Zamboanga del Sur News May 2016

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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

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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.

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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?

WHY??

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

PNP builds 2 police headquarters in Zambo Sur

(PNA), FFC/TPGJR/HDC

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, May 31 (PNA) -– The Philippine National Police (PNP) is constructing two police headquarters worth PHP4,487,000 for the nearby towns of Kumalarang and San Miguel, this province.

Chief Supt. Miguel Antonio Jr., Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) director, on Monday led the groundbreaking, which signaled the start of the two projects.

Senior Supt. Michael Nicolas, police provincial director, provincial board member Ernesto Mondarte, who represented Gov. Antonio Cerilles, joined Antonio in the groundbreaking ceremony.

Antonio said the construction of the two police headquarters were among the 12 projects allotted for this province.

Antonio expressed gratitude to the local governments of Kumalarang and San Miguel for providing the land area, equipment and accessories as counterparts that led to the realization of the projects.

Antonio considered the groundbreaking ceremony of the two projects as memorable moment in his career since he is set to retire on Friday, June 3.

Rebel returnees, skilled workers receive Kabuhayan starter kits

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

LAPUYAN, Zamboanga del Sur, May 30 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in partnership with the 53rd Infantry (MATAPAT) Battalion, Philippine Army on Thursday distributed P871,000 worth of livelihood assistance under its Kabuhayan Starter Kit (KSK) project.

In a simple ceremony held at Barangay Tiguha, this municipality, identified rebel returnees and skilled workers in the municipalities of Lapuyan and San Miguel received the starter kits which would go a long way to improve their lives.

“Dako kaayo ang akong kalipay ning gihimo sa DOLE ug Philippine Army nga pag-apod-apod sa mga starter kits dinhi sa atong barangay. Kini nga kalihokan tataw nga nagpadayag sa dakong pagpakabana sa atong gobyerno dinhi kanato. Sa pagkatinuod, gibalik sa gobyerno ang buhis nga atong gibayad kanila pinaagi sa ilang dalaygon nga programa alang sa panginabuhian,” Punong Barangay Felicito Setit declared.

(I am very grateful that the DOLE and PA conducted the distribution of starter kits in our barangay. This activity clearly demonstrates the deep concern of the government for us. Indeed, the government has returned the taxes we paid thru this laudable livelihood program).

Vice Mayor Joel Sulong said Lapuyan and San Miguel are very lucky since the beneficiaries can now have their own livelihood to uplift their economic status.

“Ang inyong dugay nga gipangandoy nga makabaton ug kaugalingon nga livelihood activity maangkon na ninyo tungod kay gihatud dinhi mismo sa DOLE ug Philippine Army ang mga starter kits sa atong tugkaran. Magpadayon ang inyong panginabuhi gamit ang mga starter kits, makasuporta ug makapa-eskwela namo sa inyong mga anak ug tungod niini masinati nato ang kalinaw sa atong dapit,” Sulong challenged.

(Your long time dream of having a livelihood activity can now be fulfilled because DOLE and PA personally delivered the starter kits at our doorsteps. Your livelihood carries on using the starter kits, you can support and send your children to school. With this, we can experience peace in our place.)

DOLE chief Camilo Encila, Jr. said the KSK project is designed not only to create self employment but also to augment the income of the informal sector of our society especially the farmers.

“With this project, Encila said, I am optimistic that your dream of improving your life will be fulfilled,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Virgilio Hamos, Jr., commanding officer of the 53rd IB lauded DOLE for launching the KSK project saying that it is in line with the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan’s approach to win the hearts and minds of the people.

“The project is an effective strategy of bringing the government closer to the people. “I hope that by cultivating the partnership that we already have with DOLE, we will bring peace in the remote communities,” Hamos opined.

Hamos appealed to the beneficiaries to be responsible in taking care of the starter kits and to use it properly because these would be a great help to augment their family income.

Zamboanga del Sur town mayor rapped for unliquidated funds

(PNA), BNB/PTR

MANILA (PNA) -- Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Wilfredo Asoy is facing multiple charges for malversation of public funds, failure to render accounts and violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act".

This after the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) indicted Asoy before the Sandiganbayan for failing to liquidate PHP2.4 million in government funds.

Records showed that the PHP2.4 million was spent to buy supplies, gasoline, construction materials, travel expenses, intelligence fund, etc. and that as of December 2011, the government funds remain unaccounted for.

Asoy faces 30 counts of failure to render accounts and one count each of malversation and violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019 before the Sandiganbayan.

MEDCAP benefits over 100 residents in Tukuran town

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

TUKURAN, Zamboanga del Sur (PIA) – About 145 poor residents have availed of free health services during the medical and dental civic action program (MEDCAP) conducted by the 1st Field Artillery (Squadron), Army Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron, Mechanized Infantry Division, Philippine Army and Rural Health Unit in barangay Man-ilan here.

At least 16 children were circumcised, 34 availed of tooth extraction, and 50 patients benefitted free medical check-up and medicines. Some 45 school children were given educational supplies.

Punong Barangay Ellen Pepito said the MEDCAP has greatly helped local folks since they live in a far-flung barangay. Medical services have now been brought to their doorstep.

Man-ilan is an interior barangay which is approximately 6 kilometers from the national highway and can be reached by “habal-habal” (motorbike). Nearly 95 percent of the people living in the village predominantly engage in agricultural activities.

Pepito said she is very grateful to the 1FAB and 1CAV because it was the second time that the MEDCAP was held in her barangay, benefitting the poor residents who could not afford to pay for medical services.

“It has been a long time that we wanted to have dental services such as tooth extraction but it was not realized because it entails time and money in going to the Rural Health Unit. When we learned that the MEDCAP will be held in our place, we did not hesitate to avail of the program because it was offered for free,” said Vicky Tariman, mother of 8-year old Christine who had her tooth extracted.

Lolito Tagalog, Sr., accompanied his 9 yr old son and arrived in the barangay hall early to avail of the MEDCAP. Tagalog said the MEDCAP is very timely because it is still a vacation time and his son could avail of the free circumcision. “My sons will no longer experience bullying from their classmates,” he said.

