Archive for October, 2012

Despite CDA’s cease order, DANECO-CDA group holds special assembly

Posted in Benedicto Ongking, Brendo Ceniza, daneco-cda, daneco-nea, Dean Briz, Engr. Dan Gervacio, Engr. Gerald Osorio, Eugenio Ramonida, Miguel Fermil, Reynaldo Bandala, Roberto Alam, Roberto Binasbas, roman calicdan with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Despite a standing cease-and-desist order from the Cooperative Development Authority, the  group of former officials of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative who have been separately holding on Daneco’s Tagum office pushed through the special general assembly of member-consumers last Sunday, Oct. 21 at a school in Tagum City.

During the assembly the group known as Daneco-CDA, for wanting Daneco to be converted into a stock cooperative under CDA, secured support from Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Teddy Casiño, ex-Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino and partylist groups from cooperative sector.

Guesting on the assembly, Rep. Casiño warned that the National Electrification Administration’s takeover to Daneco is a prelude to takeover by private corporations “which are only after for huge profits.” He said that under a cooperative scheme, Daneco could be exempt from paying taxes and other fees and would allow member-consumers to avail of cheaper power rates.

Aquino, on the other hand, stressed on the benefits of cooperativism and encouraged member-consumers to strengthen their cooperative.

The Daneco-CDA group has been the subject of a cease-and-desist order of the CDA after the latter temporarily suspended last Sept. 28 Daneco’s CDA registration following an amended writ of preliminary injunction issued earlier by the Court of Appeals against the same group.

However, Atty. Glenn Blair Carnicer, legal counsel of the Daneco-CDA group, charged that the CDA’s order as illegal, done without investigation and thus done without due process.

The group have been filibustering and physically defiant thus far to sheriff’s execution of court order based on the writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) issued by the Court of Appeal.

The first CA’s WPI last August affirmed the power of NEA to dismiss erring officials of an electric cooperative and the CA’s amended WPI in mid October prohibited “the respondents, their agents and representatives from exercising their powers as directors of Daneco.”

The special assembly, the second the group called this year, managed to elect new set of officers different to those 10 officials who were dismissed by NEA last July 30 after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty stemming from some 11 allegations in an administrative complaint filed by a group of member-consumers October last year.

The new set of officers vowed to pursue what the old set of officers started, bemuddling the issue on accountability and leadership of the group although the old set of officers and their political backers were suspected by the opposing group to have only introduced new leadership in trying to evade and skirt the NEA and court and quasi-judicial orders that hounded them.

Reports said the Daneco-CDA group claimed that the assembly held at Tagum National High School at Manga, Tagum City was attended by more than 13,000 members, but some estimated that there were only more 3,000 attendees.

The Daneco-NEA group called the special general assembly “illegal” owing to the standing orders from the CDA and the CA. Days before the assembly, the Daneco-NEA group reportedly distributed tens of thousands of leaflets to households asking member-consumers not to attend the activity. 

Sources said that the new officers were also elected “not by thousands but hundreds of votes” only from those attending the assembly, as the winning members of the board of directors representing the Mawab and Tagum districts had only garnered more than 40 votes and more than 200 votes, respectively. 

The special assembly is the latest that has drawn another tug-of-war between the two contesting groups.

Tuesday last week, the holding-out Daneco-CDA group deployed boom trucks barring the entrance and exit gates of Daneco Tagum office at Tipaz, Magugpo East, Tagum City as reportedly they were fearful of possible “forcible entry” of the Daneco-NEA group of officials who remain to control the Daneco main office in Montevista, Compostela Valley.

The deployment followed after Daneco-NEA group made a press conference. This group had tried twice in the past to make management takeover but the holding-out Daneco-CDA group foiled them.

The Daneco-CDA group has been physically occupying the Daneco Tagum office since July and has been holding on its management and separately collecting power bill payments.

The Daneco-NEA group through its legal counsel Jeorge Rapista, said in a press conference that CDA “found merits on the complaint” filed last June 25 by a group of member-consumers who wanted Daneco’s CDA registration revoked.

But Atty. Carnicer charged that the CDA’s order by its chairman Emmanuel Santiaguel ia “a void order, (which) has no force nor effect.”

Earlier, Carnicer bared that all of those dismissed by NEA were no longer performing their functions. Reynaldo Bandala, appointed OIC general manager, who was subject of the CA’s amended PWI was said to have been replaced lately by a Engr. Gerald Osorio, reportedly a pro-Daneco-CDA employee. On the other hand, Daneco-NEA has its different OIC GM, Benedicto Ongking, who was appointed by NEA.

