DAVAO CITY NOT ANTI-BUSINESS IN PADLOCKED RESORT

emars wavepool

Quitain wants win-win solution to Emars Wavepool Resort’s woes

Davao City Administrator Melchor Quitain said City Hall is “pragmatic’ about resolving the issue of the Emar’s Wavepool, Resort & Restaurant, a popular resort closed down two years ago for lack of business permit.

UPDATE

NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS

We are seeking a win-win solution, said Quitain who emphasized that the local government was not being anti-business when it stopped Emar’s operation.
Quitain advised Emar’s to take a first step to revive discussion on its appeal to re-open the facility in Times Beach, Matina, Aplaya.
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First, it should appeal to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to recall the closure order issued by then Mayor Sara Duterte, said Quitain.
Emar’s shares its woes with Queensland Hotel which has built a Baywalk reclaimed from parts of a 24-hectare Reservation Area owned by the city government.
In the previous Davao City Council, then city councilor Arnolfo Cabling, environment committee chair,tackled the Emar’s and Queensland issues and recommended lease of the property.
The issues are now being handled in the 17th City Council by councilor Leah Librado-Yap, chair of the sub-committee on housing for special projects. Quitain said City Hall is awaiting the action  of Librado-Yap on the lease recommended by Cabling.
Until it was closed down by then Mayor Sara Duterte, Emar’s was a top tourist attraction with its multi-million state-of-the-art wavepool, the first in Mindanao.BY ROGER M. BALANZA

Davao City annual income seen to breach P6-Billion in 2014

aeon

Mindanao’s tallest building. Davao City’s symbol of progress in the construction boom is the P2.5 billion Aeon Towers, Mindanao’s tallest at 35 floors, would start construction in 2015 and completed in 2016. The state-of-the art mixed-use condominium along J.P Laurel Avenue in fast-growing business district Bajada, would have 30 floors for 500 semi-furnished condominium units

 

THE DURIAN POST NO. 145
THE DURIAN POST NO. 145

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

Davao City officials are optimistic year 2014 would bring more revenues for the local government, with some saying annual income could breach the P 6 – Billion mark.

Although official figures are not yet out, the city’s 2013 annual revenue could top off the nearly P5-Billion income in 2012.

Davao City Council finance committee chair Danilo Dayanghirang said revenue-raising pieces of legislation pushed by city councilors could raise more revenues to bring P6-Billion to city coffers in 2014.

City treasurer Rodrigo Riola said more investors are expected in Davao in 2014 lured by good business climate, including peace and order.

Business bureau officer-in-charge Atty. Lawrence Bantiding said business permit applications were expected to increase by 12 to 15 percent this year. There were 35,000 establishments registered by the business bureau in 2013.

Philippines, Moro rebels ink peace deal

bangsamoro 2

The Philippine government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group completed talks Saturday on a deal to end four decades of fighting that has killed tens of thousands of people and helped foster Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia.

The accord between Filipino negotiators and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) calls for Muslim self-rule in parts of the southern Philippines in exchange for the deactivation of the rebel force. Military presence in the proposed autonomous region would be restricted.

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, front left, chairperson of Philippine Government Peace Panel, and Mohagher Iqbal, front right, chief negotiator for the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), exchange signed documents as Malaysian facilitator Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, front center, witnesses after the 43rd GPH-MILF Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. The Philippine government and the country's largest Muslim rebel group completed talks Saturday on a deal to end four decades of fighting that has killed tens of thousands of people and helped foster Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia. Photo: Lai Seng Sin, AP
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, front left, chairperson of Philippine Government Peace Panel, and Mohagher Iqbal, front right, chief negotiator for the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), exchange signed documents as Malaysian facilitator Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, front center, witnesses after the 43rd GPH-MILF Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. The Philippine government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group completed talks Saturday on a deal to end four decades of fighting that has killed tens of thousands of people and helped foster Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia. Photo: Lai Seng Sin, AP

 

 

 

Much now will depend on how the accord is enforced, in particular whether the 11,000-strong rebel forces are able to maintain security in areas that would come under their control. At least four other smaller Muslim rebel groups are still fighting Manila’s rule in the southern Mindanao region, and could act as spoilers.

Officials from both sides announced the conclusion of talks in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which has brokered the yearslong negotiations. The accord and three other pacts signed last year make up a final peace agreement that is to be signed in the Philippine capital, Manila, possibly next month, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

“This will give the just and lasting peace that our brothers in Mindanao are seeking.” said Lacierda, referring to the volatile southern region and homeland of minority Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

Chief government negotiator Miriam Ferrer said that concluding the talks “marks the beginning of the bigger challenge ahead, which is the … implementation.”

