Thursday, September 30, 2010

RMN director, biktima ng Facebook raket

ZAMBOANGA CITY - (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 30, 2010) – Nagbabala sa publiko ang Radio Mindanao Network matapos na mabisto na may nagpanggap at gumagamit sa identipikasyon ng program director nito sa popular na social networking site na Facebook.

Sinabi ng RMN na may nagpapanggap na Gil Climaco sa Facebook at doon ay kung anu-anong mga malalaswang larawan ang inilagagay uopang hiyain diumano ang program director nitong si Gilbert Climaco.

Nagagamit rin umano ang Facebook account ng impostor upang manghingi ng salapi at mag-recruit ng trabaho mula sa mga nabibiktima.

Dahil dito ay dumulog sa National Bureau of Investigation at Criminal Investigation and Detection Group sa Zamboanga City si Gilbert Climaco upang maghain ng reklamo at hanapin ang impostor.

“Aatake ito sa aking personal na katauhan at kailangan matigil na ito sa lalong madaling panahon upang wala ng mabiktima ang impostor,” ani Climaco.

Nagulat pa umano si Climaco ng malaman nay Facebook account ito dahil ni hindi umano nito alam kung paano ang takbo ng mga social networking sites.

Nagbabala rin ito sa ibang mga reporter na mag-ingat sa kanilang mga social networking account dahil posibleng maging biktima rin sila ng “identity theft.”

Sinabi ni NBI na iniimbestigahan nito ngayon ang kaso at itinutring itong isang “cyber crime.” (Mindanao Examiner)

Zambonga journalist victimized by identity theft on facebook

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - A program director and news anchor of Radio Mindanao Network Zamboanga City sought assistance from the National Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group as well as from National Union of Journalists of the Philippines for a facebook account who used his name to extort money.

Gilbert Climaco said he believes he was a victim of identity theft that resulted in harassment, verbal abuse and trauma.

Climaco a radio anchor of Radio Mindanao Network discovered that an unidentified person is using his name, his mug shot photos and personal background through social networking site Facebook.

“I don't have knowledge about using social networking in fact I don't have an account with Facebook or any other social media or networking sites,” Climaco told the NUJP ZAMBASULTA.

In said “Gil Climaco” Facebook account, lewd photos and other pornographic materials are posted tagging all media friends, sources from all government agencies including personal friends, relatives, families and children.

“The impostor is doing negative things against me, maligned me and it has created a lot of mess in my life,” Climaco added whose family, friends, relatives and children are affected, scandalized and traumatized over the postings of photos made by the impostor.

Lorna Fernandez Jumalon a known local painter here and one of those tagged in the said indecent photos initially reacted strongly against Climaco, “I want to hurt him, to slap him again and again.”

Fernandez Jumalon was glad when she learned that said Gil Climaco account was not of the real Climacos.

“What if she was not informed, anybody can just approached me and do something harm on me,” Climaco said.

NBI Assistant Administrative Officer George Perez said Climaco is victim of identity theft and the person or the impostor who used his personal background “has the intention to harm him physically, destroy his honor and image.”

Perez admitted that social networking is also one form of high technology media attack or harassment, “anybody can just create an account and can manipulate other people to attack you, its also a form of media attack.” (NUJP - Julie Alipala)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cebu Pacific remains No. 1

Michelle de Guzman, Cebu Pacific corporate communications specialist, speaks to reporters in Zamboanga City in Mindanao on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Cebu Pacific has opened new flights to Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province and further boosting trade and commerce in Western Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Jung Francisco)


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 29, 2010) – Cebu Pacific continues to be the number one choice of travelers in the southern Philippines as the airliner expands its operation in the country, airline executives said Wednesday.

More than 5 million passengers had taken flights in Cebu Pacific just in six months time since January and posted over 50% market share in both domestic passenger and cargo markets for the first three months of 2010, according to the Civil Aeronautics Board.

Michelle de Guzman, corporate communications specialist, and airline affairs consultant Charles Lim, spoke to reporters in Zamboanga City and said Cebu Pacific, one of Asia’s fastest growing airlines, remains the favorite among travelers because of its quality services and low ticket prices, among others.

“We are glad to say that we are always number one and because of that Cebu Pacific continues to work hard to provide better and professional services, among others,” said De Guzman.

She said Cebu Pacific currently has 16 international and 33 domestic destinations, including in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province; and operates a fleet of 21 A319 and A320 (Airbus) and 8 ATR 72-500 aircrafts, the youngest fleet in the Philippines.

It offers the lowest year round "all-inclusive" fares for its domestic sectors while continues to sell “Go Fares” and providing the lowest year-round fares in all its international destinations. (Jung Francisco)

Rapists ng Maguindanao nurse, hinahanting!






Ang larawan ng grupong Suara at Gabriela sa rally ng mga ibat-ibang organisasyon sa Cotabato City bilang pagkondena sa gang rape ng isang nurse sa Maguindanao province.


COTABATO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 29, 2010) – Patuloy kahapon ang paghahanap ng mga awtoridad sa mga natitirang suspek sa panghahalay sa isang nurse sa Maguindanao province matapos na madakip ang 6 sa kanila sa bayan ng South Upi.

Ayon sa pulisya ay 4 na iba pa ang pinaghahanap kaugnay sa panggagahasa na naganap nuong Setyembre 25 sa isang nurse, 21 taong-gulang na volunteer naman ng pamahalaang lokal.

Nabatid na karamihan sa mga suspek ay mayayaman at pulos Kristiyano, ngunit hindi naman inilabas ng pulisya ang identipikasyon ng mga suspek.

Ang biktima ay natagpuan walang saplot at may sugat sa katawan at hinihinalang iniwan sa akalang patay na ito di-kalayuan sa pagamutan ng South Upi. Gang rape umano ang naganap sa biktima.

Mariing kinondena rin ng grupong Gabriela ang panggagahasa. “Nananawagan kami sa mga awtoridad at lokal na pamahalaan ng South Upi na maglunsad ng isang masinsing imbestigasyon at gawaran ng kaukulang parusa ang mga perpetrators na gumawa nito kay Florence,” ani Jaquelane Billiones, tagapagsalita ng Gabriela sa Cotabato City.

