Archive for January, 2018

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Posted in Uncategorized on January 3, 2018 by cha monforte
“We Can’t Sleep ‘Til Now Hearing the Cries of NCCC Fire Victims”- Tagum Fire Chief

Tagum City Fire Marshal Chief Inspector Alex Pamaybay admitted that until now almost a week after a big fire ate up the NCCC Mall in Maa, Davao City firemen including him could not yet sleep much for the thought that they failed to rescue the 38 fire victims.

“We were already at the third floor, and we heard the voices of call center agents calling their loved ones shouting they’re still alive, their cries for help, but we could not go up farther due to intense heat… about 500 degree centigrade and above,” Pamaybay said.

nccc maa fire

“We used the fire exits at the back of the mall going up from first, second to third floors,” he said.

Pending the result of the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) investigation, Pamaybay said they thought the fire started at the textile section, which might explain the quick spread of fire and the fast billowing of heavy gray smoke.

He added senior fire officers including him were directed to concentrate on rescue operation while fire personnel busied on firing out a “so really big fire.”

Pamaybay also admitted that they particularly lack firefighting cranes for heights, which he said the government should now study to procure.

Firemen who went for the failed rescue need “debriefing” to recover from their anguish causing little or no sleep, he said.

BFP firemen and good firetrucks in Region XI including six firemen and one firetruck from Tagum City were mobilized to help put off the NCCC fire.

Pamaybay said they were directed by their regional office to go to Davao City around 9:00 A.M. of Dec. 23 just as the fire started and in just 30 minutes by so fast firetruck travel they were already at the fire scene.

Meanwhile, BFP investigators are not discounting the possibility that the cause of fire is arson. ( Monforte)

Tagum City Fire Marshal Chief Ins. Alex Pamaybay being interviewed by Tagum mediamen via on-location Saging Republik Media Forum.

During Comval Xmas Media Party|Chiongkee Sings, Ad Libs “May Gira sa Davao del Norte”, So He’s Running for Gub?

During the Christmas party tendered by Compostela Valley Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy for the media Friday night at Big 8 Hotel in Tagum City, senior Board Member and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy sang a nostalgic Christmas song  of Ariel Rivera, “Sana Ngayong Pasko.”

During the party, senior Uy gave his message and immediately asked some 200 mediamen before him not to ask him “unsay daganan nako sa Davao del Norte (what position I’ll run for).”

chiongkee uy xmas message 2017
Comval Senior Board Member Chiongkee Uy giving his short Christmas  message for the members of the media during the Comval Christmas Media Party Friday evening, Dec. 29, 2017 at the Big 8 Hotel. (inset photo credit: via Facebook- Marma Solis Hingpit Pineda)

He continued a presscon was not needed after the affair as there were a lot of mediamen who would ask questions which would give a length. So, he would just render a song and leave a Christmas gift for them to share, to the delight of the audience.

Uy, wearing gray T-shirt and gray jogging pants, then sang Rivera’s song But to the surprise of the audience he made an ad lib in the middle of his singing with a fast rap shot: “may gira sa Davao del Norte” and of course, he means no other- an electoral war.

Ariel Rivera’s “Sana Ngayong Pasko” is a beautiful Christmas Pinoy song that evokes feeling of missing something or someone, of leaving, describing a deep nostalgic longing, bringing sad and happy feelings all at once on Christmas.

But literally, it goes deeper. Uy may have or may have not known the implication of the song’s 3rd and 4th stanzas: 

“Bakit ba naman kailangang lumisan pa
Ang tanging hangad ko lang ay makapiling ka”

Is he leaving Comval to be back at the bosom of his original home province although it is publicly known he has been staying, living in Tagum City with his known Alabama home-business headquarters since then?

A few pundits said after he sang that “he is running for governor” as he never mentioned the word “Tagum”.

Uy shortly left the venue leaving P20,000 Christmas gift for the mediamen who either received a goodie like water kettle, flat iron, glasses, tumblers and others or a P500 share.

Uy, originally a Tagumenyo, has been talked about for months now to be either running for Tagum mayor or governor,  or “to any post” in his own latest statement. In one buzz, Speaker Bebot Alvarez had accordingly offered Uy to run for the gubernatorial post, but the latter said he preferred running for Tagum mayor.

After that offer, Uy has been reported to be circulating, attending in fact singing in gatherings in many places of Davao del Norte.  ( Monforte)

Cong. Tony Boy Floirendo Included in 24 “Undesirable Lawmakers” Having Zero Budget in 2018

Online reports of mainstream media said on Thursday that there are 24 “undesirable lawmakers” including Davao del Norte 2nd District Cong. Tony Boy Floirendo who have zero or so little budget allocation for pet projects under the newly approved General Appropriations Act for 2018.

Albay Cong. Edcel Lagman complained he and other oppositionist lawmakers have zero budget allocation in Rappler report while a Philippine Daily Inquirer report said the “24 undesirable lawmakers” have budgets heavily cut.


Others not given regular budgets included lawmakers belonging to Makabayan bloc, Ilocos Norte Congw. Imelda Marcos and others.

Earlier, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in his speech during mass oathtaking event of the ruling PDP-Laban party in Panabo City informed audience that Cong. Floirendo has zero budget in the House. ( Monforte)

“Digong Nasuko kay AGR” & No Pivot Back to Tagum Mayorship for Chiongkee

cha monforte- column news---

President Duterte was accordingly apprised by Speaker Bebot Alvarez on the action or inaction (depending on your bias) of Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario on the invitation of PDP-Laban President and Senate President Koko Pimentel. We knew that the governor had already publicly declared he’s independent now, free from any political party- neither Liberal Party from which he said he had already resigned as member, nor the now ruling PDP-Laban party of which President Duterte is the national chairman. That was Nov. 27. But of course, the President had to be apprised by the national secretary general, the Speaker. “Nasuko si President Digong kang Governor AGR,” said my highly placed source who got the info from the Speaker’s camp, A1. Bingo!

In my earlier column, I traced the chronology of Gov. AGR’s actions based on another highly placed source. That earlier source said that first the governor demanded he be given first an invitation letter from the PDP-Laban national directorate, and so the local PDP-Laban organizers scampered to go to Manila to get the formal invitation letter from Sen. Koko. It was secured and when Sen. Koko’s letter was submitted in his governor’s office at the Capitol, he was nowhere to be found. The letter was just left to his office after having a copy of it received. It seems the latter from imperial Manila was served to him like an aristocrat.

Despite that, the governor was still reached out through phone calls until the very day of the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking last Aug. 28. The subsequent info we received was that Gov. AGR withheld his decision to join PDP-Laban. But we have a vernacular word for Sen. Koko who attended the Aug. 28 event- napalaw. Pundits saw that as like indyanan na in the presence of two most powerful officials in the land (after the President and Vice President). Syempre, kinsay di malain ana?

However, congressional political affairs officer Rosenda Garcia was asked about it but she recoiled so diplomatic saying that the governor and the speaker have “no conflict between” them, or that the Speaker had never uttered something bad to the governor and that the matter of AGR’s joining can still be ironed out at the national level. But maybe, di lang seguro magpakita si Speaker sa iyang ginabati, but may ginabati gyod siya ata (my opinionated conjecture).

But maybe for that Aug. 28 event, it would just be OK to understand the younger governor as he has all rights what political party to affiliate with this time and given his blood relations with the Floirendos whom the speaker has conflict with stemming from TADECO’s Joint Venture Agreement with Bureau of Corrections. Naiipit siya. Or maybe the governor just can’t allow himself to troop under the leadership of Speaker Alvarez kay nabale na (reversed) ang sitwasyon (sa klarohay lang sa panan-aw nako).

But our latest source said that the governor was still reached out through phone calls for the second round until the very day of the mass oathtaking of PDP-Laban members for District 2 in Panabo last Nov. 30 until the governor’s phone snapped out shouting “sorry, the number you are calling is out of coverage area.” Apprised of AGR’s series of actions including his clear-cut declaration to be independent, “nasuko si President Digong kang Governor AGR,” the source said. Kamo daw Presidente nga Davaoeno, unsay bation nimo kung di tanang gobernador sa Davao Region wa nanumpa sa imong partido? Thus, it appears now that even the governor’s intention to join PDP-Laban was bound to be rejected by Speaker Alvarez.

Kamo na ang bahala diha mag-comment pa more.


There seems to be no pivot back for Comval senior board member and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy for mayorship to Tagum City than for gubernatorial run in Davao del Norte where he was first originally identified with. The “pakisama” ex-governor was first buzzed to be running for Tagum City mayor then he was subsequently reported to be circulating (in fact singing during affairs) in many places in Davao del Norte. Now another separate source from a barangay said that Comval Senior BM Chiongkee would have s hard time defeating Mayor Allan Rellon knowing the history of political choices of the people of Tagum. The source said that the fact is clear that since independence no mayor running for his last reelection did ever lost in Tagum. It’s not all money all there is in Tagum elections but your relationship with the people matters while Tagumenyos value good tested leaders (councilors included) they want to have their three terms finished serving them. But for  comebacking ex-mayors, they failed to recapture the mayoral post. That is gem of thought to the barangay pundit. And the third factor- Speaker Alvarez is bound to give vast finances for the city’s drainage systems and streets next year, 2018. How’s that? They- Senior BM Chiongkee and Mayor Rellon can’t just fight against each other in the political ring as they’re both PDP-Laban partymates now under the leadership of Speaker Alvarez.

But I say there are upset wins, meaning candidates running for their last or third term being defeated in many places in the country. That might be replicated in Tagum City. Let’s see. But hey again- how’s the powerhouse and formidable coalition of emerging super political kingpin Speaker Alvarez in the two provinces, the Uys, Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, majority of mayors in the province (and of course tangag na their ward leaders down to barangays, alam na this), the plus factor of big clan of Suaybaguios and others, the vote-rich Tagum, and the formidable challengers and big, popular names from town leaders against the minority mayors still clinging to Floirendo’s protege and ward control. It looks like a gubernatorial run for Senior BM Chiongkee is more a winnable option.

But what if- if it’s RDR (the old former gov patriarch) vs Chiongkee, and it’s AGR vs. Alvarez in the first district in 2019? Whaaat?

Ngilngig o kuyaw gyod ang eleksyon sa Davao del Norte sa 2019 that lower incumbent officials like councilors are constantly eaves-dropping, tiptoeing now, so careful of their moves and decision-making like when to ambak (partido), with whom to side for patronage kay basig masunog ug sayo. Ho Sano!


Opening Salvo of Alvarez-Dujali-Private Sector Road Graveling Made in Panabo Long-Neglected Road

Villagers of Barangay Manay, Panabo City were either teary-eyed or they wore big smiles upon seeing Monday morning big dumptrucks unloading gravel on the pothole-laden, long neglected city road fronting their houses.“Thank you so much Speaker (Pantaleon) Alvarez and Vice Governor (Alan) Dujali. Our road has been neglected since 2015,” said Albina Gorgonio, 63, resident of Purok 4, Manay.

speaker alvarez vice gov dujali

It was just the opening salvo of the districtwide road graveling initiative of the speaker and the vice governor in cooperation with the private sector, and for Panabo City, it was participated in by businessman Engr. Franklin Gentiles, president of Abante Panabo.The gravel-earth road first chosen has been a runaway problem of villagers of at least five barangays, and of passengers and motorists. The road, which is used going to Davao City’s Paquibato District, stretches about 5 kms from the border of Barangays Mabuhay of Davao City and Dalisay to past centro Manay.

Besides the cobwebs of potholes, it turns so muddy and slippery giving hellish and delicate road experience to motorists, earning a sarcastic tag “Chocolate Road”. During dry spell it is a so dusty road covering potholes resulting at times to pothole accidents commonly motorcycle crashes.

The launch of the graveling initiative Monday was trailblazing in that there is like a public-private project pushed at the grassroots level to long felt need, and when two 80-cubic dumptrucks and a grader on free use as counterpart of the private sector hurried doing road maintenance works, these attracted voluntarism from nearby quarry operators to also contribute loads of gravel and volunteerism from the villagers. There was sort of shot of awakening thrown to the city government.

There was bayanihan camaraderie of the villagers, concerned village leaders and implementors led by Vice Gov. Aldo Dujali, who was earlier named by the speaker as his infra pointman in District 2 given the zero budget of Cong. Tony Boy Floirendo in Congress.

Dujali said to the village leaders he wanted to make the road maintenance work a monthly affair for the Manay road and called for joint barangay resolution for the road concreting as a final solution which he would bring to Speaker Alvarez.

After the long-neglected, deteriorated roads in the city would be cured, those of other towns in District 2 would follow suit in Bebot-Aldo-private sector-community road graveling initiative. ( Monforte)

Keisha, Prettiest DavNor Info Employee Resigns, Refutes on FB the Lie Going Around Capitol

Keisha Halili, a bewitching beauty captivating Davao del Norte Capitol, on Thursday morning made a surprising post on her Facebook with a raging intro: “My reputation is under attack.”

Keisha, prettiest talented news anchor cum host-emcee, continued: “For months, I’ve kept silent about the TRUE reason why I resigned. There are several truths, one of them includes my desire to focus on my master’s studies.”


“The other reasons involve my principles, my beliefs, that wherever you are, whatever position you may be, you should always do the right thing. I can’t reveal the other reasons just yet because I might be putting some individuals in harm’s way.”

She stated no reason in her resignation letter but only cited Ecclessiastes 3:1-8, which contains the beautiful phrases on a time for everything.

That post shocked unawares, fans of her being a provincial TV talent and stage beauty to have known that she had already resigned, and accordingly last September due to what she only hinted on her latest post dated Dec. 14, 2017.  (Note: Keisha already deleted the post sometime Saturday, Dec. 16 but Mindanao Sun Chronicle managed to copy and paste it around 9:00 night of Friday, Dec. 15).

While she did not name a name who called her insane or who is spreading the lie around the Capitol, she posted on Nov. 14 in big letters:

“3 employees resign from an office one after the other in less than 5 months & their former boss spreads lies about why they left.”

Keisha, per her profile on Facebook, was Information Officer III under the Provincial Information Office. She is a graduate of AB Journalism from UP Diliman and she is on the way of acquiring her Master of Arts in Journalism at Ateneo. The PIO is currently headed by Sofonias “Ponyong” Gabonada.

Keisha added: “But a LIE is going around the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte. This is the ‘reason’ that some people have been told on why I left:”

“Buang si Keisha. Ayaw mo ug tuo sa iyang mga ginapang-ingon (Keisha is crazy. Don’t believe what she has to say)”

“I haven’t even said anything. 😛 I’ve been hearing this statement since the first week I resigned. I’d like to believe I left a good impression upon the Capitol, otherwise, people would have immediately believed that LIE and it would never have reached me. And if anybody did believe, well, they’ve been played for a fool.”

“You see, I didn’t write any reason in my resignation letter. I just wrote ‘Ecclessiastes 3:18.’ At that point, I was already very, very exhausted and I felt that those verses said everything. I just wanted to leave because I was NOT HAPPY anymore. But I was also very sad. I left so many projects and many opportunities behind. I left my officemates to carry on my tasks. I left a mission to change the image of the PIO for the better.”

“I was hoping I could live in peace and focus on building my career somewhere else. I get flattered when people tell me that I was such a loss to the Capitol and that things would never be the same without me. I would tell them that there are still some good people left. I am not everything.

I didn’t want to speak up about this at first. If it were up to the people around me, they would urge me to move on and let go. But I want to defend myself at least. I failed in defending my principles while I was inside, but at least I managed to escape with it intact.

My hands are trembling as I write this. Though I expected this kind of attack, I hoped I didn’t have to face it. It really pains me, not because it was spread. That’s easy to correct. Helloooo, kagwapa ba nako na buang! (Heloooo, am I not too pretty to be crazy?) 😛

What pains me most is that I know who has been spreading this. And I know very much why. Still, I can’t reveal the reason. A close friend can really be your worst enemy.

Anyway, I just wanted let that out. Now I know who my true friends are.

Keisha ended her deleted post with: “Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.” ( Monforte)


What is in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8? We goggled and found out this:

New International Version (NIV)

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3     a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6     a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7     a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8     a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

Pic credit via FB-Keisha Halili

Speaker Bebot Alvarez Emerging Super Kingpin of DavNor & Comval

cha monforte column news

The boy from Barangay Matiao, Pantukan is emerging as super political kingpin of the Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley. This is first due to the simple fact that at present he is the highest ranking public official in the two sister provinces. No other DavNor or Comval citizen has gone reaching the 4th highest ranking official of the land, in the order of hierarchy as to succession, in the history of the two provinces except today’s Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez. That’s via the President’s choice. But who else became top ranking in the two provinces without a President’s blessing? Ex-DavNor Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario had only become environment minister (equivalent to secretary) for two years (1984-86) during Marcos’ troubled times. The same, too, to President Ramos’ protege, the late Roberto “Bobot” Sebastian as agriculture secretary in 1992-96.  But the two were already equaled by Alvarez when he became the secretary of the Dept. of Transportation and Communications in 2001-02 by Pres. GMA’s blessings.

The second reason why Speaker is fast emerging as super kingpin in the two provinces is that verily in terms of the congressional power of the purse, the Speaker is most influential now, standing tall and superior above his supermajority of congressmen. He’s truly a protege Speaker of President Digong, becoming more tested to deliver results for the legislative wishes of the President.

The third reason is the fact that the Speaker is the national secretary general of today’s ruling party, the PDP-Laban under the Duterte government. The Speaker has shown he is an effective driver in the fast-running PDP-Laban train, the reason why the once small party most identified with former Senator Nene Pimentel has now become today’s ruling party, snatching the fame and power of the Liberal Party in so short a time since when Pres. Digong came to power last year.  Being the PDP-Laban national sec-gen allows Alvarez a vast influence whom to choose as the standard bearer in cases of competitions to one vacant post by two or several wannabes in the party. In the party’s rules,  it’s only President Duterte as the PDP-Laban national chairman, Senate President Koko Pimentel as the national president, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as the national vice president and him- Alvarez who can administer oaths and therefore issue the Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CoNA). Well, we heard a lot of mayhem and controversies at times breaking into serious fractures of the party during the runup before the filing of the certificates of candidacy.

But this CoNA is getting just ministerial in the situation when the ruling party national sec-gen is at the same time the Speaker wielding so much influence to congressional power of the purse, or clearly- I mean- the power to allocate resources, projects to legislative districts. At the same time, he has much say as to how much and who will receive party funds before and during the campaign period. The Speaker has the largesse, campaign kitty for campaign logistics besides his big say on who to place to run to important posts come the 2019 midterm election.

Related to this, there is talk about the congressional post to be vacated by last-termer Congresswoman Maricar Zamora of District 1 of Comval. It is said to be vacant and available to any able PDP-Laban members. Comval is 99.8% PDP-Laban country now after the Aug. 28 mass oathtaking. Early talk is cheap now that  it is the Speaker who can make or break on who will be the standard-bearer among wannabes. We heard first-termer Board Member Joanna Gentugaya and last-termer Vice Gov. Manuel Zamora are interested to the post. The former is neophyte, wife of Monkayo Mayor Ramil Gentugaya, the latter is comebacking, who had already tasted 9 years of the post. Congw. Maricar is said to be swapping posts with his father, that is she’ll run for Comval vice gov by 2019.  But here’s a hitch: perennial candidate and iconic ex-Diwalwal Kapitan Franco Tito had taken oath as new PDP-Laban party member two weeks ago during the Panabo mass oathtaking of PDP-Laban, and has vowed he would run for Congress in Comval’s Distrito Uno. Now how’s this Mr. Speaker? It is said that it’s the Speaker being the PDP-Laban national sec-gen who can ultimately decide this issue and not Comval PDP-Laban leaders primarily ex-Gov. and senior Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy. Of course, the latter and his pack would be first consulted.

Meantime, Davao del Norte 2nd District Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo did not pull punches against the Speaker during their renewal of oath of Kusog Baryohanon members last week in Carmen town. Cong. TBF has to play well his cards now being on the defensive side. But I’m seeing that the deciding time (pray tell, not a flash point) whether it can be said that locally the Speaker becomes the super kingpin of DavNor and Comval provinces would be based on the results of Oct. 2018 barangay elections. The winning barangay officials compose the machine and controlling it down to the grassroots is the key to electoral victory in 2019 midterm election. The boy from Barangay Matiao- it seems judging from the massive deliveries of his congressional office- is ready for that.


Talk is cheap again from this primary sewer pipe source Tadeco paper, which invented an intrigue that Emily, the estranged wife of the Speaker will be running against him. Talk is really cheap by this sewer pipe source.

Map of Mindanao Railway Leaked Sending Riot to Manila Businessmen To Speculate for Lands

The map showing the path of Mindanao railway (Tagum to Digos project) was just leaked online sending riot to Manila businessmen to speculate and buy lands along the path of the railway’s route.

An online site leaked the map of the project where its phase 1 (Tagum-Digos) first pushed by Speaker Bebot Alvarez is seen by Manila businessmen as immediately profitable being sure to be realized by President Duterte within his term.


But according to sources the Manila big businessmen like the Sys, Ayalas and others are most interested to buy lands fronting or near the stopovers of the train.

There is reportedly now intense lobbying from businessmen to get copies of the detailed engineering plan of the project, which is being tightly kept under wraps by foreign engineers and designers. ( Rosero)

Chiongkee Clarifies Reported Plan To Run Either for Tagum Mayor or DavNor Governor

Compostela Valley Senior Board Member and ex-Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy clarified to the local press the other day that it would be until April 2018 as the last month for him to decide whether he would have his residency declared transferred from Compostela Valley to Tagum City and in effect he would resign as board member.

He recognized the need to meet the residency requirement. Comelec law sets at least 6 months of residency for local candidates, and if October 2018 is considered as period in the filing of certificate of candidacy, April stands to be the cut-off month.

comval governor chiongkee uy

But Uy said still he has “no plan yet” to run in Davao del Norte.

He admitted he needs “many” and “more valid reasons” to decide “to run for mayor or governor or any position.”

The Comval ex-governor has been rumored then reported by the local media- first reported online by Mindanao Sun Chronicle- to be first training his sight to run for mayor in the Tagum City, where he grew up and thus where he was originally identified with before his successful forays in Comval’s politics.

He subsequently denied he has a plan but confirmed that he has been prodded by many friends and businessmen in Tagum City to run for city mayor.

In a radio interview last August, he said that Tagum is his birthplace and thus originally he has been known to be with Tagum since his childhood in Madaum, the ancestral barangay of Uy family.

Then he added that being originally associated with Tagum, he has therefore abundant bosom and close friends in the city like businessmen, barangay captains, kagawads and others since the days when Tagum was still a municipality.

However, in the recent weeks, Uy has been reported to be going to various places in Davao del Norte, accordingly from one highly placed source “to get some feel of the pulses of thr people in Davao del Norte”.

Most recently he guested and sang during the opening of the Christmas lights festival of Carmen municipality.

A buzz said that Uy has been egged out by Speaker Bebot Alvarez to run for Davao del Norte governor than for Tagum mayor as he and second-termer Mayor Allan Rellon belong to the ruling PDP-Laban party.

Uy pledged to PDP-Laban as new party member during the mass oathtaking of Comval officials last Oct. 28. Rellon has been a PDP-Laban member since 2013 election.

A source from Tagum City Council however said that Uy might as well run as “the third force” with his own financing to independently decide running for city mayor, not as a PDP-Laban standard bearer due to the “equity to the incumbent” rule.

But skeptical pundits do not buy this as the Speaker’s alliance with him, Vice Governor Alan Dujali and the majority of incumbent mayors in Davao del Norte including Mayor Rellon projects a powerhouse and formidable force to reckon with and given the Speaker’s emerging rise as super political kingpin in the two provinces under the PDP-Duterte banner. ( Monforte)

Cong. Floirendo No Comment Onstage During His Group’s Mass Oathtaking |“Rodney To Run for IGACOS Mayor”

Davao del Norte 2nd District Congressman Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo largely made no comment to any issue relating his rift with Speaker and 1st District Cong. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez when he spoke onstage during the mass oathtaking of Kusog Baryohanon (KB) party members Wednesday in the municipal gym of Carmen town.

In the opening of his speech, he though side-commented in jest and in so short jab about landgrabbing issue but quickly evaded talking about his issues with the Speaker.

Floirendo’s KB mass oathtaking followed the mass oathtaking of PDP-Laban led by Speaker Alvarez last Nov. 30 in Panabo City.

davao del norte congressman tonyboy floirendo

As Cong. Floirendo recognized the presence of his leader-partymates, in jest when he introduced neophyte Board Member Rodney del Rosario he said that per info he got wind of the latter is planning to run for mayor in the Island Garden City of Samal.

The congressman also introduced his two daughters Monica and Gabby, whom he said, in jest, he cajoled to run for congresswoman.

It is not yet known as of press time if the congressman made a press conference right after the oathtaking.

