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Connecting Global News & Views For The Community

UK & Europe Edition

April 2014 / Fortnightly

Volume 5 - Number 8

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COURT ISSUES WARRANTS VS VHONG NAVARRO CASE ACCUSED; ONE SUSPECT BARRED FROM LEAVING

MANILA – Hours after saying authorities can collar – for obstruction of justice if they tried to fly abroad - the suspects in the case filed by celebrity Vhong Navarro even in the absence of an arrest warrant, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she received information that a court in Taguig had, in fact, issued a warrant last April 11. The Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court issued a warrant of arrest

against Cedric Lee, Deniece Cornejo and five other respondents for the grave coercion charges filed by the comedian and television host, against whom Cornejo had filed a rape case that Navarro lawyers said were a cover-up for the brutal beating the Lee-Cornejo group had given him at the woman’s condo unit in Bonifacio Global City. The rape case has since been thrown out. De Lima confirmed Monday

Vhong Navarro, 6 February 2014, Department of Justice. File photo by Gel Francisco.

afternoon that the warrants issued by Branch 74 of the MTC covered Lee’s sister Bernice, JP Calma, Ferdinand Guerrero, Sajed Fernandez Abuhijleh and Simeon Palma Raz Jr. But de Lima said the respondents can post bail for their temporary liberty. Aside from the grave coercion charges, the respondents are also facing the non-bailable offense of

serious illegal detention before the Taguig RTC. De Lima earlier said authorities can arrest the respondents if they try to leave the country without permission from the DOJ or the court handling their case. “My instruction is if anyone of those included in the look-out bulletin order show up at the airport without permission, then they can be detained for attempting to obstruct justice,” de Lima told reporters as she explained that the act of leaving while criminal charges have been filed against them tend to hinder the successful prosecution of the criminal cases. She made the remarks after Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport prevented Guerrero from boarding his flight to Hong Kong Monday morning. De Lima said by leaving the country while the cases have yet to be resolved, the respondents are violating Presidential Decree 1829 (obstruction of justice) and that they can be arrested even without warrants from the court. Lee, Cornejo and their co-

accused are included in the lookout bulletin order issued by de Lima after the charges were filed against them after the January 22 mauling that landed Navarro in hospital for days. De Lima insisted that if Guerrero et al had no bad intention in flying abroad, they should first seek permission from the DOJ and the court since that procedure was made clear in the look-out bulletin order. “They knew that cases have been filed in court so they should have first informed the court or sought permission if they want to leave.” Monday scene at airport. Early Monday morning, Immigration agents stopped Ferdinand Guerrero, an accused in the serious illegal detention case filed by Navarro, from boarding a Cebu Pacific plane for Cebu with a connecting flight to Hong Kong Tuesday morning. Following the incident, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that any of those accused by Navarro can be arrested or detained if they attempt to leave the country without the permission of the

National Proseution Service or the court. Guerrero was booked for a direct Cebu Pacific flight to Hong Kong scheduled at 5:40 a.m. At the BI counter, however, an immigration officer reminded Guerrero that he was on a lookout bulletin issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Guerrero allegedly introduced himself as “Fernando Guerrero” but a check made by the immigration officer showed he was Ferdinand Guerrero. The report said Guerrero fumed again and left the immigration counter, vowing to return with his lawyer. Aside from Guerrero, businessman Cedric Lee, his sister Bernice, model Deniece Cornejo, Zimmer Raz, Jose Paulo Gregorio Calma and Jed Fernandez have also been charged for the detention and mauling of Navarro. The case was fuled before the Taguig Regional Trial Court and was raffled off to Judge Paz Esperanza M. Cortes of Branch 271.

■ Brian Maglungsod and Jaime Sinapit /

InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 12:03 PM


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BUSINESS & FINANCE

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Cebu Pacific forecasts passenger count hitting more than 17 million this year THE operator of Cebu Pacific expects to carry more than 17 million passengers this year, including the traffic of recently acquired Tigerair Philippines. Lance Y. Gokongwei, president of Cebu Air Inc (CEB) told reporters last Friday that Cebu Pacific alone would carry an excess of 15 million passengers this year. He said growth this year would come from both the domestic and international passage businesses.

Load factor at Tigerair improved after CEB took over last month, Gokongwei said, referring to the number of seats taken per flight. “Since our entry on March 20, we already see dramatic improvements in their load factor because of the distribution that we have created for them. So it’s really working together,” he said. Last month, the shareholders of Singapore’s Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd

and the Civil Aeronautics Board separately approved the 100 percent acquisition of Tigerair by CEB. The transaction was valued at $15 million. Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific is helping Tigerair make its product available through the former’s website. Furthermore, Cebu Pacific will assign four Airbus A320s to Tigerair for its operations. Darwin G. Amojelar / InterAksyon.com

“This country is definitely back on the global aviation map,” he said. Following the re-classification, the flag carrier would deploy six Boeing 777300ERs, acquired at a cost of $1.2 billion, for US flights within a month’s time. More infrastructure needed. But while increasing connectivity is important, the Philippines still has its work cut out in terms of improving infrastructure. “Building better airports for those flights to arrive at and many other improvements are needed before the full potential of tourism in the Philippines is realized,” John D. Forbes, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) senior adviser told Interaksyon.com. He said “latent demand” stands at 12 million, thus “continued improvements in policies, infrastructure, and promotion are essential.” Tourism Congress of the Philippines’ Fores agrees: “Infrastructure development must be accelerated.” “More airports must be made available to international flights; more hotel rooms must be on hand to accommodate the increase in tourist arrivals,” she added.

To date, the NAIA has already exceeded it maximum annual capacity of 30 million passengers. The government is well aware of this challenge. It is looking at building a new international airport either in Sangley Point or Laguna de Bay. PAL also plans to put up a $10 billion airport near Manila – albeit the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said it won’t entertain unsolicited proposals. Big-ticket projects are being pursued under the Aquino administration’s PublicPrivate Partnership (PPP) scheme, but this has been slow to take off amid technical and other difficulties. The government last week awarded its largest PPP airport project to date: the P17.2-billion upgrade of the Mactan Cebu International Airport, which next to NAIA is the country’s second biggest international gateway. Already delayed, the project is now faced with a legal challenge, after a senator asked the Supreme Court to void its award. Whether the High Tribunal would oblige, remains to be seen. ■ Dawrin G. Amojelar /

/ April 14, 2014 / 1:29 AM

Analysis: Philippines on verge of tourism boom after aviation upgrades MANILA – With local carriers cleared to expand in the US and Europe, the Philippines is on the verge of a tourism boom. After more than six years in Category 2, the Federal Aviation Administration earlier today announced the Philippines’ return to Category 1 safety rating, allowing local airlines to mount more flights to the US. Hours later, the European Union delivered the day’s second good news: Cebu Pacific can now fly to Europe. Brussels’ decision comes months after it allowed Philippine Airlines (PAL) to resume flights following a three-year absence, and almost a year since the International Civil Aviation Office (ICAO) lifted the significant safety concerns on the Philippines’ main international gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. told Interaksyon.com that the latest two certifications are going to have a “massive” impact on Philippine tourism. “Connectivity and accessibility are crucial to growth. We are ecstatic with these developments. We are back on track,” Jimenez said. He said the Department of Tourism (DOT) may revise its targets because of the upgrades even though there’s “not enough data yet to change projections.” “We shall see how travel operators react and then we will know,” he said. To be sure, the government hasn’t been waiting on the sidelines for tourists to come. The DOT has been promoting the country through a campaign dubbed as “More Fun in the Philippines,” which has won international plaudits and allowed tourist arrivals to hit fresh records. Last year, the country attracted 4.68 million foreign visitors, up 9.56 percent year-on-year.

For this year and next, the government is aiming for 6.8 million and 8.2 million, respectively, so that by the end of President Benigno Aquino III’s term, arrivals would have reached 10 million, with receipts of P455 billion. The top visitors so far have been the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese – the result of the Philippines’ efforts to liberalize the country’s airspace, allowing local carriers to fly across Asia and Asian airlines to enter more points in the country. Optimal connectivity. The aviation safety upgrades from the US and EU would further open these markets. Data from DOT show that visitors from the US reached 674,564 in 2013, up by 3.36 percent yearon-year, while those from European markets like the United Kingdom and Germany reaching 122,759 and 70,949 arrivals, respectively. Rosanna Tuason-Fores, president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, said the country’s Category 1 status and the removal from the EU blacklist would provide more optimal connectivity in the transPacific region. “This will also allow us to be competitive as a route not just in the Philippines but also in the whole Asian region. We believe that with this new development, there will be a marked increase in the number of tourist arrivals both from the USA and Europe,” Fores said. Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said the FAA upgrade and the removal from the EU blacklist would benefit the riding public, who will have improved options for air travel that are world class. “It will also be a boost to our tourism efforts, because it will open up foreign markets for new and expanded services by

Philippine carriers, not only in terms of direct services, but also for other cooperative arrangements like code sharing and interline,” Arcilla said. Apart from ushering a new era in its trans-Pacific service, the upgrade will also allow PAL to explore possible airline partnerships with foreign carriers in order to maximize its growth potential, said the flag carrier’s president Ramon S. Ang. “This latest development allows us to deploy our modern and fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300ER fleet to the US, and enables us to explore new destination opportunities in one of the Philippines’ largest passenger markets,” Ang said. “Back on global aviation map” Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the upgrade will have significant economic dividends, as carriers mount more direct flights, boosting not only tourism, but also trade and business relations between the Philippines on the one hand, and the US and the EU on the other. For example, “Philippine air carriers can now open more flights to the United States and have additional routes such as flying to the East Coast,” he added. Henry J. Schumacher, vice president for external affairs of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, agreed. “Tourism will definitely benefit creating more direct connections. Business travel will also gain with more direct flights - that will lead to more business activities between Europe and the Philippines,” Schumacher said. “This is a great day for Philippine tourism,” he added. Ang said the FAA upgrade means the Philippines has joined an elite group of only 79 countries that meet the US safety standards.

InterAksyon.com / April 10, 2014 / 9:44 PM

Skyway Stage 3, NAIA Expressway seen operational by mid-2015 BAGUIO CITY- The president of the company operating the Skyway said two projects meant to help ease traffic in Metro Manila would be operational by middle of next year.

Photo shows Skyway

“We are required to deliver the first phase -- from Buendia to Plaza Dilao -- by mid of next year and it would be operational by then,” Skyway O&M Corp (SOMCO) president Manuel Bonoan told participants

of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines-San Miguel Corp (SMC) Business Journalism Seminar held in this city. The P26.7 billion Skyway Stage 3 Project involves the construction of a 14.8-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway that will connect the end of the Skyway in Buendia to Balintawak. Citra Central Expressway Corp, the proponent of and concessionaire of Skyway Stage 3, is a joint venture among SMC, Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada and state-owned Philippine National Construction Corp (PNCC). The project has eight access points, namely Buendia, Quirino, Nagtahan, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera and Balintawak.

The project, which would link the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), will provide 6,000 direct jobs and an additional 10,000 indirect jobs during construction. The project, which started construction early this month, is scheduled for completion by June 2016. It is meant to help decongest Edsa and reduce travel time between Buendia in Makati City and Balintawak in Quezon City to 20 minutes or less from the existing two hours. A Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) report said traffic congestion in Metro Manila has cost the country P2.4 billion in economic and opportunity losses. A second project -- the P15.5 billion NAIA Expressway Project Phase 2 -- is likely to be

completed by middle of next year, Bonoan said. The project involves the design and construction of a 7.15-kilometer elevated structure from the terminus of Phase I at Sales Avenue going to Andrews Avenue, Domestic Road, MIA Road, before ending at Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard and going to/from Manila and to/from Entertainment City. One of the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) ventures, included in this project is the construction of the 2.20 kilometer six- to eight-lane at-grade road going to the Entertainment City. SMC, through unit Private Infrastructure Development Corp, won the contract to build the project. ■ Darwin G. Amojelar / InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 12:58 AM


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BUSINESS & FINANCE

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Century Tuna maker snags deal to distribute coconut water

BCDA to bid out first phase of Clark Green City project by mid-year BAGUIO City - State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) will bid out the first phase of the Clark Green City Project by the middle of this year. During the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines-San Miguel Corp Business Journalism Seminar held in this city, BCDA president Arnel Paciano Casanova said the first phase of the project would be “offered to the market by mid of 2014.” The project would involve transforming the Clark Special Economic Zone into a “green city” patterned after South Korea’s New Songdo business district. At the heart of the Clark Green City is a 9,450-hectare metropolis. The project would play a major role in decongesting Metro Manila. Under the

first phase, some 1,321 hectares would be developed. The first five years of the project would cost P59 billion, and would be undertaken through the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme. Once completed, the Clark Green City would generate approximately P1.57 trillion per year to the economy and create 925,000 jobs, Casanova said. He said the project would be presented to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for approval. Earlier, BCDA signed a memorandum of understanding with Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZA) for the transformation of Clark into a smart and green city. IFEZA operates the Songdo business district. ■

Darwin G. Amojelar / InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 1:13 AM

MANILA – The maker of Century Tuna is venturing into the beverage business and the premium canned meat segment, as it explores possible acquisitions and partnerships ahead of the Asean economic integration. In a briefing last week, Century Pacific Foods Inc president Christopher T. Po said a US company tapped the company to distribute coco water products. The definitive agreement however has yet to be signed. Century Pacific is leveraging on its extensive distribution network and experience for its foray into the beverage business, Po said. The Po family owns a privately held company that is supplying the coco water requirements of a “market leader in the US.” Century Pacific is repositioning the Swift brand for its entry into the premium canned meat segment to boost the market-leading share of its canned meat products. The Po family acquired the Swift brand from Concepcion-owned RFM Corp in late 2012. “The brand has kind of slipped over the years but we saw the opportunity to leverage on our canned meat strengths to that of the brand to serve the needs of higher end of the segment,” said Century Pacific chief operating officer Teodoro T. Po. Canned meat contributed 24 percent to revenues but accounted for nearly half of earnings last year. The company is also

in the business of dairy and mixes, canned and processed fish, and tuna export through its brands Century Tuna, 555 Sardines, Argentina Corned Beef, Swift, Angel and Birch Tree. Century Pacific is scouting for acquisitions and is engaged in “very preliminary” discussion with rivals. “We believe in what’s happening in the Philippines. It’s on a higher growth trajectory and opportunities will come up and we’re sniffing around in our category and outside,” the company’s president said. Century Pacific is also keen on taking advantage of the opportunities presented

by the Asean economic integration, as the company eyes potential acquisitions in the region. Century Pacific is set to complete a second tin can manufacturing facility in the third quarter. The plant will produce approximately 25-30 percent of its requirements, bringing down costs by 1520 percent. Century Pacific is raising as much as P3.33 billion from an initial public offering to repay debt, fund working capital and potential acquisitions, expand production capacity and improve efficiency. ■ Krista Angela M. Montealegre / InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 12:41 AM


April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

BUSINESS & FINANCE

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Philippine licensee plans to more than triple FamilyMart footprint MANILA – The Philippine licensee of FamilyMart is accelerating the expansion of its convenience store chain. Ayala Land Inc (ALI) president and chief executive officer Bernard Vincent O. Dy told reporters last week the property giant is opening a hundred stores this year, more than triple the 31 stores opened in 2013 that marked its first full year of operations. “As you know, some of the competitors have been in the space for quite some time but our plan is to be a significant player over that period,” Dy said. ALI plans to have a network of 500

FamilyMart stores over a five year timeframe since the start of operations. “The stores will be located mostly in Metro Manila. Obviously we are looking at NCR, Region 4 and hopefully expand to other key cities in Visayas and Mindanao,” Dy said. Depending on the size, investment per store ranges from P3-5 million. In November 2012, SIAL CVS Retailers Inc, a joint venture between ALI’s Varejo Corp and the Tantoco family’s Specialty Investments Inc, signed a shareholders agreement with FamilyMart Co Ltd and Itochu Corp to develop and operate the

FamilyMart convenience store in the Philippines. The agreement marked ALI’s foray into the convenience store business, bringing in a third player to the Philippine market dominated by the Paternos’ 7Eleven and the Gokongweis’ MiniStop. FamilyMart is the second largest convenience store chain in the world with over 20,000 stores in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, China, the United States, Vietnam and Indonesia. ■ Krista

The bus company is given 72 hours to show cause in writing from the receipt of the order why its Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) should not be suspended, cancelled or revoked for

violation of the terms and conditions of its franchise. Its representative must also appear at the hearing of the case April 22 at the Board’s office. ■ Darwin G. Amojelar /

Angela M. Montealegre / InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 12:30 AM

LTFRB slaps 30-day suspension on Corimba Express’ 16 buses

MANILA - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has barred the 16 units of Corimba Express Inc from operating for a month, after one of its buses last week figured in a road accident that resulted in multiple injuries. The 30-day preventive suspension covers 16 units plying the Baclaran-SM Fairview via Edsa route. According to a report submitted by the National Capital Region Police OfficeQuezon City Police District, the accident happened around 7:45 a.m. of April 4 when a Corimba Express bus with plate number TYW-381 rammed the rear left portion of a passenger jeep along the northbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue in front of the

Commission of Human Rights in Barangay San Vicente. The impact of the collision resulted in the passenger jeepney turning turtle, causing to multiple injuries to six passengers. “Palagi naming pinapaalala sa mga bus operators at kanilang mga drivers na ayusin ang kanilang pagmamaneho upang maiwasan ang mga sakuna sa ating lansangan. The Board will never tolerate reckless driving behavior, kaya agad naming pinapatawan ng suspension order and recalling all units of Corimba Express Inc from operating along our national roads,” said LTFRB chairman Winston M. Ginez. “We will not hesitate to recall the entire

fleet of any bus company even if just one of their units is involved in a road accident,” he said. Corimba Express has also been ordered to have all 16 buses grounded today in the company’s garage located at 173 Gumaok East, Quirino Highway, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan for the confiscation of hire plates. Within 30 days, the bus company must bring all its units to the Motor Vehicle Inspection Service (MVIS) of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for inspection and determination of their road worthiness before they are again allowed to operate. The drivers of the units will likewise undergo Road Safety Seminar conducted by the Board or authorized training centers.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez

InterAksyon.com / April 10, 2014 9:25 AM


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April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

‘We will not be ignored again,’ say lumad in prospective Bangsamoro

MANILA – Indigenous people in the prospective Bangsamoro have informed President Benigno Aquino III that they will not allow themselves to be ignored again and will pursue the delineation of their ancestral lands within the new territory. “Although a handful individuals are critical and not happy about this development and even misinterpret this as causing harm to the peace process — there’s no stopping now,” leaders of the Teduray, Lambangian, Dulangan Manobo, Erumanen ne Manuvu, Obo Manobo tribes said in an open letter to Aquino. In the letter, they informed Aquino that they were working with the National Commission on Indigenous People with the delineation of their ancestral lands within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which will eventually be dissolved to give way for the new Bangsamoro territory under the terms of the peace agreement between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. “After seeking guidance from our ancestors, we decided to do what is just and fair to our children’s children — to carefully prepare the small space for our tribes to thrive as distinct peoples and contribute to the new tomorrow that waits for us in the Bangsamoro,” the tribal leaders said. There are more than 100,000 lumad within the ARMM who lay claim to an ancestral domain that spans 300,000

hectares of land and coastal waters within 12 municipalities of Maguindanao and parts of neighboring Sultan Kudarat province. The lumad leaders said what they seek is to be a ““minority of the minority” within the Bangsamoro and that the reaction to the delineation process would determine if this was possible. Earlier, indigenous people within the ARMM, which was created through the peace agreement between government and the Moro National Liberation Front, said they had been left out of the pact and its aftermath, mainly by the failure to include the autonomous region in the coverage of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act or even set up an office of the NCIP. Because of this, the lumad leaders said that since 2005, they “have been supportive all the way” of the peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and had constantly sent proposals and position papers to both sides and engaged them in dialogues since 2005. The Bangsamoro Transition Commission drafting the law that will create the new entity also has two lumad representatives. Despite this, they asked: “What have happened to the many years of our engagement with the government, our own LGUs (local government units), the MILF and OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process)? Where have all our

proposals gone? Are we to expect the same treatment and inattention to happen to our submissions to the BTC?” The tribal leaders said that while the framework and comprehensive agreements on the Bangsamoro “may have answered consensus points for the Moro peoples,” they had “raised a lot of crucial questions for us indigenous peoples: 1. Why was the (IPRA), the very law that protects our rights as Indigenous Peoples not included in the FAB, Annexes and the CAB? And therefore, we believe that our rights won’t be significantly entrenched in the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law). The IPRA, which is supposed to be a national law and thereby set as the minimum standard for any legal reforms, has obviously been put aside. It is our national law. It forms the legal basis for our assertion of our rights in any proposition, including the Bangsamoro. In our view, government had surrendered our rights to a political entity, which has yet to prove or even earn its mantle to govern. 2. Isn’t it that by empowering and providing us our rights to govern our own territory, exercising our culture and recognizing that we are distinct peoples part of the over all peace process? But where are we in the entire picture? Are we talking about a different peace in the Bangsamoro?

Map showing the ancestral domain of the Teduray Lambangian in Maguindanao

3. How can we address a competing and contradictory policy over land and ancestral domains by the peace actors themselves? Government instrumentalities are supporting us for as long as the ARMM is not yet abolished; they say that IPRA can still take effect. In apparent contradiction, the MILF Central Committee publicly stated their position on a single ancestral domain and not allowing AD delineation processes (refer to April 1 Editorial, Luwaran, official publication of MILF). 4. Can the executive branch of the government lead the way to finally overcome the problematics of the IPRA in the ARMM? We are humbly appealing your esteemed intervention to inspire the

process and break this impasse.” The open letter stressed that the lumad “are not and will never be spoilers, free riders, or even ill-minded whisperers of some sort. Our open, honest yet critically constructive support to the peace process through the early years will bear us out. We remain fully supportive of your administration’s efforts to reach a just and sustainable peace in the Bangsamoro and beyond.” They said they consider Aquino a “kefeduwan” or indigenous peacemaker “in-the-making,” a title he will have deserved when “you come over to our villages as a full-fledged ‘kefeduwan’.” Only then, they said, “we can say that peace is really at hand. A genuine peace for all.” ■ InterAksyon.com / April 13, 2014 / 7:10 PM

Highest in 12 quarters: Employment in Metro Manila up by 3.22 percent in 4Q of 2013

Secretary Ging Deles. OPAPP Photo.

Proposed Bangsamoro law to be submitted to Malacanang Monday, ‘vigorous scrutiny’ expected - Deles MANILA – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles acknowledged that the passage of the Bangsamoro bill would not be swift sailing in Congress, but said that majority of the lawmakers are for it. “We expect it to be hotly debated, we expect the draft bill to be vigorously scrutinized because it is a very important bill,” Deles said. The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) has been tasked to prepare the basic law for a Bangsamoro autonomous region after the signing of a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The BTC said it would submit to Malacanang by Monday the proposed law. President Benigno Aquino III had said he would certify the bill as urgent when he submits it to Congress. Congress is on break and will be back in session on May 5.

