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We are neither returnees nor surrenderees — MNLF

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/14 April) – It is wrong to label members of the Moro National Liberation Front recently as returnees or surrenderees, Hajji Gafur Hadjirul, MNLF chief political coordinator, said in a telephone interview.

Palace behind ?partylist seats for sale? scheme ? Lacson

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/14 April) -- Senator Panfilo M. Lacson echoed allegations raised by some sectors that Malacanang is funding the campaign of certain party-list groups and will ‘insert’ its own ‘nominees’ once these groups win seats in the House of Representatives.

“We are ready to apologize on Grecil case, but …”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / April 13) – "We are ready to apologize."
This was the curt message of Brig. Gen. Carlos Holganza on the death of nine-
year old girl Grecil Buya, eldest daughter of Virginia Buya and Gregorio Galacio, during an encounter between government forces and the New People’s Army in Purok 6, Barangay Kahayag, New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

AFP says ceasefire up for the government to decide

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / April 13) - Ceasefire and peace negotiations would be up for the national government to decide, military officials said a day after Davao bishops called for a ceasefire and a return to the negotiating table with the communist rebels. 

Labor department launches new module on labor relations

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / April 13) – The Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) will launch a new education module on labor relations here next week,
a regional labor official said.

Panabo evacuees return home; banana growers, workers lose income

MANAY, Panabo City (MindaNews) – Villagers who evacuated Wednesday when the military launched an air strike against alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in a banana plantation here, returned to their homes Thursday, traumatized by the experience, the first ever in the barangay.

“Kulba gyud; kalit ra kaayo” (We were really scared; it was so sudden)

MANAY, Panabo City (MindaNews/12 April) -- Delia Escoto, 52, mother of seven and grandmother to 15, could not have imagined she would still experience fleeing from war in this paradise of a village.

No let up in pursuit of rebels after prison raid – AFP

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 Apr) – The military has announced it will not stop in pursuing the New Peoples Army, which it accused of committing a direct assault against the government in the Easter Sunday raid of the Davao Prison and Penal Colony.

Hundreds flee Panabo village due to air strike vs suspected NPA areas

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 April) – Some 300 residents of two remote barangays in Panabo City, 35 kilometers northeast from here, fled their homes Wednesday following military air strike on suspected rebel positions, the Office of the Civil Defense said.

Photo exhibit on US “Lumads” at SM Davao mall

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 April) – A photo exhibit on the life of North American Indians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by photographer and ethnographer Edward S. Curtis will be displayed at the South Gallery of SM City Davao from April 16 to 29.

Dapecol knew but ignored threat

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 April) --  The management of the Davao Prison and Penal Farm, more known by its old name, Dapecol (Davao Penal Colony), knew of the impending threat of a rebel attack but did not take appropriate measures, military and police officials said.

“Goodbye Grecil, Goodbye good child”

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley (MindaNews/10 April ) --  There were no placards or streamers crying for justice,  no funeral procession, no wailing even, just a quiet goodbye and a prayer for justice, for nine-year old Grecil, eldest child of Virginia Buya and Gregorio Galacio, a “good child,” the elders in the community all agreed, but whom the military claimed to be a “child soldier” of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Road accident kills 5, injures 17; victims were on their way to a funeral

MATALAM, North Cotabato (MindaNews/10 April) -- Five people were killed, among them two babies, while 17 others were wounded, when the Isuzu elf they were riding fell into a ravine in Barangay Alimodian, this town shortly before 12 noon Tuesday.

Dapecol guards’ weapons intact ? Penal superintendent

DAPECOL, Davao del Norte (MindaNews/9 Apr) – The weapons of the custodial guards of the Davao Prison and Penal Farm here remained intact despite the guerrilla raid of their armory on Sunday, the penal superintendent said.

Tribal leaders want Mt. Apo climbers to first undergo tribal ritual

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/9 Apr) -- Tribal elders living in the foot of the majestic Mount Apo have suggested that all mountain climbers must first undergo the traditional “pamaas,” an indigenous ritual, before they will be allowed to climb the country’s highest peak.

NPA raids Davao prison, hauls 103 firearms

DAPECOL, Davao del Norte (MindaNews/08 April) -- New People's Army guerrillas swooped down on the country's third largest penal farm here before dawn of Easter Sunday and cleaned its armory of 103 firearms, many of them vintage weapons.

