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LOS ANGELES

Oyo confirms Kristine’s pregnancy See KRISTINE page 21

VOL. XXII, NO. 4

MARCH 1-7, 2014

PHL to pursue arbitration case vs China

Malacañang rejects call for bilateral talks

(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) President Benigno S. Aquino III, accompanied by His Majesty The Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Head of State of Malaysia, and Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, prepares for the State Welcoming Ceremony at the Parliament Square in Parliament House on Friday (February 28) during his State Visit to Malaysia. The visit aims to promote and strengthen Philippine-Malaysia partnerships in trade and investments, particularly those that would bring development in Mindanao, as well as in culture and education. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Wednesday rejected the call of the Chinese government for bilateral negotiations in connection with the alleged harassment of Filipino fishermen at the disputed Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal by Chinese authorities. Instead, the Philippines will pursue the arbitration case it filed before the United Nations (UN), according to deputy presidential

spokesperson Abigail Valte on Wednesday. During a press conference, Valte said the government is already preparing the memorial – or written pleading – for submission. The memorial will be the country’s formal statement regarding China’s claim of sovereignty over territories in the South China Sea. “So essentially, the memorial is already being prepared. While I See ARBITRATION, page 12

Malaysia backs PHL in South China Sea conflict KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb 28 (Mabuhay) – Malaysia has renewed its support for the Philippines for the peaceful settlement of the dispute in the South China Sea in which both countries are claimants to said territories. “As brothers in ASEAN, our two nations believe that the potential of our nations, and of our

community, to prosper can only be fully realized in an international context where rule of law is upheld,” President Benigno S. Aquino III said in a statement he delivered after his meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak at the Prime Minister’s office here in Kuala Lumpur.

“The Prime Minister and I agreed on the peaceful settlement of disputes in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, in accordance with the rule of law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” he added. The two countries believe See MALAYSIA, page 12

A doctor checks the condition of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles at the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame on Wednesday, February 26. Napoles, alleged mastermind in the P10-B pork barrel scam, has been diagnosed to have ovarian cyst.(MNS photo)

Gov’t ready to extend protection for Mat Ranillo

U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce and USAID staff encourage Tacloban residents whose home was completely destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda. Royce (R-CA) with seven other members of U.S. Congress visited and assured continued U.S. humanitarian support for the people of Tacloban. (MNS photo)

Corpses still being found in Tacloban

MANILA, February 27, 2014 (AFP) – Bodies are still being found under the wreckage almost four months after Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines as survivors struggle to rebuild their lives, officials said Thursday. The government’s confirmed death toll of 6,201 has not been updated for a month, as officials investigate whether the recently-discovered corpses are among the 1,785 listed as missing. This development came in the way of a U.S. congressional visit led by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce visited and assured continued U.S. humanitarian support for the people of Tacloban, the Philippine city devastated See CORPSES FOUND, page 12

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Tuesday said the Department of Justice was willing to extend government protection to actor Mat Ranillo III, who has been linked to the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam. “If he asks for protection, we can always grant him,” De Lima told reporters in Manila, adding Ranillo could be considered as a regular witness if he offers something new to the ongoing probe. The Justice chief, however, said that until now, “wala pa naman nakikipag formally arrange sa amin tungkol sa kanya.” It was reported earlier that Ranillo had sent feelers that he will help in the pork probe. Ranillo’s sister Suzette said that, “Mat is willing to come home naman as long as protektado ang safety niya.” De Lima said other than figuring in a civil case with JLN Corp, owned by alleged fund mess

mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in a Marikina court, Ranillo has not yet been implicated in any of the pending cases related to the Priority Development Assistance Fund and Malampaya fund controversies. “Alam naman natin [na] hindi sya respondent... Ang alam ko hindi naman siya respondent pa o kaya probable respondent,” said De Lima. Ranillo, who has played Christ and San Lorenzo Ruiz in the movies, has been linked to the pork barrel scam for allegedly signing vouchers for the kickbacks supposedly received by Senator Jinggoy Estrada and his mother, former First Lady and Senator Loi Estrada. Ranillo was mentioned again by potential state witness Ruby Tuason in her affidavit submitted to government investigators. “Kung makikipag cooperate See RANILLO, page 12


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When you can’t pay your business debts! If your business is in distress – you owe a lot of money but you cannot pay, your creditors may threaten legal action against your business and very likely, you personally as well. How much they can collect, and how they can go about collecting it, will depend on how your business is organized, and whether you personally guaranteed repayment of the obligation. Sole Proprietors and Partnerships If you are a sole proprietor, you and your business are one and the same in the eyes of the law, which means you are per  sonally responsible for all of the business’s ruptcy estate to be sold, and the proceeds are debts. If there isn’t enough money in the distributed to your creditors. At the end of the business to pay these debts, creditors can process, all of your debts that are eligible for take your personal assets to pay them. discharge in bankruptcy will be wiped out. Partners in a general partnership have In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you propose a similar personal liability for business debts: repayment plan where you repay part or all Each partner is personally liable for the en- of the debt over three to five years. tirety of the business’s debts (and any partner How Bankruptcy Helps can usually bind the entire partnership to a When you file for bankruptcy, something business deal – a scary combination). This called an automatic stay immediately stops means that if there isn’t enough money in the your creditors from foreclosing on your business to pay the debts, and your partners house or any other personal property that is are broke, creditors can take your personal at risk. In some situations, this can be reason assets to pay all of the business’s debts, not enough to file for bankruptcy, because it will just your share. buy you time, if nothing else. Corporations and Unpaid Rent. If your business owes your Limited Liability Companies landlord back rent, you are probably personIf your business is organized as a corpo- ally liable for the debt. (Sole proprietors and ration or a limited liability company (LLC), partners are automatically personally liable your personal assets are usually protected for rent payments, and most small business from business creditors as a matter of law. corporations and LLCs also get stuck personShareholders and LLC members have a form ally guaranteeing the lease payments – check of asset protection called limited personal your lease. If you didn’t, give yourself a pat liability. Creditors cannot take owners’ per- on the back for being a savvy negotiator.) sonal assets to pay business debts, unless a Filing for bankruptcy might keep the business owner specifically gives up that landlord from taking your personal property limited liability protection. to pay the debt, especially if you file under Unfortunately, most small business Chapter 13 and come up with a payment plan. owners are forced to give up their right to Ordinary, Unsecured Debt limited personal liability, at least for some of If your business owes suppliers, you will their business debt. Many creditors require be personally on the hook if you operated personal guarantees and/or personal security your business as a sole proprietorship or from small business owners before they will partnership. Under the Uniform Commercial loan money or extend credit to a business. Code, suppliers of goods usually have the And many landlords require a personal right to take the goods back. Barring that, guarantee before they will lease commercial however, they can come after you personally property to a small business. for the unpaid amounts. If you have a lot of A personal guarantee is a promise by a this kind of debt, filing Chapter 13 could help business owner to hand over the owner’s you organize a payment plan (and Chapter 7 personal assets to a creditor if the business might wipe the debt out). can’t pay its debt and its assets are not worth If your business is a corporation or an enough to cover the debt. A creditor can also LLC, you may be off the hook for these ask a business owner to secure a business debts. This kind of debt is typically unsedebt by pledging specific personal property, cured and is rarely personally guaranteed. such as an owner’s house, boat, or car. When If your business has no money and no assets you sign a personal guarantee or pledge left, the suppliers may be out of luck – your personal property, you give up your protec- personal liability protection should protect tion against personal liability, and creditors your personal assets. So if your corporation can come after your personal assets if your or LLC has only unsecured, un-guaranteed business can’t pay. business debt, there’s no need to file a perThe Bankruptcy Option sonal bankruptcy. If your business bank account is empty, Does Bankruptcy Make Sense for You? a bankruptcy might be a viable option. It In the real world, just the threat of bankwould certainly give you some breathing ruptcy may be enough to help you work room while working things out, and in the things out. Many creditors will think twice case of personal liability, a bankruptcy will before leaning on you too hard if they think protect your house, your car, and other assets. you’ll file for bankruptcy. Business vs. Personal Bankruptcy Some creditors would rather work out a If you are a sole proprietor, you can file payment plan, or settle for partial repayment, for either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bank- than become a creditor in your bankruptcy ruptcy. Either type of bankruptcy can be used case. From a creditor’s perspective, bankfor personal debts or business debts. ruptcy is an expensive and long process that If you are a corporate shareholder, LLC eats into profits. You can use that to your owner, or partner in a partnership and you advantage in negotiations and perhaps spread have signed personal guarantees or pledged payments out far enough to be manageable. collateral for business loans, putting your Your bankruptcy lawyer is an excellent business through bankruptcy will not protect resource when it comes to negotiating with your personal property. If you have placed creditors. Let him negotiate on your behalf. your personal property at risk, you must When creditors understand that bankruptcy is file for bankruptcy for yourself and your a viable option, they may be more willing to business separately to protect your personal settle for pennies on the dollar, and help you assets. In this article, we assume you are stay out of bankruptcy. Getting something is considering personal bankruptcy – because better than getting nothing. only personal bankruptcy will protect your If you think you are in imminent danger personal assets. of losing your family’s home or livelihood, Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and you need help quickly, call me. Take If you file for personal bankruptcy, most advantage of my free consultation. Get to likely it will be a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 know your options. It could save you a lot bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your of money and a lot of heartache. assets (except for property that is exempt The Law Offices of Paul M. 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Gov’t continues to seek best solution to Manila truck row MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – The government continues to seek the best solution to the row between the Manila city government and trucking operators over a truck ban that is being imposed, Malacañang said Wednesday. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said national government officials are reaching out to both sides to move forward or at least reach a compromise. “Everyone is looking for ways to

move forward or at least find a compromise agreement,” she said at a media briefing. She said the office of Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras had called the concerned national government agencies to “explore ways to move forward” on the issue. These agencies include: Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Department of Public Works and

Highways Department of Transportation and Communications Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Presidential Communications Operations Office Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Valte said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino was tasked to coordinate with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on the

matter. Philippine Ports Authority head Juan Sta. Ana is talking with the truckers’ group, she added. “Pareho silang well-meaning, may kanya-kanyang dahilan. Ang task natin is to help them come up with a compromise acceptable to both of them (Both sides in this row are well-meaning, and they have their reasons. Our task is to help them come up with a compromise acceptable to all),” she said. (MNS)

Erap on revenue lost to truck holiday: Sinong may kasalanan no’n? MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Wednesday remained firm in implementing the daytime truck ban despite reported revenue losses after a group staged a “truck holiday” in protest. “Sinong may kasalanan no’n?” Estrada said. “Sila tumawag ng truck holiday e. Kasalanan nila kung nalugi sila.” Estrada stressed that prior to the approval of the ordinance, there were consultations conducted. “Maraming public hearing iyan. Nag-

karoon pa kami ng truck summit before we approved that...bago isabatas,” Estrada said. He also noted that they have already compromised by having a “window period” wherein trucks may ply Manila roads from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Annie Tubera, media officer of Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, said the window period of the ban will be implemented from Mondays through Saturdays. Based on the original city policy, trucks

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from some 5,000 freight forwarders belonging to the Integrated North Harbor Truckers Association (INHTA) are banned from the streets of Manila from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. “Nakipagkompromiso na kami, hindi pa rin tinanggap at nag-declare pa sila ng truck holiday. Hindi na namin kasalanan ‘yon,” said Estrada. However, Teddy Gervacio, president of the INHTA, on Sunday remained firm on the truck holiday, even after the truck ban was modified. “‘Yung pagkakaroon ng window hours, hindi acceptable sa amin ‘yan. Ang gusto naming mangyari ay masuspend ang implementation nitong truck ban,” Gervacio said. According to an earlier report, the Bureau of Customs lost at least P215.8 million on the first day of the truck holiday. “Naghahanda kami para as soon as matapos ito, ready kami to open longer hours hanggang ma-clear ang lahat ng backlog,” said Bureau Commissioner John Philip Sevilla. Meanwhile, from a daily average of

almost P360-million, Manila International Container Port (MICP) was only able to generate P262.8 million, a 27-percent decline. Revenues of the Port of Manila (POM) dropped 47 percent to P134.4 million from a daily average of P253 million. On the other hand, Estrada suggested that the Batangas and Subic ports to be utilized to help decongest the traffic in Manila. “Ang laki ng ginastos doon, bakit hindi na lang doon ilipat? Ang congested na sa Manila,” he added. Meanwhile, the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) joined the call for Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to review the city’s newly implemented daytime truck ban policy, noting its supposed drastic effects on the flow of goods in the country. “We have received various requests from our members to air their appeal for the reconsideration and to conduct further study relative to the implementation of daytime truck ban, as this will seriously disrupt the vital flow of goods that sustain commercial operations,” the FPI said.


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Jinggoy wants to face ex-TRC head in Senate pork probe MANILA, Feb 25 (Mabuhay) – Will Senator Jinggoy Estrada finally face his accusers? In an interview Tuesday, Estrada said he might attend the next Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged multibillion-peso pork barrel scam if the government’s newest witness, Dennis Cunanan, will be invited. “That might be interesting...Kay Mrs. Tuason pa lang, gusto ko na um-attend,” Estrada told reporters, adding he did not attend previous hearings upon advice from his lawyers. Estrada, who is being accused of pocketing pork barrel funds, has inhibited himself from the Senate blue ribbon investigation, although he answers accusations hurled towards him during the hearings through the media. Last Friday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima announced that Cunanan, former Technology Resource Center (TRC) general manager, provided testimony that supposedly proved how senators implicated in the anomaly selected foundations linked to detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles as recipients of their discretionary funds. Aside from Estrada, Senators Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile

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are also facing plunder raps before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged involvement in the scam. Senator Teofisto Guingona III, blue ribbon committee chairman, is set to announce later in the day if Cunanan will be summoned to the investigation, as earlier requested by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. De Lima ‘obsessed’ Estrada further questioned why De Lima seems to be “obsessed” in pinning him down to the pork barrel scam. “Hindi ko alam kung bakit sila tanggap nang tanggap ng witnesses. Siguro mahina talaga ang kaso nila,” he said. He further maintained that he has not talked to Cunanan either by phone or in person. “Kung totoong tinawagan niya ako, for the sake of argument, bakit niya tatawagan ang senador para mag-verify ng pirma... Dapat pumunta siya ng opisina,” Estrada said. In the counter-affidavit he filed before the Ombudsman, Estrada blamed implementing agencies, such as the TRC, for the pork barrel scam. He argued that these agencies should have checked the qualifications of foundations that received government funds. (MNS)

Cayetano wants daily hearings on pork scam MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano wants a daily trial of the pork scam to hasten the process and finally bring to justice the guilty before a change of term in 2016. He said the Supreme Court should designate a special criminal court to do just that. “Isang pwedeng maging legacy ng ating Supreme Court ngayon ay ang pagsasagawa ng continuous trial nang mapabilis ang hearing ng lahat ng ito pag nakarating ito sa korte,” Cayetano said. He took note of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s earlier statements claiming as a “dud” the Department of Justice’s handling of the pork scam issue. Binay is expected to run for president in 2016. Cayetano claimed Binay’s statements are already raising fears that the case may be abandoned if he becomes president. “Ang iba, inaasahan nila na magkakaroon ng change of administration in 2016. Tapos ang nakaupo doon ay maglalagay ng DOJ at ng NBI officials na hindi sing-init

ngayon. Huwag mong sasabihin na itong mga akusado ay walang pera at walang political clout,” he said. “Ang akusado, lalo kung malaki ang pera, malaki ang impluwensya. Nasasakripisyo ang hustisya sa politika.” Binay earlier dismissed Cayetano’s claims, saying he was just reminding the DOJ to observe the rules of law and not to pre-judge a case. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the pork scam case is already a “slam dunk” with the testimony of socialite Ruby Tuason. Cayetano said it is a reality in the Philippines that justice is moving at a slow pace. “Ang ating hustisya sa bansa ay napakabagal. Katulad ng Ampatuan massacre, after four years, wala pang nangyayari. Halos isang taon na ang rebelasyon ng PDAF scam, pero wala pang formally na nakakasuhan sa korte,” he said. “The longer it takes, the more you give the powerful the chance to maneuver.” (MNS)

Chiz wants Napoles transferred to regular jail MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Wednesday called anew for the transfer of Janet Lim Napoles to a regular jail since she has not said anything substantial about the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam. Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the scam, is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for a serious illegal detention charge filed by whistleblower Benhur Luy. Escudero said Napoles, who is also facing plunder charges before the Ombudsman in connection with the scam, should no longer be detained there. He noted that if it was true that she had no knowledge about the pork barrel scam as she claimed when she appeared before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee

hearing last year, then the businesswoman has nothing to fear for her life. “Hanggang ngayon ang panawagan ko at hiling ko dapat ilagay na sa ordinaryong kulungan si Napoles. Dahil ang pagkakaunawa ko kaya siya nilagay at tinago dun dahil magsasalita siya laban sa mga makapangyarihang tao sa gobyerno,” he said. “Eh hindi naman pala siya magsasalita at wala naman pala siyang naaalala, eh di sinong mananakit sa kanya?” he added. Napoles is accused of conspiring with lawmakers and other government officials in funneling billions of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) she allegedly set up.

