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SC justice backs ML extension ‘No limit as long as threats exist in Mindanao’; issue splits solons By Rey E. Requejo and Macon Ramos-Araneta

VOL. XXXII • NO. 299 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2018 • •


UPREME Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Monday said there is nothing illegal in the Duterte administration’s plan to extend martial law in Mindanao. “As long as the grounds for declaring martial law continue to exist, then you can continue with martial law,” Carpio said in an interview. “There’s no limit. It can be extended without limit,” he added. Earlier, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman questioned the plan, saying a third extension would “unduly and inordinately prolong the regime of martial law in Mindanao.” But Carpio cited the Supreme Court decision in July 2017 that upheld the constitutionality of the martial law declaration and also the ruling in February 2018 that affirmed the one-year extension until the end of this year. In upholding Proclamation 216, the Court held that the requisites for the declaration of martial law were present in Mindanao, particularly the existence of a “real and present rebellion” that threatened lives and liberty in Mindanao. The Court later allowed the one-year extension of proclamation since the bases of martial law still existed, as shown by evidence submitted by the Armed Forces. At the time, the Court also said it had no power to review the decision of Congress to grant Duterte’s request for a one-year extension. It said it could only step in once there is a clear showing of arbitrary and improvident use of power by Congress. Next page

War on drugs protects lives —Palace

RIGHTS MARCH. Activists and human rights advocates gather at Mendiola in San Miguel, Manila near the Benedictine-run San Beda University and Centro Escolar University on Monday to mark the 70th International Human Rights Day. Protesters continue to lament the killings and what they said were violations of human rights and vowed to defend the people’s rights against claimed government attacks. At right, they later burn an effigy of President Rodrigo Duterte. Norman Cruz

By Nat Mariano

House leader vents ire on Diokno over pork insertions in new budget By Maricel V. Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta HOUSE Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. on Monday slammed Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno for allegedly fooling Congress when he allowed the approval of the supposed annual budget of the Duterte administration without amending the big-ticket items―such as the billions in budgets in the congressional districts.

“They [DBM] are saying that Congress is ‘prohibited’ from touching the budget but when we talked to the President [Duterte], he said ‘just do what you have to do.’ “So that order was for us not to touch the budget, but in reality we are just being fooled,” Andaya, the representative of Camarines Sur’s first district, said in a privileged speech. This developed as Diokno declined Next page

Sandigan clears way for turnover of P75-b coco levy to gov’t coffers By Maricel V. Cruz THE Sandiganbayan has denied a plea aimed at stopping the turnover of at least P75 billion in coconut levy funds to the government. In a resolution dated Dec. 3 but released only on Dec. 7, the anti-graft court’s Second Division rejected all the appeals filed by United Coconut Planters

THE Duterte administration’s “unrelenting” crusade against illegal drugs and criminality has protected “the lives of the innocent law-abiding citizens of the country,” Malacañang said on Monday as the country joined the global observance of the 70th year of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Palace claims come amid widespread condemnation by human rights groups of the government’s bloody war on drugs, which has claimed the lives of thousands of drug suspects and users. In a letter released by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat, said the rule of law was upheld as the guilty are brought to justice

Life Assurance Corp., United Coconut Planters Bank, the six Coconut Industry Investment Fund companies, and the 14 holding companies. The Sandiganbayan said the arguments raised by these parties were rehashed. “In this case, the parties presented the same arguments that have already been judiciously passed upon and properly Next page

Time: PH skateboarder among influential teens ASIAN Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal is the only Filipino in Time magazine’s list of 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018. The 19-year-old skateboarder from Cebu City rose to prominence after winning the gold medal in the women’s street skateboard competition at the 2018 Asian Games. Next page

Power, oil prices up slightly BUSINESS B1

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PH slides to 73rd spot worldwide in freedom index By Jimbo Gulle THE Philippines is the third-freest country in South Asia, but global freedom has continued its slight decline—from 7.07 to 6.89 on a 10-point scale—since 2008, according to the fourth annual Human Freedom Index (HFI), a project co-published by influential American, Canadian, and German institutes.

Among the 162 countries listed in the index, the Philippines fell two spots to 73rd in the fourth edition of the annual list, touted as “the most comprehensive measure of freedom ever created for a large number of countries around the globe.” New Zealand tops the rankings this year followed by Switzerland, in the index co-published by Washington-based Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in

Canada, and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Germany. The HFI “captures the degree to which people are free to enjoy important rights such as freedom of speech, religion, association, and assembly, and also measures freedom of movement, women’s freedoms, crime and violence, and legal Next page

Acquittal rids Revilla of liability—lawyer FORMER Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. was not among those ordered to pay P124 million in civil liabilities after the Sandiganbayan acquitted him of plunder, his lawyer said Monday. “There is no basis for them to actually find Senator Bong [Revilla] criminally liable, then very clearly, [he] is not civilly liable,” Ramon Esguerra told the ANC news channel Monday. Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code states that every person found criminally liable for felony is also found civilly liable, Esguerra said. “If Senator Revilla was not found criminally liable by reason of his acquittal, how can he be held civilly liable,” he added. The anti-graft court acquitted Revilla of plunder, citing the prosecution’s failure to prove he received kickbacks worth P224.5 million after channeling his pork barrel to bogus foundations established by Janet Lim Napoles. Next page

NON-ISSUANCE OF RECEIPTS. A handicraft Christmas decors store at the Suki Market in Kanlaon in Quezon City gets an early Yuletide closure after it was ordered padlocked by authorities for non-issuance of receipts and has failed to settle the right amount of tax to the BIR by store owner Clarice Norma Maog. The store was among several establishments closed down by BIR this month. Manny Palmero




Trillanes on bail sets foreign trips By Macon Ramos-Araneta


ENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV filed Monday before a Pasay court P96,000 bail bond for his temporary liberty over a libel case filed by former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.

filed by former Davao City vice mayor and presidential son Paolo Duterte and presidential son-in-law Manases Carpio in September. Trillanes earlier said he was to turn himself in to authorities but decided to post bail on Monday. The senator also argued that under the 1987 Constitution he was immune from arrest for offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment while Congress is in session. Trillanes also denounced the warrant of arrest as another attempt to silence him as one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics. The presidential son filed a libel case against Trillanes after the opposition senator accused him of corruption. Trillanes, in 2017, claimed the younger Duterte and brother-in-law Manases Carpio were involved in a scheme to

extort money from ride-hailing firms. In an affidavit, the younger Duterte accused Trillanes of libel after the latter accused him of corruption and extortion involving ride-hailing services, the Road Board and the Department of Public Works and Highways, in a radio interview with dyAB Cebu’s Leo Lastimosa last Sept. 8, 2017. According to Duterte, it was in September 2017 when Carpio showed to him a video of Trillanes’ radio interview. “Watching it, I was aghast to hear the respondent maliciously accusing me and my brother-in-law, Atty. Manases Carpio, of supposed rampant and widespread corruption and extortion. Admittedly, this based on sheer information fed to him, the identity of whom, however, he did not identify nor disclose,” he said in his affidavit. With Joel Zurbano and Rey E. Requejo

Trillanes, accompanied by his legal counsel, posted the bail before the sala of Pasay City Judge Rowena Nieves Tan, three days after the Davao City Regional Court Branch 54 issued four warrants for his arrest, P24,000 for each of four counts of libel. Trillanes was scheduled to fly to The Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom from Dec. 11, 2018 to Jan. 12, 2019, and the US from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10, 2019 to meet different groups and attend various activities as part of his official duties. In a related development, Justice Sec-

retary Menardo Guevarra ordered the Bureau of Immigration to allow Trillanes to leave the country as long as there is no hold departure order issued by any court against him. Guevarra made the statement after the Davao City Regional Trial Court required Trillanes to comment within five days on the motion of Department of Justice to issue an HDO against him for libel. The DOJ sought the issuance of an HDO after the same branch issued four arrest warrants against the senator on December 7 over four counts of libel


Balangiga bells bound for Samar from Okinawa

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in the government’s “unrelenting… crusade against criminality, corruption, terrorism, insurgency and the proliferation of human drugs.” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, on the other hand, reiterated the government’s stance that there are no officially sanctioned killings. “Human rights, as depicted by the critics, as well as those critics from abroad, do not reflect what is happening on the ground. When they keep on saying that many have been killed, they make it appear as if the killings are state-initiated. But we have repeatedly said that the fact alone that policemen are killed during operation will already rebut the theory that this is state-initiated,” Panelo said in a press briefing Monday. He said those killed in the drug war had fought back against the police, or had been killed by drug lords who wanted to silence them. According to the latest data of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, almost 5,000 deaths were recorded in police anti-drug operations since the Duterte assumed the presidency in July 2016. At least two opposition senators accused President Rodrigo Duterte of being the single biggest threat to human rights in the Philippines. Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros said the President has singlehandedly rolled back human rights safeguards and made the country a haven for human rights violators. By unleashing a bloody and abusive war on drugs, Hontiveros said the President has set into motion the killing of thousands, most of whom are poor people; this while big-time drug lords like Peter Lim continue to be free and billions of pesos worth of shabu are smuggled into the country aided by corrupt government officials. “The right to dissent has been denigrated into plots to destabilize the government. The justice system is mostly efficient when legally harassing members of the opposition and the critical media, but grinds to a complete halt when dealing with the likes of Imelda Marcos,” Hontiveros said. “And on the few occasions that justice has actually prevailed, such as our important victory in the Kian delos Santos case, we have owed it to the people’s untiring vigilance, which made the whitewashing of the extrajudicial killing untenable,” she added. With Macon Ramos-Araneta

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Napoles and Revilla’s former chief of staff Richard Cambe were found guilty of plunder and sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison. They were also ordered to return P124 million to the government. In his first public speech following his acquittal, Revilla thanked his wife, Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado, for supporting him throughout his four years in detention, then joked that he was now under “house arrest” with tightened security and no possibility of bail. Napoles asked the Sandiganbayan Monday to allow her to stay in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City until her plunder conviction becomes final, saying there were security threats in the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City. Napoles said the anti-graft court must be able to reconsider her commitment to the women’s correctional since she will exhaust all legal remedies available. “The judgment of conviction against herein accused has not yet attained finality. The judgment may still be modified as there are still remedies which the accused may exhaust and the period to do so has not yet lapsed,” her lawyer said in a motion. Maricel V. Cruz

ALL three Balangiga Bells are now in Japan on the eve of their official return to the Philippines today, Tuesday, the United States Embassy in Manila said Monday. US Air Force airmen prepared the Balangiga Bells for transport to the Philippines at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. US Embassy press attache Molly Koscina said the war artifacts’ return was a clear demonstration of the US commitment to its alliance, partnership and friendship with the Philippines. “The return of the bells is the end of many years of efforts by many, many different people to ensure the bells’

return to the church where they were taken,” she said. “It required negotiations and lots of efforts and even overcoming legal obstacles to make it happen, and there are many people to thank for the return of the bells, including Secretary [James] Mattis and [Defense] Secretary [Delfin] Lorenzana.” The three bells were taken by US soldiers from the San Lorenzo de Martir Church in Balangiga town in Eastern Samar. They took the bells in retaliation for the killing of 48 of their comrades and the wounding of 12 others from the Charlie Company of the 9th Infantry Regiment, which happened following an ambush by

Filipino fighters on Sept. 28, 1901 during the Philippine-American war. Then US army commander General Jacob Smith advised his men to turn the Balangiga bells into a “howling wilderness,” and parallel to the killing of all male Filipinos aged 10 and above. The US soldiers then burned the entire Balangiga town. The US soldiers then took the three bells from Balangiga as “war trophies.” One of the bells is in Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, while the other two are being kept at the Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. PNA with Rey E. Requejo and Francisco Tuyay The meeting between Mattis and

SC justice...

if an extension is granted, it should only be for six months as the present Congress will adjourned in June 2019. “Let the next Congress decide if they need six more months,” he said. Sotto said the senators would discuss the issue among themselves before joining Wednesday’s joint session at the House of Representatives. Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said he is still not convinced that martial law should be extended. “Under our Constitution, there must be rebellion, insurrection, and public safety requirements. Rebellion is defined by law as an actual uprising designed to remove the allegiance from the government,” Drilon said. “What I am saying is that I am not convinced and there has been no showing that there is actual armed uprising…I didn’t hear anything that constitutes [an] actual uprising to remove the allegiance from the government or any part thereof,” he added. Security officials led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP chief

Gen. Carlito Galvez, and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año gave senators a briefing in executive session on Monday. President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao shortly after the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group overran Marawi City in May 2017. Martial law was extended twice: First on July 22, 2017 and again on Dec. 31, 2017. The Palace asked Congress for an extension of martial law in a letter addressed to Sotto and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. In the letter, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the third extension of military rule will only last until the end of 2019 and will only cover Mindanao. Arroyo has expressed the House’s readiness to grant the President’s request for an extension. Earlier, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the approval of the President’s request was just a matter of formality. With Maricel V. Cruz

Within the index, the Philippines scored 6.50 in the “Personal Freedom” category, 7.34 in “Economic Freedom” and 6.92 in “Human Freedom.” Its aggregate score of 6.92 was 0.13 points below its previous ranking in 2015-16, the study explained. Rank-wise, the Philippines was 100th in Personal Freedom, 49th in Economic Freedom, and 73rd in Human Freedom, putting the country between Paraguay (72nd) and Namibia (74th) in the overall ranking. In South Asia, the Philippines is still considered among the “Most Free” countries. The freest country in the region is Singapore (ranked 25th globally), followed by Cambodia (61st), Bhutan (83), and Indonesia (85). The least free country in the region is Myanmar (149), preceded by Pakistan (140), Brunei Darussalam and Bangladesh (tied for 138), and Vietnam (124). The authors—Ian Vasquez, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, and Tanja Porčnik, a Cato Institute adjunct scholar and president of the Visio Institute based in Slovenia—also measured the rule of law, which they consider “an essential condition of freedom that protects the individual from coercion by others.”

Some 56 countries increased their overall freedom ratings from 2008 to 2016, while 81 countries decreased their freedom ratings, including the Philippines. Around 15 percent of the world’s population lives in the top quartile of nations in the index, while 42 percent lives in the bottom quartile of countries that have the lowest levels of freedom. The authors also find that of the 12 major categories that make up the index, all but three have seen some deterioration. Religion, Movement, and Rule of Law saw the largest decreases since 2008, while Sound Money saw the largest improvement. Countries that have high personal freedom tend to exhibit high economic freedom. The freest countries in the world by quartile enjoy much greater income per person ($39,249) compared to those in the least-free quartile ($12,026). In addition, the authors find a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy, with Hong Kong as an outlier in this regard. “The evidence shows the importance of freedom in all its dimensions and how economic and personal freedom go hand in hand,” noted Vasquez.

the Question Hour today, Tuesday, to shed light on the documents that showed that more than 80 percent of the flood control projects in Sorsogon were bid out and awarded to CT Leoncio Construction and Trading, a single proprietorship based in Bulacan. While Diokno insisted there was no “pork insertions” in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2018, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Monday only those who continued to benefit from the pork barrel system would be happy, but it would be burdensome for the rest of the Filipinos. Presidential Spokesman Salvador

Panelo on Monday expressed confidence that Diokno could explain to the public the alleged pork barrel insertions in the proposed 2019 national budget. He made the remark in connection with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s large allocation in her district in Pampanga. He said Arroyo sent him a message dismissing the claims that the insertions were pork barrel. “She texted that Congressman Maricar Zamora had explained it already. Their explanation is that contrary to the allegations of pork barrel, they said

From A1

It also rejected the argument of petitioners that the extension should have only been limited to 60 days, saying the Constitution does not set a limit to the number of times Congress can extend a martial law declaration by the President. In both decisions, Carpio dissented from the majority ruling, voting to uphold the legality of martial law declaration but wanting it limited to Marawi only. Senators appeared divided over the issue. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he believes military and police officials were able to present compelling reasons for the Senate to consider the extension of martial law. “Yes, in my opinion, there is a continuing rebellion, there is actual rebellion going on,” he said. “I cannot go into the details [but] personally, yes, I’m convinced.” Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said

PH... From A1

discrimination against same-sex relationships,” the authors said in a statement. Against South Asian countries on the index, the Philippines ranks third with a 6.92 score behind Singapore (8.16) and Cambodia (7.20), as the HFI ranks the countries based on 79 distinct indicators of personal, civil, and economic freedom, using data from 2008 to 2016, the most recent year for which sufficient data are available. In the foreword to the 400-page report written by Fred McMahon of the Fraser Institute and released Monday, the country was lumped together with rising authoritarian regimes, as it noted: “Freedom seems to be under attack in major nations around the world.” “Aspiring authoritarian rulers in nations such as Poland, Hungary, and the Philippines may have little interest in imposing their despotic vision of ‘good governance’ outside their borders—but the real evangelists of authoritarianism are emerging elsewhere. It’s a bit like cancer—all cancer is bad, but metastasizing cancer can be lethal,” McMahon wrote.

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the House leadership’s invitation for him to attend Tuesday’s Question Hour to explain why the hundreds of billions of underspending for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Andaya said even before the 2019 budget could be approved, multibillion flood-control projects in Sorsogon had already been bid out and awarded to a single proprietorship based in Bulacan. Andaya called on Diokno to attend

Oil companies adjust prices of gas, diesel By Alena Mae S. Flores MORE oil firms are set to implement the P0.40 per liter increase in gasoline today (Dec. 11) and the rollback of P0.45 per liter for kerosene and P0.10 per liter for diesel. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will decrease the price of diesel by P0.10 per liter and increase the price of gasoline by P0.40 per liter effective 6 am. of December 2018,” the company said in its advisory. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., PTT Philippines and Chevron Philippines also issued separate announcements of the latest price movement. Seaoil Philippines and Petro Gazz were the first to announce the price increase for gasoline and rollback for diesel. The Department of Energy said this week’s oil price movement was influenced by several factors. The DOE said in its latest monitoring report that US oil prices stabilized on Friday, buoyed by a fall in US crude oil inventories. The producer group Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, however, agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day by Jan. 1 in a bid to reverse falls in prices in recent months. DOE said oil producers have been hit by a 30-percent plunge in crude prices since October due to oversupply but demand outlook has weakened amid a global economic slowdown. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said last week that Qatar’s decision to leave OPEC will also have an impact on oil prices globally. “Qatar will be acting more independently and hopefully that would increase their production and increase the supply in the world market. If there will be more supply, then the price would go down,” Cusi said.

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considered by the court in its assailed resolution,” the Sandiganbayan said. The contentions in the case include the stocks of the CIIF companies, the 14 holding companies and the funds, interest and profits involving the more than 753.8 million preferred shares of San Miguel Corp. now being held in a special account in the Bureau of the Treasury. The Presidential Commission on Good Government said the fund had a total of at least P83 billion in assets, including cash worth P75 billion as of 2015. The anti-graft court in a resolution dated Aug. 7 said the proceeds from the forfeited ill-gotten assets would be “used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.” The return of the coco levy funds was among the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte, and he is expected to soon sign into into law the measure providing for the use of the funds.

Time:... From A1

“This summer, the 19-year-old from Cebu City, Philippines, won the gold medal in women’s street skateboarding competition at the Asian Games― and became a national hero in the process,” Time said. Didal aside, the other teenagers on the list are actresses Millie Bobby Brown, Storm Reid, Kiernan Shipka, Joey King and Korean boy group NCT Dream. The other athletes on the list are French footballer Kylian Mpabbe and American snowboarder Chloe Kim. Last year, two Filipino teenagers14-year-old Shibby de Guzman and Bretman Rock―made it to Time magazine’s annual list. Time said it compiled its annual list by considering the accolades across many fields, global impact through social media, and overall ability to drive news. that this time there were items and these items were given by different agencies and it was prior to the approval, they had been there,” Panelo said. With 16 votes, no negative votes and abstentions, the Senate on Monday passed on third and final reading a joint resolution extending the validity of the 2018 appropriations for maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlays until Dec. 31, 2019. In approving Senate Joint Resolution 17, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said they were just extending until the end of 2019 the unused budget this year. With Nat Mariano

News Bicam okays landmark anti-red tape measure By Macon Ramos-Araneta THE Bicameral Conference Committee on Monday approved the reconciled version of a landmark anti-red tape measure seeking to modernize and streamline the permitting process of power generation, transmission, and distribution projects in the country. The Senate Committee on Energy, chaired by Senator Win Gatchalian and the House Committee on Energy, chaired by Rep. Lord Allan Velasco have agreed to adopt the Senate Bill No. 1439 or “The Energy Virtual OneStop Shop Act of 2017” as the base of the reconciled bill. “Passing this measure is quite timely, especially when inflation continues to hover around 6 percent as of November,” Gatchalian said. “We are optimistic that this bill is poised to drive down electricity costs and provide significant savings to power consumers by modernizing and streamlining the permitting process behind power infrastructure projects,” he added. The senator said that in a nutshell, the bill will create and establish an online platform called the Energy Virtual OneStop Shop where prospective developers can apply, monitor, and receive all the needed permits and applications, submit all documentary requirements, and even pay for charges and fees.



