World Newsletter

PHILIPPINES NEWS
6 March 2020

PALACE ADMITS: REFUSAL OF AID FROM DRUG WAR INQUIRY BACKERS AN ‘OUTRAGE REACTION’

MANILA - Malacañang admitted Thursday that the Philippines' decision to shun
aid and loans from countries who supported a resolution seeking a report on
President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs was “more of an outrage reaction.”
Panelo made the remark after Manila, on Feb. 27, lifted the suspension of
negotiations with 18 countries that backed an inquiry into the drug war
“You must remember that that was made because of what they—of this countries
did when they passed that resolution condemning the war on drugs in this
country,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.
“And it was more of an outrage reaction, having already expressed our stand
on that, perhaps there is now a reason to change it,” he said.
Panelo, however, said he has yet to ask President Rodrigo Duterte on the
reasons for lifting the ban.
Last year, Panelo even touted the government’s decision to shun aid from
countries that backed Iceland’s resolution that called for a report on
Manila’s human rights situation, including extrajudicial killings under
Duterte’s drug war.
“It is a political statement. You don’t mess with this country with that
kind of resolution,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang in September last
year.


LAGMAN: GADON PETITION CONFIRMS PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY FOR ABS-CBN, NETWORK
OPEN FOR LEGAL CHALLENGES

MANILA — Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay) said that the recent petition questioning
the House of Representatives’ directive to the National Telecommunications
Commission on ABS-CBN’s provisional franchise confirms that the move just
puts ABS-CBN in a position vulnerable for legal challenges.
Lagman told ANC’s Early Edition that lawyer Larry Gadon’s Petition for
Prohibition filed Thursday just confirms “our apprehension that all of these
alternative reliefs short of a renewal are really throwing ABS-CBN into a
quagmire of legal problems.”
“We have said repeatedly, the alternative reliefs being suggested short of
renewing the franchise of ABS-CBN are not legal and viable,” the lawmaker
also said.
Gadon filed a Petition for Prohibition before the Supreme Court, asking it
to issue a temporary restraining order against NTC Commissioner Gamaliel
Cordoba from complying with the House of Representatives’ letter to the
commission.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Rep. Franz Alvarez (Palawan), chair of
committee on legislative franchises, wrote and asked NTC to issue
provisional authority to the network to operate “from May 4, 2020 until such
time that the Congress has made a decision on its application.”
Lagman reiterated his position that the NTC has no jurisdiction on issuing a
provisional franchise to the media giant as extending a franchise is a
matter solely under the Congress. Gadon also raised this argument in his
petition before the SC.
He also stressed that the law states “the one applying for a provisional
authority or cert of public convenience should be a franchise holder.”
“In other words, the inflexible rule is that [there will be] no operation if
there is no franchise,” he added.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra previously said that the Congress may
direct the NTC to issue a provisional authority to operate until the
Congress decides on its renewal, after its current franchise expires on May
4.
Lagman also said that he believes Gadon, who is not from ABS-CBN, Congress
or NTC, may question the directive before the tribunal.


PNP EYES 3 ANGLES IN CHIEF'S CHOPPER CRASH

MANILA — The Philippine National Police is considering at least 3 angles in
the helicopter crash that injured its top official and 6 others, the probe's
leader said Friday.
The 2-year-old Bell 429 chopper carrying PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa
crashed after it got tangled with power lines in a sandy area in San Pedro,
Laguna on Thursday.
Investigators will look into possible pilot error, the chopper's condition
and the takeoff site preparation, said PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lt.
Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
The takeoff site was drenched with water before Gamboa arrived to inspect
impounded vehicles. The ground could have dried up before his chopper took
off, Eleazar told DZMM.
"Siguro dapat nadiligan pa iyan bago nag-takeoff," Interior and Local
Government Secretary Eduardo Año, whose agency oversees the PNP, said in a
separate interview.
"Kailangan malaman natin ano talaga ang nangyari dito," he said.
The Police, Air Force and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
will inspect the crash site later Friday, said Eleazar.
"This is probably the first time that we will be conducting a chopper or
aircraft crash investigation kaya (so) we really need the help of concerned
agencies," he told reporters in the area.
Gamboa said he was "okay" and would return to work on Monday.
Major Generals Jovic Ramos and Mariel Magaway, the PNP's comptrollership and
intelligence heads, respectively were still in critical condition, said
Eleazar.
Magaway is stable while Ramos is still unconscious and needs thorough
medical attention, he said.
The PNP's 6 other choppers are grounded pending the results of the
investigation, Año said. The helicopter that crashed was the police's lone
twin-engine aircraft, he said.
This safety precaution will "not necessarily" affect police operations, said
Eleazar.
"Sa totoo lang, dati naman kaming walang chopper. Ngayon pa lang namin
ie-establish ang paggamit nito," he said.
"This fleet actually hindi pa ito fully utilized. Nagko-conduct pa tayo ng
training sa would-be pilots," he added.


