Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
ANTIPOLO City, Feb. 26, 2012—Anakpawis Partylist blamed contractual labor on the sudden rise of unemployment in the Philippines, as shown by the latest survey of the private statistics firm, Social Weather Stations.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
BACOLOD City, Feb. 25, 2012— Despite being threatened by issues affecting the family across the globe, the Philippines can export to the world a healthier culture of the family, according to a speaker in the recent National Conference conducted by the John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
BALER, Aurora, February 22, 2012–The 1st artists village in the Philippines and Southeast Asia was inaugurated Monday here to generate local and international talented artists who are expected to trigger arts revolution in the country.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara, a known arts patron, led the opening of the artists village at the Dicasalarin beach resort in Barangay Zabali together with officials of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of Dr. Juan C. Angara Foundation.
Jun Yee, international installation artist and the BOT member told newsmen that the artist village is a pet project of the Senator - a private-driven institution that will help revolutionize culture and the arts in the country.
“The artist village is intended to serve as the private counterpart of the Cultural Center the Philippines (CCP) which will provide a venue for seminars, workshops and lecture series on various art disciplines such as music, theaters, literature, dance, visual arts among others,” Yee said.
“Our vision is to invite artists from Asia and the Asia-Pacific where they can showcase their arts skills and impart their knowledge to our local artists so that they can hone their home-grown talents by enrolling in our programs,” he said.
Yee was earlier asked by Angara to draw up the conceptual framework for the artists village. He said the project is a living testament to the passion shown by the senator for culture and the arts.
“In the history of the Philippine Senate, it is undeniable that it is only Senator Angara who contributed so much in the promotion of arts and culture in the country, with his landmark legislations that paved the way for the creation of the CCP, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Historical Institute (now National Historical Commission of the Philippines), National Museum and the Gawad ng Manlilikha among others,” he said.
Yee said that the project will accommodate a facility, called “longhouse,” for a lecture series and a clubhouse for social gatherings among artists. He said a second facility that will rise in the village involves workshop building for stone works, sculpture and experimental works of artists in the various arts disciplines.
The third facility involves construction of six cottages which can accommodate four artists each, where they may design their works of art using indigenous materials from the province.
Yee said the artists village will hold art festivals and painting exhibitions to enhance interaction among artists not only here but also abroad in coordination with the CCP.
The opening of the artists village was graced by national artists for literature Sionil Jose and Virgilio Almario and national artist for visual arts Benedicto Cabrera.
The establishment of an artists village in this capital town followed the earlier creation of an Aurora Arts Council which is also coordinating with various government agencies for arts-related events and activities in the province, an emerging hub for history, culture and the arts.
Senator Angara said that the artists village embraces artists from the widest sweep of creative discipline such as painters, architects, interior designers, landscape architect, dancers, musicians, poets, and writers then eventually expand into the fields of film photography, food, fashion, furniture and even cyber media of the internet and mobile technology.
“We are fortunate to have friends from the diplomatic corps, Mexican Ambassador Tomas Calvillo Unna and Argentinean Ambassador Joaquin Daniel Otero, with us for its inauguration. Three outstanding National Artists were our special guests: National Artists for Literature F. Sionil Jose and Virgilio Almario, and National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera,” Angara said.
Angara believes that this laboratory for artistic development is the first kind in the country and the whole Southeast Asia.
Around it will soon be built Artists Cottages, dwellings that will be designed by Junyee, Norman Tiotuico, Aquilizan and architect Jose Danilo Silvestre. The Artists Village also features an open-air amphitheater, sculpture garden and workshop, and an outdoor stone circle for poetry readings and the like inspired by the indigenous dap-ay.
The village also has special environmental sustainability features like rainwater collection, wastewater management, renewable sources of power and energy-efficient lighting system. (Jason de Asis)
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
BALER, Aurora, February 21, 2012-It is easy to fall in love with President Aquino not so much with his good looks for which he moderately possesses some. He is no Piolo Pascual who can send one Auroran lady swoon or shriek at his sight. Nor a John Lloyd Cruz who can send another girl’s heart flutters. What makes him ooze with sex appeal (in all sincerity) is his innate wisdom, his grasp of issues, his keen eye for details, his sharp, logical reasoning and his discernment of a class act when he sees one.
