the region

2 Top NPA Commanders Surrender in Bukidnon

March 13, 2021

HIGH-RANKING NPA REBELS SURRENDER   MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – Due to too much hardships and difficulty living in far-flung areas in Bukidnon province, two of the most-wanted commanders of the New People's Army (NPA) rebels surrendered  to  the 403rd Infantry Brigade in Barangay Manalog, Malaybalay City, on March 11, 2021.   Fourth Infantry Division Commander Maj General Andres Centino identified the surrenderees as Armando Daluniag alias "Ka Ambo," commanding officer of Force Neo Headquarters based in Northern and Central Mindanao; and Roland Lagunday alias "Ka Ben," Squad Leader, Squad 2, Platoon 2, also in the same village in Manalog. The two rebels also surrendered assorted firearms such as four M16 armalite rifles, three AK47 rifles, two M653 rifles, and live amunitions.  In an interview with a local radio station here, Daluniag said aside from hardlife being in the underground movement, he was also inspired to surrender due to the sincerity of President Rodrigo Duterte in giving chances to the NPA rebels to go back to the mainstream society and enjoy their freedom. President Duterte was in Cagayan de Oro last week to promote the new programs of the National Government especially-designed to all NPA rebels who have plans to surrender their firearms and ammos and to live a normal life again.   Meanwhile, Ka Ambo narrated that he joined the revolutionary movement 20 years ago in the hopes that the movement will help his family. But contrary to what he believes, Ka Ambo says, the revolutionary movement has failed him.   In 20 years that "Ka Ambo" was with the NPA rebels, he says, he has accumulated around 29 string of criminal cases filed against him.  Five other comrades of the top-ranking NPA officials also surrendered on the same day, it was learned. ###     

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Shorter Delay In BARMM Elections Sought

March 10, 2021

A delay of elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) may turn out shorter than the three-year postponement being sought through various bills filed in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The BARMM elections are supposed to take place at the same time as national elections in May 2022, as prescribed by law. However, lawmakers including senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Richard Gordon say the regional elections should be postponed to 2025 to give the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority (BTA) more time to cope with the difficulties wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking a different tack, Senator Imee Marcos asserted that a long postponement of the BARMM elections will delay development for the Bangsamoro people and the correction of historical injustices committed against them. Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on electoral reforms, emphasized that the main purpose of the Bangsamoro Organic Law was “to rectify historical injustices – political, military, as well as economic,” which called for the conduct of elections “at the soonest possible time.” The lady senator added that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte himself has ordered that “elections must continue as close to the stipulated dates as possible.” The BARMM elections can be held “months or a year after” the May 2022 national elections, instead of three years later, Marcos recommended. She explained that a shorter postponement will strike a balance between fulfilling the main purpose of the BARMM Organic Law and giving the BTA enough time to manage a smooth turnover of authority to elected officials. “Decommissioning militants and weapons and achieving a normal way of life cannot be completed without full political legitimacy, without inclusive governance, without the complete exercise of the Bangsamoro people’s voting rights. The election has its advantages,” Marcos said. “Only after elections will the BARMM be able to focus on normalization that has been stymied by the pandemic, and to address the region’s unique and difficult circumstances,” the senator added.  

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Iligan’s sole infectious disease specialist receives first COVID-19 vaccine jab

March 9, 2021

ILIGAN CITY--Dr. Leonell Albert Quitos, the city’s sole infectious disease specialist, received the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine dose in Iligan Monday morning, March. 8      Quitos volunteered to take the first coronavirus shot to show the public that the vaccine is safe.       “During vaccination, wala gyud koy na feel. Gamay ang dagom og maayo ang handling ug pag administer sa nurse,”he said      [During vaccination, I didn’t feel anything, The needle was small and the nurse handled and administered it well.]      In response to those expressing apprehensions about getting an anti-COVID shot, the infectious disease specialist assured that he did not feel any side effects after the vaccination.       “Dili ta mahadlok sa pagpabakuna kay kini nga pagpabakuna kay dugang nga layer of protection sa atoa. Aside sa minimum health standards sama sa wearing of mask og face shields, social distancing, paghugas sa kamot, kining pagpabakuna another ni nga layer of protection sa ato-a nga tanan,” he further said.      [We should not be afraid to get vaccinated because this vaccination is an additional layer of protection for us. Aside from our minimum health standards such as wearing a mask and face shields, social distancing, and handwashing, this vaccination is another layer of protection for all of us.      Moreover, Quitos urged other frontliners to follow suit and get vaccinated.      “Akong panawagan sa akong mga kauban nga frontliners, magpabakuna ta para protektado dili lang ang inyong kaugalingon pati na pud ang inyong mga pamilya o ang mga tawong kauban ninyo tanan,” he said.      [I call on my fellow frontliners to get vaccinated to protect not only yourself but also your families or the people around you.]       The first batch of the vaccine rollout in the city is held simultaneously at the Adventist Medical Center Iligan and DoñaJuana A. Lluch Memorial Central School starting today until Wednesday, March 10. (APB/PIA-ICIC)