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More outages expected in Mindanao MANILA, February 28, 2014 (AFP) – Power was restored in the southern Philippines Friday after a massive blackout left millions without electricity for hours, but officials warned of more outages due to ageing equipment. All of the Mindanao region, home to about 25 million people, regained power around 12.00pm (0400 GMT), 32 hours after lights went out before dawn Thursday, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said. The suspected cause of the region wide blackout was equipment failure at a highvoltage switchyard that utility officials said is about 26 years old.

“Some of these are really old equipment, probably older than you,� Petilla told reporters at a Manila news conference. The breakdown triggered the automatic shutdown of a nearby government-owned hydro power plant that draws its power from a dam, and unleashed a cascading effect on other power plants across the region, utility officials said. It was the first time in 12 years that the region had suffered a total outage, though partial outages had occurred in between, Petilla said. The authorities are now investigating the breakdown, which meant the power

plant nearest the original failure had to be temporarily shut down, he added. That closure is expected to further degrade the thin generating capacity reserves of the region, which has been grappling with chronic power shortages for years. Petilla warned of daily rolling outages of up to three hours in the coming months where there is less rainfall to be collected at Mindanao’s government-owned hydroelectric dams. An electricity shortage last year forced

the country’s power transmission firm, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, to ration supply in Mindanao. This led to daily outages lasting up to 12 hours, which damaged the local economy. Mindanao, the nation’s main southern island which relies mostly on hydroelectricity, has been grappling with chronic power shortages for years. The NGCP said at least 12 of Mindanao’s key cities and provinces – including major trading hubs – were affected.

Palace: DOE has 45 days to restore power in Pablo-hit areas MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla has assured President Benigno Aquino III that power will be restored in areas hit by Typhoon Pablo within 45 days, MalacaĂąang said Wednesday. “The DOE [Department of Energy] is clearly on point on this and Secretary Petilla has assured the full restoration of electricity in all Pablo-affected areas within 45 days,â€? deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said during a press conference. She made the announcement two days after Aquino scolded government officials after finding out that some areas in Cateel, Davao Oriental, are still without electricity more than a year after Pablo struck the town. Valte said Petilla will be submitting a memo to the President containing the details of his action plan. “So no more passing [responsibility], no more anything else, DOE is on point,â€? she said. Asked what the consequence will be if

Petilla fails to meet the target, Valte just said, “You go by the word of the President.� “I don’t think anyone doubts the seriousness of the President when he made that statement,� she said. Valte was referring to Aquino’s statement where he ordered the concerned officials to ensure that power will be restored in Cateel or resign. “Ngayon pinadama ko na sa kaukulang mga ahensiya na hindi ako natutuwa sa kanila. Ibig sabihin nun by next pinafollow up ko, kailan na ba magkakaroon ng kuryente itong malawakan or kailan kayo magsu-submit ng resignation ninyo? Dalawa lang iyon. Simple lang naman akong kausap. May trabaho tayong lahat, gawin ninyo iyong trabaho ninyo or sorry,� the President said. Petilla submitted his resignation late last year after failing to fulfill his promise to energize all areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda by Christmas Eve. Aquino, however, rejected his resignation. (MNS)

text messages to possibly save lives during disasters. This is after Senate President Franklin Drilon committed on Wednesday to pass a bill seeking to compel telecommunications companies in the country to disseminate relevant information during disasters, without additional costs to the consumer or to the government. “Obligasyon ng mga telecommunication companies na magbigay ng early warning sa mga disaster at ito ay kailangan natin para mabigyan ng sapat na babala ang ating mga kababayan sa parating na bagyo o kung ano pa man, para makapaghanda sila,� Drilon said in an interview over dzRH. On Monday, the Senate public services committee already endorsed House Bill

to send out free alert warnings with a fine of up to P10 million. Drilon further said that text alerts can be the “most efficient tool� to send out information during disasters, since short message service (SMS) is widely used and understood in the Philippines. “As the texting capital of the world, we can greatly use the instantaneous, flexible and reliable SMS technology as a potent tool during disaster situations, one which is intimately understood and easily accessed by millions of Filipinos who have cellphones,� the Senate President said. In 2012, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) reported that around 500 million texts are being sent by Filipinos daily. (MNS)

LAWYERS HELPING Senate leadership backs bill EMPLOYEES, CONSUMERS on free text alerts during disasters MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – The 353, which seeks to penalize telecommuAND POLICYHOLDERS world’s “texting capital� may soon use nications companies which fail or refuse

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Aquino inspects construction of bunkhouses in Loon, Bohol LOON, Bohol, Feb 25 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday afternoon visited anew this province, which was hardest hit by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in October last year, as part of the 28th anniversary celebration of the EDSA People Power Revolution. President Aquino, upon arrival here, proceeded to Loon to inspect the construction of bunkhouses and service facilities for the residents affected by the earthquake at Barangay Cogon in Loon. The construction of bunkhouses (10 units and each unit has 10 rooms) and

service facilities in Loon, which started January of this year, is now near completion. There is also an ongoing construction of bunkhouses in Tubigon. After the inspection of the bunkhouses and service facilities, President Aquino toured the retrofitted Congressman Natalio P. Castillo, Sr. Memorial Hospital at Barangay Basac, Loon. He also checked some parts of the hospital damaged by the earthquake. The hospital serves the constituents of seven nearby towns, namely, Maribojoc, Loon, Calape, Tubigon, Clarin, Inabanga and San Isidro.


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US says PHL media murders are ‘deeply troubling’  MANILA, February 24, 2014 (AFP) – The United States views the killing of journalists in the Philippines as “deeply troubling�, its ambassador said Monday, adding his voice to growing criticism from watchdog groups. “Attempts to silence journalists are deeply troubling and not acceptable,� Philip Goldberg told reporters.

“Democracy needs a free press,� he stressed even as he reaffirmed the close alliance between the United States and its former colony, the Philippines. He did not specify what steps the government should take to remedy the situation. While the Philippines has a freewheeling US-style democracy with an

Two detained in PHL in online child abuse raid: officials MANILA, February 26, 2014 (AFP) – Four minors have been rescued and two suspects detained in the Philippines following a raid on an apartment where children were made to disrobe for Internet cameras, the judicial officials said Wednesday. The Manila raid followed a tip-off from the United States Department of Homeland Security, said Dante Bonoan, anti-human trafficking division chief of the justice department’s National Bureau of Investigation. “The exploited minors were asked to show their sex parts to their clients,� he told reporters, adding that the website’s paid subscribers were mostly from the United States, Canada and European countries. Police say the Philippines is a key centre of the fast-growing global industry that streams live images of children forced to commit sex acts for paedophiles abroad,

with thousands of children in the impoverished nation abused. Police in Britain, Australia and the Philippines announced last month that they had jointly dismantled a paedophile ring that streamed live sexual abuse of Filipino children as young as six over the web. In some cases, the victims’ parents were involved. The international operation rescued 15 victims aged between six and 15, while 29 people were arrested. More than 700 other suspects were being investigated, according to Britain’s National Crime Agency. Bonoan said two persons suspected of running the Manila apartment operation were detained, but no details about them were given. The authorities also seized laptops, desktop computers, cameras, and other gadgets, he added.

UN exec visits Yolanda-hit Guiuan, reviews aid efforts for victims ANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos on Tuesday said much more needs to be done for victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). On Wednesday, Amos visited Guiuan town in Eastern Samar, one of the areas hit hardest by super typhoon Yolanda last November. Amos said the visit seeks to review ongoing aid efforts for the victims. “Despite massive scale-up of aid efforts immediately following Haiyan, a lot more needs to be done. People need durable solutions,� Amos had said on her Twitter account before midnight Tuesday. She added she plans to meet with com-

munities and local authorities during her visit nearly four months after Yolanda. Amos particularly cited the “(n)eed to review aid efforts and the way forward.� The UN had been active in seeking help for victims of Yolanda, which left more than 6,200 dead. On Wednesday morning, Amos arrived at Guiuan on a plane managed by the World Food Programme to assess ongoing responses to Yolanda. She visited the WFP’s “tent city� to assess humanitarian response to Yolanda. Also, she visited a women-friendly space in Guiuan where the UN Population Fund and partners are working to ensure women’s safety. (MNS)

2 Pinoys killed, 2 others hurt in Doha gas blast DOHA, Feb 28 (Mabuhay) – Two Filipinos were killed while 2 others were injured when a gas tank exploded at a Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital of Doha on Thursday, Philippine embassy officials said. The embassy has yet to identify the victims. Authorities in the Gulf Arab state said at least 12 people were killed and about 30 were wounded in the explosion, according to reports from Reuters and Al Jazeera English. A security source said the blast at the Istanbul restaurant was accidental. Another security source at the scene said two Asian children were among the dead. Major General Saad bin Jassim alKhalifi, Qatar’s head of public security, said Arabs, Asians and one Qatari were among the dead and wounded. Preliminary investigations suggested that a gas tank exploded, setting off a fire and causing part of the building to collapse, he told a news conference. But investigations were continuing to discover what caused the gas tank to explode.

“It was a very big blast,� he said. “It blew away cars and the shrapnel scattered 50 or 100 meters away.� Chunks of masonry, metal debris and shattered glass lay outside the restaurant in a northwestern district of the city. Cars apparently crumpled by the explosion stood nearby. The incident was the deadliest in Qatar since May 2012, when at least 19 foreign nationals, including 13 children, were killed by a fire in an upscale shopping mall. A member of Qatar’s ruling family was among five people sentenced to prison by a court last year for negligence over the fire. The blaze was caused by faulty wiring in Doha’s Villagio Mall and quickly spread to a nursery, the court found. The gas- and oil-rich Gulf Arab state, with an estimated national population of at least 200,000, has one of the highest standards of living in the world. The bulk of the two million population of Qatar are foreigners. The area around the Istanbul restaurant is on the outskirts of the capital.

outspoken press, critics charge that the government does not do enough to investigate and curb the killings of journalists. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists lists nine journalists murdered in the Philippines last year. Three are known to have been killed in relation to their work. The organization said 76 journalists have been murdered in the country since 1992. In the worst such incident, 32 journalists were among 58 people murdered in the southern island of Mindanao in 2009 by a powerful political clan that

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Fil-Am Headliners: A Deputy DA and a celebrity beauty-maker Deputy DA Teresa Pineda Magno bids for LA Superior Court Seat At a recent “Night of Fine Food and Wine” at Rafi’s Village, in Burbank, this writer was among the guests at the campaign fundraiser for Fil-Am Deputy DA Teresa Pineda Magno in her bid for LA Superior Court’s seat no. 97 which will eventually be vacated by Judge David Milton. Event hosts were: Razmik Nazarian and Aileen Azadian of the Glendale Law Center. The intimate crowd included Teresa Magno’s mother, Nina Estrada who along with three brothers). She’s also gratecurrently works as a social worker for the ful to her mom for bringing them here in Department of Public Social Services and the US which enabled her to pursue a career her husband, Deputy District Attorney in the legal profession in order to “make a John Portillo, a 30-year veteran of the difference.” Likewise, Nina Estrada (Teresa’s mom) said that she’s confident on District Attorney’s office. In her speech, Ms Magno thanked ev- her daughter’s bid to be a judge because eryone of us who came to support her and she’s not only honest,; she also has a big proudly recalled how grateful she is of her heart and she’s my “friend and confidante.” single mom’s sacrifice in raising them (her Early on Teresa recalled, while applying at

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the community college, her councilor tried to convince her of a “Filipino stereotype” nursing career, but she was tenacious in pursuing her dream in the legal field, which was later on validated when she passed the Bar exams to the surprise of the college councilor. According to an article published by this writer’s former employer, the Metropolitan News Enterprise, Teresa’s “inspiration for joining the District Attorney’s Office stemmed from her experience growing up in the Philippines and witnessing police corruption and government abuse.” The evening’s guest speaker, Honorable Judge David Milton, who will be retiring from the LA Superior Court spoke, endorsing Teresa Pineda Magno with a lot of enthusiasm by saying, “there is no doubt in my mind and without reservation, I unequivocably endorse Teresa Pineda Magno as my successor to seat number 97 of the LA Superior Court. She has the drive to make a difference in the community and she is committed to serve as a public servant.” Also included in Teresa Pineda Magno’s website is her mission statement which goes: “ I want to be a judge in order to continue making a difference, in the lives of many peope. As a judge, I will not demand respect. I will earn it. I will do so by devoting whatever time and effort is necessary to ensure that I am prepared for any legal rulings; by being objective in my legal rulings, and by treating every person, litigants, court staff, jurors, and the public - with courtesy and respect. Lastly, I will be a fair judge, who while always giving priority to public safety, will temper the harsh realities inherent in the law, with compassion and understanding, and who will take the time and effort required to treat each defendant or litigant as an individual.” Currently, Teresa Pineda Magno is assigned to the Organized Crime Division/ Hate Crimes Unit of the District Attorney’s Office.She ‘recently completed a seven-year assignment as a gang homicide prosecutor, in the Hardcore Gang Division, where she completed 41 jury trials of gangmotivated murders and 83 felony trials. As a prosecutor with the L.A County District Attorney’s Office for the past 15 years, she has attained a 100 percent conviction rate in the murder cases she has tried and a 97 percent conviction rate for all gang-related cases she was involved in.” On her website, this well-respected Fil-Am,Teresa Pineda Magno is highly endorsed by her superiors as well as her colleagues. Here is a list of some of her endorsements: Appelate Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst, LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Retired District Attorney Steve Cooley, City of Inglewood Chief of Police, Mark Fronterotta, City of Torrance Chief of Police, John J, Neu, City of Pasadena Chief of Police, Phillip Smiley, R.Rex Parris, Mayor, City of Lancaster, Pat Furrey, Councilman, City of Torrance, 50 Superior Court Judges, various LA County Lawyer’s Groups, 11 Law Enforcement Agencies, 36 Individual Law Enforcement Officers of the LAPD/LASD (Sheriffs) and eight Criminal Defense Lawyers. The list of endorsements above signifies that Teresa Pineda Magno deserves the FilAm community’s support in her bid for seat no. 97 in the LA Superior Court. To all our kababayans who may wish to help in her campaign, you may log on to her website at: www.MagnoforJudge.com. Celebrity beauty-maker, Neeko Abriol is proud to be Pinoy Joseph “Neeko” Abriol was born here in Los Angeles, though his family (he has a brother and a sister) used to move wherever his dad, a career Navy man was stationed. Originally, his dad Jose Abriol and his mom, Thelma Manrique came from the City of Pines in Baguio, Philippines.

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After graduating from Upland High School, Neeko knew he wanted to become a “beauty-maker” so he pursued a career in Cosmetology at Citrus College. For the past ten years, Neeko is now one of the most sought-after hairstylists in the fashion and entertainment industry. He has used his outstanding styling talent on many of Hollywood’s most recognized personalities such as: Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Iman, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Naomi Campbell, Jada PinkettSmith, Vanessa WIlliams, Natasha Kinski and Viveca A. Fox. Some of the recording artists he has worked with are: Pink, Sting, Mary J. Blige, Carmen Elektra and countless other Hollywood stars. As a celebrity stylist, he has become a favorite staff on popular shows such as: MTV, VH1 and E! Entertainment. He also works on various advertising commercials on print, video and TV. Added to his busy schedule are fashion shows in New York, Los Angeles and New Delhi, India. Neeko’s television commercial credits include: Halle Berry’s Revlon Ads since 1998; Tyra Bank’s appearances on “America;s Top Model,” as well as most Victoria’s Secret and Cover Girl Ads. Neeko’s professional down-to-earth personal style may also be seen in various magazines such as: Allure, Bazaar, InStyle, Vive, Shape and many other print publications. Neeko has also been commissioned to work with celebrity photographers on worldwide photo shoots with well-known fashion photographers such as: Anne Liebowitz, Andrew Macpherson, Nigel Barker Firoz, Zahedi, Daniella Federico nd Kate Gardner. Most recently, through the invitation of Steve Moyer, we met Neeko as one of the judges at the BMA Beautymaker Awards held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel attended by around 200 professional stylidsts and salon participants all over the United States. As a Filipino American, Neeko’s fame and fortune never ‘got to his head; he’s still the same young chap who’s proud to call himself ‘Pinoy” all the time. And of course, most of us here in LA are proud to see another Pinoy in the limelight! Congratulations, Neeko, you make us all proud of your achievements!


