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STRIKE’S EFFECT MINIMAL—MMDA By Joel E. Zurbano, Bill Casas, John Paolo Bencito and Macon Ramos-Araneta

VOL. XXXI • NO. 245 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2017 • •

THE Metro Manila Development Authority said the first day of a two-day nationwide transport strike had a minimal effect on commuters Monday, but the group of jeepney drivers and operators behind the protest action claimed they paralyzed 90 percent of Metro Manila. “Only .011 percent out of 10 million commuters were affected,” said Edward

Gonzales, MMDA Rescue Emergency Group chief. He said concerned agencies like the Department of Transportation and Land Transportation Office, and local government units provided buses and vehicles to ferry passengers to their destinations. Gonzales said only 27 of the 74 government and private vehicles they prepared were used to ferry affected passengers. Most of the passengers ferried were going to work to private offices. Next page

HELPING HANDS. Transport groups stage the first of a two-day nationwide strike Monday in opposition to a government-planned phaseout of old passenger jeepneys— with initial reports from Cebu and Manila suggesting the protest rallies hardly affected the urban areas, with Senator Grace Poe saying this should serve as a “wake-up call” to the Deparment of Transportation to listen to the drivers and operators. At far left are commuters in Malabon City while militant groups (left and above) stop vehicular traffic in Vicente Cruz, Manila. Andrew Rabulan/Manny Palmero

Hapilon, Maute dead IS emir in SE Asia killed in Marawi battle

Malaysian, 7 other terrorists hold out By Francisco Tuyay and AFP SECURITY forces have yet to neutralize eight foreign terrorists, including the Malaysian financier, recruiter and architect of the attack on Marawi City, Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año said Monday. In a briefing in Marawi City hours after the death of Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute, Año said government troops were still hunting Mahmud Ahmad, a former lecturer at University Malaya who was believed to have financed and planned the Marawi City siege. Aside from Mahmud, several Malaysian and Indonesian jihadists are still holed up inside the main battle area, Año said. “We counted maybe less that eight. Based on the information we gathered, one of the prominent terrorists

is Mahmud, a Malaysian who is still in the main battle area,” Año said, noting that the remnants were no longer as aggressive as they were before. “We are very optimistic that we will get all of them.” In the early stages of the siege, the military reported killing seven foreign terrorists. Mahmud reportedly lured bandits with huge amounts of money to join the terrorist group headed by Hapilon and Maute. Mahmud was among the five prominent Malaysian terrorists with links to IS who left their country in 2014 after the Malaysia launched a crackdown on Islamic militants. Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Hamidi said the five militants were associated with Daulah Islamiya Asia Tenggara, a Southeast Asian terror network with links to IS. Next page

Most Filipinos support strongman rule—survey THE majority of the Filipinos remains satisfied with how democracy works in the country, the latest Pew Research Center report says, adding half of the Filipinos it surveyed were supportive of strongman rule as an acceptable form of governance. In its latest Spring 2017 survey conducted across 38 nations including the Philippines, some 69 percent of the Filipinos surveyed said they were satisfied with how democracy works in the country while 31 percent said they were not satisfied. And 36 of 38 countries who were asked the same question (excluding Turkey and Vietnam), a global median of 46 percent said

they were very or somewhat satisfied with the way their democracy was working compared with 52 percent who were not too or not at all satisfied. Support for representative democracy, a democratic system where the representatives elected by citizens decide what becomes law, still remains high in the Philippines at 82 percent, with 32 percent saying it was a very good way of governing the country and 50 percent saying it was somewhat good. Another 16 percent of those surveyed said it was bad for the country. A global median of 78 percent backed governments by elected representatives. Next page MlaStandard

By AFP and John Paolo Bencito


BU Sayyaf leader and the emir of the Islamic State group in Southeast Asia was killed in the battle to reclaim Marawi City, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday. Isnilon Hapilon’s death came during a push to end the four-month siege of Marawi, a battle that has claimed more than 1,000 lives and raised fears that IS was seeking to set up a regional base in Mindanao. Security analysts say Hapilon, who is on the END OF THE LINE. The pictures released by the military show Omar Maute (right) and Isnilon Hapilon US “most wanted terrorists” list, has been a key (left), top leaders of Islamic State-inspired extremists Maute group, after being killed in a military assault early figure in the jihadist organization’s drive to estabMonday following a long drawn-out siege of Marawi City since May 23. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana lish a caliphate as they suffer battlefield defeats in said the whereabouts of Hapilon and Maute, who were holed up in a building in Marawi City, were divulged Iraq and Syria. by a female hostage who managed to escape. Mark Navales “[Our troops] were able to get Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. They were both killed,” Lorenzana told reporters, referring to one of the leaders of the Maute group that led the attack with Hapilon on Marawi in May. DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lo- administrator, said he would the Armed Forces. “Their bodies have been recovered by our oprenzana said Monday the mili- discuss the possible lifting of “The death of Omar Maute erating units.” tary will announce the termina- military rule with President Ro- and Isnilon Hapilon was proof The US government had offered a $5-million tion of hostilities once govern- drigo Duterte, who imposed it that the Armed Forces succeedbounty for information leading to Hapilon’s arment forces have ensured there on Mindanao after Maute group ed in its fight against terrorism rest, describing the 51-year-old as a senior leader are no more terrorists left in terrorists overran Marawi on in Marawi,” Alejano said as he of the Abu Sayyaf group, which the US considers Marawi City and once they have May 23. commended Lorenzana, Armed Next page a “foreign terrorist organization.” cleared all structures of bombs In the House, Magdalo Par- Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año and other traps. ty-list Rep. Gary Alejano said and the military officers and “After the fighting stops, we martial law in Mindanao should troops who put an end to the criwill refocus our efforts on the now be lifted following the kill- sis in Marawi. challenging task of rebuilding and ing of terrorist leaders Omar “To those who went ahead, rehabilitating Marawi,” he said. Maute and Isnilon Hapilon in my snappy salute. You will Lorenzana, as martial law Marawi City as confirmed by Next page FORMER Metro Rail Transit general manager Al Vitangcol III has asked the Supreme Court to order Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to stop carrying out the functions of her office. In his petition filed on Friday, Vitangcol said the high court must declare that Morales’ term expired on Nov. 30, 2012 and compel her to stop By John Paolo Bencito discharging her functions as Ombudsman. and Rio. N. Araja In other developments: • Various groups have reset the filing of an THE majority of the Filipinos believe impeachment complaint against Morales to the that extrajudicial killings are taking resumption of the congressional sessions in Noplace in the Duterte administration’s vember. campaign against illegal drugs, acLawyer Manuelito Luna said instead of three cording to the latest Pulse Asia survey. complaints as initially planned, the groups would But the same survey says there is file only one complaint. widespread support for the govern• The camp of Supreme Court Chief Justice ment’s bloody crackdown on illegal CHOW DOWN. PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa Maria Lourdes Sereno on Monday stood firm on drugs. (left) and Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar take the line its decision to ignore the impeachment proceedIn the September 2017 Ulat ng BayMonday as guests during the weekly Pandesal Forum with ings designed to “embarrass her” or to “undermoderator Wilson Flores in Kamuning, Quezon City on the topic an survey of 1,200 respondents, some mine her dignity.” the administration’s anti-drug campaign. Manny Palmero Next page Next page

Martial law lifting eyed; mopping up begins

SC asked to clarify Morales’ tenure

‘Despite EJK, drug war gains backing’ ManilaStandardPH


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tuesday, october 17, 2017

China: No to SCS militarization By Rey E. Requejo EIJING―China said Monday it will not militarize the disputed South China Sea and rejected suggestions the structures it is building in some contested islands are for military purposes.


Yao Wen, deputy director general and counselor for Policy Planning in the Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said China will pursue a peaceful resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea and insisted that the disputes be

resolved by negotiations among China, the Philippines and the other claimant-countries. He bewailed the exercise of the so-called “freedom of navigation” by countries not directly involved in the row. “China will never seek the

Pump prices up by 20c; kerosene cheaper by 15c By Alena Mae S. Flores OIL firms raised the price of gasoline by P0.20 per liter but rolled back kerosene prices by P0.15 per liter effective 6 a.m. Tuesday. The oil firms, however, did not move diesel prices. “Seaoil will adjust its pump prices per liter effective 6:00AM, 17 October 2017, as follows: gasoline: increase of P0.20, diesel , no adjustment, kerosene, rollback P0.15,” the company said. Seaoil said the latest adjustments “reflect movements in the international petroleum market.” Among the companies that issued advisories on the latest adjustment are PTT Philippines, Phoenix Petroleum and Eastern Petroleum while others are expected to follow suit. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, for his part, underscored strict compliance with the posting of consumer safety and informational signs in gasoline stations stated under the Retail Rules for Liquid Fuels. “To err on the side of caution is the prudent thing to do, thus the DoE urges full compliance by gasoline stations on the posting of these signs,” Cusi said. “There’s science behind the informational signs and while there’s debate as to the true causes of such fire incidents in gas stations all over the world, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Cusi added.

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“Passengers were picked up from Araneta, Quezon City going to Quiapo and Cubao and routes from Sta. Ana to Faura and from Baclaran to Sucat from 7:42 a.m. to 9:38 a.m.,” said Gonzales. The MMDA designated six areas for free rides, including Commonwealth Avenue, Luneta Grandstand, Orense Guadalupe, SM Marikina, MCU and HK Plaza. In Makati, the city government deployed four buses, six coasters and eight service vehicles from the Public Safety Department to fetch affected passengers. It stated that various areas in the city, including Guadalupe, Ayala, J.P. Rizal, Pasong Tamo and Buendia, were affected by the mass protest. Members of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) and other commuter groups under the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition staged a two-day strike to demand the junking of the phaseout program, saying the move would kill the livelihood of over 600,000 jeepney drivers and operators. Under the modernization program, the government will impose a 15-year age limit on PUJs as it aims to modernize the fleet of jeepneys plying the roads through a low carbon and low emission vehicle technology. Standards on carbon emission and fleet management and maintenance would also be imposed to ensure passenger safety, and improve ambient air quality. To address operators’ and drivers’ concern of undue economic burden from having to purchase brand new jeepney units, the government would allow them to apply for loans with the Development Bank of the Philippines. The government would set up

The Energy Department said the public should comply with the rules such as prohibiting smoking, running engine while filling, use of cellular phones, straddling while filling and inappropriate containers in retail stations. “These signs must be prominently displayed within the premises of gasoline stations for the awareness and information of the public and station personnel,” Cusi said. Cusi urged the owners/operators of gasoline stations to ensure that these signs were strictly observed by their personnel before fueling vehicles. Failure to comply with the DoE rules and regulations on safety would subject gasoline stations to appropriate sanctions. Grave offenses may lead to suspension or revocation of their business permit. “We do not want such unsafe practices and negligence from both the business operators and the consumers to incur loss of lives. Let’s all be safe and take necessary precautionary measures seriously,” Cusi said. Republic Act No. 8479 or the “Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998” requires the DOE to promote fair trade practices in the liquid fuel retailing business, including quality and quantity of petroleum products, and ensuring safety from fire, danger, health and environmental risks, among others. a guarantee fund to secure the loans of the operators and drivers. Despite the government claims, Piston national president George San Mateo said the first day of their two-day strike was a success. Malacañang had suspended government work and classes in all levels of both public and private schools nationwide on Monday due to the transport strike. The Palace said the jeepney modernization program would continue over the protests by drivers and operators. “The administration remains committed to the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVVMP), which is long overdue,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella. “There were several attempts in the past to modernize the public transport system but these have been thwarted due to similar transport strikes, which unfortunately resulted in an outdated public transport system,” he added. Abella said that the government’s PUV modernization program has earned the support of other transport groups. “It is worth mentioning that, with the exception of left-leaning Piston, the PUVMP has gained the support of different public transport groups,” he said. “These include the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (Acto), Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburb Drivers Association Nationwide Inc., (Pasang Masda), Land Transportation Organization of the Philippines (LTOP), Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Altodap), Stop and Go Coalition, and majority of provincial transport cooperatives all over the country.”

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militarization of the South China Sea, but we are worried about the so-called freedom of navigation activities conducted by relevant countries,” Wen told journalists from 19 Asian countries including the Philippines, who were invited to cover the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Oct. 18. Wen said China was consistent in its position that “the relevant issues should be peacefully resolved by negotiations between directly involved sovereign states.” He said China’s construction activities in some areas in the

disputed territorial waters were “within our sovereignty,” adding “there are some projects that are actually intended for public good, for example, the lighthouse and hospital.” But China has warned that the exercise by some countries of what they called “freedom of navigation” in the disputed South China Sea could lead to some “misjudgment” or conflicts. “Sometimes the vessels of relevant countries come as near five to six nautical miles of the Island of Rees where our staff stations, and it is highly dan-

gerous and that may easily lead to misjudgment and even conflicts.” Wen said. China has praised its warming relations with the Philippines since the ascension into power of President Rodrigo Duterte. “China and the Philippines are friendly neighbors and in recent years we have our relations strained, and now we are back with some positive developments,” Wen told the Filipino journalists, recalling that President Duterte visited China where he participated in a forum for international cooperation.


siege is coming to an end does not mean the threat is over. ISlinked militants there will regroup... and lay low for a while, while rebuilding their strength,” he said. He said Mahmud would, if he is still alive, likely rise up to lead the IS-linked fighters in Mindanao and stay in contact with the jihadists in the Middle East. It is not clear how many ISsupporting militants there are in Southeast Asia, a region of more than 600 million people, but many local militant outfits have pledged allegiance to the group. Hundreds of militants are believed to have flocked to the Middle East to fight with IS -- particularly from Indonesia,

which has the world’s biggest Muslim population, and the Philippines. Sidney Jones, head of Jakartabased security think-tank the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, warned authorities now faced a growing threat of battlehardened fighters returning to Southeast Asia as the noose closes on IS in the Middle East, with their former stronghold of Raqa close to being captured. Authorities have been particularly concerned about a Southeast Asian unit of IS fighters in Syria, Khatibah Nusantara. “I think the attention is going to shift back again to the return of fighters from Syria and Iraq,” she said.

A task force to oversee the rehabilitation of Marawi City on Monday sent out five teams to assess the damage to 24 barangays in the war-torn city. In a statement, Task Force Bangon Marawi spokesperson Kristoffer James Purisima said the Office of Civil Defense will lead the post-conflict needs assessment teams comprised of 145 members in total. Purisima said the teams left the National Emergency Operations Center in Iligan City Monday morning to assess the dam-

age and losses incurred due to the ongoing conflict. Each team was assigned to assess a number of barangays declared cleared by the Armed Forces, referred to as Zones 0 to 12. Before the field deployment, security briefings, and reorientation were conducted at the operations center on Oct. 14 and 15. The teams are expected to complete their field deployment, including data analysis, consolidation, and report development on Oct. 27. Maricel V. Cruz

of seven years. “Thus, Morales is usurping her office,” Vitangcol said in a text message. He anchored his petition on the deliberations of the committee on justice on Feb. 2, 1989, relative to House Bill 13646 that was enacted into Republic Act 6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989. “Legislative intent is part and parcel of the law. It is the controlling factor in interpreting a statute. In fact, any interpretation that runs counter with the legislative intent is unacceptable and invalid,” Vitangcol’s petition says. Vitangcol also called on the high court to declare all orders, decisions and resolutions “rendered personally” by Morales from Dec. 1, 2012 up to the pre-

sent null and void. “Affected cases should be remanded to the Deputy Ombudsman for proper disposition pending the appointment of a new Ombudsman,” the petition says. It was Morales who approved the filing of graft charges before the Sandiganbayan against Vitangcol over his alleged attempt to extort $30 million from a Czech light rail vehicles supplier and the irregularities in the transit system’s interim maintenance contract during his stint as MRT chief. Vitangcol’s petition agrees with President Rodrigo Duterte’s view that Morales was supposed to serve the remaining term of her predecessor. Duterte has also accused Morales of practicing selective justice. Rio N. Araja

port for representative democracy, commitment to democracy among Filipinos remains shallow at 15 percent, with 67 percent saying they were less committed or supportive of at least one nondemocratic form of government. Twelve percent said that they do not support any form of democracy in the Philippines. Support to non-democratic forms of governance is highly evident, with half of the Filipinos surveyed or 50 percent expressing support for autocracy, with strong leaders making decisions without

interference from parliament or the courts. Some 16 percent said it would be a very good way to govern the country and 34 percent said it was somewhat good. Another 47 percent said it was a bad way of governing the country (26 percent somewhat bad; 21 percent very bad). Unconstrained executive power remains popular in the country after some executives extended or consolidated their power in recent years, such as the Philippines, Russia and Turkey, the opinion polling firm noted. John Paolo Bencito

Lorenzana said ground forces mounting a final assault on the militants in Marawi killed Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute, one of two brothers who led an extremist group allied to Hapilon, early Monday. DNA tests will be carried out on the two bodies because of the reward offer from the US and Philippine governments, he added. “The implication of this development is that the Marawi incident is almost over and we may announce the termination of hostilities in a couple of days,” Lorenzana said. The authorities have made several previous announcements on the imminent end of the conflict, but observers believe this time the forecast is likely to be accurate. Pro-IS gunmen occupied parts of Marawi on May 23 following a foiled attempt by security forces to arrest Hapilon, authorities said. The military says Hapilon joined forces with the Maute group to plan the rampage. Since then more than 1,000 people have been killed and 400,000 residents displaced. Military officials last month said other militant leaders, including Omar’s brothers, had been killed in the battle for Marawi. Troops were still pursuing Malaysian militant leader Mahmud Ahmad in the Marawi battle zone, Lorenzana said on Monday. The insurgents have withstood a relentless US-backed bombing campaign and intense ground battles with troops that have left large parts of Marawi in ruins. Troops identified Hapilon and Maute’s location on Sunday based on information from a hostage who had escaped, Lorenzana said. Hapilon’s death signaled rehabilitation of the city would begin soon, the presidential palace said. “We will put our efforts and energies on the challenging task of rebuilding and rehabilitating Marawi,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said. Hapilon is believed to have been involved in 2001 kidnappings of three Americans, two of whom were later killed. Aside from Hapilon and Maute, government troops found five bodies after the early morning assault on terrorist positions. Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año said the objective of the attack was to free the hostages. A heavy firefight lasting four hours, from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., ensued. Año said the assault would continue until the last Maute group member is neutralized and the last hostage is freed. With Hapilon and Maute dead, Año said the ISIS-inspired terrorist group was finished. “This is the end of this Maute group,” Año said in Filipino. “This was their center of gravity. Everything will crumble now.” The Palace on Monday hailed the deaths of Hapilon and Maute as a “clear victory against terrorism” as it lauded the military for their success in ending the crisis. “We look forward to raising Marawi from the ashes of conflict and building in a new era where people from the farthest reaches of this Republic can share in the boon of progress,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said. With Macon Ramos-Araneta

In other developments: • Despite the mounting criticism of the war on illegal drugs, Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa on Monday vowed to help the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the fight against illegal drugs. At the Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City, Dela Rosa said the PNP will continue to exercise its supporting role to help PDEA fight the drug menace. He said he was now learning to be “immune” to attacks and insults from critics. • The Commission on Human Rights on Monday praised the government decision to desig-

nate the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the lead agency in carrying out President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs. “We are hopeful that professionalism will govern PDEA in implementing the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and that the campaign against drugs will be carried out with strict adherence to the rule of law,” spokeswoman Jacqueline Ann de Guia said. “This development is an indication that the administration is willing to listen to the public clamor for the observance of due process in its campaign against illegal drugs.”

Belief on the existence of extrajudicial deaths were highest among those in the National Capital Region (78 percent) and Balance Luzon (75 percent), while the highest movement came from Mindanao, now at 67 percent or up by 17 points since last June. Some 68 percent in the Visayas likewise believe in the occurrence of extrajudicial deaths. The same view is being echoed by the majorities in all classes, with 77 percent of those in class ABC believing in their occurrence followed by class D at 72 percent, and class E at 70 percent.

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Reports said Mahmud channeled millions of dollars to Mindanao to finance the Marawi attack. Lorenzana said Mahmud was still hiding in one of the structures within the main battle area. An expert on terrorism from Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Kumar Ramakrishna, said Hapilon’s death was “a significant operational and sympolic blow to IS-linked groups,” but warned that it was far from the end of IS in Southeast Asia. “Just because the Marawi

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forever be remembered. You did not die in vain,” Alejano said. He added: “In view of recent event, I hope that the lifting of martial law in the whole of Mindanao be considered sooner than later, as also promised by the President.” He said the government must now focus on the rebuilding and rehabilitation of Marawi at the soonest possible time.

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At the Kamuning Bakery, Sereno’s lawyer Aldwin Salumbides said “definitely we will not take part in any proceedings.” Voting 25-2, the House of Representatives’ committee on justice found sufficient grounds to hear the impeachment complaint filed against Sereno by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon. Morales replaced Merceditas Gutierrez who resigned on May 6, 2011 as Ombudsman to avoid an impeachment trial in the Senate, leaving an unexpired term until Nov. 30, 2012. Vitangcol said the intent of the law was for the successor of Gutierrez to serve the remainder of her term only not a full term

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The Philippines elects officials to occupy key posts in government including the President, the Vice President, members of both chambers of Congress and local government officials. The Filipinos surveyed also had a good view of having direct democracy in the country, with 67 percent saying it was good for the country and 29 percent saying it was bad. Despite the widespread sup-

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73 percent of those polled believe that extrajudicial killings are occurring in the conduct of the Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs, which is six points higher compared to a similar poll in June. On the other hand, 20 percent of those surveyed do not believe summary killings are happening in the implementation of the anti-illegal drugs campaign, and almost one in 10 of those surveyed (7 percent) refused to answer the question.




