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Thursday, June 1, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Masked Men Attack Resorts World Manila


SWAT teams and fire brigades have surrounded the large Resorts World Manila complex, located next to the Philippine capital’s international airport, after reports of gunfire and explosions inside.

Eyewitnesses posted videos on Twitter in which apparent gunshots could be heard emanating from the country’s biggest leisure center, which includes a mall, cinema and casino, while photos were uploaded of a panicky crowd gathered outside.

Updates about the incident at Resorts World Manila immediately populated social networks in the Philippines.

Here’s the latest update:

- Thick smoke coming off the top floor of Resorts World MNL. Gunshots were allegedly heard by people inside the casino area.

- Several wounded after they hurriedly evacuated Resorts World Manila due to alleged shooting incident.

- From Jay Dones, radio Inquirer: “Employees report seeing two armed men in masks enter thru the basement and fire exit of the casino and began shooting.”

- Successive gunshots are heard from the area.

- Ambulances are also on standby.

- Smoke is coming from the building.

Here’s the video from Social Media:

“Just got off multiple calls. ALTHOUGH WE ARE STILL UNCERTAIN AS TO WHO THESE ATTACKERS ARE, there’s rampant speculation that ISIS has penetrated the Resorts World Manila area, specifically Marriot Hotel.

I’ve spoken to several sources now in government and in Malacañang as well as friends from RWM and all we know for sure at the moment is that there’s been gunfire, crowds running, and the attackers are in masks.

(Earlier today, reports came in that actual members of ISIS -- and not just the Maute group -- have taken part in the Marawi situation.)

Will keep you posted as more info comes in.

Please stay safe, everyone.” -- Franco Mabanta

Source: Asian Policy

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Zero Crime Rate In Davao City 3 Days After Martial Law Declaration Of President Duterte


Davao City maintains a zero crime rate for three consecutive days after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared Martial law in Mindanao, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) reported.

Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum, DCPO City Director, told SunStar Davao Saturday, May 27, that it was the first time that their office has recorded zero crime incidents in their 12 police stations citywide from May 24 to May 26.

“You may not believe it but it’s true. Davao City [has] zero crime yesterday (May 27),” Tagum said.

According to him, the city is peaceful now with the declaration of Martial Law and with the implementation of “Hold and Secure” method.

He attributed the result to their implementation of stricter security measures through combined efforts of law enforcement agencies and the deployment of 910 volunteer police auxiliary to maintain peace and order.

DCPO is still in full alert status to prevent possible spillover of the Marawi City siege and diversionary tactics.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had also issued 30 guidelines to be followed by Dabawenyos during Martial Law.

Source: Sunstar PH

Pa, Pray For Me: Soon-To-Wed Soldier Called His Father Before He Was Hit In Marawi Clash


A soon-to-wed soldier called his father to pray for him until his last breath in the midst of his battle against the members of Maute terrorist group in Marawi City.

Army Corporal Angelo Estores Jr, 25, father of two kids and a member of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 5th mechanized battalion was killed last May 25, while trying to get the caliber of his dead companion to continue his fight even only three of them left in the group.

On May 25, at about 1:00 pm, Angelo called his Father, Estores Sr., a retired soldier who survived the Jolo encounter against rebels.

Jestoni Almeres, cousin of Estores, told and recounted the last conversation between the father and son.

“Pa, Pray mo sa ako, murag dili na madayon akong kasal, tulo na lang mi nabilin ang siyam patay na,” (Pa, you Pray for me, my wedding might not push through, only three of us left here, nine of my companions are dead).

During the phone call, Estores Sr. advised his son who is already cornered, “Jun, kung na trap ka ayaw ug gawas kung walay reinforcement (Jun, if you are trapped, don’t get out until reinforcement arrives).”

Estores even told his father, “Ginakamang na naku ang 50-caliber pang, RPG ang ginatira sa amoa pang, wala na koy bala, patay na akong opisal, i-Pray ko ninyo (I am crawling towards the 50-caliber, they are firing us with RPG, I don’t have ammunition, my officer is dead, you pray for me).”

While his father was directing his son what to do, Estores Jr. did not answer the phone but heard the volume of fire, he just assumed his son was only wounded.

At 3:00 pm, the father kept calling his son but the phone kept ringing and no one answered, Almeri narrated.

At 6:00 pm, classmates of Estores Jr., sent messages to his father that “Junjun” was hit.

On May 26, the father received a call from the military command center telling them that Estores Jr. is dead.

