World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
24 January 2020

DUTERTE THREATENS TO END VFA IF US FAILS TO 'CORRECT' BATO VISA CANCELLATION

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday threatened to terminate the
Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States unless Washington
"corrects" the cancellation of Sen. Bato dela Rosa's visa in one month.
"I'm warning you, this is the first time. Kapag hindi ninyo ginawa ang
correction diyan. One, I will terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement.
Tapusin ko yang p***** *** na 'yan," Duterte said in a speech in San Isidro,
Leyte.
"I am giving notice and they begin to count. I am giving government and the
American government one month from now."
Signed in 1998, the VFA allows American and Filipino troops to conduct joint
trainings in Philippine soil.
Dela Rosa confirmed to media Wednesday that the US canceled his visa but
did not specify why it was revoked. He said, however, that he was informed
that he could apply again.
The senator believes the cancellation was due to allegations of
extrajudicial killings during his stint as the chief of the Philippine
National Police.


'UNFORTUNATE, UNNECESSARY': LACSON FROWNS ON DUTERTE'S THREAT TO CANCEL
PH-US VFA

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to terminate the Philippines'
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States over Washington's
cancellation of Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa's visa is "difficult to
understand," Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Thursday.
"Visa is a conditional authorization given by a country to visiting
foreigners which may be granted, cancelled, and even denied. The VFA is a
bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the US that went through
some back and forth discussions prior to Senate ratification but not without
intense plenary deliberation," Lacson told reporters in a text message.
"It is therefore difficult to understand the connection between the two."
Asked when how Duterte's threat will affect the relations of the two
countries, Lacson said: "It will depend on how the US will react to the
President's threat which would say is unfortunate and unnecessary."
Duterte earlier Thursday gave US a month to reverse the visa cancellation of
Dela Rosa, who spearheaded his bloody war on drugs during his stint as
Philippine National Police chief.
"I am warning you, kapag hindi ninyo ginawa ang correction diyan (if you
don't issue a correction), I will terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement,"
the President said in a speech in San Isidro, Leyte.
Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said in a statement
that the President's threat "can make the US Senate rethink their wrong
perception about our justice system."
"He is the President, the buck stops with him."
Dela Rosa on Wednesday confirmed the US revoked his 10-year multiple entry
visa but noted that Washington gave no explanation as to when and why his
visa was cancelled.
He, however, said the cancellation might be linked to his supposed
involvement in the extrajudicial killings (EJK) allegedly perpetrated by
police under Duterte's intensified campaign against narcotics.


DUTERTE: WE SHOULD KILL 'CRAZY RICH PEOPLE'

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out again on Thursday against
business tycoons.
Duterte accused leaders of Metro Manila's water distributors of being
"thieves" and said "crazy rich" people should be killed, as he spoke with
former rebels in San Isidro, Leyte.
"But Philippines has been gravely fooled by the rich people in the
Philippines. Just like Ayala and Pangilinan who own Globe and Smart. They
are all thieves, those sons of b******. That's the whole truth," the
President said in Visayan.
"There are rich people in the Philippines who are crazy. They're the ones
whom we should kill," Duterte said.
"They are listening now because this is being broadcasted nationwide. Well
it's good for them to hear this. They have violated the rights of people.
They are just distributors of water yet they have become millionaires
because they overpowered the Filipino. That's why I am angry at them," he
added.
Duterte has repeatedly lashed out against water concessionaires Maynilad and
Manila Water, saying the two firms' contracts with the government "rip off"
the public.
Manila Water is part of the Ayala group of companies, while Maynilad is
jointly owned by DMCI Holdings Inc and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., the
latter headed by Manny Pangilinan.
"Just wait for my go signal. Behind a killing is a leader, especially if his
followers are stupid and would just fire whenever they are told to."
The President previously said he wanted to send billionaires to jail.
"Pag nagkamali yang g*g*ng yan, ipakukulong ko talaga sila," he said in
speech last Dec. 30.


