todays top stories

Customs seizes P125M worth of cigarettes from China

February 19, 2021

THE Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) has confiscated imported cigarettes estimated to be worth P125 million, according to Oliver Valiente, chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS).      Valiente said they have been monitoring shipments from China leading to the confiscation of at least five container vans containing cigarettes. Each container has an approximate value of P25 million.      The first batch, three container vans, was detected by the Customs police sometime last week and the second shipment arrived at the Mindanao Container Terminal sub-port on Feb. 14, he said.      Valiente placed the estimated value of the cargo at P50 million per container van, although the BOC-10 will still determine the actual worth of the cigarettes.      He said they were ordered to monitor the vessels containing the cigarettes, whose brands were Marvels and Two Moons.      The latest cargo, he said, stopped by at the ports of Manila and Davao before proceeding to the MCT. It was subjected to a spot check on Feb. 16.      “We were able to track the vessel, and upon verification it was positive that the container vans contained cigarettes,” Valiente said.      He said the cigarettes were wrongfully declared as pieces of furniture.      Valiente identified the cargo’s consignee as LMRC said to be based in Davao City, but he said it could be possible that the group that smuggled the cigarettes has employed dummy consignees.      John Simon, BOC-10 district collector, said the information of the arrival of the illegal goods was obtained through a bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and China. “It was a government-to-government coordination that led to the detection of illegal cigarettes. We consider every information that we receive as important and worth to be verified,” Simon, who has just received an award from the United Nations, said.

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MisOr joins MinDA cattle program

February 17, 2021

THE province of Misamis Oriental signified willingness to join the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) initiated Cattle Breeding and Fattening Program which aims to boost local food production. The project would also aid in avoiding the impending food shortage and establishing an economic enterprise project to earn revenues for the local government units. Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced on Tuesday (Feb 16) Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeney "Bambi" Emano has accepted MinDA's challenge to be one of the five pilot provinces for the implementation of the LGU-funded Cattle Development Program. “Provincial Agriculturist Apollo Pacamalan informed MinDA’s Northern Mindanao Area Management Office head Olie Degala that Gov. Emano eagerly welcomed the project because livestock development is one of his priorities for the province,” he said.  For his part, Emano thanked MinDA for the opportunity to join the program which is being pushed to ensure food self-sufficiency for every province in Mindanao. Under the program, the Development Bank of the Philippines, MinDA's financing partner, will provide low-interest loans to assist the LGUs to establish the facilities under the Mindanao Livestock Industry Development Program. The estimated cost of the project which will fall under the Economic Enterprise Program of each province is P100 million. “With the identification of the 5th participating Pilot Province this week, the Cattle Breeding and Fattening Program is expected to roll out by June this year,” he said.  Also, Piñol explained that the Cattle Breeding and Fattening Program involves the establishment of a facility in each of the provinces where at least 1,000 steers or bullock (neutered young male cows) will be fattened for 100 days under the supervision of MinDA Livestock Consultant Arnel Corpuz and his team.   “The fattened steers are initially acquired from Australia's Northern Territory which had been shipping young cattle to the Philippines for decades now. A Cattle Ship that sails from Australia to Mindanao could load up to 5,000 heads which explains why the program needs five provinces with a 1,000-head allocation to start with, he further explained.  The MinDA chief further added that another 500 local cows (female cattle) to be acquired by the provincial government will be impregnated through artificial insemination using semen from outstanding bulls to upgrade the local cattle population. “The third component of the program is the province-wide AI for farmer-owned cows using semen from outstanding bulls to upgrade the local cattle population and the fourth component is the establishment of an abattoir and processing facility to ensure that the province will enhance value-adding on the fattened steers,” he said.  Every month thereafter, five provinces will be encouraged to participate in the program to ensure that every month starting September 2021, Mindanao will be producing 5,000 heads of fattened steers for its consumers.

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BARMM to raise cattle, other regions to produce hogs

February 14, 2021

DAVAO CITY - With Lanao del Sur taking the lead, provinces in the Bangsamoro Region will engage in a Cattle Production Program, which aims to supply the needs of the residents in the region and other provinces in Mindanao.   Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said other regions will also be asked to establish modern hog breeding facilities to jumpstart the implementation of the "Islands of Hope" Program to boost pork supply.   “Both programs are aimed at ensuring self-sufficiency for beef and pork for Mindanao's 25.5-million population with the excess production to be shared with other consumers in the Visayas and Luzon. The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), MinDA's financing partner, will be supporting the programs with a 2 percent interest rate and the other 2.5 percent subsidized by the national government under the Economic Recovery Program,” he said.   The Cattle and Hog Production Programs will initially target the requirements of the local market to ensure the sufficiency of beef and pork for Mindanao residents.   With an estimated gestation period of 18 months, the Cattle Program in the Bangsamoro Provinces is expected to start producing beef initially for the consumers in the region.   The Hog Production Program, on the other hand, is expected to start production after two years.   “Yesterday, I accompanied Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. and a delegation from his province in a tour of a Cattle Fattening Facility in Polomolok, South Cotabato managed by MinDA Livestock Consultant Arnel Corpuz. Next week, I will meet with Gov. Adiong and officials of DBP to start negotiations for the establishment of a 100-head cattle fattening facility in Wao town, Lanao del Sur,” the MinDA chief added.   Piñol said the MinDA team met with Q-Pigs Corporation owners Joaquin "Jake" Lu in General Santos City to finalize the MinDA Hog Development Program concept to boost hog production in Mindanao.   “During the discussions, Jake Lu suggested that selected predominantly Christian Provinces in Mindanao will champion the Hog Development Program by establishing breeder farms, which would supply fatteners to the "Hogstel" in localities free from the African Swine Fever (ASF),” he said.   Piñol disclosed that Davao del Norte and North Cotabato have been identified as prospective participants in the Mindanao Hog Development Program.