EO to adopt ‘whole-of-nation’ approach peace to end conflict By Nat Mariano


N A bid to ensure efficient and effective “whole-ofnation” approach on achieving peace, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the creation of a national task force seeking to end the local armed conflict with communist rebels, according to a document released by the Palace on Monday. In Executive Order No. 70, the President has directed the government to create a national task force to end local communist armed conflict. It also aims to institutionalize the “whole-of-nation” approach for an inclusive and sustainable peace and adopt a

national peace framework. Based on the order, the national task force shall be formed to ensure the efficient institutionalization of the “whole-ofthe-nation approach.” It will then seek to address the root of the insurgency by pri-

oritizing the delivery of basic services in conflict areas in the country, facilitating societal inclusivity and ensuring active participation of all sectors in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda. The national framework on peace, which is anchored on the whole-of-nation approach, shall also include a mechanism for local peace engagements and address the root causes of insurgencies, disturbances, and tensions such as poverty, historical injustice, social inequality and lack of inclusivity. The task force will be chaired by the chief executive, while National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon will serve as its vice-chairman. The members of the

task force will be composed of the different department heads. It shall formulate and implement within six months from the issuance of the EO the whole-of-nation approach-driven national peace framework. Among its functions include the evaluation, modification, and integration of policies, programs and activities contained in the framework as well as the development of strategic communication, advocacy and peace constituency plans in case of a ceasefire. In November last year, peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels bogged down after the President signed Proclamation 360, putting an end to peace negotiations with the NDFP.

CAFGU members to get financial windfall By Nat Mariano PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has approved a two-months’ worth of financial support to members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary Service, according to a document released by the Palace on Monday. Under Executive Order No. 69, only those appointed members of the CAA who appear in the list maintained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, shall be entitled to the cash grants. “Only duly-appointed CAA members appearing in the roster maintained by the AFP shall be entitled to financial support, provided, that those who are in the roster and have been appointed but are still undergoing training shall be entitled to a prorated portion of said financial support upon the satisfactory completion of the prescribed training,” the EO read. As a starter, financial assistance amounting to P7,000 awaits members of the military auxiliary forces. The cash grants, which will be sourced from the FY 2018 Contingent Fund, will cover the months of November and December this year. Meanwhile, in succeeding years, the Department of Budget and Management will propose measures and identify funding sources for monthly financial aid for the CAFGU.

THE SPEAKER AND THE ENVOY. House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2nd from left) held a meeting with Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Bjorn Jahnsen (2nd from right) during the latter’s courtesy call at the Office of the Speaker in the House of Representatives. Also in photo are Committee on Accounts Chairperson and Leyte (1st District) Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez (left) and former House Speaker Quezon City Rep. Sonny Belmonte (right). Jahnsen and Arroyo discussed European free trade agreement with the Philippines. Ver Noveno

JV confident Du30 will sign UHC measure into law By Macon Ramos-Araneta SENATOR JV Ejercito on Monday said he is very optimistic that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign into law the Universal Health Care measure which was ratified by the Senate Monday afternoon. “Today, Dec. 10, 2018, we senators ratified the Universal Health Care [UHC] measure. We are just waiting for the signature of President Duterte. This is very, very near,” he said.

As the author and sponsor of the measure, Ejercito said he considers this development as a victory for all Filipinos and a sound accomplishment that truly reflects his “ginhawa ng bayan” commitment to uplift the condition of the people. Ejercito said that once the UHC is enacted into law, it would be much easier for Filipinos to have their medical checkup, laboratory or hospitalization, He said no Filipino will be left out because under the UHC, all Filipinos are covered under the national health insur-

ance program. “Bata, matanda, babae, lalaki, miyembro ng LGBT community, PWD, kahit sino basta Pilipino, sa ilalim ng UHC, alalay ang gobyerno sa gastos kapag sila ay nagkasakit,” he added. Ejercito thanked all those who were with them in pushing for the UHC like Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, congressman, Health Secretary Francisco Duque and the entire Department of Health and its attached agencies.

18 ManHann resto branches ordered closed

GOING HOME. The three Balangiga bells were reunited in Japan and were put on wooden crates to be transported back to Samar, Philippines on Dec. 15 in time for the traditional Misa de Gallo (Simbang Gabi).

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue through Revenue District Office No. 42 - San Juan City of Revenue Region (RR) No. 7, Quezon City temporarily suspended/closed last Dec. 3, 2018 the restaurant operations of three corporations for violating the provisions on Value Added Tax (VAT) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended (Tax Code). Shuttered was Mann Hann located in Little Baguio, San Juan City and 17 of its branches operating in various locations in Metro Manila. The popular Chinese restaurant is being operated by three domestic corporations namely: Lim Keng Hua Foods Corp. (1 main and 6 branches]; Shin Mann-Hann Corp. (1 main and 4 branches) and MH. Capital Foods Corp.(1 main and 5 branches). The 18 Mann Hann restaurants were closed through Closure Orders signed by Deputy Commissioner Arnel SD. Guballa after their mother companies failed to comply with the requirements specified in the 48-Hour Notice and 5-day Value Added Tax (VAT) Compliance Notice.

CHED promises to comply with Free College Law THE Commission on Higher Education has made a commitment to Senator Bam Aquino for a 100 percent compliance to Free College Law. “CHED will soon issue a memorandum prohibiting state universities and colleges [SUCs] from charging mandatory fees,” said Aquino. “Sa batas natin, bawal nang mangolekta ng mandatory fees ang mga SUC. Dapat ituloy ang laban para sa 100 percent compliance ng mga kolehiyo,” said Aquino during the CHED’s budget hearing. During interpellation of the CHED budget, Aquino expressed his concern that a few SUCs may still collect miscellaneous and other mandatory fees from students. This is despite the expressed prohibition under Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. “While going around SUCs, Aquino said they learned that some SUCs are still planning to collect miscellaneous fees,” said Aquino, principal sponsor of Republic Act 10931 during his term as chairman of the Committee on Education. “This should not happen because there is a law saying that the payment of miscellaneous should be mandatory fee,” added Aquino. “Sa batas na ito, sinisiguro na ang kapos, makapagtatapos.” Aquino insisted that the law should be properly enjoyed by students and their families so they can cope with daily expenses amid the high prices of food and other goods. “Halos aabot din sa daan-daang piso ang kinokolektang miscellaneous fees sa mga estudyante, pera na dapat ginagamit nang panggastos ng pamilyang Pilipino na pambili ng pagkain at iba pang pangangailangan,” added Aquino. In response, CHED chairman Prospero de Vera agreed to issue a draft memorandum that will clarify and warn SUCs that students should not pay a single centavo to enroll in an SUC, LUC or TESDA-run TVI




More things you can do for your country TO THE POINT EMIL P. JURADO DURING the weekend while I was in my library, I came across a small book titled “12Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help our Country.” It was written by Alexander Lacson and published in 2005. The 12 things are the following: Follow traffic rules. Follow the law. Whenever you buy anything, always ask for an official receipt. Don’t buy smuggled food. Buy local and buy Filipino. When you talk to others, especially foreigners, speak positively about us and our country. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier. Do not litter. Dispose of your garbage properly and segregate. Recycle and conserve. Support your church. During elections, do your solemn duty. Pay your employees well. Pay your taxes. Adopt a scholar or a poor child. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country. Since it was 13 years ago when Alex published his book, with my sincere apology to him, I would like to add other little and not-so-little things a Filipino can do for the country. If you get stuck on Edsa in a traffic jam, just grin and bear it. Things could be worse. If you take the MRT and get offloaded along the way, thank your lucky stars that the doors did not open. Don’t use illegal drugs so you do not become a statistic—or worse, become a victim of extra-judicial killings. If you are in government, don’t commit graft and corruption. The President will fire you on the spot, unless you are a former military man. If this is the case, the President will recycle or even promote you. If you are a priest of bishop, don’t criticize the President or else he will have you killed. But don’t take him seriously because he is just joking. If you are a Roman Catholic, don’t believe the President when he tells you to stop going to Church. If the President tells you about corrupt and lecherous members of the clergy, just pray for him. He is not the first man to condemn the church. This coming elections, do not vote for candidates leading immoral lives. Don’t

vote for those who are just popular, or who are lackeys of others. This Christmas season, when you are invited to a buffet, don’t waste food. Think of the many Filipinos going hungry. If you are one of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos whose plates have not yet been delivered, don’t fret or think you have been swindled by your government. With the coming holidays, be thankful that your country remains peaceful and safe. *** With the acquittal of former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, there are those who say he still has to return the money he allegedly received from his assistant as kickback from the pork barrel scam. Father Rannie Aquino, whose opinion I respect, even used an analogy that like somebody who took the wallet of his companion in office with all the money in it, Revilla must return the money he allegedly received from his assistant. Aquino said that the evidence for a criminal case should be different from a civil liability. For a criminal case, there needs to be proof beyond reasonable doubt. For a civil liability, it’s a preponderance of evidence. But I do not agree with Father Rannie, even though he is more knowledgeable than I, a two-bit lawyer and journalist. Since the Sandiganbayan acquitted Revilla for lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt, it follows that he has no civil liability. With all due respect to Fr. Aquino, I think his analogy is wrong. As for the Anti-Money Laundering Council report that Bong has unexplained wealth, my gulay he could have gotten that from other sources! *** The controversy over the proposed extension of martial law for another year is not too difficult to resolve. If you are a Mindanaoan, your answer would be yes. Most of the critics of martial law are from Luzon who are too far from the area in question. The justification for the extension are manifold. Primarily, it’s a good measure to counter communism or terrorism. Those who are crying out against martial law in Mindanao must first go there. *** We know that the pork barrel system gives lawmakers the opportunity to commit anomalies. They get at least a 20-percent kickback from the projects. This practice has to stop.

Adelle Chua, Editor



Good idea, bad execution

T HAS been over a month since the inauguration of the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, envisioned to instill a semblance of order in the way Filipinos going to and from areas adjacent to the south of the metro travel to schools and workplaces. The PITX was also established to limit the number of provincial buses in Metro Manila to ease the congestion on Edsa. Unfortunately, the past month has been characterized by reports of inefficiency and inconvenience, such that the people supposed to benefit from the new structure find themselves suffering more in terms of additional travel time and unavailability of travel options. Many find themselves still waiting for vehicles in the late hours. The already-difficult daily commute has become

even more punishing. Now the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board are saying they will review the operations of the terminal. Why only now? We do not doubt that the PITX was established with good intentions. But it is not a solution descending from heaven. It will not magically eradicate the problems existing before and automatically institute a seamless, organized way from people to get from one place to another. To overlook or ignore that

But from this city also came Saint Pope John Paul II who consistently taught that “it is in this dignity of the person that human rights find their immediate source. And it is respect for this dignity that gives birth to their effective protection.” In Krakow can also be visited the factory owned by Oskar Schindler, from where he saved 1200 Jewish lives. According to the Talmud, he who saves one life saves the entire world. Schindler saved 1200 lives but because many of them had children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren later on, he saved thousands more and continue to save new generations being born from those lines now. As we speak, there are people like Schindler in the Philippines and elsewhere, those who save lives in standing up for human rights. In the 2019 elections, we can even elect some of them to be senators— certainly Chel Diokno, Neri Colmenares, Erin Tañada, and Samira Gutoc are known

first of all as human rights defenders. And there will be justice and accountability. The recent announcement of the International Criminal Court Prosecutor that it continues to investigate the crimes against humanity in the country is reassuring. Martin Luther King is definitely right: “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Last Friday, participants of the conference “The Real Score: The Real Score: Upholding Life, Dignity and Justice Amidst Duterte’s War on Drugs” issued its conference statement entitled “Life, dignity and justice, not tyranny and death! I make mine these words: “We, families of victims of extrajudicial killings, religious and lay persons of different faith traditions, human rights advocates, and concerned citizens from various walks of life, gathered in conference to uphold the sanctity of life, the dignity of every person, and justice for all men and

certain routines and practices have been existing before is to be grossly naive. At the outset, there should have been consultations to find out what people were actually doing, and what improvements would make their experience better. It’s bad enough that things are not changing. It is doubly worse if the situation would deteriorate. That all this is happening in December, during the buildup to the holiday season, does not help commuters one bit. An orderly, transparent transport hub is still possible, if sound planning, common sense and just a bit of hard work accompanied its establishment. Without these, the PITX would just be another expensive, useless, senseless edifice.

A worsening human rights situation IT IS not a good time for human rights in many parts of the world. That is sad to say on Human Rights Day, which we observe every year on 10 December—the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 2018, we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of this Declaration, which has been described as “a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being— regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” According to the United Nations website, the UDHR is the most translated document in the world, now available in more than 500 languages. Drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the declaration proclaims universal values and establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile, in her statement for this year’s Human Rights Day, believes that “the human rights ideal, laid down in this Declaration, has been one of the most constructive advances of ideas in human history—as well as one of the most successful,” but she acknowledges that this progress is under threat today. According to Bachelet: “We are born ‘free and equal,’ but millions of people on this planet do not stay free and equal. Their dignity is trampled and their rights are violated on a daily basis. In many countries, the fundamental recognition that all human beings are equal, and have inherent rights, is under attack. The institutions so painstakingly set up by States to achieve common solutions to common

problems are being undermined. And the comprehensive web of international, regional and national laws and treaties that gave teeth to the vision of the Universal Declaration is also being chipped away by governments and politicians increasingly focused on narrow, nationalist interests. We all need to stand up more energetically for the rights it showed us everyone should have—not just ourselves, but all our fellow human beings—and which we are at constant risk of eroding through our own, and our leaders’ forgetfulness, neglect or wanton disregard.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world, now available in more than 500 languages.

The Philippines is no exception. We have entered into a dangerous phase for human rights when no less than the President calls for the organization of death squads, when the law is manipulated to attack opposition politicians like Senator Trillanes or media personalities and organizations like Maria Ressa and Rappler, when defenders of human rights like Attorney Ben Ramos are assassinated or harassed as in the Talaingod 18, or when the Departments of Education and Social Welfare and Development are being weaponized against indigenous peoples as is happening in many places in Mindanao. I write this column from the great city of Krakow, home of the kings of Poland, where not so very far away, in Auschwitz, the worst human rights atrocities were inflicted during World War II on the Jews of Poland, Germany, and Eastern Europe.

women, hereby state the following: We recognize the gravity and prevalence of drug addiction as a social problem and health issue that are rooted in mass poverty, marginalization, inadequate awareness and hopelessness. We believe that any solution to the illegal drug problem should, be intentionally for the rehabilitation of those who have fallen prey to drug addiction and misuse. This includes providing better social conditions for them and their families to assist them in extricating themselves from poverty and injustice. Such efforts, like socioeconomic interventions, should respect of the rights and dignity of everyone involved. In this light, we are appalled by the continuing killings and human rights atrocities being committed in the name of President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called Turn to A5

Rolando G. Estabillo Publisher ManilaStandard

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Opinion Cha-cha to No-el? ABOUT TOWN ERNESTO M. HILARIO DON’T look now, but it appears that the Philippine National Railways recently transferred its office to the Batasan Complex in Quezon City lock, stock, and barrel, and in the dead of night, while the whole city was asleep. That’s what it looks like from where we sit, which is really not far away from the Batasan, and already we can hear the rumbling sound of an approaching train headed in our direction—and yours as well. We’re referring to the apparent indecent haste with which House of Representatives has approved on second reading a proposed draft federal charter that throws out of the window the all-important anti-political dynasty provision contained in the draft prepared by the Consultative Committee headed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno. We’ve seen the video posted on Facebook where the presiding officer of a recent plenary session of the Lower House, Rep. Raneo Abu, moved for a voting on the amended Resolution of Both Houses of Congress (RBH) No. 15. In the video, when the congressman asked who were in favor of the resolution, we heard a feeble “Aye” from those present, which indicated that they were only a handful. When he asked who were against it, the “Nays” were clearly louder, meaning there were more against it. But despite the louder viva voce for the negative side, the congressman banged the gavel and proclaimed the resolution approved. That the draft federal charter is being rushed by the House of Representatives is well in evidence even during the earlier deliberations on the issue. Two weeks ago, we invited Senior Deputy Minority Leader Lito Atienza, who represents Buhay Party-List, to our Saturday News Forum@UP Hotel to talk on the current political situation.

Right at the outset, Atienza expressed amazement—and alarm—at the speed with which the House seems to be rushing passage of the draft charter that would replace the current unitary system of government with a federal one. The shift to a federal system of government has long been a pet advocacy of former senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. and the PDP-Laban. His son Koko, who succeeded him as party president, is now carrying the torch for the federalism agenda, which President Rodrigo Duterte fully supports.

This plan looks like a sneak attack on Philippine democracy. Atienza said the rush to approve the draft federal charter is unseemly and questionable as Filipinos should be educated first on what the effect of such a shift on their daily lives and on the future of the nation as a whole would be. More than this, he said, our people should be allowed to participate in active discussion and debate on such a momentous political move, instead of Congress arrogating unto itself the sole power and prerogative to decide on changing our system of governance. “There’s absolutely no reason to rush this very important measure that will impact on all of us. Let us not be like blind cows being stampeded over a cliff,” Atienza pointed out. The party-list lawmaker suggested that Congress should instead focus on the need to amend the Local Government Code than fast-track the passage of RBH No. 15, which proposes a presidential-bicameralfederal system of government. “If these provisions on local autonomy are respected and genuinely implemented,

then there would be no need to federalize,” Atienza said. Conrado Generoso, the spokesman of the Consultative Committee, has also raised questions over the House draft charter, branding it as “worse than the 1935 Constitution” as it lacks an anti-political dynasty provision. The draft also became controversial when it excluded the Vice President from the line of succession during the transition period to a federal form of government. Because of the the public backlash, the House panel agreed to put Vice President Leni Robredo back in the line of succession. While it is true that the Filipino people themselves would have to give their imprimatur to a new federal Constitution in a referendum/plebiscite called for the purpose, the undue haste in approving the draft federal charter also raises suspicion that its transitory provisions could lead to a no-election scenario where the current crop of elected officials would be able to extend their terms until 2022. How would this come about? The plan, it would appear, is to pass the draft charter by the end of this year or early in January next year, with the referendum/ plebiscite scheduled to be held in February. And once the federal system has been approved by Filipinos in the referendum/ plebiscite in February, then there is no more need for the May 2019 election. Neat, huh, but this plan looks like a sneak attack on Philippine democracy, if you ask us, and those behind this subterfuge will have to contend with stiff opposition in the Senate. I distinctly remember there’s a common sentiment among some senators that any Charter change effort would be “dead on arrival” in the upper chamber. Remember, getting a two-thirds vote in the Senate where there are six members of the Liberal Party and several others who are independent-minded would be a tall order, but we can’t really say how things will turn out. After all, anything can happen under the current dispensation, which operates under the principle that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Climate of fear EVERYMAN By Val Abelgas PRESIDENT Duterte sent a few more chilling messages to his critics the past couple of weeks as he intensified the climate of fear in the country. Stopped by the court from arresting and detaining his harshest critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV after illegally voiding the senator’s amnesty, Duterte revealed that the government is investigating supply deals made by the latter’s ailing 84-year-old mother with the Philippine Navy, prejudging them as “a clear case of conflict of interest.” In another assault on the family of another critic, the President went ballistic again with slanderous remarks against Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, claiming that the popular “Bishop Ambo” was stealing from the church’s collections to give to his family. The attacks came apparently in retaliation for the bishop’s remarks when he called on Catholics to pray for Duterte because he is “a very sick man” after the President called saints “fools” and “drunkards.” Not contented with calling the bishop a thief, Duterte said he suspected that David might be into drugs and threatened to “chop off” his head if he is caught buying drugs. Bishop David has been a vocal critic of Duterte’s brutal drug war that has killed thousands of mostly poor alleged drug users. By attacking and threatening the bishop, the President was basically also addressing the prelate’s brother, Prof. Randy David, who is also critical of the President in his columns in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. A week after his tirade against Bishop David, Duterte turned again on the Catholic Church, whose teachings, he said are “archaic.” Duterte, who once called God “stupid” called on Filipinos to stop going to church and just build a chapel in their homes where they can pray privately, oblivious of the fact that most Filipinos can’t even afford to buy a home. “You build your own chapel in your own house and pray there. You don’t have to go to church to pay for these idiots,” he said in a speech in Davao City. It’s not just the Church and Trillanes who have earned the ire of Duterte in the past

