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Six COVID-19 PUMs in Agusan cleared

March 12, 2020

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur--Six of seven persons under monitoring (PUM) from the dreaded COVID-19 in this province were cleared Tuesday even as one is still awaiting results of his case until March 15. Dr. Jacqueline Frances Momville, Provincial Health Officer, said all of the PUMS came from the countries where there are confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. Two of the PUMS were traced in Bayugan City who are females, a 22-year-old from Hongkong and a 24-year-old from Macau, China, a 33-year-old female in San Francisco town  who came from Beijing, China, a 32-year-old female in Esperanza town who came from Hongkong, a 38-year-old female in Talacogon town from Hongkong and a 31-year-old female in San Luis town who came from Huangpu, China. The lone PUM case still awaiting results  is a 52-year-old male traced in San Francisco town who came from Geoje, South Korea. It was not yet clear as to the status of the PUMs whether they are foreigners who visited the country, Overseas Filipino Workers , balikbayans or vacationers from abroad. They were all told to go on 14-day home quarantine. Responding to Presidential Proclamation 922 of President Rodrigo Duterte, Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr. has issued an Executive Order 09-20 that institutionalizes precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19  and strengthen health surveillance system of the province “There is no cause to panic, no cause for alarm. This are precautionary measures that residents of this province should follow to prevent from being a victim of the disease,” Cane told local reporters. Cane has stressed in his directive asking residents to maintain hygiene and refrain from going big gatherings. As part of stringent precautionary measure, the provincial government have set up checkpoints at the entry roads leading to the capitol where health workers conduct thermal scanners to all who pass by including provincial officials and employees . Rogelio Ipanag, chief of the Provincial Correctional Security Management Office, said the thermal scanner will determine if a person went beyond the normal temperature that would be advised for medical check up at the DO Plaza memorial Hospital. Cane has  left the decisions of the 14 mayors of the province if they would pursue or not upcoming festivals in their respective towns since the executive order has specifically cited to avoid big gatherings. Already, three of the cultural festivals initiated by the local government units of Loreto, Sta. Josefa and Veruela have been cancelled while the municipality of La Paz was waiting from Mayor Michael Lim’s return from Manila attending the meeting  of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines . Bayugan City Mayor Kirk Asis has declared suspension of classes  in all levels yesterday (March 12) and the municipality of San Francisco followed suit later oin the same day.

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Suspect in shooting falls, 2 more hunted

February 20, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Another suspect in the shooting to death of a police in Misamis Oriental fell as the police stepped up the hunt for two more suspects who remained at large. The suspect was identified as Vic Abellana, of Tangub City. Abellana, disguised as a farmer, was captured on the outskirts of Poblacion, Libertad in Misamis Oriental, Wednesday afternoon. The arrest of Abellana brought to two suspects in the custody of the police while two others, one of them known only as “Junjun,” is reportedly wounded, remained at large. Abellana told the police that it was their companion from Pagadian, the reported leader of the group, who fired the first shot at the police checkpoint, which resulted in the shooting. The police did not identify the alleged leader, now an object of a police manhunt, together with another suspect who is reportedly wounded. Another suspect, Richardson Perez, 31, of Bangkal, Mahayahay, Lapu-Lapu City, who resides in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental, was captured shortly after the shooting at a police checkpoint. Pursuing police cornered Perez under the bridge in Libertad with a broken leg when he jumped over the bridge not knowing that the creek below has dried up. Jepone Fabrigas Tinamisan, the driver of the car, was killed along with P/Sgt. Ronald “Boboy” Caayupan, 41, in the ensuing firefight at the police checkpoint in Libertad, Misamis Oriental Monday evening. Wounded in the shooting were P/Sgt. Fernando Maestrado, and Gemma Patlunag, a civilian living near the checkpoint, who was caught in the crossfire. Both Maestrado and Patlunag were already out of danger. The shooting took place when the five suspects, on board a white Mitsubishi Mirage, driven by Tinamisan, reportedly fired at the policemen who were manning the checkpoint. Four of the suspects scampered and escaped as Tinamisan lay dead, leaving the vehicle in the vicinity of the checkpoint, which is now in the custody of the police. Police recovered four caliber .45 pistols, two 9mm pistols, four hand grenades, mobile phones and personal belongings in the disabled vehicle. Lawyer Angel Lim, the legal counsel of the owner of the Mitsubishi vehicle, has asked for a deeper probe of the incident on suspicion that Tinamisan, a person with disability (PWD), could not be part of the criminal group. “There is the suspicion that Tinamisan was threatened by the armed group to drive the car before the shooting at the police checkpoint in Libertad took place,” Lim said.

