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23rd May 2015
Duterte Could Be Leyte s First President
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 23, 2015, 5:43 am

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte hands over P3M check to Southern Leyte Governor Roger G. Mercado in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda as Davao City’s help to the province. Duterte came to the province unannounced.

By Chito Fuentes 

MAASIN CITY --But it was only recently that people became aware of Duterte’s Leyte connection.

The eldest son of former Gov. Vicente Duterte and Soledad Roa-Duterte was born in Maasin, Southern Leyte.

“My father was a soldier who was with the Jago (Judge Advocate General’s Office),” the mayor told his audience at the Maasin City Hall when he was given a royal welcome.

Duterte was guest of honor during the 4th Roa Clan Reunion in Barangay Laboon, Maasin City. However, the local governments of Southern Leyte and Maasin City rolled out the red carpet for the mayor when they learned about his arrival.

Southern Leyte Gov.ROGERhttps://cdncache1-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png Mercado explained why the province and the city are throwing out a lavish welcome for Duterte.

“We welcome him for two reasons: first, because Mayor Duterte openly admits that he is from Maasin, unlike others who disown it when they are already popular,” the governor noted.

The second reason is surprising. “(Mayor Duterte) was with us when we were devastated by Yolanda. He personally came to express his sympathy and handed out a check for P3-million,” Gov. Mercado revealed.

Duterte’s silent but concrete manifestation of help to Southern Leyte and the whole island has not been lost to the governor. “He was with us in Ginsaugon (a village in the town of St. Bernard). I know he also helped in Ormoc (the 1991 flash flood left 4,922 deaths and more than 3,000 missing),” Gov. Mercado further said.

Aside from Gov. Mercado, Rep. Damian Mercado and Maasin Mayor Maloney Samaco all committed to support Duterte “whatever his political plans will be”.

It is easy to understand why Maasin, Southern Leyte and even the whole region will be intrigued by a Duterte presidency.

First of all, he is one of their own.

Aside from being born in Maasin, Duterte actually went to school for a year at the Laboon Elementary School. Four of his former classmates: Constancia Magaran-Ortega, Magdalena Antoc-Francisco, Leonila Faelnar and Paterno Jacobe welcomed Duterte with leis when he stopped briefly at the school grounds.

Along with Filipinas Leonor-Tagra who is now bed-ridden, Roberto Espere who is Manila-based, and Duterte, they are the only surviving members of the second batch of pupils who went to school at Laboon Elementary School.

Like what the governor said, Duterte has never denied his Maasin roots and continues to do so until now. This is the reason why, in spite of his hectic schedule, Duterte made sure he attended the Roa clan in Laboon. There was no way he will miss the reunion of his mother’s kin on Mother’s Day.

The welcome streamers for Duterte said it best: “Welcome Home” and “Garbo sa Leyte (Leyte’s pride).”

Secondly, Duterte has shown his special concern for Leyte. The Davao mayor was the first local executive outside Visayas to arrive at ground zero in Tacloban after “Yolanda” exited.

As always, Duterte arrived unannounced. But his response could not be kept secret for long. The presence of Davao’s 911 emergency response team which took the long route to Tacloban on Duterte’s explicit instruction was too comforting to deny.

That Duterte is one of their own and had been with them in their timesof sorrow are enough reasons for Leyte and Eastern Visayas to support him. Western Visayas produced Pres. Manuel Roxas while Central Visayas contributed Presidents Sergio Osmena Sr. and Carlos P. Garcia.

This leaves only Eastern Visayas without a contribution to the roll of presidents in the country. The closest that the region got was former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos. She did her share to draw attention to the region during the incumbency of her husband but it ended there.

In fact, it became a “disadvantage” at the height of Yolanda because Secretary Mar Roxas brought it up in his now infamous exchange with Tacloban Mayor Ferdinand Romualdez, Imelda’s nephew.

Duterte, of course, offers more than just being a son of Maasin and Leyte island. He has been credited for turning Davao City around from a virtual basket case in the early 80s to the top 5 economies among cities in the country.

