ZAMBOANGA CITY – One person was injured in an explosion Wednesday on a highway in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines, police said.
Police said the victim was travelling on a motorcycle when shrapnel from the blast hit him in the village called Muti. Another improvised explosive planted on the side of the road also exploded and a second bomb had been found and detonated in the area.
Security forces cordoned off the highway and cutting traffic flow while policemen and soldiers searched for more explosives as cell phone service was also disconnected in the area to ensure bombers will not use it to trigger detonation. Bombers had previously used cell phone to detonate improvised explosives in Zamboanga.
The blasts occurred just 100 meters away from an army post, but it was unclear if the explosives had been deliberately detonated by the bomber after failing to pass through a checkpoint.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the blasts, but this occurred a day after Rodrigo Duterte assumes the presidency after winning the May national elections. It was unclear whether the blasts were connected to Duterte’s inauguration or not and security officials would not speculate about this. (Ely Dumaboc)
COTABATO CITY - The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), through its food-for-work program, has distributed close to 3,000 sacks of rice and containers of palmoline oil to farmers in South Upi, one of 10 towns in Maguindanao province severely hit by drought.
The program is implemented by the region’s humanitarian and emergency action response team in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (UN-WFP). ARMM Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia and UN-WFP Program Officer Michael Argonza led the food distribution on Tuesday, June 28.
“This is just the first batch of assistance in the three barangays in South Upi that include Barangay Biarong, Lamud and Bongo, we will also implement this program in other barangays,” Atty. Alamia said.
The food-for-work program is only one response in the ARMM action plan for areas recently hit by El Niño as well as areas expected to suffer from La Niña, which is now felt in various parts of Mindanao. The ARMM government has earmarked P7 million for the food-for-work program in South Upi alone.
Under the program, Atty. Alamia said, the government hires target beneficiaries in planting root crops and in cleaning up drainage canals and other infrastructures. Each beneficiary will be paid each month one sack of rice and palmoline oil.
The farmers will receive the assistance for three months and they will get the bulk of harvest (from the farms they planted with crops), Atty. Alamia said. She also reiterated that her office will continue to monitor the progress of the program. Among the beneficiaries is Jonjie Leon, a 22-year old farmer, who expressed his gratitude for the aid. “Malaki po talaga tulong ng programang ito para sa amin, minsan po kasi sa pagsasaka walang kasiguraduahan kung may maiuuwi kami sa aming pamilya, pero sa ganitong klaseng programa sigurado po na may makakain ang pamilya ko araw-araw. (This program helps us a lot since there is no assurance if our regular harvest would be enough to feed our family on a daily basis),” Leon said.
Prior to the food distribution on Tuesday, the UN-WFP already provided the same assistance in three barangays namely Barangay Looy, Romangaob and Kuya.
“With the help of the ARMM government, we send assistance to different barangays in South Upi not only to help mitigate the effects of drought but also in preparation for the impact of La Niña,” Argonza said.
“We will strengthen the disaster risk reduction management councils in all the municipalities that are severely affected by El Niño and those that would be affected by La Niña,” Atty. Alamia said. (Bureau of Public Information)
THE PHILIPPINES is putting up PEDRO (Philippine Earth Data Resource Observation Center), is one of the five components of the PHL-Microsat program of Department of Science and Technology poised to be the satellite ground station and always ready to receive data and satellite images from Diwata-1 at a speed of 2.4Mpbs.
Diwata-1 is the country’s first microsatellite launched into orbit on April 27. It flies in the sky to capture photos and images using its high precision telescope, space borne multispectral imager, and wide field camera for observing large-scale weather patterns and monitoring bodies of water and vegetation.
Filipino scientists and analysts will process received data into various spatial data that will be useful to the Departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture, and National Defense, to name a few.
Data from Diwata will be received by PEDRO and processed for use in crop management especially in times of supply shortage. This technology is a very important tool for the government to better anticipate extreme weather events such as the El Niño Phenomenon.
PEDRO is expected to start operations by the time Diwata-2 is launched in 2017 or 2018 in Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales province. (With a report from Mindanao Examiner)
Liezl M. Cruz poses with her 2016 Bagong Bayani Award for Outstanding
Employee along with other recipients in a ceremony held recently at the
Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.
MANILA - A Filipina working in Abu Dhabi, Liezl M. Cruz, received the 2016 Bagong Bayani (New Hero) Award for Outstanding Employee along with other recipients in fitting ceremonies held recently at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.
The Bagong Bayani Awards is a worldwide search for the country’s outstanding and exemplary Overseas Filipino Workers. As a Filipino hero, her name has been etched, together with the past awardees, on the Bantayog ng mga Bagong Bayani or BBA Wall of Fame located at the Grounds of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Mandaluyong City.
A graduate of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Liezl is a world-class, multi-awarded Filipina financial literacy advocate based in oil-rich Abu Dhabi who is at the forefront of rallying the migrants towards the road to financial freedom.
Cruz, a native of Surigao del Sur province in Mindanao, is working for Nexus Insurance Brokers, the largest independent financial advisory brokerage in Middle East and Singapore. Just like ordinary Filipinos seeking greener pastures for their family, Cruz moved to United Arab Emirate in October 2010. (With a report from Mindanao Examiner)
ZAMBOANGA CITY – A Chinese national has been arrested and detained by police in southern Philippines after a young Filipino woman accused him of molesting her, police said on Monday.
It said Yanhuang Zhang Xie, 23, has been taken into custody by policemen on June 26 from the village of Datu Tangkilan in Zamboanga del Norte’s Sindangan town. Yanhuang, from Xiamen, China was accused of molesting a 17-year old Filipina that he hired to work at his store.
