the gallant men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as we celebrate this milestone in your esteemed organization. Today, we celebrate more than eight glorious decades of selfless service rendered by generations of valiant officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of our Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Let us remember that today, we celebrate not only the battles won and the enemies defeated, but also the storied past of those who came before you – the men and women of the AFP who inspired you to aspire to become part of this elite organization. Let me take this opportunity to recognize your significant contributions not only in defending our nation from external and internal security threats, but also in humanitarian and disaster response in times of natural and man-made disasters. The dependability and reliability of the AFP have been recently tested after the series of earthquakes that rocked Mindanao and the storm and flooding that inundated [parts] of Luzon and in some areas in the Visayas. Know that for your selfless service during these times of need, the entire nation will be grateful. As this administration continues to intensify efforts to eradicate the ills that still plague our society, I trust that the AFP will also fight corruption within its halls through internal reforms that will not only improve the financial state of our soldiers, but also develop their character, competence and capacity to fulfill their mandate. We celebrate the 84th Anniversary of the AFP with optimism that the succeeding generations of uniformed personnel will foster a stronger and more dependable armed forces as well as a safer and more secure Philippines. I am therefore asking you to remain committed in your duty as the primary force in realizing lasting peace and sustainable development across our country. I assure you of my unqualified support, especially as we continue our fight to defeat terrorism and violent extremism, end insurgency, and address lingering and emerging threats to our national security. The Filipino people will continue to count on you, each one of you, to remain steadfast in your noble mission to defend our sovereignty and maintain peace in our communities and you should not fail. Eh magbigay lang ako nang kaunting --- either in Tagalog or Visayan or a dialect --- for the benefit of the rest of the Filipino people. Ang sundalo kasi natin, sundalo ng bayan at utusan ng bayan at runner ng bayan at lahat na. Kagaya nangyari sa Mindanao, may earthquake, nandoon sila. ‘Pag magbaha, nandoon sila. ‘Pag may pumutok na volcano, sila ‘yung nauna. ‘Pag may flooding, sila ‘yung nauna. At lahat na, may landslide, sila ‘yung nagkukutkot doon sa lupa. At kung may gulo, nandoon sila.  If there is [disorder], they establish order. If there is a lawless environment, they provide stability. Ang sundalo natin, atong mga sundalo, they are everything and that is why you should love your soldier. Tayong mga Pilipino, tulungan natin. At isa pang kalaban natin na sumisira sa buhay natin ay itong mga terorista, kasali na ang NPA, kasali na ang mga kidnap-for-ransom, nandiyan sa Jolo ang Abu Sayyaf, at lahat na. At ang utos ko sa kanila, at pag sila’y lumaban, durugin para matapos na ang problema ng Pilipino. [applause] We are fighting a war and mind you, let me correct every Tom, Dick and Harry who are idiots, by their name, you should know them. Alam mo we are fighting for the survival of our nation. We have to make safe --- we have to assure that the next generation will be freed of these vagaries of life, especially itong droga for it will affect the quality of our nation tomorrow. We cannot afford to get something like one-fourth of the population disoriented, insane because of drugs. It is our sworn duty to protect them. And that is why I declared war. War is war. Itong droga is worldwide. It is not limited to any country which borders. It is almost seamless. At lahat nagdudusa. Huwag nating hayaan ang mga anak natin. Kasi ako may mga apo na. Kayo, may mga apo na rin. At balang araw, mag-aasawa kayo, you establish a home. You’d have children. Make sure that they will be safe and that their tomorrow will be a more comfortable one. That they do not have to kill, they do not have to spend money needlessly, para paghanap nitong mga salot ng bayan.     Try to make this country as peaceful as it can ever be. Ako sa utos ko na ‘yan na ubusin ninyo sila, sabihin ko sa inyo, time and again, I take full legal responsibility for it   I and I alone. Kung sakali man, will go to prison. You can enjoy your freedom. I will take the risk. I am old. I am disposable Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. [applause]

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P18.6 Billion for peace, development projects in Region 10 underway

