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VOL. XXXII • NO. 30 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2018 • •

Chief Justice won’t resign, vows to fight impeachment By Rey E. Requejo and Rio N. Araja CHIEF Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno said Monday she will fight to prove her innocence at her impeachment trial before the Senate, despite snowballing calls for her to resign, even from judges and court employees. “I will not resign. I am determined to wage until the logical end this battle started by those who seek to undermine the Constitution and the judiciary,” Sereno said in a speech before the Coalition for Justice organized by her supporters at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.” I am resolute in carrying on the good and noble fight for judicial independence. I will finish the course of this thorny race.” Sereno’s speech coincided with the nationwide “Red Monday” of the 1,200 strong Philippines Judges Association along with other court officials and employees who called for her immediate resignation. In her speech, Sereno appealed to her fellow magistrates, judges and Next page

Amazon prevent Red carpettowelcome Alexa from cackling for Drew Barrymore HOLLYWOOD actress Drew Barrymore is in town and walked the red carpet Monday night at SM Mega Fashion Hall for the premiere of Netflix’s hit series, Santa Clarita Diet. The Golden Globe award winner arrived on Sunday at the Naia ahead of the series’ official promo. Next page


I have no intention to use it against the political enemies of the administration. —PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa, downplaying fears that the PNPCIDG’s subpoena powers will be used against the opposition

SUPREME SACRIFICE. Erwin Ocson (right, before the microphone), president of the Supreme Court Employees Union, on Monday asks Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, in a manifesto he has just read to resign from her post during the flag-raising ceremony. Sereno, who maintained she would not resign and fight until the end of the impeachment case, says she will stand up against those who want to undermine the judiciary. Norman Cruz

Sereno quit-call mounts Five Sandigan workers’ unions sign manifesto

By Maricel V. Cruz, Vito Barcelo, Macon Ramos-Araneta and Rey E. Requejo


HE president of the Sandiganbayan Employees Association on Monday said most rank-and-file employees of the anti-graft court support the call for Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign. SEA president and Fifth Division bailiff Michael Balon said an informal survey of the group’s 206 members showed that a majority wanted Sereno—who faces an impeachment trial and a quo warranto petition in the Supreme Court—to step down. The SEA was among five employees’ unions in the judiciary that signed a manifesto on Sunday calling on Sereno to resign. On Monday, the Palace urged Sereno to listen to the sentiments of judges and employees of the judiciary and resign to restore peace and order in the judiciary. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Sereno should consider the call of the judges and save the Supreme Court from further damage. “I guess it’s up to her... No one can

force her to resign if she doesn’t want. However, I think the sentiment even of the lower court judges has been made known, and we can only hope that the chief justice will take all these sentiments into consideration,” Roque told reporters in a press briefing. In a statement, the Philippine Judges Association and four court employees’ unions appealed to Sereno to quit saying. “It is time to let go. Please let the judiciary move on,” the statement read. Roque said the Palace had nothing to do with the pressure on Sereno to resign. So far, her colleagues have asked her to go on indefinite leave, and the lower court judges have asked her to resign. We can only ask her to consider all these calls from various stakeholders within the courts itself,” he said.

Sereno has refused to resign, saying she will fight to the end of her impeachment trial before the Senate. Senators on Monday said former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile was well qualified to be a part of the prosecution team since he was the presiding officer in the impeachment trial of former chief justice Renato Corona. Senator Panfilo Lacson, however, said neither he nor his colleagues would be influenced by the former Senate president. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III welcomed Enrile’s “homecoming,” and said the Senate is ready to hear, try and decide Sereno’s case. Senator Francis Escudero said it was a good move on the part of the prosecution to get Enrile into its team. Also on Monday, the lawyer who filed the impeachment complaint against Sereno, Lorenzo Gadon, also asked the Justice Department to indict several of her people for graft. In separate complaints, Gadon sought the indictment of Supreme Court Deputy Clerk Of Court Anna-Li Papa-Gombio, Sereno’s staff head Ma. Lourdes Oliveros and members Michael Ocampo and Jocelyn Fabias, and former IT consultant Next page Helen Macasaet.

House panel votes to reset barangay polls

By Rey E. Requejo THE Department of Justice has dismissed the illegal drug charges against Cebu-based businessman and presidential kumpare Peter Lim, confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and eight others. In a 41-page resolution, the DoJ’s panel of prosecutors dismissed for lack of probable cause the complaint for sale, administration, dispensation, trading, delivery and transportation of illegal drugs under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act against Lim and other respondents filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group last year. The investigating prosecutors also dropped the charges against Peter Co, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Jun Pepito and Lovely Adam Impal. The DoJ rejected the testimony of respondent-turned-witness Marcelo Adorco who tagged Lim as supplier of illegal drugs to Espinosa. “Though it may be argued that the corpus delicti of a crime may be established even by a single witness’ uncorroborated testimony or even by circumstantial evidence, it is essential that this witness be credible. Next page

Subpoena powers won’t be abused, top cop pledges

By Maricel V. Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta VOTING 14-2, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms on Monday approved the bill postponing the May 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in an attempt to give way to the proposed shift to federalism being advocated by President Rodrigo Duterte. The committee, chaired by CIBAC party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, approved the substitute bill to House Bills 7072, 7128, 7167 and 7217, that call for the conduct of barangay and SK polls on Oct. 8, 2018 instead. A total of 17 lawmakers voted in favor of the resetting of the elections to the set date upon the motion of Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu. Tugna said the postponement was linked to Congress’ effort to work on Charter Change. “The main reason there was a move to postpone [the elections] is [that] come October 2018, we can do the polls along with the plebiscite,” Tugna said on the sidelines of the committee meeting. He said the postponement of the May 2018 village and SK elections will be a Next page “cost-saving” move.

Cebu trader, Kerwin cleared of drug raps

By Francisco Tuyay

ARREST ORDER. EMT Trading Eirene Mae Augustino Tatad (left) and Customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba II testify in Monday’s Senate inquiry into the P6.4-billion shabu smuggled from China. The hearing coincided with an arrest order issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court against Chen Ju Long, the forwarder of the P6.4-billion shabu shipment. Ey Acasio

Plane with 71 onboard crashes in Nepal A BANGLADESHI plane with 67 passengers and four crew on board crashed and burst into flames as it was coming in to land at Kathmandu airport Monday, with officials saying they had pulled bodies and injured people from the wreckage. The US-Bangla Airlines plane was arriving from Dhaka when it crashed into a football field near the airport. A government spokesman was not able to give numbers but said both dead and

injured had been pulled from the aircraft. Another official told AFP that so far 20 injured had been taken to hospital. Plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the football pitch where the plane crashed, to the east of the runway at Nepal’s only international airport, in the capital Kathmandu. “Police and army are trying to cut apart the plane to rescue others,” airport spokesman Prem Nath Thakur said. Next page

POLICE Chief Ronald dela Rosa on Monday vowed not to use the subpoena powers returned to him against the political detractors of the Duterte administration or as an instrument for abusing the law. He said he had no intention to abuse the subpoena powers, and that those would only be applied during extreme circumstances. “Rest assured that I will never use it to abuse [people],” Dela Rosa said. “I have no intention to use it against the political enemies of the administration.” Meanwhile, Roel Obusan, the head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said the subpoena powers granted to select officials of the Philippine National Police would be used against the “wealthy” and “welllearned” suspects involved in high-profile cases. Next page




Probe poll fraud, Comelec urges Sotto, Senate By Joel E. Zurbano THE Commission on Elections has asked the Senate and Senator Vicente Sotto III to begin an investigation in connection with his claim that irregularities took place during the May 9, 2016 presidential elections. The poll body made its appeal six days after Sotto said in a privilege speech that votes were transmitted as early as May 8, 2016, or a day before the automated elections. “We are really interested in finding the source of these allegations by Senator Sotto. That is our goal,” said Comelec spokesman James Arthur Jimenez. “What is important is there will be an investigation.” Jimenez said the longer the allegation of fraud remained unanswered, the more unfavorable it would to the credibility of the Automated Elections System. “We cannot assume that the allegations are correct because there is nothing proven yet, Jimenez said. “For now, we cannot confirm anything because we do not hold anything except copies of pictures from the TV. But that will not be enough to serve as basis for any conclusions.” Former Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said he believed Sotto’s source for his claim was not a credible one. “I am surprised with the statements of Senator Tito. Who is his source? I am worried that I know who it is, and I think it should not be believed,” Brillantes said. “The automated elections have been here for eight years. We have had three automated elections, and I have yet to see any single evidence of cheating or manipulation of results.” Jimenez said the Comelec was considering rescinding its P2.1-billion contract acquiring the 97,517 Vote Counting Machines from its private firm partner and software provider Smartmatic. The Comelec used the machines in the 2016 elections. “We had the option to purchase and we exercised that,” Jimenez said. “But what if the Senate investigation is able to prove that there is a need to withdraw it? What if there is enough justification to rescind the contract? That is a different subject matter already.” Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said on her official Twitter account that the commission took several meetings before it decided on the option to purchase under the contract.

Pump price rollback wipes out players’ gain By Alena Mae S. Flores THE oil distributors cut pump prices by P1.20 per liter of kerosene, P0.55 per liter of diesel and P0.35 per liter of gasoline effective today, Tuesday, and wiped out the previous week’s oil price increases. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will decrease the price of gasoline by P0.35 per liter and diesel by P0.55 per liter effective 6 a.m. on March 13,” the company said in an advisory. Phoenix aside, Seaoil Philippines, PTT Philippines, Eastern Petroleum and Flying V also cut their prices. The other distributors were also expected to cut their prices today. World oil prices declined last week due to reports of higher US crude inventories. The US is expected to increase its inventories by four million barrels a day. Domestic pump prices went up by as much as P0.80 per liter on March 6. The oil firms raised the price of kerosene by P0.80 per liter, gasoline by P0.50 per liter and diesel by P0.30 per liter after reports that Libya’s National Oil Corporation invoked force majeure on the supply from its El-Feel oil field due to protests by tribes and security guards. Prices were supported by signs of robust production curbs by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-Opec countries and a slight fall in US production. The price of gasoline now retails at P46.80 to P57.12 per liter, diesel at P35.80 to P42.55 per liter and kerosene at P43.50 to P53.70 per liter.

Subpoena... From A1 He said such powers would not be used against the poor. “There are more high-profile cases committed by wealthy or well-learned individuals, so this is projected more on the well-learned and wealthy people and never against the anti-poor,” Obusan told reporters. Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act 10973 to give the PNP chief and the head of the CIDG subpoena powers to speed up criminal investigations. The new law empowered the PNP to require a person to appear before it and to produce certain documents that may be vital to a case or to an ongoing investigation. But Dela Rosa said the subpoena powers would only be used in extreme cases. “I don’t want to use it but there are extreme cases, situations wherein there’s a need for me to issue,” Dela Rosa said.

Anti-dynasty bill pushed By Macon Ramos-Araneta


ENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday sought the immediate passage of the anti-political dynasty bill and again vowed to include a provision that would prohibit political dynasties in the Bangsamoro Basic Law. He said the poor provinces in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were being ruled by dynasties. In other developments: • Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Monday it was high time the 1987 Constitution was examined. “In my time I felt it was time to review the Charter, but of course [it should be reviewed] all the more now,” she said in a television interview. “There are some obvious areas for review, for instance foreign ownership and the form of government. That’s why the pros and cons should be discussed.” • The consultative body formed and tasked to propose amendments to the Constitution on Monday voted to recom-

mend regulating the political dynasties and not banning them completely. Ten members of the consultative committee to review the 1987 Constitution voted for regulation while nine voted for a total ban. The panel then decided to propose the prohibition of an incumbent official’s relatives from the first to second degrees of consanguinity and affinity from running for office. Citing a study by Dean Ronald Mendoza of the Ateneo School of Government, Drilon said three provinces in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were among the poorest there, and those were Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Sulu. That, he said, “clearly shows the relation between poverty and political dynasties.”

Dengvaxia-vaccinated students must be identified, says senator

Drilon said the draft BBL, which is in the plenary for deliberation, was aimed at replacing to the current ARMM. He is one of the principal authors of that bill in the Senate. Drilon said Mendoza’s study revealed that 81 percent of governors, 78 percent of congressmen, 69 percent of mayors and 57 percent of vice mayors came from political clans. He said judging from the responses of resource persons during the public hearings on Charter Change, Filipinos had expressed preference for Congress to pass the anti-political dynasty law before proceeding with amending the Constitution that would pave the way for a shift to federalism. “There is a growing appeal for Congress to pass the enabling law that will ban or regulate political dynasties in the country before amending the Constitution to shift to a federal form of government, Drilon said. “Ultimately, any proposal to amend or revise the Constitution will be submitted to the people for ratification. Hence, it behooves the proponents and supporters of Charter Change and federalism to listen to the demands of the people.”

Red... From A1

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian urged the Department on Education Monday to create a circular that would mandate all public schools to initiate a program to identify and monitor students immunized with Dengvaxia. He said the government had stopped the school and community-based anti-dengue immunization program jointly instituted by the Department of Health, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and DepEd after the manufacturer of the vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur, announced the possible negative effect on children who did not have dengue prior to vaccination. Those who were immunized were Filipino children between nine and 18 years of age. “Teachers and administrative leaders of all schools involved should join forces in creating a database of students who were immunized by Dengvaxia. Students who are showing symptoms of dengue should immediately be brought to the doctor to prevent future complications,” said Gatchalian, a member of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

The vaccine has caused a nationwide panic after the deaths of 14 children were alleged to be linked to Dengvaxia. However, there are still no conclusive findings that would directly link the vaccine to the deaths. This led Sanofi Pasteur to deny the request of DoH for a full refund for the used vaccines and support for an indemnification fund. The senator stressed that despite the lack of conclusive findings, Sanofi Pasteur and DoH officials from the Aquino administration were not yet out of the woods. “The investigation is still not over. Due to the complex medical science and emerging technologies involved in studying the long-term effects of the vaccine on program vaccine, it will take a while before the truth really comes out. We can’t blame parents for worrying about the health and safety of their children,” he said. “In the meantime, if DepEd will mandate the monitoring of students who were immunized, it will surely help put parents at ease,” he added. Macon Ramos-Araneta

At the airport, the 43-year-old star had a group photo with the immigration personnel and posted it on her Instagram account. In the caption, she wrote: “We have arrived. Safe, as you can see! So many guards I feel like a (sic) alterna grunge princess.” The last time Barrymore visited Manila was in September 2016 to promote her make-up line Flower Beauty. This time, she is in the country again, along with actor Timothy Olyphant, her costar in Santa Clarita Diet. The original Netflix series is a comedyhorror that explores the struggle of living life as a flesh-eating zombie in suburbia. Now on its second season, the series takes viewers back to the life of Sheila Hammond (Barrymore) and her family as she struggles with her now more advanced and more aggressive undead state. With the help of her husband, Joel (Olyphant), and their daughter, Abby (Liv Hewson), they try to discover the origins of the virus to keep it from spreading and to save humanity—all the while trying to maintain a normal life. Nickie Wang

Chief... From A1

ported the PJA statement, have refused to be used as pawns and have instead issued calls to maintain the dignity and independence of the judiciary,” she said in a statement. “While the call to resign appeals to my love for the judiciary, it is also out of love for the judiciary that I must continue my course. And I say to you: do not fear the outcome for we will emerge stronger and more highly regarded in the end,” she added. Most of the Supreme Court justices compelled Sereno to take an indefinite leave of absence to insulate the Court from politics as she heads toward an impeachment trial. Last week, through a vote of 38-2, the House committee on justice found probable cause in the impeachment complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno. Gadon, in his complaint, accused Sereno of culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, other high crimes, and betrayal of public trust. Meanwhile, various groups in the judiciary jointly issued a statement calling for Sereno’s resignation during the nationwide “Red Monday’s” flag ceremony in various courts nationwide. In a statement read at Monday’s flag ceremony, the PJA, the Supreme Court Employees Association (SCEA), the Supreme Court Assembly of Lawyer Employees (SCALE), the Philippine Association of Court Employees (PACE) and the Sandiganbayan Employees Association (SEA) urged Sereno to step down to save the judiciary from “disrepute that affects the honor and integrity of justices, judges, and court employees.” The groups called on Sereno to make sacrifices to preserve the judiciary as an independent institution. “We, the entire force of the judiciary, which includes judges, officials and court employees

under your leadership, are pleading you, our beloved Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, to do the timely and necessary sacrifice for the institution that you gave so much time and love in these past year. We are calling for the benefit of the entire Filipino community, to step down,” the groups said in a statement read by SCEA president Erwin Ocson. The groups said Sereno’s impeachment has resulted in a “distressing atmosphere” in the judiciary. They said the situation was aggravated by the fact that the Court en banc has taken cognizance of the petition for quo warranto and ordered her to file her comment, instead of dismissing it outright. “The Court can no longer endure a prolonged environment of this kind. Its officials and personnel, truly dedicated and conscientious public servants, cannot go through another set of hearings and go against each other again in the Senate,” the added. PJA is Supreme Court-authorized association of regional trial court judges with about 1,200 incumbent members nationwide while PACE is a nationwide organization of court employees. On Monday, judges and court employees also wore red to show their desire for Sereno to resign. Ocson denied suggestions that they were pressured to call for Sereno’s resignation. He said that as early as September last year, Sereno had already lost the support of the Court’s employees. Among the grievances of the employees, he later said, was the slow pace of approval of their benefits and promotions, which caused demoralization among the rank-and-file employees. Oscon said Sereno talked to them on Oct. 12 but nothing happened afterward.

court employees to allow her to defend the rule of law and the judiciary’s independence by answering all the allegations against her during the impeachment trial. The chief magistrate said succumbing to calls for her to step down would be detrimental to the judiciary’s independence and would only “embolden those who demand a subservient judiciary.” “To do so would invite the kind of extraconstitutional adventurism that treats legal rights and procedures like mere inconveniences that should be set aside when it suits the powers that be,” Sereno said. Although recognizing that resignation is an easy way out, Sereno said that such move is not the right thing to do. Sereno said the mess currently happening in the judiciary arising from her impeachment was not her doing. “We should all remember that I have yet to start telling my side of the story. You should all wait for my side before the Senate,” she said. She also took the PJA to task for calling on her to resign. “It is very sad for the institution that some judges and employees whose freedom and conscience and independence I have fought very hard to defend have succumbed to pressures to enter the political fray,” she said. Sereno also said she was elated and encouraged that two other major judges’ organizations and several major employees’ groups have resisted the pressure to join the call for her resignation. “It is also a source of hope that many individual judges, more than the number who sup-

House... From A1 President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies in Congress want to hold a plebiscite for the proposed new federal charter simultaneously with the May 2018 barangay and SK elections. But they find it more feasible to have it conducted in October of the same year. The barangay and SK elections have been postponed since 2013. This will be the third time that the local elections will be postponed if the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms’ decision is approved by the chamber in plenary session and later carried by the Senate. Earlier, Congress enacted Republic Act 10853 resetting the October 2017 barangay and SK elections to May 2018. The law provides that “incumbent barangay officials shall remain in office” until their successors shall have been duly elected. It also states that subsequent synchronized barangay and SK elections shall be held on the second Monday of May 2020 and every three years thereafter. The postponement of the barangay and SK elections last year came after Duterte claimed local officials would use drug money to influence the elections.

Reps. Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte and Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur backed the proposed postponement of May 2018 village and SK polls. Barbers, one of the principal authors of the bill, said postponing the elections was “not actually going against the principles of democracy.” Pimentel said the postponement would give the Commission on Elections more time to prepare for the village elections to ensure they are credible. But Senator Sherwin Gatchalian rejected any postponement of the barangay elections. Postponing it until October would not achieve anything to address the President’s concern about drugs because the Department of Interior and Local Government has already been given two year to file cases against barangay officials involved in illegal drugs. “Extending it for another four to five months will not do anything,” he said. He also said candidates for the barangay and SK elections have long prepared for the election, as has the Comelec. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, on the other hand, said there was no commitment from the Senate that they will support the House motion postponing the barangay and SK elections.

Plane... From A1 Live footage posted on Facebook showed the towering columns of smoke rising behind the runway, where another plane stood waiting on the tarmac. The plane crashed as it was coming in to land, sending firefighters scrambling to extinguish the burning wreckage and rescue survivors. Emergency vehicles appeared to be heading into the smoke as people watched from a distance or filmed on their mobile phones. The plane was a 17-year-old Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop, said Swedish-based aircraft flight information service Flightradar24 on its Twitter account. It said Kathmandu’s airport was closed due to the accident, and inbound flights were either turning back or being diverted elsewhere. Nepal has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, dealing a blow to its tourist industry. Its poor air safety record has been blamed largely on inadequate maintenance, inexperienced pilots and substandard management. In early 2016, a Twin Otter turboprop aircraft slammed into a mountainside in Nepal killing all 23 people on board. AFP

Sereno... From A1

Gardon accused Gombio and Fabias of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over the alleged delay in the release of survivorship benefits for widows of judges, one of the charges in the impeachment complaint against Sereno. Gombio is chairman of the SC’s special committee on retirement and civil service benefits, while Fabias is chairman of the legal technical working group. “They caused undue injury and damage to surviving spouses of retired justices and judges through manifest partiality and evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence,” Gadon alleged in his complaint. During hearings of the House panel, it was revealed that the two respondents were responsible for the “unwarranted and unusual delay” in processing of application of 29 survivors of deceased judges. “It took them two years before they initiated a study on this. Before, when they were not yet involved in the claims and it is being handled by the Office of the Court Administrator, it would only take at most two weeks before the claims would be approved,” the complaint read. In the other complaint, Gadon accused Oliveros, Ocampo and Macasaet of violating the Government Procurement Reform Act in connection with the hiring of Macasaet. The complainant alleged that only two of Macasaet’s eight contracts of service passed the Bids and Awards Committee while the six others were renewed by Sereno without the knowledge and approval of the BAC. The splitting of the contracts was meant to evade competitive bidding, Gadon said. Gadon also questioned Macasaet’s compensation of P100,000 a month under the first contract and P250,000 a month a month in succeeding contracts, saying this was “way beyond” the compensation ceiling set by the Department of Budget and Management. “By reason of compensation alone, the contracts of service… upon the recommendation and influence of respondents Oliveros and Ocampo, are manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government,” he said. Gadon accused Oliveros and Ocampo, for their part, of “manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence” in the performance of their administrative duties. Macasaet’s hiring was also among the allegations in the impeachment case against Sereno.