‘Revolutionary govt’ shot down By Macon Ramos-Araneta

LLIES of President Rodrigo Duterte are skeptical on his threat to declare a revolutionary government once he senses that a destabilization plot will lead to the opposition replacing him as president.


Senator Panfilo Lacson said that by now, people should already be used to the President’s impulsive statements.

“I don’t believe he will declare a revolutionary government—not now, not anytime during his term,” said Lacson.

“He knows he won’t and can’t do it,” Lacson added. Having said that, he said that there’s no point reacting negatively or otherwise to such and other similar pronouncements. Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, on the other hand, said he does not subsribe to the idea of a revolutionary government. “In fact, it could be used as a short cut to federalism if the country will agree,” Sotto said.

Nonetheless, he said the President could have information not available to us. “He probably feels the country’s stability could be in jeopardy that’s why he is thinking of ways to protect it just in case.” “It’s merely an idea at this point and I have no reason to be wary about it,” he added. Senator Sonny Angara hopes that it doesn’t come to that. “We will all lose. Let’s call on all political forc-

es to work for the nation. Extra constitutional methods to seize power or maintain power have not worked well for us in the past and would surely be damaging in the future,” he said. The President told his critics that he will create a revolutionary government that will last until the end of his term ifhe thinks they’re “about to take over the nation,” and if they “have destabilized government” to the point that they will

name a new leader. “’Once your destabilization is already creating chaos, I will not hesitate to declare a revolutionary government until the end of my term, and I will arrest all of you, and we can go to a full-scale war against the Reds,” he said. Duterte said he is not keen on declaring martial law because a revolutionary government is faster to form. With martial law, he will have to report before Congress.

Senators OK lifestyle checks on BoC, BIR employees By Macon Ramos-Araneta SAYING that lifestyle checks should be the easier way to pin down the ‘Al Capones’ at the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Senator Grace Poe on Monday said it’s time to put an end to the gall and hubris of these people who had it too good for way too long under the pretext of serving the people. “This is a sure-fire way of forfeiting the money these people have siphoned, stem corruption at the agencies they work, and ensure that revenue collected by these agencies go to government coffers,” she said. She acknowledged that corruption has plagued these two revenue-generating agencies for the longest time. “We have seen customs employees with meager salaries acquire properties with values way beyond what they supposedly can afford,” said Poe. For example, he said Ruben Taguba, the father of Mark Taguba, the whistleblower in the P6-billion shabu heist pay-off, allegedly acquired multi-million properties while working at the BoC as a mere customs police. “Previously, a customs clerk earning only P9,000 a month was able to buy a Porsche,” she said, referring to a janitor at the BoC who bought the high-end vehicle. Poe said she has always advocated for less human interaction in such agencies, especially since most transactions can be done online or by using a computer interface or program. She said this will result in transparency and less opportunities for corrupt officials to earn illegally. Senator Chiz Escudero also aired his support to the lifestyle checks on BoC and BIR officials. He said it should be done regularly to revenuecollecting agencies. He believes this could help in the government’s anti-corruption drive.

ASEAN MATTERS. Former Ambassador Rosario Manalo (left) a witness to the signing of the Bangkok Declaration Association on Southeast Asian Nations and former Ambassador Donald Dee, ECOP president, guested at the Tapatan sa Aristocrat Media Forum during the discussion on the ‘Association of Southeast Asian Nations @ 50, Is Asean still Relevant In A Changing World?’ held at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Manila. Lino Santos

House approves medical scholarship bill By Maricel V. Cruz THE House of Representatives, through viva voce voting, approved this week on second reading House Bill 6571 which seeks to establish a medical scholarship program to address the shortage of doctors in the country. Rep. Angelina Tan of Quezon, chairperson of the committee on health which endorsed the plenary approval of the bill and one of the authors of the measure, said the bill likewise seeks to provide

the institutional mechanism for the envisioned sustained human resource development of the Philippine public health care system. Tan said the government has acknowledged the reality that indeed, the country is facing an alarming shortage of medical doctors and other medical professionals. A recent newspaper editorial cited that the country has a shortage of 60,000 doctors, which means six out of every 10 Filipinos die without seeing a doctor. Tan said medical courses

in the country are too costly that it has become beyond the reach of Filipino families even those belonging to the higher middle income class. “To make this problem even worse is the fact that doctors are already taking up nursing and leaving the country for more lucrative jobs overseas,” Tan said. Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas, a co-author of the bill, said doctors are the drivers of the health care system, and the system can fail if there is a shortage of doctors.

Another author, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga, said there is an urgent need to create a steadily expanding pool of medical doctors to strengthen and expand the core of the public health service system through institutional mechanisms and programs. “This will not only enable a greater number of qualified and public service oriented young people to pursue medical education but also systematically and effectively ensure their integration into the public health service

system in such manner that would harness their talents within an optimum period of time for the benefit of our country and people,” Macapagal-Arroyo said. House Bill 6571 or the proposed “Medical Scholarship and Return Service Program Act” mandates the establishment of a medical scholarship and return service program for deserving students in State Universities and Colleges or in private higher education institutions in regions where there are no SUCs offering medicine.

Bill prohibiting leaving unattended children in vehicles filed THE House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 6570 seeking to prohibit leaving children eight-yearsold and-below unattended in motor vehicles. The committee on welfare of children chaired by Rep. Divina Grace Yu endorsed for plenary approval the bill which is principally authored by Reps. Strike Revilla of Cavite and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga. Under the bill, a child must always

be attended by someone 18 years or older while onboard a motor vehicle with engine running or the key is inside the vehicle. The bill provides for a penalty of P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense and P50,000 with confiscation of the driver’s license for the third offense. Any subsequent offense shall carry the penalty of revocation of the driver’s license.

A public awareness campaign on the prohibition and dangers of leaving children unattended inside motor vehicles shall be undertaken nationwide by the Land Transportation Office will also be mandated by the bill if passed into law. The LTO, in consultation with the member-agencies of the Council for the Welfare of Children shall issue the implementing rules and regulations of the measure once it is enacted into law.

Revilla said the deaths and injuries caused by leaving children unattended in motor vehicles are predictable and preventable. “These injuries and deaths were caused by heat stroke, a motor vehicle being put in motion by a child, choking while inside a car, being kidnapped, inhaling toxic fumes, activation of automatic power controls, or being trapped in the vehicle’s trunk,” said Revilla. Maricel V. Cruz

Fr. Ramirez named as bishop of Naval By Vito Barcelo

POPE Francis appointed Palo, Leyte priest Monsignor Rex Ramirez as the new bishop of the Diocese of Naval, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Ramirez, the vicar general of the archdiocese, will succeed Bishop Filomeno Bactol whose resignation was accepted by the pontiff two years after reaching the mandatory retirement age requirement of 75 for prelates. The bishop-elect will be the second bishop of the

diocese, which comprises the whole island of Biliran and the northwestern tip of Leyte province, that was shepherded by Bactol since 1988. Ramirez, 49, is currently serving as the rector of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Cathedral. As second-in-command to Archbishop John Du, the bishop-elect was instrumental in the preparation and during the 2015 visit of Pope Francis to Leyte. Ramirez was born in Balangiga, Eastern Samar on Dec. 15, 1967. After high school and philosophy courses at the

Sacred Heart Seminary in Palo, he completed his theology studies at the Loyola School of Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University. He was ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Palo on March 27, 1995, then carrying out for the first two years of his ministry the service of special secretary to the archbishop. In the years 1997 to 2007, he studied at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm, an educational institute in Rome established under papal jurisdiction, where he obtained a Licentiate in Liturgy.

SURPRISE INSPECTION. Personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, along with Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives, search each cell inside the Quezon City Jail during Oplan Greyhound as they search for illegal drugs and other illegal items. Manny Palmero

Taipei sets visa-free entry for Filipinos By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan and Vito Barcelo

FILIPINOS will be able to enjoy visa-free entry to Taiwan after Taipei opened the privilege for a trial period of nine months. Starting Nov. 1, 2017, Filipino travelers will be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days for the purpose of tourism, business, visiting relatives, attending functions, or events. The Taipei Economic Cultural Office, however, said that the visa-free privilege will be extended up until July 21, 2018. “This visa-free initiative shall undergo a 9-month trial period until July 31, 2018 as part of Taiwan’s goodwill and efforts of the ‘New Southbound Policy’ to build closer people-to-people exchange of visits and an economic community between Taiwan and the Philippines,” Teco said. Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin, Taiwan Representative to the Philippines, emphasized that the Philippines is not only Taiwan’s closest neighbor but also Taiwan’s important partner of its “New southbound policy.” Lin said the granting of visa-free privilege to Filipinos is one of his longtime visions to build strong bilateral relations and a closer economic community between the Philippines and Taiwan. He added that this development is aimed to enhance the mutually beneficial bilateral tourism, trade, investment, technology, agriculture, economic, cultural, educational and people-topeople cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the Philippines.

Solon bucks proposal on marijuana By Maricel V. Cruz A PARTY-LIST lawmaker on Monday cautioned Congress against the “backdoor decriminalization” of marijuana through a proposed law legalizing it for medicinal use. Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said there is a danger in enacting the proposed law as this would encourage the supposed medicinal use of the highly addictive banned drug. “If other countries wish to destroy themselves by enabling medical marijuana, then let them create their own problems. We Filipinos certainly do not want to degenerate into a nation of zombies,” Atienza, the senior deputy minority leader, said. Atienza made the statement in reaction to the 63-member House committee on health’s decision to endorse for plenary approval the bill that would allow Filipinos to avail of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. “We expect the bill to be put to the floor when Congress resumes session next month, and we intend to fight it off forcefully,” Atienza said, referring to House Bill 6517, or the proposed Act Providing Filipinos Right of Access to Medical Marijuana. The Philippine Medical Association, the professional organization of Filipino physicians, has rejected the bill outright, declaring it “contrary to the policy of the State to safeguard the well-being of its citizenry.”






Pay your workers on time

MANILA congressman filed a bill that would penalize employers who repeatedly fail to pay their employees

on time. In a statement, the congressman said that four out of 10 employers owe their workers back pay, and that this onerous rate is second only to Malaysia. When employees do not receive their salaries on time, they incur debt just to meet their daily needs. The bill fines payroll masters of companies when they do not disburse salaries even as funds have been made available, or when they do not inform

Adelle Chua, Editor

their employers that there are no funds with which to pay the workers. Employers will be liable, as well, for failure to pay wages without any justifiable reason—they will be slapped a fine of P500,000 on first offense, P1 million on second offense, and P3 million for third offense. Business operations will be suspended in the first two instances and perpetually closed on the third. The bill, for its good in-

tentions, faces a round of challenges. It is not as if we have a dearth of laws and recourse for aggrieved workers. The Labor Code has provisions that tell us in what manner and when employers should pay their workers. The Labor Department receives complaints about such deadbeat businessmen. And yet, the practice continues, not just in terms of withheld wages but in other benefits such as social security and health insurance. As a result, aside from incurring debt for daily sustenance—the expenses

do not stop, after all, even when their powerful bosses turn a deaf ear to their complaints—the workers’ ability to secure loans, consult a doctor in times of emergency and look forward to a modest but steady pension in old age is compromised through no fault of their own. In theory, laws and regulations protect employees from the indifference and selfishness of their bosses. In reality, the status quo itself prevents these workers from turning to the law to assert their rights. Take note – they do not ask for much, just what is due them after putting in

the hours, the hard work, the commitment, and yes the loyalty. Imagine however the inconvenience one has to endure in filing a complaint, attending hearings, waiting for decisions, spending money for all these when they could be at their workplaces earning their keep. Except that, they are not being paid in the first place. We also forget how these employers refuse to acknowledge that their omission means the difference between having food on the table or eating well, being able to send children to school or leav-

ing them on the street, or having the money to buy medicine or withering away in sickness. Alas, conscience cannot be legislated. This proposal would be good but only if it is implemented according to spirit—the same spirit that dictates fairness and honesty and genuine compassion. Otherwise, it will just be another cosmetic solution to an age-old problem. Workers cannot afford to risk losing the jobs they currently have because staying appears safer and less of a hassle. Even when they do not get paid on time. TO THE POINT EMIL P. JURADO

Tugade’s troubles WHEN the Social Weather Stations came out with its recent survey that President Duterte’s satisfaction and trust ratings were down, I said that there was a re-awakening on the part of the people that the killing spree by the police in connection with the war on drugs must stop. I also said that the SWS findings are both good and bad for the President. It is good in the sense that the President was given an opportunity to listen to the voice of the people and rethink his strategy in his brutal war on drugs. It is bad because people now acknowledge that there are extrajudicial killings, which have been roundly criticized here and abroad. Now the President has decided it should be the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, not the Philippine National Police, who must lead in the war against drugs.

He cannot blame his predecessors anymore.

When surveys fail LOWDOWN

JOJO A. ROBLES THERE IS, of course, no rule which states that the results of the survey companies should track and confirm each other, even if that is mostly what happens outside this country. But I think both Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, the two biggest polling companies hereabouts, know that they are really only as credible as their latest surveys —and that they can’t have wildly different results for polls covering the same period and using roughly the same sample size. After all, survey companies that claim to be both intellectually honest and scientifically rigorous should not be bothered by

variations in polling results, especially those presented by their competitors, whose methods and data they cannot control. Assuming that they do not tamper with their own data or make conclusions that their research does not support, they really have nothing to fear. But wild variations in polling data don’t help the people make decisions, which survey companies are supposed to do. Instead of spurring genuine debate and fostering real change, pollsters sometimes only reinforce people’s confirmation bias, or their tendency to believe what they already believe, using polling data that suits their prejudices. Readers of this column, for instance, must know that I have long ago concluded that SWS is not as credible in its survey-tak-

ing as Pulse Asia. Thus, for me, the most recent polls taken by these two firms on the popularity, approval and trust of Filipinos in

Instead of spurring genuine debate and change, pollsters sometimes only reinforce people’s confirmation bias.

President Rodrigo Duterte confirm both my own bias in favor of one survey-taker and of Duterte himself. But I must point out that

fellow pundits and commentators who choose to downplay the Pulse poll (or who ignore it altogether) in order to buttress their own story arc about the socalled “drastic” drop in the popularity and trust ratings of Duterte are at least as guilty as I am of showing their own biases. And the dramatic difference in the results of both surveys is not helping any. Of course, opinions should be different from pundit to pundit and your mileage will certainly vary depending on which commentator you choose to listen to and believe. But survey-takers would certainly do a better job of helping form public opinion and clarifying national discourse if their science and their data weren’t so susceptible to partisan interpretation.

*** The would-be emir of the Islamic State’s Southeast Asia caliphate, Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Isnilon Hapilon, has been killed in the continuing military campaign to retake Marawi City. Hapilon was killed after midnight on Monday together with Omar Maute, half of the leadership of the eponymous Marawi-based group whose band laid siege to the city four months ago. The end of the terrorist occupation of Marawi seems clearly at hand, after the loss of hundreds of lives on the part of the ISinspired terrorists, the military and the civilian populace caught in between. There will be an urgent need to rebuild the scenic and historic Islamic City of the Philippines—but there will also be questions that will require answers now

that the most serious terror threat to the country by far has been turned back. It’s clear that the Armed Forces of the Philippines was woefully unprepared to respond to the IS-Maute attack. That is why it took this long to repel the relatively small (but obviously well-stocked and well-prepared) terrorist force. The government and the AFP should understand that groups with similar plans have witnessed the lack of training and capability of our soldiers when it comes to the strategy devised in Marawi. It will be up to the authorities to address the gaps exploited so effectively by the terrorists during their takeover of the city. I don’t know how long and how much it will take for the AFP to retrain and retool in order to respond

The problem is this— Can the PDEA do it with limited manpower and limited budget? The President should ensure that the PDEA has support so it could enjoy success. *** All talks about the destabilization of the Duterte government are definitely in the realm of speculation. While the Yellowtards and critics of the President may be wishing it, history tells us that destabilization can only be possible if there are enough people to support it, coupled with military intervention. Edsa One and Two prove that an uprising can succeed if people and the military come together. The President should realize that all the talk on destabilization coming from his own camp is not good for our image. It may not be unsettling for the people, but

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Opinion Tugade’s... From A4

do foreigners listen! *** Read this and weep—Metro Manila is one of the most unsafe cities in the world, according to London-based magazine The Economist. Metro Manila ranked 55th out of 60 cities covered by the Safe Cities Index 2017, in a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The research looked at the digital, health, infrastructure and personal security of cities included in the sample. With Manila at the bottom are Cairo, Tehran, Caracas, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Dhaka, Yangon and Karachi. According to the report, Metro Manila consistently ranked low in various indicators used for unsafe cities due in terms of deaths due to natural disasters, Metro Manila was secondmost dangerous in terms of digital security next to Jakarta and fifth less safe in infrastructure after Dhaka, Karachi, Yangon and Quito. Metro Manila was 14th in terms of death in vehicular accidents, and 19th in frequency of terror attacks. The safest cities are Tokyo, Singapore, Osaka, Toronto and Melbourne. Completing the Top Ten are Amsterdam, Sydney, Stockholm, Hong Kong and Zurich. I still have to see where the Philippines excels in. *** I wonder how Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade would react, if at all, to reports that Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon was among the hundreds of passengers stranded after the MRT broke down three times last Oct. 10. Biazon, who takes the train at least once a week, was on his way to Congress when he experienced firsthand what long-suffering commuters have to put up with every day. As expected, he took the DoTr to task and demanded action. Tugade was appointed to his post at the start of the Duterte administration but he and his handpicked men still have to come up with acceptable solutions to the multiple ills plaguing public transport. Apart from the MRT-3

When... From A4

more quickly and more effectively to groups that engage in urban warfare like the Mautes. But it has to be done, unless we want a repeat of what happened in the last four months. And it’s no idle speculation that ruthless, opportunistic groups like those led by Hapilon and the Maute brothers may attempt another Marawi-style takeover in other parts of the country. In fact, the authorities have already warned that if more than one group stages similar attacks simultaneously in different locations, thus dividing the attention, manpower and logistics of the AFP, we’d really be in trouble.

mess, they seem helpless in dealing with driver’s licenses, car plates, passenger jeepneys, traffic. They cannot anymore say that this is a problem created by their predecessors. It has been 15 months! I am also curious why in less than a year, four undersecretaries have resigned. The latest was undersecretary for aviation Roberto Dim who quit his post last May, purportedly in the interest of the department. Two weeks later, Assistant Secretary Cherie Mercado, a former TV journalist, also left the agency. And then, what about this P7-billion Clark project involving the long-term lease and development of a three-hectare lot in the freeport zone? Is it true that Tugade approved the project without public consultation and bidding? This project has been opposed by the City of Angeles! The area is also said to be beyond the Clark Development Corporation’s jurisdiction and falls within the territory of Angeles City. Reports also have it that Tugade authorized CDC to shoulder the payment of the bill for waste water of Texas Instruments even if this is not provided for in its contract with the company. If this is true, the Commission on Audit must look into this. Last July, Tugade started the transfer of DoTr operations to Clark, which is about 100 kilometers from Metro Manila. Employees protested it, who said they have to wake up as early as 3 a.m. to be able to catch the shuttle. Travelling does take a lot of time away from their families. Santa Banana, office rentals and maintenance in Clark would reportedly cost as much as P50 million compared to the less than P22 million that the agency spends for its offices at Columbia Tower in Mandaluyong! This is not to point an accusing finger at Tugade, but there is talk that the real reason he wants to move to Clark is that he wants to remain in control of the CDC. *** Residents of Cotabato City are terrified that the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Groups have them as next target, after Marawi.

And even more than retraining and retooling, the government needs to gather the right intelligence at the right time, in order to nip such terroristic uprisings in the bud. Which is not to say that the AFP failed to recognize the threat in Marawi before the takeover of the city happened—but the military could have known more about the threat at an earlier time, with the help of local officials on the ground, who could have been more observant, cooperative and forthcoming. Of course, all of this should happen while the government rebuilds Marawi and gives aid, comfort and assistance to its displaced residents. The sooner the city gets back on its feet, the earlier it can put behind this bloody chapter in its and the country’s history.



