World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
27 December 2019

PALACE, PNP: NO ARREST IF JOMA SISON COMES TO PHILIPPINES FOR MEETING WITH 
DUTERTE 

MANILA — The Malacañang on Friday said Communist Party of the Philippines 
founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison will not be arrested if he comes to the 
country for a one-on-one meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. 
“We dare Mr. Sison to come to the Philippines for a one-on-one meeting with 
the president to forge a lasting peace agreement,” the Palace said. 
“[Duterte] guarantees that he will not be arrested upon his arrival and 
after the meeting he can freely leave for Netherlands when he so desires,” 
it added. 
On Thursday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press 
briefing that Duterte wants Sison to discuss peace talks. 
“The president did not state any condition. He just said, ‘I want to talk to 
him one-on-one here,’” Panelo said Duterte told him last Tuesday. “He should 
take it or leave it – that’s the stand of the president.” 
But Sison told GMA news online that he is “willing to meet with President 
Duterte in a country near the Philippines.” 
Sison, who has been on self-exile in the Netherlands since 1987, said it 
would be “premature” for him to go to the country pending the mutual 
approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms. 
Panelo added that Sison’s refusal to talk with Duterte, his former student, 
“betrays his insincerity.” 
Sison was once Duterte’s college professor and the president claims he was 
once a member of Kabataang Makabayan, a now-underground youth movement Sison 
founded in 1964. 
PNP to abide by Palace directive 
Sison is facing an arrest warrant, issued by Manila Regional Trial Court 
Branch 32 last September, for 15 counts of murder in connection with the 
so-called 1985 Inopacan massacre. 
The Philippine National Police said September that it will seek the help of 
the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) for Sison’s 
arrest. 
Following the Palace's latest order, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP 
spokesman, told Philstar.com in a text message that the police will "abide 
by, and support the decision of the president." 
He added: "Pursuant to this, we will make the necessary coordination with 
the DOJ for the proper guidance to work out [Sison's] immunity from arrest 
in case he accepts the offer of the president and decides to return to the 
country." 


'NO MORE PROBLEM' WITH HOLIDAY TRUCE, SAYS JOMA SISON 

MANILA -- Exiled communist leader Jose Ma. Sison said Friday there was "no 
more problem" with continuing with a Christmas ceasefire with government 
forces, since the rebels' declaration was reciprocated. 
Sison said government negotiators presented their own ceasefire order in 
response to the truce declaration from the National Democratic Front Panel. 
"At this point in time, there is no more problem about continuing the CPP 
ceasefire order to the NPA," Sison said on Facebook, referring to the New 
People's Army. 
"The best thing to do is cool down and proceed with the reciprocal 
ceasefires and let them generate goodwill and confidence in preparation for 
the resumption of the peace negotiations," he said. 
Before Sison's Facebook post, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo dared 
him to cancel the rebels' unilateral ceasefire with the government. 
"Sison and his comrades can proceed with the cancellation of the ceasefire 
and the President will oblige them," Panelo said. 
"In the first place, they have violated their own declared unilateral 
ceasefire. So there is not even logic in their threat," he added. 
Panelo was referring to separate attacks in Camarines Sur and in Iloilo on 
Monday that left one soldier dead and 8 other security forces wounded 
despite an ongoing holiday truce. 
The government's peace panel and the NDFP earlier agreed to a nationwide 
"unilateral and reciprocal" ceasefire from Dec. 23 up to Jan. 7 after 
President Rodrigo Duterte hinted at a possible reopening of peace 
negotiations. 


US STATE DEPARTMENT HAS PROCESS TO FOLLOW IN BAN ON DE LIMA'S JAILERS — 
PANELO 

MANILA — There is a process for the US State Department to determine who is 
covered by a provision in the US budget for 2020 that bars people behind the 
"wrongful" detention of Sen. Leila de Lima from entering the United States, 
the Palace said Thursday. 
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the US State Department will 
only act when it has "credible information" that a person was involved in De 
Lima's continued detention, adding that US Ambassador Sung Kim agreed with 
him. 
"You have to follow the process. There is a process where before the US 
State Secretary can ban any person, which of course is a right on the part 
of the sovereign state, it has to determine whether the information relative 
to a person being banned is credible or not," he said. 
"I don’t know if I’m at liberty to tell what he made an off-remark statement 
and he said, 'I read your statement, it’s a very good statement, I agree 
with it. It’s Congress that passed that law," Panelo, who also quotes 
conversations and text exchanges with then-Chinese Ambassador to the 
Philippines Zhao Jianhua, said. 
The Palace spokesman, who is also chief presidential legal counsel, added 
the ban should not apply to him: "Like me for instance, what in heaven’s 
name can I be part of the detention of this woman? I’m not even part of the 
prosecution." 


