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Mindanao Newsbits for August 23, 2014

FABRICATED CHARGES

General Santos City – The military described as fabricated the charges filed against Army soldiers who were accused of threatening a village official for allegedly failing to provide them with information on the presence of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Alabel, Sarangani. Capt. Rey Balibagoso, 1002nd Army Brigade spokesman, said the NPA, through its legal front – Karapatan human rights group, initiated the filing of grave coercion charges against four soldiers led by Corporal Junie Lincona who is assigned with the 73rd Infantry Battalion. Karapatan alleged that the soldiers threatened at gunpoint Dambong Cupiz, a purok chairman at Talipara 2 in Barangay Alegria, Alabel. (Joseph Jubelag)

BLOODY WEDDING

Midsayap, Cotabato – A traditional Moro wedding in Midsayap town in North Cotabato turned bloody when two guests belonging to warring clans exchanged fire – killing one and wounding two others, Thursday. The Midsayap police said Kandao Pulalon allegedly shot to death Suharto Kulilong. Two other guests were hit by stray bullets during the encounter that lasted for about 30 minutes. The fighting sent the groom and his bride, including their families and other guests scampering for safety. Probers said the Pulalon and Kulilong clans are locked in a long standing feud which stemmed from land disputes. (Malu Cadelina Manar)

NEGLECTED DISEASES

Davao City – The Third National Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) forum was recently held at a hotel here. The event, hosted by the Department of Health (DOH) with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and FHI 360, aimed to improve the working relationships between the DOH and other agencies, including non-government organizations (NGOs), the private sector, and the academe. The forum also celebrated the achievement of giving out the one-billionth dose of medicine to combat and end NTDs. Data from the DOH showed that NTDs affect around 30 million Filipinos especially those residing in areas considered as the poorest and least-developed. (Alexander Lopez)

MOLAVE ROAD MISHAP

Zamboanga City – A passenger of a delivery truck died, while 18 others were injured when their vehicle fell into a ravine in Barangay Ariosa, Molave town in Zamboanga del Sur, on Wednesday evening. Police identified the fatality as Rosaria Encarnacion, 57. Two passengers, identified as Merlyn Baiz and Lorie Encarnacion, were seriously injured, while 16 others suffered minor injuries in the various parts of their bodies. They were brought to the Osmeña Community Hospital for medical treatment. The police report said the truck was traveling from Dipolog City and bound for Molave when the driver lost control of the vehicle upon reaching Sitio Malili in Barangay Ariosa, causing it to fall into a ravine. (Nonoy Lacson)

TACURONG SEED FARM

Tacurong City, Sultan  Kudarat (PIA) – This city’s Seed Farm in  Barangay  Rajah Muda recently opened its new mini-warehouse, and an expansion of its multi-purpose drying payment constructed with funding from the Region-12 office of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA-12’s) Agri-Pinoy Rice  Program. City Agriculturist Ramon Losanes said the latest project, which included a 420-square meter (sq.m.) drying pavement, costs P700,000. The new drying pavement has doubled the size of its original 420-sq.m. drying pavement built in 2012, also with funding from DA-12. Losanes added that with the completion of the project, the seed farm is now fully functional.