Archive for August, 2008


Posted in comval news, davao del norte news, tagum news with tags , , on August 23, 2008 by cha monforte






Remembering Ninoy, our local braves

Posted in comval opposition, davnor opposition with tags , , on August 21, 2008 by cha monforte

We have another long weekend. Thanks to our dear Ninoy Aquino. For the young, he was our rarest senator, who could have been the President if he was not shot at the tarmac on August 21, 1983 upon his return from a three-year self-imposed exile in America. He consistently fought the Marcos dictatorship and never wavered even if it cost his own life. His heroism was though repaid by his own housewife who became the country’s President after becoming the rallying opposition icon in massive protest rallies that culminated in the Edsa Revolution on Feb. 25, 2004 that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.

So it was 25 years ago and we remember our local opposition figures who rallied against the dictatorship in the homefront of the old undivided Davao del Norte, which included today’s Compostela Valley and even the confines of Davao City. No matter that they have gone in separate ways, with some joining even those whom the anti-dictatorship struggle wanted to dismantle, they too contributed in the fight that Ninoy, the progressives and militants and the united people had sacrificed so much at whatever cost that today we are enjoying a larger democratic space.

Certainly, this remembering is wanting as we see now the virtual lack of democratic opposition in our local councils and community leaders who could sustain the spirit and ideals of Ninoy. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

A challenge to Konsehala Baura

Posted in maria lina baura with tags , , on August 21, 2008 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

The instance of knowing that there’s unwanted act of a young chatter baring half above her waist before a webcam in one internet café adjacent to girlie videoke bar in the undeclared red light district in Tagum City is giving Councilor Mylene Baura a big challenge to probe on this and craft legislation to protect our women and their children.

May we know from her if such instance might only be a tip of the iceberg. We learned that there’s this city ordinance regulating the operation of internet cafes. Maybe by that, there’s only a need for strict monitoring and enforcement. Or an insertion of stiffer penalty to the internet café operators who tolerate web whoring can be particularly made to right away amend it.

This is in order given that the penalty on pornography is largely lumped with the other illegal acts of online gambling and online hacking, things that are not yet so popular among youth chatters, gamers and web users in our localities.
In this suggested amendment, Baura or any interested councilor should better put the brunt of the penalty provision at the burden of the operators as it is they who know the goings on inside their internet cafes all of the time. They can be considered as the vanguards of morality in their own business establishments. The City Hall monitors should also be directed to do regular covert, surprise visits and perhaps one “caught in the act” of web whoring acts such as breast exposure can bring immediate closure to the Internet café until the operator pays a heavy fine.

The permission of having semi enclosed cubicles inside net cafes needs also a review. While the fixture is meant to protect privacy in web communication, it is used as a little hiding facade in sudden, snappy acts of showing private parts of those indulged and tempted in web whoring. This included the reported sudden bra flipping, which gives difficulties to internet owners to monitor. Why not just implement the typical partition?

The internet café owners too need to be monitored. Who knows some of them have been cracking their own client PCs used by the customers? There are free demo and trial softwares in the net that allow them to do espionage in their own networked computers.

Most importantly, the locational issue of Internet cafes adjacent or just near to girlie videoke bars needs to be resolved and incorporated in the amendment. What to do now with those existing net cafes located just next to the open door of the girlie bars? Will the bar give way or it is the net café? The two could not just be left to serve separately but proximately the tender-aged innocents and the infidel hedonists.

Proponent councilors should not pull the trigger in putting too many restrictions to net use. Self-regulation by net cafe owners and users than censorship is still the best prescription if we are to build a free and global-oriented citizenry. We are in not China after all (although street smarts and the tong-itera town konsehala I know of are saying “in the end China will win”, in a fashion like what China is showing in the current Beijing Olympics). But does this mean an Internet-censored nation is turning many great Olympians? But this is besides the point.

Anyway, interested Tagum councilors need to be informed that at no time in our history have the widows, wives unhappy of their husbands, single ladies wanting to marry foreigners for greener pasture, old maids and still unhappy wives wanting to flee from the bondage of their poor or battering husbands have been most happy than now at the age of the Internet.

Chatting in the Internet through the popular Yahoo Messenger (YM) is giving these types of women hope that is near and immediate compared in the past when the prospect of marrying a foreigner could be hardly realized through the snail’s mails.

In my observation, most of the older women of these types who chat with foreigner strangers from anywhere in the cyberspace chat with the hope of marrying a rich foreigner and of extricating themselves from unhappy lives with their husbands and from economic straits. This is my hunch. And they are now so happy for having this great opportunity to get a new lease of their lives, thanks or no thanks to the Internet.

