World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
10 January 2020

BLACK NAZARENE BACK AT QUIAPO CHURCH; 'RECORD-BREAKING' TRASLACION ENDS 
EARLIER THAN USUAL 

MANILA - The Black Nazarene procession ended just before 9 p.m. Thursday as 
the image was returned more than 16 hours since the annual Traslacion 
started amid tighter security and stricter regulations. 
By police estimates, some 3.3 million people joined the procession, with 
more than 530,000 gathered at Plaza Miranda and Quiapo Church, the 
culmination of one of the country's biggest religious events. 
The Black Nazarene was returned to the church at 8:46 p.m., the Manila 
Public Information Office said - nearly five hours earlier than the end of 
the procession last year. 
A thick wall of blue-clad police officers lined Plaza Miranda, the entrance 
to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, as the 
revered image of Jesus Christ inched its way to the parish- the first time 
such level of security was seen at the annual procession. 
But before it could, the andas or carriage seemed carried away by the wave 
of people jostling to reach and touch the image- a feat considered by 
devotees as a bearer of miracles. 
In a statement, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno called the event "record-breaking" 
as the Traslacion took a shorter time than usual. Black Nazarene processions 
in previous years had taken more than 20 hours. 
"Taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa milyon-milyong deboto, sa Minor 
Basilica of the Black Nazarene, sa mga vendor, sa mga kapulisan, at sa lahat 
ng city at national government agencies na nakiisa para maging matagumpay 
ang prusisyong ito!" the mayor said. 
New security measures police and the city government introduced had 
disappointed some devotees, but Moreno promised even more changes next year 
to speed up the procession. 
As of this posting, there has been no report of serious incidents as 
authorities have recorded only minor injuries. 


MANILA HAULS 330 TONS OF TRASH AFTER TRASLACION 2020 

MANILA - The 16-hour procession of the image of the Black Nazarene generated 
68 truckloads of garbage, the Manila city government said Friday. 
About 330 tons of trash were collected along the procession's route this 
year, 57 tons lower than last year's 387.4 tons of Traslacion garbage haul, 
Manila Department of Public Services chief Kenneth Amurao said. 
The "faster pace" of the country's largest religious procession this year 
and the implementation of the "zero vendor" policy along the Traslacion's 
route led to the decrease of trash during the event, Amurao said in a 
statement. 
"Continuous calls of the City Mayor for everyone to cooperate in maintaining 
cleanliness and orderliness" and apprehensions of violators of the city's 
anti-littering law over the holidays also discouraged people from throwing 
garbage in improper places, he said. 
The bulk of the Traslacion trash - mostly food packs and plastics - were 
collected from the Quiapo area, he said. 


PNP TO ASSESS COMPLAINTS VS TRASLACION COPS 

MANILA - Complaints against policemen who manned a mammoth procession of a 
black image of Jesus Christ in downtown Manila "will be assessed", the 
officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police said Friday. 
Thursday's Traslacion, which transports the 400-year-old Black Nazarene from 
the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church, ended earlier than usual after 
policemen took charge of the procession's start, instead of just securing 
its perimeter like in recent years. 
Some devotees, however, claimed policemen shoved them. Jun Veneracion, a 
journalist covering the event, also said southern Metro Manila police chief 
Brig. Gen. Nolasco Bathan snatched his phone and deleted his video of a 
scuffle between lawmen and devotees. 
"All of these thing will be assessed. If there is a need to investigate then 
we will investigate," PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa told 
radio DZMM. 
Gamboa, however, said he was "leaving everything" to the Metro Manila 
police, which had "powers to take the appropriate disciplinary measures" and 
submit recommendations to him. 
Officers should practice "maximum tolerance" towards devotees, he said. 
"Pero kung andoon ka mismo, siyempre tao rin naman ang mga kapulisan kaya 
nagkakaroon ng mga ganoong actuation," he added. 


