Archive for April, 2009

NEWS: Oyo now serious for Congress bid

Posted in anthony rafael del rosario, boardmember larry caminero, boardmember roger israel, councilor de carlo "oyo" uy, mayor rey uy, pantaleon "bebot" alvarez, vice gov. victorio "baby" suaybaguio jr with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2009 by cha monforte
april 14

Tagum City Councilor De Carlo “Oyo” Uy is now serious in his plan of vying for the Davao del Norte District 1 congressional post amid reports that he has already prepared his camp, backed up by his father City Mayor Rey Uy, on how to further float his name to the electorate as a good congressional aspirant.
He gave silence on said report but instead he said in a text message that “I’m not confirming about it but I’m seriously contemplating the idea”.
Since when the former Vice Gov. Anthony Rafael del Rosario made a public admission early this year that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer in Stage 3 development, the post that would soon be vacated by last-termer Congressman Arrel Olano has become hotly sighted and prematurely contested by among Lakas and Kampi partymates.
At press time, Anthony’s father, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario is mum on whether his son, who declared his intention to run for the post mid last year, would be still be coming to gun for the post amid drumming up of reports that his disease is curable and the continued inclusion of Anthony’s name in province-sponsored sports activities.
Reported to be among those eyeing for the post were Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio, Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel, and Philippine Councilors’ League provincial president Helario “Larry” Caminero.
As Anthony went to Manila for treatment and as talks ripened over about his most potential successor from within the Lakas party, Vice Gov. Suaybaguio let loose gripes about the governor’s past political decisions and maneuverings that allegedly diminished the political stature of Suaybaguio.
At one time, Suaybaguio said in a report he could afford to be on the losing end this time around as to his longstanding congressional aspiration.
It could not yet be immediately ascertained if Suaybaguio has already patched things up with Del Rosario following the issue about the governor’s alleged act of disowning the vice governor’s whereabouts relating to his US trip last December.
The reported falling out of Suaybaguio from the governor’s grace has reportedly resulted to “much sipsipan” of Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad, while Boardmember Israel also continued to grumble over his own congressional ambition but careful of not hurting the governor as Israel bid for the latter’s political blessing.
Meanwhile, Boardmember Caminero said in an interview welcomed the latest statement of the younger Uy saying that “it’s good that there’s now voice from the youths like Oyo who will meet the challenge of representing our people in Congress.”
“I welcome him as a good potential rival,” Caminero added.
There is still much silence these days on whether the defeated congressional aspirant in the last polls, former DOTC Secretary Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez will be coming in to join the congressional fray. He already attempted twice but failed to grab the post despite the reported millions he poured to his political and barangay leaders especially in the last 2007 polls. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWSFEATURE: Bamboo resort is where a thousand Comval mainlanders went to for Easter

Posted in bamboo garden, comval hotels resorts, new bataan, sheila cualing-soriano with tags , , , on April 25, 2009 by cha monforte
By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

april 12

Over a thousand Compostela Valley mainlanders chose to soothe themselves in the cool spring and rushing clear river waters in Andap, New Bataan in celebrating Easter after a sleep-scarce Black Saturday and as the Holy Week culminated.

(photo by Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)
(photo by Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

“At the night of Good Friday, our overnight cottages were fully occupied. On Saturday, our guests were going out as new ones kept on coming in,” said Sheila Cualing-Soriano, management overseer of Bamboo Garden, an inland resort known for its swimming pool with cool spring water tapped from a highland of a nearby hill.

(photo by Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)
(photo by Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)
(photo by Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)
(photo by Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

By the pool’s side, visitors and guests can alternately choose to frolic in the rushing cool, clear riverwaters of Andap splashing at stones and boulders.
“I’m glad what it is turning out now from what my late father had started,” Sheila said knowing the thousands of frolickers that came in during the Lenten Season.
For yesterday’s Easter treat of the resort for her guests, Sheila belted out a live band show, ledge dancing contest and Easter egg hunting.
Sheila is the eldest in the brood of five of former New Bataan Mayor Margarito “Nonoy” Cualing, who started carving out a big pool at the resort’s centre point in November 2005. It had its soft opening May 2006, but three months after, the former mayor died of lung cancer.
The inland resort, developed inside the 12-hectare Cualing property, is just about a 10-minute motorcycle ride from New Bataan poblacion.
It is cut by a rushing Andap river by the frontage of the concrete section of the Andap-Maragusan road, and its developed portion gets a breathtaking view and cool ambience of the rising hills and greeneries nearby.
“We’re still at present working on what technology and how to access Internet and cable TV connections to best serve our guests considering our location,” Soriano said referring the hills and mountains that entrap the place.
“But at best we’re offering what is natural like our spring water in the pool,”she added.
While also tens of thousands of frolickers in yesterday’s Easter celebration usually mobbed the beaches, Comval mainlanders for having no seas have been glad they have been seeing entrepreneuers developing inland resorts in the valley like the Bamboo Garden.
Comval mainland consists of the six towns located in the landlocked fertile valley, which are Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, Compostela and New Bataan. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: 117 Nabunturan youths take Iskolar ni Raul exams for 4-year course

