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Witnesses finger Leila ‘She got monthly payola through ex-driver, aide’ By Christine F. Herrera and Maricel V. Cruz


ENATOR Leila de Lima used 19 drug lords jailed in the national penitentiary to raise up to P5 million a month each to fund her senatorial bid, and transferred those failing to meet their monthly quotas to sell 50 kilos of shabu to other prisons, witnesses told a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Senator Leila de Lima

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De Lima, who was Justice secretary under the previous administration, went to the New Bilibid Prison maximum security prison, transacted business with the drug lords

directly and through her exlover-driver Ronnie Dayan and security aide Jonel Sanchez, the witnesses told the House committee on justice, chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Re-

WHEN Senator Leila de Lima was Justice secretary, she allowed the maximum security National Bilibid Prison to be turned into a “Little Las Vegas,” where drug money was raised to fund her senatorial campaign, prison inmates and drug lords who testified

before the House committee on justice said on Tuesday. During a marathon nine-hour hearing chaired by Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, drug lord Herbert Colangco said De Lima was making P1 million for every concert-event held at the NBP. “The P1 million was [Justice] Secretary De Lima’s cut from

Herbert Colangco

Jaime Pacho

Rafael Ragos

Junior Ablen

Noel Martinez

the P3-million income from the concert,” Colangco told the jampacked panel. He said the P1 million was on top of the P3 million monthly “PR payola” that he was transmitting to De Lima out of the illegal drugs business. Colangco, who owns the Herbert C. Productions, said his talent

manager Renante Diaz, was the one turning over the cash to De Lima’s bagmen Joenel Sanchez and Ronnie Dayan, De Lima’s security aide and her ex-loverdriver, respectively. Kidnapping convict former chief inspector Rodolfo Magleo said De Lima made the illegal Next page

Du30 giving PH bad image, De Lima rants By Sandy Araneta SENATOR Leila de Lima on Tuesday said it is President Rodrigo Duterte who has been giving the Philippines a bad image due to his foul mouth and the extrajudicial killings of over 3,000 drug suspects since he assumed the presidency in July. She said Duterte has already

proven that he is more than capable of single-handedly giving the country a bad image before the entire world in just three months in office. In this respect, she said, Duterte did not need any help from anyone, least of all her. “So please don’t pass the blame on me, that I am the one giving a bad image to the Phil-

ippines because I did not curse [US President Barack] Obama and [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-Moon,” said De Lima in a privilege speech delivered a day after being stripped of the chairmanship of the Senate justice and human rights committee. She strongly opposed the claim of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano,

Duterte’s defeated running mate in the May 9 elections, that she was giving the Philippines a bad image. Aside from the summary executions of drug suspects, De Lima also castigated Duterte for indiscriminately hurling invective at the officials of the UN and the world like Pope Francis, Obama and Ban Ki-Moon. Next page

Rody won’t let go of US but craves support By John Paolo Bencito

FALSE ALARM. A false hijacking alarm caused a Saudi Arabian Airlines plane from Jeddah, with 431 people, mostly returning pilgrims, including four pilots and 17 crew, to be quickly isolated by police on arrival mid afternoon Tuesday at the Manila airport in Manila. (Story on A2) Danny Pata

‘Loss of HR panel was her comeuppance’ SENATOR Leila de Lima deserves her ouster as head of the Senate’s justice committee, a Cabinet official said Tuesday. Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said De Lima was ousted because she had been using her office and position to malign President Rodrigo Duterte. “De Lima’s removal as Chair is a comeuppance or a deserved rebuke from her peers in the Sen-

ate,” Panelo said. He made his statement even as Duterte said Tuesday he had nothing to do with De Lima’s ouster. He said he was focusing on his own work and fulfilling his promise to the Filipino people to stop crime, corruption and drugs. But Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged the Senate to reinstate De Lima. “The Philippine Senate has twitter.com/ MlaStandard

the maximum security and the trading was done outside, with the syndicate moving across the country,” said kidnapping convict and former police inspector Rodolfo Magleo. Next page

Rodolfo Magleo

‘Little Las Vegas’ thrived inside NBP By Christine F. Herrera

naldo Umali. “The then Justice secretary made the maximum security compound the drug trade center in the Philippines. The drug lords transacted business inside

ousted the chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights in an apparent reprisal for her inquiry into the surge in killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs,” the group said. “The Senate should seek Senator Leila de Lima’s immediate reinstatement to signal its support for justice and human rights.”

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday admitted that he cannot afford to lose American support amid the country’s territorial row in the South China Sea but lamented Washington’s lack of support for the country’s defense efforts. “I never said that they get out of the Philippines, after all we need them in our operations in [the South] China Sea. We don’t have armaments but we are not ready to go to war with China. I don’t want to, because it will just be a massacre,” the President said in his speech at the 10th Next page

Immunity from suit for Bilibid inmates By Maricel V. Cruz SPEAKER Pantaleon Alvarez granted immunity Tuesday to highprofile inmate Herbert Colangco and several other witnesses of the Justice Department who will testify at the congressional inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the National Bilibid Prison during the tenure of former Justice secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima. During the preliminary inquiry conducted Tuesday by the House committee on justice chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas filed a motion

recommending the granting of immunity to convicts Colangco, Noel Martinez, Jaime Pacho, as well as retired police official Rodolfo Magleo, acting Director Rafael Ragos of the Bureau of Corrections and National Bureau of Investigation agent Junior Ablen. The motion was adopted by the justice panel without opposition. Next page

SHOPPERS SURPRISED. American actress, author, model and producer Drew Barrymore, who starred in Charlie’s Angels, a 2000 action comedy film based on the TV series of the same name, is spotted in a busy shopping mall in the posh Makati district where she checked out cosmetic products on display. (Contributed photo)

Oops! Wrong governor OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales suspended the wrong governor for grave abuse of authority, Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. said Tuesday, adding he was ordered suspended for six months “clearly by mistake.” The Ombudsman had suspended Zubiri for allegedly Next page

6 more Zika cases bared THE Health department said September alone. Tuesday six more patients had “We have six new cases of tested positive for the Zika virus, confirmed Zika in the Philippines bringing the total number of Zika for this year,” Assistant Health infections to nine for the month of Next page


Missed your copy of Manila Standard? Call or text our Circulation Hotline at 0917-8848655 or email: circ@manilastandardtoday.com





PDP: No Rody hand in Leila ouster Pilot error triggers alarm ONE of the pilots of a Saudia Airlines plane pressed an emergency button in the cockpit by mistake, forcing airport officials to believe the plane was being hijacked and ordered it to land in an isolated spot in Manila on Tuesday afternoon. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said Saudia Flight SV872 from Jeddah, with 300 passengers on board, sent a distress signal at 2:13 p.m. and was immediately given priority to land at 2:38 p.m. Officials said a pilot used that code if he believed a hijacking was taking place on board, but it turned out later that someone in the cockpit pressed the emergency button twice by mistake. They said the incident was being investigated, and that appropriate penalties and sanctions would be imposed on the erring pilot. In an initial advisory, a staff of the MIAA Media Affairs Division said “20 miles before landing, MIAA ESD received advice from Manila Control Tower that Saudia Airlines Flight SV872 is under threat.” Joel E. Zurbano

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The former Justice secretary also exhorted the public to remove their blindfold and criticize the “uncontrolled” mouth of Duterte that they have been defending. “These killings have been giving bad image to the Philippines now,” De Lima said. She said the killings of more than 30 persons everyday would still be killing in the eyes of the world, whether Leila de Lima is there or not there. She questioned Cayetano, whom she branded Duterte’s “national defender,” if the country’s image in the world would become good since he emerged victorious in ousting her as justice committee chairman. “It’s possible because Senator Cayetano is not prohibited from dreaming,” she added. “I am not killing our countrymen,” said De Lima, referring to a witness before her testimony who testified that Duterte was behind her ouster from the Senate committee on justice. She also commended Cayetano for making her realize that a committee chairmanship is not the end of everything for her as a senator. “No committee chairmanship is worth it, if it means sacrificing my principles and surrendering the causes that I pledged my life to fight for,” she said. “Many friends and colleagues have told me, if only I did not call out the President on the murderous consequences of his war on drugs and decided to be as meek as a sheep, I would not be in this trouble, and I would still have the committee chairmanship. As the Bible says, What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose his soul? I choose to keep my soul,” De Lima said. De Lima also said the witnesses against her at Tuesday’s House hearing had an ax to grind against her, or were being pressured by Malacañang to testify against her.

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refusing to act on the former provincial assessor’s clearance and request for leave commutation. But Zubiri said there was a mixup in the decision of The Office of the Ombudsman and called on Morales to immediately review their findings and rectify their mistake.

By Joel E. Zurbano and PNA


DMINISTRATION senators on Tuesday denied President Rodrigo Duterte was behind the ouster of beleaguered Senator Leila de Lima as chairman of the committee on justice and human rights, saying their decisions were made to safeguard the reputation of the Senate.

in a series of killings and other crimes during his term as mayor in Davao City. Senator Paulo Benigno Aquino IV on Tuesday said the Liberal Party is considering leaving the majority following the ouster of their partymate from her committee, which was investigating the series of summary executions since the assumption to office of Duterte. “I was very disappointed. I voted no. Usually it is discussed first, raised in a caucus,” Aquino said. He and Senator Francis Panglinan said it is still a numbers game in the Senate and what hap-

pened was unnecessary and unprecedented. “As senators, we must remain vigilant and ensure that the Senate remains independent as it performs its constitutional role and duty as a check and balance on other branches,” Pangilinan said. “This we intend to pursue. We will support measures that we believe will be beneficial to our citizens, and we will be critical of measures we believe will not be good for the country. We will not simply oppose and obstruct for the heck of it, but neither will we support and defend the administration

right or wrong,” he added. Aquino, for his part, “our institution’s independence is seriously put to the test. The new leadership of the committee on justice must show that it is fair, unbiased and committed to bringing out the truth,” he said. Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, one of the senators who voted against De Lima, said Malacañang did not have a hand in the decision to declare a vacancy in the committee chairmanship and membership. He added it had been a difficult decision since it involved a colleague.

The 16 senators who voted for De Lima’s ouster were led by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III who said the committee headed by

De Lima was biased, especially when it presented self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, who tagged President Rodrigo Duterte


maximum security prison, taking him and other drug lords to NBI detention cells. “I felt bad. I felt betrayed. Wasn’t she satisfied with P3 million a month? She wanted me to cheat the other drug lords? The syndicate would kill me,” Colangco said in Filipino. Colangco said Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Jesus Bucayo was getting P1.2 million a month at the time. Magleo, who has been serving his sentence since 2005, said the drug trade has worsened during De Lima’s stint as Justice secretary. “From half a kilo of shabu a month being traded inside the NBP, the drug trade grew to up to 50 kilos a month when De Lima took over as Justice secretary in 2010 and the drug trade became worse starting in 2012. They imposed a quota. If a drug lord did not meet the quota, he would be transferred to other penal colonies,” Magleo said. Magleo said he, as chief of the Kalasag group, and four of his men were summoned by De Lima and Dayan to seek their help. Dayan said Magleo was summoned because he and Dayan were province mates as both were from Pangasinan and that Dayan boasted that he was very close to De Lima, who was seeking Kalasag’s help to raise funds for her senatorial bid. Dayan, Magleo said, planned to run for mayor of Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, and De Lima would finance his mayoralty bid. “There was something intimate between the two. I can sense. I can read between the lines. Can you imagine a driver-bodyguard being more powerful and richer than I am when I served as chief inspector,” Magleo said. NBI Deputy Director Rafael Ragos, who served as officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections in August 2012, affirmed Magleo’s claims and said Dayan and De Lima acted like “boyfriend-girlfriend.” Ragos said he held the Bucor OIC position concurrently because he was comptroller at the NBI. “There was no Bucor chief at the time and it was Secretary De Lima who was the de facto Bucor chief. She issued a department order detailing me to the Bucor and assigned me to be her eyes and ears there,” Ragos said. Ragos said he was able to deliver P5 million, all in P1,000 bills contained in a black handbag to De Lima and another sealed black bag just as big and heavy as the first P5 million.

In November 2012, Ragos said he found money on his bed in his quarters in the Bucor and that he received a call from a certain drug lord named Peter Co instructing him to deliver the money to De Lima. Ragos said he thought of asking his trusted NBI agent, Jovencio Ablen Jr. of the NBI Criminal Investigation Division. Ablen also testified and claimed he saw “limang manok (P5 million)” that he and Ragos delivered to De Lima. Ragos and Ablen said they delivered the drug money to De Lima’s home, also where Dayan was staying, at Laguna Bay corner Subic Bay Drive, South Bay Village, Parañaque City. “I parked my vehicle in front of the house. Both Mr. Ablen and I alighted from the vehicle but I went to the gate alone carrying the black handbag containing the P5 million,” Ragos said. At the gate, Ragos said, it was Dayan who opened the gate for him. “I then handed the black handbag containing the money to Mr. Dayan. We then proceeded to the main door of the house where Senator De Lima was waiting for us. At the main door, Mr. Dayan handed the black handbag to Senator De Lima, who received the same. We then entered the house,” Ragos recounted. About 30 minutes later, he left De Lima and Dayan. A similar delivery was made in December 2012. Colangco said De Lima became strict in making the drug lords meet the quota of 50 kilos of shabu sold each month starting from 2014 and more so as the elections neared. Colangco said he led the collection of money from fellow inmates to help finance De Lima’s senatorial bid after convicted kidnapper Jaybee Sebastian sought his help Wondering if De Lima was receiving the money, Colangco said he asked her aide, Sanchez, if he could speak with the Justice secretary. Colangco said Sanchez handed him his phone and let him dial De Lima’s number. The witness said he could tell the woman on the other end of the line was De Lima. He said he was sure that it was De Lima herself on the phone. “That was the voice I always heard on TV,” he said in Filipino. “It was her. I could tell… I’m 100 percent sure.” He said he asked De Lima over the phone to confirm if she received the P3 million. He said De Lima replied; “Okay, okay. Thank you.” Colangco, in an affidavit sub-

mitted to the panel, alleged that De Lima recceived P3 million every month since January 2014. He also alleged both in his testimony before the House committee on justice and in a sworn affidavit submitted to the panel that the director of the Bureau of Corrections during that time also allegedly got P1.2 million per month. He also admitted he led the illegal drug operations at the NBP, and that his group was at the forefront, selling 10 kilos of shabu every month until Octoer 2014. Colangco said the P3 million monthly payment was “protection money” to keep him at the NBP. Former assistant solicitor general and now Sandiganbayan Justice Karl Miranda, meanwhile, denied allegations raised during the hearing that he supported the illegal drug trade in NBP. Miranda made the statement in response to a video clip shown during the House inquiry that showed him visiting the national penitentiary. He said the clip was taken during one of the regular visits of Office of the Solicitor General legal interns to the national penitentiary to familiarize them with the OSG’s work. Miranda said he welcomed the opportunity to clear his name and the misconception about him generated by the clip. During the hearing, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said De Lima’s absence from the proceedings was her loss, not the committee’s. “We have shown fairness and impartiality here but De Lima invoked inter-parliamentary courtesy,” Abu told the justice panel. But Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, an opposition lawmaker, said De Lima’s efforts to dig deeper into the alleged “extrajudicial killings” in the government’s war on illegal drugs led to her ouster as chairperson of the Senate committee on justice and human rights. “The premeditated removal of De Lima was a summary punishment for her crusade to stop the proliferation of a culture of violence. It is a blockage of the search for truth,” Lagman said. “The ouster of De Lima hangs as a sword of Damocles and a stern warning to other Senate committee chairs that they must behave, otherwise they would be axed. Interchamber courtesy cannot bar the condemnation of acts inimical to the democratic process and an independent legislative investigation, an inherent power of legislatures,” Lagman added.


pressed consent to the Witness Protection Security and Benefit Act,” Fariñas said as he read a copy of the approval letter signed by Alvarez. “Under Section 12 of the aforementioned act, you shall be entitled to the immunity from any and all criminal prosecution for the offense in which your testimony will be given or used, and all the rights and benefits provided in the same law, provided that you shall tell the truth and nothing but the truth,”

Fariñas added as he continued reading the portion of Alvarez’s letter. The decision of the panel came after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre moved that three highprofile inmates from the national prisons and three other individuals be given immunity when they testify against De Lima so that any vital pieces of information they would share before the panel on the illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary would not be used

against them. “They are not asking for anything, any favor, and we did not promise them anything. But their lawyers approached this representation that if possible their clients be offered immunity while they are testifying before this hearing,” Aguirre told lawmakers. “I agree that it is very reasonable. They wanted to cooperate, to tell what they know… I believe that they should be given immunity,” Aguirre said.


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Magleo said 80 percent of the more than 6,000 inmates have cellphones that the syndicate used to transact drug business. Doing away with the committee rules, Umali allowed Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to crossexamine the witnesses. Under the rules, only panel and House members are allowed to cross-examine and question the witnesses. “He is the secretary of Justice whose office has investigated these inmates and public officers. Thus, the committee allowed him to present his investigation and the witnesses in relation to the subject matter of the resolution. He is not the counsel of these witnesses but a resource person of the committee. As you might have heard, the committee members themselves will have the opportunity to examine the witnesses and even test their credibility,” House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said. The panel granted the drug lords and inmates immunity from suit in exchange for their testimony. Magleo said De Lima was paid P10 million by one drug lord, Jaybee Sebastian, to effect the transfer of the so-called Bilibid 19, his competitors, so as to give Sebastian a monopoly on the drug trade inside the NBP. Drug lord Herbert Colangco said he was confident he would not be transferred because he was giving De Lima P3 million a month in “PR payola” to allow contraband inside the NBP. The contraband included golf carts, 300 boxes of beer in cans and a generator for concerts with celebrities, Colangco said. While De Lima personally assured him that his transfer to the NBI was “temporary,” Colangco said his stay lasted eight months, allowing Sebastian to control the drug trade inside the NBP. Colangco said he earned the ire of De Lima when he refused to take Dayan’s and Sanchez’s orders that he take 50 kilos of shabu from Chinese drug lords without paying for it, on the understanding that De Lima would transfer the Chinese to another penal colony. “I did not agree at first,” Colangco said, saying he was afraid the syndicate would get back at him once De Lima was out of the scene. But on Dec.15, 2014, Colangco said, National Bureau of Investigation agents swooped down on the

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“Upon the recommendation of the committee on justice pursuant to Section 4 of Republic Act 6981 that your testimony is needed in the legislative investigation in aid of legislation on the proliferation of drug syndicates in the New Bilibid Prison…I hereby grant approval for your admission with your exHe slammed the Ombudsman for the release of its statement to the media before he could be provided with a copy of the suspension order. “The Ombudsman ordered the suspension of the wrong governor,” Zubiri said. “The Ombudsman says that in January 2013 I supposedly refused to act on the former provincial assessor’s clearance and request for

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Secretary Eric Tayag told reporters. “This brings the total number [of cases] to nine following the three previous cases reported. All of these cases were reported by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.” The Zika virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes

leave commutation. “But it was impossible for me to have committed those omissions because I was not the governor in January 2013. In fact, I was not the governor from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013. “I simply did not have the authority to sign clearances and leave commutations at that time. I never even saw the provincial assessor’s papers.” Rio N. Araja

mosquitoes. People with the Zika virus disease can have symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Pregnant women afflicted by the virus is particulary at risk because it is known to cause microcephaly. Tayag said the ages of those infected ranged from nine to 45 years old. Six of them were female but none of them was pregnant. All those infected had no history of travel to other countries within a month after the onset of their illness. PNA

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Following De Lima’s accusation that the President’s fingerprints were all over in the move to oust her, Panelo said she was solely to blame for her predicament. “Getting two-thirds negative votes of her own colleagues to remove her from the Chair of the Committee on Justice is an eloquent proof of her undoing and reckless abuse of her position as senator,” Panelo said. De Lima, one of the most vocal critics of the President and his administration’s was on crime, was stripped of her committee chairmanship in a vote of 16-42 after Senator Manny Pacquiao made a manifestation to have her vacate the committee that she

was heading. In the last hearing of her committee, a self-confessed hitman accused Duterte of ordering the killings and bombings when the President was mayor of Davao City. De Lima, the former Justice secretary, was the target of a privilege speech of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a staunch ally of Duterte who served as the president’s running mate in the May elections. Cayetano accused De Lima of using the hearings to pull down Duterte. Panelo said De Lima should have voluntarily inhibited herself from heading the Senate’s justice committee for claiming when she was head of the Commission on Human Rights that Duterte was behind the summary killings in Davao City when he was mayor there. John Paolo Bencito and Sandy Araneta and F. Pearl A. Gajunera

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“shabu business” a legal business. “De Lima made the Philippines the drug trade center. Taiwanese, Chinese, Malaysian and other foreign drug lords transacted business with Filipino drug lords” Magleo said. For P1 million that De Lima got for every concert, Colangco said, he was allowed to bring in four 10-wheeler truckloads of beer in can, 30 golf carts, a generator and other contraband. “Of course I have to make money, too because I am the one providing the capital. So out of the P3 million profit, I give P1 million to Secretary De Lima and I keep the P2 million,” Colangco said. He said he bought a box of beer in can for P700 and sold them during the concert for P10,000 per box. The four 10-wheeler trucks could carry 300 boxes of beer in can, he said. “I also bring in starlets, women, that my talent manager paid P20,000 each but once inside the maximum security prison, their price tag fetches up to P75,000 each,” Colangco said. “Drug lords and members of the drug syndicates can well afford them. In three hours, the 300 boxes of beer in can are gone.” Colangco also confirmed that their quarters (kubol) had five-star hotel amenities with air conditioning units. Aguirre said owning a cellphone inside the NBP came at a steep price, at P1 million per cellphone. Magleo said some 80 percent of the more than 6,000 NBP inmates own a cellphone. Magleo said big time celebrities such as Freddie Aguilar, Sharon Cuneta held concerts at the NBP, as did other performers like Ethel Booba and the Mocha Girls. Colangco said since he communicated directly with De Lima, he had her cell phone number and blurted out the number 09178421931. House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu tried to call the number and told the panel it registered in her phone directory as being owned by De Lima. “It is indeed Senator De Lima’s number. I tried calling the number and her name registered in my phone directory,” Garcia announced to the panel. There was no answer when Garcia tried calling the number, however.

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Infantry Division Headquarters in Mawab, Compostela Valley. Duterte also lamented America’s opposition to a Philippine plan to buy ammunition for its new fighter jets, saying this rendered them useless. “It would be good if they gave us missiles but the problem is they won’t give us any. We bought [the F-50s] from Korea, correct--but that is American technology. And you cannot buy it without the consent of America. Even if these will be for display, still we cannot use them without missles,” the President said. The Philippines recently bought 12 FA-50 Golden Eagle jet fighters from Korean Aerospace Inc. for P18.9 billion. Two of the supersonic FA-50 lead-in fighters were delivered last year. Duterte said last week that the United States Special Forces based in Mindanao should leave, as the world’s most powerful country has not yet apologized for its wrongdoings against Moros and Filipinos during the American occupation and again brought up the March 1906 Bud Dajo massacre, where hundreds of Moros, including women and children, were killed by US forces in Sulu.



WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 mst.daydesk@gmail.com

‘Grace a natural Filipino’ By Rey E. Requejo THE Supreme Court on Tuesday sustained the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal dismissing the electoral protest filed by losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David who questioned Grace Poe’s qualification to run for the Senate in the 2013 polls. Voting 9-3, the 15-member bench resolved to uphold the decision of the SET last year dismissing the electoral protest filed by David, dismissing for lack of merit David’s petition seeking a reversal of the SET ruling. According to the tribunal, the SET was correct in ruling that Poe is “a natural-born Filipino citizen qualified to hold office as senator of the Philippines.” It cited the legal presumption that all foundlings found in the country are born of at least either a Filipino father or a Filipino mother—unless proven otherwise. “Concluding that foundlings are not natural-born Filipino citizens is tantamount to telling our foundlings citizens that they can never be of service to the country in the highest possible capacities. It is also tantamount to excluding them from certain means, such as professions and state scholarships, which will enable the actualization of their aspirations,” the decision written by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen stated. “If that is not discrimination, we do not know what it is,” the SC said. The high tribunal also cited as basis the equal protection clause in the Constitution, which guarantees that “persons under like circumstances and falling within the same class are treated alike, in terms of privileges conferred and liabilities enforced” and “against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination...” The SC held there is no substantial distinction between foundlings and children with known Filipino parents other than anonymity of their biological parents, so both should be entitled to full extent of the state’s protection. The high court stressed the only misfortune of foundlings is their failure to identify the parents who abandoned them, but stressed that it cannot be foundation of a rule that reduced them to statelessness or second-class citizens who are not entitled to same benefits and protection from the state accorded to those with known parents.

