Saturday, December 31, 2005

Children Of God


HELP US. A group of children Rosemary Campaner, 11; Liza Francisco, 8; and Ar Jamang, 5, sell fish rather than go to school because of extreme poverty in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. They say their families cannot afford to send them to school and are so poor that they help make a living to feed their siblings.

A Muslim Boy Prays In Zamboanga City


SALAH. A Muslim boy prays behind a group of adults at a mosque in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

Peace Graffiti


GRAFFITI. Students of the Ateneo University in Zamboanga City paint peace graffiti.

Filipinos Burn Blessed Candles In Zamboanga City


FAITHFUL. Christians light candles and offer prayers in the open-air Catholic shrine called Fort Pilar in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga. (Zamboanga Journal)

Prostitution, Human Trafficking Remain A Tough Problem in Southern RP


ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal) Prostitution and human trafficking are alarmingly increasing in many areas in the southern Philippines, and worst, local officials can do little to put a stop these nefarious activities.

In Cotabato City in Maguindanao province, young women sell their bodies for as low as P500 ($9) and many of them openly advertise their trade in bars and on public squares frequented by travellers and soldiers.

Abdullah Cusain, spokesman for Cotabato City Mayor Muslimen Sema, said many women resorted to prostitution because of poverty.

But he was quick to say that most sex workers in Cotabato came from as far as Agusan and Zamboanga provinces and were lured by the presence of soldiers.

"Poverty drives many women into prostitution and we are doing our part to put a stop, if not, control the increasing and alarming problems of prostitution."

"The task is really so difficult because many men engage the services of these sex workers. The spread of sex diseases is our main concern now," Cusain said.

Health workers regularly conduct education campaign in Cotabato about the dangers pose by unsafe sex, he said.

"We need more funds to help us sustain our campaign against prostitution. We need to save the women also from this menace and provide them livelihood and alternative sources of descent living," Cusain said.

He said a group of about 40 sex workers even put up an association in Cotabato to promote their trade. "This is our dilemma. Many men continue to patronize sex workers and we are now faced with more problems," Cusain said.

Many sex workers, Cusain said, are in karaoke bars that mushroomed near the military camps in Maguindanao because soldiers patronize them.

In the early 1990s, Cusain said, many prostitutes turned up dead after Muslim rebels allegedly kidnapped and executed them. Prostitution is prohibited in Islam, he said.

One sex worker, Angel Gaga, a 16-year old highschool drop-out from Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province, said she was forced into prostitution after she was raped by her second father.

"My father attacked and raped me in our house and made me his sex slave. And I was afraid to tell the police because he threatened to kill me my mother," she said.

Gaga said she stowed away after months of sexual assaults -- each, every time her mother, a laundrywoman -- was out for work.

"I landed in Cotabato and found some friends, who turned out to be prostitutes, and I later became one. I don't like this job, but there is no more I can do, and there is nothing for me out there," she said.

She said she usually go out with travellers, and in the past, had sex several times with foreigners. "I usually go out with men, maybe about 3 a night. Pay is sometimes good, but not all the time.

They pay me P500 for three hours, and I get tips also. Pimps get P100 or P200 from the customers," she said.

Gaga said she and about two dozen other young women, many also from other provinces, stay together in one house, where pimps can contact them.

"It is a hard life, and I am stuck into this. Who knows someday, I will have a family of my own," she said.

Non-governmental organizations and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) estimated the number of victims of prostitution at around 600,000 and that 75,000 of them were children.

And the Philippines now ranks fourth among countries with the most number of prostituted children, said a study by the Psychological Trauma Program of the University of the Philippines.

It said that prostitution may now be the country's fourth largest source of GNP.

Entertainment is the main channel for prostitution. And government policies also favor the export of entertainers and domestic helpers that put women at risk of sexual exploitation."

Many establishments from beer houses to night clubs or karaoke pubs, to beach resorts, and massage parlors, including expensive health clubs, also provide a venue for prostitution.

Human trafficking is also a major problem for the Philippines. And a report by the US State Department warned the Philippines against not fully complying with the standards for the elimination of human trafficking cases, despite a new law.

Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said the government's campaign against human trafficking is relentless.