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Joseph Babista: Filipino Taekwondoist Joseph Babista, second from left, improved his medal standing from bronze to gold at the 2014 U.S. Open Taekwondo Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada an achievement for the young athlete who took to the sport at age 6. Joseph is the son of Marie and Rommel Babista, an ICU Nurse and Health Worker, respectively.

J. Babista ‘kicks’ way to gold at Las Vegas Taekwondo Championships Five Taekwondo jins from the U.S., Russia, Canada, Mexico and Japan fell victims to the superiority of Joseph Babista en route to a gold medal finish at the 2014 Open Taekwondo Championships in Las Vegas this month. The victory was a big win for the young athlete who took to the sport when he was only six years old in the Philippines. Although burning with intent desire to carry the Philippine colors in this year’s prestigious tournament he was precluded   from using the Philippine flag “because his application for a Global Ath- Americans one of whom was a National letic License which would have permitted and AAU Champion. him to wave the flag had to be submitted Joseph was only six years old when he from the Philippines.” He competed under was introduced to the sport by his mom the banner of Salims Taekwondo where “who wanted an outlet by which to channel he trains. his full energy”. Winning the gold was a fitting exclamaJoseph’s family migrated to the U.S. in tion point in Joseph’s weight class (Cadet 2010 when he was a fourth grader at the Division 12-14 years old) as he will move La Salle Greenhills. He trained under the into a heavier weight (Junior Division) in watchful eyes of former Olympians. next year’s competition. In United States alone, Joseph’s medal Joseph shares his achievement to his harvest consisted of 2 golds (2011 State kababayan whom the young athlete hopes Games of America, 2011 California Open to inspire “to be the best in their chosen Taekwondo Championships); 3 Silvers field and instill pride in their being Pi- (2011 California United Taekwondo Asnoys.” sociation Championships, 2012 National Joseph’s gold medal in the feather- Qualifiers Lightweight Division), and 2 weight class division enabled him to join bronzes (2011 National Qualifiers, 2013 the roster of 13 other gold medalists of the U.S. Open Taekwondo Championships U.S. at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino under Team Philippines). whose total medal harvest of 54 medals Taekwondo is a Korean martial art (14 gold, 12 silver and 28 bronze) over- developed by a variety of Korean masters whelmed second placer Mexico (10 med- in the 1940s. The sport which combines als) and Canada (8 medals). The Americans combat and self-defense techniques with earned medals in each of the day’s 20 cadet sport and exercise has been an Olympic divisions. event since 2000. Joseph’s parents, ICU Nurse Marie and In Korean, tae means “to strike or Health Educator Rommel Babista, are typi- break with foot”; kwon means “to strike cal Filipinos s who would stop at nothing to or break with fist”; and do means “way”, develop the full potentials of their children. “method”, or “path”. Taekwondo may be At the 2013 U.S. Taekwondo Open loosely translated as “the way of the foot Championships in Las Vegas, Joseph and the hand.” settled with a bronze medal but earned the Taekwondo’s popularity has been short distinction of “being the first Filipino to of phenomenal when it got a global boost represent the Philippines in the tournament in the1988 Seoul Olympics where it was who actually won a medal”. introduced as a demonstration sport In that tournament where he also comLots of people are interested in impeted in the Flyweight Division, Joseph proving themselves and want to get fitter, was an underdog where 38 others vied for mentally tougher and learn to defend top honors. En route to a bronze medal fin- themselves and training in Taekwondo is ish, the determined youngster defeated two a great way to do this.

  

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The power of MOOP (Maximum Out-of-Pocket) Aquino: There are plans to Oscar is 89 y/o. He undergoes chemotheraphy every 3 weeks. The cost is $10,000 every session. Under Original Medicare, he pays 20% of the cost. Since he is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, he also shares 20% of the cost, but with one major difference. He has an MOOP (Maximum Out-ofPocket) cost that is limited to $2,500 a year. Translation:   Anything above and beyond his MOOP will be shouldered by the private While your Bronze may command a lower health insurance company where he is premium than your Silver, Silver’s MOOP enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan. may sometimes be lower. And this plan has a “0� premium.WOW! Leo Monsalud hails from Sta. Cruz, What a great savings! Zambales. And, that’s not all. While he does not He studied for his MBA and Law at the qualify for Medicaid (MediCal in Califor- University of the Philippines. nia), parting with $2,500 will not be easy He worked for United Laboratories, for his circumstances. Through proper Inc. where his last position held was vicechannels, he is now connected with a foun- president assigned as general manager of dation that promised to look at his situation a division. to help him navigate the tough times ahead. He was a joint venture partner of the (He’ll receive assistance in the payment of San Miguel Corporation in an agri-business his MOOP of $2,500. project. Under Obamacare, the MOOP feature He is a Certified Insurance Agent for has been institutionalized in every health Covered California. He provides FREE plan. The goal is for no one to go bankrupt consultation on Medicare and Obamacare. as a result of the high cost of medical care. He may be reached at 323-535-7373 or, Compare your Bronze and Silver plans. e-mail at: leo.balita@gmail.com.

   

sabotage HR compensation law CEBU CITY, Feb 25 (Mabuhay) – President Aquino defended his appointment of retired Philippine National Police (PNP) Director Lina Sarmiento to head the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board saying she has the skill and energy to lead the verification and processing of compensation claims of martial law victims. Aquino also revealed that there are plans to “sabotage� the intent of the law, which Aquino said could be ably thwarted by Sarmiento. Sarmiento once headed the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office and led the directorate for Police Community Relations before she retired. “Bakit si Lina? Number one, she is approaching the age of 56, which I think will give her the maturity, parang time for the experience and the necessary physical ability to be able to complete the job in two years. And also to fend off those who would want to sabotage what this law intends to do and the aim for this particular law,� Aquino told reporters after leading the People Power anniversary celebration here. Aquino said there are “at least two camps� that do not want the board to succeed: those who do not want the government to recognize the abuses committed during the martial rule and another group that allegedly wants to control the compensation funds. “Sigurado ako na merong at least dalawang kampo na ayaw magkaroon

magtagumpay itong board na ‘to. Merong ayaw magpalagay sa kasaysayan, mangumpisal na minsan nagkaroon ng panahon na ang gobyernong tinatag para pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng sambayanan ang nang-api sa taumbayan. Ang purpose of the law is primarily to put officially on the record na nagkamali ang estado o ang gobyerno sa panahon ng batas militar at makabawi doon sa mga naapi,â€? Aquino said. “May pangalawang grupo naman na tila ang inaasam-asam ay magkaroon ng control doon sa pondo at hindi‌ mabigyan maski paano ng pagkilala at kaunting tulong dito sa mga nabiktima.â€? Aquino added that Sarmiento is young enough to address the challenge of finishing the task within two years. He revealed another candidate to the board begged off due to old age. Human rights commission chair Etta Rosales and her predecessor, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, also vouched for Sarmiento. “All three of us have had experiences with Lina Sarmiento tackling human rights issues, which I think is the essential skill necessary. So she has the skill, she has the physical energy, she has the drive, she has the right direction to be able to accomplish the job in two years or less,â€? Aquino said. Aquino also invited critics to look at the track record of the other members of the board.(MNS)

Bill to make adobo as national food, jeepney as nat’l vehicle MANILA, Feb 28 (Mabuhay) – Craving for adobo? This dish, known for the balance between salty soy sauce and sour vinegar, may soon become the Philippines’ official national food, if a bill becomes a law. Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos filed earlier this month House Bill 3926 which seeks to declare adobo as national food, claiming that the dish uses a cooking method “indigenous to the Philippines.� “The most common table fare among Filipino families, nothing beats adobo for its versatility and variety,� the congressman said in his bill. Relampagos, who chairs the House tourism committee, even cited various ways of cooking adobo – “adobo sa gata, adobong matamis, adobong tuyo, adobong masabaw, adobo sulipan, adobo sa pinya and adobo sa kalamansi� – in his proposed legislation. The measure, which is currently pending before the House committee on revision of laws, also seeks to declare the Philippine jeepney as the country’s national vehicle. “Originally, the military jeeps left by the Americans after World War II, the Filipinos extended its body to accommodate more passengers and put a roof to give shade. Now, it is the most accessible mode of transportation throughout the country,� Relampagos said.

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Adversary complaint to challenge discharge cannot be settled by parties Debtor filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief to discharge $150,000 of unsecured debt. Creditor who holds a state court judgment for $50,000 on a signature loan files an adversarial case asking the court to deny discharge to debtor on the ground that his bankruptcy schedules are grossly inaccurate with intent to defraud the court. After the trial date is set, creditor and debtor mutually agree on a settlement where the debtor agrees to pay creditor $25,000 at $500 a month without interest for 50     months. In exchange, creditor agrees to dismiss the adversary case. The appealing from a public policy perspective, settlement agreement is presented to the however, it is difficult to reconcile with court by both parties. Will the court ap- the absence of an express prohibition of prove the settlement agreement and allow settlement of Section 727 complaints in the dismissal of the adversary case and the Bankruptcy Code and the language proceed to give debtor a discharge, or will of Rule 7041 which specifically permits the court deny the settlement agreement? dismissal of Section 727 complaints upon This is an interesting question because such ‘terms and conditions which the court normally parties to a lawsuit are able to deems proper,’, the court said. Where settle the dispute between them, while the settlements are allowed, courts require full court welcomes settlement agreements as disclosure of the settlement terms. Some matter of course. courts then require that other creditors, In Re Bullis decided last month, a credi- the Chapter 7 trustee, and the US Trustee tor holding judgments against the debtors be given the opportunity to become the filed a complaint against the court to deny plaintiff and continue the litigation. Other the debtors a Chapter 7 discharge. The courts take a “cautious but pragmatic apcomplaint raised serious questions about proachâ€?, considering whether the proposed the accuracy of the debtors’ schedules and settlement is in the bankruptcy estate’s statement of financial affairs, the lack of best interest. “All three tests endeavor to financial records, and the debtors’ inability distinguish between appropriate and inapto explain the loss of assets. The creditor propriate settlements. The cautious but and debtors then filed a joint motion to pragmatic approach is best suited to allow settle the complaint. The motion, which a careful consideration and inappropriate provided no details of the settlement, and appropriate settlements .The cautious called for the complaint to be dismissed, but pragmatic approach is best suited to the debtors to receive their discharge, and allow a consideration of the multitude of the creditor’s claims to be excepted from factors that may occur, particularly where a discharge. It appears at this point that they Section 727 complaint is joined with a Secdon’t need a Judge to determine whether tion 423 complaint brought by a creditor. or not there is a legal ground to deny dis- It is particularly sensitive to a determinacharge, or if the claim is legally excepted tion of whether the consideration for the from discharge. They’re asking the judge settlement of the Section 727 count will to take a hike. go to the estate rather than an individual The court noted that the ability of parties creditor even though the consideration may to settle discharge objections is limited by be attributed by the parties to the Section Fed.R.Bankr.7041, which recognizes that 423 count‌â€? the court said. the dismissal of such actions raises con“Jesus looked at them and said to them, cerns of abuse. In fact, some courts are so “With men this is impossible, but with God concerned about potential abuse that they all things are possible.â€? Mathew 19:26. do not allow the settlement of Section 727 Lawrence Bautista Yang is a graduate objections. “The essential proposition is of Georgetown University Law Center and that as a matter of public policy the debtor has been in law practice for thirty years. is either entitled to discharge or is not. He specializes in bankruptcy, business and There is no middle ground. If he is entitled civil litigation and has handled more than to a discharge, he ought not to be required five thousand successful bankruptcy cases to pay additional amounts to either a credi- in California. He speaks Tagalog and tor or the estate for his entitlement. Pay- looks forward to discussing your case with ment for a discharge is inimical to his fresh you personally. Please call Angie, Barbara start. If, on the other hand, he is not entitled or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointto a discharge, he should not be permitted ment at 1000 S Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, to purchase a discharge. This approach is Bldg A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803.



Gov’t urged: Clean up Customs bureau MANILA, Feb 28 (Mabuhay) – An analyst from Bloomberg urged the Aquino administration to boost its anti-graft and corruption campaign by going after erring officials in the Bureau of Customs (BOC). “The anti-graft movement should be brought to the next level. I would like to see the administration go after the Customs bureau a bit more,� William Pesek Jr., Asia-Pacific columnist for Bloomberg, said at the sidelines of the Security Bank Economic Forum. Pesek cited the recent report released by the Global Financial Integrity that government has lost at least $23 billion in revenue from customs evasion since the 1990s. “That’s a lot of money that could pay down Philippines’ budget deficit and pay for poverty reduction and infrastructure. We are not talking about small figures here, so in the next 2 years and 4 months I would like to see a more linear focus on the Bureau of Customs,� he said. The Aquino administration has implemented a reorganization in the bureau, which resulted to the transfer of several officials to the Department of Finance. Former Finance Undersecretary John Phillip Sevilla, who replaced Ruffy Biazon as customs commissioner in December, earlier said he will continue to enforce reform programs at the BOC. Sevilla also vowed to BOC employees found to be working with rice smugglers. Pesek, meanwhile, said that while the Philippines’ surpassed economic growth targets in 2013, government should continue efforts to eradicate poverty and generate job growth. “About a quarter of the population still lives in less than $1.25 a day. Job growth has not been as impressive as you might expect given a growth rate that rivals China,� he said.

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Aquino inaugurates first Petron service station built in Malaysia KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb 28 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III inaugurated Thursday the first service station built by Petron in Malaysia since the company poured a huge amount of investment in the country two years ago. The Petron MRR2 Jalan Selayang station here in Kuala Lumpur is the first station built by Petron following its investment of $610 million in early 2012 to acquire 65 percent of publicly listed Petron Malaysia Refining and Marketing Bhd, Petron Fuel International Sdn Bhd and Petron Oil (M) Sdn Bhd. These three companies comprise Petron Malaysia which represents the single largest investment by a Philippine company. Petron Malaysia is a subsidiary of Petron Corp., the largest oil refining and marketing company in the Philippines, which has been operating for the past 80 years. Ramon Ang, Petron’s chairman and CEO, said the President’s visit inspires the company to create more value to its customers and stakeholders while playing a major role in the energy needs of Malaysia. Petron investments are expected to reach over $1 billion in the next few years especially with the upgrade of Port Dickinson refinery and with the continuing

expansion of its retail network. Petron Malaysia has successfully completed the re-imaging and upgrading of 300 out of 560 stations of Petron in Malaysia. The company targets to complete the upgrade program by the end of this year. The Philippines and Malaysia have also signed cooperation agreements related to culture and education, MalacaĂąang announced Friday. During a press conference, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Pres. Aquino witnessed the signing of the Agreement on Cultural, Arts, and Heritage Cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Education. Valte said they will release details about the agreements later in the day. The President left for Kuala Lumpur on Thursday for his first state visit to Malaysia, saying he hopes to strengthen the alliance between the two countries. Aside from this, Aquino also attended the expanded bilateral meeting between the Philippines and Malaysia. “Some of the topics... were subjects under political cooperation, economic cooperation, tourism cooperation, as well as the welfare of OFWs in Malaysia. We carry : PHILIPPINE AIRLINES,

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MALAYSIA

Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to avoid miscalculations and lessen tensions. Meanwhile, Pres.Aquino III also invited Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to come to the Philippines for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro at the end of March this year. The peace talks between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front was facilitated by Malaysia. “The successful conclusion of the Mindanao peace process finds root in the determination of both our peoples to strengthen the foundations of peace and justice,� the President said in his press statement after his meeting with the Malaysian leader. “This makes possible the empowerment of all the peoples of Mindanao. I look forward to welcoming Your Excellency in Manila for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.�

From page 1

that adherence to the rule of law, positive engagement and sincere dialogue are fundamental in building a prosperous and peaceful Southeast Asia, President Aquino said. Both the Philippines and Malaysia are claimants to the contested territories. Other countries from the ASEAN seeking ownership include Vietnam and Brunei. NonASEAN claimants are China and Taiwan. The Philippines has elevated the territorial dispute for international arbitration saying it has exhausted all diplomatic means to resolve the issue peacefully. The move encountered strong objection from China. Other countries such as the US said it doesn’t take sides but said its main interest is freedom of navigation in the area. It is pushing for all parties to agree on a binding

 

                   

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ARBITRATION From page 1

can tell you generally that it will contain the position of government when it comes to this, I cannot delve into specifics,� she said. “[But] I think we have already made a solid case before the international community,� Valte added. The Philippines, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), has filed

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a diplomatic protest against China over several cases of harassment of Filipino fishermen, including last month’s water cannon attack, in Manila-claimed Panatag Shoal off the South China Sea. China, meanwhile, has urged the Philippines “to work with the Chinese side to resolve differences through bilateral consultations and negotiations.�(MNS)

CORPSES FOUND From page 1

by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) on Nov. 8. Accompanied by Mayor Alfred Romualdez during the visit to the city and surrounding areas, Chairman Royce visited U.S. and international-funded aid projects for residents, many of whom had their homes completely destroyed. At a rice distribution site, Chairman Royce and the delegation were briefed on aid efforts by representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which along with the World Food Program (WFP) and Samaritan’s Purse are distributing food aid to those in need. Chairman Royce and the delegation also visited a USAID shelter and settlement site, at which aid organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and PLAN International are constructing low-cost housing to shelter many of the six million people displaced by the typhoon, with 26,000 remaining in evacuation centers. UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs Valerie Amos recounted the shock of discovering the dead during a visit Wednesday to the devastated central city of Tacloban. “As the debris is cleared, they are finding more dead bodies. We experienced that for ourselves,� she told reporters. Amos visited Tacloban to inspect the progress of the UN-aided rehabilitation effort and check on the condition of survivors of one of the strongest typhoons ever to hit land. The government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council confirmed bodies are still being found.

