Zamboanga del Sur News January 2017

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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

Returning to Pagadian

By Radel Paredes

My recent trip to Pagadian City brought me back to the time when I first came to this place in 1994. For more than a month during the summer of that year, I joined an archaeological field school held at Fort Militar, a Spanish fortification built on top of a mountain in the coastal fishing village of Militar in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.

The field school was a joint project of the University of San Carlos Sociology-Anthropology Department, the National Museum, and the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Government. Our team was composed of selected Anthropology students, a few volunteers (including me and my brother Charlo, who was then a history professor in nearby Mindanao State University in Marawi City), and archaeologists from USC and the National Museum.

Heading the team were Jojo Bersales, a professor of the USC So-An Department and a resident of Pagadian, and Angel de la Cruz, an archaeologist from the National Museum. Our mission was to study the site and conduct excavations in Fort Militar, which was then already in ruins.

This was to be the first time that serious research was made about the Spanish structures that apparently were hastily built on the eve of the revolution in the late 19th century. The whole military complex strategically located on top of a mountain, which offered a 360 degree view of the sea and the rugged mountains of the Zamboanga Peninsula, had an infirmary and living quarters for both Spanish soldiers and civilians. Not much is left of these buildings which had been overgrown with bushes and trees. A few walls were left standing of what could have been an amazing feat of construction hundreds of meters from sea level.

So every day, we would climb about one kilometer through dense forest to the site from our camp at the barangay school at the foot of the mountain.

We combed the site for artifacts still left on the surface and dug up “test pits” with picks, shovels and paint brushes. It was tedious and admittedly boring work for a group of students expecting to have an Indiana Jones type of adventure during the summer break.

But we did find some very telling artifacts: a saucepan-looking, open faced charcoal-fed flat iron, a Mauser rifle bullet, several medical and liquor glass bottles (broken and intact), ceramic pot shards, and a midden or heap of kitchen refuse full of chopped animal bones that gave us hints as to the daily diet of the residents in the military complex.

There were traces of a telegraphic line and a stone-paved road for horse-drawn carriages. Oral history told about existence of railroad tracks for small boxcars that led from the lowland community to the fort. It would seem that the buildings were built by the Spaniards first to protect themselves from the Moro pirates who might enter the town through its long line of beaches. The raiders could be easily spotted by the Spaniards from that elevated position.

But considering the time it was built, it is obvious that the Spaniards anticipated that things could get worse for them as news of the revolt in Manila reached them. They built a fortification where they could retreat to safety in case the uprising reached Mindanao. Not much is known as to what really happened there. How, for instance, the structures were destroyed.

During our interviews, locals told about finding peculiarly long bones they believed to belong to tall white men that once inhabited the facility. Some of them claimed to have seen ghosts at night there, the reason why most residents avoided going up there at night believing it was haunted.

But one time, out of a dare and after a few rounds of beer, we all hiked to the top at midnight with only a small flashlight and the moon to light our way into the forest. We reached the place and found a couple of treasure hunters doing their own illegal excavations at the historic site.

We found no ghost, however, but the memory of the place, an old Spanish fort uniquely located on top of a mountain, still haunts me now. On my second trip to Pagadian, I missed the chance to visit Fort Militar. I would have wanted to make another climb up there to see if the site of our excavation is still there. Perhaps, standing there alone I would only hear our own laughter still echoing in the ruins and the forest more than 20 years ago.

Kidnap-for-ransom group member seized in Zambo Sur

By Bong Garcia (BG/SunStar Philippines)

THE police intelligence operatives arrested a kidnap-for-ransom group (KFRG) member in Zamboanga del Sur, an official said Friday, January 27.

Zamboanga del Sur Police Director Sofronio Ecaldre identified the arrested KFRG member as Benhar Abdusalam, who carries the aliases of Jaylene, Helen, and Rajak.

Ecaldre said Abdusalam is a member of the Zamboanga Sibugay-based Abdusalam criminal group that is engaged in kidnapping for ransom, extortion, and other criminal activities.

He said Abdusalam was arrested around 10 a.m. Thursday at the municipal gymnasium of Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur.

The police director added Abdusalam, who is listed as number 12 in the Abdusalam criminal group, is facing charges for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention before the Regional Trial Court Branch 12 in this city.

Police arrest KFRG member in Zamboanga del Sur


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 27 (PNA) -- Government intelligence operatives have arrested a member of a kidnap-for-ransom-group (KFRG) in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, a top police official announced Friday.

Senior Supt. Sofronio Ecaldre, Zamboanga del Sur police director, identified the arrested KFRG member as Benhar Abdusalam, who carries the aliases of Jaylene, Helen, and Rajak.

Ecaldre said Abdusalam is a member of the Zamboanga Sibugay-based Abdusalam criminal group that is engaged in kidnapping for ransom, extortion and other criminal activities.

Ecaldre said Abdusalam was arrested around 10 a.m. Thursday at the municipal gymnasium of Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur.

He said Abdusalam is facing charges for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 12 in this city.

Abdusalam, according to Ecaldre, is listed as number 12 in the Abdusalam criminal group and has a standing warrant of arrest for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

He said Abdusalam was taken to the Region Intelligence Unit-9 headquarters in this city.

Pagadian plays host to the 2017 NSPC

By Claro A. Lanipa (ALT/CAL/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, 25 January (PIA) -- For the first time since its inception in 1931, the city of Pagadian plays host to the 2017 National Schools Press Conference (NSPC), an annual grand competition of minds and talents spearheaded by the Department of Education (DepEd).

