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HELLO FORTNIGHTLY FR EE

PHILIPPINES Connecting Global News & Views For The Community

UK & Europe Edition

July 2012 / Fortnightly

Volume 3 - Number 13

510 FREE UK regional connections with

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525 21 7

RODOLFO “DOLPHY”

VERA QUIZON SR. 1928 – 2012 “PHILIPPINE KING OF COMEDY” Statement of Benigno S. Aquino III President of the Philippines on the passing of Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon Sr – July 10, 2012 Dolphy was a good man who embodied the common Filipino: he loved deeply, knew the value of humor, respected his fellowmen, and was always ready to face any challenge life threw at him. He came from a generation that went through a lot of trials – and the struggle taught him to be humble, honest,

and helpful. He never turned his back on his peers; he never turned his back on the people who had propelled him toward success. Throughout his life, Dolphy showed that hope and happiness always lie at the other side of adversity; he knew that any problem can be overcome through a positive outlook. He did not only revolutionize the entertainment industry; he also changed our national consciousness for the better: through his art, he extended our worldviews,

and gave us the ability to reflect on, value, and find joy in the daily realities of Filipino life. I, along with my family and the rest of our administration, join the Quizon family in mourning. The passing of Rodolfo Quizon Sr. – our King of Comedy – is a truly sorrowful moment for a nation that, for so long, found happiness in his work. ■ (Press Release from the Office of the President of the Philippines – Manila, Philippines – July 10, 2012)

©NPPA Images


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4

HELLO PHILIPPINES

Special Feature

www.hello-philippines.com

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Philippines mourns ‘King of Comedy’ Dolphy Jason Gutierrez, AFP RODOLFO “DOLPHY” VERA QUIZON SR – (July 28, 1928 – July 10, 2012) THE Philippines wept Tuesday, July 10 as the country’s most popular comedian Dolphy succumbed to pulmonary disease after a month in hospital. He was 83. President Benigno Aquino led the nation in paying tribute to Dolphy, calling him the embodiment of the “humble, honest, and helpful” Filipino, who made life easier for his friends and followers in the face of daunting challenges. “He changed not just his industry, but also the national consciousness,” Aquino said in a statement. “Through his art, he widened our outlook, he gave us the power to find

and cherish happiness in our daily lives.” Born Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Dolphy was widely regarded as the country’s “King of Comedy” in a career that spanned seven decades playing colourful comedic roles, from a cross-dressing homosexual to a poor jack of all trades. His passing was announced by ABS-CBN television, the country’s leading broadcaster which aired his hit sitcom in the 1990s about a poor widower struggling to raise his children in the slums. ABS-CBN said Dolphy’s passing was confirmed by his partner Zsa Zsa Padilla, an actress also employed by the station, and other relatives. Dolphy made millions laugh even during the Philippines’ darkest moments, including the brutal

©AFP/ File

Born Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Dolphy was widely regarded as the country’s “King of Comedy”. ©NPPA Images, Mike Alquinto

20-year rule of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, which ended in 1986. In the 1970s he played the poor husband to a rich wife, who poked fun at his loud-mouthed mother-in-law, giving comedic relief during Ferdinand Marcos’ brutal 20-year martial law regime that left thousands dead and missing. It was a slapstick brand of comedy that steered clear of politics or criticism of Marcos. The show was so popular that it was revived in the form of at least eight movies over the last two decades, introducing younger generations to Filipino humour. Movie critics branded Dolphy the Bob Hope of the Philippines, and his philanthropic work helping the poor and unemployed actors was also well known.

Dolphy’s Walk of Fame star in Eastwood Quezon City.

Manila, Philippines – July 10, 2012)

People offer flowers, candles and messages for Dolphy through his Walk of Fame star in Libis Quezon City. ©NPPA Images, Mike Alquinto

©NPPA Images, Mike Alquinto

©NPPA Images, Mike Alquinto

“He made life bearable for the masses, and his roles sympathised with the plight of the millions of poor Filipinos.” While he never married, Dolphy was a known ladies’ man who fathered at least 17 children with various women, some of whom also went on to enter the showbiz industry. President Benigno Aquino rallied Filipinos while Dolphy was on his death bed, calling the actor a “revered icon of the Philippine movie industry”. Dolphy was rushed to hospital last month due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, which his doctors said was a progressive disease. A heart bypass 15 years ago had left him perennially weak. ■ (©AFP –

©NPPA Images, Mike Alquinto

©NPPA Images, Mike Alquinto

©NPPA Images, Mike Alquinto

Politicians looking to exploit Dolphy’s mass appeal for years unsuccessfully tried to lure him into running for public office. News of Dolphy’s death sent shockwaves across social networking sites, with many of his fans and colleagues paying tribute to him. “RIP Dolphy. Kevin Cosme really gave so much laughter to my childhood,” tweeted Andreo Calonzo, referring to one of Dolphy’s most memorable television characters. Former president Joseph Estrada, an ex-movie action star and a longtime friend of Dolphy, said he joined millions in mourning for a “national artist.” “His memory will live forever. He was the kindest, funniest, most helpful man I know,” Estrada told AFP.

Thousands of supporters pay their last respects to the Comedy King Dolphy.

©NPPA Images, Mike Alquinto


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6

HELLO PHILIPPINES

www.hello-philippines.com

Special Feature

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson: July 13, 2012 is a National Day of Remembrance in honor of Dolphy Quizon In citing Dolphy’s life and career, the President in his proclamation said it is appropriate to mark the memory of Mr. Quizon’s contributions to Philippine culture, arts, and entertainment; but that even as we grieve the loss of a cultural icon and a master of his field, we should never forget that Dolphy made generations of Filipinos laugh; he was unparalleled in tapping into our inherently jovial spirit – that both challenges and triumphs could be met with optimism and cheer; and that therefore, this was the greatest gift he gave the Filipino people, and this is the kindness that he will always be remembered for: Dolphy was relentless in reminding us all to always open ourselves to joy. On the Day of National Remembrance, to honor the memory of the late Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon Sr. the President asks all our countrymen to reflect on the art and artistry, the personal kindness and generosity, and deep patriotism, of Dolphy, and the manner in which he exemplified in his works and life, the positive values of the Filipino people. The President asks all our countrymen to make this Day of Remembrance a celebration of the

full life that Dolphy, with utmost generosity, shared with the country. The President’s proclamation is in keeping with the wishes expressed by the late Dolphy himself, and his family, that he be remembered not with sadness, but with the same warmth and joy he brought to the lives of millions throughout his career. ■ (Official Gazette of the Republic of the

©Malacañang Photo Bureau

Philippines – Manila, Philippines – July 12, 2012)

President Aquino confers the Grand Collar of the Order of the Golden Heart upon actor-comedian Rodolfo “Dolphy” Vera Quizon on Monday, November 8, 2010, at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall of Malacañan Palace, in recognition of the King of Comedy’s philanthropy and significant contributions to Philippine cinema and television. ©Mike Alquinto, NPPA Images

Photo courtesy of TV5

Contributed Photo

Original Creation and Copyright Reserved By: Hello Philippines 2012

Statement of Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte: On the Proclamation of a National Day of Remembrance in honor of the late Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon Sr. TONIGHT President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Proclamation No. 433, declaring tomorrow, July 13, 2012 a National Day of Remembrance to honor the memory of the late Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon, Sr. The President issued the proclamation in recognition of how the nation deeply feels the passing of Dolphy. In the proclamation, the President cited Dolphy as a man who will live on in Philippine cultural history – and in the hearts of many of his countrymen. President Aquino in his proclamation said that every milestone that Dolphy marked in a career that spanned decades, raised the standards of the entertainment industry, and strengthened our cultural identity, giving innumerable aspirants an example to look up to. The President also cited Dolphy as a philanthropist, whose encouragement of charitable causes was driven by a deep-rooted recognition of the promise within his fellowmen and a genuinely generous heart.


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HELLO PHILIPPINES

www.hello-philippines.com

Special Feature

©NPPA Images

Nova Villa

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

©NPPA Images

Marichu Vera-Perez ©NPPA Images

©NPPA Images, Marlo Cueto

Kris Aquino along with Ted Failon and Toni Gonzaga host ABS-CBN’s necrological service for Dolphy.

ABS-CBN’s special necrological service for Dolphy.

©NPPA Images, Marlo Cueto ©NPPA Images, Marlo Cueto

©NPPA Images, Marlo Cueto

©NPPA Images, Marlo Cueto

ABS-CBN’s tribute to Comedy King Dolphy.

Zsa Zsa: “To his children, I know that each one realizes that their father loved each of them totally. And in his dying days when we would all crowd his ICU room, I would tell him that he is lucky. Sinasabi ko sa kanya, ‘Lovey ang swerte mo talaga kase ang daming nagmamahal sa iyo.” Zsa Zsa also thanks the entire nation for the outpour of prayers for Dolphy.


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10

HELLO PHILIPPINES

www.hello-philippines.com

Special Feature

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Solemn funeral for Philippines’ top comedian THE Philippines’ top film and television actors and leading politicians joined hundreds of relatives and friends of the country’s most popular comedian as his body was laid to rest Sunday, July 15. Dolphy, born Rodolfo Vera Quizon, was widely regarded as the nation’s “King of Comedy”, whose almost seven-decadelong career brought cheer to the Philippines during its most turbulent and darkest moments. Dolphy’s remains were encased in a glass-topped golden metal casket that he himself bought in the 1970s at slightly over $40,000. Many in the star-studded crowd openly wept as the casket shimmered in the afternoon sun while pall bearers carried it a short distance from inside a chapel to the grounds of a heavily-secured exclusive cemetery in Manila. Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim snapped a salute in front of Dolphy’s casket, while Dolphy’s partner of 23 years, Zsa Zsa Padilla, tightly clung to it before it was shut and placed inside a black stoned crypt.

The ceremony was closed to Dolphy’s millions of grieving fans, many of whom travelled from different parts of the country to pay their respects to the comedian, officials said. Private television stations however beamed the funeral live to homes Sunday afternoon. “Thank you for joining us in taking Dolphy to his final resting place,” an emotional Padilla told the crowd. “I love you my lovey. Until we meet again.” Many of the country’s top actors who had worked with Dolphy were in the crowd and they openly wept despite exhortations by the priest that the late comedian wanted everyone to smile in his funeral. President Benigno Aquino, who visited Dolphy’s wake last week, paid the highest tribute to the comedian, calling him a force that embodied the best of Filipino traits. “Through his art, he widened our outlook, he gave us the power to find and cherish happiness in our daily lives,” Aquino had said. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 15,

2012)

©NPPA Images, George Calvelo

Zsa Zsa Padilla, Comedy King Dolphy’s partner for 23 years, during a private burial ceremony for Dolphy, at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City. ©NPPA Images, George Calvelo

©AFP/MALACANANG PHOTO BUREAU/File, Gil Nartea

President Benigno S. Aquino III offers prayers next to the casket of the late comedian Rodolfo “Dolphy” Vera Quizon Sr at the Heritage Memorial Park, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Thursday, July 12, 2012. ©NPPA Images, George Calvelo

Family and friends of the late Comedy King Dolphy Quizon, during a private ceremony where Dolphy was finally laid to rest, at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City.


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HELLO PHILIPPINES

Events Diary

www.hello-philippines.com

DATE / TIME

EVENT

VENUE

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition ORGANISER

CONTACTS / REMARKS

2 November 2011 to 31 October 2012

Filing of Applications for Registration / Certification and Transfer of Registration Records

Philippine Embassy, 6 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG

Philippine Embassy, London, United Kingdom

13 to 27 July 2012

Paintings by Francis Tanseco

Philippine Embassy, 6 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG

In association with Philippine Embassy and Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company

21 July 2012 – Saturday 9:00am

Philippine Embassy Consular Outreach - Manchester

Philippine Embassy and Filipino-Anglo Club in Manchester

Susan Wood 07851 709 214

21 & 22 July 2012 – Saturday & Sunday

1st Worcestershire Barrio Fiesta 2012

Worcestershire Filipino International Community (WFIC)

Edwin Vargas, President 01905 352 092 / 07889 947 112

22 and 29 July 2012 – Sundays 5, 12, 19 and 26 August 2012 – Sundays Six Weeks Summer Workshop 28 July 2012 – Saturday

Kunday Kunday (Movement) – Summer Dance Workshop

St Augustine’s Parish Hall, Grosvenor Square, All Saints, off Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BW Perdiswell Leisure Centre & Football Ground, Bilford Road, Worcester WR3 8DX St Andrew’s United Reformed Church Hall, Frognal Lane, London NW3 2DS

Organised by Philippine Generations in association with Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company

Mae Williams 07921 263 993 / info@philippinegenerations.org / www.philippinegenerations.org

Miss Bicolandia

Baden Powell, 65 Queen Gate, Gloucester Road, London SW5 5JS

Bicol Association

Jess Magdaong 07891 604 637

29 July 2012 - Sunday

Welcoming “The Global Run” – led by Mr Cesar Guarin

SS Paul and Peter Social Hall

Mitcham Filipino British Association (MFBA)

Roger Ferreol 07771 892 996

29 July 2012 – Sunday 7:00pm

The Glorious Praise 2 Concert

St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Parish Hall, 1 Montem Road, New Malden KT3 3QW

CFC Singles for Christ Music Ministry and the World Apostolate of Fatima

Jerry Rivera 07919 052 207 /Oliver Abasolo 07782 661 922 / Beverly Uy 07795 510 306 / Lilian Lota 07950 604 123 / Tickets: £5.00

4 August 2012 – Saturday 2:00pm

Frigga Premiere’ Collection 2012 – Exclusive Preview with Ms Marites Allen and Ms Ruffa Gutierrez – Frigga Fashion Launch 1st Barrio Fiesta in Sussex 2012 – Party at the Beach!!!

Chealsea Old Town Hall, Kings Road, Kensington and Chealsea, London SW3 5EE Lancing Beach Green, West Sussex BN15 8RA

KMF Production & Pimoymart Store

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5 August 2012 – Sunday 9:00am to 8:00pm

Town Fiesta in Swansea 2012

Brangwyn Hall, The Guildhall, Swansea SA1 4PE

Star Dragon Events UK Limited and Filipino Community in Wales

stardragon2012@yahoo.co.uk / filipinoswales2005@yahoo.co.uk

18 August 2012 – Saturday

1st Orpington Barrio Fiesta 2012

Hewitts Farm, Court Road, Orpington, Kent BR6 0BX

Orpington Filipino-British Association

orpington_fba07@yahoo.co.uk

18 August 2012 - Saturday

1st Barrio Fiesta sa Colchester 2012

Lower Castle Park of the famous Roman Castle Park in Colchester

Filipino British Cooperative Society

Allan Etrata 07774 646 926

18 August 2012 - Saturday

MFBA Summer Outing

Folkestone, Kent

Mitcham Filipino British Association (MFBA)

Roger Ferreol 07771 892 996

18 August 2012 – Saturday 5:00pm 18 August 2012 – Saturday 7:30pm

High Wycombe Filipino Nurses and Friends – Red Carpet Affair

Holiday Inn Hotel, Handycross, High Wycombe HP11 1TL

High Wycombe Filipino Nurses and Friends

Vie Medina 07872 948 093

“God Will Make A Way” featuring Don Moen

Kensington Great Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington, London W8 7NX

JCCM

Edith 07411 950 204 / Kenneth 07412 576 486 / Helen 07552 491 507 / jccmchurch@yahoo.co.uk / admin@jesuschristcitymission.co.uk / Ticket Prices: £35.00 / £45.00 / £60.00

25 August 2012 – Saturday 9:00am 27 August 2012 – Monday 4:00pm to 10:00pm

3rd Annual Barrio Fiesta “Hirit sa Taginit” – Brighton and Hove Filipino Community Dinner & Dance Party

East Brighton Park, Wilson Avenue, Brighton BN2 5TS

Brighton and Hove Filipino Community (BAHFC)

Indian YMCA Student Hostel, London W1T 6AQ

Dumangas-London Association

Mr Harold Gonzaga 020 8274 1531

15 September 2012 Saturday

MFBA Fundraising Concert “Rock Baby Rock”

Mitcham Filipino British Association (MFBA)

Roger Ferreol 07771 892 996

23 September 2012 – Sunday 1:00pm to 4:00pm 4:00pm to 11:00pm 28 September 2012 – Friday

E-Learning Group UK Annual General Meeting / Election of New Officers E-Learning Group UK 3rd Anniversary / Induction of New Officers Ai Ai Got More Talent

