Family, friends seek help on missing UPLB alumnus

 

University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) alumnus, Michael Kenneth Cruz

University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) alumnus, Michael Kenneth Cruz, has been missing and cannot be contacted since the morning of Thursday, March 16. A missing person report was filed at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Pasay City Government the same day by Andrea Baule, Cruz’s partner.

According to Baule’s facebook post, Cruz was on his way to his first day of work to Balayan, Batangas. He left from their apartment at Pasig City to the terminal at Metropoint Taft at around 3am. The last text update received from Cruz was at 4:39 am saying that he is already at Taft waiting for other passengers.

” We tried to look for cctv and other possible terminals in taft pero wala pa magandang sightings of Mike. We just suspect 1 or 2 person na pinakahawig sa rememblance pero we can’t verify if sumakay siya or hindi eh dahil sa mga blind spot na din ng mga lugar. So far wala pa talaga kaming information about Michael’s location,” said Baule in a facebook interview.

Baule has also scouted different CCTV camera recording around the area of Taft to see if there is any sighting of Cruz. As of writing, there is still no update from the family, and the PNP Pasay regarding Cruz’s case. [P]

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#DuterteVisitsUPLB | Davao Mayor prays for federalism

By MIGUEL CARLOS LAZARTE and CAREN JOY MALALUAN

The recently concluded event by the Department of Social Sciences (DSS) and UP sa Halalan 2016 entitled ‘A GE conversation with a National Leader: A Forum on Governance, Transparency, and Social Transformation’ featured presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte as the guest speaker last Friday, 11 March.

A long queue of UPLB students waiting to be admitted inside the D.L. Umali Hall was spotted outside the venue. However, not all the students were admitted since seats inside the D.L. Umali Hall were limited. The line was cut off and students were advised to watch the live-stream of the event instead.

On the mayor’s speech, he started by claiming that he is not an extremist, rather a socialist. He then presented his platforms if ever he became president and reinstated his claim that he would stop drugs and criminality in a span of 3 to 6 months in position. He also tackles national issues particularly on poverty, corruption, oppression, criminality, drugs and militarism.

He added that he will never allow abuses by the military or police.

Duterte also stated his disappointments and criticisms on the government and corrupt officials. He stated that the corrupt officials keep on denying it. He criticized the way the government is being ran, asserting that it is oppressing the people.

He also expressed his sentiment that GABRIELA Philippines was furious at him and jokingly followed-up that they can just line up so he can kiss each of them.

He also gave out to the audience his plans on a federal government. “We are praying for federalism”, stating that it can also be a way of bringing peace in Mindanao. “Nothing short of federalism will bring peace to Mindanao,” he added. Yet he had instated that federalism is a long process.

On his being a dictator, he admitted that he is one but will not go beyond his term.

Asked about his budget priorities, the highest will go to education; second is agriculture; third is health. Moreover, he gave emphasis on reestablishing family planning in the country.

He said that his attendance to the forum was not a campaign but rather to only talk about the issues. He told the audience that they still own their vote.

Duterte’s visit was part of the series of fora with same topics on governance, transparency, and social transformation.

RELATED STORY: #BinayVisitsUPLB | VP opens up, gets grilled in transparency forum

The UP sa Halalan 2016 is a project initiative created by the University of the Philippines System that aims to educate and inform voters about the political situation in the country and promote clean and honest elections in May 2016. Dean of Graduate School, Dr. Jose V Camacho Jr. is the UPLB Chair of the Ad hoc committee of UP sa Halalan 2016. [P]

ALAS opposes DPWH Road Widening

by MONICA LABOY

Citizens, primarily led by the Alliance of Lopez Avenue Stakeholders (ALAS), have objected to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Road Widening Project at Lopez Avenue, Los Banos.

The project will be covering points from Crossing, LB up to the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Gate.

From the existing gutter, a length of 6 meters will be added, making each side of the road 10 meters, with two lanes of four meters and a two-meter walkway on each side, thus covering a total of 20 meters.

According to Andres Santillana of ALAS, DPWH claims that the road widening project is the solution for traffic. However, ALAS have objected to it.

“Walang due process na nangyare. We received notices as early as October 2015 about the project but the representative of DPWH only gave us two information, the bidding date, which is in October, and the possible start of construction, which is in January 2016,” Santillana stated.

