December 7, 2007


As many barangay residents found to be afflicted with capillariasis, a disease caused by eating raw river shrimps and fish

Mayor Wilfredo Siasico of Siayan, Z.N. recently confirmed reports of the death of about 60 residents of Barangay Moyo due to capillariasis, a malady caused by the worms carried by river shrimps and fish which the barangay residents ate raw. In an interview with the members of the Zamboanga del Norte United Correspondents (ZNUC) the municipal mayor disclosed that reports of the cited disease reached his office as early as July this year which prompted him to direct Rural Health Physician Dr. Raymund Nadela to take action.

Contrary to what was aired over a local radio station, Mayor Siasico denied reports that he had never taken action against the spread of the disease. “Our Rural Health Unit together with the Provincial Health Office headed by Dr. Carmencita Icao had immediately given Avendasol,” the mayor disclosed, adding that he had even informed the regional health office as cases rose.

Mayor Wilfredo Siasico disclosed the report that Capillariasis is the primary cause of death of about 60 residents of Barangay Moyo in the town of Siayan in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

However, Mayor Siasico sadly pictured the barangay residents’ indifference with the medicine as they did not take the required 20 tablets for 20 days. “When they felt better with a few tablets, they stopped taking them’” he disclosed further. With the SOT operation conducted by the military, it was found that 44 households were still found to be afflicted with the disease in Barangay Moyo.

This week, about 200 residents were evacuated to Poblacion Siayan and 21 were found to be very serious and brought to Sindangan District Hospital. Dr. Nadela however confirmed that out of 200, only 50 were found to be positive of capillariasis. On the other hand, barangay Moyo midwife Marilou Andus claimed that the medical outreach of Siayan and the Provincial health Office had started as early as July 2007 but blamed the local residents for the worsening of their malady.

She pointed out that when they got better with a few tablets, they stopped taking them; some would not even take them, just threw them away. Moreover, Ms. Andus believed that improper sanitation and lack of toilets in every household also contributed to the spread of the cited disease. Mrs. Grace Acabal, a teacher of Moyo Elementary School sadly disclosed that the disease had greatly affected the attendance of students in the area. Apart from Moyo, other riverside barangays were also found positive of capillariasis.

Dr. Nadela disclosed that the disease is characterized by grumbling of the stomach and then followed by loose bowel movement. As more cases escalated, Dr. Nadela urged the locals not to eat shrimps and fish caught in the rivers as they were found to carry deadly worms which caused the stomach disorder. Meanwhile, Mayor Siasico admitted that most barangay residents in remote areas are really impoverished.

“They relied solely on corn production and it is no longer profitable because our land is no longer fertile,” he stressed. He disclosed that under his administration he had encouraged the farmers to divert to rubber and abaca production considering their suitability to the land and the higher price they pose in the market today. “At present, I don’t go for infrastructure projects, I want to focus on agriculture to uplift the condition of the people,” the mayor concluded. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)

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


 P168M for Dipolog Airport

Cong. Rosendo ‘Dodoy’ Labadlabad had fondly called it ‘hard work’ when Cong. Cesar Jalosjos, Cong. Cely Carreon and himself worked to secure P168M for the improvement of Dipolog Airport. He disclosed that the amount should be spent to extend the runway of the airport and the installation of landing lights.

The Dipolog City Airport Terminal

Another P50M was also appropriated for the construction of a new airport terminal building. On the other hand, he disclosed that the remaining P30M from his congressional funds shall be used in concreting the road from Dipolog to Sergio Osmeña, particularly the road from Sangkol to Cogon which is a 7-8 kilometer road.

He admitted though that such budget could not finish the road but such could be a good start to finish the project, he projected. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


City Hall cuts off DCPO supplies

No more crude oil for patrol cars.  No more office supplies. The office of OIC Dipolog Chief of Police Isidro Sasuman recently confirmed reports that Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn Uy had ordered the cutting off of supplies previously given to the DCPO.

Many believed that this could have been the lady mayor’s retaliation to PNP Director General Avelino Razon’s stand to prevent PSI Reynaldo Maclang’s reinstatement as Chief of the DCPO. Source disclosed that since November 26 this year, the DCPO no longer received the usual supplies given to the PNP which included crude oil for the patrol cars and some office supplies.

However, the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office was reportedly supplying the DCPO the needed supplies. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


 P180M sports center to rise in Olingan

Admitting that some municipalities have an edge over Dipolog City as regards to gymnasiums, City councilor Julius Napigquit recently disclosed that Dipolog will soon have a gym it can call its own. The first plan was to put it up in Barangay Biasong, the councilor informed, but due to the enormous amount the city could spend in reclaiming it, the city had decided to have it in Olingan. The site spans a 5-hectare area.

