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FUTILE EFFORT. A man douses the remains of his still burning shanty as a fire razed 30 houses and left 60 families homeless at the Aplaya Baseco Compound in Manila. The blaze reached the third alarm before being put out. Norman Cruz

VOL. XXXII • NO. 331 • 3 SECTIONS 16 PAGES • P18 • SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 2019 • •

Duterte ‘most trusted’ official

Survey shows approval rating also up; Congress posts gains

By Nat Mariano


RESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte emerged as the most trusted government official in December 2018, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.

In its survey on the performance and trust ratings of key government officials, Pulse Asia said the President capped 2018 with an 81 percent approval rating in the last month, driven by strong scores in Mindanao and the Visayas. Duterte’s approval rating was up by six percentage points from his previous 75 percent mark in September 2018. The President’s trust rating, on the other hand, was at 76 percent, registering four-percentage-point increase from his previous 72 percent in September 2018.

MAN ON TOP. President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his speech at the ceremonial turnover of housing units to wounded police officers and soldiers in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan on Thursday. Boosted by strong scores from his home region Mindanao and Visayas, the President emerged as the most trusted government official in December 2018 in the latest Pulse Asia survey. Presidential Photo

In the same survey, Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo improved her trust and approval ratings, albeit from a low base. Arroyo’s trust rating in December stood at 21 percent, up from 19 percent in September. Her approval rating, on the other hand, rose to 27 percent. “Those trust ratings are not new to me,” she said when sought for comment. “Remember I was pilloried very much when I was President so I haven’t done much to overcome that because I just have to do my work.” Next page

Grave threat raps worsen Trillanes’ legal troubles By Joel E. Zurbano and Macon Ramos-Araneta

Bangladesh presses for more convictions THE Bangladesh Embassy in Manila has urged the Philippine government to expedite the case against the other officials involved in stealing $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank. The embassy made the request following the conviction of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. branch manager Maia Deguito over the stolen money. In a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency, Bangladesh Ambassador Asad Alam Siam said the Justice depart-

ment was handling another case against six other RCBC executives involved in the stolen funds. “We hope that this case could be expedited and could go to trial soon for a decision,” Asad said. He declined to comment further on the case, saying it would be premature to do so. Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 149 on Thursday found Deguito guilty of money laundering and was sentenced to four to seven years in prison. Next page

FB deletes 220 pages, 73 accounts of Pinoys CALLING it “one of the most significant take downs in the world,” Facebook on Friday told the Philippine government it deleted 220 FB pages and 73 accounts and 29 Instagram accounts connected to a local digital marketing company and its subsidiaries. One of the pages, operated by Twinmark Media Enterprises, was followed by

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STATE prosecutors found probable cause to file a criminal case against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in connection with the grave threats complaint lodged by former congressman and now Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras. The case was raffled to Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 47 Judge Joeven Dellosa who set its arraignment and preliminary conference for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 15. The court gave Trillanes 10 days to file his counter-affidavit. In his complaint, Paras said Trillanes

CamSur solons clash: Gloria downplays row By Maricel V. Cruz SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday played down a reported move to oust Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. as House Majority Leader. “Well I don’t know how many congressmen shared that sentiment. As far as I can see, the majority still supports the incumbent,” Arroyo told reporters. Arroyo said she would support Andaya, “who is doing an excellent job.” “I have only one vote. I’ll vote for Nonoy [Andaya],” Arroyo said. At the same time, she said she would not stop any congressman from taking the issue to a vote. “I exercise democracy, I am open-minded,” Next page



Arroyo bent on probe of budget mess By Maricel V. Cruz SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte has given no signal for Congress to stop its investigation into alleged irregularities in the budget preparation by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. Arroyo said in a recent meeting with President Duterte, only the important priority measures were discussed to ensure the delivery of his campaign promises to the people. Arroyo said the President would not intervene in the affairs of the House of Representatives. “No, no definitely. He respects the

separation of powers,” Arroyo told reporters in a press conference in Sasmuan, Pampanga. Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., meanwhile, said his committee will continue its inquiry into the alleged budget anomalies. Ombudsman Samuel Martires also denied claims by Andaya that his agency has started a formal investigation into alleged flood control scams in the 2019 budget. In a statement sent on Thursday night, Martires said an Ombudsman investigator called up the House of Representatives to merely ask for copies of Andaya’s and Senator Panfilo Lacson’s privileged Next page speeches.

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Work-from-home eases commuters’ woes, says Palace By Nat Mariano

Gov’t steps in to rescue Hanjin BUSINESS B1

MALACAÑANG on Friday expressed optimism that the new law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte to institutionalize telecommuting as an alternative work scheme will also contribute in easing the traffic conditions in Metro Manila and other urban areas across the country. Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Republic Act No. 11165 Next page

ESTERO INSPECTION. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu (right) peers over the polluted Estero de San Antonio Abad along Mabini Street in Manila as he leads an investigation into how much coliform infection has made its way to Manila Bay. Lino Santos




Sri Lankan president sets state visit SRI Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will visit the Philippines on Jan. 15 at the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday. Maithripala’s state visit from Jan. 15 to 19 is the first high-level visit by a foreign government leader to the Philippines this year. Assistant Foreign Affairs Secretary Elmer Cato said Maithripala will be holding bilateral talks with Duterte and will also visit the Asian Development Bank in Manila and the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños. He said Maithripala will be the first Sri Lankan leader, who is serving as Head of State and Government under Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution, to visit the Philippines and the second since the two states established formal diplomatic ties in 1961. The two nations celebrated the 58th anniversary of their diplomatic relations on Jan. 11 Sri Lanka and the Philippines are exploring ways to expand their relations on trade and investment, defense, education, tourism, labor migration, agriculture and mutual legal assistance. PNA

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she said. “I think Nonoy can take care [of that]. I am not an interventionist person on political matters. I am selectively hands on.” Earlier, Andaya said he would be the first to vote for his ouster. “I will be the first to vote that I be relieved as Majority Leader,” he said, after Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte called on the pro-Duterte majority coalition to oust Andaya over the delayed approval of the proposed 2019 P3.757trillion national budget. Earlier, Andaya underscored the need to scrutinize the national budget to address the alleged P75 billion in insertions by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. Villafuerte said Andaya should be removed as the budget delay jeopardizes President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority programs. Villafuerte also wants Andaya replaced because of his relentless attacks on Diokno. “Andaya does not deserve to remain a minute longer as House majority leader for committing acts inimical to the interests of the pro-administration coalition and of the Filipino people,” Villafuerte said. Villafuerte said Andaya’s failure or refusal to put an immediate stop to his endless tirades against the national budget, “would be a confirmation of a long-nagging suspicion that he is a sleeper agent of the political opposition out to destabilize the Duterte administration ahead of the midterm elections.”

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threatened him during a Senate hearing they both attended last year. He filed a complaint for grave threats against the senator. During a Senate hearing on May 29, 2018, Trillanes told Paras: “Ang lakas ng loob mo. Hindi magtatagal ang amo mo. Matatapos din ‘yan. Yayariin kita. Mercenaryo ka. Yayariin kita.” (“You think you’re so tough? Your boss won’t be there for long. His time will end. I will get you. You’re a mercenary. I will get you.”) Lawyers Lorenzo Gadon and Elligio Mallari accompanied Paras in filing the complaint. Trillanes brushed off the complaint and said he was ready to face the charge against him. “There is no truth in that complaint. He has the zero-credibility of a cellphone thief,” said Trillanes, apparently referring to the theft case filed by Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin against Paras. Trillanes also said the latest case was proof that the allies of President Rodrigo Duterte would do anything to harass his opponents and critics. Under Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code, a threat to kill a person is punishable by prision correccional or a jail term of six months and one day to six years. Also last year, the Pasay City prosecutors office found probable cause to charge Trillanes for inciting to sedition when he allegedly incited soldiers to shoot President Duterte during his privilege speech in October 2017. But Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Joahna Gabatino-Lim dismissed the complaint of conspiracy and proposal to commit coup d’etat against the senator. Both cases were filed also by Paras. Trillanes shot back at the President, calling him “crazy” for twisting the justice system.

Govt, Reds clash in Negros, Iloilo By Francisco Tuyay


IGHTING erupted on two fronts in Negros Occidental and Iloilo between security forces and New People’s Army rebels, resulting in the wounding of a soldier and scores of casualties on the rebel side on Thursday and Friday, officials said.

The fighting broke out after the rebels attacked the patrol base of the 62nd Infantry Battalion in Sitio Camanggahan, in Hilamonan village Kabankalan City around 7:50 p.m. on Thursday. The soldiers manning the detachment engaged the rebels in a firefight that lasted for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the Interior department on Friday said the communist movement was in a sharp decline following the surrender of 8,367 communist rebels since President Rodrigo Duterte

assumed office in 2016. Acting Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said 1,117 had been granted benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, the primary components of Balik Loob Program of the Duterte administration. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the military might not be able to wipe out the communist rebels within the next three years, but they would most likely be reduced to a simple peace-andorder problem.

He made the statement following Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison’s claim that the government would not be able to defeat the New People’s Army within the next three years. “We may not be able to finish them off completely to the last man but we can reduce them into a purely police problem,” Lorenzana told the Philippine News Agency on Friday. Capt. Seragon, commander of the Bravo Company of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, informed the nearby military post of the attack. Reinforcemenst arrived, forcing the attackers to withdrew towards Buenavista Himamaylan City where an NPA encampment was seized on Jan. 1. The attack prompted Col. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, to remind his troops on the

Catholics unfazed by Rody's tirades, priest says PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s disparaging remarks against the Catholic Church have not dissuaded millions of Filipinos from their faith, a church leader said Thursday. Speaking to “Bandila sa dzMM,” Catholic priest Jerome Secillano said this year’s annual procession of the Black Nazarene, popularly known as the Traslacion, was a testament to the Filipinos’ intense Catholic devotion. “In spite of everything, you can’t shake the faith of Filipino Catholics,” the executive secretary of the public affairs committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said. But even after he mocked the writers of the Bible and questioned its relevance to current times, Duterte declared the last Monday of January every year as National Bible Day, a special working holiday. Under his Republic Act 11163, the President recognizes that the government will aid and encourage the Filipi-

nos’ moral character development and spiritual foundation. “As a predominantly Christian nation and the largest Christian nation in the AsiaPacific, this Act recognizes the value of the Holy Bible as the core of Christian faith,” the law says. Some four million people participated in the Traslacion in the capital and other areas, according to official police estimates. “No matter how much you attack God, the Church, bishops and priests, if a person feels he/she needs the Lord, it doesn’t matter,” Secillano said. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, meanwhile, said he took pity on the President’s tirades that seemed to fall on deaf ears. “He’s pitiful. He rants and rants while people laugh with him, but those don’t have any bearing because Filipinos are smart and have a deep faith. Pabillo, who has criticized Duterte over his bloody war on drugs, called on the

faithful to pray for the President instead. “We pray for him... we prove him wrong.” Duterte on Wednesday renewed his attack on the Church, urging bystanders to kill or steal from supposedly rich bishops. “Kayong mga tambay diyan, ‘pag dumaan ‘yang obispo ninyo holdapin ‘yan maraming pera ‘yan p***** i** niya.” [laughter] Patayin mo. Galit sa akin ‘yung sigeng yawyaw,” he said in a speech during the birthday celebration of Masbate Governor Antonio Kho. Secillano cried foul over the President’s statement, saying it was unfair and unjust to the members of the clergy. “Because many people believe in him... If you ask the public something, you never know they’ll do it.” Secillano also denied Duterte’s accusation that Church leaders had lavish lifestyles. “Churchmen are not rich. Let’s just say they earn enough.” Nat Mariano


Davao del Norte. The Palace official also said that the survey was taken at a time that the Church, human rights groups, the opposition, and the critics were lambasting Duterte for his “hyperbolic style of delivering narratives.” “It appears that the tirades against the President have been ignored by a huge majority of Filipinos,” he added. “The Pulse Asia survey is therefore another repudiation of the critics and detractors of [the President]. Their loud hysterical harping and assaulting the administration with their accusations and condemnation are in sharp contrast to the clamor of the Filipinos for genuine and transparent change,” Panelo said. Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, received a 62 percent approval rating and a 56 percent trust rating. Senate President Vicente Sotto III received a 74 percent approval rating and a 66 percent trust rating. Pulse Asia noted that while Sotto’s ratings increased, Robredo’s decreased. Pulse Asia noted that the Senate remains the most approved and trusted government institution as it acquired the highest approval rating at 69 percent and trust rating at 65 percent. The House of Representatives followed with a 66 percent approval rating and a 64 percent trust rating. The Supreme Court came last with a 64 percent

approval rating and a 62 percent trust rating. The survey, conducted from Dec. 14 to 21, 2018, used face-to-face interviews with 1,800 Filipino adults. It has a +2.3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level. Some of the several key developments during the survey period was the Sandiganbayan’s decision finding Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos as guilty of graft, the acquittal of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. from plunder charges, the House’s approval on final reading of the federalism charter, the conviction of three police offers tagged in the murder of Kian delos Santos, and the Congress’ approval on the third extension of martial law in Mindanao. Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda, meanwhile, told the ANC news channel that candidates in the May elections cannot rely solely on endorsements from popular figures such as the President. Beyond the endorsement, voters also look at the achievements and potentials of senatorial candidates, Tabunda told ANC’s Early Edition. The most heavily endorsed candidate, former special assistant to the President, Christopher Go, has not managed to break into the winning circle of 12, despite an aggressive campaign using billboard and tarpaulins all over Metro Manila.

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“My thrust is to concentrate on my work. I already said it the last time, I am not a stranger to those kinds of ratings,” Arroyo added. The approval rating of the House of Representatives also improved to 66 percent, up 10 percentage points from the previous 56 percent. By region, Duterte received a 96 percent approval rating and a 91 percent trust rating in Mindanao; an 86 percent approval rating and 82 percent trust rating in the Visayas, and a 74 percent approval rating and 69 percent trust rating in Luzon. His lowest ratings came from Metro Manila, where he received a 69 percent approval rating and a 67 percent trust rating. The Palace welcomed the latest survey results. “The survey results underscore that our people fully believe in the methods undertaken by the President in running the bureaucracy and the country,” the President’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, said in a statement. The figures mean the public supported the third extension of martial law in Mindanao, the implementation of the P2 hike in fuel excise tax, and the arrest of party-list members in

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“We have not yet conducted any investigation with respect to the subject matter of the privileged speeches of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Representative Andaya. As of the moment, we are only in the process of gathering documents,” Martires said. Martires also dismissed as “inaccurate” Andaya’s statement about the Ombudsman noticing “red flags of corruption” on the evidence presented during hearings of his panel. “Truth of the matter is, we have not seen any red flag even from the horizon because we have not been sufficiently educated as to the subject matter of the privilege speeches of Senator Lacson and Representative Andaya, and as we have yet to fully investigate the matter.” Andaya, meanwhile, said his panel has formally in-

Work-from-home... From A1 or the Telecommuting Act was signed “to adapt to the different work environments of the changing times.” “We laud our lawmakers for the timely passage of RA No. 11165 since telecommuting as a work arrangement is fast becoming the new norm, with the Filipino labor market starting to open up with alternative avenues in view of computer technologies,” Panelo said in a statement. “With its full implementation, we are optimistic that this arrangement can also contribute in easing the traffic conditions in Metro Manila and in other urban areas,” he added. The spokesman noted the new law “will give fair treatment to telecommuting employees in the private sector” as they can now work from home or any place outside the employers’ premises.

vited Diokno to attend the resumption of its inquiry on Jan. 15, 2019. At the same time, Andaya said the committee sent subpoenas to senior officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Anti-Money Laundering Council, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Department of Budget and Management as well as Francis Clemente, the one who acted as the liaison officer of C.T. Leoncio Construction, Diokno’s alleged favored contractor, in dealing with government contracts. “We expect full cooperation and full disclosure from those invited to the hearing as they will be testifying under oath. We also expect to be provided with documentary evidence that could shed light on the anomalous budget practices of the DBM and questionable allocations for DPWH, which we uncovered during the previous hearing,” Andaya said. “This is the proper forum for our senior government of-

“They will still be given the same treatment and entitlements as those employees physically working at the offices,” Panelo, also the Presidential Legal Counsel, explained. “We are confident that the Department of Labor and Employment will perform thoroughly as it leads the government put into action the directives of the law,” he added. According to him, the signing of the “landmark piece of legislation” is a recognition of an emerging and innovative Filipino workforce. Under RA 11165, employees from the private sector can now have new and alternative avenues in carrying out their tasks through telecommuting and other flexible arrangements. This will allow employees to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and computer technologies. However, the law stresses that an employer in the private sector can only offer

alert for possible renewed NPA attacks. “Once again I remind the troops to be more aggressive and vigilant at all times and encourage the civilian populace to continuously support government forces and report any NPA activities to prevent terroristic activities in the community,” Arevalo said. In Iloilo, a contingent of Scout Rangers from the 61st Infantry Battalion led by Lt. De Vera figured in fierce fighting with 30 terrorists in Sitio Tigmahan, Alomodias village in Miagao town Friday morning. Reports said the troops were on combat patrol when they encountered the 30 rebels and fighting ensued. In Sultan Kudarat, meanwhile, Esperanza municipal Mayor Helen Latog handed over 32 assorted firearms to military officials in Esperanza town on Friday morning. With PNA

FB... From A1 43-million accounts, mostly from the Filipino community, the social media giant told the government. Facebook completely removed all of Twinmark’s accounts and all its subsidiaries from its platform earlier on Friday, said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of the company’s Cybersecurity Policy group. Some of Twinmarks’ most popular pages are “Filipino Channel Online,” “Gorgeous Me,” “Unhappy,” “Text Message,” and “TNP Media.” “This is one of the most significant take downs in the world. We’re not just removing the violating behavior, we are removing the entire organization,” Gleicher said. “When we take an action like this we don’t take an action based on the nature of the content of the page … Instead, we’re looking at the behavior, which is the selling of these pages and the spam policies,” the Facebook executive emphasized. Twinmark Media was caught repeatedly violating Facebook’s spam policies and manipulating public information “through coordinated inauthentic behavior, using fake accounts, and selling administration access to Facebook pages to increase profit.” “We have notified the Philippine government already regarding it, but we don’t recommend what the government should do. We’re more focused on removing the violating behavior from our platform,” Gleicher said. An example of Twinmark’s violation, Gleicher said, is changing the name of its Facebook pages after gathering a large following and substantially changing the page’s subject matter, which violates Facebook’s policies on misleading and manipulating followers. Facebook has taken down more than 20 organizations like Twinmark’s all over the world the previous year,” Gleicher said. “Our team is continuously looking for these types of behavior. And as we find these clusters, we will take them down,” he added. Facebook initiated investigations as early as November 2018, when it first identified the group selling access to their Facebook pages.

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Deguito is the former branch manager of RCBC in Jupiter, Makati, where part of the stolen money was transferred and deposited to four US dollar accounts under the names of Michael F. Cruz, Jessie Christopher M. Lagrosas, Alfred S. Vergara and Enrico T. Vasquez. PNA

ficials to air their side on the issues at hand. We will give them all the time needed to present their case. But we expect specific responses to specific issues. No general denials, and hiding behind technicalities,” Andaya added. He said the panel will dig deeper into the alleged flood control projects scam where Diokno allegedly allocated huge amount of funds without the knowledge of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar. Meanwhile, in an interview on radio dzMM, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said the President and Diokno differ over the procurement law, with Duterte seeking amendments and the Budget chief saying these are unnecessary. Pimentel has filed a bill seeking to amend the Government Procurement Reform Act of 2003, and agrees with Duterte that the law should be reviewed. Pimentel’s proposal wants bidders selected based on “value for money” and not just the lowest offer, he told dzMM.

a telecommuting program to its employees on a voluntary basis. Telecommuting will be allowed on the grounds that such terms and conditions shall not be less than the minimum labor standards set by law, including compensable work hours, a minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, and entitlement to leave benefits. The employer shall also ensure that telecommuting employees are given fair treatment as that of comparable employees working at the employer’s premises. Meanwhile, telecommuting employees shall receive a similar rate of pay, shift differentials, monetary benefits, rest periods, regular holidays, and special non-working days. They shall also have the same workload performance standards, access to training and career development opportunities, and collective rights as those of comparable employees working at the company’s premises. To ensure its proper implementation, the

Department of Labor and Employment shall establish and maintain a telecommuting pilot program in select industries that would last for a period of not more than three years. “The said agency shall be responsible for baselining, scoping, and profiling research work prior to implementation, regular quarterly monitoring, and evaluation,” the law stated, tasking DOLE to submit a report to Congress on its findings. Within 60 days from the effectivity of the law, the DOLE, in consultation with the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council, shall issue the appropriate implementing rules and regulations. The act will take effect 15 days after its publication in the government’s official gazette or in any newspaper of general circulation. The RA 11165 was a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1363 and House Bill No. 7402, which was passed by the Congress in October 2018. The President then approved the act last December.

