World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
28 Oct 2020

LOCSIN PROMISES 'SEVERE' RESPONSE TO RECALLED ENVOY'S ALLEGED MALTREATMENT

OF STAFF

 

MANILA — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday said his

department would conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the alleged

incidents of physical abuse of her household staff by the recently-recalled

Philippine ambassador to Brazil.

"The DFA will be firm in meting out the appropriate sanctions and

administrative or criminal charges on Ambassador Mauro if the results of the

DFA's investigation will demand as such," Locsin said on Twitter.

On Monday, the top diplomat disclosed that Philippine Ambassador to Brazil

Marichu Mauro was instructed to go home immediately "to explain the

maltreatment of her service staff." DFA later the same day confirmed that

the ambassador was recalled after the release of video footage showing her

"berating and mistreating her household staff."

A report from Brazil's GloboNews identifies the victim as a 51-year-old

Filipino who worked in the ambassador's official residence behind the

embassy's main building. The CCTV footage recorded from the diplomatic

residence was used as evidence in a complaint against Mauro in late August,

the report said.

"Rest assured, the DFA's response on this matter will be severe to the

fullest extent of the law especially when it involves a high-ranking DFA

official setting an example to ensure that matters like these will never be

tolerated," Locsin said Wednesday.

 

 

GUEVARRA FORMS CORE GROUP FOR 'MEGA TASK FORCE' VS CORRUPTION

 

MANILA — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday met with the chiefs

of the National Prosecution Service and National Bureau of Investigation

that form the core group of the task force created to conduct probe into the

“entire government” for corruption.

In a statement late Tuesday night, the Department of Justice said Guevarra

met with Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento and National Bureau of

Investigation Officer-in-Charge Eric Distor to organize the new task force.

The DOJ added that Guevarra, Malcontento and Distor discussed “methods of

securing information regarding incidences of corruptions in government, and

possible approaches for the conduct of the investigations of allegations of

corruption — taking into consideration the gravity of the allegations and

its impact on the delivery of government services.”

“It was agreed during the said meeting that the Core Group constituted for

the Task Force to investigate allegations of corruption in the [Philippine

Health Insurance Corp.] will be the same Core Group for the Task Force to

investigate allegations of corruption in the entire government,” the DOJ

said.

The following agencies were part of “Task Force PhilHealth” and will again

handle the probe into the entire government: NBI, NPS, Presidential

Anti-Corruption Commission, Office of the Special Assistant of the

President, and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

 

 

EU COMMITS TO FACILITATE GREEN RECOVERY POLICIES IN PHILIPPINES

 

MANILA — The European Union Delegation to the Philippines expressed its

commitment to engage with Filipino stakeholders in approaches toward

environmentally sustainable activities as part of the bloc's new growth

strategy.

The European Green Deal, which aims to "build back better" following

monthslong lockdowns by implementing green policies, programs, investments,

commits to a digital and resilient recovery that is also sustainable.

It also outlines an action plan to boost the efficient use of resources by

moving to a clean, circular economy, restore biodiversity, and cut pollution

to become a climate-neutral economy by 2050.

The EU, said Chargé d'Affaires Thomas Wiersing at a recent webinar, supports

the Philippines in making "energy efficiency and conservation a national way

of life."

At the same event, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the country is

shifting its investments to clean energy resources and green technologies.

 

 

77,000 COPS, BARANGAY SECURITY IN METRO MANILA CEMETERIES FOR UNDAS

 

MANILA — With all cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbariums closed from

October 29 to November 4, Metro Manila's police district is set to deploy

over 77,000 cops to "secure" more than 100 cemeteries in and around the

Metro, it said Wednesday.

President Duterte has urged the public to have a meaningful commemoration of

Undas. “I expect a peaceful celebration of All Saints’ Day and the All

Souls’ Day,” Duterte said in a taped address to the nation telecast

yesterday morning.

In a statement, the National Capital Region Police Office disclosed that of

the figure, 12,000 are cops while the rest are force multipliers including

barangay watchmen and local government personnel. As of this post, the NCRPO

said, 29,000 police elements have already been deployed to cemeteries.