As this developed, the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AMRECO), a group of all power cooperatives in Mindanao, had acknowledged Daneco under the supervision of NEA. Its president Sergio Dagooc told reporters last week that they were calling member-consumers of Daneco to patronize only the Daneco under NEA and not the Daneco-CDA group.

Last April 30, 2012 the NEA’s five-man Board of Administrators chaired by Dept. of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras dismissed all the 9 respondent directors and a former OIC GM after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.

Dismissed were board president Dean Briz, board treasurer Ananias Darjan Jr, and director-members Brendo Ceniza, Miguel Fermil, Roberto Binasbas, Eugenio Ramonida, Roman Calicdan, Roberto Alam, and Engr. Dan Gervacio, and the former OIC GM Felix Hibionada.

In that order, NEA only suspended former OIC GM Nelson Balangan for 30 days after he was found guilty of simple neglect of duty. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

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Tagum Vice Mayor Rellon wants review of questioned RPT ordinance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 18, 2012 by cha monforte


Tagum City Vice Mayor Allan Rellon wants that the implementation of the controversial Real Property Tax (RPT) Ordinance enacted by the city council he is presently presiding would be put on hold for a while and be reviewed for revision by an executive-legislative body.
Rellon, who is seeking for mayor in next year’s polls, told reporters Wednesday that if he is successful in his bid the formula for the new RPT values in the controversial City Ordinance 558 should be thoroughly discussed and reviewed with the active participation of the vocal Association of Landowners and Land Users in Tagum City.
He said that multi-stakeholder efforts on the revison of the measure should lead to a win-win solution and should have acceptability to the affected sector.
The ordinance though is currently questioned at the Supreme Court by the said landowners’ association which has been opposing the measure since last year.
Rellon is however all praises to Mayor Rey Uy for all his accomplishments in the rapid development of Tagum City during his three terms.
He said he would certainly continue Mayor Uy’s good programs like the festivals if given the chance to be at the helm of the city hall.
What should be given special concern, he added, is the city’s peace and order in order that concerted efforts of all would be made to contain the problem on extrajudicial killings and shootings by motorcycle-riding criminals occuring in the city.
Rellon is running against independent candidate Atty. Paulito Suaybaguio, one of the top leaders of the landowners’ association, and against the mayor’s son Councilor Oyo Uy, who is the administration’s standard-bearer under the Liberal Party.
Atty. Suaybaguio earlier said that he was chiefly running to express objection to the ordinance he tagged as confiscatory and unconstitutional.
He said that the ordinance has excessively increased the RPT values in some commercial areas by up to 833 percent, making many landowners asked where they would get money to pay the high tax obligations.
Mayor Uy rebutted Suaybaguio’s criticisms saying that the measure only increased real property taxes by 20-30 percent in some commercial areas.
He charged that Suaybaguio just wanted to capitalize on the ordinance for his candidacy. He challenged the lawyer for a public debate on the measure.
The last-termer mayor is bowing out for a political forlough in not running for new post for his son to take charge, true to his earlier words of not running when there is no vacancy to a suited post he would like to run to such as the governor’s post.
Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario is unopposed in his last reelection bid for last term by next year’s polls. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

NEWSFEATURE: “DANECO-CDA” vs “DANECO-NEA”: The tug-of-war between 2 electric coops in 1

Posted in daneco-cda, daneco-nea with tags , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by cha monforte

(1st in two parts)

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

 The latest in the divisive conflict raging inside the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) is that a group is now waving a white flag with a big “if” emblazoned on it.

The group of officials of Daneco who have taken control of the Daneco’s Tagum office have promised to resign come the Oct. 21 special general they had earlier called for.

In a press conference last Tuesday held at Daneco Tagum office at Tipaz, Barangay East, Tagum City, board director Engr. Abiner Labja and “Daneco-CDA” OIC general manager Reynaldo Bandala both echoed their group’s position of resigning but on the condition that the Daneco member-consumers would accede to it.

The group controlling what they called as “Daneco-CDA” in their aggressive bid to put Daneco under the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and bolt from the control and supervision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has recently faced a problem that might empty them of legality to further hold on when the CDA itself suspended Daneco’s CDA registration pending resolution of a case filed before the Court of Appeals (CA).

