26 Sept 2020
CHINA REJECTS HAGUE RULING ANEW, CITES 'AGREEMENT' WITH DUTERTE TO 'CLOSE
THE OLD CHAPTER'
MANILAÂ— China reiterated Friday it does not recognize the 2016 arbitral
ruling invalidating its 9-dash line claim over nearly all of the South China
SeaÂ— a legal victory that President Rodrigo Duterte invoked in his historic
speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
The July 2016 decision on the arbitration case by The Hague-based Permanent
Court of Arbitration recognized the Philippines' sovereign rights in its
exclusive economic zone in the resource-rich waters, which China claims in
"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," Duterte said, thanking other countries
supporting the ruling.
But in a virtual forum organized by the Association for Philippines-China
Understanding Inc. (APCU), Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang
Xilian cited the "consensus" allegedly reached between Duterte and Chinese
President Xi Jinping to shelve maritime disputes and manage the situation
through dialogue and cooperation.
"ChinaÂ’s position on the so-called arbitral ruling has been very clear: We
do not accept and we do not recognize this so-called ruling. It has been
agreed by our two presidents that we should close the old chapter and shelve
differences," said Huang.
Beijing has continued to ignore the ruling as Duterte sought closer ties
with the economic giant for his administration's infrastructure projects.
Recently, Duterte also expressed expectation that China would give the
Philippines access to the COVID-19 vaccine it was developing.
Huang said that the consensus of both leaders to "put aside" the maritime
disputes and manage the situation through bilateral consultations should be
"vigorously implemented by both sides" so that the "sound momentum of our
relations as guideposts to the way forward will be preserved and enhanced."
Huang said external powers should not be allowed to derail Philippine-China
relations as he claimed that countries "enjoy freedom of navigation in South
China Sea in accordance with international law."
He also dismissed "misleading accusations" over the so-called Chinese "debt
"In fact, there was no any evidence that Chinese projects threaten
Philippine security. In fact these projects are contributing to your
national building," Huang clarified.
Critics have said the Philippines has entered into onerous deals with China,
with former Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warning
that Beijing could seize natural gas deposits in the Reed Bank (Recto Bank)
in the disputed waters if Manila is unable to pay the $62-million Chinese
loan for the Chico River Irrigation Loan Agreement.
Carpio is a long-time advocate of the Philippines' sovereignty and a vocal
critic of what he calls China's "creeping invasion."
HOUSE PANEL OKS P4.5 TRILLION = BUDGET FOR 2021
MANILA Â— The House appropriations committee has approved the proposed
P4.5-trillion national budget for next year at a record speed of just two
weeks of hearings.
Panel vice chairman and Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado confirmed
yesterday that the General Appropriations Bill is set for deliberations at
the plenary next week.
He said their panel decided to adopt the budget bill, which reflects the
National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted by the Department of Budget and
Management (DBM), despite plans to adjust several items such as increasing
appropriations for the Department of Health (DOH) and the judiciary.
Â“The adjustments will just be made during plenary deliberations so we can
just have one round of adjustments instead of two, and so we can save time,Â”
Sy-Alvarado told The STAR.
The panel decided to conclude its hearings without finishing deliberations
on the proposed budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office
(PCOO) after its scheduled hearings were suspended due to a barrage of
complaints from the Makabayan bloc.
During its turn to defend its proposed P1.59-billion budget, the PCOO faced
opposition from six militant lawmakers who confronted Undersecretary
Lorraine Badoy for red-tagging them in her past social media posts.
They demanded the resignation of the PCOO official, who is also the
spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed
Unwilling to recant her accusation that they are Â“high-ranking
communist-terrorists,Â” Badoy said she would only resign if they condemn the
atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New PeopleÂ’s Army (NPA)
and call for the surrender of exiled CPP founder Jose Maria Sison.
Among all agencies, it was only the PCOO whose budget was not completely
deliberated on by the committee due to the Makabayan blocÂ’s objections.
Â“We will no longer hear the budget of PCOO again since we already had a
short briefing on it. We will just bring the objections to the plenary
directly since there are only a few of them,Â” Sy-Alvarado said.
