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December 4-6, 2019 Volume 29 - No. 93 • 2 Sections - 16 Pages

Duterte admits: ‘I’m not in pink of health’ by CATHERINE


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has admitted that he is not in the “pink of health,” but is still fit to fulfill his duties as the country’s leader. In a television interview on Friday, November 29, the 74-yearold Duterte said it was only normal for his age to not be in the best of health. “Health is deteriorating. Every time you ask [about] it, there’s additional affliction… I said every time people, media and all, every


sa katawan (I have so many ailments),” he said. But Duterte assured Filipinos that there was nothing to worry about regarding his health condition. He said the Constitution does not require him to release a medical bulletin despite his ailments. “No. The Constitution does not require me. Look at me. I look pale. I’m sure you have noticed that. I might. My eyes are jaundiced. They’re yellow. They are,” CHRISTMAS AT THE PALACE. President Rodrigo Duterte shares a light moment with Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Senator Duterte added. “For purposes of performing Christopher “Bong” Go, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles after leading the Christmas

time you ask what is the disease eating my body, I only have one [then], colon cancer, then may nagtanong, nagkaroon na ako ng (somebody asked, I contracted) liver cancer. Then another one, nagtanong ulit, nagkaroon ako ng (somebody also asked me and I got) kidney cancer, ngayon nagtanong ka na (now you ask me, I have) brain cancer,” Duterte told CNN Philippines. “Seventy four years old. Huwag mo akong tanungin (I’m already 74 years old. Don’t ask me) if I am in the pink of health. I am not. Meron akong mga ano


Tree lighting of the Office of the President at the Malacañang Palace on Monday, December 2. Malacañang photo by Ace Morandante

Typhoon Tisoy leaves trail of destruction





Outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce THE Center for Disease Control (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California, growing region. The CDC advises that consumers not eat and retailers not sell any romaine lettuce grown in this growing region. This includes all use-by dates and brands of romaine lettuce from this region. This advice includes all types of romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California, such as whole heads of romaine, organic romaine, hearts of romaine, romaine in salad wraps, and packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes which contain romaine, including baby

Evacuees return to their residences in Barangay Kilicao in Daraga to check their houses after the rage of typhoon Tisoy. photo by George Gio Brondial

Duterte hopes successor won’t neglect drug issue by RITCHEL


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, November 30, said he is hoping his successor will not forget about the country’s drug problem, which he described as the “everyday fight of Filipinos.” “Two more years I can get out. Maybe we can look at this drug problem,” he said duru PAGE A4 ing the 156th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio in Caloocan. “I just hope that my successor — perhaps he does not want a really strong reaction, maybe you can temper it a little — but he should not forget about drugs. Drugs is destroying our country,” he added. According to Duterte, people are being lured by drug lords to use narcotics

US authorities probe death of Filipina in Colorado; husband arrested

A 27-year-old Bacoleña, who was an alleged victim of domestic violence, died in Fort Lupton, Colorado. The victim was identified as Russcel Recelistino, a human resource management graduate of La Consolacion College in Bacolod City. Recelistino’s husband, Joseph Garza, was taken into police custody. “On Nov. 27, 2019 at approximately 7:30 a.m., officers from the Fort Lupton Police Department, Fort Lupton Fire District and Banner Health Ambulance staff responded to an address in the 1200 block of 3rd Street in response to a medical call on an unresponsive person. Upon arrival officers found an unresponsive adult female. She was transported to the Northern Colorado Medical Center where she later died,” a police press release said. “The cause of death is under investigation,” it added. The victim’s mother Cely Recelistino, a former Negros Occidental provincial government cashier, said she learned about her daughter’s death from her employer at the Wholly Strom-


TYPHOON Tisoy left a trail of destruction across the Philippines on Tuesday, December 3, bringing heavy rains and prompting preemptive halts in air travel, schools and government offices, with some 200,000 people evacuated after warnings of floods and landslides. Tisoy (international name Kammuri) also left three people dead, according to local officials in the Bicol region and Oriental Mindoro, which were the most battered areas directly in the path of the typhoon. Tisoy blew into Gubat town in Sorsogon before midnight Monday, December 2, and

then barreled westward through San Pascual, Burias Island, Masbate, in Torrijos, Marinduque and in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, ripping off roofs, knocking out power and flooding low-lying villages. Flooded roads, toppled electric posts and uprooted trees were all over the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon as well as in the island province of Catanduanes. Tisoy made four landfalls in less than 24 hours, causing it to slightly weaken as it traversed other parts of Southern Luzon. Tisoy also brought heavy rains and gusty winds in Metro Manila before noon Tuesday, as it passed over Mindoro province, prompting Malacañang to suspend afternoon work


every day. “The problem is there are plenty of them every day recruiting, because those affected by drugs will look for a victim to support his habit... Maybe his own wife or his children will contaminate him to support his own. When the monkey rides on the back, then he has to have the fix,” he said. “We are being punished. We are being imposed and beaten by drugs and it’s not our fault. Drug lords and then the young and all... It is an everyday occurrence and it is an everyday fight for the Filipino,” he added. More than 6,000 drug suspects have lost their lives since Duterte waged his war against illegal drugs in 2016, drawing concern and criticism from human rights ad- Wushu star Agatha Wong became the first Pinoy athlete to win two individual gold medals in


the 30th Southeast Asian Games. photo by Efigenio Toledo IV

Ampatuan massacre verdict out on Dec 19 – judge PH athletes grab 41 gold medals, by FRANZ LEWIN


THE long-awaited promulgation of the decision on the Ampatuan massacre case will be out on December 19, the judge handling the case said. In a notice issued by Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes, the verdict will be read at the Quezon City Jail Annex at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City at 9 a.m. The judge will release the decision after 10 years of trial. In late November, Reyes asked for a 30-day extension to promulgate the decision, citing the sheer volume of case records, which the Supreme Court granted and gave A makeshift shrine at Mendiola in Manila pays tribute to the 58 people, including 32 journalists, who were killed in the Maguindanao massacre on her until December 20.

surpassing past SEAG record by RITCHEL


FILIPINO athletes continue to bring pride to the country as they make amazing feats in their respective sporting events in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. As of Tuesday, December 3, 2:34 p.m., the host Philippines has bagged a total of 41 gold medals, surpassing its 24 golden haul in the 2017 edition of the regional sports meet. The country also acquired 26 silver medals and 15 bronze for a total of 82 medals. Team Philippines’ gold medalNov. 23, 2009. The case heard at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court is ists include Olympic silver and u PAGE A3 set for judgment on Dec. 10. photo by Marianne Bermudez Asian Games gold medalist Hidi-

lyn Diaz who finally secured her first gold medal in the women’s 55kg weightlifting event in the biennial meet. Gilas Pilipinas men’s and women’s teams both had a perfect sweep of the 3x3 basketball tournament in the event. Lea Denise Belgira and John Derrick Farr, meanwhile, won the gold medal in the women’s and men’s downhill mountain bike. The arnis team won seven of the eight available golds for the padded stick competition thanks to Jesfer Huquire (men’s bantamweight), Elmer Manlapas (men’s featherweight), Carloyd Tejada (men’s welterweight), Sheena del


A December 4-6, 2019 • Socal ASIAN JOUrNAL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

From the Front Page US authorities probe death of Filipina in Colorado... PAGE A1

boli restaurant in Fort Lupton. She said it was not clear yet how her daughter died. Cely said her daughter and her husband lived with his parents in Fort Lupton. At the time that she was found unresponsive, only her husband was at home with her. Recelistino’s remains will be

subjected to an autopsy and a hearing is set within the week. “Her employer assured me that he will attend the hearing and assist us in seeking justice,” Cely said. She said Recelistino’s husband was a very jealous man. “He would check her phone and social media account. My daugh-

ter complained she was not free. Her husband was jealous even of the people she worked with at the restaurant, but she was not doing anything wrong,” Cely said. Recelistino went to the United States for an on-the-job training in Minnesota in 2015 and later moved to Colorado where she met her husband. She was waiting for her green card but she could no longer stand her life with her husband and planned to return to the Philippines in January after she got her state tax refund, her mother said. Cely said her daughter went to the United States because she wanted to help her family in the Philippines. Recelistino’s father Russ who used to work at the laboratory of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian of Negros Occidental, was diagnosed with fourth stage cancer and died in April 2019. Cely said the last time she spoke to her daughter was on November 26 and “she told me she was okay.” However, Cely said when she called again she could no longer reach her, and that was when they got in touch with her employer. (Carla Gomez/Inquirer. net)

SEA GAMES 2019. Filipino athletes make their entrance as they join the parade during the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on Saturday, November 30. Malacañang photo by Rey Baniquet

Duterte admits: ‘I’m not in pink...

PAGE A1 my functions as president, I am alright. As a matter of fact, I am going to ride a motor[cycle] after this,” he said. The Philippine Constitution mandates that the public must be informed of the state of the president’s health in case he has any serious illness. Duterte had cut short his visit to Japan this year and returned PAGE A1 to Manila after he complained Monte (women’s bantamweight), of “unbearable pain in his spinal Jedah Mae Soriano (women’s column” caused by a prior mofeatherweight), Ross Ashley torcycle accident. Monville (women’s lightweight), He was diagnosed with musand Abegail Abad (women’s welcle spasms after he underwent terweight). a magnetic resonance imaging The country also dominated in and medical evaluation. triathlon with Kim Mangrobang, The Palace earlier said the Clare Adorna, John Chicano, and Fernando Caseres winning a gold medal in the mixed team relay. Other athletes who added to the Philippines’ golden haul are PAGE A1 Rodel Labayo and Angelo Mo- vocates who claim that the camrales (lawn ball pairs), Monica paign is endorsing extrajudicial Torres (duathlon), Edmar Tacuel killings and other abuses. (seti tinggal singles event), and Last year, communications Agatha Wong (taolu taijijian). seeking Duterte’s indictment The 2019 SEA Games officially for alleged extrajudicial killings kicked off with a grand opening have been filed before the Interceremony at the Philippine Are- national Criminal Court (ICC), the na on November 30 and will run world’s permanent war crimes until December 11, 2019. n court tackling cases that local tri-

PH athletes grab 41 gold medals...

president was advised by doctors to “rest for a couple of days and limit his physical activity, particularly avoiding standing or walking for long duration.” The president’s health has been the subject of much speculation, but the president has repeatedly downplayed such concerns. He was also seen last month wearing a personal wearable air purifier to protect himself from those who have coughs and colds. Duterte, the oldest elected Philippine president, earlier suffered from a slipped disc as a result of another motorcycle accident. He complained of spinal pain back in 2017.

