Students, Chinese-Filipinos in Oro clash in perspectives
Read 421 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
By Mark D. Francisco
CAGAYAN de Oro City––A forum-cum-organizational movement pertaining to support for the Philippine government’s position on the West Philippine Sea issue, dubbed as “Kalayaan Atin Ito,” was held at the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan last Friday and attended by students from different learning institutions in Cagayan de Oro City.
But a day earlier last Thursday, more than a thousand Chinese Filipinos trooped to a huge mall indoor center here and witnessed a satellite feed of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) parade in Beijing marking the 66th National Day.
The indoor celebration, marked with a full lauriat banquet to the thousands in attendance and ethnic Chinese dancing presentations, was a stark contrast to the battlecry of the college students from different universities here who were denouncing the Chinese military’s presence at the West Philippine Sea.
“Kalayaan Atin Ito” movement is primarily designed to improve the participation of Filipino citizens in supporting the position of the Philippines in addressing the territorial disputes.
The Freedom Flame Caravan which started in Manila last May 15, had a pit stop in Cagayan de Oro a day later last Saturday. The Movement’s caravan will travel to all the 82 provinces of the country to explain the issues confronting the country with regards to the West Philippine Sea issue.
The student-movement has designed four stages for the purpose. These are the four stages are Freedom Flame Caravan, Freedom Voyage, Freedom Island and Freedom Fishermen.
The second stage is the Freedom Voyage. In this, so-called “volunteer patriots” will ride 82 fishing vessels, representing the 82 provinces of the country, from Palawan to Kalayaan Island Group between November 30 to December 30, 2015.
The third stage is called Freedom Island, at which point when “patriots” who arrive the Kalayaan Island Group will join residents of the Island Group and the soldiers assigned there to show the youths’ support to the world peacefully and without violating the Laws of the Seas of the United Nations Convention.
The last leg is called Freedom Fishermen. In this, all the 82 fishing bancas will be given to the fishermen and residents of Palawan who want to reside and fish at the Kalayaan Group of Islands.
Johnny Lim, the convenor of the local celebration of the 66th Chinese National Day, refused to answer questions regarding the relevance of their activity.
Strategies for human capital, infra dev’t highlighted in PEB
Read 198 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
The country’s top economic officials presented strategies to further pursue development of human capital and infrastructure which they said should help the Philippines hop on to the next stage of progress, during the 28th Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) last Wednesday.
With the theme “Shaping Our Future,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said investing in human capital and infrastructure development, together with institutionalizing good governance, serve as good foundation for further progress.
Over the past five years, the Philippines has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world due to rising investments and consumption on the back of improved fundamentals and better governance.
Economic managers say the Philippines can graduate to a stage where economic growth is even faster, is sustained for the long-term, and is more inclusive.
This is because the Philippines is said to be within the “demographic window” starting this year until 2050. This window is a period when a great majority of the population is of working age and, as such, there is chance for productivity to further accelerate.
Based on estimates, countries that enter the demographic window post an average growth of 7.3 percent for the first 10 years of entry to the window.
However, in order for the Philippines to actually seize the opportunity, there should be good quality of workforce and attractive investment climate. The latter requires, among others, sufficient infrastructure.
“In order to move us forward and on a higher economic growth trajectory, we need to make even more specific steps to further institutionalize governance, raise human capacity, and build infrastructure,” Tetangco said in his opening remarks.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said the Department of Finance, as chair of the Economic Development Cluster, is committed to a whole-of-government approach to developing human capital and improving infrastructure.
“Our partnership with the people is the ultimate PPP (Public-Private Partnership). Leveraging our continually rising budgets for education, health, and infrastructure is a sure-fire way to optimize our demographic dividends. This is the investment we pay forward for future generations,” Purisima said in a statement.
”We are projected to be Southeast Asia’s biggest economy by 2050; investing in our own people and infrastructure will ensure we have one that is inclusive and sustainable,” the finance chief added.
Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the structure of the Philippine economy is changing for the better, given improved governance and implementation of prudent policies. He said investments in human capital development should coincide with this.
“Structural transformation is now happening, and this must be further facilitated by preparing the workforce,” Balisacan said. “We owe it to ourselves to get it right this time,” he added.