Since July the “Daneco-CDA” group has been holding on Daneco Tagum office and its entire management over Tagum office’s area of jurisdiction in Davao del Norte including the collection of power bill payments, leaving the Compostela Valley area under the management of “Daneco-NEA” based at the main office in Montevista, Compostela Valley. NEA designated an employee Benedicto Ongking as the OIC GM to work side by side with the NEA Project Supervisor Evangelito Estaca.

But later most of Daneco Tagum office’s regular employees deserted their pro-CDA management, went to “Daneco-NEA” side and started collecting payments for power bills using the hot open areas of power substations in the city as their temporary offices.

Before they left they downed the server of computers in the office and carted away the computer program containing the vast records of member-consumers.

Since then Tagum City has become an arena in the tug-of-war of collection activities of two contesting “Daneco-CDA” and “Daneco-NEA” groups or managements, creating confusions to among member-consumers in the Tagum and Davao del Norte areas as two different electric bills come arriving in energized households.

CDA REGISTRATION

In an order dated September 28, CDA chairman Emmanuel Santiaguel ordered for the suspension of Daneco’s CDA Certification of Registration No. 9520-11021778, issued on May 21, 2012.

The CDA also directed “all persons” acting by virtue of the certificate of registration to “cease and desist from further performing and exercising their powers and functions.”

But in last Tuesday’s press conference, the group called on Santiaguel to recall his suspension order and stand for the conversion of Daneco into stock cooperative, which they claimed to have already been realized when member-consumers voted an “overwhelming” 49,056 yes votes in favor to CDA as against the 1,773 votes for NEA in a series of referendum held last May.

A large majority of Daneco’s employees however, went against the CDA, as they preferred NEA to continue supervising the 41-year old electric cooperative. They claimed that the referenda were sham and were rushed to save the board and management officials who were subject of dismissal by NEA due to an administrative case they were facing.

Daneco has over 125,000 member-consumers and is considered to be the biggest business in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, its franchise area, less the towns of Carmen, Sto. Tomas and BE Dujali and Panabo City in Davao del Norte, which are catered by the Aboitiz-owned Davao Light and Power Corporation. In 2011 Daneco generated a total revenue of P1.8 billion.

Also, Atty. Glenn Blair Carnicer, legal counsel of the “Daneco-CDA” group, assailed Santiaguel’s action as violative to Section 67 of Republic Act No. 9520, otherwise known as Cooperative Code of the Philippines, saying that the order was bereft of CDA board resolution.

DEFIANT

But the “Daneco-CDA” group for all their aggressive legal recourses, legal-procedural filibustering to court orders and open defiance to be booted from their posts since April had managed to foil last Oct. 3 the attempt of a sheriff backed up by a group of provincial policemen in full battle gear to implement a WPI (writ of preliminary injunction) from the Court of Appeals for the group to give way and turnover the management of Daneco Tagum City office.

On that day, sheriff Renato Suarez of the Regional Trial Court Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley arrived at the vicinity of Daneco Tagum office and served the order to Bandala.

Reports said that prior the serving, the sheriff, accompanied by policemen led by Davao del Norte provincial police director PSSupt. Edgardo Wycoco and armed security guards from the Security Agency and Guard Supervision Section, disarmed the security guards from Christian Investigative and Security Agency (CISA) manning the office and drove out customers.

A group of Daneco employees were also reportedly lurking around to support the supposed takeover via a sheriff’s order.

But the “Daneco-CDA” group resisted, stood their ground and particularly Atty. Carnicer, fuming mad, ordered office employees to physically bar the sheriff and his group, reports added.

They insisted the sheriff carried no order for takeover but only the ouster of Bandala.

After that, the group cried harassment and vowed to file a case against the sheriff and his company. Suarez group reportedly backed out to avoid violence from breaking out due to heated atmosphere.

Bandala insisted however that the sheriff carried an order that had no signatures of associate justices.

Bandala said Tuesday that while the WPI is not yet around he would continue serving as the OIC GM.

THE COMPLAINT

In October 2011, a group of seven member-consumers lodged an administrative complaint to NEA containing some 11 allegations involving anomalous biddings and disbursements, overpricing in the purchase of substation, unauthorized claims, questionable policy decisions, defiance to NEA’s regulatory powers, among others.

The complainant-member consumers who lodged the case docketed as NEA ADM Case No. 01-10-11 were Gregorio Ybanez, Khernie Bahan, Epifanio Alfeche, Paulito Villaceran, Jr., George Monares, Juan Esperanza and Arnold Dinopol.