Councilor Napigquit disclosed further that the center will be complete with track and field, swimming pool, tennis court, parking area and a 5,000 seat capacity. To hasten its construction, the SP had given Mayor Evelyn Uy the authority to seek a loan with a commercial bank in the city.

Recently the city received notice from a commercial bank here could extend as much as P180M for the project. It was learned the city had sought the help from the national government and some national officials.  But the amount given was not much for the gymnasium project so it was just spent for road concreting. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


Report: Razon turns down Mayor Uy’s request for Maclang’s reinstatement

It could have been like Beauty jilted by the Beast, some commented when PNP Chief General Avelino Razon turned down Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn Uy’s request for the reinstatement of PSI Reynaldo Maclang as PNP Chief of Dipolog City Police Office.

Source disclosed that the lady mayor flew to Zamboanga City to attend a Peace and Order conference where Razon was the guest to personally request him of the Inspector’s reinstatement. Source disclosed further that Razon may have acknowledged the receipt of several petitions for Maclang’s reinstatement including those by the Sangguniang Panlungsod; yet he was resolute in holding back PSI Maclang from assuming the PNP chief post in Dipolog City.

It could be remembered that Maclang was slapped with several cases: the release of two suspects who were reportedly arrested for possessing unlicensed guns and grenades; mauling of radio commentator Joseph Herrera and another case filed by Engr. Franklin ‘Acao’ Lim filed directly to Camp Crame. The PNP Chief reasoned that unless the inspector is freed from the cases now heard at the PNP system, he could not be placed back to run Dipolog City’s Police Office. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


Cong. Dodoy: Pork Barrel is for any projects


Cong. Rosendo ‘Dodoy’ Labadlabad of the 2nd Congressional District recently refuted the claim of a former congressman that the pork barrel is limited to certain projects only.

He pointed out that contrary to the claim of former Cong. Roseller Barinaga who said he could not finish the Sindangan gymnasium which was started by Cong. Llorente because pork barrel is limited to certain projects only, the congressman bluntly disclosed it could be for any projects.

2nd Congressional District Representative, Cong. Rosendo ‘Dodoy’ Labadlabad

In fact, he disclosed, he would be putting up covered courts in identified barangays and municipalities in the second district out of his pork barrel which amounts to P70M each year.

“But if you’re hard-working,” the congressman added,” you can still have more like the P168M I got for Dipolog Airport improvement.” He disclosed further that any congressman has the right to decide where to spend his P70M. “There is no law outlining where to spend it,” he said. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


Atty. Ruiz is Dipolog’s new Legal Officer

Atty. James Cyrill O. Ruiz was recently appointed as Dipolog City’s new Legal Officer by Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn T. Uy.  His appointment was concurred in by the Sangguniang Panlungsod during its regular session on November 20.

Atty. James Cyrill O. Ruiz was recently appointed as Dipolog City’s new Legal Officer

Although Atty. Ruiz hails from Dapitan City, he was not a new face to most Dipolognons since he had held some positions here before his travel to the U.S.

He was former councilor in Dipolog, a former secretary to then Mayor Roseller Barinaga, Information Officer and even as Market Supervisor. Speaking before the SP, Atty. Ruiz vowed to protect the interest of Dipolog City and to provide assistance to the different sectors of the city government. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


Admin. Herradura visits Dapitan City

 Parole and Probation Administrator Ismael J. Herradura visited Dapitan City, in time for the closing program of the Therapeutic Community Training for Volunteer Probation Aides (VPAs) on November 22, 2007, held at Monina’s Pension House, Sunset Boulevard, Dapitan City, and to interact with the VPAs and personnel of Dapitan, Dipolog and Zamboanga del Norte Parole and Probation Offices.

In his message during the closing program, Administrator Herradura stressed the importance of the Agencies’ three (3) Flagship Programs, which are the Restorative Justice, Therapeutic Community and the Volunteer Probation Aide Program; and lauded the VPAs for the spirit of volunteerism they shared in fostering justice, peace, order and the rehabilitation of crime offenders in their community.

As a showcase for the VPA Program for the region, the Administrator also toured the Dapitan Shrine Field Training Laboratory, Especially the VPA Multi-Purpose Center at Polo, Dapitan City, where he had an interaction with the Officers and some of the members of Dapitan Shrine VPA Association Multi-Purpose Cooperative and the client-learners of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program of the Department of Education.