Balisacan said that if the Philippines seizes the opportunity brought about by the demographic window, it has the potential of sustaining GDP growth of at least 7 percent year-on-year, which could bring the economy to a higher middle income status with gross per capita income of $4,000 by the end of the next administration.
He also said sustaining that pace of growth for three more administrations could bring the economy to high-income status with gross per-capita income of $12,700 dollars by 2040.
Improving the quality of workforce is high in the agenda of the Aquino administration. In pursuit of human capital development, the following are some of the projects and programs cited during the economic briefing: substantial increase in annual budget for health and education, curriculum reforms to better meet industry requirements, technical skills development, and expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.
The government’s budget for education has grown year after year from P225.1 billion in 2010 to P453.0 billion in 2015. The budget for health services has leaped from P31.0 billion to P96.3 billion over the same period.
Moreover, the budget for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, which encourages school attendance among children from poor households, has also consistently risen. It stands at P62.3 billion this year compared with P10.9 billion in 2010.
“This administration would be noted in history as one that has actually provided that increase in the budget that will allow the education department to actually implement the programs that hopefully bring the graduates that industry needs,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in one of the panel discussions.
Meantime, on infrastructure development, details of the Transport Roadmap were presented by Noriaki Niwa, chief representative to the Philippines of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), during the economic briefing. The roadmap includes establishment of road networks and expressways, subways, railways, and other transportation systems for Metro Manila and surrounding areas up to 2030.
The Transport Roadmap is meant to ease mobility and ensure sufficient infrastructure to meet the requirements of a growing population and rising business activities in the covered areas.
It seeks to achieve “5 NOs” for Metro Manila and surrounding areas: (1) no traffic congestion, (2) no household in hazardous conditions, (3) no barriers for seamless mobility, (4) no excessive cost burden for low-income groups, and (5) no air pollution.
“The Transport Roadmap, which used to be called a “Dream Plan,” is no longer just a dream; it is already part of the roadmap of the Philippine government,” Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways said in the panel discussion on infrastructure development.
Singson said most of the road projects under the Transport Roadmap are already in various stages of development either through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program or through government funding.
With the comprehensive components of the Transport Roadmap, its implementation is expected to significantly decongest Metro Manila and surrounding areas, and to support sustained growth in business activities.
Besides government’s economic managers, private-sector representatives also served as resource persons during the economic briefing. They were: Maria Ressa, chief executive officer of Rappler; Jose Arnulfo Veloso, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of HSBC Philippines; Nico Jose Nolledo, CEO of Xurpas, Inc.; Rodrigo Franco, president and CEO of Manila North Tollways Corp.; Mary Jane Alvero Al-Mhadi, CEO of Geo Science Laboratory; and Andrew Acquaah Harrison, chief executive advisor of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport.
JICA’s Niwa also served as a member of one of the panels during the event. JICA was the government’s partner in developing the Transport Roadmap.
The Philippine Economic Briefing is a flagship activity of the Investor Relations Office (IRO) aimed at providing macroeconomic updates and discussing issues confronting the government’s priority sectors. (DOF)
Muslim candidates with UNA to bat for expanded, new BBL
Read 298 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
By Cheng OrdoÑez
with Mark Francisco
of Mindanao Daily News
LAGUINDINGAN, Misamis Oriental––The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is coming to form part of a decision this elections, at least, among Muslim candidates who are with the United Nationalists’ Alliance (UNA).
UNA held the Mindanao-wide launching of its local slates and induction of news members, here at the Municipality of Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental, organized
under the leadership of Misamis Oriental Governor Bambi Emano with no less than Vice President Jejomar Binay in attendance.
Some Muslim candidates are running under UNA, despite the political party’s lack of support to the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). But, this does not mean that they have abandoned the cause of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to pursue lasting peace and development through the BBL.
Instead, they are with UNA to pursue yet an expanded or new BBL.
Board Member Boyet Ilaji of Pandami, Sulu province, said they put their thrust in Vice President Jejomar Binay on the issue of the Bangsamoro people despite the latter’s lack of support to BBL.