“NSPC is the highest intellectual competition for journalism in the elementary and secondary level which is anchored on this year’s theme, “Strengthening Freedom of Information Through Campus Journalism,” Mayor Romeo P. Pulmones said in his welcome message.

“This competition is the venue where our students will showcase their skills and talents in radio, television, print and social media. The group contest on television broadcasting and scriptwriting which started as an exhibitional contest will start a formal group contest here in Pagadian City this year,” Pulmones added.

On the other hand, 2nd District Representative Hon. Aurora E. Cerilles said this yearly event has been proven beneficial in fostering awareness among our students of the need to communicate their thoughts, ideas, opinions, and observations which they believe serve the best interest not only within their own school but the community in general.

This is also an opportunity to develop their skills in various fields of journalism that fit their specific inclination, hence, training them to become smart, courageous and expressive, the kind of young people we need who could be dynamic participants in our goal of raising a strong citizenry.

“Students, you are the hope of our fatherland. May you treasure this in your hearts and minds as you strive your best in these times of difficulties. Keep on growing in your craft and use them to influence others into goodness,” the lady lawmaker underscored.

Meanwhile, Governor Antonio H. Cerilles who was ably represented by his son, Vice Governor Ace William E. Cerilles said the NSPC is an avenue for students to develop their writing skills, creative and critical thinking while observing ethical values and discipline, integrating respect, humility, professionalism and social responsibility.

“We are nurturing young minds to explore the depth of their abilities and use them as a tool to reach out to the people, share reliable information and truthful facts on relevant issues of our society. This activity will prepare them to be responsible citizens and be a great help in nation building,” the younger Cerilles said.

Also present were DepEd dignitaries, namely: ASec. for Public Affairs Service G.H.S. Ambat, USec. Victoria M. Catibog, USec. Dina S. Ocampo, regional directors of the 18 regions in the country, assistant regional directors, superintendents and assistant division superintendents, among others.

Ms. Malou C. Mangahas, a renowned journalist and executive director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism was the keynote speaker during the opening program of the said event.

DepEd IX Regional Director Isabelita M. Borres said about 5,546 delegates composed of students, teachers, coaches, parents and guests from the 18 regions all over the country are here to participate in this year’s competition.

Suspect on Grudge-fueled Shooting Jailed in Dinas

(RPIO9 with report from PO3 Radzben S. Jul)

A shooting incident occurred in Purok 3, Barangay Beray, Dinas, Zamboanga Del Sur at about 4:35 AM on January 06, 2017 wherein victim identified as Ariel Misperos, resident of abovementioned place was shot by Edgar Quirante, 44, resident of Purok 4, of same barangay.

The victim sustained a gunshot wound on the left portion of his body and was brought to a hospital for treatment. The suspect was immediately arrested by responding elements of Dinas MPS. Recovered from him were a cal .38 revolver with defaced serial number, a hunting knife and a cal .38 empty shell. Furthermore, it was found out that the suspect has a standing warrant of arrest for frustrated murder issued by Presiding Judge Edilberto Absin with Criminal Case No. 0-7038 of RTC 9, Branch 29. The motive of the incident is believed to be personal grudge. The arrested person is presently detained at Dinas MPS for proper disposition.

Young journalists encouraged to report truthful news

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 24 (PIA)--- Dina S. Ocampo, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction of the Department of Education (DepEd) underscored the importance of responsible and ethical reporting.

In a press conference dubbed “Meet the Press” held at the Teachers Center here, USEC Ocampo said that news stories are supposed to help readers understand the world around them. But stories rocketed around the internet are misleading, carelessly and excessively reported, or in some cases totally made up.

“Meet The Press” is one the highlights of the 2017 National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) attended by campus journalists, members of the local media, presidents of Regional Association of School Paper Advisers, Regional Editors Guild, and National Secondary School Paper Advisers Association .

“In this time, there are fake news, fake sources and made up data being referred to as if they were true, are circulating,” Ocampo observed.

Ocampo said for the young journalists to be effective in the future, they should be truthful.

“You are our watchdogs. It is your duty to tell what is right or wrong. You need to secure your future by taking care of truth,” Ocampo urged.

The DepEd official said that the NSPC is very important, adding that participants have labored in school, division, and regional competitions for them to qualify for the NSPC. Hence, it is a selection of the best writers, broadcasters, and photographers, among others.

“Always bear in mind that the process is more important than the product and winning the prize. The process is something that shapes you,” Ocampo explained.

Some 5,456 young journalists from all over the country supported the DepEd official’s call to reject the spread of fake news at the opening of the National Schools Press Conference 2017.

WATCH: What makes Pagadian tricycles unique


The unique structure of the tricycles in Pagadian City allows drivers to ride through the city's hilly terrain

PAGADIAN CITY, Philippines – Tricycles in Pagadian City are unique. Those that ply in the regional center of Zamboanga Peninsula are inclined at an angle of 20 to 40 degrees.

There is a reason behind this. The design enables drivers to negotiate the city's steep roads.

Pagadian City, which also known in the country as the "Little Hong Kong of the South," is the host of the National Schools Press Conference 2017, the annual campus journalism competition organized by the Department of Education (DepEd).

Village watchman wounded in gun attack

By Bong Garcia (BG/SunStar Philippines)

A VILLAGE watchman was wounded in a gun attack in a remote village in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, police said Saturday, January 21. Senior Superintendent Sofronio Ecaldre, Zamboanga del Sur police director, said the incident occurred around 9:30 p.m.