Hardheads FORMATION GARY OLIVAR MATITIGAS ang ulo. As usual, the Tagalog translation always sounds better. The weekend news introduced us to a variety of hardheads who can’t seem to understand that, by opposing this or that reform, they will simply be steamrollered under by the juggernaut of “change is coming!” history on the move. The latest ones, in today’s headlines, were two jihadist gentlemen of the ISIS persuasion by the names of Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute, who ended up the newest and most prominent casualties of the AFP’s drive to finally take back Marawi. Judging from their photos, especially of Omar who seemed to have lost the entire back of his head, they weren’t so hardheaded after all. These two gentlemen looked forward to their martyr’s reward of 72 virgins each in paradise. But they’ll probably have to settle only for 72-year-old virgins….if that. *** Also in today’s headlines will be the leaders of Pis-

ton, the federation of jeepney drivers associations, who called for a nationwide strike yesterday to protest the impending phaseout of jeepneys 15 years and older, which will be replaced by newer, cleaner, safer models. Who could argue with “new, clean, and safe”? Apparently these guys do. They claim that the benefits of the new models will only go to the operators, not the drivers. They add that the financing schemes being offered to them are too expensive for the drivers to afford. Well, having some background myself in finance, I can say here that there isn’t a financing problem in the world that can’t ultimately be solved if enough bright people are locked together in a room and told they can’t leave until they come up with a solution. If the room doesn’t have its own toilet, you’ll be amazed at how creative these people can become. Having said that, though, I can cut the jeepney drivers some slack if they were having to deal with the folks at DOTr and LTFRB. These are agencies that so far have underwhelmed the public. But I’m still not giving up hope, since I’m sure that

both offices also have their share of toilet-less rooms. The heads of both agencies should remember that, as with other spheroids, if you squeeze balls hard enough and long enough, the solutions will pop out. On the other hand, the Piston leaders reportedly boasted that government’s decision to suspend classes and work yesterday showed that government was “nervous” about the strike. If they really think they can scare government into acquiescence, then there’s absolutely no reason why government shouldn’t get tough with these hardheads. The LTFRB has the authority to suspend or cancel the PUV licenses of jeepney operators and drivers. It also has the authority to slap hefty fines on violators, which it already did to Uber. If LTFRB had the balls to do that to a foreign company like Uber, whose passengers are mostly middle-class, shouldn’t it also do the same to the Piston strikers, whose passengers being deprived of livelihood and safety are mostly poor? *** Another class of hardheads work over at the Bureau of Customs. This is an agency that has always dwelt

near the cellar when it comes to public trust and approval. And after the green-lane smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu last May, it’s clear that their reputation is still well deserved. The new Customs commissioner is a straightshooting former general, Isidro Lapeña, who replaced the damaged goods Nicanor Faeldon and company. Since coming in, he’s declared that up to 90 percent of the collectors, examiners, and section chiefs deserve to be sacked. And he’s started the ball rolling that way, by initially “floating” nearly a hundred of these scalawags. But have the remaining employees put on sackcloth and covered themselves with ashes in public repentance? Far from it. Their labor union has let it be known that they may launch protest actions that could paralyze the bureau. They’re peeved that they weren’t “consulted” first. They’re also mad that Lapena has been bringing in people from his former agency, PDEA—an office which, by the way, Duterte regards highly enough to recently entrust his war on drugs to. Do they question Lapeña’s authority to “float” people or bring in whoever

he wants? They don’t because they can’t. And neither of course can they insist that he has a legal duty to consult with them on his decisions. None of this matters; they’re just….peeved. I remember that one of the late President Reagan’s very first actions, back in the early eighties, was to fire every single member of the US air traffic controllers’ union who went on an illegal strike. It was a daring move that put the lives of airline passengers at risk. But he stood his ground, all the striking controllers were eventually replaced, and nobody else after that would dare to hold hostage the public’s safety and welfare. Lives do not depend on the work being done at Customs; at most, only trade and commerce do. The malcontents in Customs are not indispensable, they are all replaceable. For them to threaten to strike, after putting in the kind of performance and living the kind of lifestyle that their new chief believes 90 percent of their senior colleagues should be dismissed for— for this, they need to be taught a lesson. Readers can write me at

The stakes in the De Lima decision THE stakes are high in the De Lima decision, and not only for the opposition senator but for the country and for the future of our justice and anti-corruption system. This is why I am starting this series on De Lima vs. Guerrero as people need to be aware of the ramifications of what the Supreme Court decided in the case. If the decision is affirmed, it will be a big tragedy for the rule of law. But I am still hopeful, given the close voting, that the Court will reverse itself. I will start the series with this summary of the main opinion written by Justice Presbitero Velasco whom Senator De Lima earlier asked to inhibit from the case for conflict of interest. It will be followed by summaries of the various dissenting and concurring opinions and end with my own analysis. As has been reported, the majority opinion dismissed for lack of merit the petition for prohibition and certiorari filed by petitioner. Earlier, Senator De Lima, in her pe-

tition, raised, among others, the issue of whether or not the trial court or the Sandiganbayan has the jurisdiction over the violation of Republic Act No. 9165 averred in the assailed information. In justifying the dismissal of De Lima’s petition, the SC, on the procedural issues raised by the petitioner, ruled as follows: First, that petitioner did not sign the Verification and Certification against Forum Shopping and Affidavit of Merit of the petition in front of the notary which is required by the Rules on Notarial Practice. According to the ruling, without the presence of the notary upon the signing of the Verification and the Certification against Forum Shopping, there is no assurance that the petitioner swore under oath that the allegations in the petition have been made in good faith or are true and correct, and not merely speculative. Second, that petitioner violated the hierarchy of courts when she filed the petition before the SC and not with the Court of Appeals. Velasco emphasized that the hierarchy of courts is an important component of the orderly administration of justice and should

not be trifled with. Third, the petition is premature. Velasco points out that her petition seeks to nullify the warrant of arrest and not to dismiss the criminal case. More importantly, according to the Court, her request for the issuance of a Motion to Quash is an unmistakable admission that the RTC had yet to rule on her Motion to Quash and the existence of the RTC to rule on such motion. Third, she violated the rule against forum shopping when she filed the present petition despite the pendency of a Motion to Quash the information before the RTC-Muntinlupa. On the substantive issues, the SC made the following findings: First, that the RTC has jurisdiction over the case. Velasco pointed out that from the designation of the crime in the information itself, which is “violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, sec. 5, in relation to sec. 3(ii), sec. 26(b), and sec. 28, Republic Act No. 9165, it is clear that petitioner is charged with violation of RA No. 9165. The information against the petitioner goes beyond the indictment of direct bribery under the Revised Penal Code. The crime of “illegal

trafficking” embraces other offenses punishable by RA No. 9165. With the designation of the offense and the recital of facts, there is no question that petitioner is being charged not with direct bribery but with violation of RA No. 9165; and RA No. 9165, a special law, mentions no other court to exclusively try and hear drug related cases other than the RTC. Secondly, the Court also rules that the respondent judge did not abuse her discretion in finding probable cause to order petitioner’s arrest. It explains that respondent judge has no positive duty to first resolve the Motion to Quash before issuing a warrant of arrest. Moreover, as the prosecutor’s report/resolution finds support from the evidence presented during the preliminary investigation and the judge issued the assailed warrant of arrest after evaluating the information and “all the evidence presented during the preliminary investigation, it cannot be said that the respondent judge abused her discretion in finding probable cause and issuing the warrant of arrest against petitioner.” This, according to Justice Velasco’s opinion, is

not surprising considering that the only evidence presented before the court are those provided by the complainants and the petitioner, in fact, did not present any counter-affidavit or evidence to controvert this. The Court further states, “Verily, the admissibility of evidence, their evidentiary weight, probative value, and the credibility of witnesses are matters best resolved in a full-blown trial, not during the preliminary investigation where the technical rules are not applied nor at the stage of determination of probable cause for the issuance of warrant of arrest. Thus the better alternative is to proceed with the conduct of the trial on the merits for the petitioner and the prosecution to present their respective evidence in support of their allegation.” In his dissent, Associate Justice Antonio Carpio does not mince words when he described the majority decision as “one of the grossest injustices” in recent memory. In my next column, I will write how the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court reached that conclusion.

colleges and state-run technical and vocational institutions. The other bills enacted into law include one that improves emergency health care services to patients, and another that provides free internet access in designated public places. Alvarez should be credited with his strict policy on attendance in the House. The bad habits of recalcitrant legislators showing up late for the sessions, as well as the lazy ones who do not attend sessions at all, are now vestiges of the past. Alvarez imposes a very strict roll call, where the tardy are disallowed from entering the session hall. That’s welcome news, indeed. The recent action taken by the House in the impeachment controversy surrounding Andres Bautista, the beleaguered chairman of the Commission on Elections, is also a feather on Alvarez’s cap. It will be recalled that the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss the impeachment complaint against Bautista

on the ground that its verification was faulty. An attempt by the complainants to amend the complaint to make it compliant was also rejected by the committee. When the matter was taken up in the plenary, the House voted to overturn the committee’s decision and declared the amended impeachment complaint compliant. This paved the way for the resignation of Bautista. In the decision of the committee, form prevailed over substance, as Representative Edcel Lagman had wanted it. However, in the action taken by the plenary, substance prevailed over form, as Alvarez preferred it. That is the way it should be, and Alvarez ought to be credited for confirming that the House does not favor decisions based on mere technicalities. From the way Alvarez has been leading the House, optimism is on his side and, hopefully, he will do even better in the coming months.

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The latest opinion poll says a lot HAIL TO THE CHAIR VICTOR AVECILLA IT SEEMS that the orchestrated efforts of the Liberal Party to destabilize the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte during the past months have backfired. Much to the disappointment of LP supporters, the latest public opinion polls indicate that President Duterte as well as Senate President and PDP Party Chairman Aquilino Pimentel III continue to enjoy high trust and satisfaction ratings from the public. Duterte ran for and won as president under the PDP banner in the May 2016 elections. More specifically, the Social Weather Stations survey puts the approval ratings of President Duterte at 67 percent, with Pimentel at 60 percent, for a net satisfaction figure of +48 and +46, respectively. There is the Pulse Asia survey

which puts the president’s ratings at 80 percent and Pimentel at 55 percent. Duterte and Pimentel have good reason to continue their platform of government because of their approval ratings. Energy Secretary and PDP Party Vice Chairman Alfonso Cusi attributes their good grades to the people’s “continued strong support for the party’s platform for change.” Sadly, however, some supposed representatives of the European Union have been meddling in the administration’s current war against the drug menace confronting the Philippines. The one-sided assessment of the situation by the European observers has not helped any in the nation’s battle against illegal drugs. Hopefully, the meddling from the European Community will not discourage Duterte’s from using the strong arm of the law against the drug menace. His no-nonsense war against narcotics is the unifying factor among the

people who know that the problems of the country are caused mainly by drug abuse and the criminal syndicates that profit from it. President Duterte may have been disappointed with the way the Philippine National Police had been handling his crusade against drugs, but he has not relented. His decision to transfer to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency the task of fighting the drug menace is expected. As the PDEA’s name suggests, that is what that agency is responsible for. There is no doubt that the drug syndicates in the country are desperately fighting back, and it looks like they have resorted to manipulating public opinion against the Duterte administration. In an all-out war against drug syndicates, there will always be a steady increase in the number of casualties as time passes. So far, the increasing number of casualties in the anti-narcotics campaign has provided the

syndicates with a convenient excuse to convince the unsuspecting public to believe that the deaths are unnecessary. Fortunately, there are still people who do not believe the disinformation disseminated by the syndicates through noisy figures in the LP and the militant clergy which has always been inclined towards anarchy. The outcome of the fighting in Marawi City has also bolstered the public image of Duterte. His resort to martial law in the city after the Maute gang started their rebellion there was unprecedented, and even condemned by the LP and the clergy, but it turned out to be the proper remedy against terrorism in Mindanao, the kind sponsored by the infamous Islamic State. Duterte succeeded in exposing the nature of the enemy—Maute militants forcing women and children to fight Philippine troops show the kind of lawless society the Maute rebels want to install if

they were to lord it over in Marawi City, and even in Mindanao. Going back to the surveys, it appears that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is behind Duterte and Pimentel with a 34 percent rating in the SWS tally, and 33 percent in the one conducted by Pulse Asia. An undaunted Alvarez welcomed the survey results and considers his ratings as a collective wake-up call for him and the House to work harder. From all indications, however, Alvarez ought to be credited for many reforms he has introduced in the House since he assumed its leadership. With Alvarez at the helm, the House has completed an estimated 400 bills and resolutions so far. Since the start of the seventeenth Congress last year, 30 bills have become laws, including legislation promoting universal access to quality tertiary education through free tuition arrangements in state universities and




Bombing kills 276 in Mogadishu


OGADISHU―At least 276 people have been killed and 300 injured by a massive truck bomb that tore through a busy shopping district of Mogadishu, the government said Monday, making it the deadliest attack ever to hit conflicttorn Somalia.

Desperate residents of the capital searched for news of missing relatives after the monster explosion on Saturday afternoon destroyed several nearby buildings, leaving the victims burned beyond recognition.

“Somalia Federal government confirmed that 276 people were killed in the blast... and 300 wounded were admitted at the different hospitals in Mogadishu,” the country’s ministry of information said.

“There is still a national rescue operation” under way, the ministry said in a statement, adding that there would be “national mourning and prayers for the victims” in the coming days. Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP that many of the victims were “burned beyond recognition” in what he described as “the deadliest attack ever.” The government statement said an emergency center had been set up in the capital for people to seek information abut their loved ones. “It has been more than 24 hours now and we don’t have

any traces or information about the sister of my friend, we can assume she is dead with her flesh somewhere amongst the horribly burned dead bodies,” said Abdulahi Nuradin, who was helping in the search. “We went to several hospitals to seek any information but no to avail, the family is now 99 percent convinced she is dead, I saw so many severed pieces of human flesh at the hospitals, you cannot even look at them,” he added. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Shabaab, a militant group aligned with Al-Qaeda, carries out regular sui-

cide bombings in Mogadishu in its bid to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government. In February a suicide car bomb in a market left 39 dead shortly after Shabaab fighters threatened a “vicious war” against the newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, widely known as Farmajo. Saturday’s blast, the worst in Somalia’s history, came six years after Shabaab militants were pushed out of Mogadishu by African Union and Somali troops. While they were also pushed out of major towns

across southern Somalia the militants still control rural areas and launch attacks on military, government and civilian targets in Somalia, as well as terrorist raids in neighboring Kenya. “This is the most painful incident I can remember,” the deputy speaker of the Somali Senate Abshir Ahmed said in a Facebook post after visiting the Medina hospital where many of the victims had been taken. Saturday’s blast was widely condemned, including by the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Turkey and the African Union. AFP

Tough fight to oust IS group from Raqa RAQA, Syria―The USbacked force fighting to oust the Islamic State group from its former Syrian stronghold Raqa said Monday it was waging its “toughest battles yet”, as the city’s capture neared. The Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, broke into Raqa in June and are now poised to seize the last 10 percent of the city, dealing the jihadists a major blow. “The Syrian Democratic Forces are currently waging their toughest battles yet,” Jihan Sheikh Ahmed, spokeswoman for the operation to capture the city, told AFP. The latest fighting “will bring an end to Daesh’s presence, meaning they can choose between surrendering and dying,” she added, using the Arabic acronym for IS. An estimated 300 mostly

IN BRIEF Europe backs Iran deal LU X EM BOU RG―Europe will give fresh backing to the Iran nuclear deal on Monday after US President Donald Trump threatened to tear it up in a belligerent speech that alarmed allies across the Atlantic. EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg will add their voices to a chorus of international support for the landmark 2015 accord that saw Tehran abandon its nuclear ambitions in return for the lifting of punishing sanctions. Trump stopped short of pulling out of the deal in his much anticipated White House speech on Friday, leaving that decision to US lawmakers, but restated his belief the deal was letting Iran off the hook. AFP

Maduro claims election victory CA R ACAS―President Nicolas Maduro claimed a landslide victory Sunday in closely watched regional elections in Venezuela on Sunday, based on official results that the opposition immediately rejected. Maduro’s socialist party won governorships of 17 of the 23 states with the opposition Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD) coalition taking only five, with one state still undecided, according to the results announced by the National Elections Council. “We do not recognize any of the results at this time. We are facing a very serious moment for the country,” warned the MUD’s campaign director Gerardo Blyde, who demanded a full audit of the vote. Maduro said his government had scored an “emphatic victory” over its rivals by leaving the opposition with only five states, with his socialists still in line to take one further state where the results were still in dispute early Monday. Maduro and his allies held 20 outgoing governorships. AFP

foreign IS fighters are essentially surrounded but are expected to make a fierce last stand. “The IS elements that are still there are resisting,” Sheikh Ahmed said, adding that the neighborhoods where fighting is under way “are fortified and heavily mined areas.” Overnight, SDF fighters captured the northern AlBarid neighborhood, and their efforts would focus Monday on the several adjacent districts, she added. On Sunday, the SDF announced the “final phase” of the battle for the city, with a resumption of fighting after a pause to negotiate the safe exit of civilians and the surrender of some IS fighters. In a statement, the militia said that the last phase of the fighting would “end the presence of the terrorist mercenaries inside the city”. AFP

IN BRIEF Propaganda from N. Korea SEOUL―North Korean propaganda has been found at the South’s presidential compound, officials said Monday, with the discovery of leaflets praising Pyongyang―which once sent commandos to attack the complex. Authorities in the nuclear-armed North and activists in the South regularly use balloons to carry leaflets across the Demilitarized Zone that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War. Seoul is only 35 miles from the DMZ, within artillery range, and the leaflets are sometimes found lying on the ground in the capital―although not normally at the presidential Blue House.

Kim's nukes, Trump's tweets

WELCOME. This photo taken on Oct. 13, 2017, shows people performing to welcome the coming 19th Party Congress in Huaibei in China's eastern Anhui province. China's Communist Party opens its 19th National Congress on Oct. 18, a twice-a-decade political meeting to reshuffle leadership positions. AFP

BEIJING―As Chinese leader Xi Jinping prepares to embark on a second fiveyear term this week, the impulsive leaders of North Korea and the United States could spoil his party. The stability-obsessed Chinese Communist Party has left nothing to chance, ramping up security in Beijing ahead of Wednesday’s opening of a congress to re-anoint Xi as general secretary. Beyond China’s borders, Xi has less control. There, he is at the mercy of two unpredictable men, US President Donald Trump and North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un― a predicament that points to the limits of China’s bid to project soft power. Some analysts say Kim could try to cause a stir by testing another missile or nuclear bomb in the middle of China’s most important political event, which is held every five years. AFP

P10m for each SUC allotted By Macon R. Araneta A TOTAL P10 million would be allocated to every state university and college to support the implementation of free tuition in all these government-run institutions, said Senator Juan Edgardo Angara. Angara, vice chairman of the Senate committee on finance who is in charge of defending the budget of SUCs, said all SUCs would have an across-the-board increase under the Senate version of the proposed 2018 national budget. “The committee provided an increase of P10 million in the budget for Capital Outlay

of every SUC. This is to enable all SUCs to upgrade infrastructure and equipment in preparation for the implementation of the law on Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education,” said Angara. Under the Senate version of the proposed P3.767trillion national budget for 2018, the Commission on Higher Education has been allocated a budget of P12.067 billion for Capital Outlay, P1.354 billion more than the budget allocated by the House of Representatives in the 2018 General Appropriations Bill. This budget includes the P10 million across-the-

board increase in CO of 110 SUCs plus satellite campuses MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology and MSUTawi-Tawi and 11 campuses within the UP System. “We want to make sure that SUCs will not only have enough budget to implement the free tuition, but also funds to implement priority infrastructure projects and equipment upgrades to boost their capacity to provide quality higher education,” said Angara. “This is what we mean by truly increasing the government’s investment in pro-poor and proquality higher education,” he added.

G6 SUMMIT. Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido (C) poses during the G6 Summit of Interior Ministers of Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Poland in Sevilla on Oct.16, 2017. Interior ministers from the G6 European countries gathered for a meeting to discuss international cooperation in the fight against extremism. AFP

‘No threat to Filipinos in Iraq’s Kurdistan’ By Sara D. Fabunan THE Philippine Embassy in Baghdad has called on Filipinos in Iraq and their families at home to remain calm in light of developments in Kirkuk and in the Jurdistan Region of the country in Western Asia. It advised the Filipinos and their families to continue monitoring the Embassy’s Facebook accounts for updates. But it stressed it did not see any immediate threat to the safety and security of overseas Filipino workers in the region

arising from the reported tensions in Kirkuk Province. Iraqi forces are advancing on the Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk, with Iraq’s Prime Minister calling on residents in the oil-rich city to cooperate with its security forces. By early Monday, Iraqi troops claimed to have taken control of several areas including the North Gas Company and the Kirkuk power station, according to a statement from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command. The Kurdistan Regional Security Council issued its own statement, saying Iraqi forces

and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Units, advanced from Taza Khormatu in Kirkuk, just over 20 kilometers southwest of the city. The Philippine Embassy said: “However, the Embassy would like to advise Filipinos in Kurdistan and other parts of Iraq to steer clear of Kirkuk at this time. “The Embassy would also like to request our kababayans in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok and other parts of Kurdistan to continue to remain vigilant and to report any unusual de-

velopments with (sic) us.” In connection with the measures taken by the Iraqi government in reaction to the recent independence referendum, the Philippine Embassy advised Filipinos intending to travel to the Philippines and other countries abroad would be directly impacted by Baghdad’s decision to suspend international flights to and from Kurdistan. It advised Filipinos going on vacation they would have to take Iraqi Airways to Baghdad to board their connecting flights to the Philippines or elsewhere outside the country.

