Archive for July, 2008

A close encounter with PGMA

Posted in compostela, joecab, nabunturan, way kurat with tags , , , on July 29, 2008 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

It was already twilight when the then senatorial candidate and now President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo arrived and called up to be on stage at a miting de avanci in Nabunturan in year 1992. She was in white shorts and in t-shirt. Yuppie-like during her first run for senator. The town folks giggled and became rowdy upon hearing of GMA’s name, knowing she;s ex-President’s daughter. When she spoke, GMA right away held the audience captive by her audible voice and Bisaya words. It was the first and the last time yet that the PGMA stepped on Comval’s capital town.

She could have stepped anew in Nabunturan two years ago when she did not skip her Capitol visit during the time of ex-Gob. Joecab after PMS and PSG earlier scoured the Cabidianan Capitol. But by sudden turn of events, the helicopter ferrying her went straight to Compostela to see for herself the kalamansi seedlings and wati in the district office of Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora. Joecab was left alone, and it was dyahi for him to go to Compostela and be with the group of his political nemesis who later caused for his defeat. But it was a so short visit, less than an hour or so on the 8th of July 2006. But the brief PGMA’s pass with the Comval Lakas group was actually giving another shot of glory to Cong. Way Kurat at a time when there was another impeachment threat against the President.

But that time when the President went to Compostela town, Joecab was accordingly left at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City where he was talking with the Chinese investors who wanted to do mining in Diwalwal and in Surigao. The Chinese investors were accordingly part of the PGMA entourage. Were they the ZTE Chinese investors that became the controversial subject of whistleblower Jun Lozada?

I got another honored chance of seeing, in fact meeting GMA so close when she was already a reelected senator in 1995. She accompanied her late father ex-President Diosdado Macapagal and late mother Dr. Evangelina Macaraig Macapagal at their ancestral house at Timoga, Iligan City. Well, her mother had inherited a good Timoga land overflowing with fresh and so cool spring waters, which some portions of which were occupied with what society calls as squatters, the dregs. There was a negotiation I facilitated between Dona Eva and the two groups of urban poor occupying the Macapagal properties at Timoga and Buruun.

The lasting impression I got when the negotiation ran between the urban poor and Dona Eva was that GMA and ex-President Dadong had never uttered a single word to intervene in the process. They just observed and listened.

At the end, the parties settled for the Timoga occupants to go for a relocation and the Buruun occupants to remain for an onsite settlement on interest-free direct purchase for a ten-year period under the administration of the Lualhati Foundation of the Macapagals. It was a win-win situation as the Timoga occupants were promised a relocation to Buruun property.

In huddle with GMA after the successful negotiation, she told the group of urban poor leaders she could well initiate for more legislations favoring the urban poor and asked me as a PCUP area coordinator then to send raw proposals from the ground. A close encounter with a still young PGMA could have you mum especially that she’s a really straight-talking intellectual. She uttered words like policy legislations.

Ex-President Dadong jokingly complained that he retired a poor President and that the Timoga lot was the only piece Dona Eva got from her parents. When he tapped my back on how important a coordinator’s role in mediating contending parties in the government housing programs on the ground level, oh how I was honored to be with the senator who later become the country’s President and an ex-President, modesty aside.

Today, a new PGMA is coming out for her 8th SONA. I don’t how Filipinos describe her after her speech, while the SWS has just did her in. (For online edition, visit my blog at:

Wish from DavNor and Comval for today’s SONA

Posted in comval, tagum with tags , , , , on July 29, 2008 by cha monforte


july 28

Today President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will deliver her State of the Nation Address. It was the concept of “super regions” that spinned so much among her last year’s themes after her other hit on bankang papel on her SONA seven years ago. Now we are guessing what’s cooking up in the minds of her speechwriters and propagadandists for today’s menu.

They might have risen early today and throng around the President in making last-hour revision of her SONA considering the collapse of the peace talks between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front. Missing this theme in today’s SONA can portray the President like she’s building a castle for the Republic out of the sand.

Malacanang sounded off yesterday that there was nothing to expect for her speech today. What when the Batasang Pambansa has just been refurbished by millions-worth facelift in giving her a red carpet treatment. Maybe the speechwriters and propagandists just wanted to douse cooler water to a pent-up situation generated by giving much hoopla about the President’s eighth SONA that will be delivered amidst rising fuel prices, a rice crisis and persistent allegations of corruption. It also follows a week when the President gained the infamous distinction of being the most unpopular leader since the Marcos dictatorship was dismantled in 1986.

