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Vol. 2. No. 20


A Balita Media Publication

Wednesday - Tuesday, Jan. 30 - Feb. 5, 2013

US senators unveil immigration reform deal WASHINGTON, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) – Eight US lawmakers crossed party lines to unveil a plan Monday that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the shadows in the United States. “We recognize that our immigration system is broken,” the senators said in their bipartisan framework, which comes as President Barack Obama vows a fresh push on immigration in his second term. It promises a “tough but fair” path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, reform that would build the US economy, an “effective” employment verification

system and an improved process to admit future workers. The proposed legislation also increases the number of drones and other surveillance equipment, as well as the number of agents at and between ports of entry in a bid to better secure the long borders the United States shares with Canada to the north and especially Mexico to the south. Senators backing the measure are Republicans John McCain, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake, along with Democrats Robert Menendez, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin and Michael Bennet. Rubio’s Republican support

would be vital to any deal going forward. He has spoken in recent weeks about his immigration stance, which includes a multi-step pathway to citizenship, as well as improved skill-based immigration, visa enforcement and border safety and enforcement. “We can’t round up millions of people and deport them,” Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, wrote in an opinion article published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal ahead of Obama’s visit to the state of Nevada on Tuesday. “But we also can’t fix our broken immigration system if we proSee IMMIGRATION REFORM, page 6

Aquino: After apology, US needs to account for violation of laws

Malaysian tug Vos Apollo (foreground) prepares for defueling operations near the grounded USS Guardian (MCM 5) while a U.S. Navy small boat approaches with a salvage team. The U.S. Navy contracted Vos Apollo to assist with removing fuel from the mine countermeasures ship, which ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea on Jan. 17. No fuel has leaked since the grounding and all of the approximately 15,000 gallons onboard Guardian was safely transferred to Vos Apollo during two days of controlled defueling operations on Jan. 24 and Jan. 25. The U.S. Navy continues to work in close cooperation with the Philippine Coast Guard and Navy to safely remove Guardian from the reef while minimizing environmental effects. (U.S. Navy photo by Aircrewman 3rd Class Geoffrey Trudell/Released)

Erap blames ‘Dirty Harry’ for DQ bid MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) – Former President Joseph Estrada all but tagged Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim as the brains behind a disqualification case against him. Estrada thinks the case is a form of “dirty tricks” from “Dirty Harry,” Lim’s moniker. He did not directly implicate Lim but noted Lim’s lawyer is the one handling the case. The former president said the case is harassment since his fitness to be a candidate had been challenged in 2010 on the grounds that his pardon was conditional and contingent on him not running for office anymore. Estrada was pardoned for a plunder conviction in 2007. His 2010 presidential candidacy was challenged twice at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for this ground. See ERAP BLAMES, page 6

MANILA, Jan 26 (Mabuhay) – A US government apology is not enough after the damage caused by the grounding of the minesweeper USS Guardian on Tubbataha Reef last Jan. 17, President Benigno Aquino III said. In an interview with reporters covering his visit to Switzerland, Aquino said the US will have to comply with Philippine laws regarding the incident. “They’re showing you they reSee VIOLATION OF LAW, page 6


Senate bet wants Congress to define dynasties

MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) – Senatoriable Ricardo Penson filed a petition with the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday, urging the high court to compel the Senate and House of Representatives to enact legislation defining “political dyseveral changes in the possible list nasties” and determine the circumstances under which it is prohibited of winners. Three re-electionists – Loren under the Constitution. In a 20-page petition, Penson Legarda (65%), Francis Escudero (62%) and Alan Peter Cayetano pointed out that political dynasties (60%) – continue to lead the pack are prohibited by virtue of Sec. 26, of senatorial bets. They placed 1st, Art. II of the 1987 Constitution 2nd and 3rd in the SWS pre-election which states: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities survey. San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” for public service and prohibit poEjercito, son of former president litical dynasties as may be defined Joseph Estrada and half-brother of by law.” “Despite its having been in efSen. Jinggoy Estrada, is now ranked 4th after placing 5th in the November fect since more than a quarter of a century, the term ‘political dynasty’ 29-December 3 survey. Re-electionist Sen. Gregorio has not yet been made the subject “Gringo” Honasan improved his of legislation enacted by the rechances at winning another senato- spondents such that, in the mean-

Grace Poe enters Senate ‘Magic 12’: survey MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) – Grace Poe-Llamanzares, daughter of the late Action King Fernando Poe Jnr, has barged into contention in the May 2013 senatorial race and is now statistically tied with re-electionist Sen. Antonio Trillanes in the 10th-11th slots, according to the latest Social Weather Stations survey. The survey, conducted last January 17-19, 2013 and first published in BusinessWorld, also showed at least one senatorial bet, re-electionist Sen. Richard Gordon, possibly dropping out of the Senate “Magic 12.” Only 12 slots are up for grabs in the May 13 elections. The latest survey, which comes 4 months before Election Day, saw

See GRACE POE, page 6


Asian group applauds Senate action on immigration reform bill Bipartisan Senate group introduces principles for commonsense reform, including reduction of long family visa backlogs and a path to citizenship WASHINGTON - Today a bipartisan group of Senators introduced principles for commonsense immigration reform. The principles center around four basic themes for fixing our broken immigration system, which include establishing an efficient process for future immigrants searching for opportunity, creating a path to citizenship for the nearly 11.2 million undocumented immigrants, strengthening our economy, and developing an effective employment verification

system. “Today’s announcement is a giant step forward for immigrant communities, and we welcome it with an open mind and look forward to working with our Senate leaders,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “While these are just principles and the devil is in the details, we are encouraged See ASIAN GROUP APPLAUDS, page 6

DAVOS, Switzerland) President Benigno S. Aquino III shares his views during the discussions at the Roundtable Meeting with Global Business Executives at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at the Credit Suisse AG, Credit Suisse Pavilion on Friday (January 25). In his statement, President Aquino emphasized three priority sectors that would welcome more investments for the country: tourism, agriculture and infrastructure. (MNS photo)

Palace confirms killings of two Jemaah Islamiyah members in Mindanao MANILA, Jan 26 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang confirmed on Saturday the killing of two terrorists who are members of Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah ( JI). “We are confirming that Philippine authorities have successfully neutralized two foreign terrorists. Pareho silang miyembro umano ng Jemaah Islamiyah,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte

said in a radio interview on Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan. In November last year, Philippine authorities tracked down Ibnu Gholib Al-Jitli or Ustadz Sanusi in Marawi City, an Indonesian who is suspected to be a senior member of JI. Sanusi died in a firefight when security forces tried to arrest him, See PALACE CONFIRMS, page 6

Boy Scouts in US mull end to ban on gays WASHINGTON, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) – The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) said Monday it is rethinking its longstanding and controversial nationwide ban on gays and lesbians taking part in its activities. “Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation,” said the centuryold youth group with 2.6 million boys in its membership ranks. “This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation,” it said. It added that religious, civic and educational organizations that oversee scouting at the local level would be free to determine for themselves See BAN ON GAYS, page 7



Yoga may soothe depression, improve sleep

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Aquino invites global business leaders to invest in PHL DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 26 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III invited European business leaders including other business executives from various parts of the world attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting here to explore potential areas of investments in the Philippines, as he cited some of the reforms initiated by the government to achieve inclusive growth. President Aquino issued the invitation in his remarks before the

Former Philippine leader Joseph Estrada looks on outside his Manila residence on May 9, 2012. Estrada, 75, said he planned to run for mayor of Manila in next year’s local polls, but was disqualified because of his past criminal offenses. He, however, blames current Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim as behind his disqualification. Estrada won the presidency by a landslide in 1998, but was ousted by a popular uprising 30 months into his six-year term over allegations of massive corruption. (MNS photo)

Sen. Chuck Schumer


Angelica says she hardly sees John Lloyd See ENTERTAINMENT 1

MOTORING Driven to distraction; Audi with self-driving cars See MOTORING 4


Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013



Filipino activist faces jail for offending church MANILA, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) – A social activist in the Catholic Philippines said Monday he faced up to 13 months in jail after being found guilty of “offending religious beliefs” for speaking out in favor of birth control. Carlos Celdran, who is also one of the country’s most popular tour guides, was arrested in 2010 after entering the historic Manila Cathedral during a mass and shouting out his support for efforts to introduce a birth control law. He released a copy of a Manila court’s verdict, delivered last month but only made public on Monday, in which he was sentenced to between two and 13 months for offending religious beliefs. Celdran said he would appeal against the court’s decision, describing the authorities’ use of the little-known

and rarely used law as a threat to freedom of speech.

“I am calm but I am going to fight this till the end,” Celdran said in a statement posted on social media alongside a copy of the court’s decision. Celdran remains free on bail, pending his appeal. International rights monitor Human Rights Watch said it was alarmed by the use of an “archaic” law to prosecute Celdran.

“This is a setback for free speech in the Philippines, which prides itself on being a democracy,” Human Rights Watch Asia researcher Carlos Conde said in a statement. The proposed law that Celdran spoke out in favour of during his protest was eventually approved by parlia-

ment last year and came into effect on January 17. The law requires government health centeres to hand out free condoms and birth control pills, benefiting tens of millions of the country’s poor who would not otherwise be able to afford or have access to them. It also mandates that sex education be taught in schools. Catholic Church groups have filed petitions with the Supreme Court, asking it to overturn the law. About 80 percent of the Philippines’ 100 million people are Catholic, a legacy of Spanish colonial rule that ended in the late 1800s, and the church remains one of the nation’s most powerful institutions. Officials at the court that handed down the verdict were not immediately available to comment.