Kamakalawa ay isang malaking indignation rally naman ang isinagawa ng mga ibat-ibang grupo bilang pakikiisa sa pagkondena sa panggagahasa.

Ayon kay Billiones ay nakapagtala ang Gabriela noong 2009 ng 9,585 na kaso ng pang-aabuso laban sa mga kababaihan at kabataan at sa pagtatantya nito ay mayroong nagagahasa na dalawang kababaihan bawat araw sa nakalipas na taon.

Nalulungkot naman ang Gabriela sa sinapit ng biktima dahil wala umanong malinaw na seguridad at proteksyong tinatanggap ang mga health workers lalo na nag mga kababaihan laban sa iba’t-ibang porma ng pang-aabuso lalo na sa mga rural area. (Mindanao Examiner)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 killed, 4 wounded in Zamboanga strafing

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 28, 2010) – Motorcycle gunmen strafed a crowded bus depot on Tuesday and killing at least 2 people in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga Sibugay, reports said.

The attackers, who were on three motorbikes, escaped after the noontime shooting that also wounded four people in Tungawan town. The motive of the attack is still unknown, but the reports said the gunmen fled toward the neighboring Zamboanga City.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but rebels are also actively operating in the town.

The military did not give details of the attack, but confirmed the incident had occurred.

“There is a report about the incident, but we still have no details (of the attack),” said Army First Lieutenant Jinky Perez, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command headquarters in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)

Car boy, isinabit sa nakawan sa ina ni Jinky Pacquiao

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 28, 2010) – Sasampahan umano ng pulisya ng kaso ang isang “watch-your-car” boy matapos na umano’y malimas ang laman ng kotse ng pamilya ni Jinky Pacquiao sa General Santos City sa Mindanao.

Ayon sa pulisya ay inihahanda na nito ang kaso laban sa suspek na nakilalang si Ali Kirama na hinihinalang may kinalaman sa nakawan.

Nabatid na naganap ang nakawan nuong Linggo ng gabi habang nasa simbahan ang ina ni Jinky na si Rosalina Jamora at iba pang mga kasamahang.

Nagulat na lamang ito ng bumalik at makitang basag na ang bintana ng sasakyan at nawala na rin ang mahahalagang gamit, kabilang ang mga alahas at mamahaling bag na Louis Vitton.

Itinanggi naman ni Kirama ang akusasyon at sinabing wala itong alam sa nakawan.

Hindi naman agad makunan ng pahayag si Jinky, na asawa ni boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao ukol sa naganap sa ina, ngunit madalas ang nakawan sa mga sasakyan sa General Santos City na kung saan ay may mga negosyo ang mag-asawang Pacquiao. (Mindanao Examiner)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sick Maoist rebel arrested on way to hospital in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 27, 2010) – Philippine communist rebels condemned government forces for arresting a sick member of the New People’s Army who was rushed to hospital for emergency care in Mindanao.

The rebel, Eliseo Tada, was on his way to hospital for emergency care when troops arrested him and later paraded to the public in Malita town in Davao del Sur province, said Dencio Madrigal, a spokesman for the NPA’s Valentin Palamine Regional Operations Command.

He said Tada was so sick that he needed emergency medical care to save his life, but troops who arrested the rebel interrogated him instead.

“Eliseo (Ka Bimbo) Tada is a very sick man who has been ill for some time and had to have immediate medical treatment in a hospital. NPA medics who attended to him decided he should have a more specialized and extensive treatment, which at that particular time, could not be provided by the guerilla front.”

“For this reason, the comrades decided to brave the odds and bring him to the nearest medical facility in order to save his life. Unfortunately, he was accosted by enemy patrols along the way, interrogated and brought to 39th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Davao del Sur. During the interrogation he must have been physically and psychologically forced to admit to certain activities of which he had no knowledge about,” Madrigal said.

He said the military accused Tada of participating in a string of attacks against government soldiers in Sarangani province. He said Tada was very sick and has been under the care of NPA medics and could not be involved in any attacks against military forces.

“How could Ka Bimbo participate in the attritive action when he was very sick and has been on treatment by the NPA medics for some time now? He was neither in any of the two other tactical offensives launched by the Red fighters on September 18 and 20 in Malita (town), Davao del Sur and in Malapatan (town), Sarangani, respectively, which are within Front 71 territories,” Madrigal said.

The Army’s 10th Infantry Division said over the weekend that Tada, a senior NPA leader, surrendered to the military in Sarangani province. Tada was also tagged by the military as among those who attacked a group of army soldiers conducting anti-dengue seminar in Sarangani’s Malapatan town that left at least 2 infantrymen wounded.

There was no immediate statement from the military about the accusations and army spokesmen did not answer phone calls made by journalists.

The NPA is fighting for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. Peace talks between the rebel group and the Arroyo government collapsed in 2004 after both sides failed to sign a political deal that would put an end to decades of fighting. (Mindanao Examiner)

DTI in Western Mindanao, now certified ISO 9001

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 27, 2010) – The International Standards Organization has conferred the ISO 9001:2008 certification to the Department of Trade and Industry in Western Mindanao for its excellent services.

The ISO is an organization that sets standards in many businesses and technologies, including computing and communications.

“The awarding is the long-awaited culmination of almost two years of painstaking efforts to come up with a quality management system that finally withstood the rigorous assessment process and found to be in full conformity with the ISO standards,” said Nazrullah Manzur, the regional trade director.

He said Renato Navarette, the managing director of the Certification International Philippines, Inc., awarded ISO certificate to DTI in Zamboanga City. Manzur said the ISO certification is a major milestone for his office and should translate to better services to its external and internal customers.