At the VPA Multi-Purpose Center, the Administrator was briefed by the VPAs themselves of the important events that transpired in the Field Training Laboratory, such as the Dapitan Shrine Volunteer Probation Aide Association’s (DSVPAA) registration with the Cooperatives Development Authority, construction of the VPA Multi-Purpose Center through the effort of the VPAA, the acquisition of a donated lot, as the site for the proposed VPAA Multi-Purpose Building, and the recruitment of more VPAs, including its strong support and participation in the conduct of In-Country Training Program on the Holistic Approach to Volunteer Resource Development, attended by all the Chief Probation and Parole Officers and Officers-in-Charge and key personnel of the Regional Office of this Region.

The Administrator was further briefed on the rehabilitation activities and projects/programs conducted and/or participated by the VPAs for the clients, such as, the implementation of the Alternative Learning System Program, the conduct of Therapeutic Community (TC), Community Service, Spiritual Upliftment Seminar, Hands-On Training on Organic Farming, Tree Planting at the Watershed Area, Sto. Niño, Dapitan City, Gift-Giving at Dapitan City Correctional and Rehabilitation Center, having a Communal Vegetable and Cut-Flower Garden for the clients at the VPA Center, Polo, Dapitan City, and job referrals.

Obviously happy of the dedication and enthusiasm of the officers and members of Dapitan Shrine VPA Association for their wholehearted voluntary service for their less privileged brethren, the probationers, parolees, and pardonees, the Administrator expressed his profound thanks and gratitude to the VPAs, as he exhorted them to continue their manifestation of the true Filipino values of being “makaDIYOS”, “makaTAO”, at “makaBAYAN”. (JB. Santillana - Chief PPO)

COA honors ZaNorte as Most updated Financial Statements

The Commission on Audit (COA), head Office has recently honored and recognized the province of Zamboanga del Norte as the Local Government Unit with the Most Updated Financial Statements.

The recognition cited for its invaluable support and sustained efforts in achieving the objectives of the electronic New Government Accounting System (e-NGAS) which was implemented by the province through the Office of the Provincial Accountant.

Certificate of Recognition given to the LGU of Zamboanga del Norte from COA, Head Office

Ms. Marivic Carpitanos, Provincial Accountant has stressed out that the said recognition was given by the COA last November 22 this year at Sulo Hotel, Diliman, Quezon City and personally handed by COA Chairman Guillermo Carague.

Carpitanos added that the province of ZaNorte was the first LGU of the entire Philippines submitted complete reports of e-NGAS to COA on time.

It can be recalled, that the Provincial Government was implemented e-NGAS on November 28 last year where all accounting transactions already stored in the system.

With this accomplishment, Carpitanos has extended his gratitude to Gov. Rolando Yebes, Vice Governor Francis Olvis and e-NGAS Administrator Atty. Rafael Cabanlit for their never-ending support of the computerization program of the province. (Buddy Cagbabanua, PIC-ZaNorte)


GMA Kapuso Foundation to visit Siayan

The GMA Kapuso foundation is set to visit the Municipality of Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte this coming December 4 and 5, this year.

In an interview with Mrs. Editha Pasinabo, MSWD Officer of Siayan, said that the GMA Kapuso Foundation will distribute assorted school supplies and food commodities to six thousand Elementary and Pre-school children covering from the twenty barangays of Siayan.

“We are only identifying seven nearby barangays for the distribution of the school supplies and food commodities namely Poblacion, Paranglumba, mangilay, Gunyan, Muñoz, Datagan and Denuyan.  The representative of the GMA Kapuso Foundation will stay in Siayan in two days only. (Ma.SheilaDYee)


LCP Condemns Magdalo Group

The LEAGUE OF THE CITIES OF THE PHILIP-PINES strongly denounces this act of destabilization perpetrated by a faction of the Magdalo group against the duly constituted government. Changes through extra legal means cannot be tolerated.

We fully support the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and recognize her efforts in leading the nation to economic recovery.  Now that we are on the road to development, with the peso performing in its strongest and the stock market at its highest, this political unrest would only plunge our nation once more into economic instability.

We are calling for sobriety and for the Filipino people to rally behind the government and continue to uphold the rule of law. (PIA-ZN)


President assures OFWs no letup in gov’t efforts to improve their lot

KUWAIT, Dec.10- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said today there will be no letup in her efforts to improve the plight of millions of Filipino migrant workers, including the 100,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait. In her message before the Filipino community in Kuwait last night, the President said she was fully understood the full range of their plight, their sacrifices their hard work. She also assured them that her administration appreciates deeply their contribution to the Philippine economy, which has posted a 7.5 percent growth rate this year, the highest in 20 years.