Thursday at Sitio Tijome, Balongbalong village, Pitogo municipality.

Ecaldre identified the victim as Wilson Ebot, 53, a village watchman in Balongbalong.

The victim was hit in the right leg.

Investigation showed that Ebot was seated outside the house of his neighbour when an unidentified gunman shot him and fled.

The victim was taken to the Pitogo Rural Health Center for treatment.

Ecaldre said that most likely the motive of the incident is land dispute although they have yet to identify and arrest the suspect.

DepEd nat’l schools journalism contest slated Jan 23-26 in Pagadian

By Dominic I. Sanchez (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PIA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) here bared that the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC), an annual competition of about 5,000 elementary and high school journalists from all over the country will be held in Pagadian City from January 23 to 26, this year. Categories include broadcast and print journalism.

Expected to grace the NSPC are DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, Usec. Alain Del Pascua, Asec. Tonisito M.C. Umali and Usec. Victoria Catibog, as well as Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio H. Cerilles and Pagadian City Mayor Romeo P. Pulmones.

According to Dahlia Paragas of the DepEd here, the local government have already expressed their support in hosting the nationwide press conference. DepEd Regional Director Dr. Isabelita Borres had done a series of consultations in preparation for the event with regional officials, schools division superintendents and local government officials “as the said occasion requires synergy and collaboration with them.”

Paragas said that this is the third time the region was host to this national event. The first was in January 1964, and the second in February 1985.

This year’s theme is “Strengthening Freedom of Information through Campus Journalism.”

Meanwhile, Secretary Briones said that “we have the right to know what is going on, the right to know of the developments but remembering that freedom always comes with accountability and responsibility that entails being truthful, accurate and unbiased.” She encouraged students to write stories that would ignite nationalism and cultural pride.

On the other hand, Usec. Padua said that “knowledge is not meant to be kept, instead it should be nurtured for everyone else to also learn from and appreciate.” Usec. Ocampo emphasized “the highest standards of journalism that will allow information that leads to genuine public enlightenment.” She added, “when people have access to information, they are encouraged to actively participate in decisions that will affect them.”

The contest categories that the students will participate in include radio script writing and broadcasting, collaborative desktop publishing, online publishing and television scriptwriting and broadcasting.

The NSPC, said Paragas is “pursuant to Republic Act 7079 or the Campus Journalism Act which advocates free and responsible journalism at the school level. It encourages students to practice and hone their journalistic skills in writing and critical thinking while strengthening their ethical values and developing discipline.”

Ombudsman orders suspension of Zamboanga del Sur town mayor over illegal reassignment of employees


MANILA (PNA) -- The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has ordered the two-month suspension of Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Roy Encallado after he was found guilty of simple misconduct.

Probers found that Encallado caused the reassignment of two municipal employees who were employed at the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan (OSB).

The Ombudsman noted the illegality of the order arises from the provision in the Local Government Code (LGC) which states that "the power to appoint the employees of the SB is lodged with the vice-mayor."

Thus, the Ombudsman said, while Encallado has the authority to appoint and take personnel actions of his unit, this does not extend to the employees of the OSB.

Cop survives gun slay in Zambo Sur

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

A POLICEMAN survived a gun attack by two men onboard a motorcycle along a provincial road in a hinterland village in Zamboanga del Sur, Tuesday, January 17.

Senior Superintendent Sofronio Ecaldre, Zamboanga del Sur police director, said Senior Police Office 4 Nestor Cabatingan, 47, the Municipal Executive Senior Police Officer (Mespo) of Midsalip Police Station in Zamboanga del Sur, was waylaid around 7:30 p.m. in the village of Barubuhan, Sominot municipality.

Ecaldre said Cabatingan, although wounded, managed to return fire prompting the suspect to flee.

He said Cabatingan is hospitalized in the municipality of Midsalip while investigation continues in a bid to identify the suspects.

Prices of basic necessities, prime commodities now online

By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) – “Just like everything else, today, everything is already online, thus, cutting red tape by lessening the inter-personal activity where ‘magic’ happens,” Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Director Maria Socorro Malate-Atay said during the E-Presyo advocacy seminar held last Friday.

The “E-Presyo,” an Online Price Monitoring System (OPMS) of the department was launched nationwide on October 24, 2016 where prices of basic necessities and prime commodities can be found through this system.

“The suggested retail price (SRP) of basic and prime commodities is being dictated by the manufacturers or producers and not DTI,” Director Atay emphasized.

Manufacturers and producers cannot just dictate their SRP unless they will meet and consult with the stakeholders like supermarket owners and DTI, according to Atay.

Trade and Industry Development Specialist (TIDS) Jo Nico B. Locson said e-Presyo heightens consumers’ knowledge and awareness on the prices of basic necessities and primes commodities, serves as a guide for consumers in doing their grocery shopping, protects consumers against unreasonable increases in prices thus ensuring “value for money” and is very user-friendly.

“E-Presyo also provides real-time data reports. It automatically process raw price data, generates price reports and graphs and can be accessed anytime and anywhere through the mobile application,” Locson further explained.

Information that can be seen on e-Presyo are suggested retail price (SRP) of basic necessities and prime commodities, monitored prevailing prices indicating stores with lowest prices and comparative prevailing prices (a week, a month and a year ago).

E-Presyo can be accessed through the DTI website at and via mobile application.

