World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
8 January 2020

IRAN LAUNCHES MISSILE ATTACK ON US BASES IN IRAQ 

On Wednesday morning, Philippine time, Iran claimed responsibility for the 
launch of missile attack on an Iraqi airbase where US forces are based. 
Iranian state TV said it launched “tens of missiles” on the base and 
promised “more crushing responses” if the US carried out further strikes. 
The attack came after the United States airstrike last week that killed top 
Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad’s international airport in 
Iraq. 
The Department of Foreign Affairs raised Alert Level 4 in Iraq following 
Iran’s missile attack. The crisis status calls for mandatory evacuation or 
repatriation of Filipinos in the country. 


HIGHEST CRISIS ALERT RAISED; EMBASSY ORDERED TO EVACUATE FILIPINOS IN IRAQ 

MANILA — Filipinos in Iraq are advised to evacuate the Gulf state as the 
Philippine Embassy has raised Alert Level 4, the highest crisis status. 
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Ed Meñez confirmed that the alert level 
in Iraq has been raised as a result of the government's coordination 
meetings on the situation in the Middle East. 
According to the DFA website, Alert Level 4, which calls for evacuation or 
mandatory repatriation, is issued "when there is large-scale internal 
conflict or full-blown external attack." 
In a live video on the Philippine Embassy in Iraq's Facebook page, Chargé 
d’Affaires Jomar Sadie announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has directed 
several government agencies to implement the evacuation of Filipinos in the 
Gulf nation following tensions between the United States and Iran. 
"The marching order for us is to conduct mandatory repatriation," Sadie said 
in a mix of Filipino and English. 
Sadie reminded Filipino workers in Iraq to secure an exit visa and a ticket 
through their employers prior to the repatriation procedures. 
For those who do not have employers, Sadie said they should coordinate with 
the embassy in Baghdad. 
"If you do not have an employer or if you are a victim of human trafficking, 
call us so we can help you or go directly to the embassy," he said. 
Filipinos requesting repatriation or any other form of assistance may 
contact the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad through: 
Contact numbers: 07816066822 (Jom) / 07516167838 (Jerome) / 07518764665 
(Jobbi) / 07508105240 (Richard) 
E-mail: baghdad.pe@dfa.gov.ph / embaphilbaghdad.secretary1@gmail.com 
Facebook: Philippine Embassy in Iraq 


DFA TELLS FILIPINOS IN SAUDI ARABIA: REMAIN VIGILANT, CONTACT EMBASSY FOR 
ASSISTANCE 

MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs urged Filipinos in the Kingdom of 
Saudi Arabia to remain vigilant amid rising tension in the Middle East. 
In an advisory released Tuesday night, the DFA told Filipino communities in 
KSA to be “vigilant against potential security threats, observe security 
measures and protocols established by the Saudi government, and abide by the 
laws, rules and regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” 
In case of security-related incidents or should they seek assistance, they 
may contact Assistance-to-Nationals Section – Philippine Embassy in Riyadh 


GOOD WEATHER SEEN ON NAZARENE PROCESSION 

MANILA — Apart from passing light rains, fair weather will prevail in Metro 
Manila during the Feast of the Black Nazarene, which will culminate with the 
annual procession or Traslacion Thursday. 
In a special weather outlook issued Wednesday, state weather bureau PAGASA 
said Metro Manila will have “partly cloudy to cloudy skies with chances of 
passing light rains” today until Friday. 
The temperatures during the outlook period are forecast to range between 23 
and 31 °C. 
Winds coming from the northeast to east are also expected to be light to 
moderate. 
Weather specialist Ezra Bulquerin earlier said there is no low pressure area 
developing that is seen to affect any part of the country. 
“Makakaranas pa rin po tayo ng magandang panahon within the next three to 
five days,” he said. 
The state weather bureau said it will continue to monitor any significant 
changes in the weather. 


