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  1. GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Islands (MindaNews/08 January) – A Spanish national suspected of selling cocaine was killed in a reported shootout in this surfing capital on Wednesday dawn. Police identified the suspect as Diego Lafuente. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Capt. Wise Vicente Panuelos, chief of police of General Luna Police Station together with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Caraga and Regional Mobile Force Battalion-Caraga launched a buy-bust operation against Lafuente early Wednesday at his residence in Poblacion 3. “Right after the exchange of money and cocaine, he noticed men approaching him and he drew his .45 caliber gun and start shooting us,” Panuelos told MindaNews in an interview. He said they rushed the suspect to the Siargao Island District Hospital for treatment but he was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician. Panuelos said their poseur buyer got 10 grams of suspected cocaine from the suspect. He said Lafuente also operated La Santa, a party house and apparel shop, Mam-on, an apparel shop, and White House, an accommodation business, all located in General Luna. He said they recovered another 15 grams of suspected cocaine from the suspect after the shootout. He said the substances were submitted to the crime laboratory while the suspect’s body was brought to the funeral home in Dapa town. Col. Adolph Almedra, Surigao del Norte police provincial director tagged Lafuente as the number 1 drug personality in the region. “We are very grateful to the people of General Luna for the successful operation because of their vigilance,” Almedra said on Wednesday. Sometime in February last year, around 40 blocks of cocaine were found beached in San Isidro town in Siargao Islands. Earlier, cocaine worth half a billion pesos was also found off neighboring Dinagat Island. https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/01/09/spanish-national-dies-in-drug-buy-bust-shootout-in-siargao-island/
  2. http://www.sailfishbaysurfandfishing.com/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sailfishbay-surf-and-fishing-siargao-island/289806934409058
  3. JABOY, Pilar, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/30 September) – Some residents fish in Paghungawan Marsh in this barangay, but Philippine freshwater crocodiles also hunt for food in the same environs, setting off a competition that appears to have put the endangered predators at a disadvantage. Thirty-six year-old crocodiles, comprising 30 females and six males which were bred in captivity, were freed in the marshland on March 22 last year. The crocodiles belong to the species Crocodylus mindorensis, considered one of the most threatened in the world. But at least two of those crocodiles died either in January or February this year after they got entangled in a fisherman’s net, village chair Narda E. Trego said. She added the marsh had plenty of water at the time since it was rainy season. During the rainy season Paghungawan Marsh would have at least 600 hectares covered with water. Its area would shrink to around 120 hectares in the dry season. Trego said a few villages still fish in the marsh, but they have regulated fishing activities through a barangay ordinance passed in August last year that bans the use of nets, tubli (poison) and big hooks. “We are implementing our barangay ordinance because this reptile is rare and endangered and it’s protected by law,” she said. She said some people in their village still could not understand the importance of the crocodiles, and they would get angry whenever they are told not to do fishing. She said the crocodiles now now have a better habitat in this village. “It was just unfortunate that two were killed, but we hope that it will never happen again,” she added. A resident who requested anonymity said only around 20 of the reptiles were left in the marsh due to fishing. Bred in captivity The 36 crocodiles were bred at Pagasa Farms in Kapalong, Davao del Norte from the offspring of the stock loaned to it by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. They were released in the marsh by the DENR, National Museum and Crocodylus Porosus Philippines Inc., which operates Pagasa Farms. Crocodylus mindorensis enjoys legal protection under Republic Act 9147, the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, and other Philippine laws, according to the DENR. It is also protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. These reptiles shy away from humans and so don’t pose danger to residents. According to Wikipedia, this Philippine crocodile is a relatively small, freshwater crocodile. They have a relatively broad snout and thick bony plates on its back (heavy dorsal armor). This is a fairly small species, reaching breeding maturity at 1.5 m (4.9 ft) and 15 kg (33 lb) in both sexes and a maximum size of approximately 3.1 m (10 ft). Females are slightly smaller than males. Philippine crocodiles are golden-brown in color, which darkens as it matures. Crocodile watching Trego said a local organization called Jaboy Ecotourism Conservation Organization (JICO) helps protect the crocodiles. JICO treasurer Nelia Salavaloza said the presence of the crocodiles in their marshland has turned their village into a tourism site. “We offer crocodile watching at night in the marshland and boating during the day at a very affordable price,” Salvaloza said. This attraction started in August this year. For P400 pesos, two persons can enjoy a 30-minute ride and crocodile watching. Salavaloza said some foreigners who had tried the crocodile watching at night were amazed by the crocodiles. She told some villagers to refrain from fishing saying they would still benefit from the visiting tourists in their area. “We allow everyone from this village to tour visitors in the marshland,” she added. Read morehttp://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2014/09/30/crocs-humans-compete-for-food-in-siargaos-paghungawan-marsh/
  4. Preparations are underway in Siargao Island to facilitate the influx of an estimated 8,000 visitors who will witness the Philippines’ first and longest running international sporting event—the Siargao International Surfing Cup—as it celebrates its 20th year. “This year, the Siargao International Surfing Cup got even bigger after the surfing world’s governing body, the Association of Surfing Professional (ASP) made the competition one of its sanctioned event. The event got a one-star ranking, it is a lower rank but at least we are part of the world circuit. Surfers competing in the world circuit will get the much needed points as they participate in our event here,” said Gerry Degan, Siargao Surfing Cup contest director. Degan who has been the contest director for the past 15 years explained the significance of having the ASP sanction the event. “The ASP sanction means that more world-class surfers who are participating in the world circuit would come here and participate. Last year, we had the Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) to give us a 6-star surfing ranking, making the Siargao Surfing Cup one of the qualifying stops for the Asian Circuit. This year, it would be both ASP and ASC, so we are expecting around 64 international surfers to come and compete,” said Degan. Donna Grace Estrella, Siargao Tourism Coordinator expressed her optimism for the upcoming event. “After 20 years, this will be the biggest surfing competition here in General Luna, Siargao Island and more international surfers from all over the world will experience why Cloud 9 is considered one of the best surfing spots in the international surfing scene,” said Estrella. The island’s tourism coordinator pointed out that they are already expecting a huge number of tourist arrivals who want to witness the event. “Right now we are expecting around 5,000 to 8,000 people to arrive to witness the event. Preparations are now underway to accommodate the number of people expected to come. As of the moment, Siargao has around 70 small resorts and additional rooms from homestay amenities, we are also expecting other resorts that are undergoing construction to open up more additional rooms for visitors,” she said. According to a statement published on a website from Surfer Village, Dane Jordan, ASP Australasia General Manager, is proud to be continuing the ASP’s vision of putting the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves even at a Qualifying Series level. This year the event will offer an ASP 1-Star rating. “I’ve been lucky enough to see Cloud 9 first hand and it truly is one of the world’s best waves,” Jordan said. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make these events happen so I’d like to thank the people of the Philippines and everyone who’s involved. I’m really looking forward to this historic event.”... http://www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle/8000-people-expected-to-attend-the-20th-siargao-international-surfing-cup-septSiargao,-24-29
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