“The president gave this directive as early as September. We expect all LGUs

to cooperate by ensuring that cemeteries within their localities are closed.

This is to avoid mass gatherings amid the pandemic,” interior secretary

Eduardo Año said in a separate statement.

“The local police commanders and the mayors by now should have discussed the

rules that would be implemented per locality but all these local rules that

would be crafted should conform to the guidelines set by the IATF,” he also

said.

 

 

HOUSE OKS COMMITTEE REPORT HOLDING DUQUE, PHILHEALTH OFFICIALS LIABLE FOR

CORRUPTION

 

MANILA — A House joint panel on Tuesday approved a committee report holding

some officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth),

its board chairman Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and several cabinet

members liable for alleged corruption in the agency.

The House Committee on Public Accounts and the Committee on Good Government

and Public Accountability’s approved report kept the recommendation to also

hold PhilHealth’s board members liable for alleged anomalies at the state

insurance agency.

The joint panel will send its report to the Department of Justice for

further study. The DOJ, which headed an inter-agency task force that also

investigated alleged PhilHealth corruption, had recommended the prosecution

of several former and current officials of PhilHealth, but Duque was spared.

 

Several lawmakers had pushed for the removal of the Cabinet members from the

list of respondents, but were outvoted by a majority in the joint panel.

They instead decided to just separate the cases against the PhilHealth board

and the executive committee.

 

 

 

ROBREDO CAMP DISOWNS FAKE QUOTE OF VP SAYING SHE’S READY TO BE PRESIDENT

 

MANILA — The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo strongly denied a quote

spreading online that she is ready to become president as the country is

“enveloped in darkness.”

“It’s not true that the vice President said that the Philippines is

‘enveloped in darkness’ that’s why she’s ready to become the president of

the country. The fake news post also does not mention when and where this

was said,” an administrator of Robredo’s Facebook page said in Filipino.

The image being spread online attributes this quote in Filipino to Robredo:

“Darkness is enveloping the Philippines. Let us bring back the vigor of

every citizen. I am ready to become a president of the Philippines.”

“We remind everyone to be critical with what they read on social media and

to report those spreading fake news — especially now that we are in a

crisis, when the correct information is needed the most,” Robredo’s Facebook

page administrator said in Filipino.

Robredo, along with other figures in the opposition, have been the victim of

numerous fake quotes and fake news online.

 

 

ROBREDO, AIDES NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19

 

MANILA— Vice President Leni Robredo and her aides have tested negative for

COVID-19, her office said Wednesday, following exposure to a coronavirus

patient.

Robredo said "all" the staff of the Office of the Vice President who were

exposed to a COVID-19 patient last week had "tested negative." She was also

among those cleared of the contagious disease, her office told reporters.

"Thank God!! All the activities today and the succeeding days will proceed

as scheduled," she said on her social media pages. "Thank you all for your

prayers and well wishes. They are very much appreciated."

The Vice President and her chief of staff went on self-quarantine last

Friday after learning they had "very close contact" with a COVID-19 patient.

Robredo described last week as a "blockbuster" for her, citing activities

she led, including the turnover of projects in Maguindanao, Negros Oriental

and Albay; turnover of testing kits to Iloilo province and Iloilo City; a

visit to Community Learning Hubs in Pasig City and Taytay, Rizal; and the

launch of Trabahope, a new program for out-of-school youth, in partnership

with USAID and PBed, among others.

 

 

PNP EYES ONLINE PLATFORM FOR TRAVEL PERMIT

 

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing an online platform

where non-essential travelers, including locally stranded individuals

(LSIs), can access documents for their local travel.

PNP deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said they are

working with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the

development of the online portal dubbed as Safe, Swift and Smart Passage or

S-PaSS.

Eleazar said the S-PaSS would allow LSIs and other non-authorized persons

outside of residence to secure a travel authority or pass-through permit in

areas where local government units (LGUs) impose travel restrictions due to

the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

With S-PaSS, applicants will be required to fill out certain documents

online which can be saved to their cell phones for presentation to police

officers manning border checkpoints.

 

 

PH RED CROSS TO RESUME COVID-19 TESTING AFTER PHILHEALTH PAYS HALF OF P1.1-B

DEBT

 

MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Tuesday said it would resume its

COVID-19 testing services, hours after the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

(PhilHealth) settled about half of its P1.1-billion debt to the humanitarian

organization.