NEW MAYNILAD, MANILA WATER DEALS WILL BE 'EQUITABLE,' SAYS JUSTICE CHIEF 

MANILA -- A new contract that the government is drafting for the Philippine 
capital's two water concessionaires will be "equitable," not something that 
will "kill" the utilities, a cabinet official tasked to draft the contracts 
said Wednesday. 
The government will remove "onerous and highly disadvantageous" items in the 
supply contracts of Manila Water Co and Maynilad Water Services Inc, Justice 
Secretary Menardo Guevarra said. 
"That's a good contract. It's not something that will kill," Guevarra told 
ANC's Headstart, when asked about an economist's comment that offering a new 
concession deal was like pointing a gun to the concessionaires' heads. 
The government-drafted concession agreements, which will be offered to 
Maynilad and Manila Water in 6 months, is "something even the water 
concessionaires themselves will probably agree to," he said. 
Should Maynilad and Manila Water refuse the contracts, President Rodrigo 
Duterte could "nationalize" water services and "prosecute them for plunder 
or estafa on a large scale," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said on 
Tuesday. 
Guevarra listed down major provisions which he described as "really 
onerous." 
- A "non-interference" clause that bars the government from interfering in 
the rate-setting mechanism of the two companies and the MWSS or Metropolitan 
Waterworks and Sewerage System 
- An "indemnity clause" that compels government to indemnify the companies 
in case of losses due its interference 
- Inclusion of business taxes, concession fees, debt servicing, and cost of 
appealing in expenditure items that can be passed on to consumers 
- Reference to the two companies as mere contractors of the MWSS instead of 
a public utilities, allowing them to pass on corporate income taxes to 
consumers 
- Preference for the two companies for the grant of licenses from the MWSS 
for new development projects 
- The two companies taking on the expropriation powers of the MWSS 
- Automatic acceptance by the MWSS regulatory office of any proposed 
standard water rates if it fails to act on the proposal in 30 days 
- The government paying in "early termination amount" in case the 
concessions are canceled in case of default. 


PCOO OFFICIAL INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT HACKED 

MANILA — The verified Instagram account of the Presidential Communications 
Operations Office has been hacked, an official confirmed on Wednesday 
morning. 
“We decry the malicious act by unknown individuals who hacked the 
Presidential Communications Operations Office’s Instagram Page, with the 
handle @pcoogov. 
We are now looking into this matter and have coordinated with Facebook to 
resolve it immediately,” Assistant Secretary for Global Media and Public 
Affairs Jusan Vincent Arcena said in a PTV post. 
The PCOO’s verified Instagram page with almost 19,000 followers currently 
has a display photo and caption containing Arabic letters. It is following 
only seven accounts including one verified page. 
It now only has two posts compared to at least 155 posts previously. 
“The account has been locked by Facebook's team so that hackers will no 
longer be able to use the account. In the meantime, we ask our followers to 
disregard any present and future activities on our Instagram page, until 
such time that the matter is resolved,” the assistant secretary said. 


VP ROBREDO USED 'UNOFFICIAL' DATA IN DRUG WAR REPORT: PNP 

The Philippine National Police on Wednesday decried Vice President Leni 
Robredo's evaluation of the drug war as "unfair," saying Robredo used 
"unofficial" police data for her report. 
Citing police data, Robredo had said authorities seized only P1.4 billion 
worth of drugs out of P1.3 trillion circulating in the country every year. 
PNP spokesman Brig. General Bernard Banac said Robredo, who had a brief 
stint as co-chair of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs 
(ICAD), may have "misunderstood" the data. 
"With her 18 days of stay as co-chair of ICAD, it’s not a complete picture 
of the situation. She may have gotten the data incompletely," he told ANC's 
Early Edition. 
"We see that all this would be a challenge for us but we thank her for the 
comments and suggestions." 
Banac said the police data was just an "estimate" to "project the drug 
problem and plan ahead." 
"We cannot use that estimate based on a wild guess... coming from us. We 
made an estimate and the Vice President used it to compare the amount of 
drugs confiscated during the actual operations," he said. 
"Nobody can really make an actual estimate of the volume of drugs in the 
country. Not even the United States Drug Enforcement Agency was able to make 
an accurate assessment." 


DUTERTE: ROBREDO A 'COLOSSAL BLUNDER' FOR DRUG WAR REPORT 

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday joined many others slamming 
the recently published report of Vice President Leni Robredo, whom the 
president called a "colossal blunder." 
Robredo on Monday released her recommendations on the government's war on 
drugs to much backlash, with the Palace calling her report a "dud" and an 
attempt to be "relevant." Lawmakers, too, panned her for overlooking what 
they said were the accomplishments of the so-called "war on drugs." 
"If ever she becomes president, gawin niya 'yun. Pero she can't lecture me 
what to do," Duterte said. "She has been there how many days, 17? 18 days." 
Duterte went as far as attacking Robredo's very election to her post, 
calling it a mistake. 
"I hate to say this but how many voters are there in the Philippines and 
just do away with the 200,000 plus that she got over Marcos -- it was really 
a mistake," he said. "With a slim margin and you talk this big." 
The exact number was 278,566. The latest recount by the Presidential 
Electoral Tribunal confirmed that Robredo won her bid for the vice 
presidency with 14,436,337 votes compared to her opponent's 14,157,771. 
This even prompted defeated candidate Bongbong Marcos to ask the High Court 
to nullify votes in three provinces. 


