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VOL. XXXI • NO. 358 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2018 • •

Special anniversary supplement comes out on Feb. 12, 2018.


PYEONGCHANG, South Korea—The two Koreas marched together and South Korea’s president shared a historic handshake with Kim Jong Un’s sister as the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open-

ing ceremony was held in a spirit of intense rapprochement on Friday. At a glittering but subzero ceremony, South and North Korea brought the crowd to its feet as they entered behind the blue-

and-white Korean unification flag. South Korean President Moon Jae-in shook the hand of a smiling Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as he en-

tered the VIP seating section, and again as the Korean athletes marched. It cemented what has been a rapid improvement in Korean ties since North Korea—after months of Next page

HARMONY, CONVERGENCE. The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics—themed passion, peace, harmony and convergence—is under way Friday at the Pyeongchang Stadium in South Korea, with 2,900 athletes from 92 countries, including the Philippines, gathering to compete for 102 medals. AFP

SC stops Aquino trial Role in Mamasapano at issue; TRO issued on SolGen’s request By Rey E. Requejo


HE Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order Friday to stop the Sandiganbayan from trying the graft and usurpation of authority cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against former President Benigno Aquino III for his role in the covert 2015 operation in Mamasapano in which 44 police commandos were killed. The Court was acting on an appeal from the Office of the Solicitor General, which sought to stop the proceedings before the anti-graft court pending the resolution of its petition seeking to include Aquino and two others as respondents in a complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide. The Court order stops the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with the arraignment of Aquino, former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima, and former Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas set for Feb. 15. Solicitor General Jose Calida had asked the Court to order the anti-graft body to charge Aquino with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide for the death of 44 members of the SAF in the bloody Mamasapano clash three years ago.

Calida expressed his support for the petition filed by two relatives of the slain commandos. Calida also sought the inclusion of Purisima and Napeñas as accused in 44 counts of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Earlier, the Ombudsman had charged Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas with usurpation of official functions and violation of the Anti-Graft Law, but the anti-graft body dismissed the case for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. “The act of public respondent Ombudsman in the case of dismissing the case for reckless imprudence, however, is a wanton disregard of the sufficiency of evidence to form a belief that a crime for reckless imprudence has been committed,” Calida said. Next page

PH questions ICC jurisdiction By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan, Vito Barcelo, Rey E. Requejo and Macon Ramos-Araneta THE Philippine Embassy to The Netherlands said the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction over the Philippines’ domestic or national policy. In a statement released on Friday, the Philippine Embassy also said it expected that the prosecutor will be “objective in its assessment” and “find the allegations to be completely unfounded.” “It is regrettable that certain parties have portrayed the campaign against illegal drugs unfairly, on which basis the Office of the Prosecutor has decided to initiate a preliminary examination,” the embassy said. The Philippine Embassy also alleged that the information conveyed by these Next page parties was “biased and politically motivated.”

PRESIDENTIAL MESSAGE. President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking Wednesday night before former rebels of the government-

declared terrorist group New People’s Army, explains how insurgency has stunted the development of the agriculture sector in the hinterlands. The military said some 215 former communist guerrillas from Mindanao—the first batch of 683 ex-rebels—were flown ti Manila to join Duterte, also from Mindanao, for dinner in Malacañang. Malacañang Photo

‘I’m a dictator to achieve progress’ PAO won’t share By Vito Barcelo IF HE did not act like a dictator, the country would not progress, President Rodrigo Duterte told a group of surrendered communist rebels Wednesday night at the Palace. “You say I’m a dictator? I’m really a

dictator. Because if I will not be a dictator, nothing will happen in this country,” Duterte told the more than 200 former New People’s Army rebels who had dinner with him in Malacañang. Duterte’s remark was triggered by his critics of his plan to revise the 1987 Next page

Ex-NPAs told: Kill addicts, not soldiers

threat, and “kill drug addicts’ instead of government soldiers. Duterte made the statement when he PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has hosted a dinner in Malacañang for more urged former rebel returnees to help than 200 former New People’s Army the government fight illegal drugs, rebels who had surrendered to the Armed Next page which he considered as a national

By Vito Barcelo and Macon Ramos-Araneta

PAL ‘wins big,’ gets Skytrax 4-star global rating

4-STAR AIRLINE. The Philippine Airlines receives the Global Airline Award from Skytrax after certifying it as a 4-star airline following an audit of the airline’s in-flight and on-ground service and noted major enhancements to its endto-end passenger experience—in a special ceremony in Singapore. Flanked by cabin crew (from left) are chief customer experience officer Jessica Abaya, president and COO Jaime Bautista, chairman and CEO Lucio Tan and Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted.

PHILIPPINE Airlines has been certified as a 4-Star airline by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization. PAL, which joins 40 other renowned airlines in the prestigious category, is the first and only airline in the Philippines to earn the 4-Star Rating. MlaStandard ManilaStandardPH


PAL achieved the rating after Skytrax conducted an audit of the airline’s in-flight and ground service for both international and domestic flights. It then noted major enhancements in its end-to-end passenger experience and distinct service called Buong Pusong Alaga. “This is a big win for the Phil-

ippines,” said PAL chairman and CEO Lucio C. Tan. “We are elated by this recognition, which is a victory for the more than 7,000 members of the Philippine Airlines family. Our achievement is the country’s achievement and we share this with all Filipinos Next page around the globe.”

with DoH findings on vaccine deaths By Rio N. Araja PUBLIC Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda Acosta on Friday stood firm on her decision not to share with the Department of Health their forensic findings on the deaths of several children who had been inoculated with Dengvaxia vaccine. In a television interview on ANC’s Next page

Govt to bomb open-pit mines still operating By Vito Barcelo PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte threatened to destroy with bombs open-pit mines should mining firms continue to defy a government ban on such mineral extraction process. Next page

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Du30 signs free irrigation law By Macon Ramos-Araneta


RESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that gives free irrigation to farmers who own land not larger than eight hectares. Republic Act 10969 also condones the unpaid irrigation fees and the writing off of the loans of the farmers who own the same size of land. “The state affirms its commitment to contribute to the lowering of the cost

of production through the provision of free irrigation service, and further relieve the farmers and their irrigators associations from the burden and consequence of unpaid irrigation service fees,” says the law that Duterte signed on Feb. 2.

Ceza inks pact for 1st ’Asian Silicon Valley’ TOKYO―The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority Iwave Inc., an investee of an experienced Philippinelisted technology company, and publicly listed Traders Holdings in Japan recently signed a milestone Memorandum Of Understanding. The deal calls for the crafting and development of the first Asian-located Special Economic Zone to regulate, license and propagate Financial Technology companies from around the world and develop the Cagayan Zone as the premier hub for the continuous development of these financial technologies. The aim is to turn Cagayan Valley into the Asian version of “Silicon Valley” by providing an unparalleled “technological” environment. This environment will combine nature’s serene beauty―in this case Cagayan’s surrounding Sierra Madre mountains and some of the world’s finest beaches―with wide bandwidth submarine cable landing points that are soon to be completed to ensure that the Special Economic Zone is firmly connected to the rest of the world. “This is a planned, calibrated development which would be in stark contrast to the large unmitigated growth of Asian cities with their huge traffic and unproductive environments,” said Secretary Raul L. Lambino, Ceza Administrator and CEO. Under this MOU, Ceza will be provided with technology to properly regulate, license, audit, monitor and

launch the latest Financial Technologies as they become available to address the unbanked and crowdfunding solutions. Among these technologies are those based on Block Chain (Distributed Ledger Technologies), Bitcoin, Crypto Technologies, Cryptocurrencies, International Coin Offerings, Crypto Exchanges, Payment Solutions and Financial Solutions. The MOU on a larger scale will bridge the technology industries of Japan and the Philippines, Lambino said. This will be carried out by synergizing Japan’s advanced technologies and research and development capability with a greenfield technology hub of the Philippines, which is expanding its telecommunications and bandwidth capabilities. The base of the regulation will follow the forwardlooking policies of Japan, which is a major trading partner of the Philippines. Iwave Inc., a Filipino-Japanese Investee company of an experienced Philippinelisted technology company, will provide, together with Traders Group of Japan, the Intellectual property it has accrued servicing the Philippine banking sector and the country’s largest online brokerage, and Japan’s largest consumer finance company AEON in the AsiaPacific. Their exposure to the banking and capital market sectors will lend their practices in Know Your Client procedures and Anti-Money Laundering policies.

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ation to worsen due to this destructive form of mining. In a related development: --Sen. Joel Villanueva filed a resolution calling for an inquiry regarding the disclosure of beneficial ownership of mining companies operating in the country. Under Senate Resolution No. 612, Villanueva urged the Senate committee on public information and mass media to conduct an inquiry on the beneficial owners of extractive companies which include mining, oil, and gas. This is for transparency and compliance with foreign equity restriction to the Philippine Constitution and to ensure that Filipinos are really the ones benefitting from the extraction of these resources, he said. A similar issue on foreign equity restriction emerged last month when the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked the corporate registration of Rappler for allegedly violating Constitutional restrictions on ownership and control of mass media entities.

In September last year, Duterte agreed with the

open-pit mining ban, given the environmental damage it causes, but would give mining firms time to find other ways to extract minerals. In his speech before rebel returnees Wednesday in Malacanang, Duterte insisted there should be a ban even if it would result in lower government revenues, saying openpit mining inflicted heavy damage on the environment. “If some open pit mining will still be operating, I’ve instructed the Air Force to bomb it,” Duterte said. “The pits will be made even larger and when it explodes, everything will be buried along with it,” he said. The President said he already told the Cabinet about his position against open-pit mining that had caused huge holes in some parts of the country. He said he would no longer allow the environmental situ-

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fierce nuclear rhetoric and missile tests—agreed last month to attend its first Olympics in the South. Kim Yo Jong, the first member of the North’s ruling dynasty to venture South since the Korean War, forms part of the highest level delegation ever to cross the border. South and North Korea last marched together at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. They also made the symbolic gesture at the opening of the 2000 and 2004 Olympics in Sydney and Athens.

Russia’s athletes entered the ceremony behind a neutral flag after their team was suspended over a doping scandal. Despite the ban 168 “Olympic Athletes from Russia” will compete in Pyeongchang. Just hours earlier, 47 Russians lost a court bid to take part in the Games after they were left off the list of athletes deemed clean from doping and able to take part. Oiled Tongan Shivering athletes are bracing for one of the coldest Winter Olympics on record, with real-feel temperatures plumbing minus 10C at the opening ceremony. Japan’s speed skaters are among the athletes who de-

Senator Cynthia Villar, head of the Senate committee on food and agriculture and the principal author of the bill, said free irrigation wasone of the reforms needed to improve the competitiveness of the agriculture sector. “With the lifting of the quantitative restriction on rice, imported rice will soon flood the market and it is very important that our local farmers’ produce will be able to compete by lowering the production cost,” Villar said. She said free irrigation

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Headstart, Acosta said President Rodrigo Duterte never told or instructed her to share PAO’s findings with the DoH. “The only thing I remember was that he [just] told me ‘thank you for your concern in humanity.’ It really boosted our morale when he said before not to destroy the youth of this nation,” she said. Acosta reacted to Health Secretary Francisco Duque’s statement that PAO was not cooperating with him in the Dengvaxia probe, and that Acosta was not replying to his letters asking for a copy of PAO’s report that there was a pattern in the deaths of several children who had received the anti-dengue vaccine under the department’s mass immunization program for public elementary school pupils. The PAO chief, for her part, said PAO was not cooperating with the Health department because of a conflict of interest. She said Duque had treated the PAO shabbily when he declared that the study by a team from the UP-Philippine General Hospital was “more scientific” than theirs. “Imagine announcing… another group, wherein Secretary [Vitaliano] Aguirre [III], my boss in the department, already issued a department order directing me and the entire PAO to help the victims,” she said. “Why would you let doctors criticizing our office join us? It seems Doctor Duque has trust and confidence in them, and not on us. Why should we let our doctors be shabbily treated or be maligned?” she asked. Acosta said no court could stop the PAO from conducting autopsies “because the owners of the cadavers are the parents.” “It would be obstruction of justice. Justice and truth are interconnected. If there is no truth, there would be injustice,” she said. She said it was lamentable that the Health department’s nationwide anti-dengue mass vaccination program was implemented “without consent, screening or even blood tests” from the subjects not only among the grade school pupils and their parents, but even policemen. A Palace official, meanwhile, appealed to parents not to stop their children from being vaccinated against other diseases simply because there was a problem with the anti-dengue immunization campaign. “Malacañang is calling out to all mothers and fathers, not all vaccines are bad...What’s worse is if we stop taking vaccines against sicknesses that we know are deadly,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. Roque said the investigation into the connection between the Dengvaxia vaccine and deaths of children who were innoculated with it was still ongoing. “There is not enough data to prove that Dengvaxia was the reason for the deaths,” he said in Filipino. cided it was just too cold to brave the open-air ceremony, while organisers handed out heat packs, blankets and hats to keep spectators warm. But Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua, echoing his eye-catching entrance at the Rio Olympics, happily braved the chill as he appeared stripped to the waist and with his chest heavily oiled. Expectations are sky-high for an array of stars at Pyeongchang, including American skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, while the drama in figure skating centres on whether Japan’s “Ice Prince” Yuzuru Hanyu can recover from injury to retain his crown. AFP

for small farmers was an appropriate response to the projection of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization that, in 2050, “small family farms and not the big corporate farms are the ones that will be depended on to provide food for the growing world population.” Villar said as early as 2017, farmers had been getting free irrigation services with the inclusion in the 2017 General Appropriations Act of P2 billion and P2.6 billion in the

2018 GAA. Senator JV Ejercito said the income of poor Filipino farmers were expected to increase and their economic condition were seen to improve after Duterte signed the new law. “This is surely one of the crucial reforms in the agricultural sector. As one of the proponents of this measure, I laud the signing of RA 10969 granting free irrigation to farmers owning not more than 8 hectares of land,” Ejercito said in a statement.

Ejercito, the author of Senate Bill 1199 or the “Free Irrigation Services Act of 2016,” said the law was expected to lessen the “out-of- pocket” production expenses of farmers and boost their harvest because of enough water for their farms, which would increase their income. “Our desire is to unburden our poor farmers from paying irrigation service fees. The law condones all unpaid irrigation fees and penalties of farmers who till the same size of land,” he said.

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Usman, and that he approved Oplan Exodus with full knowledge of its operational details, the Chief Executive is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the mission,” Calida said. The 44 SAF members were killed in an operation to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir or Marwan and his right-hand Abdul Basit Usman on Jan. 25, 2015. Marwan, a Malaysian bomb maker with a bounty from the

US government, was killed during the operation, but a fierce encounter ensued, killing 44 SAF members. Earlier, Aquino had asked the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division to suspend all proceedings on the Mamasapano case pending the resolution of his motion to quash information. Last month, Aquino urged the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the criminal complaint against him. With Rio N. Araja

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“That’s only style and he can and should do that within his branch, the executive branch,” said Pimentel, also PDP-Laban president. But another ally of Duterte, Senator Panfilo Lacson, said the President was overstating the case. “He is of course exaggerating since we all know there is no dictatorship prevailing in the country. He might be referring to his style of leadership towards his subalterns in the executive,” Lacson said. He added that it pays to adopt that leadership style when dealing with shenanigans in the government bureaucracy. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a harsh critic of the Presi-

dent, said nothing good has happened in the two years of Duterte’s dictatorial style. “He just sowed chaos in the Philippines. He killed the poor, and burdened the lives of Filipinos and destroyed democratic institutions,” he said. Opposition Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said Filipinos do not need a dictator. Dictatorship, he said, brings violence, joblessness, corruption and a huge debt. Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said Duterte’s style of leadership suited Filipinos. “We are stubborn,” he said. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Duterte was merely exercising his powers within the limits of democracy.

tigated,” it said. It noted also that several erring police officials have already been charged. “Contrary to what is alleged, there is no such policy to target innocent civilians as this is, indeed, prohibited by the Philippine Constitution and laws,” it added. But the group Human Rights Watch said the ICC move could prompt the United Nations to launch its own investigation. “The ICC’s announcement should spur efforts by United Nations member countries to push back against Duterte’s efforts to legitimize his bloody ‘drug war,’” said Human Rights Watch associate director for international justice program Param-Preet Singh in a statement on Friday. “Indeed, the government’s unrelenting hostility to international scrutiny and accountability makes a UN-led international investigation crucial,” she added. Preet-Singh said such an investigation would put further pressure on the Duterte administration to stop the killings and to hold those responsible accountable. In the Palace, chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the President was not worried by the ICC move. “There’s nothing to be alarmed [about]. It is merely a preliminary examination which is a step for the ICC to determine whether or not it could proceed with its investigation into the charges, filed in April last year against the President and several senior government officials,” Panelo

said. In a radio interview, Panelo also said the ICC has no jurisdiction over a government that continues to function. “The fact is, there is a congressional inquiry on that matter [war against drugs] in the Senate. There was an investigation against the PNP, and here are people being charged in court. So the government is functioning,” Panelo said in Filipino. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said even former UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions Philip Alston cleared the President of criminal liability when he investigated the vigilante group in Davao. “The most that Special Rapporteur Philip Alston recommended then was a criminal charge for simple negligence against the police,” he said. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the charges against the President would not fly. Nonetheless, he said, a lawyer will be designated to represent the government before the ICC. ICC prosecutor Fatous Bensouda said on Thursday through a YouTube video they would examine the crimes allegedly committed by the government since July 1, 2016, or the day after Duterte took office. Bensouda assured the Philippine government that the preliminary examination would be carried out “with full independence and impartiality in accordance with its mandate and the applicable legal instruments of the Court.”

ment and enhancement of the front-line staff service. “New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process, and this looks set to develop further when Philippine Airlines introduces the A350 into their fleet. We look for consistency of quality in the 4-Star rating, and we look to Philippine Airlines to ensure this is duly delivered to customers.” The rating upgrade is a key result of a multi-year top-tobottom end-to-end enhancement of the Philippine flag carrier. “Our Get-That-Star journey began in 2016. Our efforts

over the last two years have borne fruit,” said PAL president and COO Jaime J. Bautista. “Since 2016, we have embarked on a journey of rolling out in-flight and onground innovations, opened new routes, increased connectivity across PAL’s route network, added new aircraft to our fleet and, importantly, invested in the Buong Pusong Alaga (whole-hearted) training of all our cabin crew, ground crew and service providers domestically and internationally in order to enhance the passenger travel experience and earn a higher Skytrax rating.”

