3 January 2020
MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE VICTIMS SEEK TO DOUBLE CIVIL DAMAGES
MANILA — Relatives of the victims in the Maguindanao massacre will ask a
Quezon City court to at least double the claim for civil damages that it
awarded to them, their lawyer said Friday.
The victims' next of kin are entitled to damages ranging from P350,000 to
P23.5 million, under a special court's decision in December, a month after
the slaughter marked its 10th anniversary.
"Dapat madoble man lang iyong damages na ibinigay, unang-una, dahil mas
mahalaga ang buhay... at pangalawa hindi naman po iyan makukuha agad-agad
habang nag-apela pa rin ang mga akusado," said lawyer Harry Roque, who
represents 18 of 58 victims' relatives.
The Supreme Court needs to agree with the verdict, which can take up to 24
months if contested by the accused, before the victims' relatives can claim
the damages, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fauldon earlier
Three members of the Ampatuan clan who were found guilty of orchestrating
the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre asked the court on Thursday to reconsider its
2020 TRASLACION: FASTER PROCESSION EXPECTED WITH NEW ROUTE - ORGANIZER
This year's procession of the Black Nazarene in the capital, one of the
world's biggest shows of Catholic zeal, is expected to end faster as it
takes a new route, one of its organizers said Friday.
The Traslacion, which draws millions of barefoot devotees every year, will
pass through the Ayala Bridge for the first time instead of 3 other bridges
which were recently repaired.
"Inaasahan lang na mas maikli, makabalik sana nang mas maaga sa Quiapo [ang
Traslacion]," said Fr. Douglas Badong, vicar of Minor Basilica of the Black
Nazarene, home of the 400-year-old ebony statue of Jesus Christ.
"Pero hindi pa namin matantya kung anong oras makabalik kasi siyempre minsan
nakadepende rin sa attitude ng mga namamasan," the priest told radio DZMM.
Authorities are on the lookout for "risk factors" during the procession,
including terrorism, crimes, hazards and potential stampedes, said Manila
police chief Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba.
Vendors are barred from staying in the Traslacion route and selling snacks
in glass bottles or on sticks, which caused several deaths in previous
years, he said.
The public is prohibited from drinking liquor outside their homes during the
procession. Authorities meanwhile are studying jamming
cellphone signals for the Traslacion, he added.
Devotees, most walking barefoot in maroon and yellow shirts, jostle each
year to touch the ropes pulling the carriage of the Black Nazarene or throw
white towels to wipe the statue believed to have miraculous powers.
It is not known why the statue, which was carved in Mexico, turned black.
There are myths that the original statue donated by Spanish priests was
burned as a fire erupted on the ship that carried it to the Philippines in
the early 17th century.
US SEN. MARKEY TO DUTERTE: TRAVEL BAN WON'T SILENCE ME
MANILA — US Sen. Edward Markey (Massachusetts) said that the Philippine
government’s travel ban against him for voicing support to Sen. Leila De
Lima will not silence him.
In a statement, Markey said: “President [Rodrigo] Duterte is sorely mistaken
if he thinks he can silence my voice and that of my colleagues.”
Markey is the third American senator that the Philippine government banned
from entering the country.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Markey was included in the
ban for supporting the travel restriction against officials involved in the
detention of De Lima.
Amid the travel ban, Markey remains unfazed and pointed out that Duterte
“has already failed to silence Sen. De Lima, Maria Ressa and others in his
country who have spoken truth to power.”
“I stand with the people of the Philippines with my state’s vibrant
Filipino-American community in fighting for the highest democratic ideals
and against the strongman tactics of the Duterte government,” he added.
Ban vs Durbin, Leahy
Duterte earlier ordered a ban on Philippine soil against US Sens. Dick
Durbin (Illinois) and Patrick Leahy (Vermont), who proposed the amendment to
deny officials implicated in the detention of De Lima of entry to the United
PLDT, GLOBE, DITO FORM PHONE NUMBER PORTABILITY 'CLEARING HOUSE'
MANILA -- The Philippines' 3 telecommunications companies will form a joint
venture company to implement a law that will allow consumers to keep their
mobile phone number when switching payment plans or carriers, according to a
stock exchange filing on Friday.
