Archive for January, 2012

COLUMN: A long kingdom story

Posted in DAVAO DEL NORTE POLITICS with tags on January 1, 2012 by cha monforte

Oct 27-Nov 2, 2011


By Cha Monforte

Once upon a time there was one united kingdom. It reigned in a vast rich land. The king was known to be a good provider to his people and the people in return gave obedience to him. The kingdom had a profitable economic enterprise which fed his vassal people. Because the king was too preoccupied in building up the kingdom’s economic empire, he picked the brother of his queen to take in charge of the politics of the kingdom and gave him even more powers in the training and even disciplining of his young and growing royal children on the rudiments of both economics and politics so that one day they would be capable to rule their people and run their great enterprise that connected with the outside world.

The empowered brother in law proved to be an asset of the king as he stood to be the king’s right hand man and good manager in assisting to build up the kingdom’s economic enterprise. For these, the brother in law virtually became the kingdom’s representative prince. He turned out to be a strict and disciplinarian uncle. Under the representative prince’s tutelage the royal children grew up fearful and tiptoeing to the beck and call of their uncle. A whistle of him was already like a loud siren and dog’s jolting bark to the royal children.

One day, the eldest boy of the royal children, who was the incoming royal prince, had his jamming and drinking session with his friends, playing his violin on the palace grounds. Seen to be merrymaking in a so happy  go lucky manner, the group was approached by  the representative prince and right there the uncle grabbed the violin from the arms of the eldest royal boy and he smashed it on the ground- before the boy’s friends. The group dispersed and the incoming royal prince was told to go upstairs the palace to have a rest. The uncle, the proxy prince while the royal children were growing and not yet in mature age, indeed  proved to be a strict disciplinarian to them- they who were born out of the golden spoon.

The kingdom’s representative prince was really an asset of the king especially in taking in charge of the political representation of the kingdom. When later on the kingdom was threatened by the confiscation sprees of the new rulers of the new Republic in the north, in which the kingdom was part of, following the anarchic uprising against a dictator who held the old Republic for too long by force, ruthlessness and bribery, the kingdom’s representative prince played across the corridors of the power of the high and mighty as the kingdom’s diplomat and political representative. For several times he managed to worm his way to sit in influential posts in the national councils of the Republic. He also became the kingdom’s representative to the legislature of the Republic. Verily, the representative prince protected the kingdom in the south from crumbling as confiscations of land and ill-gotten wealth of the dictator’s friends and cronies failed to penetrate into the kingdom’s doors. The king himself was a known close friend and crony of the ousted dictator. There was just equality in graces as the proxy prince became a so influential official of the kingdom and in the Republic while the king supported the proxy prince in his own political quest and in building up the great political power of the kingdom itself as when the king became the power broker and funder of the lesser politicians and leaders within his kingdom so that they would all be beholden to him.

But the kingdom in the south had also competing kingdoms in neighboring areas. The proxy prince could not actually wade even more to capture all territories in sight and spread an overarching political power of the kingdom as there were other kingdoms competing for their share of turfs and vassal people in the larger province. The proxy prince engaged in diplomatic offensives to other princes of other kingdoms, and they later agreed to gerrymander and chop off the vast territory being competed. So the original kingdom’s area of control became a smaller province.

One day, when the king was already old enough, the proxy prince, thinking to retire, tried to put his own son as a successor to his throne as a proxy prince, but the eldest royal son, who was the real incoming royal prince, got wind of the proxy prince’s scheme and he, the eldest incoming prince, without yet the king’s blessing or dying, preempted it by declaring himself to be the next prince for having a royal blood. It was then that a full conflict characterized by maneuverings and betrayals erupted within the royal family which extended to the clan. As the proxy prince’s son was still young compared to the eldest son of the king, and to keep the peace of the kingdom, the proxy prince himself declared that he would not be retiring nor he would be insisting to put his own son to the throne. He himself would continue ruling in behalf of the king- particuarly for the entire political affairs of the kingdom. Outsmarted by the proxy prince’s move, the incoming royal prince had the proxy king booted out from his enterprise’s role and from the sharing of incomes from the kingdom’s prosperous enterprise. The enterprise council composed of the royal children and advisers convened and tackled the proxy prince’s exit from the enterprise. The proxy prince demanded his due to him as one who contributed much for the enterprise’s growth. He got his wish from the royal council with the blessing of the aged king.