A worsening... From A4

war on drugs. It is unthinkable that almost 5,000 drug suspects have been killed in police anti-drug operations, and 16,000 others in yet unknown circumstances, since the start of this war. These are human beings whose rights to life and due process were violated with impunity by killers who seem to be above or beyond the law. Such victims often leave behind surviving families and relatives who are traumatized, stigmatized and suffer the difficult loss of a bread winner. We have learned that such brutal and purely police approaches to the drug problem have been tried in other countries and have miserably failed. President Duterte has also clearly bungled his campaign promise to rid the country of illegal drugs in three to six months; he has

few weeks. Turning to media critics, he again threatened to block the renewal of the franchise of ABC-CBN that is scheduled to end in 2020 as he repeated his claim that the giant media network did not run his already paid campaign ad in 2016. ABCCBN offered to give him back the money, but Duterte refused, opting to use the issue to go after the network, whom he accused of biased reporting, especially on his alleged ill-gotten wealth and on his brutal campaign against drug. Last week, the Department of Justice filed tax evasion charges against Rappler and its head, Maria Ressa. The social media platform, which has been critical of Duterte and his administration, had been accused by Duterte of being owned by Americans and funded by the Central Intelligence Agency, a wild accusation that has not been backed with evidence. Also last week, Davao policemen arrested former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo and ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, along with 12 teachers, 4 pastors, 29 students and a community learning center administrator for transporting 12 lumad students from their school to Compostela Valley. Ocampo’s group told the policemen that they were rescuing the lumad children from a military offensive in the area and bringing them to a safe haven. That they were accompanied by teachers and pastors did not matter to the policemen, who arrested and jailed them for kidnapping and trafficking charges. The accused were able to post bail to the obvious consternation of the police. Just like the drug charges against De Lima, those filed against Ocampo and the others were obviously trumped-up charges meant to silence Ocampo, who writes a critical column for the Philippine Star, and Castro, who is also a Duterte critic in the House of Representatives, and to send a chilling message to progressives and other critics. Backing the Davao police for the arrests, Duterte said: “Bayan [Muna] is a front of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Bakit pa tayo mag-drama? Alam natin that KMU [Kilusang Mayo Uno], ‘yan Gabriela, they’re all communist fronts or being used by the communists. Alam ninyo lahat ‘yan,” Duterte said. Again, the President made accusations without presenting evidence or filing subversion charges, but the threat of arrest now hangs

on the heads of members of these groups with the President himself making the accusations. But the biggest threat against critics, especially the progressive groups, is Duterte’s plan to organize his own armed civilian group to be called “Duterte Death Squad” allegedly to counter the New Peoples Army’s Sparrow Units, which PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde acknowledged has been non-existent for at least three years now. “They will do nothing but look for idlers who are prospective New People’s Army members and take them out,” he said. Remember that this is the President, the leader of the country and the commanderin-chief of the armed forces and the national police, talking about giving authority to civilians to be judge and executioner at the same time. The idea was so wild and so thoughtless that even Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who is one of the very few Cabinet members who dare speak against the President, warned that the plan could lead to abuse. “We will study it very closely. Who will compose it, who will supervise it, who will be the targets, who will be accountable? Because there is great danger of abuse or mistakes in these undercover operations,” Lorenzana said. What will stop these armed groups from killing innocent people on the pretext that they are prospective members of the New People’s Army? This latest threat is aimed directly at progressive groups, who have been accused by the President as fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines and who have been at the forefront of protest actions against Duterte. Senator Francis Pangilinan said it best when he warned that Duterte’s death squad would turn the country into “a howling, lawless wilderness.” The Commission on Human Rights and other human rights groups protested the plan, saying the principles of international humanitarian law strictly prohibit death squads “under all circumstances.” But do all these protestations matter to a leader who idolizes dictators and tyrants? Tyrants have only one response to criticisms. Instill fear.

even admitted that he will not be able to solve the drug problem within his term. And yet, he has vowed that the campaign will be as “relentless and chilling” as when it started. Meanwhile, drugs continue to proliferate, as it appears to be business as usual for drug lords, smugglers and their protectors in government. With sufficient drug rehabilitation facilities sorely lacking, little to nothing has been done to reintegrate former drug users or small-time dealers. Similarly, livelihood opportunities for the poor as well as projects and programs to provide jobs and overcome poverty are sorely lacking. Worse, the President has announced his plan to organize a “Duterte Death Squad” to extend the same bloody approach to suspected rebels and political dissenters, possibly leading to even more killings and human rights violations. We cannot stand idly in the midst of such wanton desecration of human life,

dignity and justice. We therefore pledge to: ORGANIZE and support the victims of the drug war and their families for them to rise and lead better lives, free from the scourge of illegal drugs. DEMAND that President Duterte--including his government and law enforcers--stop committing, encouraging or condoning extrajudicial killings, whether in anti-crime or internal security operations. All cases of extrajudicial killings should be seriously investigated and prosecuted, starting with those committed by suspected state or state-backed agents. WORK with all stakeholders in addressing the illegal drug menace in an effective and comprehensive manner, specially addressing health and socio-economic aspects of the problem. ACT to end the killings and other forms of tyranny and to uphold human rights, dignity and justice in all our endeavors.” Join us and together let us defeat those who would take away our human rights.




2019 budget pork: Diokno, Lacson, Arroyo and Andaya BUSINESS CLASS RUDY ROMERO THE pork barrel has been a part of the life of the Republic of the Philippines since the start of its life 72 years ago. This is not a cause for surprise, considering that this country’s legislative structure was patterned after that of its last colonial master, the US. The pork barrel was already very much a feature of the American legislative system when the US established a colonial government in this country in 1901. However, although they indulge in budget-making practices that are pork barrelish in nature, rarely does one read or hear the phrase pork barrel in media stories about the activities of members of the US Congress. That is not the case in this country. The moment the Executive Department submits to the Congress its National Budget proposal for the succeeding fiscal year—the submission is usually done after Easter—the phrase “pork barrel” goes to the front and center of national discussion about the Executive Department’s spending activities and plans. Every year the same ritual is performed in this country. The members of the Opposition and the critics of the “pork barrel” goes to the front and center of national discussion about the Executive Department’s spending activities and plans. Every year the same ritual is performed in this country. The members of the Opposition and the critics of the pork barrel system insist stoutly that the GAA (General Appropriations Act) submitted by the Executive Department, represented by DBM (Department of Budget and Management), insists, no less stoutly, that the proposed GAA is absolutely pork-free. In 2018 the national discussion about the pork barrel is revolving around four individuals: the Secretary of Budget and Management, Senator Panfilo Lacson, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the House. At the time of the proposed GAA’s submission to Congress, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno declared the Duterte administration’s 2019 expenditure blueprint to be absolutely pork-free, while saying that every Representative was allowed to indicate project preferences with a total value of P70 million. Senator Lacson, who has not availed of his P200 million annual pork allocation during several Senate terms, disputed Secretary Diokno’s claim from the start, asserting that pork barrel had become a part of the

culture of the House of Representatives. Senator Lacson has been proven right — and Mr. Diokno has been proven wrong— by this week’s admissions by Speaker Gloria Arroyo and Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. that additions totaling P2.4 billion and P1.9 billion respectively, had been made to the 2019 allocations for her Pampanga district and his Camarines Sur district. In defending her, the Speaker’s supporters brought forth a new justification for pork-barrel-type budgetary allocations: that the involved funds will benefit the constituents of the pork-hungry legislator. I was one of the many who did not believe Benjamin Diokno when he declared the proposed 2019 GAA to be absolutely pork-free. I thought that the Secretary of Budget and Management was joking. Until the members of Congress—the Representatives and the Senators—come to accept that their one and only Constitutional function is to make

If the secretary sticks to his declaration, I am prepared to help arrange a public debate between him and Senator Lacson. laws, not to designate projects for GAA funding, I will continue to believe that the leadership of DBM are participants in the annual ritual known as Congressional pork allocation. Why include the DBM folk as participants? Because it is clear that they don’t do a good job of vetting the SAROs (Special Appropriation Release Orders) that they issue. So, how now, Secretary Diokno? What do Speaker Arroyo’s and Majority Floor Leader Andaya’s admissions of having received enormous additional GAA allocations—and the P60 million worth of pork said to have been ordered by the Speaker for every Representative—make of your solemn declaration that the 2019 National Budget will be absolutely porkfree? Will you insist on its veracity, or will you quietly withdraw it? If you will stick to your declaration, I am prepared to help arrange a public debate between you and Senator Lacson. I don’t know if you will prevail in such a debate or Senator Lacson will. What I do know is that, until this country’s Congressional culture shall have undergone a radical change, it is foolhardy for anyone to proclaim the total absence of pork in the GAA.

Poetic justice POINT OF IMPACT ERWIN TULFO NOT quite a few raised an eyebrow upon hearing or reading about the acquittal of former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. of plunder charges by the Sadiganbayan while it convicted pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and Richard Cambe, Revilla’s former aide. Not quite a few rejoiced upon breaking of the welcome news that the veteran action star-turned-politician finally triumphed and was finally set free after four years in detention in connection with the alleged misuse of P224 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund, better known as “pork barrel.”

Revilla’s case is no travesty but a colorful tapestry. Those with whom the Sandiganbayan decision does not sit right simply would not take this sitting down. They readily raised suspicion on the anti-graft court itself, alleging the decision as a “travesty of justice.” The yellowtards particularly were also quick to blame the Duterte administration as having a hand on the ruling, trying to rile up public disdain against it. Unfortunately, there remain the millions of loyal fans and supporters, as well as Revilla’s family, who believe he was wrongly accused. The Sandiganbayan, in its landmark decision, explained, “For failure of the prosecution to establish beyond reasonable doubt that accused Ramon “Bong” Revilla received directly or indirectly, the rebates, commissions, and kickbacks from his PDAF, the Court can not hold him liable for the crime of plunder.” It will be recalled that Napoles’ former employees, Marina Sula, Merlina Sunas and Mary Baltazar, testified earlier that Revilla’s signatures were actually forged on the endorsement letters to a nongovernment agency (NGO) and request of his PDAF to the implementing agency. Sandiganbayan’s 1st Division Judge Geraldine Faith Econg knew that the decision would likely be “unpopular” that she thought it must strongly emphasize that “the court must focus on the facts

of the case and should not be swayed by popular opinion.” Whether Revilla had direct or indirect knowledge of the misuse of his PDAF, the prosecution witnesses, Sula, Suna and Baltazar, already cleared him early on when they testified that the senator’s signatures were fake. A signature expert presented by the defense likewise, noted that Revilla’s signature and that on the PDAF documents were not the same. Experts observed that the statements of Napoles’ helpers on Revilla’s forged signatures was the key that sent to oblivion the Ombudsman’s plunder case versus the former lawmaker. I could not agree more with Justice Econg. Since when should the decision of the Court be based on the opinion of the public? Shouldn’t cases be resolved on the facts and evidence presented before the magistrate? Otherwise, let us just set up kangaroo courts because their decisions will always favor the public’s opinion and interests. In the same breath, Makati Regional Trial Court 148 Judge Andres Soriano last October ruled to junk the request of the Department of Justice and defied strong public clamor for Sen. Antonio Trillanes’ arrest and return to jail for the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny. The case stemmed from President Duterte’s proclamation voiding Trillanes’ amnesty, finding it illegally granted by former President Noynoy Aquino since the mutiny leader did not comply with the requirements, one of which is admission of guilt. Soriano ruled in favor of Trillanes, going against the will of the millions of Filipinos. Judge Soriano ruled that the coup d’ etat case versus Trillanes had long been dismissed and noted that the former Naval officer did apply for amnesty and admitted his guilt. Although the Makati judge said Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 had legal basis, it did not justify sending the Oakwood and The Peninsula terror to jail. Soriano based his decision on facts and not on public clamor and wishes of those in power. The ancient adage goes, “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” English jurist William Blackstone, in his seminal work in the 1760s, must mean that the evidence produced should be convincing enough to nail the accused and that the trial should be conducted in an objective manner. Revilla’s case is no travesty but a colorful tapestry of poetic justice, served to a victim of the previous administration’s selective and vindictive justice. The law should not be in a haste to jump to conclusions without having reasonable basis for the same, thus the acquittal of Revilla and, conversely the continued freedom of ten or so hotel mutineers.




Immigration boosts NAIA manpower By Vito Barcelo and Joel Zurbano THE Bureau of Immigration beefed up its manpower at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with the deployment of 56 more immigration officers in anticipation of the surge of passengers this holiday season. BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the BI officers would be deployed to help process the thousands of international passengers expected to enter and exit the country in droves during the holiday break. BI Commissioner Jaime Morente approved Medina’s recommendation to implement the personnel augmentation scheme in view of the reported increase in the number of passengers at the NAIA and other airports in the past few days. “We are actually expecting an upsurge of travelers entering the Philippines by around the second or third week of December as Christmastime approaches,” said Medina. Medina said he planned to make sure that travelers will not encounter long lines both at the immigration arrival and departure areas, which is often a cause of concern for BI officials during the Christmas season. Meanwhile, airline and airport authorities urged air travelers to allot ample time going to NAIA and not to bring prohibited items to avoid hassle and delays this peak travel holiday season. “We expect a heavy volume of travelers in the peak travel period, thus Philippine Airlines is advising passengers to leave home early to allot more time for travel to the airport and check-in early for an easier pre-departure process, and to avoid long security queues,” the PAL management said in a statement. Passengers must also be aware of the flight boarding time. The counters will be closed one hour before flight departure. “To avoid flight delays that may inconvenience passengers, we have to off-load baggage of passengers not present at the flight’s boarding gate 20 minutes before departure time. Aircraft doors shall be closed 10 minutes before flight departure,” the airline stated. PAL also advised passengers to ensure that travel documents (passports/visas) and identification cards are in their possession and are easily accessible. “Be mindful of valuables and personal belongings as well as infants and small children. Have name tags and distinguishing marks on pieces of luggage for easy identification and ease in retrieval from airport carousel,” it added. “Liquids 100 ML or less can be stored inside hand-carry, in zip-lock bags; liquid amounts more than 100 ml must be placed in check-in luggage,” PAL also stated. PAL is in close coordination with the with the airport authorities and the Police Aviation Security Group to meet passenger expectations for ease of travel.

PICKET AT SENATE. Jeepney transport workers stage a picket Monday outside the main gate of the Senate in Pasay City to call on the legislators to junk the proposed phase out of old public utility jeepneys. Ey Acasio

Gov’t ditches joint venture, opts to bid P14-b city rehab D

AVAO CITY—The government is abandoning the joint venture scheme for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi and will instead go for multiple procurement system to fully comply with Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

This was according to Marcelino Escalada Jr., secretary general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and general manager of the National Housing Authority on Sunday. “No more joint venture because that is not the appropriate modality and it is also not legal to enter into a joint venture,” Escalada said in a press briefing with local reporters. Meanwhile, Japan-led Manila-based Asian Development Bank said on Monday it hoped to sign within the year loans and grants worth $408 million to assist the Philippines in the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City. “We are considering the signing as early as possible [of] the Marawi Reconstruction and Recovery Loan of $400 million, and in addition, $8-million grant,” ADB president Takehiko Nakao told reporters in a press conference in Manila City. “So a total of $408 [million] and we would like to sign within this year,” Nakao added.

GMA daughter among new appointments by Duterte Malolos SK THE daughter of Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been appointed by President Rodrigo as chairperson of the National Museum’s board of trustees. According to Malacañang, the designation papers signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 6 included that of retired Army colonel and Bases Conversion and Development Authority Director Yusop Jimlani as Presidential Adviser on Local Extremist Groups Concerns. The National Museum is an umbrella government organization that oversees several museums, including ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual arts collections. Since 1998, the National Museum has been the regulatory and enforcement agency of the government in restoring and safeguarding important cultural properties, sites, and reservations throughout the Philippines. Arroyo-Bernas is the only daughter of the former President while Jimlani once served as chief of the City Demolition Unit during Duterte’s term as mayor of Davao City. Malacañang said Duterte also appointed Ramon Ike Señeres as Board Director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. He is the brother of the late 2016 presidential candidate Roy Señeres. The rest of the newly appointed officials belong to the different agencies like Department of Justice, Philippine National Police, Professional Regulation Commission, National Conciliation and Mediation Board and the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Escalada said the decision was approved by the Council in its meeting last Friday as a complete turnaround of the previous approaches to the rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction of Marawi that costs P14billion spread within the next three years (2019 – 2021). Escalada said joint venture is a single procurement method that is not only appropriate but would also take time. “This was supported by the DOF [Department of Finance], the ADB Asian Development Bank, and the Public-Private Partnership Center,” he said, pointing to legal questions involved in joint venture schemes for government transactions. “[There is no] sharing of profit and sharing of loss. Who would share profit or loss if we developed Marawi? There is no business to talk about here,” he said. Under the multiple procurements, Escalada said government agencies will be engaged or involved in the implementation of various projects. Following the decision, Escalada said

the proposed new strategy and action plan for the rehabilitation of the Most Affected Area would now engage the whole Task Force Bangon Marawi and sub-committees in the various components of the Master Development Plan. He said the head of each sub-committee shall package their corresponding rehabilitation component and submit the funding requirement to the chairman of the TFBM through its project management offices for consolidation. “The technical secretariat and PMO will then prepare the Project Implementation Plan [PIP] for each component and present to TFBM for approval. Once the PIP and its corresponding budget are approved, each component shall be a farm out or downloaded to the respective sub-committee or department for procurement and implementation pursuant to the approved PIP,” he added. Escalada said the Marawi development would be funded in three tranches: P4.5 billion for the first year; P6.5 billion for the second year and P3 billion for the third year. The money will be sourced from available funds from all implementing agencies, he said. Escalada said the project has 21 components. PNA

president killed By Orlan Mauricio MALOLOS CITY—The president of the City Federation of Sanggunian Kabataan was killed in a freak car crash in Barangay Sto. Niño, Plaridel, Bulacan early dawn Monday. Councilor Mark Paolo SD. Manaysay, 24, nephew of front-running mayoral candidate Didis Domingo, was dead on-the-spot after his Toyota GT86 two-door sports car (plate NEL 86) smashed into a row of houses and parked passenger jeepneys before crashing into a steel gate. The site of the crash was near an accident-prone area called Nabuag Bridge across the North Luzon Expressway that links the city to the town of Plaridel. Footages of CCTV video of Brgy. Sto. Niño showed the fast speeding car of Manaysay at exactly 2:30:14 am as it crossed the pedestrian marker near the barangay hall which is about 300 meters away from the Malolos-Plaridel boundary. Five seconds later, the headlights of the sports car smashed into the rows of houses and dragged the parked jeepney in a swirling-motion near the center of the road. So powerful was the impact that the entire under-chassis of the jeepney was wiped out. Bryan Balingit, 32, a cameraman of GMA7, and younger brother of Rommel, owner of the jeepney, said: “I was in a Christmas party in Brgy. Agnaya, less than 5 kilometers away, when my wife told me that a man was killed in a accident that damaged our front grills.” Bolt cutters were used by police and rescue team to extract the dead body of Manaysay. The car was a total wreck. The victim’s body now lie in state at the family residence in Barangay Lugam, Malolos City where he was headed home when the accident happened.

TOTAL WRECK. The car of the president of the Malolos City Federation of Sanggunian Kabataan, Councilor Mark Paolo Manaysay (left), who died in the crash Monday dawn, is a total wreck from the impact after hitting rows of houses and parked jeepneys.

House appeals for Senate action on transfers By Maricel V. Cruz THE House of Representatives has appealed for Senate action on a bill transferring the Philippine National Police Academy and the National Police Training Institute from the Philippine Public Safety College to the Philippine National Police for a “highly efficient and competent police force.” This came after House Bill 8628, authored by Representatives Gary Alejano of Magdalo Party-list, Leopoldo Bataoil of Pangasinan and Romeo Acop of Antipolo City, was approved on third and final reading by 200 votes last week. The bill’s authors said they hope the Senate leadership would prioritize the bill’s passage. The bill proposes to amend Sections 24, 35, 66 and 67 of Republic Act 6975, otherwise known as the “Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990,” as amended. It provides that the Chief PNP shall have administrative and operational supervision and control over the PNPA, which was established pursuant to Section 13 of Presidential Decree No. 1184, and the NPTI, formerly known as the Philippine National Police Training Center. The PNP shall absorb the office of the National Action Committee on AntiHijacking of the Department of Defense, all the functions of the present Philippine Air Force Security Command, as well as the police functions of the Philippine Coast Guard. The PNP shall be provided with adequate land, sea, and air capabilities and all necessary material means or resources in order to perform its powers and functions efficiently and effectively. The PNPA shall be headed by a PNPA Director with the rank of a Police Director who shall be assisted by a Deputy Director with the rank of Chief Superintendent. The PNPA shall have a Dean of Academy and a Commandant, both with the rank of Chief Superintendent. The PPSC shall be the premier educational institute for the training, human resource development and continuing education of all personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Fire Protection, and the provider of select career courses for police commissioned officers and specialized courses for PNP personnel.

PCSO charity assistance, down by 56 percent in October 2018 PHILIPPINE Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Alexander Balutan announced on Monday that the agency’s charity assistance registered a 56-percent decr`ease from P416,663,375 in October 2017 to P181,956,434 for the month of October 2018. “While the Charity Assistance Department received 14,621 requests for the month of October this year, it only spent P181,956,434 as compared to the 12,048 nature of cases received on October 2017 where the agency spent P416,663,375. This time, we had to stick to the budget,” Balutan said. Topping the list for the nature of cases when it comes to amount released is confinement with 4,276 cases at P64,850,200;

followed by chemotherapy with 2,487 cases at P39,512,300; dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal) with 4,600 at P37,840,300; requests for medicines with 1,383 cases at P16,412,34; and laboratory and diagnostic procedures with 520 cases at P10,614,700. “But if you will look closely, dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal) really topped the list when it comes to nature of requests. It even jumped from 972 cases in October 2017 to 4,600 for October this year, but the agency only released P37,840,300 due to this budget constraint,” Balutan said in a press statement. “Hopefully it’s only temporary. We are asking for everyone’s understanding and cooperation. Rest assured we are doing ev-

erything to address this,” he added. Last September, the daily budget for the Individual Medical Assistance Program of the agency was reduced to P4.1 million from about P20 million daily. The reduction was due to the overutilization of medical assistance funds, which has reached over P4 billion as of July 2018. In an earlier interview with Dr. Larry Cedro, PCSO’s Assistant General Manager for Charity Services, he said there was a marked increase in the number of beneficiaries availing of financial support from the agency by 37.93 percent for the first semester of 2018, compared to its 2017 data of the same period.