The chief state lawyer said Aquino allowed Napeñas to push through with the operation under Purisima, who was suspended at the time. “As the PNP Philippine National Police] is under the DILG, the President, as the Chief Executive, exercises supervision and control over it. Thus, given that the President gave the policy direction to arrest Marwan and

Constitution to change the country’s form of government from a unitary system to a federal one. “It is necessary. After all, you voted for me.” he said. “You have chosen me as your president. Why won’t you follow me when my dreams are all for you?” Duterte said he felt insulted when he was portrayed by activists as a puppet of the United States. “When did I become a puppet of the Americans?” he said. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III defended the President’s dictatorial style of leadership.

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“We also trust that, in view of the Philippines’ functioning criminal and judicial systems, the Office of the Prosecutor will find that there is no reasonable basis to proceed to an investigation of the situation in the Philippines,” it said. Earlier this week, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC announced that it has started its preliminary examination on the alleged extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs. “In informing the Philippine government of its decision, the Office of the Prosecutor said that in conducting a preliminary examination, it is merely exercising its mandate to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into a situation pursuant to criteria in the Rome Statute, namely, jurisdiction, admissibility and the interests of justice,” the embassy said. It also said the threshold of the preliminary examination is “very low” and is not based on a thorough examination of the facts and of all sides. The embassy then noted that the Philippines has its sovereign mandate to protect the Filipinos from “possible threat” of illegal drug trade in the country. “The anti-illegal drug campaign of the Philippines is a legitimate law enforcement operation, consistent with its sovereign duty to protect its people and any alleged human rights violation purportedly in relation thereto is being inves-

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The 4-Star Airline rating is a mark of distinction that recognizes excellent standards of Product and Staff service across different assessment categories for both the Onboard and Airport environment. Commenting on the 4-Star Airline Rating awarded to Philippine Airlines, Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO, said: “This recognizes the great improvements that the airline has introduced over the last two years, both in terms of product change and develop-

’Maid in Kuwait freezer a Filipina’ By Vito Barcelo LABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday confirmed that the housemaid found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait was a Filipina, and that she had been identified. Bello said a DNA test showed that the body was that of Joanna Daniela Dimapilis, who had been reported missing since 2016. He said Dimapilis appeared to have been tortured and put in the freezer in the locked apartment. He said a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife appeared to have killed Dimapilis and put her body in the freezer before vacating the apartment. Dimapilis’ body was discovered after the apartment’s owner came with a court order to evict the tenants, who had failed to pay rent for a year. President Rodrigo Duterte had recently said he would suspend the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait because of a string of cases of abuse that had led to suicide in a number of cases.

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Forces of the PhilippinesEastern Mindanao Command last Wednesday. Duterte is known for his hardline stance on crime, particularly against illegal drugs where more than 3,000 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed since he assumed the Presidency in 2016. During the meeting, Duterte said the government was not waging war against the beliefs or ideologies of the rebels but the government was fighting terrorists who bring destruction and chaos to the country. “All of you, the Cafgu, we are fighting something that isn’t about the Moros or the Muslims. We’re fighting terrorists. I am afraid of something that may happen,” he said in Bisaya. Duterte wass referring to the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, variously called Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit, Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit and commonly referred to by its acronym CAFGU, an irregular auxiliary force of the Armed Forces. In related developments: • Opposition Senator Leila De Lima on Friday cited the working principle in modernized democracies that “No crime goes unpunished”—in reaction to the decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to start a preliminary examination on the complaint filed against Duterte regarding his bloody drug war. She warned the preliminary investigation would eventually charge this government, its leaders and all those complicit in the mass murder of thousands in its so-called drug war—being the fulfillment of a hope and a dream. “It is a wish granted that indeed no crime should go unpunished, even in countries ruled by strongmen and self-avowed dictators, where those culpable for the gravest crime of mass murder can no longer be prosecuted in their own domain because of the reign of impunity,” she said. • From another front, the Philippine National Police said some 11,000 drug suspects had been validated and were now the subject of Oplan Tokhang operations. “Just yesterday [Thursday], the Directorate for Intelligence presented 11,000 on the watch list [as target] drug personalities,” PNP deputy spokesperson Supt. Vimellee Madrid told a press conference Friday. She said they expected the number to go up as the rigorous validation process was continuing.




Bam, Win urge govt to counter TRAIN effect

Australia sends aid to Marawi crisis victims

By Macon Araneta

By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan

TWO senators on Friday called on the Philippine government to immediately implement countermeasures to soften the blow of rising inflation on underprivileged Filipinos, warning that inaction could result in growing hunger rates across the country. Senator Win Gatchalian said the inflation is strongly correlated to increasing hunger prevalence among poor and near poor Filipino households. Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, noting that more than half (51 percent) of the inflation felt during January can be attributed to food inflation. “This means that many of our countrymen are in danger of going hungry if the government doesn’t take immediate action to shield them from rising prices,” he added. Alarmed by the rapid increase in prices of goods and services due to the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law, Senator Bam Aquino renewed his push for the immediate implementation of financial assistance to poor Filipinos.

‘Salisi’ gang member nabbed at Naia AUTHORITIES on Friday arrested a member of the notorious Salisi Gang wanted for victimizing air travelers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Joint forces from the Manila International Airport Authority-Police Department and Pasay City Police conducted an entrapment operation to arrest Rey Asumbrado in a fastfood restaurant in Pasay City. Police said Salisi Gang members lurk anywhere where there are people— malls, restaurants, airports, fastfood joints and computer shops—and are just waiting for victims to get distracted. They either divert their victims’ attention or wait until their targets are distracted before they move in for the kill. Asumbrado victimized an outbound passenger last Feb. 6 in Naia Terminal 2. It was learned that he has previous criminal records also for the same offense in 2012 and 2017 in Terminal 3. Joel E. Zurbano

Maintenance work ongoing at Star Tollway STAR Tollway Corp. is currently undertaking regular and preventive road maintenance along portions of its 42-kilometer Star Tollway in Batangas to further raise the level of safety and comfort of its motoring patrons. STC has also deployed additional road equipment for faster and more efficient work. Last year, STC restored and fortified the partly damaged Sabang Bridge in Batangas City ahead of schedule. The P200million project was completed in time for the Christmas season when traffic numbers would go up by more than 20 percent. Sabang Bridge connects traffic between the Ibaan and Batangas City exits of the Star Tollway.

ARRAIGNMENT. Customs fixer Mark Taguba (center, wearing a hat at the back) and Eirene Tatad (front), consignee of P6.4-billion shabu shipment from

China who was arrested in Iloilo last week, attend their arraignment hearing at the Manila RTC on Friday. The hearing, however, was rescheduled on Feb. 23, 2018. Norman Cruz

PDP urges candidates to support federalism By Rio N. Araja


OUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has warned that the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino will actively and openly campaign against any candidates for senator and other elective positions in the forthcoming 2019 elections who will strongly oppose the proposed federalism.

Speaking before over 3,000 new party members at the Datu Lipus Makapandong Cultural Center in Patin-Ay in Agusan del Sur, Agusan called on the people to

back the shift to a federal system of government that would pave the way for the development potential in the countryside. “I have one request. Please don’t vote for

candidates, particularly for senators, who are opposing federalism,” he told the new members, led by Agusan del Sur Gov. Edward Adolph Plaza, and Representatives Evelyn Mellana and Maria Valentina Plaza. “It is like this. PDP is one party with one advocacy of federalism. So to us, if you do not support federalism, we really have to campaign against you since you do not want to [help] spur development in the provinces,” he said. Under a federal form of government, the poor and neglected provinces shall stand to benefit significantly,

he pointed out. “We wish to pass federalism to be part of Constitution to ensure a change within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Alvarez said. He said it is high time to raise the political maturity of the voting public and the whole nation as well, adding that the old practice of politics based solely on popularity or personality must not be the basis to elect leaders. He challenged senatorial aspirants in the 2019 elections to make a clear stance on federalism. Alvarez also rallied behind the President,

who had admitted being a dictator to put the country in order, saying the President’s critics were the ones acting as despots. “He [Duterte] is not really a dictator. People must see it this way, he is just exercising his powers in accordance with the principles of democracy,” he told a television interview. “The problem lies with some people, the small minority that is used to dictate on the leaders of the country. They are [actually] the dictators,” he said, adding “the President does not want to listen to them. He does not want them to dictate on him.”

Lapeña defends decision not to destroy ‘supercars’ By Vito Barcelo BUREAU of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Friday defended the bureau from criticisms on why 22 luxury vehicles including high-end sports cars known as supercars were not among those destroyed during the bureau’s 116th anniversary, saying the luxury cars are still subjects of ongoing litigation at the Bureau of Customs. A brand-new McLaren, two units of brand new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro—both considered supercars; two units of brand new 2017

Range Rover, a brand-new 2017 Land Rover Evoque, 12 units of brand-new Toyota Land Cruisers—all consigned to Gamma Gray Marketing are still undergoing legal proceedings, he said, adding the Manila International Container Port-Law Division is expected to resolve the dispute. Supercars 2005 Ferrari F430 2006 and Lamborghini Murcielago consigned to Mary Joy Aguanta and Veronica Angeles, were declared forfeited in favor of the government by the MICP. However, the case is under appeal proceedings after the importers filed an appeal, the

BOC said. Other supercars which were not destroyed include a Lamborghini Gallardo and a Rolls Royce consigned to Allan Usman Garcia and Roy Garchitorena, respectively, and are now under examination and verification of import documents. A warrant of seizure and detention will be issued once the customs authorities find a probable cause to issue the same. Lapeña vowed that the bureau will be steadfast in facilitating the disposition of the said cases. “Resolving the instant cases necessitates that due

process is observed by giving the parties involved the opportunity to present their case,” according to MICP District Collector lawyer Balmyrson Valdez. On Feb. 6, President Rodrigo Duterte led the condemnation of 20 smuggled luxury vehicles at the Port Area in Manila. On the same day, 10 other smuggled vehicles were simultaneously destroyed at the Ports of Davao and Cebu. Lapeña has also dispelled doubts and rumors from the public as to what happened to the supercars such as McLaren and Lamborghini and why they were not

included in the condemnation conducted. The customs chief also vowed that the cases involving all remaining luxury vehicles will be resolved speedily while following the legal procedures. “There are still a few who do illicit activities at the Bureau of Customs. This has to stop. We will not allow smugglers to blatantly disregard our laws, rules, and regulations on importation. The Bureau of Customs will be drastic in its efforts to combat smuggling and all forms of corruption,” Lapeña added.

Pag-IBIG reports biggest home loan, highest income in 2017 PAG-IBIG Fund chairman Eduardo D. del Rosario on Friday announced before stakeholders that the state-run housing agency has broken previous records in home loan disbursements and income in 2017 during the Pag-IBIG Fund’s 2017 Chairman’s Report held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. “2017 was a recordbreaking year for Pag-IBIG Fund. It was a year that each of us can be proud of. 2017 reaffirmed Pag-IBIG Fund’s standing as a strong and reliable partner of Filipino workers and other stakeholders. As Pag-IBIG Fund’s contribution to the pro-poor agenda of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, homeownership was made even more affordable especially to the low-income earners,” said Secretary del Rosario, who also heads

the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council. He said that Pag-IBIG Fund released P65.1 billion in home loans in 2017, the highest ever housing loan takeout in its 37-year history. This is the first time that the agency breached the P60billion mark. The amount was disbursed to 80,964 Pag-IBIG members last year. Del Rosario also reported on the financial standing of Pag-IBIG Fund. For 2017, Pag-IBIG Fund recorded an all-time high gross income at P43.33 billion. He also said that Pag-IBIG Fund reached P30.27 billion in net income in 2017—the highest net income it ever recorded and its first time to hit the P30-billion mark. Pag-IBIG Fund also recorded its highest ever total assets at P488.74 billion.

STABBED. Lawyer Samuel Jardin (left) and his client Layla Belandres show on Friday, Feb.

9, 2018, a complaint affidavit and photos of the victim as they call on the Duterte administration to investigate the case of Chinese Yuan Wanchun who is in critical condition after he was stabbed by an unidentified member of the Bureau of Immigration inside the BI office in Manila. Manny Palmero

THE Australian government has allocated P42.7 million (AUD1.1 million) to the United Nations World Food Programme to support the Philippine government’s response to the Marawi crisis. With this funding, WFP will be able to provide six months of school meals for 50,000 students affected by the crisis. “As a good friend and neighbor, Australia is committed to providing humanitarian assistance when necessary,” said Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely. “Through our partnership with the Department of Education and Task Force Bangon Marawi, we are supporting people affected by the Marawi crisis,” she said. Australia has supported early recovery activities by addressing the immediate food needs of people affected by the crisis. In addition to school meals, Australia’s support will provide food assistance for nearly 23,000 households and 8,100 affected laborers and farmers. Australia said the support will contribute to peace and stability in the area, and allow students to finish the academic school year, which ends in March. “Education plays an important role in community-building. We’re pleased these emergency school meals will support students’ education and development,” Gorely said. In July 2017, Australia donated rice which was prepositioned and used to feed more than 57,000 primary and secondary students in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.

Abide by contract on choppers, Canada told THE Philippines called on the Canadian government, through the Canadian Commercial Corp., “to abide” with the $300-million procurement contract to sell the 16 Montrealbuilt Bell helicopters to Manila, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs said. DFA acting s p o k e s w o m a n Charmaine Aviquivil also said in a statement that the Canadian supplier should not be “influenced by extraneous factors.” “On the procurement of Bell utility helicopters by DND-AFP, the Department of Foreign Affairs notes that the procurement of the utility helicopters, which will be used for support operations, and also for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief [HADR] activities, was done in pursuance of PH procurement law,” Aviquivil said. “We fully expect parties to abide by the contract and not be influenced by extraneous factors,” she added. Canadian government in a report said that it will review its agreement with the Philippines after International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines-Canada slammed the said negotiation due to human rights violations. Sara Susanne D. Fabunan





Adelle Chua, Editor

The perils of perception


ILIPINOS are a confident lot. In a survey conducted by information consultants Ipsos, we ranked third among 38 nations when it came to confidence in our grasp of issues confronting the nation today. The problem is that in the same survey, we were also the third least accurate. Ipsos conducted the survey, called Perils of Perception, in September-October last year; five hundred Filipinos between the ages of 16 and 64 were asked questions on crime, transportation, terrorism, immigration, teen pregnancy, health, suicide,

social media, even religion. And then, they were asked how they felt about the accuracy of all their answers to the topical questions. The least accurate countries were South Africa, Brazil, Philippines, Peru and India. The most accurate countries were Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain and Montenegro.

The most confident countries—based on the percentage who said they were confident in all their answers—were India, Serbia, Philippines, Peru and Turkey. They were ranked fifth, 35th, third, fourth and 11th least accurate, respectively. Conversely, the least confident countries were Norway, Japan, Germany, Sweden and Great Britain, ranked second, 24th, 2th, first, and 13th most accurate, respectively. There appears to be a general pattern that those who

hold the strictest standards about the information they have are those who most doubt themselves. At the other end of the spectrum are those with a cavalier view of what the truth is. And yet, these are the ones who are convinced they are right. What does this mean for us Filipinos? Certainly, this is not distinction we can take pride in. We can also reasonably say that our disregard for the truth —worse, our indifference to getting to the bottom of things—stems from the proliferation of misleading

or downright false articles we see on social media every day. This means, too, that parents, mentors and educators have their work cut out for them. We will be for the worse raising a generation of uncritical, unquestioning young people who take everything they see at face value. And as we advice the young to be discerning, let us also set a good example by being, ourselves, more diligent in receiving and passing on information. Then, our confidence would be founded. HAIL TO THE CHAIR VICTOR AVECILLA

Patronage politics in Angeles City

she will decide this case, whether to go to the next stage of doing an investigation that could lead to indictments and a trial based on her discernment of jurisdiction, the legal and factual basis of the case, the admissibility of evidence, and justice. If only the Duterte administration listened to me and others, we won’t be in this situation where a credible global legal body is evaluating whether we are a failed state in terms of rule of law and justice. That’s the point of the preliminary examination. That’s why I have oppose and continue to oppose the case. It’s an admission of a big failure not just of our government but our society, and especially the legal community.