“Sometimes they find two or three a day, then there are days where they find none,� its spokesman Reynaldo Balido told AFP. The latest casualty figures were a month old and did not reflect any subsequent corpse retrievals as the authorities work to reconcile the numbers, he added. Balido said residents have learnt to adapt to the sight of newly found corpses. Haiyan raked across the central Philippines on November 8 last year, wrecking 1.1 million houses and displacing more than four million residents of some of the country’s poorest provinces according to the UN. The worst damage was inflicted by huge tsunami-like surges of seawater into Tacloban and other coastal communities. Amos said Tacloban survivors need more help. “They are many people trying to live in their original (ruined) homes. They put up a tarpaulin as a roof and put some wood on the side and that’s not good enough. It won’t stand up to a storm,� she said. The UN was also concerned about the welfare of more than a million farmers after 30 million coconut trees were destroyed, she said. Replacement trees will not bear fruit for another six to eight years, Amos said. About 30,000 small fishing boats were also destroyed or damaged, she added. To help these people, the UN asked aid donors for $788 million in December, but Amos said only just over $362 million has been raised. “Signs of devastation are still evident but so too are signs of progress,� she added.

RANILLO

Oriental Hotel here, the President said reforming the bureaucracy is continuing and his government will go after those who have committed wrongdoings and abuses. The Filipino community in Malaysia praised the President for his firm stand against corruption and assured him of their continuing support. He also told Filipinos in Malaysia that the Philippines improved a lot since his assumption to office in 2010. And despite the recent calamities that hit the country, the Philippines posted a 7.2 percent GDP growth last year, one of the highest in Asia. The government succeeded in creating more jobs particularly in the business process outsourcing and semiconductor industry, eliminated the backlog in classrooms and chairs and gave schoolchildren enough books to use, he said.

From page 1

siya, he could be an ordinary witness so nasa kanya iyan kung mayroon siyang puwedeng ma-volunteer na information, why not,� said De Lima. She added that the Senate blue ribbon committee can always invite Ranillo to the ongoing Senate probe on the fund mess if it is “interested� in hearing what he has to say. Meanwhile, President Benigno S. Aquino III assured the Filipino community in Malaysia that his administration will remain determined to fight graft and corruption to make the country a better place for Filipinos. During his message to the Filipino community at a gathering held at the Mandarin

UNA dares Belmonte, Abad to release names of DAP recipients MANILA, Feb 26 (Mabuhay) – United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Secretary General Toby Tiangco again dared House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Budget Secretary Butch Abad to divulge the names of the members of the House of Representatives who availed of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). “Ang unang excuse ni Sec. Abad ay Sunday daw nung tinanong siya kaya wala siyang makuhang records. Si Speaker naman, ang sabi hindi daw niya matandaan. Wednesday na ngayon, ano naman kaya ang kanilang palusot?� he asked. He said such refusal is unfair to other lawmakers like him who did not receive

the controversial fund. “Nasaan na ang master list ng Congress at DBM? If they don’t want to present it because it may incriminate them, then we can say that the administration is adopting a no-gun-no-murder defense to cover the DAP crime scene and to mislead the public and the Supreme Court,� he said. He said the DBM issues the lawmakers’ Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) via the Speaker of the House. “Bakit nga ba nila kailangang itago ang masterlist? Takot ba silang makita kung sino ang nakinabang sa DAP at magkano ang napunta kanino?� Tiangco asked.(MNS)


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Weekend, Sat. - Fri., March 1-7, 2014

Is it wrongful termination if you’re forced to quit? Jorge Vasquez worked 40 hours per week at $10 per hour as maintenance technician for the apartments managed by his employer. His supervisors regularly instructed him to drive his own truck for workrelated errands. Even though Jorge repeatedly told his supervisors that he could not afford to pay for the extra gasoline and vehicle maintenance, he was not reimbursed for these expenses and continued to be assigned tasks that required many miles of driving. Jorge told his supervisor that he could not “tolerate the work environment of only being paid $10. per hour, not being paid for gas and having to drive around town for work without being reimbursed for mileage.” After mileage expenses of about $16.50 per day, Jorge was generally left with a daily wage rate of $63.50 or $7.9375 per hour. Because of this, Jorge had “no choice but to resign.” Jorge sued his former employer for reimbursements. He also sued for wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The employer asked the court to dismiss the case, contending that Jorge does not have a cause of action because he voluntarily quit. The trial court agreed. Jorge appealed. The Court of Appeal agreed with Jorge. The court found that he has a cause of action for constructive discharge. In order to succeed on this claim, Jorge must show that the employer either created or permitted working conditions that were so intolerable that a reasonable employee would be forced to resign. Ordinarily, an employer’s failure to reimburse an employee for business expenses would not create such intolerable working conditions that the employee would have no option but to resign. But

in Jorge’s situation, the amount he was forced to spend on gasoline and vehicle maintenance left him earning less than the minimum wage and not enough money to sustain himself, thus making his working conditions intolerable. The court noted that an employer may, in an attempt to avoid liability for a wrongful termination, “refrain from actually firing an employee, preferring instead to engage in conduct causing him or her to quit.” If the employer’s conduct “effectively forces an employee to resign,” this is a constructive discharge, and is “legally regarded as a firing rather than a resignation.” Also, Jorge should be allowed to claim that his constructive discharge was in violation of public policy. The prompt payment of wages is a fundamental public policy in California. A refusal to pay an employee the minimum wage or overtime pay is a contravention of that public policy. [C. Joe Sayas, Jr., Esq. is trial attorney who has obtained several million dollar recoveries for his clients against insurance companies and employers. He has been selected as a Super Lawyer by the Los Angeles Magazine, featured in the cover of Los Angeles Daily Journal’s Verdicts and Settlements, and is a member of the Million Dollar-Advocates Forum. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center Washington, D.C. and the University of the Philippines. Visit his website at www. joesayaslaw.com or contact his office at (818) 291-0088 for a no-cost inquiry.]

House prosecutor in Corona impeachment trial denies receiving DAP funds ANILA, Feb 25 (Mabuhay) – A lawmaker who served as one of the House prosecutors in the impeachment trial of ex-Chief Justice Renato Corona said Tuesday he did not receive funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program as a reward for his role in the conviction of Corona. At a press conference, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. denied the report published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday that members of the House prosecution panel and other lawmakers received at least P10 million from DAP after Corona was convicted in May 2012. The P10 million fund allegedly represents a P7 million allocation for farmto-market roads and P3 million for soft projects. “I categorically deny the allegation [published in the Inquirer]. I did not receive P3 million in funds for soft projects and P7 million for farm-to-market roads before, during and after the impeachment [trial],” Barzaga said. According to the Inquirer report, certain House members received a total of P5 billion while senators received P1.5 billion from DAP for their role in Corona’s ouster. The existence of DAP was known after Sen. Jinggoy Estrada bared in September last year that he and other senators who voted to convict Corona received P50 million each in additional funds months after the impeachment trial. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has

since denied allegations that funds from DAP were given to lawmakers during Corona’s impeachment trial. Abad justified the DAP as the national government’s pooled savings from unused budgetary items or lower-than-expected expenses of government agencies. Release full report on DAP releases But United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary general and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco dared Abad on Tuesday to publicly release a full report on all DAP releases if there is indeed nothing illegal about the program. “For the sake of transparency at kung wala talagang tinatago [ang DBM], once and for all ay ilabas na nila ilabas ang listahan ng ng mga nabigyan ng DAP at ano yung pinagkagastusan ng pondo,” he said. Tiangco also denied Abad’s claim that DAP allocations were released to all members of the House of Representatives whether or not they were for or against Corona’s impeachment. “Secretary Abad says walang pulitika sa pagpili ng mabibigyan ng DAP. Pero I have to state for the record na ako ay walang natanggap ni isang sentimo [galling sa DAP] at may mga kakilala akong kongresistang wala ring natanggap mula sa DAP,” Tiangco said. He noted that he has been asking Abad to release the list as early as August last year but the Budget chief has yet to furnish him with a copy of the DAP beneficiaries. (MNS)

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SC asked to invalidate appointment of ex-PNP exec as human rights claims board chief MANILA, Feb 25 (Mabuhay) – A group composed of former and incumbent party-list lawmakers has asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the appointment of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) first female director as head of the body that will process the claims of human rights victims during the Martial Law regime. In its petition filed Tuesday, the group said President Benigno Aquino III committed grave abuse of discretion when he installed retired police Director Lina Castillo-Sarmiento as head of the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board. Both Aquino and Sarmiento were named as respondents in the petition, which also sought the issuance of a status quo ante order, a temporary restraining order, or a writ of preliminary injunction, pending the resolution of the plea. The group of petitioners is composed of former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, incumbent Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Maria Carolina Araullo, Trinidad Repuno, Tita Lubi, and Josephine Dongail. Last week, Malacañang appealed to government critics to give Sarmiento a

chance to prove herself as HRVC chief. The current leadership of the CHR as well as Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, a former CHR chairperson herself, have already welcomed Sarmiento’s appointment. Sarmiento, who headed the PNP’s Directorate for Police Community Relations and the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office, retired last January . In its petition, the group raised doubts as to whether Sarmiento has a “deep and thorough understanding and knowledge of human rights violations committed during the regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos” as required by law. “There is nothing on public record that respondent Sarmiento ever got involved in any effort against such atrocities during the dictatorship. If at all, she was a silent, passive, if not acquiescent cog in the security apparatus of the repressive dictatorship,” the group said. “It is not only a question of whether respondent Sarmiento is qualified under the law but is also a question as to whether respondent Aquino’s act of appointing respondent Sarmiento contravenes the very essence of the law he is supposed to implement,” read the petition.

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OPINION

Filipinos challenged to join revolution vs poverty

MANILA, Feb. 25 (Mabuhay) – As the nation commemorates the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution Tuesday, neophyte Senator Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV on Tuesday challenged the Filipinos to join hands in a new battle against poverty. ”As we came together in1986, once again, let us join hands to help the country’s poor and give everyone a chance to gain employment and livelihood,” Aquino, a multi-awarded youth leader and social entrepreneur before being elected into the Senate said. Aquino said the country has achieved freedom from the clutches of dictatorship through peaceful and bloodless protest 28 years ago but the fight will continue, this time, against the prevalent inequality and lack of economic opportunities. ”At present, the revolution to end poverty continues and more than ever, we need to unite to fulfill the full promise of EDSA,” Aquino said. Aquino, the youngest senator of the present 16th Congress, was only nine years old when a bloodless people power ended dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and catapulted his aunt, former President Corazon Aquino to power in 1986. Another neophyte senator Nancy Binay said EDSA Revolution is still “a work in progress as many of our countrymen remain mired in hunger, poverty and inequality.” ”Twenty-eight years ago, we gathered in EDSA to demand for our rights. Today, we are still marching hand in hand – so that every Filipino, regardless of economic status, age and sex, can gain and enjoy true democracy, justice and equality,” Binay said. Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano said the problems besetting the country today would not go away if the people do not unite and fight them, just like what happened in EDSA 28 years ago. ”The spirit of EDSA still alive after 28 years. Our grandparents and parents fought for the kind of country they wanted not only for them, but for us as well. Now, it is up to us to honor that spirit and fight for the kind of country we want,” Cayetano said. Cayetano said the EDSA celebration should also serve as a reminder to the government to institute reforms and stamp out corruption wherever it may be found. Senate President Franklin Drilon said the Filipinos should not forget the EDSA People Power that brought back democracy in the country 28 years ago. ”To our countrymen, we should not forget that a People Power is one way to bring back our democracy ,” Drilon said. ”If we have freedom to criticize our government and scrutinize the way the government spends people’s money, that is because we have freedom of expression under our democracy,” Drilon added. Last Monday, the Senate passed an economic bill seeking to boost job creation by promoting the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Sen. Aquino authored Senate Bill No. 2046 or Go Negosyo Bill wherein Negosyo (business) Centers shall be established in all cities and municipalities to assist entrepreneurs on how to set up and manage their business. (MNS)

Poor left behind, jobs scarce as PHL takes off: experts  MANILA, February 26, 2014 (AFP) – The Philippines should create more investment opportunities in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and mining to escape the curse of jobless economic growth, experts and businessmen said Wednesday. Economic growth in the Philippines has been among the highest in Asia in recent years. But the benefits have escaped the vast majority, particularly farm workers, they told an economic forum. “If you want a major increase in employment, you have to broaden your basis of growth,” Julian Payne, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, told the forum sponsored by foreign chambers of commerce. He said there must be more opportunities in “sectors that really have huge potential in long-term employment generation” such as agri-business, manufacturing, mining and tourism – with only the latter currently enjoying some success. The economy grew 7.2 percent last year, the fastest since President Benigno Aquino came to power in 2010. owever the foreign chambers of commerce said 22.3 percent of families still lived in poverty, barely changed from the figure in 2009. The rate of unemployment and underemploy-

ment as of October last year was 24.4 percent, down only slightly from the previous year, government statistics showed. While they gave Aquino credit, the heads of the country’s foreign chambers of commerce said his reforms did not go far enough or were too slow. While foreign direct investment in the Philippines had picked up, it was still lagging far behind its peers in Southeast Asia, they added. “Competitiveness in the country is getting better but it is not enough,” said Takashi Ishigami, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce. He and other foreign businessmen said the Philippines should scrap restrictions on foreign investment, keep the minimum wage from rising and further cut bureaucracy to bring the the country to the same level as the rest of the region. World Bank economist Rogier van den Brink said the Philippines needed to create 14.6 million more jobs for those already unemployed and underemployed, on top of those who join the labour force each year. He said entrenched groups in the country were resisting competition and preventing the economy from opening up.

