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Vol. 2. No. 45

LOS ANGELES

A Balita Media Publication

Wednesday - Tuesday, July 24-30, 2013

Aquino gives up Hacienda Luisita Farmers to get titles by September this year MANILA, July 22, 2013 (AFP) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Monday that work would start in weeks to divide his family’s giant sugar plantation between thousands of peasant farmers, ending a decades-long struggle for control. The decision had been forced on Aquino’s extended family after the Supreme Court ruled that the 4,300-hectare (10,600-acre) Hacienda Luisita must be split among more than 6,000 workers. “The process to determine the beneficiaries’ lots began last week, and the turnover of these lots will begin in September,” Aquino said in his annual state-of-the-nation address to parliament. The farm, one of the biggest in the country, had come to symbolize the failure of a land reform

program begun by Aquino’s mother Corazon Aquino in 1988 when she was president. The program was launched to break the stranglehold of powerful political families on the agriculture sector, and to empower the tens of thousands of peasant farmers who worked on the estates. But many elite families had been able to use legal and political maneuvers to hold on to their farms. In the Hacienda Luisita case, Aquino’s family was accused of trying to avoid giving up its land by converting parts of it to nonagricultural uses and giving its workers shares in a company controlling the farm instead. The Supreme Court finally See HACIENDA LUISITA, page 6

Aquino allies elected to Senate, House top posts MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III’s allies in both chambers of Congress on Monday successfully elected two administration lawmakers as leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives on Monday. Senator Franklin Drilon, Liberal Party (LP) vice-chairman and administration campaign manager during the last elections, won the Senate presidency against Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., another vice-chairman

of the ruling party, meanwhile retained his post as House Speaker. Drilon and Belmonte were elected to the top posts of Congress ahead of Aquino’s fourth of State of the Nation Address (SONA), where he will outline his legislative priorities for his last three years in office later this afternoon. A total of 108 House seats are currently occupied by LP members. At the Senate, nine candidates from the administration’s See AQUINO ALLIES, page 6

Belmonte vows to uphold integrity of House, urges lawmakers to unite behind Aquino’s reform agenda MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – Re-elected Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. pledged to uphold the integrity of the House of Representatives as a democratic institution during his acceptance speech Monday and urged his colleagues to unite behind President Benigno S. Aquino’s reform agenda. “Today, I am deeply humbled by your vote of confidence. I pledge to honor that trust with a leadership that respects the voice of every member in all proceedings of this chamber and upholds

the integrity of this assembly as a democratic institution of government,” Belmonte said. He said that in accepting anew the duties of being Speaker, Belmonte is confident that the chamber will continue to remain strong and unified in its resolve to move towards a greater future. “I am confident that, irrespective of our differing political affiliation, geographic or sectoral interest and persuasion, we will always stand strong and unified in our resolve not merely to conSee BELMONTE VOWS, page 6

An effigy of President Benigno Aquino is wheeled as protesters, carrying banners and placards, march towards the House of Representatives, where Aquino will deliver his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA), in Quezon City, Metro Manila July 22, 2013. The protesters denounced President Aquino’s 4th SONA saying people are still suffering from high prices, low wages, landlessness, unemployment and poverty, reported local media. Banner (front) reads, “no change in three years, fight the puppet, fascist and burden the US-Aquino regime”. (MNS photo)

Aquino turns tough guy in 4th SONA, scolds govt agencies for ‘mediocre’ MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III turned tough guy in his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, using strong words – at times even street language – to warn erring officials and civil servants that his patience had run out. “Pero magtapatan po tayo: Hanggang ngayon, may ilan pa ring ahensya ng gobyerno na ayaw yata talagang tumino. Nakakadismaya po ang lalim at ang pagsanga-sanga ng kanilang mga

See RAMON ALCARAZ, page 6

based broadcaster Gerry Ortega – from leaving the country. “Paulit-ulit nating pinagsabihang ayusin ang pagbabantay sa ating mga daungan at paliparan. Pero paanong nakalabas ng bansa ang magkapatid na Joel at Mario Reyes, ang mga pangunahing suspek sa pagpaslang kay Gerry Ortega? Bakit nangyari pa rin na kitang-kita sa mismong CCTV ang pagtakas ng Koreano na si Park Sungjun?” Aquino said. The President also called out See 4TH SONA ‘MEDIOCRE’, page 6

Imelda slips at inaugural session MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos slipped after attending the inaugural session of the House of Representatives on Monday. The 84-year-old former First Lady, who won another bid as Ilocos Norte representative, left after the session to proceed to her office at the North Wing when she slipped at the North Lobby stairs. Her chief-of-staff, Bebot Diaz, said Marcos is okay but doctors want her to have an x-ray soon. The regular session of the 16th Congress started Monday. President Benigno Aquino III then delivered his State of the Nation Address at 4 p.m. (MNS)

Crew of BRP Ramon Alcaraz savor Filipino food while on high seas MANILA, July 20 (Mabuhay) – If you think the officers and crew of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), the country’s second Hamilton-class cutter in service, are being stinted on food while on its voyage back to the Philippines, think again. One of the officers tasked to document the Filipino frigate’s return trip, Lt. (junior grade) Errol N. Dela Cruz, revealed they had “sinampalukang kambing” and “kalderata” for lunch on July 19. The ship at that time was 285 nautical miles south of Oahu Islands, Hawaii at that time. “Do you care for some ‘sinampalukang kambing’ and ‘kaldereta’ in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Yes, that is our lunch. Crave,” Dela Cruz wrote on the

galamay sa ating burukrasya; malingat lang tayo, pihadong may aabusuhin at bibiktimahin na naman sila,” Aquino said. He also addressed policemen involved in the alleged rubout of two members of the notorious Ozamiz robbery group, “Malapit ko na kayong makilala.” He also specifically cited the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for its alleged failure to prevent fugitives – including the alleged masterminds in the killing of Palawan-

(Left to right) Representatives Lucy Torres from Leyte; former broadcast journalist Sol Aragones from Laguna; Carissa Cruz Evangelista of Pangsinan and Ruby Shali from Tawi Tawi arrive for President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address Monday at the Batasang Pambansa. (MNS photo)

Germany seeks Filipino nurses, skilled migrants for some sectors BERLIN, July 22, 2013 (AFP) – Germany Monday for the first time published a list of jobs it wants to fill with workers from outside the European Union to counter labor shortages in the ageing nation. The jobs include hospital nurses and caregivers for the elderly, robotics experts, electricians and train drivers. Applicants must present qualifications deemed

equal to those in Germany. “We need skilled immigration to ensure Germany’s long-term prosperity,” said Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “Shortages of qualified personnel affect not just graduates but also the middle part of the labor market.” She said the new list showed that “companies in many industries are desperately looking for See GERMANY SEEKS, page 6

Aquino asks 16th Congress to pass 2014 budget, key economic bills

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16), the newest vessel of the Philippine Navy, leaves the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina, following simple ceremonies attended by members of the Filipino Community on Monday, 10 June 2013. (Philippine Embassy Photos by Elmer G. Cato)

MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – The President on Monday asked the 16th Congress to prioritize measures that spur competition and raise government revenues in a bid to sustain the economic gains made so far by the administration. In his State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino III asked Congress to pass amendments to the Cabotage Law

and the rationalization of Fiscal Incentives and Land Administration Reform bills. The Cabotage Law prohibits foreign vessels from serving domestic shipment routes, but Aquino said amendments will increase competition and strengthen industries. “Mapapalakas po nito ang kompetisyon,” he said. See 2014 BUDGET, page 6


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Aquino promises P6.2B for projects vs. flooding MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Monday assured the public that his administration is putting in place mechanisms that would lessen the damage brought by natural disasters. During his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino said his administration has allocated P6.2 billion to prevent flooding in Metro Manila. He said among the projects under this is the 3.3-kilometer project in Blumentritt that is expected to absorb floodwater the

size of 14 Olympic-size pools. Aquino also said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing cases against those who constructed buildings that prevent waterways from functioning properly. Aside from this, Aquino also said that his administration aims to finish distributing new geohazard maps around the country by 2015. He said that his administration is also in the process of procuring new equipment like doppler radars and tsunami detectors. (MNS)

PHL Navy hoping BRP Alcaraz won’t encounter cyclones en route to PHL MANILA, July 20 (Mabuhay) – The Philippine Navy on Saturday said it is keeping its fingers crossed that the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, the Philippines’ newest warship, will not encounter any cyclone while on the last leg of its journey to the Philippines. Philippine Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said the BRP Ramon Alcaraz is now on the longest leg of its journey, going from Hawaii to Guam. In a radio interview, Fabic said the vessel will likely still be at sea when President Benigno Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation Address on Monday. “Sa ngayon siya ay sa kalagitnaan ng Pacific Ocean, naglalayag ngayon... Ang leg ng biyahe from Hawaii to Guam ang pinakamahaba. Siguro by SONA ni Pangulong Aquino, nasa kalagitnaan siya ng Pacific Ocean,” he

said. He also said while the BRP Ramon Alcaraz appears to be on schedule, they are keeping their fingers crossed it will not encounter cyclones in the Pacific Ocean. Fabic said the BRP Ramon Alcaraz is due to arrive first week of August. The Department of Foreign Affairs said the arrival date is August 3. “(Pero) huwag lang sa Pacific Ocean, diyan namumuo ang bagyo, walang bagyo ang darating para on time pagdating ng BRP Ramon Alcaraz,” he said. He said the vessel is due to arrive and drop anchor at Subic and will undergo procedures, including quarantine. When asked if Subic will be its home base, he said it is possible Subic will be one of the areas where it will be frequently assigned. Earlier this week, the vessel

A presidential aide pours water on a glass of Philippine President Benigno Aquino while Aquino delivers his speech during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, Metro Manila July 22, 2013.(MNS photo)

headed for Guam from Hawaii. Hawaii was the frigate’s second port call en route to the Philippines. The ship is named after Filipino naval hero Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, who gained distinction in World War II by shooting down three Japanese Zero fighters who tried to attack his ship. (MNS)

PHL expects to be lifted from US air blacklist MANILA, July 18, 2013 (AFP) – The Philippines expects to be removed from a US air safety blacklist this year, opening a lucrative market for its carriers, an aviation regulator said Thursday. John Andrews, deputy director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), said he was very confident the upgrade would occur

following a similar decision by the European Union last week. “We’re going to make it. (It’s) as simple as that,” Andrews told AFP in an interview. The US Federal Aviation Administration said in 2008 that the Philippines was failing to comply with international safety standards, and banned its airlines from expanding services to the United States.