December 15, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The peace and development accomplishments highlighted the Regional Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) Region X year-end meeting conducted at the City Hall of El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental on Friday, December 13, 2019. The meeting was hosted by El Salvador city mayor Edgar Lignes. Communications Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin M Andanar, the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Northern Mindanao, presided the meeting which was attended by various heads of government agencies from the region led by MGen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, 4th Infantry Division Commander and RTF-ELCAC Technical Working Group chairperson. Among the accomplishment discussed was the P18.6 Billion worth of programs and projects for the 765 barangays in Region 10 under the Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPev) wherein P15.87 Billion was already obligated and disbursed. The recipient of those programs and projects are those barangays in the Conflict-Affected Areas (CONAAs) wherein troops of 4th ID and 1st ID conducted its Community Support Program (CSP). It can be recalled that a total of P58.7 Million worth of program and projects from the National Government Agencies and Local Government Units were turned over to the communities in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental during the launching of RTF-ELCAC at Brgy Iba, Cabanglasan Bukidnon last June 28, 2019 and Misamis Oriental Task Force-ELCAC at Sitio Moya, Barangay Eureka, Gingoog City last September 26, 2019.  Secretary Andanar lauded the accomplishments of RTF-ELCAC Region 10. He further emphasized the importance of convergence in achieving the goals of the RTF-ELCAC. “Together as one, through our convergence, we can win this game," Andanar said. Meanwhile, MGen. Gacal said, “We must sustain our gains and continue to push the needed programs and projects in the conflict-affected areas in the region." "With our convergence through the execution of the 12 task groups implementation plans, we can do more to address the root causes of insurgency and finally end the local communist armed conflict in order to establish an inclusive, sustainable and durable peace and development in Region 10," he added. (4ID,PA)

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26 local government units in Lanao Sur declare CPP-NPA rebels persona non-grata

December 15, 2019

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur -- The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) are not welcome in 26 municipalities of Lanao del Sur, according to the 103rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army. Brigade Commander Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo II said 26 out of the 32 municipalities under the area of operations of the 103rd Brigade have declared the CPP-NPA persona non-grata. During the Joint Provincial Peace and Order Council and Provincial Anti Drug Abuse Council 4th Quarter Meeting, Cuerpo encouraged the local chief executives of the remaining municipalities to do the same and join the other LGUs in supporting the efforts of the national government to rid the country of these communist-terrorist group. Meanwhile, the Provincial Police Office reported that the peace and order situation in the province is generally peaceful and "has been positively progressing."  It also announced the resumption of mobile lake patrol operation which was put on hold during the holy month of Ramadhan. One of the highlights of the meeting was the discussion on the extension of Martial Law in Lanao del Sur. Both the police and the army in the province recommended for the extension to sustain the peace and order in the province. Expressing support to the extension was the League of Municipalities of the Philippines LDS Chapter.  The city government of Marawi, on the other hand, bared that its 96 barangays have manifested their support to the extension with the appeal that the curfew be adjusted. (APB/PIA-10)

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Manobo ‘bakwits’ return home

December 12, 2019

KITAOTAO, Bukidnon — Manobo evacuees or “bakwits” returned to their homes in the hinterland part of Barangay Sta. Felomina, Quezon, Bukidnon on December 9. Two weeks after they left homes and stayed in makeshift tents inside the church compound of Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) in nearby Kitaotao town, the natives went home at 2:20 p.m last Monday right after Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria R. Zubiri spoke to them and gave them 150 sacks of rice and 300 boxes of assorted canned goods. In an interview, Kitaotao vice-mayor Edwin P. Abucayan said these bakwits are indigenous peoples (IPs) comprising 20 families of 109 individuals and 35 children. Abucayan said that before the governor’s dialogue with the evacuees, Kitaotao mayor Lorenzo Gawilan has ordered a team composed of Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives, Barangay Captain, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO), Rural Health Unit (RHU), and other concerned agencies to facilitate the return of said families to their respective homes at Sitio Dumasilag in barangay Sta. Felomina. “Unfortunately, the tasked team’s efforts to negotiate were wasted because their presence was ignored and all that they’ve said fell on deaf ears. Our intervention is to ensure the protection and welfare of the evacuees, especially the children. Although the bakwits are from our neighbor town, they are still on our watch because they sought refuge here in Kitaotao,” Abucayan said. Heal the sick children After a few attempts, the RHU doctors and social workers were allowed by the bakwits’ spokesperson to check the health status of the kids. The doctors reported that five of the 35 children were diagnosed with a severe fever, chest pains, and dehydration. The LGU team explained to the parents and informed them about the consequences of defying to bring their ailing kids to the hospital, but the bakwits’ insisted that their children were all fine. Another report suggested that the parents should allow their children to be rushed to the hospital. Violation of children’s rights Brig. General Edgardo De Leon, the commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade in Bukidnon said the bakwits’ defiance to bring sick children to the hospital is a clear violation of children’s rights. “This case involves children that the state has a special responsibility to protect. Republic Act 7610 makes it clear that children must not be put at risk. This is what the law says. So we must act according to our mandate. Otherwise, the parents will be charged with a criminal case in violation of R.A 7610,” he said. Guided by Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Act, a team from local government units of Kitaotao and Quezon along with the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine National Police (PNP) exerted efforts on December 7 to rescue the said kids. Due to the bakwits’ resistance, the rescue team failed to get the five sick children. Some rescue team members, however, suggested pursuing the operation but considering hundreds of people and children in the neighborhood who will be affected in case of chaos, especially that it is already past 10:00 at night, PNP Provincial Director Roel L. Lami-ing suggested deferring the operation. Hence, cooler heads prevailed. Unconfirmed media reports later said that the bakwits’ spokesperson has warned that some armed Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) or “Sparrow (NPA’s hit squad)” are with the bakwits inside their lair at the IFI compound. Hopes for a better and peaceful life Prior to the negotiation with the governor, bakwits’ leader Datu Wilboy Lay-um went live on air over DXMV radio saying they will only emerge in the presence of Gov. Zubiri. Asked why they left homes, Datu Wilboy said they were scared to stay because a report has reached him that the military will bomb Sitio Dumasilag anytime soon. But military reports showed that the area in Quezon where the bakwits left was not affected in the operation. Online views, thus, implied that the incident bolsters public suggestions that these bakwits must have been deceived by the alleged NPA organizers who carried out this exodus just to further the NPA’s cause. In an interview, Quezon town mayor Pablo M. Lorenzo III said the local government distributed relief goods on several occasions since the bakwits started arriving at IFI in Kitaotao. “We gave them food packs and other relief goods, especially medicines because these things were most needed as our RHU reported that there were sick children inside the campsite,” the mayor said. After weeks of staying away from their village, the natives rode home towards Barangay Sta. Felomina aboard dump trucks, accompanied by Quezon and Kitaotao MDRRMO personnel and local officials with the Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion. “I’m grateful to those who helped us in this crisis and in seeking a peaceful way to end this conflict. I hope that these bakwits from Sitio Dumasilag in Sta. Felomina—now that they’re home—would cross their fingers that the possibility of leaving home without apparent reason would never happen again,” mayor Lorenzo said. (RLRBalistoy/PIA Bukidnon)   

