Mindanao Times http://mindanaotimes.net Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:58:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 New body, new crime http://mindanaotimes.net/new-body-new-crime/ http://mindanaotimes.net/new-body-new-crime/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:27:36 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60324 ]]> -Mr. X could have been killed, dumped inside burnt mall

POLICE investigators are digging deeper into the case of the remains found inside the burnt NCCC Mall.
This after autopsy result shows that the still unidentified man died just around two weeks ago.

The investigation will include the identifying of the victim and the tampering of the crime scene.

Chief Insp. Ronald Lao, Talomo Police Precinct commander, said they are investigating workers and officials who are undertaking the demolition of the NCCC Mall.

“There is a probability that the victim is a worker,” Lao told ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol yesterday afternoon.

The body sustained third degree burns and is in a state of decomposition for 12 to 16 days – or he was killed some time in the last week of June up to the first week of July. The body was found on July 11 — six months after the fire — by laborer named Rudy Manatad.

Lao said the demolition team was already operating at the mall by the time that the crime happened.
The DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI), through Asdec Builders, started on May 19 the four-month demolition of the NCCC Mall that was severely damaged by fire on Dec. 23.

There are at least 300 laborers currently doing the demolition. Lao said they are also tracing 22 former laborers who were relieved, transferred or fired from work.

Most of the relieved laborers were said to be from Manila.

“Let’s check if all of them returned home,” Lao said. “We will ask the relatives if they (the laborers) really returned home.

He said the burnt mall now has high fence and it is very remote that looters or outsiders could still enter the area.

Before the property was fenced, Lao said security staff endorsed someone to the Talomo police precinct for salvaging scrap irons. That someone, Lao said, was confirmed to have returned home.

Lao said they will look into the master list of the workers.

“Let’s check attendance,” the police station commander said.

They are also tracing if laborers observed any suspicious activity during that time, or they could have seen a man wearing the outfit similar to the one worn by the victim.

The victim was said to be wearing a polo shirt. A silver-colored watch was also recovered. The skeleton was found beneath a pile of damaged ceramic plate at the porcelain area.

Members of the demolition team who found the body will also be investigated for tampering with the crime scene.

The remains were already placed in a Styrofoam box when police investigators arrived at the crime scene.

“They should have not touched anything,” Lao said.

Sr. Insp. Bernie Suaga, Lao’s deputy, said they have not received any recent report on a missing person.

As the autopsy report established that the body is a male victim, the earlier theory that it could be Alexandra Moreno-Castillo is now put to rest.

Senior Fire Officer 2 Ramil GiIllado earlier said they are now discounting the possibility that it’s Castillo, the last of the claimed victims.

Relatives of Castillo only settled for a key chain and a body part found at the fire scene.

The NCCC Mall was burned on Dec. 23. killing 37 call center agents and one NCCC Mall security officer. All were already claimed.

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Freeze | 3 Davao PISAY SMC scholars shine in 2018 IHBB Asian Division http://mindanaotimes.net/freeze-3-davao-pisay-smc-scholars-shine-in-2018-ihbb-asian-division/ http://mindanaotimes.net/freeze-3-davao-pisay-smc-scholars-shine-in-2018-ihbb-asian-division/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:22:10 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60322 ]]> Grade 9 students from Philippine Science High School – Southern Mindanao Campus brought honor to the country when they joined the International History Bee and Bowl – Asian Division on June 15 to 17, 2018, in Thailand by winning spots in the championships.

Faustina Sofia Castro, Josh Sexcion, and Joseph John Gonzales won Team Awards: 2nd Place in the 2018 Academic Bowl of Asia – Junior Varsity Division and Quarter Finalist in the International History Bowl 2018 Asian Championship – Junior Division.

Individually, Josh Ahiezer Sexcion bagged 1st place in the International History Open Bee Asian Championship – Junior Division and Joseph John Gonzales entered the semi-finals in the International History Bee 2018 Asian Championship – Junior Varsity Division.

The IHBB 2018 Asian Championships took place at JW Marriot Lak Resort and Spa, Khao Lak, Khuk Kak, Thailand.

The International History Bee and Bowl (IHBB) are history quiz competitions for individual students and school teams outside the United States. Within the United States, students compete in the comparable National History Bee and Bowl; the same organization, International Academic Competitions, oversees the International and National (i.e. American) tournaments. The International History Bee and Bowl debuted in the 2011-2012 school year in Europe and Asia.