The European Union banned all Philippine carriers from flying to Europe in 2010 for similar reasons. Reforms put in place since then, including a law creating a new aviation regulator, the CAAP, allowed the Philippines to satisfy the concerns of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in February.

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Aquino lauds devotion, courage of Filipino soldiers MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – For serving with courage and devotion in the remotest section of the country, President Benigno S. Aquino III Monday expressed his appreciation to the country’s soldiers serving in the three major service commands. Aquino praised the latter for their intense devotion in safeguarding the country. He added the Philippines has never lacked brave and steadfast men as well as women in government ranks. Aquino likened these men to Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, who successfully did his duty aboard the Q-112 (also known as the Abra), during the early days of World War II by shooting down three out of the nine Zero fighter planes who tried to sink his boat during an engagement off Manila Bay. He also stressed that Alcaraz wanted to go fighting against the numerically and technologically superior Japanese force but was forced by his superiors as further resistance at that time was pointless, the invaders having conquered almost of the Philippines. Alcaraz is the namesake of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16), the country’s second Hamilton-class cutter, in service. (MNS)

Drilon-led Senate to be thriftier, stricter – Cayetano MANILA, July 20 (Mabuhay) – A Drilon-led Senate will no longer commit mistakes in the past that plunged the chamber into bruising and divisive controversies involving the use of its funds, according to a senator who’s rumored to be a leading candidate for a key leadership position in the 16th Congress. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who is reported to be the next majority leader, said a Senate led by the only candidate for the presidency, Sen. Franklin Drilon, will be thriftier and stricter in handling funds than the previous leadership was. Without confirming that they will soon be the Senate’s leaders, Cayetano said he and Drilon have been talking about reforms that they plan to implement. “I’ll describe it as real reforms. Hindi pakitang tao lang,” he told reporters on Friday. “There will be real transparency and accountability.” He did not give specifics, but said the new leadership will discuss the reforms to fellow senators in the first few weeks of session. Cayetano was one of the outspoken critics of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile at the height of the issue on Enrile’s distribution of P1.6 million each to fellow senators allegedly as cash gifts. Enrile had defended it as money for additional maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE). Cayetano also led calls for the stricter liquidation of MOOE, which used to be done without receipts and only through certification. During Friday’s press briefing, Cayetano took a swipe at Enrile’s leadership. “They talked about reforms, but they did not do it,” he said. He added, however, that despite their rift, he is willing to work with Enrile and the minority group. Cayetano said he and Enrile, who is likely to be the minority leader, will have to find away to rise above their differences. “Our job will really be how to make the Senate function as a whole despite the personal differences among senators,” he said. “The doors are open for any reconciliation. Or at the very least, just simply working together.” Meanwhile, when pressed for an answer if he will indeed be the next Senate majority leader, Cayetano told reporters to just wait until the opening of session on July 22. “Tatlong tulog na lang naman.” (MNS)

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Aquino’s trust, approval ratings up MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – On the day of President Benigno Aquino III’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), Pulse Asia revealed that most Filipinos remain appreciative of his performance and continue to trust him. Based on results from a national survey conducted from June 20 to July 4 on 1,200 adults, Aquino’s trust rating spiked by five percent to P77 percent from 72 percent in March, or around seven in 10 Filipinos. Distrust level was at a single-digit 5 percent. “Trust is the majority sentiment toward President Aquino in the country’s different geographic groupings (68% to 90%) and socio-economic classes (75% to 82%),” the survey firm said. “As in the case of presidential approval ratings, higher trust scores obtain in the Visayas and Mindanao than in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon (86% to 90% versus 68% to 69%),” it added. Meanwhile, Aquino’s approval rating also went up, although by only one percent, to 73 percent from 72 percent last March. “This sentiment is shared by sizeable to big majorities across geographic areas (67% to 82%) and socio-economic classes (72% to 75%),” the survey firm said. “Visayans and Mindanaoans are more inclined to approve of the President’s work than those in Metro

Manila and the rest of Luzon (78% to 82% versus 67% to 68%),” Pulse Asia said. SONA issues The same Pulse Asia survey also revealed that more than anything else, Filipinos wanted Aquino to tackle employment and inflation in his SONA, which he is set to deliver at 3 p.m. “[T]opping the list of issues Filipinos would like President Aquino to discuss in his 2013 SONA are the creation of jobs and the reduction of prices of basic commodities,” Pulse Asia said. The survey firm also said that “a big majority of Filipinos” or 73 percent of the respondents were aware of Aquino’s 2012 SONA, a 16-percent increase from awareness level for the 2011 SONA. Pulse Asia noted that the issues before and during the conduct of the interviews were the territorial row between the Philippines and China, the sexfor-flight controversy in the Middle East involving Philippine embassy and labor officials, the Serendra blast that killed four people, the delay in peace negotiations between the government and different rebel groups, and the execution of a Filipina drug courier in China, among others. Pulse Asia said the latest survey has a ± 3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level. (MNS)

Erap on sons Jinggoy, JV: We are one MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada joined his two sons, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito, in a private meeting at the Senate shortly before session began. Sen. Ejercito paid a courtesy call on his half brother Sen. Estrada, who was acting Senate president before the election of officers on Monday and with whom he has a rift. The courtesy call was originally scheduled two weeks ago, but Ejercito failed to show up because of a prior commitment. “I just want to show the public that we are one. I

love both of them,” Mayor Estrada, former president of the Philippines, told reporters after the meeting. “I just came here just to show the people that the three of us are one. We have one goal in mind, to help our less fortunate people.” Asked what advice he gave to his feuding sons, Mayor Estrada said they must think of the common good. “Ang mga mahirap, kailangang alagaan dahil if not for the poor people, I would not have been Joseph Estrada,” he said. “So I advise my sons to always think of the poor people, the greater good for the greatest number.” (MNS)

Aquino encourages Ateneans to dedicate self for others MANILA, July 20 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III attended Saturday the Ignatian Festival 2013 and encouraged the Ateneo de Manila University community to relive the life of St. Ignatius de Loyola who had selfless dedication to help others. “Bilang mga Atenista, ito nga po ang isa sa mga pinakamahalagang aral sa atin ni San Ignacio: Lumabas ka sa nakasanayan mong espasyo; piliin mong makipagkapwa-tao. Kailanman, huwag kang matakot na bagtasin ang masalimuot na daan ng katuwiran, at umiwas sa madaling landas ng kamalian,” the President said in his message to his fellow Ateneans. Every Atenean is honed not only academically but also on how to face real life challenges, the President said. It is the obligation of every Atenean to help find the solutions for society’s problems and correct the flaws of the system, he said. The President said he wants to seize the opportunity Saturday to encourage every member of the Ateneo community to be part of the country’s transformation and progress. “Huwag ninyo sanang ikukulong sa mga gusali’t pasilyo ng paaralang ito ang diwa ng inyong pagka-Atenista. Saanmang silid kayo nag-aaral o nagtuturo, saanmang opisina kayo nagtatrabaho, saanmang ahensiya kayo nagseserbisyo – isabuhay ninyo ang diwa ng inyong pagka-Atenista; mag-

ing man-for-others kayo, na hindi lamang nabubuhay para sa sarili, kundi lalo’t para sa kapwa,” he said. Ateneans should always bear in mind that they are Ateneans for better or for worse and they must be part of nation building, the President said. The President also expressed his gratitude to his teachers and mentors in Ateneo for honing him in the field of economics and other areas as well as by providing him spiritual advice during trying times. The Ignatian Festival 2013 aims to gather Ateneo alumni, students, faculty and staff to commemorate the annual Feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. The gathering is a venue to reflect and celebrate the spirit and tradition of St. Ignatius and the Jesuits, the Ignatian spirituality and the identity of the Ateneans as an Ignatian. Launched in July last year, the Ignatian Festival was a success and it had generated interest among the members of the Ateneo de Manila community. This year’s Ignatian Festival has for its theme “Lahing Loyola Para sa Kapwa.” Also present during Saturday’s event were Father Ben Nebres, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, PCGG Chairman Andy Bautista and MWSS Administrator Gerry Esquivel. (MNS)

Nazi-themed cafe in Indonesia sparks global outrage BY PRESI MANDARI

BANDUNG, July 20, 2013 (AFP) – From a painting hung high on a blood-red wall, Adolf Hitler peers down on young students eating schnitzel and slurping German beer in Indonesia’s Nazi-themed cafe. The SoldatenKaffee (“The Soldiers’ Cafe”) opened its doors in the western Javanese city of Bandung in 2011, named after the popular hangout for soldiers in Germany and occupied Paris during World War II. Eerier than the gas mask canisters and battle flags bearing swastikas is the more than two years’ silence that has followed the cafe’s grand launch. When the cafe opened no one voiced offence at the waiters and guests dressed as Nazi soldiers—the Holocaust is weak on the radar in Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, where the Jewish community numbers a mere 20 people. But a recent report about SoldatenKaffee in the English-language Jakarta Globe newspaper triggered angry responses online and prompted Bandung deputy mayor Ayi Vivananda to summon the owner for a meeting. “We need to ask him first in detail what his real intentions are. But what is clear is that Bandung city will not allow anyone here inciting racial hatred,” he said on Thursday. The cafe’s creator and owner, Henry Mulyana, said he did not intend to bring back memories of the Holocaust but was not surprised to be branded a “bad guy”. “I don’t idolise Hitler, I simply adore the soldiers’ paraphernalia,” Mulyana, a Christian who likes playing with air rifles, told AFP at the cafe on Tuesday. His collection is on display for diners and includes a water canteen, bayonet, goggles and a lantern, most of them bought online. “The ones with swastikas on them are worth more,” he said. The restaurant had only ever received positive press before the recent exposure in English-language media and receives a regular stream of customers. “We’re living in Indonesia and Indonesians weren’t tortured in the Holocaust, so we don’t really

care,” said mining company employee Arya Setya, eating a plate of spaghetti at the cafe with his girlfriend. But now that news of the cafe’s existence has reached a wider audience, it has sparked outrage among Jewish communities in other parts of the world. “The Simon Wiesenthal Center is reaching out to senior Indonesian diplomats to express on behalf of our 400,000 members and victims of the Nazi Holocaust our outrage and disgust,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, from the Los Angeles-based Jewish human rights group, told AFP by email. “We expect that all appropriate measures will be taken to close down this business celebrating a genocidal ideology that at its core denigrates people of color and all non-Aryans,” he wrote. Under Indonesian law, anyone who deliberately shows hatred towards others based on race or ethnicity can be jailed for up to five years. But such vilification usually goes unchecked, with hardline Muslim groups carrying out violent attacks on religious minorities with near impunity in recent years. Mulyana said that his cafe has also attracted Western guests, including Germans, with one photographed on its Facebook page wearing a red swastika T-shirt along with several Indonesians in the same clothes. He revealed he plans to set up an even bigger cafe on the resort island of Bali, which attracts throngs of foreign tourists each year. “I’ll certainly display Hitler’s image, as well as Winston Churchill’s, and paraphernalia from American and Japanese soldiers from World War II,” he said. His cafe could not contrast more deeply with attitudes in Europe, where several countries have criminalised the promotion of Nazi ideology and the denial of the Holocaust. While Mulyana does not deny the Holocaust happened, he said making the tragedy taboo was hypocritical. “If we want to speak up about humanity, why don’t they stop wars in this world now, like in Afghanistan? War always claims so many lives,” he said.


