Archive for August, 2009

NEWS: AGR’s resignation from Lakas-Kampi “a smart move”- Yayong

Posted in Anthony del Rosario (AGR), congressman arrel olano, gelacio "yayong" gementiza, governor rodolfo del rosario, Vice Governor Victorio "Baby" Suaybaguio Jr with tags , , , , on August 30, 2009 by cha monforte

Davao del Norte politics

aug 27

Still politically coy Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza, former Davao del Norte governor, has his own reading on the recent decision of confirmed congressional hopeful Anthony del Rosario (AGR) in resigning from the merged Lakas-Kampi party which his father governor chairs in the province.

“It’s a smart move and the real purpose is really to leave the administration’s congressional standard bearer vacant, while he would end up being supported by two parties- of the administration and opposition,” said Gementiza, who earlier wanted Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr to duel with AGR in the congressional arena.

In an interview yesterday at his sprawling residence at Apokon, Tagum City, Gementiza, who was himself included by Tagum’s political pundits as congressional potential in the province’s District 1, said that the young Del Rosario’s running as independent could benefit him as provincial boardmembers in the district reported to be comebacking to reclaim their mayoral seats “have now AGR” to troop to under his leadership while the incumbent mayors would remain to be with the side of Governor Rodolfo del Rosario under the administration party.

The District 1’s congressional post to be vacated by last-termer Congressman Arrel Olano had then become a much sought-after post of fellow leading Lakas-Kampi partymates after AGR admitted that he had stage 3 lymphoma cancer early this year until two weeks ago when in a media forum he announced that he was already completely healed of it after undergoing series of chemotherapy treatments within a seven-month period.

In that media forum, he announced his resignation to go independent as “neither administration nor opposition” in confirming his bid of running for Congress, and for him to freely choose a presidential candidate whom personally liked.

“Now he (AGR) can freely pick the strongest opposition candidate,” Gementiza added.

He said that it is unthinkable that the father governor would pit someone against his own son in the congressional race, referring to the post of Lakas-Kampi’s congressional standard-bearer in the district.

But the the former governor also said: “or Dolfo may bolt the administration party” as “in the first place” he has already “no Tadeco to protect”.

Gementiza continued to be coy on his political plan in the coming 2010 elections.

“Mahibal-an ra nato na sa Nobyembre kung pwede pa ba o dili, kay kung dili mag-concentrate lang ko sa akong negosyo (We’ll know that by November, if it’s still good for me to run or not, but if it’s not, then I’ll concentrate myself on my business,”he said.

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s birthday celebration of Vice Gov. Suaybaguio, in an interview, he wished for further unity and good governance in the province under the leadership of Gov. Del Rosario.

“I have been in the mainstream politics and I have not been jumping from one political party to another, and I wish that would end all speculations” in obvious expression of his continued unity with the governor following previous reports that his relationship with the governor underwent an episode of getting soured sometime.

The governor feted Suaybaguio with a splendid birthday celebration at the Tahanan governor’s residence inside the Capitol complex at Mankilam with provincial officials, AGR, mayors including Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy, boardmembers, city councilors, friends and members of the media present.

At lunchtime, when Suaybaguio arrived at Tahanan he was greeted with a Happy Birthday song, and when he posed with the governor, acoustic singers rendered the song “Together Again”.

But a ranking provincial official, who asked not to be named, quickly opined on the song: “That’s wrong, the two had never parted ways. It’s just that their reported parting was misread, since the intention was really to boost Baby’s political foundation. He’s now so popular to the people in the province and their tandem is so formidable” (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News).

NEWS: Mayor, 8 others face Ombudsman suit over P90 M bond flotation project in Compostela Valley

Posted in Alfonso Tabas, bond flotation, Charlie "Cha" Monforte, Cheryl Asion, councilor raul caballero, Darwin Tan, editha arangcon, Eduardo Menoza, Emilio delos Reyes, Felipe Masambo, Iluminada Cabuga, Jennifer Gamao, Preferred Ventures Corporation, RTC Branch 3 Judge Hilarion Clapis Jr, Vice Mayor Romeo Clarin, Vivencia Secuya with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by cha monforte

aug 24

The entire town officialdom except for three opposing councilors in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley were charged of graft case at the Office of Ombudsman for Mindanao by a journalist and community leader for pursuing the P90-million bond flotation intended to fund the construction of a new public market building.