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Imee: U.S. Dapat Lang Magbayad ng Patas sa Paggamit sa PH Military Bases

February 24, 2021

  Idinepensa ni Senador Imee Marcos ang paninindigan ni Pangulong Duterte na karapat-dapat lang magbayad ng patas ng U.S. sa Pilipinas dahil sa delikadong papel nito sa pagbibigay ng unang depensa sa Amerika sa Indo-Pacific region.  “Hindi lang nabibigyan ng Pilipinas ang American forces ng unang depensa sa Indo-Pacific region kundi pati paggamit nila sa tubig at kuryente sa ating mga military bases ay binabayaran din natin,” ani Marcos. “Napakaraming Pilipino ang hindi kayang magbayad sa tubig at kuryente ngayong may pandemya. Itutuloy pa rin ba ang subsidiya sa mga Amerikano? Tanong ni Marcos, sabay banggit sa U.S. military benefits na nakasaad sa Article 7 ng Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Isinulong muli ni Marcos ang pagsuri sa EDCA dahil napapaikutan ng Amerika ang prohibisyon sa ating Konstitusyon sa mga foreign military bases sa bansa. Dagdag ni Marcos, ang dating bayad sa ating gobyerno bago mapaalis ang mga U.S. bases halos tatlong dekada nang nakaraan ay naiiwasan din ng Amerika.     “Kahit ang mga superpower nangangailangan din ng mga kaibigan, at ang bagong pagtingin ng Amerika sa Asia-Pacific ay nagpapatibay sa malaking ginagampanan ng ating rehiyon at ng Pilipinas,” ani ni Marcos, bilang sagot sa batikos kay Presidente Duterte na ang paghingi ng patas na bayad ay pangingikil. Sumang-ayon ang senadora sa Presidente na ang $3.9 bilyon na ibinabayad ng Amerika sa Pilipinas noong 2001 hanggang 2017 ay napakaliit kumpara sa $16 bilyon na ibinabayad sa Pakistan. “Natatakot ang Amerika na kapag bumagsak ang gobyerno ng Pakistan, ang 150 nuclear warheads nito ay magagamit ng Taliban laban sa Amerika,” ani Marcos. “Kung wala ang Pilipinas, ang kalakal ng Amerika pati na ang mga pangako nito sa seguridad ng rehiyon ay hihina. Ngunit dahil sa pagtanggap natin sa U.S. forces, magiging target naman ang Pilipinas ng mga kalaban ng Amerika, kahit hindi tayo direktang kasali sa anumang gyera na maaring pumutok sa ating rehiyon,” dagdag ni Marcos.  “Kung susugurin ng China ang Taiwan dahil sa pagsulong nito ng independence, hindi gaano magiging mabilis ang pag-responde ng Amerika dahil manggagaling pa ng Japan, South Korea, Guam o Australia ang mga pwersa ng military nito,” paliwanag ni Marcos.  Dagdag pa ni Marcos, maaring gamitin ng Amerika ang mga human rights issues upang tawaran sa isang isyu na dapat pang-seguridad lamang.  