Cebu... From A1 Given that Adorco is not a credible witness—judging from the material inconsistencies and improbability of his allegations,” the DoJ resolution signed by Asst. State Prosecutors Michael John Humarang and Aristotle Reyes said. Adorco claimed in his affidavit that Lim had supplied narcotics in “staggering amounts” to suspected drug kingpin Kerwin Espinosa for more than two years. However, prosecutors held that Adorco’s claims were contrary to the “standards of human experience and the logical course of reality.” “Indeed, for an evidence to be believed, it must proceed not only from the mouth of a credible witness, but must be credible in itself as to hurdle the test of conformity with the knowledgeable and common experience of mankind,” the resolution said. The investigating panel also cited as basis the complainant’s “failure to present any circumstantial evidence to prove respondents illegal drug transactions.” “It is undeniable that the evidence in this case is grossly insufficient to justify a finding of probable cause that respondents engaged in the illegal drug trade,” it said. Instead, the DoJ panel gave weight to Lim’s denial of the allegation that he had met with Espinosa and Adorco in Thailand on June 4, 2015 for the delivery of 50 kilos of shabu to Espinosa since it was physically impossible because he has never been to Bangkok. In his counter-affidavit, he vehemently denied the drug charges as “baseless and nonsensical.” He said he was never involved in illegal drug trade in Central Visayas as alleged by the PNP and never met Marcelo Adorco or Kerwin Espinosa and other respondents tagged in the illegal drug trade. The businessman had denied that he was the alias Jaguar in the government’s narcolist who was the supplier of illegal drugs to the group of Espinosa, recalling that he even presented himself before the National Bureau of Investigation earlier. The DoJ resolution dated Dec. 20, 2017 was not officially released to the media, and only obtained by reporters from an insider in the department on Monday. Pursuant to DoJ rules on drug cases, the dismissal of the case would be subject to review by the Justice secretary. Meanwhile, a Manila court has ordered the arrest of Chen Ju Long, a.k.a. Richard Chen or Richard Tan, in connection with the P6.4 billion worth of shabu that was smuggled through the Bureau of Customs. Chen was the forwarder of the shipment. At the Palace, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said former Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog’s refusal to return to the country was proof that he was guilty of the charges being hurled against him.




Gordon orders release of ex-BoC chief Faeldon from detention

Du30 urging Go to run as senator —Roque

By Macon Ramos-Araneta

By Vito Barcelo

AFTER being detained for six months on contempt charges, Senate Blue Ribbon committee Senator Richard Gordon yesterday ordered the release of former Bureau of Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon. Faeldon was hauled at the Senate detention facility last September for repeatedly snubbing the committee’s probe into the P6.5-billion smuggling of shabu from China, smuggled in the country through the BOC. He was transferred to the Pasay City Jail last Jan. 29. Gordon ordered the release of Faeldon after the former BOC chief promised that he will no longer engage senators in “backtalking” when questioned and will heed summons of the Blue Ribbon committee. During the resumption of the hearing, Gordon even teased Faeldon to smile as he looks better when he does. “We will call you on cognizance that when we ask you a question there will be no more back-talking and you will answer the questions directly,” Gordon told Faeldon in yesterday’s resumption of the hearing. “Yes your honor,” Faeldon said. “Do you commit to that?” Gordon again asked Faeldon who again gave an affirmative response. “Alright, so the committee chair hereby orders your release from incarceration,” said Gordon. “You’re hereby relased subject to the fact that you will conduct yourself as we go on the hearings when we need to. Is that understood?” he added. Gordon also told Faeldon that “On your own cognizance, on your own disciplinary actuation, you release yourself. But he warned the former Custome offiial that “if you go beyond that I will not hesitate to declare you in contempt again.”

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is persuading his close and trusted aide, Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go to run for senator in the 2019 midterm elections, according to Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque. In a press briefing Monday in Malacañang, the presidential spokesperson said President Duterte raised the idea of Go running as a senator in the 2019 elections. “I understand the President has broached it to SAP Go and it is something that they are discussing between the two of them,” Roque said. While Duterte’s right hand man repeatedly announced that he would not run, Go told reporters in an ambush interview that it would be up to the President. “The position of SAP Go is he will heed whatever the President wishes him to do. He will be dependent on the President,” he said. “He [Go] has said that personally he would not run, but if the President asks him to, he will,” Roque said. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier said he will persuade Go as PDP-Laban needs to have a Mindanaoan senatorial candidate in its lineup. As this developed, Davao City Mayor Duterte vowed to support Go once he decides to join the senatorial race in the 2019 national election.

Solons renew call to pass proposed bill on expanded maternity leave By Maricel V. Cruz TWO lawmakers on Monday renewed their call for the passage of a bill expanding maternity leave benefits for female workers in both the public and private sector. Reps. Bernadette Herrera-Dy of Bagong Henerasyon party-list and Teddy Baguilat Jr. of Ifugao expressed hope the House leadership led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will give its full backing to House Bill 4113 or the proposed “100-day Maternity Leave Law.” “The struggle is real—the uphill battle to pass a bill on expanded maternity protection has already spanned several Congresses. I strongly believe that this 17th Congress, we will finally see it to fruition,” HerreraDy, chairpman of the Committee on Women and Gender Equality, said. “During the advocacy event on maternity protection we conducted last March 5, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez stated his support for the passage of the bill. This demonstrated Congress leadership’s recognition of the importance of optimal maternal and child health as legislative priorities,” she added.

RELEASE PAPERS. Senator Richard Gordon holds the release paper for former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Monday, March 12, 2018. Faeldon (3rd from left) was ordered detained at the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms after he was cited in contempt for refusing to cooperate in the investigation on the P6.4-billion shabu smuggled from China. He was later transferred to the Pasay City Jail. Ey Acasio

DoJ confirms terrorist tag vs Joma, Satur, others T By Rey E. Requejo

HE petition seeking to declare as terrorists more than 600 individuals linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, was a product of research and evidence from police authorities and intelligence agencies, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Monday.

Aguirre also confirmed for the first time that CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz are in the list of personalities the government tagged as terrorists in a petition filed before the Manila regional trial court last month. Also included in the list were alleged CPP leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rafael Baylosis, former peace panel chief Luis Jalandoni, human rights lawyer and former Baguio City councilor

Jose Molintas and Cordillerans Joanna Carino, Windel Farag-ey Bolinget, Sherwin de Vera, Beverly Sakongan Longid and Jeannette Ribaya Cawiding. According to Aguirre, the list was not “baseless and irresponsible” as claimed by Corpuz and he dared critics to challenge the DoJ’s move before the court. “This list is a product of research and evidence supplied by police authorities and intelligence agencies,” he said in an interview. “If they have evidence to the contrary, they should just answer the petition and the court will hear them. This case should not be tried through the media,”

Aguirre added. Aguirre explained that the petition was filed following the termination of the peace talks between the government and the CPP. Corpuz, a former chairman of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, was named UN special rapporteur in 2014. She decried her inclusion in the list as “baseless, malicious and irresponsible.” She founded the indigenous people’s advocacy and research group, Tebtebba Inc., and helped draft the Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the United Nations in 2007. Ocampo, on the other hand, is facing murder charges in the Manila RTC for his alleged involvement in the murder of suspected military spies in the communist movement in the 1980s. Baylosis was ordered arrested last January over charges of illegal possession of firearms. In its petition, the DoJ cited Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007 in seeking the declaration of the CPP and NPA officials and members as terrorists.

NFA ready for aggressive palay buying—Aquino THE National Food Authority is fully ready in terms of logistics, funds and personnel to buy as much local palay harvest as possible to beef up its dwindling buffer stock during the summer crop harvest from March to May. NFA administrator Jason Aquino said the food agency will focus all its logistics, funds and personnel on aggressive palay buying as harvest starts to peak in some areas. As early as January, palay procurement funds had already been remitted to areas expected to start harvesting earlier than the others. These include Iloilo, Aklan, Bukidnon, La Union, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Batangas, San Jose and Mamburao in Mindoro Occidental, Sultan Kudarat and other areas in Mindanao.

The agency plans to deploy mobile procurement teams in far-flung areas to directly buy palay from farmers. They are instructed to buy even freshly harvested or wet palay based on the respective drying capacities of each NFA provincial and regional office. Almost all NFA provincial offices and half of its buying stations across the country have mechanical driers and solar drying facilities. All NFA buying stations will also be opened and utilized during the whole harvest period. Procurement personnel shall be required to render overtime work if necessary, Aquino said. “Historically when harvest peaks, exfarm prices go down, though minimal during the summer crop because this is the season when farmers produce better quality palay than during the wet crop so

traders also buy aggressively. Farm-gate prices may also go down as rice from the private sector’s minimum access volume imports start to be released in the market. When that happens, NFA shall seize the opportunity to aggressively buy our local harvest,” Aquino explained. Aquino said the NFA has made it easier for famers to sell their palay to the agency by simplifying its procedures and payment scheme. In less risky areas, NFA will pay palay deliveries in cash on the same day. NFA buys palay at P17.00/kg clean and dry with an additional P0.20/kg drying incentive and P0.20–P0.50/ kg delivery incentive. For farmer organizations, an additional P0.30/kg is given as cooperative development incentive fee.

DENR orders Malay LGU to enforce law By Rio N. Araja

FRENCH NAVY. A sailor of French navy frigate Vendemiaire raises his country’s national flag as it docks at the international port in Manila on March 12, 2018. FNS Vendemiaire, a Floreal class light surveillance frigate, commissioned in 1993, is here for a five-day goodwill visit. AFP

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Monday said it will compel the local government unit of Malay town in Aklan to strictly enforce an ordinance requiring residents and business operators in Boracay Island to be connected to the sewerage system. “The local government of Malay has enacted Ordinance 307 in 2012, which mandates businesses and residents to connect to the sewerage system of Boracay. The law is there. What we want to see is for it to be strictly enforced,” Secretary Roy Cimatu said. Despite the measure, Boracay Island has been hounded with the issue of untreated waste water being dumped into the drainage system of the island, instead of into the sewerage system, he said. The untreated waste water containing harmful bacteria and other substances ends up in the open waters in and around Boracay.

“Boracay’s sewage is the number one problem in the island, and it requires urgent action from us. We are giving companies not connected to the sewer lines one month to link up. If they fail to do so, they will face sanctions,” Cimatu said. According to Boracay Island Water Corp., one of the two water concessionaires in Boracay and the operator of the island’s sewerage infrastructure, 195 of its 578 business customers are not connected to the sewer lines, while only 5 percent of their 4,331 residential customers are connected to the sewers. On the other hand, customers of the Boracay Tubi System Inc. are not connected to the sewer lines as it offers to siphon waste water from them into the company’s sewerage treatment plant. “Companies release a huge volume of waste water so it is important for us to crack down on them. And we do not know if these 195 establishments are causing problems with the island’s drainage system,” Cimatu said.

NCRPO leads oath-taking of 66 promoted policewomen By Joel E. Zurbano THE National Capital Region Police Office on Monday marked this year’s International Women’s Month administering the oath-taking of 66 newly-promoted policewomen and 462 other police officers in Metro Manila. Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde and Taguig City Mayor Laarni Cayetano led the oath-taking ceremony held at the NCRPO Headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City. Those promoted were three Police Chief Inspector, 10 Police Senior Inspector, 88 Police Inspector, six Senior Police Officer 4, 75 Senior Police Officer 3, 29 Senior Police Officer 2, 74 Senior Police Officer 1, 110 Police Officer 3, and 73 Police Officer 2. Albayalde congratulated the newlypromoted police officers and called for their cooperation, utmost dedication, and support in all undertakings of the “Team NCRPO.” He also emphasized the NCRPO’s zero tolerance policy on erring cops. Albayalde also encouraged his men to prove that they are deserving of their ranks.

Militant who acted as guard to kidnapped tourists in 2001 nabbed POLICE have arrested a suspected Islamist militant who allegedly helped guard a group of tourists kidnapped in 2001 including an American missionary who was later killed, the justice department said Monday. Hood Abdullah is accused of guarding hostages including US citizen Martin Burnham, who was killed and his wife wounded in the crossfire during a botched military rescue attempt in June 2002. Abdullah was a member of Abu Sayyaf, an Al-Qaeda-linked group blamed for the archipelago’s deadliest bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings in recent decades, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said. “Burnham, an American hostage, was always handcuffed to Abdullah... especially on the move,” Aguirre told reporters. Burnham died 13 months after Abu Sayyaf gunmen kidnapped a group of 20 tourists at an upscale western Philippine resort, including the Burnhams and another American, who was later beheaded. AFP




Adelle Chua, Editor


The right thing


Recasting the 10 commandments By Honor Blanco Cabie IN times past, there was the accepted belief that June was the “marriest” month for Filipinos, recidivously romantic by nature—given the influence of the cultures of Madrid and Hollywood. In recent years, others marched down the aisle in other months – it could have been in summer, in the monsoon or even in December as Christmas lights and sounds took the population on a pleasant spin. But Catholic Church statistics suggests a decline in the number of Filipinos getting married in church and comparatively they are getting older by the dozen. In recent years, an average of nearly 178,000 people from the different strata of society tied the marital knot every year—with a dramatic plunge afterwards. The reason, generally, is that church weddings were getting more expensive. Down the economic rung, people tend to get married because an added member—an in-law±can be an economic asset either because the addition is a member of the work force or can be an effective member in reaping economic benefits for the family. Others get married because in previous years they bore an offspring, and getting married is among the best norms for social acceptance. Still some get married to share health insurance benefits or ensure that each spouse is entitled to inheritance upon the other’s death. There are of course, according to marriage counselors, others who marry purely out of love—an intense and passionate relation between a man and a woman. The marriage is solemnized in a simple or grand ceremony—depending on the financial capability of the couple, mainly the man—that makes the couple, before the public, husband and wife, or the man’s family. This is the formal beginning of a relation where they promise in public that they would “live together during the good or bad times, during richness and poverty, misery and health until death do them part.” Some counselors say there are instances where both, man and woman, “need to compromise and sustain their feelings to live a harmonious life.” At the impromptu program of a wedding held at a posh hotel in Makati recently, the groom’s old man had his Ten Commandments, spoken straight from the heart—commandments that could have been spoken by even the bride’s father. The groom’s father was straight to the point, in a lingo that could be easily digested and understood by the witnesses to the church wedding a couple of hours earlier on. “There will be Ten Commandments which my wife and myself hope they will assume as the cornerstone of their married life,” the groom’s father said. In the father’s chronological sequencing, the commandments are: First, be humane. Have the feelings proper to a human being; be kind, compassionate and elevating. Second, be open to each other. Don’t be fastened; be clear, and don’t keep anything from each other. Third, be noble. Be magnanimous and generous, even as you show the highest level of excellence or worth in everything you do to enhance both your personal and professional growth. Fourth, be orotund. You must demonstrate to each other the characteristics of fullness, of strength, not only in body but also in emotions and mind, and of smoothness and impeccable excellence in your strides. Fifth, be respectful. You must always have the capacity for expression of esteem, of goodwill and regard, which undoubtedly will show your sense of responsibility. Sixth, be committed. You must be consigned to the present and the future, not only of yourselves but also of Turn to A5


HIEF Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is standing firm. She is not taking the easy way out, she said, because she is doing the right thing—fighting impeachment to the end. Indeed it would be easier for everybody if she just quit. Now that the House has found probable cause that the chief justice indeed committed impeachable acts, a very public and time-consuming trial at the Senate is a certainty. For months, senators will be preoccupied not with lawmaking but with donning their robes as they act as judges in Sereno’s case. Members of the judiciary will be distracted from their tasks,

especially since the testimonies of some of them were instrumental in convincing House members that Sereno’s case should be transmitted to the Senate. That is, assuming the lawmakers did not have a foregone conclusion in mind at that time. The public, too, will be consumed with the details, likely unsavory, that will be revealed during the trial. We will be tricked into believing that this is of earthshaking importance, trumping all


other national issues like poverty, unemployment, corruption across the board, competitiveness or our lack thereof. Most of all, Sereno herself will be taxed by the pressure and the merciless media attention. Still, she believes it is worth staying. The right thing in this case is never absolute. It depends on who is speaking. There is the right thing for Sereno, for the judiciary, for her opponents, for the general public, for truth itself. In the next few days we will know which right is more right than others. We just hope what prevails is the best course for the greatest number.

Errors in Ongpin’s profile PRESIDENTIAL Spokesman Harry Roque has very low standards for modern women when he said former dancer Mocha Uson was a good example. I wonder what potion Uson gave him. To think Roque wants to be a senator. Does he honestly believe Filipinos will be that stupid to vote for him? *** Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin was ranked 12th among the richest Filipinos by Forbes Magazine. However, Forbes’ profile of him, available online, contains some errors. I hope Forbes corrects itself. Ongpin pointed out three errors in the March 11 issue of the magazine. First, with regard to the charge of insider trading in the sale of Philex Mining shares in 2009. The truth is that Ongpin has denied the charges and the Sandiganbayan has dismissed all the charges against him in 2015. Ongpin has been vindicated! The second error is with regard to the Securities and Exchange Commission fine of $3.4 million and the supposed prohibition against him from holding office in public companies. Ongpin appealed this before the Court of Appeals. The CA has granted this appeal and has permanently enjoined the SEC from enforcing the penalties in 2017. Forbes failed in its research when it said Alphaland, which Ongpin chairs,

I know him well because he was my student.

is a $45.7-million property developer. This is fake news! The truth is that Alphaland is a $1.2-billion high-end property developer. I put forth these corrections because I personally know Bobby. He was one of my brightest students in Ateneo High School in the early 1950s. Forbes also said that Ongpin resigned as chairman on gaming company PhilWeb, which he founded. This was after President Rodrigo Duterte singled him out as an “oligarch”—farthest from the truth! The truth is that Ongpin was singled out by former President BS Aquino III just because he was friends with former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. Ongpin has not denied this—and why should he? Ongpin is in fact a self-made man. I am proud of my student—he is a cut above the rest.

Red tape, drugs in Bistek-Belmonte city HAIL TO THE CHAIR VICTOR AVECILLA LAST year, President Rodrigo Duterte required all offices in the executive department of the government to reduce, or even eliminate the endless paperwork and lengthy processing procedures associated with transactions with the bureaucracy. Earlier this week, a legislative enactment expanding the coverage of Duterte’s trailblazing anti-red tape measure was ready for the President’s signature. Many government agencies (the Land Transportation Office excluded) have

Quezon City’s taxpayers are in for really awful times.

complied with the President’s directive by reducing the number of days for the processing of documents. In some agencies, documents are now processed in a few minutes. The renewal of documents with a government office should be a quick and simple process because all information about

the applicant is already in the computerized data bank of the government office concerned. This should be particularly true for the payment of the annual professional tax collected by a city government—popularly called the professional tax receipt. Since the PTR is an annual tax in a fixed amount imposed on all members of the same profession in the city, and considering that the tax itself has nothing to do with sensitive matters like, for example, running a commercial establishment or purchasing supplies for the bureaucracy, there should be no difficulty in paying the PTR. As in all payment transactions, the same should be completed in minutes. Since the time of Quezon City Mayor

*** Charles L. Black Jr., a constitutional law expert, came out with a handbook on impeachment. The US and other countries use this as reference on the matter. For those who are interested in impeachment, its grounds: standard of proof, admissibility of evidence, nature of an impeachment case, and judicial review. These are things our lawyers—and everybody else— should take to heart. What struck me most about Black’s treatise was “betrayal of public trust” as a ground. I quote: “Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, with utmost integrity, with utmost loyalty and with utmost efficiency. They must act with patriotism, they must act with justice, and they must

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Turn to A5

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Quo warranto and impeachment Red... From A4

Ismael Mathay, Jr. and during the tenure of his successor Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., one who renews his PTR at Quezon City Hall is simply asked to produce the previous year’s official receipt, or the serial number of the receipt, and pay the current tax. Those who are unable to either produce the receipt or remember the serial number, can request the window clerk to check the office computer for the information. This way, the transaction is consummated in minutes. Unfortunately, the situation deteriorated under the administration of Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista. Representatives of taxpayers are now required to produce documentary authorization, which adds to the red tape, even if the transaction is simply a tax payment. If the payment of a national income tax may be done by a representative without a written authorization from the taxpayer himself, there is no reason why it should be different for a local tax paid at Bautista’s city hall. This year alone, additional requirements are being imposed by Quezon City Hall employees on one paying the annual PTR. For instance, a lawyer renewing his PTR payment is now required to show documentary proof from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines that he is a lawyer. The production of the original official receipt is now a requirement as well. Those who do not have the original of the previous year’s official receipt are made to return, often after a day or more, on the lame excuse that the window clerk needs to verify the status of their PTR payments. The window clerks have a uniform explanation for the additional red tape-they have to be strict in the processing of the licenses of professionals operating in Quezon City. What hogwash! Since when did local government units like Bistek Bautista City exercise the power to process professional licenses? That power is vested in the Professional Regulation Commission for professionals other than lawyers, and in the Supreme Court for the legal profession. Moreover, payment of the PTR for lawyers is not evidence of membership in the Philippine bar. A real lawyer is required to indicate in all court pleadings numerous other information to prove his status as a lawyer. Besides, the PTR is not a license but a tax. Why the payment of a tax in a fixed amount should be subjected to a tedious process in Quezon City, when it is other-

wise in other cities, is a big mystery. Since Bautista has dumped the Liberal Party and is now affiliated with President Duterte’s PDP-Laban Party, there is no excuse for him not to comply with the president’s campaign against red tape. The problem is aggravated by the heavy reliance Quezon City officials place on political propaganda to conceal the administrative incompetence of the family dynasties that have run the city, and that continue to run it today. Speaking of propaganda, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte announced last week that there is a need to address the drug problem in the city in all fronts. What took her so long to realize that? At the start of the Duterte administration, Mayor Bistek Bautista’s brother, Quezon City Councilor Hero Bautista, confessed to being a drug addict and took a leave from the city council, supposedly to undergo drug rehabilitation. Why Hero Bautista did not resign from the city council outright is probably explained by his being the chairman of the city’s very powerful infrastructure committee. About a year later, Mayor Bautista was seen on live television mauling a Communist Chinese national who was caught in possession of narcotics at an anti-drug operation conducted near the Philcoa area of the city. Why Bautista was not subjected to criminal or administrative charges for that act is not explained by the city government. A city mayor can be held administratively liable by the Office of the Ombudsman for beating up a suspect in the custody of his city’s policemen. Administrative charges of this sort have no prescriptive period, and the old legal doctrine that “the re-election of the erring official erases all his past administrative liabilities” has been abandoned by the Supreme Court. Those drug-related events in Quezon City occurred almost two years ago. What took Vice Mayor Belmonte that long to realize that there is a drug menace plaguing Quezon City? Joy Belmonte is seen as the next mayor of Quezon City. If that dreadful prospect does materialize, then Quezon City’s taxpayers are in for really awful times. The Bautista and Belmonte political dynasties have dominated Quezon City since 2001. That fact alone is a good reason for the city’s residents to press Congress to enact a law prohibiting political dynasties in public office.