Aquino won’t call Malaysian PM for Amalilio return

DAVOS, Switzerland) President Benigno S. Aquino III addresses the World Economic Forum activity “Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) at the Hotel Europe, Promenade 63 on Thursday (January 24). President Aquino said that transparency and a level playing field remain as the top priority of his administration. He also cited solid actions of the government against unscrupulous government projects and dishonest public officials. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang said Philippine authorities are coordinating with their Malaysian counterparts to bring Aman Futures founder Manuel Amalilio back into the country. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said he sees no need for President Aquino to call Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to facilitate Amalilio’s return, citing “a good working relationship” with Malaysian officials and a “mutual legal assistance mechanism” with Malaysia. “What happened last Friday was a mere temporary setback. We are in the process of bringing Mr. Amalilio back into the Philippines so rest assured that we are taking all efforts to ensure the repatriation of Mr. Amalilio to the Philippines,” he said. “We are confident that with the coordination with our Malaysian counterparts, we would be able to bring back Mr. Amalilio,” he added. Meantime, the Palace said that Amalilio’s citizenship “was not an issue” when he was stopped from leaving Malaysia. Lacierda said National Bureau of Investigation authorities brought with them a certified true copy of

Amalilio birth certificate to prove that he is a Filipino citizen. “That is not a problem. We are ready to present the proof of his birth in the Philippines and his citizenship as well. That was not an issue. My understanding [is] it was not an issue,” he said. Amalilio was all set to board a Cebu Pacific plane at the Kota Kinabalu airport on Friday night when a senior Malaysian official stopped him. Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas claimed it was chief minister of Sabah, Musa Aman, who stopped Amalilio from getting on the plane. Amalilio, founder and head of Aman Futures Group, is facing several cases of syndicated estafa before the Pagadian Regional Trial Court for duping thousands of Filipinos in an investment scam. He was arrested in Kota Kinabalu last week after fleeing the Philippines at the height of the scam. He uses the name Mohammad Suffian Saaid in Malaysia. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Amalilio is considered a “high-risk detainee” after allegedly duping VIPs in his double-your-money scheme. (MNS)

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MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) – The Freedom of Information (FOI) bill is facing a “crucial” week at the House of Representatives, with only six session days left to sponsor, discuss, amend and ultimately pass the measure which seeks to promote transparency in government transactions. Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, who supports the proposed legislation, said the FOI bill is already “dead” if the House fails to pass it on second reading by Wednesday. “We need nothing short of a miracle. Kailangan ma-sponsor siya mamaya, and then it has to breeze through the period of debates and amendments. By Wednesday, we have to pass it on second reading. Sobrang makipot na ang schedule,” Baguilat said in a phone interview. He added that the House leadership has already

sent text messages to lawmakers asking them to attend sessions this week to be able to muster a quorum. “Ang sinabi lang doon sa text is that we have to attend to be able to pass important legislations. Walang nakalagay na FOI, pero siyempre, iyon na lang naman ang natitirang mahalagang batas na dapat ipasa,” he said. Baguilat added that FOI advocates are still hoping that President Benigno Aquino III will certify the bill as urgent to be able to fast track its passage at the lower chamber. “Kapag na-certify ito, siguradong papasa ito… I still believe that the President supports the FOI bill and wants transparency in government,” the congressman said. But Aquino, who won the presidency in 2010 with his anti-corruption platform, said over the weekend that he cannot certify the FOI bill as urgent yet until some issues on the measure have been threshed out. Last month, the Senate already unanimously passed its version of the FOI bill. At the House, the measure has yet to enter the period of sponsorship – the first step in the plenary discussions of the proposed legislation. ‘Hail Mary pass’ Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, an author of the FOI bill, meanwhile said that it is time for the House to “unleash” a “Hail Mary pass” to be able to approve the measure before sessions adjourn on February 9. “In football, there is a phenomenon called the “Hail Mary pass,” a long, desperate pass in the last few seconds that results in a winning goal. I hope PNoy will finally let loose that pass to the many receivers in Congress waiting to score the touchdown for FoI,” Bello said in a separate statement. He likewise described the FOI bill as the country’s “passport to joining the ranks of mature democracies.”

THE US ASIAN POST Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013

Aquino alleges China harassed PHL boats MANILA, Jan 26, 2013 (AFP) – President Benigno Aquino has accused China of harassing two Philippine fishing boats in disputed South China Sea waters, allegedly driving out one that had sheltered from rough seas. Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Aquino said the two Scarborough Shoal incidents had led to Manila seeking United Nations arbitration this week over the territorial dispute. Aquino, who did not say when the incidents occurred, said “Chinese vessels” approached to within nine metres (10 yards) of a Filipino fishing boat near the shoal. “While they (Chinese vessels) were approaching, their horns were supposedly blaring at full blast, causing apprehension to our fishing vessel,” he said, according to a transcript released by the government on Saturday. A second Filipino boat was driven out by Chinese vessels shortly after it took shelter near the shoal, he added. “According to the affidavit (crew’s depositions), they were told to go back to the rough waters.” The shoal, located closer to the Philippine island of Luzon than the Chinese mainland, has been a source of friction since April last year when Chinese vessels

stopped the Philippine navy from arresting alleged Chinese poachers. Aquino, saying only that the incidents were the latest in a series of assertive Chinese actions in the area, stressed the Scarborough Shoal—which Manila calls “Bajo de Masinloc” and China calls “Huangyan island” – and its surrounding waters are part of the Philippines’ “exclusive economic zone”. China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters and islands close to the shores of its neighbours. Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario however this week said Manila had taken China to a UN tribunal to challenge its claim to most of the sea, including territory belonging to the archipelago, and would ask the arbitration panel to declare Chinese claims in the area invalid. Aquino said he could not allow China to claim “effective control over Bajo de Masinloc by ordering our vessels out”, as this could encourage Beijing to move into the Philippine-claimed and allegedly resourcerich Reed Bank. “We are not threatening anybody, but if we don’t stand up for our rights, who do we expect will be standing up for our rights?” Aquino said. China’s embassy spokesmen could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Aquino back from Davos, Switzerland MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabu“Hindi rin po nagkuhay) – President Benigno lang ang mga bagong S. Aquino III arrived at the kumpanyang nagpaNinoy Aquino International hayag ng interes tumunAirport Terminal 2 on Sungo sa Pilipinas upang day, fresh from his successhumanap ng angkop ful attendance to the World na negosyo. Pinuri po Economic Forum that was nilang lahat ang pangheld in Davos, Switzerland matagalang istratehiya from January 23 to 26. natin ng pamumuhunan The President’s chartered sa ating mamamayan Philippine Air Lines flight – sa pamamagitan ng PR001 touched down at the edukasyon, kalusugan, NAIA tarmac at around 2:20 at iba pang serbisyong in the afternoon and subsepanlipunan. Mula po sa quently docked at the intermga kumpanyang nakatnational flight arrival gate of utok sa edukasyon at imTerminal 2 some five minutes prastruktura, hanggang later. sa retail at information Welcoming the President technology, at marami back were Vice President pang iba – lahat sila, Jejomar Binay and Cabinet pumipila at nakikipagmembers led by Executive ugnayan na sa atin; naSecretary Paquito Ochoa. President Benigno S. Aquino III escorted by AFP Chief Em- kikita nila ang bagong T. Bautista at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport mukha ng Pilipinas, at In his speech, the Presi- manuel Terminal II on Sunday (January 27) upon his arrival from his dent expressed gladness at successful participation in the World Economic Forum at Da- nagugustuhan nila ito,” coming back to the warmer vos in Switzerland. (MNS photo) he added. climate of the Philippines, saying the last time he had The President also mentioned the warm welcome he ever experienced below zero temperatures was 30 years and his delegation received from the overseas Filipino ago. workers from Switzerland and nearby Lichtenstein “Biruin po ninyo, mahigit tatlumpung taon na mula whom he said embodied the true spirit of “bayanihan” nang huli akong nakaranas ng winter, at talaga na- and selflessness for other Filipinos. mang halos hindi makilala ang ating buong delegasyon “Ang ikinatutuwa ko nga po, saan mang panig ng sa sobrang pagkakabalot dahil sa ginaw. Siguro po ay mundo man tayo mapadpad, ganoon pa rin ang ipimatagal-tagal muling mapapahinga sa loob ng apara- napakitang mabubuting katangian ng Pilipino: Pador ang guwantes, scarf, at overcoat na binaon natin laging may handang ngiti, palaging nag-uumapaw sa sa ating pagbiyahe,” the President said. malasakit ang puso, at palaging handang makipagHe then mentioned the achievements of his trip bayanihan upang iangat ang kanilang kapwa,” the such as meeting with WEF founder and chief Profes- President said. He pointed out that trips to other counsor Klaus Schwab and International Monetary Fund tries such as this and getting to meet fellow Filipinos chief Christine Lagarde, keynoting the anti-corruption always remind him of the potential of the Filipino to forum where he detailed programs to end corruption rise above and get ahead in life. “Tunay nga po – sa tuthe country has adapted and inviting international wing dadayo ako sa ibang bansa, napapa-alalahanan business leaders meeting to invest in the Philippines. ako sa matayog na potensyal at kapasidad ng Pilipino. “Dito po, nakita natin na napakarami talagang gus- Ilagay mo lang ang Pinoy sa tamang kundisyon, bigtong sumakay sa pag-arangkada ng ating ekonomiya. yan mo lang tayo ng pagkakataon, kaya nating umanSaksi po sila – Hindi tayo napako sa mga pangakong gat, kaya nating umasenso,” the President said. hatid ng agenda ng reporma. Ang mga kumpanyang “At ngayon nga po, nakikita na ng lahat, pinapatumatagal nang narito, ay magpapalawak ng kanilang nayan na natin sa buong mundo – Hindi tayo mabibigo, operasyon, at niyaya ang mga kumpanyang Pilipinong handa tayong humarap sa anumang hamon, taas-noo sumali sa joint venture, hindi lang sa Pilipinas, kundi nating isusulong ang ating mga sarili dito sa landas ng pati na rin sa ibang bansa,” the President said. pagbabago,” he added. (MNS)

Aquino announces holding of East Asia Summit for the World Economic Forum in 2014 in PHL DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 26 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III announced that he accepted the offer for the Philippines to host the East Asia Summit for the World Economic Forum in 2014. The Chief Executive made the announcement during a Coffee Meeting with Media at the Europe Hotel here on Friday (Swiss time) following his successful attendance at this year’s WEF Annual Meeting here. “We agree to hosting the East Asia Summit for the WEF in 2014,” the President said. He noted that when the East Asia Summit for WEF is held in the Philippines next year, the participants would be experiencing a warmer weather compared to the freezing weather condition experienced by the participants attending this year’s WEF annual meeting here.

According to the President, the holding of the 2014 East Asia Summit for WEF in the Philippines would certainly benefit the country and the Filipino people as a whole. “It puts us at the center stage of the world map for that period, which is something like July or so. The details will have to be worked out, it was offered to us and I accepted to hosting the event,” he said. The President, who was visibly animated by his successful participation at the conclusion of the WEF Annual meeting that was participated in by global leaders, chief executive officers, top business financial executives and other stakeholders from Europe and other parts of the world said the best meeting he had attended was the luncheon meeting arranged by the Ayala Corporation.



