How long will Leni stay as Drug Czar?

>> Tuesday, November 26, 2019

By Perry Diaz

The events leading to the appointment of Vice President Leni Robredo as Drug Czar were like a high-stakes poker game.  When President Rodrigo Duterte, apparently annoyed at Leni’s criticism of Duterte’s handling of the bloody anti-illegal drugs campaign – she said the “War on Drugs” wasn’t working -- Duterte dared her to run the campaign herself.  “Let’s see if you can handle it,” Duterte told Leni on October 28, 2019.
VP Leni hesitated and did not accept Duterte’s challenge.  But Duterte, probably sensing that Leni wouldn’t dare take it, appointed Leni as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), which reports directly to Duterte.
It was a gambit by Duterte, who might have thought that Leni would turn down the offer and stop criticizing Duterte.  Indeed, Duterte thinks that Leni was weak.  Wrong.  Leni accepted the offer.  
Although it might have crossed her mind that it was a trap.  Yes, she was enticed to enter the lion king’s den, without any armor or weapons.  There were no rules of engagement.  All she knows was that Duterte calls the shots.  Poor Leni.  Now the lion king can devour her.
She knows from the get-go that there was no job description.  She also knows that her co-chair is the Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Aaron Aquino, a well-entrenched bureaucrat and retired general.  Aquino has a cabinet rank of undersecretary.  He sees himself above Leni.
Senseless killings
Leni’s first act as drug czar is the stoppage of the “senseless killings,” which has so far eliminated 5,500 drug pushers and users.  However, it is estimated that at least 30,000 extrajudicial killings were done by vigilantes and police officers without due process.  Although Duterte didn’t want to stop the “senseless killings” of mostly poor suspected drug users and pushers under “Oplan Tokhang,” he didn’t have much of a leverage to stop it.  
But Leni has difficulty working with Aquino.  When Leni wanted to see the “narcolist” of high-value drug lords, Aquino objected saying that Leni had no authority since she is just a member of a committee.  Whereas, Aquino as Director General of PDEA has the real authority over the war on drugs.   
Leni was reminded that she is only involved in policy matters and has no operational authority.  Which makes one wonder: Is Leni being used as a window dressing for the bloody war on drugs?  Is she just the pretty poster girl on the anti-drug campaign?  It would seem so.
Abusive policies
Duterte stepped in and threatened to remove Leni from her “drug czar” appointment if she “shared state secrets with foreign individuals and entities.”  Prior to Leni’s appointment as drug czar, Leni told Reuters that international help, including from United Nations and International Criminal Court (ICC), “should be sought if the government refused to change tack and stop abusive policies.”
Leni met with officials from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), community-based advocacy groups and U.S. Embassy last week to discuss the drug problem.  
The meeting must have miffed Duterte who said that he would fire Leni as co-chair of ICAD if she shares classified information because certain matters should be kept with the government.  It is apparent that Duterte wants the anti-illegal drugs campaign to remain local and avoid international intervention.
However, Leni said her work as ICAD o-chair could be “limited” without the narcolist.  She said that other agencies could not stop her from fulfilling her task as one of the leaders of the anti-illegal drugs campaign.  Indeed, as a co-equal of Aquino, Leni should have access to all information available to Aquino.
Fire the drug czar
Leni seems to be saying that Duterte can fire her if she continues to pursue getting the narcolist.  She just called Duterte’s bluff.  Now, what’s Duterte’s next move?   
If Duterte decides to go ahead and fire her, it would make him look guilty of setting Leni to fail, which would draw international criticism; now that Leni had invited international groups into the fray.  
But what if Duterte decides to keep her and give her the narcolist?  What has he got to lose?  For one thing he’d lose face.  But he can get himself off the hook easily.  His problem is what does Leni going to do with the narcolist?  
Many believe that the narcolist contains names of influential politicians and powerful, mostly Chinese, drug lords.  If they’re exposed in public, it would put tremendous pressure on Duterte and PDEA chief Aquino to go after them.  But that’s what czar Leni wanted precisely – to root them out and prosecute them.  
The future of the government’s anti-illegal drugs program now hangs in the balance.  But Leni has to relentlessly pursue her plan to go after the drug lords.  The question is:  Is Duterte willing to go along with her plan?  
But what if he doesn’t want Leni to get a copy of the narcolist?  Is Leni going to resign her post as drug czar or is Duterte going to fire her?  Either way, Leni appears to be on her way out… unless she accedes to Duterte’s wish to stay away from the Narcolist.  But to do so would make her a toothless paper tiger. (