THERE are many serious objections to the ongoing, relentless campaign of the House of Representatives to amend the 1987 Constitution for the purpose of creating a federal government in the Philippines. One objection is that a federal government will inevitably create political warlords throughout the archipelago, and with warlords abound, political patronage will be the national standard of public office and public service. That anomaly is already wellfelt today in towns, cities and provinces dominated by political dynasties. Tyrannical mayors lord it over in smaller cities and municipalities. Those opposed to the mayor are virtually persecuted. Earlier during this decade, the Binay political dynasty controlled the major metropolitan city of Makati. Members of the dynasty held immense political power and influence in the city government and in its congressional districts. From 2010 to 2016, the family patriarch was vice president. Although the vice presidency is no longer theirs, the Binay political dynasty has a seat in the Senate. It seems that in the predictable future, this dynasty will not lose its hold on the city. For a long time, the Ampatuan political dynasty lorded it over in Maguindanao. It was just one of many powerful and influential political dynasties in Mindanao. Law enforcement in areas controlled by political warlords is well-nigh impossible. Towards the end of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, law enforcers and seasoned soldiers had to

Turn to A5

Turn to A5

Why I oppose an ICC case I GOT the news from my DLSU public international law students who were debating (role playing senators) whether we should pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other human rights agreements. I actually thought that the student playing the Senate majority floor leader was just making it up when she announced this to the class. I expected this. I also expect this preliminary examination to mature to a full-blown case. But a trial is years away, probably after Duterte’s term. It is likely that Duterte would never be held to trial given

his age. But people like General Bato dela Rosa and other officials implicated will not be able to escape this. At some point, they will never be able to travel outside the Philippines again. It would be too risky if international arrest warrants were issued against them. Personally, I am saddened by this. I didn’t work to make this happen. I tried very hard so we didn’t have to get to this point. I wish we could handle this ourselves. If only the government and the DDS did not demonize and marginalize the Commission on Human Rights; if only the administration did not weaken the independence of the judiciary and the Supreme Court; If only the killings stopped months ago and did not continue now: But

they did not listen. Power does that to people, even good people. It was clear this would happen. But in my national situation talks, my intelli-

Here is my unsolicited advice to the Duterte people if they want to avert a full-blown case against the President and other officials.

gent guess was June would be the earliest or even December 2018. But things went faster than that the usual ICC case. Jumping

from a communication, submitted by lawyer Jude Sabio and Senator Antonio Trillanes, to a preliminary examination takes usually a couple of years. Usually, it does not mature at all. Less than 20 have ever got to this stage in nearly 10 years of the existence of the ICC. So, this is big, no matter how Malacañang might downplay this. Very big, indeed. The next stage would be a preliminary investigation when the ICC prosecutor would determine if there was a case of crimes against humanity by President Duterte and other officials. If this will progress to that, I think the earliest would be next year, 2019, and then that phase will last two to three years. If ever, indictments could be issued 2021-22 just when

President Duterte is finishing his term. The next president will have to decide whether to cooperate and have Duterte and other officials sent to The Hague for trial. Since I suppose hundreds or even thousands of murder cases will also be filed here in the Philippines against the same people, that new president must decide where justice will be done. I have confidence in the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. Her statement on opening the preliminary examination for the Philippines, together with Venezuela, was measured, grounded, and rational statement. She gives us a lot of confidence. Clearly, her office will work on the preliminary examination with impartiality and independence. I believe

Rolando G. Estabillo Publisher ManilaStandard

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Opinion Why... From A4

detention in processes tainted with lack of due process, legitimized even by a Supreme Court decision, is exhibit number one that our legal and justice system is not working well. Cooperate with the Supreme Court in the cases filed against Operation Double Barrel. Withdraw the motion asking for reconsideration of order to produce all drug war related documents. The President should be careful with his speeches that could be interpreted as inciting to kill drug addicts. It does not matter what he thinks; it’s how it can be interpreted that is relevant. Permanently end Tokhang and let PDEA be in control of the war against drugs. The Philippine National Police should just stay away now from this war. To those who are calling for the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Treaty, that is now irrelevant to this case. Withdrawal takes effect one year later at the earliest and does not affect the status of pending actions. We have foreclosed that option already. Besides, as many of my public international law classes in PUP and DLSU have concluded for the last two years, after extensive research and debate, the ICC membership matter is not just about Duterte. This administration, as all administrations have been and will be, is just a blip in our history. But the country and our people needs the ICC—sadly, but our history bears that out, to protect us from each other. Even the DDS need the ICC as it is likely that when this administration is over, the next to govern could go after them and also violate their rights massively. That is the sense I am feeling from many, not all, of the anti Duterte people, the eagerness for revenge, to hit back for the bullying and the killing that is happening now. The DDS need the ICC. We all need the ICC. I oppose an ICC case. Both the anti and pro Duterte factions will criticize me for this column. But I don’t care. What I care about most is the massacre of the poor stops totally and permanently.

The ICC rules do not require strict exhaustion of remedies. The spirit of the Rome Statue is that it is a last resort remedy but it does not require all remedies have been taken. Perception that there is no will to move forward on a remedy is enough to move a case forward. The ICC is a complementary process —it is not exclusive and can co-exist with ongoing domestic processes. I think the fact that people have died and are dying in the thousands without adequate investigation could be fatal for the President and his officials. I congratulate the President for the mature response to this latest development. According to Harry Roque, his spokesman: “The President has said that he also welcomes this preliminary examination because he’s sick and tired of being accused of the commission of crimes against humanity. This is an opportunity for him to prove that this is not subject to the court’s jurisdiction because of both complementarity that domestic courts; and the fact that we have a domestic international humanitarian law statute in our jurisdiction are reasons enough for the court not to exercise jurisdiction.” This is very good and I welcome this approach to the ICC. It’s the right thing to do. Here is my unsolicited advice to the Duterte people if they want to avert a full-blown case against the President and other officials in the International Criminal Court: Quadruple the budget of the Commission on Human Rights so it can investigate all the EJKs exhaustively and systematically. Stop attacking CHR Chair Chito Gascon, Human Rights Watch, and other human rights organizations. Let them do the work they have mandates to do. Immediately stop the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Sereno as it is an attack on the independence of the judiciary. Dismiss the cases Facebook page: Profesagainst Senator Leila sor Tony La Viña (deanDe Lima; her continuing tonylavs) Twitter: tonylavs

Patronage... From A4

fight Muslim separatist rebels in Mamasapano in Maguindanao just to enforce a warrant of arrest there. That mission cost the government 44 casualties —and that’s just to serve a warrant of arrest. Imagine the immense difficulty of enforcing a warrant of arrest against a sitting state governor in Mindanao under a federal form of government. So far, many local officials are known for dispensing political patronage to let everyone know who is the local boss. Take for instance the situation in Angeles City in Pampanga. In 2008, Josefino Villaroman, a veterinarian who obtained his degree from the University of the Philippines and who passed the licensure examination that same year, was extended a permanent appointment as city veterinarian of Angeles City. For the next six years, Villaroman attended to his duties. The situation changed for Villaroman in December 2014 when he caught the ire of the city mayor, Edgardo Pamintuan, who

issued a memorandum reassigning Villaroman to the office of the mayor, without specifying his duties and responsibilities under the reassignment. Construing his reassignment as a constructive dismissal, Villaroman refused to report for work at the office of the mayor and, instead, requested the mayor to restore him to his original post as city veterinarian. His request was ignored. In May 2016, the mayor dropped Villaroman from the roster of employees at city hall for the latter’s failure to report for work at the office of the city mayor. Villaroman challenged his ouster before the Civil Service Commission. After due proceedings, the CSC declared the memorandum issued by the mayor void for being in violation of civil service rules, particularly the prohibition against constructive dismissals. That finding notwithstanding, the CSC upheld Villaroman’s dismissal in view of his failure to report for work at the office of the mayor. Displeased with the ruling of the CSC, Villaroman elevated his case to the Court of Appeals. In due time,



The President can remove Carandang BACKBENCHER ROD P. KAPUNAN IF OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales refuses to suspend Overall Deputy Ombudsman, Melchor Arthur Carandang, “for falsely and maliciously claiming that the Anti-Money Laundering Council released a report on Duterte’s alleged bank deposits,” then, as Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque would ask, who will suspend this operative doggone of the yellow administration? If AMLC denied having released the document that was attached to the complaint against President Duterte by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, then the evidence this Carandang dangled before the public would have instantly lost all its legs to stand on. It must be pointed out that Carandang requested for an investigation of the bank account arising from the so-called exposé made by Senator Trillanes. When Carandang publicly presented the document before he could start his investigation, he deviated from the reason stated in his request. One could clearly draw the malice in the act of this yellow operative, which was to preempt AMLC by making it appear that he requested for the document which in fact was already in his possession much that it was similar to the one presented by Trillanes. As overall deputy ombudsman, he knows the

whale of difference between a request to investigate from a request to have a copy of the document. The difference is more on the authenticity of the document or the alleged bank account. There was malice much that he merely used as evidence his request to AMLC for a copy dated Aug. 17, 2017, but nonetheless presented said document to the public ahead of his claim to investigate. In that Carandang assumed he could present the document with a semblance of genuineness and authenticity. He entertained the notion that spurious and falsified document could metamorphose to become a genuine document. If AMLC denied handing him a copy, there is no need for the President to question the authenticity of the document. The document itself stands as spurious and fake, and has no legal and probative value in any court of law. This means Malacanang now has a prima facie case against Carandang for maliciously procuring spurious and fake document. Similarly, for the fact that the document was publicly dangled by him as evidence, he can be sued for maliciously imputing false accusation against the President for alleged ill-gotten wealth. It is not even a case of violating Banking Secrecy Law or Republic Act No. 1404, or An Act Prohibiting Disclosure of or Inquiry Into, Deposits With Any Banking Institution. Rather, AMLC’s denial means that Carandang is

holding on to a fake, spurious or falsified document which we know is intended to destroy the credibility and integrity of the President who has taken a stand against corruption as his principal platform. Carandang’s resignation in 2007 as assistant ombudsman at the height of the investigation of the celebrated P728 million fertilizer scam was already questionable, much that nothing happened to that case. He have should

Here are five reasons.

staked out his reputation as a no-nonsense graftbuster if he truly believes he has an airtight case against those officials accused of misappropriating and/or diverting public funds. Rather, suspicion heightened why he returned after BS Aquino became president. Nonetheless, Carandang did not bother to continue prosecuting those involved in the case he abandoned, such that it is his own credibility that is badly affecting him now. The way Carandang consciously strategized his move, which only a criminal-minded lawyer could possibly do, clearly indicates that he did not act rather independently of his duty, but as an operative of an abominable US-cre-

ated regime people of this country all wish to forget. According to one sensible lawyer, the provision in Section 5, Article XI of the Constitution to quote, “There is hereby created an independent Office of the Ombudsman…” has reference to the performance of the Ombudsman’s duty, and not to their commission of a crime like blackmailing public officials to extort money or to curry favor. The word “independent” means that no office, including the office of the President, can interfere, intervene, influence, pressure or intimidate them from performing out their duty. Thus, when Carandang released with alacrity the alleged bank account of the President, his suspension by the President is right and legal, and his decision was spurred by his malicious act of presenting a questionable document, falsely attributing them as given by AMLC and prematurely dangling them to the public to prejudge the President as corrupt. The consequence would not only destroy his credibility to the vast majority of our people who accorded him the mandate but could even destabilize the government. His suspension is not one of preventing him from doing his work, which is safeguarded by the an adjective word “independent,” and not as a consequence of his criminal liability for imputing that the President is corrupt. The word independent used in the Constitution is different from the word “Independence”

which is a noun. The provision in Section 5, Article XI is to a select public officials, and definitely it does not include the Deputy Overall Ombudsman. Hence, for whatever shortcomings is committed or overlooked by the Deputy is ultimately the responsibility of the Ombudsman who now could be removed by impeachment for possible negligence of duty. To give in to the refusal of Ombudsman Morales not to enforce the suspension of Carandang is flimsy and dangerous. First, he is not being removed by the President but is being suspended. Second, his suspension means that the President is still giving him a leeway to defend himself, or to accord him his right to due process. Third, to question his suspension by demanding that he should be impeached to meet Ombudsman Morales’ supposition is to place him above the law. Fourth, not suspend him to face prosecution is dangerous as every rascal and rogue public official entrusted to prosecute and enforce the law could use it as his channel to commit corruption. Fifth, Morales cannot extend the privilege of impeachment to her deputy. That would unduly stretch the meaning of the Constitution to officials engaged in partisan political activity in carrying out dirty tricks of defaming and besmirching the name and reputation of the President in coordination with a recalcitrant mutineer.

Ancient Silk Road barter trade continues across High Asia’s peaks By Gohar Abbas TRADER Afzal Baig tugs at his horse, frustrated by its stubborn refusal to take another step along a treacherous, snow-covered mountain pass that is peppered with the skeletons of those who have already failed the journey. The Irshad Pass, a narrow trail more than 16,300 feet above sea level, is part of the ancient Silk Road network, used for centuries by traders from northern Pakistan’s Hunza valley to cross the Karakoram mountains into Afghanistan’s windswept, barren Wakhan Corridor. One wrong step through the ragged mountains can end in a fall of thousands of feet, and as Baig’s horse refuses to budge a blizzard is growing. “Don’t trust this route,” Baig tells an AFP reporter accompanying his group. “It can betray you anytime.” They are riding to meet the Wakhi tribe, inhabitants of the remote corner of Afghanistan, who will barter yaks and cattle in the appellate court upheld the CSC ruling that Villaroman’s reassignment to the office of the mayor amounted to constructive dismissal, and is thus illegal and void. The appellate court, however, declared that Villaroman cannot be dismissed from the service for his failure to report to the office of the mayor, precisely because his reassignment to the office of the mayor is a void reassignment, and noncompliance with a void reassignment cannot give rise to penalties, much less dismissal from the service. The mayor sought a re-

exchange for the traders’ wares. It is a treacherous journey made by only a handful of people each year through the “Pamir Knot”, where three of the highest mountain ranges in the world converge. Baig knocks snow from the horse’s shoe, and the party resumes their careful journey. The storm has reduced visibility to just a few feet forcing each man to follow the sound of the horse in front of him. Human skulls and other bones are scattered in caves along the route, skeletons that Baig says are the remains of other traders. He has already lost six of his travel partners, buried in avalanches along the trail. Three of them were killed in one accident, their bodies not found for nearly a year. Yaks for hats Baig’s customers in Wakhan have no money, but neither does he. The basic currency unit is livestock. Three warm hats equals one sheep, half a dozen plastic watches equal two sheep or a goat, consideration of the decision of the Court of Appeals but his motion for reconsideration was denied. Instead of conceding to Villaroman, the mayor brought the case to the Supreme Court, where it is currently pending. For his part, Villaroman filed an anti-graft case against the mayor before the Office of the Ombudsman. For the past three years, Villaroman has had no income. He is currently heavily in debt since he has been borrowing money to sustain himself and his family. Owing to his financial predicament, Vil-

and 10 kilogrammes of tea or five kilograms of flour equal one yak. A secondary currency is yak butter, stored in the stitched stomach lining of a dead goat or a sheep. Highly prized, one such package can be traded for ten packets of cigarettes, or three pairs of shoes, or six to eight pairs of socks. “I hope to get three yaks,” Baig says after the group make camp later that night. Trade with the people of the Wakhan Corridor is his “ancestral legacy”, he explains. His elder brother and his father both walked these trails before him until old age finally brought their trading to a halt. The residents of Hunza, once a princely state that now forms part of GilgitBaltistan in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, say barter trade with Wakhan is a centuries-old tradition that has helped cement peace between them. Aziz Ali Dad, a social anthropologist who has studied the tribes of the mountainous region known as High Asia, describes the

present-day barter trade as a small artery of the Silk Road. “In the old days, the tribes on the border of China, Tajiksitan, Afghanistan and Pakistan used to trade with each other,” Dad tells AFP. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ended most such interactions. But the route between Wakhan and Hunza survived, he says, largely because trails such as the Irshad Pass are one of the few ways in and it is mainly those with a historic connection that dare to travel them. “The people on both sides of the border share the same culture, the same language and kinship, which is an added advantage,” Dad explains. Land time forgot As Baig reaches the first settlement in Wakhan, men and women rush to him. The men hug him and take the reins of his horse while the women kiss his hands, a traditional greeting of the Wakhi tribe. “Did you bring me the buttons that I asked you for last year,” one woman

asks eagerly as she serves him tea. The women of the Wakhan Corridor have a strange relationship with time: many of them do not know how old they are, but plastic watches brought by the traders are their most cherished ornaments. Brightly colored objects—from plastic buttons and bottles to nail clippers—can all be sewn onto women’s clothes as decoration. One woman already wearing four plastic watches on one arm asks Baig if he has any more. “I need some for the other arm, may be three or four,” she says. The woman’s family trade a yak, a packet of butter and four sheep for buttons, watches, six pairs of socks and some woolen hats. Two other yaks are given on credit. A male member of the family will travel to Hunza this year and return with flour and rice. He explains: “This is based on trust [that] has existed as long as the trade itself.” AFP

laroman’s young daughter may have to stop her schooling in the meantime. The mortgage on Villaroman’s family home has not been paid and the bank is threatening to foreclose on it. His health has deteriorated, and he has lost weight. In contrast, the mayor seems happy and contented with the status quo. He probably believes he has nothing to lose because if the Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Court of Appeals in favor of Villaroman, it’s the city government that will pay for Villaroman’s backwages,

not the mayor. It’s a way of conveying the message that anybody who displeases the mayor will regret it. That’s patronage politics, plain and simple. So far, that is what a city mayor can do to a city employee under the existing unitary system of government. Imagine the extent of the trouble and inconvenience Villaroman would have to go through if the mayor he displeased was the state governor under a federal government? Villaroman’s sympathizers believe that his main problem is the length of time it usually takes for the

Supreme Court to resolve pending cases. Unlike the city mayor who draws a regular salary from the government, Villaroman has to wait indefinitely for the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. About a year or so ago, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno declared that the high tribunal under her watch is determined to speed up the administration of justice. Villaroman hopes that his pending case will be among those to be expedited. Meanwhile, Villaroman’s long wait for justice continues.

