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Vol. 2. No. 36

LOS ANGELES

A Balita Media Publication

Wednesday - Tuesday, May 22-28, 2013

PHL rejects Taiwan ‘murder’ claims

A National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent arranges weapons turned over by the Philippine Coastguard as part of investigations over the fatal shooting incident of a Taiwanese fisherman, before the start of a news conference at the NBI headquarters in Manila May 17, 2013. Taiwan imposed sanctions against the Philippines on Wednesday, rejecting the apology given by the Philippine government for the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman last week. The fisherman was killed in a shooting last week by the Philippine coastguard in waters off the northern Philippines. Taiwan said the killing took place in its exclusive economic zone and was a violation of international law. (MNS photo)

MANILA, May 18, 2013 (AFP) – The Philippines Saturday rejected Taiwan’s allegations that Filipino coastguards had intentionally murdered a Taiwanese fisherman whose death has triggered a major diplomatic spat. The 65-year-old fisherman was shot dead by Philippine coastguards who said his vessel intruded into Philippine waters. Chen Wen-chi, head of the Taiwan team investigating the May 9 incident, said most of the bullets had hit the fishing boat’s cockpit where its crew hid. “By combining the...evidence, it clearly shows that the Philippine law enforcers were intentionally shooting the Guang Ta Hsin 28 crew members, which indicates their intent of murder,” Chen told a news conference in Manila.

Public uproar prompts NBI to speed up Taiwan incident probe MANILA, May 18 (Mabuhay) -The head of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) team probing the death of a Taiwanese fishermen suspected of poaching near the Batanes Group of Islands last May 9 said on Friday they are speeding up their investigation due to the public uproar caused by the incident. “We want this finished fast (dahil) sobra na ang reaction (We want to finish the investigation

fast because there’s too much reaction,” NBI Deputy Director Virgilio Mendez said. The shooting happened after Philippine authorities tried stopping a group of Taiwanese fishermen allegedly fishing in Philippine waters off the coast of Balintang Island in northern Philippines. News of the the fisherman’s death a public uproar over in TaiSee NBI SPEED UP, page 6

tack: “They smashed his arm with a (baseball) bat. He was taken to hospital, and the case is under police investigation. “People are emotional, and tensions are running high. You (Filipino workers) should stay at home and eat indoors before and after work,” he added. Perez is chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, which handles trade and other relations with Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties. The Philippines, like most countries, formally recognises China over See OFW TO LIE LOW, page 6

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay © looks up as he talks to visiting former National Basketball Association (NBA) player and owner of the Shanghai Dongfang Sharks Yao Ming, during his visit at the Coconut Palace in Manila May 6, 2013. Yao and his Shanghai Sharks basketball team are in Manila on a friendly visit, local media reported. (MNS photo)

JPE allies: Too early to talk about new Senate chief MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) – Amid talks of a looming change in the Senate leadership, two allies of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile believe it is still too early to even talk about replacing him as head of the chamber during the 16th Congress. Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, who placed 12th in this year’s senatorial race, told reporters on Monday there’s no guarantee all senators from the administration Team PNoy would elect a new Senate president from their ranks. “Kung ang pagsasama nila ay

See PHL REJECT CLAIMS, page 6

MANILA, May 18 (Mabuhay) -- Vice President Jejomar Binay will undertake a working visit to Germany on June 4 to 9, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday. The DFA cited information from the Philippine Embassy in Berlin saying the visit seeks to further promote Philippine-German bilateral relations. In a news release, the DFA said the visit also seeks to “sustain the momentum created by the earlier exchange of visits between Secretary Albert del Rosario and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.” “Germany is home to more than 20,000 Filipinos, the biggest trading partner of the Philippines in Europe and a potentially rich source of foreign investments,” it

said. Itinerary The DFA said Binay is to be a keynote speaker at the official opening of the Asia Pacific Weeks (APW) 2013, one of the most important biennial international business gatherings in Berlin. Binay will also be the guest of honor at the Architekturforum Aedes, where top Filipino architects will hold an exhibit featuring sustainable forms of architecture and cities in the Philippines. He will also meet with German business leaders in events organized by the Economic Council Germany in Berlin and the German Asia Pacific Business Association (OAV) in Hamburg. He will also preside over a dedicated presentation on “Makati See BINAY TO GERMANY, page 6

Only 6 local bets, party-list groups to be proclaimed MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said that at this point, all but six local posts and party-list groups have been proclaimed. Brillantes dismissed calls for a repeat of the proclamation of the first senators-elect, saying they were already re-proclaimed during the two subsequent proclamation rites. Brillantes lashed back at critics of the poll body’s implementation of the automated elections, which included the early proclamation See ONLY SIX BETS, page 6

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. (third from left) raises the hands of (from left to right) Senators Chiz Escudero, Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Peter Cayetano and Sonny Angara Thursday night at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. (MNS photo)

Chen’s comments echoed those made by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in Taipei on Friday. “If (Philippine) civil servants used automatic weapons to fire at unarmed and unprovocative fishing boats, this was not carrying out their job duties. This is coldblooded murder,” Ma said. Aquino made a “personal” apology on Wednesday over the “unintended” death arising from the patrol’s duty of protecting Philippine waters against illegal fishing. Manila insisted its forces fired in self-defence to disable the boat’s engine and prevent it ramming the patrol craft. Taiwan has rejected the apology. It recalled its de facto envoy, banned the hiring of new

VP Binay to go on working visit to Germany June 4-9

OFWs told to lie low amid Taiwan row MANILA, May 17, 2013 (AFP) – Philippine’s de facto envoy to Taiwan on Friday warned compatriots living on the island to avoid public places after a Filipino man was attacked and hospitalised by a gang of youths amid simmering tensions. The shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by a Philippine anti-poacher last week sparked a diplomatic row which an official apology by Philippine President Benigno Aquino has been unable to resolve. Speaking on a Manila radio station, Amadeo Perez recounted the latest at-

The shooting, which Manila insists occurred inside Philippine territorial waters but which Taipei counters happened within its exclusive economic zone, has led to Taiwanese sanctions against its neighbour. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman Ricky Carandang rejected the murder allegations. “There is an investigation ongoing so any premature statements that tend to confuse the issues and inflame passions should be avoided,” Carandang told AFP. De Lima in a separate statement also urged everyone to refrain from making statements “that would further fuel or aggravate the prevailing tension between the Philippines and Taiwan”.

Majority reject Japan mayor on comfort women BY KYOKO HASEGAWA

tumagal beyond May 13, we can make that assumption,” said Honasan, who ran under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). “Ang question is, tatagal ba sila? Tatagal ba ang pag-iisang dibdib nila?” Team PNoy candidates dominated the polls, with nine of them winning and only three from UNA. Reports quoted Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago as saying the Liberal Party’s Sen. Franklin Drilon and newly reelected Sen.

TOKYO, May 20, 2013 (AFP) – A large majority of Japanese people disagree with a high-profile politician who said women forced to provide sex during World War II were a military necessity, polls issued Monday said. Up to 200,000 “comfort women” from Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere were forcibly drafted into brothels catering to the Japanese military during WWII, mainstream historians say. Outspoken Osaka mayor Toru

See JPE ALLIES, page 6

See COMFORT WOMEN, page 6

President Benigno S. Aquino III accepts the credentials of His Excellency Mahmoud Mostafa Ahmed, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Philippines, during the Presentation of Credentials at the Music Room of the Malacañan Palace on Monday (May 20). Egypt and the Philippines established bilateral, diplomatic and trade relations in 1946 where the two countries enjoy a strong and glorious relations. (MNS photo)

Saudi signs accord to protect Filipino maids  MANILA, May 20, 2013 (AFP) – The Philippines said Monday it had signed a historic agreement with Saudi Arabia that would protect thousands of Filipina maids from being exploited in the Middle Eastern kingdom. The agreement guarantees Filipina maids benefits like a day off each week while preventing their hiring costs from being deducted from their salary among other safeguards, said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a statement. “We are very confident that cases of abuse will be less after this agreement takes effect because the agreement ensures fair and humane treatment of our HSWs (home service workers),” she said. She estimated that 60,000 domestic helpers from among the

670,000 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia would benefit from the accord which would also attract more Filipinas to work in Saudi Arabia. Under the agreement, Saudi Arabia is committed to set up a 24-hour hotline for labor dispute resolution, the department said. The agreement is aimed at preventing exploitation of Filipina maids such as confiscation of their passports to control them, overworking them with no rest days and preventing them from returning home. It follows a row that erupted in 2011 when the Philippines insisted on a minimum wage for its maids among other measures. Saudi Arabia initially resisted See SAUDI SIGNS ACCORD, page 6


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Who’s afraid of Miriam? Add Nancy Binay Senator-elect Nancy Binay on Monday admitted she is “afraid” of facing off against Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago now that they are colleagues in the upper chamber. When asked if she is afraid of any lawmaker in the Senate, Binay said: “Siguro si Senator Miriam na yung medyo...kasi si Senate President [Juan Ponce] Enrile nakasama ko na siya during the campaign.” Santiago is a former trial court judge known for being a terror legislator when it comes to debating controversial issues. However, Binay said she will be preparing for her work as senator so she can interpellate Santiago. The senator-elect said she will get advice from Senators Loren Legarda and Jinggoy Estrada as well as enroll in short courses at the University of the PhilippinesNational College of Public Administration and Governance (UPNCPAG). “UP graduate naman ako di ba? I think I just have to prepare, di ba? I have attended a few hear-

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ings with my father. Once in a while, he appears in the [Senate] committee hearings as chairman of [Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council] and I have seen how they work,” she added. She said she will still support Enrile as Senate president but will be OK with joining the Senate minority if he is ousted. (MNS)

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A man pulls down election posters of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Vice Mayor Francisco Domagoso as he cleans the surroundings of a school used as a voting center during the mid-term elections in Manila. (MNS photo)