Last May 23, when the Estores family held a reunion, Almeres said Estores Jr. called up to apologize that he cannot attend because he was en route to Marawi because the city was attacked by Maute terrorists.

Estores was set to exchange “I do’s” to the mother of his two young kids on June 29 in Pikit, North Cotabato.

But the Marawi siege ended his life.

Meanwhile, residents of Pikit consider Estores a hero, for offering his life to defend the people of Marawi.

Estores friends posted on his Faceboook Account:

“Rest in Peace to our kababayan, a Pikiteño, a victim of extremism and terrorism in Marawi. He fought for peace, he fought for us, he fought for the country! He died a Hero! RIP soldier Angelo Estore.”

“Prang kilan lang nag chat ka pa skin pra ma nga musta. Mskit man sa min lhat tangapin n wla kna. Di n syang ang pagging sundalo mo. Saludo kming lhat sau. Estores and Almeres family ma mimiss knamin insan.”

The Military in a report said 14 soldiers, two police officers and 18 civilians have been killed as of Saturday night, May 27.

Source: Newsline

9 Cebuanos Dominate May 2017 CPA Board Examination


Nine Cebuanos topped the May 2017 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) board examination, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced on Monday evening, May 29.

University of San Carlos (USC) graduates Vianca Pearl Inot Amores and Marianito Jesus Berdin Del Rio shared the first place with a rating of 92.67 percent.

Jessa Comar Bermudo, another USC graduate, placed second with a rating of 92.50 percent.

Alyanna Kate Varga Buenavista and Maaku Wamar Saito, also from USC, ranked fourth with a rating of 91.83 percent.

University of San Jose-Recoletos graduates Harold Panerio Pacaña, who placed sixth with a rating of 91 percent, Marie Claire Rodis Cortes and Jessele Ann Gingosa Echavez, who shared the seventh rank with a rating of 90.67 percent, also made it to the top 10.

While Cristiemay Verano Vertudazo, who placed 10th with a rating of 90 percent, was the sixth USC graduate that made it to the top 10.

USC is also one of the top performing schools with a percentage of 94.29 percent along with De La Salle University-Manila, 85.87 percent, and Ateneo De Naga University, 80.30 percent.

The PRC announced on its website that 3,389 out of 9,645 passed the examination administered by the Board of Accountancy in the cities of Cebu, Manila, Baguio, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, and Tacloban on May 2017.

Source: Sunstar PH

15 Senators Support President Duterte’s Martial Law Declaration In Mindanao


Majority of Senators have expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

Senate Resolution 338, signed by 15 of the 23 Senators, said there is no compelling reason to revoke the martial declaration of the President.

“The Senate finds the issuance of Proclamation No. 216 to be satisfactory, constitutional and in accordance with the law. The Senate hereby supports fully Proclamation No. 216 and finds no compelling reason to revoke the same,” the resolution said.

The resolution was signed by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Manny Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar, and Miguel Zubiri.

Senators Francis Escudero, Grace Poe, Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Leila de Lima, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes IV. did not sign the resolution.

The Senators cited the actions perpetrated by Maute group in Marawi City, which prompted President Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao.

They said the acts committed by the Maute are “an open attempt to remove from the allegiance to the Philippine government the part of Mindanao.”

They added that the bandit group wants to deprive the President of his powers and prerogative to enforce laws of the land and to maintain public order and safety in Mindanao, hence constitutes the crime of rebellion.

Malacañang thanked majority of the Senators for expressing support for the President’s move in Mindanao. 

“We thank the Senate for its resolution expressing support to the President’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

Under the Constitution, a President can impose martial law in any parts of the country for a period of 60 days, if there is presence of invasion or rebellion.

The Constitution also gives Congress the exclusive power to either extend or revoke the proclamation of martial law.

President Duterte has instructed the government forces to intensify offensives against the bandits who are still frequenting Marawi City.

Abella said President Duterte cannot fight the battle against terrorism alone and seek the help of the entire government, including the legislative branch.

“The President has acted swiftly and decisively to suppress the ongoing rebellion in Marawi and to prevent its spread in the provinces of Mindanao,” he said.

“However, the executive branch cannot do it alone. We need the cooperation of the entire government and the support of our people to finally flush out the evil forces, restore normalcy, and bring peace to the island of Mindanao,” Abella added.

Last Monday, Senators from the minority bloc filed Senate Resolution 390, calling on Congress to hold a joint session to tackle President Duterte’s martial law declaration and suspension of writ habeas corpus.

