News from Mindanao Sun Chronicle from Jan 17, 2018 – March 8, 2018


Alvarez: “I Don’t Wish to be Congressman for 3 Terms, Only 2 Terms”

House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez said during the 20th cityhood anniversary celebration of Tagum City Wednesday that he did not wish to serve as congressman of the 1st District in Davao del Norte for three terms, but only for two terms.

Joining with the Tagum City officials, employees and people led by Mayor Allan Rellon during the anniversary program in the afternoon at the New City Hall, the Speaker vowed he would do what he can, “I’ll do all” to finish within two terms all big-ticket projects on the pipeline as well those jumpstarted.

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(Photo via Facebook – Demetrio Laguna Jagunos)

He mentioned the P500 million for modern football astrodome, which could host international event, the start of the construction of the Tagum-to-Digos phase of Mindanao railway “this year”, and there is another phase for Tagum-Butuan City, and the flyover project, “which could be finished before the election next year.”

He also announced soon the Dept. of Foreign Affairs Consulate would open in Tagum.

He asked the people to give him more one more term to serve them, adding that his dream is that by end of his term “there would no more squatters in Tagum City,” apparently hinting he would be having mass socialized housing in the city.

He said “it’s a tough job” which needs people support, candidly adding “that’s why I need two terms.”

“Public service is sacrifice. I want to serve to the people what public service is as congressman, not only in sessions but also in delivering the goods for the people,” he concluded. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Sara Duterte Launches Regl Political Party, Asks Speaker Alvarez To Stop Attacking Her “Even in Whispers”

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte as party chairman led the formation Friday afternoon in Davao City a new regional political party named as Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), swearing in more than 500 incumbent officials led by four of the five governors in Davao Region.
Besides the governors, other officials who took oath during the HNP founding convention were mayors, board members, councilors and barangay captain representatives across the region except Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas and his loyal pack, although there was also a good number of officials from his province attending.
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The convention was also less of the 11 congressmen in the region except Davao del Norte 2nd District Cong. Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo.
Floirendo however left the venue, The Royal Mandaya Hotel, at past 2 p.m. before the mass oathtaking of the first batch of HNP members took place.
The congressman has a warrant of arrest issued by the Sandiganbayan Wednesday in connection with the graft case filed by Speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Cong. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez. The case is bailable by P30,000.
Closing in ranks with Mayor Duterte were Governors Claude Bautista (Davao Occidental, HNP president), Nelson Dayanghirang (Davao Oriental, HNP vice president, Anthony del Rosario (Davao del Norte, HNP secretary) and Jayvee Tyron Uy (Compostela Valley, HNP treasurer).
With the joining of majority of governors and their respective packs of leaders, Davao Region or Region XI, President Duterte’s home region  effectively became an HNP country even as Davao del Norte remains to be a house divided between the turfs of feuding Congressmen Alvarez and Floirendo, who is allied with Gov. Del Rosario.
Mayors from Davao del Norte who sworn in to HNP were only Floirendo’s five ally mayors while the other five mayors stick with the Alvarez’ PDP-Laban.
It turned out that those who sworn in since late last year during the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking activities pushed by Speaker Alvarez like the contingent from Compostela Valley led by Gov. Uy and several packs from Davao del Sur not loyal to Gov. Cagas (Nacionalista Party to PDP-Laban) have defected again to the regional party.
In an interview, Uy said there is “no conflict” as he would give officials in his province freedom to choose whether they would remain with PDP-Laban as their national party or be with HNP as their regional party.
Around 99.8 percent of Comval officials from provincial down to barangay levels swore to be new PDP-Laban members in mass oathtaking administered by Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel Aug. last year.
Uy said he already had resigned from PDP-Laban Friday morning to be with HNP that is still to be registered and accredited with the Commission on Elections. The convention is one of the requirements.
Gov. Bautista said he was “considered resigned” from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), while Gov. Dayanghirang said he “intends to resign” from the Liberal Party, and Gov. Del Rosario said he already resigned from the LP last November.
Mayor Duterte said HNP would be a regional party which would focus in bringing equitable development of Davao Region during Duterte administration.
As Davao del Norte remains a house divided in the new political realignment, with the swearing in of ex-Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, ex-Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy or the switching of the Uys from Alvarez camp to HNP fold, Mayor Sara Duterte said she would “not interfere in the politics of Davao del Norte”.
The Speaker intends “to run a full slate in Davao del Norte” in the coming elections, the mayor echoed the words of the Speaker whom she said called up her husband Atty. Mans Carpio to ask for help.
But she asked Speaker Alvarez to exclude her from his attacks by not mentioning her name “even in whispers or even in thinking on her” otherwise she might abandon her own campaign in the next election and go to his district to ensure he would lose in his reelection bid.
The mayor fumed on her social media posts Thursday over purported says-so of Alvarez that she is part of the opposition by forming HNP and that he could impeach the President, which were all denied by the Speaker, while the President called it as just an intrigue by the “media again.”
The Speaker earlier said he never said those words and would never said those words to Dutertes.
Mayor Sara Duterte said “a mayor” who was not around in the convention told her the information.
“He is a friend of the Speaker,” she added.
“Who is he, the male mayor, a friend of the Speaker and who can communicate with Mayor Sara, who sow the intrigue?” commented a councilor who asked not to he identified at the sidelines of the jampacked HNP convention. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