Ilaji cited the Zamboanga siege incident, where he said that Binay has showed his suport to the affected Muslim communities by trying to negotiate for a peaceful settlement to the stand-off, but was allegedly blocked.
Ilaji is among some 5,000 delegates from all voer Mindanao to the UNA Mindanao-wide meeting.
Ilaji said he and his constituents are not totally abandoning BBL. He said they expect Binay to expand the coverage of the BBL should he win the elections next year.
Ilaji cited Section 3 of the Declaration of Principles of UNA, saying, “the government must aim to attain full sovereignty and must see to it that it promotes an equiatable distribution of political power.”
“As what UNA Declaration of Principle under political view states, governrment must ensure that the justice system is free from corruption, partisan politics and any sense of impropriety, which is truly fair and partial. This is one of the reasons why we, Muslim candidates, decided to join UNA,” Ilaji said, even as he said that the same principle cited can be the venue for a real BBL to pass into law.
For another Muslim candidate who is with UNA, former Sibuco mayor Atty. Norbi Edding, who will be running for municipal councilor next year, said he is with UNA precisely because he doesn’t want the proposed versions of the BBL and for the MILF to reign.
Edding said that the MILF has been claiming part of Sibuco as within its jurisdiction, and this has been creating trouble and un-peace in Siocon.
Edding said that should Binay wins the presidency in 2016, he and his Muslim collegues will push for another version of the BBL instead.
Local candidates in Mindanao
In his visit, Binay were accompanied by senatoriables Harry Roque, Princess Jacel Kiram and Alma Moreno. Roque is a known and respected lawyer nationwide, Kiram is the daughter of the late sultan of Sulu and Moreno is the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) president.
Assemblymen, provincial board members and mayors from all over the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm) and their supporters made up the bulk of the delegation during the half-day event, dwarfing the delegates from the host province of Misamis Oriental.
Moreno’s estranged husband Fahad Salic, the outgoing mayor of Marawi City who is eyeing the gubernatorial slot in Lanao del Sur that is to be vacated by Mamintal Adiong Jr., brought in thousands of his supporters to show support to Binay and his presumptive senatorial bets.
Salic said that if elected, he would replicate his successful programs in Marawi City that he had implemented for the past nine years.
For his part, former Pandami, Sulu Mayor Radzma S. Jaca assured Binay that the local UNA slate in their respective localities in Armm would be a formidable one and could catapult a presidential win for the 72-year-old vice president.
Host Governor Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano of Misamis Oriental also brought with him his reelectionist Vice Governor Jose Mari Pelaez and possible contenders for the provincial board.
But he refused to divulge his candidates for congressmen in both districts, saying only that their names would be revealed during the actual filing of candidacy on October 12. It was learned that the incumbent congressmen, Reps. Peter M. Unabia and Juliette T. Uy, are not UNA members.
Emano’s father, the former mayor of Cagayan de Oro Vicente Y. Emano who was admitted in intensive care less than two weeks ago, brought his vice mayor and the councilors from the city but left before noon, meeting Binay only briefly. Physicians told him to recuperate more and avoid busy outdoor activities for some time.
Pope Francis laments: FB and consumerism are ‘eating us alive’
Read 710 times | Posted on September 30, 2015 @ 3 years ago
PEOPLE’S lives today are ruled by consumerism which also leads them to overuse social networks rather than engage in real communication, the Pope bemoaned in an address to bishops in Philadelphia.
People’s lives today are ruled by the latest trend that the culture of consumerism dictates to them, instead of focusing on human relationships, Pope Francis complained in an address to bishops on Saturday.
Using the metaphor of the supermarket to describe modern life, the Pope compared today’s culture with the neighborhood stores of the past, which were centered on human relationships.
Rather than conducting business on the basis of personal relationships and trust, today’s culture is determined by consumption, said the Pope, who made his comments during an address to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia on Sunday, the final day of his visit to the US.
Pope Francis arrived in Washington on Tuesday for a six-day visit, prior to which he spent four days in Cuba, where he met with President Fidel Castro in Havana.
