PHILIPPINES NEWS
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JOURNALISTS CAN ONLY CONNECT TO STATE-RUN MEDIA TO COVER DUTERTE'S SONA

 

MANILA — Hours before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his penultimate

State of the Nation Address, journalists seeking authorization to cover the

event have yet to hear from the Presidential Communications Operations

Office.

As it is, Philippine and foreign media can only rely on state-run coverage

of Duterte’s SONA, which he will deliver amid growing dissent following his

approval of the anti-terrorism law and shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN.

Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network Network — alliance of media

watchdogs and groups — on Monday morning said that neither the PCOO nor the

Inter-Agency Task Force responded to their request to allow a delegation of

independent media to cover Duterte’s 5th SONA.

“Given how recent events have cast doubt on the integrity and credibility of

state media, we would like to sound you off on the possibility of broadcast

and online outfits hooking up to the [Radio Television Malacañang] feed but

airing on a slightly delayed basis,” FMFA said in a statement.

The PCOO last week announced that only state run Presidential Broadcast

Staff-RTVM will be allowed inside the Batasang Pambansa. This is among the

government’s health and safety measures against the coronavirus.

The presidential communications said journalists can “hook up to the live

feed of PTV or live stream of the Presidential Communications and RTVM

Facebook pages and RTVM Youtube channel.”

 

 

SONA PROTESTS TO PROCEED; 12,000 EXPECTED TO DEFY VIRUS FEARS

 

Some 12,000 protesters are expected to defy fears of the novel coronavirus

on Monday as they converge at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in

Quezon City for President Rodrigo Duterte's fifth State of the Nation

Address, an official said Monday.

Around 90 groups of activists, lawyers, journalists, religious groups,

artists, students, workers, indigenous people, urban poor and various other

sectors will join the SONAgkaisa rally, said UP vice chancellor for

community affairs Dr. Aleli Bawagan.

Protest organizers agreed to enforce physical distancing, the wearing of

face masks and other health protocols, like they did during a rally last

Independence Day, she said.

"Malaking grupo po itong inaasahan natin, mas malaki kaysa noong June 12,"

she told DZMM.

Police said officers deployed around the campus will only "provide security"

and will not bar protesters from gathering. The officers cannot enter the

campus, which will be monitored by its own police, said Bawagan.

 

 

8-9 STRANDED PERSONS AT RIZAL SPORTS COMPLEX TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

 

MANILA - Eight to 9 stranded individuals at the Rizal Memorial Sports

Complex tested positive for COVID-19 using rapid antibody tests, an official

said Monday, as the public criticized the lack of physical distancing at the

venue over the weekend.

Some 6,000 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) trooped to the stadium to

avail of government's free transportation assistance to their home provinces

through the "Hatid Tulong" program, according to Presidential Management

Staff Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo.

Persons who tested positive for the coronavirus in rapid tests were

immediately isolated and underwent confirmatory tests and their close

contacts were put into record and flagged to receiving local governments,

Encabo said.

If the LSIs test positive in the confirmatory swab test, they will be

brought to a quarantine facility. If their results turn out negative, they

will be allowed to travel based on the assessment of doctors, Encabo added.

Those who were in close contact, meantime, will undergo swab tests and a

14-day quarantine in their home province.

The technical working group handling the program convened an emergency

meeting Sunday and "committed" that the "approach and preparations should be

somehow improved," according to the Assistant Secretary.

"As being concurred by officials of the different agencies, we plan to come

out with a cluster sendoff based on the request coming from the local chief

executive," Encabo said.

"Hopefully with the assessment and evaluation we conducted were very

confident that we could make it better and meet the expectations of the

public as well as other entities."

 

 

GOVT 'CHOSE LESSER EVIL' IN CRAMMING THOUSANDS IN STADIUM DESPITE VIRUS

RISK: OFFICIAL

 

MANILA — The government “chose the lesser between 2 evils” when it packed

thousands of stranded Filipinos into a stadium in Manila to shelter them

from rains, risking the spread of the novel coronavirus due to lack of

space, an official said Monday.

The Hatid Tulong program was supposed to help people who lost their jobs due

to the pandemic come home to the provinces. Authorities were supposed to

test the beneficiaries for the novel coronavirus at the Rizal Memorial

Sports Complex before their trip.

