Sunday, October 31, 2010

US military speed boat cruises off Basilan province

A US military speed boat cruises off Basilan province in the southern Philippines. US forces maintain small forward bases in Zamboanga City and several camps within Filipino military installations in Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi Islands. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

Zamboanga Moon

The moon rises in the southern Filipino city of Zamboanga, the former capital of Moro Province now Mindanao Island (1903 to 1913) in the Philippines. On September 15, 1911, the Municipality of Zamboanga was converted into a city by the legislative order Act. No.272. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

Security check in Kidapawan City

Bus passengers pass through a routine security check in Kidapawan City in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Geo Solmerano)

A Muslim woman shows off her government card outside the Sulu Provincial Capitol where she gets her pension from a money machine. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)


SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 31, 2010) - Civil workers and pensioners in the southern Philippine province of Sulu are all praises to the installation of money machines where they can draw funds instead of getting them in Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

They said they can now get their salaries and pensions from automated teller machines installed by the Government Service Insurance System at the capitol building on the request of Governor Sakur Tan.

"This machine have made it easy for me to get my monthly government pension. I don't have to travel to Zamboanga City anymore just to get my money, we have this money machine now and this is good and just got a little tutorial on how to use my card and the machine," Elsa Usman told the Mindanao Examiner.

Aside from the GSIS desk, Tan also put up desks for various government agencies, including the Commission on Human Rights and the National Bureau of Investigation, to make it easier for locals to get their clearances and other pertinent documents instead of travelling to Zamboanga City to get them. (Mindanao Examiner)

RP sailors' remittances up

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 31, 2010) - Filipino sailors aboard foreign-flagged ocean-going vessels sent home a total of $2.461 billion in the eight months to August this year, up $250 million over the same period in 2009, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines reported Sunday.

"The foreign exchange coming in from sea-based migrant Filipino workers is growing twice faster than those coming in from their land-based counterparts," TUCP secretary-general Ernesto Herrera said in a statement.

"At the current double-digit growth rate, we now see the full year remittances from Filipino sailors abroad hitting around $3.7 billion," he said.

Herrera, whose national labor center includes the Philippine Seafarers' Union, attributed the sustained growth in remittances to the increased deployment of sailors and global demographics.

"The intercontinental maritime transport of all kinds of commodities is growing along with global population expansion. Thus, the ever-increasing demand for a fresh supply of sailors," the former senator said.

The total remittances coursed through banks by all land- and sea-based migrant Filipino workers increased by $839 million or 7.40 percent, to $12.181 billion in the first eight months of 2010 from $11.342 billion in the same period in 2009, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Remittances from land-based workers alone increased by $589 million or 6.45 percent to $9.720 billion from $9.131 billion, year-on-year.

Filipino sailors on mostly foreign merchant ships wired home a total of $3.4 billion in the whole of 2009, up $366 million from $3.034 billion in 2008.

The 12.06 percent growth in remittances from sea-based migrant Filipino workers in 2009 was nearly three times faster than the 4.15 percent or $555 million year-on-year increase in the cash sent home by their land-based counterparts.

Text Power!

A young Muslim woman texts from her mobile phone at a public plaza in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. Mobile phones have become an important tool for communication among villagers in mostly Muslim areas in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Zamboanga sunset

The sun sets in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

Civilians offer selves, prayers to protect Sulu governor from assassins

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 30, 2010) - Supporters of Sulu Governor Sakur Tan have urged authorities to heightened the politician's security and protect his family after government prosecutors junked criminal charges filed against suspects in the failed assassination of the influential leader.

Prosecutors said there were not enough evidence against the suspects, but Tan's lawyers said they would appeal the decision.

Tan's supporters have urged police and military to provide additional security to the governor, saying, hired assassins could strike again. They also vollunteered to provide 24 hours security in Tan's house in Sulu.

"Authorities should provide ample security to Governor Tan and his family and ensure their safety," said Abdullah, one of Tan's supporters.

But an aide of Tan said the governor politely declined the offer and only thanked his supporters. "God is the protector of the governor. Prayers of the people are powerful enough to protect the governor from evil," said Ibno Hasan.

Tan was among over two dozen people wounded in the August 5 suicide bombing outside the Zamboanga International Airport in Zamboanga City.

The bomber, Reynaldo Apilado, and Hatimil Haron, one of his cohorts, were killed in the blast. At least a dozen people had been implicated in the failed assassination, police said.

Tan, a known philanthropist and religious man, also survived a roadside bombing last year in Sulu province, but ten of his companions, including a town mayor, were wounded in the attack.

One of the suspects in the bombing, Abner Tahil alias Abs was arrested late last month in the village of Kasangyangan in Jolo town in Sulu. Tahil was also implicated in the Zamboanga airport bombing.

