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Philippine News Digest 14

January 28, 2002 · 

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Contents:

  • 4 in 10 Filipinos live on P36 a day
  • Probe held in towns with cassava project
  • Internet gets Pope’s imprimatur
  • Vigilante killings won’t stop
  • US starts military build up in South

4 of 10 Filipinos live on less than P38 a day

Four in every 10 Filipinos are poor, living on less than P38 a day, according to the National Statistics Coordination Board. Poverty incidence stood at 39.4% of the population in 2000, up by 2.6 percentage points over the 1997 figure. The board defines the poverty threshold as the annual per capita amount “required to satisfy food and non-food basic needs.” It was P13, 823 in 2000, up 22% over the 1997 threshold. Base on this figure, a family of six members must have a monthly income of P6, 911 to meet their food and non-food basic requirements. AFP Report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 January 2002.

Probe held in towns with cassava projects

A team of probers composed of church leaders, farmers and non-government organizations in Isabela province conducted a fact-finding mission in two towns affected by the controversial cassava project planned to be put up by San Miguel Corporation and its local counterpart Valley Planters Development Cooperative in this province. These groups alleged that the project is part of a “land-grabbing scheme” by Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, chair of SMC, and Gov. Faustino Dy Jr. of Isabela that would displace more than 30,000 peasant families in at least 11 towns in the province. But Ronald de la Rosa, provincial agrarian reform officer, disputed this association and said that the areas referred to as project sites covered by pasture lease agreement are no longer used as pasture lands. Source: Zaff Solmerin, Today, 25 January 2002.

Internet gets Pope’s imprimatur

Pope John Paul II officially embraced the Internet January 22, urging the Roman Catholic Church to navigate the Web with evangelizing zeal armed with the gospel of the church. But the 81-year old Pontiff warned of the dangers that the Web posed, including its ability to spread degrading and damaging material. He also warned of the worsening technology gap between the rich and the poor, and said true evangelization required human contact not just electronic relationships. Source: AFP Report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 24 January 2001

Vigilante killings won’t stop

Suspected members of the Digos Death Squad gunned down at least four more persons in a span of three days, bringing the total number of vigilante-related killings in the city 17 since the middle of last year. The latest victims were a 34-year old man and woman who were shot at close range by motorcycle-riding gunmen last January 18. As this developed, Bishop Generoso Camiño of the Archdiocese of Digos dared police Chief Superintendent Eduardo Matillano to act and put a stop to the killing. Source: Anthony Allada, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 22 January 2002.

US starts military build up in South

Three C-130 aircrafts from a US base in Okinawa, Japan landed at an air force base in Zamboanga City January 20 with supplies for at least 650 soldiers that would be taking part in a six-month joint “training exercises” with Filipino troops. Several sectors expressed their opposition to this development, among them members of the Youth for Nationalism and Democracy. Jake Zamora, who is education officer of YND, said “ US presence in Philippine soil has not contributed to domestic security but in securing the country for US interests”. Source: Tonette Orejas and Jojo Due, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 and 24 January 2002.

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