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DAVAO CITY BOMBERS: 'MAUTE' MEN ARRESTED OVER DAVAO CITY BLAST
[RELATED FROM THE MINDANAO EXAMINER: Davao City bombers captured]


OCTOBER 7 -Three members of the notorious Maute Group have been arrested for supposedly masterminding the deadly September 2 blast in Davao City. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said joint elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police arrested the three in Cotabato City October 4. The suspects were presented to the media Friday. Officials said suspects had explosive devices, guns, a motorbike and a cellphone containing videos and photos of the bombing incident that killed at least 14 people. "The operation recovered solid pieces of evidence that they are indeed the terrorists who bombed the Davao City market," Lorenzana said. But Lorenzana said these these are just among the 10 Maute Group members who were involved in the blast. READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO...RELATED NEWS, FROM THE MINDANAO EXAMINER: Davao City bombers captured...

ALSO TRAFFIC: Govt bans weekday mall sales to ease Xmas traffic, starts Oct 21
[RELATED: 5 Big Moves That May Stop Traffic Torture]


OCTOBER 7 -MANILA - The government and shopping mall operators on Friday agreed to stop mall sale events during weekdays to help ease traffic during the Christmas rush. Starting October 21, mall sales will only be allowed from 12:01 a.m. on Saturdays to 11:59 p.m. on Sundays, according to the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (IACT). Malls also need to advise authorities of sale events two weeks in advance and submit an accompanying traffic plan. Shopping malls in the capital usually hold sale events during payday weekends from Friday to Sunday and this reduces vehicle speeds around it to 5 kilometers per hour from 20 kph. Cars will also be banned from lining up in the streets. The move to limit sale shopping hours came as the government moved to untangle crippling traffic jams in the capital that result in P2.4 billion in daily economic losses, according to a Japanese study. -- with reports from Jing Castaneda, ABS-CBN News FULL REPORT.RELATED, 5 Big Moves That May Stop Traffic Torture...

ALSO: With no emergency powers yet, Duterte turns to traffic superbody
(A Palace-created council hopes to solve an old urban problem that has been draining the economy)
[RELATED: 10 Alarming Facts about Traffic in Metro Manila that You Should Know]


OCTOBER 8 -IN THIS SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 PHOTO, A hearing by a committee at the House of Representatives on the proposed emergency powers for President Rodrigo Duterte took a left turn when the discussion shifted to a Transportation official's eligibility. GMA NEWS Over the last 100 days, Congress has failed to pass legislation granting President Duterte the emergency powers which he believes will help ease the crippling traffic crisis in Metro Manila.  While lawmakers are still deliberating on the parameters of such powers, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in August spearheaded the creation of the Interagency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) to consolidate traffic-related agencies into one superbody. The integration of five government agencies was meant not only to efficiently coordinate and enforce traffic regulations but also to introduce traffic initiatives. These include the division of Metro Manila into 10 traffic sectors, the removal of “window hours” of the number coding scheme along Edsa and C-5 Road, and the prohibition of weekday mall sales. READ MORE...RELATED, 10 Alarming Facts about Traffic in Metro Manila that You Should Know...

ALSO: The price to pay for the chance to change
(Editor’s Note: A hundred days after President Duterte declared an all-out war against illegal drugs, cash-strapped communities are scrambling to address a phenomenal number of drug users and pushers who have answered calls to mend their ways or die. In this series of articles, the Inquirer takes a hard look at how authorities are struggling to give them a new lease on life.)
[RELATED WORLD, JERUSALEM POST: Packed rehab centers pose new problems in Duterte's  anti-drug war]


OCTOBER 8 -THIS JULY 2016 PHOTO SHOWA A social worker gives counseling to those who have turned themselves in for drug-related crimes in the Philippines. CNN Philippines Mayors, lawyers, celebrities hooked on drugs go hiking and eat buffet in a private rehab center. There’s no violence there.  Four city mayors, celebrities and foreigners who were once “shabu” and marijuana addicts had been patients at this rehabilitation center located 57.4 kilometers south of Manila. For about 15 months, a tall gate shielded them from the public, from judging eyes that deemed them useless or threats to society. For 15 months, they lived away from their families, who shunned the stigma caused by their drug addiction. After 15 months, they were back—renewed and, it is hoped, useful to society. They had been treated at Seagulls Flight Foundation Inc., a residential rehabilitation center in Tagaytay City, Cavite province, for moderate to heavy drug users. Goal for users The establishment of the center was inspired by the 1970 novella by Richard Bach “Jonathan Livingston Seagull—A story,” about a seagull who was expelled from his flock because of his refusal to conform with the limited ways of seagulls. Alone but seized with a passion for life and flight, Jonathan found his purpose, discovered his strengths and weaknesses and, in the end, found joy and peace. The one who once had broken wings, recovered, flew again and soared high. READ MORE...RELATED, Packed rehab centers pose new problems in Philippines anti-drug war...

ALSO:
Rosanna 'Osang' Roces admits bringing sex workers to Bilibid, denied having an affair with an inmate
[RELATED: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has prisons overflowing]


OCTOBER 8 -Jennifer Adriano-Molina, better known by her stage names Rosanna Roces and Osang, is a Filipina actress, known in the early 1990s as one of the hottest actresses. “Paanong magiging mistress eh babae ang dinadala ko ke Enteng. Kada hatid ko ng babae ay 25k ang binibigay sa akin (How can I be a mistress when I bring women to Enteng. I earn P25,000 every time I bring women),” Rosanna Roces, whose real name is Jennifer Cruz Adrian, said in her Facebook post. Photo by Ver Paulino Actress Rosanna Roces has denied having an affair with an inmate at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), but admitted that she has brought sex workers to the national penitentiary. Reacting to an allegation made during the House public hearing on Thursday that tagged her as a mistress of inmate Vicente “Enteng” Sy, Roces said this was not true and her “business” was to bring women to the NBP in Muntinlupa City. “Paanong magiging mistress eh babae ang dinadala ko ke Enteng. Kada hatid ko ng babae ay 25k ang binibigay sa akin (How can I be a mistress when I bring women to Enteng. I earn P25,000 every time I bring women),” Roces, whose real name is Jennifer Cruz Adrian, said in her Facebook post. She also denied being involved in the alleged illegal drug trade inside the NBP, saying that her only dealings with Sy were to bring “meat” for some of the inmates. READ MORE...RELATED, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has prisons overflowing...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

'Maute Group' men arrested over Davao City blast


Three members of the notorious Maute Group have been arrested for supposedly masterminding the deadly September 2 blast in Davao City.

MANILA,
OCTOBER 10, 2016 (ABS-CBN) Kimberly Jane Tan, Posted at Oct 07 2016 04:41 PM - Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said joint elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police arrested the three in Cotabato City October 4. The suspects were presented to the media Friday.

Officials said suspects had explosive devices, guns, a motorbike and a cellphone containing videos and photos of the bombing incident that killed at least 14 people.

"The operation recovered solid pieces of evidence that they are indeed the terrorists who bombed the Davao City market," Lorenzana said.

But Lorenzana said these these are just among the 10 Maute Group members who were involved in the blast.

READ MORE...

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte commended the arrest.


CARPIO

"This development is commendable as we vow to expeditiously give justice to the 15 victims who died and the 69 others who were wounded in the blast," she said in a statement, ahead of a scheduled presentation of suspects in Camp Aguinaldo.

She said the arrest is just the beginning of the resolution of the incident.

"The arrest must ultimately lead us to the dismantling of terror groups in our midst or result in the failure of more senseless acts of violence and extremism," she said.

"We also need to remember that this does not end our desire to give justice to the victims and those whose lives were forever changed by that horrendous act of terrorism on the night of September 2 in our beloved city," she added.

 
https://youtu.be/TO2hy82_qD4
CONGRATS! 'Maute Group' men arrested over Davao City blast Duterte Daily War on Drugs, Crimes and Corruption Duterte Daily War on Drugs, Crimes and Corruption Subscribe1,527 Add to Share More 5 views 0 0 Published on Oct 7, 2016 #digong2190days Website: https://www.facebook.com/pdu30rocks/
Find here how our beloved President stops and neutralizes drugs, crimes and corruption in the Philippines. Let's follow him 2190 days in his "office". God bless the Philippines. Please subscribe for daily updates. Thank you.

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RELATED FROM THE MINDANAO EXAMINER

Davao City bombers captured Posted: 4:58 pm, October 7, 2016 by Desk Man20161007_162620-copy


TJ Macabalang


Suspected bombers of the Davao City night market. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

DAVAO CITY – Philippine authorities have arrested four suspects in the deadly bombing of a night market in Davao City that killed 15 people and wounded 69 others in one of the worst terror attacks in recent years in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed the arrest and said four people were being investigated in connection to the bombing. He said security forces also raided Friday a house of a businessman in Cotabato City and seized weapons, ammunition and mortars, including homemade explosives and cell phones and blasting caps, and propaganda videos.

Among those being held were Teng Macabalang and his son TJ Macabalang and two other men who are believed to be followers of local jhadist Abdullah Maute operating in Lanao del Sur, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

The young Macabalang and his mechanic Wendel Pactuan, 19, were earlier reported by his father to have been abducted by gunmen in Cotabato City. The 30-year Macabalang, owner of a decal and car stickers shop; and Pactuan were waiting for their motorcycle buyer when gunmen arrived in two vehicles and seized them.

The gunmen turned out to be government agents. Lorenzana said authorities were hunting down 10 more accomplices who have been influenced by the Islamic State in Mindanao.


LORENZANA

Security officials did not give details of the operations that led to the capture of the bomber, but Davao City Mayor Sarah Carpio, the presidential daughter, praised the arrest of the terrorist tagged as behind the September 2 attack.

Carpio last month offered P3 million bounty for any information that will lead to the arrest of the bomber.

“The arrest of the suspected perpetrator of the September 2 bombing in Davao City is a welcome development to the operations of our law enforcers for their immediate capture. This development is commendable as we vow to expeditiously give justice to the 15 victims who died and the 69 others who were wounded in the blast,” Carpio said.

“It is, however, important for us to remember that the arrest must ultimately lead us to the dismantling of terror groups in our midst or result in the failure of more senseless acts of violence and extremism,” she added.

Carpio also appealed to the public to stay vigilant, saying, the capture of the bomber does not end the desire to give justice to the victims and those whose lives were forever changed by that horrendous act of terrorism.


CARPIO

“Let us continue to be vigilant and show the world that we do not surrender to fear nor do we allow terrorism to cripple our humanity and undermine our values,” she said. “We also need to remember that this does not end our desire to give justice to the victims and those whose lives were forever changed by that horrendous act of terrorism on the night of September 2 in our beloved city.”

Security remains tight in Davao City and just last month, Carpio urged Muslims to use hijab instead of niqab and burka, and citizens no to wear masks that cover the face, especially in public places, following the deadly terrorist bombing. Citizens are also discouraged to wear sunglasses, hats, balaclava, and face paint, among others that tend to hide their face.

Carpio said law enforcement authorities recommended the strict security measures after a man, wearing a bonnet and mouth mask, detonated an improvised explosive device at the night market along Roxas Avenue.

“The law enforcement officers have expressed their opinion that it would be a good security practice to disallow garments that cover the faces in public places. These garments include hats, sunglasses, facemasks, mouth masks, burqa, face paint, and other similar things.”

“I understand the sentiments of our Muslim sisters with regard to the burqa, may I suggest that you wear the hijab which shows your face or cooperate with the security personnel and show your face if you are wearing the burqa. While it is true that these garments are not disallowed by law, we discourage their use in public places,” Carpio said.

Authorities have linked the militant group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters to the attack, but its spokesman, Abu Misry Mama, strongly denied the accusation. Police and military investigators found fragments of mortar bombs in the area. (Mindanao Examiner)

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ABS-CBN

Govt bans weekday mall sales to ease Christmas traffic ABS-CBN News Posted at Oct 07 2016 04:44 PM | Updated as of Oct 07 2016 05:20 PM

MANILA - The government and shopping mall operators on Friday agreed to stop mall sale events during weekdays to help ease traffic during the Christmas rush.

Starting October 21, mall sales will only be allowed from 12:01 a.m. on Saturdays to 11:59 p.m. on Sundays, according to the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (IACT).

Malls also need to advise authorities of sale events two weeks in advance and submit an accompanying traffic plan.

Shopping malls in the capital usually hold sale events during payday weekends from Friday to Sunday and this reduces vehicle speeds around it to 5 kilometers per hour from 20 kph.

Cars will also be banned from lining up in the streets.

The move to limit sale shopping hours came as the government moved to untangle crippling traffic jams in the capital that result in P2.4 billion in daily economic losses, according to a Japanese study. -- with reports from Jing Castaneda, ABS-CBN News

ALSO FROM ABANTE.COM (IN TAGALOG)

Christmas rush, paghandaan na! By Bernard Taguinod September 12, 2016 1236 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter

Habang hindi pa naibibigay ang emergency­ power kay Pangulong ­Rodrigo Duterte para resolbahin ang problema sa trapiko sa Metro ­Manila, pinayuhan ng isang House leader ang mga national at local officials na magsanib-­puwersa na para linisin ang mga kalsada dahil tiyak na lalo pang bibigat ang problema ngayong Christmas season.

Ginawa ni House ­deputy speaker Raneo Abu ng Batangas ang nasabing kautusan dahil kung aantayin umano ang emergency power ay hindi ito maihahabol sa Christmas rush na nagsisimula na.

“Our officials should be prepared for the Christmas rush by starting to clear some Metro Manila roads. We should make sure that we can handle­ the additional traffic flow,” ani Abu.

Sa pagdinig ng budget ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) kamakalawa sa Kamara­, inamin ni Secretary ­Arthur Tugade na wala silang poder sa kalsada sa Metro Manila dahil kontrolado ito ng mga Local Government Units (LGUs) subalit kapag binigyan umano sila ng emergency power ay waswasin umano ng mga ito ang lahat ng kalsada para magamit bilang alternate route.

Subalit ayon kay Abu, kailangang mag-usap at magtulungan na ang national at local government para linisin ang mga kalsada sa Metro Manila bilang paghahanda sa Christmas rush na lalong magpapalala sa problema sa trapiko.

Iminungkahi rin ng mambabatas na ilipat na nang tuluyan sa Batangas at Subic ang malaking ­bahagi ng operasyon ng Port of Manila dahil ito umano ang isa sa mga nagpapalala sa problema ng trapiko sa Metro Manila base sa isang pag-aaral.

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RELATED FROM FHM.COM.PH BLOG

5 Big Moves That May Stop Traffic Torture By F. Valencia Sep 8, 2016438 Shares Tweet 0

We're all hoping that the DOTr's proposed projects and programs will address the traffic woes of highly urbanized areas, particularly in Metro Manila

Earlier this week, Department of Transportation (DOTr) chief Arthur Tugade submitted to the Senate a 64-page document enumerating 21 transport-related projects it intended to undertake if the executive branch was granted expanded powers.

In this light, reports The Standard, Tugade likewise submitted a draft bill on emergency powers to address the transportation crisis. The bill is called the Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act of 2016.

The the Senate committee on public services, which is chaired by Senator Grace Poe, received Tugade's submissions and have begun conducting the hearing on the the proposed measures.

The Standard went on cite Poe's statement that "the technical working group will scrutinize the list of projects on September 8" and will still have to consult the sectors affected by the proposed measures against traffic woes. The hearings will resume September 22, when local government units will be given the chance to comment on the impact of the projects.

That said, we're all hoping that the DOTr's proposed projects and programs will eventually ease or even put a stop to the torture of commuting in highly urbanized areas, particularly in Metro Manila.

Here are five major developments we can look forward to as long as there are no drastic changes to the DOTr's proposed projects.

1) Better road travel. As detailed by Ernie Reyes on InterAksyon, the DOTr has lined up the following projects to make road commuters' lives easier:

—Improvement of existing national roads (cost: P1.59 billion; timeline: 2016-2017)
—Integrated Transport System Southwest Terminal along Coastal Road (cost: P3.15 billion; start of operation: June 2018)
—Integrated Transport System South Terminal, FTI Compound (cost: P2.23 billion; start of operation: June 2018)
—Metro Bus Rapid Transit Line 2, a 48.6-km line covering EDSA, Ayala, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig up to Ninoy       Aquino International Airport (cost: P39.44 billion, timeline: 2016-2018)
—Metro Bus Rapid Transit Line 1, a 12.3-km line from Manila to Quezon City (cost: P4.7 billion, timeline: 2016-2019)

2) Trouble-free train rides. When it comes to our train systems—the Light Rail Transit (LRT), the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR)—the following DOTr moves were enumerated:

—Procurement of new train coaches
—LRT Line 1 extension to Cavite
—LRT Line 2 extension to Masinag, Antipolo
—LRT Line 2 extension to Pier 4
—Increase of MRT-3 capacity to include procurement of new carts and general overhaul
—Construction of Line 4 from Taytay, Rizal to Pureza
—Construction of Line 5a from Makati CBD utilizing existing tunnel
—Construction of Line 5, a subway connecting existing business districts
—Construction of Line 6 from Niyog, Cavite to Dasmariñas, Cavite via Aguinaldo Highway
—Construction of Line 7 from North EDSA to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan via Commonwealth Avenue
—Extension of PNR North Commuter from Tutuban to Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga
—Extension of PNR South Commuter from Tutuban to Los Banos, Laguna
—Construction of Mindanao Rail, Cebu Rail, and Central Philippines Rail

Senators Favor Granting Duterte Emergency Powers To Address Traffic

3) Efficient airport. As traffic tends to build up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), such are being eyed:

—Airport improvements including construction of exit taxiways, runway overlay and additional CCTVs
—Improvements in domestic airports to allow nighttime flights
—Calling for legislation to allow the government to redistribute air traffic while promoting air connectivity in other alternative gateways

4) Streamlined organization. The Inquirer reports that "a key feature of the DOTr's proposal is the centralization of traffic enforcement authority in a Traffic Crisis Manager, a position that shall be assumed by the DOTr Secretary."

The Inquirer went on to note: "With one manager subsuming the authority, traffic enforcement powers are stripped off other agencies, including the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Philippine National Police (PNP), LGUs, Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)."



It added, "The Traffic Crisis Manager shall also take over air and sea traffic management from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Civil Aeronautics Board, and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA)."

5) Presidential intervention. The proposed bill has provisions for granting emergency powers to the President/Executive branch involved in transportation and traffic management.

That means the President is empowered to "reorganize the existing structure of the DOTr, LTFRB, LTO, MMDA, CAAP, the Civil Aviation Board, and the PNP's Highway Patrol Group, and all other agencies in the transportation sector."


INQUIRER

With no emergency powers yet, Duterte turns to traffic superbody
A Palace-created council hopes to solve an old urban problem that has been draining the economy
By: Jovic Yee / @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:01 AM October 08, 2016


IN THIS SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 PHOTO -A hearing by a committee at the House of Representatives on the proposed emergency powers for President Rodrigo Duterte took a left turn when the discussion shifted to a Transportation official's eligibility. GMA NEWS

Over the last 100 days, Congress has failed to pass legislation granting President Duterte the emergency powers which he believes will help ease the crippling traffic crisis in Metro Manila. 

While lawmakers are still deliberating on the parameters of such powers, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in August spearheaded the creation of the Interagency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) to consolidate traffic-related agencies into one superbody.

The integration of five government agencies was meant not only to efficiently coordinate and enforce traffic regulations but also to introduce traffic initiatives. These include the division of Metro Manila into 10 traffic sectors, the removal of “window hours” of the number coding scheme along Edsa and C-5 Road, and the prohibition of weekday mall sales.

READ MORE...


In this Aug. 25, 2016 photo, Sen. Grace Poe leads the second hearing of the Committee on Public Services on the traffic emergency powers. Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday postponed the Senate Committee on Public Services’ hearing on the proposed granting of emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to resolve traffic congestion as the panel awaits the draft bill from the Department of Transportation (DOTr)."Paano tayo gagawa ng epektibo at komprehensibong plano kung hindi natin nakukonsulta ang mga apektadong sektor? Sana hindi tayo magsayang ng pera at oras sa pagpapatupad sa mga planong hindi naman lubusang mapapakinabangan ng taumbayan," Poe said.By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated August 30, 2016 - 3:12pm.

Elvira Medina, president of the National Center for Commuters Safety and Protection, said that while the public have “yet to fully feel the changes” brought about by the creation of the I-ACT, the government’s intensified efforts to decongest Metro Manila are already laudable.

“The mere fact that we can see that they are working is good enough for us,” Medina said.

Headed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, the I-ACT is composed of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).

In his first State of the Nation Address, Mr. Duterte pledged that his government would immediately crack down on out-of-line or colorum public utility vehicles (operating without a franchise) and dismantle illegal transport terminals.

Clearing the roads

To date, I-ACT has cleared Metro Manila roads of more than 5,000 illegally parked cars and apprehended at least 147 out-of-line and colorum vehicles. At least 23,000 individuals have also been apprehended for various traffic violations, such as disregarding traffic signs.

In its bid to discourage erring motorists from violating parking rules, I-ACT also transferred the impounding area for towed cars from the LTO main office in Quezon City to a facility in Tarlac City.

For Metro Manila’s traffic situation to improve, the capital should have a road network of 8,295.7 kilometers. But based on MMDA data, it only has a road network of 5,220.76 km.

A study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2014 said that the country was losing P2.4 billion daily due to monster traffic jams and that this figure could balloon to P6 billion by 2030 if the problem is not addressed.

Mr. Duterte acknowledged in July that since the capital lacks roads, the use of existing roads should be maximized.

He then proposed that “there is a need to cooperate and coordinate with local government units to map out secondary routes and to consult various stakeholders, including the public transport operators.”

Concrete traffic solutions

While some ideas, like opening subdivision roads and even military camp roads to the public, have been put on the table over the last few months, it remains to be seen when these recommendations will be considered as a concrete traffic solution.

During his report on Thursday regarding DOTr’s accomplishments in the Duterte administration’s first 100 days, Tugade acknowledged that the traffic problems they earlier thought to be “very difficult” turned out to be “extremely difficult.”

One of their key challenges is getting more traffic aides deployed in the roads.

Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola, head of the PNP-HPG, said at least 13,700 traffic aides are needed to effectively manage traffic in the capital, especially in its 77 choke points. He noted that the HPG has already sought the assistance of various local governments to allow their respective traffic management groups and volunteer groups to be placed under I-ACT’s operational control.

“That’s why there’s a bit of difficulty [in addressing traffic] over the last 100 days. You have to get more enforcers and train them,” Tugade said.

As traffic congestion worsens during the holidays, the I-ACT and mall operators in Metro Manila agreed on Friday that starting Oct. 21 to Jan. 9, 2017, mall sales will not be conducted during weekdays. The malls should also notify and coordinate their traffic measures with I-ACT two weeks before their weekend sales.

Next Thursday, another meeting between I-ACT and mall operators will tackle the possibility of implementing a “midnight-to-5 a.m. delivery period” for goods in Metro Manila.

According to the MMDA, mall sales cause the average vehicle speed to slow down to a mere five kilometers per hour on Edsa, where 16 malls are located.

No more window hours

To further reduce traffic along Edsa and C-5 Road, the MMDA is also doing away with the window hours (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) of the number coding scheme. The new policy takes effect from Oct. 31 to Jan. 31, 2017, and a dry run will be conducted on Oct. 27 and 28.

Meanwhile, the LTO has lengthened the validity of driver’s licenses from three years to five years. LTO chief Edgardo Galvante said that starting Monday, the head office will start releasing the five-year licenses.

In terms of mass transport, Noel Kintanar, the transportation undersecretary for rail and toll roads, reported that over the last three months, they were able to bring down the number of times Metro Rail Transit trains stop operations due to technical problems. From 46 in June, the monthly average is now down to 38, he said, attributing the improvement to better train maintenance.

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unBLOGGED FROM FAQ.PH

10 Alarming Facts about Traffic in Metro Manila that You Should Know September 14, 2015 By Rig Man 12 Comments


Stuck in heavy traffic in Metro Manila. Photo by FAQ.ph

The heavy traffic in Metro Manila is not only caused by the lack of roads or the congestion of buses in the National Capital Region. The stressful traffic jams are also due to many other factors, such as the overpopulation of residents, congestion of private vehicles, inefficient services of rail transportation, and the ineffective traffic control management in the country’s capital region.

Furthermore, the effects of Metro Manila’s traffic is not only limited to the delays suffered by the riding public but traffic congestion can also cause air pollution, noise pollution, vehicular accidents, and an unhealthy economy in the region and even in the national level.

Whether you’re residing in Metro Manila or just a concerned Filipino citizen, here are 10 alarming facts that are related to the heavy traffic in the region that you should know:

1. In 2013, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) listed a total of 2,101,148 motor vehicles registered in NCR or 27% of the country’s 7,690,038 total registered motor vehicles. In 2015, the total motor vehicles in Metro Manila has already peaked at 2.5 million. Source: The Standard


Heavy traffic at EDSA in Makati City. Photo by Scandi via Wikimedia Commons.

2. Metro Manila has only 1,032 kilometers of roads or 3.5% of the total 39,370 kilometers of roads nationwide. The National Capital Region has only one kilometer of road per 424 vehicles. Source: The Standard


EDSA Road in Pasay City. Photo by FAQ.ph

3. The traffic demand in Metro Manila is at 12.8 million trips. 69% of these total trips are done using public transport yet only 22% of the road space is occupied by public vehicles. The other 78% of road space is taken by private vehicles. Source: National Economic and Development Authority

4. A study by the National Center for Transportation Studies says that the heavy traffic in Metro Manila cost the country 137.5 billion pesos in 2011. Source: Rappler

5. The total population of Metro Manila as of 2010 is already at 11,855,975 which is almost 12% of the total population of the Philippines. The total land area of Metro Manila (638 square kilometers) is only 0.21% of the total land area of the Philippines (300,000 square kilometers). Source: Philippine Census


Metro Manila Skyview. Photo by FAQ.ph

6. Manila, Pateros and Caloocan are the top 3 most densely populated cities in the world. Manila has a population density of 42,857 people living per square kilometer. Source: Wikipedia


Crowd in Manila. Photo by Patrickroque01 via Wikimedia Commons

7. As of 2010, the number of informal settler families in Metro Manila is already more than half a million. This number is already 20% of the total number of household in Metro Manila. 41% of these informal settlers are located in government owned lands while 34% are in privately owned lands. Source:National Economic and Development Authority


Squatters area in Manila. Photo by Bindue via Pixabay

8. 20% of the total income of the poor in Metro Manila is spent on transportation. This percentage is more than what they spend for rice (15% ), utilities (6.97% ), health (2.99% ), clothing (2.96% ) and education (3.37% ). Source: The Standard


Manila jeepney. Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

9. 85% of air pollution in Metro Manila comes from vehicles. Source: GMA Network


Metro Manila Air Pollution. Photo by FAQ.ph

10. According to a COA report, a P1.314-billion allocation from the Disbursement Acceleration Program for the rehabilitation of Light Rail Transit 1 and 2 was released in full by the Aquino’s administration in January 2014.

However, the rehabilitation projects have not yet been implemented due to several project revisions. In the same month, the MMDA has launched a new traffic signalling system worth P290 million. Source: The Standard, Manila Times


Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1) in Monumento Station. Photo by FAQ.ph

ARTICLE COURTESY OF http://faq.ph/facts-about-traffic-in-metro-manila-that-you-should-know/


INQUIRER

The price to pay for the chance to change
Mayors, lawyers, celebrities hooked on drugs go hiking and eat buffet in a private rehab center. There’s no violence there
By: Jodee A. Agoncillo, Mariejo S. Ramos / @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:15 AM October 08, 2016

(Editor’s Note: A hundred days after President Duterte declared an all-out war against illegal drugs, cash-strapped communities are scrambling to address a phenomenal number of drug users and pushers who have answered calls to mend their ways or die. In this series of articles, the Inquirer takes a hard look at how authorities are struggling to give them a new lease on life.)


OCTOBER 8 -THIS JULY 2016 PHOTO SHOWA A social worker gives counseling to those who have turned themselves in for drug-related crimes in the Philippines. CNN Philippines

Four city mayors, celebrities and foreigners who were once “shabu” and marijuana addicts had been patients at this rehabilitation center located 57.4 kilometers south of Manila.

For about 15 months, a tall gate shielded them from the public, from judging eyes that deemed them useless or threats to society.

For 15 months, they lived away from their families, who shunned the stigma caused by their drug addiction.

After 15 months, they were back—renewed and, it is hoped, useful to society.

They had been treated at Seagulls Flight Foundation Inc., a residential rehabilitation center in Tagaytay City, Cavite province, for moderate to heavy drug users.

Goal for users

The establishment of the center was inspired by the 1970 novella by Richard Bach “Jonathan Livingston Seagull—A story,” about a seagull who was expelled from his flock because of his refusal to conform with the limited ways of seagulls.

Alone but seized with a passion for life and flight, Jonathan found his purpose, discovered his strengths and weaknesses and, in the end, found joy and peace.

The one who once had broken wings, recovered, flew again and soared high.

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That’s primarily the goal for drug users, according to Seagulls founder and executive director Ed Castillo. Redemption, not condemnation; acceptance, not execution.

The private rehab center established in 1998 currently houses 50 patients who come from all walks of life, but mostly from well-off families who can pay tens of thousands of pesos a month. The center has patients from as far as Jolo in Mindanao.

One of them, Eric, 52, a lawyer who came from a family of judges, was in denial of his addiction. Hitting rock bottom, he walked into the center. “I needed help,” he said.

‘Lawyering’ for addicts

“I went to rehab in March 2015. That time, I was about to hit rock bottom with my drug use,” he said.

Eric used drugs for recreation for 17 years. At the height of his addiction, he spent up to P6,000 on drugs in just one day.

He used to be a lawyer for drug users and pushers caught by police. “I would look into lapses in the chain of custody, work around it so I could get them acquittal,” he said.

Eric used to work for 14 hours. But because of his addiction, he was productive for only three hours. “I felt drugs were already stopping me, that my brain was flying away,” he said.

He tried to quit, but kept falling off the wagon.

Then he discovered Seagulls.

There, away from the bustling city, in a place nestled on a lush, windy ridge, patients take things one step at a time.

Inside the center, sex, cell phones, chocolate, cigarette and alcohol are prohibited. Only certain types of books and magazines and television programs are allowed. The goal is to prevent craving or distraction in patients.

Private rehab

Seagulls is one of 27 privately managed residential centers in the Philippines. Only wealthy junkies can afford them.

According to Dr. Jasmin Peralta of the Department of Health, private rehab centers, such as Seagulls, cost around P50,000 per person per month. In a year, that’s roughly P600,000.

At such centers, patients are served food buffet-style. They have their own nutritionists and they monitor patients’ food intakes.

At Seagulls, patients sleep in beds in air-conditioned rooms that can accommodate five to 12 people. Patients are never allowed to be alone—it’s risky, according to Castillo.

Seagull’s youngest patient is 16-year-old “Ken.” The oldest is 64.

Preparation, cleansing

Ken, a marijuana and shabu user, was tricked by his parents into delivering flowers from their shop at the Dangwa flower market in Sampaloc, Manila, to Seagulls a few months ago. He has never gotten out since.

At Seagulls, patients either voluntarily walk in or are brought in, Castillo said.

Before treatment, patients are sent to a private hospital for detoxification. They also undergo a battery of psychological exams.

Patients undergo a six-month primary treatment. During the first four months, the staff prepare them for their first family dialogue.

“We do therapeutic community. We do mirroring. It’s tough love as they say,” Castillo said. “But there is no violence. This is not a jail. There are no threats.”

Among the techniques used is “confrontation,” where patients are watched and called out for every fumble or little mistake they make.

Every fumble is magnified—a lousy shirt, forgetting to greet visitors, even bad handwriting.

Patients have to listen, yield and apologize.

More fumbles mean more sanctions, such as harder tasks or, worse, extended rehab time.

“Practically, we heal their bruised ego here,” Castillo said. “During the sessions, we ask the patients to verbalize their fear and pain, and then we talk about the program so they can process it.”

Ex-addicts on the staff

Four of the staff members at the center are former addicts. Castillo is one of them. He used to be hooked on LSD and marijuana, but has been clean for 43 years.

He supervises individualized treatment plans, group sessions, psychological education and evaluation of patients, who all need a court order prior to admission.

Unlike other private rehab centers, Seagulls offers its patients activities like climbing Pico de Loro, trail biking in Nuvali and trips abroad. This month, the patients are going to Malacca for a conference about illegal drugs.

At Seagulls, patients are equipped so they can work as trainers in the future.

For Eric, his stay made him feel accepted, safe, loved and whole.

“I would just look at the sky, and the trees and I feel like I am ready to go outside, that these few months would prepare me for the outside world,” he said.

After his release, he fulfilled his vow to serve as lawyer for Seagulls patients.

According to Eric, the best way to prevent relapse is to find accountability partners or support group after treatment.

“It’s without parallel. To help another addict overcome his addiction is priceless,” he said.

For John, another former Seagulls patient and now a staff member, being clean is a matter of time. Drug addiction, he said, is an everyday battle.

“I can say I am clean now. Now. Tomorrow? Maybe. I don’t know yet,” he said.

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RELATED FROM REUTERS

Packed rehab centers pose new problems in Philippines anti-drug war By REUTERS \ 09/17/2016 09:18

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has seen a surge of drug users surrendering to the police in two months since he took office, stoking concerns that there aren't enough rehabilitation centers available to cope with the increasing demand.

At Manila's largest government-run rehabilitation center in the suburb of Bicutan, over 1,500 drug users have been admitted despite the center's maximum capacity of 1,000.

"Before the anti-drug campaign started, we used to have seven or eight admissions a day. When the campaign began, we were admitting 15 to 30 patients a day. So there was an increase of almost double the capacity," said Bien Leabres, the treatment center's director.

Health workers say many of the drug users have had to sleep on the floor, and there's been cutback on food and medicines to cope with the number of new patients being admitted at the center.

Leabres says they are trying to make do with the limited resources and ensure proper treatment for all the patients they hope will be reintegrated into society after a year in rehabilitation.


PHILSTAR

Osang admits bringing sex workers to Bilibid By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 8, 2016 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


“Paanong magiging mistress eh babae ang dinadala ko ke Enteng. Kada hatid ko ng babae ay 25k ang binibigay sa akin (How can I be a mistress when I bring women to Enteng. I earn P25,000 every time I bring women),” Rosanna Roces, whose real name is Jennifer Cruz Adrian, said in her Facebook post. Photo by Ver Paulino

MANILA, Philippines - Actress Rosanna Roces has denied having an affair with an inmate at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), but admitted that she has brought sex workers to the national penitentiary.

Reacting to an allegation made during the House public hearing on Thursday that tagged her as a mistress of inmate Vicente “Enteng” Sy, Roces said this was not true and her “business” was to bring women to the NBP in Muntinlupa City.

“Paanong magiging mistress eh babae ang dinadala ko ke Enteng. Kada hatid ko ng babae ay 25k ang binibigay sa akin (How can I be a mistress when I bring women to Enteng. I earn P25,000 every time I bring women),” Roces, whose real name is Jennifer Cruz Adrian, said in her Facebook post.

She also denied being involved in the alleged illegal drug trade inside the NBP, saying that her only dealings with Sy were to bring “meat” for some of the inmates.

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The actress said it happened three years ago and stopped after she brought someone who had a disease.

Roces also admitted meeting inmate Jaybee Sebastian, but said it happened when they had a concert where she was also asked to give a message for Bilibid TV.

“Other than that wala na akong naging dahilan para bumalik,” wrote the actress.

During the House inquiry on the alleged illegal drug operations inside the NBP, witness Nonile Arile claimed that Roces – also known as Osang – was a mistress of Sy.

Arile is serving time for murder. He claimed to be a police informant recruited by Senior Supt. Jerry Valeroso.

Sy was among the high-profile inmates injured in a stabbing incident at the NBP last week. Fellow inmate Tony Co was killed.

Human trafficking charges Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, who chairs the House committee on justice, said yesterday that Roces might face human trafficking charges for supplying women to convicted drug lords at the NBP.