STILL FUN. Differently-abled girls enjoy a movie at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City which relaunched special screenings for the deaf and blind on Tuesday. Lino Santos

Tax amnesty eyed By Joel E. Zurbano


ENATOR Ralph Recto is pushing a measure seeking an amnesty to expand the tax base by luring untaxed individuals or those with outstanding liabilities to settle these without fear of being slapped with criminal charges.

Recto filed Senate Bill 920 as a prelude, according to him, to the tax reform the present administration is set to pursue as it will give taxpayers with arrears an opportunity to come up with a clean slate and begin paying the correct taxes. He said the tax amnesty program would allow many people to surface and put their tax papers in order without fear of prosecution. “These law-abiding citizens would have stepped forward a long time ago if not for complexity of the current tax system,” Recto said, specifically referring to “small businessmen and selfemployed professionals” who find the bureaucratic hurdle “too high, too often or too costly” to comply with. Another thing which is dissuading these hardworking individuals is the worry that their

voluntary offer to settle past dues, instead of being met with understanding, will be reciprocated with severe penalties, Recto said. “The provision for immunity from civil, criminal and administrative penalties to be granted to erring taxpayers will encourage those operating in the underground economy to legitimize their business operations,” Recto said. Under the proposal, the tax amnesty will cover all national internal revenue taxes for the taxable year 2015 and prior years, with or without tax assessments. The amnesty, however, will not cover those with pending cases involving unexplained or unlawfully acquired wealth, or under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Persons charged with violat-

ing the Anti-Money Laundering Law will also not be allowed to apply for amnesty. Also not included are “withholding agents with respect to their withholding tax liability, those with pending cases falling under the jurisdiction of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, and tax cases subject to final and executory judgment by the courts.” Those with pending criminal cases for tax evasion and other criminal offenses under certain sections of the tax code, and the felonies of frauds, illegal exactions and transactions, and malversation of public funds and property are also banned from seeking amnesty. Under SB 920, “any person, natural or juridical, who wishes to avail himself of the tax amnesty shall file with the Bureau of Internal Revenue a notice and Tax Amnesty Return accompanied by a Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth as of Dec. 31, 2015.” The tax due shall then be based on the net worth—assets minus liabilities—declared in the SALN. For individuals, “whether resident or non-resident citizens, including resident or non-resident aliens, trusts and estates, “the tax

shall be five percent of the net worth but not less than P50,000.” The rates of corporations are based on the subscribed capital. An example in the proposed brackets is a corporation with at least P50 million subscribed capital will pay five percent of its net worth or P500,000, whichever amount is higher. Assets in the SALN cover those “within or without the Philippines, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, whether or not used in trade or business.” Existing liabilities, on the other hand, pertain to obligations which “are legitimate and enforceable, secured or unsecured, whether or not incurred in trade or business.” Recto also included a section stating the “presumption of correctness of the SALN,” with the latter considered as true and correct except where the amount of declared net worth is understated to the extent of 30 percent.” But such proceedings to establish under-declaration, Recto said, “must be initiated within one year following the date of the filing of the Tax Amnesty Return.” Any person who willfully understates his net worth by at least 30 percent shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties of perjury under the Revised Penal Code.

Ecija rehab center ‘Dhaka may get stolen funds’ building underway By Rey E. Requejo THE country’s first-ever drug rehabilitation center is being constructed within the 45,837-square hectare Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province, Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said Tuesday. Hao said the 10-hectare project is led by the Department of Health while the Army Real Estate Office is providing zoning support. President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced he is eyeing the use of vacant lands in military camps as locations for the government’s drug rehabilitation centers. “The 7th Infantry Division [based in Fort Magsaysay] provided the area for the proposed

drug rehabilitation center. At the moment, we are securing the location, it is around 10 hectares. Construction started last August 28,” Hao said in Filipino. He added the contractors are based in Quezon City. The drug rehabilitation center will be separate from the military units based in Fort Magsaysay, which include the Special Operations Command and the Army Artillery Regiment. Two other military bases, Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz and Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan, are also being eyed for drug rehab centers. PNA

Duterte gives cash aid to blast victims By F. Pearl A. Gajunera DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte handed cash assistance to the survivors of the Roxas night market blast on Monday night from the President’s social funds. The families of the 15 victims who died during the Sept. 2 incident and those who were seriously injured each received P250, 000 while the 21 injured survivors each got P100,000. Duterte said he treated those who died and severely injured equal since they would be having a hard time to get back on their job

or find a livelihood. “I treat them [seriously injured] as equal to those who died, because it would take them time before they can work again or find a livelihood,” he said. According to him, he cannot question the will of God, especially those who lost their lives during the bloody incident that killed 15 civilians and injured 69 others. “We, Christians, we are always taught that God decides on the fate of every man, it is really destiny. If it is your time, it is really your time,” Duterte said.

THE Philippine government can now turn over to Bangladesh $15 million of the $81 million funds stolen by hackers from its bank and laundered into the country. This developed after the Department of Justice was able to secure a court order allowing the release of the Bangladeshi funds earlier surrendered by casino junket operator Kim Wong and forfeited in favor of the government. DoJ Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras III revealed the Manila City Regional Trial Court, Branch 53, has granted their pleading seeking re-

lease of the amount being kept in the vault of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to the Bangladeshi government. “The court declared the Bangladesh government to be the rightful owner of the said amount,” Paras said in an interview. With the court order, Paras stressed that the Embassy of Bangladesh in the country may now coordinate with the BSP for the turnover of the funds. According to Paras, the DoJ represented the Bangladesh government as counsel in this case after Bangladeshi officials sought legal assistance from the government under the UN convention on transnational organized crime.

IN BRIEF Cimatu goes to ME again PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte announced the reappointment of former military chief Roy Cimatu as the country’s Special Envoy to the Middle East. “[Cimatu] can be best utilized by the government if there is trouble in the Middle East,” Duterte said in his speech at the 10th Infantry Division Headquarters in Mawab, Compostella Valley. Cimatu, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1970, was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the 29th AFP Chief of Staff and was instrumental in key government operations in Mindanao and the Middle East. John Paolo Bencito

BTC criteria ready soon THE Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process said Tuesday the government peace implementing panel will finalize soon the criteria on membership in the Bangsamoro Transition Committee by September 27-28 to implement the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro. Patmei Ruivivar, OPAPP Communications Director, told journalists the GPH panel is expected to have a complete list of its appointees after finalizing the criteria by next week to be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his approval. In line with the President’s call for more “inclusivity” in the Bangsamoro peace process as set forth in the new roadmap, the MILF had earlier agreed to increase the membership of the so-called Bangsamoro Transition Commission from the original 15 to 21 for wider participation. John Paolo Bencito

House fetes Pinay GM STOP THE BURNING.

Environmental advocates hold up a streamer demanding a stop to waste-toenergy technologies that burn garbage because of its dangers to public health. Manny Palmero

THE House of Representatives on Monday night paid tribute to 20-year-old Janelle Mae Frayna, the first female chess grandmaster of the Philippines, who won her third and final Woman Grandmaster norm at the 42nd World Chess Olympiad held in Baku, Azerbaijan last Sept. 11, 2016. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed House Resolution 12 which has been adopted by the lower chamber last Sept. 13, 2016, acknowledged Frayna for bringing glory and honor to the country. The plenary acknowledgement of Frayna Monday night was preceded by her courtesy call on the Speaker at his office. Alvarez congratulated Frayna and wished her more success and triumph in the world of chess and other chosen endeavors. Maricel V. Cruz






Adelle Chua, Editor

Staying on script


ARELY three months into his term, President Rodrigo Duterte has become notorious for wandering off script. This tendency to speak whatever is on his mind on any occasion was on full display Monday night, when he addressed the victims of the Sept. 2 bomb attack on the Davao City night market that left 15 dead and 70 wounded. The families of those killed or disabled received P250,000, while those who suffered less serious injuries got P100,000 from the President’s Social

Fund. The assistance—and the President’s obvious compassion for the victims and their families—were certainly most welcome, particularly given his predecessor’s callous ways. What was less welcome were the President’s rambling remarks that rehashed ground that he had already covered: his word war against world leaders who criticized his human rights record in his ongoing war on illegal drugs; the sins of the Americans during our colonial past; and his request that he be given six more months to put an end to the drug menace. Given the occasion, the President might more profitably have used the time to update the fami-

lies on the government’s quest to bring the bombers to justice. Still, the families listened patiently to the President’s rambling tirades—as did the rest of us who followed the event on TV—because they knew they would receive much-needed assistance in the end. As much as this President likes to wander off script, nobody can fault him for having a singular focus on his promise to eradicate the illegal drug trade. Although his campaign promise was to do so in six months, he has now come back to the people and asked for more time—another half a year, because of the extent of the problem. The problem with this sin-

gular focus is that other promises—just as urgent—seem to have been pushed aside. On the 84th day of President Duterte’s first 100 days in office, for example, nothing significant has been done to relieve long-suffering motorists and commuters in Metro Manila of the ordeal of the daily commute. The city trains still break down with disturbing regularity, taxi drivers still turn down passengers with no regard to the concept of public service, and bus drivers still block lanes on the highway as they jockey for position. The lack of road discipline is palpable—yet this government has done nothing about it. With more than 80 of the first 100 days gone, Transport offi-

cials are still in Congress, asking for emergency powers to do anything. In a flash of genius, the new boss at the Metro Manila Development Authority proposes cheap drones as a solution to the perennial traffic jams and flooding, failing to comprehend that monitoring the situation is far different from actually doing something to ease it. While he is doing battle with international critics and the illegal drug trade, it would be good if the President spared some time to see that his handpicked officials aren’t letting the rest of the country go to rot, and that they move with some urgency to keep the promises he made. BACK CHANNEL ALEJANDRO DEL ROSARIO

A threering circus

Digital ‘karma’ LOWDOWN

JOJO A. ROBLES IT WAS one of my favorite political analysts, De La Salle professor Antonio Contreras, who first told me about the problem. As a Naga City native, Contreras said he was puzzled by the lack of love shown by Bicolanos for the new top officials who hail from his region. “Like most Filipinos, Bicolanos feel proud when someone they identify as coming from their home region wins high office,” Contreras explained. “But I’ve not heard any of my fellow Bicolanos tell me how happy he or she was with the election of either Vice President Leni Robredo or Senator Leila de Lima.” I have no way of confirming or denying Contreras’ hypothesis, not being familiar with the sen-

timents and electoral idiosyncrasies of Bicolano voters. But I will hazard a guess that people seem to think that Robredo is more deserving of their sympathy than De Lima—who has, by her own admission, suffered the crueler fate after they were both elected. Both Robredo and De Lima, by the way, received more than 14 million votes from all over the country last May 9. Both were candidates of the Liberal Party and were closely identified with the administration of the LP’s acknowledged leader, the widely discredited Noynoy Aquino. But I think the millions of people who voted for Robredo have been more vocal in defense of their chosen candidate than the same number who were said to have cast their vote for De Lima. Why is that? Some of it must be due to the perception that De Lima, who was Aquino’s combative justice secretary, cuts a less sympathetic figure than Robredo, who is real-

ly more of a political cipher than anything. That the unpopularity of De Lima is due to her abrasiveness is a tantalizing theory— but it doesn’t explain why arguably one of the most unpopular and unlovable of senators of all

De Lima inspires so much hatred that she can make Alan Peter Cayetano look heroic. time, Franklin Drilon, ended up on top of the last Senate race, so it can’t all be that. There’s simply no going around it: De Lima inspires so much anger and hatred that she

can make Alan Peter Cayetano look positively heroic by simple juxtaposition to her. And since President Rodrigo Duterte started his own private war with De Lima, soon after the senator took it upon herself to become Duterte’s chief critic in the Senate, Duterte’s popularity has not waned. Compared one on one to De Lima, in fact, Duterte should be a cinch for sainthood—assuming Pope Francis and all of Vatican City have really forgiven him. *** And here I was, convinced that Filipinos always root for the underdog. But they don’t seem to think that De Lima fits that role. If De Lima is really the victim of persecution, she has a real problem apart from victimhood. And that is, she can’t seem to convince people that she deserves their support more than President Rodrigo Duterte, her tormentor.

And if I may go back to the last elections, according to the final, official vote count, there is only a two-million difference between Duterte’s 16 million and De Lima’s 14 million. If that’s the case, why is it that De Lima can only count on the support of the four-senator Liberal Party bloc in the Senate and virtually nobody else’s outside of her own chamber? I understand that Duterte is more popular than De Lima. And the millions of Duterte fans are easily found in any media platform, where they tend to dominate both with their zeal and with their number. But how come I never hear anyone defend the Bicolana senator in a way that will convince me that she indeed convinced 14 million Filipinos to vote for her? Why don’t I ever hear anyone described as a “De Lima-tard”? It can’t just be the elongated enunciation or the omnipresent Turn to A5

WHAT was supposed to be a Senate inquiry into the extrajudicial killings of illegal drug suspects is turning out to be a three-ring circus. Senator Leila de Lima walked out during a scathing privilege speech delivered against her by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. De Lima walked out on Cayetano and the following day Tuesday delivered her own privilege speech against Cayetano as being Duterte’s lackey. De Lima said it is not her giving the Philippines a bad image but Duterte’s bad mouth that is really doing it. While De Lima was delivering her speech at the Senate, the three-ring circus was simultaneously going on at the House of Representatives where the senator was implicated by high-profile convict Herbert Colangco who claimed the then-justice secretary received P3 million a month from him as campaign fund in her run for the Senate. The P3 million monthly, according to Colangco, buys a VIP detainee privileges at the Bureau of Corrections: air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV and sauna bath tub. These comforts of life are smuggled into the national penitentiary with the connivance of BuCor officials. The Bucor is under the Department of Justice where De Lima served as DOJ secretary. This would indicate that big business is not the only source of political campaign funds. Drug lords also are. Drug trafficking, after all, is big business in this country as it has been in Colombia and Mexico in the last 50 years. There is no report yet of the Cali cartel presence here but the Sinaloa syndicate, according to law enforcers, is operating with local crime lords. For not standing her ground and walking out, De Lima has been ousted as the Senate committee’s chair on justice and human rights. Primarily, De Lima was removed for allegedly using her committee to attack President Rodrigo Duterte for his connection to the Davao Death Squad. De Lima has also made known she won’t attend a House hearing where six convicted high-profile inmates at the National Bilibid Prison are set to testify against her allegedly for receiving dirty money from them. Turn to A5

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It’s ‘karma’ for De Lima WHAT’S happening now to and Filipino immigrants in the Senator Leila de Lima, former United States are plotting to oust secretary of Justice, and the “fe- him. Things like these have a way male public official” whom Presi- of growing numbers. Together with all the negative dent Duterte vowed to destroy is something I would not wish on reports coming from the Western press, like the recent Time Magamy worst enemy. The President has called De zine issue and other negative news Lima immoral and an adulteress, coming from Europe, condemnawith a driver-lover for whom she tions of President Duterte and his alleged human rights violations built a mansion for their trysts. Worse, the senator is allegedly may start something else. I have seen these things happen. involved in the illegal drug trade. I am not into conspiracy theories, Santa Banana, De Lima has since been ousted as chairperson but the Central Intelligence Agency of the Senate committee on justice may just come in, especially afand human rights by no less than ter Duterte cursed US President 16 senators. They claimed she had Obama and proclaimed that the been using the committee to de- Philippines would now pursue an nounce the President by present- independent foreign policy. Worse, ing a self-confessed member of the he said he would now buy military equipment from China and Russia. “Davao Death Squad.” I could be wrong, of course, but Edgar Matobato claimed that over 1,080 had been killed by the in my long years as a journalist, I DDS, in which the President was have seen these things happen. I involved. Mr. Duterte has since de- think the problem is that Duterte has opened himself too much to nied everything. My gulay, now De Lima is be- criticism—he talks too much. It becomes worse when there are ing roasted, squirming her seat, by the House of Representatives. Jus- so many people around him talking tice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre at the same time, explaining what presented witnesses to the House he supposedly really meant. The point I am driving at is that committee investigating De Lima’s the President involvement in the drug trade. should only apThe witnesses pear and speak on matters of nasaid De Lima tional policy. He obtained milWhat goes should only have lions of pesos one spokesman. as payola from around comes convicted drug around. *** lords. There may I said in earstill be light lier columns that I wanted at the end of to sympathize the tunnel for with De Lima but could not. She some 6,000 workers and employhas absolutely no chance to survive ees of Philweb—the operator of this politically. The powers of the e-Games cafe’ numbering 131 entities; and their investments of President are vast and awesome. Mr. Duterte not only has the P1.8 billion. All these stand to be House of Representatives under his wiped out if Philweb stops operthumb. He also has the others: The ating. With the President changing his National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine Drug Enforcement mind against online gambling that Agency and the Philippine Nation- café should be far from churches and schools, Pagcor has opened the al Police. De Lima, for sure, will be pros- doors for offshore online gambling. Meanwhile, Pagcor is also studecuted since the testimonies of the long line of witnesses against her ying and considering Philweb’s would amount to probable cause proposal of an earlier plan to go into “Pagcor Text Bonanza” to for a case in court. De Lima had it coming. Former supplement the Philippine CharPresident BS Aquino used her as ity Sweepstakes Office Lotto. The his attack dog in persecuting for- advantage of the Text Bonanza is a mer President Gloria Macapagal proprietary software developed by Arroyo. Mr. Aquino had wanted to Philweb. A bettor chooses a lottery show the world that he could send number and texts it to Pagcor serva former president to jail. Mrs. Ar- ers via Globe or Smart. He then royo was his poster child for the receives a confirmatory message fight against corruption under the regarding the chosen number. The bettor saves the number in his cellhypocritical “Daang Matuwid.” BS Aquino also used De Lima phone and that effectively becomes to prosecute minority senators his ticket. In PCSO’s Lotto, bettors have to like former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and Senators Bong queue under the rain and the sun. PhilWeb estimates that Pagcor Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada. In my over six decades as a journalist, I would earn from P50 billion to have never seen a president as vin- P100 billion annually from its text bonanza. From PCSO, the amount dictive as Aquino was. And now I wonder: Would we is P30 billion. Philweb’s “Pagcor Test Bohave problems in drugs, criminality and corruption if BS Aquino nanza” is now in the Office of the President for review. had done his job? Only the courts can say whether *** De Lima is guilty or not. But politically speaking, he is a dead duck. Through this column, I would It’s karma—what goes around, like to thank all those who greeted comes around. me when I marked my 89th birthday last week, September 15. *** I did not know that my daughter President Duterte and people around him should not dismiss re- Nina posted my photo on Faceports that some Filipino Americans book. I got more than 150 likes.

Digital... From A4

scarf in the hottest of tropical weather. People just find it easier to believe that De Lima is the protector of narcotics syndicates who accepted million from drug lords to get elected, as the witnesses during yesterday’s House hearings said. And no one, it seems, is convinced when De Lima, in her own privilege speech at around the same time, professes that she is just fighting for the rights of the poor and underprivileged, who are being killed by the thousands under the Duterte administration. De Lima is about as credible as Edgar Matobato, and I don’t need to count the flood of “angry face” emoticons on Facebook Live when either of them appear on the screen to believe that. Of course, I can’t really say that I’m sad that people don’t sympathize with De Lima as she takes the high road and does battle with Duterte like some pudgy, scarf-wearing, English-torturing, hair dye-abusing Joan of Arc. Truth be told, I suspect that De Lima was really the beneficiary of a massive election-cheating strategy by the Liberal Party—the same strategy that made Robredo win and put Drilon on top of both Tito Sotto and Manny Pacquiao in the Senate race. And when I listen to De Lima, I can’t help remembering how arrogant and unsympathetic she was, as the enforcer of Aquino’s policy of political vendetta using the justice system. Then I say, like the kids these days, that “karma is digital” and that De Lima is merely getting what she so justly deserves.




Transport and traffic news VIRTUAL REALITY TONY LOPEZ TRANSPORTATION Secretary Art Tugade was the guest yesterday of the Manila Overseas Press Club which is led by me as chairman and by Babes Romualdez as president. He disclosed a number of pieces of good news. The first segment of the fourlane elevated 5.4-km airport skyway, from Macapagal Avenue/Entertainment City to NAIA Terminal 1 and 2, will be inaugurated on Sept. 22. The entire airport skyway, which links the four NAIA terminals to the South Expressway, Roxas Boulevard, Macapagal Avenue/Entertainment City, and Cavite Expressway, will be operational before Christmas. Use will be free for one month – President Duterte’s Christmas gift but a big loss for operator San Miguel Corp.. The National Economic and Development Authority has approved the privatization of the four NAIA terminals, for P74.6 billion, similar to the privatization of the Cebu airport with the takeover by Megawide. The contract could be won by one or more private contractors, says Transport Undersecretary Bobby Lim. The premise is that NAIA will remain the main gateway of the Philippines. Forget about Clark becoming the new gateway. NAIA has two runways, one 3-km and a shorter one which is at 45-degree angle, not parallel to the 3-km runway, rendering it practically useless for major use.

Tugade’s men have considered a new NAIA runway, of 2.4 kms, but it would have dislocated Moonwalk Village and entailed monstrous cost. One alternative gateway is Clark but most airlines would not want to move there on short notice. Though 40 percent of passengers come from north Luzon, airlines intending to operate at Clark face tremendous logistical challenges. They feel obligated to move their passengers from Clark to Manila and vice versa -- and traffic from Balintawak to NAIA in Pasay is bad. On a bad day, it means travelling for 80 kms from Clark to Balintawak and another 16 kms from Balintawak to NAIA for connecting flights. The 16-km portion alone is good for two hours. Also, there is no decent VIP lounge for business class passengers in Clark. So Clark will be allowed to grow on its own, riding on the spillover of flights from NAIA. In the meantime, flights involving private plane owners are to be moved to Clark. This should decongest flights especially in the morning where general aviation accounts for a fifth of flights. Relocation of small planes has the effect of reducing waiting time for a commercial flight to take off at NAIA to just 40 minutes. Still, according to Lim, airlines operating at NAIA has had on time reliability of 53 percent, far below world standard. On time reliability – defined as a percentage of flights departing and arriving within 15 minutes of announced schedule (the ideal is 85 percent) –is to be improved by 25 percent to about 66 percent – still below global standard. Meanwhile, traffic along E. delos Santos Avenue has improved by 20

minutes, according to Tugade. He said he left his DOTr office at 11:27 a.m. yesterday at arrived at the Manila Golf Club where the MOPC Forum at 11:47 a.m.. Quite marvelous by the standards of horrendous EDSA traffic. By law, traffic in Metro Manila, is the main job of the Metro Manila Development Authority, not by Tugade’s DOTr. So far, MMDA has not come out with a firm proposal on how to solve what is considered the world’s worst traffic on earth. One solution is improving the MRT3 service which runs 22 kms from North EDSA to Baclaran and carries more than 600,000 daily. The issue is the supply and availability of trains. About 43 of 73 trains need to be repaired. The old trains can run for only 40 kms an hour, not 60 kph as before, which means MRT3 has lost one-third of its capacity. New trains can be installed and test-run only in the first half of 2017. So forget about MRT3 if you are expecting improvements before the end of 2016. The MRT3 was the symbol of the Aquino administration colossal incompetence and corruption. The plunder was estimated at P10 billion by Philstar columnist Jarius Bondoc. Under BS Aquino, the maintenance contract went to a company whose owners were officials of the Liberal Party and one was related to an MRT3 manager who was later fired. The maintenance contractor did not the maintain the trains and the tracks but pocketed the billions of money for it. Forty-eight new trains were procured from China but without the engines. Engines were procured from Germany; signaling system from Korea. So

the trains, engines and signaling system could not talk to each other seamlessly, even if one uses Duterte’s “I will kill you all policy”. One the ground, Tugade promises the availability of driver’s license cards and vehicle plate numbers by the first half of 2017. How? By government taking over the manufacture of both licenses and plate numbers. Some 6.7 million license cards need to be printed. Some eight million vehicles need license plates. The only remaining problem, it seems, is for DOTr to pay the private manufacturers of the licenses and plates contracted by the BS Aquino administration. Tugade says the new driver licenses will be good for five years and can be renewed online if the driver has no violation. The plate numbers are good for three years. That should reduce red tape at the Land Transportation Office described by Duterte as one of the most corrupt agencies. There is no firm plan to regulate the sale of new cars. It’s a big lobby group and it has an awesome war chest. Tugade hopes to get emergency powers from Congress to regulate the sale and use of cars, to force private subdivisions to open their streets to pass-thru public traffic, facilitate right of way purchases of valuable property for traffic use, and cut through the crippling labyrinth of the bidding process for urgent procurement. Please note: Traffic is not the main responsibility of Tugade. It is the MMDA’s job and we have yet to hear from MMDA outside of the excuses. I would like to hear from new MMDA chief Tim Orbos who looks more pious and priestly than his own brother who is a priest.