Danger ahead for planned PHL-MILF peace deal BY Cecil Morella

MANILA, February 27, 2014 (AFP) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino is on the brink of an accord to end one of Asia’s longest and deadliest rebellions, but renegade guerrillas, hostile politicians and the nation’s highest court lie in potential ambush. After completing negotiations last month, Aquino is expected to sign within weeks a final peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for a power-sharing arrangement with the nation’s Muslim minority in the south. In a process patterned on the 1998 Good Friday accord that ended the Northern Ireland conflict, the MILF would then gradually disband its 12,000-member force and put its weapons “beyond use”. If successful, the accord would end a conflict that began in the 1970s, claimed an estimated 150,000 lives and condemned large parts of the fertile southern Philippines to violence-plagued poverty. The Philippines’ Muslim population of about five million people regard the south as their ancestral homelands, and the MILF has led the armed quest for independence or autonomy. But, after 18 years of stop-start negotiations that produced repeated false dawns, even Aquino’s peace chiefs are warning that the toughest stages are yet to come. “We can expect that there will be a lot of difficulties,” said university professor Miriam Ferrer, who led the government negotiators. “If the negotiations were hard, so much more the implementation.” Neutralising the spoilers As the process gets under way, the government will need to stamp out the threat of other armed groups in the still-largely lawless region who oppose peace. An MILF splinter group that still wants independence, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), has a deadly history of trying to derail peace efforts. It may only have a few hundred armed followers, but in 2008 it attacked Christian towns across the south in an effort to destroy a previous peace plan, leaving more than 400 people dead and displacing 750,000 others. Immediately after negotiations with the MILF ended last month, security forces launched an assault against the BIFF in which 53 of its fighters

and a soldier were killed. “Neutralising the BIFF will be a big help to the autonomous political entity. It would be one headache less with the spoilers taken out,” regional military spokesman Colonel Dickson Hermoso told AFP. However, the BIFF continues seeking to attract MILF members unhappy with the peace plan, while there are other rival groups who feel excluded from the process and remain a threat. One is the MILF’s rival Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which signed a peace deal in 1996 that is regarded by Aquino as a failure. MNLF founder Nur Misuari’s followers attacked the southern port of Zamboanga in September last year in an effort to wreck the peace talks, leaving more than 220 people dead. Amid this backdrop, convincing the MILF to give up their weapons, a task to be supervised by a neutral body of foreign experts, is expected to be one of the toughest challenges. Misuari’s men never gave up their arms, allowing the region to suffer from banditry and political warlords with their own private armies. Problems with power-sharing Tensions are expected to be nearly as high in Manila, where Congress must swiftly pass a “basic law” creating the Muslim self-rule area. This would cover about 10 percent of the mainly Catholic nation’s total land, with its own police force, a regional parliament and power to levy taxes – all powderkeg issues. “Congress is the main battleground. Congress can make or unmake things,” said Steven Rood, country director for the US-based Asia Foundation and a member of a monitoring team invited by the negotiators to observe the peace process. Political analyst Rommel Banlaoi also warned some Christian politicians from the planned autonomous region were hostile to the idea of power-sharing as this would dilute or destroy their power bases. “Some congressmen do not believe in the peace agreement and will reject (the proposed law)... or will find ways to delay the whole thing,” Banlaoi, president of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, told AFP. Opponents are also widely expected to challenge the creation of a Muslim autonomous region in the Supreme Court.


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Ghost applicant can still be sponsored Q. My name is Corazon. I applied to obtain a visa to visit Canada three times and I was refused each time. I then met someone who was able to obtain a fake passport in someone else’s name (Sharon) but with a real Canadian visa in it. I entered Canada as “Sharon� in 2008 and have lived in secret the last six years. In 2010 I met a Canadian man and we married. We have three children together. I have been afraid to do anything up to now because I basically do not exist in Canada. I no longer    have Sharon’s passport and I am not able to tell anyone my real story. Q. I applied for permanent residence What can I do? in Canada two years under the caregiver A. There are some key issues here. I un- program. My spouse who lives in Saudi derstand that you are somewhat of a ghost Arabia has not been diagnosed with a rare in Canada. I also understand that you feel blood disorder. It is very controlled but the stuck but I hope, for your sake, that you immigration department is saying that he did not make matters worse after arriving is likely to have medical problems in the in Canada. Let me elaborate. Ok, I see that future that will be a burden on Canada’s you entered Canada using a fraudulent health services. They want to refuse his passport under the name of Sharon. So application. What other way can I bring what did you do after that? Did you try to him to Canada? Can I sponsor him after I extend your visa or apply as a refugee or become an immigrant? work with Sharon’s passport? Further, you A. Let’s clear up one important thing. said you married a Canadian man. I assume His application is your application. This you have a marriage certificate. Under is basically one family application. If he what name is the marriage certificate? is refused for medical reasons then the My point is that if you continued your entire application fails. No one gets a visa. lies after arrival then you are likely to face That being the case, if he is really medical bigger hurdles. However, if you did noth- inadmissible then applying under another ing to make things worse (and I mean you category is a waste of time as all visa catdid NOT use the fake passport in any way egories require a medical exam. The only after entry to obtain any sort of benefit) way you can sever him from your applithen you should be fine by filing a spon- cation is via death or divorce. Therefore, sorship. Under immigration law there is my suggestion is to fight this before they a provision allowing a spouse to file an refuse the application. You have stated that application even they entered with a fake his medical condition is stable and that passport as long as they did not use that there are foreseeing the future. Well, the passport later on. Similarly, if your mar- medical findings of his condition must be riage certificate is “Sharon� then that is a reasonable and must be likely. It cannot big problem because Sharon does not exist. be a fishing expedition. Therefore, you If you used your real name then you did not should obtain medical reports from your procure a fake marriage certificate and I do doctor to support your claims. Finally, it not see much of a problem especially since seems that the immigration department is you have three young children. Don’t get saying that your husband’s condition will me wrong, this is still a serious and com- likely exceed the health costs of average plex scenario but it can work out for you. per capita – which is about $6000. There-

   

Prominent Fil-Am businesswoman/ philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis appointed to MPI Board of Trustees WASHINGTON — Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), announced today that Loida Nicolas Lewis, Chair and CEO of the investment firm TLC Beatrice, LLC, veteran non-profit leader and journalist Louis Freedberg and former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner James W. Ziglar have joined the Board of Trustees of MPI, an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. Mrs. Lewis, a former general attorney in the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, assumed leadership of the TLC Beatrice Foods business conglomerate after the death of her husband, noted AfricanAmerican lawyer and entrepreneur Reginald F. Lewis, in 1993. Two years later, after steering the company to $2 billion in revenue, she was named the most powerful female CEO in America by Working Woman magazine. A native of the Philippines, she is chair emeritus of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), which she helped found. Mrs. Lewis is a co-founder of the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund (AALDEF), chair of the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation and founder and president of The Lewis College in the Philippines. Dr. Freedberg is executive director of EdSource, a non-profit organization founded in 1977 that provides research and data on key education challenges in California and nationally. He was previously the founding director of California Watch, an

innovative non-profit journalism venture. He spent more than a decade at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was an award-winning reporter, Washington correspondent, columnist and member of the editorial board with a focus on immigration and education policies. Dr. Freedberg also directed youth programs at Pacific News Service/New America Media. A native of South Africa, he founded and directed the Institute for a New South Africa. He has been a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, a visiting fellow at the Urban Institute and a fellow at the Institute for Justice and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Former INS Commissioner Ziglar, who is an MPI senior fellow, previously served as an advisor to the MPI Board of Trustees. Prior to joining MPI, Mr. Ziglar was president and CEO of Cross Match Technologies. From 1998-2001, he served as Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. Senate, a position in which he served as the Senate’s chief operating officer, top protocol officer and chief law enforcement officer. He left that post in 2001 when President George W. Bush appointed him INS Commissioner, a position he held until December 2002 when the agency was dissolved and its missions transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security. He has more than 40 years of experience in management, finance, law and public policy, spending 17 years as an investment banker and 13 years as a practicing lawyer. He began his law career as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.

fore, you should provide evidence to prove that his medical treatment, if allowed into Canada, will not exceed that amount and will not be a burden on health services. Q. I’ve been a permanent resident of Canada for the last decade. I have a good job and pay my taxes. I never applied for Canadian Citizenship. I was charged with assault and some other offence last years. I did plea guilty and I never went to jail. I received a letter from Canada Immigration to attend an interview. I do not understand what Canada Immigration has to do with my criminal offences? As well, my trial is over and it was so long ago. Please explain. A. Since you are a permanent resident and not a Canadian Citizen, the immigration department has the right to deport you if you have been convicted of a crime that is punishable by at least ten years. It does not mean that you will be deported but the interview is the first step towards

that. It can be a lengthy and complex process so it is best to hire a lawyer. For the benefit of readers, this is one key element between permanent residence and citizenship. Clients often ask what the difference is between the two. There are three main differences: Permanent Residents cannot vote in a federal election (Canadian Citizens can). Permanent Residents must maintain residence in Canada for 2 out of 5 years (Canadian Citizens have no restriction) Permanent Residents can be deported if convicted of criminal offences (Canadian Citizens cannot be deported) Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email canada@moyal.com or call toll free 1-888-847-2078.

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The final year of the short sale, how to buy distressed properties I seriously thought that our short sale days are really numbered, but base on what analyst and realtors are saying this year we will be flooded with short sale. I still don’t see it but that might be a good thing, it will signal the end to problem loans and borrowers. Once the market and consumers realizes that the whole foreclosure mess is behind us, then more buyers and sellers will come out of the woodworks and start to really jump start the economy. Here’s are 5 reasons to why we might need to consider a short sale in 2013: lines that became effective on November 1, 1.Short Sale Incentive Programs There 2012 should improve short sale processing seems to be an exhaustive list of short times for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sale incentive programs, but our all time short sales. favorite (expiring in September of 2013) is 4.Tax Relief and Anti-Deficiency Waivthe Bank of America Short Sale Assistance ers You’ve probably heard all the hoopla Program. This program pays up to $30,000 about the Mortgage Debt Relief Act being in relocation assistance to certain ( very extended AGAIN, well it was not, but for strong word, cuz I have only seen one short Californians you will still be able to write seller getting this amount for relocation ) off the losses depending on the type of loan short sale sellers at closing. There are other you had, please check with your accounprograms from Citibank and Chase, and tant. Additionally, there are other tax laws there is also the Treasury’s HAFA program. that could apply and provide forgiveness Many borrowers who seek relief often get to certain short sale sellers. to take advantage of these great incentive 5. Once you have realized that your programs. And, rumor has it that more upside down property is not worth keeping, incentive programs are on the way. you will then realize that a huge burden 2.HARP 2.0 Responsible borrowers have been lifted from your shoulders and who are desperate to get some relief may that you can move on. There is no practilook into this loan modification program cal sense to keep on throwing money into and then learn that they do not qualify or a fire pit. This might be your last chance are not interested. So, here’s yet another to consider this option if you absolutely faction of the market that may consider have no other alternative. short sale as a viable alternative. It’s a Best decision are made with practicality great way to really cut your losses and and sensible financial calculation, a home never look back. I have been discussing use to be a house that you had just bought new buying options with the homeowners and turned into a home. If this home that have short sale their homes in 2008 becomes a burden and a bundle of debt to & 2009, they are actually able to buy now you, it’s time to make it into a lost business with the short sale being three years ago. opportunity and cut your losses. You can 3.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Stream- always get back on your feet and start over lined Short Sale Guidelines The new guide- in a couple of years.

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For those who can actually afford these upside down mortgages and wants to really keep their homes. You have to make sure you are looking at long term recovery running 5-possibly 8 years depending on your location. The government fiscal cliff issues are swept away for now, so you will start to maybe hear some news about the mortgage mess that is still in the air. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac foreclosures are rising and there are talks that they will release a lot of foreclosed properties this year. Currently you can view all their

listings thru these two websites: www. Homepath.com; www.Homesteps.com You can view and actually directly offer thru these websites, they have programs where you can buy fixer upper properties as is with a loan, they have programs with minimal down payment with no PMI. They have good investor packages too. Visit this site and get Pre-Qualified to buy a house Now before rates go up higher. Thanks so much for your support and comments, please call Ken Go of 1st Innovative Finance at 562-697-7028 or write to kennethgo@verizon.net.

Local couple strike gold with treasure trove find LOS ANGELES, February 26, 2014 (AFP) – A California couple out walking their dog struck it rich by unearthing a horde of buried gold coins, worth more than $10 million according to experts. The so-called Saddle Ridge find is believed to be the most valuable treasure trove ever discovered in the United States, according to Kagin’s Inc, which specializes in ancient gold coins. The couple, named only as John and Mary, spotted a partially buried can jutting out of the ground – and after further digging found seven more, with more than 1,400 gold coins. “This family literally found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” said company boss Donald Kagin, adding that most of the coins date from the late 19th century. “What’s really significant about this find... is that unlike other hoards and treasures, this one includes a great variety of dates, many of which are in pristine condition,” he added.

The Saddle Ridge Treasure is named after a feature on the couple’s property in an area of northern California known for buried treasure since the Gold Rush in the 19th century. The couple said they were simply taking their dog for its daily walk when they made the first find. “I saw an old can sticking out of the ground on a trail that we had walked almost every day for many, many years,” said John, who used a stick to dig it out. They carried it back to the house, despite its considerable weight. “I said to Mary, ‘Wow, this thing is heavy. It must be full of lead paint.’ I couldn’t figure out what in the world would weigh that much,” John said. At that moment, “the lid cracked off and exposed a rib of a single gold coin,” he said, adding: “I clamped the lid back on – I found a can of gold coins and I thought there was a zero percent chance of Mary believing me!


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HEALTH & BEAUTY

Renew yourself with the LaVon Supreme Treatment It is no longer necessary to let aging, sun damage or genetic skin conditions alter your natural beauty. It also is no longer necessary to undergo the cost and risk of plastic surgery to dramatically enhance how you look and feel. LaVon Skin Care has been proactive in the skin care industry, developing a number of the new and hi-tech skin care treatments available today. With their ongoing commitment to education and training, they have met and consulted with leading physicians and skin specialists across the country. This ensures that clients, get the most advanced skin care products and services available today. Acne is the most common skin condition treated at LaVon Skin Care. If you are silently suffering with acne,you are not alone. Thousands of people in the Filipino community have acne including teenagers

and adults. A disorder of skin’s oil glands and hair folicles, the red, irritated bumps that are the hallmark of acne breakouts are often painfully obvious. Finally, there is a solution that targets three primary causes of acne and delivers clear, healthy skin that helps to stop breakouts before they start. LaVon Skin Care discovered these state-of-the-art acne treatment that targets current blemishes while helping to prevent future breakout activity and dark spot removal that makes skin evenly colored, naturally hydrated and smooth. LaVon Skin Care is using synergistic blend of active enzymes - a product that delivers rapid results; reduce the visible signs of acne as early as 2 weeks. It penetrates the pores deeply. all the way down to the follicles - to stop acne where it starts. The end result: you can achieve clearer, healthier, breakout-free

skin - fast! How does LaVon SkinCare program transform skin? It penetrates below the surface of the skin to transform skin cell functions at the cellular level and correct the damage within. It exfoliates old skin leaving healthy, new skin that looks and acts younger and healthier. Another new service offered is the LaVon Supreme Treatment. Using Stem Cell and Face Contour, this treatment stimulates collagen and elastin, increases skin cell regeneration, and dissolves fats while removing wrinkles and lines. The Body Contour Treatment with Body Wrap is also extremely effective in melting fat, increasing metabolism, and can eliminate sagging skin and cellulite. This treatment, which is popular among Filipino celebrities can help rid the body of 4 to 15 inches. LaVon SkinCare is a group of highy qualified Licensed Estheticians headed by Cecil Danganan whose goal is to make everyone’s skin Flawless. She achieves this goal by using breakthrough technology in skin care treatments.The skin care specialist brought her highly acclaimed skin care shop in Pasig and Caloocan, Philippines and her skill of making your skin beautiful to the U.S. keeping her apart from others in the skin care industry. Cecil Danganan, owner and head Esthetician of LaVon Skin Care has completed numerous post-graduate courses and attended a lot of trainings to cope up with the fast-changing trends in skin care industry. This skin care entrepreneur and skin specialist has treated adults and teenagers with incredible success. For Cecil’s legion

LaVon Proprietor Skin Care Specialist Cecil Danganan

of fans, her skin care treatments and programs are an absolute necessity. She and her colleagues will be happy to arrange a personal skin analysis and consultation to discuss your skin care needs. LaVon Skin Care has two locations, one at Carson and one newly opened, at Cerritos. Both an enjoyable place to relax and to have a beauty treatment. LaVon has an amazing tecnique on curing acne and many more skin problems. LaVon Skin Care, a place to relax and a place to enjoy beautiful skin. Their 2 shops are located at 22020 S Avalon Bl, Carson Ca 90745 and 17150 Norwalk Bl Ste 105 Cerritos CA 90703 . You may call 562 213-6322, 310 518-SKIN (7546) for more services.

introduces



Acupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation provoked by sepsis.ŠBork/shutterstock. com

Acupuncture looks ‘promising’ as inflammatory disease treatment (Relaxnews) – New research published in the journal Nature Medicine details a direct connection between acupuncture and the treatment of sepsis, a condition stemming from exposure to infection in hospital intensive care units. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese remedy, has been used in a variety of contexts, including as a chronic pain treatment, a weight-loss aid and a complement to invitro fertilization. For this study, doctors turned their attention to sepsis, a major cause of hospital deaths. “[I]n many cases patients don’t die because of the infection. They die because of the inflammatory disorder they develop after the infection,� says lead researcher Luis Ulloa, an immunologist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “So we hoped to study how to control the inflammatory disorder.� One of the body’s major nerves, the vagus nerve, is responsible for reducing inflammation in the body when stimulated. Researchers wanted to find out whether electroacupuncture could help reduce inflammation and organ injury in septic mice. Electroacupuncture is a form of the ancient Chinese remedy that enhances the effect of needle treatment via small electric currents. This treatment is already FDA-approved for human patient use. In the study, molecules known as cytokines limited inflammation in septic mice who were stimulated with electroacupuc-

ture, as the researchers predicted. Half of the mice who received the treatment survived for at least one week, while those who did not receive the treatment died. Furthering their research, Ulloa and his team found the treatment ceased to work when adrenal glands were removed, prompting them to seek an alternative treatment that would work for patients with low-functioning adrenal glands. The team ultimately found that fenoldopam, a drug that mimics the effects of dopamine, resulted in reducing sepsis-related deaths by 40 percent. This was the case even when electroacupuncture was not used. “I don’t even know whether in the future the best solution for sepsis will be electroacupuncture or some medicine that will mimic electroacupuncture,� said Ulloa. The immunologist remains hopeful that both electroacupuncture and fenoldopam/ similar drugs have potential to treat sepsis among other inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and Crohn’s disease. Several other studies have looked into the anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture, including one published in January 2013 that found acupuncture “reduced cerebral infarction and alleviated inflammatory responses� and another, from February 2013, that found acupuncture “may exert anti-inflammatory effects through a complex neuro-endocrino-immunological network of action,� also saying that more research was required.