Posted in asds antonio delos reyes, councilor raul caballero, international peace leadership college, nabunturan with tags , , on April 25, 2009 by cha monforte

april 8

Some 117 new high school graduates, mostly belonging to the Top 10 of their class, in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley yesterday took the competitive qualifying examinations in the search for the 30 Iskolar ni Raul for four-year course in the International Peace Leadership College (IPLC) at Antipolo City starting in the coming academic year 2009-2010.

Creme dela creme, the best and the brightest of Nabunturan- some 117 new high school graduates, mostly belonging to the Top 10 of their class, in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley take the competitive qualifying examinations yesterday for the 30 Iskolar ni Raul for 4-year course at the International Peace Leadership College (IPLC), Antipolo City for the coming school year. Inset is Councilor Raul Caballero. (photo by Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

Creme dela creme, the best and the brightest of Nabunturan- some 117 new high school graduates, mostly belonging to the Top 10 of their class, in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley take the competitive qualifying examinations yesterday for the 30 Iskolar ni Raul for 4-year course at the International Peace Leadership College (IPLC), Antipolo City for the coming school year. (photo by Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

The examinees who took the exam were considered as Nabunturan’s creme dela creme and best and the brightest of this year’s batch of high school graduates as they were either having 85 percent or above average grade, or Top 10 of the class or student leaders.

The IPLC scholarship grants accessed through the initiative of Nabunturan councilor Raul Caballero would provide free tuition fee worth over P32,000 per semester, free dormitory and student assistanceship for free board and lodging of the chosen scholars. They would also have the opportunity to go to US and other countries in Asia for youth leadership training and fellowship once they graduate.

The courses offered under scholarship are Bachelor of Science in Journalism, BS in Politics and Governance, BS in Philosophy Program, BS in Secondary Education,  major in English or in Values Education, and BS in Business Administration, major in Marketing, in Entrepreneurial Development or in Human Resource Management.

Before yesterday’s start of examinations held at NNCHS, Councilor Caballero challenged examinees never to waver from their aspirations to get education saying that education has remained to be the key and proving element in improving the lot of especially impoverished families in the country.

Caballero is also funding from all of his salaries as councilor the schooling of some 45 scholars who have just completed the first year of the two-year computer programming course in Nabunturan College of Science and Technology.

Yesterday’s examination was administered by Comval assistant schools division superintendent Antonio Delos Reyes, also the vice president of the Mesael Caballero Foundation, Inc., a nongovernment organization, which coordinates and administers the Iskolar ni Raul program. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Joecab: it’s “either, or” pa rin

Posted in comval, cong. rommel amatong, gov jose caballero, gov. chiongkee uy comval, joecab with tags , , , , on April 25, 2009 by cha monforte
Political smoke rising in Comval
april 8
Former Compostela Valley Governor Jose “Joecab” Caballero has said that as usual he is contemplating at press time to “either for governor or for congressman”.
In a phone call answering a query in a text message, he said that “everything is not definite yet” adding that it is dependent on “things that are still so much in fluid” in vague reference on his planned bid in 2010.
He said that either he would square off with reelectionist Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy whom he has not yet fought in the past elections, or “pwede ring balikan (make a return bout) with second district Congressman Rommel “Bobong” Amatong.
Political kibitzers this time are saying that in whoesoever Caballero would fight it out could surely make a big run for his money since the latter has still a remnant following despite the reported swaying of Lakas incumbents over Caballero’s leaders.
They reckoned that whoever is Joecab’s rival would have to spend at least P30 million to defeat the governor adding that though Caballero would still lose but his rival would have to spend such big amount, making Caballero like a hot potato both of Uy and Amatong.
Caballero under Kampi party was overwhelmingly defeated by Cong. Amatong in the last 2007 polls while his daughter suffered the same fate by Gov. Uy of Lakas party.
Caballero at present has a running blocktime radio program “Joecab Express” over Radyo Rapido based in Davao City in the mid morning from Monday to Friday.
The program usually tackles more legal issues with the former governor, who is a lawyer, sharing his legal advises to text senders.
But at times Caballero and his co-anchormen dashed out political potshots such as that the express vehicle Joecab was driving was enroute to the Capitol, “byaheng Capitol”, or they tackled issues about Uy’s administration.
His co-anchormen are Davao City-based broadcasters Kiking Quimpan, Lyndon Catulong and Leo Villareal.  (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Ramil not on atras-abante mode on Comval Cong bid