PHILIPPINES RESTORES FLIGHTS, POWER AS URSULA DEATH TOLL CLIMBS 

MANILA -- Philippine authorities on Friday moved to restore power to 
millions and normalize air traffic in the wake of a typhoon that tore 
through the central islands on Christmas Day, as the death toll climbed to 
28. 
The country's largest airline, Cebu Pacific, said it was mounting recovery 
flights to assist those whose bookings were canceled this week. Typhoon 
Ursula (Phanfone) tracked a path similar to Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) 
in 2013, damaging the Kalibo Airport that serves Boracay Island. 
Iloilo accounted for 13 out of 28 fatalities, said the National Disaster 
Risk Reduction and Management Council. The storm injured 2 others, while 12 
others remained missing, it added. 
Ursula forced 43,850 people to evacuation centers, damaged around 2,000 
houses and 55 schools, and knocked down power in almost 150 towns, the 
NDRRMC reported. 
It may take 10-15 days before power is restored in Occidental Mindoro with 
the help of electric cooperatives from neighboring provinces, said Governor 
Eduardo Gadiano. 
"Talagang napakarami kasing natumbang poste; kahit na bakal, bali iyong mga 
poste (many electric posts fell, even the metal ones)," he told radio DZMM. 
Ursula could also prompt the provincial government to declare a state of 
calamity for a third time this year as emergency funds ran low, he said. 
In Iloilo, it could take 5 days or until New Year's Day before power is 
restored in 4 northern towns, Governor Arthur Defensor told radio DZMM. Two 
Iloilo towns declared a state of calamity, he said. 
A magnitude 4.8 quake on Thursday night rattled Iloilo province and nearby 
areas. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, he said. 
Ursula hit Boracay, Coron and other holiday destinations that are famed for 
their white-sand beaches and popular with foreign tourists. 
"Roads remain blocked, but some efforts have been made to clear away the 
damage. It's pretty bad," said Jung Byung-joon, a Korean tourist at Kalibo 
airport. 


POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF TYPHOON URSULA IN PHILIPPINES 

Pope Francis on Thursday prayed for the Philippines after a typhoon struck 
the country over Christmas, killing at least 21 people. 
"I join in the pain that affected the dear people of the Philippines because 
of the typhoon Phanfone," Francis said. 
The pontiff then asked the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for his 
weekly Angelus prayer to join him in a prayer for the Philippines. 
Typhoon Phanfone (Ursula) hit the Philippines late on Tuesday (December 24) 
with winds of up to 120 kph (75 mph) and gusts of 150 kph, heavy rain and 
flooding. 
More than 58,000 people were evacuated from their homes before the storm, 
which caused widespread property damage, and more than 15,000 were stranded 
at ports when ferries were suspended. Scores of flights were cancelled. 
The fatalities were in the central provinces of Capiz, Iloilo and Leyte, 
including a 13-year-old boy who was electrocuted, a man killed by a tree 
branch and another killed in a car accident, the disaster agency said. 
The typhoon left the Philippines on Wednesday (December 25) night and was 
out over the South China Sea, moving west. 


DUTERTE DISTRIBUTES LAND TITLES TO BARMM FARMERS 

MANILA — President Duterte recently led the distribution of certificates of 
land ownership awards (CLOAs) to 793 agrarian reform beneficiaries in 
Basilan, Maguindanao and Tawi-Tawi. 
Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said the CLOAs cover 1,742 
hectares of agricultural land. 
“Take care of your land. Huwag ninyo ipagbili,” the President said in his 
speech during the awarding ceremony at the Shariff Kabunsuran Cultural 
Complex in Cotabato City on Monday. 
The land distribution is the first under the Ministry of Agriculture, 
Fisheries and Agrarian Reform of the newly created Bangsamoro Autonomous 
Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 
CLOAs covering 238.9 hectares under the Department of Agrarian Reform’s 
post-land distribution program were also turned over to 93 beneficiaries at 
the same event. 
Agrarian cooperatives in the BARMM were also provided farm machineries and 
crop seedlings as part of the Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support 
program of the Department of Agrarian Reform. 


ATHLETES ASSURED LAW-MANDATED DISCOUNTS TO BE FULLY APPLIED EARLY 2020 

The Philippine Sports Commission on Monday said it is working to make sure 
deserving national athletes and coaches can avail of discounts mandated by 
law. 
Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez said the sports body wants Republic Act 
10699, or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, to 
be fully implemented as soon as possible. 
“We know this is long overdue but rest assured we are doing what we can, 
coordinating with the concerned government agencies to effect the full 
implementation," Ramirez said in a statement. 
"We hope for the full implementation by first quarter of 2020 so our 
athletes could swiftly avail of the benefits.” 
On Saturday, Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Agatha Wong took to Twitter 
to call for the strict application of RA 10699. 
The discount, pegged at 20 percent, applies in all transportation services, 
hotels, restaurants, recreation centers and purchase of medicines and sports 
equipment throughout the Philippines. 
Ramirez said the PSC has been coordinating with the Bureau of Internal 
Revenue since February for the implementation of the law. 
"We are now just awaiting the issuance of a Revenue Regulation by the BIR on 
the final implementation of RA 10699 Sec. 4 and 5," he said. 