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ith risk factors for heart disease on the rise, it has never been more important to incorporate heart-healthy meals into your family’s diet. According to recent statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the U.S. With this in mind, Campbell Soup Company is on a mission to help women care for their hearts. With a diverse portfolio of foods that balance great taste and nutritional value, Campbell offers nearly 100 options that meet the criteria for the American Heart Association’sŽ HeartCheck mark.

Caring for your heart starts in the kitchen Creating balanced meals for the family doesn’t have to be difficult. In addition to offering heart-healthy foods, Campbell works with its culinary staff, nutrition team and trained chefs to create healthy recipes. This recipe for Sante Fe Chicken Saute is a simple, one-skillet dish that combines lean chicken breast, black beans and corn with a spicy picante kick. Or, try this recipe for Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Chowder, which features chicken paired with a flavorful combination of zucchini, corn, potatoes and cream of celery soup. And no one can resist comforting Easy Chicken Shepard’s Pie. For more easy-to-prepare and heart-healthy recipes and for nutrition information, visit www.campbellskitchen.com.

Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes Servings: 4 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’sŽ Healthy RequestŽ Condensed Healthy RequestŽ Cream of Mushroom Soup 1 1/4 cups water 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, crushed 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed 1 cup instant mashed potato flakes 1 cup fat free evaporated milk 1/4 cup shredded 2% milk Cheddar cheese Heat oven to 350°F. Stir soup and 1/4 cup water in large bowl. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, onion powder and poultry seasoning. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until well browned, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and vegetables to soup mixture and stir to coat. Spoon chicken mixture into 2-quart round casserole. Microwave remaining water in microwavable bowl on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes or until hot. Add potato flakes and stir until water is absorbed. Stir in milk

     

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A strong heart starts with a healthy diet and lifestyle. According to the American Heart Association, following these seven health and behavior factors can make a huge difference in your heartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health. For more heart-healthy tips, visit www. heart.org. 1. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t smoke.

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Hearty Chicken & Vegetable Chowder Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hour Servings: 6 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 large onion, minced (about 1 cup) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sÂŽ Healthy RequestÂŽ Condensed Healthy RequestÂŽ Cream of Celery Soup 1 cup nonfat milk 1 cup water 2 medium red potatoes, diced (about 2 cups) 1 large zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 cup whole kernel corn 2 cups diced cooked chicken 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in soup, milk and water and heat to a boil. Stir in potatoes, zucchini and corn. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken and parsley and cook until mixture is hot and bubbling.


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ENTERTAINMENT

Oyo confirms Kristine’s pregnancy

Kristine Hermosa

Actress Kristine Hermosa is pregnant with her second child. Oyo Sotto, Hermosa’s husband, confirmed the good news in his Instagram account. Sotto said Hermosa, one of the most beautiful actresses of her generation, is now 6 weeks pregnant. He posted a photo of Hermosa’s ultra-

Mark Herras admits fathering child

Back to work for Vhong Navarro

ACTOR Mark Herras admitted Sunday that he is a father of a three-month-old baby girl, Ada. The “Dance Floor Dynamite” said he decided to reveal the truth because he is tired of denying. “This time kaya ako naging matapang (na humarap) kasi sawang sawa na akong mag-deny. I’m very proud of Ada. Kaya ako umaamin ay para matigil na din yung katatanong nila sa akin about the baby,” he said. He initially thought that the baby might affect his showbiz career. “Artista ako. Unang una, ‘pag nalaman ng tao na meron napala akong anak, maapektuhan yung trabaho mo, yung buhay mo, yung career mo,” he added. Ada’s mother is 32-year-old woman who works as a senior handler. He said that he is not in a relationship with the child’s mother. The actor said he wants to raise Ada in a healthy and happy environment. “Ang pinaguusapan namin ay kailangan naming magtulungan para sa baby, para suportahan yung bata, mapalaki ng maayos yung bata. Lahat ng pinaguusapan namin ay about sa baby. Saka na lang yung sa amin...someday,” he said. “Nag promise ako doon sa mommy niya, na kahit anong mangyari, andito lang ako for Ada. Andito lang ako. Money, love, pag may sakit yung bata, lahat. Yung buhay ko ngayon, kung kilala ninyo ako na playboy or bad boy, mag-iiba yun ngayon,” he added. Meanwhile, Herras apologized to his former girlfriend, Ynna Asistio, for not being faithful to her. “I’m so sorry Ynna, Tita Nadia (Montenegro), Tito Boy (Asistio) and the whole family of Ynna. Sobrang sorry sa nagawa ko sa inyo. Hindi ko gustong saktan yung anak ninyo, yung pamilya ninyo. Pero hindi ko na kayang itago si Ada,” he said. “Alam ko yung pagkakamali ko. Alam kong malaking kasalanan yung nagawa ko. Pero andyan na ‘yung baby. Hindi ko pwedeng sabihin na kalimutan ko yung baby, na piliin ko sila. Dugo ko yung bata, anak ko yun, ako yung daddy,” he further said. Herras admitted his fault and even asked for forgiveness and understanding from his ex-girlfriend’s family. He reiterated that his relationship with Ada’s mother and the birth of his daughter is not the reason why he and Ynna decided to end their romance last year. “Alam ko na galit sila, nasaktan sila. Kung hindi man nila matanggap yung sorry ko, wala akong magagawa doon. Sana maintindihan nila yung sitwasyon ko. Tao lang din ako at nagkakamali ako.” When asked if he’s ready to find new love, the actor said he will veer away from romance for some time and will focus his attention to Ada.

Actor-host Vhong Navarro is set to resume filming for a horror-comedy movie amid his controversial legal battle in relation to a mauling incident last January 22, producer Star Cinema announced. Navarro, who has been recovering from serious injuries, will continue shooting for “Da Possessed” this week, according to the ABS-CBN film outfit on its official website. First announced last November, the project will be directed by Joyce Bernal and will co-star Navarro’s “Toda Max” leading lady Angel Locsin and comedian John Lapus. According to Lapus, “Da Possessed” started filming in December. Navarro recently filed six criminal charges against eight people, including businessman Cedric Lee and model Deniece Cornejo, in connection with

Nikki’s dating again Nikki Gil has finally decided to start a new chapter in her life, seven months after her five-year relationship with singer-host Billy Crawford came to an end. The Kapamilya actress and TV host admitted to being back in the dating game, intimating how the moment “felt right.” The 26-year-old Gil described the guy three years his senior as, doing an “adult job.” “I mean, sobrang different from what we do,” she explained. Asked if she was afraid to trust again after her breakup with Crawford, Gil remarked: “Surprisingly hindi.” She explained, “Kasi alam kong it’s not like that all the time. Parang ito (her past relationship with Crawford), nagkataon lang. Love isn’t supposed to be like this. Hindi siya dapat masakit. Hindi ka dapat umiyak.” Despite the split, Gil is nevertheless thankful that all the publicity around it seemingly provided a dating “filter” of sorts. “I think that in itself, parang napifilter na ‘yung mga i-de-date mo. Parang for them to come up to you, knowing where I came from, they must mean business,” she explained. She stressed that this is a good thing as, “Hindi ako ‘yung type na susubok nang susubok, kasi alam ko kung ano ‘yung gusto ko. Binigyan ko rin naman ang chance ko to meet (other guys). Pero kasi hindi ko kaya. I don’t have to play the game. Hindi ko kaya.” She maintained, “Huwag lang ‘go and explore,’ kasi maha-hurt ka rin in the process. Oo, makikipag-date ka, pero sana ‘yung ide-date mo, pasok na sa gusto mo.”

sound with the caption: “Thank you Lord for this wonderful blessing! We just want to share our short beautiful story of how amazing God is. When 2014 started, we believed God for so many things... one of those is to have another baby WITHOUT having to take any medication since Tin has policystic ovaries. And now, God answered one of our prayers to have another

the mauling at the latter’s condominium unit in Taguig. Cornejo, in her rape complaint filed against Navarro, alleged that she was Vhong Navarro “rescued” by Lee’s group from being sexually assaulted by the actor, which supposedly led to the attack. In her counter-affidavit to Navarro’s charges, Cornejo also claimed she was raped by Navarro during their first meeting last January 17. Last week, another woman, former pageant contestant Roxanne Acosta-

baby. Tin is now on her 6th week!!! With NO signs of policystic ovaries! We are witnesses of how powerful prayers are. God hears them.” Hermosa gave birth to a baby girl named Ondrea Bliss in 2011. The couple has an adopted son named Quiel. Hermosa, in an earlier interview, said she is open to return to acting. (MNS)

Cabanero, claimed she was also raped by Navarro in April 2010. She denied having any ties with Cornejo and Lee, when asked if she was paid by the businessman to come out against Navarro. Vhong Navarro swears by his testimony, accusing Cedric Lee and company of beating him up, during his appearance at the Department of Justice last February 6. Photo: ABSCBN News Navarro, who also co-hosts “It’s Showtime,” earlier said he was unsure if he could still return to showbiz after the controversy involving Lee. “Kahit sobrang miss na miss ko na magpasaya ulit, magpatawa, ang hirap. Hindi ko pa po alam. Depende po sa sitwasyon at panahon,” he said. The DOJ has set the third hearing on Navarro and Cornejo’s filed cases on February 28. (MNS)


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COMMUNITY

Pilipino Cultural Night to be staged on March 22 at Lakewood High School Twenty seven years after it debuted as the Pilipino Cultural Night as a vehicle to create awareness, nurture and propagate the Philippine culture among high school students in Southern California, four high schools of the ABC School District have banded together again to stage its 30th edition on March 22, 6 p.m. at Lakewood High School, This Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) is the culmination of Club Kaibigan’s major activity at Whitney High School, the Filipino-American student body founded in 1984 by now Cerritos City Mayor Protempore Mark E. Pulido. Three years thereafter since 1987, Whitney’s Fil-Am students spearheaded by 15 club cabinet members organized the PCN as a cultural program to encourage the students to connect to their roots and learn more about their rich Filipino heritage. Since then, this Filipino cultural extravaganza soon caught fire. Other high schools in the school district took part in this tradition, among them Cerritos High School, Artesia High School and Gahr High School. This cultural showcase is categorized into several main suites which start with Maria Clara then transitioned to Regional, Muslim Mountain and Rural. In Maria Clara Suite, it features Paseo de Iloilo, Lanceros de Tayabas, Mazurka and Carinosa; Regional (Mindayan, and Raffia); Muslim (Singkil and Katsu); Mountain (Salip and Pattong); Rural (Bulaklakan, Sakuting and Tinikling).

Ann Munoz, president of Whitney High School’s Club Kaibigan

“Every year, we infuse innovations and variations to our folk dances to be different from previous years. We do our research and then meticulously choreograph these folk dance routines and eventually teach our peers,” shared Ann Munoz, president of Whitney High School’s Club Kaibigan who is leading this year’s cultural show. Whitney High has a reputation as a “nationally recognized school of excellence.” “Our organization is a testament to the power of neighborhood solidarity. The night is a culmination of the efforts of over 100 people who have all worked together to make the Pilipino Cultural Night a success,” chimed in two other Co-Vice Presidents and Co-Dance Troupe Coordinators

Club Kaibigan, a prominent Filipino Student organization based at Whitney High School in Cerritos, California is pictured with its officers for 2013-2014. First row from left: Ernest Olivar, Mark Ruiz, Johnny Lloyd, Ann Munoz (president), Carlo Salonga, Cyrus Salvani and John Gaintano. Second row from left: Bianca Balquin, Czarina Linao, Chloe Olvera, Alexis BilasImperial, Juliene Porciuncula, Jenna Llamas and Klyne Magdayag.

Cyrus Salvani and Carlo Salonga. An authentic Filipino rondalla will perform as the ensemble will dance their routines that will somewhat approximate the world-famous Bayanihan Dance Company. To deviate from purely Philippine cultural show, the up and coming Filipino Band DRH Band headed by Ruben Cuatrona will perform some popular songs of Justin Timberlake like “Mirror” One thing is certain to emerge from this Pilipino Cultural Night. Student participants who were interviewed said, “We hope to keep this on-going tradition alive for future high school generations to come

and to allow them to be able to find connections and appreciation of their Filipino heritage through song and dance.” For ticket reservation which is $10 per person, interested parties may contact Ann Munoz at 562-833-6751 or acdmunoz@ gmail.com; Mark Ruiz at 562-650-6207 or mark@arstructures.com; Cyrus Salvani at 562-331-9785 or cyrus.salvani@ rocketmail.com; Carlos Salonga at 562303-7017 or carlosalonga3@gmail.com; parents Elvie Munoz at 562-480-1780 and Cookie Ruiz at 562-682-8359. Lakewood High school is located at 4400 Briercrest Ave., Lakewood, CA with Tel. No. 562425-1281. (Dan E. Nino)

ABS-CBS opens its new offices in Glendale, California, a 2,000 sq. ft. complex located at 225 West Broadway, Suite 135 in Glendale. Photo shows ABS-CBN staff led by Olivia Finina de Jesus, North America Region Managing Director (7th from right). Also at the event is star actor Piolo Pascual (center). Photo: Benny Uy

ABS-CBN opens new Glendale office

To better serve the large Filipino community here in the Southland, ABS-CBS launched its new office opening at a press reception/conference in their new 2,000 sq. ft. offices at 225 West Broadway, Suite 135 in Glendale. They will have a personnel of eight people who will help in the marketing, administrative and processing of TFC subscriptions, remittance and cargo. The Glendale office is TFC’s one-stop shop where they can process incoming subscriptions, do money transfers through their My Remit agency and send cargo back home through their Star Cargo forwarding capability. Olivia Finnina De Jesus, is TFC’s North America Managing Director and Global

Content Strategy Head. She welcomed LA’s Filipino media and announced that the new office in Glendale will additionally handle sales of their new On Demand video units as well as promote their new shows on Myx Channel 2067 and Lifestyle Network on Channel 2070. Apparently, these additional channels are now an added value to the current subscriptions on Directv. Other cable providers will soon follow suit. Highlight of the press reception was the surprise appearance of acclaimed actor and heartthrob Piolo Pascual, who was promoting his Star Cinema Olivia Lamasan film “Starting Over Again” with leading lady, Toni Gonzaga which has scheduled showings throughout the United States. (Myrna Aquitania)


