World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
29 January 2020

PH CONSULATE TO BRING HOME PINOYS FROM CHINA'S VIRUS-HIT HUBEI PROVINCE

MANILA - Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. has ordered the Philippine
consulate in Shanghai to start processing the repatriation of Filipinos in
China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
outbreak.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for Civilian Security and
Consular Concerns Brigido J. Dulay, in a tweet on Tuesday, said "2 private
charter airlines are on standby to fly to Hubei to bring our people home
upon clearance by Chinese authorities."
Filipinos in the area who wish to go home should contact the Philippine
Consulate General in Shanghai through the following Hotline No.: (+86) 1391
747-7112
The repatriated Filipinos will undergo quarantine, as per protocol of the
Department of Health.
Meanwhile, the DFA said Filipinos who wish to stay in China should heed
health advisories from local authorities. They should also cooperate in
efforts to stop the further spread of the 2019-nCoV.
Filipinos in affected areas needing medical assistance and treatment should
immediately go to the nearest medical facility.
In cases of emergency, Filipinos in Hubei province may contact the
Philippine consulate in Shanghai, or any of the two 24-hour hotlines
established by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: +86-27-8712-2256 and
+86-27-8781-1173.
Filipinos may also call the MFA hotlines should they need assistance and
supplies, among others.
Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana earlier said 150 Filipinos
in Hubei's Wuhan city are running out of supplies like food and water amid
the lockdown in the area.
The Philippines remains free from a fast-spreading coronavirus from China,
the health department said Tuesday, even as it monitored 27 suspected cases
of the respiratory disease.


2 CHINESE CRUISE SHIPS ARRIVE IN MANILA

MANILA — Two cruise ships one from Hong Kong and another from China docked
in Manila this week, with over 1,400 Chinese passengers allowed to
disembark.
But the ship from Hong Kong, which arrived yesterday, was not allowed to
proceed to Subic and both vessels were ordered to return to their ports of
origin.
The cruise ship passengers were found to be free of symptoms of the novel
coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, Philippine health officials assured the public.
Turning back the ships, however, was seen as part of measures to prevent the
spread of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines.
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman Capt. Armand Balilo said they
received notice from port authorities in Subic prohibiting the entry of the
World Dream cruise ship with 778 passengers from Hong Kong.
“The trip of the cruise ship World Dream to Subic has been cancelled. It’s
leaving today (Tuesday) on its return trip to Hong Kong. The port state
control has given us notice that the ship is not allowed in Subic,” Balilo
said.
The port state control is the PCG’s arm that controls the entry of foreign
shipping in the Philippines.
The other Chinese vessel, MV Ligulao, arrived on Monday in Manila from
Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China. It is set to leave today, the coast guard said.
It was carrying 700 passengers.
Based on reports, at least eight confirmed cases of coronavirus have been
recorded in Hong Kong and 4,500 confirmed cases in China. Death toll stood
at 106 as of yesterday morning.
Asked if the passengers were cleared of nCoV, Balilo answered in the
affirmative.


‘NO ORDER TO BAN CHINESE FROM PHILIPPINES’

MANILA — Malacañang sees no need to bar Chinese – even those from Wuhan –
from entering the Philippines even as the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has
suspended the issuance of visa-upon-arrival (VUA) to Chinese nationals.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo yesterday urged Filipinos in China to
follow rules enforced by the Beijing government for preventing the spread of
the novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, whose origins have been traced to Wuhan
City.
The move followed reports of lockdown in several cities in China,
particularly in Hubei province where the deadly virus originated and had
already killed dozens.
Chinese tourists in groups usually secure VUAs upon entering the country.
“The Civil Aeronautics Board has already suspended direct flights from
Wuhan,” said BI chief Jaime Morente. “We are now temporarily suspending the
issuance of VUA for Chinese nationals to slow down the influx of group
tours.”
But he stressed there is no ban on Chinese nationals.
Taiwan immigration authorities, according to an article in the Taipei Times,
have cancelled entry permits for 429 people in 24 tour groups from Wuhan.
“We have not received any directive imposing policy changes on Chinese
nationals,” said Morente. “But we are taking this proactive measure to slow
down travel and possibly help prevent the entry of the 2019-nCov.”
Any change in policy on dealing with the matter, he said, would be made by
the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Office of the President, as advised
by the Department of Health (DOH).


