November 8, 2007


dipolog polls rockED by flying voters, money and fraud, people's will subverted

In a visibly desperate measure to cling on to power, top politicians in Dipolog city allegedly employed dirty tactics to ensure their barangay leaders’ victory in the just recently concluded barangay and SK elections on Monday October 29, 2007. Early on the morning on Monday thousands of voters were hauled to polling places through out the 21 barangays in Dipolog City into motor vehicles, trucks and other transport means provided by the Uy family to their candidates, said Ronolfo Capin, a local radio reporter who was covering the elections at barangay Sangcol.

He said a skyrocketting prices for votes ranged from P200- P500 per person from candidates identified to the Uy leadership were offered, an unprecedented price for a measly position of barangay captain who will be receiving not a monthly salary but only a stipend. Nathan Patangan, a winning candidate at barangay Diwan also complained flying voter’s easy access to polling places which has also been observed in other barangays of Dipolog City. He said money still play a key role in elections here. He won by 2 votes against Letecia Bagarinao.

Exercising his right to vote, Gov Yebes scrutinizes the list of candidates before making his choice, Monday, October 29, 2007.

For nine years Dipolog City have experienced a rise in money politics as the means to occupy political post, when the erstwhile mayor Roberto Y. Uy first entered the local political scene, since then Dipolog voters has been wooed to support candidates with money, indicating shame and too much poverty in urban and rural areas in the city. In Sta. Filomena, candidates also complained the brazen participation of the mayor’s brother-in-law, a certain Pedoy Uy who managed the pay-out to Sta. Filomena voters right at their warehouse located at the national high way of the said barangay. It was viewed as a desperate way to preserve their political control over the said barangay, where Uy’s businesses have been mainly based.

They said the poor people have been subjected to greater pressure when they are exposed to large vote pay out especially in the said barangay. Japhet Fernandez, a local radio commentator who also run as barangay kagawad also lamented the sad state of money politics that has virtually distorted the democratic base of the people’s will. He said people in power will be discouraged to provide good programs and services or even economic or livelihood opportunities to the people, since they will then be occupied with their effort to retrieve their investment spent during Election Day.

He pointed out the sad reality here in Dipolog which has been bereft of social and basic services, the sad state of economic condition of urban and rural poor ever since the Uy clan dominated the city. He said poor people does no longer see good programs, services, projects and other opportunity because they have been largely swayed by this kind of money politics. He also decried the seemingly orchestrated effort to disenfranchise voters who are identified with the opposition here, which has also been reported to almost all barangays in Dipolog City.

He said the city leaders muscled the participation of the comelec into the disenfranchisement scheme which has denied thousands of voters to exercise their right to vote because they have been pre-selected by t he comelec and the city political operators as opposition supporters. He said as long as the present comelec holds his position, no election in Dipolog would be fair. (Mindanao Star, Vol.III No.40)

Credits: Mindanao Star is published once a week and is circulated to the 25 Municipalities and 2 Cities of the province of Zamboanga del Norte. Mindanao Star can be reached through the following contact info: C.P. Garcia Street, Dipolog City; Mobile No.: 0921 458-3830. Email:



Mayumi Gassmann, Miss ZAMNAI  2003 is slated to crown this year's winner of the Miss ZaNorte-Illinois pageant on December 15.

Mayumi (Tagalog, "modest") is the daughter of Karl and Lee Gassmann. She was born in Dapitan City and is a descendant of the Empeynado and Acaylar clans. Her father, Karl Heinz Gassmann was a renowned architect that helped design the Zurich airport and also played minor roles in theatre and films as well. Her mother, Lee Gassmann, is an agriculturist and a full-time nurse.

Mayumi Ancheta Gassman Miss Zanorte-Illinois 2003

Mayumi is currently a senior at Albert G. Lane Technical High School, and is within the ranks of the honors classes. Her favorite subject is Biology and has attained high marks to be included in the Advanced Placement Biology Course she is currently taking.

She plays the piano and the cello and is a member of the Lane Tech Orchestra. In addition to this, she also enjoys singing.

Mayumi aspires to become a pediatrician some day. In the meantime, she enjoys working on her computer, socializing with friends, and appreciating art and painting.

