Back In Davao

Great to be back in Davao for a few days. However, these guys just drink too much.
Well it was Paul's 71ST.

Hospital for Davao

 A P5-billion medical and wellness complex may soon rise on a 10-hectare property south of the city proper with a group of investors already in talks for the project’s plans, an industry group official said.

Carlos Omar A. Vargas, president of the local chapter of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association who is involved in the planning of the project, said the complex will include a medical tower, a hotel, a commercial complex and other related businesses.

Mr. Vargas said the proposal has yet to be finalized, but noted the planned hospital would initially cost about P350 million. Although he declined to identify the investors, Mr. Vargas said many of them are Manila-based who are engaged in the medical profession. 

“We are committed to helping the city become a health and wellness hub of the country,” he told BusinessWorld, pointing out that while there are already tertiary hospitals in the city, there is still a dearth for a wellness complex, which will not only offer basic medical services but other related services as well.

Driving Davao

Driving around Davao City,Mindanao, Philippines

Suaon village, Kapalong town,

The military said today that soldiers foiled a bombing attempt by suspected leftist rebels with the discovery of explosives following a clash in the southern Philippines yesterday.

The noontime encounter in Suaon village, Kapalong town, in Mindanao's Davao del Norte province also left an alleged rebel dead, according to Lieutenant Colonel Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of the army's 10th Infantry Division.

Paniza said soldiers from the army's 60th Infantry Battalion launched a combat operation after residents reported New People's Army guerrillas planting improvised bombs along a village road, sparking a 30-minute fire fight.

Bad News in Mindanao

BANSALAN, Davao del Sur – A prisoner was shot dead for still unknown reasons by the janitor of this town’s police station around 6:55 a.m. Thursday, police said.

Senior Inspector Deozar Almaza, Bansalan police chief, said Restituto Malait was inside his cell when Gibsam Fernandez suddenly appeared and shot him with a .45 caliber pistol.

DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines—Two soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in a landmine explosion in Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur on Wednesday afternoon.

Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said members of the 39th Infantry Battalion were conducting peace and development programs in the village of Sibulan when the landmine, allegedly planted by communist New People’s Army rebels, exploded.

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Xinhua) -- Government troops today captured four New People's Army (NPA) rebels behind the raid on a police station in a southern Philippine city that left one policeman dead and four others wounded, a police official said.

Superintendent Querubin Manalang, spokesperson of the southern Mindanao regional police, said three of the four rebels captured in a raid at their hideout are residents in a village located one kilometer away from the police station they stormed on March 19 in Panabo City, Davao del Norte province.

Human Rights Davao

SIX hundred forty-five human rights victims under former President Ferdinand Marcos lined up at the Almendras Gym in Davao City to receive their US$1,000 compensation granted by a US court.

Not all, however, may receive their expected indemnification, as this early, 18 have already been delisted.

The 645 are from Davao Region alone. Fe Salino, secretary-general of the Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon para sa Amnestiya (Selda), said that among the 7,526 victims in the Philippines, 2,013 were delisted.

"This means that the 645 victims in the region are not sure to receive the equivalent of P43,000," she added.

Salino said that as of Monday, 81 out of 645 victims in the region received the check.

Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped three fishermen

 Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped three fishermen in the southern Philippines and called their company to demand ransom in a reminder of the lingering danger from the battle-crippled terrorist group, police said Monday.
Boat captain Renato Panisales and two crewmen were fishing off southern Sulu province Saturday when Abu Sayyaf gunmen approached on a motorboat and abducted them at gunpoint. The militants called the captives' fishing company in nearby Zamboanga city on Sunday, apparently to demand ransom, police Director Felicisimo Khu Jr. said.
In a separate kidnapping, three Abu Sayyaf gunmen seized restaurant caretaker Rolando dela Cruz on Monday in Lamitan town on Basilan island near Sulu. They fled aboard a jeep, which the militants later burned, regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said.
Cruz's kidnappers were believed to be led by Abu Sayyaf commander Nurhassan Jamiri, who has been blamed for kidnappings, bombings and beheadings in predominantly Muslim Basilan, Cabangbang said.

150-room hotel in Cagayan de Oro

Ayala Land Inc. is building a 150-room hotel in Cagayan de Oro, the third of what is planned to be a nationwide chain of boutique hotels across the country.

The hotel, which will be part of the 3.7-hectare mixed-use development named Centrio, is expected to be completed in 2012, ALI said in a statement issued Monday. The new project seeks to introduce “new industry benchmarks in Northern Mindanao” and is touted to be the first in the area to offer a full range of uses, including retail and office in one integrated location.

