24 Sept 2020
CAVITE AIRPORT BUILDER TO BE TAGGED IN CASE VS CHINA'S XI
MANILA Â— A Chinese firm that is set to build an airport in Cavite province
will be included in the case against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the
International Criminal Court, one of its petitioners said Thursday.
The case accuses Xi and other Chinese leaders of Â“crimes against humanityÂ”
in the West Philippine Sea, where Beijing has stepped up militarization and
Â“In our, what amounts as, motion for reconsideration, we are impleading the
executives of the Chinese construction company for having been instrumental
in the building of artificial islands,Â” said former Ombudsman Conchita
Morales said she was referring to the CCCC or China Communications
Construction Co Ltd.
President Rodrigo Duterte this month gave the go-signal for the Sangley
Airport project, which state-owned CCCC and Lucio Tan's MacroAsia bagged in
CCCC is one of 24 firms that the US recently blacklisted for their alleged
involvement in BeijingÂ’s militarization projects in the disputed South China
The ICC in December junked the communication by Morales and and former
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario against Beijing. The court said
China is not a state party to the Rome Statute Â— the treaty that established
Morales said their group, which recently tapped the help of Retired Supreme
Court justice Antonio, would file their motion for reconsideration this
Â“We insist that the crimes committed by Xi Jinping et al were committed
within Philippine territory and also within the Exclusive Economic Zone,Â”
she said of the appeal.
Morales said her group remained Â“very confidentÂ” that the case would
Â“Before we filed the communication, we spent days and weeks on end to
reflect on our chances Â… Irrespective of whether there is precedent, we are
very confident that we will win this case,Â” she said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has largely shelved the decision in favor of loans
and investments from Beijing. But in his first speech before the UN on
Tuesday, he said the Philippines "firmly rejects" any attempt to undermine
Â“ThatÂ’s an optimistic development. Finally, he took it upon himself to say
that the arbitral tribunal should stand, it cannot be the subject of any
compromise or any different interpretation by different parties,Â” said
US BILL SEEKS TO CUT SECURITY AID TO PHILIPPINES DUE TO DUTERTE'S
MANILA Â— A proposed legislation has been introduced in the US Congress to
block funding for security forces in the Philippines until the government
puts an end to human rights violations.
Rep. Susan Wild (Pennsylvania) formally introduced Thursday (Manila time) HR
8131 or the Philippine Human Rights Act, which seeks to block US security
assistance to the Philippines until the government makes certain reforms to
the military and police forces.
In a speech at the US Congress, Wild, a Democrat lawmaker, said the Â“brutalÂ”
regime of President Rodrigo Duterte is using the pretext of the
Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 to Â“ramp up efforts targeting labor organizers,
workers and political opponents.Â”
Â“In response to these abuses, I introduced the Philippine Human Rights Act,
which would block US funding for police or military assistance to the
Philippines, outlining a series of basic criteria which would have to be met
in order to resume such funding,Â” Wild said.
Â“Let us make clear that the United States will not participate in the
repression. Let us stand with the people of the Philippines,Â” she added.
From 2016 to 2019, the United States provided the Philippines with military
assistance amounting to US$554 million. This included $267 million in
foreign military financing for the procurement of defense articles.
In a forum, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines
enumerated the following criteria for the lifting of suspension on security
- Investigate and prosecute members of security forces found to have
violated human rights
- Withdraw military from domestic policy and policing
- Establish protection of the rights of trade unionists, indigenous peoples,
farmers, journalists and government critics
- Guarantee the judicial system is capable of investigating and prosecuting
erring members of the police and military
- Fully comply with audits and investigation of proper use of security aids
Brandon Lee, a human rights worker who was shot in Ifugao in August 2019,
said blocking security assistance to the Philippines Â“will pressure the
military and police to do their jobs responsibility and to act according to
EVEN CRITICS PRAISED DUTERTE FOR SEA STANCE IN UN SPEECH, BUT SOME REMAIN IN
President Rodrigo Duterte participated at the 75th session of the United
Nations General Assembly for the first time and his speech drew mixed
In his televised address last Tuesday, September 22, Duterte upheld the
PhilippinesÂ’ legal victory against the China in 2016 before state leaders.
Â“The Philippines affirms that commitment in the South China Sea in
accordance with UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award. The Award is now part of
international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing
governments to dilute, diminish or abandon. We firmly reject attempts to
undermine it,Â” he said.