Police said the two failed assassinations of Tan were all politically motivated and that Abu Sayyaf militants with links to Jemaah Islamiya terror group were hired to carry out the attacks. (Mindanao Examiner)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lumad journalists nagpasibaw sa ilang suliran

DAVAO CITY – Gibutyag sa mga lumad nga tigbalita ang mga suliran nga ilang gisagubang samtang nagakuha sila sa mga detalye sa mga panghitabo ingon man sa mga suliran nga gisagubang sa katawhang lumad hangtod karon.

Atol sa Media Forum uban sa mga lumad nga tigbalita nga gipahigayon sa Margarita Inn dinhi nga ciudad, dili pa dugay, ilang gibutyag nga malangan sila pagkuha sa mga detalye sa mga balita ilabina sa mga papeles nga anaa sa mga buhatan sa kagamhanan kay pangayo-an pa sila ug formal request.

Sa pagkuha usab sa mga balita nga naghitabo ilabina sa panahon sa gubat sulod sa katilingban sa mga lumad, malangan usab o dili dayon sila maka-adto sa nahitaboan gumikan kay ang gi-alokar nga media nga maka-adto mao man ang gikan sa dagkung kompaniya sa pamantalaan, radio ug television.

Dugang pa nila nga bisan pa man tuod sakop na sila sa media, apan ubos gihapon sila sa pagtan-aw ug sumaysumayon pa ang tonada sa ilang sinultihan.

Ilang gibutyag nga sa ilang nahipos nga mga kasayoran, daghan sa mga lumad bisan ang mga lider sa tribu gipamatay sa mga armadong puwersa ug pundok gumikan sa pagbarog sa mga lumad sa ilang katungod ilabina ang pagpanalipod sa kayutaan sa lumadnong kaliwatan.

Aduna usab mga lumad nga nangokasyon pagsakay sa sakyanan sa mga sundalo apan gi-ambus kini sa New People's Army ug apil pagkamatay ang mga lumad nga unta mga sibilyan man.

Gumikan niini, ang mga tigbalita nga mga lumad mahadlok na mosakay unya sa mga sakyanan sa military kay basin maapil sila sa ambush.

Gusto unta sa mga lumad nga journalists nga kahatagan sila sa dakung pribilihiyo sa pagkuhag detalye sa mga balita ilabina sa panghitabo sulod sa lumadnong katilingban ug nangandoy sila nga makompleto sila sa kagamitan sa media sama sa modernong camera, video, tape recorders, ug sakyanan bisag motorsiklo lang unta.

“Hinaut unta nga hatagan sa mga editor ug dakung pagtagad nga mapatik sa pamantalaan ug masibya sa radio ug television ang mga balita nga adunay kalambigitan ang katawahang lumad gumikan kay basta isyo sa lumad wala kaayo hatagi ug impostansya,” matud pa ni Sarx Lanos nga usa ka puro nga lumad.

Si Lanos nanawagan sa mga armadong pundok nga dili magpirmi sulod sa lumadnong katilingban aron dili mapagan ang mga lumad kon magka-engkwentro ang mga magka-away nga pundok.

“Ang mga lumad gusto ug kalinaw bisan sila kabus, bisan tua na sila sa kinatumyan sa bukid human nila gitugyan ang kapatagan ngadto sa ilang mga “higala” nga dumuduong, apan bisan anaa na sila nanimuyo sa mga pangpang apan gigukod pa ug gimina ang ilawom sa ilang gipuy-an, dugangan pa sa gubat nga dili ilahang away,” dugang pa ni Lanos.

Ang mao nga tigum sa mga lumad gimugna sa Sulong CARHRIHL kon Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, nga usa ka nasudnong kahugpongan alang sa pagkab-ot sa kalinaw ug sa pagpanalipod sa tawhanong katungod, inabagan sa COMIPPA kon Coalition of Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Peace Advocates.

Ritwal sa libing ng mga Muslim


Sa tradisyon ng Islam ay dapat mailibing ang bangkay ng isang naswing Muslim sa loob ng 24 oras. Tanging bangkay lamang na balot sa putting tela at walang kabaong ang dapat na mailibing. Ang paghahanda ng dasal para sa bangkay ng isang Muslim bago ito ilibing. Balot sa puting tela ang bangkay at tinatalian ito upang masigurong hindi ito matatanggal. Ganito kung paanong ilibing ang bangkay ng Muslim. (Mindanao Examiner)

BASILAN (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 29, 2010) - Lingid sa kaalaman ng iba, walang Araw ng Patay o undas sa paniniwala ng mga Muslim, ngunit kakaiba ang tradisyon ng Islam. At tulad ng sa Kristiyano ay may mga sinusunod na pamamaraan ang mga Muslim kung sila’y namamatayan.

