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Davao City Council passes resolution in solidarity with Burmese people

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 October) – Davao City legislators on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution expressing the City Council’s “solidarity” with the people of Burma and supporting the calls of the United Nations (UN) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the country, renamed Myanmar by its military junta in 1989, to “respect human rights, free Aung Sang Suu Kyi and all political detainees, and move towards democracy.”

Burmese in Davao: “In the language of freedom, our hearts should be beating together”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 October) – A Burmese national who is teaching in a local university here says the solidarity shown by Dabawenyos and other people outside Burma with their struggle back home, particularly at this time when a still undetermined number of protesters have been killed, has given them hope to continue their journey.

“Free Burma” picket staged in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/01 October) –  The international solidarity for Burma's  freedom has reached this city.

Activists belonging to the Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) lighted sticks of incense and burned small replicas of the Burmese flags in front of the Japanese Consulate office in Ramon Magsaysay Street here this afternoon.

COMMENT: Misunderstanding the calls

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/22 August) -- Like well-rehearsed chorus members, they all sing in unison in response to the calls of the Catholic bishops, the Mindanao Bloc in Congress, other organizations and groups to stop the all-out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan and Sulu (, August 21):

Maguindanaon arrested without warrant in Manila; incommunicado for 3 days

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 August) – A Maguindanaon farmer who arrived in Manila two weeks ago to apply for a menial job in the Middle East was arrested without warrant on August 3 and held incommunicado for three days and nights, Moro lawyers said in a press statement dated August 7.

Philippine Eagle couple found in Baliguian, Zambo Norte

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 August) –  On the first morning of freedom for kidnapped Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi on July 20,  reporters flocked to Zamboanga City to listen to his story and take photographs.

Tagging Islamic preachers in Basilan killings hit

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/6 Aug) – A Moro human rights group has berated the government for including a number of Islamic preachers in the list of those accused of killing Marines in Basilan.

JPEPA no longer a toxic reality?

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/05 August) – Senators might ratify the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) if it is true that Japan has committed not to export wastes to the Philippines in exchange for economic benefits the country will be getting under the treaty, Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr. today said in a statement.

2 bodies of ‘salvaged’ victims found

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/04 August) -- Two bodies of persons believed to be victims of ‘salvaging’ (summary execution) were found floating in two big rivers in Southwestern Mindanao since Friday.

COMMENT: Confusion in Basilan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / August 3) -- The news just out, as this comment was being written, was confusing.  What really do the Arroyo government, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police want to happen in Basilan with dire implication on the entire Muslim Mindanao?

DENR says 204 villages in Region 12 flood-prone

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/26 July) --  At least 204 villages in Region 12 (Southwestern Mindanao) are reportedly vulnerable to flooding in case the continuing rainy season intensifies, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported.

COMMENT: SONA 2007: Quips and Cranks

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaViews/25 July) --State of the Nation Address 2007 is the best-written of all President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s seven SONAs. If, as reported, she wrote and edited it by herself, she writes better speech than any of her speech writers.

Kuwaiti court: death by hanging for NorthCot OFW

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/25 July) -- May Vecina, the overseas Filipino worker from Matalam, North Cotabato accused of killing the son of her employer in Kuwait, was sentenced to die by hanging, a foreign affairs official said.

CBCP: No more abductions of foreign missionaries, please

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 July) -- What happened to Italian priest Fr. Giancarlo Bossi should not happen again as foreign missionaries are giving great service to the people especially in Mindanao, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said in a statement posted on its website Saturday.

COMMENT: Fr. Bossi free; Peace hangs

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 July) -- After 40 days as hostage, kidnapped Fr. Giancario Bossi, PIME was set free on a road in Karomatan, Lanao del Norte at about 9 p.m. last Thursday. But in the aftermath peace between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front hangs. And so it is in Muslim Mindanao.

Father Bossi freed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 July) – “A priest is like a father and the father would like to return to his children.”

That is what Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi wants to do now after kidnappers who identified themselves to him as “Abu Sayyaf” set him free late Thursday night in Sultan Naga Dimaporo (formerly Karomatan) Lanao del Norte: return to his parish in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Soldiers in Basilan: from one to four battlalions

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 July) --  A total of four battalions of government troops is now stationed in Basilan to “stabilize” the situation in the island province following the July 10 clash between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon said. 

COMMENT: Unfair Share

GENERAL SANTOS CITY                 I

Mindanao has been getting an unfair share of the national budget – deemed not proportionate with its contribution to the national income. This has been the complaint of Mindanao leaders and the Confederation of Provincial Governors, City Mayors and Mayors’ League Presidents of Mindanao [CONFED Mindanao] raised again the unfairness during their organizational meeting in Koronadal City yesterday (July 17). (MindaNews, July 17)

On the burning of the birds: “we just did our job”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 July) --  "We just did our job."

