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Monday, March 27, 2017

ARMM brings 'People's Day' to Basilan

BASILAN - Since February 2015, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) brought free services closer to the public through People’s Day, a monthly activity. And on Monday,  the regional government went to Basilan province's Al-Barka town, the Abu Sayyaf group’s former stronghold, to mount such event.

People’s Day brings different line agencies of the ARMM in convergence to offer free basic social services to the region’s constituents for free, and to reach the people at the grassroots level. “We want to ensure that residents in Al-Barka have access to all the vital services and assistance from the government,” said ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, who led the activity supported by Basilan Governor Jim Saliman, Al-Barka Mayor Darussalam Lajid, heads of regional line agencies, and local officials.

'An unfavorable reputation'

The town may have earned an unfavorable reputation, but the ARMM government is leading the way to make it become a more welcoming and better place. Gov. Hataman said the aim is to free Al-Barka from banditry and poverty by guaranteeing the delivery of government projects in the town.

For 40 years, the town served as the bastion of the terror group Abu Sayyaf, which Gov. Hataman said hampered the government in bringing in support to the town. “The people here deserve quality government service and we are bringing it in,” he said.

Free services rendered

Thousands of residents of Barangay Macalang and those from nearby areas benefited from various forms of assistance during the event. Among the services rendered were: medical and dental consultation and medication; supplemental feeding; distribution of textbooks and children's books; distribution of agricultural inputs and seedlings; domestic and international jobs fair; social pension payout; and distribution of devices to persons with disabilities, among others. The Basilan provincial government also distributed relief goods to the residents.
Takasan Adirul, 65, was thankful that his family received assistance. He added that seeing many people for the first time made the distribution more meaningful. “Ngayon lang kami nakakita ng ganito karaming tao,” Adirul said. “Kahit maraming kaguluhan, alam naming maraming tutulong sa amin."

Various front line services during the activity were as follows: Office of the Regional Governor-ARMM; ARMM Regional Library;Department of Health-ARMM; Department of Labor and Employment-ARMM; Department of Social Welfare and Development-ARMM; ARMM Humanitarian and Emergency Action Response Team (HEART); Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-ARMM; Department of Agriculture and Fisheries-ARMM; Department of Environment and Natural Resources-ARMM; Regional Sports Coordinating Office-ARMM; Regional Darul Ifta-ARMM; and Department of Education-ARMM.

Millions of pesos worth of projects

Gov. Hataman said the people should lead in winning the peace in their place, with the assistance from the local government unit and the ARMM government as well. The governor also inked a memorandum of agreement and groundbreaking ceremony of the P10-million project under the ARMM-Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance and Synergy (HELPS) that would directly benefit Barangay Macalang. Barangay government center and other high-impact projects would be among the projects under the ARMM-HELPS in the barangay.

Since 2012, including the P132.5 million infrastructure budget for 2017, the Al-Barka town would receive P877 million worth of projects from the DPWH-ARMM. Almost 90% of this amount funded 45 kilometers of roads in the town.

 ARMM People’s Day

Gov. Hataman added that People's Day will also be held in the region’s five provinces – Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi – in the coming months. The primary target areas of People’s Day will be conflict-affected barangays in the five provinces.

The ARMM People’s Day is a monthly activity that serves as an opportunity for regional line agencies and offices to offer and render their front-line services to the people of ARMM. Agencies are using this platform as an exposure to actualize their objectives and goals in pursuit of an improved and effective service to people. (Bureau of Public Information)

2 injured in roadside explosion in Basilan

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A roadside explosion on Monday injured 2 followers of a municipal deputy mayor in the restive province of Basilan in the Muslim autonomous region in southern Philippines, authorities said.
It said the blast occurred just as the convoy of the politician, Jul Hataman, of Sumisip town was passing the villag of Marang. Hataman, a relative of the regional governor Mujiv Hataman, was on his way to attend a public event in nearby Al-Barka town when the improvised explosive went off.
The politician was unhurt from the explosion which authorities believed was the handiwork of the Abu Sayyaf. Despite the bombing, the event dubbed as “People’s Day” pushed through with hundreds of villagers attending the occasion.
The injured – Turmi Asikin and Dasid Karim – were rushed to hospital. No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, but the province is a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf whose leaders pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. (Mindanao Examiner)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sayyaf frees 3 Malaysian sailors