On the other hand, Chief TIDS Raymond L. Peña discussed the prohibited acts and corresponding penalties of Republic Act No. 10909 known as the “No Short Changing Act.”

Sta. Lucia NHS wins Pasalamat ritual showdown competition

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA-Pagadian City)

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) – Thirteen public secondary schools in the city vied for this year’s Pasalamat Festival competition in various categories, namely: Street Dancing, Ritual Showdown, and Festival Queen.

The streets of Pagadian on Sunday were filled with vibrant colors and dancers swayed to the sound of trumpets and beat of drums, as they joyfully chanted, “Viva! Senyor Sto. Niño! Pit Senyor!” in honor of Pagadian’s patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño.

The afternoon rain did not stop the performers as they energetically danced in the concrete pavements leading to Plaza Luz where they battled it out to win the grand prize and to entertain locals and tourists.

For the street dancing competition, Pagadian City Science High School won the first place with P100,000 cash prize, the Zamboanga del Sur National High School (San Pedro Annex) bagged the second prize - P75,000, while Napolan National High School finished third with P50,000.

Sta. Lucia National High School bagged the first prize in the ritual showdown competition with P200,000 , the Pagadian City Science High School finished second with P100,000, and Co Tek Chun National High School bagged the third place with P75,000.

The winners received also trophies, while the non-lucky contingents received consolation prize.

Sheila Mae Navaro, 18 years old of Co Tek Chun National High School was proclaimed as this year’s Festival Queen 2017.

Aurora Businessman Jailed for 2 Counts of Estafa

(RPIO9 with report from PO3 Radzben S. Jul)

Elements of Aurora MPS conducted a police operation for the service of a warrant of arrest in Purok Sagrada, Poblacion, Aurora, Zamboanga Del Sur at about 11:05 AM on January 2, 2017.

This resulted in the arrest of Leonilyn Arabis Jayme, 33, a businessman residing in said place. Suspect has a standing warrant of arrest for two counts of estafa docketed under Criminal Case No. 2015-10-3013 issued by Presiding Judge Jaime B Caberte of Branch 23, RTC, 9th Judicial Region, Molave, Zamboanga Del Sur with a recommended bail bond amounting to Php 16,000.00 and Criminal Case No. 2015-10-3014 with bail bond set at Php 22,000.00. The arrested subject person is presently detained at Aurora MPS for proper disposition.

Dengue fever tops among top 10 diseases in Region 9


ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) -- The Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health (DOH) revealed that dengue fever registered as the number one among the top 10 diseases they recorded in 2016 here in Region 9.

RESU Head Maxell Bermas on Friday said that the records they gather were based on the admission of patients on government-owned and private hospitals.

Bermas disclosed there were 7,298 cases of dengue fever with 39 mortalities from January to December 2016.

The other top 10 diseases in 2016 are as follows: typhoid fever, 1,675 cases with 11 mortalities; Influenza-like illnesses, 882 cases; acute bloody diarrhea, 858 cases with one mortality; hepatitis, 297 cases; meningitis, 88 cases with 24 deaths; rota virus, 62 cases; non-neonatal tetanus, 45 cases with 14 deaths; leptospirosis, 18 cases with one mortality; and the hand, foot and mouth disease, 15 cases.

Bermas said the monitoring of the different types of diseases enables them to detect early any possible outbreak of disease in a particular place.

“Proper intervention can be immediately initiated to address possible outbreak the earliest time,” Bermas added.

He advised the public to practice proper hygiene and sanitation to protect them from diseases.

PSA conduct Labor Force Survey in Region 9


ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) -- The Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA) has called for the cooperation of the public in the ongoing labor force survey (LFS) of the agency.

Ma. Flerida Tan, PSA regional supervising statistical specialist, on Friday said that the survey is aimed to determine the employment, unemployment and underemployment rate of the country.

Tan said the survey started on Monday, January 9, and ends on January 31.

Tan said they have employed 26 enumerators for the conduct of the LFS here in Region 9.

The total target number of households to be surveyed is 1,575.

The questions they would ask in the survey includes the nature of work; status of work; educational attainment; salaries; and other questions pertaining to the household - respondents.

Tan said the result of the LFS would serve as the basis of the government in the formulation of policies and programs on the generation of gainful employment and livelihood opportunities.

The PSA conducts the LFS every January, April, July, and October of the year.

Coastguard intensifies round-the-clock security patrol

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA-Pagadian City)

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) here has launched a 24/7 visibility patrol to ensure the safe celebration of the city’s annual parochial fiesta on Sunday, January 15.

PCG chief Lieutenant Commander Rosalie M. Abila in an interview said the round-the-clock security patrol in the vicinity of the wharf area started on January 10 during the kick off ceremony of the Regatta Sea Games and will last until January 15.

Abila said the PCG has come up with measures that will ensure the safety and well-being of Pagadianons.

She added that troops have been deployed to augment the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines in their foot and mobile visibility patrol and inspections.

“Our scuba gear special operations group will conduct underwater inspection a day before the concelebrated Mass and fluvial procession to ensure that no suspicious objects have been placed in the premises.

She also said that K9 bomb-sniffing dogs were also augmented in the vicinity of the wharf.

Abila appealed to the public for their understanding and full cooperation as they implement stringent security measures.

“We continue to do our mandate of protecting and serving the people,” she said.

Meanwhile, all fishing vessels that will join the fluvial procession will have to be inspected a day prior to the event.