Saturday’s accord has been the most significant progress made over 13 years of negotiations to tame a tenacious insurgency that has left more than 120,000 people dead and derailed development in Muslim-populated southern regions that are among the most destitute in the Philippines.

The United States and other governments have supported the talks, worried that rebel strongholds could become breeding grounds for al-Qaida-linked extremists who have sought sanctuary in the region in the past.

Under the peace deal, the Moro insurgents agreed to end violence in exchange for broader autonomy. An existing five-province Muslim autonomous region is to be replaced by a more powerful, better-funded and potentially larger region to be called Bangsamoro.
Despite the milestone, both the government and the rebels acknowledged that violence would not end overnight in a region that has long grappled with a volatile mix of crushing poverty, huge numbers of illegal firearms, clan wars and weak law enforcement.

One rebel group vowed to keep fighting.

“We will continue the struggle,” said Abu Misri, spokesman of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, which broke off from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front three years ago. “What we want is an Islamic state, an Islamic people, an Islamic constitution,” he told The Associated Press by telephone Saturday.

Rebels from another group, the Moro National Liberation Front, took scores of hostages in September when they seized coastal communities in southern Zamboanga city after accusing the government of reneging on its commitments under a 1996 autonomy deal. Thousands of troops ended the 10-day uprising with a major offensive that killed more than 200 people, most of them insurgents.

The accord Saturday outlined the gradual “decommissioning” of the rebel forces, some of whom could be absorbed into a regional security force. Another pact concluded involved the extent of control the proposed autonomous region would wield over resource-rich waters like the Sulu Sea.

Chief rebel negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the latest accord “is the most sensitive, emotional and, as far as I know, it entails a lot of sacrifices on the part of the (rebels) because to pay for real peace in Mindanao we have to decommission our forces.”

He said their weapons will be “put beyond use” under an arrangement to be overseen by an International Decommissioning Body.

Evan Jendruck from the IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre said the success of the new peace agreement hinges on the ability of the former Moro insurgents to put other armed groups under control. While the military would still have a presence in the new autonomous region, security would basically be in the hands of a Bangsamoro force composed of former insurgents.

“Will MILF be able to fill the power vacuum? If they don’t do that, then the peace process won’t go forward,” Jendruck said.

Iqbal said the peace process would not end with the signing of a peace accord. He said that a government-rebel council still needed to complete drafting a law creating the new autonomous region. The legislation then needed to get approval from Philippine Congress, where it is expected to come under intense scrutiny.

Despite the optimism, “let me caution ourselves this early that the final destination of this journey of peace is not within immediate reach yet,” Iqbal said.

A preliminary peace accord that was about to be signed in Malaysia was turned down in 2008 by the PhilippineSupreme Court, sparking rebel attacks on Christian communities that provoked a major military offensive and shattered a cease-fire. (AP)

Duterte bombshell sparks Senate probe on rice smuggling; face-off with Tan set

rice smuggling probe

 Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s expose on rampant rice smuggling in the country has triggered a full-blown probe by the Senate on the contraband cargo that led to trillions of pesos in lost revenues to the national government.

Duterte had named a David Tan aka as Davidson Bangayan as allegedly among the big time rice smugglers behind entry of imported cereal that also jeopardized produce by Filipino farmers.

Following Duterte’s bombshell, Bangayan was invited by a Senate committee probing into the anomaly after giving himself up to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to deny that he is the David Tan linked to rice smuggling.

But Duterte said Bangayan and Tan are the same person and would attend a Senate hearing to face off with the alleged rice smuggler  over his identity.

Explaining his act to go after rice smugglers, Duterte said he is helping the national government raise much-needed revenue by running after tax evaders and smugglers upon request of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief Kim Henares.

Davao City is one of the major ports of entry of rice smuggling.

Duterte said he would kill rice smugglers operating in Davao City if they would not stop.

Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte has thrown his full support to the all-out war of his father, and advised the rice smugglers to pack up their bags.

We have already heard the mayor and the mayor stands true to his words. If he says you will be meeting the Lord soon, you will. If he says you’re headed for hell, you are going to hell, the vice mayor said in a media forum after Duterte dished out the deadly warning.

If I were a smuggler, I’d heed the warning and stop, said the younger Duterte..

Duterte’s deadly warning while sparking a Senate probe also raised the hackles of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

CHR Chairman Loretta Ann Rosales said  Duterte’s threat to kill rice smugglers was ‘unethical.’

Duterte’s role is to ensure good governance and not kill people, said Rosales.

“It’s unbecoming of a public official like him. It gives the impression that we are not living under a government of laws,” Marc Titus Cebreros, chief of the CHR Information and Communication Division, was quoted as saying in an ABS-CBN report online,

In the previous edition of the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on ABS/CBN, Duterte sent a message to the rice smugglers to leave Davao City on pain of death.

