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VOL. XXXII • NO. 303 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018 • •

Palace airs doom for federal charter Warns Congress people may reject its draft Cha-Cha

‘Parking’ budget scheme bared By Maricel V. Cruz SORSOGON Rep. Deogracias Ramos Jr. on Friday confirmed that several district and party-list lawmakers are “parking” funds outside their congressional districts. Ramos said the initial P2.7 billion worth of infrastructure projects in his district ballooned to P5 billion after some of his colleagues parked their allocations with him. “There were congressmen or party-list [representatives] who parked their allocations [with] my district... meaning they added their allocation to my district,” Ramos said. One party-list lawmaker parked P1 billion released for Next page infrastructure with his district.

By Nat Mariano and Maricel V. Cruz


HE Palace said Friday that Congress should heed the advice of former Chief Justice Reynato Puno about the proposed federal charter, saying the public might end up rejecting the draft charter approved by the House of Representatives if they did not.

BUDGET Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Friday he would snub future hearings of the House of Representatives on alleged anomalies in the proposed 2019 national budget and simply send written replies to their questions because lawmakers were being “disrespectful.” “They have crossed the line. They have been disrespectful. They did not give me a chance to answer their questions so next time I will just send a written report,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying. Diokno was invited to the Question Hour on Dec. 11 to explain the P75-billion insertions in the 2019 budget. The next day, the House urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider Diokno’s appointment. But the Palace said the President will not allow Congress to disrespect his Cabinet members. In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

“Congress should listen to former Chief Justice Reynato Puno and open themselves for amendments. That should be considered,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a Palace press briefing Friday. “Otherwise, there might be the danger of people rejecting the proposed amendment to the Constitution. That would be a waste of people’s money.” Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte himself vowed to campaign against the ratification of a proposed charter if it was “against the interests of the people.” “Should Congress introduce amendments to the Constitution, when they meet as a constituent assembly, and it is against the interest of the people, he will campaign against the ratification of that proposed draft of the Constitution,” Panelo added. In an interview with ANC, Puno, chairman of the Consultative Committee, said the committee members agreed

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Diokno slams ‘rude’ treatment

By Nat Mariano

Cops arrest Faeldon’s son, 4 others in Naga drug raid By Francisco Tuyay

Gov’t to unlock lock-in period on cellphones By Darwin G. Amojelar THE Department of Information and Communications Technology has ordered the National Telecommunications Commission to promulgate rules and regulations for telecoms

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POLICE arrested a son of Bureau of Corrections Director General Nicanor Faeldon and four other people during a drug raid in Naga City on Friday morning. Reports said Nicanor Faeldon Jr., 32, was arrested after policemen barged into a drug suspect’s house on San Miguel Street in Mabolo village in Naga City around 5 am. Faeldon Sr. said Friday he would resign and kill his son if it was proven he was involved in the illegal drug trade. “What I can assure everybody is if my son is involved in any way, I will resign immediately and hunt him down. I would kill that idiot if he was involved,” Faeldon told ANC television. Malacañang said an impartial investigation was in order

THE GRAY MATTER. The 5-foot-10 January-born Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray, Miss Universe Philippines 2018, jockeys for position in the swimsuit competition during the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok on Thursday, and in the evening gown competition (right). Catriona, a television host, singer, and model, hopes to become the country’s 4th Miss Universe following Gloria Diaz (1969), Margarita Moran (1973), and Pia Wurtzbach (2015). AFP

following the reported arrest of Faeldon Jr. “We assure [everyone] that there will be no whitewash on the ongoing investigation in adherence with the administration’s firm resolve to curb illegal drugs in the country,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement. Faeldon Jr. aside, the Naga City police also reported the arrest of a certain Russel Lanuzo Bermudo alias Bubbles, 47, a businessman; Allan Valdez, 44, of Sampaloc, Manila; and Manuel Nebres, 39. Supt Errol Garchitorena Jr., chief of the Naga City Police intelligence unit, said the authorities found no illegal drugs on Faeldon Jr. Faeldon Jr. was reportedly visiting his girlfriend who is a daughter of Lanuzo at the time of the raid. The police reported the seizure of seven pieces of suspected shabu at Next page the suspect’s house.

Gray’s ‘slo-mo twirl’ wows netizens

IT WAS the “slo-mo twirl” that left mouths agape across the world, and certainly left fans of Catriona Gray, the Philippines’ bet in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant, in awe. Strutting on the catwalk in the swimsuit competition of the beauty pageant

in Bangkok, Thailand, Gray stopped for a half-second, spun to her left, and let her long, straight hair whip around her as she smiled again to the audience. The video of the 24-year-old Next page

Security concerns hobble intel project By Macon Ramos-Araneta THE Senate is likely to remove the funding for the P20-billion surveillance and monitoring project of the Interior department with a Chinese firm due to security concerns, Senator JV Ejercito said Friday.

In defense of the DILG’s budget, Ejercito, vice chairman of the Senate’s finance committee, warned that would happen if some government agencies would fail to justify the project. “Some senators will introduce Next page

HONORING A MEMORY. Young boys from Eastern Visayas stand in front of a wall with the inscription of the names of both US and Philippine soldiers who died during a conflict in 1901, displayed at the town plaza in Balangiga, Eastern Samar on Friday, a day before the formal ceremony to return three bronze church bells taken by US troops at the time but returned to the Philippines on Dec. 11 by the US government. AFP



saturday, december 15, 2018

‘Duterte call hastened bells’ return’ By Nat Mariano


RESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s public pronouncements “triggered” the return of the Balangiga bells by the United States to the Philippines, the Palace insisted on Friday while the 73-year-old leader himself refused to bask in such success.

from their historical and rightful habitat, which is the Parish Church of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, Diocese of Borongan,” said Rev. Crispin Varquez, the bishop of the Diocese of Borongan. Varquez’s statement came after Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri filed Senate Resolution 965 seeking the transfer of one of the three Balangiga Bells to the museum, saying the youth and the general public would be “informed of the historical significance of the said religious artifact.” In his speech in Las Piñas City on Thursday evening, the President stressed that no one should ever claim success for the return of the bells to its original place. “Now, let me be very clear on this, here and now. The credit of the return of the Balangiga does not belong to any worker or officials of government. The return of the bells was upon the demand of the Filipino people,” Duterte said. “Nobody but nobody should ever claim success for that.” According to Panelo, the President’s recent statement showed sincerity in up-

holding sovereignty through the use of diplomacy as a leverage to achieve what the country rightly and truly deserved. “If there’s stressing that all of PRRD’s actions are based on the constitutional address to him to serve and to protect the people. Nothing more, nothing less,” he said. In his State of the Nation Address in 2017, the President himself called on US officials as he demanded the swift return of the bells, explaining that the bells form part of the country’s patrimony. He also reiterated that the Philippines would not forget the massacre committed by the American soldiers against Filipinos in Balangiga in 1901, stressing the passage of time could not cure an act of injustice. For his part, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the return of the three bells to its origin would be a time for closure and healing between the two nations. The US government, on the other hand, said the return became possible after the federal law prohibiting the return of war memorial items, including the bells, had expired. With PNA and Ronald Reyes

“It was the President’s call that triggered the series of meetings that finally resulted into the coming home of the Balangiga Bells. But this is not to say that the attempts were all futile. To us, it was just like a ladder—it was a step that finally reached the pedestal,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in his Palace press briefing Friday. But Panelo noted that Duterte’s refusal to take credit for the successful return of the historic church bells to the country highlights the latter’s “action-oriented and no frill public service marked by humility.” “He gives credit to all Filipinos under this administration and it is our desire as a community which motivates him to perform his best,” he said. “While we act in accordance with the President’s actions, he acts pursuant to his, and of course to the public’s, always,

interest and welfare,” Panelo added. In related developments: * The Bells arrived in Guiuan, Eastern Samar at 10:28 am Friday, an official of the Philippine Air Force said. “The C-130 aircraft carrying the bells left Villamor Air Base at 8 am and arrived in Samar at 10:30 am),” Maj. Aris Galang, PAF public affairs office chief, said. Before sundown, the Bells were reported on their way to the church in Balangiga two hours away from Guiuan. * The Roman Catholic Church and Tingog Sinirangan party-list expressed their opposition to a Senate proposal to keep one of the historic bells in the National Museum instead of returning it to Balangiga. “We, the Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese of Borongan collectively object and strongly stand against the transfer of one or all of the Bells of Balangiga


ADB approves $408-m package to rebuild Marawi

demanded respect from the lawmakers after Diokno was grilled during Question Hour at the House. “He will not allow any member of the Cabinet or any member of the military, policemen, and officials who are invited to a committee hearing to be treated with disrespect,” Panelo said? Friday. He said it was “elementary” for members of one branch of government to give respect to the officials of another branch. “As we have repeatedly said: while we respect the independence of each branch, it is elementary that these branches must accord respect to each other,” the Palace official said, reading out the joint statement of Duterte’s Cabinet members expressing dismay over the Congress’ treatment on the Budget chief. “Every time members of Congress are invited by the President or when they make courtesy calls, they are accorded due respect. And so, we, of course, demand the same respect when they invite members of the Cabinet – and for that matter, any worker in the government,” Panelo added. “They should exercise the demands of ethical refinements. Meaning to say, we should be exercising courtesy and civility with each other in the manner by which we perform our constitutional duty,” he continued. Panelo described Andaya’s manner of questioning Diokno “arrogant.” “We saw the video in the news and we saw how arrogantly he threw questions at Secretary Diokno and how he mocked him,” he said, reminding lawmakers that government officials should not be put in a bad light as they were there to shed light on certain issues of national concern. “This un-parliamentary behavior has no place in the hallowed grounds of Congress, where members are referred to as ‘honorable’ as they represent their districts or sectors. There is no honor in browbeating a fellow worker and officer in government,” Panelo added. With Macon Ramos-Araneta and Rey E. Requejo

By Julito G. Rada

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amendments. If not satisfied with documents and information submitted, [there’s a] big chance it will be taken out because of national security issues,” Ejercito said. The DILG together with China International Telecommunication Construction Corp., an affiliate of China Telecom, will implement the surveillance and monitoring project. At the request of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate finance committee head Loren Legarda asked the National Economic and Development Authority to submit documents pertinent to the Safe Philippines project that aims to install 12,000 closed-circuit television cameras in Metro Manila and Davao City. During the budget deliberations, Recto said the contract was signed by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and the chairman of China Telecom, a partner of Mislatel that could be the country’s third telecoms service provider. He raised an alarm over the project as, according to his sources, the equipment to be used would be provided by Huawei, which appeared to be banned in many countries due to hacking allegations. “Would there not be a security threat if we allowed China Telecom to be part of a surveillance system of the DILG and the PNP?” Recto said.

THE multi-lateral lender Manila-based Asian Development Bank on Friday approved a financing package worth $408 million that will assist the government in rebuilding and rehabilitating the wartorn Marawi City in Mindanao and help residents regain their livelihoods. In a statement, the bank said the Emergency Assistance for Reconstruction and Recovery of Marawi package includes a $300-million quick disbursing loan to finance selected programs, projects, and activities under the government’s Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program covering local governance and peacebuilding, housing and settlement, business and livelihood, and social services. A second loan of $100 million will finance the reconstruction and rehabilitation by the Department of Public Works and Highways of damaged infrastructure in the city, including about 25 kilometers of roads and 1,700 meters of bridges and viaducts. “The infrastructure will be built back

Palace... From A1

not to endorse the House resolution, calling it as a disaster for the country’s democracy. “They did not create a federal government. They did not create districts. It’s a bogus federalism... Congress will have a monopoly of power in creating these states,” he added. The Palace-backed committee even agreed to inform the public about the defects and deficiencies of the House draft. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading its version of a draft federal charter, which is significantly different from the draft prepared by Puno’s panel. Among its controversial provisions are the removal of the ban on political dynasties, lifting of term limits for lawmakers, and adding “lawless violence” as a ground for the declaration of martial law apart from actual rebellion and public safety. The proposed charter also requires college degree for those who aspire to be president, vice president, senator or congressman in the future unless they have been elected to those positions under the 1987 Constitution.

Gov’t... From A1

entities to mandatory unlock phones and devices after their lock-in period. This pro-consumer policy came after the DICT issued Memorandum Order 004, Series of 2018, on Dec. 14, 2018. It gives telecoms subscribers the option of changing between compatible wireless service providers. The memo says subscribers who have

Gray’s... From A1

model’s performance went viral online, as pundits bolstered her standing as one of the early favorites to win the crown. It didn’t hurt that Grey’s walk in the long gown competition was equally enthralling, as she wore an orange flowing number inspired by the mythical “ibong Adarna” co-

better, climate resilient, and will incorporate gender-responsive and inclusive physical design features to enable safe use by women, children, elderly, and people with disabilities,” the bank said. The bank said many internally-displaced people are slowly returning to Marawi and surrounding municipalities after the five-month siege in 2017. The delivery of basic utilities, social services, and educational resources for children of IDPs have yet to catch up with the needs of residents. “We hope that through this new ADB loan and grants package, we can help transform Marawi into a thriving economic center in southern Philippines, where people live in peace and prosperity,” ADB vice president Stephen Groff said. Last month, Groff led a team of ADB staff on a visit to Marawi City to meet with local officials, residents of a transitional shelter, and students at a temporary school, and to see firsthand the damage in the city center. Groff said in his interaction with Marawi residents, they expressed their desire

for a better future for their children. In addition to the loans, ADB will provide $8 million in grants to restore and rehabilitate water supply systems in 19 barangays (villages). A portion of the grants will also construct local health units with facilities that meet or exceed national standards, procure mobile medical clinics, scale up emergency employment programs and livelihood programs, and deliver primary education in indigenous peoples communities. ADB country director for the Philippines Kelly Bird said it was essential that the programs be implemented and rolled out quickly with the government’s recovery plan in place. “It’s important to focus on helping young Maranaos regain a sense of normalcy in a safe learning environment, which they are longing for,” Bird said. Bird said a key component of ADB’s grants assistance would equip temporary learning places with better equipment and resources. Maranaos will also be provided with culturally-sensitive psychosocial support and peace education.

“The process followed by the House in proposing the change in our Constitution is defective. They were treating the Constitution as if it is a piece of ordinary legislation,” Puno said, adding that the House draft failed to mention the Bangsamoro and Cordillera regions, which he said was “a fatal omission.” The Puno-led Consultative Committee’s draft charter proposes 18 federated states with powers to impose taxes and generate their own revenues, mandatorily banning the establishment of political dynasties in the country. The President has been promoting the shift to a federal form of government to address the country’s economic issues, power unevenness, and armed conflicts in Mindanao. Duterte had earlier announced that he would step down from his post once the proposed federal charter has been ratified. Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, however, defended the House draft, saying it was the most practical and cheapest way of amending the 1987 Constitution. “While we respect the observations made by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, they are sadly misplaced,” Veloso said. He said the House version to push for a constituent assembly was more practical than a costly constitutional convention with elected delegates.

Veloso, a former Court of Appeals associate justice, also said their draft was a “compromise solution” that offered a gradual and progressive system of federalizing the regions. Puno’s proposal for 18 states was just too expensive, he said. “The Consultative Committee version attracted so much attention from the economic managers because it’s very expensive,” Veloso said. He also defended the removal of term limits by saying it would not prohibit the reelection of “outstanding public servants and legislators.” “The argument that the House only acted in its best interest by removing the term limit provisions of the 1987 Constitution is absurd,” he said, noting that the 1935 Constitution did not provide for term limits either. Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, said the Senate would not be rushed into acting on the House draft charter. “There is a consensus amongst senators, whether in the majority or the minority, Charter change and the proposed shift to federalism hve far-reaching and serious economic and political consequences, and therefore cannot be rushed,” he said in a statement. Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the proposed Charter change was “dead in the water.”

completed lock-in periods and have no outstanding obligations on their subscription contracts can demand to mandatorily unlock their phones and devices on convenient sites, facilities and processes that will be provided by their respective wireless service providers. “This is an additional Christmas gift of this administration to the Filipino telco subscribers,” DICT acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said. “While we empower the industry through the entry of the new major

player, we are also pushing for pro-consumer measures. This is also a step to encourage our service providers to innovate on their offers.” The DICT ordered the NTC to draft the Memorandum Circular for the memo’s appropriate rules and regulations and conduct consultations and hearings. As of the end of September, Globe Telecom had 2.5 million postpaid subscribers, while Smart and Sun had 1.4 million and 975,000 subscribers, respectively.

designed by her and Mak Tumang. Gray is hoping to win the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe crown after Pia Wurtzbach in 2015, Margie Moran in 1973, and Gloria Diaz in 1969. She had already placed in the top 5 of the 2016 Miss World pageant. A victory by the Filipino-Australian stunner would also help the Philippines move up the rankings among the countries with the most winners in the Miss

Universe pageant since 1952. The United States currently tops the list with eight queens, while Venezuela has produced seven winners. Puerto Rico has five, and the Philippines is currently tied with Sweden, which has also won the event thrice. The Miss Universe 2018 coronation night is on Monday, Dec. 17, and will be aired live on ABS-CBN channel 2 starting 8 a.m. Speaking to ABS-CBN News on Fri-

Bersamin eyes ‘respectable’ PH judiciary SUPREME Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, aiming to restore the image of a previously “respectable” judiciary, has reminded our employees to observe proper dress code and decorum during office hours. “It’s high time we went back to that image of the judiciary that is very respected, the judiciary that is conscious of its place in the society,” Bersamin said at the Quezon City Hall of Justice last Wednesday. Apart from prescribing rules on attire, Bersamin, appointed to the highest judicial post last month, said court employees should also not be seen using their cellphones or shouting in public areas of the courts. Bersamin, the first chief justice from Abra, urged court employees not to wear t-shirts at work. Women wearing collarless shirts should put on a blazer, while men should only wear collared tops, Bersamin, who will retire in Oct. 19, said, adding “and no loud colors, please.” During the Supreme Court’s Christmas party on Friday, Bersamin also stressed the need for individual changes to achieve reform in the judiciary. As an example, he said using Facebook and one’s cellphone during office hours reduced time that should be spent on duty.

