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Radyo Mindanao June 10, 2019

Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (August 19-25, 2019)

The Zamboanga Post (August 19-25, 2019)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Basilan village chieftain shot in Zamboanga City


ZAMBOANGA CITY – Motorcycle gunmen shot and seriously wounded a village chieftain of Basilan province in an attack outside a coffee shop in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, police said Sunday.

Police said Sufian Unggas Hadis was with Saddam Pacio, a professor at the Basilan State College, when he was attacked.

The 40-year old Hadis, village chieftain of Pisak-Pisak in the town of Tabuan Lasa, just boarded his car parked outside the Dennis Tea Garden in the village of Baliwasan when he was shot several times by one of the attackers.

Pacio was unhurt from the shooting which occurred near the police station and village hall.

“Based on the statement of witnesses, after having dinner at Dennis Tea Garden together with his companion identified as Professor Saddam L. Pacio of Basilan State College, the victim boarded his automobile, but suddenly, two unidentified male suspects approached the victim and shot him several times using a .45 caliber pistol based on the empty shells recovered,” said Major Helen Galvez, a regional police spokesperson.

She said the assailants escaped on a motorcycle after the shooting.

“The suspects immediately escaped and boarded a black and white XRM motorcycle towards the west coast area. The victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds on different parts of his body,” she said.

Galvez said the police were investigating the motive of the attack. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the shooting and Hadis’ family did not release any statement to the press. (Zamboanga Post)


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Friday, August 16, 2019

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Condemned!

 Public denounce NPA atrocities, recruitment of students

THE PUBLIC CONTINUES to denounce the atrocities and human rights violations against innocent civilians committed by the communist rebel group New People’s Army.

The condemnation is growing and calls to outlaw communism were being revived following the many deaths of students recruited by leftist organizations, but ended up fighting security forces in the countryside.

The Senate has begun an inquiry into the recruitment of students by left-wing groups after parents reported to authorities that their children had been lured to join street rallies and anti-government protests and eventually ended up as rebels.

“We strongly support this (Senate) hearing, even as we commend the mothers who have found the courage to stand up against these local terrorists who have taken away their children,” said Undersecretary Severo Catura, Executive Director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat.

“We honor these parents – vulnerable victims themselves of these terrorists – for voicing out their revulsion over these human rights abuses," he added.

Catura strongly criticized the communist movement, including its front organizations for losing all moral ascendancy to portray themselves as human rights defenders and vilify the democratic government. “We repeat - they are nothing but terrorists and human rights abusers," he said, referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA, its armed wing.

 
A photo from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines shows a small group of New People's Army rebels in an undisclosed jungle lair in the Philippines. 

He said the CPP-NPA have been listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and even the Philippines.
Catura said the crucial human rights to family life calls on every individual "to claim respect for his or her family and to keep relationships in that same family strong."

"The ongoing Senate hearing on the recruitment of children as child warriors by these local terrorists is more than just an inquiry in aid of legislation. It is a strong assertion of the State’s duty to protect a crucial human right – every Filipino citizen’s right to family life," he said.

Catura said this right obligates the State to protect family relations from intrusion, especially incursions that threaten the right to life and liberty of their children who are considered vulnerable persons themselves. "This covers every parent’s right to be protected against the menace of terrorism that threatens to separate – or has already separated – them from their children. The Duterte administration is a champion of this right," he said.

Citing Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Catura said: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” The same tenet is laid out in Article 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights signed by the Philippines in 1986, which also underscores that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation; and [that] everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

He noted that discussions at the Senate hearing have unmasked the terrorist persuasion of the CPP-NPA and its front organizations before the public. "For too long have the local Communist terrorists, through their front organizations, portrayed themselves as so-called human rights advocates and defenders, and the government as the evil human rights violator. This has now ended," Catura said.

Anti-Subversion Law

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año is pushing for a proposal to revive the Anti-Subversion Law to put an end to communist insurgency.

He said the CPP and the NPA, including its front organizations have been trying to overthrow the democratic government for the past six decades now.

“It is about time that we put an end to this conflict that has been bringing our nation down and has killed some 100,000 policemen, soldiers, government officials and innocent civilians. If we truly want to end this scourge of society, the Anti-Subversion Act is urgent, critical, and inevitable,” said Año, a former Philippine military chief.

“It only covers the communists who are actively working to overthrow the government through armed struggle and does not, in any way, cover legitimate dissent, political opposition, or similar groups. We are ready to work with Congress to craft such a legislation that responds to the needs of the times and places the necessary safeguards to ensure our Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms of association and free speech,” he added.

The law was repealed in 1992 after then President Fidel Ramos opened peace talks with communist rebels.

But Año said the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law may have been a mistake because the communist movement gained momentum in many areas and it grew bolder with the support of legal front organizations in urban areas from where they derive logistics, funding, source of cadres, and other forms of support.

