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VOL. 5 NO. 117
MAY 30, 2014
No to US troops in PH
Senators itching to confront Napoles
Filipino-Canadians in Focus: Joseph and Doris Lee
PCI’s Political Dashboard: Sammie Jo Rumbaua
PCI Travel (and Food!) picks
Immigration firms dodging TFW rules BY LEE-ANNE GOODMAN The Canadian Press
TO THE STREETS
OTTAWA—A website devoted to documenting abuses of the temporary foreign worker program is on the hunt for immigration law firms that might be willing to help employers dodge rules that require them to hire Canadians first. Operators of the website NTFW.ca, which maps and identifies businesses ❱❱ PAGE 22 Immigration firms
In Makati, protesters once more take to the streets to call attention to the country's unemployment problems. PHOTO BY RAFFY LERMA
Show red book, Napoles dared
LEARNING WITH PURPOSE SINCE 1903 3 310.HIRE (4473)
Luy: She kept another record of pork deals BY NANCY C. CARVAJAL Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, PHILIPPINES—Produce the “red book.” Levito Baligod, the former lawyer of whistle-blowers in the alleged P10-
Philippine Canadian Inquirer
billion pork barrel racket, on Tuesday urged Janet Lim-Napoles to produce the record of her transactions covering the legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Former employees of Napoles, led
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P-Noy hosts PH debut at Asia’s Davos BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA AND JEROME ANING Philippine Daily Inquirer A “BRIGHT spot” was how President Aquino yesterday described the Philippines to some of the region’s most powerful business leaders, as he seized the occasion of the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) to detail the strides taken by the country under his watch. Just before the start of the three-day forum—considered to be the Philippines’ comingout party on the global stage— Mr. Aquino said the country was “poised on the edge of even more meaningful progress,” and urged foreign business leaders to take advantage of the country’s economic resurgence. “The transformation of the Philippines is a collective achievement, built on the shoulders of a people prepared to undertake the difficult task of reform together,” he told members of the members of the Asean Business Club (ABC) ho paid him a courtesy call in Malacañang. The Philippines is host to the WEF-EA, commonly known as “Asia’s Davos,” in reference to the World Economic Forum’s annual global gathering in Switzerland. About 600 political and business heavyweights from Asia and beyond yesterday started to gather at the glitzy financial district of Makati for the event, which would focus on sustainable and equitable growth for Asia’s dynamic economies. Good governance
In Malacañang, President Aquino described to the business leaders how the local economy’s “strong domestic demand” served as “another indication of the potential that investors see” in the country. “The Philippines has consistently bucked the global trend, with economic growth remaining high, and even surpassing our targets,” he said. “This is partly because ... external volatility and subdued global demand has not affected the country, since we are neither resource-dependent nor export-oriented.”
Mr. Aquino also trumpeted his administration’s “commitment to good governance, strong macroeconomic fundamentals, and the creditrating upgrades we have received from all three major credit rating agencies, placing us at investment grade or higher.” Earlier this month, the Philippines achieved its highest credit rating to date—“BBB”— from Standard & Poor’s, in what Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima attributed to “good governance” as “good economics.” “The success story of the Philippines thus far is proof positive that, with the desire to uplift our fellowmen, and the dedication to work alongside each other, we can reach greater heights,” Mr. Aquino told the Asean Business Club, which counted 45 members as of December last year. “No longer are we the ‘ Sick Man in Asia.’ We are now Asia’s bright spot—a viable destination for investments and tourist.” Reiterating his administration’s promise to produce inclusive growth, Mr. Aquino said Filipinos were now “spurring a virtuous cycle of empowerment and growth.” “Whereas more people are empowered to take hold of opportunities opening up in society, the engines of growth then shift constantly toward higher and higher gears,” he said. The President is set to deliver a message during the opening of the plenary session of the 3rd WEF-EA at the Shangri-la Hotel in Makati today (May 22).
peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea. Ambassador Truong Trieu Duong yesterday said the Vietnam leader would also discuss the recent standoff sparked by China’s deployment of an oil rig near the disputed Paracel Islands. Malacañang spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the meeting of the two leaders should not be taken as a budding alli-
Also speaking in the affair are President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of Vietnam, and Vice President U Nyan Tun of Burma (Myanmar). Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his party arrived around 12:30 p.m. on a government aircraft at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. Dung was welcomed at Bulwagang Kalayaan by Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Jerril Garcia. Vietnam’s prime minister was expected to hold a dialogue with President Aquino on improving cooperation toward www.canadianinquirer.net
President Benigno S. Aquino III poses with fellow leaders, officials and ministers of the World Economic Forum. PHOTO BY ROBERT VINAS / MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU
ance against China. He added that the two sides would also
discuss economic cooperation, trade and tourism. ■
MAY 30, 2014
Senate orders DOJ, NBI to turn over Luy’s files BY TJ BURGONIO AND CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO Philippine Daily Inquirer IT’S TIME to see the contents of Benhur Luy’s files, which have been rattling the political clients of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet LimNapoles for nearly two weeks. The Senate blue ribbon committee yesterday issued subpoenas for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and the National Bureau of Investigation, directing them to produce Luy’s files by next Wednesday. Luy is the former finance officer of Napoles who blew the whistle on her alleged racket last year and is now the principal witness in her prosecution along with three senators and more than 30 former members of the House of Representatives and former government officials for plunder. Luy’s parents gave the files to the INQUIRER last year and asked for help in exposing Napoles’ alleged racket, leading
to the discovery of the P10billion pork barrel scam that now threatens to send Napoles, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla and her other clients in the House, and several government offices to jail for life. Files with NBI
The INQUIRER has been publishing the contents of Luy’s files these past 11 days, detailing Napoles’ transactions with the lawmakers involving the expenditure of their allocations from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a pork barrel that until abolished last year channeled funds to projects for congressional districts recommended by the legislators. Earlier the blue ribbon committee issued a subpoena directing Luy, who is under government protection, to submit the files, but he wrote back to inform the panel that he had given the files to the NBI. Yesterday, the committee headed by Sen. Teofisto Guingona III issued subpoenas for
DOJ still mulling whether to give Senate Benhur Luy's 'pork' scam digital files.
but she said Napoles’ relapse after the operation “slowed down” work on the affidavit. De Lima said she had asked the blue ribbon committee to give her until next Monday to submit Napoles’ affidavit. Guingona’s staff said the senator found De Lima’s reason for the delay valid and agreed to the submission of the affidavit next Monday.
PHOTO FROM GMANETWORK.COM
De Lima and NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, directing them to submit the files by Wednesday next week. Senate President Franklin Drilon approved the subpoenas. Specifically, the committee wants a copy of the contents of Luy’s “hard drive.” Files to be submitted
De Lima said yesterday that she had directed the NBI to make a copy of the hard drive’s contents for submission to the blue ribbon committee. Guingona did not speak to reporters yesterday. But in earlier
interviews, he said the committee would compile all the affidavits before deciding when to resume the hearing on the pork barrel scam. The blue ribbon committee also wants De Lima to submit the affidavit of Napoles that would support a list of the lawmakers the businesswoman had dealt with and that she gave to her before undergoing surgery for the removal of her uterus and ovaries last month. De Lima handed over the list last week and was supposed to submit the affidavit to the blue ribbon committee yesterday
In that affidavit, Napoles is reportedly adding names to the list of lawmakers that she gave to De Lima when she visited her at Ospital ng Makati before her surgery last month. De Lima said Napoles promised to tell all about the pork barrel scam in her affidavit. Napoles is under police custody while undergoing trial for alleged serious illegal detention, a charge brought against her by Luy not related to the pork barrel scam but led to the disclosure of Napoles’ alleged raids on the PDAF in conni ■ vance with lawmakers.
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5 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Chinese poachers change tune, plead not guilty BY REDEMPTO D. ANDA Inquirer Southern Luzon
US president Barack Obama with President Benigno Aquino during the US president's state visit. The Philippine government has said that the new accord is an executive agreement that implements the 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty and does not require Senate concurrence. PHOTO FROM MALACANANG PHOTO BUREAU
Philippines confident that accord letting US expand military presence will withstand challenge The Associated Press MANILA, PHILIPPINES—The Philippine government insisted Tuesday that its new accord letting the U.S. expand its military presence in the country is legal and is confident the agreement will withstand constitutional challenges. Two court petitions argue that the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement violates the constitutional ban on foreign military bases because it allows U.S. forces to establish facilities inside Philippine bases where the Americans can preposition troops and materiel indefinitely. The accord follows the announced U.S. “pivot” to Asia where China is displaying increasing aggressiveness in its territorial conflict with its neighbours in the South China Sea, including the Philippines and Vietnam. The Philippine military is one of the most poorly equipped in Asia, but armed forces chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bau-
tista told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the agreement would help establish a “credible deterrence” against China. Foreign Affairs Department spokesman Charles Jose said “the executive stands by the constitutionality” of the agreement and that it was crafted in accordance with Philippine law. Defence Department spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said the government was confident it could defend the EDCA at the Supreme Court. “We reiterate that the whole negotiations were under the purview of the constitution, within the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defence Treaty,” he said. President Benigno Aquino III said he expected some would question the agreement, and the petitioners “were the ones expected to file.” Aquino spoke with reporters while visiting a naval base in Palawan province, which faces the South China Sea. The base is reportedly being considered as a location for U.S. facilities
under the agreement. The two petitions argued that Philippine officials committed “grave abuse of discretion” in entering into the agreement and that it is unconstitutional. The Philippine Constitution disallows foreign military bases unless under a treaty approved by two-thirds of the 24-member Senate. “Our main argument is not so much on the EDCA being a treaty or not, but on the more substantial issue of sovereignty and national interest,” said Renato Reyes, one of those who signed Tuesday’s petition. “We’re not asking the EDCA to be ratified by the Senate. We’re asking it be voided outright.” The government has said that the new accord is an executive agreement that implements the 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty and does not require Senate concurrence. The petitions also say that the Philippines could become a target of attacks by enemies of the United States for hosting U.S. military facilities. ■ www.canadianinquirer.net
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY— Nine Chinese poachers caught by a Philippine maritime patrol in the disputed Hasa Hasa Shoal with hundreds of live and decaying endangered marine turtles pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning during their arraignment on charges of violating the country’s fisheries law. In an apparent change of stance, the suspects agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the Philippine court and defend themselves in trial. Presiding environmental court Judge Ambrosio de Luna of Regional Trial Court Branch 52 assigned to the suspects the temporary services of a counsel from the Public Attorney’s Office to complete the arraignment procedure. The Chinese nationals each pleaded not guilty upon reading of the charges filed by the Provincial Attorney. Pre-trial of the case was scheduled for June 4. On May 12, when they were brought in by the prosecution office for inquest, the Chinese nationals through two officials from the Chinese embassy who flew to Palawan to meet them, had told prosecutors
they would not cooperate in the case, claiming they were illegally arrested in Chinese territory. The Chinese fishermen were transferred to the Palawan provincial jail from the detention center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial headquarters after the inquest proceedings. There were 11 Chinese fishers arrested last May 6 by a PNP Maritime patrol near Hasa Hasa Shoal, an area in the Spratlys claimed by both the Philippines and China. Over 500 sea turtles were found in the holding tanks of the Chinese vessel, of which over 300 were already dead. The live turtles were later released in the Puerto Princesa Bay. Two of the 11 arrested Chinese fishers were found to be minors and deported by Philippine authorities. Beijing has demanded the immediate release of the detained Chinese fishermen, while government controlled Chinese media has warned the Philippines of dire consequences if their fishermen were not released immediately. But the Philippines ignored China’s demand, pressed ahead with the case and charged the Chinese fishermen with poaching in Philippine territory. ■
MAY 30, 2014
‘President Aquino hasn’t asked Abad about scam’ BY NORMAN BORDADORA Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, PHILIPPINES—A palace spokesperson on Saturday parried questions on President Benigno Aquino III’s reaction to reports that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was the “mentor” of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, saying that the two officials had not yet discussed the matter. Over state-run radio dzRB, Undersecretary Abigail Valte said the President and his budget secretary had too much on their plates last week to discuss the newspaper headlines, which linked Abad and 10 more senators to the multibillionpeso scam that defrauded the poor beneficiaries of Priority Assistance Development Funds (PDAF). Abad, a former congressman, was the campaign manager of the Liberal Party that brought Aquino to office in 2010. “From what I know, they
didn’t have that discussion,” said Valte when asked if Mr. Aquino had asked Abad to explain the report that appeared in a broadsheet late last week. “I know that they’ve seen each other in the past week but for other matters,” Valte said. Newspaper reports had it that Napoles had implicated Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and a host of senators considered to be allies of the Aquino administration. “As far as we are concerned, nobody else has the affidavit,” Valte said, referring to Napoles’ tell-all statement. “It’s (Justice) Secretary Leila de Lima who is in possession of the affidavit of Napoles and until such time that the affidavit is made public then it’s at best speculation on the part of whoever wants to make this allegation,” Valte added. Valte also wouldn’t comment on the reported linking of more than 10 senators to the pork barrel scam. “It’s difficult to comment because to comment on that
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. PHOTO FROM ADMU.EDU.PH
would agree with the premise that more than 10 senators are mentioned in the affidavit,” she said. “[It’s] a little hard to comment on that at this point given that
we really don’t know what is in that affidavit apart from those that are already revealed by Secretary De Lima,” she added. Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, vice chair of the Senate blue ribbon
committee, said Napoles’ list of people she dealt with should be disclosed even without the documentary evidence demanded by Senate President Franklin Drilon. “You can’t sanitize that … that’s not a statement of the police. That’s the statement of Napoles,” Osmeña said over dwIZ radio. “Whether or not there’s evidence, you should come out with the list. The supporting evidence, documents, etc., can follow later,” Osmeña added. Told of Drilon’s assertion that the list of implicated senators should be accompanied by documentary evidence, Osmeña said: “That’s also right.” “But that’s the statement of one person. Her (Napoles’) whole testimony has yet to be used by the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan. This is merely a statement. So the whole statement should be disclosed. The Department of Justice can judge later whether her statement has basis,” Osmeña said. ■
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Edca challenged in Supreme Court Tañada, Saguisag among 10 petitioners BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, PHILIPPINES—Two former senators who 24 years ago fought for the removal of US military bases from the Philippines on Monday challenged in the Supreme Court the legality of a new security agreement between the Philippines and the United States that would expand American military presence in the country. Former Senators Wigberto Tañada and Rene Saguisag joined a group of petitioners that asked the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) that was signed hours before the arrival of US President Barack Obama on April 28 for an overnight state visit. The other petitioners are former UP President Francisco “Dodong” Nemenzo Jr., Dean Pacifico A. Agabin, Sr. Mary John Mananzan, lawyer Steve Salonga, who is a son of former Senate President Jovito R. Salonga, lawyers Harry Roque, Evalyn Ursua and Edre Olalia, Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo, Dr. Roland Simbulan and former Rep. Teddy Casiño of Bayan. The agreement, signed by Filipino and US officials after eight months of negotiations, allows more US troops to come to the Philippines and gives them access to selected Philippine military bases. It also allows the US military to preposition warplanes and ships in the Philippines. Tañada, Saguisag and the 10 other petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the agreement and sought the issuance of a writ of prohibitory injunction or a temporary restraining order or both pending resolution of the pleading by the court. The petitioners named as respondents Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista. They asked the court to declare the agreement unconstitu-
tional for violating several provisions of the 1987 Constitution. “This agreement will allow the US government to use Philippine military bases, essentially allowing them to build structures, store as well as preposition weapons, defense supplies and matériel, station troops, civilian personnel and defense contractors, transit and station vehicles, vessels and aircraft. This will effectively allow them to establish and operate de facto military bases anywhere on Philippine soil, minus the cost of paying for one,” the petitioners said. ‘Magnificent 12’
Tañada, Saguisag and 10 other senators voted in 1991 against the extension of the US military’s lease on Subic Naval Base in Zambales province and on Clark Air Base in Pampanga province for another 10 years. For their courageous stand and their defiance of the will of then President Corazon Aquino, the anti-US bases senators were called the “Magnificent 12.” Ironically, Mrs. Aquino’s son, Benigno, is now the President of the Philippines and he insists that the Edca can stand scrutiny by the Supreme Court. In their 65-page petition, the opponents of the Edca said Gazmin committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he entered into the agreement on behalf of the government. Noting that government officials had claimed that the Edca was anchored on the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States, the petitioners said there was now a need to “squarely attack” the constitutionality of the MDT “because its provisions directly contradict the peace-oriented 1987 Charter.” The Constitution, they said, renounces war as an instrument of national policy and that the MDT, which was firmed up during the Cold War era, contravenes the constitutional policy against war. ‘Edca unconstitutional’
Thus, the petitioners said the Edca “must be struck down for being unconstitutional.” But if the MDT is constitu-
Lawyers Edre Olalia and Steve Salonga and former Rep. Teddy Casino, all petitioners; and lawyers Romel Bagares and Ethel Avisado, both supporters of the petition, hold copies of the petition to declare as unconstitutional the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement in front of the Supreme Court building in Manila. PHOTO BY RAFFY LERMA / GLOBALNATION.INQUIRER.NET
tional, they said, the government cannot say that the Edca is a further implementation of the MDT and the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). “There are no provisions in the MDT that authorize and provide for any subsequent agreement in furtherance of its purpose …. The VFA also cannot have an application in the Edca since the VFA only covered the entry of American troops visiting the Philippines for the purpose of training exercises,” the petitioners said. Not executive agreement
The Constitution, they said, is clear that “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities are not allowed unless there is a concurrence by the Senate.” They also said that the MDT had been superseded by the 1987 Constitution. The petitioners disagreed with the government that the Edca was an executive agreement, saying the agreement needed Senate concurrence as required by Section 25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution because the Edca would involve stationing of troops in the country, “in a manner which was not provided for either in the MDT or in the VFA.” This was why, they said, the respondents “unlawfully neglected” to transmit the Edca to the Senate. Among the provisions of the Constitution that were violated by the Edca is the prohibition on nuclear weapons in the country. The petitioners said there was “no absolute” statement in the Edca that prohibits the entry of nuclear weapons into the country, only saying that it disallows the prepositioning of nuclear weapons. www.canadianinquirer.net
“There is no express prohibition for the entry of nuclear weapons through the other activities allowed by the Edca, namely transit; refueling of aircraft; bunkering of vessels; and temporary maintenance of vehicles, vessels and aircraft, among others,” the petitioners said. Lopsided deal
Saying that the agreement was an “affront to the national interest,” the petitioners pointed out that the Edca was lopsided in favor of the United States compared with the agreements Washington had with other allies. “With the Edca, not only is the Philippines not receiving any remuneration for allowing US presence in the country, [but] it [also] has committed to making all the effort to facilitate US presence in the country, including providing security for the facilities, equipment, supplies and matériel to be stored. All these for the measly return of by then old building, facilities and infrastructure and the possible sale or transfer of equipment determined to be excess,” the petitioners said. A comparison of the Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and other nations like Iraq, Japan and South Korea showed that there is a possibility of interim use of the host countries of the facilities constructed by the United States in the agreed locations, unlike in the Philippines “where facilities are for the use of the US until they are no longer needed,” they said. The Philippines also stands to bear the cost of the taxes on the utilities of the United States, which the petitioners said was not present in the other agreements.