‘Parking’... From A1

“Then there was another congressman, I do not know where he got the funds but he gave my district P500 million, then another added P300 million. I don’t know where they got it,” Ramos said in interview. Ramos declined to identify the lawmakers, however, saying he discovered the irregularity only after the 2018 budget was approved. He said he did not bother to return the funds because his province needed the infrastructure funds. Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said the House would look into Ramos’ revelations. Andaya on Friday said he believed Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno single-handedly orchestrated budget insertions amounting to P75 billion in the proposed 2019 national budget without any approval or instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte. “The President has spoken. He has no hand in the identification of infrastructure projects inserted by the DBM in the national budget,” Andaya said. He added that Diokno should prepare to explain to lawmakers the “mysterious” appearance of the insertions. “The message of President Duterte is clear: identification of projects and disbursement of budget allocations is the work of his Cabinet. He is not, in any way, involved in the budget process,” Andaya said. “The President’s statements speak volumes. Those who hide behind the mantle of the presidency, invoke his name for actions he knew nothing of, withhold information from him, should take the cue,” he added. He also quoted the President as saying that he took care only of appointments and policies. Andaya earlier warned that the government could be accused of swindling legitimate contractors by failing to settle P100 billion in payables when Diokno was making P75 billion in insertions into the 2019 budget.

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A statement from the Camp of Faeldon Sr. said he was awakened hours after the arrest of his son. “I am totally clueless on that incident as neither my son nor the police authorities have contacted me,” Faeldon said in a statement through his spokesman and legal counsel Jose Dino Jr. “Let the ax fall where it may,” Faeldon Sr. said. With Rey E. Requejo and Nat Mariano

day, Gray said preparing for her pageant walk has been “a very slow process” that started way before she competed in the local Binibining Pilipinas tilt. “It’s been a process ever since before Binibini,” Gray said. “I’ve been training with my mentor, Carlos Buendia.” “It’s just been a very slow process. Why? Because it really evolves as time goes on, and you start to change the way you walk.”




Imee wants expanded 3Ps for farmers By Rey E. Requejo


LOCOS NORTE Gov. Imee Marcos on Friday bewailed the marginalization of farmers and fishermen in the government’s multi-billion-peso Pantawid Pamilya Program. “Many of our farmers and fisherfolk are not included in the barangay lists of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program [4Ps] recipients even if they are the poorest of the poor because they reside in far flung communities hardly reached by welfare

programs and are rarely visited by government social workers,” said Marcos, the only local executive running for senator in next year’s midterm elections. The 4Ps is a human development measure of the national government

that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children aged 0-18. It is patterned after the conditional cash transfer schemes in Latin American and African countries, which have lifted millions of people around the world from poverty. The Department of Social Welfare and Development is the lead government agency mandated to implement the 4Ps. This year, DSWD got a budget of P89 billion to implement its flagship program. “Farmers and fisherfolk are the most

vulnerable to adverse climactic conditions. Walang ani, walang nahuhuling isda, walang kinikita pag tag-ulan o bumabagyo. So they do not earn enough to feed their families and improve their living conditions,” she added. Marcos strongly proposed that a new program, “Pantawid Kita,” specifically for the benefit of farmers and fisherfolk, must be created as a distinct component of the Pantawid Pamilya program to provide monthly basic income to farmers and fisherfolk in such amounts equivalent, at least, to those given to regular 4Ps beneficiaries.

Caraga police ordered to be on alert vs NPA By Francisco Tuyay POLICE units and personnel on or off duty in Caraga region were ordered to observe high-level of security against possible abduction by armed partisans of the communist New People’s Army, according to Philippine National Police spokesperson Chief Supt Benigno Durana on Friday. Durana said the Caraga Police Regional Office reiterated the warning after it uncovered plans by the CPP/NPA to take police hostages to pressure the government into declaring a Yuletide ceasefire coinciding with the 50th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26th. Police Chief Supt. Gilbert Cruz, Caraga PNP Regional Director bared this plan by the CPP/NPA following the capture of three suspects believed to be drivers of “habal-habal” motorcycles used in the murder of SPO1 Reil M Morgado of Santiago Municipal Police Station in Agusan del Norte who was gunned down on the night of Dec. 13 in an apparent kidnap attempt. Morgado was at home in Purok 4, Barangay Jagupit at 8:30 pm when he noticed some suspicious-looking men loitering around his house. When he went out to check, the suspects immediately fired at him from different directions. Badly woundled, he was able to return fire but later died due to multiple gunshot wounds. The suspects sped off after taking away the victim’s government-issued firearm and some personal belongings, An informant led police to nearby Purok 8 of Barangay Poblacion 1 where the police arrested three “habal-habal” drivers, believed to have driven the getaway motorcycles of the gunmen. Two Rusi 150cc. motorcycles allegedly used in the crime were also recovered.

Rappler dared to sue Palace after ban on reporter By Nat Mariano ONLINE news site Rappler should have taken legal action against the government if it truly believes that barring its Palace beat reporters from covering President Rodrigo Duterte’s activities is unconstitutional, the Palace said on Friday. Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the comment after Rappler’s chief executive officer Maria Ressa supposedly said in an interview that the Palace’s ban on the Rappler reporter Pia Rañada was violative of the Constitution. “By the way, Ressa, I saw her interview this morning, she was complaining about Pia Rañada being barred here and she says that it’s unconstitutional. First, we said that coming here in the Palace is a privilege. And there are, certainly, rules that should be followed by members of the Malacañang Press Corps,” said Panelo in a press briefing Friday. According to the Palace official, even if Rañada was disallowed from entering the Palace grounds to cover presidential engagements, the Palace still entertains questions from her regardless of the legal situation of her media outfit. “The fact is, you just saw, she can still ask questions and we’re still responding. She can still cover; nothing has changed except her physical presence,” he said. “And on the matter of the theory of Ressa that it is unconstitutional, if that is true, I’m wondering why she has not challenged this stand by the Palace before the courts since the incident involving a Rappler reporter has occurred several months ago,” Panelo added.

IN BRIEF Ombudsman bars Jinggoy’s HK trip PROSECUTORS of the Office of the Ombudsman on Friday advised former Senator Jinggoy Estrada to enjoy the Christmas holidays in the Philippines, instead of in Hong Kong. The prosecutors offered the advice as they opposed Estrada’s petition to the the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division to travel Hong Kong from Dec. 26 to 31. “He can better spend and enjoy the holidays here. Indeed, celebrating the holidays in the Philippines is more fun than anywhere else considering the lovely colorful practices handed down through generations that are alive and well in this wonderful country,” the prosecution led by Deputy Special Prosecutor Cornelio Somido said in the opposition. The prosecution opposed Estrada’s motion as his camp failed to provide a complete itinerary of his Hong Kong trip. Maricel V. Cruz

Israel eyes 1,000 PH hotel workers

SEASON OF CHEER. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte cheerfully extends his hand, when a daughter of one of the Presidential Security Group personnel shows a gesture of respect to the President during the PSG Command Christmas Party at the PSG Grandstand in Malacañang Park, Manila on Dec. 12. Presidential Photo

‘Angkas’ to continue operation despite SC order

By Rio N. Araja

DESPITE a Supreme Court order stopping the operation of the mobile-app based Angkas, its management on Friday stood firm on its ground to continue the ride-hailing motor bikes in Metro Manila. At a news conference in Quezon City, George Royeca, Angkas spokesperson, said that the Supreme Court "did not order the suspension of Angkas itself" but it merely lifted the court injunction issued by the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court that disallowed the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board

to apprehend Angkas drivers. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of us after we file our comment,” he said. Royeca, however, clarified they are not disobeying the high court, saying its order "is all about the injunction." “So there is no decision saying the operation of Angkas is illegal or not,” he said. He said Angkas will continue to operate. “We will continue our fight to serve commuters in the safest and most efficient way possible and help legitimize our riderpartners,” he added.

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court overruled the Mandaluyong City court and issued a temporary restraining order against Angkas. The Department of Transportation welcomed the decision and reiterated its stance against the use of motor bikes as another mode of public transportation. The LTFRB ordered law enforcers to apprehend Angkas drivers and impound their motor bikes operating as public utility vehicles. David Medrana, Angkas operations head, slammed the LTFRB for the “unjust” apprehension of Angkas drivers.

66 ASG members indicted for abduction IT TOOK almost two decades, but justice finally caught up with members of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group. Some 66 ASG members were convicted by a Pasig Court for the abduction of 52 teachers and students from two schools in Tumahubong, Sumisip, Basilan on March 20, 2000. A Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 261 judge has found the 66 ASG members guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention

charges and sentenced them to up to 40 years. It also ordered the 66, who were convicted for varying counts of the crimes, to pay P180,000 each in damages to the victims and their heirs. According to the decision which were released to the media on Friday, 20 of those accused were earlier acquitted of all 52 counts. Some of those initially charged for kidnapping were the late Khadaffy

Janjalani, Isnilon Hapilon, Aldam Tilao alias Abu Ahmad Sabaya. Also charged was Hector Janjalani (Khadaffy’s brother), but his name was not included on the list of those convicted and/or acquitted. Some of the names of the convicted Abu Sayyaf members were redacted. Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said that another promulgation of judgment is scheduled after Christmas.

THUMBS UP. Officials of ‘Angkas Riders’ display the thumbs up sign as they vowed to continue their fight to serve commuters in the safest and most efficient way possible and help legitimize their rider-partners in a press conference held in Quezon City. Manny Palmero

ISRAEL will hire more than a thousand Filipino workers to fill vacancies in its growing hotel industry, the Department of Labor and Employment said. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said at least 1,000 job opportunities in the hotel industry will soon be available for Filipinos following the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Philippines and Israel. Bello signed the labor agreement with Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin to formalize the government-togovernment partnership for the deployment of Filipino hotel workers. Vito Barcelo

Customs Cebu port earns record P27.8b THE BUREAU of Customs Port of Cebu has posted a record P27.806 billion in revenue collection for the month of November, according to Customs Commissioner Leonardo Rey Guerrero. The port, the bureau’s third largest earning district, surpassed its target collection of P27.436 billion by P370.780 million, Guerrero said Friday. Port of Cebu’s revenue collection posted as of Dec. 12 is also P6.9 billion higher than the revenue collected in 2017 for the same period. According to Cebu Customs District Collector Elvira Cruz, the revenue collection efforts of the two subports of Mactan and Dumaguete have contributed much to the collection performance of the Port of Cebu. Vito Barcelo

‘2 trees for each child’ bill moves on THE House of Representatives on Friday approved on second reading House Bill 8727, which seeks to require parents to plant two trees for every child born to them. The proposed “Family Tree Planting Act,” principally authored by Rep. Mark Go of Baguio City, declares it is the policy of the State to protect and advance the right of the Filipino people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. Under the measure, these trees shall be planted within the premises of their own home or in an area to be designated by the Barangay Council, where they reside, with the approval of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Maricel V. Cruz




Adelle Chua, Editor

The paradox of Gaudete Sunday THE Third Sunday of Advent is also called “Gaudete Sunday” which in Latin means “rejoice.” It reminds us that this season of advent is a time for rejoicing because the day of our salvation is near at hand. God has revealed himself to us by being born into this world to redeem us from the bondage of sin.

Where are we human beings in a world with so much evil and suffering?

Tomorrow’s Gospel brings us back to the narrative on John the Baptist. Continuing with his message of repentance, John exhorts the crowd to be charitable and lead upright lives. To the tax collectors, he tells them not to collect more than what they are supposed to; to the soldiers, he preaches to them not to extort and be satisfied with their wages. Indeed, John’s message never loses its contemporaneity. Even in the modern environment such as ours where each one is given complex tasks, roles and duties, the foundational truth remains i.e. to perform one’s role in accordance with the basic ethos of morality. From the highest official to the most abject, each one must perform his duty within a certain framework of morally and ethically accepted norms. There is always a consequence in violating this essential rule. In John’s own graphic words: His (Lord’s) winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and father the


wheat into his barn, but the chaff will burn with unquenchable fire.” Surely, those who choose to ignore and dismiss with contempt the standard rules of morality which is reflected in the Scriptures will make a proper accounting sooner or later. But our God is a merciful God. There is no sin so grave as to be beyond pardon. His love is infinite and unfathomable. While men’s capacity to forgive may be finite and his sense of justice often perverted, God’s love is limitless and his justice perfect. Even the worst of sinners are given every window of opportunity to reconcile with God the loving Father. The greatest of saints are sometimes, at one point in their lives, the greatest of sinners. St. Paul was a murderer. A few days ago, when I was still in Poland, I had the opportunity to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps. These places were set up by the German Nazis to implement their “final solution” for what they believed was a serious problem in Europe—the presence of the Jewish people Entering Auschwitz, I saw what welcomed its prisoners during World War II, the words “Arbeit macht frei’, a German phrase meaning “work sets you free.” The more appropriate phrase would have been: “Death shall set you Free.” Because in these camps alone (there were others in Germany and elsewhere in Europe), more than a million and a half people—communists, liberal democrats, the Roma, homosexuals, and most of all, the vast majority (9095 percent), Jews from all over Europe brought in cattle/freight cars in what is now described as holocaust trains—lost their lives here. Auschwitz was built first; in a way, it was an experiment on how to do genocide. The Nazis liked what they saw and so they built Birkenau, a much bigger camp. They were so efficient here—starting with the selection process in the railway platform where SS officers chose who would live (one out of four) and who would die. The inscription in the Birkenau Memorial (in 23 languages to represent the ethnic/national origins of those Turn to A5



HIS year’s Word of the Year, according to the Oxford Dictionaries, is “toxic.” It’s a standout choice, Oxford says, because of the sheer scope of its application. The number of people that looked up “toxic” was 45 percent more than the number that did so the previous year. The literal meaning is “poisonous,” of course, and the word has been traditionally used to describe harmful substances that damage the body. But the actual usage has been growing. Here at home, “toxic” has been used colloquially for many

years—and never in a literal sense. It could refer to anything from a punishing schedule to a relationship that has gone abusive, sour or joyless. It could describe an environment so steeped in negativity that nothing positive thrives, or a disposition that focuses, constantly, on bad things rather than good. We are not strangers to toxicity in a wider sphere, as well. The nation faces so many problems on many fronts: Soaring prices, messy public transportation, big wealth gaps, illegal drugs, persistent corruption and unending impunity, among others. These are enough to challenge even the brightest of optimists. These very real woes are

compounded by a culture of dishonesty, hatred, and intolerance. Those who do not agree with the prevailing mood are automatically branded as enemies of the people and sympathizers of the Yellow movement. Life and death are taken lightly, and words are used indiscriminately, and destructively. It’s hardly an ideal sentiment to have with just a few days before Christmas. Then again, people can choose to adopt their own disposition independent of what they see in their leaders and on the news. A conscious attempt against toxicity may just be the best present we can ever give ourselves and the people around us, this season.