“We have 10 teams to monitor, inspect, and determine whether or not the vessels that will participate in the fluvial parade are equipped with safety equipment like life jackets to ensure the protection of all passengers and crew onboard,” Abila said.

The lady coast guard chief said an orientation for all vessel owners will be conducted on Friday at 10:00 o’clock in the evening at the wharf area.

During the orientation, vessel owners will be apprised on the strict implementation of precautionary, safety and security measures to ensure safe, efficient and reliable transportation services to all passengers.

On the part of the passengers, Abila said the PCG strictly implements the “no ticket, no boarding policy,” to guarantee the safety of devotees.

“Only those passengers who have tickets will be allowed to board the vessel,” she announced.

DOST allocates PhP 10.4-M for RxBox project in Region 9


ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is deploying RxBoxes in the different parts of the region to provide better access to life-saving health care service in remote communities.

Mark Madarang, DOST 9 project staff for RxBox, said that their office is set to deploy 58 RxBoxes starting next month here in Region 9.

Of the total, Madarang said 24 RxBoxes would be positioned in Zamboanga del Sur, 17 in Zamboanga del Norte, 16 in Zamboanga Sibugay and one in this city.

Madarang said the DOST central office has allocated PhP 10.4 - million for the implementation of the project as each RxBox costs PhP 180,000.

The implementation of the project is in cooperation with the Department of Health and University of the Philippines - National Telehealth Center.

Each of the RxBox contains health gadgets such as the blood pressure monitor; pulse oxymeter; electrocardiogram (ECG); fetal heart monitor; maternal tocometer; and, temperature sensor.

The RxBox is a telemedicine device capable of capturing medical signals through built-in medical sensors, storing data in an electronic medical record (Community Health Information Tracking System – CHITS), and transmitting health information via internet to a clinical specialist in the Philippine General Hospital for expert advice.

It also catalyzes improvement in the local referral system by facilitating teleconsultations (audio-video conferences) within the National Telehealth Service Program.

The RxBox can reduce the overall cost of healthcare by enabling health workers to diagnose, monitor and treat patients within the rural health facility.

“With the RxBox, we can deliver quality health care service to the people far from the hospitals and health centers. This will also help in maternal and child care,” Madarang said.

Madarang said the deployment of the RxBoxes is in support to the country’s race towards the Millennium Development Goals on improving maternal and neonatal health services.

However, he said there are criteria before a city or town could become a recipient of the RxBox.

The criteria are as follows: a physician; trained staffs for Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC); Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) accreditation; electricity; cellular phone access; and, laptop computer.

Madarang said staff members handling RxBox includes physicians, nurses, midwives, and information technology (IT) personnel.

The assigned personnel are required to undergo a four-day training to ensure that RxBox are put to good use.

Former Zamboanga del Sur mayor faces malversation charges

By Lian Buan (Rappler)

Wilson 'Kitty' Nandang also faces murder and drug charges for the death of his political rival and the latter's family in 2013

MANILA, Philippines – The embattled former mayor of Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, faces another case.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed on Tuesday, January 10, charges of malversation against Wilson "Kitty" Nandang for facilitating the release of his salary in August 2011 despite having been placed under preventive suspension.

The Office of the President ordered Nandang's preventive suspension in 2011 after being found guilty of simple misconduct – defined as "a transgression of some established rule of action, an unlawful behavior, or negligence committed by a public officer."

It stemmed from a complaint by Labangan's municipal engineer, who alleged that Nandang forced him to approve anomalous transactions. Malacañang later withdrew its suspension of Nandang because the local government failed to substantiate its claims against the mayor.

However, as prosecutors found eventually, Nandang still received his salary upon his own authorization.

In its resolution, the Ombudsman said “government employees who are preventively suspended pending investigation, such as in this case, are not entitled to the payment of their salaries.”

Other cases

In 2013, multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges were filed against Nandang in relation to the murder of his political rival, then Labangan Mayor Ukol Talumpa, who was gunned down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. Talumpa's wife, nephew, and an 18-month-old baby also died in the attack.

Earlier in 2013, Nandang's son was killed in an ambush in Lanao del Sur and police sources said Talumpa was behind the attack. (READ: FAST FACTS: Mayor Ukol Talumpa)

It has since been revealed that Nandang is also on the watch list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for allegedly operating Zamboanga del Sur's notorious Nandang-Afdal drug group.

Nandang evaded arrest in July 2016 when police operatives raided a shabu laboratory in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. He remains at large.

DTI Negosyo Center opens in Mahayag town

By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/PIA-Pagadian City)

MAHAYAG, Zamboanga del Sur (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-9) has encouraged local government units (LGUs) in the province to establish Negosyo Centers.

Assistant Regional Director Noel R. Barzan, during the blessing and inauguration ceremony of the Negosyo Center in Mahayag town, the sixth in the province, said the main purpose of the Negosyo Center is to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to facilitate local job creation, production and trade.

“It is our purpose to help and strengthen the MSMEs through the establishment of the Negosyo Center. If the MSMEs have food items such as processed foods, we can offer assistance to them,” Barzan said.

He said the newly-established Negosyo Center is responsible for promoting ease of doing business and facilitates access to services for MSMEs in the municipality.

Provincial Director Ma. Socorro Atay said the establishment of the Negosyo Center is in accordance with Republic Act No. 10644 otherwise known as the “Go Negosyo Act” or an “Act promoting job generation and inclusive growth through the development of micro, small and medium enterprises.”