CHINA CONFIRMS 5,974 VIRUS CASES, EXCEEDING NATION'S SARS TOTAL

WUHAN, China — The number of confirmed cases in the new virus outbreak in
China reached 5,974 on Wednesday, overtaking the number of people infected
in the mainland by the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003.
China's national health commission reported more than 1,400 confirmed new
cases on Wednesday, as the death toll rose to 132.
There were 5,327 confirmed cases in mainland China during the Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome epidemic.
That outbreak killed more than 770 people globally, including 349 in
mainland China.
Some experts have praised Beijing for being more reactive and open about the
new virus compared to its handling of the SARS crisis.
But others say local officials had earlier been more focused on projecting
stability than responding to the outbreak when it began to spread earlier
this month.
Japan and the US evacuated nationals from hard-hit Wuhan city at the center
of the outbreak on Wednesday.


JAPAN TO HELP PHILIPPINES TEST SUSPECTED CORONAVIRUS CASES: HEALTH CHIEF

MANILA - Japanese experts will help the Philippines screen potential cases
of a novel coronavirus outbreak that the world is trying to contain,
Manila's health minister said Wednesday.
A government research institute in Muntinlupa can only check for the
presence of coronavirus, but cannot identify whether this is the same strain
that has killed more than 100 since emerging from China a few weeks ago,
said Health Secretary Francisco Duque.
Authorities are checking 24 suspected cases of the novel coronavirus
(2019-nCoV) locally, their specimens sent to experts in Australia for
laboratory tests. Three other people earlier tested negative for the new
pathogen, he said.
Japan will give the Philippines a "primer" that can determine whether the
coronavirus that infected a patient has the same genetic code as the strain
from China, eliminating the need to consult Australian experts.
"Tumatagal ang panahon dito sa Australia e. Sabi ko, no, kailangan magkaroon
tayo ng sariling kakayanan. Tutulong ang Japanese na magbibigay po sa atin
nitong primer," he told DZMM.
Authorities will bring home Filipinos from the Chinese central city of
Wuhan, where the 2019-nCoV was first detected, the foreign department said
Tuesday.
The health department is checking where it can quarantine travelers from
Wuhan for 14 days, the incubation period for the novel coronavirus, said
Duque.
China said Wednesday deaths due to the novel coronavirus had risen to 132
with nearly 6,000 people infected. Governments and companies around the
world have warned against travel to China and readied their citizens there
for possible repatriation.


DUTERTE NAMES HONEYLET’S COUSIN TO GOVERNMENT POST

MANILA — President Duterte has appointed the cousin of his partner Honeylet
Avanceña to the newly formed housing agency.
Melissa Avanceña Aradanas was named assistant secretary of the Department of
Human Settlements and Urban Development on Jan. 21, a list of appointments
that Malacañang released yesterday showed.
The agency, which was formed in February last year through Republic Act
11201, is the main planning and policymaking entity for all housing, human
settlement and urban development concerns.
Aradanas was one of the officials of the Presidential Commission on Urban
Poor who were fired in December 2017 over alleged unnecessary foreign trips.
She was appointed deputy secretary general of the Housing and Urban
Development Coordinating Council three months later.
Malacañang, through then presidential spokesman Harry Roque, had defended
Aradanas’ reappointment, saying “no one can question the inherent power of
the President to appoint anyone.”
Meanwhile, Duterte renewed the appointment of Budget Secretary Wendel
Avisado, who was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments last month.