“The repeal of the anti-subversion law was a demand of the CCP-NPA-NPF for the conduct of the peace talks in the 1990s. In good faith, the government acceded to those demands for the sake of peace. But instead of laying down their arms and joining mainstream society, the communists grew bolder and used the democratic space accorded to them to regroup, organize, and mobilize,” he explained.

Año said since the repeal of the anti-subversion law, the communists have continuously rejected the government’s call for genuine peace and have instead indiscriminately sowed terrorism across the country. He said the CPP’s constitution categorically states that its goal is to overthrow the democratic, republican system using the weapons of “revolutionary armed struggle and the national united front.”

“Its program declares that this is to be done by building guerrilla fronts “to encircle the cities from the countryside… until it becomes possible to seize power in the cities,” he said. “If we revive the Anti-Subversion Law, we will be able to dismantle the urban mass movement in the cities that fuels the armed struggle in the mountains. We will be able to stifle their so-called ‘legal front organizations’ that provides sustenance to the underground mass organizations. It will be the beginning of an inevitable end,” he added, citing the continuous active recruitment of some 500 to 1,000 youth annually by legal communist front organizations in schools and universities where some 50 to 100 of them become armed members of the NPA.

However, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said instead of reviving the Anti-Subversion Law, he proposed amendments to the Human Right Act in order to address insurgency and terrorism efficiently, according to a report by the Business Mirror which quoted him as saying: “With all due respect to Secretary Año, mere membership in the Communist Party of the Philippines (subversion) is not a crime unless overt criminal acts are committed. Amending and giving more teeth to the Human Security Act will suffice, in my opinion.”

Tyranny, Dictatorship

Jose Maria Sison, the CPP founder and Chief Political Consultant to the National Democratic Front, said Año’s proposal is “one more manifestation of the frenzied drive of the tyrannical Duterte regime to impose a thoroughgoing fascist dictatorship on the people in a vain attempt to end the armed revolutionary movement as well as the broad legal opposition through red-tagging, harassment, threats, abductions and murders.”

“In line with the Duterte tyranny, the most vicious and bloodthirsty officials who love to kill people to solve problems are enamoured of the long-discredited Anti-Subversion Law because it provides for the death penalty, for the prejudgment of people on the basis of guilt by association and for the arbitrary listing of people as “communists” for the purpose of extortions and mass slaughter.”
Sison, who is now in exile in The Netherlands, said the revival of the Anti-Subversion Law will not eliminate the CPP and its so-called people’s democratic revolution, but will only serve to further violate the national and democratic rights of the people and will thus incite the broad masses of the people to rise up.

“The fundamental cause of the armed revolution in the Philippines is neither the existence of the Communist Party in the Philippines nor the communist ideas of Marxism-Leninism but the exploitation and oppression of the Filipino people by imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism in a semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system now lorded over by the tyrant and plunderer Duterte,” he said.

“The revival of the Anti-Subversion Law can give further license to Duterte’s armed minions to violate human rights and can further embolden them to witch hunt, harass, threaten and kill those that they arbitrarily list as “communists” among the critics of the regime and the people in general. Such law can result in bigger mass murders than those perpetrated under Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Kapanatagan,” he added.

Sison said the Anti-Subversion Law has long been discredited as an unjust and anti-democratic law by which anyone can be subjected to punishment on the basis of guilt by association, without the need to present evidence for the personal culpability of the accused for any crime.

“Such law has long been condemned as a poison to the freedom of thought, expression and assembly. Violations of democratic rights under the Anti-Subversion Law will drive more people to further oppose the regime and rise up in arms against it. Threatening to kill and actually killing people for their political ideas will compel them to act in a revolutionary way in order to get rid of the regime of terror that deprives them of the basic freedoms of thought, expression and assembly,” he added. (Joyce Ann Rocamora. With additional reports from the Mindanao Examiner and Business Mirror.)

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Banks ask for ATM fee adjustments

THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said several banks have submitted applications to change their automated teller machine (ATM) transaction fees after the lifting last month of the September 2013 moratorium.

The BSP did not identify the banks asking for adjustments in ATM transaction fees. The prevailing ATM fees range from P11 to P15 per transaction.

But BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said less than 10 banks have applied for adjustments in their ATM transaction fees. She said the requests were being evaluated on a per bank basis since some of them have wide networks of ATMs nationwide, while the others do not have.

Fonacier said those that have applied to reduce their ATM fees were asking for a reduction from the current average of P13 per transaction. She attributed the application for reduced fees to economies of scale and density of ATM cards the banks have issued.

She assured the public that banks will be required to make a public announcement on when the rates on their ATM transaction fees will be adjusted vis-à-vis the central bank’s consumer protection program. She said banks that have applied for higher fees have been required to justify their requests by submitting the necessary documents. “The BSP will try to look at it and review whether it is really justified and that it is reasonable,” she said, noting that rates should not increase beyond P20 per transaction.

