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Make livestock in Northern Mindanao at par with Asean

September 11, 2017

CAGAYAN de Oro City—The Board of Investments (BOI) is looking for ways to transform Northern Mindanao’s livestock industry at par with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) standards. This was disclosed by BOI Investment Assistance Service director Raul Angeles, who pointed out that as Asean heads towards closer economic integration, the country’s livestock industry should not be left behind in the scramble for one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world. Angeles, who was in the city Wednesday to promote the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan for Region 10, cited the potentials of the region’s “prolific” livestock industry, which is among the country’s top producers. Data from government agencies showed that Northern Mindanao has around 270,000 heads of cattle, 234,300 goats, 124,000 carabaos, and 899,200 hogs. Northern Mindanao also ranked third among the chicken growers in the country, producing a total of 11 percent of 19,596,441 heads contribution to the national supply annually. The region is also the eighth top grower of ducks with a total of four percent or 444,064 heads produced annually. Angeles said BOI has existing programs and technical assistance so that local growers can become more competitive and raise production standards. He said the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan will serve as a blueprint in guiding Filipino and foreign investors in matching their entrepreneurial and financial capacities with the identified opportunities. According to BOI, the government aims to steer the country’s economic growth “to a broader and sustainable path by maintaining the Philippines’ competencies while developing sectors with potential for inclusive growth by connecting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the global value chain.” (PNA/Mark D. Francisco)

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81 barangays in Normin drug-free

September 6, 2017

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has declared 81 drug-free barangays in Northern Mindanao region as a result of their intensified anti-drug operation and drug clearing program as of June 29. Agent Joerick S. Tacal cited during the monthly meeting of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) region 10 that the province of Misamis Occidental has the most number of drug-free barangays with 43; Misamis Oriental, 18; Camiguin, 12; and Bukidnon, 8. Lanao del Norte, however, has not declared a single barangay yet. Based on the Dangerous Drug Board, before a certain barangay will be declared as drug-free, they must undergo assessment and validation with the chief of police and certified by the mayor, PDEA, the Department of Health and Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG) before the issuance of certificate for drug-free. These parameters include non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug transit/transshipment activity; absence of clandestine drug laboratory; absence of clandestine drug warehouse; absence of clandestine chemical warehouse; absence of marijuana cultivation site; absence of drug den, dive or resort; and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk. Also, absence of drug pusher; absence of drug user/dependent; absence of protector/coddler/financier; active involvement of barangay officials in anti-drug activities; active involvement of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) to help maintain the drug liberated status of the barangay; and existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information and other related programs. The PDEA, Tacal said that among the general guidelines provided in the drug-clearing program are the mandatory creation of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs); the conduct of barangay drug-clearing operations which is divided into three phases, namely the Pre-Operation Phase, Operation Phase and Post-Operation Phase; the classification of barangays in determining the priority areas for clearing operations; the duties of local chief executives in the barangay drug-clearing program; and the penalty for non-compliance. The BADACs were deputized and empowered to plan and implement strategic policies; and evaluate programs and projects on drug prevention and control, given the political and police powers of the barangay to administer the affairs of the community. The conduct of sustaining clearing operations against drug-affected barangays in the initial phase include the activation of BADACs, capability enhancement of all stakeholders through seminars, preventive education and trainings, organization of house clusters to determine all essential facts of illegal drug activities happening in the neighborhood, submission of report containing watch-list of drug personalities, establishment of a rehabilitation referral desk in every barangay, among others. The Operation Phase is the actual implementation of drug supply and demand reduction strategies in drug-affected areas. This is where PDEA and other support agencies come into play. The Post-Operation Phase is aimed to maintain the ‘drug-cleared’ status of the barangays after drug-clearing operations through sustainable support projects such as sports, religious and social activities, implement sustainable livelihood projects as a reintegration program to former users and pushers, and continuing anti-drug awareness programs. Tacal noted that the local chief executives are duty bound to ensure the organization of BADAC in all barangays within their territorial jurisdiction, allocation of substantial portion in the barangay budget and ensure compliance with the duties and responsibilities of the BADAC in the anti-drug campaign. Meanwhile, PDEA in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other operating units made a total of 364 anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 which resulted to the seizure of drugs with an estimated value P18,875,111.91. (EOR/PIA10)

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Centers for teens eyed in 4 Misor towns