Errors... From A4

lead modest lives. Otherwise, they will be liable for removal from their respective public offices for betraying the public trust. If the public officer who betrayed his public trust is the President or the Vice President, or a member of the Supreme Court, or a member of a constitutional commission or the Ombudsman, he is liable to be removed from his position through impeachment proceedings.” The Philippine Constitution also provides that a public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities and net worth. In the case of the President or Vice President, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions, and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration shall be disclosed to the public in the manner provided by law. Section 1 and Section 17 of Article XI are mandatory and preemptory demands of the Filipino people. They must be obeyed and fulfilled by all persons concerned. “No public official or employee of the government, no matter how high his rank or how vast his powers may be, can cavalierly ignore these commands, disdainfully defy them.” A reading of this section on “betrayal of public trust” will show that contrary to what some people said that the late Chief Justice Renato Corona was ousted on non-impeachable offenses. Section 1 and 17 of Article XI of the Constitution shows that he in fact betrayed public trust in not including his peso and dollar accounts in his SALN. Logic dictates that if Corona was

convicted for not filling out his SALN properly, Sereno, by submitting an incomplete set of SALN, must also be convicted. She also betrayed the public trust. She did not file her SALN when she was a professor at the UP College of Law. She violated the Constitution, which means she is guilty of the ground of “culpable violation of the Constitution.” Sereno’s lawyers should read Black’s handbook. As I said, she is already damaged goods. Even if she returned to the Supreme Court, she would clearly be ineffective and her presence would just divide the judiciary. Does she not have an iota of self-respect and delicadeza left? *** I wrote last week that cockfighting in the Philippines is a cultural sport that must be promoted. First, it brings revenues to the government. Second, it draws tourists for its uniqueness. In the Philippines, cock breeding is now a multi-million peso business. In every town or municipality, there are cockpits that become very busy on Sundays and holidays. Believe it or not, a well-bred cock costs as must as P20,000. Wagers come up to as high as a million pesos. Department of the Interior and Local Government acting head Eduardo Año must be told that local governments could collect millions of pesos in revenue out of cockfighting. And this is from business permits only. President Duterte, a long-time mayor of Davao City, knows this too well.

Recasting... From A4

your children. Seventh, be appreciative. Be expressive of admiration. appreciate the little things that each makes for the conjugal partnership and for your roots. Eighth, be beneficent. You must be kind and have the disposition, always and at all times, to do good. Ninth, be radiant. In whatever you do, you must have the capability to emit

rays of light and be immeasurable in your infiniteness toward each other. Tenth, be equitable and estimable. Be impartial and just; and, at whatever cost, in all the things you do, be worthy of regard, esteem and honor. The Ten Commandments, said by the groom’s old man, appeared properly etched on marble. (HBC is a father to three offspring, and grandfather to four grandsons).

EVEN as the House Committee on Justice found probable cause to hold Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno liable for impeachment trial, she now has to contend with another ouster move. This time, via a petition for quo warranto filed before the Supreme Court by Solicitor General Jose Calida. The petition seeks to oust her from the position as Chief Justice on the ground that she is performing the functions of Chief Justice by virtue of a void appointment. The theory is that the non-submission of some of her SALNs from her days as a UP Law professor to the Judicial and Bar Council rendered Sereno’s appointment illegal from the beginning. Never mind that the JBC only had a substantial compliance rule at that time and required only that she submit her SALNs from her last three years as a Supreme Court Justice. Never mind that the JBC did shortlist her and the President appointed her in accordance with the Constitution which only has the following qualifications for a Chief Justice or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: “No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme Court or any lower collegiate court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. A Member of the Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age, and must have been for fifteen years or more, a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.” So here we have the unenviable situation of an impeachable official being subject of two remedies to oust her—via impeachment and quo warrranto. Most of us may be familiar with the impeachment process since we had the misfortune of witnessing firsthand the impeachment proceedings of several high ranking officials —President Joseph Estrada and the late Chief Justice Renato Corona who was eventually tried and convicted by the Senate seating as an impeachment tribunal. But many of us may not be too familiar with a quo warranto petition. This being a pending case, I will not speculate on the prospective decision of the Supreme Court. I trust the justices will do the right thing. I will leave them to do exactly that. It’s good, though, for the people to understand what this latest legal action is and how it compares to impeachment as a method of making high officials accountable. A quo warranto is a remedy to chal-

lenge a claim for public office. It is provided under Rule 66, section 1 of the Revised Rules of Procedure which says an action may be commenced by the government against one who, among other grounds, usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office, position or franchise. To justify the filing of the petition despite a pending impeachment complaint, the Solicitor General seeks to differentiate the two. According to him, the writ of quo warranto is being sought to question the validity of her appointment; in turn, the impeachment complaint accuses her of committing culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust while in office. Stated differently, the petitioner is seeking her ouster from her office because she did not prove her integrity as an applicant for the position. The complainant in the impeachment proceedings wants her removed as the sitting Chief Justice for impeachable offenses. Clearly, both remedies are geared toward identical results, that is, the ouster of a public official not to mention that the grounds cited in the petition are subsumed in the impeach-

Sereno’s enemies are getting more desperate by the day.

ate. She is confident that she will be able to defend herself against all the grounds of impeachment they will hurl to her. The numbers in the Senate favor her for sure. While she should not be complacent, I count at least 12 votes acquitting Sereno, probably more. It is not that she has been the best or the perfect Chief Justice. I think there is a lot she can improve on but none of the attacks against her rise up to being impeachable. The 1987 Constitution is explicit that a member of the Supreme Court can be removed only through impeachment. The late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, explaining the nature of impeachment, said the rationale behind impeachment is to maintain constitutional government, through the removal of an unfit official from a position of public trust. The remedy is limited to the highest officials and is undertaken by our highest representative bodies to emphasize the importance of the process. An impeachment trial is unique because it is a hybrid process, being both quasi-judicial and quasipolitical. The Constitution lists down certain public officials, including a member of the Supreme Court, who can be removed from office only via impeachment. By doing so, the Constitution precludes any other avenue to oust them. The Solicitor General proposes another way, an alternative to impeachment, of having that same result. If the Supreme Court indulges him, so be it. But the consequences to the Justices, to the President, and to the other impeachable officials, are enormous. When Chief Justice Corona was impeached, a can of worms was opened. In the Sereno impeachment, an even bigger can of worms might now be opened. As we saw in the Corona impeachment, all of these have consequences. Even the employees and other members of the judiciary have unfortunately not been spared, with some of them unnecessarily joining in the fray. Walking back from this will not be easy. When it rains, it pours. Sereno is facing now—and doing so with calm, courage, and serenity, with humor even, so far from the psychological profile suggested by so-called expert witnesses against her. Although misused as a motto by the Hitler youth, Friedrich Nietzche was right when he said “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” This is certainly true of the Chief Justice and that is why her enemies are getting shriller and more desperate by the day.

ment complaint. Second, assuming that resort to both remedies are legally permissible and both actions prosper, can the Chief Justice be ousted twice by Congress through impeachment and by the Supreme Court in the petition for quo warranto? Or conversely, if one fails and the other prospers, it will result in a conflicting situation where one body ousts the Chief Justice and the other wants her to remain in office. In the latter scenario, who then prevails between the decisions of the Senate and the Supreme Court without triggering a constitutional crisis? The leadership of the House of Representatives has hinted that it will not send the impeachment complaint to the Senate for trial until the Supreme Court has ruled on the quo warranto case. Is that a way of saying that the Sereno critics see the Court as a more sympathetic forum to their cause than the Senate? Are they right? Facebook: Professor Tony La Viña Sereno, on the other hand, is seeking an early endorsement to the Sen- or deantonylavs Twitter: tonylavsw


The heroism and sacrifice of General Abat By Ben Cal HEROISM and sacrifice. These words aptly describe the late Defense Secretary Army General Fortunato U. Abat, who evaded recruitment by the Japanese during World War II in a daring escape upon learning he was to be brought to Japan for training as an aircraft mechanic. Abat passed away at the Veterans Medical Center in Quezon City last March 7. He was 92. The Department of National Defense headed by Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana through the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office under Undersecretary Ernesto G. Carolina said Abat will be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City high noon of Tuesday with full military honors. This writer had the rare opportunity to interview Abat when the latter was still alive. It was during this interview for my book “Victory at Bessang Pass” that Abat related his story as a young guerrilla fighter, his combat experience during the Korean War, and his memoirs during the Mindanao War in the ‘70s and ‘80s against the Moro National Liberation Front. He was commanding general of the Central Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when heavy fighting broke out in Mindanao in 1974. The MNLF practically captured the whole of Central Mindanao, except the strategic PC Hill and the airport in Cotabato City.

But despite being surrounded and outnumbered, General Abat courageously led his troops in defending the two strategic areas and held on until reinforcement from the AFP Headquarters in Manila and other areas arrived. Through strategic planning of a counter-offensive, the military eventually recaptured areas that fell into the MNLF hands. Abat later wrote a book entitled “The Day We Almost Lost Mindanao” where he chronicled the fierce fighting between government forces and MNLF rebels. Later, President Ferdinand E. Marcos appointed Abat as commanding general of the Philippine Army until he retired with the rank of major general. As a soldier, Abat was a recipient of many awards for gallantry. During World War II, Abat said he and other young Filipinos were billeted in Japanese barracks when he escaped when he was given a one day furlough with his family and joined the guerrilla forces. He was assigned with the 14th Infantry Regiment of the United States Army Forces in the Philippines – Northern Luzon (USAFI-NL). “I could not forget the date of my enlistment, April 15, 1944, with the rank of Private, with Serial No. 221283 in the Medical Company, 14th Infantry Regiment,” he said. In an interview, Abat recalled his guerrilla days, particularly the famous “Battle of Kiangan Pocket” in Ifugao.

It was in this battle that Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, who was dubbed as the “Tiger of Malaya,” surrendered to Filipino guerrillas . Abat said it was the forces of Capt. Guillermo Nakar who stalked the Japanese forces after the fall of Bataan every now and then, employing the hit-and-run tactics. However, Nakar was captured and executed by the Japanese. His replacement, Col. Manuel Enriquez was also executed after his capture. But despite these setbacks, the Filipino guerrillas pressed their attacks on the Japanese until the Gen. Douglas McArthur landed in Leyte Gulf to fulfill his promise of “I shall return.” Abat said the American submarines USS Stingray and USS Gar (206), landed in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte and brought with them tons of weapons and food for the Filipino guerrillas. “I was issued a Carbine rifle,” Abat said. Fully armed to the teeth, the Filipino guerrillas engaged the Japanese in fierce fighting that continued for several weeks that forced Yamashita to surrender, Abat added. Abat will long be remembered for his bravery in combat in defense of freedom and democracy. It was a display of heroism and sacrifice at the most crucial time the country needed most. May God bless his soul. Ben Cal is a former editor of the Philippine News Agency. He has written books on the military.




International aviation body lauds CAAP green concept

Hontiveros: Beef up vaccine info campaign By Macon Ramos-Araneta

By Joel E. Zurbano THE International Civil Aviation Organization has lauded the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for promoting the green airport concept and energy efficiency enhancement to reduce airport-wide carbon intensity. CAAP chief information officer Eric Apolonio said ICAO Secretary- General Fang Lui welcomed the country’s carbon dioxide or CO2 emissions reduction plan for international aviation, saying “the submission of State Action Plans provides an opportunity to establish and showcase strategies to reduce aviation emission.” The CAAP’s commitment towards environmental sustainability as well as carbon reduction efforts earned the ICAO executive commendation. The SAP is a voluntary planning and reporting tool for States to communicate information on their activities to address international civil aviation’s CO2 emission concerns. It aims for better understanding of the share and projections of international aviation CO2 emissions, enhanced cooperation between all aviation stakeholders that can positively reflect on their operational areas, and the identification of the most relevant mitigation actions. It also includes information on activities the Philippines has already undertaken and future mitigation strategies that it wants to meet regarding CO2 emissions reduction in the sky. “These mitigation measures include the development of Bio-Fuel [used cooking oil] as alternative fuel to improve air traffic management and infrastructure that will significantly reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions and the establishment of a performance-based navigation [PBN] system in all public aerodromes which increases airspace capacity, improves aviation safety, and reduces aviation activities’ environmental impact,” said Apolonio. As part of the green airport concept, all frequently used CAAP airports will now be installed with solar power systems to power up office lighting and small equipment as well as runways lights and lighted cones, he added.

BUILD, BUILD, BUILD. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar (second from left), Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano lead the ceremonial opening of the 6-kilometer portion of the Laguna Lake Highway eastbound from M.L Quezon Avenue to Napindan Bridge in Taguig City. Norman Cruz

‘Peso buying power falls by 6% with TRAIN law’ By Vito Barcelo


HE Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said minimum wage earners fell further in deeper poverty as prices of goods and services increased due to the implementation of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion, specifically the excise tax on fuel and sweetened beverages and the increase in prices of government documents. ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said the buying power of the peso fell by almost 30 percent, citing the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the National Wages and Productivity Commission report that the real value or the buying power of the country’s average daily nominal minimum wage of P329.35 is now only P210 a day. In Metro Manila, the buying power of P512 daily minimum pay—the highest across the country—fell to P357.29. On the other hand, the real value or purchasing power of the country’s lowest

BI beefs up workforce Broadcaster’s for Holy Week killer identified MORE than 100 new Immigration officers will be deployed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other major ports to augment the bureau’s workforce at the airports and in preparation for the huge increase in passenger volume this coming Holy Week. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said a total of 101 new employees will be deployed in the coming weeks to international airport terminals to reduce long queues and hasten the processing of travel papers of passengers at the country’s premier airport. BI chief personnel officer Grifton Medina said the new BI officers started their two-month training at the Philippine Immigration Academy in Clark, Pampanga after their stint at the academy. There they will be taught lessons on immigration laws, rules and procedures, the employees will still undergo a month-long onthe-job training at the airport and main office. “Be sure that before they are deployed to the ports they are adequately prepared and equipped with the knowledge and capability to perform their jobs as gatekeepers of the country,” Morente told Medina. Morente also instructed the BI Center for Training and Research headed by lawyer Ronaldo Ledesma and Supervisor Administrative Officer Thelma Guiritan to “administer written and oral tests to the trainees to ascertain if they are ready to become our country’s gatekeepers.” Vito Barcelo

MALACAÑANG on Monday identified the suspect in the killing of broadcaster Christopher Lozada as Rolly Mahilum, a close aide of Bislig City Mayor Librado Navarro. Mahilum, who remains at large, is now the object of a nationwide police manhunt, according to Presidential Task Force on Media Security chief Joel Egco. Lozada was gunned down in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur on Oct. 24 last year while he was driving home with his partner, Honey Faith Toyco, who was injured in the shooting. However, Egco said the task force is not yet linking Navarro to the crime. Egco said Navarro earlier filed a libel case against Lozada before the Bislig City Regional Trial Court Branch 29. Lozada was operations manager and anchor of DXBF Prime Broadcasting Network where he was known as “Chris Rapido.” The slain broadcaster, who posted on his Facebook account that he been receiving death threats, was a known critic of Navarro, Lozada filed a complaint before the presidential task force regarding the death threats, prompting the group to send a warning to Navarro to stop threatening the broadcaster. Lozada told the task force that Navarro wanted him killed because the Office of the Ombudsman ordered his removal as mayor based on the complaint for grave misconduct that the journalist filed against the public official. Vito Barcelo

minimum pay of P265 a day in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is P152.12 a day. As of March 1, the total purchasing power of workers for a month fell to P8,575. However, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the published standard amount needed by a family of five to survive within poverty line in 2015 is P9,064. “We noticed the erosion of wage’s purchasing power move quickly downwards by six percent in just a matter of two months

from January to February upon the effectivity of TRAIN. This extraordinary devaluation of monthly salary is significant to the informal sector workers earning less than P12,000 a month and the minimum wage earners receiving less than the same amount,” Tanjusay said. “We urge government’s immediate and quality response to save and prevent these workers, who help build our economy and who are producers of goods and services to make our economy competitive, from falling through the cracks,” he added. With the inflation rate hitting 3.9 percent by the end of February, ALU-TUCP said it expects it to rise by the end of the month in the light of impending increases in the cost of electricity, rice, fish, sardines, vegetables, condiments and prices of gasoline. ALU-TUCP is proposing an amelioration program called Labor Empowerment and Assistance Program to help minimum wage earners through a monthly subsidy of P500 worth of grocery items.

TALKING HEADS. Presidential Communications Undersecretary Joel Egco joins Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely during a press briefing in Malacañang on March 12.

AS THE number of suspected measles cases reportedly surged three times in the first month of the year, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Department of Health to intensify its vaccination education to the public. Hontiveros, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also urged the DoH to immediately identify and address the gaps which led to the increasing number of measles cases in the country. “Is there a trend that the public is deferring from immunization? Is there growing public distrust in the government’s national vaccination program? Was the tripling of the measles cases the result of an increasingly populated environment or was it due to lack of access to vaccines and/or information?” asked Hontiveros. Whatever the case may be, the opposition senator said “our health department must act swiftly and decisively.” Hontiveros said the government must go on a “national educational roadshow” to educate the public about the positive effects of immunization and provide accurate information regarding vaccines. However, the senator said that due to the Dengvaxia issue, the health department should do a bottom-up educational campaign rather than the usual top-down approach. “More than ever, the government must engage the public in sober, intimate and grassroots conversations on how vaccines grealty help in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Our doctors, nurses and barangay health workers play a crucial role in patiently explaining the details of the country’s vaccination program, and in dispelling the public’s doubts and fears,” Hontiveros explained. “I believe that an effective vaccination education is one of the best ways to increase once again our vaccination rate and reduce the number of vaccine-preventable diseases,” Hontiveros said. The DoH said 877 suspected measles cases were reported nationwide from Jan. 1 to Feb. 3, 2018.

PCSO charter needs amendments to remove 20% tax on lottery winnings WITH the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law now implemented, there is no recourse but to request Congress to file amendments to Republic Act 1169. This is the Charter of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office which experts said must be amended if the agency wants its lottery winning prizes to be exempted from the 20 percent tax, Marivic Gaban of the Bureau of Internal Revenue said. The TRAIN law requires 20 percent tax on all PCSO lottery games prizes if the amount of the winning is above P10,000. Under the National Internal Revenue Code, lotto winnings and all PCSO prizes are tax-exempt. On the invitation of PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan, the BIR sent Gaban to meet with officials of the charity agency last Friday to enlighten them on the effect of TRAIN law, PCSO said in a statement. Earlier, Balutan expressed concerns over the new tax obligation of winning bettors that might discourage the gaming public to patronize the various lottery games of PCO such as Lotto, Keno (Lotto Express), Small Town Lottery, and Sweepstakes. “We have to get the expert opinion of the BIR so we can explain this to the gaming public,” Balutan said. “But according to our lawmakers, that’s still a windfall. If you win P100 million and have to give back P20 million to the government, you’d still be happy with it,” Balutan added.

Orbos warns against bogus I-ACT traffic enforcers INTER-AGENCY Council on Traffic chief Tomas Orbos on Monday warned the public against a group of individuals posing as I-ACT team members who are conducting road clearing operations and apprehending erring motorists in Metro Manila. “The success of I-ACT operations especially with its ‘Tanggal Bulok ,Tanggal Usok’ program certainly had some enterprising personnel take advantage,” said Orbos. Orbos said this after private and public vehicle owners complained they were victims of harassment by enforcers claiming to be I-ACT operatives. “Some motorists have informed me that they were accosted by enforcers claiming to be from I-ACT. We don't want the name of I-ACT to be tarnished. Its personnel were chosen carefully, not all enforcers qualify to be I-ACT,” Orbos said. I-ACT is a special team composed of personnel from the Metro Manila Development Authority, Department of Transporta-

tion, Police Highway Patrol Group, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and local government unit traffic officers. Orbos said their operations, by its very nature, must operate with a group of personnel coming from several agencies. "A group from one or two agencies does not make it an I-ACT operation, more so with one enforcer, even if he participated in an operation or wears that I-ACT vest," Orbos pointed out. "We don’t hide our operations and surprise motorists because our operations are planned and coordinated," he added. Orbos said all I-ACT personnel carry authorized IDs and mission orders and the operations don't have boundaries. “As it is inter-agency, it can operate outside Metro Manila when need be. In fact, plans are underway to implement similar operations protocol in Cebu given a call by the private sector in the area,” he said.

