Gov Zubiri suspends pro-poor program

September 27, 2006

PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON – Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. recently issued a memorandum order to suspend the Assistance to Indigent Families in Crisis Situation (AIFCS) over allegations of rampant to-be-benefi-ciary abuse and deceit perpetuated by cor-rupt individuals.

The governor furnished copy of the suspension memorandum to Vice-Go-vernor Alex. Calingasan, the Sangguniang Panlala-wigan members, Provincial Treasurer Luis Oro, Pro-vincial Accountant Romeo Hernandez, Provincial Budget Officer Consesa Gamao and Provincial So-cial Welfare and Develop-ment Officer Arsenio Alagenio.

Zubiri’s memorandum cited that he stopped the grant of AIFCS because of the abuses and questionable incidents involving the said program.

A source who requested anonymity said that one incident involved a govern-ment employee trying to ploy the program officers into giving financial aid.  The said employee allegedly hired a child to pose as an indigent asking help for his family.  All could have gone well until the child’s mother caused enough trouble to attract suspicions from authorities.

Another case, the source said, was when Governor Zubiri reportedly issued a slip granting P200.00 as AIFCS to an indigent.  Along the process, the amount in the slip became P2,000.00.  Provincial officials are still investigating who did the tampering.

A provincial official said that there are many more untoward incidents happened, thus prompting the governor on this decision.  He revealed that many kept coming back asking for money, even at the lousiest of reasons.  He said others would even get mad after receiving meager amounts. 

It would be better to hold the program temporarily until sufficient safeguards are in place, he added.

Some indigents waiting at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan hall were told of the memorandum to their dismay.  They condemned those people involved in the abuses.

The memorandum instructed the above-mentioned officials to stop granting of AIFCS effective on August 14, 2006 until the investigation is concluded. The order shall remain effective unless revoked or amended.  (NEWSWATCH)


SP hits BUSECO consultant “persona non grata”

September 27, 2006

PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON – The Sangguniang Panlala-wigan (SP) here recently declared Bukidnon II Electric Cooperative (BUSECO) Management Team Executive Consul-tant Erico Bucoy as “persona non grata” in the province.

First District Board member Ben Pancrudo motioned to declare Bucoy as “persona non grata” and seconded by Board member Roland Detecio.

The Sphad requested Bucoy to appear in the regular session to address and make clarifications about the complaints and issues concerning BUSECO operations and management, which the SP says affects the public interest. However, Bucoy continued to ignore the invitations.

Instead of Bucoy, some members of the Board of Directors (BOD) led by Miguel Quiño appeared at the SP answered the complaints about the hiring of expensive consultancy service.  A certain Engr. Zuergel Ilongo, a former BUSECO employee had filed the complaint.

BUSECO hired the consultancy team for 1 year.

Quiño told that the BOD could answer the issue because it is the BOD who hired the consultancy team. He confirmed that BUSECO paid P300,000.00 monthly consultancy payment, shoulder accommodations, food and transportation allowance to the five-man consultancy team. 

Quiño alleged that Ilongo is not a member-consumer of BUSECO when he wrote the complaint. He further said that Ilongo approached him before to work back at BUSECO. (NEWSWATCH)

MCWD inaugurates water supply expansion project

September 27, 2006

THE blessing and inauguration of the Malaybalay City Water District (MCWD) Water Supply Expansion Project at Barangay Laguitas, City of
Malaybalay highlighted the District’s 31st Anniversary celebration on September 6, 2006.

The project was implemented in the month of August through the close coordination of the Barangay Government with the MCWD. Due to funding constraints, Barangay Laguitas, the Local Government Unit and the MCWD made use of their available materials just to make it possible to for water supply to reach to the barangay households who have long been clamoring for potable water supply.

The project was realized as Barangay Laguitas turned over their available pipes to the district and was laid serving both as transmission and distribution lines. The MCDW, however, provided, for the fittings and labor during project implementation. Hence, the project was operational as of August 18, 2006 supplying the barangay with potable water daily, initially free of charge.

The affair was attended by City Vice Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri who led in the Ribbon Cutting and Opening of the Blow-Off Valve assisted by Punong Barangay Rosana M. Linhay, GM Jun Aroa and members of the MCWD Board of Directors while blessing of the new system was officiated by Rev. Fr. Wilmar J. Tumapon.

In her welcome remarks, Barangay Captain Rosana M. Linhay thanked the City Government of Malaybalay, the Malaybalay City Water District as well as the barangay officials and residents of Laguitas for the concerted effort in order to realize their desire of having a potable water supply which is currently in place at last.