However, beneficiaries spread word of the program to other locally stranded

individuals (LSIs) who flocked to the stadium without pre-registering with

authorities, said Hatid Tulong lead convener Presidential Management Staff

Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo.

Tents had not yet been set up outside the stadium when rains started pouring

Tuesday night, forcing authorities to pack people inside the stadium. There

were up to 4,800 LSIs there at one point, Encabo said.

“Doon po mas vulnerable sila sa sakit, lalong-lao na iyong mga bata, mga

buntis, senior citizens at PWDs: Dahil po sa pagbagsak ng ulan, talagang

kailangan naming maisilong ang mga tao,” he told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.

“We have to choose between 2 lesser evils here,” he said.

Ensuring that the stranded travelers had enough distance to prevent an

outbreak of COVID-19 “really took us time”, the official conceded.

 

 

COURT STANDS BY RESSA VERDICT, TELLS DEFENSE: PRESENT EVIDENCE IN COURT, NOT

MEDIA

 

MANILA - The Manila court which convicted Rappler CEO and executive editor

Maria Ressa and former writer-researcher Reynaldo Santos, Jr. of cyber libel

in connection with an article about property developer Wilfredo Keng stood

by its earlier ruling sentencing the two to up to 6 years in prison.

In a 13-page order dated July 24, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46

Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa insisted, it was the defense that failed to

present evidence to defend themselves.

She stressed the court can only decide based on the evidence presented by

the parties.

"Under existing laws and rules of procedure parties are required to adduce

and offer Evidence during the trial of the case in court. It is not

presented and adduced in front of media platforms especially after the trial

of the case has been concluded," the judge said.

"Not only does this undermine the integrity of the courts but it also gives

the public a misconception on how cases are tried and heard by the courts of

law," she added.

 

 

US DELIVERS ADDITIONAL P11.4 MILLION IN MEDICAL SUPPLIES

 

The US Army and Marine Corps service members, in partnership with the

Philippine Air Force, Army and Coast Guard, delivered an additional P11.4

million ($236,000) worth of personal protective equipment and medical

supplies to hospitals in 11 cities in the Philippines.

The latest donation brings the total assistance of the US government to the

Philippines' efforts against COVID-19 to P989 million (more than $20

million).

"This latest delivery of U.S. government assistance for Filipino frontliners

in the battle against COVID-19 is a testament to our ongoing commitment to

help the Philippines defeat the pandemic," US Ambassador Sung Kim said.

 

 

SENATE SET TO PASS 'BAYANIHAN 2', WORK ON BILLS IN RESPONSE TO PANDEMIC

 

MANILA — The Senate of the Philippines on Monday opened the second regular

session of the 18th Congress on Monday with 23 senators present, although

some attended the session remotely.

The Senate members present through video teleconference were: Kiko

Pangilinan, Richard Gordon, Koko Pimentel, Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos and

Manny Pacquiao.

Only opposition Sen. Leila de Lima was not able to join the session, as she

was disallowed from participating while in detention.

The Senate did not announce any changes to its officers or to the

chairpersonships of its committees.

Upon the opening of the session, Sotto said that he would be willing to lead

the legislative body in crafting a "holistic agenda" that would focus on the

following amid the COVID-19 crisis:

-improving the digital landscape

-distance learning amid community quarantine

-improving the public transport system

-encouraging new business

-support for the arts

Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri announced that the upper chamber on

Tuesday afternoon would be passing 'Bayanihan 2' — an extension of the

'Bayanihan to Heal as One Act' that gave the president sweeping powers to

address the COVID-19 pandemic — on its third and final reading.

Along with the extension of the Bayanihan Act, senators have previously

cited probes into the alleged corruption and mismanagement within Philippine

Health Insurance Corporation and the deaths of high profile inmates at New

Bilibid Prison as priorities.

 

 

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BULACAN COPS ARREST COMMUNITY LEADER, CONFISCATE 'SUBVERSIVE' NEWSPAPERS

 

MANILA — Urban poor alliance Kadamay on Sunday condemend the arrest of a

community leader in Pandi, Bulacan and the confiscation of copies of Pinoy

Weekly, an independent newspaper, saying both were done despite police not

presenting any warrants.