Mayumi's participation in the 2007 Miss ZaNorte-Illinois pageant provides a symbolic transition in the community's traditions and values.


 What next?
Pat M. Tubungbanua

What lessons have we learned from the current issues?  Many lessons from many happenings.  The most recent is the “pardon” or executive clemency granted by PGMA to Joseph Estrada. But what kind of pardon is that..? I thought the crime the latter committed was plunder, and for which he is answerable to the Filipino people. That makes it a BIG crime. Unforgivable! But what happens now is that Estrada did not even bother to admit his guilt. Neither did he ask forgiveness for the crime he was charged with. What I read from newspapers is he did not ask for “pardon” in writing. Then why did PGMA grant him the executive clemency? For religious or moral reasons? But the series of congressional investigations involving and implicating the President’s men do not speak highly of morality in any one of them! Morals are down low, almost zero. All we have known is only a cloak of morality. Their words, their gestures, their faces did not present a rosy picture of what’s really going on in our country.

The came the advance Christmas gift-giving in the Palace. And lately, several spokespersons have come out with plausible explanations. But the secrecy and mystery that surrounded the giving and receiving of the money bags. . . many more eyebrows were raised, many more heads were scratched. Unbelievable and extraordinary! The least we can say now is that we feel (and are) demoralized. But wait, as I said the President must have her strong reasons for granting Erap the pardon – the pardon that was not asked for but given just the name. She must also have strong reasons for the alleged gift-giving in that October 11 meeting in the Palace with governors and congressmen. But why? Our whys can go on endlessly. Common sense tells us it is very uncommon generosity.

The most tragic happening came the following week Friday, October 19. The Glorietta 2 blast.! And conveniently enough the accusing finger was pointed at the Palace. But until today, October 28, no one has come up to owning the blasting. Some political analysts have forwarded their views regarding the possible suspects – and they have included in their lists – the U.S. At this point, it is best if we keep quiet and wait what GMA will do next. She is our leader. Let her be. She will do the best she can. For I am of the belief that considering how the position and anti-Gloria groups keep hounding her and fanning the fires of distrust and discontent for her administration, she may as well release the fires of hell on our heads.  She still holds the privilege and wields the power to do what she wants to do.  She still has shown what a President who has brains can do.  Yet we can not tell if the three years become thirteen or thirty.  Who knows?  PGMA still has an ace up on her sleeves, or so it seems.


Heard over the radio: ERAP: “I have made many mistakes in my life, but CORRUPTION is not one of them…” We wonder if ERAP knows the meaning of the word CORRUPTION. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 2)

Credits: Press Freedom is published every Saturday and entered as 3rd class mail matter in Dipolog City. Printed by Young Printing Press with Editorial Office located at Upper Turno, Dipolog City. Tel. No. (065) 212-4343 or 212-6665. Email: freedom_nandau


CWL celebrates Loyalty Day
By: Evelyn J. Tan

The Catholic Women’s League (CWL) of the Diocese of Dipolog celebrated their Loyalty Day in the Zamboanga del Norte Convention Center on Saturday, October 20. During the affair, there was a selection of a queen, which was based on the funds raised by each unit.

Mrs. Neza Rone of Liloy Unit was crowned Ms. CWL Loyalty Queen ’07. First Runner-up was Leny Belle Punzalan of Katipunan Unit, Princess of Charity; Teresita Belangoy of Dipolog-Cathedral Unit, Princess of Work; Florentina Martinez of Galas, Princess of Love and Josebelle of Sibutad, Princess of Humility.

The other candidates were Nancy Baga of Sta. Filomena Unit; Genievive Montano, Polanco; Zinnia Padao, Dapitan; Jane Cadano, Barcelona; Thelma Corculas, Rizal; Rosemarie Baguio, Sergio Osmeña; Theresa Dinopol, Manukan; Rachel Ferrater, Jose Dalman; Rodelia Tumaclas, Sinuyak and Perla Canoy of Siayan.

