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An upsurge in cases of Dengue and Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) in the city fills up all hospitals here. In City Health Officer Dr Rodel Agbulos confirmed th3 report, averring they have already asked a private hospital to open several rooms which are still pending approval, just to accommodate the influx of patients to the medical facility.

Based on City Health records, dengue cases in the city have indeed reached alert level. From 180 cases in the month of May, the number of dengue cases has suddenly increased and reached 359 in June.

Compounding the situation are Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) cases which also showed a rapid increase this month.

Agbulos also noted an increase in cases of Pneumonia, Influenza, Asthma and all related diseases in hospitals and health centers.

The City Health Officer is scheduled to meet with hospital officials to discuss proper response on the situation.

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Seven alleged members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were denied entry to the city when they failed to present government identification cards at a military checkpoint in barangay Licomo last Tuesday.

Vitali Police Station Commander Chief Insp Salvador Galvez said that the seven MNLF men were traveling aboard a passenger bus bound for the city.

The group identified themselves as members of the MNLF and told soldiers that they wanted to go to Zamboanga city for medical check-up.

Despite that reasoning and adamance, soldiers held the group at bay, and later directed to turn back.

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Government troops in Marawi discovered skeletal remains of six persons in a place believed to be one of the execution sites of the Islamic State-inspired militants.

Field reports showed that troops from the Army’s 51st Infantry Battalion were doing clearing operations when they stumbled upon the skeletal remains clad in orange shirts believed to be executed in the early days of the rebellion, recorded on video and even uploaded on the web.

Lt. Gen Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said the brutal execution is proof of the group’s un-Islamic ways.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, commander of Joint Task Force Marawi likewise condemned the brutal behavior of the Maute/ASG.

The officers said, this brutal and inhuman actions of the Maute/ASG will not go unpunished.

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On orders of President Duterte, P/Sup Marvin Marcos, who along with 18 other members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were suspended administratively and charged for the killing of former Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Roland Espinosa, is now back in the service and named chief  of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of Region 12.

Marcos and his co-accused are out on bail after the Department of Justice downgraded the charges from murder to homicide.  Marcos was the head of the CIDG Eastern Visayas when Espinosa and another inmate, Raul Yap were killed inside the Leyte Provincial Jail extension jail in Baybay City.

But the decision of the President to reinstate the “Espinosa 19” did not sit well with senators who crossed party lines to denounce the move.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs who led the investigation into the culpability of Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other policemen let out an expletive when sought for his reaction.

“According to the decision, Marcos was not physically present when the raiding team killed Espinosa and Raul Yap, but outside supervising the operation. The others were given demotions and six-month suspension. This effectively disregarded the conspiracy angle,” the former PNP chief said.

“In sum, there is a phrase to describe this whole damn thing: P***** I**!” said Lacson, a member of the Senate majority whose committee concluded that the Espinosa-Yap killing last November 2016 was premeditated.

However, while the charges against them were downgraded, still and all, they are facing charges even if reinstated.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said he believes that once Marcos and the other police officials involved are reinstated, it would demoralize other policemen and the PNP as a whole.

Demoralized? My foot. That will embolden other law enforcers to act more aggressively for the government does not pin them down. So demonstrated Duterte when he said he will defend law enforcers who would follow his orders.

Folks, how would that then demoralize the police force. Hearten them up is a better view, SS pronounces.

Sen. Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV, a member of the Senate minority bloc criticized the Duterte administration for reinstating Marcos et al saying, “The reinstatement of murderous cops is a danger to the Filipino people. And in Pilipino adds, “This clearly shows how they are ignoring the law and it strengthens the culture of violence.”

My friends, violence - if that is the only language bad elements understand, so be it, for violence should be met with violence for it to end.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros called Duterte’s order “a clear attempt to obstruct the course of justice” and “tacit approval of extrajudicial killings (EJK) in the country.”

EJK? If that is the solution to the elimination of illegal drugs - Amen.

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Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos yesterday lambasted her political rival - House majority leader and Ilocos Norte 1st district Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas - and dared him to bring the fight back to their province as she also sought relief from the Supreme Court.

In a press conference, the Ilocos Norte governor said the House investigation on the alleged illegal purchase of P66.4 million worth of buses and multi-cabs without public bidding - an alleged misuse of tobacco excise taxes - obviously stemmed from her political rivalry with Fariñas in the province.

“This started from local politics, so we should just bring the fight back to Ilocos Norte,” she stressed, pointing out that she reconciled with Fariñas in 2010 only to have a falling out again after the lawmaker requested that his daughter succeed him as congressional representative. Fariñas allegedly wanted to be appointed ombudsman after serving three terms in Congress.

Marcos showed Commission on Audit records that said the questioned project is aboveboard, aside from sharing photos of Fariñas escorting her during the distribution of the vehicles, purchased using excise taxes, to local farmers.

“The COA reports show that all our projects are fully liquidated and there’s never an anomaly or ghost project. These vehicles benefitted our farmers,” she explained, pointing out that even Fariñas’ son Rodolfo Jr. and nephew Jeff Erickson requested for mini trucks from the questioned project.

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Yesterday, we called here for out local authorities, particularly the executive department to identify and investigate the particular school here built in 1997 that is tagged a terrorist front.

But nary a word has been heard today.

It is heartening, though, to hear that Malacañang is on its toes, as Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the military is verifying the statement of Turkish Ambassador to Manila Ester Cankour that Turkish terrorists, particularly the Fetullah Gulen Movement, is already in the Philippines.

“We will investigate organizations abetting or aiding terrorism and will hold them accountable, especially those that may be working as fronts for terrorist and criminal activities, as alleged by the ambassador,” Abella said.

Also, the Foreign Affairs department is moving, as spokesman Robispierre Bolivar said the government would look into the ambassador’s warning.

“We take seriously allegations of the presence of terrorists in our country and we have been looking into the matter,” he added.

It is spirit-elevating that our national leaders are acting hands-on on the matter.

On the other hand, one of the leaders of the movement, Cihangir Arslan, denied the ambassador’s accusations.

“We strongly assail the accusation made by the ambassador against us, our group.

“We’re not terrorists and we are here in the Philippines in goodwill,” Arslan told the Manila Standard in a phone interview.

Who would we then tend to believe - the Turkish government or alleged instigators of a bloody coup in their own land?

Need we mouth it still? (By Jimmy Cabato)

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