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Vol. 3. No. 44

LOS ANGELES

A Balita Media Publication

Wednesday - Tuesday, July 16-22, 2014

Overseas voter registration breaches 1-M mark Los Angeles, SF among top registrants abroad MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) – For the first time in 11 years, more than one million Filipinos abroad have registered to vote in the 2016 elections, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday. In a statement, the DFA’s Overseas Voting Secretariat said this was the first time the one-million mark was breached in the 11-year electoral history of overseas voting. “At the current pace of registration, we could have an overseas voter stock of over two million for the 2016 presidential elections. Attaining this goal can definitely be a game changer,” said DFA Undersecretary for Civil Security and Consular Concerns and DFAOVS chairman Rafael Seguis. For his part, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the preparations of the DFA and Commission on Elections “led to a successful start for the registration process.” Del Rosario said the challenge for overseas voter registration “is to maintain the momentum by keeping the overseas Filipinos in-

terested and engaged in this democratic process.” The DFA-OVS teamed up with the Comelec to work for one million new overseas Filipino voter registrants for the registration period from May 6, 2014 to October 31, 2015. The top 10 foreign service posts in terms of overseas voting registration in June included: Dubai (2,216); Toronto (1,373); San Francisco (1,299); Abu Dhabi (1,161); Kuwait (1,031); Los Angeles (989); Jeddah (941); New York (847); Singapore (787); Milan (764). 20k new OVR applications In June, the second month of OVR, the DFA said the country’s foreign service posts processed 20,039 new OVR applications. This was a 7.5-percent increase from the record-breaking performance of 18,631 last May, and brought the two-month total to 38,670. When added to the present overseas voter stock of 975,263, there are now 1,013,933 regisSee OVERSEAS, page 12 Vigan Calle Crisologo

Palace drums up support for Vigan in penultimate stage of wonder cities search

Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile (center) arrives at the Sandiganbayan in Quezon City on Friday, July 11, to attend his arraignment on graft and plunder charges in connection with the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam. He faces one count of plunder and 15 counts of graft. (MNS photo)

Enrile too sick to leave hospital MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) – Doctors at the PNP General Hospital believe Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s continued stay at the hospital is necessary given his numerous health problems. Enrile is now on his 10th day of hospital arrest. PNP doctors say Enrile has diabetes, coronary artery disease and hearing problems, among others. The doctors add Enrile needs frequent eye examinations and treatments because of his macular degeneration , one of the most common causes of blindness. They note the PNP General Hospital is not equipped to handle Enrile’s eye treatments, which explains why Enrile has to be

brought repeatedly to the Asian Eye Institute. “They have to have the necessary instruments which Asian Eye Institute has...We have to give in to his request that this is his personal physician and he has to undergo these treatments with his personal physician,” Senior Superintendent Jeremy Zulaybar, chief of the PNP General Hospital, said. The doctors add Enrile shoulders all his medical expenses as provided by the court order. The medical director of the PNP General Hospital has been ordered to submit a report to the Sandiganbayan this afternoon if Enrile indeed needs to be detained in a hospital. (MNS)

Binay quit rumors a hoax – spokesman MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) – Contrary to text rumors, VicePresident Jejomar Binay will not be holding a press conference to announce his resignation from the Aquino Cabinet. Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado said the text rumors are nothing but a hoax. Binay earlier expressed support for President Aquino amid calls for the latter’s impeachment over the unconstitutional disbursement acceleration program. Last week, the Vice-President said he will respect Aquino’s decision not to accept the resignation of Budget Secretary Butch Abad. “The President has made a decision and I respect his decision. The decision to accept or reject the resignation is the prerogative of the President,” he said. Binay’s ally, United Nationalist Alliance secretary-general Toby Tiangco, refused to comment on why Binay apparently did not clap when Aquino announced that he rejected Abad’s resignation after the Supreme Court declared parts of the disbursement acceleration program (DAP) as unconstitutional. He said he has not yet talked to the Vice-President. “One thing I’m sure of is gusto niya ng transparency,” he said.

MANILA, July 12 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday urged Filipinos to show their support for Vigan City in Ilocos Sur as one of the world’s new seven wonder cities. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said she hoped Filipinos would show the same support for Vigan as they did for Puerto Princesa’s Underground River. “I hope we show the same support for Vigan in the same way all Filipinos in social media supported the campaign of the Underground River,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

In 2012, New7Wonders announced the PPUR made it to the list of the new seven wonders of nature, after many Filipinos showed their support for it via texting. Earlier this week, staterun Philippine Information Agency urged Filipinos to boost Vigan’s chances of making it to the next round of the worldwide city search. PIA posted on its Twitter account two ways to support Vigan’s bid for the distinction. The first way is to log on to http://n7w.com/en/cities and vote, while the second is to text VIGAN and send to 29290777.

Earlier this week, Vigan advanced to the next round of an international search for the world’s new seven wonder cities. New7Wonders Cities said Vigan is among the 21 finalists voted through to the next round of the campaign. Aside from Vigan, the 20 other official finalists include: Bangkok, Barcelona, Beirut, Chicago, Doha, Durban, Havana, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, La Paz, London, Mendoza, Mexico City, Mumbai, Perth, Quito, Reykjavik, Saint Petersburg, Seoul, and Shenzhen.

Aquino will appeal Famous undocumented Fil-Am activist and SC ruling on DAP Pulitzer Prize winner held, then released

MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Monday ferociously defended the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) despite the Supreme Court ruling that it violated the Constitution as he vowed to appeal the high court’s decision. “Iaapela natin ang desisyon ng Korte Supreme (We will appeal the decision of the Supreme Court,” Aquino said, adding that the Executive will soon file a motion for reconsideration. Facing the public for the first time since the DAP was declared unconstitutional, Aquino, in a See APPEAL, page 12

Qatar blames recruiters abroad for labor abuse DOHA, July 13, 2014 (AFP) – World Cup 2022 host Qatar, under international criticism over working conditions for migrant workers, said recruitment agencies in Asia were the main party to blame for any abuse. A report commissioned by the Qatar Foundation chaired by the ruling emir’s mother charged that the rights of migrants, mainly Asians, are flouted in their home countries from the moment they sign up for work. “Critics of human and labour See QATAR BLAMES, page 12

By Michael Thurston

LOS ANGELES, July 15, 2014 (AFP) – Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, who revealed in 2011 that he is an undocumented immigrant, was freed by US border agents after being held for several hours Tuesday. Campaigners and leaders including the mayor of New York had called for the Philippine-born 33-year-old’s release from detention in a Texas border town, some urging President Barack Obama to intervene in an incident that threatened to inflame an already fiery immigration debate. Vargas has been in the southern US state to highlight the plight of tens of thousands of children from Central America who have flooded across the border and into the United States in the past year in search of a better life, his campaign group Define American said. A high-profile campaigner for the rights of fellow immigrants, he was detained at the airport in McAllen, where he planned to board a flight to Los Angeles, before being freed later in the day, authorities and Define American said. “As an unaccompanied child migrant myself, I came to McAllen, Texas, to shed a light on children who parts of America and many in the news media are actively turning their backs on,” Vargas said in a statement on the

Jose Antonio Vargas

Facebook page of Define American, which he founded. “But what I saw was the generosity of the American people, documented and undocumented, in the Rio Grande Valley. “I’ve been released by Border Patrol. I want to thank everyone who stands by me and the undocumented immigrants of south Texas and across the country. Our daily lives are filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to go home to our family.” Omar Zamora, a Border Patrol spokesman, confirmed Vargas’s release. See VARGAS DETAINED, page 6

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Prosecutors want Revilla, co-accused detained at city jail MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) – The prosecutors on Monday decried the alleged special treatment on pork barrel scam suspect Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., saying the senator and his co-accused should be detained at a city jail. The Office of the Special Prosecutor said Revilla and his co-accused in the plunder case, former legislative staff officer Richard Cambe and alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, should be transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, or other jails under BJMP. Revilla and Cambe are currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center, while Napoles is at Fort Sto. Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna on a separate illegal detention charge. In their motion filed before the Sandiganbayan, the prosecutors said the PNP Custodial Center is not a detention facility because it was originally built as barracks for officials of the PNP Custodial Service Unit.

