Mati City receives 2 child-friendly awards

mati child friendly

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) awarded the plaques during the flag-raising ceremony at the Mati City Hall grounds.

The awards were given last year but was only handed over to the Mati local government unit on Monday, said Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat, who received the plaudits with Vice Mayor Glenda Rabat-Gayta and members of the city council.

During her acceptance speech, Rabat thanked the agencies who have seen their efforts in protecting the rights of the children.

“In every award received is a challenge to do better. We hope that we could do better in the future so that we could be more deserving of whatever recognition given us,” she said. (PNA)




The Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) called on communist rebels to end the recruitment of child soldiers as it joined the country in the observance of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) on Monday, September 9.



The Army division also reaffirmed  the Army oath to protect human rights.
army oathOATH TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS. Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, led the pledge of reaffirmation of commitment and support for the International Humanitarian Law,  along with other key military officers in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City, on Monday.
The activity was spearheaded by Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID commander, together with officers and men of the Cagayan de Oro City-based Army division.
A key part of the observance is the pledge of reaffirmation of commitment and support for the International Humanitarian Law led by Brig. General Oliver Vesliño, the assistant division commander.
In his message, the 4ID chief also warned the parents on the revelations of former rebels that the New People’s Army is recruiting minors as young as 12-years-old.
Gacal said they are “alarmed” with the latest data based on the result of the 4ID Custodial Debriefing Reports from 2016 to 2019, showing NPA’s extensive recruitment among minors in Northern Mindanao.
“The recruitment of minors is clear evidence of the continuous violations and deceptions of the NPA rebels,” he said.
Gacal read the message of President Rodrigo Duterte to the troops, echoing the Chief Executive’s directive to “continue to impress upon everyone the Philippine government’s committed adherence to the guiding principles of the International Humanitarian Law, while addressing the threats to national peace and security.”
The commitment, Gacal said, is summed up in this year’s theme, “IHL: Protecting the Defenseless in Times of Armed Conflict.”
Meanwhile, the 4ID’s 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) also took the oath of reaffirmation to IHL during the flag-raising ceremony at the Battalion Headquarters in Bukidnon on the same day.
Led by 1Lt. Kenneth Cabbigat, civil-military operations officer, the troops swore to strictly adhere and abide by the provisions of the IHL in the discharge of their duties and functions — especially on protecting the civilians and non-combatants.
Dialogue with IPs
Recently, 8IB provided assistance to several Indigenous Peoples (IP) members in Bukidnon who were accused as communist sympathizers.
Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, 8IB commander, called on groups and individuals — even government officials –engaged in “red-tagging” IP leaders to refrain from activities that he said may only sow division in the community.
“In winning the insurgency, we are counting friends not the enemies; I am reminding the friends of the government to stop tagging others to the NPA group,” Illana said.
“If ever some of them support the terrorists, we knew that they were forced to do so, they were victims of threat and we are visiting them through our Community Support Program efforts,” he said.
Illana said 8IB troopers met with the Higaonon elders in Impasug-ong town on Sept. 5 to answer all their concerns and clarify certain issues.
During the meeting, tribal chieftain Benny Cumatang reminded other Higaonons to “love our community. Let us live as one, and avoid accusing our colleagues as supporters of NPA-terrorists unless you have concrete evidence.”
“We have our 8th IB Army and the PNP (Philippine National Police) to work on the insurgency problem and peace and order situation in our municipality, let us help them by giving information and guiding our community,” Cumatang said. (PNA)



SALUGPUNGAN SCHOOLS CLOSURE. National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr. attends a Senate hearing on the proposed closure of 55 Salugpungan schools on Tuesday (Aug. 27, 2019). Esperon said the New People’s Army’s alleged use of the schools in its recruitment of young indigenous people into the communist movement does not adhere to international norms and Philippine laws. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Tuesday said the use of Salugpongan schools by the New People’s Army’s (NPA) in its alleged recruitment of young indigenous people into the communist movement does not adhere to international norms and Philippine laws.