A less festive Christmas season CHRISTMAS has always been the biggest and grandest holiday in the Philippines. The season is said to be the longest in the world as it starts on day one of the “ber” months—September 1. On this day, Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas in Our Hearts” is played over the radio, in malls, and other public places making it the “official” kickoff song of the season. From mid-October until November 1, it is common to see shops displaying and selling Christmas décor alongside Halloween paraphernalia, a novelty to foreigners visiting the country. 2018 is no exemption. The familiar song was played and friends were ribbing one another as September came because they said, this is going to be a different Christmas Kindness season. I think they are correct. tag. December 25 is but a few days away but the Christmas “air” has yet to be felt. Malls’ and shops’ decorations for the holidays are much less and not as grand. Many shops still do not have Christmas decorations. The streets are the same. There are much fewer holiday lanterns and lights. Take the case of Quezon City for instance, the huge Quezon City Memorial Circle and the City Hall used to be very festive and ablaze with lights of all colors, shapes and sizes. This is not the case this year. The QCMC looks almost bereft of its usual holiday trimmings. The place looks sad and dreary compared with seasons past. Homeowners also seem to be feeling less “Christmassy.” I enjoy driving around at night just to look at Christmas decorations of houses. I even take the long route to home so I can see more homes decked for the holidays. This year, I do not see much. At least where I live, it appears to me that many homes are taking a break from the holidays, or are just too busy, or lazy to put up decorations. By this time, people should be on a mad rush for their Christmas shopping. Malls should be brimming with people. However, get in one and there is hardly any crowd. I randomly talked with Grab drivers about the absence of crowds in shopping areas and all of them had the same observation. One driver told me that everyone is in Divisoria and Tanay where goods are cheaper than in

malls. He said that he went to Divisoria and it was overflowing with people. Why does this season seem sadder, less festive? Inflation may be a big culprit. Even if people want to spend, they may not have the money to do so. The significant increase in prices of goods and services resulting from the passage of the TRAIN law is very real and people, even the middle class, are feeling the pinch. I have spoken with several friends and all of them said that they are having a difficult time. Christmas this year is going to be austere for them as they try to prioritize only what they really need for the holidays. One said, “No peso can be wasted.” If my middle-class friends are taking measures to tighten their belts, I wonder how the ordinary folk in poor communities are faring. The last time I went to Payatas and Bagong Silang, I asked the women I work with how they will be spending their holidays. All, except one said that there is nothing to look forward to. They are not formally has no price employed so there is no 13th month pay or bonuses to speak of. They said that they did not know if they would have the traditional “noche buena” because there was no way to tell if they would have money for Christmas. The exception to this “rule” said that she was expecting some money from her daughter, a domestic helper in Hong Kong. No wonder, there are no crowds in malls and people are doing their holiday shopping in Divisoria. There are also those who only shop online for what they want or need for the holidays. Friends who do this said that the very bad traffic all over the metro dissuades them from going out and doing the rounds of malls. So much precious time is wasted on the road, so they take the alternative: online shopping from the comfort of their homes or offices and the purchased goods are delivered to their doorsteps. Another advantage of online shopping is one only buys what one needs or really wants. The “danger” to go on binge shopping is much less because one is not tempted to buy others things one sees in malls. This way, overspending is easier to prevent. Even food for “Noche Buena” is bought online, delivered to them cooked and ready to be served. A good friend called this her “no hassle, no cooking, noche buena.” A different Christmas has been a topic Turn to A5

The bet is on LAST week, while waiting for a friend at the coffee shop of the Manila Peninsula, I stumbled upon a news forum in one of the function rooms of the hotel which was ongoing at that time. As luck would have it, the organizers have three biggies as guests for that particular edition of their forum— Senators JV Ejercito, Grace Poe-Llamanzares and Presidential Adviser, Secretary Francis “Tol” Tolentino. Poe-Llamanzares had to leave early after delivering her usual motherhood statement on the issue at hand—traffic problems and proposed solutions. A veteran journalist called my attention and asked my personal take on Tolentino’s

Has this candidate not been making the rounds? chances in the forthcoming elections. Barely knowing the former chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority except for things I had heard and read about him, I replied that he had a fair chance of winning this time as he placed 13thin the 2016 senatorial race despite running as an independent candidate, and amid allegations of large-scale cheating. In fact, Tolentino had placed the 2016 senatorial elections

under protest, questioning Leila de Lima’s landing in the winning circle. To my surprise, the veteran journalist challenged me to a friendly bet, declaring there is absolutely no chance for Tolentino to win. Not much of a gambler, I asked the veteran journalist to give a few days as I personally check on him. Tolentino, who recently resigned as Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (so he could run for the 2019 senatorial elections), was, aside from being a former MMDA chair, also mayor of premier city Tagaytay for nine years from—1995 to 2004. He holds a ranks of Brigadier General as a reserve officer of the Philippine Army. Listening to his proposed solutions on the worsening traffic woes,I learned that he already had initiated solutions. But the authorities failed to continue implementing Turn to A5

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The significance of the return of the Balangiga bells By Ernesto G. Banawis THE return of the Balangiga bells has generated riveting interest for its historical backdrop on our relations with the United States. The bells are among the booties brought by the American soldiers who turned Balangiga into a wilderness, killing every resident of gun-carrying age in the village. The bells have no sentimental value to the American people, not even to the American soldiers who were involved in the Balangiga massacre. They can be mementos but not as prizes for gallantry of American soldiers since it was not a war in defense of their country’s freedom and independence. The Philippines did not initiate the war; it was the United States who invaded the Republic of the Philippines. The United States had no right to take possession of the Philippines. No actual battle between American and Spanish soldiers ever took place on Philippine soil. General Emiio Aguinaldo proclaimed the Philippine Republic on June 12, 1898, confident that the United States will respect the independence of the first Republican government in Asia. He was aware that the United States encouraged leaders of Spain’s colonies in South American in their struggle for independence and was always the first to recognize those who succeeded. The US recognized the independence of Argentina in 1816, Valenzuela and Mexico in 1821, Columbia and Peru in 1824, Ecuador and Uruguay in 1830 and Brazil in 1889. The surrender of Intramuros, by then the last and only remaining fort or garrison of the Spanish colonial government, to

A less festive... From A4 in several events I have gone to. Some friends interestingly asserted that the present state of the country and politics are two important factors why the holidays will be celebrated differently by many people. They alleged that because of the highly uncertain and possibly

The paradox... From A4 killed in the two camps) located at the end of the railway and just beside the gassing chamber and crematorium where thousands were killed every day is direct to the point: “For ever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity, where the Nazis murdered about one and a half million men, women and children mainly Jews from various countries of Europe.” It was difficult touring the camps, with all the mementos of cruelty and evil - the thousands of shoes of victims, tons of their hair, pictures of the condemned, etc. I had many questions, most of all why we have governments today that act like the Nazis did and why there is a resurgence of fascism in many places - including Germany and the Philippines. The massacre of the poor in our country cannot be compared to the Holocaust in scale but it is still monstrous and terrible. It bothers me greatly that many of our citizens cheer these killings. In the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps, I could not help but relate what happened there in World War II with what is and will be happening in the places that will be worst hit by climate calamities arising from

The bet... From A4 them after his stint with the MMDA. For a long-term solution and to prevent similar situation happening in the provinces in the future, Tolentino now calls for the creation of a Presidential Urban Planning Commission. I agree with this. I believe that it was the lack of urban planning that dragged Metro Manila into its present abyss of traffic problems. I checked out Tolentino’s platform and this is what I found out: he wants the Local Government Code amended to pave the way for an increased allocation of Internal Revenue Allotment based on performance and its automatic release to local government units; create a Police Youth Reserve Corps to help in peace, order and disaster response; establish and support community colleges offering courses attuned to their needs of communities where these are located; and for LGUs with the most resources to shoulder a greater part of the funding for community colleges. Meanwhile, LGUs with the least resources will receive a greater share of funding assistance from the national government. He also seeks disaster preparedness and speedy rehabilitation for greater resiliency in the face of climate change. He proposes that the national government allocate funds to a Community Rehabilitation/Recovery Trust Fund for LGUs, and then set up a well-planned system for rehabilitating communities adversely affected by natural and man-made disasters, with the assistance of

the American military contingent, must have been the basis for the US to claim sovereignty over the Philippines. But the surrender was a sham. It was secretly arranged by a Belgian consul in connivance with the colonial officials and the officers of the American military contingent. No actual battle between the American and Spanish soldiers took place. What was more ironic was that the news on the signing of the protocol, ending the Spanish-American war reached Manila three days after the capitulation of the Spanish colonial government. The surrender scenario should not have been held. But it was Jose Rizal who prophesied that the Philippines will fall into the hands of the United States. In his article, “The Philippines A Century Hence,” published on Sept. 30, 1889 issue of La Solidaridad, the country’s foremost national hero made the curious prediction that neither Germany, France, Holland, China or Japan will take interest in the Philippines once Spain’s colonial hold weakened. “Perhaps,” he wrote, “the great American Republic whose interests lie in the Pacific and who has no hand in the spoliation of Africa, may someday dream of such a possession.” It was the jingoists led by Henry Cabot Lodge. Theordore Roosevelt and the owners of media establishments who strongly advised President William McKinley to “keep the Philippines.’’ But the most influential advocate of US expansionist policy was Admiral Alfred T. Mahan, who became famous as the author of the book “The Influence of Sea Power in History.”

President McKinley ignored the protests of the Anti-Imperialist League led by Speaker Thomas Reed. When asked about the Treaty of Paris, Reed acidly remarked, ‘We just bought 10 million Malays at $2 a head, unpicked.” After the war, the United States had specific plans on what to do with Cuba and Puerto Rico but none on the Philippines. In fact, McKinley admitted that he did not even know ‘where those daned islands were.’ The Anti-Imperialists League and many Americans were opposed to the the acquisition of the Philippines as part of the terms in the Treaty of Paris signed on Dec. 10, 1898. They considered it a violation of the American Code of Morality and a desecration of the American Purpose. The Treaty was eventually passed in the US Senate by one vote, reflective of the divisiveness of the issue on the propriety of the young and robust American Republic flirting with imperialism. It took more than a decade before the United States could subjugate the 10 million Filipinos who fought valiantly in defense of their honor and independence. The return of the Balangiga bells could serve as a symbolic closure of the Philippine-American war which cost the lives of thousands of both American and Filipino soldiers and over 200,000 civilian casualties. Once reinstalled in the Catholic Church of Balangiga in Eastern Samar, the bells will serve as a memorial to the gallantry of the Samarenos who were among the last Filipinos forced to sing the Star Spangled Banner. Rizal’s prophecy became a fact of history.

volatile situation, people, especially those with money will be careful in spending their resources. The political uncertainties like charter change and federalism will make the rich take a wait-and-see attitude and will not spend as much for the holidays. The killings that continue make people nervous and will choose to stay safe. Moneyed people will probably spend the holidays outside of the country, or throw parties in secure places so they will not

have to deal with the dangers of getting randomly killed. Indeed this is a different, less festive Christmas season. Still, we should make the season meaningful by sharing with the less fortunate among us. Kindness has no price tag. Let this be our gift to one another. No matter the difficulties, I still wish everyone happy holidays!

human selfishness. I was in Poland to attend a climte conference. William Styron, the author of Sophie’s Choice, once said: “Someday I will understand Auschwitz. This was a brave statement but innocently absurd. No one will ever understand Auschwitz. What I might have set down with more accuracy would have been: Someday I will write about Sophie’s life and death, and thereby help demonstrate how absolute evil is never extinguished from the world. Auschwitz itself remains inexplicable. The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response. The query: “At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?” And the answer: “Where was man?” Where are we human beings in a world with so much evil and suffering? This is the paradox of Gaudete Sunday. We can only rejoice of we see though our sinfulness, if we confront the evil in and among us. In this Season of Joy, we can only recognize Christ in the manger if, like John the Baptist, our hearts and minds are not burdened with selfishness, greed, ambition and all forms of moral baggage that becloud our soul into seeing both majesty and mercy of Christ. We must wear the vest of charity, selflessness, trust and total dependence in God and most of all love which is the greatest of all virtues.

In these times when so much is happening around us, good and bad, Evangelist Luke is calling us to try to recognize Christ in our midst and discern his divine will. In every event that occurs in our personal lives and the life of our nation, we must pray that we will see things from the perspective of our faith in the Lord and try to understand what he is trying to tell us. As God is the God of history, he is also the God of forgiveness and providence, and most of all the God of love and joy. I ended my trip in Poland with a pilgrimage to the Jasna Gora monastery to pray before the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, origin is traced to St. Luke who tradition says painted it. In honor of the Black Madonna, the Poles sing a beautiful song, one that resonates in our country and the world today: “Madonna, Black Madonna, how it is good to be Your child, O, allow, Black Madonna, to be hidden in Your arms. In Her arms you will find peace, and you will be protected from evil, because for all Her children, she has loving heart and she will protect you, when you give Her your heart, when you will repeat these words: Madonna, Black Madonna, how it is good to be Your child; O, allow, Black Madonna, to be hidden in Your arms.”

the private sector, through appropriate tax incentives, and urban renewal programs. Tolentino is solidly behind the protection of our natural environment, the integrity of the ecology and food security, which according to him, will enable future generations of Filipinos to live sustainably. For this purpose, Tolentino is proposing the establishment of special environmental courts solely to try cases involving damages made to Mother Nature and its harmful effects on citizens. He also underscores the importance of having clean, accessible and potable drinking water, and is proposing the creation of a Department of Water Resources Management to ensure the access of all Filipinos to safe potable water. Tolentino wants children in school be automatically made direct beneficiaries of PhilHealth and educational health insurance saying this is an effective way of investing in their future and in the future of our country. Tolentino seeks greater participation and empowerment of women in the labor force as he sees this as a means to unleash their full potential for economic development, proposing womens’ statutory right to wellness and health facilities for their children. The former presidential adviser wants the establishment of a National Teachers Medical Centre to ensure their well-being. Seeing an urgent need to improved quality of life for our senior citizens, Tolentino seeks their continued education and the reintegration of those qualified and willing to appropriate positions in the labor force, and increase retirement benefits. Now, this guy as such a comprehensive

program covering most, if not all of the interests and welfare of the different sectors in our society. Who would want this man not to win? The only criticism against him, is that he is not that visible publicly, unlike other senatorial aspirants, who have been reportedly been active making rounds. Armed with this background, I began tracking down Tolentino. And since Day One, it has been the same story, either he was out of town meeting with local townfolk, or gracing events of LGU officials, including Councilors’ League, etc. When we finally met last Thursday, Tolentino was to host a Christmas Party for vice mayors and barangay officials in their old house in Ermita. I thought that was my chance to interview him. But he didn’t even have time to finish his own party as he was sheduled to meet with the officers of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines. And that eveninng, he was to guest in radio program in Hong Kong dedicated to OFWs. Friday morning, I called him up long distance as I had to beat my deadline, but even that early, he was already meeting with OFWs in Hong Kong, personally attending to their problems. So, who says Tolentino has been remiss in making rounds and making himself visible in the public? Maybe he’s just too busy attending to legitimate concerns of the people and those of the LGUs from which he hails, he does them without media fanfare. I may not had my personal interview with him but God, this guy is so serious. And we, more than him, deserve someone like Tolentino in the Senate. I’ll bet on him any day of the week and maybe twice on a Sunday.

