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27th August 2015
Anti-drugs operations net 20 suspects in Ormoc
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 27, 2015, 11:37 pm

ORMOC CITY, Leyte, Aug. 28, (PNA) -– The regional anti-illegal drugs and special operations task group (RAIDSOTG) and the local police here nabbed on Wednesday 20 drug suspects, which include couples, a senior citizen and a minor.

The crucial police operation that lasted eight hours in two villages, confiscated various sachets of suspected drugs weighed about 13 grams. Also seized were drug repacking items including weighing scale, drug paraphernalia, short firearms with live bullets and improvised shot gun.

The operatives headed by Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido conducted surveillance few days prior the operation to positively confirm reports of the suspects’ activities and identity.

A suspected drug den in San Juan village owned by Marcos C. Cantero has yield 13 suspects. Taken from the suspects’ possession were one caliber 45, two caliber 38, all loaded with live bullets and one improvised shot gun with two bullets.

Also confiscated were several sachets of suspected drugs, weighing scale, drug paraphernalia, cash believed as proceeds of the illegal business.

Cantero, a motorcycle driver, denied his house is being used as drug den. However, he confirmed being a user.

Some suspects refuted engaging in the illegal acts except Reynaldo S. Lucenos, 46, resident of Margen village who confirmed he came to buy drugs and to dupe.

A policeman who disguise as buyer said one visitor arrived, believing that the operative was his cohort.

Expenido said, visitor Crispin B. Degello, 37, armed with cal. 45 pistol tried to escape that prompted them to fire warning shots.

Degello’s wife, Rhiza, 31 allegedly sold illegal drugs to a police in their house in Margen village. Her husband was arrested by the same operatives ahead of her in the nearby village. The couple left three young children under their relatives' care.

Couple Teresita and Aniceto Prada, 59 and 64, respectively from Margen village allegedly sold suspected illegal drugs to the operatives.

Teresita denied this, saying the drugs were just left by his two sons inside their room.

One of the couple’s son, Aniceto Prada, 40 and his wife Generosa, 41 were arrested for possessing illegal drugs. Generosa was caught repacking a huge volume to a retail size worth PHP300 per sachet.

She confirmed selling illegal drugs to sustain the needs of their three children, one in college while husband Aniceto left them for another woman.

Aniceto said he just went home that night to check on his son and substantiated the allegation being into drug trade.

The crime laboratory result confirmed positive the confiscated drugs totaling 12.73 grams at undetermined street value.

The suspects were inquest Thursday for violations of drug possession and illegal possession of firearms while the minor was turned over to the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Along with the series of drug operations, Espenido believes that persuasion and encouragement still play great in influencing the illegal drug personalities to stop.

He said he plans to conduct drug symposium in Ormoc like what he did in Isabel early this month after arresting about 20 drug suspects that he said gained remarkable success.(PNA)
FFC/SQM/ELVIE ROMAN ROA


19th August 2015
BEFORE OIL PALM CONGRESS
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 19, 2015, 7:26 pm

Mindanaoans should not die for Manila’s faults - Duterte

GEN. SANTOS CITY - Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said Mindanaoans should not fight each other due to policies crafted in Manila.

Duterte issued the remark in a speech during the 9th national palm oil Congress held at the KCC Mall in Gen. Santos City Wednesday afternoon.

“Pareho tayong taga mindanao (We are all from Mindanao), why are we going to kill each other?” Duterte said.

The mayor has warned of a fresh round of violence in Mindanao if the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) fails.

He pointed out that Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Al-haj Murad, Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Teresita Deles and even President Benigno Aquino III himself all separately warned of war if the BBL does not push through.

Duterte said this was what prompted him to go around the country to promote federalism which he said is acceptable to the different Moslem groups including the rival factions of the Moro National Liberation Front headed by Nur Misuari and Muslimin Sema.

Duterte stressed that the Moslems of the islands like the Tausugs of Misuari would not want those in Central Mindanao like the MILF to lord it over them and vice versa.

