Zamboanga del Sur News May 2018

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Province of Zamboanga del Norte - Archived News

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Seal of Zamboanga del Norte
Interactive Google Satellite Map of Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines
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Provincial Capitol of Zamboanga del Norte
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Saint James Cathedral in Dapitan City
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City Hall of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte
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Situbo Falls, Zamboanga del Norte
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.
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Statue of Christ, Pangalalan, Sindangan
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Our lady of the most Holy Rosary, Estaka
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Manukan Mini Museum Landmark


2 arrested for unauthorized fishing in Zambo Sur

By Bong Garcia (SunStar Philippines)

TWO people, including a village official, were arrested for unauthorized fishing in Zamboanga del Sur province, the police said Saturday, May 26.

Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, identified those arrested as Perduce Maagad, 52, and Edgar Dayondon, 29.

Galvez said Maagad, a village councilor, was arrested in a law enforcement operation by way of service of warrant of arrest around 8 a.m. in Poblacion village, Tabina, this province.

Galvez said Maagad has standing warrant of arrest for the crime of unauthorized fishing with P6,000 recommended bail issued by the 7th Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Dimataling, Tabina and Pitogo.

Galvez said Dayondon, a fisherman, was also arrested in a law enforcement operation at 7:30 a.m. in Sumpot village, Dimataling.

She said like Maagad, Dayondon has standing warrant of arrest for unauthorized fishing issued by the 7th MCTC of Dimataling, Tabina and Pitogo with P6,000 recommended bail.

Galvez said both Maagad and Dayondon were temporarily detained at the police stations of Tabina and Dimataling waiting for final adjudication from court.

CSBP helps rebuild families of fallen soldiers

By Claro A. Lanipa (JDP/CAL-PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur/Press Release from DILG-9)

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- With the financial assistance under the Comprehensive Social Benefits Program (CSBP) of the government, some families left behind by soldiers killed in action have established small business ventures to help sustain their family needs.

A team from the Department of the Interior and Local Government IX (DILG-9) documented at least five beneficiaries of the program. Marilyn Gumampong, wife of the late Sgt. Johnny Gumampong and Cherry Joy Asan, wife of the late Cpl. Ricky Asan, both of Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay have started ‘sari-sari’ store in their own homes and were able to build boarding houses open for college students and young professionals to rent.

Norma Ampalo, mother of the late Pfc. Arhaine O. Ampalo, also from Buug, has a sari-sari store at the Buug Public Market where she earns enough to feed her family.

Francis Shawy Dela Cruz, wife of the late Cpl. Christopher Dela Cruz of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay has established a small business of perfumes and other beauty products.

May Amor Sawit, wife of Sgt. Jasyon Sawit of Pagadian City, was also able to construct a boarding house unit open for young professionals. She also produces bottled spicy bagoong products which she sells in nearby towns and provinces.

The DILG and the Department of National Defense are the lead agencies implementing the CSBP for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police personnel who were killed/wounded in action (KIA/WIA) and killed in police operations/wounded in police operations (KIPO/WIPO).

The CSBP covers four levels of assistance. A Special Finance Assistance is granted in two tranches to the beneficiaries of KIA/KIPO in the amount of Php 500,000; PHP 250,000 to WIA/WIPO with total permanent physical disability (TPPD), and Php 100,000 to WIA/WIPO with major and minor injuries.

Other benefits are Shelter Assistance to families of KIA/WIPO and WIA/WIPO with TPPD worth Php 450,000; Health Care Assistance through coverage of premiums from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation worth Php 2,400 per year, and maintenance of medicines provided by the Department of Health for qualified beneficiaries of KIA/KIPO personnel, and Educational Assistance in the provision of annual stipends for up to two children or other beneficiaries of KIA/KIPO and WIA/WIPO with TPPD.

The DILG-9 documentation team was composed of Jocelyn Cabaña (team leader), Melody Fundano, Ariane Mae Magtalas, Danica Elmy Orilla and Lito Espelimbergo.

2 female cops help woman give birth on street in Zamboanga del Sur

By Leah Agonoy (/atm, Inquirer Mindanao)

GUIPOS, Zamboanga del Sur – Two female police officers played midwives to a 42-year old mother who gave birth here early Saturday last week.

SPO1 Maridel Balis and PO3 Rosel Maglente, who herself was six months pregnant, were part of a team of patrolling police officers, who were returning to the Guipos town hall, when they spotted Jocelyn Cordero after midnight.

Cordero, a resident of Purok Quatro in Barangay Poblacion in Guipos town, had earlier taken a tricycle from her house as she was already having labor pains.

But she barely reached the Municipal Rural Health Unit and started delivering her baby.

Balis and Maglente responded, though did not have any experience in assisting childbirth. They made Corder lie down on the pavement as she could no longer move because of pain.

Their colleagues called a midwife, but at this point, the baby started coming out of the mother’s womb.

Maglente said when the baby finally came out, she checked if the newborn was okay.

She also double checked on Cordero before rushing to the police station to get her extra tshirt, which she used to wrap the baby.

“The woman was not able hold the baby in her womb and spontaneously gave birth to a live baby boy,” Maglente said.

It was Cordero’s eighth child.

The laundress later told the Inquirer she could not thank the two police officers enough.

“I don’t know what would have happened to me if they had not arrived on time,” she said.

TESDA 9, Yamaha Philippines open training facility in Western Mindanao

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- The Technical Education Skills and Development and Authority (TESDA) and Yamaha Philippines, Inc. recently launched and opened a technical training facility at the TESDA’s provincial training center in Barangay Tiguma here.