Colliers Wood Community Centre, 66 – 72 Colliers Wood High Street, London SW19 2BY Maxilla Social Hall, 2 Maxilla Walk, Ladbroke Grove, London W10 6NQ

E-Learning Group UK

Norma Viloria (President) 07894 145 546 / 07584 190 993 / Barbara Infante (Secretary) 07920 714 795 / Janette Vicera (Assistant Secretary) 07714 287 610

O2 Apollo Manchester

Star Global and Management Limited

07775 441 369 / 07876 508 835 / 07786 950 323

29 September 2012 – Saturday 11:00am 29 September 2012 – Saturday

Ginebra na UK Tour 2012

Kelvin Hall, Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AW

QS Life London

Bong Palmares 07766 057 000

Ai Ai Got More Talent

Newport Centre South Wales

Star Global and Management Limited

07775 441 369 / 07876 508 835 / 07786 950 323

30 September 2012 – Sunday 11:00am 30 September 2012 – Sunday

Ginebra na UK Tour 2012

Loughborough, Sports Hall, Leicester LE11 3TU

QS Life London

Bong Palmares 07766 057 000

Ai Ai Got More Talent

Troxy London

Star Global and Management Limited

07775 441 369 / 07876 508 835 / 07786 950 323

27 October 2012 Saturday

MFBA Halloween Party

Mitcham Filipino British Association (MFBA)

Roger Ferreol 07771 892 996

2, 3 and 4 November 2012 – Friday, Saturday and Sunday 17 November 2012 – Saturday

1st Reel Gate International Film Festival in London and Manila (1st RGIFF)

Colliers Wood Community Centre, 66 – 72 Colliers Wood High Street, London SW19 2BY Riverside Studio in London

Eat Bulaga! Live in London, United Kingdom

ExCel London, ICC Auditorium, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL

OSN and Hello Philippines

Hello Philippines TV Connect 020 3174 1894 / 07553 767 059 / hptvconnect@hello-philippines.com / www.hptvconnect.com / www.hello-philippines.com / Ticket Prices: £35.00 / £45.00 / £55.00 / £65.00 / £75.00 Premium / £85.00 VIP

23 November to 1 December 2012

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1 December 2012 Saturday

MFBA Thanksgiving / Christmas Party

23 November – Port Talbot 24 November – Swindon 25 November – Newcastle 30 November – Belfast 1 December - Sussex Colliers Wood Community Centre, 66 – 72 Colliers Wood High Street, London SW19 2BY

Mitcham Filipino British Association (MFBA)

Roger Ferreol 07771 892 996

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Business & Finance

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Apple faces new legal challenge in China

A Chinese technology firm has filed a legal challenge accusing US giant Apple of infringing its patented voice recognition software with its Siri function on the iPhone, the company said Saturday, July 7. The move comes just days after Apple paid $60 million to end a dispute over who could use the iPad name in China. Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Co Ltd patented its Xiao i Robot software in 2004, while Apple’s Siri, which made its debut with the release of the iPhone 4S last year, was first developed in 2007. The Chinese company’s version operates in a similar way to Apple’s personal assistant and works on the iOS and Android operating systems. Si Weijiang, a lawyer acting for the Shanghai-based firm, said it had tried to contact Apple two months

ago over the alleged infringement but received no response. “We sent legal notices to Apple in May, but no one contacted us. We filed the lawsuit in late June to the Shanghai number one intermediate people’s court,” Si told AFP. “Currently the case is now at the court-mediated stage.” “We mainly ask Apple to stop infringing on our patent and cover the court costs, but once the court confirms Apple has infringed on our patent, we will propose compensation,” he added. The company’s chairman, Yuan Hui, told the Apple Daily newspaper that the firm had 100 million users in China. “People feel that China has no innovation, that companies here just copy. But in fact, we are leaders in our field, and we have created our

own innovation,” Yuan told the paper. It added that Apple was also facing legal action from another Chinese company for allegedly infringing its “Snow Leopard” trademark. The High Court of the southern province of Guangdong said on Monday that Apple had paid $60 million to settle a long-running legal battle with Chinese computer maker Shenzhen Proview Technology over the iPad name. Both Proview, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, and Apple had claimed ownership of the Chinese rights to the “iPad” trademark. Proview’s Taiwanese affiliate registered “iPad” as a trademark in several countries including China as early as 2000 – years before Apple began selling its hugely successful tablet computer.

©AFP/File/Ed Jones

A placard advertises an Apple iPhone 4S for sale at an electronics market in Hong Kong last year.

Analysts said the Chinese government wanted the matter resolved, wary of the damage a ruling against Apple could do for the foreign business climate in China.

Greater China – which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan – has become Apple’s fastest-growing region, with revenues second only to the United States. ■ (©AFP – Beijing, China – July 7, 2012)

Merkel pushes EU, Southeast Asia free trade pact

©AFP/File

A sprawling shanty-town contrasts with high rise office buildings in Quezon City, suburban Manila in 2010.

Ayala in $1.5bn property project PROPERTY giant Ayala Land Inc. said Thursday, July 5 it will spend 64 billion pesos ($1.5 billion) over the next 15 years to develop a former squatter colony in a suburb of the capital. The 29-hectare (72-acre) lot in the largely-residential Quezon City area will be a joint venture with the government’s National Housing Authority which owns the property, company spokesman Jorge Marco said. Ayala, known for its upscale housing, office and shopping mall projects, will develop the area while the housing authority will retain the real estate, he added. “It will house both residential, office, retail and hotel units,” he told AFP. The first phase, spanning about four years, will involve setting up three buildings for business process

outsourcing operations, along with a business hotel and a mall in a sevenhectare section, he said. This first stage will cost about 12 billion pesos. Much of the area was once a gigantic squatter area where some 6,000 families lived in squalor. Hundreds of these squatters rioted in 2010 to oppose their relocation, forcing President Benigno Aquino to postpone the demolition of their shanties. The area covered by the first phase of the project has already been cleared of squatters who have been relocated by the government, Marco said. Ayala Land, the flagship of the diversified Ayala Corp. conglomerate, posted a 31 percent growth in its net profit last year, hitting 7.14 billion pesos. ■ (AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 5, 2012)

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, July 11 said Europe must step up its efforts to establish a free trade pact with booming Southeast Asia. “I am deeply convinced that Europe has to hurry up in setting up a free trade agreement with this region if it wants to be able to compete,” she said during a visit to Jakarta. As European nations are struggling to climb out of debt, Southeast Asian nations are experiencing strong growth. Indonesia grew 6.5 percent in 2011 and is forecast to grow at the same pace this year. On Tuesday, July 10 Merkel and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pledged to boost trade, which now stands at around $7 billion, and Indonesian

officials forecast it to reach $12 billion by 2014. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union in May 2007 agreed to start free trade agreement talks after years of wrangling over human rights abuses in Myanmar. The EU has begun negotiating agreements with individual ASEAN states, including Malaysia and Singapore. Myanmar in April pushed for an EU-ASEAN agreement, citing major reforms in the country. ASEAN as a whole represents the EU’s third-largest trading partner outside Europe, with more than 206 billion euros ($253 billion) of trade in goods and services in 2011, according to the European Commission. The EU is ASEAN’s second-

largest trading partner after China, accounting for around 11 percent of ASEAN trade. ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Merkel, who arrived for her first official visit to Southeast Asia’s largest economy on Tuesday, was due to depart for Berlin later Wednesday. She also visited a tsunami early warning centre in Jakarta, built with help from German experts and 53 million euros of German funding after a tsunami in 2004 killed 170,000 people in Indonesia’s Aceh province The system consists of a network of tidal gauges, buoys and seismic monitors. ■ (©AFP – Jakarta, Indonesia – July

11, 2012)

©AFP/Romeo Gacad

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reviews a military honor guard during a ceremony at the presidential palace in Jakarta on July 10. Merkel said she was “deeply convinced” Europe must set up an agreement if “it wants to be able to compete”.


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Business & Finance

www.hello-philippines.com

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Tough summer ahead for markets, analysts forecast Sophie Devillier, AFP DESPITE making progress, the eurozone debt crisis remains unsolved and, in a repeat of last summer, could still bring nasty surprises to global stock markets in July and August, analysts said. In measuring up the coming summer weeks, “market sentiment is extremely negative,” said Alexandre Hezez, a trader at asset management firm Convictions AM. With many investors on holiday, trading volumes plummet in July and August which makes for even bigger swings up and down, analysts warned. The Paris stock exchange plummeted 18 percent between July 1 and September 1, 2011.

Since then, eight summits, a budgetary pact, a new rescue fund and more than one trillion euros ($1.22 trillion) injected by the ECB into the struggling financial sector have failed to end the eurozone debt crisis. Last summer Greece sparked panic, but concerns for Athens have receded to the background after parties wanting the country to remain in the eurozone won an election in June. Now Spain and Italy are riling traders, with sovereign borrowing rates for both countries spiking to unsustainable levels on the secondary bond market. “The end of July and the month of August could be very intense,”

warned Jean-Francois Robin, an investment strategist at Natixis. “If the Spanish 10-year bond yields spike to above 7.5 percent, Madrid will undoubtedly be forced to call for direct international aid from the new EU rescue fund that is a long way from being ready”, Robin said. “This possibility could freeze up the markets even more.” Hezez said: “We have made great advances, but the risk to banks, which triggered the run on the markets last summer, will not be erased in the next few months.” The mechanisms to lend money to Spain’s troubled lenders are still the subject of tense negotiations between eurozone nations. Finland

is engaged in bilateral talks with Madrid to impose its own conditions. Worse yet, the European Stability Mechanism is yet to be set up, with its practical future hanging on a decision on the fund’s constitutionality by Germany’s highest court that could be delayed to the autumn. Economist Erik Nielsen of Unicredit Bank urged patience especially in regards to banking union which he said should get its “first component, common bank supervision, sometime during 2013.” But in the meantime, austerity measures privileged until now as the first line of defense against the crisis, seemed have to run their course. The 65 billion euros ($79.6 billion) in new austerity measures

announced this week by Spain will be hard to put in place because unlike a year ago, “the Spanish economy is in recession, which complicates matters,” said Christian Parisot, economist at Aurel BGC. For Parisot, markets are no longer worried about a debt crisis per se, which he says traders have priced in, but more concerned by surprises, such as flagging growth in the world’s top two economies, the US and China. Those surprises could be hidden in company results that will trickle out from now until mid-August. “Any results below expectations or poor outlooks will make share prices fall sharply on the markets,” Parisot said. ■ (©AFP – Paris, France – July 15, 2012)

©AFP/File/Louisa Gouliamaki

©AFP/File/Daniel Roland

Traders work at the stock exchange in Frankfurt/M., western Germany. Despite making progress, the eurozone debt crisis remains unsolved and, in a repeat of last summer, could still bring nasty surprises to global stock markets in July and August, analysts said.

©AFP/File/Javier Soriano

Employees pass an electronic display at the Athens stock exchange. Last summer Greece sparked panic, but concerns for Athens have receded.

Traders talk next to the IBEX-35 index billboard at Madrid’s stock exchange. The mechanisms to lend money to Spain’s troubled lenders are still the subject of tense negotiations.

Twitter beefs up Philippine Airlines to fly to new Las Vegas airport terminal search function

TWITTER said Friday, July 6 it was upgrading its search functions to include “autocomplete” and spelling correction features. The new Twitter search will also anticipate when users are looking for posts by people they follow, and offer related suggestions. The move by the popular social media group is similar to search functions offered by Google and other engines. “We’re constantly working to make Twitter search the simplest way to discover what’s happening in real time,” said Twitter engineer Frost Li in a blog post. “To that end, today we’re introducing search autocomplete and ‘People you follow’ search results to twitter.com. In addition to recent improvements like related query suggestions, spelling corrections and more relevant search results, these updates make it even easier to immediately get closer to the things you care about.” The “search autocomplete” shows the most likely terms for a query. So a user who types “Jeremy” might get a suggestion for basketball star Jeremy Lin before

©AFP/File/Nicholas Kamm

Twitter said Friday, July 6 it was upgrading its search functions to include “autocomplete” and spelling correction features.

finishing the full name. Twitter will also allow users to see tweets about a given topic from only the people they follow if they select that option. “Viewing tweets about a topic from just the people you follow is a great way to find useful information and join the conversation,” Li said. Twitter, which allows its members to post brief comments, links or pictures, claims to have more than 140 million active users, with the largest number being in the United States. A recent survey found one in seven Americans who go online use Twitter and eight percent do so every day. ■ (©AFP – San Francisco, USA – July 7, 2012)

PASSENGERS traveling from Manila, Philippines to Las Vegas, Nevada, will now arrive at the new US$2.4-billion airport terminal 3 opened June 28 at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, the seventh busiest airport in the US. Philippine Airlines (PAL) is the only Philippine carrier serving the ManilaLas Vegas route, via Vancouver, bringing tourists to the so-called “Entertainment Capital of the World” which receives a total of 40 million visitors a year. In response to the increasing number of Asian tourists to Las Vegas, there will be four flights per week from Manila, it was announced this week, using the wide-body Airbus A340 aircraft.

Overall, international tourism to Las Vegas has been increasing in the past years, up from 14 percent of tourists in 2009 to 18 percent in 2011. Increases have been particularly noticeable among Asian tourists, who are attracted to Las Vegas’s game culture, fine dining and shopping. The new terminal offers a range of dining options including fastfood restaurants, steak houses and international cuisine, while, in the retail area, in addition to designer fashion brands, an onsite spa offers on-demand relaxation services. T3 also offers free wireless internet service and power outlets to recharge mobiles and hand-held

devices throughout its 1.9 million square feet (176,515 sq m) threestorey building. The terminal will be used by 16 international carriers and five national airlines offering direct flights. The new gateway to the city expects to receive more than 11.3 million passengers annually. Each new gate has self-check in equipment with a simple scan of a pre-printed boarding pass or mobile device. Using neon signs with the iconic “welcome to Las Vegas” and largescale art work, the terminal aims to set the tone for visitors as soon as they arrive in the US gaming and entertainment center. ■ (©AFP – July 4, 2012) ©AFP/File

©AFP/File


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International News

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

ASEAN talks fail over China territorial dispute Michelle Fitzpatrick, AFP DAYS of heated diplomacy at Southeast Asian talks ended in failure Friday, July 13 as deep splits over China prevented the ASEAN grouping from issuing its customary joint statement for the first time. Foreign ministers from the 10-member bloc have been wrangling since Monday, July 9 to hammer out a diplomatic communique, which has held up progress on a separate code of conduct aimed at soothing tension in the flashpoint South China Sea. China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the resource-rich sea, which is home to vital shipping lanes, but ASEAN members the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have competing claims in the area. The long-stalled code of conduct,

strongly supported by the United States, is seen as a way of reducing the chances of a spat over fishing, shipping rights or oil and gas exploration tipping into an armed conflict. The Philippines lambasted the failure at the end of the talks on Friday, saying “it deplores the nonissuance of a joint communique... which was unprecedented in ASEAN’s 45-year existence”. It had insisted ASEAN refer to an armed stand-off with China last month over a rocky outcrop known as the Scarborough Shoal, but Cambodia – a Beijing ally and chair of the meeting – resisted. Taking “strong exception” to Cambodia, the Philippine statement said divisions undercut ASEAN’s goal of tackling disputes as a bloc “and not in a bilateral fashion – the approach

which its northern neighbour (China) has been insisting on”. The Philippines and the United States called this week for a unified ASEAN that could use its collective clout to negotiate with China, while Beijing prefers to deal with its smaller neighbours individually. Diplomatic sources, speaking anonymously to AFP, referred to angry exchanges during behind-the-scenes talks, with an emergency meeting called for early Friday morning also failing to break the deadlock. “I think it would be fair to say that tempers in some of the private meetings have run hot. There have been some very tense back and forths,” one US official said. China is a key bankroller of the much-criticised host Cambodia and some diplomats said Beijing had twisted arms in Phnom Penh

Philippines says no protest as Chinese ship leaves THE Philippines said Sunday, July 15 it would not lodge a diplomatic protest after China extricated a naval frigate from a disputed South China Sea shoal where it had been stranded for four days. Last week’s stranding of the ship on Half Moon shoal, which Manila calls Hasa Hasa, was likely an accident, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said. “We don’t believe that there were ill-intentions that accompanied the presence of that ship in our EEZ (exclusive economic zone),” del Rosario said. “As far as filing a diplomatic protest is concerned, my stance is that we will probably not do that,” he said. The ship was reportedly on “routine patrol” when it got stranded Wednesday, July 11 on the shoal,

which sits just 60 nautical miles from the western Philippine island of Palawan, within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). International law defines a country’s exclusive economic zone as being up to 200-nautical-miles from its shores. The Chinese embassy in Manila said the frigate was “refloated successfully” before daybreak Sunday, and del Rosario said he was informed it was already en route back to China. “We wish its crew a safe voyage back to China,” he said. The shoal is part of the the Spratly Islands – which the Chinese call Nansha – a string of atolls and islands straddling vital shipping lanes in the South China Sea believed sitting atop vast mineral deposits.