“The quality policy we drafted ourselves states that, we the DTI-9 (Region 9) team commits to champion business and consumers. That we shall help build an enabling environment for business to grow and for consumers to get best value for money as we foster professionalism, integrity and competence among ourselves in the DTI. And that we shall improve continually our quality management system to deliver better, faster and more efficient services to our clients,” Manzur said. (Mindanao Examiner)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sidewalk Vendor

A woman, who owns a shop in Zamboanga City, sells fruits on the sidewalk in front of Ateneo de Zamboanga. Vendors are not allowed to sell on sidewalks in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

Wow Sulu! Patikul Municipality





"Wow Sulu" is a tourism slogan of Governor Sakur Tan, of the province of Sulu, the 15th largest island of the Philippine Archipelago in terms of the area, spanning 1,600 square kilometers. Sulu is a part of the Sulu Archipelago, which stretches from the tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula to the island of Borneo. The main island and also its islets are located between the island-provinces of Basilan to the northeast, and Tawi-Tawi to the southwest.

Sulu is located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Its capital is Jolo and occupies the middle group of islands of the Sulu Archipelago, between Basilan and Tawi-Tawi. It is home to the historical Sultanate of Sulu.

Malaysia praises private sectors in Sabah, Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 26, 2010) – Malaysia has praised efforts by private sectors in Sabah and Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines to improve bilateral trade between the two neighbors.

Malaysia and the Philippines are part of the East ASEAN Growth Area to which Indonesia and Brunei are also members. The four countries have forged an agreement to achieve certain objectives, which include facilitating the free movement of people, goods, and services; share common infrastructure and natural resources; and pursue economic complementation.

While ASEAN is an acronym of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an alliance of 10 countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Its aims include the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, the protection of the peace and stability of the region, and to provide opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.

Malaysia’s State Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said this was crucial to face changes and challenges in the global business. He said the private sectors in Sabah and Zamboanga have agreed to find the right mechanism to boost bilateral trade under the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area.

“The move will pave the way for higher bilateral trade volume,” Malaysia’s Bernama news agency quoted him as telling reporters after discussions with the private sectors, consultant companies and Manila-based Asian Development Bank involved in the Sandakan-Zamboanga bilateral trade.

It said among matters discussed during the meeting were the upgrading of customs, immigration and port services and increasing the number of ferries plying between Sandakan and Zamboanga.

“The improvements would facilitate higher two-way trade volume and woo more traders from neighboring countries to do business in this district,” Tan said referring to Sandakan, the second largest city in Sabah whose harbor is an inlet of the Sulu Sea.

He said the main focus was to upgrade services at Sandakan and Zamboanga ports as they were the gateways between Sabah and the southern Philippines. He said the Asian Development Bank also appointed a consultant company that would conduct a study and provide suggestions to improve services at the two ports.

“This is a positive development to boost bilateral trade between the private sector here and in Zamboanga. I hope after the study has been completed will be followed up with implementation of the ways recommended to improve services. This is crucial because of the keen competition in the global business environment,” he added.

Zamboanga City which lies on the tip of western Mindanao is the center of trade of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, all part of the Muslim autonomous region. It is also why Zamboanga remains one of the wealthiest cities in Mindanao.

In Sulu, Governor Sakur Tan is also pursuing efforts to hasten trade and commerce between Sabah and his province. He said the recent renovation of the Sulu airport would boost domestic trade and in return increase the flow of commerce in the provinces and Zamboanga City.

“We have trade and various programs that aim to attract investments and we are linking up with our neighbors to help in pursuing the mission and vision of the BIMP-EAGA,” Tan said.

The airport in Sulu, whose renovation was funded by the US and the Philippine governments, can accommodate larger aircrafts. And Sulu’s bustling ports are also gateway to Malaysia and Indonesia. (Mindanao Examiner)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

RMN airs side over allegations by ex-manager

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 25, 2010) – One of the Philippines’ largest and oldest radio network has denied reports that it illegally terminated a former station manager in Mindanao.

Mario Maximo Solis accused the Radio Mindanao Network of illegally terminating him early this month, but RMN insisted the former manager was dismissed on the following grounds – “loss of trust and confidence and willful disobedience of lawful orders.”

“The management of Radio Mo Nationwide has legally and validly terminated the employment of Mr. Mario Maximo Solis effective September 6, 2010. He was dismissed for “Loss of Trust and Confidence” and “Willful Disobedience of Lawful Orders,” which are just causes for termination of employment under the Labor Code,” the network’s legal counsel, lawyer Jorge Sacdalan said in a statement.

Solis was RMN’s station manager in Davao City.

Sacdalan, who is also RMN’s Human Resource Director, said Solis allegedly failed to deliver and perform the mandates of his position on numerous instances.

“Two years ago, Mr. Solis was already suspended for 30 days for not having met the contractual obligations of the company to a major advertiser by his non-airing of commercial spots with a final warning that a repetition of the same or more serious offense shall be grounds for his termination.”

“The management, after providing Mr. Solis all the opportunity to explain his side, conducted an exhaustive investigation. It has found out that Mr. Solis is liable for several serious infractions of existing company accounting rules and procedures concerning contracts, billings and payments made by clients.”

He added: “In addition thereto, Mr. Solis was also found to have unjustifiably and repeatedly disobeyed and refused to comply with the lawful orders of the management pertaining to radio operations. Certainly, the unlawful acts perpetuated by Mr. Solis coupled by his insubordination are greatly prejudicial and inimical to the interest of Radyo Mo Nationwide. (Mindanao Examiner)

7 abducted Muslims freed in Mindanao

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 25, 2010) – Kidnappers have freed Saturday 7 people they seized in the restive province of Maguindanao in the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, authorities said.

It said the victims, who were all abducted Thursday in the village of Bayanga Norte in Matanog town, had been released safely.

Security officials did not give details of the release, but said government negotiators had convinced the kidnappers to free all the captives. The victims had been freed in two batches since late Friday.

Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a regional army spokesman, said at least 15 gunmen were involved in the abduction which was in retaliation to September 13 kidnapping by another gang of Aris Lidasan in Lanao del Sur’s Lumba Bayabao town.

It was unknown whether those abducted are family members of relatives of the kidnappers, Cabangbang said.

Last year, gunmen abducted and murdered at least 57 people, more than half of them were journalists accompanying a political caravan of town official in Maguindanao.

The governor of the Muslim autonomous region, Zaldy Ampatuan; his father, Andal Ampatuan Sr. and brother Andal Ampatuan Jr. and other relatives have been accused of masterminding the killings.