PHILIPPINE NAVY HAS FIRST FEMALE COMMODORE

MANILA — For the first time in the history of the Philippine Navy (PN), a
female member has been promoted to star rank, equivalent to a brigadier
general.
Capt. Luzviminda Camacho received her first star during yesterday’s donning
of ranks at Camp Aguinaldo, where she serves as chief of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines-Office of Legislative Affairs (AFP-OLA).
“She made history as the first female commodore in the Philippine Navy,”
Capt. Jonathan Zata, AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief, said.
Camacho, who entered the service through the Navy Officers Candidate Course
(OCS), was the first woman officer in the Navy to command a navy warship,
following a series of sea duties that included serving as engineering
officer of a naval gunboat.
She was the first female commander of a contingent of Filipino peacekeepers
sent by the government to Haiti.
Camacho joined two other senior military officers who were also promoted to
the next rank yesterday.
Promoted to the rank of lieutenant general was Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan,
commander the Cebu-based Central Command (Centcom).
Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service
(CRS), was promoted to major general.
“The promotion of generals and senior officers in the military signified the
advancement in their career as soldiers. it also implies bigger and more
crucial responsibilities that they have to carry toward the attainment of
the AFP’s mission,” Zata said.


FALSE VIRUS NEWS CAN DRAG 'BETTER PREPARED' PHILIPPINES: EX-SARS FIGHTER

MANILA -- Fighting misinformation risks eating into the Philippine
government's resources that would otherwise be spent on dealing with the new
coronavirus that the world is trying to contain, said Manila's former health
minister who led the response to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS) nearly two decades ago.
Compared to SARS, the Philippines is "better prepared" to respond to the
novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China as negative pressure or isolation
chambers and quarantine procedures are in place, said former health
secretary Manuel Dayrit.
"Disinformation may cause public confusion, and cause wasteful deployment of
resources in efforts to verify and to take corrective action," said Dayrit,
also a former dean of the Ateneo School of Medicine who served at the World
Health Organization in Geneva after his stint at the Department of Health.
"The downside is that false news and maliciously-manufactured information
can really confuse and scare people," he told ABS-CBN News in an email
interview.


STAGE SET FOR PRURIDE PH CYCLING FESTIVAL

MANILA — Once again, insurance and investment firm Pru Life UK is presenting
its award-winning cycling event, the PRURide PH, from March 11 to 15.
The event, which was launched in 2016, is expected to draw more than 2,500
cyclists, including local and international professionals, that will vie 10
high-octane categories.
“We are excited to launch PRURide PH 2020 after the success of our first
three editions,” said Pru Life UK senior vice president and chief customer
marketing officer Allan Tumbaga in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Amelie Hotel
Manila.
The challenging three-day race is accredited by the Union Cycliste
Internationale, the world-governing body in the sport, as a 2.2 stage race.
It will be the first UCI-sanctioned race in the Philippines this year and
for the second straight year is included in the UCI world calendar.


MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE SUSPECT ARRESTED

Manila — Another police officer tagged in the Maguindao massacre was
arrested on Monday.
Police Officer 1 Suari Esmail Pagabangan was apprehended at his hideout at
the boundary of Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat and Sultan Sa Barongis, Maguindano
at around 12:30 p.m.
A reward of P300,000 has been offered for information leading to
Pagabangan’s arrest.
Lt. Col. Barney Condes of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion said
Pagabangan was under surveillance for a week.
Pagabangan is the fourth suspect and second police officer taken into
custody after the promulgation of the Maguindanao massacre case last month.
Last week, PO1 Ysmael Baraguir surrendered in Barangay Linandangan in
Pagalungan town.
A total of 76 other suspects remain at large.


‘KAYO NA NI JANELLA?’ JOSHUA'S PRANK CALL GOES AWRY

MANILA — The unwitting target of Joshua Garcia’s prank call, Dimples Romana,
did not realize her sensitive words to her “Block Z” co-star would be aired
on radio, and heard by a celebrity once romantically involved with the
actor.
Garcia picked Romana as his prank call victim as he, along with his former
girlfriend Julia Barretto and other “Block Z” cast members, promoted the
zombie flick on MOR 101.9 on Wednesday.
When Garcia told Romana he was about to confess a secret, Romana guessed two
things: that he and Barretto are back together, or that he and his current
onscreen partner Janella Salvador are now a couple.
Garcia and Salvador’s “love team” was launched in the recently concluded
drama series “The Killer Bride” — after the controversial falling out
between Garcia and Barretto, who were formerly an onscreen tandem as well.
Early this month, Barretto made headlines when she appeared to unfollow both
Garcia and Salvador’s accounts on Instagram, just after the actor shared a
sweet photo with his new leading lady.
When Romana, in the prank call, brought up the two women, Garcia diverted
the topic to his “confession” of having a brewing romance with McCoy de
Leon, also their “Block Z” co-actor.
When Romana candidly quipped that de Leon is “happy with his love life,” the
ruse was exposed — as the actor rushed to stop Romana from saying more,
indicating that his romance wasn’t yet known to the public.


