The Filipino Express v28 Issue 05



The Filipino Express v28 Issue 05
VOL. 28 w
NO. 05 w
JAN. 31 - FEB. 6, 2014 w
(201) 434-1114 w
This photo taken on October 15, 2012, shows members of the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) rebels raising their rifles during a ceremony at Camp Darapanan in Sultan
Kudarat, Maguindanao province. AFP PHOTO
Gov't plans amnesty
for MILF insurgents
By Nikko Dizon
government will grant amnesty to
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) rebels facing rebellionrelated charges or pardon convicted
ones under a newly signed pact in
which the insurgents agreed to have
their 11,000-strong force
Presidential Peace Adviser
Teresita Deles said on Sunday, Jan.
26 that the planned amnesty, which
would need congressional approval,
February 2, 2014
Seahawks' Fil-Am
Receiver goes to
Page 9
the Super Bowl u
Page 6
Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin carried the Philippine Flag last November for the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: Seahawks Twitter
Suspect nabbed in attack on Fil-Am journalist
By Carol Tanjutco
NEW YORK -- In a quick turn of
events, the police authorities in
Queens arrested a suspect. No
further information was released
pending investigation.
Theater journalist Randy Gener
was on his way home from an
opening-night after-party on Jan. 17,
between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. when
an unidentified man struck him on
the head.
He was 100 yards away from his
home on Seventh Avenue near 54th
Street, where he was found. A sketch
of the suspect was released based on
witness account and circulated on TV
news late Monday night.
Following a candlelight vigil held
by friends of Fil-Am journalist Randy
Gener at the Philippine Center on
Fifth Avenue on Jan. 27, his family
gave more details of the assault he
Construction will begin in 2014 creating 900 Jobs
Jersey City to be Home of
New, Flagship Marriott Hotel
JERSEY CITY -- Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced
that an affiliate of Tramz Hotels has entered into a
franchise agreement with Marriott International, Inc.
(NASDAQ: MAR) for a new full-service hotel to be built
in Jersey City and operated as part of the company's
flagship Marriott Hotels brand, with construction
slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“Jersey City is one of the most diverse and dynamic
cities in the nation, and the addition of a new, flagship,
world-class hotel speaks to the vibrancy of Jersey City
to continue to attract development and tourism to our
Fil-Am journalist Randy Gener. Facebook photo
city,” said Mayor Fulop. “This project also illustrates
our commitment to bringing development off the
suffered a possible hate crime and a
waterfront and into the city.”
status update on his slow recovery
The 16-story hotel, which will be similar to the
after a brain surgery health.
Marriott Marquis in Time Square, will feature 276
Page 6
luxury rooms and suites, as well as meeting rooms,
Page 9
Wheel of torture NBI: Vhong Navarro didn't rape
Deniece Cornejo based on CCTV
Page 4
By Tetch Torres-Tupas
PAIN MACHINE. Detainees - mostly suspected drug traffickers - are forced to
spin this wheel of torture. For example, “20 seconds Manny Pacman” means
20 seconds of nonstop punches. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHR
MANILA -- The National
Bureau of Investigation on
Wednesday discounted the
possibility of rape in the incident
involving actor-TV host Vhong
Navarro and Deniece Millet
NBI Assistant Regional
Director Vicente De Guzman said
there was no instance that
Navarro and Cornejo were left
alone inside the girl's
condominium unit in Taguig City.
“Attempt to rape is not
possible. The footage is glaring
that there was no instance that
Deniece was inside her room,” De
Guzman said at a press
He also noted Navarro's
statement that when he went
inside Cornejo's condominium
unit, two men were already
De Guzman said the CCTV
footage that they have acquired
corroborates Navarro's
statement because while the
CCTV lobby showed Cedric Lee,
his sister Bernice and three other
men entering the lobby on
separate instances, the two men
were not seen on the video
except when the hand-tied
Navarro was escorted to the
elevator and towards the lobby.
Here is the time sequence of the
incident based on the CCTV
Page 5
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 2
Secluded village in Cebu town identified as cybersex hot spot
Agence France-Presse
CORDOVA, Cebu -- In the
remote village of Ibabao here,
toddlers played oblivious at a
nursery as the house next door
became part of a horrifying child
pornography ring, with live footage
of children performing sex acts
being streamed online to
pedophiles around the world.
The depraved scenes in the
bungalow were being repeated in
many homes throughout the
secluded community, where
Internet child pornography had for
some of its 5,000 residents become
more lucrative than fishing or
factory work.
“In the beginning, I was
shocked. I could not believe this
was happening in my town,” Mayor
Adelino Sitoy of Cordova in Cebu
province told Agence FrancePresse (AFP) last week, shortly
after police announced they had
cracked a global live-streaming
pedophile ring in which Ibabao was
a key source of the child
But while the village is
c u r r e n t ly i n t h e s p o t l i g h t ,
authorities and child rights
advocates say the fast-growing
global industry is infecting many
parts of the mostly poor
Philippines, with thousands of
children having been abused.
At first look, the coastal
community of Ibabao is a typical
close-knit rural village, where
many of the longtime residents are
relatives or enjoy close and
longstanding ties.
In scenes echoed across the
devoutly Catholic country, its
residents regularly attend Masses
held in quaint chapels along
narrow footpaths and dirt roads.
Parents sell children
But police and authorities said
that behind the closed doors of the
tiny wooden and brick homes,
many parents directed their
children for sex videos in front of
webcams connected via the
Internet to paying pedophiles
overseas. Other children were
lured into the homes of neighbors
and forced to perform sex acts in
front of webcams, they said.
Sitoy said the trade thrived
because children were locked
secretly inside homes, Ibabao was
remote and some elected village
leaders with relatives involved
ignored the crimes.
But some of the videos
eventually found their way into the
computer files of a known British
pedophile two years ago, triggering
a global manhunt to track down the
perpetrators. The British man was
convicted in March last year and
sentenced to eight years in prison.
Raids, kids rescued
The now abandoned house that used to streamed live sex acts of children to paedophiles watching online
overseas, is seen in the village of Ibabao in Cordova town, Cebu provnce in central Philippines on January 21,
Shortly after, police in the
Philippines began carrying out
raids in Ibabao and nearby areas
with the help of British, Australian
and US authorities.
One of the raids saw dozens of
Filipino policemen and social
workers break into the bungalow
next to the day-care center in
September last year, arresting a
couple and rescuing their three
children, aged 3, 9 and 11.
Two days later, 13 other
children, who were being abused in
other Ibabao homes, were rescued,
according to Philippine police.
Residents are generally wary of
outsiders but some allowed AFP to
interview them on condition of
Still in operation
They said “cybersex dens”
remained in operation, but security
Fears and the Filipino tradition
of not interfering with a neighbor's
affairs helped to ensure that people
did not pry further or try to stop it.
Homemaker Jennifer Canete,
38, was willing to talk openly about
the crimes, confirming many
people in the community were
involved and that she feared her
four young children could become
Page 4
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 3
15 'call center' workers held
in NBI raids vs child porn
By Nancy C. Carvajal
A newspaper ad led them to a “job” that caters to a global
Fifteen people were arrested late Tuesday in raids by the
National Bureau of Investigation on two fake call centers in Manila
and Quezon City that sold child pornography online to clients
mostly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Ronald Aguto, head agent of the NBI Computer Crimes
Division, said one of the businesseslisted as Werrcomm Solutions
Inc. on Valenzuela Street, Old Sta. Mesa, Manilauploaded videos
and photos of nude girls aged 12 to 16.
Special investigator Jay Salanguste said the employees “do not
engage in sexual acts but their job was to upload prerecorded sex
videos and engage customers abroad in sex conversations.”
“They also chat with their clients by pretending to be a child or
a young teenager,” Salanguste said. They got paid up to P30,000 a
week and were instructed to use foreign sounding names in their
chats, he added.
Werrcomm advertises itself as a legitimate call center
company and its owners were former employees of American
Chat Link, “a notorious pornography site in the 1990s,” Salanguste
said. “We just responded to a newspaper ad about a job,” said one
of the 15 arrested Werrcomm employees when questioned. Aged
20 to 25, they face charges for violating the antichild pornography
Aguto said the NBI also raided another cybersex call center
office in Quezon City but there were no staff members around
when the agents arrived. Computers were seized from both shops.
The raids came after the police earlier said the country had
become a major source of pornographic content in the fastgrowing child cybersex industry, and vowed to crack down on
those involved.
“They were caught in flagrante (in the act of wrongdoing),”
Aguto told Agence France Presse. “Some of the computers
contained child pornography as well as adult pornography.
Jeanne Napoles answers
raps - from London
By Jerome Aning
The daughter of alleged pork
barrel scam mastermind Janet LimNapoles on Friday finally answered
the P32-million tax evasion
complaint filed against her by the
Bureau of Internal Revenue in the
Department of Justice last year. She
executed the affidavit in London
before Philippine Consul General
Senen Mangalile, a DOJ staffer said.
The eight-page counteraffidavit
of Jeanne Catherine Lim Napoles
was submitted by a lawyer to the
DOJ preliminary investigation panel
h e a d e d by S e n i o r A s s i s t a n t
Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela.
Napoles, whose mother is being
investigated over one of the
Philippines' biggest corruption
scandals, earned widespread
derision for her social media posts
featuring flashy cars and a swanky
apartment in the United States.
High-flying lifestyle
Prior to the pork barrel scandal,
Napoles regularly took to Tumblr,
I n s t a g r a m a n d Yo u T u b e t o
document her high-flying lifestyle.
But after the Inquirer broke last
July her mother's alleged diversion
of P10 billion from the Priority
Development Assistance Fund
( P DA F ) i n c o n n iva n c e w i t h
Jeanne Catherine Lim Napoles.
lawmakers, her posts drew anger
across the country where many
believe a few families are enriching
themselves unfairly.
Napoles deactivated her social
media accounts, but her photos and
videos had already become viral.
Done in London
The prosecutor's office declined
to give reporters copies of Napoles'
counteraffidavit. Napoles' basic
defense was that the properties
being questioned by the BIR
belonged to her parents even if they
were acquired using her name, the
staff member said.
The BIR claimed Napoles owed
the government P32.06 million in
tax liabilities. The agency said she
did not declare any income,
although she acquired and
registered under her name real
properties in 2011 and 2012.
Among those properties were
an apartment in the swanky Ritz
Carlton residential block in Los
Angeles, which was acquired in
2011 for P54.73 million, and a farm
in Bayambang town, Pangasinan
province, bought in 2012, in which
she allegedly had a one-ninth share
equivalent to P1.49 million.
Assistant State Prosecutor
Stewart Allan Mariano, who
te m p o ra r i ly to o k ove r f ro m
Valenzuela in the hearing last
month, set Feb. 18 as the deadline
for the BIR and Napoles' parents to
file their memorandums in the
separate P61-million tax evasion
complaint filed against the couple
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 4
41 detainees maltreated at secret PNP facility
Wheel of torture: 10 cops relieved
By Cynthia D. Balana
MANILA -- Ten Philippine
National Police officers have been
sacked following revelations they
played a so-called “wheel of
torture” game at a secret detention
facility to extract information from
criminal suspects and also to have
fun, the Commission on Human
Rights (CHR) said on Tuesday.
The CHR is looking into the
alleged maltreatment of up to 41
detainees in the PNP facility in
Biñan, Laguna province, according
to the commission.
Under the game, detainees mostly suspected drug
traffickerswere punched if the
“torture wheel” stopped at “20
seconds Manny Pacman,” referring
to a nickname of popular boxer
Manny Pacquiao, or hung upside
down if it stopped at a punishment
called “30-second bat,” said
A m n e s t y I n te r n a t i o n a l , t h e
London-based rights group. It
called the practice despicable.
“It's horrible,” said CHR chair
Loretta Ann Rosales of the
revelation more than three
decades after the Philippines
emerged from the brutal era of the
Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.
“They do it for fun, it's like a
game for entertainment,” Rosales
said. “We're trying to correct this
mindset based on a human rights
approach to policing but obviously
it may take a lot of time.”
Thousands of victims during
the Marcos regime won a class
action suit in 1992 in Hawaii
against the Marcos estate for
torture and other rights violations.
Marcos was ousted in the peaceful
1986 Edsa People Power
Rosales, herself a torture
victim during the Marcos regime,
said that she had discussed the
torture allegations with top PNP
President Aquino has pledged
to take steps to prosecute violators
of human rights in past years.
Rights groups, however, say
violations have continued with
impunity under Aquino's watch.
Multicolored wheel
A picture of the multicolored
wheel provided by the CHR
showed several other torture
selections, including “3 minutes
zombies” and “30-second duck
walk/ferris wheel” but it was not
immediately clear how those
punishments were carried out.
“For police officers to use
torture for fun is despicable,”
Amnesty International's Hazel
Galang-Folli said in a statement.
“These are abhorrent acts.
Suspending officers is not enough.
Errant police personnel and their
commanding officers should be
held accountable in a court of law,”
she added.
The group called on the Aquino
administration “to act immediately
to put an end to routine torture.”
Aquino's communications
secretary, Sonny Coloma, said: “We
will await CHR's findings and
recommendations on this specific
matter as it has the primary
responsibility for protecting and
promoting human rights.”
Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore
Sindac, the PNP spokesman, said
several officers had been taken into
custody and an investigation was
under way.
CHR spokesman Marc Titus
Cebreros said the officers had been
summoned to its office in Biñan
and told to submit their
counteraffidavits within 10 days.
The officers, who had been
relieved of their posts, were
identified as Chief Insp. Arnold
Formento, SPO1 Alexander Asis,
PO3 Freddie Ramos, PO2 Marc
Julius Caesar, PO2 Aldwin Tibuc,
PO2 Melmar Baybado Viray, PO1
Nelson Caribo, SPO2 Bernardino
Artisen, PO2 Mateo Cailo and PO2
Renan Galang.
41 victims
Initial investigation by the CHR
revealed the possibility of 41
alleged victims of torture and other
forms of ill-treatment at the PNP
provincial intelligence branch in
O n e o f t h e v i c t i m s wa s
identified as Greg Montemayor, a
detainee who was allegedly
tortured sometime in June 2013
and again last Jan. 8.