The boutique hotel project is a joint venture between AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp. (AHRC), a subsidiary of Ayala Land, and Anflo Management and Investment Corp. (Anflocor), a leading Mindanao firm with interests in fruit export, real estate, hospitality and financing, among others. The chain of boutique hotels to be operated by AHRC will cater to both businessmen and tourists in key “underserved” markets of the Philippines.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) ordered yesterday the closure of Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank of the Aguirre family for insolvency after its liabilities overwhelmed its assets by P8.4 billion, prompting monetary authorities to prepare charges against the board of directors and officials of the bank.
At a hastily called press conference, BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the central bank’s seven-member Monetary Board (MB) decided yesterday to place Banco Filipino under the receivership of the state-run Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC).

Espenilla pointed out that Banco Filipino has insufficient realizable assets to meet its obligations, with its net realizable value at -P8.4 billion.
“Banco Filipino cannot continue in business without involving probable losses to its depositors and creditors,” Espenilla stressed.

Friends Of Mindanao Meeting Minutes

"The latest minutes of the most recent FOM meeting can be found on the Friends of Mindanao site

Rats in Mindanao

EIGHT barangays of Paquibato District in Davao remain under a state of calamity as the City Government and residents continue to place the outbreak of field rats under control, the Davao City Agriculturist's Office (CAO) said.

Leonardo R. Avilla III, officer-in-charge of CAO, said rehabilitation work is ongoing and affected residents are getting assistance from the city after losing their crops to rats and other pests.

They have not set a date on when the calamity state will be lifted, saying they will recommend such to the mayor only after their field personnel will say that there is no longer need for assistance.

Davao Occidental

The division of Davao del Sur into two provinces and the creation of a new province to be named Davao Occidental will “very, very soon be realized,” said Governor Douglas Ra Cagas.
Cagas told the Philippine Information Agency that a plebiscite where the province’s constituents would participate to decide on the matter is expected to be conducted towards end of this year.
The governor divulged that the creation of Davao Occidental Province would take effect by 2013.

Araw ng Dabaw 2010

The opening of 74th Araw ng Dabaw celebration Monday was joined by over a hundred City Government officials and employees at Rizal Park as the city also unveiled the P1.5 million newly-renovated stage at the heart of Davao.

Six sturdy and roofed bleachers were built for spectators of the Araw ng Dabaw and other events. Each bleacher reportedly cost P300,000, bringing to a total of P1.8 million.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said the timely completion of the stage renovation for the 74th Araw ng Dabaw festivities was made possible by the United Architects of the Philippines Davao Chapter (UAP) and home-grown artist Kublai Millan, who made the sculptured Philippine Eagle.

"It is designed like the Philippine Eagle, the eagle that can only be seen here and the pride of Davao," Duterte said in an interview after Monday's opening ceremony at Rizal Park.

Mindanao Dengue

The City Health Office (CHO) here has intensified its anti-dengue campaign to prevent the spread of the disease by distributing curtains treated with insecticide formulation among 19 schools in this city recently.
Dr. Josephine Vilalfuerte, city health office head, said the distribution of treated curtains to the schools is one way of protecting the pupils from dengue fever.
Villafuerte noted that dengue fever is no longer seasonal but a year-long disease.
She said among those that received rolls of curtains are Dona Pilar L. Marfori Elementary School, Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School, Kabacan Elementary School, Cesario Villa Abrille Elementary School, Wireless Elementary School, Dr. Jovito S. Francisco Elementary School, Catalunan Pequeno Elementary School, Generoso Elementary School, New Matina Elementary School, Matina Aplaya Elementary School;
Bayanihan Elementary School, Maa Elementary School, Catalunan Grande Elementary School, Agdao Elementary School, Lapu-Lapu Elementary School, Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School, Teodoro Palma Gil Elementary School, Manuel A. Roxas Elementary School and Rizal Elementary School.
Villafuerte said last year, the Department of Health (DOH) in the Davao Region recorded 20 dengue cases in Davao City alone, the highest figure ever recorded in the region.

Closure by the Board of Nursing.

The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) Davao said many nursing schools in the city were recommended for closure by the Board of Nursing.

PNA regional director Roger Tong-an said of the 80 nursing schools in Davao City, only three are above the national passing rate. However, he refused to identify the schools.

Nevertheless, Tong-an said despite the Board of Nursing’s recommendation for closure to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), these schools in Davao City remained in operation.