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Rep. Malou Acosta-Alba: advocating for financial resiliency in Bukidnon

February 10, 2021

REP. Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba of the first district of Bukidnon has been doing the rounds ever since the pandemic started both in her constituency and online, campaigning for financial resiliency for each Filipino family. Assisting Acosta-Alba in her quest is husband Joeman Alba, a banker by profession who has lent his financial expertise to his wife’s advocacy, by giving out webinars and in-person seminars on financial resiliency. During his talk with local journalists last Monday (February 8, 2021) here in Cagayan de Oro City, Mr. Alba said that people must build resiliency funds which is equivalent to at least six months of average expenses. “The business of surviving is our personal responsibility. It must be a core competence for every Filipino, whether you’re a student or an adult,” Alba said. Alba said the purpose of the resiliency fund is to bounce back from an unprecedented situation especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet ended. “You sit down with your respective loved ones and evaluate your financial condition. Spouses have a role to complement each other to cushion the financial shock,” he added. “Commit to lower your expenses. Avoid borrowing for consumption. Deposit your resiliency fund to the nearest bank,” Alba continued, even as he encouraged Filipinos young and old to build multiple revenue streams which may be in the form of startups. “Explore what is catchy today like building bamboo cabins especially here in Bukidnon where the climate is cool and where urbanites like Kagay-anons tend to tuck the night away during weekends. There are lots of innovative ways to make income. Be financially resilient,” he concluded.

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PNP-10 reaffirms Normin peace, security initiatives

January 5, 2021

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 4 (PIA)--As the New Year begins in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 contagion, the Philippine National Police (PNP)-10 reaffirms their peace and order campaign for 2021 and look back on their initiatives during the last quarter of 2020 to find the right balance between public health safety compliance, illegal drug activity policing, and economic recovery in northern Mindanao. COVID-19 mitigation “At first, it was a challenge for our general public to internalize the health protocol standards since it was still new but as of now, in my observation the public has adapted these measures in our public spaces,” PNP-10 Spokesperson PCapt. Francisco Sabud shared during Talakayan sa PIA, noting the paradigm shift when it comes to minimum health safety protocol compliance for the mitigation of COVID-19 in region. Sabud reiterated that their role of imposing NIATF guidelines regarding COVID-19 prevention and containment has shifted from strictly establishing ‘BIDA Solusyon’ to now  merely reminding and encouraging the general public for compliance, lauding establishments such as malls and businesses for proactively having marshals in ensuring health compliance for their patrons. Crime watch and war on drugs In terms of crime neutralization in the region, the PNP-10’s Enhance Managing Police Operation (EMPO) consistently have provincial directors present prevailing crimes in their area of responsibility to strategize and adjust police deployment in converging areas to cater to the incidents. “As of December, we have high murder case rates in Northern Mindanao, two in Bukidnon, one in Misor, two in Lanao Del Norte, one Misamis Occidental, and one in Iligan. We also have three homicide cases in Bukidnon, one in Iligan, and one in MisOr,” Sabud shared. He also disclosed that they have found a surge of rape cases at the start of the COVID-19 quarantine stay-at-home order, especially in domestic households in remote areas with minors comprising most of the victim statistics. “These crimes we have gathered are already filed in prosecutors’ office and are now awaiting trial,” Sabud said. Further, due to the shift of digitalization in adaption of COVID-19 protocols, the PNP-10 regional anti-cyber-crime group are working overtime in ensuring the protection of minors from exploitation, online scammers, and online fraud. To boost policing capabilities, Sabud said their modernization program for 2020 included in the establishment of a grandstand accommodating 500 persons in their Police Regional Office, and the renovation of their main building in camp Alagar. “In terms of our new supplies and issues, our Misamis Occidental stations have the most 4 x 4 patrol cars, all of the provinces are also issued with new patrol mobiles, communication equipment, and firearms, especially our mobile forces, the regional mobile force battalion,” he added. In-line with the administration’s war against drugs, Sabud shared that they have conducted 44 illegal operations in the whole of region 10 and have arrested 66 individuals, with only 3 armed confrontations. Seizing an estimated of weight of 270,245 grams amounting to P1,409,266 in their December operation. “Despite the pandemic, we are still prioritizing illegal drugs, since it is the mandate of our administration; we are also going with the holistic approach by trying to neutralize illegal activities as much as possible,” the spokesperson added.   ELCAC support As for their support with Executive Order (EO) 70, the PNP-10 cites that they are proactively building strong community engagement in isolated villages by providing peace and security in those areas alongside the AFP and other government agencies. “Us in the PNP, we are not in the offensive level but are mostly doing police works, our mobile forces, are the ones who address the insurgency problems and we support them in any way possible,” Sabud shared, adding that they are working closely with the military, as the PNP-10 validates sightings and reports of communist activities. “We should not be afraid of them, because of the NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) chaired by our very own president Duterte, the administration is working on ending their scourge before 2021, the insurgency problems has huge impact in denting our economy and it’s high time we end it,” Sabud said. (VPSB/PIA10)

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