Ampatuan’s deputy governor Ansaruddin Adiong and a staunch ally now sits as the acting governor of the troubled Muslim autonomous region. (Mindanao Examiner)

Journalists finish ICRC workshop on Int'l Humanitarian Law


Anastasia Isyuk, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, gestures during a media workshop on Saturday, September 25, 2010 in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. (Best available photo - Mindanao Examiner)



ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 25, 2010) – More than two dozen journalists have finished Saturday a media workshop on International Humanitarian Law and Reporting Conflict in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

The International Committee of the Red Cross led by Anastasia Isyuk and Christophe Gillioz conducted the one-day workshop held at the Lantaka Hotel. Victor Redmond Batario, the executive director of the International News Safety Institute, also discussed about safety of journalists.

Isyuk, the ICRC communication coordinator, spoke about the organization’s operation in the Philippines and briefed journalists about the International Humanitarian Law. He also talked about safety of journalists and conflict reportage.

Gillioz, the head of the ICRC office in Zamboanga City, briefly discussed about his group’s humanitarian efforts.

They were also joined by Gabriel Daclan and Allison Lopez, both ICRC communication officers. Daclan spoke about the ICRC in Mindanao and humanitarian missions in the southern region.

Dr Rene Guioguio, ICRC political and communication adviser, also talked about the organization’s relationship with the media and its role in reporting conflict and humanitarian issues.

The ICRC team showed videos of the organization’s operations around the world and safety of journalists. Most of the journalists who attended the workshop came from as far as Sulu, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur and Cotabato provinces. (Mindanao Examiner)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Gunmen seize 7 people in Muslim Maguindanao

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 24, 2010) – Gunmen seized at least 7 people in the Muslim province of Maguindanao in the restive region of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, officials said Friday.

Officials said the victims were in two passenger vehicles bound for Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province when gunmen seized them on a road block in the village called Bayanga Norte in Matanog town.

At least 15 gunmen were involved in the abduction, said Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a regional army spokesman. He said the abduction was believed to be in connection to the September 13 kidnapping of Aris Lidasan in Lanao del Sur’s Lumba Bayabao town.

“The motive of the abduction is believed to be in retaliation to the kidnapping of Lidasan,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

Lidasan is still being held hostage by his captors.

It was unknown whether those abducted are family members of relatives of the kidnappers, Cabangbang said troops were sent to the province to track down the perpetrators and their hostages.

Last year, gunmen abducted and murdered at least 57 people, more than half of them were journalists accompanying a political caravan of town official in Maguindanao.

The governor of the Muslim autonomous region, Zaldy Ampatuan; his father, Andal Ampatuan Sr. and brother Andal Ampatuan Jr. and other relatives have been accused of masterminding the killings.

Ampatuan’s deputy governor Ansaruddin Adiong and a staunch ally now sits as the acting governor of the troubled Muslim autonomous region. (Mindanao Examiner)

Justice For Maguindanao Massacre Victims; 10 Months Had Passed!

It is 10 months now since the Maguindanao massacre where at least 32 journalists were among 57 people brutally murdered.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Philippine military bares completed peace, development projects

A photo released by the Philippine military shows one of military projects in northern Samar.


QUEZON CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 23, 2010) – The Philippine military on Thursday said it has completed more than 1,600 peace and development projects across the country the past years.

Officials said a total of 1,691 projects were completed from 2005 to 2010, mostly from the government’s Kalayaan sa Barangay Program which had been undertaken through the National Development Support Command.

Among the projects were school buildings, daycare and health centers, rural electrification, potable water system and farm-to-market roads. “Most of these projects were completed in cooperation and support of local government units, government agencies, nongovernment organizations and other stakeholders nationwide,” said According to Army Captain Emmanuel Garcia, of the National Development Support Command.

Garcia said 54 more infrastructure projects across the country are ongoing and nearing completion by military engineers.

He said Major General Carlos Holganza, commander of National Development Support Command, is happy with the projects because of the contribution of troops in nation- building.

“These worthwhile projects were made thru the peace and development initiatives of the government and genuine care of our peace builder-soldiers for our people,” Holganza said.

Of the total number of completed projects, 794 are in Luzon, 511 in the Visayas and 386 Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

6 killed in clan war in Philippines




Relatives bury the victims of attack in Patikul town in Sulu province in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Nickee Butlangan).



ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 23, 2010) – Gunmen killed six people in an attack on a Muslim village in what police claimed was triggered by a long time clan war in the southern Filipino province of Sulu.

Police said it launched an operation on Thursday to track down the murderers in the town of Patikul. The attack late Wednesday also left two more people wounded.

“We are still investigating the attack, but initial reports pointed to rido or clan war as the motive of the killings,” said Senior Superintendent Joseph Ramac, chief of the Sulu police force.

He said more policemen were sent to the village to prevent the escalation of hostilities between the warring clans. "We have additional forces in the area," he told the Mindanao Examiner by phone from Sulu province.

Clan war is not uncommon in the southern Philippines, particularly among Muslim clans and the U.S. Agency for International Development and think-tank The Asia Foundation have said more than 3,000 people have been killed over the past seven decades in family feuds in the restive region.

Rido can involve disputes among family members or among two or more rival families, pitting neighbors or different ethnic groups against each other. The disputes center on issues of land, money, marriage or political power and involve revenge killings.

The violence increases with each act of retaliation, broadening to include those not directly involved in the dispute, including women and children, according to the Asia Foundation, adding, some feuds lasted for decades. (With a report from Nickee Butlangan)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Davao Hosts Asia's 1st Regional Bird Conservation Fair

DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Birdwatchers, conservationists and eco-tourism promoters from all over Asia and elsewhere have their eyes on the Philippines, which is hosting Asia's first-ever region-wide bird festival.

The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines said the First Asian Bird Fair will be held in Davao City from September 24 to 26, tandem with the 6th Philippine Bird Festival, the country's premier avian conservation and eco-tourism event. The milestone event is co-hosted by the Philippine Eagle Foundation and the Davao City government.

The First Asian Bird Fair-themed "Nurture Nature, Save our Future"—is a common initiative of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, the Chinese Wild Bird Federation, the Wild Bird Society of Taipei, the Malaysian Nature Society and the Nature Society (Singapore).

