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Sandiganbayan sentence Kauswagan Mayor Arnado 10 years in jail

May 18, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital, May18,8:45am) For evicting a family from their homes in 2013, the Sandiganbayan sentenced a town mayor of up to 10 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of three counts of grave coercion charges.  The Sandiganbayan identified the town mayor as Rommel Arnado of Kauswagan, Lanal del Norte. Promulgated on April 26 and send to reporters, the first division of the Sandiganbayan claimed the mayor was found guilty of 3 counts of grave coercion as embodied on the Revised Penal Code under Article 286.  The decision reads that the anti-graft court of the Ombudsman's prosecution team carefully studied Arnado's case and established that he prevented the agrieved parties from staying in their property, despite of the fact that the family has presented a certificate of land title. In fact, the prosecution continued, the eviction was still carried out even without the needed court order coupled with threats and intimidations. The accused Arnado also admitted during the pre-trial conference of having participated in the removal of the complainants' shelters, and this deprived them of their rights to peaceful settlement of the disputed properties. The co-accused of Arnado who remain at large was earlier ordered by the court that cases be also filed against them. They were Rey Camanian, a security officer at Kauswagan police unit and a certain Lauro Diputado, the town hall's casual employee. The court also ordered that said cases filed against the co-accused be archived as they remain at large at press time.   According to the charge sheets kept by the court, it was Camanian and Diputado as well as seven other John Doe's who evicted the houses of Osama, Ibra and Farhana Sambuat including their relatives in Barangay Tacub. The eviction, the charge said, were all based upon the orders of the principal accused Arnado. Prior to the reported eviction, the Sambuat family was already claiming the ownership of the said land that were also claimed by businessmen Henry Dy, Voltaire Rovira and Sotero Trinidad. The disputed land was where the houses of the Sambuat were built for many years. The Ombudsman also added in their reports that aside from driving the Sambuat Family with force and intimidation from their land, the co-accused and their cohorts also demolished the houses of the complainants and also took their material possessions.  In last May 13's midterm national and local elections, the accused Arnado ran again for mayor and was even reelected against his opponent. Arnado garnered 7,854 while his rival, Nestor Ortiz, Sr. only had 2,254 votes.

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Parojinog rivals in politics in a sweep win over 2019 midterm elections

May 17, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital, May 16) - With the downfall of the Parojinogs, tagged as the political kingpins in Ozamis City, their political rivals had a chance to redeem power by sweeping all the major political positions. Based on the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) partial unofficial tally as of May 15, 2019, 7:44pm, mayoralty aspirant Sancho Fernando Oaminal was duly elected mayor thru the people's mandate with his 46,176 votes while his opponent, Connie only had 12,647 votes. Mayor-elect Oaminal run under Nationalista Party while Lim run as an independent candidate. The comelec said the board of canvassers has already reached 100 percent of their canvassing as of this writing and only waiting for the final proclamation. The mayor-elect's father, Henry Oaminal, who run as congressman also won with a wide margin with his 54,151 votes while his opponent, Herminia Ramiro only had 11,213 votes. With the new leadership in Ozamis City erasing the total footprints of the Parojinogs, the city residents are hopeful that the new leadership will implement worthwhile projects for the poor people in the poblacion as well as in the hinterland barangays. The Parojinog clan held power for more than 2 decades and they had amassed a bad reputation due to reported accusations of allegedly involving their family into the illegal drug trade and other illegal activities. The original Parojinog was reportedly the founder of Kuratong Baleleng gang who were allegedly involved in a series of robberies in the country, as well as gun smuggling and illegal gambling activities.         

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Amoeba downs 300 confab participants in Bukidnon

May 17, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital, May 17,2:24pm) Over 300 church members who were attending a convention in Impasug-ong town in Bukidnon were rushed to various hospitals in the province due alleged amoeba, reports said on Friday. The victims were all members of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) religious sect. They were immediately rushed to the hospitals for treatment after they complain of feeling ill and had  stomach aches and started vomiting on May 14, a day after the 2013 National and Local Midterm Elections. The victims, report said, also experienced severe diarrhea before they were confined in different hospitals Hospital officials said they have accounted those immediately confined at their hospital to number around 169. As of press time there were already 45 confined patients that were discharged after their health condition got better. Pastor Allan Alingan, president of the Northern Mindanao  SDA movement told reporters there were around 300 participants of the said youth convention, and they were all having problems because they got sick while the convention was ongoing at Cedar, a government facility in Impasug-ong town in Bukidnon. The said convention facility was located in barangay Impalutao.  Meanwhile, Dr Henry Legaspi, chief of hospital at the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center has ruled out suspicion that it was a diarrhea outbreak. He said specimens of rectal swabs of the patients are now sent to Metro Manila to be checked by medical experts. He said they sent it to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Metro Manila. Personnel from the Department of Health (DOH) were already dispatched at the convention venue and conducted their investigation. Initial findings of medical investigators reported that the venue had swarms of flies, most importantly those near the two septic tanks. Before the convention, the septic tanks were being cleaned out, reports said. The flies contaminated with amoeba disease from the septic tanks were also able to fly at the kitchen where vegetables are placed before they were cooked.   DOH officials even advised convention participants to transfer the venue of the convention far from those infested by flies. However, convention organizers decided to suspend the convention activity as those confined in hospitals are their immediate concerns and priority.   