Deles said she expected that the bill would be thoroughly scrutinized during deliberations in Congress. “Lawmakers said they fully appreciate the value of having genuine peace in southern Philippines, so we expect everyone to do his ir her work by debating. We need to address all questions that will be raised, we are confident we are on track,” she said. Congress leaders earlier said they would pass the basic law for the proposed Bangsamoro entity within the year. After its passage, it will be submitted for ratification in the areas proposed to be included in the territory. Areas that will ratify the charter will be included in the administrative jurisdiction of the new entity. The ratified basic law will replace Republic Act No. 9054 or the law creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). ■ Lira Dalangin-Fernandez / InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 10:55 AM

MANILA – Employment in Metro Manila, as shown by the labor turnover rate, grew by 3.22 percent after more laborers got hired than those who got fired or opted to resign during the fourth quarter of 2013, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said Monday. “This is the highest recorded turnover rate since the fourth quarter of 2010,” said Baldoz in a news release, citing the results of the Labor Turnover Survey (LTS) of the DOLE’s Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES), now under the Philippine Statistics Authority. Baldoz said Metro Manila registered a labor turnover rate of 4.05 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010; 1.88 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011; and 2.47 percent in 2012. Turnover is the difference between accession (getting a job) and separation (getting fired or resigning from a job). The LTS is a quarterly sample survey of enterprises conducted by the BLES to capture “job creation” or “accession” and

Employment in large enterprises in Metro Manila continued its upswing in the fourth quarter of 2013 driven by the strong hiring in wholesale and retail trade in time for the Christmas and New Year holidays. File photo by Krisken Jones, 24 December 2012, Manila

“job displacement” or “separation” as indicators of labor market activity. The information gathered in this survey is intended to generate timely labor market signals as sound basis in planning, policy formulation, and decision making. Christmas holidays brought jobs. The BLES survey has 735 large enterprises as respondents, drawn from the 2011 Edition of the Philippines’s Top 25,000 Corporations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. It has a retrieval rate of 99.59% percent. The BLES issued the results of the survey this month. “Employment in large enterprises in Metro Manila continued its upswing in the fourth quarter of 2013 driven by the strong hiring in wholesale and retail trade in time for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Robust expansion in administrative and support service activities and professional, scientific, and technical activities also fueled the upswing,” said Baldoz. Specifically, the overall accession rate in Metro Manila was 8.86 percent, higher than the 5.64 percent separation rate registered during the reference period. This indicates that 88 workers per 1,000 workers got employed due to expansion or replacement of workforce, while only 56 workers per 1,000 were either laid off, or quit their jobs, during the same period, a net addition of 32. The survey noted that the rise in labor turnover rate in the fourth quarter was driven by large gains in three sub-sector with big enterprise employment base, namely, administrative and support service activities (9.55 percent); wholesale and retail trade (3.77 percent); and professional, scientific, and technical activities (3.46 percent).

Gains were also recorded in financial and insurance (2.34 percent); manufacturing (2.21 percent); information and communication (1.52 percent); and in industries with small enterprise employment base, such as arts, entertainment, and recreation (3.16 percent); human health and social work activities (2.82 percent); and agriculture, forestry, and fishing (2.30 percent). Mining and quarrying continued its slack (-9.27 percent), while private education was also down (-2.74 percent). Accession rate barely offset separation in construction (0.05 percent), and in sewerage, waste management, and remediation activities (0.15 percent), while employment was about unchanged in electricity, gas, steam and airconditioning supply (0.60 percent). Reasons for accession and separation? The BLES survey said accession was due to expansion of business activities (4.39 percent), which was almost at par with accession due to replacement of workers, (4.47 percent). Specifically, seven industry groups registered higher accession due to expansion. These are in administrative and support service activities that include the business process outsourcing (11.76 percent); professional, scientific, and technical activities, (6.12 percent); manufacturing (5.81 percent); and construction (4.95 percent). The BLES survey noted that employerinitiated separations, or lay-offs, were higher at 3.51 percent compared to employeeinitiated separations, or resignation, which was at 2.14 percent. ■ InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 10:08 AM

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IMMIGRATION / OFNEWS

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

US-based Pinoys to help restore quake-damaged Bohol churches A group of US-based Filipinos and American volunteers have been helping in the rebuilding of three Bohol heritage churches damaged by last October’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake. In a news release, the Philippine embassy in Washington D.C. said the Bohol Restoration Group Inc. (BRG) has been helping in the restoration of the: • Our Lady of the Immaculate Church in Baclayon, which was built in 1717 • Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Dauis, built in 1697 • Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Loay, built in 1795. According to the embassy, the BRG volunteers have been working on the project since October, with members having visited Bohol to assess the damage.

They have also met with Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso and representatives of local government units, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the National Museum. “The BRG’s volunteerism and desire to restore important heritage sites mean a lot not only to the Boholanos affected by the earthquake but also to Filipinos and non-Filipinos who have visited these churches,” said the embassy. The group presently has more than 50 Filipino and American volunteers, some of whom are architects, technical and heritage restoration experts, and seismic engineers.

Some of the American volunteers were also involved in the restoration of the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument that were damaged by an earthquake in 2011. “Volunteers came from various groups and firms such as Quinn Evans, Nixon Peabody, the National Cathedral, LeuterioThomas, the American Institute of Architects, Ecotektonica, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, McEnearney Associates, AmPhil Services and MRC3 Media,” the embassy added. Meanwhile, BRG board chair Mike Brown said they were seeking long-term partnerships with other groups in the Philippines and the US, including local government units and parishes. ■ Joel Locsin / DVM, GMA News / April 8, 2014 / 5:22 AM

48 Pinoys among 200 foreigners deported from China in 2013 FORTY-EIGHT of the 200 foreigners expelled from China for violating immigration policies last year were Filipinos, prompting the embassy there to launch an information drive. The information campaign, which was initiated in April, seeks to remind all Filipinos in China to observe and comply with the conditions and restrictions of their visas “to avoid arrest, prosecution, detention, deportation and eventually blacklisting in their host country.”

Filipinos with visitor or tourist visas in particular were warned not to engage in any employment. “Filipinos should respect the laws of China and observe the restrictions of their visas,” the Philippine embassy said. “If their visa is for tourism purposes only, they should not engage in any employment without proper visa or permit, whether they are compensated or not,” it added. The Filipinos were also strongly advised to return to the Philippines on or before the

end of their authorized period of stay in China. The Filipinos were also warned against involvement in any unlawful activities or criminal acts, such as illegal drugs trade and prostitution. A number of Filipinos have already been executed in China over drug-related cases, the latest of which occurred in July 2013 involving a Filipina who was convicted for smuggling heroin into the country. ■ Rie Takumi / KBK, GMA News / April 11, 2014 / 4:05 PM

BI links 13 accredited recruitment firms to human trafficking THIRTEEN government-accredited recruitment agencies have been linked by the Bureau of Immigration to human trafficking activities. Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison said the “modus operandi” of these agencies was uncovered following the recent interception of 47 prospective overseas Filipino workers who were found using fraudulent documents. Mison said the 47, who were intercepted by the bureau’s travel control enforcement unit (TCEU) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, were bound for the United Arab Emirates and were found to be headed for Lebanon and Jordan to work as domestic helpers. Mison requested Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to suspend the recruitment license of the following agencies:

• Trustworthy International Manpower Corporation, • Experts Placement Agency, Inc., • Chosen Divine Mercy Manpower Services Corporation, • Dobim International Manpower Services, • Zareiko Productions Inc. • Ridzkey Human Resources International Services,

• Dolma International Placement Corporation, • Inter-Globe Manpower and Consultancy Services Incorporated, • Caz International Incorporated, • Dream Fame International Manpower Corporation, • Tibiao Antique Manpower Agency Your Overseas, • Neostar International Manpower Services, • SMK International Agency Incorporated. “POEA recently suspended Nahed International Manpower Services for trafficking and illegal deployment of Filipinos to Jordan using UAE as transit point. However, the other above-named agencies continuously operate despite also being involved in trafficking and illegal documents,” Mison said.

GMA News Online tried to contact the agencies for their comments, but most were either unavailable or have changed the contact details that were reflected on their social media accounts. Neostar International Manpower Services refused to comment pending advice from lawyers. Offloaded OFWs. Mison said the offloaded OFWs had presented travel documents, including overseas employment certificates (OECs) indicating they are to work in the UAE as assembler, barista, cashier, office clerk, salesperson, and restaurant steward. The OFWs also reportedly used fake pre-departure orientation seminar documents that indicated they will work in Saudi Arabia. Government authorities have always warned OFWs against accepting fraudulent and reprocessed work documents because

many have ended up with abusive employers or forced into prostitution. Among those offloaded was a 33-year old Davao City native who presented a visa to work as an assistant teacher. Another lady, an 18-year-old Cebuana, has a work visa as a saleslady. They were stopped from departing, along with 45 others, when their documents were found fraudulent and that they actually intended to work as domestic helpers in Jordan and Lebanon. Mison said “tourist workers” leave the country purportedly as tourists but are in reality being deployed as laborers abroad. “They were carefully checked by the duty TCEU officers which resulted to the admission of the passengers that their real intention is to work as domestic helpers,” he said. ■ with Rie Takumi / KBK/JL, GMA News / April 11, 2014 / 2:30 PM

Pinoy nurse in Ireland ‘tape assault’ suffering from depression

Bimbo Paden

A Filipino nurse in Ireland is reportedly suffering from depression and panic attacks after he pleaded guilty to taping a patient’s mouth shut last year. In her report to the court hearing the case, consultant psychiatrist Dr. Patricia Noone said Bimbo Paden, 39, has suffered “guilt, remorse, depression, and panic attacks” since the incident in June 2013, according to The Irish Times. Noone also said Paden, whom she described as “gentle, caring, quiet and pleasing,” wasn’t a threat to other patients and it would be “a severe blow” if he was banned from the profession, a separate report on Independent said. Noone said Paden has confided to her that he feels like he let his family down, including his 10-year-old daughter and

parents in the Philippines, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year. A report by BBC News said Paden had admitted putting a small piece of surgical tape on 49-year-old Kevin Quinn’s mouth “a moment of complete stupidity.” Quinn reportedly needs 24-hour care following a brain hemorrhage 13 years ago. The BBC reported that Paden, who at that time was employed at St. John’s Hospital, had voluntarily agreed to his suspension from the registry of nurses following the incident. Since then, the nurse suffered from stress fatigue and anxiety, according to RTÉ News. Though he rarely complained, the pressure from working in a reportedly understaffed high dependency unit supposedly interfered with his “normal

rational and caring behavior as a nurse.” While the psychiatrist clarified that Paden’s behavior was inexcusable, she also believed that, with treatment, he “would not be an ongoing risk in his work as a nurse in the future.” She noted that the nurse has never exhibited violent tendencies before June 2013. In a separate report, The Irish Examiner said Paden was supposed to receive his sentence in March, but a judge discovered his “inequitable, unreasonable and unsafe” working conditions and deferred to a psychiatric evaluation. The court also noted that the hospital never extended the nurse’s repeated apologies to Quinn’s family. ■ Rie Takumi / KBK,

GMA News / April 11, 2014 / 6:38 PM


April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

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Pinoy dies, 5 others quarantined due to MERS virus in UAE A Filipino died while five others have been quarantined in the United Arab Emirates due to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, a UAE news site reported Friday. This was disclosed by the UAE Ministry of Interior, whch is tasked with monitoring and controlling the spread of the virus, Khaleej Times reported. Khaleej Times added the ministry is moving quickly to prevent the spread of the virus in the hospital in Al Ain. Citing initial information, the report said the victims are employees of a

hospital in the oasis city. It said they may have contracted the virus at their workplace, even as tests by the hospital’s emergency department and Ministry of Interior experts confirmed MERS infection. The report said the ministry advised residents as well as private and government establishments to carry out regular medical check-ups of employees. It said the ministry and health authorities will continue an awareness campaign to protect people from viral diseases like MERS.

“We have already launched an awareness campaign and appeal to the general public to be part of it,” the ministry statement added. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said MERS is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Most people confirmed to have MERSCoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness and had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. ■ Joel Locsin / JDS, GMA News / April 11, 2014 / 6:54 PM

Meet the Pinay singer in UAE with a black belt in taekwondo

AL AIN, United Arab Emirates — When Sandra Santosidad is not overpowering opponents with her fists and feet in taekwondo, she’s wowing audiences with her voice. The 24-year-old lifeguard in Atlantis Aquaventure loves singing so much that when she suffered a debilitating knee injury four months ago, singing became her solace.

“Singing actually serves as a therapy for me,” Santosidad shared via email. “It uplifts me whenever I feel down, frustrated, or sad.” The taekwondo incident, which happened while Santosidad was training last November, necessitated surgery and an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Sandra Santosidad as a singer.

Sandra Santosidad as a singer.

“I was in a taekwondo training when I heard a clicking sound on my left knee. I felt pain on my patella and couldn’t straighten my knee. So they rushed me to the Saudi German Hospital where it was found out that the ligaments there were completely torn,” she narrated. The incident happened a month after she performed at a waterpark in Dubai, belting out The Fugees “Killing Me Softly” and Adele’s “Someone Like You.” “Whatever I do and wherever I am, music will always be with me,” said Santosidad, who grew up in a music-loving family. “My parents are both good singers,” she said. “According to them, they already observed my enthusiasm in singing when I turned one.” Black belter. Santosidad martial arts proved to be Santosidad’s first love.

“I had started my career when I was in Grade Three. I’m a 2nd Dan Black Belt now and a member of the Taekwondo Blackbelt Brotherhood and Sorority (TBB/TBS) where my seniors are Monsour del Rosario and Tshomlee Go,” she said. Sandra Santosidad as a black belt in taekwondo.If not for a singing competition in her barangay in 2006 where her band won first place, Santosidad would not consider singing in front of the public. “The band’s lead singer backed out two days before the contest. I became the replacement since the band really wanted to pursue it. I sang ‘Only One’ by Yellowcard,” she recalled. After that, she became her school’s representative in an amateur singing contest conducted by the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Manila. “I didn’t win there but I was able to be

in final round. I sang ‘Because You Love Me’ by Celine Dion during the semi- finals, then ‘Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin’ by Lani Misalucha. Then I got invited again in acquaintance parties, weddings, and departmental orientations, among others,” Santosidad said. Stage fright. Despite being good in both taekwondo and singing, Santosidad still finds it difficult to perform before a crowd. “I still have stage fright,” she said, adding she’s afraid the audience would “tease me, or they might not enjoy listening to me.” To overcome this, she would just imagine that she’s performing at an empty venue or before a disinterested crowd. “Every time I perform, I just imagine that no one is watching me or they are busy with other things so they won’t notice me,” Santosidad said. ■ Lucky Mae Quilao / KBK, GMA News / April 9, 2014 / 7:56 PM

Migrant artists share their vision of a ‘new Filipino’ in Hong Kong-based exhibit FOR the more than 2.2 million Filipinos working overseas in all six continents, displacement and identity usually form the basis of the families they form or bring over in their journey. Even in the Philippines, the definition of home is changing due to a constantly changing economy. This change, and the emergence of new Filipinos, is the concept which binds “New Natives”, an art exhibition by Filipino-led Lightbombs Contemporary in Hong Kong. Held at their space in Wong Chuk Hang, “New Natives” will feature 28 artists, including two expats who never quite forgot their home. “My mother moved us to the San Francisco Bay Area when I was about three years old. She was a college student and part of a migration of Filipinos looking for better opportunity in the US,” Stephanie Syjuco told GMA News Online in an email interview.

Syjuco, a fellow at the Guggenheim Foundation, added, “Being part of the diaspora of Filipinos that exist around the globe was less of a choice for me and more of a reality.” Michael Arcega, an assistant professor of art at San Francisco State University, also moved to California at a young age, but his art continues to be informed by his memories of the Philippines. He explained, “My work definitely has Filipino undertones- it is heavily influenced by the culture and language. [It’s] a convergence of my Filipino upbringing and American development.” “You can’t deny where you are from, even if you have been forced to reinvent yourself because of a different, present context,” said Syjuco. But rather staying rooted at a central identity, she said Filipinos create multiple identities abroad when they assimilate the

culture of their host country. “We take with us the connections we are forced to make around the world and build on them as we can,” she said. “New Natives”, Syjuco explained, implied that “there is transformation happening” in how artists are responding to “proximity, distance, and communities.” “It’s one of a few curatorial projects that acknowledges and focuses on the diasporic nature of the Filipino culture,” said Arcega. The scattering of Filipinos and other cultures across borders, Syjuco predicts, may change what defines culture and national identity. She said, “It’s why I think trying to identify what is “Filipino” about my work can be difficult, but I do believe it is there: an adaptability, a chameleon-like quality that deals with global flows of labor, migration, and economies.” Zoe Peña, Lightbombs Contemporary

founder, said “New Natives” also dealt with how the identity of an artist “had very little to do with geography these days.” “What one is recognized for is the work they do, so essentially everyone is untethered,” Peña explained. Other artists participating in the exhibit include: • Ringo Bunoan • Felix Bacolor • Gary-Ross Pastrana • Jed Escueta • Romeo Lee • Christina Quisumbing Ramilo • Maya Muñoz • Dex Fernandez • Zeus Bascon • Neil Arvin Javier • Anya Villanueva • Pancho Villanueva • Marija Vicente • Gail Vicente

• Victor Balanon • Gel Jamlang • Archie Geotina • Pin Calacal • Jay Yao • Alvin Zafra “I am proud that Lightbombs is able to show the talents of these artists to a global audience,” added Peña. Artists Arnel Agawin, Wawi Navarroza, Costantino Zicarelli, and Bobbit Segismundo will be present to give tours of the exhibit. ■ Rie Takumi / BM, GMA News / April 13, 2014 3:16 PM

UAE upholds 15-year jail term for maid torturer DUBAI - A Dubai court has upheld a 15-year jail term for an Emirati woman who tortured her Ethiopian maid to death

by forcing her to drink pesticide, media reported Monday. The 46-year-old housewife was also

accused of torturing a Filipina maid and beating up a third domestic worker whose nationality was not specified, Gulf News reported. Her husband, also an Emirati, was jailed for three years for “aiding and abetting the crime,” the daily said. The woman starved her Ethiopian maid, “forced her to drink pesticide and denied her treatment after she developed pneumonia, resulting in the woman’s death,” the Gulf News said. Her husband had confined the maids to a room in the couple’s villa and sealed the windows, it said. The Filipina maid testified at Sunday’s

hearing that the housewife beat them with sticks, banged their heads against walls until they bled, and forced them to drink detergent. “She used to strip us, take pictures of us naked and threaten to send them to our friends,” Gulf News quoted her as saying. She said their employer “offered me a huge sum of money to keep silent” following the death of the Ethiopian maid, identified by The National as Khadija Kamel. The Filipina said her employer had forced her to drink detergents because she disapproved of the way the maid cleaned the bathroom, the newspapers reported. The husband and wife have denied the

charges and have 30 days to appeal at the Court of Cassation. The United Arab Emirates and other wealthy Gulf states have come in for repeated criticism from rights groups over their treatment of millions of foreign workers, mostly Asians. Rights groups and activists frequently report cases of employers in the Gulf torturing maids. Watchdogs have also criticized the sponsorship system in force in most Gulf states, under which workers must be sponsored by an employer, and which has been likened to modern-day slavery. ■ AFP /

April 7, 2014 / 7:48 PM


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April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

‘Kalbaryo ang Tuwid Na Daan’: Life under PNoy is daily sacrifice for workers - labor group MANILA – Workers from the Partido ng Manggagawa on Holy Monday held Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa at Maralita in Mendiola, calling the attention of the Aquino administration on several issues where ordinary workers were practically and perpetually “crucified.” These issues include the problems of unemployment, contractualization, and the deepening inequality between the rich and the poor, PM said in a news release. “In truth the ‘tuwid na daan’ was a tricky road to trek. It remains a ‘kalbaryo’ -- a daily sacrifice for ordinary workers who are continuously denied the rights and opportunity to live a decent life,” said PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda.

Miranda said life under the Aquino administration remains a difficult fight for survival to both men and women who carry the burden of jobs crisis characterized by rising unemployment, low wages, and contractual work arrangements. According to the Social Weather Station (SWS), 27 out of 100 adult Filipinos were considered unemployed in December 2013. The same survey also showed that unemployment was highest among women (35.9%) and among youth (52.3%) under the age group 18-24. And for those who are employed, added Miranda, the working conditions remain very harsh with millions of workers living a slave-like subsistence under contractual

work arrangements while their bosses join the club of the world’s top billionaires. According to PM’s own study, the workers real wage increased by mere 14% between 2006 and 2013 while the net worth of the country’s 10 richest capitalists increased by 1,005%. The group likewise lambasted the government for failing to address the problems of high power rates, the high cost of basic goods and services, as well as the deteriorating state of our mass transport system particularly the MRT and LRT. The group, together with the labor coalition Nagkaisa!, is now preparing for a major nationwide action on Labor Day. ■ InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 1:31 PM

Workers rally, 1 May 2011. File photo.

Cocktales: Market set to crown tuna/corned beef king as newest billionaire

THE country’s one percent will crown its newest member next month in the person of Ricardo Po Sr., the 82-year-old patriarch of Century Pacific Food Inc., manufacturer of the country’s best-selling tuna and corned beef brands. At the indicative offering price of P14.50 a share, the first-generation Chinese immigrant and his family’s 89.7-percent holdings in the food, dairy and nascent beverage empire have been valued at P29 billion ahead of Century Pacific’s listing on May 6. The P29 billion does not yet include Po’S 34 percent ownership in the listed property firm Arthaland, as well as their private real estate holdings that are being leased to various Century Pacific factories, warehouses and offices. From its December 1978 founding as a tuna exporter, Century Pacific’s driven management has expanded its processed food range to 283 items—mainly tuna, sardines, beef and dairy products—that make their way to store shelves in 42 other countries. This year, the conglomerate will add canned coconut water TO its diverse portfolio, importing an undisclosed US

brand for local distribution even though Century Pacific is already processing and exporting the juice du jour to the United States as a generic supplier. And speaking of the US market, what should excite the Filipino-Americans there is that, a century after the US colonizers introduced corned beef to the Filipino palate, the indios have begun penetrating and selling their own version of the cured meat to the US mainstream market. Century Pacific’s homegrown brand of the corned beef, ironically named “Argentina” after the South American beef powerhouse, has been available in select Walmart stores since last month. The US version of Century Pacific’s corned beef is actually made and packed in the US mainland through a third-party producer, but still made to taste like the original Philippine version, which is juicier and more flavorful than the popular American brand Libby’s, according to Gregory Banzon, Century Pacific vice president for global branding. Argentina retails at Walmart for $4.99 a 420-gram can, which works out cheaper than the $4.88 tag of a 12-ounce (340gram) can of Libby’s, also sold at Walmart.

As well, Argentina is targeting the more expansive Latino population in the US with its packaging references as being excellent for tacos and burritos, said Banzon. And the Latinos have even started calling Century Pacific’s 555 brand of sardines, especially the chili-spiced variety, as “cinco cinco cinco.” For the non-carnivores, Pinoys in the US can still get their protein and patriotic fix every time they head to a Subway branch and order tuna sandwich; most likely, the seafood that will be served them came from General Santos, and most likely supplied by Century Pacific. At Friday’s investor briefing, no less than the president of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Cezar Consing, not only personally appeared to pitch for his underwriting client, the banker also cited BPI chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel’s strong endorsement of Po and his four US-educated sons’ product and marketing prowess. “This company has legs,” Consing said. “This company is for the long run.” The underwriting exuberance definitely shows in how the debuting food and drinks conglomerate is being valued. At the target P14.50 offering price, the

market capitalization of Century Pacific would be spilling over P32 billion on the back of 2013 revenues of P19 billion and net income of P744 million. The more established market giant, San Miguel Pure Foods, on the other hand, had a market cap of slightly over P38 billion last Friday, despite clearing nearly five times bigger revenues, P99.8 billion, in 2013 and squeezing nearly four times more profit, P2.69 billion, than the new kid on the block. Ongpin taps Chinese connection. The controversial Alphaland chairman and chief executive, Roberto Ongpin has tapped his network of deep-pocketed friends in Hong Kong to raise P272 million in chump change and subscribe to a 3.25-percent stake in the property developer and hopefully save it from delisting. This we got from Ongpin himself, who provided some background as to the identities of the three investors. Citadel Investments, which wired in P25 million, is an investment vehicle of Ronald Arculli, a leading lawyer in the Chinese territory and former chairman of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. His son, Derek Arculli, chipped in another P25 million.

