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Philippine News Digest 130

September 28, 2007 · 

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Contents:
=2 girls freed from abductor-rapist
=Sex abuse vs kids up in Mountain Province
=Mining firm extends educational aid, other services to Mangyans

2 girls freed from abductor-rapist
By Delfin Mallari Jr.
Inquirer
Last updated 02:20am (Mla time) 09/27/2007

LUCENA CITY—Authorities rescued two young girls from their abductor in a remote village in Pitogo, Quezon on Monday, a police report said Wednesday.

The report said the victims, aged 11 and 12 and both residents of Pililia, Rizal, were abducted by the suspect, Domingo Balane, on Sunday.

A police informant tipped off the police about the presence of the abductor and his victims hiding in Barangay Manggahan in Pitogo town, it added.

The local police office immediately dispatched a group of operatives and staff members from the local social welfare office and raided the suspect’s hideout.

According to police investigators, Balane approached the victims in Pililia and convinced the two girls that he would buy them cell phones if they would go with him to Tanay town.

When they reached Tanay, the suspect told the victims he would kill them if they were to shout or call for help.

From Tanay, the three traveled to Pitogo town in Quezon province aboard public utility vehicles.

They reached the house of the suspect’s brother in Barangay Manggahan at around 1 a.m. on Monday.

While the girls were asleep, the suspect entered the bedroom and raped one of them.

The investigators learned that the other victim had already been raped in Tanay.

Sex abuse vs kids up in Mountain Province
By ARTEMIO DUMLAO
The Philippine Star

BAGUIO CITY – Cases of sexual abuse are topping the rights violations against children in Mountain Province.

This despite efforts through campaigns against child abuse by government agencies as well as private groups, said Juliet Saley of the government-run Philippine Information Agency in Mountain Province.

Records obtained from Senior Inspector Ruel Tagel of the Mt. Province Philippine National Police showed that 14 out of 20, or 70 percent of the cases of abuse on children from January to August this year are sexual abuses.

During the recently-concluded Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC) meeting, Tagel reported that out of the 20 cases, nine are rape, five are acts of lasciviousness, four are physical injuries, one is violation of Republic Act 7610 (other forms of abuses), and one for trespassing.

He said of the nine rape cases, five went to court, two were however amicably settled, one was endorsed to the prosecution, and the other one was endorsed to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development office for diversion.

For the five acts of lasciviousness, two were accordingly filed in court and two were endorsed to the prosecution.

The other one filed in court was dismissed because the victim executed an Affidavit of Desistance.

Paracelis town, the PIA-Mountain Province said, has the most number of abused children with 10, Bontoc with four, Bauko with three, Sadanga also with three and Tadian with two.

Natonin, Sabangan, Sadanga, Tadian, and Sagada towns have one reported child abuse case each, said Saley. Records also showed that here are no reported sexual abuse cases from Besao and Barlig.

In nearby Ifugao province, policemen were directed to investigate if prostitution exists in some of the videoke bars there although officials were quick to claim that local Ifugao women are not involved.

While investigation is being conducted, three Ifugao mayors where videoke bars operate told journalists that inspection and monitoring of the said establishments are being implemented regularly to ensure that the waitresses are not also double-timing as commercial sex workers.

Kiangan mayor Joni Cuyahon, Lino Madchiw of Banaue town and Francis Tennenan of Lamut vowed to ensure that prostitution will have no room in their towns.

The Ifugao provincial social welfare and development office have not yet confirmed if prostitution exists in frequently visited videoke bars.

The issue on prostitution in Ifugao came to the fore when provincial and town officials came together with health and social welfare officers during a forum regarding the recently approved Ifugao Reproductive Health and Responsible Parenthood Code at the Banaue Hotel on Sept. 12.

Mining firm extends educational aid, other services to Mangyans
The Philippine Star

CALAPAN CITY – Mangyans and other poor but deserving students in Oriental Mindoro are receiving an education and taking a step toward a brighter future, thanks to the efforts of a mining company that has made it a policy to extend assistance to the impoverished communities where it operates.

Crew Minerals (Phils.) Inc., a private company that has invested heavily in its prospective nickel mining projects in Oriental Mindoro, is undertaking the educational and scholarship program as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda. Crew is on the verge of changing its name to Mindoro Nickel.

The firm’s CSR program not only involves education but also includes other social development projects such as nutrition, health and sanitation, livelihood, infrastructure and other community-oriented programs.

Through its community relations office headed by Andy Pestaño, the company has adopted not only many poor Mangyans but also other poor but deserving children and given them an education through scholarship grants.

As of this date, Crew has provided educational grants to three Mangyan high school students in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, and 91 Grade 1 to 6 students and another 10 high schoolers all in Victoria town in Oriental Mindoro.

On top of this, the company also has two scholars in college, one each from Victoria and Sablayan.

Aside from these educational subsidies, Crew also provides, from time to time, medical and health assistance, ambulance with complete medical equipment for emergency assistance patterned after the one in the US, facilities for safe potable water, and other services needed to help improve the quality of life within the area of the company’s future operations.

Interviewed recently, a Mangyan student expressed her gratitude to Crew Minerals for the educational benefits she is now enjoying from the company.

“I want to help my fellow Mangyans to pursue their education in order to liberate themselves from the bondage of poverty,” said Mary Jane Haba, a 13-year-old first-year student at the Macatoc High School in Victoria town.

Mary Jane is one of the 11 scholars whose parents come from indigent members of the Tadyawan-Alangan Mangyan tribe.

updated September 28, 2007

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