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Voting 10-3, House committee on Public Information on Monday approved the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, almost a year after a technical working group (TWG) began deliberating on the measure.

Despite the strong opposition of the Makabayan bloc, the panel approved the proposed measure.

Led by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, Makabayan bloc opposed the approval of what they called a “watered down” and “defanged” measure.

With this, the seven-member bloc withdrew their authorship of the measure following its approval by the panel.

Aside from Colmenares, those who voted against the FOI bill ACT-Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio and Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo.

The Senate already approved its FOI version on third and final reading last March and awaiting for its counterpart measure.

Misamis Occidental Rep. Jorge Almonte, the panel chairman, said that he is confident that the consolidated FOI bill is both “progressive but well-balanced” after members of the TWG debated on it for nine meetings that lasted almost a year.

“The TWG devoted most time on the FOI bill deliberating on the provisions on exception. Members even went to the extent of discussing them line by line,” he recalled.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, one of the authors said members of the panel targets to pass the FOI bill at the committee level as soon as possible so debates on the plenary can start immediately.

“A lot of lawmakers have been telling us, how can we endorse the bill if it’s still in the committee level?” he told reporters after the hearing. “That’s why we resolved among ourselves to approve the bill already so it could be brought to the plenary.”

According to the lawmaker, the middle of 2015 is a viable period for the bill to be approved by the House on third and final reading since the House leadership has other priority measures to tackle like the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and the anti-political dynasty bill. (PNA)


“Druglords drowned in Davao Gulf”

digongBistek gets morbid lesson from Digong

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has offered a morbid advice to Quezon City Mayor Herbert ‘Bistek’ Bautista, who slapped a Chinese national intercepted by police in a buy-bust operation with P15 million worth of shabu.

In the Aug. 8 incident, Bautista rushed to the scene of the drug bust and slapped Xu Zhen, who had 10 kilos of shabu in his car, after the Chinaman showed ‘disrespect’ to the mayor by refusing to answer questions.

 Video clips of the slapping incident made yjr rounds online, gaining praise from netizens for the actor-turned politician.

   But Mayor Duterte, who is well known for his iron-fist anti-drugs campaign,  was not impressed by Bautista’s act.

That was not enough. Bautista should have kicked the Chinese, he said.

Duterte hinted Bautista also needs a lesson on how drug lords should be treated.

In Davao City, I load them on a motorboat and throw them into the Davao Gulf for the hungry fishes to feast on, Duterte said.

Antalans brace for war vs. Floirendos in 2016 IGACOS polls


p14 (2)ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL Mayor Aniano Antalan and his brother former mayor Roger Antalan has formed a political group in what is seen as  a challenge to the leadership of the Floirendos in the Davao del Norte tourist island.

 Mayor Antalan, who is on his way out as a last termer mayor, sees the political group Uswag IGACOS (U & I) as a “a strong force to reckon with.”

igacosThe group was formed after the mayor broke political ties with District 2 Representative Anton Lagdameo, a scion of the politically-entrenched Floirendo clan of the late banana magnate Antonio Floirendo Sr. The political career of the Antalans was practically nurtured by the Floirendos starting with the mayor’s older brother Roger becoming the first mayor of the Davao del Norte tourist island.

 Mayor Antalan is rumored to run for vice mayor as running mate of Roger, who will stage a comeback in 2016. The Antalans formed U & I following reports the Floirendos is grooming another candidate for mayor in the 2016 elections.

U & I Party press relation officer Ernesto Quidlat said that the group with the mayor elected as the executive committee chairman and Roger as secretary general would push for greater and consolidated unity among the people and further development of the island.

The group has already received 700 committed member-leaders and already established party chapters in 46 barangays. It has held a first political assembly on July 23.

 “Definitely U & I Party is a force to reckon with in the coming 2016 polls considering that the Antalans are already a political institution,” Quidlat said.

The U & I Party is yet to be registered as a local political party with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila, according to Quidlat.

This early, however, political observers concede that the Antalans would end up as political garbage if they push through with their plans to clash head-on the Floirendos in the 2016 elections.


IGACOS MAYOR ANTALAN blind to rape of mangroves


p14 (2)While beach resort owners in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) are locked in legal battle with City Hall over its order to dismantle their structures that encroached into foreshore areas, an apparently influential businessman is developing a resort and rest house in Barangay Tambo in Babak in blatant violation of the mayor’s order.