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Comelec to proclaim winners in Misamis Oriental today

May 16, 2019

THE provincial board of canvasser would likely proclaim the winning candidates in the province of Misamis Oriental at 3 p.m. Thursday (today). Governor Yevgeny Vincente “Bambi” Emano, the incumbent provincial governor, would likely be proclaimed along with the other winners in the midterm election in May13, this year. Among the candidates to be proclaimed are Emano as governor, Zigzag Pelaez, as Vice Governor, Christian Unabia, congressman First Congressional District, and Juliet Uy, congresswoman Second Congressional District. The Padayon Pilipino, a regional political party led by Emano, would likely sweep the gubernatorial slate with a total of eight provincial board members in the province’s first and second district. Each district in the province has six regular provincial board members. Lawyer Aleli Ramirez, provincial election supervisor, said that aside from the usual problems during election day, the election was generally peaceful. Among the problems encountered during the election day are defected precinct count optical scanner and SD cards was causing delays in the canvassing of votes.

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Gandamra reelected Marawi mayor, beats 3 candidates claimed having endorsed and supported by Duterte

May 16, 2019

MARAWI CITY ----- Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra was reelected in the recently concluded national and local elections, beating three other mayoral candidates who claimed being endorsed and supported by President Rodrigo Duterte. With the votes of 22,897, Gandamra, who is a lawyer, got the nod of the Maranaws to lead the city for the next three years while rehabilitation of the predominantly Muslim city is ongoing. Gandamra takes the lead over opponents, Khomenie Taha with 12,366 votes, Marawi former mayor Omar Ali Solitario, 6,097 votes and Ramayana Basman, 4,354 votes. Who are the opponents? Taha is the son of Social Welfare and Development 12 Regional Director Bai Zorayda Taha. He is also an incumbent provincial board member of Lanao del Sur's 1st District. In his campaign posters, it indicates the logo of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago, a regional political group of the presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara, claiming he is backed up by the group. Solitario was included in the Arrest Order (AO) Number 1 of the Department of National Defense which was issued shortly after President Duterte put the entire Mindanao under Martial Law following the attack in Marawi led by the Dawlah Islamiya-inspired Maute Group. He was a consultant of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process before the siege. It is common knowledge that Solitario and Duterte are good friends since the time when the president was still mayor in Davao. Basman is a daughter of National Commission of Muslim Filipino (NCMF) Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan. This tells why the lady lawyer is PDP Laban's standard bearer for Marawi's top post in May 13 election. Taha, Solitario and Basman were present during the grand proclamation rally of Duterte's political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), in Marawi City on April. PRRD was expected to grace the event and raise hands of the local candidates to endorse but he was not able to arrive due to weather condition. No intervention Despite the claims of the three mayoral candidates that they are supported by the president, Gandamra said he thankful that Duterte did not intervene in the political scene in Marawi. "I am thankful, especially to the president na kahit may mga nagsasabing supported sila by the president, I can feel na hindi nangingialam ang ating pangulo sa pulitika sa Marawi City," Gandamra said in an interview. Priority In his second term, Gandamra is committing to strenghten collaboration with the national government to fast track the rehabilitation of Marawi. "Gusto natin na mapabilis ang rehabilitation ng Marawi at ito ang ating priority sa ating second term," Gandamra said. On July, residents of Barangays Daguduban and Tolali, that comprising the sector 1 of the most affected area will start coming back to their area to rebuild their houses destroyed by the five-month war on 2017.  

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Reports of pre-shading of ballots

May 16, 2019

MARAWI CITY ----- The Commission on Elections has yet to receive reports on the alleged 'pre-shading' of ballots during the voting process in Lanao del Sur and Marawi City on May 13.  Provincial Election Supervisor Allan Kadun said this after video footages surface on social media showing a woman, wearing red long dress and light brown scarf, shading ballots filed thickly infront of her. The woman was sitting on an arm chair inside what appears to be a class room. A source said, it happened in one of the voting centers in Marawi City. In the video, another person is seen passing ballots that appeared he have helped in shading the election documents. Some persons were seen around watching the woman who said to be a member of the electoral board according to a source. The source provided this paper the name and the contact number of the woman but she did not respond to the text message and call. Anothe video of a woman pre shading ballots was posted on social media stating it happing in Maguing town in Lanao del Sur. Two persons were seen in the video helping the woman, who said to be a member of the electoral board, shading the thick file of ballots in an arm chair. "For those who has personal knowledge na sila talaga ang nandoon, sila ang kumuha ng picture or video they can file appropriate charges against the teachers or kung sinuman ang mga perpetrators," Kadun said.

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