SEC warns public on livestock scams


The Securities and Exchange Commission warns the public of the onset of fraudulent schemes offered by various livestock businesses such as the Broilerpreneur Corporation, Super Livestock Holdings Incorporated, and Hybrid Gamefowl Holdings, Incorporated,
Based on information gathered, these entities are enticing the public to invest by purchasing a minimum number of livestock animals with a guaranteed profit of 100% in 60 to 90 days, according to a press dispatch by Helen Veryan C. Valdez of SEC-Baguio.
The Commission has received complaints regarding Hybrid Gamefowl Holdings, Incorporated which offers their investors two texas chicken worth P998 claiming that they will earn P3,000 in 90 days.
Said texas chicken are not actually delivered to the purchaser but instead the entity shall pay the purchaser the agreed amount within a specified date.
These entities, although registered under the Commission, were not issued a secondary license to offer, solicit, sell, or distribute any investments or securities to the public. The investment product should also be registered with the SEC before they can be offered or sold to the public.
Any person who acts as salesman, dealers and agent of these unauthorized investment scams shall be held criminally liable in violation of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) and penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or 21 years of imprisonment, or both.
These entities were also found advertising their products through social media which amounts to public offering of securities as defined by the SRC, to which they are not authorized to perform.
The SEC urged the public to be mindful of the entities they invest into and to stop patronizing Broilerpreneur Corporation, which also operates under the name Broiler Entrepreneurship; Super Livestock; and Hybrid Gamefowl Holdings, Incorporated, which was found to be managed by the same group of persons operating Brix Gamefowl Holdings, Incorporated, and Brix Gamefowl Breeding / Brix Ventures Incorporated / AB Eugenio Trading.
The Commission urged the public to report any questionable solicitations or offerings to the nearest SEC office.


Trends in Philippine indigenous peoples’ land, resources

Alfred P. Dizon

(First of two parts)

BAGUIO CITY -- The recent decision of the Supreme Court “nullifying “spurious ancestral land titles in Baguio City” is now the talk in coffee shops among Baby Boomers of this summer capital.
Shortcut: The SC said such land titles are owned by the City of Baguio since these were proclaimed as townsite reservation areas in the city. The SC said the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples had no authority to issue Certificates of Ancestral Land Titles (CALTs) over these areas.
Ancestral land claimants in Baguio particularly the Ibalois are now apprehensive they will be dispossessed of their lands which their forebears have owned since “time immemorial.”
Observers are saying it is high time, the Ibalois of Baguio show more unity in addressing the issue considering that it is a matter of national significance. The SC decision is a wake-up call for the NCIP to address the matter, they are saying.
This, as indigenous groups and constituents are celebrating the Adivay Festival in nearby, La Trinidad, Benguet, on occasion of the 119th anniversary of the founding of Benguet. They are showcasing their different cultures in events.
In a related development, Jacqueline K. Cariño of the Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples Rights (TFIP) presented recommendations as regards indigenous people’s rights like on ancestral lands during the regional consultation on rights of indigenous peoples in Asia on Nov. 13-15 in Bangkok, Thailand.
This was based on data documented by indigenous peoples organizations during the Philippines national indigenous peoples consultation held Nov. 6-7 in Quezon City.
Their recommendations for action:
Respect indigenous peoples’ rights to land and territories. Recognize ancestral domains not necessarily through issuance of CADT/CALT but also those asserted by virtue of native title or declaration of territories.
Scrap the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. Repeal or amend all laws that blatantly disregard indigenous peoples’ rights to land, territories and resources.
Treat the FPIC (free, prior, informed consultation) as a right and part of the right to self-determination instead of being merely a procedural requirement.
According to Carino’s presentation, the “situation of indigenous peoples’ land, territories and resources in the Philippines can be likened to a huge mango orchard laden with ripe fruits. After indigenous peoples planted the seeds, tended and grew the trees since time immemorial, the fruits, the trees and even the land on which they stand are coveted and now up for grabs by State and corporate interests.
“The current Philippine administration’s 10-point Economic Agenda and the Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022 has set the policy framework for the grabbing of indigenous peoples’ land, territories and resources in violation of the right to self-determination. Government policies and programs in mining, energy development, plantations, forestry, special economic zones and infrastructure are marking a clear trend towards widespread dispossession and displacement of indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories.
“While the Philippines has the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA), considered by the international community as a landmark legislation in the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights, provides for the issuance of Certificates of Ancestral Land and Ancestral Domain Titles (CALT / CADT) and requires Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for projects to be implemented in their territories. However, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has fallen far way below and even violated its own mandate of protecting indigenous peoples’ rights.
“The facts are too many to mention, yet the following examples clearly show how the provisions of the IPRA and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) are being violated by the State and corporate interests in pursuit of their neoliberal economic agenda.
Energy, dams and water supply projects:
“Among the priority projects in Philippines under the Build Build Build program of President Duterte are the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in Kalinga and the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam project in Rizal and Quezon provinces.  Both projects are being built in indigenous communities with detrimental effects, both are revivals of the Marcos-era mega-dam projects, both are multi-billion peso projects funded by onerous Chinese loan agreements disadvantageous to the interest of the Filipino people, both are staunchly protested and resisted by the affected communities and other organizations.
“Many hydropower projects are ongoing or planned in other ancestral territories that will displace more than 100,000 indigenous peoples from at least 106 villages. These include: the Agus-Pulangi dams in Bukidnon and North Cotabato; Balog-balog dam in Ayta lands in Tarlac, Ilaguen Dam in Isabela, Diduyon Dam in Nueva Vizcaya, Jalaur Multi-Purpose Project and Pan-ay River Basin Integrated Development Project in the Tumandok lands in Iloilo and Capiz; Alimit Hydro Complex of the SN Abotiz in Ifugao; Karayan dam in Kalinga; Dupinga dam in Nueva Ecija; Sumag River Diversion Tunnel in Quezon, and the Violago Olympia Power Dam in Rizal.”
Aside from hydropower, the presentation said geothermal energy will be harnessed in the projects of American company Chevron and local company Aragorn Power and Energy in Kalinga province; the PRC Magma in the provinces of Benguet, Mt. Province, and Ifugao; and the Aboitiz Power Corp. in Pampanga and Zambales, and in South Cotabato. Coal Operating Contracts (COC) issued by the Department of Energy are also encroaching on hundreds of thousands of hectares of ancestral lands in 7 municipalities of Surigao del Sur covering parts of the sacred Andap Valley Complex, and in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Palawan.
I would like to share this post by a dying lady. Here are her top five regrets.
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I'd stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I'd let myself be happier.
What do you think?


