Mayor Rabat lauds PRRD’s Sona directives to LGUs

Mati City Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat lauded the directives made by President Rodrigo Duterte to all local government units during his fourth State of the Nation Address Monday, July 22.

In a statement, Mayor Michelle welcomed Duterte’s directive for LGUs to cut the red tape in government especially on the approval and releasing of government permits.

“The directive of President Rodrigo Duterte for LGUs and all government agencies to simplify and make services responsive to the people is very much welcome. Our automation and computerization program forms part of our 10-point agenda to make government processes as fast and as easy as possible, including government services, for the people especially those who belong to the marginalized sector, the poorest of the poor,” Mayor Michelle said.

“On clearances and permits from the LGU be released within 3 days, all of our department heads and employees are mandated to be in their respective offices by eight in the morning for this purpose. To readily sign and approve papers submitted to their offices and to cut red tape in the government,” Rabat added.

On the President’s notice to LGUs for the protection of environment and strict implementation of environmental laws, Mayor Michelle said that her administration would take heed and ensure that the Mati of City would be a front runner in this endeavor.

“Tourism is one of our priorities and we know for a fact that for tourism to flourish and sustain, the environment needs to be protected no matter what. We do not want a Boracay-like scenario happening in Mati thus this early we are already instituting measures for environment protection,” she said.

Mayor Michelle said that all of President Duterte’s directives “will be reflected in our next year’s budget”.

“Priorities are health, agriculture social welfare, to bring services to the poorest of the poor,” she ended. (CIO MATI)


3 Indonesian fishermen rescued off Mati

Three Indonesian fishermen who drifted from Indonesian waters were rescued along the coastline of Barangay Bobon, Mati City last July 17.

In a belated report, the Indonesian fishermen drifted in the ocean for 4 days before reaching Mati’s coastline.


They were said to be on their way home when strong current and wind battered their small vessel.


Mati Police chief Police Major Bembo Lopez Aying identified the fishermen as boat captain Paulus Baeruma, 50 years old; Batinus Paniat, 54 yrs old, crew; and Pente Laberu, 45 yrs old, crew. All are residents of Tobelo, Indonesia.

Aying said the Indonesian fishermen have been turned over to the Bureau of Immigration Office in Davao City on July 18 for proper disposition. (CIO MATI)

Mati fault segment has not moved for 400 years

The Mati fault segment of the Philippine Fault system has not moved for more than 400 years now. And this could be the source of what experts call “The Big One” – a magnitude 8 earthquake that would have Mati as its epicenter but could wreak bigger destruction in Davao City and the rest of Davao Region and Eastern Mindanao.

Charlemagne Bagasol, head of the Mati City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said that the Philippine Fault system ends in Mati City. Though several strong tremors have occurred in the past affecting Mati, the origin was not the Mati segment.

Based on records, strong tremors registering from 7.1 to 8.3 magnitude happened in Eastern Mindanao since 1913 with the latest in 1992. All of the strong tremors happened in the sea and caused tsunamis.

In the May 17, 1992 earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1, the coastal towns of Sta. Fe in Caraga and Bunga in Manay, all in Davao Oriental, were hit with 6-meter high waves destroying several boats and stilt houses.

Bagasol said it is highly possible that the Mati segment of the Philippine fault would move. If this happens, experts believe that it would produce a magnitude 8 earthquake that will cause more damage in Davao City than in the epicenter in Mati.

Experts explain that this is because Mati has a more solid landmass compared to Davao City that has softer. Davao City could feel six to eight intensity, if ever.

Other hazards that the earthquake may cause are ground shaking, ground rupture, liquefaction, earthquake-induced landslide, and fire.

Aside from Mati Fault System, Phivolcs is also monitoring the Central Davao Fault System that has five segments and transect in 60 barangays in Davao City. It could also cause destructive damage to the city, especially in the southern part.

Bagasol however said that the destructive effects of a strong earthquake and tsunami could be lessened if the people are prepared. He urged the public to always participate in all of their earthquake drills so that they would all be prepared for any eventualities.

On July 26, Friday, at exactly 8:30 in the morning, sirens will be heard all over Mati City to start off the city-wide earthquake drill. He said this drill is aimed at preparing everyone just in case “The Big One” that experts fear most would eventually happen.

Militants’ ‘scene’ at LA consulate disappoints Pinoys

LOS ANGELES, California – It was supposed to be a healthy dialogue between indigenous peoples (IP) leaders from Mindanao and Filipino Americans (Fil-Ams) but turned momentarily awry, causing disappointment among Filipinos in attendance at the Philippine Consulate General office here on July 15.

Despite a clear reminder from Philippine Deputy Consul General Ambrosio Brian Enciso III for everyone at the town hall meeting to exercise civility, kindness, and openness, several LA-based Fil-Am militants made a scene even before all eight IP leaders could finish their narratives of abuses, deception and atrocities committed against them by the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Enciso, in his opening remarks, cited the importance of the meeting because, for the first time in recent history, Philippine IPs of various tribes have come to America as a team to make their voices heard and speak on their own behalf, rather than have other groups with their own interests, speak for them and put words  into their mouths.