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Ambivalent opposition foreign partnership agreement with China. First, treaties and executive agreements, to be valid and constitutional, must be ratified by the Senate. Second, some treaties or agreements, even if ratified, may nonetheless remain invalid and unconstitutional if they contain provisions in derogation of our sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interPart I est. Third, even if a treaty or agreement does not contain provisions in derogation of our THERE is much ambivalence in the stand of sovereignty, territorial integrity and national the opposition to the Joint Marine Seismic interest, it will remain invalid and unconstiUndertaking which the country entered into tutional if it contains a provision specifically with China and hurriedly joined in by Viet- prohibited by the Constitution like allowing nam at the suggestion of former Speaker Jose a foreign power to establish military bases in De Venecia. The JMSU was signed on March this country. 14, 2005. The Bayan Muna and a string of Our joint venture agreement with China to communist front organizations; the Liberal explore oil and gas is not one that is specifiParty that represents the interest of the local cally prohibited by the Constitution or would oligarchy, the foreign interest groups, and require the approval of the Senate. The area the clerics; and the Magdalo Party, a motley to be explored accordingly represents 80 pergroup of former renegade soldiers, are all cent of our exclusive economic zone—about busy creating ruckus to embarrass the Re- 142,886 square kilometers. However, that public. area cannot be treated as part of our territoThey are most vocal in articulating their rial waters where we could exercise exclusive opposition to the joint venture agreement to sovereignty and jurisdiction. Rather, the exexplore oil and gas in the South China Sea clusive economic zone which is an innovation which Noynoy renamed West Philippine Sea. introduced by the UN Convention on the Law Perhaps he felt that romanticizing it would of Sea in 1977 gave rights to countries adjaserve as his legacy, ignoring that since time cent to the sea to explore and exploit mineral immemorial, that body of water has been resources under the seabed and subsoil. known as the “South China Sea.” Admittedly, Presidential Decree. No. 1599 They raise issues that are utterly ambiva- or Establishing an Exclusive Economic Zone lent, contradictory and baseless. Principally, signed by President Marcos on June 11, 1978 they claim that the joint undertaking is un- merely complied to the new demarcation constitutional and detrimental to our national made by UNCLOS setting up a 200 nautical interest. Accordingly, the agreement is in mile-limit from the outermost baseline of the derogation of our sovereignty. Philippine archipelago as our exclusive ecoIf the issue of connomic zone. Marcos stitutionality is to be was intelligent and raised on the basis far-sighted;he did that all agreements not specify or name must be ratified by any of those islands How do we really the Senate, Section within the EEZ as 21, Article VII of the part of our territory feel about our joint Constitution states: like naming the conoil exploration “No treaty or intertested Scarborough national agreement Shoal, Panatag or agreement with shall be valid and Bajo de Masinloc China? effective unless conas ours. Marcos curred in by at least knew that a declatwo-thirds of all the ration to that effect Members of the Sencould spell trouble ate.” However, the from other claimant greatest drawback states. to this argument is our agreement to allow the Nonetheless, it was understood that the Visiting Forces Agreement signed in 2000 and Philippines had a rightful claim over that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agree- shoal applying the EEZ which is located only ment signed in 2012 to operate in this country. 140 nautical miles off Zambales. Besides, PaWe allowed the US to establish military natag Shoal or Huangyan Dao to the Chinese bases here in violation of Section 25, Article is far from the contested Spratly group of isXVIII, which states: “After the expiration in lands which is located at the southernmost tip 1991 of the Agreement between the Repub- of Palawan. lic of the Philippines and the United States of Some say, even if China insists that Panatag America concerning Military Bases, foreign Shoal or Huangyan Dao belongs to them for military bases, troops, or facilities shall not the fact that the island is outside the boundary be allowed in the Philippines except under a demarcated in the Treaty of Paris on Decemtreaty concurred in by the Senate and, when ber 10, 1898, China’s ratification of the UNCongress so requires, ratified by a majority of CLOS weakened its position from asserting the votes cast by the people in a national refer- ownership. The UNCLOS obligates China endum held for that purpose, and recognized to recognize the 200-nautical mile exclusive as a treaty by the other contracting State.” economic zone, and that means recognizing The Philippines signed these two agree- the Philippines as having prior rights in that ments which specifically are not allowed by area. Thus, if both countries are technically the Constitution unless ratified by the Sen- prevented from asserting their claim, the best ate. However, the US in both instances re- formula is to go back to the original Chinese fused to treat the VFA and EDCA as treaties formula of a win-win solution like the sharing but merely executive agreements to skip the of the fish harvest and mineral resources that constitutional requirement of having them could be extracted in the area which now apratified by the US Senate. While the Philip- pears to be working after a change of policy pine Senate complied with its constitutional by the Duterte administration. obligation, the US prodigiously stood pat to The joint venture with China does not treat them as executive agreements until the violate the exclusivity principle of the EEZ. whole issue became moot and academic when Rather, China decided to enter into a joint the Supreme Court finally declared the agree- agreement. It likely realized that most of the ment as valid. area is well within the county’s exclusive Analyzing the applicability of Section 24, economic zone, which is why it acceded to Article XVIII to the JMSU with China, the the 60-40 sharing in our favor for whatever agreement to conduct scientific data to deter- resources that may be extracted in the area. mine the location and volume of the undersea On the other hand, the motive of the oppominerals is in the words of Secretary of Foreign sition is clear, which is to derail any agreement Affairs Teodoro Locsin, Jr., an “agreement to with China. By urging the Supreme Court now agree.” Unlike the VFA and EDCA, the estab- to declare unconstitutional the JMSU agreelishment of US military bases revolves on the ment entered into by President Arroyo in 2005, physical presence of foreign forces and the use they hope to kill two birds with one stone, which of our national territory which is clearly pro- is to spoil altogether the MOU signed by China’s hibited by the Constitution. President Xi Jinping and President Duterte last If one strictly abides by the Constitution, November. there are three distinct possibilities that could happen on this issue of joint exploration and

A true public servant FORMER Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go makes the headlines without even trying. Unfortunately, my friend and kumpadre Bong has also been a favorite target of anti-Duterte propagandists. Just a couple days ago, it was reported that a tarpaulin bearing a “Merry Christmas” greeting “from Bong Go” in Silay City in Negros Occidental was taken down by the local authorities because it did not have a permit to be posted. Yup, that is actually an incident worth a front-page treatment for some antiDuterte newspapers but I have not come across a similarly sensationalized news about another senatorial candidate’s tarp or billboard being torn down. Bong, a strong senatorial contender in the 2019 elections, reportedly quickly asked his supporters to avoid putting any more political advertisement in any form. Although he appreciates such show of backing from various sectors all over the archipelago, he believes that such ads entail “unnecessary costs.” He prefers supporters might as well use their money and other resources to

extend public services to the poorest of the poor. He may have divested his official post as Special Assistant to the President but the man of the hour has not stopped being a true public servant. Without mainstream media coverage, Bong has visited one locality after the other, leading medical missions and giving relief goods to calamity and fire victims. SAP Bong strongly supports the government’s sustainable development, as well as the war versus illegal drugs. He is actually following the footsteps of the President who catapulted to power by the people’s support, unlike the “media creature” who preceded him in the Palace. Bong has quietly done so as he always did since he started “running errands” for the longtime mayor of Davao City. I have known him since, and I can attest that, if each and every public servant were to emulate the sincerity and selfless dedication of Manong Digong’s errand boy, above all his love for helping the needy and the helpless, this government will be in a much better shape. I wish my friend Bong many, many years of fruitful years in public service. Oops, I should be careful of what I wish for, as the saying goes, “Iyung mabunga, yun ang binabato. Good luck, Bai.











Fitch expects BSP to hike rates in 2019 THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas may be compelled to resume increasing the benchmark interest rates in 2019 because inflation is expected to remain above the official target range of 2 percent to 4 percent, Fitch Solutions Macro Research, a unit of Fitch Group, said Friday. The Fitch unit released its assessment a day after the policy-making Monetary Board kept the benchmark interest rates steady at 4.75 percent on Thursday, citing the slowing down of inflation that might continue in the months ahead. “We maintain our forecast for the BSP to resume its rate hiking cycle by 50 bps to 5.25 percent in 2019, as inflation is likely to remain above trend and the official target. Moreover, global risk aversion is expected to remain a dominant theme amid ongoing US trade tensions with China and the EU, and this is likely to result in further downside volatility on the Philippine peso,” Fitch said. Fitch agreed that inflationary pressures were likely to be weaker in 2019. Julito G. Rada

BoP deficit to reach $5.5b this year—BSP THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas revised upward the balance of payments projection this year to a deficit of $5.5 billion, significantly higher than the previous assumption of a $1.5-billion gap in May, on the back of bigger current account shortfall. The revision is expected to result in the gross international reserves ending 2018 at $76 billion, lower than the previous estimate of $80 billion for the year. Data showed the current account, one of the main components of the balance of payments, yielded a deficit of $6.5 billion in the first three quarters, a turnaround from the $968-million surplus registered in the same period last year. “This development was brought about primarily by the continued widening deficit in the trade-in-goods account despite the higher net receipts posted in trade-in-services, primary and secondary income accounts,” Bangko Sentral said. The BoP position registered a higher deficit of $1.9 billion in the third quarter from a $662-million shortfall in the same quarter a year ago. Julito G. Rada


Jollibee takes full control of Smashburger By Jenniffer B. Austria FASTFOOD giant Jollibee Foods Corp. has taken full ownership of US hamburger chain Smashburger after acquiring an additional 15-percent stake for $10 million. Jollibee said in a disclosure to the stock exchange it plans to put an additional capital into the Smashburger business by converting $80 million in loan into equity to fund the growth expansion of the hamburger chain in 2019 and beyond. Jollibee, through wholly-owned unit Bee Good! Inc., acquired Smashburger Master LLC’s remaining 15 percent in the hamburger chain, making it the sole owner of the Smashburger business. “We look forward to the development of Smashburger into a very strong brand and business in the United States,” Jollibee chairman Tony Tan Caktiong said. The move to take full ownership of Smashburher was in line withe company’s thrust to accelerate expansion in the US. “We look forward to replicating in Smashburger the significant brand and business development that Jollibee achieved in practically all its new and acquired businesses in the Philippines, China, Vietnam and other countries through the introduction of Jollibee’s business methods,” Jollibee chief executive Ernesto Tanmantiong said. “We are preparing for even stronger growth in the United rates with higher rate of store expansion led first by Jollibee starting in 2019 and by other brands in succeeding years. We are building the organization structure and systems to make this happen,” he added. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018


Changi group wins Clark contract T thur Tugade told reporters. Tugade was referring to the North Luzon Airport Consortium whose memHE North Luzon bers are Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc., Philippine Airport Consortium Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc. won the operations and Changi Airport Philippines Pte. Ltd. and maintenance contract The other bidder who submitted bids for the Clark O&M was X-Droid Conof Clark International sortium, which includes Angkasa Pura II, Airport’s existing Globalport 900, Mazy Capital and Desco. Clark International Airport, which passenger terminal, and is being primed to be the next premier the new terminal building gateway to Asia, will open a new terminal in the first half of 2020. set to be operational by The airport’s new terminal building 2020, the Department of is the first of the Duterte administraTransportation said Friday. tion’s hybrid infrastructure projects, and complements other high-impact legacy “I think the group of Changi airport projects in Central Luzon such as New won the bidding,” DOTr Secretary Ar- Clark City and the Subic-Clark Railway.

By Darwin G. Amojelar

Clark International Airport is the second main gateway in Luzon. The new 100,000-square-meter terminal will double its capacity to eight million passengers a year, easing the strain on Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City and boosting development of Central Luzon. Clark International Airport has an annual capacity of four million passengers. Airlines operating in Clark include Qatar Airways, Cebu Pacific, Tigerair, Jin Air, Asiana Airlines, Dragon Air, AirAsia Berhad, Philippine Airlines and Emirates Airlines. These airlines mount flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Macau, Pudong, Incheon, Doha, Dubai, Davao, Cebu, and Kalibo. Megawide-GMR earlier won the bidding for the construction of a new passenger terminal in Clark Airport when it

submitted the lowest financial proposal of P9.36 billion on Dec. 14. Megawide-GMR also won a 25-year concession agreement in December 2013 that involved the renovation of Terminal 1 of Mactan Cebu airport and the design, financing, construction, and operation of a second terminal. It submitted the highest bid of P14.4 billion. Megawide-GMR said earlier it was carefully evaluating plans to bid for Clark’s O&M contract, citing that the viability could be affected by San Miguel Corp.’s planned Bulacan airport and the rehabilitation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Megawide president and chief executive Edgar Saavedra said earlier the Clark O&M project could no longer be that attractive because of the proposed rehabilitation of Naia and the implementation of the Bulacan airport project.


Smart Communications Inc. deploys a convenient way for travelers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport them to purchase Smart, Sun and TNT products and other goods and services in collaboration with PayMaya. Smart’s Gabby Cui (from left), George Gordon, Marvin Ibañez, Janel Ng and JL Cacho pose for photo at a Smart booth at Naia 3, along with PayMaya’s Ken Tung, Genevi Leah Arellano and Aldous Brigino.

Pernia: Economy to remain strong THE Philippine economy will continue to be strong next year, backed mainly by the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the government that will be in full swing in the coming months, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said. Pernia said growth would continue amid the external and domestic risks that might threaten the economy. “If 2018 has not been easy for us, 2019 will not be bereft of challenges as well. The global growth expected to slow down starting next year. The external environment seems to be less supportive of our country’s potential economic growth in 2019,” he said. “But the resilience of the Philippine economy in 2018 will likely continue over the medium term. With key reforms scored this year, we expect the performance of the economy to be robust despite domestic and external risks. This will be supported by the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program gaining steam expected next year,” he said. Julito G. Rada

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

Big Chinese firm, SteelAsia to put up $4.4-b steel project By Othel V. Campos HBIS Group Co. Ltd., one of China’s biggest steel companies, along with Huili Investment Fund Management Co. Ltd., Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. and PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority, signed Friday an agreement to build a $4.4-billion integrated iron and steel project in Misamis Oriental province. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the latest business agreement was the biggest industrial investment from China to date. The project comprises of two phases that will generate over 20,000 additional job opportunities. “This project is very important to our industrial development of having a globally competitive integrated iron and steel industry, to support the growing economy, to alleviate poverty, and to create jobs for every Filipino,” Lopez said. Huili Investment Fund will fund the first phase of the project costing $3 billion and involving the establishment of two blast furnace plants to produce hot rolled coils to cold rolled coils. It is also financing $1.4 billion for the downstream steel requirement of the appliance sectors and the production of automotive-grade steel. The first phases will cover the production of 4.5 million tons of hot rolled coil and 600,000 tons of slabs. The project will increase its steel manufacturing capacity to 8 million metric tons under the second phase. Dominant iron and steel producer SteelAsia will provide the technology and technical backing for construction-grade steel production while PHIVIDEC will provide the long-term lease of the land as a preferred site. The integrated steel project will wean the country away from importing even small steel products, like wires, wire rods, nails and wire mesh. The project will occupy a 305-hectare land inside the PHIVIDEC Industrial estate, identified as the most strategically-located industrial zone in the Philippines for heavy industries. The iron and steel production base is also projected to provide indirect job opportunities up to 65,000 to related businesses. The Board of Investments said the iron and steel project will reduce the country’s trade deficit, with total domestic and export sales of slabs and hot rolled coils from the project estimated at P144.279 billion.




Stocks end flat; Bloomberry gains T HE stock market closed flat Friday as mild profit-taking capped early gains, weighed down by losses in the regional market.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added just 1.45 points, or 0.02 percent, to 7,524.37 on a value turnover of P6.8 billion. Gainers beat losers, 100 to 79, with 42 issues unchanged. The decision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Thursday to leave interest rates unchanged due to slowing inflation lifted investor sentiment in early trading. But investors cashed in on their gains before the close of trading. Bloomberry Resorts Corp., which operates a casino on a reclaimed part

of Manila Bay, surged 12.2 percent to P9.39, while Manila Electric Co., the biggest retailer of electricity, climbed 4 percent to P389.80. JG Summit Holdings Inc. of industrialist John Gokongwei rose 2.4 percent to P53.20, while International Container Terminal Services Inc. gained 2.3 percent to P98. The rest of Asian markets fell on Friday, putting the region on course to end a broadly positive week on a sour note with China showing more signs of weakness, while traders took their profits off the table. There was also some unease after the head of the European Central Bank raised concerns about the growth outlook for the eurozone owing to issues within and outside the bloc. Hong Kong fell 1.6 percent and Shanghai closed down 1.5 percent after data showed Chinese consumer spending grew at its slowest pace in 15 years in

November. Figures at the weekend also showed imports and exports tumbling while inflation slowed. Tokyo finished two percent lower. A survey of confidence among Japan’s big businesses showed they remain cautious, with worries about the global outlook offsetting fading concerns about the impact of this year’s major earthquakes and typhoons. Sydney fell 1.1 percent, Singapore was 1.2 percent off and Seoul shed 1.3 percent while Taipei 0.8 percent lower. Wellington and Jakarta were also down. The pound showed some resilience, even as European leaders refused pleas for help from Prime Minister Theresa May to push their Brexit deal through a fractured British parliament. Signs of easing tensions in the ChinaUS trade row helped propel equities this week, with both sides seeming to give

key concessions, fueling hopes they can eventually resolve their differences. But observers noted that dealers will remain on alert for any negative news, including further developments in China’s detention of two Canadians on suspicion of threats to national security. That move came after a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei was arrested in Ottawa. She faces extradition to the US over allegations the firm broke sanctions on Iran. On currency markets the pound was down but mostly holding its own after May’s no-confidence vote win, despite the growing prospects of Britain leaving the EU without a deal. With her agreement having no chance of passing through parliament in its present form, the PM called on her EU counterparts in a Brussels summit to give her some leeway that could get her majority support. With AFP











58.2 93.8 2.21 129 1.51 27.2 12.1 4.05 0.57 0.45 80.6 0.9 43 181 74 28.5 163 1,830 65.35

59.1 94.95 2.22 130.5 1.58 27.7 12.12 4.11 0.67 0.48 81 0.91 43.5 182 74 28.5 163 1,830 65.35

58.1 93.8 2.2 127.1 1.51 27.2 11.9 4.05 0.57 0.45 80 0.9 42.45 181 73.9 27.95 160.2 1,830 64.6

FINANCIALS 59.1 27,930 94.95 841,210 2.2 26,000 129.7 1,238,090 1.58 9,000 27.35 131,800 11.92 158,200 4.11 56,000 0.67 40,000 0.47 1,220,000 81 4,280,690 0.9 185,000 42.5 53,000 181 350 74 3,210 28 7,300 160.2 172,790 1,830 10 64.6 18,610

1,647,147 79,408,713 57,340 160,730,610 13,660 3,632,780 1,903,422 228,580 25,700 564,550 343,595,533 166,520 2,267,585 63,506 237,509 204,565 27,892,014 18,300 1,205,392.50