Negosyo Centers were also established at the DTI office, Pagadian City, and in the municipalities of Aurora, Guipos, Molave, and Ramon Magsaysay respectively.

Atay said the Negosyo Center accepts and facilitates all registration application of MSMEs, integrate a unified business process system for MSMEs, provide information and services in training, financing, and marketing.

“The turnaround time for businessmen in processing their documents will be 15 minutes, a very short time compared to the 3-day order of President Rodrigo Duterte in government offices provided that their documents and fees are complete,” she said.

Atay encouraged the LGU to field one staff in the Center to provide technical assistance to local businessmen in their application of business name registration.

Meanwhile, Mayor Lorna Espina was very grateful to DTI for establishing a Negosyo Center in her town saying that it provides businessmen ease and comfort in their business name registration.

“The Negosyo Center is already on our doorstep. Our businessmen will no longer spend time, money and effort in going to Pagadian just to register the business name of their establishment,” Espina proudly announced.

The lady mayor expressed optimism that the project will help increase not only the national government’s revenue but the LGU as well.

3 Pushers Arrested in Camino Nuevo, Margosatubig

(RPIO9 with report from PO3 Radzben S. Jul)

Anti-illegal drug operatives of Zamboanga City Police Station 11 arrested a drug pusher following a buy-bust operation on illegal drugs conducted at Tambucho Drive, Camino Nuevo, Zamboanga City at about 5:55 PM on December 24, 2016.

The arrested man was identified as Oliver Abunda y Planas, 49, resident of abovementioned place, who sold a sachet of suspected shabu worth Php 700.00 to a poseur buyer. Also recovered from him was the marked money used in the operation. The suspect is presently detained at said police station while waiting for the filing of appropriate charges in court.


Two alleged drug dealers were arrested by anti-illegal drug operatives of Margosatubig MPS during a buy-bust operation carried out at Purok Abi-Abihon, Sitio Lumahan, Barangay Tiguian, Margosatubig, Zamboanga Del Sur at about 2:00 AM on December 24, 2016. The suspect was identified as Kilven Dela Peña Remedios, 30, resident of Purok Baluno, Barangay Kalian, Margosatubig, and Raymond Quirong Nongo, 28, of Barangay Molum, Lapuyan town. Confiscated from them were five sachets of suspected shabu, marked money, and drugs paraphernalia. The arrested persons are temporarily detained at Margosatubig MPS for proper dispositon.

No. 2 Pitogo Most Wanted, 3 Others Arrested

(RPIO9 with report from PO3 Radzben S. Jul)

A former CAFGU listed as the no. 2 Most Wanted Person (Municipal level) was arrested in Purok Kalubian, Barangay Poblacion, Pitogo, Zamboanga Del Sur at about 7:30 AM on December 22, 2016.

Suspect Fernando Villacarlos y Erebuagas, 29, was arrested by virtue of warrant for Double Murder with Criminal Case No. 15-062, Murder with Criminal Case No. 14-034, Murder with Criminal Case No. 14-035 with no bail recommended issued by Presiding Judge Felix B. Rodriguez Jr at RTC-9, Branch 29, San Miguel, ZDS, Frustrated Murder with Criminal Case No. 14-036 with a recommended bail bond of Php 200,000.00 and Multiple Attempted Murder with Criminal Case No. 14-037 with bail bond set at Php 24,000.00 issued by Presiding Judge Ruben N. Bance of RTC-9, Branch 29, San Miguel, ZDS.


Elements of Liloy MPS conducted a manhunt operation against a wanted person in Barangay Comunal, Liloy, Zamboanga Del Norte on December 22, 2016 at about 2:20 PM and arrested Chona S Campasas, 42, resident of the abovementioned place. This is by virtue of arrest warrant issued by Presiding Judge Oscar Tomarong of RTC 9, Branch 28 Liloy, Zamboanga Del Norte for Estafa docketed under Criminal Case No. l-003030-31 with a recommended bail bond of Php 22,000.00. Said isuspect is temporarily detained at at Liloy MPS for proper disposition.


Elements of Piñan MPS arrested a wanted person on December 22, 2016 at about 2:30 PM in Barangay Adante, Piñan, Zamboanga Del Norte. Suspect Joel Cubillo Amparado, 36, resident of abovementioned place was arrested by virtue of warrant for Slander by Deeds docketed under Criminal Case Number P-175 issued by Presiding Judge Deborah P. Garcia Nazario of MCTC, Piñan, La Libertad, 9th Judicial Region, Branch 1, Piñan, Zamboanga Del Norte with a recommended bail bond of Php 6,000.00. The arrested person is under the custody of said police station for proper disposition.


Elements of Pitogo MPS arrested Fernando Erebuagas Villacarlos, 29, resident of Purok Kalubian, Barangay Poblacion, Pitogo, Zamboanga Del Sur on December 22, 2016 at about 7:30 AM. This is by virtue of warrant of arrest for Double Murder docketed under Criminal Case Number 15-062 issued by Presiding Judge Felix B Rodriguez Jr of RTC 9, Branch 29, San Miguel, Zamboanga Del Sur. The arrested wanted person is temporarily detained at Pitogo MPS for proper disposition.

DOH: 2016 firecracker-related injuries in Region 9 lesser by one case


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 6 (PNA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) announced that the cases of firecracker-related injuries dropped by one case in 2016 compared to the previous year here in Region 9.

The DOH yearly monitors firecracker-related injuries from December 21 to January 5.