P170,000 ‘SHABU’ NASABAT SA CALOOCAN; 4 TIKLO 

MAYNILA -- Arestado ang mag-asawa at 2 pang lalaki matapos mahulihan ng 
hinihinalang droga sa Barangay 179, Caloocan. 
Nasamsam sa mga suspek ang 8 sachet ng hinihinalang shabu na may bigat na 25 
gramo at nagkakahalaga ng P170,000. 
Mga suplayer umano ng droga sa north Caloocan ang mga suspek, ayon kay 
Police Capt. Ramon Aquiatan Jr. 
Mahaharap ang mga suspek sa kasong paglabag sa Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs 
Act. 


P11 MINIMUM NA PASAHE SA JEEP IHIHIRIT SA ENERO 

Hihirit ang ilang transport group sa Enero na itaas sa P11 mula sa P9 ang 
minimum na pamasahe ng jeepney para sa unang 4 na kilometro, sinabi ng 2 sa 
kanilang lider, Biyernes. 
Tataas ng P1.50 kada litro ang presyo ng krudo sa Enero 1 dahil sa tax 
reform law, katwiran ni Pasang Masda president Obet Martin. 
Ang naturang taas-presyo ay "masyadong mabigat na po bulsa ng tsuper" na 
kumikita lang ng P400 hanggang P600 para sa 14 hanggang 16 oras na 
pagpasada, aniya sa panayam ng DZMM. 
"Kung puwedeng magpasensiya, kung puwedeng magtiis sa kaunting-kaunting 
kinikita, may maiuwi lamang, nagtitiis kami. Pero itong klaseng ito, hindi 
na po kaya," dagdag ni Fejodap president Zeny Maranan. 
Maaari rin aniyang tumaas sa P12 ang hirit nilang minimum fare kung papalo 
sa P49 ang kada litro ng diesel. 
Nangako naman si Maranan na hindi magsasagawa ng transport strike ang 
kanilang mga grupo sakaling mabinbin ang pagpasa sa taas-pasahe. 
"Papahirapan na nga sa taas ng pasahe, pahihirapan pa ba natin sila sa 
kanilang pagsakay ng jeep patungo sa kanilang hanapbuhay," aniya sa hiwalay 
na panayam ng DZMM. 


FAIR WEATHER EXPECTED ON NEW YEAR AFTER DEADLY CHRISTMAS STORM: PAGASA 

Filipinos will likely welcome the New Year next week with fair weather, 
state weather bureau PAGASA said Friday, in the wake of a Christmas Day 
typhoon that left at least 28 dead and sent tens of thousands into 
evacuation centers on Christmas Day. 
Typhoon Ursula was 335 kilometers west of Zambales at 4 a.m. and no longer 
had any direct effect on the country. It is expected to leave the Philippine 
area of responsibility on Saturday, said PAGASA weather forecaster Ezra 
Bulquerin. 
On New Year's Eve, Tuesday, the country can expect fair weather with spots 
of light rain in the afternoon or evening, he told radio DZMM. 
The Ilocos, Cordillera, and Cagayan Valley regions and Aurora province on 
Friday will experience cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms, he said. 
Metro Manila and the rest of the country meanwhile can expect fair weather 
with isolated rains in the afternoon or evening, he added. 


LIZA SOBERANO SPENDS CHRISTMAS IN NEW HOUSE IN US WITH FAMILY, ENRIQUE GIL 

MANILA -- Liza Soberano finally got to spend Christmas in her new house in 
the United States. 
The actress can be seen celebrating with her family and her boyfriend, 
Enrique Gil, in photos shared on Instagram on Thursday (Manila time). 
"First Christmas in our new home. Finally have a place to call my own back 
in the USA. Couldn’t have done it without ABS-CBN and all the brands that 
have given me their complete trust," Soberano said in an Instagram post. 
"To all of my LizQuen and Liza supporters out there, thank you for the 
unconditional love. Last but not least, thank you, Papa God. You have 
provided a home for me and the people most dearest to my heart. I will 
forever give you thanks and praise," she added. 
In a previous interview, Soberano said she will celebrate the holidays with 
her family and Gil. 
The couple will star in the upcoming ABS-CBN series "Make It With You." 