Teo wants to increase inbound tourist traffic By Bill Casas AMIDST a fiesta-themed celebration, the general public welcomed the rebirth of the Bring Home a Friend to the Philippines, aimed to help raise inbound tourism figures and spur more economic activity. The grand relaunch of BHAF was held at the Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila complete with Higantes dancers, other cultural performers and renowned Original Pilipino Music artists. “Tonight marks an important milestone for all of us in the Department

of Tourism as we unveil the most anticipated return of a widely successful incentive travel program which was first launched by former Tourism secretary Mina Gabor in 1994, the Bring Home a Friend,” said DOT Secretary Wanda Teo. The BHAF is a rewards program which seeks to promote travel to the Philippines by encouraging Filipinos or expatriates in the Philippines to invite friends from abroad with the lure of prizes for both “sponsor” and “invitee.” By simply following four simple steps: Invite, Accept, Travel and Register, any

eligible ‘sponsor’ and ‘invitee’ can join. Program mechanics are available at the Mina Gabor expressed excitement and high esteem that the project she initiated 23 years ago has come back to life. She has high hopes for its success as the current situation is more enabling now, given that more prizes are at stake and, more importantly, through digital and social media, activation and promotion is a lot easier. The sponsors were thanked through plaques of appreciation awarded by the secretary and other DoT officials.

PH launches program on disaster reduction BEING one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to disasters, the Philippines launched the Public-Private Partnership and Resilience Leadership Program on Disaster Risk Reduction for local chief executives to jump-start resiliency efforts as the National Resilience Council was convened in Taguig City. The NRC was convened at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premier, also in support of the 2017 International Day for DRR. The NRC exhorts both the government and the private sector to work together to ensure the country’s resiliency to disasters. Specifically, it has focused on one of the seven Global Targets of the Sendai Framework: To substantially reduce the number of affected people globally from disasters by 2030. Ambassador Roberto Romulo, chairman of Romulo Foundation and chairman of Zuellig Family Foundation, led the gathering together with the country’s most

prominent organizations in DRR such as Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation, National Competitiveness Council, Manila Observatory, and Makati Business Club, among others. They were joined by SM Prime’s Hans Sy who is leading UNISDR’s (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) ARISE Private Sector Alliance for Resilient Societies. He is also the chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime and the only Filipino ARISE Global Board Member. “This is also an opportune time that the government and big private businesses are coming together for disaster resilience,” said Romulo. “Big businesses like SM Prime and the Zuellig Family Foundation are not only prioritizing business continuity but actually giving time, effort and their expertise in helping communities cope with emergencies to save lives and protect properties,” said Romulo. Macon Ramos-Araneta




Superteams to challenge Dubs W

ASHINGTON—Kevin Durant barely had a chance to grip his first NBA championship trophy in Golden State’s victory celebration last June before rival clubs were moving to challenge the Warriors “superteam” for supremacy. Now the NBA’s 72nd season opens Tuesday with a fistful of clubs having assembled three or more stars, uniting to stop Durant, 3-point sharpshooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and forward Draymond Green from bringing Golden State a third title in four campaigns. NBA 2017 Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook welcomed Carmelo An-

thony and Paul George to Oklahoma City while Houston added Chris Paul and tough defenders to NBA assists leader and number two scorer James Harden with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward joining Al Horford in Boston. And the Cavaliers, with four-time MVP LeBron James bidding for an eighth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, added his

pal Dwyane Wade, oftinjured Derrick Rose plus Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas in the deal that sent Irving to Boston. In all, eight players with a total of 45 All-Star Game appearances switched teams. “Just because you compile a team of superstars don’t mean it’s going to work, because it’s a lot of ego,” Green told GQ magazine. “And we just happen to have a perfect group to where it works.” Las Vegas oddsmakers agree. The Warriors are a runaway favorite to repeat as champion at about 2-1 with Cleveland next at 4-1 ahead of Boston at 10-1 with Houston and San Antonio at 15-1 just ahead of Oklahoma

City at 16-1. ‘They don’t stand a chance’ It’s the NBA version of a nuclear arms race, complete with a fistful of teams stockpiling top talent and legend Michael Jordan, a six-time NBA champion with Chicago who owns the Charlotte Hornets, warning of mutually assured destruction. “I think it’s going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint,” Jordan told Cigar Aficionado magazine. “You’re going to have one or two teams that are going to be great, and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage. Or they’re going to have a tough time surviving in the

business environment.” In the wake of a heartbreaking seventh-game loss to Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Finals after a record 73-9 season, the Warriors recruited Durant, the former MVP who opted out of Oklahoma City. They rolled through the playoffs with a 16-1 record. It’s a follow-on to the escalation James helped spark in 2010 when he left Cleveland for Miami to join Wade and Chris Bosh in a “Big Three” that reached four NBA Finals in a row, winning in 2012 and 2013. When he returned to the Cavaliers in 2014, he matched up with Irving and added Kevin Love for a new “Big Three” and

now such trios abound. “It’s pretty... sick to see how everybody is just in a ... panic about what to do,” Green told GQ. “That’s the fun part about it—they know they don’t stand a chance.” Green said the Warriors were inspired by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s comments after last June’s NBA Finals, when he said the Warriors “are not unbeatable. There have been bigger upsets in sports history. We are going to keep improving our roster. We’re used to long odds. If Golden State makes the odds longer, we might up our risk profile and get even more aggressive. We have something up our sleeves.”

Antonio agrees to draw vs Short, keeps solo lead BACOLOD CITY—Filipino Grandmaster Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr. agreed to a draw against top seed and GM Nigel Short of England and kept a precarious half-point lead halfway into the nineround Piaya Network 2017 Negros International Open Chess tournament at the Ikthus Osbron Hall here. “Out of respect na rin kaya pumayag na ako sa tabla,” said Antonio, who, for the first time in so many years, has faced a Top 100 player in the world. Short, the only player over 50 years old who has reached a rating of over 2700 and a former challenger to the world crown, found Antonio’s response to his English Opening unnerving and precise that he had to offer a draw in a very inferior position. “Si Nigel (Short) lang talaga ang inaabangan diyan. Lamang ako sa position pero a draw is not a bad result after all,” said Antonio, who did not see an excellent counter, a knight move on c5 when the draw was agreed on the 31st move of a battle of players who would have been eligible to play in the seniors event. The 55-year-old Antonio is out to prove that his 2365 Elo rating is non-reflective of his true strengths and potential when he challenged. Short, who had 2698 in

the October ratings, easily a 33-point gap. Antonio, who has 4.5 points, was facing fourth seed GM Srinath Narayanan of India in the ensuing sixth round action late Monday, a double-round schedule. Other matches included Montoya playing white against Short and Nguyen taking on second seed GM Karen Grigoryan, who has 3.5 points. The leader board changed slightly as Narayanan drew with Vietnam’s GM Nguyen Duc Hoa in only 31 moves of a Four Knights game even as local dark horse Edsel Montoya from nearby La Carlota bounced back with a win. Nguyen, Short, Narayanan and Montoya trail Antonio by half-a-point. So focused was Antonio that he spent Sunday’s rest day working and sweating it out in the gym and didn’t join organizers who treated Short and the other grandmasters to an outing in Lakawon island, a picturesque resort north of Bacolod. Grigoryan of Armenia (Elo 2586) bounced back with a win after being held to a draw and a loss in the earlier rounds. He led a huge group of 3.5 pointers including GM Tranh Tuan Minh of Vietnam, GM Darwin Laylo, IM Chito Garma, IM Ronald Dableo, NM Emmanuel Emperado, Danmaersk Mangao and Jayson Salubre.

BUTLER’S GAME PLAN. NBA All-Star Caron Butler inspires more than just basketball fans. At a recent event held by AXA Philippines, Caron Butler showed he was not just a seasoned NBA champion, but also a person with an inspiring life story that is all about making the right choices—the right game plan. During the event, AXA, the insurance partner of the NBA in the country, also unveiled its new global brand campaign which seeks to inspire people to live the life they choose, by making the right decisions to confidently deal with life’s unexpected moments. Photo shows Butler (center) sharing his game plan to fans.

LOS ANGELES—Yasiel Puig homered and drove in another as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the World Series champion Chicago Cubs 5-2 to open their Major League Baseball playoff series. The Dodgers, sent packing by the Cubs in last year’s National League Championship Series, took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS with game two set for Sunday at Dodger Stadium. The winner of the series will play either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees for the major league crown. The Astros took a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series with a 2-1 win over the Yankees in Houston on Saturday. The Dodgers received a pre-game blow when a back injury to Corey Seager forced the All-Star shortstop off the NLCS roster. But they managed fine without him, with homers from Puig and Chris Taylor. Puig homered to lead off the bottom of the seventh, sending the Dodger Stadium crowd in to a frenzy. “He loves the big stage, and his only focus is helping us continue to win baseball games,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the mercurial Cuban. “So right now he’s playing at a high level, and not only the fans, but his teammates are feeding off of it.” Charlie Culberson followed with a double, and after Taylor singled, raced home on a single from Justin Turner. AFP

Ateneo swims to golden UAAP double National Pro-Am ATENEO banked on a battletested veteran to nail a four-peat in the men’s division, while its women’s team unveiled a new phenom in the pool to reclaim the throne Sunday in the UAAP Season 80 swimming championships. Behind two-time Olympian Jessie Khing Lacuna, the Blue Eagles led right from the opening day to finish with 567 points and annex their fifth title overall at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool. De La Salle placed second behind Ateneo with 328 points, while University of the Philippines collected 191

points in third place in the fourday swimfest. With a seven-gold medal romp that underscored the Eagles’ domination in the pool, Lacuna took his third MVP award. His teammate Miguel Barlisan bagged the Rookie of the Year plum after scooping two golds, one silver and one bronze. Ateneo has a new heroine in Chloe Daos, who won six golds and a silver to emerge as the Rookie-MVP. The Lady Eagles, who have now four crowns to boot, needed a strong effort in the final day to end up with 483

points, 46 ahead of runner-up Lady Maroons. University of Santo Tomas complete the podium finishers with 105 points. UST and De La Salle-Zobel, meanwhile, successfully retained their titles in the boys’ and girls’ divisions. The Muntinlupa-based tankers swept the MVP awards, with Sacho Ilustre and Nikki Pamintuan emerging triumphant once more. Terence Delvo of University of the East and Maria Consuelo Neri of UP Integrated School emerged as the boys’ and girls’ division top rookies.

RL edges Asurion in LGR Hoops 4

NLEX-SCTEX turns back Hobe, 90-74 JOJO Lastimosa’s coaching debut in the commercial league proved to be a big hit as NLEX-SCTEX rewarded him with a huge 90-74 beat down of Hobe Bihon in the opening game of the Marikina City Basketball League at the Marikina Sports Center over the weekend. Ex-pros Byron Villarias and Dexter Apinan provided the support needed by import Ola Adeogun as NLEX-SCTEX made a huge impression in MCBL’s new season. Adeogun, who led San Beda to multiple championships in the NCAA, came away with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Villarias, cousin of Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, added 23 markers, including five triples, while Apinan contributed 12 for NLEX-SCTEX. Hobe also banked on its own set of PBA players led by Ronjay Buenafe, who fired in 21 points, while Eric dela Cuesta, cousin of Lastimosa, chipped in 16 markers for the Braulio Lim-mentored squad.

Dodgers draw 1st blood vs Cubs

Members of the Tao-Nikon team huddle up during the crucial stretch of their game in the LGR Hoops Season 4 at the Cloverleaf Gym.

Olympic flame went out 4 years ago TOKYO—A flame from the 1964 Tokyo Olympic torch that was supposed to be kept alight eternally actually went out four years ago, it emerged on Monday after red-faced officials confessed. The flame, housed in a sports training facility in the southwestern Japanese city of Kagoshima, was touted as an “Olympic sacred flame” from 1964 and received widespread media coverage when Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Games. But it turned out that the flame had gone out in November 2013, two months after Tokyo won the Games, and had been hastily re-lit, the then head of the facility told AFP.

“At that time, I could not say something that could destroy (people’s) dreams,” added the official, who declined to be named. “I saw with my eyes that the flame went out on November 21,” he added. “We re-lit the fire and kept it going for about two weeks, but I thought that was not good.” At that time, there was considerable media interest in the f lame as Japan had just been awarded the 2020 Games, he said. “In addition, we kept receiving a number of requests from various people to use the ‘sacred flame’ for town festivals and weddings. I decided to come clean,” he said. AFP

PAT Giron posted a triple-double performance in powering Team RL to a 77-70 triumph over Asurion at the Cloverleaf Gym. Giron finished with 39 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Team RL notched its second win in four games of the Corporate Division. But Giron wasn’t alone in posting a similar feat as Kenneth Agustin also came away with a solid performance in powering NSD Na! to a 101-91 triumph over DBBB 07 in the Neophyte Division. Agustin led the way with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists, towing NSD Na! to its second straight win in Group D of this event sponsored by Bugsy’s, Rain or Shine, Petron, Titan, NBA Store, Gatorade, BTV, Golds Gym, Zarks Burger, Kartilya, SYF and Ybalai. As the playoffs of the LGR Hoops Season 4 approaches, several teams had kept their winning streak going, while other

squads are jockeying for position to bolster their respective bids. After six games, DJ Construction and RJS Construction remained undefeated in the Novice Division, leading their bracket in the team standings with identical 6-0 records, even as Nougat remains undefeated after five games. In the Neophyte Division, Team Faithful continued its winning ways, going undefeated after six matches to lead all squads in this category. Another team remains unscathed in the same division – Adgrande/Wed, which carries a perfect 4-0 win-loss mark. In the Neophyte Plus Division, Chiba leads the way with a 5-0 record. The Corporate Division saw CW Home Depot going undefeated after six games to dominate the field, while Scoria Grill continued to stamp its class in the 38 and above category, winning five games in as many matches so far.

starts at Malarayat

THE ICTSI National Pro-am Open fires off today (Tuesday, Oct. 17) with a full-packed field of 117 teams made up of the top pros and amateurs in the land and a host of foreign aces slugging it out at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas. Newly crowned Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner Clyde Mondilla heads the pro cast in the 54-hole P2 million event where he hopes to extend his run of victories in individual play to team competition with amateur partner Dongbin Seo. But the duo will be in for a tough outing right in the first round of the foursomes (alternate shot) with the rest raring to come up with a strong start for the needed momentum in the three-day championship sponsored by ICTSI and offering P360,000 to the pro champion and trophy and gift prizes for the amateur. Other teams tipped to figure prominently in the title hunt are Jobim Carlos-Lester Lagman, Keanu Jahns-Zach Castro, Jhonnel Ababa-Dave Hernandez, Richnell AlbanoEddie Bagtas, Tonton Asistio-Jude Eustaquio, Jelbert Gamolo-Jolo Magcalayo and Jesselito Zaragosa-Rupert Zaragosa pairs. Focus will also be on the long-hitting Marvin Dumandan, who has tapped back-to-back Philippine Junior Amateur Open (strokeplay) champion Tom Kim as partner in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc., which now serves as one of the side events on the PGT calendar, along with The Duel held every other year. Pauline del Rosario, who has won three titles in her rookie season on the Ladies PGT, is also in the fold, eager to show up the country’s top guns along with Chihiro Ikeda, Sarah Ababa, Apple Fudolin, Eva Minoza, Gretchen Villacencio and Sheryl Villasencio. Del Rosario, enjoying top form following a come-from-behind victory in the Taiwan LPGA last month, will team up with young Annyka Cayabyab while Ikeda and Ababa will partner with Quintin Singson and Alrey Ceniza, respectively.

LOTTO RESULTS 6/55 00-00-00-00-00-00 6/45 00-00-00-00-00-00 4 DIGITS 0-0-0-0 3 DIGITS 0-0-0 2 EZ2 0-0

P0 M+ P0 M

Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor




Meralco Bolts import and PBA awardee for Best Import Allen Durham (5) tries to drive past Barangay Ginebra counterpart Justin Brownlee (32). Despite a 0-2 deficit Durham said he believes the Bolts can still come back to win it all.

Federer shakes off Nadal-inflicted scars


HANGHAI, China—Roger Federer said he has finally shaken off the “scars” of his many defeats to Rafael Nadal after claiming the Shanghai Masters with his fifth win in a row over the world number one.

asked what had clicked against Nadal. “But I did lose against him sometimes, a lot of the times especially on the clay courts.” Federer holds a record 19 Grand Slam titles, three ahead of Nadal after both players cast off injuries to add two more major victories this year in a surprise resurgence. Federer skipped the clay court season this year and he said avoiding Nadal on his favorite surface had also given him an advantage. He said he believes he lost the epic 2008 Wimbledon final against Nadal because he was still rattled by a heavy defeat just a few weeks earlier at Roland Garros. After his five-set victory

over Nadal in Melbourne this year, Federer spoke of how he had focused on playing “the ball, not the opponent” to avoid any mental demons. The Swiss legend also said on Sunday that he is highly unlikely to knock Nadal off the number one spot in the world rankings in time for the end of the year. But with his advancing years he is more sanguine about his ranking, and said he was just enjoying staying injury-free and in good form. “It’s definitely been the best I felt since Wimbledon,” he said, where he won the championship for a historic eighth time in July. The Swiss great, who has been carefully managing his schedule, will now return

The 36-year-old Swiss put on a masterclass to beat Nadal 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday, lifting his sixth trophy this season and underlining a turnaround in fortunes against his longtime nemesis. Federer, the world number two, ended a sequence of five straight defeats to Nadal at Basel last year, before winning their gripping Australian Open final in January. Federer also beat Nadal at Indian Wells and in the Miami final prior to Shanghai,

although the Spaniard still holds a handsome advantage in their overall record down the years, winning 23 of their 38 matches. Federer said that “we don’t have enough years left on the tour” for him to overhaul his great rival in their head-to-head count, but he insisted he’s not concerned by the disparity. “I just think I’m not so scarred like maybe I have been in the past, not that I was horribly scarred in any way,” said the Swiss, when

Ramirez to pool student athletes

Torres wants to extend win steak at ONE: Hero’s Dream

THE Philippine Sports Commission wants a pool of student athletes to be formed after the 2018 Palarong Pambansa in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. These young student athletes who are aged 18 years old and below will be supported by the PSC when they are sent to the ASEAN School Games and other youth games in the future. “After the Palaro, dun pa lang sila ia-assemble at ipadala sa international meets. Dapat alagaan ang mga batang ito,” said Ramirez. The student athletes are those who have won medals in their respective events. Ramirez said he is set discuss this plans with officials of the Commission on Higher Education, led by secretary Patricia Licuanan when they go into a series of discussions for the next two days. The PSC is meeting with Education officials from the Department of Education and the CHED as part of efforts to help strengthen the development of school sports. Licuanan will attend the the National Consultative Meeting for Collegiate Sports that will be held at the Philsports Multipurpose Arena in Pasig City from Oct. 17 to 18. Peter Atencio

JOMARY “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres shocked the world this past August when the littleknown atomweight from the Philippines made her promotional debut against rising Thai martial arts superstar Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige at ONE: Kings and Conquerors in Macau, China. While the Thai standout has emerged as one of the most popular talents in Asia’s mixed martial arts scene, Torres stole the spotlight on that fateful night when she submitted Ishige in the second round of their exhilarating contest. After her remarkable conquest of Ishige last August, Torres moves onto her next assignment as she faces Indonesian kickboxer Nita Dea on the undercard of ONE: Hero’s Dream in Yangon,

Myanmar on November 3. The 21-year-old Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines native sees her three-round encounter against Dea as an opportunity to extend her success inside the ONE Championship cage. “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,” she said. Torres stepped on Macanese soil with little fanfare, but by the time the Filipina warrior left the glamorous Cotai Arena, everyone knew who she was. Everything that Ishige threw at Torres, she withstood as the proud product of the Catalan Fighting Systems

countered the Thai’s strikes and even successfully defended several submissions. However, the most telling moment was when Torres caught Ishige’s body kick in round two, where her confidence skyrocketed as the Filipina held onto the leg and landed blow after blow. Seeing a golden opportunity to get the finish, Torres swarmed with ferocious ground-and-pound blows as Ishige tried to cover up before finally using the position to lock in a match-ending rear-naked choke. “After the match, I was happy, but I did not know what to do. Do I celebrate or do I cry? I was really surprised because I did not expect the outcome. It was the first stoppage win of my career,” Torres said.

home to map out the next few months to ensure he continues his fine run. The 31-year-old Nadal, who was on a 16-match streak before Sunday’s final, said Federer was reaping the benefits of taking breaks from the sport. The two old stagers are the last members of the ‘Big Four’ still standing this season after Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were both sidelined by injury. “For this year, Roger did great in all the events that he played, so looks like he saved his body,” said Nadal. “He played very high level of tennis during the whole season, so well done for him and happy to see him play well.” AFP

Durham remains unfazed by deficit By Jeric Lopez FOR the second straight season, Allen Durham was named as the Best Import in the Governors’ Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association. He now has two Best Import plums but he is still not giving up on his dream of hoisting up the bigger trophy. Despite Meralco’s 0-2 defcit in its best-ofseven titular showdown against Barangay Ginebra, Durham is still upbeat of his team’s chances. He believes that the Bolts can still come back and win it all. “We’re still not out of it,” said Durham. “We’re facing a hole but it’s not too deep. We can still get ourselves back and give ourselves a chance.” However, Durham admits that Meralco needs to turn the tide in Game 3 tomorrow in order to stay in the hunt for an elusive first championship. “Definitely, we have to win Game 3. We played better in Game 2 but we still fell short. We failed to close out. We need to turn it around and be the better team for 48 minutes.” After routing Meralco in Game 1, the Gin Kings had a harder time before taking Game 2, 86-76, by taking charge in the clutch. So far in the series, Durham has been showing why he’s the Best Import, putting up consistent numbers. However, he isn’t getting enough support from his teammates up to this point.

