Mindanao Insider Daily

Oh, Danny Boy!

Davao City councilor Danny Dayanghirang crucified us on Tuesday last week with his privilege speech at the Davao City Council putting us to task for an alleged erroneous news reports we wrote about his privilege speech two weeks back.
In that speech—carried live by local cable, aired on the city’s two afternoon television news programs and reported in most of the local radio stations—Dayanghirang castigated this corner for reportedly misreporting on his previous privilege speech where he slammed Maa barangay officials led by barangay captain Jun Laud for their culpability in the suicide-death of 12-year old grader Mariannet Amper.
In the privilege speech, Dayanghirang called us a “liar,” coupling that unsavory adjective with a painful accusation that we are making up stories pitting him with Laud and his barangay council.
Laud of course strongly reacted to the Dayanghirang speech—apparently after taking a cue from my news reports—the reason why the councilor had to shield his self at my expense. A week after indicting laud for the Amper death in the November 20 privilege speech, Dayanghirang mysteriously suffered from a case of forced amnesia to say that what I wrote—I was present at the said session to hear the uncalled for verbal attack against Laud—was the product of my own imagination.
Oh, Danny Boy!
Yesterday, I took the pains to secure a copy from the records division of the Davao City Council of the transcript of the November 20 privilege speech of the honorable councilor.
Councilor Danny, according to the transcript, lied to his teeth when he said in his last week’s privilege speech that I made up stories in the news reports about his privilege speech two weeks ago where he blamed Laud and company for the death of the Amper girl.
My own medical readings tell me that forced amnesia is not a debilitating disease and the sufferer may be brought to reality with a little guidance, which in this case the narration of the facts of the case from the records of what is true as documented by the city council itself.
Councilor Danny denying my report? This is what the transcript—part of it by the way—says about the Danny speech:
“I am just concerned and intrigued…on how the barangay officials of Maa reacted or extended assistance to the late…Mariannet Amper.”
“I have not seen any barangay official neither the barangay captain (of Maa) tinker into the problem of this innocent lady, Ms. Amper, and what they have done as far as their office is concerned.”
“The barangay government is the smallest government unit….supposed to be in the frontline of ….handling barangay constituent’s problems.”
“Under the law….barangay officials can be accused of negligence….can be ground for suspension or removal from office…for remiss of duties and responsibilities.”
“The lesson on how the barangay respond (ed) to the needs of its constituents in Maa should not be the kind of behavior of any barangay official….(which) is not a good example.
“I hope this will be an awakening incident that we, in public service should discharge our duties with the highest degree of responsibility. And failure to do so can be a ground for investigation by the….City Council.”
“In the proper time….I am toying with the idea that the DILG should closely monitor the barangay officials.”
With the transcript of his own speech based from council records staring at him, would councilor Danny continue to call me a liar?
Anyway, yesterday I asked in a formal letter floor leader councilor Bonifacio Militar to give me a chance to correct Danny’s lies with the audio tape of his speech played today in the privilege hour where Danny showed he can lie to his teeth—in the spirit of fairness.
Will the honorable councilor oblige with this request?

Against armed attacks

Comelec officials

allowed to carry guns


            The Commission on Elections has allowed its officers to carry guns, to protect them election-related assaults.

            Melcar Unso, spokesman of Comelec XI, said Comelec Manila has issued an order allowing personnel to arm themselves in wake of potential attacks following the just-concluded barangay elections.

            In Manila last month, the chief of the legal division of Comelec was gunned down. The motive behind the attack however could not yet be established, said police.

            Unso said having arms would allow Comelec personnel to carry out their tasks more comfortably.

            In the region, several complaints have been filed at Comelec in relation to the barangay elections.

            In Tagum City last week, the Comelec provincial office was burned down in a case that police said could be related to electoral complaints in the recent polls.

            Comelec personnel would want to carry guns would be issued a Mission Order and a Permit to Carry Firearm, said Unso. RMB   

