Monday, January 12, 2009

Death Penalty Never Lifted In Davao City

The whole country may be going agog over Senator Miguel Zubiri's proposal to reimpose the Death Penalty for drug pushers but it turns out that it was never lifted at all in Davao City. This was the admission made by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte during his "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa" program yesterday.

The revival of the Death Penalty law is again being discussed in light of the drug payoff issue involving the Alabang Boys as well as heinous crimes like the bloody robbery of RCBC in Cabuyao Laguna last year which left 10 people dead.

"There was already an attempt to corrupt Davao City and there was even a laboratory set up here already (the one raided by operatives in Dumoy, Toril last December 2004)," Duterte said. Those involved, Jed Pilapil-Sy (wife of suspected druglord and fugitive Allan Sy) as well as her brother Jessie Jones Pilapil were sentenced by Judge Romeo Albarracin to life imprisonment and were ordered to pay a $5 million fine. Allan Sy is however still at large.

Duterte said corruption really exists in the country especially when it comes to drugs "Kapila na naay raid unya ang maabtan sa pulis aparatus lang wala na ang tao ug ang shabu---unsa pa man tawag diha kung dili corruption (how many times have the raiding teams arrived at a reported drug den and laboratory only to find out only the aparatus remained and the pushers and shabu no longer there)."

"I support PDEA's Santiago and Marcelino---continue the good work and tell the truth because corruption does exist," he said.

Duterte said if the government will not provide a legal means of putting these drug users and pushers to justice then people can always find a way to deal with them extra judicially. Anyway, he said, "death penalty has never been lifted in Davao."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Charisee Pempengco To Perform During Obama's Inugural?


Wowowee host Willie Revillame announced yesterday that Charisse Pempengco will one of the carefully-chosen artists who will perform during the inauguration of United States President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.

Pempengco, who has gained international acclaim after performing live in the Ellen de Generes and Oprah Winfrey Show, may have been recommended by Oprah Winfrey to the group in charge of Obama's inauguration. However, Pempengco's name has not surfaced in any of the existing list of celebrities who will perform during Obama's inauguration.

The only confirmed celebrity so far is soul icon Aretha Franklin who will sing prior to the oath of office of Vice President Joe Biden. Among the confirmed classical musicians who will perform right at the inauguration are cellist Yo-Yo Ma who will serenade the inauguration's guests, Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman who is a veteran of many White House events and Star War musical scorer--conductor John Wiliams who will lead not only the orchestra but also Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma.

Knowing Obama's oratorical skills, his inauguration will definitely be a memorable one for the whole world but people are going ga-ga about the celebrity list. The security operations is however one of the books as it includes fighter planes, blast-proof limousine, 10,000 police officers and heavily-armed SWAT teams. Even Obama's Blackberry will be sequestered by the security to prevent GPS from tracking his position.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kiwanis To Conduct Medical Mision

Are you or anybody you know suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Thyroidectomy or any other serious illness but can't afford medical check up? Avail of the FREE medical mission program which will be conducted by The Kiwanis Group for indigent Davao City residents.

A one-day screening will be held at the Davao Medical Center Healing Garden on January 10, 2009 from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The patient should get indigent certification from the barangay's Social Welfare Office. Patients referred by Kiwanis can however get the screening form from Kiwanians themselves.

This Medical Mission is a joint project of the DMC led Dr. Bong Vega, Van and Oscar Ong and a Medical Team from Detroit, Michigan, the Kiwanis Club of Cosmopolitan Detroit, the Kiwanis Clubs of Divisions 7 and 8 Philippine South District and the World Medical Relief Inc.

The operation proper will be held at DMC from January 26 to 29 while the Neuro Consultation will be held at JICA, DMC Rehabilitation Center on January 28.

Among the Major Operations to be conducted for free are heart operations to include valve Surgery, Bypass, Pace-Maker. However, DMC has already prepared a list of patients who are in need of these medical services through the Jerry Cunanan Foundation. DMC has also prepared patients for Cranio Facial operations.

Other major operations are Gyne problems, Thyroidectomy, Hernia for Pedia and Adult, Cleft Palate and Cataracts.

The free Neuro Consultations will be held for patients suffering from post stroke, seizures, cerebral palsy, sever headache and lumps and bumps.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Duterte Teaches Firecracker Ban Violators A Lesson

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has given firecracker ban violators a good enough reason for them to follow the law next time around. After spending five days in jail, New Year was indeed a bombastic and unforgettable one for them.

Duterte said he had not been remiss in reminding Dabawenyos about the firecracker ban in Davao City. A total of 85 violators from different areas in the city were apprehended by the police for violating city ordinance 6002.

"Dugay na ko nag-ingon na this will be a long weekend for you if you go to jail for violating the firecracker ban but you did not believe my warnings so sorry na lang," Duterte said. Those who were arrested should have been released within 24 hours after their arrest but since it was a holiday and government offices were closed then the violators had to wait until this morning to be processed with the City Prosecutor's Office.

Aside from suffering the humiliation of being arrested and staying in jail for five days, those who are found guilty will have to pay a fine of P1,000 aside from the penalty of one month imprisonment.

Duterte said the firecracker ban was specifically imposed to protect the people's health. Hundreds of Filipinos welcome the new year in the hospitals every year due to firecracker-related injuries but Davao City has an almost zero-rate when it comes to firecracker incidents due to Duterte's political will.