The politics of rice SO I SEE LITO BANAYO NOW that our economic policymakers have decided to live with the lifting of quantitative restrictions on rice importation, leaving rice economics to market forces, let us end the series with the “politics of rice.” Food security is basic. A lack of it is not just a political issue. It is a national security problem. The question though is whether food security, which means the availability and affordability of food, should be defined as rice self-sufficiency. Media and the public at large equate food security with selfsufficiency. They keep pointing to the brief interludes in our contemporary history when we were able to produce the staple food that we ate, and recall those halcyon days when the Thais and Vietnamese came to the country to train in agriculture. “Those were the days…,” they keep harking, but will those days ever come back, what with our lopsided demographic realities? Note that on top of a production to consumption parity, we still need rice reserves, to meet contingencies such as natural or man-made calamities. Our policy-makers have defined that requirement as having on reserve stock at least 15 days of the national consumption, which should amount to 500,000 tons at any given time. But for the so-called “lean months,” which coincide with the monsoon and typhoon season (July to September) and in-between our harvests, we increase this by an additional 15 days, or a total of one million tons (20 million bags) of rice, strategically positioned in the warehouses of the National Food Authority all over the country. Due to El Niño, La Niña, strong typhoons, limited irrigation and inventory mismanagement, not to

A three-ring... From A4 Now if these convicted prisoners spill the beans on De Lima, isn’t there a principle in law that the testimony of convicted felons does not have any value because its source is from persons whose moral turpitude is highly questionable? This is the same suspicious reason alluded to the testimony of Edgar Matobato, De Lima’s surprise witness at the Senate inquiry. For De Lima’s failure to inform him about Matobato’s appearance, Senator Panfilo Lacson assailed the former justice secretary.

mention over-importation of the staple, NFA in 2010 piled up a “legacy debt” (that’s how PNoy called it) of P178 billion. There is no way the NFA could pay this huge debt. Part of the legacy was a stockpile of rice that reached almost 60 days of the average national consumption in 2010, which required NFA’s leasing some 800 bodegas on top of its 750 owned warehouses. Thus, the economic managers decreed that this time, the bulk of rice imports were to made by the private sector under a “private-sector funded” program, where NFA awarded import permits to private traders and farmer cooperatives instead of the government itself importing and financing the importation. This policy was started during the Arroyo administration but conversely, NFA imported the bulk (90 percent) leaving the 10 percent for the private sector. The difference is that under the PNoy government, we bid out the permits in open tender. Previously, the import permits were simply given out on a first-come, first-served basis, which means whoever among the traders and co-ops arrived first on “bidding” day got the permit, and bonds submitted were reimbursable if the “winning” traders or co-ops brought the rice on time. The other difference is that we imported much less in the first two years of the PNoy government. For 2010, the “legacy” importation was a total of 2 million 50 thousand tons for government account, and 225,000 for the private sector. In 2011, we reduced NFA or government imports to just 200,000 and further down in 2012 to 120,000 tons. Hence, NFA’s “legacy debt” was trimmed to just about P145 billion from P178 billion, a decrease of some P33 billion. The private sector was allowed to import 660,000 tons in 2011 and a lower 380,000 in 2012. Plus the minimum access volume (MAV) of 320,000 tons as agreed upon in 1995 under WTO negotiations. Because we bidded out permits rather than merely awarding them to favored sectors, NFA earned P4.3

billion, apart from cutting its huge indebtedness. But the policy was again reversed by DA under Alcala when they realized that self-sufficiency was not attainable by 2014 as promised, blaming failure on typhoons (which happen every year and should always have been a given in policy formulation). By 2013, NFA was back to importing on its own (and guaranteed by the national government) account. And importing by the millions of tons each year once more (roughly one million tons each year). The financial result of this reversal is what the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Finance have now discovered as PNoy’s “legacy debt” to Duterte: NFA’s debt is back to the P170-billion level. Now, come June 30, 2017, we will enter full deregulation of the rice market. Which means any trader, cooperative, or person can open a letter of credit to import rice from wherever, provided he pays a 35-percent duty to the Bureau of Customs. This duty, under our trade agreement with Asean member-countries, will progressively decline. At current spot prices of $385 per ton, add some 40 dollars more for logistics, or $425, compute a 35-percent tariff, and roughly, a ton of rice, which is 20 bags of 50 kilos apiece, would cost $575 or $ 28.75 per bag. Translated at 48 to $1, that’s only P1,380 per sack—or 27.60 per kilo. It costs our farmers P11 at present to produce one kilo of palay, so they would sell at P17 to P19 per kilo. The miller recovers 60 to 65 percent white rice per kilo of palay, or a cost of roughly P32. The retail price is around P41 per kilo upwards, depending on the quality of rice. Compare that to rice imported from Vietnam or Thailand the landed cost of which, tariff included, is P27 to P28. Neda states that the economics of rice importation will benefit consumers, because rice prices will go down, from the present 40s to the low to mid-30s. A price reduction

of P10 per kilo would certainly be a relief to 104 million rice-eaters. But the DA worries understandably about the farmers. And yet, the solution that straddles the political as well as the economic side of the rice conundrum is really for government to assist farmers on the input side, rather than artificially prop up the industry through price-support mechanisms and quantitative restrictions. These do not only cost the taxpayers billions in subsidies and sovereign loans; they also fail to make the rice farmer more productive and competitive. This means free irrigation, as the DA and the current political leadership promise. Subsidize hybrid seeds that will triple productivity, and extend credit for fertilizers both organic and inorganic. Teach the farmers to apply the right technologies, and protect them from weather vagaries through crop insurance. Consolidate agrarian reform beneficiaries into viable cooperatives, or partner with the private sector to achieve economies of scale that would afford agricultural modernization and managerial competence. And make farmers cultivating rice in less-suited lands shift to high-value crops. For in the end, the focus should be on making the farms productive and farming profitable. That will cost government, too, but it is better than insisting on a policy of attaining self-sufficiency at all costs, mostly wasteful. In Malaysia, for instance, the practice is produce 65 percent of consumption requirements, and import 35 percent, while using the land for highvalue crops like rubber and palm. It will take more articles than this series of three to dissect the policy options. But it is best to understand that firstly, food security does not come without a cost. Two, good economics is always better politics. And finally, both good economics and good politics are possible only under a regime of good governance, which means not only zero tolerance for corruption, but also good sense.

Lacson heads the Senate committee on public order which is jointly hearing the extrajudicial killings. Now, as everyone knows, Cayetano is Duterte’s defeated vice presidential running mate. He has to prove his worth to the President while waiting for a job until his Senate term runs out. A loser in an election cannot be given presidential appointment until after a prescribed oneyear period which must be why Cayetano is making the most of his time playing the role as Digong’s staunchest defender in the Senate. Two Cabinet members—Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and For-

eign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr.-- might have to move over if Digong sees that Cayetano can do a better job than both or either of them. As reported from New York where he is (on official assignment?), Andanar claimed that a plot to topple Duterte through impeachment or a military coup is being hatched. Martin, in his “pa-andar,” said the plot is being hatched in New York. But by his own admission, he does not have the details and evidence yet of the alleged plot. If you don’t have the proof, why talk about it? Why not do so at the appropriate time when you do? Otherwise, what An-

danar did can only be seen as a feeble attempt to gain media mileage if not sympathy for his boss who has been getting a lot of flak from the international press for the series of killings of suspects in his relentless war on drugs. It’s welcome news Teddy Boy Locsin has accepted his appointment as the country’s ambassador to the United Nations. With Teddy Boy in the New Yorkbased UN, we can be expect more sensible statements coming from a Philippine official, so unlike the instant experts who are overwhelmed by the big city known as a financial and communications center.





IN BRIEF Zambo exec suspended OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales ordered on Tuesday the one-month suspension of Zamboanga del Norte Gov. Roberto Uy for violation of code of ethics. She directed Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno to implement Uy’s suspension order which is “final, executory and unappealable.” According to the Ombudsman, in August 2015, the reelected governor failed to act upon several letters and indorsements forwarded to his office pertaining to the request for payment of back salaries of an administrative assistant. “It took two months for respondent Uy to advise complainant that his claims had been referred to the Provincial Legal Officer,” the resolution read. “As chief executive of the provincial government, [Uy] has the duty to ensure that all executive officials and employees of the province faithfully discharge their duties and functions as provided by law.”

Govt told to comment on plea-bargain appeal By Rey E. Requejo


HE Supreme Court on Tuesday required the government to comment on a petition of the Public Attorney’s Office that plea-bargaining agreements be allowed in drugs cases.

In its en banc session, the SC ordered Solicitor General Jose Calida to comment on the petition filed by PAO for drug accused Salvador Estipona Jr. The SC gave the OSG a nonextendible period of 10 days to comply with the order. In its petition, the PAO asked the high court to declare as unconstitutional a provision in Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, or Republic Act 9165, that prohibits plea-bar-

gaining deals between accused and prosecutors. The PAO specifically questioned Section 23 of the law which provides that “any person charged under any provision of [the Dangerous Drugs Act] regardless of the imposable penalty shall not be allowed to avail of the provision on plea-bargaining.” In all other criminal cases, the accused may plead guilty to a lesser offense with the consent of government prosecutors.

PAO chief Persida RuedaAcosta argued that the provision violates the constitutional right to equal protection of the law. “No reasonable classification exists to classify violators of the anti-drugs law from violators of other criminal laws, be it offenses listed in the Revised Penal Code or other special criminal laws... Are alleged violators of RA 9165 separate and distinct from persons accused of murder, rape, carnapping and so forth?” the PAO pointed out in its petition. According to Acosta, the provision is unfair—especially to those facing drug cases involving small amounts—since those accused of murder, rape, carnapping and other heinous crimes are allowed to bargain their plea. “At the very least, if plea bar-

gaining is indeed not allowable in violations of [the Dangerous Drugs Act], the prohibition should apply only to those drug offenses involving capital punishment,” Acosta pointed out. The PAO chief also assured that their petition, if granted by the SC, would not benefit big-time drug lords as she expects prosecutors not to agree to plea bargain in their cases that normally involve big amounts of drugs. “There are safeguards. If the evidence is strong, the prosecutors should not allow plea bargain,” Acosta told reporters. She further lamented that almost all cases under RA 9165 are non-bailable regardless of amounts involved, especially in sale of illegal drugs. Acosta further argued that al-

New vessel in sea mishap

Another Zamboanga abduction AUTHORITIES were investigating the identity of a group pf armed men who abducted a businesswoman Monday afternoon in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte, Major Felimon Tan Jr., spokesman of the Western MindanaoCommand, said Tuesday. Tan said Martina “Tinang” Yee, 60, was kidnapped at around 3 p.m. in Barangau Poblacion. She was forcibly taken by the suspects while inside her grocery store. The victim was dragged towards the shoreline and forced to board a pumpboat. “Air and floating assets were tasked to establish security points along the shoreline of Sirawai and Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte. Intelligence monitoring has been intensified to locate the victim and the abductors,” Tan said. The kindapping incident came after releases made by the Abu Sayyaf Group based in Sulu a Norwegina, three Indonesians and two Filipinos. According to military data, the ASG has still in possession 12 foreigners and 4 Filipinos.

By Florante Solmerin

JAIL INSPECTION. Navotas City jail guards look over the belongings of inmates of the detention facility as the House of Representatives investigated abuses at the National Bilibid Penitentiary. Andrew Rabulan

Yolanda housing scored A LAWMAKER on Tuesday chided the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council for its admission that the National Housing Authority only completed one of the Yolanda housing construction projects. Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao said that if there is to blame about what he described “very disappointing, highly incompetent and despicable performance,” it should be the Aquino administration. In a recent statement, Robredo revealed that in Hernani, Eastern Samar, only 200 out of 900 housing units was completed by the NHA. She said that bureaucratic process and corruption were the main cause of such sorry delay. But she failed or rather deliberately did not mention that the Aquino government was behind the housing mess for Yolanda survivors. “Ms. Robredo should blame the Aquino government for this Yolanda housing mess. The former administration was incapable of competent work and totally failed to provide decent and permanent housing for Yolanda survivors despite the billions of pesos of public funds and foreign donations poured in,” Casilao added. Moreover, records from the Tacloban City Housing Office revealed that the NHA had only built 572 out of its target 14,162 permanent houses, while NGOs had constructed 556 out of its planned 2,169 houses, Casilao said. In addition, Casilao, citing the NHA data in its website, said 5,767 houses have been completed as of mid-February, but admitted that it would not be able to hit its target of 13,928 housing units by the end of 2016.

lowing plea-bargain would help decongest the country’s jails where some 82,000 detainees face drug cases. “Small-time users or pushers should be given chance to bargain their plea and be allowed to undergo rehabilitation,” she said. The PAO chief added that government could also cut on its spending on food for detainees— amounting to P1.5 billion a year— should the SC grant their petition. Acosta has urged the SC to hold an oral argument on this case. PAO filed the petition before the high court after Legazpi City Regional Trial Court denied the request of Estipona to enter into a plea-bargaining agreement on his case involving possession of one sachet with 0.084 grams of shabu.


Drew Barrymore in town By Nickie Wang HOLLY WOOD’S Drew Bar r y more tur ned up in a busy shopping mall in Makati City on Tuesday after noon sur prising shoppers and onlookers alike. Casually dressed in gray midi skirt and blouse, the 50 First Dates star was seen being photographed by the staff members of SM City Makati when she checked out the retail giant’s wide array of cos-

metic products on display at the Department Store. A few minutes after her surprise appearance at SM’s Makati branch, the 41-year-old actress revealed the purpose of her visit via her Instagram account. She is in the country for a “branding trip” of her makeup brand Flower Beauty. “We’re in Manila! #brandingtrip2016 for @f lowerbeauty exploring the incredible @smmakati and their extraordinary beauty depart-

ment! #wow #wow #wow our whole team is inspired!” she captioned her photo uploaded on the popular photo sharing site. Manila is the latest city she visited to promote Flower Beauty, her own line of makeup and other cosmetic products which she launched in 2013. The brand was first made available at Walmart and is now expanding its reach worldwide. Prior to her visit in Manila, Barrymore was also spotted

strutting down the streets of Hong Kong promoting the beauty brand from the US which offers quality products at an affordable price. Solely endorsed by Barrymore, the company’s tagline is “Love The Way You Look.” It claims that all of its products are cruelty free and were never tested on animals. Her visit to Manila trended on Twitter Philippines alongside other trending topics Justice, De Lima and NAIA.

THE BRP Tarlac, the Philippine Navy’s newest and largest warship, figured in a mishap off Naval Station Romulo Espaldon in Zamboanga City on Monday but remains operational despite minor dents and scratches. “LD-601 [BRP Tarlac] is involved in the ongoing operations against the Abu Sayyaf [where] she serves as command-and-control for Fleet-Marine component. She incurred minor dents on her starboard [right] side because of the incident and it will not affect her role in said operations,” Philippine Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna. Since the damage is only minor, Lincuna said repair will take place during BRP Tarlac’s scheduled “deploy, sustain, repair and training” cycle and the ship can continue to perform its designated operational tasks with no trouble at all. “Investigation by the Philippine Coast Guard Station is ongoing to determine the circumstances of the collision,” Lincuna said. Rear Adm. Jorge Amba, Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander, disclosed the incident occurred around 7:47 p.m. Monday, 1000 yards south of the Ensign Majini Pier off Naval Station Espaldon. Amba said BRP-Tarlac was anchored in the area when the foreign tanker ship, M/T Tosca, a Liberian-flagged tanker crewed by 21 Filipinos and Ukrainians and skippered by Capt. Dominador Tanguas, hit the warship while enroute to Bintulo, Malaysia. “Investigation by the Philippine Coast Guard Station is ongoing to determine the circumstances of the collision,” Lincuna said. BRP Tarlac was commissioned only last June 1 and after arriving in the Philippines last May 14 after a five-day journey from PT PAL (Persero)’s shipyard in Surabaya which started on May 9. The Philippines has two another vessel order with the Indonesian shipbuilder worth P3.8 billion.

PH vows to back fight vs global illegal fishing By Vito Barcelo THE Philippines vowed to support the global community in preventing illegal fishing, marine pollution and climaterelated impacts on the ocean, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. and Agriculture Undersecretary for Fisheries and concurrent Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Director Eduardo Gongona led the Philippine delegation to the Our Ocean Conference held in the US to create awareness among countries to fight illegal fishing in the ocean. “The Our Oceans conference brings together heads of state, scientists, business leaders, NGOs, among others to tackle key issues including marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean,” the DFA said. This year’s Our Ocean Conference is the third edition called “Our Ocean, One Future.” It is hinged on international com-

mitments to protect the ocean created previously during two conferences. The said commitments have prompted more than 136 new initiatives on marine conservation and protection that are valued at over $5.24 billion and covers almost four million square kilometers of ocean. “This is an initiative to create a global community geared towards combating illegal fishing around the world through knowledge sharing and better coordination,” Yasay said. More than 40 counter illegal fishing projects worth over $82 million are affiliated with the Safe Ocean Network. Partners‎ include Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the European Union, Gabon, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Senegal, Seychelles, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vanuatu; and other nongovernmental and multilateral institutions dealing with the issue of illegal fishing.

STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. Theater actress Monique Wilson (left) and Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus (right) dance to dramatize their continuing fight to end the exploitation of women. Rio Araja

Sports Casimero won’t fight Nietes By Peter Paul Duran AFTER his successful outing in England, International Boxing Federation flyweight champion John Riel Casimero is now contemplating on his next move, the Olympics and a possible fight with Donnie Nietes. The 26-year-old Ormoc City native made mincemeat of British challenger Charlie Edwards, unleashing a sweeping left hook that finished off the Briton in the 10th round at the O2 Arena in London. Now, Casimero’s management team is eyeing an immediate defense of the title early next year. “We are working on the possibilities of an optional defense, but at this time, hindi pa natin ma-finalize, and we will announce (the fight) once everything is completed,” said promoter Sammy Gelloani at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum in Shakey’s Malate. In the meantime, with the rise of Casimero in the flyweight class, the possibility of him facing Donnie “Ahas” Nietes in the same weight class is non-existent. “It will not happen. Why let two good Filipino fighters fight for one title? For us promoters, I don’t think it will happen, it’s not possible talaga,” he said. Gello-ani explained that promoters veer away from touting two Filipinos for obvious reasons, because it’s not in the culture of Pinoys. “Parehas naman kaming Pinoy, mas maganda sana na kalabanin na lang namin ‘yung mga taga ibang bansa kaysa Pinoy ‘yung magkalaban,” said Casimero. Asked if there was a chance that he would represent the country in the Olympics if given the chance, Casimero feels that he is better off fighting in the pro ranks. “Para sa akin, ‘yung style ko kasi pang-knockout, suntukan talaga. Mahihirapan tayo sa Olympics kase takbuhan lang,” Casimero said in jest. “For a professional to fight in the Olympics, that’s an disadvantage. The method of judging and training are entirely different,” added Gelloani, backing Casimero. Meanwhile, the Philippine Dragon Boat team paddled their way to two gold medals, along with two silvers and a bronze during the International Canoe Federation World Dragon Boat Championships, recently in Moscow, Russia.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 sports_mstandard@yahoo.com

Mighty Sports battles Thunder in Singapore M

IGHTY Sports Apparels-Philippines launches its bid for back-to-back titles when they test the Samsung Thunders at the start of the Merlion Cup today at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. The team has a pair of explosive imports and a naturalized Filipino ready to provide stability but whether they can play as a team will be known when they collide with the two-time Korean Basketball League champions at 8:30 p.m. Out to provide firepower for the Charles Tiu-mentored Mighty Sports are reigning Jones Cup MVP Dewarick Spencer and former PBA import Al Thornton – the same import who scored 69 points against San Miguel Beer. The team is not lacking in

homegrown talents, though. Taking a break from his NBA workouts with the Texas Legends, a team from the NBA Developmental League, Kiefer Ravena will be arriving in the Lion City in time for their match with the Korean team. Out to provide additional firepower for the team backed by HC Technology Pte. Ltd., Huishi International Group Co. Ltd., Cebuana Lhuillier and Scratch It, are PBA player Joseph Yeo (Globalport), and ex-National University star Gelo Alolino.

Beefing up the team is Hamady big in the opener,” the younger N’diaye, the 6’11” Sengalese who brother of Rain or Shine star was also a member of the Jones Chris Tiu. Cup-winning team. After the Koreans, the The team left for Singapore Mighty Sports cagers will face yesterday. the Malaysian Dragons with Despite their starhopes of sweeping Game Today studded cast, Tiu is their group elims. (OCBC Arena) not taking the op- 8:30 p.m. – Mighty Sports Also in the cast vs Samsung Thunders position lightly, sayare ASEAN BasToday (OCBC Arena) ing: “The competi- Game ketball League stars 8:30 p.m. – Mighty Sports tion is a bit tougher Jason Brickman and vs Samsung Thunders because teams also Matthew Wright, have imports. But with a good brothers Gab and Ael Banal, TY pool of imports plus local players, Tang, Edrick Ferrer, and Jason I think we got a good chance of Deutchman. winning another championship.” The game against the Koreans “Hopefully, we get a chance will perhaps determine which to win the championship team Mighty faces in the crossagain,” said Tiu, who is hop- over semifinals. The other group ing they can start their title bid has the Shanghai Sharks, a club in grand fashion. from Taiwan and the host Singa“It is important for us to win pore Slingers. Dewarick Spencer

Perlas wins cage opener Games today

(Bukit Serindit Indoor Stadium) 4 p.m. – Laos vs Philippines 6 p.m. – Singapore vs Thailand 8 p.m. – Indonesia vs Malaysia

John Riel Casimero (middle), the IBF flyweight champion, poses with members of the Philippine Dragon Boat Team, which was coming off a winning stint in the ICF World Dragon Boat Champioship in Moscow, Russia during an appearance at the PSA Forum. Lino Santos

Rematch with Floyd looms after Pacman fights Vargas By Ronnie Nathanielsz WHILE there is nothing certain yet, unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. may decide to return to the ring and face eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao in a rematch after he watches how the Filipino fares in his WBO welterweight title fight against Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack

Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5. Ariza, Mayweather’s strength and conditioning coach when he beat Pacquiao on May 2 last year in the biggest fight in history, however said that boxers “change their mind like the wind.” “But I think he will fight. He goes by what he feels. Floyd is in shape all the time and boxing misses him badly,” Ariza told the Manila Standard.

But even if Mayweather comes out of retirement in an effort to break heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0, Ariza said Mayweather doesn’t bother about such things. At the same time, Ariza lamented the fact that Pacquiao, who used to draw 1.2 to 1.3 million viewers on pay-per-view fights in the past, is “not even on a de-

cent channel when he fights Vargas.” Pacquiao’s former strength and conditioning guru, who was ousted in a conspiracy involving trainer Freddie Roach and Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz for allegedly creating dissension in the Pacquiao camp, said the Pacman’s clash with Vargas “is a horrible fight for the fans,” and that with “so many ex-

citing fights available at 140 and 147 pounds, he thought Pacquiao should have, maybe picked even Dany Garcia, the reigning unbeaten WBC welterweight champion. Garcia has a record of 32-0 with 18 knockouts. Ariza said the best fight for Pacquiao would be against Amir Khan, although he believes, “Manny can’t beat Amir.”