During a Senate hearing on the suspension of 55 Salagpongan schools catering to indigenous peoples communities across Davao Region, Esperon said these educational institutions have been converted as breeding grounds for the NPA to promote its ideology that espouses the violent overthrow of the government.
Esperon cited Republic Act 11188, which provides that children in situations of armed conflict have the right to be protected from recruitment into government forces or armed groups and from participation in armed conflict.
He also cited the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, which states that armed groups distinct from the armed forces of a country should not, under any circumstances, recruit or use in hostilities persons under the age of 18 years.
“Therefore, covering to international norms and Philippine laws on the status of children in situations of armed conflict, the Salugpungan in Region 11 teaches the students with different beliefs and systems far from what government prescribes,” said Esperon.
Last July, the Department of Education (DepEd) ordered the suspension of the permit to operate of the 55 schools operated and owned by the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Centers in Davao Region.
Esperon, who chairs the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, presented his report by enumerating the following reasons for the suspension of the schools’ operations: the institutions do not teach the curriculums in accordance with DepEd guidelines; trains its students to hold mass actions against the government; and, teaches students to rebel against the government.
Esperon’s claims were based on the affidavit executed on Dec. 6, 2018 by Melvin Loyod, a former student of a Salugpungan school and eventually became a volunteer teacher in a Salugpungan school in Sitio Pongpong, Barangay Sto. Niño in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
During the same hearing, Datu Awing Apuga, a former child warrior of the NPA, called for the total closure of the Salugpongan schools.
Apuga recounted that he was only five years old when his father brought him to an alternative school, believing they would give him proper education but he was eventually trained to become a child warrior of the NPA.
Apuga noted that at the age of 15 years old, he was already taught to handle an M16 rifle and would regularly practice “target shooting.”
“Kung sino makatama sa gitna yun yung mataas na grade (Whoever hits the mark gets a high grade),” Apuga said. 

“Yung tribo namin ginagamit na lang nila para gawing mga aktibista… Nire-recruit talaga ang mga estudyante (They used our tribe and turned our members into activists… They are really recruiting students),” he added. 

He then joined the NPA and became a rebel under the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) for seven years.

Currently, Apuga is a tribal leader in Talaingod and an IP rights advocate. He is also an active member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Talingod town, tasked with defending their ancestral domain from NPA incursion.

The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

THE DURIAN BEAT: Women Power and the Calvary of Men

battered husband

Women Power and the Calvary of Men


By Roger M. Balanza

We celebrate in the month of March two events: Womens’ Month and Holy Week.

Women’s Month is, for the women, about the celebration of  women rights, but for men, should be a condemnation of the excesses of women power and how it is being abused.

During the Holy Week we recall the suffering in Calvary of Christ, that should remind the men  about their own  calvary in the hands of women.
Womanhood today is a far cry from the past, when women were considered as the “weaker sex,” and consigned to a role that sentenced them to mere “housewives.”
Today we have women in the Senate, Congress, as head of key government offices and executives of large private corporations.