Sa tradisyon ng mga Muslim ay dapat mailibing agad ang namatay sa loob ng 24 oras at ang mga ritwal na kinapapaluuban nito ang pagpapaligo sa bangkay bago ito ilibing. Dapat ay malinis ang bangkay sa huli nitong hantungan. Matapos na malinisan o mapaliguan ang bangkay ay ibabalot naman ito sa puting saplot bilang simbolo ng kalinisan at saka ito aalayan ng dasal ng isang Imam.

Kalimitang nagtatagal ang dasal sa loob ng 5 minuto o mas mahaba pa. Janazah ang tawag sa dasal ng mga Muslim na alay sa patay. Tradisyon rin na naroon ang pamilya ng namatayan - maliban lamang kung ito’y nasa malayong lugar at imposibleng makauwi agad bago malibing ang bangkay - habang isinasagawa ang pagdarasal.

Matapos ng dasal ay ililibing na ang bangkay na balot sa puting tela. Kalimitang may hugis na titik L ang hukay ng libingan ng isang Muslim. Bago ipasok ang bangkay sa hulay na mistulang kuweba ay aalisan naman ito ng saplot sa kanyang ulo at saka ihihiga ng patagilid at nakahalik ang mukha sa lupa katulad sa pagdarasal ng mga Muslim.

Dapat rin ay nakaharap sa Mecca (ang sentro ng relihiyon ng Muslim sa Saudi Arabia) ang bangkay at ito ay palaging naka turo sa lugar na kung saan lumulubog ang haring-araw o sa kanluran. At saka tatabunan ang libing.

Ngunit iba naman ang paraan sa mga namatay na jihadist o holy warrior kung tawagin o yaong mga Muslim na nakikipaglaban sa digmaan. Kalimitan ay hindi inililibing na ito agad ay hindi na kailangan dumaan sa mga ritwal ng tulad sa nabanggit dahil mga “martir” na ang turing sa mga ito na namatay sa pakikidigma.

Subali’t tulad naman ng mga kristiyano ay naging tradisyon na rin ng maraming mga Muslim na gunitain ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay 3 araw matapos na malibing ang bangkay o kaya ay sa ika-pito o ika-siyam na araw at may ika-45 pa nga na kung saan ay ginugunita ng mga naiwan ang sumakabilang buhay na. Dasal rin ang kanilang alay. (Mindanao Examiner)

Reporter fears his being surveilled could be connected to massacre: CMFR

PHILIPPINES – A journalist in General Santos City claims that unidentified men have been watching his house.

General Santos City is a chartered city in the southernmost Philippine island of Mindanao. It is approximately 1,049 kilometers south of Manila.

Aquiles Zonio, a correspondent of the Manila newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer, said two men riding tandem on a motorcycle took his photograph last 24 October 2010 while he was in front of his house. The following day, on 25 October 2010, Zonio said a motorcycle-riding man was “peeking through our gate… He seemed to be checking if my motorcycle was there.”

In a text message to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) last 29 October, Zonio said the surveillance might be related to his continuing reports on the Ampatuan Massacre. Zonio was one of the journalists who were supposed to be part of the Mangudadatu convoy last 23 November 2009, but he and two others had to go back to their Sultan Kudarat hotel to get their valuables. (Zonio’s account of their experience can be accessed at http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20091125-238187/Hotel-incident-made-us-skip-media-convoy-at-last-minute.)

Two other men he did not know also checked out his house on 26 October (around 8:40 p.m.), and on 27 October (around 4:30 a.m. local time), leading Zonio to suspect that they were trying to establish what his daily routine was. Zonio has reported the incidents to the local police.

On 23 November 2009, about 100 men allegedly led by Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr. stopped and killed 58 persons including 32 journalists who had joined the wife and sisters of now Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu in filing his certificate of candidacy in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

Unsay Ampatuan and 195 others are now facing multiple murder charges before a local court in Quezon City. (For more information on the Ampatuan massacre, visit http://www.cmfr-phil.org/ampatuanwatch/.)


Link: http://www.cmfr-phil.org/2010/10/29/reporter-fears-his-being-surveilled-could-be-connected-to-massacre/

Water torture used on Cotabato bus blast suspects?: ABS-CBN

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - The mother of 2 of the suspects in the deadly Rural Transit Bus bombing in Matalam, North Cotabato has accused law enforcers of torturing her sons to own up to the crime.

Kalamma Alimanan, mother of Ibrahim Alimanan and Alamin Samal, said she was devastated when she saw the bruises on her sons.

In an interview, she said her sons were tortured to admit that they were the ones responsible for the bus bombing that killed 10 people last Thursday. At least one of her sons had 2 broken ribs, she said, while both had their heads held under water to simulate drowning.