Yanhuang also tried to escape, but was chased by policemen and eventually arrested.
The victim was accompanied by her aunt when they went to the police to file a complaint against Yanhuang. In the police report, the woman said the Chinese man mashed her breast and buttocks inside Yanhuang’s rented room.
She further claimed that Yanhuang brought her there to clean the room, but was shocked when he suddenly pulled her and grabbed her breasts and behind.
It was not immediately known whether the Department of Foreign Affairs informed the Chinese embassy of Yanhuang’s arrest. (Ely Dumaboc)
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two persons were injured in a grenade attack late Monday on the house of a town vice mayor in Basilan province in the Muslim autonomous region, police said.
Police said two men riding tandem on a motorcycle were seen leaving the area after the twin explosions that targeted the house of Tabuan Lasa Vice Mayor Samir Manisan in the village of Buku Tumus.
Manisan was not at home when the attack occurred and police said it has launched an investigation into the blasts. Policemen recovered two safety levers and pins of MK2 grenade at the site and that the attackers lobbed the grenades from the outside.
It was unclear whether the attack was political or not and police said no individual or group claimed responsibility for the explosions that also damaged portion of Manisan’s house.
Police did not say how the injured are related to the politician, but both victims have the same surnames as the vice mayor. (Ely Dumaboc)
COTABATO CITY – Security forces arrested 2 alleged members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and seized grenades and a sub-machine gun from the duo at an army checkpoint in Sultan Kudarat’s Midsayap town in southern Philippines, reports said Monday.
It said duo - Adzal Dansulaw, 56, and Lahmudin Ampuan, 21, - were handed over to the police after the army interrogated them.
They were traveling on a motorcycle when soldiers from the ng 62nd Division Reconnaissance Company manning the checkpoint arrested them on June 23 in the village of Salunayan.
The two men were being linked to a roadside bombing in Ulandang village on June 21 that injured 3 army soldiers also from the same unit and a civilian.
There was no immediate statement from the MILF on the arrest of its members. The MILF signed an interim peace deal with Manila in 2014, but despite the accord, many of its members had been linked to ransom kidnappings in the region, and some joined other radical groups that pledged allegiance with the Islamic State. (Mindanao Examiner)
COTABATO CITY –A deadly collision between a truck and a passenger jeep has left more than a dozen casualties in the Maguindanao province in the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, police said on Monday.
Police said 6 people, all Muslims, were confirmed dead and 9 others injured in the road accident over the weekend in the village of Baka in Datu Odin Sinsuat town. The dead included an eight-year old girl and her mother; and an army soldier assigned with the 37thInfantry Battalion deployed in the province.
The wounded, including the truck and jeep drivers, were rushed to the hospital in Cotabato City while police launched an investigation into the collision. The jeep was heading to Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat province when it collided head on with the truck – driven by Salazar Usman, 54, on the highway.
The impact of the crash overturned the jeep which was being driven by the 29-year old Suandi Sandigan. (Mindanao Examiner)
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ZAMBOANGA CITY – Patay ang isang notoryosong drug pusher at kriminal matapos itong makipagbarilan sa mga parak sa Zamboanga City na tumutugis sa kanya dahil sa pagpaslang nito sa isang sibilyan.
Nakilala ang kriminal na si Herbert Toralba at napatay ito Sabado ng umaga sa Barangay Ayala na kilalang lungga ng mga drug addict at pushers sa Zamboanga.
Sinabi ng pulisya na pinatay ni Toralba si Ronnie Baylon sa naturang lugar kung kaya’t tinugis ito ng grupo ni Senior Inspector Karib Muharram kasama ang mga opisyal ng barangay sa pangunguna ni Kagawad Alex Macapili.
Naabutan ng mga parak si Toralba ngunit nakipagbarilan ito hanggang sa mapatay at nabawi sa kanya ang tatlong pakete ng hinihinalang shabu, gayun rin ang isang .38-kalibre pistol at mga bala.
“Suspect was known as notorious, engaging in criminal activities such as robbery, hold up, extortion and also engage in selling of illegal drugs or shabu at the barangay. Furthermore, the suspect is rank number 2 in priority target list on illegal drugs,” ani Supt. Rogelio Alabata, ang regional police spokesman.
Nabatid na labas-masok sa bilanguan si Toralba at kasalukuyang naka-piyansa sa isang kaso na hindi naman sinabi ng pulisya. (Mindanao Examiner)
KIDAPAWAN CITY – Security forces have been alerted on Saturday in South Cotabato province following a grenade attack at a municipal station there.
Police said the explosion damaged the station in Tampakan town, but there had been no reports of casualties from the attack which occurred Friday evening. Police investigators have recovered fragments of an M79 rifle grenade used in the attack.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the blast, but communist rebels and other armed groups are actively operating in the area.
Just recently, two policemen were shot and wounded when gunmen opened fired at them while serving search warrants on a house in Polomolok town suspected of keeping illegal weapons.
Five people had been arrested by the police in connection with the shooting and that a man managed to escape from the house. Those arrested have been identified as Hamidin, Benjamin, Binzon and Sandra – all surnamed Alab; and Aulen Olivarez.
Another man, Ben Alab, is being hunted down by police forces after he escaped from the house at the height of the shooting. The wounded policemen - PO1 Gilbert Alferez, 32; and PO1 Edwardo Quintana, 28, - were rushed to hospital. They are members of the Special Action Force.
Police said it recovered a shot gun and a pistol and ammunition, including a rifle grenade in the house during the search. Those being held by the police were being investigated for possessing illegal weapons. (Mindanao Examiner)