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Friday, July 31, 2015

'Target Tokyo' - Wikileaks releases top secret NSA targets in Japan

Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9 a.m. CEST, WikiLeaks publishes "Target Tokyo", 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade negotiations and sensitive climate change strategy.
The list indicates that NSA spying on Japanese conglomerates, government officials, ministries and senior advisers extends back at least as far as the first administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which lasted from September 2006 until September 2007. The telephone interception target list includes the switchboard for the Japanese Cabinet Office; the executive secretary to the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga; a line described as "Government VIP Line"; numerous officials within the Japanese Central Bank, including Governor Haruhiko Kuroda; the home phone number of at least one Central Bank official; numerous numbers within the Japanese Finance Ministry; the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa; the Natural Gas Division of Mitsubishi; and the Petroleum Division of Mitsui.
Today's publication also contains NSA reports from intercepts of senior Japanese government officials. Four of the reports are classified TOP SECRET. One of the reports is marked "REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL", meaning it has been formally authorised to be released to the United States' "Five Eyes" intelligence partners: Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.
The reports demonstrate the depth of US surveillance of the Japanese government, indicating that intelligence was gathered and processed from numerous Japanese government ministries and offices. The documents demonstrate intimate knowledge of internal Japanese deliberations on such issues as: agricultural imports and trade disputes; negotiating positions in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization; Japanese technical development plans, climate change policy, nuclear and energy policy and carbon emissions schemes; correspondence with international bodies such as the International Energy Agency (IEA); strategy planning and draft talking points memoranda concerning the management of diplomatic relations with the United States and the European Union; and the content of a confidential Prime Ministerial briefing that took place at Shinzo Abe's official residence.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, said: "In these documents we see the Japanese government worrying in private about how much or how little to tell the United States, in order to prevent undermining of its climate change proposal or its diplomatic relationship. And yet we now know that the United States heard everything and read everything, and was passing around the deliberations of Japanese leadership to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The lesson for Japan is this: do not expect a global surveillance superpower to act with honour or respect. There is only one rule: there are no rules."
WikiLeaks Investigations Editor Sarah Harrison said: "Today's publication shows us that the US government targeted sensitive Japanese industry and climate change policy. Would the effectiveness of Japan's industry and climate change proposals be different today if its communications had been protected?"
Japan has been a close historical ally of the United States since the end of World War II. During a recent Presidential visit to Japan, US President Barack Obama described the East Asian country as "one of America’s closest allies in the world". Today's publication adds to previous WikiLeaks publications showing systematic mass spying conducted by US intelligence against the US-allied governments of Brazil "Bugging Brazil", France"Espionnage Élysée" and Germany "The Euro Intercepts"; "All the Chancellor's Men".
Link: https://wikileaks.org/nsa-japan/

Zamboanga’s disaster drill successful


Photo by Joey Bautista


ZAMBOANGA CITY - Some 200 civil employees and local government officials led by Mayor Beng Climaco participated in an earthquake drill as part of disaster preparedness.

The activity, the first to be held at City Hall, was spearheaded by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO). It also tested how fast responders can evacuate officials and personnel whose functions are crucial in running the affairs of the local government in case of an emergency situation.

Among the government officials who joined the drill were Treasurer Soledad Li, Budget Officer Virginia Gara, Accountant Sylvia Binarao, Engineer Luis Despalo and Legal Officer Jesus Carbon. They were swiftly evacuated to the rendezvous in Cabatangan village.

Different scenarios were simulated such as building evacuation, fire, apprehension of intruders, first aid treatment, and search and rescue operations for missing and wounded employees among others.

CDRRMO head Dr. Elmeir Apolinario acted as the incident commander and was stationed at the command post set up at the Plaza General Vicente Alvarez where all incident planning and tactical operations were directed.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology-Zamboanga head Engr. Allan Labayog said the exercise was successful. “In less than 15 minutes, the officials were evacuated to Cabatangan and there was synchronization of activities as each agency knew what to do,” he said, adding that the result of the activity was beyond expectation.

