Monday, March 18, 2013

Araw ng Dabaw Motocross Challenge

Daredevil Donark "The Rocketman" Yuzon of Iloilo City lived up to his lofty billing as the country's No. 2 rated motocross rider by ruling the Araw ng Dabaw Motocross Challenge held March 16-17 at the Crocodile Park Complex in Ma-a, this city.

The 30-year-old Yuzon, who represented Team Phoenix, won both the Pro and Expert divisions in the two-day event held also as the first leg of the Phoenix Mindanao Moto-X Series.

Yuzon, a native of Iloilo, trailed in the first lap of the five-lap final race of the Pro event before grabbing the lead in the second. But Tagum City-based Kimboy Pineda, also of Team Phoenix, again took back the lead after an overshoot by Yuzon.

Yuzon, who rode on his Kawasaki KXF450, however, gained back the driver's seat in the third lap and never looked back for the victory.

Pineda settled for second place followed by Jeven Legrada and Jesse Pineda, both also of Team Phoenix as third and fourth, respectively.

Yuzon, who won in Bukidnon last week, also pocketed the Expert division followed by Jesse Pineda, Glen Lapus of General Santos City, Lagrada and Timoy Olmoguez of Davao in that order.

"Sasali din ako sa next leg ng Phoenix," said Yuzon, who will also compete in the Palawan International Motocross next week.

The second leg of the Phoenix Mindanao Moto-X Series presented by Cyclomax and organized by Bok Mata will be on May 5 in Butuan City. The first leg was supported by Kurmat Enterprises, Sankai Japanese Restaurant, Sign Factor, Kawasaki, Honda, KTM Davao, Toyota Davao, Sarap Toyo,

Kamikaze Dual Sport Riders Club, Nature's Spring Water, Lipovitan, Colt45, MKI Inn, 95.5 Hit Radio, 92.3 Wild FM, Jevri Trading, Adan Co, Philsaga Mining, DTRO, Lipovitan, Sumifru, Mac Cycle Mart, Chowking, Tagum Trio Lumber, Kirbymate and ETG Sand & Gravel.

On the other hand, 16-year-old Abu Mata also of Team Phoenix shared the limelight by winning both the 250cc and Rookie divisions.

Mata beat Winston Fernandez of Midsayap to the finish line in the 250cc. Third was Jaspher Banot of Don Marcelino followed by Davao's Tristan Galanto and Bonjo Lagrada.

South Cotabato’s provincial police director

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 has relieved the provincial police director of South Cotabato as part of a routine reshuffle in preparation for the May 13 midterm national and local elections.

Senior Supt. Randolph Delfin, who served as South Cotabato's provincial police director in the last 18 months, confirmed his relief on Monday based on an order dated March 11 issued by the PRO 12.

"I was reassigned as chief of the regional (PRO 12) directorial staff," the police official said.

Delfin, who is a member of the Philippine National Police Academy class of 1984, was replaced as officer-in-charge (OIC) by Supt. James Gulmatico, who was the former South Cotabato deputy provincial police director for administration.

He was intelligence chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Northern Luzon before he assumed in September 2011 as South Cotabato provincial police director.

The police official said he is confident with Gulmatico's capabilities as his replacement and in making sure that the area's stable peace and order situation would be sustained, especially during the upcoming elections.

He urged the police chiefs of the province's 10 towns and lone city to give their full support to the new provincial police leadership.

"I hope they remain fully committed and not become complacent with regards to the security of the province," he said.

The official said Supt. Gulmatico will likely remain as OIC of the South Cotabato police until the end of the election period on June 12 or the selection and recommendation of the full-fledged provincial director by the winning provincial governor.

"I hope they will choose somebody who can really take good care of South Cotabato. This is a very progressive and beautiful province but if peace is not sustained here everything will be useless," he said.

Delfin's earlier appointment as provincial police director was endorsed by incumbent South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr., who is seeking a second consecutive term as governor in the May polls.