"The government's efforts against human trafficking has never wavered and this relentless campaign is waged through the cooperation of various government agencies.

"However, we take note of our current standing in this global drive and we are determined to improve our ranking," Bunye said.

Many women and children were prostituted by their own family mostly for money and in many instances, smuggled to other other countries as tourists, either to work as sex workers or forced labor.

In Zamboanga City, several persons had died in the past from acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and many undocumented sex workers were infected with venereal diseases.

And health officials have to resort to more drastic actions to take control of the situation. They raided bars and detain women who have no working or health permits.

But the number of prostitutes could ran into hundreds and local officials seemed helpless in putting a stop to the growing numbers of prostitutes in Zamboanga.

Many establishments, from beer houses to night clubs or karaoke pubs, to beach resorts, and massage parlors, including expensive health clubs, could also provide a venue for prostitution.

The cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and Pagadian also face similar prostitution problems, but the luck of money hampers the government's campaign to eradicate them.

Sacred Mountain


SACRED MOUNTAIN. The majestic Mt. Tumatangis, sacred to many Muslims in the southern Philippines, in the island of Jolo, 950 km from Manila.

GMA In Zamboanga City


PEACE: President Gloria Arroyo, who stands beside opposition leader former senator Francisco Tatad, flashes the peace sign during a pontifical mass Dec. 10, 2005 in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. Mrs. Arroyo was in Zamboanga to attend the 75th birthday of an influential church leader Archbishop Carmelo Morelos.

2 Killed, 13 Hurt In Blast in Southern RP

ZAMBOANGA CITY (ZamboangaJournal / 31 Dec) -- Two people were killed and 13 others injured in a grenade attack on a village in North Cotabato province in the southern Philippines, officials said Saturday.

Officials said one of two motorcycle men tossed the grenade in a crowd watching billiard games Friday afternoon. The duo escaped after the attack, said Maj. Gen. Agustin Dema-ala, commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division.

"The two victims, a Muslim and a Christian, died in hospital from serious wounds," he told the Zamboanga Journal on Saturday.

He identified those killed as Buka Limpangan, 50, and Gary Sahidsahid, 23.

Police and military launched a joint manhunt operation to capture the suspects. Separatist Muslim rebels were also helping authorities track down the two still unidentified men.

"Our forces are tracking the attackers and we will arrest them and bring justice to the victims," Eid Kabalu, a spokesman for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said.

Police said it is still investigating the motive of the attack, but no group or individual claimed responsibility for the blast. The province was previously bombed by Abu Sayyaf militants whose group is tied to the al-Qaeda terror network.

Aside from the Abu Sayyaf, communist insurgents are also active in the area, and had attacked government and military targets in the past.

Last month, New People's Army insurgents detonated a landmine in North Cotabato's Tulunan town, killing three soldiers and wounding about a dozen more.

Little Zamboanga in Los Angeles, USA


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RP Troops Seal Guns


The Southern Command in Zamboanga City warned troops not to fire their guns during the New Year's Day revelry.

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Zamboanga's Poor


An old beggar and her boy sit on pavement in downtown Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

Last Sunset Of 2004 In Zamboanga City


A man paddles his boat off Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines as the sun sets in the last day of 2004.

Fishing Boat Sails Off Zamboanga City


A fishing boat sails past the Sta. Cruz island off Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

Zamboanga City Beach Front


Trawlers off the beach of Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

Pasonanca Tree House in Zamboanga City


A famous landmark in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines is the decades-old tree house in Pasonanca village.

Zamboanga City Charter Day Celebration


Dancers perfom in Zamboanga in the southern Philippines during the city's Charter Day celebration.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Tribesmen Air Fears Over Mining Operation in Western Mindanao

ZAMBOANGA CITY (ZamboangaJournal) A group of tribespeople in the southern Philippines has asked the government to look into the mining operation of a Canadian company in Zamboanga del Norte province, expressing fears that it could destroy their ancestral lands.

Opponents of the mining venture complained that TVI Resource Development Phils., Inc. was operating on ancestral lands in Siocon town that were considered sacred by Subanon tribesmen.

TVI started its mining operations in 2004, nearly a decade after it obtained its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement with the government in 1996.

It is currently into gold and silver mining and plans to extract copper and zinc very soon.