The drill was participated by the Zamboanga City Police Office, Fire Department, Task Force Zamboanga, the Search and Rescue and Emergency Medical Team, Philippine Red Cross-Zamboanga Chapter and other response teams, and building safety inspection team of the City Engineer’s Office, communication groups, the City Security Unit and the CDRRMO and numerous others.  Observers from the Office of Civil Defense evaluated the exercise. (By Sheila Covarrubias. With reports from E. Dumaboc and Chelsea Rebollos)


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ARMM boosts drive to address iodine deficiency

COTABATO CITY - The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is strengthening its campaign to address problems brought about by iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) among its population as part of the celebration of the 2015 Nutrition Month.
An orientation on the use of WYD iodine checker was conducted recently by Josie Pondevida, a senior science research specialist of the Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, to members of the Regional Bantay Asin Task Force.
Pondevida said such checker can measure the iodine content of a salt sample accurately as compared with the rapid testing kit that has been used by the region’s Department of Health (DOH-ARMM) these past years.
Celia Sagaral, regional nutritionist of DOH-ARMM, said checking the iodine content in salt is the first step to address problems brought about by IDD in the region. This would certify and allow only salt that contains sufficient iodine to be sold in the markets in the region, “as required by Republic Act 8172, or the Act Promoting Iodization Nationwide, and ordered by the Food and Drug Administration.”
Iodine is a mineral needed by the body for normal thyroid function and for adequate production of thyroid hormones. A body that is lacking in iodine results in a range of abnormalities, which are called IDD that could affect all age groups.
IDD includes goiter and poor health conditions such as stunted growth and reduced mental capacity. Insufficient iodine intake of pregnant woman may result in miscarriage and stillbirth. Even with a successful delivery, the baby can be underweight and with conditions such as deaf-mutism and squint or cross-eye, among others.
A teenager and an adult should consume 150 micrograms while a pregnant woman should consume 200 micrograms of iodine per day. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund report, inadequate iodine consumption among children may also result in an average of 13.5 point reduction in intelligent quotient, compared with children having sufficient iodine in the body.
“IDD is not a public health threat in the ARMM, but there are cases of IDD in the region,” Sagaral said. She added the department will conduct a series of iodine checking on salt being sold in the markets in the five provinces of ARMM in the coming months.
The DOH-ARMM will also tap local government units encouraging them to pass ordinances that would make available adequate iodized salt to consumers. The department will also reinforce the so-called Asin Law that requires producers and distributors of food-grade salt to iodize their products.
Sagaral said a series of iodine checking will be conducted to salt sold in the markets in the five provinces of the region this year. School- and community-based information drive will also be conducted to raise awareness among the public on proper iodine intake and the problems brought by IDD.
She also encouraged local salt producers to make their products available for testing at the DOH-ARMM office in Cotabato City. (Bureau of Public Information)

ARMM holds multi-hazard simulation drill

COTABATO CITY - Disaster and emergency authorities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) led the multi-hazard simulation drill on Thursday in the village of Kusiong in Maguindanao's Datu Odin Sinsuat to test the regional and local government’s preparedness in responding to emergency situations. 
 
The drill scenario is part of the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month that carries the theme “Pamilya at Pamayanang Handa, Katuwang sa Pag-unlad ng Bansa.”  This also conforms with the national government’s four-point plan on disaster preparedness specifically on public information, education, communication and disaster response. It was simultaneously done in government and non-government offices, and selected schools and establishments around the country.
 
Recently, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said a magnitude 7.2 earthquake might hit the Philippines anytime, particularly Metro Manila. "We are making our emergency preparations geared towards what we can do for our neighboring communities that's why the constituents must be ready for any natural calamities,” said Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., ARMM's chief of staff.
 
The drill aims at increasing and ensuring the safety of the people during and after the earthquake; evacuation of the affected constituents, with focus on women, children, elderly and persons with disabilities and in providing medical assistance and relief; train participants on the proper action and response during an earthquake; and assess various elements of the response plan designed by the government’s disaster management committee.
 
"Drills and exercises are part of the government’s continuing efforts in enhancing preparedness and awareness," said ARMM's Humanitarian Emergency and Action Response Team (ARMM-HEART) Director Ramil Masukat. ARMM-HEART has been actively promoting public awareness on earthquakes. It also installed an Earthquake Intensity Meter (EIM) to monitor 24/7 earthquakes occurring in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, and nearby towns. The same equipment was also installed in the province of Tawi-Tawi. The EIM measures and displays the seismic scale when an earthquake occurs. It also records and stores various data that are associated with the earthquake.
 