MILF expresses optimism on success of peace efforts with gov’t MANILA, Jan 26 (Mabuhay) – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front voiced optimism its peace efforts with the government will succeed, thanks in part to the Malaysian government’s moderation approach. MILF chairman Al Haj Murad made the assessment in media interviews at Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, where a three-day seminar was held. “Indeed, the MILF is very optimistic that the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro will be a successful negotiated political solution given the strong commitment of both the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and MILF, the Malaysian government being the third-party facilitator and the overwhelming commitment of support from the international community and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC),” Murad said, according to an article posted on the MILF website. Murad was in Malaysia to attend the three-day “Malay Archipelago Seminar – Islam in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Hopes.” At the event, Murad spoke on the topic “Islam in the Malay Archipelago: The New Rise of the Bangsamoro.” Last October, government and MILF representatives signed the framework agreement on the Bangsamoro political entity. The Bangsamoro aims to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Murad said the framework agreement will be mutually beneficial to the government and the Bangsamoro, adding “the facilitation of the Government of Malaysia significantly help both sides in realizing the Framework Agreement.” “The MILF, the Bangsamoro and even the Filipino people could not thank enough Malaysia for its role and contribution in the success of the GPH-MILF Peace Process,” he said. Murad noted that the Philippines was second to Japan as the most progressive country in Asia before the rise of the Bangsamoro struggle for freedom and self-determination during the 1960s. But the armed conflict and the emergence of the Bangsamoro liberation movement at that time had severely affected the country in many aspects – politically, economically, socially and even culturally, he said. “We are hopeful and optimistic that with the success of the (framework agreement), the entire country and the Bagsamoro will significantly benefit with its fruition in terms of peace and security, economics and, national solidarity and regional cooperation,” he said. Murad also said the framework agreement is not only an achievement of the MILF but a victory of the entire Bangsamoro. This includes the traditional leaders, political leaders, Moro National Liberation Front, MILF, and all sectors of the Bangsamoro, he added. “We learn a lot from the moderation approach of the Malaysia government and we significantly consider it in the establishment and administration of the Bangsamoro government, considering the nature of a pluralistic society in the Bangsamoro. “When we can fulfill the sought success of the framework agreement, then radicalization in the Bangsamoro will also be addressed,” Murad said. (MNS)

Malacañang urges mall operators to review security measures to ensure safety of patrons MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) -Malacañang appealed on Monday to all mall operators to review their respective security measures and ensure that these conform to strict monitoring and detection protocols in order to prevent the entry of firearms and other illegal weapons into their premises. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued the appeal in light of the recent robbing of a jewelry store at the ground floor of the SM Megamall Department store in Mandaluyong City last Saturday. Speaking to reporters during his regular press conference in Malacañang, Lacierda said mall operators should conduct this strict review in close coordination with the Philippine National Police to “reassure the public that patronizing their malls is a safe weekend venture to go to.” “In that regard, we would like to appeal to the mall operators to

study their security measures and make sure that the security equipment that they have installed in their premises does in fact detect the presence of firearms,” Lacierda said. “What they have to study (is) their security features again and try to see (if ) there was a failure of security measures undertaken by the mall operators, in the hope that they can reassure the public that patronizing their malls is a safe weekend venture to go to,” he added. Lacierda said it was important to maintain the safety within malls and other centers of recreation as “there’s an emphasis on gathering in malls in spite of the fact that these are... These malls have assumed a quasi-public character where, despite being owned privately, people do patronize malls and spend their weekends in malls whether they’re buying (something) or not..” PND (MNS)

Palace clueless if Acosta posted bail MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Monday said there is no word yet if Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Neric Acosta has posted bail. “We’re verifying also but we have no update yet on that. But we have already mentioned that Secretary Neric Acosta will follow the legal processes and we are confident that he will do so,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte earlier said there is no word if Acosta will be relieved from his post nor if President Aquino will shoulder the payment for his bail. She said the Palace expects Acosta to follow the rule of law. The Sandiganbayan earlier released a warrant of arrest for Acosta and his mother for perjury charges. The perjury raps stemmed from the alleged funneling in 2006 of

Acosta and his mother of P5.5 million worth of priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to a private organization controlled by their family, the Bukidnon Vegetable Producers Cooperative. Acosta was the representative of Bukidnon, while his mother was the mayor of Manolo Fortich town when the illegal transfer of funds was allegedly committed. The Acostas also allegedly made it appear that the Sangguniang Bayan of Manolo Fortich approved the transfer of funds. (MNS)


Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013


P38-M fine vs US Navy a ‘slap on the hand’ – WWF MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) – The initial fine of about P38 million that could be imposed on the United States Navy for the damage done to the Tubbataha Reef is “but a slap on the hand,” the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Philippines) said. WWF Philippines Communications and Media Manager Gregg Yan noted the US Navy even paid Hawaii about P610 million when a guided missile cruiser ran aground less than a kilometer from the Honolulu Airport on February 5, 2009. The cruiser damaged 890 square meters of coral reef. “Considering that Tubbataha incurred a scar at least twice as large, a fine of P38 million is but a slap on the hand for the US Navy. As precedents set the tone for future cases, this should greatly boost the credence of the Philippines’ request that the US Navy be responsible enough to own up to the damages,” Yan said. He is referring to the USS Guardian, the 68-meter minesweeper that has been stuck at the Tubbataha Reef since January 17. The Philippines is seeking damages, with President Benigno Aquino III saying that apologies from the US Navy would not simply do. He said they are “not exempt them from having to comply with our laws.” In a separate interview with radio dzRB on Sunday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said there is a fine of $300 per square meter damaged. She insisted the fine can still change once the assessment is finished. Citing initial assessments, the area damaged by the minesweeper is at least 1600 square meters, almost twice the area destroyed in Hawaii. Republic Act 10067 or the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act of 2009 mandates a fine of about $300 or P12,000 per square meter of reef damaged, plus another $300 or so per square meter for rehabilitation efforts. “Given the estimated size of damaged reef, the minimum fine would be $960,000 or P38 million – still miniscule compared with the fines paid by the US for its 2009 Port Royal incident. Further sanctions include unauthorized park entry, non-payment of conservation fees, destruction of resources and the obstruction of law enforcement,” the WWF said in a statement. WWF noted that the multi-awarded UNESCO World Heritage site will be celebrating its silver anniversary this year. “Whereas a typical square kilometer of healthy coral reef annually yields up to 40 metric tons of seafood yearly, Tubbataha generates over 200. Though fishing within the park is not allowed, the spillover effects continually seed the far reaches of the Sulu Sea with fish and invertebrate spawn. “ It fears that the damaged minesweeper could further hurt Tubbataha. It said the “USS Guardian still sits on the northwestern portion of the Tubbataha Reefs’ South Atoll, its wood-and-fiberglass hull breached and taking a pounding from 10-foot waves brought in by the Hanging Amihan – the bitter northeasterly winds from Siberia.” A team from the US Navy and its counterparts in the Philippines as well as the Philippine Coastguard are now looking into ways by which to extricate the USS Guardian. Oil siphoned from minesweeper In a related development, the salvor sent by the US Navy has removed the bulk of fuel oil and materials that could pose environmental risks. The US Navy reported that no fuel has leaked and the “15,000 gallons of diesel fuel was safely transferred to the US-contracted Malaysian tug-boat, the Vos Apollo during controlled defueling operations completed on January 25.” The WWF warned that each minute that the minesweeper remains there raises the stakes. WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and Chief Executive Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan said: “However, safety must be chosen over speed – hasty efforts might do further harm to the reef.” Tan is also a member of the Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board. (MNS)

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US lawmakers optimistic about immigration reform WASHINGTON, Jan 27, 2013 (AFP) – Bitterly divided US lawmakers on Sunday expressed optimism that they could unite on immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship for more than 10 million illegal migrants. “I’m confident, guardedly optimistic, that this time we can get it done,” Republican Senator John McCain told ABC News, confirming that Republican and Democratic senators had been meeting on the issue in recent weeks. McCain, who once championed comprehensive reform but backtracked during his failed 2008 presidential run, said there was a greater willingness to address the issue after last year’s election, in which the increasingly important Hispanic vote swung strongly behind President Barack Obama’s Democrats. “I’ll give you a little straight talk – look at the last election,” McCain, who represents the border state of Arizona, told interviewer Martha Raddatz. “We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours, for a variety of reasons, and we’ve got to understand that.” He added that “we can’t go on forever with 11 million people living in this country in the shadows in an illegal status. “We cannot forever have children who were born here – (or) who were brought here by their parents when they were small children—to live in the shadows

as well. So I think the time is right.” Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who attended a meeting on Friday between Obama and congressional Hispanic leaders, said he too was “cautiously optimistic.” “I see the right spirit. I see things that were once off the table for agreement and discussion being on the table with a serious pathway forward,” he told ABC News’ Raddatz. Obama will travel to the state of Nevada next week to push for rapid immigration reform, one of his top priorities for the next four years. During the trip, his first since being sworn in last week for a second term, Obama will “redouble the efforts to work with Congress to fix the broken immigration system this year,” the White House said Friday. A bill backed by Obama that would have legalized the status of many of the estimated 10 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States died in Congress at the end of 2010 because of Republican opposition. Reforming America’s aging immigration system is the only issue that has generated some degree of political consensus since the November elections. Hispanics voted massively for Obama, flexing their growing political heft in several key states, and since then Republican leaders and well-known conservative commentators have jumped on the reform bandwagon.

Thousands march in Washington for gun control BY NICOLAS REVISE

WASHINGTON, Jan 26, 2013 (AFP) – Thousands of people marched in Washington on Saturday to demand stronger gun control legislation, in a solemn rally six weeks after the shock massacre of young children at a Connecticut school. Protesters, backed by senior officials, marched in silence for around 30 minutes along the National Mall near the US Capitol and Washington Monument, carrying white placards marked with the names and pictures of gun crime victims. The demonstration came after the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that saw a gunman mow down 20 young children and six adults, sparking a furious national debate over gun ownership. The shooter used a militarystyle assault weapon and handguns. “No more talk. We must act, we must act, we must act,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, telling the crowd that when he headed up a network of Chicago schools from 1990 to 2000, a child was buried every two weeks due to gun violence. “This has to change. Our children, our families, our communities, our country deserve better,” he said to thunderous applause. Around 270 million guns are in circulation in the United States – almost one weapon for every man, woman and child – where more than 32,000 people were fatally gunned down in 2011 alone. Among the protesters were several friends, neighbors and relatives of the Newtown shooting victims. Under chilly temperatures, the demonstrators held banners reading “Ban Assault Weapons Now” and “My children are more important than your guns.” Colin Goddard, survivor of the 2007 shooting at

Virginia Tech university that left 33 people dead including the gunman, said the latest spate of gun violence should trigger change. “Enough is enough,” he said. “Today is not the finish line, today is the starting block. This is not an individual race, but this is a team relay.” Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, who has come out in support of gun control, called for action to keep “each other safe from arms those irresponsible and irrational people who still go across our cities and our states and have access to guns in ways that they should not.” Duncan pledged that President Barack Obama’s administration “will do everything in our power to make sure that we pass legislation that makes our children, our families, our communities safer.” In the wake of the Connecticut deaths, Obama signed 23 executive orders and also called on Congress to pass new laws in a series of sweeping measures aimed at addressing gun violence. The proposed measures include a ban on militarystyle assault rifles and the closing of loopholes that allow many gun buyers to avoid background checks. But securing congressional action will be difficult as many Republicans are vehemently opposed to the White House’s plans, contending that the measures will infringe upon the constitutional right to bear arms. Opposition to new laws is not purely along party lines. Some Democrats from states where hunting and shooting sports are popular support gun rights. An ABC News poll this week found 53 percent of Americans back Obama’s gun control plans, while 41 percent view it unfavorably. “We know the fight will be difficult but that we will prevail,” said march organizer Molly Smith.

