front page

57 stranded OFWs return home to Misamis Oriental

May 28, 2020

MISAMIS Oriental--The provincial government of Misamis Oriental extended assistance to 57 returning Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW) who arrived here a few days ago after being lockdown in Manila in 40-day. Provincial governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano said that the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management extended the necessary protocol in the prevention of the COVID-19 virus to the returning OFWs. He said that 35 OFWs or Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) arrived on a “sweeper flight” in May 25 while 22 other OFWs arrived in the port of Cagayan de Oro on a “sweeper trip” May 26. The OFWs were escorted to the Barangay Isolation Unit in their respective towns where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine period under the supervision of the inter-agency task force, Dr. Jerie Calingasan, head of the provincial task force, said. An OFW identified only as “Teresa” said that she is relieved and happy to be home after a month of uncertainty while being on a lockdown in Manila. “I never would care being quarantined for as long as I am near my family unlike being caught in a lockdown with a mixture of fear, anxiety and psychological stress being away from the family,” Teresa said.

READ MORE
CIDG files graft raps against 9 village officials in Normin

May 28, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed anti-graft charges against nine village (barangay) officials in Northern Mindanao in connection with the distribution of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Col. Harold Ramos, CIDG regional director in Northern Mindanao, said that some officials came from Baungon in Bukidnon and Bulua in Cagayan De Oro City. He said that the village officials have reportedly violated the government’s SAP program that provides financial assistance to the displaced families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) allocated P 945 billion under the SAP where qualified beneficiaries belonging to the low-income group would receive P 6,000 to P 8,000. On orders of President Duterte, the CIDG filed criminal charges against disqualified public officials that include village officials, mayors, and government officials who have reportedly availed of the financial aid.

READ MORE
Villanueva vows to help Duterte end illegal drugs in 700 days

May 27, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Newly-appointed Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief  Director General Wilkins Villanueva on Wednesday said the pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) is posing a "great challenge" in his campaign against illegal drugs. Villanueva said the PDEA under him will implement new stragety on how to effectively conduct its anti-illegal drugs operations without violating the guidelines on Covid-19. "We have to see-to-it that we dont violate the laws on social distancing and other protocols on Covid-19 during the conduct of our operations," said Villanueva. As the new PDEA head, he said he will focus on identifying the source of illegal drugs to eventually cut the supply of illegal drugs and validate the drug-clearing programs of every barangay. Villanueva, the outgoing regional director of PDEA in Region 10, said he will also lobby for the passage of Magna Carta for PDEA agents to boost the moral and welfare of his personnel. "I still have 700 days left before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends," said Villanueva as he warned people involved in illegal drugs to stop. In Region 10, Villanueva said that only 43-percent of barangays were drug-affected. Northern Mindanao or, Region 10 had 2,022 barangays. He said the Northern Mindanao had the highest conviction rate in the country in terms of illegal drugs. He attributed the highest conviction rating to the excellent collaboration among the members of the five pillars: the community, law enforcement, prosecution, justice and the penitentiary. Villanueva thanked the local government units (LGUs), barangay officials and the PDEA agents for the remarkable achievements of PDEA-Region 10. “Ang gagaling ng mga ahente ko,” he said.