Respondents were board president Dean Briz, board treasurer Ananias Darjan Jr, and director-members Brendo Ceniza, Miguel Fermil, Roberto Binasbas, Eugenio Ramonida, Roman Calicdan, Roberto Alam, and Engr. Dan Gervacio, and the two former OIC GMs Nelson Balangan and Felix Hibionada.

Directors Alam and Gervacio later swore as pro-NEA and dissociated from the group although both had to be dismissed the same.

On April 30, 2012 the NEA’s five -man Board of Administrators chaired by Dept. of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras dismissed all the 9 respondent directors and former OIC GM Hibionada after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.

The dismissal carries the other penalties such as cancellation of eligibility to run for the position of electric cooperative director, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re-employment in any rural EC.

NEA only suspended Balangan for 30 days after he was found guilty of simple neglect of duty.

The termination came a few days before the scheduled referendum on May 5 and 6, May 12 and 13 and May 19 and 20, which the group pursued contrary to NEA’s order to hold the referendum in abeyance.

The referendum would ask member-consumers whether they would go for the conversion of Daneco as stock cooperative under CDA, for status quo under NEA or as stock corporation under the Securities and Exchange Commission. (TO BE CONTINUED) (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte with various news reports)

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NEWSFEATURE

“DANECO-CDA” vs “DANECO-NEA”: The tug-of-war between 2 electric coops in 1

(Last in two parts)

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Despite the dismissal order of NEA, the terminated officials belonging to “Daneco-CDA” group refused to vacate from their posts. They banked on the assertion that they were still on motion for the reconsideration even as they demanded for a formal hearing on their case in a court.

They cried injustice claiming that under their watch Daneco has become financially and operationally stable compared to the previous two managements.

The Daneco Board submitted a motion to conduct a formal hearing on the case against them since there only two hearings held- a mandatory hearing which was held on January 26, 2012 and a Clarificatory Hearing held on March 12, 2012.

However, even before a resolution was reached, the NEA Board of Administrators issued a memorandum on March 20, 2012 stating that the case is deemed submitted for resolution. Despite appeals from Daneco Board, they were terminated on May 2, 2012, three days prior to the scheduled referendum.

The holding-out group is not without political backing. Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy and Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy did not hide their support for the conversion of Daneco into stock cooperative and to the pro-CDA group.

Besides, the “Daneco-CDA” management found support from some partylist representatives such as Rep. Cresente C. Paez of COOP-NATCCO and Rep. Nicanor M. Briones of the AGAP Partylist, who made privilege speech regarding Daneco’s situation in Congress. Both assailed the interference, bias, partiality, and manipulation of NEA to Daneco.

Supporting partylist representatives talked about how NEA moves in not giving up electric cooperatives so easily to become real cooperatives like eating peanuts as against the EPIRA law, and on how NEA has been making ECs in the country as their milking cows.

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, on the other hand, seems to be ambivalent and neutral to the Daneco issue until at press time.

TROs

The dismissed officials then applied for a 72-hour temporary restraining order before RTC Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley. On May 3, the court granted the TRO on the NEA decision.

Because of the supposed termination of the members of the board, NEA Administrator Editha Bueno issued a memorandum to Daneco on May 4, 2012, in the afternoon instructing the deferment of the scheduled referendum. It was defied by the group.

The first round of referendum on May 5 for the towns of Maco, Mabini, Pantukan, Maragusan and Mawab in Compostela Valley did not materialize as Daneco employees tasked to supervise the referendum did not show up. The “Daneco-CDA” group cried sabotage.

However, other referendum proceeded as scheduled as the group excluded the opposing employees from the tasks. Towards midway there was a TRO from an RTC in Tagum City issued to stop the referendum but just the same it was defied by the “Daneco-CDA” group.

In late July RTC Branch 3 Executive Judge Hilaron Clapis Jr after extending twice the original 72-hour TRO to 30 days then 20 days, further issued an injunction against the NEA for its order of termination rendered against the members of the board.

This prompted a complainant group to file a motion requesting the CA to issue a TRO against the order of the RTC Branch 3 and later applied for an issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.

1st TAKEOVER ATTEMPT

On June 30, Saturday, armed with TRO from CA, the “Daneco-NEA” group led by NEA Deputy Administrator Ed Piamonte, Estaca and pro-NEA Daneco directors Rodolfo Ang, Gervacio and Rolando Bugas, former Daneco OIC GM Allan Laniba and complainant Gregorio Ybañez, their legal counsels and opposing Daneco employees tried but failed to make a takeover of Daneco Tagum office. It was the eve of the special general assembly called by the “Daneco-CDA” group on Sunday at Maco gym.

