KEEP WATCH OF OUR SHORES

By: Ben Emata Recent news reports revealed that some Malaysians and Indonesians militants were among those slain in gunfight with our soldiers in Mindanao. This case should alarm our government and move to strengthen security on our shores more especially in Mindanao which is very near its Asian neighbor. I am afraid we will wake one day and our country is gone to the hands of the invaders. To be more specific, Jolo and Tawi-tawi are at the tip of the archipelago and just an hour or two, by high powered kumpit or motorized banca, People in this region travel without immigration processes, passport or visas as if they are within the country. It is even very difficult to distinguish if they are Filipinos or whatever because they appear to be similar in race. We must know that we came from the Malayan race and as such we stand perfectly the same with them with reference to height, brown color, hair, eyes, etc. We differ in language but some Malaysians and Indonesians speak Pilipino too just like some of us who also understand their language. This makes matter worse or complicated thus allowing free flow of people in the area anytime of day and night. I remember many years ago when I used to travel regularly to Zamboanga and Jolo and met a friend. He was actually an Indonesian but he speaks our language. He helped me buy an accordion, batik clothes, blue seal cigarettes and other items from Indonesia. One time I was tempted to sail to Sabah and into Malaysia but I changed my mind for fear...

THE STRIKER

By: Ben Emata Russia is sending troops to North Korea to defend the country against the United States. This after the incident in Syria where tomahawks missiles of the United States hit some targets after Pres. Bashar Assad, personal friend of Vlademir Putin, dropped chemical bombs to its own people who are rebels. Russia was utterly irked at America. Independent analyst described the issue as a provocation by Russia to engage the United States into a fight. Whatever language we use, tension between America and Russia is escalating, I hope the two countries remain sober and peace will prevail. Filipino fishermen in Panatag reported sometime ago that they were driven away by Chinese coastguards who fired water cannons at them. Just this week, a group of top Philippine officials and military officers visited Panatag to see what they can do to convert the area into a tourist spot or attraction. The same thing happened and they were driven off by the Chinese coastguards. To begin with, Panatag is within our territory and has always been part of our historsy. And notwithstanding judgment from the UN permanent arbiters, China displayed its hard head position and even rejected the move. To my mind, Panatag which is ours should be occupied by our troops. Soldiers should be deployed, put up a tall flag pole wih our flag flying high and maybe we can bring there some homeless people from Metro Mania to live there for good. We should help them develop agriculture and raise domestic animals, go into fishing and everything. For all purposes, we shall have lawfully established possession and certainly...

TAKE CARE EVERYONE

By Ben Emata Four members of the New Peoples Army were killed in a gunfight with the government soldiers in the boundary of Bukidnon and Cotabato today. No fatalities in the side of the government. The army are pursuing the retreating rebels. The much publicized climate change, now we know, does not make changes only in our planet but actually includes the attitudes and behavior of people. To say the least, it is general change that we must be aware of. The advent of mentally-wrecked people with ideas not to preserve life but destroy its future. What I am trying to emphasize is the great changes in the way people in the criminal world are handling. They have introduced new ways to fool us and make us victims of their illegal activities. Series of crime lurk behind the scene that attack us in various fronts. And while people sleep, criminals are awake 24 hours a day. I am not so certain but the fact is the armed bandits, the rebels, the ordinary criminals etc seem to have agreed to strike at the same time to cripple our government and soldiers. What seemed to be a coordinated actuations is giving us headaches and indeed killed some of our men in battle. Our lsoldiers and police are battling the enemies of the state in many places. they strike in Davao, in Cotabato, in Lanao, Agusan and so many other pkaces that naturally divided the attention of our law enforcers. There is ingenuity in the midst of stupidity. It is a good thing our armed forces are so strong and determined to...