The gesture was surprising, with Duterte since the start of his presidency
having touting friendly relations with the Asian power at the cost of a
shelved arbitration award favoring the Philippines as a policy leverage.
Duterte also expressed gratitude to other countries who supported and
respected the 2016 UNCLOS award.
Â“We welcome the increasing number of states that have come in support of the
award and what it stands forÂ—the triumph of reason over rashness, of law
over disorder, of amity over ambition. This Â– as it shouldÂ–is the majesty of
the law,Â” he said.
Sen. Panfilo Â“PingÂ” Lacson and retired Supreme Court senior associate
justice Antonio Carpio praised the chief executive for invoking the
countryÂ’s rights before the UNGA.
Â“AlipinÂ’ no more! Hearing the President invoke the Award before the UN
General Assembly while firmly rejecting any attempt to undermine it should
now erase doubts on where he stands regarding the WPS issue,Â” Lacson said.
Carpio, meanwhile, said that it is Â“hearteningÂ” for him to hear Duterte
welcoming other statesÂ’ support to the ruling.
Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of DuterteÂ’s most vocal critics,
advised that the public should not fall for DuterteÂ’s positive words, citing
his infamous jet ski promise during his presidential campaign.
Â“To believe Duterte now on his UN statement re WPS, is like believing his
jet ski campaign promise all over again. Utang na loob, wag kayo
patanga-tanga!Â” Trillanes said.
Human rights researcher Carlos Conde also noted that Duterte only expressed
what the international organization was expected of him.
Â“If youÂ’ve been paying attention, youÂ’d know that what Duterte says in
public depends on whoÂ’s in front of him,Â” Conde said.
Â“This, he figured, was what the UN wanted to hear so he said it. Except his
brutal Â‘drug war,Â’ DuterteÂ’s actions rarely matches his rhetoric,Â” he added.
Twitter user @RonanInManila described this as Â“lip service,Â” a phrase or
statement of advocacy that is insincere or not backed by actions.
EX-OMBUDSMAN TELLS SUCCESSOR: FOLLOW ANTI-GRAFT LAW 'TO THE LETTER'
MANILA Â— Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Thursday told her
successor to follow the anti-graft law "to the letter", following his
restriction of public access to the wealth declaration of government
"Follow to the letter the provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act, as well as the Code of Ethics," she said in an ANC interview,
addressing current Ombudsman Samuel Martires.
"You may have an interpretation that still goes along the spirit of the law,
but for anyone to ward off the provisions, thatÂ’s not acceptable to me," she
Martires this month limited public access to Statements of Assets,
Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs), allowing their release only for official
investigations, by court order, or upon authority from officials themselves.
"It goes against the constitutional principle that public office is a public
trust," Carpio Morales said of the move. "You are supposed to be
On Tuesday, Martires told lawmakers that SALNs were unnecessary in
corruption probes against officials and that the document could be
weaponized against them.
However, Morales said the document was "important if it (investigation)
involves quantifying things that make a difference whether he (official)
made money or enriched himself while in public office."
"Whether or not it has been weaponized by critics, enemies of politicians,
that is something which is debatable," she said.
"If he (Martires) believes that this is being weaponizedÂ… that is the
concern of the politician. No one can refuse the request of anyone to use or
copy a SALN for as long as is not against public policy."
The Ombudsman should also refrain from relying solely on testimonial
evidence to go after corrupt officials. Investigators can get gather
documentary evidence like the SALN, records from the Anti-Money Laundering
Council, and other physical and circumstantial evidence.
Martires on Tuesday floated the idea of abolishing the Ombudsman because a
shortage in witnesses has stumped its investigations.
CAYETANO URGED TO HONOR 'GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT' WITH VELASCO ON HOUSE
MANILA - House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano should honor the term-sharing
agreement he has with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, their colleague at
the House of Representatives said Wednesday.
In a statement, BUHAY Party-List Rep. Lito Atienza "strongly reminded"
Cayetano to honor, "with no conditions", the deal endorsed no less by
President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Speaker Cayetano assumed the Speakership on the basis of the term-sharing
agreement between him and Cong. Velasco. They agreed upon that arrangement
as suggested by Cayetano himself," Atienza said.