Lyceum jins enter PH taekwondo quarterfinals LYCEUM of the Philippines University continued its remarkable run last weekend, sweeping both its matches in impressive fashion to book a seat in the women’s division quarterfinals of the MVPSFMeralco Philippine Taekwondo League at SM Muntinlupa. Drawing huge performances from mainstays Alexandra Gimena and Aideleen Flores, the Lady Pirates swamped Letran, 46-11, and San Sebastian College, 37-22, to top Group A with four wins in the competition sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and Meralco. The eliminated San Sebastian jins closed out their campaign with their first victory after three setbacks in dumping their Letran counterparts, 35-20, in the event also backed by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission. “We displayed more cohesion on attack and defense,” noted Lyceum mentor Brix Ramos. “But we have to work harder if we aim to advance beyond the knockout

quarterfinal round.” Fighting against Letran’s Camille Cornejo in the first match, Gimena staked Lyceum to a 7-2 lead before Flores took over in the fifth and final encounter of the opening round in pounding Aerielle Ang to pad the Lady Pirates’ lead, 38-6, on the way to the breezy victory. The two Lyceum warriors also conspired in erecting a 26-13 lead over San Sebastian in the first round before allowing their teammates in mopping up their opponents in the tag phase. Relying on tall and lanky Ivan Ilas, Letran also posted a sweep of its matches in Group B of the junior men’s division, clobbering San Beda College of Alabang, 43-25, while fashioning a close 30-26 decision over San Sebastian in the meet serving as a breeding ground for taekwondo talent for international play. San Sebastian bounced back by holding off SBCA, 37-36, despite the heroic efforts of Lorenzo Cadiz in the tag round for the SBCA Red Cubs, who trailed,24-30, at one point.

MALACCA—Perlas Pilipinas unleashed its crippling pressure defense in the second period to baffle Singapore en route to an easy 69-43 triumph at the start of the SEABA Women’s Championship at the Bukit Serindit Indoor Stadium here. A 21-4 run allowed the Filipinas to break the game wide open as they never looked back to serve notice of their title aspirations. That backbreaking stretch, which started in the final four minutes of the second period had the Philippines taking a 46-27 lead going to the half time break. With their defense clicking, the Blackwater Women-backed Perlas Pilipinas was able to force Singapore to commit 14 turnovers, resulting in 16 points off their miscues. Sparking the team’s rout was Chak Cabinbin, a new inclusion in the squad. A perennial MVP in the WNCAA, Cabinbin was inserted in the line up to take over the spot of Fil-Am guard Sofia Roman, who is still finishing her studies in the United States. The pint-sized guard Cabinbin scored 13 points after two quarters on her way to finishing with 16 markers to lead all Perlas Pilipinas scorers. Backing Cabinbin was Camill Sambile, a mainstay of the national team, who had eight of her 10 in the second period alone.

PH U14 squad joins Borneo tilt THE Philippines is fielding a U14 Boys’ Team to the Borneo Football Cup to be held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia from Sept. 21 to 23. Now on its ninth year, the Borneo Cup is described as a “truly quality international tournament,” wherein participating teams get to play in three quality stadiums, plus a 3G artificial turf pitch, which are all used exclusively for every tournament. The U14 PH delegation this year includes talents discovered at local development grassroots programs, such as Jill Pillora of Iloilo, Nicolai Abalos of Laguna, Josh Asignar and Tristan Enad of Cebu, and Drexler Valencia of Dumaguete, who were part of the U11 Team sent to the United Kingdom by the British Council and Pru Life UK in 2013. Another player in Gregory Tacondong of Bukidnon was scouted early this year at the Football for a Better Life held in Gingoog. Coaching the team are Alfredo Ray Estacion and Richard Jay Alipar. Estacion, who has been mentoring this group of boys since 2013, has high hopes for the U14 team. “This is my third time to accompany the team to the Borneo Cup,” said Estacion. “Although the composition changes a bit year to year, I know more than half of the boys. I’ve seen them grow and improve. I think we have a pretty good chance of making an impact this year,” said Estacion. The U14 Boys delegation is supported by the Azkals Foundation, Spears FC and Pru Life UK.


San Sebastian’s Mohammad Sultan (left) and San Beda College of Alabang’s Lorenzo Go are seen trading blows in the MVPSF-Meralco Philippine Taekwondo League action last weekend at the SM Muntinlupa Mall.

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Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor sports@thestandard.com.ph sports_mstandard@yahoo.com




Rain or Shine gunner Jeff Chan (right) dribbles past Phoenix Petroleum defender Norbert Torres (6). The Elasto Painters battle the Fuel Masters for the eighth seed and the last ticket to the quarters when they go toe-to-toe 7 p.m. the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.

Rain or Shine, Phoenix in sudden death match By Jeric Lopez


VERYTHING will be on the line when a pair of crucial playoff games take place today to wrap up the elimination round of the 2016 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup. It will be a battle for survival when the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters dispute the eighth seed and the last ticket to the quarters when they go toe-totoe at 7 p.m. The No. 4 seed and the last twice-to-beat incentive in the

quarterfinals will be on the line when the Meralco Bolts and the Mahindra Enforcer face off at 4:15 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. While Phoenix has been somewhat an unpredictable team, perennial contender Rain or Shine is struggling to get its groove so far

in the tournament. “It’s been a struggle for us all conference long but as long as we still have the chance to move forward, we will play as hard as we can,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. The Commissioner’s Cup champions needed to win their last game to force a playoff for the No. 8 seed. Fortunately, they routed Star, 108-97, last Friday to arrange this clash with the Fuel Masters as both squads ended up with similar 5-6 slates. While Phoenix shoots for its first playoffs appearance as a franchise, the Painters are in a position they aren’t used to.

“This is really far from where we want to be this conference and far from where we were in the last conferences,” said Guiao. The winner will take on relentless top seed TNT KaTropa in the next phase with a twice-to-win disadvantage. Though there were inconsistencies in their respective campaigns, the Bolts and the Enforcer had relatively successful runs as they both ended up with a 6-5 slate. In fact, they were each other’s last game in the classifications and Meralco came out with a tight 8683 decision 10 days ago. Now, another crucial encounter lies ahead as the winner will

have a twice-to-beat edge in the next round. Regardless of the outcome of the match the two teams face each other again in the quarters. “Basically, it’s a virtual bestof-three between us and Mahindra now and it’s very important to get this win against them in this encounter to gain leverage,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. After a surprising and rousing 6-2 surge to start the conference, the youthful and feisty Enforcer lost steam late in the elimination round. The team will head to this contest on a three-game losing streak.

Lascuña eyes TPC crown TONY LASCUÑA needs only to churn out at least a fourth place finish to secure this year’s Order of Merit title but the four-leg winner has vowed to shoot for no less than the crown in the ICTSI Tournament Players Championship unfolding today, Wednesday at Wack Wack East. “Why settle for fourth when I can go for the win?” said Lascuña on the eve of the P3.5 championship serving as the final leg of this year’s 16-stage ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour. With four leg wins, including three straight at Eagle Ridge, Forest Hills and Bacolod, and a number of Top 5 finishes, Lascuña has racked up earnings of P3,045,948 to stay on top of the OOM rankings, P488,694

Tony Lascuña watches the ball after attempting a putt. The fourleg winner has vowed to shoot for no less than the crown in the ICTSI Tournament Players Championship unfolding today.

ahead of second running and three-leg champion Clyde Mondilla. A fourth place finish this week will net Lascuña P195,000, enough to thwart Mondilla even if the Del Monte ace wins the P650,000 top prize. But the ace Davaoeño shotmaker, also a former three-time OOM winner, wants to reclaim the coveted individual crown in style with a victory in the closing leg of the circuit sponsored by ICTSI. Lascuña actually skipped yesterday’s pro-am to polish his short game and putting stroke, which he said will be key at the demanding par-72 layout kept in championship form to provide a true test of golf for the elite 94-player field through all four

days of what promises to be a battle for survival. “I hope my putting clicks this week. I struggled a bit with my stroke last week and fell short against Micah (Shin) at Luisita. But I feel good and confident of my chances at Wack Wack,” said Lascuña, who braces for an explosive opener with Jay Bayron and Frankie Miñoza in the featured 7:25 a.m. flight on No. 10. Bayron, winner of two legs this year, including the ADT Aboitiz Invitational at Wack Wack last month, hopes to ride the momentum of that twostroke victory over Malaysian Gavin Green while also eyeing a shot at the OOM title with a win coupled with Lascuña’s poor finish.

Lacap triples power Malayan Science High School to victory By Peter Atencio THE Mapua Red Robins, also known as the Malayan Science High School Red Robins, turned to transferee Brian Lacap in pulling off a 75-59 swamping of La Salle Greenhills last Monday at the Arena in San Juan. Lacap, who moved from University of Santo Tomas, stepped up in the absence of injured big man Sherwin Concepcion,

sizzled with his triples in the third period to carry the Red Robins to their 14th win in 17 games in the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association Junior Basketball tournament. This moved the Red Robins a win closer to formally securing the second Final Four slot, the no. 2 seeding and the second twice-to-beat incentive. The 6’0” Lacap had a gamehigh 24 points. He touched off a 10-2 run mid-

way in the third and helped the Red Robins move ahead, 48-42, in the last 2:27. “We were ready. We prepared our offense and defense against them. But they were not ready for Lacap,” said Red Robins coach Randy Alcantara. Jasper Salenga, who is back from injury, added 15 points and seven rebounds. The Red Robins need to hurdle the

Emilio Aguinaldo College Brigadiers on Thursday to formally earn the second seeding. The Junior Blazers, with Troy Mallillin making 16 points and nine rebounds, share the same 13-5, slate with the Arellano Braves at third. The Red Robins took charge early after unleashing a 13-2 run which Joel Cagulangan capped with his drive in the last five minutes of the first period.

Defending champs show the way in 47th WNCAA DEFENDING champions Centro Escolar University, San Beda College Alabang, De La Salle Zobel and Miriam College continued to lord it over the rest of the field in the 47th WNCAA tournament held over the weekend in separate venues. Five-time senior champion CEU coasted to its third win in as many starts, 83-15, against

Assumption College last Sunday at St. Scholastica’s College gym. De La Salle Zobel, likewise seeking a sixth straight title in the juniors division, similarly climbed to 3-0 start after trampling host St. Jude Catholic School, 91-18, last Saturday at the SJCS gym. St. Paul College Pasig shared the junior lead with

DLSZ as it dominated Assumption, 54-24. In senior volleyball, defending champion San Beda seized the solo lead at 3-0 with a hardearned 25-23, 17-25, 25-16, 1525, 15-11 triumph over CEU also on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. Miriam, the 46th season junior champion, stopped Assumption, 25-18, 25-15, 25-23,

to create a three-way tie for the lead at 2-0 along with San Beda and DLSZ. Junior futsal defending champion DLSZ and Miriam, meanwhile, are joint leaders at 2-0 after convincing victories over Assumption (5-2) and San Beda (5-0), respectively, on Sunday at University of Asia & the Pacific gym. PWU nipped Assumption,

1-0, and San Beda blanked Miriam, 2-0, to share top spot in the senior category at 2-0. The league—supported by TV5, Mikasa, Molten, Goody, Perskindol, BaliPure and City Lady socks—will resume its weekend-only matches on Sept. 24 and 25 at the gyms of St. Paul and St Scholastica (basketball), UA&P (futsal) and at the RMC (volleyball).

Chiefs demolish Cardinals Games Thursday

(at the Arena in San Juan) 10 a.m. EAC vs Mapua (jrs) 11:45 a.m. JRU vs San Sebastian (jrs) 2 p.m. JRU vs San Sebastian (srs) 4 p.m. Letran vs EAC (srs)

BOOMING triples by Donald Gumaru, Jiovani Jalalon and Kent Salado in the final stretches of the fourth quarter carried the Arellano University Chiefs to a 95-82 demolition of the Mapua Cardinals yesterday in the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament. With the victory the Chiefs—who got a game-high 35 points from Jalalon and 15 from Gumaru and Salado— grabbed the top spot in the standings with the San Beda Red Lions behind at no. 2. Gumaru played an excellent game at The Arena in San Juan right on his 24th birthday. Trailing by five in the last seven minutes, Gumaru and company unloaded their treys during huge 17-0 blast which handed the Chiefs their 14th win in the 17 games. “Coach told us to keep on shooting. That is also what my teammates told me. They said the shots will fall. So I just did my best,” said Gumaru, who struggled with his shooting and was held scoreless in the first half. Meanwhile, the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals bucked the absence of team captain Francis Munsayac and Sidney Onwubere to pull off a 65-62 triumph over the College of St. Blazers. They handed CSB its 17th loss in a row, giving them the league’s worst record for most losses in a single season. Jorem Morada scored two free throws at late in the game to hand the Generals their sixth win against 11 losses. In the last game of the evening Amiel Soberano topscored for 18 points while Davon Potts added 15 for the San Beda Red Lions which waylaid the University of Perpetual Help Altas, 8475, to formally clinch a twice-to beat incentive in the Final Four with their 13-4 record. Soberano and Potts had eight points apiece as the Red Lions moved away from a threepoint 58-55 lead at the end of the third for a nine-point lead in the end. If they beat the Chiefs in their game on Thursday, the Red Lions can still secure the no. 1 seeding.

Bulldogs battle Falcons Games Today

(at the Mall of Asia Arena 2 p.m. UE vs UP 4 p.m. Adamson vs NU

THE National University Bulldogs are putting their 66-75 loss to the La Salle Green Archers behind them The Bulldogs have to because they’re facing an unpredictable Adamson University Soaring Falcons at 4 p.m. today in the 79th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. The Falcons are going to be dangerous according to NU coach Eric Altamirano after Adamson sneaked past the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 62-61, last Saturday. “Adamson is coming from a big win over Ateneo. We really have to move on and focus on Adamson,” said Altamirano. The Bulldogs now share second spot with the Soaring Falcons with the same 2-1 win-loss record. Earlier, the winless University of the East Warriors will seek their first win after four games when they clash with University of the Philippines at 2 p.m. The La Salle Green Archers are in the solo lead after pulling off their fourth straight win at the expense of the Bulldogs. Altamirano said the team got tentative when newbie Ricci Rivero came in and led a big attack in the third quarter. The Bulldogs were ahead by nine, with Jeron Teng in foul trouble, when coach Aldin Ayo brought in Rivero and helped Andrei Caracut, Aljun Melecio, and Kib Montalbo to take charge. Peter Atencio

DBS: Current account robust B3


Ray S. Eñano, Editor Roderick T. dela Cruz, Assistant Editor business@manilastandardtoday.com extrastory2000@gmail.com WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016


S&P: Strong growth to persist By Julito G. Rada


HE Philippine economy has the potential to grow 6.5 percent annually over the next several years despite a mixture of risks coming from both domestic and external fronts, global debt watcher Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said in a report Tuesday. S&P said economic and demographic fundamentals continued to drive a strong domestic demand, as indicated by the nearly 7-percent growth in the first half.

“The new administration’s economic policies appear sound, targeting higher infrastructure and education spending, among others… Underlying demographic trends will drive growth

of around 6.5 percent over the next few years, despite significant headwinds from sluggish external demand,” S&P said. It said the growing and increasingly educated middle-class, combined with a booming outsourcing industry, continued to boost consumption and investment. The debt watcher, however, said the main downside risks to the Philippine economy included external factors, such as a sharper-than-expected downturn in China or repeated bouts of market turbulence. S&P also mentioned tail risks from local and

regional political issues. S&P said the gross domestic product was expected to grow 6.1 percent in 2016, faster than 5.9 percent in 2015. It expects growth to further improve to 6.3 percent in 2017, before easing slightly to 6.2 percent in 2018. The economy grew 6.8 percent in the first quarter, before accelerating to 7 percent in the second quarter, bolstered by election-related spending, robust domestic demand and investments. This brought the first-half average growth to 6.9 percent, near

the upper bound of the Duterte administration’s target range of 6 percent to 7 percent this year. S&P said despite the country’s strong growth potential, international investors might be getting worried about potential diplomatic complications and shortterm law and order issues on the ground. President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of lawless violence after a bomb blast in Davao City that killed around 15 individuals early this month. Two days later, the president declared a state of national emergency nationwide.


House waits for tax bill

THE House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Finance Department to immediately submit the proposed tax reform package within the week. “This has been a matter long-awaited by the public. [Besides] the president wouldn’t be pleased if you delay any longer,” Aurora Rep. Dakila Cua, chairman of the House ways and means committee, said. “Congress which is the slower institution is running faster than you already. So do not delay any further. I know you want to refine, but it will never be perfect, so submit it and we will refine it together,” he said. Newly-appointed Finance Undersecretary and chief economist Karl Chua said the agency was in final stages of consultation to come out with their version of the bill. “We are just finalizing. We wanted this to be a very inclusive approach so we didn’t want to submit the bill immediately. We wanted to make sure that we really understand where the different sectors are coming from,” Chua said. “But we will soon submit definitely within the month. We will do our best at the request of the chair of the ways and means,” he said. Gabrielle H. Binaday

Closing September 20, 2016

8300 7840 7380 6920 6460 6000

7,671.72 95.88

PeSo-dollar rate

Closing SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

New airport site

THE Transportation Department said Tuesday it expects to finalize the location for a new international airport next year. Transportation Undersecretary for aviation and airports Robert Lim said the Japan for International Cooperation Agency was finalizing the location for the proposed airport that would replace Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City. “Jica is making a comprehensive review of what’s the best site,” Lim said, adding that Jica was looking at Sangley Point in Cavite and Laguna de Bay as potential sites for the new international airport. He said the government had to decide the ideal location for the new airport by 2017. The government wants to build a new international airport that is 25 to 30 minutes away from Naia, which is expected to hit overcapacity this year, when the airport would handle 37.78 million passengers. By 2040, passenger traffic would reach 101.49 million. Naia accommodated 36.68 million passengers in 2015, exceeding the 30 million yearly optimal capacity of the terminal. Darwin G. Amojelar

PSe comPoSite index

48.00 46.00 45.00





HIGH P47.810 LOW P47.890 AVERAGE P47.855 VOLUME 395.400M

P392-P620.00 LPG/11-kg tank P35.70-P42.50 Unleaded Gasoline

UCPB LOAN. UCPB approves a P500-million loan facility to Roxas Sigma Agriventures Inc., a subsidiary of Roxas and Company Inc., to complete its 300-metric-ton-per-day integrated coconut processing facility in the town of Tupi, South Cotabato. The plant will be the most modern coconut processing facility when it starts operation by first quarter of 2017, producing top-quality coconut water concentrate, coconut milk/cream and virgin coconut oil mainly for the export market. Shown during the signing of the loan agreement are (from left, seated) UCPB first vice president Carina Yu, UCPB president and chief executive Jeronimo Kilayko, RSAI chairman, president and chief executive Pedro Roxas and UCPB assistant vice president and relationship manager Milagros Alcabao.

RCBC executives deny link to laundering RIZAL Commercial Banking Corp. said Tuesday it is confident any complaints filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council against its officials in connection with the $81-million money laundering scam will be dismissed. The bank was responding to a statement by an AMLC official that the regulator was preparing to file cases within two weeks against other officials of RCBC to find the “missing link” and complete the facts of the scam. RCBC said in a disclosure to the stock exchange that “no officer” in its head office had any knowledge and participation in

the said scam that rocked the domestic banking industry in February this year. “The bank concluded its own internal investigation several months ago and determined that no officer in head office had any knowledge, involvement or complicity that would warrant the filing of charges for money laundering against them,” RCBC said. The bank said it had cooperated fully with AMLC throughout the latter’s investigation. It said it had yet to officially receive notice of AMLC’s actions. “Should any complaint be filed, the concerned officers will

file their respective answers and the bank is confident, given its own investigation, that the complaints will be dismissed on the merits,” RCBC said. AMLC secretariat deputy director Vincent Salido said at the sidelines of a Senate hearing that there was still a “missing link” on the scam, although cases were filed earlier against RCBC Jupiter branch manager Maia Deguito, junket operator Kim Wong and officers of Philrem Service Corp. “The facts wouldn’t be complete without them. Because the transactions went through them, the exchanges, the foreign ex-

changes went through RCBC. Without it, the resolution would be half-baked… We still seek clearance to the council. We’re still recommending [to file the cases],” Salido said. Salido, however, did not say how many RCBC officials would be charged. Senate investigations found out that the $81 million was stolen by cyber thieves from the account of Bank of Bangladesh in Federal Reserve in New York and entered the Philippine financial system through the RCBC branch on Jupiter Street in Makati City. Julito G. Rada

oPriceS il P today

P24.84-P28.27 Diesel P28.50-P36.85 Kerosene Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Tuesday, September 20, 2016

F oreign e xchange r ate Currency


US Dollar Peso

United States Dollar





47.8680 0.4697





Hong Kong
























Saudi Arabia

















Dirham 0.272287



















Ringgit 0.241955


New Zealand Dollar







Source: PDS Bridge

Govt plans to grant P123-b subsidies By Gabrielle H. Binaday THE government plans to allocate P123 billion worth of direct cash subsidies to shield the poor from possible effects of several tax reform measures. Finance Undersecretary and chief economist Karl Chua told reporters at the sidelines of the House committee on ways and means hearing that a third of the total net revenue gain from the tax reform proposal would be used as direct cash subsidies for the poor. “We think for the overall proposal, we have to give back some one third in terms of subsidies. For our full proposal, it’s around P368 billion. That’s around 2 percent of gross domestic product. One third of that will be giv-

en in the form of targeted subsidies. We’re doing this in a very fair way,” Chua said. “And that is how really our tax system should work. The money that we collect should be redistributed to those who will be needing it, so that they will benefit,” Chua said. The Finance Department said in a presentation during the committee hearing the government projected a net revenue gain of P368.1 billion from the tax reform package. About P122.57, or a third, is the estimated value to be directed for targeted cash subsidy. The tax reform package includes the reduction in the personal and corporate income tax rates, the expansion of the value added tax base and the adjust-

ment to inflation of the excise tax slapped on fuel products. The VAT expansion is expected to raise an additional P163.4 billion while the fuel excise tax would yield an additional P178.2 billion. Chua said under the proposal, the current P4.35-per-liter excise tax slapped on gasoline would be increased to P10 per liter. Excise tax on diesel would be raised to P6 a liter from the current zero rate. He said the increase would be gradually implemented from 2017 to 2019. Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani expressed concern that the excise tax on fuel would also affect the lower-income class and would result in counter production losses.

BLOOMBERRY DONATION. Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of Bloomberry Resorts Corp. which owns and operates Solaire Resort and Casino, turns over the Mother and Child Hospital facility to the Department of Health Regional Office 8. The P358-million, four-story state-of-theart birthing facility is a part of the long-term modernization of Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center which was damaged by storm surge during the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Shown during the turnover ceremony are (from left) EVRMC pediatrics department chairman Dr. Nelita Salinas, OBGyne department chairman Dr. Realino Molina, former Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery and Senator Panfilo Lacson, BCFI president Donato Almeda, Pagcor chairman Andrea Domingo, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rossell Ubial, assistant secretary Leonita Gorgolon, DOH regional office 8 director Minerva Molon, Medical Center Chief II Dr. Avito Salinas and Medical Center Chief II Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr.

DENR audit team finds Molave mine in Antique ‘technically sound’—Semirara By Anna Leah E. Gonzales sion project was compliant with Natural Resources Office of An- reduction program etc.,” SemirA GOVERNMENT audit team found Semirara Mining and Power Corp.’s Molave mine expansion in Caluya, Antique “technically sound,” the company said Tuesday. Semirara said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the audit report showed the Molave expan-

environmental laws. Semirara said it requested for a copy of the results of the environmental audit conducted on Aug. 30 to 31. The audit team was composed of representatives from the Environmental Management Bureau Central Office, EMB Region 6, Provincial Environment and

tique, Provincial Health Office of Antique and civil society organizations. “In summary, the project is found to be technically sound considering that all aspects have been considered such as slope stability analysis, analyses of pumping tests of dewatering wells, GHG emission

ara said. Semirara’s share rose 4.8 percent to close at P114.20 Tuesday, following the announcement. The government report, however, instructed the company to conduct a dialog with residents who had complaints against the operations of the company.

“Although there were complaints received regarding the operation of the mining project, it is recommended that a dialog with the complainants be undertaken especially those who are not residents of the island to discuss the subject of the complaints and possible solutions,” the report said. Semirara earlier received a

show cause letter from the Environment Department which ordered the company to explain why its environmental compliance certificate should not be cancelled. The department alleged that the company did not comply with one of the conditions provided in its ECC relative to its Molave coal mine expansion project.



WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 extrastory2000@gmail.com

Market advances; ICTSI rises S TOCKS rose for a second day, ahead of Wednesday’s policy decisions by the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, climbed 95 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 7,671.72 Tuesday. This pushed up the total gains this year to 10.4 percent. The heavier index, representing all shares, picked up 21 points, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 4,563.55 on a value turnover of P6.4 billion. Advancers outnumbered gainers, 107 to 72, while 48 issues were unchanged. Seventeen of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. which advanced 5.5 percent

to P82 and Semirara Mining and Power Corp. which gained 4.8 percent to P114.20. Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. rose 4.1 percent to P6.90, while GT Capital Holdings Inc., the investment company of tycoon George Ty, added 3.4 percent to close at P1,458. Meanwhile, Asian stocks markets drifted Tuesday and the dollar was virtually unmoved with investors biding their time as crucial central bank gatherings in the United States and Japan kick off. The Fed heads into one of its most keenly awaited policy

meetings after weeks of speculation that has fanned volatility across global trading floors, with investors split on whether it will lift interest rates. At the same time opinion is divided on what the Bank of Japan’s intentions are, with expectations for fresh stimulus tempered by a lack of concrete promises from Tokyo, despite weak growth and almost non-existent inflation. The uncertainty leading up to the meeting is keeping traders at bay, Chris Weston, chief market analyst in Melbourne at IG Ltd, said. “No one is prepared to take on too much risk ahead of the Bank of Japan and the Fed Open Market Committee meetings,” he told Bloomberg News. Tokyo’s Nikkei index swung to and fro through the day before ending 0.2 percent lower.

