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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Facebook: Philippine Embassy in Iraq
DFA TELLS FILIPINOS IN SAUDI ARABIA: REMAIN VIGILANT, CONTACT EMBASSY FOR
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
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
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
Guevarra listed down major provisions which he described as "really
- 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
- 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
“We decry the malicious act by unknown individuals who hacked the
Presidential Communications Operations Office’s Instagram Page, with the
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
"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
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
"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
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
Kaugnay naman sa nalalapit na pagtatapos ng teleseryeng "Starla," sinabi
naman ni Santos na masaya siyang makaka-move on sa mga susunod pang proyekto
"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
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
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
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
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
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
T. Warren IND
36 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
T. Rozier CHA
28 PTS, 1 REB, 6 AST
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
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
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
S. Dinwiddie BKN
16 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
M. Fultz ORL
25 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST
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
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
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
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
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
G. Robinson III GS
16 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST
D. Fox SAC
21 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST