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Sara Duterte trends skinhead

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Sporting a skinhead is trending when no less than former Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had her head shaven Tuesday to show support for her father, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is being pushed for the presidency by millions of Filipinos.

After castigating a netizen for accusing her of being selfish for what was publicly perceived as her opposition to her father from running for the highest post in the land, Sara Duterte-Carpio posted an instagram photo Tuesday showing her sporting a skinhead with the hashtags #Duterte2016, #kalboparasapagbabago, #NohairWecare, and #justDUit.

Her instagram post was perceived by many as the daughter’s implied support for Mayor Duterte’s presidential bid.

Many of Duterte’s supporters also had their head shaven in support of the Duterte for President movement. Wednesday afternoon, several Davao City councilors will also be having their heads shaven at a barbershop here to express their support on Duterte’s presidential bid.

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Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian today scored the Aquino administration’s failure to check the rampant smuggling of agricultural products, which has reportedly ballooned to P182 billion from 2010 to 2014.

According to the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), composed of at least 33 organizations of farmers, agribusiness operators and party-list groups, the amount of smuggled agricultural commodities during the first four years of President Aquino almost double the contraband valued at P95 billion from 2005 to 2009.

Sinag chair Rosendo So explained that the government lost some P60 billion to P80 billion on the importation of rice, pork, sugar, chicken, onion, carrots and garlic—considering that tariffs on these items were set at 30 percent to 40 percent.

Gatchalian said the data on agricultural products smuggling is alarming since the Bureau of Customs, which serves as the frontline agency against smuggling, is practically doing nothing to help curb the illegal entry of imported agri products.

“It is ironic that despite the so-called ‘Daang Matuwid’ of the Aquino administration, it has miserably failed in the anti-smuggling front and this puts hundreds of our farmers in a disadvantage,” said Gatchalian.

Gatchalian noted that the BoC still uses manual processing, which explains the lack of systematized data collection.

“The ultimate solution to the unabated smuggling in various ports is for the Customs to completely automate all its operation. This requires all port entry transactions to be posted in the website of the BoC to promote transparency,” said Gatchalian.

Gatchalian pointed out that in the interest of transparency, all importation data should be posted online, including information on goods that are being imported, how much duties and taxes are paid, as well as the names of importers or their consignees.

The “full computerization” of the BOC was initiated by former Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, building on an earlier project that started in 2009 with the aim of eliminating paperwork and fixers, for a faster corruption-free process.

“With computerization, there will be no contact between the importer and customs employees. No paper work. Everything will be by computer. Aside from curbing corruption, transactions in the BOC will be quick. Fixers will be put out of business. And collections will increase,” former Commissioner Biazon had said.

Gatchalian is now asking the BoC whatever happened to the planned computerization that was supposed to integrate all customs processes in a single environment replacing the current multisystem setup, and paving for much faster and efficient customs transactions.

“If the Aquino administration is sincere in its campaign againsy smuggling, it should order the BoC to immediately implement the full computerization of the bureau as envisioned by former Commissioner Biazon,” Gatchalian concluded.

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Authorities are calling for the registration of motorized bancas for easy monitoring and prevention of the vessels from being used in the perpetration of crimes.

The call arose from the kidnapping incident in the Island Garden City of Samal where three foreigners and a Filipina were abducted at a resort and brought to Sulu onboard a motorized banca.

The banca was said to have been purchased in Samal for P300,000.

Police Regional Office 11 spokesman Supt. Antonio Rivera said they are now checking the information. He however refused to give any details.

Philippine Coast Guard Davao Commodore Joselito dela Cruz meanwhile suggested for the registration of motorized bancas. He said that like carnapped vehicles, boats can also be used in criminalities thus the need to have a system for easy identification and monitoring.

He also called on the local government units to be aggressive in the registration of motorized bancas in their respective AORs.

Commodore dela Cruz said that they are presently conducting seaborne operations with Task Force Samal to secure the resorts in Samal after the September 21 kidnapping.

He said the resort owners themselves are now initiating the implementation of tight security measures in the island to ensure that the kidnapping incident would not happen again.

Dela Cruz said that prior to the kidnapping, resort owners are hardly coordinating with the authorities in the security measures of the island.

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More than a hundred people from various militant organizations were reportedly prevented entry by militia men in Talaingod, Davao del Norte earlier today, September 28.

Rius Valle of the Save Our Schools Network said that about 116 people were traveling to Talaingod to join the celebration of the Bwalawan, or the 12th Salugpungan foundation day, when they were blocked by the Alamara paramilitary headed by Datu Lumansad Sibugan at Crossing Dagohoy in Talaingod, Davao del Norte around 6:30 Monday morning.

They were reportedly reprimanded and told to ask permission first from the tribal council in the area. This despite a courtesy letter from the mayor and barangay council which the militant members showed to the paramilitary group.

Valle said the presence of the paramilitary members are threatening thus their decision to return to the Talaingod Municipal Hall for their safety.

“We are currently staying in a church here in sentro Talaingod, after we were barred by the tribal council of Talaingod and some Alamara. 116 individuals, 44 are students of Salugpongan school, are here now waiting for the intervention of the LGU. They said we should have ask permission from the tribal council since they won’t accept our courtesy letter from mayor and barangay council, insisting that we should have an FPIC or free prior informed consent,” said Valle.

Efforts to get the side of the military on the incident proved futile as of this posting. The Eastern Mindanao Command has not yet given any confirmation to the incident.

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Two of the suspects who took part in the abduction of three foreigners and one Filipina in the Holiday Oceanview Resort in the Island Garden City of Samal on September 21 have already been identified. One of them was said to have been arrested by the authorities.

This was the revelation made by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte Monday afternoon after attending the founding anniversary of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

The mayor released the information amidst the continued refusal of the Special Investigation Task Group Oceanview to release any update regarding their probe on the incident.

For the past two weeks, SITG Oceanview had only released one official update on their ongoing probe and had been tight-lipped since then.

Mayor Duterte identified one of the arrested suspects as Bandajar Adona alias Banon. He said the suspect was positively identified thru the CCTV footage retrieved by the authorities during the kidnapping incident.

Duterte however refused to give further details saying that he is not in authority to speak. The mayor however admitted being privy to the information as he attended the briefing by the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in relation to the Samal kidnapping.

It can be recalled that it was Duterte who revealed that the kidnappers and their victims are already in Sulu just as the SITG Oceanview kept on insisting that the culprits are still within the Eastern Mindanao.

Duterte also revealed that the kidnappers could be Abu Sayyaf Group or their affiliates while the SITG said it could be the handiwork of the New People’s Army rebels based on the note left by the kidnappers which claimed that they are NPAs.

Efforts to confirm Duterte’s latest revelation from the police and the military proved futile as of this posting.