Some Subanon people said the mining operation would destroy Mt. Canatuan, home to a huge population of the indigenous tribe in the province on the northern part of the Zamboanga Peninsula.

During a forum held in Zamboanga City on Dec. 20, the influential Silsilah Dialogue Movement also expressed concern that TVI's open pit mining method has degraded the area and forced many people out of their homes.

Silsilah said fumes from the mining operation and mine tailings, or what is left after minerals are extracted from the ore, are polluting the air and rivers with hazardous chemicals.

Moreover, opponents were being harassed by militias employed by TVI and threatened with lawsuits, said the group.

The Silsilah Dialogue Movement is active in promoting understanding and better relations between Muslims, Christians and other religions, and the indigenous peoples in the southern Philippines.

The peace movement, founded in 1974 by Italian missionary Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra, said it is supporting the efforts of the people of Siocon to lawfully defend their rights to keep their homes and safeguard their health.
"We, in Silsilah Dialogue Movement, are in solidarity with the people of Siocon in their efforts to keep their homes, safeguard their health and safety, and to have a say in decisions that affect them directly.
"We are also in solidarity with their grave concerns and the generations to come," D'Ambra said in a statement.
To allay fears of its operations, TVI invited the Subanon people, lawmakers and NGO representatives to visit the mine site and see for themselves the company's "pro-environment and sustainable development and economic initiatives."
"We really understand the concerns raised by our various stakeholders vis-a-vis the impact of our operations on the environment and that is why we strive hard to be an industry leader by taking the best approach to environmental management," said TVI President Eugene Mateo.
Mateo said the company spent a total of 130 million pesos (about $2.4 million) since 2004 for its environmental management and protection initiatives, and it is allocating P80 million ($1.48 million) more for next year.
"And there is a possibility to increase this to P200 million ($3.7 million)," he said.
TVI noted that it had entered into a production sharing agreement with the government even before the Subanon people obtained their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) under the Indigenous People's Rights Act in 2003.
But despite the precedence of its mining rights over the domain claims, TVI said it still secured community endorsement from the Siocon Subano Association, Inc., (SSAI), the largest group of indigenous people in Zamboanga del Norte.
The peace movement, founded in 1974 by Italian missionary Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra, said it is supporting the efforts of the people of Siocon to lawfully defend their rights to keep their homes and safeguard their health.

"We, in Silsilah Dialogue Movement, are in solidarity with the people of Siocon in their efforts to keep their homes, safeguard their health and safety, and to have a say in decisions that affect them directly.

"We are also in solidarity with their grave concerns and the generations to come," D'Ambra said in a statement.
To allay fears of its operations, TVI invited the Subanon people, lawmakers and NGO representatives to visit the mine site and see for themselves the company's "pro-environment and sustainable development and economic initiatives."

"We really understand the concerns raised by our various stakeholders vis-a-vis the impact of our operations on the environment and that is why we strive hard to be an industry leader by taking the best approach to environmental management," said TVI President Eugene Mateo.

Mateo said the company spent a total of 130 million pesos (about $2.4 million) since 2004 for its environmental management and protection initiatives, and it is allocating P80 million ($1.48 million) more for next year. "And there is a possibility to increase this to P200 million ($3.7 million)," he said.
TVI noted that it had entered into a production sharing agreement with the government even before the Subanon people obtained their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) under the Indigenous People's Rights Act in 2003.

But despite the precedence of its mining rights over the domain claims, TVI said it still secured community endorsement from the Siocon Subano Association, Inc., (SSAI), the largest group of indigenous people in Zamboanga del Norte.

SSAI is recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous People as the legal representative of Canatuan CADT holders. TVI signed a memorandum of understanding with the SSAI in October 2001 to develop their ancestral domain as a gesture of good faith.
TVI claimed to have the support of the majority in Canatuan, which has a population of several thousands.

Subanon lawyer Pablo Bernardo, a legal counsel for the SSAI, said the locals benefit from TVI employment and other community services that included livelihood, infrastructure and sustainable economic development.

TVI has spent millions of pesos in community projects in Siocon, that included schools, clinics and bridges, to benefit the tribes people, and said it is putting more to help fund humanitarian and other development programs in the town.
TVI currently employs more than 650 mostly Subanon tribesmen, plus several hundreds more in other indirect services.