One cannot help but admire Mr. Aquino for lauding the Japanese government for donating the world-class
Aurora Memorial Hospital even when was being buffeted left and right with calamities. P-Noy hit the nail right on the head when he mentioned that it is easy for someone to give assistance to less fortunate people if he has a lot of moolah to spare. This is not to disparage the likes of Bill Gates and other high-profile philanthropists who have made a career of donating their own money for charity and for the betterment of the lot of others. But for one to donate quite a sizeable amount of resources to others when he himself is in dire need of such resources is a class act in itself, something which deserves the highest form of commendation that can be given. Japan
Governor Angara-Castillo also said it is the ultimate tribute of Japan and JICA that they poured over P500 million in their own money to finance the hospital construction when the Japanese government could have opted to cancel the donation or defer its release, particularly since its own people need every single yen they could get for rehabilitation because of the massive earthquake and tsunami that swept through its shores. The effects of the twin calamities were no joke and one could see the trail of destruction it left in its wake in footages shown on television. The Japanese government had the option to pull out its aid to
and Aurorans would readily understand. But the Japanese proceeded with the aid, as if telling Aurorans “we are true to our word and the show must go on.” Aurora
It’s like this: Japan is like a family member who has seen his sisters and brothers simultaneously drowning along with Aurora which is not even his next of kin. The natural reaction is to save your own household first. For after all, charity begins at home. Japan did not and in a rare display of goodwill to others, he saved a drowning
at the expense of his own relatives. It went on with the aid for the benefit of Aurora at large. Aurora
To say that such gesture is laudable and admirable is a gross understatement. We say it is the highest act of selflessness on the part of
. Never mind that several decades back, its soldiers earned notoriety for its war atrocities. But this is now all water under the bridge and this is dwelling on the past. Japan
That singular act of generosity will ultimately bring blessings to this not-so-Christian nation.
To this we say “domo arigato.” (Jason de Asis)
Monday, February 20, 2012
BALER, Aurora, February 20, 2012-Before President Aquino went to Aurora this week for his much-publicized visit, questions linger in the minds of Aurorans whether he would indeed push through with his whistle stop in this known Erap country. Afterall, his partymates in the Liberal Party in the province belong to the opposite camp of the Angaras notably Vice Gov. Gerry Noveras who is the provincial chairman and former governor Eddie Ong whose son, Macky works in Malacanang.
There have been doubts that the President will ever touch down in the province and we have it from good authority that he has reservations because of the province’s relative remoteness and isolation, not to mention the fact that the population is not so encouraging for a presidential visit of a known champion of the masses.
But the President showed his statesmanship when he came over and joined the Angaras in the celebration of the 33rd foundation anniversary of the province and the 124th birth anniversary of Dona Aurora Aragon-Quezon.
It turned out that President Aquino holds the Angaras in high esteem. Senator Ed Angara, for one, was a former colleague in the Senate who showed him the ropes in the Upper Chamber given the latter’s track record as a veteran legislator wise in the ways of legislation.
Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo is also a former colleague in the House of Representatives who has distinguished herself during her nine-year stint in the Lower Chamber, a fact not unknown to the Chief Executive.
And Congressman Sonny Angara was likewise a colleague who fondly recalled how the congressman-turned-senator-turned-President has endeared himself to House employees with his mass appeal, even befriending utility workers and janitors while puffing cigarettes just outside the hallowed halls of the House.
President Noy surprised Aurorans by visiting Aurora and even unraveled a much bigger surprise when he extolled the Angaras. Some might argue that the President must have been “inspired” no end by the stellar roles being essayed by the father-and-son tandem of Senator ed and Cong Sonny who are there as juror and prosecution team spokesperson, respectively in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona.
This is particularly evident on how he expressed confidence that Senator Angara is neutral in the trial while Cong Sonny has been dishing out a visibly impressive performance as a mouthpiece of the prosecution.
Given the connections established by the Angaras, it is needless to mention that the goodwill and rapport they forged with political leaders even from rival camps is paying off handsome dividends for the province and for its people.