Body of drowned Apo climber retrieved

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/08 April) -- Divers from the Philippine Air Force  retrieved shortly before noon today the body of Ian Caasi, a mountain climber who drowned Maundy Thursday in Mt. Apo’s Lake Venado.

Child-focused groups urge CHR to probe Grecil case

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 April) – Child-focused groups here are urging the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to “conduct an urgent investigation and act on” the killing of a nine-year old girl during an encounter between government forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) in New Bataan, Compostela Valley on March 31.


Mountaineer drowns in Apo’s Lake Venado

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/07 April) – Scuba divers from Davao City have been sent to Mt. Apo to help retrieve the body of a mountaineer who drowned in Lake Venado on Maundy Thursday.

72-yr old killed in Good Friday fire

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/07 April) -- A 72-year-old man died when a fire of
unknown origin razed a storehouse along Gana Subdivision, Kidapawan City
shortly before 6:00 p.m. on Good Friday.

New Moro laweyrs challeged to serve

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/05 April) -- More than 30 Muslims passed the 2007 bar examinations with one making history: Al-shwaid L. Ismael  of the University of Cebu landed eighth , garnering 85.65 %.

MindaNews’ 1st business manager is now a lawyer

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 April) – Danilo “Danny” Balucos, MindaNews’ first business manager, is now a lawyer.
Balucos, who also worked previously at the Mindanao Business Council, was among 49 passers of the 2006 bar exams from the Ateneo de Davao University and among the 1,893 new lawyers in the country.



ComVal Gov awaits report on killing of 9-yr old girl

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 April) – Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero on Wednesday night said he has yet to receive a report on the killing of a nine-year old girl in New Bataan, Compostela Valley last Saturday, during an encounter between government forces and the New People's Army.

Parents of slain 9-year old girl: “our child was no NPA”

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley (MindaNews/03 April) --  “Dili NPA ang among anak” (Our daughter was not a member of the New People’s Army), Gregorio Galacio and Virginia Buya said of their eldest daughter Grecil,  9, whom the military and the media identified to be a “child soldier” of the NPA killed in an encounter Saturday morning just outside their house in Purok 6, Barangay Kahayag, New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

4 years after the seaport bombing: ?The scar is still there; the pain is...

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 April) -- Four years after a powerful bomb exploded and killed 16 people and wounded 55 at the Davao International Seaport, the painful memories of that evening four years ago today, linger.

For justice to bomb victims, Duterte pins hope on resumption of peace talks

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 April) -- Four years after promising to bring justice to the victims of the Sasa wharf bombing in 2003, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he is looking at the resumption of the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for hope.

WB set to begin MRDP Phase 2

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/02 April) -- The World Bank plans to institutionalize a decentralized system of delivery for agriculture and fisheries services in Mindanao through the second phase of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP2) that will start this second quarter.

Duterte: TFD is here to stay

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/01 April) -- Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has brushed aside calls for the pullout of the military’s Task Force Davao, saying the city still needs it to thwart terror threats.

Group fears reversal of aerial spray ban in Davao City after elections

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/01 April) – An alternative law group has raised fears the new city council that will emerge after the May 14 elections might reverse the ordinance banning the use of aerial spraying by banana plantations.

Be proud of your identity, Moro grads told

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 April) --Two young politicians have urged Moro graduates from tertiary institutions here to “stand out proud” and “never allow discrimination and being a part of the cultural minorities hinder (their) dreams and aspirations.”

Sarangani ustadzes lectured on reproductive health

ALABEL, Sarangani (MindaNews/01 April) — Eighty five ustadzes or Islamic teachers from the six municipalities of Sarangani Province attended a lecture on the fatwa (Islamic ruling) on reproductive health and family planning, as adopted by the Assembly of Darul-Iftah (House of Opinion) of the Philippines last November 22, 2003 and during the Muslim Religious Leaders’ Assembly last March 10, 2004,

Mindanao halal certifying body formed

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 April) – Efforts by the national government to unify the country’s various halal certification bodies have finally paid off with the setting up in this city last week of the Mindanao Halal Authority (MINHA).

COMMENT: On Pacquiao?s HS ?Graduation?

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 Feb) – Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, the boxing idol, should not be questioned for “graduating” from high school, an occasion that Education Secretary Lesli Lapus celebrated as a media event honoring someone of national importance.

