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Du30’s war backed Most Pinoys ‘appreciate’ anti-crime drive—poll


OST Filipinos approve of the way the administration is handling the fight against criminality, but they find the government lacking in addressing an issue that 34 percent of them find urgent—controlling inflation, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed.

VOL. XXX • NO. 336 • 4 SECTIONS 20 PAGES • P18 • SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017 • •

DURIAN DIPLOMACY. Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe winds up his Davao City experience Friday by adopting and naming a Philippine eagle and sampling some durian on his last day in the country, naming the bird Sakura, a Nippongo term meaning ‘cherry blossoms’ with Abe’s wife Akie. AFP

Japan premier takes female eagle under his wings By Lilian C. Mellejor DAVAO CITY―Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday adopted a twoyear-old juvenile female Philippine Eagle rescued last Dec. 12 from Pantaron Range in Talaingod town, Compostela Valley province.

The eagle was named Sakura, Nihongo for cherry blossoms, in honor of Japan, which has been helping the Philippine Eagle Foundation and funded the establishment of an education center located in Malagos, Baguio District here. The naming of the eagle was held at the garden of

the Waterfront Hotel where President Rodrigo Duterte also presented an eagle stuff toy symbolic of the adopted Philippine eagle to Mr. Abe. Part of the backdrop of the naming ceremony was also a stuffed Philippine eagle named “Diola”―mother of Pagasa, which is the first

hatched and bred Philippine eagle. In an interview on the sidelines of the naming ceremony, PEF Director Dennis Salvador said the ceremonial naming involved goodwill. The Philippine eagle is iconic to the Philippines and a symbol of Filipino resilience.

The adopted eagle was seen by an Ata Manobo (a tribe in Talaingod) standing at a river bank with a wound at the lower left of her abdomen sustained from a gunshot. The eagle could not fly and was limping when turned over to the center. The bullet remains embedded in the Next page eagle’s tissue.

The survey, conducted among 1,200 respondents from Dec. 6 to 11, 2016, showed that 84 percent of Filipinos approved of the administration’s anti-crime efforts, while 12 percent said they were ambivalent about it. Only 4 percent disapproved. President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-crime efforts have focused on his war on illegal drugs, which has drawn widespread criticism abroad because of the rising bodycount of drug suspects. The administration also drew high marks for responding to disasters (80 percent), fighting corruption (76 percent), protecting the welfare of overseas workers (75 percent), increasing peace (72 percent), protecting the environment (69 percent), enforcing the rule of law (69 percent), defending territorial integrity (65 percent), creating more jobs (58 percent), improving workers’ pay (57 percent), and poverty reduction (51 percent). On the other hand, only 44 percent of respondents approved of the way the government was fighting inflation. Most—or 36 percent—were undecided, while 20 percent expressed disapproval. The approval ratings showed little change from the September survey, Pulse Asia said, except for a decline in efforts to increase workers’ pay and to control inflation. The latest survey, conducted from Dec. 6 to 11, 2016 had a ±3 percent margin of error at Next page the 95 percent confidence level.

Duterte assures Abe of continuing teamup minister’s visit, he pointed out By John Paolo Bencito and F. Pearl A. Gajunera that the… strong relationship PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte assured visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Philippines would continue to cooperate with the United States, which will remain an important force in the region, a senior Cabinet official said Friday. “In one of the significant things I heard from the prime

and friendship between Japan and the Philippines will also open the door for us to engage in other areas of joint cooperation,” said Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. These include how to deal with the United States and let them understand the geo-political situation and realities on the ground, Yasay said. Next page

Health, pay hike Pinoys’ main concerns—Pulse Asia By John Paolo Bencito “GETTING a salary increase” and “staying healthy” are the leading urgent national and personal concerns of many Filipinos, the latest Pulse Asia survey revealed. The survey, conducted among 1,200 respondents from Dec. 6

to 11, 2016, found that the need to increase workers’ pay was the most urgent national concern for 45 percent of Filipinos, followed by controlling inflation (34 percent), reducing poverty (33 percent), fighting criminality (33 percent), creating more jobes (31 percent) and fighting corruption (31 percent). Next page

JOYFUL ARRIVAL. Miss Universe Sri Lanka Jayathi de Silva and Miss Universe Ecuador Connie Jimenez give samples of their wit when interviewed Thursday night during their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for the beauty pageant this month. PNA

Moro leader’s son detained in KL

UN vows aid to RH efforts THE United Nations Population Fund on Friday lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance of Executive Order No. 12 which supports the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law. “The full and immediate implementation of the RPRH Law is critically important for the government to deliver on its family planning program, which has been identified by President Duterte as one of his Next page

By Charmaine Deogracias THE son of a leader of the Moro National Liberation Front and a Mindanao lawmaker has been in Malaysian custody for almost two months now in connection with the Sept. 2 Davao City bombing, multiple police, military and

diplomatic sources said. Datu Mohammad Abduljabbar Sema, 26, was arrested on Nov. 24, 2016 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport upon his arrival from Bangkok aboard Air Asia flight AK 891. Sema is the son of Muslimin Sema, chairman of the largest group in the MNLF, and Rep.

Bai Sandra Sema, congresswoman of the first district of Maguindanao. Muslimin Sema was former Cotabato mayor and is being considered to be member of the Bangsamoro Transition Council. His mother belongs to the influential Sinsuat clan of Maguindanao. Next page

Rights watchdog seeks end to EJKs praised the killing of suspected says in its World Report 2017. By Sandy Araneta and drug dealers and drug users and Carlos Conde of Human Sara Susanne D. Fabunan

CONTRABAND SEIZED. Members of the Philippine Coast Guard seize

58 pangolins, 14 boxes of seahorses and 1 carton of sea dragons at the anchorage area of Pier 4 at North Harbor in Manila, with the animals, costing millions of pesos in the contraband trade, allegedly being exported to other Asian nations and sold there as aphrodisiacs. Norman Cruz MlaStandard ManilaStandardPH


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has initiated a “war on drugs” in which police and “unidentified gunmen” have killed several thousand people, Human Rights Watch

Rights Watch Philippines released the report to reporters on Friday. Since taking office on June 30, 2016, Duterte and senior government officials have

resisted holding those responsible to account. In the 687-page World Report, its 27th edition, Human Rights Watch reviewed human rights practices in more than 90 countries. Next page

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Govt tackles NDF demands


ESPITE the communists’ many demands, government peace negotiators are ready to manage the rebels’ expectations amid concerns about the possibility of the peace talks collapsing, a senior Cabinet official said Friday.

Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza said they remained “hopeful” and “optimistic” about resolving the issues on the communist insurgency. “Negotiators must always be hopeful and optimistic. But we must manage all expectations because the [communist] rebellion cannot be wished away just like that,” Dureza said. He said the government was

already working on the National Democratic Front’s repeated demand to release all political prisoners as agreed upon. Labor Secretary and government chief negotiator Silvestre Bello said a final peace deal would have to be signed soon so that “this can be implemented under the Duterte administration.” In a recent statement, Bello said it was time to end the war



The Philippine National Police said Friday that the antiillegal drugs campaign has seized over P3.7 billion worth of prohibited substances in six months, from July 2016 to January 2017. PNP statistics showed that some 95,000 sachets of shabu were seized in various parts of the country, 8,5881 of them from Metro Manila. Reports said some 6,273 people were killed in the war on drugs since July 2016 with 2,224 pushers or users killed in police operations. The remaining 4,049 were victims of extrajudicial killings or vigilante groups. Amid the government’s bloody war on drugs, Vice President Leni Robredo called on the young from four Catholic schools never to resort to violence in “fighting the fight.” Speaking before the EdsaOrtigas Consortium’s Peace Congress, Robredo said a culture of violence will never solve problems. “Violence is the quick fix that we must prevent and condemn. Violence is a way of cutting corners, where complex problems are met with simplistic but ineffective solutions. Here in the Philippines, we are faced with issues of terrific scale and complexity. But violence is not the right response to poverty and inequality,” she said. “Bloodshed will not solve crime and injustice.” The consortium is composed of leaders from both grade school and high school departments of the Immaculate Conception Academy, Xavier School, La Salle Greenhills and St. Pedro Poveda College. With Francisco Tuyay and Rio N. Araja

priorities when he assumed office,” said Klaus Beck, UNFPA representative in the Philippines. The UNFPA official also said that the EO, which strengthens the family planning scheme as an RPRH component, will contribute to the Philippines’ commitment to fulfill the 2030 sustainable development agenda and its Sustainable Development

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Other urgent national concerns were promoting peace (23 percent), enforcing the rule of law (17 percent), reducing taxes (12 percent), stopping the destruction of the environment (11 percent), protecting the welfare of overseas workers (10 percent), controlling population growth (8 percent) and defending the integrity of Philippine territory (6 percent). Filipinos were least concerned with Charter Change and terrorism (both at four percent). There was a sevenpercentage-point decrease in the level of concern about job creation from the previous survey in September. In the same survey, staying healthy and avoiding illnesses top the list of personal concerns of many Filipinos at 63 percent. Filipinos also want to have a secure and well-paying job (44 percent), finish schooling or provide schooling for one’s children (41 percent), and have enough to eat on a daily basis (41 percent). Other personal concerns are avoiding being a victim of crime (38 percent), having some savings (38 percent) and having a house and lot (34 percent). The survey had a ±3 percent margin of error at the 95-percent confidence level.

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The young Sema who, a well placed source said, is an Islamic scholar, had been tracked traveling to and from Bangkok, exiting to Cambodia. When his 30-day visa free entry was about to expire, he decided to go to Malaysia, intending to return to Thailand after three days. But he was arrested upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur. He is now under Malaysian custody in an undisclosed location that is reportedly not a police facility. The Philippine government sent law enforcement representatives to Malaysia to take his deposition last month. A source said the mother is working for the release of her son through a pardon from President Rodrigo Duterte. Another source confirmed to VERA Files that the father sought the assistance of Presidential Ad-

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Abe, who visited the country as part of a six-day, four-country tour, reaffirmed Japan’s partnership with the Philippines, which chairs the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year. Japan, a key ally of the United States, has been concerned over China’s growing aggressiveness in the South China Sea, and Duterte’s pivot to China. In a 45-minute talk, Abe reminded Duterte that the US presence will be a big help to maintain regional peace and prosperity. “It is in this respect that I feel and I agree with the Japanese Prime Minister that we should strengthen our relationship with the United States and our relationship with everyone. This will create a balance that will be conducive for everyone, to the peace and prosperity and stability in this region,” Yasay said. During the joint summit meet-

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In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth wrote that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protection, treating rights as an impediment to the majority will. For those who feel left behind by the global economy and increasingly fear violent crime, civil society groups, the media, and the public have key roles to play in reaffirming the values on which rights-respecting democracy has been built. “In the name of wiping out

in the countryside for the sake of the combatants and the communities affected. The communists want the release of more than 400 alleged political prisoners, but Dureza says Duterte is still studying whom to release and whom to keep in jail. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday that, despite the peace talks resuming soon in Rome, the risk of armed hostilities erupting anew remained real. He said there were many demands on the part of the NDF “which the President does not like.” In some of his public state-

ments, Duterte has said he may grant amnesty to all the communist rebels, including those jailed for many years for criminal offenses, as part of the efforts to forge lasting and genuine peace. This has led to the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire by the government. Lorenzana says war is inevitable if the peace talks collapse. The next round of talks to be held in Rome will focus on social and economic reforms. At least two days have been dedicated for the talks on social and economic reforms during the five-day talks that begin on Jan. 19. John Paolo Bencito

Goals, which ultimately aims to leave no one behind, especially the most vulnerable. “It is critical to realizing reproductive rights, including the right to choose freely and responsibly if and when to have children, reducing maternal mortality and the realization of the development goals on health, gender and poverty,” Beck added. The RPRH Law had been hindered in the past by various challenges to its implementation. The Law is a fundamental

Rolex gift for Du30, Go: Thanks, but... PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte and his special assistant Christopher Go received Rolex watches as gifts from a large agricultural company but they returned them, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Friday. “It wasn’t only me,” Piñol said in a television interview. “President Duterte ribbed me about it, but in fact he was also given a Rolex that he also returned. Secretary Bong Go did the same thing.” Piñol said last month he rejected a gift box containing a Rolex watch worth P450,000

that was given to him during a dinner tendered by the top officials of the agriculture company, but he rejected it because of the government’s “no-gift policy.” He said he was “just following the example of the President” when he refused to accept the watch. He said he could not take the gift “not only because the company is involved in activities that require the supervision of the Department that I head, but also because the law prohibits officials like me from accepting expensive gifts.” John Paolo Bencito

component to a comprehensive approach to poverty alleviation and human development in the Philippines. The UNFPA said it remains fully committed to supporting the government and civil society partners on this effort. The UNFPA has been working with local governments in ensuring that access to quality reproductive health services, including family planning, is available, especially for the poorest and disadvantaged communities who

need these services most. He added that the EO will lend new momentum to the implementation of the RPRH Law as it demonstrates the highest level of support to the measure. He said the EO also clearly defines the role of various government units in enforcing the law and provides clear instructions on the funding needed to implement it, as well as the accountability mechanism to ensure that the RPRH Law and the informed choice for family planning and

access to commodities are assured. He, however, expressed concern over the remaining challenge posted by the Philippine Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order on the registration and certification of a list of contraceptives. “The order has been in effect for more than a year now and could adversely impact on the supply of contraceptives in the country if not addressed soon,” he said. PNA

viser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza on this case. The mother has also been following up the case with Dureza. The Semas also traveled to Malaysia last month to see their son. VERA Files tried reaching the father for comment but didn’t get any response. In a chance interview last Dec. 16 at the sidelines of Pilipinas Conference at The Peninsula, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines will request custody of Sema. “Of course, of course, we will request so that we can bring him back to the country,” Lorenzana said. When asked about the implications to the peace process, as he is the son of an MNLF leader who will soon be appointed as BTC member, the Defense chief said, “So what? [Still we will insist custody] because he is a criminal.” Authorities said over 12 people were involved in the terror attack on the Davao City night

market which claimed the lives of 15 people and wounded 69 others. Aside from Sema, seven suspects have already been captured in the Philippines. Three suspects were arrested on Oct. 4 and four others in a follow up operation last Oct. 29 at the group’s hideout at the Southern Philippine Development Authority Compound in Cotabato City. They are said to be members of the Maute Group. Military and police files identify the Maute group as a radical Islamist group composed of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas led by Abdullah Maute, the alleged founder of a Dawlah Islamiya, or Islamic state based in Lanao del Sur. Police sources declined to give specifics as to the young Sema’s role in the Davao City bombing, pleading lack of authority to speak to the media. PNP Chief Ronaldo Dela Rosa did not return calls and texts sent by VERA Files.

Known as “Haring Bakal” (king of steel), the elder Sema was elected in 2013 barangay chairman of Rosary Heights 7 in Cotabato City, the same village where the other suspects were earlier arrested in what is believed to be Maute group’s hideout. The BTC will resume formal work revising the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that will create the new Bangsamoro region to replace the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao. ARMM was part of the peace agreement between the government and the MNLF in 1996 while the BBL is part of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed in 2014 between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a breakaway of the MNLF. Vera Files

ings Friday, Abe tried to remind Duterte on the final judgement of the arbitral court ruling on the South China Sea, as he underlined the need to implement the rule of law for the peaceful resolution of disputes. The disconnect came, however, after Duterte responded that he supported Japan in its pursuits, “without making any mention to the West Philippine Sea issue,” a Cabinet source said. While the country’s neighbors such as Indonesia and Vietnam firmly opposed China’s militarization efforts in the disputed waters, Duterte instead seeks to build better ties with China, citing the better opportunities under Beijing’s wing following the Obama administration’s criticism on his war against illegal drugs. During the press conference last Thursday, Abe said that welcomed Duterte’s move to improve relations between Philippines and China in the light of the territorial row in disputed waters. Abe pledged ¥1 trillion in aid

to the Philippines spread over five years. Yasay said that while Japan may not be as close to China, Manila will maintain its close relationship with Beijing and Tokyo—calling it a “balance of friendship that is fair with everybody.” Yasay added that Manila’s closer relationship with China will not erode our closer relationship with Japan and the United States. “We will be friends with everybody,” he said. In Davao City, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Friday he is confident that the country’s strategic location will make it a good investment destination for Japanese companies in Asia, who can use the Philippines as the gateway to a combined market of 620-million people in the Asean region. “If you sum up the population of all those countries in Asean, plus six other countries, that is already one half of the world’s population, and it covers one-third of the world’s econ-

omy,” said Lopez, noting that the Philippines is also strategically closer to world’s advanced economies such as China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Japan. The economy, he added, was in a “sweet spot” in which more young Filipino workers are entering the labor force. “If you imagine, many of these young [people] are empowered, educated, and with purchasing power. In effect, you will have a wider base of consumers,” he said. The country’s strong fundamentals will also help draw more foreign direct investments, he added. “It is the fastest growing economy. There is a revival of manufacturing, growing by eight percent higher than the service sector, which continues to grow by 6.1 percent,” he said. Economic officials were upbeat after the Business Forum with Japanese investors, saying more investments from Japan can be expected to pour int, particularly in Mindanao.

“The bullet is still embedded in the tissue, so we’re still assessing. It might be risky,” he told reporters. According to him, the eagle had already undergone x-rays and other needed medication. Sakura is still undergoing rehabilitation at the PEF center. Salvador said the adoption and naming of the Philippine eagle is symbolic of the country’s growing partnership with Japan. He is hoping for improved partnership between the Foundation with its Japanese counterparts for further research efforts particularly on endangered raptors. For over 30 years, Salvador said the Foundation continues to serve its mission in saving and protecting the Philippine eagle from extinction through conservation, breeding, research and conservation initiatives, and conservation education. At present, the Foundation’s conservation efforts are mostly voluntary with the academe and the private sector taking the lead. The Davao City government and President Duterte when he was still mayor have been helping the foundation in terms of financial assistance. Salvador emphasized on the importance of continued partnership particularly where the enforcement of the country’s wildlife law is concerned. The latest eagle adoption is an addition to 36 Philippine eagles at the Malagos center already adopted by their respective benefactors. Each eagle costs a minimum of P125,000 or about JP¥290,000 for five years in maintenance. The center has also 27 eagles hatched in captivity since the birth of Pagasa in 1992. Salvador said there are only 400 eagle pairs left in the wild and the PEF team continues to rescue and rehabilitate these Philippine eagles. PNA

‘drug crime,’ President Duterte has steamrolled human rights protections and elevated unlawful killings of criminal suspects to a cornerstone of government policy,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Friends of the Philippines need to make clear that it can’t be business as usual until the killings stop and there are meaningful moves toward accountability,” Kine said. The Philippines has seen an unprecedented level of apparent summary killings by the police since Duterte took office. Police statistics show that from July 1 to Nov. 25, the police killed an estimated 1,959 sus-

pected “drug pushers and users.” That death toll constitutes a nearly 20-fold jump over the 68 such police killings recorded between January 1 and June 15. Police statistics attribute an additional 3,658 killings to unknown vigilantes from July 1 to Nov. 23. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Agnes Callamard, confirmed in November that she had accepted a government invitation to undertake a fact-finding mission in the Philippines in 2017. Duterte has said the killings show the “success” of his antidrug campaign and urged police to “seize the momentum.” In August, Duterte warned

that he would declare martial law if the judiciary obstructed his anti-drug campaign. In September, the Senate ousted the head of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Senator Leila De Lima, in apparent reprisal for her inquiry into the killings. In November, Duterte announced he might suspend the writ of habeas corpus to intensify the campaign against illegal durgs. In March, some 6,000 protesters, primarily indigenous peoples, farmers and their supporters from the drought-stricken areas in North Cotabato and Bukidnon provinces gathered in Kidapawan City in Mindanao,

calling for government food aid and other assistance. The police response included shooting live ammunition into the crowd, killing two people. Neither the Senate nor the police had released the results of their respective investigations into the incident, Kine said. The Philippines is also recording one of Asia’s fastest-growing epidemics of the human immunodeficiency virus, driven by new infections among men who have sex with men. The worsening HIV epidemic is driven by national, provincial and local government policies that are hostile to evidence-based policies and interventions including condom use, Kine said.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)

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News IN BRIEF Military official gets 18 years for malversation A MILITARY officer tagged in an unlawful sale of generators worth P1.2 million was convicted of graft and malversation by the Sandiganbayan, the Office of the Ombudsman said Friday. The anti-graft court found Dante Senen, an engineer and supply accountable officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’s military supply unit based in Cebu City, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act or Republic Act 3019 and malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. He was sentenced to a jail term of six to 10 years imprisonment for graft and 10 to 18 years for malversation. The Ombudsman prosecutors charged Senen, along with then Philippine Air Force Brig. Gen. Vladimir delos Trino, Maj. Antonio Jason Garcia and Antonio Ularte of Eduard Enterprises for the unlawful sale of four power generators valued at P1,200,000 before the Sandiganbayan in 2005. Senen remained at-large during the trial. Six months after De los Trino and Garcia’s conviction, Senen was arrested inside Camp Crame, Quezon City on Nov. 21, 2011. On the other hand, Ularte remains at-large. The Ombudsman maintained Senen was the accountable officer in charge of the generators sold to Ularte for only P800,000 without the benefit of a public bidding, giving unwarranted benefit to Ularte to the prejudice of the government. Rio Araja



Duterte urged to sign EO on land conversion moratorium By Maricel V. Cruz


ORE than a week before the 30th anniversary of Mendiola Massacre on Jan. 22, a militant lawmaker on Friday pushed for the signing of the draft executive order on the two-year moratorium against land conversion of agricultural lands proposed by the Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano.

Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said the signing of the EO had long been overdue, saying it was vocally approved by President Rodrigo Duterte during its Presidential Agrarian Reform Council meeting in September last year.

But he noted this was opposed by National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Ernesto Pernia and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

It is clear that in the eyes of the economic managers within the Duterte Cabinet, development relies from foreign interference such as investments and conversion projects, rather than genuine land reform and rural development [which] are keys to industrialization and development, Casilao said. Casilao said these so-called managers who actually champion neo-liberalism in the country were of the same viewpoint and approach of past administrations, especially the Aquino administration. They would rather protect the interest of big foreign and local businesses than uphold the rights to land and livelihood of majority of Filipinos, who are the farming sector, he said.