We expect a highlight of her “Katas ng VAT” program that smells political goodies for her allies that controlled the Lower House and  a roaring applause or a standing ovation for that theme is a good possibility for the salivating congressmen used up with the pork barrel. “Katas ng VAT” has a national touch that even Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley can partake via Daneco’s P500 credit memo by next month which could benefit a half of its poor member-consumers.

For our province and Mindanao, we wish the President to go straight to her specific prescription to lower the prices of rice, perhaps order for the arrest of hoarders and smugglers in the rice cartel as specific, doable solution rather than drumbeating of the long-range and tiresome solutions like agricultural modernization, hybrid seeds, irrigation etc. Such specific action can contribute to the bigger problem of the rice shortage and insufficiency in Mindanao as well as give her a good glimpse for her audience which include the ever-lambasting militants.

We could not wish the President to call for a particular solution on how to stop increases of oil prices like a contra statement to oil deregulation since she has lately been dangling her patronage via this “Katas ng VAT”. But for the Mindanaoans concerned on peace, we expect her a categorical directive for the government negotiators to go back to negotiating table and leave those already settled issues relating the Moro ancestral homeland,  or better still, ask the Congress before her to immediately pass a law for the holding of the plebiscite for the inclusion of 700 other barangays to the Moroland aside from the ARMM.

After all the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity could be created without resorting to a Charter Change (Cha-cha). Lest, we forget she should never utter a word about Cha-Cha in her SONA today at the risk of getting more foes than friends. For such could further sink her popularity to a bottomless pit. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Tagum City website updated with major ordinances for city councilors

Posted in tagum with tags , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

July 28

The official website of Tagum City government on has been updated showing a plenty of major ordinances for years 2007 and 2008 days after it was charged of not having a single ordinance crediting to the present council.

Before the end of last work week, the city official website’s link on City Ordinances has already posts of eighteen  major ordinances passed by the present crop of councilors.

On various categories, for the present year 2008 the City Council has passed thus far ordinances creating the city’s consumer protection council, establishing the technical-vocational institute, the Tagum City Trade School, institutionalizing the literacy program, imposing rates for the sale of bidding documents and other fees,  appropriating new schedule of market values of real properties, allowing the transfer of City Hall to the new site at Apokon, requiring the sale and use of iron fortified rice, reclassifying of two parcels of land for Magdangal Martinez and NIA properties, granting burial assistance to senior citizens, and burial assistance of P3,000 for World War II and Korean War veterans.

For the year 2007 posting, the link has ordinances establishing the city vocational and technical educational scholarship program¸ adopting the mace of the official seal of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, enacting the comprehensive city fisheries ordinance, repealing City Ordinance No. 90-s. 2003 on the investment incentives code, repealing City Ordinance No. 257, s. 2002 on granting medical/ burial/ financial assistance to all barangay officials and functionaries in the city in cases of sickness, accidents, hospitalization and death, as amended; reclassifying a parcel of land owned by Veneering Master Woodphil Corp. from agricultural to industrial purposes, adopting the 2008 guidelines in the organization of purok, establishing gender and development code, and adopting the 2007 revenue code of the city.

Monday last week, Vice Mayor Allan Rellon admitted that the city website was just not updated with outputs of the present council.

He immediately put the city’s information technology division to task of uploading major legislations of the present councilors saying “in fairness to the City Council”. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Davao del Norte, Comval electric coop asks P30 M share from “Katas ng VAT”; To benefit a half of 120,000 members

Posted in daneco with tags , , , , on July 28, 2008 by cha monforte

july 25

The Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative has asked a P30-million share from the national government’s ‘Pantawid sa Kuryente Katas ng VAT’ program.

Some 60,000 member-consumers having monthly electric consumption of 100 kilowatt hour or lower are potential beneficiaries of the more than P30 million share requested from President Arroyo’s subsidy program based on Daneco’s records on low-electricity consuming members, said Daneco general manager Edgardo Savellano in an interview yesterday.

He said he is expecting for the subsidy to arrive next month and he will subsequently effect a credit memo of P500 in the electric bills of low-electricity consuming members particularly for those consuming only 100 kilowatt hour or less in month.

Daneco’s request transmitted Tuesday through the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the chosen conduit of the President’s power consumption subsidy funded out from the Value Added Tax earnings.

NEA will first evaluate then approve our request, said Daneco public relations chief Allan Laniba.

Laniba explained that the P500 credit will be entered and deducted by the bill of concerned members and in case there will still be balance of P500 credit it will be carried over to the next month’s billing until it is consumed.

Daneco has over 120,000 member-consumers at present.

For its 37 years of existence now, Daneco is already billionaire cooperative deriving about P1.2-billion operating revenue as of November 2007, per report of Daneco official website on

The electric cooperative covers the entire Compostela Valley and most of Davao del Norte areas including the Island Garden of Samal.