"Niyakap ko sila tapos sabi nila, 'Mamang, tingnan mo, nabali ang dalawa kong ribs'. Nakita ko maitim na ang kanyang bewang. Sinabi din nila na binabalot sila sa ulo ng cellophane tapos nilublob sa tubig. Pinapaamin sa kasalanang hindi nila ginawa. Inosente ang mga anak ko," Kalamma said.

(I hugged them both and they said, 'Mama, look, 2 of my ribs are broken. I saw that the area near his waist was black. They also said that their heads were wrapped in cellophane and then dunked in water. They were being forced to admit to something they didn't do. My sons are innocent.)

She also said law enforcers did not show a warrant when arresting the 2. "I asked them if they had a warrant and they couldn't answer," she said.

Kalamma said their family will file a case against the authorities for violating her sons' rights. The 2 are currently facing charges of multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder before the Provincial Prosecutor's Office in Kidapawan City.

The Mindanao Human Rights Center based in Cotabato City said they will help ensure that the rights of the 2 suspects are protected.

MINHRAC executive director Atty. Zainudin Malang said that while he condemns the bus bombing, policemen should not violate the rights of people just to solve the case.

"We are calling the attention of the national government because what the police did last week is a violation of human rights," Malang said.

He also called on the local government of Cotabato City and the provincial government of Maguindanao to conduct a parallel investigation on the arrest done by authorities. (Lore Mae Andong - ABS-CBN Central Mindanao)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zamboanga solon's aide nabbed for violating gun ban

DIPOLOG CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 28, 2010-) - Philippine police have arrested a security aide of a congressman for violating a strict the gun ban in Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte province in Mindanao, government media reported on Thursday.

The Philippine Information Agency said policemen seized a .45-caliber pistol from Albert Hanio, an alleged bopdyguard of Zamboanga Sibugay Congressman Romeo Jalosjos Jr. It said Hanio did not have any gun permits from the Commission on Elections.

The poll body banned the carrying of firearms because of of the village polls. The ban took effect on September 25 and ends on November 10.

Even policemen and soldiers are banned from carrying their weapons unless they are on duty. (With a report from Becky de Asis)

2 commies killed in Zamboanga province

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 28, 2010) – Government troops killed two communist rebels in a raid on a jungle encampment in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga Sibugay, an army commander said Thursday.

Colonel Santiago Baluyot, who heads the 102nd Infantry Brigade, said troops raided the encampment in the town of Siay on Wednesday and killed the rebels in a firefight.

He said there were no military casualties and that troops also recovered weapons and anti-government propaganda.

Santiago said the camp was being used by the New People’s Army as a springboard to attack government forces in the town. He said troops tracked down the camp after civilians provided information about the rebels who are fighting for a separate Maoist state in the country.

“Civilians are constantly providing us information about lawless groups not only in the town, but in other areas in the provinces as well. The villagers are cooperating with the authorities,” he said.

The fighting broke out ahead of the government proposed resumption of peace talks with communist rebels in an effort to end decades of bloody insurgency in the country.

Peace negotiations collapsed in 2004 after rebel leaders accused then President Gloria Arroyo of reneging on several accords, among them the release of political prisoners languishing in jails across the country.

New Philippine President Benigno Aquino said the government is committed to end the communist insurgency. “As our people power is enshrined in the ways of peace, so will be my resolve to address the root causes of the armed conflict and bring about societal reforms,” he said. (With a report from Becky de Asis)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Policeman says he was paid for Maguindanao massacre

MANILA, Philippines – A police officer on Wednesday testified in court that he was paid about 350 dollars by a powerful Muslim clan scion to help carry out the country's worst political massacre.

Inspector Rex Ariel Diongon said he received the money from prime suspect Andal Ampatuan Junior to set up the police checkpoint that stopped the convoy of a rival politician in the southern province of Maguindanao November 23 last year.

The convoy carried relatives of Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu who were going to file his candidacy to run against Ampatuan Jr. for provincial governor.

"Do you know who our enemies are? Are you capable of killing them?" Diongon quoted Ampatuan as saying.

He recalled answering "yes,” but said he only did so out of fear.

He said Ampatuan paid him P15,000 (about US$350) for the job, adding that he saw at least three other police officials receive pay-offs as well.

When the convoy, carrying Mangudadatu's wife and other relatives, their lawyers and 32 journalists arrived, Diongon said his men stopped their vehicles, allowing Ampatuan and his gunmen to take the passengers away.

Other witnesses in the trial have said that Ampatuan and his armed followers forced 57 people out of their vehicles, beat them up despite pleas for mercy before taking them to a hilly area where they were gunned down.

One witness, a former servant of the clan, said the Ampatuan family planned the massacre days in advance.