Posted in boardmember maricar zamora-apsay, Compostela Valley Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya, Comval politics officials, former District 2 Cong. Prospero Amatong, Governor Arturo Uy with tags , , , , on April 17, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

april 7

Compostela Valley Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya has denied report that he has been swirling lately to be either stepping up or stepping back from his longstanding plan of taking a crack to the congressional post of District 1.
vice gov ramil gentugaya
“As before I have the same stand to run for Congress if I get the (Lakas) party’s endorsement,” he said in vernacular in text message.
Word is up from sources from Lakas party in the province that unlike in Gentugaya’s active seal to run for the post in last year he has been observed to be already entertaining to put on hold his congressional ambition and just seek for reelection in his current post amid the stepped up party call to preserve the much-hypped up “Comval Unity”.
This as his closest possible contender Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay, daughter of last-termer Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, remained to be often declarative and vocal and not hiding her desire to run for Congress in many public gatherings.
Late last year, Cong Zamora claimed that his daughter was groomed by the Lakas party national directorate for her eventual making as the party standar bearer for Congress due her participation to several leadership trainings sponsored and funded by the Lakas national directorate headquarter.
But early this year in a meeting of Uswag Comval, a provincial political aggrupation composed of the same Lakas partymates headed by Governor Arturo Uy, Gentugaya was once egged out by former District 2 Cong. Prospero Amatong not to chicken from his congressional plan after Cong. Zamora introduced Boardmember Apsay as the upcoming congresswoman in his district.
Apsay and Gentugaya have still one term for reeelection in their respective present posts.
The choice between Gentugaya and Apsay has been seen as a potential leading cause of division and possible break up of the Lakas party in the province.
The choice of congressional standard bearer was said to be decided by the Lakas provincial directorate composed of Uy, Zamora, District 2 Cong. Rommel Amatong and his father Prospero as voting member emeritus, Gentugaya, Apsay and four other municipal mayors, who are all party committee chairmen.
Observers said that both Gentugaya and Apsay race closely for a tie of votes of the voting members of the provincial directorate, and what remains crucial is the vote of the presiding chair Gov. Uy, who will break the tie in such case.
Last year, pundits supportive to Gentugaya claimed that he was the most senior party man for the position being the vice governor, but the camp of Zamora-Apsay rebutted that the District 2 congressional post by 2010 elections is considered to be vacant and that the Lakas rule on equity of the incumbent is not applicable since it has no incumbent reeelectionist.
But meanwhile, unconfirmed reports said that Uy and Zamora were supporting the bid of Senator Manny Villar to run for the country’s President.
Though Villar could possibly be the Palace choice if his Nacionalista Party could coalesce with the dominant administration’s Lakas party and he could manage to outbid the administration’s current leading Lakas presidential contenders Noli de Castro and National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr, Uy and Zamora as Villar supporters could be facing a problem sustaining the drummed up unity of political leaders in the province if Villar is thrown out to be still with the opposition.
Uy earlier said that the Uswag Comval was formed so they could have a free hand in choosing whom to support as the next country’s President.
He was reported last year to have not liked the scenario of having Vice President Noli de Castro as the Lakas presidential standard bearer. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Tagum cops on high alert on Lent as banks request