Pedro Rabe, a 72-year old farmer who complained of pain on his knee and blurred vision have availed of free medical check-up and medicines.

DOLE distributes Kabuhayan starter kits to parolees/probationers and OFWs

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

PAGADIAN CITY, 27 May (PIA) –A total of 50 parolees/probationers and 20 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the province of Zamboanga del Sur on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 received Kabuhayan starter kits from the Department of Labor and Employment IX (DOLE-9).

DOLE’s Kabuhayan (DK) Starter Kit Project is a livelihood formation strategy that is intended to bring about improved socio-economic well-being of workers in the informal economy, in group/sectors with special concerns, and displaced wage workers both local and abroad and their families.

The project provides a livelihood starter kit consisting of package of services that will enable the target beneficiaries to start quickly a livelihood undertaking and become self-employed. It also aims to engage them in sustainable self-employment through easy to learn livelihood undertakings.

Department of Justice - Parole and Probation Administration (DOJ-PPA) Assistant Regional Director Alizabel “Bambi” Caoile said,“one of our mandates is to help our parolees/probationers improve their quality of life through livelihood assistance and we are so lucky because the DOLE is here to assist us.”

ARD Caoile encouraged the beneficiaries to make use of the tools and equipment given to them so that their livelihood will improve.

“This activity is an employment facilitation of our department to give chance to our people, especially the disadvantaged ones with different skills by providing them with tools, equipment and jigs to perform their daily livelihood using the starter kit,” Camilo A. Encila Jr., officer-in-charge of DOLE Zamboanga del Sur Field Office said.

“The starter kit given to them depends on the skills they possess,” Encila added.

He also urged the beneficiaries to take good care of the equipment and tools, because these are really of good help for their livelihood as self-employed workers, thus, giving them a sustainable income.

The fifty parolees/probationers were given plow, sprayer and a pair of boots for the farmers; carpentry and electrical tools for the carpenters and electricians; motorboat for the fishermen and complete kitchen utensils for those who wish to put up a ‘carenderia’ worth P7,600 each.

On the other hand, the OFWs were also given starter kits worth P10,000 each consisting of sewing machines, complete kitchen utensils and grocery items for those who wish to establish a sari-sari store as their means of livelihood.

DA steps up support for corn farmers in region 9

By Franklin P. Gumapon (FPG/PIA9)

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) - Reeling from the adverse effects of the dry spell wrought by El Niño phenomenon, the corn farmers in Zamboanga Peninsula can now avail themselves of the different programs extended by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to improve their produce this planting season.

In a press conference held here Tuesday, a team from DA-9 told the press that the DA would assist the corn farmers through its programs such as seed exchange, soils analysis, provision of farm implements/machineries and vertical dryers as well as training on the latest corn production techniques for farmers.

DA-9 is now intensifying its help to the corn farmers in the region after losing 9,500 metric tons of corn production or some P130 million to El Niño.

“Throughout the region the affected farmers account for 9,622 covering 7,300 hectares,” Ray Anthony M. Credo, DA-9 El Niño focal person reported.

Moreover, Engr. Tessy Montano, regional corn reports officer, disclosed that Zamboanga del Sur is one of the top 10 corn-producing provinces in the country and its corn-producing towns are San Miguel, Dinas, Dumingag, Mahayag, Molave and Aurora including Pagadian City.

As the dry spell is decaying and the rains start visiting the region, the farmers have already started planting corn especially in upland areas.

The major corn varieties grown in the area are white corn for human consumption and yellow corn for animal feeds.

Dried white corn grains ground into grits are a staple of people from Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and some natives of Mindanao. A cup of cooked corn grits contains 182 calories and one gram of fat, which is good for those who want to lose weight as they get a full feeling without consuming excessive fat calories.

Corn grits have a low glycemic index, a measurement on carbohydrate-containing foods and their impact on one’s blood sugar.

Volunteers clean up public market

By Gideon C. Corgue

PAGADIAN CITY, May 25 (PIA) – To show their deep concern and love for the environment, nearly 100 volunteers of the International We LoveU Foundation on Sunday joined the cleanup drive here.

Dubbed “2016 Clean World Movement to Cope with Climate Change,” the volunteers clad in yellow T-shirts brought along shovels, forged rakes, dustpans, tongs, broomsticks, and gloves to clean the premises of the vegetable section and collect garbage.

The Foundation, which was launched in 2001, is a global welfare organization working for the benefit, the welfare of humankind. It assists various professional welfare activities such as child welfare, youth welfare, senior citizen welfare, emergency relief, etc.

The volunteers removed the garbage from the surroundings of the public market to get the vegetable stall owners and passers-by to follow suit.

Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (LENRO) chief Analyn Babayson thanked the volunteers for helping the city government in cleaning up the area.

“Your support to the city government greatly contributed to the full implementation of Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000. Our partnership in this endeavor is the beginning of our good relations toward an effective waste management and preservation of our environment as well,” Babayson said.

Esvelinda Carilla, a volunteer, told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA):“Nalipay ko nga nahimong kabahin sa kalihokan sa International I LoveU Foundation tungod kay nakatabang ko paglimpyo sa mga basura nga naghitak sa merkado.”

(I am happy to be part of the activity of the International I LoveU Foundation because I was able to help in cleaning garbage in the market.)”

Jaymart D. Janog, also a volunteer, said the activity enabled them to engage in cleanup activities and to consider the city as their home, and that they must take care of it.

Three truckloads of garbage were collected during the cleanup drive. (FPG/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur).

TVI secures permit for Balabag mining

By Anna Leah E. Gonzales

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau approved the declaration of mining project feasibility of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. for the Balabag gold and silver project in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur.

“With the approval of the DMPF, the company is now authorized to proceed to the development and operating period of the MPSA, which includes the extraction and commercial disposition of gold, copper and associated minerals within the contract area,” MGB said.

TVIRD is the local affiliate of TVI Pacific Inc., a publicly listed Canadian mining company focused on the exploration, development and production of precious and base metals.

The company already received an environmental compliance certificate from the Environment Department for the Balabag project.

It also received the approval of the social development management program in May 2014.