If you fail to desist from smuggling, I will kill you, Duterte had said in the  program.

To ensure that the smugglers had stopped, he said he would exercise his visitorial powers as city mayor to inspect the warehouse of the smugglers and will take legal action if they continue to keep stocks of contraband rice.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer had reported that a Goliath, also named David Tan, is behind the rice smuggling in cahoots with corrupt Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials and employees who get bribes of as much as P62 million a week from the smugglers.

In the last two years since Tan reportedly monopolized rice smuggling in the country, the Inquirer report said that kickbacks had reached between P3.85 billion to P6.45 billion.

Duterte said he is prepared to go to jail for the Filipino farmers, whom he said are most affected by the rice smuggling.

He said his threat to “kill” rice smugglers stays until the smugglers stop.

“I’m willing to go to prison for the Filipino farmers,“ he said adding that the government is losing billions and billions of pesos from rice smuggling while reducing the Filipino farmer to poverty.

He said those who want to stop him from threatening criminals have nothing between their ears, clearly referring to CHR’s Rosales.

Duterte has not spared Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for insisting that Bangayan is a Davao City resident.

He has called on de Lima to resign her post, having done nothing against rice smugglers.

RODRIGO DUTERTE

Duterte, Tan face-off

set in Senate probe

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will have a chance to  face off with Davidson Bangayan aka as David Tan whom he earlier identified as a big time rice smuggler,   in the next hearing of the Senate on rampant rice smuggling in the country.

The Senate committee on agriculture and food held its first hearing last week with Bangayan attending to deny that he is David Tan.

Duterte earlier said Bangayan and “David Tan” are one and the same person.

The Davao City mayor said he is going to attend the hearing if he is invited.

 

 

In last week’s hearing, Senator Grace Poe said that Duterte can present witnesses that could establish the real identity of Bangayan and David Tan.

Duterte had said rice smugglers use a cartel of 26 Davao-based cooperatives in cornering supplies of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA).

Based on reports, David Tan and several other Chinese names were identified as the big traders that are cornering a big chunk of the country’s rice imports under the 2013 quantitative restriction import mode of the NFA.

In the Senate hearing, the names Willy Sy, Danny Ngo and David Lim were mentioned as alleged cohorts of Tan.

In the hearing, Jesus Arranza, president of the Federation of Philippine Industries, testified that Bangayan and Tan are the same person.

In 2005, he said that he was sued for libel by Bangayan who attested in his sworn affidavit that he was the same person as David Tan. ROGER M. BALANZA

Duterte tells de Lima to resign

DUTERTE N DELIMA

Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte wants Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to resign her post for failing to build a case against the suspected smuggler David Tan.

On television, Duterte also said he sees malice in De Lima’s insistence that Davidson or David Tan or Davidson Bangayan is from Davao City.

Duterte said Tan is from Tuguegarao, Luzon and not from Davao City.

He said De Lima should have built a case against Tan, a fatal failure that led to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) releasing Tan due to identity problem.

It doesn’t matter what or how many names Tan is using. What’s important is to establish the person’s identity, his persona, and build a case around him. Bangayan and Tan have the same address, company names, even have the same        lawyer, said Duterte.

According to Duterte, DOJ and De Lima should be ashamed that DOJ has done nothing so far against rice smuggling to protect the interest of the national government that lost  1.3 trillion pesos in three years because of smuggling.

Duterte, Tan face-off set in Senate probe

 

 

rice smuggling probe

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will have a chance to  face off with Davidson Bangayan aka as David Tan whom he earlier identified as a big time rice smuggler,   in the next hearing of the Senate on rampant rice smuggling in the country.

The Senate committee on agriculture and food held its first hearing last week with Bangayan attending to deny that he is David Tan.

Duterte earlier said Bangayan and “David Tan” are one and the same person.

The Davao City mayor said he is going to attend the hearing if he is invited.

In last week’s hearing, Senator Grace Poe said that Duterte can present witnesses that could establish the real identity of Bangayan and David Tan.

Duterte had said rice smugglers use a cartel of 26 Davao-based cooperatives in cornering supplies of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA).

Based on reports, David Tan and several other Chinese names were identified as the big traders that are cornering a big chunk of the country’s rice imports under the 2013 quantitative restriction import mode of the NFA.

In the Senate hearing, the names Willy Sy, Danny Ngo and David Lim were mentioned as alleged cohorts of Tan.

In the hearing, Jesus Arranza, president of the Federation of Philippine Industries, testified that Bangayan and Tan are the same person.

In 2005, he said that he was sued for libel by Bangayan who attested in his sworn affidavit that he was the same person as David Tan. ROGER M. BALANZA

No Favor Or Fear

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