Target for US enemies
The petitioners also claimed that the government has made the country a “target of US enemies” because US military facilities located here can be considered effectively contributing to US military action. They said agreed locations for the bases could be “put in harm’s way if the US enters into an international armed conflict even if the potential US conflict is not geographically in the Philippines.” There was no immediate comment from Malacañang on Monday, but executive officials, including Gazmin, have said the Edca could withstand a challenge to its legality. Deterrent to war
General Bautista said last week that the agreement was a deterrent to war, though he did not mention a potential aggressor. That could be China, which is aggressively asserting its territorial claim in the West Philippine Sea, including seizing Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) off Zambales province and building what could be an airstrip on Mabini Reef (Johnson South Reef ) on the Philippine side of the disputed Spratly Islands off Palawan province. Although already signed, the Edca will not be implemented until the activities proposed under the agreement are approved by the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB). Top Philippine and US military and defense officials serve on the MDB-SEB, which will meet in September or October to tackle the agreement. ■ With a report from Tetch TorresTupas, INQUIRER.net
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 8
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BY LEILA B. SALAVERRIA AND INQUIRER BUREAUS FORMER AND incumbent members of the House of Representatives yesterday protested insinuations of impropriety arising from their inclusion in the purported files of Benhur Luy, the former finance officer of Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the systematic theft of pork barrel funds. Some congressmen declined to comment and others did not respond to the INQUIRER’s requests for reactions. Several lawmakers on the list have died. Former Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez said the fact that Luy’s files clearly stated that there was no special allotment release order (Saro) associated with him belied his involvement in any misuse of public funds in connection with Napoles’ alleged plunder of the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). “The story clears me by stating there is no Saro. No Saro, no fund. I checked with my staff and they said we did not entertain any Napoles project and that should be clear from the fact, as confirmed by the reporter, that there is no Saro,” Golez said. “Proponents can come to a congressman but if not entertained, there is no project and no issue,” he said. He said all of his projects involved infrastructure such as school buildings, multipurpose halls, road concreting, river and creek desilting, and the like, save for medical assistance for the Philippine General Hospital and free burial by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Aurora Rep. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said no portion of her 2003 PDAF allocation had been released or set aside for the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), and this could be checked on the website of the Department of Budget and Management. “I just wished you checked and double-checked before running the story about me. Even publishing my side would not undo the damage the report has inflicted on my record as a public servant,” she said. Said former An Waray Rep. Florencio Noel: “That’s unfair. They should come out with the Saro number before mentioning my name… Definitely, I have no project with them. I am certain I do not have dealings with them.” “The only letters I wrote the DOTC, which are on file, were with regard to the airport of Tacloban and the port of Babatnon. I understand that the group of Napoles does not implement those,” he said in a phone interview. Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil said: “I again assure our constituents that all our PDAF projects were prop-
Are Pinnochios in the halls of our Congress?
erly implemented with utmost transparency… Let justice take its course. The appropriate committees and agencies are already investigating the matter of this alleged pork barrel scam. Padilla
In an earlier privilege speech, Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos Padilla said he had not had any dealings with Napoles and that none of his PDAF went to her dubious nongovernment organizations (NGOs). Padilla said his signature on a letter in 2003 requesting P48 million worth of various communications and IT equipment was forged. He said he was not in Congress when the transaction was completed. La Union Rep. Victor Ortega said he did not know about the Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, which supposedly got P10 million of his PDAF during a period spanning 2007 to 2009. “They can investigate me. I did not get any funds,” he said in an earlier interview. Ortega said the state-owned National Agribusiness Corp. took care of the livelihood project funded by his PDAF, and most likely chose the NGO that implemented it. Laguna Rep. Benjamin Agarao Jr. said: “I am included? Perhaps it was not me… What I know was they made things difficult for me then.” A member of the opposition Liberal Party then, Agarao said he received “zero” PDAF from the Arroyo administration. Former Rep. Anthony Dequiña of North Cotabato said: “I was surprised. I was amazed. I was puzzled. I could not believe my name was dragged into this mess, how can I transact whatever deal with Napoles when I was no longer a solon at that time.” Rodriguez
Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City said: “I absolutely deny that I had any dealings with Janet Lim-Napoles or with any of her people or with any of her organizations, NGOs and foundations. All of our PDAF projects
were given directly to government agencies for implementation.” Former Rep. Erico Fabian of Zamboanga City: “I welcome whatever investigation and will follow legal procedures so that this will give those alleged to be involved a chance to clear their names.” Cebu Rep. Eduardo R. Gullas said: “I have absolutely no dealing ever with Napoles or any of her associates or employees. I don’t know her. Neither have I met her. My PDAF is given to the LGUs in my congressional district—the three cities and municipalities… This is a big blow to me. I protect my credibility and my family’s reputation like I protect my life.” Cebu Rep. Antonio Cuenco said: “I deny vigorously my involvement with her. Most of my PDAF were given to DSWD. It also went to my education scholars in Cebu City… I had no dealings with DOTC.” Durano
Cebu Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI said: “To the best of our knowledge, all our projects were properly documented and liquidated. We cannot implement projects without Saros and NCAs (Notice of Cash Allocations).” Cebu Rep. Raul del Mar said: “That’s a blatant lie! I never had a single PDAF transaction with Napoles, Benhur or any of their NGOs.” Former Abono Rep. Robert Raymund Estrella said: “We never gave any of our funds to any Napoles NGOs.” Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy III, a former representative, said: “It is probably a demolition job… These are plain lies and aimed at maligning our integrity,” he said. Cabagan Mayor Rodolfo Albano Jr., a former Isabela representative: “I have nothing to do with that list or transactions with Napoles or Luy.” Former Nueva Ecija Rep. Josefina Manuel-Joson said through her lawyer that her measly PDAF during her term was allocated for infrastructure, education and medical and social services, which were all aboveboard, fully implemented and documented. Bondoc
Former Pampanga Rep. Anna York Bondoc said she would not dignify a false accusation. Pampanga Rep. Oscar Rodriguez said: “I never misused public funds.” Former Rep. Roger Mercado of Southern Leyte vehemently objected to his inclusion on Luy’s list. Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao said none of his PDAF had been channeled to NGOs, since all his funds had been coursed through and implemented by the province of Isabela or its municipalities Jones and San Agustin. “I can tell you outright that is false. I never dealt with DOTC.” ■
9 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 10
Query raised on libel law BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO Philippine Daily Inquirer JUSTICE SECRETARY Leila de Lima has asked the Senate to clarify whether it was pushing for an absolute repeal of the libel law after it had sought her opinion on 12 bills that include decriminalizing, abolishing the imprisonment clause and prescribing different penalties for political and private libel. De Lima sought the clarification in a letter dated May 12 to Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, chair of the justice and human rights committee. “(T)here is still a need to settle the legislative intent whether to embark on absolute repeal of libel laws as presently
embodied in the Revised Penal Code and recently in Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 relative to online libel,” De Lima said in her three-page letter. She said seven of the bills seek the direct repeal of the libel law while six measure propose only to qualify the law or abolish the imposable penalty of imprisonment in libel cases, or prescribe different penalties for political and private libel. Lacking
De Lima reiterated the particular areas the measures need to address should they be reconciled because “the present bills appear to be lacking in some provisions to address specific concerns.” The concerns raised by De
Lima were: The effects of decriminalization of libel on acts that were committed, or on cases under preliminary investigation or pending trial before the court or pending finality of conviction; The parameters or elements or preponderance of evidence to be considered to qualify civil action for damages if libel is decriminalized and converted to a matter of civil action for damages; How one can enforce and execute awards for damages if the person so adjudged to pay damages has no means to pay or is financially inadequate in cash or property; and The effect of decriminalization on pending civil actions predicated on the commission of libel under the RPC or even
the cybercrime law pending repeal of online libel. Valid
“We humbly submit that those are valid concerns that need to be addressed to avoid confusion or ambiguity in the application of the law,” the justice secretary said.
Last February, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the cybercrime law, which punishes crimes committed on the Internet, including online libel. The justice department earlier said it did not include online libel in its recommendations on the cybercrime law. ■
Bring Napoles back to Senate–Cayetano ‘Let her stand up to her affidavit’ BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, PHILIPPINES— Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday demanded that Janet Lim-Napoles be brought to the chamber’s blue ribbon committee to testify on the contents of an extended affidavit elaborating on the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was scheduled to turn in Monday. In a telephone interview, Cayetano said he was “in favor of immediately releasing” the document, warning that keeping it a secret would only “empower Napoles to manipulate public opinion one way or the other.” “But I’m also in favor of a faceto-face, professionally handled hearing” that would allow Napoles to “stand up to her affidavit,” the senator said. Cayetano said such a hearing should include Napoles’ husband Jimmy, De Lima, Benhur Luy and the other whistleblowers, and Secretary Panfilo Lacson, who earlier submitted Napoles’ unsigned affidavit to the committee headed by Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.
“Why allow Mrs. Napoles to pollute the people’s minds one way or the other if she won’t appear in the Senate hearing anyway, or if there won’t be any mechanism in place to know if [her revelations] are true or not,” he argued. “The problem now is that roles have been reversed: it’s the accused who now have to do the explaining, not Mrs. Napoles.” Guingona released a draft report on April 1 on 10 hearings the committee had conducted on allegations that P10 billion in congressional allocations from the graft-ridden Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) was diverted to ghost projects and kickbacks through nongovernment organizations controlled by Napoles. The draft report recommended that Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla be prosecuted for plunder in connection with the misuse of the lawmakers’ PDAF, a pork barrel intended to ease rural poverty. The three senators have denied wrongdoing. Guingona has not announced a decision whether he would reconvene the committee. Extended affidavit
De Lima will submit Monday
Janet Lim-Napoles. PHOTO FROM EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG
the extended affidavit of Napoles supposedly detailing the involvement of many other officials in the pork barrel scam, in addition to those whose names had already been made public. She earlier released a list of lawmakers involved in the scam that was given to her during a five-hour “tell-all” meeting on April 22 at Ospital ng Makati. The 51-year-old Napoles, who is detained on charges of serious illegal detention filed by Luy, is undergoing hospital treatment after having her canwww.canadianinquirer.net
cerous uterus removed. Cayetano on Sunday cautioned the government against entering into a deal with Napoles, who has expressed her desire to be granted immunity in exchange for turning state witness. “I am 100 percent against any deal with Napoles or her family, especially since the government keeps saying it already has an airtight case,” he told the Inquirer. Cayetano cited reports that the government was exploring the idea of granting immunity,
at least, for Napoles’ family in exchange for her testimony in the pork barrel case. “If it’s true that there’s some sort of immunity that might be given to her family, the agreement should be that if she tells a lie or she doesn’t tell the whole truth, the whole deal is off,” he said. Last November, Napoles told the committee she knew nothing about the PDAF scam. De Lima has twice asked for more time to submit Napoles’ extended affidavit, citing the medical condition of the businesswoman, who remained confined at Ospital ng Makati due to vaginal bleeding. The extended account would elaborate on the list De Lima earlier submitted to the committee, which included, aside from Enrile, Revilla and Estrada, Senators Vicente Sotto III, Loren Legarda, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Francis Escudero and Cayetano. It also named two former senators, Manny Villar and the late Robert Barbers, and more than 70 members of the House of Representatives. The list is similar to the one earlier submitted to the committee by Lacson, which Guingona subsequently made public. ■
11 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Tagle urges faithful to storm heavens with prayer for rain BY JOCELYN R. UY Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, PHILIPPINES—We implore God to send us rain. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle made this plea on Monday, urging the Catholic faithful to storm the heavens with a special prayer for rain to stop El Niño’s scorching heat that had dried up dams and farmlands. The Oratio Imperata ad Petendam Pluviam (Obligatory Prayer to Request for Rain) shall be prayed kneeling after communion during Masses in churches in Manila, Tagle said in a circular issued to the clergy, superiors of religious communities and heads of secular institutes in the archdiocese. “It is time for our rainy season and yet the rains have not come. People tasked with managing our water/power resources have warned that we face a crisis in those areas,” the archbishop said. Relief from the sweltering heat and the absence of rain will only come from nature, he said. “And so we implore the Master of all creation, God, our Father, at whose command the winds and the seas obey, to send us rain.” It hasn’t actually hit, but El Niño is now wreaking havoc on some Luzon farmlands, Inquirer field reports indicate. Weathermen earlier predicted that the phenomenon characterized by below-average rainfall and stronger storms would strike in June or July. The weather bureau said the water level at Angat Dam continued to dip and would take a month of heavy rains to replenish it. Due to the drop in Angat’s level, water for the irrigation of farms in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga had to be cut. Oratio Imperata is an ordered prayer
for a special intention besides the ones prescribed by ritual that the Pope or the bishop of a diocese may require to be said during Mass. There are different kinds of Oratio Imperata, which can be said either for civil disturbances or deliverance from calamities or illnesses. “Let us together storm the heavens with our supplication, that God’s mercy be upon us and send us the rain we need,” Tagle exhorted. The special prayer pleaded for rain to come to irrigate fields, avert power shortage, provide water for bodily health and refresh farmlands that had dried up due to the sweltering heat brought about by the dry spell. “At your command the wind and the seas obey, raise your hand, Almighty God, to commence the normal rainy season that has now been long delayed, so that this crisis may be averted,” it stated. The Oratio Imperata also asked God to allow Filipinos to realize the beauty of nature, instill in them a deep love for Mother Earth and become wise stewards of His creation so that they can help protect nature from further exploitation. Tagle also included in the circular prayer intentions for rain, which the archbishop noted should be inserted into the daily and Sunday Prayers of the Faithful of the Mass. The intentions stated: “Lord, hasten to send the rain we badly need, especially in Luzon, so that the damage to crops and other livelihood, and an impending power shortage may be averted, we pray. “Lord, inspire us in this time of crisis to share in the name of Jesus what we have and to take responsibility for one another and for the environment and resources that you have generously provided us, we pray.” ■
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said relief from the sweltering heat and the absence of rain will only come from nature. PHOTO BY STEPHANE BIDOUZE / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
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SC backs Sandigan in throwing out evidence vs Marcoses BY JEROME ANING Philippine Daily Inquirer THE SUPREME Court has approved a decision by the Sandiganbayan that disallowed the admission of more than 100 pieces of evidence presented by the government in the civil case against former first lady Imelda Marcos and several members of the Tantoco family. In a ruling dated April 21, the high court’s First Division said the Sandiganbayan did not commit a grave abuse of discretion when it excluded the documentary evidence due to the government’s failure to produce them at the pretrial of the case. The case pertained to a civil suit filed in 1987 by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) for “reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution and damages” against Marcos, her late husband Ferdinand Marcos, Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., Gliceria Tantoco, Ma. Lourdes Tantoco-Pineda and Dominador Santiago. The Tantocos and Santiago were accused of acting as dummies of the Marcos couple and using outlets of Tourist Duty Free Shops Inc. (TDFSI) to defraud the government of millions of pesos in franchise taxes and obtain unlimited duty and tax-free importation benefits, among other things. In 1989, Tantoco Jr. and Santiago, who was TDFSI chair until the company was sequestered by the PCGG, asked the Sandiganbayan to compel the PCGG to provide them with the documentary evidence against them so they could prepare for their trial. This was opposed by the PCGG but the respondents went to the Supreme Court and obtained a favorable ruling in 1991. The PCGG produced the documentary evidence it had during the pretrial, which concluded on Sept. 10, 1996. However, Tantoco Jr. and Santiago made continuing
Former first lady Imelda Marcos. PHOTO BY STEPHEN BURES / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
objections on the marking of additional pieces of evidence produced by the PCGG during the Sept. 23 and 25 hearings. In January 2009, the Sandiganbayan ruled against the admission of about 120 documents, citing doubts in their due execution and authenticity since many of them were photocopies or mere transmittals. The PCGG, through the Office of the Solicitor General, elevated the case to the Supreme Court. In the ruling written by the First Division chair, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, the court said the Sandiganbayan did not exercise grave abuse of discretion in excluding some of the new pieces of evidence for being inadmissible and for not being produced at the pretrial period, as required by court procedures. Three members of the division, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Martin Villarama Jr. and Bienvenido Reyes, agreed with Sereno while one, Justice Lucas Bersamin, issued a concurring and dissenting opinion. “After failing to submit the documentary evidence during discovery, when it was clearly ordered by both the Sandiganbayan and the Supreme Court to do so, petitioner (government), also repeatedly failed to prove the due execution and authenticity of the documents,” the justices said. ■
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 12
Retired priest Ramirez got Napoles donations ‘in utmost good faith’ Didn’t know source of funds BY TINA G. SANTOS Philippine Daily Inquirer MANILA, PHILIPPINES— Former Quiapo Church rector Msgr. Josefino Ramirez on Thursday admitted that he received donations from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, but stressed that he received the donations “in utmost good faith and without any knowledge as to the source of the funds.” In a statement sent to the Inquirer through the office of the Archdiocese of Manila, Ramirez said that as a coordinator for Divine Mercy in Asia, he received the donations of the Magdalena Luy Lim Foundation, which Napoles established in memory of her mother, and from other donors “with the sole intention of using the same for the projects of the Divine Mercy.” According to Ramirez, Napoles’ mother was an ardent devotee of the Divine Mercy. “She used to help my charities since 2004, most especially the apostolate for China because this is the only way that she can thank the Lord for the gift of her Catholic faith as a Chinese. Before she died, Magdalena Luy Lim requested her children to continue helping the apostolate projects of the Divine Mercy in the Philippines and in China, through the foundation,” Ramirez said. “Hence, donations were made by the Magdalena Luy Lim Foundation for the various projects of the Divine Mercy in the Philippines and in China,” he added. The Inquirer reported Thursday information from Benhur Luy’s files that Napoles gave generous donations to priests and nuns, using money from her alleged raids on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in connivance with senators and members of the House of Representatives over a period of 10 years up to 2012. P2M, not P2.5M
Luy’s entry for May 10, 2007, under cash and check disbursements of Napoles’ JLN Corp., showed that a Metrobank check for P2.5 million was issued to Ramirez. In his statement, Ramirez
said the amount was only P2 million, not P2.5 million, and was donated by Napoles to the Caritas Salve Savings and Livelihood with Values Education Credit, a microfinance program under Caritas Manila. Ramirez also admitted that Napoles donated P434,451 (as recorded in Luy’s entry for Oct. 16, 2008) for his airplane ticket and the plane tickets of four Chinese priests representing China to the World Apostolate Congress of Mercy in Rome. Ramirez said he attended the congress as coordinator of Divine Mercy for Asia. Other donations
Another entry in Luy’s files showed that Ramirez, who retired two years ago, received donations amounting to P800,000 from Napoles on several occasions. Ramirez explained that the amount was spent for various expenses incurred by 14 batches of Chinese priests and nuns taking Church renewal courses in the Philippines from December 2011 to August 2013. He said the money was spent for food, amounting to P57,143 a month for each batch consisting of 20 priests and nuns; honoraria for lecturers, and electricity and water bills. Ramirez also admitted that the Napoles family hosted a surprise birthday party for him and invited about 300 friends and former parishioners as guests. “I have no knowledge of the exact amount spent for the said party,” he said. According to Luy’s records, Napoles spent P310,550 for the priest’s birthday party, and another P9,000 for “guard of Monsi for Jollibee.” “Monsi” is Ramirez’s nickname within Napoles’ circle of friends. “Food/meals from Jollibee were purchased by the host for the drivers of the guests who attended the party. I have no knowledge of the exact amount spent for the said foods/meals for the drivers,” Ramirez added. Stipends for priests, nuns
Luy’s records also showed that Napoles distributed “stipends” totaling P344,000 on several occasions for “priests/nuns, deacons” from 2004 to 2010.
Former Quiapo Church rector Msgr. Josefino Ramirez. PHOTO FROM PHILNEWS.PH
“Since I met Ms. Napoles only in 2007, I can only attest to the fact that from 2007 to 2010, stipends were given to priests and nuns invited during special occasions, such as office anniversaries, the funeral Mass of Mrs. Magdalena Luy Lim, her death anniversary and other memorable occasions,” Ramirez said. “The priests, who were friends of the Napoles family, and nuns were invited from various provinces and congregations. They were given stipends for their charities and transportation,” he added. ‘Blatant lie’
Luy’s files also named more than 100 members of the House of Representatives as having dealings with Napoles. In recent days, many of them have denied having done business with Napoles or Luy. On Thursday, more denied even knowing Napoles or Luy. Iloilo Rep. Nathaniel Tupas described as “malicious” and a “blatant lie” his listing in Luy’s files, and demanded copies of documents supposedly linking him to the pork barrel scandal so he could bring legal action against the people responsible for “besmirching” his name. “I never had any transaction with Luy, his former boss or any of the nongovernment organizations that they represent, or with any of their officers, agents, representatives, or employees,” Tupas said in a statement sent to the Inquirer. “I never had and will never have any participation in any racket or scam whatsoever,” he said. Tupas said the entry referring to him stated that the supposed transaction was “without www.canadianinquirer.net
Saro” (special allocation release order), proving that he had no dealings or transactions with Napoles or any of her NGOs. He said the list served no purpose but to besmirch his reputation without any basis. Tupas also said he did not know what the Luy files were about and that he never prepared any “list of proponents.” “False and malicious accusations and claims, especially of this gravity, should not go unpunished. Those responsible must be held accountable for their lies,” he said. “It is not fair to their victims,” he added.
tioned in Luy’s testimony to the Senate blue ribbon committee. Ong said his sentiments were the same as President Aquino’s, referring to the Chief Executive’s recent statement about leaving the pork barrel scam to the investigators to resolve. Former Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado denied any involvement in the pork barrel scam. Mercado, now the governor of Southern Leyte, said in a text message: “I deny in strongest terms any insinuation of involvement in the use of the PDAF and shall await and welcome any investigation to ventilate my noninvolvement.”
Not in Salimbangon’s district
Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of the 4th District of Cebu denied that he recommended pork barrel funding for a road project in Consolacion town. He said Consolacion was part of the 6th District, not of the 4th District that he represents in the House. Salimbangon stressed that the Department of Budget and Management does not allow congressmen to implement projects not within their districts. He also said that funds released from his PDAF allocation went through Commission on Audit review. Releases from his PDAF allocation went to projects in his district and “not a single centavo” went to any NGO identified with Napoles, he said. Emil Ong surprised
Northern Samar 2nd District Rep. Emil Ong, a former National Food Authority administrator, said he was surprised that his name appeared in Luy’s files when he was never men-
Former House Deputy Speaker Abdulgani “Gerry” Salapuddin, who has been in hiding after being implicated in an explosion at the House in 2004, said he was “not only surprised but also shocked” at the mention of his name in Luy’s files. Salapuddin, who was Basilan representative from 1998 to 2007, said by phone that he did not know Napoles or ever met her or Luy in his nine years in the House. He said he was sure he did nothing wrong, as Luy’s files showed there was no Saro for the project attributed to him. “How can there be any release of government funds without Saro? If there is no Saro, there is no NCA (notice of cash allocation),” Salapuddin said. ■ With reports from Cynthia D. Balana in Manila; Jani Arnaiz and Carmel Loise Matus, Inquirer Visayas; and Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
13 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
1 in 4 adult Pinoys jobless, survey says BY ANA ROA Inquirer Research ONE IN four adult Filipinos doesn’t have a job, according to a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. The survey found adult joblessness at 25.7 percent, or an estimated 11.5 million Filipinos, in March. This was almost two points lower than the 27.5 percent or 12.1 million jobless in December. SWS noted the latest rating was still way below the record high of 34.4 percent registered in February 2009. It said that adult joblessness had mostly remained over 20 percent since May 2005, except in three instances. The record low was 5.4 percent in February 1998. While the number of jobless Filipinos decreased by 600,000 in March compared to December last year, optimism over job availability in the next 12 months waned.
Results of the survey showed that 36 percent of respondents said more jobs would be available, against 23 percent who said there would be fewer jobs, for a net optimism score (percent of more jobs minus percent of fewer jobs) of “fair” plus 13 in March. This is six points lower than the also “fair” plus 19 in December. Those who said there would be no change accounted for 32 percent.