ION PEREZ SHOWS TATTOO DEDICATED TO VICE GANDA 

MANILA — In a sweet moment during the live episode of “It’s Showtime” on 
Thursday, Ion Perez confirmed that a date which he recently had tattooed on 
his leg is dedicated to his partner and co-host Vice Ganda. 
The topic came up during the “BiyaHero” segment of the noontime program, 
when a contestant’s tattoos on his arm caught the attention of the hosts. 
Vhong Navarro asked Vice Ganda and then Perez how many tattoos they have 
each. The former did not give a serious answer, while the latter counted 
nine. 
Asked which tattoo he considers most special, Perez showed the latest one he 
got: three dates on a ribbon that goes around his left leg. 
Written in digits, the dates are: August 4, 1947; February 3, 1952; and 
March 31, 1976. 
“Si Tatay, si Nanay, tapos ikaw,” Perez told Vice Ganda. 
“Lahat ng special sa buhay ko, iyong tatlong iyon, kaya pinalagay ko,” Perez 
added, when asked by Jhong Hilario why he had those dates inked. 
Perez and Vice Ganda have become increasingly open about their relationship, 
after the comedian confirmed in November that they have been officially 
together for a year. 
Perez, in particular, has been vocal about his affection for Vice Ganda, 
saying numerous times that he hopes the relationship will last. 



PBA: BLACK, UMAASANG TATAPUSIN NA NG MERALCO ANG FINALS JINX KONTRA GINEBRA 

Sabik na si Meralco coach Norman Black sa panibagong salpukan nila ng 
Barangay Ginebra sa 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup finals. 
Dalawang beses nang natalo ang Meralco sa Governors’ Cup finals kontra 
Justin Brownlee at Ginebra — 2016 at 2017. 
“We all feel like we have some unfinished business. We've already had two 
rounds with Ginebra and we've lost both,” ani Black sa artikulong ipinost sa 
ABS-CBN Sports. 
“We're looking forward to the third round because we wanna change things 
around and come out the victors this time. That's gonna be our focus now.” 
Uhaw sa kampeonato ang parehong koponan: ito ang unang title series ng 
Ginebra ngayong taon, samantalang pinapangarap ng Meralco na makuha ang una 
nilang PBA title. 
“Our goal is to win a championship. We have a lot of respect for Ginebra and 
Tim Cone. Tim is a top coach in the league, but our goal is to win. Simple 
as that,” ani Black. 
“It doesn't matter who we're playing against. Our goal is to win a 
championship. We've already lost two. We only have one goal.” 
Enero 7, Martes, sa Araneta Coliseum ang Game 1 ng 2019 Governors’ Cup 
finals. 


FROM SEA GAMES 2019 TO TOKYO OLYMPICS 2020 

After reigning supreme in this month’s Southeast Asian Games, the 
Philippines wants to parlay its success there with a victory that has eluded 
it for nearly a century. 
The country looks to win their first Olympic gold medal in the Tokyo Games 
next year, and the national contingent is capable of accomplishing that 
based on the performance of gymnast Carlos Yulo and pole-vaulter EJ Obiena. 
So far, the Philippines, which joined the Olympic program in 1924, has 3 
silver and 7 bronze medals, the last podium finish courtesy of weightlifter 
Hidilyn Diaz in 2016. 
According to the Olympics Reference website, only two countries that exist 
until today have had a longer gold-medal drought — Haiti (1900) and Monaco 
(1920). 
It’s rare to tout a Filipino athlete’s gold chances in the buildup to the 
Olympics, but thanks to world champion Yulo and top-class talent Obiena 
there’s excitement over breaking a drought spanning 22 Olympic Games. 
Given the proper government support and the presence of elite coaching, 
which both Yulo and Obiena enjoy, that could become a reality. 


NBA SCORES DEC 25 


NOTE: No games were played on 24th 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Celtics 21-7    28    27    33    30    118 
team logo Raptors 21-10    19    28    22    33    102 
SCORING LEADERS 
    J. Brown BOS 
30 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST 
    F. VanVleet TOR 
27 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Bucks 27-5    30    18    25    36    109 
team logo 76ers 23-10    38    31    31    21    121 
SCORING LEADERSK. Middleton MIL 
31 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST 
J. Embiid PHI 
31 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Rockets 21-10    29    39    19    17    104 
team logo Warriors 8-24    28    36    28    24    116 
SCORING LEADERSR. Westbrook HOU 
30 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST 
D. Lee GS 
22 PTS, 15 REB, 4 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Clippers 23-10    31    20    35    25    111 
team logo Lakers 24-7    33    30    23    20    106 
SCORING LEADERSK. Leonard LAC 
35 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST 
K. Kuzma LAL 
25 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Pelicans 9-23    29    29    26    28    112 
team logo Nuggets 21-9    26    29    25    20    100 
SCORING LEADERSB. Ingram NO 
31 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST 
N. Jokic DEN 
23 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST 

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