“We value so much your sacrifices, your dedication to your work, your devotion to your family and love to your country and we are equally proud of the ambitious and tough economic reforms we implemented that had somehow helped break the offshore cycle and improved our economy,” the President said in Filipino.“The gains of an improving economy include the day when we see our Filipino workers need not go abroad to look for jobs, and the day when overseas work is just another career option and not the only choice that you have to earn a living,” she added.

The President stressed that the government continues to take care of the OFWs through the various it has instituted to protect their welfare. The reforms include skills training for workers, culture and language orientation, mechanisms on the protection of workers rights, the possibility that employers would shoulder the pre-deployment fees of OFWs and the increase in minimum wages based on the skill of the worker. “Our administration negotiated the increase of the minimum wage from $200 a month to $400 a month, “the President said. She that the initial reaction of the employers to the call for salary increase was negative, especially in Hong Kong, but eventually their resistance was overcome. Today, the rate of deployment of OFWs in Hong Kong is back to normal, the President said. The President noted the increase in the demand for Filipino engineers, nurses and other skilled workers as well as the decline in the number of maltreatment cases in Kuwait. This came about as a result of her directive to the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Social Welfare and Development, and Labor and Employment to come up with mechanisms that would enable OFWs to gain rapid assistance from Philippine government agencies to overseas Filipinos in distress.

The President added that she also ordered the setting up of toll free hotlines and assistance groups in order that OFWs and their families will continue to have contact. She said she recognized the negative impact on the income of OFWs of the continuing upswing of the value of the peso against the US dollar. On the other hand, however, this development must also be viewed for what it is, a manifest sign of the improvement in the Philippine economy. “We understand your plight,” she said, adding that the government has come up with several measures to cushion the effect of the strong peso on OFWs remittances. These measures include livelihood projects for OFWs families. (News Headline from the Office of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo)



Malacañang assured the public today that the government is on top of the situation and the new attempt to overthrow the government by Magdalo rebel soldiers in Makati City will be dealt with firmly but peacefully. Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye also told a press briefing that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains “very cool and calm” as she fired off several directives to government agencies during the emergency Cabinet meeting in Malacañang this afternoon.

The Chief Executive was visiting Laguna to preside over a local peace and security assembly in Region IV-A at the Villa Escudero Resort in San Pablo City when she was informed of the new anti-government movement launched by the detained members of the Magdalo group.  Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, meanwhile, said that the latest politico-military adventurism in Makati City will have a temporary effect on the market but will definitely not affect the economy. Teves based his statement on the assessment of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) acting Director General Augusto Santos who reported that the economy is not only stable but “still growing.”

The Finance secretary pointed out that the country’s economic fundamentals are robust as shown by the 42.80 percent economic growth in the third quarter, while the peso remains strong. Teves added that led by the services sector, the economy grew by 6.6 percent in real terms in the third quarter from a year earlier and is expected to exceed the full-year target. “Sa palagay ko kapag ganitong klase ang fundamentals, we are able to handle this kind of temporary disturbance sa ating ekonomiya,” Teves said during a press briefing at the New Executive Building with some Cabinet members, top leaders of the House of Representatives, and other government officials.

Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila also reported that the market reacted to the Makati City disturbance but recovered swiftly before it closed this afternoon. He added that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the market remains calm as shown by its immediate recovery this afternoon from a brief trading lull in the morning. Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza told the Cabinet that Mindanaoenos are fully behind the President and they condemn the new attempt by the Magdalo rebels led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes to create a political-military standoff.

He said he believed that the new disturbance in Makati City will end peacefully because the government will not allow the situation to escalate and cause further harm to the economy. “If Mindanao people are able to resolve their problems peacefully, I’m sure a small event like this will end peacefully,” Dureza told reporters. The tension in Makati was sparked by Trillanes, former Gen. Danilo Lim and other Magdalo officers accused of leading the July 2003 rebellion when they walked out of their trial Thursday morning at the Makati City Regional Trial Court.

From the RTC grounds, they marched through the streets of the financial district calling for the ouster of President Arroyo. Trillanes and his comrades numbering around 30 armed guards smashed the door of The Manila Peninsula along Makati Avenue and Paseo de Rojas Street after they overwhelmed the hotel’s security guards. They then read out a statement demanding the resignation of President Arroyo. (PIA-ZN)


Art & Culture
Don Gurrea
Dipolog Artists Exhibit in Manila

Like typhoons Lando and Mina that ravaged Metro Manila in November, Dipolog Visual Artists also “stormed” the country’s capital cities like never before. Just recently, 4 separate visual art exhibitions were participated in by some Dipolog Visual Artists.