Mariano said the draft EO covered agricultural lands awarded under Republic Act No. 6657 as amended, Presidential Decree or PD No. 27 and other agrarian reform laws, as well as agricultural lands with Notices of Coverage issued by the DAR, irrigated and irrigable lands, prime agricultural lands, retention areas of the land owners which are tenanted, and agricultural lands with presence of agricultural activities or being cultivated by the farmers individually or collectively. While the aims of the proposed moratorium is crystal clear to protect the rights of farmers and secure food security in the country and agricultural production for the requirements of the local economy,


Sr. Insp. Elmer Monsalve, homicide section chief of the Quezon City Police District, shows to media people Friday the made-up photograph of the top suspect, now being chased by law enforcement authorities, in the killing of Prosecutor Johanne Noel Mingoa the other day. Manny Palmero

DND proposes OCD as separate dept DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has disclosed a proposal to make the Office of Civil Defense a separate department from the Department of National Defense. “We would like to elevate the OCD into a department level to give it more muscle to implement our policies to mitigate or help people prepare for disasters caused by calamities para magkaroon sya ng talagang ngipin or teeth to implement yung mga policies natin to mitigate or prepare disasters caused by calamities like earthquake, tidal waves and typhoon, among others,” Lorenzana said. Lorenzana said this would require amending the Philippine Disaster Risk Management (Republic Act 10121) or the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. NDRRMC is the lead agency of all government agencies in disaster and rehabilitation response. Lorenzana explained OCD as a department would become more effective in disaster response and in the implementation of rehabilitation programs without having to depend on the decision of the defense secretary.

for the benefit of tens of millions of Filipinos—the neo-liberal Cabinet members are hell-bent in targeting agricultural lands to be converted all in the name of profit for a few foreign and local monopoly businesses, Casilao said. Casilao also reminded President Duterte of his commitment to rural development during the Presidential Challenge held at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City in February last year, organized by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, then led by its National Chairperson Mariano. During the activity, then Mayor Duterte lambasted the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program as farce and promised adequate support to farmers, alongside distribution of lands.

SSS asked to address operational inefficiencies By Macon Ramos-Araneta SENATOR Win Gatchalian is calling on the Social Security System to address operational inefficiencies after President Rodrigo Duterte’s approved a P1,000 monthly increase of SSS pensions and a 1.5-percent increase in members’ contributions. Gatchalian, who earlier filed a Senate bill seeking to implement an across-theboard increase in SSS pensions by P2,000 per month, also commended President Duterte for approving the increase despite previously indicating he would not support any increase. “While I commend President Duterte for coming to a compromise on this issue, it is also critical that we do not let the management of SSS take the easy way out by simply increasing contribution levels. The

SSS needs to put its house in order to make sure that it does not waste contributors’ money,” said Gatchalian. Gatchalian pointed out that the 24.3-percent expenses-to-income ratio of SSS was far larger than that of comparable social insurance institutions within Asean, including the local Government Service Insurance System (10.1 percent), Malaysia’s Employees’ Provident Fund (3.21 percent), and Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (2.51 percent). “SSS is not meeting the high standard of financial management and operational efficiency set by similar institutions within the region. It even earns less than half the annual income of GSIS despite spending more money. Simply put, SSS is being left behind by its peers,” said Gatchalian. Gatchalian estimates that SSS could

generate an additional P6 to P9 billion per year in savings and revenue by reducing operating expenses and minimizing collection leakages. For example, Gatchalian urged SSS to correct its over-exposure to short and medium-term member loans which, according to the 2015 CoA Audit Report, amounted to 15.3 percent of its reserves, well above the 10 percent cap imposed by the SSS Law. In the same audit report, CoA assessed the value of delinquent member loans to be P41.9 billion, P22.4 billion of which had been delinquent for five or more years. “As it stands, the management of SSS has failed to provide the kind of results its pensioners deserve. They had better shape up, or else we will need to look for more capable leaders to replace them,” said Gatchalian.

Davao City, Biliran mining free-zones By Maricel V. Cruz

SERIOUS COMMITMENT. Malaysian Deputy Defense Minister Sri Mohd Johari bin Baharom salutes a military Guard of Honor Friday at the 6th ID headquarters in Maguindanao during the arrival of his delegation—seen as an expression of seriousness of Kuala Lumpur to help in the Bangsamoro peace process. Mark Navales

A PANEL in the House of Representatives has approved measures declaring Davao City and Biliran province as mining-free zones to protect their local residents and the environment from the adverse effects of mining. The House committee on natural resources, chaired by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, passed House Bills 3166 and 872, declaring Davao City and Biliran Province, respectively, as mining-free zones. The bills recognize the constitutional provision which states that “it is the policy of the State to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and har-

mony of nature.” Davao Rep. Alberto Ungab, author of HB 3166, or “An Act Declaring the City of Davao as a Mining-Free Zone,” explained that “if opened to mining operations, a world-class city like Davao City would unnecessarily be endangered by deforestation and the risks attributed to mining since the place is traversed by Davao River from the highlands to the lowlands.” Ungab said the fresh waters of Davao City, considered as one of the best waters in the world, must be protected from any form of pollution or degradation, to include the surroundings and environs of its sources underneath the ground or above the ground.

Vanity tax not enough, says solon By Macon Araneta PROJECTED revenue from the proposed vanity tax on cosmetics and beauty products would not be nearly enough to cover the income expected from the fuel excise tax it is meant to replace, Senator Win Gatchalian pointed out on Friday. Gatchalian explained the proposed 10-to-30-percent vanity tax, gaining support in the lower house as an alternative to the imposition of higher taxes on fuel, was projected to generate only P6 to P19 billion in tax revenue, which would only amount to between 4 and 13 percent of the P148.2-billion revenue expected from the proposed fuel excise tax. “Revenue projections make it clear that the vanity tax is not a viable alternative to the fuel excise tax,” said Gatchalian. Gatchalian also criticized the vanity tax as a discriminatory policy which would have a disproportionately adverse effect on women, the primary consumers of cosmetics. Despite its depiction by proponents as primarily a burden on wealthy consumers who can afford high-end beauty products and services, Gatchalian said the vanity tax would actually have a more serious negative impact on rank-and-file wage earning women employed by industries which customarily require women to make themselves up in the workplace, including the retail, hospitality, and services sectors.





Adelle Chua, Editor

A telling silence


APAN’S Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in the country, pledging billions of dollars in aid to the Philippines and promising to create more business opportunities through development assistance and private investments.

The help will come in the form of infrastructure projects. There is no arguing we need such projects to improve mobility and to provide jobs for the people. The visit’s primary agenda is business. “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,” Foreign Press Secretary

Yasuhisa Kawamura said. It is comforting that Tokyo and Manila appear headed toward a long and fruitful partnership despite the fact that the latter seems to have cozied up to China, with which the former has a territorial dispute. We have a territorial dispute with China, too, and we have had an initial victory in the form of a favorable ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Alas, President Duterte does not seem keen on reminding the Chinese of that anytime soon. But at the risk of dampening the warm and friendly mood brought by Prime Minister Abe’s visit and consequent goodwill, we venture to ask: What, now, of the Filipino women who were turned into sexual slaves during World War II? Early in 2016, Japan and South Korea

(another country whose women were made into slaves) announced an agreement where Japan would issue a formal apology to the South Korean women, with commensurate payment. “The Government of Japan will now take measures to heal psychological wounds of all former comfort women through its budget,” the agreement read in part. In contrast, nothing decisive has been done for the Filipino comfort women. A group of them sought relief from the Supreme Court and said top government leaders committed grave abuse of discretion by not espousing their claims for official apology and other forms of reparation from the Japanese government. In April 2010, the high court said the women’s petition had no merit because “from a domestic law perspective, the Executive Department has the exclusive

prerogative to determine whether to espouse petitioners’ claims against Japan.” The court also said that the Philippines is “not under any international obligation to espouse the petitioners’ claims.” And then there was the plagiarism scandal that eclipsed the ignominy of the decision. Nothing more was heard about the women. Not after the decision was handed down, not now. It does not help that President Duterte has uttered many things that give away his views on women. But he is also known for being spontaneous, and a champion of the downtrodden. Those who are still alive among the women are very old and very sick. Who will speak for them? Will there still be no pledge to do them justice, even at this late hour? HAIL TO THE CHAIR VICTOR AVECILLA

The end of the Obama presidency

no supplies to purchase. Access to contraceptives will be zero unless these are brought in as contraband, which is illegal. These need to be spelled out again because after the news of the EO on Zero Unmet Need broke, not a few rejoiced thinking that problems with the SC TRO and August decision have been solved. Some friends even thought that the EO overrides the SC decision and thus, the RH law can now be fully implemented. Having the EO is good but it does not, and cannot override the SC TRO and August decision. Let us clarify a few things. Having the EO is good because it: 1. gives relevant government offices under the Executive such as local government units (LGUs), DoH, DILG, DSWD, Dep-Ed, etc. the marching orders to implement modern family planning (FP). There have been many problems in implementing FP at the local level because of the SC’s

IN JUST a few days, outgoing US President Barack Obama will be leaving the White House for good. A democrat, Obama is the first black American to hold office as president of the United States. Obama leaves office with only one purported legacy —a health care program that has constitutional infirmites. Worse, the Obama administration is marked with many clumsy mistakes, all bordering on inexcusable negligence, which have caused dire consequences not only to American taxpayers, but to the international community as well. Obama’s health care program is supposed to provide, as much as possible, free, quality medical assistance to all American citizens, regardless of the state where they reside. To finance the measure, Obama required rich states to share their state’s health care budget with the less well-off ones. Under this scheme, rural communities are to enjoy the same level of health care obtaining in metropolitan areas. The plan sounds nice, but Obama’s successor in the White House, US Presidentelect Donald Trump, does not buy it. In fact, Trump is determined to put a stop to it in view of its patent illegality. Trump’s opposition is anchored on the way the US federal system of government works. Under the American federal system, the federal government exercises only such powers which are explicitly vested in it by the Constitution of the United States. This means that any government power not vested by the charter in the federal government belongs to the states themselves. For instance, since the US Constitution does not vest in the President the power of executive clemency, the President has no power to pardon convicts. That power is reserved for the states, and it is exercised by the state governor. Among the powers the US Constitution vests in the federal government are national defense, national finance (that is why the US dollar is the currency throughout the country), and foreign policy. Health care is not among those powers. Being so, the Obama health

Turn to A5

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EO 12: Good while supplies last POWER POINT ELIZABETH ANGSIOCO LAST Jan. 9, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 12 entitled, “Attaining and Sustaining ‘Zero Unmet Need for Family Planning’ Through the Strict Implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, Providing Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes.” Immediately, I received a good number of queries on how the EO will impact on the existing Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on contraceptive implants, as well as the August decision of the Supreme Court (SC) on the Department of Health’s motion to lift the TRO. As additional backgrounder, the SC’s August decision did not only reject the DOH’s motion but also decided the following among other things:

In processing registration and certification of contraceptives, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should give opponents of the RH law opportunities to participate. There used to be no need for the FDA to hold hearings. This body relied on medical literature, medical experts, and scientific research. Even without hearings, I was told by people in the know that registering a particular contraceptive still took more than a year. Decisions of the FDA are now appealable to the Court of Appeals. Note that the FDA is a regulatory body and its decisions were deemed final. The Courts had nothing to do with the performance of its responsibilities as this office is supposed to decide based on scientific evidence and medical findings. The SC in effect, has changed the nature of the FDA from being a regulatory to quasi-judicial body when it comes to contraceptives. The SC has now given the Courts and lawyers the power to decide on what is basically a medical issue. Given the

very slow justice system we have, imagine how much longer it will take before a contraceptive gets registered or certified. In cases of “reasonable doubt,” cases must be decided in favor of the protection of the life of the unborn. In the more than 20-page de-

Now more than ever, those who believe in family planning should speak in one voice. cision, protection of the life of the unborn was repeated several times but “protection of wome’s rights” or “protection of mother’s life” was nowhere to be found. It ap-

pears that the decision was made just to protect the unborn but not the mothers. This despite the Constitutional guarantee that the life of the mother and the unborn shall be equally protected. Pending FDA’s implementation of SC orders on developing a registration process that provides for opponent’s participation, the FDA is prohibited from registering and recertifying new contraceptives. The DOH and FDA filed a Motion for Reconsideration as regards the SC’s August decision. Thus, while waiting for the SC’s final ruling, no new registration or certification is being awarded even to private corporations. In the meantime, valid registrations and certifications are lapsing. Come 2018, more than 90% of these would have lapsed. Concretely, without new registration or recertification, the government and private corporations will not be able to purchase contraceptives and a total stock-out is possible. This means that even those with money to buy will have

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ANYBODY whose mind is focused to a particular economic school of thought can have his own prejudice on what many would say about an inexact science. For President Duterte to align his government’s policy to his view would surely be met with mixed feelings. An example would be his decision to increase the social security pension for our retirees. This undoubtedly reflects his ideological sympathy for the economically marginalized—and the political disenfranchised. The President’s approval of the P1,000-increase in the monthly pension for social security retirees marks a meaningful phase in his administration. He clarified that increase should not be financed by taxpayers’ money, but from the contributions of its members and from its various investments. The increase this January will be followed by a corresponding increase of 1.5 percent in May 2017, an increase in the monthly salary credit from P16,000 to P20,000. This, he said, is in fulfillment of the government’s social obligation to the Filipino people, especially the elderly and the poor who gave their best in service. Such is consistent with the reason the SSS was created for the country’s workers—for them to have something to lean on upon reaching their twilight years. This populist thinking of the President, as we might say, seems to come out naturally; indeed the SSS should be directed to fulfill its original role. For instance, the oligarchy/elite has always had in mind of putting up big business which comes in the form of huge investment. This theory espoused by the financial looters of government fund is now being debunked much that big business has always ransacked government financial institutions to fund their private endeavors. As always, there is no way the government can do to object to their loan application, for often they come in the form of behest loans. After all, their projects are always stamped as one designed to benefit the people. Besides, there is really no way reject their business proposition for the fact that they present the collateral assets necessary to pay their loan in case of default. The question now is this: Why are the oligarchy/elite allowed to put up their business using the funds contributed by the workers? The previous management made up of the thieving yellow hypocrites should be reminded that the funds of the SSS, GSIS or similar financial institutions are funds held in trust. Any investment or undertaking using the trust funds should always be for their benefit as entrustor, if ever loans are granted that should come as an exception to ensure the solvency of the system. Trust funds, unlike government funds, are not tax payments. They represent the members’ forced savings and contributions. Even if we take it that private investment bowered from the system is for the good of the people like building a hospital for the retirees, a home for the aged or anything that would help alleviate the economically disenfranchised sector in society, the bottom line remains that trust funds were used to augment their private business. Rather, they assume as owners even if the project was paid in whole or in part by the trust

fund which is a form of swindling because the profit generated from that investment is taken by the borrowers who now style themselves as owners. The irony is that the members or trust fund owners who were swindled are made to pay for the services it renders much that any private venture is not one of gratis et amore. They hypocritically hold high the name of the people to justify their loan, but charge them as clients. The sad part of it is that profit goes directly to their pockets and the balance is paid only to comply with their loan obligation. It is immaterial that a portion of the income will revert to the system to augment the pension fund or to improve its multifaceted service. The important thing is they now assume as owners, and their share of the profit continues for as long as the business venture operates while the share of the system ends as soon as the loan is paid. It truly takes an ideological mind like the President’s to understand how the system of trust funds works. Increasing the pension fund is good for the economy, contrary to the prognostications of the oligarchy/ elite. It may be simplistic as many would think. When the poor, constituting a vast majority in our population, receive more money in the form of salary or pension, the first thing they do is spend their money to purchase consumer goods. They will not buy luxury items much that it is beyond the amount they received. That surge in spending will undoubtedly increase money circulation. This in turn generates more production, a key to promoting employment. The government should focus on production to promote employment, and not the other way around, much that employment will never be possible if there is nothing to produce, and production admittedly requires capital. The oligarchy/elite always argue against the idea of people having more money to spend. They fear it would trigger inflation. But in our case, the purchase of consumer goods is a never-ending cycle. In fact, demand will continue to increase because of population growth. What the oligarchy/elite fail to diagnose is that inflation is inevitable because the increase in money supply is not matched by increase in production, and the short supply is taken advantage of by the traders to jack up the price. The inflation we experience is a calibrated scheme to tighten money supply. That means only big business ventures becomes viable. Since production is at a minimum and unemployment continues to soar, the economy that remains stagnant is made alive only by the usurious business of lending. Huge profit generated that is propped up by the unabated selling of government securities allowed the consolidation of wealth further into the hands of the oligarchy/elite. As a result lending has substituted production as a means of creating wealth which is essentially a monetarist policy of raking in more money out of money. It is this anti-poor policy that has created a wider and much deeper gap between the rich and the poor in our society. President Duterte is trying to rectify this.

The populist thinking of the President comes naturally.


Nonviolence grounds peace


Increasing the monthly pension for retirees


IN HIS message for the 50th World Day of Peace, Pope Francis preaches on the merits of nonviolence as a style of politics for peace. He wishes that charity and nonviolence would govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life. Nonviolence, he adds, is a viable option in politics because “When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promotors of nonviolent peacemaking.” As shown time and time again, violence and retaliation cannot provide a lasting solution to hate and injustice; on the contrary it merely compounds the problem. A man bent on seeking revenge for a real or imagined injustice will not find peace in his heart but will only end up in misery. Judaism subscribes to the principle of Lex Talionis, or the law of retaliation best described by the phrase “an eye for an eye.” Thus the Torah or in Christianity the Pentateuch (the First Five Books of the Old Testament) discusses the concept of justice as measure-for-measure retribution. As an example, the Book of Leviticus directs that a man guilty of injuring another would be punished by receiving the same injury to himself. If the injury is to property, the man must replace the damaged item or animal. But even then in general Judaism is a religion of peace and love for the Father and to one another. Christianity however brought this love to a different level when Jesus Christ commanded his followers to love not only one another but even their enemies. Thus rather

than returning the evil done to us, Christians should return good instead. Luke’s account shows that this is the first application of the concept of loving your enemies. You treat people as you want people to treat you. Jesus marked out the path of nonviolence. He walked that path to the very end, to the cross, whereby he became our peace and put an end to hostility. Even Islam as a religion, for all its disrepute, does not condone revenge, contrary to what most people believe. One popular Islamic adage goes this way: “If you have a choice between revenge and forgiveness, choose forgiveness. The sweetness that follows cannot be replaced by a thousand revenges.” Invariably, all major religions teach peace, love and non-violence. As Francis points out, the legacy of nonviolence is not of the Catholic Church alone. It is typical of many religious traditions, for which “compassion and nonviolence are essential elements pointing to the way of life.” He emphatically reaffirms that “no religion is terrorist.” Violence profanes the name of God. Let us never tire of repeating: “The name of God cannot be used to justify violence. Peace alone is holy. Peace alone is holy, not war!” Sadly, man has the penchant for ingratiating his baser instincts and impulses such as hate, intolerance and violence. He mistakenly believes that it is the easiest and most convenient way to satisfy his yearnings, ambitions or even greed because of some political, religious or economic agenda. This is the reason why society often more readily chooses violence over peace, hatred over intolerance. Often, we conveniently overlook the fact that peace is always not the inferior, but in fact the better, option. Much like many nations now

being plagued by the scourge of wars, terrorism, endless violence and strife, we are also experiencing our own measure of violence in all its forms, from crimes to insurgency. One persistent problem is the peace and order situation in Mindanao as a result of the Communist and Bangsamoro rebellions. The armed struggle of the CPP-NPA is touted as Asia’s longest-running communist insurgency. Since its establishment, the Communist guerillas have believed that the armed revolution is the only solution to replace what it considers the current oppressive system. For its part, the Bangsamoro has engaged a protracted armed struggle against the state in order to achieve its own concept of selfdetermination and to address perceived historical injustice. Decades of armed violence, interrupted only intermittently, and countless casualties later, the problem has yet to find a lasting solution. Notwithstanding his controversial pronouncements and policy directives, I am one with President Duterte in his initiatives to end the Communist and Muslim rebellion in the South. To date, the indefinite truce with these armed groups is holding. I believe the time to end these wars is most conducive and opportune. Barring unforeseen glitches, this government at no other time is in the position to reach a negotiated settlement. Peace and non-violence are not only a viable option. They are, in fact, the only option. It cannot be denied that progress cannot coexist with disorder and violence. If there is to be progress and development in the country, especially in Mindanao, violence must be proscribed and rejected by all armed groups. To end, it is best to quote a message of Blessed Pope Paul VI on peace and nonviolence. He said:

“Peace is the only true direction of human progress—and not the tensions caused by ambitious nationalisms, nor conquests by violence, nor repressions which serve as mainstay for a false civil order.” He warned of “the danger of believing that international controversies cannot be resolved by the ways of reason, that is, by negotiations founded on law, justice, and equity, but only by means of deterrent and murderous forces.” Instead, citing the encyclical Pacem in Terris of his predecessor Saint John XXIII, he extolled “the sense and love of peace founded upon truth, justice, freedom and love.” More than ever, these words have not lost their significance and meaning, on the contrary they have taken more urgency given present day realities. Later this month, the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, represented by able and sincere negotiators, motivated by good will and patriotism, will meet in Rome, Italy to advance the peace process to end an armed conflict that is nearly five decades long. My prayer is that the protagonists, aided by mediators from the Norwegian government, agree on a bilateral ceasefire that will in turn lead to the release of all political prisoners. I also hope that progress will be made in the negotiations on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms so that it can be concluded soonest, thus paving the way for a final and permanent political settlement. When all of these happen, and especially if the excesses of the war against drugs are halted, nonviolence will then ground peace. And then ours would be a better country. Facebook: deantonylavs Twitter: tonylavs

Statement of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on the Philippine Government Executive Order on RPRH Law THE Executive Order issued by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte supporting the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law is a major push for the government’s family planning program, which has been hindered by various challenges to the implementation of the landmark law. The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, remains fully committed to supporting the government and civil society partners on this effort. UNFPA has been working with local governments in ensuring that access to quality reproductive health services, including family planning, will be available especially for the poorest and disad-

vantaged communities who need these services most. This contributes as well to the Philippines’ commitment to fulfilling the 2030 sustainable development agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose aim is ultimately to leave no one behind, especially the most vulnerable. “The full and immediate implementation of the RPRH Law is critically important for the government to deliver on its family planning program, which has been identified by President Duterte as one of his priorities when he assumed office,” said Klaus Beck, UNFPA Country Representative. “The RPRH Law is a fundamental component to a compre-

hensive approach to poverty alleviation and human development in the Philippines, and is critical to realizing reproductive rights, reducing maternal mortality and the realization of the development goals on health, gender and poverty,” Mr. Beck added. The President’s order will help provide new momentum to the implementation of the RPRH Law as it demonstrates the highest level of support to the measure. The EO also defines the role of various government units in enforcing the law and provides clear instructions on the funding needed to implement it, as well as the accountability mechanism to ensure that the RPRH Law and the EO are implemented.

One key stumbling block to the full implementation of the law is the Philippine Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order on the registration and certification of a list of contraceptives. The order has been in effect for two years now and could adversely impact on the supply of contraceptives in the country if not addressed soon. Evidence in the Philippines and globally has clearly shown that strengthening sexual and reproductive health significantly supports and enables social and economic development, including women’s empowerment, through a rights-based approach in allowing people to choose if and when to have children, and how many.