He was hit with a paddle and a
baseball bat, his head banged and
punched allegedly by respondents
Caribo, Viray, Asis and Caesar.
Another victim, Leody
Camacho, who was arrested on Oct.
17, 2013, was tortured the same
Seclude village ...
From page 2
Canete said one of her children
attended the nursery located next to the
house where the three children were
being abused. “We were angry that this
could happen just near the day care,” she
“I was also afraid, we didn't know
what could happen to our children if they
went to school because there were many
here who were doing that.”
Authorities say they do not know
exactly when the trade arrived in Ibabao.
Shadowy outsider
But, according to local social
workers, a Filipino woman from outside
the community believed to belong to an
organized crime group relocated to the
village several years ago and introduced
locals to the get-rich-quick scheme.
That woman taught residents how to
scout for clients in pornographic chat
rooms and receive payments through
i n t e r n a t i o n a l m o n e y t ra n s f e r s ,
according to the social workers, who did
not want to be named for security
Some operators lured friends of their
children into their homes and abused
them, threatening to harm their parents
if they told anyone, the social workers
$100 a session
One parent told AFP a neighbor who
had tried to recruit her said clients paid
as much as $100 a session, a fortune in a
region where the minimum daily wage is
the equivalent of about $7.
She said the neighbor justified the
trade by saying that no actual physical
contact took place.
“I was angry. We were always taught
to protect and love our children,” the
day and on Jan. 9, allegedly by the
same four policemen who hit him
with a steel bar, gun and baseball
bat. Other victim-detainees were
identified as Rowelito Almeda,
Isiah Hadlocon, Jayvee Dimapilis,
Neil Castillo, Mark Frederick Lim,
Hector Domalaon, Dell Ramos
Robertson, Leo Umali Romasanta,
Kristofferson Climaco Cesar,
woman said.
“We are not rich, but we are also not
poor and desperate. It was an evil thing
to do.”
Nevertheless, she said that staying
silent and steering clear of those
involved in the trade was the best thing
to do, to avoid any trouble.
In announcing the dismantling of the
pedophile network, Britain's National
Crime Agency said in mid-January that
11 people had been arrested in the
Philippines and 18 elsewhere around
the world.
Another 733 suspects were being
investigated, the British crime agency
Andrey Sawchenko, Philippine head
of the Washington-based International
Justice Mission who helped in the
arrests, said 39 children had been
rescued in Ibabao and elsewhere in the
Tip of iceberg
But this is widely believed to be just
the tip of the iceberg, with the British
crime agency describing online child sex
abuse as a “significant and emerging
“Extreme poverty, the increasing
availability of high speed Internet and
the existence of a vast and comparatively
wealthy overseas customer base has led
to organized crime groups exploiting
children for financial gain,” it said.
Dutch advocate group Terre des
Hommes estimates that “tens of
thousands” of children are being abused
through the cybersex industry just in the
Over 10 weeks, 20,000 people from
71 countries approached the fake girl
asking for sexual performances,
according to Terre des Hommes, which
passed on the details of the pedophiles to
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 5
Cebu execs bare Cedric Lee dealings
By Carmel Loise Matus, Connie
CEBU CITY -- An attempt by
businessman Cedric Lee to clinch
an energy deal with the province of
Cebu that bore signs of
irregularities is starting to share
the spotlight with the scandal
involving Lee, a female friend and
comedian Vhong Navarro.
Officials of the province, while
denying that Lee has a live contract
to build a power plant using waste
as fuel, also revealed details of what
some said were signs of
irregularities in the project that
Lee, who is now facing a string of
cases for beating up Navarro for
allegedly trying to rape Lee's friend
Deniece Cornejo, has been trying to
have the provincial government
Lee, owner of Waste
Management Inc. (WMI), first sent
representatives to Vice Gov. Agnes
Magpale when Magpale took over
as acting governor when
Gwendolyn Garcia was suspended
for six-months on
Dec. 19, 2012 for usurpation of
Lee's representatives wanted
Magpale to sign a contract that
would allow WMI to develop a
power plant using waste as fuel on
the controversial Balili lot in Naga
town, Cebu.
“When I read the contract, I
asked them 'Do you know where
the property is?' I told them it
would be in the Balili property
which is subject to litigation,”
Magpale told Inquirer in a phone
Former governor Garcia and
seven others are facing graft
charges at the Sandiganbayan for
the purchase of a 24.7-hectare
property in Barangay (village)
Tinaan, Naga, worth P98.9 million
which turned out to be mostly
Magpale said Lee's
representatives assured her that
the project had been awarded to
them. Apparently, the contract was
n o t s i g n e d d u e to G a rc i a' s
suspension. A few days after taking
over the provincial government,
Magpale said Lee's representatives
again asked her to sign the contract.
“No, I didn't sign it. I didn't sign
anything,” she said. Last December,
Lee approached Gov. Hilario Davide
III in an attempt to revive the
project but this time, it would be in
Danao City, northern Cebu.
Lee presented to Davide a copy
of memorandum of agreement that
baffled provincial officials since the
contract was not awarded to any
company after a failure of bidding.
E t h e l N a t e ra , p rov i n c i a l
information officer, said Lee's WMI
was supposed to be one of three
companies that bidded for the
THEN Gov. Gwen Garcia harvests “bangus” from the Balili property that her administration bought for P98 million but
which turned out to be mostly underwater. TONEE DESPOJO/CEBU DAILY NEWS
But when the bid was opened,
only two companies remained, she
added. Yet, Natera said, none of the
companies, including Lee's WMI,
qualified for the bidding.
The two companies later
decided to form a consortium for
the project, said Natera.
But based on minutes of the
Dec. 17, 2012 session of the
provincial board, Board Member
Alex Binghay pushed for the
deferment of action on a resolution
that would have authorized then
governor Garcia to seal the deal
with Lee's WMI.
According to the minutes,
Binghay wanted clarification since
For saying he's rich, Cedric
Lee arouses BIR's curiosity
By Tetch Torres-Tupas
MANILA -- The Bureau of Internal
Revenue (BIR) has already started
investigating Cedric Lee, one of the
respondents in the mauling of actor
Vhong Navarro, to see if he is paying
taxes honestly.
“It is natural for us to look into it
because like we said anytime there is a
controversy, we look at the tax
compliance because it says a lot about
the character of the person whether
they comply with laws including tax
laws,” BIR Commissioner Kim Henares
told reporters Thursday.
The BIR's probe was an offshoot of
Lee's public admission that he is rich
and he owns several businesses. Lee is
one of the incorporators of Waste
Management Incorporated. He is
reportedly engaged in mining,
construction and land reclamation.
“The reason why we said we are
looking into Cedric Lee is because he
mentioned that he is a reputable
businessman, he owns all these
companies. So, we have to satisfy our
curiosity or if there is a suspicion, we
have to satisfy that,” Henares said.
Henares added that aside from
Lee's public admission of his wealth,
they learned that one of Lee's business
partner is Tyrone Ong, President of
Mandaluyong City-based Enviroaire
Inc. ,who was slapped with a case for
P184-million tax evasion in 2012.
Enviroaire has supplied the
Philippine National Police (PNP) with
motor equipment and the emission
testing machines.
Currently, Ong is at the PNP
Custodial Center in Camp Crame after
ordered arrested by the
Sandiganbayan for violation of the
anti-graft law and malversation over
the questionable repair and
maintenance of V-150 armored
vehicles worth P385.48 million in
NBI: Vhong ...
Justice) entered the lobby together
with still unidentified man
From page 1
10:38 p.m. Navarro, in shorts, blue
polo shirt and a bull cap entered the
condominium lobby
10:43:26 Cornejo entered the lobby
10:40 Cornejo was seen at the lobby
going out of the building
10:48 a certain Mike (also a
respondent in the complaint filed by
the NBI at the DOJ) was seen entering
the condominium lobby
10:41 Cedric Lee entered the
condominium lobby
10:56 Cedric's sister Bernice entered
the lobby
10:43:08 Ferdinand Guerrero (in
white shirt and wearing glasses and
one of the respondents in the
complaint filed at the Department of
11:10 Navarro was escorted inside
the elevator with Lee, Bernice,
Deniece and five other men
the board had been informed that
the project was supposed to be
undertaken by a consortium
composed of Lee's WMI and
Singapore-based Bousted
Singapore and Synova.
In the contract presented to the
board, however, only Lee's WMI
was listed as project proponent.
Fo r m e r g o ve r n o r G a r c i a
supported the project, though. She
had made a presentation on the
project, called Proposed Tina-an
Ecozone Development Plan, to try
to win the provincial board's
The power plant using waste as
fuel would be built under a build-
operate-transfer scheme.
The plan for the project shows
several facilities would be built
including a port, area for light
industry and manufacturing, water
reservoir and an eco-park.
The project would have cost
$150 million and required the
project proponent, supposedly the
consortium Synova led by Lee's
WMI, to pay P30 per square meter,
or P800,000 a month, in lease.
The province, as proposed in
the draft contract, would have
earned 2 percent from gross
revenues of the facility and earn
P850 million in 25 years.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 6
A Song for Randy Gener
By Grace G. Baldisseri
Much has been written about Randy
Gener, a performing artist, community
organizer, multi-awarded journalist, a
cheerful friend and a freedom lover.
We condemn the horrifying incident
on January 17 at 7th Avenue and 54th
Street in Manhattan when he was badly
beaten by a man from Queens who was
recently arrested and identified to be a
resident of Queens, New York.
Last night, I have written this poem
from the editorial desk of The Filipino
Express. Our way of saying, we are
praying for Randy's speedy recovery.
Our readers are happy to know that
Randy Gener is on the way to recovery. It
will not be easy and it will not be soon.
But if we continue to storm heaven
with all our prayers, a miracle will
A Song for Randy Gener
We bring you prayers of good cheer
With fans and friends who love you dear
We were there at your prayer vigil
With five layered clothes as we chill
When we knew not what tomorrow brings
God revealed Himself in mysterious things
With pure hearts we offered our thanks
Randy, you are safe in His hands
Now the angels whom God had sent
Came to feel your pulse as they vent
All of us here continue to pray
That God heals you in a special way
Dear friend, miracles work even today
In our hearts we know you will be okay
When trials come, these will soon be gone
Rejoice! Here comes the bright sun
Suspect nabbed
in attack ... From page 1
“We are pleased and relieved that a
suspect has finally been apprehended
and trust that the NYPD and District
Attorney will make all efforts to bring
justice for Randy,” Stephen Nisbet,
Gener's husband, and sister-in-law
Jessica Blair Driessler stated. “At this
time, we are focusing on Randy's healing
and moving forward together as a
The family issued a statement
t h a n k i n g t h e N e w Yo r k P o l i c e
Department, particularly the Hate
Crimes Task Force, a non-profit
organization NYC Anti-Violence Project
and the community at large for joint
efforts in raising awareness of the
incident, holding a vigil and fund-raising
for Gener's medical expense.
The Franciscan friars of St. Francis of
Assisi NYC condemned the attack against
the gay community. “To our gay and
lesbian brothers and sisters, the staff and
friars assert our solidarity with you,” said
Fr. Julian Jagudilla, OFM. “We strongly
add our voice to the call for everyone's
right to live with dignity and freedom,
especially freedom from violence of any
In a similar incident in the past, the
friars stated, “To the rest of our
community, we urge everyone to stand
up against this violence in word and
deed. Christ stood between the stone-
Stephen Nisbet (left), partner of Fil-Am
journalist Randy Gener for 19 years until
their marriage two years ago, with Fr.
Julian Jagudilla OFM, during the press
conference and prayer rally at the
Philippine Center, Fifth Avenue, New
wielding crowd and the woman caught in
adultery. He even commanded that
swords be put away when the soldiers
came to arrest him. Jesus deplores
violence and as His disciples we must do
the same. Let us all stand up for our gay
brothers and sisters in solidarity against
any sort of violence: verbal and
Gov’t plans
amnesty ...
From page 1
would cover only fighters of the
MILF and exclude insurgents
who broke off from the main
Moro group and continue to
threaten attacks.
A pact signed by government
and MILF negotiators in the
Malaysian capital on Saturday,
Jan. 25 says the granting of
amnesty and pardon is aimed at
facilitating “the healing of the
wounds of conflict and the return
to normal life.”
The “normalization annex,”
as the pact is called, is the final
component of a peace agreement
expected to be formally signed
“ We h ave j u s t b e e n
discussing the next steps and our
goal is to be able to get a good
s c h e d u l e f o r t h a t ,” c h i e f
government negotiator Miriam
Coronel-Ferrer said in Kuala
Lumpur on Sunday.
“We have set a time frame of
between February and March,”
Ferrer said.
The talks that began in 1996
with the MILF are aimed at
ending an insurgency in
Mindanao that has left an
estimated 150,000 people dead
since the 1970s.
After a final deal is signed, the
two sides will write a
Bangsamoro basic law and
submit it to Congress for
approval. The basic law will
create the Bangsamoro
autonomous region.
President Aquino has
promised to certify the
Bangsamoro bill urgent when he
submits it to Congress.
MNLF opposition
Another insurgent group in
Mindanao, the Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF),
which signed a final peace
agreement with the
government in 1996, opposes a
separate peace with the MILF.
An MNLF faction led by
Cotabato City Vice Mayor
Muslimin Sema did not reject
outright the peace accord
signed on Saturday, but said it
wanted all prior agreements
enforced first before the
enforcement of the deal with
the MILF.
On Sunday, MILF chief
negotiator Mohagher Iqbal
thanked Sema for not rejecting
the normalization deal
between the government and
the MILF.
Iqbal, speaking in Kuala
L u m p u r, s a i d t h e p e a c e
agreement was for all the Moro
“Of course, we continue to
reach out to everybody,
including the MNLF, that the
agreement that we are going to
sign with the Philippine
government is for everybody
and we are very inclusive,” he
a d d e d , re f e r r i n g t o t h e
comprehensive agreement on
the Bangsamoro, the final
peace agreement between the
government and the MILF.
