World Newsletter

26 Oct 2020



MANILA — The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) will identify

the congressmen allegedly involved in corruption in the Department of Public

Works and Highways (DPWH), but only to President Duterte.

PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica said they would submit the report to the

President, which would include the list of congressmen tagged in the

anomaly, once the list is completed.

“Our report will be submitted to the President and the appropriate agency

for appropriate actions to be taken. That’s the only mandate and authority

of PACC,” Belgica told The STAR over the weekend.

Belgica said they could not divulge the information to Congress or the


“As much as I want to put it out in public, the PACC doesn’t have the

authority to do that. And if we do that, it would jeopardize our

investigation. It’s like catching the culprit even before the investigation

is finished,” he said.

He clarified that the PACC has no jurisdiction over congressmen, and the

commission’s probe initially focused on DPWH officials, especially

presidential appointees.






MANILA — Calling on the Supreme Court to protect their, and the citizens’

rights, petitioners against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 on Monday pressed

the tribunal to issue a preliminary injunction against the implementation of

the law.

Members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, represented by the National Union

of Peoples Lawyers, filed a 12-page Manifestation with Omnibus Motion before

the SC, reiterating their prayer for a status quo ante, temporary

restraining order or preliminary prohibitory injunction to enjoin the

government from enforcing the much feared anti-terrorism law.

“The issuance of the [Implementing Rules and Regulations] has set the stage

for the unimpeded implementation of the assailed law; the targeting of

activists and critics of the government; the suppression of dissent; and the

curtailment of civil and political rights, all in the altar of national

security,” the petitioners said.

The Department of Justice last week released the IRR of Republic Act 11479,

which the petitioners said still contain the same, if not more, questionable

provisions of the law.

BAYAN stressed that the grant of their provisional relief would not

determine the merits of the case, but would protect them and other citizens

“who stand to be victimized by such a draconian law.”

The group is just one of the 36 other petitioners assailing the law before

the SC. The tribunal has only so far announced they will conduct oral

arguments on the petitions.





MANILA — Malacañang yesterday assured the public that the government would

implement measures to prevent spikes in the prices of food and other basic

commodities during the holidays.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said agencies would continue monitoring

prices and increasing food production as imposing price controls is an

extreme measure.

“The DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) is monitoring the prices of not

just food, but all products. Prices were initially ordered frozen at the

onset of the pandemic, but even with price controls lifted, the government

continues to be conscious of the need to keep an eye on the prices of goods

in the market,” Nograles said in a statement.

“We want to prevent price manipulation, make sure there is no hoarding, to

avoid situations wherein unscrupulous individuals can take advantage of

artificial shortages of goods,” he added.

The price caps imposed during the first few months of the coronavirus

pandemic were intended to prevent profiteering, hoarding and other

unscrupulous business practices.

“Now, what the DA (Department of Agriculture) and DTI are doing is price

monitoring. If there are no abuses, we would continue to monitor the prices.






MANILA - Government urged businesses to create multiple and staggered work

shifts in a bid to reopen the economy safely as curfew hours eased in Metro


The Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Labor and Employment (DOLE),

and Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued the pronouncement in a joint

advisory dated Oct. 22, which also encouraged alternative work arrangements

and work-from-home set-ups.

“This will spread the volume of people reporting for work on a given day and

enable easier compliance to physical distancing," Trade Secretary Ramon

Lopez said in a statement.

"This move will bring back more jobs in a safe manner, and the easing of

curfews will generate additional economic activities in the evening that

will improve the income of workers," said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello.

More sectors were also allowed to operate within half to full capacity while

mall-wide sales were allowed and restrictions on cooler temperatures, free

WiFi and longer operating hours were also eased, the DTI said.

The public is urged to strictly follow minimum health standards such as the

proper wearing of face masks and face shields, no talking and eating in

public transportation and crowded areas, and observing physical distancing.

Establishments are told to provide adequate ventilation, disinfect

frequently, and isolate symptomatic or COVID-19 cases.

“The transmission of the virus will definitely slow down even if we open

more of the economy. Thus, this will allow more people to go back to work

and generate more income, and bring back our strong momentum in reducing

poverty and malnutrition," Lopez said.





MANILA — It is not just human rights lawyer and Bayan Muna chairperson Neri

Colmenares who is under surveillance over alleged ties to communist rebels

but all of the lawmakers in the Makabayan bloc of the House of

Representatives, the spokesperson for the government's anti-insurgency task

force said Monday.

This comes after Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, spokesperson for the National

Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and commander of the

military's Southern Luzon Command, on Sunday said that he had no intention

of airing his accusations against supposed communists publicly, though he

has not been able to present any substantial arguments to back up his claims

in a fullry of media guestings last week.

"We have this Anti-Terror Law now. It's actually in effect, and we have to

do our job to make sure that we are focusing on the right persons and we are

properly implementing the law," Parlade said on Monday.

"Part of that is making sure that we have a strong case against people and

organizations who, by the way, has been declared as a terrorist

organization," he added.