The company strongly denied all the allegations of environmental destruction, saying it was one with Silsilah and the people of Siocon in their desire to protect the environment.

"Our hopes and aspirations intertwine with theirs. We welcome any proposal to expand the membership of a multi-monitoring team to include the representatives of the church, farmers' and fishermen groups, as well as Subanons.
"Our doors are open so that people will see their fears are unfounded. We hope their visit to our mine site will pave the way for a continuous and productive dialogue," Mateo said.

Mindanao Development Council chair Jesus Dureza, who is also President Arroyo's adviser for Mindanao, inspected the mine site in Siocon last month and said he was surprised that the project was not found to be destructive.
"Everything is in order, the milling area is clean, and we are really surprised by the strict implementation of safety and the TVI's protection of the environment," Dureza said then.

Earlier this year, President Arroyo thanked Clifford James, TVI's chief executive officer, for the company's long-standing commitment to the Philippines.

No Feast For The Yuletide For RP Children


ZAMBOANGA CITY (ZamboangaJournal) For its residents, Lumbangan is a man-made hill of poverty, a symbol of a struggle for many who brave the heat and cold in search of scrap.

The village, about 10 kilometers east of Zamboanga City, is a dump for tons of garbage that could be anything from a harmless piece of rubber duck toy to more toxic materials such as computer and television parts or even a bottle of pesticide.

“Welcome, Joe, this is our place,” said Rodel Cabayacruz. At age 13, he has spent half of his lifetime scavenging for scrap—papers, tin cans, and even rotten food—just to be able to help his family.

“I come here every day and I don’t mind the stench. What is important to me is I bring a little money for my brother’s milk. We are so poor that my mother cannot even send me to school,” he says.

Rodel earns around P50 a day and he is only one of many dozens of children, some as young as two years old, who regularly go to the dump.

On Christmas Eve Rodel needs to take home some money, not for the traditional feast, but to buy medicines for his kid brother. “You know the kids, they get sick often,” he says.

“What’s for Christmas, let’s see. Well, it is just another day for us. No feast for sure. Just last night we had a rice and fish sauce for supper, and the other day, salt, and earlier, we had a dinner of fish paste,” he says.

His father and mother also scavenge for scrap. “And my kid brother stays in the house alone and sometimes with the neighbors,” says Rodel, the eldest of the three siblings. Another brother, aged 12, helps him scavenge.

The dump is a place of opportunity for many jobless people in the village, but there are dangers to face as well. Many scavengers are suffering from respiratory diseases.

One man says he has tuberculosis. “I am always feverish and I cough a lot.”

But for many, life must go on. “There is no help here. We struggle here every day so we can also eat at least once a day. We are appealing to the government to help the poor by providing us with sustainable livelihood programs,” says Marilyn Solis, a 29-year-old.

“It will be very lucky if can take home P50. Most of the time I get only 20 pesos from the scrap I pick up here,” Marilyn says.

Another scavenger, Victoria Alejandro, even brought her baby as she scrounges for fresh garbage. “Not much today, look around you, there is nothing, and if there are some, the others have already got them,” the 39-year-old mother says.

Many have waited for Santa Claus to arrive at the dump, but it was already Christmas Eve and there was no sign that the great gift-giver would come.

“Santa is not coming, I guess. Maybe it is because of the smell and the garbage. You know the place is really dirty,” says Emong Patrocino. “We want to ask our Santa some food for the kids, not for us.”

Like Patrocino, the rest also waited for Santa, but many Christmas eves had passed without his showing up.

“You know who is our Santa? They are the people we voted in the past elections, and we always pray that for just once, they would come and visit us here and see our plight and have pity on our children, even on Christmas Day,” Emong says, wiping his tears with a piece of tattered rag.

And for Rodel, his only wish this Christmas is for Santa Claus to come.

Truce Observers To Probe MILF Cease-fire Violations in RP



ZAMBOANGA CITY (ZamboangaJournal / 30 Dec) -- A group of international cease-fire observers deployed in the southern Philippines said it will investigate the military's accusations that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is secretly recruiting new members and training rebels and broke a fragile truce it signed with the Filipino government.