1996 peace deal
Iqbal assured Sema that
the annex on power-sharing
included the mechanisms on
how the 1996 peace agreement
between the government and
the MNLF would be integrated
into the agreement with the
“The Bangsamoro Transition
Commission, of which I happen
to chair, is tasked to look at the
1996 peace agreement and see
the elements [there] that can be
inputted in the Bangsamoro
basic law that we are crafting,”
Iqbal said.
Members of the MNLF were
invited to join the Transition
Commission but they declined, as
it could run in conflict with the
ongoing tripartite review of the
Organic Law of the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao
Sema told the Inquirer that
the MNLF's “silence on any
impending agreement is not our
choice but it is forced upon us,
lest we are branded as spoilers.”
Sema cofounded the MNLF
with Nur Misuari but the
movement eventually split, with
Sema now leading the Committee
of 15.
Misuari, on the other hand, is
now a fugitive, being hunted for
instigating an attack on
Zamboanga City last September.
He claimed the government
reneged on the 1996 peace
Sema's group did not support
the Zamboanga attack and urged
its fighters not to join Misuari's
But Sema awaits the next
tripartite meeting.
“After Zambo, no talks took
place but consultations were
made by the PCSP (Peace
Committee in Southern
Philippines) and the OIC
(Organization of Islamic
Cooperation). We have posted
our preparedness to proceed
with the meetings,” he said.
Page 7
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 7
Signing of annex draws int'l praise, aid pledges
MANILA -- The Philippines on
Sunday won global praise as well
as pledges of support to help in
achieving lasting peace and
economic development in
Mindanao following the signing
between the government and the
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) of the last agreement
needed before the conclusion of a
final peace accord.
Messages of congratulations
poured in from nations and
international organizations aiding
the peace talks a day after the
government and the MILF signed
the normalization annex of the
Framework Agreement on the
Bangsamoro in Kuala Lumpur,
The United States, United
Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland,
European Union and United
Nations Secretary General Ban KiMoon sent separate statements
commending the negotiating
panels of the two sides as well as
President Aquino and MILF chair
Murad Ebrahim for Saturday's
Ban, in a statement on the UN
website, commended Aquino and
Murad for their “vision and
leadership,” and the peace panels
for their “perseverance,
commitment and courage” in the
peace process.
Ban also expressed his “sincere
gratitude” to Malaysia for its role
as negotiator.
“The UN secretary expresses
the readiness of the United Nations
establishment of the Bangsamoro
Transition Authority toward the
realization of the Bangsamoro
autonomous region.
“As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
announced during his visit to the
Philippines in July last year, Japan
will strengthen its support to the
Mindanao peace process through
the assistance for community
development, capacity-building in
transition period, sustainable
economic development in
Mindanao and other methods,”
Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
said in a statement.
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, seated left, chairperson of Philippine Government Peace Panel, and Mohagher Iqbal, seated
right, chief negotiator for the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), sign documents with Malaysian facilitator Abdul
Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, sitting center, as witness, during the 43rd GPH-MILF Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. AP PHOTO/LAI SENG SIN
to accompany the final phase
of the peace process and the
implementation of the
comprehensive peace agreement,”
the statement said.
Promise of peace
US Secretary of State John
Kerry said the agreement “offers
the promise of peace, security and
economic prosperity now and for
future generations in Mindanao,”
and commended the two camps,
Malaysia and the International
Contact Group, for their efforts to
Gov’t plans
amnesty ... From page 6
The PCSP is chaired by Indonesia,
the third-party facilitator for the
tripartite talks.
Weight lifted
Iqbal said it was as if a huge weight
was lifted off his shoulders after the
final document that made up the peace
pact between his group and the
government was signed early Saturday
“The burden upon my shoulders
has substantially disappeared,” a
smiling Iqbal told the Inquirer
following the signing of the
normalization annex.
Iqbal has been the MILF chief's
negotiator since 2003, facing off with
nine government chief negotiators over
nearly 10 years to arrive at a peace
agreement that ends four decades of
fighting in Central Mindanao.
The work is not done for both
panels, which will continue to work on
the implementation of the peace deal
until an exit agreement is signed in
2016, they hope before the term of
Aquino ends.
But Iqbal has another important
responsibility: chairing the
Bangsamoro Transitional Committee, a
resolve the decades-long
conflict in the region.
British Foreign Secretary
William Hague described the latest
development in the peace talks as a
“positive news” that was “all the
more welcome” after the
devastation wrought by Super
Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas
last November.
“The courage and leadership
shown by the parties gives great
hope that [the difficult challenges]
can be overcome, and we are ready
to provide whatever further
joint government and MILF panel
that is writing the Bangsamoro basic
law. The law will govern the
Bangsamoro region that will replace
the ARMM.
“Our focus now is the crafting of
the basic law. We have to do that and
time is running to finish the job on or
before May this year,” Iqbal said.
After the draft law is enacted by
Congress, a plebiscite will be held in
in Central Mindanao to ask the
people if they want to be included in
the new Bangsamoro region.
Iqbal does not want to call
Congress “the next battleground,”
after facing the government on the
battlefield with weapons and then
moving on to the negotiating table to
hammer out a peace agreement.
He said he would rather consider
Congress “the next avenue of
Iqbal and the MILF panel met
with the lawmakers who attended
the signing on Saturday.
“The discussion was very cordial
and friendly, and we promised them
that from time to time we would
reach out to them.
We told them that we firmly
believe that the collective wisdom of
Congress would finally pass a good
legislation for the Bangsamoro,”
Iqbal said.
Support we can to help the
[Bangsamoro people] and the
Philippines recover from this
devastating conflict,” said Hague,
whose government is a member of
the International Contact Group
that supports the peace talks.
Fellow International Contact
Group member Japan said it was a
“pleasure” to have contributed to
the peace process and that it
“strongly hoped” the parties would
implement the transition process,
including the enactment of the
Bangsamoro basic law and the
'Historic moment'
EU High Representative for
Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton,
who is also high representative for
security policy and vice president
of the commission, said the signing
of the agreement was a “truly
historic moment” and
demonstrated a commitment to
achieve lasting peace in Mindanao
“through a unique and holistic
concept of normalization that
encompasses the gradual
decommissioning of arms, overall
demilitarization and its economic
and social development.”
“The EU, as a member of the
International Monitoring Team
and major development partner in
Mindanao since 1990, will
continue to fully support the
implementation of the process,”
Ashton said.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 8
Swedish king wows Tacloban kids
By Joey A. Gabieta
TACLOBAN CITY -- Ten-year-old
Jobez Timatiga was all smiles.
He could not help but feel excited
and giddy after receiving a set of boy
scout uniforms from King Carl XVI
Gustaf of Sweden and shaking the
hand of the monarch.
President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges views with His Majesty Carl
“It felt great to see the king. It
XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, during the courtesy call at the Music
was cool and his hands were so
Room of the Malacañan Palace on Friday (January 24). This is the first
said Timatiga, a Grade 5
visit of a Swedish monarch and Head of State of Sweden to the
pupil of San Fernando Central School
Philippines. Sweden's reigning monarch will visit the projects of the
in Barangay (village) Sagkahan here.
Boy Scouts of the Philippines in Tacloban in the aftermath of Typhoon
Timatiga was one of the 100
Yolanda (Haiyan), and other related projects of the Swedish
monument in Tacloban City on January 26, 2014. AFP
pupils who received a set of
Government implemented through the United Nations Office for the
uniforms from Gustaf, the first royal
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (MNS photo)
to visit Eastern Visayas.
the scouting organization.
9:18 a.m., was with Swedish boy
The king received a lei from Jose
Before visiting the schools, the
scout officials Simon Hang Bock,
Amistoso, a Grade 2 pupil. “I'm
king of Sweden said he heard reports
chair of the World Organization
proud to see the king,” he said.
that many local scouts had helped
Scout Movement, and Vice President
Before visiting San Fernando
the typhoon victims. “I am here in my
Jejomar Binay, national president of
Central School, the monarch also
capacity as a scout and I heard a lot
the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
distributed 75 sets of boy scout
about scouting in your country. I am
He was welcomed by Tacloban
uniforms in San Jose National High
[also] here to see the destruction and
City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and
School in Barangay San Jose.
many scouts did tremendous jobs
Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Petilla.
Eighteen British educational institutions are set to
The uniforms consist of a T-shirt,
Gustaf said in a press
He left at 1:20 p.m. But during his
arrive in the Philippines next month to encourage more
a pair of pants, a belt and a carabao
conference held inside a huge tent of
four-hour visit , the Swedish
Filipinos to pursue studies in the United Kingdom.
slide. Leyte province has about
the United Nations. The king said
monarch was secured by more than
In a statement, the British Embassy in Manila said the
28,564 members and 4,500 in
one of the characters of a scout was
500 police, Army and Presidential
delegation would include the Cambridge Education
Tacloban. Local boy scout officials
the willingness to help. This, he
Security Guard members.
Group, Hult International Business School, London
said the king decided to hand out
added, emerged during the disaster.
Gustaf held a 10-minute news
School of Commerce, Northumbria University, Study
uniforms to scouts here after
“Let us work together. I believe that's
conference before he went to San
Group, University Of Bedfordshire, University Of Kent,
receiving reports that many of them
what scouts are good at because they
Jose National High School in
University Of Northampton, University Of Reading
lost their uniforms during the
know how to help each other,”
Barangay San Jose. He then visited
Malaysia, University Of South Wales, University Of
the Boy Scout Monument at the
Sunderland, University Of The Arts London, University
Gustaf is the honorary chair of
j u n c t i o n o f Fa t i m a D i s t r i c t .
Of Warwick, and the University Of West London.
the World Scouting Foundation and
Page 12
is said to be one of the top donors of
The king, who arrived here at
British schools seek
Filipino students
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 9
Jersey City Launches Branding
Campaign to Make Jersey City
Best Mid-Size City in America
Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin Jr.
Seahawks' Fil-Am Receiver
goes to the Super Bowl
SEATTLE -- Filipino-American Doug
Baldwin Jr. carried an upside down
Philippine flag into the football field last
November to show that his team, the
Seattle Seahawks was at war with the
aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda
(international name: Haiyan).
Seahawks fans donated to the relief
efforts and team owner Paul G. Allen
matched all the donations to the Red
On Feb. 2 Baldwin and his teammates
this time will battle the Denver Broncos
at the National Football League (NFL) at
Super Bowl XLVIII in New York. Football
fans see the championship duel as a
traditional holiday.
Baldwin told the Seattle Times that
he wants to visit his relatives (“too many
to count”) including his grandma in
Tacloban after the game.
“I'm seriously considering taking
time out this off-season to make sure I get
out there. Because that's my family,”
Baldwin said. Most of his relatives'
homes were ravaged and they had to stay
with his grandaunt, he said.
But for now, the Super Bowl is what's
on his and his teammates' minds. After
all, this is the Seahawks' (15-3 this
season) first trip to the Super Bowl since
bowing to Pittsburgh in 2005. In the Jan.
19 playoff with the 49ers, Baldwin made
clutch plays that set up scores by his
Baldwin in the second quarter
caught a 51-yard pass from quarterback
Russell Wilson, which moved the
Seahawks to the 49ers' 11-yard line. A
few plays later, kicker Steven Hauschka
nailed a 32-yarder for the Seahawks first
score of the game, 10-3. Baldwin later in
the third period returned a kickoff for 69
yards that set up a second field goal for
Hauschka that cut their deficit to 17-13.
Jersey City ...
said Tarrunumn Murad, Developer,
SLHN. “We are very excited to bring the
Marriott brand to Jersey City, which is
the state leader in economic
development with residential,
commercial and tourism development
thriving in Jersey City."
In addition to creating more than
900 construction jobs, more than 150
permanent jobs will be created once the
hotel is operational.
“Hotels are known to be one of the
best employers for hiring local residents
and these jobs will provide great
opportunities for Jersey City residents,”
added Mayor Fulop.
The new hotel is Jersey City's fifth
world-class hotel, all of which enjoy
occupancy rates in the high 90th
percentile. This week, the two NFL Super
Bowl teams are staying at Jersey City's
Hyatt and Westin hotels as they prepare
for Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium
in East Rutherford. (Jennifer Morrill,
Press Secretary to Mayor Steven M. Fulop)
From page 1
ballrooms, a restaurant, and a rooftop
bar/lounge with views of Jersey City and
New York City.
Noah Silverman, Chief Development
Officer, North America Full Service
Hotels at Marriott International, said,
“We're pleased to work with SLHN to
plant the Marriott Hotels flag in Jersey
City, a destination that has reinvented
itself and is increasingly a center of
economic activity, right across the river
from downtown New York City. We look
forward to the Jersey City Marriott
offering an exciting and relevant new
hospitality experience in the city.”
The hotel will be located in the
Liberty North Harbor Redevelopment
Area, near Liberty State Park and the
Liberty Science Center, as well as the
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.
“The Jersey City market is one that
continues to grow and attract families,
young professionals, and businesses,”
Steven M. Fulop announced that
the Jersey City Economic
Development Corporation, on
behalf of the City of Jersey City, is
soliciting proposals from
individuals and firms interested
in assisting the JCEDC on a
branding and marketing
campaign of up to $1.2 million to
position Jersey City as the best
mid-size City in America. Half of
the $1.2 million will be paid for
through private partnerships.
In addition to the branding
and marketing RFP, the Jersey
City EDC is also asking residents
to submit logo designs and
taglines as part of a branding
The marketing campaign
will be comprehensive,
featuring a new logo, tagline,
and website, as well as social
media and taxi and subway
advertisements, amongst other
print, broadcast and outdoor
Residents Can
Compete for Logo
& Tagline Contest
“Jersey City continues to
attract families, young
p ro fe s s i o n a l s , a n d o t h e r
residents to our city who are
seeking a diverse, metropolitan
center with vibrant
neighborhoods, culture and
recreational opportunities,”
s a i d M ayo r Fu l o p . “ T h i s
branding and marketing
campaign will help us refocus
the image of Jersey City to the
rest of the region, nation and the
world to expand on that growth
as we become the best mid-size
City in America.”
“One of the main goals of the
marketing campaign is to
highlight the diversity of
neighborhoods and attractions
throughout the city to showcase
all of what Jersey City has to
offer,” added Mayor Fulop.