It has already energized 100 percent of the barangays under its coverage areas, the Daneco website stated. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

A session in turmoil

Posted in Uncategorized on July 26, 2008 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

july 25

It was towards the mid 90s then that I had honor and privilege to participate in tearjerker spectacle of a so riotous session of one Sangguniang Bayan. Your honors, it was not one of your own, to smoke now a pipe of peace. That time the pipe dream of each development worker of national government agencies was the mainstreaming of local policies not yet institutionalized in local government units towards national thrusts. The riotous session, I should say, occurred one day in one of the lands of Christian braves in Misamis Oriental.

The town pioneer Christian migrants had all repulsed slave-taking Moro pirates at the time when Christian settlements began and they started swashbuckling the Mindanao fertile lands in the name of the Land of Promise. But during the Marcos time, the town hall was seized for hours at bay by New People’s Army rebels during the peak of their strength towards the mid 80s.

In an area coordinator’s words of lobbying, networking, advocacy and institutionalization, and for pursuing these I was enthrusted to a situation where the other NGO lingo which was already mouthed by DILG functionaries- capability- or capacity-building ought to be given as an urgent intervention to the local sanggunian I was in.

As a sidetrip to this, NGO words that already penetrated into the grooves of archaic Philippine bureaucracy, and even into the millennium agenda for sustainable development of the United Nations are partly if not largely the result of the traffic of advocacies of the vibrant NGO movement in the post-EDSA days.

There was turmoil in that session as smokes from cigarette-smoking councilors came to envelop the session hall while they were deliberating. Even Sedrick, the municipal secretary, was smoking. There was virtually no house rules as there was a thin line of parliamentary procedure and suspension of rules while councilors did their mumbo-jumbo of impromptu Cefilis (Cebuano, Filipino and English) deliberation without being recognized by the presiding vice mayor, who had also an ashtray beside his gavel. Even the fat Sedrick participated with gusto in rescuing councilors who hit a brake midway in the air in suspended animations of staring up the ceilings as they emptily groped for the missing English words to complete their argumentation.

But this calls to mind a high school teacher in town who after hitting a long brake in the ceiling of asking his students to bring the grasshook (ah class tomorrow, you bring…. you bring…you bring…), he shortly saved himself after long pauses by immediately turning bisdak (bisayang dako) …. Ah basta magdala mo ug sanggot ugma!

For always groping for the foreign English words, in the next breath, the councilors, kinsa nagka-because-because na gyud sa ilang Eninglish, sans a motion for the suspension of the house rules, effectively transformed the bellicose situation they were in into one no-holds-barred bisdak session! It was then when the fat of the English-prolific Sedrick, an MSUan, loosened out as the bisdak councilors locked their horns so now articulate in their argumentation yet amid a boisterous tempo, and nary the house rules, while the cigar’s smoke continued to hover up the session hall.

In the gala of bisdak councilors, I became one bisdak too when I was called in as guest. Then I heard silence and had a sweet time talking with them without a grilling while the fat Sedrick, who was ensconced in an upper deck, joyously puffed his cigarette while listening along with the other smoking councilors. I thanked them for the pleasure of being with them and for putting across a national agenda for the homeless and disadvantaged, which they vowed to localize soonest. I learned a lot from them.

BLOGBITS: Lopoz for VG? Somebody said lately that Boardmember Atty. Dexter Arvin Lopoz of Montevista could be a good vice gubernatorial material of Gob. Chiongkee. Well, the 1st District BM Atty. Dex is Top 2 in 2000 bar exams with only ½ percent edge from the Top 1 rating. He’s tubong Nabunturan, too. Actually, he’s more a Nabunturanon than a Montevistanon, which gives him good edge to a Mawabnon Ruwel Gonzaga, who has already seen his best of times as a VG until that INC incident…. Atty Dex is now saturating the 1st District, and anybody can bank on his popularity as a topnotch lawyer if he’ll go campaigning for the 2nd District…. Speaker Nogie is also Top 2 but he finished his law in Manila. Top 1 Koko Pimentel graduated from UP. He grew up in Manila sa piling ni Tatay, Sen. Nene. Atty. Dex is a record holder in Mindanao for landing the highest yet in the bar as a graduate of a law school in Mindanao… Although a first-termer, but Atty. Dex proves now and to all and sundry he can deliver most of the provincial legislations including the hard ones, of course…It is said that there’s jinx in the Comval vice gubernatorial seat, where the sitter sits only once. But VG Ramil broke the jinx to smithereens, for being a politician not in a hurry. He waited for 2 terms but it’s already “now or never” for him for Congress 2010. Maybe, the jinx is actually an alternate: ex-VG “Reynab” Navarro is a non-lawyer, ex VG Ruwel is a lawyer, and present VG Ramil is a non-lawyer…Maybe a lawyer again by 2010 … Why not Atty. Dex when he’s got the Top 2. He can be a No. 2 to a reelectionist governor…Gob Chiongkee though has still a vast leeway of picking who his right VG is. He can pick a rose and cut away its petals one after another while whispering… she loves me, she loves me not. No pun intended to a gracious Maria out there in Comval SP… Talking of other Comval bar topnotcher. Atty Rodolfo “Tay Pope” Rapista was the 19th Placer in 1973. I still don’t know if Davao del Norte has one.