I Never Said Those- Alvarez to Inday Sara

“I never said those words and I will never say those against Dutertes,” said House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez in his respectful reply to Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte.

The Speaker denied saying to the mayor to belong to the opposition in organizing a separate political party named Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) which will be launched today, Friday in Davao City.

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At the same time yesterday, President Duterte said that the ruckus between his daughter and the Speaker, “who are both lawyers”, was just an intrigue, a wedge driven by the “media again”.

Sara made two posts on her Facebook and Instagram accounts lashing out at the Speaker, his father’s most staunchest ally. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Alvarez Wants To Slap Gov. AGR, Accuses Him of Getting P500,000 Commission from DPWH Project

House Speaker and 1st District Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez publicly dropped unsavory words that he wanted Davao del Norte Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario to be brought to him so he could strongly slap him.

This, as he accused the governor of getting P500,000 commission from an infrastructure project in Dept. of Public Works and Highways when he was still a congressman.

Alvarez’ fit of anger and accusation were both thrown at Del Rosario during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Davao Regional Medical Center Extension Hospital in Sawata, San Isidro, Davao del Norte last Saturday. It was attended by mayors in the 1st District, municipal officials and guests. The governor was not present.

Alvarez statements in Sawata blew the lid wide open telling all that Alvarez and Del Rosario have a running secret rift, generating political excitement and unease in the province.

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In a press conference at the site, Alvarez was asked what he could say on the issue that the P2.6-billion flyover project currently being constructed at the heart of Tagum City suddenly came out from nowhere as it was not part of the Annual Investment Plan of the region and that somebody was blocking its implementation.

Hearing the question, Alvarez fumed saying in vernacular: “Kinsa may gustong mopugong sa project nga flyover? Kinsa man kay akong laparohon. Unsa man ilang tuyo ug gusto nila? (Who’s he who wants to block the flyover project? So i can strongly slap him. What do they want?)

The mediaman asking the question mentioned the word “governor”.

Alvarez then continued: “Kinsay nag-ingon ana? Kay laparohon nako. Kinsa man na nga governor? Ingna siya reklamo dire nako kay laparuhon ko siya, o ingna pagbasa usa ug libro usa siya moreklamo… Nagyaya lang na nga gobernador na! (Who said that? So I could slap him. Who’s that governor? Tell him, complain right to me so I can slap him, tell him to read first the book. What a docile governor!)”.

The Speaker added that if the governor could not place a big project in the province it would be better for him not to complain, adding: “seguro nagreklamo siya tungod kay di ka porsyento (he complained as he could not get percent from it), in apparent reference to Del Rosario.