The Asian Bird Fair, which highlights the respective bird festivals of the participating countries, seeks to enrich eco-tourism through birdwatching and promote the natural and cultural heritage of host cities.

The Asian Bird Fair and 6th Philippine Bird Festival will be held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao on 24-25 September. Entrance to the Asian Bird Fair exhibit area is free of charge, according to organizers.

Highlights of the fair include the Bird Conservation Forum and turn-over ceremony to representatives of the Chinese Wild Bird Federation, host of next year's Asian Bird Fair in Tainan City. International and Philippine delegates will also tour the Philippine Eagle Center and Eden Garden Resorts while in Davao.

WBCP president Michael Lu said the fair will include photo exhibits, presentations and fun activities for all.

Children can also look forward to a guided tour at low tide of the tidal flats fronting the Waterfront Insular Hotel, where children can have a close look at marine species like fiddler crabs and mudskippers as well as spectacular views of herons, egrets and shorebirds.

Lu expects the event to draw bird watchers, conservationists, eco-tourism promoters, sustainable development providers, and nature lovers from around the country, Asia and Europe.

Alice Real, chairperson of the committee organizing the 1st Asian Bird Festival and 6th Philippine Bird Festival, said the latest initiative is a significant move to draw attention to pressing conservation issues.

"We can make a significant difference to protect the rich bird life and habitats of our islands, whilst promoting responsible enjoyment of nature and encouraging related sustainable businesses in the local communities," Real said in a statement.

International groups participating in the Asian Bird Festival are Chinese Wild Bird Federation, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Malaysian Nature Society, Nature Society of Singapore, Wild Bird Society of Taipei, Shanghai Wild Bird Society, Wild Bird Society of Tainan, Hong Kong Birdwatching Society, Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, Borneo Bird Club, Hornbill Research Foundation, the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association, Bird Conservation Nepal and the Oriental Bird Club.

Local organizations joining are Conservation International, Fauna and Flora International, Katala Foundation, WWF-Philippines, Isla Biodiversity Conservation, Birding Adventure Philippines, KAAKBAY, Malagos Garden Resort, Monfort Bat Cave & Conservation Foundation, Philippine Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, Philippine Wild Bird Photographers, My Zoo Foundation, Earth Island Institute, City of Alaminos (Pangasinan), City of Balanga (Bataan) and the Municipality of Candaba (Pampanga).

Troops rescue kidnapped Zamboanga junk shop owner

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 21, 2010) – Government troops rescued Monday a kidnapped Chinese-Filipino trader in a daring raid on a hideout in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said four gang members were captured in the raid in Talon-Talon village where Vinton So was recovered at around 3:30 p.m. The raiders, led by Colonel Santiago Baluyot, commander of an anti-terror task force, swooped down on the gang’s hideout and rescued the 47-year old junk shop owner without firing any shots.

“It was quick. The kidnappers were surprised by the raid and we rescued Vinton So without any shots fired,” Baluyot said, adding, the rescue was part of an intelligence operation with the police.

He said the four kidnappers – two of them women – were being investigated if they have links with the Abu Sayyaf rebels, whose group is tied with the al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya, blamed for the spate of kidnappings and terrorism in the restive region.

“Most of the kidnappers are from Jolo (town) in Sulu (province) and we still don’t know if they have links or members of the Abu Sayyaf. They are still being interrogated,” Santiago said.

Gunmen abducted So inside his junk shop in the village of Santa Maria on Sunday afternoon, but his family only reported the incident later in the day.

So was among several prominent people kidnapped this year in Zamboanga City where suspected Abu Sayyaf militants also seized Vicente Barrios, a fish pond operator; and Charlie Reith, a land owner. Both had been freed in exchange for ransoms.

Dozens of traders and businessmen in Zamboanga said they have also received threats from kidnappers and urged authorities to put efforts in protecting them.

Several people were also kidnapped in Zamboanga City in recent years and were released after their families paid huge ransoms.

Suspected Abu Sayyaf kidnappers are also holding two Malaysian seaweed farmers and have demanded two million ringgits in exchange for their safe release.

The duo - Tsen Vui Chung, 42, and his cousin Lai Wing Chau, 33, - were seized in February from their farm in the island of Pulau Sebangkit in Sabah and were taken to Tawi-Tawi province in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)

RP faces new tensions with China over Spratly Islands: VERA Files

MANILA, Philippines - Even before the diplomatic tension created by the Aug. 23 hostage crisis has subsided, President Benigno Aquino III will have to deal with another strain on the country’s relationship with China: the dormant yet sensitive issue of the contested Spratly Islands.

The Spratlys dispute will be high on the agenda when Aquino meets his counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday in New York.

The ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting is expected to tackle the territorial dispute in the context of maritime security under the broad agenda “Maintenance of Regional Stability.”

The meeting comes after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced on Tuesday it was pushing through with the plan to develop Pag-asa Island, which is part of the Spratlys group, into a tourist spot.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said major repairs are underway for the airstrip and the pier on the main island of Pag-Asa that needed “a lot of renovation due to poor maintenance, longstanding neglect and deterioration.”

Last Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) received a call from China’s Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao, who said the plan was not a welcome pronouncement at a time when the two countries were still ironing out the issue of the Aug. 23 hostage incident that killed eight Hong Kong tourists.

The ambassador also asked about the final report of the government probe on the incident which was still not ready then. The report was presented to the President only last Friday.

But in an interview with defense reporters last month, Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez said repairs on the eroded part of the Pag-asa airstrip were on-going. As a result, supply missions to the Philippine-claimed Kalayaan Island Group had to be done monthly now, compared to the previous quarterly.

Cortez also confirmed that an incident at the Ayungin shoal became the subject of a Chinese protest in July. Soldiers stationed there were accused of firing a warning shot at a Chinese vessel. A Philippine Navy ship is beached at Ayungin shoal and serves as housing facility for AFP troops manning the area.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing summoned the Philippine embassy in Beijing over the incident, but Cortez clarified that Philippine troops stationed there never fired a warning shot.

