Archive for the tagum city Category

OPINION: Baby Suaybaguio, the logical choice for Congress

Posted in AGR, anthony del rosario davao del norte, davao del norte, rdr, rodolfo del rosario, tagum city, vice gov baby suaybaguio davao dedl norte with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

The admission of former Davao del Norte Vice Governor Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR) last week that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer on Stage 3 development and that he is now on the way for treatment and rest for the next six months has given a new, big twist in the political landscape of the province.

Since shortly after the middle last year, the congressional post that the last-termer District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano is finishing to serve had then become fait accompli in the declaration of the governor’s son to vie for it.  AGR’s declaration edged out early bird congressional aspirants from political warrooms in the province though it earned more audible verbal sniping from Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel over Radyo Ukay-Tagum, and flickers of thoughts from pundits on the possibilities of City Councilor Oyo Uy and even former Gov. Yayong Gementiza vying for the position. Blank blips were however were seen from the quarters of the two, while there was that little talk last week that former Cong. Bal Sator has been reviving his PDSP network in District 1. A source confirmed that before former Vice Gov.AGR made his declaration, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario had actually blessed first Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio to prepare for Olano’s post as he was his choice. AGR’s congressional plan was only prodded by a Kapihan questioning and earned subsequent bias interpretations even as he lay his bid that it was still up to the Lakas party’s decision (but who else can vote against a kingpin’s son). It was such declaration that preempted VG Baby’s subsequent moves in deference to AGR and true to his being a governor’s good soldier. Sator for being a Lakas outsider even if he is connected with Bert Gonzales PDSP, a minority ally party of the administration, has still to fend much for himself. He is a political has-been now, just like former Cong. Bebot Alvarez despite the unrepentant insistence of their respective political merons like that pondok sa purok.

Time’s a-changing really and the electorate is now looking for new, fresh faces in politics. Perhaps last-termer Councilor Joey Millan can cast his hat for the congressional post but it’s unlikely he’ll get the backing of City Mayor Rey Uy given that the known Suaybaguios- VG Baby and Councilor Nickel (include there the influential Nick Sr) are in ally with Uy.

Millan may as well join in the fray to the one open District 1 boardmember’s slot to be vacated by last-termer Macario “Bong” Bermudez, but the lawyer councilor would also be facing his co-equal last-termer councilors, chief among whom is the populist Councilor Enting Eliot.

But BM aspirants have also stopper scenarios coming: if last-termer Olano does run least dignified when he chickens out from squaring off with Uy in his mayoral option, or if City Vice Mayor Rellon isn’t shoved out from his last term to take instead for the BM’s seat if Oyo is positioned ala Sara Duterte by 2010 for his eventual mayorship by 2013, the year when the mayor will possibly gun for governorship, his ultimate pipe dream.

But then when Vice Gov. Baby becomes now a logical choice to take the place of Olano by 2010 the vice gubernatorial post is not only left much open but also much sighted by 2013 given the fast retirement age of Gov. RDR and the absence of a politico kin from his family now with AGR’s exit. The post is just a spit away to governorship.

There are also big variables in the political equation that Olano has to contend with- former Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo (and the grand old man “White Hair” Don Antonio Floirendo, and who knows Cong. Anton Lagdameo’s political lollipop is taken back by his tito and he’s positioned for VGship), Mayor Uy and former Gov. Yayong Gementiza. On where Tonyboy and Uy stand and relate to each other and on RDR’s political and familial considerations lie the next political fate of Olano.

But for VG Baby Suaybaguio? It looks like his political star is ever smiling now. Ok, there’s no “equity of the incumbent” Lakas rule for an open post. But what other yardsticks which could then be the bases of choice for the congressional standard bearer? Surveys, popularity, seniority in present position, Lakas years of membership and lastly but most importantly- the vote of the kingpin that partymates nevertheless have to follow. Certainly, VG Baby has all these even if BM Dangpanan sings “it’s now” than “never” or Yayong sings in refrain “you’re loser to me”.

AGR’s recent political exit has sprung up a new, big twist in the province’s political landscape that first made VG Baby Suaybaguio as the logical choice for Congress. (For online edition, visit my blog at: http://cha4t,, for comments and reactions, txt 09069104553, e-mail: Watch “Tagum Newsbreak” over wTV 11 channel in Skycable Tagum. Coming up “Ang Lungsod” over DXPA 103.2 FM)

OPINION: So cool Misa de Gallo then

Posted in comval, tagum city with tags , , , , on December 17, 2008 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

They say it’s officially Christmas starting today, with the first Misa de Gallo held just this dawn. This is one cherished Filipino custom that lasts for nine days, from today until the Christmas eve, December 24. It started during the Spanish colonial period, and accordingly was initially intended for farmers who wanted to attend Christmas Mass but could not leave their fields.