“Manila people and leaders think of the situation in Mindanao as just another insurrection,” Duterte said.

The mayor, who said Mindanao leaders were not consulted prior and during the drafting of the BBL, blamed Manila’s ignorance and arrogance for the threat of violence in the country’s second biggest island.

(People in Manila) never really bothered to ask what’s the culture,” he added, noting that even before the Christians came, the Moslem groups already have their own dynamics.

Among the front-runners in the presidential race, only Duterte has actively campaigned for the BBL despite his opposition to at least two provisions.

“I support the BBL to buy time and to bide time,” Duterte said in a previous federalism forum.

The mayor said he foresaw the problem when he first the saw the draft which prompted him to go around the country to promote federalism which he insists is the “last card” for peace in Mindanao.

“I am the only one holding the card of federalism,” he declared before the oil palm stakeholders.

Among those who attended the congress in Gen. Santos was MILF vice chair Jaafar Ghadzali. 

Duterte pointed out that law and order is a vital ingredient in the development of the country.

According to industry sources, the Philippines imports $600 million worth of palm oil from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Mindanao, due to its geographical location, is most suitable to palm oil like Malaysia which palm oil developers said has benefited greatly from the industry. 

This potential, however, will have to wait.

“Unless there is peace and order, we cannot hope to develop the entire island into a productive place,” Duterte said.

Mindanao’s champion is showing why he is emerging as the game-changer in next year’s presidential elections. 

Despite his avowed disinterest in the presidency, Duterte’s stock is growing by the day not only in Mindanao but in different places in a country stalked by war and violence. (CHITO A. FUENTES)

 


12th August 2015
Duterte believes F-16 purchase 'a blunder'
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 12, 2015, 2:11 pm

PASAY CITY - Mayor Rodrigo Duterte believes the Philippines committed a mistake when it purchased two jet fighter planes. 

Duterte gave his take on the acquisition as a side comment during a speech before the joint meeting of two JCI chapters. 

“The decision to buy two F-16s is really a blunder,” Duterte declared as he discussed the China problem.

The F-16 is a 1974 American multi-role jet fighter.

Duterte questioned the acquisition of the two fighter planes, noting that it would be no match to Chinese airpower.

“How would it help?” he asked.

Duterte said it would have been better if the Aquino administration acquired gunboats instead.

“(The gunboats) are fast, mobile that can be deployed everywhere, at saka may firepower,” he added.

Duterte, a licensed pilot, pointed to the futility of even just considering an armed confrontation with one of the world’s superpowers.

“We cannot go to war, we cannot fight China,” the mayor emphatically declared to stress the obvious.

Duterte believes diplomacy has a better chance to arrive at a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The mayor also reiterated his contention that the Philippine must not rely too much on the support of the United States.

“America would not die for us,” he stressed.

Duterte said that if the US was really serious in protecting Philippine interest against China, it would have “deployed the 7th fleet in front of that atoll” when work on the contested structures was only starting.

Instead, he said the US did not make a move.

“Now it’s there. (The US) allowed it to be finished,” he added.

Duterte said the problem with China is one of the headaches that the next president would have to do deal with, one reason why he does not want to run.

While Duterte maintains that he is not interested, his grasp of the Chinese problem, among other pressing issues, adds fuel to the fire to the clamor for him to run.

Duterte’s reputation as a problem-solver is one of his advantages over other contenders in a country where so many problems remain unsolved despite campaign promises to do so. (CHITO A. FUENTES)

 


11th August 2015
Rep. Villar pursues passage of law for modified scholarship
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 11, 2015, 7:42 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Aug. 11 (PIA)  --  Las Pinas Lone District Representative Mark Villar will push for a House Bill he authored which seeks to provide students willing to finish college courses but short on academic scholarship requirements.

Villar, who was in the city as keynote speaker for the 15th Charter Day rites August 10, told local newsmen in a press conference at Kinamot sa Abgao that his bill will not necessarily require maintaining a high rating average unlike in mainstream scholarship qualifications, but will be contented with a simple passing grade, at least no failures.

