Archive for December, 2011

Hataman issues first memo order

Newly-installed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) officer-in-charge (OIC) Gov. Mujiv S. Hataman issued Thursday his first official act, a memorandum ordering the regional cashier to stop any payments for “certain contracts and transactions” which his predecessor had entered into to first determine their propriety.

Hataman and OIC Vice Gov. Hadja Bainon Karon assumed their respective posts on December 21.

Hataman replaced Ansaruddin Adiong, the former acting governor and former vice governor who snubbed his successor’s assumption to the highest regional position.

ARMM is composed of some the countries most-impoverished provinces, such as Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.

President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed them to implement his avowed moral, moral, social, and political reform agenda for the autonomous government.

After his inauguration, the Basilan native issued what apparently was his first memorandum. It has no number.

“Effective today, you are hereby directed to stop making any payments on claims arising from certain contracts or transactions entered into by the previous administration without the consent or approval of the undersigned,” Hataman said, referring to Priscilla Candao, regional cashier.

After his assumption, he said he will be appointing new officials of his administration next week to help him carry out the President’s reform agenda.

He said he will not let the old “palakasan” system affect his decisions. Appointment will be made based on qualifications, he added.


Hataman appoints HR lawyer as executive secretary

Newly installed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao officer-in-charge (OIC) Gov. Mujiv Hataman has appointed an ethnic Maguindanaon as his executive secretary, chosen from among many aspirants who are either from Basilan or proteges of powerful politicians.

Hataman said he decided to select human rights lawyer Anwar Malang, who is not identified with any political camp, due to his unblemished record as a three-term councilor of Cotabato City and as a principal convenor of the Reform ARMM Now (RAN).

The multi-sectoral RAN, comprising more than 50 peace advocacy outfits in the South, was responsible for mustering cross-section support for the enactment of Republic Act 10153, which reset the ARMM elections from August this year to 2013 and empowered President Aquino to appoint an OIC to introduce reforms in the regional bureaucracy.

Malang, a scion of a big family in the second district of Maguindanao, also chairs the non-profit Mindanao Human Rights Action Center, which has been helping push forward the government’s peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Hataman, who hails from Basilan, said Malang’s appointment to a sensitive position in the regional government shows that he is keen on sharing power equitably with other qualified leaders from different areas in the autonomous region, regardless of their tribal and cultural identities.

Hataman said he will not be bothered disregarding the recommendations of influential politicians in the ARMM for prospective appointees to key positions in the regional Cabinet if their nominees are not qualified.

“I can even share power with qualified non-Muslims as long as they are from the ARMM, they have big hearts for the region’s culturally diverse people and for peace and development in the area,” he said.

Hataman took over last Thursday as OIC governor of ARMM, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in Central Mindanao, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.


Hataman vows transparency in fund use, ARMM reforms

Newly appointed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) officer-in-charge Gov. Mujiv Hataman assumed office yesterday and vowed to be transparent in handling state funds earmarked for development initiatives and in reforming the regional bureaucracy as espoused by President Aquino.

The ARMM’s outgoing local government secretary, Haron Al-Rashid Lucman, and the regional planning director, Adel Dumagay, turned over to Hataman and his protégé in Maguindanao, human rights lawyer Anwar Malang, vital documents on the transfer of administrative responsibilities, including unspent funds in the regional coffers, manpower and property outlays to the control of the new administration.

Hataman, a former congressman of the Anak Minda­nao party-list, hails from Barangay Bole-bole in Sumisip, a vote-rich town in the southeastern part of the island province of Basilan.

Among the public officials present in the turnover rites were Governors Sakur Tan and Sadikul Sahali of the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, respectively, and the provincial chairman for Maguindanao of the Liberal Party, Sultan Kudarat Mayor Tucao Mastura, and Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay.

Furigay said he and his more than 40 constituent barangay chairmen in Lamitan, capital city of Basilan, are elated that someone from their province is now at the helm of the ARMM.

“I know that introducing reforms in the regional bureaucracy is a task fraught with difficulties. I cannot do this alone. I need the support of all sectors. I only have 17 months to do this,” Hataman said.

The event was witnessed by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Presidential Adviser on the Mindanao Peace Process Teresita Deles and President Aquino’s political adviser, Ronald Llamas.