Vietnam diplomats facing anniversary fatigue BY CAT BARTON

namese officials to commit to attending the events,” sighed one Asian diplomat helping to organize his HANOI, Jan 27, 2013 (AFP) – Like many com- country’s celebrations, before rushing off to woo the munist regimes Vietnam is partial to pomp and cer- foreign ministry. emony, but even its seasoned diplomats are wearying of Singapore is issuing a commemorative stamp, holdthe party mood as dozens of countries vie to celebrate ing an art exhibition and flying in the Prime Minister, their four-decade friendship with Hanoi. while Australia’s Ambassador Hugh Borrowman said The Paris Accords, signed 40 years ago on Sunday, his embassy will host events showcasing “(our) creativended America’s direct military involvement in Viet- ity and diversity”. nam, heralding a warming of relations with the outside But where Hanoi’s diplomats are losing enthusiasm, world that saw 21 countries open embassies in Hanoi the city’s hospitality industry is welcoming an expected within a year. mini-boom. Those nations – from Australia and Uganda to Sin“It will definitely generate extra interest in Hanoi, gapore, Finland and Bangladesh – are all keen to mark there will be more official travel,” Kai Speath, general the anniversary with Vietnamese officials. manager at the city’s historic Metropole Hotel told But the ensuing stream of diplomatic functions is AFP, adding that the Metropole had been home to not universally welcomed. dozens of foreign missions during the 1970s as diplo“The (top) leaders are OK because they don’t have mats rushed back to Hanoi. The bonanza year of diploto do anything. We have to prepare so many things,” matic celebrations owes much to Vietnam’s success at grumbled one Vietnamese diplomat, who works at the implementing its official foreign policy strategy: being Ministry of Foreign Affairs. friends with everyone – and upsetting no-one. “It’s so, so boring repeating the same clichés for alWhile the “being friends with everyone sounds most every delegation, but we can do nothing to im- trite...when you look at it in practice...they’re doing prove that,” the diplomat, who is helping foreign mis- pretty well,” said Vietnam expert Carl Thayer. sions plan their celebrations, told AFP on condition of Vietnam currently enjoys nine strategic partnership anonymity. deals, including with Germany, South Korea and Italy “I know it’s our job, but we still get exhausted by all – which struck an agreement this week. the functions.” While Thayer questioned how much they “convert From the Brits who are hosting a fashion show and these wonderful expressions into reality”, he said Viet– somewhat less glamorously –a raffle, to the Japanese nam’s ability to make allies reflects the nimble diplowho are flying in opera singers, Vietnam’s foreign part- macy it was forced to develop during the war era. ners want to make sure that their celebrations catch “During the Vietnam War they went high and low the eye. for support, from the non-aligned movement, the third “There’s so much competition – it’s hard to get Viet- world, the socialist bloc,” Thayer said.

THE US ASIAN POST Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013



UTREACH Missionary Hearts St Kateri and St Pedro’s Love for God in a Musical at the Pantages Theater on Feb.10 :


Love is in the air. No sooner did the fireworks fall silent after ringing in the New Year did stores and other retail outlets – in malls and online – begin setting up for the next big reason to shop: Valentine’s Day!  Hearts of all sizes, materials, and shades of red grace many a website as well as window displays, inviting everyone to fall in love, or fall in love all over again. You are invited to share in the love stories of two young people who, though worlds apart were one in their love of God.  Fides Ecclesiae (“Faith of the Church”), a musical stage presentation of the stories of recently canonized Saints Kateri Tekakwitha and Pedro Calungsod, will be playing at the Pantages Theatre on Sunday, February 10, at 7:00 p.m. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, a young Native American woman, found God speaking to her in the deep recesses of her heart.  Orphaned at a young age, she nevertheless remembered the faith shared with her by her mother before the latter’s death.  Stories, songs, and images confirmed for her that the one love she knew as a child – her mother’s love – is but one and the same as that which God has for her in Christ Jesus.  Her young heart knew only one response: All yours, Jesus, I’m all yours.  St. Kateri gave witness to her faith by forsaking all that her world expected of her and declaring that life is worth giving all to the Lord, inspiring many around her to live lives in service of God and others as witnesses to the values of the gospel of Christ. St. Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino teenager, knew love in the selflessness of his parents.  Encouraged to grow in knowledge and love of God, he found an opportunity to show his brand of love by volunteering to serve as catechist with a missionary expedition to the Marianas Islands (now Guam).  While the prospect of travel to distant lands, so attractive to many missionaries, may have been an initial nudge, St. Pedro soon realized that it takes more than a good feeling to live in love with someone with Whom and for Whom one wishes to live one’s life.  His faith tested by skeptical and hostile natives who would soon threaten his life, he perseveres knowing that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for the Lord. In both of their love stories, Saints Pedro Calungsod and Kateri Tekakwitha found God through the ministry of missionaries, themselves seeking only to love God by loving those to whom they were sent.  To be on a mission is to move beyond oneself – whether one’s physical place or one’s current circumstances – to make a difference in someone else’s life.  In this is the call to a different kind of love.  The red hearts of Valentine’s Day invite us to the wonderful feeling of knowing that someone thinks the world of us.  The missionary heart challenges us to the satisfaction of knowing that, in the example of Jesus, we give of ourselves that others might live and their world might be made new.  The missionaries that brought the faith to St. Kateri and St. Pedro inspired both to love with missionary hearts: Pedro by leaving homeland to spread the faith and Kateri by leaving the life she knew to embrace another in devotion to God. In the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives, we too are called to love with missionary hearts, to move beyond ourselves for the sake of others.  Is it taking time out of our schedule to spend with someone who is alone?  Is it some knowledge or skill that we have with which we might help someone in need?  Is it some form of blessing that we have received that we can share with others?  Let Fides Ecclesiae inspire you to fall in love with a missionary heart.

St. Pedro Calungsod with the missionaries en route to the Marianas Islands or Guam.

Obama huddles with police chiefs on gun campaign WASHINGTON, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) – US President Barack Obama on Monday surrounded himself with top police chiefs and sheriffs to crank up pressure on Congress to back his drive for measures to cut down on gun violence. “I’m looking forward to a robust conversation. I know it’s not a shy group, mainly because they deal with a life and death situation every single day,” Obama said at the meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. “No group is more important to listen to than our law enforcement communities. They are where the rubber hits the road.” Obama made measures to stem murderous firearms violence a centerpiece of his second term agenda, after America was traumatized by the massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut in December. Monday’s meeting included sheriffs and police chiefs from cities including Salt Lake City, Chicago

and Aurora, Colorado, the site of a gun massacre at a movie theater last year. Also at the meeting was Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe. Obama this month took 23 executive actions and challenged Congress to pass new laws, including renewing a ban on assault weapons, and closing loopholes that permit 40 percent of gun sales to take place without background checks. Vice President Joe Biden, who drew up the administration’s new gun control policy last week, was at Monday’s meeting after last week taking the campaign into gun country in Virginia, to engage lawmakers and local leaders. Virginia, adjacent to Washington, illustrates the heavy political winds Obama, Biden and top gun control advocates in Congress are facing. The driving force in the gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, is headquartered in the state, and firearms can legally be carried openly.

Hacker group Anonymous downs US government site WASHINGTON, Jan 26, 2013 (AFP) – Hacker group Anonymous said it disabled the US Sentencing Commission’s website Saturday in revenge for the death of Internet freedom advocate Aaron Swartz, and vowed to release government data. The website of the commission, an independent agency of the US Justice Department involved in sentencing, was apparently hacked into early Saturday. Anonymous threatened to make public the encryption keys to files that could potentially embarrass judges and other federal employees, saying it acted in protest at the Justice Department’s alleged mishandling of Swartz’s case. Swartz was facing 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine for breaking into a closet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to plug into the computer network. He downloaded millions of academic journal articles he had allegedly planned to distribute for free. Friends and relatives have accused overzealous prosecutors of contributing to the 26-year-old’s suicide. He was found hanged in his New York apartment earlier this month.

St. Kateri singing the Canticle at the Woods, when the Nature Comes Alive with her song of praise.

US pending homes sales dip amid tight inventory WASHINGTON, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) – US pending home sales dipped in December as inventory remained tight, but the upward trend in the housing market continued, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. The NAR’s pending home sales index, an indicator of future sales, fell 4.3 percent to 101.7 in December, down from a 106.3 reading in November. The decline, after three months of gains, surprised analysts who had estimated no change in pending home sales during the year-end holiday month. December pending home sales still were up 6.9 percent from a year ago, the 20th consecutive month on the rise, NAR said. “The supply limitation appears to be the main factor

holding back contract signings in the past month,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, adding: “Buyer interest remains solid.” NAR said that even with some sellers remaining reluctant to put their homes up for sale more than six years after prices collapsed, pent-up demand and mortgage interest rates hovering at record lows point to continued improvement ahead. Yun forecast existing-home sales to increase another 9 percent in 2013, following a 9 percent rise in 2012. Barclays analyst Michael Gapen agreed the latest pending home sales numbers were a welcome sign. “The broad trend in pending home sales mirrors that of the broader housing market,” he said. “The recovery in US housing has sustained momentum.”

Ready for Romance: Valentine’s Day 2013 Raffle Contest Valentines Day has, throughout the years, been one of our society’s most anticipated holidays. It is a day filled with a nuanced combination of passion, interest, intrigue, excitement, nervousness and new horizons. For many, it is a start to their New Year with their significant other, or maybe it is their first date with someone new in their life. Regardless of your unique situation, we at Balita Media, O-Skin Care, Colina Salon and Café Sierra would like to do what we can to make sure your 2013 Valentine’s Day is truly one to remember. As result, we will be hosting a raffle contest from January 26 to February 10, 2013. Individuals that apply will be entered for a chance to win several pairs of prizes for both themselves and

of course, in true Valentine’s Day fashion, their date. The winner of the raffle competition will receive several services including: two free facial appointments from O Skin Care, two free hairstyling sessions courtesy of Marlou Colina Salon and lastly, a dinner for two at Café Sierra, located at the Hilton of Universal city, which is redeemable before, during, or after Valentine’s Day. Applicants may enter the contest through a variety of mediums: entry forms will be available online at www.WeekendBalita. com, and www. Individuals may also fill-out the entry forms found in Weekend Balita or US Asian Post, and send them to: Balita Media, Inc., 520 E. Wilson Ave. Ste. 210, Glendale, CA

91206. Remember, should you decide to apply via mail, the mail must arrive prior to the February 10th deadline; online submissions will be processed and entered immediately. Applicants will be required to submit their name, age, phone number, and e-mail address. It should be noted that all questions must be answered to qualify. The raffle draw will be held on February 11, 2013. The winner will be contacted by phone and e-mail immediately after the conclusion of the drawing. Balita Media, O Skin Care, Marlou Colina Salon and Café Sierra would like to sincerely thank you for your continued support and would like to wish you the best of luck in our raffle contest. We hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day.


Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013




vide incentives for people to come here illegally –precisely the signal a blanket amnesty would send.” Although the bill seeks to boost security measures, it also vows to “strengthen prohibitions against racial profiling and inappropriate use of force,” as well as improve training for border patrol agents and increase oversight. In a bid to combat visa overstays, the lawmakers offered a requirement for those in the country illegally to register with the government. Around 40 percent of the illegal immigrants now in the United States entered the country legally but then let their visa expire, according to official estimates. But under the plan, they would also be able to earn “probationary” legal status – to live and work legally in the US – after passing a background check and paying a fine and back taxes. Those with a “serious” criminal background or who otherwise threaten US national security would not be eligible for legal status and would face deportation, according to the framework document. “Individuals with probationary legal status will be required to go to the back of the line of prospective immigrants” and pass an additional background check, among other requirements, the document said. Under the plan, individuals who fulfill the requirements could eventually obtain a green card for permanent residency. On Sunday, the bitterly divided lawmakers expressed optimism they could unite on immigration reform. “I’m confident, guardedly optimistic, that this time we can get it done,” McCain told ABC television’s “This Week,” confirming that Republican and Democratic senators had been meeting on the issue in recent weeks. McCain, who once championed

spect us as a sovereign state, and we’d like to thank them (that) they are respecting our sovereignty and are very careful about our sensitivities. But that doesn’t exempt them from having to comply with our laws,” he said. He pointed out there will be an investigation once the USS Guardian is removed from the area. Aquino said he wants to know how the ship, with its sophisticated navigation systems, ended up in a protected area.