There’s this passing nostalgia to be with kababayans each dawn, and the longing to share victory in a cool, foggy Yuletide Season after a fight not to drowse off during each dawn mass. Well, that was so before in my youth in a backwoods of a countrysides. There was so much excitement to meet the dawn while serving as sakristan under the tutelage of a motherly Sister Cima of fma, like when we were made to believe then that Santa Claus is coming to town to give toys to good boys and girls.

It was also then that barangay farmers,  when the GKKs weren’t so strong, for which the dawn masses were first intended for them by the friars, had no luxury to rise up at dawn just to trek downhill for long walk to the church in the poblacion. But I saw a few of them possibly rising by 2:00 or 3:00 dawn to walk for 1 or 2 hours just to catch up dawn masses.

It was only last year (a poor churchgoer am I) that I learned that GKK chapels had then been holding dawn mass celebrations. The GKK, the harbinger of the purok, offers a most proximate and so closed affair for Misa de Gallo, with your own neighbors and other familiar faces attending. I must say that in towns, where there are no long-known vendors of the common puto maya and tsokolate, dawn mass goers have been savoring the shrunk pandesal they bring home after a drop in a town bakery. Though lacking in snack delicacies like the many that spring up abundantly and cherish in other places like in Luzon or in Cebu in church frontyards, the Yuletide cheer and wish for abundant life isn’t lacking for the Mindanaoan probinsyanos subsisting on pandesal after dawn masses.

It is also so for the forsaken farmers and poor to merry over what they could easily afford from what’s left from their bonuses, if ever there is still after going from London (loan dito, loan doon, the teachers’ lingo, you know), even while TV advertisements have always show the noche buena meal of the privileged after the December 24 night Misa de Aguinaldo: lechon, hamon, cheeses, a variety of salads, pasta, embotido and sweets.

Del Monte seasons these locally, while Davao del Norte and Comval bananas show the craving of the rich countries for desserts on the table during the Holiday. But otherwise, and sadly, beyond our preference for the basic staple rice, Compostela and Pagsabangan landowners now plow their fields for dollars’ sake, but understandably, out of economic necessities beyond what rice could offer for their children and future. Ultimately, it’s for Pete’s sake.

There’s also this nostalgia creeping in us for a so cool, so foggy dawn. Before it was always raining during the Yuletide Season. The thick fog and the rains are gone now. There was hot streak of sunlight yesterday. The cool and humid December before is gone now. After decades of unabated illegal logging activities in our provinces and illegal loggers have continued to have still their best laughs, while our environment and local government officials continue to see and hear no evil, this is what we have now: our weather has become so feckle, and for the other man-made destructions against our surrounding and environment, nature has been fighting back like what it struck in Masara and Diwalwal landslides, and in the flooding in the many lowlands in our provinces.

After today’s first Misa de Gallo, I can only reminisce on those good old dawns when so mountain-fresh and so thick fog envelop entirely my hometown Nabunturan in so cool embrace during the Yuletide Season. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, e-mail:

NEWS: Tagum dads withhold persona non grata verdict to NDC-Tagum execs

Posted in dr. roberto palec, dxdn radyo ukay tagum, ndc-tagum, tagum, tagum city, tagum city hall, tagum councilor francisco remitar and tagum councilor A, tagum councilor joedel caasi, tagum councilor joey millan, tagum councilor mylene baura, tagum councilor nicandro suaybaguio, tagum councilor rey salve, tagum councilor vicente eliot sr, tagum councilors, tagum nursing graduates controversy, tagum vice mayor allan rellon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2008 by cha monforte

After three snubs

nov 4

Majority of the Tagum City councilors in their session yesterday morning have decided to give one more week for the officials of the controversy-wracked North Davao College-Tagum Foundation, Inc to refute and prove why they should not be declared persona non grata and their licenses and accreditations not revoked after snubbing for three times the city council invitations to appear on their sessions and hearing.

The NDC-Tagum officials led by the school’s dean of the college of nursing Dr. Roberto Palec were already present yesterday in the session hall but they were not called in during the question hour and remained seated until the session adjourned.

Also several complaining nursing graduates and their parents were present as reported in the live coverage of DXDN Radyo Ukay-Tagum City.