PLDT Inc, Globe Telecom and Dito Telecommunity tapped Florida-based
Syniverse for the "clearing house" tasked to ensure the "smooth
implementation" of phone number transfers, PLDT said in a disclosure.
Dito, a joint venture between businessman Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp and China
Telecom, is establishing the so-called third telco to challenge the
dominance of Globe and PLDT, parent of Smart Communications.
"We are taking measures to put in place a seamless and efficient process for
our existing and would-be customers who would like to avail of this service
in the future," said Alfredo Panlilio, Chief Revenue Officer of PLDT and
"Our utmost priority is to ensure that the experience of our customers is
seamless and of utmost convenience should they decide to port their
numbers," said Globe chief technology and information officer and chief
strategy officer Gil Genio.
As long as a subscriber has no outstanding obligation to his or her current
service provider, the subscription plan can be modified from postpaid to
prepaid or vice versa without changing the number, based on the Mobile
Number Portability Act.
The number can also be retained when transferring from one telco to another,
according to the law that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in
The law also tasked telcos to equally share capital expenditures for its
Synverse, according to the PLDT disclosure, provides software and services
that connect 7 billion devices globally and processes $35 billion in mobile
PHILIPPINES SEEKS TEMPLATE CONTRACT FOR OFWS IN KUWAIT AFTER WORK BAN
MANILA — The Philippines this month will negotiate a template contract for
its workers in Kuwait, after the killing of a Filipina maid there by her
employers prompted a partial deployment ban of Filipino workers to the
oil-rich state, the labor ministry said Friday.
The contract will be in accordance with a memorandum of agreement that the 2
countries signed in 2018, banning Kuwaiti employers from confiscating the
passports and cellphones of Filipino workers, said Labor Secretary Silvestre
Filipino workers will also have working and sleeping hours under the
contract, and cannot be transferred to another employer without the consent
of the Philippine labor attaché, he said.
"Iyon ang pag-uusapan namin nitong second week. Pinipilit nga ako na kami
ang pupunta doon. Sabi ko, hindi, kayo (Kuwaiti officials) ang pupunta
rito," Bello told radio DZMM.
From Friday, Filipino household workers are barred from leaving for Kuwait,
The deployment ban, which excludes skilled workers, was prompted by the
death of Filipina maid Jeanelyn Villavende allegedly at the hands of her
employers, who are now detained.
Villavende complained of "maltreatment and underpayment of salary" to her
manpower agency several months before her death, said Bello.
Kuwait is home to 262,000 Filipinos, nearly 60 percent of them domestic
workers, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy,
according to the foreign ministry.
AMPATUAN FATHER, SONS SEEK QC COURT’S RECONSIDERATION OF MURDER CONVICTION
QUEZON CITY—Anwar Ampatuan Sr. and his sons Anwar Jr., alias Datu Ipi, and
Anwar Sajid, alias Datu Ulo, have asked a Quezon City court to reconsider
its guilty verdict in connection with the Maguindanao massacre.
The three, convicted for the death of 57 people, filed two separate motions
for reconsideration with Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 on
Thursday, January 2.
In his motion, Anwar Sr. said there was no evidence that he “actually
cooperated in the commission of the crimes as charged” and that there was no
conspiracy that would make him equally liable with the other convicts.
Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes convicted Anwar Sr., despite his absence from the
crime scene on November 23, 2009, because he supposedly suggested in one
meeting to kill the Mangudadatus and bury their vehicles, citing the
testimony of witness Sukarno Badal.
According to the court, Anwar’s words were one of the moving facts that
emboldened Unsay to carry out his plan.
The court also found Anwar Sr. to have helped his brother, Unsay, and others
escape after the massacre.
But Anwar Sr. questioned Badal’s credibility saying it would have been
impossible for him to memorize “to the letter” all of the statements made by
each of the supposed participants in the meetings.
He pointed out that the evidence suggested Datu Unsay wasn’t even present to
hear his statement.
He urged the court to make the same ruling as co-accused Datu Akmad “Tato”
Ampatuan Sr., who was acquitted despite having expressed agreement to the
killing of the Mangudadatus.
“[S]uch words did not necessarily mean that he pushed for and have
necessarily agreed to the commission of the crime,” he said.
He also denied helping Unsay to escape, saying the only evidence against him
was the testimony of Ampatuan’s helper, Lakmodin Saliao, who only heard him
in a phone call agree to Andal Ampatuan Sr.’s instructions but did not
testify as to his participation in the supposed escape.