Charlie “Cha” Monforte, correspondent of Philippine News Agency, Business Mirror and local dailies, and Emilio delos Reyes, a president of a local parents-teachers association, charged in their joint complaint affidavit filed Thursday at the Ombudsman that Nabunturan Mayor Macario Humol, Vice Mayor Romeo Clarin and his seven councilors favoring the project have allegedly committed gross violations to Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for failing to conduct public bidding in getting the services of the Preferred Ventures Corporation as the financial advisor/consultant of the bond flotation.

Respondent councilors of the case were Darwin Tan, Iluminada Cabuga, Eduardo Menoza, Vivencia Secuya, Cheryl Asion, indigenous peoples’ representative Felipe Masambo and Sangguniang Kabataan representative Jennifer Gamao.

Monforte and Delos Reyes have earlier prayed a petition for preliminary injunction and restraining order at the Regional Trial Court-Branch 3 in Nabunturan in trying to stop the implementation of Municipal Ordinance No. 2008-10 approving the P90-million bond flotation scheme.

RTC Branch 3 Judge Hilarion Clapis Jr has yet to rule on their petition.

For opposing the local bond float since early last year, Councilors Raul Caballero, Alfonso Tabas and Editha Arangcon were spared from the complaint.

The complainants stated that under the project Preferred Ventures Corp. is guaranteed a consultancy fee of P2.37 million and its project engagement “is not limited to advisory and review services but also includes pre-investment, feasibility, design, construction supervision, management and related services and other technical services and special studies”.

They claimed that even without the “legislative enactment, ordinance or resolution to hire a financial consultant and advisor for the municipality’s infrastructure project, Mayor Humol proceeded to enter into Memorandum of Agreement with Preferred Ventures” and “(it) became an automatic financial consultant/advisor without passing through the bidding procedure as required by law”.

They charged that the MOA signed on February 14, 2008 “is illegal and void ad initio” and that despite this, Humol proceeded also to conduct a pre-bid conference last May 15 for the construction of the public market building.

They also claimed that the bond flotation option is “grossly disadvantageous to the government” as even found out in the comparative study made earlier by the town’s Local Finance Committee (LFC) which recommended for a direct bank borrowing than the local bond float as in the latter “there are undetermined expenses that will result in problems in the budgeting and accounting process later”.

The LFC also stated in its study that under a loan from government financial institution “the cost of borrowing will be properly stated and easily provided in the budget” aside from the fact that “easier terms can be negotiated with the depository bank”.

Moreover, the complainants stated that as found out by the LFC “the LGU of Nabunturan will already spend (P39.6 million) on interest payment alone” under the bond float scheme “compared to only a projected total interest payments for GFI borrowing at (P30.9 million) for the same period of time”.

The complainants also charged that based on the approved final feasibility study made by Preferred Ventures Corp the monthly stall rental for a 10-square meter space could shoot up to P10,500 rate, and at that  “unconscionable rate” lowly market vendors whose stalls were burned over three years ago could no longer afford and face the spectre of being displaced from their long source of livelihood.