Another question during the same presscon put the Speaker on further attack mode.

He alleged that the governor when he was still the District 1 congressman went “wild” in DPWH office over not getting the P200,000 balance of his supposed P700,000 commission from a contractor.

The contractor did not give the P200,000 balance because the governor had already taken the P500,000 in cash advance, Alvarez told mediamen and witnessing officials and guests.

Alvarez said somebody told him about it, even as he challenged Del Rosario to prove it wrong so that he could present his source to him.

However, last Sunday during a media dinner for a cause in Tagum City where Gov. Del Rosario was the honored guest, he replied to Alvarez allegations, saying that in Del Rosarios’ long years of serving the province they never have been involved in corruption.

He challenged the people not to elect them if their alleged corruption could be proven.

He added that he had never been in DPWH provincial and regional offices, as he denied Alvarez’ allegation of him pocketing commission.

He further said he would not further add to Alvarez allegations, saying he does not know where the information came from and why Alvarez was mad at him when he has not sinned against him. “Kay basig masuko na pod si Bebot (I don’t want Bebot to get angry again at me)”. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

hiongkee Still Leaves Tagum Brgy Audience Hanging on What Post He’ll Run To | But 1 Brgy Capt Says at the End of the Day Chiongkee Will Run for Mayor vs Rellon

Compostela Valley senior Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy talked for more than an hour before a different provincial audience composed of more than 300 barangay captains, kagawads and key functionaries, all from Tagum City, Friday night in Davao City.

He first talked about his invitation to the gathering, the 4th Liga ng mga Barangay Congress of the city chapter being held at hideous D’ Leonor Inland Resort in Malagamot area, which would run until Sunday, Feb. 18.

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He said that the occasion might as well provide him the opportunity to clarify on the speculations about him planning to run to a certain post like for mayor, governor, or for any post.

He and DILG Tagum City Director Eliza Mendoza were the only top officials present during the opening of the barangay congress.

Uy said that he was at first reluctant to accept the invitation of the city Liga president Prospero “Popo” Estabillo, Jr to talk before them, saying he is not an official of the province.

Later he said that he came “from Tagum” and “from Madaum”, then he traced a bit of the history of his family, his father, 24, and mother, 16, then when they arrived in 1944 in Madaum.

He added he was born in Madaum, and the present barangay indigenous mandatory representative Kagan Datu Abelardo Bangud is his “kababata.”

“I recalled we sometimes walked from Madaum to the crossing of Tagum (about 14 kms in distance) when there was no vehicle,” the ex-Comval governor said.

In 1974 the Uy family transferred in poblacion of then municipality of Tagum.

He said he believes in destiny, like it never crossed in his mind that one day he would become a governor, or his son Jayvee Tyron becomes the present governor in Comval.

“It’s really hard when political leaders are not united,” he said, recalling what had happened in Comval during the last term of ex-Gov. Joecab Caballero.

He took a swipe at Amatong who did not endorse him thinking that the former was the kingpin.

Uy then shifted talking in length on the feeding program of Comval that he wanted to be replicated first in Madaum and neighboring barangays.

As to speculations that he would be running in Tagum or in its province, he said: “kabalo man mo ron grabe ang iringan sa inyong lugar. Taga Tagum ko, di pwede di ma involve. Motabang gyod ko bisag wa koy plano. Kay politiko ko, ila dayong koloran, but syempre taga Madaum ko. It’s payback time,” adding he would help in the unity of the warring top leaders in the province.

He described Speaker Bebot Alvarez as his “kababata” and the Floirendos and Del Rosarios as “all of my friends.”

After his long talk, Uy then witnessed the distribution and raffling of kitchen and glass wares and LED TVs, gift certificates and cash gifts he gave to barangay officials.

Meanwhile, a barangay captain said in an interview after the distribution of goodies that “It is now clear to me that at the end of the day Chiongkee will run for mayor against (Mayor Allan) Rellon.”

