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Friday, March 27, 2015

Ruderic C. Marzo takes oath as Iligan City Acting Mayor

ILIGAN CITY (27 Mar 2015) - Vice Mayor Ruderic C. Marzo and City Councilor Providencio A. Abragan Jr., took turns in taking their respective oath of office as Acting Mayor of Iligan City and Acting Vice-Mayor, just minutes after the DILG-Region 10 Director Atty. Rene K. Burdeos pasted unto the wall near the gate of the City Hall Building a copy of the the Memorandum from the DILG Undersecretary Austere A. Panadero directing him to cause the implementation of the Decision from the Office of the President against respondent Mayor Celso G. Regencia.

The oath-taking ceremony, which was witnessed by Atty. Burdeos himself, was held at the stage of the ABC Hall in Barangay Pala-o, this City, was administered by RTC Judge Alberto P. Quinto of Regional Trial Court Branch I.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Marzo and Abragan supporters and members of the Liberal Party, some barangay executives and their respective council members.  

Also present were former City Legal Officer Tomas O. Cabili, PSSupt. Aurelio Trampe, Deputy Regional Director for Operations of PNP-10 PSSupt Orlando Benas, OIC Iligan City Police Director Anton Abrina, commander of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, who informed newsmen their presence was mainly providing security in the area.

Acting City Mayor Marzo announced that he shall be holding office at the ABC Hall staring Monday, March 30, 2015.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Regencia appeals CA to stop suspension order

By:  Nora Sorino, Tess Asequia and Adelfa Lachica
Mindanao Gold Star Daily

ILIGAN CITY (26 Mar 2015) - Lawyers of Mayor Celso Gomera Regencia yesterday sought a Court of Appeals order in an effort to block a six-month suspension order issued by Malacanang against the local chief executive for abuse of authority.

But as of 2:30 pm yesterday, the appellate court's Mindanao station in Cagayan de Oro has yet to act on the petition filed by Regencia's lawyers against the March 2 suspension order signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

Official copies of Ochoa's order were served via registered mail.

The suspension order stemmed from a memorandum issued by Regencia to order city hall's department heads, including the city treasurer, city accountant, budget officer, and the human resource and management officer, to ensure that all "job orders," regardless of charges, pass through his office first.

This prompted Vice Mayor Ruderic Marzo and the city council majority to file the complaint in 2014.  They received the Palace ruling on Tuesday.

Councilor Alfredo Busico said Regencia's case was different from the suspension order against Makati Mayor Erwin Binay in that the latter's suspension was ordered by the Ombudsman, and therefore, "it could be remedied only by a court's issuance of a temporary restraining order."

But he said Regencia could petition for a certiorari or file a motion for reconsideration.

Tension has gripped the city since Monday when Regencia's supporters started massing at the City Hall grounds.

Regencia told reporters the suspension order came as a surprise to him given that complaints were filed against Marzo and company before the Ombudsman much earlier.

SIMPACC the "party" which mounted
candidate Regencia's campaign

He said he was a victim of political persecution, pointing out that he ran for mayor in 2013 as an independent candidate.

Tents were set up in front of City Hall by Regencia's supporters who mostly came in red shirts.

At Cabili Avenue, a wreath was mounted at a marker with this message, "Condolence Iligan."

Many of the people at City Hall were dressed in red T-shirts, Melvin Anggot, manager of a radio station here yesterday said on air that such move did not sit well with the image of the City as it could discourage tourists to come here.

Former captain Ernesto Ebueza, one of the men securing City Hall since Monday morning, said he and his group were not going to block any move to boot Regencia out of City Hall.

At noontime of Friday, March 27, 2015, by virtue of the DILG Memorandum dated 26 Mar 2015, DILG Regional Director Rene K. Burdeos, CESO, caused the implementation of the Decision against respondent Mayor Celso G. Regencia, and thereafter caused the swearing into office Vice Mayor Ruderic C. Marzo, as the Acting Mayor and Councilor Pruvedencio Abragan, Jr. as Acting Vice-Mayor.