Fine Land, which forked out the biggest at $5 million, is an investment vehicle of “one of my oldest friends from China,” who has huge investments in infrastructure and property in the mainland, said Ongpin. “We have been friends for over 25 years and we have done many investments together,” the Marcos-era trade minister added, without volunteering the identity of the Chinese partner. And incoming investor Goodwill Financial Services, which pledged another $500,000, is owned by Fung Ka Pun, the head of a boutique bank in Hong Kong. “As you can well imagine, it is not easy to raise money when the company is suspended from trading and the stock exchange has initiated delisting process against it,” Ongpin said. “That is why I could approach only my close friends.” Heard through the grapevine. A former home of the late billionaire Enrique Zobel in Dasmarinas Village has been inexplicably torn down, amid a recent Court of Appeals decision awarding the contested Paraiso Street property to socialite Diana Jeanne Lopez. ■ Victor C. Agustin / April 14, 2014 / 2:39 PM

Cops who handled rape complaint vs. Vhong Navarro face suspension LTFRB issues 594 Navarro was brought to the Southern THE four police officers who first submitted to the National Capital Region special bus permits Police District by Cedric Lee and others Police Offi ce. handled the attempted rape complaint The four police officers were earlier who “arrested” the television host for for Holy Week trips filed against television host and actor Vhong Navarro have been recommended suspended for 20 days without pay for neglect of duty. Chief Supt. Oriel Baragais, head of the Regional Internal Affair Service-National Capital Region, said the recommendation to suspend Senior Insp. Eduardo Alcantara, PO3 Dalmacio Lumiuan Jr., PO3 Eugene Pugal, and PO3 Rolly Laureto will be

relieved from their posts for failure to follow standard procedures when they handled the complaint Deniece Cornejo filed against Navarro in January this year. They alleged failed to have Navarro undergo the mandatory medical check-up when they saw his face swollen and bloodied. It is standard procedure to have a suspect checked by a doctor for physical injuries.

allegedly trying to rape Cornejo inside her unit at Forbeswood Heights in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The officers also failed to get Navarro’s side of the story after he supposedly settled with the complainant who agreed not to file a case against him. Cornejo later filed a rape complaint against the TV host, but the Department of Justice has since junked it. The panel of prosecutors that reviewed the complaint said it was inconceivable that neighbors did not hear her struggling against Navarro. It also pointed out that Cornejo refused to undergo a medical evaluation after the alleged rape attempt and did not have visible injuries despite saying she tried to fight Navarro off. Cornejo, Lee, and others face charges of grave coercion and serious illegal detention. A Taguig court issued arrest warrants against them over the grave coercion case on Monday. ■ Amita Legaspi / JDS, GMA News / April 14, 2014 / 5:47 PM

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued close to 600 special permits to ensure there are enough buses for travelers this Holy Week. In a statement, LTFRB said 594 special permits have been granted to several bus companies so they can offer extra provincial trips starting April 13. The special bus permits will allow operators to temporarily ply routes outside their franchises until April 21. Last year, the agency issued 586 such permits. “In anticipation of the projected increase in the number of travelers this Lenten season, we have issued special bus permits to bus operators that met and complied with specific regulatory and safety guidelines imposed by the Board,” LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said. “We had to carefully screen every applicant to ensure they have no pending case with the Board and must carry existing and valid insurance coverage,” he

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez

said, adding that the agency received 945 applications this year. The agency’s move is meant to address any shortage created by the suspension of G.V Florida’s permits for 188 units. The suspension stemmed from a deadly accident in Benguet province. Operators in Central Luzon received the most number of special permits at 207, followed by Southern Luzon, 141; Northern Luzon (excluding Baguio), 84; Visayas, 73; Baguio, 46; Metro Manila, 24; and Bicol, 19. ■ Darwin G. Amojelar / InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 1:41 AM


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DATE / TIME

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EVENTS DIARY UK & EUROPE VENUE

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition ORGANISER

27 April 2014 Sunday 12:30pm – 4:30pm 3 May to 25 October 2014

Filipino Women’s Association (FWA) UK Salo-Salo 2014

St Mary Abbots Centre, Vicarage Gate, London W8 4HN

Filipino Women’s Association (FWA)

Miss Saigon

4 May 2014 Sunday, 5:00pm - onwards 2, 10, 11, 16 & 18 May 2014

1st Anniversary Dinner & Dance Party Ikaw at Ako Naman Kim Idol & Ate Gay UK Tour 2014

Featuring Fil-Am Eva Noblezada as Kim and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi Albayanon-UK

17 May 2014 Saturday 17 May 2014 Saturday, 4:00pm - onwards

Summer Disco

Prince Edward Theatre Old Compton Street, London W1D 4HS Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum Hotel, 97 Cromwell Road, London SW7 4DN Scotland – May 2 / Manchester – May 10 / London – May 11/ Brighton – May 16 / Newcastle – May 18 Baden Powell House, 65 – 67 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5JS St Augustine’s CE High School, Oxford Road, Kilburn, London NW6 5SN

7 and 8 June 2014 Saturday and Sunday 14 June 2014 Saturday 9:00am to 6:00pm 14 June 2014 Saturday, 7:00pm to 11:00pm 15 June 2014 Sunday, 9:30am – 5:30pm 15 June 2014 Sunday 2:00pm – 11:00pm 18 June to 2 July 2014 10:00am – 5:00pm

Philippine Independence Day sa Morden Independence Day sa Newcastle

Morden Park, Morden, Surrey SM4 5DX

Bayanihan UK

Blaydon Rugby Club (Carboot Area), Hexham Road, Swalwell, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE16 3BN The Chartroom Restaurant / Bar, Inverkip PA16 0AS Selby Road Leeds LS15 0AD West Wing Arts Centre Art Centre Stoke Road, Slough SL2 5AX Philippine Embassy 10 Suffolk Street London SW1Y 4HG

Filipino Community of Newcastle Upon Tyne (FILCAN)

21 and 22 June 2014 Saturday and Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm 24 June 2014 Saturday 6:00pm – 1:00am

Barrio Fiesta in Bristol 2014

Eastville Park, Muller Road, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6XA

FWA UK 26th Philippine National Day (PND) Dinner & Dance

Palace Suite, Royal Garden 2-24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT

Filipino Women’s Association (FWA)

28 June 2014 Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm

1st Southampton Barrio Fiesta

Hoglands Park Southampton

Southampton Barrio Fiesta

28 June 2014 Saturday, 08.00am to 6:00pm

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29 June 2014 Sunday, 9:00am to 6:00pm 29 June 2014 Sunday 5 and 6 July 2014 Saturday and Sunday 10:00am to 6:00pm

Bradford Barrio Fiesta

King George V Park, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 3TB Lady Hill Park, Allerton, Bradford BD15 7AA

12 and 13 July 2014 Saturday and Sunday

Birmingham Barrio Fiesta 2014

9 August 2014 Saturday 9:00am 17 August 2014 Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm

Pistahan Sa Nayon! Barrio Fiesta in Scotland 2014

30 and 31 August 2014 Saturday and Sunday

Barrio Fiesta Manchester 2014

Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Manchester M25 2SW

20 September 2014 Saturday

Mrs Philippines UK

Baden Powell House, 65 – 67 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5JS

1st Anniversary and Search for Mr & Miss CSFCUK 2014

Celebrating 2014 – 116th Philippine Independence Party Barrio Fiesta in Leeds 116th Philippine Independence Day Celebration 2014 – Piyesta Ng Kalayaan London Biennale 2014: Token of a Times Gone By Reanimating History as Art in the Work of Noel De Leon

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Scotland Barrio Fiesta 2014

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Camarines Sur Filipino Community UK (CSFCUK)

Phil-Scot Trust Filipino Leeds Association (FLA-UK Limited)

An art exhibition of multi-media installations, sculpture, paintings, founds objects by Mr Noel De Leon. It will be organized as part of the London Biennale 2014 and will be curated by Mr. David Medalla, founder and director of The London Biennale Filipino Community in Bristol

Sally Sellars 07886 742 417 / Program: Eva Bartolome 07542 026 296 / Santacruzan: Haidee Atienza 07814 425 547 Nally Carroll 01294 461 709 / Marilyn Kaarits 07805 562 450 Marjorie Horner: 07787 510 277

Noel De Leon: 020 8581 3623 / 07504 999 374 Deleon.noeled@yahoo.com Website: http://www.1fmediaproject.net/2014 /05/01/london-biennale-2014/ Wil Manuel 07900 485 194 / Honeylyn 07783 343 848 / Clarence 07500 896 239 / Hilda 07909 724 653 Clarita Richardson (Chairman): 020 8767 0180 or 07505 91 468 / Jane Gibbs (PND Coordinator): 01483 714 383 / Kerima Harris (Deputy PND): 07795 903 419 For stalls, sponsorship and other enquiries: Paul Maspinas 07894 227 754 / Jimmy Cabotaje 07878 852 153 / Nora Zuniga 023 8023 4412 For more info contact: Joseph: 07534 711 757 / Ivy: 07428 184 063

Independent Team

Nelson 07823 338 947 / Nina 07780 076 256

Hydebank Parks and Playing Fields, 19 Newtownbreda Road, Belfast BT8 6BQ Lampton Park, Lampton Road, Hounslow TW3 4DN

Northern Ireland Filipino Community

Roy 07412 625 738 / Malou 07850 151 678

HELLO PHILIPPINES

Woodgate Valley County Park, Clapgate Lane, Bartley Green, Birmingham B32 3DS Queens Park Recreation Ground, 520 Langside Road Glasgow G42 7JQ Hamilton Park Racecourse, Bothwell Road, Hamilton, Lanarkshire ML3 0DW

Filipino Association of Birmingham

Roselle Collado – 07577 813 104 Mike McCarthy – 07538 201 870 Email: events@hello-philippines.com Tickets & General Enquiries: 020 3004 9268 Rozen Malonzo 07985 159 203 / Marlo Quilang 07531 022 269 / Noel Azuro 07861 805 260

Filipino Community in Scotland

Alex Pullan: 07505 117 889 / 07456 658 592 Erik 07795 068 798

Aurora 07748 252 530 / aurobb0203@gmail.com Aguman Kapampangan UK

Zanie Del Mundo 07886 881 432 / zendel22@hotmail.co.uk

FREE LISTING of your events on the HELLO PHILIPPINES newspaper and if you know of any Events please contact us and submit your event via email to the following at INFO@HELLO-PHILIPPINES.COM DISCLAIMER: The Events Diary Listing does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favouring by Hello Philippines newspaper. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Hello Philippines newspaper. This is merely an Events Diary Listing of what is happening within the Filipino Communities in Europe. This is for general information only. 1st Saturday

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MONTHLY FILIPINO COMMUNITY MASSES IN GREATER LONDON

Devotion in Honour of Our Lady of Fatima (Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament / Rosary / Benediction / Mass) St Pius X Catholic Church, 108 Orme Road, Kingston Upon Thames KT1 3SB Oliver Abasolo – 07782 661 922 Five Precious Wounds Parish, Brentfield Road, Stonebridge Park, London NW10 8ER Mervic Monocillo – 07894 636 140 Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, Friary Road, Peckham, London SE15 1RH Allen Abeleda – 07713 625 888 St Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, 103 Woolwich New Road, London SE18 6EF Moises Espanola – 07894 648 639 English Martyrs Church, Chalkhill Road, Wembley Park, Wembley HA9 9EW Becky Sarinas – 07949 857 699 / 07425 761 519 / Lina B – 07579 418 510 St Dominic Catholic Church, 243 Violet Lane, Waddon, Croydon CR0 4HN Merlie Mirto – 07722 216 462 St. Anselm and St. Cecilia, 70 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JA Feliciano Ramirez – 07733 680 748 Sacred Heart of Jesus, New Priory, Quex Road, Kilburn, London NW6 4PS Sheidrick de Leon – 07738 210 202 Blessed Sacrament Parish, 157 Copenhagen Street, Islington N1 0SR Christy Sangalang – 07709 119 969 Our Lady of Dolours, Servite Parish Church, 264 Fulham Road, London SW10 4EL Fr Allan Satur – 020 7352 6965 / fulhamroad@rcdow.org.uk Roland Adap – r_adap@hotmail.com St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 218 Roehampton Lane, London SW15 4LE Rafael Santiago – 07795 254 451 St Pius X Catholic Church, 108 Orme Road, Kingston Upon Thames KT1 3SB Oliver Abasolo – 07782 661 922 Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 20 Brixton Road, Oval, London SW9 6BU Ben Ortiz – 07723 318 486 Filipino Mass and Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Farm Street Church of the Immaculate Conception (Jesuit House Chapel), access on 114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AY Josie Ramos – 07723 024 591


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NEWS

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Pinoy peacekeepers in Golan Heights conferred prestigious UN medal FILIPINO peacekeepers in Golan Heights have been awarded the prestigious United Nations Service Medal for the performance of their mission. The award was given to the members of the 7th Philippine Contingent to the Golan Heights (PCGH) during the Medal Parade held on March 22 at Camp Ziouani. Lieutenant General Singha, commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), commended the Filipino peacekeepers, saying they have done exceedingly well in their mission. In his speech, he noted how the troops came well-prepared and continued to make themselves physically and mentally disposed for their mission. Singha also praised them for taking proactive steps in intensifying efforts

to achieve safety and security in their respective positions. The Filipino peacekeepers have been in Golan Heights for over 100 days, according to a news release from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The DFA said the awarding of the medals was led by Singha and Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G. Calonge. Lt. Col. Ted Dumosmog, head of the 7th PCGH and the first recipient of the medal in the group, congratulated his fellow peacekeepers, saying that receiving the award was one of the most significant events in a peacekeeper’s life as it signifies the honorable recognition by the international community of the vital contribution of the Philippine Contingent in maintaining peace

Pinoy kids donate artwork to Saudi hospital’s pediatric ward CHILDREN of Philippine Embassy personnel in Saudi Arabia donated their artwork to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center to cheer up children in the pediatric ward. Made by 21 children aged five and 11, the felt fabric art collection was titled “Mga Bagay na Gusto Ko sa Saudi Arabia (The things I like about Saudi Arabia),” reported Arab News on Wednesday. Hospital officials reportedly hailed the “competence and work ethic” of the children who worked on the piece. Ambassador Ezzedin Tago told Arab News that it was “an illustration of what Filipino children like most about living in Saudi Arabia and an expression of their

solidarity with their young Saudi friends.” Jasmine J. Alferez, head of the Philippine Embassy Ladies’ Group, hoped that the artwork would inspire and speed up the recovery of KFSH&RC’s young patients. Art therapy is popular way to speed up recovery for children, whether they suffer from physical or psychological problems. Under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s art therapy program, children who suffered abuse can put their feelings to paper instead of relieving traumatic experiences. Painting has also served as therapy for cancer patients of all ages, some of whom feel that the process calms their nerves. ■

in the Golan Heights. He added that he felt proud for working with a group of people who are not only brave and talented, but also dedicated and focused in carrying out their duties. In his message, Calonge encouraged the Filipino peacekeepers to carry on their good work in the mission and to continue performing their duties with honor and dedication. The Philippines has been sending troops to UNDOF since 2009 when the Polish Contingent turned over its command to the country. With the 332 troops currently serving in UNDOF, the Philippines remains the second biggest troop contributor to the peacekeeping mission. ■ KBK, GMA News / April

7, 2014 / 12:10 PM

US doctor shortage seen to trigger Pinoy exodus IN a development that may trigger an exodus of doctors and medical workers from the Philippines, the United States is opening the doors to up to 13,000 physicians from around the world in the next decade due to a shortage of physicians. This was indicated in a March 21, 2014 letter of Chicago Consul General Leo H. Lim to Dr. Ramon Lopez, incoming president of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) chapter in the US, according to an article on the Medical Observer Philippines. The letter was reportedly based on a recent meeting between Dr. Humayan Chaudhry, president and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB), and Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia, Jr., wherein Chaudhry mentioned that efforts in Washington are being made in support of an increase in the number of physicians in the US. The report said US lawmakers are even considering increasing the number of

to receive better pay, but to render their services more efficiently. “Doctors, especially those who do charity work, are not appreciated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the government,” said Olarte, who recently locked horns with BIR commissioner Kim Henares over the bureau’s alleged unfair treatment on doctors. “It is difficult to even offer free medical services, since you need an affidavit and receipts to certify that you are rendering your services for free,” Olarte said. According to Lim’s letter, eight percent of the US’ international medical graduates (IMG) are from the Philippines, with 14,785 IMGs currently serving in the country. University of Santo Tomas, the University of the East, and the University of the Philippines were cited as the highest sources of actively licensed physicians in the US who graduated from Philippine medical schools. ■ Rie Takumi / KBK/JL, GMA

News / April 8, 2014 / 5:51 PM

Pinay to play Eponine in Canadian revival of ‘Les Miserables’ WEST End may already have three Filipinas for its revival of “Miss Saigon”, but another famous musical- this time, in Canada-has cast a Filipina to play its tragic female lead. Philippine-born Canadian Ma-Anne Dionisio will play Eponine, the lovesick teenager of “Les Miserables”, reprising the role from the musical’s US National Tour, Broadway World reported on Friday. Dionisio also played the role of Kim in “Miss Saigon” for British, Australian, and American productions of the ClaudeSchönberg musical. She has also previously played Grizabella in “Cats”, and the lead roles of both “Grease and “West Side Story”. In an interview with Philippine Reporter,

Rie Takumi / KBK, GMA News / April 11, 2014 / 3:11 PM

Pinoy arrested in Taiwan for killing of vendor A Filipino worker was arrested in Taiwan after being linked to the killing of a grocery store owner in Taoyuan County there Friday night. Taiwan’s Central News Agency quoted a police spokesperson as saying the Filipino allegedly stabbed the grocery store owner in the neck with a screwdriver. While the CNA report did not name the Filipino, it said police described him as 31 years old. It added the victim, who police identified only by his surname Lin, was rushed to the

applicants allowed under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program. Under the Conrad 30 Waiver program, J-1 medical doctors — or doctors who have non-immigrant visa issued by the US — may apply for a waiver for the two-year residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. Doctors practicing family and internal medicine are expected to benefit from the US shortage. A welcome announcement. Dr. Leo Olarte, MD, head of the Philippine Medical Association, said the call is a “welcome announcement to Philippine physicians.” “It is welcome because of difficult economic conditions they are facing here,” he told GMA News Online by phone on Tuesday. “Nasa discretion of local doctors if they want to offer their professional services elsewhere,” Olarte added. Despite this, he expects doctors to take advantage of the shortage, not only

hospital, but died from his wounds. An initial investigation showed the Filipino walked into the store in Luzhu township late Friday and got into an argument with the victim. A Taoyuan County Police Bureau spokesman said Lin allegedly rejected the Filipino’s request to borrow money. Following the incident, the Filipino worker tried to hide in New Taipei but was arrested Saturday morning. He is now in police custody. ■ Joel Locsin / LBG, GMA News / April 13, 2014 / 11:12 AM

Dionisio said her background as a Filipino folk dancer prepared her for the danceheavy role. Dionisio said in a separate interview with Canadian Immigrant that music was already a big part of her life even before immigrating to Canada at 16. Church hymns and karaoke-centric family gatherings, she said, taught her the musically-oriented nature of Filipinos. “I have been blessed with extraordinary opportunities in my career including being cast in roles that are traditionally nonAsian,” Dionisio told Canadian Immigrant. She will star with other Canadian actors on Drayton Entertainment’s run of “Les Miserables” from June to August. ■ Rie Takumi / JDS, GMA News / April 12, 2014 / 6:47 PM

PHL culture showcased during Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago 2014 THOUSANDS flocked to the “Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago” event last March 23, 2014 at Crystal Gardens in Navy Pier to witness Philippine culture in all its glory. The performers did the Philippines proud after delivering show-stopping numbers that left the crowd in awe of Filipino artistry. “Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago” is part of the “Neighborhoods of the World Program” in Navy Pier, which is aligned with the City of Chicago’s initiative to immerse the public in cultures from around the globe. The annual

event, which began last February 16 and will close on April 13, has become a major entertainment and leisure destination in Chicago and entire Midwest region and draws as many as a hundred thousand visitors daily. The Filipino-American community has been represented in the “Neighborhoods of the World Program” for three consecutive years already through “Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago”. GMA International, the business unit that oversees the operation and

distribution of GMA’s three international channels – GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International – has been an exclusive media sponsor of “Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago” since 2012. The roster of performers who gave justice to the beauty of authentic Philippine culture include Chicago Angklung, PACF Performing Arts, the Philippine Dance Troupe Quad City, Loyola Kapwa, Transfiguration Dance Troupe, Divine Rhythm, the University of Illinois in Chicago Filipinos in Alliance

Cultural, Samasama Project, Jeremiah Blu, ARIA, and LED. Aside from the strong cultural performances rendered during the “Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago”, attendees were also treated to a surprise announcement of an upcoming Piyesta Pinoy event slated for June 21st at the Bolingbrook Performing Arts Center. Piyesta Pinoy sa Bolingbrook will feature some of the brightest GMA Kapuso stars. ■ GMA International / April 4, 2014 / 8:31 PM


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INTERNATIONAL / GLOBAL NEWS

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Scotch whisky concerned about independence ‘risks’ LONDON - Scotch whisky makers expressed their concerns about the impact of Scottish independence for the first time on Friday, saying they needed an effective diplomatic network to promote sales. The Scotch Whisky Association said it was seeking “reassurances” about the “risks” of Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom following a referendum on September 18. The SWA says whisky represents about 85 percent of all Scottish food and drink exports, making it an economic jewel in the crown for a future independent Scotland. The UK has some 270 diplomatic missions in 160-odd countries, whereas Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s nationalists, in their blueprint for independence, envisage a network of 70 to 90 “international offices” if Scotland goes it alone. SWA chief executive David Frost said: “It

is important that an independent Scotland gives the same kind of support to the industry and finds ways of doing it that are comparable to what we have now. “We are concerned about the conditions in which we would be operating. We see some risks. We want reassurances. But are we going to be successful? Yes, you bet,” he told the BBC. Frost made his intervention as the body said Scotch whisky exports dropped 0.3 percent in 2013 to £4.26 billion ($7.13 billion, 5.14 billion euros). In volume terms, exports increased three percent to the equivalent of 1.23 billion bottles last year. In a statement, Frost said there were short-term economic “headwinds” due to trade barriers, while the industry was based upon investment and careful stewardship. “As a former ambassador, I know that the industry also depends on strong political

support from government, for example to influence EU negotiations on our behalf or to press other countries to allow better access to their markets,” he added. “Both the UK and Scottish governments have played an important role in this so far. “Whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum, as an industry exporting to around 200 markets we will continue to need the backing of an effective diplomatic network with the necessary global reach, commercial expertise, and capacity to influence.” The SWA posted its best year yet in India, with exports up 12 percent to £69 million. However, in East Asia, direct exports to Taiwan, South Korea and Japan all fell in value by between 13 percent and 15 percent. China fell out of the top 20 markets, with direct exports declining nearly 30 percent to £51 million. The United States, France, Singapore,

A barman lifts a bottle of Scotch whisky from a shelf in a pub in Glasgow on September 17, 2013. Photo by Andy Buchanan ©AFP.