Mbala’s defense key to La Salle victory By Peter Atencio LIMITING Paul Desiderio’s productivity was big man Ben Mbala’s job when the defending champion La Salle Green Archers pulled off an 8562 demolition of the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons last Sunday at The Arena in San Juan. Mbala said when they stuck to this part of the game plan, the Green Archers has little trouble posting their seventh win in nine games in the 80th University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament. “It was our priority to shut him (Desiderio) down. And I think, the best defender for that is Ben,” said Green Archers assistant coach Mark Val-

derama, who spoke on behalf of birthday celebrant and coach Aldin Ayo. The victory more than made up for their first round loss to the Maroons. When the Maroons beat La Salle, 98-87, in the first round, Desiderio led them with a career high 30 points. In their second encounter, Desiderio was only able to make seven points. On the other hand, Mbala, who averaged 30.4 points, 11.8 rebounds, one assist and 1.2 steals, still came up with a great output of 24 points and a better than average 14 rebounds and three assists. Mbala, who emerged as this year’s top MVP candidate, chipped in seven points as La Salle took charge in the first period by 10, 24-14.

Jomary Torres (right) connects with a hard right which contorts the face of Rika Ishige during their ONE Championship match won by Torrres. ONE Championship

Chiefs, Knights fight for survival

PVL’S BEST. National University stalwart Jaja Santiago of National U (left) holds her Conference MVP trophy as she shares center stage with fellow top performers in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference during awards rites last Saturday. They are, from left: Arellano U’s Rhea Ramirez (best setter), NU’s Gayle Valdez (best libero), NU’s Risa Sato (2nd best middle blocker), Arellano U’s Regine Arocha (2nd best outside spiker), FEU’s Toni Rose Basas (best opposite spiker), Jeanette Villareal of FEU (1st best middle blocker) and Adamson U’s Christine Soyud (1st best outside spiker).

ARELLANO University and Letran fight for dear Final Four life as they battle already eliminated Mapua and College of St. Benilde, respectively, today in the 93rd NCAA basketball tournament at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City. The Chiefs and the Knights are currently tied with the idle San Sebastian Stags at fourth spot on identical 8-9 (win-loss) slates and a win would ensure at least a playoff for a Final Four seat. AU and Letran tackle Mapua

Games Today (Oct. 17) (Filoil Arena, San Juan) 8 a.m.- EAC vs UPHSD (jrs) 10 a.m.- MU vs AU (jrs) 12 nn.- EAC vs UPHSD (srs) 2 p.m.- MU vs AU vs (srs) 4 p.m.- CSJL vs CSB (srs) 6 p.m.- CSJL vs CSB (jrs)

and St. Benilde, both out of it all with 3-14 and 4-13 cards, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. San Sebastian could make it a triple tie at No. 4 if it could hurdle Perpetual Help (4-12) in the final play date of the elimination round on Thursday. Lyceum of the Philippines

University (17-0), San Beda (16-1) and Jose Rizal (11-7) have long booked the first three berths in the playoff round. Arellano is riding the crest of a three-game streak that was capped by a 62-52 win over Perpetual Help Thursday. The Chiefs, however, lost ace player Kent Salado, who injured his right MCL (medial collateral ligament) in a game against the Stags last week and will be out for the rest of the season, and will have to continue searching for players to fill the void.

BSP sees no need to tighten policy rates



OFW money rose 7.8% in August




Hino Motors Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Japan’s leading brand of trucks and buses in the country, celebrates another milestone with the grand opening of its newest dealership along United Nations Ave. in Manila. The dealership is awarded to One Alliance Motor Source Inc. under the Broadway Motors Group. Shown during the ribbon-cutting ceremony are (from left) HMP chairman Vicente Mills Jr., BMP executive vice president and chief operating officer Willard Keng, BMP president and chief executive Leoncio Lei Yee Jr., HMP president Hiroshi Aoki, Hino Motors Ltd. Japan senior managing officer Taketo Nakane and HMP vice president for business planning Susumu Myokan.

By Julito G. Rada MONEY sent home by Filipinos working overseas climbed 7.8 percent in August from a year ago, on sustained global demand for Filipino talents, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show. The Bangko Sentral said cash remittances hit a five-month high of $2.5 billion in August, up from $2.3 billion a year earlier. This brought cash remittances in the first eight months to $18.595 billion, up 5.4 percent from $17.642 billion in the same period last year. “The sustained influx of remittances was observed from both land-based workers [$14.7 billion] and sea-based workers [$3.9 billion], which grew by 6 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively,” the regulator said. The bulk of cash remittances or 82.5 percent of the total remittances in the first eight months came from the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Japan, the UK, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany and Hong Kong. Personal remittances, which include non-cash items, also increased 9.4 percent in August to a five-month high of $2.8 billion from $2.559 billion a year ago. Personal remittances in the first eight months reached $20.723 billion, up 6.4 percent from $19.482 billion a year ago. “The increase in personal remittances was driven largely by the sustained inflow of transfers from landbased workers with work contracts of one year or more [at $16 billion] and remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year at $4.2 billion,” the Bangko Sentral said. Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration earlier showed that the total number of Filipino workers deployed abroad reached 1,222,003 in January to July this year.

Ray S. Eñano, Editor Roderick T. dela Cruz, Assistant Editor

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Friday, October 13, 2017


US Dollar Peso

United States Dollar











Hong Kong
























Saudi Arabia Rial







Rupiah 0.000074






Dirham 0.272301



















Ringgit 0.236967




New Zealand Dollar







Source: PDS Bridge

PSE rejects Calata rescue deal By Jenniffer B. Austria HE Philippine Stock Exchange thumbed down the proposal of listed agriculture company Calata Corp. to sell out to Millennium Global Holdings Inc., a listed firm formerly known as IPVG Corp.


Calata in August signed a deal to sell an 81-percent stake in the company to Millennium Global and spin off its assets to privately held Agriphil Corp. in a bid to save the agriculture firm from being delisted from the stock

exchange and protect minority shareholders. The PSE initiated involuntary delisting procedure against Calata because of the latter’s alleged multiple disclosure violations. Calata president Joseph Calata earlier said the company, as a neophyte member of PSE, struggled to comply with all the rigorous regulatory requirements. PSE president Ramon Monzon said in an interview at the sidelines of a forum conducted by the Shareholders Association of the Philippines that Calata’s proposal was not workable. Monzon said the Calata deal would involve many uncertain things, including getting the ap-

proval from the Securities and Exchange Commission on the proposed increase in authorized capital stock to facilitate the entry of Millennium Global. He said Calata would also need to secure shareholders’ approval for the planned spinoff of its assets and the sale of the majority stake in Millennium Global. Millennium Global said it planned to use Calata to acquire the business of its subsidiary Millennium Ocean Star Corp., which is a leading exporter and importer of seafood and aquaculture products in the local and international market. “To be able to do that, Calata would need 67 percent vote and

right now these small shareholders of Calata own 72-percent stake in the company. Would the small shareholders agree to that move wherein their 72-percent stake will only be equivalent to 8 percent stake in Millennium Global? It is not practical. We told them this is not workable,” Monzon said. Monzon said instead of selling out to Millennium Global, Calata was given an opportunity to conduct voluntary delisting. PSE earlier initiated involuntary delisting on the condition that Calata would conduct a tender offer to small shareholders. “The message we gave them is if you [Calata Corp.] really are

concerned for small shareholders, PSE is going to bend its rules and make it a voluntary tender offer, so they could conduct a tender offer. If they make a tender offer, then PSE will allow them to conduct voluntary delisting,” Monzon said. Companies that are involuntary delisted from the PSE face stiffer penalties as they are not allowed to re-list from the local bourse within five years from being delisted. At the same time, the officers or directors of involuntary delisted firms are disqualified from becoming directors or executive officers of any company applying for listing with the PSE.

BCDA: MTD Berhad offers to build P122-b Clark hub By Othel V. Campos THE Bases Conversion and Development Authority said Monday it received a P121.8-billion unsolicited proposal from MTD Berhad Capital of Malaysia to establish the 207-hectare New Clark City National Government Administrative Center through a joint venture agreement. MTD Berhad Capital is a Malaysia-based investment holding company with interest in civil engineering and construction, infrastructure development, real estate and property development, energy, ports and manufacturing of construction related materials. MTD Berhad proposed to provide financing of the project, as well as technical and engineering support for the construction and operations

IN BRIEF September car sales decreased

AUTOMOTIVE sales increased by 15.9 percent to 302,869 units in the first nine months of 2017 from 261,370 units during the same period in 2016. However, sales in September, according to a combined report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and Truck Manufacturers Association, declined 2.4 percent to 34,445 units from 35, 309 units in August. “September sales result decreased compared to August sales result because of decrease in sales of major distributors,” said CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez. Both groups, though, remain confident the outlook for the succeeding months remained robust driven by good performance of key automotive models. “We maintain our optimism in achieving the yearend target with competitive promotional support and marketing activities to further push vehicle sales,” Gutierrez said. Passenger car sales in the first nine months of 2017 rose 4.8 percent to 101,655 units from 97,036 units a year ago. Othel V. Campos

Asean nears common market

FINANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told the International Monetary Fund the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is moving closer to the creation of a common market for a region considered as one of the major growth drivers in the world. Dominguez, during the IMF managing directors’ roundtable meeting with Asean finance ministers and central governors in Washington D.C., reported the accomplishments of the Philippines and other memberstates of the bloc in step with their financial inclusion agenda. Dominguez also relayed to the IMF the concerns of the Asean finance ministers over the prospect of more developed countries adopting inward-looking policies and the possibility of “sharper-than-expected” financial tightening in the export-oriented region amid the nor-

and maintenance of the New Clark City Government Administrative Center. All of its components, salient features and terms shall be subject for thorough review, negotiations and approval of BCDA MTD Berhad said the national government administrative centre would not just house satellite offices but also the major administrative offices of various executive departments and agencies. It proposed to construct an extension office of the Philippine President and executive buildings, site development for embassies and international schools, buildings to serve as housing for government employees, sports facilities, a central communications and security command center, public schools, a government hospital, a public library and buildings for community centers.

malization of US policy rates. Julito G. Rada

PH online trade platform up

FINANCE Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the government’s online trade facilitation platform ph set to be rolled out in December will initially cover rice and six other commonly-traded goods that represent half of the country’s total trade volume. Beltran said in a statement Monday ph would also perform the functions of the country’s National Single Window that allows traders to use the system to apply for import and export permits for rice, sugar, used motor vehicles, chemicals (toluene), frozen meat medicines (for humans, animals or fish) and cured tobacco. The NSW, which will eventually be interconnected by December to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Single Window, is a regional initiative that aims to speed up cargo clearances and promote economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among the organization’s 10 member-states. Julito G. Rada

Quality control conference

THE Philippines will again host On October 24 to 27, 2017 a big event to be participated by different countries worldwide—the 2017 International Convention on Quality Control Circles—with the theme, Quality Teams Evolved: Driving Change and Sustainability Through Quality Circle Evolution, to be held at Okada Manila. As the world and Asia rapidly change, the atmosphere of working and doing business is continuously shifting as well. There is an increasing clamor for sustainability practices in every aspect of business. Quality teams are thus called to be on the cutting edge. Innovating to stay on top of these changes instead of simply trends become the drivers behind them. The ICQCC is set as they yearly venue for exchanging ideas and experiences on QC Circle activities or team-based improvement programs among countries to further the development of activities, programs and practitioners.

MacroAsia to put up aviation academy By Darwin G. Amojelar

SHELL’S MASTERPIECES. As a part of Pilipinas Shell’s 50th anniversary celebration, more than 200 winning masterpieces of the Shell art program are turned over to Ayala Foundation and are now a part of Ayala Museum collection. At the turnover ceremony at Ayala Museum in Makati City are (from left) Pilipinas Shell president and chief executive Cesar Romero, Pilipinas Shell vice president Ramon Del Rosario, Ayala Corp. president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala and Ayala Foundation president Ruel Maranan. Manny Palmero

WB keen on P52-b power grid project By Alena Mae S. Flores is an RE fund that will be It can complement [other STATE-RUN National Transmission Corp. said Monday it is in “serious talks” with the World Bank to finance the P52-billion Visayas-Mindanao interconnection project. TransCo president Melvin Matibag said the World Bank was looking at providing a 30-year zero interest loan for the facility and submitted the proposal to the Energy Department for review and endorsement. The project involves the interconnection of Visayas and Mindanao via Cebu and Zamboanga. The project is estimated to be completed in 46 months with an estimated cost of P51.697 billion. “We have to tie this up with renewable energy development… because this

given to us,” Matibag said. Mindanao hosts one of the largest hydro projects in the country, the Agus-Pulangi hydro plants. Matibag, one of the guests in the two-day Executive Seminar on Fostering Dynamic Competition in the Philippine Power Industry, said the Finance Department was informed of the World Bank’s proposal. “DoF because they are the ones handling expenditures to do that,” Matibag said. Matibag said the World Bank officials were “very excited” over the funding, which was poised to become one of the biggest projects of the multilateral lending institution in the Philippines for some time. “Whatever is the cost of the project [they will fund].

funding] or can be stand alone,” he said. Matibag said the government did not want to pass on the cost of building the facility to consumers, which would translate into higher power rates. Matibag said government was open to both TransCo and National Grid Corp. of the Philippines in constructing the facility as long as the cost of the project would not be passed on to consumers. TransCo owns the country’s transmission assets while NGCP operates and maintains it under a concession agreement with the government. Matibag said NGCP could construct the project as long as TransCo would be the supervising authority.

MACROASIA Corp. said Monday it signed a joint venture agreement with PTC Holdings Corp. to establish an aviation school in Subic International Airport in Zambales province. MAC said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the company and PTC would incorporate a joint venture firm with an equity sharing of 51 precent and 49 percent, respectively. The JVC will initially invest $3 million to establish a training and skills assessment center for aviation professionals called First Aviation Academy Inc. The training facility will be based in Subic Bay International Airport and will start its operations by the first half of 2018. It will initially conduct pilot training, certification and career development courses in the field of aviation. “The partnership aims to address the foreseen shortage of aviation professionals for airline clients not only in the Philippines but also in other countries,” MacroAsia said. The company said the school would start with three aircraft, including two single-engine light aircraft and one twin-engine light aircraft. It will also have two simulators with dual and controlloading yoke system and dual rudder pedals for simultaneous pilot and copilot control.




BSP sees no need to tighten policy rates By Enda Curran angko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla said contained inflation means there isn’t a need to increase interest rates in the near term.

B SME BANK OF THE YEAR. State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines is recognized as SME Bank of the Year award in The Asian Banker Philippine Country Awards 2017 during ceremonies at Fairmont Hotel in Makati City. Receiving the award is DBP executive vice president Benel Lagua (fifth from left). With him are (from left) The Asian Banker senior manager for research Neeti Aggarwal, DBP first vice presidents Daniel Gonzales and Paul Lazaro, The Asian Banker international resource director Richard Hartung, DBP senior assistant vice presidents Romeo Carandang and Aurora Maghirang and The Asian Banker managing editor Foo Boon Ping.

3 Chinese Shenzhen Stock Exchange buying stake in PSE airlines set to launch Cebu flights By Jenniffer B. Austria

By Darwin G. Amojelar THE operator of Mactan-Cebu International Airport said three Chinese airlines will mount flights from two cities in China to Cebu this month, raising Cebu’s international network to 18 destinations. “Promoting the province and its surrounding areas to other Asian countries, especially China, is among our highest priorities,” GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. president Louie Ferrer said. “Studies have shown that China is the highest spending tourist market in the world. We want to bring this high-spending Chinese market to Cebu,” he said. Ferrer said China Eastern and Juneyao Airlines would both commence flights between Cebu and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. China Eastern will have seven flights weekly in its first run from Oct. 18 to Oct. 28 and it will resume operations on Jan. 18, 2018. Juneyao Airlines will commence thrice weekly flights on Oct. 30, while Okay Airways will launch thrice weekly flights to China’s historic city of Xi’an on Oct. 30, 2017. Juneyao Airlines and Okay Airways are MactanCebu International Airport’s newest Chinese airline partners. New routes to Beijing and Bangkok are also expected to be opened in the next two months. By end October, MCIA will serve a total of 18 international destinations and 35 domestic destinations. Ferrer said the company was also targeting new flights to North Asia, the Middle East, North America and Europe. MCIA will also open more domestic flights later in the year.

THE Shenzhen Stock Exchange is in talks for a possible investment in the Philippine Stock Exchange, a move that could also lure Chinese investors to invest in the local stock market, a top executive said Monday. PSE president and chief executive Ramon Monzon said in a speech during a forum organized by the Shareholders Association of the Philippines that negotiations with SSE were a part of the plan to reduce brokers’ ownership in the stock exchange. “Part of our drive to drive down brokers’ ownership to 20 percent is we will be offering additional shares in terms of stock rights and follow-on offering. We are talking to a regional exchange, specifically Shenzhen

Stock Exchange to invest in the PSE,” Monzon said. Monzon said SSE’s possible investment in PSE would be limited five percent as provided for under the Securities Regulation Code. Under the SRC, no individual can own more than 5 percent of the exchange and no single business group can hold more than 20 percent. Monzon said the talks with SSE were in “very preliminary stage” “I am trying to convince then to invest in PSE when we conduct our follow-on offering,” Monzon said. He said with the partnership, he was hoping to put in place “ShenzhenManila Connect” where Chinese investors would be able to invest in the local stock market. This is similar to Shenzhen-Hong

Kong Stock Connect where investors in each market are able to trade shares on the other market using their local brokers and clearing houses. PSE has an existing alliance with SSE via a memorandum of understanding signed in 2009 . Under the MOU, both exchanges agreed to share information and experiences on volumes, market price indicators and other pertinent information regarding their respective past performances, market data management, rules and regulations as well as practices regarding market regulation. PSE plans to conduct a share sale before the end of the year to bring down brokers’ ownership to 20 percent from the current 27.9 percent by offering to sell up to 11.5 million common shares.

Energy Development Corp. teams up with local and international scientific organizations to establish within EDC’s Burgos wind farm in Ilocos Norte a hi-tech monitoring station to measure in precise terms atmospheric greenhouse gases, mainly carbon gases, behind global warming leading to climate change. Shown during the ceremonial switch-on of a replica of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network or TCCON station are First Philippine Holdings Corp. chairman and chief executive Federico Lopez (seventh from left), Assistant Secretary Rommel Cuenca of the Climate Change Commission (eighth from left) and other officials from the Lopez Group, the academe and scientific community.

“Right now, there is no need to move policy rates looking at the inflation outlook,” Espenilla said in Washington where he was attending the annual International Monetary Fund meetings. “It might be too much of an anticipation to say we will raise interest rates at the next review.” An economic boom accompanied by surging credit growth has fueled speculation that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas may need to tighten monetary policy. That would be a divergence from other central banks in Southeast Asia, like Indonesia and Vietnam, that have eased this year. The Philippines kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 3 percent last month. The central bank is next scheduled to decide policy on Nov. 9. The Philippine economy is headed for a sixth year of growth exceeding 6 percent, among the world’s fastest. That hasn’t yet translated into an inflation problem with the central bank maintaining forecasts for this year and next year at 3.2 percent. The bank’s goal is to keep inflation within a range of 2 percent to 4 percent until 2020. “If you look at it purely from that perspective, that is not really a big driver for us to move policy rates,” Espenilla said on Oct. 15. “Nonetheless, we review this on a six-week cycle.” The central bank governor said he won’t be pressured to lift rates if the Federal Reserve

pushes ahead with further gradual tightening. In past economic cycles, central banks in Asia moved in tandem with the Fed. “Our monetary policy is not hostage to what happens in another jurisdiction. We are in a different cycle.” Describing the economy as increasingly strong, Espenilla played down concerns about the impact of the weak peso, which has declined more than 3 percent against the dollar this year, according to Bloomberg data. “Currency traders will do what they do.” On the nation’s credit boom, the central bank governor said demand for credit is based on underlying fundamentals and that its scrutiny of banks shows that loans quality remains high. Growth in net loans accelerated to 20.4 percent in August, the fastest pace since 2014. Domestic credit to the private sector in the Philippines stood at 45 percent of gross domestic product in 2016, according to data from the World Bank. The ratio exceeded 100 percent in Malaysia, Thailand and China. Bangko Sentral has adopted measures in the past to cool the property sector, including capping the value of real estate that can be used as loan collateral. “It is not a situation where banks are lending to anyone who has a name and can sign a piece of paper,” Espenilla said. “We know for a fact that the banks are lending very carefully into the market.” Bloomberg

High-tech climate change station established in EDC’s Burgos wind farm ENERGY Development Corp., the renewable energy arm of the Lopez Group, teamed up with local and international scientific organizations to establish within EDC’s Burgos wind farm in Ilocos Norte a hi-tech monitoring station to measure in precise terms atmospheric greenhouse gases, mainly carbon gases, behind global warming leading to climate

change. Studies indicate that GHGs play a big role in adverse weather patterns such as floods, droughts, as well as more destructive and more frequent typhoons, associated with climate change. Thus, measuring the rising GHG is key to managing climate risks. The scientific facility that opened recently inside the

EDC wind farm now forms part of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network, a global linkup of scientific stations dedicated to the precise measurements of atmospheric GHGs, such as carbon dioxide and methane. Scientists observed that the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean contributes to the warming when tempera-

ture is trapped by its water vapor. Notwithstanding the area’s importance, there was no TCCON station to measure GHGs in Southeast Asia, including the Pacific Ocean. The Burgos TCCON station–the 25th in the world but the only one in Southeast Asia—helps fill up the “measuring gap” by serving as primary validation sta-

tion in Southeast Asia for Japan’s Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite-2 and NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2). Both GOSAT-2 and OCO-2 can sample the globe within a few days to measure global carbon; but these satellites rely on ground stations, such as TCCON, to validate their measurements. EDC, with First Philip-

pine Holdings Corp., collaborated with the National Institute for Environmental Studies and Meteorological Research Institute of Japan, the University of Wollongong of Australia and the UP Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology to put up the TCCON station within the Burgos wind farm. NIES agreed to finance the project.