Alfredo O. Lejano, Yamaha Philippines Corporate Administration Director, said the industry was very privileged and fortunate to have partnered with TESDA 9 in coming up with technical training facility saying that the industry wants to impart technical skills to the marginalized sector in the country.

Lejano said the activity is part of the industry’s corporate social responsibility in providing worthwhile social activities for the best interest of society.

This training facility is the 8th center we have established and supported in the country: 4 in Luzon, 2 in Visayas, and 2 in Mindanao. This is the pilot training center for small engine servicing-related qualification.

During the launching ceremony, Yamaha Philippines, Inc. contributed training facilities and six motorcycles. It also provided free training to trainors.

In this training facility, Lejano said the industry hopes to produce skilled graduates . He added that they can also help the graduates by recommending them to their dealers and service shops nationwide.

Meanwhile, TESDA 9 Regional Director Lorenzo Macapili said his office is very fortunate to have this pilot demonstration center for small engine in this part of the country.

“We are very lucky that Yamaha Philippines, Inc. established another center in Western Mindanao particularly here in Pagadian City,” Macapili said.

Yamaha is the first industry who came to TESDA9 and the establishment of their technical training facility is a “manifestation of their sincere commitment to marginalized sector of our society,” he announced.

GSIS sets APIR mass reactivation deadline on June 30

By Alma L. Tingcang (JDP/ALT-PIA9 Zamboanga Sibugay)

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) announced that the Annual Pensioners’ Information Revalidation (APIR) which started last March 23 will end on June 30, 2018.

Engr. Leoncito S. Manuel, GSIS Pagadian Branch Manager, said APIR is the yearly personal appearance of GSIS old-age pensioners and survivorship pensioners who are 79 years old and below, to renew their active status.

“We are doing this to protect the funds of GSIS, because there might be a negative effect on the state of our funds. This mass reactivation will reflect the true status of the pensioner and we also want to ensure that the pensioner himself will receive the benefits,” Manuel explained.

For this mass reactivation, GSIS has 12 kiosks located at the LGU Ipil, Provincial Capitol, DepEd Sibugay, Imelda Central School, Buug LGU and Olutanga. Zamboanga Sibugay, Pagadian City Hall, Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Capitol, DepEd Province, Molave, Zamboanga del Sur and more kiosks at the GSIS Pagadian Branch.

The pensioners need to present the UMID card and one valid government-issued ID for the APIR.

If they fail to appear, their pension will automatically be cut off the following month after their active status expires. However, once they make an appearance, they will continue to receive their pension.

“Kung nakapag-APIR na ang pensioner sa mass reactivation from March 23 to June 30, 2018, pero ang birth month niya ay pagkatapos ng mass reactivation, (July to December) kailangan pa rin niyang mag-APIR sa mismong birth month niya. Pero sa 2019, minsan na lang siya mag APR, iyon ay sa birth month niya,”( If the pensioner appears for the mass reactivation on March 23 to June 30, 2018,but his birth month falls after this period, he has to go for the APIR on his birth month. But in 2019, the APIR shall be done once, only during the pensioner’s birth month), Manuel clarified.

In case a pensioner cannot personally come to the GSIS office due to poor health condition, he may request for home visit by writing to GSIS about his status. Requirements for home visit include: Name of pensioner, birthday and complete address (to include sketch of residence) and medical certificate or barangay certificate which states that the pensioner is a resident of his stated address.

“We have conducted caravans in Molave to cover the nearby municipalities, and also in Olutanga for the island municipalities including Mabuhay and Talusan bringing a portable kiosk. We will also be conducting caravan Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay on May 23; May 26 - Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur; May 28 - Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay and May 29 - back in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, to cater to pensioners na old na talaga, saving them time, money and effort,” Manuel informed.

“GSIS is prioritizing the needs of pensioners because we feel this is the time that they need us more than ever at this stage in their life when they feel they are not as productive as before,” he added.

Manuel said there are about 6,000 pensioners in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay but only about 3,000-4,000 need to appear so their pension will not be cut off.

Meanwhile, five personnel from Union Bank (UB) are now stationed at GSIS Pagadian Branch distributing EMV-compliant cards. Members will receive a text message from UB informing them to claim their EMV-compliant cards. However, they need to update their numbers at the kiosk if they have changed their numbers.

To facilitate and speed up these transactions, APIR and enrolment of EMV-enabled UMID cards, GSIS is open on all Saturdays until June 30, 2018, Manuel announced.

For more details and clarifications on APIR and other programs, please visit; FB page; or write

RHUs implement ‘Ligtas Tigdas’ supplemental immunization

By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- Around 18,433 children in Zamboanga del Sur have been vaccinated with measles-containing vaccine after ten days of implementation of the ‘Ligtas Tigdas’ Supplementation Immunization Activity (SIA) targeting 6 to 59 months old children.

Started last May 9, the SIA is being implemented by 25 rural health units (RHUs) and one city health unit.

Dahlia Aseniero, Technical Division chief of the Provincial Health Office, reported that the total of 18, 433 children is equivalent to 11.22 percent of the total projected target children in the entire province.

The report also revealed that there are some parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated due to their religious beliefs, fear of the vaccine, on vacation while others were not at home during the visit of the medical team, Aseniero said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Agnes E. Fernando, Provincial DOH Office head, appealed to parents to submit their children for measles vaccine immunization and for the local government units to support their RHUs by providing the necessary allowances and vehicle to the immunization teams for them to be able to reach out the furthest barangays in their respective municipalities.