The SWS definition of joblessness covers respondents aged 18 and over who are without jobs at present and are looking for work. This excludes those not looking for a job such as housewives, students and retired or disabled persons. This is different from the official definition of unemployment in the government’s Labor Force Survey (LFS), which includes persons 15 years and
over and who are reported not working, looking for work or available for work. Also included are those currently available for work but are not seeking work for reasons such as waiting for results of previous job applications, temporary illness, bad weather, waiting for rehire, and feeling tired or believe that no work is available. The government’s latest LFS puts the official unemployment rate at 7.5 percent, or an estimated 2.96 million Filipinos, in January. If the availability requirement is included, SWS said that adult joblessness in March would be 17.1 percent, or an estimated 6.9 million Filipinos. This would consist of 16.1 percent who were not working, looking for work or available for work, and one percent who were not working, not looking for work due to the reasons stated above, but available for work. “Therefore, among the 11.5 million adults who were jobless and were looking for work, 44
percent were not available for work at present or in the next two weeks,” SWS explained. By sex, joblessness was at from 35.9 percent to 37.8 percent among women, while it dropped from 21.2 percent to 16.5 percent among men. Across age groups, joblessness decreased from 52 percent to 43 percent among those 1824 years old. In the 25-34 age bracket, the rate also fell from 33 percent to 31 percent. It was also lower among those aged 45 and over, from 18 percent to 17 percent, while it was up from 25 percent to 26 percent among those aged 35-44. The nationwide joblessness rate includes those who were retrenched (10.7 percent or 4.8 million), those who resigned (11.4 percent or 5.1 million) and first-time job seekers (3.3 percent or 1.5 million). Those who were retrenched included those whose contracts were not renewed (6.4 percent), those whose employers closed shop (2.2 percent) and those who were laid off (2 percent). ■
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El Niño damage to crops: P503M BY RONNEL W. DOMINGO Philippine Daily Inquirer CROPS VALUED at a total of P823.29 million have so far been lost to the early effects of a looming El Niño phenomenon, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA). Based on a preliminary assessment by the DA’s field units, corn farms were most affected by the dry spell, with P583.6 million worth of losses, involving 28,105 hectares with foregone harvest equivalent to 45,729 metric tons of corn. The dry spell has also taken its toll on rice farms and vegetable farms at P221.28 million and P18.41 million, respectively. Some 12,200 tons of palay from 4,618 hectares of farms have been lost, as well as 1,190 tons of vegetables from 242 hectares of land. According to the DA, the most affected region was Cagayan Valley, which accounted for losses worth P426.5 million. The Cordilleras reported P216.95 million, Mimaropa, P168.85 million, and Bicol, P10.96 million. Agriculture officials said the DA is providing affected farmers with seeds and other production inputs as well as promoting water-
saving measures among rice farmers and pushing for the adoption of modern farming and fishery technologies to mitigate the effects of the anticipated long dry spell. “The DA will need an initial budget of P1.61 billion (for all these efforts),” Roy Abaya, officer in charge of the DA’s field operations service, said in a briefing. Abaya said that of the total amount, P764.3 million is already available while the remainder is still being requested from the Department of Budget and Management. Nearly half of the total or P729.9 million is intended for stocking and distribution of inputs, P340 million for the construction of small-scale irrigation facilities and P199.9 million for crop insurance. A total of P159.8 million is earmarked for the repair and rehabilitation of irrigation systems and P41.8 million is meant for cloud-seeding operations. “We are calling on rice farmers to use water-saving technologies such as controlled irrigation. We also urge them to implement crop-shifting and closely monitor the incidence of pests and diseases,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said. He said government interventions include introducing farmers to drought-tolerant rice varieties such as the “super green rice” and the plating of alternative crops like sorghum, cassava and sweet potato. “Aside from these, the (DA) has installed efficient and innovative agri-fishery technologies such as the construction of dike peripheral, deepening of fishponds to allow tidal intrusion and the use of aqua species that are tolerant to saline water,” he said. ■
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 14
Show red... by Benhur Luy, have told the Inquirer that Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the PDAF scam, kept a “red book” where she herself wrote all her dealings, including payoffs, concerning siphoning off pork allocations to ghost projects and kickbacks. Luy or any of the other whistle-blowers did not see the contents of the record book. Except that they saw it was color red. Baligod, the first counsel for Luy and several other former Napoles employees who have turned against her, challenged the businesswoman to produce her records to support her claims in her 93-page affidavit submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday. “The key to know if she is telling the truth is for her to produce her red book where the whistle-blowers, including Benhur, had said was where Napoles recorded her personal transactions with lawmakers,” Baligod told the Inquirer in a telephone interview. “The household help saw her write in her red book after a lawmaker or its authorized representative picked up the money in her house,” Baligod said, referring to his former clients. “It’s impossible that she based her affidavit on her transactions from her memory alone.” Raji Mendoza, the new lawyer of Luy, did not want to comment on Napoles’ latest statement so as not to telegraph his moves. “As of the moment, I will keep our aces up our sleeves,” Mendoza said in a text message to the Inquirer. In her expanded affidavit, Napoles implicated 20 senators and 100 congressmen in the PDAF schemes, saying that she put together the document on the basis of what “I could remember in my present condition at Ospital ng Makati,” as she was recuperating from an operation that removed her cancerous uterus. ❰❰ 1
The businesswoman said senators and congressmen and their assigned representatives picked up millions of pesos in cash from her house in the upscale Pacific Plaza Towers in Bonifacio Global City or in restaurants. Napoles denied she masterminded the deals and declared that the pork barrel racket had www.canadianinquirer.net
been in place when she became involved in it and that she was now being made a “scapegoat” by those she had dealt with. She has offered to turn state witness. Names out
Baligod also said Napoles omitted significant names in her list submitted to the DOJ. “Her affidavit was mostly truthful and partially false; she was selective.” Napoles initially mentioned 11 senators, but she subsequently padded the list ostensibly after the Inquirer ran a series of articles based on the computer files of Luy contained in a hard disk drive. A copy of the disk was given to the Inquirer by Luy’s family during a visit to the Inquirer office in Makati City a year ago. The names of 25 former and current senators appear in the Luy files. Napoles did not mention in her affidavit former Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya who, according to the Luy files, received at least P277 million in kickbacks from 2006 to 2009 for projects in the Department of Agrarian Reform. She also did not mention Rene Maglanque, a former Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) assistant secretary and now Candaba mayor, who allegedly got P108 million in commissions. She likewise did not mention Domingo Reyes, also a former DOTC official who acted as her agent. Napoles also left out former Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr. and Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, JV Ejercito and Franklin Drilon whose names appear in Luy’s files. Luy, speaking through Mendoza, said that no actual transaction took place with Drilon. Blame all
Stephen Cascollan, a lawyer for another set of whistle-blowers led by Marina Sula, said of the affidavit: “Janet is still Janet. It is not a tell-all, but a blame all.”
Cascollan also said that the best test to show if Napoles was telling the truth would be to compare her statements with the testimonies of the government witnesses. “She fails this test. The Filipino people deserve the whole truth, not just some of it,” he said. Cascollan noted that Napoles in her affidavit said she was just a high school graduate and that she did not have “the skill to run such a complicated scheme. Kevlar helmets case
He explained that before Napoles started her PDAF racket in 1999, Napoles along with her late mother Magdalena Lim, her trusted aide Evelyn de Leon and other military officials were charged with fraud in the Sandiganbayan by the military for the delivery of substandard Kevlar helmets. Napoles was acquitted in 2010, but her late mother was convicted of the charges by the Sandiganbayan. Cascollan said Napoles did not admit any wrongdoing. “She does not admit or corroborate any of the testimonies of the witnesses.” He said she didn’t even admit that she put up the nongovernment organizations (NGOs) as vehicles for her schemes. He said that Napoles “cannot ask to spare her children, and then spare herself, too.” Based on the affidavits of the witnesses, the Napoles children participated in the forging of beneficiaries of pork barrelfunded ghost projects. JoChristine Company, named after Napoles’ first daughter, was also recipient of hundreds of millions of PDAF funds coursed through the bogus NGOs. Cascollan also criticized the government for giving Napoles undue importance. “The government has wasted so much time and resources discussing the ‘Napolist.’ What about the charges based on actual available and credible evidence that have not been filed?” ■
15 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
US group says summary slays common in PH BY GERMELINA LACORTE AND KARLOS MANLUPIG Inquirer Mindanao DAVAO CITY—Summary executions of crime suspects are a common practice in the Philippines, according to the USbased Human Rights Watch. “Summary killings of suspected criminals are not new to the Philippines,” Human Rights Watch said in a 71-page report that tagged Reynaldo Uy, former Tagum mayor, as one of those responsible for the killing of nearly 300 crime suspects in the city from 2007 to 2013. Uy denied the accusations in the report “One Shot to the Head: Death Squad Killings in Tagum City, Philippines,” saying they were based on testimony coerced and paid for by drug dealers and illegal gamblers. But Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director, said in a statement that accompanied the release of the report on Wednesday that there was “compelling evidence” against Uy, who reportedly called the targets— suspected drug dealers, petty criminals, street children and
others —“weeds” that had to be uprooted in a “perverse form of crime control.” The New York-based international rights group said summary killing had been the tactic used by other officials, like Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. Citing its 2009 report “You Can Die Anytime: Death Squad Killings in Mindanao,” Human Rights Watch said Duterte’s “open endorsement of summary killings to fight criminals and his soaring popularity have encouraged other cities,” including Tagum. In 2009, the rights group said “reports of similar killings in other Philippine cities suggest that the Davao Death Squad ... has motivated other town officials to adopt extrajudicial killings as a crime control method.” The report said Duterte and Lim got away with extrajudicial killings. “Duterte’s popularity, built on his seeming willingness to engage in unlawful violence to eliminate common crime, a serious problem in many urban areas in the Philippines, has an appeal that extends far beyond Davao City,” the report said. ■
According to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, the funds were released to several government agencies in charge of various post-disaster relief and reconstruction programs in the communities devastated by Yolanda.
Abad: P32B now released for ‘Yolanda’ rehabilitation BY PAOLO G. MONTECILLO Philippine Daily Inquirer THE REHABILITATION of communities devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” last November remains a top priority of the Aquino administration, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said yesterday. Abad said P32.2 billion in relief funds had been released as of May 15. The funds were released to several government agencies in charge of various postdisaster relief and reconstruction programs in the communities devastated by Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), Abad said. “The President was very clear about the administration’s goal of restoring normalcy in Yolandastricken communities. The delivery of aid services and the reconstruction of damaged in-
frastructure continue to be a priority for the government,” Abad said. “With more releases on the way, agencies involved should be able to move quickly to help affected communities recover from the disaster,” he added. Abad said President Aquino approved the funding of critical projects under the first phase of the government’s reconstruction and assistance program. The fund releases include P5.4 billion for the National Electrification Administration’s distribution and transmission facilities to restore power in typhoon- hit areas, as well as P2.2 billion for the National Housing Association’s housing programs. Recently approved fund releases include P2.01 billion for the Department of the Interior and Local Government for municipal halls, public markets,
civic centers and police stations damaged by Yolanda. “Immediately after Yolanda swept through the country, the [Department of Budget and Management] moved as fast as it could to secure the Office of the President’s approval for releases that could support our most urgent aid requirements,” Abad said. “One major challenge in delivering aid to [the victims of ] Yolanda was the fact that affected communities were left with little to no electricity. That was one of the first things we sought to remedy,” he added. Calamity funds under the General Appropriations Act for 2012 and 2013 helped support releases to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the augmentation of Quick Relief Funds by P1.07 billion. The money was used to fund relief operations in communities ravaged by Yolanda. ■
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 16
THERE’S THE RUB
Twist in the narrative By Conrado De Quiros Philippine Daily Inquirer THE last time we figured in CNN and BBC, indeed hogged headlines in them for days on end, was over a grim development. That was in the aftermath of Super Typhoon “Yolanda,” when the images of death and destruction, driven home by desolate figures drifting aimlessly like “zombies”—the word was on everybody’s lips—after having lost entire families, unraveled grindingly in them. Capped by President Aquino getting flustered when Christiane Amanpour asked him if he didn’t think this was going to define his legacy. We’re not exactly hogging headlines there today, but we’re getting our due. This time for a more joyous reason, a stark contrast with the one half a year ago. This time for achieving rates of growth that have outstripped our neighbors, making them nod their heads in approval. It’s the reason the World Economic Forum (WEF) is being held here, in the world’s recognition of that accomplishment. The praises have been pouring over the last few days, but the scene doesn’t glow with unadulterated triumph. It emits in fact a not very faint whiff of disconnect, between the national and the global, between the inside and the
outside. At the very time the WEF took place, the country was being rocked by an unrelenting slew of exposés about corruption, or specifically how the near-wholesale theft of pork barrel, which the Inquirer brought to public notice last year, was far more extensive than initially thought of. If you’ve been out of the country the last few weeks, as I have, you’d be assailed by the sheer plenitude of stories about pork online, or the mounting list of people—as well indeed as the lists themselves—named on it. Outside looking in, it painted a picture of a nation of crooks, governed by public officials who badly needed to govern their appetites first. The contrast is breathtaking, and makes you wonder who’s got it right, the global community which has glimpsed only the dawning of a new day, or the local media which have glimpsed only the encroachment of feral night. Maybe both are right in different measure, which resonates with sublime irony, reversing as it does the narrative that took hold of our brains shortly after P-Noy came to power. A narrative the regime he replaced tried mightily to sell. A narrative that said that in contrast to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who might have been immoral but at least a capable economic manager, P-Noy would succeed only in
improving the country’s moral health but not so in expanding its economic wealth. Wonder of wonders, the opposite became true. There’s no doubt about the economic growth, even if there are doubts about whether it is sustainable or not, or if, as the faithful predict, it will go on to greater heights in years to come. The achievement isn’t self-advertised, as Arroyo’s dubious economic feats were, it is universally recognized. The only question is if it isn’t a bubble that could burst in time or suddenly.
The praises have been pouring over the last few days, but the scene doesn’t glow with unadulterated triumph. It emits in fact a not very faint whiff of disconnect, between the national and the global, between the insideandtheoutside. Never mind the impact of China on the future of the entire region, particularly in light of its disputes with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. Mind only the fairly brittle foundations of our growth, which is credit-driven, which is consumer-oriented. Consider that we have nine of the world’s 38 biggest malls, beating even the United States, China, and most other developed countries for
that dubious honor, which alone must suggest how skewed the development is. And which alone must suggest why the growth is noninclusive, or not benefiting the poor except marginally. But the growth is impressive enough by itself, and nothing less than spectacular when compared to the miserableness of the previous regime. Some of the foreign guests at the WEF have attributed it to government’s success in curbing corruption, proving that indeed there’s no mahirap where there is no corrupt. But that’s the part that’s tricky. There’s no doubt that government has taken the daang maunlad, but there’s doubt it has hewed to the daang matuwid. Arguably, the pork scandal unleashed by Janet Lim Napoles covers in large part doings under the previous regime, even if they are raging only now from the glare of public exposure. I myself can’t understand why government hasn’t harped on this point with equally unrelenting ferocity: The staggering theft happened during Arroyo’s time, and happened not just because of the staggering tolerance of it by her but because of the staggering example set for it by her (and husband). Surely the fact that the pork scam has occupied national attention to the virtual exclusion of everything else must show government’s campaign is taking root?
Alas, it’s not all as clear-cut as that. Government itself stands indicted for reasons of its own making. Not the least of them P-Noy’s defense of pork and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) before he eventually decided to withdraw it, and only after it brought his approval ratings to an all-time low. Should the Supreme Court rule the DAP unconstitutional, where seemingly it is headed, it will be a major blow. Quite apart from that, there’s government’s almost knee-jerk circling of wagons around its people and allies when they are taken to task. Where’s your moral ascendancy when you can damn Arroyo’s spawn for corruption but protect someone accused by no less than the ambassador of a not very middling country of trying to extort $30 million from him? Where’s your moral ascendancy when you can kick out a Margie Juico for an Ayong Maliksi? Where’s your moral ascendancy when you can indulge the people who indulge them? There’s a disconnect between the global perception and the national one, between the external perception and the internal one. Both are probably right in different measure. But what a strange twist it has been in expectations. What an epic twist it has been in the narrative. ■
Nikkei Conference in Tokyo Thursday. One would be a region at peace, with countries working to secure shared interests. The other would be a region splintered by territorial disputes and protectionism. These two scenarios will play out in the context of how the United States, China and Japan interact. Lee’s forecast: In 2034, the United States will remain the world’s preeminent superpower. Japan will still be one of the world’s largest economies, with great strengths in science and technology. The biggest change will be the growth of China’s power and influence. US-China relations are the most important bilateral relationship in the world. But it can easily spiral out of control should a flash point escalate into violence. The Korean peninsula’s “status quo will prevail, with repeated brinksmanship and tensions, but hopefully no war….” (Still), failure to denuclearize poses a continuing risk. One scenario is Asia remains at peace. The US and China relationship will deepen and the Japanese economy rebounds. A stable strategic environment will foster regional economic cooperation. Greater economic interdependence will raise standards of living for all. Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations could “deepen their cooperation and inte-
gration.” It would remain “an effective neutral platform for major powers to engage one another.” The alternative is a “riven fractious Asia.” If China’s growth forces “an imbalance in the region and in the US-China pivot, Asia may be confronted by another, less benign scenario”: one rocked by territorial disputes and nationalist populism. The dangers are implicit in the “maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas and recent antiChina protests in Vietnam, Asean nations will be forced to choose sides. And Southeast Asia could morph into “a proxy battleground” for friction between the superpowers. “Such a strategic climate inevitably sets back economic integration. There are more trade disputes and currency wars and tit-for-tat protectionism. The result is less shared interest in one another’s success, more frictions and disputes, and fewer restraints on countries when things go wrong. Everyone loses in such a scenario.” Lee says the next 20 years is a “historic opportunity” for Asia. Today, Filipino and other nationals of Asean countries can visit the Natuna archipelago without getting a visa from Indonesia. China, in contrast, would demand one. ■
Alternative scenarios By Juan L. Mercado Philippine Daily Inquirer FEW Filipinos have visited the Natuna archipelago of Indonesia’s Riau province. It straddles one of the world’s potentially largest gas fields. And over the last two months, Indonesia twice accused Beijing of claiming part of Natuna, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP). In so doing, China succeeded in shifting Indonesia, from moderator between China and other South China Sea states, to opponent, notes the SCMP commentary “Peril of Price and Prejudice.” It was written by Philip Bowring, who has covered Asia for four decades. The Indonesian shift comes when other Southeast Asian countries have had bruising conflicts with China over its “nine-dash line.” Beijing’s map claim “line” sweeps in almost 90 percent of the sea—and barges into exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of other countries. The Scarborough and Half Moon shoals are within the Philippine EEZ, Bowring notes. But China scoffs at that. One reef is 60 miles from Palawan island, 900 from China. “If it belongs to anyone… it’d be Brunei which previously controlled southern Palawan, the Sulu archipelago and Sabah.” Indonesian President Susilo Bam-
bang Yudhoyono and President Aquino approved last Thursday an agreement that unsnarled their countries’ once-overlapping EEZs in the Celebes and Mindanao Seas. “This is a good example that any border disputes… can be resolved peacefully, and not through military might,” Yudhoyono said. Indeed, Malaysia and Thailand managed a compromise over a gas rich area. Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia brought island ownership issues to the international court and accepted the result, the SCMP column recalls. “China, however, refuses to compromise or submit to arbitration. Joint development is impossible because China makes it conditional on acceptance of its sovereignty.” Beijing anchors its claims on “history.” That ignores the existence of other peoples and seafaring and trading going back 2,000 years. Indonesians, for example, colonized Madagascar 1,000 years before Zheng He. Southeast Asians absorbed more of India and the Islamic world than of China, Bowring notes. There is reluctance by China to treat non-Han neighbors as people with their own history and cultures, Bowring writes. This is of long-standing. “White skin is more than a fashion choice. Belief in eugenics and the need to protect and enhance Han genetic characteris-
tics was strong in the republican era. It has long been rejected in the West and was condemned under Mao.” Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, rights to waters are derived from rights to land, the Jakarta Post reports. Indonesia pressed Beijing for reassurance and sought precise coordinates. None has been given. Instead, China used force. In March 2013, Indonesian officials boarded a Chinese boat illegally fishing in the Natuna Islands. Chinese armed vessels demanded the release of the fishermen. Outgunned, the Indonesians complied.
Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations could ‘deepen their cooperation and integration.’ It would remain ‘an effective neutral platform for major powers to engage one another.’ Indonesia has now added a battalion, plus jets and naval vessels in the Natuna Islands. Indonesian Military commander, Gen. Moeldoko would funnel more funds for “maritime security.” There is a “good scenario” and a “less benign one” for this region’s future over the next two decades, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the
17 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
PH, Vietnam forging alliance By Amando Doronila Philippine Daily Inquirer TECTONIC plates of instability in the Asia-Pacific region shifted on the margins of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in Manila on May 21-23, heralding the emergence of a new security alliance in the area in response to the aggressive occupation by China of disputed maritime territories in the East and South China Seas. A war of words between China and the United States, as well as its allies in the region, including Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, over increasing Chinese incursions into their territories dominated the backdrop of the forum, regarded by the Philippines as a showcase of its turnaround from being the “sick man of Asia” to becoming the “next Asian economic miracle.” Unfortunately, security concerns over maritime disputes escalating into armed conflicts dampened the celebratory mood. China’s decision to boycott the forum loomed large, like a menacing shadow over the conference, sidetracking the conference theme, “Leveraging Growth for Equitable Progress.” The theme was all but lost, as forum officials pointed out that “economies in East Asia face significant risks to their continued prosperity, in particular the challenge of inequality and threats to
peace and stability in the region.” On the one hand, they said, “we live in an exciting world, yet on the other hand, the issue of inclusiveness is real and may endanger the progress we have made.” Acrimonious note The forum opened on the acrimonious note about the threat posed by recent incursions by well-armed China Coast Guard ships into disputed waters. On Wednesday, a day before the forum began its formal sessions, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who came to attend the forum, denounced the Chinese aggression. After talks, Dung and President Aquino, in a rare show of solidarity, issued a joint statement declaring that Vietnam and the Philippines will jointly oppose “illegal” Chinese actions in the South China Sea. Dung called on the world to condemn China for causing what he called an “extremely dangerous” situation in the South China Sea by deploying an oil rig near the Paracel Islands, putting it in conflict with Vietnam and the Philippines, and providing the anchor for a Manila-Hanoi security alliance. “The President (Mr. Aquino) and I shared deep concern over the extremely dangerous situation caused by China’s many actions that violate international law,” Dung told a press conference. “The
two sides are determined to oppose China’s violations and call on countries and the international community to continue strongly condemning China and demanding China to immediately end the violations,” Dung said. According to The Associated Press (AP), the Philippines, a US treaty ally, has been more vocal in opposing China than Vietnam but Hanoi was incensed by the deployment of the oil rig, triggering anti-China rioting in Vietnam.