Speaking in an interview aired over ANC, Parlade hurled accusations that all

the members of the Makabayan bloc, the group of rogressive party-lists in

the House of Representatives—whom he referred to as the "Kamatayan

Bloc"—were "card-bearing members" of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

He did not care to provide evidence for this claim.

The Makabayan bloc, in a statement on Monday, condemned the surveillance on

its members, saying Parlade's allegations are "an orgy of lies and fake

news. "

It added that the party-lists are under renewed scrutiny for asking about

the billions in government funds allocated to the NTF-ELCAC.

"[T]he generals' pork in the NTF-ELCAC was exposed to the public and they

are hitting back at our bloc for doing so. This P19.1-billion generals' pork

will put to shame even the millions the generals and their cohorts get from

fake arrests and fake surrenderees under various programs like the Enhanced

Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP," the party-lists said.

The bloc said that the money intended for the task force "could be used to

augment the budget for healthcare against the COVID pandemic, to create jobs

for those left jobless by the lockdowns and give aid to those affected by

the pandemic but instead such a hige amount is being used to spread fake

news, red tag and intimidate freedom-loving citizens of this country," the

Makabayan bloc also said.





MANILA — Aside from Cardinal Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the Philippines

will now have its second active cardinal.

Pope Francis announced the appointment of Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula

during his Sunday Angelus at the Vatican yesterday, according to CBCPNews.

The pontiff mentioned Advincula as one of the 13 new cardinals-elect who

would be elevated at a consistory on Nov. 28.

The 68-year-old Advincula would become the Philippines’ ninth cardinal,

following Tagle, Orlando Quevedo, Gaudencio Rosales, Jose Sanchez, Ricardo

Vidal, Jaime Sin, Julio Rosales and Rufino Santos.

Only Rosales, Quevedo and Tagle are still living.

Rosales and Quevedo retired as cardinals upon reaching the age of 80. Tagle

is the only active Filipino member of the papal conclave at present.

Advincula was born on March 30, 1952 and became a priest of Capiz on April

14, 1976 before serving as bishop of San Carlos in Negros Occidental.

He was appointed as archbishop of Capiz in 2011.





MANILA - Typhoon Quinta's strong winds and heavy rains forced thousands of

families to evacuate and observe physical distancing in southern Luzon,

where it made 5 landfalls as of early Monday.

More than 1,000 residents were evacuated in Oriental Mindoro, where strong

winds alike to Typhoon Tisoy have ripped roofs off houses, said Governor

Humerlito Dolor.

Tisoy (international name Kammuri) left 13 dead in southern Luzon and

Visayas in 2019.

"For almost 6 hours na binabayo kami ng napakalakas na hangin ni bagyong

Quinta. Maikukumpara siya sa lakas ni Tisoy dati," he told ABS-CBN's


"Hindi namin ineexpect na ganito kalakas ang magiging bagyo. Compared mo kay

Tisoy, the same strength na meron si Tisoy...Although di ganun kalakas ang

dalang ulan, pero napakalakas ang dalang hangin."

Some 27 families evacuated in Barangay Buhuan, Calapan City, Oriental

Mindoro were given a room each to observe physical distancing. Some

residents were also rescued from high floodwaters in Barangay Ilaya early

Monday, according to ABS-CBN reporter Dennis Datu.

The town's electricity was cut since Sunday evening and cellphone signal

remains weak, Datu said.

"Patuloy ang paghapupit ng hangin na napakalakas at napakalakas din ng ulan

na aming nararanasan," he said in his 8 a.m. report.









MANILA - The Philippines confirmed 2,223 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday

bringing the country’s total to 370,028.

The Department of Health also reported 14,944 new recoveries as the DOH

implemented its weekly “mass recovery” pushing the total number of Filipinos

who recovered from the disease to 328,036.

This meant that the country has a total of 35,015 active cases as of 4 p.m.


Forty three more deaths were reported from the illness, bringing COVID-19’s

death toll in the Philippines to 6,977.





BATANGAS — Lian town mayor Isagani Bolompo, 68, passed away Saturday evening

after testing positive from COVID-19, a report said.

Lian police said that Bolompo was rushed to Western Medical Center last

October 17 for an illness .

He was later transferred to the Lung Center of the Philippines but succumbed

to death after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Bolompo served as provincial health officer before running for mayor in Lian


Batangas governor Hermilando Mandanas expressed his sympathy to Bolompo"s


According to the Department of Health, Batangas recorded 8,988 COVID-19

cases, of which 1,379 were active as of October 24.






Team scrimmages will not be permitted when college varsity sports are

allowed to return to training, the group working on the guidelines covering

the planned activities said on Monday.

Student-athletes between 18 and 21 years old will need parental consent, and

those 18 years old and below will only be allowed to participate in a

virtual setting, said Francis Diaz, dean of the College of Human Kinetics at

University of the Philippines in Diliman.

"Training should be limited to body conditioning. Drills should only be

limited to non-body contact drills, and should only be concentrated to

individual skills development training," the guidelines noted.

Prospero de Vera, chairman of the Commission on Higher Education, said the

guidelines would be passed to the COVID-19 Inter Agency Task Force this week

and once approved would later be issued to schools interested to adopt the


"The question is not when they can start, but how soon they can comply with

the requirements," de Vera said.