Pingoy, who is aligned with Vice President Jejomar Binay's United Nationalist Alliance, is facing a three-cornered gubernatorial race with South Cotabato (2nd District) Rep. Daisy Avance-Fuentes of the Liberal Party-Nationalist People's Coalition alliance and former Koronadal City Mayor Fernando Miguel of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.

Meantime, Gulmatico vowed to exert all necessary efforts to ensure that the province's peace and order situation will remain stable, specifically during the run-up to the May 13 elections.

"We will continue with the programs started by the previous leadership and we will initiate some more to better serve the public," he said.

Smuggled imported rice in the local markets

Police units in South Cotabato province have set up additional checkpoints in various entry and exit points of the area to strengthen their ongoing monitoring against the possible entry of smuggled imported rice in the local markets.

Reynaldo Legaste, South Cotabato provincial agriculturist, said such move was part of the initial interventions set by a special task force that was established recently by the provincial government to help monitor and prevent the distribution of smuggled rice products in the area.

Dubbed Task Force Butil, he said the special body was specifically after the reported entry of 2,334 metric tons of Vietnam rice that arrived at the Makar Port here late last year.

The NFA provincial office earlier said the entry of the rice products, which were reportedly consigned to two cooperatives based in Capiz province, was considered illegal.

"We don't know where these smuggled rice products were stocked or if some of them had already entered our markets. But our intensified monitoring is presently ongoing and there are also investigations being made as to the illegal rice importation," Legaste said.

The official said the task force has deputized police units in the province as its enforcement arm and mandated them to establish checkpoints in parts of the area's national highways that serve as entry and exit points in the area.

He said the initial checkpoints were set up in portions of the General Santos City-Koronadal City (South Cotabato), Koronadal City-Isulan (Sultan Kudarat) and Koronadal City-Tacurong City (Sultan Kudarat) highways.

Legaste, who coordinates the task force's operations, said they have direct contact with police teams manning the checkpoints.

"We've set mandatory inspections for all truckers and haulers passing by our area," he said.

He said they intensified their operations against the smuggled imported rice products to make sure that they would not disrupt this year's initial palay harvest season that was projected to begin later this month and last until April.

"We're expecting a good harvest season so we really need to ensure that our farmers and markets are protected from these illegal products," Legaste said.

The official urged residents to assist them in monitoring the movement of the smuggled Vietnam rice and immediately report any relevant information on the matter.

He assured that the task force would carefully verify and validate any information or tip regarding the distribution of smuggled rice and illegal rice importation.

"Our (local) economy is much dependent on farming so if this sector would take a hit from this illegal activity, money circulation and local business transactions would also be affected," Legaste said.

Guialudin Usman, NFA-South Cotabato provincial manager, earlier said they received reports that the illegal Vietnam white rice shipment managed to enter the Makar Port here sometime in November 2012.

He said the shipment was consigned to the Agraca Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Sta. Cruz Consolacion Irrigators Multi-Purpose Cooperative, which are both based in Barangay San Rafael of Dumalag town in Capiz.

"The shipment was already released to an unidentified trader. We're still determining if these products were out in the markets already," he said.

Meantime, aside from the activation of the checkpoints, Legaste said the task force is set to launch "marathon ocular inspections" in different private warehouses and public markets all over the province.

Kapatiran Wise-TAV (KWT) in the construction industry

The Makati Development Corporation (MDC) will play "big brother" to its 11 subcontractors as it recently forged an agreement with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the first-ever Kapatiran Wise-TAV (KWT) in the construction industry.

DOLE regional director Raymundo Agravante said this is another milestone to intensify their zero accident campaign in the construction industry.

The "KWT-Para sa Mas Ligtas, Malusog, at Produktibong Manggagawa" is a flagship public-partnership program of the DOLE anchored on the International Labor Organization's (ILOs) Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE) program.

The KWT-signed partnership between the DOLE and MDC covers specifically the latter's on-going Anvaya Cove Project in Morong, Bataan.

