Saturday, May 12, 2012

Robredo: No surge In Kidnap

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo yesterday said there is no upsurge in kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) incidents this year. "From January to date, the anti-kidnapping group (AKG) recorded only two authentic KFR incidents in Luzon, which is the same number compared with that of identical period last year," he said. In Mindanao, the four KFR incidents since January are fewer than the nine recorded in the same period last year. Meanwhile in Visayas, no KFR incident was reported this year. (Czarina Nicole O. Ong) 'More Fun'on Nat Geo This June the National Geographic (NatGeo) channel puts the spotlight on the Philippines with a six-part locally produced travel documentary titled "Islands Insider." The documentary is part of the Department of Tourism's (DoT) international "It's More Fun in the Philippines" campaign. The six-episode documentary will showcase six distinct cultural travel destinations in the Philippines: Batad Rice Terraces, Taal and Anilao in Batangas, Coron, Siquijor and Mt. Pulag in Benguet. (Jacky Lynne A. Oiga) Qur'an Contest Filipinos experts on Islam's Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah (Traditions) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) are invited to join an international contest conducted by the Al-Azhar Al-Sharif's Islamic Research Academy (IRA) in Nasr City, Egypt. Interested participants can coordinate with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) with the submission of their entries detailing scientific facts mentioned in the Quar'an and Sunnah. Deadline for the submission of entries is May 2012. Al-Azhar Al-Sharif's Islamic Research Academy is holding the "International Competition for Miracles of the Holy Qur'an and the Purified Prophetic Sunnah in the Field of Environmental Science." (Edd K. Usman) Mike's Back Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo presented himself to the Sandiganbayan yesterday in compliance with a court directive that allowed him to travel to Japan and Hong Kong. The Sandigan had approved his one-week trip to Japan and Hong Kong on a R90,000 travel bond and a directive to report to the court immediately upon his return on schedule. Mr. Arroyo is facing graft charge over alleged kickbacks stemming from the overpriced $330-million national broadband network deal with China's ZTE Corp. Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former Commission of Election chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. and former Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza are co-respondents in the case. (Shianee Mamanglu) Darwin Initiative The Philippines is one of three recipients in the South East Asia region of the Darwin Initiative, a grant by the UK government to assist countries that are rich in biodiversity but lacking in financial resources to safeguard the environment. Since its launch at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the Darwin Initiative has committed £88 million (approximately $143 million) to 762 projects in over 150 countries. Recently, UK Environment Minister Richard Benyon announced £8.5m (about $13.8 million) of funding for 33 new Darwin projects. (Roy C. Mabasa)