The Kusog Baryohanon event was attended by mayors still loyal to Floirendo, the four of the eleven mayors in the province, thus now a minority. They are BE Dujali Mayor Leah Marie Moral-Romano, Sto. Tomas Mayor Daniel Batosalem Jr., Panabo City Mayor James Gamao and Carmen Mayor Virgie Perandos.

Also attending were barangay officials and functionaries, and TADECO workers. They mostly wore white T-shirts in contrast to the red T-shirts of PDP-Laban members.

Floirendo is facing a graft case filed by Alvarez which is now at the Sandiganbayan, stemming from his involvement in the controversial Joint Venture Agreement between TADECO and the Bureau of Corrections. ( Monforte)

Panabo Mayor Gamao Reasons Kalapatis Eti Why He Denied Speaker’s Request To Use Gym

Panabo City Mayor James Gamao said that there are kalapatis (doves) living inside the city gym and he does not want the doves’ poop (eti in vernacular) to land on Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and his group if they would hold the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking there, in what appears as pilosopo dig of the mayor at the Speaker.

First Gamao said there is an ongoing repair at the upper part of the gym near the Comelec city office that made him decide to deny the requests of Alvarez to use the city gym.

panabo mayor gamao

But in a confusing turn he admitted he was happy that the gym was not used at all by the PDP-Laban last Nov. 30 citing that he “might be politicized” if it was used.

Gamao spoke during the Kusog Baryohanon party members assembly of the District 2 in the municipal gym of Carmen town Wednesday morning.

Alvarez through his congressional staff first requested the mayor to use the big gym on Nov. 25 for the mass oathtaking of the PDP-Laban party but the mayor denied citing the repair activity, causing Alvarez to cancel the activity and reset it to Nov. 30.

Again Alvarez congressional staffers requested the mayor to use the gym on Nov. 30, but again the mayor denied it.

Denied of a big venue, the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking proceeded on Nov. 30 at the small covered court at Brgy. Salvacion as offered by its barangay captain and the city ABC president Jose Ralampagos.

There over 8,000 political leaders, barangay, municipal and city officials from Districts 1 and 2 were sworn in by the Speaker in a jampacked and  sun-scorched setting.

Gamao was castigated by several speakers for not respecting the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Alvarez in his speech said he himself had to ask the mammoth PDP-Laban crowd an apology for the mayor’s denial to use the city gym.

Gamao is a protégé of District 2 Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo. He belongs to the mayors still loyal to Floirendo, the four of the eleven mayors in the province, thus the minority. They are BE Dujali Mayor Leah Marie Moral-Romano, Sto. Tomas Mayor Daniel Batosalem Jr., Panabo City Mayor James Gamao and Carmen Mayor Virgie Perandos.

Alvarez castigated Cong. Floirendo relating his involvement in the controversial Joint Venture Agreement between TADECO and the Bureau of Corrections.

He filed a graft case against Floirendo at the Ombudsman last year which is now at the Sandiganbayan awaiting decision. He also said he has an incoming plunder case against the Floirendo family relating to the same JVA.

He called on the people to end the control of one family in District 2 which the Speaker charged as the only one who has been deciding every election in the District and “not the people.”

The Floirendos through TADECO lawyers have been refuting Alvarez allegations relating the JVA as assailable.

Moreover, Mayor Gamao in the same speech also griped on those 16 incumbent barangay captains in his city who swore in the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking last Nov. 30, saying they better stick with PDP-Laban and not to go back to Kusog Baryohanon “kung didto ka didto ka ayawg samok-samok sa amoa (if you’re with their side stick there, and don’t bring trouble to us Kusog Baryohanon).

The defection of the 16 barangay captains to the camp of Alvarez has ostensibly stirred a hornet’s nest affecting the mayor, which pundits described as unprecedented political development in the city whose governance has long been controlled by the protégés of Floirendos. ( Monforte)

Has independent Gov. AGR preempted the inevitable Alvarez rejection of his joining to PDP?

cha monforte hashtags brew column largest

Last Monday mid morning, Davao del Norte Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario called up more than 20 mediamen for a press conference inside his conference room at Mankilam Capitol. There he declared his independence from any political party. He announced he officially resigned as member of Liberal Party. But he is not yet joining the PDP-Laban party which in the province is led by Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, the party’s secretary general, and the 1st District congressman who has a running serious rift with 2nd District Cong. Tony Boy Floirendo.

Gov. AGR’s announcement has created ripples across the province. What’s certain is that the Liberal Party in the province fell down and melted away with his decision, making casualties of political futures of LP incumbents such as the District 1 board members clinging still to LP.

I interviewed several political pundits and these are their impressions to the governor’s latest move of going independent, meaning partyless: 1. “He’s playing safe by going political loner”, 2. “He wants to create emotional situation so as to be seen pitiful, he’s engaging in sympathy building”, 3. “He goes independent so he can go to any side, without counting the partyline,  so he’s a political butterfly”, 4. “It’s his wisest move, a classic Del Rosario move, alam na this, but how’s the skeleton in the closet?”. 5. “It shows that the Del Rosarios have no end game strategy. The Del Rosarios are back now to zero.”

When he announced he goes independent, free from any political party, his act is first seen as a tactical maneuver to stave off what can be dubbed as a “Chiongkee threat”.  Well, senior Compostela Valley Board Member and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy has been rumored to be interested running for governor in Davao del Norte from what was first reported that he was eyeing for Tagum City mayorship. What buoyed up this buzz is when he’s reported to be already circulating himself in various places in DavNor “to dovetail with the DavNor people and get some feel of their pulses ” in the words of one highly placed source.  AGR said he thought his decision out for one and a half months.

“Stave off” as a phrase would mean “to stop something bad from happening, or to keep an unwanted situation or person away, usually temporarily”.

At the same time, Gov. AGR apparently wants to stave off the emerging powerhouse and formidable alliance of Alvarez, the Uys of Tagum City, Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon and so far the mayors who go for PDP-Laban – Mayor Al David Uy of IGACOS, Kapalong Mayor Maritess Timbol, San Isidro Mayor Arnel Sitoy and Talaingod Mayor Basilio Libayao, and count New Corella Mayor Rhodora Alcoran, who pledged to be a new PDP-Laban party member just on Thursday in the mass oathtaking of the party in Panabo City.

The Uys of Tagum would mean senior Comval BM and ex-Gov. Chiongkee Uy and former Tagum City Mayor Rey “Cee O” Uy, who is still very much influential for having at least the supermajority of incumbent barangay captains in the city trooping under his leadership though he is non-incumbent at present.

I have also this one old Tagumenyo political turk who asked not to be named saying that the alliance of leaderships of Alvarez and Uys backed up by incumbent mayors with the vote-rich city of Tagum and the five other mayors who have switched sides to Alvarez camp and the plus factor of ex-Vice Gov. Baby Suaybaguio and his big Suaybaguio clan is a powerhouse dream team formidable enough to defeat the Floirendos and even with the Del Rosarios in the 2019 election.

“For one, it would be for the first time in the history of the province that the combined resources of Floirendos and Del Rosarios can now be matched with the combined resources of Speaker Alvarez and Uy,” he reckoned. That’s in electoral context.

Alvarez has been often talked about in rounds awash with funds because being a Speaker naturally enables him to have access to vast government resources under the congressional power of the purse, more so as he has a supermajority in Congress under his beck and call, thus making him as truly a President’s protégé Speaker.

I’m getting endeared to the President when he breaks the back of oligarchy in the provinces. One wag said that Gov. AGR is actually a constraint to this anti-oligarchy drive of Duterte administration if he becomes one of the allies of the Speaker. The wag said “tell it to the marines” when the former Gov. Rodolfo Del Rosario said that he’s solidly behind the leadership of Speaker Alvarez.  He projected that in the end after the AGR’s furlough of being independent he’ll support Floirendo simply because “blood is thicker than water.”

An insider source shared his A1 info that actually all the conditions of Gov. AGR were given as when he asked that he be formally invited to join the PDP-Laban. That would mean in written form, and then a protocol was followed that the invitation would come from national PDP-Laban President, in the person of Senate President Koko Pimentel.  The invitation reached the governor before the Aug. 28 mass oathtaking in Tagum City.  And when the time came when he was asked of his decision, the governor accordingly withheld his decision.

The Aug. 28 Tagum mass oathtaking was attended by Senate President Pimentel, and according to the source, the Speaker  had “a displeasure” over AGR’s apparent ambivalence to join PDP-Laban, so much so that there was a text message from a mayor sent to another mayor that belittled PDP-Laban and indirectly, ergo, Alvarez leadership. That text message inevitably reached to the Speaker’s  cellphone, the source said. So then AGR’s subsequent intention to  join PDP-Laban was already being cleared, thought out much by Alvarez, and AGR’s joining appears headed to be nixed by Alvarez, guessed the source, given the past charge of political lobotomy made by the Del Rosarios to Alvarez when they supported former Cong. Arrel Olano (against Alvarez in 2004, and against his estranged wife Emily in 2007 and 2010 polls).

Alvarez political affairs officer Rose Garcia said to the press last Tuesday a day after AGR announced his independence there’s no conflict between the speaker and the governor and that the speaker has not been heard to be closing his door to AGR’s joining to PDP-Laban. She said that the issue would be resolved at the national level of PDP-Laban.

Meantime, words “loyalty check” came up from AGR during his presscon last Monday. He said he is against to that loyalty check. He did not name names.

Now this quarter has this penultimate impression in query form: Has Gov. AGR just preempted the inevitable Alvarez rejection of his joining to PDP-Laban after the loyalty check when he declared he’s going independent and partyless for now to save face? That’s apart from staving off both the so-called “Chiongkee threat” and the fast emerging powerhouse PDP-Laban alliance and dream team in Davao del Norte. It seems I have three impressions here, guys and pundits alike.

Alvarez: Digong Doesn’t Stop Me in My Anti-TADECO JVA Moves

Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez bared to a mammoth crowd during the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban party members Thursday at Panabo City that President Duterte has never asked him to stop in his current moves to invalidate the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between TADECO and the Bureau of Corrections (BoC).

He announced before 8,000 people under the sun-scorched mini covered court of Barangay Salvacion: “Ang atong Presidente wa gyod nagsulti nako nga ‘undanga na diha’. Wala nanghilabot si Presidente kay isip pod abugado kabalo siya nga may diperensya ang kontrata (The President never asks me to stop, he does not meddle because as a lawyer he knows that the contract (JVA) has infirmities). ”

speaker alvarez panabo mass oathtaking

“For long years they have been hiding the contract and when I became a Speaker and obtained a copy I almost painted,”Alvarez said in vernacular.

He said that in the past while other companies such as Stanfilco, Dole, Soriano had their lease running from P500 minimum to P1,000 maximum per hectare per year, TADECO had leased only on measly P50 per hectare per year.

“Put*ng *na nganong di ka madato ana? (Son of a b*tch, how come you can’t be rich by that?” the Speaker charged before a roaring huge crowd, as he pointed out in apparent compare and contrast that the late Antonio Floirendo Sr only started as small-time dealer of Ford automobiles.

The Speaker also informed them he has already filed a case against Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo Jr stemming from what was said as disadvantageous JVA even as he cited positions of the Dept. of Justice, Solicitor General and Commission on Audit favoring the nullification of the JVA.

He added he is also coming up a plunder case against the Floirendo family as he charged them anew for “not thief but robbery” stemming from the JVA.

In apparent sarcasm delivered in jest, he dared Cong. Floirendo: “pagsugod na ug martsa paingon diha o, diha (pointing his finger to the west) diha ka isulod sa DAPECOL (start marching now going to… as you will be put there, there… inside the DAPECOL”, which is now named Davao Prison and Penal Farm, the biggest State prison colony in Mindanao.

Alvarez in his earlier speaking engagements and various media interviews have been making those accusations against Cong. Floirendo and his family, and his coming plunder case, which Floirendo and TADECO lawyers already refuted as assailable in various fora including the earlier Congressional joint committee hearings.

Alvarez also dropped sarcasm to the district leadership and to the city administration saying he himself had to ask for apology to the PDP people gathering in jampacked and sun-scorched situation at the small covered court in Barangay Salvacion.

He said he admired the bravery of barangay chairman and ABC city president Jose Relampagos for not cowering in fear to give space for the PDP-Laban event.

Panabo City Mayor James Gamao was hit by several speakers during the gathering for disrespecting the Office of the Speaker of the House into not granting the organizers’ earlier requests of using the city gymnasium near the Panabo City Hall.

Vice Governor Alan Dujali, in his speech, said that they requested to use the city gym or Freedom Park for the event supposedly last Aug. 25 but Gamao did not grant, so they postponed the event and rescheduled it to Nov. 30, leading to another request to use either the gym or Freedom Park, but “gibalibaran gihapon kay busy daw (the request was again denied for the reason that they’re accordingly busy).”

Vice Gov. Dujali called on the people in District 2 to continue fighting for freedom from dictates of one big family that have been swinging over in the district for the past five elections.

“On this historic day we planted the seed of change. We fought in the past, why should we stop when the President is ours now?” the vice governor challenged the massive PDP-Laban members.

Dujali was designated by Speaker Alvarez be his pointman for infrastructure projects in District 2 in view of the dismal lack of infrastructure projects in the district due to “absences” of Cong. Floirendo.

The vice governor has been groomed by Speaker Alvarez to be his congressional bet in District 2 comes the 2019 elections.

The side of the Floirendos as to the renewed digs and swipes of Alvarez made during the mass oathtakings is still being awaited to come out in the press as of press time.

The mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members right at Floirendo’s home turf city of Panabo was the third after the mass oathtaking events in Tagum City last Aug. 28 and in Babak, Samal Island last Oct. 14.

But the fourth mass oathtaking in the province for the ruling party under the Duterte administration came in shortly in the afternoon in Babak, Samal Island.

The Speaker then choppered to Babak for the mass oathtaking of more than 8,000 new PDP-Laban members from mostly barangay officials in the Island Garden City of Samal.

Joining the Speaker’s party were PDP-Laban regional chairman and 2nd District Compostela Valley Cong. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga and Bataan transgender Congresswoman Geraldine Roman. ( Monforte)

Speaker Alvarez Designates Vice Gov. Dujali as His Infra Pointman for District 2

Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez in his speech during the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in Panabo City Thursday informed a huge crowd of over 8,000 people that given that there has been a dismal lack of infrastructure projects in District 2 he is designating Vice Governor Alan “Aldo” Dujali to be his pointman for infrastructure projects in the same congressional district.

The Speaker said that as the District 2 Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo has “always been absent” in Congress, the District suffers to have no project very much unlike to Compostela Valley which has massive infrastructures like highway six-lane widening and road concreting initiated by their congressmen.

speaker alvarez and vice gov alan dujali
Speaker and 1st District Cong. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and Vice Gov. Alan Dujali lead over 8,000 newly sworn-in party members of the PDP-Laban during the mass oathtaking Thursday held at the covered gym in Brgy. Salvacion, Panabo City.

For this to be addressed, the Speaker designated Panabo’s son Vice Gov. Dujali to be his pointman, saying “si Vice Governor Dujali na ang inyong duolon, siya nay motrabaho, mag-estorya mi ani sa Kongreso kanunay with Comval Congressman Ruwel Gonzaga (you just approach the vice governor and he will work for it, we’ll always talk about this in Congress with Cong. Gonzaga), to the roaring applause of the crowd.

Dujali has been groomed by Speaker Alvarez to be his congressional bet in District 2 comes the 2019 elections.

As he crossed boundaries to serve being a Speaker of the House of Representatives, he also informed the huge crowd that beginning from the gathering District 2 constituents can now ask hospitalization assistance from his congressional office “charged to me” when they are confined in Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City. Free medicines would also be availed by District 2 constituents.

Also in his speech, the Speaker castigated anew Cong. Floirendo relating to the latter’s involvement in what was said as disadvantageous Joint Venture Agreement between his family’s TADECO and Bureau of Correction out of the low lease of the over 5,308 hectares of government land by the company since 1969.

Alvarez dropped sarcasm to the district leadership and to the city administration saying he himself had to ask for apology to the PDP people gathering in jampacked and sun-scorched situation at the small covered court in Barangay Salvacion.

He said he admired the bravery of barangay chairman and ABC city president Jose Relampagos for not cowering in fear to give space for the PDP-Laban event. For this, the Speaker would be allocating P4 million for infrastructure project of Barangay Salvacion.

Panabo City Mayor James Gamao was hit by several speakers during the gathering for disrespecting the Office of the Speaker of the House into not granting the organizers’ earlier requests of using the city gymnasium near the Panabo City Hall.

Most of the more than 8,000 persons and officials who took oath as new party members of PDP-Laban came from District 2 while the rest came from District 1 specifically those who missed the first mass oathtaking last Aug. 28 at Tagum City. The crowd included bigger delegation from New Corella led by Mayor Rhodora Alcoran.

The Speaker then choppered to Babak, Samal Island for the 2nd mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members there in the afternoon.

The Speaker also swore in over 8,000 persons and mostly barangay officials in the Island Garden City of Samal mobilized by Mayor Al David Uy, who earlier took oath during the Aug. 28 mass oathtaking in Tagum City.

Joining the Speaker’s party were PDP-Laban regional chairman and 2nd District Comval Cong. Gonzaga and Bataan transgender Congw. Geraldine Roman. ( Monforte)

AGR’s Independence: A Tactical Move To Stave Off a Chiongkee Threat and The Emerging Powerhouse PDP-Laban Dream Team Alliance in DavNor

By Cha Monforte

The Alvarez-Chiongkee-Dujali-Rellon-Al David Uy-Timbol-Sitoy-Libayao-Suaybaguio Alliance

Local analysts are now rather seeing that the latest move of Davao del Norte Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario to go independent from any political party, neither with the past ruling Liberal Party nor with the new emerging ruling PDP-Laban party under the Duterte administration led by Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez is one tactical move to stave off what can be dubbed now as a “Chiongkee threat”.

At the same time, his move wants to stave off  the emerging powerhouse and formidable alliance of Alvarez, the Uys of Tagum City, Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon and so far the mayors who go for PDP-Laban as of todate – Mayor Al David Uy of IGACOS, Kapalong Mayor Maritess Timbol, San Isidro Mayor Arnel Sitoy and last-termer Talaingod Mayor Basilio Libayao.

politial alliances in davao del norte

The Uys of Tagum would mean Compostela Valley senior Board Member and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, who has been rumored to be eyeing to run for governor in the province where he is originally identified with, Davao del Norte, and former Tagum City Mayor Rey “Cee O” Uy, who is still very much influential for having at least the supermajority of incumbent barangay captains in the city trooping under his leadership though he is non-incumbent at present.

The elder Uy has been reported to be physically saturating himself in various places in Davao del Norte “to dovetail with the people and feel their pulses” according a highly placed source.

During the last Aug. 28, 2017 mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members that first took Tagum City by the storm of the fast-running PDP-Laban train pushed by Speaker Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel, Mayors Timbol, Sitoy and Libayao (through the representation of his wife, his apparent political successor) took their oath as PDP-Laban members.

The activity area of the New City Hall was filled to the rafters with new PDP-Laban members out from elected officials from provincial down to barangay levels from District 1 areas where their mayors took oath including the massive number of officials from Tagum City who joined with Mayor Rellon, who became a PDP-Laban member two elections ago. The only board member from District 1 who took oath was Frank Remitar.

Also on that day, 99.8 percent of Compostela Valley’s elected officials took oath as new PDP-Laban members under the leadership of senior Board Member Uy and his son Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy. The mass oathtaking in IGACOS followed, and this coming Nov. 30 the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in District 2 was scheduled right at Floirendo’s home turf- Panabo City.

The alliance of leaderships of Alvarez and Uys backed up by incumbent mayors with the vote-rich city of Tagum and the four other mayors who have switched sides to Alvarez camp and the plus factor of Suaybaguios is a powerhouse dream team formidable enough to defeat the Floirendos and even with the Del Rosarios in the next election, opined an old political turk based in Tagum who asked not to be named.

“For one, it would be for the first time in the history of the province that the combined resources of Floirendos and Del Rosarios can now be matched with the combined resources of Speaker Alvarez and Uy,” he reckoned.

Alvarez has been often talked about in rounds awash with funds because being a Speaker naturally enables him to have access to vast government resources under the congressional power of the purse, more so as he has a supermajority in Congress under his beck and call, thus making him as truly a President’s protégé Speaker.

The Speaker has also advanced his cases against Tadeco’s JVA at Sandiganbayan and at the Dept. of Justice and there have been talks that the Dapecol’s JVA area of more than 5,000 hectares would be reverted to the government soon and a large portion of it would be transformed into a biggest airport of the country.

“Chiongkee is a political threat and that’s the reason why AGR goes independent, with him bidding that the Chiongkee political threat will be defused by it,” the analyst said.

Another source from Tagum City Council earlier said that the governorship was actually “offered” by Alvarez to Uy, but the latter first said that he preferred running for Tagum City mayor than for governor, but that could bring trouble and disunity in PDP-Laban ranks given that Rellon is also a PDP-Laban member.

However, two weeks after that offer, there have been reports already that said that Uy had started to go to various places in Davao del Norte.

“Opportunity only knocks once, and that opportunity comes due to feud between the Speaker and Congressman Floirendo,” the old political turk said, adding that Uy has “more chances now” in his original province as when he first entered in politics “as a stranger” in Comval.

True enough, Uy first ran in Comval for Congress in 1998 against entrenched and legendary Cong. Pros Amatong. He was defeated with a narrow margin of only over 1,000 votes, surprising many.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t mean the pro-Floirendo incumbents would have no rivals as given a challenger cum administration Alvarez-Uy alliance many formidable non-incumbent personalities could be awakened into running and forging strange-bedfellow alliances at their lower levels.

In the governor’s press conference on Monday, he confusingly said that because he has declared to be independent he would then simply advise board members “to join the group of Bebot Alvarez, our Speaker.” This would be addressed to Board Members Shirley Belen Aala, Enting Eliot, Joey Millan, all last termers, and to first-termer Alfredo “Ticque” De Veyra.

But for the five District 2 Board Members Rodney del Rosario, Hernani Duco, Erning Evangelista, Roy Catalan and Janet Tanong, they would surely troop under the leadership of Cong. Floirendo.

As of this date, four of the five District Mayors (except IGACOS Mayor Al David Uy) have continued to be with Kusog Baryohanon party led by Floirendo. They are Panabo City Mayor James Gamao, Sto. Tomas Mayor Jun Batosalem, BE Dujali Mayor and lawyer Leah Marie Moral-Romano, and most probably Asuncion Mayor and lawyer Yuri Dayaday, who said earlier that he considered himself an independent mayor.

Thus, when Gov. AGR declared independence and advised the four District 1 board members to join the group of Alvarez it is as if he is saying he has to complete the separation of the District 1 and District 2 board members- “five of them to each of their congressman”.

This as he distances himself away to be safe from being pulled to side with any of the two forces clashing against each other, while pledging that he would support all of the reelectionists regardless of their parties if he continues to be independent comes the 2019 electoral season. That is short of saying, “I will all support you so don’t support Chiongkee,” the analyst speculated.

Gov. AGR apparently wanted that all of them would support his reelection bid comes 2019, drawing up a sight that when he calls for unity he is actually pulling the rug out from under to stave off this early Chiongkee threat to his governorship.

This rather shrewd tactical move of Gov. AGR seems apparent when he said during his press conference on Monday that he hoped “people will step back and absorb (his) call for unity… hoping that our political leaders from congressmen down to municipal level and the citizenry that they will think back and hopefully absorb and join his call for unity”.

With the “Chiongkee threat” the governor appears to be panicky as he came up his decision to go independent after thinking it out for one and a half months and as he painted dark the horizon saying “grabe na kaayo ang tension dire. You can feel the tug-of-war between the two districts”, “there are people who are pushing the division of this province” and “there are a lot of intrigues that came up”. He added that “the tension is there” and “if it continues you can be sure that magkagabot gyod dire (trouble would really come in the province).

“Trouble? Who made and pictured them? Why the dark foreboding? Perhaps the governor needs to be reminded that we have democracy, and Davao del Norte is part of it,” the old political turk of Tagum added. ( Monforte)

Due to Worse Tensions From Alvarez-Floirendo Rift, Gov. AGR Goes Independent|NOT LP, NOT PDP

Admitting there have been worse political tensions he could feel due to the running rift between the two congressmen in the province, Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario announced Monday that he has “officially resigned” from the Liberal Party and declared that henceforth he becomes “officially independent” and “not committed to any party.”

Del Rosario held a press conference Monday morning inside the governor’s conference room in the Capitol at Mankilam, Tagum City.

governor anthony del rosario

“I’m bridging a gap and I cannot do it if I favor one party, and it is therefore for this reason that I am declaring my independence from any political party. This careful decision is premised by my avowed commitment to put the best interests of our people over and above any personal and political interests,” the governor said, reading his prepared press statement.