But protecting our women and children through local legislation at the age of the Internet is urgent. Being a mortal man’s greatest invention now, the Internet also spews out devilish machinations, frauds and scams of online sex maniacs, exhibitionists, nudists, pedophiles, swindlers and cheaters that prey on our young and innocents.

This is every Mylene’s concern especially those who chair the women committee in our legislative councils. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, email:

NEWS: No P10 fare yet in Tagum

Posted in transportation with tags , , on August 21, 2008 by cha monforte

Fare ordinance referred to committee

In what appears as another disinterested move, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Monday in its session referred to a committee the Tagum City Ordinance No. 305 which enacted the increase of the tricycle fare from P7 to P10.

On prerogative of Vice Gov. Victorio Suaybaguio, the city government’s fare increase measure was referred to the SP’s committee on laws, resolutions and ordinances chaired by Boardmember Artemio San Juan.

But as soon as the vice governor had referred it, a few of the SP secretariat employees at the gallery were overheard complaining about the measure as “sus kadako ra kaayo” (too big an increase).

Last week, Boardmember Ely Dacalus, chair of the committee on utilities, reckoned that the measure, which approved last July 28, would be put for the first reading supposedly yesterday.

The said fare ordinance was earlier sought by tricycles drivers and operators who have been suffering great losses and difficulties in sustaining their families as the price of gasoline had already more than doubled since January.

They also complained of the unfair competition posed by the thousands of colorum habal-habal single motorcycles which are swooping down their passengers like hawks in the city’s streets.

Under the ordinance, the students, senior citizens and differently-abled persons would however only pay P8 or an increase of P1 for a city-limit ride. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: “Tagum is safe, peaceful” – Police Chief Gunabe

Posted in police supt gunabe with tags , on August 21, 2008 by cha monforte

Tagum City Police Superintendent Dario Gunabe has allayed fears of city residents saying that the city is generally peaceful and safe in the wake of the escalation of armed attacks staged by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front groups in Sarangani and Lanao provinces.

In Monday’s session of the city council where PSupt. Gunabe was one of the invited resource persons, he assured the Tagum public that the 100-strong city police force has been exerting all efforts in their continued vigilance to counter any terrorist threats in the city.

“We’re doing our best and always ready,” said the city police director, who was invited to shed light on the reported existence of the youth gangs who are preying on even minors and high schoolers in the city.

In his situationer, Gunabe informed the city council that the extent of the youth involvement in gangs in the city has not yet reached an alarming level adding that the problem is still manageable.

He bared that the police has already identified the gangs which he said operate yet in Tagum City Comprehensive High School while they are still identifying other gangs in schools at Madaum and Manga districts.

At least one case of a gang war near the Freedom Park had already been probed by the police at the recent.

He added though that the police could not apprehend gang members especially the minors or those below 15 years old as it is contrary to law unless they are on the process of committing or have committed a crime.

On the same session, he particularly called on the parents and the schools to take care of the children explaining that the “root cause” why membership in youth gangs increased is brought about by the failure to guide and take care the children at home.

But he said this should not be left unchecked as he called on all sectors in the city to address the problem adding that the teachers have difficulty also in addressing the problems on one-on-one basis owing to the high student to teacher ratio.

He said that the Dept of Social Welfare and Development has also great role in responding to this emerging problem of the city.

For his part, PSupt. Gunabe said he has also alerted his women and children desk to finetune ways in handling and the police referral system for youth offenders and delinquents.

The city police is also deploying police patrol that would regularly takes in its itinerary the identified places where youth gang members are reportedly grouping at nighttime, and has scheduled series of symposia in schools in schools in the city in coordination with the office of councilor Maria Lina Baura.

Several councilors also took turns in giving their respective proposals. Councilor Nicandro Suaybaguio Jr called for coordination with the school principals and administrators with the end view of inviting the identified student who are gang members and their parents and possible meting out of disciplinary actions such as student suspension and expulsion.

Meanwhile, Councilor and ABC president Alfredo Pagdilao has called on the city council for a passage of ordinance for the city government to make a 9:30 P.M. warning siren for loitering youths to be already at their homes before a proposed 10:00 P.M. curfew time for them (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: 9:30 PM siren for 10 PM youth curfew mulled in Tagum City

Posted in councilor alfredo pagmilao, councilor joey millan, tagum, tagum city, tagum city councilors, tagum city hall, tagum councilors with tags , , , , on August 21, 2008 by cha monforte

A 9:30 P.M. siren to warn for a proposed 10:00 P.M. curfew for the youths and minors has been proposed at the Tagum City Council in Monday’s session.