"I think it will be good and beneficial for all of us to be trained as to how to respond to a situation like an earthquake," said Masukat. He also underscored the importance of the people's readiness and vigilance that can increase every individual's chances of surviving any disaster." (Bureau of Public Information)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ageing navy warship visits Zamboanga

 A Philippine Marine stands guard in Zamboanga City where the DRP Gregorio del Pilar made a stopover on its way to Davao City in Mindanao. (Photo by E. Dumaboc)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A refurbished 50-year old US Coast Guard ship bought by the Philippines made a stopover here on its way to Davao City in southern Philippines.
The Philippines obtained the ship, now named BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, in 2011. The ship was a former US Coast Guard Weather High Endurance Cutter. The stopover, officials said, also allowed the public to see the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, which is now considered by the navy as a modern war ship.
Capt. Vincent Sibala, the ship’s commanding officer, said BRP Gregorio Del Pilar boasts of big guns and modern navigational system, among others. He said the voyage of the war ship in many parts of the country is a regular routine.
In September 2012, American and Filipino sailors also worked together to repair and maintain submarine USS Frank Cable - which was on a goodwill visit - and the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar at Subic Bay in the Philippines and at the same time knowledge and honed basic engineering and technical skills, and improved their ships’ inter-operability.
The USS Frank Cable’s routine port call and goodwill visit highlighted the mutual benefits of the Philippine-US defense relationship, as well as the strong historic, community, and military connections between the two countries. (E. Dumaboc)
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Zamboanga sports complex rehab begins

Zamboanga City Government Photo

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The local government has started cleaning up the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex which served as the biggest temporary shelter for more than 120,000 people displaced by rebel attacks in 2013.

Mayor Beng Climaco said the cost of the rehabilitation of the sports complex could reach  P335 million, but the funding - according to Post Conflict and Needs Assessment (PCNA) is only P241 million.

Climaco said the City Government will make a representation to the Office of the President for the additional amount needed for the rehabilitation project.

Rebel forces from Basilan and Sulu provinces under the command of Habier Malik, an aide of Moro National Liberation Front chieftain Nur Misuari, stormed Zamboanga on September 9, 2013 and took over 200 people hostage and used them as shield against government soldiers and policemen. More than 400 people were killed and wounded in the fighting that lasted three weeks.

Misuari, who signed a peace accord with Manila in 1996, accused the Aquino government of reneging on the peal deal and launched a new rebellion, the second in more than a decade.

In 2001, loyal forces of Misuari also attacked military bases in Zamboanga City and Jolo town in Sulu province and the clashes killed over 100 people.

Misuari, who fled to Malaysia after the failed siege, was arrested and jailed, but eventually released by then President Gloria Arroyo after he pledged loyalty and support to the politician. He is now at large and hiding in Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao. (Stephanie P. Gonida)

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P1-B agri-infra projects in Mindanao to boost rural productivity

