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Sunday, February 19, 2017

DA suspends P60-million assistance for Butig, Lanao del Sur

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol suspends some P60-million intended for assistance to the town of Butig, in Lanao del Sur, after two of its councilors allegedly molested a female DA staff member.

The councilors, whose photo Pinol attached to his article posted in his FB account, allegedly touched the buttocks of Pinol's staff member while she was taking pictures.
"The staff, a good-looking engineer, said these two officials, whose names I still have to get, touched her butt while she was taking pictures and then laughed," Pinol said in his post.
Pinol and his staff were in Butig on February 9, 2017, in his effort "to reach out to the poorest areas in the country, and to provide assistance to the people."

During his trip he promised to "deliver interventions worth almost P60-million for the development of Butig."

Butig is claimed by the Maute Group, the Abu Sayyaf, and the local ISIS Group as the de facto capital of the Islamic Caliphate in the Philippines.

Because of the alleged incident, Pinol has suspended the assistance he promised to deliver.
"Through this post, I am informing Mayor Pansar that all the assistance for Butig that I promised to deliver will be put on hold until these two ill-mannered municipal councilors apologize to my female staff, to me and to the public for what they did," he said.
Pinol said he cannot just let the incident pass without repercussion.
"I cannot let this pass.  They not only molested my staff, but they also insulted and disrespected me."
Pinol also urged Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno "to take administrative sanctions against these two barbarians whose act now places the welfare of the whole town of Butig in jeopardy."

The Regional Secretary of the DILG in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said "an investigation will be conducted on the molstation of a Department of Agriculture engineer by two municipal councilors of Butig, Lanao del Sur on Feb. 19."

DILG ARMM Secretary Atty. Kirby Matalam Abdullah already called Mayor Pansar "to call the two councilors to explain in writing why they should not be reprimanded or worse suspended." 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"End of darkness" - 7 Lanao del Sur towns get electricity back


President Rody Duterte will be very pleased with this, more so the people of seven Lanao del Sur towns who have been living in darkness for four years now.

In a speed which President Duterte said people's complaints should be addressed and solved, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi yesterday ordered the immediate restoration of electric power in seven Lanao del Sur towns which have been suffering from a total black out since 2012.

Sec. Cusi cut short an engagement in the Bicol Region yesterday to meet with mayors and representatives of six towns who flew to Manila on Thursday to air their complaints on he failure of the government to deliver electric power to the towns in the coastal areas of Lanao del Sur served by the corruption-wracked Lanao Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO).

Cusi's immediate action will put an end to the long agony of the people of the seven towns who were deprived of electric power in the province which is the source of the water which powers the Agus River Hydro-Electric Facilities serving other provinces of Mindanao.

The Mayors were unanimous in their position to get out of the control of LASURECO which owes the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines an estimated P10-B in unpaid power bills.

They also denounced massive corruption in the cooperative citing as an example the release by the Aquino administration of P64-M shortly before the elections purportedly to address the problem.

It was found out yesterday that the money was used to buy over 20,000 units of electric power meter whose purchase was made after a bidding conducted by LASURECO.

Both the money and the power meters could not be accounted for.

"Bakit bibili ng kontador eh wala naman kaming kuryente?" asked Picong Mayor Alinader Balindong.

An incensed Cusi ordered the immediate investigation of the anomaly in the presence of the Lanao del Sur Mayors who were ecstatic over the quick action of the Energy Secretary.

"Alhamdullilah!" the Lanao del Sur executives shouted in unison upon hearing the immediate action of Sec. Cusi.

The absence of electric power in the seven towns was discovered during the Biyaheng Bukid sortie which I made in Lanao del Sur Thursday last week.

During the forum with farmers and fishermen in Malabang, I talked about establishing an ice-making facility in the town to help fishermen who were given fiber-glass fishing boats by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

My suggestion was met with blank stares by the people who then informed me that the ice plant could not be built because the town does not have electric power.

Shocked in utter disbelief that people could have withstood such injustice for over four years, I immediately called up Secretary Cusi to arrange a meeting between him and the Lanao del Sur officials.

In just a week, the agony of the people of the seven towns who have suffered for four years under an uncaring government will now come to an end.

