Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Floods, landslides kill 5 in 2 provinces

COTABATO CITY – Heavy rains continue to pound villages in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur, bringing floods and landslides that have killed at least five people and displaced hundreds of residents.

North Cotabato Gov. Jesus Sacdalan said rescuers in President Roxas town had retrieved the bodies of three victims who died during Monday night’s flooding there.

He did not identify the victims.

Sacdalan said search and rescue teams were still trying to locate another person missing in the floods.

One person also disappeared in Magpet town at the height of the floods, he said.

“We are still assessing if there are other missing persons in neighboring towns,” Sacdalan said, adding that in Kabacan town, the Kabacan River also overflowed.

In Compostela Valley, a father and his son were killed when a landslide buried their house in the mining village of Napnapan in Pantukan town on Sunday evening, Insp. Werenfredo Regidor Jr., the town police chief, told the Inquirer by phone.

Regidor said the victims were asleep when mud and boulders fell on their house past 11 p.m.

He said the bodies of the victims were pulled out of the debris by residents and village officials of Sitio Diat Uno before noon on Monday.

Senior Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, Compostela Valley police director, identified the fatalities as Junjun and Gonggong Mantog, of Barangay Casoon in Monkayo town.

Police said the victims were engaged in small-scale mining and were temporarily living in the area.

“Days of heavy rains have loosened the soil in the area causing the tragedy,” he said.

Landslides and cave-ins are common in most mining areas in Compostela Valley where unregulated and destructive mining methods have resulted in unstable soil.

Last November, three small-scale miners also died in a rock fall in an illegal mining site in Sitio Bango in Barangay Ngan, Compostela town.

In Davao del Sur, more than 2,000 families were displaced when flash floods swept through five towns early Tuesday.

Roderick Milana, action officer of the provincial disaster coordinating council, said in Malalag town alone, at least 1,822 families fled their homes due to the floods.

Terry Hania, a rice trader of the town, said the raging waters swept away her store.

Milana said in Matanao town, 27 families were displaced when the swollen river there inundated Sitio Lumbang in Barangay Manga.

Classes were also suspended in Hagonoy Central Elementary School and in Sulop National High School due to rising water levels, he said.

Milana said they were still assessing the damage brought by the floods that also hit Sta. Maria and Hagonoy towns. (Frinston Lim, Jeoffrey Maitem, Orlando Dinoy and Eldie Aguirre)

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