Zamboanga del Sur News January 2015

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Province of Zamboanga del Sur - Archived News of Zamboanga del Sur

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Seal of Zamboanga del Sur Province
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Zamboanga del Sur
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Zamboanga del Sur Map Locator
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Municipalities within Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Sur, Santo Niño, Pagadian city

Dietary supplement is a product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs.

Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.

Lapuyan Falls: The favorite haunt of the fair Subanen maidens of Sitio Baga and all its neighboring areas, usual meeting place with many a young country swain in some secluded cavern beneath the rocky forest lane.
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Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
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Village of Pedagan

Wars of ancient history were about possessions, territory, power, control, family, betrayal, lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion always campaign to have its religious laws be accepted as government laws, always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


There are only two kinds of people who teach tolerance:
  1. The Bullies. They want you to tolerate them so they can continue to maliciously deprive you. Do not believe these bullies teaching tolerance, saying that it’s the path to prevent hatred and prejudice.
  2. The victims who are waiting for the right moment to retaliate. They can’t win yet, so they tolerate.
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Lintugop, Aurora
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Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
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Provincial human resource management office of santo niño pagadian city
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Civil Service Commision office in santo niño pagadian city

Remains of SAF trooper Erana back home

Report from Dynah Diestro, (ABS-CBN News Zamboanga,

PAGADIAN CITY – The remains of Senior Inspector John Gary Erana, one of the 44 troopers of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police killed in the Mamasapano, Maguindanao clash arrived in his hometown in Zamboangan del Sur.

He was accorded arrival honors at the Pagadian City Airport.

Family and friends held back tears as the casket was brought down from the plane.

They also brought tarpaulins and streamers expressing their admiration for Erana.

There was a motorcade up to Erana’s residence in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur where the wake will be held.

No date has been set for Erana's burial.

The family also requested privacy.

FEATURE: Prayer, hard work: Key to topping board exams


PAGADIAN CITY – It was all an answered prayer. This was a curt reply Christian Corpuz, 20, gave this writer when asked about his secret of topping the November 26, 2014 Criminologist Licensure Examinations given by the Professional Regulation Commission.

Garnering a rating of 90.15%, Corpuz, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Criminology at the Pagadian Capitol College, Inc. (formerly Pagadian College of Criminology) landed first place and bested others who took the said examination nationwide.

Prayer power

"Gibati ko ug dakong kakulba pagkuha sa maong pasulit tungod kay medyo lisod kini apan akong gi-ampo sa Ginoo nga mo-excel sa exam (I felt very nervous in taking the exam because it’s quite hard but I prayed to God to help me excel in the exam),” Corpuz narrated.

When the Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC) and Board of Criminology announced the results, his friend called and informed him that he passed and topped the exam. At first, he was incredulous until he received a phone call from the school president, Tagumpay Santiago, informing him that he was no. 1 in the board exam.

“Dako kaayo ang akong kalipay tungod kay wala lang ko mipasar kung dili numero uno pa gyud sa board exam? Ingon sa dili ko katuo sa migula nga resulta apan sa hilom akong nahunahunaan nga mibunga diay ang akong pagsakrapisyo ug pagpangandam nga gihimo sa maong board exam. Ang akong imposible nga damgo nahimo nga posible,” he said

(I am very much happy because I didn’t only pass the test but I also emerged as no. 1. At first, I could hardly believe the result but then I realized that my sacrifices and preparations had paid off. The impossible dream was possible after all.)

“I became a topnotcher because I once dreamed to be one. I believed that I would pass the board exam because I once dreamed of becoming a criminologist,” Corpuz said in Cebuano.

Corpuz was one of the 12,245 passers out of 28,187 who took the licensure examination for criminologists given on Oct. 19-21, 2014 in Manila and regional centers nationwide.

Shares success with late mom, grandma

Christian’s father, Bartolome, a retired military man, recalled that his son was not on top of his class but his topping the board exam made everybody in the family happy.

For Christian, he was pretty sure that his departed loved ones especially his mother and grandmother were also happy that he topped the board exam.

His mother, Severiana, died when he was 5 years old in a robbery incident. He lived with his grandmother, Silvestra, but the latter died when he was still a second year high school student.

Hard work, sacrifices

Christian recalled that when he was in college, he took his studies very seriously. He kept reading books in the library and, at home, he reviewed his lessons.

When he took his review, he saw to it that he prepared himself holistically by managing his time well. “It was not all studies, I had still time to relax and go out with family and friends,” he shared.

“Panahon sa exam, wala nako mabati ang stress or pressure tungod kay sa first year pa lang ko, ako nang gihatagan ug daghan nga mga oras pagbasa ug mga libro ug pagtuon sa akong mga leksyon ug wala pud ko nag-apil-apil sa barkada. Kung naa koy bakante nga oras magdula ko ug chess,” Corpuz disclosed.

(During examinations, I did not experience stress or pressure because I used to spend more time in reading books and studying my lessons since I was a first year student. Besides, I did not join groups. If I have vacant time, I will also play chess.)

“In the course of my preparation, I did a lot of things and went through a lot of struggles, sacrifices, and challenges.”

Role model

A certain Jayson Laroche, who placed 6th in the 2010 Criminologist Licensure Examinations and who was a graduate of PCCI, served as his role model. Laroche also dreamed of becoming one of the topnotchers.

“Akong gidamgo na mapareha ni Laroche nga topnotcher pero para sa akoa imposible nga mahimo nako tungod kay wala ko kabalo kung unsa ang kapalaran sa akong pagkuha sa exam,” he recounted.

(I dreamed of becoming a topnotcher like Laroche but I doubt I would make it because I had to take the exam yet.)

But it became a dream-come-true for him because in the list released by the PRC on Nov. 26, 2014, he topped the board exam.

He also recalled that during his review, he was always sitting at the back because the front row chairs were occupied by bright students. “When my fellow reviewees could not give the right answer, I only acted as their backup.”

Take a teaching job

When asked if he would join the police service, Corpuz said no. “I will teach first in my alma mater for couple of years because I want to impart my fresh knowledge to criminology students and help produce a number of board passers. Perhaps, I will join the police service when my physique is fully developed.”

Corpuz said he wants to work in his Alma mater to help his younger sister, a 3rd year college student and a stepbrother, an elementary pupil. He wants them to finish college, too.

“We were all shocked upon learning the board exam result,” said Jomeil Abilla, the school registrar, as almost all schools across the country are aiming to top in the exam.

Pride and honor

“Indeed, Corpuz brought pride, honor, and served as inspiration especially to the youth sector and the students of the college. We are very proud that PCCI has produced top one in the 2014 Criminology Board Exam,” Abilla beamed with pride.

Abilla said Corpuz helped boost the morale of criminology students. “Christian is an inspiration and role model to our students.”

In recognition of Corpuz’s feat, PCCI President Tagumpay Santiago and the faculty tendered a thanksgiving celebration last Dec. 8 at the college gymnasium with Regional Director Juanito Demetrio of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-9 and city officials gracing the occasion.

During this event the school management also reimbursed Corpuz’s tuition fee and offered him a teaching position.

Abilla said the school administration understands the hardships and efforts exerted by Corpuz, thus, to reimburse his tuition fee is just proper and reasonable.