“Based on our inquiry, there was no shooting that happened. Actually we just flashed a light at them. To actually fire—that needed clearance from the top because that's an act provoking the other country. We had that investigated and there was none really,” Cortez said.

Before the July incident, the DFA also received a diplomatic protest from the Chinese ambassador on alleged construction activities on the same shoal, which the Philippines denied.

The Philippines occupies nine of the islands in the disputed Spratlys chain or Nansha islands in the South China Sea (SCS). Five countries lay overlapping claims to the Spratlys which are believed to be oil-rich. The Philippines along with fellow ASEAN members Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei contest ownership with China and also with Taiwan.

During the ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting in New York on September 24, other items on the agenda also include “Regional Architecture and Plans for the Future” that will cover US eventual participation in the East Asia Summit (EAS).

There is also an item in the agenda called “Economic Cooperation” where the U.S. will talk about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other areas of ASEAN-US economic cooperation.

In the draft joint statement of the 2nd ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting prepared by the U.S., the leaders are expected to “oppose the use or threat of force by any claimant attempting to enforce disputed claims in the SCS [South China Sea].”

ASEAN prefers to limited the text to “reaffirming the importance of freedom of navigation, regional peace and stability, unimpeded commerce in respect for relevant universally agreed principles of international law and the peaceful settlement of dispute in the SCS.”

Both the U.S. and ASEAN, however, agreed on the text that supported a full implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the SCS and encouraged the eventual conclusion of a regional code of conduct in the SCS.

Among those agreed upon by ASEAN and China in the declaration is to “undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others, refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features and to handle their differences in a constructive manner.”

In a meeting in Washington preparatory to the 2nd ASEAN-US summit, U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Jeffrey Bader briefed ASEAN ambassadors about their discussions with the Chinese government during a recent visit to Beijing.

The State Department officials said the meeting “provided clarity on expectations and behavior of all states in SCS and that they explained to China that the US statement on SCS do not seek to single out China but was a message to all states.”

In a DFA report about the highlights of that meeting, the exchange of views on regional issues showed that “the US wants to strike the exquisite balance” on issues involving maritime security to ensure that they do not create new venue for US-China tensions. However, they will remain supportive of regional efforts without having to create new mechanisms to discuss the issue.” (Tessa Jamandre - VERA Files)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Zamboanga junk shop owner seized

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 20, 2010) – Unidentified gunmen barged into a junk shop and seized its Chinese-Filipino owner in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines, the military said on Monday.

It said gunmen abducted Vinton So, 47, in the village of Santa Maria on Sunday afternoon, but his family only reported the incident later in the day. “We have forces helping the police locate the victim and his abductors,” said First Lieutenant Jinky Perez, a regional army spokesperson.

The victim’s family did not give any statement or whether the gunmen demanded any ransom, but officials said the abductors told So’s wife: “Don’t worry, this is purely business.”

Police officials also did not give any statement and avoided journalists who were trying to get information about the latest abduction. The motive of the abduction is unknown, but suspicion fell heavily on the Abu Sayyaf group which had kidnapped wealthy traders in Zamboanga in the past.

So was the third victim of kidnapping this year in Zamboanga City after Abu Sayyaf militants seized Vicente Barrios, a fish pond operator; and Charlie Reith, a land owner. Both had been freed in exchange for ransoms.

Dozens of traders and businessmen in Zamboanga have also received threats from kidnappers and urged authorities to put efforts in protecting them.

Several people were also kidnapped in Zamboanga City in recent years and were released after their families paid huge ransoms.

Suspected Abu Sayyaf kidnappers are also holding two Malaysian seaweed farmers and have demanded two million ringgits in exchange for their safe release.

The duo - Tsen Vui Chung, 42, and his cousin Lai Wing Chau, 33, - were seized in February from their farm in the island of Pulau Sebangkit in Sabah and were taken to Tawi-Tawi province in the southern Philippines.

Kidnappings-for-ransom remain the biggest threat to personal security, second to terrorism in the restive, but mineral-rich region of Mindanao.

The Abu Sayyaf, which means “Bearer of the sword,” and other rebel groups including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Al-Khobar gang, have been tied to dozens of kidnappings over the past decade in the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi – all in the Muslim autonomous region; and Zamboanga City and other areas in Western Mindanao.

Kidnappings-for-ransom has become a lucrative business for rebels and criminal syndicates in Mindanao, where many areas are underdeveloped and job opportunities are scarce. Sometimes gangs kidnapped civilians and hand them over to rebels in exchange for a cut in the ransom. Poverty has been blamed for many kidnappings in the South.

Military officials said the Abu Sayyaf uses its ransom collections to purchase weapons and fund future terror attacks in the country and were believed channeling funds to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya.

Among the highest-profile kidnappings carried out by the Abu Sayyaf were the 2000 raid cross-border raid in Malaysia where it took 21 mostly Western holidaymakers and ransomed them off for millions of dollars to private negotiators of foreign governments whose citizens had been kidnapped.

It also kidnapped Jeffrey Craig Schilling, an American citizen, while traveling in Sulu province also in 2000. It was followed the next year with the kidnapping of 20 people, including American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham, and compatriot Guillermo Sobero, who was later beheaded.

Abu Sayyaf militants also kidnapped dozens of Filipinos, including teachers and students and a Catholic priest in a raid of a town in Basilan province.

And this was followed through the years by kidnapping Filipino traders, but in 2008 the militants seized a popular local television news anchor Ces Drilon and his two cameramen and a guide while on their way to clandestinely interview an Abu Sayyaf leader.

And in January 2009, Abu Sayyaf kidnapped three members of the International Red Cross - Andreas Notter, of Switzerland; Eugenio Vagni, of Italy and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba. And there was suspicion that ransoms were paid to the kidnappers either in Malaysia or Indonesia after authorities claimed that Mauiya, an Indian Jemaah Islamiya militant, was negotiating with the hostages’ representatives.

Sri Lankan peace worker, Omar Jaleel, of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, was also taken in Basilan the same year; and so were other Filipinos seized in the province and Zamboanga City.