Fonacier explained that among the considerations for any fee increase is for the bank to further service the public’s banking needs, especially those in remote and high-risk areas. “Of course, BSP would like the banking public’s needs to be served and so we’re opening this but subject, of course, to the scrutiny of the BSP,” she said.

“The banking public is assured that the BSP would really be very objective in trying to review this. It’s not automatic that (after the) lifting (of the moratorium), they can increase the fees on their own. It would still pass the scrutiny of the BSP,” she added.

Fonacier also encouraged the banking public to tap other electronic banking options, such as the real-time electronic payment systems called InstaPay and PESONet, which are the two clearing houses under the National Retail Payment System. Relatively, BSP Financial Technology Sub-Sector officer-in-charge Vicente de Villa III said they cannot just push InstaPay and PESONet to people because monetary officials still want to give the latter options depending on their profiles.

He explained there are people who still prefer the “old school way” of banking transactions, like over-the-counter and use of ATMs while there are those who want to use latest means, such as through mobile applications. “There are those who don’t want to go out and just stay in their home, especially now with the traffic Different market segments have to be addressed,” he said.

De Villa said there are possibilities of reducing the rates “because there are areas where there is competition and are highly saturated.” But he declined to say how much would be the change in fees, and noted that monetary officials want the rates to be market-dictated. (Joan Villanueva)

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Regulations must promote efficiency, competitiveness: NEDA

THE NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has urged government agencies to ensure that policies, regulations, and other interventions promote market efficiency and do not inhibit competition and innovation.

“Businesses and consumers benefit from greater efficiency and market competition. Government processes, rules and regulations, as well as issuances, should not be overly restrictive resulting in undue and unnecessary burden to businesses, consumers, and the public at large. We need to have a regulatory environment that encourages and not stifles productivity, innovation, and efficiency improvements,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

NEDA issued the statement following the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s (ARTA) call for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to address alleged irregularities in the issuance of Provisional Authority (PA) and the grant of Certificate of Public Convenience to Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) applicants.

ARTA also asked LTFRB to explain its alleged failure to act on applications for the issuance and renewal of PAs within the stamped processing time and the imposition of undue regulatory burden and cost. LTFRB reportedly requires TNVS applicants to file their application in person as the designation of a representative other than the direct ascendant or descendant of the applicants is prohibited.

Just recently, ARTA announced that after receiving LTFRB’s response, it will submit a report of their findings and recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte. It also stated that they will issue an order for LTFRB to automatically approve all applications that have already complied with requirements and are only waiting for a decision.

“The imposition of additional requirements without due cause restricts the entry of market players or businesses in any industry. Our role in government is to simplify and streamline processes to create an enabling environment that would be beneficial to all in the long term,” Pernia said.

The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 aims to institutionalize a National Competition Policy that enhances market competition by fostering an environment that facilitates entry of players and supports regulatory reforms. (With additional report from Cebu Examiner.)


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'Negosyo sa Barangay' attracts Cebu entrepreneurs

CEBU CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry in Central Visayas said government’s effort to teach barrio folks in Cebu some entrepreneurial skills has borne fruit with 44 barangay-based traders showing interest in the "Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay" (NSB) program.

Asteria Caberte, DTI-7 director, said the local DTI has been assisting 44 micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs), who were among the 241 people who participated in the launch of the NSB at the Moalboal sports complex in Poblacion West village recently.

The participants came from Moalboal’s three major villages of Basdiot, Poblacion East, and Poblacion West, Caberte said. “We really want to intensify the awareness and dissemination of DTI programs and services at the barangay level, especially for those (who) have not received or heard of DTI and other government programs,” Caberte said. She pledged to provide “business development services to both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in these barangays.”

The DTI will also facilitate the needs of the village entrepreneurs in business registration, business advisory or counseling, access to finance, seminars, training, and mentorship, shared service facilities, product development, trade fairs, market linkage, consumer advocacy and fair trade laws briefing, and other services through DTI Negosyo Centers, she said.

Caberte said while the residents of the three villages showed interest to learn new trading skills to be taught by the DTI through the NSB, the local government unit of the town led by Mayor Paz Rozgoni, Vice Mayor Inocentes Cabaron, and barangay officials provided support to the initiative.

She said the NSB program is supported by 17 different government agencies, such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the departments of agriculture, labor, and science and technology, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, Social Security System, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The village entrepreneurs also received a lecture on “Pondo Para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso Program” by the DTI’s Small Business Corp. (SB Corp). This program provides microenterprises an “alternative source of financing" that is easy to access and is made available at a reasonable cost.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier commended the DTI for its SB Corp programs after almost 86,000 MSMEs have benefited from more than P3 billion in loans since 2017. DTI-Cebu Director Esperanza Melgar said the NSB program in the province will cover 288 villages from 21 fourth- and fifth-class municipalities.

The program will be implemented from 2019 to 2022. The NSB, a national flagship program espoused by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, aims to promote inclusive growth through business and development, with focus on micro-enterprises in fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-class municipalities in the country. (John Rey Saavedra)

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