For his part, Corpuz extends his profound thanks to the school for sending him to Cagayan de Oro College for the review. “ I am very lucky for the opportunity that the school has given me because of the 60 graduating students, I was the only one given the chance to avail of a free review including board and lodging,” said the topnotcher.

ZamPen campus journalists flock to Pagadian City for 2015 RSPC


PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 29 (PIA) – More than a thousand young journalists and writers from the different schools divisions in Region-IX gathered at the Provincial Government Center at Barangay Dao in this city for the Regional Schools Press Conference (RSPC) 2015.

Speaking during the opening program, Acting Regional Director Malcolm S. Garma of the Department of Education (DepEd)-IX called the participants as the heroes of the event.

Garma said: “It is “useless to recognize our campus journalists if their participation here will be a sacrifice for them, that’s not the way to recognize our future writers, our future journalists, not only of this province, not only of this region, but the future writers and journalists of our country.”

“To honor the future writers of the land, we made this year’s regional schools press conference registration fee-free so that our young writers can focus on more important things: to compete and be at their best,” Garma stressed.

He also challenged the budding journalists saying “make us proud here in Mindanao that the good writers of the future will not only come from the urban areas of Manila but also from the bountiful lands of Zamboanga Peninsula.”

He cited the power of media in bringing fresh and live feeds to people with the recent visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines. “Through media and technology, the whole nation and the world get the live news,” said the DepEd-IX chief.

He also hoped that the visit would “remind us of good things, of better things…and the responsibility to write, report, and share about good things.”

“It is only through spreading the good deeds of our fellowmen, we can make this country a better one,” he stressed.

In the same occasion, Governor Antonio Cerilles also told the young journalists that “we will have a strong democracy if the writers know their craftsmanship, know what the truth is, and know how to condemn abuses, criticize public officials, and promote good governance.”

He also shared about his thoughts about the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which he asked his wife, Congresswoman Aurora Cerilles of the first district of Zamboanga del Sur, to suspend the debate on the BBL for this legislation “is not fair to all; it only divides the peoples [of Mindanao], and favors one group.”

“I am against the Bangsamoro Basic Law. This is a wrong law. This is an improper law. This is an immoral proposal,” Governor Cerilles emphatically said.

Cerilles, a lawyer, underscored the constitutional provision of the separation of powers between church and state. He cited the experience of Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country, where its leaders insisted on the separation of church and state and that propelled the country to progress and development.

The governor, however, encouraged the young writers to double their efforts to help attain a lasting peace not only in their respective areas but in the whole island of Mindanao as well.

In her written message, Rep. Aurora Cerilles said that this year’s RSPC theme, “Empowering Resilient Communities through Campus Journalism,” stresses the importance of preparing a strong generation who shall become active contributors to nation building.

Moreover, Garma expressed his gratitude to Governor Cerilles for hosting this year’s RSPC here in the city from Jan. 27 to 29.

The different delegations attending the RSPC were coming from the schools divisions of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Dapitan City, Dipolog City, Isabela City, Pagadian City and Zamboanga City. They competed in news writing, editorial writing, photojournalism, feature and science writing, sports writing, editorial cartooning, headline writing and copy reading, script writing and broadcasting, and collaborative publishing. The winners will compete in the national level on April 9-12, 2015.

1st CAV new commander vows to sustain gains of predecessors

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, Jan. 28 (PIA) – Lt. Col. Charlemagne Batayola Jr., the new commander of the 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron has expressed his thanks to MGen. Mayoralgo Dela Cruz, commander of the 1st Infantry Mechanized Division, for the trust and confidence given him to lead the unit.

In his message during the change of command ceremony held here over the weekend, Batayola said “as the new commander of the 1st Cavalry Squadron, is a greatest challenge for me for my predecessor has performed his job exceptionally well in his more than two-year stint in the unit.

Batayola is a graduate the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class 1992 and formerly the assistant chief of staff for personnel, G1 of Mechanized Division at Camp O’Donnel, Capas, Tarlac.

“I am very thankful that you have accorded me your full trust and confidence in leading this unit which is near to your heart,” Batayola said to Dela Cruz.

Batayola assured the mechanized division commander that he will keep in his heart as his bible the command guidance, the higher headquarters’ directives and the Army Transformation Roadmap for him to manage the affairs of the unit in an efficient and effective manner based on reform agenda espoused by the leaders of the 1st Cavalry Squadron.

He promised to exert his best efforts as he always does in his previous assignments in order to sustain the gains of his predecessors in the unit. “I will take care of my men. I will preserve the good partnership that this unit has with the local governments, civil societies and people of this region.”

Batayola expressed optimism that with the help of men and women of the unit he can continue to contribute substantially to the fulfillment of their organizational transformation and the improvement of the unit’s services to the stakeholders.

“I will encourage my subordinate commanders to draw the line all the time and we will serve as models for the troops and our people, Batayola said.

Meanwile, Lt. Col. Antonio John Divinagracia, the outgoing commander assured the 1st Cavalry tankers that the unit will have a better commander to lead.

“I assure you that the unit will have a better commander to lead because he is a very good and talented commander. He always excels in our schooling,” Divinagracia said referring to Batayola.

Tabak cites TDPC’s contribution to IPSP promotion

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, Jan. 27 (PIA) – 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division commander Colonel Aminkandra Undug on Saturday expressed his gratitude to the Tabak Defense Press Corps (TDPC) for its enormous contribution to the promotion of Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Speaking during TDPC general assembly and fellowship night held at the Officer’s Club House, Kuta Major Ceasar Sang-an, Barangay Pulacan in this town, Undog said the AFP recognized TPDC’s indispensable role as its partner in ensuring a peaceful, secure and developed country. He also admitted that addressing all internal peace and security concerns cannot be done by the AFP alone.

The TDPC, which is composed of media practitioners from print, broadcast, television, and social media outfits, is helping the Tabak in disseminating its programs, project, accomplishments and pronouncements to the public.

Officers and members of TDPC from Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga Sur met and rubbed elbows Saturday in a party tendered by the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division.

Though the AFP has acknowledged TDPC’s vital role in disseminating bits of information to the public, it also encourages the group to be always fair and impartial in its reporting.

Undug said media is an important asset in disseminating important news and watchdog of our democracy. “They should always act with impartiality”, he emphasized.

“In reporting news, the media should verify first the authenticity of the news before publication, telecasting and airing so that it would not create doubts in the minds of readers, listeners and viewers,” Undug said.

“News story should be clear and fair … because any story without confirmation and affirmation from the sources will not only create panic in the public but also in the security forces of the country,” he added.

He cited an instance where a media practitioner lost his conscious effort in reporting an ambush incident where a military man was a victim. “Because he failed to get important facts and details about the incident, he misled the family of the victim,” shared the Tabak commander.

Undug narrated a story of farmer who had a dog named “Kittie” that the life of his infant baby from a snake attack by throwing her out of harm’s way. Thinking that the dog killed her daughter because of the blood and meat in its mouth, he stabbed the dog to death without any apparent reason. But when he checked his daughter in her room, she was alive.

“The story taught us a very important lesson. We need to verify first the authenticity of the story before it will be aired and published,” Undug emphasized.