In the bid of nipping at the bud the emerging problem of youth gangs in the city, Councilor and ABC president Alfredo Pagdilao proposed for an imposition of 10 P.M. curfew time for the youths and for this a 9:30 P.M. warning siren would be sounded off for the loitering youths and minors to return to their respective homes.

“Beyond 10:00 P.M. dakop na,” Pagdilao said before his colleagues on privilege motion.

But Pagdilao’s proposal immediately met several opposition voices on Monday.

“Unsay iyang gipasabot, di na manan-aw ug kalingawan ang kabataan sa Freedom Park?” (What does he mean, that the youths would no longer watch festivities at the Freedom Park?), said Ryan Subico, a habal-habal driver said.

A source from University of the Mindanao said that Pagdilao’s proposal is “alarmist” besides that it could immediately make “lonely nights” for city.

During yesterday’s session where the existence of youth gangs was tackled, Pagdilao informed his colleagues that his Barangay Magugpo South has been mulling for a 10:00 P.M. curfew time for the minors as they have been apprehensive over reports of youth gangs that are preying on even on minors.

He said that aside from gangs the city has also been facing the problem of drugs engaged by youths.

Pagdilao though did not specify the maximum age among youths who would included in his coming measure.

But Councilor Raymond Joey Millan immediately favored Pagdilao’s proposal as he urged him to pass first a resolution from Pagdilao’s Association of Barangays Councils (ABC) as guide to the city council.

Pagdilao admitted though that youths from his own barangay who are returning late at night have been reasoning out that they come from nightly festivities held at the Freedom Park. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

Tagum by the night

Posted in tagum hotels & bars, tagum sp with tags , , , , on August 21, 2008 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

 As early a little past the twilight each day, bar girls, commonly known as GROs, fresh from bath and clad in sexy attires, can already be seen sitting in a row of chairs in that section of street leading to the Totit-market-slaughterhouse complex. Alas, gising na ang Tagum by the night.

I’m not so really a night owl. I still sport a cellphone about the age of 5110, and I couldn’t yet do a high-tech editor writing online in airconditioned malls or in posh coffee bars with WIFI. Often rice drowns out my dream of buying a laptop. It’s crisis time, then and now.  But I got few friends who give me occasional peeks and perks on new nighttime goings on as they love wine, women and music. Well, I’m going towards the mid 40s, and I often drowse off now in the midst of unrepentant Red Horse or San Mig beer guzzlers. It’s unlike before the 80s and 90s that I could still manage to stagger to get home many cracks of dawn. Those were venturesome youthful days to cherish anyway. Besides the fading youthful vigor, it’s also painful to the pocket to squander meager money earned hard for a living in order to continue writing. To live to write, not the other way around. I’m no sour gripe. 

Such girlie spectacle in the frontage of videoke bars that dotted here and there in the city’s undeclared red light district around the Totit complex is saying that Tagum true to its being a magnetic sub-regional service center is just maintaining the status quo of being the usual nighttime R & R hub of the neighboring municipalities. When money flows in from the youths and infidel husbands from neighboring towns and from militarymen from camps stationed somewhere to the city’s red light district including its flesh trade, the city cashes in on from the “night investors” in effect. They also sustain a living and spark a multiplier for Tagum’s nighttime economy.

By the peaceful vivacity of Tagum’s nighttime I saw for once in recent booze that left me sober for drowsing off enough, Councilor Mylene Baura’s standupper in the City Council about gang wars last week would seem to be mythical issue bordering on unfounded xenophobia on the issue she unduly raised. She could have done more homework to belabor an A-1 info. As also a Solo Maria in Tagum SP like BM Janet Gavina of DavNor SP, perhaps Baura could hammer more meat in privilege speeches on other glaring issues such as the monitoring and compliance on hygiene rules for the CSWs (commercial sex workers), the soft, respectable DSWD and NGO parlance for the prostis and buntogs, or those in in the world’s oldest profession quenching the thirst for lust of men.

But then, she could also rile on the hideous character of the city’s flesh trade, which could be denied of since it is discreet, negotiations-based and a sideline business among GROs that opens up as soon as the owners close their girlie videoke bars past the midnight.

There’s also this unwanted location of internet cafes just adjacent to the girlie bars. Internet cafes which have often the youths and schoolchildren as customers should never be located adjacent or proximate to the bars as they are afforded a good view of the allure, vices and worldly temptations put up by those paying for the sin taxes.