Malacañang appeals to candidates to help cleanup of campaign paraphernalia MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) -- Malacañang appealed to all candidates who participated in the May 13 midterm elections to help the Metro Manila Development Authority in cleaning up all campaign paraphernalia that still litter the country’s streets. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte issued the appeal in a press briefing aired over government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday. She said it was the candidates’ duty to show the

true meaning of public service by joining hands with the MMDA and clear all campaign paraphernalia. “Sa lahat ng kandidato, sana naman huwag niyo namang iwan yung kalat ninyo. Tulungan ninyo naman ang MMDA,” Valte said. “Kahit hindi kayo nag-wagi o kaya hindi kayo pinalad, pakita natin ang puso natin para sa public service by helping MMDA clear yung mga posters, tarpaulin at yung iba’t ibang paraphernalia na iniwan niyo mula nung huling eleksyon,” she stressed. (MNS)

Brillantes wants October 2013 barangay, SK polls postponed MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec), under fire at the heels of the May 13 elections, may postpone the October 2013 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to late next year or early 2015. According to Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., postponing the barangay and SK elections to a later date will give the poll body time to deal with the protests that may come following the recently concluded midterm elections. “[By 2014], tapos na, nakapagpahinga na kami, naayos na ‘yung mga problema. Tapos malayo pa ‘yung preparation sa 2016 [elections],” said Brillantes in an interview Monday. “Ngayon, katatapos lang namin [sa 2013 elections], we expect protest cases.” The poll chief prefers the barangay and SK elections to be moved to October 2014 or to January 2015. Postponing the elections, howev-

er, would mean amending the law that required the barangay and SK polls to be held on the last Monday of October. According to Republic Act No. 9164, synchronized barangay and SK elections shall be held “on the last Monday of October and every three years thereafter.” Brillantes said they would endorse bills in Congress seeking for such postponement. “Mayroon ng mga pending bills. Ie-endorse namin ‘yun. At ako officially, I will endorse a postponement,” he said. In the Senate, Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla has filed Senate Bill 3242, which aims to synchronize the barangay and SK elections with the May 2016 national and local elections. Meanwhile, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. filed bill Senate Bill 2377, which seeks to postpone the polls to October 2015. Brillantes has expressed apprehension over moving the barangay and SK elections in October 2015, saying it would be too close to the 2016 elections, which would include the presidential race.

With elections over, PNP lowers alert levels in most parts of country MANILA, May 18 (Mabuhay) – With the Election Day “fever” dying down, the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday morning lowered its alert level in most parts of the country to “normal.” PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the downgrading took effect at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday. However, Cerbo said the PNP units in Mindanao, from Regions 9 to 13, will downgrade only to heightened alert.

The PNP went on full alert last May 6 for the midterm elections, where Filipinos were to choose 12 senators and officials at the local level. Under a full alert status, leaves are canceled and all personnel are to be at their posts at any given time. During the May 13 election, police worked with soldiers to ensure the peaceful conduct of polls. They also assisted voters at the polling precincts last Election Day. (MNS)

Roxas says nothing personal vs Revillas, but upset by judge who refused warrant MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) – Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said the Election Day incident involving the failed bid of lawmen to search the house of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. for guns and armed men is a legitimate police operation to enforce the PNP’s election duties as imposed by the Commission on Elections. And he hinted at making liable a local judge who refused to give the police a search warrant for the senator’s home. It was not, Roxas insisted, a standoff. “That is a normal police procedure or operation and I leave it to the ground commanders what is right. As I understand it, the police personnel were already pulled out,” Roxas said. At the same time, the DILG chief hinted at wanting to hold accountable the local courts that refused to grant the police a search warrant for the home of Revilla, whose lawyer obtained a writ of amparo or protection order from a judge late Friday. This forced the PNP to pull out some 100 policemen who had staked out the Revilla compound in Bacoor City since Election Day, when police first nabbed six NBI agents who wielded guns and claimed they responded to Revilla’s call for help amid alleged security threats. Earlier, Revilla accused the police of allowing itself to be an instrument of the camp of Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson to harass them. Lacson’s son had lost the vice gubernatorial race to Revilla’s son, and the chief of the local police, who was in charge of the team that staked out outside the Revilla compound in Bacoor City on the morning of

May 13, was once a subordinate of Lacson, a former director general of PNP. On Monday, Roxas reiterated the policemen were going after armed men who took refuge inside the Revilla compound in Bacoor City, Cavite on the morning of May 13. The incident led to the arrest of six agents of the National Bureau of Investigation whom Revilla sought to provide them security. High-powered firearms were also recovered from the vehicles used by the suspected armed men who took refuge inside the Revilla compound. The police, however, had failed to secure additional warrants from the court to search for 30 men, supposedly armed and still hiding inside the compound. Failing thrice to secure a search warrant for the senator’s home, the police was forced to pull out its personnel. “They applied for search warrant, but to no avail. The PNP has to respect the judge’s decision not to give warrants,” Roxas said. “Siguro ang judge ngayon ang dapat na managot kahit napakaraming witness kasama na ang media ang nakakita sa mga taong armado ng [Maybe it’s the judge who must now be held accountable for that decision – for refusing to give a warrant even though there were so many witnesses, including mediamen, who saw the men with] high-powered automatic firearms,” added Roxa He said some of the guns were seen in the vehicle of the six men who responded to Revilla’s call for help. “Mga NBI kuno sila, hindi pala organic sa NBI [They claimed to be from NBI, but turns out they’re not organic personnel of the bureau].”


THE US ASIAN POST Wednesday - Tuesday, May 22-28, 2013

LOS ANGELES

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Malacanang says Hollywood stars’ recent visit to the Philippines ‘ good press’ MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang said on Sunday that the recent visits to the Philippines by big-name Hollywood stars meant “good press” for the country that could result into more tourist visits and further spur the country’s economic progress. Hollywood’s A-list celebrities Vin Diesel and Sarah Jessica Parker were in Manila last week to lead the Asian premiere of the

sixth installment of the action movie “Fast and the Furious” and to formally open retail giant SM’s newest mall in Taguig City, respectively. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the stars’ visit to the country meant that they “have had good experience here with us” that she hoped would be passed on to their friends and fans to entice them

to visit us also. “That’s good press for us kasi naging kasama ang Manila doon sa Asian premiere ng nasabing pelikula and certainly generates good press for us especially since the reports that have been coming out are that these personalities have had good experiences here with us,” Valte said. “…and hopefully this reaches their friends and their fans and that this will encourage them to visit us also,” she added. (MNS)

Mancao not leaving: It’s more fun in PHL MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) – Former police senior superintendent Cezar Mancao II on Monday said he has no plans to leave the country, belying a supposed intelligence report by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that he was trying to secure a passport. “Hindi ko alam kung anong intelligence information ang naga-gather o nai-report kay [Secretary Leila de Lima]. Wala naman akong effort, wala akong balak umalis ng bansa dahil mahirap kumuha ng visa sa America. Kaya dito lang ako, sabi nga: ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines,’ it’s more fun outside the jail,” Mancao said. DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima earlier bared Mancao’s alleged plans to to leave the country, saying the fugitive ex-cop was trying

to secure passports for himself and two others. The justice chief said she decided to divulge the information as a “preemptive” measure, adding that Mancao is now sporting a wig. Still in Luzon Mancao, who ran for board member in Compostela Valley but lost, said he was not able to go to the province to campaign. He also revealed he is still in Luzon. “Hindi nga ho kasi baka madamay pa sila sa kaso ko eh. Mas marami pang madadamay na tao. Kaya minarapat ko na lang na dito na lang muna sa bandang Luzon,” he said. In the same interview, Mancao also accused Liberal Party Compostela Valley vice-gubernatorial bet Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora

of practicing vote-buying in the province. “Si ‘Way Kurat’ doon, iyung dating congressman na tumakbong vice governor. Iyun ang nangunguna. Kahit nandoon na raw ang tao sa presinto, eh binibili pa ang boto. Ang daming witnesses, ‘di lang makapalag,” he said. Mancao bolted the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) detention facility in Manila on May 2 upon learning that the Manila trial court hearing the Dacer-Corbito double murder case, where he stands as an accused, ordered his transfer to the city jail. Mancao said his life will be in danger inside the city jail. The DOJ has since removed him from the witness protection program. (MNS)

Palace confident MMDA chief can account for jump in wealth MANILA, May 18 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday voiced confidence Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino can explain the sudden increase in his wealth in 2012, based on his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also noted being in government service has taken its financial toll on other government officials as well, as their wealth went down last year. “I have not spoken to him (To-

lentino) but I’m sure he would be happy to shed light. We will contact Chairman Tolentino,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.But she also noted the new SALN form provided for many new computations such assessed values of their assets and liabilities.Tolentino’s SALN in 2012 showed his net worth was P43,773,691.02, more than P20 million up from his net worth in 2011, which stood at P22,540,381.52. On the other hand, Valte said there were some Cabinet sec-

retaries whose net worth went down.Presidential peace process adviser Teresita Deles’ net worth based on her SALN dropped to P7,092,974.17 in 2012 from P21,832,293 in 2011. Education Secretary Armin Luistro still had the lowest declared net worth at P550,651.14, lower than his declaration of P739,006.14 in 2011. “A number of them came from the private sector and (had) higher paying occupations prior to this. We all know salary in government is not competitive,”

Hollywood actress Sarah Jessica Parker, of the popular TV series Sex and the City, speaks at a news conference during the opening of SM Aura Premier shopping mall in Taguig, Metro Manila May 16, 2013. SM Aura Premier will be open to the public on May 17, and is among the shopping malls owned by Filipino-Chinese tycoon, Henry Sy Sr. (MNS photo)

Palace: Airports, BI on alert for disguised Mancao MANILA, May 18 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday said it expects immigration personnel to be on alert for possible attempts by former police Superintendent Cezar Mancao II to leave the country under a disguise, now that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has bared such a supposed plot. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also said de Lima’s disclosure of such a supposed plan shows the government has not forgotten other cases while it focuses on the May 9 shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters. “Sigurado akong alam ni Sec. De Lima at kasamahan natin sa NBI ang kailangan nila gawin,” Valte said on government-run dzRB radio, when asked if airport and immigration personnel will now be on alert for Mancao. The Justice Department, which De Lima heads, has jurisdiction over the NBI and the Bureau of Immigration. Earlier, De Lima cited intelligence reports indicating a lawyer is trying to secure passports for Mancao and two others. While she said it is not impossible to sneak out of the country, she decided to make this intelligence information public as a “preemptive move.” De Lima also said the lawyer helping Mancao may face charges of obstruction of justice. Mancao escaped from his detention facility at the NBI last May 2, claiming he feared getting killed as he was to be brought to the Manila City Jail. Mancao is considered a suspect in the disappearance and murder of PR man Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000. Meanwhile, Valte said De Lima’s disclosure shows the government has not forgotten Mancao’s case. She said the NBI is focusing on the May 9 shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman during an encounter in disputed waters. This prompted Taiwan to impose sanctions on the Philippines.