In the same occasion, TDPC President Ellen Ajijul rendered her accomplishment report for calendar year 2014.

Divinagracia out, Batayola in as 1st Cavalry Squadron commander

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, Jan. 26 (PIA) – Lt. Col. Charlemagne Batayola Jr. has assumed Thursday as the new commander of the 1st Cavalry Squadron, Mechanized Infantry Division, Philippine Army, which is based here, vice Lt. Col. Antonio John Divinagracia who has been transferred to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissary Exchange Service (AFPCES), General Headquarters, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

In a change of command ceremony held at Camp Jacobe E. Zobel here, MGen. Mayoralgo Dela Cruz, Mechanized Infantry Division commander and the event’s guest of honor and speaker, said the transfer of military officials to their new assignments “is one of the programs and reforms implemented by the higher command” to provide quality of service to the stakeholders. “These measures are continuing steps to realize our vision of becoming a world class army that is a source of national pride,” he added.

Apart from our intent to institute changes, Dela Cruz said, “this activity demonstrates flexibility and versatility of our senior officers in the 1st Cavalry Squadron in carrying out their tasks effectively in the different working environments and more importantly, this also endeavors to rationalize the job placement of our officers as we hope to attain efficiency among them.”

Dela Cruz also commended Divinagracia for his efforts that contributed to the accomplishment of the army’s mission in the region.

“Your efforts are definitely not in vain for you have contributed much to the accomplishment of our mission in this part of region. Indeed, you have delivered your duty exceptionally well,” Dela Cruz stressed.

With the incoming commander’s enthusiasm and adherence to the army’s mandate, Dela Cruz believed he would continue to propel the unit to significant achievements through his personal and professional undertakings.

“I want you to focus on your role as new commander in this unit. Build up your knowledge and experience while establishing stronger networks to our key stakeholders,” he urged adding “take pride in the uniform you wear as you perform your patriotic duty as protector of the people and the state like what you did during the Zamboanga crisis in September 2013.”

“Let us preserve our gains and continue working with the different agencies of government as we fulfill our mission for the people of Western Mindanao. We should not rest in our laurels. Instead, we let our accomplishments challenge us to do more and continually pursue excellence in all our undertakings,” Dela Cruz concluded.

Zambo Sur has 39,438 SK voters

By Bong Garcia

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced that a total of 39,438 youths are set to cast their votes in the province of Zamboanga del Sur once the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election pushes through.

Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Election Supervisor Ignacio Baya said the 39,438 youth are registered in the 26 municipalities and one component city of the province.

Pagadian, being the capital of Zamboanga del Sur, has the highest number of SK voters since 6,236 of the 39,438 youths aged 15-17 are registered in this city.

Baya said the youth will cast their votes come election day in the 681 clustered precincts in the entire province of Zamboanga del Sur.

The Comelec central office has decided to move the election period for the SK from February 6 to March 2.

Tungawan PNP Intercepts 4,000 Sacks of Rice

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Jonas D Macasa Jr. and PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo, (RPIO9).

Tungawan, Zamboanga del sur - A joint operation by Tungawan Police Station led by Police Senior Inspector Chamer Lacay, ZSBPPO Provincial Intelligence Branch and Alpha Company-44th IB and 6th Special Forces Battalion intercepted a vessel and confiscated more or less four thousand sacks of rice at Tungawan Wharf, Sitio Logpond, Barangay Libertad at about 11:10 PM on January 18, 2015.

Alleged smuggled rice were placed under their custody before its turn-over to the Bureau of Customs for proper investigation.

Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent proud and happy to serve Pope Francis

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur).

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 23 (PIA) –The 7th Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent to Golan Heights (7th PCGH) tasked to help secure Pope Francis in his four-day visit to the Philippines was proud and happy to rendered service to the pontiff.

“We are very proud and happy that we have rendered service to the reigning Pope of the Catholic Church and the absolute sovereign of the Vatican City,” said Capt. Rogecel L. Labajo, action officer of 7th PCGH in a phone interview with Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Early in September last year, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr. announced that the 7th PCGH would form part of the two battalions that would help secure the Pope during his visit to Manila on Jan. 15-19, 2015.

Catapang said that their exposure and experience in peacekeeping operations in Syria had prepared them for the papal visit in the country.

Meanwhile, Capt. Labajo, who is a native of Pagadian, said the 7th PCGH contingent, which is composed of 333 soldiers, was assigned in the different areas and his 33-man team was assigned at the Apostolic Nunciature along Taft Avenue, Manila - the place serves as residence of the Holy Father’s ambassador.

"Wala kami tulog sulod sa lima ka managsunod-sunod nga gabii tungod kay amo gibantayan pag-ayo ang Santo Papa (We had no sleep in five successive nights just to secure the pontiff),” Labajo said, referring to the five-day stay of the pope at the Apostolic Nunciature.

“Karon nga mipauli na si Pope Fancis makahigayon na gyud mi ug pahulay (Now that Pope Francis is home, we can take time to rest),” Labajo said.

Labajo said his team was assigned at the gate of the Apostolic Nunciature to augment the Presidential Security Group. “The successful state visit of Pope Francis is the ‘victory of all Filipinos’ saying that the pontiff was not harmed by anybody unlike the visit of Pope Paul VI in 1970 and Pope John Paul II in 1995 were there were attempts from terrorists to assassinate them.

When asked about his reaction on the commendation of the Senators on Tuesday to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other government agencies for “successfully securing” Pope Francis during his five-day visit to the country, Labajo said “we are happy that they were impressed on our performance.”

“As members of the Philippine Army, it is our duty and obligation not only to secure the community but the Pope as well because if something bad happens to him, it will destroy the good image of our country,” Labajo concluded.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. thanked and gave a salute to uniformed personnel for a job well done and for displaying dedication, hard work, patience and determination ensuring the safety of Pope Francis in the country.

DA nominates Zambo Sur as one of 2014 Top 10 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achiever Award finalists


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) has included this province in its shortlist of finalists for the 2014 Top 10 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award provincial category.

Marivic Jongco, provincial government information officer, made this announcement Thursday, citing this province is one of the 15 nominee-provinces in the entire country for the award.

Jongco said nine of the 15 nominated provinces are from Luzon namely Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Isbela, Nueva Ecija, Mindoro Oriental, Pampanga, Pangasinan and Tarlac.

Jongco said the remaining six nominee-provinces, including this province, are all from Mindanao.

Aside from this province, the other nominated provinces from Mindanao are Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Misamis Occidental.

DA is set to announce the top 10 winners next month and officials here are confident that this province will be declared as one of the awardees for the 2014 Top 10 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award.

The Top 10 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award started in 2012 and aimed to recognize the provincial and municipal governments for their outstanding efforts and best practices in terms of rice production, yield and sufficiency.

Meanwhile, Acting Provincial Agriculturist Joel Sabellano has attributed this province’s nomination to the Top 10 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award to last year’s increase of rice production.

He said data from his office showed that this province’s rice production marked an increase of 19,352 metric tons (MT) in 2014 of 340,839 MT compared to that in 2013 of 321,487 MT.

Sabellano said this came about as this province registered an average yield of 4.55 MT per hectare, which is higher to the usual 4 MT per hectare in other provinces.