Earlier this month, the president revealed he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease. Last year, the discoloration of Duterte’s face was once the subject of speculations. Then came a cancer scare. The president has also admitted to having Barrett’s esophagus condition, in which the esophagus changes, and Berguer’s disease, a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs. The Palace also has repeatedly assured the public that the president remained “transparent” about his health and would tell the nation if he was suffering any serious condition. n

Duterte hopes successor won’t neglect... bunals could not handle. Duterte, for his part, said that the ICC cannot prove that he was behind the killings. “You know, we have repudiated the International Criminal Court. And I said you cannot prosecute me for a thousand years,” he said Saturday. “There’s no such crime as extrajudicial killing. They will

individually count the dead and charge it to you. Let’s see,” he added. Duterte also said he was ready to debate with members of the ICC, hoping that he will be able to “show them how stupid they are.” “Do not be afraid of those cases. Mas bright ako sa kanila (I am brighter than them),” he said. n

After courts blocked public chArge rule –

What immigrants applying for green cards or visas need to know Last month, district courts blocked the Trump administration’s rule that attempted to deny green cards to immigrants who fail to meet tough income tests or use public programs. This victory for immigrants means that the rule that was supposed to take effect on October 15 will be stopped while the court battles proceed. It’s still important to understand how the rule might have affected those applying for green cards. While the policy change expands the public programs the government considers in deciding some immigrant applications, it won’t affect many immigrants living here. The public programs are limited to Medicaid, nutrition assistance (SNAP), and public housing (Section 8). Here are three steps to take to see how this policy change might affect you and your family if the courts eventually allow it to be implemented. 1 – Find out if you or your family members would be affected by the rule change. It doesn’t apply to those applying for citizenship, humanitarian migrants such as refugees and asylees, and those applying to renew their DACA. 2 – If your family is affected by the new rule, learn more about how participation in public programs might affect you before disenrolling. Using public benefits will not automatically make you a public charge – immigration

officials must look at your overall circumstances to decide whether you pass the test. They weigh positive factors, like having a job or health insurance, against negative factors, like using certain programs, English proficiency, or having a health condition. Remember that we all have a right to use certain programs, and they exist to make us healthier and our communities stronger. 3 – Speak out against these changes and advocate for inclusive policies in your community. Visit www. protectingimmigrantfamilies. org to learn more about how to fight back against this rule change, and find out whether your state or community is working on immigrantinclusive policies. There is power in using your voice to

make sure all our communities are healthy and thriving. Questions about your immigration status or use of public benefits? Consult a pro bono immigration attorney near you: www. nonprofit/legaldirectory. This advisory was sponsored by Protecting Immigrant Families, a national campaign to combat the Trump administration’s public charge rule. For more information: www. protectingimmigrantfamllies. org

(818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797 •




Foreign tourist arrivals in PH reach 6 million in September by JAYMEE


FOREIGN tourist arrivals have reached over 6 million for the first nine months of 2019, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Monday, December 2. DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said the agency recorded 6.16 million visitors from January to September this year,

which is 14.37 percent higher than the recorded foreign tourist arrivals in the same period in 2018. “We reached 6.16 million foreign visitors, this is a recordhigh for the first nine months of every year,” Bengzon said in an interview. From January to September last year, DOT recorded 4.95 million tourists.

This number is right on track with DOT’s target for 2019 pegged at 8.2 million tourist arrivals, said Bengzon. “The 6.16 [million] represents a growth rate of 14.37 percent so almost invariably the next question is are we on track? With the 8.2 million [target], if you look at the 14.37 percent growth, yes do have a striking distance,” Bengzon said. ■

Mangudadatu was challenging then-Mayor Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr., member of one of Mindanao’s leading Muslim political clans, in the 2010 gubernatorial polls. Andal Jr. and Zaldy Ampatuan are still in jail, while Sajid Ampatuan is out on bail and is currently the mayor of Shariff Saydona Mustapha town in Maguindanao. The father of the Ampatuans, Andal Sr., the alleged mastermind of the crime, died on July 17, 2015.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra thanked the court judge “for her patience and diligence” in handling the multiple-murder case. “We trust that she will dispense justice even-handedly and with utmost respect for the rule of law,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters. Private Prosecutor Nena Santos said they were confident of a “guilty verdict” at least for the principal accused, sons of the alleged mastermind Andal Sr. ■

Ampatuan massacre verdict out on... CHRISTMAS AT THE PALACE. The Christmas Tree of the Office of the President illuminates the Kalayaan Grounds after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led its ceremonial lighting at the Malacañan Palace on Monday, December 2. Malacañang photo by Rey Baniquet

Typhoon Tisoy leaves trail of... PAGE A1 in government offices. Metro Manila remained under signal No. 2 as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. The typhoon had maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 235 kph as it headed toward Mindoro and Lubang Island. Tisoy continued to weaken early evening Tuesday and was last spotted off the coast of Occidental Mindoro. As of 4 p.m., the eye of Tisoy was located at 110 kilometers northwest of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro or 135 km north of Coron, Palawan. It packed winds of 130 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 200 kph, moving west at 25 kph. State weather specialist Benison Estareja said “generally improving weather” is expected today in most area affected by Tisoy, including Metro Manila. “We can expect sunny periods in Metro Manila so we don’t recommend the cancellation of classes,” he said. Mauled Initial reports said a 59-year-old man died in Baco town in Mindoro after he was hit by a fallen tree. Another man died after he was hit by torn metal roof sheet in Pinamalayan town, according to Oriental Mindoro Gov. Humerito Dolor. Dolor said the victims were clearing their respective homes when they were hit. “It could have been more if there was no preemptive evacuation,” he said over dzMM. A 33-year-old man was electrocuted while fixing the roof of his house in Libmanan, Camarines

Sur, the regional Office of Civil Defense also reported. Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero said that while the province was “mauled” by Tisoy, the advanced disaster preparation paid off. Tisoy initially made landfall in Prieto Diaz and Gubat town in Sorsogon but left no casualty in the province, according to Escudero. Tisoy’s pounding rain and wind damaged the airport in Legazpi City in Albay, collapsing a portion of its ceiling, scattering chairs at the arrival and departure areas and shattering glass panes. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was closed during the storm’s peak, from midday to afternoon Tuesday, before Tisoy blew out to sea later in the day. Some 197 international and domestic flights were able to depart and arrive at the NAIA before officials implemented the 11 a.m. closure of the airport. Offiials warned of storm surges and prolonged heavy rain. More than 100,000 residents evacuated before the typhoon made landfall, abandoning homes in coastal and low-lying areas prone to flash floods and landslides, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said. As of Tuesday, a total of 57,918 families or 225,768 individuals were evacuated in the Bicol region, Eastern Visayas, Calabarzon and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan). Tisoy also forced the cancellation of sea travel, leaving 7,721 passengers, 1,506 rolling cargoes, 138 vessels and 66 motorbancas stranded in various ports in the

Visayas, Bicol, Calabarazon and Mimaropa regions. Initial reports said 29 transmission lines were damaged and affected by the typhoon in Southern Luzon, of which seven had been restored. The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said a total of 10 transmission lines in the Visayas were affected with five already restored. “There are also 13 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines unavailable, affecting transmission services in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon,” NGCP said. “Inspection and restoration of lines in the affected areas will be in full swing as soon as the weather allows,” it said. Tisoy also forced the suspension of classes over 708 cities and municipalities in Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol, Eastern and Western Visayas, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Caraga and Metro Manila. Work in government offices were also suspended since Monday over 10 provinces in Central Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Calabarzon and Mimaropa. A tennis match in the Southeast Asian Games was cancelled after rains drenched an outdoor court. Organizers said wind surfing competitions have also been postponed and other events would be delayed if needed for safety but there was no plan to extend the 11-day SEAG which opened Saturday, November 30. Tourists and residents were also advised to stay indoors in the


PAGE A1 The massacre happened on Nov. 23, 2009 in the town dominated by the Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao province in southern Mindanao, where 58 individuals — 32 of them journalists — were killed while on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu, then vice mayor of Buluan town, in the 2010 national elections. The other victims had also been kidnapped and killed, including Mangudadatu’s wife and his two sisters, lawyers and aides.

Dateline USa

A December 4-6, 2019 • Socal ASIAN JOUrNAL

Dateline PhiliPPines

Outbreak of E. coli infections linked to...

PAGE A1 romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad. Most romaine lettuce products are labeled with a harvest location showing where they were grown. Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine, which is voluntarily labeled as “indoor grown,” from any region does not appear to be related to the current outbreak. If you have romaine lettuce or packaged foods containing romaine at home: • Look for a label showing where the romaine lettuce was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker. • If the label says “grown in Salinas” (whether alone or with the name of another location), don’t eat it. Throw it away. • If it isn’t labeled with a growing region, don’t eat it. Throw it away. • If you don’t know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix or wrap contains romaine, don’t eat it. Throw it away.

• Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine lettuce was stored. If you are buying romaine lettuce at a store: • Look for a label showing where the romaine lettuce was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker. • If the label says “grown in Salinas” (whether alone or with the name of another location), don’t buy it. • If it isn’t labeled with a growing region, don’t buy it. • Restaurants and retailers should check the label on bags or boxes of romaine lettuce, or ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce. Look for a label showing where the romaine lettuce was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker. - If the label says “grown in Salinas” (whether alone or with the name of another location), don’t sell or serve it. - If it isn’t labeled with a growing region, don’t sell or serve it.

Typhoon Tisoy leaves trail of...

PAGE A3 island resort of Boracay in Aklan during the storm. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has ordered the suspension of all sea travel going to and from Boracay, oZambales, 25,000 participants of the 17th National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines were evacuated to higher ground. The participants were evacuated to several school buildings and covered courts in the towns of Botolan and Cabangan, officials said. The jamboree started last Sunday as Tisoy approached until it started to rain heavily Tuesday at campsite, forcing the evacuation of participants. Even President Duterte was not spared from the wrath of Tisoy. Duterte said he was unable to take the usual route of crossing Pasig River through his barge to Malacañang fr“Mahina, hindi pala kaya (It was risky, I cannot make it),” Duterte remarked as he apologized being late for his activities which included the ceremonial signing of the laws postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections and institutionalizing Malakasit Centers in governmentowned h Earlier in the day, Duterte suspended work at offices of the ex-

ecutive branch effective noon to allow them to go home early during the storm. Losses and gains The Department of Agriculture is estimating an initial P11.6 billion in losses for the farm sector in the Preliminary data from the DA’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Operations Center showed the P11.6 billion only covers the rice sector assuming that all hectarage in the affected areas will be damaged “This is under the assumption that 100 percent will not be recovered. But normally, around 60 to 80 percent wil be affected,” DA chief agriculturist Christopher Morales said. DA data showed the total areas at risk are 218,938 hectares for rice and 25,915 hectares for corn from all regions to be affected. However, crops at reproductive and maturing stage are the most vulnerable to strong winds and flooding with a total of 156,594 hectares for rice and 6,737 hectares for corn. In preparation for Tisoy, a total of 156,549 hectares of rice have been harvested early from Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas with an equivalent production of 610,541 metric tons amounting to nearly P12 billion.