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LRY elected anew as chair, prexy of RTMI

February 12, 2021

CAGAYAN de Oro City--During its annual stockholders’ meeting on Wednesday (Feb. 10), Leo Rey Yanson (LRY) was reelected as the Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI) president and chairman anew. Yanson’s reelection came amid the legal cases involving his siblings, although he has asserted his leadership as shown in the previous stockholders’ meetings of the other YGBC subsidiaries. RTMI is one of the seven YGBC subsidiaries and the last bus company to hold its yearly stockholders’ meeting. During the RTMI meeting, Yanson and his allies have been reelected as members of its board of directors. Reelected were Yanson, also known as “LRY,” her mother Olivia, Charles Dumancas, Rey Ardo, Anita Chua, and Daniel Nicolas Golez. After the election of the directors, the board held an organizational meeting where Yanson was re-appointed as its chairman and president of RTMI, while the elder Yanson was also re-appointed as RTMI’s corporate secretary and treasurer. RTMI is the last YGBC subsidiary to conduct its annual stockholders’ meeting. Despite proper and timely notice, stockholders Roy Yanson, Ricardo Yanson, Ma. Lourdes Celina Yanson-Lopez, Ma. Susan Yanson, and Juan Miguel Lopez were absent. As in the previous yearly stockholders’ meeting held recently, Roy, Celina, and Ricky did not attend the RTMI event as they are currently hiding abroad as fugitives from justice together with their sister Emily Yanson. They are collectively known as the “Y4.” As of this writing, there are several outstanding warrants of arrest against the Y4 for carnapping and for grave coercion issued by the courts of Bacolod City. It can be recalled that the Y4 attempted to wrestle away the YGBC leadership from Yanson in 2019. Just recenlty, warrants of arrest have also been issued against Emily for the crimes of perjury and falsification of Vallacar Transit Inc.’s general information sheets (GIS), YGBC said in a statement. It is those same questionable GISes that are being used by Y4 to claim their majority ownership of Vallacar Transit, it said. Yanson has reassured both the riding public and employees that RTMI and the other subsidiaries remain strong and resilient and continue to be steadfast in its goal to serve the Filipino people. “RTMI remains committed to providing the riding public with the most reliable means of public transportation for all,” Yanson said. The newly appointed board, he said, is excited to see how they can continue to push boundaries to provide quality transportation to every Filipino despite the challenges of the pandemic.

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CDO Ex-lawmaker says he is innocent

February 9, 2021

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Following his conviction along Janet Napoles and several others over the P10 billion pork barrel scam by the Sandiganbayan, former congressman Constantino Jaraula said Saturday he is innocent of any wrongdoing.      Jaraula said he will file a motion for reconsideration to reconsideration to Sandiganbayan.      Jaraula, 83, who served as this city’s congressman for three terms from 1998 to 2007, insisted he has no participation in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.      Napoles was said to be the mastermind of the PDAF scam where public funds were pocketed in cahoots with senators and members of the House of Representatives and other public officials and private individuals.      The former legislator said he was not involved in the pork barrel controversy, but recalled he was dragged into the scandal when he proposed three projects for his district shortly before his last term as congressman ended.      In 2007, during his last six months in office, Jaraula said he submitted three project proposals to the House of Representatives’ appropriations committee for the acquisition of two ambulances with x-ray and dental equipment, two mechanical dryers, and farm implements.      The appropriations committee then endorsed the project proposals to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which in turn approved and recommended it to the Technology Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), now known as Technology Resource Center, he said.      He said there were three special allotment release orders (SAROs) for the projects, with P10 million each project.      Jaraula said his proposed projects did not push through, but were replaced with seedlings and fertilizers, the supporting documents of which were not signed by him.      Upon learning that his projects did not materialize, the former lawmaker said he sent an anonymous complaint to the Commission on Audit, on advice of a lawyer, believing that some powerful people in government might be involved.      He said COA was able to trace the complaint back to him. Jaraula said he has not taken any part in the PDAF scam as he believed that the documents that implicated him were forged.

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COPC prexy is guest of honor, speaker of COCPO

February 9, 2021

Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) President Dr. Manuel Jaudian (left) delivers his message during the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) flag-raising and awarding ceremony as guest of honor and speaker on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. Dr. Jaudian assisted the COCPO, led by Police Colonel Henry Dampal and Police Lieutenant Colonel Lemuel B. Gonda in giving awards to media personalities. Photo by Gerry Lee Gorit 

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