He said the various agricultural projects, including those related to organic agriculture, initiated by Governor Antonio Cerilles boosted the rice production of this province.

Tricycle operators, drivers hailed as modern day heroes

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) – “The tricycle drivers are considered our modern day heroes,” according to Councilor Arnold Gavenia, chairman of the Motorized Tricycle Franchising and Regulatory Board (MTFRB) here.

Speaking during the fellowship night of the Pagadian City Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (PACTODA) on Thursday, Gavenia said “the tricycle drivers are our vital partners. They play a vital role in our society by providing public convenience to the commuters.”

Tricycle is the main mode of public transportation in the city.

Gavenia also commended the PACTODA members for consistently demonstrating their devotion to duty and in keeping their social obligation to the riding public. “Rain or shine they convey passengers to their destinations safely and efficiently.”

In 2007 Gavenia had authored City Ordinance 2K8-267, declaring every Jan. 8 each year as tricycle operators and drivers (TOD) day in recognition of their crucial role in providing public convenience and their contribution to the local economy.

He also lauded the city government through the Sangguniang Panlungsod for giving due recognition to the tricycle operators and drivers saying “they are one of the key drivers behind the economic growth of the city.”

Gavenia disclosed that the city government got around P2 million from the annual fees paid by the tricycle operators.

“The P2 million paid annually by the tricycle operators is more than enough to contribute for the city coffers,” Gavenia said.

The tricycle operators and drivers day celebration was capped with a motorcade, free haircut, fellowship night, live band entertainment, fashion show and raffle draw to the delight of the 2,850 tricycle operators and drivers.

Catholic priest tells flock: Make Jesus center of your home

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 20 (PIA) – Monsignor Foelan “Butch” Echavez, vicar-general of the Diocese of Pagadian City on Saturday appealed to the faithful to let Jesus Christ “indwell their hearts and make Him center of their homes.”

Speaking before thousands of devout Catholics at the concelebrated mass held at the wharf area here, Echavez urged them to help pray for peace in our country, as “people are now experiencing difficulties in life.”

“People are now faced with poverty and fear. They have no assurance of their future, as they always face unexpected dangers,” he added.

Echavez cited the latest shooting incident that took place in broad daylight in front of Southern Mindanao Colleges, along Jamisola Street and near St. Columban College (Elementary Department), killing two persons.

“In a situation where there is no assurance, Pope Francis called it ‘colonization of ideology’,” Echavez said.

Echavez was reminded of the message of Pope Francis in the latter’s meeting with families in the Philippines last Jan. 16 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila where he issued a warning against "ideological colonization" of families after reflecting on the gospel story of St. Joseph, who was warned in a dream of dangers that threatened the newly born Jesus.

“God is calling people to recognize the dangers threatening our own families. There is an ideological colonization, thus we have to be careful with that as it tries to destroy the family," Echavez quoted Pope Francis as saying.

“Despite the unfortunate events that happened in our family, we will not lose hope for the child Jesus inspires us to give our sincere faith to Him. We will allow the child Jesus to manage the affairs of our lives because he will teach us to do good things, guide and strengthen us to live good lives,” Echavez concluded.

Fiesta Executive Council 2015 tenders fellowship night

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 19 (PIA) – A dinner and fellowship night was tendered by the Fiesta Executive Council 2015 on Saturday evening at St. Columban College Gymnasium following the success of the weeklong celebration of the feast of Sr. Sto. Nino, January 9-18.

Fiesta Executive Council 2015 chair Rev. Father Rico Sayson expressed his deep gratitude to the various stakeholders especially the sponsoring groups for actively supporting the nine-day Novena Masses held at Sto. Nino Cathedral here.

Sayson lauded the stakeholders who contributed immensely to the success of the fiesta celebration.

He said the role of the stakeholders was very vital in making the events successful and peaceful. “I thanked them for their willingness and diligence to serve the fiesta executive council and participate the religious activities in honor of our patron saint Sr. Sto. Nino.”

Pasalamat Festival steering committee chairman Councilor Cesar Dacal Jr. in his message said the active involvement and participation of stakeholders in the weeklong religious activities had inspired the poor people to participate in all of the events that were anchored on the theme, “Ang Batang Hesus, Nagpakatawong Kabus, aron Matubos ang mga Kabus” (The Child Jesus was born poor in order to redeem the poor).

On the other hand, Councilor Ernesto Mondarte, chairman of security and marshals committee, thanked the law enforcement agencies particularly the Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office for sending 53 policemen to augment the security force during the fiesta celebration, the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division for sending two military choppers, the Philippine Navy for sending three patrol gun boats, and Philippine Coast Guard and Maritime Police for providing security and safety during the fluvial procession.

Meanwhile, Schools Division Superintendent Arturo Bayocot of the Zamboanga del Sur Schools division was impressed with the good working relationships demonstrated by the stakeholders.

“It’s good to see the harmonious working relationships of the different government agencies, business and civic organizations. The common denominator of this is that all are believers of Christ and that motivation brings us all here,” Bayocot said.

Plaques of appreciation were awarded to the sponsoring groups in recognition of their valuable contributions to the success of the Pasalamat Festival 2015.

The awardees were the business community, city government offices, civic and professional organizations, Department of Education, institutional services group, law enforcement agencies, national government offices , provincial offices and vicariate of Baganian Peninsula and Salug Valley, etc.

R.A. 9262 Violator Captured in Lapuyan

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Radzben S Jul (RPIO9)

Lapuyan, Zamboanga Del Sur – A jobless was nabbed during an operation in Purok Kalimudan, Barangay Poblacion at about 12:30 in the morning on January 13, 2015.

Police Inspector Roger Allanic Bartiana, Lapuyan Police Chief, identified the arrested man as Asmirani Latip Ismula, 38, resident of said place. He was nabbed by virtue of warrant of arrest for violation of section 5 and 6 of R.A. 9262 docketed under Criminal Case Number 14-017 with recommended bail bond of Php 8,000.00 issued by Acting Presiding Judge Felix B. Rodriguez Jr. RTC Branch 29, Capitol Compound, Pagadian City Suspect is temporarily detained at Lapuyan MPS while awaiting court disposition.

LTO starts implementation of plate standardization program in Region IX

(R.G. Go)

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has started the implementation of the plate standardization program here in Region IX.

Atty. Aminola Abaton, LTO regional director, said Friday that old plate numbers of vehicles are replaced with new ones upon the renewal of registration in line with the standardization program.

We are now in the phase of replacement of old plates,? Abaton added.

Abaton said there are 56,000 units of four-wheel vehicles and 180,000 units of motorcycles whose plate numbers are set to be replaced in the entire region.

The office of Abaton covers this city and the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Abaton advised the vehicle owners to prepare P450 for four-wheel vehicles and P150 for motorcycles as production cost payment of the standard plate numbers.

The new standard plate number of vehicles has security feature and tamper-proof. It was patterned after the European standards.

The place where the vehicles was registered is also indicated in the new plate number, he said.

Abaton said they expect to completely replace old vehicle plate numbers with the new standard plate in a period of two years.