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DTI-10 gears to complete region's Negosyo Centers by 2020

December 5, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Northern Mindanao is preparing to complete the establishment of all Negosyo Centers in the region by 2020. This was announced during the first Regional Negosyo Center Conference held on November 26 in Mallberry Suites Business Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. Negosyo Center is DTI's program responsible for promoting ease of doing business and facilitating access to services for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). DTI is keen on achieving its target of opening 94 Negosyo Centers with 85 already established across the region: 5 in Camiguin, 21 in Bukidnon, 20 in Lanao del Norte, 13 in Misamis Occidental and 26 in Misamis Oriental. National Negosyo Center Program Director Emma Asusano, on behalf of Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, congratulated the Negosyo Center Cagayan de Oro City for being the first Negosyo Center to open in the region and in the nation. The Negosyo Center Cagayan de Oro City was opened on November 13, 2014. "Negosyo Center is a living organization because we deal with our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises - the catalyst for the economy of the nation," Director Asusano said. Assistant Director for DTI-Export Marketing Bureau Agnes Perpetua-Legaspi highlighted DTI's support in creating businesses especially Philippine start-ups during her afternoon talk on Building Negosyo Center Plus Ecosystems: Developing Innovative Entrepreneurs for the Global Market. "For you to get that mindset, it has to be...looking and thinking of new things, doing new things and creating value in the marketplace," she said. The regional conference also featured best practices that are distinct of each provincial office. DTI Bukidnon presented how the use of technology made Business Registration and Licensing easier, particularly in Negosyo Center Valencia City. DTI Misamis Oriental shared the comprehensive program for MSMEs as it highlighted the importance of business development through capability building of MSMEs, the heart of the Negosyo Center services. With the strong tourism industry in Camiguin, the province's DTI found it fitting to discuss how its Negosyo Centers, particularly the Mambajao Negosyo Center strengthened and sustained the tourism-supported businesses in their locality. On the other hand, DTI Misamis Occidental took pride in its strong network collaboration of Negosyo Center partners through the commitment of its partner stakeholders from the local government units, local chambers, the private sector and other key stakeholders, which resulted to building a network for local support in helping the MSMEs. Finally, DTI Lanao del Norte emphasized creativity, innovation and technology as Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) housed the FAB LAB Mindanao, the first digital fabrication laboratory in Mindanao that "can aid the region's researches and businesses in creating physical prototypes of their design. Through FAB Lab Mindanao, DTI is cultivating a start-up economy where ideas are physically transformed. With the theme, "Building Sustainable Negosyo Centers in Northern Mindanao," the conference was attended by 153 delegates, including business counselors from DTI Northern Mindanao Negosyo Center provincial offices, and representatives from local government units and private sectors. (DTI-10)  

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