( MANI L AS T ANDARDF E B. 10, 2018)

( MANI L AS T ANDARDF E B. 10, 2018)

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




Juvic seeks payback, record TCC golf win JUVIC Pagunsan will not only attempt to bounce back from a last-hole foldup last year but also nail a record championship in the P5 million The Country Club Invitational, which unfolds on Feb. 14 at the TCC course in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Pagunsan missed forcing a playoff with a wet bogey on the tough No. 18, enabling Miguel Tabuena to escape with a one-stroke victory last year and claim his first crown in what has been considered as the country’s premier championship outside of the Philippine Open. But the Japan PGA Tour-based shotmaker is back in the hunt again, ready to redeem himself against the cream of the local pro crop and resume his chase for a record fourth victory in the 72-hole championship held in honor of ICTSI founder Don Pocholo Razon. The smooth-swinging Pagunsan and Angelo Que share the most number of wins at three apiece with the former raring to restamp his class on a field featuring the top 30 in last year’s Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit ranks and former champions. They include Tony Lascuña (2004) and Frankie Miñoza (2013) along with reigning Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner Clyde Mondilla, and PGT Asia leg champions Rene Menor and Jhonnel Ababa, Zanieboy Gialon, Elmer Salvador, Jay Bayron, Michael Bibat, Jerson Balasabas; Orlan Sumcad, Keanu Jahns, Ferdie Aunzo, Jobim Carlos, James Lam, Rufino Bayron, Ira Alido, Omar Dungca, Joenard Rates, Charles Hong, Arnold Villacencio, Erwin Arcillas and Mhark Fernando. Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Americans Nicolas Paez and Micah Shin, and Japanese Toru Nakajima provide the foreign challenge in the 14th staging of the annual event put up by ICTSI president and chairman Ricky Razon in 2003. There was no TCC Invitational in 2015-16 to give way to the renovation of the Tom Weiskoph-designed layout.

Cavaliers overhaul roster; Thomas to LA Juvic Pagunsan is back in the hunt again, resuming his chase for a record fourth victory in the 72-hole championship held in honor of ICTSI founder Don Pocholo Razon.

Phoenix upsets SMB 5 By Jeric Lopez


LACKWATER caught a big fish just when it needed it the most. The Elite fought valiantly to stun league-leader San Miguel Beer, 106-96, in an impressive display to snap out of its slump in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City last night. Poy Erram continued to make a splash, having his best game yet with careerhighs of 24 points and 18 rebounds for a monster double-double as he surprisingly outplayed four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo to lead the Elite.

Madis eyes double at Dangcagan PPS netfest TENNIELLE Madis hopes to duplicate her two-title feat last week while new faces are expected to emerge in the boys’ side of the Palawan PawnshopPalawan Express Pera Padala Dangcagan leg agegroup tennis tournament, which got under way in Bukidnon yesterday. Madis topped the 12and 14-and-under divisions in Cagayan de Oro but the rising Mlang, Cotabato star is in for a tough outing this time with Casey Padilla out to avenge her 6-2, 6-4 defeat to the former in the 12-U finals last week. Tipped to crowd the duo in both divisions are Jillian Manangking and Angelie Ripdos with Angela Buyante looming as the other player to watch in the 14-U side of the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger. Close to 200 entries are seeing action in the fiveday event hosted by Mayor Fruto Dandasan, who tapped the Dangcagan and the Kibawe, Maramag tennis clubs to accommodate the big number of participants in the event backed by Asiatraders Corp. They include youngsters from Lanao, CdO, Kibawe, Maramag, Malaybalay, Kabacan, Pikit, Mlang, Digos, Glan, Malita, Gen. Santos, Davao and the host province.

He got help from Mike DiGregorio, who had a remarkable game as well with a game-high 26 points and five assists. The hard-fought victory placed Blackwater back in the hunt with its improved 3-5 card. The Elite also

snapped out of its four-game slide. On the other hand, the Beermen stayed at the top, but they now share leadership with Magnolia on similar 6-2 cards. A win would’ve earned them the first berth in the quarterfinals. Desperately needing a victory to keep a fair chance of making the next round, Blackwater played with a sense of urgency as it was able to stand toeto-toe with the defending champions. After keeping it close, the Elite executed a 13-2 spurt midway the third frame to turn a four-point deficit into a 60-53 lead, capped by a Di-

Gregorio basket. Showing poise despite attempted threats by the Beermen, the Elite impressively stood their ground in the clutch to complete its shocking upset win. When San Miguel Beer came to within two, 80-82, with eight minutes remaining after Matt Ganuela-Rosser’s basket, Blackwater countered with a swift 7-0 run to restore its lead back to nine, 89-80. More than a minute later, the Elite had their first double-digit lead, 96-85, with 4:02 left. That finishing touch sealed the victory for the Elite.

Blackwater’s defense, anchored by Erram, astonishingly made life difficult for Fajardo, who produced 12 points and 13 rebounds. Chris Ross led San Miguel Beer with 20 points. The scores: Blackwater 106—Digregorio 26, Erram 24, Maliksi 11, Sena 10, Palma 8, Jose 6, Marcelo 6, Pinto 5, Cortez 5, Cruz 5, Sumang 0, Neypes 0. San Miguel 96—Santos 22, Ross 20, Lassiter 13, Fajardo 12, Lanete 9, Rosser 8, Heruela 8, Semerad 2, Agovida 2, Pessumal 0, Mamaril 0, De Ocampo 0. Quarters: 20-27, 43-45, 72-69, 106-96.

LOS ANGELES—Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas joined the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday in a deadline trade which could pave the way for a possible bid to lure LeBron James to California. The Lakers confirmed Thomas and Cavs forward Channing Frye were joining from Cleveland in exchange for guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr. The Lakers will also get the Cavaliers’ protected firstround draft pick in 2018 as part of the deal. Crucially, the trade frees up salary space for the Lakers which could enable them to pursue a blockbuster deal for James, who will enter free agency in the summer. Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George is also a Lakers target that could now be viable with the additional salary cap space. Lakers president Earvin “Magic” Johnson told reporters the deal was an important step on the team’s rebuilding journey.

“Hey, we had to do this deal for now and the future of the Lakers,” Johnson said. “I came here to create flexibility for our organization so one day we can have a superstar come here with our young core,” he added. Thomas joined the Cavs last year as part of the move which sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics. However the playmaker has been unable to settle in Cleveland, missing the first two months of the season with a hip injury. On Wednesday, Thomas told reporters he did not want to leave Cleveland in what would be the fourth move of his career. “I’m tired of being traded,” Thomas said following the Cavs’ win over Minnesota. “That’s not a good thing. But I just want to be where I’m wanted. I like it here. It hasn’t been as planned, but I definitely want to be here. “We have a real chance to win an NBA championship, and I want to be a part of that.” AFP

Ikeda edges Korean on 3rd extra hole, snatches ladies’ crown GEN. TRIAS, Cavite—Chihiro Ikeda fumbled at the finish in regulation but toughened up on the third playoff hole to subdue Korean amateur Lee Ji Hyeon, clinching the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Invitational crown with a par on No. 18 of the Aoki course here yesterday. Ikeda blew a two-shot lead with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18 for a 71 in blustery condition, enabling Lee, who sizzled in a flight ahead with a 66, to force a playoff

at seven-under 209 at the close of the 54-hole, P750,000 tournament sponsored by ICTSI. Erstwhile co-leader Hwang Min-jeong, who charged back with late three birdies in a fourhole stretch from No. 14, missed joining the sudden death with a bogey on the last hole. She wound up third at 210. Ikeda and Lee parred their first two duels, both on the par4 18th, but the Fil-Japanese

proved steadier in the end, coming through with a routine par the third time out and finally claiming the victory after Lee cracked another pressure and flubbed her par-putt bid from five feet. “It’s nice to win again although I really have to toughen up in the playoff after blowing a huge lead in regulation. I was tired but coach Bong (Lopez) told me to just stay focused and keep believing in myself,” said Ikeda.

Pabualan carries FEU-Diliman to 8th title ABRA HOSTS GAMES. Abra Gov. Joy Bernos (center) poses with fellow Cordillera Administrative Region governors, local government officials and guests from Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Baguio and Tabuk during the inaugurals of the CAR Athletic Association, the regional leg of the Palarong Pambansa held in Abra for the first time in 17 years and aimed at uniting the region.

GIO Pabualan shone as Far Eastern UniversityDiliman beat De La Salle-Zobel, 4-2, via penalties after a 1-1 draw at extra time to annex its eighth consecutive crown Thursday night in the UAAP Season 80 juniors football tourna-

ment at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Showcasing his wares on national TV, Pabualan capped a checkered high school career by slotting in the championship-clinching spot kick for the Baby Tamaraws.

Rep. Antonio is World Slasher Cup champion THE Pintakasi of Champions, host of the 2018 World Slasher Cup Invitational 9-Cock Derby at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, bared the winner of the prestigious event that held its Grand Finals recently. Cockfight idol Rep. Patrick Antonio emerged victorious with 8.5 points and was declared the solo champion in the wee hours of Thursday morning, after a grueling 88-fight Grand Finals that began at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Equally remarkable is the good showing of first-timers Rey Canedo of Davao, and Cris Sioson on Bataan (in partnership with PitGmes CEO Manny Berbano), who scored eight wins and one loss for a runner-up finish. Excellence endorser Biboy Enriquez (Firebird 2) also scored 8-1 (win-loss) together with Jess Moradas, Henry Teves, Arnold Mendoza, Frank

Berin (last year’s solo champ)/Danny Bulldog, and Thunderbird 6 entry. Team Alcala of Quezon and Rico Abliter tallied 7.5 points whole Ito Ynarez, Vergil Intino, Max Benedicto, Jojo Alcovendaz, Cholo Violago, Vice Marasigan, and Biboy Enriquez (Firebird 2) posted seven wins each. With the surprise good performance of first-timers, newcomers are expected to try their luck when the WSC 2 returns on May 6 to 12. The same nine-cock format will be adopted in the shorter, seven-day cockfest. Close to 300 local and foreign participants joined the competition, sponsored by B-Meg, Thunderbird, Petron, Excellence Poultry & Livestock Specialists, and supported by Warhawk, and media partner PitGames Media, Inc. and the Journal Group.

Patrick Antonio (second from right) and crew, whose entry emerged as the sole champion of the first edition of the 2018 World Slasher Cup held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum

Matches tomorrow:

(Rizal Memorial Stadium) 9 a.m. – NU vs Ateneo (Men) 1:30 p.m. – DLSU vs AdU (Men) 4 p.m. – FEU vs UE (Men)

It was also Pabualan, who opened the scoring for FEU, producing solid technique in the 15th minute.

Aside from winning the Best Striker honors, Pabualan went home with the season MVP award. Pabualan and his batchmate Orlan Togores thus became the first student-athletes to win six juniors titles in any sport in the league.

Ateneo alumni tourney slated at Valley Golf Club ALL is set for the holding of the annual Ateneo de Zamboanga Metro Manila Alumni Association golf tournament at the South Course of the Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo City on March 23 (Friday), tournament director Jimmy Panganiban said. Panganiban said the 16th ADZUMMAA Golf Classic 2018 is open to all members, friends, guests, and sponsors of ADZUMMAA, an association of Ateneo de Zamboanga alumni residing in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces. A special feature of the tournament will be the awarding of a P100,000 cash prize to

a golfer who can score a holein-one on Hole No. 18, Panganiban said. Panganiban said regular golf players from Zamboanga City as well as a number of Zamboangueño golfers from overseas, notably from the United States, have expressed their intention to join the tournament. Registration starts at 6 a.m. and tee off will commence from at 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. on a firstcome-first-served basis on a group of three or four. Lunch, fellowship, awarding and a raffle will be held at the club house immediately after the games. Fellowship will follow after the awarding ceremonies.

Globe OKs dividend of P22.75 per share



Ray S. Eñano, Editor Roderick T. dela Cruz, Assistant Editor SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2018


Meralco staggers rate increase By Alena Mae S. Flores


ANILA Electric Co., the biggest retailer of electricity, will increase rates in two stages, starting with P0.75 per kilowatt-hour in February and P0.33 per kWh in March to cushion the impact of higher charges to consumers. Meralco said in a statement Friday it did not implement a full increase in electricity rates to lessen the impact on consumers after recent price increases on fuel and other basic commodities.

Meralco did not say if it sought approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission to implement the staggered increase. Meralco said the February adjustment brought the overall rate to P9.47 per

kWh from January’s P8.72 per kWh, or equivalent to an increase of P150 in the bill of a residential customer consuming 200kWh a month. “Of the P0.8469 per kWh increase in the generation charge, Meralco... will reflect an adjustment of P0.5780 per kWh this February, or from a generation charge of P4.0768 per kWh in January to P4.6548 per kWh this month,” it said. Meralco said it would implement the difference in

the March bill of consumers. The company said the generation charge increase was primarily due to higher charges from plants covered by power supply agreements and independent power producers. “After the reduction in PSA charges reflected in January due to the early completion of annual capacity fee payments for the previous year, capacity fees returned to levels prescribed in the PSAs,” it said. Meralco said the nor-

malization of capacity fees, especially of Pagbilao and Ilijan, was the main reason for the P1.7607 per kWh increase in PSA charges, to be reflected this month. Charges from the IPPs also increased P0.3430 per kWh due to the peso depreciation against the US dollar, higher Malampaya natural gas prices following the quarterly repricing, and lower average plant dispatch. PSAs and IPPs provided 40.6 percent and 40.7 per-

Land Bank of the Philippines is recognized as one of the three Frontline Service Champions for its exceptional performance in complying with the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. LandBank Human Resources Management Group head and vice president Joselito Vallada(center) receives the plaque of recognition during the Civil Service Commission’s thanksgiving celebration on January 22, 2018. With him are (from left) CSC National Capital Region director IV Judith Dongallo-Chicano, CSC Commissioner Leopoldo Roberto Valderosa Jr., CSC chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala, LandBank Employee Relations Department manager Mira Leah Patio, assistant department manager Salve Trinidad Malijan and CSC Commissioner Robert Martinez.

By Othel V. Campos

PH trade deficit jumped 63% to record $4 b in December THE deficit in country’s balance of trade in goods widened in December by 63 percent to a record $4.02 billion from $2.47 billion a year ago on surging imports and lower exports, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Friday. Data showed total exports for the month dropped 4.9 percent to $4.72 billion from $4.97 billion a year ago, its only decline in 2017 and the first since November 2016.

es rose P0.2092 per kWh this month. Meralco’s distribution, supply, and metering charges, meanwhile, have remained unchanged for 31 months, after they registered reductions in July 2015. Meralco reiterated that it does not earn from the pass-through charges, such as the generation and transmission charges. Payment for the generation charge goes to the power suppliers, while that for the transmission charge is made to the NGCP.

Exporters oppose substitute labor bill


By Julito G. Rada

cent of Meralco’s total energy requirement, respectively, during the January supply month. Charges from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market the country’ s trading floor of electricity, slightly decreased by P0.0041 per kWh due to lower power demand in the Luzon grid. Meralco purchased 18.7 percent from the WESM in January. The transmission charge to residential customers decreased P0.0372 per kWh while taxes and other charg-

Total imports increased 17.6 percent to $8.74 billion from $7.43 billion a year ago. “This resulted to a deficit of $4.02 billion in the country’s balance of trade in goods in December 2017, higher than the $2.47 billion deficit in December 2016,” the PSA said. Total external trade in goods for the month reached $13.46 billion, 8.6 percent higher than $12.40 billion a year ago. The country’s balance of trade in goods deficit also

swelled to $29.786 billion in 2017 from a gap of $26.702 billion in 2016. Total merchandise trade for full year 2017 increased 9.9 percent as imports and exports posted growth rates higher than government estimates. Imports and exports recorded 10.2 percent and 9.5 percent growth rates, respectively, exceeding the Development Budget Coordinating Committee’s emerging estimates (as of December 2017) of 9.0 percent for imports and 8.0 percent for exports.

The National Economic and Development Authority said the government should continue to implement strategies that would heighten demand for Philippine-made products to sustain merchandise trade growth. “We need to effectively respond to market trends and consumer preferences worldwide to drive more demand for Philippinemade products,” Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement. Pernia said this could be

done by gathering timely and relevant information on emerging demands in potential markets through the help of diplomatic posts and trade attachés. Moreover, intensified market research and tighter linkages with businesses, malls and shopping centers abroad would help increase the visibility of Philippine export products. “To drive exports growth, we are also looking at maximizing trade agreements with countries in the region,” Pernia said.

IN BRIEF New bank liquidity requirements THE Monetary Board, the policy-making body of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, approved the adoption of minimum prudential liquidity requirements for thrift, rural and cooperative banks as well as quasibanks. The board said in a statement Friday the move would enhance the resilience to liquidity stress events of the Bangko Sentral-supervised financial institutions. “With this new development, all banks and quasi-banks will be subject to calibrated minimum prudential liquidity requirements,” it said. “Thrift, rural, cooperative and quasi-banks will be subject to different measures depending on whether they belong to a banking group or not. Those that are subsidiaries and affiliates of UBs and KBs will be subject to the LCR, which already applies to their parent-institutions,” the board said. Julito G. Rada

China Bank’s net profit rises 15% CHINA Banking Corp., the eighth-largest lender in terms of assets, said consolidated net income in 2017 rose 15 percent to P7.4 billion from a year ago on the back of sustained growth in core and fee-based businesses. The bank said in a disclosure to the stock exchange Friday the fullyear performance translated into a return on equity of 9.90 percent and return on assets of 1.11 percent. “We grew as projected and I am pleased that our strong fundamentals and solid organic growth gave us the platform to meet the opportunities and challenges in 2018,” bank president William Whang said in a statement. Net interest income rose 17 percent to P20 billion, driven by the 17-percent growth in loan portfolio and stable net interest margin of 3.09 percent. Julito G. Rada

Mercury Drug, PayMaya tie up MERCURY Drug Corp., the leading drugstore in the country, has teamed up with PayMaya Philippines to offer consumers convenient, fast and secure cashless payment options via PayMaya QR. “This partnership with PayMaya is another way for us to innovate and further improve on the experience of our “suki” customers. We are excited to be among the pioneers in embracing this cashless technology, said Mercury Drug president Vivian Que-Azcona. It is the first pharmacy-retail chain in the Philippines to begin accepting payment of medicines and other consumer goods via PayMaya QR. The scan-to-pay technology will be deployed in Mercury Drug’s branches nationwide. “This will also cut down the lines in our stores because there is no need to process loose change anymore,” said Mercury Drug assistant to the president Steven Que Azcona. Darwin G. Amojelar

CLARK TOUR. Clark International Airport Corp. president and chief executive officer Alexander Cauguiran addresses honorary consuls representing different European countries in the Philippines who visited the Clark Special Economic Zone to explore opportunities for trade and investments in the Philippines. Bases Conversion and Development Authority sponsored the Clark familiarization tour, with the help of Clark Development Corp. and CIAC.

