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VOL. 3 NO. 105

1-888-578-7267 ext.2201

MARCH 7, 2014






Aquino’s choice of 2016 candidate is his alone

Peace deal signed in March

Syndicates use ‘mules’ to get cash from ATMs

Global Filipino: Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez

Home Trends

Harper suspends joint military activities between Canada and Russia BY STEVE RENNIE The Canadian Press

FIRE PREVENTION MONTH. Firefighters train their hoses on a target in a drill in Quezon Memorial Circle. With the onset of summer, incidence of

fire starts to increase in March. PHOTO BY MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Cunanan challenges 3 senators to undergo lifestyle check BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA PHILIPPINES—Dismissing as a “demolition job” allegations he has lavish properties, Dennis Cunanan on Monday dared Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. to submit themselves to a lifestyle check, as

he had offered to do, to clear the air in the P10-billion pork barrel scam. “If you are innocent as you publicly claim you are and you have nothing to hide, please submit yourselves to the same lifestyle check and execute waivers of the benefits of the bank secrecy law so the public may know once and for

❱❱ PAGE 12 Harper suspends

Philippine Canadian Inquirer PhilippineCanadianInquirer

Doctors slam BIR ad: We’re not tax cheats ❱❱ PAGE 6

❱❱ PAGE 7 Cunanan challenges

OTTAWA—Canada has suspended all joint military activities with Russia, Prime Minister Steven Harper said Tuesday as Vladimir Putin lashed out at threats of sanctions against his country and accused the West of sowing divisions within Ukraine. Canada will no longer take part in an anti-terrorism drill involving Canadian and Russian air forces and has pulled out of scheduled meetings, Harper said in a statement. The prime minister also threatened to further sever the already frayed ties between the two countries. “We continue to view the situation

twitter: @philcaninquirer

MARCH 7, 2014



no term contracts

Philippine News

3 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Bank depositors lose P220 M in ATM scam BY TJ BURGONIO Philippine Daily Inquirer LOCAL BANKS would have to adopt a new security feature in ATM cards soon to combat card fraud that cost depositors more than P200 million last year. The ATM security feature is on top of installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and posting guards at ATM booths. At the Senate hearing on ATM fraud, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) officials on Wednesday said it was about time banks started using EMV chip technology in ATM cards to counter card “cloning” or “skimming.” Bank executives agreed with the idea as some 1,272 cases of ATM card fraud were reported in 2013 involving P220 million. EMV, a technology developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa, has a chip that contains information needed to use the card for payment and is protected by various security features. Vicente de Villa III, director for BSP’s Supervisory Data Center, said the body had issued Circular No. 808 requiring all banks to shift from the magnetic strip technology to EMV chip technology. All banks should have issued EMVcapable cards by January 2017, he said. “The difference between the two is that the information in the magnetic strip is static and permanent, and hence, easy to copy, while EMV chip is more dynamic. Every time you use it, there’s an algorithm being computed,” he said.

Malabanias in that city. Police said the two Caucasian men with De Cecco fled after the latter was arrested. Victim

One victim of ATM card fraud is a journalist, who lost P27,000 on Feb. 1. On Feb 2., Elsa (not her real name) tried to withdraw P5,000 from a PSBank ATM machine at the Ayala MRT on Edsa and found that her account had an insufficient balance. “I inquired about my balance and was told my account only had P499.49. Knowing I had a balance of well over P20,000 in that account and thinking there may have been something wrong with the machine, I went to the BPI Expressteller machine at the Enterprise Center at 7:03 p.m. to inquire about my balance. I was given the figure P487.49,” she said. Elsa said she immediately reported the matter to the PSBank branch on Chino Roces, Makati City. She was informed by PSBank that according to its investigation, P27,000 had been “successfully dispensed” on Feb. 1 by an ATM machine in an unnamed Metrobank branch. “I was not anywhere near a Metrobank branch, much less withdrawing money, on that date or time. That P27,000 that was dispensed by your machine was not withdrawn by me and I am really anxious to get that money back,” she said in a letter to Metrobank dated Feb. 7. Elsa requested Metrobank for the CCTV footage of its branch and machine involved on the date in question to see who withdrew the money.


De Villa said the BSP had set 2017 as the deadline because the shift to the EMV chip was costly and would entail replacing hardware and software. “Thank you for giving us the heads up. This is certainly good progress,” Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the investigating committee on public order and dangerous drugs, said of the BSP circular. Arrested

Presidential Security Group member Raphael Marcial was arrested for alleged cloning of ATM cards in Makati City. He was brought to a local court for inquest on charges of violating the e-commerce law. He was allegedly carrying a scanner device supposedly used to copy ATM cards, as well as cards bearing different names. In a recent INQUIRER report, police in Angeles City arrested an Italian man, Roberto de Cecco, caught installing a card-skimming device in an ATM machine in a PSBank branch in Barangay

Reply awaited

Metrobank has yet to reply to Elsa’s request. Miguel Bernabe, vice president of Bank of the Philippine Islands and chair of the Internetwork Anti-Fraud Committee, said the bank had begun preparing to move toward the chip-based technology. “We’re now already doing our pencil pushing as far as how we’re able to migrate our ATM cards into a chip-based technology. Definitely, we will be complying with the circular,” he said. Rene Natividad, vice president of operations for Bancnet, agreed with the BSP circular. “Some banks have started using it,” he said.


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Ways to clone ATM card

In a PowerPoint presentation, Chief Insp. Jay Guillermo of the Police AntiCybercrime Group showed slides depicting the different ways of ATM card cloning.

RONALDO SISON, FIC Financial Representative

ELLEN JANE POLICARPIO, FIC Financial Representative


MARY JANE CASTILLO, FIC Financial Representative





647. 457. 1592

❱❱ PAGE 10 Bank depositors


403.560 .2624


Philippine News

MARCH 7, 2014


Jinggoy, Gringo in separate P220-M probe BY NANCY C. CARVAJAL Philippine Daily Inquirer THOUGH NO witness or whistle-blower has come forward as yet to testify to it, the P220 million in pork barrel funds that Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Gringo Honasan allegedly funneled to dubious nongovernment organizations in 2010 and 2011 through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is strongly supported by documents, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). “The investigation has a nationwide coverage and pinned down lawmakers through documentary evidence, but no witnesses,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity. The P220-million case using the DAR as the implementing agency and involving the two senators is separate from the much more massive P10-billion scam allegedly masterminded by the detained Janet LimNapoles. But it also involves at

least 10 of the dubious NGOs linked to Napoles. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the NBI to conduct a separate investigation into the P220-billion alleged scam after DAR Undersecretary Anthony Parungao revealed in television interviews in November 2013 that Estrada and Honasan had authorized the release of funds from their pork barrel entitlements to the DAR using bogus Napoles NGOs and others in 2010 and 2011. Parungao, who was interviewed after the P10-billion scam blew up in the media, said the projects endorsed by the two senators were never implemented and were “ghost projects.” Estrada allegedly endorsed P70 million to 10 towns for the DAR’s organic farming livelihood projects that were supposed to be undertaken by 10 Napoles-controlled NGOs. Honasan allegedly endorsed P150 million to 14 towns through non-Napoles organizations: Samahan Magsasaka Sa Kapatagan at Kabundukan

Senators Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II and Jinggoy Estrada. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Foundation Inc. (Samal, Bataan; San Pablo, Isabela; Porac, Pampanga; Benito Soliven, Isabela, and Paombong, Bulacan); Divine Grace Foundation Inc. (San Ildefenso and Malolos, Bulacan; Bagac and Mariveles Bataan).

‘No whistle-blower, witnesses’

Cesar Bacani, the NBI Antifraud and and Action Division head who was assigned to investigate the P220-million misplaced DAR-allocated funds, declined to provide details on the investigation but confirmed

“they have no whistle-blower or witnesses.” Bacani said three mayors have appeared before investigators and all three denied receiving funds from Estrada and Honasan through the DAR as the implementing agency. “There’s no witnesses or whistleblower for this case, but we continue to investigate the accusation against the senators and others,” Bacani said. “The three mayors denied they received funds and promised to execute sworn statements,” he said. Also being investigated are DAR employees whose signatures were found on the checks, agreements and vouchers that led to the release of the P220 million. Based on Parungao’s statements, they are Undersecretaries Jerry E. Pacturan and Felix Perry Villanueva, former DAR Directors Teresita Panlilio and Dominador V. Sison, chief cashier Nilda Baui, chief accountant Rowena Agbayani and Ronald Venancio. ■

Philippine News

5 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

From Edsa to Fuente Osmeña BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA Philippine Daily Inquirer CEBU CITY—President Aquino preached the gospel of “love for others” as he led the commemoration of the Edsa People Power Revolution before yellow-clad supporters. The President said this expression of selfless giving— when about a million Filipinos massed on Edsa in 1986 until Ferdinand Marcos stepped down—was evident in efforts to assist natural calamity victims more than two decades later. “What drove us in Edsa was the same one that drives us to help one another each time there’s a calamity, not because we want to take advantage of others or to get something in return,” he said in Filipino. “To so many Filipinos, the strongest driving force is the love for others, love for country, love for God,” he added. Touring disaster-hit areas as part of this year’s commemoration of the Edsa uprising, Mr. Aquino said: “The Filipino is capable of loving, not just his kin, not just his friend, but even strangers.” “He can sacrifice (for others) like what was shown by those who helped in repacking millions of food packs for (calamity) victims,” he said, citing relief efforts for those affected by Typhoons “Yolanda” and “Santi,” the Bohol earthquake and the Zamboanga siege. ‘First chapter’

On the 28th anniversary of the Edsa uprising, the government chose to celebrate it, not in Manila, but in Cebu where, according to the President, the struggle to restore democracy began its “first chapter.” From the provincial capitol, Mr. Aquino and his Cabinet proceeded to Bantayan island, also in Cebu, and then to Tanauan in Leyte to check on the progress of rehabilitation there. His last stop was Tacloban City, center of relief efforts at the height of Yolanda last year. Not just Manila struggle

Mr. Aquino rejected a suggestion that his administration was “revising history” by holding the Edsa anniversary rites outside of Metro Manila.

President Benigno Aquino III during the 28th EDSA celebration at Cebu Provincial Capitol Grounds early morning on February 25. PHOTO FROM NEWS.PIA.GOV.PH / JGU/AYS/PIA7

“Those in Edsa were not the only ones who joined the revolt, right? There are those in Cebu, Davao and so many other places. It’s about time to recognize others’ contributions after 28 years,” he later told reporters. Edsa people power, he said, involved the struggle of Filipinos all over country, “not just (those) in MetroManila.” In his speech, Mr. Aquino said Cebu could be credited with representing the “first chapter” in the struggle to restore democracy. He recalled it was in Cebu where his late mother, former President Corazon Aquino, called for civil disobedience against the Marcos dictatorship. “If we could say that the last chapter in the struggle for democracy happened on Edsa, perhaps we could say that the first chapter happened in Cebu,” he said. “I was at ease then because my mother was in Cebu. She was in good hands,” he said. “Those who wanted to harm her would not succeed because she was in the company of ardent supporters.” Conspicuously absent in the Cebu program were key Edsa players like former President Fidel Ramos and former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile. ‘Salubungan’ reenacted

The Cebu affair, held in front

of the provincial capitol, reenacted the 1986 salubungan (encounter) between the civilians and the military led by Ramos and Enrile. In the reenacment, actor Dingdong Dantes played the role of Ramos while Sen. Bam Aquino stood for his uncle, Agapito “Butz” Aquino. With members of his Cabinet, the President watched the salubungan as the University of Cebu choir sang “Magkaisa,” the People Power Revolution theme, in the background. Civil disobedience

Mr. Aquino recalled his going to Cebu as a young man in 1983—a month after his father, the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., was assassinated—to generate support for civil disobedience and the boycott of the products produced by Marcos cronies. He said hewas shocked to see that in Cebu, it was as if martial law had ended and that the people were already free, with politicians and the students holding protest marches. Mr. Aquino also thanked Cebu for keeping his mother safe when the Edsa revolt broke out. “She was taken care of by Cebuanos,” he said. The commemoration program was attended by 5,000 people, including former Cebu Rep. Antonio Cuenco,

cilor Margot Osmeña, former Mayor Tomas Osmeña, opposition leader Democrito Barcenas and former Sen. John Osmeña. Protests in Aklan, Iloilo

Protests marked the commemoration in Aklan and Iloilo provinces, with martial law victims taking part. In Iloilo City, 250 protesters rallied in front of the provincial capitol. “Many of the evils that we fought during the Marcos dictatorship remain today, ironically under a president whose family was among those persecuted under martial law,” said human rights worker Jose Ely Garachico. In Kalibo, Aklan, about 100 protesters held a picket at the Crossing Banga-New Washington. Speaking in Tanauan, Leyte, Mr. Aquino said the Edsa anniversary should be an affirmation of the strength of the Filipino people to overcome adversities. He said the Edsa affair also showed to the world the Filipinos’ resiliency in rising up from a disaster like Yolanda. The President led the groundbreaking ceremonies in Tanauan for a permanent resettlement site and a memorial park for those who died in the typhoon. The 5-hectare site will serve

as the relocation area for 366 families from coastline villages. The project is expected to be finished by next month. Later, Mr. Aquino motored to the site of a proposed new regional hospital, the Eastern Visayas RegionalMedical Center, which is expected to be finished by 2016. The project will cost over P500 million. In Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Yolanda survivors waited for the President but the visit was canceled because of bad weather. Mixed feelings

On Edsa itself, as he celebrated Mass yesterday at the Edsa Shrine, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas did not hide his disappointment on seeing only a “handful” of churchgoers at the early evening service. “On one side, I’m grateful to remember Edsa,” Villegas said in his homily. “But I also ask myself, ‘ Is this all what we have left? After 28 years, is this all that we gathered to thank the Lord for an event that made Filipinos stand 10 feet tall?’” He said Filipinos must “come back to this sacred place.” “You must stand on this ground because on this, you and I and God had a brief loving encounter for four days and history cannot be changed anymore,” he said. ■

Philippine News

MARCH 7, 2014


Doctors slam BIR ad: We’re not tax cheats Charges of doctoring taxes unfair–PMA BY JOCELYN R. UY, AND MICHELLE V. REMO Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, PHILIPPINES—The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) is crying foul over a tax campaign advertisement of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that appeared in a newspaper on Sunday portraying a medical doctor as a tax cheat. “[T]o project to the entire nation through the trimedia that medical doctors are tax cheats per se is absolutely unfair,” PMA president Dr. Leo Olarte said in a statement. Olarte was referring to the half-page ad, which was published in the Inquirer, showing a female doctor riding piggyback on a female teacher. The physician, a certain Marjorie Villena, who supposedly earned P1,075,080.52 paid only P7,424 in taxes while the teacher, a certain Carina Santos, whose salary amounted to

P852,169.48, paid P221,694.23 in taxes. The ad carried the message: “When you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a burden to those who do. Do your share.” It reminded readers that the deadline for the filing and payment of income tax return was on April 15. Olarte said the PMA would not tolerate tax cheats among its ranks. “[W]e will act immediately if these isolated cases can be brought formally to our attention.”

AD UNFAIR TO DOCTORS? This Bureau of Internal Revenue advertisement that appeared in the Inquirer on Sunday is

No receipts

deemed unfair by the Philippine Medical Association. But the BIR counters that doctors should not take the ad personally and just pay taxes honestly.

Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said doctors should not get hurt by the newspaper ad hinting rampant tax evasion among their ranks. Henares said the print ad was based on numerous complaints received by the BIR from individuals that their doctors were not issuing receipts. The ad was also based on actual data collected by the BIR

showing significant discrepancy between taxes paid by doctors and their estimated incomes, she said. Common perception

“They have to accept that it is a common public perception that many doctors do not pay the right taxes. That perception is based on experience [by

people who avail themselves of medical services] and on data we gather,” Henares said. She noted that the figures shown in the print ad were based on actual income tax returns. “Instead of getting hurt, shouldn’t doctors who pay inaccurate taxes feel ashamed?” Henares said.

Don’t take it personally

The BIR chief said doctors should not take the print ad personally. Doctors who claim to be paying the right taxes should not feel hurt by accusations that many of their colleagues are tax delinquents, she said. ❱❱ PAGE 12 Doctors slam

Philippine News

7 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Aquino’s choice of 2016 candidate is his alone—Palace Malacañang execs refuse to comment on Binay’s new party, Roxas’ viability as 2016 bet BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, PHILIPPINES— Malacañang kept mum on Monday about Vice President Jejomar Binay’s decision to bolt the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party to put up a new political machinery for his presidential run in 2016. President Benigno Aquino’s spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda, insisted that the Chief Executive was in “the thick of governance,” given that he had only 849 days left before the end of his term. “There’s still those number of days for governance, so we have no comment on the formation of a new political party by Vice President Binay,” he told reporters. “He is preoccupied with governance right now.” The Palace also declined to comment on reports that Binay was considering Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos to be his running mate. “Obviously, if that is true, that is his decision to make. We have no hand in there, so we have no comment,” Lacierda said.

Binay earlier announced that he was leaving his longtime party to form a new one that would carry his candidacy for president in 2016. During the 2013 senatorial campaign, PDP-Laban was rocked by disunity after the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) included former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri in its lineup, much to the dismay of Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. Zubiri resigned from the Senate in 2011, shortly before the Senate Electoral Tribunal was to declare that Pimentel was the rightful winner of the 12th and final slot in the senatorial election four years earlier. Pimentel rejected the idea of belonging to the same senatorial ticket with Zubiri six years later. Pimentel ended up running under the administration ticket. Lacierda dodged questions about Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, particularly the one on whether he “remains as a viable candidate for the presidency in 2016.” “It’s a decision that the President has to make [on] who his successor will be or who his handpicked choice will be,” he said. ■


“I am also issuing this public challenge to the principal suspects in the PDAF scam. Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, if you are innocent as you publicly claim you are and you have nothing to hide, please submit yourselves to the same lifestyle check and execute waivers of the benefits of the bank secrecy law so the public may know once and for all who is telling the truth.” — Former Technology Resource Center Director General Dennis Cunanan (UNTV News) PHOTO FROM UNTVWEB.COM

Cunanan challenges... all who is telling the truth,” said Cunanan, the head of the Technology Resource Center (TRC). Cunanan, who has gone on leave as TRC director general after he was implicated in the scam and later offered to become a state witness, appealed to the media not to disclose the location of the house where he and his family were staying, saying his household had been getting threats since it was publicized. “I am ready to face the consequences of my decision, but please help me spare my wife and children and the rest of my family from danger because they have absolutely nothing to do with this,” said Cunanan, who has asked the Department of Justice to conduct a lifestyle check on him and examine his bank accounts. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima acknowledged that there were “real security concerns” surrounding Cunanan and the other government witnesses in the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to finance ghost projects and get kickbacks from the alleged brains behind the racket, detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. “We do not know where (the threats) are coming from so we want to be very careful, but of course we cannot afford to ignore those (threats),” De Lima told reporters. De Lima said Cunanan would attend the Senate blue ribbon committee’s hearing on the pork barrel scam on Thursday. He is expected to be questioned on his claims that Revilla and Estrada, as well as Gigi Reyes, the chief of staff of ❰❰ 1

Enrile, had asked him to release their PDAF allotments to fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs) controlled by Napoles. Cunanan is one of 38 people, including the three senators and Napoles, named in the complaint filed in September last year in the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the PDAF racket. The senators say the charges against them were fabricated.

at destroying my credibility as a possible witness for the state against the powerful masterminds of the PDAF scam,” Cunanan said. He said that two days after the news reports, guards at his subdivision confronted occupants of a vehicle parked near his street who were filming the house. They claimed they were doing a documentary but refused to give their identities and instead hurriedly left.

Well-oiled smear campaign

In a statement, the 42-yearold TRC head referred to media reports that he owned a P40million house in an exclusive subdivision in Quezon City as well as luxurious vehicles. The reports also said he did not declare them in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. He said the property was worth P12 million when it was built and later acquired by his brother Darius who was still amortizing it. “My brother, who lives and works in Pampanga, offered to lease the house to me. I initially refused but my brother ultimately prevailed upon me to lease it from him at a concessional rate,” Cunanan said. He said he had authorized his lawyer Odessa Bernardo to release to the media information on the house and lot. Cunanan also denied news reports he owned a fleet of luxury vehicles, saying he only owns a 10-year-old van and two delivery trucks used for the family’s water-refilling business. He said his parents, siblings or in-laws would also lend him a car to use to drive his children to school. “It is obviously part of a wellfinanced demolition job aimed

Bracing for more attacks

Cunanan also lamented that some reputable public officials were being “unwittingly fed with maliciously slanted information in an effort to discredit” him. He said he was “bracing” for more public attacks by his detractors and added he would try to “respond to them with all due candor and humility.” “I would be the very first to admit that I am not faultless and I am not a saint,” Cunanan said, adding that he believed that this case was not about him but about public officials who had conspired with Napoles and earned kickbacks from the people’s money. He said he knew that he had earned the ire of “very powerful people” and that was why he feared that his family would be in “grave and mortal danger if the wrong people get hold of these sensitive information.” De Lima said personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Witness Protection Program were doubling security measures for Cunanan and the whistle-blowers who had received threats. “We are taking extra precautions for everyone,” she said. She declined to elaborate. ■

Philippine News

MARCH 7, 2014 FRIDAY 8

SC stops TRO on rice shipment from Davao P-noy refuses to

budge on rights board appointment

BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO Philippine Daily Inquirer AS JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima pushed for a Cabinetcrafted policy on rice importation, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has won a temporary victory over one of four court injunctions it is facing in connection with the entry into the country of rice shipments without import permits. The Supreme Court stopped a Davao City Regional Trial Court order that restrained the BOC from seizing 91,800 bags of imported rice that a businessman had bought from a firm linked to David Bangayan aka David Tan. The shipment arrived two months ago without an import permit. The high court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the enforcement of the Dec. 12, 2013, order of Judge Emmanuel Carpio of Davao City RTC Branch 16 that prevented the BOC from seizing the shipment of Joseph Ngo. Ngo bought the rice from Starcraft International Trading Corp., which is linked to Bangayan, who is suspected to be rice smuggler David Tan. “The TRO is effective immediately and until further orders from the court,” said Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te. The high court acted on the petition for certiorari with application for a TRO, status quo order and/or preliminary injunction filed on Feb. 21 by Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala as chair of the National Food Authority (NFA). The petitioners told the high court that the injunction against the implementation of NFA Memorandum Circular No. AO-2K13-03-003, which requires rice imports to be covered by duly issued import permits, had “brought about the unbridled entry of smuggled rice from various countries to the detriment of the Filipino farmers.” Protecting farmers

“Consequently, petitioners invoke the power of the honorable court to intervene, enjoin and strike down the baseless

BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA Philippine Daily Inquirer

Some 2,000 container vans with 50,000 metric tons of rice were smuggled into the country weekly in 2013 (or 2.6 metric million tons annually), according to Deputy Customs Commissioner Agaton Uvero.

issuances of respondent judge which defeat the earnest efforts of the national government, particularly the NFA and the BOC, to curb the unlawful smuggling of rice into Philippine shores and protecting the local agriculture sector, especially the small farmers in the rural areas,” Sevilla and Alcala told the high court. At a briefing, Te said the high court granted the TRO after it considered “meritorious the Office of the Solicitor General’s arguments regarding the lack of adequate representation of the BOC during the Regional Trial Court hearings and the lack of legal standing of Ngo to sue.” The Supreme Court spokesperson also said the high court required Judge Carpio and Ngo to comment on the petition against them within 10 days from receipt of its notice. Complaint against judge

Carpio himself is a subject of an administrative complaint in the high court for issuing the order that prevented the BOC from seizing Ngo’s shipment. The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura Inc. (Sinag) filed the complaint early thismonth. Sinag is an umbrella organization of 33 federations and various sectors of the agricultural industry. The group sued Carpio for alleged gross misconduct and knowingly rendering an unjust judgment. Rice importers have resorted to going to court and seeking injunctions against the BOC for holding their rice shipments. Ngo, for instance, had told the Davao City Regional Trial Court that requiring an import permit on the importation of

rice may no longer be imposed because the special treatment for rice importation under the World Trade Organization (WTO) had expired in June 2012. The country is currently seeking an extension with the WTO. De Lima, meanwhile, said she hoped the Cabinet would have discussions on the country’s rice importation policy following court injunctions preventing the BOC from implementing its no-rice import permit, no-entry policy. Quantitative restrictions

The justice secretary said the existing policy was for the continued imposition of quantitative restrictions on the entry of rice imports into the country. De Lima told reporters the rice policy was not purely a legal issue. “It has to be a policy at a macro level. It cannot just be a purely NFA/DA matter,” she said. She said rice importation had economic implications beyond agriculture. “We want a clear policy guidance.”

CEBU CITY—President Aquino rejected demands that he withdraw the appointment of Lina Sarmiento, insisting that the former police director was the right person to “fend off” a supposed effort to “sabotage” the compensation of victims of human rights violations during martial law. “I am sure that there are at least two camps that don’t want this board to succeed,” he told reporters in Filipino, referring to the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board now headed by Sarmiento. Citing Sarmiento’s “experience” and “physical ability,” Mr. Aquino said the new claims board chief could “fend off those who would want to sabotage what this law intends to do.” The President was referring to the Human Rights Victims’ Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, which recognizes human rights violations under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and provides a mechanism for the compensation of victims. He said one camp didn’t want to “put on record that there was once a time that the government you established to ensure the welfare of the people ended up abusing them.” The second group purportedly wanted to “get control over the fund” and didn’t want human rights victims to be com-

pensated. The President said that “whoever would chair the board” would have to contend with these two groups. “Lina Sarmiento has not started her first day at work. Yet somany people are already criticizing her,” he said. The President vouched for Sarmiento’s capability to lead the claims board, pointing to her experience in “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,” he said. In Manila, the Human Rights Victims Claims Board vowed to expedite claims processing and reparations for the victims of martial law. The board is composed of Sarmiento as chair, and Wilfred Asis, Galausch Ballaho, Byron D. Bocar, Jose Luis Martin Gascon, Glenda Litong, Jacqueline VeloriaMejia, Aurora Corazon Alvareda Parong and Erlinda Nable Senturias as members. “The real lessons and true meaning of the 1986 People Power Revolution will remain incomplete for as long as justice remains elusive for the thousands of human rights victims,” the board said in a statement issued by the Commission on Human Rights. “The victims’ struggles inspired the Filipino people to topple the dictatorship 28 years ago,” it added. ■

Massive smuggling

Some 2,000 container vans with 50,000 metric tons of rice were smuggled into the country weekly in 2013 (or 2.6 metric million tons annually), Deputy Customs Commissioner Agaton Uvero told the Senate ways and means committee last month. Uvero said the massive rice smuggling was reportedly stopped last October, with the new leadership at the bureau. Besides rice, other products are smuggled into the country. ■

Lina Sarmiento.