858,369 -2,815,083.50 -65,910,845 -10,880 -341,398 -10,260,030.50 -148,500 -724,400 18,100 -154,000 1,213,708 -1,079,241.50


33.2 17.2 1.02 1.24 0.242 100 1.93 15 30.95 37 63.05 1.76 6.89 10.42 15 8.08 7.19 19.9 64.9 25 2.19 6.14 9.08 1.85 295 4.31 27.6 10.76 18.36 375.2 0.174 5.9 1.35 4.05 8.32 6 8.27 0.99 10.98 47.9 5.6 4.75 1.92 1.34 10.28 83.2 5.26 128 1.71 1.75

33.35 17.5 1.04 1.29 0.25 100 1.94 15.7 31.85 37 63.05 1.76 7.29 10.46 15 8.15 7.45 19.9 64.9 25.1 2.24 6.15 9.13 1.86 298.6 4.31 27.9 11.1 18.48 389.8 0.175 5.98 1.41 4.05 8.32 6.06 8.3 1.01 11 48.05 5.6 4.75 1.92 1.41 10.68 83.2 5.26 129.4 1.84 1.77

32.6 17.1 1.01 1.24 0.24 100 1.77 15 30.8 37 63.05 1.76 6.58 10.24 14.76 8.05 7.11 19.42 64.05 25 2.05 6.1 9 1.79 295 4.3 27.6 10.2 18.02 373.2 0.174 5.9 1.35 3.93 8.09 5.56 8.27 0.98 10.9 46.6 5.6 4.65 1.82 1.33 10.28 80.5 5.21 128 1.71 1.72

INDUSTRIAL 33.1 1,495,700 17.28 403,000 1.03 2,854,000 1.29 180,000 0.25 1,590,000 100 410 1.82 26,440,000 15.56 1,713,800 30.8 75,800 37 800 63.05 10 1.76 40,000 6.9 482,800 10.26 4,624,800 14.76 69,200 8.08 57,200 7.26 2,323,600 19.5 2,312,400 64.5 369,380 25.1 665,500 2.05 16,180,000 6.1 12,400 9.07 400,600 1.79 390,000 298 1,378,350 4.3 83,000 27.85 233,600 10.6 645,200 18.16 3,782,000 389.8 280,430 0.175 110,000 5.98 3,100 1.4 9,977,000 4 74,000 8.18 2,944,700 5.8 732,600 8.3 17,100 0.99 3,231,000 11 112,100 46.7 287,000 5.6 7,000 4.75 30,000 1.88 574,000 1.41 10,000 10.4 688,700 82.5 1,211,470 5.25 15,600 128.5 568,780 1.84 17,056,000 1.73 7,881,000

49,539,015 6,950,812 2,917,040 225,700 390,110 41,000 48,506,090 26,585,426 2,354,565 29,600 630.5 70,400 3,390,638 47,961,984 1,024,798 461,926 16,851,027 45,516,222 23,857,887 16,637,790 34,566,370 75,745 3,628,454 711,380 409,748,330 356,970 6,492,080 6,942,434 69,522,070 107,246,494 19,190 18,338 13,568,300 296,600 24,105,672 4,203,580 141,420 3,207,660 1,230,656 13,544,085 39,200 142,050 1,072,210 13,690 7,169,490 98,674,423.50 81,810 73,057,465 30,509,620 13,721,670

-23,162,860 -1,257,534 51,300 185,840 -13,437,070 777,662 6,200 29,600 54,560 34,827,588 -35,374 4,050 633,688 28,432,534.00 -21,325,911 1,562,500 334,690 1,330,473 152,061,666 6,256,355 -697,990 -2,431,110 33,945,800 17,440 -2,738,370 -14,952,287 -397,300 -607,200 -3,513,455 -47,500 -21,780 -4,498,589 3,708,162 -1,319,800 303,500


0.62 54.45 12.16 0.82 6.5 27.6 1.42 1.4 930.5 1,261 7.32 12.86 9.9 5.19 958 6 51.95 0.57 4.18 16.82 0.63 4.72 0.038 1.18 2.3 2.6 147.5 948 0.77 450 279.8 0.25 0.195

0.62 56 12.24 0.86 6.53 28.5 1.42 1.4 940 1,261 7.4 12.9 10.2 5.19 958 6 53.2 0.58 4.18 16.82 0.63 4.8 0.038 1.25 2.4 2.6 151 962 0.77 450 279.8 0.265 0.195

0.58 53.05 12.1 0.82 6.5 25.8 1.36 1.37 905.5 1,261 7.19 12.4 9.86 5.19 944.5 6 51.3 0.55 4.01 16.52 0.6 4.7 0.038 1.18 2.3 2.6 139 947 0.77 450 271.2 0.25 0.195

HOLDING FIRMS 0.59 21,838,000 56 973,850 12.24 14,096,000 0.82 80,000 6.53 11,500 26.25 180,100 1.39 4,737,000 1.38 576,000 914 224,610 1,261 5,000 7.26 148,000 12.4 4,493,400 9.99 1,462,200 5.19 300 952.5 71,440 6 30,400 53.2 1,655,860 0.56 339,000 4.04 1,167,000 16.78 2,078,300 0.62 604,000 4.77 26,170,000 0.038 500,000 1.25 103,000 2.38 1,675,000 2.6 1,000 142 2,822,300 952.5 158,940 0.77 11,000 450 30 271.2 128,450 0.26 7,370,000 0.195 20,000

13,078,880 53,942,328 171,564,058 65,820 74,900 4,832,330 6,526,580 791,880 206,992,630 6,305,000 1,081,181 56,592,448 14,680,541 1,557 68,094,925 182,400 87,125,485 190,610 4,744,480 34,896,910 368,790 124,685,260 19,000 125,390 4,001,150 2,600 402,919,427 151,590,615 8,470 13,500 35,498,398 1,898,550 3,900

297,400 26,707,410 -63,558,088 55,310 -49,050,575 748,408 -7,407,778 254,900 12,691,560 25,182,985.50 -1,625,370 4,038,724 -215,860 -6,234,280 -2,315,400 -161,188,180 -13,705,355 544,290 12,750 -


7.75 0.78 10 0.57 42.3 2.34 3.99 6.3 0.41 0.86 0.249 0.41 8 17.8 0.48 1.45 1.04 4.8 0.41 0.47 2.37

7.75 0.86 10.58 0.82 42.5 2.34 4 6.4 0.42 0.86 0.255 0.41 8.03 18.7 0.48 1.47 1.07 4.81 0.425 0.475 2.39

7.6 0.78 10 0.57 41.6 2.25 3.95 6.3 0.405 0.86 0.245 0.375 7.98 17.8 0.48 1.45 1.04 4.79 0.405 0.47 2.3

2,290,820 8,788,510 95,512 61,115,040 303,899,980 8,814,180 1,788,570 12,670 3,526,850 8,600 711,410 590,550 1,103,820 13,599,442 350,400 2,893,000 2,885,330 73,793,340 22,136,450 42,550 35,609,090

-326,082 129,380 1,054 -188,190 70,217,620 -7,781,650 -79,730 -825,550 255,380 -1,674,522 -350,400 -88,070 -29,767,940 -731,000 -4,700 33,400








0.395 3.55 39 21 1.99 3.12 34.95 1.24 5.45 5.13

0.42 3.58 39 21.05 2.01 3.12 35.5 1.25 5.79 5.2

0.395 3.53 39 20.8 1.95 3.12 34.1 1.22 5.36 5.13

0.415 3.57 39 20.95 1.98 3.12 34.6 1.22 5.46 5.15

1,750,000 329,000 100 5,757,900 121,000 1,000 23,026,100 1,661,000 561,700 10,011,900

716,850 1,167,180 3,900 120,862,710 237,140 3,120 801,087,925 2,042,260 3,161,730 51,553,692

71,000 -98,417,725 1,980 -14,132,610 -34,950,171


16.48 20.05 1.56 0.415 0.039 3.4 8.38 74 6.7 17.5 892 2,040 5.3 316.2 3.2 96.45 10.32 7.2 0.109 5.9 3.42 14.6 3.48 0.76 14.5 0.35 5.45 2.41 2.11 3.48 8.25 3.28 114 3 1,140 0.86 0.32 42.7 76 7.59 2.35 0.75 0.405 5.29 0.68 12

16.48 20.05 1.59 0.425 0.04 3.5 9.39 74 6.7 18.48 892 2,046 5.32 325 3.25 98.35 12 7.2 0.114 5.92 3.45 14.6 3.48 0.93 14.56 0.35 5.45 2.55 2.11 3.65 8.25 3.47 114 3.27 1,146 0.86 0.36 42.7 76.55 7.65 2.37 0.77 0.42 5.29 0.72 12.2

14.72 19.66 1.46 0.4 0.038 3.25 8.37 73.4 6.54 16.5 890 2,000 5.3 316.2 3.07 95.95 10.32 7.2 0.108 5.71 3.35 14.5 3.35 0.76 14.4 0.35 5.22 2.4 1.98 3.31 7.58 3.25 113.5 3 1,134 0.84 0.32 42.35 76 7.59 2.28 0.71 0.395 5.24 0.67 12

SERVICES 14.8 19.7 1.59 0.425 0.04 3.46 9.39 73.4 6.58 16.92 890 2,018 5.32 325 3.12 98 12 7.2 0.113 5.8 3.43 14.5 3.4 0.8 14.5 0.35 5.45 2.46 2.09 3.38 7.58 3.47 114 3.12 1,140 0.84 0.335 42.5 76.25 7.65 2.33 0.74 0.41 5.25 0.69 12.1

1,891,300 50,600 4,304,000 870,000 34,400,000 11,600,000 29,436,600 146,580 1,111,800 313,600 440 28,305 68,400 430 2,565,000 5,135,640 500 9,500 3,730,000 3,894,400 68,000 200 694,000 4,652,000 1,778,800 20,000 38,600 3,241,000 298,000 4,509,000 1,700 6,000 70,150 2,098,000 66,820 5,628,000 4,700,000 4,443,900 502,270 16,800 3,357,000 31,080,000 27,660,000 379,700 8,203,000 920,600

29,030,052 1,007,677 6,722,500 359,650 1,316,900 39,179,220 262,829,959 10,775,904.50 7,336,822 5,499,124 391,880 57,303,190 362,773 138,990 8,146,000 503,151,819 5,496 68,400 418,610 22,635,852 230,170 2,910 2,357,830 4,000,730 25,788,304 7,000 207,489 8,021,780 612,700 15,661,430 13,623 19,840 7,995,680 6,586,350 76,133,075 4,746,460 1,602,150 188,994,530 38,290,848.50 128,135 7,726,280 23,036,630 11,208,550 1,993,546 5,742,190 11,112,454

-758,160 -1,043,590 130,482,394 -7,049,352.50 21,184 -241,668 124,880 9,538,060 9,360 -397,116,097.50 10,950 -1,958,230 -807,230 24,001,772 -54,170 11,930 316,740 -2,549,030 -34,293,310 51,670 42,600 -106,704,915 30,531,639 -81,110.00 5,225,900 -4,655,900 -298,614 -84,000 3,875,728


0.002 1.59 2.7 15 1.99 7.01 1.66 0.216 0.102 0.0069 1.25 2.18 1.09 0.95 0.012 0.012 3.36 2.64 15.64 24.25 0.006

0.002 1.62 2.7 15.04 2.09 8 1.69 0.216 0.102 0.0069 1.25 2.25 1.09 0.99 0.013 0.013 3.36 2.65 15.8 24.55 0.0062

0.002 1.58 2.7 14.44 1.98 7.01 1.66 0.206 0.096 0.006 1.17 2.16 1.01 0.95 0.012 0.012 3.02 2.63 15.04 23.45 0.0059

MINING & OIL 0.002 277,000,000 1.59 2,073,000 2.7 2,000 15.04 3,000 2 7,619,000 7.63 20,100 1.69 971,000 0.215 120,000 0.1 4,880,000 0.0064 169,000,000 1.25 215,000 2.16 875,000 1.07 303,000 0.98 414,000 0.013 52,600,000 0.013 22,900,000 3.02 33,000 2.64 1,615,000 15.2 1,665,500 24 3,029,600 0.0062 25,000,000

554,000 3,303,790 5,400 44,856 15,460,190 156,974 1,622,930 25,510 477,200 1,051,200 262,200 1,903,390 316,990 403,730 651,300 294,800 100,730 4,276,530 25,566,482 72,718,775 149,200

5,400 225,400 -366,780 19,810 -29,000 -2,790,310 -29,689,590 -


18.9 457 490 99 102 480 910 95 1,000 102.2 970 75.15 76.55 73.5 74.95 74 74.6

18.9 457 490 99 102 480 910 97 1,000 102.2 995 75.15 76.55 74 74.95 74 74.6

18.66 450 490 99 102 480 900 95 1,000 102.2 968.5 75.15 76.55 71.5 74.8 73.75 74.6

PREFERRED 18.7 57,700 450 6,000 490 600 99 800 102 16,870 480 70 900 1,570 95 1,400 1,000 30 102.2 100 995 2,190 75.15 600 76.55 3,670 74 530 74.8 4,080 74 510 74.6 100

1,086,282 2,716,430 294,000 79,200 1,720,740 33,600 1,413,330 134,205 30,000 10,220 2,123,950 45,090 280,938.50 38,745 305,446 37,707.50 7,460

-1,086,282 -





WARRANTS 1.98 59,000



4.41 1.35

4.45 1.39

4.36 1.26

4.4 1.27






PROPERTY 7.74 0.85 10.58 0.71 42.3 2.25 4 6.4 0.415 0.86 0.255 0.405 7.98 18.18 0.48 1.46 1.06 4.8 0.42 0.475 2.3

296,700 10,634,000 9,200 82,242,000 7,179,500 3,829,000 449,000 2,000 8,550,000 10,000 2,860,000 1,530,000 138,000 747,200 730,000 1,981,000 2,745,000 15,366,000 53,200,000 90,000 15,287,000




SHARES 9,176,969














170,000 7,750,000


746,160 10,222,610 401,575

-1,304,240 -

VALUE 1,785.55 (down) 2.56 680,413,551.66 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 10,963.00 (up) 86.06 1,278,055,891.23 HOLDING FIRMS 7,430.11 (down) 14.77 1,632,123,727.93 PROPERTY 3,641.17 (down) 7.45 1,431.07 (up) 18.71 1,715,433,745.905 SERVICES MINING & OIL 8,198.55 (down) 82.03 1,400,202,262.916 PSEI 7,524.37 (up) 1.45 129,367,995.35 All Shares Index 4,506.50 (down) 0.83 6,846,972,617.99 Gainers: 100; Losers: 79; Unchanged: 42; Total: 221

Asia Best shareholders snub Tiger’s tender offer By Jenniffer B. Austria MINORITY shareholders of Asia Best Group Inc. ignored the offer of Tiger Resort Asia Ltd., operator of the $2.4-billion integrated resort and casino Okada Manila, to buy out their shares in the company. Asiabest said in a disclosure to the stock exchange The First Resources Management & Securities Corp., which acted as the tender offer agent, reported that it did not receive and secure application to tender shares from the company’s shareholders. Tiger Resort has offered to acquire the remaining 100 million common shares in Asiasbest held by minority investors at an offering price of P3.2325 apiece in line with a planned backdoor listing. Asiabest is currently trading at P26.40 per share on expectations Tiger Resort’s fully-owned subsidiary, Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc., will be folded into the company. The mandatory tender offer, which ended on Dec. 12, was conducted after Tiger Resort entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 200 million shares in Asiabest, or equivalent to a 67-percent stake in the company, for P646 million. Okada Manila is the third integrated resort and casino to open in government sponsored Pagcor Entertainment City after Bloomberry Resort’s Solaire Resort & Casino and Melco Crown’s City of Dreams. A minority shareholder of Asiabest last week asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to stop Tiger Resorts from conducting a tender offer in connection with planned backdoor listing, citing the company’s failure to disclose a legal dispute with Japanese casino tycoon Kazuo Okada. Asiabest shareholder Carnelll Valdez in the complaint accused Tiger Resorts of allegedly violating the Securities Regulation Code when it failed to disclose in a tender offer report the intra-corporate dispute involving the major shareholder of Tiger Resorts.