THE Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. expressed concerns against a substitute bill on security of tenure and contractualization, citing “business-unfriendly labor policies” that threaten to obliterate the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises. The House of Representatives approved on third reading House Bill 6908 seeking to strengthen the security of tenure of employees in the private sector as its response to address the problems of labor contracting and the socalled endo, or end of contract, schemes. Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said in a position paper the bill was “promoting business-unfriendly labor policies [that] will run contrary to government’s objective of inclusive and sustainable growth.” Like the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Philexport strongly objected to the “many restrictive provisions” of the bill, as MSMEs “are threatened to be wiped out should the current version of this bill passes.” “The scenario gets worse considering the millions of direct and indirect workers mostly in the countryside who are dependents of our members,” warned Ortiz-Luis. He cited that no market economies in Asia, including China and Vietnam, imposed “such arbitrary measures that would suppress job contracting and outsourcing as well as coerce enterprises on pain of penal sanctions, to provide permanent and regular employment for all types of workers, unskilled or unskilled, regardless of the need for their services, whether temporary, casual, contractual or fixed term.” While a constitutionally guaranteed right of the employees, security of tenure “does not, however, mean perpetual employment for the employee,” he said.

December factory output down significantly—PSA FACTORY output in December declined significantly compared with a double-digit growth a year ago, pulled down mainly by sluggish production of chemical products, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Friday. PSA data showed that the Volume of Production Index slipped 9.7 percent in December 2017 compared with the 21.7-percent growth during the same month of the previous year. “This decrease was attributed to the contraction in VoPI in chemical products (-67.3 percent), footwear and wearing apparel (-42.9 percent ), tobacco products (-31.8 percent) and textiles (-30.5 percent),” the PSA said. The Value of Production Index for manufacturing also recorded a two-digit annual drop of 10.3 percent in December 2017 from a 16.6-percent growth in the same month of the previous year.

The PSA said 10 out of 20 major sectors exhibited decline, with two-digit decreases noted in chemical products (-68.2 percent), footwear and wearing apparel (-43.9 percent), tobacco products (-30.8 percent), textiles (-30.1 percent), and leather products (-12.4 percent). Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the government would aggressively implement measures to ensure the recovery of manufacturing this year, following the sector’s fourmonth decline from September to December 2017. “The recent declines in manufacturing are a cause for concern but we are also fully aware of the opportunities that lie ahead: robust domestic consumption demand, increased demand from government, and government’s resolve to improve the ease of doing business,” Pernia said in a statement. Julito G. Rada

Neda says majority of Filipino families to benefit from 35% rice tariff THE National Economic and Development Authority said majority of Filipino families will benefit from lower retail prices of rice once the amendment of the agricultural tariffication law is enacted. Amending Republic Act No. 8178, or the Agricultural Tariffication Act” of 1996, is expected to ease the temporary inflationary impact of the newly-implemented tax reform law, besides world oil prices, as

well as increase the savings of a Filipino household. “About 93 percent of Filipino households are rice consumers and they stand to benefit from lower price of rice. It is high time that the bill amending the twodecade-old law is passed,” Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Friday. According to Neda’s preliminary estimate, headline inflation rate would be reduced by 1 percentage point

if the domestic wholesale rice market reduced its price to the level of imported rice. Even with just a P1.00 per kilo reduction in the wholesale price of rice, headline inflation rate would drop by 0.3 percentage points. At 35 percent tariff rate, the landed cost of imported rice, especially from Thailand and Vietnam, along with its transport cost to the local market, would be around P30.30 per kilogram. This is about P4.31

lower than the domestic wholesale price of regular milled rice. The price reduction of P4.31 per kilogram will enable a Filipino household of five to save as much as P2,362 per year. “This amount of savings could mean a lot to ordinary Filipinos, especially those struggling to make ends meet,” Pernia said. Pernia said the amount of savings was equivalent to about 13 percent of a house-

hold’s average rice expenditure of P17,921 as indicated in the 2015 Family Income and Expenditure Survey. The passage of the bill amending RA 8178 will pave the way for the lifting of the quantitative restriction on rice imports and the imposition of 35 percent tariff on rice coming from member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations like Thailand and Vietnam. Julito G. Rada




PH, Asian stocks slump again T

HE stock market and the rest of Asia plunged Friday as the global rout returned with a vengeance on intensifying fears about tighter US interest rates.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index tumbled 141.39 points, or 1.6 percent, to 8,503.69 on a value turnover of P8.5 billion. Losers routed gainers, 138 to 64, with 46 issues unchanged. Conglomerate Ayala Corp. slumped 3.6 percent to P1,005, while property unit Ayala Land Inc. lost 2.8 percent to P43.95. SM Prime Holdings Inc. of retail tycoon Henry Sy fell 2.8 percent to P35, but MacroAsia Corp., a leading provider of aviation-related services owned by airline and tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan, rose 3.2 percent to P25.70. Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai, mean-

while, were among the worst hit as investors piled into safe haven assets such as gold and the yen. The sell-off followed another battering for Wall Street, where the Dow suffered its second-heaviest daily points fall on record—the worst coming on Monday—after key US Treasury bond yields spiked fueling the likelihood of higher borrowing costs. After a blistering 2017 and January, markets worldwide have gone into a spasm in the past two weeks on fears that the booming global economy and rising inflation will lead to higher interest rates. “There’s some big-money players that have really leveraged to the low rates forever, and they have to unwind those trades,” Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management, told Bloomberg News. “They could be in full panic mode right now.”

Japan’s Nikkei fell 2.3 percent and is now at levels not seen since mid-October, while Hong Kong dropped more than three percent to put it on course to wipe out its 2018 gains. Shanghai dived 4.1 percent to seven-month lows. Sydney fell 0.9 percent, Singapore shed 1.7 percent and Seoul was 1.8 percent off. Wellington and Taipei were also hammered. A key trigger of the recent pullback was last Friday’s strong US jobs report that also showed rising US wage growth, fueling speculation the Federal Reserve will lift rates more than the three times already expected this year. At the same time, the European Central Bank is on the verge of ending its crisisera stimulus, while the Bank of England warned Thursday that rates will likely rise. “The message from ECB and Fed speakers, not to mention the Bank of England is

that rates will continue to climb because of the strength of the global economy,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader. With eurozone and British borrowing rates expected to go up, the euro and pound climbed against the dollar. The greenback edged up against the yen but was still sharply down from Thursday’s levels in Asia as panicked investors sought out safety. The dollar fell to as low as 108.50 yen from almost 110 yen the day before, hit by a weak sale of US bonds, which jacked their yield back close to fouryear highs. However, many analysts are upbeat about the future owing to healthy economic conditions in the US and global economies as well as the positive outlook for corporate earnings after Donald Trump’s massive tax cuts in December. With AFP




FINANCIALS 3.79 541,000 59.6 9,400 117.9 1,499,760 3.78 31,000 150 1,695,930 1.84 184,000 36.15 270,900 15.4 14,300 28.95 1,908,200 8.79 28,000 1.65 3,000 0.53 476,000 95.5 1,376,780 1.6 10,579,000 13.12 141,200 24.8 400 58 47,690 239.8 29,040 103 280 87 600 48 310,900 245 357,400 1,865 175 90.1 18,480

1,991,120 556,358.50 176,627,182 116,960 254,510,630 341,400 9,733,455 220,220 55,484,255 242,874 4,950 252,310 131,539,332.50 16,471,790 1,854,920 9,920 2,727,562.50 6,968,640 28,840 52,200 14,620,545 87,563,488 326,675 1,666,018

231,906.50 -50,679,539 -76,839,500 7,580,250 538,650 -76,885,530.50 -244,750 -107,487 0 1,476,590 -16,580,126 9,325 -17,148

39.7 12.8 0.59 1.28 18.38 0.214 108.7 4.02 15.18 50 18.76 62.8 59.35 1.87 5.31 10.9 11.22 14.6 11.28 7.4 5.55 1.7 15.8 61.4 29 10 20.4 1.86 284.2 52.05 4.06 19.38 27.7 17.68 19.7 316.4 0.192 8.3 2.8 4.84 9.34 6.2 8 1.57 12.06 58.6 608 4.86 2.01 3.51 1.63 15.86 5.45 0.129 1.05 155 2.72 1.9 24.05 1.13

INDUSTRIAL 39.7 1,797,100 12.9 1,523,400 0.61 7,612,000 1.29 202,000 18.86 51,500 0.214 1,690,000 108.7 70 4.08 4,135,000 15.22 206,100 52 1,008,200 19.78 1,000 62.8 80 60 9,430 1.96 500,000 5.32 4,300 10.96 4,100 11.4 1,554,200 14.76 171,800 11.44 212,300 7.5 1,809,500 5.56 7,044,600 1.71 34,000 15.9 676,100 62 232,830 29.15 254,500 10.06 15,200 20.85 4,746,700 1.96 3,500,000 292 413,260 52.05 390 4.07 65,000 20.75 200 28.05 958,500 17.72 251,300 20.2 5,196,500 318 275,280 0.196 760,000 8.3 43,800 2.9 9,094,000 4.84 63,000 9.46 1,077,600 6.34 67,300 8 166,800 1.59 261,000 12.6 122,800 58.7 670,050 629 24,390 4.86 122,000 2.01 2,000 3.51 1,000 1.68 863,000 16 801,100 5.48 144,900 0.131 5,190,000 1.09 183,000 158 1,178,330 2.88 126,000 1.9 3,582,000 24.05 700 1.2 38,227,000

71,639,680 19,649,064 4,541,580 259,720 964,292 362,130 7,609 16,898,650 3,132,994 52,419,840 19,420 5,045 579,820.50 958,250 22,844 44,900 17,723,638 2,537,074 2,430,218 13,544,421 39,339,191 57,990 10,752,284 14,376,160.50 7,559,085 153,968 99,264,665 6,771,260 119,525,202 20,299.50 264,210 4,013 26,793,725 4,452,392 104,712,769 87,708,488 149,380 363,640 26,127,660 305,530 10,153,226 418,709 1,335,990 412,100 1,529,892 39,609,980 15,056,745 593,290 4,020 3,510 1,430,610 12,807,888 790,693 674,670 194,550 185,802,670 344,800 6,830,660 16,835 47,779,440

-41,805,445 8,535,904 30,000 -8,956,060.00 1,259,814 19,583,299.50 -4,243,714 1,105,262 752,124 -8,445,560 -12,136,142 -1,173,530 -8,007,034 1,979,020 -32,838,060 -159,080 -2,696,568 -5,286,870 1,474,708.00 -25,410,215 -18,406,072 88,200 4,435,110 -1,596,927 -25,530,817.50 10,461,940 320,760 -64,500 4,026,906 1,644 -6,550 -82,045,754 231,500 -2,901,880 449,680.00

0.3 71.3 15.22 0.98 6.91 0.58 0.6 1,000 7.39 13.72 7.44 0.185 1,258 73.25 0.69 5.32 22.1 6.12 0.038 1.17 2.58 2.5 143.5 2.57 941 0.76 1.61 175.1 277 0.235 0.192

HOLDING FIRMS 0.3 80,000 71.3 1,261,370 15.24 7,822,400 1.1 8,764,000 6.92 2,400 0.6 26,656,000 0.62 9,421,000 1,005 302,030 7.5 598,200 13.8 11,555,100 7.44 130,300 0.185 60,000 1,295 132,480 73.5 2,121,960 0.72 560,000 5.38 1,870,200 22.5 3,360,700 6.19 16,169,100 0.038 49,900,000 1.2 62,000 2.85 16,092,000 2.5 100,000 145 463,470 2.57 3,000 985 581,360 0.76 210,000 1.64 1,224,000 175.1 190 280 7,810 0.235 630,000 0.192 190,000

24,350 90,928,705 120,292,546 9,656,640 16,604 15,888,660 5,736,450 305,078,355 4,450,501 159,825,976 970,764 11,100 170,342,800 156,097,596 391,390 10,060,658 75,619,250 100,194,402 1,923,500 72,950 44,927,180 250,000 67,164,254 7,710 560,629,940 166,450 1,999,510 33,515 2,172,656 149,150 36,480

-68,356,880.50 -6,043,116 -482,000 -171,738,800 1,501,241 -83,713,740 -62,075,605 -98,096,518.00 -4,485,746 -59,543,625 -67,617,081 40,200 -8,031,391 -122,732,425 -3,320 11,100 -

1,371,545 2,316,290 1,003,618 267,600 1,018,820 495,806,485 802,550 11,176,060 95,130 737,750 5,520 49,762,280 275,650 24,573,100 40,950 16,440 14,172,030 4,760,560 113,260 165,199,139 58,737,350 520,850

-180,902 152,800 -277,438,745 192,250 -1,594,360 86,580 -72,800 -289,200 47,350 1,645 -5,774,820 -963,660 -3,516,395 551,150 -







3.35 58.15 117.5 3.77 151 1.85 36 15.3 27.9 8.81 1.65 0.53 96 1.47 13.1 24.8 56.7 240 103 87 46.5 242.6 1,895 90.3

3.9 59.6 119 3.78 152.7 1.88 36.15 15.7 29.7 8.81 1.65 0.54 96 1.6 13.26 24.8 58 240 103 87 48.1 248.6 1,895 90.3

3.3 58.15 116.8 3.76 149 1.84 35.4 15.3 27.9 8.6 1.65 0.53 95.3 1.44 13.1 24.8 56.7 238 103 87 46 242.2 1,855 90


40.5 13 0.61 1.3 18.74 0.214 108.7 4.1 15.18 51.95 18.76 63.85 59.9 1.9 5.31 10.98 11.56 14.68 11.4 7.5 5.63 1.76 15.9 62.9 30.2 10.2 21 1.86 289.8 52.05 4.07 19.38 28 17.78 20.6 320 0.192 8.32 2.89 4.85 9.48 6.25 8.08 1.57 12.1 60 615 4.89 2.01 3.51 1.68 15.98 5.45 0.131 1.05 161 2.8 1.9 24.05 1.16

40.5 13 0.61 1.3 19.5 0.219 108.7 4.15 15.22 53 19.9 63.85 64 1.96 5.32 10.98 11.56 14.84 11.6 7.62 5.63 1.76 16 63 30.6 10.2 21.5 1.96 292 52.05 4.07 20.75 28.05 17.8 20.9 320.6 0.199 8.32 2.91 4.85 9.48 6.39 8.08 1.6 12.6 60 629.5 4.89 2.01 3.51 1.68 16.1 5.48 0.131 1.09 161.8 2.88 1.94 24.05 1.33


0.305 73.45 15.22 1 6.91 0.61 0.63 1,020 7.42 14.2 7.48 0.185 1,305 74.6 0.73 5.43 22.5 6.21 0.04 1.17 2.65 2.5 144.8 2.57 973 0.78 1.68 178.4 278 0.24 0.192

0.305 74 15.58 1.17 6.92 0.62 0.63 1,022 7.5 14.2 7.5 0.185 1,305 74.6 0.73 5.43 22.85 6.25 0.04 1.2 2.89 2.5 145.3 2.57 985 0.85 1.68 178.4 280 0.246 0.192


6.3 0.92 18.02 2.12 0.89 44.5 3.64 4.68 5.7 0.46 1.1 0.248 0.43 37.5 0.63 0.137 1.82 1.34 0.76 4.94 0.335 0.325

6.3 0.95 18.6 2.17 0.9 44.5 3.7 4.69 5.85 0.46 1.12 0.27 0.435 37.5 0.63 0.137 1.84 1.36 0.78 4.95 0.355 0.33

6.2 0.91 17.9 2.12 0.88 43.75 3.62 4.56 5.7 0.455 1.1 0.24 0.43 36.6 0.63 0.137 1.78 1.33 0.76 4.81 0.32 0.32










0.53 4.33 37.35 20.85 1.97 3.24 35.4 1.03 19.1 0.83 6.33

0.53 4.33 37.35 20.9 2 3.27 35.55 1.03 21.7 0.83 6.39

0.51 4.19 33 20.4 1.95 3.21 34.7 1.01 17.6 0.82 6.21

0.52 4.26 33.45 20.65 2 3.24 35 1.01 19.4 0.82 6.39

3,562,000 283,000 3,400 990,000 937,000 301,000 9,984,800 72,000 2,726,000 4,000 11,671,300

1,844,310 1,194,550 118,755 20,435,420 1,838,300 970,220 349,859,370 72,760 55,051,225 3,300 73,988,358

520 8,400 -6,376,345 423,510 25,760 -125,099,905 -50,500 -3,820 -23,098,088


19.48 32.95 1.38 0.045 11.62 13.1 0.068 101 8.94 8.3 2.47 61.05 1,809 6.04 178 11.06 5.48 2.85 110 13.5 8.3 0.142 1.6 3.37 15 4.02 1.08 24.9 0.51 4.52 8.5 3.49 7 10.42 10 8.21 108.8 6.76 1,510 1.21 0.355 50 94.95 6.3 2.84 1.43 0.64 3.7 0.98 10.26

