Month: August 2016

Alleged Iloilo ‘drug lord’ and wife gunned down

Inquirer, August 27, 2016 ILOILO CITY, Philippines—An Iloilo businessman and his wife were shot dead early Monday at the port in Caticlan, Aklan province two days after Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa confirmed that Melvin Odicta was the drug lord in Iloilo popularly known as “Dragon.” The port is the jump-off point to the highly popular Boracay island resort . Melvin and his wife Meriam were identified by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority through the identification cards recovered from them, according to Senior Supt. John Mitchelle Jamili, Aklan police director, in an interview over RMN dyRI in Iloilo. He said the couple were walking at the walkway of the port terminal from the roll-on roll-off vessel around 1:30 a.m. when they were shot by the unknown Jamili said the couple were brought to Malay District Hospital in Aklan but were declared dead by the attending physician. The Odicta couple earlier sought help from Interior Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueño and denied that they were into illegal drug trade. Dela Rosa, however, dismissed the denial and identified Melvin as “Dragon,” the biggest drug lord in Iloilo. RAM ABS-CBN’s Inday Espina-Varona shared Bombo Radyo Roxas (OFFICIAL)’s post. Here’s an eye witness narrative as told to Bombo re the twin Odicta murders in Caticlan Port ( yes, the one that takes us to and from Boracay) early today. A trusted aid of the...

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Breaking: Communists sign peace agreement

Panels announce six agreements on 4th day of talks August 25, 2016/ Kodao Productions OSLO, Norway—The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panels have already agreed on six major issues barely into the fourth day of their scheduled five-day talks. Moving with surprising dispatch, both panels already initialled their joint drafts of the affirmation of previously signed agreements, reconstitution of NDFP’s list of Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG)-protected personnel, acceleration of the peace negotiations, the mode of interim ceasefire, general amnesty of NDFP-listed political detainees, and the convening of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). All six agreements are currently being combined and will be issued as a Joint Statement at the closing ceremony scheduled at eleven o’clock in the morning of Friday, August 26. “Natutuwa kami sa naging resulta ng pag-uusap ngayon.  Itong anim na punto ay magandang produkto na ng pag-uusap. At mahusay ang atmosphere.  Very friendly at cordial,” NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni said. “It turned out that both panels did not have many differences in opinion, so we reached an early consensus,” GRP negotiating panel chairperson Silvestre Bello III for his part said. Bello said they will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the issuance of a general amnesty...

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DENR suspends mining operation in Mindanao

Sunstar, Cagayan de Oro August 6, 2016 More under review CAGAYAN DE ORO. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Regina Lopez announced the suspension of Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) in Surigao del Norte on Thursday, August 4. This is an aerial view of the mining site. (Photo by Erwin M. Mascariñas) DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Regina Lopez announced the suspension of Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) in Surigao del Norte and expressed more companies in Caraga region are still on review. Lopez said the suspension of mining operations in Surigao del Norte during the session with the different civil society organizations. “Today (August 4), we are suspending Claver Mineral in Surigao del Norte. We are also looking into and auditing three more mining groups, these are Greenstone, Taganito and SR MI. We will audit all the mines in Mindanao and we will finish this by next week,” said Lopez. CMDC, which is operating in Barangay Cagdianao, Claver town in the Province of Surigao Del Norte, was suspended back in July 18, 2012 while it was operated by Shenzou Mining Group Corporation, because of excessive siltation in the area. In September 17, 2015, Congressman Prospero Pichay, Jr. acquired 60 percent of the corporation and was elected president of the board of directors as stated in the official website of CMDC. Lopez added the...

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Workers call off strike at Vancouver airport

Vancouver, B.C.   Strike averted By Ted Alcuitas A strike by Gate Gourmet workers has been averted when the union representing  the workers reached a tentative agreement. Looming strike by food & beverage workers could delay flights at YVR UNITE HERE Local 40 released a statement Monday, August 22 to announce the agreement. Press Release: Monday, August 22, 2016 Contact: Michelle Travis, (778) 960-9785 mtravis@unitehere.org UNITE HERE Local 40 Reaches Tentative Contract Settlement with Gate Gourmet Averts Strike by Inflight Catering Workers at YVR Burnaby, BC – UNITE HERE Local 40 airline catering members reached a tentative deal with Gate Gourmet late Friday evening. The new three-year contract achieves fair wage increases, restores overtime on the 6th and 7th days of work, and addresses treatment of workers returning to work after illness or injury, among other issues. The tentative agreement averts a strike by the inflight catering workers. Local 40, which represents 400 food preparation workers and drivers at Gate Gourmet, had issued a 72-hour strike notice on August 16. “After weeks of hard bargaining, we’ve got a deal that addresses the rising cost of living in Vancouver as well as other respect issues in the workplace. Going forward, we are happy to settle a contract that will make sure workers can securely take part in the company’s growing prosperity,” said Phillip Lin, High Lift Driver. Further details will be released...

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5th Manitoba Filipino Street Festival

 Winnipeg, Manitoba   Solidarity through fun and struggle  Levy Abad August 23, 2016 Winnipeg, Manitoba – I saw Kelly Moist at the 5th Manitoba Filipino Street Festival or MFSF held at Memorial Boulevard and Broadway Street last August 20th.  Kelly is the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees or CUPE- Manitoba.  CUPE had its tent along Broadway Street. It represents 23,000 public sector workers in Manitoba and 639,000 members across the country. This act of solidarity from CUPE has been evident since the 1st Manitoba Filipino Street Festival in 2012. They were there from the start to support the event and to feel the pulse of the community through fun and struggle to defend workers’ rights. Indeed, there is a time for struggle and a time for fun. I ask Kelly for a brief message and here is what she sent me, “Congratulations to our Filipino community and the Filipino Street Festival in its 5th year! CUPE Manitoba’s international solidarity with the labour movement in the Philippines starts here at home in Manitoba, and we are so proud to walk with our comrades in this parade. Long live International Solidarity!” It is amazing that CUPE saw the importance of building relationship by joining such a seemingly “non- political” event but deeply sociological and ideological. By attending MFSF 2016, CUPE was not there to preach, but just to be a...

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