A ragtag army

              When we decided to jump the gun and started publishing the Bohol Sunday News, it was like fighting a war by a lone ranger.           Later, we were able to recruit new members into our ragtag army composed of one squad.           Although operating as one, we see to it that it moves and maneuvers like scout rangers. No amount of traces of its movements, ninja-type.           Frankly speaking, what can you expect of the by-product done by a ragtag army? It was basically below par.           Although we are very much comfortable commanding a ragtag army rather joining a regular armed forces with a mere rank of a captain.           It is a matter of choice. Be in the regular force as a mere captain or commanding like a general in a ragtag army. We chose the latter.           Now the ragtag army is able to survive its first year of existence. Break-even is not even part of its dictionary.           Our mentors told us that the first six months of operation of a new newspaper will be in the red. From seven to twelve months will be break-even.           Truth to tell, we have not experienced that scenario. The modern day technology has put to rest the experiences of our predecessors.           The Bohol Sunday News finally reaches its first year anniversary. Don’t look now but we only just began.           This means that in the next few issues, we will be publishing legal notices and be included in the raffle of orders for publication.           This will manifest that the Bohol Sunday News...

Stupidity at its best

               One cannot fathom the rationale behind the filing of an impeachment complaint against Pres. Duterte by Magdalo party list Cong. Gary Alejano.           Alejano, a disciple of Sen. Antonio Trillanes, widely known as an anti-Duterte critic, signed the impeachment complaint all by his lonesome.           House Speaker Bebot Alvarez correctly described the move by saying “everybody is entitled to his own stupidity”.           Truly indeed. But to the Magdalo party, headed by Trillanes, everything has its own price.           Alejano and his cohorts have to swallow any stupidity in exchange for a huge sum of money.           That is what we call as stupidity with benefits. Trillanes and his disciples are mutineers during the time of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. They seized the Oakwood Hotel in Manila to press for Arroyo’s resignation.           But despite their apparent braveness, Trillanes failed in their armed uprising against the Arroyo administration.           With just a simple armed hostility, Trillanes, Alejano and their blind followers, immediately surrendered to authorities and were incarcerated thereafter.           For one, an impeachment complaint has to be sufficient in form and substance.           Perhaps, with more than 60 consultants, Trillanes must have prepared an impeachment complaint which is sufficient. But as to substance, without batting an eyelash, the impeachment complaint cannot simply take a first base.           Well, Pre. Duterte and his allies may correctly described the impeachment complaint as stupid.           But they cannot allay fears that the move is part of the destabilization plan against the present administration.           The support generated by imprisoned Sen. Laila de Lima, the projected criminal complaint...

It’s all about politics

It’s all about politics             We have been in that field for almost ten years of our lives. Its ugly head will definitely soar once given the opportunity to maneuver. It’s all about politics.           So when we heard that a resolution was foisted in the Hallowed Halls of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Tagbilaran seeking to declare three committee chairmanships vacant, we know that it’s all about politics.           City Councilor Adam Relson Jala justified his measure as an offshoot to the bitter debate over the tax programs of the city government but one has to admit that the reorganization brought about a political impact among city officials.           To the uninitiated, the Liberal Party in Tagbilaran led by City Vice-Mayor Jose Antonio S. Veloso and City Councilor Dodong Gonzaga together with Greggy Gatal and Jonas Cacho joined forces with City Mayor Baba Yap in the last local elections and his group in National Unification Party (NUP).           With this informal coalition in the city, Yap’s administration is enjoying a majority in the city council.           But with Gonzaga, Gatal and Cacho stripped of their committee chairmanships, no one can claim that there is no majority and minority in the city council. It’s all about politics.           Aggravating the situation is the report that a survey was being conducted at the instance of Cong. Rene L. Relampagos testing the waters for his possible city mayoralty candidacy in 2019.           In fact, the name of Gonzaga has been floated as a possible running mate of Relampagos who is now on his last and final term as representative of the first district of Bohol....

De Lima, one up and counting

De Lima, one up and counting             At the outset, we learned several quotations in the life of Sen. Leila de Lima in her career as chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, as secretary of the Department of Justice and as Senator of the Republic.           In between these episodes of her life, she has been a staunch critic of Rodrigo R. Duterte and a loyalist of the yellow party led by former Pres. Noynoy Aquino and his cohorts.           For one, what de Lima did to former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada in having them incarcerated, also happened to her.           The golden rule that do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you holds true to de Lima at this moment when she sought the sanctuary of the Senate overnight before surrendering to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).           She castigated the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Muntinlupa for issuing an arrest warrant against her. She must recall how she also sought for a warrant of arrest against Arroyo and have her stopped from leaving the country.           The criminal raps filed against her in relation to the illegal drugs trade is the first salvo in silencing her tirades against the President.           In her last press conference, it seemed that there is no stopping her in her attacks against the President. If you saw that press con, it was as if she was thinking that it was still the time of the former administration with the yellow party painting the town red.           Calling...