Sports Diliman College captures UCBL title BENIN’S Kevine Gandjeto imposed his will inside in the payoff period as Diliman College outlasted Olivarez College, 63-57, and annexed its first championship in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League Season 3 yesterday. Silencing the big Sea Lions’ crowd that packed the Olivarez gym in Parañaque, Gandjeto produced the game’s biggest plays for the Blue Dragons in the final three minutes of play. Gandjeto’s dunk in the last 10.6 seconds put an exclamation point for Diliman to clinch the hotly-contested best-of-three series, 2-1. For a jubilant Blue Dragons coach Rensy Bajar, the sleepless nights were worth it. “Napakasarap itong championship na ito. No one expected us to be in this situation. It was hard work and perseverance of the players that won it for us,” said Bajar. Atoning himself from a seven-point, five-rebound outing in last Thursday’s 71-80 loss that leveled the series, Gandjeto finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and three steals for Diliman. Graduating swingman John Mahari, who scored four of his seven points in the Blue Dragons’ telling 11-0 run that erased a 41-47 deficit early in the fourth period that changed the complexion of the match, was named the Finals MVP. Diliman was the top-ranked team in the eliminations and had its 10-game winning streak after losing to Olivarez in Game 2. The Blue Dragons unloaded a 9-0 run to grab a 15-8 lead before the Sea Lions closed out the first period with seven straight points to tie the game at 15-15. It was tight from there on as Olivarez was able to keep abreast with Diliman the rest of the first half. Joshua Almajeda led the Sea Lions with 14 markers, five rebounds and four assists, while Dwight Saguiguit had 12 points, four assists and four boards. Paolo Castro, Olivarez’s heart and soul, struggled by going scoreless in the first half and eventually finished with only six points. The scores: Diliman 63—Brutas 14, Gandjeto 14, Bauzon 11, Mahari 7, Enriquez 6, Darang 4, Salazar E. 4, Coquia 3, Salazar J. 0, Ligon 0. Olivarez 57—Almajeda 14, Saguiguit 12, Elie 9, Lalata 8, Castro 6, Begaso 4, Udoba 2, Sala 2, Completo 0, De Leon 0. Quarterscores: 15-15, 32-28, 41-45, 63-57

PSA Forum tackles wushu THE successful Philippine wushu team that pocketed medals in the 1st Asian Traditional Wushu tournament and some of the hopefuls in the coming PBA rookie draft will be gracing the last session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum for the year 2018 at the Tapa King Restaurant in Farmer’s Plaza in Cubao today. Daniel Parantac, Thornton Quieney Lou Sayan, Agatha Wong, Jones Llabres Inso, and Dave Degala (silver) are going to discuss their recent campaign in Nanjing, China that saw the country bag five gold medals. Sharing the limelight with them in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are Letran ace point guard Bong Quinto and other candidates in the Dec. 16 rookie draft to be held at the Robinson’s Place in Manila.



Metro Turf to continue operations By Peter Atencio


HE horse racing track owned Metro Turf Club Inc. in San Pioquinto, Malvar, Batangas will no longer be closed. Metro Manila Turf Club Inc. president Norberto Quisumbing Jr. said that the MMTCI has changed its mind on its decision to temporarily suspend their operations for the first quarter of the year 2019. “We hereby withdraw our earlier notice of the intention of the MMTCI to suspend

operations for the period of January to March 2019, and instead manifest its intention to continue its racing operations,” wrote Quisumbing in his letter yesterday to Philippine Racing Commission Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez. Quisumbing informed the Philracom of their decision, some five days after the MMTCI T recently wrote the racing commission of their intention to temporarily suspend operations from January to March 2019. In his letter, Quisumbing cited “huge losses in its racing operations since January 2018.” The losses, according to Quisumbing, were mostly due to external factors such as illegal sabong operations, decline in

patronage due to higher taxes, waning interest of bettors, excessive regulations and controls, decreasing numbers of horse breeders and horseowners, among others. The decision to continue operations in the first quarter of 2019 comes after careful evaluation, added Quisumbing. It was also done after they had a consultation with various stakeholders, and friends from the industry. The club has a license to operate until April 2022. Last Dec. 2, Metro Turf even hosted the Pasay “The Travel City” Racing Festival, where the Phiracom’s Grand Sprint Championship, won by Son Also Rises, was ran.

Quisumbing Jr.

Bucks edge Raptors in clash of top Eastern teams

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket during the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. AFP

Hammerheads crowned basketball champs HAMMERHEAD of St. Joseph’s Academy won the one-game basketball championship with St. Andrews School at the latter’s gym in Parañaque during the Diocese of Parañaque Parochial School Association Sports Fest last Dec. 1. The participants were St. Andrew’s School, Our Lady of the Abandoned Catholic School, Sta. Rita de Cascia Parochial School, Sagrada Familia Parochial School, San Roque Catholic School, Veritas Parochial School, Mary Mother of God Parochial School, Mary Immaculate Parish Special School and St. Joseph’s Academy. Ron Edrian R. Elamparo bagged the Most Valuable Player trophy and became a member of the Mythical The Hammerheads are shown with (standing left) school director Fr. August Pullido and coach Five in the league. Carl Villanueva.

Petron, F2 try to arrange PSL finals’ showdown HEAVYWEIGHTS Petron and F2 Logistics seek to arrange another finals duel when they tackle separate foes in the semifinals of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference today at the Muntinlupa Sports Center. The Blaze Spikers clash with Cignal at 7 p.m. while the Cargo Movers battle Generika-Ayala at 4:15 p.m. second match of this explosive triple-header bankrolled by Isuzu, Mikasa, Senoh, Asics, Mueller, UCPB Gen and Bizooku with Genius Sports as technical sponsor. Prior to that, University of Santo Tomas tries to inch closer to the finals of the

Games Today (Mandaluyong Sports Center) 2 p.m. – UE vs UST 4:15 p.m. – Generika-Ayala vs F2 Logistics 7 p.m. – Cignal vs Petron

Collegiate Grand Slam when it tackles University of the East in the 2 p.m. appetizer of this tourney that also has ESPN5, Hyper HD and Aksyon TV as broadcast partners. After clashing in the past four titular showdowns, both the Blaze Spikers and the Cargo Movers are heavily tipped to make it all the way to the best-of-three

finals series after gaining a twice-to-beat advantage in the semis. The Blaze Spikers finished the preliminaries with a flawless 10-0 mark while the Cargo Movers finished second with an 8-2 win-loss slate to underscore their dominance in the country’s prestigious and competitive women’s club tourney. In the quarterfinals, Petron made short work of Sta. Lucia, 25-12, 25-14, 25-16, while F2 Logistics crushed Cocolife, 2512, 25-22, 25-20. But the semifinals will be a different story.

LOS ANGELES—The Milwaukee Bucks bounced back from a disappointing defeat with a big win in Toronto on Sunday, edging the Raptors 104-99 in a battle of the NBA’s top Eastern Conference teams. The Raptors still own the best record in the league at 21-7, but they suffered a second straight defeat after falling 106-105 to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Malcolm Brogdon’s back-to-back threepointers with 1:07 remaining first tied the score then put the Bucks up 100-97, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Brogdon scored 18 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 and matched his season-high with 19 rebounds for Milwaukee, who fell to the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors on Friday. Brook Lopez also scored 19 for Milwaukee, who became the first team to beat the Raptors twice this season. “We came off a tough loss to the Warriors, we knew we needed this one going into this back-to-back,” Brogdon said. The Bucks, who improved to 17-8, host Cleveland on Monday. He said shaking off the loss to Golden State wasn’t difficult. “We’re a really good team this year,” he said. “We have a lot of confidence in ourselves. We’re resilient. We’ve got a coach that has confidence in us every night win or lose.” Toronto have dropped two straight for the second time this season and have lost three of their last four. Holiday fuels Pelicans Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle combined for 65 points to lead the New Orleans Pelicans past the Detroit Pistons 116-108. Holiday and Randle rose to the occasion after star teammate Anthony Davis was hobbled by a sore hip after a clash with Detroit’s Blake Griffin in the first quarter. Davis returned to the game in the third period but finished with just six points on two-of-seven shooting with nine rebounds, four assists and five blocks. “He was probably 50 percent,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “But just having him out there—defensively I thought he did a great job for us. AFP

Pinoy... From A8

the competitive players and we are hoping that this PTT program, with the graduates being able to teach better their students and athletes, will help tennis players move from where they are to the next level,” added Stephan. Also part of PTT’s program is its Adopt-A- Racket advocacy, wherein the organization solicits new and used tennis rackets for donation to the seminar participants as incentives. More than 200 rackets have been collected, including from national tennis players Ruben Gonzales and Treat Huey. Most of these rackets have already been distributed among the participants.

Diverse participants join Allianz Conquer Challenge By Paul David L. Gelario

Participants of the obstacle course gather at the starting line while the host discusses the rules of the race. Paul David Gelario

THE third Allianz Conquer Challenge’s affordable price attracted hundreds of running enthusiasts from different walks of life—from Aetas to cancer survivors —as they joined the obstacle race at the Clark Global City in Clark, Pampanga on Sunday. Allianz PNB Life’s Brand Communications and Digital Director Rei Abrazaldo said that the purpose of the event was to make obstacle courses more affordable to all. “We wanted to bring OCR (obstacle course race) to a level to which more Filipinos will enjoy it, because we have a usual misconception that the sport is elitist because of the price,” said Abrazaldo.

The obstacle course had a registration fee of P2,500 for a 10-kilometer course with a total of 25 different obstacles. Despite the sheer number of obstacles, there are far distances in between that can alleviate the physical strain among the participants. “Ito lang ang 10k na may distances in between,” Abrazaldo said. Due to the affordable price, different people from all sorts of backgrounds participated in the event including a oneyear cancer survivor. “Happy ako, because I’m a survivor and I can do these things. Cancer picked the wrong girl because I know I can do it,” said breast cancer survivor and East West Bank Senior Manager, Rina Gonzales.

With her obstacle course team, Kerry’s Sports Mandirigma, she said that her team always relies on each other. “Even if we don’t know each other, they’ll really help,” she said. “Walang nagco-compete sa isa’t-isa. Tulungan,” said Kerry Sports team member Onin Sayud. “We have to support the group. There is no star. The star is the whole group,” added Nigel Cheng, founder of Team Kerry’s Sports Mandirigma. Some 21 Aetas from Villa Maria Integrated School in Porac, Pampanga were also invited in the event, along with 21 Allianz employees. All participants who finished the obstacle course were given a medal and finisher shirts.


Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor



Compton: Defense keyed our Game 3 win By Jeric Lopez ALASKA made the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup Finals what everyone expected it to be—a series. After losing out on the series’ first two games, the Aces clawed harder in Game 3 of their best-of-seven championship duel against Magnolia to avoid a huge hole. Alaska changed the complexion of the series after blowing out the Hotshots, 100-71, in emphatic fashion last Sunday to cut its series deficit to 1-2. For Aces’ coach Alex Compton, the differences were quite evident in Game 3 as his team showed up showcasing what it lacked in the opening two games. “I think we showed great defensive effort and amazing shots. The overall story of the game was that we didn’t commit much turnovers and we played defense with great intensity,” said Compton. Adding insult to Magnolia’s injury, that 29-point drubbing the Aces dished out was the Hotshots’ worst loss in their finals’ history. While Compton was glad that his team was able to avoid a hopeless 0-3 hole, he knows that there’s no reason to celebrate anything, not when the Aces are still down. “It’s good to be back in the series, but we’re still down 1-2. We have to keep fighting hard,” said Compton.

Pinoy Tennis Trainers hold advance course By Lito Cinco LOCAL tennis trainers got another boost in increasing their knowledge and skills after attending a free, two-day tennis workshop, conducted by the Pinoy Tennis Trainers at the Makati Sports Club last weekend, attracting more than 40 participants mostly from the National Capital Region and a few from Pangasinan, Pampanga and Bulacan. The latest leg of PTT’s series of training sessions conducted by Roland Kraut, the country’s lone ITF Level 3 coach, together with Stephan and Sebastian Lhuillier, who now spearheads PTT, focused more on a Level 2 training aimed at improving further the skills of the participants to enable them to improve their earnings with better credentials. “This was how it all started in 2016, I had a chance encounter with a local trainer in the province where I was playing in a tournament and I was surprised to learn how little some of these trainers earn for their work. I believe that if there is a program that can improve both their knowledge and training skills, it should help them improve their lives, too,” said Stephan, the tennis-playing eldest son of sports patron Jean Henri Lhuillier, a longtime supporter of grassroots tennis in the Philippines. With Stephan continuing his studies in the United States next year, his younger brother Sebastian, who also plays competitive tennis and was a recent winner of a 16-under tournament, will be taking over the responsibility of continuing what his brother started. “It is a big challenge for me, but then I have seen the value of what my brother has started and I have seen how it has helped our local tennis trainers in their work so I accepted the responsibility. I want to develop further our Level 2 module as far as contents are concerned. At the same time, the PTT wants to replicate what it did in 2017 when it went nationwide in the program. I also would like to pursue international tennis training for our top graduates,” said Sebastian, who is a teammate of his elder brother in the tennis team of International School of Manila. The program has already close to 600 graduates from its previous series of seminars in 2016 and 2017 and the participants last weekend in Makati have completed their Level 1 training. In the past, the PTT has also sent its top graduates Trudy Amoranto and JR Moreno to Thailand to participate in an ITF Level 1 coaches’ course. “Tennis has a strong following here in the Philippines, but there is a big gap between the recreational and Turn to A7

ALTAS HALT SKID. Members of the Perpetual Lady Altas, led by team captain Yanca Tripoli (1), celebrate after their victory over the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates in four sets, 17-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-12, ending a two-game slide in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 94 Women’s Volleyball tournament at the Fil Oil Flying V Centre in San Juan, Monday. Dennis Abrina

CJay, Ray or Robert: 3-way fight for no. 1 T

HE guessing game has begun—who will be this year’s no. 1 rookie draft pick?

Will it be Lyceum star player CJay Perez, former National University standout Bobby Ray Parks or Robert Bolick of San Beda University? Columbian Dyip, which owns the no. 1 pick, will have a happy problem choosing who suits its team best when the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Rookie Draft is held on Dec. 16 at the Robinsons Place Manila. Some 48 hopefuls made themselves available for the Rookie Draft, considered one of the richest batches in years. The pair of University of the Philippines’ Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario were the last ones to submit their names over the weekend as this year’s applicants surpassed last season’s list of 44. The league’s decision to extend the deadline for local players to submit their applications from Dec. 3 to 10 allowed both Desiderio and Dario to make the list at the last minute after playing for

By Peter Atencio



the Fighting Maroons in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 81 men’s basketball finals against eventual champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. The official list of applicants however, won’t be released by the league until Dec. 14 or two days before the draft proceedings, which formally sets in motion the PBA’s 44th season. All rookie hopefuls will also undergo the tradaitional Draft Combine scheduled Dec. 12 to 13 at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong. Trevis Jackson, Matt Salem, Bong


Quinto, Robbie Manalang, Abu Tratter, John Paul Calvo, Michael Calisaan, Teytey Teodoro, Javee Mocon, and Carlos Isit were among the early players who submitted their applications. Incidentally, three players with the same surnames are included in the draft, namely, Kyles Lao of University of the Philippines, Kent Jefferson Lao of University of Santo Tomas, and Edrian Lao of University of the Visayas. Last year, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger was selected by San Miguel Beer as the top rookie pick.

UST scores golden double in UAAP judo UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas became the solo men’s champion anew while its women’s team ruled for the fifth straight year in the UAAP Season 81 judo competition Sunday the Enrique Razon Sports Center in De La Salle. With heavyweight Dither Tablan and half lightweight Ryan Benavides leading the five-gold haul, the Growling Tigers collected 45 points to complete a three-peat and annex a record 14th crown overall. Ateneo, which shared the men’s title with UST last season, settled for second place with 18 points after winning two golds. University of the Philippines also had 18 points but could only muster third place as it only won a gold to show. Tablan emerged as the season MVP, while Benavides captured the Rookie of

Oliva shoo in for PH team to SEA Games

the Year honors. Other Tigers’ gold medalists were Russel Lorenzo (extra lightweight), Mitchell Salcedo (middleweight) and George Kim (half heavyweight). With MVP Khrizzie Pabulayan’s half lightweight gold and a deluge of seven silver medals, UST collected 36 points to extend its longest winning streak in the women’s division to five years. The Tigresses won their 11th tiara overall. UP captured three golds but placed second with 25 points, edging University of the East, which tallied 24 points in third spot. Lady Warrior Remieanne Pangilinan, who topped the half middleweight category, took home the Rookie of the Year honors. In the juniors’ division, UST retained

the boys title, while UE made it two in the girls’ section. Meanwhile, defending champion Far Eastern University-Diliman produced an impressive 4-0 romp over Ateneo to stay unbeaten Sunday in the juniors’ football tournament. Kieth Absalon netted a late firsthalf goal, while Charles Lobitana, Stephen John Soria and Marc Jessar Tobias were also on target for the Baby Tamaraws. Claiming its second straight victory after a scoreless draw with National University to open the season, FEU-Diliman improved to seven points as it now sits on top of the table by virtue of its superior goal difference. Ateneo, which also has seven points, finished its first round campaign with two wins, one draw and a loss.

SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Nicole Oliva could make it to the national swimming team in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lani Velasco said Oliva is one of their top prospects for next year’s biennial meet. “She could make it after her performance in the Youth Olympic Games,” said Velasco. Oliva, who is from Sta. Clara, California, was the only junior athlete who qualified in four events with qualifying times for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, making it to the finals of two events in the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle. Oliva’s sixth-place finish and clocking of 4:16.61 made her a prospect of the national swimming team. She is now being prepared to compete in the Olympic trials in the United States in February next year. Oliva will also participate in the SEA Age Group Championships in Cambodia in July and the SEA Games’ hosting of the country later in the year. Velasco talked about the ongoing preparations of the national team following a special meeting of the national congress of the PSI last Friday at the Manila Yacht Club in Roxas Blvd. During the meeting, discussions of the PSI’s past achievements and its plans for the coming year took place in the presence of a top swimming official, Jeffrey Leow from Singapore. Leow, who is the vice president of the Asian Swimming Federation and the Southeast Asian Swimming Federation, dropped by to visit the new board members of the PSI.

PH jins end Mindanao stint with a bang BRUNEI—Mindanao ended its colorful campaign on a successful note as Davao City’s Elah Janica Liwag and Juan Miguel Dalangin grabbed the mixed doubles in the poomsae competitions of the 10th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-Northern Territory-East Asian Growth Area (BIMPNT-EAGA) Friendship Games on Sunday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium here. Hours after the memorable closing ceremonies at the Indoor Stadium, the University of Immaculate Conception students dazzled the crowd with their almost perfect form to give Mindanao its first taekwondo gold. Liwag also had a silver in girls’ individual poomsae and a bronze, while the 16-year-old Dalangin settled for the bronze in boys’ individual poomsae. With the victory, the Philippines ended its campaign with a 13-14-17 gold-silver-bronze tally. Davao City also had its lone gold medalist in athletics, courtesy of Mark Anthony Casenas (6.77 meters)

in men’s long jump. Palawan had three athletics’ golds, two from running sensation John Lloyd Cabalo and one from Jessell Lumapas. Davao City tanker Fritz Jun Rodriguez, who will see action for San Beda University in the NCAA swimming competitions, excelled with four golds and a silver in this biennial event which will be hosted by the Davao City in 2020. Philippine Sports Commissioner and Chef de Mission Charles Raymond Maxey congratulated Brunei for the successful hosting of the games. “Truly, you have set the bar higher for the future host of this event. I also admire and appreciate all the efforts from the top officials down to the volunteers for making sure our stay here in Brunei Darussalam will be comfortable and pleasant one,” said Maxey in his speech. He said that Davao City is ready to host the 11th edition of the Games. “See you in the Philippines,” Maxey concluded.

Philippine Sports Commissioner and Chef de Mission Charles Raymond Maxey raises the BIMPNT-EAGA flag symbolizing the PH’s hosting of the 11th edition in 2020 in Davao City at the closing ceremonies of the 10th Friendship Games on Sunday at the Indoor Stadium of Hassanal Bolkia National Sports Complex in Brunei.