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Cuisia: Manila will work with US, other countries for peach in South China Sea VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – The Philippines will continue to work with the United States and other countries to guarantee freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia said. “It is essential that the Philippines works with other countries to guarantee freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where an estimated $1.3 trillion in US trade flows through annually,” Ambassador Cuisia told the Annual Meeting of the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads here on Friday. “Over the past two years, the whole world has seen the increase in belligerent activity in the waters in our part of the world, particularly in the areas in and around the West Philippine Sea,” Ambassador Cuisia said. “When another country declares that it owns about 75 percent of what the Philippines owns as exclusive economic zone, we are duty bound to stand up and protect it.” “When another country stations its boats on a shoal that is a mere 120 miles from our mainland and more than 400 miles from theirs, the Philippines cannot just keep quiet,” Ambassador Cuisia said, adding that it has become more imperative for Manila to build a minimum credible defense posture, to serve as deterrent to any aggressive action that may be taken against the Philippines. In addition, Ambassador Cuisia said the Philippines has initiated arbitral procedures against China based on both countries’ common obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He said the Philippines is also working with the rest of ASEAN for a legally binding Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. “We have made it clear that we are equally committed to both processes, as we view them as complimentary and mutually reinforcing undertakings,” he said, adding that efforts to move the Code of Conduct shall be at the front and center of the ASEAN Summit in Brunei. In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia also discussed Washington’s rebalancing towards Asia. “More than a policy decision, this is actually a strategic imperative, as the Asia Pacific region has become the nexus of the world’s most dynamic of opportunities, and the most intransigent of challenges,” he said. “The Philippines welcomes this rebalancing, and as a treaty ally, recognizes and accepts our important role in this rebalance. We are working closely with the United States, our country’s only treaty ally, on mechanisms that will ensure that our security arrangements remain relevant and mutually beneficial,” he said. “We are looking at opportunities for assistance in training, capacity building and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. We have also agreed to work more closely together to enhance the economic dimension of the US rebalancing,” he added. During his visit to Virginia Beach, Ambassador Cuisia also had the opportunity to visit the USS Wasp (LHD 1), a multipurpose amphibious assault ship, at the nearby Norfolk Naval Station. The Commanding Officer of the USS Wasp, Capt. Gary Boardman, welcomed the Ambassador and officers of the Philippine Embassy and gave them a tour of the vessel. They were also able to meet with Filipino-American officers and crewmembers. ###

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Majority reject Japan mayor on comfort women: poll BY KYOKO HASEGAWA

TOKYO, May 20, 2013 (AFP) – A large majority of Japanese people disagree with a high-profile politician who said women forced to provide sex during World War II were a military necessity, polls issued Monday said. Up to 200,000 “comfort women” from Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere were forcibly drafted into brothels catering to the Japanese military during WWII, mainstream historians say. Outspoken Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto said last week these women served a “necessary” role keeping battle-stressed soldiers in line, sparking outrage in China and South Korea and inviting US criticism. Two surveys carried out over the weekend indicated that Hashimoto’s opinion is not shared by many, despite regular foreign criticism that the Japanese public has still failed to come to terms with the country’s bellicose past. In a poll of 1,550 Japanese households conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, 71 percent of respondents said Hashimoto’s comments were “inappropriate” against 21 percent who said the comments were “appropriate”. In a separate survey among 3,600 households by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, 75 percent of those who answered said the comments were “problematic”, while 20 percent said they had little or no problem with them. The United States on Thursday condemned Hashimoto’s opinion as “outrageous”. In response, he claimed that American troops abused Japanese women during their seven-year occupation after Japan’s 1945 surrender. China, South Korea and the Philippines have all voiced their disapproval at Hashimoto’s comments,

the latest episode in a decades-long controversy over interpretations of history in East Asia that colors present-day relations. Unbowed, Hashimoto on Monday hit back at the polls, criticizing their methodology. “The way the Mainichi did the opinion poll is unfair,” he tweeted. “Even though I have repeatedly said that I didn’t think the comfort women system was necessary, it is ... based on the premise that I believe the comfort women system was necessary.” The embattled mayor has tried to distinguish between forcing women into sexual slavery, which he says was wrong, and allowing troops to have a sexual outlet, which he says was necessary. Hashimoto, a lawyer by training, rose to prominence as an outspoken television talk-show guest. He rode the wave of his popularity into local politics and last year established a national party, becoming its joint leader. He has a reputation for colorful pronouncements that frequently and unapologetically offend. On Sunday he took to Twitter to demand that Tokyo do more to boost women’s rights at a Group of Eight summit taking place in Britain next month. “Japan should play a leadership role in looking at how countries in the world have trampled women’s rights on the battlefield,” he said. “Japan’s comfort women system was wrong. However, militaries in other countries used women. Nevertheless, the world only criticizes Japan as it used ‘sex slaves’.” “A sex slave is something completely different from a comfort woman,” he said without elaborating. The phrase “comfort woman” is not used in contemporary Japanese as a synonym for prostitute, and there is no mainstream evidence that any other country’s military employed a similar system.

Mexico violence claims hundreds of US lives BY LAURENT THOMET

MEXICO CITY, May 18, 2013 (AFP) – When Malcolm X’s grandson was beaten to death in a seedy Mexico City bar last week his name joined the hundreds of US citizens who have been murdered in this country in recent years. Excluding terror attacks and US soldiers killed in action, Mexico has seen more homicides of Americans than any other part of the world in the past decade, according to an AFP analysis of US State Department figures. At least 648 American citizens were murdered in Mexico between October 2002 and December 2012 -- the latest available data – representing more than 40 percent of the almost 1,600 victims worldwide over the same period. The closest country in terms of body count is the Philippines, with 84 homicides, followed by Honduras and the Dominican Republic with 77 each. There were also many more citizens of the United States murdered in Mexico than were killed in “terrorist action” around the world, with 300 deaths listed in that category since October 2002. Malcolm Shabazz, the 29-year-old grandson of civil rights leader Malcolm X, was found lying on the street in front of The Palace Club on May 9, with fatal blows to the head after he contested a $1,200 bar bill. Two waiters were arrested this week on murder charges. Mexico has more American visitors than any other nation – more than 20 million traveled to the southern neighbor last year, according to US government figures. And one million reside in this country. While Americans have been killed in random criminal acts such as robberies, some have been caught in the crossfire of Mexico’s raging drug war, which has left more than 70,000 people dead since 2006. In one of the most high profile cases, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata was killed when suspected Zetas drug cartel members shot at his car in the central state of San Luis Potosi in February 2011. And in September 2010, cartel gunmen fatally shot David Hartley, 37, as he jet-skied with his wife, Tiffany, on a lake straddling the Texas-Tamaulipas border. But some of the dead have included Mexicans with dual citizenship linked to gangs. Last year, a dozen US citizens were killed in the

state of Baja California and several held Mexican nationality, according to prosecutors. “These deaths are linked to organized crime,” Victor Adrian Ramirez, spokesman for the state prosecutor’s office, told AFP. Two brothers who were found shot dead in a house in the border city of Mexicali had been using their dual citizenship to smuggle US firearms into Mexico and bring drugs north of the border, Ramirez said. The cities that have recorded the most homicides of Americans lie in border regions where drug cartels battle for control of lucrative narco-trafficking routes to the United States. The State Department has a travel warning against visiting most border states. The homicides of US citizens also mirrored the rise in drug-related violence in Mexico over the past six years. Of the 648 murders of Americans in the past decade, 511 occurred between 2006 and 2012. They rose steadily from 33 in 2007 to a peak of 113 in 2011, before dropping to 71 last year. Tijuana saw the most homicides of US citizens in the past 10 years, with 130 deaths reported in the city that lies just across the border from San Diego, California, and was once a popular tourist draw. Ciudad Juarez, once the world’s murder capital, recorded 120 deaths and Nuevo Laredo reported 42. “If you look at how the drug war erupted and where it’s been the hottest in the past six years, your top three cities reflect that,” Scott Stewart, a former State Department special agent, told AFP. In Ciudad Juarez, for instance, the Los Aztecas gang is allied with the Barrio Azteca group that operates across the border in the Texan city of El Paso. “You have American gangsters working with Mexican gangsters hand in glove there,” said Stewart, a lead analyst at US-based intelligence consultancy Stratfor. But a State Department official cautioned against “drawing too many conclusions” from the database, noting that it was not a statistically complete account of US citizen deaths as not all are necessarily reported to consulates. The US official, who requested anonymity, declined to speculate as to why Mexico leads the list. The database shows just the date, location and type of death. Overall, 8,392 Americans were reported dead worldwide in categories ranging from road accidents to suicide, drowning and “terrorist action” since October 2002. Mexico accounted for 2,344 of all deaths, or 28 percent.