Fernando noted that some municipalities did not follow the given immunization schedule because of the recently concluded Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. Despite the late implementation in some areas, she is confident that by the end of May the province will be able to achieve much higher accomplishments based on target. (JDP/CAL-PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

Ex-Zamboanga Del Sur solon charged for anomalous fertilizer purchase

(ABS-CBN News)

MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman has charged Zamboanga Del Sur 1st District Representative Isidoro Real Jr. in connection with a supposedly anomalous fertilizer supply transaction with a non-government organization linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

The office charged Real at the Sandiganbayan for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The Ombudsman said Real, as well as Department of Agriculture regional executive director Oscar Parawan and other DA regional officers namely Abundio Bernardo Jr., Samuel Simbajon, Ma. Perlice Socorro Julian and Maribel Abdulbari, gave Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Incorporated (MAMFI) unwarranted benefit for a fertilizer project worth P5 million.

MAMFI is a non-government organization supposedly owned by Napoles, who is facing numerous plunder and graft charges in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.

Based on the information filed by the Ombudsman, the officials endorsed MAMFI to implement Real’s Farm Inputs/Implements Program through the procurement of 6,250 bottles of Liquid Foliar Fertilizers without public bidding, in violation of the Government Procurement Act.

Bernardo, Simbajon, Julian and Abudlbari supposedly processed the release of P5 million to MAMFI.

The Ombudsman also alleged that the price of P800 per 300 milliliter bottle was higher the current market price of P190 per 300 milliliter bottle, causing injury to the government in the amount of P3.82 million.

P30,000 bail was recommend for each of the accused.

Dinas Top Most Wanted Arrested

(Zamboanga Del Sur Police Report)

On May 19, 2018 at about 9:30 AM, PNP personnel of Dinas MPS and Regional Special Operation Group of Police Regional Office 9 conducted police operation (Service of Arrest Warrant) at Purok Gana-gana, Barangay Ludiong, Dinas, Zamboanga Del Sur.

The operation resulted to the arrest of Eddie Embodo Guerra (Top Most Wanted Person – Municipal Level), 49 years old, married, farmer, and resident of Purok Gana-gana, Ludiong, Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur.

The accused was arrested by virtue of two (2) Warrant of Arrest, to wit: Frustrated Murder issued by Hon. Felix B. Rodriguez, Presiding Judge, Branch 29, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur docketed under Criminal Case No. 15-004, dated 12 February 2015 with bail bond recommended of two hundred thousand pesos (Php 200,000.00).

The second warrant of arrest is Murder issued by Hon. Romeo T. Descallar, Presiding Judge, Branch 19, 9th Judicial Region, Pagadian City docketed under Criminal Case No. 14-030, dated 26 March 2018, with no bail bond recommended.

Subject person is now temporary detained at Dinas Municipal Detention Center awaiting court disposition.

Embracing nature in a mountain lake

By Leah Agonoy (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

TIGBAO, Zamboanga del Sur — Without beaches to frolic on, people in this fifth-class town of nearly 21,000 still enjoy summer, thanks to Maragang Lake.

The 20-hectare, heart-shaped crater lake, cupped by green banks and wild trees, is on top of Mt. Timolan (1,177 meters above sea level) and inside the Mt. Timolan Rainforest Park.

“I was in awe. How can that beautiful creation be there? Up there, in the middle of the mountain?” asked Annabelle Guitarte, a local radio disc jockey in Pagadian City.

The entire park is a protected area. Endowed with a unique landscape, lush natural forest, springs and swamp, waterfalls and a diverse species of flora and fauna, it is one of the country’s key biodiversity areas where endemic birds thrive, Mario Ronulo, park superintendent, explained.

Tigbao serves as the gateway to the eco park, which it shares with the neighboring towns of Lapuyan, Guipos and San Miguel. The eco park also serves as its main eco destination.

The Department of Tourism (DOT), which opened the place to the public in 2015, has been promoting it as an alternative site to Boracay.

Hike or ride

Visitors can reach the Mt. Timolan Rainforest Park (1,177 meters above sea level) either by hiking two or three hours to the park or by riding a “habal-habal” (motorcycle) from Barangay Limas to Lake Maragang.

“We make sure that all the visitors are safe and secured for the duration of their stay,” said Bong Etang, one of the 27 guides, trained by the DOT for rescue, first aid and lifeguard tasks.

The park has a multipurpose building, cottages, picnic sheds, a mini wharf, a lookout tower, a kitchen, toilets and a water system.

With the tour guides also trained as lifeguards and rescuers, the 46.94-meter (154-foot) deep lake is no longer as scary. Guests could also enjoy bird watching, camping, river trekking and swimming.

Welcome challenge

Guitarte, who spends most of her days working inside an air-conditioned room, said the trek to Lake Maragang was a welcome challenge. She insisted on walking rather than riding the habal-habal.

“I can’t even believe that I survived the trek,” she said.

Guitarte said the fatigue from the long walk easily faded with the sights and sounds along the way.

“We heard different sounds of birds. The trek was totally a commune with nature,” she said.

“The protected area gave me the chance to appreciate nature more,” she said. “I wish there were still more places that are like this.”

The best prize was reaching the lake. “You finally feel the exhaustion gone and embrace the calmness of the lake and the cool breeze,” the disc jockey said.

“I found myself staring at a beautiful, peaceful and serene lake,” Kyle Jennerman, also known as “Kulas” of the travel blog #BecomingFilipino, posted on social media.

Lake Maragang is tucked away in the hills and the only way to access it is by trekking.

“The water is clean, and the locals are great fun as well,” Jennerman said. Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Fire hits slum area, school in Pagadian City

By Hirohito Cadion (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur -- The local government here Friday distributed relief goods to the 60 families displaced by fire that hit a slum area in this city.