He stressed his loyalty belongs to the Dabaonon people and not to any political party even as he called he called for unity of officials in the province, “to set aside differences… to accomplish projects for the depressed and underserved communities.”

After reading his statement, he answered several questions from mediamen.

He said he had not talked to anybody about his declaration to be independent except his father, former Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario. He said he has been thinking this for a month and a half.

As he made his declaration to be independent, he ascertained that other officials like the board members would call him and ask what they are going to do because of his being independent now. “I will tell them simple lang, you join the group of Bebot Alvarez, our Speaker.”

Prior to his declaration, there have been a lot of speculations about Del Rosario’s dilemma of joining the PDP-Laban party led by 1st District Cong. and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez knowing of the the governor’s familial relationship in a clan with 2nd District Cong. Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo, Jr, whom Alvarez has serious spat with that already involved a Sandiganbayan’s case stemming from the questioned Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between TADECO banana giant and the Bureau of Corrections.

One speculation from pundits said that in the end Del Rosario would have to support Floirendo as “blood is thicker than water” and considering the running reconciliation of the Del Rosario and Floirendo families for over seven years now, which resulted to political unification of political parties in the province for two elections already.

Another speculation has it that Del Rosario is “yet being screened by Alvarez for loyalty check” as to whether he has to be accepted in the PDP-Laban fold considering the charge of political lobotomy of the Del Rosarios against Alvarez in the early 2000s.

During the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in Samal Island two months ago, the Speaker in his speech strongly lambasted Floirendos for allegedly taking advantage of the JVA since 1969 owing to its low rent of more than 5,000 hectares of BoC’s Dapecol area as he made sniping against the Del Rosarios, mentioning that elder Rosario might be dragged in the JVA case.

Alvarez in various media interviews also said he is also preparing a plunder case against Floirendo family members over the same JVA issue, which the Floreindo and Tadeco lawyers already refuted as assailable in various fora including the joint Congressional committee hearings.

But during the press conference, the governor repeatedly said he is calling for unity and hoped that “because my being independent now I will be able to usher unity in the province”, adding that he then assumed that by being independent “it would be easier now to talk to both sides” than to be in the situation that he is with one political party. “How can I call for unity if I side one of them?”

He though acknowledged that both the congressmen and Floirendo family have contributed much for the good of the province as he vowed to continue supporting President Duterte.

He said his next move would still be dependent on the two congressmen, like if in the coming days they could have amicable settlement, “my next move is to think which party I go.”

“I will remain neutral. Grabe na kaayo ang tension dire. You can feel the tug-of-war between the two districts and I cannot allow myself to be pulled by these two forces. I have to stand my ground as a governor of this province,” Del Rosario said.

He added that as things unfold these days, “there are people who are pushing the division of this province” and “there are a lot of intrigues that had come up”.

He also questioned why should people be involved with the Alvarez-Floirendo rift “because whatever disagreements they have are just disagreements between the two of them.”

“I’m against to that loyalty check because at the end of the day my allegiance is on the people and not the political party, which is just a vehicle to be connected to an administration or to bring together people.”

He said that though the “disagreements” between Alvarez and his uncle Cong. Tony Boy have not yet really affected the province, but “the tension is there” and “if it continues you can be sure that magkagubot gyod dire (trouble would really come in the province).

“Basta I can feel it. The tension if this continues ang daming masakripisyo
and they will feel it also… I know a lot of people want to see disunity, because
if there’s disunity, there’s opportunity,” Gov. Del Rosario added.

He said that in his 15 years of being a public official it is only now that politics seems to come too early in the province.

The governor also bared that he plans to finish three terms as governor and support all the incumbent officials if they seek in the same capacity in the coming midterm polls by 2019, “regardless of the party they belong.”

As to the issue that the Del Rosarios would be dragged in the case relating the TADECO-BuCor JVA case, he said let the proper court decide for it while they just have to just continue serving the people.

But he said that “for as long as the two congressmen cannot settle the issues among themselves, I’m afraid I would have to remain independent” until the next election time.

Buzzwords have been swirling in the rounds for a month now that Compostela Valley senior Board and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy is training his sight to run for governor in Davao del Norte, which he is originally identified with being a Tagumenyo native son before his successful forays in Comval from the start of being a political stranger there.

A highly placed source said Uy has been physically circulating himself in various towns and cities in Davao del Norte “to dovetail himself with the people and know their pulses.” ( Monforte)

Price Plunge in Black Market’s “Spot Buying” of Cavendish Bananas Baffles Small Independent Growers in DavNor

Top export banana producing province of Davao del Norte has been flocked in by tens of hundreds of buyers procuring Cavendish bananas of small independent growers through “spot buying”.

Small independent banana growers at the mercy of this low-priced “spot buying” of banana buyer-exporters are in the dire economic straits since January this year, giving doom to the fading golden age of Cavendish bananas in a province hailed as the banana capital of the Philippines.
“Spot buying” means that individual buyers would just come to small growers who have plantation area and access to packing plant and they offer to buy the bananas at variable price and provide them brand’s cartons. Spot buyers offer cash advances (C.A.’s) to do financing to the growers.
“Spot buying” is different to “contracted pricing” where companies would have a contract with the growers specifying costs to deduct and the fixed price whole year round to buy the bananas.
These banana spot buyers usually export Cavendish bananas to China, but “we have no idea why their buying prices remain so low while they ironically appear to be the black market of our export bananas,” said small banana grower Dominggo Tambien, who has only one-hectare banana plantation in Sto. Tomas town in the province.
He said that “spot buying” prices for export bananas plunged first to P120 per box in December 2016 and then suddenly the price nosedived to lowest P60 to P80 per box in January 2017.
“We don’t know the real reason of the price decreases. Spot buyers have varied reasons in saying at the farmers’ level. They first said they had to give Christmas bonus to their workers, that’s why the price sank. Then they would say the price sank in China due to the other fruits that competed our bananas, then we were told of high quarantine fees which was already stopped, and so on,” Tambien said in an interview.
He however said that it is about three weeks now that the spot buying prices increased to P100 plus per box of “4 to 6 big hands” bananas, the first-class bananas weighing an average of 13.5 kilos per carton.
Tambien said at that price it could at least tide them over to breakeven levels even as he informed that prevailing contracted prices of a banana company in one case he knew of range from P250 to P290 per box.
Juanito Angco, another small banana grower having only a fourth of a hectare banana farm in the same town, believe that small independent growers having an average of 1 to 2 hectares of banana plantation, have now become the number 1 producer of Cavendish bananas if the aggregate hectarage of banana plantations is considered.
From 2016 data of Sto. Tomas municipal agriculturist office, the town has a total of 10,180.05 hectares of banana plantations, 7,140.404 hectares or 70.14 percent of which were cultivated by 4,973 small independent growers, while multinational and corporate banana producers Marsman, Stanfilco, Lapanday and Tadeco have a combined 3,039.596 hectares of banana plantation or 29.86 percent of the total. That is in one town in Davao del Norte alone.
Angco said that small growers have to bear with gross expenses per box that hover at P110 and these would include the usual P12 for the crew (per packer) and P5 for the packing plant fee, all per box.
Given a fairly good price, a hectare of banana plantation could make a gross of 4,000 boxes in a year for a gross income of P1 million and gross expenses of P600,000 thereby giving a net income of P400,000 to the grower, and ”that is good enough but not now under this low spot buying levels,” he said.
Tambien recalled that spot buying had strong resurgence after typhoon Pablo struck in 2012 as Chinese buyers or canvassers flocked in and procured cavendish bananas at P600 to P700 per box resulting to polevaulting of small growers over the contracted price they had with big companies due to lure of high prices from Chinese buyers and canvassers.
This spot buying strategy started rawly in early 2000, and showed first expansion in 2005 but it got a foothold in the province around 2010. Then Pablo struck.
“But now, there is no polevaulting anymore as spot buying sticks to low prices, while contracted pricing remains high. What is there to polevault when the price offered by spot buyers have changed from high to low?” Tambien said.
He added that big buying companies have already made some price rectifications with the assertive farmer growers given the yearly economic review provision in the contracts.
Before typhoon Pablo, there was also a heyday of banana “consols”, short for consolidators, who acted as bulk buyer-shippers of bananas produced by small growers, buying at high prices but without much regard to quality control of bananas. The consols went bankrupt when their bananas arrived ripe in Saudi Arabia.
It was during Arroyo time that foreign buyers started to flock in to Davao Region and partnered with the local “consols” and canvassers, changing the configurations of banana buying players and threatening the longtime-hold of the so-called Big Four of banana industry: Dole, Unifrutti, Del Monte and Sumifru.
Tambien said that spot buying transactors have been the ones relied on by small growers due to their fast cash advance systems “without O.R.-O.R. and with gentleman’s agreements only coupled with their abundance of container vans and cartons.”
“Facilitator na lang ang mga malalaking kumpanya dito, and Davao del Norte becomes the territory of spot buying than any other areas in Mindanao,” he said. This as Unifrutti, besides having contracted pricing, engages also into “spot buying.”
“We appeal to our Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to save our banana industry. The small independent banana growers need help, the industry badly needs immediate government intervention. The government needs to intercede to the plight of thousands small independent banana growers,” said Nick Suaybaguio, Sr., who has three-hectare banana plantation in upland Talaingod town in Davao del Norte.
Industry insiders in the province alleged that the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), which is controlled by big banana companies and subsidiaries, has only worked for their interests since then and not for the interests of the small independent growers and agrarian reform beneficiary cooperatives, which are now tilting the balance to their favor.
Recent regional data came congruent to this. The PBGEA in 2015 put at around 44,670.29 hectares the total hectarage of companies cultivated by big banana companies while some 30,000 hectares were tilled by small landowners and agrarian-reform beneficiaries.
These banana plantations are found in the provinces of Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Bukidnon, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. (mindanaosunchronicle/Cha Monforte)

Dapecol-Tadeco JVA Area To Be Transformed Into the Biggest International Airport in PH

The 5,308 hectares of land leased since 1969 by Tadeco would be transformed into the country’s biggest most modern, world class international airport.

That is in so far as the initial outlook of planners making a Davao Super Region master plan is concerned, information reached Mindanao Sun Chronicle online edition.


The connectivity of the Dapecol area has been accidentally discovered when road bypass systems, which have been in the works in the past, and the opportunity of having free vast government lands like the JVA area for development emerged as confluence of factors favoring the reversion of the 5,308 hectares to the government under the Duterte administration, the information of master planners said.

The Davao Super Region masterplan that would include the Dapecol JVA area for the international airport is currently in the works with a funding of P25 million from congressional funds under the initiative of Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.

These as banners made of sacks with words painted in red paint continue to hang in the bamboo fences of Tadeco and planted along the highways from Carmen to Sto. Tomas.

Common call of the tens of thousands of sack banners revolve on opposing the reversion or taking back of the Tadeco JVA area by the government.

Many banners have also words appearing to be threatening and combatant to trespassers to Dapecol area.

Surprisingly, company labor unions in Tadeco such as TUCP-ALU and Sword are the ones calling or being used to oppose the impending reversion of the JVA area to the government as Congress under the leadership of Speaker Alvarez and the executive department won in the lower level in the pending cases on JVA reversion.

The JVA area constitute more than half of Tadeco’s total production area of cavendish bananas for export. ( Monforte)

“No Politics” in Bohol, Cebu Travel of Tagum’s 23 Brgy Captains Sponsored by Chiongkee

Mankilam barangay captain Rex Jasper Aala professed “there’s no politics” involved in the recent educational cum fellowship rest-and-recreation travel of all the 23 barangay captains in Tagum City to Bohol and Cebu as sponsored by Compostela Valley senior Board Member and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy.

In an interview Monday, the punong barangay of the place where the Capitol sits said that Uy’s sponsorship in their going to Panglao, Bohol and then to Plantation Bay in Lapulapu, Cebu was initiated by Apokon barangay captain Kimboy Angoy and the other barangay captains just grabbed the opportunity to join. They travelled from Oct. 21 to 24.


When Angoy approached Uy for sponsorship, the latter was just kind-hearted and they are grateful of it, he said.

Aala said that Board Member Uy just wished there would unity of all barangay captains with Mayor Allan Rellon.

“We talked no politics there and the board member even said he’s already old and thinking of retiring,” added Aala.

A source said that Uy went to join them at the last night of their fellowship in the travel.

Uy earlier swore in as new PDP-Laban member last August 28, 2017 mass oathtaking initiated by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez thus joining with the old pack of earlier PDP-Laban members in the two sister provinces which includes Mayor Rellon.

In earlier media interview, Uy quashed rumors he is training his sight for Tagum mayor in 2019 midterm elections saying it was still to early to talk politics but added he grew up, was originally identified with Tagum where he has a lot of friends and in fact spending more time these days as a board member’s time allows him to do it.

It is a public knowledge that the former Comval governor stays at his known “Alabama” residence cum business office at the heart of Tagum City.

Uy is also being talked in an early politika buzz that he is also gunning for governor in Davao del Norte.

A highly-placed source said the Chiongkee-for-governor was broached no less than by the Speaker but the ex-governor counter broached a different transfiguration: him for city mayor while his brother ex-Mayor Rey T. Uy could be also a  formidable gubernatorial bet.

Whatever, it maybe still to early to talk about politics, but politics spices up and sizzles up already the current season in the province by pundits’ many buzzes this early really. ( Monforte)

“Ex-Gov. RDR Solidly Behind Speaker Alvarez”- Top Source

A top source from the Tagum legislative headquarters of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez dismissed early speculations in the rounds that the Speaker would be rivaled by former Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario.

The source said that the speculations are nothing but a wedge to sow division between the two good leaders, adding that on the contrary the former governor ” is solidly behind the able leadership of Speaker Alvarez.”


The source said he has talked with the former governor and the latter said that he had not been interviewed by any mediamam regarding the issue and is ready to make statement soonest before the media to end the speculations and for the unity of leaders in the province.

The congressional source said in an interview Friday that “divisive speculations and lies” springing from these have got to stop as the Speaker is preocupied with and only wanted what is good for the province and the country.

As to the Speaker’s spat with Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo, “it just between them.”

The source also said that the Speaker and Gov. Anthony del Rosario are fast ironing out little kinks in his planned swearing in as new PDP-Laban member along with the handful others allied with the Liberal Party like New Corella Mayor Rhodora Alcoran and her municipal and barangay leaders.

The ex-Gov. RDR vs. Speaker Alvarez for Congress in District 1 by 2019 midterm polls is mere little talk or strange scenario being talked by early excited pundits in the rounds, as the ex-governor is registered voter in Babak, Igacos, in District 2.

But the strangest scenario among early politika buzzes this early is the possible squaring off between Gov. Anthony del Rosario and senior Board Member and ex-Gov. Chiongkee Uy, who is originally identified with Tagum City, Davao del Norte before his succesful forays in Comval politics. ( Monforte)

Clandestine Homebased LPG Refilling of Butane Canisters Widespread Anywhere, Worries Tagum Inventor


By Cha Monforte

Clandestine home-based LPG refilling of butane canisters widespread anywhere, worries Tagum inventor

The businessman in Tagum City who successfully cracked the process of refilling empty butane canisters with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) could not imagine that one day his innovation could be massively imitated as it is now.

“They’re dicanting (the process of transferring the LPG to empty butane canisters) secretly right inside their houses using only an 11-kilogram LPG tank,” said Algerico Tabacon, who said he first cracked the process in trial-and-error experiment in 1998.

stainless butane by tagum inventor

Tabacon, erstwhile small vendor of plastic banyera wares, is now operating his own mini gas refilling plant in an outskirt of the city.

In an interview, he said it is him who made innovation on butane tin canister, which started in Tagum City and which has now proliferated in many parts of the country.

“The LPG-refilled butane canisters I first produced were just intended for friends, and then in 2008 I opened business selling these,” Tabacon recalled.

He said his innovation started with Mr. Kim, a South Korean, who first brought butane canisters and small portable stove to him.

When the purely butane content of the canisters was consumed and Kim left the city and did not come back, Tabacon fancied to refill the canisters with LPG, that is readily available in the market.

The discovery

Tinkering the the valve of the portable stove and making trial and error in inserting LPG to the empty butane canister in three days’ time in mid 1998 Tabacon found the best way to dicant it and sustain the flame from LPG, that is 60% profane and 40% butane.

But it was 10 years after when a massive influx of portable stove and 440 ml butane canisters made of tin started. The canisters, supposed to be for one-time use only or disposable, piled up but Tabacon saw a big bright business out from the canister scraps. The portable butane stove that is originally  intended for outdoor use like camping could just be used for daily cooking indoors.

Butane market

“Butane proved to be more economical than the 11-kilo LPG steel cylinder as it can boil faster due to closer pressure than the LPG, which still has to travel by the hose,” he said.

The butane like it is still now “ay tinangkil ng masa” like the owners of ambulant kwik-kwikan (fried boiled egg) tiendas around the old City Hall and karenderias in the public market who are able to cut their fuel expense by half, he recalled his first market niche before the households.

Users like butane also because also of its low-priced and thus it is easier to procure a refill in case of gas run out unlike LPG tanks that cost over P700. Currently, the retail price of butane in Tagum market is P20-P25. A brand-new purely butane can is priced P50 in stores.

To massively produce to meet increasing household market, he then negotiated and got support of Petronas to supply LPG for the mini gas refilling plant he contemplated as he got more orders and hired dealers.

But later his two top butane dealers copied his technology and competed him leading to a price decrease war starting in 2010. “Bagsakan na ng presyo”

The rest is history. His technology is being copied and individual home-based dicanters are born every now and then to join in the profitable trade that later worried the Dept. of Energy due to reports that butane canisters caused fire as negligent refillers and dicanters failed to check and replace defective, worn-out and rust-stained tin canisters.

No law

When the butane was on its threshold stage, there was no law and national policy covering it.  It is LPG that is well covered by DOE guideline while the Philippine National Standard for LPG container covered only a minimum 1-liter to 150-liter containers, which are permitted for storage and transport of LPG.

However, it was only in January 7, 2014 that the DOE issued its Department Circular 2014-01-0001, which prohibits the sale of LPG on single-trip and non-refillable containers and canisters which have been previously refilled with butane.

Tabacon as early as November 2012 proposed to the DOE that the tin butane canister be replaced with a stainless canister as he developed his own and had it registered with the Intellectual Property Office in his name, batting to make it as the Philippine National Standard.

Tabacon said he has compliance certificate and complies with the safety standard mandated under the DOE circulars and necessary permits to operate his business.

Tin canisters persist to be used these days due to high supply of empty butane canisters and it is cheap while the high demand of butane users continue even as authorities have been observed to have waned their anti-butane campaigns finding that its market consists mostly the poor.

Butane fire

Long-time butane users claimed that there are cases of small explosion or fire of butane sounding like “blab” especially when the stove is already old and worn out or the tin canister is rust-stained and worn-out leaking LPG.

But the fire hovering from the mouth of the butane can easily be put off by merely beating it with a rug or cloth. What is fire hazard is when that small fire catches the nearby flammable material, constituting human negligence, they said.

( Monforte)

Samal Island Now a PDP-Laban Country, Frees from Floirendo Political Bailiwick

Samal Island is now clearly a PDP-Laban country, freed from being part of the traditional bailiwick of the Floirendos as supermajority of the island’s elected officials from the city level down to the barangays swore in to become new members of the PDP-Laban party led by Speaker Bebot Alvarez Saturday at Babak gymnasium.

Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, earlier PDP-Laban member from being largely independent, gave his omniscient presence in the political event.

No less than the Speaker swore them all to join with their leader Mayor Al David Uy, who first joined  the administration party alone during the first mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in Tagum City last Aug. 28.

(Photo credit- via Facebook-Hur Camporedondo)

That time the mayor was dubbed as “nasunog” to mean exposed by pundits for having sworn alone without his group or winning slate. But accordingly the mayor was just humbly sports as he respected his councilors who did not go with him on do-day although they promised Uy to be with him.

That time, going to PDP-Laban where there is Alvarez who has deep bad relations with Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo is an act of not siding with the latter.

But last Saturday only four of the 14 members of the City Council and also only four of the 46 barangay captains did not join the party, a top source said.

Swearing in barangay officials (brgy. captains and kagawads) composed the mammoth red-shirt-wearing crowd in the island in what was otherwise described as a mass defection from Floirendos’ local party Kusog Baryohanon to President Duterte’s ruling party, the PDP-Laban.

The political world of Cong. Floirendo in District 2 is getting smaller each mass oathtaking even as his clanmate Governor Anthony del Rosario (Liberal Party) was earlier reported to be joining the PDP-Laban “in due time.” ( Monforte)

Datu Lig-onan Successfully Pushes Tipanud Festival Ordinance for 7 Tribes in Davao del Norte

Davao del Norte Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Datu Marcial Lig-onan successfully pushed for the passage of an ordinance enshrining a provincewide Tinapud Festival every 4th week of October to celebrate, showcase and promote the culture, tradition and products of the seven tribes of the province.

The seven tribes of Davao del Norte are  Mansaka, Sama, Dibabawon, Mangguangan, Ata-Manobo, Mandaya and Kalagan.

Tipanud Festival has been celebrated in the province but it has not been enshrined in provincial legislation until Datu Lig-onan authored it. He got it approved by the provincial board last Sept. 18.

datu marcial lig-onan

The ordinance has funding provision for the provincial government to determine yearly exclusive of the counterpart of the three cities and eight municipalities of the province.

The Provincial Tribal Council and Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives of Davao del Norte shall jointly formulate the implementing guidelines under the supervision of the Office of the Governor.

Datu Lig-onan hails from Dibabawon tribe from San Isidro town.

He is the second IPMR in the history of the province after Datu Victor Pandian ended his three-year term.

Vice Governor Alan Dujali administered the oath of office of Datu Lig-onan before members of the provincial board in a fitting ceremony preceding the SP maiden session for the year 2017 last Jan. 9, after being endorsed by Governor Anthony del Rosario for the post.

The 69-year-old Dibabawon Datu is a high school graduate and had served as Batangas captain of Gupitan, San Isidro and is also presently the town’s municipal IPMR. ( Monforte)

ENRO Engr. Senajon: Barangay-based Waste Collection Proves Sustainable in Panabo City

The barangay-based waste collection system of Panabo City is proving to be just sustainable until todate after being used in the past 20 years.

“Compared to other cities where waste collection throughout is done by the city governments, in our city each barangay collects its own wastes while the our city government only collects the wastes from the public markets, city roads, public plaza and government institutions,” said Panabo City Environment Officer Engr. Felix Jonases Senajon.

He said this system started during the time of the late Mayor Versim Enad in the late 90s when the barangays bought their own garbage trucks through a loan facilitated by the city government.

engr felix jonases senajon
Panabo City Environment Officer Engr. Felix Jonases Senajon, MEP-Envi.,CE

“Now all our 40 barangays are still collecting their wastes and getting income from garbage fees,” he said.

All throughout wastes in the city collected daily reach to 40-50 tons. These are collected by two dumptrucks and three compactors of the city government, and 24 dumptrucks from various barangays.

The wastes are dumped to the city’s controlled dumpsite at Brgy. Malitbog.

Meanwhile, Engr. Senajon also bared that the city continues to have no mining activities except quarrying in various sites in the Lasang River.

Panabo City is considered as the cavendish banana capital of the Philippines owning mostly to the vast plantations of TADECO.

TADECO, however, has larger areas which have been petitioned for land reform by agrarian reform beneficiary groups while the Joint Venture Agreement covering its 5,308 hectares leased from Bureau of Corrections is in danger of going back to the government due to aggressive legal petitions of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. ( Monforte)

Panabo Mayor Gamao Mum On His Cop’s Gun Shooting Into Air ‘Harassing’ Newswoman

Panabo City Mayor James Gamao would not reply to the allegation hurled by a 40-year-old newswoman in Davao del Norte that his guard in the house and a “responding” policeman harassed her at the gate of the mayor’s house at around 6 a.m. last Sept. 25.

Josephine Velasco, editor of Davao Times based in Asuncion town, took to Facebook on that day and at around 10:15 a.m. she posted that the yet unidentified guard in the mayor’s house located in Gamao Subdivision in the city allegedly pushed her away outside the gate.

“The bodyguard push me away & holding cellphone. I assumed that he is calling a policemen. Then I am right cuz after 15 mins one policeman arrived in mayor’s house then push me away physically in bisaya, ‘gisikaran ko niya ug gitadyagan sabay pabuto sa pusil’ (he kicked me simultaneously shooting his gun into the air) then further saying ‘hawa diri samuk kaayo ka!’ (get out of here you’re troublesome!) then I am shaking saying ‘okay muoli nako’ (okay I’ll go home),” Velasco alleged.

She also alleged that cops incharge to the blotter at that day refused to have the incident put in blotter.