Posted in tagum crimes, Tagum police chief Giusseppe Geralde with tags , on April 17, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

mar 31

TAGUM CITY- The city police here will be particularly mounting high visibility and alertness on next week’s start of the Holy Week, bared Tagum police chief Giusseppe Geralde yesterday.
He said that since there would be a long holiday in time of the Lenten Season his police force would secure closed business establishments such as particularly the numerous banks in the city.
He said that the Bankers Association of Tagum City had already relayed its request to him to take particular police watch to support the respective security elements guarding banks doing business in the city.
Meanwhile, PSupt. Geralde also bared that the crimes against properties that were at all-time high in incidence in the last quarter last year have comparatively gone down by half in occurence these days.
“This is due to high police visibility we have been making to secure the city,” he said.
He also said that to further boost police visibility Mayor Rey Uy would supply a patrol car while the city bankers’ association will soon donate the same unit to the city police force.
The patrol cars are planned to be pickup hilux units with back seats. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Tesda’s Korea-Phils training center in Davao City gets share of “pork barrel” through congressmen’s tech-voc scholars

Posted in Korphil davao city, Nograles scholarship, Tesda Gil Gonzales with tags , , on April 17, 2009 by cha monforte

march 23

DAVAO CITY- Much of the income earned from training fees by the Korea-Philippines (Korphil) technical-vocational training center of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority proved to be coming from the priority development assistance fund (PDAF), also referred to as a “pork barrel”, of congressmen who have been funding for the schooling of their own scholars for tech-voc courses.

“Last year Korphil grossed about P10 million from fees for the voc-tech courses we offered and about P7.1 million of which came from the congressional office of Speaker Prospero Nograles,” training department head Gil Gonzales said.

He added that most of the 285 students enrolled at present in the 9 one-training courses of Korphil are scholars mostly from congressmen and a few are scholars of mayors and governors in Davao Region.

Korphil bills the offices of the scholars’ sponsoring congressmen and other officials and individual non-scholar students, and from the receipts Tesda allocates to sustain its training provisions: 50 percent goes for supplies and materials, 20 percent for honoraria of trainors, 15 percent goes to Tesda-XI’s revolving fund and the other 15 percent for Korphil’s revolving fund.

Gonzales said that Korphil has recently started the training of 155 scholars who comprise the first batch of Pangulong Gloria Scholarship.

The President’s scholars would be trained in 12 various short-term courses with a minimum period of 18 days and a maximum of 66 days.

From this, Korphil stands to earn P5,000 to P10,000 training fees payable by the Office of the President.

Korphil, whose 6.4-hectare training complex is located in Bunawan district, north of this city, came to be much improved in looks now after South Korea infused $5 million grant aid in 2004 which funded for the seven buildings including a dormitory and administrative building to upgrade the training facilities and capacity of the Tesda-run training center.

Gonzales said so far they find the process of the scholars choosing Korphil’s offered courses easily beneficial.

“Although we could also provide ways to suit the needs of the funders like trainors for other trainings identified by them but not in the listed courses of Korphil like the trainings sponsored by the congressional office of Speaker Nograles,” he said.

Korphil at present offers one-year training courses which include agricultural machinery and automobile maintenance and repair, mechanical processing, welding and pipefitting, refrigeration and airconditioning, food processing, hotel and restaurant services, information processing and industrial automation and mechatronics technician.

Said courses have some 50 sub-courses with varying national certificate levels from 1 to 4 and training periods.

Asked on who are preferred by Korphil to come in for training, “we don’t discriminate as long as you have the time and you can pay the training fees, you’re welcome,” said Gonzales, the most senior employee for serving 28 years now in Korphil, once an ubiquitously grassy and decrepit training school of the out-of-school youths from provinces then popularly known as the National Manpower Training Center.

He said though that Tesda needs to fill up the unfilled plantilla positions in Korphil to beef up its presently insufficient staff trainors and to also meet the rising demand from local government units and other sectors in Region XI for voc-tech trainings. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Violence feared in DAR installation of “fake”, “dummy” ARBs in Compostela

Posted in Atty. Jeorge Rapista, banana growers compostela, Compostela Mayor Reynaldo Castillo, Compostela Valley provincial agrarian reform officer Eduardo Suaybaguio, Congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, Davao Fruits Corporation, Federico Blanco, namasco with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

march 2

COMPOSTELA- Fears continue to linger here that more violent confrontation would erupt anew between the groups declared by the Dept. of Agrarian Reform as agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and the groups of banana workers who are currently working and still in possession of the remaining 41-hectare banana plantation in Barangay Osmena in this town.