The complete RFP can be
found at
A panel will review the
contest submissions and select
five finalists who will be
interviewed about their
proposal. The winning
submission will receive a $5,000
prize. The citizen entry may be
used as part of the
comprehensive marketing plan.
“In addition to having one of
the most artistic communities in
the nation, Jersey City residents
love their city and have
incredible civic pride, so we
want to hear from all you about
how you think we can best
rebrand Jersey City,” added
Mayor Fulop. - Jennifer Morrill,
Press Secretary to Mayor Steven
M. Fulop.
The broad objectives of the RFP include:
a) Distinguish Jersey City from other cities and communities, and establish its role as
a regional and national leader, “The Best Mid-Size City in the United States.”
b) Reinforce and direct focus toward the City's competitive advantages.
c) Increase Jersey City's capacity to attract real estate development and residents.
d) Encourage other groups (e.g. hospitals, real estate developers, retail, small
business and industry, colleges, community groups, and tourism organizations) to
participate in cohesive communications and branding efforts.
e) Further enhance a sense of community in Jersey City of Jersey City.
f) Promote and market Jersey City as a premier travel destination for both the leisure
and business traveler, domestically and internationally.
Contest submissions are due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 2014 and should
be mailed (hard copies) or hand-delivered in a sealed envelope to:
Florence Baron
Jersey City Economic Development Corporation
30 Montgomery Street, Suite 1400, Jersey City, NJ 07302
[email protected]
Editorial & opinion
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 10
Peace possible
To those who ask what will define the Aquino presidency,
today is a defining moment!” That was President Aquino's
spokesperson Edwin Lacierda exulting on Twitter last Sunday,
minutes after the negotiating panels of the Philippine
government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed the
fourth and last annex of a proposed peace deal that would pave
the way for the cessation of hostilities in Mindanao.
The Annex on Normalization, as it is called, mandates the
gradual decommission of the MILF's arms and, with
congressional approval, the grant of amnesty to its members
facing rebellion-related charges or pardon to convicted onesa
gesture meant to facilitate “the healing of the wounds of
conflict and the return to normal life,” as the document puts it.
After a comprehensive peace deal is signed, the two panels will
next buckle down to writing a Bangsamoro basic law that will
create a new Bangsamoro autonomous region.
The measure will then have to be certified urgent by the
President and submitted to Congress for approval. Once it's
enacted into law, it will be the subject of a plebiscite in which
qualified voters in the identified territories of the new
Bangsamoro region will take part. The Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao will be deemed abolished once the
Bangsamoro law is ratified by popular consensus, with a
Bangsamoro Transition Authority appointed in the interim to
govern the territory. Full normalization will take place with the
election of a Bangsamoro government by 2016.
Clearly, it's still a long road ahead for the Mindanao peace
process, and many substantive hurdles remain. But Lacierda
may be forgiven for his excitement last Sunday. Prudence is a
good virtue in any exercise with still too many variables, but it
would also be churlish to diminish, or deny, the import of what
had just taken place.
With the signing of the final component of the proposed
peace agreement, the Aquino administration has managed to
go the farthest than any before it in its quest to find peace for
Mindanaoafter 17 years of intermittent negotiations with the
MILF and an even longer war that has left some 150,000 dead
in the region since the 1970s. All four administrations after the
Marcos dictatorship had taken their own swing at the Gordian
knotfrom Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos' foundational
work to bring Nur Misuari's original Moro National Liberation
Front to the fold with the creation of the ARMM, to Joseph
Estrada's brutal all-out war against the MILF and Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo's proposed memorandum of agreement on
a n c e s t ra l d o m a i n t h a t wa s e ve n t u a l ly d e e m e d
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
None has come this close to a final peace deal as the Aquino
administration appears to have at this time, with optimism
running high on both sides of the negotiating table that a
momentum has been achieved for the critical final push.
His recent caper in Zamboanga City showed that Misuari
can still throw a monkey wrench into the peace processthough
Malacañang's decisive response to that bloody siege has, for
now, made the former ARMM chair even more irrelevant, his
followers on the run, and his political standing in tatters. But
Misuari's legacy of adventurism still runs rampant in many
parts of Mindanao. The breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic
Green Card Is Possible
Despite Petitioner's Death
Is it still possible for the
beneficiary to get a green card
even if petitioner dies? Before
Section 204(l) of Immigration and
Nationality Act was enacted by
Congress, the death of the
petitioner automatically revoked
the petition save for two instances.
One was when the beneficiary was
the widow or widower of a US
citizen who might benefit as the
surviving spouse only if they were
married for at least two years or the
so-called “Widow Penalty” and
two, through reinstatement of an
approved I-130 petition on
humanitarian grounds.
With Section 204(l), those
eligible for survivor immigration
benefits expanded to include the
following: the beneficiary of a
pending or approved immediate
relative visa petition; the
beneficiary of a pending or
approved family-based visa
petition, including both the
principal beneficiary and any
derivative beneficiaries; any
derivative beneficiary of a pending
or approved employment-based
visa petition; the beneficiary of a
pending or approved Form I-730 or
Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition;
an alien admitted as a derivative
“T” or “U” nonimmigrant; or a
derivative asylee.
Also, the “widow penalty” has
been eliminated allowing widows
of U.S. citizens and their children to
self-petition even if the marriage
was less than two years when the
petitioner died.
In order to benefit from Section
204(l), the surviving relative must
be residing in the U.S. at the time
the petitioner or qualifying relative
died and must continue to reside in
the U.S. Residence for this purpose
means the “principal actual
dwelling place in fact, without
regard to intent.” For petitions with
multiple beneficiaries, it is not
required that all beneficiaries meet
the residence requirement. If one
beneficiary meets the residence
requirement, all other
beneficiaries, such as the spouse
and minor children of the principal
beneficiary, may benefit from this
Section 204(l) seeks to place
the beneficiary in the same
position but for the death of the
p e t i t i o n e r. T h e U S C I S w i l l
adjudicate the petition and other
related applications as if the
petitioner or qualifying relative did
not die. Thus, if the qualifying
beneficiary is eligible under
Page 12
Page 12
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Lito A. Gajilan, Jr.
Columnists: Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq.,
Juan L. Mercado, Joseph G. Lariosa
Correspondent: Grace G. Baldisseri
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do
not reflect the opinion of the paper nor that of the publisher.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 201-434-1114 Fax 201-434-0880
2711 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07306
Inquirer columns elicit
comments worldwide. On the
Internet, the opinion pieces spur
heated debates. Here are samples from professors abroad to Ilocos
Sur students.
“Prof. Paul Stephen Lim sent
me Viewpoint's 'Payback,'” emailed University of Kansas Prof.
Emeritus Grant Goodman. This
recalled then president Manuel
Quezon's offer of sanctuary to Jews
fleeing Nazis.
Today, places and streets bear
Quezon's name. But “the man and
his accomplishments are
unfamiliar to most Filipinos. This
is disheartening to one (who)
spent an academic lifetime
working on the Commonwealth
“My research began in 1959
when I worked on the
deteriorating Quezon papers in a
rat-infested warehouse on Arlegui
Street. No one else showed up to do
research… Those were the days
before xerox. I hired a typist to
copy the documents word for
word… Because of my advanced
age, I have donated all of my
Quezoniana to the Bentley
Historical Library at University of
From Sinait National High
School in Ilocos Sur, students
Geriennezana Garcia, Precious
Azcueta, Louise Tagavilla and
Vanessa Yadao e-mailed: “Our
teacher Romelinda de Guzman
asked us to react to a newspaper
article, as part of our fourth
grading period project. We chose
Viewpoint column titled
'Relentless surge.'”
That piece showed the
connection between the pork
barrel and the Pine Island Glacier
on Antarctica now rapidly melting.
The column pinpointed links
between climate change and
increasingly severe storms even in
once typhoon-free regions here.
“The P10-billion pork barrel
spent on bogus nongovernmental
organizations is enough to fund
disaster preparedness. Resources
Page 12
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 11
The Internet and orphanage - scenes of
child abuse
By Fr. Shay Cullen
Two major child abuse stories
broke last week. The exposé of the
deviant criminal behavior of
paedophiles in the UK, America,
and Australia and the Philippines
who are sexually exploiting
Filipino children through the
internet, has been revealed in a
BBC report which staff of the Preda
Foundation in Olongapo city help
them make.
In Lucena City, an orphanage,
Sankey Samaritan Mission for poor
children and youth was raided by
the NBI and an American, Tom
Randall and orphanage manager
Toto Luchavez and his son, Jake
Luchavez, were arrested and are
charged with trafficking and child
abuse based on strong testimony
life worth
Ellen Tordesillas
The latest decision by a United
States court on the case of blogger
Crystal Cox does not say bloggers
are journalists as bannered in the
Lawyer Harry L. Roque's
analysis of the decision is more
accurate: “Bloggers enjoy the same
protection as journalists.”
Two weeks ago the Ninth
Circuit ruled in the case of Obsidian
Finance Group v. Crystal Cox that
even though someone might not
write for the “institutional press,”
t h e y ' re e n t i t l e d t o a l l t h e
protections the Constitution grants
Judge Andrew Hurwitz said,
“the Court expressly noted that 'we
of some of the 31 victims.
The web-cam internet
investigation, carried out by Tony
Smith and Angus Crawford of the
BBC shows that these paedophiles
not only have thousands (one had
4 million) indecent images of
children on their computer hard
drives but pay gangs in the
Philippines to get children to
perform sexual acts online for
them to watch. They traveled
around the Philippines
interviewing police, victims and
social workers helping the
children. Their next report will be
to investigate the companies that
allow this to happen and enable
and abet the crimes against
children through the internet.
T h e re p o r t t h a t c a u s e d
international reaction showed that
even some relatives and parents of
the children allowed them to be
trained to perform so as to earn
money. The report showed cyberdens in Cebu city slums where
poor children are the most
exploited. Some people think that
such acts before a computerconnected camera will do no harm
as the customer is far away but one
child victim said that it makes
them loose their dignity, innocence
and purity. In other child web cam
crimes, the children are not alone
and sex acts between young boys
and girls are ordered up.
The children are persuaded
that it is just play and fun, but this
is severely damaging to children.
Besides, the criminals doing this
use the web-cam sessions to make
child pornography which they
transmit across the internet for
money to paedophile who will pay
for it.
It is clear also that web-cam
crime against children is a warm
up for sexual assault . The
paedophiles soon get so aroused,
they will abuse children in their
own locality. This is not an evil
done far away against Filipino
children only but it is putting the
children, where the paedophile is
residing at greater risk. It is
estimated that thousands of
children are abused in this way.
Philippine police blame the
Internet Server Corporations and
cell phone companies for flouting
the anti-child pornography law
which mandates filtering of child
pornography and any sexual
images of children or illegal
content passing through their
servers. Republic Act 9775,under
Section 9, says “The duties of
Internet Server Providers (ISP) to
monitor the content passing
through their servers, notify the
police of illegal content and
provide the authorities the
particulars of users who gained or
attempted to gain access to an
internet address which contains
any form of child pornography. All
ISPs shall install available
technology, program or software
to ensure access to or transmittal
of any form of child pornography
will be blocked or filtered”
T h e
N a t i o n a l
Telecommunications Commission
((NTC) is supposed to oversee this
also. The law says the ISPs at fault
should pay a fine and have its
license to operate revoked for non
compliance. But the law is
allegedly ignored, flouted and
Page 14
Roque: Bloggers enjoy same
protection as journalists
draw no distinction between the
media respondents and' a noninstitutional respondent.'”
This is a reversal of December
2011 by a federal judge in Oregon,
U.S. District Judge Marco
Hernandez who said Cox, who
styled herself as “an investigative
blogger,” was not a journalist and
cannot claim the protections
afforded to mainstream reporters
and news outlets.
The case stemmed from the
online articles by Cox against
Obsidian Finance Group LLC. She
reportedly called Obsidian lawyer
Kevin Padrick a “thug and a thief”
during the handling of bankruptcy
proceedings by him and Obsidian
Finance Group LLC.
During the trial, she was asked
to name her sources and she sought
protection in the Oregon's shield
law not compelling media to
produce sources.
Hernandez said Cox cannot
claim that protection because she
is not a journalist. He enumerated
his understanding of the attributes
of a journalist which Cox did not
possess: (1) any education in
journalism; (2) any credentials or
proof of any affiliation with any
recognized news entity; (3) proof
of adherence to journalistic
standards such as editing, factIllustration from
checking, or disclosures of conflicts
Universal McCann
of interest; (4) keeping notes of
conversations and interviews
Page 12
Karma at work
I, too, do not believe that
former Chief Justice Renato
Corona can (or should even
attempt to) reassume his old post.
But I also think that Corona will
ultimately be absolvedif not in the
Senate records and in the law
books, then in the hearts and
minds of his thoroughly misled
One of the after-effects of the
privilege speech delivered by
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla last
Jan. 20 is an incipient move to
revisit the case of Corona, a
proposition first discussed by
Senator Miriam Defensor
Santiago. Various legal authorities
have weighed in on the matter
since then, almost unanimously
on the side of the impossibility of a
Corona reinstatement.
Noting their arguments
especially about the political
nature of impeachmentI cannot
help but agree. But I think
Corona's besmirched name will
one day be cleansed and his
tattered reputation rehabilitated.
I believe that one day,
historians will revisit the case of
Corona and discover that his only
real impeachable “offense” was to
incur the ire of a sittingand
inhumanly vengeful and
pettyPresident. And that, at the
very least, compared to the crimes
that were committed in order to
remove the former chief justice,
will make Corona's transgressions
look like mere trifles.
Corona was removed by the
Senate nearly two years ago for
failing to declare his assets and
liabilities correctly. There was no
official action of his, as a member
of the highest court in the land,
that were found to have been
anomalous or illegal; he did not
write any decision or cast any vote
that was proven to have unduly
favored anyone or to have hurt
anyone unjustly as associate and
later chief justice.
The chief justice did not steal
any public funds, unlike some of
the people who impeached and
convicted him in Congress. He was
never accused of using public
money in his defense, unlike the
President who instigated his
impeachment and conviction and
who allegedly dipped into the
public till to fund his obsession to
remove the country's top jurist.