They have been up in arms against the NDC school administration for allegedly requiring nursing graduates to take first a P10,000-worth nursing review and P7,000-worth mock board examination at the school before their credentials could be issued to them.

Instead, the committee report of the committee whole was read to apprise the audience on the recommendation of passing seven proposed resolutions that ostensibly sanctions the school that could potentially lead to its closure.

The report narrated the grounds and failure of the school officials to respond to the invitations of the city council in their sessions and committee meetings and hearings.

It said that even the NDC’s reply letter with scarce reasons and signatories reached the City Hall already lapsed of the Oct. 28 deadline imposed by the city council.

Among the recommendations heard were the proposed resolutions declaring the school officials persona non grata in the city, urging the city mayor for the revocation of the school’s affiliation to the city, demanding for the refund of the collected P10,000 fees for nursing review and the P7,000 fees for the mock board examinations, recommending to the Center of Higher Education (Ched) for the non-renewal of the school’s accreditation in its nursing course, and demanding for the release of the school credentials to the complaining nursing graduates.

Councilor Joey Millan reiterated yesterday the committee of the whole’s recommendations.

The committee met last Thursday, Oct 30 at 5:00 P.M. at the vice mayor’s office. Present were

Councilors Millan, Mylene Baura, Vicente Eliot Sr, Joedel Caasi, Nicandro Suaybaguio, Francisco Remitar and ABC President Alfredo Pagdilao. Councilor Allan Zulueta was accordingly on official business at that time. Vice Mayor Allan Rellon signed the report.

Millan informed that with the “controlling facts and consistent with the committee report” the city council has already decided and deemed that the NDC officials “have waived their rights to air their side.”

But he said that the resolutions are not yet approved and bared that their consensus is to give seven days to the respondent officials “to refute and show proof” why the city council should not act on the said resolutions.

“The resolutions would still follow the three-reading principle,” he said even as he stressed on the need for due process on theb prodding of Councilor Rey Salve.

Millan then moved to calendar the resolutions in the unfinished business in the next Monday’s regular session. It was unanimously approved.

It also requested for the presence of Ched representatives and the complaining nursing graduates and parents (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

OPINION: Dear Departed

Posted in mayor rey uy, nabunturan fiesta, tagum, tagum banks, tagum christmas tree, tagum city with tags , , , , , , on November 2, 2008 by cha monforte

nov 3

By Cha Monforte

The cemeteries were most visited by folks in the provinces in yesterday’s All Souls Day, while those in cities had theirs Saturday, paying visit one’s dear departed. Really, all roads led to the cemeteries during the two-day celebration, which was generally peaceful in our region.Thanks.

So alas, after the kalag-kalag we now train our sight for the Big Yuletide Season. The road is clear for Christmas. For Nabunturanons, it’s such usual replex. After paying our dear departed a memories-filled and prayerful visit, with the family and relatives in reunion, now, today, we wish for merry Yuletide days and abundant new year ahead. Nabunturan has an Oct. 2-3 fiesta, a fixed date,  which is a month before the All Saints/Souls Days.

Tagumenyos, too, are agog for the holiday. The city mayor is now visibly sprucing up the palms and putting up highway lights and decors for Christmas. Include the tallest Christmas tree by the City Hall. It’s good for the spirit. But the city has still its fiesta, the feast of Christ the King, celebrated by the last week of the month. Anyway, the city’s fiesta seems already a part of the Tagum’s Yuletide Season. There’s cheer now in the corners, the global meltdown nothwithstanding.

At any rate, the city’s bankers have laid their first cards last week, and LBP-Tagum assistant manager Ma’am Nice and branch managers of other nationwide banks last week dispelled fears that effects of the global financial crisis are reaching the local shores. Maybe, nyet.

When an internal corporate circular of one bank, otherwise held confidential, was “leaked” to me Thursday, I wasn’t surprise. The net has vast info on the international financial crisis from sleuths, spies and analysts if you’re net-savvy. It’s the A1 info from horses’ mouths that I take more credence. Say, Gob. Dolfo’s last assessment that the banana industry wouldn’t be affected by this Santa Banana! meltdown. Or to Sec. Dureza’s assessment that only our OFWs would later be returning home.

Now, every time I open my Yahoo email address, I always see at the sidebar Barack Obama‘s projected winning votes in the electoral college. At this writing, Obama is getting 333 already against the 181 for McCain. Kaluoy. Everyday, McCain is losing in Yahoo‘s projection. All Obama needs are 270 votes, the majority. I’m an avid Democrat fan, too, and want to see Obama (look-alike of Davao City broadcaster Leo Villareal) sit in the White House. I’m not worrying now. Tomorrow is the US election, and on the same day we’ll know that Barack is the next US President. My fearless forecast and I bet McCain by midday in US time tomorrow (sorry, we’re advance 6 hours to US) will concede as soon as the initial results of the pre-poll survey come out.

This is what the good stuff of the US election is made of: virtually no cheating, results are immediately known, and candidates immediately concede by electoral forecast alone. As to the Pilipins, and to our provinces, ah, oh my gulay! But Barack Obama must be thankful for the meltdown that went out for streak at the hands of Republican President Bush. But he’s no socialist. He’s just the leader of the world policeman. So cheers, too, for Obama’s victory in waiting. We really have good and merry days ahead of us. (For online, visit my blog at: http//, for comments and reactions, e-mail:,

NEWS: “Anti-Urban Poor” Ordinance reaches SP

Posted in boardmember artemio san juan, boardmember roger israel, davao norte vice gov. victorio suaybaguio jr, tagum, tagum city with tags , , , , , , on November 1, 2008 by cha monforte

Legislation seeks to defer approval

of urban poor housing for 5 years

oct 28

TAGUM CITY – Two weeks after the controversial Purok Ordinance of the City Hall was unanimously junked by Davao del Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan, another city ordinance considered by several quarters here as ”contentious” and critics as “anti-urban poor” reached yesterday at the provincial board in its 48th regular session.

Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio immediately referred City Council Ordinance No. 320 to the SP committee on human settlements, planning and development chaired by Boardmember Roger Israel as the lead committee and to the committee on laws, resolutions, ordinance and justice chaired by Boardmember Artemio San Juan.

Dubbed by critics as “Anti-Urban Poor Ordinance”, the new legislation reaching the provincial board, which recently smarted from its act of finally junking the controversial Purok Ordinance, is seeking to defer for a period of five years the issuance of accreditation and approval of permits and other requirements by the City Hall for urban poor subdivision housing projects.

It appeared to have been passed at the city council without much fuss, and suddenly it reached at the SP secretariat last October 22.

It was authored and pushed by Councilor Nicandro “Nickel” Suaybaguio as initiated by the city executive department. He is a nephew of the presiding vice governor.

But the young Suaybaguio,  in a phone interview yesterday, said that the city council had passed it in two sessions, the first one of which was followed by a public hearing attended by representatives of shelter agencies and the affected sectors.

He said that his measure was approved by the city council last September 22 and that for a month it was at the city council secretariat which had worked on its long minutes and proceedings.

Yesterday, urban poor leader Gregorio “Loloy” Ibanez said in text message that Suaybaguio’s ordinance “is anti-urban poor for being contrary to the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) and executive order of the Dept. of Interior and Local Government and to the policy of the Presidential Commission of the Urban Poor (PCUP)”.

He vowed that he himself will make a petition to oppose it at the SP level.

Ibanez is the executive director of the Davao del Norte Urban Poor Foundation, Inc. He is also the president of the Davao del Norte Press. Radio and TV Club.

Earlier, in one report of a weekly paper, District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano branded as “anti poor” the ordinance that would evidently stop him from carrying out land acquisition projects for the urban poor which he has been funding out from a congressional fund.

Sidlak clarified also with Vice Mayor Allan Rellon an earlier report that the urban poor ordinance would have still to be fully sponsored by Suaybaguio saying that he was confused on the question posed to him by the media adding that it mixed up with the preoccupation of the city council of also formulating a revised comprehensive ordinance on the city’s land use.

Earlier also, Vice Gov. Suaybaguio said he would not inhibit from the deliberations on the ordinance authored and pushed by his nephew, adding that the rule of the majority would prevail  He presided when the Purok Ordinance was unanimously junked by his boardmembers.

The urban poor ordinance has invoked the ground that that urban poor subdivisions and informal settlements in the city are not livable due to inadequacies of basic community facilities and services such as road, water, electricity and have low occupancy rate.

The young Suaybaguio earlier said that the deferment could be “automatically lifted” if a high occupancy rate of existing urban poor housing projects could be attained.

He also said that several existing urban housing projects whose requirements are on process are included in the exemption clause of the ordinance.

But critics also charged that the ordinance is “a class legislation” saying that it favored the rich subdivision developers and would stop informal housing for the poor in the city like the Habitat and the Gawad Kalinga projects initiated by the religious.