News IN BRIEF PACC powers vs corruption expanded PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has granted the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission additional powers to expand its jurisdiction amid the agency’s probe on three Cabinet officials. Through Executive Order No. 73, Duterte cited his earlier EO creating the PACC to amend the agency’s jurisdiction, powers, and functions. “The Commission shall have the power, on complaint or motu proprio, and concurrently with the Office of the Ombudsman, to hear, investigate, receive, gather, and evaluate evidence, ntelligence reports, and information on administrative cases against all presidential appointees in the Executive Branch of the government, any of its agencies... or who otherwise represent the interests of the government for acts or omissions constituting violations,” the law read. According to the EO, the PACC could execute its additional duties if a person or entity representing the government committed acts of graft and corruption, declaration of forfeiture, code of conduct, some provisions under the book two of the revised penal code, and the administrative code. Nat Mariano



Rody to seek deal on teachers’ pay hike By Macon Ramos-Araneta


RESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday that he is willing to strike a deal with public school teachers to increase their pay.

In his address to teachers at the groundbreaking of the Gen. Gregorio del Pilar National High School in Bulakan, Bulacan, Duterte said he is already discussing the possibility of increasing the teachers’ salary with Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno. “I am willing to strike a deal in the presence of Secretary Leonor Briones

with the teachers. You can choose the date, January, just make it fast. Then we can make even an agreement or manifesto or choose whatever kind of document itself. Kayo ang isusunod ko this year [You will be next to receive a salary increase this year],” he said. The President said he is willing to talk to representatives of teachers but not the Leftist ones.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier echoed the Philippine National Police’s remark, which noted that the Alliance of Concerned Teachers has long been identified with the Left. Duterte said the salary increase of uniformed personnel came first due to budget constraints and the peace and order situation in the country but vowed to prioritize the teachers’ pay hike next. “Inuna ko ‘yung sundalo because alam ko kung ano ang mangyari. We were able—nasilip ko na ang future and it would cost lives at marami ditong mamamatay. Inunahan ko na sila. Long

before nangyari ‘yan—hindi ko lang sinabi. Alam ko na ang Intelligence the way we were picturing it, puputok ‘to. Pumutok nga. Kaya medyo ipit ako, Ma’am. (I prioritized the soldiers’ pay hike because I know what will happen. I saw the future and it would cost lives. I had to act first. I just did not divulge it. The intelligence community, the way we were picturing it is that something would happen, and something indeed happened. Which is why I was caught in between, Ma’am),” he said. Diokno, meanwhile, said all government employees are set to receive salary increases in 2019 but Congress needs to approve the national budget first.

BI deports Japanese listed as most wanted in PH THE Bureau of Immigration deported a Japanese fugitive who is in the list of his country’s most wanted criminals. The Japanese, Misao Kaminsukasu, alias Misao Koyama and Takeshi Koyama, was expelled by the bureau on the request of the Japanese Embassy to face criminal charges. Kaminsukasu left the country via Nippon Airways flight N to Narita, Tokyo, three weeks after agents from the BI fugitive search unit arrested him along Roxas Boulevard and Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City. “The Bureau also ordered his inclusion in the immigration blacklist of undesirable aliens, thus he is banned from re-entering the Philippines,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said. Kaminsukasu, who is detained at the immigration detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig, was arrested last December 18 after the Japanese government sought the BI’s assistance to locate and deport him so he could stand trial for his crime. Vito Barcelo

DAR chief vows zero backlog on legal cases AGRARIAN Reform Secretary John Castriciones on Friday vowed to achieve a zero backlog on agrarian legal implementation cases in 2019. Citing data from the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance Division, the Department of Agrarian Reform, in 2018, was able to resolve 84.80 percent of its cancellation cases or 1,529 of 1,803 case loads. The agency has also evaluated 3,241 out of the 3,601 case loads concerning cancellation without agrarian legal implementation cases. The cases are now en route to their proper regional offices for final disposition, segregation and transfer into individual certificates of land ownership awards. “These cancellation cases go as far back as 2012. Secretary Castriciones has ordered us to step up our game in our bid to attain a zero backlog of agrarian cases,” Legal Affairs Undersecretary Luis Meinrado Pangulayan said. He said the decided cancellation cases mostly involved collective CLOAs. “We are fast-tracking these cases in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s preference to turn collective CLOAs into individual CLOAs,” he said.

ASSEMBLY. Members of One Bangsamoro Movement Inc., along with members of the communities outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region join the National Leaders Assembly, Jan. 11, 2019 in support of Bangsamoro Organic Law along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. Manny Palmero

Gov’t on alert to prevent entry of African swine fever AUTHORITIES have seized a total of 72.3 kilograms of meat products over the past month as part of measures to prevent the entry of pork commodities contaminated with African Swine Fever. The Bureau of Customs-Port of Clark, in close coordination with the Bureau of Animal Industry, have seized pork, beef and poultry products without Import Permit or Sanitary/Phyto-sanitary Import Clearance. Based on the BAI report from Dec. 1, 2018 to Jan. 8, 2019, it has confiscated

31.5 kilograms of pork products, 18.5 kilograms of beef products and 22.3 kilograms of poultry products. In an advisory issued Friday, the BOC said the products were found inside the luggage of passengers from South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Spain and the US. The apprehension was a result of the rigid inspection of check-in and hand-carried luggage of incoming passengers at the Clark International Airport. It added that mandatory x-ray inspection of baggage of incoming passengers

and physical examination of marked luggage are also being implemented. The BAI also established foot baths at the airport’s entry points. The seized meat products were turnedover to the bureau for destruction. Last week, the Department of Agriculture banned the import of pork and porkbased products from 13 countries namely Belgium, China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, and Zambia. PNA

DENR to lead ‘Bora-like’ rehab of Manila Bay By Vito Barcelo THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources on Friday said it will lead the rehabilitation of Manila Bay starting Jan. 27 similar to the successful rehabilitation of Boracay to address mounting pollution on Manila’s popular coastline. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu described the Manila Bay a “magnified cesspool” because of the high coliform level of 330 million “most probable number” (MPN) per 100 milliliter, compared to the safe level of 100 MPN per 100 milliliter. Manila Yacht club commodore Robert Joseph said it will support and take part in the massive cleanup of Manila by to bring the pristineand glory of the once popular “Manila Bay sunset”. Manila Bay is not a tourist destination because more than half of the entire bay has floating garbage, mostly plastic, woods, Styrofoam and other waste materials are discriminately thrown by residents that lives along the rivers and esteros, according to the government. Cimatu vowed to apply the same “political will” to Boracay in the rehabilitation of 19-kilometer long Manila Bay and make the waters fit for swimming, diving, and other forms of contact recreation.

War veterans’ monthly pension raised to P20,000 By Nat Mariano PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law increasing the monthly old-age pension of war veteraans. Under Republic Act No. 11164, veterans who saw action in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War would receive increases in their old-age pensions. The old age-pension will be increased to P20,000 per month, provided that the veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars are not receiving a separate pension from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The law also provides that the entitlement to the increase in the old-age pension will l be limited to the eligible living senior veterans and will not be transferable to any family members and/or dependents of the senior veterans. Meanwhile, in order to augment the amount needed to fund the increase, the budget necessary for its initial implementation shall be charged against the current year’s available appropriation of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

Hurt by threat, Du30 won’t buy US arms, equipment

NO TO EXCISE TAX. Members of Alyansa ng Samahang Pantao staged a picket along Mendiola in Manila to oppose the P2 excise tax on petroleum products on the second implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law. Norman Cruz

THE Philippines will no longer do business with the United States in terms of buying arms and equipment. This was bared no less by President Rodrigo Duterte, who on Thursday said his administration will no longer purchase arms from the US after the world superpower said that it would impose sanctions on countries buying military equipment from Russia. In a speech in front of soldiers in Bulacan, Duterte said he decided on such a move after an American senator raised concerns about alleged human rights violations here. Duterte said that aside from Russia, the US was also against Manila purchasing arms from China. “Pagka bumili ka sa China o maybe Russia, magsali ka sa embargo. You cannot trade with America. So para kang inipit doon sa ano. Eh sabi ko naman sa—your superiors and the civilian leaders, with that kind of arrangement, do not expect me to buy arms from the United States,” he said.




Ratifying the Bangsamoro Organic Law

THIS is the first of several columns on the ratification of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Law. Last year, I wrote several articles on this issue; these were published in MindaNews, intended for a Mindanao audience and to assess the new law. I update those articles in this series and with a different objective in mind: For a national audience and to assist people and groups in making decisions to support or oppose the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao which will replace the

It’s time to move forward in Mindanao.

current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. At the outset, I declare my support for the Bangsamoro, for the ratification of the BOL and the replacement of ARMM with BARMM. This will be good for peace in Mindanao and the Philippines. This will lead to opportunities for sustainable and inclusive development in the island and the country. The BOL is a big improvement over the ARMM Law. Under the BOL, Congress is allowing the Bangsamoro the

Adelle Chua, Editor


highest form of autonomy, a promise the government made to the both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front in the respective peace processes with them, both of which I had participated in as a government representative. When Republic Act No. 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law was signed by the President, I described what transpired as a “whole of country” project that we pulled off successfully. I praised the President, the leaders of the House of the Representatives, and the Senate, the administration coalition, and the opposition for what they succeeded in doing. I also complimented the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front, the local government officials, the leaders of the indigenous peoples in the affected areas, and civil society organizations for their constructive engagement in the process. I was both witness and participant in that process, having as assisted the Lumad leaders to make sure their interests would be met by the law and also in providing advice to several senators. This is not to say that the BOL is perfect. There are still a few legal and political issues left, including non-compliance by the government of some of its com commitments in the Comprehensive Agree Agreement on the Bangsamoro. But from the seriously flawed versions that came out of the House and the Senate, with potentially dozens of big gaps and problems, we ended up with a law with not too many flaws. As I described in my Mindanews series, Republic Act No. 11054 is a product of four administrations (Ramos, Arroyo, Aquino, and Duterte), of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Transition Committee, and the indigenous peoples inside and outside

Losing the art of the deal


NITED States President Donald Trump has long been talking about a border wall to discourage illegal immigrants from coming to his country, but it's only now that the world is seeing how dead serious he is about that wall.

steadfast in their refusal to build the wall. “A total waste of time,” he tweeted soon after. “I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” Earlier, Trump had told Senator Charles Schumer that he would look foolish if he reopened the government before securing the money he needed for his wall. And when he was asked why he chose to hurt Americans with his decision, Trump reportedly said: “Because then you won’t give me what I want!” Trump’s supporters may look at his behavior in a positive light—as strong, unwavering will toward a desired end. Persistence and refusal to compromise could be good qualities in a leader, especially when they are on the side of truth and justice. This is how crusaders succeed in the face of adversity. It could also be seen as obstinacy—misplaced pride that will not be challenged by yield-

The impasse between Trump and Congress has led to the shutdown of the US government. Congress, where Democrats hold sway, will not allow Trump to build that wall. As a result, hundreds of thousands of federal workers are set to miss their paychecks, and government agencies have not been business as usual for close to three weeks now. Just this Wednesday, Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders who were

ing to other views. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump’s actions and words hew more closely not to a principled statesman’s, but to those of a child who uses everything in his power, even throwing temper tantrums to the detriment of many, to gain attention and make everybody do his bidding. The US President was a savvy businessman before entering politics. He has benefited from his father’s connections and his propensity to exaggerate. In fact, he has published a book called “The Art of the Deal,” supposedly showing his expertise in business negotiations. Alas, what is happening now lacks the smoothness and savvy of any dealmaking art. Mr. Trump’s actions show he is neither public servant nor dealmaker—just a brat in an expensive suit and a fancy office.

Turn to A5

Vote Philippines

2019 may spell a difference in how the country is being administered if the electorate uses its right of suffrage responsibly and intelligently. The midterm elections in May is of paramount importance if Filipinos want to reverse the trajectory the country is headed led by this administration. Major challenges beset us. The 1987 Constitution, the basic law of the land, may be thrown to the trash bin and replaced by one crafted solely by vested interest groups whose interest is not only to effect a shift in our system of government to federalism, but also to weaken guarantees of the people’s human rights, and further strengthen the ruling class’ control on government power. Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 15 authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been endorsed to the plenary of the House of Representatives (HOR) for consideration. This document, apart from changing the form of government to federal, has removed the term limits for congresspersons and senators. This means that they can run for office and stay in their positions until kingdom come. Moreover, the Arroyo draft Constitution does not have any provision against political dynasties unlike the present Constitution that explicitly prohibits the reign of political families and clans. Even the Duterte-appointed Consultative Committee’s (ConCom) draft Constitution provides for some regulation (though not prohibition) of political dynasties. Clearly, lawmakers pushing for RBH 15 want to stay in power perpetually. Needless to say, if their draft Constitution is approved, our democracy will be significantly weakened. We need government functionaries who will protect the present Constitution and our democratic gains. President Duterte’s war against drugs continues to kill people, mostly the poor. Journalist Inday Espina-Varona, in a Facebook post said that under Duterte, more than 27,000 people have

been killed. Included here are 12 mayors and 6 vice mayors; 172 farmers; 3 priests; 34 lawyers; and 12 journalists. The list grows daily as killings continue. The scariest thing is, many of those who perished died in the hands of the very people mandated to protect them – the police. Life in this country has become very cheap. It seems that everyone has access to guns. With a president who, in his speeches encourages violence and killing, this culture of violence is further strengthened. Very sadly, it seems that people are becoming accustomed to the killings that the public outrage and protests are weakening. We need people in government who will go against this penchant for killing. We need public servants who will protect our right to life.

The coming elections is an opportunity for the people to strongly assert our power to direct our country. China continues to occupy and mili mililostarize parts of our territory. We are los ing what we own, and what we won. Duterte’s administration does not seem to mind that our sovereignty is blatantly violated and disrespected by a country our President considers as his friend. We cannot just stand by and allow our country to be occupied right under our noses. We need to put in position people who will protect our land and waters. We need leaders who will exhaust all means to stop China’s occupation of the West Philippine Sea. The freedom of the press and our right to free expression are being repressed. We continue to see how legitimate media organizations are threatened with lawsuits and non-renewal of franchises. The former Chief Justice who stood up to strong-arm tactics was removed via a very questionable means. Even elected officials are hounded and put to jail. Senator Leila de Lima remains behind bars. Another critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes is harassed continually. Turn to A5

Time to terminate THE Balangiga bells are back, returned after 117 years in the hands of imperialist and colonialist United State of America. They were taken as war booty smeared with the blood of tens of thousands of Filipino men, women and children, in one episode most symbolic of the brutality of American invasion and occupation of the country. And now, to complete the sovereignty, there’s one more thing left to do—to terminate the not-so-mutual Mutual Defense

public of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning military bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philip Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred This is a good in by the Senate and, when the Congress so opportunity for President requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum Duterte. held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.” Effectively, the 1987 Constitution, ratified in a nationwide plebiscite on Feb. 8, 1987, put an end to military coopera cooperation under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty and the Enhanced Defense CoopCoop Treaty of 1951, a treaty which ensured eration Agreement. that the Philippines continues to be a Section 25 of Article XVII of the 1987 neo-colony of the US even after being Constitution is clear, “After the expiration granted a bogus independence in 1946. in 1991 of the Agreement between the ReTurn to A5 Rolando G. Estabillo Publisher


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Taiwan is definitely not part of China I AM writing to refute Mr. Jonathan de La Cruz’s article titled “One country, two systems” published in your newspaper on Jan. 9. In Mr. De La Cruz’s article, it is obvious that he favors and supports Beijing’s “one country, two systems” and believes that it can be unilaterally imposed on Taiwan. I have to point out that Mr. De La Cruz neglects and misses the major and essential difference between Taiwan and China. The key words are democracy, human rights, and freedom. When US Vice President Mike Pence delivered remarks on US policy towards China at the Hudson Institute on Oct. 4, 2018, he pointed out that “America will always believe that Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people.” It is clear that Vice President Pence urged that China should follow Taiwan’s lead in establishing a democratic system of government. China refuses to acknowledge the strong opposition of the people of Taiwan to “one

country, two systems.” President Xi Jinping’s speech will negatively impact the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. The international community is paying close attention to its effects. The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) urges other countries to maintain active relations with Taiwan and to call for the peaceful resolution of issues across the Taiwan Strait whenever the opportunity arises. Taiwan is willing to cooperate closely with like-minded countries so as to better ensure the peace, stability, and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region. The Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country which has 17 diplomatic allies and has developed substantive relations with most other countries around the world. The claim that “the ‘One China Principle’ is the consensus in international society” is absolutely not true. Of China’s 178 diplomatic allies, only 51, or less than one-third, completely and explicitly recognized the so-called “One China Principle” in their respective diplomatic communiqués or other documents

establishing relations with China. The US, Japan, EU members and other major advanced democracies around the world have their own “One China Policy,” and do not accept the “One China Principle” proclaimed by the PRC. In testimony before the US Congress, then US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly explicitly stated that “the US ‘One China Policy’ is emphatically not the same thing as the PRC’s ‘One China Principle.’’’ Having undergone its own process of democratization, Taiwan has its own democratically elected president and legislature, as well as a rich and diverse press that enjoys full freedom. Taiwan has its own military, independently conducts its own foreign affairs, and issues its own currency, passports and visas, exercising absolute and exclusive jurisdiction over its own territory. Taiwan is definitely not a part of China.


which allows the Bangsamoro people to chart their own destiny; democratic political system which allows the Bangsamoro people to participate in a democratic political system; an electoral system consistent with national electoral laws and democratic electoral participation; establishment of a civilian government; promotion of social justice; adherence to international agreement and treaties; respect for the rights of non-Moro Indigenous peoples; and respect for the freedom of choice. Article V delineates the powers of the national government and the Bangsamoro Government. Thus, the national government exercises all powers not granted to the Bangsamoro government by the Constitution. Section 2 specifies the powers granted to the Bangsamoro Government. The more significant powers by the Bangsamoro Government are administration of justice, administrative organization, ancestral domain and natural resources, budgeting, civil service, classification of public lands, customary laws, eminent domain, human rights, indigenous people’s rights, public works and structure, tourism development and many more. Article VI (Intergovernmental Relations) lays down the mechanism that will define the relationship between the national government and the Bangsamororo government for cooperation, coordination and issue resolution. The President shall exercise general supervision over the Bangsamoro Government to ensure that the laws are faithfully obeyed. An Intergovernmental Relations Body is created to coordinate and resolve issues through consultation and negotiation in a non-adversarial manner. Finally, Article III delimits the territorial jurisdiction of the BARMM. As defined, the Bangsamoro shall include all geographical areas of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, municipalities that voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite, the cities of Cotabato and Isabela in Basilan, and all other contiguous areas where a resolution of the local

government unit or a petition of at least ten percent (10%) of the registered voters in the area seeks for their inclusion at least two (2) months prior to the conduct of the ratification of this Organic Law. The plebiscite will be held on two dates. The first is on Jan. 21 for the provinces (Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Sulo, which are already part of ARMM which the law considers one unit for purpose of ratification, and for the cities of Cotabato and Isabela which are being proposed for inclusion into the new entity. The second is on Feb. 6 for those municipalities in Lanao del Norte and barangays in North Cotabato that the BOL includes as areas to be included in the BARRM and other areas which are petitioning to be included into the new entity. In the second vote, the whole of Lanao del Sur and North Cotabato would be voting to allow or disallow the concerned municipalities or barangays to join BARMM. I suppose that if there are other areas—probably municipalities or barangays from other provinces—that would be include because of a successful petition, their home or current provinces or cities would also have to vote. There will be challenges in implementing the BOL. Staffing the new governance entity with competent, technical people will not be easy. Getting the national government agencies, especially the Department of Budget and Management, to change their behavior from one control to one of respect, support and autonomy, will not come overnight. There is also the constitutional challenge pending before the Supreme Court. A Temporary Restraining order halting the plebiscite would have immediate impacts on the ground, especially this late in the game. It’s time to move forward in Mindanao. Ratifying the Bangsamoro Organic Law and creating the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao is a good step in that direction.