©AFP/HO/File

This photo, released by the Military Information Agency in Taiwan in 1995, shows Taiwanese warships docking near the shore of Taiping Island, the largest of the disputed Spratly Island chain. Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, China, Malaysia and the Philippines all have claims over Spratly islands in South China Sea.

Apart from the Philippines and China, the Spratlys are claimed in whole or in part by Taiwan and the other Southeast Asian countries of Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Overlapping claims to the islands have perennially caused tensions among the claimants, with the Philippines and Vietnam recently accusing China of increasingly becoming aggressive in staking its claims. The dispute also marred an annual meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers held in Cambodia last week, where Manila’s chief diplomat accused China of “duplicity” and intimidation. The dispute divided the grouping, with host Cambodia siding with China, thus preventing them from issuing a customary joint statement that summarises achievements and concerns.

to prevent any reference to the South China Sea disputes in the communique. Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong expressed regret at the discord within ASEAN, but said he could “not accept that the joint communique has become the hostage of the bilateral issue (between the Philippines and China)”. Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who played a key role trying to broker a compromise, expressed “deep, profound disappointment” at the lack of consensus within the bloc. “There is still a common view that we must, if anything, reinforce our efforts to work on the COC (code of conduct), to begin our talks with the Chinese on the COC,” he added. Foreign ministers said Sunday

they had agreed “key elements” of a draft code to be presented to China, but these were not released to the media. China was also cool on the idea of starting negotiations, almost 10 years since the idea of creating a code was first agreed, saying it would only negotiate “when conditions are ripe”. Analysts said the friction could “contaminate” future negotiations between ASEAN and China. “Cambodia is showing itself as China’s stalking horse. This will make negotiating a final code of conduct with China more difficult,” said Southeast Asia expert Carl Thayer. “I find it difficult to believe that ASEAN foreign ministers cannot come up with some formulation that satisfies all parties.” ■ (©AFP – July 13,

2012)

©AFP/File / Torsten Blackwood

File photo shows a Chinese naval frigate. Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Manila did not “believe that there were ill-intentions”.

But in a marked turn-around of rhetoric Sunday, Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the Chinese frigate apparently made a navigational mistake that caused it to run aground. He said there appeared to be no signs that it was on a mission to

intrude in a Philippine claimed area, noting the absence of structures on the shoal. “It may have been human error. The CO (commanding officer) may have not seen the rocks,” he said. ■

(©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 15,

2012)

Taiwan mulls extending runway in Spratlys

TAIWAN is considering extending the runway on the contested Spratly Island in a move that could provoke fresh tensions in the heavily disputed South China Sea, media reported on Sunday, July 15. If approved, the project would extend by 500 metres (1,640 feet) the runway on Taiping Island, the largest in the disputed waters and some 860 miles (1,376 kilometres) from Taiwan, the Liberty Times said. “The national security authorities lately convened a meeting to evaluate the proposal as the situation in the South China Sea has been getting ever complicated,” it cited an unnamed

national security source as saying. Tensions in the South China Sea have risen recently, with China and the Philippines locked in a maritime dispute over the Scarborough Shoal, a reef off the Philippine coast. The runway, currently 1,150 metres (3,773 feet), was built in 2006 despite protests from other countries with claims in the potentially oil-rich area, including Vietnam, Brunei, China, Malaysia and the Philippines. Calls for an increase of Taiwan’s defence capability on the disputed area have been on the rise as the claimants have deployed more troops and added military facilities there.

In May Taiwan’s coastguards said that the number of intruding Vietnamese boats surged to 106 last year, up from 42 the previous year. In the same month Taiwan formed a special airborne unit capable of scrambling to the South China Sea in just hours, after a visit by three legislators and several top military officers in a trip intended to renew their territorial claim amid mounting tensions in the area. All claimants except Brunei have troops based on the archipelago of more than 100 islets, reefs and atolls, which have a total land mass of less than five square kilometres (two square miles). ■ (©AFP – Taipei, Taiwan – July 15, 2012)


International News

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

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Philippines slams Chinese ‘duplicity, intimidation’

Martin Abbugao, AFP THE Philippines’ foreign minister on Thursday, July 12 denounced Chinese “duplicity” and “intimidation” in the South China Sea, souring the mood at a regional gathering designed to soothe tensions. “If Philippine sovereignty and jurisdiction can be denigrated by a powerful country through pressure, duplicity, intimidation and the threat of the use of force, the international community should be concerned about the behaviour,” Albert del Rosario told the meeting, according to an official statement. He was referring to a recent standoff between Chinese and Philippine boats at a rocky outcrop called the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by both sides. Del Rosario said Beijing’s increasingly assertive stance over disputed and non-disputed areas of the South China Sea posed a “threat to the peace and stability” in the Asia Pacific region. “If left unchecked, the increasing tensions that is being generated in the process could further escalate into physical hostilities which no one wants,” he said at the ASEAN Regional Forum, which was also attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The dispute over Scarborough

Shoal began after Chinese government vessels blocked Philippine ships in an operation to arrest Chinese fishermen near the shoal on April 10. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighbouring countries. The Philippines says the shoal is well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. A sharp disagreement over whether to mention the standoff over the shoal has held up a joint statement being prepared by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Manila wants the standoff mentioned while Cambodia, a staunch Chinese ally that currently holds the ASEAN chair, has rejected the proposal. The Philippines is also leading a push for ASEAN to unite to propose to China a code of conduct aimed at governing behaviour and preventing conflicts in the South China Sea. Progress on the code, strongly encouraged by the United States, was seen by analysts as a way of dissipating anger in the region and smoothing tensions after a string of recent confrontations. Vietnam has accused China of aggressive behaviour and on Wednesday Japan lodged a formal complaint over Chinese boats approaching islands in the East China Sea which are controlled by Tokyo. ©AFP File Photo

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain. ©Malacañang Photo Bureau

©AFP/File/Dfa/Pn

A Philippine navy photo shows Chinese surveillance ships off scarborough Shoal in April 2012. Tensions rose recently in the South China Sea, where China and a host of neighbouring countries have overlapping territorial claims, with both Vietnam and the Philippines accusing Beijing of aggressive behaviour. ©AFP, Hoang Dinh Nam

©AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam

©AFP Graphic

Graphic showing disputed sea border claims in the South China Sea. Tensions rose recently in the sea, where China and a host of neighbouring countries have overlapping territorial claims, with both Vietnam and the Philippines accusing Beijing of aggressive behaviour.

ASEAN has already agreed the key elements it will propose in any negotiations with China, including using international law such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as the basis for any dispute. But analysts said Beijing was likely to reject any use of international law to settle disputes because its position is to deal bilaterally with each claimant. Yang has told his fellow ASEAN ministers in Cambodia that China will consider the proposal but

Albert del Rosario said Beijing posed a threat to the region.

stressed that negotiations for a code of conduct will only be launched when “conditions are ripe”. Clinton said earlier Thursday that nations should settle their territorial disputes “without coercion, without intimidation, without threats, and without use of force”. She also urged progress on the long-stalled code of conduct for the South China Sea to avoid “confusion and even confrontation” over shipping and fishing rights in

Traffic rides past the front of the Peace Palace, the main venue of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) annual ministerial meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum, in Phnom Penh on July 10, 2012. ASEAN members have struggled to make progress on a code of conduct to ease tension in the South China Sea.

the resource-rich waterway which is home to key shipping lanes. The Scarborough Shoal sits about 230 kilometres (140 miles) from the Philippines’ main island of Luzon. The nearest major Chinese landmass is 1,200 kilometres northwest of the shoal, according to Philippine navy maps. ■ (©AFP – Phnom Penh, Cambodia – July 13, 2012)

Spain’s Queen Sofia in Philippines SPAIN’S Queen Sofia arrived in the Philippines Monday, July 2 for a five-day visit to review development projects funded by the Spanish government. The queen was greeted at Manila airport by top Philippine dignitaries, before she left for a private gathering at the Spanish ambassador’s residence, official said. The queen’s visit to the former Spanish colony is “a reaffirmation of Spain’s commitment towards addressing the myriad developments and challenges the Philippines and the rest of the world are facing today”, the foreign department said. This marks the queen’s fifth trip

to the Philippines since 1995, when she accompanied her husband King Juan Carlos I on an official visit. The highlight of her trip included a meeting with President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday, July 3 and a tour of various schools and hospitals which have received funding from Spain, the presidential palace said. She was also expected to visit the eastern province of Albay and Zamboanga, a former Spanish port city in the southern Philippines. Spain ranks as the Philippines’ 28th largest trading partner with total bilateral trade amounting to $329.6 million in 2011, according to official statistics.

Spain offered the Philippines development assistance worth 28.9 million euros ($36.58 million) in grants and loans in the same year. Up to 60,000 Filipinos live and work in Spain, and many back home trace their roots to Spanish immigrants who joined the first colonies in the Philippines. Spain colonised the Philippines for more than three hundred years from 1521, bringing the Catholic religion across the islands. It ceded the Philippines to the United States at the end of the Spanish-American war in 1898. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 3, 2012)

©Malacañang Photo Bureau

©Malacañang Photo Bureau

The Queen of Spain’s visit to Malacañan Palace, July 3, 2012 – President Benigno S. Aquino III and Her Majesty, Queen Sofia of Spain during the latter’s visit to Malacañan Palace, Tuesday night, July 3. The President hosted a banquet in honor of Her Majesty at the Palace’s Rizal Ceremonial Hall.


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Global News

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July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Clinton pushes democracy on Mongolia trip Jo Biddle, AFP US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday, July 9 urged Asian nations still loath to embrace democracy to look to the example set by some emerging countries, praising Mongolia as a model. Clinton told an international women’s forum she had long “been inspired by the Mongolian people’s commitment to democracy”. “This is the right time to talk about democracy in Asia, as many countries in this region grapple with the question of which model of governance best suits their society and circumstances,” she said. Without naming countries such as communist-run China, Clinton dismissed arguments from some Asian nations that democracy “is unsuited to this region’s history, perhaps even antithetical to Asian values,” that it threatened stability or was a privilege of wealthy Western nations. “It is true that clamping down on political expression or maintaining a tight grip on what people read, or say or see can create the illusion of security. But illusions fade, because people’s yearnings for liberty do not,” Clinton said. She warned that “countries that want to be open for business but closed to free expression will find that this approach comes at a cost: it kills innovation and discourages entrepreneurship.” Clinton arrived in Mongolia as part of a whirlwind tour which has already taken her to Paris, Kabul and Tokyo. On Tuesday she flies to Hanoi for a visit focusing on bilateral

and economic ties as well as talks with group of senior American businessmen. She will visit Laos on Wednesday, July 11 – the first US secretary of state to travel there in 57 years -before attending a series of regional forums with ASEAN nations in Cambodia. “One of the overarching objectives of this trip is to underscore a strong commitment across the board in Asia,” a senior State Department official, who asked to remain anonymous, told reporters travelling with Clinton. One of the tough issues up for discussion will be the tensions in the South China Sea, he added. Clinton met with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj on Monday, a key leader of the country’s peaceful 1990 revolution, and praised six rounds of parliamentary elections held since she last visited 17 years ago. “If you want to see democracy in action, if you want to see progress being shaped by leaders who are more concerned about lifting up their people than fattening their bank accounts, come to Mongolia,” she told the forum. The country, sandwiched between Russia and China, ended seven decades of Soviet-backed rule in 1990 and has since undergone a relatively peaceful and successful transition into a stable democracy. However, corruption is generally recognised as a major problem in Mongolian politics and disputes over the previous parliamentary elections in 2008 triggered riots that left four people dead.

Mongolian politicians are locked in a dispute over last month’s parliamentary elections, after official results showed the opposition Democratic Party won the most seats, but not enough for a majority. Elbegdorj urged all parties to work together to form a ruling coalition, but some parties allege that a new automated voting system used to elect the Great Hural, Mongolia’s 76-member parliament, failed. Clinton only briefly touched on corruption – even though Transparency International ranks Mongolia 120 out of 182 countries surveyed on its Corruption Perceptions Index – the same ranking as Iran, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. Julian Dierkes, an expert on Mongolia from the University of British Columbia’s Institute of Asian Research, warned in the Wall Street Journal that corruption was placing the legitimacy of last month’s elections at risk. Clinton pointed to successful recent elections in Taiwan, East Timor, the Philippines and India as examples of what can be done. “Consider all that has been achieved in Burma,” she urged, highlighting the recent releases of prisoners in Myanmar, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who on Monday took up her place in parliament. Mongolia’s economy grew 17.3 percent last year due to a stunning mining boom, as some of the world’s biggest mining firms moved in to exploit copper, coal and gold reserves estimated to be worth more than $1 trillion. ■ (©AFP – Ulan Bator, Mongolia – July 9, 2012)

©AFP/POOL, Brendan Smialowski

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) arrived in Mongolia as part of an Asian tour aimed at promoting democracy. ©AFP/POOL, Brendan Smialowski

Hilary Clinton was to meet with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj on Monday, July 9. ©AFP/POOL, Brendan Smialowski

Hilary Clinton is to deliver remarks to an International Women’s Leadership forum being held in the capital, Ulan Bator.

IMF chief warns over slowing global growth Kyoko Hasegawa, AFP

INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde Friday, July 6 warned the global economy was slowing and said the situation could get worse because Europe was not doing enough to fix its debt crisis. Lagarde said the IMF would cut its growth forecast in its global outlook to be released later this month. “What I can tell you is that it will be tilted to the downside and certainly lower than the forecast that was published three months ago,” she told an economic forum in Tokyo during a week-long Asian tour. “And that is predicated on the right set of actions being taken in Europe in order to avoid very significant deterioration and to eliminate major threats.” In April, the IMF hiked its global growth forecasts to an annual rate of 3.5 percent this year, accelerating to 4.1 percent in 2013, up from the January forecast of 3.3 percent and

©AFP/Toshifumi Kitamura

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde delivers a speech at the Nikkei Special Forum at a hotel in Tokyo. Lagarde has warned that the global economy was slowing, with a soon-to-be published growth outlook lower than earlier forecasts.

4.0 percent respectively. Lagarde declined to elaborate on the IMF’s new assessment due later this month, but said conditions since the last forecast had “regrettably” become “more worrisome”, although she hailed recent steps to tackle Europe’s woes.

The IMF chief cited measures adopted after a European leaders’ meeting in Brussels last week and the European Central Bank’s move on Thursday to cut interest rates to historic lows as proof of progress. Stimulus measures and emergency aid to troubled Italy and Spain were “significant steps in the right direction”, Lagarde said. But “from the IMF perspective, we believe that more needs to be done in order to really complete the architectural job of the eurozone: a monetary union, a banking union followed by a fiscal union”. “It’s also a question of implementation – diligent, rigorous, steady implementation,” Lagarde added. On Thursday, central banks in Europe and China ushered in easing and stimulus moves in a bid to help power the global economy, just days after the IMF pared its growth forecast for the US economy. The Washington-based

organisation estimated 2012 US economic growth at 2.0 percent, down from an April forecast of a 2.1 percent expansion for the world’s biggest economy – and warned that the Obama administration may be slicing the deficit too fast for the weak economy. Lagarde’s comments came a day after Beijing’s second interest rate cut in less than a month surprised markets and stoked worries about the world’s second-biggest economy. Then, the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate to a record low 0.75 percent, while the Bank of England kept its rate even but announced 50 billion pounds ($78 billion) in additional stimulus. Lagarde applauded Asian nations, particularly China, for turning their focus away from depending on exports to measures that boost demand at home, adding that the “rebalancing that came with the crisis shouldn’t go with the crisis”.