Philippine News

9 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

PH protests China water cannon attack Manila says regional peace is threatened BY TARRA QUISMUNDO Philippine Daily Inquirer THE PHILIPPINES strongly protested China’s water cannon attack on Filipino fishermen in a disputed shoal, citing how such acts “escalate tensions” and “threaten the peace” in the region. Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, told reporters that while the Chinese action was “alarming,” it did not warrant an immediate military response. “I don’t think it would be appropriate if we send the Philippine Navy at this time. It will just escalate the situation,” Zagala said. “Rest assured that the Armed Forces will do its mandate when the time comes.” The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) summoned Chinese Chargé d’Affaires Sun Xiangyang and presented a note verbale protesting reported incidents of harassment that Chinese vessels had committed to prevent Filipinos from fishing in Panatag Shoal, also known as Scarborough Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc, in theWest Philippine Sea, or South China Sea. The protest was received by the chargé d’affaires. The new Chinese ambassador-designate, Zhao Jinhua, who arrived on Sunday night, has yet to begin officially his tour of duty. “Bajo deMasinloc is an integral part of the Philippines and over which the Philippines exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction. Philippine fishing vessels have been routinely, continuously, and peacefully and sustainably fishing in Bajo de Masinloc,” Assistant Foreign Secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters. President Aquino said he wanted China to explain why

its Coast Guard had fired water cannon at the fishermen. “We’re not sure at this point in time if we can call it their standard operating procedure because we had fishermen inside the shoal who (were) not being harassed or intimidated by any entity,” he told reporters during a visit to Cebu City, where he marked the 28th anniversary of the People Power Revolution, away from the site of the historic event on Edsa in Quezon City. China rejects protest

In a statement, Chinese Embassy spokesperson Zhang Hua rejected the Philippine protest. “We urge the Philippine side to work with the Chinese side to resolve differences through bilateral consultations and negotiations,” he said. Zhang also reiterated China’s position that it had “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea. “Chinese government vessels are conducting regular patrols within China’s jurisdiction,” he said. The Philippine protest covers the incident on Jan. 27, where a Chinese Coast Guard vessel allegedly sprayed Philippine vessels with waters cannons, and nine other reported incidents of harassment Filipinos had reported against patroling Chinese ships, including occasions when they were barred to seek shelter in the shoal during bad weather, the DFA said. “The whole thing is under protest: Their being there is under protest, and also their attempts to drive away Filipino fishermen is also under protest. The whole scheme that is being undertaken by the Chinese government in our territory and where we have sovereign rights is under protest. The crux, the core issue is the nine-dash line claim which is excessive, ex-

pansive and illegal, according to international law,” Hernandez said. There are currently no Philippine military or government ships around the shoal, having pulled out at the height of the tense standoff with Chinese vessels in 2012. The territory, located some 220 kilometers off Zambales province, is within the Philippines’ 370-km exclusive economic zone and 650 km from the nearest Chinese coast in Hainan. Hernandez could not say if a redeployment of Philippine vessels was among options being considered to protect Philippine fishermen in the area. He said the DFA was in consultation with the Philippine Coast Guard and the military on a possible course of action. He said at least three Chinese fishing vessels would “come and go” in the shoal. Belated PH report

“The department likewise strongly protests the acts of harassment and the manner by which these were committed by China to forcefully drive away Philippine fishing vessels from

Bajo de Masinloc. Finally, the department vehemently protests the acts of China when its law enforcement vessels drove away Philippine fishing vessels seeking shelter in the Philippines’ Bajo de Masinloc during inclement weather,” Hernandez said. “These actions, [this] incident, surely escalate the tension in the area and this further threatens the peace and security and stability in the region,” he added. The Philippines filed its latest protest against China after Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista during a news forum on Monday talked about the incident nearly a month ago. For still unclear reasons, a Chinese Coast Guard vessel (Bow No. 3063) allegedly doused water on two Filipino vessels, FB P8 and FB Kim, as they plied the vicinity of the shoal. The vessels were among 14 small Philippine fishing boats present at the time. Filipino fish trader Macario Forones said the Chinese used wastewater laden with oil while blowing the horn and yelling

“Go away, go away” at his fishermen. One or two other Philippine fishing boats were hit by the wastewater, he said. “The water smelled of oil and smeared the side of my fishing boat,” Forones told The Associated Press by telephone. “But my fishermen did not really leave the area. We’ve spent so much money to travel there and they basically ignored the Chinese.” Hernandez said it was the first time Chinese authorities had carried out such a hostile act against Filipino fishermen. The militant fisherfolk group, Pamalakaya, questioned the timing of Bautista’s announcement of the Jan. 27 incident. In a statement, it said that the military should have made it public on the day the fishermen were harassed, not almost a month later. Pamalakaya said Bautista’s report was “masterfully directed by the US government in vain attempt to exploit the conflict and advance the agenda of the US to check Beijing’s increasing role in global politics and pursue US global hegemony.” ■

Philippine News

MARCH 7, 2014 FRIDAY 10

Manila ports still congested following truck ban BY JERRY E. ESPLANADA Philippine Daily Inquirer THE PORT of Manila (POM) and the Manila International Container Port (MICP), two of the country’s biggest ports, are still “congested” with an undisclosed number of container vans of imported goods as a result of the Manila truck ban, according to an official of the Bureau of Customs. Agaton Uvero, customs deputy commissioner for the Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, however, told the INQUIRER the bureau was “expecting things to slowly normalize (this) week.” For her part, Charo Logarta Lagamon, chief of the agency’s public information and assistance division (PIAD), reported that the POM and MICP were open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Unfortunately, despite the extension (of port operations), not very many filed import entries or got their cargoes,” she said. Lagamon quoted a top MICP official as saying there were “very few customers” at the two ports.

The bureau extended its regular port operating hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It also deployed additional examiners and X-ray inspection personnel to “expedite the release of cargo with paid customs and duties.” Truckers’ groups resumed operations after the Manila city government agreed to a temporary concession that would allow trucks and other vehicles with a gross weight of more than 4,500 kilos to ply city streets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the next six months. Earlier, it said the same vehicles would not be allowed on city streets from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven hours longer than the previous scheme. The move was intended to ease the traffic congestion in the country’s capital that was expected to worsen in the wake of the two major road projects launched to weeks ago. There is no truck ban on Saturdays and Sundays. Exempted from the prohibition are trucks carrying perishables and petroleum products, as well as vehicles carrying materials intended for government projects. In a related development, the PIAD acknowledged the gov-

ernment’s revenue collections had been hurt by the truck ban. In a new release, it disclosed that from Feb. 24 to 26, the POM and MICP registered losses of P272.59 million and P217.39 million, respectively, for a total of P489.98 million. Before the truck ban, the two ports had daily average collections of P712.9million. the bureau said in a statement that on the first day of the ban on Feb. 24, the release of container vans from the MICP dropped from an average of 2,150 per day to only four. Also, the release of container vans from the POM fell from an average of 1,200 per day to none. The BOC pointed out the drop in the release of the number of container vans had resulted in the “dramatic decline in revenue collections in the two ports. On Feb. 24, collections at the MICP dropped by 27 percent to P262.8 million, while at the POM they fell by 47 percent to P134.4million. Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla said the agency would find ways to address the adverse effects of the truck ban on businesses. ■

UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco: Something fishy. SENATE POOL FILE PHOTO

What about admin’s allies, asks opposition BY LEILA B. SALAVERRIA Philippine Daily Inquirer WHEN IT comes to its allies, the Aquino administration continues to see no evil despite their involvement in the pork barrel scam, according to the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). UNA Secretary General Tobias Tiangco yesterday said that 200 days after the release of a Commission on Audit (COA) report implicating 192 lawmakers in questionable transactions involving P10 billion in allocations from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), few Liberal Party members were facing criminal charges. “What’s really obvious and dubious is that the cases are

all focused on the opposition— they don’t want to include their friends who also used the PDAF. There’s a clear coverup here,” Tiangco said in a statement. Among those facing plunder charges in the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly funneling development funds to dummy nongovernmental organizations and pocketing kickbacks are Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. Enrile and Estrada are allied with UNA. But also facing a malversation charges is Liberal Party member Rufino Biazon, the former Bureau of Customs chief who also served as Muntinlupa ❱❱ PAGE 12 What about

Bank depositors... According to him, cloning is the method used by criminals to capture data from the magnetic tape on the back of an ATM card, and is a world wide problem. This is done by attaching a gadget to the ATM card entry slot that looks like an entry slot itself, minus the flashing card indicator, Guillermo said. Other ways are “piggybacking” a card-reading gadget onto the card reader, attaching a device to the ATM rain cover, and installing a device to the card reader, he said. ❰❰ 3

Pinhole camera, skimmer

This is complemented by devices attached either to the top of the ATM machine, a pinhole camera hidden behind a brochure holder, and a skimmer plate placed over the keyboard, all to capture the PIN (personal

identification number), he said. A successful cloning requires both a card skimmer or reader, and a camera fitted to the ATM, the police official said. “They put skimming device early morning or late evening, depending on the location of the bank,” he said, pointing out that the criminals targeted banks that lacked surveillance cameras or security guards. The copied information is used to produce a duplicate ATM card. A recent attempt showed a fraudster wearing a helmet to hide his face from the CCTV camera. But the majority of banks have CCTV cameras that come with the ATM machine, according to bank officials. Cloning at night

Fraudsters do the cloning at

At the Senate hearing on ATM fraud, BSP officials said it was about time banks started using EMV chip technology in ATM cards to counter card “cloning” or “skimming.”

night “because they know the cut-off of the banks,” Natividad said. “At 12 midnight a bank

changes limit. Let’s say a bank has a P20,000 withdrawal limit every day. If I go there, and I have a clone card, I’ll do the

transaction starting at 11:30 and use it up. I’ll do a P20,000 withdrawal. After 12 o’clock, I can do another P20,000. If the bank has more limits, there’s more exposure,” he said. “That’s why banks now are thinking of limiting the limits on ATM.” Hearing this, Poe said: “I hope we don’t do it because of the high prices of commodities. Maybe, it should be only one of the options. Depositors with certain credit balance should have a certain limit.” Natividad later told reporters that this was a precautionary measure being explored by banks “to limit the exposure.” “Whenever there are cases like this, the exposure would just be limited to that amount,” he said. But he said it would depend on the individual banks whether to adopt this. ■

Philippine News

11 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Peace deal signed in March P-Noy asks Najib to witness signing BY TARRA QUISMUNDO Philippine Daily Inquirer KUALA LUMPUR—The Aquino administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will sign by the end of March a final peace agreement, ending four decades of conflict in Mindanao and opening the way for development of the rich but impoverished island in southern Philippines. Taking a step further in helping secure peace in Mindanao, Malaysia, which brokered the successful peace talks between the government and the MILF, has offered to assist the Philippines in placing well-trained leaders in the government of the proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region. President Aquino invited Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to witness the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro to acknowledge Malaysia’s role in ending theMindanao conflict peacefully. Najib told a joint news conference with President Aquino here on Friday that he had accepted the invitation. “I look forward to attending that very historic ceremony, which will usher in a new era for the people of the Philippines. In the case of southern Philippines, the security and peace in that area will not only benefit the people of the Philippines, but also Malaysia and the region as a whole,” Najib said. An exact date has yet to be set, but Najib said he was invited to come to Manila “by the end of March” as he reiterated his government’s commitment to seeing the peace agreement through. State visit’s gains

President Aquino counted the “reaffirmation” of Malaysia’s “help toward attaining peace” in Mindanao among the gains of his state visit, which ended on Friday night with a state banquet thrown in his honor by Malaysia’s King Abdul Halim at the Istana Negara, the national palace. “People are generally aware that they (Malaysians) have been helping us, but I don’t know how many are aware that

they have been helping us for a decade. There has been expense; there has been effort on their part—the facilitators, the monitoring team, and other components of the peace process,” Mr. Aquino said separately in an interview with reporters after his meeting with Najib. The government and the MILF signed here in January the final annex to the framework agreement, which would decommission the MILF fighting force. Through the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the government and the MILF are working on a draft of the Bangsamoro basic law. Mr. Aquino said part of the “organic law” would be an amnesty mechanism to help MILF members “transition from being fighters to being productive citizens.” Malaysian assistance

To help in the transition, Malaysia offered to provide technical assistance in the training of Bangsamoro leaders, Najib said. “Malaysia is delighted that we could play our part as a facilitator to support the peace process, and to add strength to that process, we will offer capacity building for the Bangsamoro people because the future government in southern Philippines will require them to have new skills to be part of the government in the future of that area,” he said. Details of the training arrangement have yet to be released. During expanded bilateral talks that included trade officials from both countries, Mr. Aquino and Najib discussed enhancing business ties between the Philippines and Malaysia, particularly Malaysian investment in Mindanao in the palm oil industry. “We believe that, just as Malaysia has been a reliable partner in pursuing our shared vision of a peaceful Mindanao, Malaysia can also further contribute to the development of the Land of Promise by encouraging their businesses to invest in Mindanao,” Mr. Aquino said. Islamic banking

Malaysia agreed to help the Philippines develop Islamic banking, particularly in train-

ing finance professionals who specialize in banking. The Department of Finance had said that “there is no Islamic banking capability or expertise” in the Philippines. Mr. Aquino said the MILF had asked to run the country’s Islamic bank, the Al-Amanah, “so that a new entity with the necessary expertise will be able to service the banking needs in conformity with the principles of Islam.” He said Malaysia had expressed interest in acquiring the bank. “They are willing to provide initial technical assistance as far as Islamic banking and financing are concerned. But they are asking if we will invite them to purchase the [bank]. Of course, it behooves us to get the people who are considered experts... That has to be worked out. There is no finality there yet,” Mr. Aquino said. The President and Najib agreed that there was a big room for trade between the Philippines and Malaysia to expand, with the current bilateral trade volume pegged at $4.5 billion. “I believe, in terms of trade and investment, particularly in areas of trade, there’s a lot more we can do between our two countries. Given the size of the Philippines, we believe that the potential is far greater than that, and both our governments agree that we should encourage the value and volume of bilateral trade to increase,” Najib said. Top Malaysian executives separately met with Mr. Aquino on Friday afternoon in a Business Opportunities Forum aimed at further stirring investor interest in the Philippines. Sabah dispute

Mr. Aquino said the Malaysian side brought up the dispute over Sabah during his bilateral talks with Najib. Malaysia brought up last year’s incident in Lahad Datu, Sabah, steering the discussion toward the unresolved dispute over the territory that the Philippines had long placed in the back burner. The sultanate of Sulu sent about 200 fighters to Lahad Datu in February last year to

take Sabah, leading to a protracted standoff with Malaysian police and military troops. The standoff ended in the rout of the Sulu fighters led by Agbimuddin Kiram, younger brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram who died last year. Mr. Aquino said prior to his departure for Malaysia that the Sabah dispute was not on the agenda of his talks with Najib. Real score

“We told our Malaysian counterparts that we’re not after conflict with anybody. But we want to be able to tell our people the real score, and in that sense, come up to a consensus based on that which is right,” Mr. Aquino said. He said the Malaysian side raised the issue of Sulu fighters currently facing trial in Lahad Datu. Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya said the trial of 27 Sulu fighters currently in Malaysian jails was in the prosecution phase, which was expected to be completed sometime in May. The Philippine Embassy continues to provide legal assistance to the group, Malaya said. During the talks, Mr. Aquino said the Malaysians reminded the Philippine side that the previous administration had agreed to establish consular presence in Kota Kinabalu. He said the government was studying the detailed timeline on the sultanate of Sulu and the succession line, information that would help the government solidify its position on the dispute.

T h e President said the University of the Philippines would be tapped for the study. the Philippines and Malaysia agreed to boost security cooperation, particularly sharing intelligence for “immediate interdiction” and “deterrence” in areas of common concern between the two countries: the Philippines’ backdoor and Malaysia’s easternmost border. The agreement aims to deal with crime in the area, including abductions committed by bandits, Mr. Aquino said. He said the two countries were looking to establish a hotline between the security forces of both sides in the event of an incident of mutual concern. “We need to ensure immediate interdiction on our Malaysian side as well as the Philippine side, so that is a very important facet. Once we have peace and security, then trade and investment will flow in southern Philippines as well as in Sabah,” Najib said at the news conference. Maritime disputes

Mr. Aquino meanwhile raised the issue of competing claims in the South China Sea, with Malaysia among the claimants to the resource-rich waterway. The Philippines is asserting ownership of part of the waters within its exclusive economic zone, an area it calls the West Philippine Sea. China claims almost all of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea, including waters within the economic exclusion zones of its rivals for terri❱❱ PAGE 14 Peace deal

Philippine News

MARCH 7, 2014 FRIDAY 12

Harper suspends...

Doctors slam...

in Ukraine with the gravest concern and will continue to review our relations with President Putin’s government accordingly,” the statement said. The move comes the day after the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion condemning Russia’s dramatic incursion in the country, which has been riven by protests for months. Tensions reached new heights after the Russian military made a dramatic incursion into Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Russian troops are stationed around Crimea’s ferry, military bases and border posts, while the Russian navy is blocking two Ukrainian warships from leaving the port of Sevastopol. Putin sought to ease those tensions Tuesday, saying Russia has no intention “to fight the Ukrainian people.” However, he asserted his country’s right to use its military to protect Russians in Ukraine. Russia also agreed to a special meeting in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Putin’s remarks were his first since Ukraine’s ousted president fled and as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the capital city of Kyiv to meet the country’s fledgling government. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird—who met Tuesday with Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Vadym Prystaiko—scoffed at Putin’s justification for sending troops into Ukraine. “These Soviet-style tactics are dangerous and tremendously destabilizing to the whole region,” Baird said. “The pretext that Putin uses for these military operations

❰❰ 6

❰❰ 1

Canada has suspended all joint military activities with Russia, according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as Vladimir Putin lashed out at threats of sanctions against his country and accused the West of sowing divisions within Ukraine. PHOTO FROM PMWEBPHOTOS / FLICKR

are ludicrous and transparently unacceptable. “Canada can never accept— and the international community must never accept—ethic nationalist justification for invading a peaceful, democratic neighbour.” He repeated a comparison between Russia’s actions now and Nazi Germany’s annexation of Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia in 1938 before the start of the Second World War. Prystaiko said he and Baird spoke during their meeting about sending international observers to Ukraine to monitor the situation on the ground. Canada has yet to decide whether to participate in a special observer mission. Prystaiko also accused Georgiy Mamedov, Russia’s ambassador in Ottawa, of “hypocrisy” for calling for ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych to be reinstated only days after he signed a book of condolences at the Ukrainian embassy for people killed by Yanukovych’s forces. “How can you come and sign a

book of condolences for people killed, and then the next day advocate for the same person to be reinstated as the leader of the same people?” Prystaiko said. A small group of protesters gathered Tuesday outside the Russian embassy in Ottawa on Tuesday morning to protest the invasion, waving placards and chanting anti-Putin slogans. Dan Popowych, a Ukrainian Canadian with family and friends in Ukraine, said the people of Ukraine will not back down from a fight. “I know that my family over there, my friends, are not going to run for a fight. They’re going to stand their ground,” Popowych said. “So I’m not so much worried for their safety as I am proud that they’re at least standing their ground and voicing their opinions and saying that, ‘We’re not afraid, we’re willing to die and be shot at, to make sure that this thing works.”‘ ■ With files from The Associated Press and Ben Makuch in Ottawa

What about... representative until 2010. Tiangco said it seemed as if the other people named in the COA report, especially those close to the ruling party, were overlooked. He asked why the authorities had not deemed it fit to bring charges against those administration allies. “It is still unclear if the Aquino administration has plans to build strong cases against other fake NGOs named in the report as well as against members and al❰❰ 10

lies of the Liberal Party,” he said. Tiangco added that the administration was using the pork barrel scam to “persecute” the political opposition. “If they really want to tread the [straight and righteous path], let’s be fair and leave no stone unturned,” he said, referring to the Aquino administration’s good government slogan. The COA report covered the period 2007-2009, part of the last years of the Arroyo administration. Among the administration al-

lies named in the report were Joel Villanueva, the former Cibac party-list representative who now heads the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; Iloilo Rep. Nathaniel Tupas Jr., Mandaluyong Rep. and Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, former An-Waray partylist Rep. Florencio Noel, former Sen. Edgardo Angara and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. All of them have denied involvement in the misuse of the PDAF. ■

Henares compared the notion that many doctors were tax evaders with the view that many government officials were corrupt. Public servants who are not corrupt should not get hurt when they hear sweeping statements that government officials are corrupt, she said. “Instead of getting hurt, they (medical industry) should take it as a challenge to prove to the public that tax-delinquent members have changed their habit and are already paying the right taxes.” Surprise

Olarte said the print ad came as a surprise to the PMA as it was not discussed in its various consultations with the BIR on the agency’s campaign against doctors who were not paying correct taxes. He said the PMA fully supported the BIR’s campaign to collect the proper taxes “because we believe that taxes are the lifeblood of our nation. We, at the PMA, as productive members of the Filipino society, have been working hand in hand with the BIR toward the achievement of this goal.” In a phone interview with the Inquirer, PMA spokesman Dr. Mike Aragon said the ad was unexpected since the organization had an ongoing partnership with the BIR. “The PMA created a committee that would help the bureau [succeed in collecting correct taxes from doctors] and this engagement is [going on]. That’s why we were surprised that we were given this impression [as tax cheats],” Aragon said. Olarte dispelled a general notion that all doctors practicing in the country were wealthy “due to a lucrative medical practice.” He said most PMA members belonged to the middle class. “Only a few of us are lucky enough to rub elbows with the rich and famous, and many even fall within and below the poverty line.” The organization has members earning a measly P15,000 every month, he said. Olarte also pointed out that government doctors were earning a little over P20,000 monthly—a reason for the “overwhelming migration” of doctors abroad. Charity cases

He said doctors in private practice were often faced with

charity cases. “More than half of their patients are charity or nonpaying cases and they do not complain.” Olarte said the medical profession would never be a burden to the country. “Doctors were trained and duty-bound to render a very noble service to our beloved countrymen. This involves protecting their health and saving their lives.” Spinmeisters, US grant

He appealed to the BIR chief to temper the bureau’s public relations “spinmeisters” and encourage them to promote collaboration between the two organizations. The print ad is supported by Millennium Challenge Corp. through the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines, which awarded to JWT Philippines a P108-million contract for a public awareness campaign for the BIR. The campaign is implemented under the Revenue Administration Reform Program, one of the initiatives funded by a $434-million grant from the US government. “We are appealing to Commissioner Kim Henares to instead intensify further our existing partnership by doing more joint activities on taxation,” Olarte said. He said the PMA was studying the possibility of using online tax filing as suggested by Henares. The organization has commissioned a software group to customize an online tax filing system for its members. “We aim to accredit this userfriendly and interactive software and mobile phone apps system to the BIR. All this will surely help our members pay their taxes correctly,” he said. Change negative image

Henares said the print ad should prompt the medical practitioners to work on changing their negative image and to promote tax compliance. The campaign against tax evasion is meant to shore up the BIR’s revenue collection and boost state coffers amid the rising expenditure requirements of the government. Besides publishing print ads, the BIR files tax-evasion cases once every two weeks in the Department of Justice as part of the tax drive. The BIR is tasked with collecting P1.456 trillion this year, higher by nearly 20 percent from its collection last year. ■

Philippine News

13 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

No hospital arrest for Napoles PNP docs say she doesn’t need it BY MARLON RAMOS Philippine Daily Inquirer DOCTORS AT a police hospital have ruled out hospital confinement for detained Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, for now. “The condition of Napoles is not life-threatening,” Chief Supt. Alejandro Advincula Jr., director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Health Service, told reporters. Under tight security, Napoles was taken to the PNP General Hospital at Camp Crame yesterday where she underwent a series of medical tests. Wearing a bullet-proof vest, a hooded jacket and shades, Napoles was brought immediately to a room on the ground floor of the hospital upon arriving at the camp at about 7 a.m. from the detention facility of Fort Sto. Domingo in Santa Rosa City, Laguna. Heavily guarded

She was escorted by around

50 heavily armed personnel of the PNP Special Action Force and Regional Public Safety Battalion led by Senior Supt. Ronald Santos, deputy regional director for operations of the Calabarzon police. After a two-hour medical checkup, Napoles was found negative for ovarian tumor as her lawyers had feared. “It’s not alarming. That’s (her status) at this point in time. There’s no problem in her ovary,” Advincula added. “She doesn’t have to be confined. As a matter of fact, she can now go back to her detention cell.” He said the result of the examination was different from the diagnosis of doctors at the Southern Luzon Hospital and Medical Center where she was rushed on Oct. 24, 2013, after complaining of nausea and abdominal pain. No ovarian cyst

He said Napoles did not have an ovarian cyst, but doctors found amass in her uterus. “We have ruled out the possibility that she has ovarian cyst,”

he said. Asked if she needed other medical procedures to treat the mass in her uterus, Advincula said it was up to Napoles and her lawyers to ask the court to allow her to seek treatment. He said Napoles might need tooth extraction after she complained of toothache. She also informed the doctors about the pain in her right hand, he added. CT scan

In a motion filed last week, her lawyer said Napoles underwent a CT scan after she experienced “profuse menstrual bleeding for nine consecutive days.” Her endocrinologist said she was also suffering from “hypoglycemia, drastic weight loss, chest pains” and asked the court “that (Napoles) be placed under hospital arrest” at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City. Besides undergoing transvaginal ultrasound, Advincula said Napoles also had pap smear and blood test.