And Corona's ouster may
even, if there really is any justice in
this world, lead to the ultimate
destruction of his foes. The signs
are already becoming increasingly
clear: the President who worked
so hard (like he never worked
before or since) to remove him
now stands accused of various
serious crimes, from misusing
public funds to tampering with
the senators who stood in
Corona's judgment; the senators
who supposedly received untold
sums to do the deed are practically
ruined, politically, for abusing
pork barrel and DAP funds.
And the strange thing is,
Corona need not reassume his old
post to gain justice. Like the rest of
us, he only has to watch karma at
Speaking of Corona's case, I've
been informed that Congress is
seeking to amend the charter of
the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to
allow the central bank to look into
bank accounts without the
required court order. This is on
top of the vast powers already
granted to the Anti-Money
Laundering Council, which were
used extensively in the Corona
impeachment hearing to build a
case against the chief justice.
There are currently six bills in
the Lower House and four bills in
the Senate that propose the
amendments to various
provisions of the BSP Charter, but
a proposal by House Speaker
Feliciano Belmonte and Rep.
Nelson Collantes (House Bill
3112) seeks to give BSP the
additional power to the BSP to
obtain the banks' data and
Page 12
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 12
Karma ... From page 11
information on any person.
The old Central Bank Act
(Republic Act 265) and the new
Central Bank Act (RA 7653) gave the
central monetary agency the
authority to conduct economic
research for the guidance of the
Monetary Board through the
gathering and analysis of data and
information. But the data that BSP is
now authorized to obtain are limited
to “balance of payments of the
Philippines, statistics on the
monthly movement of the monetary
aggregates and of prices and other
statistical series and economic
studies useful for the formulation
and analysis of monetary, banking,
Feedback ... From page 10
for essential projects vanished into
thin air. We definitely agree with the
last sentence of Viewpoint: 'As
Rev i lla a n d c o m p a ny d e fe n d
themselves in the pork barrel scam,
sea levels fed by the Pine Island
Glacier's meltdown surge
“Whistle-blowers' vindication?”
dealt with the Inquirer's selection of
six whistle-blowers as the collective
“Filipino of the Year” for 2013. Three
days after the announcement, they
linked former senator Ramon Revilla
Sr. to the widespread pork barrel
scam. That drew spirited comment.
“The American 'Deep Throat'
(Mark Felt of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation) sent to jail five White
House officials. And it caused US
President Richard Nixon to resign,”
Tarkin e-mailed. “The Filipino 'Deep
Throat'the late Rep. Romeo
Candazoexposed the pork barrel
scam in 1996. Yet, no one has been
jailedso far. In fact, the [Countrywide
Development Fund] scam grew
exponentially into the [Priority
Development Assistance Fund] up to
2013. That's the glaring difference
between American and Philippine
“If People Power worked to
unseat Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph
Estrada, why not the thieves in
Congress and the Senate?” e-mailed
Eman. “Let's do it again in Edsa. Now
na. Because Edsa was a fake
revolution,” claimed Mariano Renato
credit and exchange policies.”
The major banks have been silent
on the Belmonte proposal, but a group
of small bankers and lawmakers are
already expressing opposition, saying
it is not only unconstitutional and may
endanger depositors.
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Terry
Ridon raised the issue of the possible
“unlawful search and seizure” of an
individual's bank account once the
provisions implicitly lifting bank
secrecy are approved in HB 3112.
“Even a simple search over private
property [currently] requires a court
order,” Ridon said after a meeting of
the House committee on banks and
financial intermediaries.
Under the proposed measure, BSP
will have the “authority to require
from any person or entity… any data
which it may require for the proper
discharge of its functions and
responsibilities.” It will also compel
any individual to ask for BSP's
permission to transfer at least 10
percent of his/her portfolio of shares
of stocks.
Former Camarines Sur Rep. Luis
Villafurte said the proposal is
unconstitutional because Article III
Section 3 of the Constitution
expressly provides that “the privacy
of communication and
correspondence shall be inviolable
except upon lawful order of the court.
Any evidence obtained in violation of
this or the preceding section shall be
inadmissible for any purpose in any
“Hello Marcos. Are you still alive?
You were supposed to be dead,” Eman
snapped back. And Boldyak added: “If
Edsa was fake, then the overthrow of
Marcos was a fake? All this time, we've
had fake governments? All elections
held after Edsa 1 were fake? Hahaha.
Where have you been all these times?
“Get a seeing eye dog,” suggested
john_kruz. “They say it helps those who
are also afflicted with a mental
“Nice one!” Spartan Akon Ismagul
wrote to john_kruz.
“What part of my comment you
thoughting (sic) I have mental
disorder?” responded Mariano Renato
Pacifico. “Or Filipinos find logic mental
disorder (sic). That is why they have
faulty decisions on whom to put in
public office that is dogging them
yesterday, now and forever will be. You
Filipinos are totally sick.”
Basta. That gives a flavor of the
brawl on the Internet. Here are some of
the more relevant comments:
“Aldous Huxley was not a scientist.
He was a fiction and nonfiction writer
well-known for his novels like 'Brave
New World,'” Jun F. Teoxon pointed out.
“Was Benhur Luy's claim that Misamis
Oriental has a municipality of Clarin a
typographical error?” asked Virgo Yap.
There is a Clarin town. But it is in
Misamis Occidental.
“I remember watching Clarissa
Ocampo disputing that (Jose Velarde)
signature during the televised
proceedings, and thought it was
incredibly brave of her,” Walter Paul
Komarnicki recalls. “But it took
people power to get things moving at
the end of all those proceedings.”
Eirons 1043 agreed. “Expect the
cases against 'Tanda,' 'Seksi' plus
'Pogi' and other PDAF cases to be
forgotten by Jan. 1, 2016. That's when
election fever sets in. President
Aquino may become like her mother:
very honest but clueless.”
“Cruel,” said the 83-year-old
former first lady and Ilocos Norte
Rep. Imelda Marcos, “Did Imelda
mean the US federal court (9th
Circuit) who whacked her and
Ferdinand Jr. (Bongbong) with a more
than $353,000 fine?” asked Manuel de
la Torre, a UP graduate now resident
of Idaho. “They tried to secretly ship
out of the United States paintings and
other artworks, from court-contested
holdings, for a 25-percent, tax-free
share. Or was it belated Marcos
contrition for martial law salvaging?”
No, she meant the court-ordered
detention of former President Gloria
Arroyo at the Veterans Memorial
Medical Center. “She is visited only by
her husband, her children, from noon
to 9 p.m. Then she has no one. So
cruel. So unjust. Not human. I am
sorry, so sad to be there.”
Did Imelda tell that to the 7,526
victims of martial law abuses across
town? They just got a second tranche
check, from the $2-billion judgment
awarded by a US district court in
Hawaii in 1995 to “New Society”
victims. Silly question.
E-mail: [email protected]
British schools ... From page 8
City University London, Richmond The American
International University In London, Staffordshire University
and the University of Wolverhampton will be first time
Philippine exhibitors.
Representatives from these universities will participate in
the annual Education UK Exhibition.
“Having a degree from a UK university is a mark of prestige
the world over. Students are taught with the world's best
teaching and research experts and exposed to dynamic,
innovative and multi-cultural learning environments. Each
year, the UK welcomes international students from 200 nations
with more than 5,000 Filipino students spread out across the
British Isles,” the British Embassy in Manila said.
“Pursuing an education in the UK is within reach and
affordable compared to the usual destinations favored by many
Filipinos,” it added.
Depending on one's focus, length of study and course
option, a postgraduate course normally takes only one year to
finish while an undergraduate course can be completed in
three years.
Also, UK degrees are now made more accessible through
transnational education arrangements in the Philippines and
nearby countries Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. These
degrees can be completed fully in these countries or partly in
the United Kingdom.
Green Card ...
From page 10
Section 204(l), the USCIS will
consider applications for waiver
of inadmissibility due to fraud or
criminal conviction, for instance.
The beneficiary must establish
extreme hardship suffered by the
qualifying relative if he were alive
and must prove that he deserves
t h e f avo ra b l e e xe r c i s e o f
If an affidavit of support is
required, a Form I-864 of a
substitute sponsor must be
s u b m i t te d . T h e s u b s t i t u te
sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or
lawful permanent resident, at
least 18 years old and must be
related to the qualifying
beneficiary. The substitute
sponsor may be the applicant's
spouse, parent, mother-in-law,
father-in-law, sibling, child, son,
daughter, son-in-law, daughterin-law, sister-in-law, brother-inlaw, grandparent, grandchild or
legal guardian.
I f t h e b e n e f i c i a r y wa s
residing outside the U.S. when the
petitioner died, Section 204(l)
will not apply so he has to request
for a humanitarian reinstatement
of the revoked family-based
petition. Only approved petitions
may be reinstated and not
petitions where the petitioner
died before the approval.
The following factors are
considered in evaluating a
humanitarian request: disruption
of an established family unit;
hardship to U.S. citizens or lawful
permanent residents; if the
beneficiary is elderly or in poor
health; if the beneficiary has had
lengthy residence in the United
States; if the beneficiary has no
home to go to; undue delay by the
DHS or consular officer in
processing the petition and visa;
and if the beneficiary has strong
family ties in the United States.
(Editor's Note: REUBEN S. SEGURITAN has
been practicing law for over 30 years. For
more information, you may log on to his
website at or call (212)
Peace Possible
From page 10
Freedom Fighters is at this moment engaged in
fresh battles with government forces in
Maguindanao, with over 9,000 civilians
reportedly having fled the fighting.
In a preview of what can be possible with a
peace deal in place, the MILF is said to be
actively helping the military against the
splinter group of its former commander Ameril
Umra Kato. That commitment to cooperate
with the government will surely be further
tested once a final peace deal is signed and the
processes of ratification and normalization are
under way. This, in other words, is a most
delicate time, requiring the greatest
transparency and continuing good faith from
both sides to resolve whatever new
impediments may be posed by vested interests
intent only on keeping the status quo in
This is a historic moment for the country,
and it, not the mauling of a TV celebrity in tony
BGC, deserves to be front and center in the
public attention. A critical consensus has been
reached on how to bring peace to perennially
war-torn Mindanao. Filipinos must pay greater
attention to this development, or risk losing the
chance once again.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 13
Cigarette firms OK graphic
warning bill - Pia Cayetano
Ex-Marlboro Man
dies from smokingrelated disease
Associated Press
LOS ANGELES -- Eric Lawson, a working actor
who portrayed the Marlboro Man in cigarette ads
during the late 1970s, has died. He was 72.
Lawson's wife, Susan Lawson, said last January
26 that her husband died January 10 at his
California home. The cause was respiratory
failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease, or COPD.
The ruggedly handsome Lawson portrayed
the smoking cowboy in Marlboro print ads from
1978 to 1981. He also had bit parts in such TV
shows as “Baretta” and “Charlie's Angels” before
injuries sustained on the set of a Western film
ended his acting career.
A smoker since age 14, Lawson later
appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that
p a ro d i e d t h e M a r l b o ro M a n a n d a n
“Entertainment Tonight” segment to discuss the
negative effects of smoking.
He is also survived by six children.
MANILA -- Cigarette manufacturers
have “in principle” indicated their
support for the graphic warning bill,
which seeks to require tobacco firms to
print on cigarette packs images of
diseases and organ disfiguration, Sen.
Pia Cayetano said on Thursday, Jan. 23.
With the support of the bill's erstwhile
opponents, the chair of the Senate
committee on health and demography
is confident that the measure, meant to
discourage smoking among Filipinos,
will finally pass in the present
“I am pleased and surprised
because I've conducted this same
hearing six years ago, and back then,
the cigarette companies were really
opposed to this,” Cayetano said in a
statement.“But [on Wednesday], they
expressed support and acknowledged
the bill as a measure that would benefit
the public. I would like to assume
goodwill on the part of the four
cigarette companies when they say that
they support this, and I hope I won't
have to take back everything I said
today in the future,” she added.
Cayetano made the remarks a day
after the committee took up in a
hearing Senate Bill Nos. 27 and 499
that he and Senate President Franklin
Drilon authored, respectively. Both
measures seek to require cigarette
packs in the country “to bear graphic
health warnings showing the health
Senator Pia Cayetano
risks of smoking and secondhand
smoke to discourage Filipinos,
especially the youth, from taking up the
Among the industry
representatives that spoke at the
hearing were Raul Academia, director
for trade, fiscal and regulatory affairs of
Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp.;
Augusto San Pedro, legal counsel of
Japan Tobacco International; James
Lafferty, general manager of British
American Tobacco Philippines; and
Antonio Ocampo, general manager of
Mighty Corp. Cayetano said the
industry leaders in principle expressed
support for the measure but also
proposed changes to the measure.
“The concerns they raised dealt
with details, such as the size of the
graphic health warning on the cigarette
packs, which is understandable. I feel
we could work this out with the other
side, the health advocates who want a
bigger graphic health warning. I hope
that we can resolve this and have a law,”
she said. Cayetano said issues raised on
several provisions, such as the
proposed size of the graphic health
warning that should take up 60 percent
of both the front and back panels, the
compliance period for the release of
the new packs, and the requirement to
print several variations of the graphic
health warning and to rotate these
Other concerns from the industry
were the provisions on allowable
minimum packaging size, and the
requirement to remove descriptors
from cigarette labels, among others.
Cayetano expressed openness to
consider the amendments that the
industry proposed.“They gave us their
position papers which we will
incorporate. I will present to them a
new version which already includes
their comments which I feel are
reasonable,” Cayetano said.She said the
graphic warning bill reached the
plenary in the 14th and 15th
Congresses but the versions didn't get
beyond second reading.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 14
Why is the US helping China look
for oil in the South China Sea?
By Adam Pasick, Quartz
Stormy weather ahead?
Political tensions in the South
China Sea have seldom been higher,
with China's “marine identification
zone” deemed a provocative threat
to peace by neighboring countries
and the United States. The vast area,
variously claimed by China, the
Philippines, Vietnam, and other
southeast Asian countries, is hotly
contested in part because it is
thought to hold vast reserves of oil
and natural gas.