TVIRD holds 100 percent of the mineral production sharing agreement area covering 4,779 hectares containing the Balabag epithermal gold and silver project.

The project is located 75 kilometers east-northeast of TVIRD’s Canatuan mine.

Balabag has an indicated mineral resource of 1.35 million tons with an average annual production rate of 193,000 metric tons of ore per year and with a mine life of seven years.

Exploration and development work were put on hold at the Balabag project in 2014, pending the receipt of all permits from the government.

The Balabag project requires a capital investment of P1.04 billion and is expected to generate P6.54 billion in revenues, of which the government is projected to benefit P742.70 million.

“Balabag is the fourth mining project to be successfully permitted by TVIRD in the Philippines over the past 11 years and I am confident that TVIRD will secure the necessary funds to move the project forward prior its listing on the PSE later this year,” said TVI chairman and chief executive Clifford James.

“At TVI, we are very pleased with this development as a permitted Balabag project will greatly support TVIRD’s efforts to list on the PSE and the listing could provide TVI with both a short and long-term source of funding for our resource acquisition and development activities,” James said.

Robbery-Homicide Suspect Shackled in Molave

By PSUPT ROGELIO C ALABATA (Chief RPIO9) with report from PO3 Jessica DT Sarsalejo (RPIO9)

Zamboanga del Sur - A joint operation by the ZSPPO Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB), Zamboanga Del Sur Provincial Public Safety Company, Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, and Molave Municipal Police Station resulted in the arrest of Dionisio Sarino Babanto, 51, resident of Purok Del Carmen, Barangay Dipolo, Molave municipality in April 23, 2016 at about 5:00 PM.

The suspect was arrested based on the warrant for robbery with homicide and physical injuries issued by Presiding Judge Monique A. Quisumbing-Ignacio of RTC, Branch 209, Mandaluyong City docketed under Criminal Case Number MC -02-6145. No bail bond was recommended for said case.

1FAB, RHU to conduct MEDCAP in Tukuran town

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

TUKURAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR (PIA) – In consonance with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) or ‘Bayanihan’ campaign, the 1st Field Artillery Battalion (1FAB), Army Artillery Regiment, Philippine Army in partnership with the Rural Health Unit of Tukuran, barangay officials, and the Armed Forces Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (AFPSLAI) will conduct a medical, dental and civic action program (MEDCAP) activity on May 25 in barangay Man-ilan here.

Civic-military operations officer Capt. Holly John Godinez said the 1FAB and RHU have long tied up and joined forces in providing medical services to mostly depressed communities.

Godinez said the MEDCAP will be held in Man-ilan saying that it is one of the four (4) adopted barangays of the unit who have limited access to basic services. “The other barangays are Tinotungan of Tukuran, and Tawagan Norte and San Isidro of Labangan,” he added.

During the activity, Godinez said the troops of 1FAB and the medical team of RHU will bring services to residents of the barangay.

“The MEDCAP team will offer free medical check up, medicines, tooth extraction, circumcision, and free haircut,” Godinez announced.

Godinez said MEDCAP is a glaring example of genuine cooperation, collaborative efforts and commitment of all stakeholders in bringing the services to our people and exemplifies the true spirit of Bayanihan.

The 1FAB and other stakeholders call out for other service-oriented organizations to advocate such convergence of effort to help uplift the lives of our fellow Filipino people especially those in remote areas.

DTI embarks on Balik Eskwela Diskwento Caravan in 5 Zambo Sur towns

(PNA), PGL/TPGJR/HIROHITO D. CADION

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, May 20 (PNA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is conducting a five-day Balik Eskwela Diskwento Caravan in selected towns to give residents of this province the opportunity to buy cheaper goods.

Ma. Socorro Atay, DTI provincial director, told the Philippines News Agency on Friday that the caravan is focused in remote towns of this province.

Atay said the Diskwento Caravan kicked off May 13 in Tambulig municipality and in Midsalip town on May 17.

Today the caravan was held in Lapuyan town. On May 24 and 27, the caravan will be held in San Pablo and Vincenzo Sagun municipalities, respectively.

She said all the goods are sold at discounted prices during the caravan.

The activity is a joint program of DTI and its partner small and medium enterprise (SME) establishments that provide school supplies and other basic commodities.

They were joined by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) that provided free haircut to children in preparation for the opening of classes in June.

Abu Sayyaf releases trader grabbed from Zamboanga del Sur home

By Roel Pareño (philstar.com)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Abu Sayyaf gunmen freed a young Chinese-Filipino businessman in a coastal area in this city Ton Tuesday night after holding him and his grandfather captive in Sulu for close to two months.

Police reported that kidnap victim Ryan Nuñeza Tan, 21, was released about 6 p.m. on Tuesday near Cawa-Cawa Boulevard, a coastal site a few meters away from regional police office Camp Batalla.

Tan and his 70-year old grandfather Antonio were separated while in captivity in Sulu.

The information about Tan's release only came out Thursday because the family requested privacy citing the elder Tan's safety.

Tan was reunited with his family Wednesday night and escorted home to Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Tan and his grandfather were abducted by six gunmen who posed as police agents at Purok San Francisco, Barangay Maruing, Lapuyan, Zamboanga Del Sur on March 23.

The victims were among six Filipino captives held in the jungle of Sulu along with a Canadian, Norwegian, Dutch and four Malaysians.

The Abu Sayyaf group have given an ultimatum anew for the safety of its three remaining Samal island captives Canadian Robert Hall, his Filipino girlfriend Marites Flor and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad. The families and respective governments of the victims have until June 13 to pay a ransom of P300 million for each of the captives.

The Abu Sayyaf group beheaded Canadian John Ridsdel after an earlier deadline of April 25 lapsed.

Bishop lauds PPCRV people for ‘excellent job’

By Estrella Torres (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Retored Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr. visited the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) center on Friday to give moral support to the volunteers who were counting the votes in Monday’s national elections.

“I came to congratulate the PPCRV volunteers for an excellent job in guarding the votes,” Bacani said in a telephone interview.

Bacani also lamented the death of two volunteers.

