Archive for February, 2012

Most notorious kidnap-robbery gang leader falls

DAVAO CITY — The elusive and notorious leader of the Dumandan group involved in kidnap-for-ransom, series of robbery and hold-up, gunrunning and drug trafficking operating in the Davao region was arrested by authorities at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Barangay Katuray, Panabo City.

The suspect was identified as Juan “Diding” Dumandan Jr., 39, of Calinan, Davao City. He has standing multiple arrest warrants for serious illegal detention, kidnapping, robbery, murder and attempted murder.

Dumandan was collared by joint elements of the Regional Intelligence Unit 11 and Panabo City Police Office led by Sr. Insp. Richard “Bong” Tangente, team leader of RIU-Davao del Norte Provincial Intelligence Team and under the supervision of RIU chief P/Supt. Leonardo A. Felonia.

Recovered from the suspect was an improvised .38 caliber pistol, four live ammunitions and one empty shell of .38 caliber pistol,  two lead-tip arrows (“Indian pana”), and three pieces of mobile phones.

The suspect’s group was blamed for the series of kidnapping and robbery incidents since last year and the past days including the recent hold-up of the Petron Gasoline Station in Panabo City on Tuesday and the wounding of the gasoline attendant who was shot by one of the suspected robbers.

Before Dumandan’s arrest, his group was allegedly still able to rob an egg store and carted away about P30,000 in cash Wedneday night in Panabo City.

It was learned that the group was formed sometime in 2000 here in Davao City by the three Dumandan brothers and Juan was identified to be their top leader and soon formed cells in Panabo City, Tagum City, and neighboring areas.

There were already several attempts to arrest Dumandan but he was very elusive and very dangerous since he was always armed with .45 caliber pistol and .357 caliber revolver. But his younger brother, Ceasar, was already arrested in August last year also in Panabo City. Some of its members were also arrested here in Davao City and Panabo City.

Sr. Insp. Tangente said the operation was hatched for more than a year already until they had the opportunity to arrest Dumandan, who was completely surprised when he was frisked by the operatives.

Reports have it that Dumandan was used to mark his left arm with a knife everytime he killed a kidnap and robbery victim. There were more than around 12 knife marks on his left arm, which means, he already slaughtered 12 people.

Felonia said the suspect will be brought to the Maa City Jail after they can get a commitment order from the regional trial court.

Meanwhile, he said their operation is still ongoing to arrest Dumandan’s cohorts here in Davao City and Panabo. (ASA)

Lawmaker moves to review the Indigenous People’s Right Act

A lawmaker today to hasten the review and proposed amendments to
the Indigenous People’s Right Act of 1997 saying “it has not achieved
its objective to alleviate the welfare of the indigenous peoples in
the country.”

“Scarce natural resources located in lands owned by our indigenous
people by virtue of birthright and by law are being exploited by
private individuals and companies without any agreement with their
owners,” said Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat (Lone District, Ifugao),
author of House Bill 4563.

The bill seeks to amend Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples
Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA).

It calls for the creation of a Joint Oversight Congressional Committee
to monitor the implementation of the law.  The committee shall be
composed of five senators and five congressmen.

The bill provides that the President of the Senate and the Speaker of
the House of Representatives shall be ex-officio members and the
chairmen of the Senate Committee of Cultural Communities and the House
Committee on National Cultural Communities will co-chair the joint
oversight panel. Likewise, the Senate President and the Speaker shall
appoint the respective members of the committee.

The oversight panel shall also have the power to implement policy
changes, review the decisions as well as recommend disciplinary action
on the NCIP, which is supposed to be the first and last line of
defense acting in behalf of the indigenous peoples in the country.

Baguilat said the review on RA 8371 should also include reports that
the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is in collusion
with individuals and other parties in taking advantage of the lack of
knowledge and benign nature of the indigenous peoples.

“Why are vast tracts of ancestral domain ending up in the hands of
the private sector and their original owners – the indigenous peoples
– uprooted from the lands they have possessed since time immemorial?”
Baguilat asked.

“What promised to be a shining beacon of hope for its beneficiaries
has been dimmed by the passage of time, the bureaucratic muddle and
the ineptness of those who have been tasked to oversee the
implementation of the IPRA,” the Baguilat said.

Baguilat, Chairman of the House Committee on National Cultural
Communities, has referred the bill to the Committee on Appropriations
for its appropriate comments relative to the funding provisions of the
measure before final committee endorsement to plenary.

Bill to protect and conserve archeological discoveries in the country

Lawmakers are strongly pushing for the passage of the proposed
Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage Act, in a bid to protect
and conserve underwater archeological discoveries in the country.

