Marawi ‘Bombed in Anger & Hatred’: Outrage & Outbreak of Hostilities Feared During Rehabilitation

Norodin Alonto Lucman, a Maranao intellectual and author, has access to photos and videos taken by a drone from the skyline of the war-torn Marawi City three days before the Marawi battle would turn full three months old. But he is staring blankly how the government will approach rehabilitation right after the war.

On Saturday, Norodin posted on his Facebook: “I don’t know how the government will address this issue of rehabilitation. A sweeping Rule of Law will have to be enforced to avert chaos and anarchy when people of Marawi will be finally allowed to survey the destruction of their hard-earned properties. Martial Law will be matched by outrage and most probably outbreak of widespread hostilities in the province. Obviously the city was bombed in anger and hatred as though the armed combatants were possessed by devil. The Datus will have their hands full in calming the situation. Only God knows.”

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On Aug. 2 Lucman posted: “PEOPLE ASK ME WHAT I THINK OF THE REHABILITATION PLAN FOR MARAWI AS ADVANCED BY INTEREST GROUPS, DUTERTE MORO ADVISERS AND POLITICIANS. THIS TOPIC COULD HAVE MADE PEOPLE HAPPY BEFORE THE SIEGE BUT NO.

THE CITY IS COMPLETELY ANNIHILATED, INCLUDING ITS RESIDENTS.

THE LOSS IS INCALCULABLE AND IT WILL TAKE YEARS AND MORE BLOODY SCORES TO SETTLE.

ON WHAT BASIS DID THESE PEOPLE ENVISIONED A REHABILITATION PLAN WITHOUT MAKING A THOROUGH FIELD ASSESSMENT OF THE DAMAGE?

WHAT IS THE EXTENT OF THE MILITARY RESERVATION IN MARAWI?

THIS IS A 2,000 HECTARE RESERVATION THAT COVERS SADUK, MATAMPAY, CAMP KEITHLEY (NPC), BANGON, BASAK MALUTLUT, MSU DAIRY FARM, OFFICER’S LINE, PROVINCIAL CAPITOL, UPPER BUADI SAKAYO AND GOD KNOWS WHERE.

THE WATER PIPES, DRAINAGE SYSTEM AND ELECTRIC POSTS ARE MOSTLY DESTROYED, MAIN AND ARTERIAL ROADS IN THE CITY WERE RUINED, BUILDINGS WEAKENED BY NON STOP AERIAL BOMBINGS AND THE CLEAN UP NEEDS MONTHS TO WRAP UP WITH THE HELP OF DEMOLITION AND HEALTH EXPERTS, PSYCHIATRISTS, SOCO, ARMY ENGINEERING BRIGADES, ARCHITECTS AND URBAN PLANNERS. MORE OR LESS 1,000 STRUCTURES WERE DESTROYED. HOW DID THESE PEOPLE CAME UP WITH A REHABILITATION PLAN? UNLESS THEY HAVE ULTERIOR MOTIVES.

PEOPLE WILL NOT TOLERATE CORRUPTION. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. DON’T BE A STAT.”

When the military finishes the battle and then it clears the area from the Maute ISIS terrorists, more grisly and shocking photos and videos would be shown and more sorrowful stories would be told to the whole world including the cries and wailings of the Maranao people.

We should avoid to be naive that just because the war will soon end, the Marawi evacuees can the just simply go back and start again.

Norodin Alonto Lucman is right to offer none on the best way to rehabilitate Marawi. But he implores for God, Allah to be the only one who knows how.

 

Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, The ‘Hybrid Politician’ of Compostela Valley | Find Out Why?

NEWSFEATURE:

Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga is said to be the “hybrid politician” of Compostela Valley.

Why? He is sort of a blend of three political greats in Comval, a sort of new political genome whose leadership traits were formed out cross-breed of positive leadership traits of late Congressman Prospero “Pros” Amatong, former Comval Governor Jose “Joecab” Caballero and former Governor and now provincial Board Member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy.