Philippine presidents attempted various degrees of industrialization initiatives while cutting back U.S. neocolonial influence, culminating in Marcos’ 11 Industrial Projects and reduction of the US military bases term, both leading to his ouster with U.S. assistance in 1986 and Clark Air Base used to hijack the president. However, the 1986 Edsa Uprising restored neo-colonial elitism under Corazon Aquino and almost succeeded in reversing the end of the U.S. Bases Agreement in 1991 but for 12 Senate votes affirming Marcos’ reduction of the lease. And yet, in violation of the 1987 Constitution, the Philippine government signed a Visiting Forces Agreement in 1998 which became the basis for EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) U.S. military basing within Philippine military bases. In January of 2016 the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, echoing the persuasion of 14 other senators reminded one and all that “When the Supreme Court held in the 2009 case of Nicolas v. Romulo that the VFA is constitutional, no less than then Chief Justice Puno dissented, telling his colleagues, ‘This slur on our sovereignty cannot continue, especially if we are the ones perpetuating it.’ Those words resonate today, with the Supreme Court decision on the EDCA,..” A most welcome news came when late last December 2018 Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana raised the possibility of

scrapping the 1951 MDT between the Philippines and the United States, as he ordered a review of the pact to see if it is still relevant to the country’s national interest at this point in its history. Lorenzana was quoted by various newspapers saying, “That was done in 1951, there was this raging Cold War. Do we still have a Cold War today? Is it still relevant to our security. Maybe not anymore?” While the secretary is seen by some quarters as a pro-American element in President Duterte’s cabinet, others see a more balanced and objective professional retired Filipino officer in him. The initiative for the review of the MDT is said to be purely the defense secretary’s, though no one can really say if it was not directly inspired by President Rodrigo Duterte, as the President has indeed taken sufficiently convincing steps such as the return of the Balangiga bells to convince anyone, not the least the defense secretary, that such a review of the MDT will be in line with the President’s persuasion. A reopening for review of the MDT today will likely result in the conclusion that the reasons for such a treaty no longer exists and the recommendation to the President will be that it be scrapped. Hence, it is a good opportunity to give Duterte the opening for a formal abrogation of the MDT and announcement of the end of the EDCA.

We need government officials who will champion our people’s rights. We need progressives who will fight with the women in the protection of our rights. Philippine economy has significantly deteriorated. Capital flight is real. Our foreign debt has ballooned significantly. The value of the peso continues to go down, and inflation rates remain high. The poor continue to be poor, and many of those in the middle class complain of the high cost of living. The Filipinos’ quality of life is not improving. With the impending implementation of TRAIN 2, it is hard to be economically optimistic this year. We need to put in position people who will seriously look after the people’s welfare and work to put in policies that will help improve our lives. Much rests on the choices that the Filipino electorate will make come the midterm elections. If people want to retain our democratic gains, restore faith in our justice

system and the police, protect our sovereignty, respect human rights, particularly women’s rights, improve our quality of life, and overall change the country’s course, we need to be very careful in who to vote for. The coming elections is an opportunity for the people to strongly assert our power to direct our country. The Senate is particularly important because it is the body that can possibly thwart the threat of Charter Change, oppose repressive policies, protect our independence and sovereignty, promote human rights, and put in place laws that will look after people’s welfare. We need principled and progressive senators who know and are capable of doing the work. We need to make the right choices. Vote for the Filipino people. Vote Philippines.

From A4

the Bangsamoro that sought to have their voices heard. It is a product of a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives from the administration and opposition—Zubiri, Drilon, Angara, Fariñas, Sema, Dimaporo, and Lobregat, etc. who worked together to forge a consensus even as they represented diverse, conflicting interests. The President himself got involved at the right time and resolved an important legal issue—how to approach the inclusion of the six Lanao del Norte municipalities—correctly. The objective of the BOL is “to establish a political entity, provide for its basic structure of government in recognition of the justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people and the aspirations of Muslim Filipinos and all indigenous cultural communities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to secure their identity and posterity, allowing for meaningful self-governance within the framework of the Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.” The law consists of 18 articles defining the territorial jurisdiction of the BAR, general principles and policies, the powers and structure of the Bangsamoro government, Wali, basic rights, justice system, national defense and security, fiscal autonomy, regionals autonomy and patrimony, rehabilitation and development, plebiscite, amendments and transitory provisions. Article IV (General Principle and Policies) lists down the guiding principles that shall govern the BARMM in all aspects of socioeconomic and political governance. These principles include: territorial integrity and allegiance which mandates the Bangsamoro as an integral part of the Republic and its people an inseparable part for the Filipino nation; self-governance

Time... From A4

In fact, the MDT was not the only act the US forced the Philippines to swallow to maintain its hegemony over the country beyond the so-called grant of independence. The 1946 Bell Trade Act, formally Philippine Trade Act of 1946, tied war damage claims to free trade conditions and equal economic rights for the US and its citizens. The 1947 Military Bases Agreement granted the US the right to retain the use of its military bases in the Philippines for 99 years (but which was later reduced by the late President Ferdinand Marcos). The imperialist and neo-colonial designs of the US on the Philippines is best illustrated by the book of the late Filipino nationalist-industrialist Salvador Araneta written in his book “America’s Double-Cross of the Philippines.” “The indifferent economic development of the country…was due to America’s policy toward Japan and the Philippines. This policy was the result of the Dodds Report, which Truman accepted and which had as its objective to make Japan the industrial workshop of Asia and the Philippines a mere supplier of raw materials,” Araneta wrote. The Philippine economy continued its dependency on the US while successive

Vote... From A4

Duterte’s men are moving heaven and earth to also put him in jail. Without freedom of the press and free expression, democracy will die. We will be like robots or servants who will follow and believe whatever is told us. Our human rights are sacred. They dignify our humanity. However, our Constitutionally guaranteed rights are being consistently disrespected and eroded. Women are subjected to blatant misogynist remarks from no less than the highest official of the land almost on a daily basis. This president is single-handedly destroying the gains achieved by Filipino women through hard work for many decades. Moreover, human rights defenders and advocates are vilified by this administration in an attempt to intimidate them into silence.

Michael Peiyung Hsu Representative Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines

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The overvalued dollar THE world hopes the US-China trade war will be resolved peacefully with two sides seeing reason than in keeping high the banner of blind chauvinism. The major trading partners need to have their voices heard instead of the US attempting to conscientize countries of the problem that is of its own making. The US’ lamentation of its huge trade deficit represents one side of the coin. The other half is whether the US is willing to adjust its currency to a more realistic level for China and other countries to buy more from them as the surest formula to narrow down the trade gap. The US imports goods not only from China but from other countries without equivocally thinking that the inability of other countries to import is the result of the high cost of the US dollar translated in terms of production cost. Focusing on that issue alone, one could see it as a sign that something is wrong in the US monetary policy. As of 2017, the US has a serious trade deficit with at least 10 countries. Leading is China with $357 billion; followed by Mexico with $76 billion; Japan with $20 billion; Germany with $56 billion; Ireland with $39 billion; Vietnam with $38 billion; Italy with $28 billion; Malaysia with $21 billion; India with $21 billion; and, with South Korea with $21 billion. China alone represents 47 percent of the total US trade deficit. Even if the US succeeds in inducing China to increase its imports to narrow down the trade deficit, that would not solve the problem if there are countries that produce and export the same goods to the US at lower prices. It is the American importers that determine when, and from whom to import, at what price. Other countries that offer lower price cannot be accused of undercutting the US. Rather, it speaks of the truth that production cost clinches the deal. China cannot be forced to import goods from the US if that would result in trade loss. The same principle goes to US importers if there are countries offering those goods at lower prices than that offered by China. The US was initially happy at this monetary arrangement where the dollar commanded higher value compared to other currencies. The dollar could buy more, but American producers could sell less of their products abroad. American neoliberals believe that through this new mode of imperialism done through currency manipulation, the US and its allies thought it will work forever to their advantage. China and other underdeveloped countries then could only offer their vast and teeming manpower as their means of exchange to sustain the one-sided trade with the US. Most distressing is that US President Trump could not comprehend why US companies entered into agreement to allow the manufacture of local components of its products, say for the production of vehicles, electronic parts and machineries. It could not see the logic that many US companies opted to outsource their production to China as it was beneficial to the companies and to the US consumers. For the exporting countries, the trade arrangement created local employment for those engaged in the manufacture of the local components, and allowed US products to lower its production cost and remain competitive with other countries producing the same goods. Most economists sympathetic to the US position reject the idea that the exchange of goods is measured on the value of one’s currency. Maybe Marx was probably still unaware that beyond the value of labor, goods can astronomically increase its value through currency manipulation. Translated into business, the one who could sell his goods at the cheapest price usually comes out the winner.

This is consistent with the view that he who could produce more at the cheapest cost wins the market competition. Adam Smith called this the “comparative advantage theory” to suggest that it would be much cheaper for France to import wool from England just as it would be cheaper for England to import wine from France. When the US thought of dropping gold to measure the value of the dollar, it relied wholly on the strength of its own GDP, being then the leading manufacturing country. The US came out with an economic formula they thought could make the US economic invincible caused by the cycle of boom and bust. They thought wise to just expand and contract the value of the currency vis-a-vis to increase or decrease trade in what it calls “adding liquidity” to the market, ignoring altogether the importance and value of production which in fact is the foundation of wealth creation. For instance, the US decision to slap a 25-percent tariff on steel and aluminum forced US car manufacturing plants in China and elsewhere to increase their production cost until it eventually affected their sales. China did not retaliate to impose the same level of tariff but on the contrary, reduced tariff on car imports from other countries. Car and car parts imports

It has become a liability.

from Germany, and even the US brand Tesla were granted 15 to 40-percent tariff reduction. Even BMW and Mercedes which were manufactured and assembled in the US were included in the tariff reduction. This strategy was undertaken to emphasize just how vulnerable US products can be when subjected to the rigors of competition. US trade analysts should have paid attention not so much on countries where it is saddled with trade deficit but to its consumers which is the real culprit that is causing the trade deficit. In that, one could decipher that American consumers, through their business importers, want to stretch the cost of their money which conversely means that they could buy more goods made in China, than elsewhere. As the saying goes, water will always seek its own level, which in this case money will seek to buy goods which stand out as the cheapest in the market. The strategy used in the application of tariff on imported cars is classic; that American made cars cannot withstand the rigors of competition in the international market, and quality has little bearing to it but on what their money could buy, which only those that rely on the US dollar are raking in profit not on the product, but on the margin and difference in the exchange of currency. This came as no surprise why suddenly GM plants in the US, Mexico and China suddenly announced closure. The reliance by the US to use the dollar to facilitate loans and credits attracted more and more portfolio investments. Hand in hand with the growth of finance capital was the growth of insurance and reinsurance businesses. Without the Americans knowing it, the profit derived from this form of business, which essentially involves the trading of currency or money market economy seriously lessened their inertia to engage in production, which is the foundation that made it the richest and most powerful in the world. It was pure finance capital that operated the US economy and now causing them much economic pain.

Our elusive chance at peace, prosperity WE WELCOME the Supreme Court’s rejection of bids to stop the conduct of the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law in the Muslim Mindanao regions as scheduled this coming Jan. 21 and Feb. 6. Quickly following the announcement, lawmakers from opposing camps lauded the high court’s disposition as it finally paves the way for the BOL’s likely ratification. They echoed in unison the sentiments of my fellow Mindanaoans. Unfortunately, certain quarters like the Philippine Constitution Association just cannot appreciate that political exercise means the world to most Mindanaoans, both Muslims and Christians. The Supreme Court’s wise justices apparently know better than to allow the elusive chance for peace and prosperity for the Promised Land to slip

away again. The BOL aims to establish a more meaningful regional autonomy, and shall replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao administration. If approved by the majority of electorate and implemented eventually, the BOL shall be the key to a lasting peace and progress not only for the Muslim areas but for the entire Mindanao. What the previous administration had failed to accomplish would finally be realized with a more realistic and relevant enabling law. In fact, the success of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao shall bode well for federalism movement throughout the nation. It follows that the BARMM may be a precursor for the country’s shift to the federal system of government, where the country’s regional governments would have a similar autonomy to more effectively deliver services to their respective constituents. The Supreme Court’s green light for the BOL plebiscite is a go-signal toward genuine change.







Rockwell bridge rehabilitation, expansion to four lanes start Jan. 19

Airlines accused of cancelling flights By Joel E. Zurbano

By Darwin G. Amojelar and Joel Zurbano THE Department of Public Works and Highways said the rehabilitation and expansion of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge would start on Jan. 19. The bridge, which connects Makati City at Estrella Street and Mandaluyong City at Barangka Drive will be closed to traffic starting Saturday to make way for its reconstruction and widening from two lanes to four lanes. But Senator Grace Poe blasted the planned closure and pressed the government to revisit the merits of replacing what she called the perfectly working Rockwell Bridge with a China-funded one amid allegations the latter would not bring relief to the 500,000 people who use the bridge, also known as the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, every day. The Metro Manila Development Authority has decided to postpone the Jan. 12 scheduled closure of the bridge and moved the start of the construction for the new bridge Saturday next week, Jan. 19. The 30-month construction of the bridge replacement was originally scheduled in September last year but the DPWH asked the MMDA to defer it to give way to the holiday season. It was later scheduled to Jan. 12 and moved anew. “January 19 at 4 a.m., total closure of the bridge will definitely push through,” said MMDA general manager Jose Arturo Garcia Jr. said in a press conference. The road works involves the demolition and construction of a new bridge not only to cater to more vehicles but to make it structurally sound in case of occurrence of massive earthquake. “They [DPWH] really need to widen and strengthen the bridge. We cannot compromise safety over traffic,” said Garcia. Moreover, the bridge was not designed for urbanized city when built in 2010, the official said. DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office Operations and Technical Services Emil Sadain said the total bridge closure would allow project contractor China Road and Bridge Corp. to accelerate dismantling of the existing bridge and construction of a new 506 lineal meters bridge structure. “We ask for public’s patience and understanding as we intend to go full blast on implementation so we can complete and open a new four-lane bridge crossing Pasig River within the 30-months construction period or by 2021,” Sadain said. In order to ease the traffic build-up that might occur with the closure of Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, the DPWH have earlier requested the MMDA and the city governments of Makati and Mandaluyong for traffic management assistance. Road traffic advisories were also installed around the project vicinity in coordination with traffic office of Mandaluyong and Makati Cities.

AIRPORT authorities on Friday accused some airlines of using the Ninoy Aquino International Airport runway overlay project as an alibi to cancel flights to the detriment of air travelers. The Manila International Airport Authority is undertaking the Runway Overlay Project for Runway 06/24, which entails longer runway closure from the usual 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m., to midnight to 6 a.m. daily except Sundays. The project, which will last until the end of first quarter, also includes degreasing and de-rubberizing works necessary to keep the international runway safe for landing and take-off. Meanwhile, two units of closedcircuit television monitors are now installed in every baggage carousel to prevent pilferage at the NAIA and for the passengers to actually see the luggage coming out from the conveyor upon arrival. Manila International Airport Authority general manager Eddie Monreal said all NAIA terminal baggage conveyors and carousel areas were now equipped with CCTV and monitors while the baggage loaders wears body cameras to eliminate “pilferage.” “All passengers that arrived can monitor what is happening while their luggage are being transported from the plane to the baggage conveyors,” Monreal said. Monreal tapped his men from the Airport Police Department at the tarmac to monitor the transporting of baggage from the plane to the buildup station and vice versa to ensure the safety of passenger’s baggage. He said all personnel in the tarmac must be frisked before entering or exiting the area, most especially those working from the aircraft to build up station and those who transport baggage of passengers. “I am appealing to everyone and to all service providers employees to do what is right and don’t put our country in a bad light,” the MIAA chief said.

DAY DONE. MMDA workers load orange barriers to their trucks used Wednesday during the 2019 Traslacion in the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene at the sprawling Luneta in Manila. Lino Santos

Sandiganbayan to try graft case vs Ynares By Maricel V. Cruz


HE Sandiganbayan has ruled to proceed with the trial of former Rizal Gov. Casimiro Ynares Jr., who is facing graft charges in connection with the alleged overpriced purchase of organic fertilizers by the provincial government during his incumbency. The anti-graft court’s Third Division, in a resolution dated Jan. 3, denied the motion for reconsideration of Ynares for lack of merit; even as the court denied the same appeal of his co-accused, former assistant department head Romulo Arcilla Jr. Earlier, the Sandiganbayan denied the motion to suspend proceedings filed by Ynares and Arcilla.

“After an assiduous evaluation of the arguments raised by the accusedmovants in their subject motion for reconsideration and the comment/opposition thereto of the prosecution the Court resolves to deny the same,” the Sandiganbayan said. Ynares and Arcilla earlier asked the anti-graft court for the reversal of the Sandiganbayan’s decision to junk their

petition to suspend the proceedings. However, the Sandiganbayan said both defendants failed to present new arguments in their appeal. The court also said the plea of Ynares and Arcilla was mooted by the Supreme Court denial of their petition for certiorari. The Sandiganbayan quoted in its resolution a portion of the SC ruling, which says that the high court “found no grave abuse of discretion” against the Sandiganbayan when it denied the motion to quash Ynares and Arcilla. Ynares and Arcilla entered into an allegedly anomalous contracts for the acquisition of organic fertilizers.

Briton, Filipino wife who cultivate cannabis in Subic arrested CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga —A British and his Filipino wife were arrested by government anti-illegal drugs operatives following a raid in their rented apartment at Magdalena Homes in Subic, Zambales Friday. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said some P15 million worth of fully grown cannabis (marijuana) were uprooted and seized. The suspects were brought to PDEA 3

regional headquarters while charges were being prepared. PDEA 3 Director Gil Pabilona identified the suspects as Simon Stuart McLaren Watson, 44, and Riza Macabenta Fernandez, 29. Pabilona said the suspects closed a drug deal with a poseur buyer who met them outside their residence at past 2 a.m. He said they were arrested after handing quantitative amount of dried marijuana. The operatives, Pabilona said, barged into the suspects’

residence where they discovered a fully airconditioned and well-lighted nursery room, about five by six square meters floor size with fully grown cannabis planted on 64 medium-size pots kept inside. “This is the first cannabis laboratory plantation discovered by PDEA and operatives of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit in Central Luzon,” said Pabilona. He said the first similar “plantation” was discovered in Las Piñas last year. Uprooted marijuana, Pabilona said,

weighed more or less 10 kilos with estimated value of not less than P15 million based on the Dangerous Drugs Board prevailing assessment. Pabilona said the two were selling cannabis to their close friends. “We are still checking if the suspects are selling the stuff on line [since] there are reports on their alleged activities.” “We are still verifying the information. So far this is what we found out inside their house,” Pabilona explained. Cultivation and selling of marijuana is prohibited under the law. Jess Malabanan

PCSO earns P63b in 2018, breaches P60-b target AMID the persistent operations of illegal numbers game like jueteng, Small Town Lottery revenues continue to soar due to Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Alexander Balutan’s unwavering resolve in aggressively implementing Executive Order 13 of President Rodrigo Duterte. “The official results are in, and I am very excited to report that STL hit P26-billion gross sales in 2018 from just P4.7 to 5 billion a year during the previous years. In fact, our overall gross sales is P63 billion, breaching our P60-billion target,” said Balutan in a statement. In a data provided by the Gaming, Product Development and Marketing Sector headed by Assistant General Manager Arnel Casas, PCSO earned a whopping P63,557.912,238.39 in 2018.

Of that amount, P31,902,529,360 came from Lotto and digit games, P26,103,422,348.39 from STL, P4,397,969,030 from Keno, P1,149,124,000 from Instant Sweepstakes Ticket (PMC), and P4,867,500 from Sweepstakes. From its P15,742,331,964.66 gross sales in 2017, STL is up by 65 percent this year. Executive Order No. 13 was signed by President Duterte on Feb. 2, 2017 seeks to “intensify” the government’s fight against illegal gambling. The EO orders the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to work together and intensify their

efforts in curbing illegal gambling. “I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our employees and branch managers for a job well done,” Balutan said. “Of course, I would like to mention the efforts of our law enforcement agencies and NBI agents who are helping us during the raid. Kahit makasuhan kami, we will fight what is legal—ang STL. And this is not only my accomplishment as general manager, but the accomplishment of whole PCSO,” he added. PCSO Charter, or RA 1169, particularly on revenue allocation, provides that the revenue of the PCSO shall be allocated to 55 percent for prize fund (payment of prizes), 30 percent for charity fund (various charity programs and service) and 15 percent as operating fund (maintenance and operating expenses).



