World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
31 January 2020

CHINA VIRUS DEATH TOLL TOPS 200 AS WHO DECLARES GLOBAL EMERGENCY

SHANGHAI - The death toll in China from the new corona virus reached 213 on
Friday, with overall cases worldwide rising rapidly in an outbreak that the
World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency.
The death toll in Hubei, the Chinese province at the center of the epidemic,
had risen to 204 and there were 9,692 cases of infection nationally as of
Thursday, Chinese health authorities said. About 100 cases have been
reported in at least 18 other countries, with no deaths outside China.
Even as the WHO said cases had spread to 18 countries, Italy announced its
first confirmed cases, in two Chinese tourists.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told a news conference in
Geneva that recent weeks have witnessed an unprecedented outbreak which has
been met by an unprecedented response.
"Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,"
he said. "Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to
countries with weaker health systems."
The declaration of a global emergency triggers recommendations to all
countries. It is aimed at preventing or reducing cross-border spread of
disease, while avoiding unnecessary interference with trade and travel.
Tedros said, the organization "doesn't recommend - and actually opposes"
restrictions on travel or trade with China.
Nonetheless, foreign governments have been flying home their citizens from
Hubei and holding them in quarantine, while airlines including Air France,
American Airlines and British Airways have stopped flying to mainland China.
Airlines are facing mounting pressure by cabin crew to stop all flights due
to unease about exposure to the virus.
Stocks around the world have tumbled on fears of the economic fallout from
the outbreak in the world's second-biggest economy.
Some 60 million people in Hubei province are living under virtual lockdown.


FIRST CONFIRMED NCOV PATIENT ISOLATED AT SAN LAZARO HOSPITAL

MANILA — The Department of Health has confirmed the first case of the 2019
Novel (new) Coronavirus or 2019 nCoV in the Philippines.
The patient, said to be asymptomatic or displaying no symptoms, is a
38-year-old woman who arrived in the Philippines on January 21 from Wuhan in
China, the ground of the newly discovered strain of coronavirus.
“She is currently asymptomatic...she has no fever and no other signs and
symptoms suggesting illness at this point,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque
III said in a Thursday afternoon press briefing.
“DOH assures health facilities are equipped and prepared to receive and care
for PUIs [patients under investigation] and confirmed 2019-nCoV cases.”
The patient’s test results returned Thursday from the Australia-based
Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory.
“The confirmed case arrived in the Philippines from Wuhan, China via Hong
Kong last Jan. 21, 2020. The patient sought consult and was admitted in one
of the country's government hospitals last January 25 after experiencing
mild cough,” the Health department said in a release.
There are a total of 29 patients under investigation as of writing.
Eighteen of which are in Metro Manila, while four are in Central Visayas and
three are in Western Visayas. One PUI each was recorded in Mimaropa, Eastern
Visayas, Northern Mindanao and in Davao.
Of the 29 PUIs, 23 patients are currently admitted while five have been
discharged under strict monitoring.
The Health department assured that it is on top of the situation and working
closely with the World Health Organization.


DUTERTE BANS TRAVELERS FROM PARTS OF CHINA AFTER NCOV REACHES PHILIPPINES

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte issued a travel ban on Chinese nationals
coming from Hubei province after the health department confirmed the first
case of the Novel Coronavirus in the Philippines.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president has instructed
the Department of Health to implement the protocols it has prepared to
contain the disease and stop its transmission.
"Upon the recommendation of [Health] Secretary Francisco Duque, the
President has issued a travel ban to Chinese nationals coming from the Hubei
province of China where the nCoV originated, as well in other places in
China where there is a spread of the disease," Panelo said in a statement
Friday.
The travel ban will remain in place until the threat of the SARS-like
illness is over, according to the Malacañang spokesman.
"The DOH assures us that every measure is being undertaken to to contain the
spread of the dreadful virus as well as monitoring and placing in quarantine
those showing of symptoms of having nCov," Panelo said.