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Cong. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga talking with reporters and mediamen Wednesday at his newly-built cozy reception function hall just besides his house in poblacion Mawab Wednesday in time of the town’s parochial fiesta in honor of patron San Roque.   

When asked of this “hybrid” description to him tagged by some political pundits, first-termer Cong. and lawyer Gonzaga gamely agreed with, saying the gem of associations with Amatong, Caballero and Uy provided him good insights and learning on how to be good politician.

Cong. Gonzaga’s political career started when he first became a provincial board member in 1998-2001. On the second term of then Gov. Caballero, he was his vice governor in 2001-2004. Being in that post made him knew closely the positive leadership traits of Caballero.

In 2004 election, he ran for congressman and lost to political giant Pros Amatong in what appeared as a David-Goliath battle where David did not make it.  In 2004-2007 he was in political furlough, and had to go fulltime lawyer.

In 2007 he made a political comeback by running for board member under the Uswag Comval Party led by then Gov. Chiongkee Uy. He won and went on winning two successive terms.

His 2007 comeback allowed him to reconcile with ex-Cong Pros. Amatong and his political successor son then Cong. Rommel “Bobong” Amatong. This allowed Gonzaga to know more on the positive leadership traits of the iconic Pros Amatong.

In an interview with Cong. Gonzaga Wednesday, during Mawab’s parochial fiesta, he informed that Cong. Pros Amatong has sort of prophesy to him when he advised him to help son Bobong’s congressional bids, saying “kay ikaw na ang sunod nga kongresman Ruwel.” Pros Amatong’s words became true indeed.

As he became board member on the second round for three straight terms in Comval under the leadership of then Gov. Chiongkee Uy, he learned a lot of the governor’s positive leadership traits as he proved to be a prolific provincial legislator chairing the committees on legal matters, resolutions, ordinances and style and on justice and public safety.

“It’s really destiny that I become a congressman,” he said.

He recalled that he was focused on his prospect of running for mayor in Mawab as he was already on his last term as board member. Towards the run-up to the filing of candidacy in the 2016 polls, Gov. Chiongkee later told him to prepare to run for Congress, while his elder brother now Mayor Ruperto “Rupet” Gonzaga III would gun for mayorship.

He said the governor’s advice was based on a survey where he led by a narrow percentage than the name of ex-Gov. Joecab Caballero, who would later become his rival in the congressional race last year. He had only 49% to 51% leading slim over Joecab.

He added it was a risky try knowing that he and his brother Rupet had no enough money to wage two political battles. Uy and hometown supporters vowed to back them up.

But in the end, both Gonzagas won. Cong. Ruwel got 90,527 votes while Joecab got 79,842 votes, resulting to a margin of 10,685 votes. Mayor Rupet got 10,956 votes while rival ex-Mayor Samuel Jampayas got 7,904, resulting a margin of 2,781 votes.

Now Cong. Gonzaga is an active PDP member and has to thank for the confidence of Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and House leaders to him. In the recent congressional committee hearings he had been assigned to sit at the front row.

After a year of being a congressman, he is coming true to his form as a prolific legislator with 32 House Bills he authored, one of which is HB No. 04633, “an act renaming the province of Compostela Valley into Davao de Oro Province, amending for the purpose pertinent portions of Republic Act No. 8470. The bill is now at the Committee on Local Government.

He said he got his inspiration and strength from his late father Ruperto, who was a lawyer and provincial board member for 15 years (1971-1986) during the old divided Davao del Norte. “It’s him who molded me, who gave me the words to live by, that men who have a virtues would last in the world.”

He added his principle is life is “ayaw gyod pagpaubos ug tawo (never ever downgrade anybody)”, and he hates abuse in public coming from his family or relatives.