A number of local traders have benefited the concreting of Purok 2- San Martin Farm-to-Market Road in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. This subproject is among the first projects under the Department of Agriculture's Philippine Rural Development Project. (Photo by Gian Enrique)
DAVAO CITY - A government development project boosts rural production areas in Mindanao with more agriculture-support infrastructures. According to the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in its mid-July report, Mindanao is picking up on its implementation of infrastructure subprojects particularly on road networks across Mindanao. 
A total of 27 concreting of farm-to-market road (FMR) subprojects are in its various stages of implementation covering a total of 102.19 kilometers with a total cost of P1.02 billion. 
These subprojects are implemented under PRDP’s infrastructure development arm IBUILD or the Intensive Building of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development Component. 
“With the IBUILD component, the project aims to put in place strategic and climate-resilient rural infrastructure facilities along the value-chain of the champion commodities in each province in the country. In this manner we elevate the productivity of the countryside and uplift rural lives particularly the farmers and fisherfolk,”said PRDP Mindanao Cluster Project Director Lealyn Ramos. 
Of the figure, Region 9 is implementing a total of 25.67 kilometer road networks amounting to P271.86 million in the towns of Buug, RT Lim, Tungawan and Siay in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay. The projects in Buug and RT Lim have above 50% accomplishment rate.   
Region 10 is implementing a total of P398.71 million worth of farm-to-market roads with a total length of 38 kilometers. Now on its various stages of implementation, the projects are located in the towns of Salay and Initao in the province of Misamis Oriental; Tudela, Calamba and Pana-on in Misamis Occidental; Lala and Kapatagan in  Lanao del Norte and Malitbog in Bukidnon province. 
The report also noted that Davao region is implementing a 2-kilometer FMR subproject with bridge component measuring 45 linear meters amounting P52.28 million in the town of Baganga in Davao Oriental. 
Region 12 is the first region to have completed PRDP infra projects with its one potable water system project in the town of Tampakan in South Cotabato amounting to P4.3 million. 
The region also is implementing some 25.43 kilometer FMR sub-projects in the towns of Isulan in Sultan Kudarat; Tupi and Banga in South Cotabato; Tulunan, North Cotabato and Maitum in Sarangani province. And Talacogon town in Caraga Region is implementing a 2.48-kilometer farm-to-market road amounting to P29.3 million.
While Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has three on-going FMR Subprojects including the 3.06 kilometer FMR in Balindong, Lanao del Sur; and two projects in Parang, Maguindanao with a total length of 5.55 kilometers. All these projects totaled to P88.77 million.
PRDP is a six-year development project that aims to increase farmers' income and develop a more market-oriented, climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector. It is jointly implemented by DA, the World Bank and local government units. (Sherwin B. Manual) 

4 suspected NPA rebels arrested in Davao City

DAVAO CITY – A communist rebel commander and three of his followers were arrested by security forces in Davao City in southern Philippines, the military announced on Wednesday.
Army Captain Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said soldiers and policemen nabbed New People’s Army rebel leader Christopher Rollon and Alexander Bartolome, Rannie Ninal, and Mike Capito along McArthur Highway in Calinan village on July 28.
Caber said security forces also recovered a .45-caliber pistol, two fragmentation grenades, 10 cell phones and assorted batteries, including two blasting caps and materials used in the manufacture of improvised explosives.
He said Rollon’s group was allegedly planning to carry out bombings in Davao City.
There was no immediate statement from the NPA, which has been fighting for a separate state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)
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Students fall ill from massive deworming campaign in Southern Philippines

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Hundreds, if not thousands of students were reported poisoned or fell ill on Wednesday from deworming medicines given by their schools in southern Philippines as part of the government’s National School Deworming Day. 

The campaign was launched by the Department of Health and targeted some 16 million elementary students in 38,000 public schools across the country. 

Initial reports from various media sources said the poisoning occurred in the towns of Manukan, Pinan, Dipolog, Osmena, and Rizal in Zamboanga del Norte province; and also in Tukuran, Bayog, Midsalip, Siay and Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur. There were also reports of poisoning in the towns of Lala, Maranding and Kapatagan in Lanao del Norte, and Iligan City. 

In the town of Midsalip, one mother - Mecsjams Lariosa said three of her children and a niece were poisoned by the medicines given at their school. She said the government should conduct an investigation into the incident. 

“Ipaalam ko lang na tatlo sa mga anak ko at isang pamangkin ko ang nalason dahil sa pinainom na pamurga ng mga teacher. Hindi lang silang apat ang nalason at marami silang mga batang estudyante sa Poblacion B. Midsalip Elementary School sa Zamboanga del Sur ngayon pong umaga nangyari, sana pa-imbestigahan ang teachers doon lalo na yung pinapainom nila pamurga sa mga bata,” she said. (I wanted to inform that three of my children and my niece were poisoned after drinking deworming medicines this morning and there were many other victims – all from the Poblacion B. Midsalip Elementary School in Zamboanga del Sur. This incident must be investigated, especially the teachers who gave the medicines to the children.) 

There were also reports that several school children died from the incidents, but the Department of Health denied this.

Dr. Joshua Brillantes, chief of the Local Health Support Division of the Department of Health regional office, said they have received reports of students complaining of dizziness and abdominal pains after taking the medicines and that they are investigating this incident.