The MILF, the largest separatist rebel group in the country, is currently negotiating peace with Manila.

But Southern Philippines military chief Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan accused the group of training rebels and recruited as many as 4,000 new members since early this year.

Adan said despite a strong protest, the MILF continues to train and recruit in at least 8 towns and provinces in the south. But the MILF denied the accusations and said the military is scuttling the peace talks, which are expected to resume next month in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian Admiral Muhammad Som, a spokesman for the 64-man international truce monitoring team, said they will investigate the accusations.

"In fact, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines launched a protest about this issue. Both the IMT and the MILF are aware of this and attempts are being made to investigate and look into these allegations."

"Since these allegation covers a large area in Mindanao, the investigation will take a little more time, but we will address the issue systematically and professionally and bear in mind the importance of peace that we have achieved so far," Som said.

He said the peace talks, which began in 2001, have already achieved significant gains and urged government and rebel negotiators to sustain the peace process.

"The peace talks are going very well, although, of course there is conflict going on, but what is important here is to keep the momentum of peace alive and we must not miss this opportunity in Mindanao. So far, the cease-fire agreement between the government and rebels is holding very well," he said.

He said his group is also monitoring socio and economic developments and rehabilitation of conflict-affected areas in the strife-torn, but mineral-rich region.

The IMT is composed of representatives from Malaysia, Brunei and Libya and deployed last year in the southern Philippines to monitor the truce Manila and the MILF.

It has put up headquarters in the cities of Zamboanga, Cotabato, General Santos, Iligan and Davao, Som said.

"Since these allegation covers a large area in Mindanao, the investigation will take a little more time, but we will address the issue systematically and professionally and bear in mind the importance of peace that we have achieved so far, " Som said.

He said the peace talks, which began in 2001, have already achieved significant gains and urged government and rebel negotiators to sustain the peace process.

"The peace talks are going very well, although, of course there is conflict going on, but what is important here is to keep the momentum of peace alive and we must not miss this opportunity in Mindanao. So far, the cease-fire agreement between the government and rebels is holding very well," he said.

He said his group is also monitoring socio and economic developments and rehabilitation of conflict-affected areas in the strife-torn, but mineral-rich region.

The IMT is composed of representatives from Malaysia, Brunei and Libya and deployed last year in the southern Philippines to monitor the truce Manila and the MILF.

It has put up headquarters in the cities of Zamboanga, Cotabato, General Santos, Iligan and Davao, Som said.

Brunei last month praised the peace talks and expressed optimism that a deal would soon end the decades-old problems in Mindanao.

Brunei's Royal Armed Forces commander Maj. Gen. Dato' Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Moh'd Yusof arrived in November in Maguindanao province and met with government and rebel peace negotiators.

He was the highest Bruneian official to have visited Maguindanao since the peace talks began. A group of senior Bruneian security officials, led by Col. Pengiran Haji Rosli bin Pengiran Haji Chuchu, commander of the Royal Brunei Land Force, also visited Maguindanao in October.

The province is a known MILF stronghold in the south, where Filipino troops are battling Abu Sayyaf militants tied with the al-Qaeda terror network and the regional Jemaah Islamiya group.

Malaysia, which is brokering the talks, earlier expressed optimism the Arroyo government and the MILF would be able to strike a peace agreement next year.


Brunei last month praised the peace talks and expressed optimism that a deal would soon end the decades-old problems in Mindanao.

Brunei's Royal Armed Forces commander Maj. Gen. Dato' Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Moh'd Yusof arrived in November in Maguindanao province and met with government and rebel peace negotiators.

He was the highest Bruneian official to have visited Maguindanao since the peace talks began.

A group of senior Bruneian security officials, led by Col. Pengiran Haji Rosli bin Pengiran Haji Chuchu, commander of the Royal Brunei Land Force, also visited Maguindanao in October.

The province is a known MILF stronghold in the south, where Filipino troops are battling Abu Sayyaf militants tied with the al-Qaeda terror network and the regional Jemaah Islamiya group.

Malaysia, which is brokering the talks, earlier expressed optimism the Arroyo government and the MILF would be able to strike a peace agreement next year.