Cong. Ruwel is married to Judge Dorothy M. Gonzaga assigned at Regional Trial Court in Panabo City. They are blessed with three children- Thea Petricia, Theodore Peter and Theo Patrick.(mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Samal Sandbar, the ‘Vanishing Island’ Eyed by ACES Honcho Developed for P50M Floating Aqua Marine Park

ACES school honcho Dr. Francisco Dela Peña , Jr. is bidding to the Island Garden City of Samal authorities to give him authority to develop around five-hectare in the known Samal Sandbar, also dubbed as the “vanishing island”, to be developed as world-class, exotic, floating aqua marine tourism park.

“I can spend test for millions, and if you find it not good, then you can kick me out,” Dela Peña told members of the island’s City Council Tuesday in his appearance to brief them on his plan to invest P50 million to fund for a world-class, environment-friendly facilities “all floating over the known Samal sandbar, the “vanishing island” as it only appears  during low tide. It is located at Barangay Tambo.

samal sandbar
(photo credit via samal.gov.ph)

Dela Peña is the owner of a chain of voc-tech schools known as ACES Polytechnic College that first flourished in Davao del Norte.

He made his presentation of his plan to develop the sandbar with all-floating cottages made bamboo and indigenous materials with complete waste segregation, “no foul smell” and recycling technology, underwater park with exotic fishes, clams, corals, good, which are ideal for snorkeling.

He added it would be seen as one good floating resort that could also be a training center, source of  employment of Samal residents, “one that that protects the natural habitat of marine life”, an attraction for local and foreign tourists, “which will truly make IGACOS a global destination with purely locally inspired attraction.”

Dela Peña promised he can guarantee for the placement of a waste management and waste recycling technology developed by him in his school to protect the sandbar area.

A monthly rental scheme could be derived by the city from the operator of the resort at a term of 25 years.

Councilor Charles Ligan said the project that Dela Peña offered is feasible but he said there are “claimants” in the sandbar area, among whom is Davao City businessman Joe Tesado.

The councilor however moved that the Dela Peña’s plan be referred to the environment and tourism committees while the city environment office would be inquired on the latest information pertaining the island’s sandbar.

Vice Mayor Orly Amit recalled that in the past there was someone interested to put up a high-end hotel at the sandbar area but the plan fizzled out later. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

NEA Makes Management Takeover in DANECO, New Acting GM is Engr. Galarce of ASELCO

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) through its Task Force Duterte Northern Davao Power made a management takeover Thursday to the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco)that designated new managers coming from other electric coops in Mindanao.

NEA’s Task Force Duterte NDP chairman Eric Bucoy announced the management takeover as ordered by NEA during the general assembly of Daneco employees held at the College Seminary Chapel in Tagum City Thursday afternoon.

daneco employees assembly
Historic general assembly of Daneco employees when the NEA’s six-month management takeover was announced

“The management takeover is temporary. Our challenge is to bring back Daneco to its limelight. As to our timeline, maybe six months is too long. Within the period we will aim to have 100-percent collection efficiency, to become Triple A category electric cooperative,” said Bucoy, whom Malacanang through NEA appointed as the man to troubleshoot the long ailing and financially troubled Daneco.

NEA has designated Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (Aselco) General Manager Engr. Emmanuel Galarce as Daneco’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Agusan del Sur II Electric Cooperative (Surseco II) General Manager Iglorio Hinayon as Daneco’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Other new management officers were also designated like Mario Angelo Sotto as the deputy COO 0for the administration-finance department while the last acting general manager Benedicto Ongking was assigned back to his old post as the technical department manager in Daneco-Comval office.

Bucoy said that the positions CEO and COO are latest NEA’s management innovations. “The CEO gets its mandate from the Board of Directors, the COO is the acting general manager who is responsible to the daily operations of the electric cooperative and he is under the CEO,” he added.

Witnessing the formal announcement of NEA’s management takeover were other members of the Task Force Duterte NDP who are general managers and board presidents of other electric coops in Mindanao, Philippine Electricity Market Board Member and Leyte  Electric Cooperative General Manager Allan Laniba and the 13­-man Daneco board of directors.