Putting the lesson of EDSA People Power Revolution to other use

Putting the lesson of EDSA People Power Revolution to other use   Yesterday was the celebration of the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution that ended the Martial Law Regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos and catapulted to power the widow of his arch enemy, Corazon C. Aquino.  On the other hand, Senator Leila De Lima was arrested Friday morning, a day after the court issued an arrest warrant for her on charges based on allegations that she, during her stint as justice secretary, allowed the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison. The senator’s arrest was ordered by Judge Juanita Guerrero of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 204.   The two incidents are not related at all but both are worth discussing this time.  The EDSA People Power Revolution brings to the fore a historical fact that may lose its meaning through the years  but a deeper look can be a great tool for solving a myriad of problems that are confronting this nation that is benighted in its march towards real progress and development.  On the other hand, De Lima’s arrest can spark an honest to goodness review of what ails the justice system of this country.   Seeing the lackluster activity that marked the 31st Anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution speaks both the attitude of government and those of the people on the importance of that piece of Philippine history.  What activity that was seen on the streets of the nation’s capital was not one of celebration but one of protest by a small group against an entirely different issue, albeit with relation to violence and human right violation. ...

Remembering Mia

Remembering Mia           If you think lawyers are brave, think again.           After the brutal slaying of Atty. Mia Manuelita Mascarińas-Green last Wednesday afternoon, we observed the conduct of local lawyers at the Hall of Justice the following day. They were restless but silent. No one was talking about Mia’s brutal slaying.           We even spent a sleepless night after Mia’s ambush, we just kept our emotions deep inside us. We cannot think of Mia ending her life in such a violent and dastardly done killing.           Being a senior in college, we were already lording it over as a student leader at the then Divine Word College of Tagbilaran (DWCT). We became Speaker of the student government’s constitutional convention and associate editor in the student publication. Along the way, we spotted Mia while she was a second year accounting student. When we formed a core group in the Student Affairs Office (SAO), we recruited her to be the chairperson knowing that she has leadership skills and a highly organized student leader. Mia is mild-mannered and a simple woman. In her senior years, we heard Mia organized a student movement advocating for active non-violence (ANC) and late founded the DIBDIB Student Party. We were positioned in the opposite side and help establish the so-called Coalition for Patnubay and Pagmata for Nationalism, Patriotism and Advancement (CPP-NPA). Later, this student movement was transformed into the Partido ng Kilusang Mag-aaral (KMP), a leftist student political party. After being suspended in school due to our student activism, we parted ways with Mia. We knew later on that she passed the CPA board exam in flying...

Not the time to ask the people’s choice

Not the time to ask the people’s choice         The next election in 2019 is more than two (2) years away but some people can’t just wait for the right time to discuss about it. In fact some institutions including the media are itching to start the partisan political activity and for what purpose we can’t surmise yet at this time.  But start it did.   Last week Radio Station DYRD based in Tagbilaran City made a survey among its radio listeners on who they will choose between current Congressmen Aris Aumentado of the 2nd District and Arthur Yap of the 3rd District as Governor of Bohol if elections were held at that time.   While politics and politicians are the favorite topics to talk about anytime especially among peers while drinking, it is too early even to suggest that people make their decisions now on who to choose.  It is too early to divide the people at this time when our focus should be on development and on what will bring good life to the people.  The congressmen, too, will be distracted from their legislative work.  What we need at this time is a unified effort and approaches to what will bring real progress and development to the people.   It is alright to provide a venue for people’s sentiments since that is one of the functions of the media but to actually trigger it may only fan and foment an undesirable situation that is not contributory to a peaceful political order that we need at this time.  Once ignited a spark can become an uncontrollable conflagration the damage of which we may...