Last November 15, a visual art group exhibit entitled “Kulay ug Kalinaw Sa Mindanao” ( Art And Peace In Mindanao ) was unveiled at the Upper Galleries, Metropolitan Museum of Manila ( MET ), Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Organized by the MET through the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas, the said art exhibition is participated by 21 Mindanao-based visual artists coming from Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Iligan, Kabasalan, Sulu, Dipolog and other places.

The visual artists coming from Dipolog City include BRANDO AREVALO, NONOY AREVALO (deceased), WILMAN BASTASA, JUNI GRAPA, JOSE MARTINEZ III, CELSO PEPITO, DIDI ROMANO, REYNALDO SU, and EDDIE TABANCURA. The MET art exhibition, ongoing until February 2, 2008, cross-examines the prevailing peace and order situations in Mindanao through the eyes of contemporary Mindanaoan visual artists.

On November 17, an ongoing art exhibition project “Art in the Park” by the Philippine Museum Foundation at the Salcedo Park, Salcedo Village, Makati City was joined in by Dipolog artists CHARLENE A. ISAW, JUMALDIN L. CARIG, RUDY PAHAYAHAY and DENNIS BATOCAEL. Culled from the KALINAWA ART FOUNDATION’s previous shows in Mindanao and Palawan, the art pieces were selected to be part of “Art in the Park” as the Foundation’s gesture to artistically promote and commercially support Indigenous Peoples’ Visual Arts in the Philippines.

The KALINAWA ART FOUNDATION ( focuses on “the visual arts as central to the identity, place and belonging, and an expression of a unique and enduring tradition for Indigenous Peoples. Thus, the visual arts have an important place in the continuing survival of Indigenous Peoples and their cultures”. On November 22 to 26, the 1st AHPADA (ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association) International Arts and Crafts Expo was held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

The AHPADA ( has a mission to preserve and improve the status of artists and craftspeople within and outside the Asia-Pacific region. This includes sharing of ideas, knowhow, experiences, resources and expertise in the region for the preservation and development of arts and crafts. Participating ASEAN countries include Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos among others. Part of the Philippine contingent is the KALINAWA ART FOUNDATION which showcases “Kalilimodan” (Gathering), the Indigenous Peoples’ Visual Arts in the Philippines.

Dipolog artists participating in the “Kalilimodan” Art Exhibit are RUDY PAHAYAHAY, DENNIS BATOCAEL and SER ANTHONY GALLEMIT. Last but not least, is the visual art exhibition at the White Cube Gallery, again, at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila entitled “Freedom to Dream”. Remarkable enough, “Freedom to Dream” is the first time where the visual art works of Inuits of Canada are exhibited side by side with those of the Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines.

This joint Inuit - Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines Visual Arts Exhibition will travel to Davao City (November 28 - December 1, 2007), to Cebu City (December 4 - 8, 2007), and to Taipei (December 30, 2007 - January 10, 2008). Organized by the KALINAWA ART FOUNDATION, “Freedom to Dream” includes Dipolog artists JUNI GRAPA and SER ANTHONY GALLEMIT. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


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


P20M gibiling kadaot, 3 mananagat missing 600 KA BALAY GIKUSO-KUSO SA BALUD

Gibanabanang mokabat sa P20 milyones ka pesos ang kinatibuk-ang damyos sa mga kabtangan, propiedad ug umahan samtang mokabat sa 600 ka panimalay nga anaa nanimuyo subay daplin sa kabaybayonan dinhi sa dakbayan sa Dipolog ug dakbayan sa

600 ka panimalay nga anaa nanimuyo subay daplin sa kabaybayonan dinhi sa dakbayan sa Dipolog ug Dapitan ang gikuso-kuso ug giguba samtang ang uban nabanlas sa tubig sa dihang gihampak kini ug mga dagkong balud sa dagat niadtung Martes samtang nagpahilayo na ang mga bagyong Lando ug Mina.

Dapitan ang gikuso-kuso ug giguba samtang ang uban nabanlas sa tubig sa dihang gihampak kini ug mga dagkong balud sa dagat niadtung Martes sa gabii samtang tulo ka mga mananagat hangtud karon wala pa makapauli sa ilang pinuy-anan atubangan sa nagpahilayo na ang mga bagyong Lando ug Mina.

Yano, Pacquiao visit ZaNorte

The commanding chief of the Philippines Army and a ZaNortean Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano and the people’s champ Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao have visited the province last week, November 29, Thursday.

Before the two PA officials went to ABC Gym to honor Yano as “Son of Dipolog”, they have dropped by at the Provincial Capitol for a courtesy call with ZaNorte Governor Rolando Yebes.

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Lt. Gen. Alexander B. Yano, Commanding Chief, Philippine Army, reigning WBC International Super Featherweight champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and 2007 Lingkod Bayan (Presidential) Awardee, Gov. Lando Yebes.