US seeking to stamp out ‘evil’ of human trafficking

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WASHINGTON, May 17, 2013 (AFP) – Hundreds of people were arrested in the United States in 2012 as authorities crack down on “the evil” of human trafficking, US officials said Friday, warning modern-day slaves could be hidden in any neighborhood. Around the world some 27 million people, including women and girls, are the victims of trafficking, US Secretary of State John Kerry said as he chaired an inter-agency White House meeting on trafficking. He had been “stunned by the stories and examples of the evil... It is nothing less than the most predatory, extraordinary modern slavery that you can conceivably imagine.” But such “degradation and depravity” is not just happening in far flung corners of the world such as Africa or Asia, he warned. Just earlier this month three young women were rescued from a house in Ohio where they had been held for a decade, Kerry recalled. Human trafficking “tears apart communities, tears apart families, challenges rule of law, not to mention that it is a moral obscenity,” Kerry added at the meeting to review progress on what he called an “unprecedented” government effort to end trafficking and help the victims.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement made more than 950 arrests for trafficking offenses in 2012, rescued some 300 people and won over 380 convictions – more than double the 144 in 2010. And a special hotline set up for victims received more than 20,000 calls last year, a 74 percent increase on two years ago. But officials admitted it was not known for sure how many trafficking victims had been hidden away across the United States. “Human trafficking is really a hidden crime, and Cleveland just indicates again to all of us the nature of that,” said Rand Beers, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He pointed to the labor market, sex trafficking and domestic servitude as the three areas that “we need people to begin to think about in their every day lives” and help shed light on the victims.


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UTREACH Sen. Reid expresses support for Filipino Vets Fairness Act Washington, D.C. – The office of Democratic US Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid- NV promised to work closely with equity champion Senator Brian Schatz- HI and other leaders to bring about the passage of S690, “The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2013,” on the floor. The negotiation capped the week long lobbying by volunteers of the Justice for Filipino-American Veterans (JFAV) at the Capitol. Earlier, the office of Senator Durbin recommended either to right away co-sponsor or vote for the bill when it’s on the floor. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, headed by Democratic Chairman Senator Bernie Sanders decided to conduct hearing for the Fairness Act and other bills related to veterans’ bills June 5 after it was cancelled last May 15. Schatz was given the right to stand up and state support for the bill he introduced. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski- AK together with Senators Mazie Hirono- HI and Mark BegichAK co-sponsored. In the House, Rep. Jackie SpeierCA introduced companion bill with 33 co-sponsors including Republican Joe Heck- NV. “I call on my colleagues in Congress to join me in moving swiftly to pass this legislation so that we can finally fulfill the promise of equal rights for thousands of veterans across the country, and fully honor the men and women who served our country

so bravely in a time of war,” said Schatz. More potential co-sponsors The US Senate historically voted unanimously 99-1 in favor of full equity in 2008 before the bill was turned down in the House. During the sit-down meetings at the Capitol, offices of Senators Blumenthal-CT and Tester-MT have promised to co-sponsor the bill. The office of Senator Maria Cantwell- WA submitted recommendation for co-sponsorship even before the sit-down meeting with equity advocates. “I am so thrilled that long after the lump sum payment bill was enacted in 2009, legislators realized that Filipino veterans are still not fully recognized as American veterans and the issue of inequity is very much alive,” said Arturo Garcia, national coordinator of JFAV. Push for full equity, not lump sum payment “The Fairness Act by Senator Schatz provides unconditional recognition and full compensation while the Promise Act by Senator Heller simply affirms the lump sum payment for pain and suffering, and minimizes benefits,” said Garcia. He added,” Fairness Act provides lifetime monthly pensions for both veterans and widows. The other bill does not even talk of equity at all nor recognize the rights of widows to receive benefits.” “They are not complementary as the other bill ne-

Lobbyists: (From left) Maile Zeng (Schatz Aide), lobbyists Chevy Evangelista, Violy Reyes, Ago Pedalizo, and Art Garcia in Washington D.C. to continue the fight to get the rights and privileges that belong to Filipino-American World War II veterans.

gates the core provisions of the Fairness Act that deals with full recognition, full compensation, racial equality, and inclusion of survivors as beneficiaries.” Advocates mobilize grassroots support “Now is the time to ask state constituents to call on the members of the Senate Committee to approve the Fairness Act and oppose the Promise Act. The time is now,” said Chevy Evangelista, youth lobbyist from New York. Advocates promised to call on families and friends in the selected states to make their voices heard via email and phone call.

Macy’s & American Airlines celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with Far East Movement Macy’s brings special performances by Cherrytree recording artists Far East Movement to 6 locations nationwide in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month NEW YORK, NY (May 1, 2013) – In honor of contributions made by Asian-Pacific Americans, Macy’s celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month this May at select Macy’s locations nationwide. Macy’s will host the platinum-selling Far East Movement (FM) for a series of performances and appearances in six markets across the country geared towards highlighting and celebrating the unique influence of Asian-Pacific Americans on American culture and pop music. “Asian-Pacific Americans have had an extraordinary impact on our nation, music and culture. We are proud to partner with Far East Movement to celebrate these achievements with our Asian-Pacific American Heritage month events nationwide,” said Dineen Garcia, Macy’s Vice President of Diversity Strategies. Each city will host a live Q&A session with FM followed by a live performance in the store. As part of Macy’s collaboration with FM, International Secret Agents (ISA) musical artists unique to each local market will also be performing with FM. ISA aims to empower and unite the Asian-American community, especially relating to the arts. Following the performances, guests are welcomed to shop the latest trends. The first 250 customers to make a purchase of $50 or more from the Junior’s or Young Men’s departments will receive the opportunity to get their picture taken with Far East Movement as well as a special gift with purchase.* while supplies last and as time permits. Macy’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Event Locations Macy’s Metro Center – Washington, DC – Thursday, May 9th @ 5:30PM Macy’s Union Square – San Francisco, CA – Saturday, May 11th @ 2PM Macy’s First Colony – Houston, TX – Sunday, May 19th @ 2PM Macy’s South Coast Plaza – Costa Mesa, CA – Wednesday, May 22nd @ 6PM Macy’s Herald Square – New York, NY – Thursday, May 23rd @ 6PM Macy’s on State Street – Chicago, IL – Thursday, May 30th @ 12noon Register in Macy’s online and mobile sweepstakes in partnership with American Airlines. Visit macys.com/ celebrate from May 1st through May 31st for a chance to win a trip for two with VIP experience to the ISA Concert in Long Beach, CA courtesy of American Airlines as well as a $1,000 Macy’s shopping spree. For complete details on Macy’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Events, please visit www.macys.com/celebrate. About Macy’s Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s

stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers. For Macy’s media materials, images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at www.macys.com/pressroom. About Far East Movement Raised in Downtown Los Angeles, Cherrytree recording group Far East Movement (Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif, and DJ Virman) embody the pulse of contemporary LA. They paid their dues at local clubs, expanding their fan base until they became city-wide stars in the wake of their first LA chart-topping pop hit, “Girls on the Dance Floor.” They made history on their debut album Free Wired when 2010’s multi-platinum selling single “Like a G6” became the first #1 Billboard Hot 100 song ever achieved by an Asian-American group. And followed with another Billboard Top 10 smash “Rocketeer.” Their sophomore album Dirty Bass features the international smash “Live My Life,” an anthemic all-night dance party featuring Justin Bieber, that reached Top 20 on Billboard and #2 on iTunes almost instantly. Their latest Dirty Bass single “Turn Up The Love” hit Top 10 in 10 countries and achieved over 50 million views on VEVO/YouTube. About Cherrytree Records Founded in 2005 by songwriter, producer and label executive Martin Kierszenbaum, Cherrytree Records has had a huge impact on modern pop, launching the 15 million album selling Lady Gaga in 2009 as well as guiding the flourishing US careers of Feist,

Robyn, La Roux, Ellie Goulding, Jessie Ware and world wide successes of Far East Movement and LMFAO and In the process, Cherrytree Records and CherrytreeRecords.com have become a source for pop alternative music and culture as well as catalysts for artist collaboration and innovation.


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SAUDI SIGNS ACCORD

San Francisco resident indicted in data hosting scheme

the demands and suspended the entry of new maids but in September of last year, it agreed to a $400 a month minimum wage and lifted the ban. About 10 percent of the Philip-

SAN FRANCISCO, May 17 – Yesterday, a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Bruce Lee Marshall, of San Francisco, for mail fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. Despite being ordered to appear in court this morning, Marshall failed to appear for his arraignment and is currently a fugitive. According to the indictment, Marshall, 38, defrauded his employer, an education technology company, of more than $100,000 by tricking his employer into believing it was sending checks to a data hosting company when, in fact, they went directly to Marshall. Marshall allegedly created a fake contract reflecting that the costs of his employer’s data hosting services were up to $16,000 per month, when, in fact, Marshall had entered into a different contract costing only $1,000 per

From page 1

JPE ALLIES From page 1

Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party are the top contenders for the Senate presidency. Honasan said, however, that it is premature to talk about having a new Senate president. He also recalled that Enrile was elected Senate president in 2010 because none of the other contenders then managed to have the support of at least 13 of their colleagues. “Hindi ko alam kung pareho pa rin