EVACUATION OF PINOYS FROM IRAQ A GO EVEN AS TENSIONS SIMMER DOWN - CIMATU 

MANILA - The repatriation of Filipinos from Iraq will continue even as the 
United States and Iran have called it even following missile strikes there, 
a member of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet overseeing the evacuation 
said Thursday. 
Iran earlier said it had concluded its "proportionate" retaliation against 
the US after launching 22 ballistic missiles against Iraqi bases that hosted 
American and foreign troops on Wednesday. The attack was a calibrated 
response to the killing of a top Iranian general in a US air strike on Jan. 
3. 
"This is the time to get out while there are no military operations," 
Philippine Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu told reporters before leaving 
for Qatar, from where he would oversee evacuation efforts. 
"Sometimes there are some instances of a very surprise missile attack and 
they have the option to press the trigger and while we just anticipate 
things. We have to be ready in case there are incidents," added Cimatu, a 
former military chief and special envoy to the Middle East who in 2004 
secured the release of a Filipino hostage in Iraq. 
Fresh missile attacks, however, will automatically prompt the closure of 
Iraq's main airport in Baghdad. In this scenario, Filipinos will be 
evacuated by bus to neighboring Erbil, capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region, 
or Amman, Jordan, said Cimatu. 
Filipinos can only stay for 3 days in transit points before they have to fly 
elsewhere, arrangements for which were made with Philippine airline 
companies, said Cimatu. 
Analysts predict violent instability will keep blighting Iraq. 


ANGAT CAN MEET HOUSEHOLD DEMAND THROUGHOUT SUMMER: OFFICIAL 

MANILA -- Angat Dam can meet household demand for water in the Philippine 
capital through summer, until the onset of the wet season in June, the state 
agency overseeing the reservoir said Friday. 
Despite the "improved" water level at Angat, it cannot fully cover the 
irrigation needs of farmers in Central Luzon, National Water Resources Board 
Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. said. 
"Sa tingin naman po natin kaya natin ito i-maintain ito hanggang summer po 
bago umabot ang panahon ng tag-ulan," he told DZMM radio. 
Rains brought by Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone) in December increased the water 
level at Angat. 
Due to the increase in water level, allocation for Metro Manila's households 
will be adjusted to 42 cubic meters per second (cms) from the current 40 
cms. This, however, is still below the normal 46 cms. 
Water for irrigation meanwhile will be doubled to 20 cms from 10 cms, David 
said. 
"Patuloy pa rin po ang ating panawagan na gamitin ng tama ang tubig at 
magtipid po tayo para hindi naman masyado makaapekto itong kakulangan." he 
said. 
Angat Dam's declining level last year prompted a water shortage in Metro 
Manila that brought misery to thousands of households. 


US SENATE OKS RESOLUTION VS DE LIMA JAILERS 

MANILA - The United States Senate has approved a resolution seeking 
sanctions against Philippine officials involved in the detention of Sen. 
Leila de Lima and in extrajudicial killings in the conduct of the Duterte 
administration's war on drugs. 
Senate Resolution 142, authored by Sen. Edward Markey (Massachusetts), calls 
on US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions against concerned 
Philippine officials pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights 
Accountability Act. 
The resolution, passed yesterday, calls on the Philippine government to drop 
all charges against De Lima, remove restrictions on her personal and work 
conditions and allow her to fully discharge her legislative mandate, 
especially as chair of the Senate committee on social justice. 
It also calls on the US president to ensure that US security assistance 
provided to the Philippine National Police (PNP) is fully consistent with 
the human rights conditions mandated in section 36 of the Arms Export 
Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. 
The government was also urged to recognize the importance of human rights 
defenders and their work and allow them to operate freely without fear of 
reprisal. 
The government, the resolution stated, should guarantee freedom of the press 
and drop all charges against Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa. 
The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act allows the US 
government to impose sanctions on foreign government officials implicated in 
human rights abuses in any part of the world. 


DOTR BUDGET CUT BY P63 BILLION 

MANILA - The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is the biggest loser in the 
P4.1-trillion national budget signed by President Duterte last Monday after 
getting a P63-billion cut. 
The 2020 General Appropriations Bill passed by both the House and Senate 
reflected the P146-billion budget of DOTr as proposed by the executive 
branch. 
But during bicameral conference, lawmakers decided to slice the department's 
budget by P63.189 billion, based on its committee report obtained by The 
STAR. 
The bulk of the cut - P61.283 billion - was taken from the office of the 
secretary. 
The bicam, however, augmented the budget of DOTr-attached agencies by 
P16.540 billion. 
Of the agencies under the department, the Philippine Coast Guard got an 
increase of P3.9 billion in its P11.293-billion budget. 
The Maritime Industry Authority and Civil Aeronautics Board likewise 
received additional budgets of P50 million and P20 million, respectively. 
In total, the department gets a net decrease of P46.649 billion in its 2020 
budget, which dropped from the originally proposed P146.044 billion budget 
to P99.395 billion. 
This Duterte-approved budget, however, is still bigger than the agency's 
P67.67-billion budget in 2019. 