Aerial spray no harm to coconut trees


Mindanao Insider Daily

The recent issuance by the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City of a Temporary Restraining Order against the Davao City ordinance banning aerial spraying in banana plantations forces us to recall comedic incidents that transpired while the issue was being hotly deliberated.
The plight of farmers raising coconuts near banana plantations was among the bigger issues raised by oppositors to aerial spraying. If the farmers are to be believed, fungicides used in aerial spraying led to proliferation of the rhinoceros beetle that ravished their coconut trees leading to low copra yield..
The alleged rhinoceros beetle attack had been brought last year in a formal complaint to the Davao City Council committee on environment then chaired by councilor Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling, who conducted a committee hearing attended by the farmers.
Backing up the farmers’ claim at the committee hearing were members of the Interface Development Initiative (IDIS), the NGO that had mobilized support against aerial spraying and the proposed ordinance banning the farm practice that was eventually passed by the Davao City Council.
In one of the committee hearings, Davao City agriculturist Rocelio Tabay—a mean joker outside or inside of a drinking session—admitted an alarming growth in the number of rhinoceros beetles in the coconut farms but demolished the farmers’ claim that fungicides impregnated the insects causing the overpopulation.
Based on results of an investigation by a team he sent to unravel the mystery, Tabay said the farmers are themselves to blame for the growing beetle population: farmers do not practice sanitary methods in maintaining their coconut trees. In simple terms, he told the Cabling committee that the beetles multiplied faster because farmers left dead coconut tree trunks and leaves to rut just anywhere allowing the beetles to breed on them.
But Tabay said the office of the city agriculturist is not stopping at merely pinpointing the culprits—the farmers and their bad farming habits—but is finding ways to stop the beetle attacks by cutting down their population.
One of these is what Tabay said is a deadly but cheap home-made brew that would spare the farmers the agony of buying expensive imported insecticides.
And what is this anti-rhinoceros beetle cocktail? A mix of your favorite Tanduay rum, spiced up by a San Miguel Beer Grande or Red Horse, a packet of ordinary detergent and a bagful of siling labuyo that grows abundantly in the farms.
Tabay and his team had conducted tests on the mixture and found an outstanding success at wiping out almost all the beetles in one of the ravished coconut farms.
But there is a problem. The brew is applied using sprayers with extended nozzles attached to long bamboo poles raised up to the level of the coconuts.
As the deadly Tanduay-Beer Grande-Red Horse-detergent-siling labuyo brew is sprayed on the coconuts, parts of it by the principle of gravity fall down on his spraying team, who ends up with itchy eyes. Sobrang halanga kuno. Sili god na. Between the rhinoceros beetles and the complaining farmers, Tabay said he sided with his men and stopped the practice.
But still all is not lost yet. Tabay said he is risking ending up a laughing stock by city councilors whom he is asking for funding for purchase of gas masks for his team to continue spraying the cocktail without endangering their eyes from the deadly brew.
Tabay should have been invited by the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City to give his piece on the rhinoceros beetles attack allegedly caused by aerial spraying of fungicides in coconut farms near the banana plantations. While I heard that this claim had been demolished by the Philippine Coconut Authority before the court, Tabay would have enlivened the court hearing with his funny story about his men going blind from spraying the deadly brew that he invented against the insects.
As the matter now stands, the Court of Appeals has issued the TRO, apparently after discrediting the farmers’ claim about fungicides having killed their coconut trees.
By the way, the Philippine Coconut Authority has also taken the position that the farmers’ failure to observe phyto-sanitary measures—not aerial spraying of fungicides—caused the proliferation of the beetles.
According to the agency, farmers do not properly dispose of decaying coconut trunks and other farm wastes and forest trees that become rich breeding places of rhinoceros beetles. – considered as the premier pest of coconut. If left uncontrolled, coconut production will reduce drastically, thereby affecting the economy.
IDIS, the NGO who poisoned the coconut farmers with the lie about aerial spraying driving rhinoceros beetles to overpopulation leading to death of the trees and low copra yield, if it is really serious about helping the farmers, should apply with the city agriculture as members of Tabay’s team that would spray on the beetles his Tanduay-Beer Grande-Red Horse-detergent-siling labuyo brew.

Duterte hits Trillanes

Economy not GMA

victim of failed coups



            Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the national economy is the biggest casualty of military adventurism.

            He also said those moving for President Arroyo’s ouster should wait for the 2010 elections and allow the electoral process to pick a new president.

            Duterte gave the statement on Saturday before barangay officials here as a new attempt to oust the President fizzled out on Thursday, hours after a group of military men led by Senator Antonio Trillanes took over the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati.

            Rebellion charges have been filed against Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, one of the leaders of the Oakwood Mutiny last year, and 48 others involved in the latest destablization move against the government.

            Duterte said the new attempt at ousting President Arroyo sent anew jitters to the economy that has barely recovered from past failed coups.

            These people think only of themselves, said Duterte before newly-elected barangay officials he sworn into office at the Almendras gym.

            He urged barangay officials not to emulate the adventurist bent of the military officials and urging them to work for the development of their barangays.


PBGEA slams NGO ‘lies’ on CA TRO vs. aerial ban

PBGEA slams NGO ‘lies’
on CA TRO vs. aerial ban

The banana industry in Davao City begged the local media not to bite misinformation peddled by oppositors to aerial spraying in banana plantations, that has been slapped a 60-day Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City.

The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) made the appeal as local papers published a report saying that a rally held by oppositors in Cagayan de Oro City “was met by at least a dozen police men in full battle gear and that police came with long firearms.”