Leaders of “Daneco-CDA” group led by their spokesman ex-Congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora hotly contested the TRO in five-hour intense negotiations.

The group reportedly forced their way to enter the office premises, breaking up the steel chains that tied the closed gates. Presence of police and military on guard outside the office compound was noted.

Zamora and his counsel argued that the 60-day TRO could not be served by the lawyers but by the court sheriff. They also said that the TRO only prohibited the 9 directors from performing and it did not specifically state they had to make a takeover. Gov. Uy and Mayor Uy later arrived in the scene.

The July 1 special general assembly was hailed by the “Daneco-CDA” group as the first of Daneco under a CDA regime when set of officers were swore in, and requirements for CDA registration were confirmed. There are least 8,000 member-consumers attending it, though opposing Daneco employees alleged that most of whom were barrio folks ferried thru hakot system. 

In evident reprisal, on July 4, the “Daneco-CDA” management put 57 employees under preventive suspension without pay for 30 days. On the next days, the suspended employees started encamping for a picket infront the Daneco office at Tipaz.

GOV-SEC AGREMENT

On June 6, Gov. Uy, Energy Secretary Almendras and the late DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo reportedly met in Manila to try solving Daneco’s worsening conflict.

On July 9 upon his return to his province Gov. Uy bared to the public that he and the secretaries agreed for the meantime that while there was a TRO the 9 dismissed directors and Hibionada would not hold office, and at the latter’s stead employee Reynaldo Bandala would have to be the OIC GM. He would work jointly with NEA Project Supervisor Estaca. Bandala is a protégé of Hibionada.

On the same day, Uy then instructed Bandala to order for a return to work of the 57 employees whom Hibionada and company suspended without pay for thirty days.

It was said that this interregnum had freed the P80 million on joint account with Estaca as co-signatory to pay for the power bill obligations to PSALM.  NATCCO Partylist Rep. Paez  in his privilege speech last September 3 bared that Daneco  had pending P106-million obligations to PSALM and P34 million to the National Grid Corporation.

“While the cooperative holds P160 million from its collections in May and in June, which is now in its new depository bank, EastWest Bank, it cannot dispense the fund properly as there is an interpleading case on who should be the signatory for bank transactions of the cooperative,” Paez said.

Earlier, NEA Administrator Bueno specifically wrote the managers of the United Coconut Planters Bank and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Daneco’s depository banks, authorizing Estaca to sign and countersign all checks and other banking transactions of Daneco.

But just a few days when Bandala and Estaca were assumed to work jointly, on July 10 NEA administrator Bueno, who was visiting Daneco with DOE Undersecretary Ina Magpale Asirit, appointed Ongking as Daneco OIC GM, violating the reported agreement between Sec. Almendras and Gov. Uy. She also issued a memo terminating newly-hired job-order employees.

But before Ongking could warm his seat at Daneco Tagum office, the “Daneco-CDA” group moved in and seized the control and management of the Daneco Tagum office with Bandala as its OIC GM. They vowed to bar Estaca and his agents from entering Daneco Tagum premises.

On July 15 at the prodding of “Daneco-CDA” group some 300 people claiming to be member-consumers held a rally infront the tightly-guarded Daneco main office at Montevista. They wanted NEA to leave Daneco, declaring that Daneco is already under CDA. The protesters were however countered by Daneco employees praying rosary.

Sketchy reports swirled that the “Daneco-CDA” group with their CISA guards was out to forcibly barge in the Montevista office but was held at bay by the “Daneco-NEA” group’s own guards and rosary-praying employees.

Meantime, it was then when the Tagum employees returned to work that they shortly deserted to go to the “Daneco-NEA” management and worked for the separate collection of power bill payments from member-consumers. They made a good break as earlier they had been posing overt and covert internal resistance to their pro-CDA management in the areas of cash deposits, withdrawals, vaults and account signatories.

As most regular employees of Daneco Tagum office left the pro-CDA management, the “Daneco-CDA” group was accused to have employed new job-order employees in what appeared as scabs-like employment.

CA’s INJUNCTION

Later, the “Daneco-NEA” group secured a new legal victory at the CA when in a 15-page decision penned by Associate Justice Marilyn Lagura-Yap and issued last August 29, the CA granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction.