Meanwhile, Napoles should also be transferred because the suspect is detained at a facility far from the Sandiganbayan, the prosecutors said. The prosecutors also said Fort Sto. Domingo is not a detention facility for accused facing trial, adding that the expenses incurred for Napoles’ trips from Laguna to Sandiganbayan are too “burdensome” for the government. The motion said according to the law, only the jails under the BJMP are mandated to secure inmates awaiting trial. “Aside from its lack of basis, the continued detention of accused at their present locations affords them special treatment as they are subjected to different rules and procedure not afforded to all other detention prisoners under BJMP control,” the motion read. The prosecutors added that the “special treatment creates a negative image of the country’s court and justice system.” The prosecutors cited the transfer of Jessica Lucila ”Gigi” Reyes to the BJMP facility in

Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. surrenders to the Sandiganbayan on Friday, June 20, after a warrant of arrest was issued against him. Revilla and 32 others have been charged with plunder and graft for their alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.(MNS photo)

SC junks estafa raps vs. BPI MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) – The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed a complaint of estafa filed by former Sen. Jamby Madrigal against the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) in connection with a US$ 10.5-million loan for a failed shipping venture with former Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo. In its decision, the SC’s First Division denied the petition filed by Madrigal and upheld the ruling dated March 31, 2005 and resolution dated July 8, 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA). The loan was granted to Madrigal Transport Inc. (MTI), but Madrigal claimed that she had been inveigled by BPI officers Celestino Palma III and Helen Chua into signing a blank set of documents. Madrigal alleged that as president of MTI, she applied for a loan from the Far East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC) in the amount of US$ 10.5 million to finance the acquisition of a feeder vessel pursuant to a Joint Venture Agreement between MTI and the Lapanday Holdings Corporation. Assistant City Prosecutor Ramon Carisma found probable cause for the filing of the information on Oct. 16, 1998. However, the CA ruled that there was “no probable cause to warrant the filing of the estafa case under Paragraph 1©, Article 315 against respondents. The CA found that the indispensable element in the crime of estafa under Paragraph 1© that “the paper with the signature of the offended party must be blank” was lacking and that an experienced businesswoman would thoughtlessly affix her signature to a blank document was considered incredible by the appellate court.” It also found to be devoid of merit the assertion of Madrigal that she did not sign the Comprehensive Surety Agreement in her personal capacity, and that the agreement referred to an “abandoned” loan application. In dismissing Madrigal’s complaint, the SC ruled that it found “no evidence that would constitute a prima facie case for estafa against respondents.” “It is true that a finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that, more likely than not, a crime has been committed and was committed by the accused. In the present case, however, no such evidence exists that would engender a well-founded belief that estafa was in fact committed by respondents,” the SC said. “[C]ourts are not empowered to substitute their judgment for that of the Secretary of Justice, save only when it was rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. In this case, we find no abuse, much less grave abuse of discretion, on the part of the Secretary of Justice, [acting through Usec. Gutierrez], as to warrant a reversal of the CA Decision,” it added. (MNS)

Camp Bagong Diwa, adding that it constitutes a violation of her right to equal protection of law if Revilla and his co-accused are not transferred to the same jail.

Reyes, the former aide of accused Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, is now at the Philippine Heart Center’s intensive care unit after she complained of chest pains following her trans-

fer to Camp Bagong Diwa. “Since they are similarly situated, all should be detained in a BJMP facility without any special treatment or favor,” the motion read. (MNS)

Palace calls for end to speculation on Budget Sec. Abad resignation MANILA, July 12 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday called for an end to further speculation about whether Budget Secretary Florencio Abad should have tendered an irrevocable resignation in the wake of the controversy surrounding the Disbursement Acceleration Program. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that while people can express their opinions about the matter, the fact remains that President Benigno Aquino III rejected Abad’s resignation. “You know you can express your opinion about it, whether you agree with the President or not. But the fact remains is that the President has made his de-

cision ‘di ba? Siguro let it stop there. Kumbaga ibig sabihin on the matter of Secretary Butch Abad staying or leaving, nagdesisyon na ho iyong Pangulo,” she said on government-run dzRB radio. She added further discussions about whether Abad should have made his resignation irrevocable would be “just kicking the can around.” Besides, she said Aquino’s rejection of Abad’s resignation shows his confidence in Abad, as well as in the “reforms that have been initiated under their collective watches.” On Friday, Aquino said at a Cabinet meeting that he was not accepting Abad’s resignation. “To accept his resignation is to

assign to him a wrong, and I cannot accept the notion that doing right by our people is a wrong,” he said. “Tingin ko huwag na nating dagdagan pa ng ibang dahilan kasi malinaw iyong naging dahilan ng Pangulo e. Hindi ba maikli iyong naging pahayag niya pero malinaw iyong kanyang pahayag so huwag na nating subukan pang dagdagan para lang magkaroon pa ng pag-uusapan. Kumbaga, I think to everyone else, the President made his statement very clear, that was very precise, so huwag na natin pang lagyan ng iba pang dahilan kung saan wala namang iba pang dahilan,” Valte said. (MNS)

Three missing, thousands flee as typhoon hits Bicol peninsula MANILA, July 15, 2014 (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people in the Philippines hunkered down in evacuation centers while three people were reported missing Tuesday as a typhoon pounded its eastern coast amid warnings of giant storm surges and heavy floods. The eye of Typhoon Rammasun struck Legazpi city in the eastern Bicol region in the early evening, with Manila and other heavily populated regions expecting to be hit on Wednesday afternoon, the state weather service said. “Roofing sheets are flying off the

tops of houses here... the wind is whistling,” Joey Salceda, the governor of Albay province in Bicol said over ABS-CBN television. He said there had been no reports of deaths while damage to the region – an impoverished farming and fishing region of 5.4 million people – was expected to be “moderate”. However, Bicol police said three local men were listed as missing off the island of Catanduanes on Tuesday, a day after they pushed out to sea to fish and failed to return. The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms a year, many of them deadly. The Southeast Asian archipelago is often the first major landmass to be struck after storm build above the warm Pacific Ocean waters. In November Super Typhoon Haiyan unleashed giant seven-meter (23-foot) high storm surges that devastated the coasts of the eastern islands of Samar and Leyte, killing up to 7,300 people in one of the nation’s worst ever natural disasters. More than 96,000 families were moved to evacuation centers Tuesday as a precaution, Social Welfare Minister Corazon Soliman said. The government declared a school holiday for areas in the typhoon’s path, while ferry services were also shut down and dozens of flights cancelled. “People on the coastal areas are evacuating because of the threat of storm surges,” National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokeswoman Romina Marasigan told AFP. Haiyan survivors terrified More than a thousand Haiyan survivors in Tacloban, a city in Leyte, fled to an indoor government stadium early Tuesday after the weather service warned of the threat of three-metre waves hitting the coast. “We’re terrified of storm surges,” mother of three Mary Ann Avelino, 26, told AFP as her family sat on the cold concrete of the bleacher seats,

watching puddles form on the floor from the leaky roof. She said her family had temporarily abandoned a leanto at the ruins of their coastal home to sit out the new typhoon on higher ground. State weather forecaster Alvin Pura said Rammasun, which is Thai for “God of Thunder”, struck Legazpi, a city of about 185,000 people, with 130 kilometres (81 miles) per hour winds. It was then forecast to sweep across around 350 kilometres to the northwest and hit Manila and its 12 million people on Wednesday afternoon. Rammasun is the first typhoon to make landfall since this year’s rainy season began in June, and President Benigno Aquino stressed to civil defence officials in Manila on Tuesday that people in the typhoon’s path must be made to understand the dangers facing them. “The objective has to be (to) minimize the casualties and the hardship of our people,” he added. The state weather service upgraded Rammasun overnight Monday from a tropical storm into a typhoon as its wind speeds built up over the Pacific.