Spain, Germany and South Africa were the biggest Scotch export markets by value in 2013. A poll for Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper published Thursday showed

47 percent were planning to vote ‘No’ and 37 percent were planning to vote ‘Yes’ to independence. Survation polled 1,002 people between April 4 and 7. ■ AFP / April 11, 2014 / 1:02 PM

Wanted jihadist hiding in Libya: Malian security sources BAMAKO - Fugitive jihadist commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar is hiding in Libya, from where he plans to mastermind terrorist attacks across Africa’s Sahel region, security sources told AFP on Sunday. The elusive Islamist, who staged a

deadly siege of an Algerian gas plant in January last year, was said to have been killed in northern Mali two months later, although security experts have since expressed doubts over the reports. “For some time we have had evidence

An undated image grab from a video obtained by ANI Mauritanian news agency reportedly shows former AQIM leader Moktar Belmokhtar speaking at an undisclosed location. ©AFP Photo.

that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, one of the most dangerous Algerian Islamists, who operated in northern Mali, has gone to Libya to avoid being arrested or killed. From the Libyan territory, he intends to control the entire Sahel,” a Malian security source said. Belmokhtar’s whereabouts were confirmed by a Nigerian security source, and another source close to MINUSMA, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali. “Everyone agrees today that he is not dead, that he is still active, but that he has settled for a while in Libya where he is still active,” the MINUSMA source told AFP. Belmokhtar was a leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which, along with other armed Islamist groups, took advantage of a military coup in 2012 to occupy northern Mali before being driven out by French and African troops. He split from AQIM last year and launched the Signatories in Blood, masterminding a raid of Algeria’s In Amenas

gas plant in which 38 hostages were killed in a four-day siege. The attack was said to have been carried out in retaliation for the French-led military intervention in Mali. Branded “The Uncatchable”, the oneeyed Islamist is also believed to be behind twin car bombings in Niger in May 2013 that left at least 20 people dead. $5m reward. The United States designated Belmokhtar’s group as a terrorist organisation in December, and the State Department is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to the Algerian’s capture. General David Rodriguez, head of the US Africa Command, told reporters in January that Belmokhtar, who cut his teeth fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, was still alive and had the means to stage another attack similar to the Algeria raid. Belmokhtar was involved in fighting against Chadian forces in Mali’s

northeastern Ifoghas mountains and was reported to have been killed in action in March last year. The reports, however, were never confirmed and Rodriguez said Belmokhtar was “in the middle of the Sahel”, exploiting the porous borders between southwest Libya and northeastern Mali. He said the US was trying to help Libya and other countries in the region bolster security and counter the threat posed by extremists. Mali has been the target of a series of attacks claimed by Islamist insurgents loyal to Belmokhtar and other jihadist commanders since France launched its military intervention in January last year. The residual groups of fighters are no longer able to carry out coordinated assaults, but Malian soldiers are vulnerable to small-scale attacks, by Islamist groups and by separatist rebels from the country’s Tuareg ethnic group. ■ Serge Daniel / AFP / April 13, 2014

Islamists boycott Algeria vote as North African tide turns ALGIERS - Algeria’s Islamists — once the country’s leading political force — are boycotting this month’s presidential election, chastened by recent poor performances at the polls and setbacks for ideological soulmates across North Africa. The three main moderate Islamist parties have forged an unlikely alliance with the fiercely secularist Rally for Culture and Democracy to call on voters to shun an election they say is a “sham”. Such considerations have not prevented some of them from taking part in past elections and even backing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the ailing 77-year-old incumbent whose bid for a fourth term they are now united in opposing. Analysts say the decision of all three parties to boycott this time reflects a common fear of rejection at the polls as Islamist groups suffer reverses across the region. The April 17 leadership contest comes just months after the resignation of an Islamist-led government in neighbouring Tunisia and the Egyptian army’s ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year and its blacklisting of his Muslim

Brotherhood as a terrorist group. “The Algerian Islamist parties are losing momentum after the failure of political Islam in the Arab Spring countries,” said analyst Said Djabelkheir. A resurgence of jihadist violence, brought home to Algerian voters by a deadly hostage-taking at the In Amenas gas plant in the southern desert in January last year, has also revived dark memories of the civil war of the 1990s. A rival, more radical Islamist movement, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), had been poised to win a parliamentary election in 1991 when the army stepped in to cancel it, prompting many of its activists to take up arms. The traumatic experience of the “black decade” in which an estimated 200,000 people were killed is never far from the minds of Algerians and has forced the moderate Islamists to negotiate a difficult balancing act ever since. Collaborate or boycott? Differences over whether to work with the regime have left them fragmented and weakened, their dismal performance in a 2012 general election contrasting sharply with electoral

victories for Islamists in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. The Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP) -- the Algerian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood -- supported Bouteflika from when he first took power in 1999 right up to early 2012, backing him when he was last re-elected in 2009, and served in successive governments. But the MSP’s decision to break with the regime cost both it and its newfound Islamist opposition allies in the Front for Justice and Development (FJD) and Ennahda dearly. The MSP had been the third largest party in parliament, but the parties’ joint list took just 48 seats out of 462 in the 2012 election. Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck, an analyst at the Carnegie Middle East Centre, said the decision to boycott was probably “an excuse to avoid yet another setback.” “It fails to hide the fragmentation, divisions, and lack of leadership within the current Islamist movement as a whole. Their inability to formulate a clear strategy, as a movement or as individual parties, has cost them support on the ground,” she argued. For Amel Boubekeur, a specialist in political Islam at the Jacques Berque

centre in Rabat, the rollercoaster of the past few years as the hopes of the Arab Spring uprisings have receded has changed Islamists across North Africa, who no longer think in terms of power as an exclusive goal. But she agrees that they lack a political programme. Forced “to take other players in the political arena into account,” Algeria’s Islamists have struggled to find common ground or to rally behind a consensus presidential candidate, she said. ■ AFP / April 13, 2014

Algerian Islamists clash with security forces during a protest against the decision taken by President.

The president of the Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP), the Algerian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abderrezak Mokri arrives for a press conference on April 11, 2014 in the capital Algiers.

A file picture taken on October 29, 2012 shows Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika briefing.


April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

INTERNATIONAL / GLOBAL NEWS

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Kenya faces uphill battle to revamp police, stem insecurity

NAIROBI - Their capital tarred with the nickname “Nairobbery” and under almost constant threat of attack by Islamist militants, Kenyans are losing patience with the ill-equipped and notoriously corrupt police force. A catalogue of security failures has exposed the inability of Nairobi’s underpaid police to deal with the severe security problems, prompting President Uhuru Kenyatta to step in and promise a massive overhaul. But analysts and security experts say it will be an uphill struggle to undo the broken relationship between public and police, given the ingrained stigma attached to the job and the fact that Kenyans have resorted to mob justice or now-ubiquitous private security firms. “The public in Kenya has never really trusted the police, hence the failure of such noble concepts as community policing,” said Ken Ouko, a sociology professor at the University of Nairobi. Joining the police has always been viewed as a career choice of last resort akin to an admission of academic failure, Ouko said. “Most policemen carry with them an anger that quietly seethes underneath as they go about their daily operations,” he added. The result is plain to see: anti-corruption website ipaidabribe.or.ke provides daily accounts of police extortion, mainly involving motorists stopped for spurious traffic violations and told to pay up or go to jail. On social media, police are held in

almost constant contempt. There was particularly vehement ridicule in January when police downplayed an explosion at Nairobi airport, saying it was an exploding light bulb, only later to arrest four Somalis and charge them with a terrorist attack. Outside of Nairobi, the picture is no better. Police in western Kenya are still embroiled in a scandal after a group of alleged gang rapists were ordered to cut the grass at a police station as punishment. And there are frequent reports of mobs lynching alleged thieves for crimes as petty as stealing a chicken. ‘Frustration and anger’ Police salaries contribute to the low esteem and lack of motivation: the lowest ranking Kenyan police officers are currently paid just 200 dollars (150 euros) a month, way below the average cost of renting a small Nairobi apartment. Officers and their families often have to share cramped and dilapidated quarters, sometimes with only a thin partition or curtain separating them from the next family. This is seen as a major factor driving the alarming number of burglaries and armed robberies in which police are implicated. The lack of trust and security is clear across Nairobi’s changing cityscape, dominated by residential compounds with high walls, razor wire and bars on windows. Police have also drawn ire for rounding up thousands of ethnic Somalis in indiscriminate counter-terrorism raids. In a state of the nation address to parliament last month, Kenyatta admitted an “unacceptable lack of coordination in

our handling of crime”, and said “public frustration and anger” over bad policing had “occasionally boiled over into mob injustice”. The president vowed to put more officers on the streets and give them better salaries, housing and health insurance. He said the government would also provide the force -- whose officers have been known to beg for a lift if called out to a crime scene -- with more sophisticated surveillance equipment and 1,200 new vehicles. But Peter Kiama, director of the Nairobibased rights group Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU), says the problem runs far deeper than low salaries and poor equipment. “While I fully support the need to invest in police capacity and welfare, I do believe that incentives may not matter at all as long as the mindset of the officers does not change,” said Kiama, whose organisation monitors police brutality and torture. He said his organisation has documented 48 deaths at the hands of the police between January and March this year. Need for a ‘paradigm shift’ Some police, particularly the anti-terrorism unit, have come under fire for alleged abuses including torture, arbitrary detentions and disappearances, particularly against Muslims suspected of being militants. Western diplomats have also voiced frustration over the lack of police capacity in a region subject to complex terrorist threats from Al-Qaeda sympathisers in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.

A man shouts at riot police during a demonstration held to highlight rising cases of corruption in government, insecurity, unemployment and poverty in Nairobi on February 13, 2014

An anti-riot police officer runs through a cloud of teargas as police disperse demonstrators

A police officer stops a motorist at a road block set up in the Somali district of Eastleigh

“Most policemen would sooner take a bribe than stop a terrorist attack, and there are others who are happy to bump people off and feed them to the hyenas,” said a European law enforcement expert, who asked not to be named. A senior Kenyan police detective admitted the situation was dire and that years of neglect had left the force out of

sync with the changing security situation -whether in terms of small arms proliferation or last year’s siege of the Westgate shopping mall. “There’s a need to have a paradigm shift within the police force to be in tandem with the changing patterns of crime and other emerging threats,” he said. ■ Reuben Kyama / AFP / April 13, 2014

Guinea-Bissau votes in watershed elections BISSAU - Guinea-Bissau staged watershed presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday aimed at ushering in a new era of stability in a country plagued by drugs and upended by a military coup. The polls cap four decades of chaos marked by a series of mutinies since the west African nation won independence from Portugal, and commentators have called for the new regime to finally bring the military into line. The impoverished country has been stagnating for two years under the rule of a transitional government backed by the all-powerful military, with the economy anaemic and cocaine trafficking fuelling corruption. Interim president Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, who is not a candidate, told AFP he “hoped and wished to turn the page to stability”. “The problem of Guinea-Bissau is political and military, and everyone must work together in mutual respect,” he said. There had been no reports of violence or major protests as polling stations began to close after 11 hours of voting at 6pm (1800 GMT), with some centres allowed to stay open an extra half hour to ensure everyone was able to vote. Chronic volatility has fanned poverty in the country of 1.6 million with few resources other than cashew nuts and fish, attracting South American drug cartels which have turned it into a hub of cocaine trafficking for west Africa.

The drug trade and the money it generates have corrupted all of GuineaBissau’s public institutions, in particular the armed forces, whose senior officers are accused of involvement in trafficking. Large cocaine shipment. The United States charged 2012 coup leader Antonio Indjai in April last year with drug trafficking and seeking to sell arms to Colombian FARC rebels, while former navy chief Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was arrested by US federal agents in waters off west Africa last year as he was allegedly about to receive a large shipment of cocaine. “The new government will have to call into question the privileges enjoyed by senior military officers and carefully resume the security sector reforms that prompted the army to stage the coup,” said Vincent Foucher, a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group. Thirteen politicians have been seeking to convince the people of Guinea-Bissau that they can stand up to the generals and reform the armed forces as the new president, while 15 parties are fielding candidates for parliamentary seats. Among the presidential hopefuls are political heavyweights such as former finance minister Jose Mario Vaz, and Abel Incada, a member of the Party for Social Renewal of former president Kumba Yala, who died last week. The dark horse, however, could be 50-year-old independent candidate Paulo Gomes, an unusual proposition in a political

landscape hitherto dominated by political grandees who made their names during the war of independence. A gifted economist who has spent most of his life working abroad, including as the leader of the World Bank’s sub-Saharan Africa division, he believes he has the knowhow to begin to turn around the country’s fortunes. As he cast his vote in Bissau, he said his country was “bruised” and needed to be put “back on track”. “Even if we lose, we have to roll up our sleeves and help the new government,” he added. ‘Not immune to another coup’ Voting looked healthy in the capital Bissau, with many turning up well ahead of the 7:00am opening to book their places in the queue. At one voting station, housewife Hawa Sonko, 42, said she had performed “a simple but very important act”. “My vote is like a rope that is going to help my country out of the hole. Guinea-

Bissau has suffered since 2012,” she told AFP. The much-delayed elections are the first since Indjai, a former army chief of staff, agreed in May 2012 to hand power to a civilian transitional regime headed by Nhamadjo. Hoster Garba, a 53-year-old civil servant, said she hoped her vote meant “participation for a change in the system and the men who govern us”. “But this vote does not make us immune from another coup, especially if the international community turns its back on us,” she added. Although campaigning ended on Friday with no major security incident, polling is being supervised by 4,200 Bissau-Guinean

and west African soldiers. More than 500 international observers will decide whether voting has been free and credible. Guinea-Bissau is ranked 177th out of 187 in the UN human development index, and two-thirds of the population are living below the poverty line. The ICG has urged donors to be ready after the election to help the government pay immediate expenses, including public sector wages, provide long-term funding for development programmes and push for improved economic governance. If no clear winner emerges, a presidential runoff is scheduled on May 18. ■ Stephane Barbier / AFP/ April 13, 2014

Employees of the National Election Council (CNE) check electoral lists at a polling station.

People vote on April 13, 2014 at a polling station on a street corner in Bissau.

People queue on April 13, 2014 at a polling station in Bissau. Photos by Seyllou ©AFP.


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Pregnancy and baby

HEALTH and Lifestyle

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

(Services and support for parents)

FAMILY doctors (GPs). You can contact your family doctor (GP) at any time, whether it’s for you or your child. Some GPs will see small babies at the beginning of surgery hours or without an appointment, but be prepared to wait. Some will give advice over the phone. Most GPs provide developmental reviews and vaccinations, or you can go to a child health clinic. Register your baby with your GP as early as possible in case you need their help. You can use the pink card that you’ll be given when you register your baby’s birth. Sign the card and take or send it to your GP. If you want the GP to see your baby before you’ve registered the birth, you can go to the surgery and fill in a registration form there. If you move, register with a new doctor close to you as soon as possible. How to change your GP. You may need to change your GP if you move or you may want to change for other reasons, even if you’re not moving house. First, find a GP who’ll take you on. Ask around and see if anybody can recommend one. Your local PALS or our online services search can give you a list of the doctors in your area. You may have to try more than one GP before you find one willing to accept you, especially if you live in a heavily populated area. If you can’t find a GP after several attempts, your local health authority will do it for you. Send them your medical card if you have it or the address of your previous GP if you don’t. When you visit your new GP surgery, leave your medical card with the receptionist. You don’t have to contact your old GP. If you’ve lost your medical card, your new GP will probably ask you to complete a form instead. In some cases, they may want you to contact your primary care trust (the number will be listed in the phone book) and obtain a new medical card. You’ll need to give the primary care trust the name and address of your old GP. If you don’t know it, the process could take longer. If you need treatment in the meantime, you can approach any GP, who

must take you on at least temporarily. It’s best to say upfront that you need treatment straight away, even if you’re also asking to be permanently registered with that GP. Health visitors. A health visitor will usually visit you for the first time around 10 days after your baby is born. After that, you will see your health visitor at the child health clinic, although you can ask to see them at any time. If you’re on your own or struggling, your health visitor will probably come to see whether you need any help. A health visitor is a qualified nurse who has had extra training. Part of their role is to help families avoid illness and stay healthy, especially families with babies and young children. Health visitors are part of a team that offers screening and developmental checks as part of the Healthy Child Programme. Talk to your health visitor or a member of your team if you feel anxious, depressed or worried. They can give you advice and suggest where to find help. They may also be able to put you in touch with groups where you can meet other mothers. Your health visitor can visit you at home or you can see them at your child health clinic, GP surgery or health centre, depending on where they’re based. Your health visitor will make sure you’ve got their phone number. Child health clinics. Child health clinics are run by health visitors and doctors. They offer regular health and development reviews and vaccinations. You can talk about any problems to do with

your child, but if your child is ill and is likely to need treatment, go to your GP. Some run mother and baby, parent and toddler, breastfeeding and peer support groups. Community midwives. You’ll be given contact details for midwives based in your local community. Midwives provide antenatal and postnatal care in several different places, including children’s centres. They can also visit you in your own home. Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Sometimes children need more specialist help with their emotional health, development or behaviour. CAMHS professionals are trained to understand children’s emotional wellbeing and psychological health, as well as the pressures and strains of family life.

Talk to your health visitor or a member of your team if you feel anxious, depressed or worried. They can give you advice and suggest where to find help. They may also be able to put you in touch with groups where you can meet other mothers.

If your GP, health visitor or child health worker can’t give you the help you need, they may suggest that you see a CAMHS worker. LOCAL AUTHORITY SERVICES Sure Start Children’s Centres. Children’s centres are linked to maternity services. They provide health and family support services, integrated early learning and full-day or temporary care for children from birth to five years. They provide advice and information for parents on a range of issues, from effective parenting to training and employment opportunities. Some have specific services for young parents. Family Information Service. Your local Family Information Service (FIS) aims to help you support your children by providing a range of information specifically for parents. Each FIS has close links with children’s centres, Jobcentre Plus, schools, careers advisers, youth clubs and libraries. They can offer information about local childcare services and availability, and help you if you need childcare for a child with a disability or special needs. Education departments. The education department is responsible for and can provide information about all the state-run nursery schools, nursery classes and infant schools in your area. The department also assesses children with special needs and provides suitable education for them. You’ll find your local education department in the phone book under the name of your local authority. Housing departments. The housing department (in the phone book under the name of your local authority) is responsible for all council housing in your area. It runs the council housing waiting list. It has a legal duty to house people in certain priority groups who are homeless (or soon will be) through no fault of their own. Priority groups include pregnant women and parents of children under 16. Through your housing department, you can find out about local housing associations, which provide housing for rent and, in some cases, shared ownership. Social workers. Social workers provide support for people who have difficulty coping, financially or practically. A social worker may be able to get your child a nursery place, help you find better housing and give you information about your rights. To contact a social worker, phone your

local social services department or ask your health visitor to put you in touch. Advice centres. Advice centres are nonprofit agencies that give advice on issues such as benefits and housing. They include citizens advice bureaux, community law centres, welfare rights offices, housing aid centres, neighbourhood centres and community projects. Look for them under these names in your phone book or under the name of your local authority. Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of services: • You may have a number of issues to discuss. Before you go, think about what you want to talk about and what information you can give that’ll be helpful. It can help to make some notes and take them with you as a reminder. • It’s much easier to talk and listen if you’re not distracted. Unless your child needs to be with you, try to get a friend or neighbour to look after them so that you can concentrate. • If you have to take your child, bring some books or toys with you to entertain them. • Take time to think about the answers or advice you’re given. At first, you may think that it’s not what you’re looking for, but it may be a solution you haven’t considered. If you still think it won’t work, explain why and try to come up with some different ideas. • If a problem is making life difficult or is really worrying you, keep going until you get some kind of answer, if not a solution. If the first person you talk to can’t help, ask if they can suggest where else you might go. If your GP or health visitor suggests a solution that doesn’t work, go back and ask again. • Some professionals aren’t good at explaining things. If you don’t understand then say so. It’s their responsibility to be clear; it’s not up to you to guess what they mean. Go back over what they said to make sure that you understand. It may help if they write it down for you. • If your first language isn’t English, you may be able to get help from a link worker or health advocate. Their job isn’t just to translate the words, but to act as a friend and make sure that the professionals understand what you need. Ask your health visitor or staff at your local Sure Start children’s centre if there’s a link worker or health advocate in your area. ■ NHS Choices


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HEALTH and Lifestyle food

Foods to avoid in pregnancy THERE are some foods to avoid or take care with when you’re pregnant because they might make you ill or harm your baby. Make sure you know the important facts about which foods you should avoid or take precautions with when you’re pregnant. CHEESES TO AVOID IN PREGNANCY Soft cheeses with white rinds. Don’t eat mould-ripened soft cheese (cheeses with a white rind) such as brie and camembert. This includes mould-ripened soft goats’ cheese such as chevre. These cheeses are only safe to eat in pregnancy if they’ve been cooked. Soft blue cheeses. You should also avoid soft blue-veined cheeses, such as Danish blue, gorgonzola and roquefort. Soft blue cheeses are only safe to eat in pregnancy if they’ve been cooked. The advice to avoid some soft cheeses is because they are less acidic than hard cheeses and they contain more moisture, which means they can be an ideal environment for harmful bacteria, such as listeria, to grow in. Although infection with listeria (listeriosis) is rare, it is important to take special precautions in pregnancy because even a mild form of the illness in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage,stillbirth or severe illness in a newborn baby. These are the symptoms of listeria. If you’re pregnant and showing signs of listeria infection, seek medical help straight away. CHEESES THAT ARE SAFE TO EAT IN PREGNANCY All hard cheeses are safe in pregnancy. You can eat hard cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan and stilton, even if they’re made with unpasteurised milk. Hard cheeses don’t contain as much water as soft cheeses so bacteria are less likely to grow in them. It is possible for hard cheese to contain listeria, but the risk is considered to be low. Soft cheeses that are safe to eat in pregnancy. Other than mould-ripened soft cheeses, all other soft types of cheese are OK to eat provided they’re made from pasteurised milk. These include: • cottage cheese • mozzarella • feta • cream cheese • paneer • ricotta • halloumi • goats’ cheese • processed cheeses such as cheese spreads Cooked soft cheeses that are safe to eat in pregnancy. Thorough cooking should kill any bacteria in cheese, so it should be safe to eat cooked mould-ripened soft cheese, such as brie, camembert and chevre, and cooked soft blue cheese, such as roquefort or gorgonzola, or dishes that contain them. It’s important to make sure the cheese is thoroughly cooked until it’s steaming hot all the way through. • are hard cheeses safe to eat in pregnancy? • are cooked brie and blue cheeses safe to eat in pregnancy? • is it safe to eat goats’ cheese in pregnancy? Pâté in pregnancy. Avoid all types of

pâté, including vegetable pâtés, as they can contain listeria. Avoid raw or partially cooked eggs if you’re pregnant. Make sure that eggs are thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are solid to prevent the risk of salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella food poisoning is unlikely to harm your baby, but it can give you a severe bout of diarrhoea and vominting. Avoid foods that contain raw and undercooked eggs, such as homemade mayonnaise. If you wish to have dishes that contain raw or partially cooked eggs, consider using pasteurised liquid egg. Raw or undercooked meat is risky in pregnancy. Try not to eat rare meat because of the potential risk of toxoplasmosis. Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly so it’s steaming hot and there is no trace of pink or blood - especially with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat, including burgers. The Department of Health previously advised that it was fine to eat whole cuts of beef and lamb rare, as long as the outside had been properly cooked. As a precaution, this advice has now been removed while a food safety committee (The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food) looks into the issue of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in meat, soil, cat faeces and untreated water. If you are pregnant the infection can damage your baby, but it’s important to remember that toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is very rare. Toxoplasmosis often has no symptoms. But if you feel you may have been at risk, discuss it with your GP, midwife or obstetrician. If you are infected while you’re pregnant, treatment for toxoplasmosis is available. Wash all surfaces and utensils thoroughly after preparing raw meat to avoid the spread of harmful bugs. And wash and dry your hands after touching or handling raw meat. Be cautious with cold cured meats in pregnancy. Many cold meats such as salami, Parma ham, chorizo and pepperoni are not cooked, just cured and fermented, so there’s a risk that they contain toxoplasmosis-causing parasites. It’s best to check the instructions on the pack to see whether the product is ready-to-eat or needs cooking first. For ready-to-eat meats, you can reduce any risk from parasites by freezing cured/ fermented meats for four days at home before you eat them. Freezing kills most parasites and so makes the meat safer to eat. If you’re planning to cook the meat (for instance, pepperoni on pizza) then you don’t need to freeze it first. If you’re eating out in a restaurant that sells cold cured/fermented meats they may not have been frozen. If you’re concerned, ask the staff or avoid eating it. Pre-packed meat is safe to eat if you’re pregnant. Pre-packed meats like ham and corned beef are safe to eat in pregnancy. Some other sites (maybe from other countries such as the USA) may suggest that you avoid pre-packed meats in pregnancy but here in the UK we do not.

Liver can harm your unborn baby. Don’t eat liver, or liver-containing products such as liver pâté, liver sausage or haggis as they may contain a lot of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can harm your baby. Vitamin and fish oil supplements. Don’t take high-dose multivitamin supplements, fish liver oil supplements or any supplements containing vitamin A. Fish in pregnancy. You can eat most types of fish when you’re pregnant. Eating fish is good for your health and the development of your baby. But you should avoid some types of fish and limit the amount you eat of some other types. When you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you shouldn’t eat shark, swordfish or marlin. You should also limit the amount of tuna you eat to • no more than two tuna steaks a week (about 140g cooked or 170g raw each), or • four medium-sized cans of tuna a week (about 140g when drained) This is because tuna contains more mercury than other types of fish. The amount of mercury we get from food isn’t harmful for most people, but if you take in high levels of mercury when you’re pregnant this could affect your baby’s developing nervous system.