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UTREACH Baby boy for Britain’s William and Kate By Danny KEMP, James PHEBY

LONDON, July 22, 2013 (AFP) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate were celebrating on Monday after she gave birth to a baby boy, providing the world’s most famous royal family with a future king. Cheering crowds rushed towards the gates of Buckingham Palace as it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge had produced a male heir weighing 8lbs 6oz (3.8 kilos). The as-yet unnamed baby is third in line to the throne and in the direct line of succession after Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son and heir Prince Charles, then his eldest son William. The former Kate Middleton, 31, spent just over eight hours in labor after she and William went around dawn to the private wing of a London hospital, with the world’s media camped outside. “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4:24 pm (1524 GMT),” Kensington Palace said in a statement just over four hours afterwards. “The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.” The birth was at the private Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington – the same place that the late Princess Diana gave birth to William in 1982. Royal aides later placed a formal bulletin on a gold easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace which said that both Kate and her son were “doing well”. The queen, 87, said she was “delighted” while Prince Charles said he was overjoyed. Prime Minister David Cameron said it was an “important moment in the life of our nation”. US President Barack Obama’s spokesman said shortly

before the birth that he and the first family “wish the family and all of Great Britain well on this pending momentous occasion”. The arrival of a royal baby and a new generation for the British monarchy has been hotly anticipated ever since the couple married in 2011 after a decade-long romance. The popular couple have been widely credited with revitalizing “The Firm”, as the British royals are known, following decades of scandal and the death of Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997. The palace said the boy’s name would be revealed later, but he will be known as Prince of Cambridge. Bookmakers say the favourites are George and James. William, also 31, who was at his wife’s bedside for the birth, has been on annual leave and will take two weeks’ paternity leave from his job as a Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot. Kate and her new baby will remain in hospital overnight, the palace said. Cannon fire will ring out across London on Tuesday, with separate army units letting off a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London and 41 gun salute at Green Park. The birth came later than widely expected, adding to the sense of anticipation—as well as the frustrations of hundreds of international media who have waited outside the hospital for three weeks. Bookmakers had largely backed a girl baby, after Kate had said they did not know its sex. Prince Charles said that he and his second wife Camilla were “overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild”. “It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy,” the 64-year-old heir to the throne said in a statement. “Grandparenthood is a unique moment in anyone’s life, as countless kind people have told me in re-

cent months, so I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future.” The queen and her husband Prince Philip were “delighted” at the news, Buckingham Palace said. Kate was admitted to the hospital at around 6:00 am in the midst of a summer thunderstorm, and she and William took a back entrance to avoid the media. The fact that it is a boy relieves the need to rush through new succession laws across the 16 Commonwealth realms, which would mean that a girl could no longer be overtaken by any future younger brothers. Royal fanatics gathering outside the hospital also took their excitement to a new level. “I’m so excited. Like in a washing machine. Never been so high!” said John Loughrey, who has slept outside the hospital for seven nights, wrapped in a British flag. The new arrival is Queen Elizabeth’s third great-grandchild, and a first grandchild for Charles. It ensures that there are three generations of heirs to the crown of the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – a nuclear-armed UN Security Council permanent member and the world’s sixth biggest economy. Cameron said outside his Downing Street office that it was “wonderful news”. “It is an important moment in the life of our nation. A proud nation is celebrating with a very proud and happy couple tonight,” Cameron said. The pregnancy was announced in December when Kate was admitted to hospital with severe morning sickness. A pall fell over the proceedings when a nurse at the hospital committed suicide following a prank call by two Australian radio hosts pretending to be the queen and Prince Charles.

US existing-home sales slip in June BY VERONICA SMITH

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2013 (AFP) – Sales of previously owned US homes unexpectedly slipped in June amid rising interest rates but prices continued to rocket higher, a real-estate report released Monday showed. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said home sales fell 1.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.08 million in June, from a downwardly revised 5.15 million in May. The average analyst estimate was for a rise to a 5.28 million pace in June. Still, June sales were up a robust 15.2 percent from a year ago as the housing market gains traction six years after the collapse of a price bubble. The housing recovery has been a bright spot in the sluggish economy, but the first monthly sales decline since March raised fresh concerns that rising interest rates could snuff it out. Analysts generally said it was too soon to say whether the June dip reflected the sharp jump in mortgage interest rates that has followed Federal Reserve signals of an end to massive bond purchases. “The decline in sales could be seen as evidence of housing already being hurt by the rise in mortgage rates but we think it is largely payback after exaggerated strength in May,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief US

No federal bailout seen for Detroit WASHINGTON, July 21, 2013 (AFP) – Michigan’s governor said Sunday he would not seek a US government bailout for Detroit, saying bankruptcy was a necessary path to rebuild the once great American auto city. “And I don’t expect one. I’ve said before that the state cannot bail out the city of Detroit,” Rick Snyder said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” talk show. “It’s not just about putting more money in a situation.” The city filed for bankrupcy on Thursday, saddled with $18 billion in debt and a tax base depleted by decades of population loss and urban blight. It’s the largest US city to declare bankruptcy, and the move set off shock waves even though decades of fiscal mismanagement had made it forseeable. Nearly half of the city’s debt is to underfunded pension plans and retiree health benefits, making current and former city workers potentially the biggest losers in a bankruptcy reorganization.

economist at High Frequency Economics. The average 30-year mortgage interest rate has been on the rise since hitting a record low of 3.31 percent last November. But the rise has accelerated sharply in recent months since the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke began talking about tapering its $85 billion-a-month bond-purchase program if the economy continued to improve. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage last week was 4.37 percent, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That was up 15 percent from eight weeks earlier, when it stood at 3.81 percent. With inventory tight, June home prices clocked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year doubledigit gains, NAR said. The national median price was $214,200, up 13.5 percent from June 2012 and the 16th straight month of year-over-year price gains. The last time there was such a long-running streak was from February 2005 to May 2006, at the peak of the price bubble. Total housing inventory rose 1.9 percent in June. At the end of June there were 2.19 million previously owned homes on the market, a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 5.0 months in May. “Inventory conditions will continue to broadly favor sellers and contribute to above-normal price growth,”

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a statement. The surprisingly weak June home sales was the latest speed bump in the housing recovery. Last week the Commerce Department reported US housing starts plunged 9.9 in June and building permits fell 7.5 percent. “Given that this comes after last week’s unexpected drop in housing starts, and the fact that Fed Chairman Bernanke singled out the housing market by acknowledging that although it is likely to recover ‘notwithstanding the recent increases in mortgage rates’, the central bank will ‘monitor developments in this sector carefully’, concerns about the resilience of this key sector will arise,” said Jennifer Lee of BMO Capital Markets. A bright spot in the NAR report was the drop in sales of distressed homes—foreclosures and short sales—to 15 percent of June sales, down from 18 percent in May and 26 percent in June 2012. NAR noted that that was the lowest share of distressed sales since monthly tracking began in October 2008. Because distressed homes typically sell at a reduced price, the decline in their share helped to boost monthly price growth, it said. NAR will report June sales of new homes on Wednesday.

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HACIENDA LUISITA From page 1

ruled in November 2011 that the family must sell the land to the government, which would then sell it to the farmers on easy loan terms. Aquino’s extended family, the Cojuangco clan, appealed the ruling, asking for more money. But the Supreme Court rejected the appeal last year. Last week the agrarian reform department announced that 6,212 Hacienda Luisita farmers would each get title to 6,600 square meters (1.63 acres). It said a drawing of lots would be made over the coming weeks to determine which farmer got which blocks of land, about two hours’ drive north of Manila. Aquino said on Monday that the government was working to ensure other large tracts of land would also soon be distributed to farmers who have been waiting for years under the reform program. “In the next year, all notices of coverage will have been served for lands covered by comprehensive agrarian reform,” he said. President Aquino on Monday said the first land titles in connection with the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to its farmer-beneficiaries will be given in September. Aquino mentioned this during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) where he boasted of his administration’s efforts to bequeath land to landless farmers, in particular the completion of the complete list of land titles to be awarded to Hacienda Luisita’s farmer-tenants. “Kung mayroon mang paksang paboritong ikabit sa pangalan ko, ito ang Hacienta Luicita. Nais ko lang pong iulat na noong Pebrero na alinsunod sa utos ng Korte Suprema, nakumpleto na ng Departamento ng Agrarian Reform ang listahan ng kwalipikadong beneficiario na mga mabibigyan ng lupa sa Luisita,” said Aquino, whose relatives owned the sprawling sugar plantation in Tarlac. “Ayon rin po kay (Agrarian Reform) Secretary Gil delos Reyes, nasimulan na nung isang linggo ang pagtukoy sa bawat loteng makukuha ng mga benepisyaryo at magsisimula na ipagkaloob ang mga titulo sa Setyembre sa taong ito,” he said. In November 2011, the Supreme Court ordered that the 4,335-hectare Hacienda Luisita be distributed among its farmer tenants. But it was only early this year that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) released the final list of 6,212 qualified farmworkers who passed the interview and screening. Last week, DAR began distributing lot allocation certificates to the farmer-beneficiaries through raffle draws. Aquino, in his SONA, noted that it was only through the thorough examination of data of farmer-tenants in other areas that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) can be implemented. “Para naman po sa ibang mga malalawak na lupain, matagal na nating naatasan ang DAR, DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), LRA (Land Registration Authority) at Landbank na bumuo ng balangkas kung papaano mapapabilis ang proseso na pagbabahagi ng mga lupain. Ipaalala ko lang po, tamang datos ang unang hakbang para sa tamang interpretasyon ng CARPER,” Aquino said. (MNS)

