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Radyo Mindanao May 20, 2019

Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (May 20-26, 2019)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Dutch hostage joins Sayyaf in Philippines

SULU - Philippine police say a Dutch hostage of the Abu Sayyaf has joined the notorious pro-ISIS terrorist group 7 years after he and Swiss wildlife photagrapher were captured in the southern province of Tawi-Tawi.
 
In February 2012, Abu Sayyaf militants under Hajan Sawadjaan and suspected Moro National Liberation Front members kidnapped  Lorenzo Vinciguerra, from Switzerland; and Ewold Horn, 54, from Holland, in the coastal village of Parangan in Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-Tawi.
 
Vinciguerra had escaped from his guards and recovered by soldiers in December 2014 after he allegedly killed one of his guards - Juhurim Hussien - with a bolo. 
 
 
Police released to the Mindanao Examiner photos of abducted Dutch and a Swiss wildlife photographers Ewold Horn, 52, from Holland, and Lorenzo Vinciguerre, 47, of Switzerland. The duo was taken by gunmen on February 1, 2012 in the town of Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi province in the southern Philippines. (Library Photo) 


Horn, according to Sulu police commander Pablo Labra, has developed Stockholm syndrome, a condition which causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. 

 "We received information that he has developed Stockholm syndrome and has been spotted carrying a weapon," Labra told The Zamboanga Post.

It was not immediately known whether Horn had fought security forces side by side with the Abu Sayyaf. "We really don't know if he had fought troops, but if he engages security forces and the lives of our troops are put in grave danger then we have no other recourse but to fight back," he said.

Labra said police forces continue to search for Horn and other foreign captives and at the same time maintain the operation against the Abu Sayyaf. "The operation against the Abu Sayyaf is continuing," he said. 

Philippine authorities blamed the Abu Sayyaf and ISIS in the twin suicide bombings of a Catholic cathedral in Sulu's capital town of Jolo early this year. The attacks, carried out by an Indonesian couple, had killed and injured dozens of people, mostly soldiers guarding the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on January 27.

 
The remains now of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in sulu's capital town of Jolo in this photo taken May 12, 2019. (The Zamboanga Post)
 The bombings on the church occurred 2 years after hundreds of Abu Sayyaf and pro-ISIS militants and civilian supporters took over Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province. The city was recovered by troops after 5 months of house-to-house and close-quarter battle that killed and wounded hundreds of soldiers, militants and innocent civilians trapped in Marawi.

President Rodrigo Duterte also recently warned foreigners to stay out of Zamboanga following intelligence report that ISIS and Abu Sayyaf militants are targeting foreign nationals. “There’s a certain place which I would not recommend to anybody to go there, not just as yet, is Zamboanga. Some Europeans go there for the bird watching and they are captured and eventually they are decapitated even after the payment of ransom. It is the ISIS actually. It used to be the Abu Sayyaf.

Now it’s an Abu Sayyaf territory. They do nothing but to kill and destroy,” he said, but Duterte may have confused Zamboanga to Tawi-Tawi when he said that some Europeans birdwatchers were kidnapped there. (The Zamboanga Post)
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Mayor Sara hails Dabawenyos for favoring 12 HNP Senate bets 

DAVAO CITY -- Mayor Sara Z. Duterte has hailed Dabawenyos for their straight vote for 12 Senate candidates backed by her political party, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a first in this city’s history. “I have said that I feel alone every day, stressing over making sure Davao City is okay but when I am in distress, Dabawenyos carry me on their backs,” she said in her Instagram message on Wednesday.
 
“Sa tanan kalisod, baha, bagyo ug kani nga election sa senador wala gyud ko ninyo gibiyaan (In all the challenges, flooding, storm and this election for senators, you never left me),” Sara said, admitting she was emotional when writing her message.
 
Sara was the campaign manager of HNP, the regional party she formed along with the four Davao Region governors – Claude Bautista of Davao Occidental, Jayvee Tyron Uy of Compostela Valley, Anthony del Rosario of Davao del Norte, and Nelson Dayanghirang of Davao Oriental. She went campaigning with the HNP-backed candidates all throughout the 90-day election period.
 
The mayor said she is humbled by the results of the May 13 elections as she quoted Luke 12:48: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”. She admitted to have cried when she learned that Davao City delivered a 12-0 vote for the senatorial candidates of the HNP. “The tears flowed and the sobbing followed,” she said. “Daghang salamat sa inyong tanan (Thank you very much to all of you),” the mayor said, vowing to work harder “until I break.”
 