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Wells Fargo adds Philippine National Bank to ExpressSend remittance network Expands coverage to more than 5,700 branches and 6,700 ATMs in Philippines; also offers transfer fee waiver for all transactions sent from an eligible account to Philippine National Bank until September 30, 2014 The addition of PNB as a Re- ATMs, and the internet (wellsSan Francisco, July 10, 2014 – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) and the Philippine National Bank (PNB) will allow Wells Fargo ExpressSend customers to send money to family and friends in more than 600 PNB locations in the Philippines. To celebrate the expansion, Wells Fargo will waive all transfer fees for remittances sent from an eligible account by new and existing ExpressSend customers to beneficiaries at PNB through September 30, 2014. “We know that remittances are very important to our customers

with family and friends in the Philippines, and we know that convenience is an important part of the service we offer,” said Daniel Ayala, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo’s Global Remittance Services. “By adding PNB, the 4th largest bank in the Philippines, we are able to expand our payout network, making it easier than ever for customers to support their family and friends in the Philippines.” “The Philippine National Bank is one of the leading providers of remittance and other bank-

ing services to Global Filipinos and Wells Fargo is likewise recognized as a strong player in the banking and remittance business. With this new remittance arrangement, PNB can provide convenient remittance transactions between Global Filipinos and their loved ones here in the Philippines,” said Atty. Reynaldo Maclang, PNB President and CEO. “Likewise, the Wells FargoPNB arrangement is an important milestone as PNB marks its journey towards its 100th anniversary in 2016,” he adds.

DOH: Dengue vaccines to be available July 2015 MANILA, July 15 (Mabuhay) – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said that dengue vaccine will be made available by July 2015. Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona said that dengue vaccine that has been under the first Asian dengue vaccine efficacy trial for more than two years has showed promising overall efficacy of 56.5 percent in a study of 10,275 children in five Asian countries –Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines. “Finally, about four days ago, on global scale it was announced that there is now a vaccine that has been experimented, developed and found to be efficacious or effective in preventing the cases of dengue” Ona said, noting that the study in the Philippines was done to 3,500 children from Cebu and San Pablo. The said study involved 10,275 children whose ages ranged from

two to 14 years old, which shows vaccines efficacy of 56.5 percent which means that more than half of the subjects did not get dengue compared to the group that did not receive the vaccine. The study also showed that after three doses, the vaccine reduced the possibility of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever by 88.5 percent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Also during the observation period, a 67 percent reduction in the risk of hospitalization due to dengue was observed. “These results are of great public health importance due to the high incidence of dengue and its disruptive effect on the country’s health system,” Ona said in a press conference, adding that this vaccine should significantly contribute to achieving Global Strategy for Dengue Prevention and Control Goals set by the World Health Organization,

which is 50 percent mortality reduction and 25 percent morbidity reduction by 2020. The measured efficacy of the dengue vaccine during the 25-month observation is consistent across countries and appears to vary by dengue serotypes between 34.7 percent and 72.4 percent. Further, the measured efficacy appeared to increase with age, possibly as a marker of prior exposure to dengue. This study will be complemented with another similar efficacy study performed in five Latin American countries- Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Peru and Colombia. Meanwhile, the health chief is hoping to reduce by 50 percent dengue cases this year by continuously doing preventive measures particularly cleaning of mosquito breeding sites especially with the start of dengue season which is the month of July, August, September.

HRET declares Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla as duly elected representative of Cavite’s second district MANILA, July 15 (Mabuhay) of the province. any anomaly.” – The House of Representatives In a 17-page resolution, HRET Despite the wide margin, CasElectoral Tribunal (HRET) on Presiding Justice Presbitero tillo filed a protest before the Tuesday said that they have re- Velasco Jr. ruled that the 108,399 HRET claiming that Mercadosolved the first electoral protest votes of Mercado-Revilla against Revilla cheated him through masfavoring Cavite Rep. Lani Merca- protester, former Bacoor Mayor sive vote buying. Castillo insists do-Revilla as the duly elected rep- Jessie Castillo’s 40,192 votes in his protest that within the 45resentative of the second district “were won clearly and without day campaign period.

mittance Network Member increases Wells Fargo’s ExpressSend payout locations in the country to more than 5,700 branches and nearly 6,700 ATMs. ExpressSend customers can send up to $3,000 per day to beneficiaries in the Philippines. Those funds will be paid in Philippine pesos, and can be available for cash pickup at a PNB branch location or deposited to a beneficiary’s account. Wells Fargo customers can also send money by signing on to Wells Fargo Online, by calling 1-800–TO-WELLS or by visiting a Wells Fargo store location, making Wells Fargo the only U.S. commercial bank to offer all three channels for remitting funds. The first remittance for a service agreement must be completed in person at a store. For nearly two decades, Wells Fargo has offered innovative products and services to help Filipino Americans – including an estimated 3.4 million overseas Filipino workers – connect with friends and family by sending money back to the Philippines. This year, Wells Fargo will celebrate the 20th anniversary of providing low-cost remittance solutions to the Philippines. “This is an important announcement in the remittances space. Remittances into the Philippines have grown by 40% in the past five years, and the country is now the third largest market in the world for inbound crossborder remittances,” according to Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst with Boston-based research and advisory firm Aite Group. About Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,500

fargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives and stories are also available at blogs. wellsfargo.com and at wellsfargo. com/stories. About PNB Established in 1916 as a government bank but was 100% privatized since 2007, Philippine National Bank (PNB) is one of the country’s largest private local commercial banks in terms of assets and deposits. It is a universal bank providing a full range of banking and other financial services to large corporate, middle market, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail customers. Last February 2013, PNB merged with Allied Banking Corporation and became the fourth largest private domestic bank in terms of combined total resources. The merger of the two banking institutions further enhanced its domestic reach by having one of the biggest networks with 626 branches and 854 ATMs strategically located nationwide. It has the most extensive international presence among Philippine banks with 77 overseas branches and offices. As a result of this large geographic coverage, the Bank is one of the leading providers of remittance and other banking services to Overseas Filipino Workers. Now in a better and stronger position to serve its clients’ interests and enhance overall customer experience. PNB will continue to stay focused in carrying out its corporate vision, business plans and strategies. For more information about PNB, visit www.pnb. com.ph.


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Palace: Aquino still trusted by ‘healthy majority’ despite ratings drop MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) – Instead of considering the decline in President Benigno Aquino III’s ratings as a negative development, Malacañang on Monday chose to focus on the positive, saying a “healthy majority” of Filipinos still trust the administration. In a statement, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino’s trust, approval and satisfaction ratings “can be considered par for the course or average for this period.” “We believe that as the President explains to the people the truth of the matter with ongoing issues, the public will understand and respect the tough choices he has made for the public good,” Lacierda said Monday afternoon. He added that “pollsters generally note a dip in enthusiasm going into the fifth year of any administration.” On the same day, pollster Pulse Asia reported a significant drop in Aquino’s trust and approval ratings. The survey covered the period when the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was declared as partially unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Survey firm Social Weather Stations also reported that Aquino’s satisfaction rating dropped to an all-time low during the second quarter of 2014, based on a survey conducted before the DAP ruling. The SC ruling has resulted in calls for the resignation of Budget Secretary Butch Abad and the impeachment of Aquino. Aquino is expected to address DAP controversies in a televised speech later in the day. (MNS)

Aquino admin vows to step up service delivery efforts MANILA, July 14 (Mabuhay) – The Aquino administration has vowed to step up its delivery of essential services to Filipinos and institutional reforms. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma bared this initiative after a recent survey conducted by the Pulse Asia indicated a decline in President Benigno S. Aquino’s national ratings in the second quarter of the year as he continued to enjoy the approval and trust of majority of Filipinos. Another survey by the private research institute Social Weather Station (SWS) showed also a dip in public satisfaction with the President. “Heading into the last two years of this administration, we discern our people’s rising expectations that government will level up and deliver on the salient points of the President’s social contract,” Coloma said in a statement. In response to the challenge of achieving inclusive growth, the PCOO chief said the government is broadening the scope of social protection in the key aspects of job creation, health care and basic education. “Infrastructure building for sustained economic growth is also being pursued,” he said. For his part, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda stressed that a healthy majority of Filipinos has expressed trust and confidence in the President. “We believe that as the President explains to the people the truth of the matter with ongoing issues, the public will understand and respect the tough choices he has made for the public good,” he said. Lacierda said that while pollsters generally note a dip in enthusiasm going into the fifth year of any administration, “these numbers can be considered par for the course or average for this period.” (MNS)