DAMAGE WROUGHT BY 'URSULA' NOW AT P3.4 BILLION, NDRRMC SAYS
MANILA — Infrastructure and agricultural damage wrought by Typhoon Ursula
has ballooned to more than P3 billion, the latest situation report from the
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.
As of 6am of Friday, the NDRRMC pegged total infrastructure and agriculture
damage incurred in the MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas and
Central Visayas regions at P3,435,725,790.
The amount has almost tripled, from the council’s January 2 situation report
that recorded damages at P1.2 billion.
“Ursula” dumped rains over the Visayas region on Christmas day, sending more
than 12,000 families away from their homes and thousand others stranded at
The typhoon partially damaged 446 schools, 32 health facilities and 84
government facilities. It also totally damaged 22 government facilities.
It also partially damaged 324,551 houses and totally wrecked 107,035 houses.
The typhoon, which exited the Philippine area of Responsibility on December
28, affected 600,142 families or 2,431,821 persons.
A total of 19,553 families of 77,832 persons remain in the 547 evacuation
centers according to the NDRRMC’s latest report.
“Ursula” also left in its wake at least 50 dead and 362 injured,
There are still five persons reported missing.
LOCSIN WANTS LIFE OF KUWAIT OFW KILLER
MANILA — The Philippines' top diplomat had asked for the life of the killer
of a Filipina household worker in Kuwait.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier summoned Kuwaiti
Ambassador Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh to convey the government's outrage
over the lack of protection of Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
Another Filipino domestic worker in Kuwait was purportedly killed by the
wife of her employer.
"This is the ONLY official line: 'All I asked for is the life of the taker
for the life taken. And I don't care whose life that is. The life of a
Filipino—maid or socialite—is the equal of the life of a queen,'" Locsin
The DFA chief added that the rest has nothing to do with Philippine foreign
In an additional tweet, Locsin said authoritative sources of the country's
foreign policy are personal to himself and President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Is is the nature of democratic government and republics," Locsin said.
QUEZON CITY GRANTS TAX CREDIT FOR REAL PROPERTY OWNERS
QUEZON CITY — The Quezon City government will begin granting tax credits to
real property owners who have paid their socialized housing and real
property taxes for the past five years.
“The tax credit is our way of thanking our real property taxpayers who have
become our partners in building homes for our less fortunate citizens,”
Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement yesterday.
“Through this, we hope to encourage more real property owners to regularly
pay their taxes so they can also contribute to our housing programs for the
poor,” she added.
In 2011, the city government passed an ordinance imposing the socialized
housing tax (SHT) equivalent to an additional 0.5 percent tax on properties
with an assessed value amounting to more than P100,000.
The fees collected were then used to purchase and develop land for
socialized housing facilities.
City assessor Sherry Gonzalvo said the tax credit will be extended to
registered property owners who have dutifully paid their taxes for five
years upon the effectivity of the SHT.
The tax credit shall be enjoyed by the taxpayer over the said period in five
equal yearly installments in an amount equivalent to 20 percent of the total
Gonzalvo said all delinquent SHT collectibles must or should be complete and
paid in order to qualify for the tax credit.
Qualified taxpayers will enjoy the tax credit without the unnecessary
documentary requirements and processes in line with the Ease of Doing
TERROR GROUP’S POINT MAN FALLS
MANILA — The suspected gunrunner arrested by policemen in Quezon City on New
Year’s Day is the point man of the Dawlah Islamiya terrorist group in Metro
Manila, an official said yesterday.
Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco
Gamboa said their background investigation revealed that Datu Omar Palty,
26, is a member of the Mindanao-based terrorist organization.
According to Gamboa, Palty belongs to the faction of Esmael Abdulmalik, also
known as Turaife ad Turaypi. He was previously a member of the Bangsamoro
Islamic Freedom Fighters but switched allegiance to the Dawlah Islamiya in
“Palty was appointed by alias Turaypi as the point man or contact person of
his group in Metro Manila,” he said in a press briefing at Camp Crame in
As point person, Palty was tasked to coordinate with Dawlah Islamiya
operatives from the provinces of Sulu and Basilan, Gamboa said.