Diongon said he saw Ampatuan poking a gun at the passengers and hitting them but he did not say he witnessed the actual shooting.

The policeman was testifying for the prosecution in the trial of Ampatuan Jr. and several of his relatives and bodyguards as well as for several policemen accused of helping in the massacre.

Apart from Ampatuan Jr., his father and namesake, three brothers and an uncle as well as police officers loyal to the clan and members of the family's private army are among 196 people accused in the crime.

Police on Tuesday said 119 of the accused remained at large.

The Ampatuans ruled Maguindanao for over a decade under the patronage of former president Gloria Arroyo, who had used the clan as a proxy force against Muslim separatist rebels.

But popular disgust at the massacre forced her to cut her ties to the clan.

Prosecutors have voiced fears that the trial could last for months in the country's notoriously slow court system. (Agence France-Presse)

Zamboanga cabbie shot

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 27, 2010) – A pedicab driver was shot and seriously wounded in an attack Wednesday in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines, police said.

The motive of the attack is still unknown, but a police officer said the man was shot in the head and body in the village of Talon-Talon and rushed to hospital.

The attack occurred shortly before 6 p.m.

“He was shot twice – one in the head and another in the body – and we have rushed him to the hospital,” the officer said.

Gun attacks are not uncommon in Zamboanga City with police blaming family feud and clan war in most of the shootings. (Mindanao Examiner)

Broadcaster Threatened In Southern Philippines

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 27, 2010) - The International Federation of Journalists has called on Philippine authorities to take immediate action to investigate death threats against Manny Agustero, of dxIF-Bombo Radyo, in Cagayan de Oro in northern Mindanao.

The media watch dog said Agustero received four calls on the evening of October 20, after an on-air discussion about alleged illegal gambling operations on October 18, in which he reported that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office had complained to the city council over the alleged proliferation of illegal lottery outlets.(Merlyn Manos)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blast mars Sulu village polls









A man carries a wounded girl, Marsalin Sangkula, who was injured after a rifle grenade exploded Monday, October 25, 2010 near the Sultan Mohamad Jamalul Kiram Central School in Maimbung town in the southern Philippine province of Sulu during the village elections. (Mindanao Examiner)

An unidentified man fills out a ballot for a boy who was allowed to cast his vote Monday, October 25, 2010 during village polls in the southern Philippine province of Sulu. (Mindanao Examiner)

An unidentified man allegedly caught bringing unregistered voters during Monday’s village polls in Sulu province in the southern Philippines ran away from this man who confronted him. (Mindanao Examiner)

An unidentified man gives instructions to unregistered voters during Monday’s village polls in Sulu province in the southern Philippines. The man was later confronted and ran away. (Mindanao Examiner)

Teenagers are allowed to cast their votes in Sulu province’s Kulasi village during Monday’s nationwide village polls. Minors are not allowed to vote under Philippine laws, but despite this, many were still able to cast their votes in Kulasi. (Mindanao Examiner)

A follower of a village chieftain in the southern Philippine province of Sulu calls on their supporters to cast their votes in Kulasi using only a piece of paper as their identification cards. Many of those who lined up were unregistered voters. (Mindanao Examiner)


SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 25, 2010) – An unidentified gunman fired a rifle grenade near a polling area as locals cast their votes Monday to elect new village officials in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, police said.

Police said a 10-year old girl Marsalin Sangkula was wounded in the attack that targeted a school in Maimbung town. Authorities said the attacker fired one round of rifle grenade that exploded near a crowded school room where dozens of people were casting their votes.

“We don’t who was behind this attack, but we have doubled our security to protect the voters from further attacks,” said Inspector Nilo Mata, the town’s chief of police.

But before the day was over fist fights erupted between followers of candidates in the village elections. There were many accusations that incumbent village officials were buying votes or had used people from other villages to vote for them.

One candidate who was challenging the incumbent village chieftain said he caught followers of his political foe allegedly engaged in vote-buying and fraud, an accusation denied by the leader.

Before elections were over, poll officials stopped the voting in midday after more melees broke out between followers of opposing candidates and policemen and soldiers had to be called in to stop the fighting.

Security forces also escorted poll officials to the office of the Commission on Elections in Maimbung to prevent gangs from snatching the ballot boxes. Poll officials said they have to close the voting to prevent further violence between opposing groups.

“It was the decision of the Board of Election Inspectors and we have to respect that decision. There were commotion and fighting among followers of the candidates, but we have secured all the ballots,” said Holma Hassan, of the Commission on Elections.

Elections were generally peaceful in many parts of Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region. (Mindanao Examiner)

Militia goes berserk, kills 5 companions in Zamboanga town

The bodies of slain militias in the town of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay province in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Jung Francisco).