The businessman identified in radio reports as an Alex Oliver also built in his resort a jetty that stretched out to sea for about a hundred meters from land.

igacos jettyThe worst of the environmental violation of Mr. Oliver was the destruction of a forest of olD mangrove trees uprooted to provide the resort a wider view of the sea.

ANIANO ANTALAN, Igacos mayor
ANIANO ANTALAN, Igacos mayor

Radio reports said Mr. Oliver appears to be ‘untouchable’ being said to be “close” to Mayor Aniano Antalan, with City Hall appearing to have closed its eyes in the illegal construction that has been ongoing for months now.

Tambo residents are now preparing a formal complaint to be filed before City Hall and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Mayor Antalan has ordered a stop to all illegal constructions and has imposed penalties on existing structures.

The Samal City Resort Owners Association (SCROA) said several of its members have received closure orders from Mayor Antalan for illegal construction.

In a press conference in Davao City in April, SCROA president Engr. Pasto Lozada Jr. said that some members of the SCROA have already received notices of closure after refusing to pay the “unjustifiable” fines imposed by City Hall on the illegal constructions.

The penalties, ranging from P50,000 to P300,000, were imposed against resort owners with jetties by virtue of the City Ordinance 2009-150 or the Revised Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Island Garden City of Samal.

Araceli   Ayuste, SCROA adviser, said that resort owners said the five-year-old ordinance is “very oppressive.”

Ayuste is the owner of the Punta del Sol Beach Resort and is the president of both the Davao del Norte Tourism Council and Mindanao Tourism Council.

There are more than 70 beach resorts around the island.

According to Ayuste, the old ordinance was suddenly revived when they were about to renew their business permits early this year.

SCROA has brought the case to court, and in March, Regional Trial Court Panabo City Judge Dax Gonzaga Xenos issued a prohibition mandamus injunction in favor of the SCROA which stopped Mayor |Antalan from implementing the ordinance and the collection of the fines, said Ayuste.


Bello ordinance to save stray dogs from ending up as ‘pulutan’


Rumors in Davao City are widespread that stray dogs impounded by the City Veterinarian Office (CVO) end up in several directions: killed in a gas chamber of the City Pound, secretly sold to dog-eaters or to a crocodile farm in Maa by corrupt City Pound dog-catchers.

downloadA proposed Davao City ordinance authored by city councilor Karlo Bello is kind to the canines which are destined to die in the gas chamber three days after they are caught without owners claiming them.

If the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has an adoption scheme for abandoned children, Bello’s Adopt-a-Dog (DAD) ordinance would find new homes for the askals (asong kalye).

The Bello ordinance has rules somewhat similar to DSWD’s adoption program: the adopters will be strictly screened for qualification.

crocWhile the DSWD ensures that the adopted children will not fall into a wrong family, the Bello ordinance assured that the adopted dog would not end up being maltreated or being slaughtered by the adopter for pulutan during a drinking binge with dog-eating friends.

Under his proposed ordinance, Bello wants the unclaimed dogs qualified for adoption be spared the gas chamber and given out for permanent or temporary adoption three days after they are caught by the City Pound.

Under the ordinance already passed on Second Reading by the Davao City Council, the CVO is given the task of determining if a dog is apt for adoption and the screening of the adopter.

There is no mention of punishment for the adopters if the dogs end up in the belly of Dabawenyo dog-eaters.


police beat 1A ranking police officer fingered by an arrested suspect has come forward to deny any role in the killing of Cebu City businessman Richard King.

FELONIA KING MURDERPolice Supt. Leonardo Felonia on Monday night, accompanied by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, presented himself to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to wash his hands off the killing of King, who was gunned down by a lone gunman in his office in Sobrecarey St. in Bo. Obrero early evening of June 12.

I am here to clear my name, Felonia, assigned to the Police Intelligence Unit in Camp Crame and former head of the PNP Region XI Regional Intelligence Office (RIO), told media on Monday night at the Southern Mindanao office of the NBI.

Duterte said Felonia surrendered to him but he advised the police officer he should instead give up to authorities.

He should be investigated because his name was mentioned, Duterte told media.