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Verde Soko garbage saga ends February

February 15, 2020

Rep. Juliette Uy takes watchful stance versus ASF, COVID-19 VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental--The saga on waste dumping at Verde Soko compound in sitio Buguac, Barangay Sta. Cruz in Tagoloan town is drawing to a close on February 23. In a press statement, Misamis Oriental second district Rep. Juliette T. Uy said that the last two shipments of the illegally-imported garbage are set for February 16 and February 23. On February 16, Uy said that some 50 containers will be shipped out through the cargo vessel “Vivaldi.” She said the last 50 containers will be carried back to South Korea by the vessel Nordmarsh on February 23. Last January 19, some 50 containers were “re-exported” and in January 2019 some 51 containers were sent back. “We will finally have closure on this difficult chapter,” said Uy, adding, “the last shipping out formalities will be done on Sunday (February 16) at the 10 in the morning also at the Mindanao International Container terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. Uy said: “We deeply appreciate the full cooperation of the Government of South Korea and the lead role of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on the Philippine side.” She added: “As we bring this chapter to a close, we congratulate the Bureau of Customs on its new Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), a set of policy directions and actions that are part of the Customs goal toward full automation in 2024. The ESMF was adopted earlier this month of February.” “The ESMF continues the momentum of the bureau from when it established its environment desk and when it issued the new memorandum superseding the former policy which my colleagues and I in the House of Representatives found to have loopholes which enabled the illegal entry of the Verde Soko shipments,” said the congresswoman in a press statement. “As we end this Verde Soko garbage saga, we are confronted with two new safety threats: African swine fever (ASF)and the coronavirus now known as Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” she said. “Garbage we can see with the naked eye and with the aid of x-ray machine-examination of cargo containers, but viruses and other microorganisms we cannot spot with just our eyes,” said Rep. Uy. “We all must be vigilant at our seaports and airports here in Mindanao, so that we effectively address this African swine flu and the COVID-19 virus with proper screening protocols. Those footbaths of chemicals should always be wet with the disinfecting chemicals for shoes, slippers, and other footwear,” she said. “Basic personal hygiene practices, especially proper handwashing, are our best defense. We must make sure the ASF and COVID-19 do not worsen in Mindanao,” she said. Uy said: “It is our expectation that the Bureau of Customs here in Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao, and all of Mindanao are implementing all the necessary measures. We in Congress will always keep our watchful eyes open.” (MRS)

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Yanson 4 elect officers amid legal skirmishes

February 13, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Amid an unresolved legal collision in the fight for the control of the transport company, the shareholders known as the “Yanson 4” elected a new set officers of the Rural Transit (Mindanao) Inc., here. The elected RTMI President was Roy V. Yanson, Maria Lourdes Celina Y. Lopez as Vice President for Operations, Emily V. Yanson, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Ricardo V. Yanson, Jr. and Corporate Secretary, Anna Isabella C. Galvez, Assistant Corporate Secretary, Jose Jonathan Ealdam, Vice President for Legal. Known as the “Yanson 4,” the election took place Wednesday afternoon in a downtown hotel here with the attendance of lawyer Seigfred Fortun, the head of the corporate’s legal group. During a press conference, the Yanson siblings assailed their “legal right” to assume control and managed the Yanson Group of bus company, the largest privately-owned transport company in the country. Lawyer Raul Bitoon, the spokesperson of the Yanson 4, said that the group constitute the majority shareholders of the bus firm. He said that the other group composed of two other siblings identified as Leo Rey Yanson and Ginette Y. Dumancas have only more than two percent of the company’s shares. The problem crops up because the matriarch, Olivia V. Yanson along with Rey Yanson and Dumancas assailed control of the bus firm after the death of Ricardo Yanson, Sr., the patriarch of the bus company. Lawyer Seigfred Fortun said that the group of Olivia Yanson and the “Yanson 4” has exchanged blows in courts, which until has not yet been resolved while new cases are filed involving the rightful management and control of the bus company. Fortun said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has interceded in the cases after it ordered the lowers courts to submit the cases to the justice department. He said the court battles continue that the “Yanson 4” has intimated of filing more cases against the officers in Cagayan De Oro City. According to Celina Y. Lopez, the Yanson Group of bus companies consisted of nine original bus companies throughout the country, four of the bus companies are in Mindanao, including the RTMI. She said that the new bus company, the fifth in Mindanao, is now operating in the Saranggani Province, making a total of 10 bus companies under the Yanson Group. Lopez said that the Yanson Group of bus companies employs more than 80,000 people throughout the country.