China’s decision to boycott the forum loomed large, like a menacing shadow over the conference, sidetracking the conference theme, ‘Leveraging Growth for Equitable Progress.’ Shift in approach Vietnam appears to be shifting its approach by joining hands with Manila in aligning its legal move with the Philippines. Manila last year filed a case against the Chinese claims in the United Nations International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in The Hague, the Netherlands. AP reported Dung as saying on Thursday that Vietnam was considering legal action against China. Dung told AP that Vietnam would fiercely defend its territory but would never resort to military action “unless we
are forced to take self-defense action.” “Like all countries, Vietnam is considering various defense options, including legal actions in accordance with international law,” Dung said after talking with Philippine officials. He did not specify what legal action Hanoi was considering. When asked if Vietnam would risk going to war over disputed waters, Dung said: “Military solution? The answer is no. Vietnam has endured untold sufferings and losses from past invasive wars … We are never the first to use military means and would never unilaterally start a military confrontation unless we are forced to take self-defense action.” Mr. Aquino did not mention the Philippines’ territorial disputes with China when he and Dung faced journalists, but said he and Dung discussed how their countries could enhance their defense and economic ties. “In defense and security, we discussed how we can enhance confidencebuilding and our defense capabilities and interoperability in addressing security challenges,” Mr. Aquino said. Belligerent stance Against these statements, China maintained a belligerent stance. Reuters reported on Friday that China warned Japan to stay out of the growing dispute between it and its neighbors,
apparently in an effort to blunt the formation of an expanded security alliance among Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines backed by the United States. The warning came after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed concern over regional tensions that he said were stoked by China’s “unilateral drilling,” referring to China’s parking of a giant oil rig near the Paracels, which are claimed by Vietnam. The Philippines joined the fray by blaming the slowdown in talks to end the disputes on China’s activities in the South China Sea. The Philippines has been pushing for a “code of conduct” in the South China Sea that will prevent the territorial disputes from erupting into conflict. But a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official said at a WEF session that there had been “changes” on the ground since the talks began. “There are a lot of buildups, a lot of construction going on, until we realize that people are already doing some kind of fencing,” the official said, referring to China’s land reclamation on Mabini Reef (Johnson South Reef ) in the West Philippine Sea. Last week, the DFA released aerial surveillance pictures showing the transformation of the reef into an islet where the Chinese appeared to be building an airstrip. ■
‘Almost Sunrise’ for veterans By Rina Jimenez-David Philippine Daily Inquirer THE count stands at 22 American veterans taking their own lives every day. This means, by some estimates, that more US soldiers have died from suicide than from combat since the war in Afghanistan began. But that’s just one of the many challenges that American veterans face when they come home and seek to return to civilian life, to “normalcy.” Michael Collins, director of the documentary-in-the-making “Almost Sunrise” about two veterans undertaking a cross-country trek to seek healing for themselves and raise public awareness of veterans’ issues, says he was “shocked to learn about the challenges that face many returning military (people) after their time in combat.” Among these challenges: homelessness, unemployment, posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and what Collins calls “the suicide epidemic.” These are the issues undergirding “Almost Sunrise,” telling the story of Tom and Anthony “who embark on an epic journey to heal from their time in combat.” Making their way across America on foot, Tom and Anthony walk some
2,700 miles, meeting with veterans and their families, sharing their stories, and drawing attention to the lingering problems that bedevil veterans and spill over into their families, too often culminating in the veteran’s suicide. The two men’s passage, says a blurb for the film, “is one of redemption, an outer transformation and inner awakening brought on by a discovery of the power of community, bringing these young men out of their battered psyches and into a renewed sense of relationship with the people and world around them.” *** Collins adds that “Almost Sunrise” also deals with an issue little recognized or diagnosed among veterans. He calls this “moral injury,” describing it as an “emerging term in the mental health field identified by professionals frustrated with the failure of traditional institutional efforts to make a dent in the suicide rate.” Officially, “it is used to describe the psychological damage service members face when their experiences on the battlefield challenge their moral beliefs.” Indeed, how does a former soldier cope with memories of killings, shootings or bombings he or she had carried out in the line of duty and under command (or duress)? How does one deal
or reconcile with the guilt, anxiety, and even shame these give rise to? Still, despite the searing exploration of such moral, psychological and physical challenges that veterans face, Collins says “Almost Sunrise” is “a story of hope.” It tells of “moving through adversity and finding a way to the other side. Throughout their journey, Tom and Anthony encounter strangers whose kindness and generosity lead them to the reconnection they seek.”
Indeed, how does a former soldier cope with memories of killings, shootings or bombings he or she had carried out in the line of duty and under command (or duress)? *** Though principal photography for “Almost Sunrise” has been completed, the documentary-makers have yet to complete editing and final polishing. In this, the making of “Almost Sunrise” parallels the story of Tom and Anthony and the redemption they seek in starting their journey. The film, says Collins, will be used in an advocacy campaign “that ignites this timely and much needed national and international dialogue around veterans’
issues.” Saying he wants to “bring my passion for impact, awareness and action” on the issues, Collins says he and his team will partner with several nonprofit organizations “who do important work around this issue,” and engage with veterans, their communities, and policymakers “in a frank conversation about the realities of coming home.” At the same time, adds Collins, “we will support the physical and mental health work of veterans organizations by highlighting successful holistic therapies such as meditation, breath work and physical exercise in nature, as well as supporting community initiatives that serve veterans and work to bridge the gap between the military and civilian communities.” To raise the $70,000 needed to complete editing and postproduction work on “Almost Sunrise,” the team has gone on the web-based fund-raising site kickstarter. So far, they have raised $27,240 from 420 backers from around the world who will, aside from being acknowledged in the film’s credits, will also receive a variety of “gifts” ranging from a video copy of the film to T-shirts, hoodies, posters and original prints. You may also contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. *** The “Filipino connection” to “Al-
most Sunrise” is via producer Marty Syjuco, who worked with Collins in the documentary “Give Up Tomorrow” on Paco Larrañaga, who was accused and found guilty (with others) of the rapemurder of the Chiong sisters of Cebu. Larrañaga was saved from the death penalty by his transfer to a Spanish jail (his father is Spanish), but as far as the documentary-makers know, he continues to languish in prison in Spain. But there is another connection, one shared by soldiers fighting insurgents and bandits in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country, and embroiled in battle in other parts of the world. Indeed, the welfare of veterans is an issue little addressed in the Philippines, even if our military and police have been engaged in armed combat for well over 40 years. Has there ever been a “national conversation” on the state of our veterans—those wounded or maimed in battle or psychologically harmed as a result of their experiences? There have been campaigns to raise money for the children and families of soldiers and police killed in the line of duty. But what of those who survived the battle, only to face poverty and neglect when they “come home”? Are our own veterans anywhere near their “Almost Sunrise”? ■
FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
New study says Halifax population growth weak due to outmigration The Canadian Press HALIFAX—A new study says while Atlantic Canada’s largest city is growing, population rates in Halifax remain marginal because more people are moving elsewhere. The Greater Halifax Partnership said Thursday that the city’s population grew by four tenths of one per cent in 2013, a rate slower than most Canadian cities and half the normal rate of growth. “If our population declines, our fiscal sustainability is threatened,” the report states. “We’ve seen this happen first-hand in communities across the province. In addition, weak population numbers threaten most outcomes across the range of indicators.” Chief economist Fred Morley says keeping population growth rates high through retaining immigrants and new university graduates is key to supporting business and to growing the tax base. The study says since 2001, migration has accounted for two thirds of Halifax’s population growth. It also says immigration to Halifax hit an eight-year low last year and that the weak population growth in 2013 was due to declining immigration and a large spike in residents moving west
Town Hall, Halifax.
to other provinces. “The biggest challenge we face as a community is hanging on to our new graduates and attracting immigrants,” it says. Premier Stephen McNeil said his government is studying the immigration issue and will soon produce a strategy on how to attract people to the province and keep them here.
“I think Nova Scotians, regardless of where they live, will embrace an immigration strategy that actually will retain people in the province— people who are investing in communities, people who are running businesses, providing economic opportunities and, quite frankly, giving opportunities for our sons and daughters to stay here,” he said. McNeil said the strategy has to appeal broadly to potential immigrants and native Nova Scotians who have moved away to seek better opportunities. “It’s also important to recognize that as the economy improves, as we create economic opportunity, we need to bring people back,” he said. “There’s a lot of our sons and daughters that don’t live in this province... and we need now to ensure that the economy is moving forward to create the job opportunities for them.” The study, known as the Halifax Index, says key economic opportunities lie in such things as increasing density in the city’s centre, retaining regional and head business offices and in making Halifax a major centre for big data research and business. The index measures progress in Halifax against five benchmark cities including; Quebec City, London, Ont; Regina, Victoria and St. John’s, N.L. ■
FROM THE CANADIAN PRESS
TAX CUTS SINCE 2005 NET CANADIANS $30B OTTAWA—Canada’s budget watchdog says Canadians are paying Ottawa about $30 billion less this year—or a little less than $1,000 per person--due to tax changes introduced in the past decade. The Parliamentary Budget Officer calculates in a new report that personal income taxes have been cut by about $17.1 billion through a variety of changes introduced since 2005. ONT MAYOR PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO FRAUD CHARGES LONDON— The mayor of London, Ont., admits that as a member of Parliament he altered a contract that he submitted for expenses, but the $1,700 the government paid out was not for his son’s wedding, his lawyer said Monday. Joe Fontana, who has refused to step down as mayor while his case is before the courts, pleaded not guilty to fraud, uttering a forged document and breach of trust by a public official on the first day of his trial. B.C. TEACHERS TO START ROTATING STRIKES
Visit to Ottawa by Caribbean island premier sparks renewed talk of 11th province
VANCOUVER—Public school teachers across British Columbia started rotating strikes Monday, a move that will put more than half a million students out of class for one day each this week. At the same time, the province will be cutting teachers’ pay by 10 per cent.
The Canadian Press
HORWATH ON ATTACK IN NORTHERN DEBATE
OTTAWA—The premier of Turks and Caicos is leaving the door open to the prospect of his country joining Canada, even though he has opposed the idea in the past. But Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggests Canadians are dreaming if they think they’ll have a province in the Caribbean any time soon. Turks and Caicos Premier Rufus
Ewing met Prime Minister Stephen Harper today in Ottawa, where he says the two leaders spoke about exploring a more formal relationship. Ewing referred to the meeting as a “courtship,” but said they did not discuss the possibility of Turks and Caicos becoming Canada’s 11th province. Even creating closer ties is a long shot, says Baird: the Harper government is not exploring stronger trade and investment, let alone annexing
the British colonial territory. Some provinces, however, appear open to the idea. While Ewing was in Ottawa, P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz tweeted to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall that he’d be happy to partner with the Prairie province on the Turks and Caicos project. Conservative MP Peter Goldring has been pushing the idea for over a decade, saying that Canada needs its own Hawaii. ■
THUNDER BAY—Voters in northern Ontario were promised help Monday to develop the mineral-rich Ring of Fire and assistance with soaring electricity rates in a lacklustre debate with only two of the three leaders vying for the premier’s chair in the June 12 election. There were no actual exchanges between NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Premier Kathleen Wynne in the debate because the format had them responding to questions from selected northern Ontario leaders, but not engaging with each other.
19 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Data on births, deaths key to saving lives of poor kids and moms: experts BY MIKE BLANCHFIELD The Canadian Press OTTAWA—For one million babies born every year on this planet, it’s as if they were never here. That’s how many newborns die on the day of their birth, along with millions more in their first month of life, all without ever having been formally documented. That lack of vital birth and death registration in poor countries will be a major topic of discussion at this week’s international meeting on improving the plight of children, newborns and mothers in the developing world. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hosting the three-day conference in Toronto, after having made the issue his signature international aid priority in 2010. Birth registration is a key to making progress on the issue, said Rosemary McCarney, the co-chair of the Canadian Network for Maternal Newborn and Child Health. “If you don’t know who’s being born, and you don’t know how long they’re living, and you don’t know what they’re dying of, how the heck can you do good health care policy in countries that are resource-poor?” McCarney said. “You have to spend every dollar to make it count.” McCarney is helping to lead a Canadian network of 70 or-
EI changes remain source of contention in Atlantic Canada after premiers meet BY KEVIN BISSETT The Canadian Press ganizations that was formed after Harper announced the socalled Muskoka Initiative at the 2010 G8 summit, which Canada hosted in Ontario cottage country. International figures such as philanthropist Melinda Gates, UN secretary general Ban Kimoon, the Aga Khan and Queen Rania of Jordan are among those who will join dozens more in the world of international aid starting Wednesday in Toronto. Harper will open the event Wednesday afternoon, and is widely expected to use the gathering to burnish Canada’s global aid credentials, which have faced criticism since his government froze foreign aid spending in 2012 as a deficit-
fighting measure. In 2010, Harper committed $2.8 billion over five years to the issue, but McCarney’s network is calling on him to up the ante with a new commitment of $3.25 billion at this week’s summit. The government says it will have a major announcement this week. In a series of speeches and announcements over the past week, cabinet ministers have been trumpeting Canada’s— and Harper’s—leadership on the issue as they dole out the last of existing money. And they’re acknowledging the work that still needs to be done. ❱❱ PAGE 22 Data on
SAINT JOHN, N.B.—The premier of Prince Edward Island says he wants changes to the Employment Insurance program reversed, regardless of what a report says about the impact those changes have had on Atlantic Canada. “My demand in regards to EI has not changed, regardless of what this report is going to say,” Robert Ghiz said Monday following a two-day meeting of the Atlantic premiers in Saint John, N.B. “If (the federal government) wants to change how the EI system in our country works, they should do it in consultation with the provinces.” A year ago, the Atlantic pre-
miers commissioned a panel to study the impact of Employment Insurance changes on the region, and this week the premiers got to look at a draft report. But they say it will be a few more weeks before the panel releases the final document and they won’t release details in the meantime. Under some of the new rules, those who frequently claim EI need to prove they’re actively seeking work. Workers must also accept a job within 100 kilometres of their home as long as they are qualified and the pay is at least 70 per cent of their previous salary. The premiers have repeatedly expressed concerns that changes to the Employment Insurance program will hurt
THEY SAID HE WOULD NEVER SPEAK A WORD. Make an impact helping people with disabilities. Chiu School of Business Disability Studies
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❱❱ PAGE 35 EI changes
MAY 30, 2014
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21 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Denied again by people he hated, gunman in deadly California rampage took to the streets BY MARTHA MENDOZA AND JUSTIN PRITCHARD The Associated Press GOLETA, CALIF.—Elliot Rodger pounded on the sorority house front door while, inside, the young women he yearned to slaughter were preparing for another Friday night. The awkward 22-year-old was obsessed with exacting “retribution” for what he experienced as a lifetime of social and sexual isolation, and had planned meticulously to target as many people as possible, authorities say. But here again, he was denied access to those he felt should worship him. So when no one answered after several minutes, Rodger improvised. Walking around the corner, authorities say, he found a group of students and opened fire, then took off in his black BMW through the streets of a college beach town buzzing with end-of-school-year energy. Within 10 minutes, the rampage was over and Rodger was dead, apparently after shooting himself. As authorities reconstructed the events, they would conclude that Rodger had stabbed three victims in his apartment, shot and killed three others at random, and injured 13 more either with gunshots or a car that he used as a battering ram against bicyclists and skateboarders. The mayhem unfolded within just one square mile near the
University of California, Santa Barbara campus, but included 12 crime scenes. The killings began with the stabbings in the apartment that Rodger rented, inside a two-story courtyard building fronted by palm trees. Authorities said Sunday that Cheng Yuan Hong, 20; George Chen, 19; Weihan Wang, 20, were killed Friday. All were from the San Francisco Bay Area and were students at the university. Hong and Chen were listed on the apartment lease, but it’s unclear if Wang was a roommate or just visiting. Rodger then drove five blocks to the Alpha Phi sorority house, authorities say. In rambling writings he titled “My Twisted World,” Rodger detailed his plan to kill his roommates and then invade the sorority, which he concluded symbolized the world that tortured him—beautiful women who would have spurned him in favour of the “obnoxious slobs” whom he also despised. “I will sneak into their house at around 9:00 p.m. on the Day of Retribution, just before all the partying starts, and slaughter every single one of them,” Rodger wrote. He knew the stucco house, with its neatly trimmed lawn and hedges, well: “I’ve sat outside it in my car to stalk them many times.” The double front door is heavy wood, with glass etchings of the sorority’s shield and an electronic keypad to get in. Several women heard Rodger’s “aggressive knocking,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill
Brown said. “Fortunately, no one opened.” Moments later came the first 911 call. It was 9:27 p.m., and Rodger had left the door and within 20 paces encountered a group that included Veronika Weiss and Katherine Cooper. He shot and killed the two UCSB students, and wounded a third. All three were from the Delta Delta Delta sorority. The outgoing Cooper was preparing to graduate with a degree in art history; Weiss was a first-year student who had played water polo in high school. Two blocks and three minutes later, Rodger was at a local deli. There, he got out of his car, went inside and shot and killed Christopher Ross MichaelsMartinez. Friends described him as the kind of person who would welcome strangers into his home. He planned to study abroad and then go to law
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school. At least four other customers were inside, and surveillance video shows them scrambling for cover while a bullet hits the glass of a refrigerator door. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and saw Rodger’s BMW leaving, but did not know the shooter was at the wheel. Soon after, Rodger was driving on the left side of another road so that he could be close to the sidewalk as he fired at two pedestrians. And then, more shots—this time between Rodger and the first sheriff’s deputy to engage with him. Meanwhile, Ryan Ellis was wrapping up his Friday night service at Isla Vista Church, a makeshift house of worship inside a beach home on a street filled with students—and on Friday night, parties. A few dozen young adults were getting ready for hamburgers when shots rang out.
Fireworks, someone said. “I knew right away it was gunshots,” said Ellis, who said he had been a Navy combat engineer in Afghanistan. He ran out to the street and saw a cyclist lying on the ground, but no car around. “He was pretty messed up, lying up against a vehicle,” said Ellis. The cyclist, who was not identified, was one of two whom Rodger intentionally smashed with his car. By now, officers were yelling at people to go inside and friends were texting friends not to go out. After shooting at more pedestrians, Rodger encountered four sheriff’s deputies running through a park. Three returned fire, and a bullet hit Rodger in his left hip, authorities said. Speeding on, Rodger accelerated and hit another cyclist, who was thrown onto the hood with a force that crumpled the windshield. Rodger’s car then careened into several parked vehicles. It was there, in the car, that he apparently shot himself, leaving three semi-automatic handguns and 400 unspent rounds. “The police dragged a body out of the car,” said UC Santa Barbara senior Kyley Scarlet, who was in a house next to where the car came to a halt. “It was him.” ■ Pritchard reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Gillian Flaccus in Los Angeles and Frank Baker in Goleta contributed to this report.
Obama administration accidentally reveals name of undercover top CIA official in Afghanistan BY KEN DILANIAN The Associated Press WASHINGTON—The Obama administration accidentally revealed the name of the CIA’s top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists during the president’s surprise weekend trip to Bagram Air Field.
The officer’s name—identified as “chief of station” in Kabul—was included by U.S. embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met with President Obama during the Saturday visit. The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House “press pool” list, which
contains as many as 6,000 recipients. The Associated Press is withholding the officer’s name at the request of the Obama administration, who said its publication could put his life and those of his family members in danger. A Google search appears to reveal the name of the officer’s wife and other personal details. www.canadianinquirer.net
White House officials realized the error after the Post reporter notified them, and sent out a new list without the station chief’s name. Other major news organizations, including the Post, also agreed not to publish the officer’s name. The reporter who distributes the pool report sends it to the White House to be checked for factual accuracy and then
forwarded to the thousands of journalists on the email distribution list, so in this case the White House failed on at least two occasions to recognize that the CIA official’s name was being revealed and circulated so broadly. The intentional disclosure of the name of a “covered” ❱❱ PAGE 23 Obama administration
MAY 30, 2014
Immigration firms... that hire temporary foreign workers, posed as a company called Big Jimmy’s Construction and sent an email to a number of law firms specializing in immigration issues. In the email, “Jimmy” says he wants to hire a Thai family member, but has been flooded with interested Canadians after posting the job on the federal government’s job bank—a necessary step for those seeking to hire temporary foreign workers. “I made the qualifications as strict as possible and kept the salary as low as possible to discourage Canadian applicants. But I ended up getting 100s of resumes!” the email says. “Do you think you could help me get an LMO (labour market opinion) even though I have 100s of Canadians wanting that job?” One of the replies, which the site says was sent by someone at the firm of Toronto-area immigration lawyer Adela Crossley, came as a surprise to the website’s founder, Rohana Rezel. “Trust me when I say that she would find a way around the fact that there are suitable Canadian candidates; she is ❰❰ 1
very creative,” says the reply. In an interview Thursday from Vancouver, Rezel said he was “taken aback” by the email. “We were relieved to get a response from another lawyer who told us in no
uncertain terms that what we were suggesting violated the regulations.” Contacted by The Canadian Press, a terse Crossley said she had no knowledge of the exchange, but added the person who wrote the reply “did not speak for me.” “If she did send something out, and I read it and it’s not appropriate, I will deal with her appropriately,” Crossley said. “But I would never, ever suggest such a thing.” Another Vancouver immigration lawyer who received the email from “Jimmy” politely replied that he’d try to help. But he insisted Thursday his response was a standard, pro-forma reply sent early in the morning before he’d had a chance to read the email thoroughly. Toronto immigration lawyer Vanessa Routley, meanwhile, sternly warned “Jimmy” against his plan of action. Earlier this month, several immigration consultants— many of them in Western Canada— were advertising offers to help temporary foreign workers find employers, rather than the other way around.