“There were some cases in the municipalities that were reported to us saka yun sa mga hospitals na may mga cases, mga bata na after nakainom ng deworming drugs ay nagkaroon ng mga sakit ng tiyan, pagsusuka at saka nahihilo,” he told radio station E-media in Zamboanga City.

Brillantes has denied reports that some children had died because of the drugs. He did not say what medicines were given, but other reports said it was Benzol (Albendazole), a 400mg chewable tablet. The medicine allegedly had an expiry date marked December 2012.

“May mga kumalat rin na namatay raw, gustong kong ipaalam sa lahat na walang namatay from the provinces. We admit na may mga minor symptoms, we are expecting these mga symptoms like yun pagsusuka kung saan yun maraming bulate o yun loob ng infection ay mataas sa bata usually doon lalabas yun mga symptoms, yun worms are erratic kasi dahil doon sa deworming, usually ang common is abdominal pains, although mayroon tayong mga na-admit sa hospitals yun ay dahil sa pagsusuka so to prevent yun dehydration eh pina-admit sa hospitals,” he said. (There were reports that some of the students died after taking the deworming drugs and I want to tell the public that there were no reports of deaths in the provinces….there were cases of vomiting, but this was due to the reactions of the drugs, especially to those who have worm infestation…and there were students admitted to the hospitals to prevent dehydration.)

Brillantes said they were gathering reports from surveillance officers dispatched in the provinces following the reported effects of the drugs to students who took them.

“So far, unless we have to prove na may kuwan doon sa gamot, meron tayong mga surveillance officers na kumukuha ng mga samples ng gamot para masuri natin ito,” he said.

The deworming campaign in schools was aimed at eliminating so-called soil-transmitted Helminthiasis or intestinal worms among students which can cause poor physical growth and intellectual development and impaired cognitive functions in children and cause anemia and malnutrition. (E. Dumaboc and C. Diabordo)

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Kelot nanampal ng hostess, sinaksak!

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE – Isang 19-anyos na binata na lango sa alak ang nasaksak matapos nitong sapakin ang isang 55-anyos na receptionist ng karaoke bar sa Dipolog City sa Zamboanga del Norte province. 
Nabatid sa pulisya na bigla umanong nagwala si Radil delos Santos at sinapak nito si Gina Dagooc, 55, sa labas ng Cabaron KTV Bar kamakalawa ng gabi. Hindi pa umano nasiyahan ang binata ay pinagsisipa pa ang babae. 
Posibleng babae umano ang dahilan ng gulo. 
Sa puntong iyon, isang lalaki naman na nakilalang si John Carl Cabaron ang sumaklolo sa receptionist at pinagsabihan si Radil, ngunit hindi naman ito nagustuhan ng binata kung kaya’t nagkaroon ng pagtatalo ang dalawa hanggang sa mauwi ito sa suntukan. 
Bumunot umano ng patalim si John at saka inundayan ng saksak si Radil sa katawan at saka mabilis na tumakas. Naisugod naman sa pagamutan ang biktima dahil sa tinamong mga sugat. 
Ayon sa pulisya kahapon ay sumuko na umano si John at kasama nito ang tiyang si Leslie Prieto. Nahaharap sa kasong criminal si John kung sakaling mag-demanda si Radil laban sa kanya. (Mindanao Examiner)
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Maraming estudyante, nalason sa DOH kontra-bulate drive