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Yanson 4 to contest stockholders meeting

February 12, 2020

FOUR children of the late public transport tycoon Ricardo Yanson are set to file a lawsuit against the family – and company – matriarch Olivia and her other children Leo Rey and Ginnette Dumancas. Lawyer Philip Sigfrid Fortun, counsel for Roy, Ricardo Jr., Emily, and Cynthia Yanson-Lopez, said the suit to be filed in a Cagayan de Oro court will contest the holding of a January 19 stockholders meeting of Bachelor Express, Inc. called for by the impending respondents. It was learned that in 2019, Olivia and her two children have assumed control of Bachelor Express, one of the companies under the Yanson Group of Bus Companies which is currently entangled in a bitter legal feud among the heirs of the late Ricardo Yanson. Fortun contended that the holding of the stockholders meeting and its results were without basis since the three stockholders – Olivia and Leo Rey Yanson; and Dumancas – only constitute the minority of the stockholders of the company. Meanwhile, the other children – Roy, Ricardo Jr. and Emily Yanson; and Lopez – constitute the majority of the stockholders, according to the lawyer. All four did not participate in the annual stockholders meeting. During the meeting, Leo Rey Yanson was reelected chairman and president of Bachelor Express, Inc. while Olivia Yanson was elected as corporate secretary and treasurer. The day before, Mr. Yanson was also elected as president and chairman of Mindanao Star Bus Transport, Inc., another firm of the Yanson Group which is considered as the biggest public bus transport company in Asia. Fortun said his clients will file a separate lawsuit in connection with the January 18 stockholders meeting which they also deem as illegal. The four heirs of Ricardo Yanson Sr. were in Cagayan de Oro City February 12 for the annual stockholders meeting of yet another company owned by the group, Rural Transit of Mindanao, Inc. Fortun threatened that if the other Yanson faction will call for a separate stockholders meeting, he will file another lawsuit on the matter on behalf of his clients. The other faction – colloquially known as Yanson 3 – is already facing a lawsuit earlier this year in Bacolod and Batangas in connection with the stockholders meeting they called for Vallacar Transit Corporation, yet another firm owned by the group.

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Solon warns: Avoid crowding of passengers at airport terminals

February 6, 2020

VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental--First district Rep. Juliette T. Uy yesterday warned the public against crowding at the NAIA passenger terminal now that barred passengers are gathering there. In a press statement, Rep. Uy said the crowding of passengers, especially at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal, can pose a public health risk because of higher chances of close personal contact with anyone among the passengers  who could be carrying the Wuhan coronavirus. Rep. Uy, a member of the House Committee on Transportation, issued the statement in reaction to reports that passengers are  stranded at the NAIA airport terminal due the travel ban on travelers from China and its special administrative regions (SARs). She said, "returning Filipinos from China, Macau, and Hong Kong should go through a different terminal area of NAIA or perhaps a quarantine field set-up where they can all be checked,  tested, and processed.” “The barred foreign nationals should be in a contained or cordoned-off area at NAIA,” said the lady lawmaker from the town of Villanueva in Misamis Oriental, adding “NAIA and airline personnel attending to them should have proper personal protective equipment and supplies.” “Personnel of foreign embassies may have to be physically present or have some form of online or remote access, so they can attend to any travel and consular concerns,” said the congresswoman. (MRS)

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