September 5, 2017

MISAMIS Oriental--Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano yesterday said the provincial government will put up teen centers in four towns identified with highest pregnancy rates. Along this line, Emano said during the weekly Capitol flag raising ceremony that the provincial government in cooperation with the Population Commission (Popcom) will create teen centers in the towns of Lugait, Magsaysay, Lagonglong and Alubijid. The governor said the teen center will function as a space for the youth to express themselves. In an interview later, Emano announced that the provincial government would request the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) to set aside P100,000 for the construction of each teen center or, a total of P400,000. Each teen center costs P350,000. The remaining P250,000 cost would be shouldered by Popcom, according to Emano. The teen centers will be manned by municipal population officers, peer educators and livelihood trainers that are trained by Popcom. It is unknown yet at this stage what spiked the teenage pregnancy rates in the four towns mentioned, but Emano said the creation of the teen centers will help mitigate the situation. The teen centers will serve as first aid to assist young people with their problems if they cannot express these to their families, according to Emano.

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2 drug suspects slain in NorthCot; another one nabbed in buy-bust

September 1, 2017

KIDAPAWAN City--Two suspected drug couriers were killed in a reported shootout with police operatives in Pikit, North Cotabato, around 2 p.m. Tuesday. Chief Inspector Romy Castanares, chief of the Pikit municipal police station, identified the slain drug suspects as Edzrapel Dima and Bashir Maniling, both residents of Pagalungan, Maguindanao. Castanares said some residents of Barangay Batulawan informed them about the presence of Dima and Maniling in their place. He said the suspects were included in the police’s drug watch list. Informants told police the suspects were on board a passenger tricycle with body number 5-909 and were on their way to Aleosan. Castanares said he then dispatched a team to run after the suspects. He said that on their way to Barangay Batulawan the policemen engaged the suspects in a running gun battle. He said Dima and Maniling ignored calls for them to surrender. They lay dead on the highway minutes after the shootout. They were rushed to the Cruzado Medical Clinic in the poblacion but were declared dead on arrival, he added. Police recovered from the suspects a mini Uzi caliber 9mm machine pistol and several drug paraphernalia. Castanares said the operating teams included his men, operatives of the Regional Public Safety Battalion in Region 12, and 2nd Mechanized Company. In Tulunan town, police arrested a 27-year old farmer in a buy-bust raid, Tuesday night. Police identified the suspect as Jonel Ambid, resident of Barangay Maybula, Tulunan. Based on police records, Ambid has submitted himself to Tulunan police and admitted having engaged in drug trafficking but promised to reform. But police said he returned to selling drugs despite having undergone ‘Tokhang’ twice after his supposed surrender in 2016. Allegedly recovered from Ambid during the buy-bust raid were sachets of shabu and other drug paraphernalia. Charges of violation of Republic Act 9165 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were being prepared against Ambid, investigators said. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)

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Outrage against drug war not enough, Jesuits say

