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Being present at the Fourth Mindanao Media Summit

Participants take time to smile and relax for a date with posterity

Participants take time to smile and relax for a date with posterity (Photo by Skippy Lumawag courtesy of Mindanews)

The formal sessions of the 4th Mindanao Media Summit just concluded early afternoon today, 09 August 2008.

The theme: “Mindanao 2020: The vision begins with us”, is placed in an imposing tarp at the back draft. It was a reminder to me as a member of the group who took on “drafting” the vision from the participants. “Where are the other members of the styling committee?” I asked myself.

I ate a late breakfast today as I stayed late for my recent attempt to write a narrative report. So when I entered the summit hall, I have to do some catching up on who did what the night before.

I caught up on the secretariat who were busy calling the rest of the group for the picture taking.

Meanwhile, I picked the shiniest plate on the buffet table and proceeded to feast on hotel breakfast. In my peripheral vision and hearing I could hear Jocan talking me to drop the breakfast for a moment and smile it out in the photographic firing squad.

I managed some sips of brewed coffee and few scoops of the one-serving steamed rice and the hard-boiled egg and beef curry sud-an. I have to or I couldn’t move a muscle to say “cheese”. Oh, I went there seconds later as I have to squeeze in my summit shirt. I went there to see if the pool was really tempting enough for some laps of swimming, to regret I didn’t plunge when I could last night.

The last day of the three-day gathering of Mindanao media’s “decision-makers” started with quaint picture taking by the poolside of the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Lanang, Davao City.

It was supposed to capture for the future the faces of the news professionals who participated in the summit in a step to improve capacity as stakeholder to peace and development in Mindanao. Read More…


Broadcaster files raps vs. ComVal legislator in Mindanao

Compostela Valley board member Neri Barte is now facing charges of serious physical injuries, grave coercion, grave threats, serious misconduct and grave abuse of authority for allegedly attacking a Radyo Natin broadcaster right inside the announcer’s booth as the latter was on air.

Natin broadcaster Roel Sembrano filed the complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao in the presence of his colleagues from the tri-media.

Sembrano recounted to reporters his encounter with Barte on Oct. 24 at the announcer’s booth.

He said he was on his daily morning program, Haring Lungsod Ikaw and Nasayod, when Barte, with his wife and daughter, barged into the announcer’s booth and mauled him, even drawing out a gun and pointed it towards him. Read the rest of the report on

(My Views) Reforms in selection process urged for Comelec

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting threw in their take on the recent noise at the Commission on Elections.

PPCRV saw something fishy in the alleged lack of transparency in the selection process with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s appointment of Iligan City judge Moslemen Macarambon, Sr. Read the MindaNews story here.

The poll watchdog making noise even from the start, say, in the appointment of commissioners is commendable. This is good rather than just deal with the problem only on election day.

I think the public clamor is more particular on the need to reform the selection process, instead of being so inhuman to dwell on the personal. Read More…

Juicy incentives await barangay officials

 Juicy economic benefits await winners of Monday’s barangay elections, officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

Rodolfo Razul, DILG regional director for Southeastern Mindanao, said economic perks are among the drawing points why the number of candidates for the barangay polls has increased.

In 1991, when governance was devolved to the local government units down to the barangays, the honorarium of a barangay kagawad was P600 and the barangay chair, P1,000 per month at the lowest.

“Now, officials in Davao City’s upland barangays would receive at least P2,000 per kagawad and P3,000 per barangay chair,” Merilou Limbaro, DILG city director, told MindaNews.

In the more urbanized areas Limbaro said the honorarium could be at least P3,000 for kagawads and P5,000 for barangay chair.Read the rest of the report on

Fewer voters trooped to polls in Davao City

Police reported a generally peaceful election here, citing only one election-related violence as of midday. 

But there was a “very” low voter turnout, prompting  Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to say Dabwenos lack interest in their barangay government.

“It makes me sad because people do not realize the importance of the barangay elections. This unit of government plays a crucial role in the totality of governance,” Duterte told reporters before entering Precint 1245 – A of the Daniel R. Aguinaldo High School in Matina district by around 1:50 p.m. as the 21st voter out of 188 registered. Read the rest of the report on

The continuing woes of Comelec

The Commission on Elections kept on harping they have no monopoly over the running of elections in the country.

Since the preparations for the May 14, 2007 elections they had been telling the media they are not the only players. They were quite unsuccessful, however, in diverting attention to their partners, like the Department of Education, the local Treasury offices, and the police.

People still look at the Comelec for all its worth about the problems. After all, it is THE Commission on Elections. Read More…

Malita is “back to normal”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / August 3) – The vice mayor of the beleaguered Malita town in Davao del Sur has claimed that the town is recovering from the May 16 violence that killed mayoralty bet Isidro Sarmiento, Sr. and son Danilo and included among its suspects the Rep. of  Malita who was running for Davao del Sur governor.

Read the rest of the report on