Davao City has implemented the firecracker ban since the year 2000 but it was only in 2001 when the ordinance took effect.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Stormy Week For Davao City

Weather advisories predict not just a rainy week but a stormy week for Davao City. Nice week to start the year huh?

Dabawenyos experienced a rainy day today, Saturday but weatherforecastmap predicts a stormy weather from Sunday to Tuesday this week.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration confirmed a Low Pressure Area formation which can possibly develop into a tropical cyclone. When this happens, it can mean bad weather not only for Mindanao but also for Visayas and Southern Luzon.

Pagasa said the weather disturbance will result to frequent rains all over Mindanao, Southern Luzon and the rest of the Visayas.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Let Pangandaman's Pay For What They Did To Dela Paz Family


President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's silence in the wake of what the Pangandaman's did to the Dela Paz family shows how lacking in political will this government is especially when it concerns abusive government officials like the Pangandaman's.

The Pangandaman's, led by Mayor Pangandaman allegedly mauled the Dela Paz family including the father and his 14-year old son after they got into an altercation with Pangandaman's group while playing golf. The Pangandaman's were allegedly not following golf rules and were even the first ones to start the fight. With their burly bodyguards and guns, the Pangandaman's literally lorded it over the dela Paz and even the golf Marshall who failed to do his part in settling the problem.

In an interview with ABS CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda this morning, 14-year old Bino dela Paz (who has a 5 handicap) said Mayor Pangandaman himself boxed him after he pleaded for them to stop beating his 56-year old father. He said he even told them sorry (even if they did not do anything wrong) just so they would stop hurting his father but to no avail

Pangandaman even had the temerity to go out on television asking for the people's forgiveness for what happened without admittign their guilt. The fact that the Pangandaman's were armed with guns and with bodyguards against the dela Paz family with two children and an aging father shows how distended the equation is. Add to that the political clout of the Pangandaman's and the dela Paz will surely lose.

The dela Paz looked like a middle class family who invested heavily in training their children in golf. Every parent dreams of seeing his son or daughter excel in his chosen sports but in this case, the Pangandaman's should be made to pay not only for the physical damage they have caused but more importantly for the future they have destroyed. Dela Paz said his son Bino was so traumatized with the incident that he no longer wants to even see a golf course much more play golf.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

DatelineDavao Is PR2

It will definitely be a good 2009 for DatelineDavao after receiving a gift from Google during the first day of the year. Datelinedavao is now PR 2 from PR N/A. It's funny really considering that I haven't been posting regularly for December as I prioritized paid writing works. I did work double time on my postings for November and changed my theme recently.

I don't understand Google's PR rating myself but I know that generally a site's PR rank signifies the significance level of your site. The higher your PR, the maximum being 10, the higher the rank of your pages in the Search Engine Results Pages or SERP although online marketers believe that there are other factors that determine this.

Some say your PR rating is also determined by the number of significant links between your site and other relevant pages. Google said the PageRank is a reflection of the web pages' importance with the more important web pages getting a higher page rank greater chance to top the search results.

Whatever the standards used by Google in ranking web pages, Datelinedavao is just so happy about finally getting a PageRank--at last!

25 Hurt In Gensan Blast


At least 25 people were injured when a grenade blasted the Oval Plaza of General Santos City at 9PM New year's Eve, December 31, 2008. What's new?

What makes this blast a lesson learned is that it was too near the city playground where kids abound. We were there with kids when we went home last September. We would have been there in the afternoon of December 24 had it not been closed down temporarily I hope for security reasons. We would have been in the Oval Plaza to look at the Christmas lights which supposedly gave Gensan a Disneyland feeling (some family members decided not to go though since they were not so impressed with the display they saw in the afternoon and after they got worried about safety issues).

One of the issues that we would often discuss in the family when going home to Gensan is Mall-avoidance and public-place-avoidance because this city has been infamous for the lack of security not only in the malls but also in other public places and in the whole city generally. It is difficulty to make a commentary on this considering that anything negative will surely affect how visitors will perceive the city in the future. However, turning a blind eye will not change things and will perhaps only worsen it.

When blasts like these become almost a regular thing then one would suspect that there must be something wrong with how the city officials of Gensan are treating the city's security or lack of it. Of course, other places get bomb threats and have their own bombing and grenade incidents too but not as regularly as Gensan.

I have always been vocal about the lack of political will on the part of Gensan's politicians and under command responsibility principles, it is always the head of the city who will be held accountable for anything that happens. City mayor Acharon has been mayor of Gensan for several years and people should consider the continuous threat to their lives as a sign that come 2010, they should already elect new leaders.

Security in General Santos is pretty lax. Security guards in Davao City malls would bother you just so they can check all your belongings and would even frisk you until you want to shout at them. Here in Gensan, the security guards at the KCC Mall looked even annoyed when I opened my bag to let them peek inside. Were they too heavily relying on those canines stationed on the front doors? So much for security.

The officials in charge of the overland terminal are also very lax with security procedures. Anyone can just go in and out of the terminal without being frisked or even their baggage checked. The city officials have been elected by the people to make sure that everything is spic and span not only economic and social -wise but also security-wise. This is too much of a responsibility that is why it is called public service. Anybody who could not respond to the demands of his job should step down.

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