Murder suspect falls
MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – Another wanted man who faced murder charge was arrested in Barangay Casisang this city on May 1 at around 2:30 am.
Police report identified the accuse as Jerry Flores, 37, married, resident of Phase 1, Kubayan, Casisang this city.
Flores was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest for murder and frustrated murder docketed in criminal case no. 12452-02 and 12453-02 respectively issued by Judge Agustin Javellana of RTC 10, Branch 8, Malaybalay City dated May 19, 2003.
Members from the city police station, two barangay officials and Barangay Public and Safety Officers arrested theaccused. The suspect was detained at city police station.
Mel Madera (CMN)
worker from the Philippines’ biggest banana producer on a plantation in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in late April. Landowners in the coastal plains and low lying hills around the Philippines’ Davao Gulf are cashing in on a surge in demand for fresh fruit from newly emerging markets
Zubiri eyes “tuba-tuba” project; hits BFI
By Walter I. Balane
MALAYBALAY CITY – The provincial government has planned to reforest thousands of hectares of barren lands with jatropha or locally known “tuba tuba” within the area of the Bukidnon Forest Inc, a plan that has been slammed by church workers of the Diocese of Malaybalay.
Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. said Wednesday that in response to the availability of around P10 billion funds from the national government they have planned to plant jatropha (Jatropha curcas sp.) in at least 21,000 hectares of the BFI’s Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) area.
Zubiri alleged that, anyway, BFI has “disastrous” reforestation efforts in the area.
That is about the whole of the 39,000-hectare IFMA’s “plantable” area estimated at 21,000 hectares.
He said the rising prices of oil signals a shift for alternative sources of fuels.
The governor’s son, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri is an author of the Biofuels Act, which promotes the use of fuel from alternative sources such as ethanol.
But Zubiri admitted he still needs to consult several ancestral domain claimants who are poised to take over the area when the BFI’s IFMA ends in 2016.
The BFI plantation project covers the towns of Impasug-ong, Manolo Fortich, and Malitbog and the city of Malaybalay.
He said he needs to convince the indigenous peoples claiming over the area to choose to cultivate “tuba-tuba” for its economic returns. He said a negotiation with the Philippine National Oil Company to buy the oil from the plantation is in the drawing board.
The provincial government plans to provide the lumads with capital to buy seeds, get farm support such as fertilizer and even living allowance for two years under the Provincial Livelihood Program.
He said the scheme is good for livelihood as the lumads could earn at least P50, 000 to P60, 000 per hectare per year if they plant jatropha.
He claimed, too, that the scheme serves two points; aside from livelihood it is also set to control soil erosion and keep ecological balance.
Zubiri said there is also no need for them to wait for the end of the IFMA in 2016 over the alleged problem of BFI to sustain its operations.
But he said there is a need to plan the scheme “carefully” because there are overlapping ancestral domains claims contesting the BFI area.
He admitted they are still in the planning stage claiming “we are only disabusing our minds.”
“We have to get approval from PNOC that they would buy our tuba tuba,” he said.
He said they want to start with the project right. “We want to make sure; dili ko gusto nga dili (I don’t want this to be not) successful,” he said.
He said however, that Bukidnon should go ahead with other provinces in availing the national government funds.
Zubiri vowed to conduct a public forum to show which areas will be planted in order to clarify that productive areas such as those planted to corn, fruits and vegetables will not be touched.
“But if the owners (the ancestral domain claimants) do not want tuba-tuba, then no problem,” he said.
Newswatch is yet to reach representatives of ancestral domain claimants to get their comments.
But the Diocese of Malaybalay’s church workers resolved last week during the
38th Pastoral Assembly that proper government institutions and officials should make proper consultations before consequent deliberation and decisions on the plan.
Zubiri announced the plan in an interview with radio station DXDB on March 5 in response to a resolution last week by Bukidnon’s church workers to go easy and to conduct “proper consultations” on the plan.
He also clarified the proposal will not touch around 500 hectares of pine trees, which helped provide this city with a cool weather.
The governor admitted he doesn’t favor BFI activities anymore claiming the corporation could no longer sustain its operations. “Sige operate pero wala’y sweldo-sweldo,” (In operation, but could not pay wages).
Zubiri said over the 16 years in BFI’s operations, the firm hasn’t recovered.
Manuel Casiño, BFI general manager, told Newswatch Thursday they have paid wages over sustained operations. But he admitted their on a “hand to mouth situation”.
He admitted that initial replanting operations were in disaster but they have perfected the reforestation project since 1995.
He said BFI has succeeded in replanting at least 6,300 hectares, about half of which have been planted to Caribbean pine trees.
But he also admitted that of the 21, 000 plantable area about 18,000 remains for replanting.
He said the 39,000 hectares cover of the BFI IFMA includes around 13,700 hectares of of virgin forests with native species such as Lawaan.
Casiño refused to give more comments saying they didn’t want a rift with the governor. Zubiri sits as member of the board of directors of BFI. (Walter I. Balane/Newswatch)
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