The barangay captain, who asked not to be named, added that the Comval board member talked so much “but still left us hanging.” (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

“Marcoses Are Solid Sara”-Imee

Davao City- Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos did not hide her profuse like to the Dutertes saying “solid Sara kami” in an interview with reporters at the sideline of a business conference at Marco Polo Hotel here Friday.

Without a cue, she said the Marcoses are “solid Sara” supporters.

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She said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is her “kumare” while the “Dutertes and Marcoses have been friends since a long time ago.”

The governor added that the President’s father was the “last man standing” in President Marcos’ Cabinet.

Mayor Duterte was earlier reported to be planning to run for Congress, a report that she later debunked. She was anticipated to be running for speakership if she runs and wins as congresswoman in 2019 polls.

Meanwhile, on the issue on the shift to federalism,  Gov. Marcos said there is need for a thorough debate and discussion on it as well as on how the poorest regions of the country such as Cordillera and Muslim regions would be treated under federalism.

“We have to hammer out details of the nitty-gritty of the operational issues of federalism,” she said.

Marcos also expressed her frustration on what she said as delayed resolution of her brother Bongbong’s electoral protest to the winning of Vice President Leni Robredo.

“It’s high time to put closure on this. We did not invent evidences or fake news. Cheating really occurred in the last election. There is so much delay. Kailangan nang tapusin ito,” Gov. Marcos said. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Photo Posts of Vice Gov. Alan Dujali Set Off Online Frenzy Among DavNor Netizens 

Davao del Norte Vice Gov. Alan Dujali posted two photos Tuesday afternoon showing known personages who could be potential mayoral challengers in District 2 municipalities in the province.

The second photo shows Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez administering oath of membership to PDP-Laban for Panabo businessman Frank Gentiles, 2nd District Board Member Erning Evangelista of Sto. Tomas, LYR President-CEO Larry Y. Rubinos (aka LYR), Carmen Councilor Leony Bahague and Arman Saniano of Samal Island.

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They took their oath inside the Speaker’s office in Congress.

The first photo shows the new party members with the Speaker and the Vice Governor in a pose.

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Except for Saniano who might vie to be included in the councilors’ slate of IGACOS Mayor Al David Uy come 2019 midterm election, the rest are seen to be formidable mayoral bets.

What is most surprising according to pundits is the swearing in of LYR, who might run for mayor in BE Dujali where he has commercial lots and businesses. He donated a lot which is now part of the municipal hall compound. Present BE Dujali Mayor is Atty. Leah Marie Moral-Romano.

The swearing in of Board Member Evangelista and Councilor Bahague, too, is quite surprising and– interesting.

Evangelista is considered the most senior, experienced, tough and seasoned incumbent politician in Sto. Tomas who could give a run to current Mayor Daniel Batosalem Jr. of his political luck while Bahague was the trusted guy, an ex-external administrator of Carmen who knew the closed-door intricacies of the governance of former Mayor Marcelino Perandos, husband of incumbent first-termer Mayor Virgie Perandos.

Gentelis, an engineer-businessman and president of Abante Panabo, has long been known to be dueling again Mayor James Gamao after losing though unscathed in the last 2016 election.

Both posts of Vice Gov. Dujali are now being talked interestingly by many Davao del Norte netizens setting off an online frenzy.

PDP-Laban formidable mayoral bets backed up by superkingpin Speaker Alvarez have come full circle apparently threatening the District 2 bailiwick of Floirendos of Tadeco fame.

Will the Bailiwick of The Firm crumble in 2019? (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Udenna To Infuse P625M To Operate Water System of Monkayo Town in Comval 

The municipal government of Monkayo in Compostela Valley is in the process of granting a 25-year franchise to a private water company to operate the municipal water system.

“We will be investing a total of P625 million, and for the first year P100 million to build a water treatment plant,” Federico Noe Goco, program manager of the Udenna Water Integrated Services, Inc. told those attending the Sangguniang Bayan’s public hearing Tuesday on the proposed ordinance granting the private company a franchise to engage in the business of water supply and distribution.