The Agora

The Agora     It took a Korean businessman’s life before Pres. Duterte realized that there is something terribly wrong with the organization that he has tasked with the prime responsibility of waging his war on illegal drugs. Joo Ick Jee’s murder inside Camp Crame, no less committed by PNP operatives, was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.  It was the strongest argument against his blind trust on the PNP.  As a result he immediately ordered the suspension of Operation Tokhang and for the PNP to desist from taking the lead in the war against illegal drugs until it shall have cleansed the organization by getting rid of the scalawags – the termites that eat the PNP wood.  Well and good.   It is not well and good though for the majority of the officers and men in the PNP who have been true and dedicated to excellent service. In Bohol alone people can feel the bitter feeling and pain that he policemen feel and that cause demoralization to sip among the ranks.  It is an admitted fact that in a basket full of eggs there will always be some that are rotten.  But why did it take these few rotten eggs to crack and contaminate everyone with the foul odor before they were discovered?   One former PNP officer, now a member of the House of Representatives may have diagnosed the problem correctly.  PNP Chief, General Ronald de la Rosa has focused his attention to the operational aspect of the PNP and lost sight of the administrative matter where discipline and human resource development belong....

THE STRIKER

By:  Ben Emata An international human rights group accused the Philippine government of crimes against humanity in the guise of eliminating drug lords. It cited the extra judicial killings that targeted only the defenseless poor. The matter has utterly alarmed foreign countries more particularly the more than 7,000 deaths in so short a time. Whether we like or not, dictatorship is in place in the country. Pres. Digong is doing anything he wishes from killing addicts/pushers under the guise of drug war, alliance with the communists and supporting stupid police officers. He sometimes think of abolishing congress because it hinders his desire to do things under his command besides that it collides with the  highest court of the land. New things come that truly confused people more particularly  on his fight with the church. I was shocked when he said a bishop has two wives like him. I viewed this as exceedingly a lie and/or a frame up but what can we do? Then thinks of declaring martial law in the country. Is that not dictatorship? The war against the use of illegal drugs should not be suspended even for a day for any reason until the future of the youth and country are safe and free from this menace. It must go on but please no murders in the homes, in the streets and other places, just arrest drug suspects and let them prove their innocence in the courts. Our goal is preservation of life with peace and abundance and never on anything else that  only produce tears from relatives of the victim. More than 7,000 killed in the drug war in a few months is absolutely excessive and...

Bohol, Naga, Davao pilots in connectivity

     By JUNE S. BLANCO     FORTY national government agencies in one-stop shops in Ubay and Talibon towns? Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District), chair of the House Committee on Science and Technology said the idea is not far-fetched. This after Bohol in the Visayas, Naga in Luzon and Davao in Mindanao will be piloted for the first ever satellite-based internet connectivity project. Aumentado said the project augurs well for a stable connection so that Ubay and Talibon as well as their counterpart towns in Luzon and Mindanao may soon set up these one-stop shops initially with These will spell savings for residents in these and nearby towns as they may just go to these shops to secure clearances and transact businesses with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Trade and Industry, Social Security System and the like – for an initial 20 agencies. Aumentado said Ubay and Talibon still has poor connectivity hence he pushed for the inclusion of these towns as project pilots. Ubay and Talibon, he said, are the most populous towns in Bohol. Both have seaports while Ubay has an airport. This spells booming business for both towns although at times, he said, the connectivity is poor. “That is why Ubay and Talibon should get the first crack at better connectivity,” he explained. This will give Bohol a competitive edge in the wake of the Asean integration, he said. It is about time that Ubay should level up its business climate. With reliable internet, suppliers can find clients and buyers can find suppliers. Since both parties are working from their...