PRC COVID-19 testing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport would resume

Tuesday night, while other PRC testing laboratories would reopen on October

28, Gordon told reporters in an online press conference.

"We embarrassed our entire country. Hindi naman kami sugapa. Sundin niyo

lang 'yung contract," he said, referring to an agreement that PhilHealth

would shoulder the cost of COVID-19 testing for frontliners.

"Ang tao ang iniisip namin eh (We are thinking about the people)... to help

save lives," he said.

The PRC will halt its COVID-19 testing program again should PhilHealth fail

to pay for the new tests strictly 3 days after each swab is conducted,

Gordon said.

 

 

DUTERTE: SEPT. 8 IS 'NATIONAL GREEN BUILDING DAY'

 

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has declared Sept. 8 of every year as the

"National Green Building Day," according to a document made public on

Wednesday.

The law provides a framework of standards that are intended to reduce the

country’s carbon emissions from buildings, and promote the health and

well-building of occupants, Duterte noted in Proclamation 1030.

“To promote development in the construction sector, it is imperative to

intensify existing initiatives to promote and raise awareness on the

efficient and equitable use of resources, proper water and waste management,

and integration of eco-friendly processes and systems,” read the document

signed Oct. 21.

 

 

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SENATE PANEL OKS BILL SPLITTING MAGUINDANAO INTO 2 PROVINCES

 

MANILA — A bill seeking to divide Maguindanao into two provinces was

approved by the Senate committee on local government on Monday.

The Senate panel approved House Bill 6413, which seeks to split the province

into Northern Maguindanao and Southern Maguindanao.

Committee chairman Sen. Francis Tolentino said a technical working group

would discuss where to place the seat of government in the two provinces.

Datu Odin Sinsuat is being eyed as the capital of Southern Maguindanao and

either Buluan or Shariff Aguak in Northern Maguindanao.

Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu, one of the principal authors of the

measure, said Southern Maguindanao will be composed of 24 towns while

Northern Maguindanao will have 12.

 

 

DOTR MOVES TO DEC. 1 IMPLEMENTATION OF CASHLESS TOLL TRANSACTIONS

 

MANILA - The Department of Transportation said Wednesday it moved to

December 1 from November 2 the enforcement of mandatory cashless toll

transactions.

The agency earlier issued the order to avoid traffic congestion in toll

plazas. RFID installation lanes will remain available as the deadline will

no longer be extended beyond this date, it said.

Motorists who fail to comply will be apprehended and issued a citation

ticket, it added.

"Now, we are extending the deadline to give further consideration. Let us

use the extension wisely,” DOTr Assistance Secretary Mark Pastor said in a

statement.

 

 

89TH MALASAKIT CENTER LAUNCHED IN DIGOS CITY

 

MANILA — Sen. Bong Go personally attended the launch of the country’s 89th

Malasakit Center at the Davao del Sur Provincial Hospital in Digos City the

other day.

The one-stop shop for medical and financial assistance is the first of its

kind in the province and fifth in Davao region.

In his speech, the senator expressed his support for proposals to appoint a

vaccine czar to focus on preparations and development of vaccines against

COVID-19.

 

 

QUINTA DEATH TOLL REACHES 4; 13 MISSING

 

MANILA — The death toll from Typhoon Quinta rose to four after two persons

drowned in Negros Oriental, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and

Management Council (NDRRMC) reported yesterday.

The fatalities, a 60-year-old woman from the municipality of Siaton and a

man from Bindoy town, drowned.

The NDRRMC earlier reported that Artemio Bumiltac, a 60-year-old farmer from

Cagayan Valley, and Gloria Rivas, 70, of Mauban, Quezon died at the height

of the typhoon.

“All fatalities were caused by drowning,” NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal told

reporters.

Timbal said 13 people, including nine fishermen in Catanduanes and Camarines

Sur, remain missing.

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE

 

 

CATRIONA GRAY SAYS PARLADE HAS APOLOGIZED FOR RED-TAGGING HER

 

MANILA – Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. of the National Task Force to End

Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has already apologized to

Catriona Gray for red-tagging her, the former Miss Universe said in an ANC

interview on Wednesday.