In the final election count in Davao City, Dabawenyos voted for Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (533,550); Ronald dela Rosa (518,778); Pia Cayetano (448,599); Cynthia Villar (445,757); Francis Tolentino (400,297); Sonny Angara (384,773); Imee Marcos (367,008); JV Ejercito (322,773); Koko Pimentel (297,452); Dong Mangudadatu (297,338); Bong Revilla (239,899); and Jinggoy Estrada (225,217). In the 13th, 14th and 15th ranks are Grace Poe (207,861); Lito Lapid (172,055); and Jiggy Manicad (166,454), respectively.
 
Meanwhile, the three Dutertes – Sara for mayor, Sebastian “Baste” for vice mayor, and Paolo for first district congressional representative, were proclaimed poll winners around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday along with the first district city councilors. All three were not around and were represented by HNP lawyers Eduardo Legaspina and Warren Leong. Sara garnered 580,440 votes against independent candidate Marcelino Marcellones' 4,270. Unopposed for vice mayor, Sebastian got 558,128 votes. Paolo won with total votes of 197,370 over Susan Uyanguren with 5,135 votes and Rex Labis with 2,124 votes.
 
In a statement, Paolo thanked the people of the first district for choosing him to be their representative in Congress. “I am truly humbled and at the same time, honored by your trust and support to me,” he said. He also thanked the volunteers, friends, and family for their dedication and hard work during the campaign.
 
Paolo vowed to be not only the voice and strength of his constituents in the House of Representatives but also a strong supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte in achieving his vision for the country. On the other hand, the Top 10 party-list groups that received the most votes from Dabawenyos are: PBA (123,211); Dumper PTDA (66,756); Marino (52,242); ACT-CIS (48,962); Duterte Youth (18,526); RAM (12,072); Bayan Muna (9,767); Coop NATCCO (8,858); Senior Citizens (8,845); and 1Pacman (7,040). (By Lilian Mellejor, PNA)
 
 
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Party-list groups urge Comelec to release info on data logs

SOME PARTYLIST GROUPS have urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to release the information on the election data logs to determine no irregularities have taken place during this year’s mid-term polls.
 
“We wanted to manifest this on the floor, not to delay the canvassing but to point out why we need the data logs because some voters reported they weren't able to see the party-list they voted in their receipts," Aaron Pedrosa, legal representative of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), told reporters in an interview. "Even in our bailiwicks, the votes of PLM party-list is too low, it's as if our membership were decimated," he added.
 
Pedrosa, together with the legal counsel of the Murang Kuryente and Akbayan party-lists as well as APPEND (Alliance of Philippine Partners in Enterprise Development) Partylist legal representative Romel Bagares, raised the issue during the canvassing of votes at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
 
This drew the ire of Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who said only objections and concerns about the canvass can be heard during the session.
 
Explaining his side, Bagares, the legal counsel speaking at that time, said there is no such restriction in the rules of canvassing. "Ako po ay nagpapaumanhin kay Commissioner Guanzon kung 'di niya naintindahan ang aking sinasabi dahil siguro sa mikropono pero 'yong ibang commissioners ay narinig po ang sinabi ko, humingi po ako ng permiso (I want to apologize to Commissioner Guanzon if she wasn’t able to understand what I was saying maybe because of the microphone, but the other commissioners heard what I said)," he said.
 
"Wala naman pong ipinagbabawal sa ating rules of canvassing para gumawa po ng ganoong manifestation and motion (The rules of canvassing does not indicate any restriction that you cannot make such manifestation and motion)," he added.
 
Audit logs show the movement or operational activities of vote counting machine (VCM) from the first day of the polls until the last transmission process. Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said he would recommend the sharing of these audit logs with reviewers. “Just to make sure that nothing happens in the system in the transparency server, I am proposing to the Comelec en banc that all the audit logs and system logs of the transparency server be shared with our local source reviewers and even to the media if they want," he said. (Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)
 
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PPA remits record P9.41-B in dividends, taxes for 2018

THE PHILIPPINE PORTS Authority (PPA) continues its strong fiscal performance, as it remitted P3.51 billion in dividends to the national coffers in 2018.
 
On top of this, the state-owned agency likewise paid P5.9 billion in taxes for 2018, more than half of the total taxes it paid in the last 10 years. Overall, the PPA is contributing a record-breaking amount of P9.41 billion in terms of dividends and taxes to the national government for the past year, which can be used for the government’s various social welfare, health and other projects.
 