The resolution was signed by Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Leila de Lima, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Source: Sunstar PH

Davao City Allots P1 Million Aid For Marawi Amid On-going Firefight Between Maute, Gov’t Troops


The Davao City Government designated some P1 million for relief good operations to affected residents in Marawi City amid on-going heavy firefight between local terrorist group Maute and government troops.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Monday, May 29 said that a total of 500 sacks of rice are on standby, ready to be delivered to Iligan City for the evacuees from Marawi City. 

Each sack of rice costs P2,000. 

“We have a plan to send relief goods to Iligan City, but we can’t deliver it immediately as there are safety and security issues to consider. The problem is the safety of the people (who will deliver the goods), the trucks and the relief goods itself,” she said.

The Mayor said that they are set to meet with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) within this week and discuss regarding the city’s request for security assistance. 

“We are yet to finalize things with AFP since we also do not want to be a hassle for them for now given the situation. Busy pa talaga sila and we understand. But it is only them who can assist us, so we have to sit down with them,” she said.

Mayor Duterte-Carpio also reported that as of Monday morning, no evacuee from Marawi is in the city yet. 

“So far no evacuees camp, maybe there are some who came from Marawi and now live with their relatives here in Davao,” she said. 

Mayor Duterte-Carpio also reiterates her stand that the city is wide open for evacuees stating it is not just a moral obligation of the local government but also of the people as fellow Mindanawon.

The Mayor also gave a “good” assessment of the martial law implementation in Davao City but maintains security is still up on red alert.

President Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao effective for 60 days since May 23 due to the Marawi crisis.

“So far, Davao City is doing okay, as I said, we have guidelines, just please be guided accordingly. Always, exercise prudence in planning your activity, avoid crowded places as we have a very volatile situation in Mindanao,” she said. 

She also noted that crime rate here significantly remains low because of the cooperation of the residents and the heightened security measures.

The City Mayor supports her father’s, President Rodrigo Duterte, call urging Muslim separatists and Maoist-led rebels to join his government’s fight against Islamic State-linked extremists.

“That is the option and prerogative of the president, if he thinks that is the best thing to do, we leave it up to him,” she said.

Mayor Duterte-Carpio trusts the military for the implementation of martial law in Mindanao but said that the local government unit and the people will safeguard and ensure that no violations of human rights will be committed.

During a visit on Saturday, May 27, to an army base on Jolo, President Duterte said he would treat communist and separatist guerrillas the same as government troops if they join his fight.

“I will hire you as soldiers, same pay, same privileges, and I will build houses for you in some areas,” President Duterte said to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

He also asked the communist New People’s Army (NPA) to join the war against terrorists.

Source: Sunstar PH

Monday, May 29, 2017

Duterte Administration Starts Construction Of P1.1 Billion Pangasinan-Zambales East-West Road Project


The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has started the construction of the 60-kilometer Pangasinan-Zambales East-West Road Project that is seen to yield economic and ecotourism advancement both in Ilocos and Central Luzon Region.

“A new road which will connect the provinces of Pangasinan and Zambales starting from the municipality of Mangatarem in Pangasinan side to Sta. Cruz in Zambales is now being built,” announced DPWH Region 1 Director Ronnel M. Tan.

DPWH Region 1 officially held a groundbreaking ceremony at Barangay Umangan, Mangatarem, Pangasinan to commence the 30-kilometer Pangasinan segment of the road project.

Director Tan said the project which had an initial allocation of P100 Million in 2017 covers road improvement of 13.05 km existing road, opening and paving a total of 17.4-kilometer of new road, including drainage, slope protection, and right-of-way acquisition component.

The Pangasinan segment will be implemented jointly by the DPWH-1 Regional Office and Pangasinan Second District Engineering Office in five (5) phases until 2022, in the amount of P1.1 Billion.

It will complement the on-going Zambales segment, which is another 30-kilometer new road being implemented by DPWH Region 3 since 2016.

The construction of Pangasinan-Zambales East-West Road is expected to enhance regional tourism flow that will open opportunities for economic growth of the two municipalities and will fast-track movement of goods and services between Northern and Central Luzon.

Source: DPWH

DPWH To Complete P114 Million Nabitasan-San Rafael Bypass Road Project In Iloilo This Year


A new by-pass road would soon be serviceable to lessen the traffic congestion within the highly urbanized roads of Iloilo City, providing more convenient trip for local residents and tourists.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Office 6 is presently undertaking the construction of four lanes Nabitasan-San Rafael Bypass Road in the amount of P114.461 million to shorten the travel time from Iloilo City downtown area to Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Avenue by ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes.