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Catholic medics urged not to issue birth control MANILA, July 10, 2014 (AFP) – The Catholic Church in the Philippines is encouraging members who are medical workers to refuse to implement a newly-approved birth control law, an official said Thursday. It is the latest move by the powerful church hierarchy in the largely Catholic Philippines against a law that took effect this year, compelling the state for the first time to provide free condoms and contraceptive pills. “Pastoral guidance” issued by bishops this week explains how government health workers can legally refuse to dish out contraceptives on ethical or religious grounds, Marvin Mejia, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, told AFP. “Obviously, Catholics should not, on moral grounds, seek employment in the very government agencies that promote artificial contraception,” reads the guidance, obtained by AFP. “But if circumstances compelled them to be employed in such agencies... said Catholics should be aware that they cannot be forced to promote, distribute or dispense artificial contraceptives against

their religious or moral conviction.” The Church is an influential force in the Philippines, which counts around 80 percent of its 100 million-strong population as Catholics. Abortion and divorce remain banned in the nation. The deeply controversial birth control law was finally approved by the Supreme Court in April, ending a 15-year campaign by the Church to stop statesanctioned family planning coming into force. It also mandates that sex education be taught in schools. However, the law allows for moral or religious objections. Conscientious objectors are required to immediately refer patients to another service willing to supply information or birth control, but the church disputes this. Father Mejia said bishops are set to organize seminars in their dioceses to inform government health workers of the law’s provisions. “The Church recognizes that it is already a law... but it’s very important for people to know their rights,” Mejia added. There was no immediate comment from the health ministry.

Aquino: I bear no grudge, ill will against SC MANILA, July 15 (Mabuhay) – A day after his televised speech defending the disbursement acceleration program, President Aquino took a different tack and enumerated several projects funded by the DAP that could not wait until the end of the year. The President also said he does not bear a grudge against the Supreme Court for voting unanimously to declare as unconstitutional several acts under the DAP. “Let me make it clear: I bear no grudge or ill will against the Supreme Court. That is not why we have consistently expressed our opposition to their ruling, or why we have decided to file a Motion for Reconsideration. In pursuing this course of action, we subscribe to the long-held belief that public office is a public trust – trust given us in the form of a mandate that we in government, whether in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches, will al-

ways work for the good of the country,” he said in his speech during a Daylight Dialogue in Malacañang. In his speech, Aquino said 50 percent of the P144 billion in DAP spending went to the Bangko Sentral, the Department of Public Works and Highways and housing projects. He said P10 billion of the General Appropriations Act plus an additional P30 billion from DAP was used to recapitalize the Central Bank. A total of P33 billion went to construction and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, flood control projects and other critical infrastructure while P11 billion went to housing. Other projects that got funding from the DAP include hospitals, health centers, livelihood projects, preservation of key tourism and heritage sites, state universities and colleges and the hiring of nurses and midwives.

Asian countries should stay vigilant against MERS: WHO - Lead MANILA, July 10, 2014 (AFP) – Asian countries should keep their guard against the deadly Middle East respiratory virus, although in its current form it appears less infectious than originally thought, a World Health Organization expert said Thursday. The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has already killed 287 people, said Mark Jacobs, WHO’s director for communicable diseases in the Western Pacific. However the relatives of those infected have not been showing any signs of catching it, he added. His comments come after the Philippines last week urged its large Muslim minority to reconsider plans to join the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which takes place in Saudi Arabia, until the threat from the virus has dissipated. “A spread in our part of the world is small,” Jacobs told reporters. “If the virus stays unchanged, then I think that what we have been seeing is what we will keep seeing.” Later Thursday, the WHO emphasised in a statement that the risk to Asian countries remained small only if the virus remained in its current form. “Given that it is still not known how MERS

spreads to people, WHO cannot predict how the virus will spread,” the statement read. “Therefore, it is important that health authorities stay vigilant.” “Our understanding of the virus and the disease it causes is continuing to evolve,” the statement continued, calling on all countries to “continue their surveillance for acute respiratory infections”. The WHO said 15 countries have reported MERS cases, with the virus widely circulating in the Arabian peninsula. Outside the Middle East, both the Philippines and neighbour Malaysia have both reported cases of patients who apparently caught the virus after travelling there. These people had not infected others in their countries, according to a WHO report. “We haven’t seen big outbreaks in a community or anything like that to suggest that it’s easy for some in the general community to be infected, (but) obviously we are keeping a close eye on that and hope that would not be the case,” Jacobs said. While there was always a chance of the virus spreading in health care facilities treating infected patients, “the risk to almost everyone in the world is extremely low”.

Thorpe’s gay revelations earn praise, support By Robert Smith

SYDNEY, July 14, 2014 (AFP) – Swimming giant Ian Thorpe received support and glowing praise Monday for revealing he is gay in a move advocates believe will help remove the stigma of homophobia in sport. The five-time Olympic champion made the admission in an interview with British presenter Michael Parkinson aired by Australia’s Channel Ten on Sunday. Thorpe’s bravery in openly discussing his sexuality was a major talking point with fellow sportspeople, celebrities and commentators speaking up for the global icon. The New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said his coming out would have a positive impact, particularly on young people. “It’s a measure of how far we’ve come that Ian Thorpe is able to come out and I think it’s a measure of how far we have to go that it’s a news story,” the group’s Justin Koonin told reporters. Olympic gold medalist and gay Australian diver Matthew Mitcham said the revelations were an important development to break down the stereotypes about gay athletes. “I think it’s wonderful that he feels like he’s in a place now where he can talk about it,” Mitcham told the Sydney Morning Herald. Mitcham said sponsorship commitments would have weighed heavily on any athlete deciding whether to go public with their sexuality as the stereotypes and the stigma are well known. “That’s why we need high-profile gay athletes, to prove the stereotype wrong. Thorpe is about as highprofile as it gets.” The swimming world embraced the 31-year-old for the courage to reveal his deep secret. “You’ve always been a great champion, now even more! I’m proud of you @IanThorpe,” tweeted Dutch Olympic champion sprinter Pieter van den Hoogenband, while Australian Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice also praised him. “I’m sure it must have been incredibly hard for @ IanThorpe to come out, but I hope this brings him peace and that everyone respects his choice,” she

tweeted. Olympic and world champion Grant Hackett, who grew up with Thorpe during their peak swimming years, said he hoped the decision to speak publicly would help his friend move forward. “Obviously we went through our careers together and we raced a lot but at the end of the day who really cares? It’s 2014, I don’t think anybody’s really too concerned about his sexual orientation,” Hackett said. ‘This sets a precedent’ Swimming Australia president and yachting great John Bertrand congratulated Thorpe for making a stand. “The fact that one of our greatest Olympic athletes has been so honest sets a precedent in this country for more open dialogue,” he said in a statement. “It was great to see Ian looking so happy and healthy during the interview, after what has clearly been a difficult year for him with injury and illness.” Athletes from other sports also weighed in with Australian cricketer Brett Lee saying: “It doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy in your own skin. Well done mate.” Even singing superstar Ricky Martin added his congratulations, tweeting: “Congrats @IanThorpe! Brave man! Happy for you! Millions appreciate what you’ve done! Proud of you!” Canadian swimmer Mark Tewksbury, who came out as gay six years after he won the gold medal and broke the 100 metres backstroke world record at the 1992 Olympics, was another to salute the Australian. “It was always the question of who was going to be the really big star (to be openly gay),” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Ian is an icon, Ian is the star.” In the interview, Thorpe said he had “wanted to come out” for some time, but didn’t feel as if he could make the admission. “Part of me didn’t know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay, but I am telling not only Australia but the world that I am gay and I hope it makes this easier for others now,” he said. Thorpe also described during the interview his years of battling depression and that he had at times contemplated suicide.


