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Reading the 11-point summaries of the GPH-MILF Peace Talks in Kuala Lumpur

When I used to cover Davao City, I have become more familiar with the GPH-MILF peace negotiations. Even if it is only the committees on the cessation of hostilities who meet, they issue a joint statement to some how shed light on the coverage of meeting.

I expected this from the talks in KL but the reports said there was none.This is not a good sign, if we look at it that way.  I think having no joint statement is more sincere an act, than forcing one when there is none.Is it right to have one just to play with symbolism?

Many people expected a lot from the talks. After that “historic” meeting in Japan between President Benigno Aquino III and the MILF’ chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, the stakes are high on “expediting the peace process”.

As a journalist who covered this from afar, my reading is, are we supposed to mistake “expediting the process” with taking short cuts? Unless we expected the negotiators to be rubbing on a bottle for a genie to make wishes easily his command. Read More…

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NEVER FORGET!

Logo for the commemoration of the 1st anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre

In line with the commemoration of the 1st anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao, we are sharing this logo/patch.

You may use this instead of your present Facebook profile pix on Nov. 23 as a sign of your solidarity with the families of the victims, the journalists and media workers, and the rest of the world.

It was so far the biggest blow to journalists and journalism in the Philippines. Let this be a symbol of our collective cry for justice and for more protection for journalists, where ever they may be.

Valencia City’s ex-mayor Galario: from radio adversary to broadcaster

He used to be a staunch critic of the broadcast media, even padlocking radio stations in Valencia City during his two-term stint at city hall. But guess who is now a broadcaster himself — operating, programming, and going on-air in his own radio station.

Former Valencia City Mayor Jose M. Galario Jr. now operates DXVC, a new 1-kilowatt FM radio station broadcasting from Bagonta-as, Valencia City.

The station styles itself as a member of a network of radio stations owned by the Polytechnic Foundation of Cotabato and Asia, Inc. (PFCAI).

Aside from playing music, the station airs a commentary program hosted by Galario himself. He said its programming is not “scripted” and is determined to report the truth in the city.

Read full report here.

Teodoro’s take on peace: be practical

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro wants to approach peace with a “strong dose of practicality, pragmatism and political realism” as he questioned the approach of solving the root causes of conflict” because “has any society been able to solve the root causes of conflict?”

He told the 8th Mindanao Island Conference of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines on Wednesday night that the first lesson he learned in approaching the problem of peace and order is to do it with “the backing of some values and some idealism and with strong dose of practicality, pragmatism, and political realism”. Read More…

“Global disorder” at back draft of Bukidnon’s 2009 budget

(NEWS) “The future appears gloom and bleak,” Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri told the provincial board Thursday citing that the debacle of economic difficulties is real and could not be ignored.
 
Zubiri has proposed a P1.06 billion-2009 budget to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan but vowed to keep budgetary controls and prioritization of expenditures amidst the treat of a global recession.
 
He cited that the country is beset with “serious global disorder” foretelling a “downfall in the global capital market that “will not spare the Philippine economy”.
 
“There is an eroding confidence in the US financial market and growing discontent on the so-called American model of capitalistic economic enterprises,” Zubiri said in his introduction. Read More…

In Bukidnon, medicine supply woes traced to price

The lack of medicines in Bukidnon provincial hospitals and health stations has been blamed on failures in the bidding process, more specifically to the Capitol’s low approved budget for contract (ABC) or price index.

It was reportedly pegged at 2004 rates, a provincial legislative inquiry has discovered.

This seems a simple problem of public policy. But what could be the reaction of every Jose, Caring, and Juana when they are told about this in the front lines, say, in the out patient department of public hospitals?

The public, especially the indigents, are repeatedly being told of the “no available medicines” situation despite the province’s supposed “award-winning” flagship program on health. Read More…

Time to harvest?

The Bukidnon Forest Incorporated has initiated its clearance process to cut down trees in its industrial forest plantation project in Bukidnon. Read news report here.

This must be subject to scrutiny especially viewing it from the firm’s reported dismal record of reforestation since it started operating in 1989.

The firm might be good in cutting but are they as good in planting? This should be considered in the approval of its application for Environmental Compliance Certificate.

Its Industrial Forest Plantation Management Agreement (IFMA, yes silent “P”), which will expire in 2016, should be reviewed if they have cut more than they planted.

Communities near those areas subject for reforestation and cutting should be empowered to monitor this endeavor.