“If we have a common objective, that of pushing forward the attainment of peace and development in the autonomous region, we cannot be adversaries,” Hataman said, apparently referring to the local officials present at the turnover rites.

Hataman said among his immediate concerns is an immediate investigation into the reported issuance of logging permits by the region’s former natural resources secretary, giving way to the wanton cutting of forest trees by poachers, even those in supposedly protected areas.

There have been reports of loggers outside the ARMM using cutting and transport permits for logs smuggled out of forestlands.

Hataman said he would also ask for Malacañang’s support in conducting an extensive mapping of the region’s remaining forest cover, particularly the forestlands in Lanao del Sur that comprise the watershed for Lake Lanao, whose downstream flow propels several state-owned hydroelectric plants that supply about three-fourths of Mindanao’s power requirement.

“The ARMM is synonymous with corruption, underdevelopment, private armies, and poverty. This is an image we want to improve through good governance,” Hataman said.

Davao solon is new House committee chair on ways and means

DAVAO CITY – Second-term Representative Isidro T. Ungab (3rd district, Davao City) was chosen as new chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives replacing Representative Hermilando Mandanas (Batangas).

Prior to his election to the top post of the committee, Ungab was its vice chairman. He figured in the debates in the committee and plenary levels of the budgets of the Department of Finance, the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, National Economic and Development Authority, Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau of the Treasury and related agencies.

The ways and means committee is primarily in charge of legislative matters pertaining to the fiscal, monetary and financial management of the National Government.

A native of Calinan, Davao City, Ungab is a graduate of the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna.

A banker for years, he cut his legislative teeth as three-term member of Davao City’s Council where he was topnotcher councilor representing the third district.

He was poised to go back to the Council in 2007 when he was tapped by then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for congressman. (ASA)

OPLAN “Ingat Paputok” intensified

With the onset of the Yuletide season, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo on Tuesday directed the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to intensify inspection on establishments engaged in the manufacture, storage, and sale of fireworks.

In compliance with Secretary Robredo’s directive, the fire bureau in Region 03 formally launched the Task Force “Ingat Paputok” today, December 7, 2011.

The task force, which is headed by BFP Region 3 Director C/Supt. Ariel A. Barayuga with Deputy Chief for Operations S/Supt. Absalon L Zipagan, S/Insp.Jaime D. Robles including Provincial Fire Marshals, shall inspect pyrotechnic factories and shops selling firecrackers, particularly in Bulacan, to ensure that fire safety standards are implemented.

In his report to Robredo, Barayuga said the task force shall ensure that fire safety provisions under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9514, otherwise known as the Revised Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008, are strictly enforced and followed.

Barayuga also said that in case firecrackers and pyrotechnics on sale are fire hazards and excessive in volume, they will advise the stall or shop owners to reduce its quantity.

Aside from these, the task force shall oversee proper use of fire extinguishers or water and/or sand for fire suppression; ensure the strict observance and posting of the “NO SMOKING” signage in communities; prohibit the use of open flames like cooking, gas lamp, and other combustible materials; ban the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics to children; require establishments to post a “NOT FOR SALE TO CHILDREN” signage; and identify manufacturing establishments located within 300 meters of residential zones and report it to the PNP and LGU concerned.

Likewise Barayuga said the BFP in the region will conduct simultaneous fire truck motorcade along major roads and public assembly in the region which will signal the start of the Oplan “Ingat paputok”.

Meanwhile, Robredo said the BFP shall check if compliance with documentary requirements like Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC) and Business Permit are met. He said that in case an establishment or activity poses a threat to fire safety, the provisions of RA 9514 shall apply aside from other laws, rules and regulations of other agencies.

Robredo added that a follow-up inspection in firecracker establishments and manufacturing companies should be conducted to determine their compliance with government requirement..

He also asked the BFP to coordinate with other agencies to minimize, if not totally eliminate, the dangers posed by firework materials.

“This is part of our effort to ensure a fire-free Christmas and New Year celebration nationwide. We do not want to experience the tragic fire incidents that occurred in Turo, Bocaue, Bulacan last Jan. 1, 2008 which destroyed 13 retailer store selling firecrackers, and that of a factory in Cavite in 2009 leaving at least eight people dead and wounding 70 others,” Robredo said.

President Aquino awards outstanding barangay courts


President Benigno S. Aquino III conferred the presidential awards for this year’s most outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa or barangay courts in the country in a ceremony held at Malacanang.