The report was based on a press release issued by the Mamamayang Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (MAAS), which along with the Interface Development Interventions (IDIS), led the lobby for the aerial spraying ordinance at the Davao City Council.

Another report also traced to MAAS and IDIS said that security guards drove away a small group of 20 who picketed the office of PBGEA on Rizal Street in Davao City.

IDIS and MAAS had led rallies and pickets against aerial spraying before the Davao City Council approved the ordinance banning the practice.

They brought the mass action at the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City after the PBGEA sought an appeal after the Davao City Regional Trial Court upheld the legality of the ordinance.

Last week, MAAS and IDIS conducted simultaneous rallies in Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City as the Court of Appeals issued the 60-day TRO.

There were only three policemen at the CA who are in regular detail as part of security measures at the time of their rally, said PBGEA of the Cagayan de Oro City incident.

Security guards in buildings fronting the PBGEA office in Rizal Street merely told the rallyists to keep off the middle of the street because they were creating a traffic jam, said PBGEA.

Anthony Sasin, spokesperson and director of PBGEA, said the rallies were “obviously intended to exert undue pressure on the Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro.”

“All that we want is a fair, objective and sober resolution of the merits by the Court of Appeals. It is unfortunate that the other parties are resorting to these tactics to put undue pressure on the court, instead of focusing their attention to pleading their case in court based on law and evidence,” Sasin said.

“We are confident that the Court of Appeals will resolve the matter based on
the merits,” he said.

City Hall suspends ban on aerial spraying

The Davao City government has suspended implementation of an ordinance banning aerial spraying in banana plantations after the Court of Appeals issued a Temporary Restraining Order against the controversial legislation.

The Ordinance is subject of appeal at the CA by the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), the association of large export Cavendish banana growers in Southern Mindanao.

We have suspended implementation of the ban, said City Administrator Wendel Avisado. He said however that the City Legal Office is filing a counter-appeal in the case that the PBGEA said would dictate the fate of the dollar-earning export Cavendish banana industry.

Export bananas the biggest dollar-earning industry and the biggest employer in the Davao region.

The CA in Cagayan de Oro City released on November 23 granting a 60-day TRO against the ordinance passed by the Davao City Council.

The TRO is seen as a triumph by PBGEA which in Davao City alone employs about 20,000 workers in about 5,000 hectares earning a combined salary of P70 million.

The PBGEA said aerial spraying fungicides in banana plantations controls the deadly leaf disease black sigatoka, whose spread could affect volume and quality.

As the ban was in effect, the Lapanday Development Corporation laid off about 200 workers last week, saying it could not afford the cost of converting application of fungicide to boom-spraying or manual spraying.

Without aerial spraying, the most economical and efficient method of applying fungicides, banana growers under the ordinance would be forced to provide expensive road networks in plantations to allow boom-trucks to conduct the spraying at ground-level. The other method—manual spraying—would need huge manpower and is ineffective against the fast-spreading sigatoka.



 by ROGER M. BALANZA                               

 From our perch in Mindanao in Davao City, we could only say there was opportunity lost to kick out GMA in that Trillanes and Lim caper at the Manila Peninsula in Makati.           

Thanks to the pesky Manila media.           

We say lost opportunity because this latest attempt to lure support to oust GMA could have been converted into a real springboard to bigger things—albeit the bloody consequence it would have entailed.           

Had not the pesky Manila media not thrown a monkey wrench into the Pen incident—by shielding the mutineers with their presence in the Pen—these are the scenarios that could have led to what I call bigger things to happen ahead:            

Scene ONE. Police/military order media members out of Pen. If they refuse to budge, smuggle in gas masks to hotel for Trillanes and Lim and the other mutineers. Attack the hotel with laughing gas, to force members of the press out of the hotel. Give deadline for Trillanes and company to surrender. If they refuse to give up, call in the SWAT to rain the function room they were holed in with M14, M16, M203, etc. Pick up the RIP bodies of Trillanes and company and show footage of brutal killings on national television.           

 Consequence: Revolution.            

 Scene TWO. If the members of the press would not run out of the hotel despite nearly laughing to death from the laughing gas, send SWAT to carry out the last scenes above.            Consequence: Revolution with international support.             

Trillanes’s eyes had the suicidal glint when he was interviewed by television indicating he was serious when he said he has the will and the fighting spirit to face the consequence of his action—before turning himself in. We take that statement as Trillanes willingness to face death—an opportunity denied him by the pesky media which never left his side. Had media let Trillanes and company alone and give government troopers a chance to kill them, these could have sparked a national outrage of the same intensity as the killing of Ninoy Aquino that led to Marcos’s ouster.  


No Favor Nor Fear