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A nurse, a student latest COVID positive in CDO

May 27, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A nurse and a student, both 25-year-old female, were the latest to have contracted the COVID-19 virus here, City Health officials said Wednesday. The Nurse came from the municipal town of Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon while the student came from an uptown subdivision in Lumbia, Cagayan De Oro City. The Nurse frequents in Cagayan De Oro to purchase medical supplies before she reportedly contracted the COVID-19 virus. The female student was the second student found positive for the COVID-19 virus after undergoing “swab test,” health officials said. Dr. Joselito Retuya, the city’s epidemiologist, said that a 26-year-old male student from Iligan City was the first to be found COVID-19 positive. Although the family in Iligan was informed, the student remains in Cagayan De Oro to undergo treatment at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) here. Retuya said that the students were stranded in Cebu after their scheduled licensure board exam for architecture in March was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Lorraine Nery, the head of the city’s emergency operation, said that the students were among the 35 passengers of the “sweeper vessel” that arrived in the port of Cagayan De Oro City on May 19, 2020. She said that 15 passengers of the “sweeper vessel” underwent “swab tests” upon arrival at the port of Cagayan De Oro City. She said that the remaining 20 passengers were found negative of the COVID-19 virus. According to Nery, the city health officials are closely coordinating with the coastguard authorities as contact tracing of the COVID-19 positive passengers continues.

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Memorial Day in the Philippines | Honoring Kagay-anon Patriots of World War II