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Public hearing and consultation on the proposed water franchise ordinance was conducted by Monkayo SB on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 3rd floor of the Monkayo Municipal Hall.

The sanggunian reasoned out that there is pressing need to address the  insufficiency  of  water supply  services in the municipality.

The town’s waterworks system has since been operated by the local government unit and it has been encountering difficulties of improving it as the town population increases while it does not have  the  technical expertise  and  financial  resources  to rehabilitate  and expand  the existing water system.

Mayor Ramil Gentugaya, in an interview, acknowledged they need an expertise in improving the water system, from the source in Buay river in uphill Barangay Salvacion down to household connections.

He said that part of the agreement would be for Udenna to assume the P23 million balance of the P45-million loan contracted earlier by the previous municipal administration. The loan from Land Bank was sought to rehabilitate the waterworks system.

The mayor is presently rehabilitating the system’s piping connections from Buay source after these were destroyed by recent typhoons.

He said that Udenna is one among the biggest and expert water companies in the country, adding that the firm has pledged to make their Monkayo project “a benchmark” for their next projects in various sites nationwide.

Goco said that based on Udenna’s financial projections the average tariff they would collect would be about P19.59 per cubic- from the existing average of P13 plus per cubic,  with minimum charge of P166.50 for residential users and P331 for commercial users, both consuming water of not more than 10 cubic.

“We want to be always transparent, there’s an increase because we will invest, we will put up a filtration plant, we will increase the service coverage, we will upgrade the pipelines and do many others,” he said.

In exchange for the franchise, the grantee will pay a franchise fee of two percent (2%) based on gross sales after the value added tax and after a grace period of three years from the start date of the operations.

Under the proposed ordinance, the take-over  of  the  existing water system  shall be  commenced  within  a  period   of  five months from the  date  of  approval  or upon  the  agreement   between  the   municipal government and the  grantee.

Goco estimated that if the approval is made this quarter, Udenna could operate with already the treatment plant “by May next year.”

Udenna stockholders include the known successful Davao businessman Dennis Uy. Its president is Melden Al Uy.

Also attending the public hearing were barangay officials, sectoral leaders, sanggunian members and municipal officials and employees. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

In His Homefront, Speaker Alvarez Has Opponent in 2019 Polls, He’s Cuntapay of PDP Orig

For sure, Speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Congressman Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez will have an opponent in the midterm 2019 polls and he is Tagum businessman Cesar Cuntapay, Mindanao leader of PDP-Laban original yet now minority group.

In an interview with mediamen Thursday evening, Cuntapay announced he would be running for Congress in 2019 election to oppose Alvarez in his reelection bid.

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Cuntapay is chairman of Southern Mindanao area council of PDP-Laban group composed of originals and ideologues who are at war with Alvarez who has been making blitzkreig moves in the making of his PDP-Laban group as now the ruling party nationwide.

Cuntapay charged Alvarez as no longer fit to be the congressman of the first district, alleging he has no more moral ascendancy for making monopoly for vested interests.

“I have all the support of many sectors in the district,” he said.

He particularly criticized Alvarez birthday party as “lavish” and questioned where did he get “millions” to fund it.

Alvarez media defenders however justified that the Speaker is moneyed having legitimate businesses before he became Speaker, and therefore he could afford to spend millions for his 60th birthday celebration last Jan. 12 at the New Tagum City Hall.

It was attended by House members, prominent persons regaled by lots of artists and celebrities.

Cuntapay is rage and fury against Alvarez after the prosecutor recently dismissed the libel case he filed against the Speaker who called him “ugok” in a national TV interview. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Buzz Heard in Samal Island: AGR for District 2 Cong, RDR for Gub|And Surprise: Dawn Zulueta for Congw in Comval

If politics is like a poker game, then somebody’s behind a player has squelled the cards to the other player by cues, and by conspiracy he lays down cards already known by the sure victor.

It’s still so early but the political teapot in Davao del Norte percolates hot in a season of rumors on transfer of residency of leading politicians.