Suppliers, distributors, and others in the supply chain should not ship or sell romaine harvested in Salinas, California. Take action if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection: • Talk to your healthcare provider. • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick. • Report your illness to your local health department. • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness. • Wash your hands thoroughly after changing diapers, using the toilet, and before and after preparing food to lower the chance of infecting others. A total of 67 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 19 states. Six people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. (With reports from

As for corn, 2,309 hectares have been harvested with total volume of 7,135 MT and equivalent value of P104.3 million. “This is because of the good coordination among institutions. If we did not issue bulletins and there was no quick response, then more than P11 billion could have gone down the drain,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said. As for water supply, officials said the heavy rains from Tisoy have increased the supply of Angat Dam in Bulacan, which provides 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water needs. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, the water level at Angat was 190.02 meters. PAGASA hydrologist Richard Orendain said Tisoy had dumped 220 millimeters of rain over the watershed which could raise its level to 197 meters, just 13 meters below its normal high water level of 210 meters. Orendain, however, said Angat’s level should be at least 212 meters before the end of the year to last until next year’s dry season. (With Jaime Laude, Emmanuel Tupas, Christina Mendez, Cet Dematera, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Ric Sapnu, Mayen Jaymalin, Jennifer Rendon, Ed Amoroso, Robertzon Ramirez, Sheila Crisostomo, Raymund Catindig, Danessa Rivera, Evelyn Macairan, Rudy Santos, Janvic Mateo) • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

Security officials validating reported Chinese airship in Mischief Reef — Palace by Patricia Lourdes


MANILA — Malacañang has deferred to comment on the reported sighting of a Chinese airship above Mischief or Panganiban Reef in the West Philippine Sea. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said security officials have yet to verify the report. “I will defer to the statement issued by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. That is again subject always to the National Security Adviser as well as the Department of National Defense secretary for validation,” Panelo told reporters on Monday, December 2. Panelo noted that Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. always issues a statement after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana comes up with a statement concerning national security. Israeli satellite company ImageSat International earlier tweeted a photo of a Chinese aerostat hovering above Mischief Reef, one of Beijing’s artificial islands in the Spratly Islands. “For the first time, #China’s

Satellite image dated November 19 shows China’s aerostat above Mischief or Panganiban Reef in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Contributed photo

aerostat, probably for #military #intelligence-gathering purposes, seen by #ISI at #Mischief Reef,” ISI tweeted November 24. The satellite image was taken November 19, becoming the first indication of an operational aerostat on the reef. The airship would allow China to conduct continuous situational awareness in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

Mischief Reef is well within the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and is part of the country’s continental shelf. In July 2016, a United Nations-backed tribunal ruled that China violated the Philippines exercise of sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea. China, however, refuses to acknowledge the landmark ruling. n

De Lima files bill empowering disability council on int’l day of PWDs by Franco Luna

MANILA — Coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Sen. Leila de Lima announced in a statement on Tuesday, December 3, that she filed a Senate bill looking to empower the National Council for Disability Affairs by giving it institutional capacities. De Lima said that her vision in filing Senate Bill 188 was for the NCDA to “be the lead policymaking, planning, monitoring, and coordinating body that will develop, formulate and implement programs for the prevention and rehabilitation of disabilities.” “There will never be an acceptable excuse or reason for PWDs to be neglected, abused or sidelined,” De Lima said. “As we strive [to increase] public awareness in every aspect of PWDs’ political, social, economic and cultural life, so too do we want to provide them with equal protection under the law, enhance their capabilities and provide better opportunities to improve their plight.” Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri in August also filed a similar measure in the form of Senate Bill 108 which sought to convert the NCDA into a commission. This, too, would institutionalize the agency’s mandate and afford it data collection, needs identification and policy formulation capabilities. In an earlier interview with, Association of Empowered PWDs Philippines, Inc. President Daniel Evangelista, who is a PWD himself, said that disability legislation in the Philippines was still very much lacking on many fronts.

Sen. Leila de Lima photo

The below-knee amputee said that for the over 700 members of his San Pedro, Laguna-based organization of 14 barangay chapters, the biggest challenge for the disabled was still mobility. “Mga disability laws namin, magaganda. Ang kulang is the execution at implementation. Hindi talaga ini-implement ng local executives natin,” he said. “Ang DILG, ayun, tinutulungan nila kami, pero hindi nila kaya as one agency lang. Very lax ang aming mga LGU. Walang ngipin ang mga laws natin para sa mga disabled (Our disability laws are very good, but what is lacking is execution and implementation. They really aren’t implemented by our local executives. The DILG helps us, but they can’t do it as one agency. Our LGU is very lax. Our laws for the disabled have no teeth).” Evangelista also added that having one uniform agency to course PWD concerns would make all the difference. “There must be one agency na pwedeng pagreklamuhan. Eh wala tayo eh, politics talaga, yun

ang umiiral (There must be one agency that we could complain to. But that’s the way it is, politics still prevail).” ‘Fake PWDs’ Most recently, Reps. Eric Go Yap (ACT-CIS Party-list) and Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan Party-list) in October called for a probe into what they said was the abuse of PWD card privileges. The two encouraged restaurant employees to take pictures of suspected fake PWDs, saying they would defend them if they were sanctioned. PWD groups told that they found this statement unfair because it baselessly put the responsibility of proving one’s disability on legitimate PWDs despite already being legally recognized as such by the very card being disputed. The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an international observance promoted by the United Nations to be celebrated every December 3 since 1992. “Malinaw sa akin: Hindi awa ang kailangan nila, kundi ang malalim na pag-unawa sa kanilang sitwasyon, kapansanan, at mga hamong pinagdadaanan,” De Lima said in her statement. “Kailangan nila ng kaagapay mula sa ating lahat, ang patas nating pagtingin at paggabay para makamit nila ang normal at marangal na pamumuhay (It is clear to me that sympathy is not what they need but rather a deep understanding of their situations, disabilities, and challenges that they face. They need support from all of us and an equal approach and guidance for them to achieve a normal and peaceful life).” n

DND boosts cybersecurity awareness by

demPsey reyes

THE Department of National Defense (DND) has enhanced its campaign to raise cybersecurity awareness as it held a conference for its personnel to educate them on relevant issues concerning the matter. Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna led the DND’s first annual cybersecurity awareness conference, dubbed as the “DND Cybercon,” at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Luna said the cyberspace and cybersecurity have been “at the forefront” of the DND’s priority list, citing the agency’s crafted National Defense Strategy which considered cyberspace as the “fourth dimension of warfare” and has been identified by their strategy as “one of the new defense mission areas.” He added that the conference aimed to focus on the human factor of cybersecurity “because the human factor in securing cyberspace could be the weakest link and also cybersecurity’s

strongest link, given the right direction and knowledge.” The conference cited the case of the 2016 cyberheist of the Bangladesh Bank, where hackers were able to steal $101 million by issuing fraudulent instructions. The Philippines got involved as part of the money was transferred to a branch of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. This incident underscored the vulnerabilities of establishments lacking effective cybersecurity measures. n

STORM SURGES POSSIBLE. Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) Deputy Administrator for Operations and Services, Dr. Landrico V. Dalida Jr. gives warning to people living near the coastal area that may be hit by Typhoon Tisoy during a press conference at PAGASA office in Quezon City on Sunday, December 1. Dalida called on the coastal residents to evacuate for possible storm surges and called on local disaster risk reduction and management officials to closely monitor the typhoon as some areas in Visayas and Luzon have been placed under Signal No. 1. PNA photo by Oliver Marquez

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P357-N Metro Manila Subway a ‘white elephant’– Recto Duterte threatens water firms with ‘economic sabotage’ charges by PAolo


by Alexis


MANILA — A furious President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, December 3, threatened to file charges against water concessionaires whom he accused of “screwing” Filipinos, saying the concession deals they signed with the government are “milking” Filipinos by the billions. Duterte said the concession contracts of Manila Water and Maynilad are disadvantageous to the public because they prohibit the government from adjusting water rates. He said the deals treated water not as a natural resource but as a commodity. “I will file economic sabotage (charges) and I will arrest them, all of them....I will let them experience how it’s like to go to jail. If they drag me, I will join them in prison. There’s no problem. I have nothing to lose,” the president said in a speech during the signing of two laws in Malacañang. “I am sorry, I’m ready to go but I won’t go out without a bang. I will expose the rich who made money at the expense of the nation,” he added. Economic sabotage The Revised Penal Code does not define the crime of economic sabotage although there are laws that classify certain acts as economic sabotage. RA 10845, which deals with agricultural smuggling and which was enacted in 2016, defines “any act or activity which undermines, weakens or renders into disrepute the economic system or viability of the country or tends to bring out such effects.” Economic sabotage is also mentioned in letters of instruction and presidential decrees by ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Among those laws are PD 173, which considers faking Land Transportation Office documents and plates as economic sabotage, LOI 1359 (hoarding and other crimes), PD 1689 (estafa or swindling) and PD 2018 (illegal recruitment). PD 1689 penalizes with life imprisonment “swindling (estafa) committed by a syn-

dicate consisting of five or more persons formed with the intention of carrying out the unlawful or illegal act, transaction, enterprise or scheme” if the fraud “results in the misappropriation of money contributed by stockholders, or members of rural banks, cooperative, “samahang nayon(s)”, or farmers association, or of funds solicited by corporations/associations from the general public.” ‘Lopsided’ agreement Duterte also vowed to run after officials who backed the contracts, which he described as “tagilid (lopsided).” “Why did the senators agree with that (contract)? I’ll expose them. I insist that they be tried for economic sabotage...Now is the time we talk seriously abouot the buying of cases,” the President said. “I will make them — their life hereon very, very, very miserable.” The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System was privatized in the late 1990s and, MWSS says on its website, “the responsibility to operate and improve waterworks system was passed on to the two private consortia in conformity to the Concession Agreement.” “This contractual agreement was entered into by the Republic of the Philippines through the MWSS, the Maynilad Water Services Inc. for the West Zone and the Manila Water Company, Inc. for the East Zone.” Duterte said he has ordered Solicitor General Jose Calida and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to draft a new contract that is “really favorable” to the public and to the government. “Give it to them. This is the amended contract. Accept it or nothing to it,” the president said. Duterte made the remarks days after a Singapore-based court ordered the Philippine government to pay P7.39 billion in compensation to Ayalaled Manila Water for the losses the company incurred from the rejected water rate increases since 2015. Manila Water has said it has “a right to indemnification for actual losses suffered by it

on account of the Republic’s breach of its obligation.” Duterte claimed Manila Water bagged the legal victory because the company is “part of the club” but did not elaborate. He said the Philippines lost the case because it interfered in the company’s application for rate hike. “We cannot raise or lower the rates. They are the only ones who can do it. Our water, we cannot control the price to which we collect — to deliver the water to the people,” he said. Duterte also accused water concessionaires of reneging on their obligation to provide water treatments. “With regard to water treatment, they’ve been colleciting for years to treat water before it flows to Manila Bay...but there is no treatment taking place, you animals. If you don’t do it, believe, me...I will show Filipinos how to slap millionaires,” he said. Duterte also lambasted opposition senator Franklin Drilon, who earlier told him to be cautious in reviewing government deals. Drilon, a former Justice secretary, has said no country or entity would sign deals with the Philippines if the sanctity of contracts is not respected. Drilon warned in April that “existing and binding contracts cannot simply be classified as onerous and cancelled,” saying there is a procedure within the contract if the government wants out. “Otherwise, no country or entity would enter into contracts with us because we cannot be trusted to honor our obligations,” Drilon also warned. “Senator Drilon, are you one of those who crafted the contract? I’m asking you,” Duterte said on Tuesday. “I am not scaring you. But if I fall, I would bring you with me.” Earlier this year, Duterte threatened to terminate the contracts of Manila Water and Maynilad because of water service interruptions that hounded parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province. He has also ordered his legal team to review all state contracts to determine which of them are disadvantageous to the government. n

MANILA — The P357-billion Metro Manila Subway is a white elephant in the making owing to distortions made to its original alignment that led to dangerous design changes, the bloating of its cost and uncertainty in funding for the entire mega project, a Senate leader said. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, who previously headed the National Economic and Development Authority, said he supports the subway project as a means to ease the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila, but some officials in the Department of Transportation (DOTr) reportedly altered the original project as drawn up by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). “It’s a good project if it’s properly planned. We don’t want it to be a white elephant. We want the people to benefit from it, not like the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Let’s not implement it if we’re not prepared to implement it,” Recto said. “We should not be reckless just to show we have a subway project, and to say we’re building it already. We may be able to start it, and it will take years and years (to complete), and we may still not able to use it and benefit from it,” he added. Senators earlier said the chamber would probe the project, whose cost was reportedly bloated by over P150 billion. Its stations and specifications were suspiciously altered for commercial interests that it would be traversing twice a major earthquake fault and flood prone areas, and plow through thousands of pri-

vate residences. Recto warned that the costs of a project of such magnitude would inevitably escalate over time as surveys and plans change when actual construction begins. He pointed out that the original JICA plan was a product of long and thorough studies and surveys costing billions of pesos, while the realignment apparently was decided only in a matter of weeks by DOTr functionaries. Recto also asked the DOTr to explain how the project would be paid, and how much would it cost to maintain it. Inevitably, all expenses would be shouldered by the people, he said. He said today, P6 billion in taxpayers’ money is being used to subsidize the MRT-3 since it started operations in 1999 because of problems that arose from poor planning. Recto said a project of such magnitude and cost “must be explained to the people’s representatives both in the House (of Representatives) and the Senate.” During the deliberations for the proposed DOTr budget last month, Recto and Sen. Panfilo Lacson asked the agency’s officials to make sure residents to be evicted because of the project must be paid first before the subway project starts as mandated under the Right-of-Way Act. The original plan was to have the subway run generally beneath EDSA as part of the JICA’s Mega Manila transportation master plan based on surveys and feasibility studies that cost billions of pesos. But the DOTr reportedly deviated from the original alignment, to include rerouting it to Katipunan in Quezon City, which increased its cost from the original P208 billion, and had