When you’re pregnant, you should also avoid having more than two portions of oily fish a week, such as salmon, trout, mackerel and herring, because it can contain pollutants such as dioxins and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). Remember that fresh tuna is an oily fish, so if you eat two fresh tuna steaks in one week, you shouldn’t eat any other oily fish that week. Tinned tuna doesn’t count as oily fish, so you can eat this on top of the maximum of two portions of oily fish (as long as it’s not fresh tuna or swordfish). But remember not to eat more than four medium-sized cans of tinned tuna a week when you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. There is no need to limit the amount of white fish and cooked shellfish you eat when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, apart from shark, swordfish and marlin. Shellfish in pregnancy. Always eat cooked rather than raw shellfish (including mussels, lobster, crab, prawns, scallops and clams) when you’re pregnant as they can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause food poisoning. Cold precooked prawns are fine.

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Smoked fish in pregnancy is safe. Smoked fish, which includes smoked salmon and smoked trout, is considered safe to eat in pregnancy. Sushi and pregnancy. It’s fine to eat raw or lightly cooked fish in dishes such as sushi when you’re pregnant as long as any raw wild fish used to make it has been frozen first. This is because occasionally wild fish contains small parasitic worms that could make you ill. Freezing kills the worms and makes raw fish safe to eat. Cooking will also kill them. Certain farmed fish destined to be eaten raw in dishes like sushi, such as farmed salmon, no longer need to be frozen beforehand. This is because farmed fish are very unlikely to contain parasitic worms due to the rearing methods used. If you’re unsure contact the Food Standards Agency for advice. Lots of the sushi sold in shops is not made at the shop. This type of sushi should be fine to eat, because if a shop or restaurant buys in ready-made sushi, the raw fish used to make it will have been subject to an appropriate freezing treatment. If you’re in any doubt, you might want to avoid eating the kinds of sushi that contain raw fish such as tuna. The safest way to enjoy sushi is to choose the fully cooked or vegetarian varieties, which can include: • cooked seafood, for example fully cooked eel (unagi) or shrimp (ebi) • vegetables, for example cucumber (kappa) maki • avocado, for example California roll • fully cooked egg If a shop or restaurant makes its own sushi on the premises, it must still be frozen first before being served. If you’re concerned, ask the staff. If you make your own sushi at home, freeze the fish for at least four days before using it. Peanuts are safe in pregnancy. Go ahead and eat peanuts or food containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) during pregnancy, unless you are allergic to them or a health professional advises you not to. You may have heard that peanuts should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because the government previously advised women that they may want to avoid eating peanuts if there was a history of allergy (such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergy or other types of allergy) in their child’s immediate family. This advice has now been changed because the latest research has shown that there is no clear evidence showing that eating peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy. Milk and yogurt in pregnancy. Stick to

pasteurised or UHT (ultra-heat treated) milk – sometimes also called long-life milk. If only raw (unpasteurised) milk is available, boil it first. Don’t drink unpasteurised goats’ or sheep’s milk or eat foods made from them, such as soft goats’ cheese. All types of yogurt, including bio, live, lowfat etc are fine. Just check with homemade yogurt that it is made with pasteurised milk - and if not, avoid it. Ice cream in pregnancy. Soft ice creams should be fine to eat when you’re pregnant, as they are processed products made with pasteurised milk and eggs, so any risk of salmonella food poisoning has been eliminated. For home-made ice-cream, use a pasteurised egg substitute or follow an eggfree recipe. Foods with soil on them. Wash fruit, vegetables and salads to remove all traces of soil and visible dirt. Caffeine in pregnancy. High levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birth weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life. Too much caffeine can also cause miscarriage. Caffeine is naturally found in lots of foods, such as coffee, tea and chocolate, and is added to some soft drinks and energy drinks. Some cold and flu remedies also contain caffeine. Talk to your midwife, doctor or pharmacist before taking these remedies. You don’t need to cut out caffeine completely, but don’t have more than 200mg a day. The approximate amount of caffeine found in food and drinks is: • one mug of instant coffee: 100mg • one mug of filter coffee: 140mg • one mug of tea: 75mg • one can of cola: 40mg • one can of energy drink: 80mg • one 50g bar of plain (dark) chocolate: around 50mg • one 50g bar of milk chocolate: around 25mg So if you have, for example, one bar of chocolate and one mug of filter coffee, you have reached almost 200mg of caffeine. Don’t worry if you occasionally have more than this amount – the risks are small. To cut down on caffeine, try decaffeinated tea and coffee, fruit juice or mineral water instead of regular tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks. Herbal and green tea in pregnancy. There’s little information on the safety of herbal and green teas in pregnancy so it’s best drink them in moderation. The FSA recommends drinking no more than around 4 cups of herbal or green tea per day during pregnancy and to seek advice from your GP or midwife if you are unsure about which herbal products are safe to consume. ■ NHS Choices


Ima Castro

Miss Saigon in 2001

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CELEBRITY, SHOWBIZ & ENTERTAINMENT SCOOP

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Malaysian wins ‘Asia’s Next Top Model 2’ as Pinays settle for runner-up finish IN their respective profiles at the official Asia’s Next Top Models Cycle 2 website, all 16 contestants were asked what they would do if modeling doesn’t work out. Sheena Liam of Malaysia is the only one who boldly answered: “Modeling is only option”. The tenacity of the 22-year-old blondehaired native of Selangor paid off big time Wednesday night when she emerged as the winner of “Asia’s Next Top Model 2” held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In the final deliberation, Sheena was hailed as the “face of modern Asia” by the panel of judges, which included guests Natasha Kraal, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia, Kenneth Goh, fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar in Malaysia, and Singapore and Malaysian model Ling Tan. The other judges were host and supermodel-actress Nadya Hutagalung, celebrity photographer Mike Rosenthal, celebrated choreographer Adam Williams, Filipina supermodel and TV presenter Joey Mead King and another guest judge, Marina Fairfax of Storm Models Management. Dismayed with what many of them felt was a hometown decision that favored the host country’s contestant, the respective supporters of Jodilly Pendre — who repeated Stephanie Retuya’s 1st runner-up finish last year — and Katarina Rodriguez — who ended up the 2nd runner-up — did not shy away from tweeting messages that were harshly critical of the final result. But Jodilly and Katarina, who watched the finale in two separate viewing parties, were more generous in heaping praises on Sheena in their respective Instagram messages. “Congratulations for winning Asia’s Next Top Model. always remember our session in Hotel Mulia okay? ☺ You are the star, always remember that. ☺ i will always be here for you ☺ ill see you soon

and might celebrate my birthday with you, right? Hahaha BE PAAZZIITIIIVE!#fantastic2 #embracegreatness btw, thanks for the mascara!” Jodilly posted after watching the finale with her boyfriend and her supporters and media at a Victoria Court drive-in hotel. For her part, Katarina was just as magnanimous. “To my barbie girl, golden unicorn! CONGRATULATIONS on the win! I miss you tons already ☺ Sheena you are an amazing model, and forever you, myself & Jodilly will share this wonderful bond ♡ Remember, I DON’T CARE, I LOVE IT when the times call for it. You’re now on top of ever ythang ☺ & it’s well deserved darling. Standing next to you on top three was an honor. I’ll be seeing you in London, but before that, let’s have more limitless nights all over Asia! I am so proud of you darling mand sending all my love to you from Manila. xXx,” posted Katarina who watched the finale with her supporters and selected members of the press at a viewing party hosted by her family at Italianni’s at The Fort. As the second titlist of “Asia’s Next Top Model”, Sheena’s prizes included a cash prize from FOX International Broadcast, a Subaru XV car, the chance of becoming the new face of TRESemmé for one of their 2014 campaigns, the chance to appear in a spread and on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore/Malaysia and a threemonth modeling contract with Storm Model Management in London. Katarina did not say what prizes she and Jodilly received as runner-ups but she did say that both of them are off to London with Sheena as well. The finale of “Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 2” aired on Star World Asia. Previous episodes are also aired on TV5 every Thursdays at 9PM. ■ Edwin P. Sallan / InterAksyon.

com / April 10, 2014 / 10:31 AM

‘Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 2’ winner Sheena Liam.

A collage of the viewing parties for Filipina finalists Jodilly Pendre and Katarina Rodriguez.

KC Concepcion feeds a baby in Dulag, Leyte on Wednesday. Photo by Anthony Chase Lim ©WFP Philippines.

KC Concepcion sings during the WFP nutrition program in Dulag, Leyte on Wednesday. © WFP Philippines.

KC Concepcion helps feed kids of Yolanda survivors in Leyte KC Concepcion helped feed undernourished children of Yolanda survivors in Dulag, Leyte on Wednesday. The actress, the WFP Philippines’ national ambassador against hunger since 2008, helped WFP staff and partners in distributing ready-to-eat supplementary food and micronutrient powder in the town. KC, who has donated over P3 million to WFP’s nutrition programs in Leyte, also performed a song number for the people of Dulag. The WFP has been helping feed 8,000 families with 5,000 children — aged between 6 to 59 months in the area since supertyphoon Yolanda struck Leyte and the rest of the Visayas in November. As WFP ambassador, KC regularly visits WFP operations to raise awareness about hunger in conflict-affected areas of the country and has supported relief operations

during various emergencies including the most recent Typhoons Sendong and Pablo. She is auctioning some of her favorite personal items on eBay in support of WFP’s school feeding programs. “KC brings synergy to our efforts in the country by promoting collaboration and taking initiatives. Her contribution enabled WFP to assist more families in the typhoonstricken areas,” WFP Philippines representative and country director Praveen Agrawal said in a statement. KC also stopped by Tacloban City where she took a photo which she shared to her followers on Twitter (see left). “The Filipino smile says a lot about our resilience. Galing. Ang sarap makita ng mga smile ninyo, Tacloban,” she posted. ■

InterAksyon.com / April 10, 2014 / 9:54 AM

Kris Aquino, James Yap find closure at Bimby’s birthday bash

ALTHOUGH their son Bimby won’t officially turn 7 until April 19, Kris Aquino and ex-husband James Yap agreed to celebrate it last Tuesday, April 8, one day after she publicly admitted that she and Quezon Mayor Herbert Bautista are in a relationship. The occasion offered the former couple the chance to get full closure on their seven-year relationship, which had ended in an annulment in early 2012, which was followed by a bitter custody battle for Bimby last year. Kris and James had a tearful heart to heart talk, during which she apologized for giving him a hard time after their relationship soured. She also gave him credit for giving him Bimby and also for loving Josh — her son from a previous relationship with Phillip Salvador — like his own son. Among the five photos of the children’s party that she posted on Instagram and later showed on her late night talk show, “Aquino & Abunda Tonight”, two particularly stood out with her followers on the social media site. One is a photo of Kris with sons Joshua and Bimby standing together with James beside a Minecraft-inspired birthday cake that the “Queen of All Media” simply captioned, “Happy Birthday, Bimb! We love you!”. The photo generated over 28,600 likes. Another is a collage of the same photo and an older photo that showed James lifting a younger Josh while wearing matching basketball uniforms. The photo’s caption read, “This was the picture I showed on A&A. Thank you for the lessons & the memories. #movingforward”. The photo generated over 25,700 likes.

Kris Aquino and James Yap pose for a family photo with Bimby and Josh during Bimby’s advanced birthday party on Tuesday.

The message seems to be Kris’ way of putting a punctuation mark on her much earlier tweet, “Being friends with your ex shows you two are mature enough to get over the fact that you weren’t meant to be together”. As if that isn’t enough, two of her latest Instagram posts on Wednesday further underscored this message. One is a photo of the cover of Daniel Handler’s bestselling novel, “Why We Broke Up” which she captioned, “Almost done reading”.

James Yap embraces Josh in this old photo. Photos from Kris’ Instagram.

Another is an image of the quote, “Every breakup starts with a love story” which she captioned with the words, “I agree…”. It’s not known if James’ Italian girlfriend, Michela Cazzola, and Kris’ current flame, Mayor Herbert, attended the party as Kris neither posted photos that included them nor talked about it on her talk show. Mayor Herbert’s lack of visibility in the family affair could be part of Kris’ efforts to keep their relationship private. Fans who reacted to the family photo showing Kris and James happily posing with Josh and Bimby are hoping that the former couple would still reconcile and end up with each other someday. Kris and James got married in 2005, separated in 2010, and then had their marriage annulled in 2012. After a much-publicized legal dispute over custody and visitation rights for Bimby last year, the two eventually settled their differences and are now happy to be in good terms again. ■ Edwin P. Sallan / InterAksyon. com / April 9, 2014 / 9:25 PM


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APPEAL FOR ATHLETES FROM THE MEMBERS OF THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY IN UNITED KINGDOM AND EUROPE Greetings! I am from the Ateneo de Manila University a top rank school in the Philippines. This is our website for you to browse, www.ateneo.edu. I am also head of the University’s Track and Field program. To bolster our college track and field team, I am in search of eight exceptional student-athletes (four men, four women) entering university, preferably 17-19 years old, to be enrolled by May for the first semester and September for the second semester. The preferred events are distance, throws, sprints jumps, hurdles and race walk where distance runners are the most preferred. Preferably, they should be of Filipino heritage. One or both of the parents should have been a Filipino citizen or immigrant at the time of the athlete’s birth. The preference for mixed heritage for Filipino heritage athletes is due to the fact that one year residency is required in our league. This is unless both parents are documented Overseas Filipino Workers. We accept foreign athletes but they will have to sit out a two year residency rule. It will also be preferable that athletes interested at enrolling under our athletic scholarship program already have taken the Standard Aptitude Test (SAT) or equivalent. This way, they will not have to take the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET). I hope your club has such athletes with caliber and status. It would be appreciated very much to hear from you soon. Thank you! Coach Misael B. Perez Program Head, Ateneo Track and Field Office Landline: (+632) 426 1201 / (+632) 426-6001 – Local 4191-4197


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CELEBRITY, SHOWBIZ & ENTERTAINMENT SCOOP

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Sam Concepcion on Anne Curtis incident: ‘There was a confrontation’ USING frequent pauses and carefully chosen words, Sam Concepcion revealed just enough to confirm that, yes, Anne Curtis did confront him at the birthday bash of Vice Ganda at 71 Gramercy last March 31. “There was a confrontation that happened. But you know…buti diyan kasi…I understand where she’s coming from and nagkaintindihan na kami ni Anne so…,” the 21-year-old singer-actor said at a press conference Thursday announcing his endorsement deal with Chef’s Noodle Korean Restaurant at Robinsons Magnolia in Quezon City. Sam’s revelation contradicted Anne’s earlier statement that she merely talked to him that night and just reminded him to take care of her baby sister, his rumored girlfriend Jasmine Curtis-Smith. Anne not only denied that she verbally abused Sam with the words, “Why are you here? Who invited you? You are not classy enough to be here!” and “Ba’t mo niloloko ang kapatid ko?” but even dared all of her social media followers to ask Sam about the incident—confident that he would corroborate her statement. Sam’s camp, however, remained mum about the issue as his manager, Carlo Orosa, promised to keep quiet and not issue any comments.

At the jampacked Chef’s Noodle event, Sam could no longer fend off questions from media. Even without meaning to and perhaps unwittingly, he revealed more details about the incident even as he insisted that he and Anne had patched things up and he understood her concern for Jasmine. “Syempre, ate yun eh. Ako din naman, I have a little sister. Siyempre I will…also look out for my little sister,” he pointed out. When asked if there was any misunderstanding between him and Jasmine that triggered Anne to confront him like that, Sam said he could not think of anything. He was also quick to deny that rumors linking him to “Mirabella” co-star Julia Barretto was the real reason for Anne’s outburst. “There’s no truth to that…Sana po hindi na lumaki ng lumaki ang issue at magkaroon pa ng ibang stories na lumabas kasi nga…it involves my relationship with all of them,” he said referring to Jasmine, Anne, their families and even Julia who he sees at the taping of the popular ABS-CBN teleserye. With regards to Anne’s version of the incident, InterAksyon asked if it was possible that Anne was too intoxicated to remember everything that happened, Sam’s response was somewhat cryptic.

“Hindi ko alam…kasi minsan, malilito ka na rin sa mga nangyayari…sa dami nang mga lumalabas,” he replied. There were also rumors that he was approached by other cast members of “It’s Showtime” that night and they tried to comfort him after the incident. Sam again scrambled to find the right words but seemed to ultimately confirm it. “There were real, true friends who came with me…para ano lang…friends who have always been there for me,” he said. As to why he was the one who initiated communications with Anne in the aftermath of the incident even though many felt he did not do anything wrong, Sam said it was just natural for him as a guy to make the first move. “Ako kasi ang nanliligaw. I’m the one courting Jas. So whatever the situation, it’s always the guy who has to make the effort. Ako naman po, I’m very understanding of people. And I also wanted to clear things with her first…gusto ko na maging okay muna kami…”. All throughout the interview, Sam kept stressing that everything was now okay between him and Anne. As for Jasmine, Sam underscored that he is “faithful” to her while publicly professing his affection for her.

Lee and Cornejo might go abroad to avoid arrest – Navarro lawyer THE legal counsel of TV host Vhong Navarro said their camp has information that Cedric Lee and Deniece Cornejo are planning to go abroad to evade their possible arrest. Lawyer Alma Mallonga said on a report on GMA’s “24-Oras” aired Friday that the group has already booked flights abroad. But Lee and Cornejo’s camp denied the allegations and said they will face the charges filed against them. “For whatever it is, ready naman sila mapawalang sala. Ready rin sila kung ano man ang sabihin ng korte,” said Howard Calleja, counsel for Cornejo, Lee, and others charged in connection with the alleged

mauling of the TV host in January. Their camp has already appealed for a suspension on the hearing of the serious illegal detention case filed against them by Navarro. The hearing on the motion will be on April 15 which may coincide with the release of their arrest warrants, the report said. Navarro was allegedly beaten up by Lee’s group for trying to rape Cornejo in her condominium unit on the night of January 22. The Justice department has junked a rape complaint that Cornejo filed against Navarro. ■ Andrei Medina / JDS, GMA News / April 11, 2014 / 9:46 PM

Dominic Roco hosts a colorful birthday celebration AFTER his notable performance as Bobby in ‘Magkano Ba Ang Pag-ibig?’, Dominic Roco decided to celebrate his birthday on April 10, 2014 at The Child’s World- A Growing Center located in Quezon City. The birthday boy was welcomed by the students and the teachers of The Child’s World. A birthday cheer was given to him headed by Ms. Tess Bomb who hosted the event. “Thank you for having me at The Child’s World,” said Dominic. When Dominic was asked why he chose the kids of The Child’s World as his special guests for his birthday, he answered, “dahil sa last role ko, sa Magkano Ba Ang Pag-ibig?” In Magkano Ba Ang Pag-ibig?, Dominic played the role of Bobby, Eloisa’s (played by Heart Evangelista) husband with autism. “Parang gusto ko lang silang paligayahin through painting or through this party para lang mas ma-enjoy nila,” he explained.

While the students were busy with their meals, one student came up to Dominic and offered him a song for his birthday. After the snacks, Dominic handed out the painting materials that will be used for the art session. He said, “It’s one of

my hobbies, ‘yun lang and it can be used as an expressive thing. I’m just helping them”. When asked what is his birthday wish, he happily answered, “Longer life. that’s it.” ■ Maine Aquino / GMANetwork.com / April 11, 2014 / 4:54 PM

Sam Concepcion and Anne Curtis.

“Jas is very, very special to me. I really take care of her and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt her,” he declared. Despite this recent controversial episode, Sam still felt very blessed this year as in addition to his numerous endorsement deals that now includes Chef’s Noodle, he was also overjoyed to hear that no less than Mr. Pure Energy himself, Gary Valenciano had proclaimed him as his heir apparent. Sam is one of the special guests of Gary V’s “Arise” concert which is now on it second night this Saturday, April 12 at the

Smart Araneta Coliseum. Audie Gemora, president of Stages, which manages Sam’s career, said Gary V’s bold declaration has inspired them to produce an upcoming big venue solo concert for Sam this year. “Sam is the only talent I know who can sing, dance and act. There’s not too many people out there who can do all three very well,” Gemora quipped. Asked if he expects both Jasmine and her Ate Anne to watch him at Gary V’s concert, Sam smiled and just said, “I hope to see them there.” ■ Edwin P. Sallan / InterAksyon.com / April 12, 2014 / 1:17 PM

Fil-Am singer Malaya Watson eliminated on ‘American Idol’ JUST a week ago on “American Idol” Season 13, Filipino-American contestant Malaya Watson was told by judge Jennifer Lopez that she would “run away with the competition”. This week, Malaya found herself not running but getting the boot after viewers voted her off the show. It had been a roller coaster ride for the 16-year-old tuba player from Southfield, Michigan. Named by her Filipina mother after the Tagalog word for “free”, Malaya pretty much lived up to meaning of her name as she exuded a quirky and freespirited personality throughout the 12 weeks that viewers got to know her in the series. But after breezing her way to the Top 13 finalists, Malaya immediately found herself in the bottom three with a lackluster performance of Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby” but was fortunate to narrowly escape elimination. She then found her groove in succeeding weeks with memorable renditions of Tamela Mann’s “Take Me to the King”, Jennifer Holliday’s “I Am Changing”, Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” and The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road”. Despite a well-received repeat performance of her original audition song, Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way”, where Lopez made her famous declaration, Malaya again found herself in the bottom three but again survived for another week when Sam Woolf got the lowest votes. Woolf, however, was not sent home by the judges who used their lone save of the season for him. This week, with the judges unable to save anybody, Malaya took a big gamble by taking on Chaka Khan’s highly challenging soul ballad, “Through The Fire” and found herself in trouble after receiving a lukewarm reception from the judges with both Lopez

Malaya Watson. ©Fox

and Keith Urban telling her to relax and lay back a little. In a subsequent interview with HollywoodLife.com, Malaya herself thought she could have done better especially during the second half of the song. Viewers shared her opinion and that of the judges as Malaya again found herself in the bottom two together with CJ Harris, another regular cellar dweller. CJ, however, did just well enough this week with his reading of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” to edge out Malaya in the contest. With her elimination, the competition is left with seven contestants, of which only two (Jessica Meuse and Jena Irene) are female and only one (CJ) is AfricanAmerican. Despite her elimination, Malaya’s Top 8 finish assures her of a spot in the upcoming “American Idols Live!” concert world tour, the last two editions of which included a stop in the Philippines. “American Idol” airs on Star World every Thursday and Friday at 6PM, with encore telecasts at 8PM and 11PM and on ETC every Thursdays and Fridays at 6PM, with a primetime telecast at 9PM. ■ Edwin P. Sallan / InterAksyon.com / April 12, 2014 / 9:27 AM


April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

CELEBRITY, SHOWBIZ & ENTERTAINMENT SCOOP

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How will your favorite Kapuso stars blow off steam this summer?

SUMMER is the season to bask in the sun and hit the beach. For some, it is a time to explore different places or sweat it out for a sizzling summer bod.GMANetwork.com compiled interviews of your favorite Kapuso stars to find out what they are up to this summer. First off, we talked to the scorching hot leading men of GMA. They might as well be summer personified, but it takes effort to look as fit and toned as they are, which is why most of them are focusing on sports to feel the burn. Tom Rodriguez shared that he would like to combine extreme sports and working out in order to achieve his target body for summer. For the most part, he will be skydiving and hitting the gym. He said, “Parte rin ng trabaho na alaagaan ‘yung sarili ko. Kaya sabi ko unfair rin sa pinagtatrabahuhan ko at manonood at fans ko, so kailangan talaga,” Likewise, Kambal Sirena leading man Aljur Abrenica is focusing on maintaining his hunky physique especially since he has

a lot of scenes in his show that require him to be shirtless. Aljur said, “I’m getting into shape. I’m trying new sports ngayon. I’m into MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Sinimulan ko na ‘yung Jiujitsu and Judo. Nagte-training ako para mas makadagdag naman sa healthy regimen ko para hindi lang ako ma-stuck sa pagwowork-out.” Carmela leading man Alden Richards also looks forward to a summer filled with sporting activities that would keep him fit. The crush ng bayan shared, “I want to try Mixed Martial Arts. A lot of my friends in GMA like Rocco [Nacino] and Aljur [Abrenica] are really involved. I wanna do it in a more practiced way na I will also benefit from it. If mabigyan ng chance, I wanna try mountain climbing, trekking, biking or even extreme stuff like bungee jumping.” Joining the fitness bandwagon is newbie leading man Phytos Ramirez, who made a splash in the recently concluded GMA Telebabad series, Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw.