From page 1

comprehensive reform but backtracked during his failed 2008 presidential run, said there was a greater willingness to address the issue after last year’s election, in which the increasingly important Hispanic vote swung strongly behind Obama’s Democrats. He also acknowledged that Republicans were “losing dramatically” the Hispanic vote. Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who attended a meeting on Friday between Obama and congressional Hispanic leaders, said he too was “cautiously optimistic.” “I see the right spirit. I see things that were once off the table for agreement and discussion being on the table with a serious pathway forward,” he said. During Obama’s Nevada trip, his first since being sworn in last week for a second term, Obama will “redouble the efforts to work with Congress to fix the broken immigration system this year,” the White House said. A bill backed by Obama that would have legalized the status of many of the undocumented immigrants living in the United States died in Congress at the end of 2010 because of opposition from Republicans, including Rubio. Reforming America’s aging immigration system is the only major issue that has generated some degree of political consensus since the November elections. Hispanics voted massively for Obama, flexing their growing political heft in several key states, and since then Republican leaders and well-known conservative commentators have jumped on the reform bandwagon.


From page 1

On the other hand, he said the Tubbataha area is an internationally recognized zone. “They violated it, there are penalties. Then they will have to address all of these violations of our pertinent laws,” he said. For now, he said the priority is to remove the ship, then to assess the damage. “Gusto nating malaman kung bakit nangyari ito, para ma-prevent in the future (We want to know why this happened, so we can prevent a repeat of the incident),” he added.

Meanwhile, Aquino indicated he was not keen on accommodating the call of some groups to review the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement in the wake of the incident. He pointed out the VFA merely governs the conduct of visiting US troops when in military exercises in the Philippines. “Anong koneksyon nung VFA sa pagpunta nila sa Tubbataha? Wala namang exercises doon. Again, this is really a question of violating certain ecological laws that we already have in the books,” he said. (MNS)


to see that both sides understand the importance of reforming our family-based immigration system, which will strengthen our economy, increase diversity and remove the bureaucratic barriers that force families to live apart for years.” The Senate-proposed principles tackle our long backlogs of family members waiting in line to come to the U.S., but at the same time did not expand immigration benefits to same-sex partners. The principles also create a foundation for building an immigration system that enhances legal immigration by at-

tracting a diverse workforce of all kinds from the everyday laborer to the high-skilled employee. “Our current immigration system is broken, and it disproportionately affects the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said Erin Oshiro, senior staff attorney for immigration and immigrant rights.  “As the fastest growing minority group in the U.S., AAPIs are focused on this issue and AAJC will continue to work with Congress to make our system fair, efficient and humane by reducing wait times and

protecting immigrant families.” As of November 2012, nearly 4.3 million family members were waiting abroad in family backlogs, and of that 4.3 million, almost 2 million are from Asian countries. Of the top five nations with the highest number of individuals waiting abroad, four are Asian: the Philippines (462,145), India (332,846), Vietnam (267,281), and China (240,637). For more information about family immigration, please visit AAJC’s website atwww.advancingequality. org. 


roundtable with Global Business Executives at the sidelines of his participation to the WEF Annual Meeting here in Davos. “These are truly exciting times for our country. We are realizing the long-untapped potential of our country, and we are here to invite you to join us, he said. The President cited the three priority sectors for investing in the country, namely, tourism, agriculture, and infrastructure. In the agriculture sector, the President said the Philippines is on its way to becoming an rice ex-

porter. “Since I came into office, our government has been working towards rice self-sufficiency by going back to the basics and helping our farmers through improved irrigation systems and a genuine certified seeds program,” the President said. “Rice production has been increasing, and through these methods, we are on our way towards our next goal: becoming an exporter of rice,” he added. On the country’s revitalized coconut industry, President Aquino said that in 2011, the Philippines has exported more than

16.7 million liters of coco water, up from the 483,862 liters of coco water in 2009. He noted that that the coco coir fiber, transformed into geotextile materials, has among others, been found effective in erosion control. He added that the DPWH is already using this technology in their projects. On tourism, President Aquino mentioned the Department of Tourism’s “It‘s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan because Filipinos have always been “proud of the beauty of our country, and of the hospitality of our people,” he said.


time, the political and economic life of not less than 90 million Filipinos continue to be controlled and/or dictated upon by 4 political clan alliances (Lakas, NPC, LDP, LP)...” the

petition read. Penson pointed out that it is the responsibility of Congress to define political dynasties since the constitutional bar is “not self executing.” (MNS)

ERAP BLAMES From page 1

Estrada, however, noted that the dispositive portion of the pardon signed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo restored his civil and political rights. Alicia Vidal, the lawyer-complainant in the disqualification case, said she merely wants this clarified since the challenges in 2010 did not prosper. Vidal confirms she is a friend of Lim and that the mayor was both surprised and elated by the move. However, she said Lim had nothing to do

with this. Vidal confirmed her lawyer, retired Justice Rodolfo Palatao, is also Lim’s friend. Palatao said under the Local Government Code, anyone convicted of a capital offense cannot run. Estrada’s lawyer Frank Chavez said the case has a nuisance value. The Estrada camp already filed its reply. Both sides were at a preliminary conference today at the Comelec. (MNS)

GRACE POE From page 1

The Filipino-American community in Southern California is mourning the passing of Luisa and Son Bake Shop founder, Rosie on Friday, Jan. 25 at the Long Beach Community Hospital in Long Beach, California. She was 67. The Filipino-American community in Southern California is mourning the passing of Luisa “Aling Rosie,” she founder, was fondly called by her Jan. business and friends, left a and Son Bakeas Shop Rosie on Friday, 25 atcolleagues the Long Beach Community legacy that began in 1997 in Norwalk, Hospital in Long Beach, California. SheCalifornia. was 67. She was also the daughter of the founder of the famous original Luisa and Son restaurant and bakeshop back in the 1950s to 1970s in Manila, Philippines. “Aling Rosie,” as she was fondly called by her business colleagues and friends, left a legacy that began in 1997 in Norwalk, California. She was also the daughter of the founder Aling first migrated toand the Son US in 1987 to pursue her dream thetodefunct of theRosie famous original Luisa restaurant and bakeshop backofinreviving the 1950s 1970s bakeshop that became a recognized institution in Manila. For years, she worked at several in Manila, Philippines. Filipino bakeshops and markets until she struck an opportunity to start her own business in 1997, together with her sonto Fernando Del Rosario. Aling Rosie first migrated the US in 1987 to pursue her dream of reviving the defunct bakeshop that became a recognized institution in Manila. For years, she worked at several Sixteen years later,and Aling Rosieuntil hasshe built a highly reputable to Filipino bakeshop, widely Filipino bakeshops markets struck an opportunity start her own business in patronized by the 1997, together withFilipino-American her son Fernandocommunity, Del Rosario.from San Francisco to San Diego, even reaching the East Coast. Her aspiration of reviving a lost establishment has been fulfilled. She left ayears total of three expansions, thebuilt original Luisareputable and Son inFilipino Norwalk; at the Uni-Mart Sixteen later, Aling Rosie has a highly bakeshop, widely complex in Artesia, both in California; community, and one in Imus, Philippines. patronized by the Filipino-American fromCavite, San Francisco to San Diego, even reaching the East Coast. Her aspiration of reviving a lost establishment has been fulfilled. “Nanay” survived by her children, Annabelle and Hector; and Anthony; and She left aistotal of three expansions, the original Luisa and Marilou Son in Norwalk; at theDaisy Uni-Mart Randy; and byand herone grandchildren, Michelle and Merson; Alfred and complexFernando, in Artesia,and bothGrace; in California; in Imus, Cavite, Philippines. Cristina; Angela, Antonio, Enrico, Ernest, Elyssa, John, and Joshua. “Nanay” is survived by her children, Annabelle and Hector; Marilou and Anthony; Daisy and Her remains are atand theGrace; Greenand HillsbyMortuary at 27501 S. Western Rancho Palos Randy; Fernando, her grandchildren, Michelle andAve., Merson; Alfred and Verdes, 90275. Viewing schedules are: Tuesday, Jan. from 3:00pm to 8:00pm, and Cristina;CA Angela, Antonio, Enrico, Ernest, Elyssa, John, and29, Joshua. on Wednesday, Jan 30, from 9:00am to 8:00pm. There will be a Mass service on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 3:00pm. Her remains are at the Green Hills Mortuary at 27501 S. Western Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. Viewing schedules are: Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 3:00pm to 8:00pm, and on Wednesday, Jan 30, from 9:00am to 8:00pm. There will be a Mass service on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 3:00pm.

rial term. He is now tied at ranks 5-6 with Sen. Koko Pimentel in the latest survey. Juan Miguel Zubiri (47%) now ranks 7th in the race. Cynthia Villar and Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile dropped slightly in the SWS rankings but remained in the “Magic 12.” Both are tied at 8-9. Trillanes improved his ranking and is now tied at ranks 10-11 with Poe. Trillanes is currently involved in a word war with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, father of the senatorial candidate. In 12th place is Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, daughter of Vice-President Jejomar Binay. She ranked 10-11 in the last SWS survey. SWS said Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara, who ranked 13th in the survey, could still catch up to Binay. At least 39% of Filipinos said they would vote for Angara, compared to 43% for the Vice-President’s daughter. Richard Gordon, who was ranked 12th in the last survey, has fallen behind in the latest SWS survey. He fell to 14th place with 36%. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, cousin of President Benigno Aquino, fared slightly better in the latest survey but was still out of the winners’

circle. He ranked 15th with 34%, followed by Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay Jr. (33% -16th place) and Jamby Madrigal (28% - 17th place). LP bet Risa Hontiveros was tied with UNA bet Ernie Maceda at ranks 18-19, followed by Tingting Cojuangco (20), Mitos Magsaysay (21-22) and Edward Hagedorn (21-22). Bro. Eddie Villanueva, a newcomer in the Senate race, ranked 23rd in the latest survey. Villanueva substituted for Bangon Pilipinas senatorial candidate Israel Virgines, who withdrew his candidacy last December 20. He was not included in the 2 previous SWS surveys. The January 2013 SWS-BW pre-election survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 registered voters who were asked to pick up to 12 names from a list of 33 official senatorial candidates. The error margins are ±3% for national and ±6 for area percentages. (MNS)