‘SA KANILA GALING ANG DATA:’ LP EXEC SLAMS PDEA, PNP FOR CRITICIZING 
ROBREDO’S DRUG WAR REPORT 

MANILA — An official of the opposition Liberal Party (LP) on Wednesday 
criticized the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug 
Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for downplaying the assessment of Vice President 
Leni Robredo about the government’s war on drugs, saying they were the ones 
who gave the Vice President the data used in her report. 
“Sa kanila galing ang data (They were the ones who gave the data),” Erin 
Tañada, LP vice president for external affairs, said in a statement. “Why 
are they criticizing the data mentioned by Vice President Leni in her report 
when they were the ones who submitted these numbers during her short stint 
as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD)? Are 
they now disowning their own data?” 
Tañada said if both agencies at the forefront of the drug war are now 
disowning their own figures, then the campaign is clearly a failure as 
earlier pointed out by Robredo in her report released on Monday. 
Citing data from the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), Robredo said that 
the approximate minimum consumption of shabu in the country per week is 
3,000 kilograms, or about 156,000 kilograms a year. 
She noted, however, that the government only managed to seize 1,344.87 
kilograms in 2019, 785.31 kilograms in 2018, and 1,053.91 kilograms in 2017. 
Robredo stressed this was a measly one percent of the total consumption of 
shabu in the country. 
Tañada said that the Duterte administration’s centerpiece program is really 
doomed to fail if it is unaware of what it is up against. 
“Para kang pumunta sa giyera nang hindi mo pinag-aralang maigi kung sino ang 
makakalaban mo (It’s like going to war without studying well who you are up 
against),” said Tañada. 
Instead of criticizing Robredo, concerned government agencies should 
consider her report seriously and use it as a guide in addressing the drug 
menace, he added. 


WHY BANGKO SENTRAL REDESIGNED P20, P5 COINS 

MANILA -- The newly designed P20 and P5 coins that will go into circulation 
at the start of the year will result in "big savings" for the government 
while making it easier for consumers to tell them apart, Bangko Sentral ng 
Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday. 
The P20 coin will last for 10-15 years, compared to the P20 bill that it 
will replace, which lasts for 3 to 6 months, Diokno told ANC's Headstart. 
The P20 is the most used denomination of Philippine money, he said. 
The nine-side design of the P5 coin will help the public differentiate it 
from the P1 and P10 coins, he said. 
Unveiled at the end of 2019, the new design P20 and P5 coins will go into 
circulation in the first quarter of 2020. 


THIEVES KEEP STEALING LIGHTS FROM EDSA-AYALA UNDERPASS 

Authorities are examining surveillance footage to identify thieves who have 
repeatedly stolen lights and other electric materials from an EDSA-Ayala 
Underpass in Makati, the Department of Public Works and Highways said 
Wednesday. 
The agency recently completed the lights along the underpass, only for these 
to be stolen in at least 2 instances, said DPWH Spokesperson Anna Mae 
Lamentillo. 
"Nag-install na nga po kami ng CCTV cameras kasi paulit-ulit po talaga iyong 
nakawan dito sa area po na ito," she told radio DZMM, adding that her agency 
is "closely coordinating" with the police and the Metropolitan Manila 
Development Authority. 


JUDY ANN PRESSURED SA PAGGANAP BILANG MOTHER LILY SA PELIKULA 

Inamin ng aktres na si Judy Ann Santos na nakararamdam siya ng pressure sa 
pagganap bilang si Lily Monteverde sa inaabangang biopic o pelikula ukol sa 
buhay ng beteranang film producer. 
"I'm super pressured and super tensed because she is Mother Lily and sino 
bang hindi nakakakilala sa kaniya?" ani Santos sa panayam ng ABS-CBN News. 
Ayon kay Santos, marami na siyang nakausap para matulungan siya sa pagganap 
kay Mother Lily, na ilang taong humawak sa entertainment firm na Regal. 
Nakatakda na ring sumalang sa workshop si Santos para sa kaniyang pagganap. 
Ayon daw sa producer na si Dondon Monteverde, anak ni Mother Lily, at 
direktor ng biopic na si Erik Matti, mismong ang beteranang producer ang 
pumili kay Santos para gumanap rito. 
"When Dondon and Erik Matti told me that Mother Lily chose me to play her, 
as the young Mother Lily, siyempre natuwa naman ako pero ang una kong 
tanong, 'Bakit po ako?'" aniya. 
Isa raw sa mga kinatatakutan ni Santos ang pagganap sa biopic pero handa raw 
siyang harapin ang takot na ito ngayong taon. 
Bukod sa biopic, mayroon pang isang nakakasang pelikula si Santos para sa 
taong ito. 
Kaugnay naman sa nalalapit na pagtatapos ng teleseryeng "Starla," sinabi 
naman ni Santos na masaya siyang makaka-move on sa mga susunod pang proyekto 
ngayong 2020. 
"Mas happy kasi alam mong nakapag-impart ka ng magandang values sa mga tao. 
Nabuhay 'yong hope sa kanila, sa mga bata," ani Santos. 
Isa raw sa mga mami-miss ni Santos sa pagiging bahagi ng serye ang bonding 
nila ng mga katrabaho. 
"Of course, nakapag-build kayo ng relationship, naging family na kayo sa 
isa't isa," aniya. 