Tom Rodriguez makes a daring new move KAPUSO hunk Tom Rodriguez took the television sphere by storm when he starred in his first primetime series, My Husband’s Lover. Since then, Tom’s career soared sky high with his string of endorsements and movie projects. Never afraid to try new things, Tom took the plunge into a new sport: skydiving. At 4,000 feet above sea level, the Kapuso actor bravely conquered his first skydiving experience. He even posted a short video of this in his Instagram account. According to Tom, it was by far the most extreme adventure that he has ever done. He admitted that he initially got nervous, but all his fears faded away before jumping off the plane. In an interview with Aubrey Carampel of 24 Oras last April 4, he shared, “Grabe ‘yung sarap. We were up there 4,000 feet tapos lalabas ka sa may pakpak ng eroplano.” After Tom’s dive, he underwent a first jump initiation, which involved enjoying some beer with the senior jumpers. The

talented actor expressed his gratitude to all those who have assisted him in his exciting experience. He added that it will definitely not be his first and last skydiving stint because he would like to level up. Tom stated, “Sabi nila sa akin, ‘pag maka 15 jumps na ako, puwede na ako [mag] 15,000 feet.” For the latest on Tom Rodriguez, keep visiting www.gmanetwork.com. ■ Samantha Portillo / Bochic Estrada / GMANetwork.com / April 9, 2014 / 3:46 PM

He said, “Ngayon po, naka-focus po ako sa Crossfit at tumatakbo po ako sa UP oval. Sinasama ko po sina Joyce [Ching]. Iyon po ang parang bonding namin.” For other Kapuso stars, summer is all about unwinding and going places. Frequent traveler Rocco Nacino, who went to Cambodia for the first time alone last summer, will be going to a different continent with a special friend this year. He said, “Supposed to be a month [iyong vacation]. Naging two and a half weeks. April 5 ‘yung alis ko, so excited na kami. Adventure ‘yan. First time kong pupunta sa Europe.” Kapuso leading lady Kylie Padilla, on the other hand, is enjoying her time in Australia. She has been vacationing there since March. She told us in a previous interview, “It’s a great time to catch up with my mom and siblings. I really miss them and I’m excited to bond with them.” Of course, there will always be those who are drawn to this country’s beautiful beaches. One of them is Kambal Sirena

Tom Rodriguez

Aljur Abrenica

actor Mike Tan. He told us that he has no concrete plans yet for summer, but he looks forward to going to Boracay either for vacation or for work. Likewise, the beach is close to the heart of Kapuso child wonder Jillian Ward. She shared, “Noong pumunta po kasi ako sa Boracay, may event kami noon tapos

Alden Richards

pumunta kami doon sa mismong beach pero medyo low tide po kaya gusto ko pong bumalik.” Soak up the sun, have fun and enjoy the summer just like your favorite GMA stars. Have the best summer ever, Kapuso! ■ Samantha Portillo / Bochic Estrada / GMANetwork.

com / April 9, 2014 / 7:49 PM

Kambal Sirena cast thankful for viewers and netizens’ support

GMA Artist Center prime talents Louise Delos Reyes, Mike Tan, and Aljur Abrenica feel thankful and blessed for the overwhelming support of viewers and netizens from around the globe for their sirena serye Kambal Sirena. Kambal Sirena airs internationally via GMA Network’s flagship international channel, GMA Pinoy TV. On social networking sites, Kapuso netizens continue to share their positive reviews on the program. Aside from the acting skills of Tessie Tomas, Mickey Ferriols, Nova Villa, Lotlot De Leon, Pancho Magno, Wynwyn Marquez, Chanda Romero, Angelika Dela Cruz, Rich Asuncion, Polo Ravales, and Gladys Reyes, lead stars Louise, Mike, and Aljur promise more exciting and must-watch scenes as their characters start to develop closeness with each other. Here are some of the comments from social networking sites: Im hooked.. Nakakapanibago.. Im not into pinoy drama pro i lyk dis. Heavy and light @ d same tym. @GMAKambalSirena #KSAngPulserasNiAlona — nadj ismael (@nadj_21) March 27, 2014 Napapangiti ako pagpinapanood ko ung Kambal Sirena :’> @GMAKambalSirena :)) #KSPagbalikNgNakaraan #KambalSirena — Madeline Baker ❤ (@naomirgmen) March 26, 2014

Walang araw na din ako nabitin sa Kambal Sirena„Nakakabitin ganda kasi ehhh!!! #KSReynaAlona — Jamaica Deocares (@JamaicaDeocares) March 20, 2014 @GMAKambalSirena @gmanetwork @lou_delosreyes The entire family was fascinated by the story itself. Beautiful story. Kudos! #KambalSirena — iamHERO (@blugrant) March 18, 2014 Impressive story and costumes #KambalSirenaUnangAlon. — Nes Sta Romana (@SilvestreNestor) March 10, 2014 #KambalSirenaUnangAlon Perfect! Kakaiba Ang storya. ! Kudos The Cast of This Serye. I salute The production of this Serye. — ahmed bañasia (@ iamAHMEDzing101)March 10, 2014 With the heartwarming support that Kambal Sirena is receiving, Louise, Mike, and Aljur share their appreciation and happiness. “I’m very thankful. Simula noong nag-umpisa kami ganoon pa rin sila, mainit pa rin ang pagtanggap nila sa Kambal Sirena. Lahat ng pagod at puyat namin talagang worth it lahat. Everyone shouldn’t really miss the upcoming episodes because aside from the original concept, Direk Dondon along with the production staff is really working hard on every detail of the soap, from the script up

to the characters,” Louise said. Also something to watch out for is the character of Mike as Jun. According to Mike, “Si Jun ay isang mangingisda at makakahuli kay Alona. Siya ang magsasabi kay Alona na may mga mababait ding mga tao tulad ni Jun na nakakaintindi sa kanya.” When asked about his experience on the set, Mike shares, “Well, it’s my first time to work with Louise at nakakagulat siyang katrabaho. Walang siyang ere at very professional. Enjoy sa set, ‘yung lokohan namin at walang pressure tapos kahapon nag-aral din ako ng basic diving.” Meanwhile, Aljur just celebrated his 24th birthday last March 24. “Last March 1,6 I had a birthday mall show then I also had the chance to celebrate with the kids of World Vision last March 20. On the 24th, my family visited on the set of Kambal Sirena,” Aljur said. The Kapuso actor is also very vocal on talking about his character and the challenges they’re facing on taping Kambal Sirena, “Hindi po siya madali pero hindi kami tumitigil dahil exciting talaga, laging may bago. On my character as Kevin, abangan nila ang realizations ko with Macy [Wynwyn] at ang pagkakamabutihan nina Pearl at Kevin. Plus excited na din akong makatrabaho si Mike dahil siguradong may mga bagong matututunan ako sa kanya.” ■

Aljur Abrenica

Louise Delos Reyes

Mike Tan

Marian Rivera sports new, shorter hair NAKATAWAG ng pansin sa mga follower ni Marian Rivera sa social networking sites ang ipinost niyang larawan na nagpapakita ng bago niya hairstyle. Tanong ng ilan, nagpaputol nga ba ng kaniyang buhok ang Kapuso Primetime Queen? Sa kaniyang Facebook account, nakalagay ang bagong larawan ni Marian na may caption na: “Marian Rivera in Pixie Cut Hair style.” “Shoot,” ang maigsing mensahe ni

Marian sa isa pang larawan. Ang naturang larawan ay umani ng magkakaibang reaksiyon sa kaniyang mga follower sa Facebook, Twitter at Instagram. May mga nagandahan sa maigsi niyang buhok at mayroon din nagsabing mas gusto nila si Marian na mahaba ang buhok. Mayroon ding ilan na nagtanong kung talagang nagpagupit ng maigsi ang leading lady ng primetime series na “Carmela.” ■ FRJ, GMA News / April 9, 2014 / 12:25 AM


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NEWS

www.hello-philippines.com

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

DOTC chief under fire for ‘campaigning’ for Roxas amid transport woes MANILA, Philippines -- Leftist lawmakers on Monday slammed Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya for allegedly campaigning early for the presidential bid of Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II amid pressing transport woes such as the plight of commuters on the Metro Rail Transit. Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate questioned how Abaya could act as Roxas’ “rah-rah” boy even as MRT riders suffered the “daily penitence” of long lines and overcrowded coaches. Zarate pointed to the recent groundbreaking rites for the Coast Guard base in Barangay Culazi in Roxas City, Capiz, Roxas’ hometown, during which he said Abaya, after being introduced by Roxas, addressed the Interior secretary as “President.” “He is the president of our (Liberal) party

and of our future plans and endeavors,” Zarate quoted Abaya as saying of Roxas. “This is very frustrating especially since MRT-LRT commuters are suffering the daily penitence of endless lines, computer glitches, non-working elevators and escalators, sardine-like coaches, accidents and many more but the government official tasked to solve these problems is already doing his rounds as the campaign manager of Mar for the 2016 elections,” the Bayan Muna solon said. “Besides it seems that they are using the donations for the Yolanda victims to advance their political ambitions,” he added. Zarate said Abaya should concentrate on the pressing problems plaguing the MRT “so that our commuters would have a safer and more comfortable way of getting to their workplaces or schools and back home” as

well as the allegations of an attempt to extort millions of dollars from a Czech company that was bidding for the MRT7 extension and other projects. “These issues are now with the various committees of the lower house of Congress for investigation and we hope that these will be fast-tracked,” Zarate said. Meanwhile, Representative Terry Ridon of the Kabataan party-list warned that the 48 new MRT coaches the government ordered from China might become “fully-paid white elephants” because, under the build-operatetransfer scheme, the government has no power to take over the operations of the MRT3. Ridon said Abaya and other transportation officials should have anticipated the problems of long queues at the MRT and acted earlier.

■ Lira Dalangin-Fernandez / InterAksyon.com / April 14,

2014 / 3:23 PM

Sam Concepcion and Anne Curtis.

Islands of good governance: 5 government agencies report strides towards competitiveness ISA president Francisco Eizmendi Jr., ISA chairman Dr. Jesus Estanislao, and NCC cochair Guillermo Luz at a press briefing on the Islands of Good Governance initiative Friday, April 11, 2014. MANILA, Philippines - As the Philippines prepares for ASEAN economic integration and its hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2015, just how far has it gone towards ensuring its competitiveness in the region? Several government agencies gathered at a “Take the Lead” public governance forum Friday to report how they’re faring in that regard, and share ideas of how to address remaining barriers. Officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Civil Service Commission, Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Philippine National Police, among others, presented their accomplishments from last year in the context of their “breakthrough goals” for 2015 under the Islands of Good Governance (IGG) initiative by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC). The aim of the collaboration, said ISA chairman Dr. Jesus Estanislao, was to raise the standards of government practice. The performance of these institutions is measured through a “balanced scorecard” system and audited by external institutions to ensure “real, substantive performances (and) breakthroughs,” he added. “We have made huge gains,” said NCC co-chair Guillermo Luz, citing global competitiveness reports such as the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness

Index (+26 change over three years until 2013); International Finance Corporation/ The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report (+28 change over three years until 2013); and Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (+35 change over 3 years until 2013). While other ASEAN countries with higher competitiveness rankings have more foreign direct investments, he said that the Philippines will do better as soon as it stays on track. Governance and competitiveness are connected strongly, he stressed, which was why the IGG initiative was an important one in achieving inclusive growth. CSC chairman Francisco Duque III was the first official to present his agency’s breakthrough goals and progress towards them at the forum at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila The CSC’s breakthrough goals for 2015: 1.Increase percentage of high-density service offices passing the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) report card survey, wherein clients rate the quality of recently concluded government transactions, from 75 percent to 98 percent 2.Increase percentage of cases resolved within 40 days from the time they are ripe for resolution from 60 percent in 2012 to 90 percent Progress in 2013: 1.92.89 percent or 837 service offices passed the ARTA report card survey 2.Resolution time of administrative cases was shortened from 60 days to 40 days 3.73.9 percent or 6,789 cases were

resolved within 40 days from the time they were ripe for resolution 4.96.5 percent of draft decisions were deemed acceptable The Army’s score card. Philippine Army commanding general Lieutenant General Hernando Iriberri also gave a speech. Breakthrough goals for 2015: 1.60,000 army non-commissioned officers to craft their own personal governance scorecards 2.100 percent of army units directly engaged in territorial defense, security and stability, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response have increased operational readiness Progress in 2013: 1.30 percent or 19,720 enlisted personnel had personal governance scorecards 2.30 percent or 53 units out of 176 directly engaged in territorial defense, security and stability, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response increased their operational readiness 3.Net trust rating was at +75 and net satisfaction rating was at +70, according to an external survey Philippine National Police. PNP Chief General Alan Purisima was present at the event as well. Breakthrough goals for 2015: 1.Improve crime resolution through a three percent increase in crime clearance and crime solution efficiencies 2.Decrease by incidents of street crimes like snatching, “salisi,” and “bukas kotse” by 50 percent Progress in 2013: 1.There was a 4.48 percent increase of crime solution efficiency and 4.74 percent increase of crime clearance efficiency as of February this year 2.Of 3,642 crimes perpetrated by motorcycle riding criminals, 438 suspects were neutralized, 30 motorcycles confiscated, 36 firearms recovered, and 250 cases solved 3.Confiscation of loose firearms for violation of Republic Act No. 8294 increased by 22 percent or 9,706 firearms, and confiscation of loose firearms from private armed groups increased by 57 percent or 278 firearms, with 6,646 persons arrested and 4,701 cases filed 4.109,631 firearm licenses were renewed

and 7,959 firearms were surrendered for safekeeping 5.153 criminal gangs were “neutralized,” or an increase of 10.87 percent, while 885 members were arrested, or an increase of 15.84 percent. 139 firearms were recovered and 263 cases filed 6.16,429 drug traffickers were arrested, or an increase of 10.26 percent 7.Crime incidents recorded in police blotters, barangay blotters, and those “taken cognizance by other law enforcement agencies” began to be included in the statistics of crime incidents for a more complete picture. 1,033,833 incidents were recorded 8.68,015 warrants of arrest were delivered. Under the Wanted Person Information System, 80,990 warrants were encoded on an online system since it was launched in 2012. 9.109,009 were arrested. 91,446 were encoded in the e-Rogues Gallery System 10. Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams were organized in 37,139 or 88.35 percent of barangays, with 68.74 percent or 28,895 of them having been trained 11. Administrative cases were filed against 1,033 erring personnel DPWH reports. DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson updated participants on what his agency accomplished as well. Breakthrough goals for 2016: 1.Pave national roads from 88 percent in 2010 to 100 percent in 2016 and improve quality and safety of national arterial and secondary roads 2.Professionalize the organization and its employees with new cadre of 120 young and well-trained engineers Progress in 2013: 1.88.2 percent or over 27,500 kilometers of roads were already paved 2.40 cadets graduated under the DPWH Cadet Engineering Program 3.4,294 positions were shaved off under a rationalization plan 4.Political interventions were “significantly reduced” especially in promotions and appointments, which are now based on performance 5.Major flood control master plans in Metro Manila and nearby areas were being implemented, as well as those in Cagayan de Oro, Legaspi, Imus, and Bacoor

6.Competitive and transparent bidding resulted in P24 billion savings from July 2010 to December 2013 7.1,221 people were deployed in response and relief operations after supertyphoon Yolanda; 520 equipment mobilized in response, relief, and clearing operations; 17,307 pieces of coco lumber used for shelter and rehabilitation or the repair of damaged infrastructure and ongoing fabrication of markers to be installed in no-build zones; 271 temporary shelters constructed in Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Iloilo; 3,426 kilometers of national roads cleared of obstructions; 320,000 pieces of corrugated G.I. sheets procured for shelter program for distribution of DSWD in Samar and Leyte; 113,800 pieces of corrugated GI sheets procured for the repair of roofs of school buildings; 6,548 public buildings assessed or inspected Department of Health. Health Assistant Secretary Gerardo Bayugo painted a picture of the status of the agency’s projects, as well. Breakthrough goals for 2015: 1.Reduce infant mortality rate from 22 per 1,000 live births to 19 per 1,000 live births 2.Increase facility-based births from 44 percent to 80 percent 3.Expand PhilHealth coverage from 5.2 million families to 10.8 million families 4.Attain ISO certification for all 16 DOH regional offices and 64 DOH hospitals Progress for 2013: 1.Infant mortality rate will be released on April 30, but interventions were done through expanded immunization for poor families, and family planning services, commodities, and counseling for all mothers and women of reproductive age were given. Two million infants were fully immunized 2.60 percent of births were facility-based through rural and city health units and barangay health stations, among others, which were able to provide obstetric care and emergency services 3.80.62 million Filipinos or 82 percent of the population are now covered by PhilHealth 4.By March this year, the Quality Management Systems of 13 DOH hospitals were certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards ■ Tricia Aquino / InterAksyon.com / April 12, 2014 / 9:08 PM


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PHILIPPINE EMBASSY NEWS AROUND THE WORLD

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

PHL Consulate General in Toronto, Tourism Agencies, Organize Travel Roadshow and PHL Cultural Night THE Philippine Consulate General in Toronto (PCG), in cooperation with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and the Philippine Department of Tourism in New York (PDOT) successfully organized a night of Philippine culture on April 4 at the Shangri-la Hotel that capped the day’s Philippine Sales Mission and Travel Roadshow undertaken by DOT, TPB and PDOT in Toronto. The evening’s cultural array included performances by Toronto-based FilipinoCanadian artists led by operatic soprano Ms. Lilac Cana; vocal renditions by multi-talented singer and songwriter, Ms. Victoria Marie; speaker, story-teller and spoken-word artist, Mr. Patrick de Belen; a musical rendition by “Pantayao”, an all-women “kulintang” ensemble and famous native dances “Pandango sa Ilaw” and “Tinikling” by the youth members of Fiesta Filipina Dance Troupe. This was preceded by an afternoon of vigorous business networking sessions between Philippine travel agents and tour operators and their Toronto-based counterparts marking this year’s one week Sales Mission and Travel Roadshow in Canada spearheaded by Ms. Susan Del Mundo, TPB’s Head of Marketing and

A display of various performances showcasing Filipino culture delights many guests; songs by operatic soprano Ms. Lilac Cana and singer-songwriter Victoria Marie, spoken word artist Patrick de Belen and dances by members of the Filipino Canadian cultural and youth groups in Toronto.

(Top photos, from left) Lucky guests receive gift certificates and special prizes courtesy of Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) —Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Minicipal government of Nasugbu, Batangas, Consul General Mahilum-West with TPB’s head of Marketing, Ms. Susan del Mundo and Nasugbu Mayor Rosario Apacible with CEO Jose Mari Ponce, Administrator of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority draw the names of the lucky winners. (Bottom photos, from left) Vigorous business networking sessions between Philippine and Canadian travel agents and tour operators in “selling the Philippines’ various tourist attractions” under its campaign slogan,“It’s more fun in the Philippines preceded the nigths cultural event, Consulate officials and staff led by Consul General Mahalim-West posed with the various artists capping another successful night of collaborations between PCG Toronto, TPB-DOT and the Filipino-Canadian community in Toronto in promoting the Philippines as a fun, memorable and truly enjoyable travel destination for Canadians and Filipino-Canadians alike.

Promotions for North America, Europe and the Philippines. Philippine participants included representatives from the country’s national flag carrier, Philippine Air Lines (PAL), Rajah Tours with its President Mrs. Alejandra Clemente, local officials of Nasugbu, Batangas led by Mayor Rosario Apacible, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority Administrator and CEO Jose Mari Ponce and DOT’s regional directors from the National Capital and Cagayan Regions, Ms. Catherine Agustin and Ms. Blesilda Diwa, among others. Philippine delegation members

gave video and powerpoint presentations of emerging Philippine tourist attractions from these regions, captivating the business interests of Toronto’s tour and travel agents. The roadshow also aims to establish and renew linkages with the Canadian outbound travel industry partners in support of Philippine tourism developments. In her opening remarks, Consul General Junever Mahilum-West warmly welcomed all participants and outlined the program designed to invite and entice potential Canadian travelers to the Philippines, including presentations on emerging destinations such

as Palaui Island which attracted the filming of the television reality show “Survivor – Cagayan” with its raw beauty. For her part, TPB’s Ms. Susan del Mundo highlighted its tourism campaign, “It’s more fun in the Philippines” that guarantees a Canadian tourist and traveler an “travel experience that is relaxing, satisfying and

news, music, and other information to mobile phones. With Radyo Tambuli, the Embassy hopes to reach out to the more than 3.4 million members of the FilipinoAmerican community throughout the US using an innovative call-to-listen platform developed by AudioNow, a Washingtonbased company. “We hope that with Radyo Tambuli, we would be able to bridge the distance between the Philippines and our kababayans here in the United States who are hungry for news about home,” Minister and Consul General Ariel Peñaranda said at the launching of Radyo Tambuli during the Talakayan sa Pasuguan on Tuesday. Consul General Peñaranda said Radyo Tambuli was conceived and developed by the Embassy in cooperation with AudioNow, which owns and operates the

world’s largest call-to-listen platform. He said Radyo Tambuli is also in line with the desire of Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. to further reach out to Filipino-Americans and reconnect them with the Philippines. Consul General Peñaranda said Radyo Tambuli, which can be accessed by calling 415-638-5777 from any mobile phone or landline, would allow callers to hear the latest news about the Philippines, original Pilipino music and discussions on pressing issues and even participate in opinion surveys. “Radyo Tambuli is part of AudioNow’s social mission to help connect the diaspora to news, information and entertainment from sources they trust,” says AudioNow Chief Executive Officer Elan Blutinger. “We congratulate the Philippine Embassy for taking the lead as the very first embassy to use call-to-listen radio,”

Blutinger said. “As such, Radyo Tambuli introduces a brand new way to conduct public diplomacy in an age where more and more people heavily rely on their mobile phones to stay connected.” “The Embassy of the Philippines has been a great catalyst in organizing the local community, connecting Filipinos and providing resources,” he added. “We are proud to help the Embassy extend its reach and its impact in the United States.” Blutinger said no smartphone or data plan is needed to call Radyo Tambuli and there is no incremental charge for the call, beyond any charge for using voice minutes. He said listeners may call from any phone, including a basic feature phone and a landline. Although most mobile phone subscribers in the US have unlimited airtime, Blutinger advised listeners to check their voice plans to understand if

energizing – liven up with unusual events, surprises and special moments. Both events gave away surprise gifts and prizes that included round-trip tickets (TorontoManila-Toronto) courtesy of PAL and domestic tour packages from Philippine participating travel agencies and local municipalities. ■ Philippine Embassy, Manila / April 11, 2014

Embassy brings Filipinos in America Closer to Home with Launching of ‘Radyo Tambuli’ THE Philippine Embassy is bringing Filipinos in the United States closer to home with the launching this week of its virtual radio station that allows it to deliver

and when they have unlimited minutes and when charges may apply. Blutinger said with Radyo Tambuli, the Philippine Embassy joins AudioNow’s more than 1,600 broadcast partners around the world that include the United Nations, BBC, RFI, Voice of America, Entravision, C-SPAN and IMG College. Established in 2008, AudioNow extends the reach of radio by connecting mobile listeners to their favorite radio stations through a simple telephone call. The AudioNow platform uses proprietary “HD” voice design and patent-pending technology that serves all mobile platforms. Last year alone, Blutinger said AudioNow delivered 2 billion listening minutes to its broadcast partners, in 76 different languages and connected users 84 million times to its platform. ■ Philippine Embassy, Manila / April 11, 2014

PHL Embassy in Tel Aviv hosts Chess Tournament, Promotes Camaraderie and Sports among Filipinos TO promote camaradie and sports among Filipinos in Israel, the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv hosted the 2nd

Chess Tournament, also known as the “Ambassador’s Cup” on April 5 at the Chancery. Organized by the Kapatiran ng

(Top photo) Philippine Ambassador to Isarael Generoso D.G. Calonge welcomes players and members of the Filipino community to the Chess Tournament. (Top left photo) Ambassador Calonge is joined by the officers and members of KAMPI, as well as the top placers of the sports event. (Bottom photos, from left): Chess Champion, Mr. Allan Gunio, 1st Runner Up, Mr. Jeffrey Caringal, 2nd Runner Up, Mr. Rommel Narvaez and 3rd Runner Up, Mr. Jose Perpetuo H. Viloria (of the Embassy) receive their trophies from Ambassador Calonge.