Umali said it’s up to the Department of Justice to look into Roces’ reported admission that she regularly brought women to Sy and was paid P25,000 for each visit.

He said he is not inclined to invite the actress to his committee’s hearing on Monday.

Umali’s panel is investigating the illegal drug trade at Bilibid.

Sy is among the top 10 Chinese drug dealers serving time in the national penitentiary.

The Chinese drug lords include Sam Li Chua, Peter Co, Willy Yang, Robert Lee and Jackson Lee.

Roces is not the first actress linked to a convicted drug lord.

Earlier, starlet Krista Miller was caught on closed-circuit television camera visiting a drug convict in hospital.

She was arrested this week with fellow men’s magazine models in an anti-illegal drug operation in Quezon City, days after showbiz colleague Sabrina M. was also nabbed in a similar bust.

Another actor, Mark Anthony Fernandez, was caught at a checkpoint in Angeles City with one kilo of marijuana.

The Philippine National Police said it has a list of showbiz personalities who are drug dealers or users. With Jess Diaz

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RELATED FROM THE SIDNEY MORNING HERALD

SEPTEMBER 28 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has prisons overflowing Lindsay Murdoch



Quezon City, Philippines: Surely there can be few places as miserable as the jail in metropolitan Manila's most populous city as president Rodrigo Duterte wages his deadly war on drugs across the Philippines.

There is not enough room even to lie down to sleep in the decaying buildings where 62 per cent of prisoners are on remand for drug offences that will take years to be heard in the country's log-jammed courts.

Built for just 800 inmates, Quezon City jail has 3562 prisoners in what some say is a predictable outcome to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Half-naked prisoners sprawl packed together or lay on top of each other before they are woken every two hours.

The space is then taken by the next shift of sleepers.

Prisoners take it in turns to sleep in every available space of the jail that was built to accommodate 323 but now houses 3539.

I see six men crammed into a roof ceiling.

One is curled up on a cupboard.

Dozens nap sitting up in a stairwell.

If it doesn't rain hundreds of prisoners crawl on to an open-air basketball pitch, sleeping on cracked concrete on sacks or clothes, barely enough room to turn over.

Upstairs 87 prisoners suffering tuberculosis are isolated in one cell. They at least have a single television.

In August, three prisoners died of heatstroke during a power outage that stopped the jail's few electric fans.

The jail provides the equivalent of $1.35 to feed each prisoner, prompting the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper to suggest in an editorial that a sign be hung in all Philippine prisons declaring "please do not feed the animals" because prisoners are being kept in subhuman conditions like beasts.

"Night-time is the worst. The inmates think about being separated from their families and the overcrowding makes conditions very harsh," says assistant jail warden Rosalin Carta.

Human Rights Watch described the jail as straight out of Dante's "Purgatory", referring to the 13th century Italian writer's description of the realm where souls await judgement, while the French newsagency AFP described it as a "hell on earth".

CONDITIONS 'INHUMANE' 'UNACCEPTABLE'

Philippine officials concede that conditions in overcrowded jails are "inhumane" and "unacceptable".

More than 700,000 drugs suspects have surrendered since Mr Duterte, a 71-year-old former provincial mayor known as "The Punisher," issued shoot-on-sight orders to police in a drug crackdown that has left more than 3500 people dead.

Thousands of Filipinos have subsequently ended up behind bars, pushing the capacity of jails and detention centres to breaking point.

But as Fairfax Media photographer Kate Geraghty and I walk among the prisoners in the Quezon jail, shortly after dawn, accompanied by a single female guard, I see some the same stoic acceptance of fate that I have witnessed in this disaster-prone country during times of heartbreak, such as typhoons or earthquakes.

When all appears lost there will be a smile and welcoming raising of eyebrows, among some of Asia's poorest people.

Shortly after a 9am flag-raising ceremony the jail erupts into dance and song to a drummer and lone bugler's stirring rendition of the 1914 popular British Colonel Bogey March.

"Filipinos are by and large happy people, even when things look the worst," said Ms Carta, the assistant warden.

"We have violence here but the penalties for fighting are up to six months jail so it only happens from time to time," she said.

A 42-year-old prisoner who has been on remand in the jail for 16 years, waiting for completion of his trial on charges of charges of robbery and murder, told Fairfax Media he encourages prisoners to keep busy with activities like sport, dancing and music.

"If they do nothing they will go crazy. It's very congested but there are still exercises and things you can do," he said, adding that he paints and has written two books he hopes will be published one day.

Prisoners arrested under Mr Duterte's crackdown said they had been treated unfairly and harshly but were at least happy they were not among the bodies that have been piling up across the country, victims of claimed police shoot-outs or attacks by unidentified assailants.

A 34-year-old father of two claimed that drug paraphernalia was planted on him by police in June but that he had not used shabu, the highly addictive crystal methamphetamine, since last year.

"Police wanted me to become an informer for them and when I refused they set me up," he said.

"He [Duterte] should follow the right processes in making arrests because what is happening now is getting out of hand… some innocent people are getting caught in the dragnet."

"I have lost so much, my work, my family…look what they have done to me."

Dwight Delmar, 59, who has been awaiting trial on a fraud charge for 19 months, said the prisoners charged with drug offences who had arrived in recent months faced a long wait to learn their fate.

"Justice delayed is justice denied," he said.

"The overcrowding conditions we have to endure here are shocking."


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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