Truths about speaking in tongues

Jun Malazo

It is one of the hallmark doctrines of the Charismatic/Pentecostal movements.  Most, if not all, Charismatic and Pentecostal-like churches encourage their followers to practice the gift of speaking in tongues.  The emphasis within these groups is always about personal experiences and not about Biblical truth.  Notice what David W. Cloud said about the modern day tongues movement:
“The view that tongues is a gift for every believer and that it is to be exercised today has been an integral part of the Pentecostal movement from its inception.  Tongues-speaking, according to most Pentecostals and Charismatics, has a three-fold purpose:  First, it is a sign of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.”  In this capacity it is a sign both to the believer himself as well as to those who are observing.  Second, it is a means whereby God communicates to the church.  This allegedly occurs as the messages of tongues are interpreted.  Third, it is a “private prayer language” whereby the user edifies himself.  Under this category the private edification is said to produce a wide assortment of benefits, including encouragement during spiritual trials, physical healing, spiritual guidance, even a sleep aid!”
Is this gift of tongues meant to be practiced today?  Does the modern-day tongues movement have any biblical merit at all?  What does the Bible say about the “gift of tongues”?  In this article we will discover what the Bible says, through the first century Christians, regarding the purpose and plan of God concerning this practice.
There is no doubt that “speaking in tongues” does happen and that those who practice this are sincere in what they are trying to achieve. 
However, the question at hand is this:  Is speaking in tongues or praying in some unknown language something that is commanded by God today?  If not, then what is causing this phenomena?  There is a force behind this phenomena.  The Bible says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God…”  (1 John 4:1, KJV).  We need to question whether this modern day phenomena called “speaking in tongues” is really from God or some other force. 
The Greek words for tongue are glossa and laleo which are found 50 times in the New Testament.  Of these, 16 times they refer to the physical organ in the human body.  Once they refer to flames of fire (see Acts 2:3).  The majority of the time (33 times) they refer to human languages. 
When Jesus commissioned His disciples He also mentioned in Mark 16:17, " And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. . . .”  First, the word “tongues” used here is the same word we referred to earlier—glossa.  Secondly, this additional command to the commission was all fulfilled in the Book of Acts when the disciples spoke with tongues or languages that were unknown to them but known to the listeners.
The Bible does talk about the gift of tongues.  We see this throughout the Book of Acts (in Jerusalem, Acts 2:1-4; in Caesarea, Acts 10:44-47; and in Ephesus, Acts 19:1-7) and in Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthian Church.  As we examine the gift of tongues in the Book of Acts, we will find out that tongues were real human languages and not some unintelligible and repetitive babbling. 
Acts 2:5-11 records the first time the gift of tongues was practiced in the New Testament.  This event is known as the Day of Pentecost in which many Jews from varying regions gathered together to worship in Jerusalem.  Notice how these Jews responded when the disciples “…began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (v.4):
"And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God."  (Acts 2:5-11, KJV)
These traveling Jews were amazed to hear the disciples who were unlearned speak their own language groups.  There were multiple languages mentioned above and there was no mention of some new or strange language which no one had ever heard before.
Next, Biblical tongues were not a sign to believers.  According to most Pentecostal and Charismatic Movement doctrines, tongues are commonly said to be a sign to believers.  They consider tongues as a sign of spiritual maturity, faith, blessing, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life.  The Apostle Paul plainly refutes this notion when he said in 1 Corinthians 14:22, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:  but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe"  (1 Corinthians 14:22, KJV).
The Apostle Paul did mention to the church in Corinth, “And forbid not to speak in tongues,” but he also gave many strict guidelines on how tongues should be practiced.  These are outlined in 1 Corinthians 14:27-40.  The first guideline we see is that tongues are to be spoken by course (v. 27).  Those who have witnessed people “speaking in tongues” in churches today would testify that tongues were spoken by many people at once.  Also in the same verse, Paul mentions that whenever tongues are spoken, there must be an interpreter.  Most of the time this command is also not followed in modern day churches.
One of the other strict guidelines that Paul mentioned is something that proponents of the Modern tongues movement ignore.  This is that women are not to be allowed to speak in tongues (v. 34).  Those that have challenged me about the gift of tongues in the past were mostly women. 
While some may think this sounds offensive, we must remember that God is the One that gave the order.  Paul challenges those that may defy the clear leading of the Lord regarding this situation, that if they are truly spiritually mature they will recognize “that the things that I write to unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (v. 37).
The Apostle Paul also mentions that if someone is “speaking in tongues” everything is to be decent and orderly (v. 40).  Anyone that has ever seen a video clip online on many social media and video sharing platforms of people speaking in tongues, knows that it creates an environment of disorder and chaos.  This is not characteristic of the Jehovah God who is the God of order (1 Corinthians 14:40) and the God that is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). 
The gift of tongues is a divine miracle and is sovereignly given by God (see 1 Corinthians 12:11).  In every account in the Book of Acts where there was speaking in tongues, it was divinely and sovereignly given by God.  The apostles never coaxed, forced, or taught anyone to learn how to speak in tongues.  Notice what a Charismatic believer David Bennett says:
“Open your mouth and show that you believe the Lord has baptized you in the Spirit by beginning to speak.  Don’t speak English, or any other language you know, for God cannot guide you to speak in tongues if you are speaking in a language known to you…”
The above statement is nonsensical, and it has absolutely no Biblical merit. 
Does God mean the same gift of tongues practiced in the early New Testament church to be something that Christians should seek to practice in their lives today?  The Apostle Paul answers that questions for us. He says:
"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."  (1 Corinthians 13:8-10, KJV)
Paul said that, “…whether there be tongues, they shall cease….”  The word “cease” is the Greek word pauo which means “to come to an end.”  However, the grammatical tense indicates that it will be a gradual cessation of the tongues.  When will this cessation be completed?  Verse 10 gives us the answer, “But when that which is perfect is come….”  This is referring to canonized Scripture—the Bible which we hold today.  Therefore, the cessation of tongues is completed.
In closing, the modern day tongues movement is not only unscriptural, but it is also dangerous.  It gives innocent bystanders a false sense of spirituality.  It elevates experience over the revealed absolute truth of the Word of God.  It confuses key biblical teachings regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  It is not in line with the character of God.