He said most of the nursing schools that are recommended closed are owned by politicians or their relatives.

He said the Board of Nursing will evaluate nursing schools throughout the country every five years, and those schools which have frequently failed to go above the national passing rate are recommended to shut down.

Mindanao Tsunami UPDATE

 Thousands of people who evacuated after the 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan have returned home as the government lifted the tsunami alert in 19 provinces.
A radio report said 55,335 residents have returned home after the government lifted at 11:30 p.m. Friday the tsunami alert in the country as no "unusual waves" were monitored in the eastern seaboard of the Philippines where evacuation was earlier ordered.

Residents of coastal villages in Davao del Sur have evacuated following an alert issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council about the possibility of a tsunami hitting some provinces, the police said.

Senior Superintendent Roland dela Rosa, Davao del Sur police chief, said an undetermined number of people fled their homes in the coastal towns for fear of disaster.

Ayala Mall Lanang

 Prices of land near the two biggest mixed-use projects in this city have increased significantly since two years ago.

Carlos Omar A. Vargas, president of the Chamber of Real Estates and Builders Association Davao Chapter, said land prices doubled since the start of the Abreeza project of Ayala Land Inc. and Anflo Investment and Management Corp. located just about a kilometer away from the city proper. 

SM Prime Holdings’ SM North Davao in Lanang district is also under construction and located on the same street as Abreeza’s but about six kilometers north. 

“The search for vacant spaces near these two projects has been intensive considering investors are upbeat,” Mr. Vargas told BusinessWorld.

Officials of both Anflocor and Ayala previously announced the shopping mall would open middle of this year, although not one among the officials of the two companies in recent days could provide a firm schedule on the formal opening. Aside from the mall, also included in the plan are structures for other projects such as a contact center building, a hotel and a residential condominium.

SM City Lanang, on the other hand, is expected to open next year, although Debbie A. Go, SM manager for Mindanao operation also would not specify the opening date. Like Abreeza, SM City Lanang is also a mixed-use project and will have a shopping mall, the second in this city for the Sy-owned company, and an information technology center.

Mr. Vargas said a square meter of land in any of the areas between Abreeza and SM Lanang could go up to as high as P25,000, way above the roughly P10,000 per square meter price before these projects started two years ago.

two communist rebels for the death

Rebellion charges were filed against two communist rebels for the death of four soldiers and the wounding of five others in two separate encounters in Toril here in 2010.
Prosecutor Carlos CastaƱos recommended on March 8 the filing of charges against Roberto Rosete alias "Ka Bobby" and Rachel Daguman alias "Ka Jasmin" based on the affidavit of the surviving soldiers.
Both of the accused are members of the Communist Party of the Philippines/National People's Army (CPP/NPA).
Court records showed that in May 22, 2010, members of Philippine Army's 69th Infantry Battalion (IB) spotted a fresh trail in Purok 2, Barangay Baracatan, Toril. While following the trail, they saw the 60-men troupe of NPA's-Southern Mindanao Regional Command (NPA-SMRC) allegedly led by Rosete and Daguman.

Bukidnon province shooting

Three policemen were killed and five wounded in an attack by suspected communist rebels in the southern Philippines, police and army spokesmen said Monday.

The ambush occurred late Sunday in Malaybalay town in Bukidnon province, said national police spokesman Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz.

The police officers were aboard two vehicles en route to the village of Magsaysay to investigate a report of a killing when the guerrillas ambushed them, Cruz added.

Regional army spokesman Major Julio Eugenio Osias said three policemen died in the ambush while five were wounded.

'We have sent more soldiers to the area to help conduct pursuit operations against the rebels,' he added.
Communist rebels have been fighting the government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running insurgencies in Asia.

Government and rebel negotiators resumed formal peace talks last month after the talks were stalled for more than six years. They agreed to complete the negotiations in 18 months.

Duterte and the city officials

The complaint alleged
Duterte and the city officials used the funds to pay for food and appliances as giveaways as part of a so-called “Pahalipay ni Mayor” program in December 2006. The SEF fund was intended to finance school-related projects in the city.

Apart from Duterte, the Ombudsman also recommended the filing of graft charges against Davao City administrator Wendel Avisado, Councilors Maria Belen Acosta and April Marie Dayap; City treasurer Rodrigo Riola; City budget officer Yolanda Tablizo; City accountant Rizalina Justol; Schools Division Superintendent Gloria Labor; and members of the Local School Board (LSB) identified as Florencio Colina, Alma Castillo, Gracita Camilo Berguia and Warlito Salido.