She also acknowledged that the yen was “moderately overvalued” after Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told her earlier Friday that Japan’s economy was “suffering a serious, adverse impact” over the currency’s strength. The Japanese unit hit record highs against the dollar last year, and remains strong as traders eye safehaven currencies amid worries about the euro and greenback. But the strong currency hurts Japanese exporters, who were already struggling after last year’s quake-tsunami disaster, by making products pricier overseas while shrinking the value of repatriated foreign earnings. Lagarde will be in Jakarta on July 8-10, and in Bangkok on July 11-12, where she will participate in a seminar organised by the IMF, the Bank of Thailand and the Asian Development Bank. ■ (©AFP – Tokyo, Japan – July 6, 2012)


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HELLO PHILIPPINES

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Philippine Tourism

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Philippines “More Fun” campaign captures international spotlight in London, rest of Europe THE country’s new tourism slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” continues to draw attention and take its place on the global stage. The campaign was recently launched in London through a 45-minute fun motorcade that featured advertisements on the iconic London double-decker buses and taxi cabs. Twenty-five (25) double-decker buses and fifty (50) iconic black cabs sporting a uniform design of the slogan, logo, and different faces of the Philippines are now spotted around the bustling streets of London. The subway stations also display images of the world-famous Ifugao Rice Terraces and the Puerto Princesa Underground River, both proclaimed as World Heritage Sites. With London’s 7.5 million population and 15 million international visitors every year, the Philippines is certainly generating awareness not only among the British population, but also among visitors to the United Kingdom (UK), who have have expressed their excitement and confidence in the PH campaign. “We really love your advertising campaign and we believe it would work fantastically well through our channels. We will be looking out for your advertising campaign in town – on buses, taxis, and in the underground,” exclaimed Weronika Abramowicz, Business Development Head of Fulham Football Club, the oldest established football team of the English Premier League. “I’ve seen the bus advertisements

a couple of times, as well as the one in the underground, which made me stop and do a double take, as I hadn’t seen a Philippine ad in the tube before. I hope that it succeeds in attracting more people to the country,” shares John Oates, contributor to Rough Guides to the Philippines and member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. Mr. Oates looks forward to writing about the Philippines again and plans to visit in June. Simon Beck, Director of Orbital Communications, an integrated sales, marketing, and PR solutions provider to travel brands in the UK, finds the bus ads a really good idea that was executed very well. “I wish you every success with the new campaign. I think it’s so creative...and was telling the Ambassador the same. It’s exciting times ahead for you and I hope I can help support you on this exciting journey,” Mr. Beck enthused. The Philippine Department of Tourism is the very first national tourism organization to advertise through the taxis’ digital platform owned by Verifone Media. The London cabs come with a 30-minute digital ad which features the 30-seconder “It’s more fun in the Philippines” TVC and 15-seconder tarsier TVC recently launched worldwide via global network giant CNN through a series of “Eye On” features on the Philippines. The media campaign through these London cabs will continue to run until early next year, with the opportunity to capture the millions of visitors and household viewers of the Queen’s

Jubilee, the London 2012 Olympics and the season 2012-2013 of the Fulham Football Club of the English Premier League. Filipinos based in London, who caught a glimpse of the ads, likewise expressed their full support and enthusiasm for the new campaign. “Absolutely Brilliant! I rode the cab and saw the digital advertisement. It’s very witty, great tag line, and good visuals. It captures the audience because you’re just sitting in there and you will really watch it. Really good marketing campaign. Not just for foreigners, but for Filipinos as well. It reminded me of home,” shares Innah VirayLim, a Filipino currently in London as consultant for Shell. Many Filipinos residing in the UK also tweeted that they want to have a photo opportunity with the bus and taxi cabs after seeing the launch last May. The campaign’s roll-out in London was also featured by several UK travel trade media publications such as Travel Bulletin, Travel Daily News Asia, and ABTA Magazine. The April issue of Selling Long Haul placed the spotlight on some of the Philippines’ new resorts, hotels, and adventure activities. The issue also quoted several tour operator representatives sharing their great experiences visiting the country. Equator Diving, a partner dive tour operator, reported successful group visits to Anilao in their April and May newsletters. “Diving here has been a never-ending educational process of discovery and documenting,

photographing some of the most intriguing and diverse marine animals on Planet Earth,” Mike Batrick, one of the members, exclaimed. The Irish Times, Ireland’s highlyrespected and widely-circulated newspaper, featured the Philippine Embassy in Dublin’s launch of “It’s more fun in the Philippines” among business leaders at St Stephen’s Green. More features on the Philippines made their way in the English Midlands with published articles in Lancashire Telegraph and Newcastle Evening Chronicle broadsheets written by Wesley Johnson after her visit to several islands in the Philippines. More editorials are expected to come out as Diver and Sport Diver magazines talk about the worldfamous diving sites in the Philippines such as Cebu, Dumaguete, Puerto Galera, and Malapascua in their June and July issues. Sport Diver will continue to promote the Philippines in July with a 5-page spread on the whalesharks of Oslob. The Philippines gained wider publicity in other parts of Europe as it was also featured by other

travel magazines, online articles, and broadsheets in Italy and Spain. The April issue of In Viaggio of Italy detailed the recent trip of Hotelplan’s 35 agents to various places in the Philippines. The underwater gems of Coron and Anilao were also captured in two articles entitled “Los Pecios de Coron” and “Bienvenidos a Nudi City”, which appeared on Inmersion Magazine, one of Spain’s top diving publications. Meanwhile, another article on Coron, “Lagos de Coron,” also appeared in Viajes de Buceo magazine. These articles were the result of familiarization trips organized by Buceo Filipinas. “The world is now starting to see that ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ is not just a bunch of words on a streamer. It is a competitive argument for choosing the Philippines as one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Philippine tourism is poised to surge forward as we launch more aggressive initiatives to reinvigorate the industry and work towards achieving our 10 million target by 2016,” beamed Philippine Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. ■ (PDOT London – June 2012)

Visitor arrivals from January to May 2012 grew by 13.05%

Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas with members of the Embassy and officials from Metro de Madrid.

It’s More Fun in the Philippines exhibit opens in Madrid’s Islas Filipinas Metro Station

AMBASSADOR Carlos C. Salinas opened on June 25 the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” exhibit in Metro Islas Filipinas station near the Rizal Monument in Avenida Filipinas in Madrid. The exhibit, which will run from June 25 to July 7, is part of the Embassy’s efforts to reenergize and galvanize interest in the Philippines as a tourism destination that offers something familiar and at the same time unique and exotic to Spanish travelers.

Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas hopes that the exhibit will be the first of many in the various Metro stations in Madrid and will help create an interest in the Philippines as a tourism destination. In spite of the ongoing Spanish economic crisis, the Philippines has seen a 20% increase in Spanish tourism arrivals for the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. ■ (DFA

– July 3, 2012)

PHILIPPINE tourism continue to show its strength as visitor count for the first five months of the year aggregated to 1,819,781, recording a double-digit growth of 13.05% compared to the 1,609,651 arrivals for the same period in 2011. The month of January 2012 recorded the most number of visitors at 411,064 and the highest increase of 17.54%. Visitor traffic for the period was boosted by the Korean market as they comprised the biggest group with a share of 21.83% (397,170 arrivals). This market registered a double-digit increase of 12.41% versus its arrivals of 353,307 a

year ago. Visitors from the U.S.A. supplied the second biggest arrival with 298,355 and expanded by 5.26% vis-à-vis its corresponding arrivals of 283,422 visitors the previous year. This market shared 16.40% of the total arrivals. Coming in third are visitors from Japan with a volume of 167,410 arrivals and an increase of 7.11% compared to its contribution of 156,296 in 2011. This market comprised 9.20% of the total visitors to the country. The Chinese market came in fourth with arrivals aggregating to 138,466 and a share of 7.61% to the overall traffic. This market recorded the highest growth of 59.07% among the top five

country markets for the period when compared to its arrivals of 87,049 visitors a year ago. Taiwan ranked fifth by registering 93,855 arrivals, constituting 5.16% of inbound traffic. Arrivals from this market grew by 35.43%. High yielding markets such as Australia (79,020 visitors), Singapore (60,136 visitors), Canada (58,868 visitors), United Kingdom (50,327 visitors) and Hongkong (48,849 visitors) provided significant volume of arrivals for the period. On the other hand, high growth markets included Russia (with 42.18% growth), Germany (with 14.43% growth) and Malaysia (with 12.82% growth). ■ (DOT – July 11, 2012)


July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Immigration / OFW News

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HELLO PHILIPPINES

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Visa interview coaching, another illegal recruitment scheme ADMINISTRATOR Hans Leo J. Cacdac recently revealed another come on used by fly-bynight immigration consultants to attract unsuspecting jobseekers by promising them overseas employment supposedly without payment of fees other than for medical tests and visa interview coaching in the Philippines. According to Cacdac, the scheme starts with an unsolicited job offer through e-mail to nurses and caregivers apparently from legitimate and prestigious medical facilities in Canada or the United States of America. Cacdac cited an e-mail supposedly from Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Ontario, Canada and forwarded to the POEA, which informs the recipient of her selection as staff nurse and/or caregiver, and details on the application procedure and payment process. Cacdac said the offer could be hard to refuse for some applicants looking for overseas jobs. The e-mail said the workers would not be charged any fees except PHP 3,888.00 for

“visa interview coaching”, and PHP 5,000.00 for medical tests. “No placement fee. No processing fee. No salary deduction. No show money. No experience required. Free accommodation and food allowance,” the email sender assures the worker. “But by examining the e-mail, one can easily conclude that it has footprints of an employment scam. The introduction of the letter was copied from the actual website of Stevenson Memorial Hospital. The sender, David R. Purvis, used a hushmail.com free e-mail account instead of the hospital’s internet domain name smhosp.on.ca,” Cacdac added. “These scammers have access to personal data of applicants in job search sites and any e-mail informing an applicant of being selected for a specific job he or she did not apply for is undoubtedly a recruitment scam,” Cacdac said. Cacdac also clarified that immigration consultants cannot engage in the recruitment and placement of Filipino workers for overseas jobs unless they have a

license from the POEA, otherwise they are violating laws on illegal recruitment. The administrator said applicants for Canada need not pay hefty fees for advice on working visa from immigration consultants because they are readily available at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website http://www.cic.gc.ca. “All the forms and information that you need to apply for a visa are available for free on this website. If you follow the instructions in the application guide, you can complete the application forms and submit them on your own”, says a blurb on the website. Cacdac said the Stevenson case is similar to Fraser Health’s which also recruits nurses and caregivers through e-mail for supposed employment in Canada and asks applicants to pay PHP 3,750.00 for “Canadian Embassy Interview Coaching”. He said he has ordered the POEA anti-illegal recruitment branch to investigate further whether the two are related or

operated by the same group of scammers. The real Fraser Health in Canada, which uses their domain name fraserhealth.ca, has denied the e-mail came from them. The fake company with non-existent

jobs also used a hushmail.com account. Cacdac is urging job applicants who have received such recruitment emails to forward the same to info@poea.gov.ph for verification and proper action by the POEA. ■ (POEA – July 16, 2012)

Family visit visa appeals: changes come into effect from 9 July 2012 AS announced by the government on 18 June 2012, the Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2012 come into force (9 July 2012). The regulations set out who qualifies for a full right of appeal against a visa refusal to visit family in the UK. These regulations change the appeal rights of family visit visa applicants. If you are applying to visit your uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, or a relative who does not have settled, refugee or humanitarian protection status in the UK, and we refuse your visa application, you will not have a

full right of appeal. A limited right of appeal will remain on human rights and race discrimination grounds. No changes are being made to the Rules governing who can qualify for entry to the UK as a visitor and genuine visitors are welcome. The Crime and Courts Bill, announced on 11 May 2012, will, subject to parliamentary approval, remove the full right of appeal against all family visit visa refusals. It is expected to come into force by 2014. ■ (UKBA – July 9,

2012)


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Immigration / OFW News

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Recruitment agencies violating placement fee policies face penalty

ADMINISTRATOR Hans Leo J. Cacdac yesterday said the POEA will cancel the license of recruitment agencies found collecting excessive placement fees from applicants or charging placement fees from workers seeking employment in countries which have laws that prohibit the same. Cacdac also advised Filipino jobseekers to pay the placement fee only if they have signed an employment contract and a receipt corresponding to the amount paid is issued to them, and to avoid licensed recruiters that continue to defy the government’s placement fee policy which is clearly defined in various promulgations. DOLE Department Order No. 34, Series of 1996, POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 2, series of 1998, and POEA Memorandum Circular No. 14, Series of 1999 authorize a recruitment agency to collect from its hired workers “an

amount equivalent to one month salary, exclusive of documentation and processing costs”. Section 2 b, Rule 1, Part 6 of the 2002 POEA Rules and Regulations prohibits “charging or accepting directly or indirectly any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary, or making a worker pay any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance.” Cacdac said there is total prohibition on charging placement fees from Filipino household service workers, seafarers, and workers for deployment to countries which disallows placement fee collection. Charging placement fees from Filipino household service workers is prohibited under POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 6, Series of 2006. Section 2 c, Rule 1, Part 6 of the POEA Rules defines as a recruitment

violation any act of “charging or collecting placement fee for deployment to countries where the prevailing system, either by law, policy or practice, do not allow the charging or collection of placement and recruitment fees”. The POEA Rules also exempt seafarers from paying placement fees. Countries like United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, and the Netherlands do not allow the collection of placement fee by recruitment agencies from foreign workers because the employer is paying the cost of placement and recruitment services. The prohibition is also applicable to agencies that are deploying workers to the Canada provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Cacdac said that hiring of foreign workers in occupations that usually require a high school diploma or a maximum of 2 years of job-specific

training (level C and D) under the Pilot Project of the Government of Canada is also covered by the prohibition on collection of placement fee. Under the prevailing policy of the Canada government, employers shall cover all recruitment costs related to the hiring of foreign workers. The ‘no placement fee’ policy also covers agencies deploying workers to the U.S.A., including Guam, Cacdac said. POEA Memorandum Circular No.10, Series of 2009 orders that licensed recruitment agencies recruiting Filipino workers under the H2B program for the United States, including Guam, are strictly prohibited from charging any placement and recruitment fees from Filipino workers bound for these destinations. The United States’ Department of Homeland Security on 18 January 2009, has implemented regulatory changes to the H2B visa classification used for foreign

workers seeking employment in the United States and Guam. Under the new rules, the cost of recruitment of these workers must be borne by employers and the charging or collection of placement fee by an employer, agent, facilitator, recruiter or similar employment service provider from workers under the H2B visa category or temporary skilled labor is illegal. Cacdac said violation of the “no placement fee” policy is a serious administrative offense with a penalty of cancellation of license under Section 1-A (5) of Rule IV, Part VI of the POEA Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Land based Workers. Cacdac further urged applicants to report to POEA any recruitment agency that charges excessive placement fees or collect fees which are not sanctioned by other countries. ■ (POEA – July 6, 2012)

Philippines Ambassador, US Labor Secretary sign agreement on Migrant Workers Rights AMBASSADORS of the Philippines, Honduras, Peru and Ecuador signed partnership agreements with United States Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis last June 11 at the Washington headquarters of the United States (U.S.) Department of Labor (DOL). The Agreement aims to ensure that migrant workers are aware of the right to safe workplaces and to receive full payment of the wages owed to them under U.S. laws. The accord augurs well for Filipino migrant workers throughout the U.S. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the number of “Filipino in any combination” increased by 44.5% from 2,364,815 in 2000 to 3,416,840. The protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare and interest of Filipinos overseas is among the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy. “We are very pleased to sign these joint declarations and letters of arrangement with DOL,” said Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. “We assure DOL we will do our part in ensuring

the dissemination of helpful information to Filipino workers concerning their right to a safe and healthy working environment, and fair wages and working hours in the U.S., and in assisting them to seek redress when such rights are disregarded or outrightly violated.” Under the agreement, regional enforcement offices of the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will cooperate with Philippine Consulates throughout the U.S. Together, the Consulates and the Labor Department agencies will reach out to migrant workers and provide them with information about U.S. health, safety and wage laws. The partnerships will help the WHD and OSHA more effectively enforce U.S. laws, especially in high-risk and low-wage industries. This cooperation also will help both agencies identify problems faced by migrant workers and target labor law enforcement efforts.