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When you have no choice but to file bankruptcy Facing serious debt problems can be depressing to a lot of people. It may seem like the end of the world. You may feel angry, depressed, guilty- or a combination of all three. You may even be blaming yourself for making the decisions that led you to your present situation. I’m here to tell you, however, that like most things in life, whatever you’re going through is most likely only temporary and will soon pass. How can I possibly say this? disability, death in the family- are events Well, did you know that millions of hon- which are beyond our control. It is not est, hard-working people just like yourself always your fault. Thus, if you find yourare having problems paying their debts? self totally unprepared for the financial As a matter of fact, more than 1 million challenges that life brings your way, take file bankruptcy in the United States every comfort in the fact that the law provides a year as a result of being in debt. Do you solution for you to get relief. At one time think these people file bankruptcy simply or another, we all face those moments. Life because they don’t want to take personal is very unpredictable and you never know responsibility for their debts? Not at all. what lies ahead. If we all had a crystal ball, The truth is that most people who our lives would be perfect and we’ll always file bankruptcy do so as a result of cir- be prepared for everything that might hapcumstances beyond their control. Study pen. But that’s not how life works. So if you’ve found yourself in a situafter study has shown that some of the most common reasons why people file ation where bankruptcy is the only way for bankruptcy -unemployment, sickness, out, don’t be too hard on yourself. More

often than not, it’s not as bad as you think. Dwelling on the negative only makes things worse because it stops you from taking positive action to change your situation for the better. Like most people, you will survive bankruptcy, get on with your life and do just fine. Wallowing in self-pity and feeling sorry for yourself will not help your situation one bit. Instead, be proud of the fact that you have made the decision to make things happen by taking matters into your own hands instead of waiting for things to magically change in your life. It’s really all up to you. Bankruptcy is not for everyone. But if appropriate for your situation, why not make the legal process work for you so that

you can get on with your life and create the freedom that you’ve been wanting for yourself and your family? Put your money worries behind you forever and start with a clean slate. It’s never too late but you need to start somewhere. If you need help figuring out your options, I’d like to help you. Call us for a free consultation at Toll-Free 1-866-477-7772. We have offices in Glendale, Cerritos, West Covina, Valencia and Riverside. (None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation. Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped more than 4,000 clients in finding solutions to their debt problems. To schedule a free attorney consultation, please call Ray Bulaon Law Offices at TOLL FREE 1-866-477-7772).

Asian group advocates for expanding educational opportunities for California LOS ANGELES – This morning, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA) met with California State Senator Ed Hernandez, whose district includes a large portion of the San Gabriel Valley, regarding Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 5, a bill that would repeal Proposition 209’s ban on affirmative action programs in higher education. Advancing Justice – LA met with Senator Hernandez to discuss how we could work together to expand educational opportunities for all Californians and we are pleased that the senator has agreed to collaborate with us. Advancing Justice - LA has long supported and continues to support programs to ensure equal educational access as well as a diverse and inclusive society. At this time, we have not taken a position on SCA 5 in its current form. As a legal organization, we believe it is premature to support this bill because there is a legal case pending in the U.S. Supreme Court (Schuette vs. BANM) that may affect the constitutionality of Proposition 209 in California. The Schuette case involves a constitutional challenge to a Michigan ballot proposition similar to California’s Proposition 209. Our affiliate, Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, is co-counsel for one of the plaintiffs in that case. As advocates for social justice, we believe that what our state needs at this time is a broader and more inclusive strategy for expanding educational opportunities for all Californians. While repealing Proposition 209 could be part of that strategy, we must not lose sight of the bigger picture: California’s population continues to grow but resources for public education have been stagnant or shrinking. For years, our state has been gradually disinvesting in education, at both the K-12 and higher education levels, greatly diminishing educational opportunities for all students, especially those who are underserved. California is facing a crisis of equal educational opportunity for millions of students of all backgrounds and communities. We believe it is critical to build on the successful passage of Proposition 30 in 2012 (which 60 percent of AANHPI voters supported) by expanding resources for

public higher education; increasing opportunities for more California students, especially those who are underserved and disadvantaged, to attend public institutions; and providing increased resources to ensure these students succeed in their pursuit of higher education. As an organization committed to advancing civil rights, Advancing Justice - LA has been and remains a strong supporter of diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity in all contexts, including in education, employment, and contracting.

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‘America’s Got Talent’ 2013 winner Kenichi Ebina performing live at Pechanga Pechanga Resort & Casino has always been an Asian friendly destination with a great Asian host team and many Asian concerts for guests of different ethnicities. Now, Pechanga is proud to announce Kenichi Ebina, “America’s Got Talent” Season 8 winner, will perform a major production show for the first time ever since appearing on television. Fans will feel Kenichi Ebina’s pulsating energy from his dance during two special “Kenichi Ebina Dance-ish Entertainment” performances on April 12 and 13 in the Pechanga Theater. Tickets are $30, $45, $60 and $80 and go on sale Tuesday, February 25 at 3:00p.m. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Pechanga Box Office between 12 noon. and 8 p.m., via telephone at (877) 711-2946 or online at www.Pechanga.com/ Entertainment. Expect to see a thrilling performance by this solo, self-taught dance performer. Kenichi Ebina started out dancing Freestyle Hip-Hop and expanding to Poppin’,

Lockin’, Mime, House, Jazz, Contemporary and Ethnic dance. His unique style of dance combines different illusion effects of sound, light and visual. He frequently interacts with characters on a huge video screen behind him, who have all been created and played by himself. His dance tactics entertain audiences who were not even interested in performing arts. Kenichi Ebina started his dance career when he formed a dance group “BiTriP,” with other Japanese dancers, in 2001. BiTriP won first place and became the Grand Champion of “Amateur Night” In 2007, Kenichi won seven awards in the dance competition of “Showtime At The Apollo” and became the two-time grand champion in Apollo theater history. It was not until seven years later that Kenichi was able to gain a national fan base by trying out for “America’s Got Talent.” After performing two dance routines during the finals, he was announced the winner of the eighth season on September 18, 2013.

Kenichi Ebina “dislocates” his head...and his mind.

As the winner of “America’s Got Talent”, Kenichi has been very active. He has performed at many events and on TV shows internationally, taught dance in the United States, China, Korea, Japan and more, and directed and choreographed routines for theater companies. Currently, Kenichi is appearing on the U.S. television

PHL singing sensation Charice to hold world tour Los Angeles, February 25 – Renowned Filipina singer Charice, who has been mesmerizing audiences around the world with her powerful voice, is holding a World Tour that will arrive in Los Angeles, California in this month March. The series of concerts will also feature a different Charice as she comes of age and shares her newfound freedom with fans, including a break into a genre apart from her usual performances. Charice first performed in the U.S. on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where the audience gave her two standing ovations even as Ellen repeatedly expressed amazement during the entire show. “You are amazing!”

Ellen kept telling her. Charice gained further international acclaim when she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah dubbed Charice, “The most talented girl in the world!” after a breathtaking performance. These were followed by appearances in two Hollywood movies and in the highly popular TV show Glee, where Charice showed not only her singing talent but acting prowess as well. Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee, was so astonished by Charice’s talent that he exclaimed, “When that girl opens her mouth, angels fly out.” Charice most certainly has come a long way from her early beginnings as a singing sensation

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on YouTube. Gifted with a thrilling voice comparable with divas Whitney Houston and Celine Dion, Charice soon found herself sharing the stage with Celine and many other stars, such as: Andrea Bocelli, Patti LaBelle, Donna Summer, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, David Foster, Brian McKnight, Ne-Yo and more. Her debut studio album, Charice, rose to Number 8 on the Billboard 200 – the first solo recording by an Asian to enter the Top 10 – followed by the albumInfinity, which featured Before it Explodes, written by Bruno Mars. It was not only Charice’s talent that endeared her to audiences around the

show “Angelina Ballerina,” on PBS Kids Sprout as featured dance performer. Don’t miss out on these mesmerizing performances as Kenichi showcases his unique dance show that will definitely get the crowd cheering and applauding. Experience it ALL, Experience it LIVE at Pechanga Resort & Casino. globe but her incredibly inspirational life story as well. Every song she performs is imbued with the dynamic strength of her character and the ever increasing charity of her heart. Charice will be performing live on March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Wilshire Ebell Theater, 4401 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, California. The concert will also feature special guest Cheesa, a finalist on the TV show The Voice. Details of Charice’s 2014 World Tour may be seen at www.chariceworldtour. com, while tickets are available at www. eventbrite.com for $48, $68 and $88 each. Limited VIP tickets, that include a meetand-greet/photo-op, are offered for $110.


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From picking Oscar winners to frying a tilapia They agree on who will and who should win an Oscar award this Sunday; but they disagree (and sometimes argue) on how to fry a tilapia. “Our biggest argument was how to fry a tilapia. Two writers attempting to be chefs bring out the worse in us,” said kababayan Hollywood journalist Janet Nepales. Janet and her husband, Ruben Nepales are both members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA.) Every year, they guest on Kababayan



Today’s Academy Awards Special, as they predict who will win and discuss who should win a gold statuette in four categories: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture. “We did not talk about each other’s choices,” both disclosed before taping; adding that they wanted to surprise each other and see each other’s reactions about their picks. But as it turned out, they surprised each other by making the same choices. Janet’s List: Best Director - Will: Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity,” Should: David O’Russell for “American Hustle;” Best Actor–Will: Matthew McConaughey for “Dallas Buyers Club,” Should: Matthew McConaughey for “Dallas Buyers Club;” Best Actress - Will: Sandra Bullock for “Gravity,” Should: Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine” Ruben’s List: Best Director - Should win: David O. Russell, Will win: Alfonso Cuaron; Best Actor - Should win: Matthew McConaughey, Will win: Matthew McConaughey; Best Actress Should win: Cate Blanchett, Will win: Cate Blanchett And even when Janet said she intentionally changed her answer for the Best Picture category “to spice it up a bit,” the

 

two ended up with the exact same picks – Will win: “12 Years a Slave,” Should win: “American Hustle.” I’m not even waiting for the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday to see if they got it right; I’m already giving this HFPA couple a perfect score! “Tell me, is this the result of being married to each other for years; that you now have the same taste? Or maybe you now think alike?” I asked. They replied that they actually have different tastes but they just know each other quite well. And that, I suppose, is the product of being together, not just living together; but also working together for almost 3 decades. “We’ve been having fun for 29 years now. Some people say we look too young to have been married that long. But I was 14 and Janet was 12 when we got married—that’s why,” Ruben said, adding the last line jokingly. But kidding aside, it’s obvious that these two take their work very seriously. Being the only Filipinos in the prestigious HFPA, they rub elbows with stars, cover Tinseltown’s glitziest affairs; and interview Hollywood’s controversial personalities… together. And that’s the key word. “It is very enriching to work together because we are friends first and we make

With my guests Ruben and wife Janet Nepales

a good team. We are also honest with each other so we are each other’s worst critic and best fan,” Janet said. “We also help each other when covering events even if we work for competing newspapers. I don’t mind sleeping with the competition.’” Janet writes a column in Manila Bulletin while Ruben’s is published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Since we write for competing papers, there’s healthy competition between us. Janet concedes that I am a driven overachiever (I wasn’t a geek in college for nothing),” Ruben said. “She (Janet) jokes that even when are still coming home from an event that we had both covered, I had already written and filed my story… as I drove. We keep each other alert. When she suspects that I am on to something like a scoop, she starts asking me subtle but very probing questions. We like to out-scoop each other every now and then. There’s a grudging respect and pride when one man-

ages to have a scoop.” But whether they’re out-scooping each other; or arguing about how to fry a tilapia, Janet and Ruben abide by one rule in their marriage: “Never go to bed angry at each other,” they responded the same way, but separately. Janet emailed me her answers while in London. Ruben sent me his from LA. There’s just one question left to ask: How do you fry a tilapia? For complete interviews and more check out previous “Kababayan Today” segments - www.youtube.com/kababayanla18. Jannelle So is Host/Producer of “Kababayan Today” that airs daily at 4:00pm on KSCITV-LA18; and syndicated in Hawaii on weekdays at 3:30pm on Kiku. Catch previous programs at www. youtube.com/kababayanla18. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JannelleSoOFFICIAL. Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JannelleSo.

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Injured Russian skier has â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;no feeling from waist downâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; MOSCOW, February 26, 2014 (AFP) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Russian freestyle skier who was hospitalized after a serious accident at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games said Wednesday she has no feeling from the waist down. Maria Komissarova, 23, was flown to Germany for treatment for a fractured spine following a crash in training for the ski cross event at Sochi 2014, by far the worst accident of the Winter Games. She has undergone several operations in Russia and Germany after the accident but until now there had been no specific information about her condition. However Komissarova revealed in a message on her Instagram account that she was currently paralyzed from the waist down. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do not feel my body lower than my belly button,â&#x20AC;? she wrote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I am strong

and I know that someday I will definitely be on my feet again.â&#x20AC;? She added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do not know where to begin but I do not want to hide from everyone, as everyone is supporting me so much, thank you.â&#x20AC;? Komissarova posted a picture of herself lying down with her fiance Alexei Chaadayev, also a Russian skier, saying that she would not have stayed sane without his support. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If Lyosha (Alexei) had not been there likely I would have gone mad,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is my God and even in these moments I continue to stay happy, even though it is very hard for me.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;All this time he does not go away from the bed and gives me all his energy. Our life is continuing and I pray and believe that everything will be fine!â&#x20AC;?

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fought since last April 27 and skipped a planned December bout with US southpaw Devon Alexander for the International Boxing Federation title in anticipation of a big-money showdown with Mayweather. Instead, it has been a major aggravation and the longest layoff of his career, as he attempts to get back on track after two devastating defeats against Lamont Peterson, in 2011, and then Danny Garcia the following year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has been a very frustrating period as I had been due to fight in December,â&#x20AC;? said Khan, who even won an online poll set up by â&#x20AC;&#x153;Money Mayweatherâ&#x20AC;? asking his fans to decide whether he should face the Englishman or Maidana. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was strongly advised to not take this fight (Alexander) as I would be facing Floyd this Mayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and therefore signed my side of the contract on this belief. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Floyd was keen to engage with the fans and so decided to let them choose who he should fight in his next bout. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I clearly won his official poll, by a significant margin, but for unknown reasons he decided to ignore the fansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; vote and failed to keep his word, disappointing many fight fans who took the time to vote.â&#x20AC;? Khan said he was hoping to announce details about his next fight within 10 days. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been training very hard since my last fight. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a fighter who wants to face the very best out there and have never ducked any opponent,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m focused and ready for my next outing.â&#x20AC;?