"They agreed to this in front of no less than President Duterte himself," he
"Now that his term is about to end and Cong. Velasco is about to begin his,
why is the SpeakerÂ’s supporters questioning if Cong. Velasco has the
numbers? It is totally unfair to make it a condition now."
Velasco firm on term-sharing agreement:
Velasco might have been silent recently, but he is dead set on taking his
place as speaker of the House of Representatives next month.
Releasing a statement the other night, Velasco said: Â“I have been silent
during the duration of the gentlemanÂ’s agreement in deference and respect to
the sitting Speaker. My silence does not mean I am disinterested nor have I
turned my back on the covenant.Â”
Velasco, known to have close ties with the President and his children, said
he only opted to remain silent on the speakership issue and allegations
hurled against him so as not to call attention to himself.
Â“Being party to the term-sharing agreement, one does not and should not seek
to compete with the current Speaker as a gentlemanÂ’s agreement is in force.
We will have our turn at the right time,Â“ he said.
GABBY LOPEZ RESIGNS FROM ABS-CBN
MANILA Â— Eugenio Â“GabbyÂ” Lopez III resigned on Thursday from ABS-CBN Corp.
In a statement following the networkÂ’s stockholders meeting, the media giant
announced Lopez has stepped down as chairman emeritus and director of the
network his father, Eugenio Lopez Jr., has built.
Apart from his chairmanship at ABS-CBN, Gabby Lopez also resigned from the
same position at Sky Vision Corp., Sky Cable Corp., First Philippine
Holdings Corp., First Gen Corp. and Rockwell Corp. Â“effective immediately.Â”
Shares at ABS-CBN Corp. traded up 1% at P7.07 apiece as of 11:44 a.m.
Â“We thank him for his dedication and leadership in expanding and
transforming ABS-CBN beyond television through the years,Â” Kane Choa,
corporate communications head at the network, said.
Â“Just like his father, Eugenio 'Kapitan Geny' Lopez Jr., Gabby is a
visionary and compassionate leader driven by his love for the Philippines
and the Filipino people. He would always tell the men and women of ABS-CBN
that being a part of the network is not a job, but a calling,Â” he said.
Lopez resigned more than 2 months after the House of Representatives denied
ABS-CBN of a new franchise, prompting the shutdown of the networkÂ’s free TV
and radio channels.
COVID-19 CASES IN PH APPROACH 295,000-MARK AS GOV'T LOGS 2,833 NEW
MANILA Â— The Philippines reported 2,833 additional COVID-19 cases on
Wednesday, bringing the total to 294,591.
This is the 2nd straight day that newly-confirmed cases were below 3,000.
Tuesday's tally was at 1,635.
The Department of Health has yet to explain the relatively fewer infections,
although data show that coronavirus tests conducted for Sept. 20 and 21
dipped to below 30,000.
Of Wednesday's additional cases, 80% occurred in the last 2 weeks.
Topping the list of areas with the most number of newly-announced cases is
the National Capital Region with 1,222, followed by Cavite with 228, Negros
Occidental with 206, Batangas with 143 and Bulacan with 141.
The DOH also reported 765 additional recovered patients, or a total of
Of the 44 additional deaths logged, 21 occurred this month. The country's
COVID-19 death toll is now at 5,091.
TOURISM CHIEF WANTS TO REMOVE AGE RESTRICTIONS FOR BORACAY TOURISTS
MANILA -- Tourism Secretary Bernadette RomuloÂ–Puyat said Thursday she would
ask an inter-agency task force to allow Metro Manila residents to visit
Boracay when it further reopens on Oct. 1 and remove age restrictions for
tourists in the island.
Metro Manila is still under GCQ or general community quarantine, which
prohibits leisure-related travel to contain novel coronavirus infections.
Those aged above 60 and below 20 are also barred from leaving their homes.
"Hihingin din namin sa IATF na wala nang age restriction, kahit na iyong
above 60 at below 20 ay papayagan na rin kasi diba ang mga Pilipino
nagta-travel iyan as a family," Romulo-Puyat told TeleRadyo.
"Aside from puwede ang mga taga-GCQ lumipad na sa Boracay, hihingin namin na
alisin ang age restriction," she said.
Those who want to visit Boracay need a negative PCR coronavirus test result
48 to 72 hours before their trip. They also need to register online with any
of some 200 resorts and establishments that the tourism department has
certified, said Romulo-Puyat.