Palty was collared during an entrapment operation in Barangay North
Fairview, where he sold a loaded .45 caliber pistol to a police officer for
P10,000. A fragmentation grenade was also recovered from him.
Gamboa said Palty was involved in several atrocities, including an attack on
a military camp in Midsayap, Cotabato in 2009 that left two soldiers dead.
Intelligence reports also implicated Palty in the killing of a couple and a
security guard in San Simon, Pampanga in 2015.
DEREK RAMSAY’S MARRIAGE ‘NULL AND VOID,’ SAYS LEGAL COUNSEL
MANILA — Actor Derek Ramsay is now legally single, his lawyer said, after
the declaration of his marriage as null and void.
The topic came up in the comments on a recent Instagram post of Ramsay,
where one follower wrote that his relationship with his girlfriend and
co-star Andrea Torres would be “more happy” if he were “annulled legally.”
“I am, dear,” was Ramsay’s brief response.
In a subsequent comment, his legal counsel, Atty. Josabeth “Joji” Alonso,
clarified that Ramsay’s “marriage has long been declared null and void.”
“He was confirming the fact that he is no longer married to anyone,” Alonso
added, referring to Ramsay’s earlier, vague reply.
Neither Ramsay nor Alonso specified an individual who was previously married
to the actor.
Ramsay, however, had a publicized court battle with his former partner, Mary
Christine Jolly, whom he had reportedly married in April 2002.
Ramsay’s marriage with Jolly and their subsequent separation were only
revealed when the latter surfaced in 2014. At the time, she accused Ramsay
of neglecting their child, and filed a concubinage case against the actor
and his girlfriend at the time, actress Angelica Panganiban.
Ramsay and Jolly eventually reached a “compromise agreement” later that
It remains unclear, however, when their marriage was declared null and void.
WHAT BREAKUP? JADINE FANS STORM SOCIAL MEDIA TO DISPUTE REPORT
MANILA — A new decade has just opened and already, local showbiz is abuzz
with its first controversy, sparked by a report claiming that James Reid and
Nadine Lustre, or “JaDine” to their loyal fans, have broken up.
In a January 1 report, PEP.ph reported, citing a source close to the couple,
that Reid and Lustre have ended their nearly four-year relationship due to
“irreconcilable differences,” and that the latter has left their shared home
in Quezon City.
The two, the report pointed out, have not been sharing photos of them
together since October. It also noted Lustre’s “cryptic” Instagram posts,
among them a black-and-white snap captioned, “For good, lost all of my
The report quickly went viral, shocking many fans and making “JaDine” the
top local trend on Twitter.
But it also prompted long-time followers of the couple to put on their
detective hats to disprove the supposed breakup. The result: a flood of
photos of Reid and Lustre at the same place, or beside each other, taken
In particular, resourceful fans unearthed photos of Lustre and Reid on New
Year’s Eve at what appears to be the same venue in Makati.
One tweet even presented a collage of those images, along with a video of
Reid’s interview with ABS-CBN News on the same night, where he was asked how
he would welcome 2020 with Lustre.
While Reid and Lustre have yet to directly address the report, their fans
appear convinced and relieved that they’re still together, given their
collection of “evidence” countering any claim that “JaDine” has come to an
NBA SCORES JAN 1
1 2 3 4 T
team logo Magic 15-19 31 31 32 28 122
team logo Wizards 10-23 29 29 25 18 101
D. Augustin ORL
25 PTS, 3 REB, 9 AST
B. Beal WAS
27 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST
1 2 3 4 T
team logo Trail Blazers 14-21 27 21 29 16 93
team logo Knicks 10-24 25 26 32 34 117
SCORING LEADERSC. Anthony POR
26 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST
J. Randle NY
22 PTS, 13 REB, 3 AST
1 2 3 4 T
team logo Timberwolves 12-21 23 28 20 33 104
team logo Bucks 31-5 19 33 25 29 106
SCORING LEADERSS. Napier MIN
22 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST
G. Antetokounmpo MIL
32 PTS, 17 REB, 4 AST
1 2 3 4 T
team logo Suns 13-21 17 24 38 28 107
team logo Lakers 27-7 43 31 27 16 117
SCORING LEADERSD. Booker PHO
32 PTS, 2 REB, 7 AST
L. James LAL
31 PTS, 13 REB, 12 AST