In Sunday’s address, the Pope said that because of its focus on consumerism, modern culture “discards everything that is no longer ‘useful’ or ‘satisfying’ for the tastes of the consumer,” which leads to loneliness and economic inequality.
“We have turned our society into a huge multicultural showcase tied only to the tastes of certain ‘consumers,’ while so many others only ‘eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table,’” said the Pope, quoting the New Testament’s Gospel of Mark.
The Pope, who has 7.4 million Twitter followers, identified the popularity of social networks is one symptom of the modern malaise.
“Running after the latest fad, accumulating ‘friends’ on one of the social networks, we get caught up in what contemporary society has to offer,” which he summed up as “loneliness with fear of commitment in a limitless effort to feel recognized.”
“Knowledge of life’s true pleasures only comes as the fruit of a long-term, generous investment of our intelligence, enthusiasm and passion,” advised the Pope. (PNA/Sputnik)
CDO gets P200M from PhilHealth income
Read 286 times | Posted on September 30, 2015 @ 3 years ago
CAGAYAN de Oro City–In just two years of the current administration of Cagayan de Oro city, about P200 million has been collected from the PhilHealth income.
This has been highlighted by City Health Insurance Officer Dr. Ma. Lourdes Gaane in the recently conducted Ulat ng Bayan.
According to Dr. Gaane, around P194 million has been collected by the city since July 2013 until June 2015.
In the said collection, P125 million was obtained from PhilHealth benefit payments (in-patient) in J.R. Borja General Hospital, P63 million from PhilHealth capitation payments in eight accredited health centers and P6 million from the 45 health centers that are now accredited with the Maternity Care Package (MCP).
Dr. Gaane stressed that there is a big collection difference from June 2012 until July 2013 where the city has only obtained P22 million from the said sources.
With the health reform program created by City Mayor Oscar Moreno, the 45 MCP-accredited barangay health centers can now operate and manage independently especially on providing free childbirth services.
Currently, the PhilHealth capitation payments serves as the source of fund for the procurement of medicines and equipment for the barangay health centers and City Hospital.(CIO/PIA10)
CBCP slams ‘tanim-bala’ at airport
Read 418 times | Posted on September 30, 2015 @ 3 years ago
A CATHOLIC bishop has criticized what he called “shameful” acts by some airport personnel who allegedly extort money by planting bullets in luggage.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos is alarmed over “tanim-bala” incidents reportedly perpetuated by some security personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“These are shameful and criminal acts of extortion that prey on our citizens, especially our balik-bayan and Overseas Filipino Workers, and also our guests from foreign lands who arrive in our country,” he said.
Santos chairs the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
He said the Church understands that security personnel have a duty to perform, especially in enforcing laws concerning contraband items.
“However, they should not use these same laws to extort money and prey on the innocent, and even allow those who are guilty to go scot-free,” he said.
“Our security personnel should concentrate on protecting the passengers and ensuring their safety, rather than harassing them,” Santos added.
The prelate also called on the government to investigate these incidents “thoroughly, rigorously and diligently.”
“They should make sure that everything comes to light and those who are guilty be brought to justice,” he added.
At the same time, the bishop asked the OFWs and travelers to exercise a high degree of caution during any sort of travel.
He advised travelers to make a list of the contents of their bags and boxes and take pictures as they pack them.
“When accosted by security personnel, be ready with your cell phone to take pictures or video,” he also said.
“Insist that you be the one to open your luggage while the security people watch. If they insist on opening your luggage, watch their actions and take pictures. Make sure that you take down their names,” said Santos. (R. Lagarde / CBCPNews)
University orients public school students, parents for Senior HS
Read 563 times | Posted on September 30, 2015 @ 3 years ago
CAGAYAN de Oro City — Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan introduced its Senior High School program to Grade 10 students and parents of Cagayan de Oro National High School (CDONHS) during an orientation organized by their school on September 22 at the XU Gymnasium.
The orientation aimed to clarify the program structure of Senior HS, and to guide the students and their parents in choosing the right track and strand to take in Senior High.
XU offers complete Academic and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood tracks. Through its Center for Integrated Technologies, it has formed partnerships with international and local companies to employ its tech-voc graduates.