Manggagawang Pilipino sa Israel (KAMPI), the sports event listed 10 players, including Vice Consul Bryan Jess T. Baguio and Mr. Jose Perpetuo H. Villoria, who are currently posted at the Embassy. Before the games started, Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G.

Calonge welcomed all players, as well as the other members of the Filipino community involved in the event. Stressing the importance of sports, Ambassador Calonge encouraged everyone to support and join the chess tournament. After a series of matches during which

(Right photo) Ambassador Calonge leads the players in the Chess Tournament and tries his hand in the game. (Left photo) Filipino community members watch as the players make their best moves during the matches.

the players made their best tactical moves, Mr. Allan Gunio emerged as the Champion. He was the third placer during last year’s tournament. Following him was Mr. Jeffrey Caringal, who retained his place last year as 1st runner up. The 2nd and 3rd runners up were Mr. Rommel Narvaez and Mr. Viloria, respectively. The Philippine Embassy launched the Chess Tournament in 2013 to strengthen ties and friendships among the members of the Filipino community in Israel. Apart from this, the Embassy has also supported other sports events and activities organized by other Filipino organizations in Israel. Sports activities, such as the recently held Chess Tournament, not only serve as an opportunity for socialization among Filipinos, but also provide them relief and relaxation from the stress and pressures brought about by caregiving work. ■ Philippine

Embassy, Manila / April 11, 2014


April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

PHILIPPINE EMBASSY NEWS AROUND THE WORLD

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PHL Embassy in Beirut attends Search for Star On 45 Mother For All Seasons

THE Philippine Embassy in Lebanon attended the 2014 Search for Star on 45 Mother for All Season organized by the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Lebanon (SML), which was held at the Babel Theatre in Hamra, Beirut last March 30. The event aimed to celebrate Mother’s Day, which this year was observed in Lebanon on 21 March or every first day of the start of the spring season. The competitors consisted of eleven (11) Filipino mothers, at least 45 years of age, each representing a well-known Filipino community organization or group in Lebanon. Before the search commenced, Vice

Consul Dennis John Briones delivered the message of Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon Leah M. Basinang-Ruiz by greeting all the mothers present a Happy Mother’s Day and congratulating the officers and members of the SML for pooling their resources to hold the event and also the candidates for their active participation. Vice Consul Briones also took the opportunity to announce two important Embassy activities: first, the registration for overseas absentee voting (OAV) which will commence on 6 May 2014; and second, the Independence Day Flag Ceremony, Mass, Food Festival and Cultural Show with the Filipino community, to be be held at the

UNESCO Palace in Beirut on 8 June 2014. The candidates opened the search with a dance number and then proceeded to compete in the following categories: talent show, 1960’s attire, Filipiniana dress and Q&A. In between these segments, local Filipino singers and dancers took turns in entertaining the audience. All eleven candidates earned a special award but the title of Star on 45 Mother of All Seasons went to Mrs. Judith Hayek who is married to a Lebanese with whom she has a son and daughter. Ms. Marina Ubaldo and Ms. Judy Ann Rublico were proclaimed 1st and 2nd runners up, respectively. ■ Philippine Embassy

Manila / April 11, 2014

PHL Embassy in Beijing Reminds Filipinos in China to Comply with Visa Conditions THE newly signed Comprehensive Peace Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) was put under the spotlight during the Symposium on Peace and Reconciliation Processes and Initiatives held by the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) this week. Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Chair of the Philippine Government Peace Negotiating Panel in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and Hon. Tengku Dato’ Abdul Ghafar Bin Tengku Mohamed, Facilitator for the GPH-MILF Peace Process and AIPR Advisory Board Member, shared their experiences leading up to the signing of the landmark document and outlined the hopes and challenges towards its implementation. The Philippines’ experience with the CAB was part of the symposium’s five sessions of presentations which are meant to help give the AIPR Governing Council an overview of the peace and reconciliation initiatives being undertaken in the region and throughout the world and to pick up on best practices in peace and mediation efforts. The Governing Council is the highest policy-making body of the AIPR and will set the future direction of the fledgling ASEAN Institute. Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, who is the Philippines’ representative to the AIPR Advisory Board, keynoted the symposium, saying that the AIPR must be strengthened

“as a strategic force not only for peace, but for human freedom, common prosperity and collective security throughout our region.” She said the AIPR should look beyond its mandate of conducting research and capacity-building, and consider gathering and consolidating all the narratives of peace in the region over the decades, extracting the lessons learned and best practices, and forging a consensus of how to move forward on future challenges. “The documentation of conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy in ASEAN could be a vital resource not only for the region but for the whole world,” Secretary Deles emphasized. “Lessons learned across our organization could guide governments and civil society in several parts of the world where strife has reared its head, where workers for peace are on constant search for ways to silence guns and tempers that flare in the heat of anger and misunderstanding. Here in our own turf, the AIPR needs to explore ways for the ASEAN and its member states to strengthen their capacity in early warning, good offices, mediation, and conciliation. We must not only wage peace by stopping hostilities, but by making sure that the gains of peace processes benefit those who need it most,” she added. Members of the AIPR Governing Council and Advisory Board gathered for the two-

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles (center) with Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Evan P. Garcia (1st row, 4th from left), Permanent Representative of Myanmar to ASEA, Ambassador Min Lwin (1st row, 6th from left), Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso (1st row, 7th from left) and members of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation Advisory Board.

day symposium to listen to the ideas and experiences of renowned experts in peace and mediation initiatives. The symposium came a few days after the historic signing of the CAB, which is being hailed as a major step by peace advocates all throughout the world. Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Evan P. Garcia, who delivered the opening remarks, said that the symposium is a landmark event, with all the AIPR Governing Council members and AIPR Advisory Board members present. “We have in our midst the initial pool of experts from ASEAN Member States who will assist ASEAN on conflict management and conflict resolution activities in the future.” He said. Other speakers during the symposium include H.E. Gunnar Stålsett, Bishop Emeritus of Oslo, Norway and Special Advisor to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee; Dr. Michael Vatikiotis, Asian Regional Director of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue; former Indonesian Ambassador and AIPR Advisory Board Member Ms. Artauli R.M.P. Tobing; Rodolfo C. Severino, Head of the ASEAN Studies Center of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and Former Secretary-General of ASEAN; Associate Dean Prof. Joseph Chinyong Liow of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and Member of the AIPR Advisory Board; Dr. Julian Vassallo, Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines; Prof. Sukehiro Hasegawa of the UN University and Hosei University and former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Timor-Leste; and Executive Director Ms. Rahimah Abdulrahim of the Habibie Center in Indonesia. Philippine Permanent Representative to ASEAN and AIPR Governing Council Member Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, who was the organizer of the event, said that she was very pleased at how the Symposium turned out and appreciated the active participation of the representatives of each ASEAN Member State in the discussions. She said that there are high hopes for the AIPR and that the first symposium is just one of the many upcoming activities that the institute will undertake in strengthening its mandate to become the ASEAN Region’s premier institution for promoting peace and reconciliation initiatives. The AIPR will hold its second symposium later this month in Bali, Indonesia from April 21 to 23. ■ Philippine Embassy, Manila / April 10, 2014

(Left photo above) Vice Consul Dennis John Briones delivers his message; (Right photo above) Assistant Labor Attaché Irma Valiente (rightmost) pins a sash on Mrs. Judith Hayek, winner, Star on 45 Mother for All Season, (Photo below) The eleven candidates pose in their Filipiniana dresses during the awarding ceremony.

PH-US to Resume Talks on Enhanced Defense Cooperation; Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Recognized as Key Provisions THE Philippines and United States Negotiating Panels are set to resume discussions here on the proposed agreement on enhanced defense cooperation seen to further strengthen and reinvigorate the security partnership of the two treaty allies and to increase their capabilities to respond to natural and manmade calamities. Both panels will meet on Thursday and Friday (April 10 to 11, 2014) for the eighth round of negotiations. Defense Undersecretary and Chair of the Philippine Negotiating Panel Pio Lorenzo Batino looked forward to productive discussions, citing further advancements on realizing the mutual commitment to strengthen their individual and collective defense capabilities achieved during the seventh round of negotiations held in Manila late March. Undersecretary Batino also highlighted the “vital importance” of increasing capabilities to respond to natural and man-made calamities, referring to lessons learned from most recent experiences in the country and in the region. “Calamities such as typhoon Yolanda/ Haiyan as well as the ongoing search for the Malaysian Airlines plane underscore that friendly armed forces are in a unique and crucial position to provide timely responses in these events. Time is of the essence in these situations and, as

often the first responders, friendly armed forces can provide much-needed human, technical and equipment assistance and support for the success of those efforts,” said Undersecretary Batino. “Both the Philippines and the United States recognize this added key dimension to this updated framework of defense cooperation and we are working together for the realization of the full potentials of closer partnership in ensuring timely and adequate humanitarian assistance and disaster relief responses,” added Undersecretary Batino. In addition to more expeditious humanitarian assistance and disaster response, Undersecretary Batino also highlighted other significant benefits from the agreement under negotiations, notably critical and timely support to the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, achievement of the country’s minimum credible defense posture, and, provision of jobs and other economic opportunities through the local goods and supplies procurement that will be made by the United States military. The other members of the Philippine Negotiating Panel are Ambassador Lourdes Yparraguirre, Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya, DOJ Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III and DND Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessments Raymund Jose Quilop. ■ Philippine Embassy, Manila / April 10, 2014


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April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Makati Lenten alert: Traffic rerouted for April 16, 18 rites MANILA - Preparations for the Holy Week are in full swing in Makati City, where traffic will be rerouted on two days when the biggest Lenten processions are scheduled, April 16 and 18. Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay invited the Catholic faithful and local and foreign tourists to visit Barangay Poblacion and take part in traditional Lenten practices, such as the much-awaited procession of antique crucifixes and images of Mater Dolorosa and the Black Nazarene. On April 16 and 18, there will be traffic rerouting for motorists plying J.P. Rizal Avenue from Manila to Guadalupe EDSA and vice versa to make way for Lenten activities such as the traditional Lenten procession and the Pabasa, the reading of the Passion of the Christ, Binay said. The city’s observance of the Lenten Season kicked off last April 10 with the opening of an exhibit dubbed “Tradisyon:

Enduring Customs of Makati in Living Exhibit” at the Atrium of Glorietta 5, Ayala Center. It will be open until April 15, Tuesday. Aside from talks from prominent residents like Eden Samarista and Dr. Mario Leaño, the exhibit features photographs of old Makati, relics from churches and homes, props and costumes used in parades and festivals like the Lenten procession with the goal of reviving pride of place among residents. To date, around 25 tableaus (kubol or kalbaryo) have been put up in various streets of Poblacion, one of the city’s oldest communities and the site of its pilot heritage conservation project. Alternate routes. Since certain streets in Poblacion will be closed to make way for the Lenten procession and relevant activities, the Makati Command Center has issued a traffic advisory providing alternate routes to motorists specifically on April 16 (Holy Wednesday) and April 18 (Good Friday),

starting at 5pm onwards. There will be no traffic re-routing on April 17, 19 and 20. For motorists coming from Guadalupe going to Manila, turn left to Estrella St. then continue straight to EDSA, make right turn to Gil Puyat (Buendia) then right turn to Nicanor Garcia St. (Reposo), then left turn to J.P. Rizal towards Taft Avenue. For motorists coming from Manila going to Guadalupe, from Kalayaan Avenue turn right to Nicanor Garcia St. (Reposo) going towards Gil Puyat (Buendia) then straight to EDSA, turn right to Kalayaan Avenue, then turn left to Sgt. Fabian Yabut St. to reach Guadalupe. Meanwhile, the Lenten procession route on Holy Wednesday and Good Friday will start after the 6:30pm mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church (beside St. Paul College of Makati, across the Cristo Rey Plaza), which will be the ending point as well. Parade entourage will pass through the following

Emily Sagalas lies exhaused on a debris-filled floor at a makeshift medical facility after giving birth in Tacloban, on November 11, 2013. Makati Mayor Junjun Binay

streets: Kalayaan Avenue, Don Pedro, General Luna, Pagulayan, D.M. Rivera, Mabini, Don Pedro, Gabaldon, J.D. Villena, J.P. Rizal Avenue, Bonifacio, E. Zobel, Mabini, J.P. Rizal Avenue, Pertierra, Ma. Aurora, M.L.

Quezon, Osmeña, F. Zobel, Buencamino, E. Zobel, Quintos, Santiago, Singian, and Makati Avenue, then to P. Burgos and back to Sts. Peter and Paul Church. ■ InterAksyon. com / April 12, 2014 / 5:12 PM

Mel Sta. Maria: Chief Justice Sereno’s dissent on RH decision rightly protects women

AFTER reading the decision of the Supreme Court and the concurring-anddissenting opinion of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno (which was written in clear and flawless Filipino) on the issue of the Reproductive Health Law, I just have to agree with the Chief Justice. I will not deal with all the issues here except for one in particular, which I think is worth highlighting as it reflects the fundamental difference between the majority opinion and the dissent of Chief Justice Sereno. The Reproductive Health Law, among others, provides that it shall be prohibited for “any health care service provider, whether public or private” to “refuse to perform legal and medically-safe reproductive health procedures on any person of legal age on the ground of lack of”…. “spousal consent

in case of married persons: Provided, That in case of disagreement, the decision of the one undergoing the procedure shall prevail” ( Section 23 [a[[2] [i ]). This was struck down as unconstitutional. Fundamentally, the reason of the majority opinion was that the provision is intrusive on the part of the government into the private lives of married couples to plan for their own a family. It is violative of their right to privacy. On this point Chief Justice Sereno was very emphatic in her dissent. She said: Walang anumang nakasulat sa RH Law na nagaalis sa magasawa ng kanilang karapatang bumuo ng pamilya. Sa katunayan, tinitiyak nito na ang mga maralita na nagnanais magkaroon ng anak ay makikinabang sa mga payo,kagamitan at nararapat na procedures para matulungan

silang maglihi at maparami ang mga anak. Walang anumang nakasulat sa batas na nagpapahintulot sa pamahalaan na manghimasok sa pagpapasiya “[that] belongs exclusively to, and {is] shared by, both spouses as one cohesive unit as they chart their own destiny.” Walang anumang nakasulat sa RH Law na humahadlang sa pagsali ng asawa sa pagtimbang ng mga pagpipiliang modern family planning methods, at pagpapasiya kung ano ang pinakamabuti para sa kanyang asawa. Kung may epekto man ang RH Law, ito ay ang pagpapatibay ng makatotohanang sanggunian sa pagitan ng mag-asawang pantay na magpapasiya ukol sa isang bagay ng magtatakda ng kanilang kinabukasan. Sa pamamagitan ng pagpapahalaga sa pangunahing pasiya ng asawang sasailalim sa reproductive health procedure, pinaiigting lamang ng RH Law ang pangangalaga sa pangunahing karapatan ng bawat tao na magpasiya ukol sa kanyang sariling katawan. Sa pamamagitan din nito, naglalatag ang RH Law ng proteksiyon para sa mga medical professionals laban sa mga asunto at panliligalig bunga ng pagkuwestiyon o paghamon kung bakit nila isinagawa ang reproductive health procedure sa kabila ng kawalan ng pahintulot ng asawa. What is more significant is that rendering Section 23 [a[[2] [i ] unconstitutional is gender-bias against women. This is so because of the reality that only the woman bears and carries a child and, in doing so, she is the one at risk in terms of her health

4 Pinoys intercepted off Sabah; authorities suspect smuggling

FOUR Filipinos were detained in Sabah after being intercepted near Pulau Pom-Pom in a special operation early Sunday, Malaysia’s Bernama news agency reported. The Bernama report quoted Eastern Sabah Security Command head Datuk Mohammad Mentek as saying the four men were aged between 27 and 45. Citing initial information, Mohammad said the four were from Pulau Sitangkai in the Philippines and were detained at 4 a.m. Sabah authorities recovered P45,000

in cash from the men. He said the four were heading to Kampung Batu near Kampung Simunul in Semporna and may have been involved in smuggling “subsidized” goods. The Malaysian government subsidizes producs like fuel, cooking oil, flour, sugar, and rice to keep prices down. “They buy subsidized goods in Semporna town and sell them in Pulau Sitangkai. The pump boat was filled with empty drums,” he said. A separate report on Malaysia’s The Star Online said authorities also

recovered dozens of empty jerry cans on the Filipinos’ pump boat. Jerry cans are commonly used to transport fuel and oil.

■ Joel Locsin /JDS, GMA News / April 13, 2014 /

9:48 PM

(Right photo) Customs Deputy Commissioner Jessie Dellosa on Tuesday, February 18, inspects the assorted fake footwear, bags, suitcases, and as-yet unidentified sand-like powder, with a total estimated market value of over P800 million. The contraband goods were discovered inside two warehouses in Barangay San Dionisio, Parañaque City, after three weeks of surveillance. ©GMA News.

and indeed her life, while the man has absolutely no risk. As pointed out by Atty. Ampy Sta. Maria, Director of the Women’s Desk of the Ateneo Human Rights Center: Obviously, this (the unconstitutionality) will have more negative impact on women than men kasi sa totoong buhay, wala namang masyadong magagawa ang babae kung gustong magpa-vasectomy ng asawa niya. And health providers can lawfully refuse to treat you because your husband refuses to allow you to undergo something which you think is best for you and your body. So hindi lang binale-wala ang desisyon ng babae, mas pinahalagahan pa ang desisyon ng asawa niya because his consent has become a pre-requisite to such procedure. And we are not talking about property jointly administered by the husband and wife! And so if wife-Inday and husband-Jose have eight children and both are over 30 years old, and wife-Inday told husbandJose that she wants a ligation because she is afraid that another pregnancy would be dangerous to her health and her life, why should her decision on her own body not prevail over the objection of her husband? Indeed if, under the Family Code, in case of disagreement between the husband and the wife in connection with their conjugal properties, the husband’s decision will prevail, what is wrong with giving the wife’s determination the preferential treatment in resolving matters of spousal conflict on issues involving the wife’s very own body, health and life.

Why should the consequence be a negation of the wife’s decision, no matter how deliberate and intelligent it may be, because of the husband’s objection, which, in essence, makes his decision prevail? We should not equate the wife’s body to the husband’s exclusive property or even the spouses’ community property, should we? While marriage is a permanent union, even our Family Code now recognizes the individual rights of the wife. Thus, technically, the wife can engage in any profession even without the consent of the husband. She can now dispose of her own exclusive properties without any conditions unlike in the old Civil Code in certain cases. Also, a spouse cannot just get the private letters of his/her spouse and use them as evidence without the consent of the latter. There are still private rights of married people, which must be respected. These are not taken away just because of marriage. I agree with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s dissent. There is no constitutional infirmity in granting preference to the decision of the spouse whose body is at stake in making decisions in relation thereto especially in matters of reproductive health. As the Chief Justice authoritatively said: Sa pamamagitan ng pagpapahalaga sa pangunahing pasiya ng asawang sasailalim sa reproductive health procedure, pinaiigting lamang ng RH Law ang pangangalaga sa pangunahing karapatan ng bawat tao na magpasiya ukol sa kanyang sariling katawan. ■ Atty. Mel Sta. Maria / April 11, 2014 10:04 AM


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NEWS

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

No treaty, rent, limits: Party-list solons say impending pact with US worse than bases treaty

MANILA – As negotiators from both the United States and the Philippines wrap up an Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation (AEDC), party-list lawmakers are preparing to question it before the Supreme Court on grounds of constitutionality. “This early, we are already studying the option of questioning the AEDC at the Supreme Court because it is a clear

violation of our Constitution particularly Sections 3 and 7 and possibly Section 8 of Article II,” Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares said Monday. “We are also of the position that this is not a mere executive agreement but a treaty and should be scrutinized by the Senate and the House of Representatives,” he said. Article II of the Philippine Constitution

Five members of the so-called Magnificent 12 in the Philippine Senate who voted to end the US bases presence in the country in 1991, are seen in 2011 reunion photo: from L, Bobby Tanada, Teofisto Guingona Jr., Joseph Estrada, Vic Ziga and Ernesto Maceda. Party-list lawmakers say an impending agreement on enhanced defense cooperation is worse than what was terminated in 1991.

is the Declaration of Principles and State Policies on national sovereignty, foreign policy and freedom from nuclear weapons, among others. Colmenares and fellow Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate said the Aquino administration, despite insistent denials, was apparently “in a mad rush” to firm up the deal in time for the visit of US President Barack Obama in the country on April 28-29. “Simply put, it is like a dog’s welcome gift to his master. They are trying to move heaven and earth so that Obama would be here for the signing of the AEDC; [that], coupled with the pro-imperialist Charter change, would again make the Philippines a full-fledged American colony,” he said. Philippine officials led by Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, head of the Manila panel, announced Friday they had concluded the eighth round of negotiations for the agreement, since being pushed by America as part of its military pivot to Asia, and amid rising tensions in the East and South China Seas involving two treaty allies, Japan and the Philippines. Colmenares warned on Monday that

Hawkish stance to stay, as BSP cites upside price pressures MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has dropped hints that its hawkish stance may remain despite what appears to be slower price increases in recent months. “Inflation has slowed over the last two months. However, the upside risks to inflation that we have mentioned before still remain,” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said in an email to reporters. Inflation eased to 3.9 percent last month from 4.1 percent in February, and was near the lower end of the BSP’s forecast range of 3.7-4.6 percent for March. But upside risks persist amid increases in the prices of electricity, oil and food. “The uncertainty as to when supplyside pressures will dissipate also highlights the potential risk of second-round effects,”

Tetangco said. Also keeping monetary authorities’ feet on the pedal is strong domestic liquidity and credit growth. While easing from the record 37.3 percent expansion last January, liquidity was still growing at a high 36.4 percent in February. Meanwhile, bank lending continued to rise in the double-digits. This “was an important consideration for the pre-emptive move of raising reserve requirement at our last meeting,” Tetangco said. The policy-setting Monetary Board last month kept key interest rates at record lows of 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent for the overnight borrowing and lending windows, respectively, but hiked banks’ reserve

requirement by one percentage point to 19 percent, a move seen to mop up P60 billion in excess liquidity from the financial system. Despite the hike in reserve requirements, the BSP sees inflation to stay within the target range of 3-5 percent this year and 2.5-3.5 percent next year. The central bank cut its 2014 inflation forecast to 4.2 percent from the earlier estimate of 4.3 percent. For next year, inflation is seen at 3.2 percent, also down from the earlier forecast of 3.3 percent. “Given that the full year averages are expected to be slightly above the mid-point of our target ranges and we have a lower target range for 2015, the room to keep rates steady is narrower,” Tetangco said. ■ Maricel E. Burgonio / InterAksyon.com / April 10, 2014 3:49 PM

the AEDC would usher in the return of the US military bases in the country “without a treaty, without rent and without limits,” adding that the Americans would be allowed to use all Philippine military facilities. “The arrangement is worse than the Bases Treaty rejected by the Philippine Senate in September 1991,” he stressed, adding that despite the clear constitutional violations of the deal, the terms could be “circumvented,” adding that the US government was the one calling the shots. “Case is point is the supposed ‘no US military basing’ provision; but the US can say that it would fund the construction of Philippine bases in every province in the country and under the AEDC they are allowed to use all these bases,” he said. “So technically they do not own the base but it is practically an American base. This would also be the framework for the existing bases. On paper it is a Philippine base but in reality it is a US base,” he added. Zarate said the US silence on whether their ships and planes carry nuclear weapons could be a way out of the Philippines Constitution’s prohibition of nuclear weapons.