“Migrant workers make important contributions to our economy,” said Secretary Solis. “Enforcing labor rules means we ensure that companies that play by the rules get an advantage and compete in a level playing field, and that all workers are safe on the job and are fairly compensated.” With today’s signings, DOL now has similar agreements with eleven countries. The Labor Department previously implemented agreements with Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and India. The U.S. DOL’s WHD is responsible for administering and enforcing laws that establish minimally acceptable standards for wages and working conditions in the country. WHD has over 200 district, field, and area offices across the country with trained personnel available to assist workers. Workers with questions or concerns may contact the WHD at 1-866 487-9243 or visit www. wagehour.dol.gov. All services are free and confidential. ■ (DFA – June 13, 2012)

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. (seated 2nd from left) signs the partnership agreement with U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis (seated 2nd from right) as other Labor Department officials look on.

US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis (leftmost) discusses the partnership agreement with (from left) Ambassador Nathalie Cely of Ecuador, Ambassador Harold Forsyth of Peru, Ambassador Jose L. Luisia Jr. of the Philippines, Ambassador Jorge Ramon Hernandez Alcerro of Honduras.

Changes to the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 ON 16 July 2012, the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 will change. The amended regulations will set out the rights of EEA nationals and their family members to enter and reside in the UK and will also confirm the criteria for rights to permanent residence. The key changes to the regulations include: • new rights of residence;

• restrictions on free movement rights; • amendments to reflect current operational practice; • amendments to implement agreements reached with the European Commission or stakeholders in relation to the UK’s implementation of Directive 2004/38/EC; • the extension of refusal powers based on public policy, public health, and public security; and

• amended appeal rights. The regulations have been amended to give effect to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). The court establishes new rights to enter and reside in the UK and restricts the terms on which free movement rights can be exercised. Rights to reside in the UK on the basis of ECJ judgments do not stem directly from Directive 2004/38/EC, therefore they are

referred to as ‘derivative rights’. This means that the recognition of this right by the UK is not equal to rights under the directive. This also means that those who acquire derivative rights are not eligible to acquire permanent residence in the UK, or to sponsor family members in to the UK once they have acquired a right to reside. These changes will affect: • primary carers of self-sufficient

EEA national children; • children of EEA national workers or former workers where the child is in education in the UK; • primary carers of children of EEA national workers or former workers where that child is in education in the UK; and • dependent children under the age of 18 of the primary carers in each of the categories listed above. ■ (UKBA – July 13, 2012)


July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Immigration / OFW News

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Changes to the family migration Immigration Rules come into effect A number of changes to the Immigration Rules come into effect from 9 July 2012. These changes will affect non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK under the family migration route. These changes will define the basis on which a person can enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family or private life, unifying consideration under the rules and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. If you already have leave to enter or remain in the UK, on the basis

of being the spouse or partner of a settled person, you will need to meet the rules which were in force before 9 July 2012 if you apply for settlement. The changes include: • introducing a new minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring the settlement in the UK of a spouse or partner, or fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationality, with a higher threshold for any children also sponsored; £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child;

• publishing, in casework guidance, a list of factors associated with genuine and non-genuine relationships, to help UK Border Agency caseworkers to focus on these issues; • extending the minimum probationary period for settlement for non-EEA spouses and partners from two years to five years, to test the genuineness of the relationship; • abolishing immediate settlement for the migrant spouses and partner where a couple have been living together overseas for at least 4 years, and requiring them to

complete a 5 year probationary period; • from October 2013, requiring all applicants for settlement to pass the Life in the UK Test and present an English language speaking and listening qualification at B1 level or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages unless they are exempt; and • allowing adult and elderly dependants to settle in the UK only where they can demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of

long-term personal care that can only be provided by a relative in the UK, and requiring them to apply from overseas rather than switch in the UK from another category, for example as a visitor. The changes to the Immigration Rules were announced by the Government on 11 June 2012 and they form part of the Government’s programme of reform of the immigration routes. The changes are being introduced following wide consultation and expert advice from the Migration Advisory Committee. ■ (UKBA – July 9, 2012)

Phillippines pushes for the protection of all migrants in Vienna meeting THE Philippine Government through Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban B. Conejos, Jr. pressed for the protection of, and assistance to migrants, irrespective of their migration status. In his presentation as a panelist at the first meeting of the Openended Intergovernmental Working Group on Smuggling of Migrants from May 30 to June 1 in Vienna, Austria, Undersecretary Conejos shared the Philippines’ policy and best practices in implementing its protective mantle for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). This protective mantle, with its victim-centered human rights approach, is the country’s primary response to protect overseas Filipinos from human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and illegal recruitment. Undersecretary Conejos explained

the three general operating principles under this protective mantle. First, “the life cycle approach “protection and support of migrants that includes measures, from predeployment, on site protection, to return and reintegration. Second, that protection begins at home through the frontloading of protective measures before the Filipino worker leaves home. Third, that international cooperation is required to make migration work. On this note, Undersecretary Conejos cited the 70 bilateral labor agreements the Philippines has forged with its partner destination countries. In addition, the Philippines is an active participant in the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (the Bali Process) and the Colombo Process—the Regional Consultative Process on Overseas

New interviews for students FOLLOWING a successful pilot, Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced that a targeted interview system for students will be introduced this summer and will concentrate on high-risk applicants. If you are a student, you may be interviewed and asked a number of questions about your immigration and education history, study and post-study plans, and financial circumstances. We expect to interview up to 14,000 students in the next 12 months. We will refuse visas if we are not satisfied that you are a genuine student. Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘With more interviews and greater powers to refuse bogus students we will weed out abuse and protect the UK from those looking to play the system. ‘Under the current system UK Border Agency officers are unable to refuse some applications even if they have serious concerns over the credibility of the student - we are toughening up the system to ensure genuine students benefit from our country’s excellent education sector. ‘Britain is open for business to the

brightest and the best migrants but the message is clear - if you lie on your application form or try to hide your true motivation for coming to the UK then you will be found out and refused a visa.’ Today’s announcement follows an interviewing pilot carried out by the agency last year to tackle concerns about the legitimacy of some applicants. More than 2,300 student visa applicants were interviewed in 13 overseas posts with the aim of testing how effective face-to-face interviews would be - in addition to existing strict application processes that consider fraud and other factors. Under the pilot, around a fifth of the applicants were refused entry to the UK based on their interview. One of the main issues was the inability of interviewees to display the required level of English. Some were unable to answer basic questions in English without the aid of an interpreter - despite stating on their application forms that they had the necessary language qualifications to study at higher and further education standards in the UK. ■ (UKBA – July 9, 2012)

Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origins in Asia. As the shepherd for the issue on trafficking in persons within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines is taking the lead in the establishment of an ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons. Theopen-endedIntergovernmental Working Group on Smuggling of Migrants was established by the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime through resolution 5/3, entitled “Implementation of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime”, to advise and assist the Conference in the implementation of its mandate with regard to the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol. ■ (DFA – June 7, 2012)

Recruitment of seafarers at Rizal Park illegal

ADMINISTRATOR Hans Leo J. Cacdac reiterated that all recruitment activities at Rizal Park are deemed illegal without the special recruitment authority (SRA) issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. Cacdac said that under the Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Land-based Overseas Workers, a licensed recruitment or manning agency cannot engage in recruitment activities in places other than that specified in the license without previous authorization from the POEA. “Because of reported hiring malpractices, the POEA stopped in May 2009 the issuance of SRA to manning agencies, and ordered those occupying booths managed by Luneta Seafarers’ Welfare Foundation, Inc. (LUSWELF) at Rizal Park to end their recruitment activities or face administrative sanctions,” Cacdac said. According to Cacdac, the POEA had already suspended the license

of 12 manning agencies and ordered them to pay appropriate fines for recruiting seafarers in the area without the SRA. SRA is the authority granted by the POEA to a licensed agency to conduct recruitment outside the registered office or address stated in the license of an agency or its acknowledged additional office(s). Over the years, seafarers looking for jobs in foreign vessels converge in that part of Rizal Park near the National Library in T.M. Kalaw Street because of its proximity to most of the licensed manning agencies in Ermita and Intramuros. The Associated Marine Officers and Seaman’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) had the idea of converting the place into a center where seafarers coming from the provinces can have a place to stay in Manila while looking for a job or waiting to board a ship. The idea later evolved into a center wherein information about seafaring can be discussed or

posted. AMOSUP later transferred the management of the center to LUSWELF. The POEA became part of the center in 2007 through a memorandum of agreement with LUSWELF by conducting orientation seminars and distribution of information materials. LUSWELF later rented out booths to manning agencies which wanted to recruit seafarers in the area. Consequently, the POEA issued SRAs to legalize the recruitment activities of the agencies. In April 2009, the Joint Manning Group, a conglomeration of several associations of manning agencies issued a resolution enjoining their members to pull out of the LUSWELF area because the objectives of the center were no longer met. Cacdac advises seafarers to file their applications directly with manning agencies in their registered office address, which can be found in the POEA website poea.gov.ph. ■ (POEA – July 6, 2012)


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Authorities rescues sea turtles from poachers’ net ©AFP/File, Jay Directo

Chinese poachers left a 200 metre net to catch turtles, a navy commander says.

AUTHORITIES rescued 14 protected sea turtles that were caught in a net laid down by Chinese poachers, a navy commander said Saturday, July 14. However one sea turtle was already dead when a joint team from the navy and the environment department arrived Friday in the remote area off the western island of Palawan, said Major Ferdinand Atos. Atos, commander of naval forces in the area, said informants had

President suspends governor for hitting reporter

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino on Monday, July 9 suspended a province governor for a month without pay for storming a state-run radio station and hitting a broadcaster on the head with a microphone. The suspension comes a year after Governor Jocel Baac of Kalinga province barged into a studio of radio DZRK to confront announcer Jerome Tabanganay, who criticised him for allegedly failing to stop illegal gambling in the area. A video of the incident uploaded to YouTube showed Baac bursting into a radio booth at the station, hitting Tabanganay with a microphone and scuffling with staff. The northern province governor

was later restrained by police officers, who escorted him out of the station. The suspension order was signed on June 29, said Aquino spokeswoman Abigail Valte, and announced Monday. Attacks targeting outspoken journalists are common in the Philippines, which is rated by watchdog groups as one of the most dangerous places for members of the press. Four journalists have been killed since January, raising the total number of media workers murdered in the Philippines to 153 since democracy was restored in 1986, according to rights groups. ■ (©AFP –

Manila, Philippines – July 9, 2012)

Philippines on alert for mystery Cambodian disease

THE Philippines will bid out oil exploration contracts in the South China Sea despite recent tensions with China over conflicting territorial claims in those waters, an official said Wednesday, July 12. The three blocs in the South China Sea, off the coast of the western Philippine island of Palawan, are believed to be the most promising for oil and gas deposits, said Energy Undersecretary James Layug. “All reserves in that area belong to the Philippines. We will only offer areas within our exclusive economic zone,” he said at the sidelines of an energy forum in Manila. The area, known as the northwest Palawan basin, is just beside the Philippines’ existing natural gas fields, which already provide 40 percent of the electrical power of the main Philippine island of Luzon, said Layug. “These are all beside our existing service contracts so there is no doubt that these areas belong to the Philippines,” he added. He said historically Philippine energy exploration had the most success in these areas off Palawan,

indicating the three new blocs might also hold large oil and gas reserves. The exploration contracts for the three blocs will be bidded out on July 31, he said. Tensions between the Philippines and China have recently risen due to conflicting claims over parts of the South China Sea. The focus of the latest conflict is the Scarborough Shoal, which the Philippines insists is well within its exclusive economic zone but which China claims along with most of the South China Sea. Another South China Sea area, the potentially-oil-rich Reed Bank, is also due for development by the Philippines but has been claimed by China. Last year, the Philippines accused China of harassing an oil exploration ship at Reed Bank. Layug said China had not objected to the plans to bid out the contracts for the three blocs. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea even up to the coast of its neighbours. The Philippines has cited international law to bolster its claims. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 12, 2012)

told them that Chinese poachers planted the net a week ago in the coastal district of Balabac. “They enter the waters of Balabac, riding in a speedboat and they plant their nets, using their contacts among the locals,” he told AFP. The 200-metre (660-foot) net left by the poachers was removed and the 14 surviving sea turtles were set free, Atos said. He said informants had told them that Chinese fishermen

used their contacts to enter the area frequently and would bring their catch to Half-Moon Shoal, an outcrop in the Spratly islands claimed by both the Philippines and China. The shoal has come under closer scrutiny after China announced that one of its naval frigates had run aground there. Sea turtles are protected under Philippine law and catching them is punishable by at least 12 years in jail.

Chinese fishermen poaching in Philippine waters have become an issue in recent months. In April, Philippine authorities tried to arrest Chinese fishermen taking sea turtles and other protected species from Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. They were blocked by Chinese government ships, triggering a continuing standoff over the area which is claimed by both countries. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 14, 2012)

‘Dead or alive’ bounty offered for China piranhas AUTHORITIES in southern China have moved to quash a bizarre piranha threat, offering bounties and free bait amid fears the aggressive South American fish has invaded a river, state media said on Thursday, July 12. The Liuzhou city government has also declared the river off-limits to swimmers while the hunt goes on for the flesh-shearing fish, believed to have been illegally imported for exotic aquariums, according to the China Daily. “It’s horrible to know the river has such fish. I will not swim there anymore... I’ll pray they catch them soon,” the paper quoted local resident Liu Junjie as saying. The city government announced the bounty and other incentives to catch the fish on Tuesday after a piranha bit a man who was washing his dog in the Liujiang River.

The man caught the fish, allowing it to be identified, and said he saw two others in the river at the same time. The “dead or alive” bounty is worth 1,000 yuan ($157), which is a big sum for local fishermen and reportedly prompted many to line the banks of the river with their rods. “Some of my friends went fishing on Tuesday. Just think, the money they get from three piranhas equals their monthly income. How can they resist it,” Liuzhou resident Zhu Feijie said, according to the China Daily. Authorities have also given out free pork and other meat for the fishermen to use as bait, while a ban on using fishing nets in parts of the river that flow through the city has been temporarily lifted, the paper said.

©AFP/File/Joel Saget

This file illustration photo shows a red-bellied piranha. Importing piranhas for exotic aquariums is banned in China and other Asian countries.

However no piranhas have yet been caught in the hunt. Importing piranhas for exotic aquariums is banned in China and other Asian countries due to fears the fish will enter local waterways and breed rapidly without predators. Police in the Philippines arrested five people for selling piranhas in December last year. ■ (©AFP – Beijing, China – July 12, 2012)

Rebels slam ‘snail’s pace’ of talks LEADERS of the Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group Saturday, July 7 criticised the slow pace of peace talks with the government, warning that some members were growing dissatisfied. The comments came as thousands attended a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) gathering at their camp in the troubled southern island of Mindanao, including heavily armed fighters and government peace negotiators. MILF chairman Murad Ebrahim said despite the slow pace of talks his group remained committed to the negotiations. “It is sad... that even though the MILF has drastically scaled down its position, negotiations with the government are moving at a snail’s pace,” he told MILF supporters. “The Philippine government is not too inclined to solve the armed conflict but (wants) to manage the armed conflict to a level where it can... rule the (Muslim people) and exploit the resources of (their) homeland.” Murad said he hoped the government of President Benigno Aquino would be different from previous administrations.

©AFP/File/Ted Aljibe

Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels at their base at Camp Darapan on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Thousands are attending a Moro Islamic Liberation Front gathering at their camp in Mindanao.

