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E DITION January 11-13, 2017

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Volume 26 - No. 108 • 3 Sections - 20 Pages

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Duterte on ‘#LeniLeaks’: I wish them all the success Also published in: • Orange County/Inland Empire • Northern California • Las Vegas • New York/ New Jersey






PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is not cowed by the alleged conspiracy to remove him from power after he was informed of the “#LeniLeaks” controversy. “I wish them all the success,” Duterte was quoted as saying by Communications Secretary Martin

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Andanar. Andanar said the president was informed of the alleged leaked emails calling for his resignation at the sidelines of the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Monday, Jan. 9. #LeniLeaks went viral on the internet after Vice President Leni Robredo’s critics on Facebook spread screenshots of supposed emails from Robredo’s known supporters calling for Duterte’s

resignation and for his ouster. Another viral post showed a purported email from the Office of the Vice President’s social media unit urging its trolls to launch a counteroffensive against Duterte, the Robredo’s critics, and defeated vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos. National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon said the ouster plots against the Chief Executive were not

discussed during the Cabinet meeting. “We have other more important matters…This should not be the flavor of the day or the month since this is just something that we already know,” Esperon said. “The best way to address this is to show that we are effective in antidrugs, that we could address the problems that they are concerned with,” he added. ■

VP Robredo denies involvement in leaked emails by DANA


Fil-Am Jeff De La Fuente, 31, passed away on Friday, January 6, two days after an accident at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Dorothy Mak / Facebook

Fil-Am dies after being pinned by train in San Francisco

A SAN FRANCISCO resident whose body had gotten trapped between a transit platform and train car clung to life for days after he was freed, but eventually died of his injuries on Friday, January 6. Investigators say that Filipino-American Jeff De La Fuente accidentally fell off of a platform at the 24th Street Mission Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4 and became pinned at his waist by a train car. Firefighters had to use specialized airbags to push the car away from his body and release him. De La Fuente remained conscious during his rescue and was transported to a local hospital where staff attempted to save his

Vice President Leni Robredo

AFFORDABLE and invaluable health care is available for uninsured Californians in 2017. But the deadline to enroll is drawing near: Covered California’s open enrollment ends on Jan. 31. Those who enroll by Jan. 15 will have their coverage begin on Feb. 1. Those signing up between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 will have coverage starting March 1. While rising rates are a real concern, Covered California members who are renewing their coverage now are finding real savings

PHILIPPINE Vice Leni Robredo has dismissed the allegations that she was involved in the alleged leaked emails about a plan to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte. This comes after reports revealed that a Yahoo! group contained emails of Robredo’s supporters plotting to oust the president. “Hindi ko alam kung ano ang participation ko. Nami-mention daw ang pangalan ko, pero hindi ako kabahagi nu’ng grupong iyon (I don’t know what is my participation there. I was told that my name was mentioned but I’m not part of that group),” Robredo said in an interview in Marinduque on Monday, January 9. Pro-Duterte blogger “The Thinking Pinoy” posted the so-called ‘#LeniLeaks’ on its page, citing emails and information from a Yahoo group named “Global Filipino Diaspora Council.” One of the emails in the thread suggested that Duterte resign. “The only way to fight this evil plot to unseat VP Leni is to ask Duterte to resign. After all, he promised to resign in six months if he has not solved the drug epidemic in the Philippines,” the email said. It further read, “He (Duterte) asked for an extension of another six months. Extension denied! Join Duterte Resign Movement.” In response, the vice president said, “Wala, hindi rin ako kabahagi doon (No, I’m also not part of it).”




Deadline to sign up for health coverage in 2017 approaching

ANTI DRUG WAR In his speech during the oathtaking of newly appointed government officials in Malacañang’s Rizal Hall, President Duterte denies inciting law enforcers to take punitive actions when he launched his intensified campaign against illegal drugs. Malacañang Photo

Defense chief: Agreement for Trump invited attend ASEAN PH-Russia deal almost done to summit in the by DANA


THE Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) on Monday, January 9, said that the country is already wrapping up the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for its planned military defense cooperation with Russia. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the memorandum was first drafted in 2014 during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III, but was not completed. “Hindi umurong (It didn’t move forward) so we are going to finish this. Halos tapos na ‘yung draft (The draft is almost done) and it will be one of the documents that will be signed kung matatapos ‘yung mga nittygritty (after fixing the nitty-gritty),” Lorenzana said.

He said that the MOU is aimed to be signed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s upcoming visit in Russia in April or May this year. According to him, the proposed agreement will pave way to the exchange of military personnels between the two countries and participation in war exercises. “The Russians said that they would like to have exercises with us, especially maritime, pero ‘yung ilalagay natin acceptable kasi dadaan pa ‘yan sa DFA (we’ll include what is acceptable because it will still pass through the Department of Foreign Affairs),” Lorenzana added. Lorenzana also took note that the MOU with Russia will be different from the Philippines’ Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States. “Hindi naman ‘yung katulad sa US


Pope Francis selects Bishop Oscar Solis to head diocese of Salt Lake City Solis makes history as first Filipino to lead large Catholic congregation



POPE Francis chose Oscar Solis to become the next bishop of the diocese of Salt Lake City on Tuesday, January 10, making him the first Filipino-American clergyman to lead such a large congregation of American Catholics. Solis will serve a community of about 300,000 people in his latest role, according to Angelus News. The former auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

has worked as a priest in both the U.S. and the Philippines for the better part of four decades. “I know what it means to be a pastor, a shepherd of a particular diocese,” Solis told reporters during a press conference announcing his appointment in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday. “It is a tremendous blessing and a responsibility and a privilege to be of service to the local Church in the United States of America, coming from the Philippines.” He was surprised to learn of

the appointment, according to Deseret News and other sources. He reportedly called himself a “fool” for thinking he would spend the remainder of his career in Los Angeles. Clergymen who have worked with Solis described him as humble, organized, and approachable. He is also known for his sharp sense of humor and work as a supporter of minority communities in the Church. “He is well loved in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” Father

Albert Avenido, who currently serves under Solis in the San Pedro Pastoral District, told the Asian Journal during a phone interview on Tuesday. “We will be missing a great man of God. We will be missing a great pastor, and a great friend…” In 2004, Solis became the first Filipino American to be ordained a bishop in the United States and moved from Thibodaux, Louisiana to Los Angeles, a city which boasts the country’s larg-


Bishop Oscar Solis AJPress photo by Ding Carreon

Philippines by AJPress

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has extended an invitation to United States Presidentelect Donald Trump to attend the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit later this year. According to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Trump’s office has acknowledged the letter and said it would notify Malacañang as soon as a decision regarding the invitation has been made. Trump is slated to take his oath as the new president of the U.S. on Friday, January 20, succeeding current President Barack Obama. Following the real estate billionaire’s win last November, he and Duterte spoke over the phone. During the seven-minute conversation, Trump reportedly praised the Philippine president’s fight against illegal drugs as “the right way.” The ASEAN Summit 2017, chaired by the Philippines, will be held in November in Clark, Pampanga. “The year brings much excitement and challenge to the Philippines as we are hosting the ASEAN 2017 on its 50th or golden anniversary, which is an opportune time to show to the


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From the Front Page

VP Robredo denies involvement... PAGE A1 t

contact with Filipino-American philanthropist Loida NicolasRobredo went on to remark Lewis, a known supporter of the that she has been on the receiv- Liberal Party, who was part of the controversial thread. ing end of fake news. “Ni personal meeting, ni tawag The vice president said she’d rather focus on her job instead sa telepono, hindi po kami nagof the ‘ridiculous’ allegations tawagan o nag-meet sa Amerika. Kaya ‘yung kumakalat na balita against her. “Pero sa akin, as much as hindi po iyon totoo (Not a perpossible, gusto ko sanang mag- sonal meeting nor a phone call. concentrate sa trabaho, kasi We didn’t even met in America. ang tingin ko lang, ang daming The circulating news was fake),” viciousness ngayon sa internet Robredo said. The vice president traveled to (For me, as much as possible, I want to concentrate on my job, the United States with her chilbecause I think there is a lot of vi- dren last month to spend the ciousness now on the internet),” holidays. In response to the allegations, Rodredo said. Robredo also denied being in Malacañang said it is conduct-

ing an investigation regarding the matter. “It’s a serious matter sapagkat may nakasulat doon kung paano nila papag-resign-in si President Duterte (It is a serious matter because it is written there how they will make President Duterte resign)... Siyempre, that does not sit well with us in the government because any move to oust the President is not good and it is definitely illegal,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar told radio DZMM. He also acknowledged that Robredo may not be part of the rumored ouster plot. “It’s possible she didn’t know,” Andanar said. n

Defense chief: Agreement for PH-Russia... PAGE A1 t na treaty, Mutual Defense Treaty na pagka-aatakihin tayo tulungan tayo. Wala tayong ganun sa Russia (It’s not the same with our Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S. which is a treaty, Mutual Defence Treaty, which mandates them to help us if we’re attacked),” Lorenzana explained. He also clarified that the Philippines will have a “cooperation,” not an “alliance,” with Russia and assured that the treaty will

not affect the Philippines’ alliance with the U.S. “No. Wala tayong alliance dito. Military to military cooperation ito (We don’t have an alliance. This is a military to military cooperation),” Lorenzana stressed. Last week, Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev said that Moscow is interested in forming a defense cooperation with Manila. He also said that his country is open to supplying the Philippines with firearms.

According to Lorenzana, Russian officials were expected visit the country this month to discuss possible weapon deals. “We need new partners in Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines. It’s time for the Philippines to discover Russia and time for Russians to discover the Philippines,” Khovaev said. The Russian ambassador, however, clarified that Moscow is not seeking a military alliance with Manila. n

Deadline to sign up for health coverage... PAGE A1 t by shopping around within their health plan’s metal tier. (Plans are available in four metal tiers, also known as coverage levels.) Covered California found that renewing members who have switched their plan, but remain within the same metal tier, have saved an average of $38 per month or $456 per year. In addition, more than half of all Covered California consumers, 59 percent, are eligible to choose a Bronze plan for less than $10 per month. Bronze plans offer three visits to a primary care physician or specialist that are not subject to a deductible. Also, nearly half of all Covered California consumers, 49 percent, can get a Silver plan for less than $100 per month. None of the outpatient

services included in the Silver plan — such as primary, urgent and specialist care — is subject to a deductible. For someone like Adam Kuns, 27, of Camarillo, the financial impact is secondary to managing his diabetes. Kuns was on his parents’ insurance plan until age 23, but he was depleting their retirement fund paying the $10,000 deductible for all of his needed care. That was until Covered California began offering coverage in 2014. “I can get the care I really need without going bankrupt,” Kuns said. “I’ve been on both ends of the stick. I’ve gone from having no health care and draining my parents’ retirement to having health insurance that actually works for me. I’m willing to pay a higher premium to

get a lower deductible.” As a small-business owner, Kuns said it can be tough paying more than $340 a month for coverage, but it certainly is better than the alternative. Along with diabetes, Kuns also has ulcerative colitis. He now has an insulin pump and sees an endocrinologist regularly to help him manage his conditions. There are many more stories like his throughout the state, since more than 2.8 million Californians have purchased health insurance through Covered California. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the uninsured rate has fallen from 17 percent in 2013 to 7.4 percent in the first half of 2016.


President Duterte relaxes while waiting to accept the credentials of new ambassadors at the study room of Malacañang on Monday, Jan. 9.

Trump invited to attend ASEAN summit... PAGE A1 t

been coordinating with other government agencies in beefingASEAN region as well as to the up the overall security preparaworld our capability to host intions as the Chair of the Committernational and important events, tee for Security, Peace and Order including the upcoming Miss and Emergency Preparedness Universe pageant,” Department and Response (CSPOEPR) for the of the Interior and Local GovernPhilippines’ hosting of ASEAN. ment (DILG) Secretary Ismael He added that the purpose of ‘Mike’ D. Sueno said. the ASEAN Summit is to show The Philippines previously the Philippines “the importance held the ASEAN chairmanship in of regional integration...and its 1987, 1999 and 2006. benefits to ordinary Filipinos.” Sueno said that the DILG has

The Philippine government is also set to officially launch ASEAN 2017 on January 15 in Davao City. “Filipinos are no longer just citizens of the Philippines but form part of the citizenry of the ASEAN Community since its formal establishment in 2015. Let us embrace our ASEANship and explore opportunities that are already in front of us,” Sueno remarked. n

Fil-Am dies after being pinned... PAGE A1 t life. He was 31 at the time of his death. “The doctor said that he fought,” De La Fuente’s longtime girlfriend, Dorothy Mak, told local ABC station KGO-TV on Friday. “He fought to stay alive, he really did.” She also said that he had been working to become a lawyer and was scheduled to take the LSAT in February. Fuentes made a living as a mechanic in San Francisco’s Mission district. He also worked as a taxi driver, which allowed him

to build friendships in the area, according to KGO-TV. “I just want his family to know that he was loved by many,” said Mak, as reported by AsAm News. On Friday night, friends formed a candlelight vigil at the BART station to honor De La Fuente’s memory. A GoFundMe campaign originally set up to cover his hospital bills on Thursday, January 5 had already exceeded $25,000 in donations to pay for funerary expenses by Sunday, January 8. As requested by De La Fuente’s mother Alice, Mak is working with GoFundMe to refund any

unused money. She has directed those who still wish to make a contribution in his honor to donate to the nonprofit Feeding America, which works to fight hunger throughout the United States. De La Fuente was raised by a single mother in the Philippines before immigrating to the U.S. His mother plans to bury him in his country of birth after hosting a local funeral. Comments left in his memory on an obituary page describe Fuente as humble, hard-working, and devoted to his girlfriend and family. (Eric Anthony Licas / AJPress)

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Dateline USa



One in three women with breast cancer treated unnecessarily, study concludes by Liz Szabo Kaiser Health News

One in three women with breast cancer detected by a mammogram is treated unnecessarily, because screening tests found tumors that are so slowgrowing that they’re essentially harmless, according to a Danish study published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine, which has renewed debate over the value of early detection. The study raises the uncomfortable possibility that some women who believe their lives were saved by mammograms were actually harmed by cancer screenings that led to surgery, radiation and even chemotherapy that they didn’t need, said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, who wrote an accompanying editorial but was not involved in the study. Researchers increasingly recognize that not all breast cancers pose the same risk, even if they look the same under a microscope, Brawley said. While some early tumors turn into deadly monsters, others stop growing or even shrink. But assuming that all small breast lesions have the potential to turn deadly is akin to “racial profiling,” Brawley wrote in his editorial. “By treating all the cancers that we see, we are clearly saving some lives,” Brawley said in an interview. “But we’re also ‘curing’ some women who don’t need to be cured.” Although experts such as Braw-


ley have long discussed the risks posed by “overdiagnosis,” relatively few women who undergo cancer screenings are even aware of the debate. The American College of Radiology, which strongly supports breast cancer screenings, acknowledges that mammograms lead some women to be treated unnecessarily, but said the problem is much less common than the new study suggests. Another study from Denmark – whose national health program keeps detailed records – estimated the overdiagnosis rates at only 2.3 percent. “The amount of overdiagnosis really is small,” said Dr. Debra Monticciolo, chair of the American College of Radiology’s Commission on Breast Imaging. “Articles like this aren’t very helpful,” she said, because they leave women confused about how to be screened for breast cancer. Yet treating women for cancer unnecessarily can endanger their health, said Fran Visco, president of the national Breast Cancer Coalition, an advocacy group. Radiation can damage the heart or even cause new cancers. Visco notes that breast cancer activist Carolina Hinestrosa, a vice president at the coalition, died at age 50 from soft-tissue sarcoma, a tumor caused by radiation used to treat an early breast cancer. Women should understand these risks, Visco said. Instead, women often hear only about mammograms’ benefits.