I-ACT operations also carry heavier penalties as it can issue tickets for various traffic violations. Other agencies can only issue tickets for limited violations. "We emphasize to our men the value of integrity and public trust. We will move against these errant unauthorized operations and we will bring notice to their respective agency heads of their misdeeds for proper action," said Orbos. In October last year, I-ACT launched Task Force Alamid to help confront traffic- prone areas and help enforcers in managing traffic in critical areas of Metro Manila—such as roads leading to and from seaport, airport and bus terminals—in time for the holiday season when traffic is expected to be heavy. Alamid also target critical areas during busy periods, including bus stops and nostopping zones, which are notorious for illegal parking and illegal picking up and dropping of passengers and goods. Joel E. Zurbano

Sports Velez, Madis score double win in Tagum JOHN David Velez and Tenielle Madis lived up to the hype and racked up two titles each as they shared the MVP honors in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Tagum leg age-group tennis circuit at the Tagum City Tennis Club in Davao del Norte yesterday. Velez, 14, dropped just three games to dominate his age group, taking the singles crown with a 6-1, 6-0 romp over Karl Palo then the Davao City ace ran away with the 16-and-under plum via the same scoreline over Andrei Padao. Madis, from Mlang, also stamped her class in the girls’ 12- and 14-U sides, beating Jillian Manangking twice in the finals, 6-1, 6-0, and 6-2, 6-0, respectively, in the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger with Dunlop as the official ball. In other results, Jazzell Madis, also from Cotabato, overpowered Lyza Colina, 6-1, 6-0, for the girls’ 18-U title with unranked Meynard Badal from Panabo bagging the boys’ premier title with a 7-6(7), 6-3 win over No. 4 Lawrence Colina. Lyza Colina rebounded in the 16-U class, holding off Daniela Licong, 6-4, 6-2, in the finals; while Polomolok’s Al Anazi shocked top seed Reyman Saldivar in a thrilling semis duel, 6-3, 3-6, 14-12, then blasted Nathaniel Angus, 6-1, 6-3, in the finals. Kidapawan’s Jose Palo also upended top seed Shaun Globasa, 4-0, 5-3, to snare the 10-unisex plum in the five-day tournament sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines, made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg. “Velez and Madis should serve as inspiration to those aspiring to make it big in the sport someday. Through hard work and dedication—and their continued participation in the circuit—these two youngsters have been dominating not only their age divisions but also the higher categories,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Sea Lions eye crown Game today

(Olivarez Sports Complex) 10 a.m. – Olivarez vs De Ocampo Memorial

GAME 1 of the Sta. Lucia Land-NCRAA 25th season best-of-three finals series between Olivarez College and De Ocampo Memorial College proved to be a humdinger as the match had to be decided until the final buzzer. De Ocampo’s Dahrell Caranguian’s three-pointer from the corner had to be reviewed by game officials before they decided to waive off the shot after they found out that it came a split second too late, allowing the Sea Lions to escape with an 89-86 overtime triumph to take the headstart in the series. Today, the Sea Lions will have a chance to wrap things up and bag the championship of this event presented by Sta. Lucia Land and supported by Max’s and Bread Talk with LGR serving as the official outfitter. Jayboy Solis and the rest of the Sea Lions will troop the floor anew and with the hometown cheering crowd behind them, expect Olivarez to leave nothing to chance and frustrate De Ocampo’s championship bid. “We’ll double our effort and finish it in Game 2,” said Solis, who played an all-around game and finished with MVP numbers of 22 points, nine rebounds, six assists and five blocks. The Sea Lions dominated Game 1 for most part of the match, leading by as many as 18 points, 65-47, in the third period. But the Cobras fought back vigorously in the final quarter as Caranguian, Jhonard Clarito and Redel Fabro rallied their team, but fell short. De Ocampo, which finished runner-up last year to Colegio de San Lorenzo, is now on the brink. The Cobras won the first game of the series last year, before losing the next two games. Head coach Ronnie Dojillo wants to avoid another frustrating season as he tries to gather his troops in keeping their campaign alive.

Tiger falls short; Casey wins title M

IAMI—Tiger Woods came up just short of his 80th US PGA Tour title on Sunday at the Valspar Championship, where it was England’s Paul Casey ending a victory drought with a onestroke triumph.

Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez (third from left) hands over a check amounting to P1,069,566.90 to the Senate Spouses Foundation (SSFI), led by its President Lourdes de la Llana-Pimentel, mother of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” L. Pimentel III, at the Senate Office recently as a result of the Philracom charity races last December. They are joined by (from left) Philracom Executive Director Andrew Rovie Buencamino, Commissioner Lyndon B. Guce and Audrey Tan, wife of Sen. Miguel Zubiri.

Philracom hands P1M check to Senate Spouses Foundation THE Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) recently handed over a check amounting to P1,069,566.90 to the Senate Spouses Foundation (SSFI) as a result of its charity races at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Park in Carmona, Cavite in December last year. The check was received by SSFI President, Mrs. Lourdes de la LlanaPimentel, mother of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” L. Pimentel III, at the Senate Office recently, on behalf of the SSFI, for its various socio-civic projects. “This shows that the Philracom is one with the various branches of government and related organizations when it comes to noteworthy causes,” said Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez. “It’s the Philracom’s own humble contribution

to the programs of the Senate Spouses Foundation Incorporated. We know this will go a long way.” The partnership between Philracom and SSFI is now on its second year. The Philracom held five charity races last Dec. 20 for the Senate Spouses Foundation Inc. and another five for the Office of the President’s Rehabilitation of the City of Marawi, netting total of P2,097,834.60 in the process. Gracing the races on behalf of the Senate Spouses Foundation Inc. was Neil Llamanzares, husband of Senator Grace Poe, and Josephine Llorca, from the office of Senator JV Ejercito. Llamanzares and Llorca also led the simple awards rites of the PhilracomMJCI Charity Trophy Race 4, attended by Philracom Chairman Sanchez, Commissioners Bienvenido Niles, Jose San-

tillan, Executive Director Andrew Rovie Buencamino and MJCI Racing Manager Jose Ramon Magboo. The 10 charity races were all conducted in accordance with the Philracom’s Rating-Based Handicapping System, which is a result of the commission’s affiliation with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, whose mission is to promote good regulation and best practices on international matters pertaining to the sport. The undertaking at the San Lazaro Park was the fourth special charity race held by the Philracom for Marawi this year. The first three were held at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Park in Carmona, Cavite (Aug. 13), the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park (Aug. 20) and the Manila Metro Turf in Malvar, Batangas (Aug. 27).

Superal seeks to snap skid

Princess Superal hopes to put it all together this week and break a long title drought

National pool athletes rule Vermosa Aquathlon IT WAS a nail-biting finish for the fastest aquathlete honors in the inaugural Vermosa Aquathlon standard distance 500-meter swim/5-km run held Sunday at the newly opened Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, Cavite. Promising national triathlon pool athlete and San Beda varsity swimmer Josh Angelo Averion, 17, needed just 27 minutes and six seconds to finish the lungbusting standard distance and gain the title of champion in the 15-17 age group. Hot on Averion’s heels was his fellow age-grouper, Richard Anson Navo at 27:23. Another member of the national triathlon pool, Liam Tangan, 18, crossed



the finish line in 27:47 for the third-fastest time and 1st place in the 18-24 age group. Among the 105 women in the standard distance, Andrea Villanueva, 25, of One Triathlon Team emerged as the fastest female with a time of 32:01. Villanueva was also the champion in the 25-29 age group. TriGEAR Team’s Jana Macalalad (female 15-17 champion) clocked in the 2nd fastest finish time at 33:13, followed three seconds later by Carla Beatriz Grabador (female 25-29, 2nd place), in this event sponsored by Vermosa Sports Hub, TIMEX, Oh So Healthy, Robinsons Supermarket, Gardenia, ProHealth Sports and Spinal, Nescafe Dolce Gusto, and hydra-

tion partner Gatorade. Other male and female standard-distance champions in each age group were Rusty Desabille (Male 25-29), Francis Hoban and Heather Europa (30-34), Marvin Raymund Baldemor and Mira Tiffany Batilo (35-39), Raymundo Yasay and Bic Ferreira (40-44), Levy Ang and Decerel Mendoza (45-49), Celma Hitalia (female 50-above), Jose Miguel Villanueva (male 50-54), Isidro Manuel (male 55-59), and Mario Cesario (male 60-above). In the relay division, the Wakandans 3 (mixed relay), Team Blanch (family), Bike King (all-female) and Wakandans 1 (allmale), were victorious in their categories.

PRINCESS Superal hopes to end a long title spell on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour as she headlines the compact field in the ICTSI Tagaytay Highlands Challenge unfolding tomorrow (Wednesday, March 14) at the Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Club. The former US Girls Juniors champion used to dominate the country’s premier ladies circuit even when she was still an amateur. But after nipping then amateur Pauline del Rosario by one at Eastridge in 2016, she went on a slump, turning in a number of mediocre finishes even after coming back from the grueling Symetra Tour campaign in the US. But she hopes to finally contend this week although a slew of local and foreign rivals have also primed themselves up for top honors in the P1 million event serving as the fifth leg of this year’s LPGT sponsored by ICTSI. Keen competition is seen in the 54hole championship with Highlands, hosting an LPGT event for the first time, expected to provide a different kind of challenge with its rolling fairways and sleek putting surface not to mention the hazards and the winds that come into play in most holes. Fellow Symetra Tour campaign and former three-time LPGT Order of Merit winner Cyna Rodriguez is also raring to bounce back from a number of so-so finishes while Chihiro Ikeda is gunning for a second leg win this year after topping the Eagle Ridge stop of the circuit last February. Seven Thais are also in the fold, all raring to score a follow-up to compatriot Pavarisa Yoktuan’s seven-stroke romp over Ikeda, Dottie Ardina and Korean amateur Kim Hee Ji in the fourth leg at Splendido also last month. They include former leg winners Saruttaya Ngam-usawan and Amolkan Phalajivin, Jaruporn P Naayuttaya, Numa Gulyanamitta, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang and Tirapan Yoopan.

Woods, the 14-time major champion playing just his fourth Tour event since spinal fusion surgery last April, showed he’s a contender again as he fired a oneunder-par 70 to share second on nineunder 275—one stroke behind Casey who surged to his second US PGA Tour title with a 65 for 274. “I think I’ve gotten a little better than what I was a couple of weeks ago,” Woods said. “I keep getting just a little better and a little sharper. Today I wasn’t quite as sharp as I would like to have had it, but I had a good shot at winning this golf tournament.” Woods’ fusion surgery ended a brief comeback bid last year. He remains in search of his first title since 2013—but on Sunday it finally looked as if it wasn’t a question of whether that drought will end but when. He opened with a birdie on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, Florida, but gave that stroke back with a bogey at the fourth. Woods didn’t find another birdie until the 17th, where he drained a putt of almost 45 feet to close within one stroke of Casey’s clubhouse lead and send his massive gallery into a frenzy. He couldn’t repeat the feat at the 18th to force a playoff, however, another long birdie try coming up a couple of feet short. Woods finished the day tied for second with fellow American Patrick Reed. Reed opened his round with a 60-foot eagle putt from the collar of the green at the first. He was 10-under through 17, but dropped out of playoff contention with a shocking bogey at the last, where his first putt failed to make it to the upper tier of the green where the pin was located. Casey had four birdies and a bogey on his front nine, then seized control with three birdies on the trot at 11, 12 and 13 that moved him to 10-under. Casey ‘so happy’ He said keeping bogeys off his card over the demanding closing holes was key. “The clean-ups on 16, 17 and 18— fantastic,” Casey said. “I’ve not done that in a long time and that’s the difference. That’s what I need to do.” The 40-year-old has 17 victories on the European Tour, the most recent coming at the KLM Open in September of 2014. AFP

F2 to tighten hold on 2nd Games Today (Imus Sports Center) 4:15 p.m. – Generika-Ayala vs Smart 7:00 p.m. – Sta. Lucia vs F2 Logistics

IMUS CITY—F2 Logistics tries to tighten its hold on second spot when it battles Sta. Lucia Realty in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Tuesday at the Imus Sports Center here. Action kicks off at 7 p.m. with the Cargo Movers gunning for their third victory in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, UCPB Gen and Rebisco with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner. Generika-Ayala and Smart, meanwhile, shoots for their first victory when they collide in the 4:15 p.m. appetizer of this explosive double-header of this league that also has Senoh, Mikasa, Asics, LGR and Grand Sport as technical sponsors. Petron remains on top of the team standings with a 6-0 (win-loss) mark, while F2 Logistics is quite far behind with 2-1, making this battle against Sta. Lucia very interesting and crucial for the reigning champion. After opening their campaign on a winning note, the Cargo Movers suffered a little turbulence as they bowed to the Blaze Spikers in four sets in a fierce duel that served as a rematch of the action-packed best-of-three finals showdown last year. But that setback is now a thing of the past as the F2 Logistics put clamps on Smart’s gem of an import in Gyselle Silva from start to finish en route to an impressive 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 victory last week.


6/55 00-00-00-00-00-00 P0 M+ 6/45 00-00-00-00-00-00 P0 M 4 DIGITS 0-0-0-0 3 DIGITS 0-0-0 2 EZ2 0-0


Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor



SMB eyes 3-0 lead; Ginebra aims to stay alive By Jeric Lopez

CHAIRMAN’S CUP POLO. Leyte (1st District) Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez (third from right) and husband Philippine Constitution Association President and former

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez (second from right) congratulate their son Andrew Romualdez (center) and members of the Red Team in Jose Constantino (right), Ricardo Garcia (left) and Tony Pet Albano (second from left) after they demolished the Green Team, 5-3, during the second game of the Chairman’s Cup 2018 Polo Season at the Enrique Zobel Field, Manila Polo Club, Makati City. Ver Noveno

Rockets drop Mavs, clinch playoff seat LOS ANGELES—The Houston Rockets clinched an NBA playoff berth with a 105-82 rout of the Mavericks in Dallas on Sunday as reigning champions Golden State and the Cleveland Cavaliers both lost. Even with Most Valuable Player candidate James Harden sitting out with a sore left knee, the Rockets had little trouble from the Mavs. Only a spate of eight secondquarter turnovers by Houston helped Dallas erase a 15-point deficit and briefly take a six-point lead. The Rockets soon tidied things up to take a one-point lead at halftime that they wouldn’t surrender after the break. Point guard Chris Paul scored 24 points and handed out 12 assists and guard Eric Gordon added 26 points for the Rockets, who led by as many as 26 in the fourth quarter. Houston, who saw their 17-game winning streak ended by Eastern Conference leaders Toronto on Friday, improved their league-best record to 52-14. They’re 1 1/2 games ahead of the Warriors atop the West and Gordon said the Rockets would keep the accelerator down in a bid to claim the top seed. “We want to finish number one—I think that’s the main goal,” he said. The depleted Warriors fell 109-103 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the defending champs’ second straight defeat. With superstar Stephen Curry missing a second straight game with a sprained right ankle, Kevin Durant scored 39 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for Golden State. But Durant connected on just 11 of 32 of his shots from the field and sharp-shooter Klay Thompson needed 22 shots to score 21 points. Draymond Green contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Warriors, who were also missing Andre Iguodala, David West, Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell as they lost back-toback games for only the second time this season. “We’re just in a bit of a tough stretch,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I’m really pleased with the effort. We’ll get some guys back here hopefully in the next week or two, and I’m very confident with where we’re heading.” AFP

PSA Forum tackles rugby THE Philippine Sportswriters Association resumes its weekly PSA Forum today (Tuesday) at the Tapa King Restaurant at the Araneta Center in Cubao with a session featuring the Manila 10s International Rugby Festival. Rugby officials Clair Barberis and David Feeney will be on hand to discuss the event during the public sports program that took a month-long break to give way to the holding of the annual PSA Awards Night. The PSA Forum is presented by San Miguel Corp, Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Forest Hills hangs on to win Founders title B

ACOLOD—Former pro Judeson Eustaquio mixed two birdies with three bogeys over the super-tight layout and spearheaded Forest Hills to a closing 127 fired with his one-over-par 71 worth 35 points at Binitin in Murcia town on Sunday and helped Forest Hills hold off game Villamor for the Founders Division title in the 71st PAL Interclub. Forest Hills had a closing 127 as the Antipolo-based squad clung on to win by eight points with a 460 tally. Villamor mounted a huge comeback and churned out the day’s best score in the division, a 135 led by the 38 of Ricky delos Santos and 37 of Jujith Benedicto and nipped Wack Wack for runner-up honors by four. “It was a great fightback that just fell short,” said a proud Jun Arceo, the Villamor skipper who failed to count in the final round with a 25. “Overall, it was a great tournament for us and a great win by Forest Hills. They played very well.” Larry Patnongon and Inigo Raymundo accounted for 33 each and either 26s of Raffy Garcia or Francisco Santana counted for Forest Hills. Christopher dela Cruz chipped in with 32 and Jess Toribio, also former touring pro, fired 28 for Villamor. Wack Wack finished with a wobble with just 112 led by the 34 of Sammy Sy. The exclusive club in Mandaluyong actually tallied just 218 in the final two

rounds after amassing 232 in the first two for 450 overall. Meanwhile, former Philippine Team standout JR Tanpinco and Justin Limjap fired 33 points apiece and led Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club to a wireto-wire triumph in the Aviator class over at Marapara here. Maximo Javelona and Deric Locsin scored 23 and 20, respectively as NOGCC closed out with 109 points for 441 and a 41-point win over Sta. Elena. Mactan Island Golf Club and South Cotabato Golf and Country Club carved out contrasting final days to win the Sportswriters and Friendship Divisions, respectively. The Interclub’s Platinum sponsors are RMN and Manila Times, while major sponsors are Mastercard, The Philippines Manila Standard, Rolls Royce, Bombardier, TV5, Primax, BusinessWorld, Crossover and Fox. Other sponsors include Boeing, PAGCOR, Belmonte Hotel, Eton Properties and Asia Brewery Inc.

Members of the Manila Southwoods team display their champonship trophy and medals after ruling the Men’s Regular Championship of the 71st PAL Interclub. Lino Santos

Adamson shoots for 2 championships Games Today

(Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium) 9 a.m. – AdU vs UST (Softball Finals) 12 noon – DLSU vs AdU (Baseball Finals)

ADAMSON University vies for the UAAP Season 80 softball and baseball titles against University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle, respectively, as the championship rounds blast off today at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. The eight-peat seeking Lady Falcons and the Tigresses clash in the league’s biggest stage for the third straight year in the opener at 9 a.m. After an eight-year absence, the Falcons are back in the Finals as they tangle with the Green Batters at 12 noon. “Ang saya-saya ng Adamson community kasi after almost a decade, pumasok ang baseball namin and lalo mas masaya kasi dalawa kaming pumasok,” said Lady Falcons’ coach Ana Santiago. Adamson University hopes to reassert its mastery of UST, which is eyeing to shed its bridesmaid image, as Santiago knows that the Lady Falcons will be headed for a tough battle with the Tigresses despite having beaten them twice in the last two championship series. “The Finals is the best of the best,” said Santiago. The best-of-three title round features two of the league’s best pitchers in Adamson University’s Lyca Basa and UST’s Ann Antolihao. Tigresses’ mentor Sandy Barredo knows that his team can match up well in terms up pitching, but he acknowledges the fact that the Lady Falcons have a tremendous advantage with a slew of batters Santiago has. In baseball, Adamson University hopes to fare well in its return trip to the Finals against La Salle, which is seeking to reclaim the championship it won two years ago.

Oranza wants to do well in the mountains SILANG, Cavite―Overall leader Ronald Oranza of Navy-Standard Insurance will use the next couple of days to study the mountain passes of three of the last four stages of the Ronda Pilipinas 2018 presented by LBC. The 25-year-old Oranza has zoomed to the top after four podium finishes including three stage triumphs in eight stages with an aggregate clocking of 21 hours, one minute and 56 seconds, or about seven minutes ahead of Navy teammate Jan Paul Morales with 21:08:51 and Go for Gold Developmental team’s Jay Lampawog with 21:19:31. Rounding up the Top 10 were ArmyBicycology’s Cris Joven (21:20:02), Navy’s John Mark Camingao (21:20:24), Go for Gold’s George Oconer (21:20:51), Go for Gold Developmental team’s Ronnel Hualda (21:21:29), Navy’s Rudy Roque (21:21:42),

CCN Superteam’s Irish Valenzuela (21:22:04) and Navy’s Junrey Navara (21:22:08). But the 25-year-old proud son of Villasis, Pangasinan his huge lead could vanish if he isn’t careful. “I have to really race smart and be extra cautious to avoid accidents or mechanical problems,” said Oranza in Filipino. “That is why we’re already here in Cavite to study the routes because I want to familiarize myself with these ascents.” Truly, the next three stages will be riddled with mountain passes―the 207.2km SilangTagaytay Stage Nine on Thursday, 147.8km Tagaytay-Calaca Stage 10 on Friday and the 92.72km Calaca-Calaca Stage 11 on Saturday. This race, which is presented by LBC and supported by MVP Sports Foundation, Filinvest, Philippine Rabbit, CCN, Petron,, 3Q Sports Event Management, Inc., Boy Kanin, Franzia, Standard Insurance, Bike Xtreme, SH+, Guerciotti, Prolite, Green Planet, Maynilad, NLEX Sports, Lightwater, LBC Foundation and PhilCycling, will conclude with the Satge 12 criterium in Filinvest, Alabang on Sunday. Oranza knows he’s close to claiming his first ever Ronda crown after a pair he finished second to Morales two years ago and third behind eventual titlist Irish Valenzuela in 2013. If he wins, he will not only pocket the top purse worth P1 million but he will also join an elite club consisting of Morales, Valenzuela, two-time winner Santy Barnachea of Team Franzia, Mark Galedo and Reimon Lapaza. “That is my dream, to become Ronda champion. But I have to finish the race first before I think of anything,” said Oranza.

