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VOL. XXX • NO. 335 • 4 SECTIONS 20 PAGES • P18 • FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017 • •

Abe sets aside $8.6b 5-year aid pledges By John Paolo Bencito

KOKOCHIYOI TOCHAKU. President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) inspect an honor guard during a welcome ceremony for the visiting head of government Thursday at Malacañan Palace, becoming the first foreign leader to visit the Philippines since Duterte took power and launched his sweeping anti-illegal drugs drive last July. AFP

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday pledged 1 trillion yen or the equivalent of $8.66 billion in aid to the Philippines spread over five years, and welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to improve relations between the Philippines in China amid a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. Abe, who landed in Manila on Thursday as part of his six-day, four-nation trip to the Asia-Pacific region, is the first head of government to officially visit the Philippines under the Duterte administration, and is the highest ranking government official to visit Davao City, which is home to a large expat Japanese community. “For the further development of the Philippines, we will create business opportunities through ODA and Next page

SC clears RH; bishops worry CBCP warns ‘contraception corrupts the soul’ By Rey E. Requejo, Vito Barcelo and Maricel V. Cruz


HE Supreme Court said Thursday that it has issued no legal impediment to the government’s plan to implement the Reproductive Health law aggressively even as the Catholic Church maintained that contraception “corrupts the soul.”

“I’ve already clarified many times that there is no TRO [temporary restraining order] against the RH law,” Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te said as President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 12, which mandates an aggressive implementation of the law to provide universal access to reproductive health programs.

Te said a TRO that was sustained against the Health Department merely stopped it from distributing specific contraceptives, including Implanon implants, but did not refer to the RH law. The Court also struck down certifications and recertifications issued by the Food and Drug Next page

Palace sticks to guns on SSS premium rate hike By John Paolo Bencito MALACAÑANG on Thursday defended its decision to raise the premiums of Social Security System members amid a backlash from employers’ groups and senators. “The President has carefully

weighed both sides to solve the SSS impasse and he has already made a decision,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement. Andanar insisted that the increase in the SSS pension effective this quarter will be financed

by current contributions and investment income. “The planned 1.5-percent increase in contributions in May 2017 will be used to improve the Investment Reserve Fund in order to generate higher yields for investments, and to further

strengthen the overall viability of the pension fund so it can meet future obligations,” he said. Under the existing setup, SSS members pay 11 percent of their monthly salary as premiums, with employers covering 7.37 percent Next page

WEARISOME WOMEN. An unidentified Filipino ‘comfort woman,’ forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during the Japanese occupation of the country, in a protest rally raises her dying voice along with others similarly situated in front of the Japanese Embassy in Manila hours after Japanese Prime Minkister Shinzo Abe arrives in Manila. AFP

Pinoys wary of Russia, China; trust US, Japan By John Paolo Bencito DESPITE President Rodrigo Duterte’s belligerent attacks on the United States, most Filipinos said they trust the Americans, while a larger number said they distrust the President’s newfound allies, China and Russia, the latest Pulse Asia survey said. The Fourth Quarter Ulat ng Bayan survey, conducted among 1,200 respondents, showed that 76 percent of Filipinos trust the US, followed by

2 bombing suspects in Davao fall

Trump’s nominee lashes out at Beijing

By Francisco Tuyay and Florante S. Solmerin POLICE on Thursday said they have arrested two suspects in the Davao City night market bombing that left 14 people dead and wounded 70 others in September 2016. The arrest comes three months after lawmen arrested four suspected members of the terrorist Maute group, also in relation to the Davao night market attack. Senior Supt. Edilberto Leonardo, director for CIDG-Region Next page

DND fears collapse of peace gab By Florante S. Solmerin DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday the resumption of hostilities between the military and the communist rebels was inevitable once the peace talks collapsed. “They are asking for so many things that the President doesn’t want to give them,” Lorenzana told reporters. Next page

Japan at 70 percent. Russia and China, with whom Duterte is seeking better ties, were trusted by 38 percent of Filipinos. Great Britain received a slightly higher 39 percent trust rating. The US and Japan got a distrust rating of 23 and 29, respectively. Among the countries included in the survey, China had the highest distrust rating at 61 percent, followed by Russia and Great Britain at 58 percent and 55 perNext page cent, respectively.

DESPONDENCY DESPITE. Kyunghin Choi, wife of South Korean kidnap victim Jee Ick-Joo, meets media people Thursday, and offers a P100,000

reward for anyone who can provide leads to the location of her businessman-husband, kidnapped with his helper—released a day later—in his home in Angeles City last Oct. 18. Police are now tracking down eight suspects. (Story on A2) Norman Cruz MlaStandard ManilaStandardPH


PRESIDENT-ELECT Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state said China must be denied access to the artificial islands built in the South China Sea, a move that would raise the risk of conflict between the world’s biggest economies. Hours into a confirmation hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he was grilled extensively about his views on Russia, former Exxon Mobil Corp. chief Rex Tillerson said a failure to respond to China’s actions had allowed it to “keep pushing the envelope” in the South China Sea. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and second your access to those islands is also not going to be allowed,” Tillerson said when asked whether he would support a more aggressive posture in the South China Sea. He compared China’s actions to those of Russia in the Crimea. His remark is the latest from Trump’s administration to signal a more aggressive defense posture against China in addition to calls for a tougher line on trade. Next page

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‘Idiot’ cop in kidnap case warned


OLICE Chief Ronald dela Rosa on Thursday warned an “idiot” policeman accused of kidnapping a South Korean businessman that he would die unless he surrendered. The businessman disappeared from his home in Angeles City in October last year, with the kidnappers demanding a ransom for his release, authorities said. Police said earlier this week an officer with an anti-drug task force was suspected of involvement, that he had been placed under “restrictive custody” and that criminal charges would be filed against him. But Dela Rosa revealed Thursday the accused officer had not been detained as part of his “restrictive custody.” He said

the policeman was meant to just report to his officers, but that he had stopped doing so and gone missing. “I hope you surrender because if you don’t, you will really die. You son of a bitch, you will die if you do not surrender,” Dela Rosa said in an interview with DZMM radio. He made his statement even as the family of the Korean national offered a P100,000-reward for information that could lead to the victim’s location and the arrest of the suspects.

Omni Gas permit revoked after blast THE Energy Department said Thursday it will revoke the standards compliance certificate of Omni Gas Corp. after an explosion took place at its LPG refilling plant in Pasig City that hurt 20 people. The explosion also led to a fire that caused P20 million in damage, the Bureau of Fire Protection said. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Omni Gas could not operate until it was able to secure a new certificate after the incident was investigated. “Violations of the DoE Circular on LPG Rules merit ad-

ministrative sanctions on those responsible,” he said. The fire that followed the explosion started at 1:06 a.m. on Jan. 11 and was put out at 3:10 a.m. Witnesses said the smell of LPG woke them up before the explosion. LPG refilling firms are required to comply with the Fire Code of the Philippines and local government ordinances on operational safety. “Public safety is always our priority and the DoE is looking closely at this unfortunate incident which injured at least 20 people,” Cusi said. Alena Mae S. Flores


ng Manggagawang Pilipino on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction over the P1,000 increase in monthly pensions for 2.2 million retirees ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday. BMP said this was not only short of the amount Duterte promised, but also “clearly insufficient to cover even the barest nutritional and medical needs of pensioners.” But former Speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Thursday lauded Duterte for granting the P1,000 increase in pensions, saying it was a “doable” compromise. “President Duterte certainly acted in the interest of people who despite having been employed and retired, still found it hard to make both ends meet,” Belmonte said. With Sandy Araneta, Maricel V. Cruz

From A1

and employees, 3.63 percent. To cover a P1,000 increase in monthly pensions granted by President Rodrigo Duterte, the SSS wants to increase premiums by 1.5 percent every year until it reaches 17 percent of a member’s compensation, to be shared by the employer and the employee. While welcoming the P1,000 Social Security System pension hike, the youth group Anakbayan opposed the 1.5 percent increase in SSS premiums. The group also called for the immediate implementation of the P2,000 pension hike, instead of the government plan to release the second tranche of P1,000 in 2022. The labor group Bukluran

Abe... From A1

private sector investments which together will be of the order of one trillion yen over the next five years,” Abe said in a speech at Malacañang Palace on Thursday. Abe said that the aid will come in the form of official development assistance (ODA) and private-sector investments geared toward infrastructure projects such as construction of subways. To facilitate the disbursement of these grants, a joint committee on economic cooperation and infrastructure will be launched to provide a strong underpinning for Japan’s commitment to Philippines’ nation building, Duterte said. Duterte said Manila and Tokyo’s economic agencies were instructed to “seek new areas for collaboration” and work for the fulfillment of agreements signed during his visit to Japan last year. “We are encouraging our business sectors to intensify two-way trade and investment,” Duterte said. The grant is one of Japan’s largest aid packages given to any country, and tops the fiveyear package of more than 800 billion yen for Myanmar announced last year. Foreign Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura said Tokyo is “very eager” to promote cooperation between the two countries, particularly in creating an environment conducive to exchange of business opportunities. “The bottom line of this announcement is that Japan is very eager of this cooperation for the

business and the economic development of the Philippines by utilizing all those available resources,” Kawamura said. “At the same time, the prime minister underlined that this is a two-way street. This is not just a one-way of inflow of investments of money from Japan... I’d like to emphasize that a business-friendly environment on the side of the Philippines is also necessary. We’ll very much appreciate it if the Philippine officials and the private sector will cooperate with us,” he added. The exchanges will involve the promotion and use of Japanese technology and expertise for the improvement of infrastructure in the country, particularly in building railways that will connect the capital to nearby provinces, such as the 38-kilometer Tutuban to Malolos railway, Malolos to Clark railway link and the first 100 kilometers of rail system in Mindanao. In his visit to Japan last year, Duterte secured $1.85 billion in investments, including deals with Toyota Motors Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors. Abe’s visit came months after Duterte visited Japan. Abe pledged to provide support for the peace and development of Mindanao, including a decision to start studies for the urban development and flood control of Davao City. “Japan will likewise work with Duterte in his fight on countering illegal drugs, particularly on tapping the private sector to assist in the improvement of related facilities, formulation of treatment programs and in other areas,” Abe said.

Ick Joo Jee, an executive official of a South Korean heavy industries firm, was abducted on Oct. 18, 2016, by an anti-drugs police officer and seven others. Kyungjin Choi, the wife of the victim, said the kidnappers also took from them pieces of jewelry, her and their daughter’s passports and her husband’s vehicle, a black Ford Explorer with plate number ABT-1915. The case has drawn criticism from some lawmakers and local media as an example of corrupt policemen expanding their illegal activities after being given freedoms by President Rodrigo Duterte to prosecute his war against drugs. Duterte has encouraged the police to kill drug traffickers and addicts and vowed to shield them from prosecution.

About 5,700 people have died in Duterte’s drug war since he took office in the middle of last year. “Now cops appear to have upped their game by venturing into kidnapping for ransom in the name of the drug war,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which has reported critically on the crime crackdown, said in an editorial on Tuesday. Dela Rosa, picked by Duterte to lead his war on drugs, last year urged drug users to kill traffickers and burn down their homes. He later apologized for his “emotional outburst.” The Daily Inquirer newspaper on Monday quoted the missing man’s wife as saying the abductors had kidnapped him in a bid to extort a ransom. The wife said she had already paid P5 million ($100,000) but

the kidnappers wanted another P4.5 million, according to the newspaper. Dela Rosa said he had ordered a “manhunt” for the officer whose lack of cooperation he took as a sign of guilt. “There is a big chance this idiot is really guilty,” Dela Rosa said. He said he met with the businessman’s wife and the South Korean ambassador on Wednesday, assuring them the case would be quickly resolved. “But honestly I doubt the Korean is still alive,” Dela Rosa said. Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former national police chief, has vowed to launch a Senate investigation into kidnapping and extortion cases by the police force, which has a long history of corruption. AFP, with Sandy Araneta


administering, advertising and promoting” the said products. The order also stopped the FDA from granting pending applications for contraceptives and other reproductiv health product. The Health Department, through the Office of the Solicitor General, earlier sought the lifting of the TRO, saying it would waste the supply already purcahsed by the government and being kept in warehouses where they could expire. It also argued that the continued restraint would result in a depleted supply of contraceptives in both public and commercial market. This, the DoH alleged, may increase induced abortion and maternal deaths in the country. As President Duterte signed EO No. 12, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said the Church’s stand on contraception would never change. CBCP president, LingayenDagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the church’s stand has not changed, and that contraception “corrupts the soul.” In his pastoral message, the CBCP head said, “We must stay by the truth, but we must always be loving as we stand for the truth.” “We might not see eye to eye, but we can work hand in hand for the good of the country. There will be many more disagreements, but let us not allow our disagreements to disunite us further, because we have enough disunity already. So let us look for the things that unite us. That is the spirit,” the archbishop said. “Let us be friends beyond the RH law or any other order similar to that law,” the CBCP said. Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle echoed the CBCP’s pastoral letter , saying that the poor can better be served with education, health and less corruption, and not contraceptives. “The Catholic Church is against any law that promotes both natural and artificial family planning methods. The Church espouses only natural family planning,” the Cardinal said. The Church must continue to uphold the sacredness of human life, to teach always the dignity of the human person and to safeguard the life of every human person from conception to natural death, he said. Also on Thursday, a children’s protection watchdog said the Department of Education for pro-

moting the distribution pf free condoms to high school students, saying this distracts it from more important issues such as the shortage of classrooms and the poor quality of education. “The condom distribution of DepEd and the DoH is inseinstive and irresponsible,” said Kharlo Manano, secretary-general of the Sanlinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns. He added that the distribution of condoms in schools would only encourage students to engage in premarital sex. Lawmakers on Thursday were divided over the executive order signed by the President . Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, who is against family planning, hit the executive order. But former Speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Reps. Rodolfo Albano III of Isabela, Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao de Norte, Tobias Tiangco of Navotas and Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar backed the President’s EO. “I fully support it. I could not understand why the SC [issued a TRO] and left it pending,” Belmonte said. Last year, the SC upheld the constitutionality of the RH Law, but struck down some provisions such as the power of the government to compel private hospitals and those owned by religious groups to refer patients to other facilities that offer reproductive health services. The Court also did not favor the provision which allows minors to avail of family planning services without parental consent if they have already given birth or suffered a miscarriage. Barbers said it is necessary that Filipino married couples are well informed about their rights on issue of family planning. “I support the intent of the EO because at the end of the day, it is still the choice of the couple wether to use it or not,” Barbers said, noting that the availability and accessibility of condoms will not compel anyone to use it. Albano said the studies abroad have shown that the use of condoms have effectively addressed issues on unwanted pregnancies and the spread of HIV. “Thailand did that and stopped the epidemic on aids and unwanted pregnancies. So why should not President Rodrigo Duterte do it also?” Albano said. With Rio N. Araja

trol or declaring control of territories that are not rightfully China’s.” In Manila, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Malacañang will adopt a wait-andsee attitude following the statement from Tillerson that could set a course for a potentially serious confrontation with Beijing. “The reasonable response is to wait and see what the new administration’s policy pronouncements will be,” Andanar said. Tillerson offered no detail about how the US could stop China from building islands, or prevent access, but in recent years the US has consistently conducted freedom-of-navigation operations throughout the area. “This is the sort of off-thecuff remark akin to a tweet that pours fuel on the fire and maybe makes things worse,” said Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra. “Short of going to war with

China, there is nothing the Americans can do.” China claims more than 80 percent of the South China Sea, where it has constructed artificial land features on seven rocks and reefs, and installed military facilities. Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also claim parts of the same area through which more than $5 trillion of trade passes each year. In March, Trump accused Beijing of building a military fortress. “They do that at will because they have no respect for our president and they have no respect for our country,” he said. Tillerson also said he would stand by the US defense treaties with Japan and South Korea. These had been in doubt after Trump said in an interview in March last year that he would consider withdrawing US troops if the allies didn’t pay more for their upkeep. Bloomberg, AFP, John Paolo Bencito

From A1

Administration on 77 contraceptive drugs and devices for violation of the constitutional requirement of due process. In these instances, the Court said, certifications were issued without notice and without public hearings, despite opposition from the petitioner, the Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc., which believes that the implants can lead to abortions. While the SC sustained the TRO and voided the certifications, it has remanded the case to the FDA for processing of new certifications. The SC specifically ordered the FDA “to observe the basic requirements of due process by conducting a hearing, and allowing the petitioners to be heard, on the re-certified, procured, and administered contraceptive drugs and devices, including Implanon and Implanon NXT; and to determine whether they are abortifacients or nonabortifacients.” It ordered the agency to start hearings of the applications within 30 days from receipt of notice. In the same ruling, the SC also directed the FDA to formulate rules for screening, evaluation and approval of all contraceptive drugs and devices to be used under the RH law. Te pointed out that the Court gave a deadline for the FDA to comply with the ruling and suggested that RH advocates should instead follow up with the agency on its compliance. The SC also ordered the DoH to formulate rules for purchase and distribution of the products and also to generate the complete list of government’s programs and services under the RH law for distribution to all health care service providers. Implanon and Implanon NXT are thin rods inserted under the skin that release hormones that prevent pregnancy for up to three years. The SC issued the TRO on the distribution of said drugs in June 2015 for an indefinite period in reaction to a petition of Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc., which claimed that such contraceptives have abortifacient character. The order covers “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or

Trump’s... From A1

Trump earlier questioned the US’ policy of recognizing Beijing over the government in Taiwan, and criticized China’s ties with North Korea. In Beijing, China offered a muted response Thursday after Tillerson warned the US would stop it from using its artificial islands in the South China Sea. Beijing has fueled regional tensions by turning tiny, ecologically fragile reefs and islets in the strategically vital South China Sea into artificial islands hosting military facilities. Tillerson said China’s building in the disputed waters and its declaration of an air defense identification zone over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea were “illegal actions.” “They are taking territory or con-

2 bombing... From A1

11, identified the suspects as Zack Haron Velasco Lopez, alias Herwin Madrona and Jessy Vincent Quinto Original. They were arrested along San Pedro Street in Davao City at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The latest arrests bring to nine the number of Maute group suspects in a series of bomb attacks in different areas in Central Mindanao. In December 2016, the Maute group tried to set off two separate bombs in Metro Manila—at the perimeter of the United States Embassy and at the Luneta Grandstand, but failed. Police tracked down the bombers to their hideouts in Caloocan and Bulacan a week later. The Maute group is also a suspect in the Leyte bombing that left dozens injured in Hilongos town. In Smisip, Basilan, an officer was killed and four other soldiers were wounded in a clash with an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf bandits. Maj. Felimon Tan Jr., spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said the encounter occurred at around 7:10 a.m. in Barangay Cabcaban, and involved soldiers from the 19th Special Forces Company and 4th Special Forces Battalion. Helicopter gunships were sent to the battle area to provide close support for the soldiers and to evacuate casualties. More soldiers from different units were deployed to reinforce the troops. Tan said the firefight raged for several hours until the late afternoon.

Pinoys... From A1

Among international organizations, the United Nations was well received by Filipinos with a trust rating of 74 percent while only 25 percent said they distrust it. Half of the respondents said that they trust the European Union, while distrust is at 47 percent. The latest survey, conducted from Dec. 6 to 11, has a ± 3 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.

DND... From A1

“There is going to be war again when the talks collapse. That’s what the President has been saying and I’m just repeating.” Duterte had earlier said he might declare an amnesty for all communist rebels, especially those in jail for a string of criminal offenses, to give way to lasting peace. This had led to the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire by the government and by the communists, but the declaration of a bilateral ceasefire still has to take place. The communists want the release of more than 400 alleged political prisoners, but Lorenzana says Duterte is still studying whom to release and whom to keep in jail. Still, Duterte has already ordered the release of dozens of communist rebels. Lorenzana said the peace talks between the government and the NDF would resume next week in Rome, and that it could lead to the signing of a bilateral ceasefire. “What they are going to accomplish in Rome is discuss the terms of the bilateral ceasefire agreement. That’s why yesterday some of my people went to the OPAPP Office of the [Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process),” Lorenzana said. He said OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza had sought the opinion of Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ano. “They [OPAPP] asked us what inputs do we want to be placed into this agreement. The process will take a little bit longer, but hopefully they will be able to agree on this bilateral ceasefire agreement,” Lorenzana said.




IN BRIEF Sandiganbayan to begin plunder trial of Revilla on Feb 9 THE Sandiganbayan will begin on Feb. 9 its trial on the plunder case filed against detained former Senator Ramon ‘‘Bong’’ Revilla Jr., after the court asked the prosecution to make corrections in the pre-trial brief to be signed before trial begins. A total 119 witnesses will be presented during the trial, lead prosecutor Joefferson Toribio said when asked by Revilla’s new counsel, Estelito Mendoza, the former solicitor general and secretary of justice during the Marcos administration. Of the total witnesses, the 77 were alleged beneficiaries of Revilla’s ghost pork barrel projects, Toribio said. With the number of witnesses to be presented against Revilla, Mendoza said however [the case] will probably take forever. Revilla, in police custody since 2014, said he was “excited” that the plunder will soon begin. “I am excited; hoping this will be expedited, but I think this will take long,” Revilla told reporters after the hearing Thursday. Maricel V. Cruz

Robredo hopes she and DU30 will get along well in the end DESPITE their political differences, Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday hoped she and President Rodrigo Duterte would get along well in the end. Speaking to a crowd in Barangay 105, Tondo, Manila, Robredo said she was not yet giving up that she and the President could patch up their differences. “I am always hoping. Always, I am hoping for the good of the people that the president and the Vice President get along with each other very well,” she said. Robredo, replying to questions, said she did not want to make a big deal out of the President’s cancellation of his invitation for her to join the Vin d’ honneur in Malacañang Wednesday. “It was not a big deal if I was invited or not. It’s just the manner of how they did it to me,” she said. “If they are angry at me, so be it. But I hope they give a little respect to the Office [of the Vice President]. To me, that would just be fine. I cannot do anything about it. I’ll just focus on my work and not to dwell on it as if it was a big issue.” But she said the President must tone down in dealing with the 1,400 mayors allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. “We can ask the help of the mayors to fight illegal drugs. The intention was good to meet with the mayors, but to threaten to kill them is a different thing. No one can do that even, especially, if you are the President,” she added. Rio N. Araja

Drilon pushes for review of biz incentives SENATE President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon Thursday urged the government to push for the review and rationalization of fiscal incentives granted to businesses as a way of increasing government revenue, rather than continue its plan to raise taxes on petroleum products. Drilon said the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, the Department of Trade and Industry and the country’s economic managers must focus their efforts in supporting the proposed rationalization of tax incentives “to generate additional revenues to help offset projected dip in revenues that may arise from income tax cuts.” “I hope our economic managers will work closely with Congress for the long-sought Rationalization of Fiscal Incentives law instead of spending its time on a tax hike on petroleum products that will surely negatively affect our people,” Drilon said. “If our aim is to increase revenues, then the government should look at reviewing the various laws on the grant of tax incentives and plug the leakages in our tax system,” he added. Macon Ramos-Araneta

SOLEMN DECLARATION. Senator Loren Legarda, cultural worker and former journalist, administers Thursday the oath of office to newly appointed chairman of the government-run National Center for Culture and the Arts Bulacan-born, 73-year-old National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario at the NCCA Building in Intramuros, Manila. Ey Acasio

DoJ’s Aguirre seeks BIR probe on Lam’s liabilities T “If he doesn’t pay, the government will sequester and sell his properties thru public auction as his payment for the tax liabilities,” the DoJ chief said. He said Lam may also decide to enter into a compromise deal with the government in settling his tax deficiencies, which is allowed under our laws. Aguirre admitted Lam’s camp had sent feelers to the office of the President and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. for his return to the country. The Justice secretary said Duterte had set specific conditions for Lam’s return—that he must settle his unpaid taxes, legalize his online gaming operation by applying for a license with the Pagcor, face the cases

By Rey E. Requejo

HE Department of Justice has asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue to investigate the tax liabilities of Chinese casino mogul Jack Lam for his illegal online gaming operations in Clark Field, Pampanga.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II stressed the BIR should determine the total tax liabilities of Lam as fulfillment of one of the conditions laid down by President Rodrigo Duterte for the tycoon’s return to the country, particularly for the gaming tycoon to settle his unpaid taxes. According to Aguirre, should Lam fail to meet the conditions,

the BIR findings could then be used for sequestration proceedings on assets and properties he left in the country. “The BIR should investigate his [Lam’s] tax liabilities and make him pay. If he doesn’t pay, then his properties will be distrained and those are big ones like Fontana Park and Fort Ilocandia,” he said.

against him and undertake not to corrupt officials here. Lam has been at the center of the controversy involving the alleged P50-million extortion by Bureau of Immigration officials supposedly for the release of 1,316 Chinese workers inside the illegal online casino in his Fontana Leisure Park in November last year. The National Bureau of Investigation is conducting its probe on the extortion scandal and has summoned dismissed BI deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, who received the P50-million cash from Lam’s camp. The NBI also summoned BI commissioner Jaime Morente, dismissed BI intelligence chief

Charles Calima Jr. and former police C/Supt. Wally Sombero, who supposedly served as Lam’s middleman. Argosino, Robles and Calima have all been dismissed from the BI. They surrendered the P30 million and P18-million cash they respectively received from Sombero, who also surrendered P2 million. Calima has filed plunder charges against Argosino and Robles before the office of the Ombudsman. Argosino and Robles, on the other hand, filed criminal charges of corruption of public officials and violation of anti-wiretapping law before the Parañaque prosecutor’s office against Calima, Sombero and Lam.

PMA Class ’84 member gets AFP No. 2 post By Florante S. Solmerin LT. GEN. Salvador Melchor Mison, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, has been promoted to the position of Vice Chief of Staff, the No. 2 position in the AFP. A member of the Philippine Military Academy “Maharlika” Class 1984, Mison’s assumption to his new position is yet to be scheduled by the office of AFP

Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año. Año welcomed the promotion of Mison which was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte. Mison will replace Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, now Army chief and concurrent VCS. Miranda was recently designated Army chief after Año was promoted to his current position. Año and Miranda are “mistah” (classmates) at the PMA “Matikas” Class ’83. Manila

‘Commercial displays along Edsa violate Natl Building Code’ By Joel E. Zurbano SEVERAL outdoor commercial displays along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue violate the National Building Code, according to Metro Manila Development Authority acting chairman Thomas Orbos. But Orbos admitted the MMDA was not the lead agency to regulate oversized and unsafe billboards that also pose undue distractions to motorists and may lead to accidents. “Basically the ineffectiveness of implementing the proper regulations to cover billboards is borne out of the fact that we don’t have the mandate. The mandate is with Department of Public Works and Highways, because of the building code,” he said. “The DPWH has the power. There was a memorandum of agreement signed in 2011 that passed the authority to us but you can’t pass the authority. Therefore we discussed it with the DPWH and we agreed to return to them and [they] be the one to enforce this,” the MMDA chief added. If there is a need to coordinate with local government units, Orbos said, the MMDA will act but the regulation will come from the public works department. Orbos said about 100 billboards displayed along Edsa continue violating provisions of the building code on setbacks, yard requirements, and non conformity to land use, with some even having the nerve to re-erect their billboards after the government’s dismantling operations in the past.