He said the US government has already found a way to “circumvent” the ban in the Constitution of the presence of foreign troops through the Visiting Forces Agreement. “But now, they will further maximize this and increase US troop presence in the country. So in truth the AEDC is a very deceptive deal,” Zarate added. Earlier, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte had said the negotiators for AEDC were under instructions from President Aquino to ensure that the output would be within the framework of the 1987 Constitution. Colmenares said that the Aquino administration should learn from history that the Filipinos ousted the US military bases in 1991 because their presence violated the country’s sovereignty, and made the Philippines a magnet for attack from the US enemies. “The presence of US troops here will increase the tension in the region and threatens its stability. We do not want to become another Iraq where the US troops remained even if Saddam Hussein had long been dead,” he said. ■ Lira Dalangin Fernandez /

InterAksyon.com / April 14, 2014 / 4:01 PM

Pinoy medics in UAE advised to take precautions vs. Mers

FILIPINO medical workers in the United Arab Emirates were reminded over the weekend to take precautions against the Middle East Respiratory coronavirus (MersCoV) after a Filipino paramedic died from it. Philippine ambassador to UAE Grace Princesa also said the embassy has sent a team to Al Ain to verify the death of the Filipino paramedic. “I urge all our compatriots to take care of their health and take preventive measures to protect themselves, especially from communicable diseases,” she said in an interview with UAE news site Gulf News. The report cited a statement from the UAE Ministry of Interior on Friday indicating one Filipino paramedic died in Al Ain Thursday after contracting the Mers-CoV. Five other Filipino paramedics were

placed under quarantine for observation. In the meantime, Princesa urged those working in the medical field to follow health procedures including washing hands, and eating and sleeping well, to avoid being infected. Pinoy medics saddened. Meanwhile, the report said the death saddened Filipino medics in Dubai and Al Ain. A medic who worked in the ambulance services in Dubai for 14 years said medical practitioners must not be lax about their own welfare. “Whenever there is a suspected case of airborne diseases such as tuberculosis or flu, we must always take care of ourselves first by following procedures such as wearing masks and gloves,” the medic said.

■ Joel Locsin / LBG, GMA News / April 13, 2014 7:51 AM

Reds own ‘punitive’ attacks on Ilocos, Compostela Valley mining firms MANILA – Communist rebels claimed responsibility for recent attacks on mining firms in Ilocos Sur and Compostela Valley, calling these punitive actions for the companies’ alleged environmental destruction and abuses against workers of indigenous people. In Ilocos Sur, the New People’s Army’s provincial unit, the Alfredo Cesar Command, said it burned a diamond-drilling machine of Freeport McMoran-Phelps Dodge in Barangay Patiacan, Quirino town Friday, April 11, “to punish the said company for four years of destructive exploration and to support the community’s overwhelming rejection of the extension of the company’s exploration project in a referendum last April 2, 2014.” The NPA’s ComVal-Davao Gulf Sub-region Sub-regional Command, on the other hand, said it had “detonated explosives” against troops of the Army’s 9th Infantry Battalion at the Masara Apex Tenement Complex in Compostela Valley on Saturday in what it called a “follow-up to an earlier successful tactical offensive when Red fighters under the 6th Pulang Bagani Company and the Guerrilla Front 27 Operations Command, and Guerrilla Front 2 Operations Command-

NPA imposed punitive sanction against the US-owned St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd., and Malaysia-owned Apex mining, two biggest foreign mining firms in Southern Mindanao on April 7 and 10, respectively.” “The companies grossly and repeatedly violated regulations of the People’s Democratic Government with regards to environmental protection, workers’ welfare and people’s livelihood,” Daniel Ibarra, spokesman of the Mindanao rebel command, said. Armando Silva, spokesman of the Ilocos Sur rebels, called the attack on Freeport McMoran-Phelps Dodge “the NPA’s act of uniting with the widespread opposition of the people of Patiacan and the entire municipality of Quirino against the ongoing exploration project in Patiacan and sitio Maliten of Barangay Laylaya.” “The revolutionary movement remains firm in its opposition to large-scale mining of foreign and local mining companies like Freeport McMoran-Phelps Dodge which will only plunder the ancestral lands and natural resources of the people and wreak havoc on their environment, livelihood and communities,” he added. Silva said Phelps-Dodge, one of the

world’s largest copper producers, “owns the companies Makilala which has an exploration project covering 2,719 hectares in Pasil, Kalinga and another large area in the Bicol region; and Malibato which has an exploration application covering more than 11,158 hectares of Mountain Province, Abra and Ilocos Sur.” He acknowledged that after the firm’s bid for an exploration project in Patiacan met strong opposition in 2006 and was again rejected in a 2009 referendum, Phelps Dodge secured a two-year agreement from the community in May 2010 on three conditions: concreting of the road to the barangay, scholarships for the children of Patiacan and employment for the people of Patiacan. However, because of the firm’s alleged failure to comply with these conditions, its bid to extend its exploration was rejected in an April 2012 referendum and again in the one held early this month. Meanwhile, Ibarra said the NPA raid on the five mining tunnels of Apex in Masara, Maco town destroyed heavy equipment and several vehicles while several portable drills were destroyed at the St. Augustine mine in Pantukan town.

The rebel spokesman said the Apex was attacked for the following reasons: 1. “Failure to stop expansion of underground and open-pit mining operations despite warnings issued in April and October 2013 2. Expansion of mining operations in reserved forest areas in Maco that were defined by the organs of political power in the area’s guerrilla base 3. Failure to address and indemnify casualties after two landslides that also wiped out Barangay Mainit, Maco. The Apex Mining Corporation has caused widespread ecological destruction and the massive displacement of peasant and Lumad families since the 1970s. The already damaged soil has caused landslides and flash floods even with minimal monsoon rains and storms. 4. Low wages at P301 daily, retrenchment and threat of retrenchment of its mining workers by June this year 5. Failure to comply with its responsibility to rehabilitate streams and bridges in Maco as part of the reparation deal it signed with 91 families in Barangay Tagbarus, Elizalde, Panibasan, Panangan and Malamudao, who were affected by

A New People’s Army fighter takes aim. Video grab from http://www.philippinerevolution.net/

Supertyphoon Pablo in December 4, 2012. 6. Company’s active role in funding and backing the 9th Infantry Battalion’s counter-revolutionary operations against the NPA that has led to the death of civilian, Wilmar Bargas and arbitrary violation of human rights of residents and small-scale miners.” On the other hand, he claimed St. Augustine “wantonly violated revolutionary policies when they operated outside of their tenements, and due to setting up of military outposts, conducting regular seizure and check-up of things brought in and out by small-scale miners, controlling of movement of civilians, and aggressive psychological warfare against tribal leaders through dole-out projects.” ■ InterAksyon.com / April 13, 2014 / 3:06 PM


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SPORTS

April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

Photo by Justin Gener ©InterAksyon.com/

Ginebra turns 35 years old: Lessons from the past for the PBA’s struggling crowd darlings ON Tuesday, April 1, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel basketball franchise turns 35 years old. The second-oldest team in the league today, Ginebra has evolved from an unheralded yet scrappy team to the country’s most popular ballclub. The team was formed in 1979 to become part of the fifth season of the PBA. The franchise was an underdog from the very start. The new squad didn’t have the luxury of picking players from other teams in an expansion draft or the privilege of directly elevating marquee players from the Manila Industrial Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA), the top amateur commercial league at the time. Instead, the team was formed by getting a bunch of discards from other pro teams and amateur standouts who didn’t make the national team. They couldn’t even form a 12-man unit to start of the season, settling for 10 players instead. The team was led by 1976 Rookie of the Year Gil Cortez along with veterans Luke Dacula, Roel Deles, Porfirio Rodriguez, Ulysses Rodriguez and Norby Rivera. Bien Dela Cruz, Ernie De Leon, Ric Mallari and Jess Martin joined the team from the MICAA while Crispa discards Willie Tanduyan and Armando Torres later joined the team. The ragtag team was mired in mediocrity until the arrival of Toyota superstars Robert Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz in 1984. A year after that, Jaworski had taken the reins as playing-coach of the squad from Turo Valenzona. By 1986, under Jaworski’s leadership, Ginebra had emerged as the most popular team in the league. It’s a status the franchise enjoys until today, some 15 years after Jaworski left the team to pursue a political career.

Through the years, fans have stuck with Ginebra through thick and thin, from the era of Jaworski to the time of Mark Caguioa. But with the Gin Kings mired in a six-year championship drought, what lessons can history teach Ginebra — and their legion of fans? Coach Jaworski in total control. During the Big J era, Ginebra was different from other teams because no other management gave so much control and latitude when it came to basketball decisions compared to what Jaworski enjoyed. Back then, Jaworski had the final say for every personnel decision. Players had to fit the Jaworski mold of toughness, mental fortitude, and no-nonsense basketball. There were no prima donnas in any Big J team, just as there were no superstars in their lineups — except perhaps for Jaworski himself. When Jaworski spoke in the huddle, everyone remained quiet and simply listened to his instructions. Dante Gonzalgo learned this the hard way during one televised huddle. The Bicolano guard spoke up during a timeout, only to be swatted down by Jaworski. “Hindi, hindi, ano ba, makinig ka nga!” The old Ginebra way is in stark contrast to what fans saw during the Manila Clasico semifinals series in the Philippine Cup. During the Gin Kings’ huddle, at least three different people spoke up, giving three different instructions. The team seems to have made an adjustment by giving assistant coach Juno Sauler control of the drawing board in the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup. But that has come with its own set of problems, as fans wonder: Who is really

Photo by Justin Gener ©InterAksyon.com

coaching Ginebra? In the last four years, Ginebra has had four different head coaches — Jong Uichico, Siot Tanquingcen, Alfrancis Chua, and Ato Agustin — with Sauler also thrown into the mix. The coaching carousel has led to instability within the team. Again, this is in contrast to the Jaworski era, when the Big J had complete control of Ginebra as head coach for 13 years. No superstar budget, no problem. In Jaworski’s time, it was common knowledge that he was working under a limited budget for Ginebra. In fact, in 1992, Ginebra stars Rudy Distrito, Leo Isaac, and Rey Cuenco left the team for greener pastures. “Tama na muna ang palakpak,” said Rudy Distrito, who transferred to a Swift Hotdogs squad coached by a young Yeng Guiao. “Kailangan din kumita.” Meanwhile, young prospects like Romy dela Rosa in 1989 and Victor Pablo in 1993, meanwhile, openly refused to play for Ginebra because the team offered low salaries. But then, not having the budget to pay for superstar contracts was fine by Jaworski. In fact, he preferred to bring in underdogs, not thinking twice about letting players go if they wanted to leave Ginebra for better pay. Under Jaworski, players like Distrito, Romy Mamaril, Philip Cezar, Freddie Hubalde, Sonny Cabatu, and Terry Saldaña, among others, got a second lease of life after Ginebra signed them as free agents. Infused with the “Never Say Die” spirit, their careers rebounded under Jaworski’s tutelage. Playing for Ginebra meant working harder not just to stay in the league longer but for the fans to keep the faith. They were far from being stars, but for Jaworski, the most important thing was players giving their all for the sake of the team and not for the money. These days, the Gin Kings are certainly no underdogs when it comes to talent. Under the San Miguel Corporation umbrella, the team can afford to make trades for one star player after another. This has allowed Ginebra to become a perennial contender at the start of every conference. But while there’s more talent, they’re cut from a different mold from the players in the Jaworski era. Today, when Mark Caguioa complains about his team’s lack of passion when playing, Ginebra fans can’t help but look back

during the days when Big J’s crew would give everything they had, even risking injuries in the process. An eye for the imports. Some of the most impressive imports in PBA history — Billy Ray Bates, Michael Hackett, Carlos Briggs, Joe Ward, Wes Matthews, Henry James, Chris King, Steve Hood, Mitchell Wiggins, Jamie Waller — played for Ginebra under Jaworski. The coach developed a relationship with renowned agent Sam Unera to bring in imports exclusively for Ginebra. It was a fruitful relationship that yielded several Best Import winners for Ginebra, turning the team into championship contenders despite a lesstalented local lineup. Jaworski had a great eye for talent when it comes to imports, but he was also unsparing if the reinforcement did not live up to par. He shipped out guys like Harold Driver and Carlton McKinney after a game or two when he felt they couldn’t take them far. He even replaced an import, Fred Cofield, in Game Three of the 1996 Governors’ Cup finals and replaced him with Derek Rucker. Over the past years, Ginebra has had its fair share of talented imports such as Chris Porter, Torraye Braggs, and Chris Alexander, to name a few. But for the most part, the choices for imports of Ginebra in recent years have paled in comparison to the gold standard of the Jaworski years. Jaworski had a clear idea of what his teams needed out of their import — something that may not always be the case with the current Ginebra brain trust. For example, import Leon Rodgers played six games for the team in the current conference, as the team stumbled to a 2-4 record. As early as the team’s third game, many fans already began clamoring for Rodgers’ replacement. It took a while before those in charge of Ginebra today to finally appreciate what their fans already knew — that Rodgers was not the right fit for them. Unconditional fan support. Despite Jaworski’s magic, the lack of talent often hurt Ginebra’s chances, especially in the ’90s. After a successful run from 1985 to 1991 that saw the franchise win three championships and finish runner-up four other times, Ginebra’s struggles began. Ginebra was the worst team in the PBA in 1993 and 1994, and was second-worst in 1992 and 1994.

Despite the poor showing, there was no question about Ginebra’s popularity. The fans were still around, backing their team 100 percent. In 1996, Gary Granada penned a pair of songs about the team — “Kapag Natatalo ang Ginebra” and “Kapag Nananalo ang Ginebra”. The tunes celebrated the team’s fans, who remained loyal in both victory and defeat. Fittingly, that season, with the entry of star rookies Marlou Aquino and Bal David, Ginebra was back in the title picture. The following year, Granada had the privilege of writing “Nang Maging Champion Ang Ginebra” — a fitting tribute to fans who remained with the team through its many struggles, until they became champions once more. These days, you’ve got to wonder if Ginebra fans could still show the same amount of resilience and loyalty. Despite the team’s long title drought, Ginebra has not bottomed out like it did in the mid-’90s. And yet, you hear of fans threatening to boycott the team unless changes are made, we see supporters leaving the coliseum with five minutes left in the game and Ginebra trailing by twin-digits, and we read them whine in the feedback sections of various web forums expressing exasperation about their team. The pain of losing remains, sure, but it’s shocking to see how many fair-weather fans there are on the Ginebra bandwagon these days. Is Jaworski the answer? It’s hard to blame some fans if they pine for Jaworski to come back to the team, whether as coach or team manager. Philippine basketball’s Living Legend can still inject that same Ginebra firebrand “Never Say Die” attitude into the present crop of players — just like he did during Game Six of the semis last conference, when his halftime speech fired up Ginebra to rally past the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers. Fans long for Jaworski’s discipline and his dedication to the game — and they want to see Ginebra players displaying these as well. As Ginebra celebrates its 35th year, a burning birthday wish for the Ginebra fan is to have the Big J back — or at least, to have a team they can cheer for that’s not built on talent and money, but instead on “spit, guts, and Jaworski pride!” ■ Jay P. Mercado is a highlyregarded PBA amateur historian. He serves as a consultant for the PBA Greatest Games broadcast on Pinoy X-treme. Special to InterAksyon.com / March 31, 2014 / 4:59 PM

Despite last-place finish, Alex Cabagnot cherishes first victory at GlobalPort IT’S been a while since Alex Cabagnot tasted the thrill of victory. Until Sunday, the lefty guard had not been part of a winning team since being traded to GlobalPort before the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup, after the Batang Pier lost their first eight games in the conference. In his team’s last game against Barako Bull, Cabagnot made sure GlobalPort would not end up winless, nailing the go-ahead

three-pointer with 10.9 seconds remaining to lift the Batang Pier to victory. “It feels good. Every win naman feels good. It’s my first GlobalPort win so it’s special,” Cabagnot told InterAksyon.com. “We don’t want to be in the company of teams which ended up winless in a conference.” Cabagnot admitted that joining a new team has been a struggle. “Most people want me to make those

shots right away like I’ve been doing for Petron. It’s been an adjustment period, I’m going through it right now,” said Cabagnot. “To tell you honestly, this conference has been fast talaga. It’s only 40 days since I’ve been here. I know there are a lot of critics that are wanting me to play the way I play when I was in Petron, but there’s an adjustment period.” With a season at GlobalPort under his belt, Cabagnot hopes to bounce back in

the Governors’ Cup. “I’m not out of the woods yet. I still have three weeks to learn the system, master the system, knowing my teammates personally on and off the court. I’m hoping for the best next conference. We’re playing for ourselves and we’re playing for Coach Pido (Jarencio). I hope we can use this win as a boost for next conference,” added Cabagnot. ■ Rey Joble / InterAksyon.com / April 13,

2014 / 10:52 PM

Photo by Nuki Sabio ©PBA


April 2014 / Fortnightly – No. 8 • UK & Europe Edition

SPORTS

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Pacquiao showed cerebral side in match versus Bradley... He added that with Bradley packing a strong punch, Pacquiao stood little chance of winning if his footwork and reflexes were slow. Yet, he said Pacquiao learned to adjust, weathering Bradley’s attacks in the first six rounds and getting back at his foe in the second half of the match when Bradley was getting tired. Tapdasan also noted Pacquiao “knows how to move,” moving backward when Bradley threw a punch, so he would not feel the full impact of the punch. “So kita mo ngayon ang evolution ni Manny,” he said.

“Pacquiao adjusted into that kind of style. Ganoon katalino ang Manny Pacquiao,” he added. Because of this, he said Pacquiao showed he is now a “smarter fighter,” adding boxing “is a mind game.” “So I can say this is a big win for Manny, a great win for Manny. For the longest time, I think I saw the best Manny Pacquiao that is possible,” he added. Pacquiao vs. Mayweather? Meanwhile, Tapdasan said the chances of a match between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be getting dimmer as both fighters’

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Continuation from page 40 camps have yet to negotiate a deal for a bout. Until both camps can end the “complicated battle of negotiations,” he said a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout may remain the subject of a “video game fantasy match.” “Sabi ko, Mayweather will never beat Manny Pacquiao and Manny Pacquiao will never beat Mayweather because they will never fight. It will remain a fantasy game which we can only do in a video game fantasy match,” he said. ■ Joel Locsin / AMD,

GMA News / April 14, 2014 / 1:57 PM

Filipino coaches undergo workshop for grassroots football development

Mommy D celebrates with Buboy in the ring after Manny’s victory AFTER giving what might have been a hex, and later, a power hug to Timothy Bradley, Mommy D was seen celebrating inside the ring along with Buboy Fernandez,

Team Pacquiao’s assistant trainer and Manny’s friend from childhood. InterAksyon. com /April 13, 2014 / 4:40 PM ■ Darwin G. Amojelar / InterAksyon.com / March 12, 2014 / 5:46 PM

PFF logo

REPRESENTATIVES from international football bodies supervised a workshop for Filipino coaches in an effort to further develop grassroots level football in the country. The Philippine Football Federation, together with world football governing body FIFA and Asian Football Development Project, conducted the 2nd PFF Grassroots Workshop for Grassroots Development Officers last Tuesday in Lanao del Norte. At least 33 Filipino coaches nationwide

had the privilege to learn new tactics from two international instructors brought in by FIFA and AFC. The workshop is in line with the PFF’s grassroots football program, KASIBULAN, which has been active for the past two years. The KASIBULAN program aims to encourage children between six to 12 years old from all over the country to play football. ■ Karl Decena / InterAksyon.com./ April 11, 2014 / 1:18 AM

UFL on AksyonTV: Stallion turns back Green Archers, Pachanga rallies to beat Army-GTI DEFENDING champion Stallion Gilligan’s pulled off a 4-1 triumph over Green Archers United Globe in United Football League action Thursday at the Emperador Stadium. Belinga Blanchard bagged two goals to lead Stallion, which led 2-nil at halftime and never looked back. Blanchard and Fitch Arboleda nailed two straight goals for Stallion at the 36th and 41st minutes to give their squad the edge at the break. Green Archers tried to mount a comeback as Robert Lopez Mendy trimmed the deficit to 2-1 after a 69th minute goal. But Blanchard sank his second goal at the 74th minute, followed by a Junior Gaye shot at the 82nd minute to seal the victory for Stallion. Stallion remained at fourth place, but inched closer to the table leaders after a 7-6-4 win-draw-loss slate for 27 points. Green Archers settled for fifth place with a 5-5-6 card for 20 points.

In the second game, Pachanga PLDT Home Fibr overcame a late deficit to dispatch Philippine Army-General Trias International FC, 3-1. Pachanga trailed as early as the second minute of the match after a Jeon Shin Seok header which gave Army-GTI the lead. But Pachanga tied the match right before the halftime whistle, with Shayan Jafari finding the back of the net at the 45th minute to tie the match at 1-1. Pachanga completed the comeback when Davide Cortina flicked in a goal at the 55th minute. Sim Hong Bo followed it with a shot at the 65th minute to settle the final score. The result broke the deadlock of two teams in the standings. Pachanga moved up to a share of fifth place after a 5-5-7 windraw-loss card for 20 points, while Army-GTI stayed at seventh place with a 5-2-10 record for 17 points. ■ Karl Decena / InterAksyon.com / April 11, 2014 / 1:14 AM

Scorecards show Bradley ahead early until Pacquiao turned it on in the second half of fight LAS VEGAS – In the eyes of the three judges that scored the Manny PacquiaoTimothy Bradley rematch, everything was too close to call in the first six rounds until the Filipino started dominating the latter part of the welterweight title fight. Based on the official score card provided by the Nevada Athletic Commission, at least two of the judges had it even (5757) midway through the 12-round match, while the other saw Pacquiao ahead by two (58-56). Bradley was even leading on the scorecards of Craig Metcalf and Michael Pernick at the end of the fifth round (4847), while Glenn Trowbridge had Pacquiao leading by the same score. Trainer Freddie Roach was aware the 30-year-old Bradley, who eked out a split decision over Pacquiao in their first meeting two years, was obviously in control as his celebrated ward was having a hard time landing big shots against the champion.

“For the first six rounds he was pretty dangerous,” admitted Roach as he looked back during that tense moment in the corner of Pacquiao. The Hall of Fame trainer said the team of the boxing great from General Santos City appeared to have underestimated Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs), whom he said they thought won’t engage Pacquiao in a toe-totoe exchange. “We thought Bradley was the type of fighter who wouldn’t fight,” Roach said. “We didn’t think he was going to be that aggressive, we didn’t think he was gonna try to knock Manny out with a single punch.” As if on cue, the 35-year-old challenger began to assert himself beginning the seventh round, nailing the champion with several left hands and a series of combinations. In the 10th round, three solid left blows by the Pacman and a mean right uppercut shook Bradley that by the time Pacquiao landed another combination in the 11th,

the American began to clinch and run as he tried to survive the onslaught. By the start of the final round, Bradley’s chance of retaining his title was to win it by knockout as all judges had Pacquiao (565, 38 KOs) leading by three points or more. “After six [rounds], Manny dominated the fight I felt,” said Roach. “I think Bradley worn himself out a little bit and got a little tired.” The American, who complained about injuring his left calf during the course of the fight, denied he got tired in the second half of title bout. “I wasn’t winded at all. I don’t want to make any excuses and take away anything from Pacquaio. I don’t want to mention anything that happened to me. I have to accept defeat like a man,” he said. Still, Roach remained adamant. “He [Bradley] did pretty tire quickly, I thought, and that’s when Manny started dominating the fight.” ■ Gerry Ramos / SPIN /

April 14, 2014 / 10:54 AM


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DON’T let that non-knockout win fool you. While some may dismiss Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao’s non-knockout win over Timothy Bradley Jr. Sunday as boring, international boxing judge and referee Danrex Tapdasan sees it as a show of Pacquiao’s cerebral side. “It’s not about the knockout. It’s all about how you study your opponent. These are worldclass fighters, heavily conditioned,” Tapdasan said in an interview on GMA News TV’s “News to Go.”

He said that had Pacquiao adopted an aggressive stance and gone for the knockout, he could been at the business end of a knockout punch from the younger Bradley. “Kung si Manny Pacquiao entered this fight as the young Manny Pacquiao na sugod ng sugod, yung kaliwa lang ang kanyang inaasahan tapos paikot-ikot sa kalaban, I was afraid baka ma-headbutt siya along the way roon sa first half ng laban at matalo siya o magtabla lang ang laban,” he said. Continue to page 39

Story on page 38

Story on page 38

Filipino coaches undergo workshop for grassroots football development Story on page 39

Mommy D celebrates with Buboy in the ring after Manny’s victory Story on page 39

April 2014 B issue  

Filipino news, sports and entertainment

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