‘DUTERTE WON’T BE RUSHED INTO SHUTTING DOWN POGOS’

MANILA — President Duterte has no basis yet to suspend the operations of
Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), Malacañang said yesterday, as
it denied that the Chief Executive is too soft on issues involving China.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President needs to have a
“comprehensive report” first on the alleged illegal activities tied to POGOs
before he could decide on whether to halt their operations.
“You know, when the President decides on something, he has the goods to back
up his decision. If he has not received a comprehensive report on these
illegal practices, then you cannot hurry him up. That’s how the President
acts. He is a lawyer. We lawyers need evidence,” Panelo said at a press
briefing.
“We have to wait for him (Duterte), because he will be waiting for reports
coming from all agencies relative to this issue and then he will make a
decision on that,” he added.


ROBREDO, BELMONTE CITE GAINS, CHALLENGES FOR PHILIPPINE WOMEN

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte
yesterday underscored the gains and the continuing challenges faced by women
in the Philippines.
The two women leaders were among those who spoke at the #Women2020 summit
held in Taguig City in time with the celebration of women’s month this
March.
Robredo said women leaders around the world, including detained Sen. Leila
de Lima, who advance women’s rights and break ground movements to provide
equal opportunities to all genders.
“More movements have opened up safe spaces for women online. Campaigns such
as #MeToo, #TimesUp, and #DontTellMeHowToDress have created communities that
are actively engaging and educating their peers, and encouraging survivors
to tell their stories and stand up against their abusers,” she said.
Belmonte, for her part, highlighted the gains in advancing women’s rights in
the country in the past century.
She noted that female registered voters now outnumber their male
counterparts, a stark contrast in 1920 when women were not allowed to vote.
“At the turn of the century, the country has one of the highest maternal
mortality rates in developing countries with more than 200 deaths per
100,000 live births,” she said.
“By 2017, that number has been reduced to 121 deaths per 100,000 live
births. In Quezon City, we have managed to post rates much better than the
national average with 39.7 deaths per 100,000 live births,” she added.
While the Philippines dropped eight notches in the most recent Gender Gap
Index, the mayor said the country still performed the highest among Asian
countries.
Despite these gains, both leaders underscored the challenges that continue
to hound women across the country.
Robredo said many Filipinas remain disempowered due to poverty and other
circumstances.
Belmonte said the reports of gains bring little comfort to women who
continue to suffer from violence and abuse.


LTO AIMS TO WIPE OUT MOTORCYCLE PLATE BACKLOG BY Q3 OF 2021

MANILA - The Land Transportation Office is hoping to address the estimated
13 million backlog of motorcycle license plates by the third quarter of next
year.
"We have about 8 million 'yung gagawin namin 'yung currently registered. We
estimate na merong about 4 to 5 million na nagrehistro na hindi na
nagpa-renew. So maraming delinquents so 8 plus 5, about 13 million ang dapat
naming gawin na motorcycle plates," LTO Executive Director Romeo Vera Cruz
told radio DZMM.
Vera Cruz said they will work on two shifts including Saturdays to be able
to meet their targeted monthly production of 730,000 plates.
The LTO has also finished the final design for the plates, in accordance
with Republic Act 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Law. The law
requires 2 plates for every motorcycle, a bigger aluminum plate at the back
and decal in front.
"We came up with a design, decal ito ididikit doon sa harapan, maghahanap ng
pagdidikitan. Sa likod, ang size na na-finalize para fit all, 28 percent
bigger than the current one," he said.
The plate for the back of the motorcycle is 135mm X 235mm in size. For the
decal, it would be 135mm x 90mm in size.
"Mas malaki ang sa likod, 'yung aluminum plate, kaysa sa decal.
Reflectorized decal dapat mabasa 15 meters away," he said.