WILL it be a series or will be an easier path to the finals for defending champion San Miguel Beer? The Beermen certainly hope it’s the latter as they look to move a step closer to the big stage yet again, aiming for a huge 3-0 lead over Barangay Ginebra in their best-of-seven semifinal affair in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup. Game 3 is slated today at 7 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, where it is a virtual do-or-die for the Gin Kings as they hope to get back in the thick of things and avoid a 0-3 whole in which their foes are the only ones who had ever come back from. After stealing Game 2, the four-peat seeking Beermen are now in a position to close in on yet another finals’ stint. San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria pointed out the advantage that his squad has now, but is also wary about the never-say-die mantra of the Gin Kings. “2-0 is a good lead to have but we all know Baranagay Ginebra can always comeback,” said Austria. “That’s why there’s no time for us to relax and we need to continue doing our best against them.” San Miguel Beer showed its great and championship character when it came all the way back from 15 points down to shock Ginebra in overtime, 104-102, Sunday night in Game 2 after a game-winning putback by Marcio Lassiter. Once again, aside from Lassiter’s heroics, the Beermen banked on their money man June Mar Fajardo, who scored a game-high 33 points and their championship pedigree when it mattered to came through. While Ginebra is staring at a significant hole already, not all is lost for the crowd darlings. Prince Caperal had a career night in Game 2, shocking everyone with a careerhigh 26 points and his contribution is now expected by Ginebra coach Tim Cone. At the same time, star big man Greg Slaughter is expected to finally play and make his series debut after missing Ginebra’s last couple of games with an ankle injury. His timely return might be what Ginebra needs to turn things around in this critical time in its campaign.


Tough task for Supremos Games Tuesday (Batangas City)

7 p.m. – Bataan vs Muntinlupa 9 p.m. – Caloocan vs Batangas City

IT WILL be a tall order for the Caloocan Supremos-Longrich as they try to keep their conference campaign alive when they visit the Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay in the resumption of the MPBL-Anta Rajah Cup at the Batangas City Coliseum. Both ends meet tonight as the Supremos, who carry the tournament’s worst record at 1-7, troop the floor at 9 p.m. against the tournament leader Athletics (7-1). But a win against the Athletics won’t be a guarantee of a free ride to the quarterfinal round for the Supremos as they still have to await the result of the games of the Bataan Defenders-Bai Shipping and the Imus Bandera-GLC Truck and Equipment, two other squads at the lower half of the standings. The Defenders, who have a 2-5 record, are also needed to win their 7 p.m. encounter with the Muntinlupa Cagers-Angelis Resort to avoid complications. The Bandera tote a 2-6 card. Only eight teams will advance to the quarterfinal round and should there be a three-way tie among Caloocan, Imus and Bataan, quotient system will be applied with the team with the more superior quotient advancing. For the Longrich-backed Supremos, it’s now or never. Not only do the Supremos need to win their last game, but they also have to win with a wide margin to boost their chances of securing the eighth and final spot heading to the quarterfinal round.

IN BRIEF GSIS selling P20-b Port Area property STATE pension fund Government Service Insurance System said Monday it will auction off its Port Area property, the biggest of its assets, for a minimum cash price offer of P20 billion. The property, which consists of two lots with land areas of 672,645 square meters and 109,212 sqm, is near Pier 2 Manila North Harbor and Negros Navigation Ferry Terminal in Tondo, Manila, respectively. “Although it tops our big-ticket assets, we are selling the Port Area property as it does not contribute to our operations except for valuation gains,” GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas said in a statement. “We expect to fetch a good price as it is situated in the Manila Bay area where properties have enjoyed a 10 to 15 percent appraisal gains over the last five years. The Port of Manila Bay serves as the largest and the premier international shipping gateway to the country which spells economic growth,” Aranas said. He said the sale of big-ticket assets in the past few years also yielded considerable gain for the pension fund. GSIS’s total assets reached P1.09 trillion as of November 2016. “We find it timely to liquidate the Port Area property and take advantage of the attractive real estate market values in the Manila Bay area. In fact, we are eyeing a considerable gain on the sale of this asset. This will go to the pool of assets that can be invested,” Aranas said.


Jica, DOTr team up to form rail institute THE Japan International Cooperation Agency teamed up with the Department of Transportation to build a Philippine Railway Institute as a part of the government’s move to beef up human resources capacity on railway management. “Jica welcomes the opportunity to assist the Philippines in promoting seamless mobility and sustainable development that will benefit many Filipinos. Through this project with DOTr, Japanese experts can help train personnel and develop curriculum on railway operations and management,” Jica senior representative Tetsuya Yamada said. The PRI project will be located in the depot of the Metro Manila Subway Project in Valenzuela City. Under the project, the DOTr will work with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, railway operators and Japanese experts in developing curriculum and training trainers for the institute. The project, from April 2018 to March 2023, will involve capacity building and dispatch of 26 experts from Japan. Darwin G. Amojelar



By Jenniffer B. Austria

BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM LAUNCHING. Wanxiang International Group launches its digital asset trade platform during the Blockchain Philippines Industry Development Global Forum at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City. Blockchain has the potential to eliminate huge amount of record-keeping and save cost. Shown during gong-ringing ceremony are (from left) China Commerce in Cambodia Association chairman Yu Lingxion, blockchain industry ecological investor Wang Jin, Philippine Economic Zone Authority director general Charito Plaza and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority administrator Raul Lambino. Manny Palmero

Foreign direct investments surge 21% to a record $10b By Julito G. Rada

The Bangko Sentral expects net inflow of FDIs to reach $8.2 billion this year, anchored on the improving globET inflow of job-generating foreign direct al economy. investments jumped 21.4 percent in 2017 to a The Bangko Sentral said the country could sustain the growth in FDI inrecord $10.049 billion from $8.280 billion in 2016, flows and match the large levels seen in as investors continued to consider the Philippines as a neighboring Asian countries by reforming the rules on foreign ownership, adfavorable investment destination, the Bangko Sentral ng dressing infrastructure gaps and reducPilipinas said Monday. ing the cost of doing business. It said among the recent measures takThe full-year FDI figure surpassed These were invested in gas, steam and Bangko Sentral’s earlier projection of $8 air-conditioning supply; manufacturing; en to promote a more supportive environbillion. “Investors continue to view the real estate; construction; and wholesale ment for higher foreign investments were the liberalization of foreign bank entry country as a favorable investment destina- and retail trade activities. tion on the back of sound macroeconomic Net availment of debt instruments― in the country (Republic Act No. 10641 fundamentals and growth prospects,” the consisting mainly of intercompany bor- or the Foreign Bank Liberalization Act Bangko Sentral said in a statement. rowings/lending between foreign direct passed in July 2014) and the phased-in Data showed that major FDI compo- investors and their subsidiaries/affiliates liberalization of the foreign exchange regnents registered growth last year, with in the Philippines―climbed 20.7 percent ulatory framework that started In 2007. “Prospects for inward flows of FDI net equity capital investments expand- to $6 billion. Reinvestment of earnings into the country continue to be favorable ing 25.9 percent to $3.3 billion. Gross increased 9.3 percent to $776 million. placements of $3.7 billion exceeded The Bangko Sentral said the country as both ‘push’ [subdued global economwithdrawals of $479 million. received an FDI net inflow of $699 mil- ic growth] and, more importantly, ‘pull’ Equity capital placements came large- lion in December 2017 alone, although [sustained robust macroeconomic perly from the Netherlands, Singapore, the this was 9 percent lower than $768 mil- formance and investment grade status] United States, Japan and Hong Kong. lion recorded in the same month in 2016. factors remain,” the bank said.


Local insurance industry’s assets expand 19% to P1.56t THE Philippine insurance industry posted a banner year in 2017, as total assets, investments, net worth, net income and premium hit record highs, Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said Monday. Unaudited quarterly statistical reports submitted by industry players to the commission showed that as of end2017, the industry’s assets reached an all-time high of P1.56 trillion, up 18.95 percent from P1.31 trillion in 2016. Funa said the life insurance sector held P1.26 trillion or 81 percent of the total assets, while the non-life insurance and mutual benefit association sectors accounted for P221.74 billion and P77.47 billion, respectively.

Ayala earmarks P249b for 2018 capital spending

Antonio-led startup wins $3.2-b Dubai deal REVOLUTION Precrafted, the fastest startup to reach unicorn status in Southeast Asia, said it signed a landmark $3.2-billion agreement with Dubai-based luxury property developer Seven Tides for the manufacture and supply of limited edition, high-end prefabricated condominium apartments and hotel villas in the famous “The World Islands” in the Arabian Gulf. Located four kilometers off the coast of Dubai, the World Islands is a groundbreaking development composed of 300 artificial islands designed to resemble the global map. “We are proud and excited to partner with one of the best property developers not only in Dubai, but in the world. We will manufacture sophisticated, design-driven precrafted condominium apartments and hotel villas, consistent with the kind of luxurious structures the public have come to expect from us and Seven Tides,” said Robbie Antonio, founder and chief executive of Revolution Precrafted, the only unicorn startup in the Philippines, valued at over $1 billion. Revolution Precrafted is a global supplier of prefabricated homes, pavilions and other structures. It teamed up with 72 of the world’s most prolific artists and designers, including six Pritzker-award winning architects. The agreement between Revolution Precrafted and Seven Tides pertains to the design, supply and installation of two to three bedroom luxury condominium apartments and villas to be pre-manufactured, shipped and assembled on The World Islands project, including the vast Coronation Island.

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

“The increase in the total assets of the life insurance sector is attributed to the 78.16-percent increase in reinsurance accounts receivables or those amounts collectible arising from reinsurance transactions to P4.65 billion as of end of 2017 from P2.61 billion as of end of 2016, and the 25.40-percent increase in the segregated fund assets during the same comparable period,” Funa said. He said the growth in total assets of the non-life sector was due to the increase in receivables from reinsurance transactions. Data showed that as of end-2017, the receivables from reinsurance transactions of the nonlife sector was P64.12 billion, up

65.3 percent from P38.79 billion a year ago. Total premium receivables of the non-life insurance sector also increased 28.88 percent to P25.26 billion from P19.60 billion. “Of the P1.56 trillion total assets of the industry, approximately 85 percent or P1.33 trillion are placed in different classes of investments,” Funa said. The industry recorded the highest invested funds of P1.33 trillion compared to those reported in recent years. Data showed the industry’s invested assets were mainly investments in government and corporate bonds (47 percent) and in the stock market (29 percent). Julito G. Rada

BMAP’S NEW BOARD. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nelson Espenilla Jr. (sixth from left) inducts the new set of officers and directors of the Bank Marketing Association Philippines Inc. Shown with Espenilla are (from left) BMAP election chair Yayu Javier (Avanza Inc.), treasurer Emmanuel Mari Valdes (RCBC), vice president Mary Catherine Elizabeth Santamaria (BPI), secretary Charina Balanquit (UCPB), president Mary Ann Ducanes (Chinabank), director for publicity and digital marketing Mai Gacilo-Sangalang (Standard Chartered), director for industry relations and banking code and financial inclusions Mike Villa-Real (Veterans Bank), director for programs and ways and means Patricia Paguia (BancNet), BSP Deputy Governor for bank supervision Chuchi Fonacier, BSP consultant and former BMAP president Maximino Edralin Jr. and Chinabank senior vice president and former BMAP president (Alexander Escucha.

San Miguel unit to extend SLEx by 56 km to Lucena By Darwin G. Amojelar THE tollway unit of San Miguel Corp. said it is spending P14.85 billion to extend South Luzon Expressway by more than 56 kilometers from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Tayabas, Quezon. South Luzon Tollways Corp. said its board approved the implementation of all works for the SLEx Phase 2 Toll Road 4 project and the plan to negotiate with contractors for the engineering, procurement and construction contracts. The project is a 56.87-kilometer, four-lane road from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Tayabas/Lucena in Quezon. The project is divided into five sections. Section 1 covers Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Macban, Laguna (11.32 km); Macban, Laguna to San Pablo, Laguna (12.2 km); San Pablo, Laguna to Tiaong, Quezon (7.5-km); Tiaong to Candelaria, Quezon (15 km) and Candelaria to Tayabas/Lucena, Quezon (10.93 km). SLTC said the project would reduce travel time along the 58-kilometer stretch between Sto. Tomas and Lucena from four hours to one hour. The company said the project would enhance the economic efficiency of the existing SLEx, allowing to meet the increasing demand of traffic volume due to the rapid growth population, urbanization and economic development of Quezon province and adjoining provinces. The project is expected to be completed by 2021.

CONGLOMERATE Ayala Corp. said Monday it earmarked P249 billion for 2018 capital expenditures to support the expansion of core businesses, after recording a 16-percent net income growth to P30.3 billion in 2017. Ayala Corp. said in disclosure to the stock exchange this year’s capital spending program would also be used to finance expansion and growth initiatives of units Ayala Land Inc., Globe Telecom and Manila Water Company Inc. It said at the parent level, it earmarked P51.8 billion in capital spending this year to fund subscription in Bank of the Philippines’ stock rights offering and investments in AC Energy, AC Industrials, AC Education and AC Health. Ayala Corp. said the strong 2017 financial results were boosted by equity earnings contributions from group’s business units, which reached P35.8 billion in 2017, or 12 percent higher than a year ago. This was led by Ayala Land and AC Energy whose equity earnings contributions expanded 21 percent and 30 percent, respectively. “We are happy to see this earnings momentum sustained for the sixth consecutive year as the expansion strategy across our portfolio of businesses continues to bear fruit. Consistent doubledigit growth since 2012 has translated into a compounded annual growth rate of 22 percent. We remain positive about our trajectory as we move closer to our 2020 goals,” Ayala Corp. president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said. AC Energy’s net earnings jumped 31 percent to P3.5 billion in 2017, driven by fresh equity earnings contribution from geothermal platform and boosted by solid contributions from wind energy assets.

Chinese agency gives PH Panda bonds ‘AAA’ rating A CHINESE credit rating agency gave the Philippine government’s planned 1.46-billion-renminbi Panda bonds the highest rating of “AAA” with a stable outlook, citing the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals as plus factors for the debt score. China Lianhe Credit Rating Co. Ltd. noted the Philippines’ “strong and consistent economic growth, low level of external debt and ample foreign and current account reserves.” The rating agency said it also factored in the strong economic ties between Manila and Beijing and the Duterte administration’s “stable source of payment from growing government revenues” in its positive credit rating assessment for the Philippines’ planned issuance of renminbi bonds. “LianheRatings expects the Philippines to have a GDP growth of around 6.80 percent in 2018. At the same time, the unemployment rate of the Philippines is expected to remain stable and CPI [consumer price index] growth may stay within the target band [2 percent to 4 percent] set by the BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas],” it said in a report released by the Philippines’ Finance Department Monday. It said the successful implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda, including the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law, “will help the Philippines achieve more rapid and equitable economic growth in the following years.” Lianhe said the country’s strengths were in its strong and consistent economic growth, with employment continuously improving; government debt ratios that are continuously improving and well covered by fiscal revenue; large remittance inflows that contribute to the country’s ability to earn foreign exchange; low level of external debt and the very strong capacity to repay these obligations; and stable source of repayment from growing government revenues. Julito G. Rada




Market rebounds; MRC climbs


TOCKS rebounded Monday from a two-day decline, following a record close on Wall Street as a solid US jobs report boosted optimism in the world’s top economy.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, climbed 80 points, or 1 percent, to close at 8,453.50, as five of the six major sectors advanced. The heavier index, representing all shares, also rose 31 points, or 0.6 percent, to settle at 5,083.98, on a value turnover of P7.2 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers, 109 to 106, while 44 issues were unchanged. Fifteen of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by Philippine Estates Corp. which went up 16.9 percent to P0.45 and MRC Allied Inc. which

added 14.1 percent to P0.89. Energy Development Corp. gained 4.6 percent to P5.94. Meanwhile, other Asian markets also rallied as investors cheered US data. The upbeat developments helped temper worries about Trump’s announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs that sparked a sell-off earlier this month on worries about a trade war. All three main indexes in New York rose almost two percent on Friday with the Nasdaq chalking up a fresh record, erasing all the losses suffered through a tumultuous February. Those gains extended into Asia, with Tokyo ending 1.7 percent higher, while Hong Kong climbed 1.9 percent, Shanghai finished 0.6 percent higher and Seoul put on one percent. Sydney rose 0.6 percent, helped by news Australia had won an exemption from Trump’s tariffs, Singapore piled on

1.6 percent and Taipei added more than one percent. There were also healthy gains in Wellington and Jakarta. Investors were cheered by US Labor Department data that showed employers added a forecast-busting 313,000 jobs in February. The closely-watched monthly report also revealed moderating wage growth compared with the January report, mitigating concerns the Federal Reserve will speed its pace of interest rate hikes. Markets were sent spiraling down after the January jobs data, which showed wage growth surging and fanned concerns the Fed would likely have to ramp up its pace and number of rate hikes. “The best of both worlds for equity markets, with the economy in full swing but nary a sign of wage inflation,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at Oanda.

“It doesn’t get much better than that for investors and at least for now has dampened the inflationary fears that weighed on investor sentiment in February. When coupled with an easing in trade rhetoric and positive news from the Korean Peninsula, risk sentiment is powering higher,” Innes said. The jobs figures and Trump-Kim summit helped oil prices surge on Friday but the commodity was unable to maintain early momentum in Asia. While the mood is generally upbeat at the start of the week, AxiTrader analyst Greg McKenna warned tensions could come back easily. “President Trump directly tweeted against the EU on tariffs over the weekend [and] China is still girding for a trade battle,” he said. In early European trade, London rose 0.4 percent, Paris added 0.5 percent and Frankfurt piled on 0.8 percent. With AFP




FINANCIALS 59.7 10,110 119 1,158,210 3.2 158,000 153.3 1,479,080 1.88 1,117,000 35.2 180,500 8.5 4,700 15.52 22,100 30.2 597,900 3.49 36,000 8.67 3,400 1.6 12,000 905 1,440 0.55 432,000 96.7 2,735,060 1.39 2,282,000 12.6 23,900 57 475,000 247.8 65,980 112.5 15,430 87 640 46.85 51,500 252 562,110 1,950 80 91 3,247,330 1.21 247,000

602,773 137,718,397 511,230 224,815,049 2,116,910 6,355,385 39,950 342,554 18,029,540 122,980 29,400 19,450 1,296,250 235,460 265,137,315 3,179,430 301,140 27,073,854.50 16,362,168 1,776,454 55,718 2,412,735 141,612,004 156,000 294,578,448.50 299,210

447,250 -64,345,063 -63,703,127 1,920 841,060 77,500 6,278,950 5,010 10,603,017 221,270 996,967 -5,779,450 93,870 25,728,428 -2,965,764 5,080

39.15 13.8 0.58 1.31 18.48 0.219 185 3.86 17.3 350 50.35 28 63 65 83 1.94 5.43 10.16 11.86 14.3 11.06 7.5 5.66 1.72 16.86 64 27.75 9.45 18.92 2.62 292.2 51.15 4.6 3.16 18.26 27.05 16.5 20.6 328 0.192 7.97 2.61 4.97 9.18 6.18 8.2 1.53 12.6 54.6 6.01 617 4.84 2.62 3.35 2.47 15.92 5.3 0.134 1.02 149.6 2.62 1.92 0.99

INDUSTRIAL 39.8 2,266,100 14 1,867,100 0.63 4,605,000 1.35 1,202,000 19 49,800 0.221 2,360,000 185 8,620 4.07 7,747,000 17.34 2,897,200 350.2 1,800 51 455,610 29.5 868,600 63 9,160 70 10,500 92 3,720 1.99 888,000 5.5 832,300 10.5 2,000 11.98 2,457,300 14.5 131,800 11.22 54,000 7.54 59,900 5.94 19,131,400 1.72 2,000 17.4 15,510,900 65.5 351,210 27.75 171,800 9.45 84,200 19 1,211,500 2.72 11,656,000 295.4 303,520 55.95 210 4.65 354,000 3.24 56,000 19 4,500 27.35 1,157,600 16.5 277,700 20.75 1,246,600 330 190,520 0.2 680,000 7.98 7,300 2.7 368,000 5.03 632,700 9.32 1,453,000 6.18 147,400 8.25 96,200 1.54 2,831,000 12.6 15,400 54.7 176,730 6.01 3,100 620 1,430 4.84 17,000 2.65 265,000 3.5 33,000 2.47 1,633,000 16.02 427,300 5.42 29,100 0.134 600,000 1.02 94,000 150 729,450 2.77 48,000 1.97 12,979,000 1.02 19,039,000

89,829,545 25,979,240 2,802,340 1,612,680 934,682 521,030 1,725,742 30,866,760 50,239,476 646,050 23,446,617.50 26,872,925 577,080 731,939 347,907 1,779,050 4,701,130 20,864 29,428,728 1,911,058 607,888 452,263 113,241,963 3,440 272,726,026 22,906,556 2 4,785,435 801,339 23,273,778 32,526,200 89,761,650 10,837.50 1,642,390 183,820 83,660 31,688,580 4,588,668 25,997,800 62,871,934 136,950 58,234 987,090 3,198,856 13,465,032 917,012 795,437 4,351,580 194,562 9,693,583.50 18,631 884,810 82,440 700,790 115,350 4,112,110 6,879,748 156,472 80,530 97,660 109,498,624 126,660 26,150,030 1 19,672,900

-64,912,350 1,352,112 295,660 13,800.00 -1,900 -5,750 25,639,640 1,959,429.50 24,035 570,780 58,078 13,429,334 100,240 -32,406 -12,671 -30,370,230 30,794,162 ,803,918.4999 485,075 8,550 -2,646,624 -167,520 -36,344,442 2,905,775 -346,624 -5,962,630 19,997,186 518,520 -209,500 5,571,467 16,620 1,361,700 81,900 -4,063,180.50 74,275 1,914,352 -32,512,599 -104,800 ,048,300.0003 44,040

0.3 74.55 14.4 0.93 7.5 0.65 0.66 1,029 7.2 13.3 7.5 0.2 1,315 7.2 65.75 5.22 0.68 5.36 19.58 0.325 5.47 3.51 0.043 1.33 3.32 2.51 143.5 957 0.81 1.75 690 276 0.238 0.2 0.22

HOLDING FIRMS 0.31 3,000,000 75.95 488,460 14.46 4,861,800 0.95 156,000 7.75 214,300 0.65 9,317,000 0.66 3,020,000 1,032 156,915 7.27 1,191,400 13.38 2,969,600 7.57 13,300 0.203 5,760,000 1,325 78,435 7.2 2,600 66.2 3,305,150 5.22 200 0.7 774,000 5.39 1,332,200 19.7 7,056,700 0.355 1,030,000 5.47 49,769,200 3.51 1,000 0.044 12,300,000 1.6 35,544,000 3.32 6,825,000 2.53 22,000 145 388,700 964 215,890 0.81 10,000 1.76 1,115,000 740 3,810 276 6,120 0.25 1,490,000 0.2 18,760,000 0.235 2,250,000

