Daan-daang mga mamamayan at stake holder sa Maguindanao, pabor sa panukalang ilipat ang provincial capitol at iba pang government offices sa Buluan mula sa Shariff Aguak

admin   •   June 13, 2014   •   2308

Ang nangyaring public hearing nitong Biyernes, June 13, na pinangunahan ni Gov. Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu para sa panukalang paglilipat ng kapitolyo ng Maguindanao. (ALBERT ALCAIN / Photoville International)

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Isinusulong ng ilang mga miyembro ng sangguniang panglalawigan ng Maguindanao na muling ilipat ang kapitolyo at mga government offices  sa munisipalidad ng Buluan mula sa kasalukuyang lokasyon nito sa Shariff Aguak.

Sa isinagawang public consultation at hearing na pinangunahan ng provincial board ng Maguindanao daan daang residente at mga stake holders ang kanilang tinanong  kung pabor na ilipat muli ang kapitolyo.

Ayon kay Governor Esmael Mangudadatu ang kaligtasan at accesibility ang pangunahing dahilan kung bakit kailangang ilipat ang seat of power ng probinsiya.

“Para sa lahat kasi may propose kami na one-stop government center na ang gagawin natin parang one-stop shop na nandun lahat ng departamento nandun ang provincial capitol… So ayaw din natin doon na madagdagan yung problema at maging risky yung buhay ng mga kasama nating nagseserbisyo sa Maguindanao,” paliwanag ni Gov. Mangudadatu.

Nakasanayan na sa Maguindanao na kung saan ang balwarte ng nanalong governador ay doon inililipat o itinatayo ang provincial capitol.

Sakaling matuloy ang paglilipat ng kapitolyo umaasa ang marami na magiging permanente na ito at hindi na ililipat pang muli.

Mula ng maging probinsya ang Maguindanao ay apat na beses ng nagpalipat lipat ang provincial capitol.

Dagdag pa ng Maguindanao Governor, “Na kung mailipat man dito, dapat ma-institutionalize ito. Pagka-iba na ang gobernador ay talagang dito na hindi na parang sasakyan na kung sino ang nakasakay doon na kung saan niya gustong pumara doon siya papara o mag-parking.”

Ikinatuwa naman ng mga proponent ng panukala ang pagsuporta ng mga mamamayan at mga stakeholders sa planong paglilipat ng kapitolyo at inaasahang sa pagbubukas ng session ng provincial board ay maipapatupad na ito sa pamamagitan ng isang resolusyon.

Pahayag ni Maguindanao Board Member Atty. Abubakar Katambak, “Yung public hearing na ito is a requirement before we can act upon on the pending ordinance or resolution. At ito ang tinitingnan natin yung support ng mamamayan. Sa nakikita natin tuluy tuloy na rin po ito.”

Ayon naman kay Maguindanao Deputy Governor Ramil Dilangalen, “ Katulad nito nagkatugma doon sa itinatakda ng saligang batas well sa tingin ko wala naming problema kagaya ng reactions ng nakakarami na talagang katanggap tanggap yung paglipat ng seat of government ng Maguindanao.”

Sa ngayon sa Munisipalidad ng Buluan nagpatayo ng governor’s sattelite office doon pansamantalang nag-oopisina si Governor  Mangudadatu.

Sa kabilang dulo naman ng probinsiya sa Datu Odin Sinsuat ang tanggapan ni Vice Governor Lester Sinsuat at mga board member habang ang mga opisina ng Provincial Agriculturist Office, Comelec at iba pa ay nasa Cotabato City naman na hindi sakop ng probinsiya ng Maguindanao. (LOUELL REQUILMAN / Photoville International)

Shariff Aguak vice mayor who testified in Ampatuan Massacre survives ambush

Marje Pelayo   •   December 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Shariff Aguak Vice Mayor Akmad Ampatuan is now in stable condition following an ambush along Sharif Aguak Highway in Maguindanao.

Ampatuan survived but his driver and his bodyguard died in the incident.

“Ongoing investigation ang ginagawa diyan (The investigation is ongoing),” noted Major Arvin John Encinas, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) West Mindanao Command.

“Mahirap na mag-speculate na hindi pa tapos ang investigation pero isa yan siya sa mga nag-witness against sa mga suspect doon sa Maguindanao massacre (We cannot speculate while investigation is ongoing but he is one of the witnesses against the suspects in the Maguindanao Masaacre,)” Encinas confirmed.

Despite being part of the powerful political clan of the Ampatuans in Maguindanao, Vice Mayor Akmad decided to testify against his kin in the brutal Ampatuan Massacre.

He took the side of the complainants and became an ally of the Mangudadatus.

Based on initial investigation, the victims were ambushed by about to two to three armed men.

According to Congressman Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu, a witness was able to recognize one of the gunmen.

“May nakita siya eh, nakilala nila (The witness saw recognized one of them),” Mangudadatu said in a phone interview adding that he has yet to talk to the said witness to confirm.

Mangudadatu flew to Davao City to visit the vice mayor in the hospital.

The ambush happened just five days after the verdict on the gruesome Ampatuan Massacre was released.