This reporter tried to approach the mayor Monday morning standing near the door leading to the his office in the City Hall and called him about Velasco’s allegation, but he waved his hand saying he did not want to reply on the issue. He immediately went inside his office, apparently stonewalling the newswoman’s issue.

His longtime staffer Mel-Jun Badal said that he also learned that the mayor “appears not keen on entertaining the issue” although he said he (Badal) really did not know about the details of Velasco’s experience even as he said he also read her Facebook posts on the matter.

josephine velasco mayor gamao

On her Facebook’s first post last Sept. 25, Velasco said that she arrived at the mayor’s house at around 6:00 a.m. that day purposely to seek help from the mayor.

At the gate, she said she called for anybody in the house and a “fat guy with fair complexion” told her that the mayor was still asleep.

Valasco said she then asked the man to allow her to wait at the porch of the mayor’s house until the mayor wakes up.

Then the man, she continued in her post, that “the guy rudely answered to me to wait outside.”

Velasco answered that the guy was just brave enough, one whom she first encountered.

Then the guy shouted “you’re no longer right”, Velasco said, adding that the man also made a sign language pointing to his head to suggest she is crazy.

She said that after a while Mayor Gamao appeared and he called her saying, “Pssst Josephine tama na then he give me money then I replied dili ko mudawat ana (I’ll not accept that) but he insisted (then) I finally accepted that bullshit money,” Velasco posted.

After that, that incident of pushing, kicking her and a cop’s gun shooting into the air followed.

Velasco did not say where the mayor was when that the alleged kicking and gun shooting occurred.

In an earlier interview, Velasco said that the gun was shot once just near his ear.

She said that after the gun blast, some neighbors of the mayor came out to know the situation.

She said she then tried to have the incident put in police blotter after but some cops, she alleged, did not want it blottered.

On Sept. 28, 2017, she posted addressed to Davao del Norte PNP provincial director: “Kindly arrest the 3 bodyguards of Panabo City Mayor Hon. Engr. James G. Gamao who happened to be a policemen! They are so arrogant & unbecoming attitude towards me. They deserved to be sanctioned.’Gipabuthan ko nila ug gi-threat nga kung dili ka muoli basi dire lang ka taman!’ (They threatened me with a gun blast and warning that if I won’t go home I would then be end there). During that incident happened last Monday. I went to Panabo City Police Station to blottter that bad experience but they refuse me to do so ‘wala ko gipasulod’ (they did not allow me to enter). That was very traumatic & the most painful experience to me in my whole life.”

In separate interview, her father publisher Ped Velasco vowed to seek help from authorities to help her daughter. Friends advised him to ask help from President Duterte as her daughter continues to seek justice for more than two weeks now.

Over the last weekend the young Velasco showed on  Facebook she was confined in Kapalong District Hospital due to “health complications” but as of Tuesday dawn she said she was already back to normal, and posted: “OMG. I am an early riser. I wake up everyday @3am. So many things to do so little time.#Preoccupied”

As of Tuesday noon, Velasco’s posts relating the incident have not yet been taken out.

Mindanao Sun Chronicle online has already taken screenshots on Velasco’s incident posts on her Facebook. ( Monforte)

P10M Worth ASEAN Travel of DavNor Provincial Officials Brings Them to Wonderful Places

This is a developing story:

Some 22 officials of Davao del Norte Capitol are currently travelling in Southeast Asia and they are bound to visit Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in what the provincial government officially billed in their travel proposal as “ASEAN Integration Learning Exchange Caravan (AILEC)”.

They, led by Gov. Anthony del Rosario, form as the first batch of travellers, and a source said that each of the board members and department heads have P170,000 approved budget in their itinerary for two weeks’ time. The governor however has greater budget, being the top VIP.

At that per-capita budget, the total budget of their ASEAN travel could roughly be P10 million considering that the second batch of about the same number would fly next when the first batch arrives.

DavNor travellers at Bati Caves, Kuala Lumpur. (photo credit via Facebook – Shirley Belen Aala)

Earlier, it was reported all department heads and all board members, the vice governor and the governor would be off for ASEAN tour altogether in one group from Oct. 1 to 13.

A source said the DILG did not like the idea that the Capitol would be left run by deputies. So, it was divided into two batches, with the second batch to be led by current acting Governor (Vice Gov.) Alan Dujali.

From Facebook posts of Board Member Shirley Belen Aala, the first batch travellers have already gone to Singapore, Malaysia and as of Sunday they were in Thailand.

In Singapore, they toured the modern city using a modern transport, Phil. Embassy, flower, squash garden by the bay with backdrop of a beautiful dome, among wondrous sites they toured, watched evening show of stage in the sea, and had roundtable discussion at WSH Institute, Ministry of Communication and Technology officials.

In Malaysia, among sites, they toured and went malling in the Twin Petronas Building, Bati Caves, Golden Buddha in Kuala Lumpur, watched cultural show, had exchanged of best practices with Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government. ( Monforte)

Mediocre Teachers, Fake Doctors of Education Produced by Diploma Mill in Cebu Are Increasing in Davao Region

Mediocre teachers who cannot even speak English are increasing in number in Davao Region, and are getting promoted due to their doctorate degrees obtained in short time from a diploma mill school in Cebu.

“This modus, scam of producing fake PhDs, Doctors of Education by a certain Dr. ******* who connects with a school in Cebu has got to stop,” said an elementary teacher, who is teaching somewhere north of Davao Region.

3nqvtvnHe said the DepEd division he is under would have a dark future of having many teachers getting promoted as school principals and heads as they brandish their dubious doctorate degrees from a diploma mill in Cebu.

In fact, he said he is dismayed each time his principal, a product of Dr. Ispongklong (not his real name) of the diploma mill, begs off he cannot speak English during school programs and his fellow teachers would just laugh or smile, understanding their “bugo but dakog sweldo nga principal”.

He questioned: “what if most of the schools in the district have these mediocre teachers leading, what are the learning outcomes? Surely we’ll end up producing dull pupils and students, for having bugo school leaders, we end up producing bugo students, then we fail in educating.”

“But we are suffering already from intellectual mediocrity by position-oriented mediocre teachers who have no capability to produce good learning outcomes,” he said.

The source also bared that Dr. Ispongklong has a sort of recruiter from among his products, and this recruiter has a district-level position.

Obtaining a doctorate degree via Dr. Ispongklong is easy but costly as doctorate title-seeking teachers would only have a year of schooling and then a paid dissertation worth about P180,000 package deal by Dr. Ispongklong, and in sum they just need more than P300,000 in a year of studying and dissertation, then on the next year, they graduate as doctor of education, as PhD, said the source.

In reputable universities, getting a doctorate degree would take about four years. ( Monforte)

In Davao del Norte, Everybody Is Already Jumping to Speaker’s PDP-Laban: AGR No Choice

Everybody in Davao del Norte is already jumping to the PDP-Laban led by Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.

Former Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr, former Tagum City Councilor Nickel Suaybaguio went to Congress Monday last week and inside the office of the Speaker they took oath as new members of PDP-Laban administered by the Speaker himself.

The Speaker’s brother in Mason worshipful association Nick Suaybaguio, Sr swore in ahead as new PDP-Laban member not as a politician but as believer of President Digong Duterte, PDP-Laban chairman, whom Nick sees as “Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio rolled into one.”

Speaker Alvarez puts his arm to Mason brother Nick Suaybaguio in photo opportunity inside the Speaker’s office in Congress after the latter took his oath as new member of PDP-Laban.

The Last 2 District 1 mayors who did not yet pledge to PDP-Laban – New Corella Mayor Doray Alcoran and Asuncion Mayor lawyer Yuri Dayaday are now reportedly preparing for the mass oathtaking of their groups on Oct. 15.

Mayor Alcoran said that Governor Anthony del Rosario would follow suit “in due time.”

Last August 28 afternoon the Speaker and Senate President Koko Pimentel sworn in thousands of municipal and barangay officials in Davao del Norte during the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking at the New Tagum City Hall.

They also sworn in 99.7 percent of provincial, municipal and barangay officials in Compostela Valley morning of the same day.

Though in Davao Del Norte, the mass defection from Liberal Party is happening only in District 1 while District 2 was only disturbed by yet one defection case in the swearing in of IGACOS Mayor Al David Uy, pundits said that Gov. Del Rosario “would have no choice but ultimately be a turncoat to PDP-Laban from the LP” to get the equity of the incumbent in the next election and handily make his reelection possibly without an opponent.

Pundits said that the governor is just so cautious not to rock the boat in the Del Rosario’s family reconciliation with the Floirendos that has already passed two elections anchored on political unification after the divisive rift between the two families within the same clan towards the 2007 polls.

The last two elections (2016, 2013) had not seen the two reigning political families in the province- Del Rosario and Floirendo- fighting in electoral front in the province via proxy political wars in cities and municipalities as they reconciled and effected political unification on the principle of not disturbing each other’s bailiwicks (Floirendos to District 2, Del Rosarios to District 1).

Currently, the Speaker has running bad feud with erstwhile bosom friend Cong. Tony Boy Floirendo, and with this, pundits see the governor’s swearing in to Alvarez-led PDP-Laban as giving political challenge to Cong. Floirendo and to Tadeco, whose age-old Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with government has been sought for nullification by Alvarez.

Besides, the Speaker had sued Floirendo in a graft case that the Ombudsman recently given favorable endorsement to the Sandiganbayan for judgment.

Alvarez in various media interviews also said he is also preparing a plunder case against Floirendo family members over the same JVA issue, which the Floreindo and Tadeco lawyers already refuted as assailable in various fora including in Congressional committee probes.

It is also strange seeing the governor to be sworn in by newly comebacking Cong. Alvarez, but who is now a reigning strong, powerful Duterte boy Speaker. ( Monforte)

Carmen VM Bong Soriano Recalls Apt Decision of Kingpin Cong. TBF To Endorse Him

A year and two months after his assumption into office, Carmen (Davao del Norte) Vice Mayor Lynneo “Bong” Soriano recalled that it was politically apt decision of District 2 kingpin Cong. Tony Boy Floirendo (TBF) to endorse him as the vice mayoral standard bearer of the ruling local party in the district, the Kusog Baryohanon.

Soriano was anointed by the known district kingpin for such, close before the deadline of the filing of certificate of candidacy instead of now Top 1 Councilor Leonidas “Leonie” Bahague to run in tandem with the chosen mayoral standard bearer and now Mayor Virgie Perandos. She was first picked by her husband then exiting third-termer Mayor Marcelino Perandos. Cong. TBF just endorsed the latter. The Virgie-Leonie tandem had then been circulating in the town’s twenty barangays more than a year before the May 2016 polls.


Bahague, failing to get the kingpin’s anointment, shifted to running for councilor and topped in the race.

In an interview, Vice Mayor Soriano believes that the kingpin’s decision was anchored more on his being a member among the pioneers in town. His father, a lawyer, was the first municipal secretary in 1965 and had served as provincial administrator during the early years of the then undivided province.

The vice mayor was a councilor when anointed.

He likes to think that Cong. TBF’s decision was just right as “ang prinsipyo sa among pamilya, di magdaug-daug ug tawo, di mag take advantage sa kalisud sa ubang tawo, di mangawat, di manghilabot sa kwarta sa katawhan. My principle is to decide for the good of the people. Ang imong pagkatawo maoy makit-an dayon sa mga tawo.”

Now he’s steering good the town’s 14th Sangguniang Bayan. He and the nine other SB members are preoccupied legislating and holding their regular Consultative Legislative Dialogue (CLD) that has been rotated in 20 barangays.

CLD is a consultative dialogue where barangay officials and functionaries and people interact with SB members and department heads for issues, concerns and problems to be tackled and given solutions and relief within 15 days.

Cong. TBF is said to be beleaguered now as last Monday the Ombudsman indicted him in the graft complaint filed by District 1 Cong. and Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, thus sending the complaint for judgment by the Sandiganbayan.

TBF subsequently issued a statement welcoming the Ombudsman’s action and pinning hope the Sandiganbayan would give a ruling favorable to him and not to Alvarez, who earlier boasted that the jail awaited for Floirendo out of his graft complaint.

There have been wild talks in the rounds that should the Sandiganbayan make a verdict unfavorable to Floirendo before the 2019 midterm election, District 2- longtime bailiwick of the Floirendo- loses a vital leg to stand on, triggering fear and anxiety to the Kusog Baryohanon incumbents amid the incursions of the PDP-Laban led by Alvarez to District 2. ( Monforte)

CCTV-Connected Mawab from Poblacion to All Barangays Coming- Mayor Rupet Gonzaga

Mawab Mayor Ruperto “Rupet” Gonzaga will be putting up in the coming months a municipalwide CCTV (closed circuit TV) system from the poblacion to all its 11 barangays.

“This project worth P4 million would be from the poblacion to all barangays. Videos even from most remote barangay can be seen in the central monitor right in the municipal hall,” he said, citing the importance of the CCTV in the municipality’s peace and order campaign.

Mayor Rupet Gonzaga (right, in white T shirt) discussing his big-ticket projects with his barangay captains.

He informed this Friday during a meeting of barangays captains.

He said the number of cameras each barangay would have would depend on its size and peculiarities and next week the contractor’s technical staff would conduct detailed site inspection and analysis.

“Every street in the poblacion, the public market, commercial areas, to schools and important others would have cameras,” he added.

In Metro Manila and other cities and usually urban areas and high-end subdivisions, CCTVs have time and again shown to be effective in deterring crimes and sources of footages in knowing crime suspects or analyzing crime occurences, accidents and the like.

Mayor Gonzaga is trailblazing in this innovation of connecting his town’s urban and rural areas through CCTV system.

A barangay captain said that the CCTV could greatly help in countering incidents of lungkab or akyat bahay in his barangay.

The project is part of Mayor Gonzaga’s “Bag-ong Mawab” program. Besides, he also informed the barangay that the new public market project in three-hectare land would be implemented with P50 million funding, P15 million of which comes from the municipal government and the rest from Congress thru Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga. All streets in the poblacion would also he cemented. ( Monforte)

Transfer of Comval Provincial Jail Most Possibly Next Year with the P50M Loan- Warden Coquilla

Compostela Provincial Warden Jose Marvin Coquilla said that after 19 years of freely staying in Brgy. Mankilam, Tagum City they could most possibly transfer next year, 2018 as the P30-million bank loan has been approved to complete the new provincial jail in four-hectare land in Brgy. Sta. Maria, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.

“The provincial government has been all moving things so we with more than 600 detainees could finally transfer next year,” Coquilla said.

Aside from the bank loan, the provincial government also infused P5 million from its general fund, which is now being used in the construction of the administration building, kitchen and powerhouse, he added.


For this, he profusely thanked the leadership of the Uys, current Gov. Tyron Uy and past Gov. and now senior Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy.

The Compostela Valley Provincial Rehabilitation Center is using the old jailing facilities and land side by side with the provincial jail of Davao del Norte inside the provincial Capitol complex since the carving out of Compostela Valley from the erstwhile undivided Davao del Norte in 1998.

The two provincial jails are bounded only by barbed wires but with the same main gate with their respective sentry guard houses facing at each other.

The Compostela Valley Provincial jail has over 20 high-profile communist detainees.

Compostela Valley’s provincial detainees have to be motored by provincial guards about 50 kms from Mankilam to Regional Trial Court in poblacion Nabunturan during court hearings.

There was one instance towards the mid 2000s that New People’s Army rebels daringly sprang out their jailed comrade who was on transit for a court hearing at the zigzag section of the national highway between Mawab town and Tagum City.

The rebels suddenly flagged down the convoy of provincial guards and without firing a shot they plucked out their comrade and fled to mountainous areas. ( Monforte)

Tagum ABC’s Popo Estabillo Authors Ordinance To Help Brgy Officials in 4 Crisis Situations

Barangay officials in Tagum City are given greater help by the ordinance authored by their ABC president-representative Prospero “Popo” Estabillo Jr.

If they are in crisis situations such sickness, accident, hospitalization or meet death, they could avail of the cash assistance fund legislated by City Ordinance No. 823, series of 2017.


The 7th City Council approved the Estabillo’s ordinance on Sept. 12, 2017. ( Monforte)

Baby, Bong, Kim- Early Board Member Wannabes for District 1 DavNor

Former Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr, Tagum City Councilor Tristan Royce “Bong” Aala, and Robert “Kim” Eliot, law graduate son of last-termer Board Member Vicente Eliot are interesting names who are early board member wannabes for District 1 of Davao del Norte.

Suaybaguio, a good board member material even if he runs independent, can also run for Congress in the 2019 midterm election.


Both Aala and Eliot are also no-pushover political names in vote-rich Tagum City.

Matriarch Board Member Shirley Belen Aala and patriarch Board Member Vicente “Inting” Eliot are on their last term at present. ( Monforte)

District 1’s Alvarez Puts Up Political Leaders in District 2: Readying for Battle Royale Vs. Floirendo

Davao del Norte District 1 Congressman and Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez has now political battle-tested leaders in every town and city in the traditional bailiwick district of his nemesis Congressman Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo Jr.

The putting up of Alvarez’ core of political leaders in the District 2 is generating speculations that the Speaker, who filed a graft complaint at the Ombudsman against Floirendo, is girding for a provincewide battle royale in the midterm 2019 election, further raising that a scenario as Alvarez enters the turf of the Floirendos, the latter would also enter District 1 in the run-up to the coming polls to try to fail him in his reelection bid.

speaker alvarez

In District 1, Speaker Alvarez has not much trouble getting allies as during the recent PDP-Laban mass oath-taking he got Kapalong Mayor Tess Timbol, San Isidro Mayor Arnel Sitoy and wife of last-termer Talaingod Mayor Basilio Libayao swearing in to join with earlier PDP-Laban member Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon. In the district, it is only Asuncion Mayor Yuri and New Corella Mayor Rhodora Alcoran who chose not to swear yet as new PDP-Laban members.

A mammoth crowd of barangay, municipal and city elected incumbent officials from across the province trooped last August 28 at the Tagum New City Hall to swear in as new PDP -Laban members.

Sources said that Governor Anthony del Rosario did not join the mass oath-taking because he was not invited in the first place by Alvarez, although another source said that he might as “will join later on after asking formal permission from or giving formal notice to the national directorate of the Liberal Party.”  But pundits speculated that the governor might have been been more reserved and careful not to disturb Del Rosarios’ family reconciliation with the Floirendos that has resulted to their leadership and party coalition for three elections already.

To recall, it was Cong. Floirendo who brought Alvarez to the Comelec provincial office to file his certificate of candidacy under PDP-Laban in  last year’s polls. He defeated ex-Cong. Arrel Olano and ex-City Councilor Nickel Suaybaguio. After winning as congressman, Alvarez was swept to prominence in the national corridor of power by winning as the Speaker of the House of Representatives by the nod of President Duterte.

Alvarez filed a graft complaint last March at the Ombudsman against Floirendo, questioning Tadeco’s Joint Venture Agreement with the government.  In his graft complaint, Alvarez alleged that Floirendo violated Section 3(h) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which defines as a corrupt act “directly or indirectly having financing or pecuniary interest in any business, contract, or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.”

“From its very inception, Tadeco has been wholly owned by (Floirendo) and his family,” Alvarez said in the complaint.

The Speaker noted that when the agreement between Tadeco and BuCor was renewed in 2003, extending the agreement for another 25 years, Floirendo was serving his 2nd term as Davao del Norte 2nd District representative.

The JVA got adverse findings from the probing committees of the Lower House, Dept. of Justice, Commission on Audit and the Office of the Solicitor General, all of which were contested and refuted by Tadeco lawyers. ( Monforte)

Comval Board Member Joanna Gentugaya Aspiring for Congresswoman in District 1

Board Member Joanna Gentugaya, wife of Monkayo Mayor Ramil Gentugaya, is reportedly interested to run for congresswoman in District 1 of Compostela Valley.

Inasmuch that Congresswoman Maricar Zamora is now on her last term, at least two incumbent officials are reportedly interested for the post by 2019 election, and the other is Cong. Maricar’s father ex-Cong. and last-termer Vice Gov. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora.

(Photo credit via Facebook-Joanna Gentugaya)

Sources said Board Member Joanna is taking a crack to apply for said post inasmuch that it is considered “vacant” for anybody in the PDP-Laban party to apply on the run-up to the filing of certificate of candidacy for the 2019 midterm election.

Recently, almost all of the incumbent elected officials in the province from provincial down to barangay levels swore in the mass oath-taking of new PDP-Laban members whipped up by Speaker Bebot Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel. They, led by Gov. Tyron Uy and his father political kingpin and senior Board Member Chiongkee Uy, abandoned the Liberal Party.

Political pundits have speculated that Congw. Maricar would “swap posts” with her father by aspiring for vice governor in the next polls.

“BM Joanna would try to apply hoping she might be the party’s pick,” a pundit dared venture a futuristic guess this early.

First-termer Joanna is a scion of a rich family having intensive businesses in Davao City, Mindanao. ( Monforte)

DANECO Buakon Ngadto sa 3 ka Electric Coop- Daneco, Comvaleco, Igacoseco

By Cha Monforte

“Diha gyod na padulong (That will lead into that,” said Daneco board director Troy Jagunos in an interview.

Daneco might possibly be broken into Daneco for Davao del Norte, Comvaleco for Compostela Valley, and Igacoseco for the Island Garden of Samal.


Daneco when its congressional franchise expires in 2028 would be possibly broken into three electric coops and enjoy the benefits of being small and closely managed and still its respective workforces would enjoy high salaries and good benefits like the Leyte Electric Cooperative 3 currently managed by firmer Daneco employee and acting general manager Allan Laniba, Jagunos added.

Leyeco 3, one among the five Leyecos in Leyte,  has only over 40,000 households in 9 municipalities served, which is just one fourth of Daneco’s over 160,000 households in 15 municipalities and two cities served in while of Compostela Valley and most parts of Davao del Norte (less Panabo City, Sto. Tomas, BE Dujali and Carmen which are served by Davao Light).

“Yet comparatively employees in Leyeco 3 have higher salary rates than Daneco employees,” Jagunos said.

“We’re still adjusting with our decentralization moves in our Comval, Tagum and Samal areas,” he said.

On next Sunday, Sept. 24, Daneco will be celebrating its 46th founding anniversary with meaningful array of activities.

Last August 10 during the management takeover of National Electrification Administration-created Task Force Duterte Northern Mindanao Power  to Daneco,  Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (Aselco) General Manager Engr. Emmanuel Galarce was designated as Daneco’s Chief Operations Officer (Acting General Manager).

He said that to prepare for the eventuality of having three electric coops in the future the Samal area, Davao del Norte area and Comval area would have a “friendly competition” but when one falters the other areas would come to help for augmentation. ( Monforte)

Polong Slams Bayarang Media, Gives ‘P1.9M Watch’ to Mediaman To Be Libeled by Trillanes

Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo “Polong” Duterte vented out his fury and ire to the “bayarang media” in a press conference Tuesday following the State of the City Address made by his sister Mayor Sara Duterte.

The mayor had her press conference first then the vice mayor followed her after she exited from the press conference venue at the City Hall.

“Ang problema ani kay dili amoa ang media, ang media bayaran, bayaran, pero dili na ninyo matonto ang mga Pilipino karon (The problem is that media is not ours, the media can be bought but you can no longer fool the Filipino people now),” the vice mayor ranted before city reporters.

polong duterte
(photo screengrab via Facebook-News5/Gem Avanceña)

He mentioned “ABS, GMA, all”,  then questioned the move of Duterte nemesis Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of planning to sue a Davao City mediaman Ben Tesiorna with libel.He said that he himself did not file libel cases against ABS-CBN, GMA even if he was much maligned as the “punching bag” Duterte family and ” now here’s media personality who came out a propaganda” and is already targeted by Trillanes with libel suit.

He added that the other problem is the penchant to twist stories against him “by your media bosses in Manila” citing that the Senate just “invited” him to appear in the committee hearing on the controversy on P6.4 billion shabu shipment to which the media “twisted that he was subpoenaed.”

He also cited the case of Mark Taguba whom he said had never said that he was involved in shabu shipment.

He then hit Trillanes whom he called as “ugok” (fool), who had his questions consumed, and who only raised recycled issues during the recent Senate committee hearing where he appeared as invited .

He also slammed the yellowtards “nga morag nag mga buang nga makaestorya” (almost insane to talk about) Dutertes.

The vice mayor then took out his Audemars Piguet watch, “an imitation given as a gift by a friend” and gave it to Tesiorna whom he asked to sell it at P1.9 million as alleged by yellowtards and if it could be bought at that price the mediamen attending the press conference would then divide the sales by themselves.

But if it could not be sold at that price, Tesiorna would have to return the watch to him, he said in jest.

As to the vice mayor’s tattoo, he said: “Hindi kami uto uto, when the time comes na nahulog na siya (Trillanes) at naputol na ang pakpak nya dahil sa taas ng kanyang lipad, ipapakita ko to (tattoo).”