More squatters after SC voids CALTs

March L. Fianza

BAGUIO CITY -- An influx of more land speculators and squatters is expected after the Supreme Court voided in September some 36 ancestral land titles in Baguio. In other words, the decision says “one man’s loss is another man’s gain”.
With this, it also satisfies the whims of their client – the city, so that those in city hall who are involved in clearing Townsite Sales Applications (TSAs) are overjoyed. Happy days are here again. Advance Merry Christmas.
The other effect of the SC decision is the uncertainty of having future issuances of CALTs in the city, because it seems the colonization by the Americans of Ibaloy lands in Baguio is being sustained by none other than the highest court in the land, and the Ibaloys of Baguio continue to be marginalized.
After reading a copy of the SC decision, it crossed my mind that the justices of the SC second division that rendered judgement by voiding the CALTs were far from considering the intent of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, one of which is to return the lands that were unceremoniously grabbed from them.
The discussions of the justices in that division were mostly pegged on Sec. 78 of the IPRA. The decision signed by then acting Chief Justice and now retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio kept on stressing that Section 78 grants the city charter control over lands within Baguio’s townsite reservation.
It further states that the NCIP has “no legal authority to issue CALTs or CADTs in the city”, short of saying that there are no ancestral lands in Baguio, when the truth remains that all of Baguio is Ibaloy ancestral domain even prior to the arrival of foreign colonizers.
The SC ruling does not appear to me as a carefully-studied output because it only stresses one side that gives the impression that it was not written by a justice of the SC but by anybody.
As an ordinary Ibaloy or Igorot who continuously feels hated and marginalized because of this recent development, I can say that the decision is deficient as it lacked to consider the history that was the foundation of the IPRA.   
Baguio is where the “native title”, also known as the Cariño Doctrine, was first recognized in the country. This was ordered by the US Supreme Court on February 23, 1909 when it recognized the rights of Mateo Cariño, an Ibaloy whose land was grabbed and converted to a military reservation by the Americans.
The Cariño Doctrine has become the basis for inclusion of a provision in the 1987 Constitution which recognized IP rights and was the foundation for the IPRA. But the SC sees it differently.   
Instead, it interprets Section 78 to mean that CALTs and CADTs may be issued by NCIP if the ancestral land was recognized by the American colonial government.
This adds insult to injury. It suggests that the Americans that only came later to colonize the area are even more authorized to administer lands that were already privately occupied by the Ibaloys.
With due respects to our SC justices, I am looking for that part of Section 78 that says that Baguio is not covered by the IPRA but cannot find it. It does not even say that there are no ancestral lands within the city area.
And so, if Baguio is not excluded from the coverage of IPRA, then it is deemed included, the intent of which is to have lands and natural resources be subject to legitimate ancestral land and domain claims by IPs.
Several historical accounts tell us that when the Americans came a few years earlier before the 1909 city charter, the Ibaloys were shoved move away from the center to the outskirts to give way to development of the newly declared city.
This was narrated in an article about an interview with Eugene Pucay Sr. (1901-1992), who was appointed by then President Magsaysay as IP representative to the city council of Baguio in the mid-50s.
A true-blue Baguio boy, Mr. Pucay said in that interview that the early Ibaloys were “pushed” around. He narrated that they moved out from where Sunshine Grocery now stands along Abanao Street, the spot where he was born, to Guisad Valley.
Guisad Valley became their permanent residential place. After they left Abanao, an American took over and put up a business establishment called the Benguet Store. That is plain and simple land grabbing.
Quoting the Americans, Mr. Pucay said the Ibaloys were ordered to move out from the center of the city because “you have many animals and you are making the road dirty. Get out of here and we will give you a place further away. That’s where you will live.”
If that was the way they ordered the Ibaloys around, it appears as if the colonizers had more entitlement or ownership over the lands in Baguio than the first settlers. Maybe Justice Carpio and the second division did not know this.  
After the Ibaloys got out from Abanao in 1911, the Americans surveyed the lands in the outskirts where the displaced Igorots were relocated. The lands that were vacated were then sold to the public to acquire money for construction and development of facilities for the city government.  
That is how Casa Vallejo came into the picture. It is the same reason how the properties along Leonard Wood Road fronting Teachers Camp were acquired by the wealthy businessmen from outside Baguio.
Other sources of historical accounts said that aside from the garden patches at Upper Session road, the Ibaloy siblings Pinaoan and Piraso had a house where the former Empire Cinema stood along Abanao road, but the Americans drove them back to Lucban Valley. Likewise, the Carantes family moved from Session road to Lucban.
In that interview, Mr. Pucay said: “The Americans did not buy the territory, but the Philippine government occupied the Baguio area and made it into a reservation. Until now the City Hall is a squatter. The City of Baguio has no land of its own. It is a reservation composed of 49 sq. kilometers.”  
In the SC decision, it nullified the CALT granted to the heirs of Lauro Carantes, over a 5-hectare property inside the Forbes Park reserve citing environmental isues. In contrast, the city kept on harping about forest protection but did not stop the illegal entry of squatters at Gibraltar within Forbes Park.
In fact, representatives of the city even made petitions in Congress to make the squatter area a barangay and segregate it from the Forbes Park. As I have said in the past, squatters can vote, trees cannot.  