It's easy, then, to foresee some
sticky scenarios emerging from an
unusual joint research trip set to
embark this week. Thirty-one
g e o l o g i s t s f r o m 1 0
countriesincluding 13 from China
and nine from the United States - will
spend two months drilling rock
samples in the South China Sea. The
trip is funded mostly by China, but
will take place on a US-operated
drilling vessel, the JOIDES
Resolution, under the auspices of the
International Ocean Discovery
If the group finds oil deposits, as
a previous research expedition did in
the late 1990s, it will raise the
diplomatic stakes for the countries
vying for control of the South China
Sea waterways and islands, such as
the Spratleys and Paracels.
“Oil and gas fields lie close to the
coast, but the key is to open the
treasure box buried beneath the
basin,” Wang Pinxian, a marine
geologist and member of the Chinese
Academy of Sciences, told the South
China Morning Post. Estimates vary
widely, but the South China Sea could
hold up to 17 billion tonnes (18.7
billion tons) of oil and 498 trillion
cubic feet of natural gas, according to
Cnooc, China's state-controlled
energy group.
The JOIDES Resolution was
previously funded largely by the
National Science Foundation, a US
federal agency, but thanks to budget
cuts last year China needed to step in
to finance the South China Sea trip.
“The generosity of the Chinese
governmentwhich is paying US$6
million, or 70 per cent, of the
expedition's cost - was a deciding
factor,” the Post reported.
Roque: Bloggers
enjoy ... From page 11
conducted; (5) mutual
understanding or agreement of
confidentiality between the
defendant and his/her sources; (6)
creation of an independent product
rather than assembling writings
and postings of others; or (7)
contacting 'the other side' to get
both sides of a story.”
The US District Court found Cox
guilty of defamation and awarded
the finance company $ 2.5 in
In the recent court ruling,
Hurwitz said, “ The protections of
the First Amendment do not turn
on whether the defendant was a
trained journalist , formally
affiliated with traditional news
entities, engaged in conflict-ofinterest disclosure, went beyond
just assembling others' writings, or
tried to get both sides of a story. As
the Supreme Court has accurately
warned, a First Amendment
distinction between the
institutional press and other
speakers is unworkable: 'With the
advent of the Internet and the
decline of print and broadcast
media . . . the line between the
media and others who wish to
comment on political and social
issues becomes far more blurred.'”
Roque, in his commentary
carried by VERA Files, said the
The Internet
and ... From page 11
disobeyed. If so, it is a grave
injustice to the Filipino people and
the children worldwide.
The other child abuse scandal
broke last week was that of a
wealthy American Evangelist
preacher, Tom Randall, and his
S a n key S a m a r i t a n M i s s i o n
orphanage house manager Toto
Luchavez and son Jake Luchavez.
The three were arrested by the
NBI agents and charged in the
multiple sexual abuse and
exploitation of 31 children and
youth. The orphanage is in Lucena
city, south of Manila. Seven of the
31 victims are minors; three boys
and four girls. Those minors and
dilemma is the differing definition
of who is a journalist: “For instance,
the United States Congress, in a
draft of a Federal shield law, defines
a journalist as 'one who works for a
traditional media organization for
pay or gain', a definition adopted as
well by the UNESCO. This will
exclude bloggers altogether from
the protection of the proposed
shield law. On the hand, the Human
Rights Committee in its General
Comment, defines 'it is a function
shared by wide variety of actors,
including professionals full time
reporters and analysts, as well as
bloggers and others who engage in
forms of self-publications in print,
on the internet, or elsewhere'”.
But, Roque said, “all these miss
the point. There is protection
accorded by the bill of rights not
just to freedom of the press, but to
freedom of expression in general.
The normative values of these two
freedoms are identical: to discern
the truth and to facilitate “open,
robust and even virulent discussion
of public issues”. If both freedoms
have the same normative content,
why should the courts distinguish
between an input to the market
place of ideas coming from one who
earns a living by it and one who
does so anyway as a public duty?
“The US Court of Appeal's
decisions, in my view, correctly
refused a distinction between
institutional media and bloggers
because to recognize such would
also violate the equal protection
clause. This is another
constitutional guarantee that those
similarly situated will be treated
alike. Had the court limited the
protection of freedom of
expression to professional
journalists alone, it would send the
message that only professional
journalists can contribute to the
public debate on public issues. This
is contrary to the basic tenet that
freedom of expression is a human
right and not just a right of
“In any case, the fact that
journalists are paid and bloggers
are not does not constitute a real
basis for distinction.
In Abrams, Holmes wrote;'the
true test of truth is the power of a
thought to be accepted in the
market place of ideas'. Certainly,
Holmes did not write that only paid
journalists could contribute to this
Blogging now is not limited to
blogsites but also cover
microblogging which includes
social media Facebook and
Twitter- that have enormous
following in the Philippines.
The US Court of Appeals
decision should make blogging as
well as social media in the
Philippines more alive. Freedom is
power. But as Uncle Ben told
Spiderman, “With great power
comes great responsibility.”
youth over 18 years have made
strong statements to rescuers and
to the NBI that they were
systematically, sexually abused
since childhood in the orphanage.
Charges based on the strong
sworn statements of the many
victims have been filed with the
prosecutors. The accused deny all
wrongdoing. From the holding cell
at the NBI headquarters, they
amazingly have access to the
internet and cell phones and are
organizing a defense campaign on
social media Facebook,
proclaiming they are being set-up
and persecuted by the Philippine
a u t h o r i t i e s . F ive p re v i o u s
investigations were allegedly
squashed by higher authorities in
Lucena City.
The victims say they were
abused by the manager and his
son and begged Randall to save
them but allegedly he did nothing.
Police suspect that Luchavez may
have secret video evidence against
Randall. This has yet to be
ascertained. He might try to turn
state witness to cut a deal with the
prosecutors. Assistant Secretary
o f J u s t i c e G e ro n i m o Sy i s
monitoring the case.
The victims are under the care
of the DSWD although they are
asking to go to a private care
center where they can get help to
finish their studies and get
professional therapy.
This case is a challenge to the
Philippine government, the
people and defenders of human
rights to see justice done for the
victims without compromise,
bribery, or skulduggery.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 15
Bamboo Organ Fest recovers
lost Philippine colonial music
By Sheila Mañalac
When the Spanish friars were
forced to leave after the Philippine
Revolution in 1898, they took with
them books, manuscripts and
music scores, which eventually
ended up in universities in the
United States, United Kingdom,
and Spain.
T h i s y e a r, t h e 3 9 t h
International Bamboo Organ
Festival aims to contribute to the
recovery of the country's music
history, especially during the
Spanish colonization, and
showcase the peak of the country's
cultural affluence at a time called
El Siglo de Oro.
From February 20 to 26, the
Bamboo Organ Foundation Inc.
(BOFI) will again highlight the
grand and glorious sound of the
Bamboo Organ, made by Spanish
missionary Fr. Diego Cera, at the St.
Joseph Parish Church in Las Piñas
The unique musical
instrument handcrafted by Cera,
who was the first parish priest of
Las Piñas, is composed of 1,031
pipes and 902-bamboo pieces. It
was built through eight long years
beginning 1816.
“Every year, we are reminding
everyone that the Bamboo Organ,
The famous Bamboo Organ made in 1816, considered a Philippine national treasure
Leo Renier, the German co-founder of
Bamboo Organ Foundation Inc.
Eudenice Palaruan, the main
conductor for the upcoming festival
which is a Philippine national
treasure, is in its best condition,
and to show what we can get out of
this wonderful instrument: a highlevel of music-making,” said BOFI
co-founder, Leo Renier.
According to Reiner, the
Bamboo Organ is a testament to
the country's rich culture, one that
is “owned by every Filipino.”
Likening it to foreign countries,
which have as its treasures the
Statue of Liberty in the US or the
Eifel Tower in France, Renier said,
“The Philippines has the Bamboo
Organ as an artifact that defines
The upcoming concert is
expected to draw music
enthusiasts nationwide to witness
the annual occasion when the
Bamboo Organ is featured in a
festive concert. Although the
instrument is played daily, this
coming event will showcase its
artistic power that is accompanied
by two choir groups, highlyacclaimed vocalists, as well as
different musical instruments in
the six-day event.
“This is the first time that most
of our performers are Filipinos.
We've had foreign performers
beforenow, we have an American
organist but everyone else is
The gala night on the February
20 will showcase works from El
Siglo De Oro, music from the
Spanish Golden Age that are
composed of secular and sacred
villancicos or Christmas carols
from the late Renaissance to the
Baroque era. This grand
performance will have a repeat on
February 21 and 26, which will
serve as the conclusion of the
With the accompaniment of
the guitar, organ, drums, and the
Bamboo Organ, songs by the Las
P i ñ a s B oy s C h o i r a n d t h e
Villancico Vocal Ensemble will fill
the Baroque architecture of the
“The most popular concerts in
the Philippines focus on the
Romantic, but this time, we will be
p e r fo r m i n g L a t i n - A m e r i c a n
baroque music that is very much
creda or local sounding, much like
the Bamboo Organ,” said Eudenice
Palaruan, the main conductor of
the festival. There will also be a
“Concert Under the Trees” on
February 22, he most casual
among the festival's activities, and
located at the inner courtyard of
the St. Joseph Church.
This will feature Filipino
balladeer Jed Madella who is the
first Filipino to win the World
Championships of the Performing
Arts (WCOPA).
The “Night of Evening Music”
on February 23 promises “a night
of pure organ music,” where the
Bamboo Organ and the Pipe Organ
of St. Joseph Academy will be the
main event. The following day will
feature the “Night of Two Boys
Choirs” with the “two surviving allboys choir in Manila” as
The 39th International
Bamboo Organ Festival will run
from February 20 to 26. For more
information, call 825-7190 or logon to
Manila Times
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 16
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 17
701 Route 440
Jersey City, NJ 07304
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 18
Build-A-Shelter Project Set to Launch Two Villages in February 2014
24 January 2014, New York
Two months after its launch, the
Philippine Consulate General
New York and the US Northeast
community have raised enough
funds for its Build A Shelter
Project (BASP) to start
construction in some of the
worst-hit towns of super
typhoon Yolanda last November.
Philippine Jesuit Foundation
(PJF), a 501(c)3 organization
with presence in New York and
the Visayas, works with the BASP
co-conveners in collecting the
funds, while Gawad Kalinga (GK),
a non-profit organization known
in the Philippines for their
charitable housing projects, will
be the men-on-the-ground and
responsible for implementing
construction plans in the
affected areas.
The Filipino community,
international organizations,
non-profit organizations, private
corporations and individuals
have so far donated a total of
$194,350.00 to BASP. Of that
amount , K-Media, a radio
network in Queens, gave the
biggest contribution of
$100,900, followed by 1004
Foundation of Korea Daily
From left: co-conveners Ms Nimfa Tinana and Ms Vivian Talambiras-Cruz; Ms Shirley Domingo and Sonny Ramirez of GK
USA; Mr Roger Alama; Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr., receiving a check from Mr. Zultan Bermudez, Jaycees
Philippines New York President; Deputy Consul general Zaldy Patron; Vice Consul Khrystina Corpuz, Atty. Ferdinand
Suba (Photo by Olive Osias-Magpile)
newspaper who gave
$24,431. $19,725 was raised on
the day of the launch last 26
November, from charitable
Filipinos and non-Filipinos who
heed the call of the
Philippines for help. More
donations kept pouring in after
news of the BASP was spread to
the community.
GMA Kapuso Foundation receives
$15, 000 donation from the City of
Carson, California
GMA Kapuso Foundation (GMAKF), the
socio-civic arm of GMA Network, was
presented with a check for $15, 000 by the
City of Carson in California intended for the
victims of typhoon Yolanda.
Present during the turnover are (from
left): GMAKF Executive Vice-President and
Chief Operating Officer Mel C. Tiangco, the
City of Carson's Mayor Pro Tempore Elito
Santarina, and his wife, Anita Santarina, an
officer of the Filipino community in Carson.
In addition to the said amount, another
$2, 500 was donated by the Philippine
Independence Day Foundation. The
foundation organizes the yearly local
celebration of Philippine Independence Day
for the Filipino Community which is
a n n u a l ly p a r t i c i p a t e d i n by G M A
The City of Carson has the highest
number of Filipinos than any other
community abroad.
Donations for the Yolanda calamity will
be used to fund GMAKF's ongoing
rehabilitation efforts in Leyte.
At present, construction has
commenced for two Kapuso Villages, with
400 houses and 20 classrooms in Tacloban
city and another 200 houses and 10
classrooms in the municipality of Palo.
The first village will be built
in Pinasuan, Hernani, Eastern
Samar, where 36 houses will be
provided to deserving families
chosen by Gawad Kalinga
t h ro u gh t h e i r c o m m u n i t y
selection system. Consul General
Mario De Leon, Jr. will witness
the signing of the Memorandum
of Agreement between Gawad
Kalinga and Simbahang Lingkod
ng Bayan (SLB), the
implementing arm of PJF in the
He will as well inspect the site
of the first village together with
the GK representative in Eastern
Samar, and confer with GK on a
second village in Giporlos or
Quinapondan also in Eastern
More donations are needed,
as more villages are envisioned
to be built in order to fully
restore livelihood and normalcy
to the affected areas.
Checks may be made payable
to Philippine Jesuit Foundation,
with “Yolanda Calamity FundBuild A Shelter” in the memo
line, and mailed to Philippine
Consulate Cultural Section, 556
Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
(Article by Vice Consul Khrystina
P. Corpuz, Philippine Consulate
General - New York)
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 19
8 Homes in 8 Weeks - UNITED
SIKHS AID Relief in Philippines
PANAY ISLAND, Philippines -- On January 17th, 2013, the UNITED SIKHS Haiyan Relief Team officially
handed over the first eight houses to the Typhoon Haiyan Survivors in the village Crossing Lais,
Binuntucan, Panay Island. The Vice Governor, Esteban Evan 'Nonoy' B. Contreras, of Capiz, Panay Island,
Philippines joined in the presentation of the homes to the new owners.