The group clarified that, even though training activities were to be

permitted again, reopening sports competition remained far along down the









MANILA – Rabiya Mateo from Iloilo City on Sunday was named the winner of the

inaugural Miss Universe Philippines pageant held at the Baguio Country Club.

Mateo, 23, bested 45 other candidates representing cities and provinces


The following were named her runners-up.

1st runner up - Paranaque Maria Ysabella Ysmael

2nd runner up - Quezon City Michele Gumabao

3rd runner up - Bohol Pauline Amelinckx

4th runner up - Cavite Kimberly "Billie" Hakenson

As the first-ever Miss Universe Philippines titlist under the new pageant

organization, Mateo received the just-unveiled “Filipina” crown from Gazini


Mateo will represent the country in the international Miss Universe pageant.

During the question and answer portion of the competition, Mateo was asked

whose image of any Filipino does she want to be on a new paper currency if

she is given the chance to create one.

“If I were given the chance, I want to use the face of Miriam

Defensor-Santiago. For those who don’t know, she was an Ilongga. But what I

admired about her is that she used her knowledge, her voice to serve the

country. I want to be somebody like her - somebody who puts her heart, her

passion into action. After all, she is the best President that we never

had,” she said.

For her second question, Mateo shared where she thinks do pageants stand

during this time of crisis.

“As a candidate, I know I am not just a face of Iloilo City but I am here

carrying hope and as a symbol of light in the darkest of times. As of the

moment, I want to help my community. I want to use my strength to make an

impact. And that is the essence of beauty pageant. It gives us the power to

make a difference,” she said.

Several former beauty queens who also represented the country in the Miss

Universe stage were quick to congratulate Mateo.

“Congratulations to our new queen Rabiya!!! Welcome to the sisterhood!

Excited to witness your journey,” said Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

“Welcome to the sisterhood Queen,” Ganados, who represented the country last

year, said.





MANILA – Several celebrities are rallying behind Angel Locsin after the

actress and her family were red-tagged for speaking against the government.

In a lengthy Instagram post on Friday, Locsin reiterated that she and her

family are not part of the communist New People's Army (NPA) or any other

"terrorist group."

Posting a close-up shot of her wearing a red top and bright red lipstick,

she began with the hashtags #NoToRedTagging and #YesToRedLipstick.

To show support, Locsin’s colleagues from the entertainment industry began

posting their own photos wearing bright red lipstick.

Among them are Pia Magalona, Agot Isidro, Cherry Pie Picache and Bituin


In their posts, they condemned red-tagging while also saying they stood in

solidarity with Locsin and all the other empowered Filipinas.

In her post last week, Locsin asserted her right to share her views,

pointing out that the Philippines is "a country where our freedom to speak

and express ourselves are enshrined and protected by the Constitution."

She stressed that people like her should not be red-tagged for having views

that may be different from others.

"Kung magkaiba tayo, hindi ibig sabihing pwede mo na ako i-red-tag. Hindi

tayo magkakalaban dito. Hindi rin ako 'red'. Magkaiba lang tayo ng

paniniwala," she said.

Locsin also appealed to the public to show their support for other

personalities who are being red-tagged for their advocacies, such as fellow

actress Liza Soberano and former Miss Universe Catriona Gray.

She reiterated that they, like many others, "are expressing their beliefs

peacefully" and do not deserve such treatment.








The "Bubble Clasico" was played under unusual circumstances, as the first

game of the double-header -- a showdown between Rain or Shine and Blackwater

-- was postponed when an Elite returned a positive COVID-19 test.

It was Magnolia that emerged triumphant, snapping a three-game skid in the

2020 PBA Philippine Cup. They also ended a four-game losing streak to the

Gin Kings.

Hotshots newcomer Jackson Corpuz shone in his first Manila Clasico outing as

Magnolia sent the Barangay Ginebra crashing back to earth, 102-92, in the

2020 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural

Center in Pampanga.

Behind a 19-4 assault bridging the third and fourth period, the Hotshots

erased a double-digit deficit and took control of the game from then on.

With the win, Magnolia returned to their winning ways and arrested a

three-game slide for a 2-4 win-loss card.

Corpuz immediately made his presence felt in his Manila Clasico debut,

scoring 16 of his team-high 20 points in the first half to keep Magnolia


Magnolia’s old reliables meanwhile, did most of their damage in the final

frame to turn back the erstwhile unbeaten Gin Kings.

Paul Lee and Mark Barroca, who combined for 30 points along with five

assists in the game, both hit crucial shots in Magnolia’s 12-0 rally in the

final two minutes, including back-to-back three-pointers that took the fight

out of Ginebra.

Stanley Pringle scattered a game-high 24 points. Japeth Aguilar provided 13

points, while Scottie Thompson chipped in 10 points, 14 rebounds, and seven

assists in a losing effort for Ginebra, which dropped to 4-1 after an

unbeaten start in their first four outings.





Logicians may reason about abstractions. But the great mass of men must have

images. The strong tendency of the multitude in all ages and nations to

idolatry can be explained on no other principle. - Lord Macaulay

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