The KWT program encourages large companies, coined "big brothers" like the MDC, which engage in third-party contracting or sub-contracting work arrangements, to coach or mentor their contractors or subcontractors, the "small brothers," to become fully compliant with general labor standards (GLS) and occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, as well as with other labor laws, and registration to social benefits schemes such as the Social Security System (SSS), Pag-Ibig, and PhilHealth.

MDC's subcontractors include Energy Factors Inc., MRS Wood Industries, Rencor (MIT-AIR), Aust-Phils, E-Contech Construction Corporation, Powerteam Builders Inc., Pacific Summit Construction Group Inc, Modulplus, KP Eco, Multiline, and Systech.

In 2012, the DOLE has enrolled 77 big brother and 402 small brother companies under the KWT program covering 98,211 workers all over the country, with six companies located in Central Luzon.

Philippines Dry Season

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is set to officially declare the start of the dry or summer season within the next two to three days with the termination of the northeast monsoon .

Weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the northeast monsoon or "hanging amihan" dissipated before dawn Sunday.

"Nawala na ang northeast monsoon at nagsisimula ng umiral angeasterlies sa ating bansa," Aurelio said adding that the easterlies affect the eastern section of the country .

"Nakikita rin namin na magkakaroon ng ridge of high pressure area (HPA) sa mga susunod na araw at ito ang magiging dominant weather system natin sa loob ng dalawa hanggang tatlong araw. Kaya posibleng bago mag-Miyerkules magde-deklara na kami ng pagsisimula ng dry season o summer," he added.

With the presence of the "warm" winds from the east or the easterlies and the ridge of the HPA, which is the opposite of a low pressure area (LPA), Aurelio said that temperatures in the country in the next few days are expected to rise again.

Until Wednesday, Aurelio noted that most parts of the country willgenerally have "fair and sunny" weather.

However, he noted that "brief" passing rains in the afternoon orevening is still possible due to localized thunderstorms orconvections.

Aurelio also said that no tropical cyclone is expected to affect the country in the next two to three days.

PAGASA has yet to declare summer in the country since the "criteria" have yet to be met.

The weather agency earlier said that dry or summer season begins when the northeast monsoon is no longer present; when a high-pressure area is present; and the easterlies or warm air from the Pacific Ocean prevails.

In its advisory, PAGASA said that Cagayan Valley and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon, Bicol region, Eastern Visayas, Caraga and Davao region will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms.

Automated face collection system for Manila’s light rail transit lines

A locally-incorporated Korean firm wants the government to stop the proposed public bidding of the P 1.72 billion automated face collection system intended for Manila's light rail transit lines under a bidding process.

Kystek Corp., which specializes in building secure information-technology (IT) infrastructures, bared a claim that it has a standing unsolicited proposal accepted and on file at the Department of Transportation and Communication that should prevent the agency from bidding out the project.

The Korean firm is 40 percent owned by Koreans famed for their expertise in cryptology and secure IT systems.

Kystek Corp. president Dong-Ho Yu said an unsolicited proposal may not be disregarded but may be upended by a Swiss challenge where competitors try to dislodge the original proponent with a more competitive offer.

Kystek Corp. as original proponent has the right to match any competing offer.

What happened instead was that the DOTC, ostensibly after having entertained the Korean unsolicited proposal, adopted the unsolicited proposal including its accompanying feasibility studies.

According to the Korean executive, the DOTC accepted their unsolicited proposal since November 21, 2011 but has sat on it ever since.

He said under the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) Law, Kystek's unsolicited proposal legally hinders the government agency from pushing through with the planned public bidding.

As proponent of an accepted and approved unsolicited proposal, the Korean firm should be treated as original proponent and subject their offer to the Swill challenge instead.

Thus far, the DOTC has pushed forward two deadlines within which AFTC proponents must submit qualification documents in time for the project's public bidding set for July this year.

Each postponement was meant to give bidding participants "more time to prepare their qualification documents," according to DOTC Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla.