PHL on its way to rice self-sufficiency: Aquino MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday outlined the achievements and on-going initiatives like intercropping and ramping up infrastructure spending to drive much needed development in the agriculture sector. In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) before the 16th Congress, Aquino said the sector which grew by 3.3 percent in the first quarter, or triple the pace from 1.1 percent a year earlier, is poised to grow more. The Philippines is well on its way to achieving rice self sufficiency, the President noted, noting rice imports will drop to 350,000 metric tons (MT). He noted initiatives toward exporting certain varieties of rice. “Nagluluwas na tayo ng mga uri ng bigas,” Aquino said. Last February, the Department of Agriculture said the Philippines, which will export an initial volume of high-value rice this year, eyes to increase rice exports to 300,000 metric tons by 2016. The government is on track in its rice self-sufficiency goal, but there is still a need to import the commodity as buffer stock to meet its commitments with trading partners, the Agriculture

From page 1

coalition Team PNoy won in last May’s midterm elections. Rubber stamp Congress? Meanwhile, neophyte Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV assured the public that Congress will not be a “rubber stamp” of Malacañang despite both congressional chambers being dominated by Aquino allies. “Pagdating sa rubber stamp, it means mali o tama ipapasa. Sa palagay ko, kung tama ang gusto isulong at sumasang-ayon. I don’t think you’re being a rubber stamp,” said Aquino, the President’s ally. In fact, Aquino noted that Congress is usually perceived as being opposed to measures being pushed by the Palace. “We have that image na kailangan ang Senado at Kongreso ay contrarian pagdating sa gusto ng Malacañang,” Aquino said. “It’s up to the Senate to say na ang batas na ito ay tama, makatutulong sa nakararami, itulak natin iyan, pero kapag mali, mali talaga iyan.” He expressed hopes that the majority and minority blocs in the Senate would work together to push for “goals” of Malacañang on inclusive growth and abroad-based growth. For his part, another neophyte senator, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, pointed out that it is the obligation of Congress to uphold national interest in crafting laws and preventing “politics” from affecting their lawmaking duties. “Sana hindi masyadong umiral ang pulitika dahil minsan nauuna ang ambisyon sa trabahong nakararami o suliranin ng nakararami. Sana iyon ang umiiral, ang national interest,” he said. ‘Better fiscalization’ Meanwhile, Senator Vicente Sotto III, who was majority leader last Congress, vowed “better fiscalization” at the Senate now that he is a member of the minority. “It will probably be a different Congress. Mas marami ang minority ngayon, unlike yung dating minority na hindi naman minority noong umpisa. Masasabi natin na mas magiging maganda ang fiscalization ng Senado,” Sotto said in an interview. He said that the minority will be “active” in studying legislative proposals made by administration lawmakers. Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who used to be Senate President Pro-Tempore, said his bloc “will not be a destructive minority.” “We will not be a deterrent to bills prioritized by the administration,” Estrada said in a separate interview. (MNS)

BELMONTE VOWS From page 1

solidate the gains thus far realized, but to move towards our great future,” he said. Having achieved historic public trust ratings in successive surveys during his stewardship in the past three years, Belmonte said that the greatest error that lawmakers can commit in the 16th Congress is to mistake the past years as ends in themselves, and not merely as a preview of the greater things to come. “Our upcoming task must be to resist the costly temptation of resting on our laurels, to inspire greater belief in our collective capacity for greater accomplishment within our country and outside, and to marshal government resources towards mak-

BRP Ramon Alcaraz’s blog. Aside from having good food, the Navy officer also said that ship’s crew saw numerous dolphins and were never really bored as the BRP Ramon Alcaraz has its own gym and karaoke machine for amusement. BRP Ramon Alcaraz left Hawaii on July 17 for its Guam port call. Hawaii to Guam is around 3,828 miles or around 6,160 kilometers. The Filipino frigate arrived at Hawaii last July 13 and was given a warm welcome by the Filipino community there.

During its stay in Hawaii, the crew headed by Capt. Ernesto Baldovino toured the USS Arizona Memorial. Also, five enlisted personnel of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz took their oaths of re-enlistment. These included EN2 Regidor Labrador, EN3 Tomas Ciruelos Jr., EN3 Ernesto Cabahug, S2YN Erica Celemin and EN3 Marlon Martonito. The Philippine frigate departed Charleston, South Carolina last June 10 passing through San Diego and Florida. (MNS)

4TH SONA ‘MEDIOCRE’ From page 1

on the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for its supposed mediocre solutions to the country’s irrigation problems. “Masabi lang na may nagawa, kahit puro patsi-patsing trabaho, masaya na sila,” Aquino said. Aside from the two, he also scolded the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for its alleged failure to stop smuggling activities in the country. “Tinataya nga po ng Department of Finance na mahigit 200 billion pesos ang kita na dumudulas lang at hindi napupunta sa kaban ng bayan. Saan po kayo kumukuha ng kapal

ng mukha ang mga kawani sa ahensyang ito?” he said. To help remedy these problems within the government service, Aquino asked Congress to reevaluate the Civil Service Code. “Nananawagan po ako sa Kongreso: suriin natin ang ating Civil Service Code at PD 1 upang maisaayos ito sa lalong madaling panahon. Suportado ko ang pagbuo ng mekanismong magbabalik sa dangal ng serbisyo-publiko; na tanging mga tapat, mahuhusay at may prinsipyong mga lingkod-bayan lamang ang maaaring makapasok at manatili sa gobyerno,” he said. (MNS)

GERMANY SEEKS From page 1

qualified people – not only engineers, but also for skilled workers.” Faced with a shrinking population and enjoying low unemployment, Europe’s biggest economy is seeking such selective immigration for the first time in a program run by its federal labour agency. Previously Germany struck bilateral accords to attract workers in specific fields, such as nursing staff from Croatia and the Philippines, said a spokesman for the economy ministry. The new ini-

tiative to ease immigration formalities and cut red tape follows the European Union launching a “blue card” scheme for highly skilled job seekers from nonEU countries, and Germany easing requirements for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in a February report found that non-EU workers with low or medium skill levels have much more difficulty than foreign university graduates in obtaining work in Germany.

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ing possible a more vibrant and resilient economy and people,” he urged his colleagues. He likewise warned of the difficulties lying ahead as the 16th Congress coincides with the second half of President Aquino’s six-year term – three difficult to manage years as whiffs of the next presidential elections hang in the air. “During this time, I call upon all of you, my colleagues, to unite behind this administration’s and our reform agenda in the interest of our people so that the 16th Congress along with President Aquino’s term of office ends, not with a strike out, but with a homerun,” Belmonte said. (MNS)

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Department noted. In his SONA, Aquino emphasized on initiatives aimed at increasing earnings and cited the on-going inter-cropping initiatives for the benefit of coconut farmers. “May potential po tayong palaguin ang sector na ito,” Aquino said. “Ang intercropping ay mag-re-resulta sa pag-dalas ang ani at kita.” For example, coconut farmers earning P20,000 a year can raise their income to P172,000 if they plant coffee, or to P102,000 in they plant bananas, or to P89,000 if they plant cacao following the inter-cropping system of farming. Inter-cropping is the practice of growing two or more crops in proximity to produce a greater yield on a piece of land. Aquino said inter-cropped lands – totaling 5,500 hectares in 90 locations and inter-cropping 10,000 farmers in 2012—will still be increased. Other initiatives also include infrastructure initiatives such as new farm to market roads, ports and cold storage facilities. “Kasabay po rito ang mga bagong pantalan… pati na ang mga kalsada… upang mapalago pa ang kita,” Aquino said. Agriculture was a drag to the Philippine stellar growth of 7.8 percent in the first quarter. (MNS)

From page 1

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Ramping up govt revenues The Fiscal Incentives bill would streamline tax breaks given to businesses to ramp up government revenues. The bill is needed for “matapat, malinaw na panuntunan sa mga insentibo ng gobyerno,” Aquino said. The bills formed part of the nine priority measures under the Legislative- Executive Development Advisory Council’s (LEDAC) list which the economic managers unveiled last week. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima noted these bills – to answer key economic concerns of both the government and private sector–were being fine tuned before final submission to Congress. The President also said the Land Administration Reform bills will ensure that agencies and their employees concerned with land administration will be “masinop at epektibo.” Budget to create jobs “Bukas na bukas, ihahain natin ang panukalang P2.268-trillion na national budget sa Kongreso,” Aquino said. He underscored the need for a timely passage of the budget to promote job creation and “inclusive growth.” The Aquino administration emphasized that the P2.2-trillion proposed budget for next year will focus on projects concerning jobs creation. According to the spending plan to be submitted to Congress, the Department of Education will get the lion’s share or 15 percent of the budget, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways. During the same SONA address, Aquino also said that he is pushing for a slight increase in the Social Security System (SSS) contribution rate. Aquino noted that the SSS had 21 across-the-board pension increases from 1980 to 2012, but the contribution rate has only been raised twice during the same period.