Meanwhile, GM June Aroa of MCWD in his speech stressed that it is MCWD’s mandate to serve the waterless areas especially those barangays located along the highway, that is why the District through the Board of Directors, prioritized the implementation of said expansion project.

GM Aroa also emphasized that with this mew project the barangay can now expect rapid economic development as water is its main requisite.

On the other hand, Vice Mayor Iñaki Zubiri in his message also gave credit to the local government unit of Malaybalay especially to the Honorable Mayor Doc Boy Flores for undertaking the Kibalabag Water Project which made it possible for the water district to extend its services to Barangay Laguitas.

MCWD Board Chairman Abundio L. Okit in his talk noted the positive reception of the residents of Laguitas of the newly completed project by their attendance in the program. He said that it was heartwarming to see people gather for the inauguration which depicts how grateful they are for the water services that have finally reached their place.

Since Barangay Laguitas is the 16th Barangay included in the service area of MCWD, an on-site orientation-seminar for new applicants for water service connection was conducted prior to the inauguration.



PNP Bukidnon to arm 1,000 BPSOs against insurgency

September 27, 2006

PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON – The Philippine National Police had planned to deputize over a thousand Barangay Peace and Safety Officers (BPSO) or commonly known as Bantay Bayan/Civilian Volunteers on the government’s drive against insurgency.

Police Provincial Direc-tor SSupt. Archie Francisco Gamboa recently released a directive to all Chief of Police (COPs)/Officer In-Charge (OIC) in Malay-balay City, Valencia City, the municipalities of Dang-cagan, Don Carlos, Kiba-we, Kitaotao, Pangantucan, Quezon and San Fernando regarding the proposed deputization of BPSOs in accordance with Executive Order 546.

Executive Order No. 546 directs the Philippine National Police (PNP) to undertake active support to the Armed Forces of the
Philippines in internal secu-rity operations for the suppression of insurgency and other serious threats to national security.

The localities covered on the directive are:

City – Barangays Kibalabag (19 BPSOs), Can-ayan (19) and Manalog (15).

City – Barangays Conception (36), Tongan-tongan (37), Banlag (54), Laligan (30).

Dangcagan – Barangays Bugwak (20) and Kapalaran (12).

Don Carlos – Barangay Imbayao (20).

Kibawe – Barangays Kisawa (20), Kalapaton (15), Sampaguita (20), Magsaysay (20).

Kitaotao – Barangays Kiulom (20), Panganan (20), Digongan (20), White Kulaman (20), Sagundanon (20), Bershiba (26), Kipilas (15), Kahusayan (20), Sinuda (20), Pagan (15), Sinaysayan (20) and Metebagao (20).

Pangantucan – Barangays Conception (20), New Eden (20), Purtolin (20), Mendez (20), Adtuyon (20), and Gandingan (20).

Quezon – Barangays Sta, Felomina (20), Menongan (20), Magsaysay (20), Linabo (20), Lipa (20), Cawayan (20), Delapa (20), Kipaypayon (20) and Sta. Cruz (20).

San Fernando – Barangays Dao (19), Palacpacan (20), Kibongkog (19), Mabuhay (20), Cabuling (18), Durian (20), San Jose (20), Magkalungay (20) and Little
Baguio (20).

All COPs/OICs of the said localities are directed to personally consult the mayors and barangay chairmen of the mentioned barangays where the police are proposing to deputize certain number of BPSOs.

They were also instructed to verify or validate from the mayors and barangay chairmen how much is the projected support from the Local Government Units in terms of equipment (firearms and mobility) and salary/allowances to the soon deputized BPSOs.

EO 546 entitles every Local Government Unit (LGU) to financially support the PNP in its operations like information gathering, police community relations activities as well as the PNP logistical requirements such as firearms, ammunitions, and equipment vehicles.

All COPs/OICs of the said localities are also directed to coordinate with the LGUs for the financial support to the Barangay Intelligence Networks (BINs) that will also be established pursuant to EO 546.

Gamboa clarified in an interview that the proposal will pass a long process and would depend on budget.

“The barangays are selected because we prioritized the classified areas which we believed are infested with insurgents,” Gamboa explained.

Recently, AFP chief of staff Germogenes Esperon said that EO546 would put PNP in equal responsibility with the AFP in fighting insurgency.  

He said that AFP needs PNP support in defeating terror groups by 2010 as set by PGMA. 