Replacing Mison in his post, a threestar position, is Rear Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr., (PMA “Sandiwa” Class ’85). With his promotion, Vingson is set to relinquish his current position as AFP Inspector General. Just recently, Vingson was designated AFP-IG, a three-star position. Multiple sources told Manila Standard that Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo

dela Cruz (Matikas member) would be laterally transferred to the AFP-IG position. Dela Cruz has only barely three months remaining in service before he will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56. There is also talk that Army 4th Infantry Division Maj. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal (Sandiwa member) and Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez, AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (J3) are candidates to replace dela Cruz at the Wesmincom. WCKF reaches out to far-flung areas. For a fluid start to the year, the Wong Chu King Foundation (WCKF) donated a water supply system to the residents of Brgy. Dugayung in the historic town of Piat, Cagayan. The water supply system will serve as a steady source for 7,000 residents of the barangay. Over the past year, the WCKF also gave away two water systems in separate barangays of the same town. The simple inauguration and turn over ceremony was held at Dugayung Elementary School. In photo are students and staff of Dugayung Elementary School, Mr. Alexander D. Wongchuking (Executive Director), Mrs. Belen Wongchuking, Mayor Carmelo “Black” Villacete, Mr. James Vincent C. Navarrete (General Manager), Mr. Francisco S. Conag (Public School District Supervisor), Msgr. Samuel Baculi, Mr. Camelo Noel H. Navarro (WCKF Volunteer) and Ms. Cristina C. Villanueva (WCKF head coordinator).





Political risk


HE Philippine economy will surely expand this year but the political risk has become more unpredictable. That unpredictability could soon translate into slower economic expansion, or, in layman’s terms, fewer job opportunities and increased unemployment rate.

Moody’s Investors Service, which has given the Philippines a stamp of approval in the past for managing the economy well, has warned that the unpredictability of political risk in the Philippines could negatively affect economic and fiscal reforms and

Adelle Chua, Editor

eventually threaten the sustained expansion of the economy. The credit rating agency noted that President Rodrigo Duterte, since coming to power in June 2016, had clashed with lawmakers over the extrajudicial killings linked to the war

on drugs, and sparked controversy when he allowed a hero’s burial for the late President Ferdinand Marcos. Moody’s acknowledged Duterte’s current high approval ratings, but cautioned that a prolonged focus on political matters could detract attention from economic and fiscal reforms. His aim to pursue a more independent foreign policy that includes ending joint military exercises with the US and closer ties with China is overshadowing more critical economic

issues, like increased infrastructure spending and revenue reforms. The Philippines is also facing headwinds in the global trade. The World Bank early this week reduced its global growth estimate for 2017, saying the uncertainty about the economic policies of US President-elect Donald Trump was clouding the outlook. Trump’s protectionist policies could curb the growth of Philippine exports and dampen investments in the dynamic business process outsourcing sec-

tor. Less exports and reduced BPO investments will translate directly into fewer available jobs. Moody’s is far from downgrading the credit rating of the Philippines given the strong growth momentum. Recent data from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, however, should not be taken lightly. Investment pledges in ecozones slumped 26 percent in 2016 to P218.2 billion from P295 billion in 2015. The sharp drop followed the uncertainties created by the May presidential

elections and Duterte’s outbursts, which have alienated some foreign donors and investors. The government that includes Duterte should pay equal attention to the infrastructure and revenue challenges facing the Philippines. Higher infrastructure spending and revenue reforms mean more economic and job opportunities. Increased economic activities will eventually give way to a busier labor force that will have little or no time at all to try drugs. PENSEES FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO

The 5th president of CSU

A key ally in the US LOWDOWN

JOJO A. ROBLES PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte may have found a key ally in the nominee for the top diplomatic post of the United States. If President-elect Donald Trump’s opponents in the US Congress don’t deep-six the appointment, that is. Rex Tillerson, a Texan and former CEO of the giant oil company ExxonMobil, went before the Senate foreign affairs committee deliberating on his confirmation as secretary of state on Wednesday and said what many thought was impossible: He said he didn’t want to rely on reports in American newspapers about alleged human rights violations in the Philippines because he wanted to verify those reports “on the ground.” Tillerson was grilled hard and long by Democrats on the com-

mittee, who included Duterte’s critic on the panel, Maryland Senator Ben Hardin, and at least one Republican who lost the nomination for the presidency to Trump, Marco Rubio of Florida. The Republicans have a one-vote majority on the committee and if it refuses to confirm Tillerson, his nomination could be put to a vote of the entire Senate, where the GOP enjoys a more comfortable majority, according to the rules of the US Congress. Tillerson was questioned on Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, climate change, the Transpacific Partnership and other issues that pointed to a long and stormy confirmation battle ahead. But his response to Rubio’s interrogation on Duterte’s war on drugs must have been particularly galling to Cardin and the other Democrats, because the US media has largely written off Duterte as a wholesale killer and human rights violator. Rubio and two other US sena-

tors urged the State Department in a letter last month to review its process of giving aid to the Philippines. The Florida lawmaker and Senators Edward Markey and Christopher Coons

‘[The Philippines has] been an ally and we need to ensure they stay an ally,’ Tillerson said.

denounced what they said “appears to be a campaign of mass atrocities thinly disguised as a response to a public health emergency” committed by Duterte.

“I’m not going to rely solely on what I read in the newspapers [about the Philippines],” Tillerson told his interrogators. “I will go to facts on the ground. I’m sure there’s good, credible information available through our various government agencies.” Tillerson asked the Senate to remember the US’ “long-standing friendship” with the Philippines when dealing with Duterte. “They have been an ally and we need to ensure they stay an ally,” he said. There’s hope yet for improved US-Philippine relations under a Trump presidency, if Tillerson is confirmed. Trump and the Republicans loyal to him have to beat back the Democrats and the liberal US media outlets opposed to Tillerson’s appointment first, of course. *** Speaking of unlikely news, most Filipinos will probably be forgiven if they choose not to believe this report. But a big American global content deliv-

ery network and cloud services provider has announced that the Philippines has one of the fastest growing average internet speeds in the Asia Pacific region. In its latest State of the Internet Report, Akamai Technologies reported that the country’s average connection speed for mobile internet registered the fastest growth in the Asia Pacific region, marking a significant improvement at an average speed of 13.9 Mbps from the 8.5 Mbps recorded in the second quarter last year. “The Philippines enjoyed the strongest growth in the region, with a 79 percent quarterly gain,” the Akamai report said. However, despite the rapid growth, the Philippines was still ranked 74th globally in 10 Mbps broadband adoption and 97th in the world in 4 Mbps broadband adoption. The Philippines’ average mobile speed of 13.9 Mbps topped the speeds of Australia (12.8 Mbps), Japan (11.6 Mbps), South Korea (11.2

PRESIDENT Jaye is a family friend. This piece on her is written from the vantage point of a friend. It is biased then, but really, is there ever understanding that is unbiased? That she is someone I have known for some time now as more than a passing acquaintance allows me to share, with an appreciable degree of authority, my familiarity with the Fifth President of the Cagayan State University. She now occupies the loftiest office to which any academic can aspire, but it was by no means an easy climb and certainly, no leisurely walk in the park. She has been put through the crucible that life’s tests can often be and, in her case, it was no timid flame but a blazing refiner’s fire that brought out the steel in her spirit without smothering its gentleness and compassion. She has been tested and found worthy and fit! Her parents, Roberto Alvarado and Resurrecion Gaerlan, have since passed on, and she takes great pride in her children Terence, Teodore Veronico and William Jefferson. Recently, she told me how it tested her severely and sent her to the verge of tears when her apos bade her goodbye to be able to spend the New Year in Manila. There is much to be said in favor of a lola at the helm of a university of close to forty thousand students and close to a thousand tenured faculty members! For a job of that magnitude, you need nerves of steel, a mind capable of keen analysis and incisiveness, and the heart of a (grand)mother. Dr. Jaye has these all—fortunately for all of us at the Cagayan State University. Her education gave her a mix of scientific acumen and managerial capabilities. She received her bachelor’s degree with a major in Agricultural Economics from the De La Salle–Araneta University in 1981. Her alma mater recognized her as “The Most Outstanding Alumnus in the Government Sector” in 2014. Her Master of Public Administration degree earned from the University of St. Louis Tuguegarao in 1986 prepared her for managerial and executive positions she was to occupy in government. And in 1993, she capped her schooling in science as a DoST Scholar with a Ph.D. in Agricultural Science, specializing in crop science. To this day, she talks about crossbreeding, genetic modification and hybrids when reviewing research projects of the university,

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‘Welcome back!’ THAT was my publisher Rollie Estabillo’s gracious greeting to me when I approached him last week about resuming my columns for the Manila Standard. I used to write a weekly column for this paper, then titled “Bypass”, in honor of my memorable surgery in 2008. However, I stopped sometime in 2013 when it became clear to me that the regular venting of my spleen against the PNoy administration, while good for my cardiac condition, was probably no longer fair to my readers. But we are now thankfully rid of that unlamented dispensation. These days we’re governed by a new leadership that’s trying to get rid of the mountain of trash that was left behind, take us in bold new directions using methods that are even bolder (perhaps reprehensibly so in some instances), and build a legacy that is qualitatively different, maybe even revolutionary. It’s a great time to plunge back into the issues of the day and start writing again. I’ll be coming out twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. I’m looking forward to this, and I promise not to disappoint my readers, old and new, too often. *** B e f o r e jumping into what’s new out there, I should like to bid a proper farewell to the company I’m leaving behind—specifically, to my former colleag ues at BDO, the country’s largest bank, where for the past six years I was (to quote the colorful description of my fellow columnist Vic Agustin) “burrowed deeply” during the PNoy years. As a long-term consultant, I was in a great position to closely observe—and hopefully contribute in a meaningful way to—the workings of the bank without being hedged in by the corporate rat race. BDO is notable not only for its size, but also for outperforming its peers in almost all key metrics of bank performance (one exception is I think number of branches, where Metrobank is ahead by a few more). A key reason for exceptional performance was the nurturing of a corporate culture over two decades of growth by acquisitions. It’s a culture that has managed to absorb and preserve what was best in those acquired banks, but integrating them under the no-nonsense, customer-focused (“We find ways!”) philosophy of the retail-based Sy family. *** I was surprised to learn that through more than a dozen bank acquisitions, there had never been wholesale lay-offs, a standard solution to the inevitable issues of job redundancy and duplication. BDO’s management simply relied on continuing growth of the economy to pick up the slack over time, while ceaselessly exhorting their people to keep working harder and working better. To my American-trained mind, this was not only unorthodox, but also outright risky.

And I’m still probably right— but only in the context of Western practice and prospects. In a highly competitive economy where a lot of inefficiency has already been squeezed out, margins are thin, and therefore so too is the room for error. At the same time, employees are valued exclusively for what they contribute, and therefore are just as disposable as other, inanimate value inputs, such as land or capital. This environment encourages business acquisitions to be more, rather than less, brutal. But in our part of the world, old habits inherited from more pastoral and spiritual traditions die harder. This makes our economies probably less efficient, but our communities a heck of a lot more livable. At the same time, the receding horizon of future growth continually creates additional space for us to make our mistakes, but also to build businesses that can afford the luxury of perpetual optimism. *** In my next few columns, I’ll be talking about the six key performance areas of the Duterte administration and what we can do to contribute to their success, not for his sake, but for ours and our children’s. This will be by way of explaining why I chose to title my resurrected column “Formation.” For now, let me close with an inspirational news tidbit, courtesy of my old friend and HMO guru Ernest Rufino: the appointment of the very first Filipino to lead a Catholic diocese in the United States. According to CNA/EWTN News, Bishop Oscar Solis, currently an auxiliary bishop in the archdiocese of Los Angeles, has just been named to head the diocese of Salt Lake City. His history-making appointment follows on his earlier record in 2003 as the first Filipino to be appointed a bishop in the US. Born in San Jose, Nueva Ecija, the future bishop’s duties after ordination were exclusively on the educational and administrative side. But he was introduced to, and “fell in love with,” parish life during visits to the United States, where he was subsequently incardinated in 1992 into a diocese in Louisiana. He is fluent in Spanish as well as English and Filipino, which will stand him in good stead among the large and growing Hispanic population of Salt Lake City. But evangelization will be more difficult among the Mormon majority, a uniquely American denomination with even more aggressive proselytization, as witness the ubiquitous young American men in white shirts and ties tirelessly walking in pairs around the humblest parts of our country. Just as we wish those Mormon missionaries well among us, we also wish His Excellency Bishop Solis the best among his new flock.

It’s a great time to plunge back into the issues of the day and start writing again.

A key... From A4 Mbps), Indonesia (10.9 Mbps), New Zealand (10.8 Mbps), Taiwan (9.4 Mbps), China (8.9 Mbps), Singapore (8.5 Mbps), Hong Kong (6.1 Mbps), Thailand (6.1 Mbps), Sri Lanka (5.4 Mbps),

Readers can write me at India (3.5 Mbps) and Vietnam (3.4 Mbps), the report added. The Duterte government has made global competitiveness a priority by announcing the planned roll-out of a National Broadband Plan aimed at making local internet speed even faster and cheaper through the new Department of Information



A petty breach of protocol BACK CHANNEL ALEJANDRO DEL ROSARIO IT’S the talk of the town and the diplomatic circle. We are talking about the conspicuous absence of Vice President Leni Robredo at Malacañang’s traditional Vin d’honneur New Year’s Day reception for foreign ambassadors posted in Manila. It’s not as if someone at the Office of the President goofed and forgot to send an invitation to the second highest official of the land. It is worse when an invitation was indeed sent to the VP—only to be withdrawn later. The diplomatic incident has only confirmed that all is not well between President Duterte and the Vice President. But to use a diplomatic occasion as the event to show his disdain for the VP only underscores Digong’s petty and combative nature. He has accused his VP as being behind an alleged plot to topple him from power. Really, this early? Usually, plotters and conspirators wait for at least a year or

two to build up the raison d’etre for replacing a duly elected president through impeachment, coup d-etat or whipping up a crowd for a people power uprising. To “disinvite “ the vice president to the Vin d’honneur is unheard of and can only highlight Duterte’s pettiness if not insecurity. The Office of the Vice President, meanwhile, belied reports that she received an invitation. “No, we did not, and VP Robredo did not really have any schedule or appointment that day,” said a spokesman at the VP’s office. Clearly then, it was a snob without any regard for protocol and the vice president’s office. It was the first time in the Vin d’honneur’s history a sitting vice president was not invited. Then vice president Jejomar Binay was invited to this traditional diplomatic occasion even when he was already sniping at former President Noynoy Aquino. Duterte should take a cue from former President Ferdinand Marcos who said “embrace your enemies, so you can search them for weapons.” Someone who spoke on condition of anonymity who commented on the incident said: “You can take the man from a small town like Davao, but you cannot take

the small mind out of him.” Take for instance Digong saying “bottoms up” in his toast to the gathered ambassadors. As anyone versed in diplomatic practice during these occasions knows, the host merely takes a sip from the glass of champagne or white wine. To drink bottoms up betrays a man who’s used to hard drinking with his buddies at the neighborhood store—a practice which Digong himself had banned upon assuming the presidency. To the President’s credit, he didn’t take the occasion to take a potshot at the US whose ambassador., Sung Kim, who was present together with Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua and Russian counterpart, Igor Khovaev. China and Russia are the two countries Duterte has been flirting with in his pursuit of a so-called independent foreign policy. The rift between Robredo and Duterte started when the Veep started criticizing the series of extrajudicial killings in the President’s brutal war on drugs and their traffickers. For this the VP, who was then a member of Duterte’s Cabinet as Housing and Urban Development Secretary, was told not to attend Cabinet meetings anymore. That left Robredo no choice but to resign her post.

She also warned Duterte to watch his language when the President threatened town mayors allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade to repent, resign or be killed. In a meeting with the local officials, Duterte waved in his hand a purported list of town mayors linked to the narcotics trade. Duterte claimed the conspiracy to oust him was hatched by Malacañang and the Liberal Party. Robredo is affiliated with ran and won under the LP banner. Another LP stalwart, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has also filed unexplained wealth charges against the Dutertes. The senator said Duterte has 41 properties in Davao, Dipolog, Cagayaan de Oro, Quezon City and San Juan City. Trillanes claimed the properties some of the real estate assets were under the name of his daughter Sara and her husband, another 10 were under the name of his eldest son Paulo while the others were under the name of youngest son Sebastian. Trillanes, however, said he’s still validating other information before actually filing the case. He raised the question why an official like Duterte, a former Davao City mayor, could have so many properties.

The risks of 2017 VIRTUAL REALITY TONY LOPEZ BANGKO Sentral Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. was guest of the Tuesday Club of newsmen, PR men and professionals last Jan. 10, 2017 at Shangri-La Edsa. He enumerated the risks the economy faces during this 2017. He remains hopeful the strong and resilient economy could weather any storm —financial, economic, and political (what he calls political noise, including President Duterte’s expletives). Would you believe he counts as among the risk to the economy Metro Manila’s traffic? After serving two six-year terms as BSP governor, Tetangco bows out this year having done a good job. His biggest achievement he says is “having stabilized the economy and strengthened its macro economic fundamentals.” “We did our homework,” he gloats. Here are his remarks: Many events that are occurring today are not as we had expected in the first place. Consider, among others: Brexit, the Trump win, victory of populist parties in the Austrian and Italian referenda, and an OPEC agreement on cutting production (that has so far seemed to be enforced). For 2016, there was sustained economic momentum 1. GDP was strong—7.1% in Q3, 71 consecutive quarters of positive growth (since 1999Q1), one of the fastest in emerging Asia 2. Inflation—Strong growth occurred in sustained low inflation—1.8 pct. for 2016; looking at mid-range in 2017 and 2018 of 3.3 percent, up 83 percent. 3. Banking system—sound and stable. Liquid, profitable, strong balance sheets. 4. External position—robust, with gross international reserves

The 5th... From A4 with the familiarity of an expert. “Empowerment”: this sums up her management credo as well as her life’s mission. She recently made the administrators of the university know that she was determined on empowering university officials so that things did not have to depend on orders and directives from the Office of the President. But this is how she has always been. She initiated “Harnessing Appropriate Technologies to Assist Women”—with the charming acronym “Hataw,” a project that has, to its credit, successful women entrepreneurs throughout the region. And when she sensed that coconut farming and all the economics that went with it were moribund in Sanchez Mira, the town of her childhood (to which she very often returns), and in nearby municipalities, she

and Communications Technology. The national broadband network was first pitched during the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, but the plan was shelved after it was mired in controversy over the awarding of the contract to Chinese hardware providers. During the Aquino adminis-

(GIR) at end-2016 of $81 billion, slightly higher than that in 2015, still able to cover over nine months’ worth of imports and payments for services. Why the resilience? What allowed the Philippines to continue to be resilient, despite the surprises of 2016? Well, we did our homework and kept our own house in order. For instance: 1. We had already put in place difficult but necessary structural reforms for over two decades now (e.g., value added tax, GCG (Governance Commission for Government Owned or Controlled Corporations), liberalizing important sectors like banking, and the Bangko Sentral Charter that guarantees BSP’s independence). In other words, institutions are basically sound. 2. Demography is on our side. This makes domestic consumption a natural driver of growth. Even so, we also diversified sources of growth. Manufacturing has been gaining and agriculture turning around. 3. BSP’s independence has allowed it to focus and deliver on its primary mandate of price and financial stability. We are therefore entering 2017 with solid buffers. And we certainly need these, given the risks that we anticipate going forward. Risks in 2017 1. The biggest immediate threat that we face is financial market volatility, because this has many second-round implications. • Agents can incorrectly perceive risk, and misprice this, which can result in overshooting in rates and have adverse intermediate effects on balance sheets of corporates and banks. This can also lead to financial stability pressures. • Volatility can strike fear among investors. If this is uncontrolled, it could significantly dampen “animal spirits”. In other

words, a snuffing up of “exuberance”. When animal spirits are curtailed, innovation and further investments can also be stalled. • The impact of financial markets on the real sector can have long and serious implications. This is the negative feedback loop that we saw during the GFC (global financial crisis). • Immediate financial market volatility in turn comes from: • Fed policy actions. In particular if actual Fed action and is significantly different from original market expectations. • If faster rate hike than expected—Emerging market economies (EME) currencies, including the peso can depreciate faster; interest rates could also rise faster. • If slower—can cause “risk on” so that EME currency depreciation would be slower. • Asynchronous AE (advanced economies) policy—while Fed is hiking, European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Japan (BOJ) continue to provide stimulus. 2. There are other risks: • The rise of populism and retreat from multilateralism (Brexit and Trump are manifestations). • This can lead to inward-looking economic growth policies, shrinking of trade, and further weakening of the already tentative global growth outlook. • Another possible knock-on effect closer to home is weakening of remittances and slowdown in the BPO sector. While we recognize this is a possibility, we don’t believe the magnitude would be significant. Because our remittances have been more diversified in terms of jobs and geography. The quality of our workers and the cost of setting up and doing business here ensure that the BPO sector is supported. • Oil price direction: Will OPEC agreement hold for the expected six months? Will US shale production fill in gap in supply? The developments bear watching.

Domestic risks • Domestic risks: Traffic. Lack of infrastructure. Weather. Political noise and the need to develop more discernment so we can distinguish what is noise and what needs to be pursued. What can you expect from the BSP? 1. Continue to pursue our mandate of price and financial stability. We instituted the IRC in 2016 and we will continue to refine this as needed. We have a set of priority reforms on the supervision side, which includes further enhancing the governance of banks. We will also work to push the NSFI and NRPS. 2. Continue to implement a flexible exchange rate policy. This has served us well during the period of heightened volatility. 3. Continue to enhance our tool kit, which now includes: a. Liquidity forecasting b. EWS, BDI, PCIFS (consolidated index of financial stress) c. Banks stress tests d. Macro prudential measures e. Rediscounting, Repo facilities, and regional firewalls A period of possible surprises necessitates that we sharpen our surveillance. 4. Continue to coordinate with other agencies of government, knowing fully well that the pursuit of a stable macro economy is a shared goal. We need to coordinate with the DOF (on fiscal developments); BTR (Bureau of Treasury) and SEC (to pursue capital market reforms); FSF and FSCC (Financial Stability Coordinating Council) on financial stability issues. Conclusion: The operating environment has indeed become more difficult. Noise and global economic developments are creating financial market volatility, which is complicating policy formulation and implementation.

saw to the birthing a communitybased coconut industry project that now covers all of twelve thousand hectares in twelve municipalities. In 2002, she became a Career Executive Service Officer, and in June 2014 she was classified as CESO II. She became the President of the Cagayan Valley Association of Career Executives, another significant chapter in that volume of her life that has to do with leadership in government. And her sterling qualities did not go unnoticed in the very highest levels of society and of government. At Malacañan Palace, she was conferred the Gawad Career Executive Officer of 2010. At that time she had been Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology for four years, a position she would hold for another five years—and it was then that she sat on the governing board of the Cagayan State University as regent. She rose to become an

Assistant Secretary in the Department of Science and Technology. She knows the unparalleled value of research—and she is only too familiar with what it takes to bring useful, high-level research to a felicitous conclusion. She has done research herself, and published scholarly articles in learned journals. It is this culture of research —aimed both at the expansion of the frontiers of understanding as well as the more pragmatic end of enhanced production—that she is trying so relentlessly to instill in the Cagayan State University. As I write this, she is presiding over a “write-shop” for Campus Executive Officers and their research coordinators so that the campuses may be able to produce research proposals that agencies will willingly, earnestly and generously fund. I end on a more personal note. More than five years ago, I aspired for the presidency of the Cagayan State University. I had a dream for the university, a vision that I

shared with my colleagues that I wanted brought to fruition. Jaye Tejada supported me, even when some powerful people were not too keen on casting their lot with me. Before she decided to apply for the presidency not too long ago when the search for a university president was on, she humbly asked me for my support, not that my support counts for much. I believe it was more an expression of esteem and regard. And when she was appointed by the Board of Regents to head the university as its Fifth President, she asked me to join her team—something I thought I was not minded to do again. But when you are invited by one whose life and record attest to generosity of heart, magnanimity of spirit and boldness of vision, it would be a damming statement of one’s own selfishness to refuse!

tration that succeeded Arroyo’s government, the framework for the DICT was conceived and the new department was created from the old Department of Transportation and Communications. The creation of a national broadband network, however, was never revived during the six-year term of

Noynoy Aquino. At present, fixed-line internet speeds and penetration still needs a lot of improvement, as well as wider coverage and more stable fourth-generation (LTE) mobile internet. The Duterte government aims to address these issues once the NBP is implemented.

The new DICT should make sure that the creation of a national broadband network is given priority and its implementation is fast-tracked to make sure that our internet speed is at par, with the rest of the world. Then nobody will raise their eyebrows anymore over reports of improving connection speed.




9 NCMF, DAR officials sacked

By Rio N. Araja


HE Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday ordered the dismissal of nine executives from the National Council for Muslim Filipinos, Department of Agrarian Reform and the chief for political affairs of former senator Gregorio Honasan for their involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund and Malampaya fund scams.

The anti-graft court convicted NCMF Secretary Mehol Sadain, acting chief accountant Fedelina Aldanese, Director III Galay Makalinggan, Sania Busran, Aurora

Aragon-Mabang, and Olga Galido; as well as Michael Benjamin, Honasan’s political affairs chief. Sadain, a former commissioner in the Commission on Elections,

was appointed NCMF secretary in 2012 by former President Benigno Aquino III. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also ordered their perpetual disqualification from holding public office. Sadain and company “participated in the preparation, processing and approval of the memorandum of agreement and the PDAF documents governing the project implementation and fund releases to Focus Development Goals Foundation, as non-government organizationpartner,” the Ombudsman resolution read. The Ombudsman found that

in April 2012, the Department of Budget and Management released P30 million as part of Honasan’s pork barrel funds to the NCMF as implementing agency. The fund was intended to finance small and medium-scale enterprises or livelihood projects for the benefit of Muslim Filipinos in communities in Metro Manila and Zambales. In June 2012, Honasan endorsed Focus Development as the NGOpartner even if it did not comply with procurement regulations. The Ombudsman said a check dated May 30, 2012 and a disbursement voucher approving the payment “were prepared by public

respondents in favor of Focus Development even before the NGO was informed that it was found qualified to undertake the project on 04 June 2012; before a memorandum of agreement was signed by the Office of Senator Honasan, NCMF and Focus; and before Honasan authorized the release of funds to Focus.” The Ombudsman said Honasan and the rest of the accused facilitated and approved the payment in favor of Focus via two tranches totaling P29.1 million. In a separate decision, the Ombudsman also ordered the dismissal from the service of DAR officials Teresita Panlilio and Ronald Venancio.

The two were among the 25 respondents facing two counts of plunder and multiple graft and malversation charges after the Ombudsman established their indispensable acts of participation in the illegal diversion of P900 million from the Malampaya funds. The P900 million was downloaded to DAR and distributed to 12 NGOs of pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles. Ombudsman investigators found that the fund was used to implement ghost projects as the documents were all fictitious and there were no deliveries of agricultural kits or packages.