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UTREACH Billionaire trio unite for US immigration reform WASHINGTON, July 11, 2014 (AFP) – Three of the world’s richest men – Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Sheldon Adelson – put aside their political differences to unite in scathing condemnation of US lawmakers’ failure to implement immigration reform. In an opinion column in Friday’s New York Times, the trio, who have a net worth of about $160 billion between them, said that a Congress paralyzed by partisanship is failing US citizens by refusing to make the compromises necessary to overhaul a system that Democrats, Republicans and President Barack Obama all say is broken. “Americans deserve better than this,” the men wrote, adding that despite their political differences they would be able to draft a bill acceptable to each of them. They took particular aim at

the Republican-led House of Representatives, which has stonewalled several attempts to craft legislation. The House bill’s differences, the trio argued, could be hammered out with members of the Senate, whose landmark immigration bill passed with bipartisan support one year ago but has languished on Capitol Hill. “Whatever the precise provisions of a law, it’s time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country’s humanity and its self-interest,” the billionaires said. “A Congress that does nothing about these problems is extending an irrational policy by default.” The three men may be on the same page with regard to immigration reform, but it is their political differences that make the

column stand out. Gates, founder and former boss at Microsoft, and Berkshire Hathaway founder and worldrenowned investor Buffett have both supported Obama, while Las Vegas Sands Corporation chief executive Adelson is the casino magnate who in 2012 spent nearly $100 million in an effort to defeat Obama’s re-election. Last year’s Senate bill created a “pathway to citizenship” for many of the 11 million undocumented people in the US, a sticking point for conservative House Republicans who view the provision as amnesty for illegal immigrants. House Speaker John Boehner has publicly proclaimed his support for immigration reform but has also said efforts to draft a comprehensive bill in 2014 were essentially dead.

Pope urges protection of migrant children MEXICO CITY, July 14, 2014 (AFP) – Pope Francis called Monday for urgent action to protect and care for the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children migrating from Central America to the United States. In a letter read by the Vatican envoy to Mexico, the pope said “such a humanitarian emergency demands as a first urgent measure that these minors be protected and duly taken in.” Papal envoy Christophe Pierre read the letter at a conference organized by Mexico and the Vatican on international migration and development, which was attended by the Vatican’s secretary of state Pietro Parolin. In his message, Francis noted that all migrants face threats but he stressed the particular dangers to the growing tide of children mi-

In Loving Memory of our Beloved

ERLINDA ALEJAR-LUDOVICO

Application period extended for Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards SACRAMENTO – The deadline to apply for the State’s most prestigious environmental achievement honor is extended to Friday, July 18. Applications for the 2014 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA) program are available at www.calepa.ca.gov/Awards/ GEELA/. The GEELA program recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-pri-

vate partnerships, and strengthening the state’s economy. GEELA recipients are chosen in 14 different categories, from climate change to environmental justice to waste reduction. This year’s awards include a new category: - The new category is titled Agricultural Ecosystem Services and was created to recognize farmers and ranchers for the multiple benefits gained from farming and ranching. These benefits include innovative and sustainable approaches to water conservation, food crop production efficiency and management of working

lands. - Established in 1993, the GEELA is a competitive program administered by the California Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with the Natural Resources Agency; the Department of Food and Agriculture; the State Transportation Agency; the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency; the Labor and Workforce Development Agency; the Health and Human Services Agency; and the Governor’s Office. For more information about GEELA, please visit www.calepa. ca.gov/Awards/GEELA/.

AARP launches search for America’s top boomer talent with Boomer Superstarcontest powered by American Idol Live!

grating to the United States from Central America and Mexico. “This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain,” the pope said. He demanded “the attention of the international community to this challenge” and that measures be taken by the countries involved. He called for policies to inform the public of the dangers of the trip north and to promote development of the migrants’ countries of origin. US President Barack Obama has asked the US Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis but has encountered resistance from Republican lawmakers.

Linda was a loving wife, wonderful mother, dedicated teacher and true friend. She was born on 14 March 1928 to Marcos and Consolacion Alejar in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines. Linda earned her Bachelor's of Education degree from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. She met Benjamin Q. Ludovico and were married on 11 October 1952. They both raised a family of seven and Linda continued her teaching career at St. John's Academy, then at National Teachers' College and International School. In 1985, Ben moved to the United States. Linda joined him and still continued her teaching career until she retired from St. Genevieve Elementary School. . Her life's journey ended on 13 July 2014 surrounded by her family in Sylmar, CA. She is survived by Ben, her seven children and 16 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren and an extended family of close relatives and friends . A celebration of Linda's life will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints on Saturday at 11315 White Oak Ave., Granada Hills, CA 91344 at 5:00 p.m. .

Contest will search for undiscovered baby boomers with star quality and amazing voices WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2014) – Calling all Baby Boomers looking to become America’s next big singing sensation! AARP is launching a national search to make one lucky person’s dream a reality while showing that talent is ageless. Powered by American Idol Live!, AARP’s Boomer Superstar contest is open to anyone born between 1946 and 1964 and gives Boomers the chance to compete for a $5,000 prize and an audition with music label 19 Recordings. “We are thrilled to be teaming up with American Idol Live! to find talent and to show that dreams have no expiration date and there is a real possibility of reaching your goals later in life,” said Myrna Blyth, editorial director, AARP. AARP is also sponsoring the 41-city American Idol Live! tour, which kicks off June 24th in Binghamton, NY at the Broome County Arena. Contestants can submit video entries online (aarpcontest. votigo.com/aarpcontest) and on AARP’s Facebook (www.facebook. com/AARP?sk=app_219539 031502525) page through July 11th and a panel of judges will narrow the field to the top 30 semi-finalists. The general public will help to determine the top eight finalists via online voting from July 15 - August 11. Voting is open to all AARP.org registered users and each voter age 45+ (limit 1 vote per day) will be entered for a chance to win a $3,000 sweepstakes*. Finalists will be flown to San Diego to compete in a LIVE singing competition. On September 5th at AARP’s “Ideas@50” national event, the top five contestants will perform in front of a live audience of AARP members and a celebrity panel of judges, which include 19-time Grammy Award winning musician and producer Emilio Estefan and Grammy Award-winning R&B/jazz vocalist Patti Austin. American Idol® Live! concert attendees will be able to get additional information about AARP’s

Real Possibilities initiatives, as well as the Boomer Superstar contest. AARP kiosks will be located in the concert venue at up to 21 tour stops. The Boomer Superstar contest is part of AARP’s year-long Boomers@50+ initiative which celebrates the last of the Baby Boomers turning 50 in 2014. *Complete contest information, rules and regulations can be found online at www.aarp.org/boomersuperstar. About AARP AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp. org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated

charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp. org.

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Fortune 500 firm looking to expand presence in PHL JACKSONVILLE – A Floridabased Fortune 500 company that is one of the world’s leading provider of banking and payments technology services has expressed serious interest to expand its presence in the Philippines. “We welcome the interest of Florida companies, particularly FIS Global, to collaborate and invest in Philippine businesses and institutions,” said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. who led an economic diplomacy mission to Florida recently. Ambassador Cuisia said FIS Global wants to tap the Philippines for Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) services. “FIS Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Martire has informed us that his company is considering to expand its present operations in the Philippines because of the favorable investment climate and other advantages, particularly the encouraging support that the government provides,” Ambassador Cuisia said. Trade Representative Maria Roseni Alvero, who accompanied Ambassador Cuisia in the mission, said FIS Global, which is

VARGAS DETAINED From page 1

Vargas, who was part of a Washington Post team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, revealed in a 2011 New York Times magazine essay that he was undocumented. He was 12 years old in 1993 when his young mother put him on a flight in Manila to be raised by his grandparents in California, in the hope he could live the American dream. What happened since that Times essay is the subject of “Documented,” written, produced and directed by Vargas, which got its world premiere last June. NY Mayor support US authorities are currently dealing with a surge of unaccompanied and undocumented children coming over the country’s southern borders with Mexico.

headquartered in Jacksonville, employs more than 37,000 people worldwide, including more than 1,700 in the Philippines. Alvero said FIS Global, which has been serving bank clients in the Philippines for the past two decades, is No. 1 in the annual FinTech 100 list and 434 on the Fortune 500. It is a member of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. “We see this as a step forward in further developing our local industries as well as further strengthening economic ties with between the Philippines and the United States,” Cuisia said. During the business roundtable in Jacksonville, Aaron Bowman, Senior Vice President for Business Development of JAX USA Partnership, a regional economic development organization in Jacksonville, said there are local companies interested in doing business in the Philippines. “There are various areas that we would like to explore – from agricultural research and food product testing to opportunities in aerospace and aviation, particularly on the maintenance and manufacturing side,” Bowman said. Over 57,000 have illegally entered the United States since October, the majority arriving in Texas, according to official US data. They are mostly from Central America, fleeing poverty and violence. Prior to his release Define American said that, as well as winning a Pulitzer, Vargas has created dozens of jobs through his activist work and “exemplifies what it means to define American. Now, in his hour of need, we stand with him in prayer.” Detailing his detention, it said: “It became apparent during our time here... that (Vargas) may not be able to leave McAllen – a situation shared by thousands of undocumented Americans who are ‘stuck’ at the border, which for them is a daily struggle.”