Haron Damada Jr., City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) action officer, said relief goods included food packs and non-food items, such as kitchen utensils, used clothes, mats, and blankets.

The families displaced by the fire were temporarily sheltered at the covered court of Barangay Dumagoc.

Senior Insp. Edgar Quitoy, city fire marshal, said the fire broke out in Barangay Dumagoc at about 5:56 p.m. Thursday.

Quitoy said investigation showed the fire, which started at the kitchen of Pacita Navies, engulfed the entire house and rapidly spread to nearby houses, mostly made of semi-concrete and light materials.

He said the fire that lasted for more than one hour razed 49 houses and nine classrooms of the Dumagoc elementary school. Two houses were partially damaged.

He placed the property damage at PHP1.2 million, excluding the cost of the nine classrooms.

Family of slain radio broadcaster in Zamboanga seeks justice

By Dynah Diestro (ABS-CBN News)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur—The family of slain radio broadcaster Carlos Matas is seeking justice for his death.

Matas was shot to death by 7 armed individuals in Barangay Noburan, Labangan town, Zamboanga del Sur last May 12 while meeting residents to discuss new projects in the area.

A retired member of the Philippine Army, Matas was appointed provincial coordinator of the Cassava Farmers Association in Zamboanga del Sur and was a co-anchor of a radio program of the provincial government over DXCA-AM/FM in this city.

“The house owner called my father to hide, but he chose not to hide and faced the perpetrators. The residents there saw how they killed my father with an M4,” said his daughter, Mari Matas.

The wounded suspect identified as Arnaiz Alam Kabaro is still under investigation while 2 other suspects died during hot pursuit operation.

Police Senior Supt. John Guyguyon, provincial director of Zamboanga del Sur Police, said authorities are looking at personal grudges and revenge as possible motives.

“We are digging deeper into this as both sides claimed that they were ambushed. But this is too far from neither his work as a volunteer coordinator of the cassava farmers nor his work as radio broadcaster," Guyguyon said.

Prior to the incident, Matas reported to Labangan Police Station that he was waylaid by the group of Kabaro in Barangay Langapod last May 8.

On the same day, Kabaro also reported to police that his group was also ambushed by Matas's group in Barangay Lower Sang-an in the same town.

The arrested suspect now faces charges of murder and attempted homicide.

Drug Suspect Arrested in Pagadian City

(Zamboanga Del Sur Police Report)

On May 16, 2018 at about 3:30 PM, Joint PNP personnel of Zamboanga Del Sur PPO Drugs Enforcement Unit together with 903RD Maritime Police Station and Pagadian City Police Station conducted anti-illegal drug buy bust operation at Purok Malinawon, Barangay Santiago, Pagadian City.

This resulted in the arrest of Joko Said Alpa (listed as drug surrenderee), 43 years old, male, single, and resident of Purok Kabingaan, Campo Islam, San Pedro, Pagadian City.

Confiscated from his possession and control are two (2) pieces heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu, one (1) piece two hundred peso bill (Php 200) with serial number EL431514 used as marked money, and one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu (as buy-bust item).

Arrested suspect is now temporarily detained at PDEA lock-up cell, Capitol Complex, Pagadian City for proper disposition.

DOH, Comelec provide emergency medical assistance to voters

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Health (DOH) in the Zamboanga peninsula have set up medical assistance stations in polling centers in the province during the synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (SBKE) on Monday.

Dr. Agnes Fernando, provincial health team leader of the Provincial Department of Health Office (PDHO), said the medical assistance stations provided basic first-aid and medicines to voters and election workers.

The heat combined with the huge crowd of people in voting centers can cause heat stroke.

“We just want to have prompt-response teams in the polling centers where the voters need our first-aid medical care,” Fernando said.

The PDHO chief deployed 30 emergency medical assistance teams composed of public health nurses - 25 for the municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur, and 5 for Pagadian City.

Ching Tan, leader of medical assistance team assigned in Balangasan Elementary School, Pagadian City said they have provided emergency medical assistance to 12 voters who suffered high blood pressure due to the sweltering summer heat.

“The heat and the long queues due to failure of finding their names on the voters’ list caused their blood pressure to rise,” Tan said quoting a senior citizen.

Meanwhile, Wilfred Actina, emergency medical assistance team leader for Zamboanga del Sur, reported that about 300 voters were given medical assistance during the synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

He said majority of the voters who availed their medical services have experienced dizziness, headaches, and tiredness due to the scorching heat of the sun.

GSIS launches GSIS Financial Assistance Loan

By Alma L. Tingcang (ALT-PIA9 Zamboanga Sibugay/GSIS Press Release)

PAGADIAN CITY May 15 (PIA) -- Good news to Department of Education (DepEd) employees. The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) would accept applications for the GSIS Financial Assistance Loan (GFAL) program for DepEd personnel starting May 15, 2018.

Under the program, GSIS will lend a maximum amount of PhP500,000 to DepEd borrowers to pay the outstanding balance of their loan from accredited private lending institutions.

“Instead of offering the GFAL to DepEd personnel in selected cities and municipalities on a pilot run, we decided to open it to all teachers and teaching personnel nationwide because we want more teachers to benefit from lower interest rate and better terms of payment from GSIS. Reduced interest rates and smaller amortization spells savings and higher disposable take home pay for our members. This will definitely lighten their load,” GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas explained.