The projects of the CWL are sponsoring indigent but intelligent high school students, and seminarians, give livelihood trainings to women and counsel to battered wives.  The CWL is a national catholic religious organization of ladies in the Philippines which was organized in 1919. (The New Nandau, Vol. XVII No.18)


 Kenyan hut dwellers write digi-cards in the sand on the beach

Moses Onoo leaves the photo shop in Mombassa with a smile. The Kenyan proudly shows his new digital camera to family and friends. It cost him just under US$ 350. Pim Bottenberg, a Dutchman, smiles and comments: “That’s equal to a year’s wages he gets as a night watchman. So he shows it off as if he had a gold bar in his hands”. Bottenberg is the man behind the website and has given the camera as a gift in the framework of this 'micro-development project'.

For the past month Moses and his team have been writing names to order in the sand on Bamburi Beach. The names are recorded with the digital camera and go to the Netherlands by email. There each photo is printed and placed in a handsome passe-partout. The gift (card) reaches its destination by email and post.

”You can have a Kenyan beach name card made as a pleasant alternative to a birth announcement card, but it can also be used as an original greeting or Christmas card”, says Pim Bottenberg, a Dutchman, the man behind the website and has given the camera as a gift in the framework of this 'micro-development project'.

”You can have a Kenyan beach name card made as a pleasant alternative to a birth announcement card, but it can also be used as an original greeting or Christmas card”, says Bottenberg. The Internet entrepreneur has been going to Kenya on holiday with his family for years and became a friend of night watchman Moses. “He earns €25 / US$35 per month and lives in a village of huts where he has to maintain a large family. We were moved by the story of his life and his daily struggle to survive. I have a few web shops myself and went looking for a web shop that would enable him and his family to earn a living. That has turned out to be He’d never held a camera before. There’s no electricity in his village so he had no idea what email or the Internet were. I gave him lessons in an Internet café, then took him to the beach to practise with the digital camera.”

On his own two feet

“It’s no simple matter to write the name properly in the sand. There’s a lot of rubbish lying around and that has to be cleared away first. You have to make sure that some shadow falls around the letters to make them legible. Each relief letter is ‘built up’ by hand. Because the sun is very bright it’s impossible to see on the LCD screen whether the photo has worked out or not. Moses first has to find a shady spot and hold the camera under a piece of cloth...”

Bottenberg compares his project with the micro-credits that are increasingly being handed out to people with little chance – without the credit – of setting up their own business in developing countries.

“The great thing is that Moses feels completely at home in the new digital world of emails and uploading photos. He gets other people from his village to help make the names in the sand. Currently is feeding eight families. Great, isn’t it?”

Thanks to the Internet and digital photography it doesn’t matter where the recipient of the beach name card lives. The website is being translated into six languages and extended. People can order a card via the Internet with just a few mouse clicks. A card costs 12,50 euro / US$ 17.50 and is sent world-wide, both digitally and by post, without further costs. “A fantastically original present”, says Bottenberg, “that’s put Moses’ village on the map in more than one sense.”  (Note for editors: For further information and non-copyright photos, please contact Beachname Ramsbeekweg 6 7152 JT Eibergen Netherlands +31 545 477142 / +31 545 477153 (fax)


“RATED PG” Tuesday, 13 November 2007
By Ike Señeres

We have been through this before. We have seen the mobs of EDSA III, we recognized them as the faces of poverty, and then we vowed to combat poverty no matter what. We are shocked by scenes that awaken our nation. Will we wake up one day to see the nightmare gone?


Now we are shocked by stories of people committing suicide because of poverty. Just like EDSA III, we are now vowing to do something about it, but will we ever get around to it? As I see it, “ningas cogon” is a terrible tandem to a short national memory.


How can we win against an enemy that we do not really know? What I mean by knowing the enemy is being able to know the numbers. The government says the poverty rate is only 30%, I say it is about 70%. Assuming that the government is telling the truth, this is already indirectly admitting that there are at least 24 million individuals in this country living in poverty.


Comes now the report of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that there are 11 million Filipinos living in extreme poverty, meaning that they are just trying to survive for less than 1 dollar (less than 50 pesos) a day. Does this mean that the balance of the government estimate (13 million) is surviving on more than 1 dollar a day?