The end... From A4

ey, they are required to pay a lot of taxes. Accordingly, they do not want a reduction in the quality of the health care they are accustomed to receive from their state government. That’s not the only mess Obama created. When law and order collapsed in Syria years ago, Obama did nothing to stop the then disorganized Islamic fundamentalists in the region from exploiting the situation. Obama complacently believed that the hated Syrian government will eventually collapse on its own demerits. What happened next was the opposite. The fundamentalists gathered strength, and established a caliphate. Soon enough, the caliphate was exporting violence to the neighboring territories. Worse, the Russians entered the picture and provided military support to the troublemakers. The city of Aleppo is an example. It is now no man’s land, thanks to the regimented destruction in the area sponsored by the Russians. The Middle East, the source of oil for virtually the entire world, has never been this violent

and chaotic, all because Obama failed to address the problem. The same thing happened in the Ukraine. This former soviet socialist republic bolted from the now defunct Soviet Union when it had had enough of the Russian communist yoke. The Russian kingpin, Vladimir Putin, who used to head the dreaded KGB intelligence agency during the soviet era, seized strategic areas in Ukraine and the Crimea so that Russia can have a more strategic foothold in Central Europe. A desperate Ukrainian government sought help from the West. Nothing came from Obama. Now, the Russians are planning their next conquest in the area. Despite Obama’s protestation that the United States will not tolerate bullying by any country against another country, the world remains a place conducive to trouble. North Korea now claims it has nuclear capability, and with the government of South Korea currently in turmoil, that may be a recipe for trouble. Obama has not done anything about this menace. After Communist China seized islands in the West Philippine Sea and

lost its case in the arbitration tribunal of the United Nations, the US Secretary of State merely responded with a demand that the sea lanes in the area must be kept open for international navigation and commerce. The speeches of Obama regarding the international scene are full of rhetoric, and lack substance. Motherhood statements are exploited to the hilt. When sensitive matters arise, Obama makes it a point to speak fast, perhaps in the hope that he will not be understood. During the campaign for the White House last November, Obama and his Democratic Party highlighted all that is objectionable about Trump. Assuming that Trump is everything the democrats allege him to be, then Trump’s election victory is attributable to the failures of Obama and his partymates. It also means that the American voters elected Trump, probably not because of what Trump represents, but because Obama and his fellow democrats made a mess of the United States these past eight years, and they have had enough of such sorry state of affairs.

EO in place, there should no longer be confusion and misunderstanding. LGUs must implement modern family planning. 2. sends a strong signal to the SC that this administration is serious in implementing the RH law and particularly, FP. While the Executive and Judiciary are autonomous from each other, this show of political will hopefully influence our esteemed Justices to rethink their position on the issue. The problematic August decision was promulgated by the SC’s Second Division. The DoH and other interested parties that filed motions asked the SC en banc to take the issue up. Hopefully, this happens and that more Justices will see the August decision as an injustice to millions of Filipino women. 3. outlines important strategies for a more effective and efficient RH

law implementation, including participation of civil society organizations (CSO). The EO has concretely ordered government agencies to do strategies that will address unmet need. One of these is partnering with CSOs and NGOs that can fill the gap especially in the provision of contraceptive implants that government is presently prevented from doing; and in reaching marginalized segments of our society, the poor who want or need to use contraceptives. 4. provides for budgets for RH and FP programs. This is quite important since budget is a recurring problem each time that the General Appropriations Fund is being finalized. This also sends a strong signal to those legislators who always try to block or reduce budgets for family planning. This is a most welcome additional push from President Duterte.

Thus, there is no doubt that the EO can positively impact on a better RH law implementation. However, the EO does not erase the problems brought about by the SC TRO and August decision. If the SC will not lift the TRO and reverse its decision, registration of contraceptives will still take a long time (if they get registered at all) because we see the anti-RH challenging every FDA decision in the Court of Appeals. Thus, contraceptive stocks will, in the future, still be problematic. The EO will only be good while contraceptive supplies last. Now more than ever, those who believe in family planning should speak in one voice and ask the SC to lift the TRO and reverse its August decision.

care plan suffers from constitutional infirmity. The rich states are against the Obama health care plan not only for legal reasons, but for practical ones. When a rich state is required to share funds raised by that state exclusively from its own resources (and, therefore, independent of federal sourcing), particularly from state taxes (as opposed to federal duties), that is tantamount to requiring that state to sponsor the health expenditures of other states. That imposition is beyond the power of the federal government to undertake. Moreover, requiring a state to share its exclusive funds with other states means less money to finance the social welfare needs and concerns of the taxpayers of the state from which the money came from in the first place. As expected, the taxpayers concerned are displeased with that arrangement. For example, since New York City taxpayers, as a rule, earn a lot of mon-

EO 12:... From A4 TRO and August ruling. We know of the LGUs’ confusion on how the SC’s orders should be carried out, and what they can, and cannot do. These SC decisions have resulted in a chilling effect among local implementers and resulted in a weak family planning program. We know that in many places, women were, and are being told that there are no more available stocks of contraceptives in health centers. Some LGUs return contraceptives they received from the DoH. There are places where women are given only TWO PIECES of pills and are asked to come back after two days. The thing is, we know for a fact that the DoH has stocks that LGUs can easily tap if they want to. With the

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IN BRIEF AFP inducts new generals NEWLY-APPOINTED military deputy chief of staff Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. led several other senior officers who received their new ranks on Friday. Vingson got his third star a day after he was became the No. 3 in the military, replacing Lieutenant General Salvador Melchor Mison who was promoted Vice Chief of Staff, AFP No. 2. Also printed to one-star brigadier generals are Isidro Purisima and Gavin Edjawan, both members of the Army, and Joselito Calimag and Ernesto Ravina, both members of the Marines. The Office of AFP Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Reuel Sorilla, has yet to release the names of the other promoted senior officers whose respective ranks they received during simple donning ceremony at the General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. Florante Solmerin

Senate backs Neda plan THE proposed Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 of the National Economic and Development Authority will get the needed legislative boost from the Senate, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III vowed Friday. Pimentel said he would strongly support the administration’s development roadmap as it “concretizes the Duterte administration’s eightpoint economic agenda.” He also expressed active support for part of the plan that puts emphasis on the development of regional centers including his hometown, Cagayan de Oro City. The plan indicates that the new impetus for regional growth is set to make CDO the country’s fourth economic center, and the second in Mindanao, after Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao. Pimentel said the plan could not have come at a better time as Congress prepares to tackle the proposed shift in the form of government to a federal system. He vowed to make the approval of this shift a top priority as it would decentralize the current centralized system and would empower the regions with greater autonomy and more resources. The shift to a federal system would also fit the proposed Mindanao Railway that could enhance further CDO’s economic growth. “Mindanao’s promise would finally be realized as major investors would flock to take advantage of the bullish economy,” Pimentel said. PNA

BI notes increase in foreign fugitives By Vito Barcelo A TOTAL of 135 foreigners wanted for various crimes they committed in their homelands were arrested by the Bureau of Immigration in 2016, more than double the 61 wanted foreign criminals nabbed by the bureau in 2015. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said nearly all of the fugitives arrested were already deported to their countries of origin where they are now serving their sentences or are being tried for various offenses. “They were also placed in our blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the country,” the BI chief said, adding that the aliens’ presence here posed a risk to public safety. Morente promised the BI will continue to relentlessly pursue its campaign against foreign fugitives, saying “the Philippines should not be used as a sanctuary for foreign criminals who want to evade prosecution and punishment for crimes they committed in their homeland.” Statistics from the bureau’s fugitive search (FSU), said 80 South Koreans topped the list of the captured fugitives, followed by 25 Chinese and 19 Americans. Also in the list are three Taiwanese, two Canadians, an Australian, a Japanese, a German, a Pakistani, a Bangladeshi, and a Kazakhstani. FSU records also revealed that 60 of the captured aliens were wanted for cybercrime fraud, 49 for economic crimes, and 12 for sex offenses. Three of them were charged with murder while others were involved either in smuggling, human trafficking, aggravated assault, drug pushing, and desertion.

FIESTA TIME. A merchant shows off images of the Child Jesus, locally known as Santo Niño, that has recently come in demand ahead of its religious feast days in Cebu and Tondo in Manila. Norman Cruz

DoJ reassigns kidnap case J By Rey E. Requejo

USTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Friday designated a new prosecutor who will handle the case of Korean businessman who was kidnapped along with his assistant in Angeles City last Oct. 18. Aguirre assigned Prosecution Attorney Loverhette Jeffrey Villordon to take over the case from Assistant State Prosecutor Hjalmar Quintana, who recused from handling the complaints for kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention in relation to the disappearance of businessman

Jee Ick Joo. Quintana reportedly inhibited after respondents, led by Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, accused him of being biased against them. The Justice secretary vowed to speed up the resolution of the socalled “Tokhang for ransom” case

involving unscrupulous policemen. Earlier, Choi Kyung Jin, Jee’s wife, said eight armed men took her husband and some of their personal belongings. The couple’s house help, Marissa Dawis, was also abducted. She was released the following day. Authorities have so far identified only three of the eight suspects, including Sta. Isabel, a driver, and an alleged accomplice. Sta. Isabel, a member of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, is under restricted custody in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Choi has already offered a P100,000 reward for anyone who could give information on the

whereabouts of her husband. Aguirre made the appointment a day after Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa warned an “idiot” policeman accused of kidnapping a South Korean businessman that he would die unless he surrendered. “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.

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.

Akie Abe meets Japinos in Davao DAVAO CITY—Japanese First Lady Akie Abe toured this city’s “Little Tokyo” and visited the cemetery where many Japanese residents of Davao before the outbreak of the Second World War. Abe offered a wreath to the monument of the Zaryu Senbou Douhou Irei Tou, or the “Tower of Japanese residents who passed away,” at Davao’s Mintal district accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte’s parner Cielito Avancena at quarter past 10 a.m. She was welcomed by about a hundred residents of Japanese descent and local officials, led by barangay chairman Ramon Bargamento. Also in attendance during the visit in Mintal were Bertola Medialdea, wife of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Yuko Ishikawa, wife of Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa. Other officials in Davao City, including Rep. Alberto Ungab as well as former congressman Isidro Ungab, also greeted the Prime Minister’s wife at the site. Barangay chairman Bargamento briefed the Japanese President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña briefs Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie on the history of Davao City’s sizable ethnic Japanese community as they took refreshments at the Waterfront Hotel first lady about the history of Japanese residents in Davao. Official records attest that around 300 Japanese solon Friday. Malacañang Photo diers, including Japanese civilians, were buried in said cemetery from the period starting 1935 until the end of World War II in 1945. “She was teary-eyed at the cemetery. Maybe she could not explain what she felt when she saw the tower,” the village chairman told reporters in an interview. The respondents also impugned the According to them, the raiding THE Chinese nationals arrested at “I tried my best to brief her of the important informaFontana Resort and Casino in Clark, team at Fontana’s Villa 736 was led validity of the mission order by the tion regarding the area, the cemetery. I also handed to Pampanga on Friday for engaging by the DoJ’s Office of Cybercrime, Bureau of Immigration, which beher a token—the old money,” he said. in illegal online gambling activities the same office that filed the com- came the basis for the issuance of a Bargamento said Mrs. Abe was also thankful that she claimed that they were victims of plaint for illegal gambling and vio- search warrant. was able to discover the depth of the relationship beUnder Rule 5 of the Immigraillegal recruitment and fishing expe- lation of the Cybercrime Law before tween the Filipinos and Japanese in Davao. tion Memorandum Circular No. SM the Justice department. dition by Philippine authorities. “She was very thankful. It’s only now that she learned “The DoJ is therefore acting as 20150-10, the mission order should In a joint counter-affidavit filed with about the deep relations of the Filipinos and Japanese esDepartment of Justice, the Chinese na- complainant, prosecutor and judge, contain the following: the true name, pecially in Davao City and Barangay Mintal,” he added. tionals through lawyers Jonathan Sarte all at the same time. As such, we do aliases, the best description possible, The Japanese cemetery in Mintal is being maintained and Irene Bianca Distura asked the not expect to have a fair proceeding peculiarities, place of residence to by the city government of Davao. DoJ prosecutors to dismiss the charges and we believe that this is a blatant clearly indicate the aliens to be arAbe then proceeded to visit the Ureinashi Ni Ho, or against them even as they questioned violation of our right to due process,” rested, immigration status, purpose the “Monument of No Regret,” that was built by the local the holding of the preliminary investi- stated the counter-affidavit of the 39 of the mission order, period of validity, government here. PNA among others. Rey E. Requejo Chinese nationals. gation by the DoJ.

Clark Sinos claim to be victims

Trouble brews over land dispute in former friar estate ANOTHER dispute is brewing in what used to be known as Hacienda de San Pedro de Tunasan in Laguna with residents urging San Pedro City Mayor Lourdes Cataquiz to investigate several armed men who claimed to be her men and are harassing residents of the area. Community resident Levi Lobo Jr. made the appeal after several armed men, who claimed to be Cataquiz’ men, entered the area brandishing their guns and started harassing residents. “We don’t know the mayor’s interest in the talks over these lands but

many are wondering why these men are claiming to be from the office of the mayor,” Lobo said in Filipino. Lobo said the men repeatedly entered the area and appear to be intent on sowing fear among residents with some of them firing their rifles armed with grenade launchers. On Jan. 5, Lobo said the men fired their rifles at a group of male residents. On Jan. 9, they again fired their weapons and even fired three grenades to scare residents. Lobo said residents suspect that the harassment may be connected to the

decades-long dispute over what used to be known as the Hacienda de San Pedro de Tunasan, which used to be owned by the Society of Jesus. Various lawsuits have arisen from the hacienda which was “awarded” to Spanish conquistador Esteban Rodriguez Figueroa, a one-time governor of Mindanao, in the 16th century. Rodriguez bequeathed the hacienda to the Order of Saint Augustine and later transferred to the Society of Jesus for the establishment of the Colegio de San Jose. The hacienda was later transferred

to the Colegio de San Jose, which is now known as the San Jose Seminary. However, the hacienda was transferred to the Agustinian and Dominican orders after the expulsion of the Society of Jesus from Spanish possessions in the 18th century. In the following century, ownership of the land shifted from the Catholic Church and the government along with various third parties who also laid claim to portions of the hacienda in partnership with the church or the government. One of such private parties was Carlos Young, a registered owner un-

der Original Certificate of Title No. 656 and Transfer Certificate of Title No. 166689, who was in partnership with Colegio de San Jose in the 1930s. Young apparently agreed to donate to a portion of the land to the then Municipality of San Pedro in exchange for a waiver over accumulated property taxes. However, Young later discovered that the parcel he agreed to donate to the town was being claimed by one Oliver Laperal, who presented land titles that was later found to cover lands in Taytay, Rizal.




James leads NBA all-star selections NEW YORK, United States— Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James remains the top overall vote-getter in the second returns of NBA all-star fan balloting announced Thursday, with more than one million votes. Three-time NBA champion James, already 12-time NBA all-star, has received 1.06 million votes and leads Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (963,110) in voting for Eastern Conference frontcourt players. Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, a three-time all-star, is first among backcourt players in the East with 971,362 votes, ahead of the 514,866 of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade. In the Western Conference, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, the reigning two-time Most Valuable Player, leads all vote-getters with 990,390 in voting for backcourt players. Warriors teammate Kevin Durant leads the list of frontcourt players (987,479). In revised voting procedures this year, fans account for 50 percent of the all-star vote, and the remaining

50 percent is divided among media members and NBA players. The five players (two guards and three frontcourt players) with the best score in each conference will be named NBA All-Star Game starters. Voting concludes on Jan. 16 and the starters for the Feb. 19 All-Star Game in New Orleans will be announced on Jan. 19. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks fined Derrick Rose around $200,000 (188,350 euros) for his mysterious no-show, the US media reported on Thursday. Rose created a sensation on Monday when he failed to appear for the Knicks’ 110-96 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans. The New York Post said in a report Thursday that Rose had been fined $193,848—1/110th of his $21.3 million salary—mirroring the formula used by the NBA for a one-game suspension. “The team fined him a pretty hefty amount—the amount of the fine for missing a game,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek was quoted as saying. AFP

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) protects the basketball against Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner (1) during a game at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. AFP

Romeo tows GlobalPort past NLEX By Jeric Lopez


ERRENCE Romeo showed his scoring brilliance once again, dropping a gamehigh 32 points, including eight triples, with five rebounds and four assists to lead GlobalPort Batang Pier to 110-96 demolition of NLEX in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City yesterday.

The league’s leading scorer dropped 22 of his total points in the first half, shooting 8-of-12. That proved vital as his team rode on his back to victory.

Stanley Pringle was likewise impressive, scoring 20 points, five rebounds and seven assists while JR Quinahan had 18 points and seven rebounds all for GlobalPort.

As a result, the Batang Pier is now in third place with its 5-3 card while the Road Warriors continue to struggle, dropping to 2-6 in a tie at the bottom with Meralco. The San Miguel Beermen (7-1) and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (5-2) lead the standings. Trailing them are the Alaska Aces (4-3), TNT KaTropa (4-3), the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters (4-4) and the Blackwater Elite (4-4). Bringing up the rear are Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (3-4), the Star Hotshots (3-4) and the Mahindra Floodbuster (2-5). Romeo terrorized the NLEX defense with his unstoppable game. He sniped from the outside when given room, drilling eight of 15

triple attempts. He drove in when guarded closely to score inside or pass to an open teammate. GlobalPort gained tight grip of the contest after a 19-7 blitz midway in the second period that gave it a huge 42-26 double-digit lead at the 5:20 mark of the period after a Nino Canaleta triple. At the half, Batang Pier carried a 50-38 advantage. Romeo torched the Road Warriors with six triples in only eight attempts in the first 24 minutes of the game alone to help his team take command. Quinahan was also big in the opening half, logging 11 of his total output there as he teamed up with Romeo to lead the

charge for GlobalPort. The Batang Pier kept pounding the Road Warriors in the second half, leading by as much as 21 points, 82-61, after a Josh Urbiztondo triple with 40 seconds left in the third frame. Only the top eight teams will make the quarterfinals with the top two finishers having a twiceto-beat incentive against the lowerranked teams. The teams in the middle of the standings will figure in a best-of-three duel. Carlo Lastimosa led NLEX with 19 points. As of this report, league-leading San Miguel Beer (7-1) is pushing for a seventh straight win as it battles second-running Rain or Shine (5-2).

Top pros back Pradera tourney LPGA TOUR-bound Dottie Ardina and three other Filipino pros head to Pampanga today, Saturday to provide support and boost Team Pradera’s confidence as it gears up for a showdown with Team Southeast Asia in the first Pradera Ladies Challenge beginning tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 15 at the Pradera Golf and Country Club in Lubao. “It’s an exciting duel and we hope to help motivate our players against their counterparts from Southeast Asia,” said Ardina, who with Cyna Rodriguez, Princess Superal and Chihiro Ikeda, will be playing a rare supporting role as Team Pradera’s crack mix of jungolfers and amateurs slug it out their SEA counterparts in the Ryder Cup-style duel. The four pros are veterans of team competitions, including the SEA Games, the World Amateurs and the Queen Sirikit Cup with Ardina winning the Sirikit individual gold in 2011,

and their inputs or mere presence are expected to help boost the host squad’s confidence. “Team SEA boasts of a mix of talented players some of whom we have played in the past. We hope our mere presence will inspire or prop up our team,” said Superal, many-time spearhead of the national team in various international competitions. Both Team Pradera and Team SEA are expected to come into the event in top form, having competed in the just-concluded Philippine Ladies Open but the hosts hope to cash in on whatever edge they may have in terms of local knowledge and chemistry. “The four pros’ presence is indeed a big boost to the team’s cause and we hope our players will draw inspiration from them and be motivated to dish out their best against their equally talented rivals,” said Archen Cayabyab, who with Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab and Coach

Norman Sto. Domingo, spearheaded the staging of the event. Pauline del Rosario and fourtime Veritas world junior titlist Annyka Cayabyab banner Team Pradera that includes Mikha Fortuna, Sofia Chabon, Bernice Ilas, Abby Arevalo, Mika Arroyo, Nicole Abelar, Tomi Arejola and Missy Legaspi with Chona de la Paz of The Junior Golfers’ League, NGAP’s Rolly Romero and former two-time LPGA winner Jennifer Rosales as team captains. But Team SEA, which features the top players from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, also looks formidable on a team built around Thai teen star Attaya Thitikul, Napabhach Boonin, Tunrada Piddon, Onkanok Soisuwan and Kan Bunnabodee, Malaysians Qistina Balqis, Geraldine Wong, Natasha Oon and Winnie Ng and Michela Tjan of Indonesia with Dato Raby Abbas and Phunumpa Pornperan as Princess Superal, here checking her scorecard, hopes to provide team captains. some push for Team Pradera.

Struggling NHA Builders battle Malacañang Kamao By Peter Atencio THE National Housing Authority Builders are in a must win situation. To stay in contention, the Builders need to get past the Malacañang Kamao in their 3:30 p.m. encounter this Sunday in the UNTV Cup at the Pasig City Sports Arena.

The Builders are in the same situation as the AFP Cavaliers and the BFP Firefighters, with all three teams holding the same 4-4 win-loss record. Builders Head Coach Silverio “Bennet” Palad III said their last two games are important. They need to win them all in order to proceed on the next round.

“Yung last two games namin mahalaga. Kailangan naming manalo para makapasok kami sa apat kasi isang talo kami ma-out kami eh, kaya medyo delikado nga kaya kailangan na manalo,” said Palad. On the other hand, the Kamao are determined to recover from three straight loses after a five-game winning streak in

2016. In the first game, BFP Firefighters will try to tarnish BOC Transformers’ flawless record in their 2 p.m. showdown. BFP also needs to win against the NHA on January 29 to have a grip on a quarter finals seat. On the third game, the battle of former two-time champions, AFP and the Judiciary squad

are set at 5 p.m. Judiciary currently has a 7-1 record while the AFP, 4-4 with a 2-game losing streak. They are considered a rejuvenated team this season with the addition of former professional player Chester Tolomia with the help from former PBA players Don Camaso, Ariel Capus and Warren Ybañez.

Catalan, Donayre carry PH colors

Homegrown fighter Vaughn Donayre sees action in ONE: Quest for Power in Indonesia.

