Cotabato mayor, six others to face frustrated, attempted murder charges

muslimin semaThe city mayor of Cotabato City  and six other co-accused vowed to face the charges filed against them by a political foe in connection with a 2012 ambuscade that linked them to the incident.

The case against City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. and his group stemmed from the ambush of former City Vice-Mayor Muslimin Sema on Jan. 10, 2012 along Gonzalo Javier St. that inflicted gunshot wounds in his face and body.

On Tuesday, Sema, concurrent chair of the Moro National Liberation Front Council of 15, filed frustrated and attempted murder charges against Guiani and six others in connection to the incident.

The filing of charges came after the Department of Justice (DOJ), which formed a panel of persecutors to investigate the case, found probable cause to pursue the matter.

Charged together with Guiani before the Regional Trial Court here were the mayor’s sister City Administrator Frances Cynthia Sayadi and her husband, Umbra; City Councilor Graham Nazer Dumama; Association of Barangay Captains president Abdilla Lim; Rosary Heights 5 barangay chair Amil Sula; and P/Insp. Noel Gutierrez of the city police force.

“We will face the case before the court because we are innocent of the charges, the mayor said during a press briefing held at the city hall on Wednesday.

Guiani has assured Cotabateños that it is business as usual at the city government despite the latest concern besetting the city administration.

“The fight has just begun,” Sayadi, a lawyer herself, said referring to the case.

Sema had earlier said that he felt vindicated over assertions that he staged an “ambush me” incident to tarnish the image of Guiani and gain the sympathy of Cotabateños following the DOJ resolution.

“Whose person is in his right mind to let bullets pierce through his face and body?” he earlier asked over a local radio station during a separate interview.

In the 2013 polls, Guiani defeated Sema, who served as local chief executive from 2001 – 2007, in the mayoral race.Guiani served as city vice-mayor under Sema during his term as mayor.

Following the end of Sema’s three terms as mayor in 2007, Guiani sought for the mayoral post and won while the former slid to the vice-mayoral spot. (PNA)

DAP RALLY

MILF fears DAP scandal could affect Congress approval of Bangsamoro Basic Law

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it expects the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be passed by Congress despite government being caught up in the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Last June, Malacañang and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) committed that the BBL draft will be submitted to Congress when it resumes session on July 28.

President Benigno Aquino said earlier he would submit to Congress the draft of the BBL when he delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) also on July 28.

lnland dleonorLast week In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Philippine government and the MILF agreed on the language and interpretation BBL draft and renewed their commitment in creating a mutually acceptable draft of the BBL. The panels are holding further talks in Manila in a bid to submit the draft to Malacanang, ahead of President Aquino’s SONA.

The BBL will have to be put through a plebiscite in Mindanao provinces that are expected to be part of the new Bangsamoro political entity.

The BBL will formalize the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The draft crafted by the BTC was based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed in March.

DAP RALLY

MILF fears DAP scandal could affect Bangsamoro law

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it expects the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be passed by Congress despite government being caught up in the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Last June, Malacañang and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) committed that the BBL draft will be submitted to Congress when it resumes session on July 28.

President Benigno Aquino said earlier he would submit to Congress the draft of the BBL when he delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) also on July 28.

Last week In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Philippine government and the MILF agreed on the language and interpretation BBL draft and renewed their commitment in creating a mutually acceptable draft of the BBL. The panels are holding further talks in Manila in a bid to submit the draft to Malacanang, ahead of President Aquino’s SONA.

The BBL will have to be put through a plebiscite in Mindanao provinces that are expected to be part of the new Bangsamoro political entity.

The BBL will formalize the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The draft crafted by the BTC was based on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed in March.

duterte parago

DUTERTE: AFP vs. rebels a never-ending battle

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the military campaign against communist rebels is a war without an end, and urged resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the leftist National Democratic Front (NDF).

Peace negotiations between the NDF, the political arm of the communist movement in the Philippines, and the Philippine government have been stalled.

Duterte, named recently by President Benigno Aquino as chair of the Davao Region Peace and Order Council, said he is saddened by deaths on both sides of the 45-year conflict as sporadic battles between the two forces continue without let-up.