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First there was that buzz on Comval senior Board Member Chiongkee Uy planning to transfer his residency in Tagum City, so he can run first for city mayor and then for governor or for any post.

Then on Tuesday a buzz came from IGACOS city head employee saying: a political officer of Gov. Anthony del Rosario uttered that Gov. AGR will instead run for District 2 congressman as Cong. Tony Boy Floirendo was also buzzed to be no longer running for reelection in the 2019 midterm election- if there is still election- due to intense external and internal pressures while Tadeco, with its publicly known resource backing to its political kingpin, would scout for a good alternative candidate to back for.

The political officer also said that at Gov. AGR’s stead his father former Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, now 82, would make a comeback for governor, the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

But then there is also a separate buzz about actress Dawn Zulueta planning to run for Congress in Comval as Tadeco has already established a vast plantation in the coastal part there.

Wildcard pocker game buzzes with a farfetched Dawn Z. strain in sister provinces are cracking up week by week.

If politicians in political poker game wish to transfer their residency, they have until April 2018 to do it, if there is still election under the Duterte administration which wants Cha-Cha to have a federal government. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Mawab Mayor Rupet Gonzaga To Rent House Near Regional Hospital in Tagum for Mawab Patients’ Relatives

Mawab Mayor Ruperto “Rupet” Gonzaga III will be launching on Feb. 1 a unique program where the municipal government would rent a house near and just walkable to the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Apokon, Tagum City where relatives of confined patient from Mawab would temporarily stay- free board and lodging, with kasambahays and with aircon.

“The municipal personnel doing houseworks such as cooking, cleaning of the rented house would double as follow-up personnel for the needs, medicines and referrals for the patients confined in the hospital,” informed the mayor.

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GONZAGA BROTHERS of Mawab, Compostela Valley: Cong. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga (left) and Mayor Rupet Gonzaga

It has been observed that kins and relatives and concerned persons of confined patients especially those poor and those faraway places have hard, inconvenient and difficult situation sleeping outside in congested, open staying area at the corner of the compound of the hospital which has a policy of allowing only one watcher for one patient in wards.

Mayor Gonzaga said that the program would be actively supported by his brother Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, who has medical and hospital assistance program.

The mayor said there would be rice, noodles, canned goods in the airconditioned rented house for consumption of the temporary boarders.

The unit would have six (6) double-deck beds and those taking temporary refuge on it are encouraged to also do their share in cooking, cleaning just like in the family, he said.

The program is still work-in-progress for finalization at press time, with the mayor soliciting for a fitting name of it but the good concept is already there and the timetable of launching it on the first day of the Love month of February.

It’ is a Valentine’s treat of the Gonzaga brothers for the Mawab constituents. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Rappler’s Pia Ranada: The Newshen Who Has Balls

By Al Rosero

Rappler’s ace reporter Pia Ranada will surely land in the history of journalism in the country a good niche for standing firm, calm and professional, unshrinking and unpanicky before an enraged President Duterte spewing thunderous, scathing expletives against Rappler.

In a video obviously taken by a government camera whose footage was first shared to a DDS troll sites, Duterte was surrounded by more than a dozen of PSG bodyguards and staffers. He spewed out high-pitched verbal tirades against Rappler about its foreign ownership issue, that resulted to the cancellation of its license by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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But Pia maintained her poise and grace as an articulate and assertive reporter under so intense pressure no less than made by the country’s most powerful man, who is earning a lot of despotic descriptions in his attempts to suppress Rappler, which has been equated by media organizations and foreign press as press freedom.

But instead of caving in, Pia confronted Duterte, rolled the video camera of her cellphone even as she was throwing follow up questions and motioning resistance and opposition to the scoldings and reasonings of Duterte.

Pia seems to be alone as other reporters distanced from her position while the burly persons surrounding the PDuterte stood in standstill listening, casting a collective machismo on guard, whose sight is enough for any faint-hearted woman to fall to her knees.