The employees of the capitol and other ZaNorteans including children flocked at the capitol plaza and met Yano and Pacquiao with a warm welcome especially the people’s champ where everyone was excited to offer a handshake with the world’s boxing icon.

Pacquiao also extended his gratitude to ZaNorteans and to Gov. Yebes for the warm welcome which was so surprising for his part that hundreds of people welcomed him with yells mentioning the name “MANNY’.

The world’s boxing champ also promised to visit back in the province after his rematch fight with Marquez on March 15 next year. (Buddy Cagbabanua, PIC-ZaNorte)


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


DILG-ZaNorte holds  alliance building orientation program

To strengthen more alliance and partnership among local government units, stakeholders and prime movers of Zamboanga del Norte, the Department of Interior and Local Government Unit in collaboration of the Provincial Planning and Development Office of this province has make the first move of holding the alliance building orientation program, December 3, 2007 at the ZN Convention & Exhibition Center.

The said activity was attended by some municipal and city mayors, regional directors, representatives from the National Line Agencies and local chiefs of offices of the provincial government.

In a welcome address by Vice Governor Francis Olvis, he has stressed out the Alliance Building program will serve as a link to all LGU’s to ask support from the provincial government at the same time from the regional offices for their programs and projects to be implemented in their respective municipalities.

Municipal Mayors, local chiefs of Offices of the provincial government participate the Provincial Alliance Building Orientation Program.

Meanwhile, Atty. Jes Gal Sarmientio Jr. has presented the governor’s policy directions and program thrusts. He also disclosed that Yebes has already fast track the implementation of his 8-point agenda that prioritized the extension of basic services to the poor constituents in the province which anchored his battle cry “ Una sa Tanan ang Katawhan” (Above all else, the People).

It can be recalled that on 2003, Zamboanga del Norte placed on top as the poorest province of the Philippines based on the report of the National Statistics Coordinating Board (NSCB). In consequence, the hardworking governor has immediately conducted Poverty Mapping Program to determine the eligible indigents in the province. The provincial government then focused on alleviating poverty through the good programs such as Tabang ni Lando sa Communidad (TLC) and giving social and medical assistance through Lando-Barangay Indigent Beneficiaries Organization (BIBO) and Provincial Health Care Assistance Program (PHCAP).

The DILG-ZaNorte also presented the over-all performances of all LGU’s based on the accomplishments of various programs that are being implemented in their area of responsibilities such as social services and environmental concerns.

In the presentation of the resource speakers, representative of the National Nutrition Council-IX has presented that Zamboanga del Norte was at risk of malnutrition incident. The province was also included in the priority one of the PGMA’s food-poor school program because there were 21 municipalities suffered with malnutrition problems where Godod topped 1 in the list.

NNC said that their office was now implemented the food-poor school program catering free rice per student in all municipalities of this province in cooperation with the National Food Authority (NFA).

During the closing program, Atty. Sarmiento, in behalf of Gov. Yebes extended his gratitude to the guests and participants of the alliance building orientation program and ardently hopes for the cooperation and partnership of LGU’s with the National Line Agencies in improving the quality of life of the underprivileged in this province. (By: Buddy Cagbabanua- PIC-ZaNorte)


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



Evangelista Bhagwani, Atty. Sarmiento and Vice Gov. Olvis attended the Provincial Alliance Building Orientation program as speakers and guests of honor respectively.

The People's Champ Manny Pacquiao meets the ZaNorteans at the Capitol Plaza

Either it be a sign of support or appreciation, international boxing sensation, Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao raises the hand of ZaNorte Gov. Rolando ‘LANDO’ Yebes during his recent visit here.



 The Turning Point
Edwin G. Bernido
Our attitude is to honor our Lord Jesus Christ!

Our prayer should always be that the quality of our lives will honor our Lord Jesus Christ. Our sense of spiritual purpose in life, the values we hold, the things that consume our energies should convey a positive witness. Attitudes of quiet peace and contentment that uphold us in life’s pressures can speak of God’s help.

I’m mot suggesting that we should wait for moral perfection before we represent Christ. This is one of Satan’s favorite lies. He wants to keep us quiet by convincing us that we must not witness about Jesus Christ to anyone, until we are good enough to become a preacher.  It is just so simple by openly sharing our own struggles and the help Jesus Christ has given us in specific situations can produce a thirst in the hearts of those who have never met Jesus. Our struggles that we must share to others, is about how we fight temptations which everyone experiences. These come to all of us in the process of developing maturity, Christian wholeness and likeness to Jesus Christ. This kind of honesty and reality can help non-Christians see the nuts and bolts of the Christian Life and the supernatural power we have available to us.