Worker injured in Pikit bombing

WELCOME TO DAVAO. Japanese and Philippine flags adorn the streets of Davao City on Thursday to welcome visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Geonarri Solmerano

PCA: Release coco levy funds in next 6 months By Anna Leah E. Gonzales PHILIPPINE Coconut Authority administrator Billy Andal said they are hoping for the release of the coco levy funds within the first half of the year. “It could be in the first half. We already sent a message to the President through the Cabinet Secretary that the Confederation of Coconut Farmer’s Organizations of the Philippines will withdraw their petition with the Supreme Court,” Andal said.

Confed is the unified group of coconut farmer’s organizations nationwide that includes the Philippine Association (formerly National Federation) of Small Coconut Farmer’s Organizations, the Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Samahang Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan, the Coconut Producer’s Federation and their many allied farmers’ organizations representing all together more than 95 percent of the organized coconut famers sector in our country. The P75-billion coco levy funds were

supposed to be for the construction of projects for coconut farmers but were used instead to purchase the United Coconut Planters Bank and majority stake in San Miguel Corp. Former President Benigno Aquino III earlier issued two executive orders that will pave the way for the immediate transfer of the coconut levy assets to the government so these could be used to support the local coconut industry. The Supreme Court, however, issued a temporary restraining order against

the two EOs due to a petition filed by Confed. “The withdrawal of the petition is on Confed and they will start the process already. I don’t know how long this will take for the Supreme Court to stop the TRO or withdraw the TRO,” Andal said. “The President is focused on the issue of the coco levy because he is concerned on our coconut farmers. Also, he considers coconut exports as the number one agricultural export in the country,” Andal said.

DPWH opens 2 lanes of R-10 By Vito Barcelo THE Department of Public Works and Highways has opened the additional two lanes of the Radial Road 10 or R-10 Road in Manila that can be used as an alternate route by motorists traveling from north to south and vice versa. “The opening of the additional two lanes between Pacheco Street to Zaragoza Street in Tondo, Manila will further improve vehicular traffic,” Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said. “Following the mandate of President Duterte, Filipinos will now have access to an improved and widened Radial Road 10 or R-10 which they may opt to use as alternate route to Edsa via Bonifacio Drive and Roxas Boulevard in traveling from north to south and vice versa,” he added. The road project resulted in the relocation of some 2,107 informal settler families in Tondo area and another 818 informal settler families at the Navotas segment. “The project has been conceptualized in the 1980s. For the past three decades, the govern-

ment has been hounded by right of way issues. Proud to report that within six months of the Duterte administration, in coordination with the local governments of Manila and Navotas, we have peacefully resolved all right of way issues,” Villar said. The R10 is also an alternate route for motorists from Monumento in Caloocan City going to the airport and South Luzon Expressway. The 9.7-kilometer road stretching from Delpan Bridge to the mouth of the Malabon River at Bangkulasi Bridge in Navotas City is also a major route for cargo trucks and trailers. “The 24/7 operations will be maintained until the full six concrete paved lanes along R-10 Road northbound is fully completed. We hope that by April 2017, the public could access all phases of the project,” Villar said. “The concrete paving of 360 lineal meters 3rd innermost lane is also already completed to include 72 lineal meters 4th, 5th and 6th lanes while others are undergoing excavation and base and sub-base course preparation,” he added.

WIDER ROAD. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar (right) and Regional Director Melvin Navarro open two

more lanes of Road 10, which stretches from Delpan Bridge in Tondo, Manila to the mouth of the Malabon River at Bangkulasi Bridge and C-4 Road in Navotas City. Ey Acasio

PIKIT, North Cotabato—A gas station worker was injured when unidentified men tossed a hand grenade at the Shell Gas Station along the national highway here on Thursday. North Cotabato police provincial director Supt. Emmanuel Peralta said the blast slightly injured Jay Salac, 34, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, Pikit. Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr. said the victim, who sustained injuries on his elbow, was rushed to the Cadulong hospital. Galgo said post-blast investigation conducted by Pikit bomb experts showed the explosive used was a fragmentation grenade. “A safety lever was found in the perimeter of the gas station,” Galgo said, adding that investigation was still going on. Police are reviewing the gas station’s CCTV footage. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Last week, unidentified motorcycle-riding men also lobbed a grenade at the Poblacion barangay hall but the explosive failed to go off. Police could not say if the grenade attack at the gas station was part of extortion activities of lawless elements. “Investigation is still ongoing as to the motive,” Galgo said. The gas station is only a stone’s throw away from a Community Police Action Center detachment. PNA

Ligaya Engracia, 97 LIGAYA Tuaño Engracia, who died on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at the age of 97, will be interred on Sunday, Jan. 15 at the Himlayang Pilipino in Quezon City after an 8:30 a.m. Mass at the Funeraria Paz. Ligaya is the widow of Artemio C. Engracia Sr. She is survived by children Alma E. Lopez, Zenaida E. Racho, Luisa, Rodolfo, Artemio Jr., and Mario; children-in-law; sisters Purificacion and Liwayway Tuaño; grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her husband Artemio Sr. died in 1980 and eldest son Virgilio in 2000. The wake is at Superior chapel of the Funeraria Paz on Araneta Avenue in Quezon City until Saturday.

Orbos defends MMFF selection team over ‘Oro’ By Joel E. Zurbano ACTING Chairman Thomas Orbos of the Metro Manila Development Authority came to the defense of the Metro Manila Film Festival selection committee that approved the controversial independent film “Oro” which showed an actual killing of a dog. Orbos said the committee acted in good faith even as Senator Vicente Sotto III threatened to conduct an investigation to determine

why the MMFF team approved the movie. “If you see a scene that a man was killed, the presumption is they did not actually kill the man. So the selection committee asked the filmmakers if there was an actual killing and they replied there was no killing,” said Orbos, whose agency is the supervising body of the annual film festival. “Based on that and in good faith, we allowed them to be shown and that’s it. The authority of the MMFF

lies in the actual process of selection. They lied and that’s our issue, and of course we do not condone the killing,” he added. The MMDA chief said he has discussed with members of the animal welfare groups a possible agreement to ensure that existing laws on animal welfare protection are upheld. On Wednesday, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society filed a complaint before the Pasig City Prosecutor against the director,

producers and the production manager of Oro in connection with the slaughtered dog in the movie. If found guilty, the respondents could face a penalty of up to two years imprisonment plus a fine not exceeding P100,000. “It is with great dismay and shock to learn that the Oro filmmakers had resorted to such violence, brutality and cruelty against such a poor, defenseless and innocent animal,” Paws executive director Hashim Cabrera said.




Wolves halt Rockets’ 9-game winning run LOS ANGELES—Andrew Wiggins scored a team high 28 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped the Houston Rockets ninegame winning streak Wednesday with a 119-105 NBA victory at the Target Center arena. Karl-Anthony Towns tallied 23 points and 18 rebounds to post his ninth consecutive double-double and Ricky Rubio had 10 points and tied his career high with 17 assists in the Timberwolves’ second straight win. “I’m not going to joke with you,” said Canadian Wiggins. “When we got to the fourth quarter with that kind of lead, you can’t let it slide. “We did a great job of just making sure we kept the lead and stayed disciplined, and did what we needed to do.” Brandon Rush had 12 points on four three-pointers in his first start for Minnesota and Shabazz Muhammad came off the bench to score 20 points. “Tonight we learned a lesson and we kept attacking, especially running back on defense,” said Rubio. The Timberwolves were without third-leading scorer Zach LaVine.

James Harden had 33 points, six rebounds and 12 assists for Houston, which had its leaguebest winning streak halted. Ryan Anderson added 18 points, but the Rockets shot 41 percent from the floor and 15 of 42 on three-pointers. “We missed a lot of uncharacteristic shots,” Anderson said. “We normally get stops and it fuels our offense on the other side. “But they did a great job of being aggressive on us. We didn’t play our game.” Elsewhere, Russell Westbrook earned his 18th triple-double to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. “I just read the game,” Westbrook said. “You have to read it. Makes plays and take what the defense gives you.” Westbrook tallied 24 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. The 18 triple-doubles is the most by any player since Magic Johnson during the 1981-82 season. Enes Kanter finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Victor Oladipo added 16 points as the Thunder improved to 24-16. AFP

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Inset shows his fellow top seed in Germany’s Angelique Kerber. AFP

Murray, Kerber are net top seeds M ELBOURNE—World number ones Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were named the top seeds on Thursday for next week’s Australian Open with organisers aligning with the current rankings. Scotland’s Murray is chasing his first title at Melbourne Park after losing in the final five times, including in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 to Serb rival Novak Djokovic, who is seeded two. Kerber will be defending her first Grand Slam having upset Serena Williams, seeded two this

year, in the decider last year. Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who lost to Murray in the 2016 semi-finals, is the third men’s seed with 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka fourth and Japanese hope Kei Nishikori fifth. Swiss legend Roger Federer starts at 17 as he makes a comeback

after six months out with a knee injury. His old foe Rafael Nadal, also returning from injury, is ninth. Serena Williams, gunning for a 23rd Grand Slam title to beat Steffi Graf’s Open-era record, is scheduled to again meet Kerber in the women’s final. But there are a host of dangerous players looking to stop her, with Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska seeded three and Romania’s Simona Halep four. US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova rounds out the top five. Men’s singles 1. Andy Murray (GBR), 2. Novak Djokovic (SRB), 3. Milos Raonic

(CAN), 4. Stan Wawrinka (SUI), 5. Kei Nishikori (JPN), 6. Gael Monfils (FRA), 7. Marin Cilic (CRO), 8. Dominic Thiem (AUT), 9. Rafael Nadal (ESP), 10. Tomas Berdych (CZE), 11. David Goffin (BEL), 12. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), 13. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP), 14. Nick Kyrgios (AUS), 15. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL), 16. Lucas Pouille (FRA), 17. Roger Federer (SUI), 18. Richard Gasquet (FRA), 19. John Isner (USA), 20. Ivo Karlovic (CRO), 21. David Ferrer (ESP), 22. Pablo Cuevas (URU), 23. Jack Sock (USA), 24. Alexander Zverev (GER), 25. Gilles Simon (FRA), 26. Albert

Ramos-Vinolas (ESP), 27. Bernard Tomic (AUS), 28. Feliciano Lopez (ESP), 29. Viktor Troicki (SRB), 30. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP), 31. Sam Querrey (USA), 32. Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) Women’s singles 1. Angelique Kerber (GER), 2. Serena Williams (USA), 3. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 4. Simona Halep (ROM), 5. Karolina Pliskova (CZE), 6. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK), 7. Garbine Muguruza (ESP), 8. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS), 9. Johanna Konta (GBR), 10. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP), 11. Elina Svitolina (UKR), 12. Timea Bacsinszky

Slasher bets ready to rumble

Gary Tesorero (left) and Jun Duarano (representing Magno Lim) of entry MLG 63 bagged the prestigious title of champion at the 2016 World Slasher Cup II

THE rueda is almost ready and the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum will once again be rocked by the most intense battles among the top gamefowl breeds from all over the world in the prestigious 2017 World Slasher Cup I. Slated from Jan. 23 to Feb. 1, this year’s 9-cock invitational derby is still the most awaited competition among breeders and enthusiasts. Over 300 entries will vie for the Slasher title in the 9-day global spectacle. Touted as the “Olympics of Cockfighting,” contenders with the finest winged-warriors will come from the US, Kuwait, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The beauty of this gentleman’s sport is that the odds are

never truly set. Though people pick their bets between “meron” or “wala,” the tide can turn in a blink of an eye. “That’s why I enjoy cockfighting... I’ve seen the seemingly impossible happen before my eyes. For instance, just when I begin thinking I’m about to lose my fight, something quickly changes and the referee calls it in my favor,” World Slasher Cup II champ Magno Lim tells Pit Games magazine. The 2-cock eliminations will start on the Jan. 23 for a threeday smackdown until Jan. 25. Qualifiers will then move on to the 3-cock semi-finals set on Jan. 26 to 29. Individual entries with a score of 3.5 or 4 points will compete in the 4-cock pre-finals from January 29 to 31. Un-

defeated entries with a score of 4.5 or 5 points earn the chance to be named this year’s World Slasher Cup champion at the grand finals on Feb. 1. Lim’s entry under the banner MLG 63, with his teammate Gary Tesorero, won the pot money and the prestige at the 2016 World Slasher Cup II in May last year. Earlier, 2016 World Slasher Cup 1 yielded tie champions, namely the entries from Blueblade Farms AA, and Phoenix II (the team composed of Mario Villamor, Ed Aparri and Art de Castro). The 2017 World Slasher Cup I is sponsored by Petron, Thunderbird, and B-Meg. For tickets and information to 2017 World Slasher Cup I, visit Ticketnet at 911-5555.

Coach E to hold 3rd semester classes starting today COACH E School to hold 3rd semester classes in seven venues starting Friday. The third semester of the Coach E Basketball School begins its 2017 classes starting Jan. 13 in seven venues. Open to boys and girls, ages four to 16 years old, the basketball school that offers low coach to student ratio will unfurl on Friday, Jan. 13, at the Celeb-

rity Sports Plaza. The Friday sessions are scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. and will run until March 5. The regular Saturday classes will start the next day. Classes at The Zone in Makati and Mother Goose Nursery School in San Juan will be held weekly from Jan. 14 to March 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Valle Verde 2 in Pasig, Greenhills West in San Juan, San Beda College in Alabang and Ateneo de Manila in Quezon City will hold its Saturday sessions beginning Jan. 14 to March 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. Molten is the official ball. Each semester will be composed of eight sessions plus a one-day tournament

capped by a graduation on March 5. Parents of interested participants can contact 6311195 /6684347 and mobile no 09088846947. You can also email the organizer at Online payment is now being accepted and available through SpeedyCourse. Registration is walk in.

Mahindra Floodbuster electrifies PBA with small ball offense SPORTS CENTER REUEL VIDAL I LOVE watching the Mahindra Floodbuster in the Philippine Basketball Association. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing an underdog squad play with desperation to prevail against all odds. It’s like watching the baseball movie Major League. In that film the team owner traded away the squad’s best players for discards from other teams. Instead of losing games the squad racks up one victory after another to make the playoffs. There are plenty of similarities with Mahindra. After a surprising 2015-2016 PBA season, where Mahindra exceeded all expectations and advanced to the

playoffs for the first time in franchise history, you’d think management would add quality players so that the team improves even more. Instead, management jettisons their six best players in the off season and acquires discards from other teams to fill out their roster. Mahindra then loses its first five games in the Philippine Cup. But just like in the movie Major League, the players and the coaching staff led by coach Chris Gavina, take it upon themselves to meet the challenge and make up for their lack of stars with sheer hard work. Not having size to compete with the big boys in the league the club has totally embraced small ball as they run on offense and fire away with three-pointers as their primary offensive option. Nothing drives people to excellence more than hunger. And these players are hungry. Mainly for re-

spect as being among the best basketball players in the country. Rain or Shine rejects Jeric Teng and Josan Nimes are motivated and hungry for recognition. Rey Guevarra has bounced around the league before being dumped at Mahindra. Mark Yee went the rounds: Burger King, Talk N Text, Meralco and GlobalPort before ending up with Kia which became Mahindra. Jason Ballesteros started with Meralco, then Barako, went down to the D-League, was called back up to the PBA via Meralco, then went to Blackwater before being dumped to Mahindra. Jason Deutchman, Ryan Arana and Jeckster Apinan have gone the same route. Even the team’s star player, Alex Mallari, is a Star Hotshots reject. Mallari orchestrates the Mahindra offense. He penetrates to the hole to score or dish to teammates for crowd-pleasing open triples. He

shoots from the outside. He is also a terror at the defensive end with his tenacious long-armed defense. Then there’s Philip Paniamogan who drilled seven triples en route to a team-high 25 points to power Mahindra past the Meralco Bolts. Paniamogan has made a career of being underestimated. When he was the star player of Jose Rizal University and terrorized the National Collegiate Athletic Association with his blazing outside shooting everybody questioned him. He was too small for his position. Too slow. Trigger happy. Liability on defense. Those words were bandied about. After a stellar season in the NCAA he went undrafted in the 2014 PBA draft. He only made the PBA after GlobalPort took notice of him in a local league in General Santos and signed him up in 2015. He made it to Mahindra as an exchange gift for Ma-

hindra’s top scorer KG Canaleta. But one thing Paniamogan could do was rip the net to shreds with his deadly outside shooting. And with the Mahindra offense configured the way it was, then there was plenty of room for a fearless gunner. Right now Mahindra (2 wins, 5 losses) is tied at tenth place with the NLEX Road Warriors (2-5) just ahead of Meralco (2-6) at last place. Mahindra plays Jan. 18 against TNT KaTropa at the Cuneta Astrodome, Jan. 22 against the Alaska Aces at the PhilSports Arena, Jan. 27 against NLEX at the Cuneta Astrodome and finally Feb. 1 against the Star Hotshots at Cuneta. They will probably miss the playoffs. So if you like watching exciting basketball with underdog players competing with desperation then you’d better not miss the next few games of Mahindra. I know I’ll be watching.

(SUI), 13. Venus Williams (USA), 14. Elena Vesnina (RUS), 15. Roberta Vinci (ITA), 16. Barbora Strycova (CZE), 17. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN), 18. Samantha Stosur (AUS), 19. Kiki Bertens (NED), 20. Zhang Shuai (CHN), 21 Caroline Garcia (FRA), 22. Daria Gavrilova (AUS), 23. Daria Kasatkina (RUS), 24. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS), 25. Timea Babos (HUN), 26. Laura Siegemund (GER), 27. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM), 28. Alize Cornet (FRA), 29. Monica Puig (PUR), 30. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS), 31. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ), 32. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) AFP

Top-notch mixed martial arts action aired on S+A THE Philippine mixed martial arts scene is off to a hot start in 2017 with Filipino fighters set to show off their combat skills in the ONE Championship event airing this weekend on ABSCBN’s S+A channel. The country’s leading sports channel on free TV is airing the “ONE Championship: Quest for Power” on Saturday, 9:30 p.m. live from the Jakarta Convention Center, featuring homegrown cage warriors Vaughn Donayre and Rene Catalan for One Championship. The largest sports media property in Asia, welcomes 2017 with “ONE Championship: Quest for Power,” headlined by ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash (80-0), who will defend his title against Burmese fighter Aung La “The Burmese Python” Nsang (19-9-0). The fight will be aired from the Jakarta Convention Center, with a replay on Jan. 17 at 11 p.m. on S+A HD. Donayre and Catalan will try to make their mark inside the cage and follow the footsteps of Filipino Lightweight division champion Eduard Folayang and heavyweight division champion Brandon Vera in the undercard. Donayre seeks to improve his 8-6-0 record against Vince Latoel (16-18-2) in a Lightweight division bout, while Flyweight Rene Catalan (1-2-0) takes on Adrian Matheis (2-0-0), who won both his fights via knockout. Philippine mixed martial arts just got off a banner year in 2016, when it continued to gain popularity with extensive coverage of MMA events on S+A and the unstoppable rise of Filipino MMA combatants in the international arena.


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Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor



Sound the horn: Jeff’s ready for Pacman By Peter Paul Duran BEFORE the recent announcement of his bout against Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao became the hot topic in sports, Australian boxer Jeff Horn was a virtual unknown outside his country. Now, the “Fighting Schoolteacher” is out to show everybody who he is when the Brisbane-native takes on the Pacman on April 22. The undefeated Aussie has already started training for the bout even before a formal deal was inked. In a report from The Daily Telegraph, the 2012 London games alum had kicked off his preparations a week prior to Wednesday’s confirmation of the clash—this after Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said there was a ‘‘good possibility’’ the former Olympian will challenge for Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization welterweight belt. The announcement came on the heels of Arum’s meeting with Horn’s chief backer Dean Lonergan in Las Vegas. Although a venue has yet to be determined, there is a big chance that Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host arguably the biggest fight in the country’s history. And Horn is delighted at the prospect of facing a future Hall of Famer right in his hometown. “Fighting Pacquiao would be a dream come true,’’ he said, but added he is confident he will spoil Pacquiao’s first title defense of the belt he won against Jessie Vargas back in November last year. “He’s an awesome boxer, but I believe I can take his world title,’’ said Horn who boasts a 16-0-1 win-loss-draw record on top of 11 KOs. Meanwhile, Horn’s camp said they have already figured out how to beat the eightdivision champ. “They both fight with a lot of variation, very efficient, great angles, high workrates,” said Horn’s trainer Glen Rushton. “But Jeff is bigger, younger, fresher and stronger.” “Obviously it would have been nice for Jeff to have had a couple more fights against top opponents for the experience,” added Rushton. “But sometimes in life, you have to seize the opportunity when it comes. We’d fight Pacquiao next week if Bob Arum wants it.’’

JuneMar Fajardo is again expected to be a tower of power for the SMBeermen when they clash with the Elasto Painters in the PBA main game today.

Titans clash: Beermen take on Elasto Painters By Jeric Lopez


HE much-anticipated battle between the top two teams finally takes place as sizzling San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine collide in a titanic clash in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup. Winners of six straight, the top-ranked Beermen (71) are on a roll and they plan on continuing their surge, but the second-running Elasto Painters (5-2) are likewise on a streak.

It will be interesting to see which team continues its ascend in their 7 p.m. meeting at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City tonight. In the first game, GlobalPort (4-3) and NLEX (2-5)

SBC closes in on NCAA football title SAN Beda College relied on late goal by Mike Daniel Riconalla as it turned back last year’s titleholder Arellano University 1-0, Thursday to inch closer to capturing the seniors’ title in the 92nd NCAA football tournament at the Rizal Football field. Riconalla, a graduating Marketing student, headed home the match-sealing goal off a beautifully-placed corner kick of Adolfo Abada in the 81st minute and then practically parked the best the rest of the way to escape with the victory. The Red Booters could seal a league-best 22nd championship if they beat the St. Benilde Blazers on Tuesday. “That’s the match we’ve been really preparing hard,” said San Beda coach Michael Pediamonte in Filipino. It was the second win by San Beda, which took the firstround pennant via a sweep of the elimination round, in the Final Four after it also went through the proverbial eye of the needle by turning back Lyceum of the Philippines University, 2-1. It was Fil-Brit Connor Tacagni, who starred in that dramatic win as he finished with a brace he highlighted with an out-of-the-box rocket on the 81st minute. On this one, it was Riconalla’s star that shone the brightest. San Beda also dashed Arellano’s hopes of retaining the title it snared by shocking the former a season ago as the latter fell to their second straight defeat in the Final Four. Earlier, San Beda also moved a win away from claiming the juniors’ crown by trouncing Arellano University, 4-1, that was powered by a hat-trick by Mariano Suba Jr.

square off at 4:15 p.m. as they both attempt to move up the ladder. Regardless of the result between its clash against Rain or Shine, San Miguel will still remain as the top team after today. Still, the Beermen, who are the first team in the quarterfinals, want to keep their winning streak to inch closer to finally securing a Top 2 finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the next phase. “What we want now is to finish in the top two to get

a twice-to-beat,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria, who will again bank on behemoth JuneMar Fajardo, Arwind Santos and his trusted wards. “We need to keep several more games.” For the Elasto Painters, who are on a two-game winning run, it’s about keeping their second place as there’s a risk they might fall in the middle should they lose. A win will guarantee them of keeping their current standing and will move them a step closer to also formalizing their

entry in the playoffs. Both teams were coming off victories just last Sunday. San Miguel squeaked past Barangay Ginebra, 72-70, while Rain or Shine easily routed Phoenix, 97-82. The curtain-raiser between the Batang Pier and the Road War riors is equally as important. GlobalPort aims at either taking solo third place or gaining a share of second while NLEX looks to finally list its first winning streak of the season.

Bianca pulls away by 5 with 65 at PH ladies tilt

Bianca Pagdanganan pounding the par-72 layout with brilliant shotmaking, superb iron shots and solid putting.

BIANCA Pagdanganan put on a career-best bogey-free 65 in overcast skies yesterday and moved in the threshold of a breakthrough Philippine Ladies Open victory with a huge five-stroke lead over Thai Atthaya Thitikul in the second round at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s West Course in Mandaluyong. Pagdanganan, 19, kept pounding the par-72 layout with brilliant shotmaking, superb iron shots and solid putting as the Gonzaga University sophomore bucked tough pin placements and produced seven birdies for a 32-33 card that served as a fitting follow-up to her opening 66 that put her ahead of the event’s fancied players, including Pauline del Rosario and Yuka Saso, Wednesday. But while del Rosario grappled with her irons and putter and Saso faltered in the early

going, Pagdanganan romped with her near-impeccable game, rattling off four birdies at the front, highlighted by a 20-footer on the first, then finishing with three more at the back, including the last two inside 15 feet. That gave her an impressive 13-under 131 total, moving her 18 holes away from nailing the coveted crown in the Open division of the country’s premier championship presented by Champion Infinity and organized and conducted by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines. “The pins were a bit tricky but it was my day and it couldn’t get any better than this,” said Pagdanganan, who also moved closer to ending a two-year title spell after topping the Edeon Ihlandfelt tournament in the US. “It’s actually my personal best and I’m ecstatic for doing it.” Thitikul also turned in an imposing 66 spiked by a superb

closing 30 but the 13-year-old Thai junior champion still stood far behind at 136 following a mediocre 70 in the opener and Pagdanganan’s flawless second day performance. But she remained upbeat of her chances, so do the rest of the field still in the hunt for the coveted crown. “My coach told me to follow the plan, which is to think of my own game and not of others,” said Thitikul, who actually rebounded from a two-bogey mishap after six holes with a stunning run of eight birdies in an 11-hole stretch, including three straight from No. 15. Del Rosario, who started the round just two strokes off Pagdanganan, birdied two of the first eight holes but stumbled with two bogeys in the next six and flubbed three makeable birdie putts. She settled for a 72 and slid to 140, nine shots behind.

10 teams vie for D-League crown Oconer steers team to victory WITH the race to the title as open as it has ever been, 10 teams will be vying for the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup with an exciting opening week set to commence next week. The customary opening ceremonies will first be held at 2 p.m. on Jan. 19, Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, before the Jeron Teng-led AMA Online Education clash against upstart Batangas at 3 p.m. Action continues the following week, with guest team Blustar Detergent-Ma-

laysia and contender Racal locking horns at 3 p.m. on January 23, Monday, followed by the duel between last season’s runners-up Cafe France and Tanduay at 5 p.m. Jose Rizal University makes its season debut on Jan. 24, Tuesday, against Blustar at 3 p.m., before Cignal-San Beda goes up against AMA at 5 p.m. Victoria Sports-MLQU and Wangs Basketball play their first game against each other to wrap up the opening week on Jan. 26, Thursday, at 5 p.m.

Other marquee matchups for the conference include the coaching battle between champion mentors Egay Macaraya and Boyet Fernandez when Cafe France play Cignal on Jan. 30, top picks Teng and Jom Sollano clashing when AMA takes on Racal on Feb. 2, a rematch of last conference’s semifinals tiff between Racal and Tanduay on Feb. 14, and a reunion of last year’s NCAA finalists when San Beda-backed Cignal faces a Racal team bannered by Arellano standouts on March 13.