In a statement, Kadamay said that personnel of the Philippine National

Police came in "squads" to arrest one of its leaders, Rose Fortaleza, after

they "entered the occupied Villa Lois housing site to conduct illegal

searches without a warrant."

"The cops entered Fortaleza’s home, arrested her and confiscated the group’s

flyers along with issues of the alternative news publication, Pinoy Weekly,"

the group's statement reads.

Mimi Doringo, Kadamay spokesperson, said in the statement: “We have always

said, often, that the poor will be hit first by Duterte's repression. Is it

illegal to distribute a brochure and newspaper today? The police did not

have a search warrant and there was no basis for the arrest and confiscation

of our materials but they continued. Who is the criminal here?”

According to Kadamay, Fortaleza remains detained at the Pandi Municipal

Police Station without any formal charges pressed. Her family, they said,

have been barred from seeing her.

In a separate statement Pinoy Weekly editor-in-chief Kenneth Guda condemned

the confiscation of copies of their newspaper, saying these were Kadamay

members' property.

"What [Police Captain Jun] Alejandrino and his men did was illegal.

Secondly, either the police chief is ignorant of the

constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of the press and freedom of expression,

or he chooses to trample upon it. Either way, he and his men are committing

a crime," he said.

'Subversive' materials were 'voluntarily surrendered'

But Pandi Municipal Police Station has a completely different account of

what happened, according to a source.

A source, who declined to be identified for lack of clearance to speak to

media, told Philstar.com in a phone call that the station took what they

identified as subversive materials after they were voluntarily surrendered

to police.

Guda, citing reports from witnesses, said that the police had "said the

magazines were 'illegal' and that they should give up the copies or else

'may mangyayari (something will happen)'."

The source also said that what happened was not a raid, adding that those

living in the projects were concerned about having such materials around

them.

Philstar.com was also told that they were classified as subversive and had

content and graphics of President Duterte.

 

 

UP HOLDS FIRST VIRTUAL GRADUATION EXERCISES

 

MANILA — The University of the Philippines System successfully held its

first ever virtual commencement exercises yesterday as it complied with

physical distancing restriction amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Leading Class 2020 were a bumper crop of 28 summa cum laude, an academic

distinction for graduates who earned a weighted average grade (WAG) of 1.20

or better.

Figures from the Office of the University Registrar showed that 302 received

the Latin distinction of magna cum laude (WAG of 1.4 or higher) while 683

graduated cum laude (1.75 or higher).

Of the total candidates for graduation, 2,892 received a baccalaureate

degree and 897 were conferred graduate degrees in the diploma, master’s and

doctoral levels.

Observing the health and safety protocols set by the COVID-19 Inter-Agency

Task Force, the virtual commencement exerices were limited to key

participants.

The 109th Pangkalahatang Pagtatapos carried the theme “Maglingkod,

Magmalasakit, Manindigan.”

It called on the graduating class, particularly in these challenging times,

“to serve the country with empathy and conviction so that excellence, rights

and justice may prevail.”

It also paid tribute to frontliners and those who lost their lives to

COVID-19. It was also a protest against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and

Congress’ vote to not renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.

 

 

PHILIPPINES' COVID-19 CASES NOW OVER 80,000 AS 2,110 NEW CASES CONFIRMED

 

MANILA - The Philippines reported 2,110 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on

Sunday bringing the country’s total to 80,448.

Of the confirmed cases, 52,406 were deemed active, of which 89.83 percent

were classified as mild, 9.25 percent were asymptomatic, 0.49 percent were

severe and 0.42 percent were critical.

The government however still has thousands of backlogs in validation, with

110,910 tests turning out positive as of July 25.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that Metro Manila may

revert to much stricter ‘modified enhanced community quarantine’ measures if

the number of confirmed virus infections rises to 85 thousand by July 31.

The National Capital Region had the most number of new cases at 1,345. It

was followed by provinces of Cebu with 304, Laguna with 109, Negros

Occidental with 66 and Rizal with 40.

The Department of Health also reported 382 new recoveries, pushing the total

number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 26,110.

Thirty nine more deaths were reported from the illness, bringing COVID-19’s

death toll in the Philippines to 1,932.