IN BRIEF PT&T rejects claim it ceased operations PHILIPPINE Telegraph & Telephone Corp. on Monday rejected the claim of the Department of Information and Communications Technology that it ceased operations due to its rehabilitation status. “The intent of going through a rehabilitation is not to stop operations, but rather continue to operate in view of getting better. PT&T’s operation has been continuous even during the rehabilitation,” PT&T president and chief executive James Velasquez said in a statement. “PT&T will continue to look after what is good for the Philippine telecommunications industry,” he added. PT&T ceased operating local telephone services and shifted to serving broadband internet services without interruption in its assigned region, as well as in National Capital Region and Central Luzon, using its available fiber plant in place. “The fast moving change in the telecom industry from legacy switched services to IP driven services that can deliver voice, data and video all in the same facility has made it imperative for PT&T to change its business and operating platform. This is a fact that DICT/NTC missed or simply ignored,” Jose Luis Santiago, chairman, Retelcom Holdings of the PT&T Group, said. Darwin G Amojelar


MAP backs reforms in property valuation THE Management Association of the Philippines supports reforms to the country’s real property valuation as proposed in bills introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate as Train Package 3 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program of the Duterte Administration. The reforms seek to institute a central valuation system for properties utilizing market values as the basis to establish a single valuation base. Under the system, a schedule of market values will be periodically set, updated and published by the Finance Department for local and national taxation purposes. However, MAP recommended that for national tax purposes, assessment levels should also be applied on the Finance Department’s valuation, as published in the SMV, to temper the impact of inflation in property values when the SMVs are periodically upgraded to conform to current market values. Othel V. Campos



By Alena Mae S. Flores

REASONABLE RICE PRICES. Presyong Risonable Dapat, a Trade Department’s program in partnership with the Agriculture Department, National Food Authority and retailers like Robinsons Supermarkets, aims to make cheaper rice available at popular supermarkets and retailers nationwide. Leading the launching of the program are (from left) JG Summit Holdings Inc. chief executive Lance Gokongwei, Pure Rice Milling and Processing Corp. president Jojo Soliman, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. chief executive Robina Gokongwei-Pe.

ADB agrees to lend $7.5b in loans to PH over 3 years By Julito G. Rada


ULTILATERAL lender Asian Development Bank said Monday it will extend loans of up to $2.5 billion annually to the Philippines, or a total of $7.4 billion from 2019 to 2021, to support the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program. ADB president Takehiko Nakao said the amount was more than double the bank’s annual assistance from 2011 to 2017. “ADB is committed to supporting the Philippine government as it pursues more inclusive growth across the archipelago,” Nakao said.

He said boosting the government’s effort to build up infrastructure and expand financial services in underserved areas of the country would help reduce income inequality, which had persisted despite sustained strong economic growth in recent years. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Nakao exchanged documents Monday on two loans that aim to help the government sustain efforts on expanding financial services to small entrepreneurs and increasing private sector participation in the government’s infrastructure modernization program. These loan documents cover Subprogram 2 of the Expanding Private Participation in Infrastructure Program and the Inclusive Finance Development Program. Both programs have approved loans of $300 million each. IFDP-1 aims to continue developing a resilient and inclusive financial sector in the Philippines by expanding financial services to small businesses, farmers, workers, women and other vulnerable sectors.

Meanwhile, EPPIP-2 aims to help fund the government’s external financing requirements and build on the accomplishments in tapping private sector expertise and financing for the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program via public-private partnerships. Dominguez said attaining financial inclusion and modernizing the infrastructure backbone were two main tasks the Duterte administration aimed to accomplish over the next four years. “These two loan packages fall squarely into the national priorities we have identified. They will surely help us in achieving rapid, investments-led economic expansion,” Dominguez said after the ceremonial exchange of the documents. Dominguez thanked “the ADB for the confidence in our ability to implement these programs and the dedication we have in pushing our economy to be at par with our most competitive neighbors. We look forward to more areas of cooperation in the coming years as the Philippines emerges to meet the challenges of development.”

HSBC sees trade deficit widening to $3.95b in October HONGKONG and Shanghai Banking Corp. said the Philippines’ trade deficit likely widened in October, as elevated imports continued to outpace exports growth. HSBC in a report predicted that the country’s trade shortfall widened to $3.95 billion in October from $3.93 billion in September. “We expect the Philippine trade deficit to widen further in October, driven by a continued slowdown in exports alongside elevated imports of capital goods and raw materials,” the bank said. It said exports were dragged by softer shipments of light manufactures and machinery this year. HSBC said imports likely grew 15.3 percent in October while exports might have declined 1 percent. “Meanwhile, this year and next are likely to be the most import-intensive phases of infrastructure build-out, which means a further increase of the country’s current account deficit,” HSBC said. The government is scheduled to release the trade balance data this week. The country’s trade-in-goods deficit ballooned to $3.93 billion in September, on the back of a double-digit growth in imports and 2.6-percent decline in exports, the Philippine Statistics Authority said. Data showed that total imports rose 26.1 percent to $9.75 billion in September 2018 from $7.77 billion in September 2017. Merchandise exports fell 2.6 percent to $5.83 billion in September from $5.99 billion a year ago. Julito G. Rada

Power rates slightly rose in December, says Meralco

PLDT: IFC completes investment in Voyager PLDT Inc. announced Monday the closing of the $40-million investment of International Finance Corp., the private arm of World Bank, and IFC Emerging Asia Fund in Voyager Innovations Inc. The investments completed the US$215-million fund raised for Voyager Innovations that includes $175 million from KKR and Tencent Holdings Inc. PLDT’s stake in Voyager is now below 50 percent but remains the largest single shareholder. PLDT said the combined investments represented the largest equity in a Philippine technology company. Voyager said it would leverage the new capital and the significant expertise of KKR, Tencent, IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines and enable the broader Filipino population to participate in the digital economy. The company’s award-winning technology platforms support the digital services such as PayMaya, the most recognized prepaid payment wallet service in the Philippines. Darwin G. Amojelar

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

POWER retailer Manila Electric Co. said overall electricity rates rose P0.0902 per kilowatt-hour this month, representing an increase of P18 in the monthly bill of a typical household consuming 200 kWh. Meralco said the December rates slightly increased to P10.1803 per kWh this month from P10.0901 per kWh in November on higher charges of power suppliers. Meralco’s generation charge increased P0.0578 per kWh in December to P5.3303 per kWh from P5.2725 per kWh last month. “The increase is mainly the result of P0.5167 and P0.1783 per kWh increases in the cost of power from power supply agreements and independent power producers, respectively,” the company said. Meralco said despite a stronger peso, PSA and IPP charges increased this month on lower average plant dispatch. The San Lorenzo natural gas plant’s Modules 50 and 60 were on scheduled maintenance outage from Oct. 28 to Nov. 7 and Oct. 28 and Nov. 8, respectively. Meralco sourced 42 percent and 38 percent from the PSAs and IPPs, respectively. Cost of power sourced by Manila ElectricCo. from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market went down by P1.0268 per kWh with the improvement in the Luzon power supply situation and a lower demand for power in November. WESM, the country’s trading floor of electricity, provided 20 percent of Meralco’s supply needs. Transmission charge of residential customers slightly increased by P0.0169 per kWh. Meanwhile, taxes and other charges also went up P0.0155 per kWh this month. Meralco’s distribution, supply and metering charges were unchanged.

Office space sector hit record sales of 1.5m sqm this year By Jenniffer B. Austria

PARIS FOOD SHOW. Twenty-six Philippine companies raise more than U$51 million in export sales from nearly 600 foreign buyers in the country’s participation in the Salon International de I’Alimentation at the Paris Nord Villepinte in Paris, France on Oct. 21 to 25. Members of the Philippine delegation include (from right) commercial attache Froilan Pamintuan, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions department manager Rowena Mendoza, Ambassador to France Theresa Lazaro, Mira’s Turmeric Products owner Ma. Almira C. Silva, Corazon Coligado, Trade assistant secretary Demphna Du-Naga, Trade Calabarzon regional director Marilou Quinco-Toledo, Association of Laguna Food Processors Inc. president Clarke Nebrao, Citem staff Jessica Genovia, DTI Calabarzon staff Laura Jaraplasan and Edna and Rebecca’s Banana Chips owner Virginia Dimayuga.

BSP likely to keep rates steady in this year’s last policy meeting THE Monetary Board, the policy-making body of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, is expected to keep the benchmark interest rates steady in its last policy meeting for the year, a unit of Fitch Group said Monday. Fitch Solutions Macro Research said the Bangko Sentral might keep its overnight borrowing rate on hold at 4.75 percent, following a 25-basis point hike during the November meeting, which brought the total increase for the year to 175 basis points. “We believe that the BSP’s 25 bps hike in November was a pre-emptive move to the US Fed likely 25 bps hike in December. Combined with the recent decline in crude oil prices, this is likely to provide room for the BSP to remain on hold in

December, barring any global risk-off event,” Fitch said. It also said the government’s move to ease the rice import rules would help to rein in inflation, which eased to 6 percent in November from 6.7 percent in October while remaining above the Bangko Sentral’s 2 percent to 4 percent target range. “The continued high inflation rate informs our expectation for the BSP to resume its tightening cycle in 2019, with 50 bps worth of rate hikes over the year, aimed at bringing prices down to more manageable levels,” it said. Inflation in November eased to a fourmonth low of 6 percent from a nine-year high of 6.7 percent in October, pulled down by slower increases in food and fuel prices, the Philippine Statistics

Authority said. This brought the average inflation rate in the first 11 months to 5.2 percent, still higher than the target range of 2 percent to 4 percent this year. Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. earlier said the November inflation print at 6 percent was “very encouraging.” “For the first time, we are seeing significant negative month-on-month growth after inflation plateaued at around 6.7 percent,” he said. “It confirms that inflation is heading back to the 2 to 4 percent target range in response to decisive non-monetary measures to curb food prices as well as favorable recent developments in highly volatile international oil prices,” Espenilla said in a message to reporters. Julito G. Rada

DEMAND for office space hit a record 1.5 million square meters this year, as the strong take-up by the online gaming industry offset the slowdown in demand from the business process outsourcing sector, real estate services firm Leechiu Property Consultants said Monday. LPC chief executive David Leechiu said in a news briefing Metro Manila accounted for 74 percent, with demand hitting 1.16 million sqm, up 27 percent from 910,000 sqm in 2017. The figure included pre-commitments by BPO tenants competing for scarce Peza-accredited spaces to be completed in 2019 in the capital. “We’re seeing continued growth outside Metro Manila–which is a positive development. At the same time, we are seeing a contraction of BPO demand, which continues to be the largest single industry contributing to demand and a key driver of the economy,” Leechiu said. Leechiu said office demand from the BPO industry in Metro Manila declined to 289,819 sqm from 355,000 sqm in 2017. This marked the second straight year that demand from BPO has been on the decline, which Leechiu said was “disturbing”. LPC said demand for office space from the BPO industry was expected to pick up in 2019 amid the rising labor cost in United States and completion by a number of global companies of their diversification program. Meanwhile, the slack in demand from BPO players was offset by offshore gaming, which accounted for 433,000 sqm. and flexible workspaces and multinationals and local entrepreneurs which accounted for 422,000 sqm of office demand.




Market sinks for 4 straight day S th

TOCKS slumped for the fourth straight day Monday, joining the rest of Asian markets as investors juggle a number of negative issues that have fueled worries about the global outlook.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index sank 112.85 points, or 1.5 percent, to 7,348.21 on a value turnover of P14.8 billion. About P9.7 billion worth of shares of Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corp. were crossed by majority holder MCO (Philippines) Investments Ltd. Monday, representing the shares tendered to the public. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 134 to

59, with 43 issues unchanged. SM Investments Corp. of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr. dropped 4.3 percent to P900, while conglomerate San Miguel Corp. fell 3.1 percent to P157.10. Asiabest Group International Inc. tumbled 13.3 percent to P25 after a minority shareholder asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to stop the ongoing tender offer and planned backdoor listing of Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. The shareholder accused Tiger Resorts of allegedly violating the Securities Regulation Code when it failed to disclose in a tender offer report the intracorporate dispute involving the major shareholder of Tiger Resorts. ISM Communications Corp., a member of the group declared by the government as the country’s third major telecommunications firm, lost 3.2 percent to P5.74. The rest of Asian markets sank. The China-US trade row, the Huawei crisis,

signs of weakness in the Chinese and US economies, and Brexit are among the key matters depressing equities, though there was some upbeat news in Opec’s decision to slash crude production. Equity markets, which have been buffeted by the trade row this year— and were hammered by the arrest last week—were down on Monday, tracking heavy losses in New York. Hong Kong shed 1.4 percent, while Shanghai fell 0.8 percent. Tokyo lost 2.1 percent, with Japanese car giant Nissan dropping 2.9 percent after ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn was charged and faced new allegations for alleged financial misconduct. Sydney shed 2.3 percent, while Singapore and Seoul each gave up 1.1 percent. There were also losses for Taipei and Wellington. On Sunday, China summoned the US ambassador to protest at the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

in Canada last week over allegations of fraud linked to the breaking of Iran sanctions. An angry China has demanded Washington drop its extradition request, as investors fret that the arrest could throw a spanner in the works of a fragile trade war truce between Beijing and Washington. “Huawei... will likely remain in the headlines for some time as China continues to pressure both Canada and US to withdraw charges,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. “It’s more than apparent that USChina tensions are well beyond trade. And when combined with the fact ‘tariffs-limbo’ is likely to extend well into 2019, uncertainty is expected to remain high, and could still explode into a full-blown trade war.” Still, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he did not expect the arrest to disrupt the talks. With AFP




FINANCIALS 59 2,140 93.5 3,436,430 2.16 70,000 128 1,255,960 1.55 1,000 27.7 36,700 15.8 113,700 11.64 534,900 3.93 23,000 0.67 7,500,000 0.45 300,000 79.8 3,507,690 0.91 336,000 11.1 200 42.15 55,700 179.9 520 122 530 71.15 15,900 28.3 45,900 160 125,200 1,810 435 65.95 5,830

126,239 322,604,080.50 151,650 162,116,764 1,550 1,017,850 1,760,580 6,288,714 88,610 5,025,000 135,000 277,593,708 295,920 2,220 2,353,660 93,141 62,070 1,137,142.50 1,301,295 19,855,221 787,360 384,241.50

112,105 198,197,182.50 -26,201,157 22,285 -15,620 -333,716 138,353,433.50 0 227,130 -172,051.50 8,505 -5,486,153 -606,360 -81,716.50

32.5 17.08 1 1.24 0.247 1.66 14.74 191 30.5 15.5 37 60.6 78.05 1.7 6 6.55 10.06 14.9 8.11 6.96 18.66 63.15 24.2 2.08 6.2 8.65 1.68 289 44.05 3.29 8.48 27 9.95 18.08 366.2 0.17 6.15 1.35 3.86 8.25 5.05 8.16 0.9 10.82 47.1 5.4 4.6 1.83 2.67 1.38 10.38 84.05 5.16 0.122 0.83 127 2.48 1.75 16.9 1.77

INDUSTRIAL 32.75 323,900 17.34 936,900 1.03 3,754,000 1.24 570,000 0.25 6,310,000 1.68 3,533,000 14.74 313,900 191 50 31 368,700 16.5 2,400 37 11,000 60.6 240 78.05 60 1.7 208,000 6.65 200,700 6.64 600 10.14 3,633,000 14.9 5,800 8.2 1,290,300 6.98 704,400 18.66 1,240,200 64 408,930 25 754,200 2.08 6,821,000 6.2 19,000 8.65 2,859,600 1.68 360,000 291 264,940 44.05 1,150 3.29 1,000 8.48 3,900 27.3 120,200 9.99 1,009,500 18.28 7,458,700 366.2 160,030 0.17 10,000 6.15 100 1.36 1,444,000 3.86 95,000 8.27 1,458,900 5.18 27,600 8.16 500 0.9 3,375,000 11 152,400 47.55 47,100 5.4 20,000 4.8 74,000 1.83 112,000 2.67 10,000 1.38 123,000 10.4 7,700 84.05 2,259,740 5.2 492,100 0.122 30,000 0.83 46,000 128 828,960 2.5 301,000 1.75 7,200,000 16.9 1,000 1.79 18,147,000

10,595,135 16,218,238 3,831,610 716,630 1,594,690 5,968,870 4,644,918 9,550 11,441,920 39,500 407,010 14,544 4,683 357,470 1,311,467 3,977 36,758,706 86,444 10,771,793 4,908,002 23,414,684 26,233,290.50 18,655,500 14,385,240 117,800 25,087,248 609,330 77,038,300 50,657.50 3,290 33,159 3,273,800 10,085,826 137,595,452 58,997,282 1,700 615 2,010,200 368,810 12,138,309 142,455 4,080 3,056,530 1,674,918 2,251,975 108,000 345,900 205,720 26,700 170,840 80,214 190,041,335.50 2,556,303 3,660 38,180 106,039,192 752,400 12,839,500 16,900 32,872,080

-361,690 584,842 -284,570 197,600 -2,283,510 -2,934 9,550 -5,439,935 362,600 59,400 -2 -10,358,398.00 -73,034 -150,135 -1,956,229 7,721,678 15,629,008 520,090 10,236,349 -33,980 -1,251,862 -1,927,015 126,145 -2,889,234.00 -33,088,262 -1,626,500 200,447 -2,679,310 -1,228,700 -649,440 -21,600 -14,250 -54,080 136,113,637.50 10,380 24,364,955 104,520 22,120

0.65 51.35 11.82 0.85 6.43 28.4 1.39 1.39 923 7.45 12.78 9.81 4.79 921 50.1 0.58 4.19 16.96 0.63 4.77 0.038 1.23 2.41 163.5 938 0.77 1.3 280 0.27 0.224

0.58 50.3 11.58 0.81 6.4 25 1.33 1.34 910 7.2 12.56 9.66 4.79 883 48.8 0.55 4.01 16.2 0.62 4.71 0.036 1.2 2.33 156 900 0.77 1.3 274.8 0.25 0.224

HOLDING FIRMS 0.59 40,490,000 50.6 668,480 11.66 1,156,700 0.85 3,000 6.4 16,800 25 10,709,300 1.36 11,604,000 1.37 2,471,000 910 325,360 7.2 1,099,800 12.7 2,614,000 9.7 106,300 4.79 1,000 894 117,940 49.15 1,222,530 0.55 55,000 4.01 967,000 16.56 6,132,100 0.63 604,000 4.77 7,752,000 0.038 29,700,000 1.23 14,000 2.38 660,000 157.1 1,081,240 900 394,770 0.77 3,000 1.3 8,000 280 2,440 0.25 2,540,000 0.224 100,000

24,511,650 33,844,974.50 13,485,988 2,510 107,646 286,852,515 15,666,650 3,351,230 297,783,720 8,008,207 33,159,022 1,031,517 4,790 105,842,585 60,331,823.50 30,940 3,941,680 103,601,324 374,500 36,701,110 1,097,000 16,860 1,576,690 171,977,275 360,231,245 2,310 10,400 670,628 651,000 22,400

-196,400 -14,123,572 7,349,672 76,800 -2,672,080 -184,716,620 331,635 -11,606,676 -4,706,390 -30,327,864 -933,220 -3,235,580.00 -2,133,880 -98,754,014 -101,643,090 -656,772 -

7.74 0.78 10.58 1.75 0.58 41.2 2.52 4.05 6 0.405 0.88 0.255 0.335 8.05 17.78 0.48 1.5 1.12 4.78

7.6 0.74 9.7 1.74 0.56 40.1 2.38 3.94 5.6 0.4 0.88 0.233 0.33 8 17.5 0.48 1.46 1.05 4.7

1,848,665 1,699,730 37,590 17,420 227,280 318,379,395 4,049,400 1,393,610 26,420 585,350 87,120 8,596,830 1,509,950 459,268 4,981,952 153,600 5,090,130 2,285,610 24,857,740

-425,432 -3,000 5,700.00 698,755 -814,020 -178,960 148,500 3,184,460 -902,750 -28,504.00 -1,008,960 -13,650 1,771,200







59 94.25 2.18 133 1.55 27.9 15.7 11.96 3.87 0.67 0.45 79.5 0.88 11.1 43.5 180 116.9 73.9 28.4 160 1,811 65.95

59 94.3 2.23 133 1.55 27.9 15.9 11.96 3.93 0.67 0.45 79.8 0.91 11.1 43.5 180 122 74 28.5 160 1,811 67.5

58.6 93.3 2.15 128 1.55 27.6 15.4 11.62 3.83 0.67 0.45 77.8 0.87 11.1 41.8 178 116.9 71.15 28.3 157.4 1,810 65.9


32.85 17.2 1.02 1.28 0.255 1.67 14.84 191 32.45 15.5 37.05 60.6 78.05 1.76 6.79 6.55 10.12 14.9 8.11 6.97 19 65.1 24.2 2.11 6.2 9.03 1.73 294 44.05 3.29 8.52 27.8 10 18.68 375.4 0.17 6.15 1.4 3.95 8.34 5.05 8.16 0.9 10.82 48.6 5.4 4.8 1.86 2.67 1.41 10.64 84.15 5.19 0.122 0.83 127.3 2.5 1.84 16.9 1.83