If there is apt description that can be given to Pia Ranada for her class act in a so hellish situation right inside Malacanang Palace, it is that she is a brave newshen who has balls to assert and find truth, to be true and loyal to her craft.

IGACOS City Hall Girding to Condone Penalties of Beach Resort Owners Having Illegal Jetties

The Island Garden City of Samal officials are girding to condone the penalties imposed to beach resort owners who have built and have not demolished their illegal jetties since an anti-jetty ordinance was enacted in 2009.

“I was the vice mayor at that time when the City Ordinance (Number 150-2009) was enacted, and beach resort owners were paying their penalties during the first three years of implementation, but they stopped on the fourth year,” recalled Vice Mayor Orly Amit, who is on his first term on his comeback second-round term.

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(photo credit- via Google searches- various sites)

A jetty is “a structure that projects from the land out into water. Often, ‘jetty’ refers to a walkway accessing the centre of an enclosed waterbody,”Wikipedia defines.

The ordinance is against the construction of jetties and other prohibited structures within the easement, foreshore areas and shorelines of Samal Island.

Amit explained that it is the Water Code that outlaws jetties along the seashore and the ordinance just provided penalties until the beach resort owners demolished their jetties.

The country’s first Water Code was made in 1974, he said, adding that some beach owners then were reasoning out they constructed before that year, and so they asserted they were not covered by the law.

On Tuesday session of the City Council, the vice mayor told councilors “we have to face this issue head-on… and beach owners should know” following endorsement of Mayor Al David Uy “to condone’ the penalties of beach resort owners, which needs a legislation by the City Council.

Many beach resort owners accordingly have accumulated penalties of more than P50,000 in a year while they did not demolish their jetties. The penalty is computed by cubic meters of the jetty built.

Councilor Charles Ligan said that the condonation is in order citing that the law says penalties should be “just and not excessive.”

He said that penalties of some beach resort owners are greater than the real property taxes of same beach resorts, advancing that the imposition of penalties should be based on the City Tax Code.

Councilor Guillermo Olden, on the other hand, said that a measure of giving condonation needs first a modification on the existing City Land Use Plan, for which there is need for thorough discussions and a technical team.

Vice Mayor Amit however warned of making legislation running on ex post facto law, a law that makes illegal an act that was legal when committed. The Constitution prohibits the making of ex post facto law.

He also said giving condonation might be “beyond our power” to legislate.

Councilor Jan Albert Ortiz, on the other hand, said that jetties make the shorelines like private resorts. “If they can make expensive jetties, how much more can they afford to pay for security of the jetty?”

He however said that in Barangay Tagpopongan, where he was once the barangay captain,  is free of jetty as they have a barangay ordinance prohibiting it.

Councilor Ruel Bantillo recalled that the issue of jetty has long been an old issue and it gets tiresome already each time the discussion on the issue is repeated.

He called for final resolution on the issue even as he dragged private jetties and floated a possibility in question that: “what about one among these would be used by terrorists to enter the island via private pump boat or chartered seacraft?”

Pending the measure on condonation, meanwhile beach resort owners would be given probationary permit to operate.

Meanwhile, Jojo Tejano of the Samal Watch and Philippine Children’s Ministries Network, said that if there is condonation, “in exchange they should therefore demolish their illegal jetties, and that would be dream come true for the Samalenyos.”

In an interview, Tejano said that it should not “only jetties that should be torn down but most importantly the fences that deprive people free access to the shores especially the marginal fisherfolks.”

He added “there should only be designated ports around the island for security purposes and to boost local transport industry.”

A lot of islanders have been complaining for years that due to fencing and jetty-making activities in the island’s shoreline they have been denied of the free use of the public shorelines.

Fisherfolks, too, have been complaining that the island has been staked on, squatted and enclosed by private interests almost all over that they no longer have landing areas in the seashore.