The International History Bee and Bowl test knowledge of all aspects of history in a buzzer-based competition format, which bears a resemblance to some television quiz shows. However, unlike on a quiz show most IHBB questions are paragraph-length, and move from harder to easier information. When students think they know the answer, they ring in with the buzzer. If they are correct, they, or their team members get points, if incorrect, then the other students (in the History Bee) or the other team (in the History Bowl) has an opportunity to hear the rest of the question. All IHBB matches are conducted in English – tournaments in other languages may be added at some point in the future. (Wikipedia)

Last March 3, 2018, Faustina Sofia Castro, Josh Sexcion and Joseph John Gonzales competed in the International History Bee and Bowl – Philippine Regionals at La Salle Greenhills. They won as champion in the Junior Division Category of the Quiz Bowl along with another PSHS-SMC Grade 9 scholar, Cyrus Mari Lopez. This qualified them to join in the Asian Division in Thailand and in the History Olympiad in Berlin Germany. In the said competition, Cyrus also bagged the second place in the Quiz Bee, Junior Varsity Division. While Faustina Sofia Castro and Joseph John Gonzales got in the semi-final rounds.

During the said competition, the Varsity Division of the PSHS-SMC composed of Timothy John Najarro and Cyro Defensor also won as champion in the Quiz Bowl. Both also qualified in the Asian Division in Thailand and in the History Olympiad in Berlin Germany, though they were not able to join.

Their coach, Miss Krishna Mie C. Zabate, accompanied the team. Miss Zabate is a faculty of the Social Science Unit of PSHS-SMC.

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Cultural Potpourri | Biag is back! http://mindanaotimes.net/cultural-potpourri-biag-is-back/ http://mindanaotimes.net/cultural-potpourri-biag-is-back/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:18:57 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60320 ]]> It was a few weeks ago when I found a small pack of chocolates on our dining table waiting for me. Our household assistant said it came from Bian.

But when I read the message written on the box, I was so surprised to find out it was actually a “pasalubong” from Biag. Yes, Biag Gaongen is back. Who is Biag Gaongen?

Biag is the Igorot Ballet Dancer I’ve written about several times in the past 10 years. Former principal dancer of Ballet Philippines (1999-2009), dance artist of Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theater (2009-2010), Austria’s Tanz Oper Graz (2011-2013), Biag is the “bunso” of Agnes Locsin’s Manila-bred “babies.” And he seems to be the favorite of the dance maestra.

A recurring knee injury forced Biag to hang his professional dance shoes; and so, he decided to pursue a masteral degree in the academic world of dance. The past three years saw Biag laboring through books and research papers as he studied to acquire an MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) in Dance at the Ohio State University (OSU or Ohio State) in the USA.

It has to be mentioned though that even as Biag left the professional dance scene, he kept dancing in productions of the Carmen Dakudao-Locsin Foundation here in Davao. He was seen performing and choreographing in Agnes Locsin’s Alay Sa Puno Series (UGAT:Unang Galaw, SANGA: Ika-Apat na Galaw, BULAK: Ika-Limang na Galaw, and BUNGA: Huling Galaw). He was also Locsin Dance Workshop’s (LDW) associate artistic director as well as dance teacher to LDW’s advance students before he left for OSU.

His three-year study at Ohio State should have been a straight stay at the US, but Biag came home last year to participate in ICONS, the 70th Anniversary Celebration of the Locsin Dance Workshop. I believe he couldn’t say no to his Nanang, aka Agnes Locsin, so he came home to help out in the production of his “home” studio.

Biag graduated from Ohio State University last May after he successfully performed and submitted his thesis entitled Locomotion: Gained in Translation (a dance film exploration and fusion of movements by dancers of varied dance training) last March; and was back in Davao last June. He’s back teaching the intermediate and advanced ballet classes at LDW.

So what’s next, Biag? “After my much needed rest, one month lang ang bigay ni Nanang, I’m doing a show here at the Locsin Dance Workshop. Post-masteral thesis ko daw for Nanang, sabi nya. For now, that’s my main focus. Mas matindi pa sa thesis ko! But I’m so glad to be back home… in the Philippines and in Davao. Uwing-uwi na ako since last year pa.”

We too are glad you’re back, Biag. Looking forward to this show you’re putting together. Tell us more, soon. Perhaps, we can have our lunch or dinner date this time which we have been planning for years.