Kahit papano, iba na rin ang may pinagsamahan. The Angaras have mastered pakikisama as an art and turned it as a potent tool to bring manna from heaven for the people of
. It is something to be thankful for and for which we salute them. (Jason de Asis) Aurora
Sunday, February 19, 2012
BALER, Aurora, February 19, 2012-President Aquino shakes hands with Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe as they led the inauguration of the P594-million modern Aurora Memorial Hospital (AMH) during ceremonies in Reserva, Baler, Aurora. Also in photo are Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona and local political and health officials and staff of the AMH. (Jason de Asis)
Saturday, February 18, 2012
MANILA, Feb. 18, 2012—The CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) urged young Filipinos interested to attend next year’s World Youth Day (WYD) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to start their preparations, especially after organizers have recently unveiled the official event logo.
Friday, February 17, 2012
CASIGURAN, Aurora, February 17, 2012-A two day international solidarity mission (ISM) was organized by the Prelature of Infanta appealing for international and local support against the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO).
The anti-APECO groups said that the highlights of todays’ mission until tomorrow is to strengthen the anti-APECO campaign on both local and national levels towards the repeal of Republic Act 10083 (amended version of the RA 9490) renamed as the APECO.
The ISM groups are Swiss, Dutch and Filipino faith-based leaders, local anti-APECO support groups, representatives of the CHR and NCIP, together with media around the area of the eco-zone will conduct onsite visit today.
The group furthered that the first day will be a community sharing between the international delegates and local communities, with each sector represented, while the second day underscores the delegates’ visit to the indigenous people and fishing communities affected by the ecozone to listen to their experiences in relation to APECO.
They expected to come up with a comprehensive report about the issue on the ecozone which will be sent to different international organizations and concerned Philippine government agencies, on the local level two (2) days after the probe.
The prelature said that the report will detail the mission’s findings and appeal for appropriate actions, which are beneficial for the residents and affected communities and sectors in Casiguran, pressure international and inter-governmental bodies to issue statements against APECO and persuade the ecozone’s funders and potential investors to withdraw their commitments and investments.
The delegates said that the on-going plans of creating the eco-zone of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) from 500 to 12, 427 hectares, covering more barangays in the municipality of Casiguran-farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples’ leaders and residents in the municipality have repeatedly raised concerns against its expansion.
There are about some 500 members from the affected local communities and parishioners of the Nuestra Señora de Salvacion Parish in the area of Casiguran, Aurora who will be participating also in the mission aside from the ISM mission.
Members of the united against APECO are Bp. Felix Gmür from Switzerland; Bp. Rolando Tirona of the Prelature of Infanta; Fr. Ben Verberne, MSC of Dutch Conference of Religious; Helena Jeppesen of the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund (SCLF); Floor Schuiling of Mensen met een Missie- Netherlands; Fr. Edwin Gariguez of the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA), Fr. Pete Montallana, OFM and Bro. Martin Francisco of the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance (SSMNA), Mark Cebreros of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Comm. Conchita Calzado of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP); Integrated Pastoral Development Initiative (IPDI), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Focus on the Global South (FOCUS), PAKISAMA/Task Force Anti-APECO, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Tribal Center for Development (TCD), Swiss TV and Radio Veritas 846.
The campaign against APECO goes international after Dutch and Swiss religious leaders arrived in the country to join the ISM in the affected areas, especially the indigenous peoples and farm communities in Aurora and the nearby provinces.
The Prelature of Infanta statement said that ISM intends to see the situation of the tribal groups, fisherfolks, and farmers in the area in which the free port is set to be built.
“Some of the issues raised by affected residents are, private lands and farm lots awarded to farmer-beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) are among those included in the ASEZA (Aurora Special Economic Zone Area, which has been turned into Apeco) coverage; there is no consultation with the affected sectors and communities was made prior to the passage of RA 9490 (the enabling law for ASEZA); local government units of covered barangays were never informed, consulted, and considered before the approval of the law; harassment and misinformation about Apeco on the ground; and violation/conflict of the 1987 Constitution and other laws,” said the members of the ISM in a statement.
Allegedly, one of the victims of intimidation and harassment was Rev. Fr. Jose Francisco Talaban, the parish priest of Nuestra Señora de Salvacion parish and a staunch critic of the Apeco project.
Relative to this, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano will file a bill that will scrap Republic Act 10083, or the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Act of 2010.
Mariano said in a press statement that RA 10083 is a gross violation of the Article II, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution that provides for the comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform, as well as the Sections 1, 2 and 4 of the Article XIII of the Constitution, all under the Social Justice and Human Rights of the highest law of the land.
