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Top Stories

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.


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.

Region 12 DENR to produce a million tree seedlings

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/14 February) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao plans to produce at least a million tree seedlings in preparation for a nationwide mass tree planting program of the national government.

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. 

COMMENT: Not the cause but the effect

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / January 19) – Two months after the House of Representatives had passed House Bill 4701, the English as Medium of Instruction Act, co-author Rep. Luis Villafuerte of Camarines Sur blamed the poor state of English proficiency among Filipinos today to the bilingual policy which he called policy of linguistic juggling.

COMMENT: Beholden justice

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/18 Jan) -- Just very recently, an American soldier in South Korea raped a Korean woman – a 23-year-old raping a 67-year-old. Hours after South Korean police had arrested the soldier, Maj. Gen. John Morgan, acting commander of the 8th Army, issued an apology.

COMMENT: An ocean apart

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 Jan) – Basically, the justice system of the United States and of the Philippines are the same. Ours is modeled after that of the US in the tutor-pupil tradition. Our courts – especially the Supreme Court – cite US jurisprudence in their decisions. So do Filipino lawyers in their pleadings.

Voters urged to check precinct list to avoid disenfranchisement

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 January) --  Voters, beware!
If you do not want to be disenfranchised, find out if your names are on the list of voters days or weeks before the election, not on election day itself, Melcar Unso, Comelec regional information officer in Southeastern Mindanao, said.


Election period starts, gun ban on

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 January) -- The five-month election period, including the gun ban, starts Sunday and ends June 13, the Commission on Elections said.

Flashfloods hit North Cotabato villages

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/13 January) -- Flashfloods hit low-lying villages of Tulunan town in North Cotabato damaging some P3 million pesos worth of agricultural crops and government properties, according to Mayor Nestor Taasan.

Sea cow found dead off Samal isle

Peñaplata, Samal Island (MindaNews) – A sea cow, locally known as "dugong" was found dead in Talikod Island here early Friday, and believed to have choked when trapped in the fish nets around the area, fishery management officials said.

COMMENT: Mac, Congress disagrees

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/10 Jan) – On September 28, 2006, Dr. Macario D. Tiu wrote in his “Bisag Unsa” MindaViews column his advocacy of the native tongue as medium of instruction in our schools. Entitled “Mother Tongue Education”, it was written in Bisaya.

COMMENT: Is Paredes right?

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 January) --  MATALAM Mayor Bernardo Magbanua Valdevieso deserves commendation for admitting his inability to perform his duties well due to poor health and turning over the mayorship to his vice mayor. He could have just filed a leave designating his vice mayor as acting mayor. Anyway, he just had six months left of his term.

COMMENT: On P125 wage increase

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – House Bill 345 proposing a P125-wage increase over a three-year period starting this year speaks a lot of how our legislators – the representatives of the people – regard the labor sector.  Are they just to these poorer members of their constituencies?

COMMENT: Zero Respectability

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 Jan) – In allowing the transfer, without court order, of US Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith from the Makati City jail to the American Embassy at midnight last December 29, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sacrificed Philippine sovereignty to the Visiting Forces Agreement.

COMMENT: A riddle and a challenge

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/02 January) --  Maguindanao has the fastest town-birth rate in Mindanao – or, perhaps, in the entire Philippines.  In 1995, it only had 18 municipalities.  By the end of 2006, the 18 had multiplied to 33 with the province itself splitting to two, its daughter named Shariff Kabunsuan.

Councilors hit NGOs for ?Kalabasa Award?

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 October) -- Councilors here used the regular session's privilege hour today to criticize groups for insulting them with a "Kalabasa (Squash)  Award" last week.

Lumads’ voices sought in managing Davao City’s watershed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 September) -- The city government here is convening around 140 tribal leaders from its five major indigenous groups to draw out issues, concerns and their support for environmental protection, Councilor Leo Avila, chair of the City Council’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said.

Church, NGOs ask DENR to ban logging in Davao Oriental, Comval

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/September 8) -- Church and community groups in remote Cateel town in Davao Oriental want Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes to ban logging in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces, citing unchecked activities of illegal loggers.