“It is only when negotiations fail that we will consider all other options that may be available,” he said without elaborating. MILF vice-chairman Ghazali Jaafar said the 12,000-strong rebel group was still seeking self-determination for Muslim Filipinos and not just a halt to the fighting. “Because of the very extensive and lengthy negotiations, other (MILF) leaders view the negotiations with uncertainty,” he added. The MILF has waged a rebellion for more than three decades, originally for the establishment

of an independent state in the southern third of the mainly Catholic Philippines. The conflict has claimed up to 150,000 lives. Peace talks have been going on for about a decade, but have been frequently bogged down by deadly clashes with both sides accusing each other of violating a ceasefire. In recent years the MILF has dropped its bid for full independence in favour of autonomous control over large areas in Mindanao, which it claims as an “ancestral domain for Muslims. ■ (©AFP - Sultan Kudarat, Philippines – July 7, 2012)


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Philippine Air Force to get new warplanes by 2014 THE Philippines, which is now embroiled in a territorial dispute with China, is set to acquire new warplanes in two years to upgrade its poorly-equipped air force, the defence minister said Friday,July 6. Attack aircraft, lead-in fightertrainers, attack helicopters and light and medium transport aircraft were all expected to be delivered within two years, Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said. Speaking at the 65th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force, Gazmin said “these aircraft shall once and for all, erase the ironic and naughty commentary that our present airforce is all air, devoid of force.” The defence department also plans to sign contracts by July

31 to implement 138 military modernisation projects over the next five years, he added, without saying how much the contracts would cost or who would supply such equipment. The Philippines has one of the most poorly-equipped militaries in the region, having retired the last of its fighter jets in 2005. The weakness of the military was highlighted when the Philippines got into a standoff with China in April over the Scarborough Shoal, an outcropping of rocks in the South China Sea that both countries claim as their territory. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighbouring

countries. The Philippines says the shoal is well within its 200-nauticalmile exclusive economic zone. The two countries also have wider territorial disputes over parts of the Spratly islands in the South China Sea. Gazmin did not mention the territorial dispute but stressed that air force personnel were all over the archipelago, including the West Philippine Sea-- the local term for the South China Sea. The Philippines has looked to its main defence ally, the United States, to help it upgrade its armed forces but President Benigno Aquino said in an interview in May, that it was looking for aircraft from outside the US as well. ■ (©AFP – July 6, 2012)

©AFP Graphic

Philippines to bid out three South China Sea blocs

THE Philippines will bid out oil exploration contracts in the South China Sea despite recent tensions with China over conflicting territorial claims in those waters, an official said Wednesday, July 12. The three blocs in the South China Sea, off the coast of the western Philippine island of Palawan, are believed to be the most promising for oil and gas deposits, said Energy Undersecretary James Layug. “All reserves in that area belong to the Philippines. We will only offer areas within our exclusive economic zone,” he said at the sidelines of an energy forum in Manila. The area, known as the northwest Palawan basin, is just beside the Philippines’ existing natural gas fields, which already provide 40

The Philippines, which is now embroiled in a territorial dispute with China, is set to acquire new warplanes.

Philippines warns China fishermen to stay away

©AFP/File, Ted Aljibe

Philippine fishermen aboard their motorised boats sail along Ulugan Bay, in Puerto Princesa, Palawan island.

©AFP/File, Jimmy Domingo

percent of the electrical power of the main Philippine island of Luzon, said Layug. “These are all beside our existing service contracts so there is no doubt that these areas belong to the Philippines,” he added. He said historically Philippine energy exploration had the most success in these areas off Palawan, indicating the three new blocs might also hold large oil and gas reserves. The exploration contracts for the three blocs will be bidded out on July 31, he said. Tensions between the Philippines and China have recently risen due to conflicting claims over parts of the South China Sea. The focus of the latest conflict is the Scarborough Shoal, which the

Philippines insists is well within its exclusive economic zone but which China claims along with most of the South China Sea. Another South China Sea area, the potentially-oil-rich Reed Bank, is also due for development by the Philippines but has been claimed by China. Last year, the Philippines accused China of harassing an oil exploration ship at Reed Bank. Layug said China had not objected to the plans to bid out the contracts for the three blocs. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea even up to the coast of its neighbours. The Philippines has cited international law to bolster its claims. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 12, 2012)

THE Philippines on Monday, July 16 warned a large Chinese fishing fleet in the Spratlys to stay clear of its waters amid a continuing faceoff between the two countries over disputed territory. Foreign Department spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Philippine coastguard would check on the location of the Chinese vessels in the South China Sea, to ensure they do not enter the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ). “If these (ships) are going to our EEZ, we will file a protest because this is our EEZ and it is only the Philippines (that has) the sovereign right to explore, exploit and manage the resources in that area,” he told reporters. “We require China to respect the sovereign rights of the Philippines,” he stressed. He cited reports that the fleet of 30 fishing vessels from Hainan had arrived at a point near the Yongshu Reef in the Spratlys, parts of which are claimed by the Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

China and the Philippines have been in a stand-off over disputed territory within the sea since April, when Chinese government ships prevented the Filipino navy from arresting Chinese fishermen at the Scarborough Shoal. The Philippines withdrew its ships from the shoal in June in an effort to reduce tensions. However China had not followed suit, said Hernandez. He said that on Friday a coastguard plane sighted three Chinese government vessels, six fishing boats, two speedboats and several small dinghies still around the Scarborough Shoal. Chinese-Philippine tensions have increased due to the standoff, with the Philippines accusing China of “duplicity” and “intimidation” at a recent regional forum in Cambodia. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighbouring countries. The Philippines says the Scarborough Shoal is well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. ■ (©AFP – Manila,

Philippines – July 16, 2012) ©AFP/File/Ted Aljibe

Fishing boats sail near the coast in the South China Sea. The Philippines on Monday, July 16 warned a large Chinese fishing fleet in the Spratlys to stay clear of its waters amid a continuing face-off between the two countries over disputed territory.


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President signs mining reforms PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino has signed a long-delayed executive order revamping the mining industry, the presidential palace said Saturday, July 7. However, Aquino spokesman Edwin Lacierda refused to give details of the order, saying copies of the controversial reforms would be released on Monday, July 9. “He has signed it. Next week, we will release it,” Lacierda told reporters. The order, originally due out in February, was intended to boost government revenues from the

mining industry while addressing concerns of environmental groups and local governments that mining was causing too much damage. Aquino was forced to postpone signing the order after mining companies complained it would scare away investors and make the country uncompetitive. The mining industry has been closely awaiting the order, which is expected to clear up conflicting rules governing the sector. Aquino had previously said the order would give the government a bigger share of mining revenues and

would ban mining in areas deemed crucial for tourism. The Philippines is believed to have some of the biggest mineral reserves in the world – the government estimates the country has at least $840 billion in gold, copper, nickel, chromite, manganese, silver and iron. However, the minerals have been largely untapped, partly because of a strong anti-mining movement led by the influential Catholic Church, while poor infrastructure and security concerns have also kept investors away. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 7, 2012)

©AFP/File/Jay Directo

The Philippines’ “golden mountain” at the gold rush site of Mount Diwata in the country’s strife-torn south. Details of new mining laws in the Philippines will be released on Monday, July 9 says the president’s office.

Armed forces opens Philippines downplays US spy plane request door to shorter officers

SHORTER people now have a chance to rise to the highest positions in the Philippines armed forces after the country’s top military academy lowered its height requirement on Friday, July 6. The head of the Philippine Military Academy, Major General Nonato Peralta said the elite institution would now admit male and female students who were at least five feet (1.52 metres) tall. The previous requirement was five feet, four inches for men and five feet, two inches for women and

brings the academy into line with the rest of the military, which introduced the five-foot rule in 2009. “With the previous height requirement, many Filipino youth who had a good educational background and were physically fit, were disenfranchised from the opportunity of being able to take the entrance examination,” he said. In the past, shorter applicants had to petition a member of congress to have the height requirement waived. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 6, 2012)

©AFP/File, Ted Aljibe

A Philippine airforce soldier cleans a red carpet in front of an honor guard on July 5.

THE Philippines on Tuesday, July 4 said the deployment of US spy planes, suggested by President Benigno Aquino, was just one option to monitor the country’s territory, as China appealed for stability in the region. “If they happen at all, they are surveillance flights, they are not meant to be provocative. There’s no offensive capability here,” said the president’s spokesman Ricky Carandang. China’s foreign ministry, in an embassy statement quoting spokesman Liu Weimin, called on all parties to maintain “peace and stability” in the South China Sea. “We have noticed the reports,” the ministry spokesman was quoted as saying. “It is the hope of the Chinese side that peace and stability can be maintained... and parties concerned do things conducive to regional peace and stability,” the statement said. It did not specify the Philippines or the United States or mention the almost-three month long dispute between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. The Scarborough Shoal dispute began after Chinese government

No new mining permits until law passed THE Philippines said Monday, July 9 it would not approve new mining permits until Congress passed a bill increasing royalties on the industry as part of new rules governing the sector. The policy is contained in a new executive order signed by President Benigno Aquino aimed at overhauling policies governing the industry to boost state revenues while putting in place measures to protect the environment, tourism and agriculture. Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, who announced the new rules, said the key provision would impose a five percent royalty on the gross earnings of mining companies compared to the existing two percent tax.

However he said this would require passage of a bill in Congress, expressing hope it would be passed soon. “Basically, the executive order intends to increase the revenues of government from mining,” he told reporters. “There will be no new mining agreements before the new legislation on revenue is passed,” he added. He stressed the order would respect the existing mining agreements with the 33 mining operations already in the country but would be imposed on new entrants. He said that if the law was passed by 2016, the country could earn an

additional 16 billion pesos ($372 million) from the higher royalties. In addition, the order raises certain fees for mining companies which could raise an additional 760 million pesos, he said. It also designates all mine waste and tailings as state property, allowing the government to extract any remaining minerals, potentially raising another 50 billion pesos, Paje added. The order also bans mining in 78 areas designated as “eco-tourism” sites and in “prime agricultural and fishing areas”. It also bans mining in certain “island eco-systems,” to be defined later. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 9, 2012)

vessels blocked Philippine ships from arresting Chinese fishermen near the shoal on April 10. Both countries have been pressing their respective claims to the area with the poorly-equipped Philippines seeking the support of its main defence ally, the United States. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighbouring countries.

The Philippines says the shoal is well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. The shoal sits about 230 kilometres (140 miles) from the western coast of the Philippines’ main island of Luzon. The nearest major Chinese land mass is 1,200 kilometres northwest of the shoal, according to Philippine navy maps. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 4, 2012)

©AFP/File, Ted Aljibe

President Benigno Aquino, pictured in March 2012.

Taiwan diplomat suspended over US maid abuse case

A senior Taiwanese diplomat deported by the United States over a maid abuse case has been suspended from her job for two years, Taiwanese authorities said Friday, July 6. The civil servant disciplinary committee ordered Liu Hsienhsien, a foreign ministry official and ex-director of Taiwan’s mission in Kansas City, Missouri, to be suspended for “severely damaging” Taiwan’s image, it said. Liu, 64, was deported in February after pleading guilty to charges of mistreating two Philippine housekeepers working in her Missouri home, according to the US Justice Department. She was arrested in November after one maid sought help from a Filipino she met at a grocery store. The diplomat reached a plea deal with US prosecutors that allowed her to avoid spending up to five years in prison on charges of fraud in

foreign labour contracting. She was sentenced to time served on a fraud charge. Once she had returned to Taiwan, prosecutors took up the case, focusing not on the alleged abuse, but on related allegations that she had embezzled public money by withholding the maids’ salaries, paid by Taiwan’s government. Liu has, since returning to Taiwan, denied abusing the maids or pocketing any public funds, and local prosecutors concluded their investigation by saying that she was not involved in any criminal felony. At the end of the two-year suspension, Liu will be 66 and one year past the normal retirement age for diplomats, meaning she is unlikely to resume her career. Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but has remained a key ally and a leading arms supplier to the island. ■ (©AFP – July 6, 2012)


July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

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Eat Bulaga, still at the top of its game after 33 years and counting

EAT BULAGA! “Tao ba to?”, “Hindi!”, “Bagay ba ‘to?”, “Oo!”, “Sure ka?”, “Ummm Pwede?” Nowadays, almost every Filipino must have had some sort of experience playing Pinoy Henyo, a kind of guessing game between two players within a time limit, made popular by the longest-running and most awarded Filipino noontime show, Eat Bulaga! Dahil sa di matatawarang popularidad nito, tinawag na itong “national game of the Philippines” bilang patunay na ang Eat Bulaga! pa rin ang most successful at most influential noontime program sa telebisyon. Sa loob ng mahigit tatlong dekada (at anim na araw kada isang linggo), naging daily noon time habit na ng mga Filipino ang manood ng Eat Bulaga tuwing oras ng pananghalian. Ito ay isang record na mahirap pantayan o lampasan lalo pa’t patuloy pa rin ang Eat Bulaga sa pagbuo ng kasaysayan. The very first Eat Bulaga show aired on July 30, 1979, sa pangunguna ng comic trio nina Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, at Joey de Leon (TVJ) kasama ang co-host na si Chiqui Hollman. It was a tough start dahil tinapatan nila ang top-rating program na Student Canteen. Pero di nagtagal, untiunti nang nanguna sa ratings ang Eat Bulaga and the rest, as they say, is history. Binago ng Eat Bulaga ang paraan ng pag-present ng mga noontime at variety shows. Kung dati ay pormal na naka suit and tie ang mga hosts sa TV, binigyan nina Tito, Vic and Joey ng relaxed at casual feel ang noontime programming. Over the years, nagkaroon ng mga bagong kasama ang unbeatable trio ng TVJ. And with that, several co-hosts have come

and gone for many different reasons as well. The most painful perhaps ay ang pagkawala ng Dabarkads na si Francis Magalona noong March 2009 na labis na ikinalungkot ng buong Eat Bulaga family. At ang salitang Dabarkads pala ay binuo mismo ng Master Rapper na ginagamit nila as reference sa mga kasamahan nila sa show. The show, through its numerous popular contests, has also discovered stars like Aiza Seguerra, Donna Cruz, Jessa Zaragoza, and Jericho Rosales. Maging ang current Eat Bulaga co-host na si Pauleen Luna ay minsan nang naging contestant ng Little Miss Philippines. Dito rin sumikat ang all-girls dance group na Sexbomb Dancers at ang mga buzzwords tulad ng “Itaktak mo!”, “Puwesto!”, “Mwah Mwah, Tsup Tsup!”, at marami pang iba. All-time favorite Eat Bulaga segments, meanwhile, like “Bulagaan”, “Beautiful Girl”, “Maid in the Philippines”, and “Laban o Bawi” have given way to current popular segments like “Juan for All, All for Juan”, “PNV: Pambato ng Videoke”, “Barangay Bayanihan”, and of course, “Pinoy Henyo.” Sa kabila ng maraming taon, ilang kontrobersiya, at di na mabilang na mga parangal, dalawang bagay pa rin ang masasabing primary goals ng Eat Bulaga: una ay ang maghatid ng saya sa mga manonood, at ikalawa ay ang bigyang katuparan ang mga pangarap ng mga ordinaryong tao sa pamamagitan ng iba’t iba nilang contest at laong lalo na sa pamamagitan ng mga projects tulad ng EB Heroes, EBESt, at ang Eat Bulaga Classroom project. Noong nakaraang taon, inilaunch ng Eat Bulaga ang isang coffee table book na may title na Unang Tatlong Dekada upang

sariwain ang nakalipas na 30 years ng programa. Isinulat ng veteran columnist at TV host na si Butch Francisco ang libro habang nasa likod naman ng pagbuo ng konsepto nito ang anak ni Joey de Leon na si Jako. Sa launching ng coffee table book ay nagsama-sama ang mga past at present hosts ng Eat Bulaga, at mga kilalang personalidad na naging bahagi ng success ng show in one way or another. Eat Bulaga has become a staple in every Pinoy’s life, and has earned a place in their hearts that perhaps, no other show can ever replace. Ngayon ang Eat Bulaga Dabarkads ay binubuo nina Tito, Vic, and Joey and Pia Guanio, Allan K., Jimmy Santos, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Keempee de Leon, Anjo Yllana, Pauleen Luna, Julia Clarete, Ruby Rodriguez, Tony Rose Gayda, Michael V., Paolo Ballesteros, Sam Y.G. and Ryan Agoncillo. Kasama na rin sa show ang mga Kapuso actresses na sina Isabelle Daza at Solenn Heussaff na masayang winelcome ng grupo. As the show embarks on its 34th year, isa na namang milestone ang makakamit ng Eat Bulaga. Sa pamamagitan ng TV2MORO powered by OSN, makakasama na ng libo-libong pamilyang Filipino sa Europa ang Eat Bulaga. With every TV2MORO powered by OSN subscription, customers can enjoy watching Eat Bulaga plus shows of nine (9) TV channels included in the TV package in the comforts of their own homes. At eto pa, mula Manila hanggang Britania lilipad ang buong Eat Bulaga Dabarkads para sa isang gabi ng saya aptly titled “Eat Bulaga in London” on November 17 at the ExCel London. Ito ay sa pakikipagtulungan ng OSN at Hello Philippines. “Para sa mga Dabarkads namin

The Eat Bulaga Dabarkads in their most recent overseas live show in San Francisco. The Eat Bulaga in London on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at ExCel London is touted to be the biggest Filipino production in Europe.