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 25, 2010) – A pro-government militia went berserk killing five of his companions in an attack at an army detachment in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga Sibugay, police said Monday.

The weekend attack occurred in the village called Palid in Ipil town and police said the militia escaped after murdering the five men. The motive of the attack is unknown, but police mounted a manhunt to capture Oligario Bucal Jr.

Bucal’s father who is also a government militia said his son ran away with his rifle, the same weapon used in the shootings.

“There is a manhunt and police forces are searching for the suspect,” said Inspector Boni Aranas, the town’s police chief. (Jung Francisco)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Police, military told to secure polls in Sulu

Governor Sakur Tan looks at a crowd in Maimbung town in Sulu as Brigadier General Mario Monteja, commander of military forces in the province, gestures Sunday, October 24, 2010. Tan orders the police and military to secure Monday's village polls. (Mindanao Examiner)



SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 24, 2010) – Sulu Governor Sakur Tan has ordered the police and military to secure Monday’s village polls to ensure peaceful and honest elections.

Tan said he wanted orderly and credible elections in the province’s 19 towns and warned mayors to stay out of the village polls.
“We have ordered police and military forces to guard the elections on Monday and to ensure that the polls are credible, honest and orderly. We want the villagers to vote according to their conscience and free will,” he said.

Security officials met with Tan in Maimbung town and discussed about the security during the elections.

Brigadier General Mario Monteja, commander of military forces in Sulu, said they have coordinated with the police and deployed troops around the province to ensure elections are orderly.

“We have coordinated with our police counterpart and everything is in order,” Monteja said.

Monteja’s group also awarded Tan a plaque of appreciation for his support to the military’s peace and order efforts in the province.

Police and soldiers, backed by armored vehicles, have taken up positions near polling places in preparation for the elections. Authorities also put up a command center in the capital town of Jolo to monitor the conduct of elections. (Mindanao Examiner)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Philippine military gets Australian boats





Philippine soldiers train in Maguindanao province in the southern region of Mindanao where security forces are fighting Muslim and communist insurgents. (Mindanao Examiner Photo – Mark Navales)

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 23, 2010) – Australia has donated more than a dozen air boats and trailer trucks to the Philippine military as part of a bilateral accord between the two countries, officials said on Saturday.

Officials said the airboats are flat-bottomed vessels propelled in a forward direction by an aircraft-type propeller and mostly used in marsh lands because of its high maneuverable capability. The donation is worth over 7 million Australian dollars.

Australia is a known ally of the Philippines in its fight against terrorism and has in the past sent military advisers in Mindanao where Filipino troops are fighting Muslim and communist insurgents.

On Friday, local troops have begun training in Maguindanao province, an area where Muslim rebels and al-Qaeda affiliates are actively operating. Troops learned how to maneuver the air boats and also engaged in simulated combat mission using armored infantry vehicles.

Canberra and Manila are also expected to sign a bilateral military agreement that would pave the way for Australian forces to train Filipino troops. (Mark Navales)

Justice For Maguindanao Massacre Victims; 11 Months Had Passed!



It is 11 months now since the Maguindanao massacre where at least 32 journalists were among 57 people brutally murdered.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grab Your Own Deca Home In Davao City

Deca Homes Resort Residences in Tacunan Mintal in Davao City.


Lot area: 80 square meter
Floor area: 35.10 square meter
Bedroom: 1 toilet and bath with tiles, 1 kitchen, sink with tiles, painted interior and exterior, colored roof.

House and lot package through PAG-IBIG financing for only P5,210.12 a month.
Processing Cost: P5,000
Reservation Fee: P5,000
Package price: P680,000
Loanable amount: P670,000
Terms: 25 years to pay through PaG-IBIG financing

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Man barges into Zamboanga school, kills





Angry villagers kill ex-convict Felin Mateo who barged into a school and stabbed dead 3 people in an attack Friday, October 22, 2010 in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. Four students and two teachers are also wounded in the attack that killed one Grade 6 student, a teacher and a grandfather who tried to save his niece from the man. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Jung Francisco).


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 22, 2010) - A man armed with a machete barged Friday into a school in the southern Filipino city of Zamboanga and killed three people, police said.

Police said 6 school children ages 10-12, were also wounded in the attack which occurred in the village of Talisayan, about 20 kilometers west of Zamboanga. The attacker, Felin Mateo, was himself killed after angry villagers, armed with knives and machetes, overpowered the man and killed him.

Police said those killed were a Grade 6 student, a teacher and a grandfather who tried to save his niece were killed in the attack. Those wounded – four children, mostly Grade 5 students from Talisayan Elementary School, and two teachers – were rushed to hospital.