HOMEGROWN fighters, Rene Catalan and Vaughn Donayre, will carry the Philippine colors when they see action in the undercard of ONE: Quest for Power at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia today January 14. Catalan squares off against strawweight prospect Adrian Matheis, while Donayre takes on Dutch-Indonesian kickboxer Vincent Latoel in a three-round lightweight bout Catalan, a highly-decorated Wushu practitioner, seeks to continue his winning ways inside the ONE Championship cage after picking up an impressive deci-

sion win over China’s Zhang You Liang last September. “This is my chance to establish my first winning streak in ONE Championship. It’s not impossible. That’s why I am exerting a tremendous amount of effort in training. I want to keep on winning,” Catalan said. According to the 38-year-old Catalan, he is inspired to win against his Indonesian foe because it gives him another chance to represent the Philippines on a global platform like ONE Championship. “I am inspired to win the fight because I am representing the Philippines. It is always an

honor to fight for my country. My goal in this fight is to win and bring pride to my nation,” Catalan stated. Meanwhile, Donayre is keen on breaking his four-fight losing skid in Asia’s largest MMA organization at the expense of Latoel. Donayre, who is no stranger to international combat competitions, vows that he will not let the Filipino MMA fans down in his marquee match-up against Latoel. “They were always there by my side in my tough times. I will make sure to win this one for them,” Donayre said.

The Beermen are already safely into the quarterfinals while the Elasto Painters can book their ticket should they emerge victorious. Both teams are also chasing a top two finish for the twice-to-beat incentive. For today, Saturday the action continues as the scene shifts to Iloilo City as struggling teams Barangay Ginebra (3-4) and cellar-dweller Meralco (2-6) figure in an anticipated rematch of last Governors’ Cup finals at 5 p.m. in an out of town encounter. The Gin Kings haven’t really found a consistent groove while the Bolts are on a five-game slide. Both teams are facing a mustwin situation as they are out of the top eight at the moment.

Athletes to Tokyo get plenty of support THIS early, there are plans to bring athletes who will qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to Japan some six weeks before the Games begin. Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, who made this assurance, and is discussing this possibility with sports officials, said the Philippine Sports Institute will be at the forefront of preparations and how this will be made possible. “This way, our Olympians will acclimatize ideally during the Olympics. Between August and September, they will travel to Tokyo, to be able to get used to the weather, the people, the mode of transportation and traffic, the lifestyle there. So by 2020, our athletes will be there earlier,” said Ramirez. Ramirez said they agency is considering plans to help send Filipino Olympians at least a month before any competition starts. Looking for a training venue that will accommodate the qualified athletes in the Japanese capital is another matter that the PSC is looking into. “They will be in Tokyo before the Olympics starts. We will not be bringing athletes in just a matter of hours before they compete in the Olympics. This time, we will plan it out carefully. We will give them the support that they need,” said Ramirez. The PSC chief said this is the initial plan of the PSI in the 2020 Olympics. The PSI is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 16 Monday, at the Multipurpose Arena of the Philsports Complex in Pasig City. Senator Manny Pacquiao will be the guest of honor, and he will take the place of President Duterte, who is busy attending to the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The institution is finalizing plans to hire competent personnel who will assist national athletes better, and when they prepare to compete abroad. Peter Atencio

LOTTO RESULTS 6/45 00-00-00-00-00-00 P0.0 M+ 4 DIGITS 00-00-00-00 3 DIGITS 00-00-00 2 EZ2 00-00

Riera U. Mallari, Editor; Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor;




Perpetual withstands Lyceum challenge Games Wednesday (Jan. 18) (Filoil Flying V Center) 8:30 p.m.- AU vs. LPU (jrs) 10 a.m.- AU vs. LPU (m) 11:30 a.m.- AU vs. LPU (w) 1 p.m.- JRU vs Letran (w) 2:30 p.m.- JRU vs Letran (m)

Lyceum of the Philippines spiker Czarina Orros (10) spikes the volleyball through the blocking hands of University of Perpetual Help defenders Necelle Gual (9) and Coleen Bravo. Perpetual Help turned back the spirited challenge of Lyceum. Roman Prospero

Bianca decimates field to rule PH Ladies Open B IANCA Pagdanganan capped three days of near-impeccable play with a three-under 69 yesterday, claiming the Philippine Ladies Open crown via a runaway nine-stroke victory over Thai Atthaya Thithikul at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s West Course in Mandaluyong.

Five-up on Thitikul after 36 holes, Pagdanganan turned the final round into a virtual victory walk, hitting five birdies against a bogey after 14 holes en route to a 35-34, completing her domination of the elite international field in the event presented by Champion Infinity with a three-day display of brilliant shotmaking. The lead actually stood at 11 with four holes to play but Thitikul

hit a birdie on No. 17 and saved a 73 and Pagdangangan holed out with a bogey and still finished with an impressive 16-under 200 card for that nine-stroke romp, the most lopsided win posted in recent years of the annual event that had seen a number of endgame thrillers, including Princess Superal’s one-stroke escape over Pauline Del Rosario and Yuka Saso at Midlands last year.

Flubbed birdie putts in the early going held back Thitikul’s charge and the Thai teen star bowed out with a double-bogey mishap on No. 10. She wound up with a 73 and a 209 in the event organized and conducted by Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines. So impressive was the 19-yearold Pagdanganan’s performance that she dropped just two bogeys against 19 birdies in three days, a stunning rebound from a 28over card she posted in a joint ninth place finish at the Philippine Amateur Golf Championship last week at Riviera where she made seven double bogeys and 22 bogeys against eight birdies. “Coming into this tournament, I reminded myself to keep playing and get better everyday and not to think about the past as advised by

my coach and dad, because it had nothing to do with the Open,” said the Gonzaga University sophomore. “There are other tournaments so keep your focus and think of it shot by shot. It worked out well,” she added. It did as Pagdanganan broke out of the starting gate with a 66 to wrest a two-stroke lead over Del Rosario and Saso then hit a bogeyfree 65 in the second to pull away by five over Thitikul. But while Pagdanganan showed her resiliency to join the elite roster of PLO winners, including five-time champion and two-time LPGA Tour winner Jennifer Rosales, Saso failed to sustain the form that netted her a similar nine-shot win at PAGC, settling for third at five-under 211

on a closing 69 while Del Rosario rebounded from a two-over card with two birdies in the last five holes, saving a 72 but dropping to fourth at 212. The rest, including two local aces who won tournaments in the local pro circuit last year, finished way behind Pagdanganan with Harmie Constantino, who reigned at LPGT Mt. Malarayat, ending up fifth at 218 after a 71, and Bernice Olvarez Ilas, who topped the Beverly Place stop, carding a 73 for sixth at 219. Malaysian Geraldine Wong shot a 73 and tied Cebu’s Lois Kaye Go, who skied to a 78, at seventh with 221 while Zoe Campos of the US placed ninth with a 222 after a 74 and Jacqueline Young of Singapore limped with a 79 for 10th at 226.

Bianca Pagdanganan soaks in her smashing victory as she gets a hug from Yuka Saso after completing her nine-stroke win in the Philippine Ladies Open.

tured the UAAP title at the expense of the archrival Ateneo Blue Eagles, one year after steering his alma mater Letran back to the top of the NCAA. Jarin got his redemption from losing to Ayo and the Knights in 2015 by leading the San Beda Red Lions to their ninth championship in 11 seasons after sweeping the Arellano University Chiefs in the title series. Ayo is the first coach in the history of the awards night to win the Coach of the Year award in both leagues, while Jarin is receiving the prestigious honor before h e makes his

coaching debut for the National University Bulldogs in the UAAP next season. Other coaches who in the past have won the award in the annual event that honors the top achievers of the UAAP and NCAA are Norman Black, Frankie Lim, Eric Altamirano, Boyet Fernandez, Louie Alas, Nash Racela, Ato Agustin and Juno Sauler. Also to be handed out are the Smart Player of the Year award and the Collegiate Mythical Five presented by Mighty Sports. Other awards include the Pivotal Player, Impact Player, Super Senior and Mr. Efficiency.

Murray, Djokovic face tough draws MELBOURNE, Australia—World number one Andy Murray could face challenges from Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka if he is to reach a sixth Australian Open final following Friday’s draw. The Scot, coming off a magnificent 2016 with a second Wimbledon crown, a successful Olympic title defence and the year-end top ranking, has lost five Melbourne finals, four of those to defending champion Novak Djokovic. Murray, who was knighted in Britain’s New Year Honours list, faces Ukraine’s Illya March-

enko first up and could meet Japanese fifth seed Nishikori or Swiss legend Roger Federer in the quarters and 2014 winner Wawrinka in the semis. Federer, seeded 17, faces a qualifier first up and could play 10th seed Tomas Berdych in the third round as he bids to add to his record 17 Grand Slam titles. Djokovic, in the bottom half of the men’s draw as the second seed, has a tough first-round against experienced Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Verdasco, ranked 40, has beaten

Djokovic four times in their 13 encounters and the Serb had to save five match points in prevailing over him earlier this month in the semifinals in Doha. Last year Verdasco knocked out compatriot Rafael Nadal in a five-setter first round thriller in Melbourne. Serbia’s Djokovic, bidding for a record seventh Australian Open title, is seeded to face Brisbane International winner Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round and powerful Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem in the quarters. AFP

Zubiri heads Arnis body By Peter Atencio

Coaches Ayo, Jarin lead hoop achievers CHAMPION coaches Aldin Ayo and Jamike Jarin are among the top achievers that will be feted on Jan. 26 when the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps holds its annual Collegiate Basketball Awards at the Montgomery Place Social Hall in E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City. The two bench tacticians will receive the Coach of the Year award in the event backed by Smart, Accel, Mighty Sports and MJM Productions for guiding their respective teams to the championship in the country’s two major varsity leagues. Ayo revived the winning tradition of the La Salle Green Archers who cap-

PERPETUAL Help leaned on other players when starters Cindy Imbo and Ma. Lourdes Clemente struggled to edge Lyceum of the Philippines U, 25-21, 29-27, 25-23, yesterday to keep its Final Four hopes afloat in the women’s division of the 92nd NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan City. Imbo, the team captain, and Clemente started but couldn’t find their ryhthm at the early, forcing Perpetual Help coach Sammy Acaylar to dig deep into his bench. Good thing Jamela Suyat, Coleen Bravo and Jowie Albert Versoza came through with clutch performances by firing 19, 13 and 11 points, respectively, to power the Lady Altas to their fourth win against three defeats. Reserves Maria Aurora Tripoli and Shyra Mae Umandal also came through by combining for 11 hits while providing the much needed help on defense. “I have faith in all my players that they will deliver if given a chance,” said Perpetual Help coach Sammy Acaylar, who was recently appointed as national men’s team coach seeing action in the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games this August. For the Las Pinas-based school to stay in Final Four contention, it would need to beat Jose Rizal on Jan. 18 and Arellano U on Jan. 25. “We know in our hearts that we’re still in it, we just have to believe,” said Acaylar. The Lady Pirates skidded to 5-2. Earlier, Emilio Aguinaldo downed Mapua, 25-18, 25-13, 2624, in a battle of win-less squads. In the men’s action, Mapua downed EAC, 25-21, 25-22, 1425, 25-15, to remain in the Final Four race with a 5-3 mark. The Generals slid to 0-8.

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan. 13. AFP

SENATOR Juan Miguel Zubiri was named as chairman of Arnis Philippines during elections held yesterday at the First National Arnis Congress at the Multi-Purpose Hall of the Philippine Red Cross Headquarters in Mandaluyong City. Zubiri, who sponsored Republic Act No. 9850, also known as act declaring arnis as the national martial art and sport of the Philippines, heads the 15-man board for the next 12 months. The elections were held in the presence of Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez and commissioner Ramon Fernandez. Officials of the organization said the Congress aims to unite all arnis and Filipino martial art organizations and practitioners under a national unified organization to promote and develop the sport in the country and abroad. “My love affair with arnis started many years ago, when I was a young teenager training in martial arts, fascinated by traditional Chinese and Japanese weaponry. As young boys, we all wanted to be just like Ezekiel Thompson of the movie, ‘Force Five’ played by weapons expert Richard Norton for his expertise in different weapons systems,” Zubiri said. Zubiri competed the sport when he was younger. “I had the opportunity to join several national competitions and the honor to represent the Philippines at the First World Arnis Tournament held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in 1989, under the invitation of the Cañete Family of Doce Pares and WEKAF. I will forever be grateful to them for allowing me to compete in their tournament,” Zubiri said.

RLC’s net profit rises 7.9% to P6.15b



Ray S. Eñano, Editor Roderick T. dela Cruz, Assistant Editor SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017

More branches needed —BSP


People make line up for Nintendo’s new video game console Switch during its presentation in Tokyo on January 13, 2017. Nintendo on January 13 unveiled its new Switch game console, which works both at home and on-the-go, as it looks to offset disappointing Wii U sales and go head to head with rival Sony’s hugely popular PlayStation 4. AFP

By Julito G. Rada

PSE COMPOSITE INDEX Closing January 13, 2017

8300 7840 7380 6920


Star Cruises chooses Manila as home port


By Othel V. Campos

6460 6000

7,238.52 26.03


Closing JANUARY 13, 2017 43.00





HIGH P49.57 LOW P49.660 AVERAGE P49.622 VOLUME 411.100M

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 Friday, January 13, 2017



US Dollar Peso

United States












Hong Kong























131.3793 13.2104

Saudi Arabia







































New Zealand







1.5687 Source: PDS Bridge


ONG KONG-based Star Cruises said Friday it has designated Manila as the first home port for cruise ship Superstar Virgo as part of a plan to increase the group’s exposure in the growing Philippine cruise tourism market.

Star Cruises president Ang Moo Lim said the company was looking forward to more trips to the Philippines aboard Superstar Virgo and the company’s other cruise liners. “We are confident that this will bring a new kind of experience for the Filipino traveler. One thing we made sure of is the hassle-free documentation needed to ride the boat. No need for visas unless you to disembark in Taiwan for a longer stay,” he

said. The travel period for the months of March to May will kick off on March 19, 24 and 29 on a 6-day/5-night cruising departing from Manila to Laoag, Kaoshiung in Taiwan and Hong Kong and back to Manila on the gala or last night of cruise. The cruise liner noted that the months of March to May were the best months of the year to ply the high seas, with less typhoons and tamer winds and

current. The company is giving an early bird discount for those who will book ahead starting from $490 per person on a twin-sharing accommodation. The third and fourth members of a group are also up for a 50 percent discount from $245 per person. Star Cruises, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Kong Kong, was the first major cruise liner to recruit Filipinos as crew 23 years ago. “And now we are pleased to be the first international cruise line to welcome Filipinos on board Superstar Virgo as our guests from our homeport in Manila. Nearly 25 million people have enjoyed a cruise in 2016 and we are extending this opportunity for Filipinos to enjoy their time at an affordable price,” said Lim.

Star Cruises have scheduled 20 dockings in the Philippines. The dock is located at Pier 15 at the back of Manila Hotel. The Philippine cruise industry jumped 62 percent in the last five years from 2012 to 2016, data from the Tourism Department show. Tourism Assistant Secretary Ma. Lourdes Japson said the industry expects about 117 cruise calls in 2017 with an estimated foreign passenger count of 84,000. “Ports most visited are Manila, Puerto Princesa and Boracay for the mid-sized and large ships. For expedition cruises, islands more visited are Coron, El Nido, Romblon, Camiguin, Kalanggaman, Limawasa, Cebu, Bohol, Hundred Islands and Siargao,” she said.

8 non-life insurers in merger talks, 4 to close down By Gabrielle Binaday THE Insurance Commission on Friday said eight non-life insurers were working out a merger to comply with the minimum paid-up capital requirement of P550 million. Newly-appointed Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said four companies will also cease operations due to the higher capital. Life and and non-life insurers should have a recorded net worth of P250 million at the end of 2013 and P550 million at the end of 2016. The level is to increase to P900 million in 2019 and P1.3 billion by the end of 2022.

Funa said three non-life insurers and one life insurer formally expressed their intention to voluntary stop operations. Four pairs of non-life insurers have taken the merger and acquisition route, while two non-life companies plan to bringing in new investors who will acquire control over their firms. “We are now reviewing their formal proposals. However, we can only reveal their identities upon approval of their application for voluntary cessation or plan for merger/consolidation,” Funa said. He said several companies planned to invite new investors in

order to comply with the mandatory increase in the capitalization requirement. Some companies are now conducting due diligence. The Philippines at the end of 2016 had four life and non-life insurers, 66 non-life insurers and 27 life insurers. IC said the results of the audit conducted on the 2015 financial statements of insurance companies showed that 24 life insurance companies and 13 non-life insurance companies were compliant with the P550 million-requirement. Less than 10 non-life insurance companies, meanwhile, need a negligible amount to meet the existing capitalization requirement.

“Despite the expected decrease in the number of industry players, the IC remains optimistic of its robust growth backed-up by the mandatory increase in capitalization requirement, among others,” the regulator said. Total assets of insurance industry as of end of the third quarter of 2016 amounted to P1.32 trillion, up 21 percent from P1.08 trillion posted in the same period in 2015. Funa said the imposition of higher capitalization requirement would be beneficial to the insuring public and enable the country’s insurance industry to compete with their Asean counterparts.

Meralco forms renewable energy unit, bares project By Alena Mae S. Flores MANILA Electric Co., the biggest retailer of electricity, launched Friday its renewable energy unit Spectrum and teamed up with Robinsons Novaliches to build a 1.87-megawatt solar project. Meralco said in a statement Spectrum’s launch signaled its foray into renewable energy and other technologies as part of its commitment to sustainability. “The Meralco brands if expertise in energy puts Spectrum in a unique industry position as we move towards our mission to be a one-stop-shop for renewable energy solutions,” Spectrum president Jose Rainier Reyes said. He said Spectrum aimed to provide tailor-fit solutions for in-


dustrial, industrial and residential customers through their in-depth understanding of energy consumption behaviors and the company’s strategic partnerships with world-class technology partners. “We strive for continued innovation and to be at the cutting edge of renewable technology,” Reyes said. Spectrum offers customers outright purchase and lease or managed services. Aside from reducing the cost of energy and generating power from clean sources, solar adoption monetizes the roof, enhances property value and reduces utilization of air-conditioning units since solar panels provide insulation from the heat of solar radiation.

BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas urged banks and other financial institutions to put up more branches nationwide so that financial services will be felt by the large number of unbanked Filipino households. The result of the 2014 Consumer Finance Survey released by Bangko Sentral on Friday showed 86 percent of Filipino households did not have a deposit account, while only 14 percent saved their money in banks. The foremost reason cited by the respondents for not opening a deposit account was not having enough money to keep an account. They also cited the far location of a bank, high service charges, a high minimum balance and lack of trust on banks. “Bank branching must be encouraged so that their services will be felt by the majority of population,” Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said in a briefing. “Banking services must be more accessible to everyone, a very important thing, for us to have a more inclusive economic growth. We need to strengthen efforts toward greater financial inclusion. We have already started this and we need to sustain this,” Guinigundo said. Monetary Board member Felipe Medalla said aside from bank branching, banks must also be allowed to have cash agents, and people must “trust these cash agents.” The survey also showed that majority of household heads employed in private establishments and government were banked. In contrast, majority of household heads who are selfemployed, worked for private household, other household’s farm, and in other informal occupations are unbanked.

IN BRIEF URC’s net income rises 22% to P15.1b UNIVERSAL Robina Corp., the largest snack food maker, said net income attributable to equity holders of the parent increased 22 percent to P15.14 billion in year ending September 2016 from P12.38 billion a year ago, despite the decline in sales from international operations. URC said in a financial report filed with the Philippine Stock Exchange consolidated revenues inched up 2.4 percent to P111.63 billion. Sales from URC’s branded consumer foods segment, which accounts for the bulk of total revenues, rose slightly to P91.37 billion from P90.73 billion in 2015. Net sales from BCFG domestic operations rose 4 percent to P59.92 billion from P57.6 billion in 2015, mainly driven by readyto-drink beverages, chocolates and noodles with double-digit growths. Jenniffer B. Austria

MB shutters rural bank in Batangas

FIRST METRO-PHILEQUITY DEAL. First Metro Securities Brokerage Corp., the stockbrokerage arm

of the Metrobank Group, signs a distribution agreement with one of the country’s leading mutual fund providers, Philequity Management Inc. At the signing ceremony are (from left) FirstMetroSec institutional sales and business development head Mhelvin Abajon, president Gonzalo Ordoñez and chairman Rabboni Francis Arjonillo, Philequity president Edmundo Bunyi Jr.and sales and marketing head Darlene Sy.

THE Monetary Board, the policymaking body of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, closed a financiallyailing rural bank in Batangas on Thursday, the first lender shut down this year. The board prohibited Countryside Cooperative Rural Bank of Batangas from doing business in the Philippines. The board ordered Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver to proceed with the takeover and liquidation of the bank. The state-run PDIC took over the bank the following day. Countryside Cooperative Rural Bank of Batangas is a five-unit rural bank with head office located along national road, Barangay Pallocan, Kanluran, Batangas City. Its four branches are in Balayan, Lemery, Padre Garcia and Tanauan, all in Batangas. The rural bank had 10,552 deposit accounts with total deposit liabilities of P193.2 million as of Sept. 30, 2016. Julito G. Rada




Stocks fall; Nickel Asia slumps T he stock market fell Friday for the third straight day on extended bargain hunting, taking its cue from losses in Wall Street overnight. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index lost 26.03 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,238.52 on a value turnover of P5.4 billion. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 114 to 67, with 55 issues unchanged. Nickel Asia Corp., the biggest nickel miner, slumped 13.7 percent to P7.33, while LT Group Inc. of tobacco and airline tycoon Lucio Tan slipped 2.7 percent to P12.20. SM Prime Holdings Inc., the largest integrated property company, dropped 1.3 percent to

P29.80, while Globe Telecom Inc., the second-biggest telecommunications firm, declined 2.3 percent to P1,700. Wall Street ended in the red overnight as a post-election equities rally—driven by hopes for big stimulus spending under Donald Trump—appears to be running out of steam. Investors were disappointed that the US president-elect did not give details about his plans for the economy when he held his first official media briefing this week.