Davao has become synonymous with “no smoking”, firecracker ban and speed limit among others. It is considered drug-free and crime-free which attracts investors and migrants.

Only recently, Davao was given recognition as the most child-friendly city in the country and the 9th safest city in the world.

“If he can duplicate what he did in Davao in the entire country, we will be up there – instead of down here,” said Gov. Mercado. He was not the first to say that and – no doubt – won’t be the last.

Will Duterte become Leyte’s first president? We will know when the time comes.


13th May 2015
Higher farm productivity, resiliency offsets climate change, Asean integration
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 13, 2015, 10:39 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, May 11 (PIA)  --  A higher yield in farms for rice and rootcrops, plus a change in farmers’ attitude to adapt to latest farming technologies and practices that promote resiliency in plants and livestocks amid changing weather conditions, are the key factors to address climate change and the imminent Asean integration.

Dr. Wilson Cerbito, Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture (DA), made this clear in his keynote address during the first Southern Leyte Agriculture Summit  --  and the first of such kind of gathering in Region 8  --  held at Lourdes Convention Center, this city, Thursday, May 7.

“The Philippines is the third vulnerable country in the world for climate change, and Region 8 is the most vulnerable region in the entire country,” Cerbito said.

He added that besides this natural threat in agriculture was the current development of a no-barrier region for member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), something stakeholders should better be prepared.

Citing Southern Leyte’s performance in its contribution for the regional rice production output, Cerbito said the province placed second in terms of yield per hectare, which is 4.7 metric tons average harvest per hectare.

“But this should be increased to at least 5 to 10 metric tons per hectare” by the use of new farm technologies in order to meet the challenge of Asean integration, with much cheaper imported rice expected to flood the local market, Cerbito told the audience composed mostly of agriculture officers and extension workers all over the province.

He said other high value crops and rootcrops, aside from rice, must also be promoted to ensure food security, with matching benefits on one’s health and nutrition.

For the ever changing climate, Cerbito called on the agriculture personnel to propagate drought-resilient varieties during dry season, and water surviving species during the rainy season, so that farmers can still look forward to harvest something even in any of these times.  (esg/mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

Duterte: Passing the BBL will not solve Mindanao problem
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 13, 2015, 9:15 pm

May 11, 2015

MAASIN CITY – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sunday reiterated that he is not a candidate for president and that his “listening tour” around the country is for advocating for federalism.

“I’m not a candidate. I am advocating for federalism to avoid bloodshed in Mindanao,” Duterte said when Inquirer reminded him of his statement in previous interviews that he will only run if his rating goes up higher than Vice President Binay.

“Please don’t get me wrong and please don’t believe on surveys. We are not actors that should be rated upon.”

What the people need to do is choose the best person who can solved tremendous problem of our country.

When Inquirer asked the mayor should his campaign be bankrolled would he reconsider running? He said I would get ten percent and go home to Davao. The mayor had claimed that he could not afford to run a presidential campaign because he has no money.

In a speech before provincial and city officials at the City Hall, speaking in Cebuano, he said he is passionate about federalism because I pity Mindanao.

“The President himself, the negotiator and the MILF has warned that should the BBL not passed there will be bloodshed in Mindanao,” Duterte said pointing out that passing the BBL will not prevent chaos in Mindanao.

He said they don’t know about Mindanao. “In Mindanao, different bloodline of Muslims are not even united. The Tausugs. The Maranaws, etc., etc., They are not nice with each other.”

Now, if they pass the BBL, the faction of Misuari and the other factions of Muslims, you think they would not revolt.

“So please pity us. Help Mindanao and let us go for federalism,” he said adding where would I go, I have a daughter-in-law who is Muslim. Muslim grandchildren.

“Passing the BBL would not solved the Mindanao problem. Muslims have been there years before the Spaniards dominated the country and introduced the Christian faith.”

The Davao mayor, who was in Maasin for the Roa clan reunion, was met by provincial and city officials at the Maasin port where his chopper landed from Cebu.