Â“ItÂ’s allowed in the rules. We will just bring this matter to the plenary so
it will be tackled once. Anyway, itÂ’s the same group that will raise the
objections again in the plenary,Â” he added.
Fastest budget approval?
The House leadership has set a speedy budget calendar this year, targeting
to pass the proposed budget by the end of this month.
This timeframe would give the Senate the entire month of October to
deliberate on and pass the budget; and the President to sign the 2021
General Appropriations Act (GAA) by mid- or late-November for the first time
VP URGES DUTERTE SPOX TO REVIEW HER PANDEMIC SUGGESTIONS, HITS POLARIZING
MANILAÂ— Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday urged the spokesperson of
President Rodrigo Duterte to review her suggestions on curbing the
coronavirus pandemic after he challenged her to come up with a solution.
"Siguro kailangan niya lang balikan lahat ng statements na ginawa ko kasi
andoon iyong rekomendasyon," Robredo said in an interview on radio show
Robredo, the leader of the opposition, also urged Presidential Spokesman
Harry Roque, her former college dorm mate, to issue "unifying" remarks
during the health crisis instead of speaking along partisan lines.
"Dapat sana sini-set aside sino ba iyong kakampi, sino ang hindi, iyong
pagsabi na dilawan ito, hÂ’wag papakinggan. Lalo niyang napo-polarize ang
tao," she said.
Roque earlier this week told Robredo: "Hinahamon ko po si VP Leni, kung
mayroon siyang solusyon na walang vaccine at wala pa rin gamot, sabihin niya
po dahil sigurado po baka ngayon din maging presidente siya kung makahanap
siya ng solusyon habang walang bakuna at walang gamot."
"Habang wala talagang bakuna, habang walang gamot, wala pa rin po talagang
solusyon sa pandemyang ito," he said during a Palace press briefing.
The Lancet medical journal recently identified 19 countries that contained
their coronavirus outbreaks without a vaccine. The Philippines should study
what these countries did, said Robredo.
"Iyong datos ipinapakita na hindi mo kailangan maghintay sa vaccine. Papaano
kung iyong vaccine dumating end of 2021 paÂ… 2022 pa? Nganga na lang tayo?"
DUTERTE ADMIN REJECTS CALL TO CANCEL HALALAN 2022 DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
MANILA Â—President Rodrigo DuterteÂ’s administration rejected on Friday a
proposal to suspend the 2022 national elections due to the ongoing COVID-19
pandemic, saying the country still has sufficient time to prepare for the
The pandemic should not be used as a reason to postpone the upcoming
elections, which would see the rise to power of DuterteÂ’s successor, his
spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Â“The National Election is still two years away and we still have sufficient
time to prepare,Â” Roque said in a statement.
Â“We must not use the existing global health crisis as a ground to cancel and
reschedule the elections as this would not sit well with the public,Â” he
Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo on Thursday urged the Commission on Elections
(Comelec) to consider postponing the 2022 national polls, saying voters are
afraid of contracting coronavirus.
Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas however responded that the matter is not a
call of the poll body, but rather, up to Congress and President Duterte.
Â“The holding of elections is a public service that the government must
ensure to deliver. The idea to postpone the 2022 elections, if and when it
happens, presents constitutional challenges,Â” Roque said.
Under the 1987 Philippine charter, the presidential and vice presidential
elections should occur every second Monday of May every sixth year after May
Â‘BEST CASE SCENARIOÂ’: COVID-19 VACCINE APPROVAL IN PH MAY COME BY APRIL
2021, SAYS FDA
MANILA Â— The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday said
approval of a COVID-19 vaccine in the country may come in April next yearÂ—
the best case scenario.
Â“The best case scenario if clinical trials are completed by December or
January and a company would file with the FDA an application then itÂ’s
possible that by April 2021 we will have an approved vaccine,Â” FDA Director
General Eric Domingo said during a Department of Health virtual briefing.
Â“Best case scenario 'yun. Meaning 'yung 3 to 6 months (trial) magiging 3
months and they will complete all of their analysis and submit immediately,Â”
This time periodÂ— 3 to 6 monthsÂ— is the experts' estimate on Phase III
clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines, Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña
explained in the same briefing.