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7 stores warned for SSS violation http://mindanaotimes.net/7-stores-warned-for-sss-violation/ http://mindanaotimes.net/7-stores-warned-for-sss-violation/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:09:52 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60317 ]]> SEVEN establishments in the city’s Chinatown were served yesterday with show cause orders after an on-site inspection by the Run After Contribution Evaders (RACE) team of the Social Security Service (SSS) found some violations.

SSS president and chief executive office lawyer Emmanuel Dooc personally led SSS Davao officials in the inspection of stores located from Magsaysay Park up to Sales Street.

The warned establishments include S&A Fashion, Royal Valley Fashion Accessories, Sky Cellbronze Trading, I Smart, Celedenio A Java Sr/Celarlene Man, Z Toys and Candies, and RJK Builders.

Common liabilities among the raided establishments are non-remittance and non-reporting of the employee’s contributions.

A non-extendable period of 15 days will be given to the establishments to reply. Failure of compliance may bring SSS to file legal action and upon conviction may lead to a penalty of up to 12 years of imprisonment.

Anne (family name withheld), a saleslady of one of the establishments, said their SSS contributions is no longer deducted from their salary as it is paid by their store owner. However, it is their bookkeeper who failed the job to remit the contribution to the SSS office.

“Hindi ninyo nirerehistro at ibinabayad ang kontribusyon ng inyong mga empleyado. Sa pagsisiyasat namin, marami kayong empleyado rito. Kawawa naman kung may mangyayari sa kanila, wala silang benepisyong tatanggapin mula sa SSS (You don’t register your employees and remit their contribution. Based on our investigation, you have a number of employees. It will be their loss if something happens to them because they won’t get any SSS benefit),”Dooc told a staff member of the investigated establishments.

The RACE in the city is part of the launching of the “SULIT sa SSS” campaign of the agency that has already kicked-off among other regions in the country.

Next week, the SSS team will proceed to General Santos City for the launching of RACE.

Officials from SSS Davao Branch will continue running after evaders even after the launch. They are hopeful that establishment employers in Davao will learn after the summoned establishments to abide by the SSS law.

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‘Owner’ of drug den served with warrant http://mindanaotimes.net/owner-of-drug-den-served-with-warrant/ http://mindanaotimes.net/owner-of-drug-den-served-with-warrant/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:03:14 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60314 ]]> An alleged owner of a drug den was arrested by operatives of the Talomo Police Precinct in an operation conducted in Matina Gravahan, Barangay Matina Crossing, Talomo District on Friday.

Talomo police officers, led by station commander Chief Insp. Ronald Lao, together with the agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), served the search warrant on Dennis Pagoya Cosep.

Lao said Cosep was considered a high-value target by the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

Seized during the operation were five small sachets of shabu, empty sachets with residue and drug paraphernalia. The apprehended suspect and the pieces of evidence are now under the custody of Talomo police for proper disposition.

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Alleged NPA rebel’s remains discovered in Surigao Norte http://mindanaotimes.net/alleged-npa-rebels-remains-discovered-in-surigao-norte/ http://mindanaotimes.net/alleged-npa-rebels-remains-discovered-in-surigao-norte/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:00:55 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60304 ]]> Troops of 30th Infantry Battalion recovered a decomposing body of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army on Saturday around 3 p.m. at Barangay Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.

Lt. Tere Ingente, the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said that earlier that day, residents reported to the 30th IB’s Community Support Program (CSP) team deployed in the area the foul scent that came from the mountainous part of the said community.

“From the information received, our CSP team, together with the barangay captain and local tanods, went to the area to check where and what caused the foul scent. Around one kilometer from the community, the group found a decomposing body of an NPA terrorist,” Lt. Col. Allen Tomas explained.

Found with the body were a pair of rain boots, and a bandolier, a Spikes Tactical SL15 Striker 5.56mm rifle, four magazines and 81 rounds of ammunition. The recovered body and items were directly brought to the barangay.

It can be recalled that last July 10, there was a 15-minute firefight between troops of 30IB and 10 NPAs of Sangay ng Partido sa Platun 16C (SPP16C), Guerrilla Front Committee 16 (GFC16) of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC) at the vicinity of same barangay, Gigaquit town.

There was no casualty reported in the troops of 30IB yet, bloodstains show that there were casualties from the NPAs SPP16C.
“After four days of the encounter in Barangay Lahi, our troops found a dead NPA terrorist left by his comrade,” Brig. Gen. Nemesio Gacal, commander of 403rd Infantry Brigade, said.