Notice is hereby given that the estate of the late IRENEO S. YIM who died intestate and without any Will or Testament and without any outstanding debts in favor of any person or entity on 1 September 1994 in Antipolo City, Rizal, and whom at the time of his death left real estate property situated in Barangay San Jose, Antipolo City, Rizal, Philippines, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 1429, has been extrajudicially settled among heirs as per Doc. No. 92; Page 20; Book 1; Series of 2018, before Notary Public.

This refers to the CAAP Board Resolution No. 2012-054 which was published January 11, 2019. The signature of CAAP Director General Captain Jim C. Sydiongco was inadvertently placed over the name of Hon. William K. Hotchkiss III who originally signed the Board Resolution . For this we apologize, thus this erratum.

(Sgd) ATTY. KIM L. RANCES (MS-JAN. 12,19 & 26, 2019)

HON. WILLIAM K. HOTCHKISS III Vice-Chairman/Director General , CAAP





Cousins return to action soon LOS ANGELES—Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins, targeting a January 18 NBA season debut after nearly a year sidelined by injury, will start immediately upon his return, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday. “Yeah I’ll start him,” Kerr told reporters at a Warriors practice. “After that, everything’s on the table. We have to figure out what the rotations will look like, how many minutes he can play. “We’ll have to play around with it —the minutes, the combinations, the sets. We haven’t had a player like him here before,” said Kerr, whose starting rotation already boasts the star talents of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Cousins, a four-time All-Star hasn’t played since his left Achilles tendon ruptured as he was playing for the New Orleans Pelicans against the Houston Rockets on January 26, 2018. Cousins joined the two-time defending NBA champion Warriors on a one-year, $5.3 million free agent contract in the expectation that he would be able to play the second half of the season. Kerr did not confirm that Cousins will start against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 18, saying the team needed to have some “leeway”. Kerr didn’t rule out the possibility that Cousins could start in a January 16 game against his old team the Pelicans. Kerr said Cousins had made “big steps” in his rehabilitation of late. “It’s looked to us and it’s felt to him that he has broken through a barrier,” Kerr said. “And we were waiting for that barrier.” Kerr noted how hard it was for Cousins to be sidelined for so long, but cautioned that he didn’t expect his return to competition to be smooth sailing. “The last couple of weeks he’s made a big step and his overall happiness seems better,” Kerr added. “He’s in a better place and now we’ve got to help him along because it’s not going to be easy when he comes back. This is just the next step of the process.” AFP

3 Metro Manila venues to host Best Center THE Best Center (Basketball Efficiency and Scientific Training Center) returns to three Metro Manila venues for its weekend classes, which have produced hundreds of collegiate and professional cagers in the last four decades. Classes at the Ateneo covered courts fired off last Jan. 5 and will last until Feb. 23. Students in Levels 1-4 in basketball and Levels 1 and 2 in volleyball can still join the 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sessions. The Christ the King Seminary on E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City also has classes from 1 to 4 p.m. on weekends for students in basketball Leves 1 and 2, according to former national coach and Best Center founder Nic Jorge. Sunday classes for basketball students in Levels 1 and 2 are also being offered at the Starmall in Alabang. Classes are set from 1 to 4 p.m. The Best Center is a recipient of the Olympism Award by the Philippine Olympic Committee and is a Hall-ofFame awardee by the Philippine Sportswriters Association. It pioneered scientific sports training in the Philippines. It has long been backed by Milo.

Filipinas break Thais’ Santi Cup golf reign

DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs pours water on teammate LaMarcus Aldridge following their game agains the Oklahoma City Thunder at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. AFP

Aldridge’s 56 pts lift Spurs past Thunder


OS ANGELES—LaMarcus Aldridge tallied a careerhigh 56 points as the San Antonio Spurs overcame Russell Westbrook’s triple double by outgunning the Oklahoma City Thunder 154-147 in a double overtime thriller on Thursday. Aldridge’s epic performance saw him surpass his previous career high of 45 points which he set against Utah last March. He rattled off seven points in the second overtime as the Spurs outlasted the Thunder one day after having one of their worst shooting performances of the season in a 96-86 loss to Memphis. “I was trying to be dominant,” Aldridge said. “I got going early in third and it felt good. I was trying to get to the rim. “We had to stay calm and get it done down the stretch, and we did.” Westbrook also delivered a monster game for the Thunder, finishing with 24 points, 24 rebounds and 13 assists. The Spurs have won six of seven and 14 of 18 to close within a game of the Thunder for third place in the Western Conference.

This was their first meeting of the season and Oklahoma City will get a chance for revenge on Saturday when they host the Spurs. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich recorded his 1,222 win, surpassing Jerry Sloan to move to third place on the all-time list. Paul George finished with 30 points and Jerami Grant had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who lost their seventh consecutive game in San Antonio. DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points and 11 assists but shot just seven of 22 from the floor and missed potential game-deciding shots at the end of regulation and the end of the first overtime. San Antonio made its first 14 three-pointers to set a franchise record. After their initial success from beyond the arc, the Spurs

switched gears and got the ball down low to Aldridge with the game on the line. “We try to play inside out and it worked tonight,” Aldridge said. Elsewhere, Dwyane Wade came off the bench to score 19 points and Justise Winslow had 13 points and a career-high 11 assists as the Miami Heat hammered the Boston Celtics 115-99. The Heat, who led by as many as 26 points, used a balanced attack to beat the Celtics as a half dozen players scored in double figures in front of a crowd of 19,600—their 400th straight sellout at Miami’s American Airlines Arena. Bench duty Minus a bona fide superstar, the Heat are getting consistent performances from a cast of hardworking youngsters and crafty veterans like Wade, who has been demoted to bench duty in his final NBA season. “We had a comfortable lead, but you know they are going to make a run,” the 36-year-old Wade said. “I got a couple of shots to fall.” AFP

DNA request made in Ronaldo rape case LOS ANGELES—Las Vegas police have asked soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to submit a DNA sample as part of their investigation into rape allegations made against him. The Juventus forward has vehemently denied the accusations—with his lawyer, Peter Christiansen, telling AFP the request was standard procedure. “Mr Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation,” he said in a statement. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said it had made an official request to Italian authorities, adding it is “taking the same steps in this case as in any other sexual assault to facilitate the collection of DNA evidence.” Former model Kathryn Mayorga, 34, of Las Vegas, accused Ronaldo in a complaint filed last year in the state of Nevada. She claims after meeting him at a Las Ve-

Las Vegas police have asked soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to submit a DNA sample as part of their investigation into accusations of rape made against the Juventas forward. AFP

gas nightclub, he raped her at his hotel suite on June 13, 2009—just before he joined Real Madrid from Manchester United. Mayorga alleges she was paid $375,000 to keep quiet. Ronaldo’s lawyers have said that the non-disclosure agreement signed with the former model is “by no means a confession of guilt.”

Mayorga’s attorney has previously said that the model agreed to an out-of-court settlement to keep her name from going public, but was inspired to speak out by the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. Mayorga’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday. AFP

Monsour to sports execs: Stop fighting

Olympian and SEAG’s multi-titled swimmer Eric Buhain (second from left) explains the importance of open try-outs to get the best swimmers that will represent the country in the coming 30th SEA Games, as SEAG chef de mission (left) Monsour del Rosario and National coach Pinky Brosas look on during the ‘Usapan sa Sports’ of the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports.

STOP bickering and start thinking of the gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila. This was the advise of 2019 SEAG chef de mission Monsour del Rosario as he urged fellow sports officials and athletes to set aside their differences and work together to ensure the country’s success in the biennial competition scheduled in Manila, Subic and Clark on Nov. 30-Dec. 11. “The Filipino athletes are talented enough to be the best in Southeast Asia, but we still have a lot of work to do to win the gold medals,” said Del Rosario dur-

ing the fifth “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports at the National Press Club in Intramuros yesterday. “As host nation, we have to do our best to win as many gold medals as possible,” added Del Rosario, who bagged several medals for the country in the SEA Games, Asian Games and World Championships from 1982 to 1989. The 53-year-old taekwondo champion said he hopes to duplicate, if not surpass, the country’s historic 19th-place finish in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial

Arts Games held in Turkmenistan where he also served as chef de mission. The country brought home two golds, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes while competing in 17 of 21 sports in the AIMAG. “In the AIMAG, I was given a free hand to call the shots for the 105-strong Filipino delegation. Like a war general, I planned the strategy for the team, worked with the coaches and athletes and even stayed with them at the Athletes’ Village. It worked to perfection,” explained Del Rosario, also known in the sports circle as “Mr. Taekwondo”.

THE Philippines ended Thailand’s domination of the Santi Cup in resounding fashion, claiming the team crown via a whopping 18-stroke victory and sweeping the top two posts in individual play of the South East Asia Golf Team Championships in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar recently. Asian Games gold medal teammates Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go sustained their top forms and teamed up with Bernice Ilas-Olivarez to power the Phl to the team championship in the 10th staging of the event for the top lady amateurs in the region, pooling a 72hole total of 559. Thailand, which ruled the first four editions from 2009-2012 then swept the last three championships, failed to match the PH’s hot start and strong finish at the City Golf Course, ending up with a 577 aggregate with Malaysia taking the bronze with a 593. Pagdanganan, also a former PH Ladies Amateur Open champion, stood at the forefront of the Pinays’ charge, scoring a 10-under 278 total to clinch the individual gold with Go bagging the silver with a 281. Thai Napabhach Boon-in settled for bronze with 287. Though it was only the Phl’s second victory in a decade-long staging of the annual championship, it underscored the Pinays’ tremendous form and confidence following their Asian Games conquest where Yuka Saso anchored the country’s improbable comeback in the final round to sweep the team and individual golds in last year’s Asiad in Jakarta. “The victory speaks so much of our players’ character and determination. More so, it underscored their readiness to take on the best when the country hosts the Southeast Asian Games this December,” said team captain and head of delegation Bones Floro. The National Golf Association of the Philippines sec-gen also reiterated the country’s golf body’s commitment to provide the national players, both in the men’s and women’s sides, the exposure and training needed to guarantee the PH’s strong showing in the upcoming SEAG wars. “We have set several lead-up tournaments and extensive training sessions for members of the men’s and women’s teams,” said Floro. The PH nailed a breakthrough in Santi Cup in 2014 in Brunei where Amelia Legaspi also won the individual gold to complete the sweep. Jayvie Agojo delivered the first individual gold in Indonesia in 2012.

Benilde advances to Final 4 COLLEGE of St. Benilde waylaid San Sebastian College with a quick, merciless 25-17, 25-16, 25-14 victory yesterday to advance to the Final Four in the women’s division of the 94th NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City. Rachel Anne Austero and Klarissa Abriam presided over the carnage when the two combined for 24 points as the Lady Blazers claimed their seventh win against a loss, a share of second with the San Beda Lady Red Spikers and, most importantly, a spot in the Final Four. There awaits Arellano University, the reigning champion who is on the cusp of sweeping the elimination round with a pristine 8-0 record, and SBU, last year’s losing finalist. The Lady Blazers will try to cap their elimination campaign with a triumph over the already eliminated Mapua Lady Cardinals on Monday. The Lady Stags slipped from a share of fourth spot with the Perpetual Help Lady Altas (4-2) to joint fifth with the Jose Rizal U Lady Bombers (4-4). LPU walloped EAC, 25-17, 25-16, 27-25, in women’s play and LPU outlasted EAC, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 16-25, 15-11, in the men’s section—both nonbearing games. EAC surprised LPU, 27-25, 25-19, 17-25, 25-16, to remain in the magic four with a 5-4 card in the juniors’ category. The Junior Pirates absorbed their second defeat against six wins to slip to No. 3.

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




Ghanaian-American actor/comedian Michael Blackson visited a relaxed Manny Pacquiao during a break in the Filipino ring icon’s training at his Los Angeles residence Thursday night. The eightdivision titleholder Pacquiao will defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight title against the four-division champ Adrien Broner on Jan. 20. MP Promotions

Batang Pinoy games to complement Palaro By Peter Atencio


HIS year, the competitions of the Batang Pinoy will serve as a complementary event of the Palarong Pambansa. Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez said this as the 2019 Batang Pinoy national and regional legs get under way next month. “The Batang Pinoy is the center of children sports development, which is in line with the implementation of the National Sports Development Program,” said Ramirez. The 2019 Batang Pinoy will have Davao del Norte, Isabela and Iloilo as hosts of the Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas legs, respectively. The Mindanao leg is set at Davao del Norte from Feb. 2 to 9, followed by the Visayas leg in Iloilo from Feb. 23 to March. 2. Then, the city of Ilagan, Isabela will be the host of the Luzon leg from March 16 to 23.

Pro league opens 44th year Sunday By Jeric Lopez AFTER a lengthy break, the Philippine Basketball Association is back with a bang. The league will open its 44th season season tomorrow in a big way with a lot in store at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The top performers from the 43rd season will first be awarded in the Leo Awards at 4 p.m., with June Mar Fajardo expected to be named the Most Valuable Player for a record fifth straight time. Following that, the new season is bound to open shop as the opening ceremonies will be conducted with the parading of the teams, along with their respective muses. The main course will be the clash or rivals Barangay Ginebra and TNT KaTropa. The Gin Kings and the Tropang Texters resume their rivalry with different scenarios. Ginebra will be parading its stacked and intact roster, while TNT KaTropa presents an intriguing new core after its drastic retooling in the off-season. While Ginebra still has gunners LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance and Scottie Thompson, TNT no longer has Terrence Romeo and instead, it will present new faces in David Semerad, Michael Miranda and Brian Heruela to help Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy. Commissioner Willie Marcial and Chairman Ricky Vargas will spearhead the opening festivities.

The venue of the national finals is still up for discussion, which could be Tagbilaran City or Ormoc City. Ramirez explained that in partnership with the Department of Education, they have synchronized the staging of the Batang Pinoy to be held right before the Palarong Pambansa in the coming years. “We have crafted this road map for grassroots sports that leads to the Palarong Pambansa,” added Ramirez after he signed a memorandum of agreement with Davao del Norte sports director Giovannie Gulanes, Iloilo Sports Coordinator Moises Carvajal and Ilagan Isabela City representative Ricky Laggui. Ramirez added that there were clamors to stop staging the games of the Batang Pinoy to give way to the Palarong Pambansa. But, that did not materialize. “We are sealing this partnership with our host LGUs to ensure mutual cooperation and achieve a successful staging of Batang Pinoy from Mindanao, Visayas and to Luzon,” said Ramirez of the meet that was almost cancelled this year but was reconsidered after the LGUs and

Ilagan, Isabela General Services Officer Ricky Laggui, Davao del Norte Provincial Sports & Youth Development Head Giovanni Gulanes, PSC Chairman William Ramirez and Iloilo City Sports Coordinator Moises Salomon pose for posterity at the Batang Pinoy MOA signing at the PSC Administrative Bldg., RMSC, Manila.

Department of Education bent on its huge help for the youth. “It was almost cancelled because of program duplication but hiniling sa atin ng mga LGUs at DepEd mismo na ituloy

dahil hindi lamang nito nabibigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga estudyante kundi pati na ang mga out-of-school youth at ibang mahihirap na kabataan na umunlad sa sports,” Ramirez said.

Showtime, TFC bring Pacman bout to Middle East viewers BOXING enthusiasts already have their bets as the bout between Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Adrien “The Problem” Broner draws near, which can be seen in the Middle East via Pay Per View on Jan. 20, brought exclusively by Showtime and The Filipino Channel. The eight-division titleholder Pacquiao will defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight title against the four-division titleholder Broner, with boxing fans expecting a knockout result. Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 knockouts) is training again at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles owned by his long-time coach and now consultant Freddie Roach. His training is closely monitored by Roach and Pacquiao’s head coach Buboy Fernandez, ABS-CBN Sports reported. On the other hand, Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) has never been this focused and is giving his 100 percent in the training for the bout, said his coach Kevin Cunningham in an article by As the opponents show grit more than a week before the match, spectators look forward to witnessing a gripping and all-out fight from the two boxers. Watch the Pacquiao vs. Broner fight on Jan. 20 at 5 a.m. (KSA) and 6 a.m. (DXB). Watch it live via Pay Per View on TFC Online ( by subscribing for only AED 40. Also available on OSN, eLife, and Ooredoo. For OSN, get the Pacquiao vs. Broner PPV for free by subscribing or renewing to OSN Pinoy Packages. It can also be seen by paying for OSN PPV for only USD 20 (AED 70). Kindly contact the following numbers: UAE (+97143677411); KSA (+966 11 4796531); KWT (+965 24370044); JOR (+962 65506401); BAH (+973 173 17407); and QAT (+974 4031 0046). For eLife, catch it on PPV channel 436 by subscribing for only USD 20 (AED 70). To subscribe, contact 101 or 800 101. Also catch it on Ooreedo by subscribing to PPV for only USD 20 (QAR 70). Contact their hotline number 111 to subscribe. For more updates on TFC’s upcoming shows and events, visit or facebook. com/TFCMiddleEast. Connect with fellow global Kapamilyas and follow @KapamilyaTFC and KapamilyaGlobalPR on Twitter and Instagram.

Austria, Cone, Victolero fight it out for Coach of Year honor LEO Austria, Tim Cone and Chito Victolero crowd each other out for the 2018 Coach of the Year as the PBA Press Corps celebrates the 25th year of its traditional Awards Night on Jan. 21 at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center. All three coaches won a championship each during the league’s 43rd season that made them in contention for the coveted Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan trophy, named after the late great ‘Maestro’ of coaching, to be handed out as the highlight of the yearly affair that will be marking its

silver anniversary. Austria won a fourth straight Philippine Cup title for San Miguel, Cone steered Barangay Ginebra to its first Commissioner’s Cup championship in 21 years, while Victolero won his first coaching crown after leading Magnolia Pambansang Manok to its first title since the 2014 grand slam season. During the 24th edition of the event, Austria ran away with his third straight Coach of the Year award that enabled him to permanently keep the

perpetual Dalupan trophy and become the first-ever mentor to do so since the group of sportswriters from both print and online media began handing out the plum 1993. Cone was Coach of the Year three times (1994, 1996, and 2014), while Victolero is vying for the award for the first time. Along with the Coach of the Year, also to be given out are the Executive of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Mr. Quality Minutes, and Break-

out Player of the season. As part of its 25th year anniversary celebration, the PBAPC is set to name the first-ever recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award and the revived President’s Award. Completing the honor roll list are the Game of the Season, All-Rookie Team, All-Interview Team, Scoring Champion, and the Order of Merit, which is given out to the one who had the most number of Player of the Week winner.

Ababa out to keep luck streak going in PGT Asia WINNER of three PGT Asia events, Jhonnel Ababa hopes to keep his run of good fortune on the newest regional circuit as he shoots for another crown in the ICTSI Pradera Verde Classic which gets going Jan. 16 at the Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga. The former amateur hotshot actually heads to the $100,000 championship hard-pressed to retain the crown he won last year, ranged against a crack international cast, led by long hitters whose games suit best at the flat, open par-72 layout. But the diminutive shotmaker is more than ready to take on the best with a game he honed up during the holiday break and his good vibes on the circuit put up by ICTSI in late 2017 to provide the local pros and foreign campaigners to hone their games in preparation for other pro circuits in the world. “I think I’m lucky playing on PGT Asia,” said Ababa, who came out of

a crowded leaderboard in the final round to snare the ICTSI Forest Hills Championship crown last year. He also ruled the Eagle Ridge stop of the inaugural circuit. But in his crack at a fourth PGTA crown, Ababa will have to hurdle a host of talented rivals, including those from Thailand, headed by Wisut Artjanawat, Pasavee Lertvilai, Poosit Supupramai and Thammanoon Sriroj and Aussies Clayton Bridge, Nathan Park, Simon Viitakangas and Andrew Campbell, who Ababa beat by two at Pradera last year. Others tipped to contend for the top $17,500 purse are Sydney Chung, Dylan Jackson, Andy Kang and Lexus Keoninh of the US, Englishmen Benjamin David, Joe Knox and George Twyman, Keisuke Takahashi of Japan, Korean Hwang Myung Chal, Spain’s Salvador Paya Vila, Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia and Manila-based Dutchman Guido Van der Valk. The Filipinos ruled the last two

Jhonnel Ababa

PGTA events with James Ryan Lam nailing his maiden win at the CAT Open at Luisita last October and Joenard Rates scoring his scored career victory in the Summit Point World 18 Challenge last November with the local bets, including Ababa, ready to de-

fend their turf in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. Other top locals seeing action are Jay Bayron, Jerson Balasabas, Tony Lascuña, Michael Bibat, and Elmer Salvador and young guns Justin Quiban, James Ryan Lam, Ira Alido and Keanu Jahns.