In 1998, Italian priest Luciano Benedetti was kidnapped by rogue MILF rebels and released after eight weeks in captivity. In 2001, renegade MILF rebels also snatched Italian priest Giuseppe Pierantoni as the 44-year-old from Bologna said mass in the parish church of Dimataling town in Zamboanga del Sur and missionary Giancarlo Bossi, of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions, in Payao town in Zamboanga del Sur in 2007.

Last year, rogue MILF rebels also kidnapped Irish priest Michael Sinnott from his missionary house in Pagadian City and freed months later after ransom was paid.

A Japanese citizen, Toshio Ito, has become the latest victim of kidnapping in the southern Philippines. The 63-year old Hiroshima native was kidnapped by 10 armed men from his home in Pangutaran Island in the Sulu archipelago on July 16 and brought him to Basilan province, just several nautical miles south of Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)

Sulu launches coffee processing center

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 20, 2010) - Sulu province has formally launched its coffee processing center and is expected to boost coffee production and eventually helped local cooperatives as part of a massive agricultural program that aims to provide additional livelihoods to farmers.

Governor Sakur Tan said Sulu is one of the major producers of high quality coffee beans - Arabica and Robusta – and is the most sought after not only in the Philippines, but other Asian and European countries as well because of its distinct aroma and flavor.

Tan said the Sulu Coffee Processing Center is a joint project of the Sulu provincial government and the Act for Peace Programme headed by its area manager Suharto Abbas.

The Act for Peace Programme under its industry-based component provided some P999, 300 for the purchase of machineries while the provincial government shouldered the construction of the building that houses the coffee processing center.

The main proponent of the project is the Task Force Kahawa Sug which literally means “Sulu coffee.”

Tan said at least 56 cooperatives will benefit from the project. “We are really working hard to come up with more projects like this coffee processing center and more cooperatives will also benefit from this,” he said.

The governor has urged farmers and fishermen to form themselves into cooperatives and avail of the many various projects of the provincial government. Tan said he would also built a school which would specialize in agriculture and fisheries and offer free education to all in Sulu. (With a report from Jung Francisco)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

After the flood



Villagers in Kidapawan City in Mindanao rebuild what is left from flash floods that submerged many areas and destroyed small houses and structures over the weekend. There were no reports of casualties, police say. (Mindanao Examiner Photo – Geo Solmerano)

Troops clash with Sayyafs in Basilan province

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 19, 2010) – An Abu Sayyaf militant was killed in a clash Sunday with Philippine soldiers in the southern province of Basilan, officials said.

Officials said the fighting erupted at dawn on a village in Lantawan town, a known stronghold of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group blamed for the string of attacks and kidnappings in Mindanao.

Troops also recovered an automatic rifle and munitions from the slain militant – Abdulkarim Sali - whose body was brought to Zamboanga City. But the family and relatives of the slain militant denied he was a member of the Abu Sayyaf.

“Abdulkarim Sali is a wanted Abu Sayyaf member and involved in the kidnapping (of three US citizens and over a dozen Filipinos) in Sipadan,” said First Lieutenant Jinky Perez, a regional army spokeswoman.

Perez was referring to a posh resort in Palawan province the Abu Sayyaf raided in 2001. She said Sali was also involved in several kidnappings in Basilan and included in the government’s wanted list. (Mindanao Examiner)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gunman attacks village official inside Zamboanga hospital

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 18, 2010) – A village official who was shot and wounded in an attack in Zamboanga City escaped death the second time after he was attacked inside a hospital in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

Edgar Mali, who was recuperating at the state-run Zamboanga Medical Center for gunshot wounds in an earlier attack, had been shot twice by one of two unidentified gunman who entered his ward late Friday.

The gunman and his accomplice fled immediately after the shooting leaving behind the bloodied official slumped on his bed. No individual claimed responsibility for the daring attack.

It was unknown how the gunman was able to sneak with his gun, but the hospital’s security is notoriously poor and the few private guards manning its compound are ill-equipped.

The hospital also has no security cameras and visitors come and go without even passing through security checks.

The motive of the attack was unknown, but Mali was shot recently while driving his motorcycle. It was not the first time that a village official was attacked in Zamboanga City where clan war or family feud are not uncommon.

Clan war or locally known as “rido” is common in many parts of the southern Philippines. The U.S. Agency for International Development and think-tank Asia Foundation have said more than 3,000 people have been killed over the past seven decades in family feuds in the southern Philippines.

In Zamboanga City, more than two dozen vengeance killings occurred in recent months in three villages involving Christian and Muslim families. And this is also common in Basilan, Sulu, Maguindanao and other parts of the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

Rido can involve disputes among family members or among two or more rival families, pitting neighbors or different ethnic groups against each other. The disputes center on issues of land, money, marriage or political power and involve revenge killings.

The violence increases with each act of retaliation, broadening to include those not directly involved in the dispute, including women and children, according to the Asia Foundation, adding, some feuds lasted for decades. (Mindanao Examiner)

Zamboanga City villages brace for 8-hour blackout

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 17, 2010) – The local electric cooperative on Friday announced an eight-hour blackout in several areas to allow maintenance work on a 69 kilovolt line in Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

Reinerio Ramos, general manager of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, said the power interruption would start at 8 a.m. on Sunday and would end at 5 p.m. in areas which draw electricity from the San Roque powerhouse.

He said the repair is necessary and maintenance workers would replace an old wooden pole of Structure No. 6. “The shut-off schedule will also give ample time for the replacement of broken insulators on Structures Nos. 13 and 16 and the armoring of conductor between Structures No. 1 and 2,” Ramos said.

He said the work is part of regular transmission line maintenance for this year which is being undertaken by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

“Please bear with us during this power interruption. This work is being done to upgrade the NGCP power system for safe energy delivery to our cooperative,” he said. (With a report from Jung Francisco)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Robin Padilla, itinakwil ng mga Muslim!