 

 

PHILIPPINES COULD RECORD 140,000 COVID-19 CASES BY END-AUGUST, WARNS UP

EXPERT

 

MANILA - The Philippines could record up to 90,000 COVID-19 cases by the end

of July and up to 140,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of August, an expert

from the University of the Philippines said Monday.

Mathematics professor Dr. Guido David, a member of the UP OCTA Research

group, said the group had to adjust its earlier projection of 85,000 cases

by end-July as caseload of new COVID-19 patients continued to rise

particularly in the National Capital Region.

"Hindi pababa sa ngayon pero ang trend sa Cebu is pababa na. Na-fa-flatten

na ang curve sa Cebu. Ang trend talaga sa NCR pataas, hindi lang sa NCR,

pati Calabarzon nadamay din," he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's

TeleRadyo.

 

 

SWS: 7 IN 10 FILIPINOS RECEIVED AID FROM GOV'T DURING CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

 

Seven out of 10 Filipinos said their families received financial assistance

from the government since the start of the novel coronavirus crisis,

according to a Social Weather Stations survey released Sunday.

From July 3 to 6, the polling firm asked 1,555 adult Filipinos: “Since the

beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, did your families receive help like money

from any branch or agency of government?”

Seventy-two percent of the respondents said they received cash aid from the

government.

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE

 

 

KATHRYN, DANIEL CELEBRATE 8TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A DUET ON 'ASAP'

 

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla marked their eighth year as a couple

with a duet on “ASAP Natin To.”

Treating their fans with a special number, the two took the stage of the

variety show on Sunday to do their own version of the Eraserheads' “With A

Smile.”

Sending their supporters abuzz, Bernardo and Padilla’s number immediately

trended on social media with the hashtag #KathNielCelebr8OnASAP making it to

the trending topics list on Twitter Philippines.

“ASAP Natin To” airs every Sunday at noontime on the Kapamilya Channel (Sky

Cable Channel 8 on SD and Channel 167 on HD, Cable Link Channel 8, G-Sat

Direct TV Channel 2, and PCTA member cable operators).

 

 

SPORTS

 

 

FOOTBALL: MANCHESTER UNITED AND CHELSEA CONFIRM CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPOTS WITH

VICTORIES IN FINAL PREMIER LEAGUE MATCHES

 

Manchester United and Chelsea have sealed spots in next season's Champions

League, after the two clubs won their final matches of the season to confirm

their places in the top four.

With Sunday's results, United and Chelsea will join title-winners Liverpool

and second-place Manchester City in the Champions League next season, with

the Red Devils sealing their return to the competition after finishing sixth

last season.

Meanwhile, Leicester City and Tottenham are headed to the Europa League

after their results on Sunday, with Wolves left waiting for the result of

the FA Cup final, which will determine their European fate.

United confirmed a top-four finish thanks to a 2-0 win over Leicester,

scoring twice in the second half following a tense first 45 minutes.

The game's pivotal moment came in the 70th minute when Bruno Fernandes fired

past Kasper Schmeichel from the spot after Jonny Evans fouled Anthony

Martial inside the box. Jesse Lingard then selaed the victory in the eighth

minute of stoppage time.

Fernandes' goal doomed Leicester to a fifth-place finish, with the Foxes

needing all three points against the Red Devils.

Leicester's recent results saw the Foxes fall all the way from second to

fifth, after the club remained in the top four from September 21 to July 22

before failing to return on the final day of the Premier League season.

Chelsea, meanwhile booked their Champions League spot with a 2-0 win over

Wolves, with the Blues going into Sunday knowing that even a point would be

enough to seal their spot in Europe's top competition.

The Blues all but confirmed their top-four finish with a two-goal flurry

just before half-time, with Mason Mount's stunning free-kick giving Chelsea

the lead in the first minute of first-half stoppage time.

Just three minutes later, their lead was doubled, with Olivier Giroud adding

the Blues' second while severely damaging Wolves' hopes on the day.

With Wolves' loss, Tottenham were able to push their way into a sixth-place

finish thanks to a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.

Spurs originally took the lead in the 13th minute thanks to a finish for

Harry Kane, but Palace were able to fire back in the 53rd minute through

Jeffrey Schlupp.

As a result, Spurs moved into sixth to book an automatic spot in the Europa

League, while Wolves will need Chelsea to beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final

this weekend for their seventh-place finish to be enough.

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

 

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

- Edward Abbey

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