IN BRIEF PCC says single chicken price illegal

THE Philippine Competition Commission said the move by the poultry subsector to collectively raise the price of chicken to a single price across all raisers and producers is anti-competitive and illegal. PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan said while the PCC recognizes the Agriculture Department’s efforts to assist poultry raisers, an agreement among competitors to collectively raise prices is considered anti-competitive and illegal under the Philippine Competition Act. “To address the concerns of poultry raisers and avoid harm to consumers, it is more efficient to allow producers to independently adjust their own prices or output,” Balisacan said. He also advised concerned agencies might consider pro-competitive forms of assistance, such as access to agricultural credit or the provision of research and extension services to boost the productivity of poultry raisers. The Agriculture Department supported the move of poultry raisers to impose a one-price scheme in chicken price to save raisers from losses and address the sporadic drop in the price of chicken due to smuggling. Othel V. Campos


Aboitiz renews power deal to TNG buildings

ABOITIZ Power Corp. will continue to supply the electricity requirements of The Net Group’s seven buildings in the Bonifacio Global City with an aggregate demand of 13.5 megawatts. Aboitiz renewed its power supply agreement for the TNG’s seven buildings, namely Net Park, Net Lima, Net Plaza, Net Quad, Net Cube, Net Square, Net One Center, with an aggregated demand of 13.5 megawatts. Before “green” development became trendy, TNG has long been leading the way, making it the Philippines’ largest green office building developer and operator today. Nearly 20 years after it was founded by real estate connoisseurs Jacques Dupasquier and Carlos Rufino, TNG now has seven “green” buildings with almost three million square feet of gross leasable area and are home to Fortune 500 companies and many other multinational organizations. The pioneering developments of TNG have been powered by Cleanergy, Aboitiz Power’s brand for clean and renewable energy, since 2013. Alena Mae S. Flores

Smart celebrates 25th year, unveils big raffle promo SMART Communications Inc. is celebrating its 25th anniversary and as a way of giving back to its loyal subscribers, the company is having the biggest raffle promo dubbed as “Smart Amazing 25.” Running until February 25, 2019, Smart Amazing 25 gives lucky subscribers a chance to win brand new smartphones, MVP Rewards points, and data. One lucky subscriber will also win a grand prize of P25 million cash. The Smart Amazing 25 raffle promo is open to all Smart Prepaid and Smart Postpaid subscribers, Sun and TNT subscribers. The first Smart Amazing 25 raffle draw was held on Dec. 25 last year. The next will be on Jan. 29, while the third monthly draw and grand draw will be on Feb 28, 2019. Earned raffle entries are reset at the end of the month. Interested Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers must first complete the one-time registration: Simply dial *121#, choose AMAZING 25 on the menu and follow the steps to confirm the sign-up. Once registered, subscribers can start earning and accumulating raffle entries. All prepaid subscribers can earn raffle entries with every registration to select prepaid promos via retailers or text registration. As a bonus, subscribers using *121# to register to prepaid promos can earn more entries. The select prepaid promos include Giga Surf, Giga Surf Plus, All Out Surf, and Game Time for Smart; Surf Saya, Gaan Surf, Panalo Combo, Panalo Data, Giga Surf and All Out Surf for TNT; and Sulit Surf Plus, Big Time Data, Non-Stop Surf, Giga Surf and All Out Surf for Sun. SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 2019


LNG terminal joint venture investing $2b in Batangas By Alena Mae S. Flores

PSALM seeking bids on Manila power plant

STATE-RUN Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. is seeking offers for the negotiated sale of the Manila Thermal Power Plant land in Paco, Manila with the minimum offer price set at P736.368 million. PSALM said in a statement expressions of interest and acceptance of the negotiation procedures should be submitted on or before January 23 to the PSALM Privatization, Bids and Awards Committee. It said due diligence activities may be conducted by interested parties starting January 9. the deadline for the submission of offers is on January 31, 12 p.m. at the PSALM Office, 24th Floor Vertis North Corporate Center 1, North Avenue, Quezon City. The MTPP Land, situated along the Pasig River in Isla de Provisor, Paco, Manila, has an indicative area of 20,975 square meters. “It can be noted that the first and second rounds of bidding for the MTPP Land failed on August 15, 2018 and November 23, 2018, respectively,” PSALM said. Alena Mae S. Flores

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

FIRST METRO-AEON DEAL. First Metro Investment Corp., the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, acts as the sole arranger for the P1-billion fixed rate corporate notes issuance of AEON Credit Service (Philippines) Inc. Signing the agreement in a ceremony are (from left) First Metro first vice president Arsenio Kenneth Ona, KEB Hana Bank-Manila Branch president Jin Hwi Kim, First Metro president Rabboni Francis Arjonillo, AEON Credit president and chief executive officer Takayuki Araki, CGIF CEO Kiyoshi Nishimura and AEON Credit executive vice president Kosei Yahiro.

Govt steps in to rescue Hanjin, woos investors T By Othel V. Campos

HE government through the Board of Investments has started looking for foreign investors to provide quick assistance to beleaguered Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Company Philippines after the Korean shipbuilder filed for corporate rehabilitation with the Olongapo Regional Trial Court.

An official of the BoI said Friday an investor-creditor of HBIS Group Co. Ltd., one of the world’s biggest steelmakers, expressed interest to take over the operations of Hanjin. HBIS is the proponent of the $4.4-billion integrated steel project that will rise within the Phividec Industrial Authority compound in Mindanao. A Department of Trade and Industry

official also said the HBIS investor and another private company had expressed initial interest on financially-strapped Hanjin. “We are actually on our toes to look for investors who can take over the company, the soonest possible time since this may also impact on the country’s vision to be a shipping hub in the near future,” the official who declined to be identified said. He said the BoI was willing to help Hanjin scout for investors who can provide immediate help to save the company from further losses. The agency recently met with Turkish and Chinese investors interested in putting in fresh capital into Hanjin. He said an investor with about $500 million to $600 million can easily take over Hanjin’s operations with A provision for at least $12 million in daily operational budget. He noted that Hanjin was concerned on the welfare of the some 3,800 remaining employees if the company shut down operations. Hanjin has a standing $412 million in obligation to at least five local creditors and about $900 million from supply

creditors in South Korea. Hanjin’s total investments in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone have reached $2.6 billion. Hanjin, the biggest foreign investor in the Subic Freeport, filed on Tuesday a petition with the Regional Trial Court in Olongapo City to initiate voluntary rehabilitation. The company has 68 pending contracts that may face cancellation if the planned rehabilitation is not approvedl. Hanjin, which has focused in building high-value vessels, was established in 2006 as a subsidiary of Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., a multi-national company that provides shipbuilding, construction and plant services in South Korea and other parts of the world. The company was responsible for the construction of the world’s biggest cargo and container ships, bulk carriers, liquefied petroleum gas carriers, very large crude oil carriers and very large ore carriers. Hanjin has delivered since 2008 123 vessels to valued clients across the globe, cementing its foothold in the highly competitive shipbuilding market.

BSP’s Guinigundo downplays loan exposure of 5 banks By Julito G. Rada BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo on Friday downplayed any significant impact from the loan exposures of some banks to Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Company Philippines after the shipbuilder filed for corporate rehabilitation with the Olongapo Regional Trial Court. Guinigundo said in a text message to reporters the banks’ exposures were “very negligible.” “We received report that Hanjin filed for corporate rehabilitation at the Olongapo Regional Trial Court on Jan.8, 2019. Beyond this, it would be most premature for the BSP to comment on a matter pending with the court,” Guinigundo said. “Based on our initial assessment, some banks are exposed to Hanjin but relative to both total loans of the bank-


Caltex, marketed by Chevron Philippines Inc., ushers in the new year with new offerings and better service through yet another key partnership. Caltex, along with the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is offering AmCham members premium discounts on various Caltex products. Sealing the partnership are Chevron Philippines country chairman Louie Zhang (left) and AmCham executive dfirector Ebb Hinchliffe.

ing system and total FCDU [foreign currency deposit unit] loans of the banking system, their exposure is very negligible,” he said. He said Philippine banks as a whole were very strong and more than adequately capitalized and that their assets continued to grow and the quality of their loans based on non-performing loan ratio was less than 2 percent. “The banks in compliance with the BSP’s regulations have risk management systems in place, they are very liquid and their profitability has been sustained. Their loan loss provisions is more than a hundred percent,” Guinigundo said. Reports on ABS-CBN Friday said five universal and commercial banks— Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Bank of the Philippine Islands, and BDO Unibank Inc.—

seeking to cover some $412 million in combined loans to Hanjin were looking at “all kinds of alternatives,” including talking to strategic investors. Reports said RCBC had the biggest loan exposure to Hanjin of $140 million, followed by Land Bank, $80 million; Metrobank, $72 million; BPI, $60 million; and BDO, $60 million. BPI president Cezar Consing said the banks were in close contact with one another “will do what’s best for the banking industry and for the country.” “This is something that the banks can handle. We have provisions for this sort of thing,” Consing told ANC. He said BPI had the smallest exposure to Hanjin compared with the other creditors. Guinigundo said the Bangko Sentral was in contact with the five banks and “in due time, appropriate announcements will be made,” Guinigundo told ANC.

TANGLAWAN Philippine LNG Inc. may invest close to $2 billion to put an integrated liquefied natural gas terminal and power plants in the country, officials said Friday. Tanglawan recently received from the Department of Energy a notice to proceed in building an LNG terminal in Batangas. “The cost reported in the NTP for the regas terminal is $686 million. The power plant at 3 x 360 MW is estimated at $1.3 billion,” Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. vice president of external affairs Raymond Zorilla said. Phoenix said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Tanglawan would be a joint venture between the company and CNOOC Gas and Power Group Co. Ltd, China’s largest LNG importer and terminal operator, It said the joint venture arrangement was being finalized. Phoenix is a company led by businessman Dennis Uy. Tanglawan plans to break ground by 2019 for the LNG re-gasification and receiving terminal with a capacity of 2.2 metric tons a year. Commercial operations are scheduled to start in 2023. Phoenix said the LNG facility “will help support the demand for a clean and reliable energy source in Luzon and contribute to the sustainable development of the Philippine economy.” The integrated long-term project plan aims to develop a gas-fired power generation facility with up to 2,000 MW of installed capacity. “The terminal is only stage one of our plans for the facility. We will develop it to become an LNG hub, giving Filipinos access to low-cost and environmentfriendly energy supply,” said Phoenix chief operating officer Henry Albert Fadullon. Phoenix, established in 2002, became publicly listed in July 2007. It has since grown to be a national brand from its humble beginnings in Davao. In just 15 years, Phoenix expanded its network and portfolio from trading and distribution of refined petroleum products to terminal and hauling services, selling and marketing of liquefied petroleum gas, bitumen and convenience store retailing.

FDI net inflows declined 74% in October—BSP NET inflows of foreign direct investments in October 2018 declined 74 percent to $491 million from $1.9 billion a year ago, pulled down by lower investments of equity capital, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Friday. The Bangko Sentral said investments of equity capital for the month reached $98 million, lower than the year-ago level of $1.5 billion due to the big ticket investments in October 2017. On a gross basis, placements of equity capital reached $112 million, which mostly came from the Netherlands, the United States, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong. These investments were channeled mainly to manufacturing, real estate, financial and insurance, electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply, and wholesale and retail trade activities. Investments in debt instruments— consisting mainly of inter-company borrowings/lending between foreign direct investors and their subsidiaries/ affiliates in the Philippines—amounted to $331 million from $318 million in the same period in 2017. Reinvestment of earnings increased 8.6 percent to $62 million in October 2018. FDI net inflows in the first 10 months of 2018, however, increased 1.8 percent to $8.5 billion from $8.4 billion a year ago. Net investments in debt instruments grew 18.6 percent to $5.9 billion. Reinvestment of earnings expanded 2.3 percent to $677 million during the period. Meanwhile, net investments of equity capital declined to $2 billion from $2.8 billion in January-October 2017. Equity capital placements during the period were obtained largely from Singapore, Hong Kong, the United States, Japan and China. Julito G. Rada




Stocks retreat; Metrobank declines


HE stock market retreated Friday on profit taking after strong gains in the past sessions, with the banking sector spooked by reports that some local lenders had taken a hit on the financial problems of shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Company Philippines.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 81.14 points, or 1 percent, to 7,904.09 on a value turnover of P8.5 billion. Losers beat gainers, 125 to 79, with 37 issues unchanged. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., the second-biggest lender in terms of assets, dropped 4.8 percent to P77.95, while

Bank of the Philippine Islands also declined 4.8 percent to P90. Reports on Friday said five universal and commercial banks—Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines, Metrobank, BPI and BDO Unibank Inc.—seeking to cover some $412 million in combined loans to Hanjin were looking at “all kinds of alternatives,” including talking to strategic investors. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo downplayed any significant impact of the reported loan exposures of some banks to Hanjin to the banking sector. He said the banks’ exposures were “very negligible.” Conglomerate Ayala Corp. lost 2.8 percent to P972, but Bloomberry Resorts Corp., which operates a casino on reclaimed part of Manila Bay, rose 5.5 percent to P10.68. Meanwhile, the upbeat tone that has

while there were also gains in Wellington, Bangkok and Jakarta, though Sydney and Mumbai eased. Friday’s rally followed another positive lead from Wall Street, where dealers brushed off disappointing retail figures as they focused on the prospect that borrowing costs will not rise as much as previously feared. Fed minutes Wednesday showed policymakers are happy to hold off any more rate hikes as they assess the state of the economy, backing up dovish comments last week by its head Jerome Powell. There was a slight wobble in New York after Powell on Thursday suggested the bank’s securities holdings should be “substantially smaller”—a sell-off by the Fed of such assets would lift interest rates. But the general mood remained upbeat as a number of other top Fed officials indicated they were happy to see a break in hikes. With AFP

characterized this week helped Asian markets to fresh gains on Friday, with Hong Kong on course for a sixth straight day of rises. Investors globally have been riding a wave of optimism since last week when the head of the Federal Reserve indicated it will likely slow its pace of interest rate hikes, while there were also signs that China and the US could eventually reach a trade deal. And the gains were not limited to equities. Oil is up about 20 percent from 17-month lows at the end of December and high-yielding currencies were being supported by a new-found demand for riskier assets. Hong Kong rose 0.4 percent in the afternoon, having climbed more than five percent since last Thursday’s close, while Shanghai ended up 0.7 percent and Tokyo added one percent. Singapore and Seoul each rose 0.6 percent, Taipei jumped 0.4 percent







59.6 92.5 2.24 130.5 1.48 28.05 15.8 12.82 4.73 0.61 800 0.47 80 1.03 12 18.56 44.4 184 59.2 28.7 178.4 1,850 64.5

59.6 93 2.24 131.3 1.48 28.1 16 12.84 4.8 0.61 800 0.475 80 1.08 12.4 19.38 44.65 184 59.2 28.7 178.4 1,850 65.85

58.15 89.7 2.21 127.8 1.44 27.7 15.8 12.52 4.6 0.61 790 0.47 76.7 0.95 12 18.46 44.05 180 58.75 26.4 172 1,810 64.25

FINANCIALS 59.5 2,100 90 7,426,750 2.21 11,000 131.3 3,074,570 1.45 35,000 27.85 174,600 16 4,300 12.56 1,019,300 4.65 361,000 0.61 3,000 790 100 0.47 290,000 77.95 12,624,630 0.97 7,742,000 12 4,000 18.98 1,200 44.6 955,400 180 160 58.75 4,550 26.4 1,523,600 175.3 997,120 1,810 160 64.6 13,390

124,927.50 669,770,786 24,340 399,856,648 50,650 4,852,885 68,110 12,948,034 1,697,710 1,830 79,300 136,400 982,625,482 7,892,380 48,040 22,506 42,539,685 29,010 268,223 41,172,780 174,503,778 290,600 864,688

-100,252,328 26,608,171 -3,547,110 -3,001,796 50,910 -405,940,307 1,846 5,367,755 50,000 -7,239,190 -19,088,451 -339,982


36.7 16.72 1.19 1.35 0.249 91.1 2.09 15.92 145 31.35 17 40.05 1.79 6.68 6.7 11.38 15.16 8.4 7.5 1.55 20.5 71.1 26 2.04 6.1 12.2 1.92 314 4.31 11 27.5 11.42 18.1 393.4 0.185 5.76 1.48 3.75 7.9 5.65 9.09 1.36 10.86 48.2 6 4.84 1.95 2.85 1.55 12.88 83.9 6.25 0.127 0.89 134 2.42 2.02 1.61

36.7 16.72 1.21 1.44 0.25 91.1 2.14 15.96 150 31.4 17 41.15 1.79 6.68 6.7 11.5 15.38 8.4 7.55 1.55 20.85 71.8 26.2 2.08 6.3 12.22 1.92 318 4.38 11.2 27.5 11.42 18.46 393.8 0.185 5.76 1.5 3.79 8 5.7 9.4 1.38 11.22 48.8 6 4.84 1.95 2.87 1.55 13.2 84.5 6.28 0.13 0.89 137 2.42 2.08 1.62

35.8 16.24 1.13 1.3 0.243 90 2 15.8 139.8 30.85 17 40.05 1.75 6.41 6.56 11.34 15.06 8.15 7.3 1.55 20.2 70.1 26 2.01 5.96 12.1 1.87 312 4.29 10.4 27.15 11 18 387 0.185 5.7 1.45 3.75 7.88 5.6 9.09 1.32 10.82 48 6 4.7 1.85 2.85 1.5 12.7 83.8 6.15 0.125 0.86 133 2.42 1.96 1.58

INDUSTRIAL 35.8 1,915,700 16.44 754,700 1.16 11,277,000 1.41 6,046,000 0.25 8,530,000 90 3,000 2.03 21,334,000 15.9 233,200 140 3,400 31.35 129,000 17 800 41 2,000 1.75 129,000 6.41 34,100 6.65 13,700 11.5 5,376,400 15.06 140,800 8.16 427,600 7.3 136,200 1.55 1,000 20.5 2,568,000 71 234,300 26.2 43,000 2.07 2,797,000 5.99 1,055,400 12.22 1,001,700 1.88 143,000 316.6 428,970 4.38 72,000 10.4 2,800 27.3 328,100 11.26 265,900 18 9,275,000 387 183,580 0.185 100,000 5.7 6,700 1.47 8,387,000 3.76 833,000 7.89 3,062,400 5.61 24,900 9.1 6,200 1.35 24,365,000 11 442,100 48.45 277,800 6 5,000 4.7 14,000 1.9 1,450,000 2.87 3,000 1.54 53,000 13.2 603,200 84.3 867,030 6.28 376,100 0.128 650,000 0.89 50,000 136.3 2,720,440 2.42 4,000 2.08 32,858,000 1.59 2,709,000

68,964,385 12,423,128 13,162,890 8,435,330 2,125,220 270,702 43,580,630 3,710,694 477,876 4,013,910 13,600 81,825 229,020 220,454 90,880 61,438,728 2,129,766 3,510,492 1,012,457 1,550 52,769,150 16,711,612 1,118,100 5,669,510 6,436,420 12,188,224 270,010 135,146,012 309,590 29,400 8,987,350 2,966,376 168,921,828 71,476,348 18,500 38,196 12,356,210 3,151,150 24,245,760 139,689 56,429 32,896,810 4,879,750 13,434,535 30,000 65,960 2,717,860 8,590 81,130 7,862,568 72,879,371.50 2,345,435 82,050 43,390 367,469,891 9,680 66,784,250 4,316,460

-8,458,600 -1,261,038 32,970 -142,000 -496,000 -5,198,820 84,720 -1,751,005 17,900 40,816,432 -494,378 116,810 16,161,445 4,745,035.50 1,045,200 -1,884,800 128,470 5,916,158 -1,920 11,164,914 -3,180 740,685 -1,203,324 -16,318,488 -3,145,330 -1,030,830 7,304,330 526,120 -2,366,488 -4,366,815 -4,650 461,462 -15,800,506.50 -923,724 6,380 -34,380,804 467,900.00 -116,700


0.73 62.1 12.82 0.8 6.4 28 1.43 1.43 998.5 7.2 12.82 13.2 4.02 4.5 1,020 63.5 0.6 4.67 15.28 0.61 4.9 0.038 1.2 2.5 147.9 990 0.75 1.4 500 249 0.26 0.227