Pag serve ni Dilg 10 regional Director Rene Burdeos sa suspension order ni iligan city mayor celso regencia apan tungod kay gi alihan sa mga supporters, hinungdan nga gipilit na lang kilid sa main building sa city hall ang order nga 6 months suspension from the office of the president
Posted by Jesie Chris Quinabato on Friday, March 27, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MILF says recruitment of Higaonons in Iligan is a scam, denies having a camp there

By: Froilan Gallardo

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (26 Mar 2015) - The reported recruitment and training among Higaonon tribesmen into the ranks of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in a remote barangay in Iligan City was a scam operation, its Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities said.

MILF CCCH chief Rashid Lidasan also denied the MILF has a camp in Barangay Rogongon in Iligan City.

"Our investigation disclosed that a certain Abdul Amoran is behind the scam to swindle the Higaonon tribesmen.  He is also responsible of putting a tarpaulin outside his house announcing this was the headquarters of the MILF 103rd Infantry Brigade," Lidasan said.

The Army, led by Col. Gilbert Gapay of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, has lodged a complaint with the government CCCH alleging the MILF was recruiting the tribesmen and training them in their new camp in Barangay Rogongon.

Lidasan, who met with Amerudin Usman of the MILF North Eastern Mindanao Front in Cagayan de Oro, said their investigation in Barangay Rogongon found it contrary.

The MILF CCCH had tasked Usman to investigate the complaint lodged by the Army.

"Amoran claimed he is a fighter of the MILF 103rd Infantry Brigade when he is not.  He is not even a commander.  To back his claim, he put a tarpaulin, which says this was the office of the MILF 103rd Infantry Brigade," Usman told MindaNews.

He said the real location of the MILF 103rd Infantry Brigade was the town of Butig, Lanao del Sur, more than a hundred kilometers away.

"Amoran's house is not a camp.  It is only one house," Usman said.

In their complaint, Gapay said Amoran demanded P800 from the Higaonon tribesmen to be able to join the MILF ranks and were promised five hectares of land once they are accepted.

5 dead in lodging house shooting incident in Iligan City

By:  Bonita Ermac

ILIGAN CITY (25 Mar 2015) - Five cadavers were found in a lodging house at around 2:11 in the morning at Plaza Alemania Lodge, in Palao, Iligan City, March 25.

Initial investigation disclose that while the cashier of said lodge, Jerome Sebuco, together with the room boy, Roel Cayhao y Cabilingga, were on the cashier's booth, six unidentified perpetrators, wearing mask, suddenly barged in, took the key card of room M308 and four of them rushed to the said room and shot the five (5) victims which caused their instantaneous death, while the other perpetrators disarmed the two guards, namely: Amenador Magsayo and Noel A. Ebua, and divested their .38 caliber revolver and the CPU of the cashier's computer.  

After the incident, perpetrators fled on board on three unidentified single motorcycles heading towards Quezon Avenue, this City.

"Dili ni tulis, raid ni siya, ayaw lang mo kabalaka kay dili hilabtan ang kwarta sa cashier," said the suspects as related by the guard on duty, Amenador Magsayo, they were ordered to drop on the floor and were covered by a blanket.

PO3 Benjelou A. Tupas, investigating the case, identified the victims as follows: U Kia (female, legal age, a resident of Purok 4, Saray, Iligan City); Glaiza Castillero (female, legal age, a resident of Valencia, Bukidnon); Mohammad Ali Amerol Bungares (male, 24 years old, single and a resident of Lumbac, Ganassi, Lanao del Sur); Vanz Paquingan (a resident of Consunji Street); and a certain Ashney.

Victims sustained gunshot wound on the head, cheek, chest and neck respectively.

Recovered from the victim's positions were transparent heat-sealed of suspected shabu, micro sd, aluminum foil strips, unsealed plastic sachet and personal belongings such as money amounting to Php 2,591.00.  Further recovered from the crime scene were three (3) empty fired cartridge cases of caliber 9mm, two (2) fired cartridge cases of caliber .45, one (1) misfired bullet of caliber .45, one (1) lead of caliber 9mm, used foil strips and two (2) unsealed plastic sachet.

Victim Glaiza was claimed by a certain Mikmak Magandia of Purok Sudlunon, Bagong Silang, this city, as his live-in partner, while Mohammad Ali Amerol was claimed by a certain Yusoph Amerol Benito Baruhom, a resident of Sparrow Street, Purok 8, Dr. Sanson Apartelle, Pala-o, as his son.