The Regional Avian Influenza Task Force merely implemented the rules provided by the country's protection program and placed public safety over anything else when it burned around 270 heads of wildlife stock smuggled into the city from Indonesia this week, an official of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the DENR said.

COMMENT: End of the race nearing

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/12 July) -- How the Pimentel-Zubiri neck-to-neck race for the twelfth place in the senatorial derby will end depends on the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing tomorrow, Friday, July 13.  Either Miguel Zubiri will be proclaimed or the Commission on Elections en banc will be ordered by the Court to allow Aquilino Pimentel III “to substantiate his claims that votes from Maguindanao had been manufactured and to question poll officials concerned”. (, July 10)

Smugglers use Davao as transshipment point for birds

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 July) -- Agriculture regional director Roger Chio said Davao City is just one of many entry points in Mindanao of the bird smuggling trade in the East ASEAN Growth Area but added that smugglers are eyeing birds for bigger markets in the Philippines like in Manila, where prices are higher. 

COMMENT: Will Arroyo do a Bush?

GENERAL SANTOS  CITY (MindaNews/11 July) -- In the event that former President Joseph Estrada is convicted of plunder will President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo do a Bush or more?

Ka Bel’s freedom inspires movements vs HSA, says Anakpawis

DAVAO CITY (Anakpawis) -- Anakpawis regarded here today the freedom of Congressman Crispin ‘Ka Bel’ Beltran as an inspiration for all the movements that aim to eliminate social injustices as exemplified in the anti-people provisions of the Human Security Act.

Smuggling of exotic birds should be stopped

DAVAO CITY  (MindaNews/10 July) --  Smuggling of exotic birds from countries in the East ASEAN Growth Area should be stopped as it could bring the Avian flu virus to Mindanao, an official of the Department of Agriculture said.

COMMENT: An Unholy Alliance?

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 Jul) – “Is your doctor tied to drug makers?” This, a leading newspaper asked in its July 2 editorial. Drug companies did not like the question.

COMMENT: On Wings of Doubt

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – As June 30 neared, the Commission on Elections was in an acid test.  It had to resolve election controversies to pave the way for the smooth transfer of offices from the outgoing to the incoming elective officials.   Two such controversies involved the elections in Maguindanao and in the first district of Lanao del Norte.

After abduction, Cardeno now faces rebellion charges

KORONADAL CITY  (MindaNews/28 June) -- After a two-day torture in the hands of his abductors on June 6 go 8, Bayan Muna  regional officer Gilbert Rey Cardeño is now facing charges of rebellion for supposed links with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army (NPA).

SouthCot gov’t sets series of orientations on anti-terror law

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/28 June) – The provincial government of South Cotabato will launch a series of public orientations and dialogue with various sectors of the province on the provisions of the controversial Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007 before the law takes effect on July 14.

COMMENT: Alien’s Impression

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – A 19-paragraph long article published in an Australian paper showed an alien’s impression of the Philippines based on his observations of the May 14 election.  Bulatlat that posted the article was silent about the paper’s circulation; however, it is assumed that most of the paper’s readers shared the author’s impression – partially, if not fully.

MINDAVIEWS: Comment: Mixed Comelec signals

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 June) -- To accuse the Commission on Elections of  railroading the canvassing of the senatorial votes in Maguindanao in favor of Team Unity candidate  Miguel Zubiri may be unfair but, unfortunately, the mixed signals from the poll body give the opposition grounds to suspect. It sounds firm but it appears pliant.

PBGEA posts P1-M bond for 3–month reprieve from aerial spray ban

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / June 22) – The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) posted today a million peso bond, a requisite to the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction the court granted this week, prohibiting the city government from implementing its ban on aerial spraying for three months.

Court temporarily blocks aerial spray ban

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 June) -- The Regional Trial Court has granted a 90-day writ of preliminary injunction against the city government's ordinance banning aerial spraying in agricultural plantations. 

COMMENT: Behind MILF Feelings

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 June) -- If the relief of Secretary Silvestre Afable as chair of the government panel negotiating peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front caught the MILF and peace advocates in Mindanao by surprise, so did the MILF’s unexpected reception of Fr. Eliseo R. Mercado Jr., OMI as Afable’s replacement surprise all. He was unwelcome!

Oppose re-engineering, press for job security and higher salary for more efficient public service

(Privilege speech by Councilor Angela A. Librado-Trinidad, chair SP Committee on Labor and Employment Opportunities, June 19, 2007, Davao City)

My esteemed colleagues in the City Council, I stand on a matter of personal and collective privilege to speak of a subject that is gravely affecting us, being civil servants and government employees.