The Davao Region, along with Caraga Region, have been tagged by military as the hotbed of the communist insurgency.

It breaks my heart to see troopers, policemen and rebels die. They are all Filipinos, he said in his television program Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa on ABS/CBN-Southern Mindanao.

Duterte has an established contact with NDF leaders and ground commanders of the NPA; takes center stage in release of captured soldiers and policemen. As mayor of Davao City for 23 years, he has a standing compact with the NPA to spare his city from violence.

He said he is helpless against encounters and clashes between the two forces, and has gone to pleading to the NPA not to fire shots in cases that are not “life-and-death situations,” and if an exchange of firepower with military can be avoided.

   I have done my part. But we have no choice but to talk, he said addressing both military and the rebels.

 npa surigao surNPA in bloody July offensives

The communist New People’s Army (NPA) was all over in the Davao and Caraga regions, including the Bukiidnon province, during the month of July, launching bloody tactical offensives both costly to government forces and the insurgents.

In Caraga on July 15, about “70 NPA rebels attacked  the camp of gold-mining tribal leader Calpito ‘Datu Calpit’ Egua  in Barangay Sta. Irene, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

The NPA admitted debacle in their simultaneous attack on the gold processing plant and two other targets in Prosperidad and Bayugan towns , with 14 of their fighters killed. Four of Egua’s guards were killed in the attacks. Two soldiers were killed.

Government troopers recovered four M16 and four AK-47 rifles from the NPA.

In Laak, Compostela Valley, the rebels ambushed a military truck of the 25th Infantry Battalion-10th Infantry Division in two separate incidents on July 14. Five troopers were killed according to the NPA.

The attacks were preceded with an NPA raid on July 10 in Alegria Municipal Police Station in Surigao del Norte where the NPAs took as hostage four police officers.

The NPA also admitted to killing Mayor Mario Okinlay of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon last July 2.

On July 8 in Barakatan, Toril Davao City, the NPA’s Mt. Apo Sub-regional Command ambushed a team of the police Special Action Force killing two policemen.

npaMilitary sees defeat of communist insurgency’

Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista, in Zamboanga City days before his retirement on July 20, said he is leaving the military service with high hopes that the communist insurgency will finally be defeated.

Bautista said that a large number of provinces have already been freed from the stranglehold of communist rebels.

He credited the military’s Internal Peace and Security Plan, which was drafted under his tutelage as chief of staff, for the “downgrading” of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army.

We are midway into the anti-insurgency campaign (and) we see big improvements in as far as urging the CPP-NPA to abandon its struggle, he said.

Bautista said that in Mindanao, for example, “a lot of communists had surrendered” and this was largely due to the Bayanihan concept, under which the military undertakes development programs in the countryside.

Major General Domingo Tutaan Jr., Armed Forces spokesperson, said the military has “normalized 43” of the 75 provinces where the rebels had a presence.

Military commanders in Mindanao said the NPA continued to carry out offensives but these were just part of its “last acts.”

But Isabel Fermiza, spokesperson of the NPA’s Mt. Apo Sub-regional Command, said the NPA’s successful offensives showed that the insurgency was alive.

“Up to now, the AFP has failed to wipe out any single guerrilla front in Mindanao and to prevent the NPA from forming more fighting and fully-armed platoons. The AFP has failed to stop Red fighters from expanding and consolidating its mass base,” Fermiza said.

The mountains of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao City are known hotbeds of the communist movement in the country and are the focus of the military’s counter-insurgency campaign, Capt. Ernest Carolina, spokesperson of the military’s 10th Infantry Division based in Davao City, said. (with Inquirer report)

 

npa surigao sur

Special Report: CAPTURE OF DAVAO CITY IS COMMUNIST REBELS’ GOAL

By ROGER M. BALANZA 

            Years ago, a military official said amid massive assaults by New People’s Army (NPA) on government forces in the Davao Region that the primary target of the communist rebels is the capture of Davao City.