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Nancy Binay: Senate minority won’t be bullied

MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – Despite being in the Senate minority, Senator Nancy Binay believes she and her colleagues will not be bullied. In an ambush interview, Binay said: “With the likes of Sen. [Juan Ponce] Enrile, Sen. [Gringo] Honasan, I won’t think kaya kaming ma-bully ng majority.” Enrile became minority leader on Tuesday, during the start of the regular session of the 16th Congress. He resigned on the last week of the 15th Congress amid criticisms of his handling of Senate finances. As expected, Senator Franklin

Drilon was elected Senate President today. Binay believes the minority can also work with the majority. “For as long as pareho ‘yung gusto naming ma-achieve, walang problema sa aming minority. So, if it will help our country we will support it,” she said. Binay, who shunned debates during the election campaign, said she will be actively participating in the Senate deliberations when her bills are taken up. “I have to defend my bills ‘di ba? So, kung hindi ko gagawin ‘yun, paano ko matutupad ‘yung ipinangako ko noong eleksiyon?” (MNS)

Aquino hopes for ‘more love’ from China to meet PHL’s tourism goals MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Monday said he is hoping for “more love” from China to enable the Philippines to reach its tourism goals. In his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino pointed out that some Chinese tourists seem to have fallen “in love” with the Philippines when the Shanghai Morning Post named the country as the “Most Romantic Destination of 2012.” “Hopefully, they [the Chinese] will love us more,” the President said in his speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Aquino made these statements

amid an ongoing territorial row between the Philippines and China over parts of the South China Sea. The Philippines refers to parts of the South China Sea as West Philippines Sea. Last February, the President said a “big nation” has caused the Department of Tourism to “miss” some of its targets. In his SONA, Aquino likewise cited Tourism chief Ramon Jimenez Jr. for the increasing number of international tourist arrivals in the Philippines, which reached 4.3 million for the first time last year. He also reiterated the Philippines’ target to have 56.1 million domestic arrivals by 2016. (MNS)

Aquino’s increase in trust ratings shows continued support for his presidency – Palace MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang Monday said the increase in trust ratings of President Benigno Aquino III based on latest result of Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan showed the people’s “overwhelming” support to his presidency. “We welcome the latest Pulse Asia survey that shows an increase in trust and sustained, overwhelming support for the President. Taken from June 20 to July 4, 2013, the President’s trust approval soared from 72 to 77, representing a five point jump in the past three months while his performance approval remained steady at 73,” said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda in a statement. “These unprecedented ratings for a chief executive since Pulse Asia began its trust and performance poll, are indicative of the Filipino people’s continued support for and confidence in the President and the sweeping changes and programs he has championed since day one,” he said. According to Pulse Asia’s nationwide survey conducted last June 20 to July 4 among 1,200 respondents, 73 percent expressed approval of the work done by President Aquino in the past three months, while 77 percent expressed trust in him. Between March and June 2013, public assessment of the President’s performance and trustworthiness remains generally unchanged.

Protesters fall on the ground as anti-riot policemen disperse them during a clash as they try to get near the House of Representatives, where President Benigno Aquino will deliver his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA), in Quezon City, Metro Manila July 22, 2013. The protesters denounced President Aquino’s 4th SONA saying people are still suffering from high prices, low wages, landlessness, unemployment and poverty, reported local media. (MNS photo)

Sabah cops probe ‘revenge’ letter claiming to be from Kiram camp MANILA, July 20 (Mabuhay) – Police in Sabah are investigating a letter claiming to be from the camp of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, and hinting at a revenge attack in August. But this early, police doubt the letter is really from Kiram’s camp, according to a report posted Saturday on Malaysia’s The Star Online. “We have started our own investigations even though they have been no official police reports,” said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib. He said they are tracing the source of the letter dated July 3 and signed by “Militant Commandos.” The letter sent to the Tambunan district officer supposedly claimed Kiram’s followers are plotting to mount a revenge at-

Pulse Asia explained that even the five-percentage point increase in presidential overall trust rating and the six-percentage point decline in the national level of ambivalence (those who did not answer the survey) toward President Aquino’s trustworthiness are considered marginal in light of the survey’s overall error margin of +/- three percentage points. It also found that 5 percent have little or no trust in the President, while 17 percent expressed indecision on the matter or those who could not say if they have trust or no trust in him. It said President Aquino also remains trusted in all geographic areas (68% to 90%) and socio-economic classes (75% to 82%). The President is most trusted in the Visayas (90%), followed by Mindanao (86%), the rest of Luzon (69%), and Metro Manila (68%). He is also most trusted by the poorest Class E (82%). Meanwhile, 76 percent of those in the upper-tomiddle Classes ABC and 75 percent in the Class D or masa have trust in him. Also found in the same survey period, 73 percent are appreciative of the President’s performance. This sentiment is shared in all geographic areas (67% to 82%) and socio-economic classes (72% to 75%). Visayans and Mindanaoans are more inclined to approve of the President’s work than those in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon (78% to 82% as against 67% to 68%). Lacierda said halfway through the President’s term, “we take these survey results as an affirmation that our reforms, good government initiatives, and social investments are producing results.” “Today, as the President fulfills a constitutional duty to report to the Filipino people, we continue to be strengthened in our resolve to soldier on the path towards good governance and face the challenges of the next three years knowing our countrymen are solidly behind his leadership,” he said. (MNS)

P4.4-B fund to boost Mindanao agri dev’t MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) – Poverty alleviation crusade of the government in Mindanao has geared up as the Japanese government funded a P4.4-billion comprehensive package of support services project. Around 70,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in 216 barangays in Mindanao are expected to benefit from the said support services. The project, dubbed as Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MINSAAD), is funded under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It aims to improve the living condition of more than 400,000 residents located in 12 settlement areas in Central, Northern and Southern Mindanao. MINSAAD Director Nasser Musali said the project is designed to increase agricultural productivity, product value and income of agrarian reform beneficiaries and other small-scale farmers through provision of agricultural infrastructures and other capacity-building support. The comprehensive package of support services involve the construction of farm-tomarket roads, bridges, irrigations, and potable water systems, among others, as well as providing technical assistance and link-

ing the farmers with financing institutions. The settlement areas covered by MINSAAD, has a population of 404,175. It include the B’laan Settlement Reservation Area, Bukidnon Settlement Area Project, Karagan Valley Settlement, Lanao del Norte Resettlement Area 1, Lanao del Norte Resettlement Area 2, Lanao del Norte Resettlement Area 3, North Cotabato Resettlement Area 1, North Cotabato Resettlement Area 2, South Cotabato Resettlement Area 1, Sultan Kudarat Resettlement Area 1, Sultan Kudarat Resettlement Area 1-2, and Sultan Kudarat Resettlement Area 2. According to Musali, the project is funded by a P3.3-billion JICA loan complemented with P1.1-billion counterpart fund from the Philippine government. “The project is a colossal challenge and it requires interagency and multi-sectoral cooperation,” he added. For project implementation, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) serves as the lead executing agency, while the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and other government agencies, as well as the local government units, are co-implementing agencies.

tack in the Tambunan area. It allegedly warned of “war” in the Tambunan district, in retaliation for the skirmishes in Lahad Datu’s Kampong Tanduo, by August. But Hamza pointed out that if Kiram’s followers were planning to return to Sabah, security forces were in place to head off any threats. Kiram’s followers had engaged Malaysian security forces in a three-week standoff in Lahad Datu from February to March 1. But the standoff ended up in deadly clashes on March 1 and 2. This prompted Malaysian forces to mount offensives to flush out Kiram’s followers. Several Filipinos had been charged for the Lahad Datu incident. Links to Kiram doubted At least for now, Hamza said

Sabah police are not inclined to believe the author of the letter had any links to the Kiram followers, adding he may have acted on his own. He also voiced doubts over the authenticity of the letter. Yet, he said police and security forces are taking all threats seriously and have investigated them. For his part, Tambunan assemblyman and Sabah deputy chief minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan urged authorities to investigate the letter despite doubts over its authenticity. “This is something we cannot just leave alone. We have to take it seriously,” said Pairin, adding he hoped the police would find the writer of the letter and “take appropriate action against such people.”(MNS)


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MOTORING Tesla’s vision: Lightning-fast battery charges (Relaxnews) – Tesla believes that it can build stations capable of fully charging an electric car’s battery in just five to 10 minutes. The biggest barrier to electric vehicles truly going mainstream is a car’s effective range on a single charge. At the moment, this varies from anywhere between 20100km making them great choices as city cars, but because recharging can take up to 24 hours from a domestic power socket, consumers that want to travel beyond city limits still have little choice but to buy a gasoline-electric hybrid or traditional car to meet their personal transport needs. US electric car company Tesla has been focused on this problem and ways of solving it for a number of years. Its latest Model S luxury sedans can travel 480km on a single charge and, what’s more, the company is investing heavily in charging and supercharging stations – able to add a 50 percent charge in less than 30 minutes (equal to another 240km of range) --

and hopes to have a nationwide network of stations in place around the US within the next two years. However, speaking to MIT Technology Review, Tesla CTO JB Straubel now claims that the company is getting close to being able to recharge a car battery in 5-10 minutes, in other words, the time it takes to fill a traditional car’s fuel tank at the pump. “It’s not going to happen in a year from now. It’s going to be hard. But I think we can get down to five to 10 minutes,” he says in the interview and also points to the fact that Tesla’s supercharging stations and their ability to half charge a cell in 30 minutes were seen as impossible even 10 years ago. This would represent an incredible breakthrough and one the company hopes it will be able to bring to market in the not-too-distant future. As well as beginning to offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to the internal combustion engine for longer road trips,

Tesla Model S: A battery recharging breakthrough would turn the Tesla Model S into an incredible car.

the announcement also underlines the importance of being in control of every aspect of a product’s development and technology. Tesla is the world’s only electric car company that doesn’t order in components – every element of the drive train was designed in-house and is manufactured to its specifications. As a result, it can bring improvements and find efficiencies that other companies

Bentley green-lights SUV for production (Relaxnews) – Luxury car maker Bentley has confirmed that its first off-roader is set to roll off the production line in time for a 2016 launch. The German-owned British brand claims that response from existing Bentley customers has been overwhelmingly positive since the company revealed a 4x4 concept at the Gene-

va Motor Show some 16 months ago. On Tuesday the company not only confirmed that a Bentley off-roader is heading for production but also that it will be built and hand-finished in the UK rather than under contract at a plant much further afield—an approach that companies such as BMW have explored over recent years with

mixed results (in terms of quality). Bentley didn’t reveal any details about the car, which will no doubt compete head to head with the current off-road luxury king, the Range Rover, other than to say that it would be true to the company’s DNA and would therefore be the most luxurious and powerful SUV on the market.

in the same sector, which use off-the-shelf technology, would be unable to achieve. “To do that kind of charging, everything has to be designed and working in perfect synchrony,” Straubel says. This is also why Tesla is referred to as the ‘Apple of cars.’ Apple develops every element of its devices from the software, to the hardware and the services that the devices run. All well and good, but Bentley aficionados and off-roading enthusiasts alike will be hoping that the finished vehicle bears little resemblance to the SUV concept that it unveiled at Geneva—The Bentley EXP 9F -- which won a number of ugliest in show awards. Aware of this, Bentley has wisely only provided a pencil sketch of the upcoming car as a teaser of its final design.