ONLY SIX BETS From page 1

of some winners using group canvass reports in lieu of the canvass certificates. “Maraming nire-raise, maraming comments, we cannot answer all of these anymore. Ok lang, pero na-proclaim na namin 12, everything should have been validated already. The only one who can go up is [former senator Richard Gordon] who is number 13. The first six was based on group canvass reports and certificates of canvass available then,� he said. Comelec has since proclaimed the number 12 in the canvassing, Senator Gringo Honasan. Brillantes explained that the group canvass report was their guide to determine if the first six to be proclaimed - Grace Poe, Alan Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Nancy Binay and Sonny Angara – have the probability to still lose. “Group canvass are officially

pine population of almost 100 million have gone abroad, mostly in the Middle East countries to work in better-paying jobs than they can get in their largely impoverished homeland.

ang sitwasyon,â€? he said. “But I think it is premature to talk about what will happen sa pagbubukas ng 16th Congress.â€? In a phone interview, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said any senator can be Senate president if he or she manages to gather 13 votes. He said Santiago’s statement that an administration ally like Drilon or Cayetano would become Senate president is just her opinion. generated by machines‌We required them to submit the group canvass so we can look and project already based on group canvass. [At] 70%, we can start computing, at di na talaga aabutan ang anim.â€? Brillantes, however, conceded that the ranking may still change in the final tally, noting the closeness of the votes received by Cayetano and Escudero. The National Board of Canvassers never published the tally based on the group canvass reports, unlike the tally based on the canvass certificates. Brillantes, however, said they are ready to provide the tally. “Kung hingi sila, bigyan namin sila‌ maraming papel.â€? Asked why they couldn’t wait two more days for the canvass certificates, Brillantes said, “That’s our discretion, we were not unanimous, we had to vote to proclaim the 7,8,9‌[but] walang deperensiya – we are sure 12 are within the winning circle‌â€? (MNS)

     

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Abusive behavior by law enforcement officers in towns across Kern County and neighboring Tulare County has generated distrust and resignation, especially among Latinos who make up the majority of the region’s population. But national media coverage of the alleged beating death by deputies of David Silva, a 33-year-old Latino father of four, in downtown Bakersfield may prompt a public reckoning with the wider issue, according to some two dozen attendees at a health care fair here interviewed by New America Media. Less than a week after Silva was beaten allegedly by eight or nine deputies and highway patrol officers, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and Fox News had all reported on the incident as well



  



 







 

  





   

 

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as on an apparent attempt to cover it up when Bakersfield police confiscated the cell phones of several bystanders who had videotaped it. So had the Spanish-language news outlet Univision, which posted a compilation of video segments titled “Most Infamous Police Beatings.� “This is a really conservative community. Most people will think something like this was bound to happen – it’s been happening in other places. But the country’s eye is now on Bakersfield and that could make the difference,� said Amy Lopez, 22, a student of dental hygiene at Cal State Bakersfield. Bill Phelps, who works with South Kern’s low-income health plan program HMC, said news of the beatings had “accelerated a huge mistrust of law enforcement across all

COMFORT WOMEN

    

The maximum statutory penalty for mail fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. Robert Rees is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rawaty Yim. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Marshall must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Kern residents – Fatal police beating didn’t happen in a vacuum

      

  

month for data hosting services. Marshall allegedly created fraudulent invoices to be sent to his employer directing his employer to send payment to Touch Fiber Network and Human Engineering Services (aka HE Services), entities he controlled. In all, Marshall allegedly fraudulently caused his employer to pay his companies more than $100,000. The investigation began in 2011 when aspects of this alleged fraud were charged against Marshall as a violation of his supervised release for a prior federal passport fraud conviction. Yesterday, Marshall was ordered to appear in court this morning for arraignment on the current charges. He failed to appear as ordered, however, and he is currently a fugitive. If anyone has information regarding his whereabouts, please call the San Francisco Field Office of the FBI at (415) 553-7400.



 

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Hashimoto said last week these women served a “necessary� role keeping battlestressed soldiers in line, sparking outrage in China and South Korea and inviting US criticism. Two surveys carried out over the weekend indicated that Hashimoto’s opinion is not shared by many, despite regular foreign criticism that the Japanese public has still failed to come to terms with the country’s bellicose past. In a poll of 1,550 Japanese households conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, 71 percent of respondents said Hashimoto’s comments were “inappropriate� against 21 percent who said the comments were “appropri-

ate�. In a separate survey among 3,600 households by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, 75 percent of those who answered said the comments were “problematic�, while 20 percent said they had little or no problem with them. The United States on Thursday condemned Hashimoto’s opinion as “outrageous�. In response, he claimed that American troops abused Japanese women during their seven-year occupation after Japan’s 1945 surrender. China, South Korea and the Philippines have all voiced their disapproval at Hashimoto’s comments, the latest episode in a decades-long controversy over interpretations of history in East Asia that colors present-day relations. Unbowed, Hashimoto on Monday hit back at the polls, criticizing their methodology. “The way the Mainichi did the opinion poll is unfair,� he tweeted. “Even though I have repeatedly said that I didn’t think the comfort women system was necessary, it is ... based on the premise that I believe the comfort women system was necessary.�

sectors of the community. Thanks to national media coverage, Kern County is now on the public radar.� Hilary Meeks, a reporter for the Visalia Times, noted that the incident hadn’t occurred in a vacuum. “There’ve been five shootings over the last four years in neighboring Tulare County ... A sheriff’s deputy ran over someone two years ago and nothing was done about it. We had a guy killed in Porterville. The court case ended in a hung jury. That was one or two years ago.� At least a third of those interviewed by NAM at the fair, held at the Kern County Fair Grounds on Saturday, had not heard about the Silva incident, although it’s been front page news for the Bakersfield Californian’s daily website, and on local TV. The embattled mayor has tried to distinguish between forcing women into sexual slavery, which he says was wrong, and allowing troops to have a sexual outlet, which he says was necessary. Hashimoto, a lawyer by training, rose to prominence as an outspoken television talk-show guest. He rode the wave of his popularity into local politics and last year established a national party, becoming its joint leader. He has a reputation for colorful pronouncements that frequently and unapologetically offend. On Sunday he took to Twitter to demand that Tokyo do more to boost women’s rights at a Group of Eight summit taking place in Britain next month. “Japan should play a leadership role in looking at how countries in the world have trampled women’s rights on the battlefield,� he said. “Japan’s comfort women system was wrong. However, militaries in other countries used women. Nevertheless, the world only criticizes Japan as it used ‘sex slaves’.� “A sex slave is something completely different from a comfort woman,� he said without elaborating.

REJECT CLAIMS From page 1

Philip+pine workers and staged a military drill in waters off the northern Philippines earlier this week. The Philippines officially recognises Beijing over Taipei but maintains trade ties with the island, which

employs about 87,000 Filipinos. Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay Saturday urged Taiwan to ensure the safety of Filipino workers following reports of attacks by angry Taiwanese. “We heard and we read

OFW TO LIE LOW From page 1

Taiwan. He was unavailable for comment, a member of his staff said late Friday when contacted by AFP. Taiwan’s leader on Friday meanwhile called for calm and promised to protect Filipinos on the island. President Benigno Aquino sent Perez to Taipei earlier in the week to convey the Filipino leader’s personal apology over the shooting.

in the papers that they have been hit by bats and four have been hospitalised,� Binay told reporters, according to an official transcript released by his office. “We are appealing to the Taiwanese people to spare our overseas Filipino workers from conflict,� he added.

However Taipei rejected the apology and imposed sanctions, including a ban on the hiring of new Filipino workers, a travel alert urging Taiwanese to avoid the Philippines, and the suspension of high-level exchanges. There are 87,000 Filipino workers in Taiwan, its government said. On Thursday Taiwan also held a military exercise in waters near the northern Philippines in response to the fisherman’s killing. The Philippine justice department is investigating the

shooting, which an Aquino spokesman described as an “unfortunate and unintended loss of life�. The government has not said when the probe would be completed. The coast guard said it shot at the Taiwanese fishing vessel’s engine in self-defence within Philippine waters after the latter attempted to ram the Filipino patrol craft. Taipei insisted the shooting occurred in international waters and demanded a formal Philippine government apology, compensation for the fisherman’s family and arrest of the killer.

ready interrogated the personnel, who executed their sworn statements. “We are about to wrap up our investigation very soon in so far as the Philippine angle is concerned. What we urgently need now are those that we expect to get from the Taiwanese side,� said Mendez. Mendez said his team is just waiting for the go signal to fly to Taiwan and start with the Taiwan phase of the investigation, in which

the team would conduct an autopsy of the victim’s remains, subject the slugs to a ballistics test, and get sworn statements from the victim’s companions in the the Taiwanese vessel Earlier in the day, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima disapproved of a joint probe but said Taiwan could conduct a parallel probe, given that they would not be allowed “access� to the Filipino personnel implicated in the incident. (MNS)

NBI SPEED UP From page 1

wan, with its government demanding an apology and compensation from the Philippine government. Taiwan has also requested to send its investigators for a possible joint probe with Philippine authorities. The NBI on Wednesday started with its investigation by examining the firearms of the Coast Guard and Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources personnel involved in the incident. By Friday, the NBI had al-


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MILF commander to file protest vs. AFP, MNLF for attack in North Cotabato

MANILA, May 18 (Mabuhay) – A commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Saturday accused the Moro National Liberation Front and the military of attacking its forces and burning its members’ houses in Cotabato last Thursday. In a post on the MILF website, MILF 108th base command head Hadji Mansur said followers of the MNLF’s Datu Dimam Ambil burned many houses owned by MILF members during the attack at Barangay Marbel in Matalam town. Although the MILF said it repelled the MNLF attack, another attack occurred in the afternoon, with the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade backing up the MNLF forces. “We will file our protest on this military-backed

MNLF attack and the necessary charges for the burning of our houses,” Mansur said. The MILF said Ambil’s forces appeared to assault their relatives with the MILF forces under Mansur. Mansur described the afternoon attack as a “blatant ceasefire violation” by the military. “The Army troops were supposed to be a neutral buffer force and should have halted the assault and the burning of houses by forces of Datu Dima,” he said. According to the MILF, the 602nd Infantry Brigade had been put up as buffer force “on their insistence,” following the first encounter between the MNLF and MILF forces in same area last May 5. Intervention by the government and MILF ceasefire committees and the International Monitoring Team

(IMT) stopped the fighting last May 5. Both sides agreed to resolve their misunderstanding through peaceful means after the May 13 elections. “The military insisted to put up their buffer force in between the feuding parties to ensure that no untoward incident would happen while works for peaceful resolutions are underway,” the MILF said. ‘Misunderstanding?’ Meanwhile, the MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities said it is “working out on the report” but expressed dismay on the alleged participation by Army forces in the attack. It emphasized the firefight is not organizational involving MILF and MNLF but a mere misunderstanding between the local forces. (MNS)

DepEd ‘s 1,000 teachers program given hiring priority MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) – The graduates of a scholarship program spearheaded by the Department of Education and the Philippine Business for Education will be given hiring priority to work as teachers in the country’s public schools, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Sunday. According to Valte, the DepEd and PBEd’s flagship scholarship program called the 1000 Teachers Program aims to uplift the image and quality of the teaching profession by attracting the best and the brightest to join the teaching ranks.