      Davao City, the premier city of Mindanao and the regional capital of southern Mindanao, is a prized catch for the insurgents.

map 3This has not happened but the prognostication based on recent events is an open-ended scenario with the communist insurgency growing stronger in southern Mindanao. The military has admitted the Jose Maria Sison-founded Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the NPA are now focusing their campaign in eastern Mindanao, particularly the Caraga and Davao regions.

Lieutenant General Gregorio Catapang Jr. is the new Armed Forces Chief replacing now retired General Emmanuel Bautista. Catapang has assured that "Let me assure the AFP will further enhance the Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan.  “We shall ensure that we will not only win the peace, but we will also help win progress in prosperity for our people," Catapang says.
Lieutenant General Gregorio Catapang Jr. is the new Armed Forces Chief replacing now retired General Emmanuel Bautista. Catapang has assured that “Let me assure the AFP will further enhance the Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan. “We shall ensure that we will not only win the peace, but we will also help win progress in prosperity for our people,” Catapang says.

Ever since, the mantra of every incoming chiefs-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is a vow to totally crush the communist insurgency during their tenure.

Ever since, the mantra of every outgoing commander of the AFP has always been hot air: that the communist insurgency has been reduced to a minuscule entity as they bow out of office to usher in another chief-of-staff to continue the battle against what military describe as already a ‘non-entity.’

And yet, the insurgency remains alive, if not its forces growing bigger, is growing in ferocity in the fight against government forces; its mass base  becoming broader in the hinterland areas despite the military’s intensified peace and development projects of bringing social services in the battle to capture the “heart and mind” of the hinterland population.

Is the capture of Davao City an imminent nightmare still to happen?

Thank God that it has not happened since the 2008 shock and awe prediction of the military official during a public consultation in Compostela Valley about the rebel agenda for Davao Region particularly its regional capital of Davao City.

But even as Davao City remains safe despite the warning of the Philippine Army 10th Infantry Division, the military claim the insurgency has been licked remains an untruth.

The insurgency is alive and the rebel agenda of circling and capturing Davao City could still happen.

That the communist insurgency is dying and that it has been reduced to a minuscule entity is a falsity that we confront today.

The facts are clear: After more than 4 decades of fighting, the insurgency is alive; the military boast to crush it remains a dream.

The battle continues and this may include the black scenario of the rebels capturing Davao City if not taking control of its peripheries.

Recent events could be indications of this scenario.

        And there might just be a grain of truth in Lt. Col. Sumayo’s dreaded prophecy.

Lt. Col. Sumayo who represented then 10th Infantry Division commander Major Gen. Jogy Leo Fojas then told an assembly in 2008 in Compostela Valley that the rebel attacks in the province are simultaneous with atrocities in the Sarangani province, North Cotabato, Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental.

   The military officer made his appearance at the Assembly for Peace, Unity and Good Governance held in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley organized by Governor Arturo Uy, as rebels went on a rampage of abducting troopers and policemen and raiding police and military outposts.

            Showing pattern of rebel movements in a PowerPoint presentation, Sumayo pointed to clashes and encounters with the rebels in the provinces north, south, east and west of Davao City. Eventually, when the rebels get a foothold in these critical areas,   the movements would lead to Davao City being encircled by rebel forces.

            Davao City is the target, he said, explaining the city is at the center of Davao Region’s socio-economic and political activity and the rebels would want to make a loud statement by capturing the region’s capital.

      The signs are frightful, if recent events are indications of the rebels’ bad intention of putting Davao City in a stranglehold.

      In Davao City’s east-south-west peripheries, the NPA Mt. Apo sub-regional command in tandem with the NPA Far Couth Command operating in the Cotabato provinces recently made its presence anew with attacks in Davao del Sur towns; only this month, the rebels killed two members of the  police Special Action Force in an ambush in Barakatan, Toril in Davao City. Only 70 kms. from downtown Davao City in Paquibato District, the First Pulang Bagani Command headed by legendary rebel leader Leoncio “Parago” Pitao remains active in the farflung district and the boundaries with Davao del Norte and Bukidnon.

That rebels have ease in penetrating the urban center was shown in a recent daring attack on an equipment depot of   construction company at the heart of the Davao City where they burned heavy equipment.