Tito, Vic and Joey performing for their fans in Vancouver. The well-loved trio will be performing for their UK-based fans on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at ExCel London.

Paolo Ballesteros, Julia Clarete and Keempee de Leon along with the rest of the EB Dabarkads will wow London in November 2012.

sa London, magkita kita po tayo sa Nobyembre para sa isang gabi ng katatawanan, kantahan at sayawan,” sabay sabay na sambit ng Eat Bulaga hosts. “Nag-show na po kami sa Middle East sa tulong din ng OSN, sa North America at Asya. Ito pong show namin sa London this November ang kukumpleto ng aming hangarin na makapag-bigay saya sa lahat ng mga Filipinos saan mang panig ng mundo” ang masaya nilang pagtatapos. Tickets to Eat Bulaga in London are now available for sale through Hello Philippines. A special OSN Value Pack is on offer wherein those who purchase tickets to the show plus a TV2MORO powered by OSN subscription will get two (2) tickets to the exclusive

EB Dabarkads Fans Day, also happening on November 17 at 2pm. Eat Bulaga airs on GMA Pinoy TV and is exclusively available in Europe via TV2MORO powered by OSN. Subscribe to TV2MORO powered by OSN today and get instant access to nine (9) TV channels including GMA Pinoy TV, KapatidTV5 (featuring Willie Revillame’s Wil Time Bigtime), Aksyon TV (the official worldwide broadcaster of the PBA games) and GMA Life TV. For more information on Eat Bulaga in London and on how to subscribe to TV2MORO powered by OSN, contact Hello Philippines TV Connect at 020 3174 1894 / hptvconnect@hello-philippines. com / www.hptvconnect.com. ■ (OSN – London, United Kingdom – July 10, 2012)

Vic and Joey shown here in 2006 hosting Taktak Mo, one of the most successful game portions of Eat Bulaga.


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Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Derek Ramsay: The Newest Kapatid DEREK Ramsay’s move to KapatidTV5 created an industry shake up that had everyone talking for weeks. After six years of being a Kapamilya, the actor-host-athlete officially signed with the Kapatid Network, marking the start of a new chapter in his career. Derek has already proven his mettle as a dramatic lead in film and television. As his first project with the network, KapatidTV5 announced that Derek will be hosting the Filipino version of the multi-awarded reality show, “The Amazing Race.” As Derek is passionate about sports, he is also the Network’s ambassador to the London 2012 Olympics which will be covered by Aksyon TV, the official Philippine TV broadcaster of this year’s Games. TV5 management also underscored Derek’s crucial role in the network’s goal to engage more Filipinos in sports. “We are very happy Derek decided to join us at KapatidTV5. We have big plans for him as a Kapatid. One of his projects will see him host

The Amazing Race Philippines, which we think is a match to his dynamic personality,” according to Atty. Ray Espinosa, TV5 president and CEO. The original US version of The Amazing Race won the prestigious Emmy for Best Reality Show eight

Derek Ramsay

times since the American Academy of Arts and Sciences created the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program category in 2003. “It is good to be part of a network that understands who I am and what I can do,” adds Derek. He reiterates that the opportunity to pursue his longstanding enthusiasm for sports as one of the reasons why he decided to join the Kapatid Network. During the Network’s big launch in North America, Derek became emotional as he shared his early years as a model and struggling actor. He also revealed how TV5’s top man, Philippine business magnate Manny V. Pangilinan, himself played a role in his success. “Not a lot of people know this, but I actually got my big break with the help of Mr. Pangilinan,” he said during KapatidTV5’s press launch in San Francisco, CA. “He gave me the chance to be a SMART (Telecommunications) endorser a long time ago so I will always be grateful for the opportunity. My move to KapatidTV5 is my way of showing

my appreciation for the success that came after that career-defining moment,” he concluded. Watch Derek Ramsay on KapatidTV5 exclusively available via TV2MORO powered by OSN. Subscribe today and get instant access to KapatidTV5, the new home of Derek, Megastar Sharon Cuneta, Superstar Nora Aunor, Aga Muhlach, Mariel Rodriguez and Willie Revillame plus eight (8) other TV channels (for a total of nine TV channels) including Aksyon TV, the

official worldwide broadcaster of the PBA games and GMA Pinoy TV, the home of Eat Bulaga. Also, new subscribers get a FREE decoder and FREE one month subscription. Interested parties may call: Hello Philippines TV Connect (Master Dealer for the UK and Ireland) at 020 3174 1894; Birmingham Dealer at 07531 022 269 (Marlo) / 07423 390 902 (Norma); Kapuso Entertainment at 07880 888 221 and SLR Pinoy at 07760 161 582. ■ (OSN – July 10, 2012)

Solenn Heussaff: The Philippines’ New “It” Girl

IISIPING naging madali para kay Solenn Heussaff na marating ang kaniyang kasalukuyang estado bilang isa sa pinaka-tinitingalang modelo at aktres sa showbiz ngayon. With a goddess-like beauty plus an incredibly sexy physique like hers, sinong mag-iisip na dumaan din ang isang katulad niya sa mga challenges na sumubok sa kaniyang self-confidence? Having been born of a Filipina Bayanihan dancer and a French businessman, good genes may well have been the biggest factor for her gorgeous looks. But it will take most people some convincing na dati rati ay “Free Willy” na pangalan ng balyena sa isang sikat na pelikula ang bansag sa kaniya bilang isang teenager. “When I was younger, I got really big. It was more like baby fat at first, but then I got really bigger – I was terribly overweight. Until the age of 13 or 14, kids in school called me Free Willy,” ani Solenn. Bullying would seriously affect any other kid, at inamin ni Solenn na naapektuhan din siya sa ganitong klaseng mga panunukso. “That really put me down and it deeply affected my confidence. There were times I was afraid to attend classes.” Sa kabila nito ay mabilis niyang narealize na hindi dapat siya paapekto at sa halip ay gawin itong inspirasyon na iimprove ang kaniyang sarili. “In the beginning, I would pay attention and cry. But I realized that the more I cried, the more they insulted me. One day, I just decided not to pay attention to them anymore so they won’t have the satisfaction they get from all their insults. They stopped eventually.”

Mabuti na lamang at may matatag na support system na kinabibilangan ng kaniyang mga kaibigan at pamilya si Solenn upang pagkunan ng minsan nang nawala sa kaniyang kompiyansa sa sarili. She started dieting, pero mali ang kaniyang paraan ng pagdidiet noong una. “I started eating just an apple for the whole day. My parents didn’t know that I was crash dieting until I got sick. I was hospitalized for a few days.” “My parents got mad at me because of that. They advised me to eat healthier meals and exercise a lot and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t do it for the people who put me down, I did it because I wanted to experience change. When I achieved my goal, I felt very good and I slowly gained by confidence back.” Dahil sa kaniyang kahangahangang karanansan at sa kaniyang edgy fashion style, GMA Network found the perfect host in Solenn for the makeover reality program Fashbook currently airing on GMA Life TV. Nais ng programa na maghatid ng inspirasyon ng iba’t ibang mga tao di lamang sa paraang panlabas, but by helping them see themselves in a fresh new way. Upang makamit ang goal ng programa na maghatid ng isang successful “inside and out” makeover, kasama sa programa ang isang A-list expert makeover team na binubuo nina face and hair master Jigs Mayuga, style diva Eric Poliquit, at life coach Miss A. “The show is an ‘inside and out’ beauty makeover. And it’s good that way because I believe that what’s inside a person is

as important as what you see on the outside. It’s a must that you feel good inside first, and then it will reflect on the outside,” pahayag ni Solenn. “I feel blessed, I never asked for all these, but now I’m given the chance to do hosting too,” tells Solenn tungkol sa kaniyang stint sa Fashbook. “This is my dream show, being a big fan of makeover programs. I only hope to give my best and be the best that I can be.” Solenn may seem synonymous with fashion, subalit hindi dito nagtatapos ang kaniyang pagiging isang “It Girl.” Aside from being a host and a model, isa rin siyang professional make-up artist, promising painter, at designer para sa line ng sikat na fashion designer na si Lulu Tan Gan. Mas lalo pa niyang napatunayan ang kaniyang kahanga-hangang personality nang sumali siya sa GMA Pinoy TV reality show Survivor Philippines Celebrity Showdown na unang nagbigay daan para makilala siya sa telebisyon. Dito napag-alaman na wala pala siyang kaarte-arte sa katawan at game sa kahit anong challenges sa programa. Lumabas na rin siya sa ilang mga iba pang programa ng GMA Pinoy TV tulad ng Captain Barbell bilang isa sa mga leading ladies ni Richard Gutierrez at sa Legacy bilang isang modelo. Regular din siyang napapanood sa Party Pilipinas at sa iba pang GMA Pinoy TV shows. Sa pelikula, nagpamalas na siya ng kaniyang acting skills sa pelikulang Yesteday, Today, Tomorrow, My Valentine Girls, Temptation Island, at sa kakapalabas lamang na Boy PickUp: The Movie kung saan gumanap

Solenn Heussaff

siya bilang leading lady ni Ogie Alcasid. Bilang patunay sa kaniyang talento at mabilis na pag-sikat sa industriya, nanalo na si Solenn ng mga awards bilang Most Promising Female Star of the Year sa 43rd BoxOffice Entertainment Awards, Best New Movie Actress sa 28th PMPC Star Awards for Movies, at Best Female Newcomer sa 2012 Yahoo! OMG Awards. Mas kilalanin si Solenn sa programang Fashbook na mapapanood sa GMA Life TV at sa Eat Bulaga at Party Pilipinas na mapapanood naman sa GMA Pinoy TV. Ang GMA Pinoy TV at GMA Life TV ay exclusibong mapapanood sa TV2MORO powered by OSN.

Subscribe today and get instant access to these two channels plus seven channels more (for a total nine TV channels!) including Kapatid TV5, the new home of Willie Revillame, Sharon Cuneta and Derek Ramsey and Aksyon TV, the official worldwide broadcaster of the PBA. Plus new subscribers get a FREE decoder and FREE one month subscription. Interested parties may call: Hello Philippines TV Connect (Master Dealer for the UK and Ireland) at 020 3174 1894; Birmingham Dealer at 07531 022 269 (Marlo) / 07423 390 902 (Norma); Kapuso Entertainment at 07880 888 221 and SLR Pinoy at 07760 161 582. ■ (OSN – July 10, 2012)


July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment

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The many facets of Kapatid Megastar Sharon Cuneta IN an industry where fame fades fast, Sharon Cuneta’s career speaks volumes. The Megastar, as she is known in Philippine showbiz, has made blockbuster movies, produced charttopping music albums, staged soldout concerts and helmed top-rating TV programs for more than 30 years. Her many professional successes are testament to her talent and tenacity as a showbiz brand. In an interview with YES! Magazine for its April 2010 issue (where she was the cover), the Megastar shared the many facets of her being a homebody – in the kitchen, around her books and with her family. Sharon’s life has been an open book ever since she entered showbiz at age 12. She then rose to fame as one of ’80s brightest young stars. Her marriage to a young Gabby Concepcion resulted to daughter Kristina Cassandra (KC), who herself is now a force to be reckoned with in local showbiz. Now married to Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Sharon enoys quality time with their younger children – 12-year-old Frankie, sevenyear-old Miel and adopted son Miguel. “My smiles that are really from my heart of hearts – they are the ones reserved for my kids, ‘cause they’re the only ones that can bring them out. That’s a kind of smile only they can bring out. If I had my way, I would only work so I can save enough, so we can travel and then we can shop, ‘di ba?,” Sharon shared. KC may not be the only daughter following in their Megastar mom’s footsteps. Sharon predicts it won’t be long before Frankie and Miel follow

suit. “Parehong mag-aartista pagdating ng araw, feeling ko! ‘Yung isa [si Miel] ‘I want to be a singer-scientist.’ Frankie is very busy writing her first novel. She writes very well and she acts in school plays, she writes songs,” Sharon revealed in an interview with entertainment portal PEP.ph in January this year. “Miel is my dancer and tinanong ko siya, e, ‘Which do you like most – singing, dancing, or acting?’ ‘I think Ma, the acting’,” she said. If there’s one thing people know well about Sharon, it’s her love of being in the kitchen. What she loves doing with her kids today are cooking and baking, which she has loved doing since her own childhood. Sharon even compares cooking a delicious dish to making a good movie: “When you make something and people appreciate it, para kang may box-office hit. Ang cute, ’di ba? Food is really big in our home. At saka, I always tweak according to my taste, because we’re Pinoy. We don’t like bland. Katakawan, that helps, hahaha!” Also a self-confessed bookworm, Sharon dreams of building her own library for future generations to enjoy. But it seems like her current stacks of books are just waiting to be housed in one huge library. She even hired an assistant to properly arrange her collection. Sharon has passed her love of reading to her kids, to whom she reads bedtime stories before they go to sleep. Sharon has become one of the Philippines’ most trusted and highestpaid celebrity endorsers. But she confessed that she gets cautious when associating herself to a particular

brand or product, as because her credibility as a public figure is on the line. “I’m very careful with my endorsements. You know that you’re being hired to endorse companies and products because you have a certain degree of influence because of your position. And if you misuse it, can you imagine, parang it’s also making fools out of your supporters, even of yourself. Knowing that you just made a nice buck out of something you didn’t believe in. I can’t live with that. I’m not perfect, but that’s something I cannot live with.” On camera, Sharon, a former Kapamilya for 23 years, made a big leap in 2011 when she transferred to her new home, TV5. The Megastar admits that her transfer to the Kapatid Network gave her renewed energy to start a new chapter in life. Beyond the glitz and glam of showbiz, Sharon believes that the real meaning of life could be found in celebrating real life. “I was able to survive the highs and lows of my life because of the unmatched support I got from the public through the years. With my big move to TV5 comes an opportunity to give back to the people to whom I owe all my successes,” Sharon related. “This show is all about them. This will be my legacy.” Airing from Monday to Friday, her talk show Sharon, Kasama Mo Kapatid shares real stories from everyday people – celebrating their triumphs and learning from their challenges. Filipinos living abroad who have missed the Megastar can catch her heart-warming program on Kapatid TV5 exclusively available via TV2MORO

Sharon’s family during the show: Senator Kiko Pangilinan with son Miguel and daughters Miel (center) and Frankie (right).

Megastar Sharon Cuneta talks about life, love and inspiring stories in her new show on Kapatid TV5 via OSN aptly titled, “Sharon, Kasama Mo Kapatid”

Sharon Cuneta during the pilot telecast of her show. She was surprised by her family headed by Sen. Kiko Pangilinan and very close friend Judy Ann Santos.

powered by OSN. Subscribe today and get instant access to Kapatid TV5 plus eight other channels including Aksyon TV, the official worldwide broadcaster of the PBA games and GMA Pinoy TV, the home of Eat Bulaga. Plus new subscribers get a FREE decoder and FREE one month subscription.

Interested parties may call: Hello Philippines TV Connect (Master Dealer for the UK and Ireland) at 020 3174 1894; Birmingham Dealer at 07531 022 269 (Marlo) / 07423 390 902 (Norma); Kapuso Entertainment at 07880 888 221 and SLR Pinoy at 07760 161 582. ■ (OSN – July 10, 2012)

Rolling Stones keep giving satisfaction, 50 years on James Pheby, AFP MOST London shoppers rush by 165 Oxford Street without a second glance – but it was there 50 years ago that The Rolling Stones played their first gig and changed the landscape of pop music forever. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones played The Marquee Club on July 12, 1962 with three others, the first time they performed under the band name which would become synonymous worldwide with excess and musical flair. Childhood friends Jagger and Richards were aged just 18 at the time and Jones – who drowned in the swimming pool at his home in 1969 – was 20 years old.