Under the program, promising high school graduates, who are part of the top ten percent (10%) of their graduating class, are recruited and given four-year B.S. Education scholarships in select schools all over the country. Scholars may major in Math, Science, English, Elementary, or Early Childhood Education and are required to maintain an average of B to stay in the program. The scholarship includes free tuition and miscellaneous fees care of PBEd’s reputable partner teaching institutions (TEIs), Php 2,000 monthly allowance, Php 2,000 semestral book allowance, and LET review and exam fees.

PHL approves three new wind farms  MANILA, May 20, 2013 (AFP) – The Philippines has approved three wind farm projects that will generate 208 megawatts, enough to power more than 40,000 middle-class homes, an energy official said on Monday. The wind projects will be the first to benefit from an incentive scheme which aims to ensure half the country’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030, compared with about 39 percent currently, the official said. The three projects are due to be operational by early 2015, said Mario Marasigan, the energy department’s renewable energy bureau chief. “We approved their declarations of commerciality. They (guaranteed) to us that they are viable under the rate of 8.53 pesos (20 cents) per kilowatt hour,” he told AFP. Under the incentive scheme, wind companies will get a fixed kilowatt hour rate of 8.53 pesos

(20 cents) rather than a fluctuating amount. The provision is part of the 2008 renewable energy law intended to spur investment in sources including geothermal, biomass, solar, hydro and wind. The largest of the projects is a wind farm to be set up in Burgos town, 320 kilometers (199 miles) north of Manila by Energy Development Corp. – the 87-megawatt project will cost an estimated $300 million, the company said in a statement. Two other wind projects of 67.5 megawatts and 54 megawatts will also be set up by local firms, Alternergy Wind One Corp. and Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp., respectively. The two firms declined to disclose how much their projects would cost. The Philippines already has one 33-megawatt wind power plant in the north, set up in 2005 before the renewable energy law was passed.

PHL approves three new wind farms MANILA, May 20, 2013 (AFP) – The Philippines has approved three wind farm projects that will generate 208 megawatts, enough to power more than 40,000 middle-class homes, an energy official said on Monday. The wind projects will be the first to benefit from an incentive scheme which aims to ensure half the country’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030, compared with about 39 percent currently, the official said. The three projects are due to be operational by early 2015, said Mario Marasigan, the energy department’s renewable energy bureau chief. “We approved their declarations of commerciality. They (guaranteed) to us that they are viable under the rate of 8.53 pesos (20 cents) per kilowatt hour,” he told AFP. Under the incentive scheme, wind companies will get a fixed kilowatt hour rate of 8.53 pesos

Lawmaker wants to include farm animals in disaster preparedness program of the gov’t QUEZON CITY, May 18 (Mabuhay) – A lawmaker has vowed to push for the passage in the next Congress of a bill that would include animals in disaster preparedness and relief operations during calamities. Rep. Raymond Palatino (Party-list, Kabataan) stressed the necessity to include animals in disaster preparedness and response programs of the government, saying that animals are highly valued as sources of food, income, transport and recreation in the country. Palatino said livestock and poultry account for roughly 30 percent of the total agriculture output, second only to the crop sector in terms of value contributed to the agricultural industry. Palatino cited the agricultural state of Louisiana in the United States, which declared its area under the socalled Emergency Support Function (ESF) to address all hazard preparedness and response to emergencies related to food, agriculture, livestock, and even household pets.

(20 cents) rather than a fluctuating amount. The provision is part of the 2008 renewable energy law intended to spur investment in sources including geothermal, biomass, solar, hydro and wind. The largest of the projects is a wind farm to be set up in Burgos town, 320 kilometers (199 miles) north of Manila by Energy Development Corp. – the 87-megawatt project will cost an estimated $300 million, the company said in a statement. Two other wind projects of 67.5 megawatts and 54 megawatts will also be set up by local firms, Alternergy Wind One Corp. and Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp., respectively. The two firms declined to disclose how much their projects would cost. The Philippines already has one 33-megawatt wind power plant in the north, set up in 2005 before the renewable energy law was passed.

Immediately after passing the LET, scholars are required to teach in a local public school for five (5) years as return service. The 1000 Teachers Program agreement between PBEd and DepEd is in support of the Department teacher requirement under the K-12 program which the Asian Development Bank estimates at 84,616 items for around two million senior high school students in 2017. The pledge to hire graduates from the scholarship program is included in the Memorandum of Agreement signed between the DepEd and the PBEd last May 16. (MNS)

Palace appeals to Comelec to pay deputized teachers their honoraria MANILA, May 18 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday appealed to the Commission on Election (Comelec) to help teachers who worked during the May 13 mid-term polls to get their honoraria immediately. This as a group of public school teachers who were deputized for election duty staged protest rally Friday at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) demanding the release of their honoraria. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a radio interview aired at Radyo ng Bayan, said they already checked with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and based on its records, “the budget was already released at the start of the year.” Valte said the P960 million, which is the total amount of the teachers’ honoraria, was included in the Comelec’s comprehensive release of their budget matrix. “Umaapela naman po tayo sa Comelec na tulungan naman po ‘yung ating mga guro na nagtrabaho noong araw ng eleksyon, at para maibigay naman po ‘yung kakaunting assistance na binibigay (We are appealing to Cmelec to help the teachers who were deputized during election day get the little assistance) – in exchange for the work that they did during the May 13 elections,” she said. “Talagang nagiging duty na po ng ating mga teacher, ng ating mga guro na sila ho ang frontline doon sa – noong nakaraang eleksyon natin, at talagang hindi ho madali ‘yung kanilang nagiging dagdag na trabaho kaya talagang saludo naman din po tayo sa ating mga guro (It has actually becomes the duty of our teachers, to be at the frontline during elections – and definitely it’s not easy to do the extra work, so we really salute our teachers for their dedication),” she added. Valte said these teachers “went beyond the call of duty... they really just expect to teach and guide our children but, since the additional work to be deputized during election was mandated to them, they accomplished them well.” It would be recalled the Department of Education (DepEd) last month made an arrangement with the poll body so that the teachers could get their election honoraria and allowances on time through their Land Bank of the Philippines payroll accounts or through cash cards that would be mailed to them a few days before the elections. (MNS)

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MOTORING Founder to invest $100 million in red-hot Tesla NEW YORK, May 15, 2013 (AFP) – Tesla Motors said Wednesday that founder Elon Musk would invest $100 million in the surging electric car maker, and that it would repay a loan from the US Department of Energy ahead of schedule. The California maker of high-priced electric vehicles said it would launch a new stock offering of some 2.7 million shares along with $450 million in convertible notes to raise fresh capital. Musk, Tesla’s chief executive and cofounder, will purchase $45 million in common shares and another $55 million in a private share placement, the company said. Tesla said it expects to raise some $830 million and use the proceeds to prepay a loan from the US Department of Energy. The moves came amid a stunning surge in the value of Tesla, which has just a tiny share of the US car market but turned a profit for the first time in the past quarter. Tesla shares jumped another 1.9 percent Wednesday to $84.84, giving it a market value of $9.7 billion. With the recent gains, Tes-

Tesla is banking on its Model S, which has an estimated range of more than 200 miles (320 kilometers), and was given a top rating by Consumer Reports. Tesla/NAIAS

la has become more valuable than Fiat – even though the Italian auto giant produces 200

times more cars than the American upstart. The shares have more than doubled this

year after struggling through 2012 on production delays and questions about whether it could turn a profit. On May 8, the California-based firm announced $11 million in net income for the first quarter as revenues rose 83 percent from the prior quarter to $562 million. Tesla cited strong global demand for its $62,000-$87,000 Model S, saying it is receiving orders at a rate of more than 20,000 per year worldwide, adding that it seen “significant upside potential in Europe and Asia.” Although Tesla has been on the upswing, the road has grown bumpier for the electric car market. Coda Automotive, one of what had been a promising crop of electric car startups, filed for bankruptcy protection this month, and said it would reorganize around the electric storage market. High-end electric car maker Fisker Automotive, which has had financial woes for months, announced meanwhile it was laying off 75 percent of its workforce, raising the prospect of defaulting on US government loans.