Good governance means having measurable targets, but these should be attainable in the first place. The government says it will cut poverty by half in eight years, in time for the deadline set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). How is it going to do that?


On the practical side, each province should set its own poverty reduction target. By this, I do not mean poverty alleviation, just making sure because the distinction seems to escape many government people. Putting their money where their mouth is, the provincial Governors should tell us how they are going to achieve these targets, at the same time tell us how they are going to fund these massive undertakings.


For more information about public governance, email


Mindanao Star Editorial
When the poor loses, hope wins

The poor has been so weak, inconsistent, and vulnerable. It is because they are poor and full of inadequacies, all they need is money to survive and all their hope is money, and so when money comes they would listen, for a moment.

That’s what happened last Monday’s barangay and SK polls, moneyed political leaders by ensuring that their barangay leaders would win, all they have to do is focus their resources to the poor. Subject that group with too much pressure by pouring in largesse, and yes they would vow and be swayed, because they’re vulnerable, you could not fault them because they would think that would be their survival for the moment, they would even be thankful.

For the poor, that would be enough, because ever since they don’t have the opportunity to avail of services from their city leaders, all they just wanted is money in return, anyhow what is at stake is their neighbor’s winning, not the program or personalities from above. They need money that is a fact, and how could someone ever blame them? The poor knows the nuances of survival, they know what it to survive a day’s hunger and unfulfilled wishes is

The realities of the barangay and SK polls should become a message to powers that be, those who have been given opportunity to serve, that although we might think these people has been bought by money, they still have dignities to realize who really serve and given them hope to live for the future not for the moment.

Money as tool of winning an elections are truly a reprieve for a moment, but programs, services with a heart are hope for the future. These people I think realise the enormity of that hope and the money a lesser wink for that reprieve. They would soon realise that what matters most is the services a government can give to them in times of difficulties, that they would cling hope on it.

Politicians that won because of money would even realize that too, that for 365 days of their service to their communities a year it would be dealt not on how big they won, but on when and how they would serve and what and where they would access that service for their communities.

In that way the provincial government still has won big over their city counterparts, because of the richness of their indigency program, hope still spring on their favor, for service could never be won or lost by money, it is the soul of that service that has made it win big. (Mindanao Star, Vol.III No.40)


Credits: Mindanao Star is published once a week and is circulated to the 25 Municipalities and 2 Cities of the province of Zamboanga del Norte. Mindanao Star can be reached through the following contact info: #096 Donña Concepcion Macias Montaño Building, Gen. Luna Street, Dipolog City; Phone/Fax No. (065) 212-2676; Mobile No.: 0919 735 6967. Email:


miputak brgy. kapitan gikasuhan direct assault and grave coercion

Pormal nang gipasaka ang kasong criminal batok sa barangay kapitan sa Miputak may kalabutan na sa gihimong paghuro-huro ug pagpanghulga sa school principal sa Magsaysay Elementary School sa nakalabay nga eleksiyon sa Mayo 14, 2007. Kasong Grave Coercion and Direct Assault ang gipasaka ni Lilia Reambonanza batok kang Miputak Barangay

Pormal nang gipasaka ang kasong Grave Coercion and Direct Assault batok ni Miputak Barangay Chairman Janus Yu ug usa ka Bobot Rosal may kalabutan na sa gihimong paghuro-huro ug pagpanghulga sa school principal sa Magsaysay Elementary School nga si Lilia Reambonanza sa nakalabay nga eleksiyon sa Mayo 14, 2007.

Chairman Janus Yu ug sa usa ka Bobot Rosal. Gitataw daan ni Reambonanza nga niadtong Abril 28, 2007 nakadawat siya ug kopya sa memorandum nga giisyu sa Division of City School of Dipolog City nga nagtahas kaniya nga maoy mamahimong Voter’s Assistance Supervisor


I am really amused that my prediction about Former President Joseph Estrada’s release from prison through executive clemency by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came true. Long before Estrada received his pardon, I have already explained my view during our doctoral class to my professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Jose Rizal Memorial State College, Dr. Cecilia Saguin that this thing (the grant of executive clemency to Erap) would really to happen. And it did!!! Estrada was finally pardoned!!! I am neither a prophet or have a blood of it. But one’s prediction will certainly come true and real if, and only if, he or she will keenly read the mind sets of our political leaders as reflected by their own actuations.