City barangay roads audit / Convention Center defects

Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY – Barangays will be asked to audit their roads where parking had been allowed as basis for validating whether said streets are viable as parking or merely causing traffic obstructions.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong tasked the City Engineering Office Traffic and Transport Management Division under engineer Richard Lardizabal to check on the barangay roads covered by barangay parking ordinances approved by the city council to determine whether they are suitable as parking zones.
The mayor said the city will continue to allow the designation of appropriate roads for parking particularly those covered by barangay ordinances only if it will not result to impeding the flow of traffic.
“Either one-way or two-way road, we will not stop the implementation of the parking ordinances as long as it will not obstruct the traffic flow on said roads,” the mayor said.  
One practice that will be stopped will be the assigning of the parking spaces to particular persons as residents should be accorded equal chances over these slots.
City Accountant Antonio Tabin agreed that the city should be the one to recommend which roads are suitable for parking based on the measurements of the roads.
He said allowing parking based on barangay ordinances alone without considering the viability of the roads will defeat the purpose of the anti-road obstruction law and the widening projects.
The city council also resolved to thresh out the contradicting provisions of two ordinances of the city that deal on parking and anti-road obstruction. 
The city government is planning a “punch list” of the Baguio Convention Center rehabilitation works to determine and correct possible defects and deficiencies in the construction before the actual completion of the project.
 Mayor Benjamin Magalong agreed to the suggestion of City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña and City Building and Architecture Office Asst. Head Johnny Degay to validate the integrity and workmanship of the structure in view of the glaring flaws the mayor noticed when the city used the facility for the Baguio Day celebration last September.
He said the city has to do the punch list while it is possible to conduct a thorough check-up of the jobs done and the materials installed instead of doing it after the project’s completion which would entail the dismantling of the installations. 
Dela Pena said he will arrange a meeting with project implementer Dept. of Public Works and Highways Cordillera Regional Director Tiburcio Canlas for the contractor to accommodate the validation activities.
The mayor admitted having reached a decision not to accept the project because of the poor workmanship of the structure as evidenced by the defective ceiling and warped flooring they observed during the Baguio Day event.
They also noted the inferior quality of the chairs installed but Dela Peña said this was what was indicated in the project specifications.
The mayor said that with its current workmanship, the facility’s safety is suspect and accepting the project would put the city government in a compromising situation.
The project worth P169 million was started in March 2018 and is projected for completion in February 2020.
DPWH-CAR officials and the contractor had earlier assured compliance to the plans and specifications approved for the project. 
Baguio will mark the Climate Consciousness Week with meaningful activities slated on the first week of December.
The city council declared Nov. 19-25 of every year as Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week in Resolution No. 357 series of 2019.
The activities will be spearheaded by the Climate Consciousness and Action Group (CCAG)said to be composed of “environment advocates, consisting of individuals and institutions from the religious sector, the academe, barangays , parishes and civil society organizations from the various sectors in the city who have taken up the exigent challenge to act on averting/minimizing the imminent impacts of global climate change.”
CCAG Co-Convenor Maria Victoria Bautista said their aim is to “create awareness and open opportunities for sustained collective action to combat climate change.”
For the celebration, the group collaborated with the Department of Education, Teachers’ Camp, Baguio-Benguet Birders and the Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines to spearhead three major events, all to be held at the Roxas Hall AVR Teachers’ Camp.
The “Bird and Climate Change: Reconnecting with Nature” slated on Dec. 2-3 at will be a gathering of bird lovers, biodiversity and climate action advocates.
It will feature lectures on Climate Change, Biodiversity, Bird Photography and IP Bird View, a bird watching experience on Dec. 3 and a Bird Photo Exhibit from Dec. 3-7 to showcase the works of the birders groups at the Executive Cottage at Teachers’ Camp.
On Dec. 5-6, a forum on Climate Crisis: Faith and Perspectives—Reflecting on an Existential, Moral and Theological Issue will be held with lectures and discussions among faith representatives discussing the escalating climate crisis and their role as stewards of creation.
A discussion of the philosophy, legal framework and practical side of the Rights of Nature Bill entitled, “Rights of Nature: ON the Sacredness of All Life Forms” is set on Dec. 7.
For inquiries, email at Climateaction forum2018.mes@gmailcom or text/call (63)9303515321/(63)9367265536.