CABINET MEETING. President Rodrigo Duterte skims through a book presented by Solicitor General Jose Calida prior to the start of the 44th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañang Palace on Monday, December 2. Malacañang photo by Ace Morandante

the subway pass twice through a major earthquake fault and cross several flood zones. Transportation Undersecretary for rails Timothy Batan said the agency aims to first open three stations on Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue, Quezon City in 2022 after the JICA extended a P55-billion loan for them. n

LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (LACMTA) INVITATION FOR BID LACMTA will receive bids for C67051C1200 - Metro Transportation Library Relocation &Tenant Improvement at the 9th Floor Receptionist Desk, Vendor/Contract Management Department, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012. A Pre-Bid conference will be held on Thursday, December 12, 2019, 9:00 a.m., at One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Palisades: Room 0898. This project is a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Set-Aside contract. To participate in this IFB, bidders must be SBE certified with LACMTA prior to proposal due date. For information on the Set-Aside program, visit: All Bids must be submitted on forms furnished by LACMTA, and must be filed at the reception desk, 9th floor, V/CM Department, on or before 02:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at which time bids will be opened and publicly read. Bids received later than the above date and time will be rejected and returned to the bidder unopened. Each bid must be sealed and marked Bid No. C67051C1200. For a copy of the Proposal/ Bid specification visit our Solicitation Page on our Vendor Portal at or for further information email Diana Dai-Tsang at daitsangd@ 12/4/19 CNS-3317681# ASIAN JOURNAL (L.A.)



Communities make the difference • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797


TWO laws have been passed related to the spread of the AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus. The first one aims to prevent its further spread, and the latest one promotes the welfare of persons living with HIV and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. In the past decades, awareness of HIV/ AIDS has risen among Filipinos. More people are getting themselves tested, allowing for early diagnosis and treatment. These, however, have not stopped the country from recording the fastest rate of HIV infection not only in the Asia-Pacific region but in the world, according to the joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS or UNAIDS Philippines. As the country joined the international community in marking World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the numbers remain grim. Last year, UNAIDS recorded 13,384 new HIV infections nationwide – up by 203 percent from the 4,419 registered in 2010. The highest rate of infection is recorded among men having sex with men, with up to 80 percent of those infected in the 15 to 34 age group, according to UNAIDS. The new law lowers the age requiring parental consent for HIV testing, but the potentially fatal virus

continues to spread. UNAIDS estimates that there are now 77,000 people living with HIV in the Philippines, but only 62,029 of them had been diagnosed as of October this year. While the figures are low compared to those in several other countries, the rate of infection is fastest in the Philippines. This gives urgency to measures that will slow down the spread of the virus and help persons living with HIV/AIDS remain productive, protected from discrimination, and able to live as normal a life as possible. World AIDS Day 2019 aims to mobilize communities along these lines. As in any public health problem, a holistic approach is needed to improve understanding of HIV/AIDS, promote safe sex and prevent the spread of the virus, and protect persons living with the affliction. The theme of World AIDS Day emphasizes this thrust: communities make the difference. (Philstar. com)

Editorial photo

SEA Games hosting helps build nationalism


RIGOBERTO TIGLAO I CAN’T remember anything recently quite like it. But there was inarguably so much joy among Filipinos who saw — directly or through videos — the opening ceremonies of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019 in New Clark City the other night. What was amazing was that two words were often used to describe their feelings: “goose bumps” and” tears.” Veteran journalist Jay Sonza, whom one would expect to be so jaded with his long career, posted in his Facebook time-line: “Noong sindihan ni Pacquiao iyong cauldron at magliyab ito, kasabay ng world-class fireworks sa loob ng Class 1A Olympic Track and Field sa Athletes’ Village, New Clark City, nanindig ang balahibo ko, sabay nangilid ang aking mata sa tuwa at kagalakan.We have built a monument, a work of art, and a remembrance of good governance.” “Goosebumps and tears! World-class ceremonies indeed! So proud to be a Filipino! We win as one! Go Philippines!,” wrote TV presenter Gretchen Fulido. “Naiiyak ako with pride seeing

the entire Team Philippines take center stage,” renowned singer Gary Valenciano said. It was also sheer genius for the organizers to have our eight ‘legendary’ sports heroes carry in a dramatic way the SEA Games federation flag. That made it an event in which we were reminded that the Filipino could be world-class. Rare moment What is so significant is that the goose-bump-and-tears remarks were almost always followed by a reference to the nation: “I’m proud to be Filipino.” We are witnessing a rare moment in history, of the same kind when we from Metro Manila had been mesmerized by the drama of the Yellow Widow, and were with EDSA I. The SEA Games ceremonies, significantly with President Duterte there and wildly cheered, was an event that was a communion of the community we call the nation. The President was the High Priest of that ritual, as any leader of a nation should be, or its value would be much lesser. To agree with me that I’m not exaggerating with this column’s title, one has to understand the groundbreaking insights on nationalism of the late Cornell University political scientist and historian Benedict Anderson, which he explained in his aca-

demic bestseller, the 1983 book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. For starters contrary to what an unfortunately growing number of “globalists” claim, it is nationalism, or the intensity of a people’s sense of belonging to this association called the nation, that has been the biggest factor in all countries’ growth and prosperity. This is an incontestable fact of history around the globe. It is only when these countries have become rich nations that they have espoused “globalism,” a tactic one Korean nationalist economist claimed was a form of “pushing the ladder away” after they’ve reached the summit of their countries’ development. The nation The nation is the most important organization any human being belongs to in this era, since its situation mostly determines his fate. Just think of the grossly contrasting fates of an ordinary Filipino worker’s family if he stays here or migrates to the U.S. Anderson pointed out though how difficult it is for a people to be nationalistic, since the nation is really an “imagined community.” It is different from “real communities” such as the fam-

ily, the clan, the tribe, or even the fraternities to which it is just natural to have an allegiance to, since we get to be acquainted with each and every member of these organizations. These are after all simply collections of relatives or friends we know. A Filipino will never ever meet each of his 110 million kababayan (countrymen). But in his mind, when he recognizes and greets somebody, say, in a strange foreign land and calls him kabayan, he does so because from his childhood, he was taught to imagine a community called the Philippines. To imagine a community is not easy, even if the necessary but insufficient conditions exist, such as a shared territory, language, history and nuanced but similar genetic features. There has to be myriad rituals (e.g., the singing of the national anthem at the flag-raising ceremony), martyrs (who make the supreme sacrifice to further the community’s aspirations, as Rizal did), and events (which remind us that we share the same fate, that we are in the same “boat”). These are intended to wrench us out of our ego-centered (or clan-centered) consciousness, and merge it with the community. Imagine Hosting the SEA Games and

its crucial opening ceremonies are such events that helps us imagine the nation. This is the reason why countries for such global sports events as the Olympics compete fiercely to win the bidding to host. (For the SEA Games, one of the 10 Southeast Asian countries is assigned a year to host it, although a country can waive such assignment, as we did in 2017 on grounds that funds at that time were better used for the rehabilitation of the war-devastated Marawi City. ) Marxism, with its view that society is divided into irreconcilable exploitative and exploited classes, could not explain the emergence and strength of nations starting in the 19th century. How could nations ever survive if it is torn by class struggles? Anderson’s theory of imagined communities filled this lacuna in Marxist theory. As he put it, “regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship. Ultimately it is this fraternity that makes it possible, over the past two centuries, for so many millions of people, not so much to kill, as willingly to die for such limited imaginings.” The goose bumps felt and

tears of joy shed by Filipinos proud of the SEA Games’ opening ceremonies are indications of that nationalism, that sense of comradeship among citizens of one nation is a good feeling to have. That therefore should make it easy for a state to develop among its citizens. Indeed, the venom and inanity that reveals their wretchedness was shown by comments by a few Yellow commentators — such as that one Raissa Robles who claimed that ceremonies were like a “perya sa probinsya,” referring to the native dances featured in the show such as northern Luzon’s “La Jota Moncadeña” and Mindanao’s “Singkil.” But then Raissa also wrote that it was like the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which at the time was considered the most awesome opening ceremony so far — planned by the best German architects and film-makers of that time — of that global event. I hope our slogan for the SEA Games — We win as one! — will eventually be understood in the sense of that truth of history globalists have tried to bury in our minds: That we win — grow to be a prosperous country — only if we are united as one, with each citizen imbued with a deep sense of nationalism. (

The perils of an impulsive presidency

Public Lives

RANDY DAVID THIS is my fourth column on recent events that unexpectedly thrust Vice President Leni Robredo into the limelight. Even if some may think the issue it deals with has become stale, I believe we shouldn’t let go of it easily as though it signifies nothing of importance. That’s exactly how the Duterte administration wants us to treat this entire affair — a joke over which everyone has had a good laugh. But let’s pause and consider even for a minute what has just happened, and what it tells us about decision-making under a Duterte presidency. A short recap of the events would be useful. VP Leni gives an interview to Reuters News, in which she criticizes the brutal conduct of the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign. She makes the case that the killings and the arrests that

have occurred in this so-called drug war amount to a war against the poor. This brutal campaign, she says, has remarkably spared the big-time drug lords. These criticisms are not new. They have been made before by many other observers. But coming from the vice president, the leader of the opposition and, more importantly, a woman, these points appear to have stung Mr. Duterte. He seethes in anger, but he does not think she is worth taking seriously. He’s torn between treating her dismissively and teaching her a lesson by daring her to take over the government’s antidrug campaign, an obvious bait she could run away from like a coward. In my initial column on this subject, I said that no sensible person could possibly take Mr. Duterte’s “offer” seriously. Dripping with contempt, it was made in a moment of pique. The president could barely conceal his exasperation over

the way the drug war has been derailed by a corrupt police force. He seemed exhausted, drained not just by the drug problem but by the demands of the presidency itself. In fact, he sounded like he was calling for help. I think his own people were confused. On one hand, the boss did sound as if he was taunting the vice president who, in their view, had no right to speak about a subject she knew nothing about. But, on the other hand, they suspected that the president was up to something naughty and interesting. And so they went along, conjuring a charade that was designed not only to put her in her place but to embarrass her. Such is their belief in the Duterte myth that men like presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo are completely incapable of telling him what he can and cannot do. They take his incoherent musings as emanations of a genius too deep for ordinary minds to

