Makabayan Bloc seeks probe on alleged Chinese influence in Marawi rehab works

Marje Pelayo   •   June 27, 2018   •   3643

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Opposition congressmen want to probe ongoing rehabilitation works in Marawi City.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Makabayan bloc filed a resolution seeking for an investigation into an alleged report that some Chinese corporations are getting the favor of the government to manage the rehabilitation works in the war-torn city.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate accused the administration of taking advantage of the martial law to serve the interest of said Chinese firms.

“Bilyon-bilyon ang gugugulin ng gobyerno pero sa ngayon kahit nga residente ng Marawi ay at a lost (kung) ano ba talaga ang tunay na plano sa Marawi,”Zarate said

(The government will spend billions but until now the residents are at a loss as to what really is the government’s plan for Marawi.)

Civic groups, meanwhile, expressed concern over the proposed construction of a military base in “ground zero” or in the main battle area in Marawi.

“Pag nilagyan kame ng malaking military garisson sa loob ng main affected areas baka sa mga susunod na panahon atakihin nanaman nila uli ang Marawi,” said Drieza Liningding, Head of a civil society group in Marawi City.

(If they construct a military garrison inside the main affected area, time might come that they (terrorists) would attack Marawi again.)

Meanwhile, the group also calls on the House Committee on Human Rights to probe on reports of abuse of human rights of the residents in the war-torn city. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

Lawmakers want bill on oil pricing transparency to be certified as urgent

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives is urging President Rodrigo Duterte to certify as urgent the proposed bill that seeks transparency in determining price increases of petroleum products in the country.

This was prompted by the eight consecutive increases in the price of oil products in recent weeks.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate said there is no transparency on the side of oil companies on the basis of the increase or how they determine the amount of the price hike.

Zarate also urged oil companies not to make moves that will hinder the approval of House Bill No. 10386 that seeks to specify in detail the process of price increases being adopted by oil companies.

The Bayan Muna Partylist lawmakers also appealed to the Department of Energy to support the said bill. /mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Makabayan Bloc seeks probe into proliferation of smuggled vegetables in local markets

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The House Makabayan bloc is pushing for an investigation into the alleged proliferation of smuggled vegetables in some markets across the country.

In filing House Resolution No. 2263, the bloc urged the House Committee on Agriculture and Food to launch an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on reports that smuggled carrots and other vegetables from overseas have flooded major markets in the country since August of this year.

The bloc noted that the League of Association at the La Trinidad Trading Areas has complained that four container vans full of alleged smuggled carrots are delivered to the Carbon Market in Cebu City every week and being sold at P50 per kilo in various markets.

“The said contraband carrots are believed to be coming from China and are allegedly injected with chemicals to prolong the shelf life,” the resolution read.

Some ‘hot cabbages’ were also reportedly being distributed in Divisoria Market in Manila at P70 per kilo which is much lower than the prices of Benguet cabbage pegged at P115 to P125 a kilo.

The bloc also noted reports about small warehouses near Divisoria where imported vegetables are allegedly stored and are released in the market when Benguet vegetable prices are high.

“Vegetable disposers at the La Trinidad Post in Benguet said that orders have drastically dropped due to the proliferation of smuggled carrots in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro, among other cities,” it said.

“From the previous 100 sacks of carrots a day, vegetable disposers said they are only able to dispose of at least 30 sacks of carrots a day,” it added.

The Department of Agriculture earlier said it is investigating reports on smuggled vegetables in local markets and warned the public against buying these items that may contain possible pesticide residue and may not be fit for consumption.

2 Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group members surrender

Marje Pelayo   •   September 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Two members of the terrorist Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) yielded to authorities on Wednesday (September 1), the military reported.

They were identified as alias Mosab, 19 years old and alias Hodaifa; both hail from the municipality of Piagapo

The two surrendered to Joint Task Group Haribon in Kampo Ranao, Marawi City.

Mosab revealed that he was forced sometime in January, this year, to join the terrorist group. He was involved in sowing atrocities in the province to include numerous firefights against government forces that caused fear and even displaced some families in the hinter areas of Madalum and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur and Munai and Tangcal in Lanao del Norte.

Meanwhile, Hodaifa left the group this year upon “realizing the deceptive intent of the DI-MG of capitalizing on violent extremism as the true Jihad.” He was part of the group that terrorized and attacked Marawi City in 2017.

The two surrenderers brought with them two M-16 rifles with ammunition.

Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II of JTG Haribon, also the commander of the 103rd Infantry (HARIBON) Brigade, assured the safety and well-being of the former insurgents.

Meanwhile, Piagapo Vice Mayor Ali Sumandar urged the remaining DI-MG members to surrender. He also encouraged residents to report to the nearest military unit the presence of the terrorist group in their area.

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