Local Ordinary under Code of Canon Law

An official of the Archdiocese of Manila reminded the faithful that all healing masses or healing prayer sessions" should have the permission of the Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

In a circular, Rev. Fr. Rufino Sescon, Jr., chancellor, said that upon the instruction of Cardinal Tagle any healing activity or service be it liturgical or not, inviting the public and carried out in the name of the Catholic Church (e.g. the so-called "Healing Masses" or "Healing Prayer Sessions"), requires the explicit permission from the Local Ordinary under the Code of Canon Law.

This is based on the Code of Canon Law (Cc. 838 §4 and 839 §2 ). "Instruction On Healing" by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (issued on 14 September 2000) and the Guidelines on Non-Liturgical Prayer for Healing by the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.

He said that the directive is addressed to priests, superiors of religious communities, heads of schools, institutions, transparochial charismatic communities and mandated organizations in the archdiocese.

It applies whether the healing activity is carried out by a bishop, priest, religious or layperson.

"Hence, a letter of request for this purpose must be sent to the Archbishop before any healing activity is announced or organized," he added based on the Circular No. 2013-07, dated February 23, 2013.

He added that request and permission may be ad casum (i.e., a particular activity at a particular time) or ad actum vel ad tempus (i.e., temporarily, a particular activity at a certain period of time), depending ultimately on the discernment and decision of our Archbishop.

On the other hand, excluded in the order are the private administration and parochial pastoral exercises of the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.

Police service in pursuant to NAPOLCOM Memorandum

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Director Leonardo Espina recently signed the order that effected the dismissal of 19 cops, demotion of nine and suspension of 29 erring policemen of NCRPO.

"Sa panig ng NCRPO, ginagawa namin ang lahat upang maresolba at mabigyan ng karampatang parusa  ang mga tiwaling pulis at upang mabigyan ng agarang hustisya ang mga biktima. At aking hinihimok ang publiko na patuloy na makipag-ugnayan sa pulisya at ipag-bigay alam ang mga reklamo laban sa mga tiwaling pulis, gayundin ang mga impormasyon sa mga kabayanihan ng mga kapulisan para mabigyan din natin sila ng kaukulang pagkilala," Espina said.

The 19 erring policemen were meted dismissal from police service in pursuant to NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 2007 for being guilty in administrative cases filed against them by their complainants while criminal cases are still in court proceedings. These offenses are mostly Homicide, Robbery extortion, Illegal Arrest, and being on AWOL for more than 30 days from duty without valid reason.

The nine policemen sanctioned for one rank demotion were found guilty of grave misconduct, negligence of duty and slight physical injuries, while 29 cops were suspended for irregularities in the performance of their duty.

Espina explains "these cases like murder, homicide, attempted murder, frustrated murder and robbery when found guilty by the court are punishable by years of imprisonment.

NCRPO is doing its part in resolving the administrative cases against these erring cops and I encourage the complainants not to tire in appearing in court for fast resolution of their filed cases."

Dismissed erring cops includes SPO4 Jose Del Rosario Dela Peña, Jr., formerly assigned with QCPD, who was already dismissed from PNP service on September 12, 2012 when he was found guilty for robbery extortion filed against him by General Castro, (Ret. AFP).

After Dela Peña case was seen on TV, two (2) more complainants surfaced and filed cases of robbery extortion against him.  Mr. Andrew Alito complained that he was extorted on May 22, 2012 while Mr. Cesar Caceres was victimized on July 21, 2012. These two complaints proved Dela Peña was guilty and again was ordered for dismissal from PNP service.

These disciplinary sanctions were implemented by NCRPO after thorough investigations conducted by Summary Hearing Officers (SHO) and reviewed by the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD), and Discipline, Law and Order Section (DLOS).

This brings to 95 dismissed, 31 demoted and 104 suspended since Espina implemented his campaign in sweeping NCRPO from erring policemen from September 7, 2012 up to this date.

On the other hand, Espina recognized and medalled 7,822 NCRPO personnel for exemplary performance of duty that include: ­­­­183 Medalya ng Kagalingan, 6,886 Medalya ng Kasanayan, 543 Medalya ng Papuri, 80 Medalya ng Paglilingkod, nine Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting, 48 Medalya ng Mabuting Asal, 73 Medalya ng Ugnayang Pampulisya, for the same mentioned period.