Monday, February 13, 2017

President Duterte distributes food packs and burial assistance to Surigao City earthquake victims

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited and spoke before the people of Surigao City during the ceremonial distribution of family food packs and burial assistance at the Surigao City Hall Gymnasium, Surigao City.

The province was hit by a devastating 6.7 magnitude earthquake on Friday evening (February 10), damaging not only the infrastructure and roads, but most importantly, the lives of the Surigao residents.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported six (6) deaths and more than 100 injured.  The city was declared under a state of calamity.

In his speech, President Duterte shared his sentiments regarding the quake that hit Surigao.  
"..Naa sa Bibliya na ang tanang panghitabo diri sa kalibutan naa gyuy panahon... panahon sa kasadya, birthday, selebrasyon, araw... apan naa gyapon tay panahon sa kaguol.."  (There is a certain time for everything that happens in this world, time for happiness, birthday, celebrations, but there's also a time for worries), he said.
The President added that the government would help the people of Surigao.

"Naa koy buhiang kwarta gamay, sustehan gyud to nako 'tong mga nawad-an og panginabuhi."  (I will release a small amount of money and provide for those who lost their source of living), he stressed.
Moreover, the President expressed his views regarding the mining industry especially in Surigao where a number of mining companies are operating.  
"Og naa koy makit-an na industriya na makailis ana, basin ako gyud sirhan kay guba gyud ang atong kabukiran..."  (If I can find another industry that could replace that (mining), I might consider to close it because it really destroys our mountains), he said.
The Chief Executive was joined by Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who led the ceremonial distribution, Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones, Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, some national officials, and the local government officials of Surigao.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Duterte calls ex-Colombian president an idiot

That idiot.

This was President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's reaction to the unsolicited advice given by former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria on fighting the drug menace.

In remarks before officials and personnel of the Bureau of Customs on Wednesday, 8 February 2017, Duterte said shabu is more potent than cocaine, which is the most prevalent drug in Colombia.

"That is why to tell you frankly, they say Colombia has been lecturing me, that idiot.  They have cocaine there. more or less (like) marijuana, it's a bit OK, you can still communicate," Duterte said.

"But with shabu - it's mixed with batter water - it would give you an indication of what is going to happen inside your brain," he said, apparently trying to point out drug users in the Philippines were tougher to deal with.

Duterte shrugged off Gaviria's observation that he was repeating the mistakes of the former Colombian leader.

The Chief Executive had badmouthed high profile critics of his war on drugs - including former US president Barack Obama and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon among others.

"We have created five-million drug addicts, you are slaves better off than the slaves in the markets of Africa, slave markets of Middle East," Duterte said.

His spokesman Ernesto Abella, for his part, outlined the programs initiated by the administration to address the drug problem and lamented what he called the international media's fixation on issues of summary executions.

Duterte reiterated his vow to deal severely with the drug problem, saying it is his obligation to save the youth and the next generation.

"The drug industry has created or reduced some Filipinos to slavery.  That is what pains me.  Because once you are afflicted or contaminated with drugs, shabu is a very virulent chemical.  One year use, you lose your sanity," Duterte said.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Digong nagmano kay Thinking Pinoy

Nag "mano po" si President Digong Duterte kay TP o Thinking Pinoy, isang matapang na FB blogger, sa isang "meet and greet" session sa Malacanang Palace kahapon, 7 February 2017.

Let us listen to Thinking Pinoy's narration of their experience:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Duterte castigates 228 erring policemen

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte faces 228 erring policemen (scalawags) of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) - Philippine National Police (PNP) at the Malacanang Palace Grounds, Tuesday 7 February 2017.

The searing mid-afternoon heat was no match for President Duterte's controlled outburst, which was covered live on national television and various social media outlets.

It was his strongest condemnation yet of irregularities in the Philippine National Police, which came to the fore with the kidnap-slaying of South Korean executive Jee Ick-Joo right inside the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame.

"Are you angry with me?  Wait until I finish my term as President.  Let's have a gunfight.  Leche kayo," a fuming Duterte told the policemen.

"I will not think twice.  You will be the next victims of extra-judicial killings.  That's true," he warned them in a 13-minute dressing-down.

With their heads bowed, the policemen, some of whom have bulging stomach, silently stood in squad formation while their Commander in Chief was berating them in front of reporters in a shame campaign employed by embattled PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa.  [Jerome Aning, Marlon Ramos, INQUIRER].

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