“Women have been inundated with the early detection message for decades,” Visco said. The risks of overdiagnosis and false positives, which can lead women with benign growths to undergo biopsies and other follow-up tests, have caused some experts to reevaluate breast cancer screenings. Although mammograms don’t find all tumors, they reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by 25 percent to 31 percent for women ages 40 to 69, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Medical groups now offer differing advice on mammograms: The American College of Radiology takes the most aggressive stance, recommending annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Tumors should be found when they’re “smaller and easier to treat,” Monticciolo said. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent expert panel that advises the federal government on health, provoked a firestorm of criticism in 2009 when it bucked that advice, recommending that women get mammograms every other year beginning at age 50. The group noted that breast cancer risk rises with age, so mammograms are more likely to discover cancer – as opposed to benign growths – after age 50. The American Cancer Society also scaled back its screening advice in 2015, recommending women get annual mammograms from 45 to 54, fol-

lowed by screenings every other year after that. In the new study, Danish researchers estimated the rate of overdiagnosis by comparing the number of early-stage and advanced breast tumors before and after the country started offering mammograms. If screenings work as intended, the number of small, curable breast tumors should increase, while reducing the number of large cancers by about the same amount. Although mammograms in Denmark detected a lot more breast cancers, these were mostly small, early-stage tumors, said study coauthor Dr. Karsten Jorgensen, a researcher at the nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. The number of advanced cancers did not fall. The debate about overdiagnosis illustrates the limits of medi-

Pope Francis selects Bishop Oscar Solis...

est population of Filipino Catholics. There, he worked as vicar for ethnic ministry and displayed a talent for building relationships between diverse members of the community, according to Avenido. He was later promoted to auxiliary bishop of the San Pedro Pastoral District in 2009. For the past seven years, Solis has been responsible for overseeing 67 parishes and eight Catholic high schools in Los Angeles and Long Beach. He has also been the episcopal advisor for the national Association of Filipino Priests since

2011. “Our loss will be a gift to the family of God in Salt Lake City,” Archbishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez told Angelus news on Tuesday. He went on to say that “I fully expect that [Solis] will become the leading voice for the millions of Filipino Catholics in this country.” Solis began serving as a priest in his hometown of San Jose City in the province of nueva ecija, Philippines after he was ordained by Bishop Vicente Reyes in 1979, according to Vatican Radio. After traveling to Rome in 1984 to earn a doctorate in canon law, Solis emigrated to the United

States and worked as a parochial vicar for the Archdiocese of newark, new Jersey until 1988. He then relocated to Thibodaux where he worked in four different parishes over the course of 15 years, according to various sources. In 2003, Solis was considering taking a sabbatical and eventually retiring in Louisiana before learning that he was a candidate for the position of auxiliary bishop on the West Coast. “I will miss friends and priests and LA, but I know God has something in store for us when he leads us to a new place,” Solis told Angelus news on Tuesday. He will be officially installed as

Salt Lake City’s Bishop during a ceremony at the Cathedral of the Madeline on Tuesday, March 7. Avenido said that Solis’s experience as a community builder made him an excellent choice to lead and represent Utah’s Catholic community. During Tuesday’s press event, Solis said he looked forward to working for all of the faithful in his new diocese and continuing interfaith cooperation with the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (LDS). Representatives of the Mormon community, as well as Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski have issued statements


cal technology, Brawley said. Although researchers can estimate the statistical rate of overdiagnosis, doctors treating actual patients can’t definitively tell which breast tumors need treatment and which might be safely ignored, Brawley said. So doctors tend to err on the side of caution and treat all breast cancers with surgery and, in many cases, radiation and chemotherapy. An estimated 253,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women this year, with nearly 41,000 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. An additional 63,000 women will be diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, also known as DCIS, which has some, but not all, of the typical traits of cancer. Although DCIS cells have

changed to appear malignant under the microscope, they haven’t invaded surrounding tissue. The American Cancer Society defines DCIS as the earliest stage of breast cancer, and women with the condition typically undergo the same treatment given to women with early invasive cancers. Although DCIS isn’t life-threatening, doctors recommend treating it to prevent it from becoming invasive. Other experts note that DCIS carries such low risk that it should be considered merely a risk factor for cancer. Researchers are conducting studies to measure whether it’s safe to scale back treatment of DCIS. This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. n

Deadline to sign up for health coverage... PAGE A2 t Covered California has built a competitive market where the consumer is in the driver’s seat and health plans are fighting for their business. More than 90 percent of Californians have a choice between three or more carriers, and all will have at least two to choose from in 2017. Having coverage can also protect individuals and their families from spending tens of thousands of dollars on an unexpected emergency room

visit. Those interested in enrolling online can do so on CoveredCA. com. Free and confidential inperson assistance, available in a variety of languages, can be found by clicking on “Free Local Help to enroll.” Consumers can find a nearby enroller or have a certified enroller contact them through the “Help on Demand” feature. They can also enroll over the phone by calling Covered California at (800) 300-1506. n

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D ateline PhiliPPines PH gov’t to implement anti-

drug program ‘Oplan Tokhang’ against illegal gamblers by Dana

SioSon AJPress

ThE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to extend its ‘Oplan Tokhang’ program from illegal drugs to illegal gambling this year. Oplan Tokhang, which means “knock and plead,” is a police operation in the country wherein authorities knock on the doors of suspected drug users or pushers and ask them to surrender. DILG Secretary Ismael ‘Mike’ Sueno said that apart from the narcotics campaign, the PNP should also implement the ‘Oplan Tokhang’ principle in going after illegal gambling lords “to ensure that appropriate taxes go to government coffers.” Sueno added that he also asked the PNP to ensure the program to not be used by the policemen for their own interests. “I also prod PNP to ensure that (Oplan) Tokhang is not used or abused by policemen for their personal interests or some sort of vendetta against their enemies. Let us make sure that Tokhang is implemented for the sole purpose that it was conceived, and that is to round up drug personalities and other criminals,” the DILG secretary said. Records from the PNP show that the police has visited 6 million houses through the program from July 1, 2016 to January 8, 2017. From the 41,000 police operations conducted nationwide, an estimate of 44,000 drug pushers and users have been arrested. Around 1 million self-confessed drug addicts have also reportedly surrendered, PNP estimates show. These figures, according to Malacañang, makes President Rodrigo Duterte’s intensified anti-

illegal drugs campaign a “success.” “It is evident we are hitting the mark in our campaign against illegal drugs,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said. he added that the government’s crackdown on narcotics also “pulled down the country’s crime rate by 32 percent.” “People feel safer in the streets and at night because the number of theft, carjacking, robbery, rape, physical injury has decreased. At the end of the day, this is what counts,” Andanar noted. On the other hand, the number of deaths during legitimate police operations also dropped to an average of five persons daily during the first month of 2017, compared to the average 30 deaths per day in 2016. A total of 41 deaths have been recorded by the PNP from December 31, 2016 to January 8, 2017. Since Duterte took office, around 6,000 people have been killed in the campaign from July to December last year—with 2,000 people slain during legitimate police operations while the remaining 4,000 were killed in extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings conducted mostly by unknown suspects. This has earned the Philippine government condemnation from both local and international human rights groups. The PNP, however, maintained that the war against illegal drugs would still be the top priority of the government this year. “Drugs pa rin...kasi ang ating target ay zero drug affected barangays. I don’t know kung kalian natin makukuha yan pero hopefully this year gawin natin (It’s still drugs… our target is to have zero drug-affected barangays. I don’t know when we will achieve this but hopefully we could this year),” Dela Rosa said. n

Devotees pack Jones Bridge as the Black Nazarene heads toward Quiapo Church in Manila during the annual grand procession yesterday.

SC denies petition vs. Marcos burial at Libingan by Gil

C. CabaCunGan

bury the late dictator at Libingan last Nov. 18 or just 10 days after the SC voted 9 to 5 with one ThE Supreme Court en banc abstention to uphold the Presion Tuesday denied a petition dent’s order to finally end Marquestioning President Duterte cos’ 27-year wait for a burial. and the high court’s decision on The President claimed that as the burial of the late President a former president and soldier, Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan Marcos had met all the requireng mga Bayani. ments to be eligible to lie among In a statement, the high court war heroes at Libingan. denied “outright” the petition The Marcos family clandesfiled by lawyer Conrado L. Mani- tinely proceeded with the burial cad. ceremonies even if the SC had The Marcos family decided to yet to act on the motions for

reconsideration filed by several petitioners who had 15 days to make their appeal. The petitioners were led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo who represented families of the human rights victims who were killed, abducted and tortured during martial law. The burial took less than four hours from the transport of Marcos’ remains by helicopter from Ilocos Norte to Libingan as the family obviously wanted to avoid

protesters from massing at the cemetery gates. The high court’s decision was met with massive protests as it was deemed a condonation of the abuses committed by Marcos and a spite against the people who joined the Edsa People Power Revolution which forced his ouster in 1986. The court also virtually condoned the Marcos family’s rush to get on with the burial when it noted there was no specific order barring such. n

Lopez, 3 other DENR officials face raps by RhoDina


MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Gina Lopez and three other officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are facing criminal and administrative charges from a consumer group over an allegedly anomalous purchase of air quality monitoring equipment. In a nine-page complaint sheet filed with the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday, Jan 9, the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) accused Lopez of inaction for not launching any investigation on what it called the anomalous purchase of equipment by the DENR’s PAGE A3 t Bishop Solis as we work together Environmental Management to serve the people of Utah. Mabu- Bureau (EMB)-Air Quality Moniwelcoming Solis’s appointment. “We look forward to building a hay, Bishop Solis!” wrote LDS toring Section (AQMS). friendship and partnership with Church officials on Tuesday. n “A whitewash had succeeded,

Pope Francis selects Bishop Oscar Solis... photo by Miguel De Guzman

and respondent Lopez had been overheard commending the very persons not only for what they are doing, but also for their competence,” the complaint read. The UFCC, along with cocomplainant Airboard Co., a billboard advertising firm, said the EMB-AQMS then headed by Jean Rosete and Teresita Peralta procured in 2006 four Open Path Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) stations from Electrobyte without doing market research or study. Electrobyte is the exclusive distributor of DOAS in the Philippines. The complainants claimed the acquisitions had failed to deliver consistent and reliable air quality data. In 2010, the groups said, four more DOAS were purchased from their “favorite supplier,”


In a nine-page complaint sheet filed with the Office of the Ombudsman yesterday, the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) accused Secretary Gina Lopez of inaction for not launching any investigation on what it called the anomalous purchase of equipment by the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Air Quality Monitoring Section (AQMS). ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

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Dateline PhiliPPines



No threat to Miss U pageant – police THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it has not monitored any direct threat to the Miss Universe beauty pageant to be held in the country this month. “As far as direct threat… as of now we don’t have any direct threat concerning the staging of the Miss Universe pageant… the monitoring is continuous,” Senior Supt. Emmanuel Licup of the Security Task Force for Miss Universe told a news briefing in Camp Crame in Quezon City. Since the beauty pageant is an international event, according to Licup, it will be a good platform for terrorist groups to stage attacks. But, he said, the PNP will make sure that none will happen. The last time that the country hosted the Miss Universe beauty pageant was in 1994, with Sush-

mita Sen of India being crowned the winner that year. “The PNP will make sure that none of these things [attacks]will happen during the staging of this pageant,” Licup said. The police official added that all eyes will be on the Philippines and that the PNP will take the opportunity to showcase the country as a tourist destination since the pageant will also highlight the peace and order situation in the country. Licup said they will be deploying around 1,300 police personnel in Metro Manila alone to provide security, adding that the deployment of forces in the provinces where some pre-pageant activities will be held depends on the regional director. Licup said the Aviation Security Group is also involved in coordination with airport authorities,

together with the Intelligence Group and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. An inter-agency security committee will be headed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which has direct supervision over the PNP. Licup said police personnel have been told not to post for selfies with the Miss Universe candidates. He added that the candidates will not be allowed to have appointments on their own, according to a briefing by organizers of the Miss Universe beauty pageant. The police official said no roads will be closed during the staging of the pageant. Licup said there is no plan to jam cellphone signals during the event. (Anthony Vargas/

Firemen put out a fire that struck Barangay North Bay Boulevard North in Navotas City on Monday, Jan 9. At right, residents sift through debris for recyclable materials after the blaze. photo by Michael Varcas

AFP hunts down remnants of terrorist group PDEA steps up crackdown on drug-dealing foreigners by Jeoffrey