32.9 17.38 1.04 1.28 0.26 1.72 14.84 191 32.45 16.5 37.05 60.6 78.05 1.76 6.79 6.65 10.22 14.98 8.39 6.98 19.22 65.1 25.95 2.17 6.2 9.03 1.75 294 44.05 3.29 8.52 27.8 10.04 18.7 375.4 0.17 6.15 1.44 3.95 8.37 5.24 8.16 0.91 11 48.6 5.4 4.8 1.86 2.67 1.49 10.64 84.2 5.21 0.122 0.83 128.6 2.5 1.85 16.9 1.85


0.63 50.3 11.82 0.81 6.42 28.4 1.37 1.37 910 7.44 12.6 9.75 4.79 920 50.1 0.57 4.19 16.8 0.62 4.77 0.038 1.2 2.4 162.3 932.5 0.77 1.3 275.2 0.27 0.224


7.73 0.77 9.7 1.74 0.56 40.75 2.39 4.05 5.6 0.405 0.88 0.233 0.335 8 17.7 0.48 1.5 1.1 4.78











0.41 0.48 2.39 0.39 3.8 21 2 3.12 35.95 1.22 5.62 0.73 5.14

0.415 0.48 2.39 0.39 3.8 21.1 2 3.12 35.95 1.25 5.62 0.73 5.19

0.4 0.465 2.33 0.38 3.61 20.7 2 3.09 35.2 1.19 5.29 0.73 5.11

0.4 0.465 2.33 0.385 3.74 20.7 2 3.1 35.45 1.25 5.48 0.73 5.18

27,760,000 700,000 5,024,000 90,000 506,000 3,424,400 10,000 5,000 9,198,700 4,597,000 272,200 170,000 2,623,300

11,219,500 333,800 11,776,730 34,350 1,862,900 71,423,660 20,000 15,510 326,011,090 5,678,230 1,470,488 124,100 13,528,594

44,500 -534,170 -882,090 14,241,375 -12,390 -109,814,320 -311,500 -5,658,464.00


11.3 19.92 1.46 0.4 0.039 2.71 7.99 72.5 7.74 6.55 2.4 19.3 892 2,088 5.25 324.4 3.25 2.22 93.6 10.14 7.2 0.111 5.5 3.1 13.88 3.48 0.75 14.68 0.34 5.24 7.25 2.28 2.37 2.32 3.64 10.02 8.54 3.39 112.1 3.02 1,165 0.75 0.315 42.6 71.5 7.45 2.42 0.64 0.415 5.25 0.67 12.26

11.3 19.92 1.46 0.415 0.04 2.78 7.99 74 7.74 6.58 2.4 23 892 2,090 5.3 325 3.3 2.22 94.6 10.24 7.2 0.114 5.8 3.39 14.28 3.6 0.75 14.68 0.34 5.51 7.26 2.28 2.41 2.35 3.64 10.02 8.54 3.39 116 3.09 1,179 0.85 0.315 42.75 73.05 7.5 2.46 0.65 0.42 5.25 0.68 12.26

10.52 19.3 1.46 0.4 0.039 2.67 7.8 70.6 7.6 6.34 2.4 18.54 892 2,058 5.22 306.4 2.93 1.97 93.5 10.14 7.2 0.105 5.32 3.1 13.84 3.42 0.75 14 0.33 5.24 7.25 2.17 2.06 2.28 3.38 9.88 8.54 3.39 111.7 2.95 1,160 0.74 0.315 42.45 71.2 7.07 2.38 0.61 0.395 5.24 0.63 11.84

SERVICES 10.58 19.7 1.46 0.405 0.04 2.72 7.85 72.15 7.61 6.4 2.4 20 892 2,080 5.26 325 3.06 2.1 94.4 10.22 7.2 0.111 5.74 3.39 14.28 3.55 0.75 14.2 0.34 5.49 7.25 2.19 2.14 2.34 3.38 9.88 8.54 3.39 115.9 2.97 1,168 0.82 0.315 42.5 72 7.07 2.41 0.62 0.4 5.24 0.67 11.84

51,200 262,100 6,000 910,000 9,200,000 5,129,000 5,168,000 234,860 30,600 2,863,100 11,000 1,681,100 30 8,085 39,600 2,410 6,145,000 29,000 409,050 3,200 12,500 1,980,000 14,629,700 6,000 1,500 585,000 2,000 1,234,400 310,000 132,800 25,247,300 1,307,000 1,559,000 19,000 4,933,000 7,200 200 1,000 198,510 429,000 31,230 42,787,000 360,000 1,765,100 2,114,180 237,400 4,051,000 8,045,000 27,980,000 25,600 6,039,000 609,200

549,552 5,099,676 8,760 367,500 361,800 13,990,630 40,714,617 16,821,473 232,914 18,502,032 26,400 35,906,241 26,760 16,844,580 207,670 775,708 18,910,860 60,620 38,407,648.50 32,704 90,000 210,150 80,995,274 18,890 20,924 2,062,790 1,500 17,613,224 103,100 714,083 183,042,928 2,869,840 3,496,180 44,230 17,036,450 71,848 1,708 3,390 22,204,304 1,292,140 36,519,535 35,074,620 113,400 75,026,625 152,346,223.50 1,711,749 9,791,940 5,051,190 11,249,800 134,262 3,910,440 7,279,466

-10,520 109,350 51,370 -5,194,161 -9,050,052 -2,961,738 -121,005 26,760 10,285,800 -3,250 368,110 2,000 7,771,431.00 3,121,760.00 -88,750 -4,546,546 39,653,150 -535,410 747,490 8,016 -168,977 15,080 4,548,895 54,500 -55,386,160 -20,027,702 -1,225,070 -1,861,100 -476,000 -103,341 -3,242,170


0.002 1.61 16.26 1.13 1.13 1.9 7.12 1.68 0.202 0.095 0.108 0.007 1.14 2.22 1.12 0.59 1.02 0.012 0.012 3.23 2.82 15.7 24.55 0.0062

0.002 1.62 16.8 1.13 1.13 1.9 7.12 1.69 0.204 0.098 0.108 0.007 1.14 2.22 1.13 0.59 1.05 0.012 0.012 3.41 2.82 15.8 25 0.0062

0.002 1.57 16.26 1.13 1.13 1.9 7.05 1.66 0.201 0.093 0.108 0.007 1.14 2.09 1.08 0.59 0.95 0.012 0.012 3.23 2.75 15.2 24.2 0.0062

MINING & OIL 0.002 168,000,000 1.61 1,921,000 16.7 13,100 1.13 7,000 1.13 3,000 1.9 14,000 7.05 6,100 1.69 2,534,000 0.204 50,000 0.098 1,980,000 0.108 10,000 0.007 1,000,000 1.14 1,000 2.1 13,047,000 1.08 52,000 0.59 75,000 0.99 1,912,000 0.012 114,100,000 0.012 81,100,000 3.41 2,000 2.75 1,085,000 15.66 1,036,100 24.5 1,957,900 0.0062 2,000,000

336,000 3,065,870 213,854 7,910 3,390 26,600 43,161 4,247,320 10,090 189,360 1,080 7,000 1,140 27,953,430 57,550 44,250 1,898,660 1,369,200 973,200 6,640 3,012,910 16,119,048 48,378,430 12,400

54,000 -1,844,230 -13,193,470 15,200 18,000 -319,990 -400,864 -12,886,205 -


18.82 103 97 1.01 99.7 932 997.5 75.9 76.6 71.95 75 73.9

18.82 103 97 1.01 99.7 932 997.5 75.9 76.6 74 75 74

18.52 102 97 1.01 99.3 932 997.5 75.9 76.6 71.95 75 73.9

PREFERRED 18.58 116,200 102 99,030 97 220 1.01 35,000 99.3 14,640 932 50 997.5 10 75.9 100 76.6 330 74 26,100 75 220 74 2,350

2,169,550 10,105,090 21,340 35,350 1,453,770 46,600 9,975 7,590 25,278 1,890,195 16,500 173,865

-1,968,746 59,590 -





WARRANTS 2.02 132,000




4.6 1.25

4.65 1.29

4.32 1.18

4.5 1.22

1,577,500 7,567,740

-76,460 -457,310








PROPERTY 7.74 0.74 10.58 1.75 0.56 40.3 2.45 4 6 0.4 0.88 0.255 0.33 8.05 17.5 0.48 1.46 1.06 4.71

241,700 2,261,000 3,800 10,000 402,000 7,844,400 1,652,000 349,000 4,700 1,460,000 99,000 34,730,000 4,570,000 57,200 283,000 320,000 3,448,000 2,138,000 5,269,000



17,378,932 80,042,967 122,697,598










354,000 6,222,000


VALUE 1,766.99 (DOWN) 28.30 803,204,505.55 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 10,719.33 (DOWN) 122.19 884,682,198.64 HOLDING FIRMS 7,135.97 (DOWN) 153.81 1,607,085,908.56 PROPERTY 3,600.40 (DOWN) 45.86 SERVICES 1,407.67 (DOWN) 4.62 819,861,869.36 MINING & OIL 8,317.60 (DOWN) 93.63 10,608,916,446.44 PSEI 7,348.21 (DOWN) 112.85 107,993,456.4082 All Shares Index 4,441.14 (DOWN) 54.74 14,841,976,746.72 Gainers: 59; Losers: 134; Unchanged: 43; Total: 236

MRC Allied raising P1b to expand solar output By Jenniffer B. Austria MRC Allied Inc. plans to raise P1 billion through a private placement to expand the company’s renewable portfolio to 100 megawatts of solar energy over the next two years. Newly-appointed MRC president Gus Cosio said in an interview the company was focusing on renewable energy, mainly solar which is faster to roll out. Cosio said the company was looking to build a 12-megawatt solar power facility in Central Luzon and interested in other acquisitions in Visayas and in Davao. “To be attractive we need to at least have 100 MW of solar energy in our portfolio. We plan to achieve that target over the next two years,” Cosio said. MRC Allied owns a 15-percent stake in a Leyte-based solar power firm Sulu Electric Power and Light Philippines (Sepalco) valued at P255 million. It has the option to further increase its stake in the company to at least 51 percent. Cosio said MRC Allied by 2019 plans to have at least 43 MW of solar power through organic growth and acquisitions. The company is now in talks to acquire a 30-MW solar power plant project in Leyte. To fund potential acquisitions and construction of its own solar power plants, MRC Allied is looking to conduct a private placement to local investors. Meanwhile, MRC Allied reported it signed a memorandum of agreement with Edward Marcs Philippines Inc. for the design, supply, delivery, construction, installation, testing and commissioning of its 550 kWP Grid-Tied Solar PV Rooftop Project for two rice milling plants in Northern Luzon. The project is estimated to cost P34 million. Under the agreement, MRC Allied will be the project developer and owner of the solar facility while a private entity, owning and operating two milling plants, will purchase the power output. Share price of MRC Allied on Monday dropped 3.6 percent to P0.40.

SN Aboitiz eyes additional 50 MW from Magat Dam By Alena Mae S. Flores SN ABOITIZ Power Corp., a joint between SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power Corp., plans to generate 30 to 50 megawatts of capacity from a floating solar project in the Magat dam reservoir. “We have always viewed ourselves as a renewable energy company—not just a hydro power producer,” said SNAP Group president and chief executive officer Joseph Yu. “As a company pushing for greener solutions, we aim for minimal environmental impact as possible in our projects. We espouse a nexus approach to development, where we recognize the interdependence of food, water, and energy and optimize them for balance and synergy,” he said. SNAP is piloting a 200-kilowatt floating solar project in the Magat Dam reservoir after receiving the go-signal from the National Irrigation Administration. The pilot project will be constructed over a 2,500-square meter area over the Magat reservoir, and will focus on providing internal power to SNAP’s facilities in the area. SNAP will conduct a stress test to ensure the facility works through incidences of massive inflows and strong typhoons. “The intent is to stress test it and operate it before the wet season... We are hoping if it works, it is scalable and a venue for us to grow pretty rapidly. Land-based solar takes 6 to 8 months to build. Assuming the floating solar works, I would like to build expansion as early as 2020,” Yu said. NIA administrator Ricardo Visaya said a hectare of solar field could produce one megawatt of power. The government agency said if 200 of the 4,500 hectares of the Magat Dam reservoir would be will be used for water-based solar power, 200 MW will be generated and 200 hectares of agricultural lands could be saved. Floating solar facilities have a number of other benefits according to studies. They safeguard the water levels in dams and reservoirs by preventing evaporation. Such facilities can also provide sanctuary for marine life that cannot survive in very hot temperatures.







Siberian serial killer cop guilty of more murders

CHARITY RUN. People wearing swimsuits and Santa suits take part in a charity run for poor children on December 9 in

Budapest. AFP

IN BRIEF ‘I can’t breathe’ were Kashoggi’s last words WASHINGTON―Jamal Khashoggi’s final words were “I can’t breathe,” CNN said Sunday, citing a source who has read the transcript of an audio tape of the final moments before the journalist’s murder. The source told the US network the transcript made clear the killing was premeditated, and suggests several phone calls were made to give briefings on the progress. CNN said Turkish officials believe those calls were made to top officials in Riyadh. Khashoggi, a Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, was killed shortly after entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2. The transcript of the gruesome recording includes descriptions of Khashoggi struggling against his murderers, CNN said, and references sounds of the dissident journalist’s body “being dismembered by a saw.” The original transcript was prepared by Turkish intelligence services, and CNN said its source read a translation version and was briefed on the probe into the journalist’s death. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Sunday meanwhile rejected demands to extradite the suspects connected to the murder of Khashoggi as sought by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AFP Manila

Standard TODAY Macron to meet trade unionists

PARIS―President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation on the “yellow vest” crisis Monday and meet trade unionists and business leaders in search of a way to end the protests that have rocked France. The president will speak to the French people at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT), his Elysee office announced—his first public comments after four weeks of nationwide anti-government demonstrations which again turned violent Saturday in Paris and other cities. Government officials have said the 40-yearold centrist would announce “immediate and concrete measures” to respond to protesters’ grievances. Calls have multiplied across the political spectrum for drastic action, with former farright presidential rival Marine Le Pen urging Macron to “recognize society’s suffering and deliver immediate, very strong responses”. “It is clear that we underestimated people’s need to make themselves heard,” government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told Europe 1 radio on Sunday. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the weeks of unrest were an “economic catastrophe” for France, causing havoc on the roads and putting off shoppers and tourists in the

May faces fight for her political life LONDON―British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a fight for her political life this week in a parliamentary vote that will decide the fate of her Brexit divorce deal. The beleaguered leader’s splintered government appears to be facing a heavy defeat in parliament on Tuesday on the draft withdrawal agreement she signed with Brussels last month. The text defining the terms on which the island nation leaves its main trading partner after 46 years is the most important to face the House of Commons in years. A big loss could spark immediate challenges to May from both within her Conservative Party and the opposition Labor party. It would also leave the tortuous Brexit process in a state of flux—and raise the prospects of a no-deal scenario—less than four months before the March 29 departure date. Media reports said May was under pressure from her cabinet to try to salvage the deal by delaying the vote and flying to Brussels to seek more concessions ahead of a planned summit with 27 fellow EU leaders on Thursday and Friday. But Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told the BBC on Sunday: “The vote is going ahead.” AFP

MOSCOW―A Siberian policeman who raped and killed women after offering them late-night rides was found guilty of dozens more murders on Monday, making him Russia’s most prolific serial killer of recent times. A court in the city of Irkutsk found Mikhail Popkov guilty of 56 murders between 1992 and 2007, sentencing him to a second life term. He was already in prison after being convicted of killing 22 women in 2015. Popkov offered rides to women late at night, sometimes in his police car, while off-duty around his city of Angarsk near Irkutsk. He killed them using weapons including a hammer and an axe, then dumped their bodies in the woods, at the side of the road and in a local cemetery. He was also found guilty of raping 10 of the women. Popkov described himself as a “cleaner” who was purging his home city of prostitutes. All but one of his victims were women between the ages of 16 and 40. His other victim was a policeman. The grey-haired 54-year-old appeared in court in prison uniform, his head bowed, Russian television

showed. He will be sent to a prison that is exclusively for convicts serving life terms, nicknamed the “Black Dolphin.” As part of his sentence -- a rare case in Russia of a convicted murderer being given a second life sentence -- Popkov was also deprived of his police pension. Prosecutors have described Popkov as having “a pathological attraction to killing people” but he was ruled sane enough to stand trial. Investigators had suspected a policeman was behind the crime because of the way the killer carefully covered his tracks. The murders took place while he was a serving police officer and after he left the force in 1998. Popkov was caught in 2012 after investigators re-examined the case and carried out DNA testing of residents, focusing on those who drove a make of car that matched tracks found at crime scenes. In a 2017 interview with Russia’s Meduza website, Popkov said he gave women lifts and targeted those who were drunk or living in a way he saw as immoral, saying that “any society condemns the behavior of a debauched woman”. AFP

China summons ambassador over arrest of Huawei official


EIJING―China summoned the US ambassador on Sunday to protest the arrest of a top executive from telecoms giant Huawei in Canada, as Washington’s top trade negotiator rejected suggestions that the case could affect the talks aimed at settling a trade war.

The arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou has infuriated Beijing, which demanded Washington drop its extradition request, and stoked tensions during the trade war truce between China and the United States. Meng faces US fraud charges related to alleged sanctions-breaking dealings with Iran. But with negotiations underway against a “hard deadline” of March 1 to settle the tariff dispute between the world’s two biggest economies, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he did not expect the arrest to disrupt the talks. Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is in custody awaiting a Canadian court’s decision on bail on Monday. Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned US ambassador Terry Branstad one day after he called in Canadian envoy John McCallum to voice China’s displeasure. “Le Yucheng pointed out that the US side has seriously violated the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens, and the nature of the violation is extremely bad,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “The Chinese side firmly opposes this and strongly urges the United States to attach great importance to China’s solemn and just position,” it said. China also urged the United States to “take immediate measures to correct wrong practices, and revoke the arrest warrant against the Chinese citizen.” The statement warned that Beijing would make an unspecified “further response” in light of the US actions. In a case which shook investors and rattled the markets, Meng was arrested in Vancouver while changing planes on December 1, the same day that US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in their

trade battle and gave negotiators three months to find a compromise. Although Trump last week tweeted that the talks would end after 90 days “unless extended,” Lighthizer said on Sunday that March 1 is a firm deadline. “When I talked to the president of the United States he’s not talking about going beyond March,” Lighthizer said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “If there is a deal to be gotten, we want to get it in the next 90 days.” He also said that Meng’s arrest “shouldn’t really have much of an impact” on the talks, although he conceded that the Chinese might see it that way. “For us, it’s unrelated” to trade policy matters. “It’s criminal justice.” Separately, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow denied reports that Trump was “livid” that the arrest of Meng occurred while Trump dined with Xi. “He didn’t know,” Kudlow told “Fox News Sunday.”