There was muted reaction to end-of-the-year data from China showing the world’s number-two economy was still struggling on the trade front, with uncertainty over Trump’s upcoming presidency. After a global rally fueled by hopes his election victory would see a boost to the US economy, trading floors are turning more quiet with talk that the surge may have been overdone. Among the main losers in the recent pull-back is the dollar, which soared on expectations the real estate tycoon’s plans for big spending and tax cuts would fan inflation and force the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates. The dollar just last week was hovering around 118.60 yen but

on Thursday dropped below 114 yen after markets were left with scan detail on the presidentelect’s plans for boosting US growth. Equity traders were given a weak lead from Wall Street, where the Dow’s drive for the 20,000-point mark has stalled. Tokyo’s Nikkei ended 0.8 higher after losing more than one percent Thursday but Sydney lost 0.8 percent and Seoul 0.5 percent. Singapore added 0.8 percent but Wellington and Taipei were lower. Hong Kong added 0.4 percent in the afternoon but Shanghai closed down 0.2 percent. There was little excitement over news that Chinese exports fell more than expected last month while

imports came in largely as expected. Figures for the whole year showed exports down 7.7 percent and imports dropping 5.5 percent. The greenback has recovered slightly but remains under pressure while it was also down against the euro and pound. “This is really a pause that we were looking to get even a month ago,” Philip Guarco, global head of fixed-income strategy at JPMorgan Private Bank in New York, told Bloomberg TV. “Rates had moved too far, too fast so we had this sort of reflation exuberance. I think we consolidate here and just wait to see what’s going to happen in terms of execution.” With AFP






FINANCIALS 3.75 96,000 47.9 8,600 91.8 443,530 4.14 198,000 112.5 711,150 1.45 399,000 38.45 80,500 16.1 34,100 19.16 106,900 6.58 18,000 0.68 17,000 1.65 401,000 770 280 0.67 10,535,000 78 3,078,240 0.77 395,000 14.22 40,000 54.8 10,830 230 31,390 145 30 90.3 20 36 700,000 214.2 843,360 1,675 20 76.25 97,050

365,430 410,690 40,782,223 798,300 79,902,745 578,710 3,092,825 552,110 2,047,102 118,461 11,560 669,350 219,150 7,068,160 240,496,397 304,260 569,200 596,377 7,268,458 4,420 1,806 24,588,530 180,747,144 33,500 7,398,659

239,140 2,542,031.50 9,896,050 384,000 -325,620 391,598 46,150 15,789,245.50 8,360 99,752 -4,891,942 1,806 1,483,480 -106,363,946 322,734.50

43.5 4.41 0.86 1.4 17.8 0.208 86 11.66 15.96 22.85 19.6 60 96.35 105 1.96 6.45 11.96 12.4 6.27 7.19 5.2 21.75 68.9 12.3 16 6.1 1.81 211 2.59 3.71 28.6 29.5 27.1 14.44 276.8 3.22 9.7 10.26 2.3 5.65 1.58 74.3 5.11 230 5 2.76 11.62 4.26 0.145 1.5 172.3 4.3 1.84 1.07

INDUSTRIAL 43.85 1,729,100 4.48 939,000 0.86 1,021,000 1.41 528,000 17.8 40,500 0.208 420,000 94 18,250 11.8 10,176,100 15.96 897,100 23 34,200 19.8 1,900 60 8,340 103.3 490 105 610 1.97 121,000 6.45 555,900 11.98 30,400 12.6 10,755,300 6.36 160,100 7.4 257,700 5.3 13,738,400 22.2 1,636,100 68.9 52,150 12.3 23,200 16.02 21,800 6.1 92,200 1.83 1,075,000 212 355,890 2.59 167,000 3.71 4,000 28.6 300 29.5 3,623,800 27.9 732,300 14.44 910,000 278 218,570 3.3 211,000 9.7 4,550,100 11.58 44,800 2.32 846,000 5.74 293,900 1.58 251,000 75.2 1,107,820 5.2 153,400 238 16,660 5.05 1,652,400 2.76 91,000 11.76 2,320,300 4.28 24,000 0.145 870,000 1.54 285,000 175 820,900 4.3 9,000 1.85 6,299,000 1.14 83,000

75,803,765 4,184,040 894,000 742,720 726,768 89,780 1,577,773.50 119,746,964 14,360,440 783,055 37,600 500,400 48,093.50 65,390 238,820 3,585,933 364,248 135,326,310 1,020,446 1,890,991 72,574,137 36,043,205 3,595,253 285,360 358,974 563,317 1,974,310 75,468,042 434,100 15,560 8,580 107,451,925 20,425,410 13,188,264 60,967,076 680,510 44,362,806 489,480 1,950,520 1,665,372 403,470 83,112,516 796,791 3,938,888 8,332,793 252,570 27,193,126 102,320 126,950 436,120 143,421,247 39,400 11,733,720 89,730

18,360,240 21,800 880 1,721,384 -6,019,532 -500,400 54,248,850 -471,202 -88,309 19,477,783 640,410 -188,136.50 -199,650 62,630 -30 -23,854,948 -77,168,045 -10,540,620 -7,623,290 7,510,732 -35,660 -15,770,316 818,800 -1,596,782 32,137,073.50 1,409,735 72,550 3,874,954 71,966,845 18,740 -

0.435 74.85 13.56 1.22 6 0.33 797.5 8.96 13.4 8.1 0.188 1,335 5.86 75.95 4.71 1.32 8.04 12.74 6.96 0.047 1.2 2.02 99.1 685.5 1.26 264.6 0.295 0.195 0.26

0.415 74.75 13.14 1.22 6 0.305 790 8.86 13.06 7.91 0.187 1,313 5.83 75.05 4.71 1.2 7.98 12.2 6.85 0.044 1.2 2 97.5 677 1.24 261 0.29 0.187 0.26

HOLDING FIRMS 0.425 11,140,000 74.8 421,490 13.2 2,970,400 1.22 7,000 6 174,100 0.31 1,370,000 792 353,420 8.92 496,700 13.08 7,529,600 8.1 2,900 0.187 20,000 1,320 172,550 5.83 24,200 75.05 856,700 4.71 1,000 1.2 15,371,000 8.04 954,400 12.2 7,585,100 6.89 9,002,500 0.044 115,300,000 1.2 40,000 2 3,000 98.8 208,850 681 181,990 1.25 119,000 262.8 11,360 0.295 370,000 0.187 30,000 0.26 50,000

4,733,150 31,529,961 39,557,890 8,540 1,044,600 424,150 280,610,090 4,428,086 98,658,154 23,414 3,750 227,836,580 141,416 64,542,713 4,710 19,124,690 7,655,947 93,618,910 62,082,888 5,197,800 48,000 6,020 20,500,435 123,827,575 148,700 2,985,396 107,950 5,700 13,000

6,347,370.50 -17,798,758 67,773,855 1,698,592 -3,325,514 106,999,335 20,800,270 19,100 -711,854.00 -26,760,396 -4,846,974 -22,500 -30,000 8,441,937 -4,095,295 989,120 31,900.00 -

7.78 1.19 6.65 2.53 0.66 34 3.21 5.16 0.58 1.1 1.44 0.194 0.62 52 0.71 0.164 1.69 1.01 1.25 4.21 3.91 0.154 0.26

7.6 1.15 6.11 2.45 0.61 33.6 3.16 5.14 0.56 1.05 1.39 0.185 0.59 50.75 0.7 0.15 1.66 1 1.19 4.21 3.78 0.146 0.26

PROPERTY 7.6 7,700 1.17 1,030,000 6.65 7,000 2.5 246,000 0.62 29,667,000 34 3,922,900 3.17 747,000 5.15 258,600 0.57 15,709,000 1.06 38,000 1.39 862,000 0.194 286,110,000 0.61 4,406,000 51.85 612,420 0.71 102,000 0.15 770,000 1.67 3,236,000 1 1,665,000 1.25 182,000 4.21 1,000 3.78 31,673,000 0.15 21,030,000 0.26 10,000

58,587 1,194,180 43,310 609,070 18,732,790 132,769,265 2,379,540 1,331,783 8,959,510 41,380 1,204,790 54,946,660 2,653,880 31,538,972.50 71,420 118,870 5,445,780 1,666,550 220,950 4,210 120,908,080 3,150,120 2,600

-38,000 6,650 -15,400 -28,765,905 312,230 599,967 -4,431,240.00 156,050 -12,200 -281,684.50 10,500 48,180 -2,662,730 -53,424,400 146,840 -





3.9 47.9 92.55 4.14 112.7 1.46 38.45 16.2 19.2 6.79 0.68 1.7 791 0.69 78.5 0.78 14.24 55.5 238.2 149 90.3 36 217.4 1,675 76.35

3.75 47.55 91.8 4 111.9 1.45 38.4 16.1 19 6.58 0.68 1.65 770 0.64 78 0.76 14.22 54.8 230 145 90.3 34.95 213.4 1,675 76.2


44 4.58 0.91 1.44 18.82 0.215 94 11.9 16.12 23 19.9 60 105 109 1.98 6.6 12.1 12.7 6.49 7.4 5.36 22.2 69.35 12.3 16.5 6.13 1.91 215.6 2.61 3.95 28.6 30.15 27.9 14.6 283.4 3.3 9.9 11.58 2.32 5.78 1.63 75.2 5.2 238 5.05 2.8 11.76 4.28 0.147 1.56 175.2 4.4 1.92 1.14


0.435 74.85 13.4 1.22 6 0.33 793.5 8.92 13.4 7.91 0.188 1,315 5.86 75.4 4.71 1.32 8 12.54 6.95 0.046 1.2 2.02 99.1 677 1.25 263 0.295 0.195 0.26


7.78 1.17 6.11 2.53 0.61 33.9 3.21 5.15 0.57 1.1 1.39 0.185 0.62 51.2 0.7 0.155 1.68 1.01 1.19 4.21 3.87 0.15 0.26










4.35 32 26.4 1.6 3.28 29.95 1.09 0.9 5.09

4.12 30 26 1.56 3.23 29.55 1.06 0.89 5.01

4.32 32 26 1.56 3.28 29.8 1.06 0.9 5.04

2,100,000 6,900 2,592,900 131,000 529,000 11,862,700 2,612,000 127,000 2,480,400

8,896,610 208,265 67,704,800 204,820 1,722,890 352,647,890 2,786,040 113,380 12,485,411

-838,160 -30,683,750 1,629,080 -215,977,105 2,140 -4,398,436


7.51 48.1 1.36 0.55 0.054 5.49 6.27 0.072 2.69 98.5 9.9 8.55 2 2.95 962 1,730 6.3 16.4 2.93 16.3 76.2 0.009 9 0.236 1.5 3.33 15.4 4.35 2.5 4.14 4.1 20.95 2.92 5.35 3.2 9.8 140 10.08 1,507 1.43 0.56 41.1 75 6.15 2.65 1.08 3.34 0.355

7.5 47.7 1.36 0.5 0.052 5.32 5.89 0.07 2.58 97.6 9.8 8.4 2 2.95 961 1,680 6.26 15.4 2.84 15.96 74.8 0.009 9 0.227 1.43 3.27 15.38 4.14 2.36 3.98 4.02 20.9 2.8 5.1 3.18 9.8 140 9.94 1,463 1.37 0.48 39.6 73.1 6.11 2.61 1.02 3.26 0.35

SERVICES 7.51 10,400 48 36,700 1.36 1,000 0.53 3,170,000 0.053 78,300,000 5.49 2,500 6.27 8,838,400 0.072 27,350,000 2.59 4,520,000 97.6 171,140 9.8 5,800 8.5 631,000 2 1,000 2.95 1,000 962 1,470 1,700 70,535 6.26 29,800 15.4 144,500 2.9 5,756,000 15.96 6,600 75.15 578,590 0.009 21,000,000 9 500,100 0.235 13,320,000 1.43 436,000 3.27 27,000 15.38 1,400 4.14 1,057,000 2.5 5,000 4.14 10,995,000 4.02 3,220,000 20.95 900 2.82 1,837,000 5.1 72,200 3.18 23,000 9.8 400 140 30 9.96 314,700 1,481 196,620 1.42 52,814,000 0.495 139,390,000 40.8 2,496,900 73.5 650,270 6.14 112,600 2.62 329,000 1.04 38,474,000 3.26 397,000 0.35 50,000

78,015 1,760,445 1,360 1,705,380 4,124,840 13,334 54,621,832 1,955,890 11,854,970 16,761,746 57,390 5,364,822 2,000 2,950 1,413,170 120,011,460 187,109 2,240,004 16,589,430 106,142 43,535,460.50 189,000 4,500,900 3,096,260 643,250 88,880 21,538 4,406,690 12,200 45,029,040 13,011,940 18,840 5,199,980 374,799 73,170 3,920 4,200 3,140,305 291,058,595 74,394,440 73,123,250 101,517,535 47,974,110.50 688,371 862,150 40,606,980 1,306,210 17,700

-53,000 -14,244,659 -1,478,500 -7,681,237.50 49,500 -4,265 -21,091,575 278,380 -36,391,890 -20,700 -1,670,990 -26,916,200 -3,966,530 -109,660 -25,440 4,200 182,912 -47,709,645 18,081,080.00 408,500 93,955,560 -6,906,052.50 -81,280 15,679,070 -577,520 -


0.0033 3.04 5.44 2.2 0.52 0.45 12.16 3.21 0.265 0.218 0.221 0.012 0.013 2.72 8.38 2.86 1.11 0.011 4.1 0.012 9.17 3.66 134 2.93

0.0034 3.11 5.52 2.23 0.52 0.465 12.16 3.25 0.265 0.218 0.222 0.013 0.013 2.72 8.38 2.86 1.11 0.012 4.11 0.012 9.17 3.72 134.9 2.94

0.0033 2.96 5.26 2.17 0.52 0.44 11.7 2.89 0.26 0.21 0.22 0.012 0.013 2.3 7.33 2.73 1.01 0.011 4.1 0.012 8.98 3.61 133.9 2.93

MINING & OIL 0.0033 193,000,000 2.96 2,544,000 5.26 357,700 2.23 16,000 0.52 213,000 0.455 1,170,000 11.78 46,600 3 18,999,000 0.26 530,000 0.214 7,840,000 0.22 1,180,000 0.013 6,600,000 0.013 1,100,000 2.35 10,694,000 7.33 42,208,400 2.82 523,000 1.05 762,000 0.011 18,500,000 4.11 11,000 0.012 10,800,000 9.16 2,216,500 3.62 972,000 134 878,150 2.93 21,000

637,600 7,794,290 1,924,821 35,290 110,760 524,350 549,026 57,108,700 137,850 1,663,190 260,600 79,800 14,300 25,976,870 324,094,397 1,452,390 802,530 207,800 45,200 129,600 20,086,695 3,528,470 117,682,909 61,610

3,972,070 -108,275 -3,814,450 -77,700 794,950 -92,545,552 721,291 97,740 -13,593,535 -


48.05 544 530 103 104 113.5 518 5.9 1,020 1,035 1,058 1,149 1,030 77.4 81 77.5 79.5 77.5

48.05 544 542 103 104 113.5 519 5.9 1,020 1,035 1,058 1,150 1,030 77.4 81 77.5 79.6 77.5

47.65 544 530 103 104 113.5 518 5.9 1,020 1,025 1,057 1,149 1,030 77.4 81 77.5 79.5 77.5

PREFERRED 48.05 207,400 544 140 540 35,090 103 25,200 104 10 113.5 50,000 519 2,040 5.9 75,500 1,020 19,810 1,035 4,245 1,057 13,900 1,150 200 1,030 20,000 77.4 3,000 81 510 77.5 13,400 79.6 81,080 77.5 71,780

9,951,570 76,160 18,894,620 2,595,600 1,040 5,675,000 1,056,770 445,450 20,206,200 4,376,025 14,699,250 229,980 20,600,000 232,200 41,310 1,038,500 6,445,867 5,562,950

6,851,205 -675,000 -1,030,820 -445,450 0 -810 -





WARRANTS 2.26 74,000



SME 9.01 4.15 3.15 8.26

1,266,882 1,286,420 15,730 15,472,832

-18,100 24,900 -5,087,547





9.18 4.25 3.14 8.2

9.18 4.25 3.15 8.52

9.01 4.12 3.14 8.2






18,246,057 70,681,075 175,046,944









140,200 309,000 5,000 1,859,000


VALUE 1,747.62 (DOWN) 6.49 598,652,085.60 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 11,205.82 (UP) 5.00 1,194,606,799.806 HOLDING FIRMS 7,373.60 (DOWN) 1.87 1,145,814,234.828 PROPERTY 3,251.67 (DOWN) 24.89 SERVICES 1,387.01 (DOWN) 7.62 837,457,985.10 MINING & OIL 12,238.26 (DOWN) 347.59 1,005,478,735.894 PSEI 7,238.52 (DOWN) 26.03 564,959,241.341 All Shares Index 4,360.83 (DOWN) 19.15 5,365,271,947.77 Gainers:67; Losers: 1114; Unchanged: 55; Total: 236

RLC’s net income rises 7.9% to P6.15b By Jenniffer B. Austria ROBINSONS Land Corp., the property unit of tycoon John Gokongwei, said Friday net income in the year ending September 2016 rose 7.9 percent to P6.15 billion from P5.7 billion year-on-year, boosted by higher revenues from malls and offices and increased residential sales. Robinsons Land said in a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange total gross revenues increased 14 percent to P22.51 billion from P19.71 billion a year ago. The group’s commercial center unit accounted for P9.96 billion of the real estate revenues, up 9.4 percent from P9.10 billion on year on the opening of new malls in Cebu City, Tagum (Davao), General Trias (Cavite) and Jaro (Iloilo). Rental revenues from office buildings division jumped 30 percent to P2.91 billion from P2.24 billion mainly due to the contribution from new office developments completed in over the past three years. System-wide occupancy rate ended at a high 96 percent as of September 30, 2016 The residential division posted revenues of P7.83 billion for the year, up 18.2 percent from P6.62 billion on year, due to a higher level of buyers meeting the equity requirement of 15 percent in recognizing sales based on the percentage of construction completion.

ePLDT launches new app By Darwin G. Amojelar ePLDT Inc. said Friday it launched a digital business solution designed to help companies process incoming and outgoing visitor traffic. Nico Alcoseba, vice president and head of PLDT’s Disruptive Business Group, the Enhanced Visitor Experience app provides a window to what kind of culture exists beyond the reception area. “With EVE, companies can provide an interactive visitor experience to people coming to the office from the moment they first logged in to the time their host is ready to accommodate them,” Alcoseba said. “It’s a solution that guests, receptionists and employees will find simple and enjoyable,” he added. EVE offers a digital endto-end visitor-reception-host interface system through an automated visitor information recording and extraction. “EVE addresses real-life enterprise challenges ranging from long queues, mismanagement of guest information when using pen and paper, inaccurate guest reports, and disorganized guest-host relations,” Alcoseba said. With EVE, guests simply have to register on the app using the tablet at the front desk and select the person to visit. Once done, the host will be notified via e-mail that his or her guest has already arrived. This information is recorded in the system and may be referred for future use. Storage is not a problem since users can opt to use the cloud. “This feature can help eliminate long queues at the reception area since returning visitors already have information stored,” Alcoseba said.

Home / Design



f your home has a kitchen, odds these days are you have a kitchen island, or you’re pining for one. Pining hard! What started as a clever way to add extra counter space has morphed into so much more. And it’s evolving at a breakneck pace. In case you are poised to make some kitchen upgrades soon or just want to drool over the latest designs, here are some kitchen island ideas that could be popping up in homes near you.

prep, but also for dining, crafts, homework, and more, more space is required for all these activities. Plus, since open floor plans are all the rage, kitchen islands often serve as room dividers—and, as such, can be larger to better carve up a space.

Trend No. 1: Kitchen Islands are getting huge Simply put: The kitchen island Trend No. 2: Kitchen Islands is taking over, expanding ever are multiplying larger. If one kitchen island is good, The reason for this expansion two is better, right? That’s the is obvious: Since kitchen islands reasoning behind double islands, are being used not only for food which are becoming major selling



features in larger kitchens. Trend No. 3: Kitchen islands are the new appliance centers So many more appliances can be accommodated when they’re not limited to the counters along the walls. Microwaves and dishwashers have been designed with drawers, rather than doors, so they fit nicely into kitchen islands and you don’t have to bend down to use them. So what are some of the latest additions? Some of the more popular appliances they install in kitchen islands include the following: • Cooktops with special features like a teppanyaki grill • Wok stations • Open-flame barbecues • Warming drawers • Wine refrigerators • Ice machines • Ovens (or second ovens or steam ovens) • Regular or display sinks Trend No. 4: Kitchen islands double as homework/ entertainment stations As we move away from bulky desktop computers toward portable laptops and tablets, the kitchen island has become the ideal place to set up shop—for work, entertainment, and more. Parents preparing a meal can easily keep track of what their kids are looking at on their computer screens while they’re doing their homework on the kitchen island. Crafts projects that require access to a stove, sink, or oven are more easily done on

PETS ARE MOST WELCOME. Chow time in this kitchen island includes the family doggies. the kitchen island. And baking that requires hours of kneading, shaping, filling, or decorating is so much easier when you can sit at an island rather than stand at a counter. Just about the only domestic activity that doesn’t take place there is sleeping, but it’s probably only a matter of time before some designer comes up with an island that doubles as a foldout bed.

FOR BIG GATHERINGS. The kitchen island has become the ideal place to set up shop—for work, entertainment, and more.

HAVE WHEELS WILL TRAVEL. Table on wheels can double as a kitchen island, bar, serving cart, etc.

No room for a kitchen island? Now if the kitchen island craze has got you seriously depressed because you live in an older home or an apartment, or you just plain don’t have room, fear not. Designers have come up with all sorts of clever alternatives to built-in kitchen islands, some as small as one square foot. And many are on wheels, so they can do double duty as kitchen island, bar, serving cart, etc. So no matter how much (or how little) room you’ve got, just know that your kitchen island dreams can become a reality.


Tagô – which means “hidden” in Filipino – is Dino Mañosa’s ode to the Filipino’s desire for a weekend “hideaway” to escape the fast pace of city living. The subdivision, developed by Mañosa Properties, is located along Tagaytay’s Bonifacio Drive, just 300 meters off the busy Aguinaldo Highway. Each home at this development has been designed following the tenets of Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa, a champion of contemporary Filipino architecture (See photo). The good news is that anybody can own a Tagô home via the fractional ownership scheme, where the property is owned and shared by more than one person, but with a legally divided title deed. Usage rights as well as maintenance and upkeep costs, are divided equitably among homeowners according to the size of the fraction purchased. This means, your share of the property belongs to you, and you can upgrade your share at anytime, benefit from any property appreciation or even hand it down to future generations.


Holdings Inc., chief operating officer Willy Uy recently awarded weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz the house promised her by the company after her stellar silver medal finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The house and lot was turned over to her at the Deca Clark Resort and Residences in Angeles City, Pampanga. Also in photo is 8990 Holdings assistant general manager Nicolas Cruz.

Bullish... From B4

Manila and Quezon Cities are also offering substantial condominium products. Manila City condominium projects that were launched from 2009 to 2015 reached over 20,000 units. Quezon City condominium projects for the same period breached the 40,000 unit-mark. These numbers are staggering at a glance, but they in fact pale in comparison to the projected housing needs in Metro Manila of more than 100,000 housing units per year (National Economic and Development Au-

thority projections). While this total includes the “can’t afford” category, at least 350,000 of the projected housing needs in Metro Manila per year are coming from households that can afford to buy residential units.