As the proxy prince exited from the kingdom, he carted along not only his big share but also the political power imbedded in him. Sooner he established his own turf within the kingdom, divided the kingdom itself by establishing a demarcation line that separated from the home turf that was all loyal to the original kingdom and to his new smaller kingdom. It was out of respect to the aged king that the proxy prince did not usurp the territory around the palace although as political representative all  throughout the provincial area he had tried to threaten it during the assemblies of political representatives to the imperial Republic in the north.

When the proxy prince exited from the palace after his fall from the royal grace it was then that the eldest son became fuller the prince of the kingdom- but, it was already late as he ruled and reigned in a kingdom that was already smaller as the proxy prince carved out for himself and for his own son another separate kingdom within. Each of the two parties had their own respective kingdom while because of the libertarian rule that dawned after the fall of the dictator of the Republic the proxy king became the overall diplomat and political representative that covered even the reduced, original kingdom where he came from. The proxy prince sooner designated his own son to rule and represent the district in his own carved kingdom. On the other hand, the royal prince had designated his own brother, too, to penetrate the hall of political representatives in the province. Earlier, he had his own nephew put as political representative of their own kingdom’s district to the legislature of the imperial Republic.

Meanwhile, as the royal prince and the proxy prince  tangled themselves over issues of territories and vassal followers, the queen, the sister of the latter, was proving herself to be at times influential in resolving conflicting issues that both threatened each of the two kingdoms. One day, during another assembly of representatives, the estranged princess of the royal prince     threatened to fight against the proxy prince. She was shoved off by the queen who defended the provincial political representation of her brother proxy prince.

As the two parties focused on their respective kingdoms, they saw the rapid rise of the metropolis that was nurtured and led by a strong-willed mercantilist leader. The metropolis had gone so developed, influential, efficient  and modern under a mercantilist leader that even its income raised from the taxes of the people and from the subsidy of the imperial Republic was bigger compared to the combined incomes from the two kingdoms. It became an awe to the outside world. It was a state metropolis within the two-kingdom province of the Republic. Later, the tough metropolitan ruler had trained his sight for the political representation posssessed by the proxy prince, who became the smaller king in his own smaller kingdom. The mercantilist ruler had positioned also his own son as his heir apparent to rule the metropolis.

It came to pass that the political representation in    the province was an influential thing for one to participate in the grand affairs of the Republic and to control the two-kingdom, one-metropolis province of the Republic in the south. This was also recognized by the royal prince as the proxy prince enjoyed the power for long.  The mercantilist ruler came from another influential clan and he had a brother prince ruling in the chopped up territory of the gerrymanders, which was once a part of the old undivided one kingdom of the yesteryears. It was the only clan which could threaten the rule of the clan where the royal prince and proxy prince came from. But then, since their youthful years in the past the royal prince and the tough mercantilist leader had been close friends.  The mercantilist leader and the proxy prince  on the other hand had been forging an alliance that not a few advisers from the council of trent observed to be only bordering on plasticity.

The vassal peoples of each kingdom and of the metropolis were waiting, anticipating for something bigger event to develop in the horizon. Some advisers and jokers in the palaces were speculating for an ultimate battle of kingdoms ahead. Was blood thicker than water or was friendship penetrating beyond the bloodlines? When this fantasy story was closed, there were yet no war drums nor sabber rattling heard, only murmurs and whispers from trumpeters and jokers.  (For comments/reactions, email:

COMMENTARY: The Vice Governor’s post

Posted in vice governor ramil gentugaya with tags on January 1, 2012 by cha monforte

oct 27-Nov 2, 2011

Davao del Norte Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr is certainly no pushover in the political arena of Davao Del Norte. That there’s now a talk about someone wanting to take the place of the vice governor by 2013 despite that he has still one term for reelection is cheap talk knowing that there’s still a lot of political scenarios that will develop in the next months to come.

Maybe, Davao del Norte politics now is just infected by the start-up political heat that fumes up when the post of last-termer Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya is being targetted by many interested political leaders in Compostela Valley. There’s former Congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora waiting on the wings.

Fact is, the present Comval vice governor is seen to be facing a pitiful political plight (and the saddest he would be seen by if he runs for boardmember by 2013 after completing his three terms) because he has no more other top posts to run to except the posts of the governor and of the congresman or of Congreswoman Maricar Zamora-Apsay for that matter. Unfortunately, there’s no vacancy in these posts by 2013. That’s different to this: Earlier, Davao del Norte District 2 Boardmember Ely Dacalus  swore to high heavens that he would never go back running for councilor in Panabo as it would have him seen as to be having no other option than to continue making a livelihood out from being elected for a public office. At least, that’s amor propio.