Speaking on “Headstart,” Gray said Parlade personally reached out to her and

her team on Tuesday night for dragging her name into the red-tagging

issue.“I appreciate that he really reached out because it gave me

clarification from my end also from the surprise that I felt. I do

appreciate him taking that initiative. He sent me a formal letter po,” she

said.

According to Gray, she was very surprised and concerned when her name

surfaced especially since she was not even in the Gabriela forum as one of

the special guests discussing issues that girls and young women are facing

in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“When the news did come about, I was very surprised. But the groups that I

work with, I want people to know that when I am an ambassadress, I don’t

just stick my name on an organization without really knowing what that group

does, what projects they are involved in,” she said.

“I knew the truth. The team around me knows the truth and I feel that what I

stand for and what I work towards is really for the benefit of the Filipino

people. I just continued to work with my groups and I am also really

thankful that they showed support to me,” she added.

With everything that happened, Gray said her takeaway would be that people

should be “careful of the information you take as truth and also to really

research or fact check before making public statements.”

Gray said this should be a big learning curve for everyone that if there is

really an intention to protect, it should be done in a certain way “because

I feel like the way that it was done did not achieve what he (Parlade)

intended to do.”

“I hope that going forward, if there are any warnings to give, or advice to

give, that it would be done in the proper means which I feel is to contact

directly the group or the individual to let your concerns be known in that

way,” she said.

Nonetheless, Gray said she is standing up against red-tagging because it can

construe someone in a certain light.

“I feel that there should be evidence given or a basis given for that tag,

for that accusation… As with me, there was no actual connection for me and

the Gabriela organization. Just that alone is an example of what can happen

if proper evidence is not given, or if proper basis is not presented

forward,” she said.

 

 

SPORTS

 

 

NAMBATAC, BELGA TO THE RESCUE AS RAIN OR SHINE DEALS GINEBRA HEARTBREAKER

 

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters made big plays in the clutch to frustrate

Barangay Ginebra, 85-82, in overtime in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the

Angeles University Foundation Gym Tuesday night.

As a result, Rain or Shine improved to 4-1 to overtake Ginebra (4-2) at the

solo second spot.

Staring at a 73-76 deficit with only six ticks to go in regulation, Rey

Nambatac rose to the occasion once again and drilled the game-tying

three-pointer, before Beau Belga took over in extension period, hitting

back-to-back baskets to send the Gin Kings to their second straight defeat.

Belga showed the way for the E-Painters, dropping 20 points, 10 rebounds,

and four assists. Mark Borboran added 16 points, while James Yap had 13

markers in the win.

Scottie Thompson led the scoring for the skidding Ginebra, producing 21

points and 10 rebounds, while Stanley Pringle provided 20 points, seven

rebounds and six assists in a lost cause.

 

 

ALASKA ESCAPES UPSET AXE FROM DYIP

 

Alaska Aces warded off a persistent Terra Firma side with a 99-96 decision

to go above the .500 mark in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, Tuesday night at

the AUF Sports Arena in Pampanga.

The win also avenged the Aces’ loss against the San Miguel Beer last

Saturday, as Alaska has won four of their last five matches to improve to

4-3 in the tournament.

The Dyip failed to sustain a solid start and squandered a 14-point lead

they’ve had in the second quarter, as Alaska flipped the switch in the third

frame to make it a close game.

Down by just 96-97 with 1:34 left, Terra Firma had a chance to snatch the

lead back but botched crucial possessions, leading to them sending Alaska to

the foul line.

Vic Manuel topscored the Aces side with 18 points along with seven rebounds.

Robbie Herndon added 12 points, while Jvee Casio and Mike Digregorio made 11

markers, respectively, in the tough win.

Meanwhile, CJ Perez’ all-around showing of 25 points, four rebounds, and six

assists, and Juami Tiongson’s 21 points on six of eight attempts from beyond

the arc went to waste anew for the Dyip, as they remained winless after five

games.

 

 

INDICATORS

 

FOREX $1 = P 48.37

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

 

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would

not miss. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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