DUTERTE SIGNS SALARY LAW FOR 1.4 MILLION GOVERNMENT WORKERS 

MANILA - About 1.4 million government workers are expected to benefit from 
the Salary Standardization Law 5, which was signed by President Duterte on 
Wednesday evening. 
Duterte himself will have an eight percent salary increase this year based 
on the salary adjustments under the new law. 
The 74-year-old Duterte, who publicly complained that his salary is not 
enough to support his two families, enjoys Salary Grade 33, the compensation 
of the president of the Philippines as the highest position in the 
government. 
During the last tranche of the implementation of the SSL 4 in 2019, Duterte 
supposedly got an increase of almost P102,000 in his monthly salary. 
From P298,083 a month, Duterte's salary increased to P399,739 last year. 
Under the new law, the President gets an eight percent increase of about 
P31,979 per month and will get P431,718 a month when the final tranche is 
implemented. 
The SSL 5 also covers public school teachers and nurses. 
Upon full implementation, the law said basic salaries would increase by a 
weighted average of 23.24 percent by 2023. 
The law said employees under Salary Grades 10 to 15 would be granted the 
highest increase ranging from 20 to 30 percent, while those under SG 25 to 
33 would have the lowest increase of eight percent. 
The vice president, Senate president, House speaker and chief justice enjoy 
SG 32 while senators, congressmen, associate justices of the Supreme Court 
and the chairman of constitutional commission are under SG 31. 
Government workers under SG 1 to 10 would get an increased pay from 17.5 
percent to 20.5 percent over four years. 
Director Gerald Janda of the Department of Budget and Development said the 
law takes effect Jan. 1 this year. 


ZAMBOANGA CITY: MARTIAL LAW LIFTED BUT 'NO ID, NO ENTRY' POLICY TO REMAIN 

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Zamboanga City peace and order council will keep the 
city's 'no ID, no entry' policy in implementing heightened security after 
martial law in Mindanao lapsed at the start of the year. 
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the council on Thursday approved 
retaining the policy as a measure against potential terror threats. 
The military's Western Mindanao Command earlier said its intelligence units 
have stepped up their monitoring of Islamic State-linked local terror groups 
that might launch sympathy attacks over the death of Iranian general Qasem 
Suleimani in a US drone strike in Iraq. 
"The CPOC approved a resolution maintaining the 'No ID, No Entry' policy 
invoking the state of lawlessness in Mindanao and pursuant to Section 16 of 
the Constitution," Salazar said. 
Capt. Edwin Duco, spokesman of the Zamboanga City Police Office, said the ID 
policy was implemented in support of security measures adopted by the ZCPO, 
Joint Task Force Zamboanga and the other law enforcement agencies during the 
martial law period from 2017 to 2019. 
Duco said police and military assessments showed security threats continue 
to exist, which require proactive measures. 


MAJOR AFP SHAKEUP SEEN WITH 2 COMMANDERS' RETIREMENT 

MANILA - A major shakeup in the leadership of the military looms with the 
scheduled retirement of the Air Force commander next week and the Navy chief 
early next month. 
Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez is bowing out of the service on his 
56th birthday next Friday while Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral 
Robert Empedrad will retire on Feb. 3, his 56th birthday. 
Aside from the two key military posts that would be rendered vacant, the key 
posts of the Davao-based Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) and the 
Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) are still vacant following the designation 
of Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. as new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 
chief and Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay as new Army chief. 
Santos used to command Eastmincom while Gapay was formerly commander of the 
Lucena City-based Solcom. 
At least eight senior Air Force officers are in the running for Briguez's 
post, including AFP deputy chief of staff Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria, Air 
Force vice commander Maj. Gen. Peiagio Valenzuela, Air Logistics Command 
chief Maj. Gen. Allen Paredes and Air Education and Training Command chief 
Maj. Gen. Ferdinand Cartuiano. 
All the contenders are members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) 
Class of 1988. 


OVERWEIGHT COPS TOLD: LOSE WEIGHT OR RISK BEING PASSED OVER FOR PROMOTION 

MANILA - Overweight policemen who fail to improve their physique could be 
disqualified for promotion, the Philippine National Police's 
officer-in-charge warned Friday. 
Around 54 percent of policemen have a normal body mass index, while 36 
percent are overweight and 9 percent are obese, said PNP OIC Lt. Gen. Archie 
Gamboa. 
Overweight policemen will be barred from taking specialization and career 
courses, which are prerequisites for some plum posts and promotions, he 
said. 
"Magiging effect n'yan is (its effect will be the) possibility of 
non-promotion," he told radio DZMM. 
"Paano ka makakahabol ng kriminal kung ganyang malaki ka?" he added. 
Many policemen experience health problems after retiring from the service, 
noted Gamboa. 
"Very demanding ang trabaho ng kapulisan. 'Pag hindi healthy ang lifestyle 
mo during the service... magsa-suffer ka," he said. 
Even Metro Manila police chief Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas promised to "do 
something about his weight," Gamboa mentioned. 