Vogue Dance Club celebrates its 3rd Anniversary

Vogue Dance Club, known for its unique style in the line dancing community celebrated it’s 3rd Anniversary last June 28 in a party attended by over 120 dancers. All guests enjoyed raffle prizes, good food and of course, dancing all night to their favorite music, old and new. The highlight of the night was a Viennese Waltz performance by all the regular dancers of VDC showing they can do Ballroom as well as they do Line Dancing. Vogue Dance Club’s highly anticipated Annual Western Event is scheduled for Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 7pm to 12mn at a cost of $15 per person. Early registration is a must because this event is very popular and is always sold out. Vogue Dance Club is headed by their 4 officers, Jim and Marilou Betham (Teachers) and Jimmy and Monica Tan (DJ and Manager). Class is every Friday from 7pm to 12mn which includes an hour of Ballroom dancing lesson. For more information, visit their website at www.VogueDanceClub.com.

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Lifestyle choices cut Alzheimer toll: study PARIS, July 14, 2014 (AFP) – Millions of cases of Alzheimer’s could be prevented by altering lifestyle habits which increase risk of the tragic memory-robbing disease, scientists said on Monday. Alzheimer’s is an age-related brain condition that experts suspect is influenced by both genes and the environment. The population boom and longer lifespans mean that more than 106 million people will be living with Alzheimer’s by 2050 compared with 30 million in 2010, according to predictions. The study, led by Carol Brayne, a professor of public health at the University of Cambridge, looked at seven risk factors for which there was strong evidence of an association with the disease.

These were diabetes, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, physical inactivity, depression, smoking and low educational attainment. By reducing the relative risk from each of these factors by 10 percent, it should be possible to slash global prevalence of Alzheimer’s in 2050 by 8.5 percent, preventing nine million cases, it said. A 2011 estimate said that as many as one in two cases of Alzheimer’s could be prevented through changes in lifestyle and personal wellbeing. But the new study said that this estimate was too high, as some of the risk factors are intertwined. For instance, diabetes, hypertension and obesity are linked with physical inactivity and all in turn are influenced by educational level. The paper is a mathematical model

based on the notion that the seven risk factors are causes rather than just statistical associations – an assumption that is often fiercely debated in medicine. “Although there is no single way to prevent dementia, we may be able to take steps to reduce our risk of developing dementia at older ages,” Brayne said in a press release issued by Cambridge. “We know what many of these factors are, and that they are often linked. “Simply tackling physical inactivity, for example, will reduce levels of obesity, hypertension and diabetes, and prevent some people from developing dementia as well as a healthier old age in general - it’s a win-win situation.” The paper appears in the journal The Lancet Neurology.

New projections suggest there will be 14 million Alzheimers sufferers in the US by 2050 compared to 4.7 million in 2010. ©Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com

Is the weather to blame for lower back pain?

Back pain, suffering, suffer, man, health: Lower back pain is likely to affect everyone at some point, and a new study says not to blame the weather. If pain persists, see your doctor instead. ©Piotr Marcinski

(Relaxnews) – It’s not the rain, nor the temperature, humidity, barometric pressure or wind direction, says a new study that refutes an association between lower back pain and inclement weather. “Many patients believe that weather impacts their pain symptoms,” says Dr. Daniel Steffens with the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney, Australia. “However, there are few robust studies investigating weather and pain, specifically research that does not rely on patient recall of the weather.” Past studies have pointed to a link between cold or humid weather and increasing symptoms for patients with chronic pain conditions, who report equally that the weather affects their musculoskeletal pain.

The Australian case-crossover study in question, however, examined 993 patients in Sydney and sourced data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology throughout the year-long study. Researchers logged weather conditions at the time when patients initially felt their back pain and compared them with conditions one week and one month beforehand. Although high winds and gusts showed a negligible increase in lower back pain, overall results suggest no association exists between the latter and temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction or even precipitation. “Our findings refute previously held beliefs that certain common weather conditions increase risk of lower back pain,” says Dr. Steffens. “Further investigation of the influence of weather parameters

on symptoms associated with specific diseases such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis are needed.” According to the World Health Association (WHO), lower back pain affects 33 percent of the population at any given time and nearly everyone is likely to experience it at some point. The study was published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

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KITCHENOMICS Alaska Salmon Pesto Pasta Salad

FAMILY FEATURES

Y

ou’ve probably heard that eating seafood rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against heart disease while delivering other important nutrients. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends eating seafood twice a week for such benefits. Salmon is one fish long-heralded for its nutritional value, and Alaska canned salmon offers a convenient way to add more deliciously nourishing seafood to your diet. Whether your tastes lean toward a traditional croquette drizzled with a light dill sauce, or a refreshing take on a pesto pasta salad, canned salmon is easy to prepare and surprisingly versatile. Because canned and pouched salmon is shelf-stable, you can always have some on hand for a quick, tasty meal or flavorful snack. At the grocery store, simply look for “Alaska” on the lid or label to ensure a top-quality, wholly natural product with nothing added but a pinch of salt for flavor. These recipes showcase how Alaska canned salmon can be adapted to a wide range of meals and lifestyles, from the indulgent to the über-healthy. For additional preparation tips and recipes, visit www.wildalaskaseafood.com.

Alaska Salmon Salad Sandwiches Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4 1 can (14.75 ounces) traditional pack Alaska salmon or 2 cans or pouches (6 to 7.1 ounces each) skinless, boneless salmon, drained and chunked 1/3 cup light mayonnaise 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon capers, drained, chopped if large (optional) 1/3 cup finely diced celery 1/3 cup finely diced onion 1/4 cup dill or sweet pickle relish, drained Dash Tabasco sauce or pinch of black pepper 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried dill weed 8 slices whole-grain bread 24 thin slices cucumber 4 leaves green or red leaf lettuce In medium bowl, combine salad ingredients. Add salmon and stir to combine well. Divide salad among 4 slices of bread. Top each with 6 slices of cucumber and a leaf of lettuce. Top with remaining slices of bread and cut in half, crosswise. Nutrients per serving: 381 calories (36% from fat), 15 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 27 g protein, 34 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 1236 mg sodium, 291 mg calcium and 1900 mg omega-3 fatty acids

The Many Benefits of Salmon 

Alaska canned pink salmon has four times the omega-3s EPA and DHA, and 12 times the vitamin D as many popular canned meats and fish. It also has 25 percent of adults’ Recommended Daily Allowance for calcium and nearly meets the daily reference amount for selenium. Traditional pack canned salmon contains skin and delicate, edible bones that are rich in calcium and magnesium. Pressure-cooked in the can, they are so soft they can be easily blended into the salmon, adding extra nutrients and flavor. Skinless, boneless Alaska salmon is also available in cans and pouches. Pink salmon — the variety commonly found in cans — has a light color and mild flavor, while red salmon (or sockeye) has a richer, more intense flavor and color.