Maxell Bermas, DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) chief, on Friday said they have recorded 11 firecracker-related injuries from December 21, 2016 to January 5, 2017.

Bermas said that seven of the 11 cases were registered in Zamboanga del Norte, two in Zamboanga del Sur, and one each in Zamboanga Sibugay and Isabela City.

The firecrackers responsible for the injuries included the following: piccolo (3); triangle (3); kwitis (2); bamboo cannon (2); and pla-pla (1).

Last year, the DOH regional office had recorded 12 cases of firecracker-related injuries from December 21, 2015 to January 5, 2016.

“E-Presyo” advocacy seminar slated on January 13

By Claro A. Lanipa (ALT/CAL/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, 6 January (PIA) – To properly inform the public on the salient features and use of the “E-Presyo,” the Department of Trade and Industry will conduct an advocacy seminar on January 13, 2017 at the DTI Conference Room, Capitol Site this city.

DTI Provincial Director Maria Socorro Malate-Atay said the “E-Presyo,” an Online Price Monitoring System (OPMS) of DTI was launched on October 24, 2016. This application serves as a platform for consumers to check the prevailing prices of basic necessities and prime commodities that are being monitored by the department. It also serves as a guide for consumers in doing their grocery shopping.

She further said that during the same occasion, DTI personnel will also discuss the recently released Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10909 otherwise known as the “No Short Changing Act of 2016.”

RA 10909, is an act prohibiting business establishments from giving insufficient or no change to consumers and providing penalties thereof.

Section 6 states that any violation of this Act as determined by DTI under Section 5 shall be punished as follows:

First Offense – a violator shall be fined P500 or 3 percent of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher;

Second Offense – a violator shall be fined P5,000 or 5 percent of the gross sales of the establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher;

Third Offense – a violator shall be fined P15,000 or 7 percent of the gross sales of the establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher and the license of the said establishment shall be suspended for three (3) months, and;

Fourth Offense – a violator shall be fined P25,000 or 10 percent of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher and the license to operate of the establishment shall be revoked.

Meanwhile, DTI is mandated to ensure that prices of basic necessities and prime commodities are affordable and available to the public and to make sure that the consumers get the best value for their hard-earned money.

Contrabands Seized in Pagadian Jail Oplan Galugad

(RPIO9 with report from PO3 Radzben S Jul)

Operatives of Pagadian City Police Station and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel conducted a joint “Oplan Galugad” (Operation Greyhound) in Pagadian City Jail at around 6:10 AM on December 15, 2016.

This led to the confiscation of twelve sachets of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, cellular phones, poker cards, cigarettes, soldering iron, army apparel, nails, improvised knives, and sand paper. The suspected shabu was seized from inmates Melvin Yamuta y Rodriguez and Geu Pongase y Villarin. Recovered contrabands are now in the custody of the BJMP Pagadian City Jail.

Ambol Gang Cohort Captured; 2 Others Arrested

(RPIO9 with report from PO3 Radzben S Jul)

Combined operatives of Dinas MPS, Zamboanga Del Sur Public Safety Company, Provincial Intelligence Branch, Provincial Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Group, Regional Intelligence Division 9, 2nd Mobile Company, Regional Public Safety Battalion 9, and 53rd IB, Philippine Army conducted a law enforcement operation to serve a warrant of arrest along the national highway in Barangay Anonang, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur at about 2:30 PM on December 15, 2016.

This led to the arrest of Abunor Malido a.k.a. “Norex”, 42, resident of Purok Pasayan, Dinas, Zamboanga Del Sur, the no. 1 High Value Target (Provincial Level) and member of Ambol Criminal Group. The arrested person has a standing warrant of arrest for violation of Section 11, Article II of R.A. 9165 docketed under Criminal Case No. 15-132 issued by Presiding Judge Ruben Bance of RTC9, Branch 29 dated July 27, 2016 with recommended bail bond of Php 700,000.00. Suspect is now under police custody.


Members of Detective Management Unit (DMU) served the warrant of arrest against Victorio Jison y Lahi a.k.a. “Toy”, 37, Brgy. Highway, Tetuan, in Zamboanga City Jail Varela St, Zone 1, Zamboanga City at about 9:00 AM on December 15, 2016. The suspect was arrested during a buy-bust operation at about 12:10 PM on September 27, 2016 by SAIDSOTG personnel. Said warrant of arrest was issued by Assisting Judge Roncesvales B. Filoteo of Regional Trial Court 9th Judicial Region, Zamboanga City, Branch 16 dated November 16, 2016 docketed under Criminal Case Number 34066 and 34067 for violation of Section 5 and 11, Art. II of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (RA 9165) with a recommended bail bond of Php 200.000.00 for Criminal Case Number 34067 and no bail for Criminal Case Number 34066. The accused remains committed at Zamboanga City Reformatory Center.


A farmer was arrested by elements of Liloy MPS in Barangay Villa C. Sudiacal, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte at about 10:30 AM on December 15, 2016. The arrested person was identified as Gildo Perez Plando, 55. This is by virtue of a warrant of arrest for Estafa docketed in Criminal Case No. 5453 issued by Judge Reymar L. Lacaya of RTC 9th Judicial Region, Branch 11, Sindangan, Zamboanga Del Norte dated November 25, 2016 with a recommended bail bond of Php18,000.00. Suspect is now temporarily detained at Liloy MPS.