The reality we share with others is the daily, open fellowship we have with Jesus Christ. The personal weaknesses and failures we feel most keenly are often not seen by people who don’t know Jesus Christ. The message we have to tell is that daily fellowship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit reveals our sin and that Jesus, willingly forgives us when we sincerely repent. Then, the Lord Jesus gives us His impeccable righteousness. If this is what we communicate, non-Christians will see the life of the Lord Jesus Himself reflected in us.

But we must never forget that through we may be different from other people, we are not perfect. If our message becomes our perfection, we are untrue to the message of Jesus Christ. besides that, there is nothing that turns non-Christians away faster than the unspoken attitude, “I’m perfect and you are not”, that attitude contradicts the Christians message, we represent, not our own perfection, but the perfection of the Lord Jesus Himself. In Matthew 28:19 says, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Bites!

Jesus has His Own way of making you smile, especially at times when you want to give up and lose hope. Certain surprises come your way that make you rise and keep on going. (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


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




By Rene V. Carbayas
Samal-Bajaus: Reviving the vanishing tribe

They are the poorest of the poor, the marginalized, and considered as the lowest class even by their own-the bigger group of Samals in the Southern part of the Philippines. They are the "once-boat-dwelling people" or the "sea gypsies" who are dependent on the bounties of the sea. They are the Bajaus (spelled in various ways, "badjao", "badyaw") of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. As society becomes more and more complex, the increasing social demands and standard of living pushed the Bajaus further into the edges. Known to be peace-loving people who would stay away from any conflict, the Bajaus are being further exploited and abused because of this virtue.

"They are also referred to as a 'vanishing tribe'," Fr. Dennis G. Tamayo, CMF of the Claret Samal Foundation, Inc. (CSFI) said. "This people are being driven to near extinction due to exploitation by the neighboring dominant tribes, as well as disease, starvation, intermarriages with dominant tribe and apparent inability to cope with the social changes, which are exacerbated by a non-culturally sensitive way of developing them." This year, the Bajau Communities and the Claret Samal Foundation, Inc. held the annual Bajau Communitarian Ongka-Ongka or Bajau Festival from November 16-18 in the Municipality of Maluso in Basilan with the theme "Hinangan Bajau, Hinangan Pinoy…Piito ka, Maglasig na!" (Gawang Bajau, Gawang Pinoy…Halina at Makisaya!) (Bajau-made, Pinoy-made…Come, let's celebrate!).

This annual celebration that started about five years ago promotes and preserves the Bajau culture and identity in the locality, and more importantly the respect and appreciation for indigenous peoples. Part of the celebration is to hold a Bajau Development Forum, which is now on its fifth year, aimed at gathering support from various government, non-government, and private sectors towards the emancipation of the Samal-Bajaus. Since the 1st forum on Bajaus, Fr. Tamayo believes that there is a growing concern and awareness on the plight of the Bajaus; but still they are lacking as many of them grow hungry everyday as manifested by the growing number of children, including some adults and elderly, begging on the streets.

"There is a need to re-introduce the Bajau culture-their peaceful lives, smiles, their arts, and their struggles" to the so called people of the "main stream society", said Dr. Robert Panaguiton of the Ateneo de Zamboanga Research Center, who is making an initial documentation of the Bajaus in Maluso.

"Your ability to smile and laugh easily, your peaceful way of living…inspires me and should be an inspiration and a reminder for people like me who are living in crowded, noisy, and complicated urban cities…of the beauty of the simplicity of life," Dr. Panaguiton revealed, who admitted to have visited Maluso for the first time and witnessed the events and activities of the Ongka-Ongka Festival.

The participants to the 5th Bajau Development Forum agree that there is the lack of development programs for the Bajaus, particularly from the local government units. The participants themselves made some commitments and support, some not concretely, in advocating for the welfare of the Bajaus of Maluso for a start, such as scholarship and or educational assistance, awareness and information campaign through documentation and research, and advocacy to concerned line agencies for Bajau or indigenous programs. What was very significant in this year's festival, Tamayo said, is the promotion of Bajau new products. Aside from fishing and mat-weaving, the Bajaus were introduced to other products that would explore the creativity and artistry of the Bajau culture, and in turn earn a livelihood for the family. From mat-bags, knapsacks, prayer mats, throw pillows, to lamp shades, accessories and other novelty items, the Bajau art is drawing more and more people to be interested at the Bajau culture and its people.