Samal Island is considered as the top beach resort destination in Davao Region. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Samal Island Dads Want Coast Guard To Coordinate with City Before Stopping Seacrafts During Typhoons

Due to the recent two experiences of many people getting stranded in wharfs as the Philippine Coast Guard ordered stoppage of seacraft travel between Samal Island and Davao City due to typhoons Vinta and Agaton last December, several members of the City Council of the Island Garden City of Samal asked on Tuesday the agency to coordinate with the City Government before issuing no-travel orders to seacrafts during typhoons.

During the City Council’s session, Councilor Charles Ligan said that more than 2,000 people including himself going to the island were immediately stranded in wharfs in Davao City side on December 21, 2017 when the Coast Guard cancelled in the afternoon all travel of ferry boats and lanchas sailing between the mainland Samal Island and nearby Talicud Island as PAGASA declared Signal No. 1 of the Tropical Depression Agaton covering the islands.

COLLAGE
(main photo credit- via Facebook- Councilor Richard Guindolman)

He said that the City Local Government Unit needs to help during emergency situation as many people were stranded and complaining while some of them got sick, and when the order was the lifted they raced elbowing each other to get in first in the ferry boat, thus endanger themselves.

Ligan added that the Samal LGU could help, say in providing food packs to the stranded.

The councilor also said they need to be informed of the standard operating procedure of the Coast Guard in declaring suspension of boat travels due to typhoons, even as he batted on the need for Coast Guard to coordinate specifically with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC).

Councilor Guillermo Olden asked why the ferry boats were prevented from sailing when there were no big waves battering between Samal and Sasa, Davao City observed in late afternoon that day.

Coast Guard Lt. George Maganto, who was invited by the City Council to shed light on the matter, reasoned out that they are guided by their agency’s guidelines which have specific conditions to be met before they declared no-sail zone and time.

He said that the Coast Guard made no-travel directives effecting at 3:30 p.m . of Dec. 21, 2017 and 6:00 a.m. of  Jan. 1, 2018 based on the Signal No. 1 advisory of PAG-ASA.

He said that the Coast Guard though is “flexible”, agreeing on the proposition of Vice Mayor Orly Amit that even if it is Signal No. 2 and depending on the situation like there are no big waves they would still allow travel provided that it is day time, “from sunrise to sunset.”

He said that in Signal No. 1, one of the conditions is that the boat must arrive “30 minutes before sunset.”

Councilor Ruel Bantillo, on the other hand, asked if the Coast Guard could allow to stretch its deadline until sunset to 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. as Samal residents who are working in Davao City usually arrive at the wharf at that time given the travel time from their workplaces from 5:00 as hindered by traffic.

He said that Samal Island by geography is especially located as it is protected by the terrains of Mati, Davao Oriental.

Maganto responded that the Coast Guard is considering the Samal-Sasa sea as “special area” but he sticks with their guidelines though he added they are amenable to the suggestion of having to closely coordinate with the City Government.

There is a need to have an agreed SOP of the City Government and the Coast Guard on this matter, Councilor Ligan further proposed.

Vice Mayor Amit then called for a meeting with the City Council, Coast Guard, CDRMMC, and PAGASA to recommend measures to Mayor Al David Uy.

Meanwhile, in an interview, a German expat married to a Filipina residing in Samal Island said on condition of anonymity that he and three of his companions were caught stranded in Mae Wess wharf at Km. 11, Sasa, and for 13 hours they had to endure staying on their vehicle without sleep until the next day when boat travel resumed.

“It was a terrible experience, with many of us left alone under heavy rains at night, while the boat personnel left for home, and the guards were soundly sleeping,” he recalled.

He added they could not leave either as their car was trapped in the long line while the wharf’s gate was closed. “Really a terrible experience!”

Samal Island has four entry wharfs, which are the  Sta. Ana Wharf  for Talicud Island, which takes an hour of travel to it, and the Maewess ferry wharf, DavSam ferry wharf, and the Sasa Onse (Km 11) wharf of the lanchas, which only take about 15 minutes of travel to the main island.  (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

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This entry was posted on March 10, 2018 at 5:07 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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