In her ruling, Yap said the member-consumers gave “more persuasive reasons” to grant the injunction “because the respondents, particularly Hibionada, occupied and took over the Daneco despite the issuance of TRO.”

It added that the respondents also appointed Rey Bandala as Daneco’s OIC general manager, who collects payments from the member-consumers.

“Whether true or not, this enforces the necessity for issuance of a WPI (writ of preliminary injunction). We cannot afford a scenario, that while the main case is pending, two contending factions will control Daneco,” the order read.

“This will obviously be detrimental to Daneco as an institution and to its member-consumers,” Yap said in her ruling.

However, the petitioners and the sheriff of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley alleged that the injunction was not enforced since Bandala refused to heed the resolution as it did not specifically prohibit those acting for in behalf of the dismissed employees.

Thus, the “Daneco-NEA” group asked the CA for a revised injunction. In a nine-page resolution promulgated on September 26 and signed by Associate Justices Marilyn B. Lagura-Yap, Edgardo A. Camello and Renato C. Francisco, the appellate court amended its previous resolution, which prohibited some members of the board of directors of the cooperative from performing their tasks, by including a certain Rey Bandala.

In the previous resolution, it only stated that Bandala was appointed by the respondents as Daneco’s OIC general manager, who collects payments from the members-consumers.

The CA ruled that the sheriff shall continue its authority to serve the second resolution issued by the CA that includes Bandala in the injunction.

STRANGE EVENTS

Meanwhile, in strange and separate turn of events, the NEA-designated OIC GM Ongking was shot but was unharmed last August 15 by still unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants in tandem while he was delivering his child to school in Tagum City. His driver sustained gunshot wound in his hand. The Tagum police is still clueless on the motive of Ongking’s shooting at press time.

Earlier, Judge Clapis was dismissed from service for conducting bail hearings without petition for bail filed by an accused in a criminal case.

In a 16-page decision promulgated on July 17, Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and other 13 associate justices dismissed Judge Hilarion P. Clapis Jr. of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley for gross misconduct and gross ignorance of the law.

WORRIES

As the two groups continue in their legal, management and collection tug-of-war, not a few member-consumers are asking which group will pay for the millions-worth power bill obligations of Daneco to PSALM and the National Grid Corporation due for the Tagum and Davao del Norte areas.

And despite intense pressures from the Palace-connected “Daneco-NEA” management and the visibly tightening legal noose to “Daneco-CDA” management, there is a question on whether the latter can still stretch time and the limits of defying court orders to continue clinging to guarded posts when the sheriff would return to them one of these days. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte with various news reports)

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Rural Urban News (RUN) is a blog-based community news and narrative reportage advocacy group promoting web-based citizen journalism. https://cha4t.wordpress.com. contact cp no. 09392218348.

Ex-Gov. Caballero, Mancao run for board members in Comval

Posted in atty. roland tusay, boardmember kris caballero, mayor manuel brillantes jr with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Former Compostela Valley Governor Jose “Joecab” Caballero had filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for board member for the district 2 of Compostela Valley late Friday afternoon.

Ex-Gov. Jose “Joecab” Caballero

 His COC as independent candidate was filed by his lawyer Roland Tusay.In a phone interview, Caballero said that he is running for the post in next year’s election “as foremost I am a lawyer.”

He said, “I can do a lot to serve and infuse ideas for good provincial leadership, for good governance and for public service.”

“I can humble myself for the sake of public service. It is not the position that is important but public service,” he added.

Caballero was the first elected governor of Compostela Valley after its creation in 1998 from mother province of Davao del Norte. He held the governor’s post for three terms ending in 2007.

The former governor has his daughter Kris Caballero, a first-termer board member in the same district, running for reelection under the Liberal Party led by current second-termer Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy.

Uy is unopposed for the next year’s polls for his last term and has his runningmate for vice governor ex-Congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, who is opposed by independent candidate Franco Tito, erstwhile famed ex-barangay captain of Mt. Diwalwal.

On the other hand, the controversial former police superintendent and state witness Cesar Mancao II is running for board member in the province’s first district. He ran for congressman in the same district in 2010 polls but lost to now first-termer Congresswoman Maricar Zamora, who has no opponent in her reelection bid in next year’s polls.