The subway is coming IT IS almost certainly correct to say that the great majority of people interested in the Metro Manila traffic gridlock have come to the conclusion that the effective solutions to the gridlock are to be found not at ground level—at-grade, in technical parlance—but above the ground and below the ground. They are bound to have concluded that things like color-coding, Mabuhay lanes and no-street-parking bans are mere palliatives and provide no real solutions to one of this country’s most serious infrastructural problems. The growing network of flyovers and Skyway-type roadways attest to the increasing resort of the government—more specifically, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the National Economic and Development Authority—to the above-ground approach to

Metro Manila traffic amelioration. The nation’s premier metropolis is slowly becoming crisscrossed by aerial roadways, financed either on a public-private partnership basis or entirely with private capital. Early last month, the Duterte administration decided to act on the suggestion of a number of people—myself included—for government resort to the below-ground approach to Metro Manila traffic amelioration. On Sept. 6, Neda announced that the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee approved Phase 1 of the Metro Manila Subway Project. Phase 1 will run for more than 30 kilometers from northeast Metro Manila to the southeast part of the metropolis, touching six cities, namely, Valenzuela City, Quezon City, Pasig City, Taguig City, Makati City and Paranaque City. There will be 11 stations. The northernmost station will be Mindanao Ave. and the southernmost will be Ninoy Aquino International Airport. In-between will be

stations located along Tandang Sora Avenue, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas St., Katipunan Avenue, Ortigas North, Fort Bonifacio and Food Terminal Inc. The estimated travel time between Mindanao Ave. and FTI is 31 minutes. Groundbreaking for Phase 1 is scheduled for 2018 and the target completion date is mid-2025. In its first year of operation, Phase 1 is expected to be able to serve 365,000 passengers. An official development assistance loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency will finance the estimated P335-billion cost of Phase 1. The Jica loan will be payable over a 40-year period, with a grace period of 12 years, and will bear an interest rate of 0.10 percent. The loan will also cover the cost of a 28-hectare Training Center and a Valenzuela City depot. The estimated 31 minutes that it will take a commuter to travel from Mindanao Ave. to the

vicinity of Naia compares with the current two to three hours that such a journey takes. Up until recently the factor militating most strongly against the installation of a subway system in Metro Manila was the proneness of this country to earthquakes. The fear of earthquakes persisted despite the fact that two of the world’s most earthquake-prone metropolises—Tokyo and Los Angeles—are served by subway systems. The fact that the just-approved project covers Phase 1 suggests that in time, there will be a Metro Manila-wide subway system. The next phase should be a line running northwest to southwest; such a line will service rapidly growing Cavite. The Metro Manila Subway Project is a perfect example of the saying “Better late than never.” It will not be here until mid-2025, but the subway is coming. E-mail:







Central bankers: Inflation to rise soon W ASHINGTON—The world’s top central bankers predicted inflation won’t stay low for much longer as they signaled they will push ahead with plans to gradually tighten monetary policy.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Sunday that her “best guess” is consumer prices will soon accelerate after a period of surprising softness, a forecast echoed by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. The inflation wager capped the International Monetary Fund’s annual

meetings at which policy makers cheered the healthiest, most synchronized global economic expansion in a decade, while keeping a wary eye on the weakness of inflation and exuberance of asset prices. “The fear that dominated most of the annual IMF/World Bank meetings since the financial crisis a decade ago seems to have evaporated,” said Joachim Fels, a global economic adviser at Pacific Investment Management Co. He also warned of an “eerie sense of security.” The European Central Bank also expects a pickup in inflation even though wages have remained weak during the current economic recovery, its vice president, Vitor Constancio, said Sunday. “The apparent disconnect between strong economic activity, on the one

hand, and low inflation and wages on the other is one of the standout characteristics of the ongoing recovery―lmost everywhere, I must say,” Constancio said at a Group of Thirty international banking seminar. But Constancio expressed “confidence” that as Eurozone economies reached growth potential, this “will lead inflation to return to our medium-term objective.” “Yet this return remains conditional on a very substantial degree of continued monetary accommodation,” he added. The ECB is to decide this month whether to extend its current bondbuying stimulus into 2018. Inflation in the Eurozone undershot analyst expectations in September, holding

steady at 1.5 percent, according to sector were already doing so. Eurostat. Year-on-year, Japan’s core consumer Meanwhile, Bank of Japan Governor price index gained 0.7 percent in August. Haruhiko Kuroda told the same event “Achieving the two percent target that Japan would pursue its own current is still a long way off and the Bank stimulus program, but expected inflation of Japan will persistently pursue would return. aggressive monetary easing with a view “Modest wage increases and weak to achieving the price stability target at inflation relative to the increased the earliest possible time,” said Kuroda. momentum of the economy and AFP, Bloomberg tightening of the labor market can be Manila Per Order dated August 22, 2017, on the court provided that the court explained as a problem,” he said.Standard this case is set for hearing on acquires jurisdiction over the res. 30, 2017 at 8:30 am in the 20. A case which involves the marital One explanation was that, after October TODAY morning at Room 238, Second Floor, status of the parties is an action in rem or quasi in rem. The Supreme a long period of low growth, Hall of Justice, Diliman, Quezon City. Court has affirmed that, in such an OF THE PHILIPPINES action, the purpose of service of companies were uncertain of future REPUBLIC REGIONAL TRIAL COURT summons is not to vest the trial court BRANCH 217 – QUEZON CITY with jurisdiction over the person of the revenues and thus reluctant to raise MARNE GELACIO, respondent, but only to comply with due process . Petitioner, wages, he said―adding firms would As a rule, when the defendant does -versusnot reside and is not found in the soon face pressure to raise wages, Philippines, Philippine courts cannot Special Proceedings No. [R-QZN-17-0750-CV] try any case against him because and some in the Japanese services of the impossibility of acquiring For: Recognition of 2

Foreign Divorce SEONGMAN HAN and/or CIVIL Registrar General /or the Local Registrar of Quezon City, Respondents. x---------------------------------------x

HK tower sold for a record of over $5b HONGKONG―A landmark skyscraper owned by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing has sold for a record of more than $5 billion, a report said Monday, indicating that the city’s booming property sector shows no sign of slowing down. Li’s CK Asset sold its 75 percent stake in The Centre, which is located in the city’s bustling Central district, to a consortium led by a Chinese energy firm, the Hong Kong Economic Journal said, citing unnamed sources. The city’s fifth tallest skyscraper would become Hong Kong’s most expensive commercial building ever sold if the HK$40.2 billion (US$5.15 billion) deal goes through, the paper reported. The sale would surpass a transaction earlier this year, where a prime commercial lot―occupied by a multi-story car park also in Central―was sold off for HK$23.28 billion by the government to Henderson Land, which is owned by the city’s second richest man, Lee Shau-kee. A spokeswoman from CK Asset said no immediate information was available. Shares in CK Asset, Li’s flagship property company, rose 2.62 percent to HK$66.50 in Hong Kong trade Monday. The deal will soon be announced and the name of the building may be changed, the report added. AFP


Customers buy fruits and vegetables at a supermarket in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province on October 16, 2017. China’s factory price inflation rose again in September, official data showed on October 16, indicating the improving domestic demand while the central bank chief said he expects strong growth in the second half despite fears of slowdown. AFP

Oil prices near $52 a barrel on Iraq-Kurd tensions CRUDE extended gains from the highest close in two weeks as speculation mounted over potential output disruptions in a region that’s home to Iraq’s oldest producing oil fields. Futures in London rose as much as 1.3 percent after gaining 2.8 percent last week. Iraqi soldiers moved late Sunday to take over fields in the northern city of Kirkuk from Kurdish forces. That’s amid an intensifying conflict after the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, held a referendum on independence from Iraq on Sept. 25. Opec sees crude demand growing at a “healthy pace” over the next five years.

Brent crude has risen in six of the past seven weeks on signs output curbs by Opec and its allies are draining a glut. While exports of about 600,000 barrels a day from Kirkuk’s oil fields and deposits inside the adjacent Kurdish region were said to continue on Sunday, Eurasia Group estimates Iraq taking control could cut shipments by 450,000 barrels daily until the government repairs a pipeline to Turkey or reaches a revenue-sharing deal with the Kurds. “Tensions are definitely escalating in Iraq at the moment, and it will be a supporting factor for oil prices for the time being,” said Kim Kwangrae, a Seoul-based commodities

analyst at Samsung Futures Inc. “It’s a complex issue as it involves Kirkuk oil fields that produce about 550,000 barrels a day as well as the neighboring countries such as Turkey, which is threatening to cut off the pipeline.” Brent for December settlement rose much as 73 cents to $57.90 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at $57.84 at 7:45 a.m. in London. Prices added 92 cents to $57.17 on Friday. The global benchmark traded at a premium of $5.68 to December West Texas Intermediate. WTI for November delivery advanced as much as 54 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $51.99

a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The grade gained 1.7 percent to $51.45 on Friday. Total volume traded was about 3 percent above the 100-day average. Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumping most of its 4.47 million barrels a day from fields in the south and shipping it from the Persian Gulf port of Basrah. The Kurdish region, meanwhile, relies on a pipeline to the port of Ceyhan in neighboring Turkey to get most of its crude to market. The conduit also transports some 100,000 barrels a day of oil from federal-run fields in Kirkuk. Bloomberg

Cannabis growers in Lebanon turn to grapes for winemaking By Tony Gamal-Gabriel DEIR AL-AHMAR, Lebanon—Sitting among the vines of Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo growing on his spectacular farm in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Michel Emad remembers the not-so-distant time when he opted to cultivate cannabis. The retired soldier was not alone in this illicit trade: cannabis fields used to stretch as far as the eye could see in this part of Lebanon over which the state has tenuous control. “Everyone used to grow hashish, that was what the market wanted, there was no alternative crop,” Emad, a father of two in his fifties with neatly trimmed hair, said. Now he and the 220 farmers from the Coteaux Heliopolis cooperative are growing grapes for winemaking in the northern Bekaa Valley’s Deir al-Ahmar region. The area, one of the poorest in Lebanon, is notorious for its cannabis production, which expanded massively over recent decades to turn into a multi-million-dollar industry. While cannabis farming has only been feebly challenged by the authorities over the years, it remains illegal and the small cooperative has succeeded in luring some producers away from the risky business. They are looking to cash in as Lebanon’s wine industry has blossomed, with traditional heavyweights and myriad smaller producers making inroads on an ever-expanding global market. “Growing grapes is more lucrative and leaves you with a clean conscience,” Emad said, explaining that this year’s nine-ton harvest earned him $10,000 (8,400 euros), twice his erstwhile income from cannabis. Cannabis to Cabernet

A vineyard planted next to a cannabis field (right) on the outskirts of Deir al-Ahmar in the Beakaa Valley, one of the poorest regions in Lebanon and notorious for its cannabis production, on October 3, 2017. Lebanon’s Coteaux Heliopolis cooperative was launched in 1999 and now covers around 250 hectares of vineyard (620 acres) in Deir al-Ahmar. The first harvest in 2003 and the resulting windfall sparked a wave of interest among cannabis farmers in the area. AFP

On the other side of the dirt road running along his vineyard, the tall stems of cannabis fields are still visible. Emad spent three years growing cannabis, like many other villagers in Lebanon’s Bekaa who see it as their only means of survival. The security forces regularly raid the cannabis farms in the area and Emad’s fields were wiped out twice before he eventually decided to join the cooperative in 2003. “With hashish you always feel threatened by the authorities, you can’t sleep at night for the constant risk of being jailed or seeing the state destroy your crops,” he said, puffing on a cigarette in the shade of a tree. The Coteaux Heliopolis cooperative was launched in 1999 and now covers around 250 hectares of vineyard (620 acres) in Deir al-Ahmar. The first harvest in 2003 and the resulting windfall sparked a wave of

interest among cannabis farmers in the area. “We have provided evidence that people don’t want to grow hashish. They are obliged to because it is their only source of income but they don’t actually want to live in fear and in violation of the law,” said Shawki alFakhri, who heads the cooperative. “If you give them an alternative, a lucrative and legal crop to farm, people will take it in a heartbeat,” said the retired engineer, sitting in the garden of the house his grandfather built. Historical land The elegant sexagenarian with flowing white hair recounts with an amused grin how his own father had been tempted by cannabis farming decades ago but was eventually dissuaded by his grandfather, a village priest. The cooperative’s harvested grapes— around 400 tons in 2017—are then sold on to producers such as Chateau Ksara, one of the biggest players in Lebanon’s wine industry, or Domaine Wardy, one of the oldest and most renowned wineries. The project initially received funding and technical support from France and gradually grew with local loans allowing producers to turn their fields into vineyards. The grapes of choice are Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. “These are grapes that like the sun and the heat and could work at high altitude,” said Charbel al-Fakhri, who works alongside his father Shawki at the cooperative and got a specialized MBA from France’s wine capital Bordeaux. The cooperative has created its own winery and made a modest start with 100,000 bottles in 2017, only a fraction of the eight million bottles Lebanon produces each year. AFP

PETITIONER MARNE GELACIO, through undersigned counsel, respectfully states that: 1. Petitioner Marne Gelacio is a Filipino citizen, divorced, with residence at 904 Parc Royale Condo Ortigas Center, Pasig.She is represented by undersigned Counsel through whom notices and summons can be served. 2. Respondent Seongman Han is a citizen of the Republic of Korea. His address where summons, notices and court processes may be served on him is 18, Gomudari-gil, Seondu-ri, Gongdo-eup, Anseong-si, Gyeongido, Republic of Korea. (His Korean telephone number is 01087224630) 3. Public respondent Civil Registrar General of the Philippine Statistics Authority has office address at 3/F Vibal Bldg., Times Street cor. EDSA, West Triangle, Quezon City. 4. Public respondent Quezon City Civil Registrar has office at the City Hall compound of Quezon City. 5. As government entities, public respondents shall be represented in these proceedings by the Office of the Solicitor General of the Philippines, which has its address at the Office of the Solicitor General with office address at 134 Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. 6. Petitioner and private respondent were married on 24 June 2008 at the Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple, No. 1 Central Avenue, New Era, Quezon City. Attached is a certified copy of their Certificate of Marriage filed with the Office of the Civil Registrar General, marked as Annex “A”. 7. The parties have no children together. 8. In 2016, the Parties filed for divorce at Incheon in the Republic of Korea under Korean law. On 1 December 2016, the Family Court finding the same to be in accordance with law, made a decree dissolving the marriage between Seongman Han and Marne Gelacio. (Annex “B”) 9. The Republic of Korea allows divorce. Attached as Annex “C” are the relevant provisions of the Republic of Korea’s applicable law on divorce. The divorce obtained conforms to the laws of that jurisdiction. 10. Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code states: Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. 11. In Republic vs. Cipriano Orbecido III, G.R. No. 154380, October 5, 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that “before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our own courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it.” 12. In Gerbert R. Corpuz vs. Daisylyn Tirol Sto. Tomas, et al., G.R. No. 186571, August 11, 2010, it was recognized that a foreign spouse has the legal interest to file the petition for judicial recognition of divorce and for the cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry. 13. Corpuz ruled that the “(t)he recognition of the foreign divorce decree may be made in a Rule 108 proceeding itself, as the object of special proceedings (such as that in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court) is precisely to establish the status or right of a party or a particular fact. Moreover, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court can serve as the appropriate adversarial proceeding by which the applicability of the foreign judgment can be measured and tested in terms of jurisdictional infirmities, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.” 14. The case of Fujiki vs. Marinay, G.R. No. 196049, June 26, 2013 affirmed a foreign spouse’s personality to file a petition for recognition of a foreign court’s judgment dissolving marriage a marriage. 15. Fujiki further rules that “[f]or Philippine courts to recognize a foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country, the petitioner only needs to prove the foreign judgment as a fact under the Rules of Court. To be more specific, a copy of the foreign judgment may be admitted in evidence and proven as a fact under Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court.” 16. Thus this proceeding for recognition of foreign divorce. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO SERVE SUMMONS BY REGISTERED MAIL AND/OR COURIER 17. Respondent Seongman Han does not reside and is not found in the Philippines. His address where summons, notices and court processes may be served on him is 18, Gomudari-gil, Seondu-ri, Gongdo-eup, Anseong-si, Gyeongido, Republic of Korea. His Korean telephone number is 01087224630. 18. Under these circumstances, service of summons is governed by Section 15, Rule 14: Section15. Extraterritorial service.When the defendant does not reside and is not found in the Philippines, and the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff or relates to, or the subject of which is, property within the Philippines, in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent, or in which the relief demanded consists, wholly or in part, in excluding the defendant from any interest therein, or the property of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines, service may, by leave of court, be effected out of the Philippines by personal service as under section 6; or by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such places and for such time as the court may order, in which case a copy of the summons and order of the court shall be sent by registered mail to the last known address of the defendant, or in any other manner the court may deem sufficient. Any order granting such leave shall specify a reasonable time, which shall not be less than sixty (60) days after notice, within which the defendant must answer. 19. Service of summons under Section 15, Rule 14 to a non-resident not found in the country was upheld in Velayo-Fong vs. Spouses Velayo,1 thus: Under this provision, when the defendant is a nonresident and he is not found in the country, summons may be served extraterritorially. There are only four instances when extraterritorial service of summons is proper, namely: (a) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiffs; (b) when the action relates to, or the subject of which is property, within the Philippines, in which the defendant claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent; (c) when the relief demanded in such action consists, wholly or in part, in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines; and (d) when the defendants property has been attached within the Philippines. In these instances, service of summons may be effected by (a) personal service out of the country, with leave of court; (b) publication, also with leave of court; or (c) any other manner the court may deem sufficient. Thus, extrajudicial service of summons apply only where the action is in rem, that is, an action against the thing itself instead of against the person, or in an action quasi in rem, where an individual is named as defendant and the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his interest therein to the obligation or loan burdening the property. The rationale for this is that in in rem and quasi in rem actions, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not a prerequisite to confer jurisdiction

jurisdiction over his person unless he voluntarily appears in court. But when the case is one of actions in rem or quasi in rem enumerated in Section 15, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, Philippine courts have jurisdiction to hear and decide the case. In such instances, Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the res, and jurisdiction over the person of the non-resident defendant is not essential. Actions in personam and actions in rem or quasi in rem differ in that actions in personam are directed against specific persons and seek personal judgments. On the other hand, actions in rem or quasi in rem are directed against the thing or property or status of a person and seek judgments with respect thereto as against the whole world. At the time Abelardo filed the petition for nullity of the marriage in 1991, Margarita was residing in the United States. She left the Philippines in 1982 together with her two children. The trial court considered Margarita a non-resident defendant who is not found in the Philippines. Since the petition affects the personal status of the plaintiff, the trial court authorized extraterritorial service of summons under Section 15, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. The term personal status includes family relations, particularly the relations between husband and wife. Under Section 15 of Rule 14, a defendant who is a non-resident and is not found in the country may be served with summons by extraterritorial service in four instances: (1) when the action affects the personal status of the plaintiff; (2) when the action relates to, or the subject of which is property within the Philippines, in which the defendant has or claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent; (3) when the relief demanded consists, wholly or in part, in excluding the defendant from any interest in property located in the Philippines; or (4) when the property of the defendant has been attached within the Philippines. In these instances, extraterritorial service of summons may be effected under any of three modes: (1) by personal service out of the country, with leave of court; (2) by publication and sending a copy of the summons and order of the court by registered mail to the defendants last known address, also with leave of court; or (3) by any other means the judge may consider sufficient.3 21. These facts are sworn to by the Petitioner in accordance with the requirements of the Rules of Court. Service to respondent Han by way of registered mail and/or courieris therefore prayed for. MOTION TO SET CASE FOR HEARING WITH ORDER OF PUBLICATION 22. A petition for recognition of foreign divorce follows the procedure under Rule 1084. Rule 108 provides for setting and for notice and publication of the time and place for the hearing of the petition in a newspaper of general circulation thus: Section 4. Notice and publication. — Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall, by an order, fix the time and place for the hearing of the same, and cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the persons named in the petition. The court shall also cause the order to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province. 23. Due process will therefore be served under both Rule 14 and Rule 108 by the Honorable Court’s directing service of summons to respondent Arnwine by way of registered mail and/or courier, and by the Honorable Court’s issuance of an Order fixing the time and place for the hearing of the case, directing said Order to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within Metro Manila. WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that: 1. The Honorable Court order that summons be sent to respondent Seongman Han at his present address: Seongman Han 18, Gomudari-gil, Seondu-ri, Gongdoeup, Anseong-si, Gyeongi-do, Republic of Korea. (His Korean telephone number is 01087224630) by way of registered mail and/ or courier at Petitioner’s cost, and granting respondent Han until sixty (60) days after notice within which to file his answer. 2. The Honorable Court likewise issue an Order: a. Fixing the time and place for the hearing of the case b. Directing that said Order and notice be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within Metro Manila. 3. The Petition be given due course and the divorce of the Petitioner be judicially recognized; and, 4. A Decision be rendered directing the public respondent Civil Registrar General and the Quezon City Registrar to record the judicial recognition of divorce and to annotate the divorce/ Dissolution of Status in her marriage record. 5. Such other reliefs as are just and appropriate are likewise prayed for. Respectfully submitted: Quezon City, 18 June 2017. BRITANICO & BRITANICO LAW OFFICES G/F, 4 Matiwasay Street, U.P. Village Diliman, Quezon City Te l N o. ( 0 9 2 2 ) 8 5 8 - 8 6 7 2 E-mail:

By: [Signed] FRANCESCO C. BRITANICO Roll No. 55262 PTR 3949419/1-16-2017/Quezon City IBP 1067974/1-16-2017/Quezon City MCLE Compliance No. V-0023046, 20 July 2016 CP#: (+63) 920-948-9949 Email:

VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATE OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING ================== I, Marne Gelacio, Filipino citizen, of legal age, divorced, with residence at 904 Parc Royale Condo Ortigas Center, Pasig, after having been sworn to in accordance with law, do hereby depose and state, That: 1. I am the Petitioner in this proceeding for recognition of foreign divorce. 2. I have caused the preparation of the Petition for recognition of foreign divorce. 3. The factual allegations in the said Petition are true and correct of my own personal knowledge and/or on the basis of authentic documents in my possession. 4. I have not commenced any other action or proceeding involving the same issues as presented in the foregoing Petition in any other tribunal or agency of government; nor such action or proceeding is pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or any other agency; and, if I should thereafter learn that a similar proceeding has been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or in any other tribunal or agency, I undertake to report that fact within five days therefrom to the court or agency where the original or initiatory pleading had been filed. IN WITNESS whereof, I hereby affixed my signature this [JUN 19 2017]th day of ________ 2017 in Taguig City. [Signed] MARNE GELACIO Affiant SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this ____th day of [JUN 19 2017] 2017, Affiant exhibiting to me her valid ID, Philippine passport EB9378090 valid from 16 October 2013 to 15 October 2018 , bearing her photograph and signature, and issued by the Philippine embassy in Seoul, Korea, known to me to be the same person who executed this Verification and Certificate of NonForum Shopping, and manifesting to me that the same was knowingly and freely done by her.