19.48 32.95 1.38 0.046 11.62 13.4 0.068 101.3 9.1 8.7 2.95 64 1,809 6.04 185 12.68 5.75 2.9 110.5 13.5 8.3 0.143 1.62 3.42 15.48 4.1 1.08 26.2 0.53 4.82 8.61 3.59 7.45 10.42 10 8.21 108.8 6.77 1,530 1.22 0.355 50.8 95 6.3 2.9 1.44 0.64 3.87 0.98 10.8

18.9 32.8 1.35 0.044 11.58 13.1 0.066 100.3 8.84 8.3 2.47 57 1,771 5.99 176 11.06 5.41 2.85 107.5 13.5 8.3 0.14 1.57 3.2 15 3.99 1.05 24.5 0.51 4.52 8.42 3.41 6.95 10.42 10 8.21 108 6.65 1,500 1.19 0.335 49.5 94 6.08 2.8 1.39 0.61 3.7 0.96 10.1

SERVICES 18.9 32.9 1.35 0.045 11.58 13.26 0.067 101.3 9.1 8.6 2.76 59.85 1,775 6.03 176.3 12.68 5.64 2.85 110.5 13.5 8.3 0.141 1.57 3.39 15.48 4 1.08 25.7 0.53 4.75 8.5 3.5 7.2 10.42 10 8.21 108.5 6.65 1,530 1.2 0.355 50.1 94.95 6.24 2.88 1.4 0.61 3.74 0.97 10.74

119,900 11,800 12,000 7,800,000 1,400 18,069,200 4,030,000 87,970 1,361,300 3,400 443,000 295,090 57,560 282,300 122,500 300 4,412,900 78,000 616,990 2,500 16,000 4,530,000 2,184,000 54,000 1,100 738,000 262,000 6,830,800 8,000 373,000 2,957,200 1,991,000 27,056,900 2,200 63,700 5,100 4,210 308,300 100,995 8,249,000 470,000 1,264,380 572,300 117,200 814,000 19,304,000 78,405,000 780,000 5,249,000 13,130,900

2,288,654 388,115 16,260 351,100 16,260 239,038,978 269,210 8,855,611 12,246,079 28,456 1,232,230 17,968,469.50 102,969,750 1,697,988 21,920,276 3,480 24,705,685 222,800 67,691,450 33,750 132,800 638,410 3,468,700 177,390 16,932 2,959,120 281,800 174,219,400 4,100 1,754,500 25,167,835 6,873,360 195,664,537 22,924 637,000 41,871 455,669 2,069,462 153,901,560 9,946,000 161,500 63,382,559 54,152,034 731,474 2,298,800 27,213,960 48,479,700 2,893,900 5,086,620 138,946,904

5,700 886,666 3,089,511 -394,806.50 -53,417,565 1,380,796 574,636 -29,051,963 45,120.00 222,140.00 7,638,555 27,220 -1,314,600 219,850 2,387,068 102,610 -675 9,156,605 -739,690 -3,469,030 -11,148,702.50 101,090 7,387,910 482,700 68,514,766


0.0022 1.53 4.9 1.65 1.59 0.325 7.46 2.5 0.192 0.151 0.157 0.0092 1.56 6.54 1.4 0.465 0.9 0.012 0.011 6.6 8.44 36 0.0071

0.0022 1.54 5 1.65 1.6 0.325 7.46 2.5 0.197 0.151 0.157 0.0092 1.56 6.54 1.4 0.465 0.91 0.012 0.012 6.68 8.45 36 0.0071

0.0022 1.51 4.85 1.65 1.59 0.32 7.29 2.45 0.191 0.15 0.156 0.0091 1.5 6.3 1.35 0.445 0.88 0.012 0.011 6.45 8.22 35.5 0.0071

MINING & OIL 0.0022 58,000,000 1.51 1,499,000 4.86 2,871,000 1.65 1,000 1.6 651,000 0.32 1,010,000 7.4 2,400 2.49 629,000 0.192 120,000 0.151 5,390,000 0.156 690,000 0.0092 7,000,000 1.5 647,000 6.42 1,557,600 1.39 16,000 0.445 30,000 0.91 203,000 0.012 144,100,000 0.012 3,400,000 6.46 867,400 8.38 1,582,300 35.8 1,443,300 0.0071 10,000,000

127,600 2,281,820 14,302,410 1,650 1,035,980 323,350 17,601 1,559,320 23,330 811,890 108,000 63,900 978,300 9,893,600 21,860 13,550 180,520 1,729,200 40,500 5,635,681 13,261,856 51,596,855 71,000

-19,690 9,910 906,043 -1,048,611 -534,880 -16,922,335 -


32.5 517 107.5 104.4 104.1 5.83 1,007 1,008 1.04 1,005 104 77 81 75.7 76.65 78.85 77.1 77 78

32.5 517 107.5 104.4 104.1 5.9 1,008 1,008 1.04 1,009 105.4 77 81 76.3 76.65 78.85 77.1 77 78

32.45 515.5 107.5 103.6 104 5.83 1,006 1,005 1.04 1,001 104 77 80.5 75.6 76.65 78.85 77 76.8 78

PREFERRED 32.45 415,200 515.5 2,030 107.5 5,000 103.6 19,280 104 600 5.9 115,700 1,008 1,450 1,005 710 1.04 17,000 1,001 3,480 105.4 130 77 290 80.5 280 76.3 4,810 76.65 2,000 78.85 7,400 77 2,900 76.8 40,000 78 5,000

13,475,105 1,046,800 537,500 1,998,528 62,440 676,720 1,461,100 713,580 17,680 3,492,440 13,534 22,330 22,555 363,663 153,300 583,490 223,450 3,073,900 390,000

-906,250 11,440 447,404 100,500 -





WARRANTS 2.37 133,000



14,337,729 2,900 5,963,050 3,402,490

441,942 -913,390 -851,300



29,820 62,913.60




PROPERTY 6.3 0.93 18 2.17 0.88 43.95 3.63 4.63 5.85 0.46 1.12 0.24 0.43 36.6 0.63 0.137 1.79 1.35 0.76 4.9 0.34 0.33

219,800 2,507,000 55,700 125,000 1,147,000 11,284,100 221,000 2,427,000 16,300 1,620,000 5,000 195,660,000 640,000 663,600 65,000 120,000 7,871,000 3,533,000 149,000 33,732,900 172,260,000 1,620,000


7 2.9 4.69 4.05

7.1 2.9 4.7 4.05

6.76 2.9 4.41 3.92






10.5 10.28

10.5 10.28

10.5 10.28


6.82 2.9 4.61 4


2,091,600 1,000 1,309,000 849,000

EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS 129.2 18,200 DDS 10.5 10.28























2,840 6,120

FINANCIAL 2,184.54 (down) 20.91 INDUSTRIAL 11,566,15 (down) 146.19 HOLDING FIRMS 8,615.28 (down) 137.01 PROPERTY 3,824.11 (down) 96.24 SERVICES 1,696.39 (down) 15.52 MINING & OIL 11,424.21 (down) 114.51 PSEI 8,503.69 (down) 141.39 All Shares Index 5,028.38 (down) 66.29 Gainers: 64; Losers: 138; Unchanged: 46; Total: 248

Globe OKs dividend of P22.75 per share By Darwin G. Amojelar GLOBE Telecom Inc. said its board approved a cash dividend of P22.75 per share to holders of common shares for distribution in the first quarter of the year. “The first quarter cash dividend payment total is about P3 billion,” Globe chief finance officer Rizza Maniego-Eala said. The dividend will be paid to shareholders on record as of February 20, 2018, payable on March 5, 2018. The approval of the first quarter cash dividend follows strong full-year revenues of the company in 2017. Maintaining its growth momentum last year, Globe generated revenues of P127.9 billion, up 6 percent from a year earlier. The sustained revenue momentum was driven by the solid growth in data-related products brought about by the increasing popularity of streaming and on-demand video content. Mobile revenues grew 7 percent to P98.5 billion in 2017 from P92.3 billion reported a year ago, driven by the continued mobile data revenue growth as more Globe customers embraced the digital lifestyle. Mobile data service revenues reached P43.1 billion in 2017, up 23 percent from P35 billion a year ago. Globe home broadband business also sustained its growth momentum at P15.6 billion in 2017, increasing revenues by 7 percent, with total subscriber base now reaching 1.3 million or up 15 percent from a year ago.

Cemex says 2017 income fell 65% on lower sales By Jenniffer B. Austria CEMENT maker Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc. says net income in 2017 fell 65 percent on decreased sales and a decline in cement prices. Cemex said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the 2017 net income declined to P658 million from P1.87 billion in 2016, while net sales dropped 10 percent to P21.78 billion from the previous year’s P24.28 billion. The company said cement prices were down 10 percent in 2017 while volumes were flat after private sector spending slowed down in the second half of the year. Cemex remains positive on the cement industry this year amid expansion plans. “CHP remains positive on the prospects of Philippine construction, with expectations of sustained economic expansion in 2018. We remain focused on executing our capacity expansion plan in Solid Cement Plant. In addition, we are undertaking efforts to debottleneck our operations, achieve higher customer service levels, and reduce costs to drive growth for our business,” Cemex president and chief executive Ignacio Mijares said. The company said the rollout of several big infrastructure projects this year and the massive rehabilitation of Marawi City would continue to boost infrastructure spending.





SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2018 Republika ng Pilipinas

(Pambansang Pangasiwaan ng Patubig)

Chinese nanny gets death over arson case SHANGHAI―A Chinese nanny with heavy gambling debts was sentenced to death Friday for setting a fire that killed her employer’s wife and children in a tragedy which grabbed national attention and raised questions over official handling of the case. A court in the eastern city of Hangzhou found Mo Huanjing, a nanny for a family of five, guilty of arson in the fire that killed a mother and her three children on June 22 last year, and sentenced her to death. The case went viral in China due to the tragic circumstances and reported delays in the firefighting response, with Friday’s court announcement among the top-trending items on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, with tens of millions of “reads”. The Weibo hashtag “Wife and kids in heaven June 22” by 37-year-old Lin Shengbin, who was away when the fire occurred, has generated nearly 1.3 billion “reads” since the tragedy first occurred. Mo, 35, was allegedly a obsessive gambler who borrowed and also stole money from the family as her debts mounted. The court said Mo admitted to starting a fire in the living room of the family’s 18th-floor high-rise apartment in Hangzhou, planning to put it out quickly to play the hero and use the resulting goodwill to seek more money from her employers. AFP

Armani school kit sparks storm TOKYO―A Japanese school’s plan to introduce Armani-branded uniforms for its students, at a cost of nearly $750 a pop, has sparked complaints and a fierce debate, even reaching as far as parliament. The local education board confirmed to AFP that the Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo’s flashy Ginza district will adopt the designer uniforms from April, with a full set costing parents around 80,000 yen ($740). While the school says the new uniforms are not mandatory, critics said parents would feel compelled to buy them to ensure their children were not left out. Kyodo news agency said the local education board had received a string of complaints from parents, unconvinced by the school’s explanation that the designer uniform would be good branding. In a letter announcing the uniform, the administration reportedly said the outfits were a bid to tie the 150-year-old school to the upscale Ginza district where it is located. AFP


Cesar Barrioquinto, Editor

Region 3 Bulacan-Aurora-Nueva Ecija Irrigation Management Office Office Address Telephone Nos. Email Address

: : :

Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan (044) 766-3888

Telefax No.: TIN No.:

(044) 766-3888 000-578-009-000

Invitation to Bid forTABASACA CIS, PARANG BUGNAN CIS& INASAN CIS February 7, 2018 1.

The National Irrigation Administration–Bulacan-Aurora-Nueva Ecija Irrigation Management Office through the GAA 2018 intends to apply the sum of Twenty Two Million Six Hundred OneThousand Five Hundred Fifty Eight & 58/100 (P22,601,558.58) Pesos being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payments under the contract for Tabasaca CIS, ParangBugnan CIS & Inasan CIS– ITB No. R3-BANE-RRECIS-2018NE-25. Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at bid opening.


The National Irrigation Administration–Bulacan-Aurora-Nueva Ecija Irrigation Management Office now invites bids for Improvement of Canal System and Repair of Dam of Tabasaca CIS, ParangBugnan CIS&Inasan CIS located in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija.1 Completion of the Works is required within One Hundred Twenty (120) days. Bidders should have completed a contract similar to the Project. The description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in Section II. Instruction to Bidders.


Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using nondiscretionary “pass/fail” criterion as specified in the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9184 (RA 9184), otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act.” Bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens/sole proprietorships, cooperatives, and partnerships or organizations with at least seventy five percent (75%) interest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines.


Interested bidders may obtain further information from NIA-BANE IMO, Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.


A complete set of Bidding Documents may be acquired by interested bidders on February 9, 2018 from the address below and upon payment of non-refundable fee of Twenty Two Thousand[P22,000.00] Pesos.


The NIA-BANE IMO will hold a Pre-Bid Conference on February 20, 2018 at NIA Region 3 Conference Room, Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacanat 9:30am which shall beopen to prospective bidders. Site Inspection will be done on February 15, 2018 @ 9:00 a.m.


Bids shall be dropped on designated drop box at the address below on or before March 5, 2018 at 9:30am. All bids must be accompanied by a bid security in any of the acceptable forms and in the amount stated in ITB Clause 18. Bid opening shall be on March 5, 20181:00 pm at NIA Region 3 Conference Room, Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan. Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted.


The NIA – BANE IMOreserves the right to reject any and all bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract at any time prior to contract award in accordance with Section 41 of RA 9184 and its IRR, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders.


For further information, please refer to: ENGR. CLARITA G. SILVERIO BAC Secretariat NIA-BANE IMO Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan 044-766-3888

GOVERNMENT MEETING. This picture taken on February 9, 2018, at the Hotel Matignon in Paris, shows a general view of a governmental meeting on apprenticeship reform. AFP

Ban eyed on gay, pre-marital sex J

AKARTA―Indonesia is pushing to clamp down on gay and pre-marital sex as part of a sweeping criminal law overhaul that critics blame on a wave of religious fundamentalism sweeping across the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation.

The proposed shake up―which also takes aim at condom use and adultery―is winning unprecedented support ahead of the 2019 presidential elections, after earlier attempts to shake up Indonesia’s Dutch-colonial era laws fizzled. Parliament is drawing up the new code with all the major political parties reportedly on board and the

draft is expected to be tabled in the coming months. Wide swathes of Indonesian society―including heterosexual couples who might face jail for having sex outside wedlock or having an affair―may be affected if the laws pass. But the Southeast Asian nation’s small LGBT community could feel the sting most. “Some politicians see

it as an opportunity to cater to the religious base,” said political analyst Yuventius Nicky. “There’s this supposed morality threat that is being queer.” Government officials, religious hardliners and influential Islamic groups have lined up to make antiLGBT statements in public recently. Last month, Google pulled one of the world’s largest gay dating apps from the Indonesian version of its online store in response to government demands. And police have used a tough anti-pornography law to criminalize members of

the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Parliamentary speaker Bambang Soesatyo called this week for a crackdown on the community’s “excesses”, after the health ministry announced it would release a medical guide classifying homosexuality as a “mental disorder”. Gay sex is currently legal everywhere in secular Indonesia except for Aceh where it is banned under the semiautonomous province’s Islamic law. The UN human rights chief blasted Indonesia’s proposed laws and raised them in talks with President Joko Widodo this week. AFP


(MS-FEB. 10, 2018)

Republika ng Pilipinas

(Pambansang Pangasiwaan ng Patubig)

Region 3 Bulacan-Aurora-Nueva Ecija Irrigation Management Office Office Address Telephone Nos. Email Address

: : :

Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan (044) 766-3888

Telefax No.: TIN No.:

(044) 766-3888 000-578-009-000

Invitation to Bid for BUNGA CIS February 6, 2018 1.

The National Irrigation Administration– Bulacan-Aurora-Nueva Ecija Irrigation Management Office through the GAA 2018 intends to apply the sum of Eighteen Million Two Hundred Forty Two Thousand Four Hundred Ninety Five & 74/100 (P18,242,495.74) Pesos being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payments under the contract for Bunga CIS– ITB No. R3-BANE-EEEIS-CIS-2018-NE-22. Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at bid opening.


The National Irrigation Administration –Bulacan-Aurora-Nueva Ecija Irrigation Management Office now invites bids for Improvement of Bunga CIS located in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.1 Completion of the Works is required within Ninety (90) days. Bidders should have completed a contract similar to the Project. The description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in Section II. Instruction to Bidders.


Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using nondiscretionary “pass/fail” criterion as specified in the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9184 (RA 9184), otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act.” Bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens/sole proprietorships, cooperatives, and partnerships or organizations with at least seventy five percent (75%) interest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines.


Interested bidders may obtain further information from NIA-BANE IMO, Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.


A complete set of Bidding Documents may be acquired by interested bidders on February 9, 2018 from the address below and upon payment of non-refundable fee of Eighteen Thousand [P18,000.00]Pesos.


The NIA-BANE IMOwill hold a Pre-Bid Conference on February 19, 2018 at NIA Region 3 Conference Room, Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacanat 3:30pm which shall beopen to prospective bidders. Site Inspection will be done on February 15, 2018 @ 9:00 a.m.


Bids shall be dropped on designated drop box at the address below on or before March 5, 2018 at 9:00am. All bids must be accompanied by a bid security in any of the acceptable forms and in the amount stated in ITB Clause 18. Bid opening shall be on March 5, 20189:30 am at NIA Region 3 Conference Room, Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan. Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted.


The NIA – BANE IMO reserves the right to reject any and all bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract at any time prior to contract award in accordance with Section 41 of RA 9184 and its IRR, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders.