August 30, 2017

WHILE expressing sympathy with the victims of summary killings, the Jesuit community pressed the need for community support and action to curtail the drug problem in the country. The Jesuits stressed that looking away will not solve the problem, but unity behind concerted efforts and action will reduce it. “Though we wish to be in solidarity with all victims of injustice, we must move beyond expressions of outrage to constructive action,” said Fr. Antonio Moreno, provincial superior of the Philippine Jesuit Province. He said these actions may include raising public awareness about the “evil” of illegal drugs and by engaging other people especially the youth to stay away from vices. The priest also rallied everyone to get involved, to work together with Church-based groups, the government and civil society organizations. The Jesuits said it is imperative for everyone to rally behind the authorities and crime-fighting initiatives. “It belongs to us all,” Moreno said, adding that the “evil” that attacks the human “should unite us, not divide us”. That’s why the religious order welcomed the call of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to a multi-sectoral dialogue to understand the drug problem “in depth”. Saying that the drug menace, is not just a political or criminal issue, they said that it is “evil that attacks our humanity”, even “turning policemen into murderers, and the poor into the victims of their own security forces”. “The heartless killing of Kian de los Santos proves this,” said Moreno, referring to the slain 17-year-old schoolboy who was shot dead after allegedly engaging cops in an anti-drug operation in Caloocan City last week. “We need to understand why the soul of the war on drugs is a human soul, and why the enemy of this war is not human rights, but lack of commitment to human rights,” he added. “We cannot build the Philippine nation on the cadavers of the Filipino people.” Here’s the full statement of the Philippine Province Jesuits on fighting the evil of illegal drugs: Coming Together in the Power of the Spirit It is with deep concern for the welfare of our nation that the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus joins His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in appealing to the “consciences of those manufacturing and selling illegal drugs to stop this activity” and “to the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets, to stop wasting human lives.” We agree that the menace of illegal drugs is real and destructive. The imperative to defeat this evil does not belong to the President alone, the Philippine National Police, and the instrumentalities of human government. It belongs to us all. The evil that attacks the human with the power of the demonic, should unite us, not divide us. Battling this enemy, we learn how ineffectual, how flawed, our weapons are. Instead of turning our weapons on one another, we must unite, coordinate, and allow good to ally with good; we must fight this enemy together. Truly, the menace of drugs is not just a political or criminal issue. It is evil that attacks our humanity, turns human beings into zombies, policemen into murderers, criminals into lords, and the poor into the victims of their own security forces. The heartless killing of Kian de los Santos proves this. We cannot fight evil with guns and bullets alone. This evil we must fight with insight, cooperation, cunning, the enlightened use of political and economic power, self-sacrifice, prayer and God’s grace. It is in this spirit that we welcome the call of Cardinal Tagle and the Archdiocese of Manila to a multi-sectoral dialogue. We need to come together to understand the situation in depth. We need to understand why the soul of the war on drugs is a human soul, and why the enemy of this war is not human rights, but lack of commitment to human rights. We need to understand why we cannot fight for human beings by denying them their rights. In a society where the human has so lightly lost his soul to corruption, hedonism, and disrespect for the human person, we need to understand how the poor are illegal drugs’ worst victims, addicted, trafficked, then shot by the guns drug money buys. We need to understand how denying the international drug cartels their markets does not mean killing the poor who are their victims, but reforming the structure which keep the poor poor. We need to understand that building the drug-free, smart, socially-just religiously diverse society envisioned by the Duterte administration needs patient multi-sectoral collaboration of good people collaborating with good people. We cannot build the Philippine nation on the cadavers of the Filipino people. In this spirit of dialogue, where it is clear that the rule of law and the respect for human rights thwart evil, the recommendations of our Ateneo de Manila Human Rights Center pertinent to extrajudicial killings and Operation Tokhang Reloaded might be seriously considered. Truly, we must conquer evil with good. Though we wish to be in solidarity with all victims of injustice, we must move beyond expressions of outrage to constructive action. Teach the youth, wealthy or poor, in our families, schools and our communities, about the evil of illegal drugs; engage them so they are helped to overcome bad habits and engage in good. Join groups that are involved in rehabilitation; many of these are diocesan or parish based; many of them are Civil Society Organizations. Capacitate ourselves to get involved. Join groups that partner with government to strengthen our security forces’ commitment to rights-based policing. Involve ourselves in research that studies the drug trade in the Philippines. Work together with the Church, government and CSOs to truly defeat the drug menace in the Philippines. Use privileged power and information to win this war. Where the fullness of life that the Lord came to bring us (Jn 10:10) is not to be undermined by the evil of drugs, we must be “as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.” (Mt. 10:16). Some demons can be expelled “only by prayer and fasting” (Mt. 17:21). But prayer and fasting should also lead us to come together in the power of the Spirit to overcome this evil. (ANTONIO F. MORENO, S.J. / Provincial) Source: CBCPNews

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Slain Maute members now 583, says AFP

August 23, 2017

AS the fighting in Marawi is now on its 91st day, military units have so far killed and neutralized 583 Maute Group terrorists in the ongoing clearing operations. This was revealed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo in a message Monday. Troopers killed in the ongoing campaign was placed at 129 along with 45 civilians executed by the terrorists. Some 640 firearms were recovered from the Maute Group while 1,728 civilians were rescued, Arevalo added. Earlier, the AFP said that three of the ranking terrorist leaders, who plotted the attack against Marawi City, are still in the locality. Latest monitoring indicated that Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, Omar and Abdullah Maute, the suspected leader of the Maute Group terrorists, are still inside the city. Fighting in Marawi City broke out when government troops tried to arrest Hapilon and his cohorts last May 23. (PNA)

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