The complaint alleged Duterte led the city officials in using SEF funds, amounting to P11.5 million, to pay for catering services and the purchase of various appliances like television sets, refrigerators, and washing machines that were given away to city employees during the month-long activity.
The Ombudsman said this was a violation of Republic Act 5447, or the SEF law, that prohibits the use of the fund other than for operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair, educational research, purchase of books, and sports development.

Davao del Norte-Bukidnon Road

Davao del Norte Provincial Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario has asked his constituents to prepare for the opening of Davao del Norte-Bukidnon Road which he envisions to spin economic activities and create economic opportunities.

In an interview with the media (Mar. 02) at the Tahanan ng Gobernador, Del Rosario expected that the completion of the national road passing through the town of Talaingod will push through by next year.
“When that (would be) materialized I cannot imagine the activity that will happen here in our province. I am encouraging our people in Davao del Norte to prepare because a lot of business opportunities will come about due to this highway,” he said.

The P1.5 billion Talaingod(Davao del Norte)- Bukidnon Road is a 58-kilometer large-scale infrastructure project of the national government that is expected to trigger economic activities between the two provinces particularly along the areas it traverses.
It is considered as an important section of the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway traversing Butuan City to Davao City and that of the Sayre Highway along Valencia City in Bukidnon going to Cagayan de Oro City.

Friends Of Mindanao Meeting March 2010

Friends of Mindanao, March 2nd, 2011 meeting minutes

- Opened with new members

- Stacy Baird and James Ryan, both U.S. citizens, talked about James experiences in Ma-a Jail. Thank you both for sharing your story with us. James gave a donation to FOM and asked if we could do some work on the jails showers. Paul will investigate that and get back to us.

- An announcement: A Baby Shower for Rose Bryant. Saturday, March 5th at 3 PM. Pot luck!

- Book & DVD exchange continues to work well.

- We had a guest speaker, Marcus Hendon from Christchurch New Zealand, talk about his homeland and the damage andloss of life there due to the earthquakes. Our thought and prayers are with the people of New Zealand.
-Short break and Raffle w/treasurers report.

-  Don’t forget, Al & Robz American Diner on Crooked Road, Friday Night for Fish and Chips. Robz promises American Style Apple Pie w/ Ice cream for dessert and ask about the discount. See ya’ll there!

- Discussed a future trip. A resort in Digos is being looked at. Any other ideas for a day trip?

- Please get your contact information to myself or Paul F so we can make a card to carry in the wallet.
          -- Cheryl mentioned FOM develop a relationship with some local lawyers. We could have them come and speak to us about possible future needs.

- Talked about a Dinner-Out on the 30th of March with 2 possible locations. I will update you on this at the 16 March meeting.

- The new website is online. 

- We have had a lot of positive comments about the new website, but most people have not noticed there is a printable map on the About Us page. That would be very helpful to anyone you want to invite to future meetings ... check it out on .

          -- I want to thank Richard Tansley, Len Tisdale and Paul Fuller for volunteering to work on the website design.
          -- Reg Newport has agreed to be “moderator” for the first quarter.
          -- Please look over the site, make suggestions for improvements and maybe write a short story about living here to be published on the site (w/pictures if possible).

- Our next meeting will be March 16th . Our speaker should be the new Regional Director of the BJMP (director of Jails).

Magbanua Bus Explosion

FIVE people were wounded after the back portion of the bus they were riding exploded in Maguindanao province Thursday morning.
A radio report said that the Grand Courier Bus came from Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat and was headed for Davao City at the time of the incident.
One of the five people who were injured was identified as Regie Magbanua.
Magbanua said the bus just passed by when a bomb suddenly exploded in Datu Paglas town hitting the bus’s back portion.
After the explosion the bus continued moving until it reached a military detachment, which is 200 meters at the scene.

Metrolifestyle Davao

Digos Violence

DIGOS CITY Four persons were killed and another wounded in violent incidents in Davao del Sur on Monday, the police reported Tuesday.

In a report received by Senior Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa, the first incident involved a 37-year old piggery worker from Island Garden City of Samal.

Ronel Maorillo’s body was found with stab wounds in barangay Cogon here around 6:45 a.m. He was last seen drinking liquor with a group of people the night before, dela Rosa said.

At around 5 p.m., Rey Marquez, a government employee was shot to death in Barangay Bolila in Malita town by still unidentified culprits.

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