917,200 37,004,146 70,331,490 147,340 1,636,113 6,140,420 2,017,760 163,153,700 8,642,931 39,745,594 100,556 1,204,160 103,921,300 18,750 218,345,804.5 ( 1,044 537,350 7,200,192 138,709,620 358,950 277,273,654 3,510 541,600 51,864,180 22,978,310 55,940 56,363,978 209,640,805 8,100 1,964,420 2,780,550 1,693,444 364,290 3,990,190 528,250

14,203,469.50 -38,744,534 -164,285 511,200 -56,766,310 561,577 921,830 -2,200 19,895,760 47,469,175.5) 844,524 -84,481,606 -229,931,620 14,060 525,680 12,849,940 -52,598,180 26,400 44,454 73,780 -6,400 50

2,913,594 14,024,450 ( 312,642 31,070 5,225,730 489,895,490 2,464,350 6,689,770 1,083,055 10,500 1,612,050 49,820 9,410 25,070,700 364,900 71,567,395 307,710 114,050 24,908,530

-844,505 181,489.9998) 20,384 162,600 -90,639,765 48,040 3,887,320 294,685 -78,400 -345,650 2,485,395 4,638,260







59.6 116.8 3.2 151.9 1.91 35.15 8.5 15.5 30.35 3.5 8.53 1.67 900 0.55 96.5 1.43 12.6 56.85 248 127 87.95 46.85 251 1,950 90.75 1.27

59.7 119.1 3.38 153.3 1.94 35.95 8.5 15.52 30.35 3.6 8.67 1.67 905 0.55 97.3 1.44 12.6 57.7 248.8 127 87.95 46.95 253 1,950 92 1.27

59.25 116.8 3.17 149 1.83 35.1 8.5 15.5 30 3.39 8.53 1.6 900 0.54 95.5 1.37 12.6 56.85 247.6 110 87 46.8 246 1,950 86 1.21


39.2 13.82 0.58 1.38 18.98 0.225 200.2 3.86 17.3 397 50.5 35.4 63 79 83 1.98 5.76 10.5 11.86 14.46 11.1 7.52 5.68 1.72 16.92 65.1 28 9.5 19.7 2.75 296 51.15 4.74 3.21 18.28 27.45 16.54 20.75 328 0.2 7.97 2.7 5.06 9.18 6.2 8.31 1.54 12.82 54.9 6.01 617 4.86 2.65 3.52 2.51 15.92 5.43 0.134 1.05 152 2.62 2.09 1.1

39.85 14.04 0.63 1.38 19.32 0.226 236 4.08 17.4 398 52.9 36 63 79 105 2.05 6.1 10.5 12.02 14.72 11.38 7.67 6.1 1.72 18.2 66 28.35 9.8 19.7 2.94 299 55.95 4.94 3.44 19 27.8 16.62 21.15 330.6 0.207 7.98 2.7 5.17 9.32 6.4 8.39 1.55 12.82 55 6.01 620 4.86 2.75 3.64 2.55 16.2 5.43 0.139 1.05 152 2.77 2.09 1.13


0.32 75 14.52 0.93 7.5 0.67 0.68 1,039 7.2 13.32 7.57 0.21 1,331 7.24 66.2 5.22 0.69 5.43 19.7 0.325 5.8 3.51 0.044 1.6 3.42 2.65 143.5 969 0.81 1.77 751 278 0.255 0.2 0.25

0.32 75.95 14.7 0.97 7.75 0.68 0.68 1,054 7.28 13.48 7.58 0.225 1,339 7.24 66.35 5.22 0.7 5.49 19.8 0.355 5.85 3.51 0.045 1.67 3.51 2.65 146 978 0.81 1.78 778 278.4 0.255 0.22 0.25


7.01 1.15 16.28 2.08 0.91 42 3.95 4.86 6.2 6 0.44 1.06 1.05 0.305 0.465 32 0.64 0.136 1.82

7.1 1.17 16.28 2.08 0.93 42.75 3.97 4.9 6.2 6.2 0.44 1.06 1.05 0.305 0.48 35 0.65 0.136 1.82

6.99 1.09 15.5 2.07 0.89 41.5 3.87 4.85 6 6 0.43 1.06 1.03 0.27 0.46 32 0.64 0.128 1.79











1.43 0.8 4.83 0.8 0.405 0.54 4.23 36 20.3 2 3.23 36 1.03 23.15 0.8 6.36

1.44 0.81 4.87 0.9 0.52 0.55 4.31 39 20.7 2.02 3.26 36.4 1.03 23.25 0.84 6.38

1.41 0.77 4.83 0.79 0.405 0.53 4.15 35 19.98 1.98 3.18 35.9 1 22.6 0.8 6.3

1.42 0.81 4.85 0.89 0.45 0.53 4.21 35 20.7 2 3.25 36.4 1 22.7 0.84 6.34

2,916,000 1,649,000 19,453,000 672,057,000 212,250,000 2,453,000 788,000 3,100 655,700 631,000 173,000 3,205,900 805,000 219,800 89,000 6,905,500

4,153,640 1,310,010 94,410,500 572,531,430 100,724,450 1,305,900 3,323,210 ( 112,450 13,440,594 1,260,060 558,780 116,241,275 811,580 5,027,655 71,860 43,842,829

366,270 716,210 -43,963,260 3,249,890 -29,950 559,339.9997) 8,056,140 323,340 187,870 -16,422,485 10,300 30,285 -5,485,519


18.3 30 1.41 0.59 0.059 11.92 14.54 0.07 100.7 8 8.7 2.47 40.5 1,740 6.46 321.6 10.64 5.55 2.65 109.1 13.3 8.31 0.131 1.54 3.2 5.7 1.04 27.3 0.5 5.35 8.13 3.3 17.88 13.58 10.32 10.9 2.85 114 7.1 1,568 1.19 0.41 53.95 94 8.39 2.7 1.46 0.52 3.49 1.04 11.3

18.7 30 1.46 0.63 0.061 11.94 14.64 0.07 103.3 8.19 8.75 2.47 41.5 1,790 6.47 334 10.64 5.79 2.65 109.9 13.3 8.31 0.131 1.54 3.3 5.96 1.09 28.1 0.5 5.35 8.29 3.3 17.88 13.58 10.32 11 2.86 126 7.15 1,569 1.19 0.435 53.95 94.1 8.85 2.7 1.46 0.53 3.49 1.16 11.34

18.3 29.8 1.35 0.58 0.058 11.92 14.3 0.068 100.7 7.8 8.5 2.37 37.05 1,733 6.41 313.2 10.64 5.55 2.65 109 13 8.29 0.129 1.48 3.15 5.5 1.03 27.3 0.5 5.02 8.12 3.24 17.88 12.8 10.3 10.6 2.85 111 7 1,540 1.18 0.405 53.6 93.5 7.5 2.66 1.41 0.51 3.41 1.04 11.1

SERVICES 18.6 29.8 1.41 0.6 0.059 11.94 14.4 0.07 103 7.8 8.75 2.47 37.05 1,760 6.47 322 10.64 5.78 2.65 109.4 13.02 8.29 0.129 1.52 3.21 5.7 1.03 28 0.5 5.1 8.15 3.24 17.88 13 10.32 10.6 2.86 112 7.07 1,560 1.18 0.41 53.85 94 7.5 2.66 1.42 0.51 3.45 1.06 11.18

61,300 52,900 531,000 27,637,000 40,580,000 6,700 4,986,600 12,600,000 272,910 1,916,200 119,800 57,000 170,500 47,655 455,700 59,140 1,700 6,731,700 45,000 781,960 69,800 21,700 1,420,000 555,000 125,000 12,606,200 347,000 3,308,900 148,000 1,296,100 2,246,900 2,742,000 200 8,845,100 45,500 17,700 11,000 791,450 1,003,300 53,900 1,243,000 2,540,000 997,450 438,560 3,586,200 2,840,000 2,306,000 17,946,000 255,000 84,788,000 584,100

1,133,742 1,583,055 741,490 16,841,720 2,395,840 79,904 72,084,398 863,650 28,012,671 15,294,975 1,032,274 138,750 6,516,520 84,044,880 2,941,768 19,008,050 18,088 38,436,714 119,250 85,507,259 914,030 179,925 184,380 835,100 398,200 72,788,069 358,800 92,351,860 74,000 6,663,479 18,400,765 8,970,060 3,576 115,638,468 468,860 189,100 31,400 88,873,482 7,081,180 84,120,950 1,472,160 1,070,000 53,707,329.50 41,207,039.50 28,634,226(2, 7,615,960 3,292,560 9,179,260 880,790 93,013,820 6,538,012

-4,850 -1,476,000 2,384 18,633,464 11,478,470 -31,780 -25,650 628,150 28,524,275 207,272 312,911 -106,000 22,153,706 131,302 4,986 10,430 4,848,131 11,848,850 65,029 6,665,535 3,658,300 -1,255,588 -1,808,157 2,121 -27,089,335 -46,110 6,222,674 7,013,594.50 018,454.9997) 1,433,700 1,038,230 1,045,400 -45,720 58,500 3,099,104


0.003 1.73 5 18.44 1.69 1.69 0.305 7.3 2.48 0.225 0.15 0.154 0.0094 0.0094 1.54 6.29 1.36 0.48 0.9 0.012 0.013 0.012 2.31 6.01 15.4 33.6 0.0068

0.0035 1.74 5 18.44 1.71 1.71 0.315 7.3 2.55 0.236 0.153 0.154 0.0094 0.0094 1.54 6.48 1.39 0.49 0.93 0.012 0.013 0.013 2.31 6.12 15.58 33.65 0.0068

0.003 1.71 4.83 18.44 1.69 1.67 0.3 7.2 2.41 0.225 0.147 0.152 0.0094 0.0094 1.43 6.23 1.25 0.48 0.88 0.011 0.013 0.012 2.3 6.01 14.7 32.75 0.0068

MINING & OIL 0.0034 6,743,000,000 1.72 2,224,000 4.86 285,300 18.44 100 1.7 14,000 1.71 1,873,000 0.31 1,310,000 7.2 3,200 2.55 5,230,000 0.227 1,020,000 0.149 21,410,000 0.152 5,310,000 0.0094 5,000,000 0.0094 5,000,000 1.5 142,000 6.45 3,945,100 1.25 1,392,000 0.49 160,000 0.91 86,000 0.012 93,400,000 0.013 100,000 0.013 47,900,000 2.3 58,000 6.05 429,000 14.76 5,874,100 33 3,179,500 0.0068 5,000,000

22,186,700 3,835,920 1,391,620 1,844 23,840 3,193,070 399,350 23,290 13,069,350 232,810 3,185,800 809,250 47,000 47,000 209,250 25,196,703 1,762,900 78,300 76,340 1,098,000 1,300 575,000 133,580 2,599,292 87,514,324 105,724,160 34,000

-351,000 361,570 -17,030 -10,260 328,730 7,719,963 4,800 -528,843 -2,315,066 -66,658,995 -


29.1 507 514.5 102.4 509 6.27 1,009 100.5 1.05 106.1 104.9 76.95 80 75.05 76.55 77.4

29.1 518 525 102.4 509 6.33 1,009 101.5 1.06 106.1 104.9 76.95 80 75.05 76.55 77.4

29 504 514.5 102 509 6.12 1,009 100.5 1.05 106.1 104.9 76.95 80 75.05 76.55 77.4

PREFERRED 29 62,100 504 2,500 525 16,130 102.1 27,760 509 200 6.32 179,400 1,009 10 101.5 3,000 1.06 251,000 106.1 8,420 104.9 300 76.95 420 80 100 75.05 5,500 76.55 12,000 77.4 30,000

1,806,900 1,261,340 8,440,705 2,835,616 101,800 1,113,600 10,090 302,500 266,040 893,362 31,470 32,319 8,000 412,775 918,600 2,322,000

-642,900 5,180 1,224,072 -141,651 -32,319 -





WARRANTS 3.76 3,562,000



57,048,474 633,560 39,433,020

-13,242,938 -2,149,510




PROPERTY 7.02 1.1 15.58 2.07 0.89 42 3.87 4.85 6.19 6.2 0.435 1.06 1.05 0.28 0.48 33.95 0.65 0.136 1.8

414,900 12,462,000 20,000 15,000 5,799,000 11,630,200 629,000 1,376,000 178,500 1,700 3,700,000 47,000 9,000 88,270,000 790,000 2,105,800 480,000 860,000 13,835,000


5.82 3.41 3.8

6.58 3.5 3.86

5.8 3.37 3.38
























6.5 3.48 3.5


9,051,900 184,000 11,174,000

EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS 129.4 38,450 10.4





VALUE 2,213.51 (up) 32.76 1,241,996,158.95 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 11,549.73 (up) 76.71 1,337,399,939.64 HOLDING FIRMS 8,426.02 (up) 49.18 1,443,638,565.7 PROPERTY 3,818.33 (up) 44.26 SERVICES 1,767.17 (up) 11.81 1,609,099,066.905 MINING & OIL 11,445.18 (down) -76.27 1,191,260,307.36 PSEI 8,453.5 (up) 80.99 273,478,036.825 All Shares Index 5,083.98 (up) 31.19 7,198,994,383.36 Gainers: 106; Losers: 109; Unchanged: 44; Total: 259

SM Group plans to spend P66.3b to expand units By Jenniffer B. Austria CONGLOMERATE SM Investments Corp. said Monday it will spend P66.3 billion this year mostly to expand its property, banking and retail businesses. Presentation materials posted on SMIC website showed that property unit SM Prime Holdings Inc. budgeted P50 billion for 2018 capital expenditures to develop integrated lifestyle projects including malls, high-rise residential and leisure homes, office buildings and hotels. SM Prime said it planned to open six malls this year to end 2018 with a total of 75 malls. It also plans to launch 12,000 to 15,000 residential condominium units in Metro Manila and other key cities. Banking units BDO Unibank Inc. and China Banking Corp. budgeted P50 billion in capital expenditures for branch expansion and information technology enhancements. The SM Group’s retail business will also spend P5.2 billion for store expansion and renovation. SM Retail plans to open four SM Stores, four SM Supermarkets, 18 Savemore stores, 2 SM Hypermarkets and 76 specialty stores this year. SM Retail had a total of 2,032 outlets as of end-2017, including 59 The SM Stores, 1,299 specialty retail outlets, 52 SM Supermarkets, 47 SM Hypermarkets, 181 Savemore, 46 WalterMart and 348 Alfamart stores. SMIC reported a net income of P32.9 billion in 2017, up 6 percent from P31.2 billion in 2016 on strong results from property, banking and retail businesses. Consolidated revenues grew 9 percent in 2017 to P396.1 billion from P363.4 billion in 2016. Property accounted for 40 percent of total earnings, with banks comprising 38 percent and retail, 22 percent. Outside core businesses, SMIC continues to build its portfolio of investments in complementary businesses.The group has equity investments in gaming and resorts development through Belle Corp., copper mining through Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp., community mall through CityMall, logistics through 2Go Group Inc., dormitel through MyTown and business process outsourcing through Net Group. Share price of SMIC rose 0.63 percent Monday to close at P964.

SMC Global’s board approves issuance of $650-m securities By Alena Mae S. Flores SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. said Monday its board approved the financing arrangements, including the issuance of $650 million worth of securities, in favor of parent company San Miguel Corp. to finance its projects. SMC Global said in a disclosure to the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. its board approved “the necessary funding arrangements to finance the corporation’s projects, including but not limited to, the issuance by the corporation of peso-denominated redeemable perpetual securities equivalent up to $650 million in favor of SMC.” SMC Global vowed to expedite the completion of the 330-megawatt Masinloc coal-fired power plant expansion in Zambales province, following the recent approval by the Philippine Competition Commission of the acquisition of shares in Masin-AES Pte. Ltd., AES Transpower Pte. Ltd. and AES Philippines Inc. San Miguel president Ramon Ang said the Masinloc plant expansion project would now be completed faster under SMC Global. SMC Global acquired the stakes of AES Corp. of the US and Electricity Generating Public Co. of Thailand in Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. in December 2017 for $1.9 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals. The transaction involves the acquisition of SMC Global of the 51-percent and 49-percent equity interests of AES Phil Investment Pte. Ltd. and Gen Plus B.V., respectively, in Masin-AES Pte. Ltd., 100-percent equity interest of tAES Corp. in AES Transpower Pte. Ltd. and 100-percent equity interest of AES Phil in AES Philippines Inc. SMC Global will then become the 100-percent owner of each of Masin-AES, AES Transpower and AES Philippines.





Putin set to extend rule to 2024

SHOPPING DAY. Shoppers take a look at various travel cases and carton backpacks in Taipei on March 12, 2018. AFP

White House to help put guns in campuses to increase safety WASHINGTON―President Donald Trump’s administration will step up aid to states that want to arm school employees under a plan to increase campus safety after the killing of 17 people in Florida, officials said Sunday. The controversial idea to put weapons in schools, which has drawn little support from educators, is part of a “pragmatic plan to dramatically increase school safety and to take steps to do so right away,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a conference call with reporters. “We are committed to working quickly because there’s no time to waste,” said DeVos, who will chair a federal commission on school safety. Among other measures, the Trump administration is urging states to pass temporary “risk protection orders,” as Florida recently did, with technical assistance coming from Washington, said Andrew Bremberg, a presidential assistant who heads the Domestic Policy Council. These court-issued orders allow for law enforcement officers to remove guns from people who pose a demonstrated threat, “to temporarily prevent such individuals from purchasing new firearms, all while still protecting due process rights,” he said. The moves come during a national gun control debate revived by survivors of last month’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 14 students and three staff were gunned down by a man with a semi-automatic rifle. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, on Twitter dismissed the administration’s measures as “baby steps designed not to upset @NRA,” the

powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby. “The administration will be working with states to provide rigorous firearms training to specifically qualified volunteer school personnel,” Bremberg said. A senior administration official added that there are already “a multitude of programs that exist across the country where school personnel are trained in conjunction with state or local law enforcement.” The administration is “working with the Department of Justice to continue and increase the amount of help” for such initiatives, the official said. Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the largest professional union in the United States, has said that parents and educators “overwhelmingly reject the idea of arming school staff.” The NRA has long argued for more armed security in US schools, a plan Trump has advocated. On Wednesday, Florida legislators approved funding for a program to allow some teachers and school employees to be armed. The measure came in a bill that raises the minimum age to purchase all firearms from 18 to 21, bans modification devices that allow a semi-automatic weapon to fire faster, and increases mental health funding. Bremberg said the White House also wants more of a focus on mental health care, and will conduct “a full audit and review” of the FBI tip line, after criticism of the federal law enforcement agency for missing warning signs about the Florida shooter. AFP

MOSCOW―Vladimir Putin, who is set to extend his long rule to 2024 in Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, has stamped his total authority in Russia, silencing opposition and reasserting Moscow’s lost might abroad. The 65-year-old former KGB officer has reimposed the Kremlin’s grip over society since taking power 18 years ago after a lawless but relatively free decade following the demise of the USSR. On the international stage, he has outlasted three US presidents to become one of the globe’s undisputed strongmen, thrusting Moscow into a new rivalry with the West by snatching Crimea from Ukraine and launching a pivotal intervention in Syria. Named the world’s most powerful person by Forbes for the past four years running, the judo black belt has built a macho man image helped by publicity stunts that included riding topless on horseback through the Siberian wilderness and darting an endangered tiger. Bolstered by a slavish state media, he is projected to take around 70 percent of the vote by official pollsters, despite producing no program and refusing to take part in televised debates. Supporters laud him as a savior who restored pride and traditional values to a humiliated nation. To foes, however, Putin has dragged his homeland further from democracy, has presided over a seizure of the state by a new elite of former secret police cro-

nies and has stoked nationalism in a bid to restore Moscow’s lost empire. Putin was born into a working-class family in Leningrad―now Saint Petersburg―on October 7, 1952 and cut his teeth in the city’s rough-and-tumble neighborhoods. “The Leningrad streets taught me one thing: if a fight is unavoidable, you have to hit first,” Putin said in 2015. He fulfilled a childhood dream by joining the KGB intelligence service, getting posted in 1985-1990 to Dresden in what was then East Germany when Soviet power was crumbling. His political rise began after he returned to work at Saint Petersburg city hall under his mentor, liberal mayor Anatoly Sobchak. Two decades later, Sobchak’s daughter Ksenia is challenging Putin in the election―a move that has divided Russia’s already deeply-split liberal opposition. By 1996, he was called to Moscow to work in the Kremlin under Russia’s first democratically-elected president Boris Yeltsin, who in 1998 made little-known Putin head of the KGB’s successor, the FSB. Battling health and drinking problems, frail Yeltsin in August 1999 named Putin prime minister and his popularity shot up as he oversaw the launch of a second war to crush rebels in the Chechnya region. When Yeltsin sensationally resigned on New Year’s Eve 1999, Putin suddenly took over as president of the biggest country on earth. AFP

China feels marginalized on Trump-Kim nuke talks B EIJING―When China called on the United States to engage in direct talks with North Korea, it probably never imagined it would be absent from the table.

