Davao City joins Earth Hour celebration

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 March) – When the clock strikes 8:30 p.m. March 28, city officials led by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will join the world in celebrating Earth Hour by  doing a ceremonial switching off of lights at the People’s Park along Camus Street, simultaneously with “SM City – Davao, NCCC Mall, streetlights in main thoroughfares and other business establishments in the city.”

5 Mindanao provinces benefit from road management project

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 March) –  At least five of seven provinces that will initially benefit from a $100 million, five-year Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF) from the Australian Government are in Mindanao: Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental. 

The signing of the Memorandum of Subsidiary Arrangement (MSA) for the PRMF, Australia’s “single largest grant project in the Philippines to date,” was held at the Crowne Plaza in Ortigas Friday morning.

Practice healthy lifestyles, residents urged

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 March)  -- Health officials in South Cotabato urged residents to practice “healthy lifestyles” to ensure their protection against life-threatening diseases during the hot summer season.

Dr. Edgardo Sandig, provincial health officer, said residents should maintain proper diet, practice proper sanitation and maintain regular exercise to help build up their natural protection against diseases.

Damaged power towers in North Cot, Bukidnon repaired; power supply back to normal

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / March 27) – Power supply in southern Mindanao returned to normal levels Friday following the completion of repair works on power lines earlier damaged by a bomb attack in North Cotabato and strong wind in Bukidnon.

Manuel Abellanosa, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP)-Mindanao head, said in a press statement that power service interruptions that affected at least five cities and five provinces in the area during the last 10 days, are over.

DPWH summoned to explain Bukidnon road rehab delay

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/26 March) – Officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Northern Mindanao still have a lot of explaining to do even if the turtle-paced traffic along the Mangima road rehabilitation in Manolo Fortich town has been reported to have improved.

ARMM hopes for new World Bank dev't package

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/26 Mar) – Various sectors in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are hopeful that the World Bank (WB) will pour in another development package for the region. 

The WB’s current project in the autonomous region, which will end this June, is being carried out by the ARMM Social Fund Project (ASFP).

Talaandigs to paint 1001 art works for 2010

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/26 Mar) -- You have a date with the Talaandigs on 10-10-10.

Visual artists from the Talaandig tribe are mounting a thousand and one paintings in the streets of Songco in Lantapan town next year in what they call a cultural revolution in time for the commemoration of the Talaandig Day.

Volunteers help reforest Mt. Apo

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/26 Mar) – At least a hundred volunteers will be mobilized for a reforestation campaign planting 6,250 seedlings at a portion of the peak of Mt. Apo next month.

Lawyer Ermelo Libre, executive director of the Mt. Apo Foundation Inc. (MAFI), told MindaNews that this tree planting activity, using an indigenous species called tinikaran, is just an initial effort to reforest the Ma-ag area near the peak of the country’s tallest mountain.

Grenade found near GenSan school

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/26 Mar) -- Elements of the Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD) of the police force in General Santos City recovered a fragmentation grenade near the Holy Trinity College campus in that city on Wednesday.

Military shouldn't be part of Rebelyn probe team

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 Mar) – Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro stressed on Wednesday that the military should not be part of the investigation body that would look into the March 4 abuction-slayof Rebelyn Pitao, daughter of a commander of the New People’s Army. But he assured the Armed Forces will cooperate in the ongoing investigation to save the reputation of the organization.

"Thank you, Mr. Tony Blair, but no thanks' – Pinol

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/ 25 March) – The provincial board of North Cotabato, led by Vice Gov. Manny Piñol, does not want former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to be involved in the peace process in Mindanao, saying it is purely an “internal” issue between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Teodoro: NPA remains a big problem in some Mindanao provinces

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 Mar) – Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro boasted that the government’s counterinsurgency campaign is doing well in Luzon. But he also admitted that some areas in Mindanao remain problematic.

3 hurt in ambush in North Cot

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/25 March) – Two Maguindanaon women and their motorcycle driver were wounded when still unidentified armed men ambushed them in Carmen town in North Cotabato Tuesday evening.

Fewer families experience hunger in Mindanao, SWS survey says

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 March) – The first quarter of 2009 saw fewer families experiencing involuntary hunger nationwide with Mindanao posting the highest decline from 1.4 million families (33.7%)  in the last quarter of 2008 to 490,000 families (11.7%)  in the first quarter this year, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) Social Weather Survey shows.

2 blasts hit Kidapawan

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/24 March) – Extortion is believed to be behind the two bomb blasts here Sunday night, the first injuring 10 persons, police said.

The first explosion happened at the city overpass at around 7 p.m. and the second, three hours later, in an abandoned lot in Barangay Nuangan, an area alleged by police as a haven of terrorists.