0.74 63 12.82 0.8 6.5 29.45 1.47 1.46 999 7.22 12.86 13.2 4.5 4.5 1,020 64.5 0.6 4.8 15.54 0.61 5 0.039 1.23 2.56 149.8 994.5 0.75 1.48 520 249.4 0.265 0.229

0.7 60 12.62 0.78 6.4 27.85 1.43 1.43 958 7.16 12.62 12.54 4.02 4.5 990 63.2 0.58 4.61 15.22 0.6 4.87 0.037 1.18 2.5 147.7 960 0.74 1.39 500 240 0.25 0.227

0.71 60 12.78 0.8 6.5 29.4 1.46 1.46 972 7.16 12.8 12.8 4.5 4.5 998.5 64.5 0.58 4.66 15.26 0.61 4.96 0.039 1.22 2.56 149.5 985 0.74 1.46 500 241.2 0.25 0.229

25,973,000 939,200 19,622,400 181,000 11,000 303,000 13,024,000 625,000 312,960 2,573,400 2,476,100 375,000 200 100 106,680 2,881,690 77,000 11,923,000 1,394,200 309,000 31,638,000 2,200,000 52,000 531,000 615,040 289,670 3,000 533,000 130 1,130 5,670,000 80,000

18,693,750 57,054,805 249,759,730 143,100 71,400 8,730,290 18,914,580 908,800 304,316,462.50 18,460,659 31,566,800 4,871,236 852 450 106,891,777.50 184,202,253 44,800 55,510,260 21,299,636 186,870 156,463,920 84,300 61,850 1,346,650 91,408,851 284,322,215 2,240 760,740 65,600 272,540 1,440,050 18,190

-212,330 22,253,363 -78,609,064 71,400 -170,695 -2,435,727.50 4,740,124 2,399,196 765,582 21,048,965 25,091,616.50 -2,493,400 -4,441,296 91,200 75,045,150 2,560 11,594,591 78,298,305 -72,500 39,260 -

8.45 0.85 10.9 1.67 0.96 44.2 2.37 4.25 6.06 0.435 0.84 0.9 0.24 0.385 7.96 20.5 0.51 0.113 1.43 1.19 4.96

PROPERTY 8.63 0.85 10.9 1.7 0.96 44.35 2.38 4.33 6.48 0.44 0.84 0.9 0.248 0.41 8.14 20.8 0.54 0.113 1.45 1.19 5

346,200 5,577,000 10,700 589,000 5,839,000 16,485,000 3,119,000 16,000 83,200 4,200,000 226,000 5,000 5,470,000 1,400,000 1,789,400 878,800 2,355,000 480,000 21,001,000 640,000 16,466,100

2,955,856 4,832,870 116,630 990,580 5,653,920 737,470,630 7,481,650 68,520 532,251 1,848,250 190,730 4,580 1,314,670 565,000 14,450,361 18,348,355 1,237,320 56,450 30,402,860 769,700 82,286,462

722,058 672,000 107,597,390 -3,666,880 -12,990 490,980 75,000 33,800 65,000 2,122,317 256,880 2,580 -11,665,260 20,916,461


8.62 0.86 10.9 1.69 1.01 45 2.42 4.28 6.4 0.44 0.87 0.92 0.245 0.385 8.06 21.35 0.55 0.117 1.44 1.23 5.05

8.68 0.88 10.9 1.7 1.01 45.05 2.45 4.33 6.48 0.445 0.87 0.92 0.248 0.41 8.2 21.35 0.56 0.119 1.46 1.23 5.05














0.47 0.48 2.2 0.44 3.56 43.8 22.3 2.04 3.1 39.1 1.38 6.35 0.75 5.9

0.47 0.48 2.26 0.445 3.62 43.8 22.3 2.06 3.12 39.4 1.38 6.35 0.75 5.9

0.445 0.47 2.19 0.43 3.56 43.8 21.85 2 3.1 38.65 1.28 5.92 0.72 5.82

0.46 0.47 2.25 0.445 3.6 43.8 22.3 2 3.12 39 1.33 6.02 0.72 5.9

36,820,000 1,850,000 3,083,000 890,000 2,632,000 300 1,665,000 256,000 67,000 7,479,600 18,264,000 539,300 172,000 7,386,300

16,789,400 873,400 6,859,720 391,850 9,475,570 13,140 36,961,740 513,450 208,040 291,860,670 24,034,380 3,244,403 127,050 43,357,926

874,100 35,620 -234,230 27,141,795 -100,000 134,280,970 -650,290.00 12,000 -11,062,477


14.84 21.6 1.36 0.425 0.039 15 3.32 10.24 80.7 6.7 7.39 2.15 18.28 890 2,000 5.75 318.6 3.18 1.87 103.6 11.62 7.2 0.136 6.27 3.33 3.5 0.89 18.02 5.29 2.7 2.7 2.54 16.9 4 9.85 8.8 3.42 7.22 120 3.74 1,233 0.89 48.9 85.2 7.56 2.48 0.78 0.445 5.47 0.8 13.84

14.84 21.6 1.45 0.425 0.04 15 3.42 10.8 81 6.8 7.39 2.15 18.76 890 2,016 5.75 329 3.24 1.91 104.5 11.62 7.2 0.14 6.39 3.33 3.68 0.89 18.3 5.29 2.72 2.88 2.7 17.48 4.02 9.85 8.9 3.55 9.46 120 3.75 1,255 0.93 49.2 87.05 7.82 2.5 0.79 0.45 5.55 0.82 13.88

14.5 21.45 1.36 0.41 0.039 15 3.32 10.2 80 6.7 7.39 2.15 16.86 890 1,960 5.7 318.2 3.18 1.87 102.7 11.6 7.1 0.134 6.24 3.12 3.48 0.86 17.7 5.03 2.63 2.26 2.38 16.9 3.86 9.5 8.8 3.4 7.22 120 3.5 1,205 0.89 48.3 85.2 7.56 2.37 0.77 0.43 5.47 0.74 13.74

SERVICES 14.5 21.5 1.45 0.415 0.04 15 3.39 10.68 80 6.78 7.39 2.15 17 890 2,016 5.72 329 3.21 1.91 104.5 11.6 7.2 0.137 6.31 3.21 3.6 0.88 18 5.28 2.64 2.26 2.45 17.48 3.88 9.85 8.9 3.55 9.46 120 3.59 1,205 0.91 48.5 87.05 7.56 2.38 0.78 0.43 5.53 0.76 13.8

125,800 78,700 8,000 470,000 2,600,000 2,200 963,000 17,403,600 284,560 776,900 8,000 3,000 416,100 40 28,240 199,900 3,370 588,000 66,000 910,250 1,400 6,800 4,970,000 3,230,500 22,000 1,150,000 14,000 569,900 41,800 935,000 5,028,000 312,000 400 2,548,000 32,900 33,800 61,000 700 18,500 1,815,000 149,575 15,957,000 3,414,200 153,870 42,200 6,120,000 5,377,000 28,380,000 813,800 9,828,000 7,723,500

1,841,616 1,691,975 11,150 195,150 103,600 33,000 3,237,750 182,608,542 22,926,699.50 5,241,247 59,120 6,450 7,271,158 35,600 56,554,500 1,142,730 1,092,910 1,884,420 126,020 94,865,964 16,242 48,555 685,490 20,323,668 70,570 4,160,330 12,090 10,277,272 211,077 2,500,460 12,895,800 804,610 6,818 9,949,430 315,890 300,060 215,740 5,502 2,220,000 6,564,170 182,219,595 14,550,710 166,695,895 13,294,092 320,134 14,806,500 4,198,000 12,387,550 4,477,629 7,592,230 106,505,710

127,830 66,057,880 7,212,842 -13,560 -239,080 30,149,050 19,740 -31,980 54,516,530 -2,096,807 1,011,908 -78,010 -39,060 -32,040 139,200 -666,620 1,495,150 2,011,710 75,864,750 7,066,858.50 213,010 -452,660 -209,950 -84,023 28,051,022


0.002 1.65 2.65 15.76 2.06 0.3 7.61 1.69 0.215 0.119 0.13 1.2 2.39 1.09 0.67 0.97 0.013 0.013 0.012 3.4 4.14 15.76 25.05 0.0076

0.0023 1.65 2.7 15.76 2.09 0.3 7.8 1.7 0.215 0.121 0.13 1.2 2.4 1.09 0.68 0.99 0.013 0.013 0.013 3.7 4.17 15.86 25.05 0.0078

0.002 1.63 2.61 15.5 2.02 0.3 7.61 1.67 0.21 0.119 0.122 1.19 2.35 1.02 0.67 0.96 0.013 0.013 0.012 3.4 3.9 15.5 24.3 0.0074

MINING & OIL 0.0022 4,368,000,000 1.64 1,790,000 2.62 342,000 15.6 2,200 2.09 1,846,000 0.3 80,000 7.61 1,200 1.68 5,185,000 0.211 240,000 0.119 520,000 0.127 180,000 1.2 119,000 2.38 2,552,000 1.06 268,000 0.68 227,000 0.96 278,000 0.013 101,600,000 0.013 321,600,000 0.013 2,000,000 3.7 304,000 3.99 4,337,000 15.54 547,400 24.3 678,700 0.0075 51,000,000

9,307,300 2,936,760 900,190 34,236 3,767,640 24,000 9,196 8,742,680 50,690 61,980 22,400 142,610 6,051,980 276,550 152,100 271,870 1,320,800 4,180,800 25,000 1,119,200 17,481,550 8,516,586 16,582,855 383,500

-60,900 -1,646,200 -654,940 37,080 13,420 1,146,010 -2,411,770 -365,502 -4,061,885 30,000


19.6 473.6 100.9 97 480 5.59 95.05 1.02 1,002 99 105 75.4 74.8 73.45

19.62 473.6 100.9 97 480 5.6 95.05 1.02 1,002 100 105 75.4 74.8 73.45

19.36 456 100.9 97 480 5.59 95 1.02 1,002 99 105 75.4 74.8 73.45

PREFERRED 19.44 127,200 456 2,030 100.9 10 97 890 480 3,000 5.6 203,000 95 3,030 1.02 10,000 1,002 180 100 2,230 105 150 75.4 460 74.8 400 73.45 300

2,477,384 929,446 1,009 86,330 1,440,000 1,136,632 287,855 10,200 180,360 222,970 15,750 34,684 29,920 22,035

-2,176,810 4,600 1,108,682 9,802 -





WARRANTS 2.12 125,000




5.19 1.65

5.2 1.65

5.07 1.57

5.15 1.6






















271,400 9,986,000


1,390,777 16,010,500 865,829

15,400 -2,205,210 48,380

VALUE 1,772.32 (DOWN) 46.10 2,674,436,202.75 FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL 11,486.68 (UP) 11.73 1,533,031,195.72 HOLDING FIRMS 7,883.57 (DOWN) 47.04 1,664,027,053.235 PROPERTY 3,944.12 (DOWN) 46.12 1,542.15 (DOWN) 2.92 1,414,334,029.51 SERVICES MINING & OIL 8,742.18 (DOWN) 47.14 1,114,539,099.675 PSEI 7,904.09 (DOWN) 81.14 82,390,707.302 All Shares Index 4,730.15 (DOWN) 34.76 8,501,027,638.83 Gainers: 79; Losers: 125; Unchanged: 37; Total: 241

LRWC set to sell shares in a private placement By Jenniffer B. Austria SHAREHOLDERS of Leisure Resorts World Corp. approved the company’s plan to sell a maximum of 1.3 billion in new primary shares through a private placement to refinance debts. LRWC said during a special shareholders’ meeting it would issue up to 1.3 billion in new shares at a price based on a premium over the closing price of the stocks on Nov 28. Shareholders authorized the board to implement the private placement, and determine the issue price and the subscribers to the shares. LWRC chairman Reynaldo Bantug said the company would use the proceeds from the private placement to refinance some of the company’s existing obligations and fund corporate expansions. The issuance of the shares might have a dilutive effect to current shareholders, the company said. LRWC in the first nine months of the year posted a consolidated net income of P266 million, down 27 percent from P362.7 million year-on-year. The company attributed the lower income to its divestment from the City of Dreams project, recognition of franchise tax on retail’s gross gaming revenues amounting to P163.6 million which is more expensive than income tax, and non-recognition of deferred tax assets of P112.5 million. The group’s casino division contributed P263.2 million in net income for the period, up 70 percent from P155.3 million on year. On line gaming contributed P48 million to the total consolidated net income, an increase of 77 percent from last year’s P27.1 million due to the significant decrease in operating expenses. LRWC plans to start this year the redevelopment of the Cyberpark, a 10-hectare pocket light industrial park in Sta.Ana, Cagayan province. The Cyberpark is currently being master-planned to host office buildings and residential dormitories for online gaming operators. Two legacy buildings have already been fully leased out to a locator while the next development phase, primarily for office spaces, will start in the fourth quarter of 2018.

ATI deploys more modern equipment in Batangas port By Darwin G. Amojelar ASIAN Terminals Inc. has deployed additional modern equipment at the Batangas Container Terminal as it expands the port’s role as a trade facilitator and smart logistics option for the Calabarzon region comprising of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces. BCT recently added two new shipto-shore cranes and four more rubbertired gantry cranes, manufactured by Shanghai-based ZPMC, effectively doubling the port’s STS and RTG fleet to four and eight, respectively. The new STS cranes can reach up to 16 container rows, lift two 20-foot containers simultaneously and handle loads of up to 70 tons. The RTGs, meanwhile, can stack up to six containers high. Aside from these, ATI also acquired more cargo handling equipment such as reach stackers, side loaders, internal transfer vehicles and chassis to further boost terminal efficiencies. ATI’s latest investment forms part of its commitment with the Philippine Ports Authority and complements the expansion of BCT’s berth and yard space which began in 2017. BCT will now be able to accommodate more and bigger vessels at faster turnaround time using its 600-meter berth, and handle more international boxed cargoes, bringing BCT’s throughput capacity to over 450,000 teus (twenty-foot equivalent units) annually. ATI’s expansion program in Batangas Port is in response to the growth of Calabarzon industries and in support of government’s efforts to decongest Metro Manila roads. Sustaining its growth momentum, BCT recorded a new operations milestone in 2018 handling close to 250,000 teus, a volume increase of over 25 percent from 2017.




US shutdown increases air safety fears at the airports


ASHINGTON―The partial shutdown of the US government could have serious consequences for air safety, according to unions representing aviation workers, which are calling for an immediate resolution to the budgetary stalemate.

PROTEST. Government workers protest the government shutdown during a demonstration in the Federal Building Plaza on

January 10, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. The protest, on the 20th day of a partial shutdown, was one of several held around the country. AFP

IN BRIEF Isolated Maduro begins new term

CARACAS―Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro began a new term on Thursday with the economy in ruins and his regime more isolated than ever as regional leaders declared his re-election illegitimate and shunned his inauguration. The 56-year-old socialist leader was sworn in by Supreme Court president Maikel Moreno as an audience of hundreds, including a handful of South American leftist leaders and Venezuela’s military top brass, cheered and applauded. “I swear on behalf of the people of Venezuelan ... I swear on my life,” Maduro said solemnly as he took the oath of office for a second six-year term. After donning the presidential sash—as well as a ceremonial gold chain bearing the key to the sarcophagus containing the remains of Venezuela’s revolutionary leader Simon Bolivar—an ebullient Maduro turned to salute the crowd with a V-sign. Maduro was re-elected last May in voting boycotted by the majority of the opposition and dismissed as fraudulent by the United States, European Union and Organization of American States (OAS). “The US will not recognize the Maduro dictatorship’s illegitimate inauguration,” national security advisor John Bolton tweeted Thursday. Canada slammed Maduro for transforming his country into a “fully entrenched dictatorship”. In a special session in Washington, the OAS similarly backed a resolution declaring Maduro’s government illegitimate. “Venezuela is the center of a world war with US imperialism and its satellite governments,” the socialist leader retorted in a rambling speech which lasted around two hours. . AFP

Kids given expired polio vaccines

SHANGHAI―At least 145 children were administered expired polio vaccines in eastern China, state media reported, despite the government promising to prevent such lapses in the industry following a major scandal last year. Three county-level health officials in Jiangsu province have been dismissed since the case came to light earlier this week—the latest to raise public health concerns—according to an announcement by the Jinhu county government. A parent discovered earlier this week that a batch of orally administered polio vaccines were being given to children at a county-run health facility nearly one month after their December 11 expiration date, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Thursday. The local government has since found 145 children received the vaccines between December 11 and January 7, CCTV said, quoting a government source. Local health officials have said the expired vaccines would have decreased efficacy but should not cause adverse health effects. The World Health Organisation’s website says that people given such vaccines that have expired are “unlikely to get sick as a reaction to receiving the vaccine” but warns that they might not be adequately immunised. CCTV said some parents reported adverse reactions among children, including vomiting and drowsiness, but it was unclear if this was just a normal allergic reaction to the medicine. Beijing announced a nationwide cleanup of the country’s vaccine industry last year after it emerged that a major Chinese manufacturer of rabies vaccines had fabricated records. Authorities maintain that affected rabies vaccines did not enter the market, but the case triggered public outrage over frequent safety scares involving sub-par or toxic food, drugs and other products despite repeated government crackdowns. AFP

World’s oceans heating up at a faster pace, says study

TAMPA―The world’s oceans are heating up at an accelerating pace as global warming threatens a diverse range of marine life and a major food supply for the planet, researchers said Thursday. The findings in the US journal Science, led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, debunk previous reports that suggested a so-called pause in global warming in recent years. The latest technology shows no such hiatus ever existed, raising new concerns about the pace of climate change and its effect on the planet’s main buffer —the oceans. “Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought,” said co-author Zeke Hausfather, a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. About 93 percent of excess heat — trapped around the Earth by greenhouse gases that come from the burning of fossil fuels—accumulates in the world’s oceans.