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(Relaxnews) – Fiat’s Beach Cruiser concept car will make its first public appearance at this weekend’s Vans US Open of Surfing. The annual event, which runs until July 28 and is universally viewed as one of the most important action sports events on the world surf calendar, typically attracts over 400 leading surf and skate athletes. However, this year’s event in Huntington Beach, California will also put the spotlight on Fiat’s oneof-a-kind water-sports-mobile, the Fiat 500c Beach Cruiser. Based on the standard 500 but longer at both ends, the car is meant to represent the picture in the classic teenage daydream of escaping school and chasing waves with friends behind the wheel of their own surf mobile. As such the car makes more than one doff of the hat to classic 1960s and 70s beach buggy designs: the solid, red-wall wheels, use of teak wood and matte charcoal grey paint and of course, the dancing hula girl on the dashboard. Under the hood the car gets a slightly larger coldair intake and special exhaust to increase power and beef up sound in equal measure. In terms of aesthetics, the car looks at once special and unique, but also totally obtainable. As its designer, Adam Hubers says:”I just tried to make it so that anyone interested in modifying their FIAT 500, they can feel like, ‘Oh, I can do this as well’.”


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A Corvette Stingray that’s double the fun (Relaxnews) – Taking a standard ‘Vette and boosting its power to 700 bph is just the start: Hennessey Performance is also planning a fully road-legal, warrantycompliant 1000bph version of America’s oldest and most iconic sportscar. Just as with smartphones, where every new iPhone launch motivates the hacking community to jailbreak the device as quickly as possible,Hennessey Performance, a small US firm that has been making “fast cars faster” since 1991, has managed to “hack” the latest Corvette Stingray so that it produces 700bph rather than the stock 460bhp that it comes with from the dealership. However, unlike a jailbroken phone, Hennessey’s hacking doesn’t void the car’s warranty. Announced this week and with the first deliveries expected to start in October, the HPE 700 C7 Corvette uses an Eaton TVS R2300 supercharger, re-machined cylinder heads, new intake and fueling systems and a recalibrated onboard computer. The beefed-up en-

gine is then paired with either a sevenspeed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. In order to give bystanders a hint of what’s going on under the hood, and of course to increase downforce and improve handling, the car will also come with an optional CarbonAero kit which features a reworked front splitter and rear spoilers, side sill and vented hood cover. Other options include a Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes package which, considering the amount of power shouldn’t be an option but come as standard! And then there’s an upgraded suspension setup with adjustable shock absorbers for those who want to head to the track. The company says that the interior will also get a makeover but that the fine details regarding the cabin are yet to be finalized, other than that there will be a dashboard plaque engraved with the car’s production number. As company founder John Hennessey

2014 Hennessey HPE700 C7 Stingray Corvette: The upgrades include a new supercharger and re-programmed engine management system.

says: “We’re only interested in changes that deliver a measurable increase in performance, period.” But maybe most impressive is that the whole package will cost just $18,450 on top of the price of a stock C7 Corvette Stingray. Fans of American muscle cars will no

doubt be quick to point out that Chevrolet, the Corvette’s maker for the past 60 years, is about to launch its own superfast C7 ZR1version of the US icon. However, Hennessey still has something left up its sleeve -- 800bph and 1000bph versions of the C7, the modifications for which will cost $70,000.

The world’s smallest luxury camper van

The MINI Cowley: The tiny caravan is big on features and can sleep two in comfort.

The MINI Clubvan Camper: The car sleeps one in style and even has a pull-out kitchenette complete with stove and fridge.

(Relaxnews) – Mini has revealed three new vehicles that it claims are ideal getaway cars. Tapping into what it says is a growing trend for spontaneous camping and festival-going, Mini has created the MINI Clubvan Camper. Packed with practical solutions which the company claims make it the world’s smallest luxury camper van, it boasts a single sleeping berth, a kitchenette with propane stove and a fridge, a sat-nav system optimized for finding remote locations, a handheld shower, TV unit and heavy-duty heater for staying warm whatever the conditions. However, potential owners will hope

that the skies are always clear and the weather warm as one of the vehicle’s best features is a sliding glass roof panel perfect for star gazing. To complement the Clubvan Camper, Mini has also created two other ‘getaway’ vehicles which are meant to reflect different aspects of the rise in popularity of camping and festivals, creating a choice of premium homefrom-home options. The MINI Cowley is an ‘overnight’ two-berth compact caravan complete with kitchen, a built-in solar battery charger, a shower unit plus TV and DVD, all in a shell small enough to glide behind a Mini—it’s only 12cm wider than a Mini

The MINI Countryman ALL4 Camp: As long as there’s space for the car, there will always be somewhere to safely pitch the tent.

Clubman. The MINI Countryman ALL4 Camp is for those with a more adventurous streak and takes the safari as its design inspiration. As such it has a roof-mounted tent and fixtures and fittings for mountain bikes so that there’s no need to break camp in order to go exploring the next morning. And, as the Countryman has permanent four-wheel drive, the list of potential camping spots for the ALL4 Camp is only limited by the driver’s imagination.


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What your favorite ice cream flavor says about you (Relaxnews) – Are you impulsive and an idealist? Chances are your favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla. On the other hand, is your go-to flavor at the ice cream parlor strawberry? You’re more likely to be tolerant, devoted and an introvert. At least that’s according to “smell and taste expert” Dr. Alan Hirsch, who was commissioned by Baskin-Robbins to psychoanalyze our ice cream preferences and connect them with personality traits. Among some of the more interesting findings, is that though vanilla – the basic, classic standard – has traditionally been linked to more prosaic, dull and predictable personalities, Hirsch, a neurologist and psychiatrist, says that those who order vanilla are easily suggestible, but also impulsive idealists. Likewise, despite its “bright taste profile” and schizophrenic colors, rainbow

sherbet belies a darker side, as people who choose this flavor are more likely to be analytical, decisive and pessimistic, he said. For the report, adults aged 18 to 65 completed psychiatric and personality tests which were then analyzed and correlated with ice cream preferences. Here’s how the other ice cream flavors stacked up. Vanilla: Impulsive, easily suggestible, idealist Chocolate: Dramatic, lively, charming, flirtatious, seductive, gullible Strawberry: Tolerant, devoted, introverted Mint chocolate chip: Argumentative, frugal, cautious Cookie dough: Ambitious, competitive, visionary Pralines and cream: Loving, supportive,

avoid the spotlight Coffee: Scrupulous, conscientious, moral perfectionist Chocolate chip: generous, competent, go-getter Rainbow sherbet: Analytical, decisive, pessimistic Rocky road: Aggressive, engaging, good listener Nestlé also had the same idea for their site IceCream.com, which claims that those who prefer butter pecan can be characterized as fiscally conservative, hardworking, devoted, respectful and extremely sensitive to other people’s feelings. Similarly, in line with Hirsch’s diagnosis, vanilla lovers are described as colorful, dramatic risk-takers who rely more on intuition than logic who set high goals for themselves.

Strawberry ice cream lovers are described as tolerant introverts, and chocolate lovers flirtatious, dramatic and seductive. Photo: M. Unal Ozmen/Shutterstock.com

Hairstyles: Focus on three summer trends

Camille Albane plays the card of natural authenticity with this layered look for short hair.

(Relaxnews) - Vacation time is here at last, and there’s nothing like a new hairstyle to give you a boost of confidence before your summer adventures. Whether you’re looking for a cut or just a new style, here are a few ideas to make sure your locks are on the cutting edge. Twisted bob Medium to long hair lends itself well to this disheveled yet perfectly styled look, which is one of the top trends of the season.dessange paris offers a summer version of the twisted bob that combines sophistication and simplicity. Feathered layers surround the face, and a wide strand is swooped to one side, nearly covering the entire eye. An added

bonus from this look: highlights to add shimmer and soften the face. Perfect for the summer months. Crimped effect Grounded in natural simplicity, this style from camille albane is perfect for those looking to go short. Once again, it’s the play between tousled and perfectly groomed locks that makes all the difference, with a perfectly smooth strand swooped across the forehead contrasting with lush layers for full volume. The layering maintains some strands around the nape of the neck for a very feminine look. Tousled braid or “tresse-noeuds” At the beach, it’s all about natural, laid-

back beauty. Whether your hair is up or down, it’s always a good idea to avoid overdone styles, especially when on vacation. In keeping with this idea, one of the hottest styles of the season is the tousled side braid, designed by the famous stylist to the stars fred – of the cutbyfred blog. Several celebrities have already taken on this look, which you can get by bringing all of your hair to one side, tying with a rubber band, and making little knots by threading strands through holes you make with your finger. Fred demonstrates the tresse-noeuds (literally “knotted braid” in french) in a video tutorial in french: cutbyfred.com/2013/06/24/tresse-noeuds-ou-quelque-chose-comme-ca

Stem cell advance boosts prospects for retina treatment (PARIS-AFP) – Blind mice have been able to see once more in a laboratory exploit that marks a further boost for the fast-moving field of retinal therapy, according to a study published on Sunday. Scientists in Britain used stem cells – early-stage, highly versatile cells – taken from mice embryos, and cultured them in a lab dish so that they differentiated into immature photoreceptors, the light-catching cells in the retina. Around 200,000 of these cells were then injected into the mice’s retinas, some of which integrated smoothly with local cells to restore sight. The rodents were put through their paces in a water maze and examined by optometry to confirm that they responded to light. Embryonic stem cells “could in future provide a potentially unlimited supply of health photoreceptors for retinal transplantations to treat blindness in humans,” Britain’s Medical Research Council (MRC) said in a press release. Photoreceptor loss lies behind degenerative eye diseases such as retini-

tis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, also called AMD. Stem cells have triggered a huge interest and investment on the back of hopes that they can become replacement tissue, grown in a lab dish, for cells damaged by disease or accident. But the exciting field has to overcome big obstacles. One is the ability to coax these immature cells into safely becoming the specialised cells that are needed, rather than turn cancerous. This is where the new work marks a gain, according to lead researcher Robin Ali at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital. His team previously found that sight could be restored in blind mice by transplanting immature photoreceptors called rod cells that were taken from the retinas of healthy rodents. The latest research takes things further because the transplanted material comprises all the different nerve

cells needed for sight—and they were not taken from other animals. Instead, they were grown in a lab and differentiated into the right cells thanks to a new technique, pioneered in Japan, that replicates the shape of the retina. “Over recent years, scientists have become pretty good at working with stem cells and coaxing them to develop into different types of adult cells and tissues,” said Ali. “But until recently, the complex structure of the retina has proved difficult to reproduce in the lab.This is probably because the type of cell culture we were using was not able to recreate the developmental process that would happen in a normal embryo.” Ali added: “The next step will be to refine this technique using human cells to enable us to start clinical trials.” The study appears in the journal Nature Biotechnology. Last month, Japanese authorities approved proposals for the world’s first clinical trials using stem cells harvested from a patient’s own body. The goal is to test therapy for

Embryonic stem cells “could in future provide a potentially unlimited supply of health photoreceptors for retinal transplantations to treat blindness in humans,” Britain’s Medical Research Council (MRC) said in a press release. Photo: Anemone/shutterstock.com

AMD using so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS. These are adult cells that have been reprogrammed to return to their infant, versatile state. Provided that they are proven safe, they can provide a non-controversial alternative to stem cells culled from early-stage embryos.