Beijing, which led the failed international talks on North Korea that collapsed a decade ago, has long seen itself as central to the negotiations to end Pyongyang’s nuclear program. But when US President Donald Trump agreed last week to hold a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a yet-to-be-decided day and place, China was nowhere to be seen. Chinese President Xi Jinping has not even met Kim since the young North Korean autocrat took power following his father’s death in 2011. While China remains North Korea’s only ally and main economic lifeline, the relations between the two neighbors have soured as Xi, under pressure from Trump, has backed a slew of UN sanctions to punish Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile tests. In a Friday phone call with Trump, Xi praised the US leader’s “positive” move, saying he hoped the US and North Korea would start talking as soon as possible and that China was devoted to solving the nuclear issue through dialogue. But not everyone was so happy: China’s top-selling nationalist tabloid the Global Times dashed out an editorial

aimed at soothing the jangled nerves of Chinese patriots afraid that the country would be sidelined by a Trump-Kim love-in. “Chinese people should stay calm and remain poised, and avoid the mentality that China is being marginalized,” it said. “China’s prime interest on the Korean peninsula is its denuclearization and peace, both of which are more important than China’s relations with North and South Korea and power politics.” Trump’s surprise agreement to meet Kim appears to have shocked many in China, who wonder if the Asian giant―which is increasingly trying to put itself at the center of global diplomacy―has been cut out of the loop by Pyongyang. “Given that parts of Trump’s own national security team were not informed of this major change in policy, I’m doubtful that President Trump informed the Chinese, and definitely not with any significant lead time,” said Oriana Skylar Mastro, an expert on China, North Korea relations at Georgetown University and the American Enterprise Institute. While Washington is happy to use China to squeeze North Korea economically,

it is not as interested in involving Beijing in the more delicate work of negotiations. “The Trump administration sees China as primarily an obstacle to the peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue and not so much as a critical diplomatic interlocutor,” Skylar Mastro said. It is natural that Beijing would have reservations about what a Kim-Trump meeting could mean for its own interests in the region, said Zhang Liangui, a professor of the International Strategic Academy of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. “As a neighbor, if North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons, China could be the biggest casualty,” he told AFP: “so you could say, China is the most important party involved.” Those concerns came sharply into focus when North Korea literally shook China with an underground nuclear test that produced an earthquake felt over the border. Beijing also worries that Kim’s weapons could trigger an arms race in the region, leading its historical rival Japan and perhaps even South Korea to seek nuclear weapons. While China has long pushed for USNorth Korean dialogue, it always saw it as a first step towards returning to the long-dormant Six-Party Talks, which grouped China, the US, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas. North Korea abruptly quit the international forum in 2009. AFP

DENR folk sleeping on the job THE discussions in Congress and in the media about the degradation of Boracay Island would doubtless have brought enormous disappointment and frustration to those who, perceiving the intensifying pressure on this country’s natural environment, worked hard for the creation of a Cabinet department devoted exclusively to environmental management and protection. The discussions have shown beyond the shadow of a doubt that the folks at the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have been sleeping on the job – again. I say ‘again’ because this is not the first time that the DENR folk have been merely reacting – forced to react would be more accurate – to a bad environmental situation in this country. They seem to keep forgetting that the DENR was created not to clean up environmental messes after their occurrence but to prevent their happening in the first place. Over the years of DENR’s existence it has been one cleaning-up operations after another. It was hoped by DENR’s supporters that the first beneficiary of the new agency’s purposeful operations would be the nation’s diminishing forest cover, which had been systematically raped by politically powerful illegal loggers. Their hopes were dashed: the remaining forests became the first vic-

tims of DENR’s substandard performance. In the nation’s illegal-logging hot spots – Cagayan Valley, the Bicol Region, Eastern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas – denudation activity of illegal loggers have continued, even in places as close to Metro Manila as Rizal and Aurora. In recent times the most dramatic indication of the continued widespread incidence of illegal logging was the cascade of logs down from the mountains above Cagayan de Oro City as a result of Typhoon Pablo’s torrential rains. A second victim of DENR’s substandard performance has been – does it need saying? – the Philippine mining industry. The celebrated Marcopper Mining Corporation episode and other mining-industry pollution disasters are indications of DENR’s abject failure to adequately supervise one of this country’s oldest and proudest industries. Had DENR done a creditable job of supervising the mining industry, former DENR head Gina Lopez would have had no basis for saying that there was no such thing as responsible mining. Now has come the Boracay mess. There can be little doubt that the local government units (LGUs) involved – the Regional Development Council for Region VI, the provincial government of Aklan, the government of the municipality of Malay and the councils of the three Malay barangays – are hugely responsible for the

progressive deterioration of arguably the No. 2 (after Metro Manila) tourist attraction in this country. All the imaginable violations of law and regulations – no business permits, no environmental clearances, no health and sewerage certificates, failure to observe road setbacks and shoreline distances and excessive commercial establishments would not have been possible if the concerned LGUs had discharged their legal and administrative responsibilities. Governors, mayors and sanggunian members cannot be expected to always do their jobs because they have personal interests – their political supporters, their private businesses and their families – to protect. This is where DENR is supposed to come in. DENR is expected to do the examination, inspection, monitoring and supervision jobs that the LGUs should be but are not doing. If DENR personnel did more inspection and monitoring, instead of sitting on their backsides, in their offices, making plans and drawing up regulations, our forests, mines, waters and air would not be in the dire situations that they often are. DENR has again and again been caught sleeping on the job. What to do with this department? Scrap it? No, DENR is now too important a department to be scrapped. Just shake it up vigorously and give the DENR personnel more stringent and more measurable assignments.

DAY 5. A model walks the runway wearing designs by Palacose at Fresh Off The Rail -Day 5 at MATCH on March 11, 2018, in Houston, Texas. AFP


Notice is hereby Standard

given that on 08 March 2016, Power TODAY Systems R&D Philippines, Inc. (the “Corporation”) approved its dissolution by shortening its corporate term up to 31 March 2016 only. All persons having claims against the Corporation are requested to contact Franchette M. Acosta, its Corporate Secretary, with address at 11th Avenue corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Triangle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila. This announcement will serve as a notice to all parties concerned regarding the closure of the business of the Corporation. (MS-MAR. 6,13 & 20, 2018)


Jimbo Owen Gulle, Editor


LoCaL goVernment units

tuesday, march 13, 2018

ONE SAMAR. Gov. Sharee Ann Tan of

Samar promotes her province through the ‘One Spark, One Samar’ campaign as the province forms a rising tourism and investment destination at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall in Mandaluyong City. Joining Tan in a show of support (inset) are (from left) Department of Trade and Industry for Regional Operations Group Assistant Secretary Demphna Du Naga, Gov. Tan, Science Secretary Fortunato T. Dela Peña, Samar Tourism Ambassador Solenn Heussaff, and Vice Gov. Stephen Tan. Manny Palmero

In BrIef Villages on fault line train for disasters QUEZON City Mayor Herbert Bautista has ordered barangays lying along the West Valley Fault and neighboring communities to undergo a training on earthquake landslide search and rescue orientation course. He recently tasked the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to conduct the workshop involving 73 barangay officials who have completed 32 hours of basic training. The participants lauded Bautista for giving them the opportunity to gain more knowledge on how to help their constituents once a powerful quake strikes the West Valley fault line. “The earthquake landslide search and rescue orientation training program are a big help for us, especially that our barangay is one of the neighbors of barangays transacted by the West Valley Fault. For sure, we will be affected by ‘the big one’ or if not so, we can still help other affected barangays. All barangay officials of Quezon City, especially the barangay chairpersons must attend trainings like this,” Barangay Escopa I chairman Marvin Morales said. Rio N. Araja

Back Duterte drug war, Estrada asks all mayors By Vito Barcelo


ORMER President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Monday reiterated his strong support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, as he called on all city and municipal mayors to continue to fight illegal drugs, which he said is the root cause of rising criminality and corruption.

Estrada said illegal drugs is a multibilliondollar industry that could make the country a “narco state” should the government fail in its bid to dismantle the drug syndicates. The mayor likewise urged the public to shun barangay officials and candidates linked to illegal drugs who will run in the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on May 14. He said the President needs the support of everyone in eradicating the drug

Micro-entrep office for QC—Belmonte TO BATTlE unemployment, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte is pushing for the establishment of a micro-entrepreneur office to improve the people’s economic condition. The city council has passed Ordinance No. 96 of 2013 establishing the micro and small enterprise development council, “but it has not been implemented until now,” she said. “In my view, we should really endorse micro-entrepreneurship and help those micro-entrepreneurs to level up, help them with their product development, with marketing, training, and loans,” she said. “It’s because I think the future lies to entrepreneurs in general,” Belmonte added. Rio N. Araja

Benguet suspends 6 contractor firms lA TRINIDAD, Benguet—The province’s Bids and Awards Committee recommended the suspension of six contractors in future public bidding of projects being implemented in the province for a maximum of one year. The companies allegedly submitted falsified documents during previous bidding processes that trace back to the last administration. The contractors who allegedly used falsified documents were Almond Engineering and Construction, leo Heirs Construction, Bolos Engineering and Construction, Hillstone Builders, Northbase Builders and Four Brothers Construction. Dexter A. See

menace, which will only destroy the future generations of the country. “let’s protect the children, the youth … they are our future. We are one with PDEA chief Director General Aaron Aquino’s call not to vote barangay officials linked to illegal drugs,” Erap said. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency claimed there are 143 village chiefs and 146 village councilors involved in the narcotics trade.

“The President has been doing an excellent job in fighting the narcopoliticians and corruption in government,” Erap said on Duterte’s stance to stop illegal drugs in the country. Estrada said traffickers and operators of “big-time” drug laboratories have “managed to run their illegal drug trade unhampered in the past decades because government officials in power are protecting them.” “This is the time to jail all drug traffickers. The key to success and improve the economy is to eliminate illegal drugs and corruption.” Estrada said. Citing figures from the Department of Interior and local Government that 9,000 barangay officials are directly involved in the drug trade, the former President said the numbers are “very disturbing.”


Mayor Tony Carolino of Santa Maria, Laguna delivers a message to more than 500 women during the celebration of Women’s Month in the municipality. on Friday Former mayor lawyer Cindy Carolino (sitting in background) and Santa Maria municipal councilors also attended the event with the theme: ‘We Make Change Work for Women’. Roy Tomandao

FORTy-ONE drug dependents were able to complete their rehabilitation program in the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Nueva Ecija, sponsored by the city government of Valenzuela through Valenzuela City Anti-Drug Abuse Council. The “finishers” belong to the second batch of center-based rehabilitation program graduates of Valenzuela since 2016. The first batch of 141 clients graduated last May 2017 from the Central luzon Drug Abuse Rehabilitation

lOS BAÑOS, laguna—Twelve barangays and volunteers from various local sectors of los Baños joined the town-wide “Linis Ilat” or canal cleaning on Saturday here. The cleanup activity is a project of laguna Water District Aquatech Resources Corp. and laguna Water District and was made possible with the support of the los Baños Municipal Office headed by Mayor Caesar P. Perez for the celebration of World Water Day. “The aim is to protect environment because the water comes from nature. We are engaging the communities to protect the water resources here,” lARC general manager Emil Q. Puerto said. Anna Karenina lim-Puerto, lARC Community Relations and External Affairs manager, said the program involves barangays

ClARK FREEPORT, Pampanga— Officials of the Clark International Airport Corp. welcomed the proposal to transfer the excess domestic flights of airline companies, including privately-owned aircraft, to the international airport here to decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Alexander Cauguiran, president and CEO of CIAC, said they have enough space to accommodate the excess domestic flights of airline companies and private aircraft at CRK. The Clark civil aviation complex is the biggest in the country, composed of 2,367 hectares of land divided into airport use and leased land to investors and locators for aviation-related services and logistics activities, Cauguiran said. Clark airport has 30 hectares of land available anytime for the proposal of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to move the flights from Naia under a “complete terminal rationalization plan” for the safety, comfort and convenience of the passengers, he added. “We are more than willing to accept the transfer of domestic flights here,” Cauguiran said during a media forum here. “Under the plan, Naia Terminals 1 and 3 will be used for international flights while Terminals 2 and 4 for domestic flights doable within 45 days, but extended to six months,” Alvarez said. The country’s main airport was designed with a capacity of only 31 million passengers a year and is now accommodating 42 million a year, the Speaker added. In contrast, Clark, Cauguiran said, does not experience air or land congestion nor gets flooded due to its elevation of 484 feet above sea level. It is complete with air navigational equipment for the safety, comfort and convenience of the passengers, he added. CIAC was able to increase the flights to and from CRK through vigorous marketing efforts here and abroad. A total of 152 international and 300 domestic flights (arrival and departure) log in at CRK with an average of 63 flights a day by 13 airline companies as of March 1, Cauguiran added. The construction of the P12.9-billion additional passenger terminal is now in the mobilization stage, he said. Come third quarter of 2018, actual construction will take place and will be operational before the end of the year, the CIAC chief added.

By Rio N. Araja

Center in Magalang, Pampanga. The rehabilitation program of Valenzuela was also cited as one of the Top Three Best Rehabilitation Programs in the National Capital Region, as recognized by the Department of the Interior and local Government and the National Capital Region Police Office during the 27th PNP Founding Anniversary celebration last Feb. 26, 2018 in Camp Bagong Diwa. Russel Santos, 35, from Barangay Dalandanan used to take illegal drugs since he was in high school. But last year, Santos had a change of heart when he volun-

Firms lead Los Baños waterway cleanup By Roy Tomandao

By Romeo Dizon

Man chops up wife’s body, nabbed in QC

Valenzuela drug dependents finish rehab program By Jun David

Clark welcomes domestic, private flights from Naia

officials and other government agencies as it stresses the importance of waterway cleanups, not only along the shoreline of laguna lake but on the tributaries to the lake as well. This is the second year lARC and lWD have conducted the waterway clean-up in los Baños to celebrate World Water Day, an annual event held every 22nd of March as organized by the United Nations. The theme for World Water Day 2018 is “‘Nature for Water-Exploring Nature-Based Solutions to the Water Challenges We Face in the 21st century.” Residents of barangays Anos, Bambang, Batong Malake, Baybayin, Bayog, lalakay, Maahas, Malinta, Mayondon, San Antonio, Timugan, and Tuntungin-Putho and volunteers from the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils and University of the Philippines los Baños participated in the cleanup.

tarily submitted himself to VADAC. From being clients to, now, achievers, the 41 graduates of the rehabilitation program of the VADAC are now ready to face the next challenges for the betterment of their lives. VADAC Action Officer, lawyer Bimbo Dela Cruz said that the client-achievers will now undergo a six-month long monitoring to ensure their drug-free status. The city government will also provide them financial assistance worth P20,000 and they will also undergo seminars and trainings to better handle their finances.

AUTHORITIES arrested a 43-yearold man for killing and chopping up the body of his 46-year-old wife in Quezon City on Sunday afternoon for still no apparent reason. Supt. Rodelio Marcelo of the Quezon City Police District ‘s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit identified the victim as Heide Estrera of Block 4, lot 7, St. Michael Extension, Republic Avenue in Barangay Holy Spirit. Orlando Estrera, the victim’s husband, was nabbed while trying to move her mutilated body parts. A barangay watchman sought police assistance that led to the arrest of the suspect. Reports showed the suspect chopped the victim’s uterus to look for a fetus. The couple were childless. According to Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, they will recommend the suspect go through psychiatric evaluation. Laguna Water District Aquatech Resources Corp. general manager Emil Q. Puerto (right) and Anna Karenina Lim-Puerto, LARC Community Relations and External Affairs manager, lead the cleanup in Barangay Bambang, Los Baños Laguna together with barangay officials and Sheila Segui, CREA Specialist. Roy Tomandao


Bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor @manilastandardlife

health and environment

@mstandardLIFe tuesday, march 13, 2018

It’s a gIrl thIng:


WOMEN’S WELLNESS. There are several

things that women do, which they think are harmless, but can affect their reproductive health.

5 habits that can affect reproductive health A

woMAn’s plate is almost always full, that oftentimes, between her responsibilities at home and at work, self-care becomes an after-thought. As the world celebrates women, her whole being, we’ve compiled five health reminders that concern female’s health down there. on the topic of reproductive health, there is one thing that remains constant: vagina is a sensitive part. And yet there are some things that women do in this area that do more harm than good. These are five of the most common habits of women.

Wearing tight clothing

skinny jeans and leggings are part of many women’s wardrobe. They are staple pieces and, sometimes, they are just the convenient items of clothing to wear. But wearing tight clothes down there irritates the vulva due to rough friction. Tight trousers also trap heat and moist, as well as restrict the air that flows through—leading to major discomfort in the vagina. But don’t throw all your skinny pants and leggings just yet. The better solution is to cut the number of times you wear them and the number of hours you are squeezed in them.

Our eyes need to be nourished and taken care of properly even before we turn 40

On having clear eyes at 40 Having your hair removed

Much like the hair in your nose, pubic hair in that area is there for a reason. It’s worth noting that hair down there helps regulate body temperature, keeps bacteria or other microscopic particles from harming or entering the vagina, and protects it from friction—which can cause an injury—by providing some sort of cushioning. Removing pubic hair carelessly might cause inflammation, irritation, and even infection—reason why letting it in its natural state has more sense. However, if you wish to have it removed, through Brazilian wax, for instance, go to a certified professional to do it for you.

Visiting OB/GYN rarely

on the subject of reproductive health, it is important to note that annually visiting your oB/GYn is a must, as only your trusted doctor know the exact status of your reproductive health. some may think going to the oB/GYn might be intimidating, but the thing is, it wouldn’t really hurt to go through some screening tests to know what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and what you should do to further improve.

PeoPle aged 40 years old and above often suffer from age-related health problems like near vision blurriness. Presbyopia, a condition that affects the ability of eyes to focus on near objects, typically occurs in middle and old age. our eyes work long hours over the years, reason why they need to be nourished and taken care of properly even before we turn four-decade old. Here are ways to have clear and healthy eyes in your middle age. Eat healthy food that promotes healthy vision. Aside from Vitamin A which sharpens eyesight, nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C and e can help ward off age-related vision problems for adults, like cataracts. eating a well-balanced diet can also help prevent other health problems such as diabetes, which is the number one cause of blindness among adults. Avoid excessive exposure to unhealthy blue light. At this age of technology, we are always exposed to harmful blue light from mobile phones, laptops, and monitors. Too much exposure can cause vision problems such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The best way to deal with this is to limit your time in front of the

screen and break every now and then, especially if your work requires you to be in front of a blue light-emitting screen. Get a regular eye check-up. Regular vision consultation is essential to prevent or detect signs of vision problems. Choose the right eyewear. The right kind of prescription glasses will not only help you see better but will also make your life easier and more convenient, especially as you age. Trusted by eye experts worldwide, Varilux, world leader in progressive lens technology, corrects presbyopia or near vision blurriness. This leading progressive lens provides sharp, clear vision, and smooth transition between distances: near, far, and in-between. Developed by essilor, all Varilux lenses are tested to ensure customer satisfaction, including fast and easy adaptation. They are also perfect for those with active lifestyle. To protect your eyes from harmful lights, Varilux is also available in Crizal Transitions which shields eyes from harmful ultra-violet rays. Its multicoat technology can also provide complete protection against dust, smudge, glare, scratch, and water. Go to to know more.

Using low-quality sanitary pads

Cleaning too much

In case you didn’t know, vagina cleans itself inside with natural vaginal secretions or discharge. while hygiene is obviously important, lay off cleaning your vagina inside as special treatment or douching disturbs the natural bacteria that are set up inside, which could then lead to infections. experts recommend washing the perineal area between the vagina and anus at least once a day—and to not overdo it.

sanitary pads made of low-quality materials may cause irritation in the vaginal area, not to mention fail in its job of preventing leaks. Jeunesse Anion sanitary pads are sophisticatedly designed for heavy gush and spill, with its seven layers of protection that hold and keep the liquid intact, preventing those embarrassing leaks. They also help lessen bacterial growth. experts suggest changing pads after four to five hours to prevent unwanted odors and stains. Jeunesse Anion is available in Ultra Day Pad, Ultra night Pad, Ultra Day non-wing, and Panty liner variants. These are available at beauty stores, drugstores, and supermarkets nationwide. Visit for more information.