CHINA VIRUS DEATH TOLL MOUNTS TO 25, MORE THAN 800 INFECTED

BEIJING - A new coronavirus has killed 25 people in China and infected more
than 800, the government said on Friday, as the World Health Organisation
declared it an emergency but stopped short of declaring the epidemic of
international concern.
China's National Health Commission said 830 cases had been confirmed so far
and 25 people had died as of Thursday. Most of the cases are in the central
Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated late
last year.
Non-fatal cases have been found in at least seven other countries.
Health officials fear the transmission rate could accelerate as hundreds of
millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for
the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.
Nonetheless, it was a "bit too early" to consider the outbreak a "Public
Health Emergency of International Concern," WHO Emergency Committee panel
chair Didier Houssin said after the body met in Geneva. Such a designation
would have required countries to step up the international response.
"Make no mistake, though, this is an emergency in China," said WHO chief
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"It has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one," he
said.
Meanwhile, Wuhan is rapidly building a new 1,000-bed hospital to treat
victims of a new coronavirus, mobilizing machinery to get it ready by early
next week, state media said.
The new hospital is being built around a holiday complex originally intended
for local workers, set in gardens by a lake on the outskirts of the city,
the official Changjiang Daily reported on Friday. Prefabricated buildings,
which will have 1,000 beds, will be put up, it said.


135 CHINESE TOURISTS FROM WUHAN TO RETURN HOME: AVIATION OFFICIAL

MANILA - All 135 tourists from Wuhan province in China who arrived in
Kalibo, Aklan on Thursday will be returned to their point of origin, an
aviation official said Friday, as more countries record cases of the
mysterious new coronavirus.
Philippine carriers Royal Air Charter and Pan Pacific Airline will launch 4
flights to take the tourists back to Wuhan, according to Wyrlou Samodio,
chief of Civil Aeronautics Board's legal division.
Samodio did not give details about the schedule of the flights.
"Kailangan po nilang bumalik dahil sila po ay turista lang dito," he told
radio DZMM.
The passengers arrived in Aklan before the Philippines announced that it was
halting flights to and from the central Chinese city where the virus
originated.
Health officials earlier cleared from the illness 3 Chinese tourists with
influenza-like symptoms who arrived in Kalibo. A flight attendant also
placed herself in "self-quarantine" after exhibiting symptoms of
coronavirus.
The illness has been reported in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong and
reached other countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the
US.


HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SAYS DELA ROSA MAY FACE 'BIGGER' PROBLEMS THAN CANCELED
US VISA SOON

MANILA - Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, one of the architects of President
Rodrigo Duterte's bloody drug war, may soon face "far bigger" problems than
a canceled US visa, the Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
HRW's Asia Advocacy Director John Sifton said that former top cop Dela Rosa
"may still have a date with justice" and "may soon enough face far bigger
problems than trouble with his visa to the United States."
Dela Rosa said the US embassy did not specify why his visa was revoked but
he was informed that he could apply again.
The senator believed the cancellation of his visa was due to allegations of
extrajudicial killings during his stint as the chief of the Philippine
National Police.
Sifton said that with the revocation of Dela Rosa's visa, the US State
Department "has exercised its authority to deny visas to persons implicated
in gross human rights abuses."
"The next step is for the US government to make clear that this policy
extends to all members of the government who are implicated in mass killings
associated with the 'drug war,'" Sifton added.


PH SETS 2 CONDITIONS FOR LIFTING OF KUWAIT DEPLOYMENT BAN

MANILA - The Philippines will lift its total deployment ban of migrant
workers to Kuwait on 2 conditions: the signing of a template contract for
Filipino workers and when the Gulf State shows "earnest efforts" to deliver
justice to slain household worker Jeanelyn Villavende, Labor Secretary
Silvestre Bello III said Friday.
Bello said he would receive Friday the official autopsy report conducted by
Kuwait's Ministry of Interior on Villavende's remains.
The labor chief initially received a two-sentence report of Kuwait's autopsy
saying Villavende died of "physical injuries," prompting Philippine
authorities to conduct its own autopsy, which then showed the migrant worker
was sexually abused and tortured.
The initial report was done by Kuwait's Ministry of Health, which did not
conduct the autopsy, Bello said, citing information from Kuwait Ambassador
Ahmad Althwaikh.
"Sa'kin naman, di naman importante kung aling minister, ang gusto ko lang
'yung tamang report," he told radio DZMM.
"Sinabi ko naman noon na 2 kondisyon ang kailangan (para ma-lift ang
deployment ban). Hopefully makukuha natin 'yung standard employment contract
and hopefully we can also see na merong earnest effort on their part na
mabigyan ng katarungan si Jeanelyn."
Villavende's employers, who are behind the murder, have been detained, while
the agency who sent her to Kuwait has been suspended, Bello said.
The country last imposed a total deployment ban to the Gulf state in 2018
after Filipina migrant worker Joanna Demafelis was slain and discovered
inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment there. Her employer was found
guilty for her slay.