Hong Kong shed 0.1 percent by the close and Shanghai lost 0.1 percent following healthy gains Monday. Sydney added 0.2 percent and Seoul was 0.5 percent higher, while Singapore shed 0.2 percent. In early European trade London fell 0.2 percent, Frankfurt was flat and Paris fell 0.3 percent. Currency markets were also subdued ahead of the bank announcements, which are due Wednesday. The dollar edged down to 101.70 yen from 101.88 yen in New York while the euro was at $1.1185 from $1.1175. Sterling bought $1.3055 compared with $1.3028. “It’s not unusual for traders to adopt a more cautious approach ahead of these events, particularly when we have two on the

same day, both of which have the potential to create huge amounts of volatility in the markets,” said Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam in a note. Oil prices turned lower again, digging into Monday’s gains as investors grow tetchy about the likelihood of a deal next week between OPEC and Russia aimed at addressing a global supply glut and overproduction. West Texas Intermediate eased 19 cents to $43.11 and Brent dipped 16 cents to $45.79. “A big part of the rally was the hope that a deal could be getting closer with agreement at the Algiers meeting potentially leading to another meeting,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader. With AFP, Bloomberg




FINANCIAL 3.47 44,000 48.25 20,500 104.1 2,165,400 111.5 635,060 1.42 33,000 38.4 146,200 16.6 3,000 20.85 687,100 6.8 2,100 0.7 6,000 1.91 115,000 615 150 0.97 6,025,000 85.8 1,701,850 0.9 231,000 13.9 2,800 23.3 400 56.8 76,610 271 60,410 260 10,590 95.9 110 36.1 130,400 250 1,174,190 1,430 70 73.2 221,820

150,370 984,925 225,256,034 70,802,506 46,740 5,559,415 49,830 14,492,435 14,220 4,200 214,450 92,250 5,940,560 146,159,945 211,580 38,942 9,390 4,348,073.50 16,370,710 2,858,320 10,959 4,723,480 293,498,638 100,100 16,239,336

912,945 11,325,392 17,790,483 3,403,035 -43,170 -9,117,855 1,910 4,900 -28,043,890 -4,590 -460,324 -10,930 -1,426,290 -200,138,302 -694,838.50

45.5 3.22 0.99 1.61 16.22 11.3 16.76 23.75 185.9 56.95 120 2.09 6.16 11.7 11.74 7.9 7.05 5.9 24.8 71.2 16.4 6.18 2.15 245.2 1.94 4.2 29 28.15 13.88 311.8 0.26 3.09 10.26 11.5 2.17 5.9 1.52 3.47 219 4.18 3.45 3.09 0.161 1.71 183 2.5 1.21

INDUSTRIAL 45.6 1,138,100 3.27 373,000 1 4,017,000 1.65 199,000 16.82 3,200 11.5 13,719,900 16.86 927,300 23.8 1,014,200 185.9 50 57 22,340 120 880 2.11 256,000 6.18 77,600 11.88 23,000 11.74 5,023,100 7.94 226,800 7.08 2,086,400 5.93 5,269,300 24.8 1,580,200 71.3 235,900 16.58 1,146,700 6.19 915,900 2.2 1,450,000 248.6 342,840 1.94 6,000 4.37 33,000 29.6 4,987,900 28.45 652,900 14.26 2,359,700 312.6 53,450 0.265 700,000 3.15 71,000 10.4 2,318,100 11.56 12,300 2.21 2,181,000 6 541,000 1.57 217,000 3.47 10,000 223 4,690 4.21 134,000 3.45 18,000 3.1 9,000 0.167 14,370,000 1.71 124,000 184.8 999,280 2.59 18,822,000 1.27 515,000

52,038,535 1,218,090 4,045,830 324,160 52,518 157,596,776 15,631,968 24,338,230 9,295 1,273,379.50 105,670 537,370 483,458 271,690 59,907,222 1,801,288 14,753,189 31,288,108 39,417,730 16,801,615 18,999,888 5,673,995 3,159,030 85,227,296 11,690 140,770 147,968,520 18,624,325 33,649,886 16,713,252 184,300 220,980 24,077,494 141,936 4,797,590 3,248,957 334,640 34,700 1,043,924 562,900 62,100 27,870 2,406,470 212,200 184,262,045 48,485,640 632,650

44,383,585 99,000 -7,290,186 -13,605,470.00 -1,007,190 154,080 2,444,570 -926,695 -4,834,019 12,382,123 -20,127,635 -15,138,127.50 9,625,594 -1,321,452 6,043,254 -42,520 -379,880 -12,061,120 -728,022 5,499,798 180,300 -1,327,320.00 2,300 10,900 -1,944,395 4,560 577,330 -4,560 117,780 -34,739,476 -227,060 -

0.38 75.6 16.2 6.11 0.36 854 1,001 8.26 11.6 7.81 0.202 1,390 6.26 76.5 4 5.3 0.82 7.96 16.58 6.7 3.1 0.035 1.18 2.02 81.5 655 1.26 216 0.31 0.275

HOLDING FIRMS 0.385 200,000 76.3 1,411,060 16.36 7,721,700 6.11 1,000 0.365 1,260,000 855 542,660 1,200 30 8.27 3,246,400 11.88 9,814,000 7.81 528,700 0.202 1,500,000 1,458 210,835 6.35 200 78.5 2,283,870 4 1,000 5.3 200 0.82 44,000 8.09 1,127,700 16.62 2,754,800 6.9 39,829,300 3.1 1,000 0.036 2,500,000 1.18 10,000 2.02 254,000 82 238,780 668 308,150 1.26 18,000 220 5,970 0.315 910,000 0.275 150,000

76,550 107,694,581.50 126,296,490 6,126 454,000 464,216,720 35,005 26,933,895 116,797,086 4,185,164 303,520 303,299,985 1,261 177,378,052.50 4,000 1,060 36,510 9,074,965 45,796,444 272,015,471 3,100 88,500 11,800 515,260 19,576,186 204,145,515 22,860 1,310,624 283,650 41,250

78,618,364.50 11,724,962 -74,420,135 1,142,910 4,537,400 202,000 49,796,975 96,916,094.50 4,170 -5,307,607 -16,183,098 -17,307,633 -3,807,198.50 -12,671,890 -33,000







3.42 48 103.8 110.7 1.36 37.9 16.7 20.95 6.7 0.7 1.88 615 0.96 85.05 0.88 14.02 24 56.6 272 322 100 36 249.6 1,430 73.25

3.47 48.25 104.4 112 1.42 38.4 16.7 21.4 6.8 0.7 1.91 615 1.04 86.45 0.97 14.02 24 57.5 272 322 100 36.5 251 1,430 73.25

3.41 47.9 103.7 110.6 1.36 37.9 16.6 20.5 6.7 0.7 1.86 615 0.93 85.05 0.88 13.9 23.3 56.6 268 255 95.9 36 244.2 1,430 73.1


45.75 3.23 1.01 1.61 16.22 11.66 16.9 24 185.9 57 120 2.1 6.35 11.8 12.1 7.95 7.06 5.94 24.9 71.5 16.4 6.18 2.19 248 1.95 4.21 29.05 29.5 14 312.2 0.26 3.09 10.3 11.5 2.2 6.02 1.55 3.47 219 4.2 3.45 3.09 0.161 1.71 185.8 2.62 1.23

46 3.33 1.05 1.65 16.88 11.66 16.9 24 185.9 57 121 2.12 6.38 11.88 12.2 7.95 7.09 5.97 25.3 72 16.62 6.2 2.21 249.8 1.95 4.45 29.95 29.5 14.4 313.2 0.27 3.18 10.46 11.56 2.23 6.05 1.57 3.47 223.6 4.21 3.45 3.1 0.171 1.72 185.8 2.67 1.27


0.39 77 16.4 6.13 0.36 854 1,001 8.3 11.6 7.95 0.204 1,390 6.26 77.6 4 5.3 0.82 8.09 16.88 6.7 3.1 0.035 1.18 2.02 82 655 1.29 217.8 0.31 0.275

0.39 77.3 16.44 6.13 0.365 858 1,200 8.32 12.06 7.95 0.21 1,458 6.35 78.5 4 5.3 0.84 8.09 16.88 6.91 3.1 0.036 1.18 2.05 82.05 668 1.29 220 0.315 0.275


7.32 1.27 6.22 2.58 0.27 37.8 2.87 5.1 5.5 0.59 0.98 0.163 0.6 58.45 0.77 0.143 1.85 1.02 1.13 4.6 0.193 0.415 3.29

7.41 1.29 6.78 2.69 0.27 38 2.97 5.12 5.5 0.6 0.98 0.167 0.6 58.7 0.77 0.143 1.86 1.02 1.13 4.75 0.215 0.42 3.65

7.32 1.27 6.22 2.57 0.265 37.75 2.87 5.1 5.5 0.58 0.98 0.163 0.58 58.05 0.77 0.143 1.84 1.01 1.13 4.6 0.19 0.415 3.29

PROPERTY 7.4 1.28 6.78 2.65 0.27 38 2.9 5.12 5.5 0.6 0.98 0.163 0.6 58.7 0.77 0.143 1.84 1.01 1.13 4.66 0.214 0.415 3.55


98,500 362,000 400 747,000 1,900,000 9,319,600 1,261,000 28,900 100 3,298,000 1,000 9,130,000 3,646,000 208,790 55,000 70,000 11,428,000 776,000 200,000 31,254,000 386,920,000 120,000 3,234,000

728,225 463,020 2,656 1,972,810 506,100 353,210,950 3,650,250 147,956 550 1,943,710 980 1,498,720 2,149,860 12,225,103 42,350 10,010 21,142,610 786,270 226,000 146,404,690 80,309,110 50,300 11,341,460

-104,009 -70,400 -50,247,420.00 -2,605,240 -144,384 857,270 3,300 1,687,411 -1,622,330 -167,050 -36,058,530 1,532,630 69,470










33.7 31 1.64 3.26 27.05 1.04 1.01 5.43

34 31 1.65 3.34 27.85 1.07 1.04 5.45

33.7 30.05 1.61 3.26 27.05 1.03 1.01 5.25

34 31 1.62 3.32 27.85 1.07 1.02 5.27

200 4,125,300 7,000 73,000 9,773,300 4,315,000 344,000 10,512,700

6,770 126,224,675 11,380 241,210 270,050,195 4,513,410 348,850 55,712,547

-6,866,505 -10,028,790 25,950 -41,673,855


7.16 49.45 1.3 0.57 5.6 5.44 0.1 3.51 118 10.12 7.3 2.35 945.5 1,980 6.26 13.84 20.3 1.69 19 146 78.35 0.011 9.15 0.255 1.41 3.6 12.3 4.12 2.2 1.1 2.46 0.6 2.15 4.27 5.5 3.5 5.67 140 6.39 1,695 1.04 0.42 44 79 5.92 2.95 0.62 3.4 0.355 5.56

7.3 49.5 1.3 0.57 5.6 5.67 0.1 3.51 119.2 10.12 7.47 2.4 945.5 2,000 6.34 14.14 20.3 1.77 19.36 146 82 0.011 9.24 0.26 1.42 3.6 12.3 4.27 2.5 1.1 2.46 0.6 2.15 4.7 5.6 3.59 5.67 148 6.65 1,740 1.06 0.42 44.2 80 5.93 3.01 0.63 3.46 0.355 5.7

7.16 49 1.29 0.56 5.05 5.44 0.096 3.39 117.5 10 6.74 2.35 945.5 1,980 6.25 13.84 20.3 1.68 18.86 146 78.3 0.0097 9.15 0.25 1.4 3.45 12.3 4.04 2.2 1.1 2.46 0.6 2.15 4.27 5.42 3.49 5.4 140 6.02 1,691 1.03 0.415 43.95 79 5.88 2.93 0.61 3.39 0.35 5.48

SERVICES 7.3 49 1.29 0.56 5.59 5.67 0.096 3.41 117.5 10.1 6.74 2.4 945.5 1,994 6.26 14.12 20.3 1.75 19.34 146 82 0.01 9.24 0.255 1.41 3.45 12.3 4.21 2.26 1.1 2.46 0.6 2.15 4.6 5.6 3.49 5.64 148 6.3 1,734 1.06 0.415 44 80 5.89 2.93 0.61 3.39 0.355 5.69

51,400 6,800 5,000 364,000 30,500 20,169,900 119,900,000 3,273,000 450,000 3,600 983,600 30,000 180 67,795 21,600 92,000 800 1,092,000 13,700 10 2,020,400 157,000,000 480,800 44,260,000 1,006,000 16,000 200 2,377,000 2,452,000 3,000 1,000 4,000 5,000 24,754,000 4,634,000 2,218,000 5,000 9,380 2,843,400 126,300 33,436,000 800,000 1,029,200 692,540 70,400 3,848,000 6,216,000 1,856,000 110,000 20,400

372,878 335,115 6,490 206,940 167,503 113,211,183 11,651,340 11,184,310 53,152,955 36,390 6,948,241 71,640 170,190 134,863,110 135,313 1,290,604 16,240 1,901,350 259,320 1,460 163,540,391.50 1,563,930 4,440,870 11,281,300 1,410,600 55,530 2,460 9,900,520 5,655,180 3,300 2,460 2,400 10,750 112,972,540 25,770,658 7,821,030 27,501 1,340,481 18,189,998 218,066,325 35,195,610 332,750 45,287,595 55,156,083.50 415,488 11,377,630 3,855,780 6,329,690 38,950 113,577

189,800 1,290 -1,534,867 182,000 -260,530 -25,472,858 296,250 -4,654,525 14,508,915.00 179,000 -4,500 -871,410 81,070.00 -29,481,080 -8,894,417 -24,500 375,881 1,065,025 16,561,705 833,430 3,114,360 3,586,396 -11,840 -6,349,660 1,240,000 -2,719,470 -7,000 -


0.0038 2.63 4 0.56 0.405 8.52 0.84 0.275 0.203 0.21 0.011 0.011 1.62 6.38 2.99 0.99 0.01 0.012 8.42 3.09 114.8 3.13 0.0098

0.0038 2.92 4.1 0.57 0.41 8.52 0.85 0.275 0.205 0.21 0.011 0.011 1.68 6.55 2.99 0.99 0.011 0.012 8.59 3.16 117 3.2 0.0098

0.0037 2.63 4 0.55 0.4 8.21 0.83 0.27 0.202 0.207 0.011 0.011 1.61 6.37 2.91 0.96 0.01 0.011 8.4 3.09 113.5 3.1 0.0095

MINING &OIL 0.0038 53,000,000 2.82 247,000 4.03 393,000 0.56 829,000 0.41 680,000 8.48 1,400 0.84 6,832,000 0.27 410,000 0.204 1,200,000 0.21 3,300,000 0.011 20,000,000 0.011 16,400,000 1.64 751,000 6.38 2,965,600 2.95 119,000 0.96 650,000 0.011 21,100,000 0.011 600,000 8.59 398,100 3.11 1,525,000 114.2 1,091,870 3.11 43,000 0.0098 7,000,000

197,800 682,360 1,595,840 464,620 272,750 11,612 5,731,360 110,750 244,410 692,820 220,000 180,400 1,244,460 18,989,783 352,040 624,240 221,100 6,700 3,389,221 4,747,340 125,533,831 134,830 67,500

254,780.00 1,311,980 -36,200 -2,617,610 -177,100 764,910 -5,634,327 6,736 506,640 -16,382,561 15,650 -


49 531 105.6 120 505 545 6.01 1,045 1.99 77.05 81 77 79 77.8 78

49.1 531.5 105.6 120 505 545 6.01 1,045 2.03 77.5 81.7 78 79 78 78

48.35 531 105.4 120 505 545 6.01 1,045 1.99 77.05 81 77 79 77.8 78

PREFERRED 49 177,300 531.5 3,620 105.4 109,550 120 10,000 505 4,000 545 50 6.01 900 1,045 20 2.03 12,000 77.5 6,850 81 91,400 78 14,700 79 1,400 78 305,760 78 73,660

8,684,535 1,923,050 11,556,679 1,200,000 2,020,000 27,250 5,409 20,900 24,040 530,866 7,416,400 1,145,300 110,600 23,848,080 5,745,480

-5,108,385 -





WARRANTS 2.4 306,000




2.85 4.42 3.15 13.74

2.85 4.66 3.2 13.76

2.66 4.42 3.15 13.66

SME 2.68 4.65 3.2 13.66

9,585,630 337,630 85,750 17,646,792

-549,250 -7,340,188




















3,536,000 74,000 27,000 1,288,800




VALUE 1,853.99 (up) 10.98 890,431,440.9902 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 11,906.96 (down) 27.03 1,026,100,073.98 HOLDING FIRMS 7,612.61 (up) 101.55 1,971,955,538.30 PROPERTY 3,413.37 (up) 47.62 SERVICES 1,534.21 (up) 36.51 1,107,533,958.72 MINING & OIL 10,692.42 (up) 256.39 1,187,199,429.196 PSEI 7,671.72 (up) 95.88 165,752,446.5935 All Shares Index 4,563.55 (up) 21.58 6,377,315,268.4002 Gainers: 107; Losers: 72; Unchanged: 48; Total: 227

Gweilo to raise P125m from IPO By Jenniffer B. Austria GWEILO Corp., operator of Mario’s Kitchen restaurant chain, increased the size of its planned initial public offering to P125 million from P105 million. This is the second time Gweilo upgraded the size of the IPO. Gweilo’s latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed the food company would sell 125 million shares, representing 38 percent of its authorized capital stock, at P1 per share. The shares will be listed under the SME board of Philippine Stock Exchange. Gweilo filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2015 to raise P95 million from the IPO. SEC approved the application of Gweilo to increase the size of its offering to P105 million in December last year. The company hired Asian Alliance Investment Corp. as the issue manager and lead underwriter for the offering. Net proceeds from the IPO will go to the expansion of company-owned Mario’s Kitchen and Stackers Burgers, implementation of unified IT systems and research and development. Gweilo plans to open 15 branches of flagship Mario’s Kitchen in strategic areas within Luzon over the next five years. It also plans to open the brand to franchising to generate more revenues.

Puregold adds more outlets in Mindanao By Othel V. Campos GROCERY store chain operator Puregold Price Inc. is opening more branches in Mindanao as a part of its expansion nationwide. “We’re opening a lot more. We haven’t tapped yet Iligan, Pagadian and other densely populated areas in Mindanao,” Puregold vice president for operations Antonio delos Reyes said in a news briefing during the 3rd KAINdustriya Food Biz Convention at World Trade Center in Pasay City. Mindanao and Visayas remain largely untapped, with Puregold operating less than 15 stores in both regions. Puregold has stores in the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Cotabato and the province of Bukidnon. Puregold recently opened a second store in Cotabato and will open another in Tacloban City in the Visayas. Puregold now has 266 stores nationwide and plans to open 16 more in the rest of the year. The company drew a large crowd of potential partners during the Aling Puring and KAINdustriya conventions. KAINdustriya members reached nearly 12,000 entrepreneurs this year, up from 2,000 in 2014. “We’ve barely scratched the surface. All we aspire is double-digit growth in terms of membership. At the rate we’re doing, it is possible to reach out to the entire food network in several years,” said delos Reyes. “These food resellers stir the local economy through their businesses. They rely on supplies from within their own localities and even generate jobs in their communities,” said Puregold president Vincent Co. Co said the food preparation sector was providing nourishment to the country’s workforce—laborers, office workers and executives.



WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 extrastory2000@gmail.com

DBS: Current account robust By Julito G. Rada


BS Bank of Singapore said the narrowing of the Philippines’ current account surplus is not a cause of concern because it reflects the increase in domestic investments which will trigger stronger economic growth in the long term. Latest data showed that the surplus in current account, one of the major components of the balance of payments, stood at $0.8 billion in the first half of 2016, well below the $5.3 billion posted a year ago.

“... However, the narrowing of the current account surplus may not necessarily be a bad thing at all. By far, the cause of the increasingly high trade deficit is robust import growth,” DBS said in a report Tuesday.

It said imports of capital goods on a monthly basis were trending at 20 percent higher than where they were at the end of 2015. Total imports from January to July 2016 were already 50 percent more than the amount in the same period last year. “Clearly, the narrowing of the current account surplus merely reflects this rapid rise in domestic investment, which will only support long-term growth potential,” DBS said. “And at a time when foreign reserves coverage of short-term external debt remains above 5 times, the external liquidity

position is unlikely to pose any real threat anytime soon,” DBS said. Reserves as of end-August this year climbed to a record $85.895 billion from $85.51 billion a month ago, due mainly to the national government’s net foreign currency deposits and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ foreign exchange operations and income from investments abroad. The end-August reserves already surpassed the target of $82.7 billion this year. DBS recently lowered its projected current account surplus for the Philippines this year to $4

billion (or 1.3 percent of GDP) from $8 billion previously. Bangko Sentral said last week a revision to its $5.8-billion 2016 current account surplus forecast might happen later this year. Bangko Sentral said current account remained in surplus at $778 million in the first half of 2016 but lower than the $5.3 billion in the same period last year due mainly to the widening of the trade-in-goods deficit. DBS said exports of goods were set to fall another 5 percent this year. It said the weakness was beginning to show in the electronics cluster.

Earlier, Japanese global financial firm Nomura said it was expecting the current account to narrow to 1.3 percent of GDP this year from 2.6 percent last year, dragged down by lower numbers in the second quarter. Nomura said current account would further narrow to 0.5 percent of GDP in 2017. However, Nomura said this would not be a source of concern as it reflected a further improvement in investment spending by the government. It added foreign direct investment inflows also continued to increase.

TV5 set to produce more digital content By Darwin G. Amojelar THE new president of TV5 Network Inc. said on Tuesday the broadcasting network will focus on creating more digital content to develop new revenue streams. “We want to be more known as content company rather than just a TV network. We want to focus on content. It’s really a content strategy,” incoming TV5 president Vincent Reyes told reporters. Reyes said offering digital content was important in the overall plans of the network because “digital is going to play a very, very big role in our strategy moving forward.” He added TV5 would counter the programming strength of rivals ABS-CBN Corp. and GMA Network Inc. “We want to speak to a different audience, we want to produce different content and at the heart of that is digital,” Reyes said. Reyes, who will replace Noel Lorenzana effective October 1, said the company was targeting P100 million in revenues for its online channel called D5Studio, formerly Digital5. “Realistically, we don’t think we are going to reach it, but we are not going to be too far of. We will end the year maybe P75

million to P80 million,” he said. Digital5 last year earned about P30 million. TV5 chairman Manuel Pangilinan had said the company was targeting to break even in 2019, two years behind its original target of 2017. “That’s being pushed back. About a year or two,”Pangilinan earlier said. Pangilinan also said TV5’s Media Center in Manduluyong was likely to be completed by November this year, after five years of construction. TV5’s Media Center is a 63,000 square-meter area, comprising of one nine-story corporate building and two eight-story structures of office spaces, TV production and post-production centers, radio booths and other cutting-edge broadcast facilities. MediaQuest Holdings Inc. bought TV5 in 2009 from the Cojuangco family for P4 billion, and acquired MPB Primedia of Malaysia, a TV5 major blocktimer, for $16 million. MediaQuest’s investments in TV5 was in line with its strategy of developing media, content and production resources to complement its other media assets and platforms such as Cignal, a direct-to-home satellite service launched in 2010.

CLARK BUSINESS PARK. Clark Development Corp. officer-in-charge Noel Manankil (fourth from left) and Balibago Water Works president Cristino Panlilio (fifth from left) join the blessing of BDO Clark Philexcel Business Park inside the Freeport Zone on Sept. 15, 2016.with them are some CDC and BDO officials.