Under GFAL, qualified borrowers may borrow up to Php500, 000 provided they have a take home pay not lower than Php5,000 after deduction of monthly obligations. If they are indebted to more than one private lenders, they may consolidate their loans and transfer the total amount to GSIS.

Proceeds of the loan will be paid directly by GSIS to the private lending institutions.

“This loan program is a balance transfer and debt-consolidation facility in one. It allows the members to take a second look at their spending habits -- if they are heavy borrowers, they might be spending beyond their means,” Aranas said.

The best thing about GFAL is that the borrowers will go through loan evaluation and counseling process and are required to attend the GSIS Financial Literacy Seminar before taking out the loan to adopt good money management practices,” he added.

In an interview with Engr. Leoncito S. Manuel, GSIS Pagadian Branch Manager, he said all DepEd personnel may qualify for the loan if they are active regular GSIS member with permanent status and paid premium for the last three years; not on leave without pay; has outstanding loan from DepEd-accredited lending institution, and has no due and demandable loan account with the GSIS.

“We are not here to compete with private lending institutions but to help DepEd members. They must understand that this is a one- time loan for each member. Hopefully, this will enable them to be mindful and responsible in managing their resources well,” Manuel said.

The interest rate of GFAL is 6% per annum computed in advance payable in monthly installments for six years. Payments will be automatically deducted from the borrower’s salary. The loan has no processing fee.

To apply, DepEd personnel should submit the following documentary requirements: properly filled-up application form that may be downloaded from the GSIS website: with clear photocopy of the authorized representative of the lending firm who will claim the check from the GSIS and contact details; borrower loan agreement, loan voucher or other certified documents indicating the term of loan, interest rate, monthly amortization and due date of first loan amortization, and pay slips for the last three months, certified as true copy by the agency authorized officer.

Only complete submissions will be accepted and processed by the GSIS.

For more information, you may log on to or call GSIS Hotlines: 09189124165/09176920871/09294459114/(0622144475)

69 Zamboanga del Sur detainees arrested as 'private armed group'

By Roel Pareño (

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Police in a village in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur arrested on Saturday 69 detainees and escapees and six jail personnel who were allegedly being used as a private armed group.

Chief Superintendent Billy Beltran, director of Police Regional Office 9, said police also recovered guns and ammunition during the simultaneous raids in Barangay Dao.

Beltran said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, 5th Special Action Battalion of the Special Action Force, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 9, Regional Intelligence Unit 9, Zamboanga Del Sur PPO, Police Provincial Mobile Force Company, and Regional Special Operation Group of Regional Intelligence Division 9 all participated in the operation.

The raids were conducted against detainees staying inside the governor's quarters in the provincial capitol. They were reportedly being utilized as a private armed group.

Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio Cerilles vehemently denied the detainees were escapees or were a private army.

Cerilles, in a briefing with local media in Zamboanga del Sur, said the detainees were relocated to the provincial capitol complex because of lack of space in the provincial jail.

He said the temporary transfer of the detainees was supported by a resolution approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution Number 2016-1133, which established jail extension facility at the Provincial Government Complex in Barangay Dao.

The CIDG charged those arrested for violation of Article 223 and 157 of the Revised Penal Code, for infidelity and evasion of service, and violation of Republic Act 10591 in relation to the Omnibus Election Code Law.

Of the detainees arrested, four face homicide case, 13 face rape cases, 12 are in jail on drug charges, one faces a case of attempted murder, 32 have murder cases, four face cases for frustrated murder, and three face cases for illegal possession of firearms.

Police seized four assault rifles, three .45 caliber pistols, a Tavor assault rifle. two 9mm pistols, a .357 revolver, two .38 revolvers, a carbine rifle and magazines and ammunition.

Those arrested were immediately brought to CIDG-Zamboanga Del Sur for documentation and proper disposition.

Local broadcast journalist killed in Zamboanga del Sur ambush

By Aude Hampong(Reporter, /ALG, GMA News)

A local broadcast journalist was killed in an ambush in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on Saturday afternoon.

The Labangan Police identified the victim as Carlos Matas, who hosts Zambo News Patrol on dxCA Bell FM and dxBZ Radyo Bagting based in Pagadian City.

Police said Matas was ambushed by at least four gunmen while on board a motorcycle in Barangay Nuburan at around 3:30 p.m.

Police recovered empty bullet shells from a .45 pistol and 5.56 M16 rifle at the crime scene.

It was the second ambush on Matas this week. He survived the first attack last May 8, Tuesday.

Matas and two employees of Zamboanga del Sur's provincial government were on board a jeep when they were waylaid by unidentified gunmen.

Matas and the two employees escaped the ambush unscathed.

Police said Matas' killing could be related to his work or the barangay elections.

Saguban named as Pagadian City’s new police chief


THE Zamboanga Peninsula Police Regional Office has installed Superintendent Alvin Saguban as the new Pagadian City police chief, replacing Superintendent Benito Recopuerto.

Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Police Office director Senior Superintendent John Gano Guyguyon spearheaded the change of command ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

In a farewell speech, Recopuerto has expressed gratitude to all police personnel for the all-out support given him during his stint as the local police chief.

Recopuerto, who served as Pagadian City’s police chief since August 10, 2017, is reassigned as the new deputy provincial director for administration.

Saguban has urged police officers as well as city residents to rally behind the local police force.

Saguban urged the Pagadian City policemen to respect their uniform by wearing it properly “because this will reflect our attitude, image as law enforcer in order to gain respect and support from the community to whom we are servicing.”

“To the people of Pagadian City, we are requesting your support to rally behind us, in our plans and mission to establish good peace and order. We are here for public service,” he added.