COMMENT: Advent of Cheap Medicine

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MIndaNews/25 February) --  With Senate Bill 2263 already passed and House Bill 6035 passed on second reading, the Filipinos – all, not just the poor – will soon be relieved of the scandalously high prices of medicines of the multinational drug corporations.

COMMENT: Tough for PGMA

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 Feb) – No bold statements can hide the fact: The extrajudicial killings are a nut too tough for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, her advisers, and her police and military generals to crack. Their words are too remote from reality.

COMMENT: Do Alone, Not Help

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 Feb) --  On the invitation of the Arroyo government, teams from the European Union and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights are here to look into the unabated extrajudicial killings. 

COMMENT: Dance of Continents

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / January 12) – With exception of geologists, very few, if any, are aware that continents have been, are, and will ever be in continuous motion - the dance of continents?

Moro group says gov?t hiding real HR situation from UN

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/17 February) -- A Moro party-list group accused the government of keeping the country’s human rights situation under wraps and of “finding ways to stop the human rights victims from presenting their case to the United Nations.”

COMMENT: There Must Be a ?Twelfth?

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / February 16) – The Journalist’s Code of Ethics, published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer recently, was adopted by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines during its founding on July 30, 1988. As a covenant, all NUJP members are bound to it under the pain of expulsion.

COMMENT: Mayor’s resolve on test

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/14 February) – A day before meeting with Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte signed last February 8 the city’s ordinance banning aerial spraying in banana plantations. Now, his resolve to implement the ordinance is on test.

COMMENT: Third Force: A Futility (2)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 Feb) – A “Third Force” to contest the coming May midterm election against the Arroyo and Estrada political forces is commonly understood as a political group – a party or a coalition of leaders – with complete senate slate capable of conducting a nationwide campaign and getting regional and local support.

COMMENT: Third Force: A Futility?

(First of a Series)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/8 Feb) – At no time other than today do the Filipinos need a Third Force to free them from the grip of politicians in power and politicians in opposition whose only reason for being is for the first, survival, and for the second, revival.

COMMENT: In the Morning After

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/7 Feb) – In the morning after, we hear more from the horses’ mouths. MNLF Ustadz Habier Malik’s 50-hour hostage taking of Undersecretary Ramon Santos and Marine Brig. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino obtained more than an assurance that the Jeddah tripartite conference would be held March 17 and 18.

COMMENT: Facing the realities

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 February) --  Dismiss the drama and the rationalization. Why hide, evade?  Let’s face the realities. 

Undersecretary Ramon Santos, Brig. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino and their group were held by Ustadz Habier Malik against their will in order to obtain from the government and the Organization of Islamic Conference a definite date of the tripartite conference to review the implementation of the 1996 GRP-MILF Peace Agreement. Not taken hostage?

COMMENT: Madness on the rise (Parts 1 and 2)

1st of two parts

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 Jan) – It’s election time. Madness is on the rise! Both in the national and the local scenes.

COMMENT: The Other View

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 February) -- Persistently and consistently, the argument against every proposal to increase minimum wage is that this will result in closure of small business establishments and retrenchment in others, hence, the loss of jobs. Besides, prices of goods and services will go up.

COMMENT: Still No Luck

GENERAL SANT0S CITY (MindaNews/31 January) --  After waiting for six years, labor breathed a sigh of hope only to be dashed, shortly after, against rock-hard oppositions. Last December the House of Representatives passed the P125-wage increase bill. But Malacañang frowned and brandished the presidential veto. 

COMMENT: Madness on the Rise!

(First of Two Articles)

 
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 Jan) – It’s election time. Madness is on the rise! Both in the national and the local scenes.

COMMENT: Notable Items

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 Jan) – Browsing is a rewarding pastime. Books, newspapers, magazines and on-line items have much to keep the mind active and to make life, as the cliché goes, “worth living”. An active mind is the key to long life.

COMMENT: More on HB 4701

GENERAL SANTOS CTY (MindaNews/23 January) --  Former Education Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz’s commentary in the January 22 Philippine Daily Inquirer, “ ‘English First’ policy will hurt learning”, recognizes the decline in English proficiency among Filipinos but warns that HB 4701 -- the Gullas Bill -- is not the solution. 

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