Kim boosted by China talks, say analysts SEOUL―North Korean leader Kim Jong Un came away from his fourth meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping with his hand strengthened in the nuclear talks with the US, analysts say, even as Seoul urged him to do more. Beijing is Pyongyang’s sole major ally and key provider of trade and aid, their ties forged in the blood of the Korean War. The relationship had soured in recent years as China became frustrated with its neighbor’s nuclear antics but warmed dramatically in 2018 as Kim and Xi met three times, each occasion coming shortly before Kim’s summits with US President Donald Trump and the South’s Moon Jae-in. A second Kim-Trump meeting is expected soon, and the North Korean and Chinese leaders had far deeper security discussions this time in Beijing than in any of their talks last year, pointed out Lim Eul-chul, professor of North Korean studies at Kyungnam University. Kim and Xi agreed to jointly study and co-ordinate “the management of the situation of the Korean peninsula and the denuclearisation negotiations in particular”, the North’s official KCNA news agency reported. That will give China a central role in future US-North Korean discussions, Lim told AFP, even if it is not in the room at the time. “Closer ties between China and North Korea in pursuit of a security alliance will not be welcomed by the US,” Lim told AFP. AFP

The latest report relied on four studies, published between 2014 and 2017, that gave more precise estimates of past trends in ocean heat, allowing scientists to update past research and hone predictions for the future. A key factor in the more accurate numbers is an ocean monitoring fleet called Argo, which includes nearly 4,000 floating robots that “drift throughout the world’s oceans, every few days diving to a depth of 2,000 meters and measuring the ocean’s temperature, pH, salinity and other bits of information as they rise back up,” said the report. Argo “has provided consistent and widespread data on ocean heat content since the mid-2000s,” it said. The new analysis shows warming in the oceans is on pace with measurements of rising air temperature. And if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases, “models predict that the temperature of the top 2,000 meters of the world’s oceans will rise 0.78 degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” it said. AFP

Some 800,000 federal employees, including those from the Department of Transport and the Department of Homeland Security that handles air safety and oversees screening at airport checkpoints, have been affected since December 22 when the impasse over President Donald Trump’s demand for a southern border wall opposed by Democrats in Congress began. Those deemed non-essential have been placed on unpaid leave, while others have been forced to continue working without pay. “This is a matter of safety, security, and economic concern,” said the Association of Flight Attendants, which held a protest in the capital Washington on Thursday along with other aviation sector unions, to demand the resumption of normal services. “Our members and the traveling public are flying within a system that is less safe and secure as long as the shutdown continues,” added the letter to Congress from the union, which represents some 50,000 professionals. “We know all too well the economic hardship that can result from any loophole in our security and any means for inflicting harm by those who view the United States and its citizens as the enemy,” it added in a reference to the September 11 2001 attacks. The association noted the airline industry contributes over 5 percent of the national GDP and supports 11 million jobs, warning: “As the shutdown continues the entire industry will begin to unravel. “Airlines cannot receive delivery of aircraft causing route cancellations, attrition of air traffic controllers reduces flow of aircraft in the air, and as transportation security officers reduce in numbers we will experience long, slowed security lines.” The National Association of Air Traffic Controllers (NACTA) meanwhile slammed the crisis, saying it was mak-

ing difficult conditions even worse for its 20,000 members. Federal Aviation Administration Academy in Oklahoma City has been closed as a result of the shutdown and simulator trainings have been disrupted. “Stopping the hiring and training pipeline will exacerbate the current controller staffing crisis,” warned the association in a statement. Even before the shutdown, controllers have been working six-day weeks and 10-hour days at many of the country’s busiest airports, NACTA’s president Paul Rinaldi said, adding: “This staffing crisis is negatively affecting the National Airspace System, and the shutdown almost certainly will make a bad situation worse.” Travelers meanwhile are beginning to worry about long lines, with a spike in the number of Transportation Security Administration agents calling in sick since the end of December. “Despite providing essential government services, TSA officers are among the lowest paid Federal employees, with many living paycheck-to-paycheck,” Representative Bernie Thompson, the new Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security wrote in a recent letter to the TSA leadership. “It is only reasonable to expect officer call outs and resignations to increase the longer the shutdown lasts, since no employee can be expected to work indefinitely without pay. The TSA has tried to reassure the public. A statement on its website on Wednesday said 1.74 million passengers were screened across the day, and 99.9 percent had to wait 30 minutes or less. “Yesterday, January 9, 2019, TSA experienced a rate of 5 percent compared to a 3.6 percent unscheduled absence rate one year ago on January 9, 2018,” it said, lauding “the more than 51,000 officers across the country (who) remain focused on the mission.” AFP


Attendees interact with the AIBO robotic companion dog at the Sony booth during CES 2019 consumer electronics show on January 10, 2019, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. AIBO has life-like movements and a unique personality that develops over time through interaction with people and it learns through positive and negative reinforcement. AIBO costs just under $3,000. AFP

Reuters journalists lose appeal against sentence YANGON―A Myanmar judge dismissed an appeal Friday by two Reuters journalists jailed for seven years while investigating atrocities committed against the Rohingya, dashing slim hopes that the pair could be freed early. Reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were arrested in Yangon in December 2017 and later jailed for violating the state secrets act, a charge Reuters said was trumped up to muzzle their reporting. Prosecutors say the two had classified information regarding security operations in Rakhine state, from where hun-

dreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled during an army-led crackdown the United Nations has dubbed “ethnic cleansing”. Aung Naing, a judge at the Yangon Regional High Court, said Friday the original verdict was “not wrong according to the law” and was a “reasonable decision”. “The court decides to dismiss the appeal,” he said. Lawyers can now appeal to the Supreme Court in Myanmar, a process that could take an estimated six months. The reporters’ wives cried after the decision that condemns the pair to con-

tinue their stay at Yangon’s notorious Insein prison, where they have been held for the last 13 months. The two men—who were not present for the decision—have insisted they were victims of a police set-up, pointing to testimony from a serving officer who said a superior ordered others to entrap them. At the time of the arrest they were probing a massacre of 10 Rohingya. The original trial was widely regarded as a sham and seen as punishment for their investigation, sparking outrage around the world including from US Vice President Mike Pence. AFP



Joel D. Lacsamana, Editor

CAFE IN BALARA. Amidst the sprawl of the historic Balara compound in Quezon

City now sits a quaint, world-class cafeteria that services the needs of more than 2,000 employees of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Maynilad, Manila Water and other agencies, as well as visitors to this iconic compound. At the cafeteria’s formal opening, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco thanked its two concessionaires - Manila Water president Ferdinand de la Cruz and Maynilad president Ramoncito Fernandez, for providing facilities where employees can have a good dining experience surrounded by a lush forest and the attention-grabbing art deco architecture of the nearby modernized water filtration facilities from a halcyon era. The cafeteria is a project of Manila Water, bestowed as an anniversary gift to MWSS, which celebrated its 140th anniversary last year. Maynilad, on the other hand, contributed to the construction of the nearby MWSS’ multi-purpose gymnasium. Yam Cha seafood and dimsum restaurant is the caterer for the establishment. Owned by businessman Danny Te, Yam Cha dishes out seafood meals, various kinds of noodles, pork and chicken, fish and beef.

Lighting up people’s lives CHOKING traffic jams in Metro Manila marked the recent holiday season. Credit the city’s denizens who looked at the brighter side of things by immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of Christmas – such as Christmas carols, or a glimpse of elaborate decorations and housands of gleaming Christmas lights around the metropolis. The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) pulled all stops last month with its annual ‘Liwanag’ park at the company’s headquarters at Ortigas Center in Pasig City. The concept was part of Meralco’s

‘Maliwanag ang Pasko’ (MAP) project. The Liwanag park showcased a dazzling façade of the main building with a smart city theme as a bright exterior covered with colored lights synchronized with music in a show that played every 30 minutes. Visitors got on an electric train, which ran on an oval track. They also walked through a maze, just one of the many Instagram-friendly draws on hand. During weekends, a bazaar and food stands were set up at the side of the main building.

Cavite rising

CREATE SOMETHING BEYOND THE ORDINARY. At the launch of Wilcon Depot’s digital store in Mandaluyong City, were (from left to right) : Rupert Jacinto, Roselle Rebano, Tina Jacinto, Wilcon Depot SEVP-COO Rosemarie Ong, Tessa PrietoValdes, Philip Cu-Unjieng and Johnny Litton.

WILCON DEPOT GOES DIGITAL Draws bead on online shopping world


ilcon Depot, a leading home improvement and construction supplies retailer, recently launched its digital store in a bid to bring a more innovative and convenient shopping experience to its customers. Through the introduction of an online shopping site, Wilcon is marking the first time that its wide array of product categories ranging from appliances, automotive, building materials, electrical, furniture, hardware, home interior, housewares, outdoor living, paints and sundries, plumbing, and sanitary wares, will be available on the internet. BEAT THE TRAFFIC, SHOP WITH YOUR PHONE Wilcon’s move to expand its presence online was inevitable with the emerging trend of e-commerce. “Customers can now easily build big ideas for their homes through the expansion of our presence in the e-commerce scene,” said Wilcon Depot chief operating officer Rosemarie Ong. For decades now, Wilcon Depot has given many individuals and developers access to an extensive product selection of trusted local and international brands with high-grade features and superior quality, as well as topnotch services. Currently, it carries a wide array of products ranging from tools, sanitary wares, electrical supplies, automotive gear, gardening items, housewares, appliances, paints to living room showcases, among others.

Wilcon Depot also offers various add-on services that cemented its reputation as a trusted and reliable firm, even for professionals like architects, engineers, and designers. HOME IMPROVEMENT LEADER Today, Wilcon Depot is regarded by many as a topnotch home improvement and construction supply retailer. It has become a household name, a favored destination of firms and homeowners alike, and the country’s ultimate goto source for all construction needs, whether it’s for a small DIY (do-ityourself) project, or for the much larger renovation and construction activities. “As e-commerce makes progress in the retail landscape, Wilcon Depot is also taking its efforts to be visible to more potential customers, who have ready access to the internet,” said Wilcon Depot president and chief executive officer Lorraine Belo-Cincochan. “Moving towards our goal to serve our customers well, this initiative to establish our brand in the digital world will surely result to better customer engagement through the e-commerce platform.” Wilcon shoppers can now browse product information and shop online from Wilcon’s range of home improvement and construction supplies by visiting One can also stay in touch with by logging on to, or the chain’s latest news through their social media accounts at Facebook and Instagram NEW BRANCHES IN THE OFFING Despite its move into the online sphere, Wilcon Depot will continue to ramp up the roll out of its nationwide physical infrastructure. New branches to take advantage of the growing domestic economy, are in the works.

During the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting in June last year, Wilcon chairman emeritus William Belo told the Manila Standard that the firm aims to open 65 branches in five years or by 2021. This will require the company to open 24 more branches from 2018 to 2021. Belo said they are planning to open nine branches this year with three branches already opened so far. “We will be opening one branch a month for the rest of the year,” he said adding that the fourth branch will be opened at the end of June and the next one in July. Belo noted that, “the original plan was to complete by 2021 but we expect to complete this by 2020.” He added that they will open seven stores next year and eight more in 2020. Most of Wilcon’s branches are in although Belo said that they are now branching out to areas across the nation where they still have no presence. This includes Visayas and Mindanao. Depending on the format and the location, each store will cost about P180 million to P250 million including inventory. Wilcon still has P4 billion in cash left from the proceeds of its P7 billion initial public offering to fund its aggressive store expansion program. However, the company is not relying solely on store expansion to grow its profits. Belo said they are also adding high-margin products to their portfolio to improve profits. “This will add on our product lines that will give us better margins like lighting fixtures. And we are still getting into appliances, and the PPR (polypropylene random) pipings. These are the three major product categories that we want to focus in the next three years,” Belo said.

Congressman Ferrer IV (4th from right) together with Tanza Mayor Pacumio (4th from left) turns over the symbolic key for the 4-storey, 8-classrooms project to Adonna Rabago, (center), principal of Maximino V. Pangilinan Santol Elementary School.

LUIS ‘Jon Jon’ Ferrer IV, Cavite 6th District solon, recently led inaugurations of five infrastructure projects in the province. Ferrer, together with Tanza Mayor Yuri Pacumio, Tanza led the blessing of a 4-storey, 8-classrooms building; a basketball court in the court Heart Foundation Village cemented basketball court in Barangay Santol; and a P50-million bridge that is expected to boost the local economy and serve as a better road network to the people of Alingaro village and

nearby communities. The latter project links to nearby town Banay Banay, Amadeo and Trece Martires City, replacing the previous one-way steel bridge. The road network leads to the marketplaces, workplaces, schools and neighboring town and city of the upland village here. Ferrer also inaugurated two and four stories of classrooms classrooms Gen. Gregorio Alona Sr. memorial elementary school in Barangay Biclatan, General Trias.

Developer commits building housing communities P.A. PROPERTIES plans to set up 16 housing communities in the Philippines in the next five years, to add to the 40 affordable housing projects (Shown here is one of them, St. Joseph village 9 in San Pedro, Laguna). The company also has plans for 25 future projects estimated to generate up to PhP25B in revenues. “The current housing backlog stands at over 5.9 million countrywide, with socialized and economic housing accounting for the bulk of this requirement,” said Romarico

“Bing” Alvarez, chairman of P.A. Properties [Inset]. P.A. Properties is well-positioned to capitalize on the huge housing backlog with 137 hectares of landbank. For 2017, P.A. Properties ended the year with PhP11.8B in total assets. In the same year, the company infused PhP 835Mn in equity, increasing its total equity to PhP3.1B. “The government needs to develop the synergies and participation of all stakeholders, including the private

sector, employers, citizens and development partners in the provision of shelter,” Alvarez said. “People migrating to the cities and who are looking for places to live in are taking matters into their own hands by occupying land—building shacks and makeshift houses on vacant lots. Unless the government and the private sector come up with solutions, the pattern of land occupations and the clamor for decent housing will likely continue.”


Bernadette Lunas, Issue Editor @manilastandardlife




Learning adventure for kids

MADE FOR KIDS. Family-oriented, video-on-demand app Da Vinci Kids boasts over 3,000 hours of edutainment videos, fun graded quizzes, and a safe video-sharing community for children.


N THIS age of three-year-olds-playing-on-theirtablets, how do parents make the best out of technology and ensure their children are not only entertained but educated as well? A new family-oriented, video-on-demand app offers kids entertaining and educational content that promises to tickle their minds. “Da Vinci Kids is designed to help give your child the superpowers of knowledge, creativity, and curiosity—which we believe are the drivers of intellect,” the app said on its website. The app boasts over 3,000 hours of award-winning edutainment videos, fun graded quizzes, and a safe video sharing community for children. The videos available on the app are categorized into main catalogs, namely Mother Earth, Amazing Animals, How Stuff Works, Our Body, Inspiring Art, Fascinating History, and Mathematics. Concepts are visualized through videos that are easily understood by kids. Kids can take on the challenge of fun quizzes on interesting topics such as Insects, History, and Sports. Related episodes are available to help kids ace the quizzes. An entertaining array of mini games also await youngsters in Da Vinci Kids. Give their brains a workout with Memory Gym, create a pixel art masterpiece with Pixel Artist, or learn fraction concepts with The Train Conductor. Kids Studio provides a safe video-sharing community within Da Vinci Kids where they can create their own mobile stories and have it published on the app. It’s perfect for kids who want to share their experiments or discoveries to more people. To top all that, by completing the app’s games and activities that encourage “learn-by-doing,” kids are awarded achievements and badges to motivate them to discover more. The 30-day subscription to Da Vinci Kids app is available to Globe Postpaid customers at a discounted price of P99 (regular price is P109). To avail the offer, customers simply need to download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store, open the app and click on “subscribe” button, choose the exclusive Globe offer, answer the adult verification question, enter mobile number, and enter the PIN code that will be sent to their mobile. Go to for more information. The videos available on the app present concepts easily understood by kids.

Stephen Curry runs the court in Curry 6

The new Under Armour Curry 6 is designed in the way Stephen Curry plays on court.

AMERICAN footwear company Under Armour breaks down Stephen Curry’s movements to come up with its “most innovative” shoe to hit the market. “Our biomechanics team did an amazing job of breaking down Steph’s movements: how Steph moves into his shots, how Steph accelerates, decelerates, how he jumps, how he produces that force, to give us a really good idea of where do we start when we start to build a shoe,” said Paul Winsper, Under Armour vice president of human performance and research. Under Armour launches the Curry 6, which features a full-length HOVR midsole contained within an energy web and embedded into the outsole to provide a cushioned, close-to-ground feel and explosive return. “The Curry shoe is something that gives me ultimate confidence to know that no matter what move I try, it’s gonna ride with me the whole way,” said three-time World Champion and twotime NBA MVP Stephen Curry. This means being able to withstand “the amount of wear and tear that I put my body over the course of 48 minutes” in-

cluding changing direction and changing speed. “I run on the court more than most people in the NBA,” he added. According to Leon Gu, designer of the Curry 6, the full-length HOVR provides impact absorption and energy return. Gu explains, “Stephen Curry runs about 2.3 miles per game, and that’s why we wanted to design a shoe that was more like a running shoe for him.” The Curry 6 has an external heel counter that adds to overall stability and support, while a full-length speed plate keeps the wearer on the balls of their feet “so you can blow right by defenders.” In addition, the split outsole design of the new Under Armour shoe increases court contact for superior traction. A fully knit upper made of polyester yarn offers a breathable, compression-like fit to deliver lightweight directional strength. “The first Curry 6 drop honors the Fox Theater, one of Oak-

land’s most iconic landmarks, which represents everything Oakland stands for as an inclusive community of creators, th i n kers, and d reame r s . This is but fit-

ting because in the 10 years since Curry has helped guide Oakland’s Golden State Warriors into the upper echelon of basketball royalty, he has reshaped the way basketball is played and understood,” Under Armour said in a statement. In the Philippines, fans can already pre-order the Curry 6 at Under Armour stores in SM Megamall, Bonifacio High Street, Greenbelt 3, TriNoma, and Robinsons Magnolia.

Under Armour’s Curry 6 features a full-length HOVR midsole that provides impact absorption and energy return.





Prepared for the future

5 most bizarre food to eat in the



VEN celebrities know they have to plan and start early to make their tomorrow better today.

NO food? No problem! Apparently, even if you’re stuck in the middle of a jungle. Check out these five bizarre food choices to help you survive should you find yourself in the wild.

Radiant as ever, award-winning actress Iza Calzado showed no signs of entering bridezilla territory when she was preparing for her wedding. In December last year, she married her fiancé, tech entrepreneur Ben Wintle in Palawan. But she does worry about one thing: starting a family. “To be honest, it’s a bit scary not knowing how things will turn out, but I guess, as long as I secure my future, and I plan ahead, everything will be okay,” she shares in a video for FWD Life Insurance. She continues, “This is why as early as now, I’m making smarter shopping choices, investing in real estate, and getting financial protection from a solid insurance company like FWD.” Upon the arrival of baby Daniel Freedom in the life of celebrity couple John Prats and Isabel Oli and their firstborn Lily Feather, John says their family is finally complete. The husband and wife, along with the whole Prats family, have been praying for a baby boy to continue the Prats name. And while John is smiling ear to ear these days, he can’t help but think of the future and what it holds for his young family. “Apat na kami ngayon: si Freedom, si Feather, si Liv (Isabel’s nickname), at ako. Masaya, pero medyo scary, kasi siyempre tatlo na sila na naka-depende sa akin. At alam ko na hindi madali mag-raise ng family dahil hindi mo alam kung anong mangyayari sa future mo (We’re four in the family now: Freedom, Feather, Liv, and I. I’m happy but it’s also scary because now there are three people who are depending on me. And I know it’s not easy to raise a family because you don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future),” shares the doting father. So while his kids are still young, he’s already taking steps to make their tomorrows better today. “Hindi lahat puro hard work. Kailangan iyong hard work mo, secured din. Kaya ako, simula nong bata ako, lahat ng ipon ko sa pag-aartista at ngayon as a director, lahat 'yon ini-invest ko. (Hard work is not enough. Your hard work has to be secured, too. That’s why ever since I was young, I’m investing all the money I have saved as an actor and now as a


Gross level: *** This sticky and jumping amphibian found near the swamps is edible. In fact, it is one of the many accepted meals in Japanese and Chinese cultures and they consider it as delicious as other normal food they eat.

Grasshoppers Gross level: **

director). I secure my family now, so we can be all Set for Tomorrow,” he shares. “Wala naman mawawala (You have nothing to lose) if you plan ahead and prepare.” Go to to know how to be ready for the future.

Grasshoppers can be an alternative snack for a hungry stomach. In Mexico, grasshoppers, known as chapulines, are eaten in a variety of dishes. Just like meat, these green insects with wings and antennae are rich in protein that can help supply a good amount of energy in your body.


Gross level: **** Rat meat, while taboo in some cultures, is a dietary staple in others. In the Mihmi culture of India, rats are essential to the traditional diet. France has several regions where people eat rat. Rat meat is eaten in Vietnam, too. Swift forest rats can be a substitute meal that often live underground. Similar to grasshoppers, it can act as a source of protein. Iza Calzado prepares for her and now-husband Ben Wintle's future family by getting financial protection, among others, while John Prats shares he invests money for his family's future.

College releases card game for 30th anniversary

Simple Savings provides unbanked Filipinos easy access to a bank account.

Robinsons Bank

simplifies account opening THREE of the top reasons cited by Filipinos who don’t have bank accounts have something to do with the very process of opening an account, according to the 2017 financial inclusion survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Eighteen percent of surveyed said they couldn’t produce the documents required to open an account, 10 percent said the cost of opening accounts is high, and 9 percent said they didn’t have knowledge about opening accounts. Robinsons Bank addresses these issues with its recently launched Simple Savings bank account. Simple Savings was designed to lower barriers of entry to the financial system in order to reach out to the un-

ALUMNI of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde have a new fun way to reminisce their fond memories of the college with Chronicles, a trivia card game which recalls the inclusive, innovative, and extraordinary stories of the institution. The card game has been released as part of Benilde’s 30th anniversary celebration. It was inspired by Timeline, a popular historical card game about inventions, discoveries, historical events, and general interests. The goal of the game is to determine who is the most knowledgeable among the players by correctly guessing the year when a particular milestone took place. The base game includes 176 cards, divided into two 88-card sets. First half contains the history of the college between 1988 and 2010, while

the second half features the breakthroughs from 2010 to 2018 for an added challenge. “It is the story of Benilde. Chronicles is inviting you to build our own timeline. It can also be used as a remembrance on the story of Saint Benilde Romançon. It is fun to play with friends,” said DLS-CSB president Brother Dennis Magbanua FSC, who conceptualized the game together with Benilde board member Br. Michael Valenzuela, FSC and Center for Institutional Communication director Adriel Peña. The original copies of the cards were hand-drawn by DLS-CSB alumna Alexandra Samonte. Chronicles is available at unBOXed in De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Malate, Manila.

banked, providing them with their first step towards becoming financially secured. It adheres to BSP’s Circular 992, which sets out a framework for banks in promoting a basic deposit account to the unbanked. New-to-bank clients can open a Simple Savings account with only one ID and a low opening fee of P100. They will then have instant access to an online Visa Debit Card, which earns interest and can be used to shop online as well as Point-of-Sale transactions. Interested customers can open an account by visiting the nearest Robinsons Bank branch or online at

Chronicles card game

Bug larvae Gross level: *****

Although they may appear sticky and disgusting, bug larvae can definitely save you from the trouble. The larvae, as well as eggs, pupae, and adult form of some insects have been eaten by humans from prehistoric times to the present day. The bugs can be spotted inside rotting logs or decomposing trees, and can be eaten raw or cooked.