2 arrested for estafa in Apayao

STA. MARCELA, Apayao – Police arrested a certain Larry M Domingo and Benjielyn A Barsatan here Monday at Barangay Consuelo on Monday for estafa. This, after arrest warrant was issued against them by Judge Richardson Agbisit of MCTC, Flora-Sta Marcela, Apayao with P10,000 bail set for each.

Woman nabbed for violence

BAGUIO CITY – A certain Charlene Joice Malinas Akia accused of violation of Republic Act 9262 (violence against women and children) was arrested here Monday morning at Rizal Park.
Judge Ivan Kim M. Morales of RTC Branch 59, Baguio City earlier issued warrant against her with bail set at P40, 000 for her temporary liberty.

Woman arrested for bouncing checks

TUBA, Benguet – Cops nabbed a woman here Monday at Poblacion for bounding checks. Gloria Martin Bernal was earlier ordered arrested by Judge Roberto R. Mabalot of MTC Branch 1, Baguio City with bail set at P52, 000.

 Cops nab man for attempted homicide

BAGUIO CITY – A certain Raffy Mones Austira was apprehended here Monday at No. 52G Tandang Sora St. for attempted homicide. This, after arrest warrant was issued against him by Judge Roberto R. Mabalot of MTCC Branch 1, Baguio City who set bail of P52,000 for his temporary liberty.

Man arrested for violence

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Cops arrested a certain Angelito M. Parez here Monday along km 4 for violation of Republic Act 9262 (violence against women and children).
Judge Marieta S. Brawner-Cualing of RTC Branch 9, Baguio City who ordered the accused’s arrest set bail of P72, 000 for his temporary liberty.

 Woman apprehended for theft in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY – A woman was arrested here Monday for theft. Nabbed at No.10 Ortega Street, Middle Quezon Hill was Jane Garcia Binay-an aka Monique Jane Garcia Melchor after warrant was issued against her by  Judge Roberto R. Mabalot of MTCC, Branch 1, Baguio City who set bail of P8, 000 for her temporary liberty.

Mt. Province frustrated homicide suspect nabbed  

TINGLAYAN, Kalinga – Mountain Province and Kalinga police arrested a certain Jaypee Dalupin Palat here Monday at Maswa, Basao for frustrated homicide.
This, after Judge Sergio T. Angnganay Jr. of RTC, Branch 36, Bontoc, Mountain Province issued warrant against him while settting bail of P40, 000 for his temporary liberty.

Man wanted for rape in Baguio nabbed in P’sinan

LAOAC, Pangasinan – A man wanted for rape was apprehended here Monday at Barangay Casantiagoan. The accused, identified as Jonathan Hidalgo Guillen was the object of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong Rivera of RTC Branch 5, Baguio City. The judge set bail of P120, 000 Gullen’s temporary liberty.

Woman held for estafa in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY – Two women were arrested here Mondasy for estafa.
Cops nabbed a certain Analiza Capales Ariendajose here Monday after Judge Melita Amylesba G. Delson-Macaraeg of MTC, La Trinidad, Benguet issued warrant against her for estafa and setting bail of P18, 000 for her temporary liberty. Ariendajose was nabbed at Purok 6, Km 4, Asin Road.
Also at at Purok 6, km4, Asin Road, cops nabbed Helen Garchitona Capalesby after Judge Delson-Macaraeg also issed warrant against her for estafa. The judge also set bail of P18, 000 for her temporary liberty.

 Bail denied to woman nabbed for illegal drugs

BAGUIO CITY – A judge denied bail to a woman arrested here Monday for illegal drugs. The suspect, identified as Kimberly Ann Alvar Soriano was apprehended at City Hall Loop. Judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera of RTC Branch 5, Baguio City earlier issued warrant against her for violation of Republic Act 9165.  

Woman held for illegal gambling

BAGUIO CITY – A woman was arrested here Monday for illegal gambling. Nabbed at DMAC Sari-Sari Store, Cresencia Village, Buhagan Road was Jacquilene Bandas Gallegos after Judge Leody M. Opolinto of MTCC Branch 3 of Baguio City issued warrant against her with bail set at P40, 000.

    Man held for estafa

BAGUIO CITY – A man was apprehended here Monday for estafa. Nabbed at Quisumbing Street, Trancoville was Eleazar Gulle Luzano after warrant was issued against him by Judge Roberto R.  Mabalot of MTCC, Branch 1, Baguio City.
Mabalot set bail of P50, 000 for Luzano’s temporary liberty.  