PPCRV volunteer Eda Delia Olmida was killed in an ambush while she was transporting election returns to a freight company in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur province, on Monday.

Her 14-year-old son was wounded and taken to a hospital.

Another PPCRV volunteer, Ninoy Lanuza of Mandaluyong City, had a heart attack and died while serving in the quick count on Wednesday.

The PPCRV has recommended the investigation of the Commission on Elections’ technology partner Smartmatic for an unauthorized change in the hash code of the transparency server at the quick count center to correct a typographical error.

Losing candidates

“We have to safeguard the system so this will not happen again in the next elections,” PPCRV spokesperson Anna Singson said, adding that it was unfair for losing candidates to question the integrity of the PPCRV’s independent count.

Singson said the Comelec should institute protocols on the system whether to authorize private IT operators to change the script of the transparency server without notice.

Representatives from the camps of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is losing the vice presidential race to Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, and senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino have been monitoring the PPCRV quick count at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center on United Nations Avenue in Manila since Tuesday.

Marcos urged the PPCRV to stop the quick count after Robredo overtook and left him far behind early on Tuesday. Tolentino remains stuck in the 13th spot in the senatorial race.

Singson said she had clarified with Comelec and Smartmatic officials the unauthorized change in the hash code, but she had not gotten a satisfactory reply.

She said there were nine representatives in the transparency server room at Pope Pius during the change but it was only the PPCRV IT expert who reported the alteration of the hash code.

Cooperation

“To hear accusations that we did not do anything about the change in script on the transparency server hurts, as our volunteers lack sleep and two have died,” Singson said.

Bacani said the Catholic Church was ready to cooperate with the administration of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte.

He also expressed hope that Duterte’s officials and advisers would “influence him to work within the framework of human rights, particularly respect for human life and respect for the Constitution.”

During the campaign, the brash mayor of Davao City vowed to kill tens of thousands of suspected criminals outside the justice system to wipe out crime within six months of taking the presidency.

Farmers’ group receives tractor

By Bong Garcia

THE Department of Agriculture (DA), through its Agri-Pinoy Corn Program, has turned over P2.2 million four-wheel drive tractor to an association of farmers in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

The recipient of the tractor, which was turned over recently, is the Sayog Farmers Association of the village of Sayog, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur.

Dr. Carlito Larubis, Zamboanga del Sur agricultural program coordinator, said the tractor was acquired through counterparting scheme.

Larubis said the DA shouldered 85 percent of the tractor’s cost representing P1.8 million while the remaining P333,000 or 15 percent by the farmers association.

Larubis said the tractor given to the farmers would boost the association’s production, especially corn, and “make farming less strenuous.”

The village of Sayog has an estimated corn area of 238 hectares of which 160 hectares are intercropped under coconut trees while the remaining 78 hectares are monocrop.

The farmers in the village have a yield of 8.4 metric tons for yellow corn and 3.5 metric tons for white corn per hectare every cropping season.

1FAB troopers rescue victims of vehicular accident

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

GUIPOS, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, May 17 (PIA) – The 1st Field Artillery Battalion (1FAB), Army Artillery Regiment, Philippine Army on Sunday evening, rescued three persons who figured in a vehicular accident in Barangay Poblacion here, fulfilling their mandate to protect the lives and property of the people.

Captain Holly John Godinez, civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 1FAB said at 8:40 p.m. upon reaching the national highway en route to Ipil from the 53rd Infantry Battalion headquarters, they saw victims of a vehicular accident lying on the street.

The victims were identified as Rolando Ronda, 45 yrs old, a resident of Poblacion, Guipos, Rico Mendoza and Leonido dela Cruz, 23, of Sto. Nino District, Pagadian City.

Godinez said Mendoza, who was driving a single motorcycle bound for Pagadian City accidentally hit Ronda who suddenly crossed the street.

The victims sustained bruises in different parts of their body.

The 1FAB troopers immediately brought the victims to Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center for treatment aboard their military vehicle.

Godinez said the team, who were supposed to go to Ipil for a very important appointment prioritized the safety of the victims.

“We prioritized bringing the injured victims to the hospital to save their lives,” Godinez said.

Conduct of May 9 polls smooth, efficient thru VCMs, says BEI chair

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

PAGADIAN CITY, May 16 (PIA) – If voting on May 9, 2016 national and local elections has been stalled in some polling places due to malfunctioning vote counting machines (VCMs), voting in barangay Balangasasan went smooth and fast.

Thus disclosed Cherry F. Anito, chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA9) after voting centers closed at 6:00 p.m. on election day.

It can be recalled that the Comelec extended voting up to 6pm for precincts which started late due to faulty VCMs.

Anito, BEI chair of clustered precinct no. 11 said aside from helping reduce human error, electronic voting is very smooth and efficient.

Comelec has endeavored to bring the most transparent and credible elections of history by utilizing the VCMs.

According to Anito, the VCMs did not experience paper jam as what happened in other areas.

“I thanked God that the VCM did not experience paper jam during the 12 hours voting. It functioned normally,” the BEI chair proudly announced. “Before the opening of voting, we, (the BEIs) including the watchers offered a prayer that the VCMs will function smoothly and efficiently,” she added.

Anito said the final testing and sealing (FTS) of the VCMs conducted by the Comelec on May 2-6 was of great help to the BEIs saying that it taught them how to operate and be acquainted with the features of the machine.

She said 168 VCMs were distributed by the COMELEC and Philippine National Police to clustered precincts in the 54 barangays, 5 days before the election.

Agrarian reform beneficiaries sell lands

By Bong Garcia (Sunnex)

A TOP official of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) confirmed that there are farmer-beneficiaries who have sold the lands the government awarded to them through the agrarian reform program.

DAR-Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Director Felix Aguhob said about 1,000 farmer-beneficiaries have sold their lands from May 2015 to April 2016.

He said the figure was based on the number of transfer orders he have signed during the period.

The lands are already in the process of transfer or transferred to the buyers, he added.

Aguhob said the farmer-beneficiaries who sold their lands have been disqualified from the government’s agrarian reform program.

He said the agency is screening the buyers to determine if they are qualified to avail of the program and willing to continue the unsettled amortization of the previous farmer-beneficiaries.