However, this doesn’t ring true for Vice Gov. Gentugaya as he comes from a rich business gentry, and therefore his reported plan to slide down to a lower post is never for employment/ livelihood purposes but for sustenance of his political circulation. That’s what has been egged out by the political merons near to the Comval vice governor. They have been giving him unsolicited (ill) advices.

It’s already a feat of Vice Gov. Gentugaya that he ended up his third term after a series, backtracking to the earliest series starting when he became the SK federation representative to the provincial board. Pushing him to run for boardmember is obviously a bad advice if he wants to project a high-ending, shining political image after his historic saga of being elected starting from the SK. We heard that among     Comval boardmembers, it was often Boardmember Neri Barte who at this early egged out the idea of the vice gov running for the lower position of the boardmember.

As to Davao del Norte Vice Gov. Suaybaguio, he has still one term more to complete and for sure the ruling Liberal Party in the province knows the ultimate rule of the equity of the incumbent, and hence, nobody could replace him in the slate before the 2013 political season until the party cracks up wide and crashes down to smithereens because of new political configurations.  It’s pretty an ugly sight to the political veterans when all formidable leaders including the vice gov fight it out against each other when cost-wise they could just maintain the status quo in the alliance, by the rule of the incumbents’ equity and by reasoned negotiations than by surprising realignments than would only engender more costs and expenses for electoral winning. It’s pretty dignified, too, to stick to the party rules than to blood rules, similar to that foreseen dignified political forlough of the vice gov of Comval.

Fears up over no more mining area left for small miners in Comval

Posted in Highgrader miners Agre Umpad Morales Mandin with tags , , on January 1, 2012 by cha monforte

Oct 27-Nov 2, 2011

At least fifty large-scale mining firms including the country’s biggest Philex Mining Corporation have applied for mineral exploration permits and mineral production agreements and been given favorable endorsements by local authorities this fiscal year raising fears among small scale mining tunnel operators and miners that sooner they would run out of areas to enter and mine in mineralized areas in Compostela Valley.

Sources of the Valley & City Chronicle said that some 50 large-scale mining entities have already asked and were given favorable endorsements by either the municipal governments concerned or the provincial government in their applications for Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) to the mines bureau.

“Basig magmata na lang ang mga gagmayng minero sa usa ka adlaw nga wala na diay silay area nga ma-tunnelan,” said the source who asked not to be named.

He said that in the MPSA application of the large scale mining entities only “three out of four” requirements are needed for their application to be acted upon favorably by the mines bureau.
The four listed requirements are the prior and free and informed consent of the indigenous people (IP) in the area, the municipal endorsement, provincial endorsement and the barangay endorsement.

The source said that often it is easier to get the prior consent of the IP and the favorable endorsement of the barangay.

He said that in so far as Monkayo is concerned the usual route is to get the favorable endorsement of the provincial government as Monkayo Mayor Manuel “Junjun” Brillantes is reportedly preferring small scale mining than large scale mining to operate in his municipality.

The Brillantes family has long been publicly known to be be having mining operations in Diwalwal that started in scale scale mining.

Asked on whether the mining areas in the mining barangays of Mainit, Bukal and Tagnocon of Nabunturan have been included in the MPSA areas of the large-scale mining firms, the source said “yes and even including the known small and medium scale mining areas up there in Masara  and Pantukan areas.”

The known golden triangle of the Mainit, Bukal and Tagnocon have been known to have rich and plenty of gold deposits as several locals made gold strikes in their tunnel  operations among whom were a certain names of Agre, Umpad, Morales and  Mandin as heard in the rounds. The bullish mining in the  golden triangle east of the poblacion  since the recent years has caused for the present economic boom of Nabunturan.

Nabunturan’s mining has generated great multiplier effect as seen in the present thriving of businesses in the poblacion like hardwares, wholesale stores and motorcycle and motorcycle parts sellers. Cash registers of these stores keep on ringing these days as their establishments are mobbed by cash-rich buyers.

Miners who hit big have also been known to be on the buying binge for commercial lots in the poblacion while some of them have respectively built their own mansions, posh boarding houses and gasoline stations.

The source said that what has triggered big interest from the Chamber of Mines’ members of the large scale mining interests to enter and mine in Compostela Valley is the declaration of the Crew Mining in the areas of the former Apex Mining that it had earned P5 billion income from its Masara operations.