Reps. Michael Velarde, Jr. and Irwin Tieng (Party-list, Buhay) filed
House Bill 5723 seeking to ban diving, use of explosives, and use of a
pressure air hose, water hose or vacuum hose within a protected zone
or a non-protected zone to recover objects of underwater cultural
heritage.

“Underwater cultural heritage is an integral part of the Filipinos’
national pride, an important element not only in our history, but in
our relationship with other countries as well,” Tieng said.

Tieng said experts calculate that indiscriminate diggings and
underwater explorations have exposed the country’s cultural and
historical sites to desecration and priceless cultural artifacts to
destruction.

“The bill shall protect and conserve future underwater archeological
discoveries by providing a statutory mechanism for a permit system on
underwater exploration and excavation,” Tieng said.

“Upon approval of this measure, ownership of all objects of underwater
cultural heritage found in territorial waters, regardless of origin,
is vested directly in the State,” Tieng said.

Under the bill, only duly accredited scientific and education
institutions, duly registered non-stock and non-profit corporate
entities or organizations in the field of underwater archaeology,
government agencies or instrumentalities with proven ability to
conduct underwater archaeological work, foreign institutions in the
field of underwater archaeology registered with the Stock Exchange
Commission (SEC) and allowed to do business in the Philippines, and
individuals or juridical persons under sponsorship by a scientific or
by educational institutions may be granted permits to explore or
excavate.

The bill provides that any person who discovers, by chance, any
object of underwater cultural heritage is obliged to report his/her
find to the National Museum or any of its branches within seven days
from knowledge of its potential scientific, cultural, archaeological,
paleontological or historical value.

Violators face a 10 year jail term and a fine of not more than
P100,000. All watercraft, equipment, tools paraphernalia, other
instruments used for excavation and objects excavated in violation of
the measure shall be confiscated and forfeited in favor of the
National Museum. If the offender is an alien, he shall be under the
custody of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation for the
appropriate proceedings.

The bill mandates the National Museum and the Philippine Tourism
Authority conduct education campaigns and information drives about the
Philippine underwater cultural heritage to tourist-divers and local
divers’ clubs.

Likewise, the National Museum shall promulgate rules and guidelines
for the grant of permits/licenses to explore or excavate any
underwater site for protected underwater cultural properties in
Philippine waters subject to the provisions of this Act.

Surrender now, DCPO top cop tells Bigcas

DAVAO CITY  — Authorities are now calling on alleged big-time car smuggler Lynard Allan Bigcas to surrender after he was positively identified to have shot before noon Sunday lawyer Roberto Mauro Miguel Palma Gil, the regional director of the Housing Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) XI.

“He should surrender now and face the charges against him. He may still be here in Davao City or in other places since he is using another getaway vehicle after the shooting incident at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday at the corner of Mabini and Torres Streets here,” said Sr. Supt. Ronald M. dela Rosa, city director of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

Dela Rosa said that a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera positively identified Bigcas, who is still wearing his fashioned long hair, chasing Palma Gil and without saying any word shot him few meters away.

He said they are eyeing love triangle as the very motive of the incident, adding that at the time of the incident, Bigcas was with his alleged girlfriend and private lawyer, Aimee Salisi, who happened to be the ex-boyfriend of Palma Gil, son of Davao Oriental former governor Elena Palma Gil.

Bigcas was the subject of the investigation that reached to the House of Congress middle of last year after agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Bureau of Investigation  raided Bigcas’ houses in Poblacion, Talakag, Bukidnon, and Cagayan de Oro City in May last year where they seized at least 25 luxury vehicles and 15 motorbikes.

Among the motorbikes recovered was an $80,000-worth Harley Davidson Martin Brothers model, which was stolen from Hollywood scriptwriter Skip Woods in Houston, Texas.

But Bigcas was able to post bail after spending a night at the detention cell on August last year.

Youth leaders strengthen in YFPM Meet

The regional officers of the Youth for Peace Movement (YFPM) from Region XI and SOCSARGEN meet today for the three-day Capability Enhancement and Planning Workshop.

Held at DPWH XI, Regional Equipment Services, Panacan, this city, organizers aim to educate and guide the participants to be responsible leaders who advocate peace and value nationalism.

The workshop also provides a venue for youth leaders to learn from the speakers who share their expertise in environmental awareness, youth development, local governance, stakeholder’s participation, development communication and social responsibilities through series of discussions.

In her message, NEDA XI Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim lauded the facilitators for coming up with such event. According to her YFP serves as a potent vehicle to develop the youth’s sense of responsibility and inculcate (to them) love for the country.