“Are you looking for an LMO (labour market opinion) employer?” asked one ad placed by an Edmonton-based company. “I have access to 800 LMO jobs right now. Also, I have the complete list of ALL companies with LMOs in Canada. Over 50,000 employers. Do you have friends and family who want to come to Canada to work? I can help.” On Thursday, there were similar ads still up on the site. Employers must first make an attempt to find qualified Canadian workers before applying for a labour market opinion in order to hire someone from abroad. Companies are required to place ads on the job bank and prove they’ve made other attempts to find Canadian employees. The Conservatives have pledged to crack down on unscrupulous immigration lawyers and consultants. Rezel, an information technology specialist, said he established NTFW not only to highlight abusers, but also to protect migrant workers who are often victimized by the program. Nonetheless, he says he receives emails daily that accuse him of being “a racist white supremacist.” “That’s pretty weird,” sad Rezel, who was born in Sri Lanka. “Our objective here is to make the system fair for Canadian workers, migrant workers, consumers and businesses. I am hardly racist; that is the furthest thing from the truth.” ■
Data on... “More than 100 developing countries around the world lack fully functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems,” Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Sunday in announcing $20 million over four years to the Inter-American Development Bank’s fund for civil registration. “An estimated one-third of the world’s births and two-thirds of the world’s deaths are not properly registered.” The proper registration of newborns is seen as one way to lower what experts say is the unacceptably high 2.9 million children who die within 28 days of being born each year. Another 2.6 million still births occur annually. The data was compiled in a series of papers drawing upon 55 experts in 18 countries that were published last week in the medical journal The Lancet. Dr. Mickey Chopra, the chief of health for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said not being able to track births has meant an overall lack of funding to help young children. “If you don’t do that, it doesn’t get attention, it doesn’t get resources to make ❰❰ 19
it better,” Chopra said in an interview. “Donors are not putting money into newborn health, and as a result, the progress we’re making on reducing newborn deaths is the slowest compared to maternal deaths or child deaths.” Dr. Peter Singer, the head of Grand Challenges Canada, a government funded, non-profit agency, said getting better vital statistics also has an added benefit: it increases accountability on where the money is spent to make it more effective. “That focus on accountability was absolutely pivotal in saving more lives of women and children,” said Singer. “And that was the prime minister’s and Canada’s leadership with the original Muskoka Initiative.” Harper and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete were appointed cochairs of the UN commission on accountability for women’s and children’s health in the fall of 2010 following the G8. A discussion that ties together accountability and vital statistics is to take place Thursday during the Toronto conference. ■
23 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Human Trafficking: Filipinos in Crisis BY FLORDELIZA ESMERALDA A MONDAY in August 2009, Gemma was waiting for her flight to Canada. It was a cloudy afternoon, and tears were flowing down her face because she realized that she is going to leave her family for the first time. She was also excited—it was a chance for greener pastures. She had lots of dreams for her family: a good future for her kids, a decent house, starting a small business. She is a teacher but what she earned was too little and not enough to support the growing needs of her family. She signed a contract as a live-in caregiver hoping that it will help her realize a lot of her dreams. But everything turned into a nightmare when she started to work for her employer. She signed up for taking care of two kids, age 3 and 5, but instead she was doing gardening and chopping wood. Gemma held back her tears and continued what she had to do because her emotional distress and low self esteem prevented her from doing anything else. Human Trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. Like Gemma, several other people who are experiencing it around the world have their own reasons of why they stay silent and keep themselves in bondage: a combination of fear, intimidation, abuse, and psychological control. In every corner of the world there is a Filipino who is being trafficked; everyday, people hear stories in the media and the social media. What is surprising is that Gemma finished her contract. I do salute her for the sacrifices she made for her family, but I feel sorry for the next person who would follow in her wake. Most trafficking victims will not readily volunteer information about their status because of fear and the abuse they have suffered at the hands of their trafficker. They may also be reluctant to come forward with information because of despair, discouragement and a sense that there are no viable options to escape their situation. Gemma, like many others, was
afraid to put herself in a situation where she might end up losing her job, or worse, her life. Labor Trafficking are commonly found in: • Sweatshops (where abusive labor are present) • Commercial agricultural situations (fields, processing plants) • Domestic situations (maids, nannies) • Construction sites (particularly if public access is denied ) • Restaurant and custodial work Particularly, the most common experience of a person lured into human trafficking are: • Working long hours with
less pay • Forced to work on duties that are not stated in the contract • Deprived of holding personal identification documents, such as a passport • No freedom to go anywhere for a personal purpose. If you need more information and help: Contact Office to Combat Trafficking in person 24/7 service Contact no. 604-6605199 West Coast Domestic Workers Association Contact no.1-888-669-4482 VFFCA President - Annette Beech Contact no. 250 3823701 ■
Obama administration... operative is a crime under the U.S. Intelligence Identities Protection Act. A former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in January after pleading guilty to disclosing to a reporter the name of an undercover agency officer. “I doubt anyone from the White House is going to be prosecuted over this,” said Jessclyn Raddack, who represented Kiriakou. “It shows the continuing double standard over leaks.” In 2003, Valerie Plame was exposed as a CIA operative by officials of the George W. Bush administration in an effort to discredit her husband, a former ambassador who had criticized the decision to invade Iraq. A top aide to VicePresident Dick Cheney, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the case, and sentenced to 30 months in prison, though Bush commuted the prison sentence. Members of the CIA’s operations arm, called the National Clandestine Service, are typically given cover identities to protect both them and the ❰❰ 21
sources they have recruited abroad. The station chief, who manages all CIA operations in the country, is often a senior officer whose true name is known to the host nation and other intelligence agencies. The term “station chief” is sensitive enough, however, that former officers usually are not allowed to use it in their resumes in connection with specific countries, even after their covers have been lifted. Because the Afghanistan station chief is known to Afghan officials and lives in a heavily guarded compound, he may be able to continue in his job. In 2010, the CIA station chief in Pakistan, Jonathan Bank, was evacuated after local newspapers published his name in connection with a lawsuit, and he was threatened. The disclosure didn’t prevent Bank from landing another sensitive job: He became chief of the Iran operations division at CIA headquarters at Langley. He was removed from that post in March after CIA officials concluded he created a hostile work environment in the division. He has since been detailed to the Pentagon’s intelligence arm. ■
Seen & Scenes
MAY 30, 2014
THE FILIPINO Community Neighborhood Association of New Westminster showcased colourful Filipino costumes during the 2014 Hyack International Parade on May 24. ALAN YONG (2nd from R), president and CEO of Times Tel and Philippine Canadian Inquirer (PCI) visited Toronto, On. together with his business associate, Peter Cheung (3rd from R), Times Tel/PCI member of the board of directors; Joe Damasco (exteme right), Philippine Press Club - Ontario member of the board of directors; Journalist Jojo Taduran (exteme left); and Times Tel Toronto Coordinator Amelia Insigna (2nd from L). (St. Jamestown News Service, Manuel Papa)
RAIZE THE FLAG performed at the 8th annual May Madness on May 24, 2014, in Montreal, Quebec.
SIN CITY The University of Calgary Filipino Students' Association presented on May 24, at the Boyce Theatre, their 21st Cultural Nite show entitled, Sin City a two-hour play with traditional Filipino, Igorot, Muslim and modern dances entwined with a play written by members of the club. It is about six friends who go on a trip to Las Vegas a.k.a Sin City where they encounter trials and tribulations along the way. This yearâ€™s play is a coming of age for the club is turning 21 years old.
THE KNIGHTS of Columbus St. Barnabas Council # 13785 and Bishop Charles P. Greco Assembly # 2113 honoured Rev. Fr. Luis Calleja on the 4th anniversary of his ordination to priesthood. A plaque with a miniature sword was presented to Fr. Calleja, who is also a 4th degree knight.
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Seen & Scenes
25 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
FLORES DE MAYO
Don Davies is all smiles as Narcy Vinluan puts on the crown on Reyna Elena Caridad Villanueva.
The Multicultural Helping House Society held on May 24, the traditional Flores de Mayo with Ferlina Fayusal as Reyna Elena and escorts Demy Avendano and Joel Castillo.
Another Flores de Mayo festival was held May 24 at the Vancouver Springfest.
STO. NINO PROCESSION Prince of Peace Parish in Scarborough,On. celebrated the feast day of the Infant Jesus of Prague last week. Fr. Regulo Imperial started with a novena, followed by a holy Mass. He then led the 300 devotees who carried the Sto. Nino icon in a procession. This was followed by a cultural presentation of six ethnic groups then a sumptuous picnic with parishioners. The Prince of Peace Church was consecrated in 1983 and is designated as the Shrine of the Infant Jesus. RIGHT: Fr. Regulo Imperial and devotees Mimi Borromeo, Lulu Pasion, Dolly Poblete, Vi Loresco, Charity Ahmad, Dolly and Pat Martyn in the altar of the Infant Jesus.
MAY 30, 2014
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS:
FILIPINO-CANADIAN IN FOCUS Every week, the Philippine Canadian Inquirer celebrates the unwavering Filipino spirit through a feature called “Filipino-Canadian in Focus.” The feature recognizes the achievements of Filipinos living in Canada who have shown concern for the community, success in spite of trials, and the uniquely Pinoy practice of “bayanihan.” This year, we are welcoming nominations for the next subject of “Filipino-Canadian in Focus.”
MECHANICS: - All nominees must have (a) Filipino heritage/ancestry - All nominees must be residing in Canada at the time of nomination - Nominees from all industries are welcome (e.g. medical/health, politics, community service, business, entertainment, charity institutions, etc.) - Who can nominate? Anybody.
Fill up the nomination form online by scanning the code with your smartphone or by visiting InFocus.canadianinquirer.net.
27 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
FILIPINO-CANADIANS IN FOCUS: A TRIBUTE
Restaurateurs Joseph and Doris Lee BY MEL TOBIAS Special to Philippine Canadian Inquirer JOSEPH AND Doris Lee, one of the five pioneering FilipinoCanadian couples, will be honored at the 2014 EXPLORASIAN Recognition Gala. They will receive The Community Builder Awards 2014. Joseph manages the Lee family’s Flamingo House Chinese restaurant, one of the busiest and most popular upscale Chinese restaurants in Vancouver. Flamingo has gone through several upgrades and continues to look contemporary while retaining the patronage of its many loyal patrons and drawing new client to the restaurant’s banquet style variety of Chinese (Cantonese) style dishes and its wide selection of dim sum specialties. Some people are not aware that Flamingo has been owned and operated by a FilipinoChinese family for 40 years. Though many patrons come from the local Chinese community, Canadian mainstream, various ethnic groups, tourists from Seattle and Portland, it is especially popular with the Filipino community. Despite the success of the business, the Lee family has always kept a low profile. When asked why Flamingo continues to be popular, Joseph first gave his winning and friendly smile and replied, “It’s the personal touch. I remember distinctly that my late father knew his customers well and just like him, I make it a point to go from table to table to say ‘Hello’ to the customers. I was trained in the hospitality business and I am not shy. I can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Fukien, Tagalog and English, of course. We make the clients feel welcome and comfortable. The quality of food we serve is high but is affordable. More and more Filipinos go to Flamingo for private parties, birthday receptions, baptisms, and weddings. I would say that 40% of our total clientele is Filipino.” On a personal level, Joseph was born in Ermita, Manila, Phil-
The Flamingo House, located at 7510 Cambie St. in Vancouver.
ippines. His father was originally from Kwantung, China, just like his Filipina-Chinese mother. He initially wanted to be an architect and enrolled at the University of Oregon, but later changed his direction and decided to move to Vancouver in 1969 with his family. He took a certificate course in Hotel and Restaurant management. This prepared him to help his father to open and operate Flamingo Restaurant. Joseph is married to Hongkong-born Doris who was working for Japan Air Lines when they met in Vancouver. They have three grown up children, all professionals who are in their own fields of endeavor. The following are excerpts from an interview of Joseph at Flamingo House Chinese Restaurant: Q: What were your initial impressions of Canada and Vancouver? J.L. At the beginning, I thought Canada was all snow but the day we arrived, it was summer and it was so beautiful and not too hot. In 1969, there were very few Filipinos. I met Filipinos at school and Filipinos ahead of us like Dr. De Guzman, well-known general practitioner and the Mabanta family and some Chinese Filipinos like the Sy Family. Later in the 70s, we met more Filipinos. Q: Did you have bad experiences as a Filipino immigrant? J.L. No, I think because I can speak English well. There was no problem in verbal communication and I assimilated and
integrated in Canadian society without difficulty. I even studied at UBC and my classmates were local Caucasians Q: What were the challenges in setting up a Chinese restaurant in Vancouver? J.L. The most challenging was finding the right location. My father and I decided to open a Chinese restaurant away from Chinatown. We had a lot of negative comments because they believe it should be in Chinatown to succeed. We did not have full support from suppliers and they often did not give us the best products. With the success of Flamingo, the suppliers cooperated without problems. In the beginning, Flamingo’s clientele were the rich Hong Kong immigrants who resided in Oakridge. Our menu did not change much because our customers even today like traditional Chinese dishes, it is their taste. But with the change in demographics I also try to serve dishes geared to the Mainland Chinese taste and consider the people born in Canada. Our three most ordered dishes are sliced beef with Chinese donut, lettuce wrap and Peking Duck. Q: What is your advise to new immigrants and to those thinking of immigrating to Canada? J.L. Educate your children and try to work harder. I think Canada can give you and your family a better future. Education is very important to me. That is the reason why my personal contributions are mostly for education but I chose to dowww.canadianinquirer.net
Joseph and Doris Lee.
nate quietly. I help Vancouver College through fund raising. I also contribute to some schools in the Philippines. I think education is necessary to make people succeed. Don’t forget your heritage but a new immigrant should blend more to the Canadian community. In Canada, Filipinos are accepted as a person more than a race. I have a feeling that Canadians welcome us. I don’t feel neglected, I don’t have uncomfortable feelings. Q: What is your advice to those interested in starting a business in Vancouver? J.L. When you plan to go into business, study your venture well, the cost, the market and the location. Some people start a business they cannot sustain and only good at the beginning. Make sure you know what you are doing and conduct your business with honesty and fairness. There is no substitute for hard work and good customer service. Work hard to keep your
customers happy and attain your goal on a long term basis. Immediately after the interview, Joseph started his practice of going from table to table to meet customers and friends to make them feel at home and also to find out their favorite dishes. Joseph Lee must be doing something really good because restaurants open and close in Vancouver but Flamingo has not lost its luster after 40 years. It is still one of the best Chinese restaurants in Vancouver. ■ This interview was made possible through Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society’s (VAHMS) explorASIAN 2014. Portions of the interview, along with the interviews of other Filipino First Families couples, will be shown in a short video of the “Filipino First Families, First Stories Project” during the Recognition Gala on June 1, 2014 at 5:30pm at the Pink Pearl Restaurant, Vancouver. Tickets through Esmie 604-437-6353.
MAY 30, 2014
ON THE PCI POLITICAL DASHBOARD:
Sammie Jo Rumbaua For Vision Vancouver Park Board Nomination SAMMIE JO Rumbaua is a young and dynamic community organizer who is passionate about ensuring Vancouver is an inclusive and welcoming city for all. She first came into the Filipino-Canadian community/political scene via her work with several non-profit Filipino-Canadian organizations. As an immigrant, she personally knows the challenges and hardships young people and many others face in the city. Q: Can you tell us about yourself ? What is your educational background and work experience? I am a 31 year old proud Filipino-Canadian young woman, initially born in Winnipeg I lived out my formative years in Vancouver. I have always had a passion for my culture, something my parents bestowed on me at a very young age. My family grew up speaking Tagalog at home and were always active in the community being a part of various cultural celebrations and sports leagues. As a young girl I had a passion for serving others. As a part of a young dancers collective, we would perform at community centres and at Filipino Independence day events. Growing up in East Vancouver, I found a passion for helping new and especially young immigrants to Canada. I looked to surround myself with like-minded people who had similar hopes, ambitions and drive to see the welfare of our kababayan increased. I am a part of many different non-profit groups whose missions are to help new immigrants, and particularly the Filipino community connect with Canadian culture while still staying true to their cultural roots. I currently sit as a board member of SEACHS (South-East Asia Cultural Heritage Society) a group dedicated to celebrating and cultivating the culture of South-East Asian culture. I am also a board member of Tulayan, a group which seeks to work through community networks to empower and be a bridge of Filipino-Canadian culture.
Sammie Jo Rumbaua.
I currently work at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House wearing two hats as a youth settlement workers and program assistant for Work BC- Specializing Services Survivors of Abuse and Violence. I have received a diploma from Langara College in Sales and Marketing where I served in student government as the Business Administration Representative. Some of my accolades include the Vancouver-Kensington Community Leadership Award 2010 from MLA Mable Elmore and the Maharlika Award for Community Serviceâ€”Youth from the Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society of BC (FCCHS). Q: What is your immigrant story? Both my parents immigrated to Canada as young adults. Motivated to cultivate a better life for themselves and their families, they both juggled multiple jobs to keep their families afloat. They met and married in Winnipeg, Manitoba where they had me and my two younger sisters. They decided to move to Vancouver in 1991 where they continued to do their best to provide for me and my sisters. However, coming from a family who has faced adversity has taught me growing up in Vancouver. Q: What do you hope to accomplish when you are elected? If elected, I have much I would like to see done. As a Park Board Commissioner, one issue I would like to address is the lack of accessibility to Park
Board facilities given to vulnerable communities. Through my experience in working with elderly groups and young people, I know firsthand the troubles these groups face in trying to find safe and affordable public spaces to meet and host events. I believe that access to these spaces is pivotal to having a vibrant and well-organized society. Q: Why are you going into politics? Tell us about this elective post that you are running for? Why this position? I am running for public office because I believe our parks, community centres, and public spaces play an integral role in creating and reflecting who we are. I have been challenged by leaders in my community to take a step into public life, and I believe that being surrounded by a positive, strong and diverse team with integrity and experience is what it takes to keep Vancouver moving forward. The City of Vancouver is a very unique place; it is the only municipality which elects its Park Board. The reasoning behind this is because the city believes that citizens should have a direct say in how their public spaces are created and maintained. Park Board Commissioners are responsible for all public spaces in the city. This includes parks, beaches, stop signs and community centres, to name a few. I am running for Park Board because I believe that with my background in working in neighborhood houses with the youth, mine will be a valuable voice at City Hall. www.canadianinquirer.net
Q: Can you tell us what you have done to further the rights/ improve the welfare of Filipinos in Canada? I have always had a passion to help those in my community and particularly the Filipino Community. As a member of the FILCAN (Filipino Canadian Advocy Network), we seek to bring together individuals so that they may discuss and articulate a strong progressive position on Filipino-Canadian issues. FILCAN has had workshops and information sessions to encourage the community to engage and help develop the full leadership potential of progressive Filipino-Canadians; especially the most marginalized (e.g., migrant workers, caregivers). Q: If elected, are you planning to focus on Filipino matters and interests? Will you help Filipinos? What's your political platform? If elected in November 2014, I will be the first Filipina in municipal government for the City
of Vancouver. However, I do need to seek nomination within Vision Vancouver in June first. My plans are to increase youth involvement and participation in our city, promote the access of the Park Board facilities and program to newcomers and immigrant groups and advocate for healthy families and safe spaces. Of course when our fellow kababayans can see a person that they can approach in a political position, I will ensure that their voices will be heard. â– You can support Sammie Jo by nominating her in Vision Vancouver by June 3, 2014. To become a member of Vision Vancouver, please contact 604-318-6196 | email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www. facebook.com/votesammiejo. Eligibility: At least 15 years old and a Vancouver resident. Advance voting is on June 18 from 2pm-9pm (location to be confirmed) and nomination election day is June 22, from 9am6pm at Gradview Elementary2055 Woodland Drive.
FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Travel (and Food!) Picks Tickle your taste buds: Latest food trends of 2014 BY CHING DEE Philippine Canadian Inquirer AN UPSET Joey Tribianni once said, “You don’t put words in people’s mouths; you put turkey in people’s mouths!” Wiser words have never been spoken since. 2013 was the year of the cult-favorite cookie butter, gluten-free everything, cronuts (a croissant-donut hybrid), even quinoa and kale (yes, the leafy vegetable). But this 2014, we’ve certainly grown more adventurous, more delicious, and more fatty (yes, I went there). 2014 is almost halfway done and we’ve certainly seen our fair share of food trends. From the irresistibly delicious to the strangely palatable to the absolutely insane, people all over the world continue to surprise each other with culinary concoctions to satiate any craving—not just turkey. The best of 2014 – so far
The intrepid team behind PopSugar Food took on the noble assignment of finding out the latest food trends already dominating 2014 and came back a bunch of braver—and perhaps heavier— human beings. FoodBeast dissected PopSugar’s video and featured the list on The Huffington Post. Call your cardiologist now. Tell him/ her you’re sorry. • The Monkey-Style Burger – the marriage of an In-N-Out Burger and animal-style fries. This makes so many people happy—including this writer, despite it not being available in the Philippines. Just the thought of a majestic burger existing somewhere out there is enough for me. • The Everything Bacon Burger – Yeah, I guess this is the Year of the Burger, so tell your Chinese friend the Year of the Wooden Horse just got booted. This burger needs no explanation. Although I do want to say three words: FULL BACON PATTY. • Ramen-Crusted Wings – Because regular, batter-coated chicken is just too mainstream. Chicken wings coated with crushed instant ramen noodles. Imagine the crunch and the flavor and the explosion of flavors and textures in your mouth as you savor this magnificent meal. Oh, and don’t forget to wipe that drool off your face.
items, a “health” chocolate, chia pod goodies, egg white crisps (also known as “chips” to non-English folk), and even lollipops made of kale are making its way from some dude’s imaginative brain to someone’s pantry. Aside from that, CBS News noted the beginning of “responsible/edible food packaging.” A bunch of other items are also getting the word “edible” attached to it—according to The Guardian—like QR codes, wood, and even soil. I’m just not quite sure what to make of edible wood and edible soil. What to expect
Kale PHOTO BY BRENT HOFACKER / SHUTTERSTOCK
• Cheese-stuffed Doritos – As if regular Doritos isn’t enough, some dude decided to take this tasty snack chip one level higher into glory. Cheese-stuffed Doritos. Yep, I’m already a fan. • Cookie Shots – Shot glasses made of chocolate chip cookies. I’m sure you saw this everywhere (and not just on Pinterest). Since it is a shot glass, it calls for milk to fill it up. No “last call” in this cookie shot bar. Healthier Options
If you’ve had enough of artery-clogging deliciousness, 2014 is also your year. According to a Forbes report, locally produced vegetables and food items have dominated the market. With the growing awareness and need for organically grown produce, more and more people have switched to eating healthier options—especially for kids. Apparently, this year, more people have shown love to chicken wings and even fancy pizza compared to last year. Speaking of fancy, comfort food also received an upgrade this year—like southern style, full-fat mac and cheese to an “Italianized” version with salami and sun-dried tomatoes. "Highbrow versions of classic comfort foods are popping up all over menus, from appetizers to dessert," said San Francisco hospitality consultant Andrew Freeman in a 2014 trend report. UK-based website The Guardian also pointed out that “dejunked” junk food
The National Restaurant Association of America release a fearless 2014 forecast of the best food items to watch out for. Surprisingly, the forecast revealed a wiser, healthier list.
The Food Network (TFN) supports this forecast by releasing its own list of food trends to watch out for this year. TFN predicts that we’ll see more mash-up concoctions this year. As well as a revolutionary take on vegetables as fast food items and “meat” products (check out TFN’s cauliflower steak). Fish will also take over pork as more people tend to watch what they eat more carefully. A slight change in geography is also expected, with TFN saying that the Midwest is the new South when it comes to comfort food. Bitter flavorings are also in—proving a rather dramatic shift from the Sriracha craze of 2013. No matter the trend or what the prevailing craze is, one thing is for sure— food is awesome. ■
Travel (and Food!) Picks
MAY 30, 2014
Destination: CHOCOLATE!!! BY ANGIE DUARTE Philippine Canadian Inquirer
tree’s classification in the plant kingdom is nothing short of divine: Theobroma (literally, “food of the gods”) cacao.