Hong Kong launches first electric taxis (Hong Kong-AFP) – Hong Kong saw its first electric taxis hit the streets on Saturday in a step towards reducing the city’s high levels of roadside pollution. The 45 bright red cars were launched by Chinese electric vehicle producer BYD, which is partly backed by US investment titan Warren Buffett. Called the BYD e6, the fivedoor crossover sedans are powered by iron phosphate batteries and take two hours to charge, a statement from BYD said, adding that they can then travel for 300 kilometers (more than 180 miles). The cars have been rented by the Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association, which is testing them over the next six months. “The idea of being environmentally friendly is a global trend and the electric car is one good example,” said Wong Chung Keung, president and chairman of the association. “An electric car saves the cost of fuel and will allow our taxi drivers to earn more,” he added, saying that a normal taxi would cost HK$0.8 (10 US cents) to run per kilometer (0.6 miles) while an electric car would cost HK$0.2HK$0.3. He called for more charging sta-

tions around the city to encourage taxi drivers to go electric – BYD said it is setting up 47 chargers in nine charging locations near car parks. Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary John Tsang was quoted in a BYD statement as welcoming the electric car and saying he was committed to “promoting environmental sustainability by laying the foundation for Hong Kong to become a zero emissions city”. The government announced revisions to its air quality objectives for the first time in 25 years in January 2012, after University of Hong Kong research showed pollution-related illnesses killed more than 3,000 residents a year.

People looking at an electric taxi on a street in Hong Kong. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez


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Aston Martin’s celebratory centenary concept (Relaxnews) – The British carmaker officially took the wraps off its highly anticipated CC100 Speedster Concept at this weekend’s 24 Hours of Nßrburgring race. The one-off creation, inspired by the 1959 Aston Martin DBR1 race car – which when driven by Sterling Moss demolished the competition on the very same track – brings the concept of a stripped-out, long-distance racing car screaming and kicking into the 21st century. As such, like its predecessor, it is lacking many creature comforts – most notably a windscreen or roof, convertible or otherwise. However that Spartan interior is still finished in the finest-quality leather and exquisitely bonded carbon fiber. It also features the same cut-glass buttons that grace the console of its range-topping Vanquish GT car. Under the hood is a naturally aspirated V12 that will catapult the car to 100kph in around four seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 290kph. The engine is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox with steering column-mounted paddles for the quickest

Aston Martin CC 100 Speedster concept

possible up- and down-changes. To make ingress and egress easier, the side impact protection bars double as hinged gullwing doors and raise out of the driver and passenger’s way – a design feature that should put car aficionados in mind of the special edition McLaren Mercedes SLR Sterling Moss, which not only looked similar – no roof or

windscreen – but also featured the same door set-up. Perhaps most impressive about the CC100 is that it went from the drawing board to the NĂźrburgring in fewer than six months. As Chief Exterior Designer Miles Nurnberger, who was an integral part of the design team, explained: “The brief was very simple, yet

enormously testing: create something that reflects the 100 years of Aston Martin heritage and signals the future of the brand. The idea of an iconic speedster concept that nods to the Le Mans – and NĂźrburgring – winning cars of 1959 soon came, and we have had complete freedom to shape this car.â€? To highlight the work that went into delivering the vehicle, Aston Martin has also released a video detailing the development process that can be seen at youtube.com/watch?v=WFLucaq73zs. The CC100 is officially a one-off and the company has stressed that it currently has no plans to produce a production model. However it is telling that the car carries a ‘Q By Aston Martin’ badge. The special bespoke customization wing of the company, ‘Q’ can add any manner of interior or exterior customizations to a standard car and, as the CC100 uses the same ‘horizontal-vertical’ tub chassis technology as its road-going counterparts, it’s conceivable that an avid admirer could indeed achieve the same end result with the right list of personalization requests.

Keeping the customer satisfied: Luxury cars going increasingly customized (Relaxnews) – New statistics reveal that the demand for personalization in the ultra luxury car segment is not only a growing trend but is one being driven by Middle Eastern clients. According to Rolls-Royce, in the first quarter of 2013, nearly every one of its flagship Phantoms were commissioned with bespoke personalization, while 75% of its smaller Ghost luxury saloons also left the production line with some form of client personalization. The company’ figures, which stretch back to 2005, show that even seven years ago, 50% of all clients were in search of something more than ‘stock’ luxury – 75% of cars destined for the Middle East were personalized, as were 55% of European and 50% of vehicles destined for Asia. However, in North America, a region that has made customization – of every type of car from family run-around to limousine – mainstream, a mere 30% of orders were for customized Phantoms. Fast forward to today and the US is only behind the Middle East in terms of personalization  -- 95% of Phantoms headed for the US are customized, compared with 100% of

Rolls-Royce motor cars bespoke design

those destined for the Middle East and 93% of those sold in Europe. This growing demand is such that Rolls-Royce has had to expand The Home of Rolls-Royce, its bespoke personalization arm, doubling the number of designers, craftsmen and engineers it employs. But this trend is not confined to Rolls-Royce. Aston Martin and McLaren have also witnessed growing demand for bespoke features. Aston Martin officially opened its ‘Q by Aston Martin’ bespoke personalisation service  in April, allowing discerning clients to specify both interior and exterior features, but its dedicated designers are happy to help a customer design any luxury item, be it a yacht or even a house – Aston Martin claims that its designers have already worked in collaboration with a client’s architect for that very purpose. McLaren showcased what it calls its ‘Special Operations’ division, which is charged with the delivery of bespoke projects, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2011. Twenty-one months later, 25% of McLaren cars leaving the production do so following bespoke

customisation and roughly 50% are for North American clients. “The levels of McLaren Special Operations content on the 12C and 12C Spider has been steadily increasing throughout the year, with a diverse range of upgrades requested from owners looking to put a unique twist on their McLaren,� says Paul Mackenzie, Programme Director at McLaren Automotive, in an email to Relaxnews on May 18. To celebrate the growing demand for personalization,  Rolls-Royce  has handed design duties over to its bespoke department for a  special range of Phantom and Ghost models that will launch later this year. Each model produced will feature a special celebration motif in hand-crafted marquetry, plus a special embroidered pattern adorning armrests and console lids that require 112,533 individual stitches and that, even with a precision embroidery machine, take over an hour to complete.

Toyota becomes Asia’s biggest firm by market value

      

               

     

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TOKYO, May 16, 2013 (AFP) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Toyota has accelerated past South Koreaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Samsung Electronics to become Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest company by market value, after the Japanese automakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shares doubled in the past year. Toyotaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market capitalisation stood at 22.23 trillion yen ($217 billion) on Thursday, beating out the Galaxy smartphone and tablet computer giant which was worth the equivalent of 20.32 trillion yen. Toyota, also the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest automaker, has seen its shares jump on the back of improving financial results. The Corolla and Camry maker said last week its full-year net profit more than tripled. Samsung overtook the Japanese giant in the market value table in 2011, according to the leading Nikkei business daily, as the South Korean conglomerate notched up huge profits in its global battle with US rival Apple. Toyotaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tokyo-listed shares finished at 6,450 yen, more than double their 3,165 yen closing price a year earlier.


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Lash lovers beware: Tips for safely using eyelash extensions (Relaxnews) – For those wanting lush, fluttery lashes, cosmetic eyelash extensions – individual synthetic fibers glued onto the natural lashes one by one – can give you the Bambi effect. But eye experts warn that adhesive cosmetics can cause health problems, a topic that has been hot in the media in recent days. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) warned that the synthetic eyelash extensions and the adhesives used to apply them can cause infections of the cornea and eyelid, permanent or temporary loss of eyelashes, and eyelid swelling. Plus the organization cites a recent Consumer Reports magazine article that describes patients who suffered allergic reactions to formaldehyde-based adhesives used in the extensions. In addition, false lashes can trap bacteria and cause eye irritation, and removing them also puts women

at risk for thinning or loss of their natural lashes.  The AAO offered three tips to follow for those considering eyelash extensions: • Be sure that the aesthetician is certified and working at a reputable establishment. • Check that the aesthetician practices adequate hand washing and proper hygiene. • Check the eyelash adhesive ingredients before use. Anyone who develops an infection, allergic reaction or other irritation after using eyelash extensions or other eye products should immediately visit an ophthalmologist, the AAO noted. The Association for Damage-Free Eyelash Extension reportedly issued a statement of its own, noting that hypoallergenic eyelash adhesive or those not containing formaldehyde are completely safe for use in extensions.

Cosmetic eyelash extension can give you the Bambi effect, but eye experts warn that adhesive cosmetics can cause health problems. Photo: Petulka/shutterstock.com

Video fitness game can help keep kids fit: study

Exergames - but of the high-intensity variety - can help keep young people fit, a new study finds. Photo: Golden Pixels LLC/shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – If your kids are fans of exergames such as Kinect Sports and Wii Fit, good news: research finds that they can help keep kids moving and off the couch. Dr. Louise Naylor and researchers from the University of Western Australia, Liverpool John Moores University, and Swansea University evaluated 15 children, between nine to 11 years old. Each subject participated in 15 minutes each of high-intensity exergaming (Kinect Sports - 200m Hurdles), low-intensity exergaming (Kinect Sports - Ten Pin Bowling), and a fitness test on a treadmill. Then the researchers measured energy expenditure via flow-mediated dilation, which is a measure of vascular health and function, the researchers said.  Results showed that high-intensity games elicited an energy expenditure equivalent to moderateintensity exercise, while the low-intensity games matched the energy expenditure of low-intensity activities.

High-intensity exergaming also increased heart rate and the amount of energy burned – and since subjects reported similar enjoyment levels with both intensities, perhaps kids could equally enjoy a heart-pumping high-intensity game, the researchers said. “Higher intensity exergaming may be a good form of activity for children to use to gain longterm and sustained health benefits,” said Naylor in a press release. The findings were published online May 17 in the Journal of Pediatrics.  A separate study published last October found that exergames play a beneficial role in getting teens fit – especially self-conscious teens who struggle with their weight. Researchers from the University of Montreal surveyed some 1,209 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 19 and their parents. The current recommendation for adolescents and teens according to the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.


