Tag Archives: Ilocos Norte

[In the news] Votes for sale: From P100 to P3,500 per person -INQUIRER.net

Votes for sale: From P100 to P3,500 per person
By Philip C. Tubeza, Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 11, 2013

inquirerHow much is a Filipino’s vote worth these days?

According to the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), candidates are offering up to P3,500 for a single vote in Ilocos Norte, P3,000 in neighboring Ilocos Sur, P2,000 in Zamboanga Sibugay, and P100 in Tawi-Tawi.

In a letter sent to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday, Namfrel chair Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo said reports from the group’s volunteers showed that vote-buying—either with cash, groceries, and even farm implements—is expected to intensify as Election Day nears, with some candidates even resorting to “bidding” to corner votes.

Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr.’s advice to voters: Take the money and junk the candidates.

“Take it but junk those who give you money. That’s the only way to do it so that the next time these people will not give away money because they know they will lose,” Brillantes said in an interview on Friday.
The Comelec tried to fight vote-buying by prohibiting bank withdrawals in excess of P100,000 and carrying cash worth more than P500,000, but President Benigno Aquino III rejected the strategy on Thursday, saying it was bad for the economy, and the Supreme Court, acting on a petition brought by bankers, stopped it on Friday and called for oral arguments.

Brillantes said vote-buying had become more rampant because politicians had fewer means to “manipulate” the vote after the automation of elections in 2010.
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[In the news] Court issues writ vs magnetite mining in Ilocos | BusinessWorld Online Edition

Court issues writ vs magnetite mining in Ilocos | BusinessWorld Online Edition.

May 15, 2012

THE SUPREME COURT (SC) has issued a writ of kalikasan (nature) directing mining firm Altamina Exploration and Resources, Inc., President Benigno S. C. Aquino III, and two others to reply to the petition filed by several lawmakers and local government officials seeking to stop the firm’s mining activities in Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

Promulgated by the full court on May 8, the writ ordered respondents Altamina; Mr. Aquino, as successor of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., as successor of Leandro R. Mendoza; and Environment Secretary Ramon Jesus P. Paje “to make a verified return of the Writ of Kalikasan… within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt hereof.”

The high court issued the writ in favor of the petition for writ of kalikasan with temporary environmental protection order (TEPO) filed last May 4 by Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III; party-list representatives Teodoro A. Casiño (Bayan Muna), Raymond V. Palatino (Kabataan), Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers), Luzviminda C. Ilagan (Gabriela) and Emerenciana A. de Jesus (Gabriela); and several local government officials and residents.

The petitioners asked the court for a TEPO, or a stay order, on Altamina’s extraction of magnetite or black sand and other minerals in 9,588.24 hectares of land in the Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte, particularly in the municipalities of Santa Catalina and Vigan City.

They claimed that the mining operations “pose danger to the lives, health and property of the residents of Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, particularly the municipalities of Santa and Santa Catalina and the city of Vigan.”

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[Press Release] Church leaders, green groups led bike tour for IPs and Mother Earth

Church leaders, green groups led bike tour for IPs and Mother Earth
2-day event culminates in Antipolo Cathedral

Quezon City—300 bikers join the 2-day advocacy bike tour led by the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP) to raise awareness on the plight of indigenous peoples in the country.

The “Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan” started from Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan, passing through Kalookan, Baclaran and Pasig, and will be concluded at the Antipolo Cathedral, today.

“The main call of the event is to raise awareness of the situation of indigenous peoples and the environment, and to gather support for the bills in Congress that uphold IP rights. We made it a biking event also specifically to promote biking for our health and to promote a clean and sustainable environment,” explained Archbishop Sergio L. Utleg, ECIP Chairperson and Archbishop of Tuguegarao.

The Biking Archbishop also led the tour from Bulacan yesterday up to the final mass and celebration in Antipolo today.

Meanwhile, at 5:30pm yesterday, a liturgical celebration was celebrated at the Baclaran Church, where most of the bikers stayed over night. After dinner, there was a short program and sharing session where indigenous peoples shared their experiences.

“We welcome this event and we thank the members of the Church who led this event and made it possible. Despite the rains and changing weather, we continued our plan and I hope that we were seen and heard—that people will start to understand the struggles that we face as ‘katutubo at nanganalaga ng kagubatan and kalikasan’ (IPs and care takers of the forests and environment), said an IP leader during the sharing session.

For the past 33 years, the Church celebrates Indigenous Peoples Sunday every second Sunday of October. The theme for this year’s IP Sunday is “Healing for Solidarity:  Asking Forgiveness for the Sins Against Indigenous Peoples”.