GENERAL SANTOS CITY— Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has ordered the military to hunt down the remnants of the terrorist group, Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines, hiding in Sarangani province and other parts of Central Mindanao. Lorenzana visited the military headquarters in Sarangani on Monday to commend troops for killing three Ansa Al-Khilafah men, including the local leader, Mohammed Jaafar Sabewang Maguid. The defense chief said the killing of Maguid, also known as “Tokboy,” in Kiamba town on Jan. 5 and the deaths of Pakistani national Abu Naila and his Filipino wife, Kadija, on Jan. 7 in Maasim town represent a major victory in the fight against terrorism and a big blow for Ansar Al-Khilafah. “We will continue the operation against them as well as against members of the Maute group in Lanao del Sur,” Lorenzana said. It was not clear how many Ansar Al-Khilafah men remained. But Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., spokesperson for the Central Mindanao Police Office, told the Inquirer that the authorities were monitoring the movements of three more members of the group in Sarangani. “No more foreigners this time. They are all Filipinos,” Galgo

eigners were already nabbed,” Lapeña added. Of the apprehended foreign“[FOREIGNERS] were found ers, Chinese still dominated the to be greatly involved in the list with 44, followed by Taispread of illegal drugs in the wanese at 29, 7 Hong Kongers country. In 2016, a total of 112 and 7 South Koreans. The rest are other Asians, [foreigners]were arrested for violation of Republic Act 9165, Americans, Europeans and Afor the Comprehensive Danger- ricans. From 2010 to 2016, a total of ous Drugs Act of 2002.” This was the assessment 473 foreigners were arrested made by Philippine Drug En- for violation of the anti-drug forcement Agency (PDEA) Di- law: 112 in 2016, 38 in 2015, 67 rector General Isidro Lapeña on in 2014, 77 in 2013, 65 in 2012, Tuesday, saying the agency has 45 in 2011 and 69 in 2010. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. Inquirer File photo/Lyn Rillon continued to tighten its moni“Out of the foreigners arresttoring of foreigners involved in ed in the last seven years, 227 or 48 percent were Chinese. Maasim. said. illegal -rug activities. In a subsequent raid on the Senior Supt. Joseph Semillano, Foreigners “arrested for drug- They were either pushers, posthe Sarangani police chief, said house of Kupang Sahak, another related offenses nationwide sessors, couriers, manufacNaila arrived in Maasim in Au- follower of Maguid, government more than doubled to 79 six turers [or]financiers,” Lapeña gust last year to train Ansar Al- forces found black Islamic State months into the government’s said. To address the influx of ChiKhilafah members in bomb-mak- group flags and bomb-making war against drugs. During the materials. n ing. first semester of 2016, 33 for- nese involved in the Philippine Naila and his wife tried to travel to Sulu province on Jan. 7, but aborted their plan when they noticed that the government had increased naval seHe said Abe would spend his tial spokesman Ernesto Abella by Catherine S. Valente curity, Semillano said. said the Japanese leader person- first day, January 12, in Manila. The two were killed by governally requested a visit to Duterte’s Duterte will host a state dinner ment forces on the same day. residence at Doña Luisa Subdivi- in Malacañang. Maguid’s group was blamed for Abella said the two leaders PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte sion in Matina district. the 2015 grenade attack in Maa- is set to welcome Japanese Prime “Apparently, they have struck a may come up with a deal adsim that killed a police officer and Minister Shinzo Abe in his home certain resonant chord between dressing regional issues and wounded dozens of civilians. in Davao City during the latter’s the two of them. And apparently, counter-terrorism, as well boostOn Aug. 20 last year, three of two-day visit to the Philippines the Prime Minister Abe wants to ing business activity. his men were killed when gov- this week, a Palace official said visit the President’s house. So Abe is also expected to meet ernment forces swooped down on Tuesday. it’s interesting,” Abella told re- with Filipino business leaders in on his lair in Barangay Daliao in Manila and Davao. In a news conference, presiden- porters. by Jing


drug trade, PDEA and the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China signed a “Protocol On Cooperation” on October 20, 2016 in Beijing to effectively suppress and control drug crimes between the two nations. The protocol will be effective for five years. “The PDEA has stepped up its campaign to pursue foreigners responsible for the proliferation of dangerous drugs in the country. This led to their eventual arrest through high-impact operations, including the dismantling of clandestine laboratories used in the manufacture of shabu, chemical warehouses, prevention of drug trafficking in airports and seaports and high-volume seizures through buy-busts,” Lapena said. n

Japanese PM Abe to visit Duterte’s Davao City home Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. earlier said Abe’s visit would reciprocate Duterte’s own successful trip to Japan in October last year. During his official visit to Japan, Duterte was able to get 12 business agreements valued at $1.8 billion. The agreements were not government contracts but private-to-private joint projects. n

A6 JANUARY 11-13, 2017 • LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797



Kidnap cops

IT was bound to happen, and sooner than later considering the environment of impunity that the police force has been seemingly granted. After all, when no less than the President delivers the blanket assurance that whatever police officers do in the line of duty will not be subjected to sanctions as long as he is the country’s highest official—even if their actions cross the bounds of integrity, professionalism and the very codes of conduct of the police organization—then that promise of carte blanche protection will only serve to embolden the corrupt among the ranks. And it has been happening in the administration’s brutal war on drugs and crime. Now entering its seventh month, the campaign has produced not only an ever-escalating body count but also mounting evidence of rogue policemen taking advantage of the extraordinary leeway given them by President Duterte. That some cops were doing double duty as vigilantes was on full display in the case of two Oriental Mindoro policemen caught and exposed as a riding-tandem execution team. They shot in cold blood a local crime watch leader, reaffirming the widespread suspicion that many in the police force are themselves part of the criminal enterprises they are sworn to go after. Mr. Duterte’s flagship campaign was also ostensibly about rooting out the corruption and criminality that have tainted law-enforcement operations. By smashing the drug syndicates, he was cutting off the supply of money and influence routinely

used to make cops look the other way, or worse, to protect and participate in the drug business. But, as concerned sectors have repeatedly warned, using the same compromised police force without first cleaning up their ranks, urging them to employ the most ruthless methods while assuring them of ready pardon any time they violated their own protocols of conduct or engagement, was an open invitation to abuse. “Operation Tokhang,” at this point, claims as metrics for its success nearly a million drug “surrenderers” and over 5,000 suspects killed, mostly allegedly because they resisted arrest. The total fatalities, as documented by independent observers, are closer to over 6,000 at this time; a number of those who died at the hands of unknown gunmen had earlier turned themselves in to the police, only to be targeted for extrajudicial killing just the same. Activists have also complained of “Operation Tokhang” being used to harass their ranks and flush out suspected New People’s Army rebels, with members of progressive organizations in the countryside suddenly finding their names on the local drug watch lists. And suspects already in police custody, whether poor or not, don’t have it easier: The fate of the father and son who were killed by cops inside a Pasay police station was essentially the same as that visited on the imprisoned Rolando Espinosa, the mayor of Albuera, Leyte.

Guest Editorial photo

And now, cops appear to have upped their game by venturing into kidnapping for ransom in the name of the drug war. In an exclusive story, the Inquirer’s Tarra Quismundo reports that a South Korean businessman, Jee Ick-joo, has been missing since October, after policemen barged into his home in Angeles City announcing a drug raid and then taking him away. The cops have been identified as from the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group in Camp Crame. The businessman’s distraught wife, who is appealing to Mr. Duterte’s administration for help in finding

her husband, says their house was also ransacked and some P540,000 worth of jewelry and other personal items stolen. It was the PNP itself that suggested the kidnapfor-ransom angle; in the case referral letter it sent to the Department of Justice, it recommended that the suspects—one police officer plus four others and “several John Does”—be investigated for kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention. One shudders at what other atrocities will be committed in the name of this out-of-control war on drugs. (

“#LeniLeaks” : Are criticisms of Duterte’s drug policy and the call for his resignation an act of sedition OR free speech?

MANY kababayans in the Philippines and here in the United States have been asking me about the truth behind #LeniLeaks — a trending topic on social media that talks about the alleged plot by supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by discrediting both the Philippine president, as well as former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, who lost to Robredo in the VP race. Front and center of the allegations are Filipino-American community leaders Loida Nicolas Lewis, her sister and former Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chair Imelda Nicolas, and Atty. Ted Laguatan. As Balitang America reported, the #LeniLeaks topic trended on social media platforms all over the world because of the alleged involvement of people from the office of VP Robredo. In a Yahoo Groups page called “Global Filipino Diaspora Council,” Lewis, Laguatan, Nicolas, and the members of the page were reportedly exchanging messages that talk about mass protests calling for

Duterte’s resignation and how to counteract controversies The Fil-Am against Robredo. Philippine Communication Perspective Secretary Martin Andanar, reveals that Malacañang is taking this matter seriously, and that no less than National Security Adviser Hermogenes GEL SANTOS-RELOS Esperon along with online forensics experts are looking into the matter. They also want to ascertain if Robredo was part of the online exchanges in the aforementioned Yahoo group discussion board. Robredo denies accusations against her and categorically stated that she is not part of any attempt to oust Duterte. She also clarifies that she has not met lately with Loida Nicolas Lewis as alleged and that the last time they talked was during the campaign season. In many interviews, the vice president has said that she will continue to call out Duterte for issues

like the extrajudicial killings, human rights violations, and respect for women. However, she will fully support the president for causes they agree on. Fil-Am community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis reiterated her previous statement that she is not plotting any overthrow of Duterte, but has just been calling on the president to resign based on his campaign promise that if he does not solve the drug menace after six months in office, then he would step down. Lewis contends that she follows the rule of law, and that publicly and openly calling for Duterte to resign is part of the legal process, which also mandates that if and when the president resigns or becomes incapacitated to fulfill his/her job, the elected VP takes over the highest office. Duterte’s followers allege that talking about the president’s resignation, criticizing him and not giving him the support but instead protesting

The instincts of a leader

Street Talk GREG B. MACABENTA IN the wake of the devastation wreaked by super typhoon Nina in the Bicol Region, Vice-President Leni Robredo has been pilloried in social and mainstream media for being “missing in action.” Camarines Sur has been among the most severely damaged, as well as Albay and neighboring provinces. The fact that CamSur is Robredo’s home province has made her fair game for supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte who see Robredo as a lurking threat to his presidency, what with the media playing up rumors of a plot to oust him. But even those who think well of Robredo may have begun to have second thoughts about her readiness to assume the leadership of the country, in case of an abbreviated Duterte tenure. Proceeding with her Christmas vacation in the United States with her family, in spite of the approaching calamity, and remaining in the US in the face of the devastation have raised questions about her priorities as a national leader. One pundit put it to me quite candidly: What would Jojo Binay have done under the circumstances? Knowing the former vicepresident, I have no doubt that he would have personally been at ground zero as soon as typhoon Nina made a landfall, leading

volunteers and distributing relief goods. Another question posed to me was: What would the current vicepresident’s late husband, Jesse Robredo, have done under the circumstances? I never had the privilege of meeting him, but here is what I dug up in the archives about Jesse Robredo as mayor of Naga City (quoted verbatim): ”December 5, 1992, Naga City was flooded. It was like Ondoy and Habagat. Naga City was full of total darkness due to absence of power supply from CASURECO II. Large trees blocked the road and contaminated drinking water. Guess what, it was cleaned up in less than a week. The power supply was restored in two days time. Trees blocking the road were cut immediately and you can see the road free from mud. How did DILG Secretary do this? He mobilized all the contractors of Naga City, he used the trucks and heavy equipment in clearing the city free of charge. And, he personally led the clearing operations. Imagine that early morning of December 6, 1992, DILG Secretary Robredo is shoveling the mud in the streets and his city hall employees were helping. Every single resident of Naga City was inspired with the action taken by DILG Secretary Robredo…” VP Binay and Jesse Robredo had the instincts of a leader. They knew their priorities. On the other hand, Leni Robredo, in spite of being the second highest official

in the land, apparently acted like the average individual who had already made plans for a holiday vacation and, therefore, could not cancel the trip. In fact, that was how Robredo’s apologists explained it. In social media, a certain Gomez, responding to critics, posted: “Why are you overreacting? If she wants to spend her holidays with her family and sister in the US, there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone’s entitled to spend the holidays with their family, same as you and everyone else.” Gomez further “argued that the vice president cannot stop a typhoon, and that local government units are the ones responsible in looking after their constituents. Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Villafuerte and Naga Mayor John Bongat are on top of the situation and have evacuated people to safety.” The apologist is absolutely right - that is, if Robredo were not the vice-president of the country. But she is. She is not your average Juana or Maria. She is also being primed by supporters as head of the opposition and is just a heart attack (or a coup) away from being chief executive and commander-in-chief. For sure, a long-planned overseas Christmas holiday with family members, is not easy to cancel, whatever natural calamity or disaster might be looming. It really depends on how important one considers the threatened victims of the calamity or how one values

one’s image as a leader. Several years ago, my wife and I were about to board a flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Europe, in the course of a long-planned trip to promote the 3rd Global Filipino Networking Convention in Cebu. But my mobile phone suddenly rang and we received the news that my mother-in-law had just died. Because the deceased was the mother of my wife and was someone dear to me and my family, rushing to her internment was more important than the trip to Europe, no matter what the additional expenses and other inconveniences were. We cancelled our trip and immediately booked a flight to the Philippines. It was simply a matter of priorities. Were the people of Camarines Sur and the people of the Bicol Region, high on Robredo’s list of priorities? The decision she made to proceed with her trip – although seemingly logical and practical (she could probably not have been as effective as the provincial officials of CamSur and Albay in managing relief operations) – may have sent the wrong signals about her leadership instincts. To put the issue in perspective, here is what was said about US Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush in a newspaper editorial, when Louisiana was struck by massive flooding in August 2016, while Obama was on vacation.

against his policies may be deemed as an act of sedition as it may incite the public to rebel against his lawful authority. On the other hand, critics of Duterte contend that the Yahoo group, which has been formed in 2011 as a discussion board on how to help the Philippines in its fight against China’s bullying and other issues that beset the nation, was merely exercising the constitutional right to free speech. The group’s members argue that criticizing Duterte’s drug policy and calling for his resignation based on what he promised is exercising their free speech. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do criticisms of Duterte’s policy and the call for his resignation serve an act of sedition OR an exercise of free speech in a democracy? *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, Santos.Relos

“Vacation or not, a hurting Louisiana needs you now, President Obama – Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected. We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina… It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.” The editorial added: “Like his predecessors, Obama has no doubt discovered that crises keep their own calendar, even when commanders-in-chief are trying to take some time off the clock. It’s an inconvenience of the presidency, but it’s what chief executives sign up for when they take the oath of office.” Indeed, rushing to the side of beleaguered constituents is an inconvenience of high national office, but it’s what Leni Robredo signed up for when she agreed to run for vice-president. It can be argued that Robredo is “helping coordinate the relief operations for typhoon ‘Nina’ in the Bicol Region, while on a break in the US,” to quote her spokeswoman, Georgina Hernandez, and that “a team from the office of the vice president (OVP) has been dispatched to the affected areas to facilitate relief and emergency response operations on the ground.”

But as the Louisiana editorial said about Obama, the president of the United States needed “to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.” Likewise, Vice-President Leni Robredo needed to do the same in CamSur and the Bicol Region to show her solidarity with her suffering constituents. In an August 2015 article in US News & World Report on the 10th anniversary Hurricane Katrina, Democratic pollster Geoff Garin observed that Bush’s tepid response to the disaster “raised fundamental questions in people’s minds about how in touch he was while there was chaos in people’s lives, and how much he cared about it. And it raised questions about the basic competence of his administration.” The same questions may have been raised about how in touch Robredo is with the chaos in her constituents’ lives and how much she cares about them. Of course, Robredo can always make good the next time another disaster pummels our hapless nation (God forbid). Hopefully, she will learn a few lessons in crisis management, the burden and inconveniences of a national position, and the need for sharpening her leadership instincts. Incidentally, President Rodrigo Duterte - whatever may be said about his verbiage and his deadly management style - is familiar with all of these and there is no doubt about his leadership instincts. (

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. ROGER LAGMAY ORIEL Publisher & Chairman of the Board


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Dateline PhiliPPines





President OKs P1,000 pension hike Black Nazarene back home by Catherine

S. Valente

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has approved a P1,000 hike in the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) retirees, but there will be an increase in contributions from members. In a news conference, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte was “not amenable� to funding the pension increase with taxpayers’ money. The SSS should finance it from contributions and investments, he said. “The President has approved a P1,000 pension increase this month, with a corresponding 1.5 percent contribution rate hike in May 2017 and increase in monthly salary credit to P20,000 from P16,000,� Abella told reporters. “He [Duterte] seeks to fullfill a social contract with the Filipino people specially the elderly and the poor, to give them their best lives in service, while exercising fiscal responsibility to ensure the economic sustainability and protect those who invested in the

nation’s future,� he added. Duterte finalized his decision during a Cabinet meeting on Monday. In the same news conference, SSS Chairman Amado Valdez said the initial P1,000 pension hike effective January would be followed by another P1,000 hike in 2022 or earlier, as suggested by members of Congress. “The first P1,000 [will be implemented]this January. We projected the next P1,000 in 2022 but if we are able to implement and get favorable results, maybe it won’t take until 2022, maybe by 2019 we can already comply with the next P1,000,� Valdez said. The President promised to increase SSS pensions when he campaigned for the presidency last year. His predecessor, Benigno Aquino 3rd, vetoed a legislated adjustment, saying it would bankrupt the pension fund for private workers. Duterte admitted in a recent interview that his economic managers were not keen on granting the P2,000 across-the-

board increase in SSS pensions as the agency might face bankruptcy. “If anything goes there, it will be passed on to the taxpayers. Those who are not members. That’s the problem. Because hindi naman kasalanan ng buong bayan [it’s not the fault of the entire country],� the President said. Fund life up to 2040 In Tuesday’s news conference, SSS President Emmanuel Dooc told reporters the SSS had enough funds to support the pension hike this month. However, there could be a “slight delay� to February as the SSS “recomputes� its finances. “This will take effect this month, if I’m not mistaken, but maybe due to some system requirement because we need a recomputation, we need to prepare a table, there may be a slight delay,� Dooc said. “This is an obligation under the law. Actually, it’s not just an obligation under the law. It’s a moral obligation because you are building social protection.

I’m calling the attention of employers to really pay the contributions so we can deliver the increase in benefits,� he added. In a statement, Valdez explained that the combination of additional contributions and a higher monthly salary ceiling meant that the SSS fund would last up to 2040. Valdez said the SSS would intensify its collection efforts by going after non-complying employers. He reiterated plans to diversify assets by directly investing in up to 25 percent ownership in a wide range of industries, including infrastructure projects like toll roads, real estate and even lottery operations. Valdez also said that SSS had cut down operating expenses in its 2017 budget by P1 billion, as part of measures to improve its performance and address a “structural imbalance� in funding. “There are a lot of interventions that we are already doing to raise more funds for the SSS pension fund,� he said. n

safe despite terror threats by JheSSet

o. enano & YuJi VinCent B. gonzaleS

DESPITE threats of violence from terror groups in Mindanao, thousands of Catholic devotees guided the centuries-old image of the Black Nazarene safely and peacefully back to its home, the Basilica Minore in Quiapo, Manila before dawn on Tuesday. This year’s Traslacion, or procession, which started at around 5:30 a.m. on Monday at the Quirino Grandstand at the Luneta, took longer – 22 hours, about an hour longer than last year’s. The distance from the grandstand to the church is just over 3 km. But with about a million devotees crowding the winding route through the streets of Manila, the procession proceeded in its accustomed snail’s pace. As the andas, or carriage, of the cross-bearing Christ reached Plaza Miranda through Villalobos Street at around 3:10

a.m., the crowd at the historic public square went into a near frenzy. The Hijos de Nazareno, or the Sons of the Nazarene, started guiding the image back through the church gate at around 3:27 a.m. They closed the gate at 3:30 a.m. No untoward incidents were reported by authorities, although at least 1,000 people were treated for various complaints, mostly minor wounds, dizziness and fainting spells. In last year’s Traslacion, two deaths were reported. The annual Traslacion, regarded as fhe biggest religious gathering in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, commemorates the first parade transferring the revered icon of Jesus Christ from a church in Intramuros to the Quiapo Church on Jan. 9, 1767. n


these same air monitors were purchased at the gross disadvantage of the Philippine government.� Javellana added they are also questioning the motive behind the past actions of some EMB officials in deciding to purchase the DOAS despite proof that these were either obsolete or had been phased out years before the DENR purchased them. “Worst is the fact that we also discovered that most of these expensive air monitors are not properly working and some are not functional anymore,� Javellana said. “In Metro Manila, the air quality monitors in question are not even enough to give a very credible and complete picture or results of the real air quality situation in the National Capital Region.� Also named respondent in the charge sheet is Leo Jasareno, former director of the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau and now consultant for the DENR. n

Cayetano prepares DFA, joins South China Sea meet Lopez, 3 other DENR... by Pia lee-Brago

MANILA, Philippines – Preparing to assume the post of foreign affairs secretary by the middle of this year, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano has been joining presidential visits and meetings abroad as well as international conferences on the South China Sea (SCS). Cayetano, who will replace Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., participated in an international conference on “The South China Sea Award: The Legal Dimension� held in Singapore’s Regent Hotel from Jan. 5 to 6. Aside from Cayetano, the event was attended by Philippine embassy officials in Singapore led by Consul General Victorio Mario Dimagiba Jr., Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and other officials. They were invited by the National University of Singapore (NUS)-Center for International Law, which organized the event. Academicians and experts ex-

changed views on the legal elements of the award in terms of jurisdiction, historic rights, status and entitlements of features in the SCS, and protection of the marine environment. The participants discussed the possible implications of the award to jurisprudence on the law of the sea. Cayetano and Carpio met with Kishore Mahbubani, dean of NUS’s Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy, and discussed with him future collaborations as well as developments in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region. The meeting was attended by foreign affairs officials Leo Tito Ausan Jr., Evangeline Ong-Jimenez Ducrocq, Ma. Antonina Mendoza-Oblena, Anwar Ito and Hermes Ocampo, and Assistant Solicitor General Raymund Rigodon. In setting aside the territorial issue and the UN tribunal ruling, Yasay had said the only way to move forward is to strengthen other aspects in the country’s relations with China and pursue

confidence-building measures. The Philippines wants to improve its ties with China particularly in trade, commerce and political exchange. In December, President Duterte said he would give the DFA post to Cayetano, his runningmate in the last elections,

Electrobyte. Again, this was done without market research, they said. “These machines would not function, or could not be utilized for the purposes they were acquired, or if these machines do indeed provide us with data, the data would always be inaccurate or cannot be relied upon,� the complainants said. The complaint added: “It is clear that the way the Clean Air Act is being implemented only serves business purposes and not the purposes that will help uplift the health of Filipinos.� The UFCC said the respondents should conduct a review of the implementation of the after Yasay steps down to return Procurement Act. “This is a clear case of graft to the US. Yasay is a visiting law profes- and corruption,� UFCC presisor at the Richardson School of dent Rodolfo Javellana said. Law in the University of Hawaii. “We are questioning a total of The law prohibits losing can- roughly a billion pesos worth of didates from accepting govern- purchases of air quality monitorment posts within one year after ing instruments or equipment by DENR after discovering that elections. n

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Peso forecast for 2017 weakest at P52:$1 by MAYVELIN


Depreciation seen ranging from P50:$1 Private financial institutions forecast the peso to weaken to a range of P50:$1 to P52:$1 toward the end of the year, with the most pessimistic view seeing a scenario of worsening risk sentiment in case of a hardline trade stance between China and the United States. The peso closed at P49.72 against the greenback at the end of last year. For the entire 2016, the peso depreciated by 5.35

percent from the year earlier. Among the four institutions that provided the forecasts, Fitch-owned BMI Research placed the peso-dollar rate at its strongest position at P50:$1 by end-2017. BMI said a robust economic growth outlook and anchored inflation will offset the drag posed by the yuan’s renewed weakness. At the other end of the spectrum, ING Bank Manila expects the peso to trade on the weak side for most of 2017, finishing the year at P52:$1. ING said a “hardline trade stance between China and the

US is not our base case. But if such a hardline stance develops, risk sentiment would worsen, leading to an even weaker Philippine peso. A more difficult local political environment would also lead to a significantly weaker PHP.…” Late last year, U.S. Presidentelect Donald Trump signaled that he would take a hardline stance against China on trade, in line with his campaign message that he would move to change the balance of trade with China. The local unit of the Dutch financial institution had said China-US trade relations and


Gaming hotel industries to get a boost from growth in tourism by IRIS


MANILA, Philippines – The country’s gaming and hotel industries are expected to get a big boost from the steady growth of the tourism sector. In its Philippine Real Estate Market Insight for the fourth quarter of 2016, Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services Inc., said tourist arrivals likely reached the six million mark by the end of

last year. “This is a very good news to the operators of more than 20,000 deluxe hotel rooms in Metro Manila,” the property consultancy firm said in its report. Okada Manila, the 44-hectare integrated casino resort by Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada is the latest to open inside the Entertainment City of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

The SM Group also opened its five-star Conrad Hotel in the SM Mall of Asia complex as operated by the Hilton Group. This 347-room hotel sits on top of the two-floor high-end S Maison mall. Pinnacle said the new hotels would be able to hitch a ride on the growing tourist arrivals in the country. “Even Vista Land Group joined


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Death penalty revival has economic repercussions – Lopez by Richmond


MANILA, Philippines – Economic repercussions await the Philippines should the planned revival of the death penalty in the country push through, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said. The trade chief, however, said he is willing to risk it to improve the peace and order situation in the country. “For me, I would go with what is good for the country. In other words, if to maintain peace and order and improve security conditions in the country, if bringing back the death penalty is the solution, I would go with it if that will contribute to overall peace and order,” Lopez said. “With that, I would then justify and maybe request those partner countries giving GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) to give us the flexibility if this is what is needed in the country,” he added. With the proposal to revive the death penalty for certain heinous crimes, the Philippines puts at oversupply concerns,” Colliers risk the GSP plus (GSP+) status said. it currently enjoys with the EuroIn contrast, the take-up of pean Union (EU). units in the quarter slightly inThe Philippines was granted creased to 1,300 units from the beneficiary country status under 1,030 units absorbed by the the EU-GSP+ in December 2014, Cebu market in the same period a year earlier. “More than half of the total take-up [was]from the Mid-Income category, followed by the Economic (20 percent) and the Affordable (16 percent) segments,” Colliers said. “The by James Konstantin Galvez stronger take-up is also uted to robust international sales of recently launched projGMA Network rounded out ects, including Taft Properties’ Mandani Bay Suites project,” it another milestone year in 2016 after leading competition in added. Colliers attributed the strong nationwide TV ratings based market absorption to the in- on full-year data from ratings creasing household incomes service provider Nielsen TV driven by overseas Filipino Audience Measurement. From January to December workers’ (OFW) remittances. “Other factors attributed to 2016 (with December 25 to stronger take-up during the 31 based on overnight data), period are low interest rates; GMA registered a total day flexible and affordable payment people audience share of 37.3 schemes offered by banks and percent in NUTAM (National developers; improved accessi- Urban Television Audience bility to residential projects es- Measurement), ahead of ABSpecially those inside township CBN’s 37.1 percent, Nielsen projects; and a generally robust said over the weekend. GMA grabbed the nationwide macroeconomic environment,” the real estate services firm lead from ABS-CBN based on said. (Catherine Talavera /Ma- people shares in September 2016, and has since prevailed

Tourism drives demand for condotels, serviced residences in Cebu MORE leisure-oriented condominium developments are expected to rise in Cebu in the medium term, mainly driven by its growing tourism sector, according to a real estate services firm. In a statement on Monday, Colliers International Philippines said it has observed a continued increase in residential developments in Cebu that cater to tourists, such as condotels and serviced residences. “We see a more robust development of leisure-related projects given the projected increase in tourist arrivals in the city,” Colliers said. Colliers attributed the rise of leisure-related developments to a number of factors, such as Cebu being a jump-off point to the rest of the Visayas and to Mindanao destinations and the modernization of the Cebu airport. Also, Cebu City’s emergence as a key MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) destination outside of Metro Manila is also driving demand for leisure-oriented condominiums, it said. “Foreign and domestic arrivals in Cebu reached 3.3 million in 2015 and this is expected to grow by at least a tenth over the

next five years,” Colliers said. Based on the latest data from the Department of Tourism, Cebu welcomed 81,611 visitors through its international airport in September 2016. This accounts for 19.30 percent of the 417,061 tourists that entered the country through airports. Colliers said it expects to see more leisure and luxury condominium developments in Cebu, particularly in Lapu-Lapu City in the medium term, while condominiums in the affordable segment are seen to rise in Mandaue City. Stronger take-up of condo units Meanwhile, it noted that the low-cost category or the economic segment dominated the residential project launches in the Cebu property market in the third quarter of 2016, accounting for 60 percent of the new units launched in the quarter. During the third quarter of 2016, residential condominium developers launched around 1,900 units, according to Colliers. This is a 50-percent decline from around 3,800 units in the same quarter of the previous year. “The drop indicates that developers are holding back from introducing new projects due to

allowing the country to export 6,274 eligible products duty-free to the EU market. The country’s beneficiary status under the GSP+, however, necessitates the implementation of the 27 international treaties and conventions on human rights, labor rights, environment, and governance. “My thinking of why GSP is provided is basically to help the developing country in whatever program is needed to improve the economy and uplift the lives of the people there. If bringing back the death penalty is a solution to peace and order, and helping the nation progress more with peace and discipline in the people, then they should support that,” Lopez said. “I would go with what our administration would push for which we believe is good for the country because you see, with all these efforts we’ve been doing, crime rates have gone down. I believe they will study this carefully. So in other words, I’m not arguing that this is better and the other is not. What I am saying is if that is the solution that we will arrive at after deliberation in the Congress and Senate and in the security cluster, then I would go with it and just rely on the consideration of the foreign bodies

about their position on this,” he added. The Philippines and Cambodia are the only two Asia-Pacific countries that have abolished capital punishment. At the end of the day, he said it is a decision of what is really more essential to the Philippines. “I would just tell them that there is an economic impact, but at the end we’d have to weigh it with the political, peace and order, and security impact. If the President, the cabinet cluster and maybe the legislators would in the end bring that back, after a thorough deliberation of pros and cons, then I won’t argue. In other words, I’d take it despite saying the economic impact which means the benefits of this far outweigh the benefits of GSP+,” Lopez said. “I think this is similar to the stance of what the president is saying on the Millenium Aid. I like that position because to me, the developed countries, we go back to the principle of friendship and support. If you are a friend, a supporter, then I would support you in those critical programs. If this is a way to bring back order and discipline and