(Sgd.) ATTY. JOWELL A. MENDOZA NOTARY PUBLIC FOR TAGUIG CITY UNTIL DEC. 31, 2018 APPT. NO 20 (2016-2018) PTR No. 2512930, 1/6/2017, PASIG CITY IBP No. 1058109, 1/6/2017 ROLL NO. 59661;MCLE COMPLIANCE NO. V-0023127-7/23/16 32ND ST. CAR PLAZA BONIFACIO GLOBAL, TAGUIG CITY Doc. No. 228; Page No. 47; Book No. 68; Series of 2017. (MST-Oct. 10,17 & 24,


Manila to auction Parola property

Jimbo Owen Gulle, Editor


tuesday, october 17, 2017

By Bill Casas

LGUs LocaL government units

NO CARE IN THE WORLD. A boy frolics along the Macabebe Swamp in Pampanga, oblivious to the hundreds of migratory birds searching for fish in the area. Manny Palmero

Iloilo flights resume By Joel Zurbano

oMMeRCIAL flight operations resumed at the Iloilo Airport on Monday afternoon following the extraction of a Cebu Pacific aircraft stuck in a mud after it overshot the end of the runway late Friday evening.


Inclement weather in the damaged plane area made it difficult for (CeB flight 5J641), with authorities to remove the the wheels of the aircraft

Davao bombing suspect surrenders CoTABATo City—one of the suspects in the Davao City night market bombing last year has surrendered to the Cotabato City police office on Sunday. Cotabato City police director Sr. Supt. Rolly octavio said Mohammad Lalaog Chenikandiyil, who was arrested and released in october last year, voluntarily surrendered to him. Chenikandiyil, alias “Boy,” was included in the Department of national Defense Arrest order no. 2 that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana issued following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao in the aftermath of the Marawi siege. “He insisted he was not involved in the Davao bombing and he wanted to clear his name,” octavio said. Chenikandiyil was among the four other bombing suspects arrested on october 27 in separate raids by CIDgARMM in Barangay Rosary Heights 7, Cotabato City and in Datu odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. Also arrested in the raid were zack Haron Villanueva Lopez, Jackson Mangulamas usi, and Ausan Abdullah Mamasapano, according to then CIDg-ARRM Director Supt. Jimmy Daza. The Davao Regional Trial Court Branch 13, however, ordered the Davao police office to release Chenikandiyil on nov. 11 after it granted the petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by the suspect’s wife. At least 14 people were killed and 50 others were injured in the bombing last year. PNA

stuck in at least 20-inch thick mud. Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines officials said the facility resumed its services at around 2 p.m. yesterday after the runway was declared usable and safe for aircraft flight operations. “Yes, it is already operational,” said Caap spokesman eric Apolonio. “We thank the riding

public and the affected passengers for their kind understanding.” The resumption came three days after the Airbus A320 type series’ nose gear landed on a soft spot at the end of the runway at 11:10 pm Friday as it veered off upon landing. no one among the 182 passengers and six flight crew members on board from Manila was hurt.

The incident, however, resulted in the cancellation of at least 50 commercial flights of the airline and two other carriers—Philippine Airlines and Air Asia. Among those affected are flights to and from Davao, Cebu, Manila and Hong Kong. The Cebu Pacific Air management apologized for the incident. “Again, CeB apologizes

In BrIef


A Tiduray native of South Upi, Maguindanao, Irene Mobuayaen, showcases native coffee at P100/pack and polvoron P135/box—all made from yellow corn— during the Angat Dapat Social Fair on at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City. The fair, with the theme ‘Trade Not War: Celebrating Community Innovation,’ is a step toward achieving a shared vision of empowered, caring and responsible peoples in ARMM. Omar Mangorsi

Qc seeks to arrest dengue case hike Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has activated a special task force to focus on raising dengue awareness in the communities. He ordered the creation of a technical working group composed of the city’s health department and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management office to focus on information and education campaigns and community clean-up in barangays Payatas, Commonwealth and Batasan Hills. The three barangays posted a massive increase in dengue cases. The health department has raised the red flag following a 59 percent jump in dengue cases from 2,862 cases in January to September last year to 4,557 for the same period this year. Dengue fatality rate also rose to 1.22 percent, surpassing the one percent considered as the safe threshold. “Dengue is not only a health problem it also involves the behaviors of the communities. Help needs to come to the stricken communities,” medical officer Maria Lourdes eleria said. Rio N. Araja

caloocan relocates 100 displaced families

QC posts P15.2-b income from tax collections By Rio N. Araja Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista bannered the city’s total ninemonth income of P15.18 billion from taxes and fees during his State-ofthe-City Address yesterday. Bautista said the city government is confident it will surpass last year’s budget target with a surplus of P16.1 million. “As of oct. 3, real property tax collections have improved by 21.88 percent, breaching the P6-billion mark

for the inconvenience this incident has caused. We would like to express our thanks to Capp, MIAA (Manila International Airport Authority), the local government of Iloilo and other partners for their assistance. We also thank our passengers for their patience and understanding, and the public for their support,” the airline said in a statement.

THe city government of Manila is set to auction a 22-hectare property in Parola Compound, Tondo after its owner failed to settle his tax arrears amounting to more than P1 billion, Mayor Joseph estrada said. estrada said the city was constrained to initiate the move to recover the unpaid real estate taxes totalling P1.09 billion. “either way, the city will have to take possession of the property as mandated under the law. May this also serve as a warning to delinquent taxpayers,” estrada said. Classified as a commercial lot, the property, owned by resident Felix Sajot, is located at the corner of R-10 and zaragoza Street in Parola Compound. City Assessor Jose De Juan said Sajot’s real property tax dues, including surcharges and interests, have accumulated to P1.09 billion over the years because he only submitted it for assessment about two or three years ago. Titled properties without assessment for more than 10 years shall be subjected to 10 years of back taxes plus the current year, De Juan explained. “Apparently, he (Sajot) wants to sell it so he had it assessed only a few years ago because he needs a tax declaration,” he said. The lot is considered a prime property, with a market value of P7.7 billion, but a big portion of it is now occupied by informal settlers. De Juan said the mayor wants to convert the lot to a vehicle and equipment depot or sell it to the present occupants through the city’s Land-for-theLandless Program.

in just nine months. Collection from business taxes have improved by 15.16 percent to reach P8.031 billion during the nine-month period,” he said. Socialized housing tax and idle land tax have generated P503.54 million in revenues to sustain the city government’s shelter programs, Bautista said. He, however, said the city government had to take into account the “added cost of burden of a substantially increased expense for garbage hauling and disposal.”

“We have to adjust to accommodate this significant added expense,” he said. Bautista said Quezon City, home to 72,538 registered business establishments, will continue to have a vibrant business climate. “As assessed by the national Competitiveness Council, Quezon City is no. 2 in economic dynamism in the country beaten only by Pasay City, which has been able to expand its area available for business reclaiming land from Mania Bay,” he said.

MoRe than 100 families affected by the construction of the nLeX-SLeX Connector Skyway in Caloocan City were relocated by the local government. Majority of the affected families were transferred to their new homes in a relocation site of the national Housing Authority in norzagaray, Bulacan while the rest were moved to a condominium-type relocation project in Caloocan City. According to Mayor oscar Malapitan, the displaced families underwent several briefings before they were relocated. The P23.3-billion nLeX -SLeX Connector Skyway is an eight-kilometer, four-lane project of the Department of Public Works and Highways that will connect the two expressways to shorten travel time in going to the north coming from the South. The said project is expected to be completed by 2020. Jun David

Bataan jail cracks whip on illegal drugs BALAngA City—The Bataan District Jail conducted operation greyhound over the weekend to crack down on illegal drugs and contraband. “We found no illegal drugs, only improvised bladed weapons and assorted contraband,” jail warden Supt. Andrew Tauli said. Tauli led the surprise inspection with operatives and representatives of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine Drug enforcement Agency, Philippine national Police, and Capitol Security and Intelligence unit. Butch Gunio


The Capitol building in Denver City was designed by Elijah Myers and was constructed for nearly 15 years until 1901, although many offices were in use in 1894.

Isah V. Red, Editor Bernadette Lunas, Writer

travel and leisure

tuesday, octoBeR 17, 2017


Volumes of history at denver Capitol or Mile High City By Honor Blanco Cabie


ENVER CITY, Colorado – Exactly 159 years ago, the discovery of gold near Denver brought fortune seekers across the plains to what officials describe as the Rocky Mountains.

Settlements developed throughout the region, and the largest communities were established near the mining areas – the area that today is Colorado – population five million -- was originally divided among the territories of Kansas, Nebraska, Utah and New Mexico territories. In 1861, the first Territorial Assembly met in Denver to debate the location of the capital city, 15 years before Colorado joined the Union as the 38th state of the United States. During the early years, government officials occupied offices in cramped and uncomfortable rented quarters. Excavation for the government building – today’s Capitol – did not begin until 1886, nearly 10 years after Colorado’ statehood was granted on Aug 1, 1876. According to officials, the Capitol building was designed by Elijah Myers, and its construction – abut $3 million at the time -- lasted nearly 15 years until 1901, although many offices were in use in 1894. The Colorado Capitol, in the heart of Denver City, was designed on an axis in the form of a Greek cross measuring

383 feet long by 315 feet wide, and resembles the basic design of the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. On the concrete front steps of the Capitol, whose dome is gold plated, are etched the words “One Mile Above Sea Level” – in quick reference to the fact that the Capitol in Denver stands 1.6 kilometers above sea level. The Mile high City, or Denver, is less than two hours from a dozen world class ski resorts and in the middle of a cultural and culinary boom that has insiders talking. From celebrated restaurants to worldrenowned museums, from notable shopping to remarkable entertainment, Denver’s renaissance has travelers flocking to this iconic western city, excited by the buzz. The Capitol, center of the state government, houses the Senate, the house of Representatives, the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and the Department of the Treasury. The Colorado Supreme Court, according to officials, was located in the Capitol until 1977.

By Bernadette Lunas

with local property developer CDC holdings Inc. Citadines Millennium, near the junction of Ortigas Avenue and Sapphire Road, caters to those in and around the Ortigas Center business and commercial district. While serviced apartments are primarily targeted towards corporates who are planning extended stays—that can last from 30 days up to five years or more—Citadines Millennium aims to tap the short-stay market, or the staycationers or individuals and families on a weekend holiday. “Only 30 percent of our guests in Citadines brand (the first is located in Salcedo, Makati) are long stays, 70 percent are short stays—daily stays and weekly stays,” Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila Residence Manager Glenn Magalang told Manila Standard. he said, “The personality of Citadines is targeted towards the young generation of managers and those staying short-term.” hence, the interiors of the 32-story building feature an artsy vibe complete with lively colors, nature-themed pictures and paintings, and geometric accents and artworks. Biomimicry is injected through nature-inspired designs

IN ThE Philippines, staycation has become synonymous to an overnight or a weekend stay in a hotel—for a good reason. The warm service, plush beds, and added amenities that come with a hotel booking make for a relaxing, if not better, alternative to spending a quiet day at home. Sure, a well-appointed room of a three-, four-, or five-star property with all its complimentary conveniences is more than ideal for a quick holiday. But sometimes, there are things we have in our residence that we wish our nonsuite room also has—a fully equipped kitchen or a bigger space, for instance. Serviced apartments aim to fill this gap. Serviced apartments are fullyfurnished apartments that provide services and amenities of a hotel. These property offer both short- and long-term stays for those looking for traditional hotel facilities but with more space and home-like feel. International serviced residence operator Ascott Limited recently soft opened Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila, its seventh property in the country and its second joint venture

The fully-equipped kitchen in any of Citadines’s rooms lets guests cook their own meal and host a small gathering

On the concrete front steps of the Capitol are etched the words ‘One Mile Above Sea Level’ — in quick reference to the fact that the Capitol in Denver stands 1.6 kilometers above sea level.

Today, the Judicial Branch, including the Supreme Court, is now in the Ralph Carr Judicial Center not far away, with the vacated court chamber in the north wing of the Capitol’s second floor now used as a legislative hearing room. Impressive was the nearly unanimous expression of guests who were given a tour recently of the Capitol with its

grand staircase, its exterior walls, its stained glass windows, murals and its Gold Dome, among others. Rising 272 feet above the ground, the Capitol’s gleaming gold dome is, according to officials, a “fitting tribute to the history of Colorado state.” The dome was originally topped with copper, but the citizens of Colorado, the

The Capitol’s gleaming gold dome rises 272 feet above the ground.

officials said, objected to the selection of copper since it was not a primary metal in Colorado. In 1908, the building committee decided to instead cap the building with gold, with Colorado miners making a gift of 200 ounces of gold to gild the dome. Turn to C2

A new kind of staycation


Serviced apartment property Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila offers spacious units complete with hotel service and amenities but with a home-like feel

such as mats and carpets resembling grass and stone walkway, as well as chartreuse color splashed around. Environment-conscious guests will appreciate the energy- and water-saving features in Citadines Millennium. LED lights are used all throughout the property, natural lighting and ventilation are maximized, and each apartment’s toilet has dual flush toilet cisterns to cut down on water consumption. Doubleglazed windows are installed to prevent too much heat from coming in and help reduce medium to high frequency noise from outside. The serviced residence has a total of 293 rooms divided into four types of unit:

studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom, each with a separate living and dining areas, a fully equipped kitchen, and wireless Internet connection. Magalang said their rooms are relatively bigger compared to those of a hotel’s. “Our studios range from 33 to 44 square meters. Our one-bedroom, on the other hand, is around 75 to 85 square meters, in a hotel that’s already a suite,” he shared, adding, “We have bigger rooms and even our studio already has a kitchen.” The mere size of the rooms, especially the 140-sqm three-bedroom deluxe, makes them a perfect venue for gatherings with family and friends.

But, Magalang noted that invited guests must leave at 10:00 p.m.. The four-feet swimming pool, fitness gym, function rooms, Resident’s Lounge with meeting room, and self-service laundromat (for those staying in rooms without washer and dryer) are all located in the facilities area on the third floor. Those who prefer to eat out can dine at Relish Luxe Cafe or Aburi Japanese Restaurant on the ground floor. Magalang said guests can order room service, which will be catered by Relish, until 10 in the evening. Call (02) 550-3200 or email enquiry. for bookings and inquiries.



tuesday, october 17, 2017

Cebu Pacific ushers in surfing season with direct Manila-Siargao flights A

N ISLAND with lush forest covers, trimmed with fine white sand and a crown of gleaming blue waters—Siargao is indeed another gem in the Pearl of the Orient that both surfers and beach bums dream about. And as more travelers chase the breathtaking giant waves of Siargao, this island paradise becomes more within reach with Cebu Pacific’s special additional flights to the Surfing Capital of the Philippines.

From Dec. 17 last year and up until March 24, 2018, the Philippines’ leading carrier will be flying direct between Manila and Siargao, six times a week. For as low as P2,370, vacationers from the country’s capital may leave the hustle and bustle of the Metro and fly in to Siargao’s haven of cozy resorts and warm and hospital locals. Perfect for backpackers and adventure enthusiasts, the island of Siargao boasts exciting roads that lead to many differ-

Ride the world-class surfing spot, Cloud 9, when you go to Siargao via Cebu Pacific’s direct flights between Manila and Siargao

ent spots for a quick dip, snorkeling, sight-seeing and world-class surfing. Traveler favorites are the famed Cloud 9 and General Luna, where beginners learn to paddle then stand on a board, and pro-surfers get to hang ten. Nearby islets like Guyam, Daku, and

Naked Islands also draw a crowd for an unbridled experience of nature in the South. In these parts, travelers can discover Siargao’s natural heritage and the various facets of local culture as it evolves with the foreigners who now call the island their home.