More than 40 of the accused were convicted, including the primary suspects Andal Jr. and Zaldy Ampatuan along other members of the Ampatuan family. – MNP (With inputs from Dante Amento)

Victims kin welcome verdict but Ampatuan Massacre still far from over – Rep. Mangudadatu

Marje Pelayo   •   December 19, 2019

Former Maguindanao Governor and current Congressman Esmael Mangudadatu (3-R) together with relatives of victims gesture to the media after the promulgation of the Maguindanao massacre at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Philippines, 19 December 2019. EPA-EFE/MARK CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has ordered conviction of the more than forty individuals involved in the mass murder of 58 individuals in 2009, the worst political massacre and the single deadliest attack against journalists in the world – the Ampatuan Massacre.

A total of 32 journalists were among the victims of the crime.

For their loved ones, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes has ended their agonizing quest for justice by finally placing behind bars those who were responsible for the gruesome massacre.

“Talagang mahirap ang sampung taon na iyon. Ang tagal noon. Ilang years iyon na tiniis na walang conviction pa (Those 10 long years were agonizing. For so many years we suffered as there was no conviction),” noted Karen Araneta, wife of radio reporter Henry Araneta.

“Today, happy na ako talaga (Today, I am more than happy),” she said.

“Umiyak kami. Apat na taga UNTV. Alam namin na nakamit ng mga asawa namin, ng mga kasama nila ang justice na hinahanap naming (We cried. Four from UNTV. We know that our spouses and their colleagues have finally found the justice we’re looking for),” expressed Editha Tiamzon, the wife of UNTV Vehicle’s driver Daniel Tiamzon when asked about her initial reaction upon hearing the verdict.

Jergin Malabanan couldn’t hold back her emotions as finally, their efforts have now been paid off.

“Ma, ito na iyon. Ito na ang hustisya na matagal na nating hinihintay (Mom, this is it. This is the justice that we have long been waiting for),” she said in between sobs for her mother, slain journalist Gina dela Cruz.

“Ito na ang (bunga) ng mga sakripisyo, ng ilang taon na ipinaglalaban naming (This is now the fruit of our sacrifices, of the many years that we fought for),” she added.

The victims’ legal counsel Atty. Harry Roque said the bereaved families were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief and seem satisfied with the outcome of the trial.

“Nagagalak po ang mga pamilya, lima sa pitong Ampatuan ay nahusgahan na nagkasala,” Roque said.

“Natutuwa sila na ang parusa ay habambuhay na pagkakakulong without benefit of allowance of good conduct,” he added.

Four UNTV crew members were among those killed in the massacre – reporter Victor Nuñez; cameraman Mc Delbert Ariola; editor Jolito Evardo; and driver Daniel Tiamzon.

READ: Dispositive portion of Ampatuan massacre case ruling

Based on the 761-page Court decision, the families of the victims will receive a certain amount in civil indemnity and monetary damages.

Despite the conviction, the families are planning to appeal on the civil aspect of the case.

Meanwhile, Maguindanao Rep. Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu who lost his wife and siblings in the massacre, said the fight is still far from over because what the Court rendered today was only a partial decision on the case and some of the accused may still appeal the ruling to the higher courts.

“Matagal pa ito kasi may Court of Appeals, may Supreme Court (This is still far from over because there is still the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court),” he said.

“May second phase pa ang 50 at may mga at large pang 81 (This will have a second phase because there are 81 other suspects to remain at large),” he added. – MNP (with inputs from Nel Maribojoc)

AFP extends clearing ops in affected areas of all-out offensive vs. BIFF

admin   •   March 5, 2015

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Datu Salibo, Pagatin, Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak – these are the areas in Maguindanao dubbed by the Philippine Army as the ‘SPMS Box’ where the camps of the 300 members of BIFF were once located.

Since the all-out offensive operations against the terrorist group BIFF was declared by Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., a camp with a factory for bomb-making was seized.

There, the BIFF also suffered about 50 casualties.

To ensure that the residents surrounding these areas can go back home safe, the AFP extended it’s clearing operations to 3 more days.

The military’s all-out offensive law enforcement operation against BIFF was triggered last week by senseless attacks to the group led by a certain Commander Kagi Karialan in different communities of Pikit, North Cotabato.

There were also violent clashes between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and BIFF due to “rido” or clan war in Pagalungan, Maguindanao.

About 25,000 residents evacuated as an aftermath.

According to the newly appointed spokesperson of the AFP Brigadier General Joselito Kakilala, AFP has extended its clearing operations for another three days in the SPMS Box and other surrounding areas.

“General Catapang has extended the conduct of clearing operations for another three days after which we will conduct detailed assessment for our future actions,” Kakilala said.

Once the military gets rid of the armed bandits and terrorists from the affected areas, it will facilitate the safe return of the civilians back to their homes.

Kakilala also said that the MILF has supported the military’s ongoing operations and they have voluntarily relocated to stay away from the affected areas.

The AFP is confident that after declaring an all-out offensive operation against the terrorist groups, these groups will be reduced to an insignificant force and their capability to perform terror activities in Mindanao will eventually be degraded, in three to six months time. (Joan Nano / UNTV News)

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