UNDER TIGHT GUARD. Janet Lim-Napoles, principal suspect in the P10-billion

pork scam, wears a bulletproof vest and hooded sweatshirt as she arrives for a medical checkup at PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame, Quezon City, on Wednesday. PHOTO BY LEONITO NAVALES / PNP-PIO

He refused to disclose the full details of the medical checkup on Napoles, citing patient-doctor confidentiality. Chief Inspector Michelle Daguno, the obstetrician-gynecologist who attended to Napoles,

said the VIP detainee became worried after she was told that a mass was found in her uterus. “We explained to Napoles her medical condition. She knows our diagnosis on her,” Advincula said. ■

Syndicates use ‘mules’ to get cash from ATMs BY TJ BURGONIO Philippine Daily Inquirer

authorities use to refer to a person who carries illegal drugs for a drug syndicate.

SYNDICATES INVOLVED in automated teller machine (ATM) fraud have started to deploy “mules” to illegally withdraw cash using ATM cards that have been cloned mostly in shopping malls, according to an officer of the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group. In the few years that it has been monitoring ATM fraud, the group has uncovered suspects who turned out to have been paid by syndicates to withdraw cash using cloned cards, said Chief Insp. Jay Guillermo, the head of the group’s intelligence and investigation unit. And since they know they are being monitored by authorities, the syndicate bosses have resorted to recruiting other people to do the withdrawing, exactly like a “mule,” said Guillermo, employing the term that anti-illegal drug enforcement

From PSG to mule

ATM fraud trade to pay off his creditor. Paid commissions

Guillermo said investigators were looking into the possibility that Raphael Marcial, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) soldier who was arrested last week, was a mule sent out by an ATM fraud syndicate. When he was arrested last Friday, Marcial was found to be carrying a scanner device that police said was used to clone ATM cards as well as a number of cloned cards bearing different names. Guillermo said Marcial’s circumstances indicated that he was a mule, but declined to give other details in deference to the investigation being conducted by the Makati police. According to an investigator, the initial investigation has found that Marcial had incurred huge gambling losses in a casino and was forced into the

Marcial, a Navy officer and a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, has been charged with violating the e-Commerce Law. According to Guillermo, mules are paid commissions by the syndicates responsible for the ATM bank fraud which is carried out through the cloning of ATM cards by installing card readers and hidden cameras in ATMs to capture data from an ATM card. He said the syndicates often targeted for card cloning ATMs located in the periphery of malls or boutiques, and often struck just before payday. “If payday falls on the 15th of the month, they’d strike before that,” he said. “Many employees make withdrawals in malls. So without people even noticing it, [the fraudsters] fit in skimming devices during early morning, or

in the evening,” he said. Knowing what they do now, mall management should post guards, or install surveillance cameras in the vicinity of these ATMs, Guillermo said. P220 million lost in 2013

Guillermo could not say how many ATM fraud syndicates are operating in the country. At a hearing of the Senate public order committee, officials said some P220 million was lost to ATM fraud in 2013. They said card cloning activities began in 2011. Guillermo, who showed in PowerPoint presentation during the hearing the different ways by which card cloning is carried out, said skimming devices were brought in from either the United States or Europe. “They’re easy to bring in because they look like pagers or cell phones,” he said. Instead of focusing only on contraband, customs personnel should be on the lookout for

these devices in the baggage of incoming passengers at the airports, Guillermo said. Better technology

He also strongly agreed with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 808 mandating all banks to shift from the magnetic strip to the EMV chip technology for ATM cards by January 2017. Developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa, EMV uses payment chip cards that contain an embedded microprocessor that provides strong security features and other capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic-strip cards, according to “The magnetic strip is prone to fraud,” Guillermo said. “The EMV technology is better because it has many security features.” For better coordination with the police, he said banks should not think twice about reporting ATM fraud to the authorities. ■

Philippine News

Poe wants lifestyle check on senators BY NORMAN BORDADORA Philippine Daily Inquirer “WHILE WE’RE at it, why not include the other respondents as well?” Sen. Grace Poe yesterday suggested that others implicated in the pork barrel scam, including Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., also be made to undergo lifestyle checks along with provisional state witness Dennis Cunanan who had volunteered to open his bank accounts to investigators. Cunanan the other day said he was willing to waive his bank secrecy rights and submit to a lifestyle check to prove that he didn’t benefit from the alleged P10-billion scam involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of legislators. “I hope he’s telling the truth so that the case may soon be resolved,” Poe said in a text message. “In fact, all those allegedly involved, including the senators named, should subject themselves to a lifestyle check if they are truly innocent,” she added. In his sworn statement, Cunanan, the director general of the Technology Resource Center, said Estrada and Revilla both called him to press him to release their pork barrel to nongovernment organizations linked to alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. All three senators have staunchly denied any involvement in the scam. Estrada doubted any good would come from a lifestyle check on Cunanan. “That would be game-fixing,” he said in a phone interview, again using a basketball term to indicate a stage-managed outcome. Estrada believes Cunanan’s bank records may have already been altered to show a more modest lifestyle than he actually has. Asked if he knew that Cunanan actually benefited from the scam, Estrada said, “Wasn’t he implicated by [whistle-blower] Benhur Luy?” Earlier, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III called the testimony


of suspect turned witness Ruby Tuason against Estrada a “three-point shot” that was not only a buzzer beater but the winning shot. Tuason testified in a Senate blue ribboncommittee hearing that she personally delivered kickback money from Napoles to Estrada and Enrile’s then chief of staff Jessica “Gigi” Reyes. Estrada had countered that Guingona had committed an “offensive foul” with his statement, adding that the committee chair had prejudged his case. Poe said she “cautiously” welcomed Cunanan’s voluntary submission to a lifestyle check but it was his testimony that should tell the whole story. “Bank accounts are only a piece of the puzzle on the wealth and assets of an individual. The people, through us in the Senate, should be able to see for themselves the extent of his complicity in the scam and his real motives for coming out,” Poe said in a text message. She nonetheless said that this was Cunanan’s chance “to come clean without any criminal consequences.” “It’s better that we dispel all doubts about possible kickbacks so that the case submitted in the Sandiganbayan will be strong,” Poe said. Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, meanwhile, would not say if her agency was doing a lifestyle check on Cunanan but she revealed that an investigation was ongoing of those charged who belonged to the legislative branch of the government. ■ With a report from Christine O. Avendaño

MARCH 7, 2014 FRIDAY 14

Bill filed to get more women into politics BY LEILA B. SALAVERRIA Philippine Daily Inquirer THERE IS a need to change the male-dominated Philippine political landscape in order to foster equality, according to Akbayan party-list representatives. To correct the imbalance, the lawmakers have introduced a bill that would provide financial incentives to political parties that would include more women members among their ranks and in positions of leadership. At present, only a few women occupy top leadership positions in governance and politics, said Akbayan Representatives Ibarra Gutierrez and Walden Bello. For instance, only 78 of the 289 current members of the House of Representatives are women, and only six of the 24 senators. This means that women make up less than a third of the legislature, they pointed out. OF the country’s 15 presidents, only two were women. Of the 15 Supreme Court justices, only three are women, including the Chief Justice. “The slow speed of women participation in politics and governance is a barrier to fundamental equality, and such participation remains low,” the Akbayan lawmakers said in their explanatory note. Given this picture, the state must intervene to balance the scales, they said.

Equal representation

didates. The amount to be released to the parties should be equal to the amount they have segregated and reserved for their women and gender and development agenda. The parties would be required to make a full report on the amounts they had received and specify how they used them. The Akbayan lawmakers said the Constitution provides for the recognition of the role of women in nation-building, and for the obligation to ensure the fundamental equality of women and men before the law. The Magna Carta of Women also requires the state to carry out measures to accelerate the participation and equitable representation of women in decision-making and policy-making processes in government and private entities, they said. ■

tag Shoal. Coast Guard vessels have been deployed to the area to protect Filipino fishermen against Chinese harassment. Philippine officials, however, urged Malaysia, Vietnam and other claimants in the South China Sea to join the Philippines’ legal challenge to China’s expansive claim in the UN arbitration tribunal.

“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),” Mr. Aquino said. “We believe that adherence to the rule of law, positive engagement and sincere dialogue are fundamental, if we are to build a truly prosperous and peaceful Southeast Asia—a Southeast Asia where no one is left behind,” he said. During their bilateral meeting, the two leaders also signed bilateral agreements for cultural cooperation and education exchange. ■

“By providing equal representation to top-level management posts and key policy-making units, women are assured that their needs and interests will be taken into account in decisionmaking processes that affect their lives on both the national and local levels,” they said. Under the Akabayan bill, political parties could have access to a Women in Political Parties Empowerment Fund if they could prove that women occupy at least 30 percent of the leadership and internal policy-making structures of their groups, and if at least 30 percent of women are nominated as official candidates of the parties. The fund could be used for the political parties’ women and gender and development program, and to support the campaigns of their women can-

Peace deal... tory—the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan. Beijing has been aggressively asserting its claim, most recently firing water cannon at Filipino fishermen to drive them away from Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), a rich fishing ground off Zambales province in the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines has taken its territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations for arbitration. Before leaving for Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Aquino gave instructions to the Philippine Coast Guard not to make any move that China might take as provocation to avoid escalation of the Jan. 27 incident at Pana❰❰ 11

International law

Mr. Aquino said he and Najib stood on the same ground in upholding international law to settle the dispute and in working toward a solution through a multilateral approach within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Philippine News

15 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Cunanan opens bank accounts to probers Witness to prove he got no pork kickbacks BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO, NANCY C. CARVAJAL AND NORMAN BORDADORA Philippine Daily Inquirer DENNIS CUNANAN, the director general of the state-owned Technology Resource Center (TRC), said yesterday he was prepared to undergo a lifestyle check by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prove that he did not benefit from the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly perpetrated by Janet Lim-Napoles. “In fact, to show that I have nothing to hide, I am willing to go further and I hereby state my willingness to sign a waiver of the Bank Secrecy Law to allow the DOJ to go through all of my bank accounts should it find the same necessary in the course of their lifestyle check on my person,” Cunanan said in a statement. Cunanan, 42, who is on leave, is the latest provisional state witness in the pork barrel scam, telling investigators that Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., had called him to endorse nongovernment organizations (NGOs) controlled by Napoles as recipients of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). The TRC, as the chosen implementing agency of the senators, had received the PDAF allocations from the Department of Budget and Management. The microfinance agency then released the funds to the NGOs designated by the lawmakers to carry out their pet projects. Estrada and Revilla have denied wrongdoing. The two, along with Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Napoles, are under investigation for plunder in connection with the scam. Estrada said he planned to question Cunanan when he appears before the Senate blue ribbon committee looking into the racket that allegedly channeled funds intended to ease poverty into ghost projects and kickbacks. ‘Good gesture’

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima welcomed the “good gesture” of Cunanan, the first government official to become a state witness in the plunder case under investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman. “I think Dennis Cunanan is bracing himself psychologically for what seems to be a looming black operations/propaganda aimed at undermining his credibility as a state witness,” De Lima said in a text message to reporters. She said that any or all of three agencies—the DOJ, the Office of the Ombudsman or the Bureau of Internal Revenue— do the lifestyle check. In his statement, Cunanan said he did his best when he was deputy director of the TRC from 2006 to 2009 to “protect

and safeguard the interest of the public by conscientiously reviewing and scrutinizing” the PDAF documents presented to his office. At the time, Cunanan said Antonio Ortiz was the TRC chief. He said he was then in no position to approve PDAF projects. Cunanan said his job was “administrative and ministerial” as a cosignatory to the TRC’s checks and vouchers. Still, Cunanan said his office made sure to “carefully and painstakingly” scrutinize all PDAF documents, calling the offices of the concerned lawmakers to verify the authority of those who signed the papers. “I would like to think that it was our actions that compelled the legislators concerned to issue the letters of authorization that they subsequently issued, which now form part of the evidence against them,” Cunanan said.

Cunanan said he was prepared to undergo a lifestyle check by the DOJ to prove that he did not benefit from the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly perpetrated by Janet Lim-Napoles. PHOTO FROM GMANETWORK.COM

implementing agency of PDAF projects coursed through Napoles’ NGOs while he was deputy director.

Roxas not involved

Cunanan said that when he assumed the top TRC post in 2010, he started instituting policy reforms, including Commission on Audit recommendations, to streamline the processing of PDAF projects and ensure that public funds were protected. He said he blacklisted and banned 47 NGOs and local governments that failed to liquidate their accountabilities or settle their deficiencies. He said these included all the NGOs identified with Napoles. “I believe that this action of the TRC management under my leadership, more than anything else, is enough to dispel any claims, suggestions or suspicion that I directly or indirectly benefited from the PDAF scam,” Cunanan said. “I believe it also shows that the management of the TRC on my watch tried its best to protect the interest of the public, even at the expense of incurring the ire of some of the most powerful people in the country, at a time when the PDAF scam has not been exposed yet, at great peril to our careers and personal safety,” he said. Cunanan, speaking through his lawyer Odessa Bernardo, denied a claim by Revilla that Interior Secretary Mar Roxas had coaxed him to testify against the senator. “Secretary Roxas did not ask me to become a state witness. The last time I saw him was a chance meeting in 2010,” Cunanan said. In an earlier interview with the INQUIRER, Cunanan denied Malacañang had a hand in his decision, saying he thought it was the right thing to do given his knowledge of the transactions. In a 32-page affidavit accompanied by voluminous annexes submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation, Cunanan said more than P600 million passed through the TRC as the

Special courts proposed

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday warned that those implicated in the pork barrel scam might escape criminal liability if the cases were not resolved under the Aquino

administration. Cayetano suggested that the Supreme Court designate special courts that would hear the plunder and other charges daily if the Ombudsman found enough merit in the cases to bring them to the Sandiganbayan. “If we want to fix our criminal justice system, it’s important to have fast trials. All over the world, this is a requirement. The Supreme Court can easily do this if they will bring back the special criminal courts and if they will change the rule on continuous trial,” Cayetano told reporters. “Second, we know that politics is everything. If a leading candidate, our Vice President [Jejomar Binay], would say the case is weak, that we should take it slowly, that there is trial by publicity, many will become anxious,” he said. Binay is a political ally of Estrada and Enrile, who likewise has denied wrongdoing. Binay has indicated his intention to seek the presidency in 2016. “The pork scam case could run for five to 10 years depending on what’s going to happen. Remember, the powerful will have the edge as the case drags on,” Cayetano said. “You can’t end the case for the sake of ending it. But if you won’t exert any effort to hasten the cases, our system will not change. The big fish will always get away.” ■


MARCH 7, 2014 FRIDAY 16


Impunity By Conrado De Quiros Philippine Daily Inquirer THERE WERE a couple of seemingly unrelated stories on our pages last weekend. The first had to do with human rights abuses continuing to proliferate in this country. The US State Department’s 2014 Human Rights Report said so. Extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances by government forces, it said, remain rampant. State Secretary John Kerry emphasized the importance of the report thus: “This is not some high-minded exercise, this is about accountability. This is about ending impunity.” Commission on Human Rights chief Etta Rosales agreed with the assessment. Though the military has issued policies to promote human rights, she said, they have not been enforced. She cited the court martial of soldiers accused of killing the wife and two sons of an antimining tribal leader in October 2012 which has been dragging on “till kingdom come,” the gunning down of two Ozamis Gang members as they were being transported from Cavite to Laguna, the unsolved disappearance of Jonas Burgos, politically motivated killings involving cops and soldiers. The second story had to do with the slaying of Judge Reynerio Estacio. He

was about to leave for work when gunmen sprung up in front of his car and opened fire. He took in seven bullets and was dead on arrival at the hospital. People who knew him praised him for being a courageous and principled judge. In life, he had made progressive rulings, among them scrapping the ban on Muslim women wearing veils in the Universidad de Zamboanga, stopping Romeo Jalosjos, a convicted rapist, from joining Zamboanga’s voters’ list, and citing the Western Mindanao CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) head for contempt for failing to produce an Abu Sayyaf suspect in court. Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno condemned the killing, vowing Estacio would not end up just another statistic among the victims of violent crimes in this country. She lamented however the vulnerability of lawyers and judges to such attacks. Unfortunately, she said, the judiciary does not have the resources to combat violence against its members but can rely only on the police to protect them. What makes these stories seemingly unrelated is that the first is about human rights while the second is about crime, the first has a lot more gray areas while the second is black and white, the first has to do with victims who may not be innocent while

the second has to do with a victim who isn’t just innocent but exemplary. Surely, if they have any connection, it can only be tenuous or marginal? Not at all. In fact, they are related directly as cause is to effect. The reason human rights abuses riot in this country is our willingness to turn a blind eye to them, if not tolerate them. You can’t find more dramatic proof of that than Rodrigo Duterte threatening to kill rice smugglers in Davao City and earlier offering a P5-million reward to

We cannot say, ‘We’ll allow impunity only to befall the guilty, the halang ang kaluluwa, but we’ll not allow it to befall the innocent, the exemplary.’ You allow impunity to befall the one, you allow impunity to befall the other. anyone bringing him the head, completely literally, of a suspect who has been eluding him. The surprising thing, as Philippine Human Rights Watch head Carlos Conde pointed out, was not that Duterte felt free to say these things but that we felt free only to be amused by it. He said the first right in the halls of the Senate, and the senators found it neither strange nor reprehensible. Criminals were human wrongs.

The human rights victims Rosales mentioned offhand fall more or less in the same category: the family of a “radical,” members of a criminal gang, a suspected communist, political rivals. Who’s going to shed a tear for them? Maybe the world is better off without them, maybe we’re better off without them. Maybe we need less human rights and more of Duterte’s brand of justice. That is what makes Kerry’s comment a most critical one: Defending human rights “is not some highminded exercise, it is about accountability, it is about ending impunity.” That is something I’ve been saying all along. For too long have we seen human rights as an amenity of civilization that an impoverished country like ours can do without. Worse, for too long have we seen human rights as something that protects only criminals, derelicts, the dregs of the earth. In fact, human rights protect the public, serve the people, and help to end impunity. Judge Estacio shows so. He in fact is a victim of impunity. He in fact is a victim of a culture that makes killing people the easiest thing in the world— there is little to fear. Or indeed worse, there is little to deter: not the police, not the courts, not conscience. It is not completely true, as Chief Justice

Maria Lourdes Sereno says, that lawyers and judges are defenseless against cutthroats they can only depend on the police to protect them. Doing their job honestly, faithfully and zealously is their best defense and protection against mayhem. Impunity finds fertile soil in the impression that the courts drag their feet even with the wreakers of the Maguindanao massacre, we are better off resorting to extralegal solutions. Impunity finds fertile soil in the courts allowing the Dutertes of this world to spit on human rights, trash human rights, trample human rights. Impunity is universal, impunity is equal opportunity, impunity, like Biblical rain, falls on the good and the bad. We cannot say, “We’ll allow impunity only to befall the guilty, the halang ang kaluluwa, but we’ll not allow it to befall the innocent, the exemplary.” You allow impunity to befall the one, you allow impunity to befall the other. Allowing cops and soldiers to shoot down suspects, enemies of the state, and unsavory individuals does not put the fear of God or the law in criminals, it puts the joy of freedom in them. Vampires do not fear the dark, which the culture of impunity is, they revel in them. The hand that made Jonas Burgos disappear is the same hand that made Judge Estacio’s bullet-riddled corpse appear. ■


Church shunted out of Edsa rites By Amando Doronila Philippine Daily Inquirer THE CATHOLIC Church hierarchy was shunted out in the cold in the celebration of the 28th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution in Cebu City on Tuesday. So were two key military leaders of the uprising: dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos, then chief of the Philippine Constabulary. In a thorough revision of Edsa history, President Aquino shifted the celebration to Cebu from Metro Manila, refocusing the spotlight on his late mother, Cory Aquino, and extolled her role as the rallying symbol of the movement to overthrow the Marcos dictatorship, depicting her as the central heroine of the revolution. Cardinal Sin Cory was one of the four leaders of the anti-Marcos movement, including the then charismatic Jaime Cardinal Sin, representing the politically influential Catholic Church, and Enrile and Ramos, whose defection from the Marcos regime sparked the military revolt. It was the call of Cardinal Sin to the people to protect the military reb-

els from the loyalist forces sent out to crush the revolt that drove to the streets millions of the faithful into a mass movement to oust Marcos. While the Aquino narrative glorified his mother’s role in the revolution, it completely ignored and obliterated the critical roles of Cardinal Sin and his religious constituency which formed the phalanx of civilians who confronted Marcos’ tanks on Edsa and the buffer around the beleaguered Enrile and Ramos as the two made their last stand in Camp Crame while Cory sought refuge in a religious order’s monastery in Cebu when the military revolt broke out. No drama in Cebu There was no Edsa in Cebu, no military revolt there. The stage on which the nonviolent insurrection was played out was in Metro Manila. There was no drama in the streets of Cebu. Cebu was an artificial construct to reinvent the history of Edsa. The President claimed that Cebu, where his mother was holed up, was the “first chapter” in the drama that culminated its final chapter on Edsa in the national capital. This narrative represents an audacious falsification of history centered on the Aquino dynasty’s role in the

Edsa revolution. This is why the role of Cardinal Sin was obliterated, and that of Enrile and Ramos was ignored in the Aquino narrative of Edsa. This sidelining of Sin’s and the Church’s role in Edsa was not lost

The President claimed that Cebu was the “first chapter” in the drama that culminated its final chapter on Edsa in the national capital. This narrative represents an audacious falsification of history centered on the Aquino dynasty’s role in the Edsa revolution.

on the Catholic hierarchy. In a statement on Wednesday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said that through the years, the spirit of the 1986 People Power Revolution had been manipulated, abused, raped and prostituted,

and nothing had changed after 28 years. History can’t change Edsa CBCP president and LingayenDagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, a protégé of Cardinal Sin, said he chose to celebrate the anniversary of the revolution at the Edsa Shrine in Mandaluyong City because it was a holy place where heroes bended their knees and stopped the tanks. But Villegas was disappointed that only a few people attended Tuesday’s celebration in Mandaluyong. “If they want to celebrate Edsa in Cebu, if they want to celebrate Edsa in Mindanao, let it be,” Villegas said. “But for you, the Edsa Shrine community, stand on this ground because here in this ground, you and God had a brief loving encounter for four days and history cannot be changed anymore.” The government lost no time in using the decision to shift the venue of the celebration of the Edsa anniversary to Cebu to demonize one of the key players in the military revolt on Feb. 22 in Camp Aguinaldo. Flimsy cover A presidential


said the controversy being faced by key people in the revolt should not change the “sense of people power” among Filipinos. The spokesperson was referring to the charges filed against Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, one of several lawmakers facing plunder in connection with the scandal over the disbursements of legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund, or pork barrel, through spurious nongovernment organizations in exchange for kickbacks. The spokesperson said this year the Aquino administration was “looking beyond” the historical context of the Edsa revolt to “recognize people who quietly kept the spirit of people power ‘alive’ by standing by their fellow Filipinos in times of need.” The spokesperson was referring to the initial claim by Malacañang that the President changed the venue of the Edsa anniversary as an opportunity to commiserate with the victims of recent typhoons and natural calamities that devastated Eastern Visayas. This was a flimsy cover to revise his family’s role in the revolution that restored Philippine democracy, putting it at the center of events. ■


17 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014


Marked by ashes By Juan L. Mercado Philippine Daily Inquirer “DEATH PLUCKS my ears and says: ‘Live—I am coming,’” wrote Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. He was 90 then. Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile is also 90 now. Dust returns to dust. That is Ash Wednesday’s bottom line tomorrow, as it starts the 40-day Lenten season. Ashes will be smudged, in the form of a cross, on the forehead of President Aquino, on those who’ll never be president, on pork scam thieves in costly barongs, on beggars we half see. In a society where over 4.3 million of its members scrounge below poverty thresholds, panhandlers blur into the Lenten queues. “Presume not to promise yourself tomorrow,” Thomas a’ Kempis counseled. “In the morning, consider you may not live till nightfall… Many die when they least think of it. A man is here today, and tomorrow, he is gone. And when out of sight, he is quickly out of mind.” Ramon Magsaysay’s plane slammed into Mount Manunggal, exploding in a ball of fire in 1957. Assassin bullets cut down John F. Kennedy in a Dallas motorcade. All of us know someone whose life was snuffed out when least expected. Wednesday’s ashes come from burnt Palm Sunday 2013 fronds. With oil of the catechumens, ashes

are stirred into a paste. Then, a priest or lay minister traces the moist dust on foreheads. The rite harks back to the sentence, handed down in an Eden marred by disobedience: “By the sweat of your brow you shall get bread to eat, until you return to the dust from where you were taken.” By the eighth century, “Day of Ashes” rites had become widespread. PostVatican II formulations are drawn from Mark. “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel,” one says. The other states: “Repent, and hear the good news.” “What is the meaning of our strange behavior?” asks former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his book “Writing in the Dust.” “With these Lenten ashes, we confess. We promise. We hope… in a journey toward renewal.” Lent’s three pillars—prayer, fasting and sharing with the needy—are common to major faiths. Muslims observe Ramadan. Jews fast on Yom Kippur. Hindus and Buddhists set aside days for fasting. Coming in the middle of things, Lent demands that we stop and break mid-stride, mid-sentence, even midthought, writes Fr. Daniel Huang, SJ. We must take stock: What is truly important? “We all have our histories and pasts to deal with… Lent gives hope.” No matter how old we are—7

or 97—it is never too late to move one faltering but real step at a time. Those smudged ashes acknowledge that, in the end, it’s not the fault of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and al-Qaida or those behind anomalies in government from pork barrel scams to rice smuggling. Ash Wednesday is facing the truth of darkness in our hearts. “We refuse to evade responsibility, to point fingers at someone else, to find convenient scapegoats, to practice our