A suspect in the killing, Rommel dela Cerna, had named Felonia as the police officer who allegedly called up Paul Labang, the alleged gunman,  before King was shot in the presence of his staff in his office at the ground floor of `Vital C building.

Labang and Rommel dela Cerna and his brother, Ronel dela Cerna, were arrested Sunday in Laud Firing Range in Maa.

On Monday, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed murder charges against the suspects; a separate charge of illegal possession of firearms was also filed against Labang, who was arrested in possession of a .45 cal. pistol.

Felonia, in a text message, said somebody who is “insecure and jealous” could be behind in the attempt to drag him in the King murder case, a botconsultancy.com report said. SYLVESTER C. BALANZA

king murder

Davao City as model city under ‘President Duterte’


While Davao City Mayor  Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly and vehemently denies he is running for president in 2016, he titillates with hints he would establish an “extremist” government once he sits in Malacanang.

On Sunday in his television program, he acted presidential by saying Davao City would be a model city of his “administration” to showcase the wonders of his extremist governance.

Nevertheless, for the nth time, he stressed that he would have none of the presidency.

“Assuming that I would be a president, then what would I do there?” Duterte asked in his Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa Sunday television program on ABS/CBN on June 20.

In the same vein, however, Duterte again took a presidential stance warning that extreme things might happen if he is elected into the highest office of the land.

Duterte, known for his iron-fisted governance in his city, earlierjapanese-tunnel said that if he is elected he would form, like what the late President Corazon Aquino did after the People Power revolution in 1986,  a “revolutionary government,” and would close down Congress and have all government employees from top to bottom resign their posts.

“Manila people said Duterte is an extremist. Maybe they are not wrong,” Duterte said in the program.

He added that if anybody wants to see the products of extremism, then they must look at Davao City.

 duterte-for-president-20161Spreading like wildfire

 Masanguid group to flood Davao Region with Duterte streamers

More than two years ahead of the 2016 presidential elections, organizers of Pilipinas Duterte 2016 movement has started a campaign aiming to make Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte the next president of the Philippines.

  But the activity will not be luring votes but signatures to convince Duterte to run for the top post in the coming polls.

       Organizers may appear to twit the Commission on Elections (Comelec) but there will be no violations of the Omnibus Election Code on its provisions on early campaigning.

       The Code is violated if the campaign is done outside of the campaign period set by Comelec for an election period.

durter for president 2Mar Masanguid, head of the movement said they will flood the Davao Region soon with posters and streamers with a call urging Duterte to run.

We have already established chapters in all the provinces andduterte-for-president cities of the Davao Region, said Masanguid. The group has already gathered 7 million signatures, according to Masanguid. He said earlier that the movement is gunning for 9 to 10 million signatures, with high hopes the number could convince Duterte to run.

       Duterte has repeatedly said that he is not interested but the Masanguid group is undaunted and has continued the signature campaign that as gone to the Visayas and as far as Baguio. The movement has already covered a large part of Mindanao.

       He said the concept of Duterte running for president was warmly received in all the places the group visited, with many other groups volunteering to establish their own chapters.

Masanguid said that more than a hundred Muslim leaders, mostly village chieftains from the province of Maguindanao, gathered in Davao City recently to join the call for Duterte to run for president.

The village chieftains came from the towns of Boldon, Pagalungan, Datu Piang, Barira, and Shariff Aguak, Masanguid said.

No to DILG post

rody Mayor Rodrigo Duterte emphasized his stand on a recent call for him to be named as the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG),  saying he is not interested on that position.

“What makes me fit just because Mar Roxas is unfit for the job?” Duterte asked in his his television program Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa.

Earlier, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption Chairman Dante Jimenez was quoted as saying that DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is “unfit for the job,” and that “it is time for the country to try Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.”

“I am not interested,” Duterte pointed out.

According to Duterte, the previous administrations have also offered to him various positions in the national government, adding that he refused to accept even one of those presented.

“President Ramos once wanted me to take the same position when former Secretary Rafael Alunan left. President Estrada also offered to me that position, and also as commissioner of customs, but still I refused,” Duterte said.

“President Arroyo also wanted me to be the defense secretary, but I did not accept,” Duterte explained.

“Why would I want a troubled life,” he pointed out. MANILA BULLETIN