‘FATALISTIC’ DUTERTE WILL STILL RIDE HELICOPTERS – PALACE

MANILA — The air crash in San Pedro, Laguna that injured Philippine National
Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa and several other top PNP officers won’t
stop President Duterte from using helicopters, Malacañang said yesterday.
“You know the President. The President always says, ‘If it’s my time, it’s
my time.’ He is fatalistic,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
Duterte prefers riding helicopters when he has engagements, saying he would
cause inconvenience if he travels by land.
The 74-year-old President has repeatedly said that he is ready to go any
time and that he has reached the peak of his political career.
Panelo could not say what precautionary measures would be undertaken with
regard to the use of presidential helicopters, saying the Palace would await
results of the investigation on the crash.


HOUSE HEARING ON ABS-CBN WON’T GIVEWAY TO SC

MANILA — The House committee on legislative franchises yesterday rejected
calls to suspend its hearings on the franchise renewal application of
broadcast giant ABS-CBN to give way to the resolution of the quo warranto
petition before the Supreme Court (SC).
Panel chair and Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez said they would continue with the
proceedings on 11 bills seeking renewal of the network’s 25-year franchise
even if the petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida remains pending
before the high court.
“That will have no effect on our hearings because that is a separate
proceeding with a separate branch of government,” he explained to reporters.
Alvarez said the latest petition for prohibition filed by lawyer Larry Gadon
seeking to stop the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) from
issuing a provisional authority for the network to continue operating after
the expiration of franchise on May 4 would also have no effect on their
hearings.
“The prohibition petition does not seek to stop the House hearings because
we are all aware of the separation of powers of the co-equal branches of
government,” he pointed out.


DAR: RICE TARIFFICATION, BEST AGRICULTURE REFORM EVER

URDANETA CITY – The Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) is the “best reform ever
that happened in the history of the agriculture sector” in this country,
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said yesterday.
Dar told local farmers at the Urdaneta Sports and Civic Center during the
first anniversary of RTL implementation that Republic Act 11203 is the best
ever reform dedicated to agriculture as the country needs rice that is
available and affordable for all Filipinos.
He said the other objective of the law is to strengthen the farmers by
making them competitive with their counterparts in other countries.
Dar said the tariff collected from imported rice goes back to the farmers
through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which is P10
billion a year for the next six years. From this amount, at least P5 billion
is for mechanization, P3 billion for seed distribution, P1 billion for
capital or credit program and P1 billion for extension services.
After a year of implementation of RTL, Dar claimed that consumers could now
buy rice for as low as P27 a kilo.
He said the government would not stop working to further lower the price of
rice in the market. The average price of well-milled rice now is P36.33.


INSURANCE COMMISSION: LGBTQ MEMBERS CAN DESIGNATE PARTNERS AS INSURANCE
BENEFICIARY

MANILA — Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer community
may designate their partners as beneficiaries in their insurance plan, the
Insurance Commission said.
In a legal opinion issued to the University of the Philippines College of
Law, Gender Law and Policy Program, the Commission said: “The [IC] affirms
your position that the insured who secures a life insurance policy on his or
her own life may designate any individual as beneficiary.”
The opinion was issued to Professor E. (Leo) Battad, program director of the
UP College of Law Gender Law and Policy Program.
Battad sought guidelines from the IC on the right of the insured to
designate a beneficiary, particularly the rights of members of the LGBTQ+
community to designate their domestic partners as beneficiaries of their
life insurance.
Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said exceptions contained in Article 2012
in relation to Article 739 of the Civil Code apply.
In a separate text message to Philstar.com, Funa confirmed that members of
the LGBTQ+ community may present the legal opinion “if an insurance agent
would have an adverse view.”