He source further said that with the spectre of large scale mining firms swallowing up the mineralized areas of Compostela Valley, it would be back to square one again for the homegrown small and medium scale miners as sooner they would face off with large scale ones from Makati, with billions of capitalization, like before when Diwalwal small scale miners tangled with Apex Mines or with South East Mining (SEM), or those protagonists in Camanlangan, New Bataan or in the mining areas of Pantukan. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)


COLUMN: The lonely filibuster

Posted in DXPA (aka Boardmember Heracleo Codilla) with tags on January 1, 2012 by cha monforte

Oct 20-26, 2011


By Cha Monforte

The word tiff between Boardmembers Vicente Eliot Sr and Raymond Joey Millan may have originated when they were still both city councilors, I surmise. The two graduated from their straight three terms and they both became first-termer boardmembers after winning in the last May 2010 polls under the Liberal Party boat.

There seems to be democracy within the Davao del Norte LP as seen in the partymates’ tiffs and wranglings. Or we say now: political jealousies and political rivalries or political backstabbing or treachery to say the worst within the same LP camp. BM Millan may have the brain, BM Eliot may have the brawn. Now which is which that the people best prefer? But this is besides the thing, err about that langkat tarpaulin operation that had been reportedly engineered by a brother in politics in the last polls in Tagum City out of the need of one to rate top in the surveys during the campaign period. But nobody had protested. Someone only suspected  while the other one was suspected to have made political treachery and machination against a brother in politics. I’m not finger-pointing. Only words in political grooves have it. And we heard it.

We heard that the political stranger- Manoy Simeon of the DXPA (aka Boardmember Heracleo Codilla) in Comval’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan had been recently stripped of his government-issued service vehicle. In the province’s first district, it was only Codilla who managed to win in the last polls as a non-Uswag Comval candidate because the voters did not know that the one running was already the elder brother of the popular Boardmember Armando “Boy” Codilla. The voters thought that it was Boy who was running for reeelection for boardmember. Boy had graduated for his third term in 2010 polls and he ran  and won as Monkayo councilor now. In short, Manoy Simeon was politically clever. He rode on his own brother’s name recall, and he won as the last, fifth ranking District 1 boardmember. Now Codilla is reportedly filibustering alone the legislative measures of the ruling party. “Samokan kaayo si Mang Simeon,” said one boardmember who didn’t want to be named.  Apparently, his filibustering did him in- for being carless.

After the acquisition of the three heavy equipment, Mawab LGU is revising its tax revenue code. Values are increasing as the Jampayas administration wants to raise its local sources of income next year. That’s always the objective of each LGU. There are hitches though in the proposed revenue code. Last session, the town councilors were furnished with CDs which contains the proposed code. Councilors were complaining as some of them don’t know even how to operate a computer or run a CD, said Councilor Ronaldo Ampe. So they demanded for the hard copy. A browsing of the proposed code in CD would have you read portions that tell that its framers were reckless and irresponsible in making it. There were those words of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, which means that a portion was copied in that LGU. Another erroneous portion is the inclusion of the a wharf that has also to be taxed. There’s no sea in Mawab- it ‘s landlocked! It’s pretty a big mistake! OMG! – Oh My Gulay!The values for tax computation, too, seem to be “Americanized”, says one, as there are a lot of point decimals or point percentages. In this age of the Internet, copycats thrive and do their word heists recklessly. Overall, the code seems to be completely new one, not a revised one, complained one councilor.  So why should it be named revised local revenue code? It should be new and the old should be rejected first. We heard that it is the planning and development coordinator Roland Escanlar of the Mawab LGU who led in the making of the proposed code. (For comments, e-mail:

NeXstep Resto Bar & KTV : a place Tagumenyos should be

Posted in NeXstep Resto Bar & KTV with tags on January 1, 2012 by cha monforte

Oct 20-16, 2011

Tagumenyos have now another place where they should go for nighttime gimik. It’s the Nexstep Resto Bar and KTV conveniently located at Valle’s building along Osmena St., Tagum City.
When the resto bar opened two months ago, Tagumenyo youths and matured alike trooped for a big bash opening with its owners- generous Cesar Dolorico and his beauteous wife Raquel. Two bands entertained the first customers, and the night’s big surprise was goddess starlet Isabel Granada.

“I’ll be giving a kind of entertainment that is affordable with our free entrance  and which is different to others,” entreprenuer Cesar Dolorico said in an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle.

He pledged to season up the nightly bar gig with live bands, pop, acoustics, jazz and music in the 80s.

Cesar is a Tagumenyo who has decided to return and invest in his home city. His father Leopoldo was a bulldozer driver when the Madaum Hijo plantation was developed.