“Students must choose their track and strand under the Senior High School program based on their career assessment results,” said Dr Joey Jegonia, director of XU’s Office of Promotions, Testing and Admissions (OPTA). “Your choice must be in line with your competency and ideal career in the future.”
XU is ready for carrying out the Senior High School program for academic year 2016-2017. It is currently administering the XU Career Exam for Senior High School applicants every Saturday of September.
The University also welcomes DepEd tuition vouchers in addition to offering more than 200 scholarships to students entering Senior HS. DepEd’s Tuition Voucher Program serves to offset the cost of tuition in private educational institutions.
Along with the XU Senior High Team, CDONHS also invited speakers from DepEd, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to explain the relevance of Senior HS, especially when it comes to finding better employment opportunities regardless of whether students choose to pursue higher studies, decide to work or start a business right after graduating from Senior High.
The Senior HS program comprises the additional two years to the current 10 years of basic education, in line with the DepEd’s Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (Republic Act No.10533), which aims to strengthen the basic education system in the Philippines. XU has been preparing for the transition to the K-12 curriculum since 2014.
Students can choose their career tracks in academic, technical-vocational-livelihood, sports, and arts and design. These tracks will help prepare graduates for higher education, entrepreneurship, further middle-level skills development and employment.
This public forum formed part of the discussion series of XU in collaboration with government agencies, schools, parents’ associations and student organizations toward forming globally competitive graduates who will meet the standards and fulfill the demands of the ASEAN Economic Integration. (XU Communications Office)
26 Claveria farmers receive CLOA from DAR
Read 379 times | Posted on September 28, 2015 @ 3 years ago
Cagayan de Oro City — After 8 years of legal battle, the Department of Agrarian Reform Provincial Office of Misamis Oriental finally distributed on Sept. 12, 2015 the Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to 26 farmer-beneficiaries of the landholding formerly owned by Crew Resources Development Corporation in Barangay Plaridel, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
The CLOA distribution was the first time to happen in Barangay Plaridel where the beneficiaries have formed themselves as the New Indigenous Barangay Plaridel Farmers Association (NIBPFA). Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Zoraida Macadindang and Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Noel Supremo led the DAR officials who attended the event.
Of the total 43 hectares covered by the subject landholding, 30.61 hectares of land were distributed during the occasion. The remaining area of about 13 hectares will also be awarded to additional 17 farmer-beneficiaries as soon as the CLOA will be ready for distribution.
After the distribution of CLOAs, PARPO II Macandindang declared the farmers as agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) with the assigned lots for them to till and work on. During the program that followed, she reminded the beneficiaries of their rights and obligations as recipients of the land awarded to them under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. (Carlo Peralta)
DOT-10, BWM-MDN MOA-signing gives birth to ‘Festival of Festivals’
Read 352 times | Posted on September 28, 2015 @ 3 years ago
By Cheng OrdoÑez, Executive Editor, BWM
THE grandest and considered the “Festival of Festivals” has taken its first step into the realms of Mindanao tourism with the signing of a memorandum of agreement for the unfolding of the first “Himamat Festival 2016,” Thursday, September 24, 2015, at the SM activity center, Cagayan de Oro City.
The Department of Tourism in Northern Mindanao (DOT-10) and the BusinessWeek Mindanao Corporation inked the
memorandum of aggreement, giving birth to the festival of peace and cultural understanding called “Himamat Festival.”
The MOA signing was one of the highlights of the Tourism Week Celebration, held Sept. 24, at SM-CDO.
Himamat Festival is an advocacy for peace and cultural understanding of the region, showcasing open interpretation of different categories of the festivals. It is a convergence of all cultural festivals in Region 10, covering five provinces and nine cities and hundreds of municipalities.
Himamat Festival 2016 will unfold on September 25, 2016, at the Don Gregorio Pelaez Sports Complex with a grand parade to start at the Rodelsa Circle.
Prior to the Himamat Festival, the Showdown of Festival Queens will be done on September 24, 2016.
DOT-10 Regional Director Catalino “Butch” Chan III said some 25,000 performers are expected to troop to Cagayan de Oro City for the grandiose event, dance to the tune of “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” and set to break a record for a single performance at the Guinness Book of World Record.