Compostela Valley, tagged by military along with the Caraga Region as today’s hotbed of communist insurgency, has long coastal areas facing Davao City that could be a launching pad for a sea-borne attack on the city. Inland rebel forces could easily combined with Caraga and Davao del Norte rebel units in a concerted attack on Davao City.

Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has replaced General Emmanuel Bautista as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

In his valedictory report, Bautista spelled the gains of the AFP in the counter-insurgency campaign during his term.

In taking over his new post, Catapang vowed to win the battle against the insurgents.

The statement of the generals are recycled accomplishments and vows repeated over and over again.

And yet, the communist insurgency remains alive and stronger.

DALISAY

Your foolishness will go home to your body

durian logoIt was just right that the Davao City Council taught a hard lesson to a small-time event organizer by recommending that her business permit with City Hall be revoked for various violations of rules, regulations and policies imposed by the local government on business.

KAT DALISAY IN TEARS ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE DAVAO CITY COUNCIL SHE EARLIER CALLED AS  HYPOCRITES. photo by BOTConsultancy
KAT DALISAY IN TEARS ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE DAVAO CITY COUNCIL SHE EARLIER CALLED AS HYPOCRITES. photo by BOTConsultancy

Kat Dalisay of Manic Nigthnings deserves her fate as she is also an epitome of arrogance when she described members of the Davao City Council (which includes Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte who is the presiding officer of the legislative body) as ‘hypocrites.”

Your foolishness will go home to your body, is an adage that this lady should learn.

Her beef? The Kadayawan Festival Executive Committee which has several city councilors as members, held at bay the approval of her application for special permit for a one-night paid-entrance “Rave Party,” to be held at the Crocodile Park during the August festival.

For many, many reasons: unpaid amusement tax for previous events, security concerns and the reports about past disco parties organized by Dalisay’s outfit where minors smoked and drank liquor beyond curfew hours ( drinking liquor by minors and selling them are prohibited by an ordinance) and about drugs being peddled in the disco party, and about young girls in skimpy attires in bawdy dancing exhibitions.

Vice Mayor Duterte was right in steering his city council to look deeper into the racket of Lady Kat.

       The madam’s myopic and arrogant perspective was that her disco party is to be held in a private compound thus free from interference or regulation by the local government.

This is a big insult to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who  several weeks ago marshaled tight security around the city in wake of reports of terrorist threats. As a precaution, City Hall, in fact, has banned any street parties during the Kadayawan Festival because they are easy targets for terrorist violence plus the fact that the parties need more warm police bodies to monitor and watch for threats.

Naturally, Lady Kat’s braggadocio got the goat of Vice Mayor Duterte, who lectured the woman about City Hall for security reasons having police power to lay down rules in entertainment events held even in private places. Madam Kat’s disco parties are said to draw thousands of young people who could be endangered in case trouble erupts without proper security measures.

The arrogance did not stop there. Lady Kat called city councilors hypocrites. She also accused them, for questioning her racket, of violating “freedom of expression” that is supposed to be expressed in lewd dancing in skimpy, two-piece attires by patrons of her disco party.

She also went public in her assaults against the city councilors and Vice Mayor Duterte by posting her insults in her Facebook account for all the world to read.

 

In her Facebook posts, Lady Kat also came short of calling city officials as prudes, with her suggestion to those who would attend her disco party to come in long sleeves because being sexy, as her clients would be when they come to her party, is supposedly banned by the local government.. Such arrogance!

Ranged against a blabber-mouthed woman, we almost pitied the vice mayor — who during his younger days was not exactly a saint with his all-night partying, all-night  drinking binge and rowdy bar experiences — taking pains to give a lecture on radio and television about exposing young Dabawenyos from evil, about moral values and his authority as a public officials to protect them from bad influence like Lady Kat’s racket.

Where to now, Lady Kat?

       During a city council session, where Lady Kat was present as an invited guest to answer questions about her racket from the people she called “hypocrites,” the city councilors passed a resolution asking City Hall to revoke her business permit.

Well, as we said, your foolishness will go home to your body.

 

DAVAO CITY NEWS BUSINESS TRAVEL DIRECTORY – GO TO GUIDE

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