SN Aboitiz eyes battery storage system in Magat By Alena Mae S. Flores SN ABOITIZ Power Corp. plans to build

a $28-million, 20-megawatt battery energy storage system facility in the Magat hydro electric power plant by 2020. “You can think of battery energy storage as a giant power bank,” SNAP Group president and chief executive officer Joseph Yu said. The facility will be used to boost SNAP’s ancillary services and standby power supply that can be tapped in case the regular supply falls short of the requirement. “With BESS, we will have a battery facility that is connected to the grid where we can withdraw power from when necessary,” Yu said. The Energy Regulatory Commission classified BESS as a new source of frequency control ancillary services. Ancillary services are designed to support the transmission of capacity and energy from resources to loads, while maintaining reliable operation of the transmission system. These services are indispensable in ensuring the reliability of transmission systems, and in securing electricity supply in the country’s power grids. The SNAP board of directors recently approved the conduct of the feasibility study in 2019 for BESS in Magat. Construction is set to start in 2020, with operations targeted by 2022 once National Grid Corporation of the Philippines approves the facility’s ancillary services procurement agreement. SNAP is also developing floating solar projects with a capacity of about 30 MW to 50 MW from the Magat dam reservoir. “We have always viewed ourselves as a renewable energy company—not just a hydro power producer,” said Yu earlier. “As a company pushing for greener solutions, we aim for minimal environmental impact as possible in our projects. We espouse a nexus approach to development, where we recognize the interdependence of food, water, and energy and optimize them for balance and synergy,” he said.




UN conference on climate set for tense final after disputes


ATOWICE, Poland―The UN talks aimed at averting catastrophic climate change are set to wrap up in Poland Friday after two weeks of heated disputes between rich and poor nations that saw countries most at risk plead for action.

VISITING THE CHILDREN. US First Lady Melania Trump reads the book ‘Oliver the Ornament’ as she visits children at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2018. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)

IN BRIEF Actress Sandra Locke dead at 74 WASHINGTON―Oscar-nominated actress Sondra Locke has died of cancer at the age of 74, US news outlets reported Thursday night. Locke died November 3 in California, the reports said, quoting a celebrity news website, Radar Online. She had been battling breast and bone cancer. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death, Variety magazine reported. Locke was also known for her decadelong personal and professional relationship with Clint Eastwood. She was nominated for the Oscar for best supporting actor for her role in an adaptation of the Carson McCullers novel “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” in 1968. It was Locke’s first movie. “I had never been on a movie set,” she told Variety in 1978, “but it was like coming home.” Locke got a big break in 1976 when she played the love interest of Eastwood in “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” Eastwood and Locke were professional and romantic partners for the next 13 years. Locke acted almost exclusively opposite him in such films as “The Gauntlet,” “Every Which Way But Loose,” “Any Which Way You Can,” and “Sudden Impact.” Locke later got into directing and she and Eastwood had a bitter split in 1989 that was marked by legal battles. AFP

Myanmar accused of Rohingya genocide WASHINGTON―The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted a resolution Thursday calling Myanmar’s expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims a “genocide.” The lower house of Congress also accused the Myanmar military of “crimes against humanity” and called for the immediate release of two Reuters journalists who have been detained for covering the crisis. The resolution was backed by 394 votes from both parties, with a single Republican opposing. The United Nations has already classified the mass expulsions of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya from their homes as a “genocide.” Members of Congress called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “determine, based on available evidence, whether the actions by the [Myanmar] military in northern Rakhine State in 2017 constitute crimes against humanity, genocide, or other crimes under international law.” It added that “all those responsible for these crimes against humanity and genocide should be tracked, sanctioned, arrested, prosecuted, and punished under applicable international criminal statutes and conventions.” In November 2017, Pompeo’s predecessor Rex Tillerson called the military’s campaign against the Rohingya “ethnic cleansing” and in August issued sanctions against four commanders and two military units involved. Since then, the State Department has been examining whether the actions of the military can be classified as genocide, a tougher, more legally binding term than “ethnic cleansing.” Vice President Mike Pence told Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi last month that the actions of the military were “inexcusable.” AFP

Strasbourg Christmas market gunman shot dead by police STRASBOURG―The gunman who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg was shot dead by French police on Thursday as the Islamic State jihadist group claimed him as one of its “soldiers”. More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt since the bloodshed on Tuesday night—the latest in a string of jihadist attacks to rock France. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said three police tried to question Chekatt after spotting him on the street in the Neudorf area of the northeastern French city where he grew up, but he opened fire. “They immediately returned fire and neutralized the assailant,” Castaner said. A source close to the investigation said a woman spotted a man fitting Chekatt’s description with a wounded arm on Thursday afternoon and alerted authorities, who sealed off the area and used a helicopter with thermal cameras to hunt for the suspect. People gathered at the police cordon where Chekatt was shot and applauded, some shouting “bravo!”, a source said. “It’s really a huge relief,” said Alain Fontanel, a local official in the mayor’s office, describing the anxiety that locals

had felt since Tuesday’s attack. “We didn’t really feel very safe,” one 18-year-old local named Arthur told AFP. The propaganda wing of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack. The perpetrator of “the attack in the city of Strasbourg... is one of the soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of the coalition” against IS, the Amaq agency said in a message posted on Twitter. Chekatt, who lived in a rundown apartment block a short drive from the city centre, was flagged by French security forces in 2015 as a possible Islamic extremist. France has been hit by a wave of attacks from people claiming allegiance to Al Qaeda or IS since 2015, which have claimed the lives of nearly 250 people, according to an AFP toll. It is also not the first time a Christmas market has been targeted in Europe. In 2016, a jihadist attacked a Christmas market in Berlin and went on the run through the Netherlands and France before being shot and killed three days later in northern Italy. AFP

Sources close to the COP24 talks told AFP that delegates from nearly 200 nations were still far apart on several issues—from adopting the latest environmental science to how future climate action is funded. Ministers must agree on a common rule book to make good on promises made by countries in the landmark 2015 Paris accord, which vowed to limit global temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). But with the starkest warnings yet from scientists highlighting the need to drastically slash fossil fuel emissions within the coming decades in order to meet the safer cap of 1.5C warming, delegates were urged to act now or condemn at-risk nations to disaster. “We are bearing the torch for those vulnerable to climate change,” Hilda Heine, president of the Marshall Islands, told the conference. “We represent a number of nations, like my own, that face extinction. Species of all kinds also face existential risk.” Dominating proceedings in the Silesian mining city of Katowice was debate around a major report by a UN body showing the clearest sign yet of the disaster awaiting mankind if politicians fail to act. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned there was no hope of meeting the Paris temperature goals unless greenhouse gas emissions were slashed to net zero by midcentury. Despite the UN climate change convention obliging nations to negotiate on the basis of the “best available science”, four nations refused to “welcome” the IPCC findings at the talks. Most nations want the IPCC science to inform the rule book and form the foundation of countries’ future ambitions on climate action. But the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait were accused of playing for

Beauty queen from slum is Miss Venezuela CARACAS―The title of Miss Venezuela went Thursday to a woman from the country’s largest slum after a ceremony that traded glitz for frugality reflecting an acute economic free fall. The new beauty queen in a country that loves this kind of pageant is Isabella Rodriguez, 25, from a Caracas shantytown called Petare—home to well over half a million people. “From Petare to the world, dreams can in fact come true,” Rodriguez, who works as a model, said during the question and answer session of the contest. Girls in her crime-ridden slum want to emulate her, she added. The ceremony lasted four hours and some people on Twitter called it tedious and boring. It had its share of gaffes, such as one contestant walking out on stage without the sash indicating what state she represented and another whose dress slipped off during a dance number. With the organizers seeking to cut costs, the 65th edition of the pageant was moved from its historic home at an arena with room for 20,000 people to a 200-seat television studio. The economy of this oil rich country is in ruins after five years of recession. People endure severe shortages of food, medicine and other basics and inflation for 2019 is forecast by the IMF to come in at a mind-boggling 10 million percent. An estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled since 2015. The economic crisis meant much of the glamor had to go this year, and some of the contestants have been turning up to rehearsals by bus or metro. AFP

time to boost their fossil fuel-dependent economies. Host Poland has also come in for criticism from green campaigners for seeking permission to continue using coal for years in spite of overwhelming data that the opposite must happen. “We do not have the comfort of time, but we have the will and we have power to achieve a compromise,” Poland’s COP24 president Michal Kurtyka told delegates late Thursday as the final draft decision text was still being tinkered with. The expectation is that talks will drag on until at least Saturday, with a number of key issues still unresolved. “We are seeing deadlocks in certain areas,” Xie Zhenhua, China’s special envoy for climate, told reporters. “We need to avoid straying from principles and spirit of the Paris agreement. We cannot accept any backsliding.” Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead at Christian Aid, said there were some promising signs on the issue of funding. Developing nations say richer countries should provide more money to help them adapt to the effects of climate change while still growing their economies. “We need rich countries to commit to provide predictable climate finance,” Adow told AFP. “The IPCC is clear: real action is needed to halt climate chaos. Real action requires real money for real solutions.” With politicians locked in nitty-gritty debates over money, accountability and equity, it fell to 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg to deliver the most rousing call-to-arms. “We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past, and you will ignore us again,” said Thunberg, who called for a global student strike Friday to raise awareness. “We have run out of excuses, and we are running out of time.” AFP


A woman stands in front of candles and flowers displayed during a gathering held on December 13, 2018, in memory of the victims of the attack near the Christmas market of Strasbourg, in eastern France, on December 11, 2018. Three people were killed and 13 wounded when a lone gunman, identified as Cherif Chekatt, 29, opened fire on shoppers on December 11, 2018, according to French officials. AFP

Museum devoted to cinema magic to open in LA LOS ANGELES―Nearly a century after the idea was first floated, a museum dedicated to the magic of cinema is finally set to open in Los Angeles, with the first temporary exhibition devoted to Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, slated to open by the end of 2019, will be devoted to the past, present and future of film, offering visitors a look behind the screen and into how movies are made. “Los Angeles was at one time and still is to some degree one of the major capitals for the production of film... so it seems the natural place to have a major museum to ensure that the legacy of film

lives on,” said Kerry Brougher, director of the museum, which is the brainchild of the Academy of Picture Arts and Sciences, the institution behind the Oscars. Dorothy’s famed ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz,” a copy of a script annotated by Gregory Peck for the 1962 drama “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the doors to Rick’s Cafe Americain from “Casablanca” or the typewriter used by Joseph Stefano to write the screenplay to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” are among a trove of objects that will be on display. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the near $400 million museum will be housed in a historic building— the Saban Building formerly home to

the May Company department store— and will feature six floors that include exhibition spaces, a cafe, a store, plus a 1,000-seat theater. “The Museum will be a gathering place for film lovers and will invite people from all over the world to re-experience and deepen our collective love of this art form, accessible to all,” said Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.” “Like the experience of watching a movie, a trip to the Museum will be a kind of waking dream in which visitors feel as if they’ve slipped through the screen to see how the magic is created,” she added. AFP


Riera U. Mallari, Editor Reuel Vidal, Assistant Editor



Javee Mocon, shown here driving hard to the basket, during the PBA Draft Combine, vows to bring his winning attitude and hard work tot he pro league.

5 events removed from SEAG Doroy stuns Kazakh IM, makes Top 10 WOMAN FIDE Master Allaney Jia Doroy stunned second seed International Master Gulishkan Nakhbayeva of Kazakhstan to keep the country’s title hopes alive after four rounds of the 7th Asian Continental Chess Championships (2nd Manny Pacquiao Cup) at the Tiara Hotel in Makati City Thursday night. Doroy, 17, showed she’s stronger than her current FIDE rating of 1972 as she slew a heavily favored Nakhbayeva, who is the second highest rated woodpusher in the women’s division with a rating of 2371, to make a lot of heads turn. The National University standout thus zoomed into the Top 10 as she joined seven others at eighth spot with 2.5 points, just a full point behind co-leaders WFM Turmunkh Munkhzul of Mongolia, IM out Padmini of India and IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen of Vietnam with 3.5 points apiece. Doroy was playing 18th seed WIM Dewi Ardhiani Anastasia Citra in the fifth round at press time in this tournament backed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the Philippine Sports Commission and the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by Cong. Butch Pichay. It was Doroy’s third straight solid effort after she also shocked Olympiad veteran WIM Catherine Secopito (2145) and split the point with WFM Li Yunshan (2196) of China in the second and third rounds, respectively. Her lone loss came in the first round against WFM Turmunkh Munkhzul. International Master Ricky de Guzman, for his part, struck the hardest in the men’s section after he bested IM Sumiya Bilguun of Mongolia, to gatecrash into a 22-player tie at 10th place with 2.5 points each. De Guzman, the 1981 Asian Juniors titlist, was battling Uzbekistan’s IM Nodribek Yakubboev, who trounced Filipino IM Haridas Pascua, in the fifth round of the men’s division that is staking five slots to the World Cup next year.

By Peter Atencio


T LEAST five events were removed from the calendar of events that will be played in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Tom Carrasco, senior deputy director general of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee, said this Thursday following the f irst technical delegates’ meeting at the Diamond Hotel in Manila. The five events from three sports disciplines were done after the delegates spent a day doing some fine-tuning on the Games’ calendar. “It was a fine-tuning process. Some of the events were not needed and removed,” said Carrasco. Among those taken out of the list were two events in kurash, one in underwater hockey and another in sambo.

The number of sports disciplines is still at 56, but the number of events is down to 521, from 529. Earlier, delegates talked about the possibility of having only 51 sports to be featured. But the additional sports were retained after kurash, e-sports, surfing, skateboarding and jujitsu sought formal inclusion from their respect international federations. There will also be three demonstration events, one in esports, and two in chess. The Games will be held in Clark Green City, Subic and Metro Manila. So far, Category 1 events such as

athletics will have 42 gold medals at stake, while aquatics is offering 43. There will be 42 Category 2 events, which include archery, badminton, baseball/softball, basketball, billiards, 10-pin bowling, boxing and canoe/traditional boat race. Then, there’s chess, cycling, dance sport, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, ice hockey, ice skating, judo, karatedo, modern pentathlon, muay, pencak silat, polo, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing/ windsurfing and sepak takraw. Also included are skateboarding, shooting, soft tennis, squash, surfing, table tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu. In Category 3 are arnis, esports, floorball, jujitsu, kickboxing, kurash, lawn bowls/petanque, netball, obstacle course, sambo/vovinam, underwater hockey and wakeboarding.

Bedan Mocon impressive at Draft Combine JAVEE Mocon confessed he’s a longtime TnT Katropa fan, who counts former stalwart Jimmy Alapag and current star Jayson Castro among his basketball idols. But like any of the 47 hopefuls for this year’s PBA rookie draft, Mocon said he’s ready to play for any team that’s willing to put its trust on him. “Any team naman basta ‘yung magde-develop sa akin at magagamit ako,” the San Beda hotshot stated following the Draft Combine, where all rookie applicants played and participated at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong. The 23-year-old marketing student was among those who impressed during the two-day event that drew coaches and the respective staffs of all PBA teams. The 6’4” forward, a true-blue Bedan from high school to college where he won a number of championships, including the last three NCAA men’s basketball titles of the Red Lions, emerged as one of the five best players during the camp that he made it to the Mythical Team. He has also caught the fancy of Phoenix and Meralco that he was invited over to work out with the two teams. “Nag-train ako sa kanila, although wala namang assurance na sure na ako. But definitely malaking tulong sa akin ‘yun to prove na I’m really ready to play now in the PBA,” said Mocon, who has three brothers and a sister. “Kaya unsure pa rin talaga. Sa Draft Day na malalaman.” As the excitement builds heading to draft day, Mocon, the finals MVP in this year’s NCAA title series between San Beda and Lyceum, can’t help but feel anxious about the matter. “Hindi ko alam kung ano ang mapi-feel ko,” said the two-time juniors’ MVP and member of the Gilas national training pool for the 2023 FIBA World Cup here. Mocon vows to bring two things on the table, though—winning attitude and hard work. “‘Yung championship experience ko, intensity, and energy,” he said.

