24 Oct 2020
US COAST GUARD TO TACKLE CHINA 'ILLEGAL' FISHING IN SOUTH CHINA SEA
WASHINGTON, United States The United States said Friday it will deploy
Coast Guard patrol ships in the western Pacific to counter "destabilizing
and malign" activities by China in disputed fishing grounds of the South
Accusing China of "illegal" and "unregulated" fishing, as well as
"harassment" of fishing boats from regional countries, White House National
Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said in a statement that the US Coast Guard
"is strategically homeporting significantly enhanced Fast Response
Cutters...in the western Pacific."
These Sentinel class vessels will carry out maritime security operations,
including helping fishing boats "in collaboration with regional partners who
have limited offshore surveillance and enforcement capacity, and ensure
freedom of navigation," he said.
Washington regularly accuses China of breaking international law by sending
its warships as escorts for Chinese fishing vessels into the fishing grounds
of other countries.
In July, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper slammed a "catalog of bad behavior"
in the South China Sea over the previous months and accused the Chinese
military of having sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat, harassing Malaysian oil
and gas development and escorting Chinese fishing fleets into Indonesia's
exclusive economic zone.
O'Brien added that the Coast Guard, which is under the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS), was also studying whether to permanently station
several of its patrol ships in the area of American Samoa in the South
Last month, Indonesia protested about an incursion by Chinese coastguard
ships in its exclusive economic zone, which is situated between its own
territorial waters and international waters and where the state claims
exclusive rights to exploit natural resources.
China claims almost the whole of the South China Sea as its own, a claim
contested by several countries including Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines
NAME CONGRESSMEN IN DPWH CORRUPTION
Defensor says PACCs blanket accusation unfair
MANILA A ranking congressman yesterday challenged the Presidential
Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to name the lawmakers allegedly involved
in corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
House public accounts committee chairman Mike Defensor said the PACC should
identify the errant congressmen, as a blanket accusation is unfair to
Congress as an institution.
I am not against what the PACC is doing. We support their campaign against
corruption in government. But I hope they name names because such blanket
accusation is unfair to all congressmen, especially those who really have
nothing to do with it, Defensor told reporters via Zoom.
The Anakalusugan party-list congressman said the PACC should identify the
lawmakers involved in corruption in DPWH and also present evidence before
the appropriate body.
If there are corrupt practices and congressmen are involved, then they
(PACC) should identify these congressmen and not involve the entire Congress
because there are congressmen and congresswomen who are really honest and
clean, he stressed.
Defensor revealed that their panel was actually planning to conduct a
legislative inquiry into the reported DPWH corruption, which President
Duterte himself confirmed, but will now drop the plan in response to PACCs
But now that congressmen are being implicated, I would rather that the
investigation be conducted by a third party. Because we will just be accused
of whitewash if we investigate our colleagues here, he explained.
6 TO 8 YEARS IN PRISON: COURT FINDS PICHAY GUILTY OF GRAFT OVER P1.5-MILLION
CHESS TOURNEY SPONSORSHIP
MANILA The Sandiganbayan on Friday found Surigao Del Sur 1st District Rep.
Prospero Pichay Jr. and two others guilty of graft due to anomalies
involving P1.5 million worth of chess tournament sponsorships in 2010.
The Sandiganbayan 5th Division sentenced Pichay, who was acting chair of the
Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) at the time, to 6 to 8 years
imprisonment for the irregular use of government funds for a chess
tournament under his name.
Also found guilty by the anti-graft court were LWUAs former deputy acting
administrator Wilfredo Feleo and former senior deputy administrator Emmanuel
The court noted that the LWUA Board of Trustees unanimously approved the
2010 operating budget of the agency which contained substantial allotment
for sponsorship of chess events.
It added that there was conflict of interest on the part of Pichay when P1.5
million in LWUA funds were diverted to a private activity, the 2nd Chairman
Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. Cup International Chess Tournament.
Apparently, such an interest is starkly opposed to his duties as the
LWUA-BOT Acting Chairman of safeguarding LWUA's resources and ensuring that
the same are expended in accordance with relevant office and executive
issuances, the court said.