The MILF, which split with the larger Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1978, is fighting for a separate Muslim homeland in the south.

The MNLF signed a peace agreement with Manila in September 1996, but many of its members who were disgruntled with the accord, had joined either the MILF and the Abu Sayyaf.

Many Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, and the influential Organization of Islamic Conference, and the United States, are supporting the peace talks.

President Gloria Arroyo said that 80% of the peace talks have been completed and that permanent peace in Mindanao is within reach. (zamboangajournal)

Influential Sultan Reiterates Support For RP Leader




ZAMBOANGA CITY (ZamboangaJournal / 30 Dec) The influential Sultan Sharif Ibrahim Ajibul Mohammad Pulalun, of Sulu and North Borneo on Friday reiterated his strong support to President Gloria Arroyo and appealed to all the Muslims and Christians in the Philippines to help the government in nation building.

Pulalun said many Muslims in the southern region are supporting the Arroyo government.

"We reiterate our support to President Gloria Arroyo and I urge all citizens, the Muslims and Christians alike, to unite and help the government in nation building and work for a better Philippines," he told the ZamboangaJournal.

He also urged Muslim rebels to forge peace with Manila and help in developing the strife-torn, but mineral-rich region.

"There should be peace in all places in the Sultanate, so we may live in harmony, side-by-side with all the races and religions. Peace must reign again," Pulalun said.

Pulalun, a descendant of Sultan Mohammad Pulalun, heads the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, now Sabah, and has been active in humanitarian works in the southern Philippines.

The Sultanate of Sulu obtained Sabah from the Sultanate of Brunei as a gift for helping defeat a rebellion on Borneo Island.

The Sultanate of Sulu was a Muslim state. It stretched from a part of the island of Mindanao in the east, to North Borneo, now known as Sabah, in the west and south, and to Palawan, in the north.

The sultanate was founded in the 1457 and is believed to exist with sovereignty for at least 442 years. Mindanao, Palawan, and the islands of the Sulu Sea were colonized by Spain, which ruled the country.

The British leased Sabah and transferred control over the territory to Malaysia after the end of Second World War.

Even after Borneo became part of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur still pays an annual rent of 5,000 ringgit to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu.

The dispute over Borneo is among long-standing irritants in ties between the Philippines and Malaysia, but because of diplomatic relations, the issue was temporarily shelved, as the two neighboring counties strengthened trades and investments since the 1990s.

UFO Spotted In Zamboanga City


An unidentified flying object hovers Dec. 24 on top of a hill in Lumbangan village in Zamboanga City. (Zamboanga Journal)


ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 29 Dec) -- An unidentified flying object was sighted hovering over a quiet village in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

The object, which appeared metallic, was spotted in the remote village of Lumbangan, about 10 kms east of Zamboanga.

A witness claimed to have a photograph of the UFO hovering above a hill in the village.
"I was taking pictures Dec. 24 of the people digging for scrap and did not notice the flying object until I browsed the photographs from my laptop computer four days later."

"I was aghast at the picture and could not believe it. Of the 3 frames of photographs taken in the same site, the flying object only appeared on the second frame. It was not on the first frame and gone on the third," he said.

He said the object resembled a dark metallic disc with what appeared to be a dome on its top and it emitted neither sounds or smoke.
It was unknown if there were other witnesses, but he said some 70 people were in the garbage dump at the time the UFO hovered behind them.

"It was past 10 in the morning and I am sure I heard no sound of air crafts in the village. The UFO was behind just up there," he said.

He said he reported the sighting to an international scientific research organization in the United States, the UFO Evidence, and sent a copy of the photograph.
Several UFO sightings were also reported in the past in the Philippines.
Filipinos reported seeing UFOs in 1979 in Cebu, Bohol and Negros province in the central Philippines. In April 19, 2000, a UFO was spotted near a beer brewery office in Manila.
In June 28, 2002, a UFO was spotted hovering on a remote village in Polomolok town in South Cotabato province in the southern Philippines.
Two sightings were again reported in Dumaguete City in central Philippines in December 15 and March 11 on the same year. In January 16, 2004, a disc-shaped flying object was seen over San Jose Del Monte town in Bulacan province outside Manila and many other sightings since 1900.