He added that no consultation took place rather, “they were merely summoned and informed about the two aspects”.

“Is this truly the answer to the problem of traffic? First of all, they have no study to show. They have no environmental impact assessment. There was no time and motion study which is required for a traffic control project. They do not have a social preparation component and they did not assess the economic impact of this project,” He added.

Santillana also explained that if one’s establishment will be damaged due to the project, the government will not have any compensation for it, “It is not only the property or the businesses that will be affected but also the quality and the viability of life of the project affected peoples.”

According to him, if one’s property or establishment will be affected by the road widening project, the government will not provide any compensation for it since the road right-of-way (RROW) of Lopez Avenue, according to DPWH was originally 20 meters.

However, he defended that they have their titles and legal documents to support their property ownership.

“We continue to object on the project. Hindi nila pwede galawin ang kinatatayuan naming, iyon lang. Ganun ka-simple iyon. It may come on a later date or an earlier date. It doesn’t matter. Our vigilance would be the same and our position will remain ever stronger,” Santillana concluded.

Furthermore, Janos S. Lapiz, chairman of Barangay Batong Malake, Los Banos also expressed his stand on the project.

Lapiz explained that Lopez Avenue is part of the Mt. Makiling Park Road and that by law, the maintenance and repair of a national road is under the DPWH and not the Local Government Unit (LGU). The DPWH are the ones responsible for the funds, design, and centralization of the project

“We have requested DPWH to postpone the project until the plans are clear but have already passed a Sangguniang Bayan resolution last Monday requesting them to realign the funds for the rehabilitation of drainage systems and sidewalks,” Lapiz said

As stated by Lapiz, the project has an allocated fund of Php24M and that the target start of the road widening is on March 4.

The LGU and the DPWH are still discussing matters with regards to the request of fund diversion. [P]

PNP barricades entrances to F-Park

by VICENTE MORANO III

UPLB, Laguna — Forces from the Philippine National Police (PNP) formed barricades at several entry points going to the Freedom Park, preventing students from accessing their dormitories and the Student Union Building (SU).

One of the barricades was positioned on the Palma Bridge at around 3:00 p.m. The barricade, which was supposed to only last for thirty minutes, blocked the way of around 100-200 university constituents.

Together with the PNP, officers from the University Police Force (UPF) and Community Support Brigade (CSB) guarded the bridge. The students exclaimed their clamour, saying that they just want to pass by the bridge to go to their dormitories or transact at the Student Loan Board (SLB) located at the SU. Members of the CSB and UPF denied the request as an “activity” was happening at the Freedom Park.

The Perspective inquired as to why the students were disallowed to enter the premises to which one officer replied, “Antayin nyo na lang mamaya. Thirty minutes lang naman ‘to.” (Just wait for it later. This [barricade] will be for 30 minutes only.)

Prof. Genaro Cuaresma, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, who arrived at the barricade around 45 minutes later, said nothing about it.

At 4:00 p.m., the University Student Council (USC) through Yvann Zuñiga, was able to convince the forces to allow the students pass through the barricade. It was with a condition that the students submit through security inspection.

Zuñiga expressed his dismay with what happened. He said that the OVCCA considers all the people in and around the campus a security risk.

He also said that the barricades around the campus were not coordinated to the student institutions.

“Actually, this is different from the protocol of the last administration, ‘yung panahon ni Chancellor Cruz, whenever there is a police presence inside the campus, even ‘yung rerouting of the jeepneys ay kino-coordinate with the student councils so that they can inform and voice out for the students if ever nakakaabala ang mga ito. Ngayon, wala talaga.

The Perspective conducted a prior data gathering from the Office of the Chancellor and the OVCCA. Both offices refused to answer questions regarding the activity as it was deemed confidential.

Later today, it was confirmed that a helicopter landed at the university carrying the Japanese Emperor and Empress. Reasons for why they went to the university has not yet been confirmed as of press time. [P]

“Walang pagbabago sa ilalim ni Aquino!”; ST citizens march to PNoy’s residence

BY PAUL CARSON

 

Militant groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST) trail blazed series of protest actions criticizing President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III as he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

Presenting slogans such as “Walang pagbabago sa ilalim ni Aquino (No change under Aquino’s administration)” the protesters marched from Mabuhay Rotonda to Aquino’s former residence at Times Street in Quezon City last July 21.

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