“The law also violated the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (RA 6657), the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (RA 8371), and the Fisheries Code of 1998 (RA 8550). It is implicit in paragraph (h), Section 12 of Republic Act No. 10083 that the Aurora Ecozone can borrow funds from foreign sources and incur indebtedness without need of the concurrence of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). This provision is contrary to Section 21, Article XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Additionally, paragraph (n), Section 12 of Republic Act No. 10083 authorizes foreign investors under the guise of private enterprises to operate public utilities. This is in flagrant contravention of Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution," Mariano said.
The bill is set to be filed on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.
The APECO project is a pet project initiated by Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara and Gov. Bella J. Angara-Castillo. The project has begun in 2008 after a law was enacted creating the APECO in 2010. The said legislation was penned by the father-and-son tandem to stimulate progress in Northeastern Luzon and to bring thousands of jobs in the place.
The ecozone vision is set to be a globally competitive, technologically advanced economic zone in the Pacific Northeast Sea Board working towards a renowned business community characterized by unified perspectives on green revolution and world-class innovation.
APECO’s mission is to foster national socio economic growth and foreign business relations through the advancement of an innovative, eco-friendly and cost-efficient economic zone capable of withstanding the demands of today’s global market. (Jason de Asis)
Thursday, February 16, 2012
TABLAS, Romblon, Feb. 15, 2012—Anti-mining advocates witnessed on Tuesday the unveiling of a Memorial in Romblon commemorating the biggest protest held in the province against mining by the Church, local officials and residents.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
CAGAYAN DE ORO City, Feb. 14, 2012—The highest official of Cagayan de Oro archdiocese reiterated his calls for a moratorium on mining even as he hit claims that mining has not contributed to the devastation wrought by tropical storm Washi (Sendong) last December
Monday, February 13, 2012
BALER, Aurora, February 13, 2012-Operatives of the Aurora cops Anti-illegal drugs special operation task force arrested three suspected shabu pushers during a buy-bust in barangay Suklayin Sunday around four in the afternoon.
The police operation resulted to the arrest of suspects Michael Lumasac y Laña, 32 years old, married, jobless together with his cohorts suspects his brother Deblin Lumasac y Laña, 29 years old and his uncle Roy Laña y Magaro, 53 years old all residents of Brgy. Suklayin here.
An undercover agent from the police force who acted as poseur buyer of suspected illegal drug pusher and bought shabu from Michael using marked/dusted money composed of one piece (1) of 200 peso bill bearing serial number HX200891 and three pieces (3) of 100 peso bills bearing serial numbers C583583, QK 728550 and GD715094. After receiving the dusted money by Michael, his brother Deblin gave him a small transparent plastic container containing suspected shabu and then Michael handed it to the poseur buyer.
The operative who acted as poseur buyer took effect the arrest of suspect Michael while other members of the team rushed in the aforesaid place and arrested Deblin and Roy.
Michael was arrested on the act of selling shabu and confiscated from his possession and control a small transparent heat sealed plastic sachet containing crystalline substance better known as shabu weighing 0.05 grams and also recovered from him the marked/dusted money.
In the immediate vicinity, several small open and empty transparent plastic sachets were found containing suspected shabu and various crumpled foil and improvised tooter and after proper documentation the same were brought to Baler PNP with other pieces of evidence for investigation.
The suspects were investigated at the police station and subsequently brought to the Aurora Provincial Crime Laboratory Office located at Sitio Setan, Brgy. Calabuanan and were declared positive in using drugs.
Case for violation of Section 5, 12 and 15 of Republic Act 9165 was filed against the three respondents. The suspects were taken to the provincial prosecutors office today for inquest proceeding.
The task force was a joint effort led by P/Inspector Ferdinad B Usita and personnel of Baler Police Station under the over-all supervision of Police Senior Supt. Benjamin T Hulipas, Provincial Director who conducted operation against illegal Dangerous Drugs in coordination with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 3.
Prior to this, numerous complaints were received by the police from concern citizens of Barangay Suklayin regarding the rampant selling of illegal drugs at aforesaid place; thus, the authorities immediately conducted surveillance, casing and test buy operation. (Jason de Asis)
Sunday, February 12, 2012
MANILA, Feb. 12, 2012—Human immune-deficiency virus (HIV) is a workplace issue that needed to be properly addressed. This was the statement of the International Seafarers’ Action Center (ISAC) as discrimination continues against people living with HIV (PL-HIV).
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