 Estafa lands man in jail

BAGUIO CITY – A certain Vilmor Wakit Garcia was arrested here Monday at No.12B, Barangay Dominican-Mirador for estafa. This, after Judge Glenda T. Ortiz-Soriano of MTCC Branch 2, Baguio City issued warrant against him for for the crime with deceit and false pretenses with bail amounting to P36, 000.  

Man held for violation of engineering law

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A man accused of violating Republic Act 8560 (law on practice of geodetic engineering) was arrested here at JE 202 Shamolog, Pico on Monday. Nabbed was Roderick Oyando Lite after Judge Roberto R. Mabalot of MTCC Branch 1, Baguio City issued warrant against him while stting bail of P12, 000 for his temporary liberty.  

 P80-K bail set for man in theft case

NAGUILLAN, La Union – Cops nabbed a man here wanted for theft in Baguio City. Nabbed recently at Natividad, Poblacion was Rodel C. Padaoan after Judge Rufus G. Malecdan Jr., of RTC, Branch 60, Baguio City issued warrant against him for theft. The judge set bail of P80,000 for Padaoan’s temporary liberty.

 Man held in Tabuk City for violence

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Police arrested a man here Monday for violation of Republic Act 9262 (violence against women and children). Nabbed at Dagupan Centro was Edmar Aglibot Carreon after Judge Jerson E. Angog of RTC, of RTC Branch 25, Bulanao, Tabuk City, Kalinga issued warrant against him with bail set at P72,000.

Man arrested in Baguio for theft

BAGUIO CITY – A certain Ashley Kilip Chan was arrested here Monday at Abanao Street for theft. Judge Ivan Kim B. Morales of RTC Branch 59, Baguio City earlier issued warrant against Chan wirth bail set at P3,000.

Attempted homicide suspect  arrested

PINUKPUK, Kalinga – A man was arrested here at Barangay Aciga on Nov. 14 for attempted homicide. Nabbed was Jonel Gonayon Bitanga following warrant issued against him by Judge Nympha Dugayhon Abbacan of MCTC, Pinukpuk-Rizal, Pinukpuk, Kalinga. The judge set bail of P12,000 for Bitanga’s temporary liberty.

3 men siphon truck’s crude oil ; hold witness

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Police are trying to establish identity of three men who threatened and held a man against his will inside a van here after he saw them siphoning the gas of a truck around 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 14 here at Lamtang, Puguis.
The complainant/victim was identified as Romeo Ucol De Vera, 66, married, newspaper vendor, Rosario, La Union and resident of Lamtang.
The victim told police he was walking at Lamtang Road towards Naguilian Road to wait for a ride going to Baguio City when he passed by the three male persons siphoning the crude oil of the truck parked beside the road.
He directed his flash light towards the three men but one of the latter pointed a handgun at him and asked him why he was directing his flashlight at them.
They told him to go inside a white van parked near the truck where one of the men guarded him while his two companions continued siphoning. When the suspects were done, the suspects released him and they left on board said van. He told police he remembered only the van’s plate number as D 943.

2 women steal mother’s cell phone; identified by CCTV

BAGUIO CITY – Two women who pickpocketed a woman’s cell phone at an establishment along Lakandula St., Lower Gen. Luna here are now in jail after they were identified through CCTV footage.
The victim was identified as Gloria Villaruz Rosario, 41, married, of Purok Bakakeng Central while suspects were named as Leah Datol Dawagan and Melanie Joy Datol Capatas, both residents here of UP Cypress, Irisan.   
Investigation bared the crime happened on Nov. 13 around 1:50 p.m. inside Ernest Rosales Gen. Merchandise.
The victim went inside carrying her son to look for electric bulbs when she found cellphone missing when she was about to use it.
The victim requested the management to view the CCTV camera installed therein wherein it revealed the two female suspects “sandwiched” her and stole her cellphone kept in the outer pocket of her baby carrier described as Vivo V9, worth P10, 000.
Rosario reported the incident at Station 7. Police saw identified the suspects and pursued them resulting to their arrest. The cell phone of the victim was recovered. The case was brought to the attention of Prosecutor Christian Amistad who ordered the suspects incarcerated at the city jail.

 Man wanted for robbery in La Union traced in Itogon

ITOGON, Benguet – A man wanted for robbery in La Union was arrested here Nov. 13 at Ud-Udan, Naget. Nabbed by virtue of warrant was Geofrey Sibayan issued by Judge Romeo E. Agacita of RTC Branch 27, San Fernando, La Union. The judge set bail of P72, 000 for Sibayan’s temporary liberty.

 Estafa leads to woman’s arrest

BAGUIO CITY – A certain Soling W. Gamotlong was apprehended here Nov. 13 along Yandoc St. for estafa. Judge  Jorge S. Manaois Jr. of Branch 10, La Trinidad, Benguet earlier issued warrant for her arrest with bail set at P16, 000 for her temporary liberty.

Reckless imprudence lands man in jail

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Cops nabbed a man here for reckless imprudence resulting to serious physical injuries and slight physical injuries.
Arrested Nov. 13 at Barangay Bulo was Mateo R. Kidangen after warrant was issued against him by Judge Jerson A. Angog, of RTC Branch 25, Bulanao, Tabuk City, Kalinga.
Angog set bail of P24, 000 for Kidangen’s temporary liberty.