Ashen crosses are traced on forehead after forehead. They remind us of our uniquely human fate: to die one day, as all creatures must—but alone among those creatures, to know that death is coming. Filipino cultural expertise in palusot. “This is not mass masochism, communal guilt-tripping, just plain honesty…. In the end, it is our fault. “We must refuse to remain paralyzed by self-pitying powerlessness that says ‘hindi ko kaya, ganito na talaga ako, di ko na kayang magbago,’” Huang adds. This is possible because of “the utter gratuity of grace.” Lent’s ashes make two choices clear. “This day… I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses,”

Moses told his rebellious people. “Choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Beyond a handful of ashes is an offer of “life to the full.” After Ash Wednesday is Easter Sunday. At St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, North Carolina, “I take the ashes and walk toward the congregation, gathered in a circle,” writes Rev. Rhonda Mawhood Lee. “I swallow hard, because in that circle, life and death are visibly intertwined.” “Ashen crosses are traced on forehead after forehead. They remind us of our uniquely human fate: to die one day, as all creatures must— but alone among those creatures, to know that death is coming. “Before me is a boy conceived years after his parents lost their first child to cancer. Next is a little girl whose baby brother was stillborn. There are families complicated by divorce and enriched by adoption. Infants sit propped on a parent’s arm. I mark each of them with a cross of ashes, exhorting solemn children, gurgling babies and adults of all ages alike to remember… to dust you shall return… “Children are more honest than adults about the resistance to death that we all share. I baptized Caleb, a 9-yearold boy with autism. ‘I don’t want to die! I don’t want a new life!’ Caleb was hon-

est enough to speak the truth most of us avoid. We don’t want to die; we don’t want a new life. Later, he was pacified when assured of future life… “Every year, I end with tears in my eyes. Every time, I’m struck by the trust parents show by bringing their children to be marked. It is hard to accept that our children will return to dust. “I don’t like placing ashes on babies’ foreheads…. But those ashen crosses are a sign that together we are raising these babies to trust the merciful God who remembers that we are but dust, and who promises that this precious dust will live forever… “Christians stake everything on the revelation that death is the pathway to new life. But sometimes we need to see life and death, standing side by side, to understand fully the cost and the promise of that mysterious reality. And that is not easy. “Christian faith tells that truth and calls to raise our children in light of it. It calls us not to fear death, but to cherish life, knowing that it can be painfully short, yet trusting in Easter’s promise. On Ash Wednesday, they invite us to prepare our bodies, souls and minds not only for the death that Holy Week will bring, but also for the resurrection we will celebrate on Easter morning.” ■

children simply download the movies they want to see, but since my filmic taste and theirs differ sharply, and I can’t download a movie to save my life, there is little I can do save maybe visit my DVD suki at a nearby mall. (And even then, I might be caught by camera-phone sleuths and shamed into admitting my bad habits.) Sometimes, though, even an old DVD may hold out an unexpected pleasure. For last Christmas, Viva Films, which also distributes DVDs (legally, I might add) gifted me with a few DVDs and one of them happened to be “I Do Bidoo-Bidoo,” a semi-indie musical based on the songs of the group APO. (To those who don’t remember, the group’s name was originally Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, which they shortened because it tended to cast fun at the “Sublime Paralytic.”) Anyway, I had planned to catch the movie when it was first shown, but for one reason or another, it had disappeared from theaters before I could find the time and a willing companion to watch it with in a theater. *** Anyway, “I Do Bidoo-Bidoo” is a little gem, a light-hearted romp that explores young romance, the class divide and mature love, interspersed with se-

lected songs from the APO oeuvre. The performers were a delight, especially the uhmm, mature performers such as Ogie Alcasid, Eugene Domingo, Zsa-zsa Padilla and Gary Valenciano. If you can, score a DVD of the movie and catch the sizzling love scene between Alcasid and Domingo, which will make you laugh out loud. Most importantly, “I Do” makes the Filipino public appreciate all over again the music of the APO, which it turns out had something important and perceptive to say not just about Filipino society, but about the human condition as well. Chris Martinez, writer (and later director) of the comic franchise “Kimmy Dora” handles matters with a deft and gentle touch, with the transitions from spoken dialogue to song and dance executed smoothly and beguilingly. Let me add a special mention for Sweet Plantado and Frenchie Dy who portray Domingo’s best friends, sympathetic and enabling plotters to let her overcome her insecurity, being the poorer of the feuding families, and regain her respect for Alcasid, her struggling musician husband. They add verve and energy to a movie filled with whimsy and joy, earning the goodwill of everyone who takes time to watch the movie. ■


Talking movies By Rina Jimenez-David Philippine Daily Inquirer AS PREDICTED, the list of winners for acting honors at the Oscars hewed to the lineup cited by news organizations. Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o all romped away with the acting citations, while “12 Years a Slave,” though missing out on most technical nods, ended the night by copping Best Picture; no surprise, really. Even Robert Lopez, the Fil-Am nominee (with his wife) for Best Original Song, the increasingly popular— and oft-parodied—“Let It Go,” was no surprise. The song has a growing army of fans and supporters, after all, and the movie “Frozen” in which it was featured might soon turn out to be the biggest grossing animated film of all time. Of all the nominees for Best Picture, I had seen only a few: “Gravity,” “American Hustle,” and “Blue Jasmine.” “Jasmine,” written and directed by Woody Allen and starring Blanchett, I saw while on a flight from Austria last year. Even on the itsy-bitsy screen, the film held me in a thrall. Blanchett delivered a skittish performance, at times I wanted to reach out to her and give her a hug, tell her she had nothing to fear and to

stop pretending to be what she (no longer) was not. I was actually rooting for “Gravity,” which won Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and a slew of technical nods. I remember hardly breathing while following the saga of an astronaut stranded in space. The feeling, it seems, was shared by many who saw the movie, with Blanchett commenting that she would not forget “Gravity” in her lifetime, adding that while she was watching it, “it certainly felt (like a lifetime).” At the end of the film, I was exhausted, and had to unclench my muscles, one by one, which I hadn’t noticed had been in that condition almost from the moment the camera first zoomed in on Sandra Bullock’s and George Clooney’s craft. *** But I am glad “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture honors. I certainly hope it will draw audiences to theaters (it is already showing locally), audiences that would otherwise give it a wide berth because the story—of a free African-American before the Civil War, who was kidnapped by slave traders and forced to work as a slave on a cotton plantation—hardly resonates with Filipinos. As I had earlier observed, Filipino filmgoers don’t seem especially en-

amored of movies with black or mostly-black casts, unless the black actors are action or comedy superstars. But given the stamp of approval and artistic worth given by the Oscars, perhaps “12 Years a Slave” will appeal to more members of the audience. I don’t know if or when “Dallas Buyers Club” will be shown locally. I suspect film distributors fear the movie is too “edgy” or “controversial” to appeal to Filipino audiences. But maybe McConaughey and Leto’s win will make them change their minds. “Her,” which appears to me as a com-

[I]sn’t it annoying how our movie exposure is dictated by marketers who judge films not for their quality but for their perceived acceptability and popularity? plex and confounding story is already showing, so there’s still hope. But isn’t it annoying how our movie exposure is dictated by marketers who judge films not for their quality but for their perceived acceptability and popularity? *** These days, of course, you no longer need to troop to theaters to watch the films that capture your fancy. My



Canada News

Harper speaks to Ukrainian counterpart by phone as tensions run high in Crimea



The Canadian Press OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper telephoned his Ukrainian counterpart on Monday to offer Canada’s unwavering support in the face of a Russian invasion of the Crimean peninsula. “Prime Minister Harper condemned in the strongest terms President (Vladimir) Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine,” said Jason MacDonald, Harper’s director of communications. He said Harper spoke to Arseniy Yatsenyuk from Toronto. “He expressed to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected and that the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future.” At an event in Toronto, Harper again called on Putin to withdraw Russian forces. Canada has summoned its ambassador to Russia home for consultations and, along with some major allies, has suspended preparations for the G8 summit that is to be held in Russia in June. Harper said Monday Canada was reviewing “all planned bilateral interactions” with Russia. “President Putin’s actions have put


Prime Minister Harper: “President Putin’s actions have put his country on a course of diplomatic and economic isolation that could see Russia exit the G8 entirely.” PHOTO FROM PM.GC.CA

his country on a course of diplomatic and economic isolation that could see Russia exit the G8 entirely,” Harper said. “We will also continue to work closely with our G-7 partners and our allies.” In his telephone call, Harper said he delivered a direct message to the Ukrainian people from Canadians. “Canada pledges ongoing friendship and steadfast support for your efforts to defend your sovereignty and to restore economic and political stability.” Tensions are running high in Crimea as Russia threatens to seize a Ukrainian warship. Russia’s military invasion of the peninsula sparked concern in Eu-

ropean capitals as diplomats met in Brussels, Kyiv and Geneva. In the House of Commons, the opposition parties expressed solidarity with the Harper government and the Ukraine people. “We on this side of the House stand with the government and with Canadians who are condemning these very troubling actions,” said new Democrat MP Megan Leslie. “We all stand in solidarity with Ukraine’s thirst for freedom, democracy, human rights and the civilized rule of law both domestically and internationally,” said Liberal MP Ralph Goodale. ■

Cost of security at 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto jumps to $239 million BY KEITH LESLIE The Canadian Press TORONTO—The Progressive Conservatives demanded the resignation of the Ontario cabinet minister in charge of the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto on Monday after it was announced security costs for the event had jumped by $33 million. While Tourism Minister Michael Chan was assuring the legislature the Games were on time and on budget, the government announced

the estimated costs of security will increase to $239 million from the last estimate of $206 million. The original cost of security built into the Toronto 2015 Pan Am budget was $113 million. “Security is evolving, and that file will evolve right up to the Games,” Chan said. Chan has no ability to control rising costs for the international sporting event and should resign or be fired, said PC critic Rod Jackson. “It’s easy to be on time and budget if your budget is a moving target and

keeps going up,” said Jackson. “It’s disingenuous at best, and shows the minister does not have a grip on the Pan Am Games and it’s time for him to go.” The Ministry of Community Safety announced a contract is now “almost in place” for private security services at next year’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, which will be held in 14 communities across southern Ontario. The $239-million figure includes the private security contract plus ❱❱ PAGE 39 Cost of

OTTAWA—The House of Commons has unanimously adopted a motion supporting Ukraine and calling on Russia to withdraw its troops. Here is the text of the motion, introduced by Conservative MP Ted Opitz: That this House strongly condemn Russia’s provocative military intervention in Ukraine; call upon Russia to withdraw its forces and respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, as per the commitments in the 1994 Budapest Declaration and under international law; reaffirm the legitimacy of the government of Ukraine and Ukraine’s territorial integrity; support the government’s decision to recall Canada’s ambassador in Moscow for consultations and to suspend the government’s engagement in preparation for the G-8 summit; encourage the government to work with like-minded partners, including through multilateral forums, to de-escalate the current situation; affirm the Ukrainian people’s right of self-determination, free from intervention; and stand with the Ukrainian people as they pursue a free and democratic future. MICHELIN TO LAY OFF ABOUT 500 WORKERS PICTOU—Michelin Canada has announced it will reduce the manufacturing of small tires at one of its plants in Nova Scotia, laying off about 500 workers. The company says the move is in response to a continuing shift towards larger tires in the North American car tire market combined with the limits of the existing plant in Granton in Pictou County. B.C. APPEAL COURT UPHOLDS DRUNKDRIVING LAWS VANCOUVER—B.C.’s appeal court has dismissed a legal challenge against the province’s strict drunk-driving laws. They allow police to impose immediate roadside penalties, including fines and fees, driving bans and seizure of a vehicle.

Canada News

19 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Economy on front burner this week: traders look to jobs data, rate announcement BY MALCOLM MORRISON The Canadian Press TORONTO—Traders will be looking at U.S. jobs data at the end of the week for further clues as to how much this year’s severe winter weather has depressed the American economy and employment. “This is always looked at with some degree of trepidation and this will be no exception,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse. Job creation in January was a major disappointment with only 113,000 created that month. But much of the U.S. has laboured under severe weather this winter and traders largely have been willing to give the benefit of a doubt to those kinds of jobs numbers. The expectation for February, for example, is that a modest 150,000 jobs were created. Since the January data came

out, other data have also suggested winter-related weakness, including a report out at the end of last week showing the U.S. economy only grew by 2.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, down sharply from the initial estimate of 3.2 per cent. U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen told senators last week that a number of data releases have pointed to softer spending than many analysts had expected but that it was difficult to discern how much that had to do with the weather. “When you drill down into the numbers, a lot of it is fairly clear, some is weather and we will see some more of that,” said Gorman. “But people will start getting nervous if the data seems to represent a trend going forward. But I’m not too concerned— we’re holding to GDP growth in the US of 2.6 per cent, which is lower than quite a number of folks who expected three and change.”

Canadian jobs data for February will also be released on Friday. Economists expect that about 17,000 were created during the month. The other major economic event for the week happens on Wednesday when the Bank of Canada makes its next announcement on interest rates. “Obviously any rate hike is far in the future,” observed CIBC World Markets senior economist Peter Buchanan. Many economists don’t expect the bank to move on upping rates from its one per cent level until early next year. Buchanan thinks Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will likely offer encouraging words about inflation, which in January came in at an annualized rate of 1.5 per cent, compared with a 1.2 per cent rise in December. “They have some concerns in that area,” said Buchanan. “It’s moved a bit further away

from the worrisome one per cent level. But we’re still probably not out of the woods yet.” He adds that markets will also be interested in seeing the central bank’s assessment on how severe winter weather has impacted the Canadian economy. Data released on Friday showed that Canadian gross domestic product contracted a worse than expected 0.5 per cent in December, a month that saw severe ice storms in Ontario and Quebec. Meanwhile, geopolitical anxiety centred around Ukraine had yet to make itself felt significantly at the end of last week. The TD’s Gorman observed that there are events that take place when traders get a bad case of nerves, avoid risky assets and seek safety. These include higher gold prices,

falling equities and a flight to the U.S. dollar and American Treasuries. But none of these events have taken place. “The markets are more less taking this in stride with the proverbial grain of salt because the view is that it won’t escalate into a big geopolitical event,” he said. “That could be proven right or wrong—stranger things have happened. But that’s what the market is saying at the moment.” The TSX finished last week up four points with the market pressured by sliding gold stocks. But the Dow industrials ran ahead 218 points or 1.36 per cent for the week. ■

World News

MARCH 7, 2014


Venezuelan opposition leader calls for citizens to organize popular defence committees BY EZEQUIEL ABIU LOPEZ AND CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN The Associated Press CARACAS, VENEZUELA—A leader of the Venezuelan opposition called Monday for citizens to begin organizing committees that could sustain the pressure that continuing street protests have placed on the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro. Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles announced the effort via Twitter, directing people to a blog post that laid out plans for the socalled popular defence committees. In an apparent effort to organize and expand the opposition base, he said politics would be set aside, but that could be difficult in a country so polarized. Venezuela faces inflation that reached 56 per cent last year, shortages of basic commodities and one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world. “Leave aside the political agenda and violence which the government wants to draw us into, so that we can concentrate on the social problems that affect all of us,” Capriles’ statement said. The objective is to create a “great social movement” to press for change in the country. The groups could begin with as few as three people: a coordinator, a logistics chief and someone in charge of publicity. Each of those members would be asked to get 10 more to join. The groups would meet to discuss problems in their community and potential solutions. The protests have so far been mostly concentrated in middle class neighbourhoods, including thousands who took to the streets on Sunday. The opposition faces the challenge of eroding Maduro’s base of support among the poor and Capriles’

message about confronting social problems affecting everyone seems to be an attempt to bridge that gap. David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America who spends part of the year conducting research in Caracas, said Capriles was urging the sort of grassroots organizing the opposition had talked of doing before the protests erupted, but had done very little of. Capriles attached a list of previously articulated demands, including the release student protesters and fellow opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was jailed Feb. 18 on charges of instigating violence. He is the governor of Miranda state and narrowly lost an election last year to replace former President Hugo Chavez following his death. Lopez himself also issued a statement from jail, calling for demonstrators to keep filling the streets and demanding resignation of the interior minister and chief prosecutor. “There is no reason to give up our fight,” he said in a message posted on YouTube. “We can’t surrender.” The message was read by Carlos Vecchio, political co-ordinator for Lopez’s party, who said he was speaking from seclusion as he remains a step ahead of an order for his arrest on similar charges. Meanwhile, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua met with United Nations SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon and defended the government’s actions at a meeting of the U.N.’s Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. Ban said he would like to see tensions lowered. “This aggression does not have its origin in social unrest,” Jaua told the commission. He reported that 18 people had died in the student-led protests and said 73 people remained in custody. ■

A look at Russian, Ukrainian militaries BY VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV The Associated Press MOSCOW—Russia has effectively seized control of Ukraine’s strategic Crimean peninsula without firing a shot, but many in Ukraine and elsewhere fear the Kremlin might follow up by sending troops into Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine. Such a move could trigger open hostilities between the Russian and Ukrainian militaries. Here’s a look at the two forces: Red army heirs

Both militaries are the successors of the Soviet army and have inherited its arsenals, structure and tactics. Ukraine surrendered its share of Soviet nuclear arsenals to Russia in the early 1990s. The Russian military is much bigger, at 1 million men, compared to Ukraine’s 180,000. The Ukrainian military has an estimated 200 combat aircraft and about 1,100 tanks, while Russia reportedly has about 1,400 combat aircraft and several thousand tanks. Russia and Ukraine divided the Soviet Black Sea Fleet after the 1991 Soviet collapse. However, Ukraine has struggled to maintain its share of the fleet and has just a few combatready ships, far outnumbered by the Russian navy, which has a lease of the Crimean port of Sevastopol until 2042. Unequal opponents

The Russian military has undergone a major modernization in recent years, receiving

large supplies of new weapons and conducting massive exercises. Cash-strapped Ukraine couldn’t afford such a buildup and its forces have slowly degraded. In addition to the funding shortage, the Ukrainian military’s readiness was hurt by last year’s decision by President Viktor Yanukovych to end conscription and turn the military into a volunteer force. The last wave of conscripts is half way through its one-year term, and their morale could be low. The new Ukrainian government has tried to call up some reservists, but it’s unclear whether that will work. The Russian military has largely recovered from its post-Soviet meltdown, and it recently has run a series of war games unseen since the Cold War times. An exercise involving 150,000 troops, hundreds of tanks and dozens of combat planes has been launched across western Russia just as Russian forces overtook Crimea. President Vladimir Putin attended the manoeuvrs Monday at a shooting range near St. Petersburg. Divided loyalties

Ukraine’s loyalties have been sharply divided between the Russian-speaking east and south, where people favour close ties with Moscow, and the west, where residents want to integrate more closely with the European Union. Ukraine’s armed forces reflect that divide. Units stationed in Russian-speaking regions are mostly manned by local residents who don’t necessarily support the new gov-

ernment in Kyiv. That raises doubts about their loyalties in case of a military conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian military’s reluctance to confront the Russians became obvious in Crimea, where a newly-named Ukrainian navy chief went over to the pro-Russian local government, a day after his appointment. Regional officials say that thousands of Ukrainian servicemen have done the same, but that claim can’t be independently confirmed. Tense standoff in Crimea

Forces of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea and additional Russian troops sent to the peninsula have seized or blocked Ukrainian air bases, air defence missile batteries and other military facilities, and garrisons throughout the region. Ukraine’s military acknowledged that “practically all” of its military facilities in Crimea have been surrounded or taken over. A ferry crossing linking Crimea with Russia has been overtaken by Russian forces, which would allow a quick military buildup in Crimea, if Russia chooses to do so. A narrow strip of land linking the peninsula with mainland Ukraine also has been sealed by armed people. The Ukrainian military said Russia has recently brought four navy ships from other seas to the Crimean port of Sevastopol. The Russians have demanded that Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea lay down their weapons. Some have agreed and left or joined proRussia forces. But others have refused and barricaded themselves at their bases. ■

World News

21 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Saudi official says 1 killed, 9 injured in riot at centre for detainees awaiting deportation The Associated Press RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—A detainee died in a stampede during a riot at a Saudi detention centre for migrant workers awaiting deportation, police said Monday, adding that nine others were injured. Police spokesman Lt. Col. Ati bin Attiya al-Qarshi said in a statement that some of the foreign detainees at the al-Shemaisi centre in the Red Sea city of Jiddah rioted Sunday evening and clashed with security personnel. He did not give the reasons for rioting or reveal the victims’ nationalities. Yemeni online forums and news websites reported that 10 Yemenis were killed when police opened fire on the rioters who were demanding that Saudi authorities speed up their deportation. The reports say between 6,000 to 10,000 Yemenis are detained in the prison in Jiddah. The deportations are part of a

Saudi campaign to expel undocumented foreign workers after decades of lax immigration enforcement allowed migrants to take many low-wage jobs that the kingdom’s own citizens shunned. Saudi authorities, grappling with high unemployment, now want those jobs for the kingdom’s citizens. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis seek work in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, sometimes crossing into the kingdom illegally through their country’s porous northern border. Yemen is the Arab world’s most impoverished country and is reeling from several years of turmoil and political upheaval. The Saudi migrant sweep has sparked violence before. In November, at least one Ethiopian and a Sudanese were killed in clashes between migrant workers protesting the crackdown and vigilante Saudis in the capital Riyadh. Similar clashes also broke out in Jiddah when police combed the area for migrants. Human Rights Watch has

criticized the conditions of detainees awaiting deportation in the kingdom. The rights group last month said more than 12,000 Somali migrants were held under “appalling conditions” before they were deported from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government says it has deported more than a quarter-million migrants since the government began enforcing its crackdown in November. Around 170,000 of those are Ethiopians, most of whom never acquired visas, often taking perilous boat journeys across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen from where they cross illegally into the kingdom with the help of smugglers. An additional one million migrant workers were forced to leave the kingdom, or face arrest and deportation, during an amnesty period ahead of the government crackdown. The majority of foreign workers in the kingdom are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as Egypt and Yemen. ■

TURNING ITS BACK, CLOSING ITS GATES. Undocumented foreign workers are

being expelled from Saudi after decades of lax immigration enforcement allowed migrants to take many low-wage jobs that the kingdom’s own citizens shunned.


MARCH 7, 2014



Changes in Citizenship law: How are you affected?

BY FRANCES GRACE QUIDDAOEN AND LEO MARCO LUI Philippine Canadian Inquirer LAST MONTH, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander unveiled the proposed comprehensive reforms to Canada’s Citizenship Act of 1977. Bill C-24, the “Blueprint for Citizenship Improvement” represents Canada’s commitment to improve the processing time for citizenship applications, cut down the backlog and streamline the decision-making process. It is expected that by 2015-2016, the processing time will be reduced to around 10 months and the number of applications to 95,000. This will be a marked improvement from the current wait time of 31 months with 320,000 applications and save taxpayers money as the new system will be more reflective of the actual cost of processing. Presently, in part due to the lengthy wait time, taxpayers subsidize 80% of processing cost. Strengthening the integrity of the system

Bill C-24 aims to strengthen the Citizenship law and the integrity of the system by tightening it against citizenship fraud and expanding the bar against people with foreign criminal charges and convictions. It also establishes the authority to revoke Canadian citizenship or deny it from Permanent

Residents who are convicted of high treason, spying offences or terrorism. As well, Bill C-24 seeks to “reinforce the value of citizenship for the successful integration of new citizens in the labour market and Canadian community.” It requires applicants to show their connections to Canada and embrace Canadian values and traditions. It also honours those who serve Canada by creating a fast-track mechanism for citizenship for Permanent Residents in uniform who are serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. High value citizenship



In his speech before the Richmond community at the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church last February 17, Minister Alexander said that Canadian citizenship is highly valued in this changing world and the international community could look to Canada for stability and as a successful economic model with the best growth prospects. In recognizing the role of immigrants, he stressed that immigration is fundamental to Canada’s success as a country and its cohesion and economic development. Thus, it is just fitting that new citizens show long-term commitment and meaningful attachment to their new country and embrace their duties and responsibilities. Since 2006, immigration has been sustained at its highest level, averaging 257,000 each year and in 2013, Canada received 333,860 citizenship applications, the highest record level. Last year, 128,936 people were granted Canadian citizenship and so far in 2014, more than 41,000 new citizens took

their oath at 462 ceremonies across Canada. The former minister Kenney cited that “approximately 500,000 Canadians can trace their ancestry to the Philippines.” When approved, Bill C-24 will introduce the following changes to the Citizenship Act:

wards meeting the residency requirement. Those filing their applications when the amendments take effect will have to declare their intent to reside in Canada when they become citizens.

Longer Residency Requirements

Presently, adult applicants aged 18-54 must meet the language requirements and pass the knowledge test. Bill C-24 proposes to change the age range from 14-64 years for those required to meet the language requirements and pass the knowledge test and applicants will no longer be allowed to assistance of an interpreter in meeting the knowledge requirement. Language and age are keys to economic success and successful integration and it was noted that half of failed citizenship applicants have language problems. To address this issue, Minister Alexander cited that support settlement funding has more than tripled in British Columbia and that more ESL classes will be funded.

The residency requirement will be lengthened from three out of four years (1,095 days) to four out of six years (1,460 days). According to Minister Alexander, it takes on average four years for a permanent resident to apply for citizenship. Physical Presence in Canada

At present, there is no requirement to be physically present when applying for citizenship. Under the proposed law, an applicant must have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of 183 days per year in 4 out of 6 years. As well, the time spent in Canada as a non-permanent resident may no longer be counted to-

Bringing Your Parents to Canada A F R E E community information session on the new Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program

Saturday, March 8, 2014 1:30pm —3:30pm 4288 Joyce Street

(a block from Joyce Skytrain station)

If you need child minding let us know in advance 604-435-0323 ext. 263

Language Requirements Knowledge Test

from the citizenship officer, to the citizenship judge and back to the citizenship officer. The new system will streamline the process to one step, with the citizenship officer having the authority to decide on citizenship application.