COMMENT: Changing Tango Partners

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 June) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did not have to accept the courtesy resignation of Secretary Silvestre Afable, chair of the government panel negotiating peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.  But she did!

COMMENT: Master Dissemblers

Last of two parts 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY  (MindaNews/14 June) --  As earlier noted, Maguindanao Election Provincial Supervisor Lintang Bedol, together with South Cotabato Election Provincial Supervisor Lilian Suan-Radam, has shown his mastery of dissembling not his adherence to honesty. In trying to cover up the glaring frauds in Maguindanao, he defied normal intelligence and credulity, indulging in pretense.

COMMENT: Master Dissemblers

First of two parts

GENERAL SANTOS CITY  (MindaNews/14 June) --  Two election provincial supervisors – Lilian Suan-Radam of South Cotabato and Lintang Bedol of Maguindanao -- have shown their mastery of dissembling not their adherence to honesty. In trying to cover up the glaring frauds in their respective jurisdictions, they defied credulity and normal intelligence.

COMMENT: Glaring Conspiracy

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 June) --  What could be a glaring conspiracy between the Commission on Elections and candidate Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo (Lakas-MCD), the outgoing governor of Lanao del Sur, appears to be unraveling to its plotted end.  The latter may be proclaimed representative-elect of the first district of the province despite objections from the evident winner, Vicente “Varf” Belmonte (GO).

Students protest enslavement of education system to private school owners

DAVAO CITY (National Union of Students in the Philippines-Davao City Chapter) -- The opening of classes in the tertiary level was met with angry voices as students and youth organizations today gather in front of University of Mindanao Bolton Campus to join the nationwide protest against the continuing reliance of the state to the private school owners in controlling the education system.

Bayan Muna seeks justice over Cardino’s abduction

Bayan Muna will pursue independent and in-depth investigations on the abduction of Gilbert Rey Cardiño and will file charges against suspected military elements as soon as evidences and Cardiño’s statements are consolidated.

COMMENT: Overdoing Does not Pay

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / June 8) – One may or may not be paid for overdoing, but in the end he will realize that overdoing does not pay. That the Maguindanao leaders should rue in giving the administration’s Team Unity a 12-0 sweep over Genuine Opposition in the May 14 senatorial race which have fueled talks about incentives from Malacañang. 

Women-farmers take witness stand for spray ban

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/7 June) – Two women farmers will complete six witnesses prepared by the city government and the group of third-party intervenors to defend the implementation of the city's ordinance banning aerial spraying.

COMMENT: At the Price of Conscience

GENERL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/5 June) – The Movement for Truth and Justice and Peace, organized by the religious groups and civil society, are leading residents of Iligan City in mounting protests against the canvassing of the tampered Certificates of Canvass from Bacolod, Kauswagan and Maigo – three of the seven municipalities composing the first district of Lanao del Norte that includes Iligan City. (MindaNews, June 4)

COMMENT: Most Commendable

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 June) – Three election supervisors – Lilian Radam of South Cotabato, Yogie Martinizer of North Cotabato and Lintang Bedol of Maguindanao – were relieved by the Commission on Elections to pave the way for the investigation of the frauds in their provinces (, May 31).

COMMENT: Don’t Evade the Issue

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / June 1) -- As reported (, May 30), the Commission on Elections ordered the re-canvassing of the Maguindanao votes. This, according to a lawyer of Genuine Opposition, effectively denied a motion to set aside the votes. And it is not known whether the investigation of the alleged massive cheating by a Comelec task force will continue.

COMMENT: Unacceptable Justifications (2)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 May)  – In an report (May 25), Why Cheating in the South: Moro “Culture” Exploited by “Christian North”, the immoral conduct of election in some parts of Mindanao was admitted but justified citing opportunism, culture and history. There is truth to the justifications but it does not make them acceptable.

DILG: court ruling is best way out of spray ban clash

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 May)  An official of the Department of Interior and Local Government called the brewing court battle between the city's banana industry and the city government as the best way out of their "battle of interests.”

More groups join in rehabilitating Maasim’s mangrove forest

MAASIM, Sarangani (EcoGov/29 May) – People from different faiths converged again in the predominantly Muslim village of Asnalang on May 22, just 19 days after its successful mangrove-planting activity, to help rehabilitate its mangrove forest.

COMMENT: Unacceptable Justifications

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 May) --  The last May 14, May 11, 2004 and other past elections have these in common: cheating, frauds, all other forms of anomalies and terrorism – the degree and extent worsening with the passage of years.  Incredible, not credible, election has been in the process of perfection.

Hearings on aerial spray ban start this week

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 May) – The debate over the ban on aerial spraying in Davao City’s banana plantations rages on. This time the venue will be the court.