Last Friday tension mounted again in the barangay, which is just a few kilometers away from the poblacion here, as some 20 ARBs physically entered to some 1.9 hectares of banana plantation under contract of one Federico Blanco, an area reportedly included in the claims of the DAR-installed ARBs.

Meanwhile, reports said that the banana farm workers protesting the DAR’s continued installation of ARBs have planned to stage peaceful mass actions of their wives and children outside their banana farms they hold on this week to dramatize their plight.

The banana workers belonging to Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Compostela (Namasco) claimed that the ARBs are “fakes” and “dummies” saying that they were former plantation workers, employees and officials who were already paid of retrenchment and retirement packages in 1994 when the contended land was still leased by the Ayala-owned Davao Fruits Corporation (DFC) for corporate banana farming.

Namasco chairman Zosimo Ombajin claimed that 170 of his members were the actual tillers of some 98 hectares of land since 1998 after the DFC’s banana production lease contracts expired and they became farm workers under small-scale banana contract growers.

But 49.72 hectares of this were already lost as the DAR-installed ARBs forcibly occupied the area August 11 last year dislocating over 100 of Namasco members form their livelihood.

The DAR early last year issued 16 Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) certificates covering over 112 hectares for 167 ARBs.

Ombajin said the 16 CLOAs eat up the remaining 41 hectares that Namasco still currently possessed and the other neighboring plantations areas directly tilled by Liberty and Selecta farmers’ cooperatives, other banana contract growing groups in the area that ally with Namasco.

Tuesday last week the DAR provincial office tried but fail to physically install undetermined number of remaining ARBs to some 63 hectares after Namasco and other farmers groups put up barricade to resist a DAR regional special order on new ARB installation.

The ARBs, numbering about 200, were accompanied by provincial agrarian reform officer Eduardo Suaybaguio, Compostela municipal agrarian reform officer Maria Gloria Delan, Congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora and Mayor Reynaldo Castillo.

Before Namasco barricade, Zamora and Suaybaguio though read notes and the installation order for the ARBs.

On that day, a brief stone-throwing made by both sides occurred injuring four from the group of ARBs and one from Namasco.

Zamora and Castillo were already out from the area when the stone-throwing incident erupted.

Compostela PNP chief Mohammad Dampac though managed to pacify the two warring groups.

Namasco legal counsel Joerge Rapista questioned the order citing that DAR had not yet conducted an investigation as ordered by DAR national office on Namasco’s dispossession from half of their land lost last year allegedly due to collusion of DAR personnel and Zamora , and on the issue on company dummies placed as ARBs.

Rapista further questioned where the areas and boundaries of the CLOAs issued are located citing that the DAR had not yet even conducted surveys over the areas claimed by the ARBs.

He pleaded for status quo pending determination of “real ARBs” and resolution of Namasco’s legal questions that he said might undo what had been lost to the actual tillers due to DAR installations.

Suaybaguio said he would only follow the special DAR regional order directing him to install the ARBs adding that he was sticking with the CLOAs and that the determination of the ARBS was already final and executory,

He also belied allegations on the placing of dummies to the declared ARBs saying they duly complied with agrarian reform laws and processes.

But Rapista questioned that the Suaybaguio’s special order was not even signed by DAR regional director Datu Yusoph Mama but only initialed by an officer in charge.

On the other hand, Cong. Zamora said he only accompanied the ARBs Tuesday last week as he was furnished of the copy of the order.

But in his arguments with Atty. Rapista he was obviously siding with the ARBs, said of Namasco officer Pantaleon Libre Jr.

During last year’s installation the congressman was reportedly present when the ARBs broke up the barricade and policemen disarmed security guards and forcibly made a takeover to over half of their land.

Namasco had lodged late last year a petition for the cancellation of the CLOAs even while it also prayed to DAR for their members’ inclusion as ARBs.

In a press conference Friday, Namasco officers said that they were not informed in the first place that the land they were tilling were placed in the 90s under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of the government even as they alleged there was also a fake barangay captain who certified for the retrenched who were already paid and the dummies as the ARBs.

“We could still agree to strike a win-win solution to avert imminent violence due to threats of occupations of the questionable ARBs, that is for us to remain in the remaining 41 hectares we’re holding on. They already have more than half of the land we tilled. We will never leave this land left to us as the leaving would mean our empty stomachs,” Ombajin said. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)