GMA outranks competition in 2016 nationwide ratings – Nielsen over competition by consistently increasing margins, the ratings provider said. It said GMA led across all dayparts and recorded a people share of 40.3 percent in the fourth quarter, outranking ABS-CBN’s 35.2 percent. Coming from a 5.1-share point lead over ABS-CBN in November in NUTAM, GMA scored its strongest performance in 2016 last December with a people audience share of 41.7 percent versus ABSCBN’s 33.9 percent. Kapuso fantasy series Encantadia remained the number one program nationwide last month, Nielsen said. Joining Encantadia in the top 10 are Alyas Robin Hood, 24 Oras, Pepito Manaloto, Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, Magpakailan-

man, and Hay Bahay! Completing the list of most watched Kapuso programs in NUTAM were Tsuperhero, 24 Oras Weekend, Someone to Watch Over Me, Kapuso Movie Night, Lipad sa 2017 (Kapuso New Year Countdown), Wowowin, The Magic of Christmas (Kapuso Christmas Special), Eat Bulaga, Sunday PinaSaya, Imbestigador, Pepito Manalotalk 2016, and Superstar Duets. In Urban Luzon, which accounts for 77 percent of all viewers in urban TV homes in the country, GMA sustained its strong showing as its 2016 people share reached 42.6 percent, 11.2 points more than the competitor’s 31.4 percent. GMA won against ABS-CBN


Peso forecast for 2017 weakest... PAGE B1 t geopolitical issues were keeping investors cautious of emerging markets like the Philippines. P50:$1 with central bank intervention The government has an exchange rate assumption of P48 to P50 per US dollar in 2017 to 2018. “We are comfortable with P50:$1 as an upper bound assumption for the exchange rate because we have a steady inflow of dollars. In the past, we had a crisis in our dollar reserves but that is no longer the case,” Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno had said. BMI is not ignoring the impact of external and political factors on the currency but sees the strength of the economy and central bank intervention supporting the peso at P50:$1 in the end. First, over the short term, BMI said it holds a slightly constructive view on the Philippine peso as the Chinese yuan and Japanese yen have temporarily halted their downtrends against the US dollar, and that is likely to provide some respite for the peso in the coming months. Anchored inflation expectations and a robust economic growth outlook, facilitated by the government’s expansionary fiscal plans, rising foreign direct investment (FDI) and steady remittances inflow are likely to be

constructive for the peso, it said. “Additionally, although strong data releases in the US and a more expansionary fiscal policy under the incoming Trump administration are bolstering market expectations for a steeper US monetary policy trajectory, we are less hawkish than consensus, expecting only two rate hikes rather than three, which should be negative for the dollar,” it said. For the long term, however, it considered risks that remain tilted to the downside, such as: the risk of a sharper-than-expected devaluation of the Chinese yuan continues to cast a shadow on emerging market foreign exchange; the peso could face more downside pressure if the US Federal Reserve adopts a more aggressive rate hiking cycle than expected; and the peso is likely to suffer a great deal if the incoming Trump administration in the US moves ahead with more a unilateralist and protectionist approach, given that the US is one of the Philippines’ largest sources of foreign direct investments and a key trade partner. BMI explained that acute weakness in the currencies of the Philippines’ two largest trade partners, Japan and China, had led the peso’s real effective exchange rate (REER) to strengthen quite sharply in the last quarter of 2016 – despite the peso weak-

ening in nominal terms against the greenback – and is looking slightly expensive again. “We believe that further yuan and yen (to a smaller extent) weakness over the longer-term will likely prompt the central bank to intervene in the foreign exchange market to prevent a further loss of export competitiveness,” it said. “Over the longer horizon, we expect the peso to pare back some of its short-term gains, and stabilize around the P50.00/USD level,” it added. Weak throughout the year Investment bank First Metro Investments Corp. (FMIC) sees the peso trading this year at P51 against the dollar, remaining under pressure as the US economy continues to gain traction, leading to the strengthening of the US currency. FMIC’s forecast is in line with that of global financial firm UBS, which said in an earlier report that the peso could fall to P51 to a US dollar next year on the back slower economic growth, deteriorating external position and a higher inflation rate. “We expect growth to slow in the Philippines–while the external balance has deteriorated, removing a buffer to global capital flows as the Fed is due to raise rates.” UBS forecast Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) to moderate to 5.6 percent in 2017. n

Gaming hotel industries... PAGE B1 t the hotel bandwagon. It intends to open six hotels under the Mella Brand soon. This is a threefour star brand, with an ideal size of 150-room hotel development,” Pinnacle said. Incentives for companies operating inside tourism enterprise zones would also strengthen tourism-related industries, Pinnacle also said in its report. “More importantly, the government through the Department of Tourism (DOT) and its attached agency Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) have been promoting Philippine tourism and ancillary infrastructures. Recently, BIR Revenue Regulations No. 7-2016 was signed and published, spelling out the fiscal incentives that can be given to

firms operating inside tourism enterprise zones (TEZs) under the Tourism Act of 2009. This will further boost the development of tourism infrastructure and facilities around the Philippines,” it said. Citing data from the Department of Tourism, Pinnacle said total visitor arrivals from January to August 2016 reached 4.04 million, registering an increase of 12.59 percent for the same period in 2015 and at a pace to reach the six-million tourist arrival target. Meanwhile, for the condominium sector, Pinnacle said this continues to grow. Manila City condominium projects that were launched from 2009 to 2015, for instance, reached over 20,000 units. Similarly, Quezon City condominium projects for the same

period breached the 40,000 unitmark. Similarly, the commercial retail malls also went on with their usual way of generating income. “Pinnacle Research monitored that the SM Group has 58 malls and are targeted to reach the 60-mall mark in the very near future, while the Robinsons Group has 42 malls. The Cosco/Puregold Group has 40 big stores,” it said. Occupancy of malls has always been healthy especially during the Christmas holidays when every bit of commercial space are leased out to take advantage of the shoppers’ propensity to spend. “Commercial mall rents have been very stable, and this property segment is still a landlord’s market,” Pinnacle said. n

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Community Journal


Do you have these fears about bankruptcy? Immigrant Living: 101 Minding Your Finances Atty. RAymond BulAon Are you struggling with debt problems and have thought about filing for bankruptcy but have questions that you’re afraid to ask? Over the last 12 years, I have counseled and helped thousands of individuals in debt. From what I’ve seen, a lot of people suffer for many years in debt when they could have obtained relief sooner- simply because they have questions about bankruptcy that they are afraid to ask. Instead of asking a bankruptcy attorney, they listen to advice given by well-meaning family and friends but in so doing, only make their situation worse instead of better. Why? Because most of the time, the advice they get is based on misconceptions about bankruptcy. relying on incorrect information can be disastrous to your financial health. If you are currently struggling with debt and one or both of the following statements are true- (a) your total liabilities exceed your total assets Or (b) you cannot meet your financial obligations as they become due- you are ALreADY considered insolvent or bankrupt by law. Now,

you may be in denial about it. You may refuse to accept this reality. But you will never get anywhere with your debt problems unless you accept things AS THeY Are, not as you wish they had been. Here are some of the misconceptions about bankruptcy that I’ve seen that have stopped people from taking action to turn their situation around for the better: Filing bankruptcy means that you’ve failed. FALSeStudies show that most bankruptcy filings are a result of circumstances beyond people’s control. Sickness, disability, unemployment, divorce and death- These events can happen to anyone at any time and when they do, there is often a disruption in income which could lead to bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy can hurt your immigration status, your application for citizenship or your eligibility for Social Security when you retire. FALSe- Filing for bankruptcy relief is NOT a crime- so don’t be afraid that you will be treated like a criminal if you file bankruptcy!. As a matter of fact, we have laws in this country that protect the legal rights of bankrupt individuals in need of a fresh financial start. It will not hurt your immigration status or affect your citizenship application. You must be behind on all your bills before you can file bankruptcy. FALSe- If you can

see that you’re headed to debt trouble, do not wait until your situation becomes a financial emergency. By filing sooner, you can actually avoid the stress of dealing with creditor calls, lawsuits, wage garnishments and other collection actions. My credit will be ruined forever and I will never be able to buy a house or obtain credit in the future. FALSe- Although a bankruptcy can stay on your record for 7-10 years, the truth is that most people can rebuild credit in only 2-4 years. A lot of people in debt also already have low credit scores due to late payments, high debt amounts, etc. and they are actually better of filing for bankruptcy so they can start fresh again and rebuild their credit. If you are drowning in debt, don’t lose hope. What you need to do is to find out what your options are so you can do something positive about your situation instead of doing nothing. For a free office consultation, please call Toll-Free 1-866-477-7772. We have offices in Glendale, Cerritos and Valencia. ***

and Beyond

Atty. lAwRence yAng

(Part 2 of 4) ANGeLS were strong proactive characters when the story of humanity unfolded during biblical times. And while today, cynics, atheists and those on the dark side might argue that angels are figments of the human imagination, there are countless people who will brave the scorn of scoffers, fight back vehemently and attest to the very real presence of angels in their lives. Trawl the internet and social media and read about how angels, though unseen in many instances, can be felt by many who believe in them. There are many instances when the presence and oftentimes the direct interventions of one’s personal guardian angel are a part of the twists and turns of the unraveling story of many people’s lives. Many have written about their encounters with angels, documenting how their guardian angels are a real part of their lives guarding, guiding and None of the information herein is in- protecting them from harm and tended to give legal advice for any spe- on many occasions, even from cific situation. Atty. Ray Bulaon has suc- death, because their time had cessfully helped thousands of clients in not yet come. I am sure many getting out of debt. For a free attorney others have their own personal evaluation of your situation, please call stories to tell about this unseen Ray Bulaon Law Offices at TOLL FREE 1 entity that can be ascribed to (866) 477-7772. the presence of God himself (Advertising Supplement) – an ever-present help to aid us in navigating life on earth. The common image of an angel is a beautiful heavenly being with piercing eyes, big white pair of wings and long cascading golden hair, robed

Mr. Trump has made filing for bankruptcy relief as a sign that he’s smart. He’s smart he says because his companies filed for bankruptcy 4 times using applicable law. Bankruptcy allowed his businesses to get rid of debt, a lot of it, and bankruptcy allowed him to keep his ownership over these businesses, which emerged from bankruptcy leaner and more productive. So, since we are now in Trump Land, filing for bankruptcy to get debt relief is smart. American bankruptcy laws exist to help debtors become productive again, allowing debtors to keep exempt assets while getting rid of accumulated debt. Hence, if you think filing for bankruptcy when you need it, is dumb, you are wrong. Just ask Mr. Trump. He got away with not disclosing his tax returns and not paying income tax for the last 20 years. And still becoming president elect for our great country. The man is a genius. What are the signs that you will need to be smart next year by filing for bankruptcy? Let’s go over the common red flags that you have to watch out for: 1. Mortgage default or car default: If you are behind in your house or car payments, you have serious cash flow problems. This means that your income is not enough to pay for your most important asset that puts a roof over yourself and your family. Your first instinct might be to blame every one else and everything else. But seriously, you have to analyze your financial situation to determine what the cause is. You might be paying $1K just to service $30K of credit card debt at the expense of paying for your house or car. Chapter 7 or 13 will get rid of the $30K credit card debt, or allow you to reorganize your financial affairs to get rid of your credit card debt with nominal payment while giving you time to cure the default on your house or car. 2. Borrowing from A to pay B: If you borrow from Peter to pay Paul, you are living the il-

security and other sources is critical to survival. It can mean the ability to keep your house when you retire. You can actually keep your house and get rid of your $50K with Chapter 7 or 13 so why pursue refinance? Be smart, that’s the name of the game now in Trump Land. 6. Your savings account doesn’t exist: All of my clients, without exception, answer this when I ask them do you have $5K in your savings account? They always answer: I wish I had $5K in it. I have practically nothing in my savings account. If you have extra money at the end of the month, your instinct will be to stash it away into a savings account. If you have no savings, this means all your income is being used up to pay all your monthly expenses. If you owe $20K of credit cards, you need $600 a month. Instead of saving $600 a month, or $7,200 a year, you use the $7,200 to keep your $20K of credit cards current. That’s why you have no savings and that’s why you need bankruptcy relief. 7. You have maxed out your credit cards: If you have maxed out your credit cards, you are in bad shape financially. Need I say more? You need bankruptcy Chapter 7 or 13 to get rid of your credit cards and start fresh without accumulated debt. Be productive again. Be smart! Best wishes to all readers for the New Year!! If you filed for bankruptcy in 2016, you would have no more debt in 2017, but its not too late. Get bankruptcy relief in 2017 if you need it. It’s the smart thing to do, says Mr. Trump. You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:11 *** Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S. Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, Building A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803.

in all dayparts in Urban Luzon from January to December 2016, Nielsen said. With approximately 900 more homes surveyed in Total Urban and rural Philippines compared to Kantar Media, which provides audience share measurement for ABSCBN, Nielsen said its data is statistically considered more representative of the total TV population. In 2016, Nielsen TV Audience Measurement increased its client pool to a total of 36 clients/subscribers which now include 12 local TV networks,

five regional clients, two blocktimers, and 17 media agencies. GMA subscribes to Nielsen along with other local networks TV5, Aksyon TV, CNN Philippines, Net 25, Solar entertainment Corporation, Viva Communications Inc., among others; regional network Fox Networks Group; blocktimers CBN Asia and TAPe Inc.; and major advertising and media agencies such as ebiquity-Faulkner, Dentsu Aegis Network (Carat, Mediaforce Vizeum, Dentsu), GroupM (Mediacom, Mindshare, MeC and Maxus), Omnicom Me-

is a memorable line in this classic film that is intended never to get old and aptly becomes new again for a new generation around the Christmas season. On the other hand, in the warped imagination of liberal film makers, “Michael” supposedly about Michael, the Archangel, the highest seraphim who fought Satan and flung him to the burning sulfurous depths of hell and believed to be the protector of the nation of Israel, is portrayed as somewhat of a sleaze who is more human than angelic. In this film, Archangel Michael can charm females because he smells of cookies and who is a bit of a Lothario to boot. It may be somewhat funny to color outside the lines in portraying angels but don’t be fooled by the liberal yarn on angels. Hollywood, in my opinion, has no gravitas on angelic matters. Trust your own instincts. Your own personal experience will color the lens with which you view and relate with your personal guardian angel. God so loved the world, He sent His only son to redeem us from sin and death so we may gain eternal life — not unlike His angels. (To be continued …) *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@

PAGE B12 t progress, then these groups in the eU should be able to support us so we’d be able to progress well and help the economy. If there is prosperity, there would be less of this crime, and less need for that,” he said. Prior to the proposed revival of death penalty wherein President Duterte threatened to execute criminals daily, the Commission

on Human rights has warned the government about its war on drugs and the alleged cases of extrajudicial killings, saying that these may put in danger the country’s privileges under the eU-GSP+. In January last year, prior to the entry of the current administration, the european Commission said the Philippines has been making progress on

Calendar of Events across

implementing the 27 international conventions after it adopted its first GSP monitoring report to the european Parliament and assessed the Philippines’ implementation of the conventions. When asked on what will happen should the eU revokes the Philippines GSP+ status, Lopez said “we will probably channel our exports to other market.” n



Feast of Santo Niño in Los Angeles On Sunday, January 15, 2017, at 3:30 pm, a mass sponsored by Santo Niño Cruzada USA, will be held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to celebrate its 30th year anniversary of the solemn Feast of Santo Niño, the Divine Infant Jesus. The Southern California Sinulog Dance Co. will perform traditional Sinulog dances after the mass. Although the devotion to the Divine Infant has roots in Europe, Filipinos are known for their fervent devotion to the Infant Jesus, celebrating with religious and civic activities. As a result, Filipino immigrants brought their Santo Niño to the United States to be their spiritual recourse, assistance, and protector. We celebrated the first Feast of Santo Niño in 1986 at then Saint Vibiana’s Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. It was in the summer of 1988 that the original group of Santo Niño devotees formally organized under the name, Cruzada de Santo Niño. The organization’s name was eventually changed to its present name, Santo Niño Cruzada, USA. As in any organization, the organization’s path to success is measured by the dedication and commitment of the officers and members whose primary goals are to promote devotion to Santo Niño, provide individual sanctifications, give aids to needy families and be united with other Santo Niño groups. For more information in this year’s celebration, please contact any of the following officers and members: Romy & Tess Esturas: (213) 387-6982 Rey & Tess Edpao: (818) 469-7292; Carmen Estrada: (213) 413-2881; Fe Montano: (323) 218-1587; Ester Paredes: (213) 864-1149; Lilia Figuracion: (626) 394-2661; Fe Reyes: (213) 413-5286; Cherry Guerrero: (213) 747-6508; Tessie Cruz: (213) 361-0937; Vicky Samia: (818) 851-2262; Laurie Dolorfino: (213) 407-0097; Maria Oclarino: (213) 427-0353.