These includes the heroic act of  Police Supt. Pedro T. Sanchez, Sr. Inspt. Rodel F. Urbina, PO2 Jimmy P. Margarito and PO1 Mark G. Epelipcia who were wounded during the rowdy protest that happened inside the premises of Department of Agriculture.

"Ang ating pagbibigay ng parangal at parusa sa bawat gawain ng ating mga kapulisan ay isang paraan upang maiangat natin ang paghahatid ng serbisyong makatotohanan sa bayan, ang pinaka-adhikain ng ating pinuno ng Pambansang Kapulisan, Police Director General Alan Purisima. Ang pagbigay parusa sa mga tiwaling pulis ay paraan din na mag-angat ng imahe ng pulis na pinahalagahan at pinaghirapang hubugin ng mga matitinong kasapi nito." Espina said.

Graduating Cadets of Philippine Military Academy (PMA)

President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday exhorted graduating cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to always put the welfare of Filipinos above self.

"Tapos na ang pagsasanay, tapos na ang teorya, tapos na ang apat na taong bakasyon ninyo dito sa Fort Del Pilar; panahon na para sa tunay na pakikipagsapalaran," the President said in his speech during the PMA commencement exercises held at Fajardo Grandstand, Borromeo Field, Fort Gregorio H. Del Pilar, here.

As the future leaders of Armed Forces, President Aquino said, "malaki ang responsibilidad na iaatang sa inyong mga balikat. At bilang medyo nakakatanda sa inyo, marahil ito na ang maiiwan kong aral -- Sa tuwing haharap kayo sa isang sangandaan, ilagay lamang ninyo ang sarili sa lugar ng mga pinaka-agrabyado, ng mga pinakaapi, ng mga pinakadukha, ng mga pinaka-naghahanap ng lingap -- at tiyak, lilinaw kung ano ang tama at kung ano ang mali,"

"Silang mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan, silang mga 'boss' nating taumbayan, sila ang magkukumpas ng ating direksyon. Basta't kapakanan nila ang nasa isip natin, tiyak na hindi tayo maliligaw," he said.

The President mentioned the situation in Sabah, Malaysia, which led to a bloody conflict, and displacement of Filipinos who have been residing there.

"Tingnan na lang po natin, halimbawa, ang sitwasyon sa Sabah. Naisip kaya ng mga pasimuno nito na napakaraming apektado sa paggawa ng gulo? Nariyan ang mga tinatayang 800,000 na Pilipinong naninirahan at naghahanap-buhay nang tahimik sa Sabah. Paano kung bigla silang pauwiin ng ating kapitbahay na kaytagal na panahon ang binuno natin para magbalik ang tiwala?" he said.

"Alam naman natin kung gaano kasalimuot ang usaping ito -- May Punong Ministro ba ng Malaysia na basta-bastang papayag na bitawan na lang ang lugar na kaytagal nang nasa ilalim ng kanilang mga batas? May Pangulo ba ng Pilipinas na basta-basta lang ding bibitaw sa isinusulong na pagmamay-ari nito?" he noted.

"Kayo ang lumagay sa lugar ko. Lehitimo man o hindi ang hinaing ng mga nagtungo doon, paano ito titimbangin sa harap ng buhay at kabuhayang malalagay sa peligro kung magsimula ang hidwaan?" he stressed.

President Aquino said whatever grievances should be addressed through peaceful means to prevent aggravating the situation.

"Ano po kaya ang tumakbo sa isip ng mga nasa likod ng insidenteng ito? Ang malinaw, sinuman ang may pakana, ang inisip nila ay pansariling interes lamang habang ipinapain ang kapakanan ng kanilang kapwa," he said.

The President said it is more effective to engage in a peaceful approach like the one taken by the government in bringing before an arbitral tribunal the Philippines' territorial claim over the West Philippine Sea.