grasp. Thus, they indulge him, willfully acting as enablers of a childish capriciousness never before seen in the nation’s highest office. As events in the past week have shown, it did not take long for Mr. Duterte and his men to realize that it is they, not Leni, who got stuck in a quagmire of their own making. Because she would not quit, they had to fire her. Though we have her to thank for accepting a dare she knew she had little chance of winning, and not blinking, this is not at all just about Leni Robredo. One finds in this unfortunate incident a pattern of impulsive decision-making that is as reckless as it is thoughtless. Two instances quickly come to mind — the banning of rice imports for the duration of the harvest season in response to the pleas of affected local rice farmers, and the order to ban vaping products and arrest users caught vaping in public. The president had to recall his order suspending rice importa-

tion after he was told that this populist gesture was against the law he himself had signed. As for vaping, the police said they would comply with the president’s orders, but only to the extent of confiscating the products. They were told that the existing law against smoking does not give them the right to arrest vapers. The same policy confusion resulting from spur-of-the moment orders was visible in the abrupt closure of Boracay, the short-lived shutdown of lotto outlets and the Small Town Lottery, the initial banning of online gaming operations or Pogos, etc. Behind all these is the penchant to act boldly without the benefit of careful study. Far from being a strategic thinker, the president operates entirely by the hit-and-miss method of a local strongman. Sometimes, it works, as in the case of Boracay. But a lot of times, it creates and leaves a mess. Look at Marawi; look at the state of the peace talks with the armed

left. Look at the drug war. The wonder of it all is that, as far as the public is concerned, this president is incapable of committing a mistake so grave as to make them turn to the opposition for succor. The high approval ratings he continues to get in public opinion polls practically eliminate the need for self-examination. As his spokesperson puts it: The high ratings speak for themselves. I don’t think they do. To me, they speak more of the depth of the public’s disenchantment with previous administrations than of any unwavering commitment to Mr. Duterte’s impulsive presidency. More than three years after catapulting him to the nation’s highest position, populist resentment borne of decades of perceived elite betrayal continues to drive our people’s responses to political events. We need a different kind of politics if we are to put a stop to the dragon seed of authoritarianism. (

The views expressed by our Op-Ed contributors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect the predilection of the editorial board and staff of Asian Journal.


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PH seeks permanent free trade with US ‘Philippines poised to become by TYRONE JASPER


THE Philippines wants more of its export products to the United States enjoying zero-tariff — and on a permanent basis — as free trade talks between the countries start next year. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, on the sidelines of an event last week, told reporters the country would like to include footwear and garments among the products under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Under the deal, the Philippines is currently enjoying zero or reduced tariffs to over 5,000 goods or 48 percent of the 10,600 US tariff lines. But the GSP privilege is only effective until Dec. 31, 2020. The Philippines would have to renew its GSP status to achieve preferential position again after that.

“We’ll continue [to push for a] more permanent basis,” Lopez said. The Trade chief noted that U.S. Trade Representatives were still tackling the U.S.-MexicoCanada Agreement (USMCA) but expressed hope the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with the Philippines would be next. “We’re hoping that right after that, we can have that go signal,” he said. Earlier, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. (AmCham) Executive Director Ebb Hinchliffe said that FTA negotiations between the two countries might start next year already, noting the pending USMCA was Washington’s focus for now. Hinchliffe expressed confidence that negotiations between Manila and Washington, which he intends to bring up to the Congress early next year, would not take too

long. “We are common partners, we know each other very well, we know our needs and wants very well. This trade agreement should happen very quickly,” he said. As of end-September, Philippine shipments to U.S. reached $8.57 billion, showing a 7.4-percent growth from the previous year’s $7.98 billion, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. U.S. imports to the country, meanwhile, declined by 3.3 percent to $5.80 billion in the first three quarters from nearly $6 billion a year ago for the same period. As of now, the Philippines’ only bilateral free trade agreement is with Japan under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. The country is also working to conclude the FTA negotiations with South Korea by first half of next year. ■

major player in offshore gaming’

November inflation seen at 0.9-1.4% by BEN


INFLATION likely remained low and below 1.4 percent in November even as the year-on-year rate inched up compared to previous months due to high base effects. Eleven economists polled by the Inquirer last week projected the rate of increase in prices of basic commodities last month to have had settled within the range of 0.9 percent and 1.4 percent. The government will release the November headline inflation data on Thursday, Dec. 5. Sun Life Financial’s Patrick M. Ella had the lowest forecast of 0.9 percent year-on-year—although slightly higher than the threeand-a-half-year low actual inflation rate of 0.8 percent recorded in October. To recall, monthly inflation peaked to a nearly decade-high 6.7 percent year-on-year in September and October last year before sliding down starting November. “We continue to see stable prices over the month—in fact, it’s flat to slightly contracting,” Ella said. Capital Economics’ Alex Holmes projected 1.1 percent “because fuel-price inflation is set to rebound as the high base from last year slips out of the annual comparison.” Bank of the Philippine Islands’

“The latest inflation will confirm the 2018 high inflation cycle has bottomed out but with a trajectory likely to settle in the lower half of the BSP’s (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) inflation target range” of 2 to 4 percent for 2019, Trinidad said. Four economists projected November inflation at 1.3 percent year-onyear: Ateneo de Manila University’s Alvin P. Ang, file photo BDO Unibank Inc.’s JonaEmilio S. Neri Jr., Oxford Eco- than L. Ravelas, ING Bank Manomics’ Thatchinamoorthy Krsh- nila’s Nicholas Antonio T. Mapa nan, Philippine National Bank’s and Security Bank’s Robert Dan Francisco G. Trinidad Jr. and Rizal J. Roces. “We did notice a drop off in Commercial Banking Corp.’s Michael L. Ricafort shared the same pork prices while substitutes forecast of 1.2 percent year-on- such as beef, dressed chicken and select fish items were pricier year. “Higher cost of electricity was as consumers switched to these not enough to push headline in- other forms of protein,” Mapa flation significantly higher as food noted. For his part, Roces said “higher prices generally remained stable demand at the onset of the holiduring the month,” Neri said. Krshnan partly attributed his day season caused price spikes forecast to lower global oil pric- for certain goods and services, es, while Ricafort also pointed which, in turn, offset the strength to reports of further declines in of the Philippine peso for the palay prices amid liberalized rice month [that made imports less expensive and should decrease trade. For Trinidad, “recent price up- inflation].” The highest forecast of 1.4 ticks can be traced to elevated food prices due to the ASF (Afri- percent was partly attributed by can swine fever) effect, effects of ANZ Research’s Mustafa Arif to recent typhoon shocks on fruits “a roughly 5-percent month-onand vegetables, and firmer de- month increase in Meralco electricity costs over the month.” ■ mand.” file photo by MARY



THE Philippines has the potential to become a major player in the offshore gaming industry worldwide, given the country’s conducive environment for online casino operators, according to state think tank National Tax Research Center (NTRC). In a report titled “Profile and Taxation of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations,” the NTRC said the Philippines has several advantages compared to other players in the global online casino business. The NTRC said offshore gaming is a legal and licensed activity in the country, which ensures that online games are properly regulated and monitored by government agencies. The think tank added the Philippines is known for its low real estate acquisition and operational costs, as well as competitive labor costs as compared to other major Asian cities. “Filipinos are likewise known to be highly skilled and educated, which makes doing business in the country easier,” the NTRC said. The country also has plenty of available prime grade buildings located in safe and accessible areas, equipped with high speed

fiber optic telecommunication facilities and uninterrupted power supply, making it conducive for 24/7 operations, it added. The NTRC said the Philippines’ proximity to most Asian countries is an advantage for gamblers from Macau, China, Japan, and Korea, “which makes the country an excellent place to do business.” “Given the advantages of the Philippines in terms of availability of office space, labor, tax incentives, and technology, it is not farfetched that the country would be a major player in offshore gaming industry worldwide,” the NTRC said. According to NTRC, the global offshore gaming market is expected to generate revenues exceeding $60 billion by 2020, with Asia Pacific countries surging ahead. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) was able to collect P11.99 billion from the offshore gaming sector from 2016 to 2018, consisting of P9.47 billion from gaming taxes and P2.52 billion from fees and charges. “Although considered to be a new gambling activity in the country, offshore gaming is proving to be a promising revenue generating industry. However, the industry has yet to reach

its fullest potential and still has enough room for growth and improvement in terms of tax collection, safeguards audit, among others,” the NTRC said. Meanwhile, the think tank, in a separate study, said the establishment of integrated resorts in the Philippines has contributed to the country’s tourism sector, helping the economy in terms of investments, revenues and job creation. However, the NTRC has recommended the passage of the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act, to harmonize the tax incentives system in the country, including those enjoyed by integrated resorts. There are currently 60 POGO firms that are licensed by PAGCOR. However, the PAGCOR earlier imposed a moratorium on new POGO licenses until such time that issues plaguing the industry are addressed. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is also monitoring 218 POGO service providers in the country. Foreign workers in the industry are currently estimated at around 138,000. The DOF expects to generate about P2 billion in additional revenues a month from the withholding tax of foreign workers in the POGO sector. ■

A DECEMBER 4-6, 2019 • SoCal ASIAN JOURNAL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797



Asian Journal

mdwk The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 4, 2019

Wednesday, DECEMBER 4, 209







cover story The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 4, 2019

‘Artists Talk’ explores the evolution of artistic Philippine representation

Architect and professor Edson Cabalfin and Cannes-winning filmmaker Raymond Red discuss cultural identity in post-colonial Philippines standards as the norm, even today.” colonialism to as recent as the Along with other Filipino IN 1904, at the World’s late 1990s, this is the way that architects, Cabalfin is seekFair in St. Louis, Missouri, the the Philippines has been poring to change that image of United States’ official exhibithe Philippines. In 2018, at tion included a live installation trayed to the world for global exhibitions. This “problematic” the 16th Venice Architecture of the Philippines, then a U.S. representation, as Cabalfin Biennale, Cabalfin helmed the territory. noted, continued even after committee presenting “The Just five years before, the the Philippines gained indeCity Who Had Two Navels,” 333-year-old occupation by pendence and speaks volumes the official Philippine instalthe Spanish Empire of the of the way Filipinos saw and lation which explores the Philippine Islands ended with continue to see themselves. relationship between “the Spain ceding the country to But in the era of diverse past and the challenges of the United States. The new representation in the art constructing contemporary colonizers of the Philippines world, why do some Filipino subjectivity.” had something to prove. creatives continue to propaThe pavilion was inspired According to Edson gate the antiquated view of by the 1961 novel “The Cabalfin, a Filipino American the Philippines and, by extenWoman Who Had Two Navels” architect and professor at the sion, the Filipino people? by Nick Joaquin and, at the University of Cincinnati, the On Wednesday, November center of the installation, feaexhibition was less a realistic 20, Cabalfin joined the Cannes tured two oval complexes that rendering of the Philippines Film Festival-winning alternarepresent the post-colonial and Filipinos and more of a tive filmmaker Raymond Red anxiety of the last several depublic relations move to conin a panel called “Artists Talk” cades and how the new wave vince the public that the U.S. hosted by the Philippine Conof “neo-liberalism” affects needed to maintain control Philippine urbanity. over the primitive archipelago sulate in Los Angeles. “Artists Talk” is a ConsulSimilarly, Red seeks to exand its “exotic” and “unciviate series that strives to foster pand the possibilities of Philiplized” natives. nuanced discussions about pine cinema amid drastic shifts The installation featured Filipino creatives and the role in technology and creative a crude representation of a of Filipinos in the art world. perspective in the cinematic standard Philippine village “There is so much potential community at large. that included bahay kubos on Seen as a pioneer in Philiplakes, coconut trees and other within our community to really pine experimental film, Red structures and natural features advance creativity in cinema and all arts,” said Red, menwas the first and only Filipino of the indigenous Filipinos. In addition to physical structures, tioning the new crop of young so far to have won the coveted filmmakers making a dent in Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film the U.S. also flew in hunthe industry, including his son Festival in 2000 for his short dreds of native Filipinos who Mikhail Red whose film “Birdfilm “Anino.” participated in a stereotypishot” was the first Filipino film The collective with which cal fashion that many saw as uncivilized: little clothing, pre- released on Netflix worldwide. Red came onto the scene, But the question still the small but wily group of historic mannerisms and, most experimental filmmakers of the notably, engaging in ritualized remains about the Philippine image worldwide and the 1980s telling stories through consumption of dogs. misconceptions propagated super-8mm and 16mm film “They wanted to show the by the so-called post-colonial cameras, inspired a whole Philippines as still very primianxiety that has affected crenew generation of filmmakers tive and not civilized because ative expression. and creatives in the Philipthat was the only way the “I teach in Cincinnati, and pines that seek to change the American government can juswhen I show some students narrative and take the reins of tify why they needed to be in Philippine representation on a the Philippines. Because if they contemporary architecture of the Philippines, many of them global scale. showed it as being civilized, are surprised we have sky“I was a part of the group then there would be no need for the U.S. to be in the Philip- scrapers and all these modern of young filmmakers who took styles of buildings,” Cabaladvantage of the technology pines. That was the narrative that was available to us to be they were trying to showcase,” fin shared. “Some of them thought that it was all huts able to create cinema, and the Cabalfin explained. and these very primitive living big question back then was, is From the time of Spanish by