'IPINAGLABAN KO SIYA': LIZA SOBERANO SEES FIRST LOVE ENRIQUE GIL AS HER LAST 

MANILA - "Ipinaglaban ko siya." These were the words of Liza Soberano on 
Thursday as she revealed for the first time that she went against her 
father's wishes when she entered her now-five-year relationship with Enrique 
Gil. 
Soberano, 22, made the candid admission during a press conference for "Make 
It With You," her fourth primetime series with Gil since 2014's 
"Forevermore." 
It was during the filming of their breakthrough drama when Soberano and 
Gils' onscreen partnership translated into real life. 
The beginning of their romance came up when the two were asked what they 
consider to be the "craziest" thing they have done to "make it with each 
other," after the series' title. 
"I think the craziest thing I wouldn't have expected myself to do is. 
Siyempre, 17 lang ako noong naging kami, so ipinaglaban ko 'yung 
relationship namin," Soberano said, prompting shrieks from fans who attended 
the media launch. 
"Kasi bawal pa ako magka-boyfriend noon, kaya lang matigas 'yung ulo ko," 
she added, laughing. 
Soberano recalled having a conversation with her father, John Castillo 
Soberano, where she managed to convince him to allow the relationship. 
"Sabi ko sa daddy ko: 'Masaya ako. Kung gusto mo ako maging masaya, 
papayagan mo ako.'" 
Half a decade since, Soberano has held on to that source of happiness - they 
celebrated their fifth anniversary in October 2019. The actress believes her 
first relationship will be her last, as she and Gil confirmed having talked 
about marriage. 
"Yes, po, I really believe so, 100%, in my heart," Gil said, when asked 
whether he sees himself with Soberano at the altar. 
Soberano added she would not think twice about saying "yes" when Gil does 
propose to her formally. 
"Siyempre, you can never say that you're fully ready or prepared for that 
big question, pero, no doubt, I will say 'yes,'" she said. 


NBA SCORES JAN 8 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Spurs 16-20    34    31    34    30    129 
team logo Celtics 25-10    22    25    36    31    114 
SCORING LEADERSD. DeRozan SA 
30 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST 
G. Hayward BOS 
18 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST 


FINAL/OT 
    1    2    3    4    OT    T 
team logo Raptors 25-13    29    31    22    18    12    112 
team logo Hornets 15-25    31    24    26    19    10    110 
SCORING LEADERST. Davis TOR 
23 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST 
T. Rozier CHA 
27 PTS, 0 REB, 3 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Wizards 12-25    23    29    20    17    89 
team logo Magic 18-20    32    37    28    26    123 
SCORING LEADERS 
    T. Brown Jr. WAS 
18 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST 
    N. Vucevic ORL 
29 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Heat 27-10    31    31    38    22    122 
team logo Pacers 23-15    23    26    23    36    108 
SCORING LEADERST. Herro MIA 
19 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST 
D. Sabonis IND 
27 PTS, 14 REB, 6 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Nuggets 26-11    27    29    30    21    107 
team logo Mavericks 23-14    32    27    30    17    106 
SCORING LEADERSN. Jokic DEN 
33 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST 
L. Doncic DAL 
27 PTS, 9 REB, 10 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Rockets 25-11    45    32    22    23    122 
team logo Hawks 8-30    29    33    23    30    115 
SCORING LEADERSJ. Harden HOU 
41 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST 
T. Young ATL 
42 PTS, 13 REB, 10 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Bulls 13-25    21    27    27    33    108 
team logo Pelicans 13-25    23    25    44    31    123 
SCORING LEADERS 
    Z. LaVine CHI 
32 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST 
    B. Ingram NO 
29 PTS, 8 REB, 11 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Knicks 10-28    29    24    16    35    104 
team logo Jazz 25-12    39    33    23    33    128 
SCORING LEADERS 
    F. Ntilikina NY 
16 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST 
    B. Bogdanovic UTA 
20 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST 


FINAL 
    1    2    3    4    T 
team logo Bucks 33-6    19    28    34    26    107 
team logo Warriors 9-30    19    20    33    26    98 
SCORING LEADERSG. Antetokounmpo MIL 
30 PTS, 13 REB, 4 AST 
A. Burks GS 
19 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST 

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