Sarangani officials raise howl over DENR?s release of ship full of logs

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 August) -- Local officials in the municipality of Glan in Sarangani province raised a howl after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) released a vessel laden with suspected illegal logs earlier seized by Maritime police, the Sarangani provincial information office (PIO) reported.

Duterte to banana firms: don’t threaten us

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 August) – Banana firms should not threaten the city government that they will move out of if an ordinance banning aerial spraying is passed, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said.

A second look at ancestral domain issues surrounding Mount Kitanglad

Special Report
3rd of four parts

The period between 2000 and 2001 was turbulent for Mount Kitanglad. It was during this time that Migketay Saway openly challenged the authority of the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and PAMB  (Protected Aeras Management Bureau) as park managers. The only instance perhaps that he sounded cooperative was sometime in February 2000, during a Senate public hearing on the protected area bill. Quite unexpectedly, he expressed no opposition to the bill despite the fact that it would strengthen PAMB authority.

Congress nod on biodiesel bill would speed up patronage

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/August 25) – Filipino-owned petroleum distributor, Flying V, said it was optimistic that Congress would soon pass the bill on the use of biodiesel and help speed up the use of the renewable and environmentally-clean source of energy.

Experts, supporters pit wits as city council hears aerial spray ban proposal

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 August) -- The public hearing Wednesday afternoon
on a proposed ordinance banning the use of aerial spray by agricultural
plantations here turned out to be a showdown of sorts between experts,
alleged victims, supporters and opponents of the proposal.

NFA projects palay price to drop by P1 per kilo

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 August) – An official at the National Food
Authority brushed aside speculations that the price of palay offered by
commercial traders might drop by as much as P5 per kilo by September during
which palay harvests are expected to peak. NFA regional director Ernesto Macasinag assured that the farm gate price of palay will drop by “only one peso per kilo” in the commercial market.

160,000 Caraga residents to join highway tree planting

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/24 August) – Some 160,000 persons in the Caraga
Region will join the nationwide tree planting activity on Friday dubbed
Green Philippine Highways and organized by the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources. Benjamin T. Tumaliuan, DENR regional executive director, said the participants will form a “human chain” along the both sides of the highways
from Barangay Lipata in Surigao City down to Alegria town in Surigao del
Norte, and RTR town in Agusan del Norte to Barangay de Oro in Butuan City to
Trento town in Agusan del Sur.

Mindanao coast guard can’t respond to Guimaras-type of oil spills

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 August) – The Philippine Coast Guard has the capability to respond to maritime accidents around Mindanao but not to major oil spills of the Guimaras-type, the coast guard's top official for Southeastern Mindanao said.

Int?l expert: manage water to prevent conflicts

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / August 18) -- Mindanao's government and civic groups should begin planning on how to manage water resource to prevent conflicts arising from it, a Unesco hydrology official said on Thursday.

UK firm buys option of coal project in SouthCot

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 August) -- An international mining company based in the United Kingdom has signed an option agreement to acquire 95% shares of a coal development project in the hinterlands of South Cotabato. Crew Gold Corp. signed the option agreement recently with Daguma Agro Minerals, Inc. through its 100%-owned subsidiary Crew Minerals AS. The project, located in Lake Sebu town, is opposed by residents of Barangay Ned, a village affected by the venture, as reflected in a manifesto.

Missing 3-year old boy in Kapatagan flashflood found dead

KAPATAGAN, Lanao del Norte  (MindaNews/16 August) -- A rescue team recovered Tuesday the body of  a three-year old boy who was reported missing at the height of the flashflood in Lapinig, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte.

Proclaim Mt. Inawayan range as protected area

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/16 August) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region1-10 has asked the Regional Development Council to endorse its proposal for the proclamation of Mount Inayawan Range in Nunungan, Lanao del Norte as a protected area in the category of natural park.

6 persons die in Lanao Norte, Zambo Sur landslides

KAPATAGAN, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews/14 Aug) -- Landslides triggered by last weekend's heavy rains killed at least six people, buried eight villages in Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, and swept a bus.

Bishop condemns violent dispersal of anti-mining rally

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/14 Aug) -- A Catholic bishop here condemned last week's violent dispersal by government authorities of a peaceful protest-rally opposing the ongoing mining operations in a remote fishing village in Tubay, Agusan del Sur.