Each of the farmer-beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program is awarded an average of 1.6-hectare of land to be amortized in 30 years.

The amount of monthly amortization depends on the price of lands awarded to them.

Aguhob said they are providing assistance to discourage the farmer-beneficiaries from selling the lands awarded to them.

The assistance includes the provision of farm equipment and livelihood to include the construction of farm-to-market roads.

Bishop lauds PPCRV people for ‘excellent job’

By Estrella Torres (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Retored Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr. visited the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) center on Friday to give moral support to the volunteers who were counting the votes in Monday’s national elections.

“I came to congratulate the PPCRV volunteers for an excellent job in guarding the votes,” Bacani said in a telephone interview.

Bacani also lamented the death of two volunteers.

PPCRV volunteer Eda Delia Olmida was killed in an ambush while she was transporting election returns to a freight company in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur province, on Monday.

Her 14-year-old son was wounded and taken to a hospital.

Another PPCRV volunteer, Ninoy Lanuza of Mandaluyong City, had a heart attack and died while serving in the quick count on Wednesday.

The PPCRV has recommended the investigation of the Commission on Elections’ technology partner Smartmatic for an unauthorized change in the hash code of the transparency server at the quick count center to correct a typographical error.

Losing candidates

“We have to safeguard the system so this will not happen again in the next elections,” PPCRV spokesperson Anna Singson said, adding that it was unfair for losing candidates to question the integrity of the PPCRV’s independent count.

Singson said the Comelec should institute protocols on the system whether to authorize private IT operators to change the script of the transparency server without notice.

Representatives from the camps of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is losing the vice presidential race to Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, and senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino have been monitoring the PPCRV quick count at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center on United Nations Avenue in Manila since Tuesday.

Marcos urged the PPCRV to stop the quick count after Robredo overtook and left him far behind early on Tuesday. Tolentino remains stuck in the 13th spot in the senatorial race.

Singson said she had clarified with Comelec and Smartmatic officials the unauthorized change in the hash code, but she had not gotten a satisfactory reply.

She said there were nine representatives in the transparency server room at Pope Pius during the change but it was only the PPCRV IT expert who reported the alteration of the hash code.

Cooperation

“To hear accusations that we did not do anything about the change in script on the transparency server hurts, as our volunteers lack sleep and two have died,” Singson said.

Bacani said the Catholic Church was ready to cooperate with the administration of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte.

He also expressed hope that Duterte’s officials and advisers would “influence him to work within the framework of human rights, particularly respect for human life and respect for the Constitution.”

During the campaign, the brash mayor of Davao City vowed to kill tens of thousands of suspected criminals outside the justice system to wipe out crime within six months of taking the presidency.

COMELEC proclaims newly-elected officials of Zambo Sur

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) – The Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) chaired by Atty. Ellis L. Miguel proclaimed on Wednesday morning, the duly elected officials of the province at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall in barangay Dao.

Miguel was assisted by Atty. Dimapuno Magangcong, PBOC vice chairman and Atty. Dinah C. Sapong, member, respectively.

During the proclamation rites, the PBOC first proclaimed the winners in the races for first and second district representatives.

First district representative Divina Grace C. Yu of the NPC was proclaimed winner garnering a total of 181,388 votes against his rival Atty. Alex Acain of the National Union Party (NUP) with 37,077.

For the second district, re-electionist Aurora E. Cerilles of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) was also proclaimed winner.

She garnered 130,411 votes against her opponent James Yecyec of AKSYON party with 10,134.

Meanwhile, Governor Antonio H. Cerilles was proclaimed as the duly elected governor.

Cerilles, the incumbent governor won another term in the May 9 elections defeating his rivals Atty. Tirsendo Poloyapoy of AKSYON Party and Geehan Lee Cometa (Independent) by a wide margin.

Now on his third term, Cerilles was proclaimed with 310,652 votes over his rival Poloyapoy with 43,339 votes and Cometa with 4,385.

Dumalinao Mayor Ace William E. Cerilles of Liberal Party was elected with 286,404 votes over AKSYON Party bet Ma. Corazon Ariosa with 53,340.

The winners in the race for the first and second districts 10 provincial board members were also proclaimed.

For 1st district board members: Mario Cerilles (LP)- 162,035, Gay Pajares (NPC)-142,424, Pepito Degamo (LP)- 134,851, Roque Yamba (LP)- 132,912, and Maria Fe Pitogo (LP)-129,186.

For second district, Edward Pintac (NPC)- 99,095, Vicente Cajeta (NPC) - 93,663, Eddie Adlaon (NPC)- 90,004, Belman Mantos (LP)- 81,330, and Juneth Lanzaderas (LP)- 79,908.

As early as 8:00 a.m., family members of the winning candidates and poll watchers started to arrive to witness the proclamation rites.

(Gone too soon...) Law student who died in accident passes bar exams

By Nonong Santiago

A 34-year old Zamboagueño has just fulfilled his dream when he passed the recent bar exams, but cannot continue to practice his chosen profession after dying in a vehicular accident last April 7, 2016 in Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur.

Bryan Anthony Zambo, who should have been a lawyer now, was a resident of Putik and was one of five law graduates of the Ateneo de Zamboanga who passed the bar exams given in Manila November last year.

ADZU just opened their law class and Zambo was one of the 14 pioneer law students in the university who took the exams.

According to Sharmaine, wife of the victim, she has mixed emotions. “I am happy because my husband passed the bar exam. At the same time very sad because he cannot practice his law.”

She hopes that one of their two children will be able to follow the footsteps of their father.

Zambo, along with the driver and a worker on board his truck, were delivering goods to Pagadian City when the vehicle turned turtle in Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur.

He died in the accident while his two other companions survived.

DOH to commemorate PHL International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) --- The Department of Health (DOH) in collaboration with advocacy partners, Project Red Ribbon and Pilipinas Shell will be commemorating the Philippine International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (PIACM) on May 14, 2016 at Taclobo stage, this city.

Dr. Agnes Fernando, head, DOH-9 Provincial Office said this is a global event not only in commemoration of those who have died from the disease, but as a platform for HIV and AIDS awareness as well.