Saguban has served for almost a year as the commander of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion command in Zamboanga City before he was reassigned to Pagadian City.

DILG RD reminds gov’t employees on rules on electioneering and partisan politics

By Claro A. Lanipa (JDP/CAL-PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur/DILG Press Release)

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- Department of the Interior and Local Government IX (DILG-9) Regional Director Paisal O. Abutazil reminded all government employees to observe Commission on Elections’ (COMELEC) rules and guidelines in the ongoing campaign for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on May 14.

Abutazil made the reminder during last Monday’s convocation of DILG IX to discourage government employees from unlawful electioneering.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has also reminded all government employees to observe rules and regulations on electioneering and partisan political activity under CSC Resolution No. 1600298 dated March 29, 2016 and the joint circular of the Commission on Elections and CSC No. 001, series of 2016, stating that government employees are barred from campaigning for or against a particular candidate, Abutazil added.

However, the joint circular permits government employees to freely air their personal political views, but prohibits them to solicit support for or against a candidate such as the following: consistent presence in political rallies, caucuses, or be identified with candidates; wearing political caps, shirts, pins, or other campaign paraphernalia; serve as watchers on election day; receive political contributions, or give personal, financial and other monetary contributions, he said.

It is also stipulated that “social media functions such as liking, commenting, sharing, reposting, or following a candidate or party’s account” is allowed provided that they do not “directly or indirectly” campaign for their preferred candidates.

Violators of the said joint circular shall face charges ranging from suspension to dismissal, imprisonment or disqualification from public office.

DOH intensifies ‘Ligtas Tigdas’ immunization campaign

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

PAGADIAN CITY, May 10 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) is intensifying its measles vaccination activities through ‘Ligtas Tigdas’ Supplementation Immunization Activity (SIA) to counter the continuing rise of measles cases.

Based on the report of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, the Philippines is currently experiencing an increasing trend of measles cases. Pockets of measles outbreaks started in the last quarter of 2017 and continue up to present.

Despite the outbreak response immunization activities conducted, measles transmission continued at the National Capital Region and in Mindanao.

To curb the high incidence of measles, the DOH rolled out the Ligtas Tigdas SIA targeting infants and children 6-59 months of age regardless of immunization status.

For Mindanao areas, the ‘Ligtas Tigdas’ SIA campaign is scheduled from May 9 to June 8, 2018.

In order to reach out every child in every barangay, a door-to-door immunization will be conducted by a composite team from the local government units together with the nurses assigned in their respective areas under the Nurses Deployment Program of the DOH.

In a media forum on Tuesday (May 8), Dahlia Aseniero, Technical Division chief of the Provincial Health Office, reported that from January 1 to April 30, 2018, there were 165 measles cases recorded in Zamboanga del Sur with seven confirmed cases.

The municipality of Margosatubig registered the highest number of cases at 49, followed by Pagadian City-27, Mahayag - 21, Dimataling – 11, and Pitogo and San Pablo with eight cases each.

Recently, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III reiterated to the public especially to the parents or guardians that the measles vaccine is safe and the government has been doing this since the 1970s. Measles vaccination has saved millions of lives.

“Let us all protect the health of all Filipino children through vaccination against measles,” Sec. Duque emphasized.

1ID holds photo contest for military and civilian personnel

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

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur (PIA) -- To hone and improve the photography skills of military and civilian personnel, the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army recently conducted a photography competition at its headquarters at Camp Major Cesar Sang-an, Pulacan here.

LtCol. Vladimir Lenos T. Villanueva, commanding officer of the 1st Civil-Military Operations (CMO), said the competition is one of the highlights of the 82nd anniversary celebration of Tabak Division.

Villanueva said the event is designed to show to the public the skills of military and civilian personnel on how to keep abreast with the latest technology.

The photography competition has two categories - the Conventional Category (for images taken using any type of traditional and compact camera) and the Mobile Category (for photos taken using devices like mobile/cellular phones, tablets and the like.)

Villanueva believes that the soldiers are talented and they have something to contribute, and good stories to tell that promote peace for the country.

He said the photos that they have taken are real and are coming from their respective units where they are deployed.

There were at least 15 entries submitted for the conventional photography and nine for the mobile phone category. Most of the entries were taken during the Marawi siege and the medical, dental and civic action program (MEDCAP) activities conducted by the units.

“The photos depict the positive images of soldiers’ lives, sacrifices, accomplishments, and heroism that cannot be seen in the ordinary people,” Villanueva explained.

The photo contest was first conducted last year. This year, the 1ID improved the contest by encouraging more participation from the military and civilian personnel and increased cash prizes for the winners.

“Big cash prizes await contest winners. The grand winners for the conventional and mobile category will receive P5, 000 plus certificate,” Villanueva said.

The winners will be proclaimed during the awarding ceremony on May 31. Judges were composed mostly of professional photographers from Pagadian City Photographers Association and national government agencies.

97IB undergoes organizational training

By Alma L. Tingcang (JDP/ALT-PIA9 Zamboanga Sibugay/1ID Press Release)

KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, May 8 (PIA) -- The 97th (Kalasag Lahi) Battalion under the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army, which was activated on April 16 is undergoing organizational training starting May 3.

The new battalion was formally activated in a simple ceremony held at Tabak Grandstand, pursuant to General Orders No. 211. The Philippine Army has directed the activation and operationalization of 10 additional infantry battalions wherein the 1st Infantry Division is among the recipients.

The 97IB is headed by LTC Rufino L De Leon, GSC PA, with 400 soldiers taken from the different line units under the 1ID. Some of the new privates who graduated from the Candidate Soldier Course last April 5 are now part of the new battalion.