THE US ASIAN POST Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013



N. Korea defiant over nuclear test SEOUL, Jan 27, 2013 (AFP) – North Korea has vowed “high-profile measures” in the latest in a series of threats sparked by a tightening of UN sanctions, state media said Sunday, suggesting it was determined to press ahead with a third nuclear test. The warning by leader Kim JongUn came a day after Pyongyang said the planned test was a “demand of the people” following sanctions adopted last week in response to the North’s defiant long-range rocket launch on December 12. In a meeting with top security officials, Kim expressed the “firm resolution to take substantial and high-profile important state measures” in light of the “grave situation” of the peninsula, state TV said. It did not elaborate on the measures, an apparent reference to its plans to conduct a nuclear test even as China and the US have sought to pressure Pyongyang into backing down. It accused the United States of leading “unprecedented anti-North moves” at the United Nations and hampering the North’s efforts for

economic development by slapping more sanctions. “This fact proved once again that the (North) should defend its sovereignty by itself. It became clear that there can be no denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula before the world has been denuclearised,” state TV said. Top officials including military chief Hyon Yong-Chol, the head of the army’s politburo Choe RyongHae and spy chief Kim Won-Hong attended the meeting, it added. The North has stepped up hostile rhetoric against Seoul and Washington since the UN Security Council resolution that expanded the number of North Korean entities on an international blacklist. The United States, supported by Japan and South Korea, spearheaded the new UN resolution prompted by the North’s rocket launch, which Pyongyang insists was a peaceful mission to send a satellite into orbit. But the rest of the world sees it North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with military leaders. Photo from Kim Jong Un’s Facebook page as a ballistic missile test banned unlast week threatened to conduct a ity to strike the United States but it der UN resolutions triggered by the and 2009. North Korea’s top military body third nuclear test and boost its abil- did not specify a time frame. North’s past nuclear tests in 2006

US group visits Taiwan base amid subs speculation TAIPEI, Jan 27, 2013 (AFP) – A US congressional group paid a rare visit to a Taiwan naval base Sunday, a military source said, raising speculation about efforts to revive a US deal to provide the island with eight submarines. The delegation, led by Edward Royce who is chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, arrived Saturday as part of a visit to East Asia, according to the de facto US embassy, the American Institute in Taiwan. “While in Taiwan, the delegation will meet with senior leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, trade and other significant issues,” it

said in a statement. The delegation visited the Tsoying naval base in the south for a briefing and boarded a warship Sunday before meeting Kaohsiung city mayor Chen Chu, the military source told AFP, without providing details. The United States remains the leading arms supplier to Taiwan despite switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. In April 2001 then-President George W. Bush approved the sale of eight conventional submarines as part of Washington’s most comprehensive arms package for the island since 1992.

Since then, however, there has been little progress in filling the order. The United States has not built conventional submarines for more than 40 years and Germany and Spain reportedly declined to offer their designs for fear of offending China. “The military will voice its desire to obtain the submarines while briefing the US congressional delegation, given Taiwan’s pressing need,” the Liberty Times quoted an unidentified officer as saying. The Taiwanese navy currently has four submarines, but only two of them – Dutch-

Taiwan billionaire launches Asian ‘Nobel prize’ TAIPEI, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) - One of Taiwan’s richest men on Monday launched what has been widely touted as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize, and it is even more lucrative than the famed Swedish award. Samuel Yin, head of the sprawling Ruentex business empire which has invested heavily in China, said that by donating Tw$3 billion ($101 million) for the Tang Prize he had fulfilled one of his biggest dreams. “I hope that the prize will encourage more research that is beneficial to the world and humankind, promote Chinese culture and make the world a better place,” he said in a statement released by the prize foundation. The prize is named after China’s Tang Dynasty (618-907), which is much admired by Yin, the foundation said. The dynasty has inspired generation af-

ter generation with admiration for its vibrant characteristics of self-confidence and cosmopolitan inclusiveness, which are the qualities that the Tang Prize seeks to promote, it said. Beginning in 2014 prizes will be awarded every two years in four different categories – sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and the “rule of law” – to individuals, regardless of nationality. The winner in each category will receive Tw$50 million ($1.7 million), compared to the eight million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million) that comes with a Nobel Prize. The Tang Prize will help raise Taiwan’s profile in the international scientific community, the statement said. Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.

built – could be deployed in the event of war. The other two were built by the United States in the 1940s. Tensions between Taiwan and China have eased markedly since President Ma Ying-jeou came to power on a platform of strengthening trade links and allowing more Chinese tourists to visit. Ma was reelected in January. But Taiwan, which has governed itself since 1949, still sees the need to modernize its armed forces because China regards the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.



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Taiwan president presses for US subs deal TAIPEI, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) – Taiwan urged the United States Monday to honor an agreement to supply submarines to replace its current elderly fleet, as a US congressional group visited the island to evaluate defense needs. President Ma Ying-jeou voiced the desire while meeting the group led by Edward Royce, chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs. \ “The two Guppy-class (submarines) joined the Taiwan force more than 40 years ago when I was with the navy. Now indeed they are very old and need to be replaced,” Ma told his guests. He was referring to two diesel-electric submarines built in the 1940s, which the US congressmen saw while travelling to the island’s southern Tsoying naval base Sunday. After being retired by the US navy, the vintage warships were sold to Taiwan in 1973 and have since been used for naval training. The United States remains the leading arms supplier to Taiwan despite switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. In April 2001 then-President George W.

Bush approved the sale of eight conventional submarines as part of Washington’s most comprehensive arms package for the island since 1992. Since then, however, there has been little progress in filling the order. The United States has not built conventional submarines for more than 40 years and Germany and Spain reportedly declined to offer their own designs for fear of offending China. Royce told reporters his group had held talks with Taiwanese admirals about possible ways to remove barriers to the arms deal, but did not elaborate. The Taiwanese navy currently has two other submarines which are Dutch-built, and these are the only ones which could be deployed in case of war. Tensions between Taiwan and China have eased markedly since Ma came to power on a platform of strengthening trade links and allowing more Chinese tourists to visit. He was re-elected in January. But Taiwan, which has governed itself since 1949, still sees the need to modernise its armed forces. China regards the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

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Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013



Hillary can’t predict her future, as 2016 looms WASHINGTON, Jan 27, 2013 (AFP) – With only days left until she steps down as America’s top diplomat, Hillary Clinton left the door open Sunday to a possible future run in the 2016 presidential elections. And, in a rare joint interview with CBS, she appeared to win the endorsement of none other than President Barack Obama, the man who beat her in the 2008 race to be the Democratic Party’s nominee. For months, 65-year-old Clinton has insisted that after more than two decades in the political spotlight she intends to step back into the shadows, catch up on some rest and enjoy some downtime for a change. But with her popularity riding high – at around 65 percent according to a Washington Post-ABC poll last week – many believe she will bounce back to take another shot at being the nation’s first woman president in 2016. “I am still secretary of state. So I’m out of politics,” Clinton told CBS television’s “60 Minutes” carefully, leaving herself the option of reviving her career once she leaves government. A woman who has devoted much of her life to public service, as first lady and as a New York senator, she stressed she still cared “deeply about what’s going to happen for our country in the future.” Clinton said neither Obama nor “I can make predictions about what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next year,” in comments bound to rekindle speculation that she could be preparing a 2016 run. “What we’ve tried to do over the last four years is get up every day, have a clear eyed view of what’s going on in the world. And I’m really proud of where we are,” she added. Obama did nothing to dampen speculation, heaping praise

on Clinton and saying he believed she “will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we’ve had.” “It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I’m going to miss her,” he added, saying he wished she was staying on. “I want the country to appreciate just what an extraordinary role she’s played during the course of my administration and a lot of the successes we’ve had internationally because of her hard work,” Obama added. The joint sit-down interview, which was filmed at the White House, was apparently Obama’s idea, and some observers saw it as an early endorsement should she choose to run for president in 2016. Obama will have to stand down after serving the statutory maximum of two terms, but Hillary Clinton says she cannot predict her political future, but this Hillary Clinton 2016 Facebook Page says something definite. his endorsement is likely to give any candidate a could focus on dealing with the economic crisis facing the big boost. Often the vice president becomes the natural choice as the nation. But he dismissed criticism the United States had become incumbent party’s presidential nominee. It is not clear yet reluctant to take a lead in the more complicated issues of the if Vice President Joe Biden will make a tilt for the White day, such as Syria, arguing the late Libyan dictator Moamer House, but he will be 73 years old come 2016. Obama hailed Clinton for having been one of his “most Kadhafi probably would not agree with that assessment. “We do nobody a service when we leap before we look. important advisors,” saying she had established “a standard in terms of professionalism and teamwork in our cabinet, in our Where we... take on things without having thought through all the consequences of it,” Obama said. foreign policy making.” “Our job is to, number one, look after America’s security Their relationship had evolved into a friendship, with “a and national interest. But number two, find where are those sense of trust and being in the foxhole together,” he said. He told CBS he had asked Clinton from the start of her opportunities – where our intervention, our engagement can tenure in 2009 to go out and represent America abroad so he really make a difference.”

‘Hey, mama, I made it’: LeBron at the White House

Foreign visitors flock back to post-disaster Japan TOKYO, Jan 25, 2013 (AFP) – The number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2012 surged 34.6 percent from the previous year as the tourism sector rebounded after the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster, the government said Friday. Overseas arrivals totaled more than 8.3 million, just short of the record 8.6 million seen in 2010, the Japan National Tourism Organization said. “The inauguration of new services by low-cost carriers and the easing of visa-issuance conditions by the Japanese government have also contributed to the in-

crease,” an official from the organization said. The number of visitors in 2011 plunged to 6.2 million, hit by the massive earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeast and sparked a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant in March that year. The number of visitors from mainland China slipped by more than a third in December from a year earlier following a flare-up in a territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing, however for the full year, numbers were up 37.1 percent. Annual arrivals from Taiwan were up 47.6 percent to a record 1.4 million.

WASHINGTON, Jan 28, 2013 (AFP) – Basketball-loving President Barack Obama joined LeBron James and the Miami Heat in putting on a gushing show of mutual admiration Monday as the reigning NBA champions were lauded at the White House. Obama, a fervent pick-up player and coach of his daughters’ teams, praised the Heat as part of the US president’s ceremonial duty of honoring top professional and collegiate sports teams. “I know this is the first trip for some of these players, but a few of them were here a couple of years ago for a pickup game on my birthday,” Obama said. “Now, I’m not trying to take all the credit ... but I think that it’s clear that going up against me prepared them ... it sharpened their skills. It gave them the competitive edge that they needed. “Part of the reason they came back today is they want another shot at the old guy.” Obama was surrounded by players such as Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller, Shane Battier and James, the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points, as he praised the Heat for burying egos in their 2012 championship run.