Dr. Fernando said to highlight this year’s event, the Philippine AIDS Hour will be launched where the public is encouraged to light a candle from 6pm-7pm as a symbol of hope in the quest for solutions to the challenges posed by HIV and AIDS to humanity.

The AIDS hour specifically aims to further raise the awareness of the public about the importance of practicing safe sex and knowing their status through HIV testing, Fernando pointed out.

HIV testing can be availed for free at Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center, Dao, Pagadian City,Margosatubig Regional Hospital in Margosatubig town and at the Pagadian City Health Center.

To add more impact to the event, commercial establishments, workplaces and schools are encouraged to raise PUSH (Pilipinas United to Stop HIV & AIDS) banners in the facade of their buildings during the AIDS Candlelight week on May 9-14, 2014 as a sign of support to the advocacy.

The call-to-action message this year is Know Your Status, Get Tested, with “practice safe sex” and “free testing and treatment” as sub messages.

DOLE, NRCO conduct small business management training for returning OFWs

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

PAGADIAN CITY, May 23 (PIA) –The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), an attached agency of DOLE, are providing mechanisms for overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs) reintegration into the Philippine society by honing their skills and potentials to become productive.

Labor Employment Officer Butch Jason C. Tormis said the DOLE and NRCO recently conducted a one-day seminar on Small Business Management Training and Financial Awareness for 12 returning OFWs in Zamboanga del Sur at Sam’s Fastfood here.

The NRCO facilitates programs and activities such as Small Business Management Training, Financial Awareness Seminar, and Livelihood Training for OFWs.

Tormis said the seminar aimed at capacitating the undocumented OFWs with regard to managing a small business, and to give them some financial literacy.

“We are conducting seminars for returning OFWs to teach them how to handle their money well,” Tormis explained.

“We are providing business start-up assistance to enterprises and access to livelihood assistance/financing to OFWs, especially those who were unsuccessful in their employment abroad,” he added.

Tormis explained that the seminar was a pre-requirement of the beneficiaries to enable them to avail themselves of the Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP) from the NRCO. “Under the program, P10,000 worth of tools, jigs and equipment will be distributed to the beneficiaries to start their small business,” he said.

Meanwhile, NRCO regional coordinator Sherwin Mendezabel explained the rationale of the NRCO, as well as the programs and services of the agency.

Mendezabel underscored the importance of Republic Act No. 8042 otherwise known as Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.

Under this act, Mendezabel said, the government instituted the policies of overseas employment and established a higher standard of protection and promotion of the welfare of migrant workers, their families and overseas Filipinos in distress.

514 inmates allowed to vote

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

PAGADIAN CITY, May 10 (PIA) – For three consecutive elections, inmates at the provincial jail exercised their right of suffrage and were able to cast their votes.

Prison Guard Wenedio Ejercito said a total of 514 inmates cast their votes during the May 9, 2016 national and local elections.

Those who were allowed to vote were inmates whose cases are on appeal and are waiting for trial.

“This is a historic event, the third time in history that inmates in the provincial jail were able to vote in the election,” he said.

Ejercito said inmates cast their votes in the 2010 and 2013 nationwide automated elections, respectively.

The jail officer said that poll security plans were implemented to make sure the prisoners would stay inside the compound and no one tries to escape.

“The voters were escorted out of their cells and placed in a holding area to wait for their turn to vote,” he explained.

Ejercito said the accomplished ballots would be brought out by personnel of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from the voting area in prison and feed them to the vote counting machines (VCMs) in a polling precinct.

Under the detainee voting, inmates were given until 2 p.m. to cast their votes and ballots will be taken to the mother polling precinct where it will be counted.

AFP, academe, socio-civic groups lauded for supporting Run for HOPE

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

PAGADIAN CITY, May 9 (PIA) – The management of Radio Midanao Network (RMN) DXPR radio station lauded the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), academe and socio-civic groups for their involvement in the RMN Run for HOPE (Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Election) held over the weekend at Plaza Luz here.

Station Manager Melchor U. Coronel expressed his sincere appreciation and profound gratitude to all participants for the support they have extended during the event.

“Malaki ang aming pasasalamat sa AFP, academe, at socio-civic groups sa suportang ibinigay sa RMN Run for HOPE dahil sila ay nagpakita ng kanilang suporta sa gagawin na matapat, maayos at mapayapang halalan sa Mayo 9 (Our big thanks to the AFP, academe, and socio-civic groups for the support they have given to the RMN Run for Hope to have an honest, orderly and peaceful election on May 9),” Coronel said.

Lt. Col. Hubert S. Acierto, commanding officer of the 1st Field Artillery Battalion, Army Artillery Regiment, Philippine Army said the unit supports the peace initiative of DXPR.

"This is the initiative of DXPR, they organized it and we in the AFP fully support this move. As peacekeepers we do not allow ourselves to be used by politicians,” Acierto, who led almost 100 soldiers in the event said.

1st Cavalry Squadron commanding officer Lt. Col. Charlemagne Batayola, Jr. said they wanted to show to the public their sincere support in the government’s advocacy campaign for the conduct of honest, orderly and peaceful election.

“Nais naming ipakita na kaming mga sundalo bilang tagapag-alaga ng demokrasya, kami po ay mananatiling apolitical at dedicated sa aming utos na hindi makipag engage sa partisan politics. Nais po naming magkakaroon ng mapayapa at maayos na eleksyon sa Mayo 9 (We want to show that we soldiers as guardians of democracy, must remain apolitical and dedicated to our mandate not to engage in partisan politics. We want to have a peaceful and orderly election on May 9),” Batayola explained.

After the run, the participants signed a covenant calling on all sectors for vigilance and involvement to ensure clean and honest elections on Monday, May 9.

Zambo truck driver in jail after fatal road mishap in Pagadian

By Dan Toribio Jr.

A truck driver from Talon-Talon is in jail after he accidentally killed two persons in a road accident in Barangay Balangasan, Pagadian City last Thursday afternoon.