Bucoy at the same time ordered for the halt of the old practice of employees of paying their electric bills through salary deduction but rather on or before the due date of their electric bills as their contribution to target of increasing collection efficiency and decreasing system loss.

He assured employees that under the new structure nobody would be displaced from employment but those “doing wrong and having conflict of interest would be terminated.”

In an interview, Bucoy refused comment on what would be done to the still rivaling “Daneco CDA” group that accordingly is still doing clandestine collections but is not paying power obligations.

Bucoy was President Duterte’s campaign manager in Visayas during the last 2016 election. He is a known electric consumerist leader in Cebu.

However, a Daneco insider said that an agreement had already been struck for the “Daneco CDA” group to be “pardoned” than sued with syndicated estafa based on the Bucoy’s “amnesia” principle of moving on so long that the group would dissolve itself.

But Bucoy sounded off during his talk before the employees that he could have earlier opted for cease and desist order (CDO) to stop the group when the Task Force Duterte NDP was constituted by NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong last February pursuant to NEA’s step-in powers over ailing electric coops. “But CDO is our last alternative.”

He also asked employees to stop the use of “Daneco NEA” and “Daneco CDA” as reference, adding that it is only one Daneco that has authority with the NEA and a franchise to distribute power.

An audit for both Daneco and the “Daneco CDA” group by external auditor would also be conducted.

Daneco is already past of its legal battle phase with the “Daneco CDA” group  with Daneco winning in all of the cases up to the Supreme Court. The “Daneco CDA” group has still its unrevoked CDA registration.

But it is experiencing losing financial streak as it has a trouble of not regularly meeting its power obligations by its collections resulting to several debt restructuring cases.

There is also talk that Daneco inevitably would be divided into three electric coops, one for Comval, another for Davao del Norte and another Samal Island come the expiration of Daneco’s congressional franchise in 2028.

To prepare for this eventuality, newly-designated COO Galarce told the employees that under his management the Samal area, Davao del Norte area and Comval area would have a “friendly competition” but when one falters the other areas would come to help for augmentation.

He also said that legal actions and apprehensions would be launched to stop power pilferages that contribute to the problem on collection and system loss. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Mayor Rellon: Tagum Readying for Mindanao Railway, 1-Km Flyover, P680M loan-backed projects

The Tagum City government is readying for the implementation of big-ticket national projects that would benefit the city even while it is currently processing to avail a P680-million loan to fund it own high-impact projects.

Mayor  Allan Rellon said in an interview Tuesday that the city government has been proactively working to support national projects such as the Mindanao Railway Project’s Tagum-Davao-Digos segment, the bypass road at Canocotan and the 1-kilometer flyover that would stretch over from the vicinity of Car Asia to vicinity of CAP building.

tagum city mayor allan rellon
A usual scene at the office of Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon at the New City Hall (mindanaoosunchronicle.com)

He said he learned that the Mindanao railway’s Tagum-Digos loop project would be started next year while the engineering works for the flyover project have been recently done and actual works for the bypass road at Barangay Canocotan have been started already.

He said that for the part of the city government it has been readying to avail a P680-million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines to fund various high-impact projects, which would all commence early next year.

The new projects under the Rellon administration would include the P190-million 1,000-seater Cultural Historical Center that would transform the old city hall,  the P60-million traffic light project, the P30-million landfill at Nueva Fuerza, the P14-million new  PNP building and compound with indoor shooting range, the P30-million “third building” at Totit (Tagum Overland Transport Integrated Terminal), the P8-million meditation center in the New City Hall area, and two P3-million mall-like child minding centers.

Meanwhile, an unveiling ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon to formally launch the Center for Justice and Transformation out of the old Sangguniang Panglungsod building, for which the city government has agreed that it is now be used for the offices of the National Prosecution Service, Public Attorney’s Office and Parole and Probation Office.