Asia’s gambling apartheid




of nearly 1.2 trillion won (1.1 billion dollars) in 2011, more than all the 16 foreigner-only casinos SEOUL, Jan 27, 2013 (AFP) – The casino combined. industry is booming across Asia, offering anyone This despite rules that restrict any individual looking for high-stakes action a wide choice of from gambling more than 15 days a month – ID venues, from high-tech South Korea to the Hima- cards must be shown – and impose a maximum layan nation of Nepal and communist Vietnam. house wager of 300,000 won ($280). Anyone, that is, except South Koreans, NepalThe overcrowding led to calls for other casinos ese or Vietnamese. to be opened to Koreans but the government has For conservative Asian countries, the finan- resisted, insisting that Kangwon Land was a onecial pros and social cons of casino gambling pose off project with the sole aim of revitalising an ecosomething of a dilemma – one that several have nomically depressed area. chosen to resolve by adopting a foreigner-only acDirector Kim warned that other casinos, especess policy. cially in major cities, would be swamped if access The upsides are obvious in a region where rapid was extended to all. development has nurtured a taste and capacity for “If we let Koreans in, there would be no room high-end leisure activities. left for foreigners, which would defy the whole Casinos provide a consistent source of hard purpose of the casinos in the first place,” he said. currency revenue, fuel tourism – especially from Nepal and Vietnam operate 100 percent forsought-after high rollers from mainland China – eigner-only casino policies, although in the case of and boost the local economy. Nepal it’s a regulation often observed in the breach. Macau, now the world’s largest gaming hub, Vietnam’s first casino opened in 1992 and there saw its gaming revenue jump 13.5 percent to a re- are now seven, with two more in the pipeline. cord $38 billion in 2012. According to the finance ministry, casinos genBut the social impact of gambling is equally erated around 1.5 trillion dong ($72 million) in tax well documented, in terms of addiction and bro- revenues in 2012. ken families, as well as criminal activities like For Vietnamese nationals, all gambling apart loan-sharking. So a number of Asian countries from a state-run lottery is banned, although ilhave tried to have their cake and eat it, by building legal betting – on everything from cock-fighting glitzy casinos but barring – or strictly limiting – to English Premier League football matches – is entry to their own citizens. widespread. Kim Jin-Gon, director of tourism in South KoWhile Vietnamese gamblers have no access to rea’s Culture Ministry, cited a widely-held belief a place like Kangwon Land, they can simply cross that Koreans are particularly susceptible to gam- into Cambodia, where huge casinos have been bling addiction. built near the border that cater almost exclusively “Our feeling is that Korea does not have a ma- to Vietnamese tourists. ture culture that could enjoy gambling simply as a Cambodians, needless to say, are not legally leisure activity,” Kim said. “We block Koreans from allowed to gamble in their own casinos, though casinos because the fallout would be too big.” presumably they would be welcomed at those in Remote exception packs them in Vietnam. South Korea’s ban is not total. Of the country’s An “anxious” compromise in Singapore 17 licensed casinos, one – Kangwon Land Resort Perhaps aware of the contradictions thrown up – is open to locals. by foreigner-only policies, Singapore has opted for Its remote location in a mountainous area, sev- a compromise of open casino access but with speeral hundred kilometers and a three-hour express cial restrictions for the island state’s citizens and bus ride from Seoul, was supposed to deter salary- long-term residents. men from nightly excursions during the working A Sg$100 ($80) entry fee aimed to filter out week. low-income gamblers, while any Singaporean who But special “bullet taxis” offer a high-speed, had filed for bankruptcy or received long-term fiwhite-knuckle service that promises to get punters nancial state aid was automatically barred. there in half the time, and attendance and revenue After a 2011 official survey showed an increasfigures seem to support the theories about Koreans’ ing proportion of low-income gamblers playing proclivity for gambling. Kangwon Land pulls in an with large sums, the ban was expanded in June average 10,000 visitors a day – around five times last year to include the unemployed and those on the actual seating capacity – and boasted revenue short-term welfare.


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Wednesday -Wednesday Tuesday, January 30 - June February - Tuesday, 13 - 5, 19,2013 2012

Yoga may soothe depression, improve your nighttime sleep (Relaxnews) – If you need a reason to unroll your yoga mat and strike a pose, a new published review finds that the practice may soothe depression and help sleep problems. Researchers from Duke University in the US examined results from 16 well-designed studies of yoga’s effect on mental illness and found that yoga helped people with depression and sleep problems, even if they didn’t take medication. Yoga was also found to help those suffering from schizophrenia and ADHD while on medication. Most of the studies on depression included subjects with only mild depres-

sion, so it’s not clear if yoga can help those with more severe forms of the disorder, reports MyHealthNewsDaily. Also, the studies focused on group yoga classes, so the social interaction from the classes could play a role in boosting mood. The findings were recently published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. A separate study published last year found that yoga may help women cope with depression during pregnancy as well as boost maternal bonding. The findings were published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

A new review of studies suggests that yoga may help with minor depression and sleep problems. Photo: George Dolgikh/

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Medical kiosk may be the doctor’s office of the future (Relaxnews) – If spending your lunch hour flipping through year-old magazines in your doctor’s waiting room isn’t your idea of fun, healthcare technology company HealthSpot has a solution: a medical kiosk – located in pharmacies and grocery stores – that uses video conferencing and diagnostic technology to check your health. At each walk-in kiosk, or HealthSpot Station, an attendant is on duty to answer questions. Inside the kiosk you’ll find an array of diagnostic tests, such as an oximeter, blood pressure cuff, dermascope, patient touch-

screen, video conference screen, otoscope, and stethoscope. Patients can chat with physicians in high-definition video conferencing, in a system designed to “take the pressure off a beleagured health care system” in the US, reports Gizmag on Sunday. The concept, which was on display at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has already run a six-month trial program in Columbus, Ohio, where the company is headquartered, reports Dvice.  Next, HealthSpot will roll out at the Miami Children’s Hospital and it has forged a partnership with doctor network Teladoc.

A pre-breakfast workout may burn more body fat (Relaxnews) – If you’re trying to lose weight, opt for a morning workout routine: researchers say that you can burn 20 percent more body fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach. Researchers from Northumbria University in the UK recruited 12 active men to perform a bout of treadmill exercise at 10 am, after they had either eaten breakfast or not eaten anything since the evening before. After the workout, all subjects drank a chocolate milkshake recovery drink. Then later in the day they ate a pasta lunch, where they were asked to eat until they felt “comfortably full.”  Morning exercisers didn’t consume additional calories to compensate for their earlier activity, and those who worked out in a fasted state burned almost 20 percent more fat compared to those who had eaten breakfast beforehand.  The findings are published in the British Journal of Nutrition. A separate study announced last year suggests that a brisk morning workout may reduce your appetite throughout the day. Researchers from Brigham Young University (BYU) in the US recruited 35 women in their study, with findings published in the October issue of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013


I ran away. I’m fine. I’ll be back on Sunday By Pia Cabanel

I’ve seen the hash tags #explore/#breathe so many times it just dawned on me: I haven’t done it in a while. Darn it, I haven’t done it for a long time. Everyday antics swallow most of my week. I daydream of activities but by weekend my reverie gets fogged up with laundry, errands or frying my brain with nonsense programming because you just don’t want to think out of exhaustion. For months, I haven’t had that smirk on my face when you feel great about yourself for you have left and no clue on where to go, yet overwhelmed with that sense of freedom and endless possibilities. This week, “endless” meant $100 or under. I only wanted three things, see art, dip my feet in sand and get a jumping shot of myself with the ocean behind me. I went on and literally hunted for an area with word “beach” attached to it and still be on budget, hoping the city’s name is as good as it sounds: Solana Beach, Ca. Now, I have a destination. I just have to secure not starving to death. A roundtrip ticket from Glendale, Ca was for $62. I had $38 left. I looked at my empty

backpack and thought, water is good, no, water is best. I filled up an insulated bottle so I won’t be so parched like a dried up prune. Dehydration, covered. Slammed two ham and cheese sandwiches and hunger, checked. Bought a local deal online, $10 for $20 worth cupcakes for a little local treat. $28, I’m still rich. To not be a full blown lost drifter, I jotted notes on places to see. Tripod and flip flops in hand I set off on a journey alone. I arrived a little past 11 a.m. and immediately was pleasantly engulfed with the city’s quaint and genteel atmosphere. It smelled of damp sand and clean crisp air. Bikers, runners and a handful of similar looking day tourists like myself sporting a backpack and wide smiles, roam the little town. It was a landscape for the adventurous and a backdrop for the wanderlust. After breakfast with tip and $13.37 left in my pocket, I started to #explore the Cedros Design District, a stone throw away from the train station and the beach. It’s a 2 ½ block of shops from art to wine, books to yoga. I purchased some home decor trinkets which were all half off and unbelievably have four shiny

Author Pia Cabanel is airborne while spending and enjoying her day at Solana Beach in San Diego, California.

quarters remaining. By this time, I’ve thrown my notes and have let the locals guide me. Prancing and snapping my camera away, I noticed I was smiling, for I was here. I left my town to see what’s out there. Cooled my heels on the beach and had a laugh as people watch me attempt the perfect jumping shot. I have forgotten whether my couch has missed my buttocks or the fact that show on my recorder will still fry my brain next week-

end while I fold the laundry. As the train leave sunset dusts, I came back refreshed, renewed and revitalized. Sounds like a commercial? Yes, indeed. Taking the time off leads to a clearer mind and I can sell myself now better than yesterday. Because at times, the act of leaving is as important as the arrival. (The title was from a postcard found by the writer in Solana Beach, Ca; author unknown.)

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the temperature was about the same. Women were more receptive to flirting when being approached, and were more willing to give out their phone numbers, on sunny days. More than 22 percent of women did so when the sun was out, as opposed to just under 14 percent on the cloudy days. Past research has found that people are more likely to flirt and exchange phone numbers in the presence of pleasant smells, romantic music, or certain colors, noted the research team. Findings, announced January 28, were published in the journal Social Influence.

Health apps abound, but usage low: study (WASHINGTON-AFP) – US consumers are being offered a cornucopia of smartphone apps to track or manage health, but only a small number of people are using them, according to a survey released Monday. The Pew Research Center’s study found that only about seven percent of people surveyed used a smartphone app to track a health indicator like weight, diet, exercise routine or to monitor a chronic disease such as diabetes. “There’s still a low uptake in terms of apps and technology,” said lead researcher Susannah Fox. “It is surprising. We’ve been looking at health apps since 2010, and health app uptake has been essentially flat for three years.” The research suggests that consumers are slow to latch on to smartphone technology for health even in a market with hundreds of new apps coming on the market to manage weight and track blood pressure, pregnancy, blood sugar, diabetes or medication. “There’s a proliferation of choices, and consumers are being faced with a food court of options,” Fox told AFP. “What we see is that consumers are losing their appetite.” Fox said her research and other studies have shown that systematic tracking for health issues is helpful. “People are reporting that tracking as an activity is having an impact,” she said. “But I can’t make a judgment on whether it’s better to use paper and pencil or an app.” The researchers found that 19 percent of smartphone owners have downloaded an app related to health, although these were not necessarily used for monitoring a specific health issue. Exercise, diet and weight features are the most popular types of health apps downloaded, the study found. Some 38 percent of health app users track their exercise, 31 percent monitor their diet and 12 percent use an app to manage their weight. Around one in seven adults surveyed track a health indicator like weight, diet or exercise routine for themselves or another person. Roughly half of those tracking their health or symptoms said they keep track of progress “in their heads,” with that 21 percent use some form of technology, which could include spreadsheet, medical device or app.

THE US ASIAN POST Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013





Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013


MOTORING Driven to distraction: Audi demonstrates self-driving cars

The Audi A7 Sportback piloted parking demonstrator. The car can park and un-park itself remotely.