He finds that Tagum City has now a robust economy that can sustain good entertainment business.

Cesar has his sustainable Tribea Bar in Mabolo, Cebu. The place is wel patronized by entertainment-choosy population in Cebu.

“Pang masa ang atong rates,” he said as he pledged to regularly bring in a moive personality at least quarterly as his bar’s feature.

It has gorgeous promo ladies and night’s jamming with young talented musicians. There’s always party mode in high spirit in each evening of entertainment with the NeXstep! It’s a must see for Tagumenyos (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)


Millan is the cause of delay- Eliot

Posted in Boardmember Raymond Joey Millan with tags , on January 1, 2012 by cha monforte

Oct 20-26, 2011
(Tuesday) – Davao del Norte Boardmember Vicente “Enting” Eliot Sr has turned the table to Boardmember Raymond Joey Millan who he said as to be the one who dilly-dallied in his legal committee’s report, the reason that the former incurred a “lapse” to the 30-day reglamentary period for the provincial board to confirm or return to the sender the resolution or ordinance already approved by the city or municipal sanggunian.
Yesterday, Millan during the privilege hour suddenly charged that Eliot had already made a “lapse” in not acting to submit to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan the Tagum City’s CCTV Ordinance (No. 461), thus automatically making it approved in the process.
In his privilege speech, Millan in evidently indirectly attacking the person of Eliot cited a legal qoute, “ignorance of law excuses no one.”
In an interview, Eliot,chairman of the SP’s committee on trade, commerce and industry,  said that there could have been no lapse committed had Millan not dragged his foot in submitting his legal committee’s report comments and recommendations.
Eliot added that he found it surprising that Millan singled him out when other SP members such as Boardmembers Janet Gavina and PCL representative Janrey Gavina had also committed lapses in the respective measures they handled before.
But Eliot said that the questioning of Millan was “a retaliation” when he earlier raised the issue of Millan’s getting of an excess  job order personnel as his bodyguard.
Of the 13 boardmembers, only Millan and Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad have one excess job order personnel made as a boardmember’s bodyguard. In the legislative department,  each boardmember has normally a four-man staff: a driver and three staffers.
It was learned though that the additional personnel of Millan and Lagunzad are funded by the governor’s office.
Capitol sources said that Millan might have requested earlier Governor Rodolfo del Rosario an excess JO personnel for his bodyguard considering the dangers and threats owing to his profession being also a lawyer apart from being a politician.
But other boardmembers were demanding that they also be given the same privilege, sources said.
Asked on the Millan’s cue about ignorance of law, Eliot said that it pained him to hear those words uttered by a colleague and a partymate, “but it’s his right to express it.”
“I just prayed to the Lord that all those lapses can still be handled so our province could have more progress,” Eliot added.
As there would be no session on Monday due to All Saints Day celebration, it was learned that tomorrow, Wednesday the SP would have also a special session “to prevent lapses”. In the morning, Eliot would have a committee meeting with Millan’s committee and with the presence of proponent city councilors.
The city’s CCTV Ordinance has a provision  of requiring every business establishment having a capitalization of at least P3 million to install a Closed Circuit TV facility in their business premises to preempt and counter thief, burglary, robbery and other crimes.  (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)


Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 1, 2012 by cha monforte

Oct 13-19, 2011

With the reported choice between Councilors Nicandro “Nickel” Suaybaguio and Mylene Baura as vice mayoral bet of the administration’s slate by 2013, not to be discounted for the post is Councilor Geterito “Boyet” Gementiza, son and political successor of ex-Gov. Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza.
“He can win over administration rivals if Yayong won’t run and campaign only for Boyet,” said one pundit.
Boyet now is fast emerging as a lone opposition voice in the city council.
He is active in his pro-consumercampaigns in his current new first term after he made a successful comeback as a city councilor last May 2010 polls. He had his three straight terms as councilor from 1995 to 2004. He ran for city vice mayor in 2007 but lost to current third-termer Vice Mayor Allan Rellon.
Rellon, who is publicly known to have no big resources to wage a good political campaign against Councilor De Carlo “Oyo” Uy, is reported to be running instead for a boardmember’s seat considering one slot under the Liberal Party with the winning of the Dr. Fred Veyra under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD banner in the last polls.
On the other hand, Councilor and lawyer Allan Zulueta, who has still one last term to vie by 2013 polls, is reportedly enjoying being the Philippine Councilors’ League national president and is reported to have chickened out from gunning for the vice mayoral post as earlier bruited about by pundits. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)