VETERAN rider George Luis Oconer, who is preparing for the Southeast Asian Games, towed the Philippines-Go for Gold cycling club to the individual and team classification honors last weekend in the 2017 Brunei Cycle Classic in Bandar Seri Begawan. The 24 year-old Oconer, son of cycling great Norberto Oconer, took charge from start to finish of the 160-kilometer trek, arriving at the finish all by lonesome in 4 hours, 2 minutes and 52 seconds. Oconer, who thrived on a rolling terrain, was a minute ahead of Nik Akwan Zulkif li of Malaysia’s G-530 team, according to the tournament’s official site. Another veteran, Ronnel Hualda,

settled for fourth followed by two other teammates Hardy Moshidi and John Renee Mier in 5th and 6th spots. Three other members, Reduan Yusop, Mohammad Radzi Bin Tamat and Jerry Aquino followed in 13th, 14th and 17th, respectively. Oconer and Mier were with the first breakaway group in the first 20 kilometers. Their group took the lead by as much as two minutes and 38 seconds. There were a lot of crashes that marred the race, with one at the lastkilometer that included Mier. Mier, who experienced mechanical trouble, still crossed the finish line to help the team secure the win. Peter Atencio

PLDT changes tack as Globe takes lead B2


Ray S. Eñano, Editor Roderick T. dela Cruz, Assistant Editor FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017


IN BRIEF DoT fails to meet target of 6m tourists

BANKERS NIGHT. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. (right) and the members of the Monetary Board cite the banking sector for its significant role in sustaining robust growth of the economy with double-digit growth in loans in 2016, most which financed productive activities. As of November 2016, consolidated bank loans reached P7.4 trillion, up by nearly 19 percent from the 2015 total. With Tetangco at the annual reception hosted by BSP for the banking community are (from left) MB members Juan De Zuñiga Jr., Alfredo Antonio, Armando Suratos, Felipe Medalla and Valentin Araneta.

Petron eyes new $10-b refinery By Alena Mae S. Flores


ETRON Corp. plans to team up with foreign oil players to put up a new 250,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Bicol region at a cost of $10 billion.

Petron president and chief executive Ramon Ang said the new refinery would be established in Bicol “to supply Luzon and to supply Visayas and Mindanao.” He said Petron was also studying Cebu as the possible location of the new refinery, which would be bigger than Petron’s existing 180,000-barrel-per day refinery in Bataan. Rival Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. also owns a refinery in Batangas with a capacity of 110,000 barrels a day.

“[It would be] a 250,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery. I hope to be able to invite one of the big boys like Aramco [Saudi Arabian Oil Co.] or Kuwait Petroleum [Corp.] to come and put up a new oil refinery. There a lot of big-time companies that want to put up an oil refinery here,” Ang said. Ang said he would also invite William Wang, chairman of Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group, to invest in the new refinery. Formosa has an oil refinery that has a capacity of 450,000 barrels a day. “I can also invite Formosa Oil Refinery. Formosa Oil Refinery is one of the biggest in the region. They are 10 times bigger than Petron in Taiwan,” Ang said. Wang is set to visit Petron in February. Ang said once he convinced the investors to team up with Petron, the company would immediately put up the new refinery which would take four years to build. “And by then, the demand is already very big,” he said.

He said the refinery would entail a massive investment. “To put up an oil refinery of 250,000 barrels a day, the cost would be $10 billon,” he said. Ang said Petron was looking for another location because its existing refinery in Bataan had no space for expansion. “And we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket,” he said. San Miguel Corp., the parent company of Petron, said it allocated P281 billion in capital expenditures for 2017 to 2019 as it continued to expand new and traditional businesses. San Miguel chief finance officer Ferdinand Constantino said during an institutional briefing that for this year alone, the conglomerate would spend P63 billion primarily for infrastructure, power and food businesses. The remaining P191 billion will be spent between 2018 and 2019. Constantino said the company was aim-

ing to grow revenues by 1.5 times from 2015 to 2020 while earnings before depreciation and amortization were expected to increase twice over the same period. “We want to enhance our established businesses. We are not forgetting the old business and we will we continue to grow our food and beverage business and also our packaging business,” Constantino said. “Want will also diversity into industries help the country grow, like power, infrastructure and fuel and oil. We will also pursue synergies among the businesses,” he said. San Miguel increased its revenues by four times to P674 billion in 2015 from P168 billion in 2008. The conglomerate is raising up to P20 billion from the issuance fixed-rate bonds in February. Constantino said the proceeds from the bond offering would be used to partially refinance loans. With Jenniffer B. Austria

THE Tourism Department failed to meet its target of 6 million international visitor arrivals in 2016, as natural calamities hindered travel in the fourth quarter. Cesar Villanueva, the industry relations representative of Tourism Promotions Board, made the announcement in a news briefing during the launch of Travel Tour Expo 2016. “Our target for foreign arrival was 6 million, but due to a spate of hardhitting typhoons, total tally reached 5.9 million only,” he said. In December 2016 alone, about 200 flights were cancelled due to typhoons. The government set a target of 6.5 million international visitor arrivals in 2017. The Philippine Travel Agencies Association, the organizer of the Travel Tour Expo, expressed concern over the impact of extreme weather on the travel sector. “We but have to understand that there is always a risk. If not the weather, then it could be terrorism. So whatever the situations are, we should always think of the best scenarios and keep a positive mind. That is why we are offering the best travel deals in town in the upcoming Travel Tour Expo,” said PTAA president Maria Michelle ReyesVictoria. The expo will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Feb. 10 to 12, 2016. Othel V. Campos

Chinese steel firm asks govt to free shipment CHINA state-owned SIIC Shanghai International Trade (Group) Co. Ltd. broke its silence Thursday and defended Mannage Resources Trading Corp. over the confiscation of the latter’s shipment. SIIC Shanghai, a unit of SIICGM Development (Hong Kong) Limited, asked the China Embassy’s assistance to help its Philippine affiliate regain the import commodity clearance and allow the release of 20,000 metric tons of deformed bars which were already paid for by clients in the Philippines. SIIC Shanghai, in a letter to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, asked the Chinese official to coordinate with the Philippine government to swiftly resolve all issues preventing the release of MRTC’s steel shipment from China. “We’re very worried and disappointed about the investment environment in the Philippines. SIIC, as the pioneer enterprise of Chinese government’s The Belt and Road Policy, came to invest in the Philippines to meet the increasing construction material demands and we are willing to supply high quality and reasonable price construction materials. But we encountered obstacles at the very initial stage. We obtest our ambassador to coordinate with Philippine government to remove obstacles for economic and trade exchanges between two countries and create an equal and mutually beneficial trade environment,” the letter stated. Othel V. Campos


Hot money posts $354-m net inflow


By Julito G. Rada

PSE COMPOSITE INDEX Closing January 12, 2017

8300 7840

6460 6000

7,264.55 57.27


Closing JANUARY 12, 2017 43.00 45.40 46.60 47.80




HIGH P49.480 LOW P49.590 AVERAGE P49.530 VOLUME 588.700M

P425.00-P650.00 LPG/11-kg tank P36.90-P47.90 Unleaded Gasoline P28.25-P30.10 Diesel


P28.50-P36.85 Kerosene P20.75-P21.75 Auto LPG Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Thursday, January 12, 2017



US Dollar


United States












Hong Kong






















131.5882 13.2192


Saudi Arabia







































New Zealand






34.9278 1.5609 Source: PDS Bridge

MISS UNIVERSE BROADCASTER. PLDT Inc., Smart Communications and TV5 bring the much anticipated Miss Universe 2016 closer to Filipinos through digital and social media services. The PLDT Group teams up with the Miss Universe Organization and official Philippine broadcast partner Solar Entertainment to enable the best viewing experience of the pageant in the Philippines through various terrestrial and digital channels across multiple screens at home and on-the-go. Shown during the contract signing in Makati City are (from left) Miss Universe Organization business development and marketing vice president Shawn McClain, Solar Entertainment Corp. president and chief executive Wilson Tieng, PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT and Smart chief revenue officer Eric Alberto and TV5 president and chief executive Chot Reyes.

FOREIGN portfolio investments or ‘hot money’ posted a net inflow of $354 million last year, surpassing the $1.1-billion net outflow target set by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Data showed the 2016 figure also reversed the $599.69-million net outflow registered in 2015. “Foreign portfolio investment transactions for 2016 yielded net inflows of $354 million, largely due to an initial public offering by an industrial company; investments in shares of two holding companies and a universal bank; and renewed interest in peso government securities,” Bangko Sentral said in a statement. “This was in sharp contrast to the $600-million net outflows noted for 2015, attributed to

growing concerns about the then impending interest rate adjustment in the United States and profit taking,” it said. Foreign portfolio investments are overseas funds that are temporarily invested in local stocks, government securities and money market. These are also called hot money because of the ease they are invested in and taken out of the financial markets. Bangko Sentral said hot money registered a net outflow of $365.49 million in December, wider than the $170.52-million net outflow recorded in same month a year ago. Large IPOs and equity infusion kept the foreign portfolio investments positive in 2016. Cement manufacturer Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc. raised P25 billion from its maiden offering in the stock market in June.

Meralco reports lower power rates in January

Nickelodeon resort to be built above water

MANILA Electric Co. announced Thursday a decrease in power bills of residential customers this month, on lower generation charges. Meralco said the rate for households would drop by P0.2703 per kilowatt-hour to an average of P8.09 per kWh in January, the lowest since October 2009. This translates into a reduction of P54 in the electricity bill of a household with monthly consumption of 200 kWh, Meralco said in a statement. “The decrease this month is mainly due to the downward movement in the generation charge,” the country’s biggest power retailer said. Meralco said generation

CORAL World Park Undersea Resorts Inc. said Thursday the planned Nickelodeon resort and attraction in Coron, Palawan will be built on land and not underwater as previously reported. Viacom International Media Networks’ global kids brand Nickelodeon earlier announced a plan to collaborate with Coral World Park for the development of a Nickelodeon resort and attraction in the Philippines. The announcement quickly drew protest from environmentalists including Environment Secretary Regina Lopez who said the project could harm corals. Lopez said she would not al-

charges went down by P0.2351 per kWh in January, lower than P3.9351 per kWh in December. The company said at P3.70 per kWh, the generation charge was also the lowest since October 2004. “The decrease resulted from the P0.59 per kWh decrease in the cost of power supplied by PSA [power supply agreement] plants, mainly due to lower capacity charges of Pagbilao and Ilijan,” it said. Meralco said this reduction in capacity fees was due to the annual reconciliation of outage allowances that was done at the end of each year under the contracts approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission. Alena Mae S. Flores

By Anna Leah E. Gonzales low the underwater theme park attraction with an ocean conserin Palawan if it would cause destruction of corals. “If the underwater theme park would cause the destruction of corals, right away, I will say no way. The fishermen need corals. The corals are the home for the fish, and some of our corals have shells and sponges that can cure cancer. I will never allow our biodiversity to be killed for money that some people want to make,” Lopez said. Coral World Park marketing communications director Susan Lee said there would be no theme park development in Palawan. “Our plans are to build a resort and attraction, of which we are designing as an undersea

vation focus – this is reflected in the press release with Viacom International Media Networks,” Lee said in a statement. The planned Nickelodeon resort will be a part of Coral World Park, a 400-hectare underseathemed masterplanned development in Coron. Viacom said in a statement the resort would open in 2020 and feature restaurants and lounges six meters below sea level. It said when completed, CWP would be the largest coral reef conservation program in Asia, with Asia’s largest marine sanctuary for five key species – dolphins, sea cows, sea horses, turtles and whale sharks.




PLDT changes tack as Globe takes lead By Darwin G. Amojelar PLDT Inc. said Thursday it is focusing on “quality” subscribers this year, after rival Globe Telecom Inc. overtook the former’s wireless unit Smart Communications in the race to get more subscribers. “We are paying a lot of attention to it. But the churn is also a deliberate action on our part to achieve a higher quality subscriber base,” PLDT and Smart chairman and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan told reporters. PLDT’s average monthly churn rate went up to 7 percent for prepaid in the first nine months from 6.9 percent in 2015. For postpaid, the churn rate rose to 5.7 percent from 3.6 percent in 2015.

Churn is a measure of the average number of customers who leave/switch/change to another type of service or to another service provider. “We have not released our official subscriber numbers. It is likely that they [Globe] will have more subscribers if their numbers are true. Because they must know their numbers, and we know our numbers. So it’s likely their subscriber numbers will be higher than ours by the year-end 2016,” Pangilinan said. PLDT had 61.8 million subscribers as of end-September while Globe had 65.4 million subscribers. Panglinan said PLDT had implemented a “cleanup” of its subscribers last year because some of them are inactive.

Market falls; URC, Aboitiz Power rise S TOCKS fell for a second day, tracking the movement of major Asian markets as investors felt discouraged by the lack of details on US President-elect Donald Trump’s economic plan.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, lost 57 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 7,264.55 Thursday. It was still up 6.2 percent this year. The heavier index, representing all shares, fell 28 points, or 0.6 percent, to settle at 4,379.98, on a value turnover of P6 billion. Losers outnumbered gain-

ers, 113 to 69, while 61 issues were unchanged. All six sectoral indices declined, while only three of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by food manufacturer Universal Robina Corp. which rose 1.8 percent to P174 and D&L Industries Inc. which gained 1.6 percent to P12.60. Aboitiz Power Corp. put on 1

percent to close at P43.80. Meanwhile, Tokyo tumbled more than one percent Thursday, while the dollar sank as investors were left deflated by a lack of economic detail from Donald Trump at his first postelection press conference. Traders had hoped the real estate tycoon would flesh out some of his campaign promises such as tax cuts and infrastructure spending, but he gave very little away, fueling uncertainty about his aspiration to boost the US economy. However, he did lash out at drugs companies for “getting away with murder” in offshoring production and overcharging, which in turn




FINANCIALS 3.9 82,000 47.9 36,900 92.2 1,561,940 3.84 70,000 112.8 2,105,980 1.5 235,000 38.45 16,400 16.2 6,400 19 114,800 6.58 8,500 0.69 1,000 1.7 60,000 805.5 950 0.65 11,679,000 78.3 3,162,120 0.78 1,325,000 14.24 20,000 54.7 40,140 238 19,950 149 430 90.1 3,740 35 267,000 217 855,070 1,700 105 76.2 294,340 1.25 10,000

320,350 1,750,865 144,162,315 276,800 236,528,996 356,760 630,725 102,500 2,173,474 56,024 690 102,240 776,760 7,705,320 247,877,154 1,031,960 284,800 2,206,027 4,778,860 63,670 337,032 9,354,535 185,611,338 178,500 22,416,917 12,500

19,250 392,645 -260,383.50 94,161,104 -162,830 3,400 -74,050 9,240 -30,140,458.50 -492,543 -4,265,306 -1,905,605 -42,139,782 452,542 -

43.45 4.55 0.9 1.4 18.32 0.202 89 11.88 15.98 142.5 22.7 19.3 104.9 1.95 6.44 11.98 12.4 6.28 7.19 5.25 21.75 68.7 12.3 16.02 6.08 1.87 214 2.59 3.8 28.6 29.5 27.5 14.54 278.2 0.26 5.19 3.21 9.82 3.7 11.28 2.3 5.65 1.58 74 5.07 230 4.95 2.8 11.6 4.26 0.147 1.54 171.3 1.84 1.11

INDUSTRIAL 43.8 2,723,300 4.56 1,107,000 0.92 1,316,000 1.42 1,844,000 18.8 4,000 0.205 230,000 90 2,000 11.9 7,027,400 16 9,355,700 142.5 50 23 185,100 19.3 26,300 105.5 3,640 1.97 178,000 6.47 138,500 11.98 159,100 12.6 18,330,900 6.28 505,500 7.31 321,300 5.27 21,618,300 22 2,976,800 69 126,990 12.5 38,300 16.02 1,700 6.1 167,000 1.9 4,719,000 214 461,460 2.59 55,000 3.98 17,000 28.6 6,400 29.85 3,785,100 27.8 157,200 14.56 2,225,300 278.8 239,220 0.275 1,380,000 5.19 100 3.22 82,000 9.86 7,006,300 3.7 1,000 11.68 19,600 2.32 536,000 5.72 1,684,200 1.61 566,000 74.3 1,259,920 5.1 4,612,000 232 128,260 5.03 232,900 2.8 4,000 11.6 4,263,700 4.26 69,000 0.148 180,000 1.54 439,000 174 1,768,310 1.89 33,885,000 1.11 22,000

119,310,005 5,088,670 1,211,650 2,592,490 73,716 46,980 179,500 83,625,750 149,729,302 7,705 4,219,860 525,549 383,537 349,320 896,661 1,910,530 230,753,012 3,215,075 2,343,573 114,418,553 65,515,700 8,766,219.50 477,170 27,626 1,024,499 8,981,980 99,870,974 142,450 65,320 183,040 112,359,330 4,369,430 32,731,330 66,990,340 360,700 519 264,020 69,193,677 3,700 222,484 1,239,200 9,558,493 909,330 93,972,627.50 23,472,882 29,527,710 1,167,832 11,200 49,767,258 294,320 26,600 679,330 306,494,360 64,034,790 24,520

12,228,195 91,380 45,652,482 -8,894,610 19,800 -1,800,458 60,266,802 -1,939,057 194,426 -3,276,783 3,087,830 2,559,376 -380,000 282,013 -56,600 -37,997,412 114,400 -86,584,225 -4,130,980 1,550,120 14,163,682 173,750 -7,674,342 248,400.00 -7,058,143 57,179,991.50 20,107,622 -27,287,680 1,146,416 736,546.00 106,331,712 -705,000 -

0.44 75 13.6 1.2 6 0.34 0.335 799.5 1,147 8.95 13.2 8.19 5.2 0.197 1,334 6.19 76 1.35 8.05 12.76 7.12 0.049 2 2.55 99.5 689 1.27 264 0.3 0.187 0.26

0.425 74.75 13.24 1.12 5.91 0.31 0.31 790.5 1,147 8.83 12.96 7.9 5.2 0.186 1,298 5.84 75.2 1.29 7.97 12.54 6.94 0.044 1.98 2.48 98.15 677 1.26 263 0.3 0.187 0.26

HOLDING FIRMS 0.435 10,960,000 74.85 1,326,940 13.3 2,467,600 1.2 84,000 6 185,300 0.33 6,030,000 0.33 710,000 793.5 125,720 1,147 20 8.9 1,620,700 13.1 2,300,900 8.1 102,000 5.2 1,000 0.186 60,000 1,300 137,255 6.19 16,300 75.5 1,403,340 1.3 9,232,000 8 2,436,800 12.54 4,125,900 6.95 18,825,700 0.046 465,300,000 2 285,000 2.55 74,000 99.1 214,990 677 300,280 1.27 271,000 264 5,530 0.3 210,000 0.187 10,000 0.26 20,000

4,689,950 99,311,161 33,063,898 94,820 1,109,372 1,999,300 232,550 99,739,415 22,940 14,419,441 30,172,736 810,648 5,200 11,430 178,712,055 100,162 105,949,038.50 12,185,560 19,487,853 51,948,616 131,458,175 21,673,400 567,460 183,900 21,296,027 204,074,625 342,220 1,459,164 63,000 1,870 5,200

21,500 26,366,337.50 -14,484,878 31,529,635 22,940 9,135,576 5,784,162 -782,990 56,111,845 40,092,993.50 245,900 1,643,676 -23,267,258 49,190,982 -786,800 39,800 14,947,877.50 23,781,195 44,460 -

7.79 1.22 6.4 2.54 0.66 34.4 3.22 5.16 0.58 1.1 1.44 0.187 0.64 52.2 0.71 0.165 1.7 1.03 1.22 4 0.148 0.265

7.34 1.16 6.2 2.46 0.59 33.75 3.1 5.13 0.57 1.1 1.44 0.185 0.61 50.15 0.71 0.15 1.66 1 1.2 3.86 0.144 0.26

PROPERTY 7.4 491,600 1.17 3,287,000 6.4 3,600 2.48 752,000 0.61 65,055,000 34 4,538,100 3.22 1,395,000 5.15 114,000 0.57 16,687,000 1.1 3,000 1.44 4,000 0.186 14,080,000 0.61 9,459,000 51.4 1,058,270 0.71 17,000 0.15 90,000 1.68 3,374,000 1.01 2,871,000 1.22 56,000 3.87 33,073,000 0.146 14,290,000 0.265 30,000

3,727,502 3,903,070 22,540 1,875,820 41,141,260 154,007,885 4,449,860 586,793 9,522,350 3,300 5,760 2,612,350 5,856,470 54,290,160.50 12,070 14,570 5,654,760 2,890,860 67,320 129,765,550 2,073,990 7,900

-994,864 12,000 -90,550 -12,051,460 895,780 429,757 -4,087,440.00 1,440 2,100,059.50 1,006,200 -44,078,020 327,200 -







4.05 46.3 92.25 4 112 1.52 38.5 16 19 6.6 0.69 1.7 825 0.68 79.5 0.77 14.24 55 240 149 90 35.85 218 1,700 76 1.25

4.08 47.95 92.9 4 112.8 1.55 38.5 16.2 19.1 6.6 0.69 1.73 825 0.68 79.5 0.78 14.24 55.5 243 149 90.3 36 219.6 1,700 76.3 1.25

3.84 46.3 92.15 3.84 111.7 1.48 38.4 16 18.88 6.56 0.69 1.7 805.5 0.64 78 0.77 14.24 54.7 237.8 145 90 35 216 1,700 76 1.25


44.15 4.64 0.94 1.44 19 0.205 90 11.96 16.1 157 23 21.5 107 2 6.6 12.1 12.76 6.53 7.4 5.45 22.3 69.4 12.5 16.5 6.19 1.94 219.8 2.59 3.98 28.6 30.45 28.2 14.9 284 0.275 5.19 3.27 9.92 3.7 11.68 2.35 5.78 1.65 75.25 5.65 235 5.04 2.8 11.84 4.28 0.149 1.58 174 1.93 1.16


0.44 75 13.4 1.13 5.98 0.31 0.32 796.5 1,147 8.84 13.04 8.19 5.2 0.197 1,320 5.84 75.55 1.34 8.05 12.76 6.97 0.046 2 2.49 99.5 685.5 1.27 264 0.3 0.187 0.26


7.78 1.21 6.2 2.54 0.64 34.2 3.16 5.15 0.57 1.1 1.44 0.186 0.61 50.15 0.71 0.165 1.68 1.01 1.2 3.99 0.146 0.26








0.41 4.16 31.05 27.5 1.62 3.3 31.1 1.1 0.91 5.15

0.405 4 30 26.5 1.55 3.24 29.95 1.07 0.89 5.01

0.405 4.1 30.05 26.5 1.58 3.28 30.2 1.07 0.91 5.09

280,000 907,000 1,700 1,307,500 140,000 1,365,000 10,988,000 4,269,000 128,000 6,228,900

113,550 3,702,520 51,685 35,285,285 220,900 4,455,490 334,010,535 4,611,770 114,780 31,582,945

-5,130,110 1,635,650 -40,881,040 -6,701,838


47.9 6.31 20 1,782 1,601 0.055 8.4 16.5 129 0.238 1.45 2.95 10.18 7.6 10.96 100 76.2 2.51 5.48 2.84 1.49 0.072 2.01 18 0.375 9.88 12.1 1.05 5.49 6.1 0.0091 11.3 4.36 4.09 1.39 3.38 2.61 4.11 41.3 76.8 142 2.66 0.52 16.3 9 3.18 0.5 6.27

47.4 6.28 19.9 1,718 1,500 0.052 8.29 16.08 129 0.229 1.41 2.83 9.99 7.51 10.96 97 75 2.48 5.15 2.8 1.35 0.07 2 17.98 0.355 9.88 12 1.02 5.28 5.88 0.009 11.3 4.16 3.95 1.36 3.28 2.57 4.02 40.4 74.65 135 2.62 0.52 16 9 3.1 0.485 6.03

SERVICES 47.9 18,200 6.28 52,800 20 2,500 1,740 39,765 1,500 198,005 0.053 157,260,000 8.4 129,400 16.08 10,800 129 90 0.231 18,760,000 1.45 194,000 2.87 2,864,000 10 462,400 7.51 5,600 10.96 800 97.15 418,460 75.6 382,080 2.51 9,000 5.4 14,600 2.81 1,902,000 1.38 117,000 0.07 15,390,000 2 154,000 17.98 300 0.355 690,000 9.88 800 12.1 200 1.02 6,319,000 5.49 4,100 5.88 6,272,700 0.009 7,000,000 11.3 1,000 4.16 904,000 4 4,022,000 1.39 8,592,000 3.35 5,995,000 2.59 1,624,000 4.02 6,926,000 40.9 1,087,400 74.65 612,380 140 12,110 2.63 792,000 0.52 10,000 16 66,800 9 440,000 3.18 2,000 0.485 8,318,000 6.19 417,100

867,500 332,411 49,960 70,007,070 304,089,170 8,369,240 1,079,250 174,858 11,610 4,359,250 274,920 8,267,480 4,646,328 42,193 8,768 41,383,246 28,908,378.50 22,430 76,985 5,361,630 170,110 1,090,010 308,250 5,398 257,800 7,904 2,410 6,547,570 21,861 37,290,051 63,200 11,300 3,827,520 16,071,310 11,880,540 20,075,280 4,200,900 28,025,620 44,464,900 46,237,739 1,699,350 2,086,790 5,200 1,072,116 3,960,000 6,280 4,060,720 2,594,984

18,822,455 -48,974,580 -104,760 -200 43,050 -517,522.00 -18,240,192.50 -9,173,187.00 -1,644 -183,930 20,160 1,272,810 -24,074,758 -1,055,830 -4,056,420 40,020 2,243,310 -879,600 -7,610,800 21,274,595 30,944,737 168,000 -479,470 -3,180 -15,500


0.0034 3.05 5.47 2.16 2.17 0.51 0.46 12.22 3.27 0.265 0.221 0.224 0.013 0.013 2.75 8.32 2.82 1.12 0.011 0.011 4.1 0.012 9.16 3.67 134.3 3 0.0095

0.0034 3.14 5.48 2.24 2.26 0.53 0.465 12.22 3.3 0.27 0.221 0.224 0.013 0.013 2.82 8.49 2.88 1.12 0.011 0.012 4.17 0.012 9.17 3.71 134.3 3 0.0097

0.0033 2.99 5.35 2.16 2.16 0.51 0.45 11.86 3.19 0.26 0.215 0.222 0.013 0.013 2.72 8.22 2.81 1.11 0.011 0.011 4.05 0.012 9.04 3.66 133.3 3 0.0095

MINING & OIL 0.0033 1,179,000,000 3.01 1,800,000 5.44 181,400 2.24 6,000 2.26 3,000 0.52 267,000 0.455 1,760,000 12.02 81,900 3.21 7,261,000 0.265 620,000 0.219 9,300,000 0.222 790,000 0.013 3,200,000 0.013 9,100,000 2.75 2,193,000 8.49 4,122,300 2.85 78,000 1.11 496,000 0.011 151,500,000 0.011 33,900,000 4.05 25,000 0.012 106,100,000 9.1 898,900 3.66 993,000 134 852,290 3 12,000 0.0097 3,000,000

3,898,700 5,412,440 979,066 13,200 6,590 138,950 805,500 974,826 23,669,730 165,900 2,021,590 176,080 41,600 118,300 6,074,400 34,718,077 220,930 553,060 1,666,500 374,100 101,970 1,273,200 8,182,856 3,652,320 114,069,360 36,000 28,700

-99,000 2,730,870 -48,330 -4,330 -9,000 699,540 -217,910 -367,565 -3,300 1,029,946.00 58,790 10,913,506 -


47.95 540 103 104 108 518 5.9 1,020 1,025 1,036 2.2 77 80.25 77.6 79.5 77.3 77.5 78

48 542 103.5 104 108 518 5.9 1,020 1,025 1,036 2.2 77.4 81.9 77.6 79.5 77.3 78 78

47.5 540 103 104 108 518 5.89 1,020 1,025 1,036 2.2 76.9 80.25 77.5 79.45 77.3 77.5 77.5

PREFERRED 48 54,800 542 160 103 99,180 104 20,040 108 400,000 518 50 5.9 180,000 1,020 1,300 1,025 700 1,036 25 2.2 1,000 77.4 10,110 81.5 2,110 77.5 10,720 79.45 1,700 77.3 33,400 78 71,310 77.5 89,620

2,620,040 86,700 10,226,980 2,084,160 43,200,000 25,900 1,061,900 1,326,000 717,500 25,900 2,200 778,014 170,495 831,850 135,115 2,581,820 5,559,180 6,952,250

922,810 206,000 -1,003,000 1,020,000 -387,500 46,800





WARRANTS 2.26 84,000




9.15 4.31 3.03 8.62

9.2 4.31 3.16 8.64

9.08 4.25 3.03 8.19

SME 9.15 4.3 3.15 8.19

1,129,926 261,790 40,120 23,763,157

-45,500 21,250 -11,033,367




OPEN 0.41 4.11 31.05 27.4 1.58 3.3 31.1 1.1 0.91 5.06



123,900 61,000 13,000 2,814,900




FINANCIAL 21,977,995 INDUSTRIAL 140,395,106 HOLDING FIRMS 530,032,565

869,129,244.99 2,020,269,332.166 1,173,637,170.282

PROPERTY 209,589,428 SERVICES 259,035,902 MINING & OIL 1,519,018,107 GRAND TOTAL 2,683,064,133

935,389,517.165 718,339,260.31 209,417,542.029 5,951,629,651.943



FINANCIAL 1,754.11 (down) 5.91 INDUSTRIAL 11,200.82 (down) 11.43 HOLDING FIRMS 7,375.47 (down) 22.14 PROPERTY 3,276.56 (down) 47.72 SERVICES 1,394.63 (down) 30.08 MINING & OIL 12,585.85 (down) 29.03 PSEI 7,264.55 (down) 57.27 All Shares Index 4,379.98 (down) 28.29 Gainers: 69; Losers: 113; Unchanged: 61; Total: 243

hammered the pharma sector across markets. Trump also announced a plan to hand control of his business to his adult sons in a bid to avoid conflicts of interest, and angrily dismissed questions about his relationship with Russia and unsubstantiated claims Moscow has compromising information on him. “Dealers were extremely discouraged by the lack of detail regarding the new administration’s economic plan, as the presser was more about extinguishing smouldering hot spots regarding conflict of interest and the Trump organization’s associations with Russia,” Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda, said in a note. The disappointment saw traders shift out of the dollar towards the yen, which in turn dragged on Tokyo’s Nikkei. By the end of the day the index was down 1.2 percent. The dollar bought 114.40 yen. The greenback has tumbled from highs around 118.60 yen touched in the wake of Trump’s election win, which had fueled hopes of a big-spending, tax-cutting program to boost the economy and in turn fan inflation that would lead to interest rate hikes. The dollar also retreated against the euro and pound as well as emerging market currencies with the Australian dollar up 1.3 percent and South Korean won one percent higher.