“Sinabihan ko nga yung tattoo artist ko, I also texted Baste kasi kaibigan nya yun, not to post my tattoo. Iinisin mo muna yung kalaban hanggang mabiyak yung ulo nila, lalo na tong mga yellowtards, lalo na yung nasa social media, na nabaliw na sa kakasalita. Let them eat the dragon then I will show you my tattoo. Not now.”

Trillanes also threatened to sue with libel pro-Duterte press and communications undersecretary Mocha Uson and PTV-4 anchor Erwin Tulfo.- source: News5 video (mindanaosunchronicle/Cha Monforte)

DavNor Board Member Ticque De Veyra III Resolution on Peace in DANECO Approved Unanimously

Davao del Norte Provincial Board Member Alfredo “Ticque” De Veyra III stood in privilege speech on their session Monday and urged colleagues to reciprocate to the moves initiated by the provincial officials of the Compostela Valley to settle the conflict between the “two  management groups” of Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco).

He said he learned that Comval provincial officials initiated out-of-court settlement meetings between officials of the so-called Daneco-NEA and Daneco-CDA last August 11 and August 21 at Big 8 Hotel in Tagum City.

davao del norte sp member tique de veyra

He bared that the meetings had 13 items in agenda, one of which resulted to the agreement to have an independent audit on the two groups by an independent auditing firm.

“With the support of the local government unit officials, which is crucial, we can overcome obstacles, and I urge my fellow SP members that we likewise do the same to fully end this running conflict,” De Veyra said.

He then moved to refer his privilege speech to the committees of infrastructures and of laws, which was unanimously approved by the body.

The session was steered and presided by Vice Governor Alan Dujali.

Daneco is now currently supervised and being troubleshoot by the Task Force Duterte Northern Davao Power (TFD-NDP) after the management takeover by National Electrification Administration last Aug. 10 to shore up the financially ailing cooperative.

TFD-NDP was created by NEA itself and consists of managers and board officers of nearby electric coops chaired by known leader electric consumerist in Cebu Ka Eric Bucoy, the campaign manager of President Duterte in Visayas in last year’s national election.

NEA through the TFD-NDP designated Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (Aselco) General Manager Engr. Emmanuel Galarce as Daneco’s Chief Operations Officer (acting as the general manager) and Agusan del Sur II Electric Cooperative (Surseco II) General Manager Iglorio Hinayon as Daneco’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).( Monforte)

‘Maring’ Heavy Rains Strand Thousands in Bunawan Hiway in Davao City

Heavy monsoon rains brought by low pressure area due to tropical depression “Maring” struck in Davao City and its hinterlands Monday night one hour before midnight, resulting to more than waist-height heavy flood badly inundating the highway section at the city’s Bunawan area. The heavy rains poured in for more than an hour.

By dawn and early morning  the highway section was deeply submerged with flood waters from the northern hinterlands and nearby rivers,  cutting off the Bunawan highway section and stranding thousands of traveling motorists and commuters for at least four hours before the floodwaters started to subside.

This news is based on in various Facebook posts  of netizens.

bunawan flooding september 2017
(photo via Facebook-Rogelyn Caballes Fuerzas-Villaren)

URBAN WARFARE ANALYSIS: Why the Battle of Marawi Is Difficult To Be Ended?

By Cha Monforte

GMA TV war reporter Benjie Liwanag when he set foot in Marawi City on an early week of Marawi seige had reported intense exchange of gunfires between government ground troopers and the Maute ISIS terrorists. After 100 days and two weeks of fighting, the TV reporter reported the same- intense firefight breaking at the earliest hours of the day. Why it is taking too long for the Phillipine Army to extinguish this armed challenge of the terrorists in urban environment is the subject of this analytical essay.


First and foremost, this Battle of Marawi is the first encounter of the post-war modernizing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine Army in particular in urban warfare. But for this, the army has no prior training in urban warfare, the first general reason of the slow military action to contain the armed challenge posed by the comparatively few number of terrorists, why the battle lasts until this writing. Factor in this lack of urban warfare expertise of the army.

The other major factors are the physical characteristics of Marawi City and the tactics used by the Maute ISIS terrorists. Marawi City is one built-up compact urban environment having city blocks divided by usually narrow, tertiary and old two-lane primary streets and narrow alleys and walks in the interiors. The city is predominantly flat intersected by waterways draining to Lake Lanao. Its housing stock consisted of a mix of concrete houses and buildings, two to four stories, usually made by buhos-type of concreting out of the need to protect family in case of tribal rido, semi-concrete and makeshift houses so contiguous to each other. The “bohus” tall buildings are excellent sniping posts of the Maute ISIS terrorists and each of these is a “fort unto itself.”

Army commander Lt Gen Carlito Galvez said Wednesday air strikes are still avoiding mosques which have been used by Maute ISIS terrorists as hideouts. On the same day, the long stretch of city’s sewer system leading to Lake Lanao was exposed to be the structure where terrorists hide during aerial bombing runs. The sewer tunnels and canals and buildings have been known structures where soldiers and defenders took advantage of during battles in urban terrain since World War II. It’s no longer secret that mosques have been taken as refuge of militants during pitched battles in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotbeds of Islamic insurgencies.

The exchange of gunfires between government troopers and few Maute ISIS terrorists remains to be intense and heavy this Saturday on the 110th day of the Battle of Marawi. The terrorists are down to around 45 gunmen in a constricted 20-hectare main battle zone, said Task Force Marawi spokesperson Capt. Jo-ann Petinghay on Friday. During the 109 days of fighting, 653 terrorists, 145 soldiers and cops, and 45 civilians died, while there are still more than 2 dozens of hostages alive in the urban battle zone. The military claimed that 5 of the 6 Maute brothers were killed, but Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon is still alive. There are also some 300 suspected backers in the government’s arrest list.

“Before the end of October,” said Westmincom chief Lt Gen Carlito Galvez in another deadline set by him to rout the terrorists after missing around four deadlines mouthed by generals including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and President Duterte.

This observer is using social media posts, in text, photo and video forms, in deriving war analysis. The recent striking photo shows two columns of mammoth army troopers marching down Marawi street going to the main battle zone. It projected a systematic advance of the infantry with the armours going to the final battle zone. There is also a video showing a pitched building-to-building battle separated by a primary road. The rather long distance between the two fighting forces points out that they are still not engaged in close-quarter battle in strict sense as practised by the Israel Defense Forces which are skillful in house-to-house, room-to-room battles, and in quick hot pursuit operations inside enemy lairs.

But an urban warfare is tridimensional one. The mammoth armoured columns of the army can be halted and even destroyed by few terrorists maximizing their sniping and machine gun advantages from high-story buildings, their IEDs and booby traps hidden in wrecks and rubbles, their rat-like ambuscades using their RPGs, and from hiding in below-the-ground old foxholes and bunkers used during the Marawi uprising in the 70s, canals, sewage tunnels and mosques while showing their hostages as human shields. From some videos posted by pro-ISIS elements on social media, it is evident that the enemies have organized fire teams or squads scattered in various strongholds and hideouts, hiding behind thick buhos walls, firing shots through loopholes, over rooftops, luring the army into ambushes, moving easily, so mobile in narrow alleys and secret passages in the city, aided by their mastery of urban terrain and detailed local knowledge of the area being residents and locals of Marawi. They have snipers, machine gunners, anti-tank gunners, ammo runners, assistant gunners, the terrorists have many small killer fire teams scattered in the city during the first months of the battle, and now they are constricted in 20 hectares. But that’s still a wide area, 20 hectares is 20 hectares.

With this size of the battlefield and given the still evolving close-quarter battle, it looks like that on tactical and operational levels, the military would still have to brace for more dangerous days and nights in Marawi beyond what Lt Gen Galvez has set at “before the end of October.” The longest Yuletide season of PH is already in us and certainly, this would sap the morale of the ground troops, war stress paradoxically caused by Yuletide yearning to be home alive on Christmas is setting in among the ground troopers. That is, if the lines of supply, provision and replenishment for the terrorists continue to be unquashed despite heavy aerial bombardments that started in Week 2 of the fighting, following the mass evacuation effected by the military.

No doubt about this, commencing on Week 2 up to this posting, the military has fired large quantity of artillery from long distance and foremost relied on intensive air attacks- in three months time but the battle is far from over as yet. It would seem the government troopers are fighting segurista, slow but sure- and safe from afar using snipers and slow advance and clearing while the terrorists are fighting ferociously fiercest for death. The powerful armour, artillery and air strikes of the military have been stiffly challenged by the urban warfare tactics of the ISIS-aligned local terrorists. In this battle, the issue of human shield that the military keeps on saying this limits their actions to protect hostages and holding out civilians is more than seen as tied up to the collateral damage eventuality, given the almost daily bombing runs that eventually destroyed the city. What if the military poured in its greater strength in the city’s rear controlling Lake Lanao and started its campaign from there by dropping down troops and logistics? That, to immediately  cut the line of supply and block reinforcements to the terrorists. Maybe it could have ended the battle earlier.

As all things appear now, a close-quarter, room-to-room battle, hand-to-hand combat is the ultimate solution to finally exterminate all the remaining terrorists, achieve a decisive Philippine military victory and end this most devastating battle in the country’s long history of Moro insurgencies. But how as the army has no expertise on this? It would seem the ground troopers in Marawi would be forced to develop their own close-quarter combat skills right there in the battle zone and their ground commander has to call the shots, and shout “soldiers, fix bayonets!”

Cha Monforte is a political reporter, correspondent to BusinessMirror, Edge Davao and home-based content writer-researcher, occasionally having research assistance portfolio on military studies worldwide.

Asuncion Mayor Dayaday Admits Risky For Not Joining in Alvarez PDP-Laban Mass Oathtaking

Asuncion Mayor Atty. Eufracio “Yuri” Dayaday Jr has admitted that it was risky move for him for not joining in the PDP-Laban mass oath-taking of members initiated by Speaker Bebot Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel in Tagum City and Compostela Valley last week.

In an interview, the mayor said he formally wrote Speaker Alvarez through PDP-Laban regional chairman Compostela Valley Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga (2nd district) explaining why he declined the invitation.

asuncion mayor yuri dayaday jr
Asuncion Mayor Yuri Dayaday (photo credit via Facebook – Mitz Encabo)

In the copy of that letter dated August 27, 2017, Mayor Dayaday said: “I am not comfortable to be involved in partisan politics due to disunity of political pillars in Davao del Norte at present. ” The mass oath-taking was Monday last week, Aug. 28.

He added: “For this reason, I have decided to remain politically uncommitted at this time. Rest assured that I will be very supportive of all your endeavors in District I especially in Asuncion.”

Dayaday though said that “perhaps sooner or later, I will reconsider your offer, if it still stands.”

Pressed on what would he mean on “politically uncommitted”, he said that it would otherwise mean he is “partyless and independent as of this time.”

Only the first-termer Dayaday and also first-termer new Corella Mayor Rhodora Alcoran were the mayors in the province’s District 1 represented by Alvarez who did not join the mass oath-taking of PDP-Laban.

Governor Anthony del Rosario of the Liberal Party did not join the mass oath-taking of the party that is being made as the ruling party of President Duterte.

Dayaday also asked rival quarters wanting to misinterpret his move, saying that all he wants is unity of political pillars, Speaker Alvarez and Gov.  Del Rosario, both of whom he considers as friend.

“It’s just like when two of your good friends are quarreling, so you have to stay neutral,” he explained.

In the province’s District 2 where its acknowledged political kingpin Rep. Tony Boy Floirendo has a running bad rift with Speaker Alvarez, only IGACOS Mayor Al David Uy joined the mass oath-taking. Almost the rest of city and municipal officials in the district including the five provincial board members under Floirendo’s Kusog Baryohanon party also did not join PDP-Laban.

Mayor Dayaday was an LP member before but be bolted from it to go independent during the last campaign period over disagreement on whom to support for the congressional candidate. He supported ex-Cong. Arrel Olano who was defeated by Alvarez.

Alvarez and Pimentel would seem to be steering a fast PDP-Laban train aimed to swear in the supermajority in Congress and supermajority of elected officials down to barangays across the country.

Meanwhile, a few PDP-Laban party ideologues and originals in Davao Region and Mindanao are said to be griping about Alvarez-Pimentel fast PDP-Laban train. ( Monforte)

DavNor PNP Director Magistrado Vows To Clear 89 Drug Barangays in the Province

Davao del Norte Provincial Police Director PSSupt. Marcial Mariano Magistrado has vowed to totally clear the remaining 89 of the 116 barangays identified as still drug affected.

More than half or 52 percent of the province’s 223 barangays was earlier declared as drug affected by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

“We still have 89 barangays to clear of drug users and drug pushers,” he said, adding that he is confident that his police force can capably do it following the police rules and procedure of engagement with due respect to human rights.


PSSupt. Magistrado and Gov. Anthony del Rosario held a press conference Monday afternoon in New Marangal Hall inside the known Barracks, the Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office (PPO) Compound at Brgy. Visayan Village, Tagum City.

The governor said he was satisfied with the report of Magistrado but described the number of barangays cleared as still few.

He added there is still a long way to go in the provincial police’s war on drug, an observation affirmed by Magistrado, who assumed his post last April.

The drug-affected barangays in Davao del Norte were earlier identified by the PDEA and barangays and then validated by the provincial police, said Police Senior Inspector Lovely Mae Bitas, provincial anti illegal drugs monitoring officer.

She added that among the five provinces in Davao Region, Davao del Norte is actually Number 1 in having the most number of drug barangays cleared since July 2016 up to press time.

PDEA, she continued, only categorized the 116 of the province’s 223 total barangays as “slightly affected”.

PSSupt. Magistrado did not divulge the list of barangays subject for clearing, citing he did not want to jeopardize police operations. ( Monforte)

25,000 Scouts Expected in 6th ASEAN Jamboree in Tagum City this Nov 27-Dec 2

At least 25,000 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, a tenth of whom are foreign delegates, are expected to participate in the 6th ASEAN Jamboree this coming Nov. 27 to Dec. 2.
Expected to join are Boy Scout delegations from 10 countries which are members of ASEAN but other delegations from other non-ASEAN countries like India, South Korea and Eurasian countries are also participating, bared by Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon.
He is member of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines national executive board.
Take a selfie at Energy Park
He added they planned the event considering a readiness to accommodate 30,000 scouts, about half of whom comes from Mindanao.
The mayor said his city can accomodate the expected total number of scouts in camps to be set up inside the sprawling Energy Park, the jamboree venue at Barangay Apokon.
He added that hotels and private homes in home-stay scheme in the city can also accomodate officials and dignitaries, both locals and foreigners, joining and gracing the week-long jamboree.
As to security of the delegates, the city mayor expressed confidence that the combined forces of police, military and civilian peacekeeping auxiliaries and force multipliers are capable to give a tight blanket of security to the city and jamboree participants especially that martial law in Mindanao is still in place by then.
“With or without martial law, safe ang Tagum. But martial law is an opportunity when we can tell now that we are more safe,” Rellon said, citing the active security mode, checkpoints and army units surrounding the city.
Rellon sees by now the ASEAN jamboree as source of so bullish multiplier effect that would greatly benefit the economy of the city.
“Tagum City is now going to be the scouting capital of PH,” he quipped.
He along with BSP national president Wendel Avisado and other national executive board members recently participated in the World Scout Leaders Conference held in Azerbaijan last Aug. 13-17 where delegations from 169 countries participated.
Rellon also barnstormed for a roadshow on Tagum City’s readiness to host the ASEAN jamboree in ASEAN Scout Leaders Conference last Aug. 25 to 26. ( Monforte)

Mayor Rellon Nagpalabas ng Sama ng Loob sa Administrator ng Carmen at Biased Media

Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon aired out his disgust over frequent unfair and insidious Facebook posts against him by Carmen municipal administrator Octavio Valle.
He said Valle lately posted that his war on drug “is doomed to fail.”
“Here comes a certain government functionary, an administrator telling another LGU that our anti-drug campaign is doomed to fail,” the mayor said apparently not hiding his disgust to Valle, a former Tagum councilor.
He said these before interviewing mediamen on Tuesday in his office at the New City Hall.
allan rellon boy scout
Rellon said that it is public knowledge in Tagum that Valle sometime in the past got lost in the city after serving as councilor in the late 80s as he was hounded by drug use allegation.
The mayor added that his staffers were able to get a screenshot of Valle’s derisive posts and with it he plans to use it in powerpoint presentation during the City Hall’s anti-drug campaigns.
Rellon debunked Valle’s hoot of derision on Facebook saying that on the contrary the city’s own war on drug has produced many success stories.
On the first month of Rellon’s war on drug it gathered 8,000 surrenderees wanting reformation.
On the other hand, the mayor also complained over unfair attacks against him by biased broadcasters.
He said one broadcaster always hits him no end and projects “low morale in the city” but he said the broadcaster is clearly serving a political favor.
He added that the other one is a Boy Scout employee and broadcaster Dennis Lazo.
He said that he and Lazo being actively with the Boy Scout movement should give the latter at least a second thought whether he would choose to be an attack dog of his rival in the last election.
He said that Lazo could have simply just inhibited himself as they are on the same Boy Scout’s boat.
Rellon is a member of the BSP national executive board appointed by President Duterte.
Recently, he along with some BSP national executive board members led by BSP national president Wendel Avisado attended the World Boy Scout Conference in Azerbaijan in southern Europe.
The mayor told mediamen that he is now preparing for the hosting of the 6th ASEAN Jamboree on Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 2017 to be held at the sprawling Energy Park with expected 25,000 Boy Scout and girl Scout delegates.
Mindanao Sun Chronicle Online tried but failed to contact Valle and Lazo for comments. ( Monforte)

Alvarez, Koko Raid 99.7% Comval Leaders to PDP-Laban Pack; In DavNor, AGR No Show

Speaker Bebot Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel cracked the administration party whip and managed to have 99.7% of Comval elected leaders from provincial down to municipal and barangay levels to fall in line and pledge as new members of PDP-Laban party of President Duterte.

The mammoth pack of Gov. Jayvee Tyron L. Uy either bolted from the Liberal Party or they were raided by the Alvarez and Pimentel to jump ship to the new administration ruling party.

bebot alvarez koko pimentel in comval

The PDP-Laban mass oath-taking Monday morning in Nabunturan was successful in Compostela Valley but it failed to raid virtually all the yellow Liberal Party leaders in Davao del Norte led by Gov. Anthony del Rosario in the afternoon in the New City Hall.

Also attending the two events were Cong. Karlo Nograles, his father ex-Speaker Boy Nograles, Cong. Geraldine Roman and DOE Sec. Alfonso Cusi.

Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, an independent political honcho in the last polls, gave his omnipresence during the Davao del Norte’s political event along with Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon.

A source said that Gov. Del Rosario was no show because he was not invited by Alvarez in the first place.

Only Kapalong Mayor Tess Timbol and husband Vice Mayor Gardo Timbol, San Isidro Mayor Arnel Sitoy and Igacos Mayor Al David Uy were seen on stage swearing in to become PDP-Laban members.

Speaker Alvarez has a running bad rift with 2nd District Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo of the Kusog Baryohanon party.

Only Board Member Frank Remitar of the first district board members was seen swearing in as new PDP-Laban member.

There was no board member from District 2, Floirendo’s bailiwick, who attended the event. ( Monforte)

Mayor Rellon: “Let It Be” to Chiongkee’s Reported Plan to Run for Mayor in Tagum

Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon is gamely cool to the reported plan of Compostela Valley ex-Governor and now senior Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy to run for mayor against him in 2019 polls.

In press interview at his office Tuesday, Mayor Rellon said “let it be” if Uy would run against him per reports of local media.

Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon

His statement came following PDP-Laban’s mass oathtaking events in Compostela Valley and in Davao del Norte on Monday.

The mass oathtaking pushed by Speaker Bebot Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel, who personally attended the two political rites, turned out to have put strange bedfellows altogether as Rellon and Uy are now considered partymates though they have different provinces.

Rellon in last year’s polls defeated Uy’s younger brother ex-Mayor Rey T. Uy in what was billed as the tightest mayoral race in Tagum’s history with Rellon’s slim margin of over 2,000 votes. That, after he first knocked out Rey Uy’s son ex-Councilor Oyo in 2013 mayoral race with Rellon’s wide margin of close to 22,000 votes.

Most of the 23 barangay captains in the city who are Uy supporters swore in as new PDP-Laban members, thus associating them with Rellon and the majority of councilors who ran and won under PDP-Laban last year.

As to PDP-Laban’s oathtaking flurry, Rellon said it is taking all to join the party.

But he said in jest he would forget being a politician and would do a “Duterte style.”

He added he might just rest on the “heart of the people” even as he vowed he would protect his Hugpong Tagumenyo, which has over 30,000 card-bearing members as of press time.

On the other hand, Board Member Uy shrugged off the running talks in town that he would be running for mayor in Tagum City by 2019 polls.

He denied he has a plan to run for mayor while pleading not to talk about politics this time, adding that the question should be rather asked to his younger brother former Mayor Rey T. Uy or to Vice Mayor Boyet Gementiza or to anybody who is qualified to run for mayor.

“It’s too early to talk about politics, and you know politics is very divisive, seloso kaayo ning politika (politics stinks of jealousy),” he said.

But shortly after he said that Tagum is his birthplace and thus originally he has been known to be with Tagum since his childhood in Barangay Madaum, the ancestral barangay of Uy family.

He bared these when he guested Thursday the morning program “Balita sa Barangay ug Kalungsuran” anchored by broadcaster Pat Lucero Pacquiao over Tagum’s 99.9 RPFM.

And being originally associated with Tagum, he added he has abundant bosom and close friends in the city like businessmen, barangay captains, kagawads and others since the days when Tagum was still a municipality.

He admitted though that there have been a lot of businessmen, friends of him who are prodding him to run for city mayor.( Monforte)

Chiongkee Shrugs Off Talks He’ll Run for Tagum Mayor But Immediately Says Tagum Is His Birthplace

Compostela Valley’s political kingpin former Governor and now senior Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy has shrugged off the running talks in town that he would be running for mayor in Tagum City by 2019 polls.

He denied he has a plan to run for mayor while pleading not to talk about politics this time, adding that the question should be rather asked to his younger brother former Mayor Rey T. Uy or to Vice Mayor Boyet Gementiza or to anybody who is qualified to run for mayor.

comval governor chiongkee uy
Comval’s political kingpin Chiongkee Uy

“It’s too early to talk about politics, and you know politics is very divisive, seloso kaayo ning politika (politics stinks of jealousy),” he said.

But shortly after he said that Tagum is his birthplace and thus originally he has been known to be with Tagum since his childhood in Barangay Madaum, the ancestral barangay of Uy family.

He bared these when he guested Thursday the morning program “Balita sa Barangay ug Kalungsuran” anchored by broadcaster Pat Lucero Pacquiao over Tagum’s 99.9 RPFM.

And being originally associated with Tagum, he added he has abundant bosom and close friends in the city like businessmen, barangay captains, kagawads and others since the days when Tagum was still a municipality.

He admitted though that there have been a lot of businessmen, friends of him who are prodding him to run for city mayor.

What has been observed by people in the city is that he has been staying always in Tagum “because as a board member now I have plenty of vacant time” than when he was the governor in the past.

As to the generosity he has been extending to Tagumenyos seeking for his help, he said he has long been doing that like providing entertainment to requesting barangays, giving billiard, basketball facilities, uniforms to youths, arm chairs to schools, teachers tables and others.

At one time, he continued, he thought he would stop giving these, thinking that other people might misconstrue him to be having an intention.

But on the other hand he thought he is a “private citizen” in Tagum “nga andam pod motabang.”

He said that actually he has been “staying always” in Tagum but his residency is in Pantukan.

In his extro message on the talks about his running for mayor in Tagum, the former Comval governor said: “ang atong Ginoo may plano kanato sa usag usa (God has a plan for each of us)” ( Monforte)

DavNor SP Members, Dept Heads Set for ASEAN Tour, BM Shirley for NY Vacay

All members of Davao del Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan including Vice Governor Alan Dujali and all department heads in the Capitol are scheduled to go for a two-week four-nation ASEAN tour, that is, from Oct. 1 to 13, 2017.

Board Member Shirley Belen Aala bared that their incoming ASEAN tour was approved by Gov. Anthony del Rosario as part of provincial government’s recognition and full and integrated support to provincial officials “in the making of DavNor provincial government as a best LGU.”

Davao del Norte Board Member Shirley Belen Aala: taking a respite after long hectic public service

She said the tour would certainly give them valuable insight and educational learning from the countries where they will be touring in- Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

However, Board Member Aala would fly again for her long-scheduled private vacation grande in New York a few days after their return from ASEAN tour. She would be on personal vacation from Oct. 17 to Nov. 18, 2017. She said she has already a DILG authority to travel for this.

She’ll go on vacay in New York after serving full two terms and more than a of year on her third term, whose combined periods have been characterized by active and hectic yet fulfilling legislation works and community services of hers.