Filing of income taxes

There is presently no requirement to file Canadian income taxes to be eligible for a grant of citizenship. Under the proposed bill, adult applicants will be required to file Canadian income taxes for four taxation years within the six years immediately before the date of their applications. Reducing the processing steps

Processing under the current law involves three steps:

New Fees in effect

Fee changes have been implemented and new citizenship application fees are now $300 which was formerly $100. The new fee will approximate the actual cost of processing of applications which formerly, at $100, only covered 20% of the cost. In justifying the new fees, CIC notes that the citizenship applications fees in the United States is $600USD, €874 in United Kingdom and $470 NZD in New Zealand. With the proposed changes, it is hoped that new citizens will have stronger connections to Canada and will be fully able to participate in Canadian society. ■ Grace and Leo are the speakers at a free community information session titled “Bringing Your Parents to Canada”. The session, jointly organized by VSB-SWIS and Collingwood Neigbourhood House, will be this Saturday, March 8, 2014, 1:30pm-3:30pm, 4288 Joyce Street, Vancouver, BC (a block from Joyce Skytrain station). They are members of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and are licensed immigration consultants. For questions or comments, they may be contacted at onthemovecolumn@


23 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Welcoming more new Canadians Kenney defends income New Canadian citizens in February 2014 almost double compared to one year ago OTTAWA—More than 19,200 people from 193 countries have become Canadian citizens at citizenship ceremonies held across Canada over the month of February. This is almost 100 percent higher compared to the same period last year (February 2013) when approximately 9,980 people were granted citizenship across Canada. At 220 citizenship ceremonies held across the country this past month, from school gymnasiums, to Citizenship and Immigration offices, to city halls and hotel conference rooms, Canada has welcomed its newest citizens. Quick facts

• In 2013, 128,936 people were granted citizenship—an average of 10,745 each month. • So far in 2014, Canada has welcomed more than 41,000 new citizens at 462 ceremonies across Canada. • Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained

levels of immigration in Canadian history—an average of 257,000 newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 percent. • Canada has the highest rate of naturalization in the world—85 percent of eligible permanent residents become citizens. Citizenship and Immigration Canada received 333,860 citizenship applications in 2013, the highest volume ever. • For a new Canadian, the citizenship ceremony marks their formal entry into the Canadian family. It is one of the few occasions when we formally reflect on the rights, responsibilities, privileges and benefits of being a Canadian citizen. According to Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, “Canadian citizenship comes with rights, responsibilities and a commitment to Cana-

dian values and traditions. To the number of new Canadians who have taken the Oath of Citizenship this month, I welcome you to the Canadian family. Our government will continue to take action to improve the citizenship process for future new Canadians. We will build on our successes in reforming the immigration system and, with the launch of the Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements, we will improve the citizenship process so newcomers become Canadian citizens more quickly.” The government’s proposed changes in Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, will reduce wait times by streamlining the decision-making process for citizenship. It is expected that these changes will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year and that the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent by 2015-2016. ■

splitting promise, links it to ‘stable families’ BY LEE-ANNE GOODMAN The Canadian Press OTTAWA—Jason Kenney is vigorously backing the Conservative government’s contentious income-splitting promise, infusing the debate with a social conservative element Friday as he insisted the scheme will benefit “stable” Canadian families. “All of the social research indicates that folks who come from stable families tend to do better in terms of their economic prospects, and income-splitting supports families who are investing in their kids,” the federal employment minister said. Income-splitting, a key Tory pledge during the 2011 federal election campaign, has since faced criticism from those within the Conservative government— including Finance Minister Jim Flaherty—and from left- and

right-wing economists alike. But Kenney, a staunch social conservative, once again defended the concept when asked about it at the Manning convention, an annual networking conference for conservativeminded Canadians. “When we talk about all of these labour issues, we need to recognize that according to the data, the single most important factor that leads to successful employment and economic opportunities for people is whether they come from a stable family,” he said. When the Conservatives campaigned on the idea in 2011, opponents accused them of wanting to use the tax system to keep women at home instead of in the paid workforce— a criticism that was immediately revived Friday in the wake of Kenney’s comments. ❱❱ PAGE 36 Kenney defends

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MARCH 7, 2014



Fil-Am Robert Lopez becomes 12th member of elite ‘EGOT’ circle

BY CHING DEE Philippine Canadian Inquirer AN EMMY, a Grammy, a Tony, and on Sunday night—an Oscar. Filipino-American songwriter Robert Lopez became the 12th member of the elite ‘EGOT’ circle after winning the best original song award for “Let It Go” from the blockbuster film “Frozen.” Lopez now belongs to the ranks of Audrey Hepburn, Richard Rodgers, Mel Brooks, Helen Hayes, and John Gielgud—all of which have received an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony or simply an “EGOT.” Pinoy Pride

“Pinoy pride!” Robert said in a backstage interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer after he won the Oscar over music industry big names like U2, Karen O, Spike Jonze, and Pharrell Williams. “I’m so excited. I’m just sending love to the Philippines. I know they’ve had a tough year…” Lopez said, being the first FilAm to win an Oscar award. “We are doing a concert for the Philippines. I believe it’s March 12th in New York City. A benefit [concert], and [we will] probably be singing something from ‘Frozen’,” Robert’s wife and co-writer Kristen Lopez said. When asked about the husband and wife’s creative process, Kristen shared, “We both perform all the songs that we write… We create a demo in our tiny little studio, and then we play them for the directors and John Lasseter. John played the demo that had me singing ‘Let It Go’ in his car for months and months.” Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee directed the movie and John Lasseter is Disney’s chief creative officer. “We really thought of our kids when we were writing. We have two girls, just like Elsa and Anna, and we wanted to write a song that would instill in them the idea that shame and fear

should not prevent them from being the magical people that they really are,” Robert said. The couple dedicated their Academy Award to their two daughters, Katie and Annie. Anna and Elsa are the two main characters in “Frozen,” which has become a worldwide sensation with over $1 billion in ticket sales. The soundtrack of the movie itself has gained equal popularity as well—true to Disney form. “You don’t really comprehend something like that,” Kristen shared. “We wrote this song to tell a story. And we love musical stories, and you don’t imagine that it will spread this far. But every single day on my Facebook or on my Twitter, I get some kind of testimonial from somebody who says ‘this song kept me from committing suicide,’ or ‘this song got me through the cancer treatment for my kids’ and that is just so meaningful to us that our song can go and give hugs to people like that.” The couple gave thanks to John Lasseter in their acceptance speech and even sang “Happy Oscars to you. Let’s do ‘Frozen 2'" to the tune of the birthday song. The motion picture’s staggering success will now be tested on the Broadway stage, which brings Roberts and Kristen new waves of excitement. “We are very excited to get started on the stage version. It will, by necessity, have more songs than the movie, so we can’t wait to reimagine it,” Robert pointed out. Prior to the success of “Frozen,” already has two Daytime Emmys (for “The Wonder pets”), a Grammy (best musical theater album for “The Book of Mormon: Original Broadway Cast Recording”), and two Tony Awards (original score for “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon”) under his belt. Robert shared the credit with his “amazingly talented collaborators,” including his wife Kristen, “who has been in the background in all of my work.”

Meanwhile, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, a Williams College alumnus, collaborated with her husband Robert, actress and singer/songwriter Zooey Deschanel, and Henry Jackman for the film “Winnie the Pooh” whose songs were nominated in the Annie Awards. Tracing Roots

Robert was an English major from Yale University. Now, he uses his skills to create worded art to the tune of various accompaniments. But his story is much more than that. “My story is interesting because my father (Frank), who was part-Filipino, was born on a ship on the way to the United States from Manila,” Robert shared with the Philippine Daily Inquirer prior to his Oscar win. The ship Robert was talking about was reportedly the last GI ship that left Manila after World War II. Kristen shared, “His father’s certificate had longitude and latitude on it, not a place but a spot in the ocean.” “It’s a long story—she had divorced her husband and was trying to meet her father,” Robert said about her grandmother. “It must have been a crazy trip for (her).” Kristen also pointed out that at the time Robert’s grandmother was taking care of a two-year-old child. “She was a spark plug, a firecracker,” Robert said about his grandma, who passed away while the couple was writing songs for “Frozen.” “Yes, it was a sad moment,” Robert said. “We had to stop work. We went up and stayed for the funeral. She was a wonderful woman.” “It was an epic story that would really tie into ‘Let It Go’ a little bit. It was like leaving her past behind and going toward a place where she could use her power … ‘Let It Go,’ which we wrote in a day … became the cornerstone of the movie,” Kristen shared. Robert almost visited the Philippines when “Avenue

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. PHOTO FROM ENTERTAINMENT.INQUIRER.NET

Q,” his Tony Award-winning masterpiece, premiered in the Philippines. But the birth of his masterpiece coincided with the birth another great creation— his second daughter. “I never got to see (Avenue Q) there… At the time that the show was being done in the Philippines, we had our second daughter,” Robert said. Hazel Anne Raymundo, a Filipino-American thespian, appeared in “Avenue Q.” To keep in touch with his Filipino heritage, Robert and his family live in a Filipino-American community in New York. “I’ve had a lot of connection with the Filipino-American organizations in New York,” Robert said. “I’m connected with the artistic community. It’s a musical culture. I feel like there’s got to be something in there that came to me, even though neither my mom (Katherine) nor my dad are particularly musical. But I have so many Filipino friends who are amazing singers, writers and composers.” Truly the “place where dreams come true”

Robert and Kristen met in Disneyland, which is a testament to the theme park’s slogan: “The place where dreams come true.” They first met when they both collaborated for the Disney live show “Finding Nemo: The Musical” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “It’s funny. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman met in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, which is for aspiring song-

writers—where you can learn your craft and try out songs for an audience. That’s where we met, too, and started dating,” Robert mused. Kristen, on the other hand, gave a more interesting version of how they first met. “He was actually doing his first song for ‘Avenue Q’ in a concert (during the workshop),” she smiled. “He had gotten hurt. He’d been bitten by the dog of (his ‘Avenue Q’) songwriterpartner Jeff Marx’s boyfriend. So he couldn’t play. He was wearing a red yarn wig. He came out and sang a song called, ‘Tear It Up and Throw It Away.’” When asked about Robert’s Filipino side that Kristen liked the most, the wife almost blushed after saying, “Oh my gosh, don’t get me started on his sexy Filipino… What is wonderful about Bobby is, because he’s part-Filipino, he’s always been trying to figure out who he is, what his place is. That’s where his art comes from. He’s attracted to characters who aren’t sure where they belong. That’s a wonderful place to create art from, I think.” The couple is currently busy with their new musical, “Up Here,” which will premiere summer 2014. Robert described “Up Here” as “kind of like ‘Annie Hall’ meets Cirque du Soleil.” Alex Timbers, who also produced the David Byrne musical about Imelda Marcos “Here Lies Love,” will direct the couple’s summer musical. ■ With report from Kristine Sabillo,



Home Trends

Preserving Style, Preserving Heritage BY CHING DEE Philippine Canadian Inquirer THERE’S SOMETHING about the sentimental charm of ancestral houses. Personally, perhaps it’s about my own lack of anything ancestral—I grew up in the city, we barely visited my parents’ provinces. The city, its close-knit houses, and its cramped streets are all I know. When I discovered my wanderlust, I knew I wanted to see old, historical stuff. Most tourists traveled for adventure, for an adrenalin rush. I traveled (or at least hoped to travel) for the sake of knowing more about local culture and history. I think one would agree that someone’s home is one of the most accurate descriptions of one’s culture, beliefs, and even aspirations. That’s why we pour so much of our style and taste in decorating—or at least attempting to decorate—our lair. Preservation of history and sentiment

The restoration of the 1870 Villavicencio Wedding Gift House happened in 2002. Excellently restored and now beautifully preserved, the house is now open for guests who would like to experience staying in an ancestral house full of antiques and colorful history. In a third world country, one would think that we have bigger problems than the degradation

of our nation’s historic landmarks and that’s true. However, thanks to concerned organizations, the preservation and restoration of ancestral houses, historical buildings, centuryold churches, and even entire communities is not impossible. In July 2013, Francesco Riccardo Monti’s name was thrown around for the sake of saving the 9.5-meter bas-relief at the old Meralco building in Manila’s Ermita district—his biggest sculpture in the country— after Manila City Hall granted permission of the demolition of the Meralco building. With the help of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Heritage Conservation Society, One Meralco Foundation, and several concerned organizations and individuals, Monti’s “The Furies” was carefully removed prior and transferred safely to a new location to be restored and preserved accordingly. When it comes to old houses and buildings, adaptive reuse (AR) is highly encouraged. According to Wikipedia, adaptive reuse is “the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for… It can be regarded as a compromise between historic preservation and demolition.” Instead of tearing down an old, historical building to make way for a new “development” (I’ve always found that real estate term a bit contradictory),

1870 Villavicencio Wedding Gift House. PHOTO BY CHING DEE

conservation supporters suggest the preservation and restoration of that building to accommodate needed amenities while maintaining its historical structure. Around the world, excellent examples of AR are everywhere. Meanwhile, a bill has been passed to make a law about AR in the Philippines, but who knows when we’ll see the actuation of that bill. Tourism professor and renowned travel blogger Ivan Henares is the head of the Heritage Conservation Society. For him, “adaptive reuse is a creative mode of conservation that gives heritage structures new and alternative functions other than the original ones that may no longer be required.” On a 2013 post at the height of the Francesco Monti fiasco, he wrote, “Most often than not, built heritage resources are found on premium real estate property so developers are in a

hurry to demolish rather than restore and recycle. Today, there is a growing awareness that adaptive reuse can enhance property value.” Henares even listed a few examples of AR in the country. “Examples of adaptive reuse in the country include the Old Legislative Building and Department of Finance, now the National Art Gallery and the Museum of the Filipino People, component museums of the National Museum. The Department of Tourism (former Department of Agriculture) will soon be transformed into the Museum of Natural Sciences with Architect Dominic Galicia leading the team that will retrofit this old building to house the new museum,” he wrote on his website. Henares also mentioned the old Nielson Tower of then Manila International Air Terminal in Makati. Now, thanks to big

guys from Ayala land, it houses the Filipinas Heritage Library. He also noted that “the Juan Luna E-Services Building (former First National City Bank) in Binondo, Manila is being retrofitted to host a future call center.” A house, a wedding gift

In 1870, Don Eulalio Villavicencio married Gliceria Marella and gave her a house as a wedding gift. Despite being part of two of the wealthiest families in Taal, Batangas, this gift—until this day—is considered extravagant. Together, the power couple owned and managed several businesses—land, rice fields, and sugar and tobacco plantations. They also owned a steamship called Bulusan, which they donated to the cause of the Katipunan during the 1896 revolution. They did not just provide ❱❱ PAGE 30 Preserving Style

Home Trends

MARCH 7, 2014


The Aesthetically Eclectic Home BY ANGIE DUARTE Philippine Canadian Inquirer “SOMETHING OLD / something new / Something borrowed / something blue.” This traditional rhyme detailing what every bride should wear to her wedding, in order to bring good luck may as well be the mantra of the eclectic, as well. Eclectic, by way of a simple definition, refers to anything that derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources; or to the person who does such. I like to think of it as the ability to colour outside the lines, and find coordination in the chaos, order in the disarray, and beauty in the seeming hodgepodge randomness of it all. Mind you, the eclectic style may not be for everyone. There are those who prefer to stay within the lines of style; playing it safe at every turn. Then there are the rule-breakers; those who defy the gurus of widely-accepted “good taste” and go out on a wing that is decidedly left-off-style’s center. And these days, the defiant are growing in number. Purveyors of the eclectic are an ever-increasing group, as the style has become all the rage in recent times; perhaps in protest of the generic and the ordinary. Indeed, many have jumped on the bandwagon of eclecticism; and what an offbeat, quirky, and fun bandwagon it is. From architecture and art, to fashion and furniture; even psychology, martial arts (Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do is considered an eclectic method), philosophy and religion, the eclectic style has made its mark. It is also sweeping the home scene like wildfire, with interiors taking on more and more of a “mixed-up” nature. Think: a dining set with purposely mismatched chairs; an antique window made into a room divider or shelf; a wagon wheel made into a coffee table. Undeniably, the eclectic home is hot, hot, hot! Daring to be different

Those who have ventured into eclecticism’s oft unchartered territory know that there is great freedom to be had in the journey. There is an exhilaration that comes with this unbridled self-expression; a self-confident exuberance that comes

from giving your individuality a voice. This is the perfect way to rise above the humdrum, hohum daily grind. Choosing to go eclectic is choosing to break out of the mold: no cookie-cutters here, please. Eclecticism is also perfect for

little bit more thought and effort than simple, straightforward decorating with a unified theme. Much like a messy bun or a tousled hairstyle often necessitates more time than a neat and slick look. But the creative freedom and

Resurrection Furniture’s take on the Queen Anne classic—the “High Bhoy.” Made from an old crate and solid wood bonnet top and cabriole legs. PHOTO FROM RESURRECTION FURNITURE AND FOUND OBJECTS GALLERY

Barangay Bangkal is every vintage-pickers’ delight! Shop after shop, teeming with amazing finds await the eager shopper. PHOTO FROM TRAVELIBRE

those who cannot seem to pick a favorite style and for those who “want it all.” Personally, this is probably the main reason I love the style so much. I am ALWAYS hard-pressed to pick a favorite of anything! I blame it on an innate sense of joie de vivre; life simply has too much to offer and too much to be enjoyed! And, as you may have surmised (and safely so), the choice to go eclectic is one that appeals to those who are a touch—or more—rebellious. That rebel streak is appeased by the absence (and often, even defiance) of hard and fast rules when going eclectic. But wait! There’s more! Those on a budget will delight to know that this style can be gentle on the pocket, since you do not have to get all your pieces in one go. Remember, mixing-and-matching is key, so you can slowly build up all the different elements, as your money permits. Laugh in the face of rules, but don’t forget the guidelines

The number one rule of the eclectic style is THERE ARE NO RULES. This is what makes it so much fun! HOWEVER, there are some guidelines towards achieving the aesthetic eclectic. An eclectic look that works requires thought and effort. In fact, truth be told, It requires a

eclectic; not frumpy and frantic or frazzled. The shape of the room, or any distinct architectural features therein (a post, an exposed industrial-type ceiling; this sort of thing) could serve as one anchor and inspiration for your

This unique pair of bookends featuring carved skulls, possibly a souvenir from Baguio City, was a find too good to pass up. Too bad someone else found them before I did! PHOTO FROM IXXAM NEO-RETRO FINDS

fun in the process of eclectic decorating makes the effort worthwhile. The end result is something uniquely your own! Pulling-off the not-so-pulledtogether look that is the trademark of eclectic requires first off that you have a clear idea of the space with which you are working. It would help to clear out the room, and determine three decor “anchors.” These anchors will be your starting point for the entire look and feel of the space. Don’t get carried away into eclectic wonderland, or else you will end up with a confused cornucopia of ideas. See the look in your mind’s eye, then begin to arrange. Remember: funky with finesse is the general look of

look. Likewise, your favorite, unique or sentimental pieces— a vase, a work of art, a favorite chair, vintage décor, a light fixture, a family heirloom, for instance—could be another anchor for your eclectic fantasy. Colour can also keep you from falling off eclectic’s deep end. In fact, one of your anchors should be a colour, the choice of which is entirely up to you. Your pick can be based on personal taste, or perhaps on a dominant colour in a favorite accent piece or item of furniture. Check out colour swatches at your local paint or hardware store for inspiration. Now comes the tricky part: if you wish to add items to what you already have, shop for pieces that are somehow related

with your three anchors. This could be a tad daunting, but so much fun! Keep your eye out for similarities in styling, color, period, texture and finish. DO NOT MATCH THINGS! Matching is the nemesis of the eclectic style. Rather, think of it as “tying in” the pieces with your three anchors. The result will be a sophisticated yet quirky, polished but edgy feel. A rule of thumb would be this: the more similar the accents or decor pieces to your anchor pieces, the more you can buy. For example, when buying throw pillows, get them some in the same colour scheme as one of your anchors, and buy lots to create a kitschy lounge feel. The opposite applies, as well, by way of a rule of thumb: items that are dissimilar to your anchors (for instance, a contrasting colour) are best used sparingly, as accent pieces. In the true spirit of rebellion, however, the number of accent pieces allowed is not set in stone. If you see one absolutely off-thewall piece that simply must have, go for it! You can always rearrange things, to accommodate the piece. Great finds

So now that you have the eclectic idea spinning in your head, where to go for fabulous finds? Well, in Manila, I have my fave haunts (much of the haunting happens online, if you must know.) And with the advent of the internet and online shopping, you might find that they deliver overseas—it can’t hurt to ask, or—at the very least—whet your eclectic appetite by brows❱❱ PAGE 34 The Aesthetically

Home Trends

27 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

What home design trends will reign in 2014? BY KATHERINE MARFAL-TEVES Philippine Canadian Inquirer WHAT’S HOT and what’s not in terms of home design trends in 2014? Home design trends tend to move slowly—but it consistently injects a bit of all these things: technology, functionality and flair. So, whether you plan to build your first home or upgrade its look, the following will surely help bring out your primal nesting instincts and bring the most out of your cocoon/sanctuary. 1. Paint it Black. According to a poll conducted by Houzz, 74 percent of homeowners prefer black for their bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens (with crisp white fixtures), interior doors and exterior siding. It modernizes the home and lets the accents pop up; in the bedroom, black is also great for mimicking the night and turns on our internal snooze buttons. 2. Open Floor Plans. In her article published on New Homes & Ideas, Rebecca R. Newsome said that open floor plans continue to reign in the recent years. Why not? With open floor plans, families can interact better and there's an increased capacity for natural light to flow throughout the space. Sans wall barri-

ers, rooms now have the ability to be bigger, or smaller, as occasions command. 3. Touch, Texture and Tangibles. For some home design trends experts, touch is the biggest sense to focus on in 2014. “Fabrics and finishes should invite touch, with textures and tangibles warm and alluring,” they said. Order out of turmoil, search for purity, respect for nature, and enhanced appreciation for sustainability in residential design are said to be the inspiration behind this trend. In order to provide a simple, natural aesthetic design, it is a must to look for and use untreated materials as well as recycled and reclaimed materials in interior design. 4. Metal Backsplashes. According to the Houzz Kitchen Remodeling Survey, although tile continues to be the most popular backsplash material, metal tiles and other sheet materials (including stainless steel, glass, and stone slab) are preferred because they are sleek and easy to clean. 5. Classic as opposed to Industrial. More curves, rounded corners, fewer sharp lines, and graceful yet simple cove moldings will be in style this 2014, according to Pam Craig and Debby Gist, designers at Homes by Dickerson. 6. “Smart Home” options. The

use of smartphones to control a number of independent high-tech systems throughout the home is also trending in 2014. Imagine having the ability to control lighting, locks, and appliances with just a smartphone! 7. Live-edge wood. A survey revealed that most homeowners skip the paint and opt for natural beauty. Thus, butcher block was the third most popular choice for counters, and hardwood was most popular for flooring. 8. Green Products. Energy efficiency, sustainability and healthy homes— green products have become “more of a standard than a perk in today’s homes.” Imagine interior green plants, green walls, and garden rooftops and you have improved indoor air quality, lower heating and cooling bills and increased comfort. Experts believe that these trends will continue throughout 2014. 9. Multigenerational and Universal Layouts. Grandparents staying in the home of their adult children is becoming a popular arrangement nowadays. As a result, home designers also include the creation of second master suites, mini kitchens, and elevators in their designs. 10. Open Concept Kitchen. The kitchen is no longer a disconnected room, tucked away at the back of a home. According to John Petrie, the 2014 president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, “Walls are going to continue to come down,” he said. The American Society of Interior Designers agreed with Petrie. “Lately we’ve seen a focus on entertaining from our clients. They are looking for spaces that maximize their ability to gather and relax with friends and family.” They added that appliance designers have also created appliances that can seamlessly blend into the kitchen, and into the family room—producing different finishes and different concepts— hiding the most obvious parts of the kitchen. 11. Bathrooms. For 2014, home design experts have enumerated popular tile selections for your bathrooms to include recycled glass tile, subway tile, stone tile, tile with lights, pebble tile,

and glass tile mosaics with semi precious stone. Pair this with a bold color and your little girls/boys room will be absolutely stunning! Consider adding a small crystal chandelier for an air of elegance, or a TV, perhaps. To push it further, you can have a fireplace, larger shower heads, high-end urinals and no doors. 12. The Man Space. It is no longer confined to the basement of a home. Experts noticed that today's men want their imprint on the rest of the household and they want it set up with a little something for them. 13. Landscaped spaces. Who has time to mow the lawn these days? Consider native groundcover plants and landscaped green spaces (including synthetic lawns) instead of traditional lawns. Want more new home design trends for 2014? Here are some insights from home design bloggers: Interchangeable Accents

"I think we'll see a trend towards chameleon decor. Instead of settling on one fixed look, people will opt for a versatile neutral base and use big-impact accents to easily change their decor." — Arianna Vargas, Ushering in Glamour

"Move over white walls, in 2014 we'll be seeing rooms with a lot more drama and glamour. Dark, moody walls in black will be the perfect backdrop to the metallic accessories that we're all loving right now." — Jeanine Hays, Vintage Wonders

"Thanks to social media, the lifespan of a trend has been cut in half. We're all a little overexposed. I think vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces will be highly sought after. It's the curiosities that make a house a home and keep your guests asking: "Where did you get that?" — Lindsay Souza, Say Bye to Beige

"Of course I hopefully predict that ❱❱ PAGE 31 What home

Seen & Scenes

MARCH 7, 2014


Minister Kenney at a meet and gree Filipino community in Yellowknife, N

BICOL CANADA COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC. The officers and members of the board of directors of the Bicol Canada Community Association Inc. headed by President Rafael Nebres (seated 4th from left) will be serving from 2014 to 2015. Others in photo seated from left to right are Jess Cabrias, director; Virgie Manaog, director; Aida Dolores Lagarde, assistant treasurer; Jojo Taduran, vice president for government relations and membership; a Naty Gutierrez, director; and Ching Ragos, treasurer. Standing from left to right are Nestor (Von) Canton, director for special projects; Ronnie de la Gana, director for special projects; Ely Olayon, director; Noli Aquino, vice president for sports and youth development; Helen Lopez, director; Monsie Royong, assistant secretary; Arlene Martirez, secretary; Larry Bercasio, director; Fely Ortega, director; Estrella Dilla Carpenter, vice president for public relations; Bobby Achacon, director; Benhur Llacer Salcedo, Jr., director. Not in photo is Raul Tarin, director. St. Jamestown News Service

Minister Kenney and MP Ryan Leef m the Filipino community in Whitehors

PCCF DONATES DIALYSIS MACHINES FOR BENGUET The Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF) headed by its President Romeo Rafael recently donated several dialysis machines for Benguet in Mountain Province. Shown in photo from left to right include: Mr. Lorenzo Payaket, Ms. Nops Galang (KKMK), Mr. Geoffrey Afidchao, and Mr. Valenciano Toyaoan. The foundation is continuously sending donations to depressed areas in the Philippines in coordination with the GMA Kapuso Foundation. St. Jamestown News Service, Romy Zetazate

TALAMAK GOLF ASSOCIATION Photo shows the officers and members of the Talamak Golf Association of Ontario at the unveiling of the new logo and branding of LBC at the Max of Manila Toronto with Tricia Garcia, LBC’s Marketing Director for North America (U.S. and Canada).