READ MORE
Group hails DOH for phasing out dental mercury amalgam

May 27, 2020

ENVIRONMENTAL justice watchdog BAN Toxics praised the Department of Health (DOH) and Secretary Francisco Duque III for passing Administrative Order No. 2020-0020, effectively phasing-out mercury use in dental restorative procedures. With the phase out, the Administrative Order positions the country in protecting vulnerable populations particularly pregnant women, children, and those with compromised immune systems. Mercury and mercury compounds are toxic chemicals with negative effects on human health and the environment. The World Health Organization listed mercury as one of their top chemicals of major health concern.[1] Dental amalgam is a silver-colored material used to fill teeth with cavities and is made up of 50% mercury and other materials including silver and tin. “This is a landmark regulation coming from the DOH, amidst our collective struggle against COVID-19, and affirms the Department’s continued focus in protecting and nurturing the health of Filipinos,” said Reynaldo San Juan Jr., Executive Director of BAN Toxics.  “The order is also a recognition of other threats from toxic chemicals Filipinos are facing, and that the DOH is taking decisive action against toxins, such as mercury.” The Administrative Order provides a comprehensive policy in the elimination of dental amalgam in the country and sets forth guidelines governing the importation, manufacture, distribution and sale of dental amalgam, and establishes health and safety guidelines in the handling, use, storage and disposal of dental amalgams among dental workers and students, and patients. The Order also aims to raise awareness on alternative dental restorative materials and identify several measures to strengthen the advocacy on dental caries prevention and oral health. In 2014, BAN Toxics conducted a study on the mercury vapor levels in dental institutions. Mercury emission in 5 dental institutions and 3 dental clinics that were tested exceeded the general accepted human exposure limits and provided proof that mercury vapors can be emitted by amalgam fillings. On May 29, 2020, 15 days from the effectivity of the Order, the importation of elemental mercury for use in dental restorative procedures and dental amalgam capsules is banned in the Philippines. The Order also immediately puts a stop to the use of dental amalgam for children fourteen years old and below, pregnant women and nursing mothers. “The global community lauds the steps taken by Secretary Duque and the Department of Health for this visionary order that will protect the lives and health of so many Filipino children,” said Charlie Brown, President of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, a US-based non-profit working with BAN Toxics on the phase out of dental amalgam. “Global fish stocks will be a bit safer to eat, dental office employees will be better protected in the workplace, and future generations will not face the health risk of this mercury exposure.” “We look forward to a new day in our country, as the Philippine dental community, finally closes the chapter on dental amalgam, and embraces toxics-free alternatives,” stated Dra. Lillian Ebuen, founder of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Technology, Philippines. “Our work does not stop here. Sec. Duque has delivered the first punch against mercury, and Pres. Duterte can deliver the knockout punch by ratifying the Minamata Convention on Mercury now. The treaty has been languishing unratified for two years. We urge President Duterte, knockout mercury, ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury now,” exclaimed San Juan.

READ MORE
SEC shuts down CROWD1

May 27, 2020

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered CROWD1 Asia Pacific, Inc. to immediately stop soliciting and accepting investments from the public under a scheme disguised as a digital marketing business. In an order issued May 12, 2020 the Commission directed CROWD1 to cease and desist, under pain of contempt, from engaging in activities of selling and/or offering for sale securities in the form of investment contracts or other similar schemes without prior registration and permit to sell. The SEC also ordered CROWD1 to cease from promoting its investment scheme in social media and other online platforms.  Furthermore, the Commission prohibited CROWD1 from transacting any business involving funds in its depository banks, and from transferring, disposing, or conveying in any manner all related assets for the benefit of the investors. The cease and desist order covers the corporation’s operators, partners, directors, officers, salespersons, agents, representatives, promoters, and all persons, conduit entities and subsidiaries claiming and acting for and on its behalf. The SEC Cagayan de Oro Extension Office (SEC – CDOEO) despite the pandemic which still operates, has been receiving inquiries from various people under jurisdiction regarding to the legality of CROWD1. Numerous reports were also sent via emails of SEC CDOEO.  “We really encourage everyone to always check the SEC Advisories and be extra cautious in dealing your investments to different entities currently operating today amid this pandemic”, Atty. Renato V. Egypto, SEC CDOEO Director said in a statement. The SEC issued the cease and desist order after finding that CROWD1 has operated “a fraudulent investment scheme consisting of the sale and/or offer of inexistent securities in the form of investment contracts to the public.” CROWD1 solicits and accepts investments from the public by offering what it describes as educational packages for a minimum of P6,000 and as much as P240,000. To entice the public to invest, CROWD1 promises member-investors five different bonuses: streamline bonus, binary pairing bonus, fear of loss bonus, matching bonus, and residual bonus from games and gambling apps. CROWD1 likewise touts a pairing incentive payable in euros to encourage member-investors to recruit new members. Representing itself as a digital marketing business, CROWD1 claims it generates income from online games and facilitates the generation by its members of residual income from its affiliate gaming companies such as AFFIGLO and MIGGSTER. The SEC, however, ruled that CROWD1’s scheme involved the sale and/or offer of securities in the form of investment contracts and, thus, required a secondary license under Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code (SRC). Rule 26.3.5 of the 2015 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the SRC defines an investment contract as “a contract, transaction or scheme whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits primarily through the efforts of others.” An investment contract is presumed to exist when a person seeks to use the money or property of other persons on the promise of profits. Also, a common enterprise is deemed created when two or more investors pool their resources even if the promoter receives nothing more than a broker’s commission. In this light, the SEC held that CROWD1 engaged in the sale and/or offer for sale of securities in the form of investment contracts. The Commission also ruled that the act of CROWD1 of publishing and making presentations on its investment/ business scheme through its website, Facebook, YouTube and on-ground events, and inviting investors constituted a public offering as defined under Rule 3.1.17 of the 2015 IRR of the SRC. Section 8 of the SRC provides that securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the SEC. CROWD1 neither secured a secondary license to operate as a broker/dealer, registered as issuer of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds or proprietary/ nonproprietary shares, nor registered any securities pursuant to the SRC. CROWD1 only registered as a corporation for the primary purpose of engaging in business process outsourcing services.   The SEC, however, emphasized that the certificate of incorporation granted to CROWD1 explicitly prohibited the corporation from soliciting, accepting or taking investments or placements from the public as well as from issuing investment contracts. With all these various entities which have the same schemes of defrauding the people by showing certificates of registration from the Commission, SEC-CDOEO takes this challenge to educate the investing public by attending or organizing radio interview and press releases as a strategy of informing the public amid this pandemic. Atty. Egypto added that “Our investing public should always ask for the secondary license if they are dealing an entity which offers/sells investment contracts. It is your right as well as an investor to look for their financial report to assure that the market can sustain the promises they are dealing with you.”   Acting on numerous complaints, reports and inquiries, the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) conducted an investigation, which included surveillance and field operations, for possible violations of the SRC and its IRR. The EIPD was then able to establish by substantial evidence that CROWD1 was selling and/or offering securities to the public in the form of investment contracts without the required secondary license from the Commission. Based on the findings and evidence gathered, the SEC proceeded with the issuance of a cease and desist order against CROWD1. “[I]t is clear that CROWD1 is not authorized to sell or offer its educational packages to the public because they are securities in the form of investment contracts, and CROWD1 does not have the requisite license from this Commission,” the order read. “This undoubtedly warrants the issuance of a cease and desist order because the act of CROWD1 in selling/ offering unregistered securities operates as a fraud to the public which, if unrestrained, will likely cause grave or irreparable injury or prejudice to the investing public.” The public is encouraged to submit their reports for any fraudulent activities which they have the information and send it to seccdoeo@gmail.com for faster action towards the rightful authorities. (PR)