STI unit to issue P5b worth of bonds By Jenniffer B. Austria STI Education Systems Holdings Inc. said Thursday it plans to raise P5 billion from the issuance of fixed-rate bonds to finance campus expansions. STI, the holding company of businessman Eusebio Tanco, said in a disclosure to the stock exchange unit STI Education Services Group Inc. filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 10 for the shelf registration of P5-billion bonds to be offered in one or several tranches. The first tranche worth P3 billion will have tenors of seven and 10 years. “The net proceeds of the bonds shall be used to finance STI ESG’s campus expansion projects and for other general corporate requirements,” STI said. STI-ESG owns and operates one of the biggest networks of private schools in the Philippines. It currently operates 77 schools, including 66 STI branded colleges and 11 STI branded education centers. It opened a new sevenstory campus in Zapote, Alabang worth P500 million in September 2016. It also plans to construct campuses in San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan and Davao City. Students enrolled in schools under STI Holdings reached 103,727 in the school year 2016-2017, representing a 22 percent increase, or 18,997, from 84,730 enrollees in the previous school year. Driving the growth in enrollment is the network’s K to 12 program, where a total of 39,206 senior high school students enrolled in educational institutions operated by STI-ESG, Information and Communications Technology Academy and STI West Negros University.



Ford shifts to higher gear


ETROIT–Ford’s expansion to an auto and mobility company gains momentum today, as the company unveils the new F-150 pickup, announces the return of the Ranger pickup in North America and Bronco globally, and presents its vision for the“City of Tomorrow.” Ford’s news at the North American International Auto Show – including expansion of its Chariot ride-sharing service to eight cities –underscores the company’s drive to strengthen its core automotive business while aggressively expanding in growing mobility services. “This year, the expansion of our business as an auto and mobility company moves into even higher gear,” said Mark Fields, president and CEO. “We’re introducing even more new vehicles and technologies to make life better for millions of people in the near term, plus we’re presentinga vision and partnering with cities to move more people even more efficiently in the future.” Today’s news followsother an-

nouncements about Ford’s business expansion:� Adding 13 new electrified vehiclesand investing $4.5 billion in the next five years, including a hybrid versions of the F-150 and Mustang, two pursuitrated hybrid police vehicles, a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid, a fully electric small SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles anda high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle– with no steering wheel, gas or brake pedal – in commercial operation in 2021 in a ridehailing or ride-sharing service.� The debut of its next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle, the next step in Ford’s plan to deliver a fully autonomous vehicle in 2021.� The

creation of a City Solutions team to work with major global cities to help solve congestion issues and help people move more easily, today and in the future. Ford is bringing back the Ranger midsize pickup truck to its North American vehicle lineup in 2019 and Bronco midsize SUV to its global vehicle portfolio in 2020. Both vehicles will be manufactured at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.“We’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want a new generation of vehicles that are incredibly capable yet fun to drive,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged and maneuverable pickup that’s Built Ford Tough. Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4x4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.”City of TomorrowBeyond vehicles, Ford is working with cities around the world to help address growing mobility challenges in urban environments, including gridlock and air pollution.

Ford’s City Solutions team – the only one of its kind in the auto industry– is working with cities around the world to propose, pilot and develop mobility solutions. The team also is beginning to collaborate with Bloomberg Philanthropies and itsglobal coalition of mayors.“This is an issue that goes far beyond congestion. It is one that represents a massive challenge to mankind, one that affects our well-being and access to health care, clean drinking water, food, a safe place to live and even the ability to find work,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “By solving the mobility challenge, we have the chance to create a better world for future generations. It’s both an exciting opportunity and a big responsibility.”Ford today presented its vision for the “City of Tomorrow.”Ford’s City of Tomorrow looks at hownear-term mobility advancements – including autonomous and electric vehicles, ride-sharing and ride-hailing and connected vehicles – interact with urban infrastructure and create a transportation ecosystem.For ex-

ample, Ford is imagining a world in which reconfigurable roads fluidly respond to commuter needs and traffic flow. Bikes and drones provide last-mile solutions for both people and goods. The Future: Near TermWithin the next five years, Ford expectsautonomous vehicles will be introduced in cities around the world. This includes Ford’s first fully autonomousvehicles in 2021. At the same time, the company expects continued growth in electrified vehicles – with global EVindustry offerings eventually outnumbering gasoline-powered offering in the next 15 years.Shared modes of transportation will continue to gain popularity, such as the Ford’s Chariotapp-based, crowdsourced ride sharing service, which is expanding globally. Chariot, which currently operates in San Francisco and Austin, Texas, is growingits operations to eight cities this year, including at least one city outside of the U.S. In Ford’s vision of the near-term future, connected communications between vehicles and infrastructure also will grow:

Getting to know you: Car and driver interact THE car of the future doesn’t just want to drive you. It wants to know you. The automotive technology showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show over the past week was in part about self-driving vehicles, but also about personalizing the driving experience. Artificial intelligence and facial recognition will allow vehicles to let you in (if it’s your car), and adjust the seating, lighting, music or other elements of the environment for you, automatically. “The idea is to be more than a machine, to be a partner, make you happy,” said Toyota’s Amanda McCoy, who explained some of the innovations of the Japanese automaker’s Concept-i vehicle at the Las Vegas tech show. The manufacturers want the car to hold a conversation, help you make a shopping list and determine where and how you want to travel. In a demonstration, the Toyota vehicle started a conversation and suggested potential destinations for the driver. Its camera detected that the driver was in an upbeat mood and thus suggested “the happier route.” The concept car will also keep a driver alert to potential perils on the road, with sound and light signals. Moving to autonomous mode, it allows the seats to recline. Swiss-based group Rinspeed

showed a prototype electric car called Oasis with a miniature garden inside. The vehicle with an “intelligent rolling chassis” can also operate in autonomous mode, converting its windshield into a screen for videoconferencing. “The interior of the car in the future will be redefined entirely, to meet different needs,” said Rinspeed chief executive Frank Rinderknecht. Rinderknecht said the company has no plans to produce an entire vehicle but use elements of the company’s technology, which could be available in a few years. Other technologies shown in Las Vegas could turn the car into a payments platform. Honda, for example, said it was working with Visa to allow motorists to pay directly from the vehicle for parking or refueling, for example. Several automakers at CES unveiled plans to move forward on autonomous driving technology. But they also showcased ways to incorporate virtual and augmented reality, use voice systems and other technology to personalize the experience. - Digital assistant on board One part of that experience is the “digital assistant” which is making inroads in connected homes. Ford announced it would incorporate voice-controlled Amazon’s Alexa onboard while

Hello, I’m Smith. Pleased to meet you.

Renault-Nissan and BMW announced plans to use Microsoft Cortana. Hyundai is installing sensors in its seating which evaluate posture and in seatbelts to monitor respiration. This could allow an intelligent car to know if a driver is having a heart attack or falling asleep at the wheel.

The South Korean giant is experimenting with a number of ways to deal with different scenarios: it may use blue lights or cold air to wake up a groggy driver, or change the enviroment to calm a stressful one. “If we can see the mood (of the driver), we can probably do something with this information

and modify the environment,” said Hyundai’s David Mitropoulos-Rundus. Even if a car is autonomous, Mitropoulos-Rundus said there will be times when a driver will need to assume control, and the automaker want a system to “reengage him in emergency situation.” AFP


Driver error: Prober rules on SUA cases A THIRD party investigating body tapped by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has released the results of its investigation on the alleged sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) of Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2010-2015 models. HORIBA MIRA Ltd, an automotive engineering company based in the United Kingdom, has found no technical cause that explains SUA incidents involving sudden unintended acceleration together with perceived inability to stop the vehicle. MMC, on its own, took the initiative to contract HORIBA MIRA to remove doubts on the road worthiness of Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2010-2015 models. HORIBA MIRA started its investigation in June 2016 and released its formal findings in September 2016, which states: “The investigation has found only one plausible root cause for sudden unintended acceleration, and inability to stop the Mitsubishi Montero Sport vehicle. Our hypothesis is that these incidents were caused by the driver mistakenly applying the accelerator, believing that they were pressing the brake pedal. “Other root cause hypotheses have been excluded because they would require simultaneous, but temporary, malfunction of both the engine control and the vehicle braking system without fault conditions being logged by any vehicle systems and DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Code) being recorded. Since these are independent systems, the possibility of simultaneous failure is extremely low. “There are other potential causes for undemanded acceleration that have not been ruled out by the investigation, but none of these would affect the braking system. If such a failure occurred, the driver would still have the opportunity to control the vehicle using the brakes or by disengaging the transmission. A suite of EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) screening tests were performed on a vehicle that had previously been involved in a SUA claim. The results showed that the vehicle is extremely resilient at very high test levels of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). … No adverse behaviour was observed during testing with levels corresponding to EU regulations and ISO standards.” With the third party investigation now complete, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) once again assures the public that the previous generation Montero Sport model (20102015) is neither defective nor unsafe to use. MMPC President and CEO Yoshiaki Kato commented: “We are very much pleased on the outcome of the results of HORIBA MIRA investigation. The methodical evaluation conducted by HORIBA MIRA, which found no irregularities in the function and design of vehicle, is an affirmation of our earlier statement that there is nothing wrong with the Montero Sport causing SUA. We hope that the results of the investigation, will finally put an end to the SUA issue on the Montero Sport.’’ MMPC turned over the complete results of HORIBA MIRA evaluation report to DTI for study and reference. The public may also access the full report of HORIBA MIRA here wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ horiba-mira-report-monterosua-concern-investigation.





Dealing with road rage

Road rage can lead to physical harm and death in some cases

Text and photo by Dino Ray V. Directo III


E HAVE all experienced this in one way or another in our daily commute to and from work. You might have felt perfectly okay when you left the house a few minutes earlier, but as soon as another aggressive driver cuts you in traffic, you transform into a different person. Psychiatrists refer to it as the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” state of mind. In most cases, road rage is you. There have been reported very dangerous to yourself and and celebrated cases of promito the other motorists around nent individuals, businessmen

being engulfed by anger and resulting in severe consequences. While some cases end up in legal battles, others end up with physical harm and worse death. What is road rage? This phenomenon can be defined as aggressive and violent behavior stemming from a driver’s uncontrolled anger at the actions of another motorists. Oftentimes, aggressive driving escalates road rage. Aggressive driving is an accumulation of illegal driving maneuvers, often resulting from emotional distress. If you find yourself getting angry and upset on the road, try to notice


if you’re engaging in any of the following aggressive driving behaviors: Tailgating. Cutting others off. Not using turn signals. Mentally or verbally cursing other drivers. Speeding. Honking. Flashing your headlights. Brake checking. Experts say it is important to determine your emotions and reactions, as they can influence your behavior on the road. Normal triggers for road rage are getting fired or having an argu-

Blade supports grassroots dev’t IN OBSERVANCE of Blade’s 12th Anniversary, the company gave something back to the local community of Sta Rosa recently by way of promoting environment preservation. Held at the Xavier in Nuvali, Sta Rosa, Laguna, Blade corporate officers and personnel planted 500 trees to promote a greener environment and cleaner air. “It is our way of saying thank you to the loyal patrons of Blade, and I have always been a nature lover. I

want the future generation to enjoy walks in the park amid lush greenery,” says Robertson Sy Tan, Blade President and CEO. The Nuvali Tree planting campaign is part of the company’s CSR program which aims to strengthen grassroots development and environment protection. Tan also revealed that more CSR projects are lined up for this year. Blade Auto Center is the country’s top destination for quality accessories and parts. Strategically located in Ayala, SM and Robinsons Malls nationwide, more branches are expected to be

diffuse it before escalation by first showing remorse by waving to the other driver; mouthing that you’re sorry and allowing them to pass you. Better yet, before driving off your garage, here are a few steps to take so you won’t be tempted into road rage. As you drive off to work: put on some soothing music; keep a mentality that you must share the road and nobody is perfect; keep a considerable amount of space between you and other drivers and refrain from making prolonged eye contact and obscene gestures at other drivers. Keep this in mind, don’t be

Team Lexus SARD-Motul wins Super GT championship MOTUL has done it again! After a hotly contested and very competitive Super GT championship season in Japan, Lexus Team SARD clinches the 2016 Japan Super GT title with Motul’s support. Remaining consistent throughout the season were drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Kohe iHirate, which rounded off the 2016 season with pole and victory, with second places at Fuji, Sugo and a great weekend at Motegi, which finally allowed them to overtake the NISMO factory Motul AUTECH team. The multiple championshipwinning team led the classifica-

Text and photo by Dino Ray V. Directo III

ment at work; marital problems; running late for an appointment and even after scolding your kids in the car before before dropping them off at school. It seems like everyone is susceptible to road rage, but studies have shown that younger male drivers and people with certain psychological disorders are most prone to engage in aggressive driving and road rage. If you fall into these categories, you should be extra conscious of your emotions and actions on the road. Preventing road rage If you are caught in a possible road rage situation, it is best to

put up on top of its 50 operational stores offering top tier brands such as 3M, Pioneer, Sony, Kenwood, Meguiars, Mothers, Goodyear, Sparco, OMP, Dub, Bosch, Garmin, PIAA, 3M and more. “We offer shopping convenience by way of its location which is inside a mall and in a clean and climate controlled environment. Our well trained staff are always on hand to answer any product inquiries, as well as provide insightful information to help you in your purchase,” states Albert Go of Blade.

tion for the whole season, but had a difficult final round at the Twin Ring Motegi and finished third in the standings. Lexus Team Tom’s, Lexus ZentCerumo, Kondo Racing, and Mola in GT500 class, and Subaru R&D, Nissan NDDP racing, Dijion Racing, Tomei Sports, and Lamborghini Team Direction Shift in GT300 class also benefitted from Motul’s products and technical support during the 2016 season. As a leader in its field of lubricant technology, Motul is honoured to be involved with many different motorsport teams, championships and events

around the world. Few have been as fruitful on such a regular basis as the highly competitive Super GT series in Japan. Motul has been a loyal partner with NISMO since 2003 and works closely with all the Japanese manufacturers to constantly upgrade and improve the lubricant technology available to its teams and all Nissan engines. In the domestic market, Motul is exclusively distributed by Autoplus Sportzentrium , and for inquiries, call 726-0399 log on to Motul oil and lubricants are also available in select dealers nationwide.


Jimbo Owen Gulle, Editor Roger M. Garcia, Assistant Editor




DOLPHIN RESCUED. Personnel of the Salcedo Municipal Police Station assist men from BFAR and MENRO headed by Danilo P. Duran in rescuing a lost dolphin found at the territorial waters of Barangay Butig, Salcedo, Eastern Samar on Wednesday. Barangay residents sought help after finding the weak dolphin, which was freed farther from the shoreline. Mel Caspe

‘Solar City to boost tourist biz’

expect more tourists to come once the project has been comIn turn this will benefit ANILA Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada pleted. businesses in the nearby areas, on Thursday assured local business such as Malate and Ermita,” he owners that the soon-to-be-built Solar pointed out. Billed as a state-of-the-art, City commercial and business district in Manila tourism, commercial and resiBay will not kill smaller establishments in the dential district in Manila Bay, Solar City will have three recity, particularly in Malate and Ermita. claimed islands where business centers, residential and comEstrada said the 148-hectare bringing in more tourists. mercial properties, and tourism Solar City will even boost the “Solar City is intended to be facilities, including an internarestaurant and entertainment in- built as a tourist- and entertain- tional cruise ship terminal, will dustry at the city’s tourist belt by ment-oriented operation, so we be put up.

By Sandy Araneta


Manila Goldcoast Development Corp. has partnered with the city government to reclaim and develop the land needed for Solar City. “There will be more tourist arrivals once the cruise terminal has been put up, and it will bring more income to the surrounding communities and businesses, aside from billions in taxes the city government will get,” Estrada said. MGDC Vice Chairman Edmundo Lim echoed the mayor’s assurance, saying Solar City will

never become a competitor to local businesses, particularly to the Ermita-Malate Business Owners Association, Inc. “Where do tourists go upon arriving in Manila? It’s usually in Ermita and Malate, also in Intramuros and the shopping districts. Businesses in these areas mainly depend on tourists, so our role is to bring in more tourists for them,” Lim pointed out. “Can you imagine, if you have two-million tourists arriving every year and they go to Intramuros paying only P100

Davao City to add two more flyovers By F. Pearl A. Gajunera DAVAO CITY—Two more flyovers will be built to ease Davao’s traffic with Mayor Sara Duterte’s successful requests with the Department of Public Works and Highways. This is on top of the P40 billion in road construction projects the DPWH has already programmed for Davao, City Planning and Development Office head Ivan Cortez said Thursday. “Mayor Sara really requested for the flyovers to lessen the traffic congestions. Two out of four flyovers were approved, one in Matina Crossing and the other in the Toril area,” he said. Cortez said the flyovers will be the answer to the traffic congestion in the southern part of the city. He stressed that the flyovers will be coming from a different

budget, not from the P40 billion as previously announced. Cortez said the city is coordinating with the DPWH to start the P150-million Phase 1 of the 35-kilometer Coastal Road construction. This phase starts from the coastline of Toril to the coast of Matina. In total, the P34-billion project will stretch from Toril to Roxas Ave., he added. “The coastal road is very big and heavy [financially]. It was decided that we will divide it into three phases, and the first phase will start this year,” Cortez said. When he was still Davao’s mayor last year, President Rodrigo Duterte also signed a joint venture agreement for the Mega Harbour reclamation project. The project will have an international port and four islands with residential, commercial, and tourism areas.

Lake Lanao body formed By Lance Baconguis

NEW AMBULANCE. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Alexander F. Balutan (left)

hands over the symbolic key of a new ambulance from the PCSO Ambulance Donation Program to Mayor Raida Sinsuat (center) of Datu Blah Sinsuat, Maguindanao at the PCSO head office in Mandaluyong City on Thursday. With them is former mayor Datu Marshall Sinsuat.

Quezon City donates P28m for typhoon-hit areas THE Quezon City Council has authorized the release of over P28 million in aid to cities and provinces devastated by typhoons in 2016. Quezon City will grant P16 million to fund the rehabilitation

and restoration of government buildings and structures damaged by Typhoon “Lawin” in the provinces of Ilagan, Apayao, Cagayan and Kalinga, the city public information office said. It will also fund the construction

of a multi-purpose evacuation center, hospital and wet market. QC also released over P12 million to help rehab the towns of Mahatao, Basco, Ivana and Itbayat in Batanas, which were hit by Typhoon “Ferdie” in September last year.

Batanes Gov. Malou Cayco recently visited QC Hall to personally thank the city government for its assistance. Quezon City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the Engineering Department,

and Social Services Development Department will also be sending a rapid assessment team to areas affected by “Nina” in the Bicol region, specifically the cities of Ligao, Legazpi and Naga, to determine their priority needs.

Media task force to probe killing of publisher Que UNDERSECRETARY Joel Sy Egco, Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, has announced he is personally leading an investigation into the killing of Catanduanes publisher Larry Que starting this week. “I am personally seeing to it that the investigation of this killing moves forward faster,

as we are treating Que’s case as the first killing of a journalist under the President’s term,” Egco, a former Manila Standard reporter, said. “Especially in this case, where it appears that Que was exposing the shortcomings of government officials whose vigilance could have thwarted the setting up of one of the largest shabu

entrance (fee) per person, it’s incredible, isn’t it? It makes a great impact on Manila,” he added. The local tourism industry that will be rejuvenated by the operation of Solar City will also employ hundreds of thousands of Manileños, addressing the city’s unemployment problem, Lim said. Solar City is expected to generate 100,000 jobs during its construction phase and up to 500,000 jobs once it becomes operational, which Estrada believes would help Manila’s unemployment situation.

laboratories uncovered last year. “Being a journalist myself, Que’s killing could cause a chilling effect among journalists who are on a mission to expose crime and corruption,” he added. The Catanduanes Police Provincial Office has recommended that ample time be given for the investigation because the complexity of the case may require

a thorough look into the victim’s dealings and affiliations. Que, the publisher of Catanduanes News Now, was shot in the head by one of two armed suspects on Dec. 19, 2016 as he was about to enter the building that houses his office, the Centennial Guarantee Insurance company. He was rushed to the Eastern Bicol Medical Center where he was

later pronounced dead. The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines noted that prior to Que’s killing, he had written articles criticizing local officials for supposed negligence, which allowed the construction of a recently-raided shabu laboratory that authorities said was the biggest so far discovered in the country.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY— The provincial government of Lanao del Sur has created the Lanao Basin Management Council to ensure proper planning and implementation of the Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management Project or INREMP for the Lake Lanao River Basin. Meeting with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and different local government units on Tuesday, the provincial government created programs and a roadmap for the river basin’s development. Under INREMP, $100 million (P5 billion) from Asian Development Bank and 13.25 million in Special Drawing Rights from the International Fund for Agriculture Development—worth about P884 million—will be used to bankroll the program. Lake Lanao is in Lanao del Sur, covers 340 square kilometers and is the largest lake in Mindanao, the second largest in the Philippines, and is one of the 15 “ancient lakes” in the world. It used to be the sole source of power of Mindanao through hydroelectricity, now it provides roughly 30 percent of the region’s energy, officials said. Lake Lanao was named a watershed reservation in 1992 through Presidential Proclamation 971 to ensure the protection of its forest cover and its water yield for hydropower, irrigation and domestic use.




Republic of the Philippines


= Contracted Capacity = Outage Factor as derived using the following formula to be used.


Rate Implication. An analysis was conducted to determine the estimated impact of the implementation of the PSA on CLPC’s generation costs, a copy of which is attached as Annex “I” hereof. The following table shows the indicative rate impact:


San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City


Where: TMED

ERC CASE NO. 2016-069 RC


= Monthly Actual Energy Delivered TMED

Generation Charge

= Theoretical Maximum Energy Delivered being the Contracted Capacity multiplied by the hours in the relevant month, less any adjustments made for Allowed Outage, limitation due to Buyer’s dispatch order, and allowable start-up time due to period of non-generation due to a Buyer dispatch order, and any other hours as a consequence of Buyer’s failure to perform any of its obligations




TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES: Notice is hereby given that on 28 April 2016, Cotabato Light and Power Company (CLPC) and Southern Philippines Power Corporation (SPPC) filed a Joint Application for Approval of Power Sales Agreement with Motion for Confidential Treatment of Information (Joint Application) seeking the Commission’s approval of the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) entered into by both parties on 07 April 2016.




= Fixed O&M Fee Rate of PHP 219.00/kw/month

Applicants may be served with notices, orders and other processes of the Honorable Commission through their respective undersigned counsels.



Based on the demand and supply outlook of CLPC for the remaining months of 2016 up to 2020, CLPC sees a deficit between its current supply portfolio and its current and projected demand requirements. This deficit is projected at an average of 6.2 MW, with a projected peak deficit of 8 MW by 2020.


A major contributing factor to this deficit is the El Niño phenomenon that is adversely affecting Mindanao, resulting in the reduction in the capacity allocation to CLPC by its hydroelectric power plant suppliers such as NPC/PSALM.1 From December 26, 2015 to April 12, 2016, NPC/PSALM, on the average, allocated only about 7.77 MW per month from a maximum contracted capacity of 15.68 MW, or the average equivalent energy of 8,472 MWh per month from the maximum contracted energy of 11,664 MWh in the month of February for the said period.