With PNP’s support, the AFP can focus on more dangerous areas against the insurgency, Esperon added.

Many local executives have expressed support about the deputization of BPSOs but they are also concerned on the other war – the war against poverty.  They said as much as they want to support the anti-insurgency war, they too have to intensify implementation of development initiatives and livelihood projects to address poverty which they cited as a prime factor driving people to join insurgency movement. (NEWSWATCH)

Multiple charges filed vs. NPAs

September 27, 2006

PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON – The multiple criminal charges against the 30 members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) who raided the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) camp in Sitio Buco, Barangay Banlag, Valencia City on the evening of August 22 were already filed in the Provincial Prosecutors Office recently.

Police Provincial Direc-tor SSupt. Archie Francisco Gamboa confirmed to NEWSWATCH on Sep-tember 20 that the government Inter-Agency Legal Assistance Group already filed charges against the NPA rebels.

The case of murder, robbery in band (7 counts) and arson are filed particularly against the NPAs Front Committee (FC) 6 leader Abelardo Navarro alias Narra, Alexander Llesis alias Wawin/Baguis, Zenaida Llesis (the released prisoner who was arrested in Pangantucan, Bukidnon), Jennifer Sarno, Juan Pontillas, 40 other NPAs. Civilian Active Auxiliary/CAFGU member Julieto Tapanan was also charged.  Tapanan was believed to be in cohort with the NPAs during the raid.

Said NPA rebels killed CAFGU Detachment Commander SSgt. Catalino Edaño, wounding one CAFGU member, took 30 high powered firearms composed of two (2) M16 Rifles, fifteen (15) M14 Rifles, ten (10) 30M1 Garrand Rifles, two (2) Carbine Rifles and one (1) cal .45 pistol owned by Edaño. (NEWSWATCH)

BSC Debate Club sponsors grand debate on the division of Bukidnon

September 27, 2006

MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON – The Bukidnon State College Debate Club recently sponsored the grand debate with the motion “This house supports the division of Bukidnon.”

The debaters followed the British Parliamentary Debate format. On the opening government side, debaters were Dawn Roque and Darrel Catane from School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). On the closing government, debaters were Kristine Ann Cruz from SAS and Jacky Lou Cellan from the School of Community Education and Industrial Technology (SCEIT).

On the opening opposition, debaters were Cristine Garcia and Gretchen Vasaya from Secondary Education (SED). And for closing opposition, debaters were Paul Patrick Padua and Eric Melendez from SED.

Cellan was declared as Best Speaker. The board of judges declared the closing government side as the winning team.  Both pros and cons cited reasons why there is a need or there is no need for the division of Bukidnon.

First District Congress-man Juan Romero Nerius Acosta was the special guest. Acosta acclaimed BSC to sponsor the first ever-public debate of the division of Bukidnon issue. The congressman said that the power of argument depends on the people.

“Both proposal and opposition must be heard. This has not been done to Bukidnon Sur bill. The people of Kalilangan and Pangantucan do not know what’s going on and perhaps only the ally of Third District Congressman Juan Miguel Zubiri and Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr knows. There was no public hearing held in Bukidnon about the bill when the house committee passed it,” Acosta told.

Cong. Zubiri passed the house bill creating the province of Bukidnon Del Sur. Reportedly, Bukidnon del Sur passed all the requirements for the creation as a new province. The new province will be composed of the munici-palities of Maramag, Don Carlos, Quezon, Kitaotao, Dangcagan, Kibawe, Da-mulog, Kadingilan, Kalila-ngan and Pangantucan.

Kalilangan and Pangantucan are extracted from the congressional district of Acosta. Elected officials from the barangay to the municipal level in southern Bukidnon had chosen Don Carlos as the center of governance or capital town.

The mother Bukidnon province will composed of the municipalities of Malitbog, Talakag, Baungon, Libona, Manolo Fortich, Sumilao, Impasug-ong, Lantapan, San Fernando, Cabanglasan, and the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia. 

Acosta also sponsored a bill creating Bukidnon Occidental and Bukidnon Oriental but congress junked the bill. 

Governor Zubiri supported the creation of Bukidnon Del Sur. The governor also said that the mother Bukidnon province will received more than P600Million Internal revenue Allotment (IRA) and the newly created Bukidnon Sur province will received more than 400Million IRA. Recently the senate committee hears the bill in Cagayan De Oro City and sooner the committee will pass a report to the Senate.