National Grid gets nod to build P3.6-b Pagbilao substation By Alena Mae S. Flores THE Energy Regulatory Commission approved the petition of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines to build the P3.6-billion Pagbilao extra high voltage substation to connect new power plants in Quezon province with a total capacity of 2,720 megawatts. The approval of the project will address the overloading of the Tayabas 500/230 kV transformers and the fault level issue at Tayabas 230 kV Substation. “By and large, the Pagbilao EHV Substation will be beneficial in terms of ensuring the qual-

ity, reliability, and integrity of the Luzon Grid. The approval of the NGCP’s Pagbilao EHV Substation will enable it to adequately serve the needs and demands of generation companies, distribution utilities and suppliers requiring transmission service and ancillary services through the transmission system,” ERC chairman Jose Vicente Salazar said in a statement. Quezon province hosts two of the major power plants in the Luzon grid—namely the 735MW Pagbilao and the 460-MW Quezon Power coal-fired power plants. The two are connected to the

Tayabas 2,400 MVA 230/500 substation that is linked to a 500 kV backbone stretch to Dasmariñas substation in Cavite. The Dasmariñas substation serves the south of Metro Manila. The Tayabas substation is also connected to the San Jose substation in Bulacan that completes the link between the north and south 500 kV corridors. The southern portion of the 500 kV transmission backbone stretches from Tayabas, Quezon to Naga, Camarines Sur. The Pagbilao EHV Substation project will allow the connection of four additional power genera-

tion plants—the 420-MW Pagbilao coal-fired power plant expansion; San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co.’s 500-MW coal plant; 600-MW Energy World liquefied natural gas power plant; and the 1,200-MW Atimonan coal fired power plant. National Grid last year sought approval of the Pagbilao EHV substation project to accommodate the additional power generation capacity in Quezon. “Considering the growing need for power supply in Luzon, additional generation is highly essential. However, the readiness of the grid to accommodate the significantly huge capacity from

the incoming power plants is extremely necessary,” the ERC said. National Grid, operator of the country’s transmission network, said the project would address the overloading of the line due to the entry of the power plants. “Thus, NGCP proposes the implementation of the proposed Pagbilao EHV substation project to accommodate the entry of new power plants in the Luzon grid,” it said. National Grid said it would do pre-construction activities to meet the target completion of the proposed project in 2018.

Mitsubishi celebrates 10th year of training Filipinos

SSS PARTNER. CARD Inc. deputy executive director Jocelyn Dequito (center) and compliance officer Constancio La Rosa Jr. (third from right) receive the certificate of special citation from (starting from left) Social Security Commission members Daniel Edralin, Eva Arcos, Diana Pardo-Aguilar and Bienvenido Laguesma and SSS assistant vice president for cooperatives and informal sector department Ma. Nympha Ragel. The Social Security System conferred a special citation on Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Inc. for its exemplary performance as a collecting and servicing partner agent of SSS.

TOKYO—Mitsubishi Motors Corp. marked the tenth year since it started accepting Philippine trainees at its factories in Japan. Since the first group arrived at the Mizushima Plant in October 2007, some 200 Philippine trainees have acquired technical skills at MMC’s factories in Japan, including the Nagoya Plant. Currently some 70 trainees are undergoing training in Japan and the company intends to continue the program into the future. The trainees are graduates from a technical college in the Philippines and spend up to three years in Japan acquiring the skills necessary to work on a vehicle production line. “I experienced much during the last two years, and particularly my experiences at MMC have been precious,” said Wilbert Florida Lopez, a member of the eighth group of trainees and in his third year in Japan, said. “I hope to study hard and gain more skills and knowledge in my last year of the training.”

Reymond James Manluyang Aquino, who started his training in Japan this month, was grateful to Mitsubishi Motors for giving him the opportunity. “I am going to work as hard as I can not only in my work but also in learning Japanese,” he said. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. recently had its application to join the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy Program approved. MMPC is investing around P 4.3 billion in plant and equipment, including about P2 billion in the construction of a new stamping shop facility in order to produce the Mirage and Mirage G4 (Attrage) in line with the CARS program. The new stamping shop is due to come into full operation in the first half of 2018. “We wish to help in nurturing the Philippine automobile industry by providing assistance in the area of human resources, and to contribute to the growth of the country’s economy,” said MMC chairman, president and CEO Osamu Masuko.

Port users pressed to use Subic By Othel V. Campos THE Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. urged businessmen in Central and Northern Luzon to utilize Subic Bay Port to improve cost efficiency and turnaround time. Chamber chairman emeritus Levy Laus said choosing Subic port as point of entry and exit for import and export of goods would not only help reduce costs but also save time. “Doing business in Subic is the most logical decision. It should be the primary port for businesses in North Luzon,” Laus said, noting that the lack of congestion in Subic had not caused any delay in business transactions. Subic Bay port was among the few ports in the country that can meet the Bureau of Customs’ goal to reduce the turnaround time for cargo handling and release, he said. The turnaround time for cargo handling of Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. is less than one hour while the processing of documents for cargo releasing take about four hours. Subic Bay International Terminal general manager Roberto Locsin said the one-stop-shop in Subic Bay Port reduces processing time and simplifies transacting for the release of cargos. “We pulled the necessary offices in one building for faster dispensation and processing time for brokers and truckers accreditation only takes a day,” he said. Locsin said brokers or truckers once accredited were not required to put up an office in Subic to transact. The OSS Brokers Lounge, equipped with workstations and free internet connection, may be used to complete their transactions.

Ray S. Eñano, Editor business@manilastandardtoday.com extrastory2000@gmail.com





Chefs teams prepare their products and creations for the 8th World Championship of Chinese Cuisine 2016, the first edition to be held outside of Asia, in Rotterdam, on September 19, 2016. 100 Chefs teams from 15 countries participate in the 2016 WCCC, which runs from September 19 until 21. AFP

Fed not likely to raise interest rates this week W

ASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve opens its sixth monetary policy meeting this year on Tuesday again facing the quandary that the US economy is not clearly ready for an interest rate hike.

While some economists say the Fed, long anxious to pull away from its crisis-era ultralow rate policy, could surprise with an increase in the federal funds rate on Wednesday, most say it will stand pat. With that benchmark, crucial to borrowing and deposit rates around the world, stuck at 0.250.50 percent, the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy, has repeatedly signaled intentions to increase it

Grab raises $750-m capital SINGAPORE―Ride-hailing startup Grab said Tuesday it has raised $750 million from investors to expand in burgeoning Southeast Asian markets including Indonesia, as it aims to build its lead over USbased rival Uber in the region. The new investments led by Japan’s SoftBank Group raised the Singapore-based firm’s total capital to more than $1.0 billion, it said in a statement. Competition between Uber and local startups has grown fierce in Southeast Asia, home to more than 600 million people and a rising middle class. Grab is considered the leading ride-hailing platform in the region, operating in nearly twice as many cities as Uber, with the startup claiming up to 1.5 million bookings a day. Singapore state investment agency Temasek Holdings was an early investor in the firm. Grab said participants in the recent round of fundraising included both new and existing investors which it did not name, but reports last month said China’s Didi Chuxing was among those planning to back the firm. The two companies are already partners in an alliance that also includes India’s Ola and US-based Lyft Inc., allowing users to book rides while travelling to a country covered by any of the four apps. Grab chief executive and cofounder Anthony Tan said the latest investment was “the largest in the history of Southeast Asia consumer technology.” AFP

this year. But some weak economic data in recent weeks raises a question mark over the strength of the US economy. And persistent weakness in other major economies also continues to challenge the rationale for a rate increase. Jim O’Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, said he thinks December is the month for an increase. “We expect Fed officials to

couple an on-hold announcement this week with more pronounced ‘tightening is imminent’ guidance,” he said in a client note. Just three weeks ago, comments made at the Fed’s annual central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, signaled that the FOMC could finally pull the rate trigger at the end of its September 20-21 meeting. Most notably, Fed Chair and FOMC head Janet Yellen said clearly that she thought the time had come. “In light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in re-

cent months,” she said. Others, including Fed Deputy Chair Stanley Fischer, reinforced that impression. But the data since then has not supported them. Job creation has been relatively good, and the housing market solid. But, extending the second-quarter’s slump, industrial output and consumer spending have stayed weak. In addition, inflation—which the Fed has sought with its hefty stimulus policy to increase—remains feeble, not appearing to react to a world awash in easy money. The last FOMC official to speak ahead of the meeting, Fed Governor Lael Brainard, held

firm with her view that the global economy matters to the Fed, and that it need not rush into a rate hike. “To the extent that the effect on inflation of further gradual tightening in labor market conditions is likely to be moderate and gradual, the case to tighten policy preemptively is less compelling,” she said on September 12. An increase could happen Wednesday, but it would shock markets. Based on CME fed fund futures trading, the markets give a rate increase Wednesday a 12 percent chance. “Waiting for the Fed to hike rates is like waiting for Godot,” said Steven Ricchiuto of Mizuho Securities. AFP

US moves to regulate auto cars WASHINGTON―The United States unveiled Monday a sweeping new regulatory framework for the unexpectedly rapid rise of self-driving automobile technology, just days after Uber broke ground with its first driverless taxis. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the federal government intends to set the safety standards for cars of the future where no human is involved in the driving, even while individual states still regulate cars with humans behind the wheel. But some of the rules will extend to advanced driverassistance systems, like those in Teslas, that can handle significant levels of driving even while demanding a person stay at the wheel of the car, officials said. Announcing a 15-point safety assessment for driverless car systems, Foxx stressed that the government wants to work with developers―which include most large automakers as well as tech giants such as Uber and Alphabet (Google)― without stifling their efforts. “This area we recognize as an evolving area. This is an emerging technology,” he announced. Foxx pointed out that drivers and cars have long been regulated by individual states in a “patchwork” of laws. “The dynamic with the autonomous car is that the software is now operating the vehicle. And... when the software is operating the vehicle, that is an area that we intend to regulate.” The 15 points by which driverless cars, or “highly automated vehicles” (HAVs), will be judged, include: - the vehicle’s perception and response functionality - how well the cars manage in case of technical failures - data recording and information sharing capabilities - user privacy - security from hacking Also on the list are “ethical considerations,” how self-driving vehicles are programmed to handle conflict dilemmas on the road. Programmers are wrestling, for example, with the reaction a self-driving car should have when, for instance, it is faced with the limited choice of smashing into a loaded bus on one side or a bicyclist on the other. AFP

London commuters get boost with inspirational quotes By Edouard Guihaire LONDON―The daily grind of London commuting is being brightened by a collection of black marker pens and white boards―giving city dwellers a welcome boost as they travel through the metropolis. The hall of Oval underground station looks more like a living room than a Tube stop―complete with plants and a small library, while Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5” plays. It is at this stop on the Underground’s Northern Line that Glen Sutherland, an employee of tube operator Transport for London (TfL), whips out a black marker and writes up the “Thought for the Day”. Today the quote appearing on the large whiteboard―strategically positioned in front of the escalators used by thousands of people daily―is from Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure,” it reads, written in fine writing which harks back to the books of centuries past. The Oval station tradition began in 2004, as a way to brighten up the station and distract passengers―particularly during peak times when the crowded trains are akin to sardine cans. “As you come up from the escalator you hear the music, you got the thought of the day, the books, the bench, you can sit down, have a read, take it easy. “We should start serving coffee in there!” Sutherland tells AFP. From Steve Jobs to Socrates The TfL employee hunts

The Nook Neighbourhood Coffee shop advertises its coffee with a contentious phrase written on a chalk A-board outside the premises in Stockport, north west England on September 13, 2016. AFP

down quotes on the internet, he says, wary of what should be avoided: “It’s a case of choosing them carefully, you can’t put anything political, sexist, religion.” Sutherland often chooses positive messages for the “Thought for the Day,” encouraging those who may have got out of bed on the wrong side. “When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love,” is one example from Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Oval’s whiteboard also pro-

vides advice and comments on society, such as this line from Oscar Wilde: “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” The quotes can also come from more unusual quarters, such as Yoda from the “Star Wars” films: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” Other famous names which have appeared include Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Bob Marley, Bruce Lee, Steve Jobs, Confucius, Shakespeare, Socrates and Picasso. Occasionally “Thought for

the Day” takes inspiration from news and current affairs, paying tribute to celebrities who have recently passed away such as David Bowie, Prince and Mohammed Ali. There has also been encouragement for Team GB at the Olympics and a birthday message for Queen Elizabeth II. Driven by social media The initiative at Oval has now spread to several other stations, with photos of the “Thought for the Day” being shared on social networks, and numerous bars and shops have also started sharing quotes and witticisms.

“Shoes: less money than a shrink,” quips a sign at one shop about the therapeutic benefits of shopping, while a pub warns “all hipsters must be accompanied by an adult.” “Beer is the answer, but I can’t remember the question,” reads another pub sign, traditionally written in white on a blackboard. The messages sometimes use humor rather than straightforward positive PR, such as one board outside a cafe in Stockport: “Come in and try the worst porridge that one woman on TripAdvisor had in her life.” Mandy Miller, a specialist in calligraphy for blackboards, says the fashion for puns and funny comments has come with the growth of social media companies such as Twitter and Instagram. “They rarely say anything about the pub they stand outside or what is on offer, but that’s almost irrelevant. It’s the photo opportunity that they provide, people like to ‘collect’ and share them, therefore, the pub gets a mention in the post. The more clever and outlandish the better,” says Miller, who goes by the alias “Chalkboard Lady.” Roberta Mussato, an Italian passing through Clapham North station which also boasts a whiteboard, is just one enthusiast of the “Thought for the Day.” “Either they make you smile or they make you think. In any case it’s nice when you’re all in the rush and you just take five seconds to read,” she says, before getting lost in the fast pace of London life. AFP





HAVEN. Bathers enjoy the calm waters and unique amenities of Twin Rock Resort in Catanduanes. Teddy Pelaez

E-trikes for Manila drivers By Sandy Araneta


ANILA Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada will field electric tricycles (e-trikes) in Binondo and Malate next month as part of the gradual introduction of the environment-friendly, battery-operated tricycles in Manila’s streets.

An initial batch of 50 drivers from the local tricycle operators and drivers associations in Malate and Binondo have been selected to become the first recipients of the e-trikes. Estrada said they have chosen Malate and Binondo Chinatown as the pilot areas of the e-trike program because these are the

centers of commerce and tourism of the capital city. “Aside from helping our tricycle drivers improve their livelihood, we deemed it best to introduce e-trikes in Malate and Binondo to further boost tourism and businesses there,” he said. Together with Ermita, Malate is one of Manila’s tourist belts

and is home to big businesses and resort hotels that have been attracting millions of tourists. Binondo, on the other hand, is the city’s Chinatown and where most historical and cultural sites and properties of Manila are located. Estrada stressed that no tricycle or “kuliglig” (motorized pedicabs) drivers in Manila will be


Villarica pushes Meycauayan traffic program By Orlan Mauricio MEYCAUAYAN—Like Malolos City, the provincial capital of Bulacan, this gateway city to the North known as the haven of world-class jewelry also suffers the bane of highly urbanized cities—heavy traffic—particularly in the North Luzon Expressway toll plaza. The local leadership is enforcing a parking ban on national roads, and planning the creation of more one-way streets and alternative routes for cargo trucks to address the problem. Newly elected City Mayor Henry Villarica revealed a comprehensive traffic management program for the burgeoning city population. Villarica, the 1971 bar exam

topnotcher, told the Manila Standard that “solving the traffic problem is crucial to the future of our city. Years ago, we were known as the jewelry capital, but very few know that Meycauayan has become a mecca of companies that provide the backbone of the country’s industrialization.” The traffic mess in both directions of the Malhacan-IbaCamalig Road especially during rush hour strands thousands of motorists and commuters on this national highway. The plant of Steel Asia Inc., the biggest manufacturer of iron bars used in construction projects in Metro Manila and Luzon, is in one of the sprawling industrial parks in the interior limits of the

city bordering Valenzuela City. This explains the long queue of hauler trucks and container vans that crowd the narrow national road that connects the old McArthur Highway to the NLEx all the way to Barangay Camalig—where the new Meycauayan City Hall is located. “Initially, we are implementing remedial measures to speed up the flow of traffic like the strict ban on parking on our national roads with corresponding fines for violators. There will be more one-way streets,” Villarica explained. “At present there is only one entry and exit point for trucks on the NLEx so it causes a daily bottleneck. There should be alternative routes especially for long-bed trucks,” he said.

Villlarica said he was aware that long term-solutions require the legal exercise of the city’s power of eminent domain or expropriation of private lands to be used as roads. The mayor, whose wife is Bulacan’s 4th District Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, said he is even willing to share a portion of their real properties to quickly ease traffic. Among the proposed longterm solutions, include: opening an NLEx Bypass Exit on Libtong-Iba Road to northbound heavy vehicles coming from Balintawak; opening an NLEx Bypass Exit on F. Raymundo Road also to north-bound heavy vehicles towards Barangay Iba where several big industrial parks are located.

opening of a Bypass Exit to south-bound vehicles in the St. Francis Subdivision area, where a temporary exit existed some years ago; and construction of an NLEx Overpass on F. Raymundo Road to serve as a second link to the eastern and western side of Meycauayan that is separated by the expressway. Villarica believes that the proposed four-point opening along the North expressway is the lasting solution aside from the roadwidening initiatives that are now in the pipeline of the city engineering office. “I hope the NLEX management will quickly act on our proposal which I believe is the answer to the worsening traffic,” he said.

FLI condominium buyers demand titles—Zarcal By Sandy Araneta A MANILA councilor has asked the city council to suspend the building permits of a condominium project of a top real estate firm in Binondo whose buyers have yet to receive the titles for units worth up to P20 million. In his privilege speech before the city council, third district Councilor Manuel Zarcal urged the Sangguniang Panglunsod to investigate Federal

Land Inc. (FLI) and its Manilabased partner Central Realty and Development Corp., the builders of the Four Seasons Riviera Condominiums at the corner of Muelle Dela Industria and Prensa & Numancia streets in Binondo. Zarcal filed on September 8 a resolution directing the Office of the City Engineer to revoke the building and zoning permits it issued to Four Seasons Riviera Condominiums in

2010 because of the developers’ ongoing legal dispute with another real estate company. The councilor said many of the complainants were from his district, and he personally knows one of them who completed her payments years ago but has yet to be given her titles. “I hope our city government will defer or order a total cancellation of the building permit, the construction permit, as well as the business permit of this devel-

opment,” Zarcal said. “I am protecting our constituents in the third district who might be duped, considering that the condominiums are not cheap,” he added. A unit at the Four Seasons Riviera, the councilor said, costs from P5 million to P20 million. In his September 8 resolution, Zarcal cited the July 26 decision of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) suspending the license to sell of

FLI and its partner pending the resolution of a civil case filed by Solar Resources Inc. before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 6. Solar is insisting that it is the lawful owner of the 7,350-square-meter land located at the corner of Muelle Dela Industria and Prensa & Numancia streets in Binondo where the four towers of the 30-storey Four Seasons Riviera Condominiums are being built.

displaced as they will be the beneficiaries of the e-trike program, which will have a soft launching on October 15. “No, we won’t be taking away their source of income. In fact, we will be giving them a better alternative—these battery-run tricycles, which are cheaper and Next page

‘Zero casualty after Ferdie’ “BATANES just proved that preparedness saves lives,” the Climate Change Commission (CCC) said. The commission commended the province of Batanes for recording “zero casualty” in the wake of Super Typhoon “Meranti” (local name Ferdie), which has been described as the strongest storm in the world so far this year. “Meranti” is the strongest storm in the Western Pacific since Super Typhoon “Haiyan” (“Yolanda”), which claimed over 6,000 lives when it devastated central Philippines in November 2013. “The fact that no casualties were recorded means that the provincial government did a commendable job in preparing for the super typhoon,” said Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman, the vice chairman and executive director of CCC. “As an island province of the country, Batanes is exemplary for its preparedness and resilience to strong typhoons. The rest of the country should learn from the good practices of local communities in Batanes on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” De Guzman added. The island of Itbayat sat directly in the path of the super typhoon that hit the province on September 13. The storm later swept past Taiwan on its way to mainland China, and left eight people dead. But the extent of the damage in Batanes remains unclear. De Guzman said that if a province that is the constant target of storms can achieve zero casualty, other local government units can do the same. As the country expects typhoons to be stronger and more devastating due to climate change, he said, it is important to strengthen the capacity of LGUs to cope with climate change impacts.




‘Plan climate-change cities’ L

OCAL government leaders resolved to take climate change into account in urban planning in a dialogue with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners, the United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-Habitat), the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), the League of Provinces of the Philippines and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

“We emphasize that the issues of climate change adaptation and mitigation must be tackled within a broader framework of sustainable housing and urban development,” said UN-Habitat country program manager Cris Rollo. “We promote strengthened partnerships across all levels of government as they work together to protect our environment, infrastructures, and public spaces from the effects of climate change.”

The national government recently consulted different stakeholders before updating and reviewing the National Urban Development Housing Framework. Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board Commissioner Linda Hornilla said “we need to strengthen links between national urban policies and the experience at different levels of government to make the NUDHF more relevant.” The local government leagues

agreed to align their human settlement goals with national development. Davao del Norte Gov. Anthony Del Rosario Jr. said local leaders must translate urban development and climate-change principles into local actions. Angeles Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, LCP national president said “this activity provided us the opportunity to identify the areas where action is needed, in this case housing and urban set-

Umali: Rehabs in all NE LGUs


Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos is recognized for hosting forums for real-estate developers, subdivision homeowners and condominium unit owners on the anti-illegal drug campaign of the government and the police..

By Ferdie G.Domingo PALAYAN CITY—Nueva Ecija Gov. Czarina Domingo Umali vowed to make the province drug-free by “wiping out” drug use through a bloodless reformation of addicts and pushers. Umali told the provincewide Anti-Illegal Drugs Summit at the Palayan City Convention Center on Friday that the province has declared a war of attrition against drug lords and a war of compassion for both addicts and pushers. She informed the 3,000 participants that the provincial government intends to build “BahayPag-Asa” or rehab centers in all the 27 municipalities and five cities of the province as well as embark on a massive information and education campaign in schools and churches. Umali also presented a framework to eradicate illegal drugs apart from “OplanTokhang” of the Philippine National Police. The framework employs a two-pronged approach of rehabilitating drug dependents and preventing more people from getting addicted. During the summit, Umali told the PNP that their role in the anti-drug campaign should be limited to the apprehension of suspects and the acceptance of surrenderees. “No drug addict or pusher should be left in our province. I want them all eliminated by showing them the concern of a society which they thought had turned its back on them,” she said. “Once drug victims have surrendered or have been apprehended, it is now the role of the local government units [LGUs] and the various stakeholders to take care of them from rehabilitation to their reintegration into the mainstream of society and restoration,” the governor added. “The idea is to bring back the dignity of the person who was once an active and productive member of the community. This is not merely rehabilitation and reintegration but restoration,” she explained. The summit was organized by the provincial government through the Provincial AntiDrug Abuse Council and the Provincial Task Force Against Illegal Drugs. The Padac is chaired by the governor’s husband, former three-term governor Aurelio Umali. She said that aside from the LGUs, the church, schools, families, national agencies and the non-government organizations also play crucial roles in the rehabilitation. The province will also tap the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Education for skills training and livelihood projects for those who have surrendered. “We must win the battle against illegal drugs because what is at stake here is not only the youth of today but future generations. We shall win. And we can win,” she said.

tlements, such that we are able to prioritize and commit resources in the best possible way.” The dialogue was hosted by the Vertical Integration and Learning on Low Emission Development (V-LED) Project implemented by the UN-Habitat, in partnership with Adelphi research, and with support from the International Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

Solar light yields off-season dragon fruit in Abra By By Dexter A. See DANGLAS, Abra—The province now produces off-season dragon fruit. The Department of Science and Technology–Abra Field Office headed by provincial director Menandro Buenafe has installed a solar system at the farm of Condrado Sevilleja in Barangay Abacquid, Danglas that provides artificial lighting for the dragon fruit to prolong

the fruiting period of the plants. The solar system worth P750, 000 was funded by a loan from the DoST payable in three years. Sevilleja started his dragon fruit plantation four years ago with more than 2,000 cuttings he procured from the Dragon Fruit Farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. With the more than 2,000 cuttings, he was able to plant 700 posts. Today, there are more than 3,000 posts in a two-hectare plantation that is part of his

18-hectare lot. The solar system is effective, Sevilleja attests. The peak of harvest season is usually from July to October. The plants start to bloom in May and fruiting starts in June. This year alone, Sevilleja said, he harvested 7,000 kilos of dragon fruit. He sells his fruits in Bangued, La Union and Baguio City. He also produces by-products such as moisturizing soap, wine and vinegar.