BELOVED CARTOONIST Charles M. Schulz of Snoopy fame once said: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” And to that I say a very emphatic and resounding “Amen!” Mr. Schulz’s statement may as well have come straight from the cacao’s nibs.
Where in the world does cocoa come from?
Better than “snake oil”
Chocolate has been touted, acclaimed, heralded and gushed-over not only for its gustatory pleasures, but also for its health benefits. How something can taste sooooooooo good, and STILL be good for the body—not to mention, the soul—is a mystery known only to the gods of chocolate. Produced from cocoa beans (it takes roughly 300-600 beans to make 1kg or 2.2 pounds of chocolate goodness), chocolate contains free-radical fighting antioxidants known as flavanols. Numerous studies have shown that chocolate plays a significant role in enhancing mood, improving memory, maintaining joint health and blood pressure, and why—*shock of shocks!*—aiding in weight loss! Recent research by the National Institute of Health even points to chocolate as helpful in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. And let’s not forget, its aphrodisiac properties are just about legendary. Is this some kind of miracle, cure-all “snake oil” then? Oh, no. It’s way better than that. It is “chocolate oil” (more accurately, cocoa butter.) And it actually does work. It works so well, in fact, that the cacao
The cacao tree—which flourishes in shady rainforests, and areas of high humidity with a temperate climate and ample rainfall—is native to the Americas, and may have originated in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America (which we know today as Colombia and Venezuela.) Cacao trees thrive in a rather limited geographical zone, roughly 20 degrees to the north and south of the Equator in West Africa, Central and South America and parts of Asia. Nearly 70% of the total world crop is grown in West Africa. Cacao is also grown in Sri Lanka, parts of India, Venezuela, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, Hawaii, Mexico, Fiji and other countries grouped near the equator. Chocolate-lover’s dream destinations
So we now know where cacao originates, around the world. But what of chocolate? Which global destinations should be on the map of every chocolate lover? Here are National Geographic’s Top Ten places (and their chocolate offerings) for lovers of chocolate far and wide, from their book Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 1. Maison Cailler, Broc, Switzerland Cailler, one of Switzerland's oldest chocolate brands in the Swiss village of Broc, has been in operation since 1898. Chocolate aficionados will delight in seeing how this highly-acclaimed chocolate is produced, before happily partak-
One of Magnolia Bakery’s signature goodies, Bloomingdale’s cupcakes. PHOTO FROM MAGNOLIABAKERY.COM
Churros con chocolate served at San Ginés. WIKIPEDIA PHOTO
Bicerin espresso and chocolate drink, from the Caffe Al Bicerin in Turin. PHOTO FROM BESTOURISM.COM
ing in a generous sampling in the factory's tasting room. A visit to the factory can take up to an hour and a half, so make sure to set aside enough time. There are also nearby walking paths and trails for hikers, and a footpath along Lake Gruyère that are well-worth the trek! 2. Magnolia Bakery, New York City Popularized when characters from the TV series Sex and the City stopped in at its Bleecker Street branch for some cupcake comfort, Magnolia Bakery is a quaint and cozy 1950s-inspired haven of sweets. A must-try for chocoholics is the German chocolate cake, and the red velvet chocolate cupcakes. The bakery also offers an array of eye-catching cupcakes, in every colour of the rainbow; as well as banana pudding, cookies, cherry cheesecake, and brownies. Magnolia has four outlets—including the one featured in Sex and the City. 3. Max Brenner, New York City Decadent and rich hot chocolate served in specially designed hand-warming “hug mugs”—this is the Max Brenner difference. The cocoa menu is as diverse as it is delicious: chocolate truffle martinis, chocolate fondue, Young’s chocolate stout, milkshakes, waffles, and whole lot more. Plus, much of their dessert offerings are served in signature utensils (such as the hug-mug), making for an even more
memorable sweet-tooth sensation. Max Brenner operates more than 50 locations internationally, including 5 branches in the US; as well as outlets in Australia, Japan, Singapore and Russia. 4. Maya Chocolate, Tabasco, Mexico In what is most likely the very birthplace of chocolate (even the name is believed to have been derived from the Maya xocoatl) is the irresistible Mayastyle hot chocolate: thick, foamy, bittersweet, and flavored with chili peppers. Spanish conquistadors of days gone by added sugar, cinnamon, ground almonds, and milk to the dark, bitter drink. Today, visitors can opt to have it this way, or pure and straight up. When visiting Comalcalco, Tabasco, take time to stop by the cacao museum and cacao haciendas, as well. 5. Sachertorte, Vienna, Austria The namesake of its 1832 Austrian inventor, Franz Sacher, the chocolate wonder Sachertorte is a chocolate sponge cake, thinly coated by hand with apricot jam and then covered with dark chocolate icing. Sacher—who was then assistant chef—created the dessert in an attempt to impress his employer, Prince Wenzel von Metternich, after the prince’s personal chef had fallen ill. He not only impressed the prince, but ❱❱ PAGE 32 Destination: CHOCOLATE
Travel (and Food!) Picks
31 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Extreme adventure means walking the globe for storm, thunder and lightning BY LADY GLORYNNE FONTAMILLAS Philippine Canadian Inquirer TRAVELLING THE world for storm, thunder, lightning and all the “extreme” nature obsessions? Lonely Planet says Canada (and its Northern Lights) is not the only place in the world to go. Silent Spectacle at Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela
No more reason to wonder if there is a place on earth where the world’s longest and most consistent lightning display can be found. Catatumbo National Park in Venezuela offers the wildest lightning show with their skies electrified with bolts that strike 40 times in a minute and lasts for up to nine hours. What is definitely creepy in the view is to hear not a sound as the associated thunder is inaudible in every strike. Catatumbo is no doubt, the best place to watch the skies’ fury in a spectacle of silence. Rainbow Falls at Moonbow, Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
The picture of rainbows arching over a roaring falls caused by a considerable spray reflected by sunlight is surely, not your ordinary rainbow view. At night, the same spectacle becomes a lot more fun with the full moon and a cloud-free sky painted into the picture. The view is best seen when water levels are at its peak creating just enough spray to colour a tourist’s April to July mornings. Glorious Morning at Gulf of Carpentaria Australia
The best weather prediction one gets is to wake-up at the brisk of a sea breeze frozen with frosted ridges stepping out of bed into a “morning glory.” The Gulf of Carpentaria offers huge cloud rolls ranging up to 1000km in length and 1km to 2km height. But what adds more adventure to view is the feel of a “reachable” sky as the roll of clouds hover just a hundred meters above the ground seen travelling up to 60km/hour. Freezing Point in Antarctica
A dessert of white continent frozen and named as the earth’s coldest place is without a doubt, the best place to do some freezing adventure! To feel the world’s harshest extremes there is no other place to go but to Antarctica’s coldest and darkest areas in a freezing place where rain never dares to stop for long. The summer’s heat is surely best spent
at the tip of the iceberg with Antarctica’s 0°C temperature. Whirlwind Whip, Midwest USA
The American Midwest states—Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and the Dakotas—offers a wild west view of whirlwinds whipping with a specific oomph and frequency. But the twist in the picture is that this cannot be one’s ordinary whirlwind as the cold and rocky mountain air hits moist breezes from the Gulf of Mexico. Oklahoma City and Denver is the best cities for such a view in the months of May to June.
Moonbow, Victoria Falls, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
away, a wild view of nature’s wrath in an island which prides itself with a majestic 8m-high-wave-poundings and storms blowing its coast, is surely a breathtaking adventure one wouldn’t want to miss out. Vancouver Island is known worldwide for its famous winter storm watching best viewed south of Tofino Pacific Rim
Aurora Borealis, Abisko, Sweden
Last year has been predicted by NASA as the best year to see a 50-year peak in auroral activity. And surely, night time at Abisko, Sweden is the best time and place to catch the most marvellous of all celestial spectacles. A dance of the skies blending in colourful shimmers of green, yellow and red performing at high latitudes all over the northern hemisphere is best viewed in the Abisko, 100km west of Kiruna. Aurora-viewing is best viewed from December to March. Home of the Clouds, Meghalaya, India
When the rain pours, it pours even harder in Meghalaya, which translate to “Home of the Clouds” in Hindi. Mawsynram is a village in India which receives an annual average of 11,872mm of rain, more like a waterfall in a large area. Cherrapunjee however also claims itself to be the “dampest” spot in all areas visited by travellers enjoying a view of the rubber-tree roots unmoved by the rain. Rainfalls occur mostly during the summer monsoon at the third week of May to October. Pacific Fury at Vancouver Island, Canada
While bad weather may keep tourist www.canadianinquirer.net
National Park, in a cliff overlooking the rugged Pacific coastline. What is more exciting than setting up a fireplace in a private deck and gazing as 50 ft. waves do the pounding in Vancouver Island’s rugged rocky coastline? After the storm, beachcombing along the coast is the best way to unveil nature’s treasures. ■
Travel (and Food!) Picks
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 32
Destination: CHOCOLATE... ended up creating Vienna’s most famous dessert; so famous that there is a Viennese holiday for it. In Vienna, December 5 is National Sachertorte Day there. When in Vienna, visit Vienna’s Hotel Sacher, opened in 1876 by Sacher’s son, Eduard. Drop in at the hotel café or at one of Vienna’s four Sacher shops for some of the famed torte. Perfectly paired with coffee or champagne, and topped with unsweetened whipped cream! ❰❰ 30
FLICKR PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHERCJENSEN
Top ten extreme activities for adrenaline rush junkies BY KATHERINE MARFALTEVES Philippine Canadian Inquirer EVERYONE HAS an innate thirst for adventure; on the lookout for that special activity which will bring us to the edge and exceed our (self-imposed?) limitations. Here are PCI's top picks: 1. Extreme Downhill Mountain Biking
Are you one of those bikers who like to tempt fate by doing that extra spin/jump/twist that may just break your bike (hopefully not your bones)? If yes, this high speed, high danger, mud fest is for you. Despite the peril that is associated with this sport, many still want to try it. If you are one of them, you can go to U.K (North Wakes) and head straight to the Alpine ski resorts. Summer months are the best time to find the most exhilarating trails for downhill biking. 2. Cage diving with sharks
If you have had enough of Discovery Channel and are wondering how it is like to be surrounded by ferocious white sharks in the open ocean while inside a steel-bar cage, do visit Cape Town in South Africa. Tours are offered so one can experience these supreme underwater predators in their natural habitat. 3. Base Jumping
If you can imagine yourself jumping from a high cliff without any rope or support, please think again. Despite the popularity of this sport, death is a possibility. Moab is one of the places that offer this (train-
ing included). Do suit up in an aerodynamic suit to give you lift and steerage. 4. Bungee Jumping
If base jumping is considered as an extremely dangerous sport, bungee jumping, according to theory is deemed safer— but still truly exhilarating. In this sport, you will jump from a tall cliff with nothing but a rope tied to your ankles. South Africa is one of the best destinations for this sport. 5. Big Wave Surfing
Big wave surfing is indeed an extremely complex sport where the surfer will come face to face with the power of nature, ripping across a 50 feet water wave on nothing but a 6 feet long surf board. If you want to try this sport, you can go to Tahiti and California. 6. Kite Surfing
This sport is considered as one of the most popular water sports in the world. In this sport, the surfer harnesses himself to a giant kite, which allows him to surf through the waves at rip-roaring speed on a specialized surf board. 7. Back Country Skiing
Want to ski down a snowcapped hill while facing crazy lines, long jumps, massive rocks and vertical ice gullies? If yes, please train adequately. Canada is peppered with many routes, including Banff National Park, Kananaskis Country and the Kootenay Pass. 8. Freediving
Great lung power is needed for this sport so you can take extended dives on a single
breath. In this one, you will not be wearing any underwater equipment, so that’s another challenge. Note, though, that according to abcnews.com, "Free diving is dangerous, and in some cases deadly sport. There are about 5,000 free divers around the world, and an estimated 100 die each year. The divers say there is a sense of euphoria being so far down, and liken the experience to being in outer space. It puts the body through great physiological changes, which in some cases leads to death." Moalboal in Cebu is one of the most amazing free diving sites. 9. Free Climbing
If freediving is for water, free climbing is for those who love to climb tough upward terrains without any harness or safety ropes. Great technique, strength and bravery are musthaves. Great sites include the Stawamus Chief (in Squamish), one of North America's most famous walls; Skaha Bluffs, a series of cliffs made of edgy, featured gneiss with over 650 routes located in Penticton, in the sunny Okanagan Valley; and the tall granite spires of the Bugaboos in the Purcell Mountains, which offer one of North America’s premier alpine climbing areas. 10. White-Water Rafting
This challenging recreational outdoor activity utilizes an inflatable raft to navigate a fastflowing river (hence, white water) or other bodies of water. The Zambezi River in Zimbabwe and Colorado River in Grand Canyon are among the best destinations for this sport. ■ www.canadianinquirer.net
6. Hot Chocolate, Turin, Italy Travelers to Turin, Italy’s chocolate capital, will surely enjoy a cup of cioccolato caldo (hot chocolate.) Very thick, hot, and pleasurably bitter, this cold-busting cup of comfort is best when topped with a heaping dollop of whipped cream. Other chocolatey options include bicerin, a layered hotchocolate-and-espresso drink served in glass cups, and unique to Turin; or giandujotto, a foilwrapped, chocolate-hazelnut candy. February is the month of Cioccola-Tò, Turin’s chocolate festival. Visitors in this month may purchase a Choco-Pass at the tourist office to avail of special discounts on sweet treats around the city. 7. Valrhona Chocolate, Tain l’Hermitage, France On the left bank of beautiful Rhône’s river, in the valley that is wine-making country, is the home of Valrhona chocolate; the preferred chocolate of leading chocolatiers and chefs the world over. This chocolate is special, because it is produced only with natural fat from cocoa butter, with no vegetable fat added to the mix. Those loco about choco can sample or purchase some of this highly-regarded chocolate at the factory shop, which is also the location of the École du Grand Chocolat, Valrhona’s chocolate-cookery school. The factory shop is open from Monday through Saturday. While in the area, devote a couple of hours, as well, for exploring the medieval city of Tournon, just across the river. 8. Chocolate and Churros, Madrid, Spain Madrid is one of the world’s
perfect destinations for night owls; and even more perfect for chocolate-loving night owls, at that! In the wee hours of the morning, the city’s popular chocolaterías (also known as churrerías), come alive with a frenzy of after-party revelers looking for a chocolate fix. From about 4 a.m. to breakfast time, locals and visitors alike come to enjoy their trademark dish, the churro. A long waffle-like stick of savory fried dough, churros are eaten dunked into very thick bittersweet hot chocolate. One of the oldest and most popular establishments is the Chocolatería San Ginés, which dates back to 1894 throwback. Part of the novelty of the experience is the offhand, abrupt service, bright lights, and frenetic activity. Chocolatería San Ginés— which is open 24 hours, seven days a week—is located on Pasadizo San Ginés. 9. Nemesis, River Café, London, England The River Café is one of London’s busiest and best restaurants; having produced numerous celebrity chefs, the likes of Jamie Oliver. A chocolate feather in the café’s dessert cap would be their signature Chocolate Nemesis cake. Each slice is packed chock-full of chocolate, making the dessert decadently rich and gooey. A slight crust on top gives it a perfect bite. London likewise offers a Chocolate Ecstasy Tour, for those who wish to take their chocolate adventure to the next level. 10. The Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth, England What better vacation for a chocolate lover than to be absolutely immersed in its presence? The Chocolate Boutique Hotel is an exquisite chocolatethemed hotel, with numerous activities (such as choco tasting, choco-making classes, etcetera) for the chocolate at heart. The hotel is situated on West Cliff, within the areas of both beach and downtown. Guests and visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the town’s superb beach, or spend time exploring the town’s more urban areas. ■
FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
MISS B’S ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS
Avenging the Death of Disco BY BABES CASTRONEWLAND
DANCER-CHOREOGRAPHER PAR excellence Leandro Mendez has proven to one and sundry that disco is not dead. His cabaret-style reinvention of the once extremely popular music era fully came alive at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver B.C. last week. It’s great to be back after a long hiatus. Needless to say, I missed all of you. And what a wonderful fitting of going back in the grind than after watching sing-song-dance stage production aptly entitled, REINVENTION OF DISCO last week. It was during the early 80’s when people started scoffing and ridiculing at that awful music genre that ultimately would end. But did it really end? Not according to the books of Filipino-Canadian dancer/choreographer, Leandro Mendez. He grew up creating his first terpsichorean steps to the tunes of Queen of Disco, Donna Summer. Leandro is probably amongst the forerunners of defying demolition of disco era. In his all of 30-ish young mind, he conceptualized a stage production that took more than a year to fruition. “Reinvention of Disco” is his baby. Tina Turner impersonator Luisa Marshall,
Leandro's big sister, lent support as Host. And just like any doting parent, Leandro’s hardwork, dedication and commitment to nurturing this ambitious project paved off. The concept and show sequence was well thought out and so easy to follow. From first act “Symphony” to ditties, “Dim All the Lights”, ”Dim All the Lights”, “She Works Hard For The Money”, “Love To Love You Baby”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls“ and “I Feel Love”; down to second act numbers, “No More Tears”, “Macarthur’s Park”, “On The Radio”, to the eponymous “Heaven Knows” and finally, “Last Dance”. Leandro stitched closely woven messages out of those hit tunes as if they were all his original musical scoring. He knew which ones to pick that would best portray the characters that he concocted. I was particularly floored at how he effectively intertwined audio-visual effects with his carefully choreographed numbers. Although much can be said about the theatre’s stage lighting, his dancers and singers were tight. But the one star of that almost stole the Disco glitter from everyone else that night was Leandro’s sevenyear old niece, Amarya Mendez. Her coming out on stage donned in super girl costume as he strutted smooth moves with Leandro was brilliant. What a spectacular ending. But just the beginning as Leandro Mendez aims to keep the Disco ball going… ■
RIGHT: Dancer-choreographer par excellence Leandro Mendez.