“He learned way later.” The world’s top two economies have exchanged steep tariffs on more than $300 billion in total two-way trade, locking them in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits. Since taking office, Trump has waged an often-fierce offensive against Chinese trade practices, which he regularly brands as “unfair.” He sees the US trade deficit with China as a particular sore point, and the imbalance ballooned to a record $35.6 billion in November, official data showed on Saturday. Analysts say Meng could become a bargaining chip in the negotiations. In a bail hearing that was adjourned on Friday, Canadian Crown prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley asked for bail to be denied, saying Meng has been accused of “conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions.” He said if convicted, she faces more than 30 years in prison. AFP CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC Effective December 14, 2018 the following SMART Postpaid Plans shall no longer be available. SMART POSTPAID LTE PLAN 999 WITH SPINNR Analog Devices Cons P5000 DATA PLAN MENSA F2000 DATA PLAN MENSA F3000 DATA PLAN MENSA F4000 GI300 GI500 HTC Magic Regular Plan 1199 HTC Magic Regular Plan 1799 HTC Magic Regular Plan 2499 HTC Magic Regular Plan 3499 HTC Magic Regular Plan 499 HTC Magic Regular Plan 799 NETPHONE PLAN 499 NOKIA MENSA 1500 DATA PLAN NOKIA MENSA 2000 DATA PLAN NOKIA MENSA 3000 DATA PLAN NOKIA MENSA 4000 DATA PLAN PCO Plan 5000 New Plan 0 SMART BRO POSTPAID BIZBRO BRO WIND PLAN 1999 Gadget Plus Plan Share It Plan 1100 Smart Bro Big Bytes Plan 1299 (Plus) Smart Bro Big Bytes Plan 2500 (Plus) Smart Bro Big Bytes Plan 299 (Plus) Smart Bro iPad Plan Smart Bro iPad Plan SMART BRO PLAN 0 SMART BRO PLAN 899 SMARTBRO ENT 388/16 PLAN 2000 XBRO SUN POSTPAID GSB90 Group Plan 1947 GP3-Plan999 SFW GP3-Plan999 SFW Group Plan 1299 with CTU and IDD Group Plan 1299 with CTU and IDD Group Plan 1299 with CTU and MI Group Plan 1299 with CTU MI and iPush Group Plan 1688 with CTU Group Plan 699 DCTU

Group Plan 699 DCTU 600 SMS Group Plan 699 iText Group Plan 699 with CTU Group Plan 699 with TU Group Plan 699 with TU Free 10Hrs Group Plan 999 CTU with iPlan75 Group Plan 999 CTU with P999 BB Group Plan 999 CTU with P999 BB Group Plan 999 CTU P649 BB and MI Group Plan 999 CTU P649 BB and MI Group Plan 999 CTU with P700 BB Group Plan 999 CTU with P700 BB Group Plan 999 CTU with BB599 Group Plan 999 CTU with BB599 Group Plan 999 CTU with BBM P99 Group Plan 999 DCTU Group Plan 999 Primary Group Plan 999 Primary Group Plan 999 Primary Group Plan 999 Primary Group Plan 999 Primary Group Plan 999 Primary Group Plan 999 with 10Hrs MI Group Plan 999 with 10Hrs MI Group Plan 999 with CTU 10Hrs MI Group Plan 999 with CTU 20Hrs MI Group Plan 999 with CTU 3Hrs MI Group Plan 999 with CTU 3Hrs MI Group Plan 999 with CTU 5Hrs MI Group Plan 999 with CTU and Free Calls Group Plan 999 with CTU and Free Calls Group Plan 999 with TU 10Hrs MI Group Plan 999?DCTU GroupPlan 1299 with CTU and EzHandset GroupPlan 1299 with CTU and EzHandset Plan 1399 w/CTU TRINET 3GB Plan 450 w/ TU and P450 Cons SERVICE UNIT with Plan 700 BB Suntel Plan 999 (3 lines) Suntel Plan 999 (3 lines) SL SUN BRO POSTPAID GSB44 SBW Group Plan 699 GSB45 SBW Group Plan 999 GSB44 SBW Group Plan 699 GSB45 SBW Group Plan 999 (MS-DEC. 11, 2018)




Jimbo Owen Gulle, Editor


LocaL government units

tuesday, december 11, 2018

QC performers to get base, arts school—Joy B

THANKFUL STUDENTS. Students and teachers at Palo National High School in Palo, Leyte thank President Rodrigo Duterte through the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. after the school received 25 desktop computers and 10 32-inch LED televisions on Friday. Present during the turnover ceremony were Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla, Rico Acuña, Pagcor’s senior community development and welfare officer, school GPTA president Douglas Macalalag, Principal Estrellita Morano, and other school officials. Ronald O. Reyes

By Rio N. Araja QUEZON City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Monday vowed to promote local talents through a performers’ base and performing arts school. Belmonte pledged to give opportunities to the city’s student performers to showcase their talents through a database aimed at tracking and scouting every performing arts group that could represent the city to various events in and out of the country. “To me, the most talented race in the whole world are the Filipino people, but sad to say, we lack the programs to enable them enhance their talents,” she said. “That’s why I plan to establish a database of all our school-based performing arts groups because I know, there are heaps of talents waiting to be discovered. We just need to give them the opportunity to showcase it,” the vice mayor said. Belmonte said there are plans to put up a performing arts school where students could learn and enhance their skills in dancing, singing, acting and theater play. “We also have talked about founding the Quezon City School for the Arts, of course, with the help from the Philippine School for the Arts. We are starting to plan for this project to happen,” she said.

Big exporter back in Subic By Butch Gunio


UBIC BAY FREEPORT―Wistron Infocomm Corp., formerly one of the biggest export manufacturers in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, will soon resume production operations here.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the Taiwanese computer giant has conducted recruitment activities here for two days last week in order to hire workers for some 2,500 positions at its Subic facility. Wistron’s return to Subic EXCERPT FROM THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR EN came as a direct result of the BANC MEETING OF THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS emerging trade war between HELD ON NOVEMBER 28, 2018 the super-economies of the Chairman Sheriff M. Abas United States and China, as Commissioner AI A. Parreño Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia well as of the threat by the Commissioner Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon Commissioner Socorro B. Inting Trump administration to withCommissioner Marlon S. Casquejo draw from the North American Commissioner Antonio T. Kho, Jr. xxx xxx xxx Free Trade Agreement. “You can say that this again 18 - 1163 IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUEST TO CORRECT COMELEC validates the inherent strength RESOLUTION NO. 10425 DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 2018, ENTITLED: “RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE CONDUCT OF THE of Subic as a strategic business PLEBISCITE TO RATIFY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 11054 OTHERWISE location, because when other KNOWN AS THE “ORGANIC LAW FOR THE BANGSAMORO countries lose their initial adAUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO” vantages in terms of cheap labor This pertains to the Memorandum dated November 26, 2018 of Deputy or distribution cost, companies Executive Director for Operations Bartolome J. Sinocruz, Jr., requesting opt for Subic,” Eisma said. to correct COMELEC Resolution No. 10425 dated September 26, 2018, entitled: “Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of the Plebiscite She added that the SBMA to Ratify Republic Act No. 11054 Otherwise Known as the “Organic Law for expects more global compathe Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao”. nies affected by the trade war The Memorandum of Director Sinocruz reads: to consider moving out to Subic or other economic zones in “Undersigned respectfully requests the correction of Resolution No. 10425 dated September 26, 2018 entitled “Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of the Plebiscite to Ratify Republic Act No. 11054 Otherwise Known as the ‘Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,’ particularly Article VI, Section 6, paragraph (g), item no. 9 found in page 13 thereof, which states.·

the country. According to SBMA Labor Department manager Severo Pastor, Wistron processed more than 4,000 applications during the two-day schedule of exams and job interviews last week, with 900 workers passing the qualifiers in the first day alone. “They wanted HOTS―hired on the spot, so Taiwanese personnel from the company personally conducted the interviews. The SBMA labor personnel simply assisted in the second day to help process the growing number of applications,” Pastor noted. Wistron Infocomm (Philippines) Corp. started out in Subic in 1995 as Acer Information Products (Philippines) Inc., a computer manufacturing outfit of Acer Inc., Taiwan’s biggest computer firm. It earned its current name in 2006 when Acer Inc. spun off its Subic operations and infused fresh capitalization of $36 million to include a Mobile Operations Unit. In 2008, Wistron contributed more than a fourth of Subic’s $977.84 export total with export production of $274.88 million, leading the top 10 Subic exporters when Korean shipbuilder Hanjin, now the biggest exporter, was just a fledgling operation with $61.74 million worth of exports. In 2010, however, Wistron closed its hand-held device plant in Subic, shifting all of its production here to a facility in Zhongshan, China, but leaving its design automation center here. The move displaced about 700 workers, some 200 of whom were reportedly sent off to a Wistron plant in the border-town facility of Juarez, Mexico.

‘9. Are you in favor of the inclusion of Barangay S. Lagunde, Pikit, North Cotabato, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region?’ Undersigned requests that the ‘S’ in Barangay S. Lagunde be removed to read as Barangay Lagunde. Undersigned likewise requests that the modification be reflected in the official ballot, plebiscite returns, and in such other documents where the plebiscite question will appear. For your Honors’ favorable consideration. “ The Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to approve the request of Deputy Executive Director for Operations Bartolome J. Sinocruz, Jr. to correct COMELEC Resolution No. 10425 dated September 26, 2018, entitled:”Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of the Plebiscite to Ratify Republic Act No. 11054 Otherwise Known as the ‘Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,’ particularly Article VI , Section 6, Paragraph (g), Item no. 9 found in page 13 thereof,” which states: “9. Are you in favor of the inclusion of Barangay S. Laqunde, Pikit, North Cotabato, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region?” to now read: “9. Are you in favor of the inclusion of Barangay Lagunde, Pikit, North Cotabato, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region?” RESOLVED, moreover, that the above modification shall be reflected in the official ballot, plebiscite returns, and in such other documents where the plebiscite question will appear. Let the Deputy Executive Director for Operations implement this Resolution. SO ORDERED.

(MS-DEC. 11, 2018)


POSIBLE STORE. POSIBLE, the country’s leading community-based digital transactions provider,

announced its partnership with celebrity mom blogger Neri Naig Miranda (right) at the Phoenix National Convention at Marriott Hotel in Pasay City. With Miranda is JG Puzon, CEO of POSIBLE, a fintech and digital service provider that offers bills payment, money services, and mobile loading as biggest ‘Business to Business to Consumer’ network in the country. Manny Palmero

DTI hails CEMEX aid in Rizal summit

IN SHARINg the same goal with the Department of Trade and Industry to build a globally competitive and innovative industry and services sector in the country, global cement manufacturer CEMEX Holdings Philippines recently supported the DTI Rizal Consumer Summit at the Sta. Lucia Mall in Cainta, Rizal. The summit informed consumers of standards in cement manufacturing and delivery and what they should look for in buying cement products to help ensure quality of structures and value for money. Participating in the summit also strengthens CEMEX’s role in Rizal, which is home to its subsidiary Solid Cement Plant located in Antipolo City. CEMEX recently announced the construction of a $235-million new integrated cement line in Solid Cement Plant. “The DTI Rizal Consumer Summit is really a venue to be able to reach out and directly exchange ideas, feedback with consumers and for the government and the private sector to

understand what the industry needs, and to spread awareness on updates in trade, industry, and investment,” said Alejandro John Eraldo, Quality Assurance Leader - Operations & Technical at CEMEX Holdings Philippines. “On the part of CEMEX, this platform complements our customer-centric approach to doing business,” Eraldo added. Eraldo presented to an audience of over 300 participants where he showcased CEMEX Philippines and its commitment to be a responsible investor that delivers innovative cement products and other building solutions. CEMEX has a total cement capacity of 5.7 million metric tons with Solid Cement Plant delivering 1.9 million metric tons and the Apo Cement Plant in Cebu contributing 3.8 million metric tons. Eraldo also gave insights on the Solid Cement’s production process and the company’s commitment to passing standards of excellence required by the government, and its efforts for environmental stewardship, safety, and sustainability as priority in all aspects of operations.

Tacloban kids with cancer receive gifts By Ronald O. Reyes TACLOBAN CITY—At least 39 children with cancer along with their siblings and families received their Christmas gifts from various groups here on Sunday. “This is our fourth party with them since April 2017. We give them two parties every year―the Summer Fun and Christmas Party,” said Bunny Culibar-Celebrado, the youth chairperson of Tingog Sinirangan party list. “We also give gifts to the siblings because we don’t want them to feel like they’re left behind. We understand that parents usually poured most of their time to their child who is a patient,” Celebrado added. Celebrado, who is also the regional coordinator of the Philippine Toy Library, thanked Sirakwaraynon Eagles Club, Tacloban City Eagles Club, Lions International, Share Your Spare Singapore, Tacloban City Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Thomas Diaz, and other individuals who collaborated with them for the event. During the party, dubbed as “Winter Wonderland Christmas,” the children were entertained by magicians and showered with toys, gifts, balloon twist, and a bubble show. Some children also performed special numbers for their parents and visitors. Also present were cancer-free children and the families and siblings of patients who already passed away. “This is our Thanksgiving program. We want our children to be always happy and remain positive,” said Irene Sudario, a parent.

Cabanatuan mall gains Mabini plum By Brenda Jocson CABANATUAN CITY—SM City Cabanatuan brought home the firstever bronze statue among the 15 awards that SM received from the recent 29th Apolinario Mabini Awards held at Club Filipino in San Juan, Metro Manila on Dec. 3. The awards were conferred by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled. The Apolinario Mabini Awards are given to professionals and organizations that have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields of endeavor, or have rendered outstanding services to people with disabilities. The award was named after one of the country’s foremost heroes, Apolinario Mabini, also known as the Sublime Paralytic. Joanne Bondoc, SM Cabanatuan mall assistant manager, said SM keeps on improving its facilities for it to be beneficial to all customers including people with disabilities.


bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor

health and environment

@manilastandardlife @mstandardLIFe tuesday, december 11, 2018


Filipino triathletes talk about triathlon, training A TEST OF ENDURANCE. According to multi-sport athlete and mom of two Sheila Gagui, triathlon gives her a sense of achievement.


RIATHLON is no walk in the park. Triathletes test their strength and endurance swimming, biking, and running for hours. It requires the right gear and strenuous training.

The multi-discipline sport, however, didn’t seem to faze Sheila gagui, Louie Sangalang, Philip Le Roux, and Mervin Santiago, members of the Santé Barley Tri-Team who are conquering the grueling world of triathlon while juggling their respective responsibilities outside of the race track. These four Filipino triathletes share how they got into the sport and how they train to be on top of their game.

The mommy triathlete

Mom of two, Sheila gagui got into triathlon after giving birth to her second son. A friend who wanted to do it with someone invited her. “She knew that I was a swimmer before, so she told me that there was a swimming event that I could join. After that I started doing short distance races like Super Sprint Triathlon. From there, I looked for a coach and started training,” related gagui. She enthused, “Triathlon gives me a sense of achievement. I am able to set

goals, check my progress, and see how I grow in the sport.” According to gagui, to excel in a particular race, for instance Olympic distance, the length and quality of training is important. “You have to do a lot of sprints, you have to time yourself all the time.”

The missionary triathlete

Philip Le Roux was a runner before he became a full-fledged triathlete. “I first got into running because I was overweight. I was really fat—I used to weigh 250kg—so I decided to lose some,” he shared. “After a month, I realized it’s actually nice. You start losing weight quickly. I started joining races, increased my distances, and joined marathons.” When he and his family moved to the Philippines from the UK 10 years ago, he started his Foreign Runner blog, through which he met fellow bloggers. “One blogger, in particular, asked me if I wanted to join a triathlon, and the rest is history.” “Since I live in Agutaya in Palawan, Triathlon is no walk in the park as it requires strenuous training. training is difficult since we don’t have a road to run and bike on, so I’m doing everything indoors. I have my own gym. I’ve got a bike trainer. I do everything indoors,” shared Le Roux. “When it’s off-season,” he said, “I’ve got a maintenance program that my trainer [Don Velasco] gives me. Mondays are my off days. Tuesdays, I do short brick [training.] Wednesdays, I run. Thursdays and Fridays, I swim. Saturdays, I bike. Sundays, I brick. My shortest training is an hour and my longest is three hours a day.” For Ironman, a long-distance triathlon event, Le Roux said he trains from 10-12 hours a week to 20-25 hours a week.

The cancer survivor triathlete

Multi-sport athlete Louie Sangalang Jr.

By Paola Navarette A HOMEgROWN social enterprise brand of natural beauty and personal care products recently marked its 10th anniversary with a fellowship night that celebrated its years of promoting sustainability. Looking back on a history marked by magnificent milestones, Human Nature kicked off the celebration with its event dubbed “10 Years of growing goodness,” wherein the company recognized the notable hard work of its employees with the 10th Year Service Awards. At the recognition night, co-founder Anna Meloto-Wilk shared how their employees continue to be integral to the company’s success. “I’d like to thank each one of you for the trust and the faith that you have infused into Human Nature. As we look forward to the next 10 years, I hope that we will continue to walk together,” said Wilk. She continued, “Looking at all your dreams gives me a resolute hope that we can transform the Philippines, bring more people out of poverty, especially the working poor, to become the new middle class. This is really the way that we can be stronger and be together. Walang iwanan”(No one gets left behind).” According to Wilk, Human Nature currently employs more than 500 employees and partners with 24 farming communities. Being pro-poor, the company created a hiring program in 2008 which ensures that a third of the employees comes from poor communities and that they are

Triathlon coach Mervin Santiago

Louie Sangalang has conquered a lot of things. He won his battle with cancer, he became a URCC (Universal Reality Combat Championships) featherweight

champion, and he recently finished a marathon in the North Pole. He’s always looking for activities that will test his capacity. “I took a break from martial arts and decided to get myself into an activity that’s a bit intense. In my case, I get bored easily when I don’t feel tired,” shared Sangalang. He continued, “So, I told myself that since I was already mountain-biking and running, ‘swimming na lang, then triathlon na.’ I was very intrigued with this sport since I saw how people trained for it. I noticed that there were a lot of executives and entrepreneurs. I realized there must be something that attracts that kind of profile to the sport.” Sangalang takes his training seriously. “I usually do two disciplines a day. It’s either I run and bike, or run and swim. I also do weights once a week since I eat a lot when preparing for triathlons.”

The triathlon coach

Coach Mervin Santiago started in triathlon when he was in college. “I bike, and I also love running, but I didn’t know how to swim so I took a swimming lesson for my PE subject,” he shared. When it comes to training, Santiago said it depends which race he’s joining. “I spend three hours a day training for short distance triathlons, and five to six hours a day for longer ones. For Olympic, I usually prepare for two months; three months for 70.3; and six months for a full Ironman.” He added, “Since I work as a coach, I try to follow my students’ program but mine is harder. I do this so I can train even when I’m busy. During off-seasons, I usually go to the gym for base training, and core exercise for building the muscles so when race season starts I’m not prone to injury.”

Local personal care brand marks 10th year

Human Nature offers all-natural, Filipino-made personal care products

given fair living wage above the lawful minimum, with full benefits and rights. The brand has 34 stores in the country and sells in six countries across the globe. From simple and basic baby needs such

as lotions and body wash, the brand has True to its advocacy of preserving the since expanded into a brand offering a full environment and creating livelihood, range of 100 percent natural and Filipino- the company is set to launch bottle remade adult skin care and cosmetic prod- filling stations and daycare centers. ucts, all at affordable prices. The event concluded with stirring

messages of encouragement by cofounders Dylan Wilk and Camille Meloto, and breathtaking performances by Ryan Cayabyab Singers, and Isay Alvarez-Sena and Robert Sena.



tuesday, december 11, 2018


Insurer celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

WD Life Insurance on Dec. 3 commemorated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a Christmas Fair at the Treston College in Bonifacio Global City. Together with partners Humanity & Inclusion and Special Olympics, FWD marked the occasion with a fun-filled afternoon of Minute to Win It-inspired games, team cheers and chants, as well as exciting performances. In his opening remarks, FWD Life Philippines president and chief executive Peter Grimes said, “As we continue to collaborate and strive harder for inclusion for people with disability in the Philippines, we believe 2019 will prove to be yet another promising year of empowering people to live fulfilled lives.” Launched earlier in 2018, the PanAsian insurance company’s partnerships with Humanity & Inclusion and Special Olympics form part of FWD Group’s Community Care program which aims to advocate equal opportunities and empower people with disabilities in Asia. In solidarity with persons with disabilities across the globe, FWD helped carry out the 2018 theme “empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” Deepening its involvement in various community projects in the way of various workshops, training, and activities, FWD has realized a number of milestones leading to the year-end Christmas Fair. Welcoming the sustained partnerships with H&I and Special Olympics, FWD Life Philippines chief of staff Mervin Pobre said, “We are very proud to have

Life isurance company FWD commemorates International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a Christmas Fair in a bid to emphasize that ‘disability is not inability.’

embarked on this first year. There were a lot of discoveries along the way, and we remain committed to dispelling the notion that disability is inability.” Pobre added, “In 2019 and beyond, we have more plans to help promote

HEALTH BULLETIN A study shows Dapagliflozin significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death in a broad range of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Landmark study shows diabetes drug reduces hospitalization A LAnDMArk study involving patients from 33 countries, including the Philippines, shows that the AstraZeneca drug, Dapagliflozin, significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death in a broad range of patients with type 2 diabetes, as well as helps protect heart and kidney. AstraZeneca presented the positive full results from the DECLArE (Dapagliflozin Effect on Cardiovascular Events)-TIMI 58 cardiovascular (CV) outcomes trial for Dapagliflozin on nov. 10 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago, USA, and simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The DECLArE-TIMI 58 is the largest SGLT2 inhibitor CVOT conducted to date, including more than 17,000 patients across 33 countries, including the Philippines where 337 Filipino patients were enrolled. In 2017, there were over 3,721,900 Filipinos with diabetes in the Philippines, according to the International Diabetes Federation. The trial showed the prescription medicine significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization for heart failure (hHF) or CV death composite vs. placebo by 17 percent. The reduction in heart failure or cardiovascular death was consistent across the entire patient population, which included those with CV risk factors and those with established CV disease. Additionally, there were fewer major adverse cardiovascular events

(MACE) observed with Dapagliflozin for the other primary efficacy endpoint; however, this did not reach statistical significance. DECLArE-TIMI 58 also confirms the well-established safety profile for Dapagliflozin, which met the primary safety endpoint of non-inferiority vs. placebo, demonstrating no increase in the composite of MACE, defined as CV death, heart attack (myocardial infarction), or stroke. Further, on other relevant safety measures, the trial showed no imbalance with Dapagliflozin vs. placebo in amputations, fractures, bladder cancer or Fournier’s gangrene. The respective incidences of diabetic ketoacidosis and genital infections were rare. Dr. Araceli Panelo, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Studies on Diabetes Foundation said, “This is a groundbreaking development for T2D patients as DECLArE gives us hope that we may be able to prevent or delay the onset of heart failure in a broad patient population.” Dr. rosa Allyn Sy, lead Philippine DECLArE investigator for Endocrinology, and section head for Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and nutrition of Cardinal Santos Medical Center and Ospital ng Makati said, “In achieving statistically-significant reduction in the composite endpoint of hospitalisation for heart failure or CV death, the DECLArE study results mark an important milestone for T2D patients and its management.”

PWD and special needs inclusion and we enjoin everyone’s support.” Ushering in the most wonderful time of the year, FWD volunteers spread the holiday cheer with Special Olympics athletes and Humanity & Inclusion

project beneficiaries in an afternoon of fun-filled activities. The importance of camaraderie was also evident in the Minute to Win It games, putting everyone’s teamwork to the test and highlighting diversity and inclusion.