Take frequent breaks from computer screens and other blue light-emitting devices



tuesday, march 13, 2018

How to cope with depression THere are 300 million people in the Philippines living with depression according to the recent World Health Organization-Philippines statistics. Despite the number, discussing depression, Bipolar Disorder, and other mental health issues are often done in hushed tones—as if it’s shameful to have such disorders. Though there are many who are already undergoing treatment for these ailments, many remain in the dark, fearful of the possibility that they will be shunned or ostracized for their condition. In this case, it is more important to let them know they can openly approach experts for treatment and management of their condition. With the advice of a psychotherapist they can have a better handle of their situation and reduce the risk of self-harm. Some studies suggest that staying in touch with friends and family and having an active lifestyle help lift their mood and take their mind off the constant struggle they deal with. It may also help them to look at possible stressors and what steps they can take to stray away from it, as sug-

The secret to Japan’s long lifespan It is said the main cause of Japanese’s long lifespan is their ‘walking lifestyle’


APAN holds the record to having the highest life expectancy in the world. According to a World Health Organization data in 2017, Japan’s average life expectancy is 83.7 years, higher compared to the global life expectancy average of 71.5 years and much higher than Philippines’ 68.4 years. It has been said that the main cause of Japanese’s advanced longevity is their “walking lifestyle” coupled with their healthy diet. According to another WHO report, 98 percent of Japanese school children walk or bike to school every day, which means that most of them get their recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day just by going to school. While longevity is great for making the most out of one’s life, it also poses a couple of problems. In the absence of other diseases, one of the biggest physical problems faced by the elderly is called sarcopenia, or the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, which occurs with advanc- Sarcopenia, which often occurs in old age, is the loss of skeletal ing age. Sarcopenia can lead to a variety of health impairments muscle mass and strength. that are typically associated with the elderly, including mobility synthesis. Ajinomoto Co. provides this product to other comdisorders and increased risk of falls and fractures. panies in the food and nutrition as a food ingredient. CliniProper nutrition is clearly a crucial factor that leads cal trials show that seniors who take this supplement to good health. And amino acids, which are and perform moderate exercise (60 minutes, the building blocks of proteins, are a key twice per week) have significantly higher component of sufficient and balanced increase in leg muscle mass, muscle nutrition. strength, and walking speed than sen senIn the Philippines for instance, who don’t take the supplement iors Filipinos get majority of their and don’t exercise. protein from rice at an average In addition to using Amino L40 of 22.6 grams. Other leading in its own nutritional supplements, sources are pork at 17.53 grams for years Ajinomoto Co. has been and chicken at 12.24 grams. actively partnering with numernumer As one of the world’s foreous other companies in Japan to most companies in the research bring the benefits of the amino and production of amino acacids blend to the general pub pubids, Ajinomoto Co. is actively lic through food products. These engaged in promoting healthy partnerships have yielded drink longevity in Japan through its mixes, curry, miso soup, marshmal marshmalvariety of community programs lows, and more. and its “Amino L40” product. Amino L40 is a proprietary blend of nine essential amino acids (including Japanese diet is composed mainly of fresh food L-Leucine) that are vital for muscle protein and seafoods

The cost of fair skin

INDIVIDUALS who desire to have fairer skin often resort to skin whitening topical products. But not all whitening cosmetics are safe for use. Watch group ecoWaste Coalition cautions the public against mercuryladen cosmetics, particularly skin whitening facial creams, that are being sold in the Philippines and other Asean nations despite a regional ban on mercury above the trace amount of one part per million (1 ppm) under the ASeAN Cosmetic Directive. The group cited the Asean Post-Marketing Alert Systems reports disseminated by the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines that listed cosmetic products, including 11 skin whitening creams laced with mercury, which health authorities in Brunei and Indonesia recently banned. Health authorities in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the United Arab emirates this year also banned six brands of skin whitening cosmetics due to their mercury content, the group added. Based on ecoWaste Coalition’s monitoring, the FDA has banned over 135 mercury-containing skin lightening creams since 2010, including 80 brands discovered by the group through its periodic test buys and product analyses. “The trade in skin whitening cosmetics tainted with mercury in the Philippines and elsewhere poses a serious health threat to women who are lured into using such products that are often marketed as remedy to all skin maladies,” said Thony Dizon, chemical safety campaigner of ecoWaste Coalition. “It is not only teenage and adult women who suffer from mercury exposure through the use of such cos-

EcoWaste Coalition warns the public against mercury-laden skin whitening products

metics but also developing fetuses and babies,” he added. The group cited the Asean PMAS report which said, “Nursing mothers are doubly vulnerable because mercury is passed on to nursing babies through breast milk, which can affect the baby’s development.” “People exposed to mercury exhibit symptoms including, but not limited to, tremors, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, gingivitis or inflammation of the gums, pink discoloration of the hands and feet, irritability, and photophobia or sensitivity to light,” according to the Asean alerts. According to the report “Mercury in Women of Child-Bearing Age in 25 Countries,” published by Biodiversity research Institute and IPeN (a global civil society network for a toxic-free future that includes ecoWaste Coalition), “the harmful effects that can be passed from the mother to the fetus when the mother’s mercury levels exceed 1 ppm

include neurological impairment, IQ loss, and damage to the kidneys and cardiovascular system.” “At high levels of mercury exposure this can lead to brain damage, developmental disabilities, blindness, seizures, and the inability to speak,” the report said. To prevent exposure to mercury among women, fetuses, and babies through mercury-laden skin lightening cosmetics, the ecoWaste Coalition urged Filipinos to be happy and satisfied with our natural skin tone. “There is beauty and dignity in our ‘kayumangging kaligatan,’” the group emphasized. If whiter skin tone is preferred, the group advised the public to consult with a licensed dermatologist, and to abstain from using skin lightening products that lack the FDA-required cosmetic product notifications and are not guaranteed safe from mercury and other hazardous substances like hydroquinone and tretinoin.

gested by erik Nelson, MD, a psychiatrist and assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the College of Medicine of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. experts also recommend sticking to a schedule which may help fuel productivity and a positive outlook as this helps avoid the feeling of being unaccomplished. Sleeping can also greatly affect one’s mood. It has been studied that getting a lot of rest can help, but sleep should still be on a regular schedule— not too much and not too little. Various medications in prescribed doses are also highly suggested. Antidepressants may be beneficial to those who struggle with mental illnesses like Schizophrenia, acute manic or mixed episodes with Bipolar Disorder, a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. According to Dr. Marge Gealoni, PHILUSA Corporation’s company physician, it is suggested that preventive drugs should be considered as maintenance therapy. For more health tips and advice, visit RHEA Generics PH on Facebook.

Staying in touch with friends, consulting with a physician, and getting a lot of rest, among others are helpful in coping with depression.

A permanent solution to hair loss PBA legend and current team manager Alvin Patrimonio was keen on finding a solution to regrow the hair on his head, so much so that he tried several treatments and oral supplements. “I was losing my hair so I took medicines and applied topical treatments, but they didn’t work for me,” he relates. According to studies, hair loss is one of the physical concerns that can threaten a man’s confidence. Male pattern baldness, after all, is much more severe in men than in women because it occurs faster and is not just concentrated in one area of the head. Men can lose it all at the crown, temples, and all parts of their head, leaving wispy strands that sometimes make the appearance even more awkward. There are various solutions to regain one’s head of hair. Topical treatments and hair supplements, wigs, toupees, hair weaves, a hairstyle change, or shaving may help alleviate the problem and offer some hope. But none of these are truly effective, long-term, and permanent. Having tried some of the aforementioned solutions with no luck, Patrimonio then tried a hair transplant procedure. “To be honest, I am really afraid of surgeries. During my playing years, I refused to undergo any surgery,” shares the former basketball superstar. “But the people in MAXiM showed me how the procedure would go and showed me photos of their successful and happy clients, so I decided to give it a try.” MAXiM Hair restoration, a 13-yearold international hair transplant clinic established in New York City that opened in Manila in 2004, is the recognized expert on hair transplantation and other solutions to balding.

It offers hair transplant procedures, including the advanced no-stitch, no linear scar technique called Follicular Unit extraction and the conventional hair transplant technique known as Follicular Unit Transplant. Both enable clients to grow back their hair via hair transplantation by harvesting hair from a donor area and placing hair grafts on the bald area. “During the procedure, I was watching TV or playing with my cellphone. There was no discomfort at all. Afterwards, the post-surgery hair care routine was explained to me. It was easy and hassle-free—very easy to follow,” relates Patrimonio. “Now, seven months later, I am really happy with the results. I no longer feel insecure when the TV cameras focus on me and I would definitely recommend it to my friends. The results are permanent. And the hair on my head is all mine,” he enthuses. The hair clinic also offers Scalp Micropigmentation, a non-surgical method that produces a short buzz-cut look without the client undergoing an actual transplant. MAXiM’s staff is composed of plastic surgeons and certified nurses. “MAXiM is focused and super-specialized on hair restoration that’s why we do it well. The center specializes in MeGA Sessions where patients can get 4,000 hair grafts in just one visit instead of multiple visits. Prices are affordable,” says MAXiM director Mac Fadra. Visit for more information or call (02) 8186000 for a free consultation.

Alvin Patrimonio five months after his hair transplant procedure and (inset) his hair before he got a hair transplant.




Simply Red... From C4

‘Brave your fears’ with exclusive films


HIS March, SM Cinema dares you to #BraveYourFears with their exciting and exclusive movie lineup. Grab your friends and conquer your fears of the paranormal, of psychological terror, and even your fear of commitment with SM Cinema’s stellar films this month. Magbuwag Ta Kay Magbuwag Ta Kay or mag-break na tayo in Filipino is a fresh take on the daunting and blissful ride of love. This all-Cebuano romcom proudly represents the Queen City of the South and asks about the limits of love through a simple question: How can a person prepare for a break-up? Catch the untold story of the Cebu’s Hugot King’s (Roy Ucat) love life as it hits the big screen.

Devil’s Gate If small towns with secrets give you chills, then get ready to unravel the mystery of Devil’s Gate. Follow the investigation of an FBI agent who arrives at the isolated town of Devil’s Gate, North Dakota to examine the disappearance of a local woman and her young son. As they track down the missing woman’s husband, they discover that this small town hides more terrifying abominations than they bargained for.

Unsane (March 21) If stalkers and mental institutions give you the creeps, then Unsane will surely test your nerves. A young woman visits a psychiatrist as she believes her stalker has returned – but the real terror begins when she is suddenly and involuntarily committed to a mental institution. Drugged and isolated, she starts to question whether her fears are real or all a delusion. Catch Unsane on March 21.

John Estrada’s character, Anthony, in the highly rated late night soap opera, The Good Son, has died, the second victim after Victor’s (Albert Martinez) in the early episodes. This came on the heels of the police tagging the brother as a possible suspect in their investigation in the murder of the Victor Buenavidez. So, the drama has a new twist and the focus now is on who killed Anthony. But, behind the on-screen drama was an off-screen skirmish between John and co-star Mylene Dizon. According to insiders the two had a shouting match during one of the taping sessions for the series constraining John to stop reporting to the set and obliging the writers of the series to change the plotline, thus the sudden death of Anthony. I don’t have the details of the conflict between John and Mylene, but the clash was reportedly witnessed by their co-stars, particularly Joshua Garcia and McCoy de Leon who appeared stultified after the incident. According to reliable sources, John has also made a commitment to another production, not in his home network, that cast him along with a rival network’s popular matinee idol. And many observers say that had made John rather uneasy in the last days he was reporting for taping for the Kapamilya series. The guys over at Kapamilya appeared unruffled with John’s sudden disappearance from the show. It has added another Kapamilya star to bolster its cast – Joem Bascon who plays a policeman now in charge of the investigation of Anthony’s murder. *** Discover the dark side of Los Angeles where cops and robbers go head-to-head in Gerard Butler’s latest action thriller movie, Den Of Thieves. Set in contemporary Los Angeles, Den Of Thieves is a crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of the Regulators, an elite unit of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department; and the Outlaws, the state’s most successful bank robbery crew. The Regulators is led by alpha dog “Big Nick” O’Brien played by Butler. He’s a hard-drinking career detective who will stop at nothing to put an end to the Outlaws’ crime spree. The Outlaws is led by the icy and calm Ray Merriman (Pablo Schreiber). The Outlaws operate with military

John Estrada as Anthony Buenavidez in 'The Good Son.'

precision, meticulous planning, and employ subject matter expertise – all skills acquired from military special ops service and prison stints. Den Of Thieves is written and directed by Christian Gudegast, the brilliant writer of the worldwide smash hit London Has Fallen. He was reading Where the Money Is, a nonfiction book about how Los Angeles became the bank robbery capital of the world, when he saw a photo in the Los Angeles Times; the photo, taken at the Federal Reserve Bank, was of a massive tub of money. The photo and the book sparked an idea, and Gudegast wrote the story that would eventually become the basis for the screenplay. The film also stars Evan Jones, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson. Catch the high-octane grand heist thriller action of Den Of Thieves in cinemas nationwide tomorrow. Presented by VIVA International Pictures and MVP Entertainment. *** Myx TV, the leading Englishlanguage Asian American entertainment network, scored another milestone when Netflix picked up its show, The Doll Life that premiered in Canada, U.K., South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India. This is the second show in just two months that Netflix, the world’s leading video streaming service, decided to carry a show from Myx TV. The first one in January was Eat Your Words by Thirsty Tiger Television with Valerie Chow and Stephen Goestch as executive producers and Myx TV GM Miguel Santos as executive producer for the network. Myx TV, a network owned and operated by ABS-CBN International, is a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corporation, the largest Filipino media and entertainment network in the world.

Camille nixes rivalry with Jodi CAMILLE Prats rejects the possibility of another cut-throat competition now that her new show over at GMA titled Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw is in direct collision with ABS-CBN’s Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko top billed by Jodi Sta. Maria. “I believe it should not ignite a network war,” she says. “In fact, I don’t feel that there’s still a network war to begin with. Of course, the competition will always be there, but it’s a healthy one.” Camille says that they both have a similar goal and that is to give their audience good entertainment. “We are here to work and not to fight, right? That’s basically it,” she explains. Since she is the lead actress in Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw, it’s inevitable that she gets compared with Jodi who is her counterpart in the rival program. “I’ve known her for such a long time already. We don’t have anything

against each other so why the need to compete? As long as we’re both doing our best in our respective vehicle, that’s okay. What matters most is we do our best efforts to further enhance our performance.” Camille admires Jodi’s positivity as a person. In fact, she considers herself as Jodi’s big fan. Meanwhile, Camille also talks about the plot of their show being different from Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko. “Our series is different in the sense that our attack is more natural. It’s not that heavy like in films. Reality is our home base. I hope they would love its rawness. It’s really relatable,” she says. Since their program airs in a morning timeslot, Camille is happy that it’s light in nature.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Tuesday, March 13, 2018

ACROSS 1 Luau instruments 5 Fuzzy fruit 10 Did laps 14 Toy building block 15 Pond growth 16 Raspberry stem 17 Move toward 18 Metamorphic rock 19 — Mae Brown 20 Somewhat firm (2 wds.) 22 Rang up 24 Masculine principle 26 Prune off 27 Courteous 31 Comes before 36 Organic acid 37 Airline to Stockholm 38 Ref’s kin 39 Root vegetable 42 Main part 45 Omelet ingredient 46 Region of India 48 Memento 49 Went back into business 52 Day one 53 QB — Manning 54 Fjord port 57 Trouble brewing

60 Survive (2 wds.) 65 Seized 66 Home with a dome 69 Big Dipper bear 70 Altar area 71 Hamburger extra 72 Malamute’s load 73 Crisis point 74 Zany 75 Actress — Sedgwick DOWN 1 Arm bone 2 Hull bottom 3 Major Hoople’s word 4 Painful 5 Vermicelli 6 Ms. DeGeneres 7 Ottoman official 8 Family pet 9 Unmindful 10 Abrasion 11 Mournful cry 12 Before 13 Middle Ages quaff 21 Chute fabric 23 Gold medal org. 25 Location technique: abbr. 27 Prank

28 Reflection 29 Zodiac sign 30 Those in office 32 “Norma —” 33 Slam — 34 Intro giver 35 Ran up bills 40 Spark plug’s system 41 “The Raven” author 43 Kind of pigeon 44 Years on end 47 Tumult 50 Snuck a look

51 Chicago Loop trains 55 Fire 56 A little crazy 57 Idaho neighbor 58 Uh-uh 59 Sub — (secretly) 61 Evening 62 Yves’ airport 63 Net surfer 64 Mock fanfare (hyph.) 67 Dik-dik cousin 68 Found a perch

“We need more love and comedy more than anything else. We go through lots of difficulties everyday so it would help if what you see on television is just light and will put a smile in your heart,” she ends. *** Even if his physique has remarkably improved due to his gym routine, Kapuso talent Jeric Gonzales admits he still feels awkward posting his shirtless photos on social media. “I’m still working on my abs, that’s why. At present, I just have four. Six is the ideal, right? So I still need to achieve that,” he laughs. The lad discloses that he’s not the type who would post shirtless photos on his social media accounts. “I post photos while I’m doing workouts in the gym but not shirtless

ones. Well, to each is own, right? Maybe, I’m just basically shy.” For Jeric, this is one way to avoid receiving negative comments from netizens. He believes it’s inevitable that you’ll get compared to those who have chiseled physique. “You might suffer in the comparison in the process. It’s better to keep a low profile rather than receive flak from people,” he beams. Meanwhile, Jeric is presently happy to be part of the hit prime time offering Kambal Karibal headlined by Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix. “I’m so proud that we’re doing good ratings-wise. For a couple of times during road shows, people call me ‘Parekoy.’ It means they’re really watching! Because of this show. Many avenues of opportunities opened for me. I hope the public will support us continuously until the end,” he concludes.

Camille Prats and Neil Ryan Sese in 'Ang Forever Ko'y Ikaw.'

Nickie Wang, Issue Editor



The Filharmonic to perform at ‘Warriors Filipino Heritage Night’ DALY City, CA—After the much applauded performances of Bantay Bata Voices and Concert King Martin Nievera, ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC) is bringing in the Filipino American a capella singing sensation, The Filharmonic, to sing the U.S. national anthem at the Warriors Filipino Heritage Night presented by Tanduay Rum on March 25 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The Filharmonic—composed of Southern Californians Jules Cruz (Vocal Bass), Joe Caigoy (Tenor), Trace Gaynor (Tenor), Niko Del Ray (Beat Boxer) and VJ Rosales (Tenor)—showcases pop, R&B and ‘90s nostalgia vocal harmonies that attracted the attention of Hollywood. This resulted in appearances in NBC’s The Sing-Off National Tour, Universal Pictures’ hit movie, Pitch Perfect 2, and several guest performances on CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden. The youthful and energetic group (except for Niko who flew in from Los Angeles later in the day) and their manager Rose Buado dropped by the San Francisco Bay Area recently for a show in San Jose and to visit the TFC office in Daly City, to shop at the TFC store and to guest on TFC’s daily news show, BA and the weekly magazine talk show, Adobo Nation.

CNN Philippines unveils lineup of new hosts, on-air offerings

The 2,000-year-old terraces, a series of tiered rice paddies carved into the mountains of Ifugao, face deterioration due to commercialism. Photo from

GREEN SONGS for Banaue Rice Terraces By Nickie Wang Images By Sonny Espiritu


AN an environmentallymotivated music save the Banaue Rice Terraces from further degradation? Sportscaster Charles Tiu

A LINEUP of seasoned journalists and industry experts have joined CNN Philippines’ new roster of TV hosts. Senior journalist Cherie Mercado joins the network as anchor of the prime-time news program, Newsroom at 9 p.m., from Monday to Friday. Having worked with some of the major networks in the country, Mercado comes to CNN Philippines with more than 20-years of journalism experience under her belt. Most recently, she served briefly as Assistant Secretary for the Department of Transportation, focusing on research, development, and implementation of national projects. Mercado says “I’m looking forward to being a part of the CNN Philippines family and working with some of the best in the industry. I hope that I could contribute to the organization from my years of working on the field, reporting, producing, and also from seeing things from the perspective of government.” Meanwhile, basketball coach and PBA analyst Charles Tiu now hosts the award-winning program Sports Desk airing weekdays at 10 p.m.. Tiu had served as a sports analyst for the program for a few years. Entrepreneur Michael Alimurung is set to host CNN Philippines’ upcoming weekly business program, Business Roundup, airing this month. A business consultant, director and member of the academe, Alimurung is currently the Dean of the Millerret School of Business and Management for Women in Assumption College, and is the founder of, an initiative that aims to transform the Philippine non-profit sector. Business Roundup airs in March. Tune in to CNN Philippines on Facebook ( cnnphilippines), via live streaming at, and on free TV Channel 9 for the channels newest offerings.

Efforts to help save the worldrenowned Banaue Rice Terraces from further deterioration has shifted from physical rehabilitation to cultural awareness via an international music competition organized by Universal Harvester, Inc., together with the local government of Banaue. Called the 2018 Banaue International Music Composition Competition, the music event invites composers around

Ifugao performers join the launch of 2018 Banaue International Music Composition held at Makati Shangri-la.

The composers will rehearse their pieces with the orchestra selected by Toledo in Banaue Hotel, which will be open to the public. During the immersion, they will be allowed to revise their composition for the semi-final round. The grand showcase of their works will take at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on July 25. The competition is open to all composers and there are no age and nationality restrictions. “However, applicants should be at least at the early stages of their professional careers,” Toledo noted. Applicants must send a 10 to 15 minute work for symphony orchestra, single or multi-movement work. Each composer may submit only one score. For complete guidelines visit https://


Dr. Vicki Belo and Alden Richards surprise kids at PCMC INSTEAD of doing what every other person does on Valentine’s Day, doctorto-the-stars Vicki Belo and matinee idol Alden Richards tweaked their Day of Hearts celebrations a bit by deciding to spend time with children afflicted with cancer and their families to spread cheers, joy and love to them. The celebrity doctor, accompanied by Alden, surprised at least 70 children at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in Quezon City with food, toys, hygiene kits, coloring books, pillows, and other learning materials. The duo visited the Children’s Cancer Ward, went from room to room checking up on the kids and their parents. The Children’s Cancer Ward was actually donated by Dr. Belo, in the name of her parents, Ike and Nena Belo. During the occasion, she also gave a 40-ich TV set for the patients, their families and the health workers at the Hematology Ward. It came with a DigiBox for their enjoyment. You see, Dr. Belo understands that every bit of entertainment the patients and their families can have is much valued as they battle life and death situations daily in this hospital. At one point, Dr. Belo and Alden became emotional after talking to Andre, a boy in very critical condition. The two offered prayers for Andre and his parents. The two celebrities were also touched after talking to a number of kids who shared with them their dreams and ambitions. Adrien, 9, diagnosed with leukemia, told them he wants to be a singer. He even sang a few lines for the two. Zamzam, a shy 10-year old also afflicted with leukemia, wants to become a doctor to help cure the sick. Dr. Belo shared on her Instagram account how she felt after visiting the kids. “It was indeed, a Valentine’s Day well spent. I always believed that time is the greatest gift a person can give and I ‘m so honored that these kids gave me a few hours of their precious time. Thank you, thank you. You‘ve really touched my heart. Thank you as well to Alden for cheering the kids at the PCMC. It meant a lot to them.” Continued on C3

Business woman and farmers advocate Dr. Mila O. How

the Philippines and all over the globe to create Banaue-inspired symphonic works, which revolve around its people, traditions, landscapes, unique rituals and dances. “We want to let the world know that the Philippines is home to great wonders not just in terms of natural resources but also in inspiring talents from all over the world,” Dr. Milagros O. How of International Harvester said during a media launch held at Makati Shangri-la on Thursday. Dr. How, through the competition, aims to create awareness of the current situation of the heritage site and encourage people to participate and help restore and maintain its magnificence.

The biggest of its kind in the country, the competition has already attracted composers from several countries who have signified their intention to submit their entries. Competition chairman Maestro Chino Toledo said that they have already received queries from Canada, Colombia, France, Italy, China, Russia, Armenia, Malaysia, Greece, the US, South Africa, and Hong Kong. He added that USD 12,000 is the grand prize and a consolation prize of USD 6,000 will be given to the finalists. Twenty selected composers will be part of the Banaue Immersion Program where they will have a week to experience local culture and music.

Alden Richards and Dr. Belo pose for souvenir photo with the doctors and nurses of PCMC Cancer Ward.

Manila Standard - 2018 March 13 - Tuesday  

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

Manila Standard - 2018 March 13 - Tuesday  

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