Mancao was being questioned by Sen. Panfilo Lacson as a government witness in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case and at the recent the Dept. of Justice tried to transfer Mancao’s custody from the department’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Cesar Mancao II

Earlier, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that because of the Supreme Court’s affirmation of a Court of Appeals ruling that Mancao was an unreliable witness and the Manila Regional Trial Court’s decision to deny Mancao’s motion to be discharged as co-accused and to turn witness, there was no basis anymore to have him covered by the WPP.  Discharging Mancao as a state witness would make him one of the accused, a legal scenario that is yet being challenged by Mancao’s lawyers.

Last year, the Court of Appeals ruled that Mancao was an unreliable witness when he implicated Sen. Lacson in the murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

Local pundits speculated that Caballero and Mancao are electoral shoo-ins, sure winners and are no-pushover personages, perhaps legislative spoilers who may dillute and put a legislative wringer to the political consolidation efforts and to the 2016 political plans of Gov. Uy during his coming last term.

Uy and Caballero have been then known to be bitter political enemies. Uy, then boardmember starting 2004, became later the leader of the opposing majority of the provincial board, when Caballero anointed her own daughter, Boardmember Kris to be his gubernatorial choice for governor in the 2007 polls.

Board Member Kris Caballero

In that hotly contested 2007 gubernatorial race, Uy defeated Kris. In 2010 polls Kris ran independently for boardmember and won a separate new first term.

After the Caballero era in governorship (1998-2007), it was time for Uy to build his own undisputed leadership and his own era. For his first two terms, Gov. Uy managed to have the mayors and political leaders trooped under the Uswag Comval party he organized. Early in his first term, he surprisingly forged reconciliation with Monkayo Mayor Manuel Brilantes, whose family had longstanding conflict, at times incidentally violent, with the Uys stemming from their mining interests in Diwalwal.

Pushing what can be seen as a political unification strategy, Uy was sooner seen as the province’s political kingpin-power broker incumbent, and his Uswag Comval as one united party that rules all throughout except in Pantukan town where Uy’s reconciliation efforts faltered to win the hard-to-get opposing, now outgoing Mayor JC Celso “Tok” Sarenas after they had a falling out months close before the last 2010 polls.

Sarenas is not running in the 2013 polls and will take a political forlough but in his lieu he has anointed his son Chino to succeed him as mayor.

If the Brillanteses have Uswag Comval seriously close to their hearts, that would also be true to Monkayo. But the Brillanteses are more concerned of continuing their tight grip of the politics of Monkayo as a political family than local party adherents as now senior Board Member Lito Brillantes and the mayor are running for mayor and vice mayor, respectively, in next year’s election- both unopposed as well as largely their complete municipal slate. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Comval Congw. Maricar Zamora uses FB to thank for no rival

Posted in Compostela Valley Representative Maricar Zamora (first district) with tags on October 7, 2012 by cha monforte

 

Compostela Valley Representative Maricar Zamora (first district) just has her FaceBook account updated Saturday with words thanking for no one had filed a candidacy to fight for her first reelection bid in the 2013 polls.

CONGW. MARICAR ZAMORA

Last Friday a few hours before 5 P.M. when the Comelec would end accepting certificates of candidacy, she posted in her FB account named Maricar Zamora (Maria Carmen Zamora) expressing anxiety “like there’s eternity” over a possible rival who might suddenly come to challenge her.

By early Saturday morning the congresswoman, via a mobile phone, posted, “… it came as a pleasant surprise that no one except this humble representation staked his or her claim to contest our place in public service. When the final hours (of) October 5 came to a close, we knew that another battle has been won.”

“For now, we can only heave a sigh of relief that we were afforded the opportunity to forego a rigorous campaign and instead plan ahead to hit the ground running if and when we assume our second term, God willing… I gladly accept the test and say with conviction that I am more than willing to prove my mettle once more,” she added.

Zamora said that her belief has always been that “the first day of the election campaign is really the day we assumed office; everyday is a campaign day for good governance and public service. I am thankful for the trust and rest assured, I will continue to give my constituents the kind of service they deserve.”

In the last 2010 polls, she was opposed by controversial ex-police officer Cesar Mancao, who like Zamora, hailed from Monkayo town. Zamora trounced Mancao by a margin of over 20,000 votes.

Mancao is running for board member in the first district of the province for the 2013 election. 