To me, the grant of executive clemency by Gloria to Erap got its correct timing! It is her smartest political gambit ever perfectly executed! Her act of pardoning Erap means many things all to her political career’s advantage and gain. First, her said act would mean a “counter terror” against the threats of House Speaker Jose Devenecia (who is groomed by his political mentor, Fidel V. Ramos) and his mentor’s political group. The lady president, through her body language, is very uneasy with Devenecia sitting in the Lower Chamber of the Congress as its Speaker. She knows that the man cannot just be trusted. She fears that anytime the Speaker would push anybody from his allies to file an impeachment case against her. This, she doesn’t like to happen albeit she expects this thing to come about as the political rift between her and the Speaker has already gone wide.

Pardoning Estrada is one brilliant way to muster his political support and the support of his political group and allies now sitting in the Congress. Gloria knew that with this kind of support she will be getting from them would mean assembling her political shield against one potent threat — the impeachment charge. But one question should be asked: “Will Erap run to rescue the lady president if an impeachment charge will be filed against her?”. Yes! With all the things now are going, Erap will! This thing is certain to happen. Why? Not only that Erap doesn’t like to see the face of Tabakô (Fidel V. Ramos) because the latter was very much instrumental of his impeachment, he would rather choose to take side with Gloria than with Tabakô for his own and his group’s political survival. Hasn’t Gloria restored him to all his civil and political rights?

Let’s reminisce for a while our political history. The “war” between Erap and Tabakô started when the former who invited the latter to attend his (Erap’s) State of the Nation Address (SONA) got in the end insulted! Erap told the nation that “ang rebelyon ay hindi bini-baby, ito’y pinupuksa!” obviously referring to the non-military president’s (Erap’s) success of overrunning Camp Abubakar of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao which Tabakô, a bemedalled military general, failed to do so during his presidency. What came next was Erap’s ouster from power through People Power II said to be orchestrated by the powerful Makati Business Club and a group of military generals closely associated with Tabakô.

Secondly, the pardon of Erap has been projected to cause re-alignments of political parties. And it does though bit by bit not only in the opposition but in the political alliances with Gloria’s own political party as well. LAKAS, that political party founded by Tabakô, is now felt to be withdrawing from its coalition with Gloria’s party — the KAMPI. Also, the political oppositions in both houses of the congress don’t seem to give their full confidence and reliance now to Erap and to his political partymen.

With this re-alignment, there is only one thing very certain to happen: those parties which were once allied with Gloria’s party will now become allies of the opposition. And this is going to be a number game in the end. If the number of congressmen under the political parties of Gloria, Erap and their political associates combined outnumbered those under Tabakô, Devenecia and their political associates, there can no longer be any impeachment case to speak of. And, certainly the speakership of the House of Representative will be stripped off from its present holder to be bestowed to Gloria’s loyal TUTA. Nonetheless, if the other side of the coin happens, there will be two options left for the lady president to do: one, to step down from power peacefully — meaning to resign; or two, to devise some means that will push her to declare a Martial Rule!!! Opssss! That’s too bizarre to think!!! Ha…ha…ha… But, would you like to ask me how will she craft the second option? Veryyyyy, veryyy simple!!! Just let her follow what Ferdie Marcos did before!

Haaaaaa….ha….ha….!!! See you later!!! (The New Nandau, Vol. XVII No.18)

Credits: The New Nandau is a member of the Publishers Association of the Philippines (PAPI). Editorial office is located at 076 Quezon Avenue, Dipolog City with Tel. No. (065) 212-3794; Cell No. +639205201041. Email: freedom_nandau


Credits: The New Nandau is a member of the Publishers Association of the Philippines (PAPI). Editorial office is located at 076 Quezon Avenue, Dipolog City with Tel. No. (065) 212-3794; Cell No. +639205201041. Email: freedom_nandau