TOP ISSUES OF THE DAY 

By:  Ben Emata There is only one report from the media in Cagayan de Oro for the last three days and it is about the flood, the continuous rains, the dead, the alleged floating coffins at Bolonsiri cemetery, traffic problems, people walking along waist-deep streets. Filipinos more particularly Kagay-anons in America are quiet about it while watching TV newscasts but defimitely they are hurt and so worried.  They lost no time in contacting their relatives and friends for updates and names of victims. That is precisely what I did besides gathering information too.  I stayed awake for more than 24 hours just to be sure the city I love so much is not floating on unparalleled disaster. For myself I wanted to cry because I and my family were long time residents of the city and there never was a flood ever no matter how heavy the rains that hit  the place. Three of my children were born there. They studied at the city central school then at the Cathedral High School and Xavier University and they all enjoyed the place that is known as the city of golden friendship. Cagayan de Oro had always been my city after I left our town of Balingasag. I earned thousands of friends while I worked with the local media. I knew majority of the people specially city and provincial employees as well as in the private sectors.. You can see how much love has developed in my heart for the city, that to me has no equal. I lived five years in Cebu City, seven years in Manila, two years in Butuan and two years in Malaybalay – – 28...

OF BLACK AND WHITE

By:  Ben Emata China wrned the United States of America of a nuclear war should the new secretary of state goes on his plan to deny the country of access to the arttificial islands it built in the south China sea. It has been observed that China has installed military  equipment on the island which is also being claimed by the Phiippimes, Vietnam and other countries. I just cannot understand why some ambulance drivers in the Philippines think they have the right to run full speed and can hit any vehicle or pedestrians while carrying patients to hospital.  I wish to tell them straight to their faces they are not clothed  with extra powers while carrying patients to the hospitals. Many drivers have met accidents because they drive fast and think they have the right to do so. By trying to save lives of patient may result in even more deaths because of accidents that could be avoided.  I, therefore, warn ambulance drivers to behave well and follow traffic rules. Stop at signs and respect signal lights along the way. There is one ting I despise in our country.  When there is traffic accident, passersby or pedestrians just looked at the scene but hardly extend help to the bloody victims. Some even rob the pockets of casualties who are gasping for breath. This is definitely the behavior of devils which we must stop. I recalled one time while I was walking along a city street and a firetruck was rushing to a fire scene and  hit a motorcycle-driven cab. Because of the impact, the passenger inside was trapped by steel bars and naturally...

Aris: Chinese investor eyes Bohol for bamboo plantation

    By JUNE S. BLANCO   A CHINESE investor intends to establish a bamboo plantation and processing plant in Bohol. Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado’s (Bohol, 2nd District) said he recently met the investors’s Philippine representative here as the latter scouted around for suitable sites for the plantation and plant. The solon said the big-time investor is looking for one million hectares of idle government and private lands throughout the country for the project. He is also eyeing Ubay as the center of his business operations due to its central location in the country, the solon added. The investor’s representative also observed that Ubay already has an airport and seaports suitable for big cargo vessels. These infrastructures are vital to move raw materials and finished products, he said. The bamboo stem can be processed into all types of building materials. On the other hand, its leaves and twigs can be processed into cloth. The investor’s representative said farmers who plant bamboo can earn as much as P30,000 a month. Bamboo’s advantage is it is not as labor intensive in planting as rice. It does not require close monitoring so that farmers can still attend to other activities. It also propagates prolifically hence, there is no need to replant in three months to four months as rice. An added advantage of bamboo, being a “perennial” plant, on top of capturing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air is it gives off oxygen. And just like other plants, it absorbs and holds rain and runoff water thus contributing to a healthy aquifer. It also helps retain water in dams, thus ensuring...

Garbage collection: whose responsibility?

Garbage collection: whose responsibility?       We cannot avoid producing solid and liquid waste or garbage but we can always properly dispose of them given the new methods and technologies.  This is why the presence or absence of waste in our homes is one gauge of our personality and character. The same is true with governance.  Uncollected garbage is one gauge of how incumbent politicians and government officials value good governance.  In the same manner it can also be true with business establishments.  Lack of proper garbage disposal by business establishments is also a gauge of how they value their customers.   With the coming of new technologies and ways of disposing garbage, this should no longer be an issue or problem in our community and society.  In fact terminologies or sayingS like “may kwarta sa basura” has become a byword since the last 10 years because indeed there is money in garbage if we know how and if we only comply with the environmental laws especially on garbage disposal like waste segregation into biodegradable, recyclable or reusable, residual and toxic.   In fact there are now businessmen who make garbage their business.  There are those who establish facilities to convert garbage into building blocks and they are as sturdy, if not more sturdy than concrete blocks that are used in the construction industry. Biodegradable waste is also used as feeds for vermi-culture that produce vermi-cast, the much sought After organic fertilizer.  In a more sophisticated technology, garbage is also used to generate electricity.  Indeed may kwarta sa basura.   Under the law barangays are supposed to establish recovery materials facility where...