The project involves the construction of 834 lineal meters of portland concrete cement pavement (PCCP) including 30 lineal meters of type IV-B bridge on reinforced concrete pile foundation.

Set to be completed before 2017 ends, the new road would allow motorists to travel from Barangay Nabitasan in Lapaz District to Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao District via Jalandoni Bridge without the need to take the busy road of Gen. Luna Street.

The completion of Nabitasan-San Rafael Bypass Road is expected to complement the proposed Esplanade 3 along Iloilo River, which will be constructed from Sen. Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Avenue to Jalandoni Bridge, adjacent to Iloilo Esplanade 1 Extension.

The projects are aimed to provide townspeople easier access to the heart of Western Visayas in the province of Iloilo where government offices, basic services and business center are located.

Local and foreign travelers will also have better road experience to the city’s astonishing historical sites, cultural heritage and natural spots once the new bypass road in Iloilo has been completed.

Source: DPWH

President Duterte Offers P14 Million Bounty For 7 Cops Linked To Kidnapping, Robbery Dead Or Alive


Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has offered a PHP2 million reward for each of the seven policemen suspected involved in a kidnapping and robbery incident in Malabon City.

In a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Tuesday, May 23, Philippine National Police Counter-Intelligence Task Force (PNP-CITF) Commander, Senior Supt. Jose “Chiquito” Malayo, announced that President Duterte, through PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, has offered a PHP14 million reward for any information leading to the arrest “dead or alive” of the seven policemen suspected involved in the kidnapping and robbery extortion incident in Malabon City.

The seven at-large suspects were identified as PO3 Luis Hizon, Jr.; PO2 Michael Huerto; PO2 Jovito Roque; PO2 Michael Angelo Solomon; and PO1 Ricky Lamsen, who are all members of the Malabon City police; SPO2 Jerry Dela Torre, of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG); and PO2 Bernardino Pacoma, of the Civil Security Group (CSG).

Their alleged co-horts, the four operatives of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Malabon City were arrested on May 22 for kidnapping and robbery.

The suspects were identified as SP02 Ricky Pelicano, P02 Wilson Sanchez, P01 Joselito Ereneo and P01 Frances Camua.

Malayo said the four arrested policemen were already charged before the Department of Justice (DOJ) with carnapping, robbery, kidnapping and planting of evidence.

The arrest of the four suspects arose from the complaint of the family of alias “Norma,” who was abducted by said police officers in Quezon City after she visited her boyfriend Raymond Bongabon at the Medium Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Ten DEU operatives allegedly detained Norma and demanded PHP2 million which was later lowered to PHP1 million after negotiations in exchange for her liberty.

The group also allegedly instigated the complainant to transact with her Chinese contact for one kilo of shabu which was picked up in a hotel in Novaliches, Quezon City.

The DEU operatives then contacted Bongabon to produce the PHP1 million for the release of the victim.

However, the payoff did not push through and the suspects decided to file a case against the victim with the shabu presented as evidence.

Source: Philippine News Agency

Coach E: Bigger, Sharper Kobe Paras Can Hold Down Against Best In 3x3 World Cup


Coach Eric Altamirano was left amazed by Kobe Paras’ major transformation during the first practice of the national team bound for the Fiba 3x3 World Cup.

Altamirano pointed out the 19-year-old Paras’ growth and improvement with his shooting, a boost for the national team that sees action in the June 17 to 21 tournaments in Nantes, France.

“Laki ng improvement niya,” said the amiable mentor of the 6-foot-6 200 lb Paras, who had seen action twice for the Philippine Under-18 3x3 team.

“He’s matured a lot in terms of his body. He improved his outside shot. Alam naman natin na very athletic siya but I think his outside shooting has really helped his game.”

To surpass its ninth-place finish last year, the Philippines will have to face the likes of European champions Slovenia and Romania in the group stage.

Altamirano is confident the high-flying son of PBA great Benjie Paras can hold his own against stronger and bigger foes especially after one year with Creighton in the NCAA’s Big East Conference.

“Kobe’s in shape. He’s bigger. He’s still young and will be competing against men. But since he’s exposed sa States he’s used to playing against bigger opponents,” he said of Paras, who will now play for the Cal State Northridge.

Altamirano also noted Paras’ skills complements Jeron Teng and Kiefer Ravena’s for the five-day tournament.

“It’s going to be a good combination. Kanina parang nakita ko they work well with each other. They have their own strengths that they can use for 3-on-3,” said Altamirano, whose team is still looking for a replacement for Raymar Jose.

Source: SPIN

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