PAGADIAN CITY – Maraming umanong mga estudyante sa elementarya ang nalason kahapon matapos silang bigyan at painumin ng pang-purga sa bulate na inilunsad ng Departmentt of Health.
Hindi pa tiyak ang tumpak na bilang ng mga nalason, ngunit sa inisyal na im pormasyon ay pumutok ito sa bayan ng Manukan, Pinan, Dipolog, Osmena, at Rizal sa Zamboanga del Norte; at sa bayan ng Tukuran, Bayog, Midsalip, Siay at Pagadian City sa Zamboanga del Sur. At may inulat rin bayan ng Lala, Maranding, at Kapatagan sa Lanao del Norte, at sa Iligan City.
Maaring malaking bahagi ng mga paaralan sa Mindanao ang apektado nito at posibleng libo-libo kundi daan-daang magaaral ang nalason. Hindi pa mabatid ang sangkap ng mga pamurga kung bakit nalason ang mga bata.
Sa Midsalip, sinabi ni Mecsjams Lariosa na tatlong anak at isang pamangkin nito ang nadale at marami pa umanong mga estudyante ang nadamay.
“Ipaalam ko lang na tatlo sa mga anak ko at isang pamangkin ko ang nalason dahil sa pinainom na pamurga ng mga teacher. Hindi lang silang apat ang nalason at marami silang mga batang estudyante sa Poblacion B. Midsalip Eelementary School sa Zamboanga del Sur ngayon pong umaga nangyari, sana pa-imbestigahan ang teachers doon lalo na yung pinapainom nila pamurga samga bata,” ani ng ginang.
May inulat rin na 10 estudyante ang namatay dahil sa gamot na ininom, ngunit itinanggi naman ito ng DOH sa kanilang Facebook page. Hindi naman agad makunan ng pahayag ang mga opisyal ng DOH sa Mindanao ukol sa naganap. Walang inilabas na anumang impormasyon ang DOH ukol sa gamot kontra-bulate at suppliers nito.
Ang pagpapainom ng pang-purga sa mga estudyante ay bahagi ng National School Deworming Day at target nito ang halos 16 milyon magaaral sa mahigit 38,000 paaralang-pampubliko sa bansa. (E. Dumaboc)
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ARMM grants financial assistance to hundreds of scholars in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY - The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM’s) ‘Empowering the Bangsamoro Region through Active Community Engagements in the ARMM (EMBRACE-ARMM)’ program has granted financial assistance to scholars in Maguindanao province.
 
More than a hundred beneficiaries received from the regional government stipend covering the first and second semesters for school year 2014-2015 on July 28, at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City. Half-merit scholars received P10,000 while full-merit scholars received P20,000.
 
John Louie Balagot, ARMM’s deputy executive secretary and concurrent EMBRACE-ARMM program manager, said the regional government earmarked a total of P24 million for the scholarship and as of this month, it has assisted 1,539 students across the region.
 
Checks were handed over by Balagot; Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., ARMM’s chief of staff; Jo Guro, financial management officer of the Commission on Higher Education- ARMM; and Atty. Kirby Abdullah, assistant secretary for Maguindanao convergence.
 
The scholarship program dubbed ‘Academic Investment for Muslim Mindanao’ (AIMM) is known in the past as ‘Iskolar: Para sa Pagbabago, Para sa Bangsamoro’. It aims at helping underprivileged students pursue college degrees. All valedictorian high school graduates from public and private schools in the region are eligible to avail of AIMM scholarship.
 
“The scholarship grant is part of ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman’s commitment to help poor but deserving students in the region especially those living in conflict-affected communities,” said Balagot. He said that it is up to the beneficiary to choose the course and school he, or she, wants to study at and that the program is closely monitoring the scholar’s performance.
 
“We are very thankful to the ARMM government since this scholarship program helps us a lot, especially to me because my parents can’t send me to school,” Sittie Haya Naga, a 22-year old scholar from Capiton, Datu Odin Sinsuat, said in the vernacular. Naga, is a third year student at the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College taking up Bachelor of Science in Public Administration.
 
Abdilla Gintawan, a 46-year-old farmer from Mamasapano, Maguindanao and father of Saguira Gintawan, a recipient of a scholarship, said he commends the efforts of the regional government in helping poor families.
 
“We are still fixing the schedule of the distribution of checks in other provinces such as Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,” Balagot said. (Bureau of Public Information)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bomber dies from accidental explosion in Philippines

DAVAO CITY – The Philippine military said a man had blown himself up after the bomb he was transporting accidentally detonated late Tuesday in Compostela Valley’s Maco town in the restive southern region of Mindanao. 
It said the slain bomber was a member of the New People’s Army that has been fighting for many decades now for the establishment of a separate state in the country. 
Army Captain Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the bomb exploded before the rebel could plant it in the village of Panibasan. 
“(The) still unidentified CPP/NPA bomber was killed when his improvised explosive device prematurely exploded at Purok 1, Barangay Panibasan in Maco, Compostela Valley Province. The said bandit was about to plant the IED when he accidentally detonated the bomb,” he said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. 
There was no immediate statement from the rebel group about the military report. (Mindanao Examiner)
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