= Wholesale Price Index for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials for the Philippines as published by NEDA/NSO for the period of price determination


Sample Computation of the Monthly Payments


Financial Model


SPPC 2015 Audited Financial Statements

= Wholesale Price Index for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials for the Philippines as published by NEDA/NSO for as of December 31, 2013.

Allegations in Support of the Motion for Confidential Treatment

= Euro-Peso Exchange Rate for the period of price determination as published by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas


As mentioned above, the financial model attached hereto as “X” is hereby submitted under a motion to treat information confidential (“Motion”).


= Euro-Peso Exchange Rate as of December 31, 2013 as published by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas


The financial model discloses the basis for the tariff under the PSA. It includes all the formulas and calculations as well as the assumptions and values considered therein.


= Finland Producers’ Price Index for Manufacturing for the period of price determination as published in the International Financial Statistics of IMF


In accordance with Section 1, Rule 4 of this Honorable Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (“ERC Rules”), Applicant SPPC respectfully moves that the financial model be treated as confidential information for the following reasons:

A summation of the ED & TMED for a given Contract Year shall be made to determine true F during the Contract Year. Such yearly F factor shall be basis for adjustment of the CRF for the Contract Year. The adjustment shall be guided by the following conditions:


Variable Operation & Maintenance Fee (VOMF) The Variable Operation and Maintenance Fee (VOMF) covers the cost of the use of, among other items, chemicals, lubricants and spare parts, that are directly related to the generation of the Power Station. It shall be computed according to the following formula:

Certificate of Compliance. This Honorable Commission has issued the necessary Certificate of Compliance for the Plant. A copy of the said certification is attached hereto as Annex “V.”

Salient Terms and Conditions. The PSA contains the following salient features and conditions: Term. The PSA shall be effective from the Effective Date until two (2) years from Commencement Date (“Term”) or unless otherwise earlier terminated or extended in accordance with the terms of the Agreement.


= Variable O&M Fee Rate of Php 0.18/kWh


= kWh delivered during the billing period


= Consumer Price Index for Metropolitan Manila Area (National Capital Region), all items published by NEDA/ NSO for the period of price determination


= Consumer Price Index for Metropolitan Manila Area (National Capital Region), all items published by NEDA/ NSO as of December 31, 2013.


= Euro-Peso Exchange Rate for the period of price determination as published by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

The PSA may be extended for an additional one (1) year period after the end of the original Term, at the option of the Buyer and under the same terms and conditions of the PSA.3


= Euro-Peso Exchange Rate as of December 31, 2013 as published by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas


Contracted Capacity. The Contracted Capacity is five megawatts (5 MW) as may be increased or reduced in accordance with the PSA.4


= Finland Producers’ Price Index for Manufacturing for the period of price determination as published in the International Financial Statistics of IMF


Adjustments to Contracted Capacity and Dispatchable Energy. At any time during the Term of the PSA, the Parties may agree to permanently increase or decrease the Contracted Capacity and Dispatchable Energy. Any additional Contracted Capacity and Dispatchable Energy agreed by the Parties shall be paid for by the Buyer at the same rates specified in Schedule B (Payments to the Seller).5


= Finland Producers’ Price Index for Manufacturing as of December 3·1, 2013 as published in the International Financial Statistics of IMF

Allowed Outages. The PSA provides for an Allowed Outage not exceeding 6,570 MWh in the relevant Contract Year, or the proportionate number of hours if a Contract Year is less than 12 months. 6


Replacement Capacity and Energy. During any period of Outage within the Allowed Outage and subject to the availability of Replacement Capacity and Energy from the System, the Seller shall use its best efforts to deliver Replacement Capacity and Energy to the Buyer. If Replacement Capacity and Energy is requested by the Buyer, the Replacement Capacity and Energy Cost of the Replacement Capacity and Energy delivered by the Seller to the Buyer shall be a full pass-through cost to the Buyer. 7 The cost of transmission line losses and congestion from the Receiving Point, or Alternative Receiving Point in the case of Replacement Capacity and Energy, to the Buyer’s substation shall be for the account of the Buyer. 8


The Actual Fuel Cost (AFC) is the fee paid to the Seller as payment for the procurement and delivery of the fuel oil (Bunker C) used in the operation of the SPPC Power Station. The Actual Fuel Cost shall be computed as follows:

Monthly Payments.11 Commencing on the Commencement Date and continuing throughout the Term, the Buyer shall pay to the Seller an amount (the “Monthly Payment”) calculated in accordance with the formula set out in Schedule B (Payments to the Seller). Subject to Section 6.3 (Settlement), billings shall be based on the Contracted Capacity and monthly energy delivered to the Buyer at the Receiving Point or Alternative Receiving Point and in accordance with the provisions of Schedule F (Measurement and Recording of Electricity).


= Efficiency Cap; 0.2464 kg/kwh 0.9855 kg/liter


= Energy Delivered, kwh


The Monthly Payment in respect of a Billing Month shall include Replacement Capacity and Energy Costs and Backup Capacity Costs and Backup Energy Costs to the extent applicable.

In accordance with Sections 3 and 4, Rule 4 of the ERC Rules, Applicant SPPC reserves the right to use the financial model and its contents as evidence, and respectfully moves for the issuance of a Protective Order.

The Applicants move for the issuance of a provisional approval of the PSA pending trial on the merits for the following reasons: a.

Mindanao Power Crisis and upcoming May 9, 2016 Presidential Elections. Due to the continuing power shortage in Mindanao, the area served by CLPC continues to suffer power outages. From December 28, 2015 to April 12, 2016, CLPC was compelled to implement rotational brownouts from 2 to 4 hours as a result of the tight supply. Hence, the PSA with SPPC will greatly aid in narrowing the power supply gap that CLPC requires in order to minimize the power outages in its franchise area. Minimizing power outages due to lack of supply has become especially urgent with the upcoming presidential elections in May 9, 2016.


Continuing demand growth. As illustrated in the DDP, CLPC is expecting a growth in the total demand of its end-users. This, coupled with the lack of supply in Mindanao and the continued reduction in the supply allocation by NPC/PSALM will result in a widening of the supply gap, which CLPC may not immediately attend to. This will greatly disadvantage the end-users of CLPC who will then be forced to suffer frequent and prolonged outages.

The immediate approval of the PSA will allow CLPC to immediately draw power from an available plant in order to serve the power needs of its customers. Thus, the immediate approval of the PSA will ultimately redound to the benefit of the customers of CLPC in terms of continuous, reliable, efficient and affordable power supply. Attached as Annex “Z” of this Application is the Judicial Affidavit of Mr. Mark Sam P. Banluta, in support of the request for Provisional Authority.


ISSUE an Order declaring the financial model attached as Annex “X” as confidential information within the purview of Rule 4 of the ERC Rules, as well as directing that the financial model be treated with confidentiality and be protected from public disclosure;


ISSUE the corresponding Protective Order in accordance with Sections 2 and 4 of the said Rule 4;


Pending trial on the merits PROVISIONALLY APPROVE, the PSA, including all the rates, fees, charges and tariff adjustment mechanisms set out therein; and


After trial on the merits, APPROVE with FINALITY the PSA, including all the rates, fees, charges and tariff adjustment mechanisms set out therein.

All persons who have an interest in the subject matter of the instant case may become a party by filing with the Commission a verified Petition to Intervene at least five (5) days prior to the initial hearing and subject to the requirements under Rule 9 of the 2006 Rules of Practice and Procedure, indicating therein the docket number and title of the case and stating the following:

Start-Up Costs (SC)

Type of Start-Up

Liters of Diesel Fuel per Unit

Cold Start-up (more than 10 hours of shutdown)


Warm Start-up (less than10 hours of shutdown)



Schedule B (Payments to the Seller) of the PSA is reproduced below: SCHEDULE B

PAYMENTS TO THE SELLER The Buyer shall make the following payments to the Seller in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement:


The Monthly Payments shall be paid to the Seller on a monthly basis in accordance with the following formula:


A statement of the relief desired.

The Buyer shall pay the Seller Replacement Capacity and Energy Cost in accordance with the invoice provided by the supplier of Replacement Capacity and Energy Cost.

A concise statement of the Opposition or Co1nment; and


The grounds relied upon.

Backup Capacity and Backup Energy Costs Fee (if applicable)

Value Added Tax

VAT = (CRF + FOMF + VOMF + AFC + SC + RCEC + BCEC) X 0. 12

All such persons who wish to have a copy of the Joint Application may request from Applicants that they be furnished with the same, prior to the date of the initial hearing. Applicants are hereby directed to furnish all those making such request with copies of the Joint Application and its attachments, subject to the reimbursement of reasonable photocopying costs. Any such person may likewise examine the Joint Application and other pertinent records filed with the Commission during the standard office hours. WITNESS, the Honorable Chairman JOSE VICENTE B. SALAZAR (On Leave), and the Honorable Commissioners ALFREDO J. NON, GLORIA VICTORIA C. YAP-TARUC, JOSEFINA PATRICIA A. MAGPALE-ASIRIT, and GERONIMO D. STA. ANA, Energy Regulatory Commission, this 28th day of December 2016 at Pasig City.

This computation notwithstanding, the VAT to be paid by the Buyer to the Seller is as collected by the Buyer from its Customers.

ATTY. NATHAN J. MARASIGAN Chief of Staff Office of the Chairman and CEO

Overdue Charges. Any amounts not paid on or before the Payment Due Date shall earn interest at the 91-day T-Bill Rate plus three percent (3%) per annum, from the day after the Payment Due Date until the date upon which such amount was received by the Seller.12

19.10. Payment Made Prior to Due Date. The Buyer shall be given a one and a half percent (1.5%) prompt payment discount on the payment in full of the applicable Capital Recovery Fees twenty (20) days prior to the relevant Payment Due Date. 13

1 2 3 4 5 6



All other persons who may want their views known to the Commission with respect to the subject matter of the case may file their Opposition or Comment thereon at any stage of the proceeding before Applicants rest their case, subject to the requirements under Rule 9 of the 2006 Rules of Practice and Procedure. No particular form of Opposition or Comment is required, but the document, letter, or writing should contain the following: The name and address of such person;



The nature of petitioner’s interest in the subject matter of the proceeding and the way and manner in which such interest is affected by the issues involved in the proceeding; and


The relative Value Added Taxes (“VAT”) of the above fee payments of 12% shall be computed as follows:

Capital Recovery Fees Fixed Operation and Maintenance Fee Variable Operation and Maintenance Fee Actual Fuel Cost Start-Up Costs Replacement Capacity and Energy Costs Back-up Capacity and Energy Costs Value-Added Tax as collected from CLPC’s customers and other applicable taxes, if any, net of any withholding tax, as applicable. Capital Recovery Fee (CRF)

The petitioner’s name and address;



Monthly Payments = CRF+ FOMF + VOMF + AFC + SC + RCEC + BCEC + Taxes = = = = = = = =


Replacement Capacity and Energy Cost Fee (if applicable)

The Buyer shall pay the Seller Backup Capacity and Energy Cost equivalent to the Monthly Payment had there been no Forced Outage.

Monthly Payments

= Capital Recovery Fee Rate of PHP250.18/kw/month


The Commission has set the Joint Application for determination of compliance with the jurisdictional requirements, expository presentation, Pre-trial Conference, and presentation of evidence on 26 January 2017, Thursday, at nine o’clock in the morning (9:00 A.M.), at ERC’s Mindanao Field . Office at Mintrade Bldg., Monteverde Ave. corner Sales St., Davao City.

The Buyer, on a pro rata basis of the capacity of the Power Station allocated to the Buyer, shall pay the Seller Start-Up Costs for the cost of starting up the SPPC Power Station, or any portion thereof, after a period of shutdown due to any reason attributable to the Buyer. The Start-Up Costs shall be computed based on the prevailing price of diesel fuel at the time of the Start Up and paid in accordance with the following:

All Ancillary Service charges, taxes, fees, imposts and other similar charges shall also be included in the monthly billing.


Further, all parties furnished copies of the present Application are not furnished copies of the model subject the present motion.

Other reliefs just and equitable are likewise prayed for.





AFC = FC x EC x ED

= Fuel Cost; The average MOPS price of Bunker C Fuel Oil/ Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) deliveries during the period of price determination in Peso/liter

= CRFR x CC x F

In accordance with Section 1 (b), Rule 4 of the ERC Rules, an electronic copy of the financial model is contained in one compact disc and submitted in a sealed envelope marked with the word “Confidential.”

Actual Fuel Cost (AFC)




PRAYER WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, it is most respectfully prayed that this Honorable Commission:

= Wholesale Price Index for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials for the Philippines as published by NEDA/NSO as of December 31, 2013.

Backup Capacity and Energy. During any Forced Outage,9 the Seller shall have the obligation to deliver Backup Capacity and Backup Energy to the Buyer.10

CRF shall be computed as follows:

Given the foregoing, the financial model qualifies as “confidential information” as defined under Section 2, Rule 4 of the ERC Rules.


= Wholesale Price Index for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials for the Philippines as published by NEDA/NSO for the period of price determination





= Variable O&M Fee, in Pesos


the Supreme

Allegations in Support of the Prayer for Provisional Authority


Salient Terrns and Conditions of the PSA


Also, the financial model was prepared and developed for the exclusive use of SPPC, and is designed for the specific use of the company in its power generation business. Consequently, should the financial model be disclosed to the public, it could easily be copied or used by SPPC’s competitors or other entities engaged in the power business for their own benefit, and to the prejudice of SPPC. Thus, the commercial value of the said model will be diminished significantly.


DOE Accreditation. The Department of Energy has accredited the Power Station as a Block Power Production Facility under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. 215. A copy of the pertinent certificate of accreditation is attached hereto as Annex “U.”


In the case “Air Philippines Corporation vs. Pennswell Inc,” Court defined “trade secret” as follows:



Environmental Compliance Certificate. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has issued the necessary Environmental Compliance Certificates (“ECC”) covering the Power Station. A copy of the ECC is attached hereto as Annex “T.”



“A trade secret is defined as a plan or process, tool, mechanism or compound known only to its owner and those of his employees to whom it is necessary to confide it. The definition also extends to a secret formula or process not patented, but known only to certain individuals using it in compounding some article of trade having commercial value. A trade secret may consist of any formula, pattern, device, or compilation of information that (1) is used in one’s business; and (2) gives the employer an opportunity to obtain advantage over competitors who do not possess the information. Generally, a trade secret is a process or device intended for continuous operation of the business. for example, a machine or formula. but can be a price list or catalogue or specialized customer list. It is indubitable that trade secrets constitute proprietary rights.” (Emphasis supplied)

It must be stressed that, in accordance with the relevant policy of this Honorable Commission, SPPC shall derive no revenue whatsoever from the fuel supply.

The Monthly Payment shall be subject to further adjustments if there are new taxes, fees, imposts and similar charges, or any increase in existing taxes, fees, imposts and charges.

The financial model qualifies as a “trade secret” as under existing jurisprudence.

F= Monthly Actual Energy Delivered TMED

Fuel Supply. In order to ensure the supply of fuel for the operations of the Power Station, SPPC is currently in the process of selecting a fuel supplier. A copy of a document on the fuel procurement process is attached hereto as Annex “S.”




Project Finance; Weighted Average Cost of Capital (“WACC”). The project is being funded through loans and equity. A computation of the WACC indicating the debtequity ratio, and the interest cost is attached hereto as Annex “R.”

Project Cost

Certificate of Compliance issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission

Project Cost and Operating Expenses. A summary of the costs of the project and its supporting documents are attached as Annexes “P” and series. A detailed breakdown of the projected operating expenses is attached hereto as Annex “Q”


Specific Fuel Oil Consumption Certificate of the Power Station

Certificate of Accreditation issued by the Department of Energy

= 1 if the foregoing formula results in F being greater than 1


Brief description of the technical characteristics of the Power Station





General Information Sheet of SPPC for the Year 2015



= Theoretical Maximum Energy Delivered being the Contracted Capacity multiplied by the hours in the relevant month, less any adjustments made for Allowed Outage, limitation due to Buyer’s dispatch order, and allowable start-up time due to period of non-generation due to a Buyer dispatch order, and any other hours as a consequence of Buyer’s failure to perform any of its obligations



= Consumer Price Index for Metropolitan Manila Area (National Capital Region), all items published by NEDA/ NSO as of December 31, 2013.



SPPC’s Certificate of Incorporation, Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws


Overview of the 55 MW2 SPPC Power Station


Demand Side Management (DSM) Programs of CLPC


Environmental Compliance Certificate issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Thus the instant Application.


Contract for the Supply of Electric Energy between CLPC and PSALM


Fuel Procurement Process

= Outage Factor as derived using the following formula to be used.


Rate Impact Analysis





Computation of the WACC with Debt-Equity Ratio and Interest Cost

Section 45 (b) of Republic Act No. 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, provides that distribution utilities may enter into bilateral power supply contracts subject to review by the ERC. In connection with this, ERC Resolution No.2, Series of 2015, provides that the distribution utilities and generation companies jointly file with the Honorable Commission their respective power supply agreements.


Secretary’s Certificate re Board Resolution on the authority of CLPC to enter into the supply agreement and CLPC’s authorized signatory



The specific fuel oil consumption (“SFOC”) of the Power Station shall not be greater than 0.2464 kg/kWh at site condition of 32 deg. C ambient temperature. The SFOC is based on a bunker C fuel oil density of 0.9855 kilogram/liter. A copy of a certification on the Power Station’s specific fuel oil consumption rate is attached hereto as Annex “ O.”


= Consumer Price Index for Metropolitan Manila Area (National Capital Region), all items published by NEDA/ NSO for the period of price determination

= Finland Producers’ Price Index for Manufacturing as of December 31, 2013 as published in the International Financial Statistics of IMF


Secretary’s Certificate re Board Resolution on CLPC BAC Evaluation Reports

Detailed Breakdown of the Projected Operating Expenses


The Generation Facilities. SPPC shall supply power under the PSA from its 55 MW bunker C-fired diesel power generating plant located in Alabel, Saranggani Province (the “Power Station”). A brief description of the technical characteristics of the Power Station is attached hereto as Annex “N.”



Accordingly, CLPC and SPPC entered into a Power Sales Agreement (PSA) for the supply of five megawatts (5 MW) for two (2) years from the Commencement Date, as defined in the PSA. The term may be extended for an additional one (1) year period.


CLPC BAC Evaluation Reports and Letter Request to Negotiate a PSA




Offer of Alsons Power Group for SPPC


P and series FOMR

Thus, to augment its supply requirements, CLPC sought separate competitive offers from any peak load generation source and base load generation source from prospective suppliers. For the peak load generation source requirement, only one bid was received for each of the two competitive biddings conducted by CLPC, resulting in a failed bid. Thus, CLPC entered into direct negotiations with SPPC.


Power Sales Agreement



2nd Invitation to Submit Proposal for the Supply of Power

CLPC Distribution Development Plan

SPPC is a generation company duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, with principal office address at the 4th Floor Alphaland Southgate Tower, corner EDSA and Chino Roces Extension, Makati City.

Moreover, CLPC’s firm supply contract for 2 megawatts of capacity with one of its suppliers will expire on April 28, 2016.



CLPC is a corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, with office address at Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City. CLPC is a duly authorized distribution utility of electric power to the end-users in the City of Cotabato and portions of the Municipalities of Sultan Kudarat and Datu Odin Sinsuat, all in the province of Maguindanao (“CLPC Franchise Area”) pursuant to its franchise under Republic Act No. 10637.


1st Invitation to Submit Proposal for the Supply of Power


Statement of Facts 4.



Fixed Operation & Maintenance Fee (FOMF)




The Fixed Operation and Maintenance Fee (FOMF) covers the operating and maintenance costs of the Power Station. It shall be computed according to the following formula:

CLPC and SPPC alleged the following in their Joint Application




In support of the instant application, the following documents are attached as annexes hereof:

A summation of the ED & TMED for a given Contract Year shall be made to determine true F during the Contract Year. Such yearly F factor shall be basis for adjustment of the CRF for the Contract Year. The adjustment shall be guided by the following conditions:




Total (Php/kWh)

= 1 if the foregoing formula results in F being greater than 1


Without SPPC

Financial Model. A copy of SPPC’s financial model is attached hereto as Annex “X.” The said financial model is subject to a motion for confidential treatment of information as discussed below.


Further, Applicant SPPC respectfully manifests that the said financial model is only for the purpose of illustration and does not reflect the real tariff basis of SPPC.


8 9

10 11

13 14

NPC stands for National Power Corporation. PSALM stands for Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation. Net Dependable Capacity See Section 3.2., PSA. Section 1.1 (Definitions), PSA. Par. 3, Section 4.1, PSA. See Definitions, Section 1.1 of the PSA. See Section 6.6, PSA. See paragraph 3, Section 5.5, PSA. “Forced Outage” means, after the Commencement Date, any Outage in excess of the Allowed Outage, whether due to unplanned partial or total plant shutdmvn, for reasons other than Force Majeure. Par. 1, Section 6.7, PSA. Section 7.2 of the PSA. See Section 7-4 (a), PSA. Section 7-4 (b), PSA. G. R. No. 172835, 13 December 2007. (MS-JAN. 6/13, 2017)








Samsung heir questioned S



Mothers of Brazil’s zika babies struggle Republic of the Philippines REGIONAL TRIAL COURT National Capital Judicial Region Branch 99, Quezon City, Metro Manila

GENER N. ROYO , Petitioner, - versus -

RIO DE JANEIRO―Brazil’s CIVIL CASE No. 2015-2016 zika scare has largely R-QZN-16-04052-CV dropped of the ofheadlines, but For:out Declaration Nullity of Marriage one year on, thousands of parents NICOLE R. ROYO, Respondent. are struggling as they learn to care x----------------------------------x for brain-damaged babies. SUMMONS Brenda Pereira, 23, weeps in dis(by Publication) may as she leaves the doctor’s room TO: with her R.four-month-old daughter NICOLE ROYO Rowena’s Garden,in Dolores, Taytay, Rizal Maria Fernanda her arms. The pediatrician has just told GREETINGS: her that Maria case issued of WHEREAS, on May Fernanda’s 18, 2016, this Court Summons in the above-entitled case, but was returned microcephaly is worse than previunserved on July 24, 12, 2016; ously thought. WHEREAS, on September 26, 2016, this Court issued an Order the issuance of Summons by Publication Thefor zika disease, spread by upon respondent NICOLE R. ROYO whose last known mosquito bites,Garden, causes babies be address is at Rowena’s Dolores, Taytay,to Rizal; born with aabnormally small heads. WHEREAS, Petition for Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Marriage which, as stated in the Certificate “I hope she will be able to of Marriage, was solemnized on February 10, 2010 at Taytay, Rizal,That has been petitioner against speak. shecommenced will bebyas normal respondent, full text of which is heretofore quoted as as possible,” says Pereira. follows: “That is why I bring her to the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES doctor: to try to make her fit into REGIONAL TRIAL COURT society. Because people do not see NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION CITY our children QUEZON as people.” BRANCH 99 Brazil has confirmed 2,289 GENER N. ROYO cases of babies born with microPetitioner, cephaly versus in the epidemic that startCivil Case No. R-QZN-16-04-052CV ed in 2015. Authorities say there For: Declaration of Nullity of Marriage are 3,144 other suspected cases NICOLE R. ROYO, pending confi rmation. Respondent. Since most of those babies are x-------------------------------x no more than aPetition year old, Brazilian doctors’ experience of treating Petitioner, by counsel, respectfully states that: them is limited.Parties like Maria Fernanda’s, 1. In He iscases a Filipino, of legal age, married but separated, with postal address at #26 P. DeLa Cruz Street, Sitio the doctors do not have answers to Gitna, Nagkakaisang Nayon, Novaliches, Quezon City. He be served with orders and other processes of this allmaythe parents’ questions. Honorable Court through his undernamed counsel Real “If& the notatknow, Brotarlo Real doctors Law Officesdo located 4th Floor,then Cityland 10 Tower 1, 156 HV de la Costa Street, Ayala Avenue how can I?” she says. “I have learned North, Makati City. with her because I must.” Respondent is likewise a Filipino, of legal age, with postal address at Rowena’s Garden, Dolores, Taytay, Pereira, from Rocinha, Rio’s Rizal, where she may be served with summons and other processes Honorable Court. learned her biggestof thisslum, only Statement of Relevantafter FactsMababy had the condition 3. Petitioner met the Respondent ria Fernanda was born. sometime in July 2008 at Bayantel Main Building where Petitioner worked The baby’s abandoned as Maintenance Operator father while Respondent worked as a cashier in the canteen. her, she says, because he did not 4. Subsequently thereafter, the parties exchanged their wantnumbers “a sick phone and daughter.” Petitioner started to communicate with Respondent. Pereira had to leave her job 5. Eventually, Petitioner courted Respondent and after to care for themonths, babyRespondent 24 hours a wooing her for several accepted Petitioner to be her sweetheart. day. She moved in with her own 6. As boyfriend and girlfriend, parties got involved in mother, her other daughvarious sexual leaving trysts. 7. Until sometime in December of 2009 when the ter, aged six, with relatives. parties discovered of Respondent’s pregnancy. She struggles to pay for the 8. Thus, Petitioner talked to Respondent’s parents about Respondent’s pregnancy and as such, Maria they wanted physiotherapy sessions the parties to get married as soon as possible. Fernanda needs to stimulate her. 9. Although perplexed and confused, Petitioner acceded to the Respondent parents’does directive to Maria Fernanda nothave them married. Hence, on February 10, 2010, the parties qualifytheir toI receive child disability exchanged Do’s in a mass wedding held in Taytay, Rizal. welfare payments from the state, A copy of the parties’ Marriage Contract is attached as because Pereira’s own mother is Annex “A”. 10. After their the parties initially cohabited at above thewedding, $70-a-month earnings the parents of the Petitioners’ house. threshold. She works selling bags 11 . After a month of staying at the house of the Petitioner’s parents, the parties moved to an apartment of ice on Ipanema beach. near their working place. “I have had to put my whole 12. On April 2, 2010, parties were blessed with a child whom R. Royo. lifethey onnamed holdNicologene and live for the baby. A copy of Nicologene R. Royo’s Certificate of Live Birth But as far as the government is is attached as Annex “B”. concerned, you noticed havethatto be ex13. Petitioner eventually Respondent tends to spend the whole day without doing anything like a tremely poor in order to receive a traditional doted mother who would usually do household chores wholeheartedly. subsidy,” Brenda Pereira says. 14. Instead, Respondent would prefer to sit in front “Brazil is not equipped to deal of the television and left their baby unattended. It was Petitioner who most of the timeillness.” took care of their child. with such a major 15. In fact, in many instances, Respondent would even ‘Where is the government? turn her back on the child even as it threw tantrums just to draw her In attention. Rio de Janeiro, last year’s 16. Along with this, Respondent became fond of going Olympic host city, the State Brain out with her friends and would usually come home in the wee hours of morning. Institute was overwhelmed by mi17. Sometime in August 2011, the parties had a food crocephaly cases and had to set up cart in Divisoria, Manila. But few months after, they were compelled to stop the business since Respondent a special walk-in clinic. AFP couldn’t get along with the co-vendors around the area.