Slain anti-mining activist given hero's burial

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/23 March) – Emilia broke down during the requiem mass and wept hard as the body of her husband, slain anti-mining activist Eliezer S. Billanes, was about to be lowered into his final resting place in Barangay San Jose here on Monday.

She called her husband a “good man.” In a “luksang parangal” (tribute) organized by local militant groups for him last Saturday night at his home in Barangay Mabini, she said “my husband even had no personal enemies. But he was very vocal against mining.”

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez of the Diocese of Marbel was more straightforward. “He was killed because of his advocacy against mining…he was a protector of the integrity of creation,” he said in his homily.

Kauswagan: a time for war, a time for peace

TUBOD, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews/23 March) —  In the aftermath of the March 21, 2000 declaration of “all-out war” against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) by then President Joseph Estrada, nearly a million residents fled their villages, several combatants –  soldiers or rebels - were killed or injured, a number of displaced persons died of preventable diseases, houses were burned,  crops destroyed and many were traumatized. But the conflict also gave birth to groups that have, since then, been busy helping build peace.

Jalosjos says he's a "changed man:" vows to work on improving prisoners' condition

DIPOLOG CITY (MindaNews/22 March) -- As he emerged from the plane surrounded by relatives and friends, the band played and the chanting of “Welcome home Sir Nonong” grew even louder.

Former Representative Romeo G. Jalosjos, Jr., freed from detention March 19 after serving 13 years at the national penitentiary as a convicted rapist, was accorded a “hero’s welcome” at the airport here on Saturday, March 21.

Civilians flee Munai, Madalum again

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/21 March) – An undetermined number of Maranao civilians returned back to evacuation centers to avoid getting caught in a crossfire between government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces in the boundary of Munai, Lanao del Norte  and Madalum in Lanao del Sur.

Yellow ribbons welcome Jalosjos home

DAPITAN CITY (MindaNews/21 March) – They’re tying yellow ribbons around trees here and in the other parts of Zamboanga del Norte to welcome Romeo Jalosjos, Jr. home.

“Electrifying,” said a resident as yellow ribbons tied on trees and electric posts and yellow flaglets gave the national highway of Zamboanga del Norte – from Kalawit to Dipolog-Dapitan and all the way to Rizal town – a festive atmosphere.

Malaybalay City Council to review tax incentives given to Gaisano Mall

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / March 20) – A City Council committee will review the ordinance granting a package of tax incentives to a shopping mall here after Vice Mayor Ignacio Zubiri described some of the incentives as unfair and demanded that be taken out.

ICRC and PNRC to kidnappers: free the 3 ICRC staffmembers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 March) – Appealing to the kidnappers’ “sense of humanity,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)  in a statement, asked them to “avoid taking any action that could endanger the
lives” of ICRC staff members Mary Jean Lacaba, Eugenio Vagni and Andreas Notter.

P500=T approved for info on abductors/killers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 March) -- The city government has approved the recommendation of Task Group Rebelyn for a reward of half a million pesos for anyone who could provide information on the abductors and killers of  20-yer old teacher Rebelyn Pitao, daughter of a commander of the New Peoples’ Army.

This as Supt. Quirubin Manalang, spokesperson of Task Group Rebelyn, said the  Land Transportation Office informed them the plate number of the white van used in abducting Rebelyn is “fictitious.”

Malaybalay to terminate contract with market builder

MALAYBALAY (MindaNews/19 March) --  City Hall is considering the termination of  its contract with the controversial builder of the P225-million public market project citing yet another delay.

Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr. told this reporter they are leaving it to the City Legal Office to study the right move after the City Engineers’ Office certified that the firm, H.R. Lopez Co., Inc., has not finished the project despite the nine-month extension.

26 nabbed in Kaamulan fest

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 March) --  Twenty six persons were arrested in 38 crime incidents reported to the Malaybalay City Police Office during the recently-concluded Kaamulan Festival, P/Supt. Marlou L. Martinez said.

Doc's bonsai plant wins in Mindanao Bonsai Contest

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/19 March) -- A bonsai plant nurtured by an obstetrician-gynecologist from General Santos City won the Mindanao Bonsai contest held last week in Davao City.

Moro people to gov't: "Stop the war, honor MOA-AD"

PALIMBANG, Sultan Kudarat (MindaNews/19 March) –About a thousand Moro people who gathered in a peaceful assembly at the public plaza here on March 18 urged the government to stop the war and honor the MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain), claiming this is the “fulfillment of the aspiration of the Bangsamoro and an ideal solution to end the conflict in Mindanao.”