Prep time: 25 minutes Servings: 8 to 10 8 ounces dry, small shell pasta 2 to 3 teaspoons garlic, finely minced 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto 1/2 cup light Italian salad dressing 1 zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch half-moon slices 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 3/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted 1 can (14.75 ounces) traditional pack Alaska salmon or 2 cans or pouches (6 to 7.1 ounces each) skinless, boneless salmon, drained and chunked Salt and pepper, to taste Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. Let cool slightly then toss with garlic, pesto and dressing. Set aside. Cook zucchini in covered microwavable container on high 2 minutes or until just tender and bright green. Toss blanched zucchini, tomatoes, onion and peas into pasta and stir to combine. Gently fold in drained salmon; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill before serving. Nutrients per serving: 310 calories (46% from fat), 16 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 17 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 485 mg sodium, 214 mg calcium and 1300 mg omega-3 fatty acids

Alaska Salmon and Chipotle Wrap Prep time: 15 minutes Servings: 4 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped red onion 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 can (14.75 ounces) traditional pack Alaska salmon or 2 cans or pouches (6 to 7.1 ounces each) skinless, boneless salmon, drained and chunked 3 tablespoons light cream cheese or light sour cream 1 teaspoon adobo sauce 4 whole wheat tortillas (8-inch) 4 large lettuce or cabbage leaves, shredded In bowl, mix lime juice, chiles, cilantro, bell pepper, red onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently stir in salmon until blended. In small bowl, blend cream cheese and adobo sauce. Spread 1/4 mixture over each tortilla to within 1 inch of edge. Spread 2/3 cup salmon mixture over cream cheese. Top with 1/4 of lettuce and roll up burritostyle. Repeat for remaining tortillas.  For appetizers, cut each wrap into thirds (makes 12 appetizer servings).  As a meal, cut each wrap in half (makes 4 entree servings). Serve immediately. Nutrients per serving (4 entrees): 305 calories, 8.5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 25% calories from fat, 88 mg cholesterol, 32.5 g protein, 26.5 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 1228 mg sodium, 130.5 mg calcium and 1290 mg omega-3 fatty acids

Alaska Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Dill Sauce Prep time: 21 minutes

Servings: 4 1 egg 1/4 cup small-curd nonfat cottage cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning 1/4 cup sliced green onions 1 can (14.75 ounces) traditional pack Alaska salmon or 2 cans or pouches (6 to 7.1 ounces each) skinless, boneless salmon, drained and chunked 3 tablespoons garlic-and-herb bread crumbs Vegetable oil Yogurt Dill Sauce In medium bowl, whisk egg lightly. Add cottage cheese, dill, lemon pepper and green onions; mix well. Mix in drained salmon, then sprinkle in bread crumbs and mix well. Shape mixture into 4 patties, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brush skillet with oil. Fry salmon cakes for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Cakes should be crisp and golden on the outside and still moist on the inside. Serve with Yogurt Dill Sauce.

Yogurt Dill Sauce 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic Salt and pepper 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed 1/4 cup grated cucumber (squeeze dry) Mix yogurt and garlic, and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in dill and cucumber. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Nutrients per serving: 217 calories (34% from fat), 8 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 112 mg cholesterol, 27 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 897 mg sodium, 320 mg calcium and 1800 mg omega-3 fatty acids


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MOTORING A day on the track: how to pick your car (Relaxnews) – Once racing a car gets under your skin and it’s time to go from an occasional leisure activity to your number one pastime, it’s also worth considering looking at a set of wheels that’s been built specially for the job. But with so many choices on the market at so many price points, how do you decide? “What you really want [from] your track car is be able to drive it to a circuit and drive home, legally. So that’s the first consideration,” says racing driver and instructor Colin Hoad. If the car isn’t legally allowed on the road, then you’re going to have to also invest in a trailer and another car to tow that trailer. “The key is finding something that’s designed to do the job without then adding too much extra expenditure on top,” continues Hoad. So for instance, the Radical is a phenomenal track car and is

indeed road legal, but unless you can also afford to run another car alongside it, doing other things like the school run or shopping would prove more than a little challenging. “I usually look at two cars as starter vehicles, an M3 or M4 BMW or something like a Lotus Exige or Lotus Elise,” says Hoad, the reason being that they have a reputation for efficient braking and are set up in a way that they’re not heavy on things like tire wear. At Hoad’s other end of the spectrum, where pretty much anything is a possible track car, he would plump for a Porsche 911 GT3 mostly because of its excellent brakes that don’t fade so are always ready to help you out, although of course, it is also very fast. And while there’s no denying that brakes are crucial, one of the easiest things to use as a guide

for choosing a car is its weight. Heavy cars need more fuel, and put more strain on their constituent parts than their lighter counterparts. “The rule of thumb is that 100 miles on a track day is the equivalent to 1000 miles on the road. On a good track day you will do probably 100 miles and that means that you are racking up 1000 miles of wear and tear on your car,” says Hoad. Therefore running costs will need to be factored into your buying decision. As will the company you will have to keep. For example, if you do plump for a new rather than used M4 or Porsche, it is probably best to drive it where there are other Porsche and BMW drivers. “What you will see is the quality of your vehicle will relate to the price of the track day,” says Hoad. “So if you have a Porsche and take it to a budget track day in the winter, you’ll find a lot of

Lotus Exige S Roadster: The Lotus is light on its feet and light on brake and tire wear. ©Lotus

cheaper vehicles on the track— Honda Civics, Peugeot 106s, etc – now I have nothing against these cars or their drivers, but there’s a chance that some of these cars will be driven slightly more er-

ratically because their owners are less precious about them. But, if you do a Gold track day at the height of summer, there’s every chance you’ll be out there with like-minded enthusiasts.”

Aston Martin that inspired ‘Goldfinger’ goes up for bid

This 1954 Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mk I Vantage inspired Ian Fleming as he was writing the James Bond novel “Goldfinger.” ©COYS

(Relaxnews) – This Saturday, July 12, the 1954 Aston Martin DB 2/5 Mk I that inspired Ian Fleming when writing his James Bond novel “Goldfinger” will be auctioned by Coys of Kensington at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, England. The model going under the hammer belonged to a certain Lord Phillip Ingram CunliffeLister, son of Lord Swinton, who once headed up the British Security Service (MI5) and was on close terms with Winston

Churchill. The vehicle’s owner, who was also Ian Fleming’s boss, often visited Ian Fleming’s nextdoor neighbors in Kent. Coys notes that the car is equipped with reinforced steel bumpers, secret hiding places, an anti-interference ignition system and a two-way radio – exactly like the model described in “Goldfinger.” Long abandoned, the Aston Martin in question has now been thoroughly restored. Somewhat surprisingly, the official catalog does not list the estimated value

of this unique vehicle. It is worth noting that the 1964 film adaptation of “Goldfinger” actually placed Sean Connery at the wheel of an Aston Martin DB5. The model is one of over 90 collector cars going under the hammer this Saturday, including several Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, Mercedes, Jaguars and even a 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Series I Ventoux. The latter model is expected to fetch between £275,000 and £320,000 ($470,600-$547,500).


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KC confirms dating Paulo Avelino again Actress KC Concepcion admitted that she is again dating Paulo Avelino amid speculations about the real score between the two. The 29-year-old said that she is willing to try again with Avelino, but added that her tight schedule may play a part. “Medyo nagmamakaawa ako na sana intindihin din ako kung may times na parang mag-aadjust pa ako sa schedule,” she said. “Sana naman mahanapan ng way na parang makapag-date pa din or makapag-spend ng time with you know, kung sinong makakapagpa-happy sa iyo,” she added. Last month, the two were spotted in Baguio together after Concepcion returned to the country from New York. Avelino earlier cited that the distance was one of the factors affecting their “relationship.” “Yun naman yung maganda

when you’re able to spend time para makilala mo din yung tao ‘di ba?” Concepcion asked, referring to the actor. “Para makilala namin yung isa’t isa. ‘Yun ang pinaka-importante sa lahat, ‘yung malaman mo kung paano ba talaga ang isang tao. Basta we’re okay. ‘Yun lang ang masasabi ko siguro. Okay kami,” she said. Concepcion also revealed that the Baguio trip was planned by Avelino, and said that she appreciates the “efforts” being made by the actor. “Gusto kong maramdaman lang na normal ako ganun. Na hindi ako natatakot na maglakad sa streets of Manila. And napagusapan lang namin one time na nagplano siya na parampahin ako sa Session Road,” she said. “Kinabahan ako actually kasi first time ko actually na wala talagang maraming kasama. Pero