Police Regional Information Officer Chief Insp. Roger Alabata disclosed that the road accident took place at the corner of Urro and Consolation Streets in Capitol Heights, Balangasan, Pagadian City.

Alabata said that a white Mitsubishi Fuso ten wheeler truck with plate number GFM-644 under the name of Raul Ignacio of Sta. Maria, this city and driven Roger Bapalandon Ariosa, 36, married of Padios Village, Talon-Talon with truck man Cristituto Naong Berronio, 43, married of the same place accidentally hit a motorcycle driven by Rodrigo Gasil Gomel, Jr., 24, of barangay Sto. Niño, Pagadian City and due to strong impact, he swerved and bumped also to the house Edna Angcon Arangcana, 54, single of the same place.

Alabata said that Gomel and Arangcana sustained multiple injuries in their body and died on the spot.

Ariosa and Berronio also sustained minor injuries in their body.

Ariosa was detained at the police station while both vehicles were impounded. –

Troops neutralize organized crime group leader in Zambo Sur

(PNA), LAP/TPGJR

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) -– Joint military and police operatives have arrested an organized crime group (OCG) leader involved in the killing of a Swiss national over a year ago in Palawan, an official announced Friday.

Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesman, identified the arrested OCG leader as Manuel Raquel alias Abdusallam.

Tan said Raquel was arrested in a law enforcement operation around 5 a.m. Friday in Barangay Salawagan, Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur.

Tan said the operatives seized a caliber .45 pistol with ammunition and a grenade from Raquel’s possession.

He said Raquel was involved in the killing of Cyril End, a Swiss national, on December 14, 2014 in Busuanga, Palawan.

He said Raquel is an associate of Milquiadaes Abrera alias Mikhail and Abdullah Ilao alias Abu Nur, both members of a know OCG in Luzon.

“Manuel Raquel’s name was found in the list of names and location of organized crime groups, a ledger seized in possession of a ranking crime group leader in Luzon,” he added.

DOH-9 steps up advocacy campaign on HIV AIDS

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

PAGADIAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) – In response to the alarming number of persons infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS) in the region, the Department of Health (DOH)-9 has intensified its campaign against this dreadful disease.

In a media forum held at Guillermo Hotel here yesterday, Michael Magallanes Oral, HIV provincial assistant coordinator of DOH-9, discussed thoroughly the causes, status and preventive measures of HIV AIDS before the media practitioners together with the medical staff of the city and the municipalities in Zamboanga del Norte.

HIV is a kind of virus that destroys the natural defence of an individual against various diseases while AIDS, on the other hand, is a chronic disease acquired by a person through sexual intercourse with an individual infected with HIV, Oral explained.

HIV is different from AIDS, because the latter pertains to the health condition of a person infected or who acquired such disease, and with this condition he or she will be inflicted with various illnesses that will eventually cause death, Oral said.

“No one dies on HIV or AIDS,” Oral emphasized “an infected person die because of complications of different diseases or different kind of infections such as; kaposis-sarcoma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer but the common infection are tuberculosis and phneumonia.”

“It does not mean also that if a person has TB, he is already infected with AIDS or HIV positive,” Oral said.

Meanwhile, there are 71 persons found with asymptomatic HIV positive in Zamboanga del Sur. These people were not all tested positive here in Pagadian City or province, but others were tested in other cities using Zambonga del Sur as their home province address, Oral disclosed.

On the other hand, Pagadian City alone has 18 confirmed HIV positive individuals. The oldest person is 36 years old based in the city and the youngest is 4 years old child, who is breastfed by an HIV positive mother.

In the entire country, according to DOH statistics, in every one and half hour a person is found positive with HIV. Totalling it all, in a day there are 28 individuals found positive with such disease. And out of nine countries in the South East Asia, the Philippines now ranks number one on HIV AIDS cases, Oral disclosed.

With the present disturbing situation, DOH asked the media practitioners to help the department in disseminating the exact and correct information, prevention and transmission on HIV AIDS to the vulnerable populace.

The HIV coordinator presented the ABCD technique in preventing HIV AIDS, A stand for “abstinence,” meaning for all single individual, avoid sexual intercourse; B – is for “be mutually faithful to your partner; C – “correct and consistent condom use” and D – is “education,” educate yourself to prevent HIV.

Balabag mining project just a step away from full-scale gold, silver production

By Jonathan L. Mayuga

Government regulators have flashed the green light for the development of the Balabag Gold-Silver Project of TVI Resource Development (Philippines) Inc. in Zamboanga del Sur, following the approval of the project’s Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF).

The announcement was made through a news statement issued by the Canadian mining company TVI Pacific Inc., which has a 30.66-percent equity interest in TVIRD.

TVIRD, in turn, has a 100-percent stake in Balabag Gold-Silver Project, and is currently seeking public listing in the Philippine Stocks Exchange (PSE).

TVIRD’s operation of the gold-silver mine in Zamboanga del Sur is expected to boost the country’s annual gold output—as well as investment in mining—despite the moratorium on the processing of new mining-project proposals pending the enactment of a new mining revenue-sharing scheme by Congress.

The DMPF was the last major hurdle for TVIRD to initiate the development, construction and operation of the Balabag mine, the TVI statement released on Wednesday added.

The DMPF for the Balabag project, which was approved by the DENR on April 29 this year, authorizes TVIRD to proceed with the development and operation phase, initially over a 180-hectare portion of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) area, which is covered an approved environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

The 180-hectare area covers all currently defined resources at the project, as well as proposed mining and processing-facility sites. TVIRD has the option of submitting an amended ECC that would allow exploration and mining to cover the entire 4,779-hectare MPSA area.

The statement said TVIRD intends to submit an amended ECC with the DENR, in order to access areas with future resource-development potential.

“Balabag is the fourth mining project to be successfully permitted by TVIRD in the Philippines over the past 11 years, and I am confident that TVIRD will secure the necessary funds to move the project forward prior [to] its listing [in] the PSE later this year,” said Clifford James, chairman and CEO of TVI and concurrent chairman of TVIRD.

James said securing the DMPF for the Balabag project will greatly support TVIRD’s efforts to list in the PSE, and that the listing could provide TVI with both a short and long-term source of funding for the company’s resource acquisition and development activities

TVIRD’s MPSA with the government for the Balabag project covers 4,779 hectares in the town of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, approximately 75 kilometers east-northeast of TVIRD’s Canatuan mine.

According to TVIRD, a total of 296 holes have been drilled for a total of 34,156 meters at the Balabag project up to mid-2013. Based on results of drilling completed to the end of June 2011, the project has estimated an indicated mineral resources of 1.78 million tons, averaging 2.34 grams per ton (g/t) gold and 72.3 g/t silver, containing 134,262 ounces of gold and 4,148,196 ounces of silver.

While exploration and development work have been put on hold at the Balabag project since the mid-2013 pending the approval of permits from the government, work on the engineering design for a gold-silver processing plant to process ore on-site continued.

So far, TVIRD has also constructed and maintained 16 km of access roads to the project in anticipation of the commencement of construction.

TVIRD secured its ECC on the project from the DENR in October 2013. TVIRD also got an approval of its Social Development Management Program in May 2014. It also entered into a memorandum of agreement with Subanen leaders in August 2014, as part of the DMPF process and a prerequisite for a certification precondition to be issued by the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, another requisite for the operation of the Balabag project

Zamboanga police seize 348 firearms

By Bong Garcia

THE Police Regional Office (PRO)-Zamboanga Peninsula has confiscated 348 illegal firearms, 21 grenades and 2,286 rounds of ammunitions in the past three months.

PRO-Zamboanga Peninsula director Miguel Antonio Jr. said they confiscated the said items because of their strict implementation of the election gun ban and “One Time Big Time” operations from January 10 until April 30, this year.

“One Time Big Time” is Philippine National Police’s anti-criminality campaign against syndicated criminal gangs, wanted criminals and loose firearms.

Antonio said that 119 firearms were seized in Zamboanga Sibugay, 111 in Zamboanga City, 78 in Zamboanga del Sur and 40 in Zamboanga del Norte.

On the same period, 1,331 ammunitions and 10 grenades were confiscated in Zamboanga City, 473 ammunitions and one grenade in Zamboanga del Sur, 252 ammunitions and five grenades in Zamboanga Sibugay, 225 ammunitions and five grenades in Zamboanga del Norte.

All systems go for May 9 polls in Zambo. Sur

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

PAGADIAN CITY, May 3 (PIA) – With only a few days left before the May 9 national and local elections, the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Commission on Elections and Department of Education assured the public that they are ready for the successful conduct of elections in the province.

Top level officials of the PNP, AFP, Comelec and DepEd on Saturday attended the final conference of the joint peace and security coordinating council (JPSCC) presided over by provincial director Senior Superintendent Michael Nicolas at the conference room of Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office, Camp Abelon, Tuburan District here.

Police Senior Superintendent Michael Nicolas, police provincial director, said the JPSCC came up with the best practice to ensure safe, credible and honest elections.

Nicolas encouraged the council to be united saying that the elections are an important event.

“Let us be united in all our actions for this is a very important national event. We want that this endeavor be successful and the voters be heard thru the ballots as they exercise the right of suffrage,” Nicolas urged.

Nicolas said the JPSCC plays “a very critical role in the elections that the international and local communities are watching for.”

Chief Inspector Acer Noah Aniversario, chief of operations, also said the PNP and AFP laid down their security plan to ensure a peaceful, orderly and honest balloting.

Aniversario said the plan includes deployment of personnel and the delivery of vote-counting machines (VCM)to the polling centers.

The JPSCC is providing/assigning two policemen per polling center since the order from the higher headquarters is to implement the ratio of 2:1 meaning, two policemen in one poling center.

Nicolas said the JPSCC is now ready to deliver the VCMs from Ozamis City to the polling centers.

It has been the policy of the Comelec that the electronic voting and counting equipment should be delivered to polling stations days prior to election day and be issued to designated persons using appropriate handover procedures and documentation.

PRO-9 deploys augmentation force for election duties

(PNA), LAP/TPGJR

ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 2 (PNA) -– The Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) is deploying an augmentation force of 800 policemen to render election duties in three provinces here in Region 9.

Chief Supt. Miguel Antonio Jr., PRO-9 director, said the augmentation forces will consist of 28 Police Commission Officers (PCOs) and 772 Police Non-Commission Officers (PNCOs).

Antonio said that 240 of them, including nine officers, will be deployed in the province of Zamboanga del Norte; 234--nine PCOs and 225 PNCOs--in Zamboanga del Sur; and, 326, including 10 PCOs, in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Senior Supt. Debold Sinas, PRO-9’s deputy regional director for operations, said those who will comprise the augmentation forces are personnel assigned at the headquarters’ offices, new graduates of PNP Special Counter Insurgency Operation Unit Training (PNP SCOUT), and Field Training Program graduates.

Antonio said that some of them will be deployed in “critical areas” like in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Sibuco and Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga del Norte; and, Kumalarang and Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur.

“It is to ensure the election that is going to be held on the 9th of May will be peaceful,” Antonio added.

He said the deployment of augmentation police forces will be in coordination with the military forces stationed in the three provinces.

He said the send off of personnel for election duties is on Tuesday, May 3.

‘One time, Big time’ ops net high powered firearms

By Eugene A. Lasprilla

Two high powered and three short firearms were seized during a One Time, Big Time (OTBT) operation last Friday in Bayog Municipality, Zamboanga del Sur (ZDS), according to a report from Police Regional Office 9 (PRO9).

PRO9 spokesman Superintendent Rogelio Alabata said a search warrant was served at the house of Nelson Saniel Otom resulting to the recovery of a homemade long barrel 12 gauge shotgun with magazine; a homemade long barrel single shot M16 with magazine; a Colt MK IV series 80 Caliber .45 Pistol with serial number 624183 with magazine; several assorted M16, Caliber 357 and Caliber .38 Revolver.

Alabata said the raiding team failed to locate the whereabouts of the target person during the operation.

The recovered firearms and ammunition were brought to Bayog Municipal Police Station for inventory and safekeeping.

A case for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2013 was readied by the local police against the house owner.