“This is not the first incident where NPA terrorists leave their dead comrade in the encounter site,” Gacal said.

“They even did not inform the family nor gave a decent burial. Further, we would like to thank the residents of Barangay Lahi that led to the recovery of the body so it can finally be turned over to his family and be given a decent burial,” he further said.

Moreover, the body was claimed and identified as Romel Tac-an Also Known as alias Jasper, the vice commander of SPP16C. She said he was identified by his father, Jaime Tac-an.

Maj. Gen Ronald Villanueva extended his sympathies to the families of the Tac-an.

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Rough Cuts | Cop exodus: Who gets the P20K payoff? http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-cop-exodus-who-gets-the-p20k-payoff/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-cop-exodus-who-gets-the-p20k-payoff/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:00:52 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60290 ]]> We have written about these before; we are writing and will be writing about it again and again if we will observe that concerned government offices are not making any effort to check what could develop into problems in the very near future.

One: we wrote about the allocation by certain persons of spaces on a sidewalk of MacArthur Highway specifically at the vicinity of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and the SPED High School in Bangkal as site of a small makeshift store catering to the needs students. And most of the items that small store sells are unhealthy junk foods that young kids love to eat.

Then just at the foot of the ladder of the overpass it is very noticeable that certain enterprising individuals are using a space where repairs of vehicle radiator and other minor engine defects can be repaired.

We know that the operators of these small enterprises are only making an honest living. But by ignoring their presence in an area where these livelihood activities are not allowed is actually mocking the laws or ordinances that supposedly prohibit their operation in such places.

But why are they there in the first place? Why are they violating the ordinances or laws that specifically ban the use of spaces along highways so that pedestrians can have unhampered access in these places?

Most likely because they know that seldom that a team from the City Engineer’s Office, or even from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) do inspection or monitoring of places highly vulnerable to encroachment by human enterprise.

What then are those ordinances or laws prohibiting such act of invading street sidewalks or highways easements for if no government authorities – local or national – are out there to implement such laws?

How then can government demand compliance of laws and ordinances if even in simple inspection of roadsides and waterways they cannot find time to do it?

Two: A week or two back we came across a report in some Davao dailies that the city is planning to acquire a 15-story high ladder to be able to respond should there be calls for firefighting assistance in one of the city’s growing number of high-rise condominiums.

This report only highlights the situation where Davao City is several steps behind the growth of its skyline when the local government should not.

Look, the city government has long been approving construction permits for building of hotels and condos towering over 30 floors. In other words, the city cannot claim ignorance of the vertical development of the city.

So, it should have immediately taken steps to purchase such firefighting equipment even as it considered approving applications for new high rise construction.

But the city apparently ignored the fact that it is wanting in facilities and equipment to fight fire several meters above the ground.

In other words, when the city approved applications for the construction of multi-story buildings years back and which edifices are now in place, the approving authorities might never have thought that one day the city’s and even national firefighters, will be confronted with such deficiency in equipment.

Good thing that the city has awakened from its stupor. Of course the move is late vis-à-vis the present number of skyscrapers in the city. But as the saying goes, “It’s better late than never at all.” So, if it is really bent on acquiring such fire ladder, it has to do it fast and not wait that what is feared to happen would happen and renders the firefighters inutile.

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This report is quite unusual.

Some policemen assigned at the Regional PNP Office and the Davao City Police Office are willing to pay as much as P20,000 just to get a reassignment order to other police offices outside of the city?

Wow! That amount is more than one half month of the present salary level of the lowest ranked policeman. But if the report is true then these policemen seeking transfer must have a lot of money earned from somewhere. And they are willing to part with it just to get out of their current assignment.

According to City Police Director Alexander Tagum most of those who have requested for transfer to other units outside of the city are claiming to have difficulties complying with their work.

Why, what makes the work of policemen assigned in other commands easier that those with the regional office or the DCPO?
Didn’t all policemen undergo the same training?

And by the way, the investigation as to the veracity of the reported P20,000 payoff may have already been completed by now.

Wonder if either the police regional director or the city director can already disclose who gets the payment and how many have already paid such amount.

That is corruption, any which way it be looked at.

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Japan, DOF to sign eco agreement http://mindanaotimes.net/japan-dof-to-sign-eco-agreement/ http://mindanaotimes.net/japan-dof-to-sign-eco-agreement/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:00:51 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60310 ]]> The construction of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) projects is about to roll-off especially that the Japanese Government is already waiting for the signing of the agent agreement with the Department of Finance.

Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo, the project manager, explained that as soon as the agreement will be signed, the procurement agency from Japan along with the project management team and the Department of Finance will work to finalize the selection of the legal, financial, and technical consultants to assist on the success of the project.

The next steps will include the bidding for the entity for design, construction, operation, and maintenance.

The WTE project is a joint initiative of Japan and Philippines, with Davao City as its recipient and site of construction, after the applying to the National Economic Development Agency XI.

The Solid Waste Management is among the top 10 priority agenda of Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, which aims to address an efficient and sustainable waste management in the city, an official of the City Information Office, said in a statement.

Japan has already signed a grant of ¥5,103 billion to fund the implementation of the project.

The city and Japan has a long history of strong ties. Mayor Duterte even visited a WTE facility in Kitakyushu City, Japan last year.

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City Hall to install elevators for PWDs http://mindanaotimes.net/city-hall-to-install-elevators-for-pwds/ http://mindanaotimes.net/city-hall-to-install-elevators-for-pwds/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:00:50 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60306 ]]> City Hall plans to build elevators in the building to cater to employees and Davaoeños with special needs.

One of the considerations, however, is that City Hall is a cultural heritage building so any renovation needs to undergo the process of approval acquisition from the Office of the Mayor.

City Social Services Development Officer (CSSDO) Maria Luisa Bermudo said that there are about 30 PWD employees distributed among the Office of the Mayor, CSSDO Districts Offices, Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) and other offices. These are mostly job orders and contracts of service employees.

She said that they haven’t yet reached the ideal number of five percent of the total number of employees who should be persons with disabilities. Bermudo said they hope to increase the number in the next few years so the PWDs. “will be given equal employment opportunities.”

Bermudo also anticipate that more private firms, not just the city government, will hire more PWDs in the coming years. The city is celebrating the Disability Awareness Week on July 16-20, 2018.

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2 NPA rebels bring rifles in surrender http://mindanaotimes.net/2-npa-rebels-bring-rifles-in-surrender/ http://mindanaotimes.net/2-npa-rebels-bring-rifles-in-surrender/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:00:44 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60312 ]]> Another two members of the New People’s Army surrendered to the 8th Infantry Battalion last Friday, July 13.
1Lt. Tere Ingente, the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, identified one of the surrenderees as alias Sander, 20, and a member of Squad 3 Pedler, Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC2), North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC).

Sander also brought along one US Springfield rifle.

Meanwhile, at around 4 p.m. of the same day, alias Jems, 20, a member of Squad 1, Platoon Jade, Sandatahang Platun Pampropaganda 3 (SPP3) Toto, Guerrilla Front 4B (GF4B), NCMRC also surrendered to the said unit bringing one Carbine rifle and live ammunition.

Last July 5, 118 CPP-NPA supporters and Milisyang Bayan (MB) members pledged support to the government through the joint effort of the local government of Impasugong and 8IB’s Community Support Program (CSP) team in Barangay Bulonay, Impasugong, Bukidnon.

“It is never too late for the victims of the CPP-NPA ideology to see the truth behind the lies,” Lt. Col Ronald Illana, commander of 8th IB said.

He said the government had laid down plans and programs to help communities and that there is no need for them to join any armed struggle.

“Moreover, people now appreciate the dedication and commitment of the government in order to achieve just and lasting peace,” Illana said.

Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of 403rd Infantry Brigade, appreciated the decision of the two former NPAs to finally embrace peace and return to the folds of the law.

“The surrender of these two victims of deception and lies of the CPP-NPA only proves that this terrorist organization is continuously violating the International Humanitarian Law by forcing civilians to become part of hostilities,” he added.

The Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) is the government’s program for former rebels and MB where surrenderees will receive assistance from the different government agencies to help them return back to their normal lives.

“Our government has been very supportive to the NPA members who decided to go back to the mainstream society and be partners for peace,” Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of 4th Infantry Division, said.

“In fact, President Duterte has invited three batches of former rebels for a tour in Manila and dine with him in Malacañang Palace,” Villanueva said.

He has also promised female former rebels for a trip to Hong Kong.

“Now, he has ECLIP where additional benefits for surrenderees await. He has done extraordinary things just to end the almost 50 years war with the NPA terrorists to pave way for a lasting peace for the Philippines,” he said.

“Further, I urge other members of the NPA who long for their families left at home, now is the right time to return to them and experience a life away from hunger, fear and chaos,” the division commander added.

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