On the otherhand, reports also said that also second district Rep. Rommel Amatong and Governor Arturo Uy would be unopposed coming polls, both for their third term. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

OPINION: Doc De Veyra, the Underdog

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 4, 2012 by cha monforte

ITSA PWERA
By Cha Monforte

Curious and strange events do happen at this formal start of political season for the 2013 election. In Tagum City, the turnaround of Vice Mayor Allan Rellon has shaken the Liberal Party. But the bid of Rellon for mayor has long been thought by many. His running against the Councilor Oyo Uy for the city’s top post is a surprise- thought to eventually come.
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The next surprise is when Rellon has reportedly allied with the force of businessman-landowner Cesar Cuntapay. Will the controversial real property (RPT) ordinance that was approved under the city council presided by Rellon become a rallying issue of the city opposition during the campaign?
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How will Rellon handle this when his colleagues would make the RPT issue their punching bag? He can say, look, we’re only two in the opposition, I and Councilor Boyet Gementiza, deep inside I’m against it. Both Rellon and Oyo though pledged to campaign professionally, without the mudslinging, below-the-belt issues.
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It was this RPT issue that Councilor Bong Aala managed to sneak into the city LP, Uy’s camp. He obviously endeared himself to the city administration when he attacked the provincial board to be dull (“bulok” in his word) for returning the RPT ordinance to the sending city council, not knowing that his mama is part of the board that he lambasted. Later, he clarified he was referring only to the members of committee which recommended for the return of the RPT ordinance to the sender.
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It was the trade committee chaired by Dr. Fred de Veyra which first made the return- to-sender. They recommended and the entire SP nodded or was silent when the measure was passed in the plenary. That means that the return-to-sender move was a collegial act of the SP. Which means sldo that Councilor Aala did still include his mama in his tirade. During the 2010 polls, only Councilors Gementiza and Aala won from the opposition. Councilor Aala is bright. When he left Gementiza to be the sole opposition to the RPT measure, now he is riding in the admin’s boat (not going to Japan) and he can handily win in the coming election.
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As to Boardmember Doc de Veyra now, he filed alone as independent candidate, not for LP, not for the Kusog Baryohanon. He was double-crossed by both. Now Doc de Veyra is seen as the Underdog. Don’t count Doc de Veyra just yet, just because he is an independent waging for his reelection. He won in 2010 polls without actually much backing from Tadeco, nay Floirendos. He was the only one who came from Lakas to join with the winning 4 LP boardmembers. Tingnan natin!

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It’s only in Nabunturan that an incumbent first-termer vice mayor, who was a consistent topnotcher councilor did slide down to run for councilor. Vice Mayor Darwin Tan gave his post to Councilor Mario Angelo Sotto, who would now be the 2013 runningmate of reelectionist Mayor Romeo Clarin. Sotto, a neophyte councilor but a bigtime miner, is reported to have raided ward leaders and barangay captains in town with his cash (from gold) doleouts. Obviously, there was arm-twisting made by Uswag Comval bigwigs.
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Fresh report we heard is that Councilor Boyet Gementiza filed his COC for vice mayor in tandem with Atty. Paul Suaybaguio, who is running for city mayor. So there’s three-corner mayoral and vice mayoral fight in Tagum City. What a democracy in the capital city of DavNor!… As to the capital town of Comval, there’s an incoming electoral monotony in Nabunturan. Without a rival, Mayor Clarin has to better stump out the worsening problem of shabu drug addiction among his town youths, bar girls and women, as well the problems of loose firearms, shootings and killings in his town …Outgoing Monkayo Mayor Manuel “Jun-Jun” Brillantes slide down to run for vice mayor, like outgoing Comval Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya for boardmember for next year’s election…. Can Montevista Councilor Jojo Jaoud, who is running for newcomer boardmember in District 1 Comval, trash the over 44,000 votes of controversial ex-police officer Cesar Mancao in the last polls when he was defeated by Congw. Maricar Zamora, who got over 66,000 votes? Mancao is now gunning for boardmember . What about for reelectionist BMs Neri Barte and Paul Galicia vis-à-vis Mancao?
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Nabunturan’s 61st fiesta was peacefully and merrily celebrated last Wednesday. Like any other barrio or parochial fiesta in this part of the country, Nabunturan fiesta is marked of joyous dining, drinking, merrymaking and festivity. In good times and bad times, Nabunturanons are known to celebrate their fiesta with much food, booze and funfare. Those who have prepared for the yearly feast, their tables would surely have abundance of delectable dishes for hearty meals and yum-yum tummy-filling of fiesta goers. Of course, the fiesta is never complete without the lechon. I must say I missed these-oh the cold beers with lots of pulutans and friends with all their pakatoks- last Wednesday as I was outside of my hometown’s embrace. (For comments, e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)