Meanwhile, this year's PMA graduates called themselves the "Pudang Kalis," which means "Puso't Dangal ng mga Kawal ng Lahing Nagkakaisa" or "Soldiers with Heart and Honor, Unified in Strength."

Pudang Kalis was derived from a Muslim term which means "sacred sword" that is passed by a Muslim clan generation to generation.

The PMA Batch 2013 -- 105 males and 19 females -- used the name for the belief that they are like a sword whose blade will never perish from generation to generation.

Issue of claims of islets in the West Philippine Sea

President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III said Sunday the diplomatic approach taken by the government in trying to solve the issue of claims of the islets in the West Philippine Sea mirrors the true measure of good leadership and courage.

The president as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was the guest of honor and speaker during the graduation rites for the 129 Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Pudang-Kalis" Class of 2013.

The class is the third PMA batch Aquino delivered his address as the president of the Philippines since he won the elections in 2010.

Aquino's stress on the value of dialogues among parties with opposing or discordant claims in an issue was due to the recent results of the so-called "Sabah stand-off" wherein both of the "Royal Force" of the Sultanate of Sulu and Malaysian troopers suffered casualties in intermittent armed skirmishess in that island.

"Naiisip ba nila ang kahihinatnan ng kanilang ginawa na pagpapadala ng tao doon na may dalang armas" (Did they realize the consequences of sending people in that area bearing firearms?)", he asked, in reference to whomsoever sent the armed groups to that part of Sabah island.

He said that peaceful solutions to disputes affecting the Philippines domestically or externally serves as the correct approach as evidenced by the recent success of his administration in bringing the stakeholders in the secessionist movement in Mindanao to agree and sign the terms of reference towards the forging of lasting settlement.

"Mariin at tapat na pag-uusap ay daan sa kalutasan sa ating problema at hindi ang paggamit ng dahas (Candid and sincere dialogue serves as the way in solving our problems and not through drastic action or force)," he said as to the claim of the Sultanate of Sulu over Sabah, whether their claim is legitimate or not.

"Hanggang nasa inyo ang pagtitiwala, at hanggang nasa inyo ang pab-ambag sa pangkalahatang kabutihan, tutuloy tayo sa katuparan ng ating mga pangarap (As long as you have the faith in the leadership, and as long as you share in the collective effort for the sake of the people, we march on to realize our dreams)," he said to the big applause to the audience to whom he revealed that there are now some who call for his leave from the office.

The other big applause of appreciation and laughter was with the president's humor of his receding here whereby he observed that the cadets have shorter hair than his.

The parents of the PMA Cadet Corps gave Aquino the standing ovation when after recognizing their sacrifices for their sons and daughters, he also pardoned all outstanding penalties of all the cadets in the academy.

2nd Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ Awards

As the country's top rice achievers for 2012, 10 provinces and 48 cities and towns received prizes totalling P110 million in project grants and cash incentives from the Department of Agriculture on Friday.

During the event, Agriculture secretary Proceso J. Alcala handed over the awards to the respective provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, during the "2nd Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers' Awards," at the Philippine International Convention Center, in Pasay City.

Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Bulacan, Kalinga, La Union, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley and Zamboanga del Sur were among the top 10 provinces given awards as rice achievers.

Rice achievers for 2012 also included 18 irrigators' associations (IAs), three small water impounding system farmers' associations (SWISAs), and more than 460 agricultural extension workers (AEWs).

Aside from each receiving trophies, the top provinces each received P4-million worth of project grants; P1 million worth of project grants to each of the winning cities, municipalities and IAs; the three SWISAs got P500,000 each of project grants; and the AEWs each took home a cash incentive of P20,000.

The contest will continuously be conducted to give due recognition to the hard work and support extended by farmers, local leaders and farm technicians to increase rice productivity and incomes.

Representing about 30 percent of the country's total harvest of 18.03 million metric tons (MMT) last year, the top 10 provinces combined palay production totaled to 5.34 million metric tons (MMT) during the period.