And the other good thing is that he wanted this house measure enacted within the present administration of President Benigno S, Aquino III.

“Pipilitin po natin i-push yan within this administration,” the Las Pinas lawmaker said when pressed how soon his initiative can possibly see the light of day.

As to the specifics on mechanics, Villar said he will leave it to the higher education department to thresh this out but as to the extent of financial assistance this will depend on particular needs of deserving students.

In his speech at the city gym for the anniversary program, Villar mentioned this kind of scholarship program to the wild, approving cheers of the jam-packed audience who were mostly students.

Later in a text message, he disclosed that “House bill 4591 providing for a comprehensive and unified student financial assistance system for higher and technical education, rationalizing access thereto, and approving funds (also known as UNIfast) was already approved by both Houses” in Congress.

As of now the proposed law is “awaiting signature of President Aquino,” the text message added.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)  

 


Duterte ‘best chance’ for change in 2016
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 11, 2015, 1:11 am

PASAY CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte remains the “best chance for change” in the Philippines.

This was the concluding statement issued by former North Cotabato Gov. Emmanuel Pinol before members and guests of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ICCP) Monday evening.

“In spite of his human frailties, in spite of his shortcomings, he is an imperfect person – but so are we - he is still our best chance for change in this country,” Pinol stressed.

Pinol pinched hit for Duterte, the invited guest, who had to rush home to Davao for an undisclosed family matter.

The former governor, also a former journalist and sports commentator, confessed that he intended to attend the event “as a spectator, not a presentor”.

Pinol pointed out that among the potential presidential candidates, only Duterte understand the real needs of the farmers.

He noted that none among the presidentiables has accepted the fact the Philippines is a country of 7,100 islands and the problem is how to ship agricultural products to the capital.

“It is more expensive to bring agricultural products from Davao to Manila than from Davao to Singapore,” he noted.

Duterte has also questioned the government’s lack of support to farmers considering their role in the country’s development.

“Why do our farmers pay for the water that they use?” Pinol quoted Duterte echoing the sentiments of the tillers of the soil.

Pinol said Duterte intends to push for a program that would make food “available and affordable”.

A farmer until this time, Pinol echoed the observations of Israeli officials that government has taken for granted many blessings including soil fertility, good weather and the industry of the Filipino farmer.

Duterte has been saying that while Mindanao contributes 64% to the export earnings of the country, it receives a pittance in return.

In his passionate advocacy for a shift to federal movement, Duterte unwittingly captured the imagination of more and more Filipinos who see him as the country’s best card particularly in the war against illegal drugs and crime.

Pinol confessed that as early as two years ago, he pushed for “this crazy idea” to include Duterte’s name on the list of probable presidential bets. 

Duterte’s listening tour, prompted by the possibility of violence in Mindanao if the Bangsamoro Basic Law is not passed, exposed him to the national audience which triggered the clamor for him to run.

In the last Pulse Asia survey, Duterte placed a strong third behind Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay, both of whom have waged national campaigns.

Duterte, who has restricted himself to Davao until lately, was ahead of Secretary Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party bet who has been eyeing the presidency even before the 2010 polls where he lost to Binay.

The mayor’s attendance before the ICCP would have been the latest is a series of speaking engagements before big business groups and foreign dignitaries who want to see for himself the man who transformed his city from the murder capital of the 80s to the safest city in the country.

The event, a part of the series dubbed “Marriage of Cultures”, was held at the Marriot Hotel in Pasay City. 

Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Ben Matityau noted the opportunities for exchange between the Philippines and Israel particularly in the fields of agriculture and tourism.

Pinol acknowledged that Duterte continues to resist the call for him to run, citing among others that Moses was over 80 when he led the Jews into the promise land.

He maintained that Duterte, the undisputed political star of the land of promise, who will be 71 next year, is the best person to lead the Philippines next year. (CHITO A. FUENTES)

 


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