In the household scene, there are men forced to wear the skirt by domineering wives. Unable to fight for their rights, they keep their hell to themselves in silence, with no one to fight for them.
The women, on the other hand,  have civil societies, peoples’ organization  and non-government organizations to defend them.
To top it all, there is a law, the Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Act, that has emasculated, caponized and pushed men into a marginalized sub-specie called Takusa (Takot sa Asawa.)
The concept of gender sensitivity today that sadly tilts towards women should be re-worked to include the male specie as part of our society that needs protection from violence, especially committed by terrorist partners.
As matters now stand, the Third Sex  composed of the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-genders) are better off than men, with anti-discrimination statutes in place shielding people of the other kind  against all forms of abuses.
The so-called “weaker sex” of yesterday has become an empowered force in society, which should command a drastic revision of the concept of gender sensitivity to include the men as an endangered specie.
VAWC, pushed into law by the womens’ rights group Gabriela, not only provided an armor to women against abuses but also made women highly politicized…and violent?
Early this month, POs, NGOs, activists and so-called champions of womens’ rights kicked off Womens’ Month with nationwide rallies mouthing slogans against unfair labor practices, bureaucratic corruption and extrajudicial killings. On the side, they lambasted President Duterte for his sex jokes.
Oh, how we wished the women also called for the protection of men.
As we celebrate the Holy Week and the Crucifixion of Christ in Calvary, it might as well be apt for men to celebrate with extreme anguish and pain their calvary in the hands of Hitlerian wives.
Sad as it may be to realize that there are many hubbies living in domestic terror, there is deliverance for men in Holy Week during the Easter, in the resurrection and ascension of Christ.
Men should welcome Easter with hope that the Lord in heaven would do a miracle to save battered husbands from terrorist wives as He saved mankind through His crucifixion.
There are many hubbies who handle domestic terorism by simply keeping silent about their fate to prevent a world war in the house.
 There are also men who go home to a wife who day-in, day-out, yaks and nags and inflict on them all kinds of violence.
The fact is that in the Philippine society today, women have become a privileged lot given rights that men wished they have too.
dogThere are many wives of the Abu Sayyaf breed who get away with their terroristic habit of inflicting physical and verbal abuse on their husbands. Most often, the battered hubbies keep their miseries to themselves, for the sake of domestic peace or because they don’t have legal weapons to shoot the little demons.
The women? Oooopppsss, ingat ka! Pinch her nose and she could run to the barangay or to the courts to complain about her rights  as a woman being violated under the VAWC law.
The VAWC is the  mantra of women and women rights activists in pushing government to pass the law to protect women against all forms of abuse. With many husband-hating women abusing their rights by invoking VAWC and the poor hubbies meekly suffering and accepting their goddamn fate in the hands of their Abu Sayyaf wives, it is time that gender equality should be placed under intense discussion.
This time, the men should demand  gender equality and call for approval of a law that would protect them from abusive partners.
Is there hope for the Takusa gang? Yes there is but the men should have the courage to fight for their rights as women did to reach their status today.
If there is a VAWC, there oughta be a VAMC or the Violence Against Men and their Children Act.
I recall that years ago in Davao City, a group espousing “men’s rights” surfaced to save battered hubbies from the most cruel of experiences for a male specie in this universe: being insulted, crucified, laughed at and joked about by friends and neighbors because they don’t have the heart and courage to stand up to a partner with the blood of a Maute terrorist.
The lead organizer was a village chief in a blighted part of the city where domestic quarrel most often end up with husbands nursing black-eyes fleeing the house like dogs with tails behind the legs to escape from the torture suffered from partners.
The village chief pitied the men and called for an ‘invitation-only’ powwow with the Takusas in a secret meeting, that of course was without knowledge of the household terrorists.
He explained that it was time for husbands to fight for their right and end the violence.
The powwow led to the creation of the Men’s Responsibility on Gender and Development (MR GAD). The acronym was not threatening but its secret mission was clear to the Takusas: MR GAD could be their liberation from Abu Sayyaf wives.
While the village chief condoled with the battered husbands, he told the Takusas that he could not do anything if no husband with a black-eye and murdered ego come to him to seek help.
His village of about 7,000 males is widely known as a war zone for domestic quarrels.
The village chief knows very well  why battered husbands in his village do not seek his help.
Fear, according to the village chief who admits he too is a Takusa, explains why husbands keep their hell to themselves and endure the suffering in the hands of a satanic partner. 
He said there should be a law, like VAMC that MR GAD would push,  to ensure protection of battered husbands from terrorist wives who have the blood of the Abu Sayyaf running in their veins and demonic brains.
Without the VAMC, the village chief advised that the Takusas have four options, if the wild woman of the house goes berserk:
  1. Remain in the house to endure the hell.
  2. Run to the barangay hall and hide behind the back of the barangay kapitan or a barangay tanod to protect against a pursuing al Qaeda bomber.
  3. Leave the house and flee to the top of Mt. Apo.
  4. Launch his own bloody counter-attack against the terrorist wife which could lead him to VAWC and a rat-infested cell at a police precinct.
Sad however that, the last time we met, our Takusa village chief informed as that MR GAD simply died a natural death because the terrorist wives learned about the impending rebellion of their punching bags.
Seriously, methink time is ripe that as women have their VAWC, the men should also have their VAMC.
Make my day, Madam Gabriela!
I volunteer to be the president of this crusade against the cruelty of women and the liberation of men, and the Takusas like me who want to join, raise your hand!