With that rate and to make the project feasible, self-liquidating as well as income-generating instead “in sum, the proposed public market building supposedly funded through the much-ballyhooed ‘bond flotation’ would be anti-poor and anti-people,” the complainants stated in their complaint affidavit to the Ombudsman. (RUN)

OPINION: Dreamers in our provinces

Posted in 23978617, boardmember maricar zamora-apsay, former Vice Governor Anthony del Rosario (AGR), Uswag Comval, vice governor ramil gentugaya with tags , , , on August 14, 2009 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

aug 3

As of this moment, there seems to be silence in the political front in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley. This, as time and again trumpeters of former Vice Governor Anthony del Rosario (AGR) floated in the media that soonest he would be back in the arms of the Davao del Norte Capitol reporting that he has already been healed from stage 3 hodgskin lymphoma cancer after undergoing series of chemotherapy treatments. And in the Comval front- the burying of the hatchet between Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya and Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay after their jockeying on who should be the administration’s standard bearer for the the District 1 congressional post comes 2010. Yes, we are re-stating these two potential flashpoint areas in these provinces as these could make or unmake political configurations of the dominant power blocs led by governors.

What if AGR could not really sustain his presence until November’s filing of certificate of candidacy, given his doctors’ advice about his presumably weakened immune system and the high-risk of contracting diseases from third party (read: the masa electorate) if he would expose himself to them during the campaign period? Surely, it would trigger sipsipan over who should be the kingpin governor’s choice for the Davnor District 1 congressional post, and then we’re coming for a new circle in Davnor politics.

If the present Ramil-Maricar silence is taken for good, the more we’ll fear for a divisive scenario as an adage says “still water runs deep”. The more the Comval provincial administration bury this issue and keep their silent brickbrats to themselves even if they continuously sing hosannah to the purported “Comval unity” under the “Uswag Comval” banner, the more the Comval public wonder and ask about what the hell is Comval politics going without the usual fanfare spawned by competing political rivals, for as they say “election is fiesta in the Philippines”. Without the opposition, this province will sink from its usual democratic tradition, nay for having so much democracy shown by competing protagonists even only during elections.

Those who insist that political unity in our provinces is shown by the absence of political opposition and critics or even dreamers of public posts vying against municipal and provincial administration’s power stalkers are giving great disservice to our democracy and to the sacred power of the people to elect whom they want to serve them. This isn’t only a downright hypocritical political slogan, advocacy or doctrine- in whatever degree it may have already crept in our barangays now, but a self-serving declaration that only they have the right to rule over ourselves. “Ano sila sineswerte?” quipped one lawyer who would really dare to run against BM Maricar if really VG Ramil would chicken out from his prior plan and BM Maricar would really have no opponent by May 2010 polls and hence, the spectre of giving the pork- and perks-blessed congressional post in a silver platter to her. Our people should really be given a choice than wait lying down for victors if we want democracy to be alive and to flourish in our provinces.

The insidious characteristic of this creeping political doctrine in our time is the way a privileged few now command to put themselves and their political heirs, associates and allies in power, and agree among themselves on when to transfer and swap high public posts after reaching the limits of their terms.

But this cannot go on indefinitely without a challenge. True, election is really costly and treacheries rule in political realm while daring money politics had been boldly introduced in the recent elections. It’s the realpolitik in these provinces when kingpins dictate and strongly influence. In the end, we we’ll get nothing in this political culture except bad politics that has to be handed down to the next generations, in so costlier and costliest form in future elections after elections that in the end elected leaders would be forced to corrupt the public coffers to recoup their election expenses.

We’re only imagining a dreamland in Isabela and Pampanga electoral experiences with the upset electoral victories of the Padaca and Panlilio over well-entrenched and moneyed political clans and families. But this isn’t unreachable if we believe in the inert capacity of our people to change institutions, leaders and rulers. But always change starts from a dream, and dreamers spring eternal from the ranks of the youths. I recall the late lawyer Florante Garcia of Compostela who stood and fought against blandishments and isolations made by political titans and traitors in traditional politics, and for such he showed the youth’s energy and zest for change in peaceful means. I’m no pessimist. And for this, there are always youthful sons and daughters in our provinces who would spring out to dream and work for reforms and change. (For reactions, txt 09199748945, or email:

OPINION: Mixed, confusing signals

Posted in Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR), DAVAO DEL NORTE POLITICS, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario (RDR), Vice Governor Victorio "Baby" Suaybaguio Jr with tags , , , on August 10, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

aug 7
Former Davao del Norte vice governor and now confirmed congressional aspirant Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR), on his first working day last Monday, has definitely let loose mixed and confusing signals from the influential politico-economic Del Rosario family. By now,  after his Monday’s statements hogged the headlines and aired wide over in the next day, political leaders and pundits in Davao del Norte are drawing and trading opinions and speculations that have either reinforced or changed the usual perception on the politics of his father Governor Rodolfo del Rosario (RDR).
Nevertheless, AGR’s statements have still to be connected to the politics of his father governor, who is considered a political kingpin in the province, whether or not the son consulted first the father on his plan of resigning from the administration Lakas-Kampi party and going independent in running for Congress by 2010. As has been through the years and decades, it would seem that RDR’s politics has been anchored on traditionalism and convenience linked to the national administration in power, and in previous cases where his presidential candidates lost in the polls he played to be consistent post-election turncoat in favor to the winning administration.
When AGR said that there’s no need actually for a party to win an election, we take that with grain of salt given the resources of his father or the Del Rosario family (including his mother who comes from the Floirendo family). The speculation is that AGR has crossed the rubicon or put the cart ahead of the horse in going independent in calculated deference to his father’s partymates, foremost to Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr who is most closest to RDR in terms of anointment without an AGR comeback from his stage 3 hodgkin lymphoma cancer. The resignation act is pretty respectful to partymates while it seems to be actually suggesting to ask for the slot from a distance, following AGR’s long absence due to cancer disease that “was already completely healed”.
But by this, two speculations cracked up: the first is that comes before the elections, the Lakas-Kampi party headed by RDR would have to adopt AGR as a guest congressional candidate without filling up the congressional bet in the province’s District 1, and the second- RDR would engage in political lobotomy in favor to his son with a token congressional Lakas-Kampi bet chosen, which is not only far-fetched and divisive, but also puts the governor in a politically treacherous and awkward position.
In terms of seniority under the rule of the Lakas-Kampi equity of the incumbent in selecting a congressional standard bearer, Vice Gov. Suaybaguio has the edge than AGR who is not elected official this time and is only a member, not an official of Lakas-Kampi party. In the light of his father’s pro-administration consistency, it is also far-fetched that the son would root for the opposition in a way that they could play one hydra with two heads, with each playing with two leading presidentiables comes 2010.
But then pundits ask who knows AGR is the forerunner of next events that could change the political landscape in the province like becoming the forward emissary to the opposition, although in his mixed, confusing statements he said he would be independent in his running, meaning neither an administration nor an opposition while still believing 100 percent on GMA up to this day, without minding that his father is the top gun of the administration party in the province.
By this, either he would remain 100-percent independent, or inevitably jump to the opposition ship with RDR if the latter continues to be visibly no longer enjoying the top of the creme in the blessings of the Palace (with AGR’s revelations that RDR at the recent was abruptly replaced as the regional boss and national treasurer of the Lakas-Kampi party). If they so jump ahead and not change horses in mid-stream only, the national opposition that is winning as shown in the unprecedented people’s outpouring in Cory’s funeral will gladly receive them. But by then RDR’s politics is changed. (For comments, reactions, txt 09069104553 or e-mail:

NEWS: AGR resigns from Lakas-Kampi, to go independent for Congress

Posted in 23830516, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon, former Davao del Norte Vice Governor Anthony Rafael del Rosario, governor rodolfo del rosario with tags , , on August 10, 2009 by cha monforte

aug 4
TAGUM CITY- In his first day of work in the Capitol, returning former Davao del Norte Vice Governor Anthony Rafael del Rosario dropped a big surprise yesterday in a press conference he called by announcing he would be resigning as member of Lakas-Kampi party and would instead go independent in running for Congress in the District 1 of the province in 2010.