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 34
PBA player dismisses relationship rumors with Vice Ganda Philippine Canadian Inquirer PBA PLAYER Terrence Romeo refuted rumors that he had a relationship with TV host-comedian Vice Ganda. Romeo has long been linked to the 38-year-old comedian. It started during his college days in Far Eastern University, where Vice Ganda is also an alumnus. Breakup issue PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF TERRENCE ROMEO
Just two weeks ago, the “It’s
Showtime” host posted on twitter, “It’s over. i TRied but im TiRed. time To Rest.” The netizens speculated anew that Vice Ganda was referring to Romeo as his ex-boyfriend. In an interview with Pep.ph, Romeo denied all the speculations. “Sana matapos na ‘yung isyu na ‘yan, dahil paulit ulit lang naman na hindi katotohanan! Isang multo yan ng imahe ko na gusto ko nang mabura totally,” he said. (I am hoping that that issue will come to an end, be-
cause it is just an oft-repeated accusation which is not true! This issue has been hounding me and I want it totally erased.) The 21-year-old athlete also appealed to the fans to stop spreading wrong information about him: “Sana huwag na silang gumawa ng mga bagay na hindi totoo. Sariling buhay na lang nila yung pansinin nila,” he ended. (I am hoping that they will stop creating issues that are not true. I hope they just mind their own lives.) ■
Life after Cannes: a more normal existence might have to wait for Xavier Dolan BY ANDY BLATCHFORD The Canadian Press MONTREAL—Film director Xavier Dolan says he’s unsure what will happen to his pursuit of a quieter life now that he’s made such a big splash in Cannes. The Quebec phenom’s film “Mommy” won the Jury Prize on the weekend at the Cannes Film Festival, sharing the prestigious honour with French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. Dolan, 25, told reporters in Montreal on Monday that he never anticipated such a reception for what was his fifth film in just five years. His post-Cannes plan had been to continue his studies this fall and hang out with people his own age. But he said he now has a lot of thinking to do about that goal over the coming weeks. “It’s a desire that I have, a desire to return to school that would realize an even greater desire to rest and to have a life that is a bit more normal, a little more peaceful,” Dolan said in response to a question about his future. “We just experienced an overwhelming week. It’s hard to answer your question just like that.” Part of the work that lies ahead for Dolan includes promoting “Mommy,” which he said has been picked up by enthusiastic distributors and sold around the world—almost ev-
erywhere except in the United States. Dolan expects the film to hit the American market and, once it does, he believes the subsequent step could be an eventual push for an Oscar nomination. “Yes, why not?” a confident Dolan said when asked whether the film could earn an Oscar nod. The director, writer and actor has had a meteoric rise after exploding onto the scene at Cannes in 2009 with his first project, the parent-son drama “I Killed My Mother” (“J’ai tue ma mere”). The film won three awards. His other films are “Heartbeats” (“Les amours imaginaires”), 2010; “Laurence Anyways,” 2012; and “Tom at the Farm” (“Tom a la ferme”), 2013. “Mommy” was Dolan’s first film in competition at Cannes, where critics gave it glowing reviews and many floated it as a serious contender for the festival’s top prize: the Palme d’or. The film, set in Quebec, is about a widowed single mother raising her violent son alone when a mysterious neighbour appears to offer support. The mother is played by Anne Dorval, a noted Quebec actress who also played the mom in “I Killed My Mother.” Dorval, who joined Dolan at Monday’s news conference, said she is amazed by how much the young Montreal filmmaker has learned over the last six years and how he has used that knowledge to improve. “He still hasn’t learned ev-
erything yet,” Dorval said of Dolan’s evolution. “I always ask myself what’s it going to be like in 20 years?” More and more people have also taken notice of his talent, she added. Dorval said people shouted his name and tried to touch him as they walked down the street in Cannes—as if he were Mick Jagger. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” she told the news conference, which was packed with fawning reporters who gave them two rounds of applause. “I’ve never been so close to a rock star. It was incredible.” Dorval also recalled what happened when she met jury president Jane Campion at Cannes. She said Campion hugged her and told her: “See you at the Oscars.” Dolan, who was the youngest director at the festival, said he was moved that “Mommy” shared the Jury Prize with Godard’s “Goodbye to Language.” Godard, 83, was the oldest director featured at Cannes this year. “You feel that you are writing your name in the book of the Cannes Film Festival and there’s something eternal and that’s amazing,” he said of the Cannes competition. “Those are the Olympics of cinema.” “Mommy” was one of three Canadian films competing for the Palme d’or, which was captured by the Turkish drama “Winter Sleep.” The other Cawww.canadianinquirer.net
PHOTO FROM LISTAL.COM
nadian contenders were David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” and Atom Egoyan’s “The Captive.” Even before “Mommy” debuted at Cannes, Dolan said he had received many “super interesting” offers to work on films. He said due to a scheduling conflict he even had to turn down a project to appear in a small-budget film produced by James Franco. Dolan said he was flattered
during this year’s festival when Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, who starred in “Zero Dark Thirty,” was quoted by media as saying she hoped to work with him. “It tells you that there is a reward (for) hard work,” Dolan said of winning the Jury Prize. “It’s just the result—I’m going to say of all those years—but they’re just five years. “But for me they’ve been long years...I’m young, five years is one-fifth of my life.” ■
35 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Japan pop group AKB48 cancels events as attack on 2 members, staffer raises security concerns BY MARI YAMAGUCHI The Associated Press TOKYO—Japan’s hugely popular female pop group AKB48 cancelled fan events Monday after a saw-wielding man attacked two members and a staffer, shocking the nation and raising questions over security. The two group members, Anna Iriyama, 18, and Rina Kawaei, 19, suffered hand and head injuries, and the male staffer who tried to stop the attack Sunday at a fan event in northern Japan had cuts on his hand. All three left the hospital by late Monday. The women, wearing hats and covering their hands with white towels, appeared in front of a huge crowd of reporters outside the hospital and thanked fans for their concern. “We’ve caused you worry, but we are returning to Tokyo now,” Kawaei said. “Thank you very much.” The attack on the group, whose members are dubbed “idols you can meet” because of their fan events, has rattled people in a nation known for public safety. The news topped TV entertainment shows and even the two nationwide newspapers Yomiuri and Mainichi. On Sunday, the group gave a mini-concert for hundreds of fans in Takizawa city which was followed by a handshaking event, in which fans who buy special CDs can shake hands and chat briefly with their favourite member. As soon as the handshaking event started, a man took a foldable saw from his jacket and went toward the two women, who were standing at the entrance of one of several tents set up inside a gymnasium. Police arrested Satoru Umeta, a 24-year-old unemployed man, on suspicion of attempted murder. Iwate prefectural police official Takahiro Fujibayashi said Umeta told investigators that he was not an AKB48 fan and
EI changes... seasonal industries and businesses in the region. The office of federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney said he would like to know what info the panel is examining. “We are curious to know on which data the panel is basing its report on as the Statistics Canada data and findings could not be more clear: far less than one per cent of EI disqualifications have to do with the federal government’s changes to EI,” Alexandra Fortier, a spokeswoman for Kenney, said in a statement. “Employment Insurance continues to be there for those who have paid into the system and have lost their job through no fault of their own, including in areas where jobs simply do not exist outside of seasonal or specialized industries.” Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said the report was “a snapshot in time,” adding that more work will be needed in the future to continue to measure the impacts of the EI changes. ❰❰ 19
McNeil and New Brunswick Premier David Alward said the report is a recognition that before changes are made to federal programs, Ottawa needs to speak to the provinces. The changes to the EI program have prompted numerous protests across the region. The federal government has said the changes would better connect people with available job opportunities and they were required as a result of unprecedented labour and skills shortages. The changes to the program were expected to save the public treasury $33 million this year. During their meeting, the premiers also discussed energy developments in the region, the need to be able to attract more immigrants, and they signed a memorandum of understanding on apprenticeship harmonization. They said the memorandum is intended to help retain skilled workers for current and future development in the Atlantic provinces. ■
Japan pop group AKB48. PHOTO FROM JAPLANNING.COM
just wanted to commit random murder. Fujibayashi said there were no full security checks of bags and the suspect might have hidden the saw inside a bag he had at the time of his arrest. AKB manager Hiroshi Yuasa told reporters he believed the security checks were appropriate but would review safety measures. Dozens of AKB48 handshaking events are held in Japan every year. Bouncers—called “peelers” here—are assigned to these events to remove fans who linger, but no major attacks have been previously reported. “It’s nice they are close to the fans, but we have to remember there is a possibility that people like (the attacker) may sneak in,” popular talk show host Seiji Miyane said on his NTV program. He said handshaking is one of the main appeals of AKB48 but the risk needs to be reduced. Twitter and other social networking sites were flooded with comments about the incident, many of them raising concerns
about security checks. AKB48 members kept quiet about the case. “Such an incident should never have happened. Even if they recover from their physical injuries, their emotional scars will never heal,” former AKB48 member Erena Ono tweeted. AKB48 management announced Monday it was cancelling a concert at its main theatre in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, as well as several other events around Japan. Affiliates SKE48 in central Japan and NMB48 in Osaka also cancelled or postponed events. Established in 2005, the group has a rotating cast of more than 90 young women and affiliates across the country and in Indonesia, China and Taiwan. AKB48 and its affiliates have regularly held charity concerts in northern Japan since March 2011 to cheer up fans in the disaster-hit region. ■ Associated Press writer Ken Moritsugu contributed to this report. www.canadianinquirer.net
PHOTO COURTESY OF ASAP 19
Zsa-Zsa Padilla on boyfriend: He brought back the smile Philippine Canadian Inquirer MANILA–Singer-actress Zsa Zsa Padilla was surprised by architect- boyfriend Conrad Onglao on Sunday during her birthday celebration on “ASAP.” After her song number, the renowned architect suddenly appeared on stage and handed her a bouquet of flowers. After being speechless for a few seconds, she asked the staff of the show, “How did you guys
do this? Conrad Onglao is a very private person!” The 49-year-old diva also confessed that Conrad brought back her smile. Meanwhile, Conrad wishes Zsa-Zsa “all the love and happiness that she rightfully deserves.” It will be recalled that Sharon Cuneta played cupid for the couple earlier this year. Onglao was legally separated from ex-wife interior designer Ivy Almario, with whom he has two sons. ■
FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Beautiful through the eyes of a daughter BY ANGEL JONES Special to Philippine Canadian Inquirer LIKE ALL women who struggle with self-worth issues because of ridiculous standards of society, I had to go through my own journey towards self-acceptance and learning to celebrate my own beauty. One huge impact in my growth was seeing myself through the eyes of my daughters. Our children are born with innate special love for their parents and I have had the honor of experiencing it. The problem is learning to accept this love fully. I have a special bond with all my children but my youngest child, Keziah Blue, loved me in a significantly different way. It was almost as if Keziah came out of my womb in love with me! Sometimes I almost feel so undeserving of the deep love she has for me. The joy I feel as she describes the beauty she sees in me blows me away. Her detailed description of how she loves me is, at times, as absurd as her poem about punching anyone in the face if they thought I was ugly, or scientific comparisons of her love for me being as vast as the stars in the universe. But the way she looks at me is a far cry from how I looked at myself growing up. Like many families, mine was dysfunctional. I came to accept early in life that my mother was not a natural nurturer. Being soft or loving was not her strength. She outwardly expressed that I was not beautiful enough for her standards. I was called “ugly” and “buck tooth.” Phrases like, “if only you looked like her,” or “you would be perfect if it weren’t for your nose” were some of the kinder words. Obviously, these types of comments do not lead to any
girl power or self esteem. It only added to my growing insecurity and low self worth. So I gave up wanting to hear these magical words come from my mother’s mouth: Words like, “You’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you’re wonderful, you’re good enough for me”. Today, I have girls of my own. I have vowed to tell them how beautiful and perfect they are! I never want them to feel less than perfect in my eyes or to themselves. When Keziah was 8 years old, instead of calling me ‘mommy’ she called me ‘Beautiful’ or my favorite “hey Pretty” and each time—even in my most dreadful appearances—I felt flattered. Accepting the beautiful I feel for myself is also the same beautiful she will feel for herself. I realized my mother couldn’t tell me I was beautiful because she didn’t feel beautiful herself. How can I teach my daughters how beautiful they are when their own mother doesn’t believe it for herself? How I see myself greatly
Daughter's drawing of author.
Author with daughter, Keziah Blue.
impacts how my girls will see themselves. One day, as Keziah Blue and I were walking, holding hands, she described to me how beautiful I was to her: “Hi beautiful, each freckle on your face shows how pretty you are!” (I have quite an abundance of freckles.) At that particular moment, I remembered my childhood
and my longing to hear those words said to me. Holding back my tears, I explained to her how grateful I was for her kind words and love for me. I shared how I longed for my mother to call me beautiful but she never saw it in me and I am grateful for how blindly she loves me without exchange or a condition—how beautiful she is to me.
My daughters have taught me to “find the pretty” inside. But being pretty in their eyes is more than enough. ■ Find me on social media: Twitter @missangeljones Instagram @missangeljones Facebook angelicavjones YouTube angelvjones missangeljones.tumblr.com
37 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Behind the scenes: Competition for Canada Philippine Fashion Week’s Model of the Year begins BY THESSA SANDOVAL Philippine Canadian Inquirer TORONTO—The casting is complete, and now only 10 contestants remain in the running for Canada Philippine Fashion Week’s (CPFW) very first Model of the Year. A full editorial day was held on May 24 at the Fly Nightclub, where all seven hopefuls from Canada participated in three different challenges; including a runway walk, a commercial to promote CPFW, and a photo shoot. The challenges will help the judges decide who will win the contest, but part of the final decision will also be coming from online votes, which can be cast through the CPFW’s mobile app. The app will also allow everyone to buy tickets for the shows and upload photos related to the event. “It’s actually exciting because this is the first time that we actually did this,” says Laurie Asuncion, Director of Social Media and one of the coordinators for the CPFW Model of the Year. “They [finalists] are going to be evalu-
ated and voting will start on June 2nd, when they will also be revealed in the media and in social media,” adds Asuncion. The three finalists from the Philippines had undergone the same set of challenges as well and will be included in the voting. They will be flown to Canada from Manila before fashion week. When asked what it is they are particularly looking for CPFW’s Model of the Year, Asuncion gave a simple, but substantial answer, “We’re looking for someone who can represent global beauty and diversity.” The winners (one male and one female) of the competition will be formally announced during the main Model of the Year event on June 12. Aside from getting plenty of exposure and becoming the spokespersons for CPFW, winners will also get a flight to the Philippines, a cash prize, a three-month contract with a renowned modeling agency, and an opportunity to get mentored by Jonas Gaffud, mentor to Filipina beauty queen Venus Raj and many other pageant queens. The Canada Philippine Fashion Week will run from June 10 to 15. Shows will be held at different venues within the city. ■
FROM THE CPFW MODEL OF THE YEAR'S FACEBOOK PAGE
Laurie Asuncion, one of the directors of CPFW.
PHOTOS BY THESSA SANDOVAL
Independence Day Events
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 38
Flag Raising at Filipino Plaza
10 a.m., June 1
Pista ng Bayan Community Picnic and
Philippines Cultural Pista ng
Bayan Society, Filipino Plaza
Philippines Cultural 9 a.m. June 7
Pista ng Bayan
Raising and Parade
Celebration Bayan Society
11 a.m.- Flag
1 p.m., June 7
7-10 p.m., June 7
The Royal City Sister City
“Independencia – A Celebration
of Philippine Style & Pride”
Celebration Flag Raising at
Vancouver City Hall
Gala Dinner and Dance
Grounds (corner of
Independence Day Society
104 Ave. & 140 St.)
Vancouver City Hall
Philippine Consulate General
Renaissance 6 p.m., June 13
Metro Vancouver Philippine
Arts & Culture Exposition Society (MVPACES)
Flag Raising at North
Arts & Culture Exposition
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Parang Kailan Lang, Live Concert featuring
Filipino Friends in Richmond
One Kapamilya Go
6 p.m., June 21
Filipino Centre Toronto
Square Heritage Court Direct Energy Centre
The Filipino Channel
Toronto Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa
9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
7 p.m., June 28
Summer Serenade with Jose Mari Chan and Jamie Rivera
P & O Productions and JMG Infinity Entertainment
4 p.m., June 8
Organizing Committee of
Kalayaan Benefit Concert featuring Ms. Joey Albert, Big Mouth and Keanna Reeves, co-
directed by RC Perez
2600 East Broadway,
Care Card Pilipinas
Van Tech Auditorium, 8 p.m., June 27
Metro Vancouver Philippine
Pistahan sa Toronto
Philippines Cultural Pista ng
Hotel Vancouver Harbourside Hotel
Philippine Days Festival
Group of Canada
Philippine National Day
Quay Market 1 p.m to 7 p.m.
56 Neilson Drive,
132 Queens Quay E.
with Renee Salud & Shanon
6th Annual Philippine
Canada Philippines Fashion
Philippine Independence Day Council Beauty Pageant
9 a.m. – Mass
Philippines Cultural Pista ng
12 nn – Parade
EVENT 26th Annual Art Exhibit
Mass: St. Peter
New Westminster Flag
6 p.m., June 28,
Flag Raising and Opening
Barangay North Vancouver
Filipino Community Center
Flag Raising; Cultural Presentation; Free
Mafti Cultural Evening
6 p.m., June 10
Tyndall Park School
7 p.m., June 11
PCCM Daniel McIntyre
6 p.m., June 12
Council of Manitoba
The Sutton Place Hotel,
10235 101 Street
An Evening with our Lolos and Lolas
6 p.m. to 1
6 p.m., June
Aboriginal and Filipino
Edmonton Edmonton City Hall
Filipino Canadian Independence Day
Lunch and Raffle Draws Independence Day Gala
Centre of Manitoba
7 p.m., June 9
p.m., June 14
9 a.m., June 7
Celebration of Faith
10a.m. to 3
Victoria Bayanihan Community
Kalayaan Philippine Independence Day Celebrations:
VENUE Philippine Canadian
2 p.m., June 8
Welcome to our Bagong Dating
Interfaith Mass; Philippine and Canadian
Multicultural Helping House
6083 McKay Avenue,
Sawridge Inn and
Philippine Independence Ball
CEFA Picnic in the Park Filipino Canadian
6 p.m., June 13
11 a.m. to 4:30
p.m., June 15
Shelter A & B
Unveiling of Rizal Memorial
at Dr. Jose Rizal Park
p.m., June 21
View all events by scanning this QR code or visiting
39 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Learning with purpose: The Sprott Shaw Advantage Philippine Canadian Inquirer WHEN ROBERT James Sprott partnered with William Henry Shaw of Shaw Colleges in 1903, they opened the first Sprott Shaw school called Vancouver Business Institute. The college survived economic recessions, two World Wars and the Great Depression, all making its foundation stronger for today. “At Sprott Shaw we believe in ‘learning with purpose,’ and we will continue to provide programs in growing industries with the end goal being our graduates’ success upon completion,” said Sprott Shaw Colleges President Patrick Dang in a statement. In 1964, Ernie Henderson, of Henderson Colleges, bought Sprott Shaw and was the owner until his death in 1974. Since then the college has grown to 12 locations across the province of B.C. Employing the principles of adult education theory, the curriculum has expanded to include much more than office
training, as students now train for careers in healthcare, tourism, hospitality, business, administrative and international studies. “At Sprott Shaw we provide an education that will guide you towards a meaningful career. With the ever-changing landscape of employment and skills sought after by employers today, we are excited to be a part of your journey,” said President Dang. “Sprott Shaw College is the oldest private post-secondary institution in British Columbia, and we are going through some exciting changes,” Dang continued. “This includes the launch of our new brand, revitalization of our campuses, redevelopment of our current programs, and the addition of new courses and programs. We are proud of the improvements we have made so far and we are proactively looking for new ways to better serve our students.” The modern campuses of Sprott Shaw now train over 4500 students each year. All locations feature small class sizes,
qualified instructors, hands-on training and a friendly, appropriate learning environment for adults of all ages. President Dang supports this by saying, “We are proud of our warm and friendly culture that our staff and students embody every day. We feel that everyone who comes to our college becomes a part of the Sprott Shaw family; a family that can be counted on to be there every step of the way.” “Our advisors are here to help you determine what industries are a good fit for your aptitude and interests… Sprott Shaw prides itself on providing an education that is tailored to your life and your aspirations.” As Sprott Shaw continues to lead “the way by bridging the gap between the learning and working sectors,” here are just some of the advantages of a Sprott Shaw education. Dedicated Employment Services Specialists
Our dedicated Employment Services Specialists assists our graduates with job placement
assistance throughout their lifetime. Sprott Shaw graduates may return for this employment assistance at any time if required after graduation. We understand the importance of meaningful careers and our team makes this our priority to find permanent employment for our graduates. Lifetime Course Refreshers and Skills Upgrading
Over time, our graduate skills may need sharpening. Technology improves, new techniques are created, and new terminology is used. It is important to be relevant and therefore students may return to Sprott Shaw for refresher courses should they require skills upgrading in the area they trained in. Conditions apply. See campus for details. 13 Modern Locations Across British Columbia
Sprott Shaw has 13 campuses across BC allowing graduates the opportunity to attend any location should they change their jobs or relocate in the future. We are close by, and are al-
ways ready to provide our graduates full support for retraining and job placement assistance to improve their chances of employment. Flexible Scheduling Monthly Starts
Our monthly intake system means “no wait lists” and regular monthly start dates, allowing students the chance to graduate and be job ready sooner. Students have a daily schedule of 4 to 5 hours, allowing them more time to complete assignments or work part-time where necessary. Start times and program schedules vary by program; see a Career Advisor for details. 110+ Career Focused Programs
When taking one of our programs, you will be pleased to discover each program is dedicated to providing relevant information and quality education with smaller class sizes. Our programs give you the necessary skills to reach your full potential and accomplish your career goals. ■
Mike Holmes shares expert home maintenance tips in ‘The Holmes Manual’ BY LAUREN LA ROSE The Canadian Press TORONTO—While many homeowners have big dreams of beautifying their spaces, handyman Mike Holmes wants them to also think of the less glamorous side of property upkeep: regular home inspections and maintenance. “You will save a fortune in money if you do this, because if you go ahead and renovate that kitchen before you take a look at the roof and it leaks, that’s going to cost you a big amount of dough,” said the straighttalking contractor and home improvement host. The “Holmes Makes It Right” star said he has fielded countless questions over the years on home maintenance, from queries about roofs to sweating windows. With his new book, “The Holmes Manual” (HarperCollins), due out on June 3,
Holmes offers guidance on how to spot potential signs of property damage while also sharing tips in response to common repair questions. “We look at our cars. We constantly check our tires, right? ... And we pay more attention to our vehicles than the single most expensive investment of our lives—your home,” Holmes said in a recent phone interview. “Yes, you need to pay attention. You need to check your filter on your furnace every single month because if your filter’s dirty, then you’re actually smothering your furnace. You can burn out your motor because it can’t breathe properly anymore. It’s not moving air the way it’s supposed to.” While icicles dangling from the edge of a roof may seem picturesque, their appearance is typically the sign of several different problems, said Holmes.
Among them: heat loss from the house heading into the attic space. “When we have heat loss in the attic, we have hot meeting cold. That can actually mould the entire inside of your attic.” Holmes writes that shingles that are curling or buckling at the edges are also red flags. It may be a sign of natural wear and tear. But Holmes adds that exposed bare patches on asphalt shingles— which gradually lose granules over time— or large amounts of granules in gutters may be signs of poor ventilation in the attic where rising heat tends to accumulate. “If that heat gets trapped because you don’t have a wellventilated attic, it can warm up the roof, causing asphalt shingles to stiffen up and age more quickly,” he writes, noting that the ventilation issues can also cause ice dams to surface. Holmes said while it’s imporwww.canadianinquirer.net
tant for homeowners to be educated and knowledgeable about possible problems, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should take the reins to repair them— particularly when they may be lacking key skills. “You shouldn’t do the roof unless you know what you’re doing—and I mean really know what you’re doing,” he stressed. “You shouldn’t play with electrical. You shouldn’t play with your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and you shouldn’t play with your plumbing. “I think the majority of the people are trying to learn what they need to learn about their house (and) who they should be calling to fix it,” he added. For reno-minded homeowners, the book offers detailed comparative charts for items, including roofing vents, sidings and finishes for fences and decks, as well as step-by-step project instruc-
tions, like finishing a basement floor. But preventive maintenance remains top of mind for the handyman. And with spring now in full swing, Holmes said the season is prime time for making inspections to ensure that water isn’t seeping into the home. “You’ve got to look at your eavestroughs—clean them out. Your downspouts—make sure they’re not blocked. .... Look at all the caulking around your doors and windows,” he said. “If you can’t get up on your roof ... get a pair of binoculars and take a really good look around the chimney, make sure that none of the weather has ruined your roof system. “The more you take a look now, the absolute better. Don’t just concentrate on flowers and cleaning up the garden.” ■ Online:
MAY 30, 2014 FRIDAY 40
Bell weeks away from announcing list of communities to get wireless spectrum BY ROSS MAROWITS The Canadian Press
Warren Buffett with his sister, Doris. PHOTO FROM BOSTINNO.STREETWISE.CO
Doris Buffett can’t match her brother’s billion dollar gifts, but she connects directly BY JOSH FUNK The Associated Press OMAHA, NEB.—When Warren Buffett announced in 2006 that he would give away his billions, he was flooded with individual requests for help that still flow in today. Instead of tossing the letters aside, Buffett packages them up and sends them to his big sister Doris. With the help of seven women, her Sunshine Lady Foundation scrutinizes each request to find people who have come upon bad luck through no fault of their own. “She just believes that a lot of people got short straws in life, and she wants to help them,” Warren Buffett said. It’s rare for philanthropists to respond to individual requests, said Northeastern University professor Rebecca Riccio, who teaches philanthropy and interviewed the siblings last year. Buffett, 83, and his 86-year-old sister worked out the unusual arrangement because neither wanted to disregard the requests, but Buffett also wanted to focus on running Berkshire Hathaway. “I think Warren and Doris do not have it in them to ignore those letters,” Riccio said. Warren Buffett sent his sister $5 million initially to cover the cost of responding to his letters and promised more money
if she needed it. The siblings didn’t want to say exactly how much Doris has given to the letter writers so far. Many of the requests are simple: A man who needed a new glass eye. The grandmother who wanted a tombstone for the three children she lost. A disabled woman who needed a car to visit her daughter and grandchildren. “These are decent people who just didn’t have the breaks somebody else did,” Doris Buffett said. She said her drive to help people developed during the Great Depression, when she saw people struggling with such basic needs as hunger and shelter. That desire grew as she faced her own disappointments, including four divorces and the loss of a $12 million fortune in the stock market crash of 1987. Doris Buffett started the Sunshine Lady Foundation in 1996 after inheriting money. Through it, she has also given away $150 million of her own money, focusing primarily on larger programs such as scholarships for domestic violence victims, college education for prison inmates and efforts to help people with mentally illnesses. Riccio says Doris Buffett’s personal connections to recipients and her willingness to provide so many small gifts sets her apart.