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LAS VEGAS, February 26, 2014 (AFP) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Amir Khan unleashed a flurry of verbal jabs Tuesday at Floyd Mayweather after the unbeaten American passed him over for a lucrative May 3 bout and chose Argentinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Marcos Maidana. Mayweather, 45-0 with 26 knockouts, said Monday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; his 37th birthday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that he would defend his World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council light-middleweight crowns against Maidana, 35-3 with 31 knockouts, and not Khan. The 27-year-old Englishman Khan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who defeated Maidana in 2010 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; made his fury clear in a statement released by his promotions company and linked to a post on his Twitter feed, intimating that Mayweather was running scared. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Despite having signed my part of the agreement to fight Floyd in early December, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been preparing myself for some time that the match-up with him wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to happen,â&#x20AC;? Khan said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Therefore this announcement (Monday) did not come as a surprise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am, however, very disappointed with Floyd and his team for not providing any explanation as to why he delayed the announcement for so long and ultimately avoided the fight with me. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Clarification, if he was not fighting me, would have allowed me to look over my options and pursue another path, rather than the ultimate delay to my career this has caused.â&#x20AC;? Khan, 28-3 with 19 knockouts, has not

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Kia Today’s leader in Asian car brands We’ve heard of it. We’ve seen it on the road and may have been surprised by its wonderful looks. The high-flying and power-dunking Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers has also made it a very visible brand. Kia has been sweeping the nation and is one of the fastest rising car manufacturers in the U.S., if not the whole world. But what many of us Filipinos probably are not aware of is that while Kia vehicles are very beautiful and rigid, they also top in fuel-efficiency. These trend setting beauties are equipped with the most advanced features that technology can offer for safety, convenience, and pleasure for even the most meticulous motorists and passengers alike. That’s not all, what makes Kia unique apart from the incomparable 10 year/100,000 mile limited warranty, is its affordability that lets you enjoy the luxuries that other brands just couldn’t afford to provide. The design alone is exceptional. Kia’s most popular vehicle – the midsize Optima was designed by no less than Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer who used to work for Audi. Compared to other leading Asian brands, the Kia Optima possesses additional features which are standard like foglamps and dual exhaust – not available in the more popular midsize competitors. The U.S News and World Report described the Optima as a “good value” among midsize cars because of its high-end available features, long warranty and strong engines.” The 2014 Kia Optima was also named IIHS Top Safety Pick for

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its advanced airbag system all the way to its Anti-Lock Brake System. “Kia is a great product,” Car Pros Kia of Carson General Manager Juan Alarcon emphasized during an interview with Weekend Balita. And speaking of the K900 – whose leather seats are smooth and caressing –, Alarcon informed this writer that the backseat of the K900 actually reclines. The backseats recline! Alarcon was actually giving this author a brief demonstration on why Kia is the car brand of today. He wants the FilipinoAmerican community to take advantage of the features only available in a Kia vehicle that thousands of other SoCal residents are now enjoying. This savvy Kia executive obviously knows why the Fil-Am market may prefer other car brands, momentarily that is. But Alarcon says this is because the Filipino market is a very loyal customer. “Just like the Mexicans,” Alarcon, himself a Hispanic, said. “Filipinos are very loyal.” Car Pros Kia of Carson is up to the challenge of changing that car brand preference Alarcon said he and his staff are proud to say that because as of today they are the Number 1 Kia dealership in California. Moreover, Car Pros Kia of Carson ranks Number Eight in the whole state of California for car dealers of any brand, including Japanese, European or domestic vehicles. “In 2012, Car Pros Kia of Carson was among the top 20 car dealers in the whole of United States, of any make,” Alarcon said. But while Kia maybe the fastest selling vehicle brand in the U.S. – Car Pros Kia of Carson is selling more than 600 cars a month – Alarcon attributes hard work, a friendly staff and the excellent service that Car Pros Kia of Carson provides as the reasons for the dealership’s rise to Continued on next page


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A Car Pros Kia of Carson sales person (right) welcomes yet another family at California’s Number 1 car dealership. become a member of the nation’s elites. In spite of these accolades, Alarcon said “we remain focused as we know that there is always room for improvement. There is always room there.” He also said that their brand new tech savvy “Delivery Team” makes sure that each customer fully understands all the appointed features to the vehicle of their choice. The Service Department too is manned by fully certified mechanics who are not only experts in Kia vehicles but in all other brands. When they say “pre-certified”, it means a quality car that went through multiple

inspections and testing. They also have 20 loaner vehicles for the comfort of any Kia owner who may need it. Did we mention that Kia comes standard with the 10-year/100,000 mile warranty? “How can you top that?,” said the family of Juanito Reyes, a Filipino, who was with his wife and nephew as they wait for their brand-new Kia Rio that they just purchased. The nephew of the couple encouraged them to buy a new Kia. The nephew was a former Kia Soul owner before he traded it for a new Kia Optima just last December. Mr. and Mrs. Reyes also revealed that they drove all the way from Santa Ana in

Orange County to get to Car Pros Kia of Carson where they traded their old Buick for the new 2014 Kia Rio. While it was a very busy Presidents’ Day last Monday, Car Pros’s efficient professional staff got the Reyes family in and out with their new Kia in only a couple hours. “We have eight finance officers,” Alarcon explained that makes buying a car at Car Pros Kia of Carson a breeze. That’s separate from the sales team and as mentioned, the Delivery Team that gives full demonstrations to customers on “how the bluetooth works, how to operate a navigation system, etc,” Alarcon said. He said this is just how Car Pros Kia of

Carson serves the community – a commitment that each and every member of the Car Pros Kia of Carson staff embraces. With so many brands in the market today, people have many choices. But Kia is not just about affordability. With its leading technological advances in design, performance, fuel efficiency, safety and reliability, it just makes sense. Drop by Car Pros Kia of Carson today and find out why people flock to that dealership. They are just located at 21243 S Avalon Blvd, Carson, CA 90745, which is home to many of us Filipinos. They can be reached at (310) 221-9131. Call or visit today.

MOTORS SALES•LEASING • ALL MAKES & MODELS

WE MAKE CAR BUYING SIMPLE.

Ang dealer ng Pinoy na tumutulong sa mga Tax ID pa lang ang hawak at International Drivers pa lang ang lisensya!

BAGO SA AMERICA? FIRST TIME BUYER? NO CREDIT HISTORY? ANY CREDIT SITUATION? REPOSSESSIONS? FORECLOSURES? COLLECTIONS? SLOW PAYS? LEASE RETURNS? TRADE INS?

TAX ID NUMBER? INTERNATIONAL DRIVER’S LICENSE? FREDDIE LACAP 760-333-5211

JUN GUINTU

323-547-1291 junguintu@gmail.com

WALANG PROBLEMA! Dito na kayo sa madaling kausap!

JEFF TIAMZON

619-677-0917

213-413-5508 1930 W. 6TH ST., LOS ANGELES, CA 90057

www.mylamotors.com


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Mazda3, Mazda6, CX5 models are IIHS ‘Top Safety Picks’ IRVINE, Calif., PRNewswire –Recently redesigned and featuring the Mazda-developed Skyactiv1 Technology, the 2014 Mazda3, Mazda6 andCX-5 today earned a “Top Safety Pick+” distinction from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Only 22 vehicles earned a Top Safety Pick+ award, with the Mazda brand garnering the second-highest number of safety honors. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/ prnh/20131205/MM28870LOGO) “A redesign is not simply a matter of changing a vehicle’s sheet metal draping but involves dramatically altering its insides, outsides and everything in between to make that vehicle not only look great but be more efficient, more powerful and, most importantly, safer,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “With our new fleet of Skyactiv vehicles, the 2014 Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 were created to be the best in their segments from fuel economy and safety to dynamics and performance, and having earned Top Safety Pick+ distinctions is further proof to their success.” New criteria were administered by the IIHS this year. A Top Safety Pick award requires a “Good” performance in the Institute’s moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and, for the first time, requires “Good” or “Acceptable” performance in the small overlap front test that was introduced in 2012. The same level of performance in those tests, along with at least a “Basic” rating for front crash prevention, is required for

the highest accolade of Top Safety Pick+. Ratings for the five crash impact tests are Good, Acceptable, Marginal and Poor. Ratings for crash prevention are Superior, Advanced, Basic and NA (not applicable). The 2014 Mazda3 and CX-5 both earned a Good rating for all crash impact tests and an Advanced rating for front crash prevention. The 2014 Mazda6 also received an Advanced rating for front crash prevention and a rating of Good for all crash impact tests while earning a grade of Acceptable in the small overlap test. For more information on these ratings, visitwww.iihs.org. All-new from the ground up for the 2014 model year, the Mazda3 compact car and Mazda6 mid-size sedan both feature an exceptional level of standard equipment and also offer unexpected features within their segments with all-new safety and in-car technologies. This includes the capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system known as i-Eloop and Mazda Connect, a next-generation drivingfocused in-vehicle connectivity system that also features an innovative Active Driving Display. While Mazda Connect is currently only available on the Mazda3, i-Eloop is a segment-exclusive technology for both the Mazda3 and Mazda6. Available in two body styles, pricing for Mazda3 starts at $16,9452 MSRP for four-door models and $18,945MSRP for five-doors. Featuring a standard SkyactivG 2.0-liter gasoline engine (155 horsepower, 150 lb-ft of torque) or optional Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter (184 horsepower, 185 lb-ft of torque), 2.0L models can be

For a closer look at why Mazda is one of America’s top vehicle brands, visit the Star Mazda Glendale, located at 1401 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204. You can reach our kababayans Nick Barber (left) and Mike McCain toll free 1-888-646-1664.

configured with either a Skyactiv-MT sixspeed manual transmission or a SkyactivDrive six-speed automatic. Models with the 2.5L are currently only available with the automatic. The manual transmission has been confirmed to be offered on 2.5L models at a later date. Both engine displacements are available for either body style. Mazda3 also offers an EPAestimated highway fuel economy of up to 41 mpg, one of the best in the segment. The 2014 Mazda6 starts at $20,990 MSRP and is currently equipped with a Skyactiv-G 2.5L engine, and can be paired with either the manual or automatic transmission. Similar to its fuel-efficient smaller sibling, Mazda6 offers best-in-class highway fuel economy with an EPA estimate of up to 40 mpg3. Redesigned for the 2013 model year, CX-5 was the first Mazda to feature the full suite of Skyactiv technologies and the all-new design language known as KODO “Soul of Motion”. Starting

at $21,395 MSRP, the CX-5 also offers an EPA-rated best-in-class highway fuel economy amongst its non-hybrid competitors. CX-5 is available with either the Skyactiv-G 2.0L or 2.5L engine and can be had equipped with either transmissions. All vehicles feature a suite of activesafety pre-crash detection systems collectively known as i-Activsense. These technologies use sensing devices such as milliwave radars and cameras to support the driver in recognizing hazards, avoiding collisions and minimizing damage should accidents occur. While these systems will not eliminate accidents, their intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of a crash. For a closer look at why Mazda is one of America’s top vehicle brands, visit the Star Mazda Glendale, located at 1401 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204. You can reach our kababayans Nick Barber (left) and Mike McCain toll free 1-888646-1664.


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2014 BMW 328i wins Consumer Reports Top Picks 2014 Sport Sedan Award Woodcliff Lake, N.J., February 26, 2014 – The 2014 BMW 328i Sedan won Consumer Reports Top Picks 2014 Award for the Sport Sedan Category. With its 240-horsepower BMW TwinPower Turbo inline-4 engine, featuring a 6 speed manual transmission or an 8 speed Steptronic transmission, the BMW 2014 328i delivers excellent performance and legendary BMW driving dynamics with class-leading value thanks to its excellent results in retained value and through the BMW Ultimate Service® No Cost maintenance program. According to Consumer Reports; the BMW 3 Series has long set the standard for sports sedans. The current model delivers excellent handling and a high fun-to-drive factor. It’s also roomier, more luxurious, and more fuel-efficient than past models. The 328i’s 2.0-liter, turbocharged fourcylinder engine is quick and thrifty, posting 28 mpg overall, which is best among gas-powered models in its class. Meanwhile, the BMW Group’s recordbreaking sales growth of last year continued in January 2014 with deliveries increasing by 7.8%. In the first month of the year, a total of 132,892 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 123,302). “This is a positive start, building on last year’s success,” said Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW. “Looking ahead, although the economic climate remains challenging in many markets, there are signs of improvement and we are aiming for continued growth in 2014. We are launching some very exciting new models over the next few months and our target is to increase overall global sales for a fourth successive year,” Robertson added. BMW reported its best ever January: 117,164 BMW brand vehicles were de-

livered to customers, an increase of 9.2% (prev. yr. 107,302). Strong demand for the BMW 3 Series Sedan continues with 22,451 models delivered, an increase of 4.6% (prev. yr. 21,457). Sales of the BMW X3 saw significant growth of 18.2% to 12,095 units (prev. yr. 10,231) and the newly launched BMW 4 Series is proving popular with 4,046 4 Series Coupés delivered to customers in January. The BMW 5 Series was a significant growth driver with a total of 27,974 delivered worldwide (prev. yr. 24,529 / +14.0%). The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé was also in high demand, with 993 deliveries in the first month of the year (prev. yr. 725 / +37.0%). Despite the upcoming model change, MINI sales remained stable with 15,510 models (prev. yr.15,864 / -2.2%) delivered worldwide in January. Sales of the MINI Clubman increased 18.9% to 1,247 (prev. yr. 1,049) and the MINI Countryman continues to be in strong demand with 6,425 models delivered since the start of the year (prev. yr. 6,259 / +2.7%). The new MINI model is expected to bring further momentum to sales as of spring. Following the strategy of balanced sales across the globe, the BMW Group maintained or increased sales in almost all sales regions. Deliveries of BMW and MINI models in Asia topped 50,000 for the first time in January with 50,841 deliveries (prev. yr. 43,114 / +17.9%). Deliveries in Mainland China were up 22.2% (37,137, prev. yr. 30,397) and South Korea also saw significant growth with deliveries up 24.0% (3,460, prev. yr. 2,790). In the Americas, a total of 25,977 BMW and MINI vehicles were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 25,021 / +3.8%), with sales in the USA up 3.0% (20,796, prev. yr. 20,195). Sales in Brazil increased an impressive 32.4% (961, prev. yr. 726)

The new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. (02/2014)

and deliveries in Mexico increased by 26.4% (1,212, prev. yr. 959). Despite continuing headwinds in Europe, BMW and MINI sales increased slightly, with 51,319 deliveries (prev. yr. 50,617 / +1.4%). Significant doubledigit growth of 32.4% was recorded in the Netherlands (1,639, prev. yr. 1,238) and sales in Scandinavia also Eduardo Tiempo and Ronald Rodillas, Filipino Sales of Pacific BMW. grew strongly with 2,959 automobile deliveries in January (prev. yr. dealership located at 800 S. Brand Blvd, 2,382 / +24.2%). Glendale, CA 91204 and find out why. It’s not a mystery that BMW dominates Who knows you may be the next new the luxury car industry. However, if you BMW owner? Or you may want to upwant to own one or test drive a BMW 3 grade. Of course, we don’t need to mention Series, please call our kababayans Ed at that BMW is a favorite brand for luxury 818-601-5667 (cell) and Ronald at 323- vehicles for the Fil-Am community, which 683-9351 (cell) or call Pacific BMW at is one of the car brand’s biggest consumer (818) 246-5600 and come down to the group in Southern California.

Prius takes home the gold medal in the Golden State Toyota Prius is best-selling vehicle line in California; Wireless charging testing for Prius Plug-in TORRANCE, Calif., (Feb. 18, 2014) The Prius took home the gold in 2013 as the most popular vehicle-line in California for the second year in a row. The Prius Family (Prius Liftback, Prius v, Prius c and Prius Plug-in) took the podium in both 2012 and 2013 as the best-selling California vehicle name plate. 69,728 drivers hit the road in 2013, according to the California Auto Outlook Report, while 61,893 Californians joined the family in 2012. In the Golden State, the Prius Family outsells all other hybrid competitors combined. California drivers lead the country in adoption of vehicles powered, either wholly or partially, by electricity. 9.3% of vehicles sold in the state run on some form of electricity, according to the report. But despite the growing number of hybrid competitors, Toyota’s hybrid leadership remains unmatched. In fact, one out of every two hybrids in California carries the Prius name plate. “For many customers Prius is synonymous with hybrid, especially in California,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. “When the Prius was launched in 2000, many dismissed it as a “science project”, but owners were enamored by its great MPG and lower emissions for a cleaner environment. Over the last decade, Toyota has sold more than 1.5 million Prius vehicles in the U.S. and we’re not slowing down anytime soon.” Toyota Leads Charge on Wireless Charging The engineering team never stops looking for innovative ways to support and enhance the experience of those millions of customers. Toyota recently announced

The Toyota Prius family: Prius Liftback, Prius v, Prius c and Prius Plug-in)

verification testing of a wireless battery charging system for Prius Plug-in hybrid. The system, currently being tested in Japan, will charge the vehicle by simply parking over a charge coil system on the ground. No cords, no plugs needed, making it easier for customers to enjoy the estimated 95 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent). Using magnetic-resonance technology, the system is designed to counteract electrical transmission issues caused by vehicle misalignment or height differences between

the vehicle and charging system. To ensure the vehicle is set for optimum charging, engineers developed a parking assist function that highlights the position of the charge coil within the parking space. Three Prius Plug-in hybrids will test the wireless charging system at homes in Aichi Prefecture, Japan over the next year. Similar testing is expected in Europe and the U.S. later this year. If you need to “adorn” your garage with a brand-new Toyota, all you have to do is

come down ton Hamer Toyota located at 11041 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills, CA 91345 and get in touch with any of our kababayans Matt Morente (Floor Manager), Marylou Santiago (VIP/Internet Coordinator), Wency Magno, Reno Reyes, Tony Pijuan and Rico Ayala (Leasing & Sales). Call our kababayans now toll free at 1-855-592-7077 and make your dream of owning a new Toyota vehicle a reality today.


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