(Relaxnews) – Audi’s new autonomous car concepts will not only make owners feel like a famous fictitious secret agent, they are also designed to make the stress of driving in dense traffic and trying to park in narrow spaces a thing of the past. In “Tomorrow Never Dies,” James Bond eludes his captors by hiding on the back seat of his car and driving it via a remote control located in his mobile phone. When the film came out in 1997, some remarked that it was a little far-fetched, but autonomous and remote-control car technologies have existed for many years, and now, a little

more than a decade later, Audi is essentially demonstrating the exact same features – minus the heat-seeking missiles and smokescreen—on two of its executive sedans. Whereas in the Bond film, the technology was designed to protect the dashing secret agent from henchmen working for a maniacal media baron, Audi’s systems have been installed in two vehicles, one created to save drivers from the drudgery of gridlocked roads and the other from the stress of trying to park and exit a vehicle. First publically demonstrated in an Audi A6 Avant as part of this year’s

International Consumer Electronics Show, when a driver encounters stressful driving conditions such as heavy congestion or major traffic jams, an autopilot system can take over and guide the vehicle with perfect lane discipline at speeds of up to 37mph (60 km/h). Using ultrasonic and radar sensors as well as video cameras, the car can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front and reduce speed or apply the brake if necessary. It is also aware of blindspots and of distances relevant to crash barriers and highway markings and can even react cooperatively to other cars attempting to change lane or overtake. All of which allows the driver ultimate peace of mind and a chance to relax when those around him or her are becoming more and more stressed. Parking a car is one thing, but parking a car in a tight space and then managing to exit it, along with the other passengers, babies, strollers and luggage without bumping doors against walls or even other cars is another.




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Good at multitasking? Doubtful, according to new study (Relaxnews) – People who believe they are good at multitasking are actually terrible at it, according to a new study from the University of Utah. “What is alarming is that people who talk on cells phones while driving tend to be the people least able to multitask well,” says psychology Professor David Sanbonmatsu, a senior author of the study. “Our data suggest the people talking on cell phones while driving are people who probably shouldn’t.” What’s worse: practice doesn’t help matters, at all. “In fact, the more likely they are to do it, the more likely they are to be bad at it,” adds fellow senior author psychology professor David Strayer.  The research team tested multitasking ability among 310 university students, involving memorizing letters while calculating basic arithmetic problems. Students also ranked themselves on whether or not they were talented multitaskers. Study subjects reported how often they used a mobile phone while driving and what percentage of the time they spent on the phone while driving. Participants also completed questionnaires that measure impulsivity and sensation-seeking, the researchers say. Seventy percent of the participants said they were above-average at multitasking. The 25 percent of the subjects who performed best on the multitasking ability test “are the people who are least likely to multitask and are most likely to do one thing at a time,” Sanbonmatsu says.

THE US ASIAN POST Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013





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Angelica says she Dawn in talks to hardly sees John Lloyd replace Maricel in series

Angelica Panganiban

Actress Angelica Panganiban seems to have a problem finding time for her boyfriend, John Lloyd Cruz. Panganiban admitted that these days she hardly sees her boyfriend, who’s busy with a lot of projects, but are trying their best to see each other at least once a week. “Bihirang magkita talaga, bihirang magkasama. Kapag may free hour kami, for example, kapag tapos na siguro ang gathering ko with my family, pwede ko siyang puntahan or vice versa. Sinusubukan naman naming magkita once a week,” Panganiban said. The actress also expressed concern on reports that Cruz is having health problems because of his work. “Well siguro ang dami na kasing ginagawang trabaho – may movie siya ngayon at tinapos ang ‘A Beautiful Affair” at may commercials na ginagawa at personal na kailangang gawin. Kahit sino namang tao ay bibibigay ang katawan kapag ganon. Hopefully maiwasan talaga na magkasakit as much as possible. Sino ba ang gustong magkasakit ka?” Panganiban said. Cruz, who just wrapped up “A Beautiful Affair” with Bea Alonzo, is now finishing his third movie with Sarah Geronimo titled “It Takes A Man And A Woman,” while Panganiban is gearing up for her upcoming series “Apoy Sa Dagat” with Diether Ocampo and Piolo Pascual. (MNS)

Jennylyn Mercado remains silent on son’s relationship with ex-lover ACTRESS Jennylyn Mercado remained silent on the relationship of her son Alex Jazz and his father, actor Patrick Garcia. In a recent interview with the “Indio” actress, Jennylyn tried to dodge the questions of the entertainment press about Patrick and said that her family is in a better place now. “Ayoko nang pag-usapan yan. Basta happy na kami and may kanya kanya na kaming buhay. Basta ang importante happy na kami, healthy kami at wala na kaming nasasaktan at hindi kami nag aaway-away,” she said. When further asked if Patrick still visits Alex Jazz and if there’s a healthy father-son relationship between the two, Jennylyn added: “Okay na ang buhay ko. Okay na yung pamilya ko. Walang problema. Hindi ko na kailangan problemahin pa.” Jennylyn said aside from her family, her showbiz career and happy relationship with

television host Luis Manzano are her focus this year. The actress said she is hoping for the best and for her romance with Luis to last. “Ganoon naman ang relasyon ng bawat tao, lahat ng makakasam nila ay sana forever na. Sana tumagal at hindi magkaroon ng problema,” she said. According to her, they now know how to handle the relationship and they are rarely affected by issues in the entertainment industry. “Naiintindihan na namin. Alam na namin paano i-handle ang isa’t isa. Marunong na kaming makiramdam. Normal naman yung sa showbiz and hindi mo naman talaga yung maiiwasan,” she said. Jennylyn is currently busy taping “Indio” and is a regular in “H.O.T TV” and Party Pilipinas. She’s also working in a movie with Lovi Poe and Paulo Avelino entitled “The Bride and The Lover”(MNS)

Actress Dawn Zulueta confirmed that she is in talks to take over the role of Maricel Soriano in the upcoming drama series, “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin.” Zulueta said the producers of the new ABSCBN series had already sent her the storyline. “At nagustuhan ko rin (ang story),” she said. “Right now ang nangyayari ay naguusap ang business manager ko na si Boy Dawn Zulueta Abunda, at saka ang ABS-CBN at malalaman natin sa Lunes kung ano ang desisyon.” Last week, reports on Soriano’s alleged outburst on the set of the upcoming drama series circulated online. The 47-year-old actress allegedly lost her temper over co-star

Gerald Anderson’s numerous takes in filming a scene. Soriano’s management and that of ABS-CBN’s – which produces the TV series – have since decided to exclude the Diamond Star from the cast. Star Magic, ABS-CBN’s talent management arm, however, backed Anderson’s “unassailable personal character and professional behavior,” following the alleged incident. Zulueta admitted that she is leaning towards accepting the project. “It’s a wonderful story and a wonderful cast. ‘Yung likelihood na tatanggapin ko ito is pretty high but it’s still pending nga sa mga usap-usapan nila, ni Boy Abunda at saka ng executives. Sa Lunes talaga pa namin ‘yan ma-co-con¿rm,” she said. (MNS)

Manalo open to work with ex-boyfriend Prats Beauty queen turned actress Bianca Manalo is now open to do project with former boyfriend John Prats. Manalo believes it’s time to finally move on from the breakup. “It’s been a while you know. Kung magi-

stick ka pa sa kung ano ‘yung nangyari dati ay walang mangyayari. Dapat lahat tayo ay umuusad tayo ever single day. So, work ‘yan eh sayang naman hindi ba,” Manalo said. Manalo confirmed her breakup with Prats in May last year. (MNS)

Piolo Pascual gears up for busy year Actor Piolo Pascual is expecting a busy year with several projects already lined up for him in 2013, including a new series and a movie. Pascual is set to return to primetime TV via “Apoy Sa Dagat” with actress Angelica Panganiban as his leading lady. Aside from the series, Pascual is also set to release a new album and a movie “On The Job” with Gerald Anderson and Rayver Cruz. “Ang ‘Apoy Sa Dagat’ is going to come out a few weeks from now. We’d been working on it since mid-year last year,” the actor said. “I’m happy. Marami tayong sinimulan last year, ngayon lahat ‘yon ipapalabas.

I’m excited because we are starting the year right,” Pascual added. Pascual also assured his fans who are getting worried about his obvious weight loss. The actor explained he is now into swimming and cycling on top of his regular workouts. “Sa pinaggagagawa ko sa buhay ko sa pagtakbo-takbo ko, sa training ko nagsiswimming ako nagba-bike ako. Eh naaadik ako sa bike lately, tapos nagwo-workout pa ako,” he said. He added: “Tapos eating right at sleeping right, pati ang pagtulog nakakapayat yan, tamang oras sa pagtulog, so wala akong sakit.” (MNS)

Janice no longer Nikki says ‘Apoy sa Dagat’ role her most ‘draining, enriching’ praying for new love Actress Janice de Belen is already content as far as personal life is concerned. De Belen, the former wife of actor John Estrada, said she’s now at the stage where she’s no longer looking for a partner. “Seriously, wala ngang gustong maniwala sa akin but I don’t pray for it (love life). Kasi siguro now, I’m at this point where I’m content with what I have. There are things that I enjoy now na never kong na-enjoy before because of the choices that I made that I don’t regret,” de Belen said. The veteran actress also believe that after all the things she’d been through, now is the time for herself. “Ngayon kasi parang mas clear ang utak ko, nag-iisip. I feel now is the time for me, so it’s me time,” she added. Currently, de Belen is busy with the primetime hit “Ina Kapatid Anak.” (MNS)

Janice de Belen

Although her role in an upcoming ABSCBN drama series is limited, Nikki Gil considers it her most “enriching” portrayal to date. During a press conference held Tuesday for 9 Works Theatrical’s staging of “They’re Playing Our Song”, the 25-year-old singeractress recalled her experience filming for the new ABS-CBN soap “Apoy sa Dagat”. “It was by far the most draining experience ever, but at the same time the most enriching in terms of acting and in the arts because I was able to work with a really fantastic director, beyond amazing, Direk F.M. Reyes,” Gil said. Starring Angelica Panganiban, Piolo Pascual, Diether Ocampo and Angel Aquino, the upcoming series will start airing during ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida block in February. “The story is wonderful. I’m excited for the rest of the story. Because we did only the pilot episode, that was like a week-long lang, and I wish I could work with them longer,” said Gil, who starred in the afternoon drama

“Mundo Man ay Magunaw” last year. In a recently released trailer for “Apoy sa Dagat”, Gil’s character is separated from her daughter after a ship accident. She is also caught in a love triangle with the characters portrayed by Patrick Garcia and Empress Schuck. “It’s a really heavy role, because that’s what the pilot needs,” Gil said. “We had to give it all in that one week. That was super... I was like, I’ve already killed everyone I love in my head, and I felt like when I go home, if something bad happens, I wouldn’t have any more tears to shed.” In the press conference that preceded the interview, Gil related that she had to adjust anew to stage acting, after doing “teleserye crying.” Unlike her character in “Apoy sa Dagat”, Gil’s new theater role is “quirky and funny.” Starting February 8 at the RCBC Plaza in Makati, Gil will take on the role of lyricist Sonia Walsk in 9 Works Theatrical’s revival staging of the musical comedy “They’re Playing Our Song”. (MNS)

THE US ASIAN POST Wednesday - Tuesday, January 30 - February 5, 2013


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US Asian Post January 30, 2013  

US Asian Post is published by Balita Media Inc. for Filipino-Americans. It is distributed all over the United States.

US Asian Post January 30, 2013  

US Asian Post is published by Balita Media Inc. for Filipino-Americans. It is distributed all over the United States.