Dragon fruit farming, though not labor intensive, requires a large initial capital as the cactus needs posts to lean on, Sevilleja shared. At the outset, he used wooden posts but because they easily rot, he started pre-fabricating concrete posts to replace them. The farmer plans to expand his dragon fruit farming into an ecotourism site because the scenic Abot Waterfalls is within his 18-hectare compound. His eco-tourism project

is being assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry—Abra Provincial Office. Sevilleja is a former overseas Filipino worker who worked as an electrician in New Zealand and Australia. He is married to Anita Santos from Laoag City and they have three daughters: KC, an electrical engineer; Katrina, who is finishing her Master of Arts in International Relations in Melbourne, Australia; and Kristel, a pharmacist.

San Fernando City honors taxpayers By Romeo Dizon

BIKING. Mayor Oscar Malapitan declared Caloocan City a motorcycle capital of the Philippines for hosting the most motorcycle -related businesses during the first ever National Motorcycle Festival at the city hall. Andrew Rabulan

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—Five hundred individual and business taxpayers were honored by the city government for their contributions to the city’s sustainable growth. Among the 500 taxpayers are individuals, malls, banks, exporters, importers, entrepreneurs, restaurants, soft drink makers, manufacturing companies and sari-sari store owners who paid a total of P200 million to the city treasury this year, Mayor Edwin Santiago said. Santiago informed the owners and representatives of the companies that the city government spent their taxes wisely in line with the development plan of the

PPA celebrates maritime week

THE country will celebrate National Maritime Week from September 25 to 30, lead agency Philippine Ports Authority announced. This year’s theme, “Shipping: Indispensable to the World,” was conceived by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the maritime policymaking body of the United Nations. PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said the kick-off ceremony on September 25 will be a grand parade, a Holy Mass and wreath-laying to recognize the men and women of the sector as well as their contributions to the national economy. Usually, such events are held on the last day of the celebration. “The present administration has a soft spot for the maritime industry and the marching order is to make this celebration as significant as possible

to make its mark not only in the hearts of the men and women of the industry but of the entire Filipino people and the world,” the PPA chief added. A nationwide ports and harbors cleanup drive by government and private agencies is set on September 27 to coincide with the International Coastal Clean-up Day. “The NMW committee also required all ship captains to dress up their respective ships in the port from September 25 up to the end of the week-long celebration,” Santiago stressed, adding that ships will also simultaneously blow their horns for two minutes starting 8 a.m. on September 25. The National Maritime Week is celebrated by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 1094 issued in 1997, consolidating the celebration of the

National Seafarers Day, National Maritime Day and the National Maritime Week. The proclamation amended Presidential Proclamation 828 series of 1996 that declares the last Sunday of September of every year as National Seafarers’ Day. The proclamation recognizes the vital role of Filipino seafarers in the development of the Philippines as a maritime country. The IMO, on the other hand, through Circular 1884 dated July 11, 1996, requested all member-nations to celebrate World Maritime Day during the last week of every September of each year. In the Philippines, Presidential Proclamation 866 released in 1996 sets the last Friday of September every year as National Maritime Day. PNA

Regional Development Council. He updated the taxpayers on multimillion-peso projects to lessen traffic and flooding, and improve sanitation and peace and order especially in the city proper. “These projects will not be realized without your support, so please pay your taxes correctly and on time,” Santiago said. Although the city has an Internal Revenue Allotment, 60 percent of its annual budget of P1.5 billion is funded by local income resources, mostly business permits. San Fernando became a city on Dec. 4, 2000 and was adjudged the most competitive city by the National Competitive Council in July 2016.

E-trikes... From C1 easier to maintain, so their earnings will definitely increase,” he stressed. Tricycle drivers will be undergoing orientation and seminar on how to operate the e-trikes. The driver-beneficiaries will only pay P150 to 200 a day for four years for the battery-powered tricycles, he added. Estrada said the E-trike project in Manila as a means to combat air pollution and improve the livelihood of some 5,000 tricycle drivers in the city and thousands more of “colorum” pedicab drivers who operate without franchises. The city government has procured an initial fleet of 384 battery-operated vehicles that will be distributed to tricycle drivers through an affordable “boundary-hulog” scheme. The city government bought the 384 units of etrikes for more than P145 million or P380,000 each. An e-trike runs on gel-type batteries than can be fully charged in only four to five hours. It can carry up to seven passengers and has a maximum speed of 40-45 kilometers per hour.




50 rallyists die in Congo clashes K

INSHASA—More than 50 people were killed on Monday in clashes between protesters and security forces in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, opposition groups said, calling for further anti-government demonstrations.

The government earlier said that at least 17 had died in the violence in Kinshasa ahead of a planned opposition rally, but had warned that the death toll could rise. “The coalition (of opposition groups) deplores the number of victims, more than 50 dead at this point, victims of the firing of real bullets by the police and the republican guard,” it said in a statement. It also called on people to gather on Tuesday “to keep up without hesitation the demands made today.” The rally, which the authorities canceled, had been called to demand the resignation of President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2001. Opponents fear he is planning to extend his rule unconstitutionally. The clashes Monday were the worst violence in the capital since January

2015 when a police crackdown on another opposition protest left several dozen people dead. Interior Minister Evariste Boshab described the violence as an attempted “uprising” and said the victims included three police officers. The main opposition parties had called for a nationwide demonstration to “give notice” to Kabila, whose mandate expires on December 20. Although Kabila is banned by the constitution from running again, he has not made any move to schedule elections, fueling fears he will seek to extend his stay in office. In May, the Constitutional Court said Kabila could remain in office in a caretaker capacity until an election is held, triggering a wave of angry protests. France on Monday described the unrest as “very dangerous and extremely worrying” and urged Kabila to lay out a

clear timetable for a vote. “What matters is the date of elections,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “If they’re delayed endlessly, that means that Kabila intends to stay in power,” he said. “That’s a situation that is not acceptable.” Former colonial power Belgium called in a foreign ministry statement for “restraint” and urged all political groups to “quickly” organize elections. So far, there has been no move to schedule elections and at this stage, it appears practically impossible to organise a poll before the end of the year. A fringe opposition group has been meeting with the government in a bid to organize a schedule for elections, but veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi has refused to participate in the talks which are due to end on Saturday. Last week, Amnesty International accused Kinshasa of the “systematic repression” of those seeking Kabila’s departure. Monday’s rally had been due to start in Kinshasa in the early afternoon, but during the morning, scuffles broke out

between stone-throwing youths and anti-riot police. Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of stone-throwers as they tried to march on parliament ahead of the demonstration, which was promptly canceled by the authorities. “Kinshasa just experienced an uprising which ended in failure,” Boshab said, accusing demonstrators of “deliberately” ignoring a schedule which had been agreed with the authorities. Government spokesman Lambert Mende had earlier told AFP that two policemen were killed in violence against the ruling party’s offices in the volatile Limete district. A Catholic nun said one of the policemen had been “burnt alive.” Government officials also accused the opposition of “targeted looting”, while private security officials said there had been several looting incidents involving banks and Chinese-run shops in the south of the city, which is home to some 10 million people. Earlier, youths were seen hurling stones at police on the city’s main avenue as plumes of smoke rose into the air from burning tyres and from a car and a minibus that had been set alight. AFP

UN dreads EU xenophobia UNITED NATIONS—UN member-states adopted a plan on Monday to tackle the biggest refugee crisis since World War II amid dire warnings about rising xenophobia in Europe and the collapse of countries bordering war-shattered Syria. British Prime Minister Theresa May called for greater scrutiny of migrants and defended each country’s right to defend its borders as she made her first UN appearance. The first-ever UN summit on refugees and migrants kicked off a week of high-level diplomacy as world leaders take part in the annual General Assembly meeting, dominated this year by the conflict in Syria. Speaking at the summit opening, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein made a rousing appeal to confront “racebaiting bigots,” recalling that the refugee crisis stemmed from the world’s failure to end the war in Syria. “This should not be a comfortable summit,” he told the gathering at the UN General Assembly. “The defenders of what is right and good are being outflanked in too many countries by race-baiting bigots, who seek to gain, or retain, power by wielding prejudice and deceit at the expense of those most vulnerable,” he said. World governments adopted a non-binding political declaration pledging to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education and jobs. A record-breaking 65 million people are on the move worldwide, fleeing wars such as the carnage in Syria, repression and poverty, including 21 million refugees competing for too few resettlement opportunities. Now in its sixth year, the war in Syria has driven nearly nine million people from their homes while an additional four million have fled to neighboring countries or are making the perilous journey to Europe. A week-long fragile ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and the United States collapsed when the Syrian army announced the end of the truce and re-started air raids on rebel-held Aleppo. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam, whose country of four million has taken in 1.5 million Syrians, appealed for urgent help. “Barring a massive effort from the international community, Lebanon runs the risk of a serious collapse,” he said. “My country is in serious danger.” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the stakes were also high for his country, which has seen more than 1.2 million migrants cross its border over the past year. A failure to confront the refugee crisis will unleash xenophobia, he warned. “If we fail to support this, the political repercussions will be felt not only in Greece but everywhere,” he said. AFP

HIGH EYE. GoPro Inc. unveiled its long-

anticipated Karma drone, adding a new dimension to the action-and-adventure film-making it has become famous for through tiny, cube-shaped cameras, and sparking a rally for the company’s flagging stock. Bloomberg

STRONG. Vehicles drive through a flooded street as typhoon Malakas moves across Tokushima on Tuesday, dumping torrential rains that left some communities partially submerged and forced dozens of flights to be canceled. AFP

North Korea tests rocket engine SEOUL--North Korea has carried out a successful ground test of a new high-power rocket engine, state media said Tuesday, in a development that could advance Pyongyang’s weapons program. After supervising the test at the country’s Sohae satellite-launching site, leader Kim Jong-Un called on officials, scientists and technicians “to round off the preparations for launching the satellite as soon as possible,” KCNA news agency reported. There has been speculation that North Korea might celebrate the October 10 anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers Party of Korea by launching a satellite. Kim also called for more rocket launches to turn the country into a “possessor of geostationary satellites in a couple of years to come,” according to KCNA. North Korea has already carried out a series of long-range missile tests presented as satellite launches, most recently in February. KCNA said the engine would give the country “sufficient carrier capability for launching various kinds of satellites, including Earth observation

satellite at a world level.” Rocket scientist Chae Yeon-Seok at Korea Aerospace Research Institute said that with the new engine, the North is “coming close to having an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the US mainland.” “North Korea’s space program is focused on developing launch vehicles that can easily be used for missiles rather than developing decent satellites,” Chae told AFP. The engine test comes after the North claimed earlier this month that it had successfully tested a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a missile and follows a series of ballistic missile launches. The September 9 nuclear test was the North’s fifth and most powerful yet at 10 kilotons, experts have said. Pyongyang’s state media said that test had realized the country’s goal of being able to fit a miniaturized warhead on a rocket. If Pyongyang can make a nuclear device small enough to fit on a rocket-and bolster the range and accuracy of its missiles--it might achieve its oftstated aim of hitting US targets. But its past claims to have achieved this

have been discounted. Kim “expressed great satisfaction” with the results of the engine test, according to KCNA. He said the North had made cutting-edge scientific advances “despite the difficult economic conditions of the country”, the report said. North Korea has been hit by five sets of United Nations sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006, but has insisted it will continue, come what may. KCNA gave no date for the test but it is customary for state media to report Kim’s activities with a day’s lapse. North Korea’s nuclear program has been accompanied by a series of ballistic missile launches, including from a submarine. A proven submarine-launched ballistic missile system would allow deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a “second-strike” capability in the event of an attack on the North’s military bases. Professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies said the North had set a five-year space development program that ends this year. AFP

Turkey fires 28,000 teachers ISTANBUL--Turkish schools reopened Monday for the first time since July’s attempted coup, following a summer which saw tens of thousands of teachers sacked or suspended over alleged links to the plotters or to Kurdish rebels. As more than 18 million children went back to school, Huseyin Ozev, president of the Istanbul teachers’ union, told Agence France Presse there were fears the academic year would begin with “chaos” because of staff shortages. Turkey has fired almost 28,000 teachers and suspended more than 9,000 others for suspected links to the failed July coup and Kurdish militants, deputy prime minister Nurettin Canikli said Monday.

Hours after some 18 million children finished their first school day since the July 15 coup bid, Canikli said a total of 27,715 had been dismissed from the profession this summer. Speaking to reporters in Ankara after a cabinet meeting, Canikli said “so far 455 teachers have been able to return” to work after investigations proved they had no links to Kurdish militants or the Hizmet (Service) movement led by Fethullah Gulen. Ankara blames US-based preacher Gulen for orchestrating the coup, and has repeatedly demanded that Washington extradite him. Ankara also claims he is the head of a terrorist organization running a parallel state in Turkey. Gulen strongly denies all of the accusations.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has waged a deadly insurgency in southeastern Turkey since 1984. The country has seen a major upsurge in violence since a fragile ceasefire collapsed last year. The deputy prime minister said 9,465 teachers remain suspended, while investigations continue into their alleged “terror” links. In the aftermath of the putsch bid which left nearly 270 dead including 24 coup-plotters, Turkey launched a massive crackdown, dismissing tens of thousands in the judiciary, police and education system leading to outcry from its Western allies. The deputy prime minister said those dismissed would be replaced by next month. AFP



Putin hails party victory


Trump, Clinton differ on weekend attacks W

ASHINGTON—A rash of attacks on US soil put national security center stage in the presidential campaign Monday, with Hillary Clinton seeking to show a steady hand and Donald Trump saying America needed to be tougher on terror and immigration.

The starkly different responses from the dueling White House hopefuls came after a bombing in New York, a mass stabbing in Minnesota and a New Jersey pipe blast -- all on Saturday. They also came less than 50 days before Election Day. Trump will meet Monday in New York with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah alSisi, the Republican presidential candidate’s first meeting with a leader from the Muslim world. Clinton had already scheduled a meeting with Sisi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting, which kicked off Monday with a summit on the global refugee crisis. The attacks distilled contrasting approaches on national security and in campaign style, with Democrat Clinton touting experience and patient determination -- and Republican Trump channeling outrage and demanding radical change. At an airfield hangar draped with US flags, Clinton sought to show she has the temperament, smarts and experience needed to be the commander-in-chief. In brief remarks, Clinton toured a gamut of terror-related issues -- from radicalization to policing -- before calling for public resolve and a government “intelligence surge” to counter disparate and diffuse plots. “This threat is real, but so is our resolve,” said the former secretary of state, in a presidential-style address that preceded President Barack Obama’s own remarks seeking to reassure the American public. Clinton juxtaposed her role in the Obama administration’s killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with a highly charged accusation that Trump’s rightwing rhetoric had helped the Islamic State group. “The rhetoric we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS,” she said, adding it plays into the hands of those “who are looking to make this into a war against Islam.” ISIS is another acronym for the Islamic State group. Trump’s chosen platform was not the podium, but the bully pulpit -- a television news chat show popular with conservative voters, underscoring how central the media has been to the real estate tycoon’s improbable campaign. He sought to convince Americans that these latest attacks -- which left about 40 injured -- are an inevitable result of Clinton and Obama’s lax anti-terror and immigration policies. “Our country has been weak. We’re letting people in by the thousands and tens of thousands. I’ve been saying you’ve got to stop it,” Trump told Fox News. Doubling down, he later told a rally in Estero, Florida that “these attacks and many others were made possible because of our extremely open immigration system.” An Afghan-born American man, a suspect in the bombings in New York and New Jersey, was shot and taken into custody Monday. The Minnesota stabbing attack was carried out by a 22-year-old SomaliAmerican with possible links to the Islamic State group who was shot and killed by an off-duty cop. The political repercussions of the attacks are hard to predict. Neither candidate moved markedly in the polls after June’s deadly massacre in an Orlando nightclub or the string of attacks in Europe. According to a Fox News poll published prior to the weekend, 46 percent of voters have more confidence in Clinton regarding questions of terrorism and national security, versus 45 percent who prefer Trump. AFP

HEALING. From left to right, singer Tony Orlando, entertainer Jerry Lewis and illusionist Criss Angel speak during Criss Angel’s HELP (Heal Every Life Possible) charity event at the Luxor Hotel and Casino benefiting pediatric cancer research and treatment on September 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP

Nuke watchdog head seeks 3rd term VIENNA--UN atomic watchdog head Yukiya Amano said Monday he will seek a third term in office beyond 2017, saying the agency needs “continuity” to face difficult times ahead. Amano said that the “huge challenges” facing the International Atomic Energy Agency include North Korea’s nuclear weapons and stopping nuclear

materials from falling into the wrong hands. “In order to address these challenges, continuity and unity are very important. This is the reason why I am running for a third term,” the veteran Japanese diplomat, 69, told a regular news conference. He added that several member states had encouraged him

to run. Amano has been director general of the Vienna-based IAEA since December 2009 and his current term expires in November 2017. Amano was a contentious choice when first elected nearly seven years ago, with many countries seeing him as a US puppet. US diplomatic cables quoted

by WikiLeaks described him as being “solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision”. But four years later, he appeared to have won over many detractors and was easily reelected in 2013. So far, diplomats in Vienna have been guarded on whether they will support him staying on. AFP

Venezuela schools lack food—gov CARACAS—The opposition governor of Venezuela’s second-largest state, Henrique Capriles, declared an emergency Monday over a lack of food for public schools, blaming the socialist government’s “misguided” policies. “We are declaring a food emergency in our state,” said Capriles, the governor of Miranda state, who is leading a

campaign to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office in a recall referendum. Capriles and his center-right opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), blame the leftist president for an economic crisis that is causing severe shortages of food and medicine in Venezuela. The state of emergency enables Capriles, Maduro’s opponent in

the 2013 presidential election, to divert funding toward food for schools, nursing homes and facilities for the disabled. It also authorizes him to resort to the private sector and aid organizations for food. “There’s not enough food for the people of this country,” he told a news conference, accusing the government of covering up the real problem: “a lack of

production.” Oil-rich Venezuela has veered into crisis as crude prices have collapsed since mid2014, threatening Maduro and 17 years of socialist rule. Maduro blames the shortages on an “economic war” by the business sector, which he accuses of withholding supplies to undermine his government. AFP

MOSCOW—Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Monday hailed a vote for “stability” after his ruling party won a record number of seats at parliamentary polls amid a low turnout. The Kremlin’s United Russia scooped three quarters of the seats in the 450-member State Duma after bolstering its tally to over 54 percent at a nationwide vote Sunday, securing a majority despite the longest economic crisis of Putin’s 16-year rule. But the vote was marred by the lowest turnout for a parliamentary election in Russia’s post-Soviet history, suggesting many are increasingly turned off by the Kremlin’s total control over public discourse and posing potential questions over legitimacy. “For United Russia this was a good result,” Putin told his government on Monday. “Given the current difficulties, the large amount of uncertainty and risks, people undoubtedly chose stability.” Sunday’s election followed a tumultuous few years that have seen Russia seize the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine, sparking its worst standoff with the West since the Cold War, and the start of a military campaign in Syria. And despite a bruising recession that has hit average Russians hard, Putin’s approval rating remains around 80 percent. Although he has not yet announced he is running, the strongman leader now looks set to stroll to victory in presidential elections in 2018. Pro-Putin parties were always expected to cruise to victory given the Kremlin’s almost complete dominance of the media -- but the scale of United Russia’s majority took some observers by surprise. “It’s obvious that the overwhelming majority of those who voted de-facto voiced support for the president,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Three other parties -- which made up the last parliament and all back the Kremlin -- were the only ones to clear the five-percent threshold needed for representation. The Communists and the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party both won just over 13 percent, while A Just Russia received around six percent. No genuine opposition candidate appeared to have made it into the Duma for its new fiveyear term. Yabloko and Parnas, liberal parties critical of Putin, failed to secure enough votes for a seat. “The new parliament won’t be a legitimate representative body representing the will of interests of the citizens of the county,” Parnas head Mikhail Kasyanov said in a statement. “It will remain an instrument for retaining control of power in the hands of Putin and his team.” Overall interest in the vote was down dramatically after a low-key campaign that was dubbed the most boring in recent memory. Only 47.8 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots, compared with 60 percent in 2011, with many viewing the Duma as a toothless rubber-stamp chamber.mAFP

UK’s King is EU security chief BRUSSELS—European Union member states on Monday confirmed British diplomat Julian King as security commissioner who will likely be his country’s last top official in the bloc in the lead up to Brexit. The European Parliament approved King’s appointment to the EU’s executive arm last week, clearing the way for the European Council of ministers to give the last go-ahead. The Commission has 28 seats, one each for the 28 member states, but they are meant only to serve the interests of the European Union and not their home country. The Commission draws up legislation to give effect to the European Council’s political direction and ensures the EU’s treaties are observed.

King replaces Jonathan Hill, who stepped down from the important financial services post after Britain’s shock June vote to quit the EU. King is an experienced diplomat and is currently British ambassador to France. His main task at the Commission will be to improve information and intelligence sharing in the face of deadly terror attacks which have rocked the bloc. The current Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker will complete its current fiveyear term at end-October 2019. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will not begin the fixed two-year Brexit negotiations with Brussels until early next year. AFP

GARMENTS. Jane Gray attends as Marimekko and Museum of Arts and Design celebrate New York Textile Month at Marimekko New York on Monday in New York City. AFP

Life COACH keeps celebrities cool

Isah V. Red, Editor Bernadette Lunas, Writer isahred@gmail.com




English model Edie Campbell looking fab in Coach Tea Rose sunglasses

HERE’S no denying that Coach keeps everyone looking cool; and here are some of our favorite celebs donning Coach looks and accessories: Carrying a piece from the latest Disney x Coach collection was Kate Moss with her Kisslock Clutch. Over in New York, Riley Keough worked her Coach Western Shirt, Studded Black Leather A-line Skirt and Patchwork Leather Rogue Bag; while Zoe Kravitz looked cute with her Coach Dino Sweater and Rogue Bag. Over at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, we saw numerous stars like Charli XCX with her Coach 1941 Pre-Fall 2016 Dinky 24 bag in ranch floral, Moto Hiker Boots, Souvenir Sky Sweater, and Tea Rose Sunglasses; and Edie Campbell with her Coach 1941 Pre-Fall 2016 Tea Rose Sunglasses, Moto Hiker Boots and Shearling Honey Drifter Coat. On the first day of the festival, Daisy Lowe wore her Coach 1941 Pre-Fall 2016 Rexy Dress, a Saddle 23 Bag in White, and Pilot Sunglasses; while on day 2, she opted for a Coach T-Rex Varsity Jacket with her Pilot Sunglasses, and a Coach Saddle 23 Bag in Blue. Also rocking the Saddle 23 Bag was Poppy Delevingne who paired her navy blue Saddle 23 Bag with a Coach 1941 Pre-Fall 2016 Shearling Moto Jacket and Moto Hiker Boots. Poppy was also seen on day 2 sporting a Coach 1941 Pre-Fall 2016 Souvenir Sky Varsity Jacket, Edie Cat Eye Sunglasses and a Saddle 23 Bag in Maroon. Aside from the ladies, some gents were also seen at the Glastonbury Festival, such as Luke Evans who wore a Coach 1941 Fall 2016 Men’s Plaid Polo and Aviator Bomber, Tag Temple Square Temple Square Sunglasses, and a Rip & Repair Campus Backpack. Nick Grimshaw was also there for two days. For day 1, he wore a Coach 1941 Fall 2016 Blue Plaid Shirt, Shearling Stinger Jacket in Black Crackle, Shearling Moto in Navy, and a pair of Coach 75th Anniversary Sunglasses. Day 2 saw him pair his Coach 1941 Fall 2016 Shearling Moto in Navy with a T-Rex Sweater in Black and a Gotham Backpack in Blue Suede. In the Philippines, Coach is located at Rustan’s Shangri-La. Follow @ssilifeph on Instagram for more information.