18. About the same time, the parties were also forced by their landlord to leave the apartment they were renting due to an altercation with the Respondent.

EOUL―Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong was grilled by South Korean prosecutors Thursday after becoming a criminal suspect in the corruption scandal engulfing impeached President Park Geun-Hye.

20. Although angry and frustrated, Petitioner strived to compose himself and inquired of his discovery with the Respondent. As expected, Respondent denied having any extra-marital affair. 21. Since Petitioner could not contain and accept such infidelity, he went to his mother the following day to cool down his head. 22. In December 29 of the same year, Petitioner calmly asked the Respondent to patch things between them for their daughter and marriage’s sake.

23. However, Respondent was nonchalant and belligerent, reiterating that she was no longer happy being with him anymore.

24. Despite Respondent’s treatment to him, Petitioner was still hopeful to save their marriage and gave Respondent several times to clear her mind and also to realize the sacredness of their marriage.

Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics and the son of the 25. But, Respondent was still unyielding and stick to her former decision because she was not happy withLee the Samsung Group chairman Petitioner anymore. Kun-Hee, was being questioned 26. On January 13, 2012, Respondent finally admitted, in front of the Barangay Officials, that she indeed had a over allegations of they bribery, prosrelationship with another guy, but, already called it a day. ecutors said Wednesday. 27. Despite the infidelity committed by Respondent to Petitioner, still pursued Respondent for possible HePetitioner is also accused of commitreconciliation but failed to win her back. ting perjury during a parliamen28. Thus, on February 6, 2012, Petitioner flew to Dubai, UAE to work. His mother and Respondent were tary hearing lastthe month intotaking the turns in taking care of their child. affair, they said. 29. But Petitioner’s mother noticed that the parties’ daughter was not being well taken care of by the “I amThere sorry Respondent. were for even causing instances thatconcern when his daughter would come to his mother, the latter would have among the people over this incia lot of physical complains and obvious weight lost. 30. A yearLee after, Petitioner learned Respondentat dent”, said as hethatarrived conceived a baby with certain Patrick Banez.

the office of the special prosecutor investigating the case. Lee and his lawyer were greeted by scores of journalists as well as dozens of protesters waving banners and chanting “arrest Lee immediately” and calling him a “co-culprit” in the scandal. Prosecutor’s office spokesman Lee Kyu-Chul said they would decide whether to seek a court warrant to arrest him formally when his questioning is com-

pleted. “We will, of course, also investigate accusations that vice chairman Lee committed perjury” during the parliamentary hearing, the spokesman told journalists. Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified investigator as saying the likelihood of prosecutors seeking an arrest warrant was “high”. Lee was named a criminal suspect in the widening investigation on Wednesday. The scandal centers on Park’s secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, who is accused of using her ties to the president to coerce top firms into “donating” tens of millions of dollars to two non-profit foundations which Choi then used as her personal ATMs.

31. Petitioner found out later that this guy was the same guy who was Respondent’s paramour whom she claimed then that she already broke up. 32. To address his concerns on the matter, Petitioner consulted and engaged the services of Ms. Nedy L. Tayag, a Clinical Psychologist. 33. Ms. Nedy L. Tayag then came up with a Psychological Report based on her series of examinations and interviews, and found out that Respondent is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage since she found to be suffering from personality disorder known as Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is grave, incurable and has been existing even before the parties’ marriage. 34. In view of the parties’ irreconcilable differences and psychological incapacity of the Respondent, it is clear that the parties’ void marriage exists in name only. Hence, the declaration of nullity of said marriage in accordance with Article 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines is in order. 35. The parties do not have any conjugal assets during their marriage.

RELIEF WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that judgment be rendered: (i) Declaring the marriage of Petitioner Gener N. Royo and Respondent Nicole R. Royo on February 10, 2010 in Taytay, Rizal as null and void and of no force and effect pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines; and (ii) Ordering that the marriage of the parties as appearing in the Book of Entries of Marriage of the Local Civil Registrar of Taytay, Rizal and the National Statistics Office be cancelled forthwith. Other equitable reliefs are likewise prayed for. Makati City for Quezon City, February 26, 2016.

REAL BROTARLO & REAL Law Offices Counsel for Petitioner 4th Floor Cityland 10 Tower I, and 10th Floor Cityland 10 Tower II 156 H.V. Dela Costa Street, Ayala Avenue North Makati City, Philippines Tel. Nos. 893-33-99; 753-1374; Telefax No. 893-3399 Website:; Email add :

By: EMMANUEL S. BROTARLO Roll of Attorneys No. 42282 MCLE Compliance No. V-0007060-03-31-2015 PTR No. MKT5329104; 01-06-16; Makati City IBP No. 1018392; 01-06-16; Iloilo City

SHERWIN G. REAL Roll of Attorneys No. 46964 MCLE Compliance No. V-0007032-03-31-2015 PTR No. MKT5329103; 01-06-16; Makati City IBP No. 1018392; 01-06-16; City of Manila NOW THEREFORE, YOU ARE HEREBY REQUIRED within THIRTY (30) DAYS from the last issue of publication to ANSWER the Petition and to copy furnish the Petitioner with a copy of your Answer within the same period. You are reminded of IBP-OCA Memorandum on Policy Guidelines dated March 12, 2002 to observe restraint in filing a motion to dismiss and instead allege the grounds thereof as defenses in the Answer. If you fail to Answer within the time fixed, the Court shall order the Public Prosecutor to investigate whether collusion exists, in accordance with Section 8(3) of A. M. No. 02-11-10-SC (Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages).


NOTICE OF SHERIFF’S SALE Upon Extra-Judicial petition for sale under Act 3135 as amended by Act 4118 filed by SECURITY BANK CORPORATION, Mortgagee, against JENNIFER S. SANTIAGO Mortgagor-Debtor with given address at Unit 35 3rd Floor City Residences, 420 P. Martinez St., Brgy. Bagong Silang, Mandaluyong City and 3F 33SA Gomega I.P. Martines Street, Mandaluyong City to satisfy the mortgaged indebtedness which as of October 25, 2016 amounts to TWO MILLION THREE HUNDRED FIFTY TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TWENTY EIGHT PESOS and 92/100 (P2,352,328.92) ONLY. Philippine Currency, inclusive interests, penalties and other charges but exclusive of attorney’s fees equivalent to 20% for the foreclosure and sale, the ExOfficio Sheriff of Mandaluyong City or his duly authorized deputy will sell at PUBLIC AUCTION to the HIGHEST BIDDER FOR CASH OR MANAGERS CHECK and in Philippine Currency on the 7th day of January 2017 of Justice Building, Maysilo Circle, Mandaluyong City, the following condominium unit with all the improvements existing thereon to wit:

BALCONY LOCATED AT THE THIRD FLOOR OF THE “CITY RESIDENCES” CONDOMINIUM, CONTAINING AN AREA OF 49.90 SQ.M. In the diagrammatic floor plan appended to enabling or master deed of the condominium project annotated on TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE 2010000081; 2010000082 which embraces and describes the land located at MANDALUYONG CITY with an area of TWO THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED NINE (2,809) Square Meter, is registered in the name of: Owner: JENNIFER SAN JOSE SANTIAGO, SINGLE, FILIPINO CITIZEN, OF LEGAL AGE Address: 3F 33SA GOMEGA I, P. MARTINEZ STREET, MANDALUYONG CITY “All sealed bids must be submitted to the undersigned on the above stated time and date.” “In the event the public auction should not take place on the said date, it shall be held on January 27, 2017 9:00 A.M. or soon thereafter without further notice,” Prospective bidders or buyers are hereby enjoined to investigate for themselves the title of the said property and the encumbrances thereon, if any there be. Mandaluyong City, December 6, 2016.


(Sgd.) ATTY. ERWIN N. BARATA Clerk of Court VI & Ex-Officio Sheriff (Sgd.) HELDER A. DYANGCO Sheriff IV WARNING: It is absolutely prohibited to remove, deface or destroy this Notice of Sheriff’s Sale on or before the date of Auction Sale under penalty of the law. Copy furnished:

CONDOMINIUM CERTIFICATE OF Jennifer S.rdSantiago Unit 35 3 Floor City Residences, TITLE No. 008-2015002244 420 P. Martinez St., Brgy. Bagong Registry of Deeds – Silang, Mandaluyong City and 3F City of Mandaluyong 33SA Gomega I.P. Martinez St., IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that the Mandaluyong City unit identified and described as:

Atty. Irahlyn P. Sacupayo-Lariba 4th Floor, Security Bank Center 3F-2BR-35 – A 2 BEDROOM TYPE Building, 6776 Ayala Ave., Makati City FRONT CONDOMINIUM UNIT WITH (MS-Dec. 13, 20 & 27, 2016)

WHEREFORE, let this summons be published once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks, in a newspaper of general Circulation to be selected by raffle pursuant to P.O. 1079 at the expense of the petitioner. Likewise, let a copy of the summons be sent by registered mail to the respondent at her last known address, also at the expense of petitioner and to submit to this Court proof of compliance therewith.

(Sgd.) VIOLETA C. BAUTISTA Officer-In-Charge

(MS-Dec. 20 & 27, 2016)

MIAMI―US officials for the first time have placed a bee found in the continental United States on the endangered species list. Authorities said Wednesday the move was taken after a precipitous decline in the rusty patched bumblebee population, due to pesticides, disease and climate change. These once common bumblebees are now “balancing precariously on the brink of extinction,” said a statement from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. “Abundance of the rusty patched bumble bee has plummeted by 87 percent, leaving small, scattered populations in 13 states and one province,” down from 28 states in the 1990s. The final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee as endangered appeared in the January 11 edition of the Federal Register and takes effect on February 10. Experts say the bees are important because they pollinate economically important crops such as tomatoes, cranberries and peppers across the central and northern United States, as well as parts of Canada. Their decline is likely due to a combination of factors: loss of habitat, disease and parasites, use of pesticides, climate change and extremely small population size. Their endangered status signifies that they “are in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or a portion of their range,” said a statement from FWS. “Our top priority is to act quickly to prevent extinction of the rusty patched bumble bee,” said FWS Midwest regional director Tom Melius. “Listing the bee as endangered will help us mobilize partners and focus resources on finding ways right now to stop the decline.” Late last year, seven types of bees found in Hawaii became the first to be placed on the US federal list of endangered and threatened species. The yellow faced or yellow masked bees have become endangered because of a loss of habitat in Hawaii, among other factors, wildlife experts said. AFP

National Pension Service (NPS) -- a major Samsung shareholder -- voted in favour of the deal and it eventually went through. Prosecutors have raided multiple Samsung offices as well as the NPS in connection with the scandal. The fund -- the world’s third largest pension fund -- is overseen by the welfare ministry. A former welfare minister was arrested last month for allegedly pressuring NPS officials to vote in favor of the Samsung deal. Last month, Lee Jae-Yong told a parliamentary hearing that he was unaware of Samsung’s involvement in funding Choi’s daughter’s equestrian pursuits and lavish life in Germany and denied that his company was seeking to win government favors. AFP

Republic of the Philippines ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION FOR AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT THE SAN MIGUEL FOODS, INC. SWITCHYARD PROJECT, ERC CASE NO. 2016-170 RC VISAYAN ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC. (VECO), Applicant. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - x

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES: Notice is hereby given that on 15 September 2016, the Visayan Electric Company, Inc. (VECO) filed an Application seeking authority to implement the San Miguel Foods, Inc. Switchyard Project (SMFI Project). VECO alleged the following in the Application: 1. VECO is a private corporation existing under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, with business address at J. Panis Street, Banilad, Cebu City. It is a duly authorized distribution utility of electric power in the cities of Naga, Talisay, Cebu and Mandaue, and in the municipalities of San Fernando, Minglanilla, Consolacion and Lilo-an, Province of Cebu pursuant to its franchise under Republic Act. No. 9339. 2. It may be served with notices and other processes of this Commission through its undersigned counsel at the address indicated below. 3. VECO’s 3rd Regulatory Period (3rd RP) covers 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2018.However VECO still has to undergo the reset process and is currently awaiting the final rules to be released by the Honorable Commission to govern the filing of its 3rd RP reset application. 4. This notwithstanding, Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (“EPIRA”), under Section 23, obligates VECO, as well as other distribution utilities, to provide distribution services and connections to its system for any end-user within its franchise area consistent with the distribution code. 5. In a letter dated 26 October 2015, San Miguel Foods, Inc. (“SMFI”) informed Applicant that it is expanding its business by constructing Feed Mill Plants in the country, one of which is to be located in Barangay Looc, Mandaue, Cebu. SMFI will also install a 5 MVA load end substation within the Feed Mill Plant premises. For this purpose, SMFI requested for a service connection to VECO.

7. VECO, pursuant to Section 20 (b) of Commonwealth Act No. 146, as amended, hereby applies for the approval of the Honorable Commission to implement the construction, ownership and operation of the proposed San Miguel Foods, Inc. Switchyard Project (“SMFI Project”).

WITNESS THE HON. MA. RITA A. BASCOS SARABIA, Presiding Judge of this Court, this 8th day of November, 2016.

Officials place bee on endangered list

Samsung was the biggest contributor to the foundations. It is also accused of separately giving millions of euros to Choi to bankroll her daughter’s equestrian training in Germany. Prosecutors have for months questioned Lee and other senior Samsung officials to determine whether Samsung bribed Park and Choi in order to win state approval for a controversial merger which it sought in 2015. The merger of two Samsung group units -- Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T -- was seen as a crucial step towards ensuring a smooth third-generation power transfer to Lee Jae-Yong. It was criticised by many, who said it wilfully undervalued Manila C&T’s stocks. But the Samsung Standard TODAY


6. SMFI also stated in its letter that it targets the testing and commissioning of all plant equipment by 2017. A copy of the SMFI letter is attached herein as Annex “A”.

The Respondent in an action for Annulment of Marriage, Declaration of Nullity and Legal Separation must strictly observe the above-prescribed period to file Answer.

Former surgeon guilty3X30CELEBRATION. Rapper Pitbull performs onstage during Nickelodeon’s celebration of the new Burbank facility on January 11, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. AFP of murder

SYDNEY―A former surgeon was Thursday found guilty of murdering five members of a Chinese-Australian family in Sydney, including two children, in a gruesome case that shocked the country. Robert Xie, 53, was charged with killing his Chinese-born brother-in-law Norman Lin, Lin’s wife Lily, their sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9, and Lily’s sister Irene. Their bodies were found in their northwestern Sydney home in July 2009. The long-running case saw Xie -- an ear, nose and throat surgeon in China before moving to Australia in 2002 -- face four murder trials. Two were aborted, one ended in a hung jury and the most recent retrial lasted six months. Xie was found guilty by the majority of a New South Wales Supreme Court jury, and will be sentenced on February 10, a court official told AFP. “I did not murder the Lin family, I am innocent,” Xie told the court after the verdict was announced, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. His wife sobbed, saying “he’s innocent”, the newspaper added. Prosecutors alleged that Xie was motivated by bitterness towards the family. It was Xie and his wife Kathy Lin, the sister of Norman, who discovered the bodies and called police, sparking a mammoth investigation spanning Australia and China. He was eventually charged in 2011. The three adults were killed in their beds, with their faces “smashed by a hammer-like object” with a rope attached to it. The children were murdered in their rooms with one hit 18 times. AFP



19. On December 27, 2011, Petitioner became anxious and worried since Respondent did not come home that day. The following day, Petitioner was able to see a sweet conversation on Respondent’s cell phone and a picture of a guy in her possession.

Notice of Extrajudicial Settlement Notice is hereby given that the estate of the late Eduardo O. Zabanal consisting of real property and personal property was extra-judicially settled and distributed among his heirs, Shalimar Rosary N. Zabanal, Angelica Almira Zabanal, Regina Tatiana Nabor Zabanal, Lorelei Blossom Nabor Zabanal, Eduardo O. Zabanal, Jr. and Leorosie Nabor Zabanal by means of a public document executed on November 25, 2016, before a Notary Public in the State of Hawaii, authenticated by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit and by Roberto T. Brenardo, Consul of the Philippines in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA as per Doc. No. 4885, Page 212, Book No. XLIII Series of 2016. (MS-JAN. 13,20 & 27, 2017)

Notice of Loss Stock Certificate Notice is hereby given that Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. Stock Cert. No. 18312 for 1,000 shares with par value of P1.00, issued to Arellano J. Quan was lost. If no contest is received, a new stock cert. will be issued. Affidavit of Loss of the said stock certificate was executed under Notary Public Atty. Crisanto Pascual, Jr. at Bacoor, Cavite Doc. No. 228 Page No. 46 Book No. VIII Series of 2016. (MS-DEC. 30,2016, JAN. 6 & 13, 2017

NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION Notice is hereby given that Sonagi Enterprises, Inc. located at BCPI Compound, PTC-SEZ Gov. Drive, Bo. Maduya, Carmona, Cavite was dissolved effective October 31, 2016. (MS-JAN. 13,20 & 27, 2017)

Republic of the Philippines REGIONAL TRIAL COURT National Capital Judicial Region Office of the Clerk of Court & Ex-Officio Sheriff Mandaluyong City

8. In brief, the SMFI Project involves the construction of a 69 kV switching station with a single bus – single breaker configuration station within the premises of SMFI’s Feed Mill Plant and the stringing of approximately 0.6 circuit-kilometer 795 MCM ACSR double circuit 69kV line that will cut in along the NGCP Mandaue GIS to VECO MRA SS 69kV line segment and terminate at the said switching station. 9. The detailed justification, technical analysis and economic analysis of the SMFI Project are provided in Annexes “B” and “C” hereof. 10. The total cost of the SMFI Project is estimated at PhP28,486,164.14. 11. The related costs in relation to the proposed SMFI project will not have a direct impact on the current rates of VECO until approved by the Honorable Commission as part of VECO’s Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) in the next applicable Regulatory Period. 12. In sum, it is necessary that the SMFI Project be implemented in order to accommodate the load requirement of SMFI. The SMFI Project will provide the customer with reliable power that will likewise promote productivity on their end. PRAYER WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that the Honorable Commission APPROVE the San Miguel Foods Inc., Switchyard Project. Other relief just and equitable under the premises are likewise prayed for. The Commission has set the Application for determination of compliance with the jurisdictional requirements, expository presentation, Pre-trial Conference, and presentation of evidence on 31 January 2017 at ten o’clock in the morning (10:00 A.M.), at the Energy Regulatory Commission Visayas Field Office in St. Mary’s Drive, Banilad, Cebu City. All persons who have an interest in the subject matter of the instant case may become a party by filing with the Commission a verified Petition to Intervene at least five (5) days prior to the initial hearing and subject to the requirements under Rule 9 of the 2006 Rules of Practice and Procedure, indicating therein the docket number and title of the case and stating the following: 1)

The petitioner’s name and address;


The nature of petitioner’s interest in the subject matter of the proceeding and the way and manner in which such interest is affected by the issues involved in the proceeding; and


A statement of the relief desired.

All other persons who may want their views known to the Commission with respect to the subject matter of the case may file their Opposition or Comment thereon at any stage of the proceeding before Applicant rests its case, subject to the requirements under Rule 9 of the 2006 Rules of Practice and Procedure. No particular form of Opposition or Comment is required, but the document, letter, or writing should contain the following: 1)

The name and address of such person;



A concise statement of the Opposition or Comment; and

Notice is hereby given that a summary hearing on the petition for Notarial Commission of ATTY. RAMON L. CARPIO will be held on January 16, 2017, at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon at the office of the Honorable Executive Judge, Session Hall of Branch 208, 2nd Floor, New Hall of Justice Building.


The grounds relied upon.

Any person who has any valid reason or cause to object to the grant of the petition may file with the undersigned before the date of the summary hearing a verified written opposition thereto. Witness the Hon. Esteban A. Tacla, Jr., Executive Judge, this 9th day of January 2017 at Mandaluyong City.

All such persons who wish to have a copy of the Application may request from Applicant that they be furnished with the same, prior to the date of the initial hearing. Applicant is hereby directed to furnish all those making such request with copies of the Application and its attachments, subject to the reimbursement of reasonable photocopying costs. Any such person may likewise examine the Application and other pertinent records filed with the Commission during the standard office hours. WITNESS, the Honorable Chairman JOSE VICENTE B. SALAZAR (on leave),and the Honorable Commissioners ALFREDO J. NON, GLORIA VICTORIA C. YAP-TARUC, JOSEFINA PATRICIA A. MAGPALE-ASIRIT MAGPALE-ASIRIT, and GERONIMO D. STA. ANA,Energy ,Energy Regulatory Commission,this 22nd day of December 2016 in Pasig City.

(Sgd.) ATTY. ERWIN N. BARATA Clerk of Court VI (MS-Jan. 13, 2017)

(MS-JAN. 13 & 20, 2017)

ATTY. NATHAN J. MARASIGAN Chief of Staff Office of the Chairman and CEO


Cesar Barrioquinto, Editor




German concert hall takes its bow HAMBURG―Germany late Wednesday premiered a spectacular new concert house in Hamburg to the strains of Beethoven and Wagner that has been touted as a global attraction, albeit after a cost explosion. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck joined 2,100 guests at the inaugural concert under tight security in the grand hall of the Elbphilharmonie, which has electrified critics with its audacious design and world-class acoustics. The three-hour-long program met with a lengthy standing ovation. Billed as a cultural monument ready to rival the Sydney Opera House, the building came in more than six years overdue and at 10 times the initial budget, with a cost to the venerable northern port city of 789 million euros ($829 million). Gauck said he was “awed” by the “incredibly beautiful” architecture and its “wonderful sound” but acknowledged its turbulent beginnings. “The Elbphilharmonie has been called a dream and a nightmare, a global star and a joke, an embarrassment and a wonder,” he said. But the enormous project’s success would come from “the magic of its contrasts”. “The Elbphilharmonie can become what many people in Hamburg hope for: the symbol of a cosmopolitan metropolis that is open to the world, and a jewel in the crown of Germany as a nation of culture.” Merkel later told NDR public television the night had been historic. “One day we will all be very proud that something was built in our time that people will still refer to in 50 or 100 years, saying ‘look, that was what happened on January 11, 2017’.” Jutting out from the city at the end of a pier on the Elbe River, the Elbphilharmonie has a boxy brick former cocoa warehouse as its base, with a breathtaking glass structure recalling frozen waves perched on top. Sandwiched between the two levels, a public plaza protected by giant curved glass windows offers stunning views of the harbour, the spires of the charming old trade centre and Hamburg’s temperamental skies. AFP

IN BRIEF Tiger mauls Indonesian man to death JAKARTA―A Sumatran tiger has mauled an Indonesian man to death in a national park, in a brutal attack that left the victim with bite marks all over his body, officials said Thursday. The man, named only as Sudir, was with four friends on Tuesday collecting palm leaves -which are used to make roofs for traditional village houses -- when the attack happened, said park official Afan Absori. They were leaving the Sembilang National Park on Sumatra island after night fell when the 25-year-old victim suddenly let out a scream as the tiger pounced. “The group saw a tiger approaching Sudir and the other four immediately ran away to seek help from people who live nearby,” Absori told AFP. “But when they came back, the tiger had gone and had already mauled Sudir,” he said. There have been several cases in recent years of tigers killing people in Indonesia, where logging of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations is destroying animals’ habitat and bringing them into closer contact with humans. Local police spokesman Cahyo Budi Siswanto confirmed the death and said Sudir was left with bite marks on his neck, leg and buttocks. AFP

Legend lives on as Elvis Express departs Sydney DEVOTEES. Nepalese Hindu devotees gather to bathe in the Shali River on the outskirts of Kathmandu on January 12, 2017. Hundreds of married and unmarried women in the Himalayan nation have started a month-long fast in the hope of a prosperous life and a happy marriage. AFP

Trump lashes out over ‘phony’ dossier claims N EW YORK―Donald Trump attacked US intelligence agencies and the media Wednesday as he denied explosive allegations about his ties to Russia, but admitted for the first time that Moscow had likely meddled in the US election.