“It was horrible. The man was attacking the children and we were able to grab the knife and overpowered him. He stabbed the teacher first and then ran on the second floor of the school building and barged in on class room and started knifing the poor kids,” one villager said.

The motive of the attack was unknown, but the village chieftain Pinpin Pareja said the attacker was an ex-convict. “We rushed to the school after receiving the report. We still don’t know what triggered him to attack the children,” she said.

“I saw the man stabbed our teacher and we all ran upstairs and hid inside the rest room,” one of the children who escaped the attack told reporters.

An armed school guard tried to fight off the attacker, but could not do anything as he was only armed with a stone. “He cannot do anything. He just threw stones at the man,” another pupil said. (With a report from Jung Francisco)







2 killed in Mindanao rebel attack

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 22, 2010) – Two people were killed after Muslim rebels attacked a military convoy in the troubled region of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, officials said on Friday.


Officials said the attack triggered a 15-minute firefight Thursday night between army soldiers and rebels in the village of Salvo in Maguindanao’s Datu Saudi Ampatuan town and left one infantryman wounded.

“The attack occurred as troops were heading back to camp after attending the signing of a peace covenant among village leaders in the area. A village chieftain and another official who were behind the convoy were killed and one of our soldiers was also wounded in the attack perpetrated by Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Hao, a spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division.

He tagged MILF leader Mohiden Karialan as behind the attack. “At least 15 rebels were involved in the attack,” he said.

Hao identified those killed as Salik Guimba, village chieftain of Liab in Mamasapano town, and Nasser Mapangal, a village councilor.

But the MILF denied its commander was involved in the attack and spokesman Von Al Haq blamed Guimba’s political foes for the ambush. “The MILF has nothing to do with the attack and reports we gathered pointed to Guimba’s political enemies as behind the attack,” he said.

The motive of the attack was unknown, but it occurred ahead of village elections next week in the Philippines.

Elections in Mindanao are traditionally bloody with candidates and their followers attacking each other, especially in areas where politicians maintain private armed goons.

Monday’s elections are expected to be violent and the military have already deployed troops to guard polling areas and protect the voters.

The rebel group, which is fighting for decades for self-determination, has previously warned its members to stay away from elections, saying, it does not recognize the country’s political exercise.

The 12,000-strong MILF is currently negotiating peace with Manila in an effort to end bloody Muslim insurgency in the country’s restive, but mineral-rich southern region. (Mindanao Examiner)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

7 killed in Mindanao bus bombing





At least 7 people are dead and many wounded after a bomb explosion ripped through a Philippine bus in the restive region of Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Geo Solmerano).

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 21, 2010) – At least 7 people were killed and more than a dozen injured after a bomb explosion Thursday ripped through a passenger bus in the restive region of Mindanao, south of the Philippines, the military said.

The blast occurred at around 10:30 in the morning as the bus was passing the village of Dalapitan in North Cotabato’s Matalam town. “We have deployed troops in the area to secure public places and assist in the evacuation of the wounded,” Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Hao, a spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, told the Mindanao Examiner.

He said initial reports claimed that at least 7 passengers had died and many wounded from the explosion. “We still don’t know who was behind this attack, but we condemned this act of terrorism,” Hao said.

The bomb apparently went off from the baggage compartment of the bus, owned by Rural Transit of Mindanao. The bus was heading to Cagayan del Oro city from Tacurong, a city in Sultan Kudarat province.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but rebel groups are actively operating in North Cotabato and in nearby provinces of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and Maguindanao.

Hao said authorities are investigating the explosion.

In August, armed men disguised as policemen also torched a bus owned by Rural Transit after killing its driver and two of-duty police officers at a road block in Lanao del Norte’s Kapatagan town. Several bomb attacks on provincial buses, blamed to rebels extorting money, also occurred in recent years in Mindanao. (With reports from Mark Navales, Geo Solmerano and Becky de Asis)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Police rescue abducted salesman in Lanao Sur

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 20, 2010) – Police rescued an abducted pharmaceutical salesman after two days in captivity in the southern Philippines, officials said on Wednesday.

Officials said police forces recovered Jeffrey Almonia in the town of Lumba Bayabao in Lanao del Sur on Tuesday, but his captors managed to escape. The 29-year old salesman was seized by three men in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday.

Almonia was paying his cousin’s debt to the men when the trio seized him and his car and brought him to Lanao del Sur. Police said the men initially demanded fifty thousand pesos for his freedom, according to Superintendent Cosanie Derogongan, the provincial police chief.

Derogongan said police learned about the abduction after receiving information from civilians about the location of the hostage. He said Almonia was still in handcuff inside his car when policemen rescued him.

He said initial investigation showed the trio abducted Almonia after his cousin owed the men drug money. “The abduction was the result of an illegal transactions allegedly entered into by his cousin and the abductors,” Derogongan said. (Merlyn Manos)

Raket, ibinulgar ni Teacher!