Pagadian celebrates 8th “Tricycle Operators and Drivers Day”


PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 16 (PIA) – Tricycle operators and drivers converged at the Plaza Luz here yesterday, Jan. 15, to celebrate their 8th “Tricycle Operators and Drivers Day” with the theme “Ang Kadena sa Panaghiusa Mao ang Manubela sa Kalamboan” (The chain of unity is the steering wheel to progress).

Hundreds of tricycle operators and drivers as well as some city officials turned up to attend the annual activity which also became one of the highlights of the weeklong “Pasalamat Festival” starting Jan. 9 -18.

On behalf of Mayor Romeo Pulmones, Councilor Cesar Dacal Jr. delivered the mayor’s message urging the tricycle drivers to be always honest and courteous in dealing with their passengers as they are “the show window of the city.”

Congressman Victor J. Yu of the first district of Zamboanga del Sur also aired a similar call to the tricycle drivers to always provide the commuters with excellent service especially those coming from other places to impress upon the guests a positive attitude toward the city.

He said the tricycles here serve as the oldest mode of transportation for the riding public, purposely built at 25°-45° angle inclination to adapt to the city’s hilly terrain.

Presently, some 2,850 tricycles are servicing the city with around 2,000 operators.

It could be recalled that the city government had passed in 2007 City Ordinance 2K8-267 declaring every Jan. 8 each year as tricycle operators and drivers day in recognition of their indispensable role in providing public convenience and their contribution to the local economy.

The said ordinance, which was the first of its kind in the country, was authored by Councilor Arnold R. Gavenia who is now also serving as chair of the local Motorized Tricycle Franchising and Regulatory Board (MTFRB).

For his part, Jesuseller Duterte, president of the Pagadian City Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (PACTODA) has expressed his gratitude to the city leadership for the support extended to the group.

Regatta, fluvial procession more safe now, says Coast Guard chief


PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) – The 2015 regatta and fluvial procession, a religious-civic celebration, is more safe and secure now than the previous years’ celebration, said Lt. Laverny Ikan, station commander of the Philippine Coast Guard here in an interview yesterday.

Speaking in a gathering of local officials, government employees, barangay officials, and spectators, Ikan emphasized the importance of holding the regatta “as a gesture of thanksgiving to patron saint Sr. Sto. Nino.

Regatta is an annual event which features over a hundred of boats joining a fluvial procession, traditionally held each year by the city government as part of the lined up activities for the annual fiesta celebration called “Pasalamat festival.”

In addition to fluvial procession, boat paddling race, pump boat race, swimming relay, “scubasurero” and balls collection at sea will also be held.

Ikan said the Philippine Coastguard headquarters in Manila had provided more land and sea-based assets intended for the scheduled activities.

“You can see now patrol boats from Philippine Coastguard, Philippine Navy and Maritime Police-Security Group sailing at the wharf area purposely to provide a systematic management, secure and safe celebration of “Pasalamat Festival,” Ikan announced.

The coastguard chief said “it is only this year that Memorandum Circular No. 04-14 was issued by the Philippine Coastguard to the city government and Sto. Nino Cathedral through the Fiesta Executive Council 2015 allowing them to conduct the regatta and fluvial procession.

Meanwhile, the Pasalamat Festival steering committee chaired Cesar Dacal Jr. lauded the barangay officials and residents of the 12 coastal barangays for their active participation of regatta.

“Your presence in this momentous event is in response to the call of church officials that each one of us should love and respect the poor people, as patron saint Sr. Sto. Nino did,” Dacal said.

Mayor Romeo Pulmones also hoped that the officials of the coastal barangays would continue to support the activities so that “the youth of today should inculcate in their minds the importance of Pasalamat Festival.”

“Let us not forget that it is in the sea where we can get our food and we feed our family,” Pulmones concluded. (FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

DOH-CHDZP to deploy 200 nurses under NDP 2015


PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 14 (PIA) – The Department of Health-Center for Health and Development Zamboanga Peninsula (DOH-CHDZP) will deploy this month some 200 nurses under the department’s Nurse Deployment Project (NDP) 2015 to the 26 municipalities and a city of Zamboanga del Sur.

DOH-CHDZP Officer-In-Charge Ulysses Jose Briones said this project aims to improve local health system that will support the country’s attainment of the Universal Health Care better known as “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” in support of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG).

Briones said these nurses were among the nurses who underwent recruitment and selection process last year and decided to renew their contract for another year of service. Though, some of them resigned while others were new recruits to replenish the needed required number of nurses.

These nurses will supervise the so-called Community Health Teams (CHTs) composed of Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS), Pantawid Pamilya leaders and barangay kagawads (councilors) whose primary functions is to monitor and assess the health risk of the families identified under the social program of the government better known as the National Housing Targeting System (NHTS) conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Briones elaborated.

“If there are risks found in the family, these nurses will also help the concerned family to prepare their own health plan and help facilitate their health benefits under the government’s Philippine Health Insurance System or PhilHealth program,” Briones said.

He further said one nurse would handle an average of 20 NHTS households and would regularly monitor the health of these families, particularly the children and pregnant women for the whole year.

Pagadian’s street dancing, ritual competitions cancelled

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) – Visitors and residents will miss the chance to witness this year’s much-awaited, breathtaking street dancing and ritual competitions, as Mayor Romeo Pulmones announced the cancellation of the event over the weekend.

Mayor Pulmones told the members of Zamboanga del Sur-Pagadian City Press Club, Inc. during a press conference that the street dancing and ritual competitions would no longer push through.

“I regret to inform the public that this year’s street dancing and ritual competitions will no longer push through due to security reasons,” Pulmones said.

When asked what specific threat does the city encounter, Pulmones answered he could not divulge the details to protect the informant.

“What is important is that we are exerting all efforts to maintain peace and security especially in the perimeters of Sto. Nino Cathedral,” Pulmones explained.

Pulmones said the activities of “Pangadyian Festival” (formerly “Pasalamat Fetival) were held in different locations: the street dancing competition is held in major streets and ritual dancing will be at the city gymnasium, the regatta and fluvial procession at wharf area, and the daily Novena Mass at Sto. Nino Cathedral.

Pulmones further said the law enforcers would have the difficulty in securing the people since the events are not concentrated in one area. “The Philippine National Police (PNP) has a total strength of 169, which is insufficient to secure the 217,000 residents. With the current police personnel we have, the PNP is very much undermanned,” Pulmones said adding “the ratio of 1 policeman is equivalent to 1,000 residents.”

Pulmones, however, disclosed that the “Pangadyian Sayaw Festival” would be held after the Novena Mass at the vicinity of Sto. Nino Cathedral where nine groups of contingents - majority of whom are high school students - will perform a ritual dancing.

On the other hand, the mayor informed the Pangadyian Festival contingents, which include the performers, teachers and choreographers that they are going to present their dances during the opening program of Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) regional meet to be held here in Pagadian City on Feb. 22.

“Akong gipasaligan ang mga performers nga ipadayon ang ilang performance sa opening program sa PRISAA Regional Meet. Ako usab nga gihatag kanila ang subsidy sa city government ug ang mga premyo intact”, Pulmones said.

(I have made my promise to the performers to continue with their presentation during the opening program PRISAA regional meet. I have given also to them the government’s subsidy, and the prizes are all intact.)