GIN KINGS WARD OFF BOLTS TO TAKE PBA FINALS GAME 1 

MANILA – The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings thwarted the Meralco Bolts, 91-87, 
to draw first blood in the PBA Governors' Cup Finals at the Araneta Coliseum 
in Quezon City on Tuesday. 
Japeth Aguilar swatted Allen Durham potential game-tying shot with Ginebra 
ahead 89-87 in the match’s final seconds to seal the win for the Gin Kings. 
Justin Brownlee imposed his will on the Bolts' defense, scoring 38 points 
and tallying 16 rebounds in the victory for the Barangay. 
Durnham's 25 points and 18 rebounds for Meralco paled in comparison to the 
Gin King's import in the losing effort. 
It was a see-saw game for the first three quarters, with both squads trading 
baskets and runs to keep the game close. 
Meralco's Raymond Almazan paced his squad in the opening salvo, battling 
with Brownlee in creating baskets early. 
The game was tied at 19-all after the first 12 minutes of play. 
An 8-2 start for Ginebra in the econd salvo propelled them to a six-point 
lead, 27-21. 
But just as the Gin Kings looked to pull away, Meralco went on an unanswered 
9-0 run to take the advantage. 
At the half, the Bolts were up 41-37. 
It was more of the same story in the second half, with neither squad giving 
an inch. 
Both teams enjoyed sizeable cushions at some point of the fourth quarter but 
runs kept the game close. 
Chris Newsome took it upon himself to lead the Bolts in the fourth quarter 
but Brownlee’s crucial free throws were able to shift the tide back to 
Ginebra's side. 
Two makes from Brownlee, who only had two points in the final canto, gave 
the Gin Kings an 88-87 advantage with 33 seconds left in the game. 
Coming off a timeout, the Bolts couldn't get a basket and was forced to foul 
Stanley Pringle. 
The Ginebra import split from the free throw line to keep the door open for 
the Bolts with 18 ticks left. 
But Meralco just couldn't buy a basket and Brownlee simply iced two more 
free throws for the icing on the cake. 
Meralco will hope to even the series in Game Two on Friday. 


NBA SCORES JAN 6 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Pacers 23-14    27    15    37    36    115 
team logo Hornets 15-24    29    15    21    39    104 
SCORING LEADERS 
    T. Warren IND 
36 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST 
    T. Rozier CHA 
28 PTS, 1 REB, 6 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Celtics 25-9    17    23    32    22    94 
team logo Wizards 12-24    26    25    23    25    99 
SCORING LEADERSJ. Brown BOS 
23 PTS, 12 REB, 1 AST 
I. Smith WAS 
27 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Thunder 20-16    31    21    34    27    113 
team logo 76ers 24-14    31    31    28    30    120 
SCORING LEADERSS. Adams OKC 
24 PTS, 15 REB, 1 AST 
J. Richardson PHI 
23 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Nets 16-19    22    17    32    18    89 
team logo Magic 17-20    20    32    23    26    101 
SCORING LEADERS 
    S. Dinwiddie BKN 
16 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST 
    M. Fultz ORL 
25 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Nuggets 25-11    29    35    27    32    123 
team logo Hawks 8-29    31    25    30    29    115 
SCORING LEADERSN. Jokic DEN 
47 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST 
T. Young ATL 
29 PTS, 4 REB, 12 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Jazz 24-12    35    33    27    33    128 
team logo Pelicans 12-25    36    28    33    29    126 
SCORING LEADERSB. Bogdanovic UTA 
35 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST 
B. Ingram NO 
35 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Bucks 32-6    22    30    29    23    104 
team logo Spurs 15-20    27    38    26    35    126 
SCORING LEADERSG. Antetokounmpo MIL 
24 PTS, 12 REB, 8 AST 
D. DeRozan SA 
25 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Bulls 13-24    27    28    27    28    110 
team logo Mavericks 23-13    33    28    27    30    118 
SCORING LEADERSL. Markkanen CHI 
26 PTS, 9 REB, 0 AST 
L. Doncic DAL 
38 PTS, 11 REB, 10 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Warriors 9-29    19    21    24    34    98 
team logo Kings 14-23    26    26    38    21    111 
SCORING LEADERS 
    G. Robinson III GS 
16 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST 
    D. Fox SAC 
21 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST 

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