He said his father Governor Rodolfo del Rosario “would be surprised by this (announcement)”.
“It’s time for me to see who among the presidentiables I like to support. I’m looking for a presidential candidate that I think has the same principles as I have, a President I can relate with and for the principles he stands for…My resignation is my decision,” said a visibly thinner Del Rosario, who was on leave for seven months from his executive assistant position and as the provincial sports coordinator in the Capitol as he underwent series of chemotheraphy treatments in Manila for his stage 3 hodgkin lymphoma cancer.

He said he is already completely healed from the “mildest type of cancer” and even dared mediamen for a “two-kilometer run” with him to test him.

“I also get second opinion of my doctor in Singapore, who is a cancer specialist and one of the best in Asia, and he said I can run for Congress,” Del Rosario added.

“I have to get out (from Lakas-Kampi) to be independent,” he further said adding that it would be difficult if he would remain in Lakas-Kampi of the administration and talk with other presidential hopefuls in the opposition “like Binay, Erap, Villar, Roxas, Escudero”. “Madaut ta ana (that would destroy me)”.

He also said that it pained him to see that in the country’s politics the principle in the party changes in obvious potshot to the administration party, even as he declared he is still “100 percent behind Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo“.

He added he is more keen to support a presidential candidate who has “managerial skills” and “executive experience”.

But Del Rosario’s announcement has fueled speculations among observers here that the influential Del Rosarios, who have had family feud with the Floirendo family of the gigantic Tadeco banana firm in the last elections, is in path of jumping to the opposition prior the 2010 polls.

During the same press conference at the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo in the media center at the Capitol, Del Rosario himself bared that he heard only last week that his father governor was already replaced as the Lakas-Kampi regional chairman by Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon, and replaced as the Lakas national treasurer by a “Kampi congressman” hinting a possible falling out of Gov. Del Rosario from Malacanang’s blessings.

Last Saturday the former governor arrived in his Tagum residence and was greeted by streamers welcoming him back home. Together with his father, family members, other provincial officials and employees, he then heard a thanksgiving mass. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Tagum cops’ localized anti-terror plan OKd

Posted in 23832680, Digos, Igacos, panabo, Police Chief Inspector Eleuterio Hernando, retired Judge Erasto Salcedo, tagum police with tags , , , , , on August 10, 2009 by cha monforte

aug 4

The Tagum City Council on its session Monday approved the localized anti-terror and anti-criminality incident management plan of the city police.
Police Chief Inspector Eleuterio Hernando said before the city council that the IMPLAN is localized action plan of the city police in combatting all forms of terrorism and criminality within the city jurisdiction involving barangay-based participation down at the grassroots’ level.
The IMPLAN while stemming from the national mandate and current campaign of the Philippine National Police put localized approaches as different areas vary in police action plans to one another, he added.
“It serves as our legal basis in organizing peace and order structures such as the barangay-based action teams and Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) in enhancing our intelligence capacity,” he said.
“We need it approved as we do not know when terrorists would strike in our city,” he said.
The police officer bared that Tagum City PNP has a current strength of 94 police personnel guarding a population of 250,000.
Councilor Reynaldo Salve, however, said that the IMPLAN needs to respond to the perrenial problem of the lack of manpower of the local police and urged to heighten police visibility citing the “unabated crimes in the city” and the killing of retired Judge Erasto Salcedo at the parking area of Tagum City Sports Complex at Barangay Canocotan last Saturday at around 4:40 p.m.
PCI Hernando said that the there were policemen some 150 meters away from the cockpit when Salcedo was gunned down “but we just don’t know whether it (killing) would happen” even as he admitted that the city PNP force lacks police personnel.
Vice Mayor Allan Rellon said that the city council would make comparative study to determine whether the city has not been complimented fairly by the PNP hierarchy with policemen compared to the cities of Panabo, Igacos, Digos and others before they would request for an augmentation of police force.
An unidentified gunman approached and shot Salcedo several times and fled with another companion on red motorcycle with no license plates, police said.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines and members of the judiciary and legal community have been condemning Salcedo’s killing and called police authorities to arrest the killers.