DOH: STILL NO CONFIRMED CASE OF NCOV IN PHILIPPINES

MANILA - While the Philippines still has no case of the new viral illness
that has infected hundreds of people, the Department of Health (DOH)
admitted yesterday that the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) could
spread to the country.
"So far we don't have any confirmed cases of 2019-nCov," Health
Undersecretary Eric Domingo told reporters.
Domingo noted that cases of 2019-nCoV were recorded in several countries,
including the United States, so the possibility of the virus spreading to
the Philippines is no longer theoretical.
"We have a case waiting for confirmation and there is a case in the US,
which is farther and supposedly at lower risk," he said.
Domingo said the strategy adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) is
to enable every country to identify, isolate, contain and manage cases of
2019-nCoV.
As of last night, Domingo said the DOH was still waiting for the results of
the swab samples taken from the five-year-old Chinese boy in Cebu City, who
tested positive for coronavirus.
"The laboratory results from Melbourne, Australia may come out today or
Saturday at the earliest," he said.
Domingo said the boy is recovering and doing well, but remains confined in a
Cebu hospital.


'STRONGEST' ASH EMISSION IN PAST FEW DAYS SHOWS TAAL STILL ACTIVE: PHIVOLCS

MANILA - Taal Volcano spewed more ash on Friday morning, proof that magma
continued to churn beneath its volcano's surface, state seismologists said.
The ash emission, which started at 5:11 a.m. was the "strongest in the past
few days," Taal resident volcanologist Paolo Reniva said.
Taal has a 30-percent chance of a hazardous eruption and residents should
stay out of danger zones, especially the volcano island where steam-driven
or phreatic eruptions could occur, said Phivolcs officer-in-charge Renato
Solidum.
"Ito ay patunay na may aktibidad pa sa ilalim kasi nandyan pa po ang magma
at 'yung tubig diyan ay napapakuluan. Wala lang masyadong puwersa para
magkaroon ng pagsabog pero 'yung steaming eh nag-increase nang konti,"
Phivolcs officer-in-charge Renato Solidum told radio DZMM.
"Pag nabara 'yung usok na 'yan, s'yempre magkakaroon ng pressure. Baka
sumabog," he said.
"'Yung 3 out of 10 chances or 30 percent, mataas po yun. Kung ang
pag-uusapan ay mas maliit na pagsabog, mas mataas pa po ang tiyansa.
The volcano remains under alert level 4, the second-highest in a 5-step
warning system, meaning a "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within
hours to days," according to Phivolcs.
Towns and cities under lockdown could change as authorities identify areas
in danger of base surge, or volcanic particles that rush down from volcano's
slopes, said Col. Edwin Quilates, Batangas provincial police chief.
"Magre-readjust po kami ng control points at lockdown area," Quilates told
radio DZMM.
"Maaaring magbago ang terminology natin ngayong araw. Maaaring bitawan na
natin yung terminology na 14-km danger zone. Baka gamitin na natin yung base
surge dun sa mapping ng Phivolcs."
The Taal Volcano Network, which can record small earthquakes undetectable by
the PSN, recorded 486 volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours.


BIFF AMBUSH IN NORTH COTABATO LEAVES SOLDIER DEAD, ANOTHER WOUNDED

COTABATO CITY - Security officials believe members of the Dawlah Islamiyah,
also called the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, are behind the murder
of an off-duty and the wounding of another in Midsayap town in North
Cotabato on Thursday.
PFC Meljay Bernal and his companion, Cpl. Earl Tabaranza, both of the 34th
Infantry Battalion, were riding a motorcycle to the town proper of Midsayap
from their base in an interior area of the town when they were attacked.
Police Lt. Col. John Calinga, chief of the Midsayap municipal police, said
Friday that Bernal died on the spot.
The group has killed more than 20 off-duty soldiers and police officers in
retaliatory attacks in the past four years.
The Dawlah Islamiya also has a reputation for bombing non-military targets,
including commercial establishments, in response to military operations
against them.