‘DON’T WASTE TIME’: ROBREDO SAYS GOV’T MUST ACT QUICKLY VS SPREAD OF
CORONAVIRUS

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo said the government should fast-track
measures to limit the spread of novel coronavirus after the World Health
Organization declared a global emergency over the SARS-like illness.
“Wala na tayong panahon para sa mahabang usapan. Buhay ng tao ang
nakasalalay kaya agarang aksyon, tamang impormasyon at mabilisang desisyon
ang kailangan,” Robredo said in a statement Friday.
The vice president called on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte
to heed recommendations to ban all flights coming from China and put in
place support systems for Filipinos in areas with confirmed cases, which
include their possible evacuation.
Robredo said early Friday that the government should not waste time in
ensuring the safety of Filipinos.
“Bawat minutong ipapagbukas pa ang pag-aksyon sa mga rekomendasyong ito,
lalong nailalagay sa panganib ang kapakanan at kalusugan ng ating mga
mamamayan,” she said.


PHILIPPINES TRACING TRAVELERS WHO FLEW WITH FIRST NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PATIENT

MANILA - Authorities are looking for flight passengers who came in close
contact with the Philippines' first case of a novel coronavirus outbreak
from China, the health ministry said Friday.
The patient, a 38-year-old woman, came from the Chinese central city of
Wuhan, where the virus was first detected. From Wuhan, she took flights to
Hong Kong, then Cebu and Dumaguete, before arriving in Manila on Jan. 21,
said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
For each of these flights, authorities have to trace the passengers who were
up to 4 seats away from the patient, he said.
"Iyong mga tao natin sa surveillane office, nagsasagawa ng contact
tracing... And'yan naman ang mga sistema for containment measures," he said.



DOH WAITS FOR RISK ASSESSMENT BEFORE BACKING TOTAL TRAVEL BAN TO CHINA

MANILA - The country's top health official on Friday said they will wait for
the latest risk assessment from the World Health Organization before pushing
for a total ban on travelers coming from mainland China.
For now, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the travel restriction is
only for travelers coming from Hubei province.
"I strongly recommended that a temporary restriction of travelers going to
Manila from Hubei province, China within the possibility that as soon as we
get the risk assessment by the WHO that many other provinces are in fact
reporting, increasing numbers of novel coronavirus infection, we will
include them in the travel restrictions," Duque said.
On ANC's Headstart, Duque said President Rodrigo Duterte has already
approved the recommendation.
Duque earlier said banning tourists from mainland China may cause
repercussions since it is not the only country with confirmed cases of
2019-nCoV.
He said China might question why the Philippines is not doing the same for
all the other countries with reported confirmed cases of nCoV.


US JUDGE ORDERS DETENTION FOR ARRESTED QUIBOLOY CHURCH MEMBERS

SANTA ANA, California - A US judge has ordered the detention of 2 leaders of
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy's Kingdom of Jesus Christ who are facing charges for
alleged conspiracy to commit immigration fraud.
US Magistrate Judge Autumn D Spaeth ordered the detention of Guia Cabactulan
and Marissa Duenas upon the request of government prosecutors who said they
pose a flight risk.
Cabactulan, 59, was earlier described as a "top official" of Quiboloy's
church who had direct communications with its Philippines' leadership; while
Duenas, 41, allegedly handled immigration documents and kept passports of
victims of an alleged human trafficking ring.
The two were arrested in a raid at the Van Nuys, California compound of the
Kingdom of Jesus Christ church.
A third church administrator, Amanda Estopare, 48, who handled "financial
aspects" and fundraising of the church, was also arrested in Virginia.
Lawyers for Cabactulan and Duenas unsuccessfully argued that health issues
and lack of criminal records would prevent them from fleeing.
Federal prosecutors said the three leaders — Cabactulan, Duenas, and
Estopare — brought church members to the United States under false
pretenses, often telling them that they were invited to be special guests at
a concert supporting the church’s ministry.
But once the church members arrived in the United States, their passports
were immediately taken away by the three church administrators, who then
forced them to collect donations for the Children’s Joy Foundation, a
nonprofit run by the church that claims to help impoverished children in the
Philippines, according to a criminal complaint.