BM Aala will spend good days and nights with her successful daughters long-residing in New York- physician Chrisley and nurse Nikko Tixia.

For her month of vacation, she’s apparently excited to see places that her loving daughters chose for her to see in a right, much-needed break after a long period of serving the public: NY historic and modern sites, Niagara Falls, Rhode Island of mansions, and many more.

Asked on what awaits for her after her last term as provincial board member or if she’s planning to gun for other elective post, she quipped in jest, she’ll “be byuda de oro.”

But she will “move heaven and earth” to have her son also last-termer Tagum City Councilor Tristan Royce “Bong” Aala become a board member to succeed her. ( Monforte)

Marawi ‘Bombed in Anger & Hatred’: Outrage & Outbreak of Hostilities Feared During Rehabilitation

Norodin Alonto Lucman, a Maranao intellectual and author, has access to photos and videos taken by a drone from the skyline of the war-torn Marawi City three days before the Marawi battle would turn full three months old. But he is staring blankly how the government will approach rehabilitation right after the war.

On Saturday, Norodin posted on his Facebook: “I don’t know how the government will address this issue of rehabilitation. A sweeping Rule of Law will have to be enforced to avert chaos and anarchy when people of Marawi will be finally allowed to survey the destruction of their hard-earned properties. Martial Law will be matched by outrage and most probably outbreak of widespread hostilities in the province. Obviously the city was bombed in anger and hatred as though the armed combatants were possessed by devil. The Datus will have their hands full in calming the situation. Only God knows.”










When the military finishes the battle and clears the area from the Maute ISIS terrorists, more grisly and shocking photos and videos would be shown and more sorrowful stories would be told to the whole world including the cries and wailings of the Maranao people.

We should avoid to be naive that just because the war will soon end, the Marawi evacuees can just simply go back and start again, as they say “Bangon Marawi.”

Lucman is right to offer none on how to rehabilitate Marawi City. He has to implore to God, the only one who knows how.

 Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, The ‘Hybrid Politician’ of Compostela Valley | Find Out Why?


Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga is said to be the “hybrid politician” of Compostela Valley.

Why? He is sort of a blend of three political greats in Comval, a sort of new political genome whose leadership traits were formed out cross-breed of positive leadership traits of late Congressman Prospero “Pros” Amatong, former Comval Governor Jose “Joecab” Caballero and former Governor and now provincial Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy.

congressman ruwel peter gonzaga
Cong. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga talking with reporters and mediamen Wednesday at his newly-built cozy reception function hall just besides his house in poblacion Mawab Wednesday in time of the town’s parochial fiesta in honor of patron San Roque.   

When asked of this “hybrid” description to him tagged by some political pundits, first-termer Cong. and lawyer Gonzaga gamely agreed with, saying the gem of associations with Amatong, Caballero and Uy provided him good insights and learning on how to be good politician.

Cong. Gonzaga’s political career started when he first became a provincial board member in 1998-2001. On the second term of then Gov. Caballero, he was his vice governor in 2001-2004. Being in that post made him knew closely the positive leadership traits of Caballero.

In 2004 election, he ran for congressman and lost to political giant Pros Amatong in what appeared as a David-Goliath battle where David did not make it.  In 2004-2007 he was in political furlough, and had to go fulltime lawyer.

In 2007 he made a political comeback by running for board member under the Uswag Comval Party led by then Gov. Chiongkee Uy. He won and went on winning two successive terms.

His 2007 comeback allowed him to reconcile with ex-Cong Pros. Amatong and his political successor son then Cong. Rommel “Bobong” Amatong. This allowed Gonzaga to know more on the positive leadership traits of the iconic Pros Amatong.

In an interview with Cong. Gonzaga Wednesday, during Mawab’s parochial fiesta, he informed that Cong. Pros Amatong has sort of prophesy to him when he advised him to help son Bobong’s congressional bids, saying “kay ikaw na ang sunod nga kongresman Ruwel.” Pros Amatong’s words became true indeed.

As he became board member on the second round for three straight terms in Comval under the leadership of then Gov. Chiongkee Uy, he learned a lot of the governor’s positive leadership traits as he proved to be a prolific provincial legislator chairing the committees on legal matters, resolutions, ordinances and style and on justice and public safety.

“It’s really destiny that I become a congressman,” he said.

He recalled that he was focused on his prospect of running for mayor in Mawab as he was already on his last term as board member. Towards the run-up to the filing of candidacy in the 2016 polls, Gov. Chiongkee later told him to prepare to run for Congress, while his elder brother now Mayor Ruperto “Rupet” Gonzaga III would gun for mayorship.

He said the governor’s advice was based on a survey where he led by a narrow percentage than the name of ex-Gov. Joecab Caballero, who would later become his rival in the congressional race last year. He had only 49% to 51% leading slim over Joecab.

He added it was a risky try knowing that he and his brother Rupet had no enough money to wage two political battles. Uy and hometown supporters vowed to back them up.

But in the end, both Gonzagas won. Cong. Ruwel got 90,527 votes while Joecab got 79,842 votes, resulting to a margin of 10,685 votes. Mayor Rupet got 10,956 votes while rival ex-Mayor Samuel Jampayas got 7,904, resulting a margin of 2,781 votes.

Now Cong. Gonzaga is an active PDP member and has to thank for the confidence of Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and House leaders to him. In the recent congressional committee hearings he had been assigned to sit at the front row.

After a year of being a congressman, he is coming true to his form as a prolific legislator with 32 House Bills he authored, one of which is HB No. 04633, “an act renaming the province of Compostela Valley into Davao de Oro Province, amending for the purpose pertinent portions of Republic Act No. 8470. The bill is now at the Committee on Local Government.

He said he got his inspiration and strength from his late father Ruperto, who was a lawyer and provincial board member for 15 years (1971-1986) during the old divided Davao del Norte. “It’s him who molded me, who gave me the words to live by, that men who have a virtues would last in the world.”

He added his principle is life is “ayaw gyod pagpaubos ug tawo (never ever downgrade anybody)”, and he hates abuse in public coming from his family or relatives.

Cong. Ruwel is married to Judge Dorothy M. Gonzaga assigned at Regional Trial Court in Panabo City. They are blessed with three children- Thea Petricia, Theodore Peter and Theo Patrick.( Monforte)

Samal Sandbar, the ‘Vanishing Island’ Eyed by ACES Honcho Developed for P50M Floating Aqua Marine Park

ACES school honcho Dr. Francisco Dela Peña , Jr. is bidding to the Island Garden City of Samal authorities to give him authority to develop around five-hectare in the known Samal Sandbar, also dubbed as the “vanishing island”, to be developed as world-class, exotic, floating aqua marine tourism park.

“I can spend test for millions, and if you find it not good, then you can kick me out,” Dela Peña told members of the island’s City Council Tuesday in his appearance to brief them on his plan to invest P50 million to fund for a world-class, environment-friendly facilities “all floating over the known Samal sandbar, the “vanishing island” as it only appears  during low tide. It is located at Barangay Tambo.

samal sandbar
(photo credit via

Dela Peña is the owner of a chain of voc-tech schools known as ACES Polytechnic College that first flourished in Davao del Norte.

He made his presentation of his plan to develop the sandbar with all-floating cottages made bamboo and indigenous materials with complete waste segregation, “no foul smell” and recycling technology, underwater park with exotic fishes, clams, corals, good, which are ideal for snorkeling.

He added it would be seen as one good floating resort that could also be a training center, source of  employment of Samal residents, “one that that protects the natural habitat of marine life”, an attraction for local and foreign tourists, “which will truly make IGACOS a global destination with purely locally inspired attraction.”

Dela Peña promised he can guarantee for the placement of a waste management and waste recycling technology developed by him in his school to protect the sandbar area.

A monthly rental scheme could be derived by the city from the operator of the resort at a term of 25 years.

Councilor Charles Ligan said the project that Dela Peña offered is feasible but he said there are “claimants” in the sandbar area, among whom is Davao City businessman Joe Tesado.

The councilor however moved that the Dela Peña’s plan be referred to the environment and tourism committees while the city environment office would be inquired on the latest information pertaining the island’s sandbar.

Vice Mayor Orly Amit recalled that in the past there was someone interested to put up a high-end hotel at the sandbar area but the plan fizzled out later. ( Monforte)

NEA Makes Management Takeover in DANECO, New Acting GM is Engr. Galarce of ASELCO

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) through its Task Force Duterte Northern Davao Power made a management takeover Thursday to the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco)that designated new managers coming from other electric coops in Mindanao.

NEA’s Task Force Duterte NDP chairman Eric Bucoy announced the management takeover as ordered by NEA during the general assembly of Daneco employees held at the College Seminary Chapel in Tagum City Thursday afternoon.

daneco employees assembly
Historic general assembly of Daneco employees when the NEA’s six-month management takeover was announced

“The management takeover is temporary. Our challenge is to bring back Daneco to its limelight. As to our timeline, maybe six months is too long. Within the period we will aim to have 100-percent collection efficiency, to become Triple A category electric cooperative,” said Bucoy, whom Malacanang through NEA appointed as the man to troubleshoot the long ailing and financially troubled Daneco.

NEA has designated Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (Aselco) General Manager Engr. Emmanuel Galarce as Daneco’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Agusan del Sur II Electric Cooperative (Surseco II) General Manager Iglorio Hinayon as Daneco’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Other new management officers were also designated like Mario Angelo Sotto as the deputy COO 0for the administration-finance department while the last acting general manager Benedicto Ongking was assigned back to his old post as the technical department manager in Daneco-Comval office.

Bucoy said that the positions CEO and COO are latest NEA’s management innovations. “The CEO gets its mandate from the Board of Directors, the COO is the acting general manager who is responsible to the daily operations of the electric cooperative and he is under the CEO,” he added.

Witnessing the formal announcement of NEA’s management takeover were other members of the Task Force Duterte NDP who are general managers and board presidents of other electric coops in Mindanao, Philippine Electricity Market Board Member and Leyte  Electric Cooperative General Manager Allan Laniba and the 13­-man Daneco board of directors.

Bucoy at the same time ordered for the halt of the old practice of employees of paying their electric bills through salary deduction but rather on or before the due date of their electric bills as their contribution to target of increasing collection efficiency and decreasing system loss.

He assured employees that under the new structure nobody would be displaced from employment but those “doing wrong and having conflict of interest would be terminated.”

In an interview, Bucoy refused comment on what would be done to the still rivaling “Daneco CDA” group that accordingly is still doing clandestine collections but is not paying power obligations.

Bucoy was President Duterte’s campaign manager in Visayas during the last 2016 election. He is a known electric consumerist leader in Cebu.

However, a Daneco insider said that an agreement had already been struck for the “Daneco CDA” group to be “pardoned” than sued with syndicated estafa based on the Bucoy’s “amnesia” principle of moving on so long that the group would dissolve itself.

But Bucoy sounded off during his talk before the employees that he could have earlier opted for cease and desist order (CDO) to stop the group when the Task Force Duterte NDP was constituted by NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong last February pursuant to NEA’s step-in powers over ailing electric coops. “But CDO is our last alternative.”

He also asked employees to stop the use of “Daneco NEA” and “Daneco CDA” as reference, adding that it is only one Daneco that has authority with the NEA and a franchise to distribute power.

An audit for both Daneco and the “Daneco CDA” group by external auditor would also be conducted.

Daneco is already past of its legal battle phase with the “Daneco CDA” group  with Daneco winning in all of the cases up to the Supreme Court. The “Daneco CDA” group has still its unrevoked CDA registration.

But it is experiencing losing financial streak as it has a trouble of not regularly meeting its power obligations by its collections resulting to several debt restructuring cases.

There is also talk that Daneco inevitably would be divided into three electric coops, one for Comval, another for Davao del Norte and another Samal Island come the expiration of Daneco’s congressional franchise in 2028.

To prepare for this eventuality, newly-designated COO Galarce told the employees that under his management the Samal area, Davao del Norte area and Comval area would have a “friendly competition” but when one falters the other areas would come to help for augmentation.

He also said that legal actions and apprehensions would be launched to stop power pilferages that contribute to the problem on collection and system loss. ( Monforte)

Mayor Rellon: Tagum Readying for Mindanao Railway, 1-Km Flyover, P680M loan-backed projects

The Tagum City government is readying for the implementation of big-ticket national projects that would benefit the city even while it is currently processing to avail a P680-million loan to fund it own high-impact projects.

Mayor  Allan Rellon said in an interview Tuesday that the city government has been proactively working to support national projects such as the Mindanao Railway Project’s Tagum-Davao-Digos segment, the bypass road at Canocotan and the 1-kilometer flyover that would stretch over from the vicinity of Car Asia to vicinity of CAP building.

tagum city mayor allan rellon
A usual scene at the office of Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon at the New City Hall (

He said he learned that the Mindanao railway’s Tagum-Digos loop project would be started next year while the engineering works for the flyover project have been recently done and actual works for the bypass road at Barangay Canocotan have been started already.

He said that for the part of the city government it has been readying to avail a P680-million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines to fund various high-impact projects, which would all commence early next year.

The new projects under the Rellon administration would include the P190-million 1,000-seater Cultural Historical Center that would transform the old city hall,  the P60-million traffic light project, the P30-million landfill at Nueva Fuerza, the P14-million new  PNP building and compound with indoor shooting range, the P30-million “third building” at Totit (Tagum Overland Transport Integrated Terminal), the P8-million meditation center in the New City Hall area, and two P3-million mall-like child minding centers.

Meanwhile, an unveiling ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon to formally launch the Center for Justice and Transformation out of the old Sangguniang Panglungsod building, for which the city government has agreed that it is now be used for the offices of the National Prosecution Service, Public Attorney’s Office and Parole and Probation Office.

The City Council earlier gave Mayor Rellon authority to sign for and in behalf of the city government to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Justice for office use of said justice agencies.

“The structure is the embodiment of the ten-point agenda of the present administration under the auspices of the “Eagles Wings” program and the living monument of its enduring commitment for transformative justice,” states the unveiled marker placed in the building. ( Monforte)

Pasay Councilor Shot Before Gunned Down in SM Southmall

3rd Update

Close before 10 P.M. Saturday, a netizen posted on his Facebook: “A Pasay City Councilor was gunned down outside SM Southmall. This was the 2nd attempt. First was June 23 in Macapagal Blvd.”

Few minutes prior that post, the netizen Jo Soliman posted a photo saying an unidentified male customer was gunned down.

(photo: via Facebook – Jo Soliman)

A brief Google search of words “Pasay councilor shot” led to an earlier news that a  “Pasay City councilor and one of his bodyguards were shot and wounded by still-unidentified gunmen who waited for the local official to come out of a bar” early morning of June 23, 2017, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

PDI on that June 23 incident identified the victim as “Borbie Rivera, 39, and his security aide Alex Dominguez, 54, remained under observation in the hospital after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in the attack outside Titan Z International Entertainment bar on Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard also in Pasay.”

Indeed, it was Councilor Rivera who was gunned down, according to Rappler. He was brought to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Sara Duterte Demands Apology from Mega Harbour’s Romero for Calling Her “Reckless, Callous, Unethical”

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte demanded an apology Thursday from Mega Harbour executives for calling her “reckless, callous and unethical individual” besides threatening her with legal suits for junking the P39-billion mega harbour and reclamation project.

She bared to the media her worded letter apparently addressed to Mega Harbour Port and Development Corporation’s executives led by its chairman Reghis Ramiro II.

(photo via Facebook-Davao City Government)

Last week Duterte announced she terminated the joint venture project dubbed as Davao Coastline Development and Development Project, citing environmental, social and commercial impacts for which the city can actually move foward and answer the call of economic growth without it.

Here is the mayor’s full letter:

“I do not wish to belabor with you on the merits and bases of the joint venture agreement. We can save that argument for the right time and the proper venue.

Contrary to your claim, you were given notice when my letter informing you of my decision was received by your office. This fact was duly acknowledged in your letter dated July 27, 2017.

A careful review of my actions betrays your accusation that I have put your company in a “bad light” and “tarnished even blackened beyond repair your reputation.” Nothing in my statement could also reflect that I subjected you to “immeasurable humiliation or ridiculed men and women from your company.”

As local chief executive, I have the obligation to inform the public of my decision after a year of telling them that I will review the project documents. The fulfillment of my obligation is not publicity, it is accountability.

Let me remind you, that sometime 2011, I was the Mayor when your officers first presented this project to the City Government of Davao. I was the person who sat on the chair across your people who explained the project.

This time, I am again the Mayor and I have no obligation to repeatedly sit down and listen to you. My option was to review all the documents that you have submitted to the City Government. I thoroughly read all the materials and minutes of meetings, including your presentation to the NEDA Regional Infrastructure Development Committee.

It took me a year to articulate my decision because I had to diligently go through all your documents. I also had to hire consultants who independently assessed and vetted the project.

These bare the truth of my direct involvement in the process — even more than your definition of what a direct involvement is, which is to simply sit down with you, look at your glossy presentations, and listen to your briefings.

I purposely did not disclose what information significantly formed part of my decision to terminate the agreement because I expected a legal case from your end.

What I did not expect from you is to call me out as a reckless, callous and unethical individual. You should be the last person to speak about ethics if you write letters such as the one I received.

Finally, it is utterly fiddling of you to threaten me with a legal suit should I continue to fulfill my obligation to explain to the public why I terminated the agreement. And you certainly do not have the right to tell me how and when I should do my job.

I demand an apology.

– Sara Duterte-Carpio


Davao City”

BREAKING: Ozamiz Mayor Aldong Parojinog, Wife, 14 Others Killed in Raid vs Kuratong Baleleng

1st update

After months of biding time, President Duterte’s police operatives in Ozamiz City simultaneously swooped down to houses of long-known drug personalities early morning Saturday and after the smoke cleared up the City Mayor Reynaldo “Aldong” Parojinog and his wife Susan were among those killed.

On Ozamiz Facebook Page, a post ostensibly coming from police authorities said that the simultaneous raids were carried out by PNP and CIDG to the homes of “known drug personalities.”

aldong susan parojinog
(photo via Facebook-commenter netizen)

The apparently police report said that when the houses of of Mayor Parojinog and his son Dodo were raided, five individuals were subsequently confirmed dead inside the mayor’s house, ostensibly including the mayor and his wife Susan. It said that the mayor and his wife died from gunshot wounds. The raid also led to the confiscation of  M79 riffles, bundled cash and shabu.

Four other BPAT/CVO members were killed in the raid to the house of Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog Echaves, daughter of the slain mayor, at San Roque Lawis.  Slain paramilitary members were identified as Miguel del Victoria, Nestor Cabalan, Daniel D. Vasquez, and one other unidentified BPAT at press time.

The vice mayor was arrested and transported to the provincial office of the CIDG. Also, the house of former Board Member and current City Councilor Ardot Parojinog in Bagakay was raided, resulting to the confiscation of 1 shotgun, 3 rocket propelled grenade launchers, 2 hand grenades, 8 M79 bullets and an M79 riffle, shabu paraphernalia consisting of aluminum foils, sealers, lighter, and metamphetamine crystals. The board member was away from his house during the raid where five men were also arrested.

The police post also warned all civilians “not to flock on the raided areas to avoid hampering the investigation” even as it informed that known The Farm of the Mayor’s family in Barangay Cogon, would also be raided on Saturday.

The PNP Region X confirmed the deaths of Mayor Parojinog and his wife Susan and six others. Supt. Lemuel Gonda in media interview said that the raiding police team met violent resistance when they served six search warrants on the properties of Parojinog and members of his family around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The raiding team was forced to retaliate when the Parojinogs’ security personnel fired at them, he said.

The raid took place a week after the controversial former Albuera City police chief and now Ozamiz City Police Director Jovie Espenido came back from work after the PNP Director General chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa canceled his 90-day suspension.

Late media reports said that 16 individuals died during the raids.

The Parojinogs in Ozamiz City led by the mayor  have often been reported as leaders of the Kuratong Baleleng, a drug, gambling, crime syndicate operating nationwide. The Parojinogs though control the politics of the city since the 90s as the politician blood among them have been given the people’s mandates to govern, and have denied to be have flourished in the underworld.

Some say that the Parojinogs were sort of Robinhoods while others dub Kuratong Baleleng as the Mafias in the Philippines with Ozamiz City tagged as the country’s Sicily.

Fifteen years ago, on Feb. 15, 2002, the mayor’s brother then Board Member Renato Parojinog was assassinated by a gunman in Metro Manila. Military sources said the Parojinog brothers, Reynaldo and Renato, were the founders of the Kuratong Baleleng in the70s. The Kuratong Baleleng was originally composed of militiamen and soldiers and was organized by the military to go after the communist New People’s Army in Mindanao.

Renato Parojinog was brought to Ozamiz City for burial, and when he was buried, the city was put into standstill with all vehicles including trisikads not moving not  when his hearse passed by the city streets towards the cemetery.

Duterte: Tunnels Used by Terrorists in Marawi Like in Vietnam

July 25, 2017President Duterte during his press conference after his State of the Nation Address ( SONA) Monday said that the tunnels used by terrorists in Marawi City are like those in Vietnam during the Vietnam war.

“The tunnels there are criss-crossing underground like those in Vietnam,” he told reporters.

He said that the tunnels have been used by the Maute ISIS terrorists to build up and stockpile for “many months” their armaments and ammunition.

He added the terrorists’ use of tunnels is the reason why their ammunition including explosives seem to be un-consummable.

He admitted there was a “failure of intelligence” and “mistake in the evaluation and assessment” in not knowing much earlier the tunnels underground Marawi City.

“It is only now that we know it, but as to how intensive the tunnels are we’ll know it when we prevail in Marawi,” President Duterte said. ( Monforte)

Samal Island Is Also Home of Moncadistas, People Who Don’t Eat Meat From Any Animal|WHY?

By Cha Monforte

There is a village in Samal Island in Davao del Norte where Moncadistas or Moncadians reside for free as it is a land they communally own adjacent the land they consider as holy place where the White House of Moncado whom they worship as “reincarnation of Diyos Amahan (God the Father)” stands.

It is village where you cannot see someone slaughtering pig, cow or goat for it is complete taboo to all Moncadistas to eat meat from any animal. They only eat vegetables- salad or cooked. And so, they’re otherwise called vegetarians.

moncado white house via gosamal
(via Go Samal- Dr Scott Nimmo)

The village the Moncadistas consider as their eden can be found in Barangay Limao, Purok 1B in Samal District and it is overlooking Davao Gulf.

“We have long been asking  the city government to declare the place where the Moncado White House is as a cultural heritage, a tourist spot as there are many tourists regularly going up there,” said Limao barangay captain Arsenio Redoble in an interview at the IGACOS City Hall in Penaplata Tuesday.

He said that they, “Moncadistas  Moncadians revere the late Hilario Camino Moncado as a reincarnation of Diyos Amahan (God the Father)”. The Moncado White House was first constructed in the 80s.

As to why they don’t eat meat, Redoble, who is a Moncadista since birth, said: “Ang tawo mora rag mananap, sama sila nato (Humans are just like animals, they’re like us”, adding that the only difference is that humans are higher beings.

The Moncado White House stands in the 19-hectare place they consider as holy place, which they have been developing for years to have beautiful scenery for prayer, worship and community gathering purposes, while adjacent to it is the 23-hectare land where each of Moncadista members was given a minimum homelot of 200 square meters where they could live freely. Others were given 500 to 600 square meters depending on the number of the households.

The lands have been tried to be allegedly wrested by late Kumander Lahi and Atty. Ely Pamatong, but they won in the land cases and they are now on the process of “quieting the title”, Redoble said.

He said that there are 30 Moncadista branches in Samal Island and estimated there are not less than 10,000 Moncadistas throughout the island. He added the vast Moncadista members are in Cebu, where the Moncadista religious movement started.

He said their group actually is the Filipino Crusaders World Army (FCWA), which came out from the Filipino Federation of America founded by Hilario Camino Moncado.

“Our being an army is only in the sense of our being at war against all vices, so that you could not see sari-sari stores in our White House’s occupation area selling any liquor, beer, and cigarettes. Disco dancing is also a taboo to us,” Redoble said.

The Samal congregation of Moncadistas are presently led by their “Pope” Jesus Rueles.
On Wikipedia, Hilario Camino (Moncado) Del Prado (1898–1956) was first described as “a Filipino mystic and political activist. He was the founder and leader of the Filipino Crusaders World Army, a religious and patriotic group in the Philippines. “

“His father sponsored his schooling and boarding in India for his mystical studies at the age of six. At the age of nine he graduated with honor from the College of Mystery and Psychics in Calcutta, India. He spoke 11 languages fluently. He could also speak and understand 2 Filipino regional languages; Hiligaynon and Tagalog, and was a delegate to the 1935 Philippine Constitutional Convention election, and was a candidate in the 1941 Philippine presidential election,” according to some Wikipedia entries on Moncado.

