Philippine boy eaten by crocodile in latest attack

Government spokesman said they have had crocodile attacks every year since 2015. (File/AFP)
Updated 14 August 2019

Philippine boy eaten by crocodile in latest attack

  • A fisherman found the remnants of the boy’s body in a mangrove swamp
  • The saltwater crocodile can grow up to six meters and long and weight up to a ton

MANILA: A boy was killed after being snatched from a boat by a saltwater crocodile in the southern Philippines, as the reptiles’ shrinking habitat leads to repeated attacks, authorities said Wednesday.
The 10-year-old was on board with his two older siblings near the town of Balabac, which is notorious for confrontations with the massive creatures, when he was yanked into the water.
His father failed to find the boy after an overnight search, but a fisherman discovered the child’s half-eaten remains late Monday in a mangrove swamp, a police report said.
The Philippines’ booming development and population have steadily invaded the creatures’ habitat, forcing them into ever-smaller stretches of swamp.
Humans and crocodiles sharing the same space has resulted in multiple run-ins, in which people have been killed or mangled by the animals.
“Since 2015, we’ve never had a year with zero (crocodile) attacks” in Balabac, said Jovic Pabello, spokesman for a government council that works to conserve the environment of the Palawan island group that includes Balabac.
“It’s a conflict on water use,” he added.
Also called the estuarine crocodile, the saltwater is one of the world’s largest reptiles, growing to up to six meters long and weighing up to a ton.
In February a crocodile grabbed a 12-year-old boy as he swam at a Balabac river, but he escaped when his siblings hit the reptile’s head with oars until it let him go, Pabello said.
A Balabac crab fisherman was killed and half-eaten by a saltwater crocodile in February last year, police said, three months after his 12-year-old niece was dragged away by a crocodile in late 2017.
The girl was never seen again.
The Palawan island group, often called the Philippines’ “last frontier” is home to a remarkable diversity of flora and fauna, but is threatened by unchecked development.


Indonesia’s Indrawati to stay on as finance minister

Updated 22 October 2019

Indonesia’s Indrawati to stay on as finance minister

  • Widodo has since Monday tapped more than a dozen candidates for ministerial posts
  • Indrawati, a former managing director of the World Bank, has been finance minister in Southeast Asia’s largest economy since 2016

JAKARTA: Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Tuesday she had been asked by President Joko Widodo to stay on in her post as his new cabinet takes shape for a second five-year term in office.

Widodo has since Monday tapped more than a dozen candidates for ministerial posts, including his presidential election rival Prabowo Subianto, who looks set to be defense minister.

The candidates — all wearing white shirts — have come to the presidential palace to be interviewed by Widodo, with most declining to confirm the positions offered ahead of an official announcement expected on Wednesday.

After meeting Widodo, Indrawati said she had agreed to stay on as finance minister and to ensure policies supported the president’s priorities such as improving human resources, creating jobs and executing government budgets well.

“Indonesia I think is facing a very dynamic and uncertain global economy and an economic slowdown that is pressuring the whole world,” Indrawati said.

“Therefore, a continued policy is needed in order to be able to guard our economy from the challenge of this global slowdown,” she said, noting she also discussed ways to narrow Indonesia’s current account and trade deficits.

Indrawati, a former managing director of the World Bank, has been finance minister in Southeast Asia’s largest economy since 2016, spearheading tax reform efforts, seeking to capitalize on a tax amnesty program in 2016-2017. She is now one of the longest serving finance ministers in Indonesia, having also held the post in the previous administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“Sri Mulyani is seen as a key architect behind the fiscal discipline in recent years and many wish for her continued leadership in driving deeper fiscal reforms,” Bank of America wrote in a note.

The make-up of the cabinet is being closely watched to see how many technocrats — who are more likely to fall in with Widodo’s plans for boosting growth and investment — were included.

Other ministerial candidates who came to the palace on Tuesday included Basuki Hadimuljono, who is credited with driving infrastructure projects as public works minister in Widodo’s first term, and Siti Nurbaya Bakar, environment minister in the first term.

On Monday, Nadiem Makarim, the chief executive of tech startup Gojek and media tycoon Erick Thohir, a former chairman of Italian soccer club Inter Milan, were among those confirming they had been asked to join the cabinet.

Speaking to media ahead of his inauguration on Sunday, Widodo said around 16 ministers in the new cabinet would come from political parties out of an anticipated 34 posts.