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GMA outranks competition...


in androgynous white gown and who is neither male nor female but to which we ascribe the word “he” just for convenience. An angel, who is an eternal celestial being, is not subject to the constraints of gravity, time, space or language problems. Communication between protector and protectee is often wordless and automatic. Some are messengers and some bring punishment and death but each has a definite purpose, most of which are beneficial to humans. Some claim to have seen their angels appearing differently from the common image we believe of winged beings. Some morph into human form to lend a hand, to protect from danger or avert disaster then disappear quickly. They appear specially when the humans they are protecting find themselves in dire straits and need help. As one might imagine, angels are extremely busy considering the weakness of humans and their predilection to stray from the straight and narrow. In Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Clarence, a portly, bumbling character aspiring to become an angel must earn his wings by doing something good for a human being in desperate need and contemplating suicide. “every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,”

Death penalty revival...

Best wishes to all readers for the new year! lusion that your finances are ok but in truth, you are not paying down your debt. If you borrow $50K from Peter to pay Paul $50K, you owe the same $50K, except you now owe it to Peter instead of Paul. Maybe the $50K loan from Paul matured today so you got a new loan of $50K from Peter, which matures in 12 months. Yes, you bought yourself 12 months but admit to yourself that you have serious debt problems you are not able to pay down the $50K from your own money. 3. Raiding your retirement account to pay debt: Never ever use retirement money to pay debt. retirement money is for retirement. Is that clear enough? That’s why its called a retirement account. Let’s say your IrA or 401K is $70K. You want to pay off your credit card debt of $30K. Don’t make the mistake of using the retirement account to pay off the credit card of $30K. First of all, there is a penalty for withdrawing early. Second, you can wipe out the $30K credit card debt while keeping all of your $70K retirement account intact with a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, so why sacrifice your financial security when you retire? 4. You sacrifice necessities to pay debt: Let’s say you owe $40K of credit cards that require $1,200 of monthly minimum payments. Your net income is $3,000. You only have $1,800 for necessities. Necessities are food, shelter, transportation, insurance etc. If you feel the constant tug between necessities and credit card payments, you may need bankruptcy relief to get rid of the $40K credit cards. It’s pretty hard to have your family eat less or not pay the rent. 5. Refinancing your house to pay down credit card debt: If you are really tempted to refinancing your house to cash out $50K to pay off $50K of credit card debt, think again. Adding $50K to your mortgage now means adding $200 to your mortgage. When you retire, $200 more for the mortgage is an amount that you cannot afford. When you retire, every dollar from social

Angels among us “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” — From Frank Capra’s film “It’s a Wonderful Life”

monette AdevA mAglAyA

Signs that you will you need bankruptcy relief in 2017

Debt Relief

dia Group (OMD, PHD and M2M), Zenith Optimedia, and Starcom Mediavest. Meanwhile, the Kapuso Network opens the New Year with a new line-up of programs starting off with the light romantic-drama Meant to Be top-billed by Barbie Forteza. Also in the offing are the much-awaited first TV series of Alden richards and Maine Mendoza, Destined To Be Yours, as well as the Filipino adaptation of the phenomenal Koreanovela My Love From The Star, starring Jennylyn Mercado and Gil Cuerva. n



Historic Filipinotown Scavenger Hunt Explore the cultural gems of HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) by joining the 2nd HiFi Scavenger Hunt Fundraiser on Saturday, January 28 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m! Meet Filipino-specific challenges (from a Balut eating contest to dancing Tinikling to a hip hop beat!). You may find yourself meeting a little-known community hero, tasting a Filipino food challenge or receiving your very own Filipino nickname! You will be having a blast while building your bayanihan spirit by asking your friends and family and even your Facebook fans to donate money to sponsor your Team to take this challenge. You and your team choose your own fundraising goal! Funds raised by this event will go to the programs and services of 2 HiFi community organizations, Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) and Filipino American Service Group, Inc. (FASGI) to provide vital services to families, workers and seniors in our community. Services include free or low-cost citizenship application assistance, human trafficking survivor support, civic engagement, wage theft claims assistance, cultural programs and more! Have fun, Discover Historic Filipinotown win prizes and support your community while doing it! Go to to sign up now. PWC is located at 153 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026.

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Barrister’s Corner Atty. Kenneth UrsUA reyes You own a successful business, as a sole proprietor, prior to marriage. You later meet the love of your life and decide to marry her. Years into the marriage, you decide to incorporate the business. A common question when the couple later divorces becomes 1) did your separate property business become community property by virtue of incorporating it during the marriage? 2) Was your separate property business “transmuted” to community property by incorporating it during the marriage? No community property presumption Family Code §760 defines “Community property” as “Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property. However under Marriage of Koester, the Court held that the community does not “acquire” a separate property business simply because the business is incorporated during the marriage. The mere incorporation of a business operated by spouse is not a change in its character, for purposes of division of community estate fol-

Community Journal

Will incorporating a separate property business during marriage make it community property? lowing divorce. In Koester, the Court stated that he incorporation simply effects a change in the legal form under which the business is conducted and property does not change its character merely because of a change in form or identity. Marriage of Koester (1999) 73 CA4th 1032, 1035, 1038, 87 CR2d 76, 79, 81. The Court in Koester also stated that “In contrast with the way title is taken when a married couple own residential property, the incorporation of a sole proprietorship business is typically done for reasons extrinsic to the marital relationship. To say ... that an asset was ‘acquired’ by the community ... because some aspect of corporate formation took place during the marriage is to elevate semantics over substance” No transmutation Incorporation of a sole proprietorship business during the marriage can trigger a family code § 2640 tracing right of reimbursement only when it is also accompanied by an unambiguous express written transmutation of the business to community property as required by Family Code § 852. Marriage of Koester, supra,

73 CA4th at 1036–1037, 87 CR2d at 79–80 & fn. 5. under Family Code §852, a transmutation of real or personal property is not valid unless made in writing by an express declaration that is made, joined in, consented to, or accepted by the spouse whose interest in the property is adversely affected. In Koester, the act of changing the legal form under which a business is conducted does not meet the requirements of family code § 852 for a valid transmutation. Marriage of Koester (1999) 73 CA4th 1032, 1037, 87 CR2d 76, 80 & fn. 5. Incorporation of a sole proprietorship business is typically done for reasons extrinsic to the marital relationship. Although the mere act of incorporating a separate business during the marriage does not change the character of the business to community property, the community may still acquire an apportionment interest if the value of the business substantially appreciated during the marriage due to the labor and hard work of the managing spouse during the marriage. The apportionment


Duterte clears up to $2 B foreign borrowings in Q1 by Prinz


MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte has given the gosignal for his administration’s first borrowing abroad which could reach up to $2 billion by the first quarter. “We were informed that it has been approved already,” National Treasurer Roberto Tan told reporters yesterday. The approval was the last needed to push through with the issuance of global bonds offshore. The central bank’s Monetary Board had already cleared the transaction for its potential impact to capital inflows and foreign exchange rate. Broken down, Tan said only $500 million will be “new money” to finance this year’s budget deficit, while $1.5 billion will be • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

“liability management.” The latter amount means new bonds with longer payment terms and lower rates will be exchanged for existing ones that could have higher rates. “We are already discussing (the issue) with our banker partners. There is no tenor yet,” Tan said. under the 2017 budget, borrowings are poised to decrease 9.22 percent this year to P631.29 billion. Broken down, the bulk of credit will be denominated in pesos at P505.03 billion, while the balance of P126.26 billion will come from foreign sources. The latter includes selling of bonds and official development assistance. The Bureau of the Treasury yesterday sold P15 billion worth of three-year Treasury bonds on its first local borrowing for the year.

The paper fetched an average rate of 3.364 percent, up 19.5 basis points from the previous auction last oct. 20. “There was very good demand and very good pricing. I think markets are settling. Yields are down compared to last month,” Tan said. “We opened the tap (market) for those who would still like to participate,” he said, adding additional P15 billion will be sold through the facility today. Last month, the uS Federal Reserve raised its interest rates by 25 basis points as expected and Tan earlier said local rates could follow suit. Higher rates may require the government to put more money for debt payments instead of spending them for public projects. “We are hoping for the best this year,” Tan said. n

PSEi now at 7,300 level by Doris


THE local stock barometer continued its winning streak for the sixth straight session on Tuesday, firming up above the 7,300 mark despite an overnight downturn in Wall Street. The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 88 points or 1.21 percent to close at 7,364.34 as risk appetite held up across the region despite renewed jitters in the West. “Risk sentiment took a hit last night with investors getting anxious about the future of the single Eu market. Weakening of commodity prices did not help

the broad sentiment either,” Citigroup said in a research note. At the local market, positioning for the year ahead continued to dominate given good prospects for the economy this year. All counters edged higher led by the services counter which rose by 2.12 percent. The industrial, mining/oil and property counters all advanced by over 1 percent. Value turnover for the day amounted to P8.95 billion. For the eighth straight session, there was net foreign buying at the stock market amounting to P180 million.

There were 129 advancers that edged out 74 decliners while 41 stocks were unchanged. The day’s gains were led by Megaworld, which advanced by 4.53 percent while PLDT and Metrobank gained over 3 percent. SM Prime, Globe Telecom, Metro Pacific Investments and JG Summit all rose by over 2 percent. Semirara, Ayala Corp., Ayala Land and Jollibee were all up by over 1 percent while uRC and Aboitiz Equity also contributed modest gains. on the other hand, BDo, GT Capital and Security Bank slipped. n

BPI cleared to run stand-alone trust corporation by lawrence


MANILA, Philippines - Ayalaled Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) received the green light from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate a standalone trust corporation starting next month. BPI Asset Management and Trust Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of BPI and part of BPI Assets Management and Trust Group, is set to start commercial operation on Feb. 1 after getting a license to operate as a stand alone trust corporations. BPI informed the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) there would be no change in existing contracts, processes, and investment management or operating teams.

Earnings of BPI surged 25.6 percent to P17.38 billion in the first nine months of last year from P13.84 billion in the same period in 2015 amid the strong momentum of its core businesses. BPI’s total revenues rose 14.3 percent to P50.42 billion in the first nine months of 2016 from P44.1 billion in the same period in 2015. Comprehensive income jumped 40 percent to P18.67 billion from P13.34 billion. The country’s third largest bank booked a 9.1 percent increase in net interest income to P31.28 billion while non-interest income grew 23.9 percent to P19.4 billion owing to strong gains in trading, as well as fees earned from core transactional and bancassurance businesses.

The bank’s operating expenses increased 11.7 percent to P25.58 billion from January to September last year from P22.89 billion in the same period in 2015 driven by non-recurring collective bargaining costs and accelerated IT-related spend. Bank loans grew 19.4 percent to P931.12 billion but gross 90-day non-performing loans (NPLs) dropped to 1.6 percent from 1.8 percent while reserve cover rose to 112.3 percent. Total deposits, on the other hand, increased 11.6 percent to P1.32 trillion. The bank’s securities holding was almost unchanged at P302.45 billion with the held-tomaturity holdings accounted for the largest portion with P262.88 billion. n

Right talent key to fight vs cyber attacks by louella


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MANILA, Philippines – organizations, particularly in the public sector, are urged to hire the right talent to be prepared for rising cyber security threats, ePLDT Inc. said. In a statement, ePLDT said hiring the right talent has become more important with government agencies increasingly becoming victims to cyber attacks. Following the ruling given by the united Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration on the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute in July last year, at least 68 Philippine government websites were attacked based on official reports. As hiring talent equipped with the skills to handle cyber security threats is becoming more important, it is also turning into a worldwide dilemma. A study by Frost & Sullivan conducted on behalf of the International Information System Se-


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marked security practices, that enable us to manage security policies and systems and help organizations comply to regulatory policies and standards,” said Nerissa Ramos, Coo at ePLDT. Aside from certified security professionals, ePLDT also offers managed security solutions that would enable organizations to put in place necessary measures for cyber security risks without having to shell out a large amount of initial investment. At present, ePLDT offers customers free vulnerability assessment to identify security gaps and infections within the organization. By going through the vulnerability assessment, organizations would be able to take the steps to address loopholes and beef up their defenses. To register for the network vulnerability assessment, interested organizations could visit the website at solutions/managed-security. n

Low retail rents, rising incomes to attract int’l brands to PH – JLL by catherine

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curity Certification Consortium showed there would be a shortfall of 1.5 million cyber security professionals by 2020. “Because the rapidly increasing demand for information security professionals far outpaces the market supply, there will come a time when even the most up-to-date infrastructure will not be enough to meet the level of security needed in the public sector,” Nico Alcoseba, VP and head of PLDT’s Disruptive Business Group said. He said there is a need to ensure the right platforms, processes and talents are in place and ePLDT, the digital enterprise enabler of PLDT Inc., could help these organizations. “Finding, hiring and retaining top security administrators can be difficult and yet is strategically-critical, especially now that the public sector is accelerating its own digital transformation. At ePLDT, we offer the right solutions and the right people, backed with globally-bench-