May 25, 2020

On May 25, 2020, the United States celebrates Memorial Day, a federal holiday dedicated to honoring and mourning military personnel who had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Previously observed on May 30, it has been officially moved to the last Monday of May since 1971, purportedly to allow people to enjoy a long weekend (sounds familiar?). However, veterans groups have decried the change saying people engage in vacations in revelry instead of visiting cemeteries and memorials to honor and mourn those who died while serving in the U.S. Military. The US flag is frequently seen on graves of military personnel in national cemeteries. Memorial Day in the Philippines Not too many people now that Memorial Day has been similarly observed in the Philippines in cemeteries of American military personnel who died in the line of duty. Most notable examples are the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Cabanatuan American Memorial and Clark Veterans Cemetery which are officially cared for by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines occupies 152 acres on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. It contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II, a total of 17,184, most of whom lost their lives in operations in New Guinea and the Philippines. The Clark Veterans Cemetery was formed between 1947 and 1950 by moving the headstones/markers and remains from at least four other U.S. military cemeteries (Fort Stotsenburg 1 & 2, Fort McKinley, and Sangley Point Naval Cemetery) to the new 20.365 acre, 12,000 plot cemetery located just inside the main gate of Clark Air Base.  All WWII dead were moved to the American Cemetery in Manila.    Clark Cemetery contains the remains of U.S. veterans from the USA, USN, USMC, USCG, USAF, Philippine Scouts (PS) and their dependents.  Some, but not all, were veterans of the Spanish/ American, Philippine Insurrection, WWI, WWII (died after the war), Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq wars.  The largest category interred are civilian, mostly U.S. and Filipino and their dependents, all of whom worked for the U.S. Government. There are nearly 9,000 individuals buried in the cemetery as of May 1, 2019. Dual flags have flown over the cemetery since March 1984. Victory Week While there is currently no Philippine equivalent to Memorial Day, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and Armed Forces is pushing to have September 2nd officially recognized as Victory Week to honor and mourn military personnel who died while serving the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). “We have started informally building the surrender of Gen. Yamashita as Victory Week since last year, which we treat as the equivalent of the US Memorial Day. It takes a legislative action to establish it so we made it initially as a tradition until we could elicit acceptance,” said Brig. Gen. Restituto L. Aguilar (ret.), chief of the PVAO’s Veterans Memorial and Historical Division. Even before that is officially recognized by the Philippine government, allow us the privilege of honoring and mourning some of our local heroes who perished during the Second World War in service of the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and the guerrillas of the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP), when the Philippines was still a colony of the US. Although bitter adversaries during the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902 (still carried in American history books as the ‘Philippine Insurrection’), and the first and only colony of the US in Asia since that time, Filipinos never bought into Imperial Japan’s line they were here to free us from the American yoke as partners in the 'Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere". When the Pacific War broke out in December 8, 1941, with Japanese planes bombing Clark Field and other US installations in the Philippines, the greater part of the Filipinos sided with the US and when the USAFFE forces under Maj. Gen. William F. Sharp, Jr. surrendered to the invaders on 10 May 1942 in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, most of the American and Filipinos melted away in the hills of Mindanao to start what eventually became the biggest and most organized group of guerrillas in the 10th Military District, USFIP under Col. Wendell W. Fertig. For this year’s Memorial Day, we honor and mourn some of our Filipino martyrs who fought and died in the service of their beloved Philippines and their adopted country the United States of America. Our Local Heroes Capt. Antonio Julian C. Montalvan (Feb. 8, 1906 - Aug. 30, 1944) was a member of an espionage team as G-2, MC Liaison and Intelligence Officer, of the 10th Military District under Fertig in Mindanao, who reported directly to Gen. Douglas MacArthur.  As a medical doctor, he was able to get information by moving through various hospitals in Manila about Japanese troops in Mindanao, which he passed on to Fertig and which eventually reached MacArthur in Australia. As a member of a spy network, he helped establish coastal radio relay stations in Mindanao, Visayas and Southern Luzon. After three successful intelligence gathering trips by banca to Manila from Mindanao, he was arrested by the Japanese Kempeitai (Military Police) in  Tayabas, and was later detained and tortured in Fort Santiago and the Old Bilibid Prisons in Manila. On August 30, 1944 he was executed by decapitation with the group of Senator José Ozámiz, and the Elizalde Group of Manila which included the writer Rafael Roces and Blanche Walker Jurika, the mother in-law of guerilla leader Charles "Chick" Parsons. The execution took place at the Manila Chinese Cemetery. 1st Lt. Fidel Saa, Sr.   of Cagayan, Misamis, was the 109th Regiment’s dental surgeon. He married Enriquita Mercado of Gingoog City with whom he had three sons: Le Grande, Fidel Jr. and Ruel. On 03 January 1944, he and four other guerrillas and one civilian were captured, tortured and bayoneted to death when the Japanese ambushed their headquarters in El Salvador around 04 January 1945. The other victims were 2nd Lt. Eufronio Jabulin, Sgt. Gregorio Macapayag, Cpl. Gerardo Saguing, Pvt. E. Eling and Chong Ing, a Chinese trader. The Japanese also captured Maj. Fidencio Laplap’s father  Melanio and brought him to Cagayan where he was tortured and killed. The Japanese had no reservations about the age of the suspected spied and guerrillas they killed. Sometime in 1942, Cox  Banquerigo, an intelligence asset of the guerrillas was betrayed by a “friend” and neighbor at the Parke (now Gaston Park) who was an enlisted man with the Japanese-sponsored Bureau of Constabulary (BC). Only 16 at the time, Cox was brought to the Ateneo de Cagayan where he was interrogated, tortured and beheaded. The guerrillas eventually caught up with the traitor and killed him at Barangay, Agusan.  Perhaps the most remarkable Kagay-anon patriots were the Tiano siblings, for whom the Tiano Brothers street in Cagayan de Oro is named after, another story apparently forgotten by the present generation. No less than six of the siblings, five males and one female, were involved in fighting the Japanese in World War II, making them our counterpart to the famous Sullivan Brothers of the US Navy. While only the second eldest sibling Nestor  was killed in action vs. the Japanese at the young age of 24,while repelling a Japanese attack at Aglaloma Point, Bataan on Jan. 23, 1942, this does not by any measure diminish the sacrifice of his five other siblings in the struggle against the Japanese Occupation during the war. The eldest Ronaldo, a 1st Lt. in the nascent Philippine Army Air Force (PAAC), survived the Bataan Death March, but was released by the Japanese from the concentration Camp in Capas, Tarlac and instructed to report to the Japanese headquarters in Cagayan. He came home wearing his full PAAC uniform. Instead, he joined the 120th Infantry Regiment under Maj. Angeles Limena as one of his staff. After the war he joined the newly organized Philippine Air Force (PAF) but left after 18 months to join Philippine Airlines (PAL). He died in a plane crash on Jan. 24, 1950. Apollo became a 2nd Lt. and platoon leader of “C” Company, 1st Battalion, 120th Regiment, 108th Division based in Initao, Misamis Oriental. He died fighting with the 19th Battalion Combat Team (BCT) of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) defending Hill 191 (also called Arsenal Hill) and Hill Eerie, comprising Combat Outpost No. 8  at the Chorwon-Siboni corridor in the west central sector of  Korea on June 20,1952 while repelling a superior force of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. The Philippine Navy’s BRP Apollo Tiano is named in his honor. Uriel became a sergeant of “A” Company, 1st Battalion, 120th Regiment, 108th Division based at Pangayawan, Alubijid, Misamis Oriental, and ended the war in the Signal Corps. The youngest brother Jaime was a private first class at only 15 years of age, and served as medical aide of the 120th Regimental Hospital together with his sister 1st Lt. Fe B. Tiano (RN), who was the unit’s sole regimental nurse at the regimental hospital at Talacogon, Lugait, Misamis Oriental. As Cpl. Jesus B. Ilogon relates in his unpublished manuscript, Memoirs of a Guerrilla: The Barefoot Army,” Lt. Fe Tiano and PFC Jaime Tiano were engrossed in their hospital work, tending to the sick of the regimental hospital. They were so busy that they forgot to apply for their vacation, and when they did, it would be disapproved.” Truly a dilemma that our frontliners in our hospitals and health care facilities could relate with!  “This is the story of the Tianos-brave and courageous, their battles are now part of history. While they went to war, their parents Emilia Bacarrisas and Leocadio Tiano and two sisters Ruth and Emily were left in Lapad (Alubijid, now part of Laguindingan), to stoke the home fires burning,” Ilogon noted.  There are too many others, both known and unknown, who suffered the ultimate sacrifice in our fight for freedom, and it’s beyond our limited knowledge and capacity to mention all of them here. But let this not diminish our recognition of their uncommon valor and faith in our ultimate victory that may serve to inspire us withstand the trials of this unseen enemy which now confronts us the world over. Thank you for your service to the Philippines and the United States of America! MABUHAY!