Chan said Himamat Festival 2016, which is presented by BusinessWeek Mindanao and Mindanao Daily News, is in partnership with DOT-10, in cooperation with the Department of Education-10, the Province of Misamis Oriental Tourism Office, the City Government of Cagayan de Oro Tourism Council, the Police Regional Office-10 and the Northern Mindanao Regional Tourism Council for support and coordination.
BusinessWeek Mindanao Corporation Chief Executive Officer and Publisher Dante M. Sudaria said Himamat Festival 2016 is expected to be the grandiose, biggest and most awaited festival to showcase open dance interpretations of the cultural heritage of the region, depicting the rich cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples (IPs) of Northern Mindanao.
“Imagine each contingent from all over Northern Mindanao doing their respective interpretative dance that preserves their culture and traditions coupled with a message of peace and cultural understanding before thousands of expectators here in Cagayan de Oro City — that is Himamat Festival in a nutshell,” Sudaria said.
Sudaria said the impact on tourism and to the business sector in Northern Mindanao to be brought by the Himamat Festival will definitely make a difference, comparative to Sinulog Festival of Cebu and Kadayawan Festival of Davao.
Joe Palabao, festival project director, said based on the mechanics, the festival is open to all local government units (LGUs) in the region, as well as public and private schools, institutions, companies and civic organizations. The Open Interpretation Category consists of the Provincial-based, city-based and municipality-based. The Cultural Interpretation involves Subanen-based Category, Maranao-based, Lumad-based and Christian-based.
Northern Mindanao is composed of the Provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte.
The cities include Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, El Salvador, Malabalay, Valencia and Iligan.
Prizes at stake reaches Php1.5 million.
Platoon leader in ‘hot water’
Read 281 times | Posted on September 28, 2015 @ 3 years ago
CAGAYAN de Oro City––A platoon leader will be facing court martial proceedings for the killings of lumads in Surigao del Sur recently, Army officials said.
Army chief Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año, during his visit at the 4th Infantry Division headquarters here Thursday afternoon, said that a board of inquiry under 4ID chief Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao recommended court martial proceedings against the officer whom he did not name.
Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, 4ID spokesman, said they could not name the officer yet, but
mentioned that the officer involved is a platoon leader of the 75th Infantry Battalion. “The company commander was reprimanded and the officer in charge of the battalion was relieved of his post,” he added.
“This is based on what we call command responsibility, our way of implementing what we call administrative responsibility,” Año said, “in an area wherein you have responsibility to maintain the peace and order, or you might have neglected something which might have lead to a certain incident.”
Año also assured the full cooperation of the Army should the Senate conduct an inquiry of its own. “In fairness to everyone, to our troops, to the victims of the killing and the people in Lianga, it is better for us to be transparent about this situation,” he said.
But despite the findings of the board of inquiry to subject the platoon leader to court martial proceedings, Año was quick to say that his soldiers were not directly or indirectly involved in the killings of civilians in Lianga.
“Our soldier’s respect human rights and the International Humanitarian Law. And most especially our soldiers are protectors of the people, no matter what political leaning they come from, it is our mandate and duty to protect the people and the state,” he said.
Evacuees, mostly belonging to the Manobo tribe, began flocking to capital Tandag City since last month when Bagani militia gunmen threatened residents as well as the staff of a tribal school in Sitio Nalindog, Barangay Bolhoon, San Miguel town. On August 28, the militiamen allegedly murdered brothers Cristano and Ellie Tabogol in Barangay Siargao in the same town.
Last September 1, another militia, the Magahat, murdered Emerito Samarca, executive director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, an award-winning tribal school in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga town. They also killed Dionel Campos, chairman of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang Sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), and his cousin Bello Sinzo, in front of residents and staff and students of the school, who the militiamen had rounded up.
Residents who witnessed the shooting claimed that a day before the attack, soldiers stayed in the village. They further said that the soldiers were just nearby when the attack happened but the soldiers did nothing even as the militia fired their automatic rifles in the air, the noise heard across several villages.
At present, around 3,000 individuals have been displaced and staying at the Surigao del Sur Sports Complex in Tandag City.