Wine linked to lower disease-related mortality rate in men: study

Wine consumption among middle-aged men has been linked to lower mortality rate from heart disease and stroke. Photo: Mauro Pezzotta/shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – A wide sweeping study has found a link between moderate wine consumption and a lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer among middle-aged men, lending more credence to the French paradox. After following up with 35,292 men over about 28 years, researchers from the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense and Bordeaux Segalen University in France found that when more than 50 percent of their alcohol consumption came from wine, subjects showed a lower risk of death from heart disease as well as lung, lip, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, bladder and rectal cancers. In numbers, moderate wine consumption was associated with a 40 percent reduced risk of mortality from cardiovas-

cular disease, and a 20 percent reduced risk of death from cancer. At the beginning of the study, subjects ranged in age from 40 to 65 years and hailed from Eastern France. In the end, a total of 4,035 deaths from cancer were recorded. Numbers for heart disease-related deaths were unavailable. The results of the study were presented at WineHealth in Sydney, Australia, which wrapped up over the weekend. When it comes to the famous French paradox, however—that long-standing belief that the health benefits of red wine negate the effects of the famously rich, high-fat diet and the risk of coronary heart disease—the scientific community is divided. A study printed the Journal of Epide-

miology and Community Health also suggested that drinking up to half a glass of wine a day can boost life expectancy in males by five years after studying the driking habits of randomly selected men over a 40-year period. But another study out of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, for instance, found that resveratrol, the magic ingredient in red wine thought to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of heart disease, had little effect in already healthy women. Though small, the study of 29 postmenopausal women found little health improvement in those who were given 75 mg of resveratrol daily—a large amount equal to drinking 8 liters of red wine.


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KITCHENOMICS

FAMILY FEATURES

Spicy Mustard Chicken Kebabs

bundant plates of fresh vegetables, delicate fish from the nearby sea and splashes of olive oil are all hallmarks of traditional meals found in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean diet has been embraced for thousands of years by those living along the Mediterranean Sea, and is now followed around the world as consumers discover its delicious flavor components and researchers uncover its countless health benefits, including helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes according to a study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine. It’s easy to embrace this healthy lifestyle during grilling season by giving your grill a Mediterranean diet makeover with the Pompeian family of oils and vinegars. You can enjoy the benefits of the diet without leaving home by making simple changes, such as swapping butter and vegetable oil for Grapeseed Oil or OlivExtra Premium Mediterranean Blend, and making homemade dressings and vinaigrettes by combining oils and vinegars in place of bottled versions. Grapeseed Oil, which has one of the highest smoke points of all oils and is a rich source of Vitamin E, has a light taste that will not disrupt the flavors of food while cooking. This versatile, all natural oil is great to line your grill or pan with before cooking to prevent food from sticking. OlivExtra Mediterranean Blend, a healthy combination of canola, extra virgin and grapeseed oils, is the perfect all-purpose oil that represents key components of the Mediterranean diet and provides essential Omega-3 and Omega-6, monounsaturated fat and Vitamin E. Ready to adopt a Mediterranean lifestyle at home? Check out these easy grilling recipes from Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien. For more information, visit www.Pompeian.com.

Servings: 4 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard 2 tablespoons Pompeian OlivExtra Premium Mediterranean Blend 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon Pompeian White Wine Vinegar 1 pound raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks To make sauce, place 3 tablespoons mustard in medium bowl. Add oil and garlic powder, and whisk until uniform. Cover and refrigerate. To make marinade, in small bowl, combine vinegar with remaining 2 tablespoons mustard. Stir until uniform. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken and marinade in large sealable plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Gently knead marinade into chicken through bag. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, if using wooden skewers, soak 4 in water for 20 minutes to prevent burning. Alternately thread marinated chicken and onion chunks onto 4 skewers. Bring grill to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of kebabs with sauce. Grill kebabs for 5 minutes with grill cover down. Flip kebabs and grill for 6 to 8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy. Nutrition per serving: 215 calories; 8.5g fat; 415mg sodium; 5g carbohydrate; 0.5g fiber; 2g sugars; 26.5g protein

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Hungry Grilled Romaine Salad Servings: 2 1 tablespoon Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 large heart romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise 2 dashes each salt and black pepper 1/4 cup diced tomato 1/4 cup diced red onion 1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil 2 tablespoons Pompeian Balsamic Vinegar Bring grill to high heat. Drizzle and brush 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil onto cut sides of each romaine half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay romaine halves on grill, cut sides down. Grill until slightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Plate romaine halves, cut sides up. Top with tomato, onion, cheese and basil. In small bowl, whisk vinegar with remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Drizzle atop salad and enjoy. Nutrition per serving: 135 calories; 10g fat; 340mg sodium; 9.5g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 5g sugars; 5g protein

Jalapeño Peach Shrimp Skewers Servings: 4 2 cups canned peach slices packed in juice, drained and blotted dry 2 tablespoons Pompeian Grapeseed Oil 2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeño pepper 1 teaspoon Pompeian White Wine Vinegar 1 teaspoon brown sugar (not packed) 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 12 ounces (about 20) raw large shrimp, peeled, tails removed, deveined If using wooden skewers, soak 4 in water for 20 minutes to prevent burning. To make sauce, place 1/4 of the peach slices in small food processor or blender. Add the rest of the ingredients except shrimp and remaining peach slices and puree until smooth. Transfer half of the sauce to small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve (for dipping). Bring grill to medium-high heat. Evenly thread shrimp and remaining peach slices onto 4 skewers. Brush both sides with some of remaining sauce. Grill until shrimp are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side, brushing with remaining sauce as they cook. Serve with refrigerated sauce for dipping. Nutrition per serving: 185 calories; 8g fat; 415mg sodium; 6g carbohydrate; <0.5g fiber; 4.5g sugars; 21g protein


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Wednesday - Tuesday, July 24-30, 2013

ENTERT No baby watch for Marian Rivera “Pag buntis ako sasabihin ko at ipopost ko sa Instagram ko,” the immediate reply of Kapuso primetime actress Marian Rivera when asked on pregnancy rumors. Marian said that if she’s indeed pregnant, she wouldn’t hide it from the press as it’s a blessing from the Lord. “Kung buntis man ang isang tao, walang dapat itago doon e. Dapat maging proud ka pa pero ang problema hindi totoo. Aaminin ko na pinapangarap ko na mangyari yan sa buhay ko, pero hindi muna sa ngayon.” She also dismissed reports that marriage is on the card between her and long-term boyfriend Dingdong Dantes this year. Marian said she still has a lot of showbiz commitments. “Minsan ang sarap na mararamdaman mo na lang sa sarili mo na ready na ako, okay na ako. Mahirap yung maraming

nagdidikta, maraming nagsasabi kung ano dapat ang mangyari, siguro in time.” What’s important for the 28-year-old is that her relationship with Dingdong will remain strong for the years to come. “Siguro dahil sa malaki ang respeto namin sa isa’t isa, mahal namin ang isa’t isa and kung magkakaroon man kami ng sarili naming trabaho, malaki ang respeto namin sa isa’t isa. Work is just work lang talaga sa amin.” “Nandito kami sa industriya na ito na dapat maging matatag kami, dapat i-enjoy namin yung aming buhay and parang walang dahilan para hindi namin i-enjoy ang buhay.” Marian added that there’s really no formula or secret to lasting and loving relationship. Aside from respect, she cited the couple’s give and take relationship as important factor in their partnership. “Naniniwala kasi ako na hindi lang babae ang nagdadala ng relationship, dapat

INMENT parehas kayo. Ang nangyayari sa relationship namin ni Dong, parehas naming pinagpupunan ang pagkakamali o kakulangan ng bawat isa. Kaya siguro buo kaming dalawa kasi kung walang Dingdong, wala ding Marian.” She added: “Bilang babae ano pa ba ang hihilingin ko sa isang Dingdong Dantes. Ang saya sa relationship namin na pinagdadasal namin na si God yung nasa center namin dalawa. Na kahit minsan may something, naso-solve naman lahat.” The actress was asked if she’s open to doing a movie with ABS-CBN’s film outfit Star Cinema, just like Dingdong. Marian said she still has a contract with Mother Lily Monteverde’s Regal Films, but she’s not closing her doors for a possible collaboration. To recall, Dingdong already did two Marian Rivera movies with Star, namely: “Segunda “Bilang respeto ko sa GMA, hanggang Mano” in 2011 and “One More Try” the August pa ako sa GMA at mahal ko ang year after. GMA,” she said. Marian then kept mum on the subject But the actress confirmed that there are of her network contract with GMA-7. offers from other networks.

Ogie Alcasid silent on network transfer SINGER Ogie Alcasid confirmed Monday that his contract with GMA-7 has ended on June 30 but declined to share his thoughts about his possible transfer to a rival network. “Right now I’m in between contracts. I’m jobless,” Ogie said. Reports said the versatile actor/ singer has received attractive offers from rival networks ABS-CBN and TV5.