The island also boasts an effervescent food scene and night life, enriched by the fusion of local and foreign influences. With fresh catch of seafood and baskets of fruits readily available in the destination and the positive outlook in the community, Siargao serves the most

delectable and satisfying experience from dusk to dawn. “There is a clear surge of interest in Siargao, and we’ve seen its great potential for tourism since we began offering flights in 2009. With our special direct Manila-Siargao flights, we are positive that more tourists will discover what Siargao has to offer. Cebu Pacific is glad to make it easier for everyJuan to visit this dreamy island paradise more often, where surfing and sustainable living are a way of life,” says Alexander Lao, president and CEO of Cebgo. Aside from Manila, Cebu Pacific also flies direct to Siargao from Cebu twice daily, with the lowest year-round fare of P2,104. Travelers also visit the island by taking a connecting flight from Manila via Cebu to Siargao. Discover the mesmerizing beauty of Siargao, the elusive coast for surfers and beach lovers, by flying in with Cebu Pacific. Checking in sports equipment like surf-boards are also available in these flights, and can be added to flight bookings up to four hours before scheduled times of departure. For more information on the most convenient flights to Siargao, visit

Discover the rare and beautiful with Ethiopian Airlines KNOWN as a land of natural contrasts, Ethiopia is a burgeoning go-to tourist destination for Filipinos in search of a paradise off-the-beaten path. Endowed with magnificent landscapes from its fertile jungles down to rolling hills, Ethiopia is a treasure-filled country with plenty of captivating rarities just waiting to be discovered. Access to Ethiopia has been made easy through Ethiopian Airlines’ services in the Philippines. Recognized as the Best Airline in Africa in 2017’s SKyTRAX World Airline Awards, the carrier boasts exceptional Cloud Nine Business Class services, comfortable economy class seats, and variety of in-flight entertainment. As Ethiopia’s gateway to the Philippines, Ethiopian Airlines proudly shares its unique and beautiful side waiting to be uncovered. Rivaling the country’s colorful landscape is none other than Ethiopia’s experiential cuisine. A reflection of the country’s lush lands and rich history, Ethiopian food is mainly characterized by an abundance of vegetables and spicy meat dishes. Always in attendance at an Ethiopian dining table is a staple spice called Niter Kibbeh, which is a seasoned, clarified butter infused with different herbs and spices. Considered as the heart and soul of most Ethiopian dishes, it would be nearly impossible to cook up an authentic Ethiopian dish without the Niter Kibbeh. As tourists experience the wonderful wildness of Ethiopian cuisine, another rare find awaits them at the highlands of Ethiopia. Commonly known as the Ethiopian wolf, the Canis Simensis is among the rarest endangered species native to the country with only 500 of them remaining in the wild. Home to a wealth of exotic reserves, Ethiopia also boasts of its Welo opals which showcase a diverse fusion of neon reds, oranges, greens, blues, yellows, and

Volumes... From C1

Officials said the gold coating the dome “is thinner than tissue paper and is delivered in rolls and the gold replaced in 2013 (and) although 149 rolls were needed to cover the 2,842 square feet of surface area, the job only required 64.5 ounces of gold.” The exterior walls of the four-story Capitol are constructed of granite quarried near Gunnison, Colorado, with more than 200 stonecutters from Maine, Vermont, California and Texas employed to construct the five-foot thick walls. The builders believed, according to officials, the durable stone would survive the seasons of a thousand years. The pink stone seen throughout the Capitol is rose onyx discovered near Beulah, Colorado, such coloration, according to officials, never been found anywhere else in the world. The floors of the Capitol are constructed of yule marble from Marble, Colorado, with builders deciding to use native marble even though it would have cost less to ship marble from Italy than it cost to transport it from the

Ethiopia’s Welo opal

contra lush fires. The colors formed in Ethiopian opals such as turquoise and indigo are rarely found in common opals. Ethiopian Opals are celebrated for its striking patterns unique to each stone. A trip to Ethiopia is not only a visual feast, but it is also an interesting trip through time as one of the most fascinating things about the country is the Ethiopian Calendar, a solar calendar derived from the Egyptian Calendar. Between the Georgian and Ethiopian calendars lies a gap of roughly seven years, meaning to say that in Ethiopia, it is only the year 2010. Common to all beautiful wonders is a mild hint of isolation. Although some places in Ethiopia is quite tricky to reach via land, most travelers who wish to marvel at the spectacular treasures of Ethiopia must not fret. With Ethiopian Airlines, booking a trip to this exotic land as well as its different domestic destinations has been made quick and simple for a seamless picturesque vacation worthy of a coveted well-curated Instagram feed. At present, Ethiopian Airlines flies four times weekly from Manila to Addis Ababa with access to over 92 international destinations all over the world. For more information, please visit or call (02) 848 0978 or (02) 522 4869. mountains of Colorado. The grand staircase, which stands in the center of the first floor rotunda leading to the second floor, is adorned with oak leaves and acorns cast in brass, the marble staircase consisting of 57 steps and 176 brass balusters. There are eight awe-inspiring murals on the first floor rotunda walls, which were completed in 1940. Colorado’s water story is told in picture and in verse through the collaboration of artist Allen True and the poet Thomas Ferril. Every panel stresses the importance of water throughout the state’s history, the pictures painted on canvas then attached to the rotunda walls. The stained glass windows throughout the Capitol are on the second and third floors and at the base of the dome. The Colorado Hall of Fame, which is in the dome, contains stained-glass portraits of 16 individuals who contributed to the initial growth and development of the state. Elsewhere in the Capitol is the handstitched wall hanging which tells the story of prominent Colorado women in the first 100 years of statehood, with more than 3,500 people, officials said, putting at least one stitch in the striking tapestry.

Cathay Pacific will offer direct flights between Hong Kong and Brussels, and Dublin and Copenhagen in 2018

Cathay Pacific pioneers direct links to Europe’s most vibrant cities CATHAy Pacific Airways continues to connect Asia to exciting locations all over the world by pioneering non-stop routes to three of Europe’s most vibrant capitals as early as March of 2018. “We’re excited to offer the only direct flights between Hong Kong and Brussels, Dublin and Copenhagen,” said Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg. “These are all fantastic destinations and attract business and leisure travellers from the world over. We listened to our customers’ demands for more options and greater flexibility and have responded by building direct air links with these great cities.” Travellers can enjoy the beautiful parks, architecture, and culture of Brussels once Cathay Pacific launches a four-times weekly service to the Belgian capital starting March 25, 2018.

Ireland’s bustling capital, known for being one of the world’s most innovative cities, will also be connected by direct flights four times a week from Hong Kong to Dublin beginning June 2, 2018. A seasonal service will be taking passengers to visit the thriving eco-friendly metropolis of Copenhagen, lifelong home of fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen and one of the most livable cities in the world. Considered Scandinavia’s capital of cool, Denmark’s cultural center will be served by a three-times weekly seasonal service between May 2 and Oct. 12, 2018. Following the recent launch of services to Gatwick, Madrid and Barcelona, Cathay Pacific’s European expansion continues to open doors to culturally-rich cities, while also providing Europe-based passengers more convenient access to key

destinations in Asia and the Southwest Pacific. With the commencement of the new routes, the airline’s network will cover 15 European destinations served direct from Hong Kong. “Growing our reach to new destinations that aren’t served from Hong Kong boosts the city’s status as Asia’s largest international hub and enables us to capture new and important sources of revenue,” said Hogg. In keeping with Cathay Pacific’s belief that a life well travelled is a life well lived, passengers will be greeted with new levels of on-board comfort through the state-ofthe-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft, which feature the latest seats and cabin design. All flights to Brussels, Dublin and Copenhagen are equipped with the aircraft’s enhanced inflight entertainment system and Wi-Fi on board.

The Ocean Park Halloween Fest 2017 presents hauntingly fun attractions such as Spooky Candy Factory and Kowloon Ghost City

Hong Kong Gears Up for Spooktacular Halloween LOOKING for haunted, hair-raising, spine-chilling action? Hong Kong has already pulled out all the stops for the ultimate Halloween experience that will surely get the adrenaline pumping. Asia’s World City showcases its largest Halloween celebration at the Ocean Park Halloween Fest 2017 which promises an intense, nail-biting experience of unparalleled horror with its 11 haunted attractions. One of the must-see Halloween attractions is Kowloon Ghost City where the legendary walled city of Hong Kong that was torn down over 20 years ago will be brought back from the past at this year’s Halloween Fest, together with an ensemble of ghostly residents. This year, the ‘city of darkness’ will be brought to Ocean Park as Kowloon Ghost City reflects the dark side of old Hong Kong. The incorporation of local elements into Halloween Fest appeals

to local residents and tourists alike as Ocean Park’s Halloween celebrations continue to grow as a world-class event. As the sun sets, guests can embark on a hellish journey at Rise of the Ancient Evil: The Cursed Forest Arises After Dark. Guests will have to go through an eerie forest before stumbling through bloodcurdling funeral halls inhabited by hungry, demonic souls. This year’s highlights also include SAW presented by Blue Girl Beer. which captures the most iconic and twisted moments from the powerhouse SAW horror franchise; Buried Alive presented by yahoo Hong Kong, a haunted house where guests will be buried alive alone from which they have to make their way out; PHOBIA Experience, a haunting cluster of attractions that take guests’ senses to the limits; and two family friendly attractions, Whiskers & Friends Halloween Party

and Spooky Candy Factory. For those who are looking for a more whimsical Halloween vibe, guests can wave their freak flag at Disney Halloween Time 2017 presented by Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. All mischievous party lovers are invited to dress the part and join over 40 Disney Friends and Villains in the best Halloween party ever. Guests can choose from a range of wicked entertainment offerings, specially made for families and kids. Go trick-or-treating with Winnie the Pooh and friends, who have put on their Halloween disguise for the first time, and get little treats with nifty tricks. Get ready for awe-inspiring resort experiences one after another, both day and night! As theme parks gear up for this yearly spook fest, celebrate Halloween like a local with the thrilling attractions in Hong Kong.


‘Ika-6 Na Utos’ still daytime TV's No. 1 L

OYAL viewers of Ika6 Na Utos, the no. 1 daytime drama show in the country, will have more reason to stay addicted to their favorite Afternoon Prime series with new characters joining the drama. Zoren Legaspi joins the cast and brings an exciting twist in the story. He plays the role of Lyon, a rich hotelier bachelor who adopted Chelsea, the kid that Emma (Sunshine Dizon) mistakenly thinks her long-lost child. Through Chelsea, who longs for the love of a mother, Emma and Lyon will slowly fall in love. Just when Emma thought she had moved on with her new life without Rome (Gabby Concepcion), she learns Rome is still alive and suffering from mental regression. Who will Emma choose? Rome or her new love Lyon? Apart from Zoren, Chynna Ortaleza also spices up the story as she portrays the role of Maui, the ex-girlfriend of Lyon. Now that she is in the cast, will Maui also make Emma’s life a living hell just like the characters of Georgia (Ryza Cenon) and Geneva (Angelika dela Cruz)? The series remains at the top of its game, consistently posting high TV ratings on its afternoon timeslot from Monday to

The cast of the top-rating daytime drama, "Ika-6 Na Utos"

Saturday. Netizens and viewers likewise raved about the various episodes and confrontations scenes of the soap, which became trending topics on Twitter and resulted in countless

viral videos, memes and parodies online. With Laurice Guillen, expect more revelations and twists as the drama continues Mondays to Saturdays, after Eat Bulaga on GMA.

FOX life and CORA #TurnOnLives IN LINE with the FOX life goal of Turning On entertainment, FOX life celebrated its launch by giving back to the community last Sunday. Previously called Starworld, FOX Life and CORA founder Antoinette Taus, along with the 70 tireless volunteers dedicated their Sunday preparing snacks, games and prizes especially for the 1,000 kids of Lupang Pangako in Payatas, Quezon City. The media and celebrities; Carla Humphries, Alex Godinez, Franco Saycon, and Tom Taus came to support, play games with to ensure a a smile-filled afternoon with the kids of Payatas. As FOX life officially arrives in the Philippines, we encourage everyone to Turn On their entertainment, their laughs and more moments that make you feel great! May it be spending time volunteering for the causes that matter to you. A little bit of your time can do wonders. There is no measure to the amount of kindness we can share—one little act creates a ripple effect that spreads far and wide, all in the hopes that someday we will be able to ‘Turn On’ lives.

Fox life's Jude Turcuato (second from left) with CORA ambassadors

Movement towards a healthier you begins here From left: Tweetie de Leon, Cory Quirino, and Regine Tolentino

THE Organique Purple Run 2017, the very first fun run organized by Organique Inc., was successfully held on Oct. 8, with close to 6,000 participants that included competitive runners, first time fun run attendees and groups of families and friends at McKinley West, Bonifacio Global City. Part of the proceeds of the event was donated to the beneficiaries of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol’s 30th Outreach Program through Lingkod Kapamilya. As part of the donation, Organique participated in the medical mission and giftgiving to Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in Novaliches, Quezon City on Sept. 28. The race categories were 3K, 5K and 10K. The gun start was led by Organique’s Executive Vice President Catherine Salimbagon and Marketing Director Lerma Sta. Cruz-Mendoza, at 5:30 a.m.. Several celebrities were spotted in the fun run including Organique brand ambassadors Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales, Regine

Tolentino, and Cory Quirino. Regine kept everyone’s spirits in high gear with her zumba dance routines before and after the run. Also in attendance were trade and media partners including ABS-CBN personalities led by Bernadette Sembrano and Gretchen Fullido. Bernadette received the donation of Organique for Lingkod Kapamilya, while Gretchen hosted the live updates of the run. Part the fun run as well is the company’s very own Organique Triathlon Team who came all the way from Cebu to show their support. Runners were treated to free Organique Acai Premium Blend and Organique Acai Freeze Dried Capsule samples to boost their energy all throughout the day, as well as help them jumpstart their journey to wellness. The company also provided fun activities for the kids like inflatable area and freebies from sponsors. Lastly, the health run of the year was punctuated with a color blast that literally painted the town purple.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ACROSS 1 Knack 5 Unrehearsed (hyph.) 10 From memory 14 Arab VIP 15 Pageant wear 16 Father of Cain 17 “— Lisa” 18 Short note 20 Plug component 22 Get some sun 23 Hazy 24 British nobles 26 Gents 27 Paid homage 30 Reach 34 Infrequently 35 Unopened flower 36 Dairy-case buy 37 Excitement 38 Make an image clearer 41 Boat implement 42 Revenuers 44 Caviar, actually 45 Grasshopper 47 Sewing machine part 49 Furthermore 50 Novelist Rita — Brown 51 Grants 52 Burst forth 55 Cry of discovery

56 Wild guesses 60 Caving in 63 Name in essays 64 Give an edge to 65 Lofty abode 66 Not bogus 67 Poet — Khayyam 68 Suit coat feature 69 Cozy dwelling DOWN 1 Tough fiber 2 Omnia vincit — 3 Muchacho 4 Spanish nobleman 5 Midnight teller 6 Slimmed down 7 Buddhist monks 8 Element No. 26 9 Disallow 10 Met by chance (2 wds.) 11 Chances 12 Under tension 13 Oscar relative 19 Right on! 21 Beach scavengers 25 Place to eavesdrop 26 Shaped clay 27 Strong brown paper

28 Auto-safety advocate 29 Form a gully 30 Hold gently 31 Spoken 32 Desist 33 Unlawful acts 35 Swimsuit half 39 Hail, to Caesar 40 Nuzzles 43 Embroidery piece 46 Rainwater catcher 48 Numbers to

crunch 49 — Babies 51 Insect sound 52 Mountain refrain 53 Dorm unit 54 Arm bone 55 Disoriented 57 Ship’s position 58 Slant 59 Food preserver 61 Chum 62 Solidify

Top 3 reasons to watch Smart Music Live Presents Ed Sheeran in Manila

SMART Music Live is at it again. Known for bringing top-notch concert experiences to Manila, Smart—alongside Ovation Productions—sets up the stage anew for one of this era’s biggest hitmakers, Ed Sheeran Live in Manila on Nov. 7, 8 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. Sheeran fan or not, here are the top three reasons to be part of the English singer-songwriter’s concert this November. 1. The hits. Sheeran has churned out some of today’s most covered, muchdownloaded hits including 2017’s current best-selling title, according to Forbes. com, “Shape Of You.” Sheeran has gifted music fans with “Thinking Out Loud,” “The A Team,” “Castle On The Hill,” “Bloodstream,” ‘Supermarket Flowers,” “Sing”, “I See Fire,” “Lego House,” “Don’t,” and “Photograph.” 2. Stage visuals visuals. Wondering why Sheeran, whose songs are predominantly slow, holding his tour on t open air concert grounds? It’s because he will be bringing the most ginormous LED display to go along with laid back guitar playing. And these LED panels couldn’t even fit the MOA Arena. Just check

out social media posts from previous tours and you will definitely agree that setup looks phenomenal! 3. The perks. If you are a Smart subscriber, Smart Music Live has the best concert seats – front and center – reserved for you should you win in the promos. Apart from these tickets, Smart has also been consistent with total concert experiences via the Smart Party Bus and concert booth perks and privileges just track the hashtags #SmartMusicLive and #SmartEdSheeran. British singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2017 Ai-Ai delas Alas (second from right) returns to the movies in a new comedy film together with (from left) Beauty Gonzalez, Zsa Zsa Padilla, and Carmi Martin.

‘BES and the BESHIES’ in theaters tomorrow A

SINGLE mom hoping to complete her family. A martyr wife who will do anything to keep her family from falling apart. A mistress who is desperate to have her own family. And a young woman who fully supports them.

Four women facing real life struggles are the focus of a new laugh out loud comedy, Bes and the Beshies, starring box office comedy queen Ai Ai delas Alas with Carmi Martin, Beauty Gonzales, and Zsa Zsa Padilla. The film, which opens tomorrow, is directed by Joel Lamangan and written by Ricky Lee, Alpha Habon and Rod Marmol. It is a welcome return to form for Ai Ai, who briefly headlined two independently produced dramas before returning to the comedy genre that defined her storied career as a sought-after box office superstar. Ai Ai’s role as Charla, hits pretty close to home, as she herself has raised her children on her own for years. But unlike Ina, her most famous role in the Ang Tanging Ina, her portrayal of Charla focuses more on relationship issues rather than maternal concerns. Although co-star Zsa Zsa Padilla is more identified with dramas, the singer-actress is not exactly new to comedies, having played the title roles in Zsa Zsa Zaturnah and Mano Po 4: Ako Legal Wife for which she won a grand slam Best Actress from three award giving bodies. In Bes and the Beshies, Zsa Zsa’s performance of traditional martyr wife Mabel is something to watch out for. As seen in the film’s official trailer, she has a remarkable rapport and chemistry with Ai Ai, Carmi and Beauty. No stranger to comedies, Carmi Martin has made a career out of making people laugh since her acclaimed turn in Ishmael Bernal’s Working Girls. Carmi plays Tisay and is a throwback to the mostly ditzy characters she has portrayed for much of her career. Since capturing the public’s imagination as one of the well-loved housemates of Pinoy Big Brother, Beauty Gonzales has emerged as a versatile actress who is adept at both drama and comedy. Although the youngest among the four leads, Beauty has shown that she can shine on her own as Sophie and can complement her more seasoned co-stars. Furthermore, what makes Bes and the Beshies a cut above your average comedy flick is that it is a collaboration

TFC sets the world stage for the biggest Filipino experience in Dubai


TANGING INA. Comedy Queen Ai Ai delas Alas plays mother to (clockwise, from top left) Jon Lucas, Nikko Natividad, Wilbert Ross and Heaven Peralejo in the upcoming movie between two award-winning filmmakers. Joel Lamangan and Ricky Lee may have made a name for themselves with numerous dramatic films but they have in fact, also done their fair share of comedies. With a strong creative team and a cast of talented leads, expect Bes and the Beshies to be a comedy that offers more than just escapist entertainment with a story that rings true and tugs at the heartstrings. A Cineko Productions presentation, the film also stars Emilio Garcia, Sancho Vito Delas Alas, Alan Paule, Nikko Natividad, Jon Lucas, Wilbert Ross, Mark Joseph Tam, and Heaven Peralejo. The film is distributed by Regal Entertainment.

‘Strong Girl Bong Soon’ on GMA Telebabad KAPUSO viewers are going gaga over the newest heroine in GMA The Heart of Asia’s Strong Girl Bong Soon. It tells the story of a girl named Bong Soon (Park Bo Young) who comes from a family with superhuman strength. She decides to keeps this as a secret and instead aspires to become a game developer—something that still relates to her skills. She meets a spoiled CEO of a gaming company named Mikael (Park Hyungsik), who is being threatened with his life. He needs someone to protect him, since he mistrusts the police and finds out about Bong Soon’s special skills. He decides to hire her as his

bodyguard. But to seal the deal, he has to give Bong Soon a chance to develop her own game. As they start their business together, Bong Soon’s neighborhood started to experience criminal incidents. Her childhood crush and newbie police Kenny (Ji Soo) is in charge, and she gets giddy whenever he becomes protective. Will Bong Soon realize the kind of danger that surrounds her? Will she finally be free from her secret? Find out how Bong Soon will charm her way through these challenges and follow her adventures with Mikael and Kenny, Monday to Thursday after My Korean Jagiya on GMA.

Korean star Park Bo-young (center) with Ji Soo (left) and Park Hyung-sik (right)

THIS year, as ABSCBN Middle East celebrates its 20th anniversary, the network that delivers content beyond information and entertainment, brings it a notch higher as it paves the way for the biggest Filipino music experience to date—One Music X on Nov. 3 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater. TFC will come together with ABS-CBN’s hitmaking recording company Star Music; the leading FM radio station My Only Radio (MOR) For Life; the first allFilipino music channel Myx; and the Philippines’ foremost music portal One Music PH; to deliver the highpoints of Philippine culture and celebrate everything Filipino for a full day of One Music X. One Music X is gathering the biggest Original Pilipino Music (OPM) acts from the Philippines, representing a wide range of music genres that appeal across audiences and artists who have become icons in their own right. Yeng Constantino has certainly come a long way. From her successful initial foray “Hawak Kamay” to a musical about her life story— Josephine—Constantino has truly become one of the young superstars to reckon with in the music industry. Also a product of a reality singing competition and band performances, KZ Tandingan has gone beyond the winning to prove that she deserves both a place to win

Yeng Constantino


Iñigo Pascual

Rico Blanco

and a niche in the music industry with her showstopping performances. Once behind the shadow of his very famous father, Iñigo Pascual is setting out to become a pop superstar in his own right. Today’s biggest hit “Para Sa Iyo” is his and he can very well claim it as his own success.

Meantime four-piece Pinoy Pop Rock band Silent Sanctuary, arguably best known for their hit “Pasensiya Ka Na” became known for their own brand of baroque pop. For their first show with TFC the band is expected to bring in the sighs as well as the cheers. From being a significant part of a popular band in the 90s, Rico Blanco went on to become a world of his own, earning critics and fans approval for his soulful songs such as “Your Universe”. Together, Constantino, Tandingan, Pascual, Silent Sanctuary, and Blanco will elevate the musical experience of One Music X where OPM truly belongs -- the world stage. Joining the Philippines’ biggest acts is host Robi Domingo and MOR DJ Chacha and surprise acts from the local Dubai music scene for a day that also promises cultural fusion and musical collaboration. One Music X at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater welcomes Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates. Gates open at 1 p.m. The festivities start at 2 p.m. For the full One Music X experience, download the TFC Live app available on Google playstore and Apple store. For tickets, visit Virgin Megastore and selected zoom outlets, Wall Street Exchange branches or visit ktx.

Manila Standard - 2017 October 17 - Tuesday  

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