Riley Keough rocking a Coach Western Shirt in NY Charli XCX at Glastonbury Festival

English model Poppy Delevingne

American actress, singer and model Zoe Kravitz

Royal Gem: A cut above OF all the things a woman wears, nothing tells a story quite like jewelry does. It is this philosophy that shapes Royal Gem’s collection of fine jewelry. Established in 1982, Royal Gem— formerly known as Metro Jewelry—provides exquisite and high-quality pieces as it introduces their latest collection of diamonds, South Sea pearls, gemstones and gold jewelry that are carefully curated to be a cut above the rest. Each piece from Royal Gem’s selection is a storyteller. Because memories come in different forms, from smaller, day-today recollections that are part of a bigger story, to historic milestones that are vital in shaping who we are, Royal Gem sees to it that their jewelry are as varied as our memories, offering a wide range from casual, elegant pieces to stand-out high jewelry. Royal Gem’s designs are a marriage of the timeless and the contemporary. They are a fresh take on the classics, infusing elegance and sophistication with the innovation of youth. They are modish yet tasteful, a perfect complement for the woman who loves fashion and the prevailing trends but whose self-awareness dictates her own unique style. Royal Gem’s strength lies in its exten-

sive line and unique collections. With its flagship store reaching 100 square meters, Royal Gem has no shortage of space to showcase its wide assortment of diamonds, colored stones, South Sea pearls, and Italian, Chinese and Saudi gold, with a new collection unveiled quarterly. Royal Gem’s pieces are not just works of art, they are also testament of quality and craftsmanship honed from over three decades of experience in the industry. They are pieces that are meant to be worn and appreciated both now and in the many years to come. They are proof that not all beauty is fleeting, and some forms of it do stand the test of time. Royal Gem showcased six main collections that tread that fine, elusive line between enduring and of-the-moment:

Ultra Collection

fect for dressing up a pair of jeans or a casual night out.

Imperiale Collection

These pieces that feature stunning red rubies, majestic green emeralds and cool blue sapphires are fit for modern-day royalty. The richly-colored gemstones complemented by romantic silhouettes make these pieces an instant classic.

Decadent Collection

A wide range of playful hues to choose from—amethyst, citrine, blue topaz, peridot, rose quartz, garnet, aquamarine, morganite, opal, turquoise, and jade—to fire up your imagination and lend you some whimsical flair.

Pristine Collection

Every self-respecting jewelry lover should have this as part of their collection, and Royal Gem’s selection ensures there’s one for every woman’s needs and wants—whether it’s basic studs for every day or fun, experimental pieces for moments when you Celestia Collection feel like playing dress-up. This inInspired by the galaxy and all its cludes includes pieces that are easy dreamy elements, this contemporary line yet elegant, effortlessly taking its features pieces that are light and airy, per- wearer from day to night. The show-stopper, stunning and iconic pieces ought to be worn making special occasions even more memorable. This collection ranges from carat stones and one-of-a-kind high jewelry line.

Models in Philipp Tampus’ gowns and modish yet tasteful pieces from the latest collection of Royal Gem

The romantic crimson themed floral set-up during the ‘A Cut Above’ launch of Royal Gem

Enchanted Collection

The modern woman also has a romantic side to her. This line, which mostly takes inspiration from romance and nature, combines lustrous pearls with diamonds, producing pieces that are iconic and unparalleled in glamour. Royal Gem also carries collections that include casual pieces for

A fresh take on the classics with Royal Gem’s stunning and elegant collections

daily wear. May it be a celebration for a milestone or just because, the brand also carries delicate pieces for gifting. Visit Royal Gem at Metro Stores located in Ayala Center Cebu, Alabang Town Center, Market! Market!, Marquee Mall in Pampanga and Metro Legazpi.



WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 isahred@gmail.com

Marilu Batchelor

Marissa Concepcion

Michelle Tan

Chinese International School Founder, President and CEO Felicia Atienza is one of Tingting’s 10 Elegant Filipinas

Meet Tingting’s

Elegant Filipinas


N Sept. 22, at 6 p.m. several Filipino women will be honored at “Tingting’s List: The Elegant Filipina,” an event sponsored by Diamond Hotel.

An award designed by Arnel Papa and a 20-piece fashion show by Albert Andrada will entertain the 400 “by invitation only” guests. Other sponsors are D.M. Consunji, Inc., Globe Telecom, Berjaya, Baguio Oil, W Groups Inc., Prudential Guarantee and Assurance Inc., Lexus Phil., MM Lazaro and Associates, Ralph’s Wine and Spirits’ Manny Angeles, Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce Inc. and Zen Institute to raise funds for the widows and children of the Special Action Force 44 to keep their memory of heroism alive. Bo Cerrudo will sing three songs and Ballet Philippines will perform a short number to add to the elegance of the evening. This year’s panel of “TingTing’s List” is composed of Honorary Consul of Monaco Fortune Ledesma, fashion entrepreneur Tina Ocampo, Tattler managing editor Chit Lijauco, designer Albert Andrada and Tingting Cojuanco who all defined the elegant Filipina as: “The woman who unwittingly is at the center of attention, knows the language of fashion, possesses beauty; is refined and cultured; she commands respect in her chosen field and leaves a legacy of grace, wisdom and compassion” With those criteria in mind, the list of 10 Elegant Filipinas includes: Felicia Atienza - Graduate of Wharton and University of Pennsylvania. Felicia spent 10 years immersed in the competitive world of finance working for multinational giants, JP Morgan Fleming and Merrill Lynch. Felicia Hung Atienza is today founder, president and CEO of Chinese International School, a K-12 International Baccalaureate World School. Marilu Batchelor - Designer of limited edition handbags sold to private clients and select retailers in the Philippines and abroad, providing her with fun and satisfying creative outlet when she’s not keeping time as a mother taking care of two sons and walking about with her husband as exercise. Marissa Concepcion - Involved in two foundations, she is a member of the board of trustees of Laura Vicuña Foundation Inc., a social welfare organization that provides immediate protection for children in crisis. She is an active advocate of VIDES, a volunteer program engaged in the development of women and children’s education, scholarships, livelihood and medical services, and a supporter of the VIDES “roving library.” Michelle Tan - Timeless simple clothes accentuated with jewelry perfectly chosen, she embodies feminine strength as an advocate for breastfeeding and dedicated mother to her oneyear-old daughter. To maintain a healthy mind and body, she turns to swimming as her form of relaxation and exercise. Mariquita Yeung – referred to as Dame Mariquita Yeung based in Cebu. She balances a family and philanthropy, and business where she devotes great enthusiasm. Mariquita has established health centers to facilitate the delivery of medical services among the unfortunate. Constructed homes and schools for victims of natural calamities. Financially assists indigent students in the field of

education through her MSY Charitable Foundation Inc. Sponsored surgery of cleft lip and palate that, as of today, results in more than 5000 children who can smile proudly. Mariquita S. Yeung was conferred in 2011 the title Dame of the Order of St. Sylvester, a Papal title given for exemplary work for the Catholic Church for her socio-civic involvements, Mariquita was presented by the Province of Cebu with the Garbo sa Sugbo Award, 2011. The city appointed her Chairperson of the Beautiful Cebu Movement Foundation for the beautification and renovation of Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City. Dawn Zulueta – Aside from being a head turner in blue jeans or a Filipina terno, this film, TV and stage actress, wife, mother is also a conservationist. Together with good friends, she founded Kahit Hindi Pasko Foundation in 2009, extending financial assistance for the medical needs of young children. Karen Davila – Tailored and smoothly dressed, TOYM (The Ten Outstanding Young Men) Award and TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) Award for broadcasting, UNICEF Child Rights Award for her documentary on Children in Jail, a silver medal for the New York and Film Awards for her documentary on children and street drugs. As a contributor for CNN Special Report in 1999, she was awarded the Bronze Medal for her environmental report on the Marinduque Mine Spill. In 2010, Karen was chosen as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. She can be seen in three live daily TV and radio programs. She has more than 2.3 million followers on Twitter and around 350,000 followers on Instagram. Stephanie Gonzales - Known for her sense of style and effortless ability to be ahead of the trends, Stephanie has become a new generation icon, is a wife to Christian and mother to 3-year-old Andrea. The 29-year-old Philux designer and retail executive oversees the sales and business development areas of the homegrown furniture brand. Passionate about interiors, Stephanie supports and promotes local craftsmanship through Philux’s retail arm embodying the company’s mission of keeping luxury within reach. Stephanie is an avid believer in education and conservation. Pamela Huang – Tiny in severely cut clothes with just two Cartier love bracelets “for always,” Pam is a dermatologist, educator, volunteer, and lifelong learner. Treasures loving relationships and transformative experiences… “I believe in the importance of education, in the value of hard work, honesty, humility and strength of character and the power of prayer,” as a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend… Vanessa Suatengco – Elegance personified in posture and tailored clothes. Unfazed and “cool” minimalist dresser. In 2009, she assumed the post of General Manager of the Diamond Hotel, and become the first Filipina to hold such post in a 5-star hotel in the country. Under her management, Diamond Hotel has evolved to become one of the major hotel players. Completed Psychology at Boston University and Industrial Psychology at Ateneo de Manila University and certificate courses under the Professional Develop-

ment Program on the School for Hotel Administration of Cornell University. One of Vanessa Suatengco’s notable recognitions was being chosen as the Mabuhay Gold Awardee bestowed by the Association of Human Resources Management in the Hospitality Industry (AHRM) for her valuable contributions to the Philippine hotel industry.

Mariquita Yeung

Stephanie Gonzales

Dawn Zulueta

Pamela Huang

Karen Davila

Vanessa Suatengco

Bid shaving and waxing goodbye DO you know that shaving and waxing can cause chicken skin and darkening of underarms? Now, you can bid unwanted hair goodbye permanently through Diode Laser Hair Removal (LHR). If you say “ouch!” with the mere mention of laser, think again. With the recent advances in technology, laser treatment can now be painless literally, and better yet, painless on your pocket as well. The entry of SkinStation in the highly competitive skin clinic business turned upside down our usual notion of laser treatment. In 2010, SkinStation set its goal to be number 1 in laser hair removal. Their old IPL machines were junked in favor of the more advanced painless diode laser with super hair removal technology. All branches, now 31 and counting, were provided with one or two units of the gold standard in laser hair removal. Then they dropped the price of the normally expensive procedure to a level competitive to waxing. Look where SkinStation is now. No skin clinic comes close to what it has achieved in democratizing laser hair removal during the past five years. Here’s what you need to know before booking your first session: 1. Laser hair removal requires six to eight sessions. It also requires you to follow six weeks treatment interval for best results. After the course of the program, you would be virtually hairless, or have a few strands of fine hair here and there. That’s why the FDA-approved term is “permanent hair reduction.” You would need booster shots once or twice a year to maintain results. 2. Before your treatment: Do not shave for at least one week. Do not pluck, wax, or use a depilatory four weeks prior to your treatment. Your hair should show to know specific areas the laser should target. The therapist will do the shaving. You should also avoid applying creams with tretinoin, exfoliants, and other products that can make your skin extra sensitive. 3. After your treatment: You will notice that in one to two weeks, your hair will grow back but 10 to 15 percent will not resist plucking.

They will fall off without resistance. Hair regrowth will be much finer. Post care essential is to use gentle cleanser like DERMAX SoGentle Gel Cleanser for at least two weeks. Visit any SkinStation branch near you and check out what everyone is raving about. To schedule your Diode Laser Hair Removal treatment or for your FREE Doctor’s consultation, call (02) 405-5790, 0925-5258323 for Sun subscribers, or 0917-583GLOW (4569) for Globe.

Diode Laser Hair Removal promises hairless underarms, or permanently reduced hair, after the required number of sessions


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 isahred@gmail.com


HIS is how Nanding Josef, Tanghalang Pilipino’s artistic director, describes Pangarap Sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw, the theater company’s latest production, which celebrates the magical power of love and its excesses and foolishness. The resident drama company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines gathers an ensemble cast led by Audie Gemora, Liesl Batucan, Jackie Lou Blanco and Rafa Siguion-Reyna to stage the production that also commemorates the 400th death anniversary of the greatest writer and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist, William Shakespeare. Translated in Filipino by National Artist Rolando Tinio, Pangarap Sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw is an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, considered one of the English playwright’s most controversial works. Believed to be written in a highly creative period in Shakespeare’s career, when he was moving away from the shallow plots that characterized his earlier drama, the comedy centers on the adventures of four young lovers and a group of amateur actors, their interactions with woodland fairies and a duke and duchess. Taking place in a mythical Athens and an enchanted forest, there is a handsome fairy king, a misguided parent, star-crossed

Virtual love, rejection and emotional transformation

The cast of ‘Pangarap Sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw’ with director Carlitos Siguion-Reyna (fourth from left) and Tanghalang Pilipino artistic director Nanding Josef (fourth from right)

lovers, a weaver who’s transformed into a half-donkey, wood sprites and elves. It centers on the events surrounding the marriage of Duke Theseus of Athens to the Amazon queen Hippolyta, and follows the stories of a band of fairies, a troupe of players and an Athenian love triangle between Hermia, her lover Lysander and suitor Demetrius. In this unique adaptation by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, the audience will experience the powerful juxtaposition of two worlds—Athens, the home of the powers-that-be, rigid and structured, vis-à-vis the home of

enchanting creatures, the forest, a place where unbridled passions run free. The dialogue, said the director, will be in Filipino and English, “Although it is a Filipino adaptation, we decided to use Filipino, English and even Taglish. While we showcase how beautiful our language is and how Tinio creatively weaved the words to appeal to local audience, each language has its own representation which the audience will notice once they see the show. For instance, English is the language of characters who appear in the

court while the ordinary characters use Filipino.” He furthered that the play’s intention is to identify the characters’ place in the order through the language they use. The setting is already a juxtaposition of two worlds – the structured Athens, the home of the powerful characters in the story, and the enchanting woods where unbridled passion runs free. In essence, there is a conscious effort to reflect reality since the story itself has a lot of elements and it is not just a whimsical story that talks about stories having fun.

“The rich text from Shakespeare and Tinio has allowed us to use the mishmash of English and Tagalog. Using both languages reflect the conflict between orders and the idea of passion gone chaotic,” Siguion-Reyna added. He explained that the play has a lot of dark elements that revolve around the study of contrast: there’s the contrast between fakery and authenticity; ego versus evil; and reason and sanity versus emotional lunacy, to name a few. “This allows the audience to analyze the play, which is abstract enough and open to interpretation.

Between the horror and comedy, the mix result in to a provocative staging where you can find yourself in your own ‘woods,’ a place of uncertainty, magic and wonder. And that’s what we are going to explore,” Siguion-Reyna shared. The rest of the cast includes Skyzx Labastilla, Teroy Guzman, Richard Cunanan, Teroy Guzman, Kristofer Kliatchko and the Tanghalang Pilipino Actor’s Company. It will run for a limited three weekends from Sept. 30 to Oct. 16 at the CCP’s Tanghalang Huseng Batute.

Michael Weatherly plays Dr.Phil-inspired character ‘Bull’ HE MAY have said goodbye to his role as Special Agent Anthony Dinozzo in NCIS, but Michael Weatherly Weatherly’s new role does not take him far from the twists and turns of the justice system. After playing the role of a senior field agent in 13 seasons of NCIS, Michael Weatherly is taking the lead in the brand new show Bull. “I’m gonna miss his repressive sense of humor, what I won’t miss is wearing that gun, that was uncomfortable,” Weatherly said about his NCIS character during an interview. Bull takes inspiration from the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, co-founder of top trial consulting firm Courtroom Sciences, Inc. (CSI), which has provided trial consulting services for Fortune 500 companies as well as talk show host Oprah Winfrey Winfrey. “It’s been amazing to play a character who is all about human connection, he’s about finding out why we do the things we do, but he’s also about getting to the truth of something,” Weatherly said in another interview. In this new series, Weatherly shifts

A scene from the American television comedydrama series, which is based on the early days of talk show host Phil McGraw

from law enforcement to trial analytics. His character, trial consultant Dr. Jason Bull, does everything to get the justice his clients deserve. “What’s fascinating about the whole world of trial analytics and the sciences of it is that they’re looking at things that you don’t think about,” Weatherly said. “He (Dr. Bull) looks at a jury trial and looks at the identities of everybody involved

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ACROSS 1 Rip-off 5 Poker hand 10 Use an old phone 14 Kinks’ hit tune 15 Ventricle neighbor 16 Pantyhose shade 17 Deadly snakes 18 Cover girl 19 Spiral 20 Make merry (3 wds.) 22 Dull and ordinary 23 Aught or naught 24 Desperado’s piece 25 Fish hawks 29 Purple birds 33 Gives a thumbs-up 34 Mr. Diamond 36 Get groceries 37 — Solo and Chewbacca 38 Sleuth’s clues 39 Baseball stat 40 “Tell Mama” James 42 Greets Rover 43 Copper and zinc 45 Prepare to land 47 Axiom

49 Scale tones 50 Panama pronoun 51 Debussy opus (2 wds.) 54 Flaky roll 60 Earnest request 61 Commends 62 Ski lift (hyph.) 63 Urban threat 64 Scope 65 Charles Lamb 66 Man Friday 67 Rx amounts 68 Count on DOWN 1 Burger side 2 Bobby’s stick 3 Fido’s food 4 Brickwork 5 Household 6 Pirate’s chest? 7 Language of Pakistan 8 Ladder type 9 Bard’s prince 10 Pours into a carafe 11 Clicked image 12 Libretto feature 13 Break in the action 21 Slapstick ammo 22 Chestnut hull 24 Hoedown honeys

25 — and aahed 26 Rollerblade 27 Breathes hard 28 Golfer Sam — 29 Thick of things 30 “— — You Knocking” 31 Vikings 32 Twitch 35 Wolf, say 38 Hosp. aides 41 Amount of land 43 Good Queen — 44 Oven pan 46 Constantly, to Poe

48 Bank jobs 51 Links org. 52 Jai — 53 Patch 54 Hunter’s garb 55 Causes a blister 56 “Garfield” pooch 57 Equal to the task 58 It may be enameled 59 Shallow container 61 Aberdeen kid

from the judge to the attorneys, to the jury, and the witness and defendant, and he figures out what everyone’s thinking,” he added. The doctor is perfectly aware that the 12 ordinary people making up a jury have the power to decide a person’s fate at court. He also knows that these jurors possess a preconceived notion of the truth. That’s why the key to winning a trial is by winning over the jury.

Behind the scenes Dr. Bull further understands that even the tiniest details such as relationship status, clothes, and hairstyle can turn the court against the defendant. To avoid an unfavorable outcome, he works with a team of experts to make sure that his clients are on their best behavior and will say the right things at the witness stand. His staff includes a lawyer who acts as defense attorney in mock trials, a neurolinguistics expert who used to be a part of the Department of Homeland Security, a former detective from the New York Police Department, a haughty millennial hacker, and a fashion stylist. “What this show really looks at are the choices that we make, and who we think we are versus how other people think we are, and it starts to get to a hall of mirrors. It takes very complex people to figure out complex people,” Weatherly said. Bull also stars Freddy Rodriguez, Geneva, Annabelle Attanasio Chris Jackson and Jaime Lee Kirchner along with Weatherly. The show premieres the same day as the U.S. today 9 p.m., first and exclusive on RTL CBS Entertainment.

Isah V. Red, Editor Nickie Wang, Writer isahred@gmail.com





‘Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli’

makes history H

Kapuso star Aljur Abrenica in a challenging role as Hermano Pule, a charismatic leader whose crusade for religious freedom turned into a major revolt against Spanish colonial rule

EARTTHROB Aljur Abrenica and seasoned filmmaker Gil Portes team up for the first time in Ang Hapis at Hinagpis ni Hermano Puli (The Agony and the Fury of Hermano Puli), a historical drama about Apolinario de la Cruz who founded the religious brotherhoon Cofradia de San Jose in Tayabas (now Quezon) in 1831. Because of Puli’s quest for religious freedom, he was the local Catholic hierarchy declared him a heretic. The Spanish colonial government sentenced him to death. Puli’s fiery love for the Filipino culture, people and nation is highlighted in this new film which opens in theaters nationwide today. Written by Enrique Ramos and produced by T-Rex Productions, Hermano Puli was the closing film in the recent 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. Since that screening, it has gained a lot of interest and feedback. Manila Bulletin’s NR Ramos described the movie as “entertaining and engrossing.”

Veteran writer Sylvia Mayuga was impressed by Aljur’s performance, saying, “The casting of young Aljur Abrenica as Manong Puli was felicitous. His perfectly controlled portrayal of Puli’s divine calling honors the price paid for an exalted mission. Puli’s execution to authentic chanting of the Tagalog pasyon, the soul of folk Christianity’s fervor alive and well in Tayabas, is a deeply moving master’s touch.” Clips of the film have been presented at school tours. The Hermano Puli “Bayani Ba ‘To?” school has visited Baguio, Cabanatuan, Baliwag, Malolos, Metro Manila, Laguna, Quezon, Batangas, Naga, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao.

The Ryan Cayabyab Singers (RCS) marks its ninth year on the music scene with the release of Sa Panaginip Lang, the group’s third full-length album. It consists of 12 songs written by Ryan Cayabyab, and half of the tracks’s lyrics by some of the group’s members. Curve Entertainment Inc. is distributing the album digitally worldwide, and the physical CD can be purchased at leading record stores. The RCS has been recognized as the Philippines’ seven-part powerhouse ensemble since 2007. Formed and handpicked by Cayabyab, the group has long held its incomparable standard of showcasing only top soloists and allaround performers as its members. Each of the seven members hails from different backgrounds, and together they engender the unsurpassable brand of artistry that Cayabyab can only qualify as his “dream team.” But what has left a remarkable impression on RCS audiences through the years is that no matter how each voice is as unique and as powerful as their individual personalities, they have deftly managed to blend in harmony to constantly master, re-invent, and deliver that stellar group sound that is always, and unmistakably, the product of Cayabyab. In 2007, the RCS was realized with a series of auditions that sieved 180 aspirants. With tests for singing, improvisation, dancing, and overall performance at every phase of the audition, 18 remained from which Cayabyab selected Poppert Bernadas, Kaye Tiuseco, and five others who formed the original group. In the

Enzo Pineda (left) and Vin Abrenica (right) in a scene from the historical drama

The response from students and teachers has been almost phenomenal. The trailer posted on the movie’s Facebook page has garnered 3.5 million-plus

views and received 12,312plus shares. The theme song “Alamat” performed by the band Let Gravity is also gaining airplay on radio.

Another feather on Puli’s cap is its inclusion in the short list of nine Filipino films being considered by the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) as the

RCS marks 9th anniversary

Maestro Ryan Cayabyab and his proteges, The Ryan Cayabyab Singers, a group of soloists and all-around performers

country’s entry to the Oscars. (Although Brillante Mendoza’s Ma Rosa was the final choice to be sent to the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film category search.) To Direk Gil, who marked his 71st birthday on Sept. 13, all this is a dream come true. “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli is one of the projects in my bucket list. I am happy to have completed it. What makes me happier now is the positive reaction and enthusiastic interest in Puli.” Aljur says, “Ginawa namin ang pelikula kasi hindi kilala si Puli sa labas ng Quezon at parang nakalimutan na siya sa kasaysayan. Kaya nakakataba ng puso na maraming excited na makilala si Hermano Puli at mangahas na umibig sa Diyos at sa bayan na katulad ng ginawa niya.” Apart from Aljur, the film also stars Louise Delos Reyes, Enzo Pineda, Menggie Cubarrubias, Ross Pesigan, Acrchie Adamos, Markki Stroem, Simon Ibarra, Aljur’s real life brothers Vin and Allen, Sue Prado, Kiko Matos, Stella Canete, Diva Montelaba, Abel Estanislao, and Alvin Fortuna.

following years, as some members left, new ones were auditioned in a similar manner and the group has welcomed Erwin Lacsa, Celine Fabie, VJ Caber, Sheerien dela Cruz, and most recently, Anthony Castillo, to complete the current company of seven. The singers are not required to have studied music, but they are required to be all-around performers, which means that they should not only be able to sing excellently, but move and carry themselves well onstage as seasoned professionals. The group’s edge lies in the coming together of the members’ different experiences and backgrounds, individual range, ease in choreography and blocking, and the collective youthful enthusiasm that excites their numerous fans upon seeing them perform altogether. The RCS was signed with Sony BMG in 2007, and released their self-titled album, Ryan Cayabyab RCS. While the single, “Let Me Love You Tonight.” won Best R&B, they also gained recognition with the distinction of Best Performance by a New Group from the 21st Awit Awards. In 2011, they released RCS Repackaged, distributed by Ivory Records. They perform mostly in corporate shows, personal events, concerts and tours in the Philippines and abroad. They have awed audiences all over with international credits including 12 cities in the US, 4 provinces of Australia, Canada, the Esplanade in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Following the release of Sa Panaginip Lang, they are preparing to return to the U.S. for a one-month tour in October 2016 to promote Philippine music through a journey of 100 years.

Profile for Manila Standard

Manila Standard - 2016 September 21 - Wednesday  

The digital edition of Manila Standard: A nationally circulated newspaper published daily in the Philippines since February 1987.

Manila Standard - 2016 September 21 - Wednesday  

The digital edition of Manila Standard: A nationally circulated newspaper published daily in the Philippines since February 1987.

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