DFA TO BRING HOME FILIPINOS IN HUBEI STARTING NEXT WEEK

MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs is ready to repatriate Filipinos
in Wuhan City and the rest of Hubei province amid the novel coronavirus
outbreak in China.
The DFA said it will prioritize Filipinos in Hubei province in the first
batch of repatriates, which are expected to arrive by next week.
The repatriation of Filipinos in China will be subject to the country's
rules on disease containment, including immigration clearances and
quarantine process.
"Filipinos who wish to be included in the first batch should contact the
Philippine Embassy in Beijing or the nearest Consulate General in their area
by [February 3, 2020], Monday," the DFA said in an advisory.
Filipinos repatriated from China will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine
period upon arriving in the Philippines.


HOUSE VOWS TO PASS LAW ON MOTORCYCLE TAXIS BY MARCH

MANILA — The House of Representatives has vowed to come up by March with a
legislative measure that would legitimize and regulate motorcycle
ride-hailing services in the country.
The committees on Metro Manila development and transportation have committed
to complete deliberations on bills seeking to amend Republic Act 4136 (Land
Transportation and Traffic Code) to make motorcycle taxi services legal in
two months.
Metro Manila development panel chair and Manila District 1 Rep. Manny Lopez
said they plan to pass the measure and have the law signed in time for the
conclusion of the pilot study of the technical working group (TWG) of the
Department of Transportation on the services of Angkas, JoyRide and Move It.
Lopez said the measure is considered urgent as it would provide the legal
backing for operations of the motorcycle taxi services that benefit the
riding public.
He explained that the law would legitimize and regulate motorcycles as a
public utility vehicle, pointing out that RA 4136 does not allow motorcycles
to be used as PUVs.


13 FOREIGN WOMEN RESCUED FROM MAKATI SEX DEN

MAKATI— Thirteen women, all foreigners, were rescued during a raid on a
prostitution den at a hotel in Makati City on Wednesday night.
The women – two Russians, two Vietnamese and nine Chinese – were found in
the rooms at the Golden Dragon Hotel in Barangay Pio del Pilar at around
10:35 p.m., city police chief Col. Rogelio Simon said.
Police also “invited” five of the hotel’s Filipino employees for further
investigation.
A Chinese informant and a police officer staged a sting, paying P22,000 in
marked money, to the suspects.
It is the fifth prostitution den the city police raided this month. Three of
them are in Barangay Palanan while one is in Barangay Bel-Air.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa has ordered the PNP to
raid more establishments that might be used as sex dens catering to
employees of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO).
This was after Sen. Risa Hontiveros bared in a recent Senate hearing that
prostitution dens catering to POGO employees have become rampant, adding
that the women were being ordered like food.


27 TONS OF ‘HOT’ MEAT SEIZED IN MANILA

MANILA — Following a tip, the Manila Veterinary Inspection Board (VIB) and
the Manila Police District-Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (MPD-SMaRT) raided
the warehouse of Ecosafe Agro-Product Manufacturing and found a truck and a
reefer van containing at least 25 tons of pork celery dumplings as well as
thousands of cartons of chicken products.
The city government, which said it is the largest shipment of ASF-positive
meat products confiscated since Mayor Isko Moreno took office last year,
later shut down the company.
Ecosafe is a logistics firm and does not have a permit to import meat or for
cold storage.
Recycled?
Sources said the meat products at Ecosafe’s warehouse are allegedly part of
a shipment consigned to Dynamic M. International that was seized by the
Bureau of Customs (BOC) from a building in Kawit, Cavite several days ago.
Documents obtained by The STAR showed that Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI)
chief Reynaldo Raquilang alerted Manila International Container Port
district collector Guillermo Pedro Francia on Jan. 20 and 23 regarding food
products that arrived from China and were consigned to Dynamic M.
Raquilang told Francia that samples of the dumplings taken from one of
Dynamic M.’s reefer vans tested positive for ASF.
The BAI recommended that all the food products that were shipped along with
the dumplings “be immediately disposed by burying at the importer’s
warehouse compound under the supervision of the BOC examiner and our
personnel.”
The ASF-contaminated food products are supposed to be buried at least 25
feet underground, the BAI said.


ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE


NADINE OPENS UP ABOUT JAMES, VIVA, UPCOMING PROJECTS

MANILA - There’s no hint of sadness in Nadine Lustre’s eyes when she made
her first public appearance on Wednesday night despite being the subject of
headlines in the past weeks.
Apart from the shocking news of her breakup with James Reid, Lustre is also
currently in the middle of a controversy involving her management contract
with Viva Artists Agency (VAA).
In an interview with ABS-CBN News’ MJ Felipe, Lustre assured her fans that
she is doing fine.
“I am good. I am okay. I’m working on a lot of stuff now. I am really
excited, also working on my music na. Finally, it’s going to happen this
year. A lot of surprises for you guys, I’m not allowed to say a lot. Pero
abangan niyo na lang,” she said.
But how is she coping exactly?
“You know it’s weird because people would think na these challenges will
really hurt you and it’s really gonna put you down and make you feel super
depressed na parang I don’t want to go out,” she began.
“It’s hard at first. Believe me, it was really hard. But at the end of the
day kasi, I think to myself na parang, okay what is going to come out of
this? After all this, when I’m done with this challenge, when I’m done with
this heartache or whatever it is, I’m gonna be a stronger and better person.
I would learn so much from that,” she added.
Right now, Lustre chooses to keep an optimistic attitude believing that she
can overcome any challenge by living through her mantra that “there’s no way
around it, only through it.”
“There’s no other way. There’s no shortcut. All the challenges that will
come into your life, all the hardships, walang shortcut 'yun. You have to go
through it. And after you go through it, there’s so much growth. You learn a
lot of stuff about yourself and it makes you a stronger person,” she said.
Meanwhile, Lustre also talked about her current relationship with Reid
following their split.
This after they were recently spotted partying together at a bar in Makati.
They also spent the weekend together having pasta with their friends.
“We are good. That’s all everyone needs to know. I think the social media
kasi just blew it out of proportion. Talagang medyo naging OA lang, but we
are super good,” she said.
Would she be willing to do another television series with him again in the
future?
“Of course. Maybe in the future. But right now kasi, the goal talaga is to
work on other stuff separately. We’ll see. Baka naman in the future,
mangyari ulit iyan. But yeah, I am super open. It’s going to be a reunion
teleserye for the both of us,” she said.
Lustre, however, kept mum when asked to react about the statement of Viva’s
big boss, Vic del Rosario, that he wants to sit down and talk to her.
“No comment. Pass,” she said smiling.
Without giving details, Lustre's camp on Monday announced that she has
"decided to terminate" her VAA contract, and that she is currently
"self-managed."
VAA contradicted this, saying the actress remains its "exclusive artist,"
and that "any dealings or professional engagements entered into by Nadine,
without the consent or approval of Viva constitutes breach of contract."


SPORTS


NBA SCORES JAN 29


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Knicks 13-35    26    24    16    26    92
team logo Hornets 16-31    15    32    21    29    97
SCORING LEADERS
    J. Randle NY
24 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
    T. Rozier CHA
30 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Warriors 10-38    27    27    28    22    104
team logo 76ers 31-17    26    33    27    29    115
SCORING LEADERSD. Russell GS
28 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST
J. Embiid PHI
24 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Hawks 12-36    23    33    27    31    114
team logo Raptors 33-14    33    35    29    33    130
SCORING LEADERS
    J. Collins ATL
28 PTS, 12 REB, 0 AST
    P. Siakam TOR
24 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Pelicans 19-29    40    34    30    21    125
team logo Cavaliers 13-35    34    31    25    21    111
SCORING LEADERSJ. Holiday NO
28 PTS, 2 REB, 8 AST
C. Sexton CLE
24 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Wizards 15-31    28    35    41    27    131
team logo Bucks 41-6    42    46    29    34    151
SCORING LEADERSB. Beal WAS
47 PTS, 0 REB, 6 AST
K. Middleton MIL
51 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Celtics 31-15    36    17    27    29    109
team logo Heat 32-15    28    20    28    25    101
SCORING LEADERSG. Hayward BOS
29 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST
G. Dragic MIA
23 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Nuggets 32-15    18    32    16    30    96
team logo Grizzlies 23-24    31    32    19    22    104
SCORING LEADERSN. Jokic DEN
25 PTS, 13 REB, 5 AST
D. Brooks MEM
24 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Suns 20-27    32    28    48    25    133
team logo Mavericks 29-18    19    36    22    27    104
SCORING LEADERSD. Booker PHO
32 PTS, 6 REB, 9 AST
L. Doncic DAL
21 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST

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