The decision was penned by Associate Justice Maryann Corpus-Mañalac, with
the concurrence of Division Chairperson Rafael Lagos and Associate Justice
Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega.
It also noted that Feleo recommended the approval of the sponsorship request
while Malicdem immediately approved it, which resulted in the release of the
check payable to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.
The court also said in its decision that the 3 accused be held jointly
liable to reimburse the P1.5 million, the amount of the sponsorship grant,
plus 6 percent interest per annum.
Pichay was likewise found guilty for violating the Code of Conduct and
Ethical Standards for public officials and employees and was meted to pay a
fine of P5,000.
PHILHEALTH TO PAY P930-MILLION DEBT TO PH RED CROSS FOR COVID-19 TESTING
MANILA The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Friday
said it would pay its P930-million debt to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC)
for COVID-19 testing on Monday.
This, after the state insurer received the legal opinion of the Department
of Justice (DOJ) on how to proceed with the settlement.
Having been in receipt today of the DOJ legal opinion saying that the
PhilHealth-PRC MOA is not subject to Procurement Law, PhilHealth will
release payment on Monday, October 26, 2020, subject to completeness of
billing requirements submitted by the PRC, PhilHealth said in a statement.
The agency also said the payment would be in line with guidelines of the
Commission on Audit.
This should enable the PRC to immediately resume its testing of swab
specimen of concerned sectors which PhilHealth pays for, it added.
The Red Cross had suspended COVID-19 testing of repatriated Filipinos last
week citing PhilHealth debt that ran close to P1 billion, prompting
government to transfer the testing load to other laboratories.
This slowed down testing of returning migrant workers, leaving over 6,000
stranded in Metro Manila.
'BROUHAHA NA LUMALAKI': DEFENSE CHIEF TO MEET WITH PARLADE, ELCAC ON
MANILA The countrys defense chief on Friday said he would meet with the
military official who warned celebrities on being associated with leftist
groups, as well as with several officials from the countrys anti-insurgency
task force to address the issue of red-tagging that he said has gone out of
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said officials such as Lt. Gen. Antonio
Parlade Jr. of the government's National Task Force to End Local Communist
Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) should not loosely tag anyone as a local
terrorist without any proof.
Kung wala kang ebidensya do not talk about it, wag kang magpunta sa media
or Facebook, so Im convening a meeting with these people si Gen. Parlade,
(National Security Adviser) Hermogenes Esperon, saka yong member ng ELCAC
because of this brouhaha na lumalaki, Lorenzana, also a former general,
said in an interview outside the Philippine Army headquarters.
He explained Esperon would be in the meeting as he is the vice chairman of
The meeting will address the issue of red-tagging of celebrities, among
others, and how best to address local terrorism.
He said officials should have evidence when they accuse people of being a
local terrorist. Otherwise, they should just keep quiet.
I think we would talk kung ano ba talaga ang magandang gawin, although
ELCAC is a very good idea, pero kung minsan e hindi mo naman puwedeng, lahat
na, yong shotgun kang ganun na everybody. So be selective and dapat may
ebidensya tayo, the defense secretary said.
Huwag mong sabihin na leftist 'yan, o NPA 'yan, dapat may ebidensya tayo
kung ano 'yun, otherwise just keep quiet, he added.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Gilbert Gapay, meanwhile, said
Parlades statements were in line with the mandate of the military in
protecting institutions from local terrorists such as the Communist Party of
the Philippines and the New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA).
Several public officials have also condemned the military official, saying
his remarks were uncalled for.
DI NAGPABAYA: PERALTA SAYS SC 'TRIED ITS BEST' IN BABY RIVER CASE
MANILA It took no less than Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to defend the
Supreme Court from criticisms it did not do enough to prevent the eventual
death of a three-month-old baby separated from her detained mother.
Hindi naman kami nagpabaya. We tried to help her eh, Peralta told
reporters at an online press conference Friday.
Baby River Emmanuelle Nasino was born on July 1 while her mother Reina Mae
Nasino was (and still is) under detention, facing illegal possession of
firearms and explosives charges following her arrest in November 2019 as
part of a massive crackdown against the Left and left-leaning groups.