RATINGS: CARDO PREVAILS OVER LATEST CHALLENGER

MANILA — Cardo remained the far-and-away king of Philippine TV on Monday as
he defeated, yet again, a new challenger in terms of nationwide viewership.
“FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” which for over four years has followed the
adventures of the heroic Cardo (Coco Martin), was unmoved from the top spot
against the debut of “Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday.”
ABS-CBN’s primetime stalwart, in fact, registered double the viewership of
its latest rival, with 33.8% versus 16.7%, according to Kantar Media.
Throughout its top-rating run since September 2015, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano”
has made a mark on Philippine pop culture, with Cardo’s seeming
“immortality” spawning memes online and references in other programs.
In terms of enduring relevance and unwavering viewership, the Dreamscape
Entertainment production is unparalleled — a fact even stars of its former
rival programs have acknowledged, with the likes of Dennis Trillo and
Dingdong Dantes congratulating Martin on the show’s continued success.
With portrayed conflicts as grave as the protecting a fictional president
from assassination, Martin has teased that “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” is poised
to go international this year, with the inclusion of foreign actors and the
filming of scenes overseas, on top of larger-scale action sequences.


HIDILYN DIAZ CLINCHES GOLDS AT WEIGHTLIFTING WORLD CUP

MANILA - Hidilyn Diaz took home 3 gold medals in the 2020 Weightlifting
World Cup in Rome on Tuesday.
She topped the snatch (93 kilograms), clean and jerk (119 kg), and overall
lift (212 kg) in the women's 55-kilogram division.
Diaz's dominant showing in clean and jerk enabled her to beat competitors
from Ukraine, Tunisia, among others.
She is looking to return to the Olympics after 3 straight stints, the last
one capped by a silver medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic berths will be handed out after the Asian
championships in Kazakhstan in April.
Diaz, who has been in Rome since Jan. 18 training for the Cup, told ABS-CBN
News there's no time for complacency as she still has a lot to prepare for
the Olympics.
"Marami pa kaming kailangan gawin para sa Tokyo 2020," she said.
She said China will be one of the countries she expects to give her a run
for the money, followed by Kazahkstan and Uzbekistan.
"If we're ready, if we're willing to give everything with guts, kayang-kaya
po natin," said Diaz, who has been on a roll the past few years, bagging
gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
After winning in the SEA Games, Diaz chose not to spend the holidays in her
home province and instead prepared for the World Cup.
"People wonder why I am not home in Zamboanga for the holidays," she wrote
on Instagram late December.
"As we get closer and closer to #tokyo2020 I can't stop my training since we
are 4 weeks out from competition (World Cup). These are the sacrifices us
athletes and coaches make to achieve the dream for our country and I am
grateful for my coaches."


NBA SCORES JAN 27


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Cavaliers 13-34    24    29    36    26    115
team logo Pistons 17-31    23    22    27    28    100
SCORING LEADERSC. Sexton CLE
23 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST
R. Jackson DET
16 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Magic 21-27    21    27    23    21    92
team logo Heat 32-14    31    23    31    28    113
SCORING LEADERSN. Vucevic ORL
13 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST
D. Robinson MIA
21 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Mavericks 29-17    25    34    29    19    107
team logo Thunder 28-20    22    25    30    20    97
SCORING LEADERSL. Doncic DAL
29 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST
D. Schroder OKC
21 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Spurs 20-26    28    20    37    24    109
team logo Bulls 19-30    21    29    25    35    110
SCORING LEADERSD. DeRozan SA
36 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST
Z. LaVine CHI
23 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST


FINAL/OT
    1    2    3    4    OT    T
team logo Kings 17-29    24    26    28    41    14    133
team logo Timberwolves 15-32    37    31    29    22    10    129
SCORING LEADERSB. Hield SAC
42 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
A. Wiggins MIN
36 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Rockets 29-17    28    31    28    39    126
team logo Jazz 32-14    20    26    29    42    117
SCORING LEADERSE. Gordon HOU
50 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST
D. Mitchell UTA
36 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for Civilian Security and
Consular Concerns Brigido J. Dulay, in a tweet on Tuesday, said "2 private
charter airlines are on standby to fly to Hubei to bring our people home
upon clearance by Chinese authorities."
Filipinos in the area who wish to go home should contact the Philippine
Consulate General in Shanghai through the following Hotline No.: (+86) 1391
747-7112
The repatriated Filipinos will undergo quarantine, as per protocol of the
Department of Health.
Meanwhile, the DFA said Filipinos who wish to stay in China should heed
health advisories from local authorities. They should also cooperate in
efforts to stop the further spread of the 2019-nCoV.
Filipinos in affected areas needing medical assistance and treatment should
immediately go to the nearest medical facility.
In cases of emergency, Filipinos in Hubei province may contact the
Philippine consulate in Shanghai, or any of the two 24-hour hotlines
established by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: +86-27-8712-2256 and
+86-27-8781-1173.
Filipinos may also call the MFA hotlines should they need assistance and
supplies, among others.
Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana earlier said 150 Filipinos
in Hubei's Wuhan city are running out of supplies like food and water amid
the lockdown in the area.
The Philippines remains free from a fast-spreading coronavirus from China,
the health department said Tuesday, even as it monitored 27 suspected cases
of the respiratory disease.


2 CHINESE CRUISE SHIPS ARRIVE IN MANILA

MANILA — Two cruise ships one from Hong Kong and another from China docked
in Manila this week, with over 1,400 Chinese passengers allowed to
disembark.
But the ship from Hong Kong, which arrived yesterday, was not allowed to
proceed to Subic and both vessels were ordered to return to their ports of
origin.
The cruise ship passengers were found to be free of symptoms of the novel
coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, Philippine health officials assured the public.
Turning back the ships, however, was seen as part of measures to prevent the
spread of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines.
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman Capt. Armand Balilo said they
received notice from port authorities in Subic prohibiting the entry of the
World Dream cruise ship with 778 passengers from Hong Kong.
“The trip of the cruise ship World Dream to Subic has been cancelled. It’s
leaving today (Tuesday) on its return trip to Hong Kong. The port state
control has given us notice that the ship is not allowed in Subic,” Balilo
said.
The port state control is the PCG’s arm that controls the entry of foreign
shipping in the Philippines.
The other Chinese vessel, MV Ligulao, arrived on Monday in Manila from
Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China. It is set to leave today, the coast guard said.
It was carrying 700 passengers.
Based on reports, at least eight confirmed cases of coronavirus have been
recorded in Hong Kong and 4,500 confirmed cases in China. Death toll stood
at 106 as of yesterday morning.
Asked if the passengers were cleared of nCoV, Balilo answered in the
affirmative.


‘NO ORDER TO BAN CHINESE FROM PHILIPPINES’

MANILA — Malacañang sees no need to bar Chinese – even those from Wuhan –
from entering the Philippines even as the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has
suspended the issuance of visa-upon-arrival (VUA) to Chinese nationals.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo yesterday urged Filipinos in China to
follow rules enforced by the Beijing government for preventing the spread of
the novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, whose origins have been traced to Wuhan
City.
The move followed reports of lockdown in several cities in China,
particularly in Hubei province where the deadly virus originated and had
already killed dozens.
Chinese tourists in groups usually secure VUAs upon entering the country.
“The Civil Aeronautics Board has already suspended direct flights from
Wuhan,” said BI chief Jaime Morente. “We are now temporarily suspending the
issuance of VUA for Chinese nationals to slow down the influx of group
tours.”
But he stressed there is no ban on Chinese nationals.
Taiwan immigration authorities, according to an article in the Taipei Times,
have cancelled entry permits for 429 people in 24 tour groups from Wuhan.
“We have not received any directive imposing policy changes on Chinese
nationals,” said Morente. “But we are taking this proactive measure to slow
down travel and possibly help prevent the entry of the 2019-nCov.”
Any change in policy on dealing with the matter, he said, would be made by
the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Office of the President, as advised
by the Department of Health (DOH).