RETAIL rents in the country remain affordable compared to others in the region and this should attract more international brands into the country, further fueling the growth of the local retail property market this year, a property analyst said. In an interview on Tuesday, Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines (JLL) regional director and head of project leasing markets Shiela Lobien told The Manila Times that while rental rates for ground floor retail in the Philippines are rising due to the high market demand, when compared to the regional landscape, retail rent in the country is still the cheapest. “If you look at the rental rates in Asia Pacific, Manila is the cheapest. Hong Kong is the most expensive, Singapore maybe in the middle and even

Kuala Lumpur is one point or two times higher than us,” Lobien explained. “So the Philippines is still the cheapest, though the rental is already increasing for the ground floor space. If you look at it on a macro level, it’s still very low.” Based on figures from JLL, as of 2015, Manila continues to offer the most affordable shopping centers in the region at $555 per square meter per annum. In contrast, Hong Kong commands the most expensive retail rents at $15,661 per square meter per annum. With retail rates in the country relatively lower compared to neighboring countries, Lobien noted that more international retail brands are expected to enter the Philippine retail market. In addition, the rising income of Filipinos is also attracting international brands to set up

shop in the country. “Almost all the big brands that are in Singapore, Hong Kong and even in the uS are now here. We see H&M, Forever21 and all the other big brands, they’re here. Even the brands as prestigious as Apple, they’re looking at the Philippines now, to have their flagship store because they don’t have one yet. So it’s going to grow because of the rising incomes of the Filipinos,” Lobien explained. According to Jones Lang Lasalle’s Global Cross Border Retailer Attractiveness Index 2016, Manila is classified as a growth retail city, as it ranks 29th on the list of top 50 attractive cities for retail. Growth cities are those that have displayed significant growth of the retail sector, according to JLL. “Strong retail sales growth is


Community Journal

(818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797 •

Will incorporating... PAGE B4 t

at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 747, Los Angeles,

calculation is done using the for- CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail mula in the Pereira or Van Camp or visit our website at case where the contributions of *** effort and return on capital are separated from the value of the Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to business. provide only general, non-specific legal information. *** 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 has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located

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. (Advertising Supplement)

driven by an expanding population, rapidly rising middle classes and fast track urbanization,” JLL said. Lobien also noted that the Filipino consumer market is becoming more “sophisticated” and is being more exposed to what is happening abroad, as travelling cost has become less expensive. “Before, we don’t know those


brands. Nowadays, we are familiar with all the international brands and we’re looking for that in the Philippines,” Lobien said. Some of the new international brands that have recently entered the Philippines, according to JLL, are Vera Wang, Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory, Fatburger, Sugar Factory, and Morganfield’s, among others. In order to enter the Phil-


ADB financing rises 17% to $31.5 B by Czeriza


MANILA, Philippines - Financial assistance provided by Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) rose 17 percent to set a new record in 2016 as main financial instruments were consolidated and co-financing with other multilateral development institutions was strengthened. The bank’s fund operations for Asia and the Pacific region reached $31.5 billion in 2016, up from $26.9 billion in 2015,

Low retail rents, rising incomes... PAGE B4 t


ippine market, these foreign brands would have to partner with the big local retail players, and almost all the big local players are willing to partner with the popular brands, she said. “Like SM, they partnered with Forever21, H&M etc. There are a lot of others like the Bench Group, they have their international brands also,” Lobien said. n


according to preliminary figures released yesterday. This covered approved loans, grants, technical assistance and co-financing. “The increase in our development financing to Asia and the Pacific is reflective of our strong commitment to reducing poverty and improving people’s lives in the region,” said ADB president Takehiko Nakao in a statement. He noted amid Asia’s strong economic performance, it faces many challenges such as implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, adapting to the ill effects of climate change, increasing income inequality, rapid urbanization, aging of workforce and poor disaster risk management. “Asia is growing at a steady pace, but more needs to be done to achieve development that is both sustainable and inclusive,” said Nakao. “ADB will continue to improve by becoming a stronger, better, and faster bank to help the region achieve its development objectives.” Approvals of loans and grants

for sovereign and non-sovereign operations by ADB itself reached a record $17.5 billion, up nine percent from $16 billion in 2015. Non-concessional loans from ADB’s Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) amounted to $14.4 billion. Concessional loans and grants from the Asian Development Fund (ADF) reached $3.1 billion, with $2.6 billion going to loans and $518 million to grants. Technical assistance, meanwhile, increased around 20 percent to $170 million from $141 million in 2015. ADB last year merged its two financial instruments – the ADF and OCR. ADB said with this reform, its annual approval of loans and grants would increase to $20 million by 2020. The successful replenishment of the ADF in May last year for the period 2017 to 2020 would also allow ADB to substantially increase support to the region’s poorest countries for disaster risk management and regional health initiatives. The ADF was established to provide soft loans to ADB’s de-



Financial assistance provided by Manilabased Asian Development Bank (ADB) rose 17 percent to set a new record in 2016 as main financial instruments were consolidated and co-financing with other multilateral development institutions was strengthened.

veloping member countries that have low incomes and limited or low creditworthiness. Co-financing with other multilateral development institutions, meanwhile, expanded 29 percent last year to reach $13.9 billion from $10.7 billion in 2015. ADB last year strengthened co-financing partnerships with China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for a guarantee agreement, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for infrastructure financing. n

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cover story The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - January 11, 2017

Chef Charleen Caabay on winning “Chopped” and bringing Filipino food mainstream The charismatic Oakland-based restaurant owner and recent winner of the Food Network’s “Chopped” sizzles as one of the country’s leading Fil-Am chefs and restaurateurs. by KLARIZE MEDENILLA / AJPRESS

WHEN Charleen Caabay learned she earned a coveted spot on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” she knew she had a great opportunity to showcase her talents. The vivacious owner of Kainbigan, one of the Bay Area’s most-loved Filipino restaurants, has sprung as an up and coming leaders in Filipino-American cuisine, and her appearance on the “New Year’s Bash” episode of the cooking competition show — which aired in late December — is likely to bring in a whole new wave of fans. “My goals were to inspire anyone who was going to watch the show,” Caabay, 37, told the Asian Journal. “It’s not often that women that are in business have the opportunity to really shine. I just wanted to show them how I was.” Caabay knew she was going against formally-trained, renowned chefs, some of which worked in Michelin-star restaurants. But she didn’t let that break her spirit. Utilizing only techniques she learned growing up, Caabay has never had any formal training in culinary arts, and she doesn’t see the need. “Each round, all I could do was pray,” she said. She started off in the first round creating a crab torta

with collard green laing (a Filipino dish of traditionally consisting of taro leaves cooked in coconut milk) with champagne butter sauce, which judge Alex Guarnaschelli praised for its creativity. Once again, she drew inspiration from her heritage in her martini steamed lobster tail with BBQ strip loin and curried black-eyed peas, using the Filipino tradition of cooking barbeque on a stick. To top it all off, in the third and final round, Caabay created a funnel cake with pomegranate grape compote. “I was a little worried about the fancier folks like when a French culinary chef I competed against,” Caabay remarked. “I knew he was going to throw down a lot of, like, fancy French techniques, like with his sauces. But I really just pushed myself to really believe and have the confidence to say, ‘Hey, you can do your fancy sauce, and I can do my own Filipino sauce,’ which was probably just, like, suka (vinegar) and soy sauce.” “[On the show] I was basically like, ‘This is what I got,

Photos courtesy of Chef Charleen

them by going my own way and having them try something different that I’m sure they’re not used to,” Caabay said, adding she was happy that the judges reacted favorably to the Filipino influences in her dishes. Moreover, the decision to draw Filipino inspiration in her dishes each round was a nobrainer. “This is my culture, this is my heritage. I’m Filipino, so you’re going to taste some Filipino,” she added with a laugh. Growing up with the basics Caabay, was born and raised in New Jersey by firstgeneration Filipino Americans. When she was in her teens, the family relocated to the Bay Area. Her teenage years were when Caabay’s love for cooking really flourished. Inspired by her mother’s and grandmother’s cooking, it seemed like she was on the path to delving into a culinary career. However, cooking and owning a restaurant weren’t in Caabay’s initial career sights. As the tech world was booming, Caabay saw herself working in information technology (IT), attending DeVry University right after high school. After being laid off from job after job and realizing the 9-5 work day wasn’t for her, she sought a different direction and went back to her real passion: cooking. She shifted her career into a culinary nomad, creating makeshift kitchens, selling her food on the street and catering in clubs and for private clients. As she began holding steady clients and garnered a following, she opened up a pop-up restaurant in 2012, creating her signature Filipino comfort dishes. “From there, it became a huge thing and it got more serious,” Caabay said of her rise in the food arena. Fans of her cooking would often ask what her next food venture was or even if she would be opening up a restaurant. Kainbigan and the rise of the Filipino food movement In 2013, Caabay signed the lease for a restaurant in residential Oakland, and Kainbigan was opened nine months later. She finally had a brick and mortar food joint to call her own, and took it back to her roots when setting up her menu. “I made it simple. I made it memorable to what was on Photo by Shar g. photography the stove growing up, so a lot

this is what I grew up with and this is what I have to show,’” Caabay opined. “It was just really amazing to see how I really surprised

The chefʼs garlic noodle special, which is created with a calamansi aioli and crispy adobo sprinkled on top.

The chef on the Food Networkʼs “Chopped”

of it had to do with what my grandma and what my mom cooked,” Caabay said of the inspiration for the Kainbigan menu. Kainbigan’s menu includes unique takes on a variety of Filipino comfort favorites including rice dishes, pork adobo, bistek (beef steak), afritadas (stew) as well as breakfast like tocino (sweet cured pork), longanisa (sausage) and beef tapa. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is the garlic noodle special, which is created with a calamansi aioli and crispy adobo sprinkled on top. In the three years since it first opened, Kainbigan has garnered a wide following in the Bay Area — and not just from Filipinos. It has been cited by Zagat and has been nominated for local awards. Caabay and her first restaurant (and certainly not her last, she said) have been instrumental in introducing Filipino cuisine onto the mainstream food world in the last few years, which has seen a rise in more Filipino food ventures.

“I think the more we all work together to support each other and really put it out there it will be one of those top food when it comes to ordering food,” Caabay said. “I think my win on ‘Chopped’ definitely came at a right time, and I think it’s important that the generation continues to build on. We really need to step up because food is a huge way in introduc[ing] our culture. There are so many amazing Filipino restaurants popping up, and whether you’re a restaurant or a popup store or food truck, it’s amazing.” Caabay encourages all aspiring Filipino chefs and restaurateurs to never give up and to be proud of Filipino culture and cuisine. “Keep pushing, be confident in our cuisine, present it well and present from inside and where you’re from,” she said. “Don’t let anybody else tell you how this adobo should be made, just trust in what you’re making. It’s part of you. Continue to go strong because our cuisine is dope and hella good!”

Coco Martin to produce and direct film for 2017 MMFF by Marinel

r. Cruz

aCtor Coco Martin, whose film with Vice Ganda titled “the Super parental Guardians” failed to make the cut in the recently concluded 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), said he would still submit another entry this year. “I was first an indie actor so I also want that more opportunities be given to people in the indies,” said Coco, who also observed that most of the films included in the 2016 festival lineup were independently produced. “I was never against the implementation of the new rules and regulations. Instead of resisting, I believe that we should all support them. I guess this is where the industry is heading. We should all adjust.” the actor pointed out: “those who have seen our movie said it was funny and entertaining. this means it has achieved its goal. [the MMFF selection committee] did not think it was good enough to be in the lineup. I guess we could have improved its quality if we

entertainment 3 Ate Guy says sorry to INC The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - January 11, 2017

by Bayani

San Diego

Coco Martin with Simon ‘Onyok’ Pineda

only had enough time. We will be more prepared this year. We will come up with a film that’s funny, that’s suited for young viewers, but with good quality.” asked about his thoughts on the decision of the MMFF executive committee to strip “oro” off its Fernando poe Jr. Memorial award for excellence because of the film’s controversial scene involving the butchering of a dog, Coco said: “I felt sad about what happened


SuperStar Nora aunor apologizes to the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) for a remark made on the tV show, “Dating Daan.” Here is the statement of ate Guy, as aunor is known in show biz: para kay Kapatid na eduardo V. Manalo (executive minister of Iglesia ni Cristo) at sa lahat po ng mga ministro at mga kapatid natin sa INC: Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin at kapatawaran kung may nasabi po akong hindi maganda, lalo na ang pagkakabanggit ko ng ‘Iglesia ni Manalo.’ Marami na rin po kasi akong naririnig na mga tao na ganito ang tawag nila, kaya hindi ko alam na ang pagkakabanggit ko ng ganito ay sobrang ikinasama ng loob ng nakararami nating kapatid sa INC. Inuulit ko na wala po akong masamang ibig sabihin, at hindi ko puwedeng saktan ang damdamin ng kahit na sinong tao, ano man ang kanilang relihiyon.

because I’m an animal lover. I have dogs and birds as pets. I still think there was a better way to execute that scene other than actually killing a dog. this is just my opinion. I cannot comment on the film because I have not seen it, but I’ve heard people say it’s a good one if not for that scene.” on thursday, Coco hosted a dinner with show biz scribes and gamely talked about his plans for 2017. He also shared what the audience could expect from his top-rating action-drama series “FpJ’s ang probinsyano.” Here are excerpts: What will you remember most about 2016? It had been a good year for me. I didn’t expect people would embrace “ang probinsyano” the way they did during its first year. also, I was so happy that they liked my movie with Vice. We didn’t make it to earn from it. We just wanted to inspire and entertain people. What do you look forward to in 2017? I know there will be a lot of changes. I hope there will be more interesting tV series produced, that more local indie movies will [be able to] penetrate the international market, and that more investors will come here to produce worthwhile projects. How do you feel that more mainstream actors are now Continued on Page 4 James and Jack Reid

Nora Aunor

Isa pa, hindi ako magiging Nora aunor kung wala po itong mga taong ito na patuloy na nagmamahal at sumusuporta sa akin, mula noon hanggang ngayon. Itong mga taong ito po ay may kani-kanyang paniniwala at kaanib ng iba’t ibang relihiyon. Kung paano nila ako minamahal at itinataguyod bilang kanilang idolo, triple po ang respeto at pagmamahal ko sa kanila. ayoko po hangga’t maaari na makagawa ng bagay na alam kong masasaktan sila. Siguro naman po kahit papaano ay alam at nakikita

rin naman ito ng mga taong nagmamahal sa akin na madalas kong nakakasama at nakakausap na itinuring ko na rin po na pamilya ko. Kaya hindi ko inisip na masama ang ginawa ko. umaasa po ako na maiintindihan ito ng ating mga minamahal na mga ministro at kapatid sa INC. Wala pong perpektong tao. Lahat po ng tao ay nagkakamali. Sino mang pinaniniwalaan nating lahat na naglalang sa atin ay mapagpatawad. Ito po ang inaasahan ko sa INC: ang mapatawad ako sa aking pagkakamali.