A new Shepherd in the Diocese of Tagbilaran

A new Shepherd in the Diocese of Tagbilaran     Gift giving to the one we love is the best expression of that love.  This was exemplified by God Himself when He sent His only Son to become man to later die on the cross to save mankind.  That He sent Him to be born just a few days before New Year makes ushering and welcoming the new year doubly significant because now man can look forward to it with the assurance of salvation.   Something new always brings the message of hope, a renewal of strength, vim, vigor and vitality.  Anything new adds life to whatever we do.  This is what happened and is happening to the journey of the Church and the people that make it in the Diocese of Tagbilaran.  For 75 years now the Diocese of Tagbilaran saw six (6) bishops leading it one after the other and each one bringing and inspiring new hope to the faithful guided only by the word of God.   Last Friday, this diocese that has earned a name for having produced the most number of priests in the country, has once more been gifted by God with its 7th Bishop in the person of Bishop Alberto ‘Abet’ Uy, a true Boholano with Chinese descent.   Bishop Uy who was ordained bishop by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila only last Thursday, January 5, 2017 in the Diocese of Talibon, where he served as Vicar General, was immediately installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran the following day.  He succeeds Bishop Leonardo Medroso who has reached the age of retirement but who is...

NEW YEAR, SAME THINGS AROUND

By: Ben Emata Millions of revelers around the globe paraded in streets to greet the advent of the new year. So nice to see, so noisy from small kids to young adults, people on TV screen, laughing, dancing, hugging, singing, eating and all sorts of joyous festivities ever available. Fireworks from the United States, Germany, London, Russia, Canada, the Philippines lighted the dark skies while music settled the background scenes everywhere. Being alive on such occasion, is really a cause for merrymaking and be extremely happy. It is not new year everyday and for more reason we celebrate it even more. Even the fighting rebels and soldiers in Mindanao declared a ceasefire for them to celebrated Christmas day in their homes and subsequently joined the noise of the new year. Here we see how love among us exist even in the battlefields. As usual deaths were registered in the Philippines when live bullets were fired by some irresponsible people that included government authorities. Officers are still investigating the matter as hospitals went on with its readiness to treat victims of the celebration. I see their laughters for a couple of hours and afte that are the sour reality of the same problems, hardships and difficulties in life that surrounded us for many years. Hunger in many places dominated the joyful hours of the new year. In some parts of the world were sounds of guns and bombs as terrorists did their job to win battles. As church bells rang to announce the new year, some people prayed for world peace after which food were served for the celebration. Others...

SOME CHALLENGES OF NEW YEAR 2017

SOME CHALLENGES OF NEW YEAR 2017 2016 is now part of our yesterday. Time to say hello then to 2017 with all its promises and challenges and to give our best wishes for a happy and prosperous NEW YEAR to all our readers. Today is the first day of another year in our life so I wish that this Year 2017 will usher us to a new hope of a happier life filled with more blessings and a renewed strength to overcome all the challenges that may come our way. The experienceS of 2016 have taught us many lessons that could make the challenges that may confront us this year like a trip in the park when properly appreciated and applied. Last year we elected a new President in the person of Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte of Davao City. Never did we expect that he would be nothing like any Presidents we had before. He is one who can double talk without meaning to harm anyone except his or her old fashioned and traditional view of what is right and proper. He has taught us that curse words are nothing but curse words and should not be taken seriously. So far his political will has no comparison to any leader we have had in the past and may be in the future. We saw this in his war against illegal drugs and corruption. He taught us that his more than 40 years in government and politics is more than enough to trust only his views and his instincts. His reaction to critics of his war against illegal drugs, especially on perceived extra judicial killings, has...
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