“Our message is clear, Earth is not ours to own, we are mere stewards of God’s fragile creations. Today, the Church recognizes the sacrifices of our IP brothers and sisters and we will do our part to support the empowerment of indigenous peoples who did not forget to take care of our forests and Mother Earth.“ concluded Utleg.

Indigenous peoples from Zambales, Tarlac, Bulacan at Quezon and Participants from as far as Ilocos Norte, Cagayan and Isabela, different cycling groups, civil society organizations, individual bike hobbyists and contingent from the Armed Forces of the Philippines joined the event.

For more information:

Tony Abuso, CBCP-ECIP Coordinator, +632 5274062; 5274155, <ecipns@yahoo.com.ph>

[In the news] Aquino yet to decide on Marcos burial | Sun.Star

Aquino yet to decide on Marcos burial | Sun.Star.

MANILA –- The decision of President Benigno Aquino III on the burial of his father’s political rival – late strongman Ferdinand Marcos – remained indefinite.

“At the moment I think it’s still under consideration, it is still being studied,” Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. told reporters Sunday after the traditional vin d’ honneur in Malacañang alongside the 113th Independence Day celebration.

Ochoa refused to give further details regarding the President’s point of view on the matter avoiding making statements that might differ with Aquino.

“It is hard to comment with certainty because it is still subject to discussion. I’m sorry I cannot give you a definite answer yet,” he said.

He added no deadline will be set and only the President could make the proper announcement about it.

Aquino is expected to announce his decision on the burial last week but no announcement was made.

The President’s spokesperson said he has still have to go over the recommendation of Vice President Jejormar Binay.

Binay, whom Aquino designated to decide on the burial, has recommended full military honors for Marcos.

His remains however is recommended to be buried in his hometown in Ilocos Norte and not at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which several lawmakers including the late strongman’s only son and namesake Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos have been pushing.

Binay said his decision was based from consultation with various sectors in the society.

The Marcos family earlier said they are supporting the recommendation of Binay as they want to issue to be finally resolved.

Proposal for the former president’s burial at the heroes cemetery was revived after the late Defense Secretary and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes was buried there after committing suicide in February amid corruption allegations.

Aquino inhibited himself from deciding on Marcos’s burial to avoid bias since his father Ninoy Aquino was a known political rival of the late dictator.

Marcos’s remains still lies in a refrigerated coffin in the family’s ancestral home in Batac City. It has kept there since 1993. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

[In the news] Impeach complaint vs SC justice sufficient in form — House body – Interaksyon.com

Impeach complaint vs SC justice sufficient in form — House body – Interaksyon.com.

MANILA, Philippines — In a close vote, a House of Representatives body on Wednesday declared sufficient in form the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo.

Voting 11 for, 10 against, with one abstention, members of the House committee on justice said the complaint met the requirements of the impeachment rules as to the submission of the verified complaint.

The committee will next determine if the complaint is sufficient in substance.

The complaint charged Del Castillo with betrayal of public trust for plagiarizing a decision he wrote about the case of comfort women last year.

It was filed in December by five members of the organization Malaya Lola and 15 lawmakers, who also served as endorsers.

Before the voting, Isabela Representative Giorgidi Aggabao objected to the motion to declare it sufficient in form, saying the complaint was defective because the complainants, particularly the Malaya Lola members, engaged in forum-shopping.

Aggabao said the verification procedure requires complainants to certify that no other cases have commenced about the same issue and if there are, they should notify the court.

Aggabao said that at the time the Malaya Lola filed the impeachment complaint, the organization had a pending appeal before the Supreme Court on the dismissal of their case.

“There is falsehood, lie on their verification. This would have merited an outright dismissal,” he said.

Oriental Mindoro Representative Amelita Villarosa and CIBAC party-list Representative Sherwin Tugna echoed Aggabao’s view.

“My fear is if someone does not obtain a favorable judgment from a different agency of goverment, my fear is the House of Representatives might be used to secure reversal of the judgment. That I don’t want to happen,” Tugna said.

Turning emotional, Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Farinas crumpled the verification sheet in protest of Aggabao’s statement.

“Forum-shopping does not apply here, it applies only in the rules of court. When it comes to impeachment, there’s only one body and this is the House of Representatives,” Farinas said.

Quezon Representative Lorenzo Tanada III, the deputy speaker, said Rule 14, Section 13 of the Rules on Impeachment only requires the complainant to verify that the one filed was her complaint.

“Their need to state the pending case in the Supreme Court is not necessary. As to form, we have passed the test,” Tanada said.

Marikina Representative Romero Federico Quimbo and Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali stressed that aside from the five members of the Malaya Lola, 14 lawmakers also acted as complainants.

Quimbo said that only one complainant is needed to verify the complaint to pass sufficiency in form.