Zambo Sur town mayor, companions unscathed in ambush-try


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan 3 (PNA) -- The police are conducting an in-depth investigation to unmask the gunmen behind the ambush slay-try of a town mayor and his companions in Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Supt. Rogelio Alabata, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer, on Tuesday disclosed the incident took place around 6:30 p.m. Monday along the national highway in Barangay Basalem, Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Unscathed during the incident were Mayor Eugenio Salva Jr. of Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur; Rico Ranido, driver; PO2 Markwin Caylan, police security; and a companion, Roger Brazil.

Alabata said Salva told the police investigator that they heard gunshots but did not mind believing it was only firecrackers explosion while they were traversing Barangay Basalem, Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay.

He said Salva and his companions were en route to Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur at the time of the incident.

He said the mayor noticed a bullet hole and recovered a deformed slug inside the passenger door of the vehicle.

The slug was turned over to the police in Buug town for ballistic examination.

Alabata said that Salva is puzzled as to who could be behind the incident since the mayor has no known enemies.

Pagadian City police chief sacked for taping cops’ gun muzzles

By Hirohito D. Cadion [(PNA), LAP/TPGJR/HDC]

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Jan. 2 (PNA) -– The local police chief has been relieved from his post for disobeying orders from the highest official of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Relieved as city police chief was Supt. Michael Palermo. He was replaced by Supt. Kiram Jimlani, the former deputy provincial director for operations and chief of the intelligence division.

Senior Supt. Sofronio Ecaldre, provincial police director, on Monday told the Philippines News Agency that Palermo was relieved as he ordered the taping of the gun muzzles of policemen contrary to the order of Director-General Ronald Dela Rosa, the PNP chief.

Dela Rosa has stopped the taping of the gun muzzles before Christmas Day, citing such practice did not prevent indiscriminate firing of guns by policemen in past Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Dela Rosa decided to forgo the tapping of the gun muzzles to show to the Filipinos that the policemen are more disciplined under his stewardship.

Ecaldre said Palermo ordered the taping of gun muzzles of the local policemen despite the directive from Dela Rosa, thus, he was relieved from his post effective December 31, 2016.

Jimlani has assured the residents of this city that he will continue to implement the programs of the PNP, especially the war against drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He commended the local police force for the efforts against the sale of illegal firecracker that resulted in zero firecracker-related injury during the New Year revelries.

Dizon, Ledama score Dagitab net twinkills

(Manila Standard Sports)

MELANIE Faye Dizon and Nilo Ledama flashed top form to snare two titles each as they shared top honors in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Dagitab Festival regional age-group tennis tournament 2016 at the City of Naga Tennis Club in Cebu Thursday (December 19) .

Dizon, playing out of San Beda-Taytay, overpowered Zethley Alferez, 6-1, 6-3, to clinch the girls’ 18-and-Under crown, hours after subduing a tough Elsie Abarquez in a grueling finale, 6-2, 4-6, 15-13, for the 16-U diadem.

Ledama, on the other hand, pulled through in a pair of 64-player draws, holding off Vinz Luminoque, 6-1, 6-3, to pocket the boys’ 14-U title then stunning top seed Venz Alforque, 6-1, 7-6(5), for the 16-U crown in the Group 2 event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger which drew a record more than 320 entries.

Dizon and Ledama actually came home with three titles each as they capped their impressive campaign with victories in the doubles with the former teaming up with Tracy Llamas to rout Precious Coderos and Wyn Paglinawan, 8-2, in the 18-U finals.

Ledama, one of the rising stars from Pagadian City, also partnered with Kenneth Tenepre to upend Alforque and Luminoque, 8-5, for the 14-U plum.

“The big turnout only inspires up to continue supporting and developing the sport and as we continue to discover and produce talents from this series of ranking tournaments, we have lined up a bigger circuit next year,” said Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.

Meanwhile, hostilities in the Open category are being played at presstime with top seed Clarice Patrimonio and No. 2 Khim iglupas vying for the finals against Rachelle de Guzman and Shaira Rivera, respectively, in the ladies singles and No. 1 Johnny Arcilla and second ranked PJ Tierro seeking another title duel in the men’s side against Ronard Joven and Elberto Anasta, respectively, according to PPS-PEPP Regional Age Group Tennis Event organizer and Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay.

Sharing the spotlight at the close of the 45-leg nationwide age-group circuit sanctioned by Philta and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger are Bliss Bayking from San Carlos City, Negros, Alexa Milliam from La Carlota, Negros, Norman Enriquez from Pardo, Cebu, Ormoc City’s Allain Ocat and Mitch Largo from Naga City.

Bayking, who had posted a number of leg victories this year, took the girls’ 14-U crown with a 6-2, 6-2 romp over Milliam, who grabbed the 12-U title with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 triumph over Claire Nocos.

Enriquez dominated Clyde Laquio, 6-1, 6-0, to capture the boys’ 18-U plum; Ocat upended top seed Khenz Justiniani, 6-3, 4-6, 10-4, in the semis then ripped Carl Zaragoza, 6-3, 6-3, to snatch the 12-U title; while Largo copped the 10-unisex diadem with a 4-2, 4-1 victory over Gerald Gemida.

In other doubles results, Largo and Vincent Canete overwhelmed Rey Pedros and Vinz Penalosa, 8-1, to clinch the 10-U title; Enriquez and Vhon Tudtod defeated Wyndel Deja and Kevin Pentillo, 8-2, to snare the 18-U title; and Bayking and Milliam downed Wayne Albarracin and Jesha Cervantes, 8-3, for the girls’ 14-U diadem.