“She cares about people, not about the prestige or the perception of her as a philanthropist,” Riccio said. Doris Buffett focuses her foundation’s main giving on the communities where she lives: Fredericksburg, Virginia; Wilmington and Beaufort, North Carolina, and Rockport, Maine. But she doesn’t confine her gifts to those places. Steven Lewicki spent 15 years in prison for a string of bank robberies, but during that time earned his associate’s degree thanks to a college program inside Maine State Prison funded by Doris Buffett’s foundation. When he was freed, Lewicki finished his bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine at Augusta and got a job with a group that advocates for prisoners. “I feel an obligation to Doris,” Lewicki said. “I feel an obligation to honour her philanthropy and her integrity and her guidance and all of that.” Doris Buffett’s main goal is to provide one-time aid and, whenever possible, connect people with other forms of help. But she knows there are limits to what she can do. “I can’t change somebody’s life, but I can make it possible for them to do so,” she said. ■ Online
Sunshine Lady Foundation: www.sunshinelady.org www.canadianinquirer.net
MONTREAL—Bell Canada will announce details in the coming weeks about a nearly two-year rollout that will bring new wireless service to hundreds of rural and remote Canadian markets. “We’ve already begun to roll out, but we’re actually going to announce over the coming month or so all the different markets...right across the country,” CEO George Cope said Monday. W h e n c o m p l et e d by the end of 2015, almost 97 per cent of Canadians will have access to wireless spectrum, providing deeper broadband access than many countries in the world despite Canada’s vast size and geographic challenges. Bell parent company BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) spent $565.7 million for 31 licences as part of the record $5.27 billion that was raised by the federal government from an auction of 700 megahertz spectrum. During a speech to the Canadian Club of Montreal, Cope said BCE has invested $16 billion over the last five years and plans to invest an additional $17.5 billion in the coming halfdecade to improve its network, including bringing fibre connections straight to people’s homes. “I think outside maybe some of the oilsands companies in Alberta we (will have) the largest capital expenditure program over the next number of years in Canada—all of this focusing on meeting business and consumers’ incredible demand for broadband wireless and wireline services.” He said BCE is a totally different company than it used to be, with less than seven per
cent of revenues coming from traditional telephone service. Wireless accounts for one third of revenues, followed by the Internet at 25 per cent, while television brings in about 12 per cent. Growth in the Canadian wireless industry has been slowed by the elimination of three-year contracts, which increased payments for handsets by dividing prices over a shorter time frame. However, Cope said he’s “extremely bullish” on the wireless industry because revenues still grew four to five per cent and new LTE technology will only accelerate future expansion. He said Bell is taking market share from cable companies with more than 2.5 million TV customers. Its sights are now set on overtaking Shaw as the largest TV services provider in about a year. Cope told the business audience that Canada’s wireless industry compares favourably against the world with deep investments, leading networks, competitive prices and faster speeds, adding that it is now tackling high roaming charges. Meanwhile, Cope said neither Quebec rival Videotron, nor foreign competitors should get any special treatment or financial support to set up national wireless networks. “If Verizon or AT&T wants to come to Canada, come. Bell is happy to compete with them but they have to compete on a level playing field,” he said, adding that Quebecor’s doesn’t need any special treatment from Ottawa to compete either. “I see no reason why Videotron needs any more support than Rogers, Telus or Bell. They’re a large, capable, excellent company who needs no help from the Canadian government, just like the rest of us don’t.” ■
41 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Canadiens look to Boston comeback for hope of repeat against Rangers BY BILL BEACON The Canadian Press BROSSARD, QUE.—It was up to veterans Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec to convince the world, and perhaps themselves, that the Montreal Canadiens still have hope. The team that looked so solid in coming back to eliminate the first-place overall Boston Bruins is down 3-1 to the New York Rangers in the NHL Eastern Conference final, but Gionta insisted Monday that morale is good and the Canadiens are far from finished. They will be facing elimination in Game 5 of the best-ofseven series at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night, however. “It’s no secret: you start doing the right things, you start getting rewarded for it and momentum builds,” Gionta said.
“You keep carrying that. “A couple of teams have been able to do that this year, the Kings and the Rangers. So it’s not something that can’t be done and with the group we have in here, we believe we can do it. And we believe we’ve got better as the series goes on.” Gionta and Plekanec were part of a Canadiens team that came back from a 3-1 deficit to upset the high-powered Washington Capitals en route to their last trip to the conference final in 2010. They did it that time with desperate shot-blocking, spectacular goaltending from Jaroslav Halak and a quiet belief that they could pull it off. This time, they are looking to third-stringer Dustin Tokarski to imitate Halak. The 24-yearold has been solid in goal since replacing the injured Carey Price in Game 2, allowing eight
goals in 11 periods over three games. He helped them claim an overtime win in New York in Game 3 but was beaten on Martin St. Louis’ overtime snipe in Game 4 on Sunday night. The Canadiens have played the Rangers close to evenly since a 7-2 loss in the series opener, but there were worrying signs in their latest loss. Defenceman Alexei Emein missed most of the first period after blocking a shot and then was mostly immobile after he returned. And top forwards Thomas Vanek, who has struggled all series, and Max Pacioretty were all-but invisible. And they remain without Price, the Canadian gold medallist from the Sochi Olympics in February who suffered a suspected right knee injury when New York’s Chris Kreider
crashed the net in the second period of the series opener. Price skated for about 20 minutes without equipment before the team’s optional practice, but coach Michel Therrien said he will not be back in this series. For Gionta, hope comes from a feeling that his team is getting better and still has time to turn things around, as they did when they fell behind 3-2 to the Bruins in the conference semifinal. The Canadiens rebounded with their best game of the playoffs in Game 6 and closed it out in Boston two days later. “We were able to wear (Boston’s) defence down with our speed and our forechecking,” he said. “We need to get better at that and I think that’s what we’ve got better at as (the New York series) went on. “Try to take advantage of their defencemen down low, try to spend some time in the of-
fensive zone, and start to make breakdowns and make things happen that way. Our backs are against the wall. It’s win or go home. I would expect the same kind of effort as we had against Boston for sure.” They could also improve on special teams, although they had a breakthrough when P.K. Subban finally got a power play goal to tie the game in the third period on the sixth of Montreal’s eight man-advantages. “We sat down after the second period and made a little adjustment and it worked and hopefully we can carry it over to the next game,” said Plekanec. “Special teams was one of the things that we probably weren’t good enough at in the series so far, so it would be a good time to turn that around. “It’s not over. I didn’t see one guy that was down after the game.” ■
(MARCH 21 - APRIL 19)
(JUNE 22 - JULY 22)
(SEPT 23 - OCT 22)
(DEC 22 - JAN 19)
“Evidence” is the word for today, Aries. Everyone knows that you have a facility for spending your time thinking and analyzing. Today, on the other hand, you're going to be "seeing” things. They will be clear. It will no longer be necessary to study, ponder, and review from every angle. It's a little like you've just invented a new theory that repeatedly gets confirmed by others throughout the day.
You're filled with vitality today, Cancer. In other words, you're going to feel great about yourself! You're less afraid of meeting people, and you have fewer doubts about everything, including yourself! This is going to be a great day to consider working a little bit less and thinking a little bit more about what, specifically, is making you feel so good. That way, you can recreate the feeling tomorrow.
You might feel a little worn out right now, Libra, as if you haven't been getting enough vitamins or rest. Or you could feel like you're losing track of issues that are important to you, such as your children's progress in school. You need to slow down a bit whether you want to or not. Today, give top priority to all the commonplace details of your daily life.
This would be a good day for you to sort out your business, Capricorn. You should file important papers and get rid of extraneous materials or trivia at work. Taking the time to do this will save you even more time in the long run. As for your love life, be expressive. Clear up any old misunderstandings that could interfere with your pleasure. Above all, enjoy yourself!
(JULY 23 - AUGUST 22)
(OCT 23 - NOV 21)
(JAN 20 - FEB 18)
(APRIL 20 - MAY 20) You will sail through this day on the gentlest of breezes, Taurus. It's like you've just come back from a week in the country. You're calm, refreshed, and relaxed, and no amount of trouble at work can shake the feeling. You see things in a more positive light. Problems that once seemed insurmountable now resolve themselves almost without your help. Lucky you!
You may have gotten a financial boost lately in the form of some sort of raise or reward, Leo. The day ahead will make you realize that more discipline and work will be necessary if you want to continue to prosper. There's no need for anxiety, but it's a good day to put together a strategy for the future, one that's airtight, waterproof, and fail-safe!
If you're in love, Scorpio, you'll love today. You could plan for almost anything from a little trip together to a lifetime full of children and grandchildren. Even though your foresight sometimes overcomes your spontaneity, let yourself yield to the unexpected a little bit. The future will be a bright contrast after the comparative gloom of the past few weeks.
This is going to be a good day to see the doctor, Aquarius, but not because you're sick. The atmosphere is ideal for getting a checkup. You've been using a lot of energy recently, and you'd be well advised to take care of your body a bit more right now. Don't be lazy about this. Get up, eat a good breakfast, take a brisk walk, and face the day renewed.
(AUG 23 - SEPT 22)
(NOV 22 - DEC 21)
(FEB 19 - MAR 20)
(MAY 21 - JUNE 21) If you're looking for a new job, Gemini, perhaps this is the day you find it. "Lucky” is the word that sums up today! Without encouraging you to play the lottery, you can be pretty sure that you'll feel a surge of confidence. You'll be able to resolve big or small problems with practicality and ease. That's lucky enough, isn't it?
You're almost certainly in a phase of psychological transformation, Virgo, and there have recently been major changes in your circle of friends and associates. Today provides an opportunity to assess just where you are and how far you've come. For instance, you could be introduced to a new team that compels you to display your talents. For an extrovert like you, this is right up your alley.
Sagittarius, you may feel a little tired and depressed over breakfast this morning. Domestic responsibilities sometimes overload your spirit. How about treating yourself to a short vacation - a little free time just for you? You can justify it because it's vital for your morale. Perhaps you can use the time off to draw up a weekly schedule and make your workload seem less daunting.
This should be a peaceful day for you, Pisces. Be sure to make the most of it, because it's the calm before the storm. This could be a day of discussion and exchange with close friends or colleagues at work. It's ideal to tighten some of your professional ties. Some people might suddenly seem more reasonable than you imagined them to be, so listen up!
FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
Momofuku’s David Chang urges Toronto to aspire to world class restaurant scene BY LOIS ABRAHAM The Canadian Press TORONTO—David Chang believes Toronto has a brilliant future as a culinary destination, but the award-winning chef thinks the city needs “the audacity to dream” to fulfil that vision and achieve a world-class dining scene. “We’re not there yet—I don’t think anywhere close—but I believe it will happen,” said the founder of the restaurant group Momofuku. “If you think about where TIFF was in 1976, which those guys were visionaries, no one thought that it would rival Cannes at all and now the city is on fire (during the film festival). It’s the best place to be, one of the best places to be. The city is so vibrant and alive.” The Toronto International Film Festival is now a “must stop” for the movie industry, he said, “and I don’t think they can say that about the food industry.” “People should be coming here for the food, not for TIFF, is how I look at it. Those are high standards, but I can envision that ... That would be a great day. I think the people really need to analyze what it is,” he said in an interview ahead of an address to delegates at the recent Terroir Symposium for members of the hospitality industry. Chang started his restaurants in New York in 2004, which now number five including the Michelin-starred Momofuku Ko. He expanded in 2012 to Toronto, opening three restaurants, a bar lounge and Milk Bar under the same roof in the tony Shangri-La Hotel. There is also a location in Sydney, Australia. Momofuku means “lucky peach.” Toronto attracted him because “it has a lot of potential in my mind to be one of the
Momofuku's Crack Pie.
best cities for food in the world. ... Another reason was in New York we were never going to get an opportunity to get a new building. ... I can’t tell you how many times I’ve knocked myself out walking down the stairs at Ssam Bar. The ceilings are low. There’s a pipe that I can’t move. So having that luxury was really great and I wanted to be part of a scene that was going to be on its way up.” Conscious of his status as an outsider, Chang hesitates to be critical but notes he spends a lot of time working in Toronto and sees the city has plenty of resources. “It’s got a larger population than Chicago, but I don’t think anyone would disagree that Chicago’s got a better food scene. Why not Toronto? What’s preventing Toronto from elevating to the next level? And elevating doesn’t have to be fine dining or something. It’s just finding its voice and being the best at that.” All it takes is someone with a vision, like chef Rene Redzepi whose Noma restaurant has been ranked best in the world four times by Restaurant maga-
PHOTO BY JOYOSITY / FLICKR
zine since it opened in 2003. “The best example I can give is Copenhagen,” said Chang, whose restaurants have also been on international top 50 lists. “It’s a fifth of the size of Toronto, similar weather and in 10 years it’s completely changed the culinary landscape. Everybody knows about it. No one could tell you anything about Scandinavian food 10 years ago. The magic of Noma is the integrity of their vision and their willingness to not compromise and to exceed anybody’s expectations and to persevere and to win.” The one food scene that does really well in Toronto is Chinese. “No arguments there,” said Chang, who has received several James Beard Foundation awards. “It’s the best. You have six Chinatowns. It’s been around for over 100 years. Why are they successful? I don’t know of anybody who tries to look at what they do. Maybe they’re doing something that the rest of the community can learn from.” Chang, who is also a cookbook author and has a quarterly magazine called Lucky Peach, said Montreal has a great food
Momofuku Noodle Bar.
lineage to draw upon while Vancouver has a vibrant restaurant community with an Asian vibe that reflects its population. “And I think that Toronto’s got a much more diverse population. Indian food’s great, Vietnamese food’s really great and why not push the boundaries there? Why not embrace what we do well?” While judging during the recent season 4 of Food Network Canada’s “Top Chef Canada,” Chang found a huge contrast between the Canadian and American versions of the show. “It’s really telling about the
PHOTO BY MICHAEL VITO / FLICKR
two countries. People (in the U.S.) will jump at the chance to throw somebody under the bus. I watch these (Canadian) kids cook and you knew exactly who (screwed) up and I think it’s very telling and I think very endearing that they have the integrity to not do it. They would not say my partner is the reason why. “I mean, it was a shock to me. In America it’s the first thing— ’Your fault.’ Here it’s like, ‘No, I’m not going to do it’ and I think America and Canada need to find like a middle ground in that,” he said with a laugh. ■
43 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
No more stowing of electronic devices during takeoff and landing, says Raitt BY TERRY PEDWELL The Canadian Press OTTAWA—For tech-savvy travellers, flying the Canadian skies is about to get just a little bit friendlier. The federal government is changing regulations to permit the use of video games, tablets, computers and cameras at any time during a flight, including during takeoff and landing, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said Monday. “We’re going to be allowing passengers to use portable electronic devices during takeoff, ascent, descent and landing provide that the airlines have met certain safety conditions,” Raitt told a news conference at the Ottawa airport. Travellers still won’t be allowed to use cellphones or access WiFi, or use any device that hasn’t had its transmitting functions disabled, since such activity can interfere with aircraft systems, she added. But as long as a device is in “airplane mode” and unable to send or receive a signal, its use will be permitted “gate to gate”—a change Raitt said is meant to strike a better balance between safety and passenger comfort. Under the regulation exemption, airlines will also have to demonstrate that their aircraft are not affected by the devices and that passengers can still be made aware of crew instructions during emergencies. The exemption takes effect immediately, although it will be up to individual airlines to determine when they are ready to adopt the change, said Raitt. Canadian airlines were informed in advance that the rule change was being
contemplated, giving them time to prepare for Monday’s announcement. Air Canada, for one, said it welcomes the decision. “Our customers have been telling us they want the option to use their (personal electronic devices) at all times on board our aircraft, both for working and entertainment,” the airline said in a statement. “Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and its Air Canada Express regional partners are finalizing measures to safely implement the new procedures.” A ban on using over-the-ears headphones, however, remains in effect on board Air Canada flights during the usual periods when passengers need to be able to hear announcements: takeoff, ascent, descent and landing. WestJet said it had already completed comprehensive testing of the electronic systems aboard its next-generation Boeing 737 fleet to support the expanded use of personal electronic devices. But more work is required to properly train flight crews, amend operating manuals and demonstrate that radio signals from devices don’t pose a risk to aircraft systems and equipment, the airline said. Last year, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority lifted its ban on the use of portable electronic devices under safe flying conditions. Shortly afterward, all major U.S. airlines began allowing the gate-to-gate use of devices and the European Aviation Safety Agency quickly followed suit. Canada’s move brings domestic carriers in line with other airlines around the world, Raitt added. “It’ll ensure that Canadian operators can remain globally competitive.” ■
Doors Richmond June 7 and 8, 2014 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Explore Richmond’s arts, culture and heritage during this FREE Doors Open weekend.
Thank you to our sponsors! Murrick iNSurANcE SErvicES liMitEd 1387 Hornby Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 1W7
Richmond Diversity Services • Richmond Heritage • Richmond Public Art Program Phone (604)Commission 688-5158 • Fax (604) 688-1709 Toll Free 1-800-667-5532 www.nakamun.com
MAY 30, 2014
Indonesian Traditional Textiles: A Diversity of Expressions ExplorAsian 2014 presents an exhibit of Indonesian textile
ExplorAsian 2014 Recognition Gala
WHEN/WHERE: Vancouver Public Library, Suite 302-345, Robson St. Vancouver, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., on May 30 Talk & Demonstration - 2-6 p.m.
The 2014 Annual Community Recognition Dinner will shine a spotlight on the Filipino-Canadian Community as five pioneering couples receive the Community Builders Award in this year’s Asian Heritage Month celebration.
MORE INFO: Indonesian textile traditions will showcase the profound connection of rich traditions and what it means to be Canadians with Indonesian origins. Curated by prominent textile anthropologist, Judi Knight-Achjadi.
WHEN/WHERE: 5:30 p.m. on June 1 at the Pink Pearl Restaurant, 1132 E. Hastings St., Vancouver, B.C. TICKETS: $60/person, Table of 10 - $600
Eat! Vancouver – a food and cooking festival Presented by Flavours WHEN/WHERE: The BC Place Stadium from May 30, 31 and June 1
TICKETS: More than 40,000 visitors are expected to attend the 3-day festival. Tickets are $17 for adults ($14 online), $15 for seniors ($14 online), and $9 for youth aged 13-16. Children 12 and under are free. Visit eatvancouver.com and buy your tickets today.
BRITISH COLUMBIA Artist Talk: Evan Lee, artist, exhibition “Elders and Roots”
Presented by the Richmond Art Gallery WHEN/WHERE: 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond at 2-3 p.m., May 31 MORE INFO: Richmondartgallery.org 604247-8313
Health and Safety in the Workplace
Immigration Forum and Labor Standard
Organized by Migrante B.C. WHEN/WHERE: Mable Elmore MLA Community Office, 6106 Fraser St., Vancouver, B.C. From 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., June 1
The Victoria Filipino Canadian Caregivers Association WHEN/WHERE: The Bayanihan Center 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 31.
SPEAKER: Brian Campbell of the Health and Safety Centre, BC Federation of Labour MORE INFO: call 604-879-5850 email@example.com www.canadianinquirer.net
45 FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
The Introductory Course: Classical Realism Atelier Offered by Mandy Boursicot
WHEN/WHERE: Mandy Boursicot Studio, Thursday evenings at 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 5, 12, 19, 26 and July 3, 10, 17, and 24. MORE INFO: Fee is $252 including GST, payable in advance. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org Colonial
Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika: The Best of OPM Live Presented by Quasar Production WHEN/WHERE: 7200 Cariboo Rd., Burnaby, B.C. at 7 p.m., June 22 TICKETS: For ticket inquiries and reservations, call 778-980-1558
Co. ERASGA presents a one-man performance investigating the duress of Spanish and American colonialism in the Philippines. WHEN/WHERE: The Scotia Dance Centre, 677 Davie St., Vancouver at 8 p.m., on June 11-12
View all events by scanning this QR code or visiting
Broadway Show and Dinner-Dance By the Philippine Heritage Band WHEN/WHERE: Dufferin Clarke Community Centre , 6 p.m.-1 a.m., June 7
By the Scarborough Ontario Seniors Association WHEN/WHERE: Malvern Community Centre , 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., June 21
ONTARIO Path to Canadian Citizenship
Path to Canadian Citizenship COMMUNITY
Frances Grace Quiddaoen & Leo Marco Lui
Organized by The University of the Philippines Alumni Association in British Columbia
Saturday, May 31, 2014 1:00pm—4:00pm Vancouver Public Library - Fraserview Branch (meeting room) 1950 Argyle Drive, Vancouver (54th Ave. and Victoria Drive)
WHEN/WHERE: May 31, 2014 at the Vancouver Public Library – Fraserview Branch (meeting room) 1950 Argyle Drive, Vancouver (54th Ave. and Victoria Drive).
Register by email: email@example.com
Are you eligible to become a Canadian citizen?
Childminding service not available.
How to calculate your residency requirements?
Resource Persons Grace and Leo are both Regulated Immigration Consultants and members of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. They write a joint column titled, “On the Move” published in the national newspaper, Philippine Canadian Inquirer and have guested to discuss immigration topics at “The Filipino Edition”, RED 93.1FM and at “Checkpoint”, Juan Radio, 96.1FM.
What you need to know about the up-coming changes to Canada’s citizenship rules and how these might affect you Learn about the application process and processing times How to prepare for the citizenship test?
MORE INFO: A free community information session on current and up-coming changes to the Canadian Citizenship rules.
A F R E E community information session on current and up-coming changes to the Canadian Citizenship rules.
CANADA’S FIRST AND ONLY NATIONWIDE FILIPINO-CANADIAN NEWSPAPER
FRIDAY MAY 30, 2014
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