The popular street dancing and ritual competition, which used to highlight the annual fiesta celebration of patron saint Sr. Santo Nino, had drawn huge numbers of local and foreign tourists to flock to the city in the past years.

“Pangadyian Festival” reenactment held

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 12 (PIA) – The opening salvo of “Pangadyian” Festival reenactment was held on Friday afternoon at Wharf Area here.

The reenactment was performed by the Melengas dance ensemble of the Western Mindanao State University-External Studies Unit (WMSU-ESU) with a stage play production in dances depicting the earliest historical account of Pagadian.

Dressed in their bright colored costumes, the dancers offered a true-to-life dance ritual depicting the life of Pagadianon’s in 1950’s and gave thanks to the miraculous Santo Nino for extending special protection to the Subanons, the first settlers of Pagadian City.

“Pangadyian festival” is a new term coined by the Fiesta Executive Council and the city government officials replacing “Pasalamat Festival”, an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January, and is the center of the Santo Nino celebration. Formerly the festival was called “Zambulawan” then it was changed to “Pasalamat” and lately “Pangadyian.”

Sto. Nino Parish administrator Rev. Father Rico Sayson, chairman of Fiesta Executive Council 2015 said “Pangadyian,” according to the research conducted by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), historians, writers, authors and media in Manila, is a term which connotes a thanksgiving to patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño, for all the blessings received in the year.

Sayson cited two most important historical accounts, namely, the horrendous Malaria outbreak which claimed hundreds of lives of the residents, and the crossing over of early settlers on the Illana Bay which they had experienced strong winds and huge waves every time they would attempt to cross the sea.

“Because of their strong faith and devotion to Sr. Santo Niño, the spread of malaria was completely controlled and the infected malaria patients were miraculously healed. Also, the early settlers were no longer experienced fear in crossing the sea because raging storm of wind and waves calmed,” Sayson explained.

Sayson said there is a need for the faithful Catholics to know the evolution of “Pangadyian Festival” for them to fully understand that there was festival born in Pagadian, which the faithful failed to appreciate and recognize in the past decades.

Sayson said during the annual fiesta celebration, Pagadianons were used to copy the popular “Sinulog Festival” of Cebu City. “We don’t have our own identity, thus, we need to implement our own festival here,” he added.

Sayson said the church is interested in preserving and promoting “Pangadyian” dancing as a living example of a real and unique Cebuano culture.

In his message, Mayor Romeo Pulmones was grateful to the Fiesta Executive Council for the reenactment saying “it has provided the public especially the students a sufficient knowledge on what the festival is all about.”

Pulmones also expressed his profound thanks to the owners of business establishments for their active support and cooperation adding that they have provided sound system in their respective establishments and played the “Pasalamat Festival” jingle during the procession of the holy image of Sr. Sto Niño in the major streets.

Pulmones said the reenactment marked the official opening of the weeklong celebration of “Pangadyian Festival.

Suspect on Acts of Lasciviousness in Aurora, 2 Others Cuffed

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Jonas D Macasa Jr. and PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo (RPIO9)

Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur - Elements of Aurora Police Station led by Police Senior Inspector Heidel B. Te-Elan, Officer-in-Charge effected the warrant of arrest against Albert Bajao y Basilgo in Purok 4, Barangay Balintawak for the crime of acts of lasciviousness in relation to R.A. 7610 docketed under Criminal Case Number 12-10, issued by Judge Jaime B. Caberte of RTC Branch 30. Suspect is detained at Aurora MPS while waiting for commitment order from the court concerned.

Pagadian City - Elements of Pagadian City Police Station led by Police Inspector Psyche Barroquillo arrested Florence Lique y Bacalso at Purok San Francisco, Barangay San Jose at about 12:55 PM of January 07, 2015. This for an estafa case based on the warrant of arrest under Criminal Case Number 16947 issued Judge Joel G. Vercide of MTCC Branch 1. Suspect is detained at Pagadian CPS for proper disposition.

Zamboanga City - A warrant of arrest was served by Curuan Police Station to Reynerio Sanson y Custodio, who is wanted person for violation of section 5 (a) in relation to section 6 (a) of RA 9262 docketed under Criminal Case Number 28557 during the conduct of a manhunt operation in Sitio Pagsanghan, Barangay Calabasa at about 11:00 AM on January 7, 2015 . Suspect is detained at Curuan PS for proper disposition.

POEA: Region IX marks increase of OFWs in 2014


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 10 (PNA) -- The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) announced there is an increase of 1,893 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in 2014 compared to that in 2013 here in Region IX.

POEA OIC-Regional Director Marietta Bellotindos said the number of OFWs in 2014 have reached 13,141, which was higher by 1,893 compared to that 11,248 in 2013.

Bellotindos said the OFWs were classified as “Balik Manggagawa” since they are former OFWs who were rehired to work again abroad.

Bellotindos attributed the increase in the number of OFWs to the desire of the Filipinos to look for greener pasture abroad.

However, Bellotindos said there was a decreased of 155 in the number of OFWs classified as “Name Hires” in 2014, which registered 532 compared to that in 2013 of 687.

She explained the “Name Hires” OFWs are those referred to the employers by either their OFW friends or relatives.

She said the occupations of OFWs are mostly professionals while the others are service workers, laborers, managerial, sales workers, agricultural, and clerical.

Meanwhile, she advised the job seekers who wish to work aboard to apply only to legitimate recruitment agencies or through the POEA so as not to fall victims of illegal recruiters.

She added that there are 36 licenses recruitment agencies in Region IX.

Pagadian City fiesta celebration reels off; security tightened


PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Jan. 9 (PNA) -- The police in coordination with the military have tightened security in this city to ensure the safe celebration of this city’s fiesta.

This, as the celebration kicked off at 1 p.m. Friday the highlight of which is the feast day of Sto. Niño, the patron saint of this city, on January 18.

Supt. Glenn Dulawan, city police chief, said security measure was tightened effective Thursday afternoon with the deployment of sufficient number of policemen in strategic places here.

Combined police and military personnel conducted saturation drive Friday morning in the coastal barangay of Sta. Lucia following information about the presence of suspected lawless elements in the area.

However, Dulawan said no one was arrested and no firearms were confiscated during the saturation drive.p>The fiesta celebration kicked off at 1 p.m. Friday with the re-enactment of the arrival of Sto. Niño at the wharf of this city.

It was followed by a procession from the wharf to the Sto. Niño Cathedral. The novena is set at 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, Mayor Romeo Pulmones announced the cancellation of the Pasalamat Festival 2015 street dance competition to pave way for the holding of the Church-led activities.

The Pasalamat Festival 2015 activities are sponsored by the city government.

Pulmones said they cancelled most of the city government-sponsored activities so that the security measures will be focus to the series of Church-led activities.

He said the only city government-initiated activity that was not canceled is the two-day regatta from January 17-18.

This year’s festival is anchored on the theme “The Child Jesus was born poor to save the poorer.”

PDEA-9 destroys P1.89-M worth of illegal drugs

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 8 (PIA) – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Wednesday destroyed a total of P1,895,145 worth of dangerous drugs in front of the Hall of Justice here.