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Showbiz world mourns death of Bella Flores Tributes began to pour in for veteran actress Bella Flores after it was first reported that she died early Sunday morning at the age of 84. With the hashtag “RIP Bella Flores” among the top local trending topics on Twitter, Filipino netizens sent words of condolence and sympathy to Flores’ family. Personalities from the entertainment industry also recalled the times they spent with Flores when she was still alive. “Heartbroken upon hearing the news on the death of Bella Flores: even more saddened remembering the short film we did together last year,” said director Joey Javier Reyes. Reyes added, “During the day-long shoot of the short film, Bella Flores transformed from OLD LADY to GRAND DAME the moment the cameras rolled.” TV host KC Montero, for his part, said Fleres was “one of the best” in the local industry. Actress Cherie Gil, meantime, said: “RIP to the one and only Grand dame of villainy, Bella Flores. Thank you for setting the stage for all of us copycats that followed.” As for actress Agot Isidro, she said: “RIP Tita Bella Flores. You were such a trouper. We will miss you.” “She paved the way for the kontrabida to be bida. RIP Bella Flores,” said Tim Yap. Fr. Jboy Gonzales said he will say a mass for Flores, who is considered the “la primera contrabida.”

“It is often the great acting of the antagonist that makes a movie. Thanks po mam,” Goznales said. Journalist Cherie Mercado also said: “Nobody did kontra bida better than Bella Flores -RIP #bellaflores” Flores, famous for portraying villains in films and television shows, passed away after suffering from diabetes, heart disease as well as the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Flores was rushed to the Quezon City General Hospital by her daughter, Ruby Arcilla, and singer Imelda Papin, but was declared dead at 1:27 am. According to Arcilla, Flores’ condition had worsened ever since her hip surgery last year following a fall. After Flores’ blood pressure crashed, doctors were able to revive her several times before she eventually succumbed. Flores’ wake will be held at the Loyola Crematory Chapel in Quezon City starting 7 p.m. Sunday. (MNS)


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Marjorie doesn’t see family feud ending soon Former actress Marjorie Barretto admitted it was her sister Gia’s statement that hurt her the most amid the ongoing Barretto family feud. Marjorie said she felt Gia had the least right to say anything about their family row since she has been living in the United States for quite a while. “Siguro pinakanasaktan ako nung sa sister ko, kay Gia. Pinaka iyon ang iniyakan ko kasi siya ang pinakawala dito. She’s been gone for many, many years so siya talaga, I felt, has the least right to have an opinion kasi wala siya dito sa lahat ng hirap,” she said. Gia released a statement last April 26 belying the statements earlier made by their brother Joaquin that it was their sister Gretchen who actually helped their family financially in the past. Marjorie said it saddens her that Gia seemed to have been “brainwashed.” “I [tried to call her]. I’m very close to her. That’s why I felt really betrayed kasi sabi ko I was just a call away, you could have called. Na-brainwash siya eh so I really felt betrayed and very, very hurt,” she said. Marjorie said it pains her that a lot has already been said and done about their family but the real issue has yet to be

resolved. “There is a deeper story. I feel na parang nawala, nalihis sa totoong issue kami. Parang nag-away sila sa hindi naman dapat na issue. I was very heartbroken. To be honest, I was very hurt that my mom had to bring it all out in the open. Parang ang pakiramdam ko noon, dapat sa atin nag-lock tayo lahat sa isang kwarto at nagsigawan tayo ng whatever. Ilabas natin ang galit sa isa’t isa, hindi kailangan sa publiko kasi nakakahiya talaga,” she said. Saying she does not see her family patching things up in the near future, Marjorie said: “Hindi ko alam kung anong na-learn namin. Sabi ko nga when the dust settles, anong naachieve namin? I still don’t see kung anong natutunan naming sa lahat ng ito. Naging parang bad example pa kami sa lahat ng gma tao.” “I’m really sad. Parang we have reduced our family name to a joke. We became a big joke. It’s painful kasi family iyan eh. They are the people you run to first kapag may problema ka. Hindi ‘yung tuwing may problema ka, sila ang huling nakakaalam dahil hindi mo nafi-feel na poprotektahan ka,” she added. Marjorie said the division in their family actually gave her a respite from the fighting.

Iza lauds Zanjoe’s performance in ‘Bromance’ Actress Iza Calzado lauded Zanjoe Marudo for pulling off his dual role – one gay, the other straight – in the movie “Bromance.” Calzado said she is amazed that Marudo was able to distinctly convey his two characters. “Maganda ‘yung pelikula. Nakakatawa ang mga scene, ang galing ni Zanjoe mag-play ng isang homosexual. Ang hirap din kasi he’s playing two characters and alam mo na mahirap iyon pagtuuanan ng pansin kung paano niya madi-differentiate ang dalawa,” she said. After the screening, Calzado extended her congratulatory message to the entire cast and crew of “Bromance,” which opened in theaters nationwide Wednesday. “Congratulations kay Zanjoe, kay Cristine (Reyes) at sa lahat ng bumubuo ng ‘Bromance’ lalo na sa inyong director na si Wenn Deramas. Mabuhay kayong lahat,” she said. Deramas is also the director behind the blockbuster comedies “The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin”, “This Guy’s In Love With U Mare!” and “Sisterakas.” (MNS)

Iza Calzado

Zanjoe Marudo

Zanjoe saving up for a ring for Bea Actor Zanjoe Marudo admitted that he is now “emotionally ready” to be a father, but he stressed that it won’t happen anytime soon. Marudo, 30, is currently dating actress Bea Alonzo. “Alam mo ang lalaki, kapag nasa ganitong edad ka na din, kahit papaano ang gusto mo ay may bata ka,” he said in an interview during a press conference for his upcoming soap, “Annaliza.” “Kaya lang, hindi naman pwede basta gawin ang mga ganoong bagay. Marami pang hindi pwede.” “Kailangan mo munang magpakasal, kailangan mo munang maging stable sa buhay. Kailangan mataguyod mo ang pamilya mo muna,” he added. Marudo went on to say that he is saving up for a ring for Alonzo. “Pinagpaplanuhan muna siyempre ang proposal bago ang kasal. Wala pa namang [plano], siguro kapag sigurado na akong ‘oo’ ang sagot,” he said. “Naghihintay lang ako na makaipon [ng] pambili ng singsing. Siyempre, bibili ka ng maganda kasi minsan lang mangyari sa buhay ‘yun,” he added. Asked if he believes Alonzo is ready to get married and become a mother, Marudo said: “Si Bea sa ngayon, kung ako ang tatanungin, baka hindi pa. Kasi bata pa at wala pa sa tamang oras.” Alonzo turned 25 in October last year. In an interview in August 2012, the actress said she sees herself tying the knot with Marudo in five years. (MNS)

Marjorie Barretto “Masyado akong pagod na. Napagaod ako sa issue na ito na parang I want the space. Okay na muna sigurong huwag muna magkita kita. Magko-concentrate na lang muna ako sa mga anak ko, marami naman akong anak. Dito ko na lang pagbubutihin,” she said. (MNS)


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othing brings people together quite like a neighborhood picnic or family celebration. So, gather up neighbors, friends and family for a celebration of great food and fun. Keep the food simple. Ask everyone to bring a favorite side dish so you only need to grill up the hamburgers and hot dogs. Of course, you’ll also want to whip up a few special treats. What could be better than a popcorn bar? Popcorn is both good and good for you. It’s a whole grain food that is not only low in calories but also makes a great addition to many recipes. Because, sometimes, a sweet indulgence is just what you need. Set out large bowls of popcorn along with shakers of garlic salt, cumin, lemon pepper, dry taco seasoning mix and Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Add dried fruit, nuts, pretzel sticks, grated cheese and chocolate chips for a make-your-own trail mix option. Complete the popcorn bar with a few sweet surprises like delicious desserts made with freshly popped corn. For more creative recipes, visit www.popcorn.org.

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Double Chocolate Popcorn Balls

Double Chocolate Popcorn Balls Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn

Yield: 18 balls 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup corn syrup 1/4 cup butter or margarine 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 8 cups freshly popped popcorn 1 cup milk chocolate candies Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and cocoa in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Add popcorn, stirring until evenly coated. Remove from heat. Stir in milk chocolate candies. Cool slightly. Shape into 2-inch balls.

Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn Yield: 6 quarts 6 quarts popped popcorn Olive oil cooking spray 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons garlic salt 2 teaspoons paprika 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning Place popcorn in a large, sealable plastic container (or in a 2.5-gallon plastic sealable bag). Spray popcorn lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt, paprika and Italian seasoning over popcorn and shake to distribute evenly. To serve, scoop popcorn into reusable plastic cups.

Perfect Picnic Popcorn Squares

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn Seasoning Mix

Perfect Picnic Popcorn Squares Yield: 12 squares 1 cup light corn syrup 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 cup reduced fat peanut butter 8 cups air-popped popcorn 3/4 cup raisins Cooking spray Combine corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly; boil 2 to 3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Combine popcorn and raisins in large bowl; pour hot mixture over popcorn and toss carefully with wooden spoons to mix until well-coated. Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; press popcorn mixture into pan and cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.

Coconut Monkey Mix

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn Seasoning Mix Yield: about 4 tablespoons seasoning mix 2 tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 4 quarts popped popcorn Cooking spray (helps seasoning adhere to popcorn) Stir spices together in a small bowl. Place popcorn in a serving bowl and spray lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons (or to taste) of the mix over popcorn and toss to distribute evenly. Store leftover seasoning mix in an airtight container for future use.

Coconut Monkey Mix Yield: 7 cups 1 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened or sweetened) 6 cups popped popcorn 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted 1 teaspoon sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt Dash of nutmeg 1 cup dried banana chips Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, breaking up any clumps as needed. Bake 10 minutes or until edges of coconut begin to brown. Spread popcorn over coconut and sprinkle with melted butter; toss. Sprinkle popcorn mixture with sugar, salt and nutmeg; toss. Bake 5 minutes longer and toss with banana chips. Serve immediately or cool and store in an airtight container.


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