After having lunch hosted by the government he proceeded to Laboon village, 10 km from the city for the clan reunion.

He then proceeded to Laboon Elementary school for the nostalgic meeting with his four classmates in grade one. The meeting was very emotional,his classmates were teary eyed including the mayor.

He then invited the four to Davao all expenses will be shouldered including air fare and hotel accommodation.

Duterte also promised to give a school building to his alma mater.

Duterte’s mother was from Laboon village.

9th May 2015
Malnourished kids to benefit from boxing bout pay-per-view proceeds
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 9, 2015, 7:47 am

ORMOC CITY, Leyte, May 5 (PNA) - Malnourished children in the city will get a taste of nutritious food from a civic group with funds taken from the proceeds of pay-per-view during the Sunday’s Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) president Dennis Capuyan said the undernourished children in various villages have been their beneficiaries in every fight of the Filipino ring icon, on top of establishing the city’s relocation site.

“For this year, we will still coordinate with the city health and city nutrition office to identify malnourished children that will benefit our feeding program,” Capuyan said.

Based on the 2014 weighing activities, 12 percent of the city’s 33,776 pre-school children were found to be underweight.

With minimal ticket cost, the city’s super dome, having 8,000 capacity, was nearly filled with boxing enthusiasts during the most-awaited battle of the boxing champions.

The Ormoc boxing fans declared self-holidays from their individual occupation and joined the world in witnessing the biggest fight of the century dubbed as “battle for greatness” on Sunday. (PNA)
lam/SQM/Elvie Roman Roa/egr

8th May 2015
Duterte drawing support of relatives from all over
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 8, 2015, 9:57 am


MAASIN CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte continues to draw support from relatives in different parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.
The Davao mayor, considered by many as an “undeclared” presidential contender, will visit Cagayan de Oro Saturday before swinging to Maasin Sunday as guest speaker of different chapters of the Roa clan.
Duterte’s mother, Soledad, a school teacher born in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Sur, belongs to the influential Roa clan that has members in different parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.
On May 9, Duterte will speak before Roa clan members from northern Mindanao at the Xavier Estates Clubhouse.
He will also be the guest of the Rotary District Convention 3870 led by Gov. Manuel Along at the Pryce Hotel.
From there, Duterte will fly to Maasin, Southern Leyte to speak before another gathering of the Roa clan in Leyte.
This is a sentimental journey of sorts for the Davao mayor who spent his primary years in Barangay Laboon where the majority of the residents are Roa clan members.
Local officials are also expected to roll out the red carpet for their now-prominent town mate who is gaining ground as a presidential timber after surprisingly coming in third in two separate surveys last March.
Duterte tied for third with Manila Mayor Erap Estrada in the Pulse Asia survey and with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in the Social Weather Stations poll.
While many politicians are still hesitant to come out and express their support for Duterte, his relatives are coming out in droves for him.
Members of the Saligumba clan in Tagbilaran joined the Duterte and Roa clans during his visit in the Bohol capital.
He was also welcomed by the Roa clans in Ozamiz and Valencia, Bukidnon, the Samporna clan in Iligan City and the Dutertes in Pagadian.
Last March, the influential Veloso clan held a reunion in Cebu City which was attended by the Petillas of Leyte including resigned Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, Leyte Gov.  Petilla and the clan matriarch, Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla.
Also present were Danny Javier of the Apo Hiking Society and his brother, Javier Mayor Sandy Javier, Siquijor Vice Gov. Dingdong Avanzado, among many others.
While the reunion did not explicitly mean the clan’s endorsement for Duterte, it opened communication lines at the very least.
Duterte’s father, former Davao Gov. Vicente Duterte, was mayor of Danao City in Cebu before the family migrated to Davao. 
The elder Duterte, the last governor of undivided Davao, also served briefly as Cabinet secretary.
Duterte continues to resist calls for him to run but so far the clamor has not subsided. 
Whatever his political plans, one thing Duterte has seen so far is the outpouring of support from his relatives on both his paternal and maternal sides. (CHITO A. FUENTES)

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