Our team consulted with engineers and decided to proceed to build concrete and plywood houses
with solid base. This new type of homes will last up to level 4 typhoon. The bamboo houses would not have
lasted another typhoon. Click here for a breakdown of materials. The Governor of Capiz, Panay Island
stated, "This has never been done by any NGO here and we are proud to say that only UNITED SIKHS are
making proper homes for the village people of Panay today.”
“This was an amazing moment for the relief team on this successful completion of the first few homes
and a proud day for UNITED SIKHS Haiyan Relief Efforts! We thank all our supporters, donors and
volunteers who made this happen.” said Gurvinder Singh, Director of UNITED SIKHS AID.
Unanimously, all survivors have conveyed their deepest gratitude to our donors for bringing their
lives back together one step at a time. The people affected by the devastating typhoon were happy and felt
blessed when houses were handed over. They have been living in temporary shelters since November 8,
2013, when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Island.
Sponsor a Home and Support a Family for 1000USD / £625 / 725Euros.
UNITED SIKHS continues its efforts to fulfill our pledge to build homes for the homeless. Rebuilding
one home rebuilds one family's hope for a normal life again. Article submitted by: Gurvinder Singh, UNITED
SIKHS AID Director, [email protected],
IT revenues estimated
at $15.5 Billion
The Information Technology
Business Processing Association
of the Philippines (IBPAP)
yesterday said revenues of the IT
business process management
(BPM) are estimated to have
reached $15.5 billion last year, a 16
p e rc e n t i n c re a s e f ro m t h e
previous year.
Similar growth was noted in
employment generation when the
industry ended 2013 with
900,000 full-time employees.
“Initial estimates indicate a
strong finish for the industry,” the
IBPAP said in a statement. Official
numbers would be released next
Those estimates though are
short of the $16-billion target in
revenues and 960,000 in
employees goal for the year.
IBPAP targets $25 billion
revenues and an estimated 1.3million labor force by 2016.
IBPAP president and chief
executive officer Jose Mari
Mercado said the group strives to
ensure that the Philippines
continues to strengthen its global
leadership position in the IT-BPM
This is in the wake of a Tholons
report citing that Metro Manila has
edged out Mumbai as the second
most favored outsourcing cite.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Ayalas, Aboitizes to
start 15-hectare city
center in Cebu
By Doris C. Dumlao
“While we are very happy with
this achievement, we will continue
to proactively undertake
initiatives that will further the
development and growth of the
industry, which we hope will help
propel us to the top in the years to
come,” Mercado said.
Six other locations in the
Philippines are now part of the
Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations
for 2014 as recently released by
the investment advisory firm
Tholons. Manila is now next only
to Bangalore, India, which
continues to occupy the numberone position.
The government hopes to add
three more cities from the
Philippines in the top 100 by 2016.
In this year's report, Cebu also
figured in the top ten, maintaining
its ranking at number eight, while
Davao City placed at69th, Sta. Rosa
in Laguna at 82nd, and Bacolod at
93rd, all moved up in the rankings
this year. Iloilo, however, went
down two notches from 93rd to
95th, while Baguio stayed at the
99th spot. Malaya Business
Page 20
The Ayala and Aboitiz groups
have signed a deal to develop a 15hectare city center in Subangdaku,
Mandaue City in Metropolitan
Cebu, solidifying their partnership
in the property business.
Targeted for launching by
2015, the new city center, which is
within the vicinity of Cebu's main
business district, will feature
innovative residential
developments and commercial
spaces with retail and office
components, a joint statement
from the Ayala and Aboitiz groups
The property also enjoys direct
access to major road networks and
public transport facilities. It is 20
minutes away from the airport and
even closer to Cebu's major sea
ports that serve as gateways to the
rest of Visayas and Mindanao.
“We are very excited to work
with AboitizLand in developing
another city center that will
further boost Cebu's economy. The
development shows great promise
and will provide new
o p p o r t u n i t i e s fo r b u s i n e s s
expansion and employment, while
providing the community with
quality spaces for convergence,”
said Antonino Aquino, Ayala Land
president and chief executive
Andoni Aboitiz, chief executive
officer of Aboitizland, said he was
“looking forward to embarking on
this venture with a strong partner
who shared the same vision,
passion and commitment with us,
in building Cebu thru what we do
The Mandaue City
development will be ALI's fourth
major mixed-use district in Metro
Cebu, following the Cebu Business
Park, Cebu IT Park and the
upcoming Mactan development.
For AboitizLand, it will be the 20th
development in Cebu and latest
additional to a diverse portfolio of
integrated residential
communities, commercial pockets
and industrial parks such as
Pristina North, The Persimmon
Towers, Ajoya, Mactan Economic
Zone 2 (MEZ2) and the Outlets.
“The partnership brings
together ALI's track record in
d e ve l o p i n g m a s t e r p l a n n e d ,
sustainable communities and
AboitizLand's vast and deeplyrooted real estate experience in
Cebu for the development and
operation of a 15-hectare city
center,” the partners said in the
joint statement said.
Big oil deposits
seen in Cebu
P15 Billion poured into Ecozones
Industial peace, loyalty and
quality of workers as well as
overall cost competitiveness have
sealed the deal for some P15 billion
worth of foreign and local
investments approved in the
country's economic zones in 2013.
Lilia de Lima, director-general
of the Philippine Economic Zone
Authority (PEZA ) said at least
eight companies have embarked on
big-ticket projects last year in
economic zones with the lowest
project cost at P1.2 billion.
“Many of these investments
were expansion or reinvestments
of companies already here,” De
Lima said.
De Lima could not provide
details of each of these companies'
projects but that these include the
expansion of the Philippine
Associated Smelting and Refining
Corp. owned by Swiss firm
Glencore in Leyte; two new
projects of automotive parts maker
Toyota Autoparts Philippines; two
Lilia De Lima
projects of Japanese syringe and
medical supplies maker Terumo;
an expansion of printer
manufacturing of Japanese firm
Funai Electric Philippines which
bought Lexmark in Cebu; two new
projects of bicycle maker Shimano;
projects of Japanese firm Mitsumi
Corp. and American firm Sun
Power Corp., a precision printer
Australian firm Gas2Grid
has found a new oil prospect in
its service block in onshore
Cebu following an oil discovery
there earlier this month.
The company said the new
prospective resource located in
the vicinity of the Malolos oil
field under Service Contract 44
(SC 44) has an estimated total
recoverable oil of 104 million
barrels based on an recently
made independent assessment.
“The new prospective leads
have been identified using a
c o m b i n a t i o n o f ava i l a b l e
seismic data, satellite imagery
and mapping of surface
geology,” the firm said.
The recoverable oil in the
new prospective resource could
potentially be bigger than that
of the earlier oil discovery in the
service block which has an
estimated 20.4 million barrels
of oil initially in place.
The Department of Energy
earlier this month granted
Gas2grid an extension of 12
months to carry out production
flow tests to confirm
commercial viability of the oil
“Production flow tests are
planned to start at Malolos-1
when all equipment are on site,”
Gas2Grid said.
For the new oil prospect,
meanwhile, the company is set
to drill in the coming months to
determine if there is actually oil
in place.
Gas2grid said it is currently
in discussions with various
interested parties for funding
the complete appraisal and
development work at the
Malolos oil field wherein it will
reduce its current 100 percent
interest in the service block.
The Australian firm earlier
reported that estimated cost for
the oil production testing is at
$500,000 to $1 million.
The DOE is aggressively
pushing for investors to find
indigenous energy resources in
order to lessen the country's
dependence to the volatile
international energy market.
As of the first half of 2013,
DOE data showed 69 percent of
the country's total crude oil
supply came from the Middle
East, of which 31.7 percent was
sourced from Saudi Arabia, the
country's major supplier of
crude oil.
The country's other biggest
crude supply source was Russia
with 25.3 percent while locally
produced crude only accounted
for 0.2 percent. Malaya Business
line of Epson and a car parts plant
of Asian Transmission Corp.
“Japan is among the top
countries investing in the PEZA
zones but we continue to be strong
in attracting investments from
British, Dutch, Korean,
Singaporean companies among
others,” he said.
De Lima said while Chinese
firms are now even coming to the
Philippines. “China since 10 or 15
years ago has been the Philippines'
competitor for investments. But
now we are getting interest even
from China,” De Lima said.
D e L i m a s a i d
i n
manufacturing, investors are
looking at the Philippines for its
industrial peace. Two years ago,
there were only two strikes in the
country compared to Thailand and
Vietnam. De Lima said Vietnam had
8 5 7 s t r i ke s i n 2 0 1 2 wh i l e
Indonesia had two general
nationwide strikes.
Page 21
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 21
Nobu Hotel to debut in Asia
at City of Dreams in Manila
By Doris C. Dumlao
Photo from
H&M to open store in PH by Q3;
Megamall now PH's largest mall
By Doris C. Dumlao
MANILA -- The Swedish fashion
retailer H&M is to open in the third
quarter of this year its first store in the
Philippines at Mega Fashion Hall, a
p re m i u m w i n g t h a t h a s n o w
transformed SM Megamall into the
country's largest shopping mall.
With a selling area of 3,000 square
meters which will open by July or
August, the upcoming H&M store in
this new wing will be the biggest ever
retail store in the country outside of
SM's own department store and
supermarket, Steven Tan, vicepresident for SM Supermalls Premier
Division said on Tuesday.
Three more H&M stores in other
SM malls are set to open, Tan added.
Speaking to reporters during the
inauguration of the 101,000-sqm
Mega Fashion Hall, Tan said that after
the first store in this wing, H&M would
likewise set up shop in SM Makati,
Mall of Asia (MOA) and The Block
wing of SM North Edsa. H&M will
open in Makati within the year while
the stores in MOA and The Block will
open early next year, he said.
Mega Fashion Hall will cement the
identity of SM Megamall the SM
group's best selling mall in the
country even before becoming the
largest in terms of leasable area as a
premier shopping, dining, and
lifestyle destination.
The new wing of Megamall is also
home to the flagship stores of fashion
brands Uniqlo and Zara. Many other
global brands will open their first
store in the Philippines at the new
wing, including Denmark's Vero
Moda, Spain's Pull & Bear and Uno de
P15 Billion ...
From page 20
Tra d e S e c re t a r y G re g o r y
Domingo companies come to the
Philippines because of its competitive
position. The most important
consideration, he said, is cost, such as
He said Philippine labor cost have
only moved up by 3 to 6 percent but
that of China, it has doubled.
Domingo said the work discipline
50, LA based Joe's Jean's, London's
Savile Row and Burton, French shoe
brand Nao de Brasil, and US skincare
label Philosophy. It will have around
125 tenants, Tan said.
“I think the world is getting
smaller, a lot of Filipinos are traveling
and a lot of them demanding (new
brands),” Tan said. “The reason why
we call it Mega Fashion Mall is we'll
put in a lot of exciting, hip new brand,
very fashionable, new and fresh.”
About 90 percent of new locators
at the premium wing will be global
retailers while many of the
homegrown brands will remain in the
main mall, he said.
Mega Fashion Mall opened with
51 percent occupancy, with additional
10 percent opening each month
thereafter, hitting full occupancy by
July or August, Tan said.
Apart from bringing in fashion,
the new wing is set to bring in
international dining concepts Hong
Kong's Michelin Star dimsum
restaurant Tim Ho Wan, the first Saint
Marc's Café of Tokyo, and gyoza
specialist Osaka Ohsho. Homegrown
specialty restaurants like Abe,
artisanal pastries at Chez Karine, and
the hearty Viking's Buffet will
likewise open in this wing.
For film enthusiasts, the new wing
will offer an IMAX Theater as well as
private screening functions at the
Director's Club, which has its own
butler service. An Olympic- sized ice
skating rink and a fully computerized
14-lane bowling center are set to
“complete the new mega lifestyle
e x p e r i e n c e ,” S M a n n o u n c e d .
of Filipino workers -- who already
have the edge in terms of education
and English speaking is a plus as this
is a proof of commitment to their jobs.
“They come to work even there is
a disaster, even if there is flood.”
“The country's neighbors are
having problems with weather, labor
unrest, high inflation rate. But the
Philippines is in a sweet spot of high
growth rate but stable inflation, thus
increasing the investors'
competitiveness and (they get more)
value for their money,” Domingo said.
MANILA -- Nobu Hotel,
inspired by Japanese culinary
genius Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, is
making its debut in Asia as
Macau gaming giant Melco is set
to introduce a 321-room hotel
under his brand as part of its
gaming and entertainment hub
City of Dreams Manila.
The upcoming Nobu hotel is
envisioned to deliver a “thrilling,
celebrity-inspired and funluxury experience fused with
utmost quality” to the Philippine
gaming hub, Melco Crown
(Philippines) Resorts Corp. said
in a press statement on Monday.
The boutique hotel in City of
Dreams Manila is backed by
Academy-award winning actor
Robert de Niro and Hollywood
producer Meir Teper. This is the
second hotel brand to be
announced as part of the $1.3billion City of Dreams Manila, a
partnership between Melco and
the SM group of tycoon Henry Sy.
The new hotel will offer “laidb a c k l u x u r y, h i g h - e n e r g y
nightlife” and spa services
alongside its guest rooms, Melco
said, adding that this would be
the ultimate playground for a
Filipino, Asian and international
client base.
Screen grab from
As a unique offering and as
promised by its branding, the
hotel is seen as the ideal
Ddstination to experience the
cuisine of Chef Nobu. The hotel
will feature a Nobu Restaurant
within an idyllic setting including
an outdoor cabana-style dining
terrace situated on an exclusive
platform deck with views of
Manila Bay.
T h e h o t e l w i l l o f f e r,
exclusively to its guests, a special
in-room menu crafted by Chef
Nobu. In addition, guests will
enjoy the Nobu Tea Lounge in the
Born and raised in Japan,
Matsuhisa, who is more
popularly known as Chef Nobu,
apprenticed in the sushi bars of
Tokyo before he ventured
overseas to Lima, Peru. He
ventured to Buenos Aires,
Argentina, then back to Japan,
Alaska, and finally, Los Angeles,
where he opened his titular
restaurant in 1987.
After making waves in the
Los Angeles and New York
restaurant scene, Chef Nobu has
since then opened many more
Nobu restaurants worldwide.