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Libel raps vs. CDO City Mayor Moreno

May 23, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: City Mayor Oscar Moreno faces libel for accusing a woman by telling President Duterte about the mayor’s inefficiency in handling the COVID-19 issue here.     Leona Cabagnot, a tourism consultant of the province of Misamis Oriental, said she, her family and children suffered sleepless nights and anxiety because of Moreno’s accusation.     Two weeks ago, Moreno accused Cabagnot of reporting to President Duterte by calling “8888,” a telephone line directly connected with Malacañang about Moreno’s alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 issue in the city.     In a press conference, Moreno identified Cabagnot as the woman from Jasaan, who was one of the people engaged in the demolition job against him.     Cabagnot denied the accusation and libeled Moreno in a case filed with the city fiscal’s office here.     Malacañang installed an open line “8888” telephone number to allow anyone to file complaint with any government official perceived to be corrupt and derelict in the performance of their office.

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Police tightens security in CDO’s CoVid infested areas

May 23, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Police tightened security of human movement in a new area here with confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases.     Maj. Ivan Biñas, the spokesperson of the Cagayan De Oro City Police Office (COCPO), said that additional police have been dispatched to contain the movement of people in the Macanhan area.     Macanhan is a densely populated area, part of the village of Carmen, where a 62-year-old female patient was found positive of COVID-19.     Doctors at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) conducted a “swab” test on the woman before she died.     The result, released three days after she died proved that she was positive for the COVID-19 virus, Dr. Jose Chan, the NMMC medical director said.     Biñas said that the additional police force will augment the police team assigned to contain the movement of the nearby Zayas Street, also of Carmen where a female patient also died of COVID-19 virus.     He said that the police assigned a one-side entrance and exit areas in a portion in Macanhan where the COVID-19 positive reside prior to her death.     Acting City Health Officer Lorraine Nery said that the health personnel were now focusing on containing the Macanhan area along with the police in close coordination with the village officials.     She said that the contact-tracing and isolation of people who have direct contact with the patient was already done in the area.

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Talakag farmers optimistic as govt eases rules on Covid-19

May 23, 2020

TALAKAG, Bukidnon -- A group of farmers in the province of Bukidnon has expressed optimism that the agricultural sector in this town would soon be able to recover their losses as the government relaxes its rules on Coronavirus Disease 2019 Covid-19.     Ryan Daño, president of the Miarayon Highland Farmers Association of Talakag in Bukidnon, admitted that many farmers and cooperatives in Talakag town have suffered losses when the government imposed the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in March this year.     While they are issued foodlane pass from the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 10, Daño said they are having a hard time importing their farm produce due to unavailability of sea transport.     Daño and his members in the cooperative transport high value crops such as potatoes, carrots, and cabbage to the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Zamboanga, Surigao, Dipolog, and other areas in Mindanao.     He said the community quarantine caused by Covid-19 also affected the volume of demands of veggies in the local market.     Meanwhile, Charlyn Boctot, a retired teacher and farmer, also expressed optimism that the local economy will gradually recover as the government relaxes its rules on Covid-19.     “Tourism in Talakag is dead,” said Boctot apparently referring to the shutdown of major non-essential establishments.     Prior to the implementation of community quarantine, she said that the town of Talakag has been the favorite hangouts of people from highly-urbanized cities such as Cagayan de Oro City.     She said the town of Talakag has much to offer not just agricultural tourism. Aside from greenery scenes, she said the town is home to various handicrafts made by some native inhabitants.