To cap the event, head of marketing and community care country lead roche Vandenberghe ensured that FWD will continue to sustain its Community Care program in the coming year and beyond.

Healing through music In PrEVIOUS reviews published by The Cochrane Library, a Uk-based online resource for health care decisionmaking, it has been suggested that music therapy may have beneficial effects on people with cancer. Specifically, music interventions have been found to ease anxiety, pain, fatigue, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure in thousands of participants covered by several studies. Given that no negative side effects are associated with listening to music, it is certainly one healing modality worth trying. It is, in fact, one of the latest healing activities adopted by the Carewell Community Foundation, a nongovernment organization that provides psycho-social programs and services to enhance the quality of life and healing journey of people affected by cancer. Since its incorporation in 2005, the foundation has been offering various cancer-healing support programs, including medical and psychological counselling and wellness talks. Meditative activities such as centering prayer, Alexa Kahn serenades her audience with songs from the heart. yoga, qigong, and gong sound therapy address stress management. Theta and Carewell’s services, resources, and millennium healing target emotional concerns, while acupuncture is intend- activities are offered free of charge to ed to aid in detoxification. Arts and its members. recently, the organization has partcrafts, as well as dance classes are also nered with Alexa kahn, a young music held regularly.

Alexa Kahn and her AKapella team with some Carewell members.

enthusiast who, while pursuing her passion, has found a way to channel her talents into making people happy and empowered. She started Akapella, where she uses her singing voice to inspire, uplift, and heal people with physical and emotional pains. “I believe music has a very powerful healing ability. I first experienced its power when I was very young. When my grandfather was dying of cancer, it came to a point where he was in so much pain that he could barely open his eyes or talk,” shares kahn. The benefits of music made itself felt again later when her godmother, who was dying of cancer, asked her to sing “The Prayer” because she said it made her feel unafraid to die. These experiences with two of her loved ones led her to form Akapella. To date, she has volunteered to share her gift of music with such organizations as the Jeremiah Foundation, kythe Foundation, and the Carewell Community Foundation. In her sing-along sessions with Carewell members, she and other Akapella volunteers serenade their audience with songs the members themselves choose. kahn and her Akapella team are set to hold a music session for Carewell members on Dec. 14 at the Carewell office in Makati.


GMA News TV partners with DOH for two lifestyle shows


EADING local news channel GMA News TV has teamed up with the Department of Health (DOH) to bring not just one, but two new weekend programs to be bannered by Kapuso stars Max Collins, Pancho Magno, and Rocco Nacino. First to air last Saturday (Dec. 8) at 5:30 p.m., Healthy Ever After is a talk and lifestyle program on family health hosted by newlyweds Pancho and Max. Aside from being an actor, Pancho is a registered nurse. In the program, he and Max discuss various topics—from family planning, maternal care, safe motherhood, newborn care packages, breastfeeding, expanded program on immunization, to adolescent health sexuality. For its pilot episode, Healthy Ever After tackled family planning and its importance to the Filipino family. Max and Pancho tried to be parents to six children. Two mothers also went on a palengke (wet market) challenge. One woman has six children while the other only has three. For P300, the two moms had to manage to feed their respective families. Meanwhile, Rocco hosts The Healthy Juan, a health talk show about degenerative diseases airing every Sunday at 8:00 p.m.. The show premiered on Sunday, Dec. 9. A nursing graduate himself, Rocco

'Healthy Ever After' is a talk and lifestyle program on family health hosted by newlyweds Pancho Magno and Max Collins.

talks about mental health, depression, suicide, healthy aging, and organ donation. At the same time, Rocco will be joined by resource persons who will discuss the importance of having a mindset that disability should not be a hindrance for you to live a normal life. For his first episode, Rocco tackled depression. All around the world, depression is a serious mental health disorder. Depression can happen to anyone. Here in the Philippines a large number of Filipinos are battling depression, with some cases leading to suicide. Rocco sat down with those suffering from depression. Who would have thought that model, singer, actress, and

social media influencer Solenn Heussaff also experienced depression? Solenn shared that social media made a great impact on her condition. Rocco also visited the family of a teenager who committed suicide because of depression and discovered what led to the young woman to take her life. Healthy Ever After is directed by King Mark Baco while The Healthy Juan is directed by Adolf Alix, Jr. Both programs have resource persons from DOH who will help in the discussion of the featured topics. Catch Healthy Ever After every Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and The Healthy Juan every Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on GMA News TV.

Kathryn too young for marriage ACCORDING to Kathryn Bernardo, she’s not yet ready to exchange I dos with boyfriend Daniel Padilla despite their six-year relationship. “I guess it’s too early at this point. Marriage is one thing you need not rush or jump into right away. It’s one of the most important decisions in life. It will be unfair on your part to go into something which you’re not still ready to commit to!” When does she see herself settling down? “Actually, you can’t predict it. You’ll feel it if both of you are already prepared. Whatever age you have, if you feel you are ready to enter such phase, go! It’s definitely a different level as compared to just being steadies.” For her, two of the signs that a person is ready for marriage is you see yourself doing particular things with someone and when you can’t see the future without him. “Then of course, when your high respect for each other is present. That’s very essential. As I’ve pointed out earlier, anyone can be ready at any age. As long as you feel that you are, then, why not?” As of now, she just enjoys what she has with Daniel. She knows pretty well that together, they still have a lot of things to accomplish . *** Until now, Coco Martin cannot believe that in his entry to the forthcoming 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival titled Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles, he was able to work with Vic Sotto and Maine Mendoza. “I’m really very excited with our maiden screen collaboration. It’s the first time and I’m sure the viewers will like it,” he says. For the Ang Probinsyano lead, this project is a cause for a celebration. “It’s one impossible happening but it materialized. Two rival camps merged forces in order to make film buffs happy this Christmas. I thought it wouldn’t come true!” Coco is grateful that both stations are supportive of their project.

He said that being vocal about his desire to work with both Maine and Bosing was instrumental to the realization of their big screen project. “As a kid, I used to watch and idolize him. Same thing with Maine. I consider it a big bonus that despite our network affiliation, we were able to work together. We’re lucky that our respective mother studio had been supportive,” states Coco. *** Martin Nievera gave a piece of his mind regarding the recent reformatting of ASAP, the Sunday musical variety show in which he’s one of the hosts for a long time now. Earlier, Zsa Zsa Padilla made her sentiments public regarding such issue. “Well, I believe that it’s a good development,” he says. “Although personally, I feel that the show didn’t need any kind of improvement. But of course, who am I to say, right? I’m part of the show. It’s like I’m from the inside looking out. People from the outside looking in, they are the ones who tell that ASAP needs new portions,” Martin says. “Then, we also have a new co-host in the person of Regine (Velasquez). So, I guess, somehow we really have to improve some main portions of the show. That’s the main goal of the production team,” he adds. Nevertheless, the articulate singer-host reiterates that ASAP was already good the way it was. “I’m just glad that I’m still part of the program after all these times. And that until now, we’re still looking for ways to give our audience pure entertainment and get better and better! We just can’t afford to stagnate. We need to keep on improving.” As to the observation that the show’s main front liners now are Regine Velasquez and Sarah Geronimo, Martin explains: “Well, it’s a dream team if I may say so. The good thing here is that the public can see that anything is possible with ASAP. What was once thought impossible to happen became real, right?”

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Tuesday, December 11, 2018

ACROSS 1 Greenhouse purchase 4 Latin dance 9 Grooms poodles 14 Thurman of “Gattaca” 15 Recurrently 16 Asian capital 17 Ridiculed 19 Leading man 20 Bundle of grain 21 Verne’s skipper 23 Codgers’ queries 24 From Asia 27 Lustrous fabric 29 Crowd in 31 Spotted horses 34 Squeakers 37 Pencil end 39 “Alfie” star 40 Fragrance 41 Gulf nation 43 Verb preceder 44 Thinks ahead 46 Markdown 47 Part of MIT 48 Finest quality 50 Play a guitar 52 Perfect 54 Musical compositions 58 Scribble down 60 Lunchtime 62 Stone pillar

30 Wild cats 32 Burden 33 Dispatched 34 Utility closet items 35 Doing plenty of nothing 36 Alliance 38 Encircling strips 42 Ruler before Galba 45 Landscape 49 “— Te Ching” 51 Wavering 53 Not an express DOWN 1 Nurse’s concern 55 Land, to Caesar 2 Plains tribe 3 Makes docile 4 Subcontractor 5 Enigmatic sighting 6 Geog. feature 7 “I’ve — had!” 8 Inca territory 9 In an uproar 10 Shellac resin 11 Aim 12 Bear of little brain 13 Knights of the realm 18 Like damask 22 Glove compartment item 25 Optimistic 26 Short letters 28 Like a rock 63 Skip a syllable 65 Victor 68 Knock for a loop 69 Romance, on the Seine 70 Navajo handiwork 71 Imagine 72 Sandbags, maybe 73 Juice-based drink

56 Spoken 57 Twilled fabric 58 Mutt’s crony 59 Highly spiced stew 61 1899 gold rush town 64 Medico 66 Calendar abbr. 67 Montreal’s prov.



#BeyondTheHoop campaign encourages Filipinos to spread positive vibes online by joining the Dunkfie Challenge

Empowering Pinoy kids with #BeyondTheHoop campaign CHRISTMAS came early for more than 200 young Filipino athletes as Warner TV Philippines empowered these aspiring sports heroes by launching the #BeyondTheHoop campaign. Inspired by the success of its series, The Dunk King, #BeyondTheHoop is Warner TV Philippines’ way of giving back to the community in partnership with the Youth Sports Advocacy Philippines Inc. (YSA). Through this project, children aged 9 to 12 years old underwent training from September to October in Barangay Fortune, Marikina City with the help of Barangay officials, Kabataan LEAD youth organization members, and YSA volunteers. Warner TV Philippines provided uniforms for the athletes, sports equipment, and other needs to conduct the training. “#BeyondTheHoop is more than just dunks and selfies or renovating public basketball courts. It is letting the younger generation soar high beyond the hoops of their dreams by imparting to them the values that they can learn through sports,” shared Jia Salindong-Du, Turner Philippines’ Country Manager. As a culminating activity, Warner TV Philippines sponsored a mini Olympics where the winning teams received medals, trophies, and certificates. Each participant also received balls from Warner TV to remind them to keep on working towards their goals and aspirations. Additionally, Warner TV Philippines turned over the

newly-spruced up community basketball courts of Barangay Fortune in Bonanza Phase 3 and Pacheco Compound to keep working towards their goal and to inspire more kids to share what they have learned to their fellow kids. The walls of the court were covered with mural paintings of Warner TV superheroes to motivate the kids that they can be heroes of their community, too. “At the #BeyondTheHoop sports camp, we wanted to establish a relationship with the kids that is why it wasn’t just a one- or two-day camp. What we wanted to impart to them is that sports is not just for fun but it is about applying what they’ve learned through sports in their daily lives,” says Toni Faye Tan, Founder and President of YSA. In connection to the successful sports camp, Warner TV also launched the Dunkfie Challenge to make helping more fun and exciting. The #BeyondTheHoop Dunkfie Challenge aims to spread awareness about this advocacy, one funny dunk selfie at a time. By posting a memefied dunkfie on social media, Filipinos can show their support for the cause and encourage others to take part in this mission of helping kids realize their dreams through sports. For more information about the campaign, visit Warner TV Asia’s Facebook page and stay tuned to Warner TV (Cignal Ch. 235 and SkyCable Ch. 34) for your favorite shows and more exciting events.

Blue Ant Entertainment peaks its digital performance BLUE Ant Entertainment has shown strong gains and big leap in numbers in the digital space from August to October based on the channel’s Facebook demographics data. The channel’s Facebook page has been getting over 10 million video views and an average of 5 million organic post engagements monthly. Blue Ant Entertainment’s Facebook page contains updates and teasers of its tentpole programs, such as FBI, Charmed, The X Factor UK, The Late Late Show with James Corden, as well as topics and trivia that generate human interest. Its followers also increased by 11 percent from August 2018, and have been getting an average of over 25,000 new followers every month. The X Factor UK video clips proved to be one of the favorites in the Philippine market and have been getting the most views and shares by fans. Overall, the channel’s Facebook page have approximately reached 75.6 million minutes viewed, with an average of 64.5 percent increase in its views from August to October 2018. In the numbers game for Pay TV segment, Blue Ant Entertainment has also shown good progress. The channel has climbed to the number three position in October 2018 among other general entertainment (GE) cable TV channels in the Philippines based on the data released by Kantar Media

Research Philippines. The GE channel has significantly shown an increase in viewership during primetime, between 6:00PM to 1:00 AM, on both weekdays and weekends. Placing sixth in August, and fifth in September, the channel’s increase in ranking is attributed to the huge gains in key groups month after month. The channel have tapped a wide range of age group, and appeals highly in the female category. In August, Blue Ant Entertainment’s audience profile ranges from ages 25 to 64, skewing towards female. Both September and October data show the channel’s audience profile skews towards the age group of 45 to 64 years old, majority being female. The top performing programs on the channel from August to October 2018 include Entertainment Tonight, First Dates, America’s Funniest Home Videos, and BAM Blockbuster movies among others. The channel has also climbed 16 spots in October from its position in August among all Pay TV channels in the Philippines. Ranking third among other GE cable TV channels, including a growing influence in the digital space, Blue Ant Entertainment has overtaken the lead of other well-established channels including Warner TV, Diva Universal, and FOX channels.

Nickie Wang, Issue Editor




steps on higher platform


T WAS her last day at The Music Hall, a bar and performance venue located at Metro Walk Complex in Pasig City. Outside the venue, there was a queue of people who still wanted to get inside, but the music bar was already at full seating capacity though it was only nine in the evening.

Inside the venue, when Katrina Velarde hit the stage, the applause from the crowd was almost immediate, and the energy of the paying audience didn’t wane even on her second set. Obviously, Katrina was their darling and they boosted the singer’s confidence with their warm cheers. Katrina is a regular performer at The Music Hall but she had to stage her last gig for the year to prepare for a bigger show early next year. She also needs to hit the studio to work on her solo record which features original compositions. “I’m excited to do this but I am also nervous. I haven’t done anything big like this before. It’s my first time to headline a solo show in a bigger venue,” Katrina told Manila Standard in an interview. Katrina will have a concert on Feb. 1 at the New Frontier Theater (Kia Theatre) at the Araneta Center in Cubao. For her, this is just the beginning of her dream to make a mark on the music scene. “I’d like to consider this as an opportunity to show the public what I can offer as a performer. The show is sort of a celebration of my career as a singer and my way of thanking the people who continuously follow my journey in this business,” Katrina said in Tagalog. “The record, an EP (extended play, is part of my dream. Well, every singer has this dream to have an album. That’s why I’m having mine, too, ” she adds. Those who closely follow her career, they can easily refer to the young singer as the power vocal who mesmerize the online world with her impressive covers of popular hits. In fact, what started off as a fun video cover for her idols turned out to be one of the reasons for her claim to fame today. Katrina started joining singing contests at a young age but it was only when she was able to audition for X-Factor Philippines in 2013 that she got her big break. A veteran of such competitions, one of the judges, Charice Pempengco (now Jake Zyrus), was even able to recognize her as one of her rivals in previous small town competitions. She was able to go home with an outstanding “yes” from all four judges, and this was just the beginning of how the then 17-year old high school student turned into the Katrina Velarde we know today. It was Gary Valenciano who personally mentored the group that Katrina fell into when she was

Rap star Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy nominations

On Friday, the nominees for the 61st Grammy Awards were announced. Coming out ahead is Kendrick Lamar with a total of eight nominations.


in X-Factor. The six-piece girl group was called A.K.A. Jam, composed of Alyssa Quijano, Auriette Divina, Monique Lualhati, Jhelsea Flores, Ashley Campbell and, of course, Katrina. The group went on to have quite a following with their undeniable talent and charm. Though they weren’t able to bag the biggest prize of the competition, they still made a mark on the judges’ and people’s minds. From there, Katrina made headlines in October 2013 when she uploaded a video of herself on Facebook singing while using a purple comb as a makeshift microphone. The video eventually went viral after it was shared by several users online amassing almost 1.5 million views on Facebook alone, dubbing Katrina as “Miss Suklay Diva.” A number of her uploads online reached millions of views, these include her rendition of Beyonce’s “Dangerously In Love” and Kuh Ledesma’s “Till I Met You” as well as her outstanding interpretation of Ellie Goulding’s “Burn,” while she borrowed the vocal talents of her idols such as Shakira, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and Celine Dion among many others. Her uploaded live performance of Michael Bolton’s “Go The Distance” was another viral hit for The Suklay Diva, it had a record-breaking 4 million views, and counting, on YouTube. Now, the online sensation is continuing to produce and create more music, and even more “Suklay Covers” of her favorite artists to be uploaded on her channel. Even collaborating with other social media famous singers to share more of what she can do as a singer and even as an impersonator. But one of her biggest projects this year was to interpret Michael Rodriguez and Jeanne Columbine Rodriguez’ Philpop 2018 entry “Tama Na.” The ballad track was able to get into the list of the Top 10 finalists of the country’s premier songwriting competition. “Tama Na” is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and all digital music stores. The music video can be viewed on Viva Records YouTube channel.


THE soundtrack of Marvel’s Black Panther propelled rap superstar Kendrick Lamar to the front of this year’s Grammy pack with eight nominations, closely followed by fellow rapper Drake who scored seven. Women performers also achieved far greater presence in the 2019 edition of the top music awards, with Cardi B, Lady Gaga and folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile all nabbing nominations across the top categories. As with last year, hip-hop dominated across the board—though in 2018, the Recording Academy fell under sharp criticism after rap mogul Jay-Z left empty-handed and


Lamar was shut out of the general categories. Thanks to the hit Black Panther film Lamar—whose album DAMN won the Pulitzer Prize for music this year —once again has a chance to win the coveted Album of the Year prize after three prior losses. His song “All the Stars” is also in the running for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. He’ll face competition at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, from fellow rappers Drake, Cardi B and Childish Gambino—as well as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who snared nominations in both of those top categories for their hit “Shallow” from the film A Star is Born. Six of the 2019 nominees for Best New Artist are women, whose presence in the top categories marked a sharp departure from the previous gala, which saw women snubbed in the major prizes. After that show the academy expanded the four big categories from five nominees to eight, while also creating a diversity task force responding to criticism that the show was consistently too male and too white. After leading nominations last year, however, Jay-Z and his pop queen wife Beyonce were left out of the top categories despite acclaim for their joint project “Everything is Love.” The Carters did get two nominations for R&B and best music video, while perennial favorite Taylor Swift earned just one nomination for best pop vocal album. AFP

2018’s biggest charity music festival

Jake Zyrus with Frontrow's Sam Versoza (leftmost), RS Francisco (center), Worldwide Womb's Stephen Ku, and program host Tim Yap (rightmost).

INSPIRING a new breed of entrepreneurs in taking a step towards financial freedom, Frontrow has long been in the business of changing lives. But this year, the multi-level marketing company seeks to draw from its humble beginnings to bring larger-than-life changes to Filipino families. In the previous years, Frontrow has been actively reaching out to different charities and organizations who need support in various aspects, but it wasn’t until this 2018 that the marketing firm decided to go full throttle with its initiatives through the establishment of Frontrow Cares. On Nov. 28, Frontrow cofounders RS Francisco and Sam Versoza introduced to a crowd of journalists and publicists its most personal venture yet, Frontrow Cares. “It’s been a great year and we can’t think of doing anything more apt than to formally introduce Frontrow Cares. We’ve been in touch with various organizations for quite some time

now, but we want to extend this mission to people outside Frontrow who might want to give more, to inspire more,” RS says. A few months ago, Frontrow’s cofounder and award-winning actor RS Francisco, breathed life back into producing one of the most critically acclaimed productions, M Butterfly, and donated 100 percent of the proceeds to various charities. “It’s the most fulfilling thing ever,” RS adds. After the success of M Butterly, the Frontrow team continued to seek more organizations further reinforcing its brand DNA, which is to be in the business of changing lives. From supporting various causes for education, health, and financial aid, Frontrow is ending the year with a celebration through the biggest charity music festival of 2018 headlined by

Jake Zyrus is one of the acts that will perform in the biggest charity music fest this year happening at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on Dec. 16.

some some of the country’s biggest names in the industry such as Ely Buendia, Parokya ni Edgar, Billy Crawford, Gloc 9, Callalily, Andrew E., Spongecola, and Jake Zyrus. Also featured in the most anticipated concert of the year are Youtube sensations Ex-Battalion and Chicser, DJ Ace Ramos, and Frontrow’s homegrown talents Luxxe Stars. “This is just the beginning. Blessings are best experienced when shared and here in Frontrow, we want to encourage a culture of generosity. Basta thankful lang tayo,” Sam further adds. To know more about the Frontrow Cares, visit and follow Frontrow Philippines on Facebook.

Manila Standard - 2018 December 11 - Tuesday  

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

Manila Standard - 2018 December 11 - Tuesday  

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