The activation of this new battalion aims to augment the units covering the entire Western Mindanao Region in sustaining the gains of Tabak troopers in keeping the peace and development in their area of responsibility.

“The command has its full trust and confidence in choosing the leadership of LTC De Leon as the pioneer Commanding Officer of 97IB. Always think about the welfare of each and every one of you so as nobody in your unit will be placed in danger. Also, don’t forget the discipline and the prestige of a real Filipino soldier,” said MGen Roseller G Murillo, 1ID Commander.

“The organizational training for the 97th IB that will start today is designed to enhance the competence and individual skills of every soldier and also to develop their teamwork as a unit. Training builds competence, and competence builds confidence”, the military commander added.

De Leon expressed gratitude to Murillo for entrusting him the leadership as commandant of the 1st Division Training School as he embarks on a new challenge to lead the 97IB.

Zamboanga del Sur town councilor escapes ambush

By Roel Pareño (

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A town councilor escaped an ambush in Zamboanga del Sur on Sunday afternoon.

Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, spokesperson of Police Regional Office 9, identified the victim as Evrin Dres, 37, municipal councilor of Dimataling town and chairman of the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council and member of the peace and order committee.

Galvez said the victim was driving his service vehicle from Poblacion on the way to a rice mill he owns when unidentified gunmen shot at him near Barangay Cobidog.

Dres told police he sped up to escape the ambush.

Galvez said police immediately responded to the shooting but the gunmen managed to escape towards the town center.

PO1 Iresidel Osayan, who is investigating the case, believes a personal grudge may be behind the shooting.

Ex-Zambo mayor, 14 gun-for-hire members nabbed

By Roel Pareño (

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A leader of the gun-for-hire group and 14 of his members, including a former mayor and a council representative, were arrested in a law enforcement operation Saturday dawn in a town of Zamboanga del Sur, according to police official.

Chief Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo, deputy director for administration of Police Regional Office 9 (PRO), said the suspects were arrested during the simultaneous implementation of warrant of arrest in Sominot town by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) backed by the Special Action Force (SAF).

De Ocampo said the planned raid was executed by the out of the town forces following the surveillance hatched by the local authorities on the suspects.

De Ocampo identified those arrested suspects as: Stephen Cases Acosta, former mayor of Sominot town; Arnel Quimno Pepito, leader of the Pepito gun-for-hire group; his siblings Garry Quimno Pepito; Edgar Quimno Pepito; Nemecia Quimno Pepito, incumbent Association of Barangay President and ex-officio councilor of Sominot town; Rey Sumalinog Pepito; Ruthern dela Torre Biawan; Allan Eturma Decierdo; Anicito Culanag Andulong; Rolando Anding Ramayrat; Romeo Batac Capangpngan; Jesryl Cabijenas Romo; Lorenzo Oñez Malayao; Roberto Tigtig Hasma; and Rolando Dahuya Andrade.

De Ocampo said the group leader has standing warrant of arrest for attempted muder issued by the Regional Trial Court 10 of Oroquita City.

The raiding forces also recovered from the suspects at least 10 firearms, including seven .45 caliber pistols, three M16 rifles, and a .38 caliber revolver, three fragmentation grenades, and assorted ammunition.

According to De Ocampo, all the apprehended suspects were placed under the custody of the CIDG for filing of the charges.

PRO9 chief cites JAPSST in promoting peace and order

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

GUIPOS, Zamboanga del Sur (PIA) -- The Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police(AFP-PNP) Sustainment Squad Training (JAPSST) is very important to achieve a common goal of promoting peace and order in the region.

Chief Superintendent Billy B. Beltran, regional director of Police Regional Office 9, stressed the importance of the joint training during the closing ceremony of JAPSST Class 03-18 at Camp David Sabido here.

“The JPASST is very important because the participants shared their best practices on techniques, tactics and procedures, and standard operating procedures; enhanced their interoperability, and fostered camaraderie and friendship,” said Beltran, the event’s keynote speaker.

At least 72 participants from the 53rd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, Zambanga del Sur Police Mobile Police Force Company and Zamboanga del Norte Mobile Force Company completed the one-month rigorous training.

The participants underwent series of lectures on map reading, basic combat life saving, weapon training, movement formations and techniques, action drills and other skills proficiency training.

Beltran said the AFP and PNP should pursue the training saying that they shared common problems in Zamboanga Peninsula particularly the presence of the New People’s Army, Abu Sayyaf Group, criminal gangs, and other lawless groups.

“We are the first line of defense that is why it very important that we will be united always and be aware of our operations. We should be speaking in the same language, and share the same tactics,” Beltran added.

“I personally believe, we need this very much to defeat our common enemies here in Zamboanga Peninsula,” he added.

Meanwhile, LtCol. Marlowe Patria, commanding officer of 53IB, said JAP combat operations generated positive impact by showing to the public the strength not only in number of joint forces but also in their skills and capabilities.

With the scheme of JAPSST which is immediately followed by focus military operations “we did not only make our enemies constantly on the run but we are also able to press on with our overall campaign against the CNTs (CPP-NPA Terrorist)”, Patria said.

“As we hit them during our operations, we persuade them to take a more peaceful option of turning themselves back to the folds of the law and to avail the benefits of our Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) and have normal lives together with their loved ones,” he informed.

Patria encouraged the participants to live up to their motto of “One Blood, One Mission, One Enemy.”