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Launching of BP2 shows Duterte’s political will, commitment: Go

May 23, 2020

MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Wednesday lauded the official launching of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program as a testament of President Rodrigo Duterte’s political will and his administration’s commitment to help poor urban families return to their home provinces and start anew with new-found hope for a better life.     The BP2 program was launched in Quezon City with a send-off of the first batch of 112 individuals returning to the province of Leyte.     In an interview at the send-off ceremonies, Go pointed out while there were similar programs under past administrations, it is only under the present administration that the program got fully underway.     “Ngayon lang po merong political will ang ating gobyerno, si Pangulong Duterte, na i-implementa ang programang ito. Pinirmahan niya ang executive order para po magtulungan ang lahat ng resources ng gobyerno para po makatulong sa mga kababayan natin na gusto nang umuwi (It is only now that our government has the political will, President Duterte, to implement this program. He signed the EO to coordinate government resources help our countrymen who wished to return to the provinces),” he said.     The BP2 program was institutionalized after President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 114, to “ensure balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources and opportunities through policies and programs that boost countryside development and inclusive growth; provide adequate social services; and promote full employment, industrialization and an improved quality of life in rural areas.”     Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography and Balik Probinsya proponent, said the launching of the BP2 program came in the most opportune time as many “probinsyanos” (province folks) living or working in urban areas, particularly Metro Manila, have expressed their willingness to go home after their painful experiences during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.     As a probinsyano himself, Go said he understands the fascination of the people with Metro Manila as a center of education, employment, as well as entertainment.     “Halos lahat kami fascinated dito sa Metro Manila. Pero bakit ngayun marami ng gustong umuwi? Kasi marami na pong nadala. Ngayon po sila apektado at naipit sila sa sitwasyon dito (Almost all of us were fascinated with Metro Manila. But why is it that many wanted to go home now? It’s because many have had it. They were affected and stranded by the situation here),” he said.     Go, however, clarified that the program is not mandatory for those who wished to stay in the cities.     For those who will avail of the program, he assured that the government is there to assist them with all their needs.     “Bibigyan po kayo ng Duterte administration ng bagong pag-asa pag-uwi nyo po sa inyong mga probinsya. Ang gagawin nyo lang po ay umuwi kayo at trabaho na po ng gobyerno kung papaano kayo papauwiin (The Duterte administration will give you fresh hope upon your return to your provinces. All you have to do is go home and it will be the responsibility of government on how you could get home),” Go said, citing the provisions provided by various national government agencies for the first batch of BP2 beneficiaries.     Under EO 114, almost all agencies of the Executive department are part of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Council.     The returnees to Leyte underwent testing and other quarantine protocols from the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure that they would not be carriers of the dreaded virus to their respective communities.     They were provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with transportation assistance, food packs, hygiene kits, family kits, and other non-food items.     Go said his office, along with several private entities, have also extended additional financial support to the returnees.     Upon their arrival in their home destination, their respective local government units (LGUs) will be on hand to welcome them and endorse them to the regional offices of national government agencies for assessment on what type of livelihood or job they are most fitted.     Go said the housing needs of BP2 beneficiaries would also be provided under the long-term phase of the program.     “Sa abot po ng makakaya ng ating gobyerno, gagawin po namin ang lahat (The government will do everything to the best of its capabilities),” he stressed.     As a legislator, Go likewise assured that he will continuously think of legislative measures that would help Duterte’s BP2 program succeed.     Already pending in the Senate is a proposed measure seeking to provide additional incentives to investors and businesses that would invest in the countryside.     “Pag dumami ang mga factories, plants, o mamumuhunan sa probinsya, mas maraming trabaho na pwede nilang ibigay para sa mga bablik sa probinsya (If factories, plants or investors increase in the countryside, there would more employment opportunities to the returnees),” Go said.     He has also filed Senate Bill No. 203, or the “National Housing Development, Production and Financing (NHDPF) Act of 2019,” which aims to significantly reduce the country’s housing backlog through continuous funding support.     Go, however, admitted that there is no assurance that BP2 beneficiaries would not go back to Metro Manila or other urban centers.     Nevertheless, he urged his fellow probinsyanos to avail of the program and stay in the province, since government will always be there to help them.     “Sa mga kapatid kong Pilipino, sa mga Bisaya, Ilonggo, Ilocano, sa mga uuwi sa probinsya, huwag po kayong mawalan ng pag-asa, nandito naman po ang gobyerno. Kailangan lang po natin ng kooperasyon ng bawat Pilipino para malampasan po natin itong nangyari sa atin (To my fellow Filipinos, Bisaya, Ilonggos, or Ilocanos, to those going back to the provinces do not lose hope, the government is always here. All we need is a little cooperation from every Filipino to overcome this problem),” he said.     “Basta kami po ni Pangulong Duterte at sa adminsitration, lahat ng mga agencies na kasama sa BP2 program, magtutulungan po tayo at makauwi po kayo sa inyong mga probinsya na ligtas (President Duterte and everyone of us in the administration, including all the agencies that are part of the BP2 program, we must all work together and you will safely return to your provinces,” he added. (PNA)

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