KARLA ESTRADA, PROUD NA PROTECTIVE NA KUYA SI DANIEL PADILLA

MAYNILA -- Ipinagmamalaki ni Karla Estrada ang pagiging protective ng
panganay na anak na si Daniel Padilla pagdating sa kanyang mga kapatid.
Matatandaang nito lamang Pebrero 28, sa pagdiriwang ng ika-18 kaarawan ng
kapatid ni Daniel na si Magui Planas, ay nakita ng lahat ang pagiging
protective ng aktor sa kanyang kapatid na babae.
Nag-viral pa ang video ni Magui na kilig na kilig sa performance at
pakikipag-usap sa dating "The X Factor Australia" contestant na si Justin
Vasquez habang si Daniel ay seryosong nakamasid at nagbabantay sa dalawa.
Sa "Magandang Buhay" nitong Biyernes, iginiit ni Karla na natural lang sa
mga anak niyang sina Daniel at Jose Carlito ang pagiging protective.
"Alam niyo ang mga lalaki kong anak ay normal sa kanila na maging protective
sa mga babaeng kapatid, lalo na sa mas nakababata. I think normal lang 'yon
na nakabantay ng ganun, cute naman. Wala namang pambabastos and
everything... Actually hindi lang si Daniel, pati si JC si Carlito," ani
Karla.
"Nakaka-proud siyempre because I know that they are very, very close. Close
na close po kasi ang mga anak ko dahil 'yan ay sinigurado kong sila ay
magtatanggulan hanggang sa pagtanda nila, hanggang mawala na ako sa mundo,"
dagdag ni Karla.
Kuwento naman ni Melai Cantiveros, si Karla mismo ang nag-imbita kay Justin
bilang sorpresa para sa kaarawan ng anak.
"Kasi favorite 'yon ni Magui. Hilig niya 'yon patugtugin sa sasakyan,"
paliwanag ni Melai.
Ayon kay Karla, iba ang pakiramdam na maibigay ang kasiyahan ng kanyang mga
anak.
"Very special 'yon na maiparamdam mo sa kanila ang kasiyahan na 'yon dahil
isang beses lang 'yon dumaan sa buhay nila. Hindi mahalaga kung malaki ang
debut o maliit, ang importante ay mairaos at naging masaya at sama-sama
kayong magkakamag-anak," ani Karla.


NBA SCORES MARCH 4


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Pacers 37-25    23    33    23    21    100
team logo Bucks 53-9    36    22    31    30    119
SCORING LEADERST. Warren IND
18 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST
G. Antetokounmpo MIL
29 PTS, 12 REB, 6 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Thunder 38-24    38    31    25    20    114
team logo Pistons 20-43    32    32    18    25    107
SCORING LEADERS
    S. Gilgeous-Alexander OKC
27 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST
    C. Wood DET
29 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Celtics 42-19    28    30    23    31    112
team logo Cavaliers 17-45    27    25    25    29    106
SCORING LEADERSJ. Tatum BOS
32 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST
C. Sexton CLE
41 PTS, 3 REB, 6 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Jazz 39-22    35    29    29    19    112
team logo Knicks 19-43    26    28    24    26    104
SCORING LEADERS
    D. Mitchell UTA
23 PTS, 1 REB, 8 AST
    J. Randle NY
32 PTS, 11 REB, 0 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Grizzlies 31-31    22    30    30    36    118
team logo Nets 27-34    23    22    20    14    79
SCORING LEADERS
    J. Jackson MEM
19 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST
    T. Waller-Prince BKN
15 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Magic 27-35    26    29    29    29    113
team logo Heat 40-22    30    30    28    28    116
SCORING LEADERST. Ross ORL
35 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST
D. Robinson MIA
27 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Bulls 21-41    29    29    21    29    108
team logo Timberwolves 19-42    22    33    33    27    115
SCORING LEADERS
    C. White CHI
26 PTS, 1 REB, 6 AST
    M. Beasley MIN
24 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST


FINAL/OT
    1    2    3    4    OT    T
team logo Pelicans 26-36    22    33    30    27    11    123
team logo Mavericks 38-25    24    33    30    25    15    127
SCORING LEADERSB. Ingram NO
27 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST
K. Porzingis DAL
34 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST


FINAL
    1    2    3    4    T
team logo Wizards 22-39    30    31    18    25    104
team logo Trail Blazers 28-35    37    35    28    25    125
SCORING LEADERSB. Beal WAS
29 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST
C. Anthony POR
25 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST

 

 

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