Concerned students would go to 24-hour internet cafes up until around 10 PM for a mix of web research for tomorrow’s assignment, surf, chat or play. Besides that the innocent youths are subject of the bad influence casts by the sight, they are also at risk of the maoys, blankos and lokos from those who have already much of the drink and merrymaking.

But then the councilor can also hit on the breast exposures that happened on webcam inside semi-enclosed cubicles of an internet café just beside a girlie bar in a city. Well, a still sober friend of mine last week chanced one, looking like a coed, chatting with, cajoling a foreigner, perhaps not the usual horny Indian. But maybe she did only bare above her waist so she could run to the nearest 24-hour Western Union outlet. But this is already besides the point, and would need another essay. (For online edition, visit my blog at:


Congressional wannabes not to sit back and relax

Posted in roger m sarmiento, tagum, tagum sp, way kurat with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2008 by cha monforte

If the charter change (Cha-Cha) via the constituent assembly (Con-Ass) will finally fly on the wings of federalism, on the assumption that the businessmen, civil society groups and Catholic bishops, and various opposition groups as well as the 2010 presidentiables from the Senate could not put up a united front like what they had made for several times during the time of Ramos, Erap and Gloria, chances are it could throw a monkey wrench to the political ambitions of front-running politicians in both Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.

On the assumption that Cha-Cha via the Con-Ass is made, adding one more term to the presently allowed three terms of a congressman, then both the third-termer DavNor 1st District Cong. Arrel Olano and Comval 1st District Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora could still run for their last reelection. And since both of them belong to the Lakas party or the merged Lakas-Kampi party, by the equity of the incumbent principle, it’s they who would be bagging the standard bearer of the administration party. Such bodes ill to the ambitions of DavNor congressional wannabes. Likewise, Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya and Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay would have to stop their mutual back-biting and conveniently seek for their reelection. All’s well that ends well. 

But sadly or happily, the Ramil-Maricar silent positioning feud will continue. On the other hand, the eyes of a member of the divided politico-economic clan or of the DavNor vice governor, otherwise the one who kept on losing in elections out from his faded glory that came after his involvement in Piatco scandal or of the Dangpanan who never was,  will continue to be trained on what Olaño would be leaving, as from our vantage point it would be so hard these days of skyrocketing prices for the President to realize her pipedream of effecting a Cha-Cha without sparking a so noisy backlash and juggernaut of the opposition, not least the presidentiable senators who do not want an overstaying President blocking off also their pipedream of becoming the country’s next President.

We think this new Cha-Cha call is another charade flouted by the administration in accomplishing at least two purposes: showing its irritation to the snagging of the peace agreement by the fiat of Supreme Court’s action, and putting a new smokescreen to the obsession of the President Arroyo to reach the end of her term by 2010. At least a new breathing spell can consume again a lengthy period especially so that our district congressmen are expected to return to be with us again from the comforts of their Manila offices for the consultations on Cha-Cha via Con-Ass for federalism maybe this week or two weeks for now.

It would be bad for the congressional wannabes in DavNor and Comval to just sit back and relax in taking ride of this new Cha-Cha pretense. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: ON Cha-Cha for federalism: Cong. Anton wants to consult constituents first; Way Kurat evasive, Olaño, Amatong mum on the issue

Posted in arrel olano, cha-cha con-ass, cong. anton lagdameo, cong. bobong amatong, way kurat with tags , , , , on August 16, 2008 by cha monforte

Davao del Norte 2nd District Congressman Anton Lagdameo wants to consult his constituents first for his official stand on the proposed charter change (Cha-Cha) via a constituent assembly (Con-Ass) that will be convened to adopt a federal system of government in the country.

But in his personal opinion and if the constitutional amendment will push through should the people so desire, it is best that this will be made through a constituent assembly that is speedy and inexpensive¸ Cong. Lagdameo stated in a text message reply to a text query posed by the press on Thursday.

Here is Lagdameo’s full text: “Bilang representante ng mga taga Davao del Norte sa Kongreso, kailangang konsultahin ko muna kung ano ang nasa puso nila sa usaping ito. Ngunit sa aking personal na opinyon, kung sakali mang matutuloy ang pag-amyenda sa Konstitusyon, ito ay pinakamainam na gawin sa pamamaraang constituent assembly. Ito ay upang mapabilis at maging matipid sa gastos.”