G-League’s Sepfourteen wins PCSO Gold Cup in San Lazaro NBA Byrd to coach MANILA Jockey Club Inc., the premier horse racing club in the country and one of Asia’s oldest, successfully hosted the 46th Presidential Gold Cup organized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office last Dec. 9, at the world-class San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite, with Sepfourteen winning it all. Sepfourteen, owned by Oliver “Jojo” Velasquez of SC Stockfarm Inc., dominated the grueling 2,000-meter race, claiming the grand prize of over P3 million. The champion colt was skillfully ridden by jockey John Alvin Guce and trained by Tomasito “Chito” Santos. The win also gave the stable its first PCSO Gold Cup title. Bagging the second to fourth places are: Pangalusian Island, Electric Truth and Radioactive, respectively. Manny Viray received the custommade PCSO Presidential Gold Cup trophy on behalf of Velasquez. Present during the awarding were PCSO Vice Chairperson and General Manager, Ret. Gen. Alexander F. Balutan; Philippine Racing Commission Chairman, Andrew A. Sanchez; MJC President and CEO, Atty. Alfonso G. Reyno III; and other officials of the organization. “The Manila Jockey Club thanks the sponsors of this afternoon’s races led by the PCSO, Philracom and our other partners who made this event most successful. This win will surely

NU, FEU battle provincial teams ANOTHER batch of Yu of the Golden StalGames Tomorrow exciting young driblions. (SGS gym, Quezon City) blers strut their wares Also worth watching 9 a.m. – UST vs LSGH tomorrow with title is the 9 a.m. showdown 11 a.m. – Opening Ceremony 12 noon – UL vs NU favorites National between former NCAA 1:45 p.m. – Univ of Cebu vs FEU University and Far champion La Salle 3:15 p.m. – Xavier vs Mapua Eastern University Greenhills and Unigoing up against two versity of Santo Tomas provincial teams in the Philippine with both teams determined to win the Secondary Schools Basketball Champion- annual event for the first time. ship ‘Rain or Shine Cup’ at the SGS The tournament that offers P50,000 gym in Quezon City. to the champion school officially starts The NU Bullpups, bannered by today with league chairman Terry Que Batang Gilas veteran Carl Tamayo and of Rain or Shine and vice chairman wily guard Terrence Fortea collide with Eduard Tio of Freego ready to welcome the Dagupan City’s University of Luzon the participants. Golden Cubs at 12 noon, while the RJ Also backing the event are Dr. CeciAbarrientos-led FEU Baby Tamaraws lio Pedro of Hapee Toothpaste, Rudy Yu test the mettle of University of Cebu of Dickies Underwear, Dioceldo Sy of Webmasters at 1:45 p.m. Blackwater Sports, Jimi Lim of IronCon Reining NCAA titlist Mapua (Ma- Builders, Jimmy dela Cruz of Che’Lu layan) University collides with Xavier Bar and Grill and Leoncio Chua of MEC School at 3:15 p.m. in a game that will Networks. see Paolo Hernandez and Dan Arches of Reigning champion San Beda Univerthe Red Robins going up against Miguel sity was playing against University of Tan, Jadrick Lim, Darren Sytin and Ryan Cebu at presstime.

Green Archers

Winning connections of Santa Clara Stockfarm’s Sepfourteen are shown during the awarding ceremony of the 46th PCSO Presidential Gold Cup at the San Lazaro Leisure Park.

go down in history as one of the more memorable wins in the Presidential Gold Cup,” said Atty. Reyno. PCSO awarded the proceeds of the race to the Rotary Club of Carmona in support of their projects. Other major races of the day and their winners include: Fundador Cup Division I won by Baby Galore; Fundador Cup Division II won by Navy Cut; Hon. Mayor Ramon Preza Cup won by Boxmeer; and EEG Development Corp. Cup

won by Señor Lucas. Present during the event were foreign dignitaries and special guests which include His Excellency Koji Haneda, the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of the Philippines; Mr. M. S. Patiyal, representative from the Indian Embassy; Mr. Satish Sethi, Country Manager of Emirates Airlines Philippines; and other dignitaries from the diplomatic community, government, and business.

THE La Salle Green Archers are set to have new head coach by January. Jermaine Byrd, who was a assistant coach for NBA G-League teams Tulsa 66ers, Sioux Falls Skyforce and the LA D-Fenders, is set to come aboard in the first week of January. Byrd takes over from Louie Gonzalez, who tendered his courtesy resignation after the Green Archers did not make the Final Four in season 81 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament. Byrd will be around after after taking on jobs as a player development coach with Samsung Blue Minx and the Seoul Samsung Thunders in the Korean Basketball League. Danny Seigle, Chappy Callanta, MC Abolucion and Charles Waters will come aboard as Byrd’s assistants, joining Paulo Sauler, who comes from Gonzalez’s coaching staff. Also out are assistant coaches Glenn Capacio, Siot Tanquingcen and Anton Altamirano. Team management decided to get Byrd after they picked from candidates like Tim Lewis, an American coach, Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag and Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson. Peter Atencio

Philracom Chairman’s Cup lures powerhouse cast A POWERHOUSE 11-horse cast, led by Disyembreasais and Speedmatic, test their staying power in the 2018 Philippine Racing Commission’s Chairman’s Cup on Sunday at the Saddle and Clubs Leisure Park in Naic, Cavite. Disyembreasais, which pulled off a two-length victory at the 2018 Philracom ‘Lakambini Stakes Race’ only last September, is the prohibitive favorite in the race held in honor of the late Philracom Chairman Benedicto Kalaw Katigbak, the “Millenium Transition Chairman,” who was head of the commission from 1998 to 2001. To be ridden again by jockey JB Cordova, the top filly, which is owned by Alfredo Santos, with Edwin M. Vittali and Sandy Javier as trainer and breeder, respectively, will be shooting for the top purse of P1,200,000 from the guaranteed total prize of P2,000,000. Second placer gets P400,000, while third and fourth placer receive P250,000 and P100,000, respectively,

with P70,000 going to the breeder of the winning horse. Fierce competition to Disyembreasais in the long 2,000-meter distance will be provided by the the Hermie Esguerraowned Speedmatic (jockey FM Raquel), which ruled last year’s Philracom Juvenile Fillies Stakes Races. Others standing in the way of the two favorites are coupled entries Courageous (jockey RM Garcia) and Sheer (Val R. Dilema), both owned by Narciso Morales; Box Office (Jockey Kevin Abobo, owner SC Stockfarm), Critical Moment (JA Guce, Melaine Habla); Doktora (CV Garganta, Juan Miguel Yulo), Goldsmith (RG Fernandez, Cipriano Sison); Smell My Tail (MB Pilapil, Mark Vincent Geron); Super Sonic (JB Guce, Sandy Javier); and The Barrister (MA Alvarez, Daniel Tan). Meanwhile, the cast for the Philracom 3YO Open, which will also be run in 2,000 meters, isn’t pushover either with Pride of Laguna (jockey JD Juco, owner Emmanuel Santos) hoping to earn brag-

ging rights in the five-horse field, Joining the fray in the 3YO race, which offers a total prize of P1.5 million, are Born in April (JB Cordova) of Jade Bros. Farms and Livestock, Brown Sister (RD Raquel Jr.) of Joy Raymundo, I Love Jane (CP Henson) of Francisco Babon and Viva Morena (Dan Camanero) of Bienvenido Pierre Niles Jr. A top purse of P900,000 awaits the champion of the 3YO race, with the runner-up getting P337,500 and the third and fourth placers, pocketing P187,500 and P75,000, respectively. “Racing fans are in for a treat with these select cast of winners,” said Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez. “Some of the industry’s best runners are running and so we can anticipate another exciting show for Filipino racing fans.” Meanwhile, the racing season concludes with the 3rd leg of the 3YO Open Challenge Series on Dec. 31, also at the Saddle and Clubs Leisure Park in Naic, Cavite.


bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor @manilastandardlife @mstandardLIFe

young life

saturday, december 15, 2018



bags award on third try F

or a 25-year-old cruise line photographer, third time, truly, is the charm as he took home the top spot in the Philippine leg of the biggest on-thespot photography contest in Asia.

Luke Anthony Obusan Singson’s winning photo in the Canon PhotoMarathon 2018 shows how technology connects more with the youth.

Luke Anthony obusan Singson, on his third attempt, finally bested hundreds of participants in the canon PhotoMarathon 2018. He is headed to the championship in Japan in 2019 to represent the Philippines. Singson first joined canon PhotoMarathon in 2014 after his father, who is also a photographer, influenced him to join the competition. “My dad has always been a canon user so he basically introduced me to the brand. I started shooting in high school and oftentimes, I would join him in his shoots and we would do a lot of photo walks. canon PowerShot G2, which is a point-and-shoot camera, pa gamit ko nun,” he related. With the theme “the World in the eyes of the next Generation,” Singson’s winning shot was taken using a canon eoS 60D DSLr with an eF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens. “Upon hearing the theme, I knew I had to find a structure with eyes peeking at or looking into a moment,” said Singon. He continued, “the first area my dad and I scouted didn’t work, so we continued to walk around the city and came across this interesting wall. I asked my dad to stand for by the wall for a test spot and told him, ‘I think this could work.’ Tapos nag-abang lang kami (then we waited) until I got the shot I wanted with the perfect subjects.” According to this millennial photographer, he intended to capture somebody using a mobile phone, because “I wanted to show how today’s technology connects more with the youth and how in the years to come, the technology landscape will continue to evolve to cater to this younger, more agile generation.” this year’s canon PhotoMarathon Philippines challenged Filipino photographers to extend the power of their photographs to help create lasting impact for the future generation. A portion of the registration fee of each participant, as well as proceeds generated from canon’s cSr program called Print for Smiles, were dedicated to help raise funds for canon’s local partner organization, operation Smile Philippines. the non-government organization provides free reconstructive facial surgery to indigent children and young adults born with cleft lip and cleft palate deformity. Singson took home a brand new canon eoS r full-frame mirrorless camera worth P147,998 along with a ViewSonic VP2468 24’’ Professional Monitor, and a one-year membership at celebrity Fitness in one Bonifacio High Street.

Millennials’ solutions to today’s challenges A recent exhibition showcased how the youth solves the daily challenges of today’s society. Fourteen Industrial Design program students of the De La Salle-college of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts proved the vastness of design possibilities as they presented their distinct products that touched on the fields of medicine, fitness, safety, and urban design in an exhibition entitled “Beyond,” recently held at the Glorietta 3 Activity center. “‘Beyond’ is a showcase of the students’ solutions towards consumer products, electronic gadgets, and other business innovations that lead to an improved quality of life,” shared Benilde ID program chairperson Mary Florence nobleza. the outputs featured in the exhibit symbolized the culmination of the academic journey of the graduating class. the roster of apprentices who presented concepts beyond their degrees included Alice Abrera, Lea Belo, Matthieu tanchanco, Kristian Heruela, cP Garcia, Joshua Mangoba, Justin Sazon, John carlo San Mateo, Lester Beringuel, Kalvin Sumagui, tori Mayo, Annix Sarmiento, Franz Lorenzo, and Jose enrique Lopez. “the featured works demonstrated how the seniors are truly ready to take on realistic projects that bring significant social impacts relevant to people’s Adya, a redesigned ergonomic hard hat. needs today,” noted nobleza.

Lukob, a modular bamboo greenhouse by Kristian Heruela; and Blaid, a pillar blindspot aid by Jose Enriquez Lopez.

Quantum Alley, an urban kinetic playground by Lester Beringuel.




(MS-DEC. 15, 2018)


Entertainment What an actor feels after kissing a fellow actor in a scene “I HAD goosebumps!” said Shido Roxas who has a kissing scene with costar Ross Pesigan in the upcoming Metro Manila Filmfest entry Rainbow Sunset. In a brief interview with the neophyte actor at a restaurant in Quezon City recently, Roxas who is playing the young man of the elderly gay character played by iconic actor Eddie Garcia in the filmfest entry, intimated to members of the press that though he knew there would be a scene that required him and his co-player Ross (who plays the younger version of the character being played by Tony Mabesa), he didn’t have an inkling on how two males kiss, albeit passionately. “Ross and I just had to do it because direk Joel Lamangan warned us that it could require several takes if we didn’t do it right. I wasn’t quite sure if I’d like to have an extended kissing scene with a fellow actor so, I gave it my all.” The 27-year-old economics major (DLSU) and who has a masters degree in international management at a Japanese university (after junking the idea of going to law school in Manila) has dodged acting and modeling offers when he was in his teens. “I was a very shy guy then,” he admitted. Which he has since overcome. According to Joel Lamangan, Shido was cast to play the young Tony Mabesa. But after carefully looking at his looks, he decided to give him the young Eddie Garcia role. How did he psyche himself up to stand up to the test of Lamangan in the kissing scene? He watched old films of Eddie Garcia, also the gay-themed films, like Lihis with Jake Cuenca and Joem Bascon. Joel said he had to shoot it in one take so their egos wouldn’t be deflated. So, what did you feel when Lamangan shouted “Cut!”? “I was catatonic for a little while and had goosebumps all over. If the script calls for it and if the scene is justified, I guess as an actor you just have to do it. But if only to get the audience titillated, I’d say no, perhaps,” the LVD talent ended. *** T O W N S nomination still accepted The nomination for the Search for The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) is still open. The nominee must be

a Filipino Citizen, at least 21 years and not older than 50 on Oct. 31, 2019. She must have distinguished herself in her field of specialization or advocacy and is committed to the promotion of the wellbeing and upliftment of the people and community she serves. The nominee must have a pioneering spirit and must have successfully overcome challenges to pursue new endeavors. She must be accomplished, dignified, respectable, and articulate. Any person or organization may nominate one or more women who meet these criteria. Deadline for nomination is July 31, 2019. Among past TOWNS winners are Lilia de Lima (1977) for Law; Evelyn R. Singson (1981), Olivia Aguinaldo Ferry (1983), and Corazon de la Paz Bernardo (1983), all for Business. According to Atty. De Lima “TOWNS is a constant challenge to excel in everything I do to make our country and our world a little better place to live in. It is a reminder that I must keep my name untarnished and public service is a privilege.” Singson said TOWNS strengthened her “sense of country” that whatever she had to do she would ask if it contributed to the improvement of the country and helped other Filipinos. Ferry said the award “challenged me to sustain my quest for excellence in the field for which I was recognized” and made her more “others-centric.” The award “made me more conscious of my responsibilities to others— being fair in my dealings with people and not knowingly causing them harm,” Bernardo said. The purpose of the Foundation is to empower women to serve as catalysts for national development towards improving quality of life. For more details, e-mail or visit the Facebook page http:// or call 637 5535 (Ms. Ada). Nominations may be submitted at 2004 B, 20th Floor, West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road, Ortigas Commercial Center, Pasig City. ** * M o r e stories of these kinds at www. Follow me on Facebook (@isahvr), Twitter (@ isahvred) and Instagram (@ isahvred). ΙŘ

Up-and-coming actor Shido Roxas


A weekend with your favorite local music GET ready for a weekend filled with the best original Pinoy music. Today, Dec. 15), Globe brings two rockin’ events featuring your favorite local artists - Live Street: Make Snow Possible and Sundown Sessions. Globe Live kicked of the Holiday season with Huawei as they created a white Christmas at Live Street: Make Snow Possible yesterday, Dec. 14, at the Globe Iconic Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater. There were special live performances from IV of Spades, Karencitta, Pinopela, Rouge and Ma- n i l a String Machine. Keep the beats going today as Globe and Spotify present Sund o w n

Sessions at Bonifacio High Street Activity Center. Starting at 5:00 p.m., Globe customers can eat, drink, and chill out with family and friends while they enjoy live performances from BP Valenzuela, She’s Only Sixteen, Oh Flamingo, Bea Lorenzo, and UNIQUE. Special treats are in store for Globe Postpaid customers on Spotify Premium as they get front-row seats and exciting perks when they register. Plus, select Postpaid customers on Spotify Premium get a chance to win a meet and greet with their favorite artists during the event! Want to further fuel your love for local music? Globe has got you covered on that as well! For only P129 per month, listen to your favorite OPM tracks anytime, anywhere uninterrupted with Spotify Premium. Register to Spotify 129 by visitingshop. premium and entering your contact details.



PEOPLE By Nickie Wang


Former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go in an epic selfie with ‘APEC hottie’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


HRISTOPHER “Bong” Go was given the less flattering tag “Pambansang Photobomber” by many for appearing at the side of the President in almost all of his photographs. From sorties to private functions and while delivering speeches or performing just ordinary tasks, he’s there. Then, from a photobomber, the moniker was “upgraded” to “Selfie King” when foreign media noticed his penchant for taking photos of himself (poker-faced) with the world leaders standing behind him, just a few feet away. But for the former Special Assistant to the President, there were valid reasons why he always at the side of the Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, and there’s an explanation why he was taking selfies with the world leaders. “ As a sortie manager of Pres. Duterte, even when he was mayor for 18 years, I was the one who really managed his schedule, kung saan siya pupunta inayos ko ‘yun, gusto ko bago siya magsalita o umakyat sa stage wala na siyang ibang iisipin, kaya people always saw me in the background and started calling me pambansang photobomber,” Bong Go shared during an intimate lunch with the showbiz press. At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit last year, he took his trademark selfies with powerful world leaders. His photos went viral that a Facebook page was even created solely for his selfies. In the page, a profile photo template was created that allows users to superimpose Bong Go’s face in front of any photo they choose. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I grabbed it,” Bong Go explained. “It was a rare opportunity to see the world leaders in APEC and ASEAN so I took that opportunity to take a selfie. I don’t think, even in Guinness (Book of World Records), walang nakagawa ng ganun at one time,” he added in jest. He went on narrating how his famous selfies with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull came about. “ I had a selfie with Trudeau during the APEC and when we hosted the ASEAN naalala niya ako so he said,

Beyond the selfie “You again? I’ll do the selfie for you. And with Australian Prime Minister, mahilig din talaga siyang mag-selfie,” he said. Beyond his selfies During the showbiz press meeting with Bong Go, who is gunning for a seat at the Senate in the midterm elections next year, he discussed what he would like to do in case he gets elected. “My priority bill would be ‘yung giving free medicines to indigent patients. Kasi ngayon, ang hirap ng proseso so I want to institutionalize it para hindi na mahirapan ang mga pasyenteng walang pambili ng gamot. “Then I want to create a separate department for OFWs. They’re helping the country a lot with their remittances so we should focus on how to help them also, especially the distressed ones. My other advocacies would be offering free education, lalo na sa grade school, then free housing for the poor, food security through good agriculture and helping juvenile criminalsna ginagamit na drug courier ng drug traffickers,” he added. As a long-time Philippine showbiz fan Bong Go also calls for an intensified crackdown against piracy victimizing the local movie industry. “I will push for strategies to crack down on these illegal businesses and strengthen the campaign against piracy,” he said. Being a showbiz fan, he recalled how, during his younger years, his parents allowed him to watch the films of FPJ and Dolphy at the local cinema in Davao. He also bared his association with actors like Epi Quizon, Dolphy’s son, and Jeffrey Santos, whom he used to drop off at Broadway Centrum for That’s Entertainment rehearsals. Go hoped that in the future he can work together with the film industry to keep it strong, even as he noted that our movies depict our culture such as the lives of each and every Filipino around the world. “We need to amplify the quality of Philippine cinema, especially to our youth. If we are to uniquely identify ourselves as Filipinos, we need more Filipino-made films,” Go ended.