Just a few minutes later, five alleged members of militant Bayan USA, one after another,  stood up from separate seats across the room  — some loudly reading scripts of anti-government chants from their mobile phones, while others shouted on the top of their voices.

 In stark contrast, the eight IP leaders silently watched Consulate personnel send more or less 10 militants, one by one, outside the room.

Macky Fortu, a member of the Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA),  can’t hide his disappointment because he and his companions canceled some of their day’s schedule just to attend the meeting.

“It is unfair to us that the meeting was disrupted. It turned out well though in the end,” said Fortu, adding that the meeting was very important for humanitarian organizations like them because the money that we send to the Philippines might end up in wrong hands. There is nothing wrong with the IPs revelations.”

He said the IPs are people just like other Filipinos and that their interests are only the right to live and the right to self-determination, among others.

“Sila ay mga mahihirap na tao na kailangan nila suportahan natin, kailangan nila ang simpatiya natin. So, itong mga taong ito as far as I learned dito sa meeting na ito, sila ‘yung victims of atrocities sa Pilipinas (They are underprivileged that need our support and sympathy. They are victims of atrocities in the Philippines),” he added.

It turned out, Fortu said, that the militants are the ones painting a picture of the IPs as the villains.

“My goodness! They are wrong! They are suppressing the information here in this meeting. Why do they have to do that?” he added.

He said he and the rest of Fil-Ams at the town hall meeting are neutral and would want to hear the IPs stories.

“Their message is very straightforward, very informative, very compelling. I don’t think we can dispute their arguments because if we do, it is like questioning their experiences. That’s nonsense and absurd,” he added.

Despite the sincere message of the IP leaders, who are on speaking engagements across the US, Fortu said some people want to shoot the messenger, which is morally wrong.

Vow to educate

“We will help educate other people, other Fil-Ams that there are some Filipinos who are raising funds raising for the benefit actually of other groups. And that’s what they said, the CPP-NPA, so we have to be careful with the money that we send to the Philippines because again, it might end up in the wrong hands,” said Fortu, who is Rotary Club past president and has been sending financial assistance for projects in the Philippines.

He also called on other organizations to be discerning and careful in sending out donations to organizations who may be lying about where the collections go.

Help, not fight

Meanwhile, 22-year-old John Carlo Arcenas is saddened by the tension caused by the militants’ disruption of the meeting.

“We should help one another, not fight each other like the other guys (militants) coming here. What’s the reason why they are fighting other Filipinos. We’re all Filipinos we should help each other,” said Arcenas, who has been living in the US for nine years.

He added that there should be peace, positivity, and love among Filipinos who are all brothers and sisters. (PNA)


Salugpungan asks 5-day extension on show cause order

DAVAO CITY — The Department of Education-Region 11 (DepEd-11) said the show cause order on Salugpungan Ta’tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center Inc. (Salugpungan) has been extended for another five days.

In a text message Monday afternoon, DepEd-11 spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said the extension, from July 17 to July 22, was granted on the request of Maria Eugenia Nolasco, Salugpungan executive director.

Atillo said the non-extendible extension granted by DepEd-11 Director Evelyn Fetalvero meant that Nolasco has enough time to answer the allegation made by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon about Salungpungan’s supposed ties with the communist rebel movement.

Esperon, who also chairs the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, alleged that the Salugpungan tribal school system promotes the New People’s Army’s (NPA) communist ideology that espouses the violent overthrow of the government; trains its students to hold mass actions against the government; and uses curriculums not in accordance with the DepEd guidelines.

DepEd issued the show cause order on July 12, when it suspended its 55 schools in Davao Region following Esperon’s allegations.

According to Atillo, Esperon’s allegations are backed by the testimonies of a former teacher of a Salugpungan school who has since left the organization.

“The basis of Secretary Esperon is the affidavit executed by Melvin Loyod who is a former student of a certain Salugpungan school and eventually became a volunteer teacher in a Salugpungan school in Sitio Pongpong, Barangay Sto. Niño Talaingod Davao del Norte,” Atillo said.

In his affidavit executed on Dec. 6, 2018, Loyod claimed that Salugpungan learners were taught with rebellion tactics against the government. The military also claimed that the schools are training grounds for NPA recruitment, where students are trained in guerilla warfare.

Loyod claimed that the students are taught NPA literature, made to sing songs praising the communist rebellion, and made to act in plays depicting alleged military abuses on the Indigenous Peoples (IPs).

Antonio Ortiz, DepEd-11 legal counsel, said Monday the agency will be compelled to decide on the issue if Salugpungan cannot submit their answer on time.

“If they cannot answer after the given time or cannot submit their explanation, DepEd will decide the matter on the basis of available evidence,” Ortiz stressed.

Ortiz said that since the case against Salugpungan is administrative in nature, the DepEd-11 director “is given by law a wide discretion to decide.”

Atillo said Salugpungan can always appeal any decision by DepEd-11 to Education Secretary Leonor Briones. (PNA)