For photo submissions, please email

Shown from left to right include: Eva Luistro, Grace Salonga, Charlie Schlobohm, Beth Gardiola, Ch elle Yorro, Chito Yorro (Talamak Chairman), LBC’s Country Manager Raffy Policarpio, LBC’s Marketing Director for North America Tricia Garcia, Ed Luistro, Philip Abalos, Allan Abellanosa, and LBC’s staff member Emy Quinto. St. Jamestown News Service, Manuel Papa

Seen & Scenes

29 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

et with members of the Northwest Territories

meet with members of se, Yukon.

MINISTER KENNEY MEETS WITH CANADA’S GROWING FILIPINO COMMUNITIES IN WHITEHORSE, YELLOWKNIFE AND IQALUIT February 21, 2014—Minister Jason Kenney met with members of the Filipino communities of Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit while travelling Canada’s Northern Territories. The Territories have witnessed a huge increase in immigration over the past several years, with Filipinos making up the largest number of newcomers. According to Minister Kenney, “I am so impressed by the spirit of community and perseverance that these pioneers have shown, having left the warmth of the Philippines for Canada’s great white North! This is another example of how Canada’s Filipino community continues to contribute to the building of our great country. Canada is proud to be home to one of the largest Filipino communities in the world. Filipino-Canadians are literally building Canada in every corner of our vast country.”

RCMP ADVISORY COMMITTEE Members of the RCMP Commanding Officer’s Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee held a meeting on February 28 to discuss the Cultural Diversity YourSay survey. The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to offer advice from a community perspective, serve as a knowledge base and provide feedback on the services provided by the RCMP to the Commanding Officer’s office on diversity– related issues. Advisory Committee members from the Filipino community are Mike Calingo and PCI’s Melissa Briones.

Minister Kenney meets with members of the Filipino community in Iqaluit, Nunavut at the Our Lady of Assumption Church

OPAABC MEETING Members of the One Alumni Association in British Columbia (OPAABCO) composed of alumni organizations from the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, Assumption, Mapua, Adamson and Don Bosco met on March 1 to discuss a collaboration among the groups, including a joint summer picnic and having joint tents during the Slocan Philippine Independence Day celebration. For more information, please visit

Home Trends

MARCH 7, 2014


Preserving Style... the Katipunan’s first warship, but they also gave them financial support and even opened both of their homes to the Katipuneros and its officials when needed. There were stories that when a certain General Jamarillo of the Spanish Brigade took over the wedding gift house in 1897, brave Gliceria would eavesdrop to the General and his men as they plot their moves against the indios. She would then report her findings to the Filipino revolutionaries in Calaca. The remarkable couple’s involvement in the Katipunan eventually sent Don Eulalio to prison. When he passed away in 1898, his widow Gliceria carried on their patriotic duties. The same year, the Spanish forces surrendered and the wedding gift house was back to its rightful owners. The Philippine flag, Marcela Agoncillo’s masterful creation, was admired—for the first time ever—from the wedding gift house. Don Eulalio, a ship captain, ❰❰ 25

grew up in a bahay na bato (stone house) built in 1850 before he got married. Today, his childhood home is known as Casa Villavicencio. The wedding gift house, built just a few meters from his original home, is now more popularly known in Taal as the 1870 Villavicencio Wedding Gift House. Yeah, that’s pretty easy to remember. The house survived World War II and even served as a hospital for American soldiers during the American occupation in the Philippines. One night, I traveled back in time

Back in 2012, I had the privilege of staying at the Wedding Gift House. I seriously did not want to leave this awesome place. I just wanted to stay here forever. Staying in Villavicencio was like staying in a page from a children’s story book—colorful, whimsical, almost surreal. Everywhere you look, you’ll find vibrantly painted patterns,

making the home look more inviting while keeping its antiquity untarnished. The colors actually made the house seem less creepy even in the dark of night. The thing I love the most about how the Wedding Gift House was restored is the preservation of its antique, historical charm while making way for modern conveniences like an airconditioning unit or a gorgeous bathtub in the master’s bedroom. The owner, Ms. Baby JovenQuiblat, is such a gracious and hospitable woman. She even told us to treat her home like it was our home, reminding us that it’s not a hotel and she doesn’t have rigid rules that we should stick to. Their caretaker, Ate Raquel, is just as nice. She was very accommodating and inviting. She prepared our breakfast, which is probably one of the best breakfast spread I’ve had in a very long time. Because of her presence, the house didn’t feel creepy at all.

Filipinas Heritage Library. PHOTO FROM FHL FACEBOOK PAGE

Our breakfast was a collection of Taal’s greatest hits: tapang Taal (cured beef ), daing (we don’t know what kind of fish it was; all we know is that it’s dried, crispy, and perfect with garlic vinegar), eggs over easy, freshly steamed rice, Taal suman, and some awesome mainit na tsokolate (hot chocolate) from authentic tablea (cocoa balls) made in Batangas. The hearty breakfast is one of the reasons why I will surely go back to Taal. One night at the Villavicencio

1870 Wedding Gift House will set you back PhP 2,500 (around Can $62). We are absolutely grateful and full! Our hearts and tummies are overwhelmed. We can’t wait to go back in time again, even for just a night. ■ For more information, you can get in touch with Ms. Baby Joven-Quiblat at +639178970363. The 1870 Villavicencio Wedding Gift House is located along G. Marela Street, the yellow and blue house near Clinica Tenorio.

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31 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Architects group UAP-BC CHAPTER organizes Disaster-resistant Structures Design Workshop RICHMOND, B.C.—The United Architects of the Philippines - British Columbia Chapter held its Design Charette / Workshop at the Richmond Caring Place in Richmond BC last February 22, 2014. The successful event was attended by the general membership and guests of the UAP-BC-chapter, professional organization for Filipino architects with national office in Manila. The workshop entitled “Design of Disaster Resilient and Sustainable Classroom Building and Residential Houses” was organized to create interest in the membership of the need to design disaster resilient structures for the Philippines in the aftermath of the super typhoon “Yolanda” that ravaged the Visayas region in November 2013. UAP-BC Chapter President Joe Larano has expressed his satisfaction on the outcome of the half-day workshop. “We’ve come up with several design prototypes for classroom building and residential houses that can withstand or mitigate the adverse effects of natural calamities. We will publish these design prototypes in a design journal. This will be sent to the UAP National Office, housing agencies and other stakeholders involve in the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort in the Philippines for their perusal. This is our contribution to the national effort of rebuilding the infrastructure,” stressed by Mr. Larano.

UAP-BC Chapter Officers aim high to foster creativity in tackling challenges on design of disasterresilient structures.

Immediately after the workshop, the UAP-BC Chapter was congratulated by several members of the UAP National Officers on this successful and remarkable project The issue on the design of disaster resilient structures is a very “hot topic” in the Philippines these days as the massive rebuilding project in the devastated areas in the Visayas region are currently underway. As a recognition of this worthy initiative, the UAP National office has invited the UAP-BC

Chapter to exhibit their works in two major architects events in the Philippines, The exhibition which will give UAP-BC chapter the chance to showcase their works. In the month of March, the UAP will celebrate its Foundation Day

- Hon. Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Employment and Social Development

❰❰ 27

color will be the trend story every year in hopes of banishing the boring beige box, but this year it really could happen!" — Christian May,

standing trend of modern and eclectic decor, more people will want to feel comfortable and at ease by returning to traditional styles." — Erin Gates,

Blossoming Prints

Innovative Combinations

Metal Mash-Up

A Bevy of Blues

"Mixing and matching metallics, such as silver and gold." — Devon Dyer, A Need for Navy

"Navy blue will be a big trend for 2014. I'm seeing a lot of the shade on the runways, on the streets, in editorials, in chic interiors... I actually think everyone will get it in 2014." — Mark D. Sikes, Timeless Design

"A return to tradition. After the long-

due to be held at the UAP headquarter in Quezon City and this year’s UAP National Convention and CONEX 2014 due to be held at Mall of Asia’s SMX Convention Center in Pasay City over a four-day period in April. ■

“Attracting and retaining the best international talent to fill skills shortages in key occupations is critical to Canada’s economic success.”

What home...

"Florals and Chintz: These tried-andtrue fabrics are popping up everywhere in fashion and decor. Mix them with other graphic patterns for a modern look." — Stacey Bewkes,

UAP-BC President Joe Larano explains the vantage points of one of the selected design prototypes.

"Lots and lots of layering: both materials and textures. We love the look of mixing different metals, woods, and fabrics!" — Jennifer Beek and Georgie Hambright,

Respond to Canada’s need for immigrants.

Become a Regulated Immigration Consultant Full-time | Part-time | Online

"From rich, saturated colors like navy and indigo to bright, vibrant shades like peacock blue and cobalt, blue will continue to reign supreme in the coming year." — Paloma Contreras,

Apply online at or contact a program adviser at (604) 899-0803.

A Softer Black and White

"Black and white is a classic home decor palette, but for 2014 I see it softening and feeling more cozy. In the cooler months think Scandinavian chic, while in the summer months think French striped shirts." — Joanna Hawley, ■

Ashton College | Vancouver, BC 604 899 0803 | 1 866 759 6006 w w w. a s hto n co l l e g e. co m





OPM stalwarts Wency Cornejo & True Faith invade Vancouver BY SOCORROBABES NEWLAND

IN EUPHORIC stance amidst “hours”-long parade of local opening acts, Vancouverites provided rousing welcome to visiting 1990’s Original Pinoy Music icons True Faith & Wency Cornejo during the latter’s recently-concluded Valentine’s Day Concert at the jam-packed Edgewater Casino. Too bad the casino can only allow audience of legal age. Otherwise, Filipino-Canadian parents who were without nannies that night and are avid fans could have also trooped down to the casino, with kids in tow. Thus, allowing themselves musical enjoyment of the genre that they’ve grown accustomed listening to back in the day. And for those who made it, the concert brought lots to ponder upon down memory lane. After a grueling almost four hours of waiting, Wency Cornejo with phenomenal backing musicians Vic Nicolas and Mark Velasco finally sashayed their way on stage with “Mangarap Ka” (Dream) as opening salvo. This ditty was one of the biggest hits of Wency Cornejo’s now-disbanded group, After Image. And was segued with another equally popular ballad, “Magpakailanman” (Till Eternity) which exponentially became more popular as theme song of weekly television program bearing the same

The author with Wency, True Faith members, Goldie and Angel Jones.

Wency Cornejo in a Barong Tagalog.

Medwin Marfil and True Faith.

Wency Cornejo, Angel Jones, Miss B and Medwin Marfil after their guesting at the Juan Radio 96.1 show.


title hosted by Wency’s mother, Ms. Mel Tiangco. The one that really caught me near to tears was their medley of Pinoy folk patriotic hits popularized by the legendary, Florante. Coupled with Wency’s costume change to Barong Tagalog (Filipino man’s national costume), this number was nostalgia like no other. Their set wouldn’t be complete without Wency giving in to performing one of his most requested, if not the most requested song of

the night, “Hanggang” (Until), to the crowd’s ultimate delight. True Faith front-man, Medwin Marfil took to the center stage next with a rightful opening number, “Alaala”, that signaled “Party”! Yes, the crowd could not contain the frenzy any longer. So onto the dance floor mostly went whilst hitting notes together with probably the Philippines’ biggest pop alternative group with the most hits and award recognitions. The band that started

in 1992, True Faith has stood the test of time. And it seemed all the more bizarre that Medwin himself never seemed to have aged. He looked exactly the same as when this author first met him at Puerto Azul, Cavite, at San Miguel Beer’s Battle of the Bands in 1996. True to form of penning most-loved original ballads, True Faith’s Valentine’s playlist for the night included “Muntik Nang Maabot Ang Langit”, “Huwag Nalang Kaya” and their own take

on APO’s “Panalangin”. For those who still don’t know, “Huwag Nalang Kaya” became the group’s first big hit. And it wouldn’t be perfect without performing their other monster hit, “Perfect”. The only let down was finding out that these two main acts had to adjust their respective playlists due to time constraints. Overall, the experience was well worth the commute, the drive and, for some, paying parking for. ■


33 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

True Faith & Wency Cornejo at Max’s Restaurant VANCOUVER, CANADA–Max’s Restaurant Cuisine of the Philippines sponsors True Faith & Wency Cornejo Canadian Tour 2014 and hosts a Meet & Greet on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014. The successful Meet & Greet was in an intimate setting at Max’s Restaurant with about 40 guests, including Deputy Consul General Anton Mandap and Wife, members of the media and select sponsors and community leaders. True Faith and Wency Cornejo Canadian Tour 2014 is

produced by Pinoy Times Entertainment, a production company based in Alberta. The tour consisted of five city concerts— Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Various sponsors including The Filipino Edition REDFM 93.1, Pinoy Buzz, Reyfort Media Group, JuanTV All Pinoy Network, Philippine Canadian Inquirer and Dahong Pilipino supported the Vancouver leg. True Faith were known for their songs “Perfect,” “Huwag na lang kaya” and “Dahil Ikaw.” Wency Cornejo, on the

other hand, originally started as the lead singer for After Image band, popularizing songs such as “Next In Line” and “Habang may Buhay.” He moved on as a solo artist making hits like “Hanggang” and “Magpakailanman.” The concert, on the following night, was a SOLD OUT show filling every seat at Edgewater Casino Theatre in Downtown Vancouver. It was a great way to extend Valentine’s celebration in Vancouver. ❱❱ PAGE 34 True Faith

Alluring starlet and pretty boy are secret sweethearts Philippine Daily Inquirer FAMILIARITY BREEDS contempt; sometimes, also romance. Working together almost daily, Alluring Starlet and Cute Heartthrob soon fell in love. The bosses ordered the young ones to keep their budding affair secret because the fans of CH’s Estranged Partner can be very possessive. But the sweethearts couldn’t stay in hiding for long. At a recent high-profile event, they were spotted with other VIPs. But CH’s relatives were also around to throw off inquisitive rumor-mongers. Seems AS has clinched the approval of CH’s clan. Ah, to be young and in love. Popular Star is on the warpath again. Again. PS was disappointed that Studio Insiders had leaked to the press a potentially damaging piece of intrigue. PS’ random remark about Rival Beauty was blown out of proportion. Unfortunately, the source of the controversy is inside PS’ camp. Naturally, PS and her team didn’t take things sitting down. Even so, the culprits didn’t show the slightest remorse. Will the big bosses step in? Will heads roll? How exciting! Bad neighbor

There goes the neighborhood. Influential Personality got peeved when a ragtag crew

started shooting right next door. IP raised hell and complained to the authorities, demanding that the struggling production be halted. Being vigilantly guarded is a natural defense mechanism for IP, who has skeletons in the closet. Turns out, IP’s home is also a love nest, where handsome hunks pay nocturnal visits. Close encounters

From the Inquirer Radio program “Inquirer Entertainment” (dzIQ 990 AM, Monday to Friday, 3 to 5 p.m.): Although they parted ways long ago, Sexy Starlet and Hunky Beau have remained friends. Too chummy, really. During an out-of-town gig, a production staffer was shocked to find SS in the dressing room, seated on HB’s lap. The ex-lovers were also spotted being very touchy-feely while sightseeing. Perhaps they thought no one would recognize them. Alas, Filipinos are everywhere; a group caught the two in very public displays of affection. Busted! Promotion for a pro

From the Inquirer tabloid Bandera: Remember Seasoned Celeb who’s in dire straits? To make both ends meet, SC has resorted to the oldest profession. But SC is too mature to be a flesh peddler! Well, SC has moved up and now functions as procurer.

The consummate pro, SC just got promoted. Reconciled!

After months of furious enmity, actress Sarah Lahbati and GMA 7 executive Annette Gozon-Abrogar have reconciled. Abrogar told Rushes on Friday: “I saw that she was sincerely sorry. And she was humble enough to admit her mistake and apologize in public. Because of that, I will withdraw my libel case against her. As for her complaints against me, all four had been dismissed prior to this.” Lahbati remains a Kapuso talent, said Abrogar. “The Artist Center, through (exec) Gigi Lara, has been discussing plans with her.” Like, did all that really happen? Reunited

Speaking of bizarre reunions: Anne Curtis and John Lloyd have a new TV commercial. So what was all the fuss about that notorious juice-diet-enduced rampage? All that huffing and puffing (and delirious denials) were just leading to this? Hmmmp! Top of Bandera

Top show biz news in the Inquirer tabloid Bandera (and why we are moved, if we are moved): Baliw lang ang nagsabing walang “K” maging National Artist si Nora Aunor! (Sino ang

Coco Martin’s loyal fans defend him from online bashers.

tunay na baliw?) Deniece Cornejo rape case nakakabaliw na. (Ah.) Vice Ganda sumugod sa korte para maging saksi sa kaso ni Vhong Navarro. (Why are we not surprised naman?) Para lang mabura ang galit ng publiko sa pagkampi kay Cedric Lee, Raymund Fortun pumayag “mabalahura” sa “Gandang Gabi Vice.” Nagmukhang katawa-tawa. (Truly, life is the sum of one’s choices.) Kathryn Bernardo bawal pang makipaghalikan sa TV at pelikula; Daniel Padilla: Sana ako ang first kiss niya! Kung hindi, bad trip ’yun! (Pressure.) Kontrabida sa Daniel-Kathryn loveteam isinumpa ng mga fans: Mamatay ka na! (Those fans should get a life, not try to take one.) Dyowa ni Karylle halos isumpa ng mga beki. Yael Yuzon, may pangit na karanasan sa mga bakla kaya nabwisit kay Vice? (And we should really care because … ?) Coco Martin kinakawawa sa

social media, ipinagtanggol ng fans. (Ho-hum.) Tapos na ang dedmahan, Gerald Anderson nabunutan ng tinik; Sarah Geronimo, Maja Salvador nagkabati sa “ASAP,” nagyakapan pa sa likuran ni Kim Chiu. (Ang haba ng hair ni Gerald!) Sey ni Kris Aquino … Bimby kailangan din ng tatay!” (At last.) Tumitindi pa ang “silent war” ng dating mag-friendship; Kris nakipag-ayos kay James Yap para makaganti kay Ai-Ai de las Alas. (Meron na ba uling “Pilipinas Got Talent”? Only reason we can think of, for this spat.) Pagkatapos ma-confine sa ospital dahil sa migraine, Kylie Padilla: “Napraning ako, baka may tumor ako sa utak!” (Better hysterical than sorry.) Kylie bawal tumodo sa halikan; Robin Padilla, Aljur Abrenica nagkaayos uli. (Onscreen.) Cristine Reyes umamin na: Hanggang ngayon nasa puso ko pa rin si Rayver Cruz! (Uh-oh. New project coming up?) ■


MARCH 7, 2014 FRIDAY 34

Mark Herras admits he’s already a dad; receives outpouring of support BY KATHERINE MARFAL-TEVES Philippine Canadian Inquirer MARK HERRAS made a revelation that not all actors can do. In an interview on “Startalk” last week, the Kapuso actor revealed that he is already a dad to a three-month-old baby named Ada. “Mayroon na po akong anak. She’s a girl, three months old. Siya po yung first baby ko sa buong buhay ko. Iyon po yung gusto kong sabihin sa lahat ng tao,” Mark said. ( I already have a child. She’s a girl, she's three months old. She is my first. That’s what I wanted to tell everyone). Ada’s mom

When asked about the status of his relationship with Ada’s mother, he revealed that they are not together anymore, “Ang napag-usapan po namin, kailangan naming magtulungan para sa baby, para masuportahan yung bata, para mapalaki nang maayos. Tsaka

na muna yung sa amin, kung ano yung mangyayari sa amin someday.” ( What we talked about was we needed to work together so that we can support our child and raise her well. We are not yet thinking about us. Whatever will happen may happen someday). Reliable sources said that Ada’s mom is Mark’s handler who is five years older than him.


On revealing the truth

Mark was quick to admit that he had second thoughts on revealing the truth. “Unang-una, kapag nalaman ng tao na mayroon kang anak, di ba syempre maaapektuhan yung trabaho mo, yung buhay mo, yung career mo. Pero by this time kasi, kaya ako naging matapang kasi sawang-sawa na akong magdeny eh. I’m very proud of Ada dahil siya po ang aking first baby girl.” (When the people know that an actor already has a child, the work gets affected, life, career. But I was so tired of denying it. I am very proud of Ada because she is my first baby). ■

This classic Philippine capiz window with rare ylang-ylang glass in vibrant hues of yellow and blue can be used as a wall and home decor, architectural detail, unique lighting fixture (lights can be installed behind the window.) PHOTO FROM IXXAM NEO-RETRO FINDS

The Aesthetically... ing through their pages. First on my list is the place that breathes new life into tired old furniture, Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery, on Alabama Street in Quezon City. Browse through their Facebook page, and you will see why I simply adore this shop! By way of a brief profile on their page, their mission is to “give new life to found objects, salvaged materials and junk by turning them into something functional & whimsical.” This is the perfect place to find one (or all) of your three anchor pieces, as each item of furniture is a marriage of creative flair, fanciful fun, and timeless elegance; all joined together with impeccable craftsmanship. The result? Vintage quirkiness that is sure to set-off any eclectic space rather nicely. Oh, and they also customize (they admittedly enjoy the challenge of customizing, so do not hesitate to let them know what floats your boat.) Those looking for something with a ❰❰ 26

touch more Asian inspiration need look no further than Ixxam Neo-Retro Finds. This treasure trove of goodies is located in a big warehouse in Veteran’s Center in the city of Taguig. Designers and craftsmen put a modern twist on retro and antique pieces, old and exotic wood furniture, decor & accent pieces, collectibles & other accessories for your home. This is the spot to find something your grandmother might have owned, but with a hip and trendy feel. And last, but certainly not least, on my list of must-check-out home havens is the Bangkal Furniture Market in Barangay Bangkal, Makati City. The stretch of Evangelista street (and surrounding streets, as well) is lined with shop-after-shop of unique vintage pieces, curios and antiques. Check out some of the stores in Bangkal at Travelibre. So what are you waiting for? Ditch the rules, forget the lines; say goodbye to the common-place, and say hello to the eclectic craze! ■

True Faith... Max’s Restaurant raffled off two concert tickets to loyal customers who signed up for E-Club membership during the Meet & Greet, and the lucky winners were Rowena Andaya and Husband. “We’re pleased to be a part of True Faith and Wency Cornejo Canadian Tour 2014. Our patrons are especially really happy to see Filipino Bands, Philippine International Artists and Celebrities from the Philippines and around ❰❰ 33

the world coming to Vancouver. You just never know who you’re going to run into when you dine at Max’s Restaurant.” Says Marj Morin, Branch Manager. Max’s Restaurant is located at 3546 Kingsway, Vancouver BC V5R 5L7. Max’s E-Club Membership is available to all Max’s customers to join in order to receive emails on event announcements, special deals and offers. For more information, call (604) 435-3505 or Email: ■


35 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

History made with ‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Gravity’ as diversity wins big at 86th Oscars BY JESSICA HERNDON AND JAKE COYLE The Associated Press

The tweet from Ellen de Generes.

Ellen’s Oscar celeb selfie: Was it a shrewd product placement in hyper marketed world? BY DAVID BAUDER The Associated Press NEW YORK—Ellen DeGeneres’ celeb-studded selfie from the most-watched Oscars telecast in a decade was a landmark social media moment at a time online conversation is boosting television viewership and vice versa. It’s also a murky example of what is or isn’t product placement in a hyper-marketed world. Would the world’s most retweeted photo have been shot by an iPhone if Samsung hadn’t been a commercial sponsor of the Academy Awards? An estimated 43 million people watched “12 Years a Slave” win the Oscar for best picture on Sunday night. It was the most-watched Academy Awards since 2004, when “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” was the best picture. And it was the most popular entertainment event on TV since the “Friends” finale that year. The Oscars are generally the most-watched TV event of the year after the Super Bowl. Oscar night was also big for Jimmy Kimmel. The ABC late-

night star drew just under 7 million viewers for his postOscars special, the biggest audience he’s ever gotten on ABC, despite starting at 12:42 a.m. on the East Coast. The ratings provide further evidence of how big event programming is a growth engine for broadcast networks, in large part because of fans watching the event and conversing with friends on tablets and smartphones. Twitter said that some 14.7 million tweets mentioning the Oscars or prominent actors and films were sent out during the Sunday night telecast, and Facebook said there were 25.4 million interactions about the show. No social media moment was bigger than when host DeGeneres briefly caused Twitter to crash after going into the audience and asking Bradley Cooper to take a picture with several other stars crowding around. Besides Cooper and DeGenerers, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt also crowded into the frame. She asked viewers to help her set a retweet record, and they quickly complied.