CHINA CONFIRMS 5,974 VIRUS CASES, EXCEEDING NATION'S SARS TOTAL

WUHAN, China — The number of confirmed cases in the new virus outbreak in
China reached 5,974 on Wednesday, overtaking the number of people infected
in the mainland by the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003.
China's national health commission reported more than 1,400 confirmed new
cases on Wednesday, as the death toll rose to 132.
There were 5,327 confirmed cases in mainland China during the Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome epidemic.
That outbreak killed more than 770 people globally, including 349 in
mainland China.
Some experts have praised Beijing for being more reactive and open about the
new virus compared to its handling of the SARS crisis.
But others say local officials had earlier been more focused on projecting
stability than responding to the outbreak when it began to spread earlier
this month.
Japan and the US evacuated nationals from hard-hit Wuhan city at the center
of the outbreak on Wednesday.


JAPAN TO HELP PHILIPPINES TEST SUSPECTED CORONAVIRUS CASES: HEALTH CHIEF

MANILA - Japanese experts will help the Philippines screen potential cases
of a novel coronavirus outbreak that the world is trying to contain,
Manila's health minister said Wednesday.
A government research institute in Muntinlupa can only check for the
presence of coronavirus, but cannot identify whether this is the same strain
that has killed more than 100 since emerging from China a few weeks ago,
said Health Secretary Francisco Duque.
Authorities are checking 24 suspected cases of the novel coronavirus
(2019-nCoV) locally, their specimens sent to experts in Australia for
laboratory tests. Three other people earlier tested negative for the new
pathogen, he said.
Japan will give the Philippines a "primer" that can determine whether the
coronavirus that infected a patient has the same genetic code as the strain
from China, eliminating the need to consult Australian experts.
"Tumatagal ang panahon dito sa Australia e. Sabi ko, no, kailangan magkaroon
tayo ng sariling kakayanan. Tutulong ang Japanese na magbibigay po sa atin
nitong primer," he told DZMM.
Authorities will bring home Filipinos from the Chinese central city of
Wuhan, where the 2019-nCoV was first detected, the foreign department said
Tuesday.
The health department is checking where it can quarantine travelers from
Wuhan for 14 days, the incubation period for the novel coronavirus, said
Duque.
China said Wednesday deaths due to the novel coronavirus had risen to 132
with nearly 6,000 people infected. Governments and companies around the
world have warned against travel to China and readied their citizens there
for possible repatriation.


DUTERTE NAMES HONEYLET’S COUSIN TO GOVERNMENT POST

MANILA — President Duterte has appointed the cousin of his partner Honeylet
Avanceña to the newly formed housing agency.
Melissa Avanceña Aradanas was named assistant secretary of the Department of
Human Settlements and Urban Development on Jan. 21, a list of appointments
that Malacañang released yesterday showed.
The agency, which was formed in February last year through Republic Act
11201, is the main planning and policymaking entity for all housing, human
settlement and urban development concerns.
Aradanas was one of the officials of the Presidential Commission on Urban
Poor who were fired in December 2017 over alleged unnecessary foreign trips.
She was appointed deputy secretary general of the Housing and Urban
Development Coordinating Council three months later.
Malacañang, through then presidential spokesman Harry Roque, had defended
Aradanas’ reappointment, saying “no one can question the inherent power of
the President to appoint anyone.”
Meanwhile, Duterte renewed the appointment of Budget Secretary Wendel
Avisado, who was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments last month.


PHILIPPINE NAVY HAS FIRST FEMALE COMMODORE

MANILA — For the first time in the history of the Philippine Navy (PN), a
female member has been promoted to star rank, equivalent to a brigadier
general.
Capt. Luzviminda Camacho received her first star during yesterday’s donning
of ranks at Camp Aguinaldo, where she serves as chief of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines-Office of Legislative Affairs (AFP-OLA).
“She made history as the first female commodore in the Philippine Navy,”
Capt. Jonathan Zata, AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief, said.
Camacho, who entered the service through the Navy Officers Candidate Course
(OCS), was the first woman officer in the Navy to command a navy warship,
following a series of sea duties that included serving as engineering
officer of a naval gunboat.
She was the first female commander of a contingent of Filipino peacekeepers
sent by the government to Haiti.
Camacho joined two other senior military officers who were also promoted to
the next rank yesterday.
Promoted to the rank of lieutenant general was Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan,
commander the Cebu-based Central Command (Centcom).
Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service
(CRS), was promoted to major general.
“The promotion of generals and senior officers in the military signified the
advancement in their career as soldiers. it also implies bigger and more
crucial responsibilities that they have to carry toward the attainment of
the AFP’s mission,” Zata said.