Mga babaeng miyembro ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front sa isang pagtitipon sa Mindanao. Dismayado ang maraming mga Muslim sa balitang pagtalikod ni action star Robin Padilla sa kanyang relihiyon matapos na ikasal kay Mariel Rodriguez sa isang Ibaloi ritual (Igorot) sa Baguio City kamakailan. (Kuha ng Mindanao Examiner)


COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 17, 2010) – Dismayado at gulat, galit at pagkasuklam ang nararandaman ng maraming Muslim sa biglaang pagtalikod ni Robin Padilla sa kanyang Islamic faith dahil lamang sa pagpapakasal kay Mariel Rodriguez sa Baguio City.

Si Robin ay isang Balik-Islam at isinuko na nito noon ang buong buhay sa pagpapalaganap ng kanyang relihiyon matapos na makulong ng mahabang panahon sa kasong illegal possession of firearms.

Ngunit nabigla ang maraming Muslim sa Mindanao matapos na mabalitaanang tinalikuran nito ang Islam matapos na ikasal kamakailan kay Mariel ng isang “mambunong” o katutubong pari ng mga Ibaloi o Nabaloi, isang indigenous tribe sa hilagang Luzon at sa Cordillera region at kabilang sa mga hanay ng Igorot.

Kasama ni Robin ang ilang kaanak nito, gayun rin si Ali, ang kanyang bunsong anak sa unang asawa na si Liezel Sicangco.

Sa pangalan pa lang ng anak ni Robin ay Muslim rin ang dinala nito at gayun rin si Queenie na ilang ulit nagtungo sa Mindanao para sa ibat-ibang humanitarian mission na pinakinabangan ng maraming mga Muslim.

Malimit pa umanong naka-turong si Queeni sa tuwing nasa Mindanao dahil sa kanilang relihiyon. Bukod kina Ali at Queenie ay may dalawa pang anak si Robin at Liezel na sina Kylie at ZhenZhen.

Nabatid pang gumamit sina Robin at Mariel ng mga bahag na tradisyon naman ng mga Igorot. Mistulang ibinasura na rin ng action star ang lagging gamit nitong skull cap at shawl na tradisyonal naman sa mga Muslim. May lahing Igorot ang angkan ni Robin dahil ang ina nitong si Eva CariƱo ay isang Igorot.

Ayon naman sa ulat ng ABS-CBN ay benindisyunan ng Ibaloi priest sina Robin at Mariel. “Pinainom ng tapuy o rice wine bilang simbolo ng kanilang pagmamahalan. At sumayaw pa raw ng tayao, isang katutubong sayaw para ipaalam sa publiko na sila'y kasal na.”

“Nagkatay din daw ng baboy. Ipinahid sa pisngi ang dugo para ipakita na sila'y legal na kasal sa kulturang Igorot,” ani sa ulat.

Nagtagal umano ng isa't kalahating oras ang kasalan at matapos nito ay muling ikinasal ang dalawa sa isang pastor sa loob ng bahay sa Baguio.

Binatikos naman ng isang religious leader na nagpakilalang si Imam Abdul Malik ang biglaang pagtalikod ni Robin sa kanyang paniniwala kay Allah at sa relihiyong Islam at mas matindi umano ang pagkatay ng baboy at pagpahid ng dugo nito sa mukha ng action star na isa umanong “haram” o mahigpit na ipinagbabawal sa mga Muslim.

Bawal kasi sa Islam ang anumang may kinalaman sa baboy dahil marumi ang tingin ng mga Muslim sa nasabing hayup base na rin sa turo ng Quoran, ang holy book ng mga ito.

“That is blasphemy. Robin has indirectly relinquished his Islamic faith when he accepted the fact that the animal was sacrificed and its blood wiped on his face as part of the Ibaloi ritual. That is haram, that is forbidden,” ani ng Imam sa panayam ng Mindanao Examiner.

Idinagdag pa nitong: “He shall be punished (by Allah) in the afterlife. Robin is deemed incommunicado.”

Maging ang rebeldeng Moro Islamic Liberation Front ay nagulat at nadismaya rin sa balita at sinabing mahina ang pananalig ni Robin sa kanyang relihiyon at paniniwala.

“It is like a test on our faith. Isang malaking pagsubok iyan kay Robin pero nabigo siya, bigong-bigo at automatic ay nawala na sa kanya ang isang pagiging Muslim. Islam is sacred and what he did is haram,” wika naman ni Von-Al Haq, ang spokesman ng MILF. (Mindanao Examiner)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

4th Infantry Division plays teacher, tour guide to children in Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 16, 2010) – The Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division has opened its doors to school children, allowing them to tour the sprawling camp in Cagayan de Oro City in northern Mindanao.

Officials said it was part of a commitment to reach out to children and inspire them to become responsible citizens and at the same time educate them about the role of the military in peacekeeping efforts and as a partner in nation-building.

The children were amazed by sights of armor tanks and howitzer cannons and even posed for photos with soldiers who acted as their guides and storytellers. Troops led by Major General Victor Felix, the commander of the 4th Infantry Division, warmly welcomed and interacted and mingled with the children.

“The 4th Infantry Division personnel proved that they are not only the protectors of the land, but they are also their partners in community and nation-building and that these children and their parents can depend on them in their dream of having a better and brighter atmosphere that is viable for their growth and well-being,” said Lieutenant Colonel Triumph Bagaipo, the army spokesman.

He said through these efforts, troops are leading the way in showing their concern and commitment to the children in also helping promote a better environment and opportunity for them to live peacefully and harmoniously as the future and hope of the country.

Bagaipo said as part of the army’s commitment, it would provide support to the Batang Himsog Program, an in-school health and nutrition feeding and livelihood program and initiative of the Anak Mindanao party list group.

The program is also in partnership with the Department of Education, the local government units and the Katilingbanong Pamahandi sa Mindanaw Foundation Incorporated. It aims to help lessen and slowly eradicate malnutrition in rural villages in Misamis Oriental province.

The program aims to address the problem of malnutrition by providing daily breakfast to at least 4,000 Grade 1 pupils in 85 schools of Gingoog City, Claveria, Magsaysay and Misoret town.

“The 4th Infantry Division is optimistic in this program that could help children in the rural areas to receive proper nutrition and education so that they can become healthy and ready to take on any challenge and opportunity that they shall meet as they grow up,” Bagaipo said. (Mindanao Examiner)