Estafa causes man’s arrest

BAGUIO CITY – A certain Edren Sotto Arienda was arrested here Nov. 13 at Purok 6, Asin Road after warrant was issued against him by Judge Melita Amylesha D. Macaraeg, of MTC, La Trinidad, Benguet. The judge set bail of P18, 000 for the suspect’s temporary liberty.

Man in Luna arsoncase traced in Rizal

LUNA, Apayao -- Police of this town traced and arrested a man in Antipolo, Rizal wanted for arson in Luna. Nabbed at Barangay San Jose was Marcial Lantag Angco aka Hilario Angco after warrant was issued against him by Judge Quirino M. Andaya, Judge of RTC Branch 26, Luna, Apayao. The judge denied bail to the accused.

Man apprehended in Bangued for rape

BANGUED, Abra – Police arrested here a certain Darwin Parado Badili after Judge Richard T. Domingo of RTC Branch 2, Bangued Abra issued warrant against him with no bail recommended.
Badili who was nabbed Nov. 15 at Zone 7, was brought to Tineg town police station where he was incarcerated.

Man granted bail for homicide in Mayoyao

MAYOYAO, Ifugao – A man was arrested here at Nabituwan  reckless imprudence resulting to homicide. Nabbed on Nov. 15 was Eliezer Chawana Chulana after warrant was issued agasint him by Judge Frederic T Cabbigat of RTC Branch 24, Banaue, Ifugao. The judge set bail of P30,000 for Chlana’s temporary liberty.

Bail denied to man in syndicated estafa case

FLORA, Apayao – Police apprehended a certain Walter Dela Cruz Ibus here at Barangay Tamalunog Nov. 15 for syndicated estafa through falsification of document.
A warrant of arrest was earlier issued by Judge Nicolas S. Pascual Jr. of RTC Branch 12 Sanchez Mira, Cagayan against Dela Cruz with no bail recommended.

Frustrated murder leads to man’s arrest

BAUANG, La Union – A man was arrested here Nov. 16 for frustrated murder. Arrested at Barangay Nagrebcan was Andy Turqueza Regunton, the no. 4 top most wanted man in Bangued.
The arrest was made by virtue of warrant of arrest issued by Judge Raphiel F. Alzate, of RTC, Branch 1, Bangued, Abra with bail set at P200,000.


Luzon Hydro bridges community for development in 12 years

>> Sunday, November 24, 2019

It was in 2004 when the legendary Amburayan River two shores in Sudipen, La Union and Alilem, Ilocos Sur was finally linked by a dry crossing, the Friendship Bridge.
                Since its inauguration 12 years ago, the Friendship Bridge has offered safe and comfortable transportation to the residents of Alilem. More importantly, the bridge became a significant structure uplifting livelihood activities in the area.
                “Gone were the days when the people of Alilem have to use bangkas to transport their goods and get soaked in the raging waters of the mighty Amburayan River,” says  Mar Ruel  Sumabat.
                Today, the bridge is bringing major social and economic benefits to the people of Ilocos Sur and Benguet provinces. With agriculture as main source of income, root crops, rice, fruits, corn and tobacco are some of their major produce.
Luzon Hydro started its construction of the bridge in January 2003. Fourteen months later, with about 120 workers involved and a total cost of 60 million pesos, the dream bridge stands in service to the people.
                The bridge rises 15 meters from the Amburayan River. With a length of 292 meters and width of 5 meters, the bridge connects Barangay Namaltugan of Sudipen and Barangay Dalawa of Alilem.
DENR awards Luzon Hydro
                To Luzon Hydro, sustainability is no longer a buzzword. 
                Sustainability is Luzon Hydro’s responsible stewardship on the resources it optimizes to operate. For Luzon Hydro, sustainability means constantly innovating to bring development to the remotest areas with up-to-date environment-friendly technology. The pivotal role of Luzon Hydro in the community is to provide reliable, reasonable, and responsible power that improve the lives of the locals, while respecting the environment where it operates. 
                Luzon Hydro is on its ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility. It takes pride on its strides through the years to increase the efficiency in conserving resources. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) lauded the best practices of Hedcor in managing the upper and lower Amburayan rivers. 
Every tree we plant counts
                Luzon Hydro’s vow is to preserve the watershed through its notable environmental initiative program: reforestation. With a workforce composed of Luzon Hydro, the local government units and the local community, contributing to the efforts, tree planting has been strengthened boosting more than 2.8 million trees planted. 
                Fruit bearing trees are usually planted because they will not only serve to sequester carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but they will also be sources of food and possibly livelihood for the locals. All the trees planted will serve as water aquifers or part of soil stabilization measures. 
Stabilizing Amburayan banks
                Exploitation of river resources had led to significant degradation of freshwater biodiversity together with the  services rivers provide. Because of this, Luzon Hydro is driven for a more direct and active collaboration among the communities along esteros or creeks and rivers to achieve a cleaner, safer and healthier rivers. Luzon Hydro optimizes the might of the river on its power generation, and it is just right to conditioned the river on its natural and abundant state. 
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