Klarize Medenilla / AJPress

Filmmaker Raymond Red, professor Dr. Edson Cabalfin, and author Reuben Domingo at a recent ‘Artists Talk’ held at the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles. AJPress photos by Ding Carreon

this legitimate cinema?” Red pondered, showing early examples of moving pictures that are regarded as the pioneers of film as we know it. He also acknowledged film director and producer Jose Nepomuceno’s role in establishing Philippine cinema in the 1910s. And as the Philippines gained independence in 1946, so did its entertainment industry, paving the way for the Golden Age of Philippine cinema in the 1950s, the second Golden Age in the 1970s and the era of mass-production in the 1980s and 1990s. But in the case of the 1980s, quality and nuance of cinematic storytelling were sacrificed for national commercial success. Slapstick comedy, melodramas and predictable and hackneyed storylines became cash grabs which, in turn, made them the norm. Red and the rag-tag group of guerilla filmmakers sought to provide an alternate road for filmmakers, and it wasn’t until the new millennium that independent filmmaking came into the fray. During 100th anniversary of

the establishment of Philippine cinema, there is still concern over the widespread preoccupation of commercial success within the country over international presence and acclaim, but Red assured that the stars are aligned for Philippine cinema to emerge. “It’s happening now. There are so many ways to get your film made what with the advances in technology and the places and communities where you can share your movies,” Red told the Asian Journal, noting his son’s own success on Netflix. “There’s a lot of rising

talent who are innovating the industry nowadays and with the current Film Development Council, there’s a lot of hope for cinema to thrive within our community.”

Angel makes it to Forbes’ ‘Heroes’ How Richard handles midlife crisis list for Mindanao charity work

ness ventures. I concentrate mostly on the office furniture business, which is Cole & Ash I HAD a blast with Richard International Systems Corp., as Yap and other stars at the fab I need to help keep it growing. birthday bash of Dr. Mark Gan Meanwhile, our partnership in of the “go-to dental center” of the food business is expandcelebs, GAOC. ing as our Wangfu branches I’ve always liked Sir Chief’s continue to expand. We are also (Richard’s moniker) style. Not venturing into the cafe business too many men his age make it as my partners have recently big in show biz. opened a franchise of Dean & With the way women swoon Deluca Cafe in Quezon City. over him, Richard can give matiWhat’s your advice to the nee idols a run for their money. future husband of your daughThe Kapamilya actor ought to ter? Just love my daughter and give a crash course on how to take care of her and you will be age well. Fifty-two never looked just fine. so good. What’s the craziest thing Here’s my chat with Richard: a fan did for you? Three of my What’s your secret for fans had my name tattooed on growing old gracefully? By not themselves. It really touched stressing myself out, and having me, but it’s a bit too much for Richard Yap faith that our Lord will always them to do it. Photo from Instagram/@iamrichardyap guide me. Exercise, diet and What are some of the support of my family. doing the things I love. things that not too many peoHow do you and your wife How do you stay away ple know about you? That I’m from temptation and stay faith- handle misunderstandings? By a bit shy and I don’t talk much, talking about them. Arguments ful to your wife? I always think especially if I just met you. And I are inevitable, but by making of how good she is to me and can be really corny at times. that, by itself, stops me from do- sure you stick to the problem What’s the best and toughing anything crazy. I also think of and not drag your pride and est part of being Richard Yap? other problems into it, then my kids before I do anything. The best part is that I am still the How do you handle midlife surely it will all work out. same person I was, even before Compromise is the key. crisis? I passed that during my I entered show biz. Only my cirWhat’s your advice to bach- cumstances have changed, but 40s, when I was unsure of what I wanted to do and where my life elors who are wary of tying the the person remains the same. knot? Marriage gives your life a was headed. I prayed a lot and The toughest part is that asked for guidance and enlight- certain direction. It’s always nice people expect me to live my life to have someone to come home like it is on TV. They sometimes enment. Sure enough, all the answers to, to have a family. can’t differentiate between the Update us about your busicame. I also leaned a lot on the real and the reel. by dolly

by Jan

Milo Severo

ACTRESS Angel Locsin is among the personalities included in this year’s Forbes Asia’s Annual Heroes Of Philanthropy List. In its website, Forbes listed down 30 “Altruists In The Asia Pacific Region” that includes the Kapamilya actress who recently helped in the earthquake aftermath in Mindanao. “Angel Locsin, an actress from the Philippines, supports causes aiding victims of violence, natural disasters and the conflict in Mindanao,” Forbes wrote. Other celebrities included in the list are Yoshiki Hayashi, leader of the popular Japanese band X Japan; and South Korea’s singer and actress IU (Lee Ji Eun), the youngest to make it in this year’s list. Filipino businessman Hans Sy is also included in the list because of his project in Quezon City. “Hans Sy from the Philippines helped launch Child

Angel Locsin Photo from Instagram/@therealangellocsin

Haus’ newly renovated center in Quezon City in July to house 40 cancer-stricken children and their caregivers; he had purchased the property for the organization as one of its first donors in 2010,” Forbes wrote.

Other personalities in the list include Jack Ma, Azim Premji and Theodore Rachmat, to name a few. In the past, among those in the list were Bill Gates, Azim Premji, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

James on Momoland’s Nancy, JaDine by Jan

Milo Severo

ACTOR James Reid refused to give an update on his upcoming teleserye with Korean girl group Momoland member Nancy McDonie. “I can’t say too much about that. Sorry,” James told the media. When asked if his upcoming teleserye with Nancy will push through after rumors that it will be axed, James again refused to comment. “I cannot answer that and I don’t want to talk about it,” James said. Meanwhile, the actor said that there are still no projects lined up for him and on- and off-screen partner Nadine Lustre.

“In the pipeline, no right now. Since I left Viva, it’s been... waiting for things to settle down. We can work out together in the future,” he said. He added that he’s busy doing his second album with collaborations with Filipino artists from Canada and Los Angeles. “I’m currently making an album. That’s my second album. My first one was in 2017, so I’ve been waiting for a long time for this,” he shared. “I will be collaborating with Filipino artists from overseas, like from Canada and LA. I don’t want to talk about it now but I have collaborations with other artists,” he added.

anne CarvaJal

Joseph to star in HBO Asia’s ‘The Bridge’ by ryan


JOSEPH Marco jetted off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to start working on his first international acting project, HBO Asia’s crime-drama series “The Bridge”. The “Los Bastardos” star began shooting for the series’ second season alongside other international actors on Monday, December 2, as seen in his Instagram post on the same day. He also showed moments James Reid with Nadine Lustre Continued on Page 3 Joseph Marco Photo from Instagram/@james

Photo from Instagram/@josephcmarco


The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 4, 2019

Boy and Licerna Romerica Abunda

Boy Abunda’s Nanay Lesing passes away

by Jan

Milo Severo

MANILA — Licerna Romerica Abunda, mother of veteran Kapamilya TV host Boy Abunda, has passed away last December 1. She was 90 years old. Eastern Samar Rep. Maria Fe Abunda, Boy’s sister, confirmed the news last Monday, December 2, in a Facebook post written in Waray. A funeral mass has been held in Arlington Memorial Chapels in Quezon City since Tuesday, December 3. In his book, Boy recalled his early life as a young child residing in Borongan, Eastern Samar,

where he merrily participated in fiestas, went caroling during Christmas, and waited for his Tatay to finish his “bulangan” (“sabong”). A happy kid loved by both his parents, the author was always driven and outspoken as he entered various declamation contests. His Nanay would always be excited to pin ribbons on his shirt every school year. In Boy’s late night show “The Bottomline” last October, the host confirmed that his mother, who had dementia, had been in the hospital for weeks. “She’s the center of my life and I hope she’s not suffering. ‘Yun lang naman ang gusto ko sa nanay. She’s turning 91 in Janu-

ary, huwag lang masaktan,” Boy said at that time. “I am grateful in both joy and pain. Grateful because kahit nasasaktan ako, I’m being given the chance by God to be the best mother to my mother and I’m being able to say thank you to her,” he added. Boy has been known for his love for his mother as he always reminded his viewers to “make your mama proud.” “I will be honest, I don’t know how I’m going to live my life without the presence of my mother. Pero katulad ng maraming sugal sa buhay ko, susuungin ko, because that’s the only way,” he said.

Joseph to star in HBO...

From Page 2 of him on the show’s set alongside his fellow cast members Malaysian actor Bront Palarae, Singaporean actress Rebecca Lim, and Indonesian actors Ario Bayu and Miller Khan. “Feels very surreal doing my first ever acting stint abroad!” Marco said. “It’s such

an overwhelming experience to be able to work with international production and I really am grateful for it!” The said program is a remake of the Swedish TV series of the same title that originally aired from September 2011 to February 2018. Marco is not the only

ABS-CBN photo

Filipino artist to appear in a project under HBO Asia recently. Bianca Umali and Sam Concepcion are also set to star in the said network’s fantasy series “Halfwords”. The show will be filmed in the Philippines under the direction of filmmaker Mikhail Red (“Eerie”, “Birdshot”).