They said that the urban poor housing projects instead contributed to solve the city’s acute housing backlog of at least 28,000 families per projection of the City Comprehensive and Development Plan (2001-2010). (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Lawyers to spearhead conference to stop extrajudicial killings in Tagum

Posted in atty. daniel campoamor, comval lawyers, davao del norte lawyers, ibp comval, ibp davao del norte, integrated bar of the philippines davao del norte compo, tagum city, tagum killings, tagum news with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by cha monforte

“IBP Chapter views alarming incidents with deep concern”

oct 28

Lawyers belonging to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Davao del Norte-Compostela Valley Chapter on their general membership meeting on Friday afternoon unanimously passed a resolution for their group to spearhead the holding of an inter-agency conference and dialogue to address “alarming incidents” of extrajudicial killings and summary executions taking place in Tagum City.

In the resolution e-mailed to local media Saturday, the IBP Davao del Norte-Comval Chapter stated that “for a number of years now, there has been a series of extrajudicial killings and summary executions taking place in Tagum City”, and that “these have been unabated and the perpetrators have not been brought to the bar of justice”.

“The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Davao del Norte-Comval Chapter views these alarming incidents with deep concern as, unless steps be taken, more human rights violation shall be committed,” it said.

“The members of the legal profession were integrated and constituted into the integrated bar of the Philippines for the noble objective, among others, of promoting the rule of law.”

The lawyers group then resolved “that a conference and dialogue shall be held to be spearheaded by the chapter for the purpose of threshing out the serious problem and to come up with suggested solutions to stop these extrajudicial killings and summary executions.”

It sought that the conference and dialogue be attended by the Office of the Provincial Governor, Office of the City Mayor of Tagum, PNP Provincial Command, Tagum City Chief of Police, Diocese of Tagum, religious sectors, non-government organizations, youth sector, professional sector and press and media practitioners

The local IBP chapter has also furnished copies of the resolution to the national office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Provincial Peace and Order Council and the Regional Peace and order Council for their information and appropriate action.

In an interview, Atty. Daniel Campoamor, the chapter president, said that they are yet to schedule the date of the conference and dialogue but “it will be held before the year ends”.

The local IBP membership meeting was also attended by judges and prosecutors from the two provinces. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Flexi fare ordinance not yet acted upon – Rellon

Posted in allan rellon, councilor suaybaguio, tagum, tagum city, tagum city councilors, tagum city flexi fare, tagum city hall, tagum councilors, tagum urban poor with tags , , , on October 21, 2008 by cha monforte

oct 21

Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon said yesterday that the City Council as a whole has not yet acted upon the proposed executive-initiated ordinance putting as flexible the motorcycle fare based on the current prices of gasoline.

“We are still waiting for it,” he said in an interview at Tahanan ng Punong Lalawigan, the official residence of the governor inside the Capitol complex at Mankilam, Tagum City where guests, mediamen and provincial officials with Press Secretary Jesus Dureza took their lunch after the holding of local National Press Club activities yesterday.

Last October 8 the new measure passed the first reading and was referred to the committees of laws and of public facilities.

On the other hand, as to what is dubbed as urban poor ordinance, he said that its proponent Councilor Nicandro “Nickel” Suaybaguio has still to fully introduce the measure.

Observers earlier said that Suaybaguio’s measure may yet draw another controversy as it plans to suspend for five years the issuance of approval of permits and requirements to urban poor housing.

Last week, the city’s purok ordinance on motion for reconsideration was junked anew by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for being “legally infirmed”.

Under the proposed ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Imposing the Regulation of Fare Rates of Motorized Tricycles for Hire (MTH) of the City of Tagum” fare rates would vary based on the set schedule.

If gasoline prices per liter (gpl) range P20 to 29.99 it will have P6 for regular fare and P4 for student or senior citizen; P30 to P39.99 gpl- P7 regular fare, P5 student/senior citizen; P40 to 49.99 gpl- P8 regular fare, P6 student/senior citizen; P50 to P59.99 gpl- P9 regular fare, P7 student/senior citizen; P60 to P69.99 gpl- P10 regular fare, P8 student/senior citizen; P70 to P79.99 gpl- P11 regular fare, P9 student/senior citizen; P80 to P89.99 gpl- P12 regular fare, P10 student/senior citizen; P90 to P99.99 gpl- P13 regular fare, P11 student/senior citizen; and P100 and above gpl- P14 regular fare, P12 student/senior citizen.

The fare rates are good for the first three kilometers of the Central District from where the passenger originated, and would have an additional of P1 for every kilometer or every fraction thereof. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)