There is more to this unique people. Not just those poor people begging on the streets and dive the seas for every coin tossed by ferry passengers. Or as considered by many as ignorant, dirty, stench-smelling and deprived. "Their situation is a picture of complete neglect that has driven whole families to flock to the big cities of Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao to beg in the streets, and often times controlled by some syndicate who exploit on them. At present, unofficial estimates place their number to about a few thousands. There is no exact counting of Bajaus in the Philippines; a manifestation of how they are being left out. The CSFI is lobbying for the municipal government of Maluso through its Sangguniang Bayan to make the Bajau Ongka-Ongka Festival an official celebration of the municipality. The celebration and hopefully its institution, the annual Ongka-Ongka Festival will continue to be a reminder of a beautiful culture on the verge of extinction.

Through CSFI and its supporters and donors, the Bajaus of Maluso began to appreciate themselves by slowly integrating into the mainstream through formal education, while preserving their own culture. A special ministry for the pastoral care of the Bajaus and the nomads in the Philippines has already been initiated by the Catholic Church. Now, the church through the CSFI hopes that the government and the civil society will also have their share in protecting and preserving the Bajau people. The CSFI is a Claretian Missionary endeavour that addresses the plight of the poor Bajaus. CSFI started with trying to live, understand, and share with the culture of this people. It has five program components: 1) organizing, 2) education, 3) health, 4) livelihood and 5) culture. It aims to help and guide the Samal-Bajaus foster their identity and live a just harmonious community where there is equality of life rooted on their own indigenous culture. (Interested donors and benefactors to help the Bajaus, one may contact Fr. Tamayo at email: or contact him at mobile phone number +639163521628.) (Mindanao Star, Vol.III No.44)

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:


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:




November 29, 2007 was almost a tragic day of the Philippine Democracy. I said “it was almost” because had infamous Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and his bunch of power-greedy associates succeeded in their quest to rob power from our lady president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (who is always believed to have robbed power from our actor President Joseph Ejercito Estrada) it could have been an irreparable tragedy not only to our brand of democracy but to our economy, as well.

Many have voted for Trillanes, including this writer, for showing his strong stand against our corrupt political leaders. As a fine military officer then, he showed to all Filipinos and the whole world his determination and bravery to go against the Commander-in-Chief of the Philippine Armed Forces by staging a mutiny where he and his associates were able to deliver their message for a socio-political change. For his said act, many Filipinos applauded him, showing their appreciation for his noble cause and bravery to stand against the wall.

Many of us voted for this man because he was standing by his principles then. We gave Antonio Trillanes IV a seat in the Senate because we wanted him to say his piece peacefully in its floor against the governmental corruption he craved to get rid of. We no longer wish to see the man bear arms to express something against the reign holders of our government. That is why we put him there in the Senate. The actuations of Senator Trillanes last November 29th cannot anymore be considered a gesture of a true gentleman. He is acting like a barbarian rather than a civilized man. It would be a misfortune for us who voted for him. We don’t expect him to behave like a “true warrior” who in each end readily surrenders to his enemies.

Like Trillanes, we also desire for a better change in the system of our governance. But this should be done through peaceful means. This should be done with all civility. If force is used or threats are imposed to bungle our people’s peaceful existence, then the actors who succeeded in seizing power would lead them to nowhere but to more troubles and difficulties. We agree with Trillanes that corruption in the government must be eliminated, if not minimized! Corruption wrecks havoc to our economy, to the governmental services our poor people direly need. In the process of eliminating governmental corruption, strong principles for change should peacefully be sustained. Such principles should not be muddled with selfish political interests and greed for power. And eliminating corruption should be done through peace, not war!!! (The New Nandau, Vol. XVII No.21)

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



Press Freedom Editorial
More than purgation

What happened to the alarming number of capillariasis victims in Barangay Moyo, Siayan, ZN needs more than the albendazole drug to purge out the worms that caused the sorry state of the people. Sen. Juan Flavier who was once a rural doctor had earlier painted the values of barrio folks which were dictated by tradition and ignorance.

These values may have gripped them for so long, perhaps even led them to dig their own graveyard. What could be more surprising is at this age and in this world, they could still believe that chronic stomach disorder is caused by a curse due to eating meat of a stolen carabao, as Moyo residents did.

Their indifference to modern-day medicine is quite absurd too.  Taking a few tablets, stopping when feeling a little bit better or worse, throwing them away worsened their condition as aggravated by their poor sanitation habits, including the absence of toilets.

The recent pronouncement of Siayan mayor Wilfredo Siasico that he would no longer focus on infrastructure projects like school buildings and rural health centers could be a mistake. Although uplifting the people from their impoverished condition through agriculture is laudable, it is also a must that these people in remote areas need education, re-education perhaps, to make them understand what good health is and what good life is. How about it, mayor? (Press Freedom, Vol. XX No. 7)


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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