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Mindanao becoming dumpsite of RP’s “bad cops”

It was a routine surf for news from places where I used to live. The order is always from the latest city, then backwards. So it was from Davao, then Quezon City-Antipolo, Iloilo, and then Cagayan de Oro.

But I was stuck in cyber Iloilo, particularly at Sun Star Iloilo’s website.

The headline reads like this as of 9:55p.m. of September 17: Police prepare transfer of ‘bad’ cops to Mindanao.

Bad cops to Mindanao? Our Mindanao is the country’s dump site? Read More…


Corruption inside bus No. 2075

Inside the crowded air-conditioned bus from Davao, the faces of the passengers looked weary and their eyes looked tired. At least 15 new passengers embarked from the busy, old Valencia City terminal. 

For a moment the vehicle looked like a wet public market, and then sounded like one.

The passengers settled in the vacant seats at the rear end of the bus, and then almost simultaneously released sighs of relief. 

It was probably the last air-con bus to leave for Cagayan de Oro before dinner.

It was not quite relieving, however, for others who have to stand as all seats were taken. Some others were left waiting eternally at the messy terminal.

Shortly after, the bus rolled off.

Still tired, most of the passengers were silent for a moment, and another. 

At the front portion of the bus, the conductor, a stocky middle-aged man with a rounded face, called on the passengers bound for Cagayan de Oro for tickets.

“Kinsa pa’y wala’y ticket diri?” he asked a column of “standing” passengers. Read More…

Kalilang in a hotel under renovation, and identity in Mindanao

It was a bit awkward for me and Omar, a reserved Maguindanaoan who tried to be informative, as we took a peek at the wedding of a couple from two big Maguindanaoan families in Cotabato City.

We were looking through the window from our side of the conference hall— we looked like kids wanting to gate crash or something. Everybody in the training was doing just that as we waited for our morning session to start.

We were holding grassroots documentation and reporting training next door and the arrival of wedding guests drew our attention —especially when traditional wedding songs and hymns began to play. Read More…

Surviving in the Mindanao “island village”

I couldn’t help but be depressed listening to stories of conflict that continue to afflict our people.  The images and sounds are chilling.

Sometimes I shut my senses out in order to avoid the hassle. But, normally that isn’t possible.

Maybe its the same surge of terror that pushed me to post this piece even if I had been plagued with a mysterious strain of “blog silence”. Mute, but not muted. Read More…

Echoing dissent on mining

Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio told Mindanao lawyers to help prevent foreigners from further exploiting the country’s mineral resources at the expense of the environment, the government and the Filipino people.

In his keynote speech before participants of the Mindanao regional convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines here from Nov. 21 to 23, Carpio said lawyers of the past have failed to protect the forests from logging companies, so the present crop of lawyers should not make the same mistake when it comes to mining.

Carpio voiced out the dissenting opinion in the 2005 Supreme Court decision on La Bugal-B’laan v. Ramos case that declared with finality the constitutionality of the 1995 Philippine Mining Act. Read the rest of the reporton

US software expert in town for free workshop

A world renowned US programmer would be in town next week for a free workshop on Java Script, an important program on developing website and accessing objects embedded in other Internet applications.

Thom Parker, touted as one of the top three world experts on JavaScript, would offer a free workshop at Felis Seminar Resort on Friday November 16 at 3:00 pm.

His talk would cover many areas of JavaScript programming and he would show examples of results one can achieve using JavaScript, according to a press release. The Davao Acrobat and Adobe User Group and Felis Seminar Resort have sponsored the workshop “as part of a series to help boost the so-called Silicon Gulf Coast of Davao”. Read the rest of the report on

Grade schooler’s suicide draws attention to urban poverty

A mixture of her difficulty in coping with poverty, emotional problems, and her youthful innocence killed the 12-year-old grade schooler, a social worker said.

Grade 6 pupil Marianeth Amper, who committed suicide in the afternoon of All Souls’ Day in a room of their house in the sloping hills in Maa, has caught the national limelight as she was reportedly pushed to kill herself because of her family’s hunger and poverty.

Dalmin Faith Igaña, of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who interviewed the family on Nov. 7, said Marianeth had reached a stage when she could no longer cope with the poverty around her. This was further exacerbated, the social worker noted, by the fact that the girl had nobody to whom she can express her feelings. Read the rest of the report on