A total of 541.47 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” were destroyed through thermal decomposition as witnessed by the key officials of provincial and city governments, PDEA and other law enforcement agencies, representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), non-government organizations (NGOs) and media.

“These are part of illegal drugs confiscated from the operations jointly conducted by PDEA and PNP operatives that are no longer needed as evidence in court,” PDEA-9 Regional Director Joseph Ladip said.

“As the government’s anti-drug agency, it is our privilege to carry out our mandate to initiate the destruction these pieces of evidence, Ladip announced.

Ladip said “the destruction of illegal drugs is in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1 series of 2002.

“Today’s ceremony is a symbolic gesture of our individual and concerted efforts against dangerous drugs and substances and these pose negative and damaging effect to our society. They were destroyed to eliminate any misconception that these items are being recycled and peddled back into the streets,” Ladip explained.

Meanwhile, Governor Antonio H. Cerilles in his message said he was happy to see that at the start of year 2015, the burning of illegal drugs, which he considered as mother of all evil, was done by the PDEA and other law enforcement agencies.

“I am very happy to see that the PDEA, DOJ, PAO, local government officials, NGOs, and the media are strongly supporting this anti-illegal drugs campaign, which contributed to the success of this undertaking,” said Cerilles, former vice chairman, Committee on Dangerous Drugs, House of Congress.

Cerilles lauded the law enforcement agencies for their accomplishments saying “it serves as warning to drug lords, operators of clandestine laboratories, distributors and traffickers of illegal drugs to stop their illegal activities or else they will face the full force of the law.”

Cerilles also appealed to the media to help the government in fighting illegal drugs by encouraging them to publish in the newspapers and/or broadcast on local television and radio those government officials who are involved in illegal drug trade.

Cerilles said “the illegal drug campaign is not only the fight of PDEA, PNP, government officials and civilians but it is everybody’s concern.”

It was also learned that the provincial government had created the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PAIDSOTF) following its declaration of war against illegal drugs during the incumbency of former governor Aurora Cerilles, wife of the incumbent governor and now the representative of the province’s second congressional district.

Petron Fast Prize promo brings holiday cheer to winners


CHRISTMAS came early to the lucky winners of the Petron Fast Prize promo, who will be enjoying their new cars, motorcycles, and free fuel for a year.

On the very first day of the promo, which runs from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015, Ferdinand Siobal, a businessman, was feeling lucky when he saw the tarp announcing Petron’s Fast Prize promo, and jokingly told his wife, “Do you see that? What if we take home the Toyota Vios?”

Even with his tank still half-full, he decided to stop at the Petron station in Marikina and fueled up his Nissan Navarra with P1,500 worth of Diesel Max. True enough, he got his wish and was the first winner of a major prize in Petron’s ongoing Fast Prize promo.

A bus conductor from Cebu, Joelmar Carcueva, will also be bringing home a brand new car. Together with the bus driver, Carcueva took the passenger bus to fuel it up with P1,500-worth of Diesel Max at the Petron station in Naga. He was speechless when he opened the peel-away coupon and saw the words “Toyota Vios.” Looking ahead, he plans to use the car as a for-hire vehicle, to augment the family income.

Another lucky winner is Rodolfo Sumalinog, who received a Petron Value Card preloaded with P88,000 worth of points, equivalent to free fuel for a year. The 60-year-old Sumalinog drives an L300 van for his church.

Together with his churchmates, he was on his way to a service in Apalit, Pampanga, when he stopped at Petron-Ampid to gas up with P1,000 worth of Diesel Max. Now, with his win, his church is blessed to have free fuel for a year.

Other winners of free fuel for a year include Elena Deliña Reyes in Isabela; Danilo Espadero in Catbalogan City, Samar; Jovi Sequina in Congressional Avenue, Quezon City; and Lani Manalac in Davao City.

Winning a Honda CB110 motorcycle are: Neslie Mendoza Saberon in Marilao, Bulacan; Renerio Cabatingan in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur; and Narcel Lopez in Calamba, Laguna.

With more than half-a-million instant prizes at stake, there are lots of major prizes still waiting for the lucky winner until February 15. Just fuel up with P1,000 worth of Petron Blaze 100, XCS, Xtra Advance, Super Xtra, Turbo Diesel, or Diesel Max at any participating Petron station nationwide.

Prizes include Toyota Vios automatic transmission cars, Honda CB110 motorcycles, Petron Value Card points worth P88,000 equivalent to free fuel for a year, Go Pro Hero 3+ cameras, Apple iPhone 6 16GB smartphones, Samsung Galaxy S4 with Samsung Gear Fit, Apple iPad Air 16GB, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, HP F310 car camcorders, Nike Fuel bands, Casio G-Shock watches, Rainbow Loom Band sets, Petron engine oils, and free fuel worth P250, P150 and P50.

Hurry! Gas up at the nearest Petron station and take home an instant prize this New Year, all the way up to February 15, 2015.

5 Must-See Sandbars in PH this 2015

By Gael Hilotin (Pinay Solo Backpacker)

Undoubtedly, the Philippines has some of the best coasts in the world, with over 7,000 islands, you will never run out of beaches here. But more than that, our bountiful country also harbors idyllic sandbars that beckon sun-seekers. Sandbar is defined as “a long mass or low ridge of submerged or partially exposed sand built up in the water along a shore or beach by the action of waves or currents.”

Here are some of the best ones you can visit this year:

1. Vanishing Island (Davao del Norte)

A real stunner, the Vanishing Island – as you might have surmised from its name – disappears when the tide is high. Unlike other sandbars sitting pretty below jungle-clad mountains, this one is set in the midst of the sea and offers a view of a nearby bustling city. Its sand is silky and snow white, sprinkled with mangroves and lapped by clear navy blue waters.

How to get there:

Charter a boat from Pearl Farm, Bali Bali wharf or Waterfront wharf.

2. Snake Island (El Nido, Palawan)

This remote-feeling spot harbors an S-shaped island framed by jungle-clad headlands. But like most sandbars, it is only exposed during low tide, so proper timing is important when visiting. An easy climb of the promontory nearby will reward you with a breath-snatching view of the S-shaped sun-blasted shore and the surrounding karst-punctuated sea.

How to get there:

Snake Island is part of El Nido Tour B, several hotels and travel agencies offer this tour. Try for island hopping tours in El Nido.

3. Manjuyod Sandbar (Negros Oriental)

Devoid of luxury trappings, even coconut trees are nowhere in sight, Manjuyod Sandbar is like a white gem that emerges from the seafloor when the tide recedes. This stunning beauty is situated in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, but the usual jump-off point for tourists coming from Dumaguete City is the port at Brgy. Capiñahan in Bais. Manjuyod Sandbar is a typical stop-over during the Bais dolphin watching tour. To catch its momentous appearance, one needs to start early in the morning during low tide.

How to get there:

From Dumaguete City, travel to Bais. Charter a boat from Capiñahan wharf located in South Bais Bay.