READ MORE
11 killed in Surigao firefight, military overruns NPA camp

May 27, 2020

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City--The military overran a communist rebel camp in the mountains of Surigao del Sur after a six-day running gun battle, killing 11 rebels, the military reported Thursday, the military reported here Thursday. Capt. Al Anthony B. Pueblas, Chief of the army’s Public Affairs Division here, said that the gun battle started Tuesday dawn on May 14, 2020 until May 19, 2020 capturing the large rebel camp that could accommodate 120 people. He said that the military were in hot pursuit of four top ranking NPA rebels of the Northeastern Mindanao Revolutionary Committee (NEMRC) believed to be hauled in the Andap Valley Complex in Surigao Del Sur. The military received reports of the presence of the top communist rebels of the “Komisyon Mindanao” (KOMMID) in the area resulting in the security operation. Pueblas said that Myrna Sularte a.k.a “Malaya”, the Secretary of NEMRC, Alvin Loque a.k.a “Joaquin Jacinto”, the spokesperson of KOMMID, Alfie Masinatao Basa a.k.a “Momoy”, the vice commander of the Regional Headquarters (RHQ), NEMRC, and Lorna Pamutongan Gomez a.k.a “Momay”, the Medical Staff of RHQ, NEMRC, were believed wounded in the six-day skirmishes. He said that unpredictable weather, the rugged and mountainous terrain made it difficult for the army soldiers to retrieve bodies of slain NPAs in the area. Pueblas said that, as of press time, the government troopers were still on a search and retrieval operation in the area as the military received reports about the wounded hiding in the area. No casualties were reported on the military side. Seized in the encounter site were five firearms, two laptops, one overhead projector, flash drives, external hard drives, two anti-personnel mines, hand grenades, bandoleers, assorted ammunition and magazines, handheld radios, food and medical supplies, personal belongings, and high value subversive documents. On May 10, 2020, the military pounded on the NPA’s regional command in the border of Agusan Del Norte and Misamis Oriental, killing 15 rebels, including four ranking officers of the North Central Mindanao Revolutionary Committee (NCMRC).

READ MORE

Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Mindanao Daily News.