SULU – Abu Sayyaf rebels have freed 3 kidnapped Malaysian sailors in the southern Philippines where security forces are battling the ISIS-affiliated jihadist group blamed for the spate of cross-border attacks in Malaysia.
The trio - Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 33, Fandy Bakran, 27, and Mohd Jumadil Rahim, 24 - were released late Sunday in Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region. Two of their companions - Abd Rahim Summas, 63, and Tayudin Anjut, 46, - were also released by the Abu Sayyaf on March 23 and had returned home on Sunday.
The sailors – tugboat crew of Serudong Tiga - were all kidnapped at sea off Sabah’s Lahad Datu town in July 18. It was unknown if Malaysia or their employer paid ransoms to the Abu Sayyaf, but the jihadist group had originally demanded P30 million ransom for each of the sailors.
The Philippine military insisted that troops rescued the sailors. The Abu Sayyaf is still holding at least 2 dozen more Asian sailors kidnapped off the provinces Muslim province of Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sabah. (Mindanao Examiner)

Tawi-Tawi joins Earth Hour 2017

Some of the residents in Bongao town in Tawi-Tawi join the Earth Hour held March 25, 2017.

TAWI-TAWI – The province of Tawi-Tawi in southern Philippines joined the whole country and the millions of communities around the world as residents literally “turn out the lights” for Earth Hour 2017 under the leadership of Governor Rashidin Matba. 
This is in support of Earth Hour - held on Saturday - which is the world’s largest mass participation event that aims to heighten awareness on climate change and symbolize that working together, the people of the world can make a difference in the fight against global warming and pursue a common future.
This year, the Marine Biology and Environmental Science Student Association mobilized the different student organizations at the Mindanao State University (MSU) and in Tawi-Tawi such as Youth4Nature, ECOWATCH Tawi-Tawi, Brotherhood Senior High Students, Supreme Student Council of MSU-TCTO and the Kilusan ng mga Kabataan para sa Kalikasan for Earth Hour. 
Before the switch off, there was a countdown program held at the MSU-TCTO Parade Ground in Sanga-Sanga in Bongao town.  As part of the environmental advocacy and to raise awareness on how to reduce the impacts of climate change, several speakers were invited to share their inspirational messages. 
Among those who gave Earth Hour messages were Governor Matba, who was represented by Yasmin Bulante, Head of the Provincial Monitoring Team. He said that the provincial government has started to put up solar street lights in Mapun and Tabawan to be followed by other municipalities as part of its renewable energy program to combat global warming and climate change.  
The OIC Chancellor of MSU-Tawi-Tawi , Dr. Alma Berowa, said it was her first time to witness Earth Hour being celebrated by MSU Tawi-Tawi and she expressed appreciation that the youth embraced and owned Earth Hour and said that this can be replicated in other campuses of the MSU System.
Police Senior Inspector Nelson Amsiwen, Jr., of the Special Action Force, said the one hour of darkness was one small action, but this can be supplemented by little acts like unplugging electrical appliances when not in use, walking instead of taking a tricycle, among other energy savings measures.
Professor Emeritus Dr. Filemon Romero said that Tawi-Tawi is already experiencing sea level rise which inundated several coastal areas during the highest high tide, storm surges that washed out several houses on stilts, severe drought which affected agricultural production and gave a presentation the rational and objectives of the activity and how we can combat climate change. 
The student leaders, who shared their views about the importance of Earth Hour and the challenges of climate change, were Anina Haslee Julkanain, IOES Governor, Fatima Zarah Hussein, Senior High President and Al-Jayson Abubakar, SSC Senator.  Entertainment numbers were provided by the Andy Basion an outstanding performer Tabawan and student of MSU, film showing and finally a mass Zumba Dance capped this year’s program.  
After the switch off, the participants formed a human chain with flash lights and torches   to symbolize the 60 minutes of sacrifice for Planet Earth.  Earth Hour was celebrated in this southernmost frontier, despite some power outages the Tawi-Tawians are one with the whole world in making a statement that even if we sometimes have power outages, we are willing to sacrifice one hour of darkness to avert Global Warming and Climate Change.
With Tawi-Tawi participation, no doubt this year, the Philippines would once again be number one in terms of number of participation in Earth Hour, an honor which it has maintained for the last six years. (With a report from Fileron Romero.)

4 killed in Jolo grenade attack

JOLO CITY – A grenade attack had killed 4 people and injured over a dozen more in the southern Filipino town of Jolo, police said Sunday.
Police said a man was arrested shortly after the blast on a bakery store late Friday and initial investigation suggests the attack was connected to a feud between two families.
The attack was believed to be in retaliation to an earlier shooting of a child in the village of Busbus also in Jolo.
The suspect, police said, is facing criminal charges. The investigation is continuing and police were questioning the man on how he was able to acquire the grenade. (Mindanao Examiner)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper March 27 - April 2, 2017

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The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper March 27 – April 2, 2017

For all your publication needs and advertisements, please call Sales and Advertising Department at telephone numbers (062) 992-5480 in Zamboanga City and (082) 296-0658 in Davao City or mobile numbers (0995) 520-2358 and (0947) 482-3453. Or you may e-mail us at