Just over a week before he takes office, Trump said he had ceded “complete” managing control of his global property empire to his two adult sons but stopped short of making a full divestment, earning a swift rebuke from an ethics watchdog and Democratic Party opponents. “It doesn’t meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the last four decades has met,” said Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics. “He needs to get rid of his business interests and he needs to

put them in what’s called a blind trust,” Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren told Bloomberg TV. But the hour-long press conference, his first in six months, focused firmly on the unsubstantiated claims that his aides colluded with the Kremlin to win the US election, and that Russia has compromising information on Trump. The president-elect accused CNN of generating “fake news” and slammed BuzzFeed as “a failing pile of garbage” after it published a dossier with the allegedly incriminating material, drawn up by a former British in-

telligence agent hired to do “opposition research” on Trump. “It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” he said, referring to allegations of lurid behavior in a Moscow hotel room. The 70-year old Republican billionaire suggested it may have been released by the intelligence agencies, which would be a “tremendous blot on their record.” Trump dodged questions about whether his campaign had contacts with Russian intelligence, instead tearing into reporters whose outlets reported on the allegations of the existence of compromising material. “I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news,” he told a CNN reporter, igniting a fresh raft of questions about his respect for constitutional guarantees about the free press. The US intelligence community concluded Moscow interfered in the November election in a bid to

tip the race in Trump’s favor. But intelligence chiefs last week presented Trump, as well as President Barack Obama, with a twopage synopsis on the potentially embarrassing but unsubstantiated allegations involving Russia, according to CNN and The New York Times. US intelligence chief James Clapper late Wednesday expressed his “profound dismay” to Trump over the leaks. “This evening, I had the opportunity to speak with Presidentelect Donald Trump to discuss recent media reports about our briefing last Friday,” Clapper said. “I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security,” he said, adding that he did not believe that the US intelligence community was the source. AFP

China turns to robots as workers grow old

PREMIERE. From left, actors Nick Offerman, Laura Dern, B.J. Novak, director John Lee Hancock and actor Michael Keaton arrive at the premiere of the Weinstein Company’s ‘The Founder’ at the Cinerama Dome on January 11, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. AFP

WUZHEN, China―Flat, orange robots glide under stationary cars and ferry them to empty Chinese parking bays, using space more efficiently and, their creators say, reducing driver stress. It is one of a number of elegant -- and expensive -- mechanical solutions China is turning to as it faces an aging population, which, even in the world’s most populous country, is making workers harder to come by. With an eye on the rising numbers of cars on Chinese roads, Hikvision has been testing a robotic parking system in Wuzhen, 130 kilometers west of Shanghai. “The technology and scale of the industry is still at a very early stage,” said Wu Yonghai, the company’s head of robotics. “This is about finding a solution to the car parking problem.” Most firms in the sector focus on industrial robots rather than service robots, the kind which might sweep an apartment floor or act as a companion for elderly people. With China’s labor force shrinking under the impact of the now abandoned one-child policy, the world’s second-largest economy is turning to machines to try

to fill the gap. The working-age population -- defined as those from 15 to 59 -- fell for the first time in decades in 2012, according to official figures, and has declined ever since. It is expected to carry on falling until at least 2030, and economic growth is also slowing. China decided to allow couples to have a second child starting last year but the looming labor shortage will take decades to address, if at all. The country is already the world’s largest market for the mechanical helpers and it will only get bigger, according to the International Federation of Robots, which estimates China will account for 40 percent of the global industrial robot market by 2019. “The country is facing lots of problems, one of which is a rapid increase in labor costs,” said Wang Hesheng, a professor of robotics at Shanghai Jiaotong University. “At the entire state level, China takes the robotics strategy very seriously,” he told AFP as half a dozen students tinkered with drones and other devices in a robot laboratory. AFP

SYDNEY—Sequin jumpsuits and Vegas showgirls outnumbered shirts and ties at Sydney’s Central station on Thursday as hundreds of Elvis fans boarded a train bound for a festival dedicated to The King. Peak hour travelers were serenaded by tribute acts performing on a stage erected on the platform, while poodle skirts twirled at one of the city’s busiest commuter hubs as fans danced away the wait for the 9.20am “Elvis Express” to Parkes in the Australian countryside. The annual Parkes Elvis festival, which last year attracted more than 20,000 people, features five days of tribute concerts, memorabilia exhibits and even a Priscilla Presley look-a-like competition. “It’s unique in its own right, especially if you’re an Elvis fan and you love Elvis,” said Johnny Angel, one of the hundreds of tribute acts from all over the world performing at the event. “You got to do this once in your lifetime, it would be grand. You should put it on the bucket list. “For those fans I’m going to sing ‘Viva Las Vegas’, because that is the theme -- so I’m gonna sing that one, ‘Don’t be Cruel’, ‘Teddy Bear’ and some love songs,” he added. AFP

Feuding Indian politicians fight over bicycle NEW DELHI―The humble bicycle has taken centre stage in a bitter battle for control of the party that runs India’s most populous state, underscoring the enduring importance of symbols in the politics of the world’s biggest democracy. India’s myriad political parties are all represented in the polling booth by pictoral symbols -- a system that dates back to the first elections after independence, when fewer than one in five voters could read. Although literacy rates have vastly improved since then, the symbols are still seen as hugely powerful marketing tools that provide instant brand recognition. Party names do not appear on the electronic voting machines in poll booths, which show only the name of the candidate alongside the party symbol. That makes the bicycle a hugely valuable commodity ahead of elections in Uttar Pradesh, India’s biggest state, whose youthful chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, famously cycled around the campaign trail last time around. “If pitched right, the symbol defines a value proposition,” said the Bangalore-based branding expert Shivakumar Viswanathan. “The bicycle is a poor man’s transportation so it appeals to the masses -- effectively it is saying, ‘I am with you’.” On Friday the Election Commission will hold a hearing to determine whether Yadav or his septuagenarian father Mulayam, who is refusing to cede control of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), has the right to use the bicycle symbol in the event of a formal split. AFP


Isah V. Red, Editor Bernadette Lunas, Writer FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017



The new Landers Superstore Otis located in Paco, Manila offers an array of exclusive brands and products not available in other local supermarkets

5 things why


is new shopping destination

Landers Superstore boasts of vast space and spacious aisles for relaxed and easy shopping experience

By Nickie Wang


VERYONE has a precise idea of an ideal shopping destination and it generally revolves around convenience in terms of location, reasonable price and variety of items sold and amenities that make shopping not just a chore but also a blissful experience.

Anytime of the year, grocery shoppers have more than one reason to fill their shopping carts at the newest membership shopping superstore in Metro Manila. Landers Superstore, which opened its first branch on EDSA Balintawak in Quezon City and then recently at Otis on Paz Guazon St. in Paco, Manila, carries a vast range of grocery products, fresh produce, and other items under one roof. As a membership store, Landers redefines exclusive shopping by not just offering bulk packages, it also offers items in smaller packs, which are ideal for couples or small families. After visiting Landers Superstore’s newest branch in Paco, Manila, we listed some of the remarkable things about the store that made our shopping experience one for the books.

1. 8,000-square meter vast shopping space

The one-level Landers Superstore in Paco is so huge it can fit 16 basketball courts. Shoppers can easily breeze through Landers’ well-lit aisles without bumping into another shopper. It has spacious lanes, which means shopping

carts crashing into each other, or long queues of shoppers waiting to pay their items are unlikely to happen. It also has an enormous showroom which features elegant furniture, home decors and home appliances. And oh, parking is not a problem, too. Both branches have parking lots enough to accommodate their shoppers even during weekends and holiday sale.

2. A healthy mix of top-notch imported, exclusive brands

The membership store prides itself in offering only top-notch products. It has an inventory of imported goods, which include grocery items, electronics, apparel, as well as health and beauty products. The wide assortment of goods ranging from imported products from the US, Canada and Australia to high-quality local and exclusive brands gives you a lot of options to choose from. Here you can find brands and products not found in any other retail outlets or groceries, including unique Oreo flavors, Nutella tubs, Gatorade energy chews and chocolate-flavored drink, Badia Spices and Himalayan Pink Salt, Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream, Double Rain-

Giant tubs of Nutella are sold at reasonable price

Organic ice cream brands are available here, too

Apart from grocery items, Landers Superstore also has its own coffee shop, comfortable diners, and bakery where guests can enjoy New York-style pizza, hotdogs, fried chicken and pastries

bow Gourmet Ice Cream, and even dry ping, members can enjoy delicious New shampoos, to name a few. York-style pizza, fried chicken and hotdogs, bagels, fancy cakes and pastries in 3. Dining experience its spacious dining area. When you need to recharge after an extended shopping session, or say your com- 4. Exclusive perks panion needs to do something else while Exclusively for members, Landers waiting for you, like eating, Landers of- Superstore offers discounts whenever fers a few dining options. It is the first you fill up your tank at its very own gas membership shopping superstore in the station. Get P2 off per liter of Gasoline Philippines to have a cozy coffee shop and P1.50 per liter of Diesel from five(Doppio), a comfortable diner (Landers star gasoline station, Caltex. The fuel Central), and a delectable bakery (Dough discount is an everyday offer. & Co.). While taking a break from shopAlso, after a few visits, shoppers can have

free haircut. The Superstore houses a sleek barbershop (Talas Manileño in Landers Balintawak and Federal Barbers in Landers Otis) where waiting husbands and even kids can get their own pampering.

5. Discounted membership

Currently, Landers Superstore is offering a 20 percent discount on all membership fees. That makes the Premium or Personal membership fee at P640 only and its extension at P320, while the Business membership is at P800 only and its extension at P320 as well.

Playing princess or fairy

Little girls can live their dream of being either a princess or a fairy—or both—with dazzling tiaras and necklaces, among others from SM Accessories

THERE are two roles most little girls dream to take on: that of a princess or a fairy. Princesses, after all, are pretty, perfectly poised and powerful. They live in a world of once upon a time and happily ever after. Fairies, on the other hand, are all about magic and enchantment. With their gossamer wings, they take flights of fancy in a spellbinding world. As part of its I CHOOSE #SMAccessoriesEveryday campaign, SM Accessories lets little girls live their dream by expressing themselves with lots of style and lots of fun. There are tiaras for little princesses; as well as wings and tutus for free-spirited fairies. All you need to complete any look is that one statement piece. A bold cuff or a rock glam ring can transform the simplest of outfits. With one stroke, the right handbag, a juxtaposition of fash-

ion jewelry, and a play with details can give your outfit a new look. That is the power of accessories, and at SM Accessories, it’s all about your personal style and how to create, change, and improve on it. Why choose SM Accessories everyday? They add interest to your outfit, give your clothes a fresh look, and add personality to your look and give you an opportunity to express your unique personal style. The key is to have a central piece to complement your #OOTD. There are dazzling drop earrings, elegant ear cuffs and classic pearls for the contemporary woman. Whatever you wear, have fun and be true to yourself. There is nothing sexier than a confident woman. #ChooseSMAccessoriesEveryday with SM Accessories at SM Stores nationwide




WORK-LIFE BALANCE. The fast-paced lifestyle of today's youth demands a gadget they can rely on while climbing the corporate ladder and having fun.


Attach and detach in a snap


OR millennials, the burning desire to go up the corporate ladder is matched only by their determination to enjoy life to the fullest. Fueled by intense drive, putting in hours at work is equally as important as being able to unwind with friends, work out at the gym, or run hundreds of miles to break a personal record. Work-life balance is an everyday pursuit that they strive for, and is integral to their success. This philosophy is well documented. In fact, a report from Deloitte shows that when choosing a job, millennials attach the most importance to work-life balance. Juggling work and play, of course, is not easy. Without the right tools, it could mean being pulled in different directions all at the same time. Achieving work-life balance requires one to work hard, and work smart. Thankfully, there’s the new Galaxy TabPro S, a 2-in-1 tablet which makes attaching on and detaching off work possible and easy.

The right time for everything

While millennials put great value in work, they also recognize the need for personal time to rest and rejuvenate those hardworking muscles and brain cells. This can be a bit difficult since boundaries between work and personal life can get a bit blurry. Some may even have the difficulty of shutting down their spinning

thought minutes before going to sleep. Good thing the Galaxy TabPro S sports a detachable keyboard cover that you can just snap on in case you need some work-time, then quickly pull out to focus on me-time once again.

Flexibility and accessibility

The current millennial slasher lifestyle is very hectic but at the same time leaves room for spontaneity and flexibility. To maximize this setting, the right tools should be on-hand to make the best out of every moment, may it be for work or for fun. Giving you more flexibility and power than generic tablets, the Galaxy TabPro S makes you productive without bogging you down the way a bulky laptop would. Aside from its detachable full-size keyboard cover which is important for tasks that require data inputting and allows you to effortlessly access documents, the Galaxy TabPro S runs on Windows 10 OS and powered by Intel Core M. So whether you need to write that all-important email or finish a report in the office, or while jet-setting across

the Caribbean, the Galaxy TabPro S is a convenient tool that lets you stay on top of work anytime, anywhere.

Built for work, designed for fun

The versatility of the millennial character makes them a great example for individuals aspiring to succeed and at the same time enjoy life to the fullest. Following the millennial’s secret to success? Take the first step and find the right tools to help you get geared up. First thing to get your hands on is the Galaxy TabPro S. Expertly engineered by the world’s innovation leader, Samsung, the Galaxy Tab Pro S easily lets you switch from work mode to play mode. If you’re done for the day and would w a n t s o m e m e -

Galaxy TabPro S features a detachable full-size keyboard that's vital for tasks that require data inputting

time, t h e n simply detach the cover and use the tablet for your enter tain ment and browsing leisure. Its 12inch Super Amoled Touch Screen Display makes watching movies or playing your favorite game a real joy. Measuring just 6.3mm thin and weighing no more than 693g, you can carry it around without any trouble—whether you’re on the beach, the gym, the mall, or the boardroom. Boasting 10.5 hours of battery life with just 2.5 hours of charging, the Galaxy TabPro S ensures that you’re always on the go, able to deliver your tasks faster and more efficiently, while never having to miss out on some fun. Who says work and fun don’t go together? With the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, the perfect worklife balance is never too far away. Visit your nearest Samsung Experience Store and see for yourself.

Heartwarming stories about unending pet love BOW & Wow, the Philippines’ premier and all-natural pet store for dogs and cats, has an ongoing campaign that highlights that #LoveisFURever. Pets, as Bow & Wow phrases it, can offer unconditional love, or to put it another way, enthusiastic, tail-wagging, wet-nosed, so-happy-you’re-here, waitby the-door-till-you-come home love, or “1000 percent” loyal love. Creating buzz around the campaign are the heartwarming pet parenting stories currently running on Bow & Wow The All-Natural Pet Store’s YouTube Channel: BowWowTheAllNaturalPetStorePh. Listen as some doting celebrity pet parents that include actress-model Bianca King; model Vanessa Matsunaga and husband Jun Sunga; and TV

personality/model Patti Grandidge and hubby Jon Herrera share the joys and challenges of raising pets. Get to know the adorable dogs of Bow & Wow’s featured celebrities a little better by checking out their online videos that carry the hashtag #LoveisFURever. Actress Bianca King, for instance, loves pampering her furbabies Burger and Amelie, constant sources of comfort and joy for the actress. She takes them for a walk and runs with them. Proper nutrition is very important for my pets’ health, she maintains. The best thing about being a pet parent, Bianca says, is that furry friends really give back love. As good pet parents, you want to have the best relationship with your

Pet parent Bianca King loves pampering her furbabies and makes sure that they get proper nutrition and exercise

Model/host Patti Grandidge says that she only wants her pet Truffles to stay healthy and happy

furbabies, as model Vanessa Matsunaga says. With her husband Jun Sunga, she cares for eight dogs. Coming home to their pets everyday brings so much joy to their lives. Feeding nutritious dog food with human-grade ingredients is a must for the couple. “Being a pet parent prepares you a lot for the challenges in life, because you learn to respect life in general, Vanessa says. On the other hand, husband–andwife team DJ Jon Herrera and model/ host Patti Grandidge simply want their pet dog Truffles to have access to optimum nutrition.

Get an up-close look at the pets of some celebrity pet parents, and the natural pet care they adhere to. For premium quality pet food, grooming products, toys and accessories, check out Bow & Wow, whose stores located on level 6 of Shangri-la Plaza Mall; lower ground level of Greenbelt 5; the 2nd level, Alfresco of Robinsons Magnolia in Quezon City; the ground level, Excelsior, Eastwood City; the 2nd Level, Ayala Center Cebu; and ground level of Ayala Malls Solenad, Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.


Golden Globe winner ‘La La Land’ in cinemas now

PEOPLE …are talking about Meant To Be There are only a few occasions when TNS Kantar and AGB Nielsen agree with their numbers that’s why when they released the ratings data on Monday we were surprised to see that the new Kapuso show was leading the ratings race. Not only Meant To Be won the numbers game, it also trended on social media flooding Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It’s a pronounced sign that the viewers anticipated Barbie Forteza’s comeback on primetime. Ian Veneracion If you’re 35 and you’re in showbiz, you’re screwed as you’re considered too old to be a leading man/lady.. But while most aging actors already struggle to be cast in drama shows and movies, this former matinee idol is on TV and the movies and continue to receive offers. The 41-year-old actor is back on the boob tube with Bea Alonzo. He also has a movie coming up, which he shares the top billing with Iza Calzado. Mr. Buenavista is definitely on a roll and for him, age is just a number. Super Parental Guardian Amid its exclusion from the recently concluded Metro Manila Film Festival, producers of the comedy film are laughing all the way to the bank. Six weeks after it hit commercial theaters, the Vice Ganda and Coco Martin-starrer film is now considered the biggest Filipino film of all time. It grossed a total of P590 million domestically and internationally with a few theaters still showing the Star Cinema production as of this writing. Apparently, many people still enjoy the kind of comedy Vice dishes out.

…are not talking about Tito Sotto He’s been in showbiz for decades and it’s surprises that he doesn’t know we have a number of indie films festivals all year round. In an effort to make MMFF revert back to its old ways, he filed a bill to prevent the festival from entertaining indie films to be part of the annual event. If we know, he just wanted his brother’s film to be part of the film fest again. Shocked by this ludicrous move, one of our friends commented that he should have just called it Enteng Kabisote Bill. Oh well, what can we expect from the actor-politician? We even don’t understand why he’s in that position to begin with. Mocha Uson All right…the woman of the hour has made headlines since the new administration took office. We can’t blame them giving her an important role in MTRCB, what we don’t understand is why she wholeheartedly accepted the assignment. She’s said several times before that she wouldn’t accept any appointment from the President because she’s genuine in her advocacy to make the entertainment industry better. Many question her appointment but they have no choice now. She’s got one year to annoy you, guys. Keempee de Leon Up until now he still clueless as to why he was expelled from Eat Bulaga 13 years after being one of its co-hosts. His father is still in the show, why didn’t he ask him. It’s peculiar that he doesn’t have at least a small hint why the management doesn’t want him anymore. We guess number 13 is an unlucky number for him.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Friday, January 13, 2017

ACROSS 1 Jacuzzis 5 Impressed, plus 9 Natural elevs. 13 To the — (fully) 14 Blue shade 16 Nile bird 17 — spumante 18 Marilyn’s real first name 19 Tilt 20 Oft-misused pronoun 21 Lyrical poem 22 Beasts of burden 24 Like gargoyles 26 Manolete foe 27 Cleaned a fish 30 Pyromaniacs 34 Curry herb 35 Fair offering 36 Etc. cousin 37 Teahouse attire 38 Blacktopped 39 Terre Haute coll. 40 Great Lakes st. 42 Luau strummers 43 Meets head-on 45 Tall beer glass 47 Discuss yet again 48 Police action 49 Ruth or Zaharias 50 “2001” author 53 Bark

54 Picnic pests 58 Womanizer 59 Dog-tired 61 Ensure failure 62 Heavy-metal band 63 Bottom line 64 Melville title 65 Jot 66 Crazy like a fox 67 — shui DOWN 1 “Jaws” actor 2 Cry of disdain 3 Low voice 4 Odors, to the nose 5 Action-movie name 6 Cartoon woodpecker 7 Bronte governess 8 Pond maker 9 Germ 10 Skiers’ transport (hyph.) 11 Mexican lad 12 Mach 1 breakers 15 Toiled 23 Suffix for forfeit 25 Ike’s rank 26 Ebb and neap 27 Barges 28 Three-

dimensional 29 Some buggy users 30 Half a sawbuck 31 Phoenician port 32 Neon and nitrogen 33 Half-melted snow 35 Did a fall chore 38 Most like a runt 41 Set straight 43 Groundhog mo. 44 In front (2 wds.) 46 Acorn bearer

47 In a wholly absorbed way 49 Trite 50 Gullet 51 — Ness monster 52 Imported car 53 Sherpa’s sighting 55 Alaskan port 56 Kiddie TV fare 57 Dirty air 60 Bam!

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling reunite in their third film together

THE highly-anticipated romantic musical and Golden Globe Awards winner La La Land starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling brings the audience to Hollywood on an exuberant song-and-dance journey through a life-changing love affair between a jazz pianist and a hopeful actress. From the recent Golden Globe Awards, La La Land won the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and for Gosling the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Emma Stone the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), and Damien Chazelle the Best Director for a Motion Picture and Best Screenplay, also the Best Original Score and Best Original Song. Both an ode to the glamor and emotion of cinema classics, a love letter to the Los Angeles of unabated dreams, and a distinctly modern romance, La La Land reunites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, bringing them together with rising writer/director Damien Chazelle (the Oscar®winning Whiplash). The film begins as everything begins in L.A.: on the freeway. This is where Sebastian (Gosling) meets Mia (Stone), with a disdainful honk in a traffic jam that mirrors all too well the gridlock they’re each navigating in their lives. Both are focused on the kind of near-impossible hopes that are the lifeblood of the city: Sebastian trying to get people to care about traditional jazz in the 21st Century, Mia aiming to nail just one uninterrupted audition. But neither expects that their fateful encounter will lead them to take leaps they never could do alone. Wearing its influences on its sleeve yet taking considerable risks, La La Land allows filmmaker Chazelle to pay homage to legends of cinema while harnessing its current power to make the most private human terrain – the territory of intimate relationships, personal dreams and the crossroads where decisions set fate into motion – come to life on the screen as a palpably real, yet enchanted, universe. As it turned out, Gosling had his own long-held affection for movie musicals that came into play the minute he came aboard. Says Gosling: “I was really intrigued by the fact that Damien wanted to make a film in the style of that Fred and Ginger and Gene Kelly eras, because those are the musicals that move me. The fact that he wanted this film to have that kind of aesthetic and spirit of playfulness was fantastic because it was also a secret wish of mine to make a film like that.” Early on in the process, Stone met with Chazelle, who took her through his ideas for some of the musical numbers. “It was intoxicating,” Stone recalls. “The idea of telling this really modern story of two struggling artists -- but in a 1950s-style musical version of today’s Los Angeles -became something really exciting to me very quickly.” Mia’s yearning for something beyond the ordinary also hit home with her. “Mia is driven by something that maybe she doesn’t completely understand,” says Stone. “She wants to be an artist in a city of so many people who seem to be just like her. She feels that there’s something special inside her but she doesn’t quite know what it is. I could relate to her being an actress and going on auditions but even more so, there was something so exciting about taking her into this musical world where you can suddenly spin down the street or burst into song. That was a wonderful challenge.” La La Land in local cinemas nationwide now from Pioneer Films.

"Moonlight Over Baler" is a romantic period drama about two epic love stories four decades apart, bound together by one unforgettable song, in one memorable place

Isah V. Red, Editor Nickie Wang, Writer FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017



EBRUARY is known as the love month.

T-Rex Entertainment is screening Moonlight Over Baler, a timeless love story encompassing two important events in the country: World War II in the ‘40s and EDSA Revolution in the ‘80s. It tells of a love story that started during the Japanese-American War in the Pacific in the ‘40s and ended in the turbulent years of the last years of the Marcos regime in the ‘80s. Moonligh Over Baler stars Elizabeth Oropesa, Ellen Adarna, and the love team of Vin Abrenica and Sophie Albert. Daria Ramirez, Menggie Cobarrubias, and Angie Perro also play important roles. Rex Tiri is the executive producer while Eric Ramos wrote the Palanca-winning screenplay upon which director Gil Portes based the film. The pre-Valentine offering features the haunting “O Maliwanag na Buwan” as theme song. Set in the scenic and historical town of Baler in Aurora Province, the film opens with a Japanese journalist (Kenji) visiting Baler after covering the EDSA Revolution. By strange coincidence, he is the spitting image of the great love of a retired spinster teacher (Oropesa), who was killed during the war, a soldier (Nestor and also portrayed by Abrenica). Albert plays the young Fidela (played by Oropesa in the 80s segment of the film). Their paths meet, leading to a special friendship. The Japanese falls in love with the town’s beauty, Aurora, (played by Adarna). Fidela, now a retired teacher, approves of the relationship. Somewhere along the way, violence erupts when another suitor beats the Japanese black and blue, prompting him to leave Baler. He surrenders his love for the town’s belle over the objections of the retired teacher. The events lead the teacher to reckon with her tragic past. She feels she was to blame for the death of her sweetheart and to date carries the guilt and the loss of love. The ending is bittersweet, a once sad and happy, proving that love conquers all, that love is here to stay. As the song goes, “The world will always welcome lovers as time goes by.” *** Pinoy showbiz fans rejoiced when they heard that Karylle bagged the lead role in Private Investigator (PI), a Singaporebased TV crime thriller in August 2016. More than just a timely recognition of her acting prowess, the role was also a fitting personal triumph and career breakthrough for the recording artist and It’s Showtime host as it marked her initial foray in the Asian television circuit. After a hectic two-month shooting schedule and postproduction work, the series is finally premiered in Singapore via Mediacorp Channel 5 on Jan. 9. “I’m very excited that the show is now airing in Singapore!” Karylle exclaims. “All the hard work, all the prayers, and the production team’s trust and confidence in me paid off



well, and I hope that our Asianbased kababayans will watch it.” Karylle plays Maia, a poledancer-single-parent-cum privateinvestigator caught in a web of lies and deceit in the one season (13 episode) series produced by Mediacorp, Singapore’s leading TV network. She stars alongside other established Asian actors including Carl Ng, Vanessa Vanderstraaten, Kathiravan Kandavelu, Joyce Ng, Najib Soiman, Shane Mardjuki, Terence Tay, and Kaidon Jinyan, The series is directed by Ian Seymour. For the risqué role as a pole dancer, Karylle donned blonde hair and revealing outfits, as seen in the three-minute trailer. She also took a challenging crash course in pole dancing under her Showtime dance colleagues. And as can be gleaned from the show’s intense, gripping action scenes, Karylle also underwent rigorous physical training. Despite taking a leave from Showtime for almost two months for the shoot, Karylle never felt homesick as she was always in touch with her Singapore-based Filipino fans, mostly in the F&B industry. She also enjoyed the frequent visits of hubby Yael Yuzon, her manager Arnold Vegafria, as well as her Showtime co-hosts. PI marks Karylle’s third time to work in Singapore. In 2011, she played Maddie in The Kitchen Musical (along with Christian Bautista) shown in 19 countries via AXN and for which she got a Best Actress nomination at the

Karylle gets another lead role in a Singaporean production

Vin Abrenica and Ellen Adarna in a scene from "Moonlight Over Baler"

Barbie Forteza, Kimpee de Leon, Manilyn Reynes and Sef Cadayona are family in the new Kapuso primetime romcom, "Meant To Be"

52nd Monte Carlo TV Festival. Then the following year, she played the role of Tala in Point of Entry, also produced by Mediacorp. PI airs in Singapore 10p.m. Monday to Thursday on Mediacorp Channel 5. The series will also be shown in other Asian countries. Filipino televiewers based in the Philippines may also catch the episodes via: *** 80s Idols’ Manilyn Reynes, Tina Paner, Sheryl Cruz and Kempee De Leon reunite in GMA’s Meant To Be top billed by Kapuso star Barbie Forteza with her four leading men Ivan Dorschner, Addy Raj with Jak Roberto and Ken Chan. After more than 30 years, the Triplets join forces to add star power to GMA’s opening salvo for next year. Manilyn, Sheryl and Tina are all equally excited to work with each other and with the rest of the cast members. They promised that this reunion project will be loved by their fans and will make them happy.

“Sa social media, they are really looking forward to watching us,” Manilyn said in an interview. In the early 2000s, they got separated because Sheryl decided to lie-low from showbiz and lived in the United States, while Tina stayed in Spain. Even though they’ve been apart, they are still close to each other. “Hindi pa rin naputol ‘yung friendship namin. And your friends will always remain friends lalo na kapag nasa loob ng puso niyo ang bawat isa,” said Sheryl. The actresses are really thankful to GMA Network for bringing them together to star in this drama series. “I was just hoping and praying na sana one day ‘yung Triplets mabuo. Thank you to GMA for this opportunity, “Tina said. In the series, Manilyn plays the role of Amelia, Billie’s (Barbie) mother and twin sister of Suzy (Tina) who works as a municipal clerk. Because of a misunderstanding with husband Wilton (De Leon), she will bravely raise her children on her own.

Tina is Suzy, Amelia’s fraternal twin, is the mean and pushy mother of Mariko (Mika Dela Cruz). Since they were young, she has always been jealous of Amelia, hating her and her niece, Billie. Meanwhile, Sheryl plays as Ethan’s (Ivan) driven and goaloriented mother, Beatriz. She works as an assistant in a lifestyle magazine based in London but returns to the Philippines to head her own publication. Amelia, Lucy and Beatriz were best of friends during college and a trio singing group back then. Unfortunately, their group disbanded and they took different paths in their lives. Kempee plays a vital role as Amelia’s husband, Wilton, the cool and naughty father of Billie. After his separation with Amelia, he changed himself and became responsible until a big problem came his way. Will Amelia and Wilton get back together? Or will things just get worst? How are these characters going to affect the story of Billie and her handsome princes: Ethan, Jai, Macoy and Yuan? Know their stories and catch Amelia, Lucy, Beatriz and Wilton in Meant To Be on GMA Telebabad.

'80s idols (from left) Sheryl Cruz, Manilyn reynes, and Tina Paner

Manila Standard - 2017 January 13 - Friday  

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

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