ENVIRONMENT CHIEF SUSPENDS DOLOMITE MINING OPS IN CEBU SOURCE OF MANILA BAY
MANILA Â— Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has suspended operations in two
dolomite mining firms in Alcoy, Cebu, where government sourced synthetic
white sand for a beautification project at the Manila Bay.
In a text message, Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said Cimatu
inspected dolomite mining operations in Alcoy over complaints on allegedly
harmful environmental effects.
"He immediately ordered the suspension of operation of Dolomite Mining Corp.
and Philippine Mining Service Corp pending investigation on its operations'
environmental impact," said Antiporda.
PINOY GREEN ADVOCATES GET CREATIVE FOR GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE AMID COVID-19
MANILA Â— With movement in Metro Manila still partially restricted because of
the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipino environmental activists got creative for
this yearÂ’s global climate strike.
Members of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), the
Philippine chapter of the Fridays for Future movement led by Swedish
activist Greta Thunberg, held what they called an Â“aerial art attackÂ” at
University of the Philippines on Friday.
Eight members of the group lay on a large cloth depicting a world map while
holding up placards calling for climate action.
Photos of the event also showed banners saying, Â“Protect Climate ProtectorsÂ”
and Â“Junk Terror Law.Â”
Â“This year, we want to show that itÂ’s time to be hands-on, itÂ’s time to be
proactive in the fight against climate change and the people who are
actively supporting the system that allows climate change to happen,Â” said
YACAP national coordinator Xian Guevarra in a statement.
The global youth climate strike on September 25 is a concerted effort of
environmental groups across the world to demand urgent action to tackle the
YACAP particularly criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for allegedly not
adhering to the countryÂ’s United Nations climate commitments.
Â“We are on a climate strike amid the pandemic because of Duterte's
relentless pursuit of climate disruptive projects like coal power expansion,
land reclamation, and aggressive big mining,Â” said Mitzi Jonelle Tan,
international spokesperson of YACAP.
Tan said climate activists were being harassed through the Anti-Terrorism
Act of 2020.
Leon Dulce, national coordinator of the Kalikasan PeopleÂ’s Network for the
Environment (Kalikasan PNE), said his group monitored at least 167 Filipino
environmental defenders working in the frontlines of environmental and
climate justice killed under the Duterte administration.
Â“We need a green new leadership that rejects the Anti-Terror Law and instead
prioritizes helping climate protectors through a climate-resilient, and
public health-oriented Â‘greenÂ’ recovery plan,Â” Dulce said.
The groups said more than 2,500 youth-led climate strikes were held
throughout the world on Friday.
DRUG WAR: Â‘TOKHANGÂ’ FOR NEGLIGENT BARANGGAY CAPTAINS
MANILA Â— The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) warned yesterday
erring barangay captains who have been negligent in implementing the
governmentÂ’s anti-drug campaign that they may face Â“Oplan Tokhang.Â”
PDEA director general Wilkins Villanueva issued the warning as their latest
report revealed that 14,171 or 33.70 percent of the 42,045 barangays in the
country remain drug-affected with just two years left in President DuterteÂ’s
A total of 20,165 barangays nationwide have been cleared of illegal drugs
since Duterte took office in July 2016.
Oplan Tokhang, a brainchild of former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief
and now Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, is a community relations activity where
police officers visit drug suspects and ask them to surrender and reform.
However, people have associated Tokhang with law enforcement operations
where at least 5,856 suspected pushers have been killed.
Villanueva said PDEA is monitoring barangay officials who have not yet
established barangay anti-drug abuse councils (BADACs), a necessary
component in their drug clearing program.
Â“If they donÂ’t have that in their barangay, then we will Â‘tokhangÂ’ the
chairman,Â” Villanueva said at a press conference.
NO HOME ISOLATION FOR ASYMPTOMATICS
MANILA Â— Home quarantine will no longer be allowed for mild and asymptomatic
COVID-19 patients, except under certain conditions. Instead, they will be
required to undergo quarantine in facilities accredited by the Department of
Health (DOH) and local government units.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious
Diseases (IATF) yesterday released the new rules through Resolution No. 74
barely a week before the government adjusts or maintains the quarantine
status of Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
Mild and asymptomatic patients may be allowed home quarantine if government
facilities in the region or community of residence are confirmed by the
local Regional Task Force on COVID-19 to have inadequate isolation
Such patients are also exempted if they are deemed vulnerable or have
comorbidities, or if their homes meet the conditions set jointly in an
administrative order by the DOH and the Department of the Interior and Local
Government (DILG) for serving as quarantine facility.