Retail market

The commercial retail malls went on with their usual way of generating income. Pinnacle Research monitored that the SM Group has 58 malls, and are targeted to reach the 60mall mark in the very near future,

while the Robinsons Group has Maison mall. The Okada Manila was recent42 malls. ly launched, which is a 44-hectare hotel-casino complex of the Hotel and gaming Tourist arrivals are at pace to Tiger Resort, Leisure and Enterreach the six million-mark by tainment Inc. This luxury hotel end of the year. This is good will offer a total of 993 rooms news to operators of more than to the market, ranging from spa20,000 deluxe hotel rooms in cious 60sqm-rooms to luxurious 1,400sqm villas. Metro Manila. The Vista Land Group intends SM Group recently opened its five-star Conrad Hotel in the to open six hotels under the MelSM Mall of Asia complex as la Brand soon. operated by the Hilton Group. This 347-room hotel sits on First mover advantage top of the two-floor high-end S The Ayala and SM Groups

continue to pace real estate developments. From the real estate business alone, the Ayala Group recorded a net income of Php 15.1 billion for the first nine months of the year. The group will continue to develop townships and will grow its recurring income base. The SM Group, on the other hand, its property business generated a net income of Php 17.5 billion. Likewise, it will continue to expand its recurring income developments, as well as property sales. The Megaworld Group allocat-

ed Php 150 billion for its capital expenditure for the remainder of 2016 and up to 2017. Filinvest Group is devoting Php 5 billion just for housing and condominium developments in the next three years. It is likewise spending more on its Filinvest Corporate City. The Robinsons Group has been busy building condominium projects for sale and expanding its recurring income base (office, malls and hotels). All of the big players are competing for their market share.

and interior design. Now he has been in the decorative painting business for 20 years. His work, aside from the paint colour charts with techniques developed over the years integrates other portfolios including mouldings, floorings, Roof lighting solutions, attic ladders among others. But much of the buzz around Lacsamana’s business seems to revolve around paints. Now his sons, Lucas and Dylan, both of whom have inherited his passion for art, help him out, presenting a different, just innovated or upgraded pattern, design or blend of colours to their old man. There seems to be a lot of experimentation and novelty going on.

Joel D. Lacsamana, Editor



SAY GOODBYE TO BORING WALLS Malaysia-based designer jazzes up home interiors via creative painting jobs JAZZING UP A LIVING ROOM. Turning a run-of-the-mill room into a creative space.


ho said art can only exist on canvas or paper, be sculpted or only hang on walls? Sometimes the walls themselves are the art. This is the impression you get when you step into the art design world of Juan Lacsamana, a Philippines-born interior designer/artist, now based in Kuching, Malaysia who recently visited Manila to showcase his work.

LACSAMANA, who has lived in Malaysia for over 30 years, believes that painting a wall is not your regular house project. Charming colours, exquisite designs and textures, even the avant-garde are on display, literally everywhere he sets his brush and paints. In houses of various important “Dato’s” and “Tan Sri’s” from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching, Lacsamana uses bold paints: reds, greens, blues, even silver, copper, although he can use subdued browns mixed with metallic golds . A door with the metallic paint collection adds a shimmery zest to the otherwise characterless black door. A charcoal grey rough-textured 3D panel with a touch of glitter winks alluringly from one corner as one walks through the room. 3D wall panels give extra dimension to walls bringing them to life with modern and contemporary textured wall designs. It would make for a perfect attached-to-the-wall headboard, to take your bedroom style to the next level. Or a feature in the sitting room.

PASSING THE TORCH. 19-year-old Dylan in his element, putting the finishing touches to a garden scene…in a dining room.

Curious surfaces When you challenge him to settle on a word that encapsulates his concept for this facet of the business, Lacsamana settles on “painterly”. He also claims the walls “talk” to him, and helps him decide on the design and colors to use for each project. The masterful manipulation of pigments or colourants and surfaces to create the varied finishes certainly describes his company’s engulfing groundwork. “Finishes and decorating techniques ebb and flow according to personal visions combined with current art trends. So we keep evolving, coming up with unique techniques,” said Lacsamana. “We are always thinking of ways to turn a run-of-the-mill room into the creative space it can be,” he said. While some of the extensive works to have been undertaken by Lacsamana’s firm have been with hotels, restaurants and bars, and commercial complexes, he said any decorative paint can be scaled down, and custom-made to suit the client’s preference and budget. “Yes, we work with hotels and other high end property developments and interior design projects, but it is wrong to assume that these decorative finishes are only within the means of these categories of clients,: he said. “Even the thriftiest of clients can still find something that will suit them.” “Asians now have an opportunity to move away from drab plain walls,” he said. “The walls that you live work or play in should not be drab and cold but a reflection of your passions and life style.”

Paint schemes

WALLS THAT “TALK”. Avante-garde on display at a music room.

Manila, Bahrain and Singapore, moved to Malaysia after marrying a Dayak tribe lass, and raised a family in bucolic but vibrantly-artsy Kuching, where he branched out to start his own interior design outfit. While working last week on a Manila home of a friend, where all sorts of spectacular colours came to life, Lacsamana explained to Manila Standard how it all started by chance. “I was always an artist at heart, hanging out with boyhood friends like Pandy Aviado and R.M. de Leon at Philamlife Innate passion Homes,” said Lacsamana. There, Lacsamana, an interior de- the young artist grew up painting, signer who has worked in printing, installing all sorts of art-

works in the laid back confines of this Quezon City suburb in the late 70s and early 80s. Lacsamana opted for a promising career in interior design, which brought him projects from Manila to other countries in the next two decades. “It was natural that as my craft and entrepreneurial projects in interior designing grew, I fell back on my innate passion to make things more beautiful, and functional. I soon found out that combining the two makes good business sense,” he said. It is the sensual pleasure of seeing beautiful finishings on walls and interiors that soon gave way to the interest of decorative painting

“We aim to expand the aesthetic and functional range in the course of time,” said Lacsamana. “Someone watching the paint job going over and over, with every inch, putting on layers of colour and texture, must think there must be an easier way to do this. There is. It’s called wallpaper. But painting is different. There are no joints. It lasts longer. It is not like wall paper that is affected by tears.” For the future, Lacsamana intends to continue his experimentation with creative wall painting. He has set his sights on his sons, both Malaysian citizens, to continue his iconic work, and take over the company when he decides to hang up his brushes and paint. Which he acknowledged may not be that soon. “I’ll probably work as a consultant to my sons, but once an artist, always an artist: I’ll accept projects here and there when “the walls talk to me.”

Bullish prospects for PHI real estate in 2017 BY NOW, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s off-the-cuff remarks do not seem too far off from those of US Presidentelect Donald Trump. Politicians, businessmen, and the people of both countries are gradually accepting the results of their respective democratic processes, even if these taste bitter to some groups. Locally, the expected wait-and-see attitude is steadily giving way to taking advantage of the supply-and-demand gaps in the different sectors of the real estate market. The country’s continued economic growth, combined with low- interest regime, is compelling enough to trigger positive developments. The next step is to see if the strong economic footing the Philippines displayed in the fourth quarter will impact the local real estate market in a good way.

Time not a-wasting

Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services, recently quoted forecasts by the Information Technology - Business Process Management (IT-BPM) road map 2017 to 2022 which pegged growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry between 12% to 18%. This is two to three times the world’s average of 6% annual growth. Real estate developers have not wasted time, and in recent years, have been pacing

their developments to satisfy the pent-up demand for office space. The major business districts in Metro Manila comprise over seven million square meters of grade A office buildings or better. While the office stock of grade A and prime grade A office stock seems high, the overall vacancy across these business districts is below 3%. The office market is still a landlord’s market, and given the very high occupancy, rents have been increasing in recent months. The initial fear of softening rents has been averted due to brisk demand for office space, plus the unwelcome news of delayed delivery of office buildings due to lack of skilled workers.

Rents holding up

Rents in Makati Central Business District (CBD) generally held up, where premium grade A buildings have a weighted average of Php 1,350 per sqm per month, grade A buildings have a weighted average is Php 915 per sqm per month, and for grade B&C buildings, the weighted average is Php 715 per sqm per month. Since developers are trying to serve the pent up demand with new stock, overall rents are generally unchanged in the last quarter. The weighted average rent in BGC is Php 905 per sqm per month. The

average rent of grade A office buildings in Ortigas is still at Php 660 per sqm per month since older buildings are weighing down the rents of newer stock. Alabang and Bay Area business districts have a slightly higher weighted average rent of Php 670 per sqm per month, pulled up by newer stock. Likewise, Quezon City office rents have higher weighted average of Php 680 per sqm per month, due to newer buildings.

Residential market

The Metropolitan Manila Residential Market is dominated by condominium developments in recent years, due to increasing land values. The estimated total number of condominium units will reach over 200,000 by the end of 2016. Based on Pinnacle Research, 44% of the condominium developments are high-end (over Php 7 million), 37% are middle midmarket; and 19% are lower mid-market. With the approval of vertical socialized housing and increase of economic housing price ceiling to Php 1.7 million, the lower mid-market and economic segments are expected to grow in the coming years. Makati and BGC business districts dominate the high-end residential products due to the concentration of expatriates and local executives. Turn to B3

PRESSING NEED FOR HOUSING AMID A BUILDING BOOM. As BPOs continue to look for office spaces; end-users and investors scout for residences; retailers tap Filipinos’ affinity to shopping; tourists fill up hotel rooms, and manufacturers scour the country for industrial spaces, more than 100,000 housing units per year (NEDA projections) continue to be the moving target for Metro Manila’s socialized dwelling needs.


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




HAPPY FISHING. A woman fisher stands by a lake in Sitio Bulogo, Baranggay Matilac in Pigkawayan, Cotabato. She shows a gill net she received through the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s $3-million New Zealand-funded project, which supports the resumption of agricultural livelihoods affected by natural disasters and armed conflict like some areas in Cotabato.

Manila dads approve P14.88-b 2017 budget By Sandy Araneta


ITH a push from the majority, the City Council has approved Manila’s proposed P14.88-billion budget for 2017, as councilors allied with Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada declared their full support for his allocations for priority programs and projects.

Voting 17-13 with four abstaining, councilors on Jan. 3 passed on third and final reading the Proposed Ordinance No. 7810 outlining the Executive Budget of Manila for 2017, a statement released by city hall said Friday. City Council Majority Floor Leader Casimiro Sison of the sixth district said the councilors trust Estrada’s sound

fiscal management. Estrada proved this when he revived, in less than two years, the city’s financial health by paying the P5.5-billion debt left by the previous administration, Sison said. “Considering that Mayor Estrada came in when the city was bankrupt, he was able to pay the debts, he was able to overcome the big deficit in the city,

he showed good fiscal management,” Sison said. Still, the council’s minority bloc questioned the slashed budgets of Manila’s hospitals amounting to more than P300 million. Sison, however, said the minority should trust Estrada. “Maybe, we should give him a chance to revise everything, to put this here or there, because his financial and executive team has studied this,” he added. First district Councilor Ernesto Dionisio Sr., chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, said the budget underwent scrutiny to support the Office of the Mayor’s urgent programs, such as free maintenance medicines for senior citizens, new traffic alleviation projects, and street lighting. “We support all these programs of the mayor. This is an

honest-to-goodness public service, serving the basic needs of the people in the communities,” said Dionisio. The Manila Health Department, Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, and Manila Tricycle Regulatory Office received the highest budget increases for 2017. The health department will receive P1.24 billion, up by P359 million, which came from the miscellaneous and other operating expenses or MOOE for drugs and medicines of the six city-run hospitals. The 2017 budgets of MTPB and MTRO, increased to P265 million (up by P27.2 million) and P149.8 million (up P4.3 million), respectively. The increased appropriations for the traffic and tricycle bureaus, Turn to C2

Makati sets P15m for ‘Nina’-hit LGUs By Joel E. Zurbano THE city government of Makati announced Friday it is sending P15 million in assistance to the local governments of provinces severely affected by the recent Typhoon “Nina.” The City Council approved the release of the budget allocated for the provinces of Quezon, Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Marinduque, following the request of Mayor Abigail Binay. Binay asked for the financial aid as an expression of sympathy and support for the typhoon victims of 27 local government units, which she said are all sisterlocalities of the City of Makati. “I am saddened that our sister-localities had endured such a calamity at a time that was supposed to be a season of joy and hope. As their sister city, Makati is ready to help their affected constituents in the best way possible,” Binay said. Through Resolution No. 201701 of the Makati Disaster Risk

Sto. Nino feasts set in Tondo, Pandacan

GSIS okays P1.6-b loan pack for Albay THE Government Service Insurance System has approved a P1.6-billion concessional loan package for victims in Albay province of Typhoon “Nina,” which ravaged vast areas of the province along with other areas in the country during the Christmas holidays. Beneficiaries of the loan package include both GSIS members and pensioners. Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, who appealed for help in the wake of “Nina” thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and the new GSIS management for the prompt approval of the loan packages. Salceda personally presented Albay’s condition to GSIS officials led by Chairman Wilfredo Maldea and GM Nora Saludares during the agency’s full board meeting last Tuesday, where he proposed the package of calamity

assistance for GSIS members in his province. “Change is coming because the officials’ decisiveness and generosity are elevated,” he noted. As of Jan. 9, damage related to “Nina” in Albay has reached over P9 billion, broken down into P3.7 billion in damaged houses, P569 million in agriculture; P11.14 million in poultry and livestock; and P4.73 billion in infrastructures as reported by both the provincial engineering and local government units. Specifically, Salceda requested three items for cashflow relief and new funds flow to the Albay economy, which were readily approved by the GSIS Board. The lawmaker asked for P1.431 billion in emergency loans at P40,000 each for active members and P20,000 for pensioners. The loans will be payable in three years with a six-month interestfree grace period.

SCHOLAR SUPPORT. Manila North Tollways Corp. president and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco turns over to

Angeles University Foundation president Dr. Joseph Emmanuel L. Angeles a check for P100,000 as the tollway company’s support for AUF’s scholarship program. The turnover was held during the halftime of the NLEX Road Warriors game against Talk ‘N Text Katropa at AUF Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga. The MNTC Scholarship Program now has 28 scholars since the program started in 2012. Joining Franco and Angeles are (from right) MNTC senior vice president Romulo S. Quimbo, PBA Commissioner Chito Y. Narvasa, NLEX Road Warriors head coach Yeng M. Guiao, MNTC COO Raul L. Ignacio and NLEX Road Warriors team manager Ronald T. Dulatre.

QC grants special permits to 4 Cubao bus terminals THE Quezon City Council has granted special use permits to four provincial bus terminals after their companies complied with the necessary regulatory requirements prescribed by the city government. First North Luzon Trans-

port Inc., Bataan Transit Co., Inc., Five Star and Luzon Cisco Transport Inc., which all have terminals at the Cubao area, were granted permits. Their operators also complied with the requirements pre-

Reduction Management Council chaired by the mayor, the appropriation was recommended to the City Council for approval. Under the Philippine DRRM Act of 2010, the local DRRM Council may transfer funds to support disaster risk reduction work of other LDRRMCs, which are declared under a state of calamity, upon the approval of the concerned council. The amount will come from the Quick Response Fund, comprising 30 percent of the city’s total budget for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. The stand-by fund is used in relief and recovery programs intended to normalize living conditions of residents in communities stricken by calamities, disasters and other forms of complex emergencies. DRRM officer Richard Raymund Rodriguez said the 27 recipients of the newly approved financial aid consist of 12 localities in Camarines Sur, six in Albay, four in Marinduque, three in Catanduanes, and two in Quezon province.

scribed by the barangay council in Cubao related to running a bus terminal, garage station and motorpool in the city. As required in Quezon City, bus terminals must be equipped with closed circuit television

surveillance systems, a ticketing and shipping booth, well-maintained toilets, sleeping quarters, baggage area and parking area. Transport terminals are among those business establishments that require a special use permit to op-

erate. These permits are issued subject to an authorization from the City Council through a resolution. The QC Council also authorized a special use permit to City Bus Inc., located at Barangay Sta. Monica in Novaliches. Rio N. Araja

MANILA Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Friday ordered city hall offices to ensure peaceful, safe and orderly Sto. Nino festivities particularly in Tondo and Pandacan, districts that traditionally celebrate the feast of the Holy Infant Jesus. In the Catholic calendar, the feast of the Sto. Nino is celebrated every third Sunday of January, but related activities are held as early as Saturday. The highlight of the festivities in Tondo is the “Lakbayaw (Lakbay-Sayaw)” while that in Pandacan is the “BulingBuling Festival,” a celebration of street dancing where participants come in their best attire. “Per Mayor Estrada’s orders, we organized medical teams for both the Tondo and Pandacan celebrations,” Manila Health Department chief Dr. Ben Yson said. “I know all the hospitals are also on alert for these celebrations. We are deploying ambulances there, which will be manned by medical personnel and paramedics. There will be three teams working in shifts in Tondo, and one team for Pandacan,” Yson added. Sandy Araneta




Police in Tadeo case summoned B By Dexter A. See

AGUIO CITY—The City Council has decided to invite all the involved parties in the celebrated traffic incident at the city’s public market among police officers to a discussion that aims to clear the air and help the council deal with three pending resolutions on the issue.

The decision to invite SPO3 Alberto Tadeo, Senior Superintendent Gregorio Lim, Lim’s aides and security escorts, and regional police officials to the discussion would give city councilors the real

picture of the traffic incident at Baguio’s public market, which has hogged headlines in this city since Christmastime. Tadeo has been reassigned to Apayao province by Lim, the

Cordillera police deputy regional director for administration, after the longtime Baguio traffic officer accosted a vehicle driven by Lim’s men for violating the city’s number-coding traffic scheme. Going with public and social media sentiments that favored the traffic cop, the council has sided with Tadeo. Councilor Edgar M. Avila has filed a resolution condemning the “unceremonious transfer” of Tadeo and declaring Lim as persona non grata in Baguio “for grave abuse of power and authority.” A second resolution, authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot Jr., invited all concerned par-

ties to shed light on the traffic incident, and the third proposal by Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog seeks the reinstatement of Tadeo to the Baguio City Police Office while authorities are still investigating the case. The council reminded Lim that his failure to appear before its regular session on Monday, Jan. 16, will mean a waiver of his right to air his side on the matter, and the legislative body “will be constrained to pursue the passage of the resolution declaring him persona non grata.” The council also required Lim to submit a written comment on the proposed resolu-

tion declaring him persona non grata “that will serve as an added document for the legislators to assess whether there is merit to his response.” The discussion “is part of the due process” to be accorded the policemen “and to merit suggestions and recommendations on how to improve the implementation of the city’s traffic rules and regulations” regardless of what settlement the concerned parties would reach in a meeting to be scheduled. Reports say Tadeo was reassigned to Apayao because of alleged breach of internal police discipline, for issuing side

comments when he apprehended Lim’s driver and security escort for obvious violation of the city’s number coding scheme. However, Tadeo did not issue the driver the necessary traffic citation ticket since the latter supposedly name-dropped Lim as the owner of the vehicle. Still, the councilors think Tadeo’s transfer to Apayao “was obviously grave and unfair,” noting that the policeman would be “deprived of the chance to face his detractors during the conduct of the hearings on the case, due to the distance of his assignment (in Apayao), which is over 400 kilometers away from Baguio.”

Cordillera dengue cases drop by 2% BAGUIO CITY—Dengue fever cases in the Cordillera region have declined by two percent for the first 49 weeks of 2016, health officials here said Thursday. The region tallied 10,561 total cases of dengue for 2016 compared to 10,746 cases the year before, the Department of Health in the Cordillera Administrative Region said. Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, DoHCAR regional director, noted 20 people died due to dengue during the nearly full-year period in 2016, compared to the 13 deaths during the similar period in 2015. Clustering of dengue cases were reported in some barangays in the provinces of Apayao and Kalinga, Legaspi said. Thus, continuous cooperation and coordination of all sectors was encouraged to help drive the campaign against the mosquito-borne dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika viruses, and Japanese encephalitis, she added. Legaspi also called for weekly cleanup drives, especially in areas that have clustering of dengue cases for almost two weeks, to remove the breeding grounds of mosquitos that could carry the deadly virus. Benguet recorded the highest increase at 105 percent with 4,208 cases for the first 49 weeks of 2016 compared to the 2,054 cases during the similar period in 2015 while Baguio City came in second at 69 percent increase with 2,880 dengue cases last year compared to the 1,704 cases recorded in 2015.

Ifugao also reported a 35 percent increase in dengue cases with 1,083 cases during the first 49 weeks of 2016 compared to the 804 cases registered during the similar period the previous year. On the other hand, Kalinga recorded the highest decrease at 68 percent with 791 cases last year compared to the 2,510 dengue cases the previous year followed by Abra which recorded a 63 percent decline with only 378 cases last year compared to the 1,081 cases the previous year. Apayao also registered a 59 percent drop in dengue cases with only 445 cases during the first 49 weeks last year compared to the 1,034 cases during the similar period in 2015 while non-CAR areas reported a 58 percent decrease with 341 dengue cases in 2016 compared to 805 cases during the similar period the previous year. Mountain Province posted a 42 percent decrease in dengue cases with 435 cases last year compared to the recorded 754 cases during the similar period the previous year. Legaspi revealed the age range of the dengue cases was 9 days to 96 years old with the median pegged at 21 years old. Per records, males were the most affected with the dreaded illness registering some 5,670 individuals afflicted equivalent to 53.7 percent while females accounted for 46.3 percent of the total number of dengue suspects regionwide. Dexter A. See


San Juan City Mayor Guia G. Gomez returns the salute of city police officers, led by Sr. Supt. William Segun, who made their New Year’s courtesy call and after the flag-raising ceremony at the City of San Juan Government Center at the Pinaglabanan Shrine complex. Gomez continued to exhort City Hall employees and the police to give their best to sustain the positive achievements of the local government unit.

Palawan health center gets upgrade BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, has renovated Aborlan Municipal Health Office in Magsaysay, Aborlan, Palawan, in line with its rehabilitation program in calamitystricken provinces. Palawan was one of several areas affected by Typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013. A state of ca-

lamity was also declared in the province last year owing to the effects of El Niño. The rehabilitated rural health unit was turned over to local officials in an event attended by BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa, BDO Puerto Princesa-San Pedro branch head Moises Arzaga Jr., Aborlan Mayor Jaime Ortega and Vice

Mayor Lito Tito. BDO Foundation improved the health office’s consultation rooms, treatment rooms, offices, clinics, pharmacy, laboratory and facilities. Areas for children and the elderly were refurbished to provide them spaces to stay comfortably. In keeping with the United Nations Millennium Development

Ozamiz leaders meet to improve peace and order OZAMIZ CITY—The city government recently held a peace and order meeting to foster improved coordination among various institutions, agencies, and stakeholders to bring about a more peaceful Ozamiz. Mayor Aldong Parojinog was overwhelmed with the presence

of the City Peace and Order Council members who wholeheartedly supported his administration. “‘Operation Tokhang’ led by the City PNP [Philippine National Police] has given us and Ozamiznon a sound sleep. This is the result of our renewed trust

and full cooperation with the PNP,” Parojinog said. “Regaining trust in the police and strengthening our unity will truly make our city’s goals and objectives possible,” he added. The city government is serious in eliminating illegal drugs in Ozamiz and helping its victims to

surrender to law enforcers. “I would be very happy seeing illegal drug dealers, pushers, users, victims and patients who willfully surrender before the government. This and more could have not been possible without the full support of all Ozamiznon,” Parojinog said.

City Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espinido, Lt. Col. Hadji alTalib, Prosecutor Gines Beduya, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, DILG Provincial Director Pablio Benitez Jr., DILG Ozamiz OIC Jenny Villagonzalo, NBI’s Gilron Sumalpong, and others attended the meeting.

Councilor Arlene Maile Atienza of the third district, who chairs the Committee on Health, also justified the increased budget of the MHD, including those of the 59 community health centers among the city’s 896 barangays. Atienza, a doctor by profession, said she supports Estrada’s free maintenance drugs program for senior citizens. Under this program, the health centers in the barangays will

distribute the medicines directly to the elderly. “We are elated that health services were given additional funds. I believe that we should really address and prioritize preventive medicine, meaning before a patient’s illness gets serious, he or she should be treated first and given proper medical care in the community health centers,” she said. “This way, we can prevent

congestion in our public hospitals,” Atienza added. “If the health center cannot handle it, that’s the time we bring the patients to the hospitals so that there would be no crowding in the hospitals.” Another majority member, fifth district Councilor Ricardo “Boy” Isip Jr., also supported Estrada’s electrification program, which includes the installation of new lamp posts along the city streets.

The city government has installed new lamp posts along 91.1 kilometers of streets worth over P100 million, with another P300 million being prepared for the next phase of the street lighting initiative in 2017. “All the streets will be lighted up by Mayor Estrada, and this has greatly helped the communities, especially at nighttime,” said Isip, who chairs the City Council Committee on Engineering.

City Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espinido, Lt. Col. Hadji al-Talib, Prosecutor Gines Beduya, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, DILG Provincial Director Pablio Benitez Jr., DILG Ozamiz OIC Jenny Villagonzalo, and NBI’s Gilron Sumalpong, join Ozamiz City Mayor Aldong Parojinog (center) in the peace and order meeting.

Manila... From C1 transferred in bulk from the funds of the Department of Engineering and Public Works, are to be used for the reorganization of MTPB and the procurement of electric tricycles. These are among the traffic-related programs to be carried out by the executive department this year, the council explained.

Goal to improve maternal healthcare, the foundation also rehabilitated the center’s birthing facilities and breastfeeding area. Doctors and nurses will be better equipped to provide healthcare services to patients with the improvements, Ortega said, as it benefits the town’s population of more than 32,000 from 19 barangays.

Happiness is a gift of a radio for woman, 79 BALANGA, Bataan—In this age of digital technology, some “old” things just make people happy. A local radio station, 91.1 Sikat FM, has fulfilled the birthday wish of a 79-yearold woman to have a transistor radio. Gloria Morales, a resident of Barangay Wawa in Pilar town, was accompanied by her son Norberto when she received the transistor radio from Elias Almelor of the program “Ka Elias Live” at the radio station at the 2nd floor of Jadevine Building along Capitol Drive here. Station manager Noel Gatacelo, along with this writer as anchorman of Sikat FM’s “Radyo Balita” program, witnessed Morales receiving the radio donated by Dr. Mer Dizon Optical. Almelor found out that Morales had to go to a neighbor to listen to a cellphone with an FM radio, as she had none of her own. “Through the neighbor, the old woman is a regular texter to my program, and I learned about her plight,” Almelor said. Norberto Morales cried as he saw his mother receiving the radio. “You made her very happy,” he said. Butch Gunio

World IN BRIEF Main suspect in attacks not ashamed PARIS―The main suspect in the Paris attacks said he was “not ashamed” in a letter to a woman who has been writing to him in prison, according to extracts published in the French press Friday. Salah Abdeslam has refused to respond to questions from French judges about the November 13, 2015 attacks in which 130 people died at the hands of Islamic State group jihadists. But in correspondence with an anonymous woman published by the daily newspaper Liberation he appeared “talkative for the first time,” the paper said. “First of all, I’m not afraid of letting anything slip because I’m not ashamed of what I am -- and then what worse could be said than what’s already been said,” Abdeslam wrote, according to the extract from his investigation file. “I’m writing to you without knowing how to start, I got all your letters and I don’t know whether I’ve enjoyed them or not, they definitely let me spend a bit of time in the outside world,” he continued. AFP


Preserving Holocaust site O

SWIECIM, Poland― Brick by brick, plank by plank, workers at the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau carefully clean its barracks to preserve the Holocaust symbol for future generations.

Motorist kills man who shot cop in Arizona LOS ANGELES―A passing motorist in Arizona was hailed as a hero on Thursday after killing a man who had shot and wounded a police officer on a remote highway. Trooper Edward Andersson, a 27-year veteran, had stopped to investigate a car crash near Tonopah, around 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix, when he was shot in the shoulder and arm during an ambush attack, the authorities said. The suspect then began slamming the officer’s head into the pavement before he was shot and killed by an unidentified passing motorist who had pulled over, local media reported police as saying. “Thank you because I don’t know that my trooper would be alive today without his assistance,” Arizona Department of Public Safety director Frank Milstead told the local NBC television affiliate WPTZ. Andersson was responding to a call that came in around 4:30 am (1100 GMT) from a driver who reported being shot at in the region, he said. On arrival at the scene, he spotted a car crash in which a woman had been fatally injured. AFP

Search on for missing quokka SYDNEY―A runaway quokka, who escaped its island home off Australia’s west coast on a rubbish barge, is in danger with police issuing an appeal to save the “cute” marsupial. Authorities are concerned for the safety of the small animal, named Steve, who was last seen on January 4 fleeing a rubbish bin on the mainland where he was mistaken for a large rat, local media reported. “Steve is described as small, cute and furry. He may use his cuteness to trick unsuspecting humans into giving him food,” Western Australia police posted on their Facebook page. Few quokkas are thought to exist on mainland Australia where they are exposed to predators like foxes and traffic. They are considered a vulnerable species and primarily found on Rottnest island, some 19 kilometers from Perth, where they are better protected. AFP


PRESS TOUR. Actress Emily Rios of the television show ‘Snowfall’ speaks onstage during the FX portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California. AFP

Samsung heir back home after grilling SEOUL―Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong returned home Friday after marathon questioning by South Korean prosecutors as a suspect in a massive corruption scandal involving impeached President Park Geun-Hye. The prosecutors said they will now decide over the weekend whether to seek a warrant and formally arrest Lee on charges of bribery and abuse of power. Lee was named a criminal suspect Wednesday in a widening probe into an influence-peddling scandal engulfing Park and her close friend Choi Soon-Sil. Vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and the son of Samsung Group chairman Lee KunHee, he was quizzed for 22 hours over allegations of bribery. Looking exhausted, he did not

respond to questions from journalists waiting outside the special prosecutor’s office as he left. “The questioning took a long time because there were many things to check with him and because there were discrepancies” between what investigators believed had happened and Lee’s statement, said prosecutor’s office spokesman Lee Kyu-Chul. If the court issues an arrest warrant Saturday or Sunday, Lee will be the first South Korean business tycoon to be arrested in the widening probe into the scandal. Three other Samsung executives may also be arrested, according to the spokesman. More than a dozen people have already been arrested in the case, including Choi and her niece, a former culture minister,

an ex-health minister, a former top presidential aide for economic affairs, and a college professor. In South Korea it is not unusual for suspects and witnesses to agree to a lengthy questioning session in order to avoid being repeatedly summoned by investigators. Many suspects and witnesses in the scandal have been subjected to similar marathon questioning sessions. They included executives from business groups such as Hyundai, SK, LG and Lotte which are being investigated for their alleged involvement in the scandal. Choi 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. Samsung was the biggest contributor to the foundations. It is also accused of separately giving millions of euros to Choi to bankroll the training of South Korean equestrian athletes in Germany, including Choi’s daughter. 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. AFP

“This is the largest preservation project in the history of the museum at AuschwitzBirkenau. It’s unprecedented,” museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki told AFP. Along with the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria, the barracks bear witness to Nazi Germany’s killing of around 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, at this camp, which it built in 1940 in the southern city of Oswiecim after occupying Poland. “Preserving a barrack requires a completely different approach than one used to preserve a church for example. There, the goal is to return the building to its original state, so its most beautiful state,” says site manager Ewa Cyrulik. “Here, the goal is to leave everything unchanged. The biggest compliment for us is when someone says they can’t really see a difference afterwards,” she tells AFP. The task is all the harder because these types of poorly constructed barracks have never been preserved before, according to the Auschwitz team. “My colleagues in the building industry laughed when I told them what I was doing. They said it’d be easier to just tear down the wall and rebuild it brick by brick than to restore it the way we’re doing,” says Szymon Jancia, a construction expert at the site. “We’re aware that people come here specifically to see authentic objects and buildings,” Cyrulik adds for her part. Protected from the weather by tents 39 feet high, the two barracks under restoration number among the camp’s oldest. Work on the barracks began in September 2015 and will continue for another couple of years, while the entire project will take more than a decade and cost millions of dollars. Auschwitz-Birkenau is really two camps, located three kilometers (two miles) apart. While Auschwitz has been subject to preservation work in the past, none of the brick barracks at Birkenau have been seriously restored before. Only simple maintenance work was carried out to respond to critical repairs. Birkenau’s buildings are much more fragile than those at Auschwitz, which were built long before Nazi Germany took them over and originally served as military barracks. Birkenau’s buildings on the other hand were meant specifically for the camp and were built in a slapdash manner, using less robust materials. Their walls are thin, barely the thickness of a brick, and have buckled in places because the roof is too heavy. The wooden frame is rotting. The foundations have been eroded by groundwater. “It’s a miracle they’re still standing,” says Jancia. In total, 45 brick buildings at Birkenau will undergo restoration work. The team will preserve whatever parts are in good condition, and replace those that are in a poor state or threaten the integrity of the entire building. “Whatever we replace has to be visible to the eye, so as not to be confused with the original,” Cyrulik says while pointing to layers of paint in a slightly different color. AFP

Parched California singing in the rain LOS ANGELES―A series of storms that have rolled across California in the past week dumping heavy rain and snow could herald the end of a punishing historic drought, officials said Thursday. “Bye bye Drought. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” tweeted the National Weather Service in Reno, Nevada, which monitors parts of northern California, the area hardest hit by the storms. According to the US Drought Monitor, all of northern California is now free of drought but much of the southern part of the state remains dry, with some 30 percent of the region still in extreme or exceptional drought conditions. “In southern California, we’ve had the highest rainfall in at least five years and in northern California it’s the highest rainfall in at least 10 years,” said Tom Fisher, weather specialist for the National Weather Service. “For example, if you go up to Santa Rosa, which is up in Sonoma County, normally they would have about three inches (7.5 centimeters) of rain for the month so far, and they’ve had 11 inches,” Fisher said, adding that the same scenario was playing out

across much of the state. That’s a far cry from a year ago, when practically all of California was reeling from a severe fiveyear drought that left water reservoirs empty, helped spark huge wildfires and led to severe water restrictions. Authorities warned, however, that although nature was looking greener and the water reservoirs were filling up, it was still too early to cry victory. “California’s rainy season goes through April, so we’re not out of the woods yet,” Fisher said. Ted Thomas, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Water Resources, said he was cautiously optimistic and stressed that the impact of the long drought could not be erased overnight. “In California, we have a long history of changing weather conditions, in which for example we start with a very wet winter and end up extremely dry,” he told AFP. “This is a very large state and conditions are different in different areas.” The office of Governor Jerry Brown, who proclaimed a droughtrelated state of emergency in 2014, also said it was too soon to call the drought over. AFP

EVENT. Guests attend the Beautique x JetSmarter VIP Event at the Beautique in New York City. AFP

Cesar Barrioquinto, Editor




Obama ends policy for Cuban migrants W ASHINGTON―US President Barack Obama on Thursday ended a decades-old policy that allowed Cuban migrants who arrived illegally on US soil to stay. In one of his final acts before leaving the White House, he scrapped rules allowing those fleeing communist Cuba and reaching American territory a fast track to permanent resident status. Obama said the move would “bring greater consistency to our immigration policy.” “Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with US law and enforcement priorities,” he

said in a statement. The Cuban government welcomed the decision on Thursday, calling it “an important step forward in bilateral relations.” Preferential immigration treatment for Cuban immigrants enticed millions to flee the island, fueling economic stasis and a severe “brain drain.” Meanwhile in the United States, the growing CubanAmerican population become a potent political, cultural and economic force. There are around 1.8 million Cuban-Americans today, includ-

ing two Republican 2016 presidential candidates, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Cuban issues stand at the forefront of politics in the crucial swing state of Florida, making politicians extremely wary about revoking the policy and lifting economic sanctions against Havana. But the immigration policy came under pressure as CubanAmerican politics have become less strident, with some viewing it as anachronistic and encouraging dangerous sea voyages in makeshift rafts. Passed in 1966, the Cuban Adjustment Act has offered any citizen of Cuba admission and permanent residence in the United States after spending one year in the country, with no yearly quota on immigrants. However, then-president Bill Clinton decided in 1995 that

Cubans intercepted at sea would be sent home under the policy Obama scrapped today, which became known as “wetfoot/dryfoot.” Today’s decision means normal immigration rules will also apply to Cubans arriving at land borders. Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba and his historic visit to Havana last year had fueled speculation the policy would be scrapped. That prompted a spike in the number of migrants attempting the often perilous trip, many fearing normalized relations would bring an end to the special status granted Cuban immigrants at the border. Geoff Thale of the Washington Office on Latin America, a research and advocacy group, welcomed the change. AFP

PREMIERE. Indian Bollywood actress Daina Penty poses as she

attends the premiere of the Hollywood action thriller film Return of Xander Cage starring Vin Diesel in Mumbai. AFP

Angry migrants slam new US ruling PANAMA CITY―”Obama has screwed all Cubans,” Yadiel Cruz, a Cuban in Panama, bitterly told AFP Thursday upon learning the US president had suddenly made it tougher for migrants like him to get into America. The 33-year-old summed up what many compatriots were feeling as they digested the news in a Catholic shelter in Panama’s capital, a pit stop on their overland trek to the United States. But, he declared, “for me, I’m not going back.” Around him, dozens of other Cubans expressed sadness or anger. Much of the fury was directed personally at US President Barack Obama for announcing that he has scrapped, with immediate effect, a 1995 policy that had given near-automatic entry to the US to Cubans who set foot on American soil, regardless of their visa status. Now, like those who attempted to cross by water, they could face deportation back to Cuba unless they convince US officials they were afraid of being persecuted or had valid humanitarian reasons to be let in. The move, made just days before Obama leaves office and hands the reins over to Donald Trump, known for his anti-immigration stance, rattled nerves, sparked frustration and evoked tears here. “We feel sadness because we are all coming with a dream that comes from pain, hunger and a lot of work to get this far,” said Lorena Pena, a woman four months pregnant who left Cuba with her husband and four-yearold daughter. Obama, she said, “screwed up, because what he’s done is hurt us -- so he really isn’t as good as everyone says.” Ulises Ferrer, a carpenter from Havana, said: “We don’t know what we’re going to do now. But what we’re certain of is that we’re not going back to Cuba unless we’re dead.” The shelter they were in, a simple set-up run by the Caritas charity and featuring just one bathroom, is in the Ancon neighborhood of Panama City. It was established months ago to accommodate some of the stream of Cuban migrants who had been passing through Central America on their way to Mexico and then to the United States. The “Wet foot, Dry foot” policy Obama scrapped had meant that many of them felt they were on their way to a new life in America, once they reached the border. AFP

Chinese media criticize Tillerson

MOTIVATION MARKET. Kohl’s Wellness Ambassador Jordan Younger instructs during the Kohl’s Motivation Market in Los Angeles. AFP

Kerry’s farewell tour begins in Vietnam HANOI―US Secretary of State John Kerry began his farewell tour in Vietnam Friday, giving a final push for Washington’s socalled Asia pivot before President-elect Donald Trump takes office next week. Vietnam has been at the center of outgoing President Barack Obama’s Asia embrace, marked by the lifting of a wartime-era arms embargo, major growth in trade and the signing of the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. Trump, whose tirades against the costs of globalization to American workers helped propel him to office, has vowed to scrap the TPP on his first day in charge. But analysts say ties are unlikely to crumble despite uncertainty over the incoming leader’s Asia strategy.

Kerry’s visit to Vietnam, his fourth trip to the communist country as America’s top diplomat, is both political and deeply personal. The former naval officer won a Silver Star for his service during the Vietnam War after beaching his patrol boat and storming ashore to shoot dead a Viet Cong ambusher in Ca Mau province in 1969. Kerry later came to see the war as a mistake and after his return from combat campaigned for peace. “I’m delighted to be back in Vietnam where we are developing still a growing relationship,” Kerry said during a Friday meeting with acting foreign minister Bui Thanh Son and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. “There have been a lot of steps forward but there are still some challenges as you know,” he

said, after a reporter asked him about Vietnam’s patchy human rights record. The communist country routinely jails dissidents and government critics. After official meetings in Hanoi, Kerry flies to Ho Chi Minh City later Friday. On Saturday he heads to the Bay Hap river in Ca Mau on Saturday to revisit the site of his 1969 ambush. The relationship between the two countries has transformed since the painful and bloody war era. The United States is Vietnam’s top export market and trade between the pair has tripled in recent years, along with a major boost in US investments in the manufacturing hub. Obama’s administration has

made Asia -- home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies -- a priority as counterbalance to Chinese power. “Kerry’s visit underscores the importance of Vietnam in the USAsia policy,” Netherlands-based Vietnam analyst Jonathan London told AFP. Trump’s tough talk on re-balancing global trade and vow to scrap the TPP has clouded the future of that policy. But “it would be premature to assume that he will totally scrap the interests of US firms that operate in East Asia”, despite Trump’s rhetoric, London added. Simmering tensions with Beijing over its military build-up on islands in the South China Sea will likely be discussed during Kerry’s visit. AFP

BEIJING―Prospective US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson better watch his mouth, angry Chinese media said Friday, warning Donald Trump’s nominee that his threats to block China in the South China Sea are fighting words. The comments came after the former ExxonMobil CEO told US senators that he would seek to deny Beijing access to the artificial islands they have been building in the South China Sea. China’s actions in the region are comparable to Russia’s invasion of Crimea, he said, a comment that did not sit well with the nuclear-armed Asian giant. If Tillerson acted on his threats, Chinese state-owned China Daily warned, “it would set a course for devastating confrontation between China and the US.” Satellite photos show China has been hard at work building military facilities in the contested waters, which are also claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam, among others. Under US President Barack Obama, Washington has claimed Beijing’s activities in the region threaten freedom of navigation and overflight through the commercially and strategically vital waters. But is has not taken a position on the ownership of the islets, reefs and shoals that sit in one of the world’s hot spots. Tillerson, however, explicitly said that the territories “are not rightfully China’s.” “Unless Washington plans to wage a large scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish,” the nationalistic Global Times wrote in an editorial. The paper, which is thought to have some insight into the thinking of more hawkish members of Chinese Communist Party, added that Tillerson better “bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories.” It has previously called on Beijing to increase its nuclear arsenal after Donald Trump threatened to upend decades of US policy on Taiwan by suggesting he could recognise the island, which China regards as an indisputable part of its sovereign territory. China’s official reaction to the comments was muted, with foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang politely urging Washington to mind its own business. AFP

Billy loves to have fun in Hong Kong with his family and friends



VERYONE loves going to Hong Kong, and celebrities are no different. The city offers spectacular sights and thrilling activities that draws all kinds of people looking for different adventures, and makes coming back to it exciting every time.

So, what is it that international R&B sensation and star of newest reality show The Ultimate BROcation Billy Crawford loves to do whenever he comes to Asia’s World City? Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) asks the recording artist and host where he brings his loved ones when they vacation in Hong Kong. Billy’s an avid traveler, but he maintains that Hong Kong is still his top vacation destination. “It is so near the Philippines, so the accessibility of going to Hong Kong and getting around the city is great,” he explains. “You can do everything in Hong Kong—you can party with the best of them, you can shop the greatest items, and you can just walk around and see different and interesting things.” Just like any traveler, Billy has his favorite spots in the city. It only took one visit to Cabana for the bar to make it to his list. The rooftop terrace bar located on Repulse Bay is a posh escape from the city, with its sunken baths, linen day beds, and private cabins. The romantic spot boasts a stunning view of the beach, somewhere Billy has always wanted to take his girlfriend to whenver they’re in Hong Kong. Aside from gorgeous sceneries, the food is one of the reasons why every traveler comes to Hong Kong. Billy has his own set of go-to places for a delicious bite. “I would take my family to Lily & Bloom,” he shares. The resto-bar located within Lan Kwai Fong serves contemporary American fare on the first level and unique drink concoctions on the second level. The swanky establishment decked out in 1920s-inspired décor is a great place for celebrating a special occasion or just treating your loved ones to good food. Although located in a nightlife district, Lily & Bloom is still accommodating to families with kids, thanks to their fun and interactive Kids Corner on the sixth floor. “It would be a

Isah V. Red, Editor Bernadette Lunas, Writer SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017


Billy Crawford’s

favorite Hong Kong destinations

BILLY WITH BROS. Actor/singer/host Billy Crawford takes his new bros Sona One, DJ PK and Bjorn Shen to his favorite spots in Hong Kong, such as Cabana and Mong Kok.

treat to take my family to one of my favorite restaurants in Hong Kong,” Billy says. Of course, he also does not skip out on sampling authentic Hong Kong food while in the city. A place he cannot wait to come back to with his friends is Market Hotpot in Mong Kok. “This is definitely one of my favorite food experiences in Hong Kong,” shares Billy. The spacious restaurant is set up to look like a market with stalls selling meat, vegetables, seafood and the like to give customers the feel of dining in a real market.

“This place gives you a feel of how the locals eat, but with a fun twist” shares the star of The Ultimate BROcation. The restaurant, which seats over a hundred people, is a great place for big groups to enjoy the best of Hong Kong’s cuisine. The busy singer and host is already excited to plan his next trip to Asia’s World City. Billy says that every time he visits the city, he finds a new place that he loves. For more information, log on to

Netherlands, Philippines showcase innovation through fashion

FASHION COLLABORATION. Designers from the Philippines and the Netherlands showcase their creations that feature new approaches in sustainability for fashion during ‘A Dutch-Filipino Fashion Exchange.’