Latest data from the PPA showed that total dividends for 2018 amounted to PhP3.51 billion, setting another all-time record for the PPA. In 2017, PPA remitted some P3.1 billion, its highest recorded dividend then in the last 30 years. However, dividend payment for 2018 overshadowed the previous year’s, and now marks PPA’s highest dividend payment in history.
 
While growth percentage slowed down for the period covered, the increase in dividend remained high as the 2018 figure is 13 percent higher than the 2017 dividends remitted. PPA is mandated to remit at least 50 percent of its annual net income to the national government after it was granted fiscal autonomy during the term of former President Corazon C. Aquino.
 
Meanwhile, total revenues for 2018 reached P17.49 billion or 8.13 percent higher than the target for the year. The amount is also higher by 14 percent compared to the total revenues recorded a year earlier.
 
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded the PPA for its robust fiscal performance which, in turn, shall contribute to the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program. “As I previously said to the men and women of the PPA, their agency’s future fiscal performance shall be measured against their latest records.
 
The agency has achieved so much in terms of dividends remittance despite the massive infrastructure spending for port rehabilitation and development. This kind of fiscal management shall truly aid the government in achieving the ‘Golden Age of Infrastructure’,” Tugade said.
 
According to PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago, the agency’s performance in the last two years has placed the PPA on stable financial ground, which will enable the agency to continue sustaining port services of the highest standards. “The streamlining of port processes coupled with strategic port development and modernization have greatly contributed to this strong performance as we aim for our operations to be on par with global standards,” Santiago said.
 
Santiago added that the overall remittance of Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) is a positive indication of the country’s growing economic status worldwide.
 
“This is also a testament to the resiliency of the Philippine economy as it continues to thrive despite external pressures from different foreign economies,” Santiago said. With this, the PPA is expected to once again land in the higher echelon of the "Billionaires' Club" of GOCCs contributing billions of pesos in dividends to the national government. PPA is a consistent member of this club in the last decade but belonging only to the bottom half of the club. It only upped the ante when the Duterte administration took over in 2016.
 
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Canada misses trash shipment deadline; Duterte recalls Filipino envoys

THE PHILIPPINES recalled Filipino envoys posted in Canada after Ottawa missed the deadline on shipping out its garbage from Manila,
 
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr said. "Letters for the recall of our ambassador and consuls to Canada went out.
 
They are expected here in a day or so," he said on his official Twitter account. "Canada missed the May 15 deadline. And we shall maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship bound there," he added. Locsin said the Department of Finance informed him that Canadian representatives did not show up in a meeting with the Customs and "that was the trigger".
 
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier warned that Canada's disposal of its garbage is "dangerously disruptive" of Philippine-Canadian ties.  He, however, assured this did not mean that there would be cutting of ties between the two countries. The Canadian Embassy has promised to “resolve the issue, including taking the waste back to Canada.”
 
On the recall of Filipino envoys back to the Philippines, the Canadian Embassy in Manila has yet to respond as of posting. More than a hundred container vans from Canada arrived in batches at the Port of Manila from 2013 to 2014. Initially declared to contain only plastic scraps, it was found to have non-recyclable plastics, household wastes and used adult diapers.
 
Late in April, President Rodrigo R. Duterte gave Ottawa an ultimatum to take back its trash. A few days after, Locsin said the deadline is on May 15, 2019. When asked to comment, Canadian Ambassador John Holmes back then declined to pinpoint the exact date. "No comment right now," he said in an email to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on May 1. MalacaƱang on May 7 said the Canadian government has committed to shoulder all the expenses of shipping out all 69 containers dumped in the Philippines in 2013. (Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)
 
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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Duterte allies in Sulu sweep polls

Sulu Governor-elect Sakur Tan with
President Rodrigo Duterte.
SULU - Returning governor Sakur Tan and his group won the election by a wide margin over their opponents. The Tan patriarch edged over rival Ben Loong, who was supported by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. His sons also won seats: Toto as vice governor and Samier as congressman. Meanwhile his daughter, Sheila, was proclaimed mayor of Maimbung town. Tan is a known philanthropist and an influential Muslim leader, who supported President Rodrigo Duterte’s presidential campaign in 2016 after breaking away from the administration and political party of former president Benigno Aquino 3rd months before elections. Despite being threatened by the military for supporting Duterte instead of former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, Tan rallied almost all of 19 municipal mayors in Sulu and other Muslim provinces to back Duterte, who eventually won by a landslide in the Muslim autonomous region. (The Zamboanga Post)