Patients considered vulnerable or having comorbidities include minors,
senior citizens, people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women,
persons with disability who cannot carry out self-care and those
NO LICENSE, REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR E-BIKE RIDERS
MANILA Â— Electronic bikes and scooters that have a maximum speed of 25
kilometers per hour will not require registration papers to hit the road,
the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said yesterday.
Riders who utilize this smaller category of e-bikes are also not required to
obtain a driverÂ’s license from the agency, said LTO chief Edgar Galvante.
However, while riders of e-bikes and e-scooters are exempted from licenses
and registration, their vehicles shall be limited to barangay roads and
bicycle lanes designated by authorities, Galvante said.
These guidelines, he said, are still being reviewed by the Department of
HOUSES AND LOTS JOIN CONDOS TO TRIGGER RECORD SURGE IN PROPERTY COSTS
MANILA Â— Housing prices crushed expectations of a downturn to post their
fastest growth on record at the height of coronavirus lockdowns in the
second quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Friday.
The annual uptick, a massive 27.1% across all home segments, demonstrated
the property marketÂ’s resilience, one that surprised even analysts
projecting a slump. The unexpected result bodes well for future rebound for
an economy battered by the health crisis.
Â“ItÂ’s an unusual increase,Â” said Ruben Carlo Asuncion, chief economist at
UnionBank of the Philippines, said in a text message when sought for
comment. Â“A crisis usually depresses demand for new housing. It doesnÂ’t add
up with the current environment.Â”
Demand for higher-end projects, where foreign buyers typically swarm, was
cited as one major contributor for higher home prices. At the same time
though, BSP said banks extending home loans, which decreased 55.2% on-year
for new homes with high property costs, also saw a jump in raw materials for
construction as reason for more expensive residences.
By housing type, condominium units continued to clock the fastest price gain
of 30.1% year-on-year as of June. But single detached homes sprung a
surprise in second quarter, with their average costs jumping 24.1% annually,
the fastest on record that started only in 2015.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
RUBY RUIZ WINS BEST ACTRESS IN HARLEM FILM FESTIVAL FOR 'ISKA'
MANILA -- Ruby Ruiz bagged the best actress award at the 15th Harlem
International Film Festival held in New York City for her performance in
Theodore BoborolÂ’s Â“Iska.Â”
In an Instagram post, Ruiz expressed her happiness over her first
international best actress trophy.
"My heart is full of gratitude, thank you Lord for this wonderful blessing,"
Ruiz wrote in the caption of her post.
Just last year, Ruiz was named best actress at the Cinemalaya Philippine
Independent Film Festival for the same film.
Director Boborol announced earlier tis week that "Iska" will stream on
Netfllix starting October 8.
"Iska" follows the story of a loving grandmother Iska, who wants to take
care of her autistic grandson but deemed unfit as a guardian by the media
Aside from Ruiz, "Iska" also features veteran actor Soliman Cruz, Jonic
Magno and Angie Castrence.
In a previous interview with PUSH, Ruiz shared her feelings portraying a
Â“First time ko kasi Â‘tong magbibida, so hindi ako sanay na every sequence,
kasali ako. Sanay ako na support. [In my experience as a supporting
actress,] kasama ako sa maraming eksena pero marami ring pahinga. In terms
of acting, kailangan madaliin mo because youÂ’re pressured for time,Â” she
"Iska" is Ruiz's second project with Boborol, whom she first met in the 2013
NBA SCORES SEP 25
1 2 3 4 T
5 Heat 3-2 26 32 25 25 108
3 Celtics 2-3 18 33 41 29 121
GAME 5: MIA LEADS 3-2
G. Dragic MIA
23 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST
J. Tatum BOS
31 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST
FOREX $1 = P 48.46
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it's the best possible
substitute for it. - James Garfield