THE Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands presented a fashion show dubbed “A Dutch-Filipino Fashion Exchange” to showcase the collaborative work of six young designers from the Netherlands and the Philippines in Manila Fashion Festival Now. Themed “Innovation for Sustainability,” the event capped the yearlong celebration of the 65 years of diplomatic bilateral relations and 150 years of consular ties of the two countries. By partnering with Art Personas and Slim’s Fashion and Art School, the fashion show wanted new approaches to innovation for sustainability in fashion. “This collaboration between the talented fashion designers from the Philippines and the Netherlands provides an amazing opportunity to pave the way for sustainable fashion to be weaved into the future of design,” said Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines Marion Derckx. The fashion show featured an 18-piece collection of combined Dutch and Filipino artistry created by designers Damaris Chua, Riza Bulawan, Nina Gatan, Zena Ankersmit, Loes van Nijnatten, and Britta Bentele. “The Philippines looks at fashion glamorously while Dutch are more sleek and straightforward. Even before the Spaniards arrived, Filipino fashion was highly-decorated already,” shared Riza. “This program gave us an opportunity to be with people with different cultural and artistic perspectives. It’s a good thing to collaborate,” added Maui. As part of the fashion exchange, the designers experienced an intensive threephased exchange program composed of workshops, lectures and master classes in both the Netherlands and in the Philippines. They also visited embroidery centers in Lumban, Quezon and Tagaytay, handpicked fabrics in Divisoria, and attended one of Europe’s most prestigious fashion events, the Amsterdam Fashion Week. Zena, one of the students from Netherlands, showcased her love for playful designs and for using bright colors. “I believe fashion should be something that makes life more beautiful and more fun. So I think that is important in my designs.” For more information on the celebration, visit and www. or follow @NLinPhilippines on Twitter.




An Avalon Waterways ship on a European River cruise

‘Rolling, Rolling On The River’ I

’VE taken so many ocean cruises in the past and each trip is always a most enjoyable experience. It doesn’t matter which ports of call are included in the cruise itinerary. MERCURY RISING I feel that the entire trip always BY BOB ZOZOBRADO seems too short. Let’s face it, a cruise ship takes one “out of this world,” bringing him to some sort of Utopia where stress is unheard of, delicious food is available anytime, and fun is the order of the day. But, every time I gush over an ocean cruise experience, my Canada-based elder sister always cuts in and tells me that I should try going on a River Cruise because I will certainly enjoy it even more. I’ve always been looking for an opportunity to book myself on one but never had the chance. This is why I am very happy that Avalon Waterways, the worldwide leader in River Cruises, is now being marketed here in the country by Baron Travel, as announced by Raymond Smith, Business Development manager of Globus, mother company of Avalon Waterways, and Marilen Yaptangco, CEO and President of Baron Travel. Avalon Waterways has had 85 years of travel experience, putting itself at an advantage over its competitors, and has made every single aspect of the River Cruise special. Its ships offer panoramic views, with large and spacious staterooms (cabins), personalized dining, luxurious comfort, and because it belongs to the Globus family, its destinations are most interesting and attractive.

The company pays attention to details, like angling the beds inside the cabin to face outside so that guests can enjoy from their beds, the breathtaking views passing by. The staterooms have wall-to-wall windows, giving guests panoramic, floorto-ceiling views of the destination’s aweinspiring landscapes, a perfect match for the ship’s open-air spacious balconies. Guests in the staterooms can slide their doors wide open, for that feeling of sitting comfortably “outside” as the amazing views of castles, villages, rolling green hills and ancient cities pass by. An interesting culinary experience in all of Avalon Waterways’ ships is their penchant for bringing each of their destinations to life. Every dinner features specialty dish from that specific river cruise’s destination, prepared by a local chef, brought on board by the management. The ship’s culinary team also serves a special wine from that destination, as selected by a professional sommelier. What’s more, the company has introduced a new concept in river cruising. Passengers are given the freedom

A typical stateroom in any of the Avalon’s ships

The stateroom’s balcony offers a breathtaking view of the surroundings

I have already made arrangements with my travel agent to book me on the 12-day Central European Cruise, which sails from Prague to Paris. I can hardly wait to be in the beautiful cities of Nuremberg, Luxembourg, and Wurzberg, including the postcard-pretty towns of Bamberg, Remich, Rudesheim, and Bernkastel. Added to these awesome destinations, I will also come face-to-face with the picturesque Main River, Rhine Gorge, and the Roman Trier. I know I will never be able to visit these places if I were to travel by plane. I’m beginning to understand why my elder sister keeps on insisting that I will enjoy River Cruises even more than Ocean Cruises. Visiting these countryside attractions will immerse me in the real culture of the country and its people. And, as I eagerly anticipate the beautiful sceneries and its corresponding treasured memories, I can’t stop singing in my head: “…Big wheel keep on turnin’ Proud Mary keep on burnin’ And we’re rolling, rolling, rolling on the river…”

For feedback, I’m at to personalize their cruises---they can offers small-ship cruising through the decide what and where to eat onboard, Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. select room configurations, choose onland discoveries and onboard facilities and services, etc., so every customer YOUR SATURDAY CHUCKLE tailor-fits his own preferred experience. An old Jewish man was on the operating table awaiting surgery and Avalon Waterways’ fleet of 22 wellhe insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. designed ships now ply the Rhine, As he was about to receive anesthesia, he asked to speak to his son. Danube, Rhone, Seine, Saone, Main, “Yes Dad, what is it?” “Don’t be nervous, son, do your best and just Moselle, Meuse, Amazon, and the Nile. Here in Asia, their river cruises now remember, if it doesn’t go well and something bad happens to me, your sail along the Irrawaddy, Mekong, and mother is going to come and live with you and your wife!” Yangtze Rivers. The company even

Singapore Airlines’ Teochew cuisine

Landers members may enjoy discount on fuels at Caltex station located in the superstore’s compound


SINGAPORE Airlines customers in all cabin classes traveling on selected flights departing from Singapore can now savor a delectable range of Singapore-style Teochew dishes over a four-month period. Selected dishes will also be offered at the SilverKris Lounges at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Iconic Teochew delicacies such as Cold Crab, Pig Trotter Jelly and Hei Chor (Prawn Rolls) will be presented as appetizers to customers traveling in Suites and First Class. Customers can also savor mouthwatering main courses, such as Steamed Pomfret and Braised Pig Trotters, before completing their meals with a Teochew signature dessert Orh Nee, a sweet and creamy yam paste. Business Class customers can look forward to favorites such as Teochew Porridge served with Braised Duck, Salted Egg and Cai Beh (Braised Cabbage), Bak Chor Mee (Egg Noodles with Minced Pork and Braised Mushroom) and Fried Png Kueh (Fried Rice Cake with Egg and Dark Sweet Sauce).

partners with Caltex CONVENIENCE, savings and special perks await customers who will gas up at the new Caltex service station located within the newly opened Landers Superstore in Paco, Manila. Caltex’s newest filling station will cater exclusively to the registered members of the superstore. Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), marketer of the Caltex brand of fuels and lubricants, recently partnered with Landers to offer the convenience of fueling up within the superstore compound. The partnership will entitle Landers’ members discounts and other privileges at Caltex. Cardholders can enjoy a P2.00 per liter discount on gasoline purchases and a discount of P1.50 per liter of diesel. To start availing the markdown price on Caltex products in this service station, interested shoppers may sign up for a Landers Superstore membership and pay the P800 annual fee. Landers Superstore is the country’s newest chain of membership superstores offering a mix of top-notch imported and local products including grocery items, electronics, apparel, health and beauty products, items for the home, and much more. Chevron’s continuous network expansion in the country aims to provide motorists convenient access to clean, quality and Euro 4 compliant fuels by opening more stations in strategic locations. The newly opened Caltex service station in Paco, Manila is an addition to Caltex’s growing retail service station network across the country. This year, Caltex has opened almost 10 stations in strategic locations all over the Philippines, and is targeting to open a total of more than 30 outlets for the year. Caltex fuels, including Caltex Silver with Techron, Caltex Platinum with Techron, Caltex Diesel with Techron are all designed to deliver lower emissions, higher performance and cleaner engines.

Steamed Pomfret, Braised Pig Trotter with Braised Green Mustard Vegetables, served with Chai Poh Kway Teow

Cold Crab, Pig Trotter Jelly and Hei Chor

Teochew Style Braised Duck with Egg and Beancurd served with Stewed Salted Vegetables and Steamed Rice

Teochew Porridge served with Braised Duck in spiced soya sauce, Boiled Salted Egg and Braised Cabbage with Wood Fungus

Premium Economy Class and Economy Class customers can enjoy Braised Duck served with Egg, Beancurd and Preserved Vegetables or Stir-Fried Pork with Shacha Sauce served with vegetables, both of which are accompanied by steamed rice. “Chinese cuisine is richly diverse and we are delighted to showcase the delicious flavors one can expect from a Teochew meal to our international travellers, while offering those familiar with the cuisine a little taste of home while travelling with us,” said Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President Product and Services, Marvin Tan. The Teochew community is one of the largest Chinese dialect groups in Singapore, with a history that runs deep in the country’s heritage. Originating from the Chaozhou Prefecture in China’s Guangdong Province, the early Teochew pioneers settled in many parts of Southeast Asia and brought with them their culinary influence. Teochew cuisine is known for its emphasis on the freshness and natural flavours of the ingredients, and cooking methods often involve steaming, poaching, double boiling and slow braising to deliver a delicate yet refined dining experience.


Senior AB Communication students of University of Perpetual Help System DALTA who participated in the recently concluded 3rd Sorok Short Film Festival

PERPETUAL COMM wins 3rd Sorok Short Film Fest viewer’s choice award


NIVERSITY of Perpetual Help System DALTA (Las Pinas Campus) senior AB Communication students recently bagged the Viewer’s Choice Award for their film Ang Aking Bayani in the recently concluded 3rd Sorok Short Film Festival: OFW:LakbayPuso, held on Dec. 30 last year at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, Makati City.

Omoide No Hako (Box of Memories). The two films competed against 37 other films produced by students, alumni and faculty from other universities in the country. Ang Aking Bayan, which served as the final project of the AB Communication students in Film Production class, was produced by Alas Quatro Productions, directed by Kurt Donovan Buenagua, written by Nehlee Guande, Denise Ang Aking Bayani was also one of the 13 finalists along with another Perpetual- AB Comm film entry Abuel, Lailani Cruz, Lara Tandoc, Jrish

Jimenez, Jhunel Santos and KBuenagua. The competition’s theme this year is “OFW: Lakbay-Puso,” for the bravery of our modern day heroes, the Overseas Filipino Workers. Sorok Uni Foundation Inc. is a humanitarian organization working for and with Forgotten Neighbors - the homeless, abandoned, neglected individuals and families who suffer from social stigma and economic restrictions due to disease and or poverty.

Engaging bar scene in ‘A Love To Last’ WE SAW Ian Veneracion singing a sad song in A Love To Last that began airing last Monday. It was supposed to be the scene where Bea Alonzo’s character was nursing a broken heart over her cheating fiancé, while Ian was also contemplating on the annulment case his wife Iza Calazado wants from him. Both Bea and Ian’s characters have yet to meet but the scene in that “sing-along bar,” was made very engaging to make it more affecting and nakaka-kilig to watch. We have known Ian since he was a child star and even when he was with then That’s Entertainment show in the 80s, but we never knew that he could truly carry a good tune. To be fair, his very good and youthful looks match his very relaxing voice and if we were in the shoes of Bea or Iza, we would easily fall for that voice alone, hahaha! Here’s just hoping that the show will sustain that kind of appeal and relaxing emotions as its story progresses. **** Speaking of good story, May Tatlong Bibe’s director Joven Tan, who is also a friend, disagrees with some scribes saying that the “popularity” gained by the nursery rhyme has already waned. Many believed that last year could have been a better time for the movie to be exhibited in theaters because it was then when the “song” and now a movie theme/title was still a household tune and even a social media sensation. “There’s always miracle in love. Kapag yun

naman ang sentro ng kuwento mo, kahit anong time pa yan,never iyan na naluma o nalipasan ng panahon,” said Joven who also wrote the theme song of the movie. Joven affirms that he has a very good story that appeals to anybody and most of all, “it is a very ordinary one but with lots of love and has Filipino values on family, friendship and belonging.” Tatlong Bibe is topbilled by three very talented child actors Marco Masa (of Nathaniel fame), Raikko Mateo (of Honesto) and The Voice Kids grand winner Lyka Gairanod. Joining them are Sharlene San Pedro, Edgar Allan Guzman, JK Labajo, Victor Neri, Rita Avila, Perla Bautista, Anita Linda, Lou Veloso and Eddie Garcia, with Mommy Dionesia Pacquiao, in her first top-billing role. **** Another very young actor who comes from a family of showbiz-ens feels honored when he was chosen by no less than the award-winning and box-office director Dan Villegas to play a major role in the family horror flick Ilawod. The son of Quezon City Mayor and our kumpare Herbert Bautista, Harvey Bautista, expresses gratitude on his selection by Villegas, who describes the 13-year-old as “perfect for the role.” “I also don’t know. I have no idea why he chose me. When I auditioned for the role, I have no knowledge of what will happen next. I was

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Saturday, January 14, 2017

ACROSS 1 Ugly put-down 5 “Macbeth shall — no more!” 10 Ground up 14 Gyro pocket 15 “48 Hrs.” lead 16 Fixed the table 17 Like the horizon 18 Willow twig 19 Pavlova or Paquin 20 Practice 22 Flotsam and — 24 Lunch counter order 25 Singer — Ives 26 Alleges 29 Sporty socks 33 Causes distress 34 Troubadour prop 36 Henri’s island 37 Logging tool 38 Pith helmets 39 Creature of habit? 40 Prez after Jimmy 41 Cab driver 42 Must-haves 44 Window over a door 47 Royal order 48 Promises to pay 49 Friction easer 50 Monarchs’

terms Unruly curls Bend gracefully Plugged in Hard up Thicken, as cream 63 Lint collector 64 Carbon deposit 65 Follett and Howard 66 Sheath or sack 67 Raines of 1940s films 53 58 59 61 62

DOWN 1 Marina sight 2 Vitality 3 Idaho neighbor 4 Cheese dish 5 Quick belts 6 Team setback 7 Journalist — Ducommun 8 Paris summer 9 Lies while under oath 10 Straight-out 11 Holm and Fleming 12 1492 ship 13 Red-waxed cheese 21 Mendicant’s cry 23 Joule fraction 25 Wild tee 26 Excel output

27 Karnak neighbor 28 Sports venue 30 Eye or ocean follower 31 Avoid capture 32 Detect 34 Garden soils 35 Checkout ID 38 10 cubed 42 Buzz’s capsulemate 43 Darkness at noon 45 “One of These —” 46 Daughter’s

brother 47 Wooden rods 50 Pool-hall triangle 51 Dashiell contemporary 52 Mouse target? 53 Limestone formation 54 Sourdough strikes 55 Aloof 56 — & the Gang 57 Mlle. in Baja 60 Serious conflict

just told I got the role when we were about to start shooting na po,” explained Harvey who plays the son of Iza Calzado and Ian Veneracion, and the brother of Xyriel Manabat. “Mapo-possess po ako rito nung Ilawod, a water elemental, pero hindi yung parang Exorcist possession kundi iko-kontrol lang yung mind ko through a girl, si Isla, (played by award-winning child star Therese Malvar). Ako lang ang nakakakita kay Isla at yung sister ko, si Xyriel. Yung parents namin di siya nakikita and ilalayo niya ang loob ko sa mga magulang ko. Tatakutin po niya kayo sa mga gagawin niya sa movie,” explained Harvey. Harvey, who goes to a regular school and admits feeling the pressure of a politician’s son, also shares, “I was told that my dad won his first Best Actor award in the first Shake Rattle and Roll movie. That was before he became a popular actor.” “If you enjoy watching horror flicks, you will enjoy this one,” added he. “Does he really believe he will make it or will he eclipse his father’s popularity?” many coscribes asked Harvey. “Anak niya po ako. Siguro naman ay may mga namana ako sa kanya na puwede kong magamit to my full advantage in this industry to succeed. Mahilig na po talaga kasi ako (umarte) since I was a kid. I also feel it so siguro po nakikita at nararamdaman naman yun. Maybe in time, I will also be like my father,” said Harvey.

The youngest Bautista in showbiz today, Harvey was part of Goin Bulilit until last year and has appeared in many shows including MMK where he even won an acting award. **** How true is this news on Rey Valera’s reaction when he was informed of netizens’ remarks about his commentary-advice to a female contestant in the singing contest portion “Tawag ng Tanghalan” in It’s Showtime? It came to us as chismis at first, but since reliable friends and readers never failed to give us verified items, we want Rey’s camp to react to this. As per their story, Rey stood by his comment regarding this female contestant’s body in relation to her having a good and happy relationship with her bf. To quote the jury head when he gave his comment on the singing ability of the contestant, “Walang kinalaman sa pagkanta, iha, kundi sa relasyon mo lang. Nakita ko yung picture mo nung araw, sexy ka. Ang advice ko sa ‘yo, huwag ka magpapataba, iha. Alam mo kung bakit? Tanungin mo ako kung bakit. Kasi kapag ganyan ka kataba, at ganyan ka kalaki, at hinahalikan ka ng dyowa mo, nagkakawanggawa lang yun.” This angered the netizens and called Valera names and very insensitive. Some even accused him of trying very hard to be at par with the style of Vice Ganda’s comic genius and his manner of delivering jokes. So would we expect the music icon to say sorry soon? Dapat siguro di ba?


Husband and wife Drew Arellano and Iya Villana team up to host GMA 7's newest game show

Isah V. Red, Editor Nickie Wang, Writer SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017


EGINNING tomorrow, GMA Network gives its loyal viewers another one-of-akind entertainment. Its a comedy game show entitled People vs. The Stars. The program allows celebrities to play for a chance to win P200, 000.00 by answering eight mindboggling questions each with a cash value. If the stars failed to answer any of the questions correctly, the question’s cash value would be awarded to televiewers that answered the “People Question of the Week” through text. Thrilling and fun-filled, the show features the tandem of the multi-talented celebrity powercouple Drew Arellano and Iya Villania-Arellano. As a first-time mom, Iya says this show takes away her anxiety whenever she is not with Primo, hers and Drew’s first born. “Actually, this is the first time I will be hosting this kind of show na makulit and entertaining. Natutuwa ako kasi I consider this my rest whenever I am not on my ‘mommy duties’ kay Primo kasi nakakatawa lang talaga dito. It’s as if I don’t work. Plus kasama ko pa asawa ko, so yung fun talaga nandoon,” she said. On the other hand, Drew is equally excited working with her wife in this game show. “Excited ako kasi iba itong show na ito for us kasi more enjoyable and light environment. Hindi siya yung acting like sa mga shows namin 10 years ago. Dito mas makikita nila kung sino kami inside our house, ganun lang talaga,” he said. Don’t miss the chance to bond with your favorite Kapuso stars and turn family days into mindboggling and exciting days in People vs. The Stars every Sunday at 5 to 6 p.m. beginning tomorrow on GMA. Get the latest updates on People vs. The Stars on www. *** Beauty master and philanthropist Ricky Reyes starts the New Year with a new title for his show. Gandang Ricky Reyes Todo na Toh (GRR TNT) is now The World of Gandang Ricky Reyes, packed not just with beauty pointers but also with essential information beneficial to viewers as well. Reyes’ “Magic Touch” segment returns for lovely make-over sessions for a more fabulous and confident you. “Deliciously Yours Ham” shares their secret recipe for Nachos Ham and Sandwich. Meanwhile, Ryan Roxas will help us get back in shape after the holiday food binging with the proper diet and exercise. Hair problems will be solved atall Gandang Ricky Reyes Salons with the following treatments: Regold for kinky hairs, SoftWave for dull hair and natural wigs for hair loss. Pursue your passion in beauty, learn from the best and enroll at the Ricky Reyes Learning Institute (RRLI) with branches in Manila, Cubao, Anonas and Fairview. Tune in to The World of Gandang Ricky Reyes today, 9 to


Sunday is funday with


"Born To Be Wild" hosts Nielsen Donato and Ferds Recio

Angelica Pangilinan portrays Karla Estrada in a special episode of MMK

10 a.m. on GMA News TV. *** Tomorrow, Born to be Wild goes to Thailand and Bohol. In the last quarter of 2016, 55 giant freshwater stingrays were found dead and floating along Thailand’s Maeklong River. The species was declared critically endangered in 2010. Doc Nielsen Donato travels to Thailand to find out the cause of their death and joins a renowned Thai scientist who specializes in studying giant stingrays.

TV Host and beauty guru Ricky Reyes welcomes viewers into his world

Meanwhile, Bohol is worldfamous for being the habitat of one of the smallest primates in the world: the Philippine tarsier. While many tourists visit the tarsier in small enclosures, in the wild these tiny, solitary primates require large areas to thrive. Doc Ferds Recio and the team travel to Bohol to see the tarsier in their natural environment. Don’t miss these exciting wildlife stories in Born to be Wild tomorrow, after AHA! on GMA 7. *** Karla Estrada looks back to her past and shares her own life story, with Angelica Panganiban in MMK tonight. It is not a secret to many that before being known as the “Queen Mother,” Karla had gone through a lot of struggles in life. She used to enjoy a life of a wealthy family until her grandfather, the one who provided for their family, suddenly died. This forced her family to move from a private subdivision to the city proper in Tacloban. Despite the hardships in life, Karla remained determined to reach her dream of becoming a big star. She joined singing contests despite the strong disapproval of her mother, who urged her to stop from competing to avoid criticism. Karla carried on with her singing until her efforts paid off when she luckily got discovered in a music hub in Quezon City.

She was then invited to join That’s Entertainment, unexpectedly skyrocketed to fame, and while at the top her career, got pregnant with her first child. Also playing important roles are Alexa Ilacad, Sharmaine Suarez, Carlos Morales, JhaiHo, Cheska Billiones, and Roy Requejo. MMK airs Saturdays on ABS-CBN or ABS-CBN HD (SkyCable ch 167). *** The Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc. of the 17th Congress, headed by Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, is sponsoring a re-run of the hugely successful Dirty Old Musical (D.O.M.) on Jan. 20 at the Music Museum. D.O.M. is a musical that journeys back to the golden years of the Original Pilipino Music with a stellar cast that includes, among others, the multitalented Robert Seña, Nonie Buencamino, Bo Cerrudo, and John Arcilla. D.O.M. is the second in a series of fundraising events of the women legislators for the benefit of the Mega Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. The first one was the successful “PamasCONG Handog : Garage Sale for a Cause” held at the House of Representatives in December. For tickets, you may call 9316668 or 9315001 local 7278.

KEANU REEVES back in action FROM the highly successful R-rated film John Wick, Keanu Reeves steps out of retirement from the underworld once again in John Wick: Chapter 2 where he reprises his role as the legendary hitman in the shadowy world of assassins. Directed by Chad Stahelski, John Wick: Chapter 2 heads to Rome where the world’s deadliest assassins set their killer contracts. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. Reeves, in recent interviews

revealed that that the film would deal with the duality of Wick where something from his past will come back to haunt him. “There’s John, the docile man who spent five years married to the love of his life. Then there’s John Wick, the deadly assassin feared by the entire criminal underworld.” A buffet of bullets and unprecedented action on screen when John Wick: Chapter 2 opens in cinemas on Feb. 8 from Pioneer Films. Trailer link: watch?v=l0mZgQLlQo0

Keanu Reeves goes back to work in mayhem-packed "John Wick 2 "

Manila Standard - 2017 January 14 - Saturday  

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

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