By Monday afternoon, it had been retweeted some 2.8 million times, shattering the previous record of 810,000 retweets for the photo of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hugging after the 2012 election. Twitter was humming at 254,644 tweets per minute after DeGeneres’ request, and the company said the crush disrupted service for 20 minutes. DeGeneres handed a Samsung device to Cooper to take the selfie. Since the Oscars host’s Twitter posts from backstage included shots from an iPhone, Samsung doesn’t seem to be her usual smartphone of choice. Samsung, however, was a big presence at the Oscars besides being a commercial sponsor. The company gave its phones to student presenters and encouraged them to tweet and post on Instagram with them. Dozens of Samsung phones, tablets and TVs were used to make a digital photo display in the backstage green room. ABC said Samsung did not pay specifically for use of the ❱❱ PAGE 39 Ellen’s Oscar

LOS ANGELES—Diversity was perhaps the biggest winner at the 86th annual Academy Awards. For the first time, a film directed by a black filmmaker— Steve McQueen of “12 Years a Slave”—won best picture and a Latino—Alfonso Cuaron of “Gravity”—took home best director in a ceremony presided over by a lesbian host and overseen by the academy’s first black president. And only two of the top six awards went to Americans. McQueen’s grimly historical drama “12 Years a Slave” took best picture, leading the usually sedate filmmaker to jump up and down in celebration after his acceptance speech. The British director dedicated his award to “all of the people who endured slavery and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.” Cuaron’s lost-in-space thriller “Gravity” led the Oscars with seven awards, including cinematography, editing, score, visual effects, sound mixing and sound editing. Some in his native Mexico have been critical that since the attention came for a Hollywood release and not a Mexican-themed film, his win didn’t have the same kind of importance.

Movie poster.

“I’m Mexican so I hope some Mexicans were rooting for me,” he told reporters backstage. The entire Oscar ceremony had the feel of a make-over for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—an institution that has sometimes seemed stuck in the past. After a Los Angeles Times report revealed the academy was overwhelming older white men, new president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has pushed for a more varied membership. The movie industry that the Oscars reflect has also been reluctant to tell a wider range of stories. “Dallas Buyers Club,” the best picture-nominated drama about AIDS in 1980s Texas, took two decades to get made after countless executives balked at financing such a tale. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, the two Americans in the top six awards, took best actor and best supporting actor titles for their roles in the film as a heterosexual rodeo rat (McConaughey) and a transgender drug addict (Leto) united by HIV. “Thirty-six million people who have lost the battle to AIDS and to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love, tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you,” said Leto in his acceptance speech. ❱❱ PAGE 38 History made




Apple teams up with major automakers to make it easier to use iPhone apps while driving BY MICHAEL LIEDTKE AND TOM KRISHER The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO—Apple is accelerating the race to make smartphone applications easier and safer to use in cars. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are previewing Apple’s iPhone technology for cars this week at an auto show in Geneva. The partnerships give Apple an early lead over Google’s loosely knit family of Android phones in a duel to make mobile applications more accessible while drivers are behind the wheel. Apple’s iOS mobile software and Google’s Android operating system power most of the smartphones in the world. Just two months ago, Google Inc. announced it is working with several major automakers to turn Android phones into an essential part of cars. Google hopes to finish work on its system for tethering Android phones to cars by the end of this year. Apple Inc. announced its automobile ambitions nine months ago when it unveiled its “iOS in the Car” initiative—a reference to the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. Now that the idea is moving closer to reality, Apple is renaming the technology “CarPlay.” The system announced Monday enables iPhones to plug into cars so drivers can call up maps, make calls and request music with voice commands or a touch on a vehicle’s dashboard screen. By making smartphones work more seamlessly with automobiles, both Apple and Google are hoping to immerse their services even deeper into peoples’ lives. In doing so, the companies expect to make money by selling advertising, applications and upgrades on

CarPlay features Siri voice control and is specially designed for driving scenarios. It also works with your car’s controls — knobs, buttons, or touchscreen. And the apps you want to use in the car have been reimagined, so you can use them while your eyes and hands stay where they belong. PHOTO FROM APPLE WEBSITE

smartphones that will become even more indispensable. “IPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vicepresident of iPhone and iOS product marketing. Automakers are hoping vehicles that are compatible with the top-selling smartphones will be easier to sell to consumers who can’t fathom living without the devices. Cars of recent vintage increasingly feature electronics designed to cater to drivers’ high-tech desires, but those systems still haven’t attracted a widespread following. That has led more automakers to conclude that it makes sense to work directly with technology companies such as Apple and Google to turn their cars into smartphone extensions. CarPlay requires Apple’s latest mobile software, iOS 7, and an iPhone 5, 5C or 5S. Ferrari is previewing CarPlay on its four-wheel-drive FF model. Volvo plans to feature the iPhone system in its

redesigned Volvo XC90 sports utility vehicle. Mercedes-Benz isn’t disclosing which models will get CarPlay, but expects both its S-Class large sedan and C-Class midsize sedan should be compatible with the system. A long list of other automakers, including General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Honda, also are drawing up plans for CarPlay, according to Apple. So far, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Audi have signed up for Google’s “Open Automotive Alliance” for Android. GM and Honda declined to comment on their CarPlay plans. Ford said it will deploy CarPlay as one of several options for making its cars work more smoothly with smartphones. The automaker already features a voice-control system called “Sync” made by Microsoft Corp. in some of its cars. Ford also offers its own touch-screen technology in its vehicles. The different choices are designed to ensure “you don’t have to make a $30,000 decision about what car you’re going to buy based on your $200 smartphone,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s global product development chief. ■

Kenney defends... Asked later by reporters if “stable family” refers to a household where one parent works and one stays at home, Kenney retorted that there are “all kinds of different families that are stable.” He disputed suggestions that income-splitting would put children from unstable families at a disadvantage, pointing to Ottawa’s universal childcare benefit that provides parents of young kids with a monthly cheque to spend where they see fit. Instead, Kenney insisted, it would simply remove discrimination in the tax code against single-earner families. “Everyone agrees that we want to give every kid the best possible opportunity in life and we should be supporting families who are making sacrifices to help their kids,” he said. “Income-splitting doesn’t benefit any particular family model; what it does is eliminate a form of unfairness.” Peggy Nash, the NDP’s finance critic, expressed dismay at Kenney’s comments about stable families. “It sounds like their plans for income-splitting have as much to do with social engineering as they do with tax reform,” she said in an interview. “This is like a throwback to another time. Obviously parents can make the choice about whether to stay home or keep working, and a policy that seems to want to socially engineer Canadian families, to encourage them to stay home, is really behind the times.” David Moscrop, a doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia who’s studying Canadian politics and democratic theory, charges that the term “stable families” is code for “white, middle-class, manwoman family.” He speculates that Kenney’s comments lay bare his political ambitions. “It’s a narrative for the base,” he said in an interview. ❰❰ 23

“Now that there’s talk about the end of the Harper years, you’re going to have people carving out territory, and from a political perspective, this looks like he’s trying to stake out serious territory among social conservatives.” Under the Canadian taxation system, a two-parent family with one adult earning more than $90,000 a year gets taxed at a higher rate than a two-parent family in which both parents work and make $45,000 each. Some countries allow spouses to pool their income on their tax returns, and thus pay tax at a lower rate. The Tories campaigned on income-splitting in 2011, saying they’d implement it once the budget was balanced in order to allow families with children under the age of 18 to share up to $50,000 worth of income for tax purposes. The pledge, if enacted, would cost $2.7 billion and benefit fewer than two million Canadian families by giving them an approximate tax break of $1,300 a year. Flaherty, and the C.D. Howe Institute, have both raised alarm bells about the promise, saying too few Canadians would be assisted by it. “It benefits some parts of the Canadian population a lot. And other parts of the Canadian population virtually not at all,” Flaherty said earlier this month, calling for a re-think of the election promise. Initially, Harper appeared to back his finance minister— despite whisperings of squabbling among senior cabinet ministers. But with caucus members facing a backlash in their ridings for possibly backtracking on an election promise, the prime minister has since come out in support of the concept. “As I said during the election campaign, we think income splitting would be an excellent policy for Canadian families,” the prime minister said in the House of Commons on Wednesday. ■


37 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Was it a Lupita Nyong’o Jennifer Lawrence fashion smackdown at the Oscars? 5 to talk about BY LEANNE ITALIE The Associated Press NEW YORK—That’s a wrap, Lupita Nyong’o, but may all the best dresses keep coming your way. With a supporting actress Oscar now in her possession, a tearful Nyong’o concluded a red-carpet season Sunday night as a fashion darling for sexy silhouettes and colours that wow. She didn’t disappoint at the 86th Academy Awards, wearing a pale blue Prada goddess gown and a sparkly gold-anddiamond headband from Fred Leighton. Nor did Jennifer Lawrence in a $2 million, 100-carat diamond necklace from Neil Lane to accent her girl-on-fire orange-red strapless dress from Dior. On Cate Blanchett’s ears were 33 carats of opal in a huge drop design that did justice to her beaded Armani gown in a light tan colour. Blanchett’s heavily embellished gown sparkled under the lights at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles when she collected her Oscar for best actress in “Blue Jasmine.” While she’s not under contract by Giorgio Armani, Blanchett does favour the house. “Armani has made donations to the theatre that she and her husband run in Sydney, so she’s very loyal to him,” said Hal Rubenstein, editor at large of InStyle magazine. Muted colours, like those worn by Blanchett and Nyong’o’s ice blue, were one of the night’s big trends, said Estee Stanley, a stylist who worked with Portia de Rossi, in a regal Naeem Khan halter with beads and lace, and Jessica Biel, dressed in a metallic sparkler from Chanel dripped with diamond jewelry from Tiffany. Fitted, body-conscious gowns prevailed on the red carpet, said fashion bloggers Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez. “The colours of the night were pinks and blues. Statement necklaces were back,” Fitzgerald said. But Marquez mused: “A general sameness hung over the whole thing. There was not enough experimentation.” While some of the necklines

Sandra Bullock, Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amy Adams.

plunged, said Rubenstein, “there was nothing overtly sexy. They were all fairly reserved.” Here’s our five to talk about: Lupita Nyong’o

“I felt Lupita’s dress was glorious,” Rubenstein said. “She’s just not making a mistake.” He praised her colour choice and the full-pleated gown with a plunging bodice. The colour, he said, was perfect for her dark skin tone. He called her jeweled headband a nice touch of youth and wit. “There are now so many other awards shows where you can take chances. You can be silly, you can be funny. The Oscars is like coronation night. On Oscar night you look for classic glamour, you look for the glamour that really is defined for us by Hollywood, by the movies that we’ve seen. All those great Edith Head costumes. ... The way Grace Kelly was dressed by Hitchcock. That’s what we have drilled into our head as what glamour is and so many people reference that type of glamour,” Rubenstein said. On this night, Nyong’o was among them. “She carries herself so beautifully. She has such poise. Such grace,” he said. Marquez added: “I loved this, full stop. Every single bit of it. The colour is perfect, the way the skirt flows and moves is sublime. She won the entire night as far as I’m concerned.”

Fitzgerald said he “loved it, but not as much. I think the neckline is too plunging and too wide. Everything else about is pretty close to perfect, though. It’s a fresh take on the princess gown, with an even fresher take on the tiara.”


It’s just another slinky gown on a night with more than enough of them.” Fitzgerald added: “I have to agree. And the red seems kind of done. It just doesn’t feel very fresh.” Sandra Bullock

Jennifer Lawrence

Ok, so yeah, she tripped again, this time on the red carpet as opposed to running up the Oscar steps to collect a statuette, but she giggled it off and stunned in strapless Dior akin to the bright colour of a Calvin Klein she wore in 2011. Of a Lupita versus Jennifer smackdown, Rubenstein chided: “C’mon now, they both looked beautiful. Jennifer’s was also a beautiful colour.” Lawrence, with a swept-back bob, pulled off a bit of ruffle at the hip. It was a form-fitting dress in contrast to her full gown at last year’s Oscars, when she stumbled as she made her way up the stairs to collect her award for “Silver Linings Playbook.” “The Dolby is a very big theatre and when you wear a dress with a lot of volume like she did last year, you kind of get lost in that volume,” Rubenstein said. “The more body-conscious dress really focuses on you.” Fitzgerald and Marquez were not quite as impressed. “I’ll say it: I’m bored,” Marquez said. “It has none of the drama of last year’s Dior gown.

Was it Navy blue? Royal blue? Simply, dark blue? Whatever. It was a deep-tone Alexander McQueen and an example of an edgy fashion house offering up an Old Hollywood-style stunner, Rubenstein said. Both Rubenstein and Stanley called the look Navy, noting a pleated draping that fell to one side. It was in line with a lot of blue, some green, and not quite so much red as in years and carpets past. Marquez called it, “Another stunner for the night—and a personal best for her. She tends toward colorless, slinky dresses and pin-straight hair. It’s refreshing to see something with some shape.” Fitzgerald also lauded her loose, sideswept hair—a deep and dramatic side part another trend of the night. He called the dress “crazydramatic. It’s the kind of look, top to bottom, that makes you step back and say ‘Now, that’s a movie star.”‘ Charlize Theron

Black made a reappearance, said Rubenstein, and it remains a dynamic colour.

Theron was elegant in black Dior, paired with a $15 million Harry Winston necklace that had a cluster of diamonds at the centre. “Her simple dress and massive necklace was a classic yet fresh look,” Stanley said. The look had invisible straps and a curvy plunge, clinging to her body with a partially sheer train in back. “As far as I’m concerned, this is the look that won the night,” Fitzgerald said. “She’s serving up serious Madame X here,” as in sexy, dark and mysterious. Theron’s short hair fell over her forehead from the evening’s popular side part. Amy Adams

She wore a blue column strapless by Gucci with a lapellike, fold-over at the strapless part. It was another Navy and stuck close to the body, flowing into a short train at the hem. “There were columns, columns, columns,” Rubenstein said of that time-tested silhouette, and Adams was a prime example. The simple silhouette left plenty of room for her Tiffany jewels. They included rhodochrosite, lapis and turquoise earrings with diamonds in 18-karat yellow gold, worth $35,000, and a $1.4 million yellow diamond bracelet, also in 18-karat yellow gold. The earrings? “Stunning,” Stanley said. ■


MARCH 7, 2014 FRIDAY 38

Turning up the heat on love handles

Bye-bye, belly fat–a new noninvasive machine uses radio frequency to melt unwanted pounds BY ANNE A. JAMBORA Philippine Daily Inquirer THE LAST five to 10 pounds are always the hardest to lose. You can spend hours doing crunches and planks and alligator drags, but your midsection fat simply won’t go away. American personal trainer and TV host Jillian Michaels has a simple explanation in her blog: the body, for survival purposes, will always struggle to hold on to the last bit of fat. Strict diet and exercise regimens do not work uniformly. But technology has turned the impossible dream into an attainable goal. Called Vanquish, it is, according to its manufacturer, the world’s first noncontact, noninvasive and hands-free treatment that uses selective radio frequency to zap away fat in the abdomen and love handles. The patented device has been scientifically studied and clinically proven for the circumferential reduction of fat in the tummy and love handles, said Petra Kopecka, the Czech manager in Southeast Asia of BTL Aesthetics, the company that invented and manufactured Vanquish. Targeting fat cells

“The skin, fat and muscles have different impedances. The impedance will depend on the water content. Fat cells have

low water content and high impedance. With selective radio frequency, the machine automatically measures the impedance of the tissue layer and specifically targets just the fat cells. It kills the fat cells, or it reduces its size,” Kopecka said. Vanquish treatment is offered exclusively at The Aivee Teo, MD, Anti-Aging Institute located at 2/F East Building, Forbestown Center, Burgos Circle, BGC (tel. nos. 4031982, 4033245, 5562533; e-mail After four to six sessions, scheduled seven to 10 days apart, people can shave up to three inches off their midsection. There is no downtime, no special diets or supplements, no side effects, no internal organs affected, and the whole process is painless, Kopecka said. “We don’t ask patients to go on a diet. We just ask them not to gain weight,” she added. Unless the weight gain is 100 percent from muscle mass, people who gain weight normally increase their body fat percentage. Increasing body fat is counterproductive to the treatment. Dr. Aivee Teo clarified a point: Vanquish is a body-sculpting device that contours the midsection. It is not a weight-loss machine. “You want to kill the fat cells and decrease their volume, but you can’t kill them all. It’s not healthy. You still need fat. When you decrease the number

of fat cells and reduce their volume, you won’t have a bulging tummy anymore. It will look aesthetically better,” Teo said. Vanquish was first tested on a controlled group of Vietnamese swine, whose fat cells and tissues are very similar to humans, said Kopecka. The study, which concluded last year, showed that the swine lost up to 60 percent fat. People, however, can expect a reduction of about 20-25 percent.

centre, are niche experiences, they are not,” said Blanchett. “Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money.” “12 Years a Slave” also won awards in the writing and acting categories. John Ridley picked up the trophy for best adapted screenplay, which was based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. The screenwriter is only the second black writer (Geoffrey Fletcher won for “Precious” in 2009) to win in the category. Backstage, the “12 Years” team mentioned their efforts to include Solomon Northup’s memoir as part of high school study. The National School

Boards Association announced in February that the book is now mandatory reading. “It’s important that we understand our history so we can understand who we were and who we are now and most importantly who we’re going to be,” said Brad Pitt, who produced “12 Years.” “We hope that this film remains a gentle reminder that we’re all equal. We all want the same: Dignity and opportunity.” Lupita Nyong’o was a firsttime Oscar winner for her supporting role as field slave Patsey in “12 Years.” “I’m a little dazed,” said Nyong’o backstage.

Natural processes

“I would never promise 60-percent reduction to anyone. We don’t live in a controlled environment,” Kopecka said. The machine works in accordance with the natural processes of the body. Its maker, BTL, is a European company known for producing medical devices for cardiology and pneumology the past 21 years. It ventured into medical aesthetics eight years ago, producing machines that also pass rigid medical standards and regulations, she said. “As a medical company, we understand the body very well,” Kopecka said. Vanquish stimulates apoptosis, or the natural death of fat cells. Each treatment is only 30 minutes long. The radio frequency has a thermal effect on the deep tissue while protecting the surrounding areas. That’s why even at its highest temperature of 45 degrees, when the induced apoptosis oc-

Dr. Z and Dr. Aivee Teo with Petra Kopecka. PHOTO FROM INQUIRER.NET

curs, the skin and other tissues do not burn. “Our body has its own lymphatic drainage. Any toxins in your body, after it has been metabolized, will be excreted through stool or urine or sweat. Our drainage system flushes the fat out of our body,” Teo said. Kopecka cautioned, however, that patients must inform the nurse or doctor if their midsection begins to produce too much sweat during the treatment. Vanquish is a very powerful machine, she said. An overproduction of sweat may cause the water droplets formed in the abdomen and love handles to start boiling. This in turn can cause blisters. Although this rarely occurs, it’s a situation that can be prevented. Actress Judy Ann Santos, who had her first session of Vanquish a week ago, said all

she felt was a warm sensation in her midsection—very tolerable and painless. And the 30-minute treatment is just perfect to squeeze into her tight schedule. The once fleshy Santos now flaunts an hourglass figure. She swears by Teo’s services and treatments, and complements them by exercising six times a week. This body-sculpting treatment is said to be closest to surgical results. Since treatments are evenly spaced out for weeks, allowing the body ample time to recover from the fat loss, there is less chance of the skin sagging. Anyone between 18 and 65 years old can undergo the treatment. Each session costs P15,000. People with metals in the body, pacemakers, cancer, and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not undergo the treatment. ■

“I can’t believe this is real life.” Nyong’o is the sixth black actress to win in the supporting actress category—and the first major Oscar win for Kenya (the president of Kenya congratulated her in a tweet)—following Hattie McDaniel (“Gone with the Wind”), Whoopi Goldberg (“Ghost”), Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”), Mo’Nique (“Precious”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help”). Foreign language film nominees included “The Missing Picture,” the first-ever Oscarnominated film from Cambodia. “The Act of Killing,” a dark look into the mass killings of

communists and ethnic Chinese in Indonesia in the 1960s, was nominated for best documentary feature. In her second time hosting, openly gay Ellen DeGeneres sought to make celebrities more like plain folk. She passed out slices of pizza to the front rows at the Dolby Theatre, then passed the hat to pay for it. She also tweeted a “selfie” with such stars as Meryl Streep, Julie Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Pitt and Nyong’o. The shot “made history,” DeGeneres told the audience later. It’s since been retweeted more than 2 million times. ■

History made... Cate Blanchett, the Australian best-actress winner for her bitter, ruined socialite in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” used her acceptance speech to trumpet the need to make films with female leads— films like her own and like “Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock. A study by analyst Kevin B. Lee found that last year’s lead actors averaged 100 minutes on screen, but lead actresses averaged only 49 minutes. “To the audiences who went to see the film and perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women at the ❰❰ 35


39 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Cost of...

Ellen’s Oscar...

the cost of the Ontario Provincial Police and local police forces and their overtime, but could rise if the threat level increases, said Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur. “The integrated security team under the OPP who are planning the event, that’s their forecast,” she said. “I am confident, but right now the threat for the game is low and if the threat does increase then we will have to adjust according to the threat.” One thing that could raise the threat level—and the security costs—is if someone like U.S. President Barack Obama decides to attend the Toronto Games, but he could afford to provide his own security, joked Chan. “Well if they want to, I think America is rich enough to do it,” he said with a chuckle. The government pointed out that the private security guards hired for the Pan Am Games will not be given police powers, and will act much like security guards who work at professional sporting events or concerts. The security bill is just a fraction of the nearly $900 million

❰❰ 35

❰❰ 18

that was spent on security at the Vancouver Olympics, but officials believe there is a lower risk profile at the Pan Am Games with far fewer high-profile dignitaries expected to attend. Ontario’s Liberal government was already under fire for not including the cost of building the athletes’ village in its original $1.4-billion budget for the games. The total price, including security, transportation and the athletes’ village, will drive the cost of Toronto’s Pan Am Games to an estimated $2.5 billion. However, the transportation plan still has not been developed and the costs, originally estimated at $75-$90 million, are expected to go even higher. “Transportation is an evolv-

ing file and the latest I have right now is we are engaging the different municipalities to make sure the regular costs they incur will be their own expenses,” said Chan. “Anything on top of that, we will pick up.” The province hopes to recoup about $65 million when the athletes’ housing is turned into 253 affordable rental apartments, a 740-square-metre YMCA and 500 residences for George Brown College students after the Games. About 10,000 athletes and coaches from 41 countries are expected at the Pan Am Games, with events to be held at 34 different competition venues around the Golden Horseshoe from St. Catharines in the south to as far north as Minden Hills and Orillia. ■

camera in DeGeneres’ selfie segment and the company wasn’t explicitly named on the air as the stunt unfolded, but it is a noticeably larger device than an iPhone. Spokeswoman Nicole Marostica said once producers decided to do the segment, it made more sense to use a Samsung product because the company was an Oscars sponsor. “They were just lucky beneficiaries of the whole thing,” Marostica said. Use of the Samsung phone “is a wonderful example of product placement,” in part because it seemed so natural, said Tim Calkins, marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. Samsung is the worldwide leader in smartphones but trails Apple in the United States, and the company has been aggressively going after the U.S. market. Oddly, the audience snapshot wasn’t a new element for DeGeneres. When she hosted the Oscars in 2007, she went into

the audience and asked filmmaker Steven Spielberg to snap a picture of her with Clint Eastwood, saying she wanted to use it on Myspace. Twitter said that most tweeted-about star on Oscar night was Jennifer Lawrence, with Brad Pitt coming in second. “Gravity” was the movie that was the subject of the most tweets during the show, followed by “Frozen.” A total of 11.3 million people commented on the award via Facebook, the company said. The busiest commenters were women aged 18 to 34, Facebook said, and the one moment that drew the most attention was when “12 Years a Slave” won the award for best picture. Jared Leto had his TiVo moment Sunday night. The company said the clip of Leto’s acting in “Dallas Buyers Club” was a moment when viewers paused their digital video recorders and rewound to see something again more than at any other point in the show. ■ Associated Press writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.


MARCH 7, 2014 FRIDAY 40

GDP growth seen highest under Aquino regime BY DORIS C. DUMLAO Philippine Daily Inquirer BUSUANGA—The Philippines is likely to remain in a “sweet spot” and churn out under the Aquino regime a trend growth rate that is much faster than the pace seen during any of the post-Edsa Revolution administrations, according to an economist from Dutch financial giant ING. Speaking at the Fund Managers Association of the Philippines (FMAP)’s 2014 convention, ING economist Joey Cuyegkeng warned, however, that the sweet spot could not be sustained for the long haul without inclusive growth. Cuyegkeng said a highgrowth, low-inflation and lowinterest rate regime was a new trend for the Philippines. During the six-year Aquino administration, ING sees the Philippines posting a trend gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.3 percent, higher than the 4.8-percent average growth rate during the nine-year Arroyo administration and the 2.3-percent growth rate during the shortlived Estrada administration. The trend growth rate under the Ramos regime was 3.1 percent while that during the term

During the six-year Aquino administration, ING sees the Philippines posting a trend gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.3 percent, higher than the 4.8-percent average growth rate during the nine-year Arroyo administration and the 2.3-percent growth rate during the shortlived Estrada administration. PHOTO FROM MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU

of Corazon Aquino, the late mother of President Aquino, was 3.4 percent. This year, the economist sees the Philippines sustaining a decent growth of 6.7 percent, although softer than the 7.2 percent in 2013, which benefited from mid-term election spending. While the service sector has remained a major engine of the economy, Cuyegkeng sees a sharp pickup in the growth rate of the industrial and manufacturing sectors under this

administration. Trend growth rates for these sectors are both seen exceeding 8 percent, or double the pace seen during the previous administration. The service sector is likewise seen gaining further momentum with a growth rate of 6.7 percent. Over the next three to five years, Cuyegkeng said the amount of revenues from business process outsourcing (BPO) could equal overseas Filipino remittances. At the same time, he said the fiscal space attained by the gov-

ernment could support the targeted increase in infrastructure spending to 5 percent of GDP. On inflation, Cuyegkeng sees the inflation rate peaking at 5 percent in the next 12 months before easing toward the government’s target range of 2-4 percent. Inflation is thus seen to average this year at 4.6 percent, higher than last year’s 2.9 percent. One of the key risks to sustaining the sweet spot, however, is the uncertainty in the power sector. The ING economist

said the country would need to start putting up new capacity in power generation to avoid the recurrence of long power outages seen in the early 1990s. As the productive segment of the population increases, in order to reap the demographic dividend, Cuyegkeng said there should be enough jobs created to absorb the new entrants to the labor force. A recent Standard Chartered Bank survey also showed that while economic sentiment remained positive, with 80 percent of the respondents expecting the economy to perform at least as well as it did last year (versus 93 percent in 2013), inflation was a worrisome factor. “Responses are in line with our expectation that inflation will be the biggest risk to the economy in 2014. Most of our clients expect inflation to rise to 4-5 percent in 2014 (59 percent of respondents), with a minority expecting inflation to increase to 3-3.9 percent (33 percent of respondents). Our clients’ expectations are higher than our forecast of 3.9 percent this year. Seven percent of our clients expect the 3-5 percent target to be exceeded. We expect inflation to remain well behaved, barring any event risks from food and energy inflation,” the bank said. ■

PH to miss 2015 poverty-reduction goal Gov’t vows to bring down rate to 18%-20% by 2016 BY MICHELLE V. REMO Philippine Daily Inquirer THE GOVERNMENT has conceded that the Philippines will miss its 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on poverty reduction. Under the updated mediumterm Philippine Development Plan, the government has reset its poverty rate target to a range of 20 to 23 percent by 2015, or higher than the 16.6 percent committed under the MDG. The MDG is a set of commitments made by member-countries of the United Nations. One of these is halving poverty incidence from the level in the 1990s. “It is already a given that we

are likely to miss out the MDG of reducing poverty to 16.6 percent next year,” Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said yesterday in a speech during the general membership meeting of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP). However, he said the government was keen on implementing new strategies to significantly reduce poverty in the remainder of the Aquino administration. From 25.2 percent last year, the poverty rate is targeted to drop to a range of 23 to 25 percent this year before going down further to 20-23 percent

in 2015. By 2016, the Aquino administration is committing to reduce poverty incidence to 18 to 20 percent. The Philippines’ poverty rate in 2012 remained one of the highest in Asia despite the fact that the country registered an economic growth rate of 6.8 percent, one of the fastest in Asia. Economists said measures to boost investments that were labor intensive and could provide jobs for the poor were needed for the country to achieve inclusive economic growth. Balisacan said that concerned government agencies have agreed to coordinate more closely for a successful implementation of the updated PDP, which could substantially

duce poverty. “Implementation of the plan calls for the convergence of agencies in the different areas. It also calls for the participation of the private sector and development partners [so that the PDP will have] a considerable impact,” he said. Under the PDP, the government aims to invest heavily in skills training to improve the ability of more people to get hired in high-quality jobs. In particular, the government wants to train more people on skills needed by the manufacturing sector. Balisacan said that unlike other sectors, manufacturing has the ability to create a substantial number of job opportunities for the poor.