NEWS: Family of hit-and-run victim seeks P3 M compensation from Nabunturan LGU

Posted in mayor humol, Uncategorized with tags , , on July 24, 2008 by cha monforte

July 24

The family of a former barangay captain who was killed in a vehicular accident involving a municipal dumptruck is seeking for payment of P3-million liability compensation from the municipal government of Nabunturan.

Former poblacion barangay captain Nestor Palay was driving his single motorcycle when he was suddenly bumped off by a fast running dumptruck driven by municipal employee Rio Mira, who in the traffic accident report did a hit-and-run after the incident last June 27 at Purok 15 at the poblacion. Palay was still brought to the hospital where he later died.

Earlier, Mayor Macario Humol offered the family a compensation amounting to P100,000 from the third party liability insurance through the Government Service Insurance System with a waiver from suit. The Palay family refused.

Last Monday, the Office of the Mayor received the last and final demand for the payment of compensation from the Lopoz and Lopoz Group, the law firm tapped by the Palay heirs to secure liability compensation from the municipal government.

In the demand letter, Humol is given 15 days to settle the matter amicably, otherwise the Palay heirs will be filing criminal, civil and administrative cases against the municipal government.

The Palay family had accordingly spent about P500,000 for the hospital and related expenses.

The law firm said that subsidiary liability for damages for Palay are justified as undoubtedly and by public knowledge the victim was once a public official of the municipality and “his reputation is beyond question.”

The demand letter was jointly signed by three brother lawyers Atty. Rex Jasper Lopoz, Atty. Arvin Dexter Lopoz and Atty. Jaime M. Lopoz, Jr. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Successful Araw ng Nabunturan but…Town dad files measure to correct wrong Araw to June 23

Posted in nabunturan with tags , , , , , , on July 24, 2008 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

July 24

The Araw ng Nabunturan was successfully celebrated yesterday for the town’s 51st founding anniversary but Councilor Raul Caballero has wanted that the next Araw be celebrated on June 23 and not July 23 to correct a historical error.

Caballero called the attention of his colleagues on this on Tuesday’s session as he filed a resolution rectifying the date of the creation of Nabunturan as a municipality from July 23, 1957 to June 23, 1957 and hence celebrating the Araw ng Nabunturan every June 23 and not July 23 every year.

Based of newly discovered evidence the councilor retrieved from the Office of the President, he presented that House Bill No. 4770 entitled “AN ACT DIVIDING THE MUNICIPALITY OF COMPOSTELA, PROVINCE OF DAVAO, INTO TWO MUNICIPALITIES, ONE TO RETAIN THE NAME “COMPOSTELA” AND THE OTHER TO BE KNOWN AS THE MUNICIPALITY OF NABUNTURAN” became a law on June 23, 1957, without the signature of President Carlos P. Garcia by virtue of the provisions of Article VI, Section 29 (1) of the 1935 Constitution.

Caballero said that prior June 23, 1957 House Bill No. No. 4770 was passed by the House of Representatives on May 14, 1956, enacted as Republic Act No. 2038 by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled on the fourth session on January 28, 1957, and finally passed by the Senate on April 25, 1957.

He said that there is a need to rectify the historical error of making July 23, 1957 as the date of the creation of the municipality of Nabunturan and to celebrate the municipality’s founding anniversary every June 23 instead of July 23 every year for the sake of correctness and truth.

Caballero attached to his resolution a copy of Republic Act No. 2038 with a certification from the Office of President stating that the real date when the House Bill No. 4770 “became a law on June 23, 1957, without the signature of the President, by virtue of the provisions of Article VI, Section 29 (1) of the Constitution.”.

The councilor asked that copies of his resolution when already approved be forwarded and furnished to all government offices and agencies operating, barangays, puroks, schools, sectors and all parties in Nabunturan for information dissemination purposes.

Dumfounded by Caballero’s newly discovered evidence, his colleagues had it immediately referred to a committee for final probe, study and recommendation. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)