FALSE VIRUS NEWS CAN DRAG 'BETTER PREPARED' PHILIPPINES: EX-SARS FIGHTER

MANILA -- Fighting misinformation risks eating into the Philippine
government's resources that would otherwise be spent on dealing with the new
coronavirus that the world is trying to contain, said Manila's former health
minister who led the response to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS) nearly two decades ago.
Compared to SARS, the Philippines is "better prepared" to respond to the
novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China as negative pressure or isolation
chambers and quarantine procedures are in place, said former health
secretary Manuel Dayrit.
"Disinformation may cause public confusion, and cause wasteful deployment of
resources in efforts to verify and to take corrective action," said Dayrit,
also a former dean of the Ateneo School of Medicine who served at the World
Health Organization in Geneva after his stint at the Department of Health.
"The downside is that false news and maliciously-manufactured information
can really confuse and scare people," he told ABS-CBN News in an email
interview.


STAGE SET FOR PRURIDE PH CYCLING FESTIVAL

MANILA — Once again, insurance and investment firm Pru Life UK is presenting
its award-winning cycling event, the PRURide PH, from March 11 to 15.
The event, which was launched in 2016, is expected to draw more than 2,500
cyclists, including local and international professionals, that will vie 10
high-octane categories.
“We are excited to launch PRURide PH 2020 after the success of our first
three editions,” said Pru Life UK senior vice president and chief customer
marketing officer Allan Tumbaga in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Amelie Hotel
Manila.
The challenging three-day race is accredited by the Union Cycliste
Internationale, the world-governing body in the sport, as a 2.2 stage race.
It will be the first UCI-sanctioned race in the Philippines this year and
for the second straight year is included in the UCI world calendar.


MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE SUSPECT ARRESTED

Manila — Another police officer tagged in the Maguindao massacre was
arrested on Monday.
Police Officer 1 Suari Esmail Pagabangan was apprehended at his hideout at
the boundary of Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat and Sultan Sa Barongis, Maguindano
at around 12:30 p.m.
A reward of P300,000 has been offered for information leading to
Pagabangan’s arrest.
Lt. Col. Barney Condes of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion said
Pagabangan was under surveillance for a week.
Pagabangan is the fourth suspect and second police officer taken into
custody after the promulgation of the Maguindanao massacre case last month.
Last week, PO1 Ysmael Baraguir surrendered in Barangay Linandangan in
Pagalungan town.
A total of 76 other suspects remain at large.


‘KAYO NA NI JANELLA?’ JOSHUA'S PRANK CALL GOES AWRY

MANILA — The unwitting target of Joshua Garcia’s prank call, Dimples Romana,
did not realize her sensitive words to her “Block Z” co-star would be aired
on radio, and heard by a celebrity once romantically involved with the
actor.
Garcia picked Romana as his prank call victim as he, along with his former
girlfriend Julia Barretto and other “Block Z” cast members, promoted the
zombie flick on MOR 101.9 on Wednesday.
When Garcia told Romana he was about to confess a secret, Romana guessed two
things: that he and Barretto are back together, or that he and his current
onscreen partner Janella Salvador are now a couple.
Garcia and Salvador’s “love team” was launched in the recently concluded
drama series “The Killer Bride” — after the controversial falling out
between Garcia and Barretto, who were formerly an onscreen tandem as well.
Early this month, Barretto made headlines when she appeared to unfollow both
Garcia and Salvador’s accounts on Instagram, just after the actor shared a
sweet photo with his new leading lady.
When Romana, in the prank call, brought up the two women, Garcia diverted
the topic to his “confession” of having a brewing romance with McCoy de
Leon, also their “Block Z” co-actor.
When Romana candidly quipped that de Leon is “happy with his love life,” the
ruse was exposed — as the actor rushed to stop Romana from saying more,
indicating that his romance wasn’t yet known to the public.