For further information, please refer to: ENGR. CLARITA G. SILVERIO BAC Secretariat NIA-BANE IMO Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan 044-766-3888 (SGD). ENGR. MA. BLANCA B. ALDOVINO BAC Chairperson

(MS-FEB. 10, 2018)

Republic of the Philippines PROVINCE OF QUIRINO Cabarroguis -oOoBIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE INVITATION TO BID FOR Improvement/Concreting of Various Roads of A. Bonifacio/Rizal/Aurora East Contract No. PB-CW-2018-003 February 10, 2018 1.

The Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Provincial Government of Quirino, through the 20% Development Fund Current Appropriation 2018 intends to apply the sum of P17,987,409.18 being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payments under the contract for PB-CW-2018-003 Improvement/Concreting of Various Roads of A. Bonifacio/Rizal/Aurora East, Diffun, Quirino. Bids received in excess of the ABC shall be automatically rejected at bid opening.


The Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Provincial Government of Quirino now invites bids for Improvement/Concreting of Various Roads of A. Bonifacio/ Rizal/Aurora East. Completion of the Works is required by 33 Calendar Days. Bidders should have completed, within five (5) years from the date of submission and receipt of bids, a contract similar to the Project. The description of an eligible bidder is contained in the Bidding Documents, particularly, in Section II. Instructions to Bidders.


Bidding will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using non-discretionary pass/fail criterion as specified in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9184 (RA 9184), otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act”. Bidding is restricted to Filipino citizens/sole proprietorships, partnerships, or organizations with at least seventy five percent (75%) interest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines.

ARRIVAL. Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sibling, arrives at Incheon airport, west of Seoul, on February 9 to attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. AFP

Black box to search for life beyond Earth PARANAL, Chile―In the world’s driest desert, an unassuming black box called “Espresso” is about to begin a very big mission: scouring the universe for planets like ours to find signs of life beyond Earth. Espresso, an instrument known as a spectrograph, has a humble appearance that belies its cutting-edge technology: it is the most precise instrument of its kind ever built, 10 times stronger than its most powerful predecessor. In the Atacama desert, in northern Chile, Espresso will be hooked up to four telescopes so big that scientists simply named them the Very Large Telescope, or VLT. Together, they will search the skies for exoplanets―those outside our own solar system―looking for ones that are similar to Earth. AFP


Interested bidders may obtain further information from Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Provincial Government of Quirino and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below from 9:00 AM to 4:00PM.


A complete set of Bidding Documents may be purchased by interested Bidders from February 10, 2018 to March 5, 2018 from the address below and upon payment of a nonrefundable fee for the Bidding Documents in the amount of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P 20,000.00).

Kim Jong Un’s sister arrives in South Korea SEOUL―North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister landed in the South Friday, the first member of Pyongyang’s ruling dynasty to set foot in its rival since the Korean War. Kim Yo Jong was part of a highlevel diplomatic delegation led by the North’s ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam―its highest-level official ever to go to the South―as the Winter Olympics trigger a diplomatic rapprochement between the rivals. Their white Ilyushin-62 jet, marked in Korean script “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”, the North’s official name, and its tailfin emblazoned with a Northern emblem, touched down at Incheon airport

near Seoul. The last member of the Kim family to set foot in Seoul was Yo Jong’s grandfather Kim Il Sung, the North’s founder, after his forces invaded in 1950 and the capital fell. Three years later the conflict ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided by the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone, and the two sides technically in a state of war. Now the North is subject to multiple rounds of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, while the democratic South has risen to become the world’s 11th-largest economy. AFP

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The BAC will issue hard copies of Bidding Documents at the BAC Secretariat, Capitol Hills, Cabarroguis, Quirino, upon payment of the applicable nonrefundable fee. 6.

The Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Provincial Government of Quirino will hold a Pre-Bid Conference on February 19, 2018, 3:00PM at Special Projects Unit Conference Hall, 2nd Floor, Commercial Bldg., Capitol Compound, Capitol Hills, Cabarroguis, Quirino, which shall be open to all interested parties.


Bids must be delivered to the address below on or before March 5, 2018, 2:00PM at Special Projects Unit Conference Hall, 2nd Floor, Commercial Bldg., Capitol Compound, Capitol Hills, Cabarroguis, Quirino. All bids must be accompanied by a bid security in any of the acceptable forms and in the amount stated in ITB Clause 18.


1st Level Glorietta 3 Ayala, Makati and its branches in Majalco Bldg., Buenavidez St., Legaspi Village, Makati and L & R Bldg., Pasay Road, Makati auction sale on March 05, 2018, 3:00 pm Alabang Town Center, Alabang Zapote Road, MJ Holding Bldg., Almanza Las Piñas, Circle C G14, #17 Congressional Ave., Bahay Toro D1, Quezon City at 9:30 am. All items pawned and unredeemed from January 01 to October 31, 2017. Notary Public. (MS-FEB. 10, 2018)

Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted. Prospective bidders shall submit their duly accomplished forms as specified in the BD’s in two (2) separate sealed bid envelopes to the BAC Chairman. The first envelope shall contain the technical component of the bid. The second envelope shall contain the financial component of the bid. Contract will be awarded to the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bid as determined in the bid evaluation and the post-qualification. 8. 9.

The Provincial Government of Quirino reserves the right to accept or reject any bid, to annul the bidding process, and to reject all bids at any time prior to contract award, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders. For further information, please refer to: Engr. Dencio A. Pagbilao Chairman, Bids and Awards Committee Province of Quirino +639175007275 +639177756155 (SGD) Engr. Dencio A. Pagbilao BAC Chairman

(MS-FEB. 10, 2018)


Dino Ray Directo III, Editor



Toyota plans to deploy this fuel cell bus in Tokyo next year

Trucks &Buses


Give your business a “lift” with Bishamon

CONSIDERED as the backbone of automotive repair and maintenance centers, car lift systems are a crucial element for efficiency and fast after sales service of any car dealer or repair shop. With reliability and dependability as the key element to sustain profitability, investing in the right equipment can make or break a company. For decades, Bishamon automotive lift systems have been the standard and the preferred brand of lift systems in both the international and domestic auto industry. Bishamon lifters dominates 75 percent of the Japan automotive services industry and has been ISO 14001 certified since 2003. It is Japan’s most trusted brand due to its safety and build quality and is the only “made in Japan” car lift system in the country today. For decades, car dealers such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, Isuzu and Mazda dealers have been using Bishamon lifters due to its reliability. “It carries a lifetime warranty, plus the availability of parts and after sales service means a lot to our business. We have been using Bishamon lifters for the past 37 years and it needed servicing once only in 2011. All you do is take care of the grease for the moving parts and the lifters just keeps on going without any hassle,” explains Jason Dipasupil of Baguio City, owner of a popular car shop. Bishamon quality has been tested to still work despite being subjected to natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes and even zero maintenance. Founded in 1949 by Yasuo Sugiura of Sugiyasu Iron Works, Bishamon Lifters is Japan’s number one car lift system and is a globally recognized brand for its reliability and build quality. Bishamon is exclusively distributed by Emicor Incorporated since 1980 and is the choice of car dealers nationwide.

Tokyo to use fuel cell powered buses by Toyota next year


LOBAL automotive giant Toyota Motor Corporation is fast tracking their efforts to develop fuel cell powered trucks and buses in their aim to produce more environment friendly vehicles as part of the Japan auto industry’s goal to shift towards electrifying vehicles. Toyota also revealed that the company is planning to launch carbon dioxide free vehicles mainly in Tokyo next year. Fuel cell vehicles are still better placed than electric vehicles in terms of charging time and longer driving range. Introduced last year at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Sora fuel cell concept bus runs using a Toyota Fuel Cell System, which was originally developed for the Toyota Mirai fuel cell sedan. Executive Vice President Didier Leroy stressed that

the Sora represents Toyota’s continuing desire to realize a “hydrogen society.” Toyota plans to develop a bus based on the Sora and supply over 100 units in central Tokyo in time for the 2020 Olympic Games. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen and oxygen to power themselves. Oxygen and hydrogen, which is stored in a highpressure tank, are sent to the fuel cell stack, where the two gases are reacted together to generate electricity to power

the motor. The only byproduct is water, which is discharged from the vehicle. The Sora has two fuel cell stacks, two motors and 10 hydrogen tanks so as to increase output. Each tank contains up to 600 milliliters of hydrogen, about five times the amount on the Mirai. The bus has an external power supply system with an output capacity of 9kW that can generate 235 kilowatt-hours of electricity so that it can be used in emergencies, such as after natural disasters.

The bus also has improved safety features. It is the first bus in Japan to be equipped with an acceleration control system, which prevents sudden acceleration. The ride is made more comfortable for passengers, especially those standing, by eliminating jerky movements caused by shifting gears. Eight high-definition cameras help prevent accidents. Fuel cell vehicles need less time to charge up with fuel than electric vehicles. They also have longer driving

range than their electric cousins. Once the necessary infrastructure, such as hydrogen stations, becomes widely available, fuel cell technology will have a greater advantage for use in buses and commercial trucks that travel on fixed routes. They are also less than internal combustion engine-powered vehicles and more powerful than electrics. “We can make the most of fuel cell vehicles’ advantages,” Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said.

Isuzu gets serious in e-Truck technology ISUZU will launch this year an electric light-duty truck suitable for trash collection and light shipping in cities, joining the growing global push to dispense with gasoline and diesel in commercial vehicles. Based on the popular NS e ries

midsize offerings, this will mark the automaker’s first widely available electric truck. It will charge in an hour or so and offer a range of around 100km -- enough for a day of the short-range deliveries many light-duty trucks are used for. The electric will be in the same class as a diesel-burning N-Series truck of around 5.9 tons, thanks to optimizations offsetting the weight of the lithium-ion storage battery. It will be on display at the Tokyo Motor Show, opening to the public Friday. Isuzu envisions the vehicle handling the same work as conventional midsize trucks, including collecting garbage and distributing products to convenience stores. Logistics companies and retailers will be encouraged to adopt it early on and see how it can be made more cost-effective. Though the electric truck will sell for more than diesel counterparts, Isuzu aims to eventually ensure that upfront costs can be recouped in three to five years. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus

handed over its first electric lightduty trucks to convenience store operator Seven-Eleven Japan and shipping company Yamato Transport this month as part of an initial 150-vehicle production run. The automaker aims to bring a heavier medium-duty model to market in two to three years. Electric passenger cars are already taking off around the world, helped by policies promoting them as alternatives to gas and diesel vehicles. The U.K. and France have said they will ban the sale of conventional passenger cars in 2040. Commercial vehicles are not far behind. Electric trucks and buses on the world’s roads will more than quadruple from 2015 levels to around 570,000 in 2035, market research firm Fuji Keizai predicts. China now leads the way in electric commercial vehicles. But Japanese automakers see ample demand for electric trucks in cities of their home country. Quieter operation than diesels makes the new vehicles well-suited to nighttime deliveries in residential areas, for example.


bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor @manilastandardlife

travel and leisure

@MstandardLIfe saturday, february 10, 2018


Text and photos by Bernadette Lunas


hen you only have a day to explore a city as large as Davao, there are two questions you need to answer, first is “Where do you go?” and second is “how are you going to do it?”

A day in Davao City

Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao is the only resort hotel in the city that offers easy access to Samal Island

Check into your hotel

Waterfront Insular hotel Davao, located on Km. 7 Lanang, is an ideal jumping-off point for a day of exploring Davao City. It is close to the city’s commercial and business hubs as well as to some of the most stunning spots in the area. The 56-year-old hotel, previously owned by the Ayalas of Davao before the acquisition of the Waterfront Group in 1999, served as home to guests traveling for business or pleasure; it has become one of the most popular landmarks in the city. “When people, particularly Davaoeños, say ‘Insular,’ they know it’s this property,” said Bryan Yves Lasala, the hotel’s general manager. Getting inside the hotel is like walking into a small piece of history. Unlike hotels built in previous years, Waterfront Insular’s 159 neo-classic designed guest rooms are well-lit, wellventilated, and spacious—offering ample floor area to move around onto. Its lush gardens and sprawling lawns are clean and well-maintained.

Davao City is a tourist gem on the southeastern seaboard of Mindanao. The 2,444-square kilometer piece of land boasts cosmopolitan comforts amid a picturesque backdrop of sprawling landscapes, diverse nature reserves, and world-class beaches. It’s for the traveler who wants to take a dip in the sea in the morning, shop at the mall at noon, pick fresh vegetables in the afternoon, and rest in a premier hotel in the evening. But if you only have a day to get to know Davao, the key is a condensed itinerary that includes destinations within short distance from each other.

Relax in the hotel’s charming and spacious guest rooms and suites

Admittedly however, the hotel is already showing its age. Some facilities are worn and several furnishings are dated. To keep up with the preferences and demands of today’s hotel guests, the Waterfront Group recently announced a P400-million budget allocation for the renovations of Waterfront Insular. According to Lasala, the first phase of the major overhaul will focus on the three existing buildings: lobby, function rooms, restaurants, and guest rooms. They are also planning to add 500 more rooms, a convention property, eight to 10 more function rooms, and a MICe building “somewhere near the entry, by the driveway.” They are strengthening their MICe facilities to further increase their market share. “Our target is to start renovations in mid or late this year,” said Lasala. The renovations, as Lasala clarified, will not affect the original face of the three buildings which were designed by national Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin. “We want to keep it as is because it has its own character.”

Take a dip in the sea

Another unique feature of Waterfront Insular hotel is its location near Samal Island, which is famous for its clear blue waters and fine white sand beaches. A five-minute boat ride from the hotel’s jetty port will bring you to the island. Front desk personnel can connect guests to some of the resorts on Samal. If you are looking for a quiet and secluded location, there is the quaint Chema’s by the Sea. Located in a sprawling 6,000-square meter prime lot on the island, the lush resort features a Balinese-inspired rooms, with Mediterranean, Spanish, and Filipino touches. Take a morning dip into the resort’s salt water infinity pool with a view of the Davao Gulf or frolic on the beach while enjoying a refreshing smoothie. Day tour is P300 per person. Contact 0917-814-0814 for inquiries. But if you don’t want to move farther from your deluxe room at Waterfront Insular, the hotel also has its own beachfront—the only hotel in Davao City to have one—although the water is not swimmable. It’s 10-feet deep pool is also perfect for a few laps in the morning.

Chema’s by the Sea on Samal Island features a salt water infinity pool and Balinese-inspired rooms

Go on a nature walk

An hour drive from the hotel will bring you to the eden nature Park and Resort, an 80-hectare mountain resort that offers a number of natural attractions such as flower gardens, butterfly garden, aviary, and vegetable gardens, among others; as well as thrilling adventure activities like the Skyrider, Skycycle, and Skyswing. enjoy the cool breeze as you tackle the 4-kilometer eden Mountain Trail or while aboard the shuttle for the 60-minute guided tour. Day tour inclusive of buffet lunch is P600 per adult. Call (082) 286-0383 for inquiries.

Ossobuco Caldereta with mashed ube and roasted vegetables

Shop and dine

Enjoy the cool breeze at the 80-hectare Eden Nature Park and Resort

About 20-minutes from Waterfront Insular is Davao’s famous Aldevinco Shopiing Center, where you can score pearl jewelry, batik clothes and accessories, and brass items, among many others. But not very far from your room are a few stalls in the hotel’s garden which sell Sulu pearls, durian delicacies, and various knickknacks. Indulge in sumptuous meals in the hotel’s in-house restaurants. Cafe Uno for breakfast and lunch buffet and all-day ala carte menu, Pizzaiolo for freshly baked pastries and pizas, and La Parilla for grilled seafood and barbecues.




Things I didn’t know about Nagasaki MERCURY RISING



RANSLATING to “Long Cape” in English, Nagasaki is located on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Ever since I was in high school, I’ve always known it to be the second city, after Hiroshima, on the receiving end of an atomic bomb attack by the Americans, which practically wiped out its population.