“My network GMA, I still have to finalize things with them. I’m not allowed to deal with anyone yet until the prescribed period,” he said. He clarified that whatever decision he may come up with, it will not reflect on the show biz career of his wife, Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez. “We are very independent of each other when it comes to our careers. We support each other pero walang ganoon (epekto yun),” he said.

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Ogie shared that he is constantly praying for guidance for his family and his future in show biz. “Sa lahat ng bagay kailangan magdasal muna tayo. We always lift up everything to prayers and God will show the way, where I’m supposed to be at this specific time. It’s not up to us. We do make plans, but it’s always God who lays everything,” he said. The singer-songwriter is set to stage an anniversary concert at the SM Mall

of Asia Arena in Pasay City on August 16. Ogie is celebrating his 25 years in the entertainment business as a singer, songwriter, actor, and comedian. “Medyo matagal nating pinaghandaan and marami tayong guests at marami tayong hits na kakantahin, so, super preparations ang mga ginagawa natin. It’s a concert where you’ll be hearing all my hits and at the same time yung mga nakakasama ko in the 25 years will be there.”


THE US ASIAN POST Wednesday - Tuesday, July 24-30, 2013

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7

Jackie Forster insists she did not abandon sons

Jackie Forster

Former actress Jackie Forster wants to let her two estranged sons with former basketball player Benjie Paras know that she did not abandon them when she went abroad to study years ago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I never abandoned them. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the most important thing because thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s devastating. Masakit sa tao lalo na sa bata na iwanan ka. Gusto ko klaro sa kanila

na hindi ko sila iniwan, iniwan, never,â&#x20AC;? she said, referring to sons Andre and Kobe. Saying she wants to have Andre and Kobe back in her life, Forster said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I may have moved away for a little bit for everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s benefit. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s selfish to want that for myself. If I could have, I would have taken them with me.â&#x20AC;? The former actress also clarified reports

Patrick Garcia talks fatherhood

PATRICK Garcia shared that he is a hands-on dad to his four-month-old daughter, Chelsea. In an interview during a recent â&#x20AC;&#x153;Annalizaâ&#x20AC;? set visit, Patrick said he enjoys fatherhood because he and his non-show biz partner Jessica Martinez get to experience all the tasks of new parents together. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wala kaming yaya, kami lang talaga. Masaya and mas na-enjoy ko kasi yung responsibilities nagagawa ko,â&#x20AC;? he said. Patrick, who described himself as a loving and caring dad, said he now lives in a more peaceful and private family life with Jessica. He said they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let controversies affect them, especially when it comes to his ex-girlfriend Jennylyn Mercado and their son Alex Jazz (AJ). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wala masyadong gulo, wala masyadong intriga,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alam naman niya [ Jessica] yung totoo.

I explained to her that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of the business, sometimes may mga intriga, totoo man or hindi. The most important thing lang is to not get affected, wag magagalit. Kasi kung sino ang magalit, siya yung talo,â&#x20AC;? he said. Patrick said he has not seen AJ for some time now after a misunderstanding with the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother. Although heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vocal on his desire to see his son regularly, he refrained from discussing the issue in the public. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hindi pa [kami nagkikita]. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to comment about Jazz,â&#x20AC;? he said. He said that in a way, his role as Lazaro, Andrea Brillanteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Annaliza,â&#x20AC;? is very similar to what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going through in real life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nakaka-relate ako because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a father myself, may konting similarities. Nakakarelate din naman kasi nagagamit ko yun sa emotional ko (sa soap),â&#x20AC;? he added. Patrick hopes things will get better soon and thankful for the support of his family, ABS-CBN and the viewers of the program. The actor hopes more projects will come after â&#x20AC;&#x153;Annaliza. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m enjoying it a lot [the teleserye] kasi binigyan ulit ako ng ABS ng opporPROFESSIONAL PHOTOJOURNALISM tunity para gawin ang STYLE PHOTO COVERAGE. isang bagay BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOR. na mahal ko, Â&#x2021;WHGGLQJVÂ&#x2021;&RPPXQLW\(YHQWVÂ&#x2021;%LUWKGD\3DUWLHVÂ&#x2021;5HXQLRQ ang pag-arte. And I emÂ&#x2021;$QQLYHUVDULHVÂ&#x2021;'HEXWÂ&#x2021;$VVRFLDWLRQ3DUWLHVÂ&#x2021;%DSWLVPDO brace that reÂ&#x2021;)XQHUDOÂ&#x2021;6OLGHVKRZVÂ&#x2021;3KRWR5HVWRUDWLRQ sponsibility,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Annalizaâ&#x20AC;? airs weekdays before â&#x20AC;&#x153;TV GURXSRQH#JPDLOFRP Patrol.â&#x20AC;?

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that the court granted Paras full custody of their sons after they separated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t granted to him. That should be clear. I gave him custody because I was going to go to school first. The reason why I allowed him to take the kids was because at the event of a medical emergency, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s say something happens in the Philippines, Benjie will have the right to decide. He doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need my consent,â&#x20AC;? she said. In hindsight, Forster said she only made a decision that she thought was the best for her sons at that moment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wanted to do what was best because I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think at that time, I was financially capable. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a stable job. It would have been the best just to take them in. At that time, when Benjie and I were speaking, it was the best decision,â&#x20AC;? she said. She added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is between my children and I. Benjie and I have our separate lives. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to think that we are both happy with our lives. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;yung mga bata. Sino bang ina ang ayaw ng may pinakamabuting sitwasyon, pinakamagandang pangarap sa mga anak nila.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, Forster turned emotional as she recalled the times when she was allegedly prohibited to see Andre and Kobe when she would visit them here in the Philippines. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mula nung umalis ako ng bansa 2007, ilang beses ako umuwi para makita sila. Minsan kapag tumawag ako sasabihin â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;O sige.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Pagdating ko sa pintuan hindi ako pinagbubuksan, or sasabihin they

have basketball game or they have exams. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always something,â&#x20AC;? she said. As to the statement of Paras that he is doing everything to make it work for Forster and the two boys, Forster only has one thing to say. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kung talagang heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doing his best to make it work, why canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t he call me? I feel like things will only get better once we face the music and talk about everything,â&#x20AC;? she said. Forster said it is her prayer that she can be with her sons again so she can watch them grow up. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just lift everything up to the Lord. I can only do so much. At the end of the day, ayaw ko rin naman isipin ng mga tao na pinipilit ko ang sarili ko sa kanila. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make ways. They are my children, nothing will ever change that,â&#x20AC;? she said. Andre and Kobe, who are now in college and high school, respectively, had earlier said in a televised interview they wanted â&#x20AC;&#x153;spaceâ&#x20AC;? from their mother, explaining they were traumatized of something she had done in the past. This prompted Forster to make a video for her sons showing a montage of happy moments with her two sons. However, it was reported that the two refused to watch the video. Forster refused to believe this. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you do things, you also need to manage â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;yung expectations para hindi rin masakit. But my heart is telling me otherwise, [na pinanood nila],â&#x20AC;? she said. Asked what she wants to tell her boys, Forster briefly said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Life is short. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too short. Just be happy. Live in love.â&#x20AC;?

Kim-Xian movie offers something new, fresh Teaming up in their first full-length movie together, both stars revealed they had fun working with each other on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Moâ&#x20AC;? despite their hectic schedules. Chiu and Lim began shooting the movie while they were still taping the last episodes of their primetime series â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ina Kapatid Anak.â&#x20AC;? Asked if he had a hard time transitioning from TV to movie, Lim said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different, nakakatuwa. Una ko itong full-length talaga. Kakaiba siya sa TV kasi sa TV mabilisan. Dito thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to study and analyze the scenes.â&#x20AC;? Chiu, on the other hand, noted that doing a movie is actually more rigorous than taping a series. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iba â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;yung kapag gumagawa ka ng movie kasi sa isang sequence, aabot siya ng two hours. Tapos gagawin mo paulit-ulit, ibaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ibang shot,â&#x20AC;? she said. Nonetheless, Chiu and Lim said they enjoyed being directed by Joyce Bernal, whom they described as a very caring director. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Idol ko na talaga si Direk Joyce Bernal noon pa. Nung nalaman ko na siya yung gagawa ng movie namin, sobrang nasiyahan ako. Sabi ko excited na ako kasi kakaiba ito, iba ang gagawin niya, not the usual. Ganun siya eh. Kung ano yung nakikita sa TV, babaguhin niya,â&#x20AC;? Chiu said. Her trust to the director, Chiu said, was also the reason she agreed to look â&#x20AC;&#x153;uglyâ&#x20AC;? in the movie.

Xian Lim and Kim Chiu

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Idea ito lahat ni direk Joyce. Alam mo naman si direk Joyce lahat ng kabaliwan. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sige go Kim gawin mo ito, nakakatawa ka, mukha kang tanga.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ako naman, malakas ang tiwala ko kay direk so sige gawin natin ito,â&#x20AC;? she explained. The Star Cinema-produced movie tells a love story about â&#x20AC;&#x153;the ugly duckling in all of us and how we turn into someone worth loving,â&#x20AC;? Also starring Ramon Bautista, Kean Cipriano and Tonton Gutierrez, the movie is set to hit theaters nationwide on July 31. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is something everyone can look forward to. This is something new, something fresh and something worthwhile,â&#x20AC;? Lim said.

Anne Curtis starts work for new film â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Giftedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Actress-host Anne Curtis has started work for her upcoming horror film â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Gifted.â&#x20AC;? In her official Instagram account, Curtis posted a photo of the plaster cast that she might use for the movie to be directed by Chris Martinez, who did the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kimmy Doraâ&#x20AC;? movies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Had to do a plaster cast of my face today for my new film. Kinda creepy BUT itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty amazing what the prosthetics and make up team can come up with. Pure talent. Loads of work put behind the finished product,â&#x20AC;?

Curtis said. In a previous interview, Curtis said â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Giftedâ&#x20AC;? might be her reunion project with former boyfriend Sam Milby after their movie â&#x20AC;&#x153;Babe I Love Youâ&#x20AC;? in 2010. Curtis also said she hopes to get to work with one of her favorite actresses in the film, but refused to divulge her identity Currently, Curtis is busy co-hosting â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Showtime,â&#x20AC;? while Milby is doing hit series â&#x20AC;&#x153;Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala.â&#x20AC;?


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