As of press time, the local police is on the thick of their investigation on Salcedo’s killing. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

OPINION: Pre-SONA piece from the provinces

Posted in atty. jaime m. lopoz, boardmemeber maricar zamora apsay, Congressman Way Kurat, laak mayor rey navarro, last in davao del norte comval, mt diwalwal, Pamintaran with tags , , , , , , on August 10, 2009 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

july 24

President Arroyo missed Comval and Davao del Norte in her State of the National Address (SONA) last year. To recall, she did almost mention Comval when she announced of a forthcoming manna from Malacanang for Agusan del Sur. It was about a big, impact project.

Before she did her SONA last year, various regions in the country reeled from typhoon and flood calamity. And to soothe down regional pains, we heard of her claims on dazzling accomplishments from exacting more taxes via the Value Added Tax, while damning the global fuel and food crisis as causes of the country’s ills. For that- she “cared so much for this nation”. Imeldific statements, just like the original who said she cried so much for the country’s poor.

What our provinces now want to hear from the President this coming Monday are her assurances that she would actively work to provide opportunities and investments for mass livelihood and jobs for our people. Without the abundant gold resources and the learned endogenous mining skills of our people, our provinces, most of all Comval, must have been so devastated by crimes against properties, which our local police have nonetheless failed to stump out the way our local bisaya tabloids report about these daily. Likewise, policy statements on the peace and order situation in our provinces particularly with regards to the rising crimes against persons are also much wanting now, and this inevitably relates to the efficacy of police organization in the provinces.

We would not hesitate to listen if the President would also give the Palace’s policy pronouncements, nay even good development intentions on Diwalwal, knowing that there’s now more silence than thunder about what the national government has been doing especially in Level 600 underground since when there was that direct government mining takeover over six years ago. It’s still foolhardy now to expect for government transparency now as even trhe Philippine Mining Development Corp (the NRDC before) keeps to be scarce of its public presence. And corollary to this, her policy statement on people’s mining activities that continue to flourish down in Comval and other mineralized provinces in the region is most wanting. A mere mention on people’s mining in Mindanao provinces could immediately connect the President particularly to the people in Comval, Davao Oriental, Agusan and Surigao provinces. Pa-gwapa points ka naman sa amin Madam President, at least on this score.

BLOGSBITS: Three or four SONAs ago, I was bedazzled by the ostensible gold pendant the President wore while in her dark green gown suit. Seen over ANC, she was sparkling, so presidential. But that was when her rule was not yet smudged by so many issues, ripoffs and scandals of the day…..Word has it that Laak Mayor Rey Navarro is engaged in mining at Pamintaran, Comval’s new gold rush site. Pamintaran is in highland Maragusan. It’s just cool endeavor as the mayor comes also from an upland town…. Last 2 gambling has proliferated in Davao del Norte and Comval. I don’t know what our authorities are doing to stump out this vice. See no evil, hear no evil?…. Until now we still don’t see any financial report on the last liga congress of the Federation of the Association of Barangay Captains in Comval. Paging FABC chair and Boardmember Abundio Cubio. Many Comval barangay officials are wanting to see your FS report…. At the rate there’s deafening silence in Comval District 2 political front, ah that past row between Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya and Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay, then we expect no more noise about it til November? But then Atty. Jaime “Jun” Lopoz, oldest brod of Boardmember Dexter Lopoz, is coming his t-shirts that he is kursunada! to run against BM Maricar for the district’s lone congressional post. Well, Atty. Jun was a student and youth leader before of Mindanaowide stature, has a down-to-earth, charismatic, makamasa personality. He first worked with the Ombudsman for Mindanao after passing the bar exams, for which BM/Atty. Dex was challenged to proceed to law after becoming a registered nurse. Why not? In that case, BM Maricar and Cong. Way Kurat could not claim they got the plum and perks-blessed Cong position without a rival, and with all the District 1 Comvalenyos just sitting or lying down in 2010 polls, while grabbing it, proverbially. (For your comments and reactions, text 09069104553 or e-mail