Baby River was separated from her mother on August 13 and died on October 9
due to pneumonia while under the care of her grandmother. She was laid to
rest under heavy security last week.
Human rights groups have blamed the Supreme Courts inaction over the plea
of Nasino and 21 other petitioners to release sick and elderly detainees
vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus inside crowded jails.
The petition was filed in April, while Nasino was 3 months away from giving
All 15 SC magistrates voted on July 28 to treat the petition as a petition
for bail or recognizance, leaving it to trial courts to determine if the
petitioners are individually entitled to post bail.
Since most are facing non-bailable charges, this requires hearings to look
into whether the evidence against them is not strong to qualify them to post
Peralta told reporters Friday that as early as July 28, SC announced the
decision, which he said should have given the signal that the petition was
not given due course because of factual issues.
However, the result of the SC vote was not actually announced by the Supreme
Court Public Information Office until September 10 or more than a month
Nasinos lawyers did not receive a full copy of the decision until October
9, the same day River died.
The main decision was only 9 pages long but 8 magistrates issued separate
opinions collectively reaching almost 300 pages to argue varying positions
on a number of issues.
Pinaghintay niyo kami at binigo. You made us wait but you failed us, said
Fides Lim, spokesperson of KAPATID, a group of supporters of families and
friends of political prisoners, in response to the SC ruling.
MOTORCYCLE TAXIS RETURN
MANILA The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging
Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed the resumption of operations of
motorcycle taxis after the House of Representatives approved the extension
of a pilot study program.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. yesterday said the IATF has approved
the resumption of the motorcycle taxi pilot study, which would be
implemented and monitored by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF)
and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The House earlier urged the IATF, NTF and DOTr to extend the conduct of the
motorcycle taxi pilot study program.
Roque said this would allow Singaporean-owned Angkas and Joyride to resume
Roque said the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board will be
issuing the guidelines as soon as possible.
SMC EXTENDS RFID DEADLINE
MANILA San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is extending the deadline for motorists to
get their RFID tags until the end of next month.
SMC the operator of the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, South Luzon
Expressway, the Skyway System, NAIA Expressway and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La
Union Expressway said it is ready to implement full cashless toll
collection on Nov. 2, as mandated by the government.
However, the company said the surge in the number of motorists rushing to
get Autosweep RFID tags has resulted in long queues at installation
stations, particularly in the past two weeks.
SMC said many motorists have yet to secure their RFID tags so the company
extended the deadline to Nov. 30.
MAKATI OFFERS ONLINE PRE-MARRIAGE COUNSELING
MANILA The Makati City government has launched an online pre-marriage
counseling program for couples applying for a marriage license.
The Makati Social Welfare Department (MSWD) would accommodate up to 15
couples during pre-marriage counseling sessions that would be done through
Couples should have a stable internet connection with minimum speed of five
mbps, an account on web conferencing app WebEx, a computer with a webcam and
microphone. They would be required to wear presentable attire during the
online counseling, the city government said in a statement yesterday.
Couples should call the MSWD and provide their contact number and email
address. Registration and confirmation of the dates of their counseling
sessions would be sent to the email address.
The city government launched last June free wedding ceremonies, officiated
by Binay at the Washington Sycip Park in Legaspi Village each week.
SIGNAL NO. 1 HOISTED OVER CATANDUANES AS 'QUINTA' STRENGTHENS, ACCELERATES
MANILA (Updated 11:53 a.m.) PAGASA hoisted Signal No. 1 over Catanduanes
as Tropical Depression Quinta slightly strenghtened and sped up.
The state weather bureau said strong to near gale-force winds can be
expected within 36 hours in Catanduanes.
It added that Signal No. 1 may be raised over Albay, Sorsogon, northern
Samar and the eastern portion of Camarines Sur by 5 p.m.
PAGASA said that "Quinta" may intensify into a severe tropical storm before
making landfall over Bicol region between Sunday evening and Monday morning.
According to its 11 a.m. bulletin issued today, "Quinta" is expected to
strengthen into a tropical storm within 12 hours.