“We acknowledge your great potential in peace building” she said citing the roles of the youth as source of correct information, initiators of programs, assists in development and monitor the development efforts of the government for feedback. She also encourage the youth to be proactive on current issues saying “only your imagination would limit your capacity to contribute to your community.”

The YFP Movement Regional Officers’ Capability Enhancement and Planning Workshop is a joint project of the 10th Infantry Division and the Association of Regional Executives of the National Agencies (ARENA) XI which is co-sponsored by civic organizations and other stakeholders like Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), JCI – Central Davao, Kiwanis Golden Tagum Save Earth Project. Other local government agencies (LGAs) that extended support by providing speakers and inputs are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) XI, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) XI, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) XI, National Youth Commission (NYC Davao), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) XI, Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) XI and Philippine Information Agency (PIA). The inputs provided by the speakers will be the basis of the YFPM officers to make projects aligned to that of the government agencies.

 

Solon seeks granting of estate tax amnesty to raise gov’t revenue collection

A House member is seeking the grant of estate tax amnesty to maximize

the government’s tax collection and free-up property of unsettled
estates so that they may be opened to business transactions and
stimulate economic activities.

Rep. Arthur Defensor, Jr. (3rd District, Iloilo) said freeing up
properties after tax settlement will allow them to be sold, leased,
subject of joint venture agreements, or whatever transaction that will
have tax consequences and result in increased tax collection for the
government.

Defensor, an assistant majority leader, said his proposal, House Bill
5703 or the proposed Estate Tax Amnesty Law,” will complement the
administrative measures of the Bureau of Internal Revenue which in the
long term enhance tax collection.

“While an estate tax amnesty, at first glance, appears to be a
negative revenue generation measure, it is posited that, in the long
term, it would increase tax collection,” he said.

Records of the BIR show that estate tax is a poor performer in the
area of collection according to Defensor.

In fact, he said the BIR has launched “Project Rest in Peace” through
the issuance of Revenue Memorandum Order 10-2010 which targets the
increase in estate tax collection and number of estate tax returns
filed.

“RMO 10-2010 is an administrative measure that will closely monitor
potential estate tax cases by establishing linkages with, and
accessing the records of, the Civil Registers, hospitals, memorial
parks, cemeteries, funeral parks, crematoriums, judicial clerks of
courts, life insurance companies and other relevant financial
institutions,” said Defensor.

Defensor said HB 5703 will complement the BIR administrative measures
to enhance collection. “The essence of the grant of estate tax amnesty
under this bill is a radical deviation from the existing rates under
Republic Act 8424, as amended. While a radical decrease in estate tax
rates would decrease estate tax collection, it is intended to make
estate settlement and estate tax payment attractive.”

House Bill 5703 shall cover all unpaid estate taxes as of the time the
measure becomes a law and those that shall be paid within five years
henceforth. The estate tax amnesty shall only be available within five
years from the effectivity of the law.

The estate tax covered by the amnesty shall be levied, assessed,
collected and paid upon the transfer of the net estate, as determined
in accordance with Sections 85 and 86 of RA 8424 or the National
Internal Revenue Code, as amended, of every decedent, whether resident
or non-resident of the Philippines, based on the value of such net
estate.

If the net estate value is worth over P2 million to P5 million, the
tax exemption shall be P15,000.00 plus five percent of the excess over
P2 million. If the net estate value is over P5 million to P10 million,
the tax exemption shall be P135,000.00 plus eight percent of the
excess over P5 million. If the net estate value is P10 million to P50
million, the tax exemption shall be P465,000.00 plus 11 percent of the
excess over P10 million.

For those with net estate value exceeding P50 million, they shall be
levied and assessed to pay estate tax based on the schedule in Section
84 of RA 8424, as amended.

Two motorcycle-riding gunmen kill Fil-Chinese nurse in Davao City

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 18 (PNA) – A Filipino-Chinese registered nurse was shot to death by two motorcycle-riding assailants at 12 noon Saturday in Paciano Bangoy Street here.

The victim was identified as Marjorie Kwan, 23 years old, and a registered nurse and a resident of RGA Village, Paciano Bangoy.

Reports reaching the Sta. Ana police station showed that the victim was on her way home when the suspects, aboard a motorcycle, attempted to steal her bag.

But the victim refused to surrender her bag, prompting one of the suspects to shoot her several times.

Kwan sustained four gunshot wounds in her hand, chest, back and head.

Sta. Ana police chief Sr. Insp. Ronald Lao said robbery may have been the motive of the suspects.

Lao said they were still clueless on the identity of the suspects. (PNA)
RMA/Anthony S. Allada/ldp

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