Third-termer 1st District Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, on the other hand, appears to be evasive into responding to the Con-Ass for federal issue replying only that he has already a position that he can write.

Similar text query was sent to Davao del Norte 1st District Cong. Arrel Olaño and Comval 2nd District Cong. Rommel “Bobong” Amatong but as of 6:00 P.M. Thursday did not receive a reply.

The charter change proposal sparked by Malacanang’s support for Senate Joint Resolution No. 10 has drawn mixed reactions from both the administration and opposition senators and congressmen even as several of them crossed party lines in giving similar reactions.

The resolution principally authored by Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel called for the creation of 11 federal states through a constituent assembly. It was signed in April by 12 senators

Talk of amending the Constitution emerged after the government secretly hammered out last month a Memorandum of Agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on ending four decades of fighting in Mindanao that has claimed more than 120,000 lives and displaced 2 million.

The Supreme Court put the brakes on the signing of the MoA in Malaysia on Aug. 5 after local executives got temporary restraining order in protest to the inclusion without consultations of their barangays (villages) in an expanded Bangsamoro homeland.

But the signatories in Senate are now re-thinking their position as most of the senators are opposed to change the Constitution before 2010. Senator Panfilo Lacson has so far withdrawn his support to Senate Resolution 10.

Presidentiables from the senators have all but slammed the Arroyo administration for its renewed bid for Charter change. They included Sen. Manny Villar (Nationalista Party), Sen. Manuel Roxas II (Liberal Party), Sen. Loren Legarda and Sen. Francis Escudero, both of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and Sen. Richard Gordon. .

Even administration senators have crossed party lines to reject Malacañang’s insistence to put in place Cha-cha before the 2010 elections as they are unconvinced over claims that the sudden proposal by the Executive on the matter is aimed at bringing peace in Mindanao.

Palace allies in the upper chamber, Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Joker Arroyo, stood opposed to tinkering with the 1987 Constitution at this time, even if the Executive itself is calling for it.

In Davao City, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza dared yesterday the senators who signed the Senate resolution to defend the measure.

“They should stand firmly on their reform agenda on the creation of federal states,” he told the members of the Bishops Ulama Conference at a meeting Wednesday at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.

“I was surprised by their (the senators’) reaction but at the same time I was also expecting it,” Dureza said of the senators’ displeasure at Mrs. Arroyo’s expression of support for the resolution.

“How can there be term extension when there is nothing in it that says about it?” he asked. “There is nothing in the resolution that says about term extension. So, how can that benefit the President?”

Saying it should be best left to the people to decide on whether the 1987 Constitution should be revised, amended or otherwise, Speaker Prospero Nograles said he will be issuing a directive to all members of the House of Representatives to get back to their respective districts next week and meet their constituents.

Nograles said that he will ask the lawmakers for an accurate report on whether or not the people want change in the Constitution.

“I want feedback on the ground…It is the people that should decide on the issue, not us the leaders,” Nograles said.

While results of an informal survey of the lawmakers in the House of Representatives showed that 118 out of 129 who signed the form are in favor of the Charter Change, Nograles said that the survey is just the view or opinion of the solons but not the people.

According to Nograles, the issue of Charter Change is very divisive as this requires intense debate in the Congress.

Nograles said he himself will go to his district, Davao City, to convene all the barangay leaders and ask them what is there feeling about the proposal. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News) with various reports

Mylene’s fear

Posted in mylene baue, mylene baura, policecchief dario gunabe with tags , on August 16, 2008 by cha monforte

Tagum City Councilor Mylene Baura is showing her feminine, motherly touch when she calls the parents to take care of their student youths who might fall prey of the gangs and be involved with the gang wars. She has also called on other sectors to her new fight saying that the problem of gang can be solved by the collective efforts of the all. True, this particular problem that emerged in the City of the Pines is not only a government or police matter.

It’s also commendable that the lady legislator and the city police department under the watchful command of Police Superintendent Dario Gunabe have slated school symposium drive to prevent the youths and students from falling prey of the gangs. The police will not also hesitate to bring the youth offenders to children desks and social welfare departments for rehabilitation.

This is a tough act of Councilor Mylene. Local legislators, although they are foremost expected to excel in legislation than execution, but practical ways would have legislators go beyond the act of legislating as they are also expected to do extracurricular community service, while getting knowledge from the ground on what the people really need, not least legislations that would improve their lot.

We don’t debate on this. Legislators, too, are politicians and being politicians, in good sense, they are expected to deal and engage with the public. This is so since politics in the true sense of the word is an art of dealing and making rapport with public. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)