"Quinta" is moving northwestward at 30 kilometers per hour, with maximum
sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of
up to 70 kilometers per hour.
The troughs of Tropical Depression Quinta and Typhoon Pepito, outside of the
Philippine Area of Responsibility, will bring light to moderate with at
times heavy rains over large portions of Mimaropa, Bicol region, Visayas,
Zamboanga peninsula, Bangsamoro, northern Mindanao and Caraga.
As of 10 a.m. today, the center of "Quinta" was spotted 660 kilometers east
of Catarman, Northern Samar.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
MISS UNIVERSE PH 2020 PRELIMS: WHO WON WHICH AWARDS
MANILA The inaugural Miss Universe Philippines pageant held Friday its
preliminary competition, naming winners of special awards.
Gathering 46 candidates representing cities and provinces, the preliminary
round was held at the Baguio Country Club on Friday morning, and was
streamed online through KTX.ph later in the evening.
Three major components of the pageant formed the preliminaries: the
respective competitions for national costume, swimsuit, and evening gown.
Earlier, the pageant held preliminary interviews.
The first-ever Miss Universe Philippines titlist under the new pageant
organization will wear the just-unveiled Filipina crown, and will
represent the country in the international Miss Universe pageant.
Gazini Ganados, the last national Miss Universe titlist under the pageants
Binibining Pilipinas era, will crown her successor.
The following are the special award winners (list follows):
Miss MG Philippines Michele Gumabao, Quezon City
Miss Cream Silk Pauline Amelinckx, Bohol
Downy Sweetheart Award Pauline Amelinckx, Bohol
Miss Cetaphil Sun Pauline Amelinckx, Bohol
Best in National Costume Lou Dominique Piczon, Mandaue
Miss Photogenic Tracy Maureen Perez, Cebu City
Most Beautiful Face Award Pauline Amelinckx, Bohol
Best in Swimsuit Rabiya Mateo, Iloilo City
Best in Evening Gown Maria Ysabella Ysmael, Parañaque
PBA: MERALCO SURVIVES KIEFER'S 30-POINT NIGHT TO BEAT NLEX
Chris Newsome scored 18 points and Allein Maliksi added 17 off the bench, as
Meralco downed NLEX, 101-92, in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the
Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Kiefer Ravena tallied 30 points on an efficient 10-of-15 shooting from the
field, but the Road Warriors' starters struggled on offense.
The Bolts got plenty of help from Baser Amer, Raymond Almazan and Cliff
Hodge who also tallied double digits. Amer scored 11 points like Almazan,
while Hodge netted 10.
"That's what we really want. We want to play as a team, we want to share the
basketball. I think we went into this game number 3 in assists, that's
something we want to continue to do," said Meralco coach Norman Black.
Meralco now has a record of 3-2, while NLEX fell to 1-4.
PBA: PHOENIX FIGHTS FROM 17 POINTS DOWN TO STUN MAGNOLIA
Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins combined for 43 points to complete Phoenix
Super LPG's turnaround against Magnolia 91-84 in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup
on Friday at AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The Fuel Masters fought from 17 points down by raining timely 3s in the
fourth quarter, leading to the Hotshots' collapse.
Wright led Phoenix's fourth quarter blitz finishing with 23 points to go
with his 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
Perkins added 20 markers and 12 boards to help the Fuel Masters improve
their record to 3-2.
From 3-of-30 3-point shooting, Phoenix found its mark inthe fourth quarter,
connecting 6-of-9 attempts from rainbow country.
"We're not here to beat Magnolia, we're here to keep playing and we don't
want to give up," said Phoenix coach Topex Robinson.
"It's really challenging... We just didn't give up."
Phoenix was able to arrest a 2 game slide wwhile dealing Magnolia's third
"It was a dogfight today... we just found a way to push through. We played
the right way," said Wright.
Chris Banchero led the Hotshots with 20 points.
But Paul Lee was noticeably absent, settling for just 10 points for
The Hotshots fell to a 1-4 card.
FOREX $1 = P 48.48
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Never mistake motion for action. - Ernest Hemingway