Bomb experts preempt attempt to topple transmission tower in North Cot

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/18 Mar) – Army bomb experts preempted an attempt to topple an electrical transmission tower in Tulunan, North Cotabato earlier today.

Lanao village needs good road as part of peace-building

BARANGAY NUNUNGUN, Poona Piagapo, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews/16 March) – For development workers from non-government organizations in Lanao del Norte, to describe the road leading to this interior barangay of Poona Piagapo town as rough would be an understatement.


Grandma, grandson hurt in grenade explosion

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/17 March) – A grandmother and her 11-year old grandson were seriously injured when a grenade exploded a few meters away from their house in Barangay Ginatilan, Pikit, North Cotabato, 7:45 p.m., Monday.

Bombs topple down NGC tower in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/17 March) – Three improvised explosive devices toppled a steel tower of the National Grid Corporation (formerly TransCo) located along the highway in Kabacan, North Cotabato, near midnight Monday.

LTO-12 pins hopes on lady enforcers to redeem image

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 March) -- In a bid to reverse its sinking public image, land transportation personnel in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao are turning to “angels” for redemption.

Sheikh Samaon Mustapha, Land Transportation Office regional director, said they will soon deploy female traffic enforcers in various parts of the region as part of its efforts to help clean up their male-dominated enforcement unit of corrupt personnel.

Thousands expected to join Mindanao Peace Power Day Wednesday

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 March) -- Some 200,000 people are expected to participate in the Mindanao People Power Day on March 18 to ask government to immediately declare a ceasefire and work for the resumption of the stalled peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

49 families rendered homeless by fire in Kalilangan

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 March)  --  Fire razed the houses of at least 49 families living in the old  public market site in Kalilangan town, Bukidnon's border with Wao, Lanao del Sur, the Bureau of Fire Protection reported.

Village councilor slain, 5 others hurt in grenade attack

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/16 March) – A village councilor was killed and five others were seriously injured when a lone assailant lobbed a fragmentation grenade in front of the house of a village chieftain in Pikit, North Cotabato, around 7:30 p.m., Sunday.

Razon says it is "path to peace;" Sema says better move is for a...

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 March) –  Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino Razon called it “the path towards peace in Mindanao” but  amending RA 9054 to fully implement the 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is an “exercise in futility”  as the better move, says Cotabato Mayor Muslimin Sema, is for the MNLF and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to have a “common position.”

"Principled collaboration" on natural family planning program possible, says PopCom

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/15 March) -- Is collaboration possible between the Catholic Church and government on natural family planning?

In Northern Mindanao, yes, according to the regional director of the Commission on Population (PopCom) who has hailed Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma’s “principled collaboration” with the commission on the natural family planning program.

Filipino vets availing of US benefits can now apply online

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 March) –  Filipino war veterans based in Mindanao who are availing of  the US $9,000 one-time benefit from the US government but were unable to file their application at the local veterans office here, in Cagayan de Oro or Zamboanga on February 24 to 26 can now get their application forms online.

Duterte declares hands-off policy in Army's anti-NPA campaign in Paquibato

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 March) -- Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Friday withdrew his support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ counter-insurgency campaign in the Paquibato district, this city after a farmer was killed by unidentified men the other day.

Probe of alleged NPA harassment in MNLF farm urged

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / March 13) – The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has urged authorities to investigate the alleged harassment of a group of armed men who identified themselves as members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) in a town in North Cotabato.

Village councilor killed in ambush

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / March 13) A village councilor in a town in Sultan Kudarat was killed while two others, including the village chair, were wounded when suspected Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas ambushed them in a remote village in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, at 8 am today, police reports said.

Girl, 7, hit in shootout in Cotabato CIty

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/12 March)A seven-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet when a policeman and a suspected hired killer exchanged fire along a busy street in Cotabato City, around 7 p.m., Wednesday.

Cholera downs 5 in Pres. Roxas

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/12 March) -- Five family members in Barangay Alegria in President Roxas town, North Cotabato were rushed to a hospital after experiencing what could be symptoms of cholera.

Fossilized seashells, corals found in Magpet

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/12 March) -- Different kinds of fossilized seashells and corals were accidentally discovered by the engineering personnel of Magpet, North Cotabato while quarrying in the mountainous portion of Barangay Mahongcog last week.

Tanods tapped vs drug pushers in M'lang

M’LANG, North Cotabato (MindaNews/12 March) -- Barangay tanods (village watchmen) here have been mobilized by the municipal government in the campaign against illegal drugs, Mayor Joselito Piñol said in his state of the municipality address Wednesday.

2 hurt in strafing in SK