The City Council earlier gave Mayor Rellon authority to sign for and in behalf of the city government to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Justice for office use of said justice agencies.

“The structure is the embodiment of the ten-point agenda of the present administration under the auspices of the “Eagles Wings” program and the living monument of its enduring commitment for transformative justice,” states the unveiled marker placed in the building. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Pasay Councilor Shot Before Gunned Down in SM Southmall

3rd Update

Close before 10 P.M. Saturday, a netizen posted on his Facebook: “A Pasay City Councilor was gunned down outside SM Southmall. This was the 2nd attempt. First was June 23 in Macapagal Blvd.”

Few minutes prior that post, the netizen Jo Soliman posted a photo saying an unidentified male customer was gunned down.

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(photo: via Facebook – Jo Soliman)

A brief Google search of words “Pasay councilor shot” led to an earlier news that a  “Pasay City councilor and one of his bodyguards were shot and wounded by still-unidentified gunmen who waited for the local official to come out of a bar” early morning of June 23, 2017, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

PDI on that June 23 incident identified the victim as “Borbie Rivera, 39, and his security aide Alex Dominguez, 54, remained under observation in the hospital after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in the attack outside Titan Z International Entertainment bar on Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard also in Pasay.”

Indeed, it was Councilor Rivera who was gunned down, according to Rappler. He was brought to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Sara Duterte Demands Apology from Mega Harbour’s Romero for Calling Her “Reckless, Callous, Unethical”

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte demanded an apology Thursday from Mega Harbour executives for calling her “reckless, callous and unethical individual” besides threatening her with legal suits for junking the P39-billion mega harbour and reclamation project.

She bared to the media her worded letter apparently addressed to Mega Harbour Port and Development Corporation’s executives led by its chairman Reghis Ramiro II.

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(photo via Facebook-Davao City Government)

Last week Duterte announced she terminated the joint venture project dubbed as Davao Coastline Development and Development Project, citing environmental, social and commercial impacts for which the city can actually move foward and answer the call of economic growth without it.

Here is the mayor’s full letter:

“I do not wish to belabor with you on the merits and bases of the joint venture agreement. We can save that argument for the right time and the proper venue.

Contrary to your claim, you were given notice when my letter informing you of my decision was received by your office. This fact was duly acknowledged in your letter dated July 27, 2017.

A careful review of my actions betrays your accusation that I have put your company in a “bad light” and “tarnished even blackened beyond repair your reputation.” Nothing in my statement could also reflect that I subjected you to “immeasurable humiliation or ridiculed men and women from your company.”

As local chief executive, I have the obligation to inform the public of my decision after a year of telling them that I will review the project documents. The fulfillment of my obligation is not publicity, it is accountability.

Let me remind you, that sometime 2011, I was the Mayor when your officers first presented this project to the City Government of Davao. I was the person who sat on the chair across your people who explained the project.

This time, I am again the Mayor and I have no obligation to repeatedly sit down and listen to you. My option was to review all the documents that you have submitted to the City Government. I thoroughly read all the materials and minutes of meetings, including your presentation to the NEDA Regional Infrastructure Development Committee.

It took me a year to articulate my decision because I had to diligently go through all your documents. I also had to hire consultants who independently assessed and vetted the project.

These bare the truth of my direct involvement in the process — even more than your definition of what a direct involvement is, which is to simply sit down with you, look at your glossy presentations, and listen to your briefings.

I purposely did not disclose what information significantly formed part of my decision to terminate the agreement because I expected a legal case from your end.

What I did not expect from you is to call me out as a reckless, callous and unethical individual. You should be the last person to speak about ethics if you write letters such as the one I received.

Finally, it is utterly fiddling of you to threaten me with a legal suit should I continue to fulfill my obligation to explain to the public why I terminated the agreement. And you certainly do not have the right to tell me how and when I should do my job.

I demand an apology.

– Sara Duterte-Carpio

Mayor

Davao City”