But it was at the club – now a branch of Santander Bank – that the seeds were sown of worldwide success which, half a century on, has seen the British band notch up over 200 million album sales globally. Hits like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Brown Sugar” are legendary rock favourites decades after topping the charts. The band’s continued popularity, even though they are now pensioners aged in their sixties and seventies, is shown by the flurry of speculation about whether or not they would mark the anniversary with a gig. Rolling Stone magazine – named after the same blues song which gave

the band its name – reported last month that Jagger, Richards and their bandmates were considering at least one live concert this year to mark the anniversary. But guitarist Richards has said there will be no full tour this year, despite the band rehearsing together for the first time in five years. “Basically, we’re just not ready,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in March, adding that 2013 was a “more realistic” target for hitting the road. Lead singer Jagger has taken to Twitter to deny that the band would stage a show to mark the London Olympics, which get under way on July 27. “We are not playing the Olympics,

©AFP/File/Paulo Whitaker

©AFP/File/Shaun Curry

British rock band the Rolling Stones (left to right) Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, and Keith Richards in London in 2008. Most London shoppers rush by 165 Oxford Street without a second glance -- but it was there 50 years ago that The Rolling Stones played their first gig and changed the landscape of pop music forever.

Mick Jagger (right) and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform in 1995. Rolling Stone magazine reported the group were considering at least one live concert to mark the anniversary.

©AFP/File

Jones (2nd left) drowned in the swimming pool at his home in 1969.

but I’m looking forward to watching the games like everyone else!” he wrote last month. The band has also denied recent reports that they will play one last concert together at next year’s Glastonbury festival, with a statement saying the date was “not in our plans.” Diehard fans can look forward to an exhibition of photos of the band opening at London’s Somerset House on July 12, the anniversary of the first gig, which members of the band are expected to attend. A new documentary covering the history of the band from that first concert to the present day is also being showcased in September. The band’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment on whether any gigs would be held to mark the anniversary, or details of future tours. The Stones have survived numerous personnel changes as well as an often strained relationship between songwriters Jagger and Richards, the core of the band. This flared up again in 2010, when Richards’s colourful autobiography, “Life”, took several swipes at Jagger,

particularly for accepting a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. Richards, famed for his vast drug and alcohol intake in the band’s heyday, said he had nicknamed Jagger “Your Majesty” and insinuated that the strutting lead singer had a “tiny todger”. Jagger’s ex-wife, the model Jerry Hall, later accused Richards of being “jealous,” telling BBC radio that Jagger was “very well endowed.” Richards wrote in the book: “Sometimes I think, ‘I miss my friend.’ I wonder, ‘Where did he go?’” Despite the obstacles, the band had continued to perform regularly over the years, although Richards nearly died when he fell from a coconut tree in Fiji in 2006 while touring the band’s last album, “A Bigger Bang”. The band’s longevity can partly be attributed to their ability to absorb the evolving sounds of recent decades, with disco, reggae and punk influences all revealing themselves in later releases. Few would bet against them entertaining millions more fans before their final encore. ■ (©AFP – London, United Kingdom – July 6, 2012)


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Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment

July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

FHM Philippines’ 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2012 THE World Trade Center in Pasay City was the place to be for the readers of FHM Philippines’ (male magazine) last Thursday, July 12, 2012 for the FHM Philippines’ 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2012 Victory Party. ■

©NPPA Images

©NPPA Images

©NPPA Images

Sam Pinto and the rest of the women of FHM Philippines’ 100 Sexiest Woman in the World for 2012. ©NPPA Images

©NPPA Images

Kapuso young comedienne Chariz Solomon

Sam Pinto, FHM Philippines’ Sexiest Woman in the World for 2012

©NPPA Images

The rest of the women of FHM Philippines’ 100 Sexiest Woman in the World for 2012. ©NPPA Images

Aubrey Miles

©NPPA Images

Diana Zubiri, FHM Philippines’ Sexiest Woman in 2003, was only the model to walk the runway in a gown during the FHM Philippines Victory Party.

LJ Reyes was FHM Philippines’ cover girl in 2009 ©NPPA Images

Kapuso star Ehra Madrigal

©NPPA Images

Ellen Adarna

Michelle Madrigal ©NPPA Images

Jackie Rice s FHM Philippines’ cover girl for July 2012

©NPPA Images

Daiana Menezes


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SPORTS

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July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

GMO in sport Genetically Modified Olympians? ©AFP/HO/File

Mariette le Roux, AFP AS athletes get ready to smash Olympic records in London, scientists are in a high-stakes race of their own to develop a test that will unmask anyone altering their genes in a desperate quest for gold. Observers said science will not prevail in time for the games that start on July 27. While no-one is sure whether “gene doping” is actually happening yet, the theoretical possibility of people fiddling with their DNA to boost power and endurance is one that scares sport officials. “Today, no, it cannot be tested. If a genetically modified athlete wins the 100m sprint at the London 2012 Games, we won’t know – at least not immediately,” bioethicist Andy Miah told AFP. “In some years, a test may show that gene doping took place and (we) will have to confront the possibility of retracting medals.” In theory, gene doping could see athletes injecting lab-fabricated DNA into their bodies through a carrier, like a virus, to stimulate the production of muscle-growing hormones or red blood cells that shuttle oxygen to the muscles. A virus works by forcing its own DNA into human cells, which then replicate the DNA containing biological instructions. “You could take a full-fledged, developed athlete and you could fiddle around with their genes to make them stronger and better,” said Don Catlin, a medical doctor who helped set up the first drug testing lab in the United States. But is it happening? “Not that I know of, but then again, nobody will call me up and tell me. We are concerned about it because it is a theoretical possibility. We know people will try it and probably are trying it,” said Catlin. In 2006, the sporting world was

In this file photo, obtained from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson (left), London 2012 Chief Executive Paul Deighton (2nd left), and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Andrew Witty (2nd right), are shown a vial of blood by British professor David Cowan, the head of Science for London 2012 and director of King’s College London’s Drug Control Centre. Drug cheats have been warned there will be ‘no hiding place’ at the London Olympics.

©AFP/File/Joel Saget

This file photo shows a pack of riders taking a break to urinate on the road side during a cycling race in 2008. Erythropoietin (EPO) is a favourite doping agent of cyclists and runners.

©AFP/Joseph Eid

forced to sit up and take notice when a German athletics coach was accused of seeking to obtain an experimental gene therapy called Repoxygen ahead of the Winter Olympics. Considered a possible treatment for anaemia, Repoxygen contained a synthetic virus that carries a gene for erythropoietin (EPO) – a hormone that tells the body to make more red blood cells. EPO is a favourite doping agent of cyclists and runners. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) added gene doping to its list of prohibited substances and methods in 2003, and has spent millions of dollars on developing a test. “We’ve engaged the gene therapy specialists in the world and we’ve been working with them since 2002,” WADA director general David Howman told AFP, adding there was “no evidence” of athletes using gene manipulation. Yet. “Nobody has examples of this, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening,”

This file photo shows a genetic researcher carrying blood samples. No-one is yet sure whether ‘gene doping’ in sports is actually happening yet.

said Miah, who has published several papers on Olympic doping. “That is the problem with doping generally. It isn’t very well known what athletes are doing.” Observers like Miah, Catlin and sport genomics expert Alun Williams say there will be no accurate gene doping test in place for the Olympics, a topic WADA would not be drawn on. A growth-booster gene injected directly into the muscle would be near impossible to trace in the blood or urine, said Williams of the Manchester Metropolitan University.

“If you were to take a muscle biopsy from an athlete, you’d have a much better chance of (finding it), but that is a much more invasive procedure... and you’d have to do it in every muscle” – a technique that is unlikely to ever be approved. Using existing techniques, the odds of finding foreign DNA in an athlete are “probably similar to finding a needle in a haystack”, said Williams, but added it should be possible “within a few years”. Under the new rules, an Olympic athlete’s blood and urine samples can be kept for up to eight years, meaning it can be retrospectively tested for gene doping once an accurate test is in place. More than 6,000 blood and urine samples are to be taken at the London Olympics. The experts warn that gene therapy, even in tests for treating diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, is still in its infancy and risky. “In several studies, patients have experienced serious adverse effects and several have died,” Theodore

Friedman, director of the University of California’s gene therapy programme and head of WADA’s gene doping panel, told AFP. Added Catlin: “One crude way to learn about it is if athletes started to drop dead.” But while gene doping may still be in the starting blocks, this is unlikely to stop determined cheaters. “The technique works in clinical settings. It is not perfect, it is not without risk... but athletes will try lots of things that are risky,” said Williams. “Even if there is a very high risk, if there is a chance to improve their performance, some will take that risk.” As cheaters run out of drugs that the authorities don’t have a method to detect, gene doping is the next frontier. “It is make or break for the world of sport,” said Miah. “If they find a way to catch gene doping, it will most likely solve the doping problem forever. If they don’t, then it is unlikely ever to be solved.” ■ (©AFP – Paris, France – July 15, 2012)

BOXING Bradley keeps title he took from Pacquiao

©AFP/Getty Images/File, Kevork Djansezian

Undefeated American Tim Bradley, pictured on June 9.

UNDEFEATED American Tim Bradley has chosen to keep the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown he took from Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao and forfeit the WBO junior welterweight crown. The decision, revealed on the sanctioning body’s website, means Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez moves into the WBO junior welterweight throne while Bradley sits atop the WBO welterweight ranks after his controversial split decision shocker.

Marquez, who had held the interim WBO junior welterweight title, has now reigned in four weight classes, half as many as Pacquiao. Bradley, 29-0 with 12 knockouts, hopes for a November 10 rematch with Pacquiao. But “Pac-Man” promoter Bob Arum has made a case for Pacquiao instead to fight Marquez for a fourth time after beating him twice and drawing once. Each Pacquiao-Marquez fight was a slugfest and a close verdict.

Either Marquez or Bradley appears to be a more likely foe than unbeaten US star Floyd Mayweather, who remains behind bars on domestic violence charges but should be ready to fight again late this year. Fans have longed for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight but negotiations have failed and the luster has started to dim in the wake of Pacquiao’s defeat and Mayweather’s incarceration. ■ (©AFP – Las Vegas, Nevada – June 27, 2012)


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July 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 13 • UK & Europe Edition

BOXING

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No misdeeds found in Pacquiao-Bradley probe

NEVADA’S state attorney general’s office has found no wrongdoing by officials in Manny Pacquiao’s controversial loss to Tim Bradley on June 9, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday, July 4. But investigators interviewed

none of the judges involved in what was considered by most fight fans a robbery of a split-decision victory by unbeaten American Bradley over the Filipino icon. Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada’s attorney general, said her top ©AFP/File/Jay Directo

A man reads a newspaper showing Philippine boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao’s title bout in Manila.

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investigator spoke with members of the state athletic commission and gaming board and found no evidence of criminal acts, including match-fixing or unusual bet patterns. But that will do little to ease the pain of Pacquiao fans who howled in disgust after two judges ruled Bradley at 115-113 winner while Pacquiao was given a 115-113 victory by the third judge. “Displeasure with the subjective decisions of sporting officials is not a sufficient basis for this office to initiate a criminal investigation,” Cortez Masto told promoter Bob Arum in a letter. “Unless evidence beyond mere displeasure is forthcoming, this matter will be considered closed. While there may be strong disagreement with the decision, the exercise of professional judgment by

individuals officiating at a sporting event is not by itself a criminal investigation.” Arum told the newspaper the probe came up short of the type of investigation he would have liked to have seen. “I’m happy that the attorney general did some investigating, but there’s a tremendous gap,” Arum said. “Why didn’t they interview the judges? “I’m not sure this brings closure. I would feel a lot better if they had interviewed the judges. But it’s her investigation, not mine.” Keith Kizer, the Nevada Athletic Commission executive director, met with the three judges last week and reviewed a video replay of the fight round by round to discuss their scoring. Kizer said he was satisfied with their efforts.

“I thought they handled it well,” Kizer said. “It’s unfortunate that people reacted the way they did following the fight. But this was a very close fight and eight of the 12 rounds could have went either way. “The three judges did a great job.” Bradley is still dealing with ankle and foot injuries suffered in the fight while Pacquiao is vacationing in Israel. Arum said he plans to meet with Pacquiao in about 10 days to decide whom “Pac-Man” will fight in his next planned bout, set for November 10. Pacquiao could enforce a rematch clause to avenge his loss to Bradley but could also opt for a fourth fight with Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez, which brought about 500,000 more pay-per-view purchases last November than the Pacquio-Bradley fight. ■ (©AFP – Las Vegas, Nevada – July 4, 2012)

Boxer is Philippines’ main hope for Olympic medal

BOXER Mark Anthony Barriga is the Philippines’ main hope for gold at the London Games, sports officials said Saturday, July 7 with the lightflyweight aiming to be the country’s first Olympic champion. The 19-year-old, a quarterfinalist at the world championships in Azerbaijan last year, is facing tough odds, said Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson. But he added: “We think he has a decent chance of winning. That is why he is there. If we did not think he had a chance, we would not send him.” The Philippines has an impressive record in professional boxing, with two current world

champions – Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire. And Barriga also has a good record, with wins at the annual Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament in Uzbekistan in 2011 and 2012. The head of the Philippine Sports Commission, Richie Garcia, said: “He has a very good chance of winning in his weight category. He seems to have the spirit and determination to win. “He is not somebody who came out of nowhere. He has a track record and he can win.” Garcia said the Philippines will have only a small squad of 11 athletes in London after many promising contenders failed to qualify in their respective sports.

The country has suffered a long medal drought, with its last podium finish – a silver in boxing – coming in the Atlanta games in 1996. It has never won gold but did bag bronze medals, also in boxing, in 1992 and 1988. Garcia, whose agency is in charge of funding national athletics programmes, said he favoured a proposal to bring in more foreign coaches. The boxing association is considering hiring a “consultant”, possibly from Kazakhstan, the United States or Britain to help upgrade its programme, Picson said. ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 7, 2012)

©AFP/File, Roslan Rahman

Mark Anthony Barriga (right) of Philippines fights with Hitarihun Agust of Indonesia (left).

Filipino-Australian Bevan Calvert selected as Captain of Australian Men’s Handball Team

(Seated from left) Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis and Bevan Calvert, Captain of the Australian Men’s Handball Team. (Standing from left) Consul Marford Angeles and Bevan’s parents, Violi and John Calvert. On Bevan’s right are the Oceania Handball Championship Trophy won by the Australian Men’s Handball Team at the 2012 Oceania Regional Handball Men’s World Championship Qualifier, and the Oceania Handball Championship 2012 Top Goal Scorer Trophy that Bevan received for scoring 11 goals.

FILIPINO-Australian Bevan Calvert, Captain of the Australian Men’s Handball Team, called on Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis at the Philippine Consulate in Sydney last June 27. A rising star in the world of Handball, Bevan is the first FilipinoAustralian to be selected team captain of a national sports team. He was also named earlier this year as the Handball Ambassador by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Just 26 years of age, Bevan’s list of accomplishments in Handball is growing. At 18, he played as member of the Australian Men’s Handball Team that competed at the World Championship in Tunisia in 2005. He has represented Australia in a total of four World Championships and other significant competitions. When he was 20, he went to Denmark where he played in the Danish First League for three years. Currently, Bevan divides his time between

Australia and Germany, where he plays with the TSV Altenholz in the German handball Bundesliga (league). He is the fourth top goal scorer in the Bundesliga. During breaks from playing overseas, Bevan devotes his time and resources to the Australian team and to training young players in Australia. Having recently led the Australian team to victory in the 2012 Oceania Regional Handball Men’s World Championship Qualifier held in Sydney last June 23, Bevan will again lead the Australian Men’s Handball Team in representing Oceania at the World Handball Championship in Spain in January 2013. Consul General Louis lauded Bevan’s accomplishments and said that he is a role model for all FilipinoAustralian youth. She noted Bevan’s achievements as among the many contributions of the members of the Filipino community to Australian society.

Consul General Louis also congratulated Bevan’s parents, Violi and John Calvert, who have fully supported Bevan in his chosen field of endeavour. Violi and John are heavily involved in Australian handball following their son’s interest in the sport. John is currently team manager of the Australian Men’s Handball Team. Since 2006, Violi has held the position of Media and Public Relations Officer of the Australian Handball Federation. Violi is now discussing with the Philippine Handball Federation in Manila the possibility of Bevan and Jay Abiera, another Filipino-Australian handball player based in the state of Victoria, holding handball clinics in the Philippines in the future. Violi is an active member of the Filipino community and is a freelance writer as well as broadcast journalist for Radyo Sandigan, one of the Filipino-Australian radio stations in New South Wales. ■ (DFA – July 4, 2012)



July 2012 Fortnightly issue