       The medical equipment in the pictures (2 Ultrasound Machines, Mammogram, Weighing Scale, etc...) donated by the Naperville Medical Center through the auspices of the Renewed Life Philippine Mission, sits in the garage of ZaNorteans, Claude and Suzy Adriatico at their Oak Brook, Illinois residence awaiting shipment to its final recipient, the Zamboange del Norte Provincial Hospital. A couple with a big heart who are still actively contributing to the projects of ZAMNAI even if they now reside in Ohio, Claude and Suzy sacrificed parking their vehicles out of the garage to allow the organization to use the space, thus saving on the storage cost. Next task for ZAMNAI is to come up with the necessary fund to defray the shipment, costing no less than $4,000.00.
           Considering the lives saved through early detection of life threatening ailments, ZAMNAI is urging the help and generosity of ZaNorteans & Non ZaNorteans in the US and from those emphatic on the medical needs of the less fortunate to bring over the much needed medical equipment to the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Hospital located in Dipolog City, Philippines. Also, the Philippine National Red Cross, Zamboanga del Norte Chapter is appealing for generosity to help complete the three- story building to house its Blood Bank and provide functional center for Red Cross volunteers.
           ZAMNAI President Remchile Sienes recently sent a substantial amount raised from the Poker Tournament to the Renewed Life Philippine Mission so that the hospital equipment previously donated can be shipped.
           The coming fund raising event, Miss ZaNorte Illinois 2007, is expected to generate the much needed financial assistance to support the on going ZAMNAI projects benefiting the people of Zamboanga del Norte. Final canvassing is on November 10. 2007 at the residence of Claude and Suzy  where the candidates are also having a promotional pictorial with the donated medical equipment  as the backdrop. The culminating event will be held on December 15, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare.
           For update, please log on also to and or call Remchile Sienes at 847-962-5174.    


Top left: Ruphy Anne Pineda (Sindangan), Abigail Tiu (Manukan),  Ma. Theresa Simborio (Polanco) Marie Kristine Adaza (Dapitan City) and  Jacqueline Te (Dipolog City)



 The Turning Point
Edwin G. Bernido
The necessity of Constant prayer!!

Men ought to always to pray and not to faint, (Luke 18:1) these words are the words of our Lord, who not only ever sought to impress upon His followers the urgency and the importance of prayer, but set them an example which they, have been too slow to copy. Prayer is not a meaningless function or duty to be put aside due to our busyness until the end of the day. God is always within call, it is true, His ears are ever attentive to the cry of His child, but we can never get to know Him if we use the vehicle of prayer as we use the telephone, or a few words of hurried conversation. Intimacy requires development. We can never know God, as it is our privilege to know Him by brief and unconsidered repetitions of intercessions that are request for personal favors and nothing more. That is not the way in which we can come into communication with heaven’s King.

Men ought to always to pray and not to faint, (Luke 18:1) these words are the words of our Lord…

The goal of prayer is the ear of God, a goal that can only be reached by patient and continued and continuos waiting upon Him, pouring our hearts to Him and permitting Him to speak to us. Only by doing can we expect to know Him, and as we come to know Him better we shall spend much time in His presence and find that presence a constant and ever-increasing delight. Praying always, does not mean that we are to neglect the ordinary duties of life. What it means is that the soul that has come into intimate contact with God in the silence of the prayer-chamber is never out of conscious touch with the father. It means that the heart is always going out to Him in loving communion, and that the moment the mind is released from the task on which it is engaged, it returns as naturally to God as the bird does to its nest.

But we do not pray always. That is the trouble with so many of us.  We need to pray much more than we do and much longer than we do.  We must always include the parts of prayer, which are, confession, we must say the sin of our pas life, we will not omit adoration.  We will not forget to mention the presence of Jesus, praising Him of His greatness and wonders.  We should not forget to give thanks.  Don’t omit in your prayer, intercession, especially He has the spirit of the great advocate who has the name of Israel on His heart.


Never end your prayer without whispering, I believe, believe that God hears every prayer that we utter and that it will be answered in His time. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 2)


Credits: Press Freedom is published every Saturday and entered as 3rd class mail matter in Dipolog City. Printed by Young Printing Press with Editorial Office located at Upper Turno, Dipolog City. Tel. No. (065) 212-4343 or 212-6665. Email: freedom_nandau





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