‘yun lang, we’re okay. Sa time namin ngayon in our lives important yung work,” she reiterated. Concepcion is set to feature in the ongoing television series “Ikaw Lamang,” while Avelino is currently cast as one of the major characters in ABS-CBN’s newest primetime soap “Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon.” “Passion niya ‘yung work. Passion ko rin ‘yung work. Kaya rin kami magkasundo. We’re happy for each other and we’re okay,” she explained. Earlier in the year, Avelino said on national television that his special relationship with Concepcion hasn’t taken off but is definitely not yet over. Avelino first admitted to dating Concepcion in November last year, weeks after he confirmed his separation from former girlfriend, actress LJ Reyes, with whom he has a son. (MNS)

Lani Misalucha gears up for Araneta concert After releasing her successful comeback album, singer Lani Misalucha is now set to hit the concert stage. And this time, it won’t be another “bangketa” concert, her talked-about social experiment, which saw her perform incognito as a street musician. In her official Instagram account, Misalucha announced that she will be performing at the Araneta Coliseum in October. “ABANGAN... #TheNightingaleReturns #StarEvents #StarMusic #BigDome #AranataColiseum #October2014 #lanimisalucha #lanimisaluchaconcert,” Misalucha wrote in the caption. In May, Misalucha released her comeback CD “The Nightingale Returns,” which includes covers of OPM classics. Currently, Misalucha is gearing up for shows in California and in Australia. (MNS)

Zsa Zsa refutes reported wedding plans

Lani Misalucha

Rhian gets back on track Actress Rhian Ramos will don her red racing suit again to try and out-speed other celebrity racers in the second leg of the 2014 Toyota Vios Cup slated on July 25 to 26 at the Clark International Speedway. This will be her second competitive match after completing the first leg last May. She is up against Sam YG, Fabio Ide, Jinno Rufino and Phoemela Barranda. While Rhian doesn’t expect to emerge as champion, she made it clear that she will definitely try her best. She shared, “Kasi ‘pag race na mismo, iba ‘yung feeling, parang lumabas pagiging competitive ko na I didn’t know I had coz I didn’t think I was a competitive person (before).” Rhian counts Phoemela as her toughest opponent – although she is quick to point out that she is not intimidated by her. The proud newbie declared, “I’m not the best but I’ve never come in last.” She has allotted her Tuesdays solely for training, driving all the way to Pampanga to do so. Crashing in her previous race has been traumatizing for the actress. She admitted mulling about quitting; still, her love for the sport prevailed. “When I’m practicing, naiisip ko ‘yung fear. But during race proper lahat ng fear nawawala, I just become obsessed in overtaking whoever is in front of me,” she said. Although ineligible to take home prizes that contenders who bring their own cars without sponsors have the chance to win, Rhian nevertheless said, “My prize is the bragging rights.” She considers herself “lucky” and “privileged” to enjoy the activity for free, knowing how costly it is. In the end though, Rhian maintained that despite her developing skills as race car driver, acting is still top priority for her, deeming it “her

Rhian Ramos

first love.” She is currently part of GMA-7′s new series “My Destiny.” (MNS)

Ai Ai’s son joins showbiz The son of Comedy Queen Ai Ai delas Alas has officially joined show business. On Instagram, Sancho said he will do a bit role in the film “Ronda,” which stars his own mother. A finalist in the New Breed Category of Cinemalaya 2014, “Ronda” is delas Alas’ first indie film. “First time...Working with my mudra! @ aiaidelasalas #ronda #indiefilm #extra,” Sancho wrote. Delas Alas, for her part, said she is happy to be working with her son. In a previous interview, delas Alas revealed that ABS-CBN has offered her son, Sancho, to do a television series. The comedienne said she would have wanted her son to be part of the hit reality show “Pinoy Big Brother.” Aside from “Ronda,” delas Alas is busy taping for ABS-CBN’s hit series “Dyesebel” which stars Anne Curtis. (MNS)

KC and Paolo

Ai and Sancho

Zsa Zsa Padilla has denied reports about her alleged impending marriage to architect Conrad Onglao. “That’s not true,” said the singer-actress. Explaining the news item about them supposedly flying to the US in the coming months purportedly to tie the knot, she stammered, “It’s just a…the story lang kasi is, siyempre, parang may edad na kami (ni Conrad)…” Obviously not closing her doors on the matter, Zsa Zsa shared how she is taking inspiration from Boots Anson-Roa who recently married King Rodrigo. Zsa Zsa said, “Parang nung una ko ring nabalitaan si Tita Boots Anson-Roa (na ikinasal) sabi ko, ‘Siguro naman may pag-asa pa rin Zsa Zsa ako.’” “Everybody wants the chance to be able to move forward.” On Thursday, Zsa Zsa led preparations for a mass at the Heritage Park to commemorate the second death anniversary of the Comedy King. Asked about the flowers she had helped arrange around Dolphy’s tomb, she said, “I really love flowers and siya naman, mahilig siya sa orchids at saka (sa kulay na) puti so we make sure that up in heaven, he would appreciate it.” Zsa Zsa related that she still talks to Dolphy. “Siyempre ’pag naaalala mo ’yung – we have a lot of very good memories – so nakaka-miss talaga.” Members of the Quizon family present at the mass were Dolphy’s sons Eric, Epy, Vandolph, daughter Nicole and grandsons Boy 2 and Vito. The Quizons are also preparing for a benefit concert in time for Dolphy’s birth anniversary on July 25. (MNS)


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From page 1

From page 1

tered overseas voters, the DFA said. Last June, the first Overseas Voter Registration Center (OVRC) in the Philippines for the 2016 elections opened at the Office of Consular Affairs (OCA), Macapagal Avenue, ASEANA Business Park. This allowed overseas Filipino workers, immigrants, and seafarers about to leave for abroad, and who are not yet registered as overseas voters, to register there. “In addition, these registrants no longer have to set an appointment to apply for renewal of passport. Their OVR stub will allow them access to the Passport Division’s Courtesy Lane,” the DFA said. However, the DFA said one of the chal-

lenges confronting the FSPs is aging - and malfunctioning - voter registration equipment. “DFA-OVS is closely coordinating with the COMELEC on how to address the situation. Both the Secretariat and the Commission are confident that a solution is at hand, despite the meager resources available to the COMELEC for overseas voter activities since it is not an election year,” the DFA said. Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad during the 30-day overseas voting period between April 9 and May 9, 2016 and are at least 18 years old on May 9, 2016, and not otherwise disqualified by law, may register as an overseas voter.

televised speech, remained adamant that the now defunct DAP benefited the people through the construction of infrastructure and funding of relevant programs. “Mabuti ang DAP. Tama ang intensyon. Tama ang pamamaraan. Tama ang resulta,” Aquino insisted during his 23-minute speech. (DAP is right. The intention is right. The means was right. The result was right.) He reiterated that Section 39 of the 1987 Administration Code justified the DAP through the following provision: “Except as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act, any savings in the regular appropriations authorized in the General

Appropriations Act for programs and projects of any department, office or agency, may, with the approval of the President, be used to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations….” Aquino said he is hoping that the Supreme Court will side with them after they read the motion for reconsideration. However, he also somehow seemingly warned the judiciary when he said, “Ayaw nating umabot pa sa puntong nagbabanggan ang two magkapantay na sangay (ng gobyerno).” (We do not want this to reach the point when the two equal branches of government clash.)

QATAR BLAMES From page 1

rights violations most often shift the blame to Qatar in a rather generic manner,” said the report focused on workers from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. “Far less attention has been given to the violations by the migrants’ own nationals in their countries of origin, in addition to those who are complicit in Qatar,” it said. The energy-rich Gulf nation has come under international pressure to clamp down on violations of the rights of migrant workers, especially those building World Cup infrastructure. The report insisted that this criticism underscores the need to determine the level of abuse committed at the recruitment stage, and introduce legislation in order to stamp it out. “It is necessary to ascertain to what extent trafficking, debt bondage and forced labour, that largely result from recruitment processes... could be addressed and leveraged by the Qatari authorities,” it said. The Qatar Foundation is a non-profit organisation promoting education, science, and community development. It is chaired by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Masnad – the mother of Qatar’s emir.

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