MERGE Toboso Mayor Richard Jaojoco, Escalante Mayor Melecio Yap, movie actor Robin Padilla, Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, Col. Romeo Balero and Ka Joros (l-r) linked arms as a sign unity, with 2,510 ex-rebels and their former supporters who pledged allegiance to the government during the Northern Negros Peace Summit in Escalante City.* (Gilbert Bayoran photo)


Gov’t forces apologize
for Escalante massacre
As 2,510 former NPA allies surrender
BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The commemoration yesterday of the Escalante massacre that took place 34 years ago and claimed the lives of 20 persons, took a twist as state security forces apologized for the mistakes of their former colleagues in the service.

At the same time, 2,510 former allies of the New People’s Army in northern and central Negros towns and cities surrendered and turned in 41 assorted firearms. This also highlighted the Northern Negros Peace Summit hosted by Mayor Melecio “Beboy” Yap that was held at a coliseum in Escalante City, in line with the marking of the Escalante massacre.

Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the newly-formed Joint Task Force Negros, yesterday described the activity as one of the milestones in achieving peace for today that turned the “Escalante massacre tragedy into a peace summit miracle”. moremoremore


Duterte takes aim at sugarmen
BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

“Do not blame government because this is a free market…We are a member of the World Trade Organization”, President Rodrigo Duterte told owners of sugar mills and plantations Thursday night.

As a member of the WTO, the Philippines can export to other countries and they can import to us, the president, said in his speech during the decommissioning of the Rebolusyonaryo ng Partidong Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara-Paduano Group at Camp General Macario B. Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz.

The president said the sugarcane industry was strong in the past because it was given preferential treatment by the United States through the US sugar quota, but now it is dead because sugar can be derived from other sources. moremoremore

 

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Escalante revisited
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Capitol recognizes 40
tourism stakeholders
BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA

Forty stakeholders in Negros Occidental were recognized for helping the provincial government in tourism promotion and development.

Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, yesterday led the Tourism Excellence Awards at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City.

She said the Department of Tourism had been looking at the provincial government for its contributions in the national and regional tourism goals.