Gloria gives Gazini 50/50 chance

entertainment The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 4, 2019

The love story of Juancho and Joyce by Jan

MiLo SeveRo

HAPPY for Joyce Pring and Juancho Trivino who have announced their engagement on social media although Joyce wouldn’t reveal when and where the wedding

would be, except to say that it would be “a garden wedding next year.” Joyce announced on her Instagram that Juancho proposed to her last Aug. 3 during her mom’s birthday celebration in Boracay, saying that “we have been pray-

by Ricky Lo

AS the 2019 Miss Universe pageant gears toward the grand coronation night in ing about this decision for a Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday, couple of weeks and even at- December 8, pageant-loving tended pre-marital counseling Filipinos are keeping their in church.” collective fingers crossed, It’s interesting to note hoping against hope that our that in an interview with The bet, Gazini Ganados, will pull STAR a few months before a feat by scoring a back-tothe engagement, Joyce back victory for the Philipadmitted that Juancho was pines. Will, rather can Gazini courting her, joking that “I’m (who is up against 91 other giving him a hard time,” algorgeous girls) take the crown though Juancho stood a good from reigning Filipina queen chance. They became close Catriona Gray? while segment co-hosting for Impossible dreams can the GMA early-morning show come true and miracles do Unang Hirit starting in Ochappen...and, yes, lightning tober last year. The athletic does strike twice...but in the Joyce is petite at 5’4” while fiercely-competitive Miss U Juancho towers over her at such a surprise happens only 6’1”. once in a blue moon. But “He’s lanky so his center then, who knows, who can of gravity is alanganin,“ tell? laughed Joyce. In the 68-year history of Asked then why she the pageant (first won by Finand Juancho clicked, Joyce land’s Armi Kuusela in 1952), (whose famous dad, policeit happened only once when man Joe Pring died when Venezuela’s Stefania FernJoyce was two years old) said, andez (2009) succeeded her “We are both old school. We compatriot Dayana Mendoza. have a similar upbringing. I That “first” earned a slot in want to be pursued the trathe Guinness World Records. ditional way you know, with Asked about the posflowers and whatever. Am I sibility of the Philippines giving him a deadline? No duplicating that record, the naman. Everything depends country’s first Miss Universe on how ready I am to go into (1969) Gloria Diaz said in her a relationship. I haven’t had a famous honest-to-goodness boyfriend for two years now. manner, “I give Gazini a 50/50 Juancho and I are together chance,” and she meant it, every day, so mahirap hindi adding, “beauty contests are ma-develop.” a rat race. Either you win or you lose. So, 50/50.” Funfare interviewed Gloria during the recent junket in Manila for the Netflix dark comedy series Insatiable in which she’s cast in a “special participation” role (good for two episodes) as “beauty adviser” Gloria Reyes to Debbie Ryan’s character Ratty who proves wrong those who bully her for being overweight. Gloria had a close look at Gazini when she sat as judge

Miss Universe 1969 Photo from Instagram/@its.gloriadiaz

Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados Photo from Instagram/@gazinii

in the Bb. Pilipinas pageant topped by the Boholana beauty. “Yes, Gazini was my choice,” shared Gloria who was 18 when she bagged the Binibini title that earned her the right to represent the country in the Miss U pageant in Miami, Florida, USA. “But you know, they change after winning, nagbabago sila, they improve, and I wish I could take a closer look at her now.” Gloria might be pleasantly surprised to see how Gazini has changed...for the better. All you have to do is check her “before/after” photos and you will see. Her advice to Gazini? “Like me when I joined Netflix, I thought I couldn’t give justice to the role but I did. All it takes is palakasan ng loob and pakapalan ng mukha. Feel that you are a winner and make sure that nobody gets in front of you. And make lots of friends.” At a recent chance encounter with 2015 Miss U Pia Wurtzbach at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Funfare asked her how she’s supporting Gazini.

“She visited me at home and I showed her DVD copies of Miss U pageants. Dami ko kasing collection and I have watched them as part of my training before I competed in Las Vegas. From the tapes, I think Gazini got several pointers.” (Note: Pia was in Bangkok for a photo shoot and went back barely a week later to model at two fashion events, one for the 9th Celebration of Silk show provided by Her Majesty Queen Mother Sirikit’s factory, and then at the Thai Silk International Fashion Week. Pia modeled dresses by Hollywood-based designer Oliver Tolentino, featured in this corner Tuesday last week, November 26). Funfare asked 1973 Miss Universe Margie Moran for her take on Gazini. Margie texted this reply: “Everyone has an equal chance. It all depends on the judges.” I will let Gloria have the last say. “You know, we are too ambitious. After Pia and Catriona won, we want more, we want something more.” Oh well, as the title of Gloria’s Netflix stint aptly puts it, we are, ehem, “insatiable.”

Daniel reacts to mom’s new boyfriend by Jan

MiLo SeveRo

ACTOR Daniel Padilla is happy for his mom Karla EstraJuancho Trivino and Joyce Pring da’s newfound love, but said Photo from Instagram/@juanchotrivino he’s still vigilant. In a recent interview with Boy Abunda in “Tonight With Boy Abunda,” Daniel said he already met his mom’s new boyfriend Jam Ignacio. “Yes, napakilala na sa akin ni Ermat. At siya naman, nagpakilala na rin siya sa akin,” Daniel said. “Lahat ng relationship ng ermat ko, nandoon ako. So lahat nakita ko, narinig ko. So siyempre bilang anak ka at nakita mo lahat, hindi siya kaagad, ‘Ayos, okay na.’ Ngayon iba na. Ayokong maging kontrabida pero at the same time on the look lang ako. I’m just hovering,” he added. The “Teen King” also added that he witnessed all the relationships of hid mom and now, seeing her in love makes him happy. “Lahat ng masasaya, lahat ng malulungkot nakita ko na lahat sa Ermat ko e, so

Daniel Padilla with mom Karla Estrada

masaya lang ako sa mama ko kasi she’s very happy, she’s in love,” he said. When asked by Boy on what makes a man perfect man for his mom, Daniel said he thinks a tamed man is the one ideal for her. “Siya ang tumayong nanay at tatay namin kaya ang hirap

ABS-CBN photo

ikumpara sa isang lalaki dahil ang nanay ko kulang nalang tubuan na rin ng balbas. Siguro kailangan niya ng mas tamed na lalaki. Kasi masyadong mataas Ermats ko e. Kailangan balanse lang silang dalawa. Nakikita ko naman kay Jam na ganoon naman siya,” he said.

Ronnie receives pin as solo pilot POP balladeer Ronnie Liang is one celebrity who puts a premium on education. From being a fastfood server, he broke into showbiz with his singing voice but never let go of his lofty dream, which happily he just achieved. “When I was a kid, palagi kong nakikita yung eroplano na lumilipad sa ere. I told myself, sa tamang panahon, makakapaglipad din ako. Here I am now, fulfilling my greatest dream. Tuwing nagpapalipad ako, bilang parte ng pag-aaral ko as a pilot, minsan nagiging emotional ako, mixed feelings. What a moment like that,” the singer-actor-pilot expressed. Rejected multiple times, the Viva artist did not lose his drive to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. After his sold out “Love x Romance” concert with Sarah Geronimo at the Music Museum on November 8, he finally got his pin from APG International Aviation Academy in Subic as a solo pilot on November 26. He was joined by Capt. Christian Atanacio, Capt. John Corda, and school owner Capt. Arnel Miguel during the ceremony. Formally starting his pilot course in October 2018, he finished the required hours for skills training in July. He is thankful that his mentors have been supportive of his endeavor as he was able to manage his time as an artist and aviation student.

Ronnie Liang Photo from Instagram/@ronnieliang

Three of the main requirements before taken into the academy were good eyesight, attentiveness and a bachelor’s degree. Good that Liang has a Bachelor of Education Major in Science degree from the Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Pampanga. “You have to pass the physical, mental and psychological exam. Napakahalaga ng mga ito kasi dapat physically, mentally and psychologically capable ka. Then yung time mo. Kailangan mo ng time and budget. Ang pagpa-pilot is very expensive. You really have to prepare,” he shared. Liang believes there really is no deadline when it comes to achieving one’s dreams. “I believe that you can pursue your dreams at any point in your life. You have to listen to yourself. Maraming mga magsasabi na hindi mo kaya, pero ikaw pa rin ang piloto ng buhay mo, ang magdadala sa sarili mo sa tamang direksyon. Of

course with the help of prayers and family and friends who are always there to support you.” After passing solo test, he’s preparing now for a private license that requires him to complete 40 hours of flying, he can apply for commercial license. “I’m now preparing myself para mag-private and siyempre going to commercial na rin. I feel na ito ang calling ko. I am 100 percent fully myself kapag nagpapalipad ako,” he said. He clarified that he’s not leaving showbiz. He will continue singing and acting. His collab song with Sarah G called “Liwanag” is available on Spotify and other digital music platforms. In time for the holidays, another new song Ronnie did is “Sa Paskong Darating,” a touching Christmas ditty destined to be a future Yuletide favorite. “Nakakatuwa na people are calling me The Singing Pilot. I hope marami pa akong ma-inspire na kabataan,” he ended. (



The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 4, 2019

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAglAyA AT a breakfast after mass at the Holy Family Church during a school fundraiser in Glendale California one beautiful fall morning five years ago, a statuesque, well groomed lady holding her breakfast tray asked my husband, my sister Olga and myself, if she could join us. We said yes of course. There weren’t enough tables and chairs in the auditorium at the time. After a few pleasantries and the frost among strangers had thawed, the woman indicated that she was from the East Coast and she was visiting her son who lived in the city. She was staying in a hotel for a few days and had checked online for the nearest church where she could attend mass. She remarked that the Glendale Holy Family Catholic Church with Spanish architecture built in the 1920’s was beautiful. The conversation around the table was light at first, meandering around innocuous, safe topics. Out of nowhere, she asked us to pray for her son. Startled at first, I asked what her son’s name was and we all must have made a mental note of it. It seems that her 36-year old son who is an engineer, with so much going for him, had a major relapse in his bid to overcome his alcoholic addiction — yet again. His poison of choice – vodka. She was in town to check him in to a rehab facility and taking a chance on a new drug that would have adverse, irreversible ramifications if there is recidivism or if he ever went back to the bottle. In short, it was a last ditch attempt to end his addiction. Over breakfast we had a glimpse of the turmoil the woman was going through in seeing a loved one going through the repeated cycles of addiction and rehabilitation, only to go through it over and over again– a seemingly hopeless struggle that many battle with these days. It is like Sisyphus of Greek mythology who was punished


The power of prayer “We are not human beings having a spiritual experence; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by the gods for chronic deceitfulness and wickedness. He was cursed for eternity to roll a rock uphill only to have fate roll it back downhill just when success at lodging it safely on top of a steep hill seemed like a sure thing a sure thing. She let slip that another son had died in the last year, the reason for which, she didn’t mention. And she would have to come again and visit in December because her alcoholic son has an ex-girlfriend who is pregnant and is due by then. You can’t make this stuff up. Life is just so tough that her face was etched in pain. Yet there was also a brief glimpse of hope for the baby about to be born. Grief, just like joy, has way of welling up within and spilling over. We listened to her over breakfast aware that she just wanted to ease up some of the heavy burden that was troubling her. A lot of us are like this woman. We each have problems that seem too much to bear until we reach out and ask others to pray for us, even strangers we will never ever see again. We ask others to knock and bang on the doors of heaven with a battering ram, if need be, to beg for help on our behalf. In many ways, each one of us can be a prayer warrior. Often, we come to church just to be with others who are a bit like us, searching for one another’s company in seeking God’s help in many ways, big and small. We know deep down, by ourselves, we can do nothing. Just as gravity holds the physical universe together, prayer draws the spirit universe together among kindred souls. The power of prayer is boundless among those whose faith is built on solid rock. If you can, please pray for this anonymous woman Mrs. B and

her son G. Mother and son both need prayers so badly; for the son to break the bonds of addiction once and for all and for the mother or the strength and the fortitude to endure her trials and finally, for both mother and son to find the peace, serenity and just maybe, hope and joy even during a deeply personal season of darkness. And while we’re at it, we might as well decide to make time for prayer ourselves. We need to grit our teeth and cut off the extremely intrusive electronic leash that is so much a part of our lives these days. We know we are in deep trouble when we have to post the latest “selfies” on FB even while we are in the restroom. Isn’t it time we weaned ourselves from having to spend too much time tethered to our gadgets? Our obsession with our tech toys may very well be another form of addiction. Dwell in the silence for that is where God is. How can God speak to us if our ears are stuffed up, our hearts are not right and our minds are cluttered with non-essentials all the time? Modern life is much too full of inane, sometimes insane, distractions assailing all our senses during our waking hours to make time for God. Dwell in prayerful silence for that is where God is. Perhaps we can even pray for complete strangers and those in our immediate orbit who we know are in dire straits but are either too timid or too proud to ask for help. There are people who feel diminished if they ask for help. They label themselves as proudly independent. The truth is that they are poor, unfortunate fools severely afflicted with hubris. Hubris, that extreme form of pride, the same brand that Continued on Page 6