Police authorities here are conducting a thorough investigation regarding the motive of the incident and a pursuit operation for possible identification and apprehension of the six (6) perpetrators.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

MILF builds camp at Iligan hinterland, army says

By:  Nora Sorino, Iligan Bureau Chief
and Adelfa Lachica, Correspondent
Mindanao Gold Star Daily

Limunsudan Falls in Brgy. Rogongon
ILIGAN City (14 Mar 2015) - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is building a camp in the hinterland of Iligan City, a military official claimed during a peace and order council meeting here.

Col. Gilbert Gapay, commander of the Army's 2nd Mechanized Brigade, told local officials the MILF camp site is located at Sitio Limunsudan in Barangay Rogonon.

Rogongon is a hinterland village in the city that is strategically located in that it can be reached via Talakag, a Bukidnon town next to Cagayan de Oro.

Military officials in Iligan said their hands were tied and could not just tell the MILF to stop establishing the camp due to protocols that needed to be observed because of the ongoing peace process.

Gapay's pronouncements resulted in concerns on public security in this part of the country and on how the ongoing peace process has been keeping the military out of the way of the MILF.

Gapay, however, assured that the military remains on top of the situation, and "we're being careful."

He said the military considers the situation in the area "volatile."

"We are on Alert Level-2," Gapay said.

Gapay revealed this during the peace and order council meeting on Tuesday.  It was attended by Mayor Celso Gomera Regencia, Vice Mayor Ruderic Marzo, Councilor Providencio Abragan, Jr., and other local legislators, the City Police Director Orlando Benas, barangay officials, and members of the civil society groups.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NGCP pays millions of pesos to Lanao Norte landowners

By:  Jigger J. Jerusalem
Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro

CAGAYAN DE ORO (12 Mar 2015) - Millions of pesos were spent last year by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to cut down trees planted under its transmission towers in Lanao del Norte towns of Balo-i and Pantar, an NGCP official recently revealed.

The presence of vegetation below these power lines has adverse impact on the power situation in Mindanao, said Alfredo Dawis of the NGCP's District 2 operations and maintenance department.

With this, the NGCP in Mindanao had to pay off landowners to uproot the trees planted underneath the transmission lines, Dawis said.

The growing of trees, which NGCP suspected is deliberate, had already affected three of the company's power lines which were no longer functioning, namely, Balo-i-Agus 2 138-kilovolt (KV) line 1, inoperable since August 2014; Balo-i-Agus 2 138-kV line 2, since October 2014; Balo-i-Agus 6 69-kV, since January 2015.

"This reduced reliability of power supply, especially around the area," he said, adding that companies operating in Iligan City, particularly cement factories have complained of "power dip" causing their facilities' power to shut down once it occurs.

"NGCP's ROW (right-of-way) problem in Balo-i has caused frequent line tripping or brownouts, not just in the town, but also in the western region of Mindanao," said lawyer Cynthia Alavanza, NGCP spokesperson, in a statement.

The amount paid to landowners, Dawis said, was based on the real property value set by Bureau of Internal Revenue zonal valuation for the lot, and trees based on the provincial assessor's valuation.

To date, the NGCP has already paid some P7-million to landowners since last year, although they have to spend millions more in the coming months.

Dawis said the NGCP had filed expropriation proceedings so it can pay off landowners, but the transmission company may have to shell out more money as they have only so far paid a very small percentage out of the 125 tree planters in Balo-i and Pantar.

"What we have accomplished is less than 10 percent, the 90 percent are still on negotiations," he added.

In a report, the NGCP has noted that the rampant planting of trees under the power lines started when it assumed the role of managing the country's power transmission.

"During TRANSCO time there were only a few ROW problems encountered.  But when it was about to be privatized, it was discovered that some landowners started planting trees under the transmission lines and refused negotiations," it said.

When NGCP took over the management of transmission in 2009, it added, this problem only began to surface.

Dawis said it's not only in Lanao del Norte that this ROW issue is prevalent, NGCP also experienced the same inconvenience in Batangas, Iloilo and Zamboanga.

At present, NGCP's District 2 Mindanao Operation and Maintenance Office has continued to negotiate with other landowners or planters whose trees are posing dangers to the power lines.

"Those who accepted our offer based on the Provincial Assessor's valuation had their trees cut," he added.

In the past, the NGCP has sought the help of the local government units in the affected areas, but this had proven to be unsuccessful.


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