4. White Island (Camiguin)

The poster girl of the volcanic island of Camiguin is the more than kilometer long White Island. It offers a postcardesque panorama of Mt.Hibok Hibok and Mt.Vulcan. On regular weekends or holidays, expect it to be swarmed by day trippers who come here to bask in its emerald green and azure waters hugging its horseshoe-shaped shore. As the sandbar is devoid of cottages, renting a beach umbrella is your best bet if you’re seeking for shade. Otherwise, feel free to spread your beach towel, mat or sarong on its powdery white shore, and bask in the sun for a perfect tan!

How to get there:

From Mambajao town proper, take an eastbound tricycle and tell the driver you’re headed to the jump off point to White Island. Register and pay the boat fee.

5. Puting Balas (Zamboanga del Sur)

Unlike the aforementioned sandbars, Puting Balas rarely sees tourists. Situated off the coast of Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur, this rather isolated sandbar offers a much-needed respite from the harried metropolis. Puting Balas has powdery cream sand set in cerulean waters that is ideal for swimming.

How to get there:

Charter a boat from San Pedro port in Pagadian.

Pagadian records zero firecracker-related incidents

(FPG/GCC/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 5 (PIA) – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) here has recorded zero firecracker-related incidents on Christmas day and New Year’s Eve, respectively.

City Fire Marshall Sr. Inspector Reggy Olmedo said that there were three fire incidents in the city last December but these were not firecracker-related.

Olmedo said the BFP’s goal of achieving zero pyrotechnics-related fire incident was attributed to the strict implementation of its fire safety awareness and prevention drive dubbed “Oplan Paalala 2014: Iwas Paputok, Sakuna at Sunog which carries the theme: “Nakahandang Pangalagaan Kaligtasan ng Mamamayan Ngayong Pasko at Bagong Taon.”

Olmedo also expressed his gratitude to the Pagadianons for actively supporting the campaign.

“I thank all Pagadianons for actively supporting our program, thus helping us achieve our goal of making Pagadian a fire safe city during Holiday season,” Olmedo announced.

“I hope that this good practice will be observed not only during Holiday season but the whole year-round,” he added.

Olmedo said the significant part of the campaign was the fire truck’s visibility, reminding the public about fire safety prevention tips through its built-in public address system.

The BFP has also held a radio program and distributed fire prevention pamphlets in Tagalog to the public from Dec. 16 to Jan. 1, 2015.

The fire chief said he was very happy with the success of the campaign this Holiday season where there was no single building went up in smoke due to fireworks.

It could be recalled that a fire, believed to have come from firecrackers, gutted a house right at the back of the fire station here on Dec. 24, 2013.

Fire incident property damage in Pagadian City decreases to 82 percent in 2014

By JONG CADION (Mindanao Pagadian Frontline)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur --- Fire incident property damage had decreased to almost 82 percent in 2014 compared to 2013 based on the comparative fire incident reports from the Pagadian City Bureau of Fire Protection.

Pagadian City Fire Marshall Sr. Insp. Reggy Olmedo said Saturday the fire damage decreased to Php5,112,200.00 from Php28,099,050.00 or 82 percent involving a total of 73 structures burned in 28 fire incidents compared to that of the previous year with 76 structures burned in 34 fire incidents or a reduction of 17.66 percent

Olmedo explained that of the 28 total fire incidents, 20 are residential, 1 industrial/factory, 2 storage, 2 business/government establishments, 1 institutional, 1 grass fire and 1 electrical post compared to the 34 fire incidents of 2013, of which 24 are residential, 1 industrial/factory, 3 storage, 2 business/government establishments, 1 market, 1 grass fire and 2 educational burned within the area of jurisdiction of the Pagadian City Fire Station.

Olmedo said aside from this city, the Pagadian City Fire Station covers the seven nearby municipalities of this province that do not have firefighting equipment. This province has a total of 26 municipalities.

The seven municipalities are: Dumalinao, Guipos, Kumalarang, Labangan, Lakewood, San Pablo, and Tigbao, Olmedo said.

Of the total fire incidents in 2014, 2 motor vehicles were involved, 2 were classified as arson, 25 were accidental and 3 under investigation compared to 2013 involving 1 motor vehicle, 2 classified as arson, 30 were residential and 3 under investigation, Olmedo added.

Fatalities during fire incidents were 2 civilians in 2014 and 1 in 2013, while 1 was injured among the firefighters in 2014 and 3 civilians in 2013, he said.

In 2014 the City Fire Station was able to establish 3 Fire sub-stations in Barangay Danlugan, Tiguma and Santiago as part of their expansion program.

Barangay Danlugan Fire sub-station is located at least 8 kilometers north from the city proper that will cover 15 upper barangays while Santiago fire sub-station will cater to 8 coastal barangays. Barangay Tiguma will also take care of the west portion of the city covering 8 barangays including the municipalities of Labangan and Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.

Olmedo said Pagadian City Fire Station needed 5 additional fire trucks based on the ratio of one fire truck in every 20 thousand population.

Farmer Arrested for RA 9262 Offense in San Miguel

By PINSP DAHLAN T SAMUDDIN with report from PO2 Radzben S Jul and PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo (RPIO9)

San Miguel, Zamboanga Del Sur – A suspect for violation of Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act was collared by members of San Miguel Police Station during the service of warrant of arrest against him.

Suspect Salbino Culot Amantiad a.k.a. “Ben”, a farmer, was arrested based on a warrant with Criminal Case Number 2010-054 with Php 60,000.00 bail bond issued by Judge Edilberto G. Absin of Regional Trial Court Branch 29. Suspect is detained at San Miguel PS for proper disposition.

Pagadian records 1 stray bullet victim

By Bong Garcia

A PERSON was hit by a stray bullet, while zero firecracker-related injuries were reported during the New Year's revelry in Pagadian City, an official said.

Pagadian City Police Chief Superintendent Glenn Dulawan identified the stray bullet victim as Marly Tabudlong, a 19-year-old college student and a resident of Sta. Maria village in the city.

Dulawan said that Tabudlong was hit on her left thigh by a bullet that pierced through the roof while she was already sleeping in her bedroom around 1 a.m. Thursday.

A deformed slug was recovered from the victim's bedroom and was submitted to the Provincial Crime Laboratory for ballistic examination, said Dulawan.

He said the victim was rushed to the Pagadian City Medical Center and was subsequently discharged after medical treatment.

Meanwhile, Dulawan said the number of stray bullet incidents in Pagadian City during the New Year's revelry is lower by one compared to the previous of two recorded cases.

Pagadian City council man shot dead

(Mindanao Examiner)

PAGADIAN CITY – Police said a lone gunman had killed a village council member in Pagadian City in the southern Filipino province of Zamboanga del Sur.

It said Russel Labiaga, 35, of Gatas village, was shot repeatedly near the Mormons Church in Santo Ñino village. Labiaga had just parked his motorcycle when the assailant, who was hiding in a van, attacked without warning.

Police said witnesses saw the attacker, who had a red and white and scarf around his neck, fled after the shooting. Labiaga was shot at least 7 times with a .45-caliber pistol. He died in the hospital.

Policemen recovered Labiaga’s clutch bag which contained a pistol and a magazine with 14 bullets, and several identification cards, including his gun license and an expired permit allowing him to carry his weapon.

The attack was believed connected to a grudge, according to the police, which is currently investigating the murder.

Gun attacks are not uncommon in Pagadian City where hired killers are actively operating.