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 20, 2010) - Ibinuko ng ilang mga guro ang diumano’y talamak na bentahan ng “plantilla” sa Department of Education sa Muslim autonomous region sa lalawigan ng Sulu.

Lumapit sa media ang dalawang guro at humihingi ng tulong upang matigil ang korapsyon sa kanilang hanay. Nanawagan pa ang mga guro sa Pangulong Benigno Aquino at mga kinauukulan na masusing imbestigahan ang nasabing bintang.

Ayon sa mga guro ay naniningil diumano ang ilang tiwaling opisyal mula P60,000-P100,000 bilang kapalit sa plantilla sa Sulu.

Marami na umanong nabiktima ang grupo at ilan na rin ang nabigyan ng trabaho, ngunit ang masakit ay hindi pa nakakatanggap ng sweldo ang mga ito at madalas na idahilan ay ang pina-process pa ang kanilang mga papeles. Hinihinala rin na may mga “ghost teachers” sa naturang lalawigan at kinukulekta ang kanilang mga sweldo ng mga nasa likod ng sindikato.

Nabatid na karamihan sa mga nagbabayad upang makakuha ng trabaho ay mga gurong hindi nakapasa sa required government licensure examinations.

“Terible talaga dito (sa Sulu) at nagpapakahirap na nga ang mga guro na makapasok ng trabaho ay ibinibenta pa ang mga plantilla. Kawawa naman kami dahil yun mga iba ay nagungutang pa para lamang makakuha ng plantilla kasi iyon ang inaalok sa kanila par makapagturo,” ani ng isang guro.

“Sana tulungan kami ni President Benigno Aquino at ng Department of Education sa ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) at ng National Bureau of Investigation para matigil na itong kalokohan,” ani pa ng isang guro.

Ito rin diumano ang problema sa Lanao del Sur province na kabilang rin sa Muslim autonomous region, ayon pa sa isang opisyal ng ARMM na nilapitan ng Abante upang idulog ang anomalya.

Sinigurado naman ni Atty. Baratucal Caudang, ang Secretary ng DepEd-ARMM, na bibigyan nito ng kaukulang pansin ang sumbong at sinabi nitong dapat maglabas ng ebidensya ang mga guro upang matibay ang kaso sa mga nasa likod ng anomalya.

“We will not tolerate this kind of activities and we are urging those who are complaining to present their evidence. They should have the courage to come out and identify those who are engaged in these activities,” ani Caudang sa panayam ng Mindanao Examiner. “We have to serve as model. We will not tolerate this malpractice.”

Hindi ito ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na nag-reklamo ang mga guro ukol sa graft and corruption sa Department of Education sa ARMM.

Talamak noon ang anomalya at maging mga sweldo ng mga guro ay ninakaw at ang milyon-milyong psiong bayad sa premiums ng Government Service Insurance System ng mga empleyado ng ARMM ay hindi rin nai-remit sa pamahalaan.

Ngunit sa kabila nito ay walang malaking isda na nasampahan ng kasong kriminal dahil sa paglabag ng anti-graft law at iba pang kawalanghiyaan sa ARMM. (Mindanao Examiner)

Philippines Weather Advisory "Megi" October 20


Synopsis: At 4:00 a.m. today, October 20, 2010.

The center of Typhoon "JUAN" (local code name) was located based on radar satellite and surface data at 340 km West Northwest of Dagupan City (17.2°N 117.2°E) with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph.

It is forecast to move West Northwest at 7 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Civilian killed, village chieftain wounded in Basilan attack

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 20, 2010) Gunmen shot and killed a civilian and wounded a village chieftain in an attack Wednesday in the restive province of Basilan in the southern Philippines, police said.

Police said the victims were driving a motorcycle when the gunmen attacked them in Sengal village in Lamitan town. It said the driver of the motorbike, Jamrud Kuranding, was instantly killed in the attack while the village chieftain Jainudin Dulla is wounded and rushed to a private hospital in nearby Zamboanga City.

“There is an investigation going on,” said Chief Superintendent Bienvenido Latag, the regional police chief.

Dulla is the chieftain of Balas village also in Lamitan town and the attack occurred ahead of Monday’s village polls in the country. It was not immediately known if the attack was connected to political rivalry or not.

Just early this month, motorcycle gunmen also killed a poll official, Entong Musa, in Basilan’s Isabela City.

Musa, an election officer in Tuburan town, was fatally shot on October 2 as he was walking in San Rafael village.

Basilan is one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region where elections are traditionally violent. The province, just several nautical miles of Zamboanga city, is also a hot bed of Abu Sayyaf insurgency. (With a report from Jun Bernardo)