After James comes Jack Reid

Coco Martin

by allan


It’S only normal. that happens to just about everyone who has a sibling, so I don’t really mind,” show biz newbie Jack reid said of being compared with his elder half-brother James reid—one of today’s most popular male stars. If anything, the hopeful 18-year-old Filipino-australian pointed out that such things inspire him to strive even harder. “I will be taking up Filipino lessons, and I have been undergoing different kinds of workshops—acting, singing. I want to hone my skills,” he told reporters at a press conference for the movie, “Darkroom” (opens on Jan. 18). Continued on Page 4

Fil-Am Rob Laqui featured in Cirque features du Soleil’ s “TORUK – The First Flight” Coco Martin to produce and direct... Live at the Forum in LA this weekend 4

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - January 11, 2017

From Page 3

venturing into indies? I am happy with what is happening now. It’s good that indie and mainstream are now collaborating. We should all work together for the industry’s benefit. Up to when will your show air on TV? We still cannot say. It will continue to run until we sense that people no longer want to see it. The show still has a lot of issues to tackle. We have decided that, for this year, we will go to the provinces and work with fellow artists there. We will explore the Philippines. Our first stop is Cebu this January. We have already organized auditions there. Cardo is now a fugitive. He will flee and that’s where he will go first. How much do you think did child actors Onyok and Mak

Mak help the series and the movie? They (Simon “Onyok” Velasco and McNeal “Mak Mak” Briguela) have helped a lot in terms of viewership. What I want to share is the effect that the program had on their lives. They no longer think of what they’re doing as play. When you ask them now, they’ll tell you that they’re working hard to help provide for their families. I like it that the show is able to touch a lot of people’s lives. What are your projects this year? After “Ang Probinsyano,” I plan to direct and produce a film. I’m not allowed to share details about it yet, except that it will be for the MMFF. The festival is important to me. I know that this is the only time of the year when Filipino families are together. I will do the film not for self-

fulfillment, but to entertain my audience. You have done a lot of charity work. How do you identify which people deserve your help? Not many know that I was once an OFW (overseas Filipino worker). I worked as a janitor in Canada for nine months. It’s during that time when I experienced extreme homesickness. That’s why I asked Dreamscape if we could have shows in Saudi Arabia and in Dubai [in United Arab Emirates]. There, we looked for people whom we could help get reunited with their families. Life was really hard for these Filipinos. To get food, they would scavenge, catch birds or collect their eggs. We surprised their families by sending them home this Christmas. We also had a free show in Hong Kong.

The Global Kababayan G. TÖNGI

MY biggest New Year’s resolution of 2017 is to surround myself with art as much as possible. I am a big proponent of experiencing performance art with my family and whenever there are productions touring around town, I always want to share the news with kababayans, especially when a Filipino is in the production! Just for this weekend (Jan. 1215), Cirque du Soleil’s “TORUK – The First Flight” will be at the Forum, and my family and I will be there to be bedazzled by the magic of the circus. Something to cheer about: Rob Laqui, a first-generation Filipino American born and raised in Minnesota, is in the production as a puppeteer! Rob received a bachelor of fine arts

Rob Laqui

Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean

in Musical Theatre Performance from Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota. Based out of NYC, Rob has performed with numerous theatre/dance companies including: David Byrne’s “Here Lies Love” (Public Theater), LaMama E.T.C.’s/Great Jones Repertory, Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects, HT Chen, LOCO 7, Nicholas Andre Dance Theatre, Peter Pucci, and MOMIX; as well as been a featured dancer for MTV, TV Brasil and Rai Uno Italian Television. He was also on the first national North American tour of “War Horse” and was asked to be one of the puppeteers as Joey appearing in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland. Laqui first auditioned for Cirque du Soleil over a decade ago, but after being accepted into the company’s performer Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil database, it wasn’t until fall

2014 when he was approached for the creation of “TORUK – The First Flight.” I have an exclusive interview with him on “Kababayan Today” so make sure to go to to catch the story! For tickets to the New Cirque du Soleil touring show inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, go to https://www.cirquedusoleil. com/toruk. There are only six performances from January 12 to the 15th so don’t wait! See you all at the circus! *** Giselle “G” Töngi is the host and producer of Kababayan Today, a daily talk show that features relevant topics for Filipino’s living in America. Her aim is to bridge not only the cultural gap between America & the Philippines but to help with the generational gap between our own people. She is married with two children and is based in Southern California and makes frequent trips in the Pacific Rim to Hawaii and Manila to feature fellow kababayans who are empowering the FilAm community.


No ‘soft porn’ on prime-time TV, Mocha the censor vows by LEILA


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The end of the “soft porn” saga on television is near. Mocha Uson, newly appointed member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), said so. This is the same Uson who is known for her instructional sex videos, her sex column in a defunct men’s magazine and her sexy shows with her group Mocha Girls. But she swears she has had a change of heart. The singer-dancer-model is now fighting a different battle as a pro-Duterte blogger. As MTRCB board member, Uson said she planned to focus on banning “soft porn” from prime-time TV to protect young viewers. She said she did not want to accept remuneration for the job, explaining that she accepted the MTRCB post to help the Duterte administration, not to mention the fact that there were few takers for the job. ‘Open-minded’ Uson explained her decision and bared her plans for the agency on her Facebook page a day after news of her controversial appointment came out. She also addressed critics who said the MTRCB would become lewd because she was “open-minded.” “You are not updated. The videos or pictures uploaded by the haters are old ones,” she

supporters that the Duterte administration needs help in the MTRCB as many had declined the position because of the low pay. That’s why I thought of helping, because we are advocating volunteerism,” she said. Nonpaying job She also said she accepted the MTRCB post on the condition that she would receive no salary. If her condition would not be accepted, she said she would donate the money to Duterte’s Kitchen or to the Mocha Uson answers questions during a press briefing held in Malacanang photo projects of the Department of Social Welfare and Developsaid in her post, in apparent ref- ment. erence to footage of her sexy To show proof, she said she performances. would take videos of her pay She is planning to remove slip and donation receipt. performances that are too sexy As for her critics, Uson said from local TV shows, she said. she would pay no attention to “Count on it, my first misnegative people. sion is to not allow soft porn Netizens greeted the anon TV during prime time,” she nouncement of Uson’s appointsaid. ment to a government post She said she expected her with shock and anger, with job to be difficult because she some questioning her qualifiwas only one among many cation to serve in the agency board members. But she will try tasked with weeding out film to convince the board that it is and TV content that are imnot right to allow these shows moral, indecent, contrary to law during hours when many chilor good customs, injurious to dren are watching TV, she said. the prestige of the country and Uson, who runs a popular encouraging violence or crime. Facebook page that defends Before embarking on her President Duterte and hits show business career and those perceived to be against becoming a staunch supporter him, also said she had no inten- of President Duterte, Uson tion of going into politics. obtained a medical technology But because of the situation degree from the University of in the TV and the movies, she Santo Tomas. accepted the MTRCB position, She also writes a weekly she said. opinion column in a daily news“I learned from some paper.

After James comes Jack... From Page 3

“I will do whatever it takes,” added Jack, whose limited experience in the entertainment industry so far includes being part of TV5’s small screen adaptation of “Ang Panday,” hosting stints on MTV Pinoy and various modeling jobs. “But acting is what I want to focus on.” In “Darkroom,” a found footage-style horror flick inspired by “The Blair Witch Project,” Jack plays Mac, a balikbayan who joins thrillseeking teenagers who find an old camera in which a demon resides. Jack also hopes to do romantic-comedies in the future. But while he doesn’t have any particular girl in mind

yet, Jack—who has the same father as James—said it would be great to be in a love team, too. “That would be cool. It would be fun to be able to work with one person every day,” related the young celebrity, who admitted to being proud and awestruck by his brother’s rocket to fame. “No one in the family expected that James would be this popular here. It’s insane,” he said. “But we have been getting used to having a very popular sibling; to him being the center of attention. It has become part of our lives for the past five years.” Jack is very close to his brother, he said. In fact, it was

James who convinced him to try entering show biz. “Initially, he just suggested that I try studying here. That didn’t work out; transitioning from an Australian high school to a school in the Philippines was hard,” he said. “After that, he asked if I would like to try acting.” What’s the most valuable piece of advice James has given him about pursuing this career? “He told me to stay true to myself, because that’s what he did, as well, when he was starting,” Jack said. “I admire him because everything that he has achieved, he did them all by himself. At least now, I have someone to help me.”


Women in that certain age are in their oneness. Their hands DE LEON brushed tears away — hands that were once held by and warmed husbands. Indomitably, they are widowed by men who IN silent hot rebellion, we couldn’t cry, couldn’t touch and cry silently, “I have lived my died of heart attacks. life – haven’t I? What more is I never expected to be expected of me?” With a certain such a poor sport about aging, haughtiness, one realizes that we because I never expected to be have reached the place beyond old — or at least would accept resignation, a place I had no idea aging — very badly. But I am existed until we arrived here. not clutching it in high pitched It is now our most precious sighs and smiles that tell of pain place, where we can endure the forgotten. In a fragile package next phase of our life. A phase are my age spots, menopause that will have a wealth of paand arthritic hormones. Many tience, a treasure of endurance, times, during this examination immeasurable courage and of the woman of a certain age, cheer, and kindness culled from and the world she lives in, I’ve the old laborious days. These are asked myself, who cares? sure gifts worthy of returns. The only reason that I’m Getting old is a natural thing adding words to this subject is and no one should be afraid of to clear away what I consider to the natural. The trees age, as do be a thicket of misconceptions, the animals and everything that if not timidities. George Bernard is alive. I am not afraid to look Shaw said that it’s a pity, youth is old. I don’t know indifference. I wasted on the young. ignore bitterness. If something This is untrue! Youth is unpleasant happens to me, I put wasted on the old if all they do it behind. is pine away to be young again. by MYLAH

features 5

God, I am old! By embracing the loss of youth, I’ve transcended my anxieties and the dread of growing ancient. I speak of growing old not gently, perhaps not even gracefully, but with a wonderful outrageous sense of style. I will wrap a scarf around my neck to hide a turkey’s neck, flutter my bosom with bold Swarovski beads that will blind an eagle’s gaze, and be swathed in glitz and glamor so I’ll be sweating glitters. My voice will be lighter, and I will dress myself with Christian Dior, Valentino, and buttered with flowers in an Oscar de la Renta outfit. I will defy the grave with bright colors and perfume (guaranteed to wake the dead and kill the living), tending time which is more fragile than youth. Be unduly dignified, having earned the right to dress and sing and dance anyway you please. I could even take up belly dancing, and unlock all my inhibitions. Our identities are not tied to our age. We’re never our own

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - January 11, 2017

age, as we come to terms with aging, we create our identities in our own terms. Now, I can demand the freedom to take life less seriously. I will flaunt my gray hair, wrinkles, double chin and falling wombs with the acceptance that beyond age, lies a gentler joy and peace that sanctifies old age. I shall stop reflecting on such things as the nature of melancholy, or how sickness could be caused by the state of mind. I shall transfer my affections to more attainable men and forego with men out of range like Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Henry V, and Clint Eastwood. At this point, I can throw away the books, along with self restraint. But in no time will I throw away a sense of fierce independence as a human being and the desire to attain distinction in terms of mind and spirit and expression, and its existing horizons. I am not going to be worried of what others think of me, or by what standard of morality I am

PALA RV Resort wins 4 Gold Reader’s Choice Awards for 2016 from Trailer Life, Motorhome PALA, CA – The new Pala RV Resort in Northern San Diego County, CA, has won four Gold Awards as Best RV Resort and Best Campground Resort for 2016 by the readers of Trailer Life and Motorhome magazines respectively in both publications’ 2016 Reader’s Polls. The editors announced the Gold Awards on December 7 and stated, “The RV Resort opened last May and immediately scored a perfect 10/10*/10 rating from Good Sam. RV Resort visitors can keep busy by swimming in the heated pool or soaking in one of two spas. Or, they can take advantage of the five barbecue grill areas, table tennis, horseshoe pit or fenced dog park. There is also a billiard table, card tables, three flat-screen TVs and a laundromat on site.” “These Gold Awards from two of the top publications in the RV industry are a real tribute to Pala Tribal Chairman Robert Smith, the Pala tribe and all our team members who strive daily to provide the best entertainment and guest service in the industry,” said Pala Chief Executive Of-

ficer Bill Bembenek. About Pala Casino RV Resort The RV Resort, located at 11042 Highway 76 adjacent to the hotel/casino, offers 100 full-service sites. All sites have a grassy area with a picnic table, electrical, water and sewer hookups and free wi-fi and cable television service. A luxury Resort Clubhouse is located across the street from the Registration Building that features two kitchens. The Pala Mini-Mart is conveniently located across the parking lot and offers a wide selection of wine, beer, beverages, tobacco products, snacks and fresh produce. The RV Resort provides 24-hour shuttle service to Pala’s hotel and casino and a 10 percent discount for members of Good Sam, AAA, AARP, FMCA and the military. Group rates are available to RV groups of 10 or more with a minimum two-night stay. For reservations, call 1844-4PALARV (1-844-472-5278), or e-mail About Pala Casino Spa & Resort Pala Casino Spa & Resort includes a Las Vegas-style casino with 2,000 slot

machines, 82 table games and 15 poker tables; a 507-room hotel; a 10,000-squarefoot, full-service spa and salon that features 14 treatment rooms; a state-ofthe-art fitness center; swimming pool with 12 private poolside cabanas, and dualtemperature outdoor whirlpool hot tub. Pala also offers 11 restaurants and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Pala Casino Spa & Resort is an AAA Four-Diamond Award winner for 12 consecutive years. The new Pala RV Resort opened May 23, 2016, and offers 100 parking sites for RVs and trailers from 55 to 70 feet and full-service amenities for RVers. The award-winning Pala RV Resort is rated a perfect 10/10*/10 by Good Sam, the national RV Resort rating publication. Its state-of-the-art Pala Spa was named the one of the Top 10 spas in California, one of the Top 10 in the casino industry and one of the Top 100 in North America for 2015 and 2014 by Spas of America. For more information, visit http://www. (Advertising Supplement)

judged, nor I will not stand the gaff or independence for long. You want to be young? But you can’t be — older is what we all get. We offer our flowers of humility when we have to question how much of the beloved is left for human purposes. See, just how good the human quality remains, as we make our world out of what life offered in

tranquility. But tranquility is not a grace waiting for us to take on as our right, but something we have to win with effort. It may not be our doing, but it is what facing age does to us. Can we do less than give fealty to such victory? ***


E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@aol.

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The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - January 11, 2017

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