Gross level: ***** (a bit dangerous)

Believe it or not, vicious snakes can be a replacement to your usual meals. However, they can still get dangerous so make sure to remove its head before turning them into a dish. Better yet, leave it to the professionals.

To learn more about how to survive in the jungle, watch survivalist Ed Stafford in his brand-new reality show First Man Out premiering on Jan. 29 at 9:55 p.m. on Discovery Channel.



ASHTAG member CK Kieron and Pinoy Big Brother Lucky Season 7 housemate Vivoree Esclito team up this January to usher in fresh music and hip music videos, kicking off MYX’s 2019 as the first Celebrity VJs of the year.

It truly is an exciting month for the KierVi loveteam, as apart from their hosting gig in the country’s number one music channel, the newly signed recording artists will also be having their album launch on Jan. 25 (Friday) at SM North EDSA Skydome. This is their joint debut album under Star Pop, a sublabel of Star Music. Meanwhile, YouTuber-turned-singer Janina Vela faces the music under the “MYX Spotlight” this month. After performing at the first-ever “MYX Squadfest” and releasing her duet “Sorry I Left” with MYX’s very own VJ Donny Pangilinan, Janina is ready to showcase more of her singing prowess. Newlywed balladeer Christian Bautista graces the music channel as “MYX Headliner” of the month. The OPM hitmaker isn’t afraid to start his year with a challenge as he entertains viewers with his smooth tracks and answers MYX’s toughest questions. Welcome the new year with MYX Celebrity VJs CK and Vivoree on “Pinoy MYX” until today, “Mellow MYX” on Jan. 13 to 19, and “My MYX” on Jan. 20 to 26.

Directors and stars unite for Singkuwento International Film Festival Manila Philippines. (Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz)

The rise of new film festival

Film screenings focusing on fashion that world. Learn about China’s fashion and clothing industry with Useless, on Jan. 25 and 26. This documentary revolves around textile workers who are considered useless, as well as the contrasting relationship between people and their clothing according to their status in the society. The screenings are free and open to the public. This screening is curated by Olivia Lopez, a faculty from DLS-CSB Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) Program. Schedules are every Friday and Saturday of January, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. at The Loop, 12/F De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts Campus. ‘Useless’ is a documentary that revolves For inquiries and reservation, call 230 5100 around textile workers who are considered local 3897 or e-mail at useless in their society.

THE NCCA’s Committee on Cinema and the National Cinema Program with support from the MOWELFUND Film Institute used to mount Pelikula at Lipunan, a film festival that showcases Filipino motion picture classics and Pinoy films having their world premiere, The late, great National Artist for Film Eddie Romero (some of his greatest films are Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon, Kamakalawa and Aguila) headed the Cinema Committee and Cinema Program was the festival director with Nick de Ocampo as film programmer then. Now the Pelikula and Lipunan of yore is just a memory and the festival replacing it is the Singkuwento International Film Festival Manila Philippines (SIFFMP), which transpires from Feb. 15 to 22, during the National Arts Month Celebration at the Tanghalang Leandro Locsin located at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Building, Intramuros, Manila. What makes SIFFMP distinct, says festival director Perry Escano, “There is obviously a renewed public interest and a spirited revival of Pinoy Cinema. What makes this festival distinct is the reality that we feature independently produced films made by Filipino and foreign filmmakers. Our aim is to make the festival as the leading for Filipinos both here and abroad to share their voice, sentiments and thoughts via the films they have created. We also want to provide a channel for non-Filipinos to share their impressions of the Philippines and its people.” The SIFFMP is presented by MPJ Entertainment Productions, in cooperation with Asian Television Content Corporation (headed by Engr. Rey Sanchez), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and Film Development Council of the Philippines (headed by Chair Liza Diño).

The five films that are part of the fourth incarnation of the festival are: ALWIN Nestor Malgapo, IGNACIO Jr.’s Kapayapaan sa Gitna ng Digmaan, a historical drama based on the real life story of Yoshiaki Moto and wife Felicidad during and after World War II. Richard Quan plays Moto with new comer Celina Talavera as Felicidad. Charlotte Dianco’s Promdi is a drama aboit a young man from the province who went to Manila to secure his future. Think Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag minus Ligaya Paraiso, this tale as old as time with a very me also bullying ingredient, Kiko Estrada headlines. This is his first independent film starrer. Marvin Gabas’s Rendezvous, a fantasy drama romance with actress Gina Pareno who knows the tales and the secret of a twisted kind of love between a merman and maiden from up above. Buboy Villar shares his world class acting talent in Dave Cecilio’s Playground. With support of Lance Raymundo, some of the Walang Tulugan talents and Rosanna Roces, the ups and downs of being DOTA players are the highlights of this film for the millennial who need compassion and love. The most interesting film entry for this columnist is Alexander Cruz’s Pur Laine. Cruz is a Filipino-Canadian director based in Quebec that is why majority of the lines in this comedy and drama mix are in French with an international cast of actors namely Christian Paolo Lat, Celestine Caravaggio and Issabelle Lafond. Aside from the five main films, there are also five documentaries and 25 short films for exhibition. Actor Eddie Garcia will be feted with an SIFFMP Lifetime Achievement Award which will be given during the awards night which happens on Feb. 23 at Resorts World Manila.


An intriguing tale of betrayal and revenge

‘Whisper’ is a courtroom drama starring Lee Sangyoon and Lee Boyoung.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Saturday, January 12, 2019

ACROSS 1 Wisecrack 5 Frosty’s smoke 9 Attendance 13 Lahore language 14 Raid 15 Graph part 16 Mellowed 17 Leg part 18 Ten-percenters 19 Cul-de-sac (2 wds.) 21 Veld grazers 23 Place (abbr.) 24 Pierre’s brother 25 Childish 29 Loses steam 32 A Gershwin 33 Wrinkles 35 Sturdy material 37 Lose hair 39 Loud kiss 41 Mr. Carvey 42 Disparaging remarks 44 Braid 46 Wheels 47 Gives the appearance of 49 Forceful 51 Douses a donut 53 Golf score 54 Head, slangily 56 Whinnied 60 Rock’s Bon — 61 Excitement

36 Antony the Roman 38 Deepening a canal 40 Smoked herrings 43 Gloating 45 Bangkok native 48 Takes a whiff 50 Sporty sock DOWN 1 View from the 52 Used a priedieu dorm 2 Nudge forward 54 Iditarod terminus 3 Glimmering 4 Evidence of rain 55 Finished 5 Swimming hole 6 Irritate 7 Not as bright 8 Shoelace hole 9 Stored up 10 Dismissed 11 Gratuities 12 Letter for plurals 14 Imagines 20 Many centuries 22 Bone-dry 24 Matriarchs 25 Crane arms 26 Where Asia begins 27 Prize 28 Bedside fixture 30 Make laws 31 Red Sea peninsula 34 Swindle 63 Cry of fright 64 Portend 65 Tiny jumpers 66 Suggestive look 67 Freighter hazard 68 Ladder rung 69 First orchard?


KierVi jumpstarts MYX’s New Year as celeb VJs

Fast-rising young stars CK Kieron and Vivoree Esclito who are known for their love team known to their fans as KierVi.

THE Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) presents a selection of films about stories and documentaries about fashion. Explore the life and career of British fashion Lee Alexander McQueen in McQueen today. The story reveals how he started his career in his teenage years before gaining notice as designer for Givenchy to launching and overseeing his eponymous line and his untimely death in 2010. Bill Cunningham New York, slated for Jan. 18 and 19, narrates the profile of the veteran New York City fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham. Bill had very strict ideas about the fashion world in general, and the documentary shows just how influential he was in


56 Lowest high tide 57 Scurried along 58 Touche provoker 59 “Silent Running” star 60 Paid work 62 Plunging neckline

GMA Heart of Asia welcomes 2019 with a cutting-edge Korean courtroom drama that will redefine weekday mornings beginning. Entitled Whisper, the highly-anticipated Koreanovela revolves around the life of two people fighting together to take down a corrupt system involving the greatest law firm of the nation - Taebak. Lee Sangyoon plays Miguel Shin, a judge known for his righteousness and honesty. Lee Boyoung, on the other hand, breathes life to Diana Shin. She is a hardworking detective whose father was framed for murder.

In the story, Diana hands the evidence that could prove her father’s innocence. She was shocked when Miguel convicts a guilty ruling on her father. Determined to seek revenge, she records a video of her and Miguel, making it look like rape, and uses it to blackmail him unless he helps her in getting justice for her father. However, the subsequent turn of events lead them being allies who fight together against corruption. Witness their gripping story full of the unexpected twists on Whisper weekday morning after Don’t Dare to Dream on GMA-7.


Nickie Wang, Issue Editor



Dr. Carl Balita’s new resort adds glimmer to Calapan’s landscape Julie Anne showcased her vocal prowess in “Kapusong Pinoy Paskuhan at Kantawanan sa Anaheim”

A year of breakthroughs for



T WAS a solid year for pop sweetheart Julie Anne San Jose.

Early in 2018, Julie Anne welcomed her loyal fans in an intimate and heartfelt solo concert, #Julie, where she sang about the stages of love. The trending show at the Music Museum was a sold out success that marked the start of what was bound to be a memorable year for the 24-year-old singer, TV host and actress. Apart from being on the cover of multiple magazines and publications, Julie Anne returned to acting in the well-loved musical series My Guitar Princess as Celina, the aspiring singer who relentlessly chased her dreams. She is also the voice of Vicky in the first-ever Filipino anime series, Barangay 143, and brings show-stopping numbers to GMA Network’s top-rating musical variety show, Studio 7,, every week. She remains a mainstay in Sunday PinaSaya, the country’s number one comedy-musical variety program and award-winning weekend comedy sitcom, Pepito Manaloto, as well. More than these, Julie Anne received the German Moreno Youth Achievement Award in the 2018 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS) and was hailed as the Female Pop Artist of the Year in the 9th PMPC for MuStar Awards sic. But the highlight of Julie Anne’s year was inarguably her music. Julie Anne’s first single under Universal Records entitled “Nothing Left” soared to the top of music charts just minutes

EXPERTS are confident world boxing’s only eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is beyond ready to defend his WBA Welterweight title against former four-division world titleholder Adrien Broner this Jan. 20, which will air live on SKY Sports Pay-Per-View.

Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner


after its release. The same went for her OPM single “Tayong Dalawa,” which debuted at #1 on the iTunes PH charts after only 30 minutes. The Kapuso singer then launched her much-awaited Breakthrough album which again, climbed and remained on the top of iTunes Philippines All-Genre Chart for an entire week—a rare feat for OPM albums. Last October, Julie Anne took part in the Awit At Laro album, a collaboration of the country’s top recording artists and musical composers produced by Gary Valenciano and Manila Genesis for the benefit of UNICEF, Shining Light Foundation Inc., and Tukod Foundation Inc. Their advocacy celebrates the spirit of Filipino games through music and arts to make both children and adults to let go of their gadgets and play. Julie Anne also showcased her talent in a series of successful local and international concerts, including the 3 Stars, 1 Heart concerts in Cebu, Dagupan, and Dubai, and the early Christmas treat to Kapuso Abroad in Kapusong Pinoy: Paskuhan at Kantawanan sa Anaheim at The Grove of Anaheim in Los Angeles, California last Oct. 7. But it doesn’t stop there. This New Year, Julie continues to make waves as she is set to headline the first leg of the Kapuso concerts called The Sweetheart and the Balladeer: Fun Night Only with balladeer Christian Bautista. The concert tour kicks off on Jan. 27 at the Iloilo Convention Center, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, with a next show lined up this Feb. 10 at The Atrium, Limketkai Center, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro. With the year that she had, there is no doubt that Julie Anne is off to more exciting things this 2019. Actress and Diamond Record singer Julie Anne San Jose

After the Filipino boxer tasted his first knockout victory in years last 2018 when he fought Lucas Matthysse, Pacman (607-2, 39 knockouts) returns to the boxing capital of the world, Las Vegas, determined to replicate the feat. Pacquaio’s consultant, Freddie Roach, and his sparring partner, undefeated Australian contender George Kambosos Jr., both believe that the boxing icon will be too much for Broner to handle. Even veteran boxing analyst Dennis Principe shared that Broner is not a threat for Pacquaio and he will have an easy time dispatching the American boxer. Meanwhile, Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), is ready to fight his heart out against Pacquaio. He acknowledged that winning against the legendary boxer will be a highlight of his career. The fight is available to all SKYcable, One SKY, and SKYdirect subscribers nationwide for P949. By subscribing to the Pacquiao vs Broner PPV, subscribers will have access to the live, commercial-free and in high or standard definition viewing of the Pacquaio vs. Broner and a replay on the same and day right after the live event. Call 418 0000 or your local office or visit pacman to subscribe.

the fictional town of Willow, Wisconsin. Her boyfriend, Ken, was introduced by Mattel in 1961 and her sister, Skipper, in 1964. The company has released hundreds of fashion and lifestyle accessories for the brand. Despite Mattel’s release of different versions of Barbie with varying of eye colors, hairstyles and skin tones and, more recently, more diverse body types, the actress portraying Barbie for her bigscreen debut will resemble the doll’s original blonde, blue-eyed iteration. “I’m so honored to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide,” Robbie said. Robbie, 28, has starred in films including Suicide Squad in 2016 and I, Tonya in 2017, for which she was nominated for a best actress Oscar. AFP

and some fried hotdogs, Dr. Carl didn’t hesitate to articulate his mission-vision for Mahalta. “I want this paradise to grow as ISAH V. RED a place where moments and memories become one.” Mahalta’s opening has opened jobs for local residents and opportunities for local craftsmen and artisans. Even local boatmen were trained to serve as tourist guides, fetching additional income for them. Mahalta’s development, Balita said, will be in three phases. First is the hotel, restaurant, and pool. With 14 well – appointed rooms, each with a theme, on two levels are now functional. There are also two social halls for events, like wedding or christening receptions. The second and now under construction is a convention center that can accommodate 500 persons. And the third are single detached villas in the style of log cabins on the hill opposite where the resort is now. Mahalta he said is his tribute to his beloved home province Mindoro. The resort is littered with signs and symbols that characterize the island. A life-size image of a Tamaraw, rendered in solid, heavy marble, stands guard in the front garden. A marble statue of a Mangyan Prince welcomes guests on their way to the gazebo that serves as function hall. Balita believes in using indigenous and other raw materials sourced from the local community. Served fresh are seafoods, meats, and vegetables sourced from the local market or suppliers. Closer to home is an herbal garden called Lyne’s Farm-acy, named after Balita’s wife Lyne, a medical doctor. In another part of the yard, covered with what seems like evergreen Bermuda grass, is Siony’s Vegetable Garden, named after Balita’s mother. Balita intimated that in time, the resort’s kitchen can use locally grown organic crops. One of his three chefs, Chris, is foreigntrained, having worked for years at an international cruise liner. Activities available at Mahalta in the coming days include paddle boarding, kayaking, jetski and banana boat rides. Guests can also go on an island hopping to explore the three islands on Calapan Bay. In fact, singer-actor Robert Seña and his wife Isay Alvarez, who were Balita’s guests during the opening, had gone on an island hopping and (guess what?) they spotted and came up close and personal with a pod of dolphins. They were so excited they just had to tell us about their experience. So, if you want a piece of paradise near Metro Manila, take the Ocean Jet or Fast Cat from Batangas City and in less than two hours, you will be in Mahalta, where “moments and memories become one.” *** More stories of these kinds at www.isah. red. Follow me on Facebook (@isahvr), Twitter (@isahvred) and Instagram (@isahvred). ΙŘ

From left: Congressman Doy Leachon, Dr. Lyne Balita, Gov. Alfonso Umali, Dr. Carl Balita, entrepreneur Malou Morillo, Congressman Rey Umali, and Lyza Balita

Directors Guild nominees announced

Margot Robbie to portray Barbie in first live-action film AUSTRALIAN actress Margot Robbie will play the role of Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll in the toy’s first live-action film, Mattel and Warner Bros. said Tuesday. Barbie, who will celebrate her 60th birthday this year, has already been the subject of dozens of animated movies, though none were ever distributed in theaters. The feature film will be the first from the toy manufacturer’s new studio Mattel Films, and co-produced with Robbie’s production company LuckyChap Entertainment. “Over the brand’s almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president,” Robbie said, according to a statement. Launched in March 1959, the character of Barbara Millicent Roberts is from

THE name is familiar, ubiquitous in fact. If you traverse the main roads of Metro Manila, you’d see his posters for his review centers. And they’re not just in Metro Manila. They’re in most cities, major of course, across the archipelago. You also hear his voice on the radio. He is the voice behind DZMM’s Radyo Negosyo. He is also a singer. His singing voice has been included in a compilation album iDream along with the country’s noted performers like Isay Alvarez and Robert Seña. As if those aren’t enough, he ventured into film production. His first was Nars (2007 (director, Adolfo Alix, Jr.; starring: Jennelyn Mercado and Coco Martin), and he followed it up with Maestra (director: Lemuel Lorca; starring Angeli Bayani). Carl Balita was educated to be a nurse, but he knew, deep in his heart, that he is cut out for bigger things than being in a hospital and caring for the sick and dying. So, he pursued higher learning and at the same time learned the ropes of business, starting with a review center for nurses who would be taking the nursing board examinations. The review center expanded eventually to offer courses for others students of various fields and then it grew to become the most popular of all review centers in the Philippines. Balita is a Mindoreño, born and raised in the island. He loves his roots but is sometimes dismayed that progress comes too slow for the province. Now that he has made a name for himself, secured his future with his family, he felt the urge to give back. And he did last year, before the holidays, when he opened Mahalta Resort and Convention Center on a 1.5 hectare-property in Barangay Parang in Calapan City overlooking Calapan Bay. “What I dreamt of a retirement home evolved into something like this,” he chuckled when he showed us around the resort.” But it was a good evolution, right? More than a retirement home, I am able to contribute something to Calapan. Mahalta, the name he gave to the resort is a portmanteau from Mangyan, Halcon ( a mountain in Mindoro), and Tamaraw (the cousin of the water buffalo called Carabao). It was just the day after the official opening, and it had been raining intermittently. A leak on the roof here and there had made Balita’s second day busier than what it should have been, but he was glad he was able to see those minor construction blunders and immediately addressed them. The resort was abuzz with finishing touches and cleaning up after the official opening the day before. Chairs were being gathered and put in one corner of the resort while sweepers were making sure the surroundings were spotless. Guests who stayed after the opening were enjoying the light rain soaked in the pool, while photographers clicked their cameras with local models posing for the resort’s planned promotional blitz. Over coffee and some native Mindoreño breakfast fare of dried fish, scrambled eggs,

SENSATIONAL CURVES. Margot Elise Robbie is an Australian actress and film producer best known for her characters in “Suicide Squad” and “I, Tonya.”

FIRST-TIME director Bradley Cooper and Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron on Tuesday topped the list of nominees for the Directors Guild of America (DGA) award—a strong indicator of Oscar hopes. Cooper was nominated for the popular music romance reboot A Star Is Born—the story of an aging rocker (Cooper himself) who discovers a struggling singer-songwriter (Lady Gaga) and propels her to stardom. But Cuaron will be a tough competitor, after winning best director honors at the Golden Globes for Roma, his ode to his own childhood in 1970s Mexico City. It is his second DGA nomination after winning for Gravity. Both Star and Roma are seen as top contenders for Academy Awards glory on Feb. 24. At the Globes on Sunday, Roma also scooped up the award for best foreign language film, while Star was largely shut out, only winning for best original song. Rounding out the DGA field for outstanding achievement in feature film directing are the veteran Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman, Peter Farrelly for Green Book and Adam McKay for Dick Cheney biopic Vice. The DGA awards are to be handed out on Feb. 2. The DGA short list is considered a Oscars bellwether. Last year’s DGA winner, Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), went on to win the same prize at the Oscars and the film took best picture honors. The Academy Award nominations will be announced on Jan. 22. AFP

Manila Standard - 2019 January 12 - Saturday  

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

Manila Standard - 2019 January 12 - Saturday  

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