Also under the PDP, the government commits to spend more on infrastructure, including farm-to-market roads as well as those needed to boost tourism in priority areas, to boost investments, economic activities and employment. Poor infrastructure has often been cited as a key reason why the Philippines lags behind most of its neighbors in terms of the amount of job-generating foreign direct investments. At present, public infrastructure spending in the Philippines stands below 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The government intends to increase this every year until it hits at least 5 percent—the average in Southeast Asia—by 2016. ■


41 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Azkals hold Malaysians to draw BY CEDELF P. TUPAS Philippine Daily Inquirer SELAYANG, SELANGOR—Playing with drive and attacking verve, the Philippines got off to a promising start under coach Thomas Dooley as it held an inform Malaysia side to a scoreless draw at the cauldron-like Selayang Municipal Stadium here. Flashing an improved passing game and better ball movement, the Azkals took the match to the Malaysians in the early stages, but also rode their luck at crucial moments in a performance hailed by injured midfielder James Younghusband as one of their best. Dooley only had a couple of weeks to whip the team into shape, but the Azkals, gunning for a spot in the AFC Challenge Cup, responded to the challenge, pressing high and win-

ning and keeping the ball for long stretches. The Azkals’ performance was a far cry from previous matches against Malaysia when they seemed to run out of ideas when they had possession. Four first-time starters

Dooley fielded four first-time starters, including 24-year-old Patrick Deyto, who delivered with a superb performance that included two world-class saves in the second half. “I think we started very well. And for us, it was a perfect test because we wanted to play a team that can challenge us so we could see what we needed to work on,” said Dooley, who handed Ruben Doctora, Martin Steuble, Simone Rota and Kenshiro Daniels ample playing time in their debut. “I saw some great things and saw some things that we needed

to work on which we could not do because we did not have a lot of time.” Goal disallowed

The Azkals created a chance in their first possession, but after a fine 10-minute spell, the Malaysians, preparing for their AFC Asian Cup Qualifying match against Yemen came up with a frantic response, hitting the post twice and getting a goal disallowed for a foul. Phil Younghusband also had a couple of good chances with the best one coming midway in the second when he forced a low save from Mohd Khalid, after being set up by Jeffrey Christiaens. Misagh Bahadoran, benefiting from a flowing move, saw his effort blocked at the final moment in the 31st minute, before the match was stopped when a group of Malaysian fans

The Azkals’ new goalkeeper Patrick Deyto shines the brightest against the Malaysians. PHOTO FROM BROSIGONZALES.BLOGSPOT.COM

lit up flares and fireworks inside the stadium. The Azkals had a penalty shot turned down in the second half when substitute Jason de Jong was clipped inside the area after beating a couple of defenders. “As usual it was a tough game against Malaysia, which came in with a really strong team,” said Azkals-manager Dan Palami. Developing system

“What’s more important is with even just four sessions to-

gether, I could see that a system of play is developing. I think we will certainly get better as the team gets more time together. “I’m also glad that the coach used this opportunity to test our young players.” The Azkals travel to Dubai for a match against Azerbaijan on Wednesday when Dooley will have the services of Europe-based standouts Stephan Schrock and Jerry Lucena as well as Fil-Spanish striker Javier Patino. ■





(MARCH 21 - APRIL 19)

(JUNE 22 - JULY 22)

(SEPT 23 - OCT 22)

(DEC 22 - JAN 19)

Your fantasy world will be especially active today, Aries, and you should feel free to take off into dreamland. Let your imagination run the show today and you’ll be delightfully surprised at the rewards this will bring to your everyday life. It may be hard to make a decision about anything practical, so don’t even try. Leave it to a day in which you’re feeling more grounded.

TAURUS (APRIL 20 - MAY 20) Things might not feel like they’re fitting into place today, Taurus, so don’t try to press the issue. You may sense a strong desire to escape into fantasyland and never come back. Resist the temptation to indulge in recreational substances that might leave you feeling more muddled than before. Escape into the depths of your mind and explore what rich fantasies your inner self has to offer.

GEMINI (MAY 21 - JUNE 21) Your physical vitality is extra strong today, Gemini, although your thoughts may be a little clouded. Someone could strongly object to an action of yours, but realize that their motivation may be a bit skewed. Muster the self-confidence to stand up for yourself at this time. Whatever happens, you’ll be called on to take action one way or another. Take the time to assess the facts carefully, because there may be trickery going on.

There could be a bit of confusion in your world today, Cancer. Trying to make sense of what’s going on might not be the easiest task. Rational thinking and analytical processes may not be the best way to find the solution. You might be better off just letting the issue sit for now and deal with it later when the facts are clearer. Let go of control and the desire to make sense of it all.

Enjoy a spirited day in which you indulge in everything your heart desires, Libra. Your imagination could take you to a whole new realm in which you play the starring role. Live these fantasies. Remember that if you can dream it, you can do it, so think big. The fire inside you burns brightly, so make good use of this power before it’s squandered away by someone else tugging on the strings.

Today is a day to roll with the punches, Capricorn. Don’t take anything too seriously, and refrain from making any major decisions. You might get the sense that something or someone is working behind the scenes without your knowledge. Trust your instincts. See what you can do to bridge the gap between reality and what you sense from the spiritual world. Visit the ocean or take a long walk in the woods.




(JULY 23 - AUGUST 22)

(OCT 23 - NOV 21)

(JAN 20 - FEB 18)

You’re asked to spring into action today, Leo, so don’t resist it. Be aware of the fact that things may not be as they seem. There could be a strange façade over the situation that you should be aware of before you act. Your head may seem a bit clouded. Your fantasy world is especially active today, so you might feel the urge to run away and never come back. That might not be a bad idea.

You may be feeling especially concerned with others today, Scorpio. Your thoughts are with the less fortunate. Perhaps you should consider teaming up with a local church or other community organization to help your immediate community. Your spiritual well-being is also important to you today, and you should do something to honor this part of you. It could be hard for you to keep yourself grounded.

This could very well be one of those days in which you forget to put on your shoes before heading out the door, Aquarius. Make sure your head is screwed on tight before you climb out of bed this morning; otherwise you might find it floating up in the clouds. Daydreams will seep into your consciousness no matter how hard you try to keep your mind focused on the matter at hand.




(AUG 23 - SEPT 22)

(NOV 22 - DEC 21)

(FEB 19 - MAR 20)

It might be hard to get to the root of a matter today, Virgo. Instead of getting stressed about it, take a long nap sometime this afternoon. Water your plants and read a book. Escape into some sort of fantasyland that takes you away from your daily life. Dealing with people on their own terms may prove extremely difficult. The other party might not be acting from a point of assuredness. Deal with them later.

Today is an active day for you in which you would do well working with groups of others, Sagittarius. Your imagination is especially active and you might find yourself playing out scenes from your dreams. The people in your life are playing a more important role than they have in times past. Recognize and appreciate these key people. Work with them to lift the layer of fog that seems to be clouding the air today.

The information coming at you today may be clouded and delusional, Pisces. Take it with a grain of salt. Someone could try to pull the wool over your eyes. Check the bus schedule twice before hopping on board. You could find yourself lost in the wrong part of town otherwise. Have patience and try not to get too upset if you aren’t receiving the answers you want. The truth will come out soon enough.




Giant bugs buzz into Halifax museum in first Canadian stop for exhibit BY ALY THOMSON The Canadian Press HALIFAX—It’s a way to get to know your backyard invaders without the “ew” factor. A larger-than-life exhibit at Halifax’s Museum of Natural History is hoping to get people acquainted with bugs in a new way—by enlarging them more than 15 times their normal size. “Bugs are, for many people, a challenge, and creepy,” museum spokesman Jeff Gray said while standing next to a giant sculpture of a Hercules beetle. “When you magnify them, they kind of lose parts of that. That representation allows you to disconnect with any phobias and allows you to really appreciate it.” Halifax is the first Canadian stop for Bugs: Outside The Box, which includes about a dozen realistic sculptures of such creepy crawlers as the longarmed beetle, the dragonfly and the leaf grasshopper. Created by Italian sculptor Lorenzo Possenti, the travelling exhibit aims to show the intricate anatomy of insects without the use of a microscope. “The sculptures have been done in a way that are very true to the bugs themselves. They’re extremely accurate, even at this size,” said Gray. “For a lot of people coming to

the exhibit, they appreciate the bugs and they also appreciate the artistic nature of it.” One section of the exhibit features three vibrantly-coloured butterflies with bulbous black eyes and wings that span nearly two metres. Below the models is a touchable yellow and black wing, exposing the butterfly’s rough scales that are normally extremely delicate to human hands. “If you ever handle a butterfly or moth, they have a dust that comes off, and that’s their scales. That hurts their wings,” said Heather McKinnon Ramshaw, assistant co-ordinator of interpretation for the museum. “These ones you can actually touch and kind of feel what it’s like.”

Nearby is one of the world’s masters of disguise: the stick insect. This long, slender bright green bug stands out at the museum, but in the wild it uses its camouflage to blend in with plant life and avoid becoming dinner. Other, more ominous-looking insects include various beetle species that reveal the extent of their protective exoskeletons and massive jaws capable of grabbing opponents. Gray said its museum-goers of the tiny sort that are enjoying the exhibit most. “Kids love bugs, and this is a fun way to see them,” he said. “It’s a very children-friendly experience. There’s lots of touchables that are down low, but the main pieces aren’t too far out of reach.”


The museum also plans on supplementing the exhibit with some of its own components over the coming months, including displaying live stick bugs and cockroaches and even hosting bug eating. If You Go...

Bugs: Outside The Box will be on until May 19 at the Museum of Natural History, located at 1747 Summer St. in Halifax. The museum is open Tues-

days through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Admission is $6.25 for an adult, $5.50 for a senior, $4 for children aged six to 17 and children under five are free. Families with two adults and up to four children will pay $17.50, while one adult and four children costs $12.25. Contact the museum at (902) 424-7353, ■


43 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

Loreto, Mexico, designated a “Magic Town” to promote tourism, remains a quiet seaside gem BY KAREN SCHWARTZ The Canadian Press LORETO, MEXICO—Efforts to turn the seaside village of Loreto into a major destination have been going on for years. So far, though, the results have been limited, and that in itself makes it worth visiting. Loreto is already a gem—a historic town nestled between gold-hued mountains and the blue Sea of Cortez. It’s known mainly to whale watchers (late

year, compared to the million or so who flew to Los Cabos, 300 miles (480 kilometres) to the south. And there are no cruise ships. Instead, there is the Loreto Bay National Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site made up of five islands accessible only by boat. I heard about Loreto by chance, and visited for a week this winter. After a 90-minute flight from Los Angeles—the only U.S. gateway at present—we found a town seemingly frozen by the economic downturn, with half-built hotels and

was used for a wedding during our stay. An adjacent Mission Museum highlights not only the religious past, but also the political history, as Loreto served as the regional capital from 1697 to 1777. An 18th-century church popular with pilgrims is located an hour away, high in the Sierra la Giganta mountains in the hamlet of San Javier. Following the advice of our innkeeper at Coco Cabanas, we drove our rented Jeep up part of a dry riverbed before rejoining the scenic mountain road. Lunch is available at a restaurant in the village, which only got full-time electricity in 2012. Waterfront

A new, multimillion-dollar promenade makes for a pleasant waterfront stroll and provides for spectacular views east towards the islands. It passes a lighthouse and a small marina, where skippered pangas (small open boats with outboard motors) can be rented for about $100 for fishing, bird-watching, wildlife-viewing or a lift to the whitesand beach on Coronado Island. Recycling bins and dog-waste bags might help explain why the town is so clean. Farther down, the sidewalk runs past a city beach, empty during the January chill but for the permanent thatchedroof palapas that provide relief from the sun. Trash cans shaped like circus seals seemed sadly out of place. Dining PHOTOS FROM VISITMEXICO.COM

winter), sport fishermen (year-round) and snowbirds who drive down from British Columbia, Canada. Loreto was earmarked for tourism development 30 years ago, part of an initiative that also included Cancun, Ixtapa, parts of Oaxaca and Los Cabos. While the others flourished, the development of Loreto faltered. In a renewed effort two years ago, Mexico’s tourism agency gave Loreto its “Magic Town” moniker, a label to promote places notable for natural beauty, cultural riches or historical relevance. Still, the international airport here welcomed only about 40,000 tourists last

empty storefronts. We also found a bit of “old” Mexico. There are a fair number of people who speak no English, friendly ex-pats happy to offer suggestions, a scattering of small festivals, a soccer stadium with spirited games, and a local mariachi band that plays in khakis, not costumes. Here are some highlights: History

Loreto became the first Spanish settlement on the Baja California Peninsula when Jesuits missionaries established the Mission of Our Lady of Loreto in 1697. The baroque-style church still functions, and

My favourite restaurant was Canipole, which has no menu, no roof, and an open kitchen, and provides traditional blankets for diners to wear when temperatures fall. The guacamole was made tableside, followed by the daily special, which almost always includes some divine mole. El Rey del Taco is so popular it routinely runs out of food while those hungry for lunch still wait in line. Mezzaluna has terrific empanadas and salads (all the restaurants here cook with bottled water), while Mexico Lindo Y Que Rico had great chili rellenos and a 7-foot (2-meter) shark sculpture beaded in a classic Huichol style to depict scenes of Loreto and the surrounding mountains.


The best beaches are a short drive from Loreto, but the roads are good and the travel easy. Twenty miles (30 kilometres) south is the community of Ensenda Blanca, which undoubtedly has the most spectacular views of the marine park. We accessed the beach through a time-share property, the Villas Del Palmar. It sells a visitor pass for $65 per person, which includes unlimited food and drinks, and use of the pools and beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, since the beach in Mexico is public property, we decided not to get the pass, and instead bought lunch from the resort restaurant. Security kept a watchful eye but no one interfered as we headed to the beach, where we rented kayaks and a stand-up paddleboard from the resort concession. Closer to Loreto, a mere 5 miles (8 kilometres) south, is the town of Nopolo, where investors in 2004 envisioned a 6,000-home tourist community along with shops and a golf course. The course, a few hundred homes and the Inn at Loreto Bay were built before the project stalled in the recession. We used the hotel to access the 4-mile (6.5-kilometre) beach, but stayed only briefly as it hadn’t been raked and the watersport rental shack was unstaffed. The lack of attention was surprising since the hotel was purchased a few months ago by Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men. His move into Loreto has sent quivers of excitement through the local tourist establishments, who hope he can revitalize the development. So far, Slim’s presence is subtle, with the renaming of the hotel to the Loreto Bay Golf Resort and Spa. Whether Slim will do for tourism here what past development efforts have not remains to be seen. But whatever his plans, I certainly hope he keeps the “magic” in Loreto. If You Go...

LORETO, MEXICO: Located on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Alaska Airlines and Delta fly nonstop to Loreto from Los Angeles. ■


MARCH 7, 2014

Do I Need an MRI Scan? IN MY day to day practice I often see clients who are suffering from ongoing pain in spite of normal X-ray examinations. Too many people believe that if an injury does not show up on an X-ray it is not real. The truth is that the majority of injuries suffered in car accidents are “soft tissue” in nature. Simply put, it is not the bone that is damaged; it is the tissue around the bone. These tissues do not show up on an X-ray. The best tool to assess a soft tissue injury is an MRI scan. A good example of the importance of an MRI scan is a recent case that I took to trial. My client was a hard working young father working in a bakery. He suffered an injury to his knee; however, the X-rays came back normal. Just to be certain, his doctor and I arranged an MRI at a private clinic. Upon reviewing the MRI scan it was obvious that my client had serious internal damage to the knee joint. If we had not arranged the MRI the case may have settled for a small amount of money. Armed

The 2013... on board, who may not have a solid writing-reading background, is you have to reorient them on the value of respecting original writing, and not copying it as their own. “But the problem is, especially for younger ones, they will lose interest in a while, so they will run to the BPO [Business Process Outsourcing], they go to marketing, where it seems more fun.” ❰❰ 46

In the end, a writer, a teacher

with the MRI, however, we were able to take the matter to court and obtain an award in excess of $300,000. If you have suffered a serious injury in a car crash and the pain does not go away even after normal X-ray scans, you may need an MRI. MRI’s are available at numerous clinics around the province. It may simply be a matter of asking your doctor or lawyer to assist

you in arranging one. ■ The author, Joel Zanatta, is the managing partner of Hammerberg Lawyers, one of Vancouver's foremost law firms specializing in personal injury and ICBC claims. Joel and his team of lawyers have represented thousands of injury victims throughout British Columbia. Questions? call 604 269 8500 x126 or email


Upon her return, and as part of her commitment as a McLuhan Fellow, Eileen will deliver lectures in Journalism schools across the Philippines. Carlo Figueroa interjects, “ We think that the [McLuhan] initiative is an instrument to recognize or at least improve media development in the Philippines. There is a need to improve reporting from the national, community and local journalists there.” Eileen smiles. “It’s payback time, but I’m still weighing it. Like I said, we’re in the inter-

esting twilight of digital media. [But] I owe it back to my school to teach, to do the masters program.” We drank our café au lait and stared out the window, enjoying the sunlight that is streaming in. Eileen told me how she looked forward to enjoying Vancouver and its heritage structures, stained glass windows, modern skyline and harbor, to seeing the rest of Canada, meeting and talking to fellow Filipinos along the way. ■ Eileen Mangubat is the 16th McLuhan Fellow. She toured Ottawa, Halifax and Toronto during her trip. She was also recognized by the US Embassy in Manila with the 2003 Benigno S. Aquino Fellowship Award. Various award-giving bodies including the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, the Philippine Press Institute, the Rotary Club of Manila, the Archdiocese of Cebu, and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, among others, have recognized her as an alumna, reporter, editor, and news manager.

Have you been in a car accident? Know your rights. You have rights, entitlements, and choices with your ICBC claim and should never be told differently. Joel leads our team of personal injury lawyers. They’ve worked successfully on thousands of files winning significant settlements for people just like you. We will help resolve your claim comfortably and get you the time you need to recover fully before returning to work. We provide a translator and also welcome your enquires at no cost to you.




1220–1200 73 Avenue West, Airport Square, Vancouver 604-269-8500 Joel Zanatta, Partner




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MARCH 7, 2014


The 2013 Marshall McLuhan Fellow Philippines: Eileen Mangubat Publisher Philippine Canadian Inquirer

BY MELISSA REMULLA-BRIONES Philippine Canadian Inquirer THE SUN took a short hiatus, days before Cebu’s Eileen Mangubat arrived in Vancouver. On the day of the interview, however, the sun was peeking and people had their sunglasses on. It was a good day to be downtown, where we were meeting. Eileen is the 2013 Marshall McLuhan Fellow - Philippines. The McLuhan Fellowship is the Canadian Embassy’s flagship advocacy program for media in the Philippines. According to Carlo Figueroa of the Embassy of Canada, one of the fellowship’s goals is “to recognize responsible journalism and to advocate responsible journalism.” This trip—a speaking and lecture tour—was part of Eileen’s prize. The publisher and acting editor-inchief of Cebu Daily News, Cebu’s “only independent newspaper” and an affiliate of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Eileen is an advocate of her news organization’s vision: Journalism that builds communities. The Philippine Canadian Inquirer sat with her for a Q&A about Cebu, Haiyan, the interesting twilight of digital media and her love of writing. Cebu and Haiyan

Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines. It took center stage just last February, when it became the site of the controversial 28th Edsa Revolution anniversary. It was there, according to President Benigno Aquino III, where the “first chapter” in the drama that culminated its final chapter on Edsa unfolded (at least this was the argument for the shift in venue). With this move and pronouncement, however, the role of the church and the other actors were conveniently obliterated, but that’s a story for another time. Eileen’s Cebu Daily News is proudly Cebu’s watchdog. The CDN team highlights local stories and writes about Cebu’s struggles of urbanization—the development of Metro Cebu and Mega Cebu. “Our water supply is very fragile, the quality of air, quality of life,” she says. Earlier on, in November, however, this fragility was further challenged because of Haiyan. “[W]e didn’t expect a bad storm, we didn’t think that the devastation would be that severe. We were very lucky in Metro Cebu because we only had high winds. It’s the Northern part of Cebu that was hit.” Metro Cebu was spared, yes, but Eileen also quickly realized that they were spared so that they can help.

Editor Melissa Remulla-Briones Associate Editor Laarni de Paula Correspondents Gigi Astudillo Angie Duarte Katherine Marfal Frances Grace Quiddaoen Ching Dee Socorro Newland Graphic Designer Victoria Yong Photographers Angelo Siglos Danvic Briones

Mcluhan Fellow Eileen Mangubat.

Cebu became the center of the Haiyan relief operations and the jumping off point for humanitarian missions coming to Eastern Visayas. Every week, Eileen saw a procession of cars—families with children—their vehicles piled high with relief goods to assist in the relief efforts. “I think that was one of the best stories and we tried to cover as much as we can, give it a different face, narrate the different experiences of people. Some would say don’t mention my name. That was the upside to it.” Writer and editor; editor and writer

“Writing is very vulnerable. You have no reason to be arrogant about it. The most important quality is clarity. Never mind the style.” She learned this throughout the years, but first and foremost from the late Louie Beltran, hard hitting journalist and one of her professors at U.P. Diliman. She considers him as one of her greatest influencers. “He would talk [to us] about what kind of stories can be written. [In] teaching news writing, board work is his signature style. He would say, ‘I want you to do a news feature.’ Then, he would instruct you, ‘To the board, write your lead paragraph.’ “That’s the scariest thing to do, your work is there examined by your peers. “It would test your confidence, force you to prepare. “For those who get too scared about it, he would say, ‘Why don’t you just transfer to Communication Research?’ So she wrote and kept at it every day. “People tell me, ‘It comes so easy for you. You’re born to do this. You have a natural talent. It’s hard to explain to

them that the reason I can do it at this speed is because I have been doing it every day. But it’s never easy. “If I can avoid writing that editorial, I will. But after you have written it and you saw that it says what you want to say, the satisfaction is very high.” On editing, she says, “The best possible work is the collaboration between the editor and the reporter. “The hard part is the editor needs to have the humility that her byline will not be there; but that’s when the tightest bonds are formed. “And now, with a very visual-oriented audience, the best action is the collaboration between the editor, writer, layout artist and the photographer. “The best work is always a collaboration.” The onslaught of digital media

The advent of digital media is very serious development, according to Eileen. “We are in very challenging times. It’s a very interesting stage [for print media]. It’s stressful,” she says. Everyone—publishers, businessmen, editors—are figuring out the best business model that can produce quality journalism. The internet is giving information for free, but the content leaves much to be desired. “Thankfully, the decision makers are still patriarchs and believe in the weight of print.” Eileen says, however, that even with digital media, the rules of old school journalism should still apply: a sense of responsibility and constant verification. “One of the hardest things to pass down to younger graduates who come

❱❱ PAGE 44 The 2013

Operations and Marketing Head Laarni de Paula (604) 551-3360 Advertising Sales Alice Yong (778) 889-3518 Antonio Tampus (604) 460-9414 PHILIPPINE PUBLISHING GROUP Editorial Assistant Phoebe Casin Graphic Designer Shanice Garcia Associate Publisher Lurisa Villanueva In cooperation with the Philippine Daily Inquirer digital edition Philippine Canadian Inquirer is located at 400-13955 Bridgeport Rd., Richmond, BC V6V 1J6 Canada Tel. No.: 1-888-668-6059 or 778-8893518 | Email: info@canadianinquirer. net,, sales@ Philippine Canadian Inquirer is published weekly every Friday. Copies are distributed free throughout Metro Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto. The views and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors named, and are not necessarily those of Philippine Canadian Inquirer Editorial Team. Member

47 FRIDAY MARCH 7, 2014

MARCH 7, 2014


Philippine Canadian Inquirer Issue #105  
Philippine Canadian Inquirer Issue #105