NEW PNP DIRECTORIAL STAFF CHIEF NAMED

MANILA - A former director of the Western Visayas police was promoted as
chief of the directorial staff of the Philippine National Police.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa designated Maj. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne
Binag to the fourth highest position in the PNP.
"He will supervise and synchronize the functions of the PNP directorial
staff offices in support of the operations of police regional offices and
national support units," Gamboa told a press briefing yesterday.
Binag, a member of Philippine Military Academy Hinirang Class of 1987,
served as police director of Central Visayas for a year before he was named
head of the Western Visayas police.
Prior to his new appointment, Binag headed the Directorate for Information
and Communication Technology Management (DICTM).
Brig. Gen. Dionardo Carlos, former commander of the Highway Patrol Group
(HPG) will replace Binag at the DICTM.
Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz was appointed HPG director.


JAMES REID, MAY PROYEKTO KASAMA ANG GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER NA SI
ILLMIND

Magkakaroon ng project si James Reid kasama ang Grammy-award winning Fil-Am
producer na si Illmind.
Nagkita ang dalawa sa Los Angeles, California para pag-usapan ang gagawing
proyekto.
Ibinahagi ni James ang meeting nila ni Illmind sa kanyang Instagram.


MAYMAY ENTRATA, SUPERMODEL ANG PEG SA BAGONG LARAWAN

Supermodel ang peg at aura ni Maymay Entrata sa larawan na ibinahagi niya sa
kanyang Instagram.
Sa kanyang post, makikitang nakasuot si Maymay ng violet dress at may rosas
pa na nakatali sa kanyang buhok.
Palaisipan naman sa mga netizen kung para saan ang bagong larawan na
ibinahagi ni Maymay.


NBA SCORES JAN 22


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo 76ers 29-17    35    15    22    23    95
team logo Raptors 30-14    26    24    26    31    107
SCORING LEADERST. Harris PHI
22 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST
F. VanVleet TOR
22 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Thunder 26-19    24    36    32    28    120
team logo Magic 21-24    21    30    38    25    114
SCORING LEADERS
    D. Schroder OKC
31 PTS, 3 REB, 9 AST
    T. Ross ORL
26 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Kings 15-29    27    23    25    31    106
team logo Pistons 17-28    26    31    36    34    127
SCORING LEADERS
    D. Fox SAC
22 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST
    C. Wood DET
23 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Lakers 35-9    28    20    28    24    100
team logo Knicks 12-33    25    23    22    22    92
SCORING LEADERSA. Davis LAL
28 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST
M. Morris NY
20 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST


FINAL/OT
    1    2    3    4    OT    T
team logo Wizards 14-29    27    23    33    35    11    129
team logo Heat 31-13    30    39    21    28    16    134
SCORING LEADERSB. Beal WAS
38 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST
T. Herro MIA
25 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Clippers 31-14    32    28    15    20    95
team logo Hawks 11-34    16    25    28    33    102
SCORING LEADERSM. Harrell LAC
30 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST
J. Collins ATL
33 PTS, 16 REB, 2 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Grizzlies 20-24    27    17    19    32    95
team logo Celtics 29-14    25    33    41    20    119
SCORING LEADERSJ. Valanciunas MEM
16 PTS, 13 REB, 1 AST
J. Tatum BOS
23 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Nuggets 30-14    28    15    28    34    105
team logo Rockets 27-16    35    25    32    29    121
SCORING LEADERSN. Jokic DEN
19 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST
R. Westbrook HOU
28 PTS, 16 REB, 8 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Timberwolves 15-29    26    26    27    31    110
team logo Bulls 17-29    35    24    22    36    117
SCORING LEADERS
    K. Towns MIN
40 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST
    Z. LaVine CHI
25 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Pacers 29-16    30    24    29    29    112
team logo Suns 18-26    24    24    17    22    87
SCORING LEADERS
    T. Warren IND
25 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST
    K. Oubre Jr. PHO
17 PTS, 9 REB, 0 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Spurs 20-23    31    29    34    27    121
team logo Pelicans 17-28    24    27    31    35    117
SCORING LEADERSL. Aldridge SA
32 PTS, 14 REB, 2 AST
Z. Williamson NO
22 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Jazz 31-13    31    34    35    29    129
team logo Warriors 10-36    17    26    26    27    96
SCORING LEADERS
    D. Mitchell UTA
23 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST
    D. Russell GS
26 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST

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