Out-of-town ‘Budol-budol’ gang nabbed by local police

By Peping Heramil

Five suspected con artists locally known as a‘Budol-budol’ gang, who are mostly coming from nearby cities and provinces, were arrested on Monday night by the operatives of the Central Police Station (Police Station 11) during a hot pursuit operation at MCLL Highway, Barangay Tetuan, this city.

Chief Insp. Hingming Ladjaali, chief of the Police Station 11 Investigation Section, identified the suspected con artists as Fern Gallemit, 43, married, a native of General Santos City; Ricky Rojas y Absil, 44, married, of Barangay Sta. Catalina; Evans Estacio y Gilbero, 22, married, a native of General Santos City; Joven Gilbero y Gilla, 50, of Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur and Della Fernandez y Aganay, 64, also of Pagadian City, ZDS.

Ladjaali said that the suspects were nabbed after they robbed a local businesswoman of her P40,000 cash which was placed inside her black sling bag.

The businesswoman was inside her Ready to Wear (RTW) store along J.S. Alano Street, downtown proper on Monday afternoon when the robbery occurred.

Ladjaali told Zamboanga Today that the suspects were intercepted while they were onboard a color red Mitsubishi car bearing plate number TSI 546.

The police also recovered the black sling bag, however, the P40,000 cash was already missing.

According to the police investigators, the same group was also responsible in at least two other robbery incidents that were perpetrated at a local store in Pettit Barracks, Barangay Zone IV, this city.

Police said that on January 18, 2018, the suspects robbed some cash and jewelry amounting to P500,000 from the said store while on March 26, 2018, a total of P1,229,000 cash was snatched from another business establishment.

Just last Monday afternoon, the suspects struck again by robbing some P40,000 cash from a businesswoman, who is a resident of Barangay Kasanyangan, this city.

The arrested members of the’Budol-budol’ gang are now detained at the Police Station 11 while the police are readying the filing of appropriate case against them in court.

PPP Knowledge Corner to be launched at NEDA-IX office

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

PAGADIAN CITY (PIA) -- A Private-Public Partnership (PPP) Knowledge Corner will be launched at the National Economic Development Authority Regional Office IX (NEDA-9) at Barangay Balintawak, this city on May 3, 2018.

The PPP Knowledge Center will serve as hub of information where local government units (LGUs), implementing agencies (IAs) and other stakeholders can get updated information and knowledge on PPP including access to all PPP Center’s services to help them develop and implement bankable PPP projects.

NEDA 9 Regional Director Teresita Socorro C. Ramos said one of the strategic thrusts of PPP Center is on project development at the local level. The center through its capacity building strategy is intensifying its efforts to capacitate, engage and assist implementing agencies to pursue PPP at the local level.

By virtue of Executive Order Nos. 8 and 230, the PPP Center and NEDA Regional Offices share the common objective of assisting the different implementing agencies including LGUs in project preparation, development and implementation in the different regions.

When actively tapped, PPPs at the local government level contribute in pursuing long-term economic growth and advancement. Thus, it becomes critical that PPP, as an implementation alternative, is made familiar and understood by the LGUs, Ramos said.

Expected to attend the launching ceremony are Regional Development Council IX (RDC-9) chairperson Mayor Anamel C. Olegario of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay; Co-Chairperson Jose J. San Juan, private sector representative, first and second class municipalities, some regional line agencies and the Chamber of Commerce in the region.

Media plays important role in the life of every Filipino, says Tabak chief

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

LABANGAN, Zamboaga del Sur, May 2 (PIA) -- The 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army recognizes the important role of media in the life of every Filipino.

In a media fellowship night, Tabak commander MGen. Roseller G. Murillo acknowledged that through the years, media plays an important role in the life of every Filipino saying that it has the capability to administer the safe relay of information to the public.

Murillo said the media is a vital force especially in the conduct of non-combat operations of the Army and maintain close ties among soldiers, government and non-authorities that will eventually led to the accomplishment of the mission of the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP).

“You have the function to report without fear the misbehaviour in the government, its programs towards the development and its efforts towards peace and security,” Murillo said.

“You are the link to the people who have the constitutional right to know, and for this reason, your Philippine Army recognizes your value as our channel for quick means of disseminating information in the public,” he added.

However, Murillo explained that there are times the Army could not maximize the informational demands of the people especially during difficult times when they need to protect the troops and confidentiality of their operations .

“As members of the military organization and protector of the people, we are required to exercise vigilance in all our actions so as not to compromise the mandate and jeopardize national security,” he expounded.

Murillo said the Army admits that it is not their core competency to supply the demand of the people for public information in favor of the government.

“The presence of the press corps was created to transparently speak and provide real time information to the people with maximum disclosure, with minimum delay of policy subject to security, accuracy, propriety and policy rule to help us speak our minds and formalize our groups,” he stressed.

Close to 60 media practitioners from the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur took time out to participate in the 2018 Media fellowship day.

The celebration started with the culmination of the Youth Leadership Summit fun shoot, and dinner and cocktail party.

Pagadian City marks Labor Day with job, livelihood fairs

By Hirohito Cadion (PNA)

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur--The local and provincial governments marked the Labor Day celebration with job and livelihood fairs to provide employment opportunities to locals.

In partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and other national government agencies, a total of 3,228 job vacancies for local and overseas employments were offered to jobseekers.

Camilo Encila Jr., DOLE provincial officer-in-charge, told the Philippine News Agency that they hope to fill up at least 20 percent of the available job vacancies through the jobs and livelihood fair.

Encila said the Department of Trade and Industry spearheaded the conduct of livelihood training with a focus on how to avail capitalization to start a business.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authorities, meanwhile, provided spot training and enrollment to interested individuals who want to attend technical courses.