Lady Gaga’s film leads US SAG nominations A STAR Is Born led the pack in the movies category Wednesday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, seen as a bellwether in the run-up to the Oscars. The music romance reboot earned Bradley Cooper a nod for best actor, Lady Gaga for best actress and Sam Elliott for best supporting actor. The fourth nomination was for best cast. Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, the true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan with the help of a white partner, came in second with three nominations for best actor (John David Washington), best supporting actor (Adam Driver) and best cast. Other films nominated for best cast—the SAG’s top award —are superhero movie Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, and summer romcom hit Crazy Rich Asians. On the television side, Amazon’s breakout comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and the Netflix drama Ozark led the pack with four nominations each. Other shows nominated include FX’s Cold War spy thriller The Americans, NBC’s This Is Us and The Handmaid’s Tale, the runaway hit series based on the dystopian 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood. Among the plethora of actors nominated are Antonio Banderas, who received an outstanding performance nod for his portrayal of Pablo Picasso in the National Geographic mini-series Genius, Patricia Arquette for Escape at Dannamora, and Anthony Hopkins for King Lear. Some of the surprising snubs for movies include Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, seen as an Oscar frontrunner, First Man, about Neil Armstrong’s moon landing, and Widows, about a group of women who try to pull off a heist after their husbands are killed in a botched robbery. On the television side, Oscar-winner Julia Roberts came out empty-handed for her role in Amazon drama Homecoming as did Donald Glover for Atlanta. This year’s awards are taking place after the #MeToo

movement—sparked by bombshell sexual assault claims against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein—dominated the prize-giving season last year, as Hollywood dealt with the fallout from the crisis. Although less high-profile than the Golden Globes, the SAG awards are seen as more of an indicator of Oscars glory, since members represent a disproportionately large section of the roughly 8,000 voters for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will take place on Jan. 27 in Los Angeles. AFP

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in a scene from the film, ‘A Star is Born’



Republic of the Philippines ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION San Miguel Ave., Pasig City


Joel D. Lacsamana, Editor

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE APPROVAL OF AMENDED ANCILLARY SERVICES - COST RECOVERY MECHANISM, ERC CASE No. 2018-005 RM NATIONAL GRID CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner x----------------------------------------------x NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE-MAKING TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES: Notice is hereby given that on 14 September 2018, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) filed a Petition seeking the Commission’s approval of its proposed amendments to the Ancillary Services-Cost Recovery Mechanism (ASCRM). In the said Petition, NGCP alleged, among others, the following: Nature of the Petition 1.

This is a petition for the amendment of the Ancillary Services-Cost Recovery Mechanism (AS-CRM)1 to reflect therein the new provisions on the Ancillary Services under the Philippine Grid Code 2016 Edition (2016 PGC); and be consistent with the proposed amendments to the Open Access Transmission Service (OATS) Rules.2 The Petitioner


NGCP is a corporation created and existing under the laws of the Philippines, with principal office address at NGCP Building, Quezon Avenue corner BIR Road, Diliman, Quezon City, where it may be served with notices, orders, resolutions and other issuances of this Commission through its Office of the General Counsel. It is the concessionaire which assumed the power transmission functions of the National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO) pursuant to the EPIRA.


It holds a franchise under Republic Act No. 95113 to engage in the business of conveying or transmitting electricity through high-voltage back-bone system of interconnected transmission lines, substations and related facilities, and for other purposes. The franchise also includes the conduct of activities necessary to support the safe and reliable operation of the transmission system. Background


On 11 September 2006, TRANSCO filed an application entitled: “In the Matter of the Application for the Approval of Ancillary Services – Cost Recovery Mechanism (AS-CRM) of the Ancillary Services Procurement Plan, with Prayer for Provisional Authority”, docketed as ERC Case No. 2006-049RC. The Commission approved the AS-CRM through a Decision dated 3 October 2007.


On 5 October 2016, the Commission promulgated Resolution No. 22, Series of 2016, entitled: “A Resolution Approving the Publication of the Approved Philippine Grid Code, 2016 Edition” (2016 PGC) . The 2016 PGC adopted the latest international standards and practices in the operation of ancillary services. As a consequence, on 31 March 2017, NGCP filed a petition entitled: “In the Matter of the Petition for the Approval of the Amended Ancillary Services Procurement Plan”, docketed as ERC Case No. 2017-005 RM to harmonize the provisions of the Ancillary Services Procurement Plan (ASPP) with the 2016 PGC, particularly with Section GO 6.6.


On 22 December 2017, NGCP filed another petition entitled: “In the Matter of the Petition for the Adoption of the Proposed Amendments to the 2006 Open Access Transmission Service Rules (OATS Rules)”, ERC Case No. 2017-010 RM, for the amendment of certain provisions of the current OATS Rules to conform with the provisions of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) Rules, 2016 PGC, Feed In Tariff Rules, Renewable Energy Act, and various resolutions and issuances of the Honorable Commission, Grid Management Committee and Department of Energy.


Consequently, there is also a need to amend the AS-CRM to reflect therein the new provisions on Ancillary Services under the Philippine Grid Code, 2016 Edition (2016 PGC); and be consistent with the proposed amendments to the OATS Rules.


Thus, this petition to initiate rule-making is being filed to seek the adoption of the proposed amendments to the AS-CRM.


The salient features of the proposed amendments to the AS-CRM are as follows:

Proposed Amendments

a. Adoption of the following specifications of AS, as defined in the PGC 2016 Edition, as follows: i. ii. iii. iv. v.

Primary Reserve Ancillary Service (PRAS) Secondary Reserve Ancillary Service (SRAS) Tertiary Reserve Ancillary Service (TRAS) Reactive Power Support Ancillary Service (RPSAS) Black Start Ancillary Service (BSAS)

Ancillary Services Procurement Agreement (ASP A) Reserve Market Arrangements

c. Matrix of Cost Recovery


GridConnected Generator √ √ √

Embedded Generator

√ √ √



t the recent opening of the 20-hectare Acienda Designer Outlet (ADO) in Silang, Cavite Mayor Emilia Poblete mused that “people used go to Tagaytay and just pass us by. We were just vast lands that went unnoticed. Today, we’re lucky to have investors who have gambled on the potential of Silang, supporting our initiatives, and allowing us to become a window for commercial and economic activities.”

to include world-class boutique pockets, commercial buildings, an 18-hole golf course, and two traveler’s accommodations: Microtel and Destination Hotel. Bullish prospects Cathay Land President Jeffrey Ng told the Manila Standard about his company’s other projects in Silang: Mallorca City, a low-cost housing community of 30 hectares, along with the Cavite Light Industrial Park (CLIP) which is set to expand to 60 hectares by the end of the year. “In Barangay Puting Kahoy, you will find the last project by my father, the late Amb. John KC Ng, a satellite campus of the biggest Chinese school in Binondo. In two years’ time, Chiang Kai Shek University is set to open its doors, not only to the Tsinoy community, but more importantly to the residents of Silang and all the residents of Cavite province,” he vowed. He likewise revealed that a 50-hectare area of Barangay Hukay will be developed by Alveo Land and Cathay Land to become a commercial and residential project called Hillside Ridge. “We would like to see tourists coming not

Embedded Generator


√ √ √ √

Ancillary Service Billing Determinant Ancillary Service -Generator Billing Determinant (AS-GBD) • The AS-GBD for a Billing Period shall be the summation of the daily coincident [to the system of the Grid-Connected Generator] peak injection to the Grid. Ancillary Service -Embedded Generator Billing Determinant (AS-EGBD) • The AS-EGBD for a Billing Period shall be the summation of the daily coincident [to the system of both Embedded Generator and the host Load] peak injection to the Load’s system. Ancillary Service -Billing Determinant Demand (AS-BDD) • The AS-BDD for a Billing Period shall be the summation of the daily coincident [to the system of Load] peak demand.

10. A copy of the proposed amendments to the AS-CRM which contains the proposals of NGCP is attached to the Petition. 11. NGCP prays for the Commission to: a.

Exercise its rule-making power under Rule 21 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure; and


Approve the proposed amendments to the AS-CRM, after notice and public consultation.

12. It also prays for other relief deemed just and equitable under the premises. Having found the said Petition to be sufficient in substance, with the required fees having been paid, an Order dated 25 October 2018 was issued by the Commission setting the case for public consultations with scheduled dates and venues. On 9 November 2018, NGCP filed an Urgent Motion dated 5 November 2018 and prayed for the issuance of a new order and public hearing, resetting the schedules for the expository presentation and public consultation. Finding the said Motion to be meritorious, the Commission hereby resets the public consultation on the following new dates and venues: DATE and TIME


09 January 2019 (Wesnesday) Nine o`clock in the morning (9:00 A.M.)

ERC Main Office 15th Floor, Pacific Center Building, San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City

Jurisdictional and Expository Presentation


23 January 2019 (Wesnesday) Nine o`clock in the morning (9:00 A.M.)

APO VIEW DAVAO Bonifacio St., Pob. District, Davao City

Public Consultation for Mindanao Stakeholders

6 February 2019 (Wesnesday) Nine o`clock in the morning (9:00 A.M.)

CEBU PARKLANE HOTEL N. Escario St., Cebu City

Public Consultation for Visayas Stakeholders

20 February 2019 (Wesnesday) Nine o`clock in the morning (9:00 A.M.)

ERC Main Office 15th Floor, Pacific Center Building, San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City

Public Consultation for Luzon Stakeholders

All interested parties may submit their comments (in both hard and soft copies) on the proposed Rules on or before 09 January 2019. Electronic copies may be sent to Parties who have filed their written comments on or before the prescribed period would be given priority during the above-scheduled public consultation. The said Petition may be photocopied at cost, during the regular office hours at the ERC Main Office. WITNESS, the Honorable Chairperson and CEO, AGNES VST DEV ANADERA, and the Honorable Commissioners ALEXIS M. LUMBATAN and CATHERINE P. MACEDA, Energy Regulatory Commission, this 21 November 2018 in Pasig City.

JOSEFINA PATRICIA A. MAGPALE-ASIRIT Oversight Commissioner for Legal Service 1 2 3

only to Tagaytay, but also to Silang as well,” he said. “With the expected completion of the interchange of the Cavite-TagaytayBatangas Expressway (CTBEX), whose exit will be right beside this outlet in three years’ time, we have no doubt that this area of Silang will continue to progress and boom in the years ahead.” Jobs for locals Freeport Retail co-founder and director Chris Milliken, who partnered with Ng to set up Acienda Designer Outlet, added that aside from tourism, where shoppers looking for real bargains will flock to ADO, the outlet center will create jobs. “This will really boom and create about 800 jobs,” he said. “Because ADO presents what a proper outlet store is all about, with great planning, proposition, consumer experience, the future is bright for this business and for the community.” Other new projects in the pipeline for Cathay Land in Silang include two low-rise residential condominium projects: Stanford Suites 3 and Fullerton Suites, in South Forbes Golf City. At Mallorca City, Mallorca Villas Phase 2 and the second phase of CLIP will be launched soon.

MPIC bags top awards in Hong Kong


d. Adoption of the new AS Billing Determinant GridConnected Generator

CHECKING OUT BARGAINS. Silang Mayor Poblete and Cathay Land’s Ng at the inauguration of the Acienda Designer Outlet.


The ‘mayora’ had reason to be upbeat. Fifteen years before developer, Cathay Land Inc., launched Acienda, it kicked off the 500-hectare South Forbes Golf City. Today, the master-planned community has grown

b. Procurement of AS only through: i. ii.

SOUTHERN COMFORT. The 500-hectare South Forbes City continues to transform a once bucolic landscape of farms and woodlands.

Decision dated 3 October 2007 (Decision) in ERC Case No. 2006-049 RC; ERC Case No. 2017-010 RM; Entitled “An Act of Granting the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines a Franchise To Engage in the Business of Conveying or Transmitting Electricity. Through High Voltage Back-Bone System of Interconnected Transmission Lines, Substations and Related Facilities, and for other Purposes. “

(MS-DEC. 8 & 15, 2018)


STANDOUT AIRPORT. Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was recently named one of Asia’s best airports. MCIA was awarded Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year during the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence in Singapore. MCIA was selected among airports with over 10 million annual passengers for “having been the biggest standout strategically, and for establishing itself as a leader in the aviation industry.” “MCIA’s positioning remains true to its destination,” Louie Ferrer, President of GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), explained to the Manila Standard. “While most other airports choose modern structures made of glass and steel structures, we stayed true to our island resort identity, with Cebu being one of the world’s favorite resort destinations.” Other winners included Korea’s Incheon International Airport as Asia Pacific Large Airport of the Year, and Malaysia’s Senai International Airport as Asia Pacific Small Airport of the Year. This is the second time that MCIA was recognized by CAPA in the last four years. In 2016, MCIA was named Asia Pacific Small Airport of the Year.

Smart construction from Taiwan at PhilConstruct 2018 PASAY CITY — Innovation in building and construction methods from Taiwan were recently highlighted at he 29th PhilConstruct held at the SMX Convention Center and World Trade Center. ‘Taiwan Excellence’ showcased not only their elite brands, but also conducted seminars on innovative approaches such as smart door locks, smart impact tools, motorized, smart roller screens and other similar products. Featured Taiwanese companies included Caesar Sanitary Ware, Sunonwealth Electric Machine Industry Co., Ltd., Chiao Teng Hsin Enterprise Co., Ltd., Ferro-Carbon Enterprise Co., Ltd., Tong Lung Metal Industry Co., Ltd., Xing Tai Guang Co., Ltd., Lei Yueh Enterprise Co., Ltd., e-Formula Technologies, Inc., King Slide Works Co.,

Ltd., and Taroko Door & Window Technologies. Exciting times for industry PhilConstruct, one of the biggest construction shows in the country, creates a space for manufacturers to showcase industry-related items such as building materials and components, construction equipment and materials, building accessories, construction accessories, and essentials, interior design materials, exterior design products, and construction machinery. “These are very exciting times for the industry,” said Morris Agoncillo, President of Philippine Constructors Association, Inc. (PCA). “With the government’s aggressive pursuit of infrastructure development through the Build, Build, Build program as well as private sector’s drive to produce globally

THE Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) recently won two Asian regional awards, the Platinum Award for excellence in environmental, social and governance and a Highly Commended Initiative for environmental responsibility, among the highest honors of “The Asset Corporate Awards 2018” organised by the financial magazine, The Asset. The latter is one of Asia’s most influential financial publications, and “The Asset Corporate Awards” are the longest-running environmental, social and governance awards in Asia. The awards recognize the outstanding performance and service excellence among listed companies across the Asia Pacific region “This award mean a lot to us, as this shows the importance MPIC gives to the environment,” explained Melody del Rosario, VP for corporate communications of MPIC and the Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF). “Looking forward, we will continue to explore and perfect our environmental management and corporate governance in order to strengthen our structure for sustainable development.” Earlier this year, MPIC’s flagship sustainability program, Shore It Up!, snagged the Campaign of the Year prize in the Asia-Pacific Excellence Awards. Shown here is Del Rosario accepting the awards from Daniel Yu, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Asset magazine, which is published by Asset Publishing and Research group based in Hong Kong.

competitive projects, there are plenty of opportunities for both local and international suppliers to grow their business here.” Aside from the Philippines and Taiwan, countries which had

the biggest representation at the show included China, the European Union, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Vietnam, and the United States.

Manila Standard - 2018 December 15 - Saturday  

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

Manila Standard - 2018 December 15 - Saturday  

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