RATINGS: CARDO PREVAILS OVER LATEST CHALLENGER

MANILA — Cardo remained the far-and-away king of Philippine TV on Monday as
he defeated, yet again, a new challenger in terms of nationwide viewership.
“FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” which for over four years has followed the
adventures of the heroic Cardo (Coco Martin), was unmoved from the top spot
against the debut of “Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday.”
ABS-CBN’s primetime stalwart, in fact, registered double the viewership of
its latest rival, with 33.8% versus 16.7%, according to Kantar Media.
Throughout its top-rating run since September 2015, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano”
has made a mark on Philippine pop culture, with Cardo’s seeming
“immortality” spawning memes online and references in other programs.
In terms of enduring relevance and unwavering viewership, the Dreamscape
Entertainment production is unparalleled — a fact even stars of its former
rival programs have acknowledged, with the likes of Dennis Trillo and
Dingdong Dantes congratulating Martin on the show’s continued success.
With portrayed conflicts as grave as the protecting a fictional president
from assassination, Martin has teased that “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” is poised
to go international this year, with the inclusion of foreign actors and the
filming of scenes overseas, on top of larger-scale action sequences.


HIDILYN DIAZ CLINCHES GOLDS AT WEIGHTLIFTING WORLD CUP

MANILA - Hidilyn Diaz took home 3 gold medals in the 2020 Weightlifting
World Cup in Rome on Tuesday.
She topped the snatch (93 kilograms), clean and jerk (119 kg), and overall
lift (212 kg) in the women's 55-kilogram division.
Diaz's dominant showing in clean and jerk enabled her to beat competitors
from Ukraine, Tunisia, among others.
She is looking to return to the Olympics after 3 straight stints, the last
one capped by a silver medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic berths will be handed out after the Asian
championships in Kazakhstan in April.
Diaz, who has been in Rome since Jan. 18 training for the Cup, told ABS-CBN
News there's no time for complacency as she still has a lot to prepare for
the Olympics.
"Marami pa kaming kailangan gawin para sa Tokyo 2020," she said.
She said China will be one of the countries she expects to give her a run
for the money, followed by Kazahkstan and Uzbekistan.
"If we're ready, if we're willing to give everything with guts, kayang-kaya
po natin," said Diaz, who has been on a roll the past few years, bagging
gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
After winning in the SEA Games, Diaz chose not to spend the holidays in her
home province and instead prepared for the World Cup.
"People wonder why I am not home in Zamboanga for the holidays," she wrote
on Instagram late December.
"As we get closer and closer to #tokyo2020 I can't stop my training since we
are 4 weeks out from competition (World Cup). These are the sacrifices us
athletes and coaches make to achieve the dream for our country and I am
grateful for my coaches."


NBA SCORES JAN 27


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Cavaliers 13-34    24    29    36    26    115
team logo Pistons 17-31    23    22    27    28    100
SCORING LEADERSC. Sexton CLE
23 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST
R. Jackson DET
16 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Magic 21-27    21    27    23    21    92
team logo Heat 32-14    31    23    31    28    113
SCORING LEADERSN. Vucevic ORL
13 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST
D. Robinson MIA
21 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Mavericks 29-17    25    34    29    19    107
team logo Thunder 28-20    22    25    30    20    97
SCORING LEADERSL. Doncic DAL
29 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST
D. Schroder OKC
21 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Spurs 20-26    28    20    37    24    109
team logo Bulls 19-30    21    29    25    35    110
SCORING LEADERSD. DeRozan SA
36 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST
Z. LaVine CHI
23 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST


FINAL/OT
    1    2    3    4    OT    T
team logo Kings 17-29    24    26    28    41    14    133
team logo Timberwolves 15-32    37    31    29    22    10    129
SCORING LEADERSB. Hield SAC
42 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
A. Wiggins MIN
36 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Rockets 29-17    28    31    28    39    126
team logo Jazz 32-14    20    26    29    42    117
SCORING LEADERSE. Gordon HOU
50 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST
D. Mitchell UTA
36 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST

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