Moncado was said to have led guerillas during the Japanese occupation. ( Monforte)

Hilario Camino Moncado mit Sekretären
Hilario Camino Moncado (middle) in Berlin (1931) (via Wikipedia)

Comval Congw. Maricar Zamora Throws Support to RDC-XI Devt Plan for Next 5 Years

Comval Congresswoman Maricar Zamora

Compostela Valley 1st District Rep. Maricar S. Zamora has strongly pledged her active support and commitment to the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and the Davao Region Development Plan (DRDP) 2017-2022 earlier approved by the Regional Development Council (RDC) XI chaired by Davao del Norte Gov. Anthony del Rosario.

Congw. Maricar is seen delivering her message of support and expounded on the “Malasakit” (sympathy) component of the Plan during its launching July 7 at the SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City. The other pillars of the Plan are “Pagbabago” and “Patuloy na Pag-unlad.” Leaders and representatives from LGUs, national government agencies (NGAs), academe, civil service society, business groups, NGOs, and other regional stakeholders  signed a statement with the theme “Committing to Sustain Change” via RDC-XI’s development masterplan for the next five years under the Duterte administration.

The Davao Regional Development Plan (DRDP) 2017-2022 is the first medium-term regional plan anchored on the administration’s national long-term vision “AmBisyon Natin 2040”. The Plan particularly took off from the administration’s 0-10 point Socioeconomic Agenda that aims to lay a stronger foundation for inclusive growth, a high-trust society, and a globally-competitive economy toward realizing the Vision by 2040.

Also among the distinguished participants spotted by the press during the Plan’s launching are Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte, Davao Oriental 1st District Corazon Malanyaon, RDC-XI technical consultant and NEDA-XI regional director Ma. Lourdes Lim, mayors and military officials.

Barangay Election “Postponed Indefinitely”- Davao Oriental Congressman Almario

Davao Oriental Second District Rep. Joel Mayo Almario bared that the barangay elections supposed scheduled October this year “in principle will be postponed indefinitely.”

He said that “in reality barangay elections will be held this year” but lawmakers in the Lower House have agreed “in principle to postpone it again because that is what Speaker Alvarez and President Duterte want”.

congressman joel mayo almario

The planned postponement, which is the second in the row during Duterte administration, is still subject for deliberation in the House.

Congressman Almario shared this information with officials and constituents attending the 50th founding anniversary of the province on Saturday.

He is member of the influential Commission on Appointments. ( Monforte)

DASURECO GM Guya Heaves Big Sigh of Relief as No Longer Daneco PS, “Mamatay Ta Didto”

dasureco gm guya

Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative (Dasureco) General Manager Godofredo Guya apparently heaved a big sigh of relief for no longer taking charge of the overall supervision over the ailing Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco).

“I asked NEA (National Electrification Administration) that I be recalled here, and it was granted effective last March,” he said in an interview.

So, Guya is now purely the general manager of Dasureco since that month and was freed from the burden of being the NEA’s project supervisor over Daneco, which has been ailing and literally bleeding from violence since being still threatened by a rival Daneco-CDA group starting 2012.

He was appointed as Daneco PS in February 19, 2013 besides serving as Dasureco GM at the same time.

“Mamatay ta didto,” he frankly said, adding that when he was still Daneco’s PS he received a lot of death threats.

During his Daneco PS stint, three Daneco top spokesmen-officials were killed by still unidentified hitmen:  blocktime broadcaster-Daneco radio spokesman Rogelio “Tata” Butalid on Dec. 11, 2014 by motorcycle-using hitman, mediaman-Daneco board president Gregorio Ybanez on Aug. 18, 2015 by auto-riding hitmen and Daneco OIC GM Engr. Maximo Roxas, Jr. on Oct. 4, 2016 by riding in tandem.

Justice has yet to be given to the slain as well as the motivation of their slaying has yet be separately uncovered by the police.

Current Daneco OIC GM Benedicto Ongking survived an assassination try on Aug. 15, 2012 but Daneco’s PS then was Evangelito Estaca, whom Guya succeeded.

Now Guya apparently luxuriates on his posh Dasureco office surrounded by young pretty woman employees (secretary and assistants when this reporter waited him to be interviewed).

He said: “I have done my best”.

He added NEA’s action was considerate of him as “I rose from the ranks” of Dasureco.

He boasted  that unlike Daneco which is overburdened by PSALM power loan restructurings and power debts, “if you say Dasureco owes you millions of pesos from power and you bill me up today, today also I can pay you right away, that’s how healthy Dasureco is.”

He also said that Dasureco is “30 centavos less” per kilowatt hour than Daneco’s price of power.

Dasureco is Triple A (AAA) category by NEA standard, meaning it is excellent in serving its over 150,000 member-consumer-owners.

Daneco currently is still considered ailing electric cooperative and is still put under NEA’s supervision and lately put under its stepping-in powers under the Duterte Task Force Northern Mindanao Power.

Guya said Dasureco is fluid standing with its over P2 billion worth of capital base.

Meantime, there are accordingly wranglings also in Dasureco board of directors  relating allegedly anomalous transactions but this buzz is still to be verified. ( Monforte)

P16.47B Davao-Samal Bridge Construction ‘To Start Mid 2019’ in Pre-FS Timeline – DPWH

The construction of the P16.47-billion Davao-Samal Island bridge will
start mid 2019 and end in 2024, bared an official of the Department of
Public Works and Highways-XI.

However, the implementation timeline appears to be only true as far as it is stated in the final report of the pre-feasibility study (pre-FS) of the Japanese consulting firm as shown in the documents shared by DPWH XI design chief Engr. Agnes Audam with the members of the Davao del Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan during their session Monday.

smal bridge routes 1 to 8

The said final report of the pre-FS prepared by a project consortium led by Katahira and Engineers International (KEI) was submitted to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in February 2016.

The report stated a total investment of 45 billion yen was needed for the project, or about P20.25 billion at the current 1 yen to .45 peso exchange rate.

Audam said that based on 2015 pricing, the total amount needed for the project was about P16.47 billion with the Japanese financing of around P11 billion and Philippine government’s counterpart of some P5.8 billion.

“METI will recommend to JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) for a full-blown FS, then DPWH will endorse it to the Dept. of Finance thru the National Economic Development Authority for possible funding of the FS,” said Engr. Audam, who represented her regional director Allan Borromeo to attend to the invitation of the SP to shed light on the status of the long-anticipated bridge project.

map davao-samal bridge

Dept. of Tourism-XI regional director Roberto Alabado and NEDA-XI Ma. Lourdes Lim were also no-shows during the session but instead sent letters pledging to Vice Governor Alan Dujali that they will subsequently give their written reports to the legislative body.

Audam added that the five-year implementation of Davao-Samal bridge project would come during the administration of President Duterte but the final work details would really depend on the results of the full-blown feasibility study (FS).

Dept. of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno in April said the funding of the full-blown FS was already approved and that the FS was already being made.

Audam informed that there are eight routes of the bridge considered in
KEI pre-FS study but the most probable route of the bridge would be
“somewhere in between route 6 and route 7 due to minimal road right of
way acquisition.”

She pointed out that the route 6 to route 7 on the plan’s map lies in
the area from the present small wharf used in going to Paradise Island
near the old airport to Chevron depot at Coaco area in Barangay
Pampanga in Davao City’s side.

From any point of the said area the bridge will span more than a
kilometer connecting to an area in the old shipyard at Barangay
Caliclic in Samal Island’s side.

samal bridge route 6 to 8

“As to suggested route in Panabo City, it might be considered in the
full-blown feasibility study,” Engr. Audam said in response to the
query on the Panabo route considering the factor of high volume of
traffic in the considered route in Davao City’s side.

But PCL representative to the SP and Island Garden City of Samal Councilor Engr. Dan Gervacio said that “the people of Samal actually don’t want to have the bridge connected to Panabo” due to far distance as they are much interested connecting with Davao City.

Amid increasing queries from the public on the much-talked Samal
bridge, the SP earlier invited the said three regional directors.

Cost of the bridge project has been increasing through the years that it has been talked about. In 2002 or 15 years ago the bridge was only estimated to cost for only a billion peso. Now it is about a whooping P20 billion, an amount equal to the first government budget to rebuild the battles-torn Marawi City.  ( Monforte)

Samal Bridge To Connect to Panabo Isn’t Yet Discarded, Has 2 Designs by Japan & China

Panabo City as an area where the other end of the long-dreamed Samal Bridge would connect has not yet been totally discarded as another option competing with the other end connection at  Davao City particularly in Coaco coastal area in Barangay Pampanga.

An information was also known that at press time there are already two designs of the Samal Bridge, one was prepared by the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and the other was prepared by a Chinese entity.

This was learned from the discussions of the Island Garden City of Samal City Council in their regular session Tuesday.

samal island bridge

During the privilege hour, Councilor Ruel Bantillo informed members of the City Council that he learned from Ang Tulay ng Pangulo’s engineer Elmer Bacus about the approved budget of the Office of the President for the bridge subject for presentation to city officials.

Bantillo also mentioned about Bacus bringing the design of a Chinese entity, with the bridge connecting to Davao City.

But Vice Mayor Orly Amit asked Bantillo if Bacus has written request to the city council to present the bridge’s budget.

Bantillo replied it was only a verbal request, to which the vice mayor said “the city council is not yet part of it, (while) we recognize the intention of Bacus to talk with the mayor.”

The vice mayor reminded Bantillo that the last he knew was the funding of the full-blown feasibility study for the Samal bridge project and that there was also a design of the bridge prepared by the JICA.

“There was also a discussion in the NEDA to connect the bridge to Panabo City considering the traffic in Sasa area. In that, there are two options, either the people will take a ferry or take the bridge going to Panabo in case they don’t want traffic,” Amit said.

He said that if the international airport project would be bagged by Tagum City and considering the much funded Davao City-Panabo City bypass road project, Panabo City looks like the ideal location for the island’s bridge to connect to.

But Amit added he does not really know the position of the people of Samal on the issue of connecting the bridge to Davao City or Panabo City.

However, Mayor Al David Uy in chance interview said that as far as he knew the decision was already to connect to Davao City.

He quipped, “it’s either the bridge would be constructed by Japanese or Chinese.”

Uy earlier said that the location of the other end of the bridge in Davao City is somewhere in Coaco area at Barangay Pampanga.

In April this year Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno was quoted by a national business daily (not BusinessMirror) that “the bridge from Davao to Samal Island that will be constructed starting this year”.

Diokno’s quote was made during an ambush interview of a business reporter at the sideline of the Mindanao Trade and Investment Forum organized by the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines at the Marco Polo Davao.

The secretary also said then that the FS and the source of funds for the Davao-Samal Bridge “was being finalized”.

It is end of the first half of the year now and talk about the Samal Bridge seems to be not a-buzzing these days.

Councilor Charles Ligan, on the other hand, said that the IGACOS City Council and the Davao City Council would still have to make a joint session to approve the final location of the Davao City end of the bridge.

But if it would be Panabo City, then the island’s City Council would have a joint session with the Panabo City Council. ( Monforte)

JUST IN: Pres. Duterte Appears ‘Working & In the Pink of Health’ from Bong Go Photos

Malacanang-based News and Information Bureau (NIB) national director Gigie Arcilla has just posted on her Facebook two photos showing President Duterte “working and in the pink of health”. The post was made a little past 6 p.m. Thursday, the fourth day when the President was out of the public’s view.

Arcilla tagged top Duterte aide Bong Go crediting him as source of the two photos.


In the first photo, the President is seen sitting and reading with a thick of papers while the second photo shows him and Go standing for a photo shot.

Pres. Duterte vanished from public view since Monday’s Independence Day that he failed to attend.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the President has been taking a rest and having his private time after long punishing days of attending for the Marawi conflict.

DavNor Vice Gov. Dujali: No Debate, Just Present Facts on Tadeco’s JVA Discussion at SP

Davao del Norte Vice Governor Alan “Aldo” Dujali might have preempted the possible grandstanding or lengthy deliberation on the now controversial Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (TADECO)-Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) by the body’s committee of the whole as he laid down his suggested rule in tackling the legislative matter next week.

Davao del Norte is where the vast plantation of TADECO sprawls straddling across at least the four municipalities of BE Dujali, Panabo, Carmen and Sto. Tomas.

During the convening of the committee of the whole right after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session Tuesday, he said that the committee’s hearing on TADECO-BuCor JVA is in aid of legislation and “is not a venue for debate and deliberation but is only a venue to present insights, facts and sentiments” on the issue.

Vice Gov Alan Dujali

The SP agreed to allow interested SP members to submit their position papers up until 5 P.M. Thursday for them to read them on the weekend, and convene again on Monday at 10 a.m. to make appropriate resolution.

Board Member Francisco Remitar said in an interview after the session that he has “no comment yet” on his vote whether he will support the JVA or not.

But a Capitol insider said that Governor Anthony del Rosario had met the board members in luncheon meeting at his office Tuesday before the session and accordingly he had called on board members “to support the JVA”.

The TADECO-BuCor JVA became a legislative matter to tackle when in last month’s session the Liga ng mga Barangay provincial president Miguel Niez made a privilege speech asking the body to come up a resolution supporting the JVA. The matter was inevitably referred to the committee of the whole in which the vice governor is the chairman and presiding officer.

The JVA that covers 5,308 hectares, comprising more than half of Tadeco’s plantation area, has been sought for cancellation by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. The Department of Justice (DOJ), the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Solicitor General (SolGen), acting on separate investigations, have all declared as “unconstitutional and illegal” the land deal between the Floirendo family-owned TADECO and the BuCor.

A joint committee probe of the committee on justice and good government is running at the House of Representatives where two hearings probing the JVA had already been conducted in May 9 and May 30.

By and large, TADECO stakeholders were pushed to defensive wall by grilling legislators during the two hearings.

Meanwhile, TADECO has been lobbying to various sanggunians in the province in the bid to shore up local support and it got some resolutions supporting JVA, but it would remain to be seen if the resolutions have no bearing to the weight of Alvarez and the DOJ’s legal contestations at the national level.

A probe or even deliberation of the JVA at the SP level is seen among quarters as not only a duplication but it might result as well to narrow and myopic outcome compared to the more exhaustive probes with primary evidences and top resource persons and witnesses in Congress. ( Monforte)


In the House of Representatives’ Press and Public Affairs Bureau press release dated May 16, 2017:

“House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (brushed) aside the innuendo being floated by the Floirendos that the DOJ, COA and SolGen had been coerced into declaring Tadeco’s sweetheart deal with Bucor as patently detrimental to the interest of the government and the Filipino people.

“Who are they trying to fool?” asked Alvarez, referring to “Tadeco’s wild imaginings and revisionist take on the deal that had allowed them to deprive government of billions of pesos in lease payment and share from the sale of bananas pocketed by Tadeco instead of going to the national coffers.”

“Ang hirap sa Tadeco, sila lang ang nagsasabi na walang problema ang contrata nila while all concerned government agecies are one in saying that their contract is violative of the constitution hence illegal,” Alvarez stressed.

Alvarez urged officials of Tadeco to just address directly the legal questions “instead of muddying the issue” after the DOJ, COA and SolGen slammed the Tadeco-Bucor land-lease deal.

“Nililihis nila yung usapin. Ganito na lang, pag-usapan natin yung kontrata. Tingnan natin yung kontrata, talo ba yung gobyerno o hindi? Meron bang iregularidad sa kontrata na to o wala?” said Alvarez.

Alvarez pointed out that a DOJ fact-finding has investigated the contract and declared it illegal. In the joint hearing of the House Committee on Good Government and Committee on Justice last May 9, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II adopted the position of the fact-finding body.

Aguirre recommended that the deal between the Floirendo-family owned Tadeco and Bucor be revoked by the President or for the bureau to file an appropriate action in court to nullify the supposed Joint-Venture Agreement (JVA).

He also recommended that the President issue a proclamation reclassifying the DPPF lands as alienable and disposable before the Bucor is allowed to enter into agreements for the concession of its property, subject to bidding requirements under the law.

Alvarez insisted that Tadeco’s rental fee of P5,308 per hectare and the P1.80 government share per box of bananas is prejudicial to the government. He added that Tadeco’s refusal to bare the price they get per box of bananas belies Tadeco’s claim of a JVA with Tadeco.

“We are talking about a fully developed plantation here and they are paying just P5,308 per hectare? How can anyone turn a blind eye to government being shortchanged when the lease amount per hectare per year for raw, undeveloped land is P25,000 to P35,000?” said Alvarez.

We are talking about a fully developed plantation here, the lease amount per hectare/ per year for RAW land is 25 to 35k.

“Alam mo mababang-mababa talaga yan. Kasi kung sinasabi mong joint venture yan with the government, eh dapat pinapaalam mo doon sa ka-joint venture mo: Magkano ba yung presyo ng saging na binibenta natin para alam naman niya kung tama yung binibigay mong share sa kanya per box,” Alvarez said later in an interview.

Likewise, Alvarez cited the Commission on Audits six-page Audit Observation Memorandum dated April 25, 2017 and addressed to Atty. Benjamin Delos Santos, Director General of BuCor, which also found the Tadeco-Bucor deal unconstitutional.

The memorandum, signed by Audit Team Leaders Josefina Gonzalez and Supervising Auditor Flordeliza Arez noted, among others, that the 1935 Constitution governing the 1969 deal between BuCor and TADECO allows only a maximum of 1,024 hectares of public lands to be leased.

Since BuCor allowed the holding or lease of an agricultural land of 3,000 hectares to TADECO, the December 26, 1969 Agreement, together with its addendums and amendments violates the constitution, according to the COA memorandum.

“Similarly unconstitutional is the May 21, 2003 JVA because the 5,308.36 hectares landholding of TADECO over an agricultural land, which was allowed by the BuCor, far exceeded the limitation of 1,000 hectares provided under the 1987 Constitution,” it added.

According to the COA, it does not matter if the contract or agreement entered into between BuCor and TADECO is worded as Agreement, Leasehold Share and Tenancy, or JVA.

“What is obvious is the excessive holding of agricultural land by TADECO, which under the May 21, 2003 JVA consisted of 5,308.36 hectares, is a violation of the provisions of Section 3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, limiting the holding of corporations to only 1,000 hectares. This being so, the JVA is unconstitutional,” COA said

Last April 27, Solicitor General Jose Calida also issued a legal opinion saying the Tadeco-Bucor land deal as illegal and similarly sought its nullification.

According to the SolGen, the JVA signed in 1969 violated the Constitution and Commonwealth Act 141 or the Public Land Act, explaining that the 5,212.46-hectare land within the Davao Prison and Penal Farm (formerly Davao Penal Colony) in Panabo City was a land of public domain.

As a land of public domain, Calida said the property belongs to the government and that “the Constitution only allows private corporations to hold lands of the public domain through lease for a total period not exceeding 50 years.”

“Assuming that the JVA is a lease, the initial agreement was entered into in 1969, extended for 25 years in 1979 and extended for another 25-year period in 2003. TADECO’s use and occupation of the DAPECOL lands should cease by 2019. The JVA cannot be allowed to last until 2029,” Calida said.

The Solgen added that the JVA covers 5,212.46 hectares, over and above what is allowed in the Constitution which is just 1,000 hectares.

Calida pointed out that under the Public Land Act, agricultural lands such as DAPECOL may only be disposed through homestead, sale, lease, or confirmation of imperfect title.

“It should be noted that BuCor and TADECO entered into a Joint Venture Agreement. Clearly, a Joint Venture Agreement is not one of the modes by which agricultural public lands may be disposed of,” Calida has said.

BuCor was entitled to an annual production share of P26,541,809 and a mandatory increase of 10 percent every five years while TADECO is given “free and uninterrupted use” of DAPECOL’s land.

“These stipulations clearly show that what TADECO and BUCOR entered into was not a lease, but a joint venture for the purpose of operating a banana plantation within DAPECOL,” Calida said. “This is a clear violation of the Public Land Act.”

The agreement, likewise, failed to comply with the Public Land Act’s competitive bidding requirement. “The right to lease the DAPECOL land must be made through a public auction where bidders are required to submit sealed bids,” Calida said.”

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Few Important Things You Should Know About the TADECO-BuCor JVA: Read the JVA

The much-talked-about Tadeco-Bureau of Correction Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) that the public should and ought to know:









Petitioners Threaten to Occupy TADECO’s JVA Area But ‘Repulsed’; Army Artillery Force Comes to Tadeco: Drama?

A still unidentified group of “land petitioners” was trying to occupy land in 5,308-hectare Tadeco-BuCor Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) area pre-dawn Saturday but was “repulsed” by Tadeco “bananeros” (workers) armed with bangkaws (sharpened wooden arrows) and supported by “back-up force” hiding in trenches inside Tadeco plantation.

(Ryan Pete Zamora/Facebook)

A Tadeco employee Ryan Pete Zamora posted on his Facebook that “at around 2:30 a.m. Saturday land petitioners onboard identified vehicles passed the El Canto and Malahay gates at the DAPECOL-JVA area but seeing the Bananeros who were ready to face them, they quietly moved away.”


He added that the “petitioners were hoping that at such unholy hour there were no forces at the gates ready to confront them. No one spoke during the brief pause as their trucks slowed down to stop. The mere sight of the Tadeco bananeros, and backup force hidden in their trenches, all eager for another fight, was enough to drive them.”

He charged that “these fake land petitioners who hail as far as Cotabato and surrounding areas in Mindanao, and are obviously funded by our detractors.”

Even then Zamora posted again on Sunday photos showing military men mounting artillery cannon which post commenter said to be in Nest Farm going Tibungol area.

Online sources said that siren from firetrucks sounded on that pre-dawn situation.

Online words mentioned about leftists and New People’s Army trying to do a Kadamay targeting the JVA area.

At press time, it is still to be verified if the Tadeco management had reported the incident to the police as speculations were heard that Tadeco was allegedly “making up an exigent scenario like drama” even as sack posters with red paints on words castigating Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez surprisingly appeared Monday, hanged in fences of Tadeco plantation along the road going Sto. Tomas.

“If the NPAs were there to try to grab the JVA land and military cannon was mounted, why is Tadeco feeding heat to the fire through the sack streamers they massively hanged?” asked a pro-Alvarez official who requested that he be not named by the media.

Tadeco has a great danger of losing the 5,308-hectare JVA area as Speaker Alvarez questioned it as so disadvantageous to the government and sought for its cancellation while the Dept. of Justice, the Commission on Auditioned and the Office of the Solicitor General made their adverse findings in favor to JVA’s cancellation.

Tadeco is said to be giving small share or rent to the government since the 70s out from JVA area.

There is more than a dozen of groups staking claims and petitioning portions of the Tadeco-JVA and other non-JVA areas under Dapecol reservation to be subjected to land reform and distributed to them.

In the recent congressional hearing at the House, an information was based that besides the 5,308 hectares under JVA there are also 3,600 hectares under the Dapecol, within which it was speculated that Tadeco might have been using portions for free or without any JVA.

Tadeco representatives denied the accusations on giving small share and on using other non-JVA areas under Dapecol. ( Monforte)

It’s 58-138 Killed in Marawi Clash; Military Mum if War Ends on Monday’s Independence Day

The military is mum if they can end the clash in Marawi City, with the statistics on fatalities climbing in both sides.

A GMA TV report on Saturday past noon said that reporters heard in Marawi battleground that the military is racing to end the clash by Monday, during the Independence Day.  Reporters asked the military about the buzz, but the ground commander was reportedly mum about it.
marawi seige photo

GMA TV online report said that members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 7 and MBLT 5 encountered an undetermined number of Maute group members in a village at around 3:30 a.m. on Friday, lasting until until 6:30 p.m.

After the smoke of war cleared, the military suffered another batch of fatalities, 12 soldiers among whom was 1st Lt. Frederick Savellano, commander of the MBLT7’s 37th Marine Company, the group that stumbled on the P52 million cash and P17 million worth of checks in a Maute group hideout in Barangay Mapandi earlier this week.

The report said that Maute terrorists were using rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices beside the much reported snipers.

In the latest count, the government’s death toll was at 58 while a total of 138 Maute members and 21 civilians have been killed in the ongoing conflict, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla on Saturday said during the Mindanao Hour at Malacañang.

Meanwhile, the military is verifying report that terrorist leaders Onar and Mhade Maute have been killed in military offensives, said  Lt. Col. Jo-Arr Herrera, Task Force Marawi spokesman.

Saturday is Day 19 of the current Marawi war. ( Rosero)

6 Pages of Arrest Orders Out Vs Terrorists in 40-Page List – Military; ‘More Arrests to Come’

The military said Thursday noon that more arrests will come in the coming days as arrest orders in six pages have been out against “mostly Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists.”

In government-run Mindanao Hour press briefing in Davao City, spokesperson for AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said the list of names of terrorists with arrest orders consisted of 40 pages.


He did not divulge the names as well as the dates of arrest orders.

Asked if there are persons in the list besides the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists, he declined to answer as military operations continue at press time.

Also present were Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, and Government-Bangsamoro Peace Accords chairperson Irene Santiago.

Sto. Tomas Sangguniang Bayan Prohibiting Media to Take Picture, Video During Their Session; ‘It’s Unconstitutional’

For many months now, the Sangguniang Bayan of the municipality of Sto. Tomas in Davao del Norte has been prohibiting mediamen to take photos and videos during their session every Monday morning.

However, SB Secretary Bienvenida Dimanay said “it’s a verbal internal policy of them”, referring to SB members including Vice Mayor Eric Estela.

Santo Tomas SB in session.

Further asked if she could produce a written form of that “verbal policy” like minutes of their meeting, she reiterated saying “it’s verbal policy.”

This reporter just started to take photos while they were in session Monday, and immediately a personnel with ID card bearing his family name Florenosos approached and said not to take picture during the sesssion, saying it is not allowed.

Right after the session, Florenosos was asked of the reason why it is prohibited to take picture, he replied there is an ordinance for it, thus sending this reporter to ask the SB secretary who was still packing up her things inside the session hall.

Asked on the ordinance, Dimanay said there was none and only a “verbal internal policy.”

A mediaman who appeared right after the session, Jorge Pangandoyon said that it is not only that, but the SB barred mediamen to cover their session.

“Dugay na na nila ginahimo” he complained over.

A media source recalled that the alleged prohibition for covering mediamen not to take picture or video came after a heated exchange of discourses between Councilors Joel Bayanay and Rene Landasan took place during their session late last year and a Tagum broadcaster Boy Conejos took a video using his cellphone what was happening.

Bayanay noticed the taking of the video and confronted Conejos not to take a video, said media source present at that time.

Conejos, in subsequent interview, confirmed the incident. He said the heated discourses between the two councilors centered about the problem about the town’s terminal where Bayanay had accordingly a stake.

He still has the video he took in his cellphone. Dated Oct. 17, 2017, it showed Bayanay speaking at the rostrum.

Conejos said Bayanay approached him on visibly irate mood while the session was still goung on and told him that the video recording was not allowable.

Conejos stood pat, reasoning that he could not be stopped being a mediaman adding that even in Congress video recording was not stopped when Congressmen Barbers and Pichay almost came to blows amid altercation.

Meanwhile, Councilor Dario Romano, in separate interview, said he is not in favor to the idea that the media would be prohibited from covering their session, adding that “it’s you who report in public what the elected officials are doing.”

“Wa man pod mo nagsamok nga maka-disrupt sa session,” Romano said.

Panabo broadcaster Eric Alonzo, former law student, commented that the Sto. Tomas SB’s policy of prohibiting and barring media is “unconstitutional, a possible violation to the right to press freedom and to President Duterte’s Freedom of Information (FoI) order. It is possibly Ombud-sable.” ( Monforte)

Tagum City Senior Councilor Lingling Estabillo Pushes Children’s Festival and What Comes Next is Exciting

Tagum City Senior Councilor and lawyer Eva Lorraine Estabillo has successfully pushed another piece of legislation with the approval of the ordinance legislating the holding of a yearly Children’s Festival in Tagum City during the 46th regular session of the City Council on Tuesday.

Tagum Councilor Atty Eva Estabillo
Senior City Councilor and lawyer Lingling Estabillo of Tagum City, ordinance-prolific legislator true to her usual form

Senior Councilor Estabillo amended Section 2 of Article IV of an old and long -running City Ordinance No. 383 that was approved way back in 2009, which legislated the comprehensive welfare code of the children in the city, where it provided the holding of a Children’s Congress.

The Children’s Congress was simplistically defined as as an activity of “children who primarily come from the grassroots and out-of-school youths” who would have their Children’s Congress in October every year. The congress would be “a venue for the children to express their views relevant to the policies of the Local Government of Tagum City.”

But in the latest Ordinance No. 803-S-2017 authored by Councilor Estabillo,  the Children’s Congress is changed into a Children’s Festival while it gives more exciting and specific provisions.

The Children’s Festival would be “a week-long interactive and educational fair every 2nd week of November”, “an annual gathering of every Tagumenyo child from ages four (4) to not more than eighteen (18) years old wherein they can participate and showcase their talents and potentials in arts,  music, dance, sports and academics. It is also an event wherein the children of Tagum City remind the general public of their fundamental human rights.”

To assure the smooth implementation of the ordinance, it provided a 19-man Local Steering Committee chaired by the City Mayor and co-chaired by the City Mayor, with the committee members led by the chairperson of the Sangguniang Panglungsod’s committee on gender equality and development, children and family welfare and social services.

The City Tourism Office and the Local Council for the Protection of the Children will provide technical, secretariat and administrative support to the steering committee.

Estabillo’s latest ordinance provided a funding mechanism requiring the City Mayor to allocate an amount of not less than P500,000 beginning the year 2017 and every year thereafter.

It is definitely going to be exciting for the city’s children during the Children’s Festival with its newly approved ordinance.

The lady legislator, now on her second term, has authored several landmark and important local legislations since her first term, a few among which are the LGBT’s Tagum Pride Festival ordinance, libreng sine ordinances for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, solo parents rights ordinance, P5,000 burial assistance ordinance.

She reviewed several anachronistic ordinances or provisions of old ordinances and pushed corresponding amendments relevant to the times and most beneficial to present city clientele.

In the 2016 polls, Councilor Lingling Estabillo landed Top 1 in the councilors’ race making her as the Senior Councilor of the current 7th City Council. ( Monforte)

Bato: ‘The Lone Wolf Buang-Buang Is Dead, He Burned Himself” on Resorts World Gunman

PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa told Manila reporters in hastily held presscon that the attacker in the Resorts World is dead, describing the still unidentified “foreign looking man as a lone wolf buang-buang (fool).”

Earlier, after the gunman made initial mayhem in hotel casino past midnight Thursday, an online IS site posted: “the lone wolf soldiers of Khilafah attack the heart of Kufar the city of Manila in Resort World.” It was tagged a terrorist propaganda.

(Photo grab/GMA News 27)

Gen. Bato at past 8 a.m. Friday said: “Not act of terror. Why? No element of threat, he did not kill people, instead he burned himself, tuliro utak nya, he got P114 million worth chips and put these on his backpack…there’s robbery angle. He’s lone wolf buang-buang.”

He said the attacker armed with baby armalite burned himself in Room 510 using curtains. ( Rosero)

11 Soldiers Killed, 7 Wounded in Friendly-Fire Airstrike in Marawi Clash

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in press conference in Malacanang Thursday noon that ten military men were killed and seven others were wounded on the ground in friendly-fire airstrike from the military’s Marchetti-made aircraft on Wednesday in Marawi City.

But in separate press conference of AFP spokesperson B/Gen. Resty Padilla, he said that in latest report there were 11 soldiers killed  7 soldiers injured.

The clash between government troopers and ISIS-linked Maute terrorists entered on 10th day on Thursday.

(Image/AMP Daily)

“We are still investigating on the accident but sometimes mistakes happen and we have to be sure that next time it won’t happen again,” Lorenzana said.

He said that the first aircraft hit its target but when the second aircraft in tandem dropped its ordinary non-precision-guided ordinance and landed about 100 meters from the target, it hit instead the operating troops on the ground.

He added the mistake might either be from those on the ground or those in the air.

“It’s painful to us,” the secretary said, adding that the incident is first time to happen in the military.

“It would depend on the outcome of the investigation, but sometimes in the fog of war, a lot of things happen, and we might charge it to bad experience,” he replied to a media question about bringing those who erred to court martial.

The airstrike against remaining Maute terrorists still holding out in heavily fortified positions, if it would still continue or not, would be dependent on the decision of the military commander on the ground, he added.

The defense secretary bared a new enemy figure in Marawi City, around “500 fighters”, some 100 of whom are from Basilan brought by Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, and “close to 100 (of whom) were already killed.”

Of the about 100 terrorists killed, only 32 have identities, eight of whom are foreigners (2 Malaysians, 2 Indonesians, 2 Saudis, 1 Yemini and 1 Chechen).

“It is safe to say that there are still 50 to 100 holding out… There are still some holding out there, while there are some who are already going to towns around Lake Lanao,” Lorenzana told Malacanang reporters.

“There is only a small pocket of resistance left,” he said, though Lorenzana could not yet say whether the military could accomplish the deadline set to end the siege on Friday.

Meanwhile, B/Gen. Padilla in his separate press conference at AFP Headquarters in Quezon City bared there were 11 killed and 7 injured soldiers by the air attack.

He said that AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año had already created a Board of Inquiry to probe on the mistaken air attack.

He added that the involved SF 260 aircraft fired successfully three bombs but the 4th drop accidentally hit the operating soldiers. ( Monforte)

PDuterte to Chelsea Clinton: ‘What’s Your Statement When Your Father Was F*cking Lewinsky?’

President Rodrigo Duterte rebutted the rant of former U.S. presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton who in tweets taunted the President for making rape by soldiers during martial law in Mindanao a joke.

Before semi-amused decorated Philippine Navy officials in Davao City, Duterte said: “Sabihin ko sa kanya (I will tell her), when your father, the President of the United then was f*ckng Levinsky and the girls there in the White House, how did you feel? Did you slam your father?”


The latest Duterte verbal furor started when he visited Iligan City last week and in speech before soldiers he said in jest that if they while fighting in war against terrorist committed rape to three women it would be him who would take all the responsibility.

His statement earned bad comments from many including Chelsea Clinton who tweeted two times in response to Duterte’s rape joke.

The former first daughter first tweeted, “Not funny. Ever”.

In her second tweet on Twitter she wrote: ‘Duterte is a murderous thug with no regard for human rights. It’s important to keep pointing that out and that rape is never a joke.’

Duterte retorted on Wednesday during the 119th anniversary celebration of Philippine Navy at newly opened PN Sasa Wharf in Davao City.

He said: ‘These whores, they hear ‘rape’. Like, like Chelsea, she slammed me. I was not joking, I was being sarcastic. Listen to the speech. I do not laugh at my own jokes.’

“I will tell her, when your father, the president of the United States, was f*cking Lewinsky and the girls in the White House, how did you feel? Did you slam your father?’

For the uninitiated millennials who don’t know yet about the Lewinsky scandal, here’s our repost from the Wikipedia:

“The Lewinsky scandal was an American political sex scandal that involved 49-year-old President Bill Clinton and a 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. The sexual relationship took place between 1995 and 1996 and came to light in 1998. Clinton ended a televised speech with the statement that he did not have sexual relations with Lewinsky. Further investigation led to charges of perjury and led to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day Senate trial.[1] Clinton was held in civil contempt of court by Judge Susan Webber Wright for giving misleading testimony in the Paula Jones case regarding Lewinsky[2] and was also fined $90,000 by Wright.[3] His license to practice law was suspended in Arkansas for five years; shortly thereafter, he was disbarred from presenting cases in front of the United States Supreme Court.[4]

During Clinton’s first term in 1995, Lewinsky—a graduate of Lewis & Clark College—was hired to work as an intern at the White House and was later an employee of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. While Lewinsky worked at the White House, Clinton began a personal relationship with her, the details of which she later confided to Linda Tripp, her Defense Department co-worker who secretly recorded their telephone conversations.[5]

In January 1998, Tripp discovered that Lewinsky had sworn an affidavit in the Paula Jones case, denying a relationship with Clinton. She delivered tapes to Kenneth Starr, the Independent Counsel who was investigating Clinton on other matters, including the Whitewater scandal, the White House FBI files controversy, and the White House travel office controversy. During the grand jury testimony, Clinton’s responses were carefully worded, and he argued, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is,”[6] with regard to the truthfulness of his statement that “there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship.”[7]

The wide reporting of the scandal led to criticism of the press for over-coverage.[8][9][10] The scandal is sometimes referred to as “Monicagate,”[11] Lewinskygate,”[12] “Tailgate,”[13] “Sexgate,”[14] and “Zippergate,”[14] following the “-gate” nickname construction that has been popular since the Watergate scandal.

The improper relationship between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky was confirmed, but Clinton’s marriage with his wife, Hillary Clinton, survived the scandal.”

Analysis: The State of Military’s Fighting Machine in Marawi War on Maute Terror (1st Review)


By Cha Monforte

Analysis: The state of military’s fighting machine in Marawi war on Maute terror (1st review)

It looks like that the military now is either desperate or it is just wanting immediate ending after the specter is being shown that it cannot end the Maute Marawi terror in hours but in days. It looks like the military rather than beefing up a special contingency joint military operation is now deploying conventional force or making conventional war starting on Day 8 of its campaign. It is marked now by heavy troop mobilizations, heavy firepower and artillery and air attacks, unmindful anymore of its earlier operational goal of minimizing collateral damage specifically on property destruction after the mass exodus of Marawi people has been effected.

AFP spokesperson B/Gen. Restituto Padilla when asked by Cheryl Cosim of TV 2 Wednesday morning if the military campaign could be ended Friday, a deadline that earlier got into the media’s knowledge, the general could not categorically say they could. But let us be reminded that the military force is in Marawi City, a compact urban territory adjoined by a long stretch of provincial territories with a water navigation access, which is Lake Lanao. The military is facing slim group of terrorist snipers, a rat-like terrorist force utilizing the terrains of buildings to their main advantage.


Let it now be accepted for the sake of analysis and without probing that as of Wednesday morning, on Day 9, the Maute terrorists suffered 80 members killed, while the military has more than 15 casualties, and more than 50 injured. Be these as the military claimed without proofs of photos, Maute terrorists are indeed losing and on the retreat; they are on the run, but not without accomplishing a high psychological impact of being known by both the local and international publics as an indeed new separate, fiercer force (that is born) and a terrorist organization now qualified to be under the ISIS. The martial law declaration just elevated its bad stature to the bad terrorists’ world.
The context of the military Marawi operation is that on the H-Day, it was only after for the Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and when the slim terrorist force violently rallied back, the military got little time to come up detailed operational and tactical plans for D-Day for joint operations against a much bigger force, for a bigger war. It is quite certain that the tactical command headquarters is in nearby military camp. It seems that the special operations force first deployed was only after for Hapilon and his gang of leaders meeting in what was reported as a unification of BIFF, Abu Sayyaf and Maute groups, all pledging allegiance to ISIS.
It can be plausibly surmised that the military thus has only blitzkrieg plan to get Hapilon and whoever near to him at the time of attack. But the terrorists put up a big fight and have already a grand plan dragging the whole city as one battlefield, which ostensibly caught the military flat-footed, with its accepted intelligence mis-appreciation, and so- it had to immediately make a contingent special operations plan¸ which would revolve on the concept of “surgical pinpoint operations led by air attacks as a joint force of the military and special forces of the PNP move in on the ground”.
The military AFP general leading the tactical command and AFP hierarchy then pushed for mass evacuation of Marawi people apparently to lessen collateral damage to civilian lives while it met head-on early terrorist challenges of controlling entry bridges, raising ISIS flags, and started mapping up operational plans where terrorists held out in the city’s number of barangays. The leading provision in the rules of engagement of the military in the Marawi war on Maute terror is to minimize collateral damage, casualties of civilians, destruction and fires of combustible houses, and as enunciated by BGen. Padilla in a GMA TV interview, for air strikes to happen only to buildings or houses where there are clearly terrorists holding out.
The military got an unfamiliar terrain and they have not made familiarization exercises in the city unlike the domestic supporters of Maute terrorists who know the ins and outs of Marawi City and the exits to stretched provincial country and Lake Lanao. It looks like that when the military seized back the bridges during the first volley of fires and exchange of skirmishes, they had not sealed all exit points at the city’s rear including dropping or deploying of a maritime special force in Lake Lanao. They had not made drop zones at the rear, which is so unfamiliar to them.
Not counting the forces involved in the implementation of martial law downhill, and throughout Mindanao, if not of the country, the military deployed in Marawi City various forces: infantry battalions, mechanized force, assortment of police and Air Force, rangers, special operations forces, and psychological operations teams and paramilitaries. They constitute one awesome force, raising a specter of overstrength that did not deliver early results in matter of hours but in days more than a week unless the military would tell us the real mass of the force after the war, nay battles. This is our military fighting machine composed of conventional and special operations forces deployed in one terrorists-infected area.
The military launched air attacks as soon as the ground military troops reached the poblacion. In the following days, we witnessed on TV coverage more air attacks while ground troops move in further and further towards to the city interiors. As there was no central command of the enemies or it could not be seen, which is a first usual target to isolate in any invasive military action, the ground troops have to contend with rat-like enemy snipers, and by the scary loud firepower, the evacuation of residents can be effected easily, with the air attacks and bombs serving “to stun” the populace, and that’s in line also with the preemptive principle of sending warning shots or even terror strikes to give the enemy a first lesson how powerful its adversary is with the aim of securing their immediate surrender. But there was no surrender from the Maute terrorists.
In claiming on Saturday, on Day 5, that it was starting a clearing operation, and after a full week, the military was already mobilizing a conventional force than a surgical special operations force. There now appears an entry to the central territory of Marawi City and pursuing beyond a conventional force backed up with a mechanized infantry, armored reconnaissance and assault vehicles, strike aircrafts and helicopter gunships, and more ground troops to finally retake the city. There is now a tremendous pressure for the military to end the campaign and preempt the breaking up of the horror of mass evacuation or the making of a ghosttown of the besieged city for a long period of time. In its campaign so far, there was little factor of bad climate, but more on bad unfamiliar terrain.
After the war, the military has to relieve the tired operating troops, spread its companies to targets in the surrounding suburbs where the Maute terrorists fled, and put in place a battalion on guard and a Military Police Brigade and various civil and psychological operations units to relieve the assault forces, engage in stability operations, and help rebuild the city on siege.
The military due to unfamiliar urban terrain cannot have a speed, but only a mass ever to be guided with concern for collateral damage. But the Maute terrorists managed to make hostages out from the city parish priest and Dansalan College teachers and workers as they managed to retreat to the Lanao del suburbs and hinterlands where they would make guerilla warfare, hide and seek or rest, and this could surely lengthen the war against the remaining Maute terrorists, et al. When the Marawi City is retaken¸the Duterte government must commence immediate post-war stability operations, ever mindful that the lesson in Iraq is that the regime of Saddam Hussein fell down, but the ensuing civil government could not rise up and American troops had to say goodbye due to protracted armed challenges including suicide bombings from fanatical rat-like terrorists.
But it looks like that really Marawi City can never be the same again, after this Marawi war on Maute terror, when the war-traumatized close to 200,000 city people are back to their homeland.


* Cha Monforte, a provincial journalist based in Davao Region, is also an online academic, content writer, occasionally having portfolio of helping write military academic articles and researches. He writes freelance his column in Edge Davao, and Mindanao Sun Chronicle, and this online site. Follow us.

Hot Buzz Percolates: Mayor Rellon vs ex-Gov. Uy in 2019; Cee O for Comval BM?

In time of new martial law, buzz about politics in Tagum City or Compostela Valley is percolating political teapots based on reported movements of politicians in the first place.

A buzz said that bound to be seeking for his last term by 2019 polls- Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon would have a rival as talks in the rounds said that Compostela Valley Senior Board Member and ex-Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy had lately organized ward political leaders in the city’s barangay Madaum.

mayor rellon ex gov chiongkee uy

Madaum is Uy family’s traditional and ancestral turf, where the former Comval governor grew up and from where his father had started his business in fraternal brotherhood with the kalagan natives in the 50s before he later transferred location of his business to Tagum proper.

Another buzz, on the other hand, said that the name of former Tagum City Mayor Rey “Cee O” T. Uy has often been heard as patron or donor for barangay occasions or activities in District 2 of Compostela Valley, generating speculations that he might be up for something by 2019, the lowest of which is running for board member in the district.

But this is a so early buzz about townhall politics happening right after one year of the Duterte administration and in time of new martial law, and so many years away to 2019 polls, that they say many things would yet happen before that time comes. Or there might be no elections at all for a longer period of time just like during the Marcos time of martial law. ( Monforte)

Martial Law Dropped Like Hot Potato; A ‘Laughing Matter’ by a BM in DavNor SP

The dare to make a resolution for the provincial board to act was not accepted by a board member who made a privilege speech supporting President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

The dare was hurled by Board Member Joey Millan to FABC representative Mike Niez, who upon suggestion of the former he was just expressing his support to the current martial than leading to make a motion for a resolution of the body supporting the martial law.

Board Member Shirley Belen Aala presiding the SP session Monday as Vice Gov. Alan Dujali is the Acting Governor.

“It depends on this body as collegial body… I just avail of the privilege granted to us as provincial legislators,” Niez said.

He was as though seen dropping the proposal like a hot potato  on the floor as he was literally making it a “laughing matter” when he was seen always smiling and laughing when he was interpellated by colleagues following his privilege speech on the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session Monday afternoon.

Interpellating board members except Board Member Alfredo “Ticque” De Veyra III gamely asked questions to Niez.

De Veyra seriously asked for clarification while Board Members Frank Remitar and Millan were seen chuckling in between their interpellations.

Remitar asked if drug pushers and druglords could be arrested without warrant of arrest during this time or those only charged with rebellion, Niez answered yes for the latter only.

Niez was rebutted by Millan, a lawyer, who said that he seemed to be contradictory in his written privilege speech vis-a-vis his answers to Remitar’s question.

He said he totally agreed with Niez that after martial law declaration the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus followed, while Niez was contradictory in saying there is “automatic suspension” of the writ if martial law is declared.

Niez two sessions ago made a privilege speech supporting the controversial Tadeco-BuCor Joint Venture Agreement resulting to the putting of the matter for hearing by the SP’s committee of the whole.

He was entasked to substantiate and produce documentary evidences his claim that the JVA is not disadvantageous to the government as propounded by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who wants it cancelled.

Board Member Shirley Belen Aala presided the session as Vice Gov. Alan Dujali assumed as the acting governor in view of the absence of Gov. Anthony del Rosario.

Senior Board Member Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario, brother of the governor, was absent during the session as he is “travelling in Europe” after the board members attended their liga’s affair in Manila last week, Board Member Vicente “Enting” Eliot said in a chance interview. ( Monforte)

Marawi War Update: Military Launching ‘Surgical Air Strikes With Pin-Point Accuracy’; 31 Terrorists Including Foreigners Killed

The military entered on fourth day on Friday to clear Marawi City of the ISIS-inspired Maute terrorists, and in a press briefing in Davao City, Armed Forces and martial law spokesperson Brig. General Restituto “Resty” Padilla bared that they are continuing in their “surgical air strikes with pin-point accuracy” to neuralize the remaining terrorists holding out in the city.

He said that as of midnight Thursday following three days of fighting 31 Maute terrorists were killed, some of whom he confirmed to be foreign terrorists such as “Malaysians, Indonesians and others I could not remember.”


He recalled that in the past military anti-terrorist actions years back there were “Singaporeans” killed and about six foreign terrorists were already killed then in Mindanao.

He said that he is still verifying the total number of Maute terrorists including foreign terrorists fighting in Marawi City but the first number reported was 50 terrorists securing Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon before the military’s law enforcement operation began Tuesday.

“That number changed as we are still validating at the moment,” he said.

Five high-powered firearms were accordingly retrieved from slain terrorists.

For the government side, Padilla bared a total of 11 soldiers, 2 police personnel “one of whom was beheaded”, and 39 wounded. There were also 16 residents caught on the crossfire Thursday who were rescued by the military.

Padilla also allayed fears of “people living in the past” on the current type of martial law that the military will be implementing, saying that it would be “under new bases” and they will “clearly go by the guidelines” in upholding the rule of the law and norms of human rights.

The general said that they already have initial guidelines issued by the Dept. of National Defense specifically stating that “we abide by the rule of law and norms of human rights while our rules of engagement remain the same except those provided by martial law and by the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.”

Padilla told reporters that full implementing guidelines for the martial law in Mindanao is still being formulated and it falls under the responsibility of the martial law administrator, AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Ano.

The military is taking note on worries of people specifically on the establishment of checkpoints and the curfews in some areas of Mindanao, Padilla said, adding “law-abiding citizens need not worry… and we will enforce the law uniformly.”

“But for those who would violently confront the government, we will be very strict and very harsh on them,” the martial law spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Maranao author Norodin Alonto Lucman posted anew on his Facebook early Friday: “There is fierce fighting in many parts of the city commencing. Malimomo, Bagolo, Gadungan, Basak and Marinaut are possible areas of armed conflict. House to house fighting is anticipated. Some areas of the city are on fire. Many bodies lay rotting in the streets… Choppers are in the air pinpointing rebel held areas. Thousands of evacuees are caught in a bind…”

Lucman, who chose to stay in his city since the start of hostilities, reminded all that killing in the month of Ramadan is “a grave violation of the tenets of Jihad and Islam.” ( Monforte)