Boracay tourists should also wear anti-virus masks "all the time" and
observe physical distancing.
The Oct. 1 reopening of Boracay has the backing of the environment and
interior departments, and Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores, she said.
"Tuloy. Hopefully tingin ko naman 99.9 percent [magbubukas]," she said.
GCQ OR MGCQ? MAYORS TO DECIDE ON SUNDAY
MANILA Â— Metro Manila mayors will decide on Sunday whether to maintain the
general community quarantine or downgrade the status to modified GCQ,
Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez announced yesterday.
Olivarez, who chairs the Metro Manila Council, said 17 mayors in the
metropolis would hold a meeting to discuss if the region is ready for the
more lenient MGCQ beginning Oct. 1.
Olivarez noted a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the
National Capital Region.
Â“But we cannot relax yet. We have to continue implementing the minimum
health protocols,Â” he said.
Olivarez said local chief executives should have a unified stand in
downgrading the quarantine status.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said he is in favor of placing Metro
Manila under MGCQ to allow more businesses to reopen.
Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año ordered the Criminal Investigation
and Detection Group to probe the organizers of the
Â“Flatten the fearÂ” event for supposedly breaking quarantine protocols.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
LOOK: ANGEL LOCSIN POSES FOR FIANCE NEIL ARCE IN MAGAZINE COVER
MANILA -- As one of the Philippines' most sought-after actresses, Angel
Locsin has appeared in several magazine covers.
But her latest one is extra special as she was photographed by her fiance,
film producer Neil Arce.
The said cover was for Metro.Style, an online fashion magazine under
ABS-CBN, Locsin's home network.
Talking about her one-of-a-kind shoot with Arce, the Kapamilya star said in
an Instagram post on Tuesday: "It was a different but fun experience."
The photo shoot took place in Locsin's home, amid the prolonged quarantines
imposed by the government to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the
In an interview with Metro.Style, Locsin acknowledged her fiance's efforts
to deliver magazine-worthy photos.
"Nakakatawa siya," she recalled. "So 'yun na nga kasi, 'through the eyes of
Neil Arce' di ba? Hindi kasi siya talaga magaling mag-picture, aminin na
natin 'yun. So siyempre [I was telling him], baka puwedeng iangat mo naman
nang konti. Alam mo naman tayong girls, kailangan pantay ang framing."
She went on: "Sasabihin niya sa akin, 'O, di ba through the eyes of Neil
nga,' so wala kang marereklamo. Pero kinareer naman niya, nakakatawa. Ang
aga niyang nag-set up sa bahay. Hindi naman niya alam paano gamitin 'yung
mga gamit, peri nag-set up siya. Alam mo 'yung ganun? So may effort talaga
siya. Namawis siya noong buong shoot na ito."
Locsin said Arce even went as far as getting a glam team for the shoot.
"Nagtawag nga ng glam team eh, siya 'yun lahat. 'Gusto ko may makeup ka
dito. Gusto ko ganyan, ganyan.' Tapos noong nakita niya 'yung pictures,
super happy siya, so na-happy na rin ako," she said. "'Pag nakikita kong
masaya siya, masayang-masaya rin ako."
It was in June 2019 when Locsin revealed that she is engaged to Arce after
dating for more than a year and being friends for nearly a decade.
Early this week, the two announced that they are trying their hand at
vlogging through the Angel and Neil Channel on YouTube.
NBA SCORES SEP 23
1 2 3 4 T
3 Celtics 1-3 23 21 32 33 109
5 Heat 3-1 24 26 27 35 112
GAME 4: MIA LEADS 3-1
J. Tatum BOS
28 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST
T. Herro MIA
37 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST
NBA: ROOKIE HERRO SHINES AS HEAT TAKE 3-1 LEAD OVER CELTICS
Miami rookie Tyler Herro played the best game of his young NBA career,
sparking the Heat to a 112-109 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of
the Eastern Conference Finals.
Herro, who was 13th overall pick in the 2019 Draft out of Kentucky, came off
the bench to score a career-best 37 points, including key baskets in the
Miami now has a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series against Boston,
putting them one game away from the NBA Fina
FOREX $1 = P 48.47
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just
of youth but of the world we were young in. Fear and resentment of what is
new is really a lament for the memories of our childhood. - Peter Medawar