Everything I knew about Nagasaki came from my late father who was a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and who joined PEFTOK (Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea), the Philippine Army contingent of the United Nations forces that fought in the Korean War. My father told me that during World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, thousands of Americans died when, in 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army staged a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a deep water naval base on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. At that time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the President of the United States. Since the war dragged on, causing the loss of many more American lives, the succeeding US President, Harry Truman, had to think of a way to put a stop to it and agonized over the decision to drop those deadly atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was after he complied with the Quebec Agreement which the US earlier signed with the United Kingdom. This Agreement calls for both countries to work together for the development of nuclear weapons but such will not be used on each other or on any other country without the full consent of both parties. So, on August 6, 1945, an American B-29 Superfortress named Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, wiping out 90 percent of the city, killing immediately 80,000 people, with thousands more dying of radiation exposure through the succeeding months and years. Three days later, a second B-29 Superfortress named Bockscar dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people on impact, and thousands more of radiation-related illnesses through the succeeding months. This eventually

Nagasaki, as seen from the Mt. Inasa Observatory—the highest point in the city. (Inset) The symbolic statue at the Peace Memorial Park

caused Japan’s Emperor Hirohito to announce his country’s unconditional surrender, officially putting an end to World War II on September 2, 1945, less than a month after the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not too long ago, together with other friends, I had the opportunity to visit Nagasaki for the first time. I was so confident that I knew everything that happened to the city during the war, until I listened to our tour guide who shared with us new, interesting trivia about it. I was pleased to learn that, since the early 17th century, Nagasaki was a center of Portuguese and Dutch influence. In fact, a group of Jesuit missionaries even held fort in the area and, for a while, it became a Jesuit colony. Some of the Christian churches and religious sites that are still standing in the city and suburbs have been nominated for inclusion in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Of course, my first ques- “epicenter.” Ignorant me, she gave me a symbolism of the statue, a virile reption to our tour guide was lecture that Nagasaki’s “Ground Zero” resentation of Japan, at the Nagasaki about our safety. Is the city is called “hypocenter” because the Peace Park, as shown in the photo on free from radiation? The bomb actually exploded 500 meters this page. Its right hand points upwards, World Health Organization above the ground. The three-kilometer calling attention to the ever-present has declared, many decades radius around Ground Zero saw con- danger of nuclear warfare, while the ago, that the city is free from crete buildings turning to bubbles under extended left hand is a fervent wish for any radioactive substance, as the 4000-degree heat brought about by peace in our world. The closed eyes signify a prayer for the bomb victims. The proven by the growth of lush the explosion. On a more pleasant topic, I didn’t folded right leg shows an act of meditavegetation everywhere in the city, and by its present popu- know that Nagasaki has the most tion while the extended left leg shows readiness to stand up lation of 1.2 million. and rescue victims of But I didn’t know that atrocities, like those of a the primary target of the YOUR WEEKEND CHUCKLE nuclear attack. second atomic bomb was Mrs. Johnson decided to have her own portrait painted by The statue looked actually another city, a well-known artist. She told him, “Paint me with 2-carat even more symbolic, Kokura, due to the large as it was surrounded by weapons arsenal there diamond earrings, a large 5-carat diamond ring with several origami pieces which the US forces wantbaguettes, glimmering emerald bracelets and a beautiful in the shape of a crane ed to destroy. However, red ruby pendant.” “But ma’am, you are not wearing any of which, per our tour heavy dark clouds blanketthose things,” said the artist. “I know,” said Mrs. Johnson. guide, is the Japanese ed the city, making it dif“My health is not good and my husband is having an affair symbol for peace. What ficult for the pilot to zero with his secretary. When I die, I’m sure he will marry her, a fitting reminder of an in on the exact mark, so he and I want the bitch to go nuts looking for the jewelry.” incident that certainly decided to drop the bomb in Nagasaki instead, which was also a secondary target due to the existence of the massive Mitsubishi warship building facility in the city. I kept on hearing from our tour guide the word “hypocenter” as the exact location where the atomic bomb was dropped, so I asked if she actually meant

number of Catholics in Japan. In fact, 10 percent of the city’s population are Catholics, while the entire Japan registers only four percent Catholics who, based on the stats, are probably concentrated in Nagasaki. What I found quite poetic was the

Where to bring your date on Valentine’s Day

changed the world! I’m sure the rest of the world joins Japan in fervently praying that Nagasaki will continue to be the last city on earth to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon. For feedback, I’m at

Sweet treats for solo parents

SWEEP your sweetheart off their feet with this hearts’s day date ideas in some of the premier hotels in the country.

Makati Diamond Residences

Spend quality time together in a 64-square meter One Bedroom suite for P8,500 net or in a 41-square meter Studio for P6,500. Both room packages include breakfast for two, complimentary mini bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, local city calls, and access to the property’s facilities and amenities. Call (02) 317-0999

Discovery Suites Manila

For a totally unique experience, enjoy an intimate dinner on the helipad and revel at the stars from the building’s 43rd floor. A four-course meal, with a bottle of wine and cheese platter, is priced at P15,000 nett for two persons. Up the ante by staying in a One-bedroom suite for P20,000, inclusive of the four-course helipad menu. Call (02) 719-8888

Richmonde Hotel Ortigas

Choose from three room packages, depending on your preferences: The Intimate Deal comes with an overnight stay for P3,200 nett, the Bed and Breakfast booking includes breakfast buffet for two at P3,700 nett, and the Valentine Package package has additional wine and cheese for P4,200 nett. Call (02) 638-7777 Discovery Shores Boracay Whisk your loved one away to Boracay island to partake of the creative coastal cuisine at Indigo Restaurant for P5,000++ for two persons. Call (02) 720-8888

Club Paradise Palawan

Travel to paradise and book a special rate of P12,500++ per night in a Garden Suite, inclusive of daily breakfast for two, roundtrip Busuanga Airport transfers, plus 15 percent discount at Glow Spa. Call (02) 719-6971

Valentine’s Day events are usually intended for couples. But this doesn’t mean that those flying solo can’t at least join in the fun, too. This ‘love month,’ Century City Mall honors all solo parents via a fun and interactive two-day event full of treats from Century Cafe, as well as financial wellness and self-care talks from industry experts. On Feb. 11 and 12, solo parents will get to know more about Manulife’s GradMaker, a mobile app that guides the user on how to prepare for the child’s education. Guest speaker from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, on the other hand, will tackle the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000 or RA 8972, a law enacted to provide a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children. During the two-day event, guests will have a chance to win cinema tickets for Century City Cinema or an overnight staycation from Siglo Suites at one of the hot properties of Century Properties. To pre-register visit Solo_and_proud_registration.php or go to for more information.



Nickie Wang, Issue Editor

JaDine rocks the



HOUSANDS of concertgoers flocked to the Big Dome to witness James Reid and Nadine Lustre headline the Revolution: The Jadine Concert on Friday night. It can be recalled that JaDine figured in the recordbreaking Jadine In Love show that was also held at the Big Dome two years ago. The concert celebrating the high ratings of their TV series On The Wings Of Love, sold out in just one week and became the occasion when James made the admission that he and Nadine were indeed in love. Produced by VIVA Live, JaDine set the bar higher with Revolution’s fierce, grittier style. James and Nadine showed their versatility on the concert

stage as they performed hits like “Bahala Na” and “Para-Paraan” along with the hot new sounds including “Stay Up,” “Cool Down” and “IL2LU,” culled from their latest album. Presented by Manulife, Champion, and Hot Shots, Revolution: The Jadine Concert featured Sarah Geronimo, Sam Concepcion, Kiana Valenciano, and Bret Jackson as guest performers. The sold out concert was directed by Paul Basinillo with G-Force’s Teacher Georcelle as dance director and Jay Agustin as the musical director.

That OPM classic written 20 minutes inside a bathroom THE bathroom may be an interesting spot to compose a tune. More so, for a piece that would become instant classic. But that exactly what happened when Moy Ortiz, the de facto leader of iconic vocal group The CompanY, came up with the tune to “Pagdating Ng Panahon.” It is a song that transformed Aiza Seguerra from that amiable Eat Bulaga kid into a loved, respected voice on the local music scene. Arguably, the track, with lyrics penned by Edith Gallardo, is the biggest to date for any OPM released in this young 21st century. “Yes that was true. I wrote it inside the bathroom in my parents’ home in Merville, Paraaque. It took me 20 minutes to do it,” recalled Moy when asked if this apparently intriguing detail about the song actually happened. Last Monday, Moy and Aiza were in the same room, not a bathroom, as they were promoting their upcoming twonight twinbill Valentine show set at the Music Museum on Feb. 13 and 14, called This Is Us. Of course, Moy will be with the rest of The CompanY, while Aiza is consciously nicknamed “Ice” for the first time in a concert poster. How will they treat “Pagdating” into the repertoire is anybody’s excitement. The show, with Beth Martin as musical director, likewise promises innovatively arranged Stevie Wonder, Bread, and Carpenters classics, along with Ice’s serenading versions of The CompanY’s own dosage of hits. Both acts could clearly spend an hour happily talking about “Pagdating Ng Panahon.” Moy remembered receiving the lyrics through fax; he was away from any instrument while inside that bathroom; it was majority’s nod that more than ten recorded renditions of the song did not come close to the beauty of Ice’s original take. And there was no regret that The CompanY did not record and release it first. As Moy declared, “His (referring to Ice) recording is a perfect marriage of voice and composition.” The seasoned songwriter-

performer tried to put sense as to why a love song written near a YUGEL toilet bowl would end up flushing LOSORATA out any remaining doubt as for his talent to come up with a hit song. He shared, “I remember I was stuck in Cubao with friends and discussing about the next big OPM hit. And then I realized ako na pala ang taya. That song was like a download from God.” Proudly into classic acts, Moy thought that his liking for Bread’s songwriting style prompted the mood of “Pagdating’s” tune. Oddly enough, he wanted it done in a faster tempo. But a record label’s decision ensured that the song sounded like a pure, caressing ballad. It worked. The hitmaker added, “Singing is telling stories with honesty and harmony. Not that I am against belting, but authenticity can be sung without having to belt.” That was what Ice did for “Pagdating Ng Panahon.” (Editor’s note: Yugel Losorata is a seasoned figure in the Philippine music press, having written

articles about music and entertainment for various dailies, magazines, and online m e d i a portals. He is a professional songwriter and bass player. A recording artist since 2005, he is currently a band member of The Pub Forties. This is his column’s first entry.) Aiza “Ice” Seguerra

POWER COUPLE. James Reid and Nadine Lustre return on the concert stage with the country’s relevant pop stars as their guest performers.


‘Day Off ’ celebrates 12th anniversary DAY Off, GMA News TV’s long-running reality show, is celebrating 12 years of recognizing the mostdeserving and hardworking Filipinos here and abroad. And what better way to mark this occasion than by going to what is considered the “Heart of Asia”— Taiwan. But instead of treating other people, Day Off decided to throw a surprise treat to its hosts Ken Chan and Janine Gutierrez. After more than a year of alternately switching with the show’s weekly winners, Ken and Janine will receive “a dose of reward” from Day Off today. The two are caught off guard when they find out that they are this week’s Day Off winners. “Sobrang busy kami ni Janine sa Pilipinas dahil sa mga trabaho namin. Parang ngayon lang ulit kami nakapag-break,” shares Ken. “Nakaka-touch, nakakagulat. Sobrang happy lang ‘yung feeling talaga tsaka sobrang thankful,” says Janine of the program’s surprise to her and Ken. Joining Ken and Janine in their “#travelgoal” is

The ‘Day Off ’ squad exploring dining options in Taiwan’s capital.

segment host Maey Bautista. The three get to relax in the Private Hot Spring and visit the Beitou Thermal Valley amid its 85 to 95 degrees Celsius temperature. The Day Off team also marvels at the rock formations in Yehliu Geopark. In Taipei, Ken and Janine explore the Tallest Green Building in the World—the Taipei 101. Meanwhile in Shifen Old Street, the group tries the famous tradition of launching sky lanterns. Each host writes a special message on the sky lantern. The Day Off hosts also get a dose of Taiwan history as they

visit the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and witness the famous changing of guards. An exciting dining experience awaits them in Modern Toilet. And even if they are the ones on vacation, Ken, Maey, and Janine will not pass up the opportunity to get to know some of the Overseas Filipino Workers living in Taiwan. They even ask their help in buying souvenir items in Ximending Night Market. Day Off’s 12th Anniversary Special airs today at 6:15 p.m. on GMA News TV.

‘Day Off ’ hosts Ken Chan (leftmost) and Janine Gutierrez with segment host Maey Bautista (center) giving viewers a perspective of Taipei at the observation deck of the world’s tallest green building.

Joel D. Lacsamana, Editor



Central Luzon, emerging business destination Sun-baked region gears up to be next real estate, infrastructure hub

Elephant in the room NO IGNORING classy luxury when you see it, feel it. For 85 years, Ethan Allen championed craftsmanship in every frame and attention to detail reflected in its handcrafted furniture pieces. Quality craftsmanship is ostensibly not a lost art with this furniture maker. Each piece starts from the choice of the best materials available to the details that

adorn each item. Call it traditional, but Ethan Allen believes in the value of these time -honored techniques, while at the same time embracing modern techniques. The company continues to step up its design portfolio with the launch of new furniture collections: the Passport collection features pieces influenced by the well-

traveled and cultured with pieces that are refreshed with a touch of modern perspective. The Uptown Collection features the marriage of neo-classic designs with a sleek modern outlook that exudes a quiet elegance and delivers impactful drama with chic fabrics and sophisticated finishes. Ethan Allen is distributed by Focus Global Inc.

GAINING ATTENTION. Masterplanned by Palafox Associates, the Infinity will be a 40-hectare development that will house business, commercial and residential features.


LARK, PAMPANGA - Culinary adventures, an agricultural hotspot, creative tourist attractions. These are some of the reasons why Central Luzon is fast becoming the to-go destination north of Metro Manila.

But as modernization and investment opportunities enter the area, Central Luzon is becoming a hub for business and leisure as well A number of real estate players have already seen the potential that the region offers. Among them is AC Beautiful Islands (ACBI) realty development corporation, the real estate arm of the JENRA Group of Companies. The Infinity by ACBI is located at the gateway of Central Luzon, and directly connected to the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) via the Angeles Exit. “The Infinity will kick off 2018 by welcoming our newest locators PTT and Skygold,” said Byron John T. Siy, ACBI’s general manager. “With all the upcoming infrastructure in the area, we’re sure that the Infinity will soon be comparable even with established CBD’s in the metro city.” Central Luzon currently has a world-class airport, the world’s largest indoor arena, and an all-weather golf course. New support structures are underway around the region. Clark International Airport Clark International Airport, the Philippines’ gateway to the world from the Central and Northern Luzon provinces, could very well replace Metro Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as the country’s main aviation center in the future.

Clark’s new terminals, the Diosdado Macapagal Terminal and Terminal 2 were expanded to serve low-cost carriers.Two more terminals are expected to be completed and will be fully operational by 2025. These four terminals will boost Clark’s passenger capacity to more than 110 million annually. The airport is also being billed to become one of the country’s first “aerotropolis”, or a community that features a world-class airport and surrounded by business clusters and residential developments. At par with the world The construction of Metro Rail Transit Line’s newest railway – MRT-7 is already in progress. This improvement will make Bulacan just half an hour away from Metro Manila by 2020. The 22-kilometer railway system will have 14 stations from MRT-3 North Edsa to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. The project will lessen congestion on major roads going north. Several expressways will likewise link Central Luzon to Metro Manila and its surrounding regions to ensure an easier and faster travel time. The proposed North Luzon East Expressway (NLEE), a 92.1 kilometer fourlane expressway will connect Commonwealth Avenue to Nueva Ecija. Also being built is the 66.4 kilometer Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx) that will link Tarlac City to San Jose, Nueva Ecija. The Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) that links Hermosa, Bataan to Tarlac City; and the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEx) that links Tarlac City to La Union, are already operational. “Given the investments by both the public and private sector to Central Luzon, we are positive that Central Luzon will finally gain the attention it deserves,” said Siy.

GRAND EXPERIENCE. The Grand Hyatt Manila recently opened its doors to the public. The soft opening gathered top executives of Federal Land, Inc., ORIX Corporation, Metrobank and Bonifacio Landmark Realty and Development Corp. – the movers behind the development. Grand Hyatt Manila, nestled within the 66-storey, Metrobank Center, features personalized service and accommodation, epicurean dining at the Grand Kitchen and The Cellar, and world-class entertainment, drinks galore at the Lobby Lounge. At the opening were Federal Land Inc. chairman Alfred V. Ty (second from right) and Grand Hyatt SVP of operations for Asia Pacific, Tom Smith. Federal Land, Inc. is a member and one of GT Capital Holdings’ property arms. “WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE LA ALEGRIA.” Dubbed the “Paris of

Negros”, La Alegria is a 67-hectare lake residential community being developed by Sta. Lucia Land in the historic City of Silay. La Alegria offers 1,101 residential lots with cuts ranging from 150 sqm to 300sqm, and 83 commercial lots, whose sizes will range from 500 sqm to 1,000 sqm. Prices of lots start at around P4,000 to P5,000 per sqm. “We are aware of the Negrenses’ love for knowledge and appreciation for the arts and thus, what we aim to bring them is a development that would pay homage to the city’s heritage and culture,” said Sta. Lucia president Exequiel Robles.

FLEXIBLE CONDOS. The Vantage, Rockwell Primaries’

first high-rise development in Kapitolyo, Pasig City, allows condo homeowners to convert their second room to a den, nursery, an entertainment room, or even into their home office. Rockwell Primaries recognizes the need for a more flexible condo unit that will cater to a client’s lifestyle. Enter The Vantage’s one and two-bedroom units that can be transformed into the space that one needs. The onebedroom unit whose sizes range from 40 – 43 sqm, is slightly larger than the normal sizes of 1BR units. Homeowners have the option to move around more, and personalize each nook and cranny according to their liking. The two-bedroom unit provides more freedom for residents to get creative and transform their second room as well. The Vantage will be turned over by 2020.

International furniture show in March

THE Philippines International Furniture Show (PIFS), one of Southeast Asia’s premier trade fairs, will be held on March 8 to 10 at the SMX convention center, Mall of Asia complex in Manila. Jointly organized by the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc. (CFIF), the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP), and the Pampanga Furniture Industries Foundation (PFIF), the show will offer an extensive range of furniture products, accessories, and décor. “The PIFS will show the ingenuity of our local manufacturers and designers, how we interpret the latest industry trends, and in many cases, take the lead in design innovation,” said Eduardo Zuluaga, event chairman of PIFS, and president of

the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines. As a show feature, PIFS will showcase the craft of one of the most respected hardwood artists in the country. Osmundo Esguerra, a self-made furniture maker who has made a name for himself by having a distinct style and approach in handling indigenous wood (Inset). Branded as the ultimate design event, PIFS will once again be held alongside the

Interior & Design Manila, the most sought-after event for architects, interior designers and design enthusiasts. Over 200 furniture manufacturers, designers and brands will be featured at this year’s PIFS. One-day complimentary passes are available at www.pifs.p. The event can also be found on Facebook: /PIFSmanila and on Instagram: @PIFS_ manila.

Weather-proofing that lasts UNPREDICTABLE weather in the Philippines expose homes to the elements. If roofs, walls, floors and ceilings are still good, reinforce or weather-proof your home using marine plywood. Marine plywood is thicker, harder and sturdier than ordinary plywood. SMWPI Wood Products, Inc. has a tradition of producing Santa Clara Marine Plywood since 1923. The SMWPI plant in Toril, Davao City, follows a manufacturing process which involves selection of high density raw materials, modern production techniques, and stringent quality control tests. Their products bear stickers with barcode and tracking numbers, stamped logo and/or laser etching, to assure customers that it is a good product for weather-proofing homes.

Manila Standard - 2018 February 10 - Saturday  

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

Manila Standard - 2018 February 10 - Saturday  

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