The President bestowed the awards to 12 barangays whose lupons were proclaimed as most outstanding barangay courts for 2011 under the Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Awards (LTIA) program being spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, who is also chairman of the National Awards Committee (NAC), said the awardees were adjudged national winners as well as, first and second runners-up by the national awards committee for highly urbanized cities, component cities, first to third class municipalities and fourth to sixth class municipalities.

President Aquino, assisted by Sec. Robredo and members of the NAC, presented the presidential trophy and a cash prize of P200,000 to each of the national winners, and a plaque of recognition and cash prize of P50,000 and P30,000 to each of the 1st and 2nd runners-up winners, respectively.

Aside from Robredo, the other members of the NAC include Department of Justice Secretary Leila M. De lima , Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, National Police Commission (Napolcom) Vice Chair Eduardo U. Escueta and Liga ng mga Barangay national president Rico Judge Janvier Echiverri.

Robredo said the winners were chosen for their exemplary performance in resolving petty disputes of their constituents, thereby contributing to the attainment of the objectives of the Katarungang Pambarangay (KP) program, and in the maintenance of peace and harmony in their respective villages.

He explained that this year’s search covered 39,348 lupons nationwide, and of the number, 48 national finalists were selected by the various award committees organized at the regional, provincial, city and municipal levels.

The winners, according to the DILG secretary, were chosen on the basis of the following criteria: efficiency in operation; effectiveness in securing the objective of the Katarungang Pambarangay program; and creativity and resourcefulness of the lupon.

He named this year’s Lupong Tagapamayapa or LT national winners and runners-up as follows:

  • For most outstanding LT in highly urbanized cities, national winner, LT of Brgy Adlaon, Cebu City ; first runner-up LT of Brgy. Katangawan, General Santos City ; second runner-up, LT of Brgy. Onse, San Juan City , Metro Manila .
  • For most outstanding LT in component cities, national winner, LT of Brgy Tuyo, Balanga City, Bataan; first runner-up, LT of Brgy 1, San Lorenzo, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; and second runner-up, LT of Brgy Kalasungay, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
  • For most outstanding LT in first to third class municipalities, the national winner, LT of Brgy Bailan, Pontevedra, Capiz; first runner-up, LT of Brgy Lopez Jaena, Norala South Cotabato; and second runner-up, LT of Brgy Poblacion, Barobo, Surigao del Sur.
  • For most outstanding LT in fourth to sixth class municipalities, national winner, LT of Brgy Quezon, Mainit, Surigao del Norte; first runner-up, LT of Brgy Hingatungan, Silago, Southern Leyte; and LT of Brgy Ambassador, Tublay, Benguet.

The Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Awards was established pursuant to Executive Order 394, in recognition of the lupon’s contributions to the promotion of the Katarungang Pambarangay program. (30).

Sarmiento urges House to pass Expanded Anti Trafficking in Persons Act

Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento urged Congress to support the
Expanded Anti Human Trafficking in Person Bill which has been approved
by the Committee on Revision of Laws and is now awaiting endorsement
by the  Committee on Appropriations.

Speaking during the observance of the International Day Against Human
Trafficking, Sarmiento,  said  the meausure has gone through various
public hearing with trafficking survivors, non-government
organizations, and national government offices especially the
Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

The bill strengthens the government’s campaign against the crime that
victimizes mostly women and children, said Sarmiento, main author of
the bill.

The bill proposes a longer prison term of reclusion from reclusion
temporal with corresponding fines ranging from P50,000 to P5 million.

The measure likewise strips of the accused the privilege of
confidentiality which according to NGOs has been used by traffickers
to harass investigators and prosecutors.

The proposed bill also include penalizing attempt trafficking since
the old law requires trafficking to be proven before prosecution.
Sarmiento’s bill imposes penalties to those indirectly trafficking
through intermediaries and to the accomplices and accessory of the

The bill moreover expressly provides for the appropriations and the
basic structure of the IACAT.

But Sarmiento said that the most important feature of the bill is that
it gives the DSWD automatic protective custody of the victims. In the
old law there exists confusion as to whether or not child victim
should be immediately returned to family or guardian- who may be
uncooperative, or influenced not to pursue the case.

The bill underscores the country’s policy to recognize the inherent
human dignity of men and women as enshrined in the United Nations
Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the United Nations
convention on the elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against

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