Barrister’s Corner Atty. Kenneth UrsUA reyes TO many people, the New Year signifies a chance to have a fresh beginning. People dispose of old personal items and clean out the closet in order to make room for the new. This is also the time of the year many people realize when a marriage is not working out and it may be time to start a new life as a single person whether or not you have children. You can decide to take action and file a divorce. Before you take any action, you need to think about your situation carefully. First, you should decide whether you should you move out of the family residence or not? If you and your spouse are communicating and have some type of respect left with one another, it may be more economical to continue residing in the same household until you resolve the issues in the divorce case. However, if your relationship is heated and riddled with conflict, then someone should to move out. If your spouse

Debt Relief

Atty. lAwrence yAng THE client is a corporation that has been in business since 2000. It had both good and bad times over the last two decades but always managed to land on its feet. It has an ever-growing list of clients that need its products, which it sources from abroad. It has two kinds of clients: clients with their own brands for the same product and clients who buy the product with the client’s own brand. In 2015, the client appeared to have had some kind of misunderstanding with one of its major foreign suppliers regarding a large order that apparently was not produced by the supplier to conform to the correct specifications. This resulted in the delivery of the large order being rejected by the ultimate buyer. Well, you can see why this rejection of the order shipped caused a major disruption in the business rela-

Starting the new year fresh with a divorce

has threatened you, hurt you, or committed domestic violence, you may file a domestic violence temporary restraining order and request the court to order your spouse to move out of the house. In the same application, you may also request for custody, support, and attorney’s fees. If on the other hand you decide to be the one to move out, you should move somewhere close to your spouse if you have children to make it easier for both of you to co-parent with the children. Second, you should decide whether your spouse is the type who will disclose all the financial assets or not after you file for divorce. Although the family code (family code 2100 et seq.) imposes a duty to disclose all material facts and information, spouses’ are not always forthcoming in disclosing completely all assets, debts, income and expenses specially after a divorce case is commenced. What sometimes happens is once a divorce case is commenced, assets are either not disclosed, disappears, or documents/ bank statements are not produced even with formal

discovery. You should gather and make copies of all financial documents before filing the divorce. Third, there is an automatic temporary restraining order (ATROS) in place once you file and serve your spouse with the divorce papers. The four standard mutual restraining orders are 1) removing their minor children from the state without the prior written consent of the other party or a court order. family code Section 2040(a)(1) 2) restraint from transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, concealing, or in any way disposing of any property, real or personal, whether community, quasi-community, or separate without the other party’s written consent or court order; fam code 2040(a)(2) 3) restraint from cashing, borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance or other coverage, including life, health, automobile, and disability held for the benefit of the parties and their child for whom support may be orders. Fam C 2040(a)(3). 4) restraint from creating a nonContinued on Page 6

Company files Chapter 7 due to $1 million judgment tionship between client and foreign supplier. Since the ultimate buyer rejected the shipment, the client was not going to get paid the expected $1.3M from its customer. But the foreign supplier demanded to get paid in full for the shipment, which had an FOB value of $1M. If the client paid the supplier $1M for a rejected order, the client would have to immediately eat the loss of $1M. The client does about $3M of yearly business, so an outright $1M loss is not sustainable. The client does not have $1M in cash or available credit lines, and does not see the wisdom of eating such a big loss. In addition, the client believes that it was supplier’s fault that the shipment did not comply with the required specifications, which caused the rejection of the order. On the other hand, the foreign supplier believes it complied with the required specifications as far as they understood it. So, it’s a big mess. The client offered



to give the shipment back to the supplier but the supplier does not want the merchandise back. The supplier wants cash of $1M. Eventually, the supplier files a lawsuit her in Los Angeles against the client for $1M breach of contract and fraud. Many breach of contract lawsuits add a fraud cause of action, which basically works as follows. The element of fraud consists of a misrepresentation made by the defendant to the plaintiff. The plaintiff justifiably relied on the misrepresentation. The plaintiff suffered damages by relying on the misrepresentation, and the damages of the plaintiff are proximately caused by the misrepresentation. More or less these are the essential elements of the fraud or deceit cause of action. If the plaintiff fails to prove one element, there is no fraud. For instance, the plaintiff alleges that he suffered damages because he relied on defendant’s misrepresentation that he doesn’t have to Continued on Page 6

Glendale Library offers access to over 500 learning courses through Universal Class GLENDALE Library, Arts & Culture is pleased to introduce a new way to pursue continuing education and lifelong learning through Universal Class. This online learning platform features over 500 courses in over 30 subject areas, including Parenting and Family, Business and Career, and Office Skills training. Library users may access Universal Class with their library card at http:// The Top 10 Universal Class courses based on user enrollment include: • Excel and Advanced Excel

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City of Artesia seeks community involvement in Project Joy Holiday EVERY holiday season, the City of Artesia hosts Project Joy to provide community members most in need with toys and holiday meals. Throughout the 2018 holiday season, Project Joy provided toys to more than 300 children in Artesia, while more than 115 families received holiday meals through the program. Thanks to the City’s sponsors, families also received additional pantry staples to help with meals beyond the holiday season. The City also hosted its annual Holiday Program together with Project Joy, giving kids the chance to see Santa and enjoy music and refreshments. Project Joy’s success is thanks to the City’s strong community

partners. This year, the City plans to do even more for the community through Project Joy, and asks for the community’s help to make this possible. There are many ways for Artesia residents, businesses, and community organizations to get involved. These include: • Donate pantry items for meal boxes like boxed potatoes, boxed stuffing, canned cranberry sauce, canned vegetables (such as corn and green beans) • Donate canned foods and other pantry items, such as pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned meats, canned soups, etc. • Hold a canned food or toy drive (City staff will pick up from your

facility) • Donate unwrapped toys • Make a financial contribution to the City’s program • Volunteer time to sort food, sort toys, or help with the Holiday event (volunteer application needed) The City welcomes community involvement in Project Joy wherever possible, and is eager to make this year the best year for Project Joy yet. To get involved, please contact Jamie Murguia at or at (562) 865-6262. Information and assistance applications are also available at Artesia City Hall and at Artesia and AJ Padelford Parks.

From Page 5 probate transfer or modifying a nonprobate transfer in a manner that affects the disposition of property subject to the transfer without the other party’s written consent or court order. fam c 2040(a)(4). There are exceptions to the above restrictions. One exception is for property transfers in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life. Examples would be property transfers as part of your usual business operations or to pay for usual household living expenses. Another exception is payment of reasonable attorney’s fees. fam c. 2040(a)(2). If you need to do any transactions that may violate the ATROS, it is best to do

it prior to filing and serving the divorce petition provided you do not breach your fiduciary duty to your spouse. If you are thinking of filing a divorce, it is best to consult an experienced family law attorney before taking any action. *** Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does create any attorney client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This

article is not a solicitation. *** Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 747, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail kenneth@ or visit our website at (Advertising Supplement)

Starting the new year fresh...

community 6 The power of prayer The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 4, 2019

From Page 5 brought down the fallen angels, always prevents humans from seeking help. When we pray, we need to learn how to delete specifics. God knows specifics — our blood type, our DNA, even the number of hair on our heads. God knows what we are asking for. The how, what, why, when and where of answers to prayers will have to be his call and his alone. God’s love for us is beyond all telling. It will be between God and each one of us alone in the silence of our hearts. It will be that space and time where there is no FB, no Instagram, no Snapchat, no Twitter — none of the things that tend to make pompous asses of ourselves demanding attention and approval from others. The answer to prayers is God’s call alone. We ask for help but end our prayers in humble supplication saying as Jesus said in agony as he prayed to the Father, “ … yet not my will, but

yours be done.” We are simply conduits, pipelines of the flow of good that comes from God. But there is a residual effect when we suit up and become prayer warriors. The prayers we pray build layer upon layer an intangible aura of light and goodness that soak us, permeate and envelop us. And just like in the physical universe, what goes around always comes around. The laws of cause and effect also govern the spiritual universe. It is uncanny but most of us who try our best to nurture a spiritual life even as we take care of our bodies, have that instinctive gift for detecting which among us emanate this invisible shield of energy and light. They are usually the ones with the quiet or sometimes effusive, contagious joy about them. Strangely, we tend to gravitate towards such people. After all, as humans, we are all in this together, from one generation to the next. As the Jesuit

priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once so astutely said of humanity: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” I have the strangest feeling that with faith and unceasing prayer, both mother and son and his new family will be just fine in the end. There is no doubt it will be a long tough slog but they won’t be alone. The woman has faith. She reaches out and asks for prayers and the ripple of powerful heartfelt prayers builds up like a tsunami wave that will burst open heaven’s door for the graces they need. Will we ever know for certain of the outcome? Perhaps not, but that is what faith does. We do not need to know. We simply trust in God’s ways. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.

Company files Chapter 7 due to $1 million... From Page 5 file income tax returns for 2017. However, the plaintiff himself is a certified public accountant. There is no justifiable reliance on defendant’s representation because the plaintiff himself is a CPA and therefore should know himself that he should or should not file income tax returns for 2017. In any event, at trial, the plaintiff was able to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the client did indeed defraud the plaintiff supplier of $1M. Well, so now the choice is to pay the $1M or the company files for Chapter 7 liquidation. What would you do if you owned this company? Of course, a fraud judgment for $1M is an intentional tort that is that dischargeable. But the fact that the judgment is not dischargeable does not prevent the company from filing Chapter 7 to handle the claim. So what happens? In Chapter 7, the trustee will attempt to liquidate the company. The plaintiff will have to file a proof of claim in the bankruptcy as a judgment creditor. If the

liquidation results in cash, the trustee will pay creditors in the legal order of priority. The IRS has no. 1 priority for unpaid taxes. This judgment creditor will get paid after the IRS gets paid. The trustee will auction off the inventory, if any, and collect receivables. The trustee will administer cash in the bank. Senior wants Chapter 7 discharge of $35K credit cards The second client is 70 years old and single. She never got married. She is still pretty and charming. But I guess she never met her prince charming so she decided to stay single. She owes $35,000 of credit cards. She has been paying $12,000 a year for the last 20 years. She has paid $240,000 in the last 20 years, and yet she says she still owes $35,000! Wonder of wonders indeed, sad but true. She says she is just tired of paying for the cards and now that she is retired, the $12,000 a year for interest payments on the cards is a big dent on her retirement income and prevents her from enjoying her retirement years. Not surprising.

Her retirement income consists of $1,200 of social security and $1,800 of pension. So, she has $3,000 a month. The cards take a third of that every month. Ouch! In addition, she has already paid $240,000 to her credit card masters, modern-day slavery, no doubt. She decides it’s high time for her to get rid of these cards with a discharge or wipe out in Chapter 7! I guess she got smarter as she got older, but could have saved $240,000 if she got rid of these cards when she was 52. If you need debt relief, set an appointment to see me. I will analyze your case personally. *** Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in Bankruptcy, Business, Real Estate and Civil Litigation and has successfully represented more than 5,000 clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 20274 Carrey Road, Walnut, CA 91789 or 1000 S. Fremont Ave., Mailstop 58, Building A-10 South Suite 10042, Alhambra, CA 91803. (Advertising Supplement)

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 4, 2019



The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 4, 2019

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120419 - Southern California Midweek Edition  

120419 - Southern California Midweek Edition