The first Nobu Hotel opened in
2013 as a boutique hotel within
Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas.
Jollibee hopes to topple
Japan firm as Asia's largest
Jollibee Foods Corp. hopes to
topple Japan's Zensho Holdings
Co. Ltd. in two years to become
Asia's largest restaurant and fastfood company, a top executive of
the Philippine fast-food giant
said last week.
The target of Jollibee, whose
homegrown chain gained
popularity selling American fastfood staples adjusted to local
tastes, to dominate the region
comes faster than initially
thought, and may be achieved
even without major acquisitions,
Jollibee chief financial officer
Ysmael Baysa told reporters.
“If we enter a new market or
make another acquisition, our
chances [of becoming the top
fast-food company] are even
bigger,” Baysa said at the
sidelines of the Asia CEO Awards
last week.
Established in the 1970s,
Jollibee now has a global network
of 2,671 stores, mainly in the
Philippines and China. It is Asia's
second-biggest fast
fo o d / re s t a u ra n t c o m p a ny,
according to Baysa, who cited
data from Euromonitor
The biggest is still Zensho,
with 4,700 restaurants, mainly
through the Sukiya chain, which
sells gyudon or beef rice bowls.
“Jollibee can be the biggest”
in all of Asia, Baysa said. It can
[happen] “in the next two years.”
The company is now focusing
on the expansion of its organic
stores, Baysa said.
Jollibee is on track to open
about 100 stores in the
Philippines this year, he said. In
2014, it will likely exceed that
expansion count.
Despite mounting
competition, sales in the
Philippines grew by 10.5 percent
in the last quarter. But its units
outside the country have been
growing faster, he noted.
We are growing by a doubledigit pace everywhere, Baysa
said. In the third quarter, total
sales of foreign business were up
by 22.1 percent.
Page 22
Gov't calls on business sector: Invest in least developed areas
By Bernie Magkilat
The government has urged
the private sector to help reduce
poverty in the country by
adopting inclusive business
through investments in the least
developed areas in the country
but offers very competitive salary
This was stressed by
Secretary Jose Rene D.
Almendras, who was guest
speaker at yesterday's 65th
Management Association of the
Philippines Inaugural and
Induction of 2014 Board of
Governors at Fairmont Hotel in
Makati City. MAP's theme
adopted for 2014 is “Mapping a
Future of Inclusive Growth with
Good Governance.”
“Join government not in
inclusive growth but in inclusive
business,” Almendras said.
Inclusive business means
investing in the country's least
developed areas as he showed
regions with the lowest salary
rates. These regions include the
Quezon province, Oriental and
Occidental Mindoro,
Marinduque, Romblon, and
Leading the list is Quezon
province with daily salary rate of
P201 but with investment
opportunities in retail and
Page 22
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 22
EVA to Increase North
America Frequency 22%
Star Alliance membership leads to greater demand
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Starting in
June 2014, EVA Air will increase
North American service from 45
flights per week to 55, boosting
frequency to Los Angeles, New
York, San Francisco, Toronto and
Vancouver. By adding 22 percent
more flights, EVA will also expand
capacity, offer passengers greater
convenience and provide more
flights between North America
and Taiwan than any other airline.
Travelers can book from the
expanded schedule now through
travel agents or on the airline's
website at
Since joining Star Alliance in
June 2013, EVA has experienced
growing demand for its services
among business travelers. There
has been a substantial increase in
the numbers of business
passengers flying the airline from
North America to Southeast Asia
via its hub in Taipei, Taiwan.
Bookings for EVA's Royal Laurel
Class business cabin have also
climbed. EVA launched the
luxurious service on the New York
Taipei route in June 2012.
The average load on EVA's
North America flights surpassed
80 percent in 2013 and company
officials expect bookings to keep
climbing in 2014. It will
accommodate this growth and
the added frequency by taking
delivery of three Boeing 777-
300ERs in the second quarter of
2014 and deploying the new
aircraft on long-haul flights
between North America and
Taiwan. EVA is adding the service
in two phases. It will increase:
Phase 1
Vancouver from three to four
flights per week on 2 June, 2014.
Los Angeles from 17 to 20
flights per week, New York from
five to daily flights and Toronto
from three to four flights per
week on 4 June, 2014.
Phase 2
San Francisco from 12 to 14
flights per week and Los Angeles
from 20 to 21 flights per week on
3 July, 2014.
North America is a major
market for EVA. In addition to Los
Angeles, New York, San Francisco,
Toronto and Vancouver, it
operates five flights a week to
Seattle. The airline has seen
EVA 22% Frequency Increase in North America
Current Frequency
stable market-share growth in all
six cities it serves, lifted by not
only Chinese and Asian
passengers but also American
business travelers. EVA officials
expect the added frequencies to
attract even more business
travelers and further elevate its
North America market share.
The newest member of Star
A l l i a n c e , E VA l i n k s a n
international network of major
destinations worldwide,
including dozens of cities in China
and throughout Asia.
EVA offers more trans-Pacific
flights from North America to
Taipei where, with just one easy
stop, it provides onward
connections to more major
business and leisure centers than
any other airline. Business and
leisure travelers can access the
expanded schedules and book the
added flights now through travel
agents and EVA's website at
Added from
New Frequency
3 per week
2 June
4 per week
3 per week
4 June
4 per week
New York
5 per week
4 June
7 per week
Los Angeles
17 per week
San Francisco
12 per week
4 June
3 July
3 July
20 per week
21 per week
14 per week
EEI eyes Myanmar, Cambodia
By Bernie Magkilat
Public company EEI Corp., the
country's leading construction
firm, is looking forward to the
implementation of the ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC) by
2015 as the company wants to
participate in the huge
infrastructure projects in the
region, especially Myanmar and
Roberto Jose Castillo, EEI
Corp. CEO and president, told
reporters at the recent ASEAN
Comprehensive Investments
Agreement forum that once the
AEC takes effect it will abolish all
barriers to trade and investments
for the region. This single market
economy will attract more
investors into the region and that
requires the services of
construction firms like EEI, he
“Investments will not work
without builders like us to build
facilities, infrastructure. It is boon
for us builders, so if you ask if we
are ready for AEC 2015 my
answer is of course yes we are
ready not only in construction but
even in manufacturing.
Castillo stressed that EEI is
big only in the Philippines, but not
globally. Despite its size, it has
Gov’t calls on ...
From page 21
services. The MIMAROPA region
or Region 4-B has salary rate of
P205 per day with business
opportunities in non-agriculture
There are also business
opportunities for Region 4-A or
the CALABARZON region with
salary rate of P208 per day. Other
regions with very competitive
wages include Regions 3 and 1.
“The only solution to poverty
is to seek out these areas and
provinces with lowest minimum
wage rates,” Almendras said.
He said that there are spatial
or sectoral divisions of poverty
reduction and there are
opportunities by which the private
sector can start to build
Almendras made this call as he
stressed that government is not
good at sustainable issues but are
there to pave the way for the
private sector. He cited efforts of
the Department of Trade and
Industry to put up shared service
facilities for micro and small and
medium enterprises in the
He further noted that the
Aquino government has
unpublished goals of reducing
poverty incidence by 7 percentage
Jollibee ... From page 21
Jollibee is keen on expanding
via acquisitions. But Baysa noted
this would be on a smaller scale
m ov i n g fo r wa rd , g ive n i t s
dominant position.
“Our acquisitions most likely
will not be as frequent as before,”
Baysa said. “We have already
established our foundation in
China we have three brands [in
China] plus one joint venture. And
been able to get good contracts
abroad. In fact, 57 percent of EEI
business is from its foreign
projects particularly in the Middle
East where it has 10,000 workers.
EEI has had a few projects in
ASEAN countries but
opportunities have not been
consistent unlike the Middle East
where construction projects are a
EEI is bidding to become a
subcontractor of the $20-billion
chemical complex project in Johor
Bahru in Malaysia that could
employ 75,000 workers during
the construction period. “If we
will win this contract then we are
back in ASEAN,” Castillo said.
Once the ASEAN investment
sector is opened, Castillo said they
are looking at Myanmar and
Cambodia, which have lots of
infrastructure projects with
competitive labor rates.
ASEAN is also strategic
because it is closer to the
Philippines than Middle East, but
Castillo said they can work
anywhere even in South Pacific.
Its biggest project so far is the
$350-million clean fuel facility of
Exxon Mobil in Yanbu, Saudi
Arabia where EEI deployed 6,000
Filipino workers. Manila Bulletin
points from 26.7 percent by 2016.
But with the series of natural
calamities that happened last year
particularly the super typhoon
Yolanda, the number of poor
Filipinos has substantially gone
He said that the 300,000 to
600,000 near poor or middle class
Filipinos in disaster prone areas,
who were gainfully employed or
earning farmers, have now gone
below poverty level because of
Almendras also showed a list
of provinces in the country which
have the highest poverty incidence
and the highest magnitude of
poverty. These areas include
Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao,
Davao del Sur and Norte, General
Santos, Leyte, Negros Oriental and
Occidental, Sultan Kudarat ,
Southern and Northern Samar,
among others.
While he urged the business
sector to create more economic
activities, Almendras, who is now
Cabinet secretary after serving as
Secretary of the Department of
E n e r g y, s a i d t h e A q u i n o
administration is a transformative
It has already implemented
reform measures on its structure,
people and processes to become
more effective and to attain its goal
of inclusive growth for everyone.
Manila Bulletin
we are already in the largest
categories in the Philippines.”
The company's brands in the
Philippines include the Greenwich
pizza chain, grilled chicken chain
Mang Inasal, Burger King and
Chinese-themed Chowking. In
China, it operates Yonghe King,
Hong Zhuang Yuan and San Pin
Wang. It said revenues during the
period rose by 12.3 percent to
P57.83 billion, while profit was up
26.7 percent to P3.12 billion.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 23
Navarro claims
Cornejo performed
oral sex on him
By Bong Lozada
MANILA -- The plot has thickened
and the characters get in heat.
In the affidavit of television host
Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro that the
National Bureau of Investigation filed
in the Department of Justice Tuesday
afternoon, he claimed that his
supposed rape victim Deniece Millet
Cornejo had performed oral sex on him
in their meeting before the alleged
According to the affidavit, before
the sexual activity, Navarro and
Cornejo met at the latter's unit at
Forbeswood Heights Condominium at
Bonifacio Global City and consumed a
bottle of white wine then proceeded to
kiss each other.
“After consuming one bottle of
white wine, they made out and it led to
oral sex…,” the affidavit said, though
the date when the incident happened
was not given.
In the affidavit, Navarro and
Cornejo met at a sneaker store a couple
of years ago wherein they exchanged
their contact details resulting to a
friendship between the two.
It added that their communication
abruptly ended but resumed two
months ago through Facebook and
Viber. It also said that on January 22,
the date of the alleged beating up of
Navarro courtesy of Cedric Lee and his
friends, Cornejo invited Navarro to
have dinner at her place.
According to the document, when
Navarro was inside Cornejo's unit, two
men came out of the room and one
pointed a gun at the comedian-TV host.
Deniece Cornejo. Facebook fan page photo
Actor and TV host Vhong Navarro.
Screengrab from ABS-CBN interview
They then tied and blindfolded
Navarro and simultaneously rained
blows on him.
During the beating, Navarro
claimed that he heard several people
enter the unit who joined in attacking
him. Navarro said these men then
pulled his trousers down and removed
his blindfold.
Navarro then claimed that, while
he was naked, video cameras were
pointed at him and that the
perpetrators ordered him to utter “Ako
si Vhong, ni-rape ko ang kaibigan ko.” (I
am Vhong and I raped my friend).
According to the affidavit, Cornejo
and Lee conspired on the alleged crime
saying that the two “are in harmony in
doing their acts.”
It said that Cornejo and Lee agreed
on their actions to attain their goal of
restraining the liberty of Navarro as
they threatened to kill him and his
family and exact a payment of P2
million from Navarro's alleged rape.
NBI files criminal raps vs Cedric
Lee, Deniece Cornejo, 8 others
By Tetch Torres-Tupas
MANILA -- The National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
on Tuesday filed a criminal
complaint against businessman
Cedric Lee, his sister Bernice,
Deniece Cornejo and several
others in connection with the
mauling of comedian and TV
host Vhong Navarro.
“Evidence is glaring that
each of them played their own
task in order to perpetrate the
crime,” the NBI said in a
complaint filed with the
Department of Justice.
The three, together with a
certain Ferdinand Guerrero,
Zimmer Rance, an alias Mike, a
John and a Peter Does, have
been charged serious illegal
detention, serious physical
injuries, grave threats, grave
coercion, unlawful arrest and
threatening to publish and offer
to prevent such publication for
a compensation.
“First, Deniece set-up the
entry of Vhong and the other
p e r s o n s i nvo lve d i n h e r
condominium unit…,” the
complaint read, adding that
Cornejo even informed the
condominium guard at the
Bonifacio Global City that she
was expecting Navarro and her
relatives to arrive and that they
should be allowed entry last
On the other hand, Lee,
Rance and Guerrero, a certain
Mike and two others allegedly
took turns in assaulting the
actor while Bernice Lee
supposedly joined Cornejo in
instructing the guard to bar
other people, aside from those
she allowed in, from entering
the unit.
The NBI also said that the
suspects were present “during
the video-taking where Vhong
was naked and was forced to
say that 'Ako si Vhong Navarro,
ni-rape ko ang kaibigan ko…'”
The NBI's complaint was
based on the testimonies of
security guard Lero Garvin,
Navarro's driver Rommel dela
Cruz, and the CCTV footage,
among others.
Cornejo and Lee failed to
appear before the NBI.
Lee has denied that they
extorted money from Navarro
and said that he would file libel
charges against the actor.
Cornejo, on the other hand,
has claimed that Navarro
attempted to rape her. Navarro
is still being treated in an
undisclosed hospital for the
injuries he sustained during the
alleged mauling.
Bianca, Vhong's
Who is Cedric Lee?
ex-wife, speaks up Vina Morales’ real feeling
about his ex Cedric Lee?
Page 24
Bianca Lapus
MANILA -- Vhong Navarro's
former wife, actress Bianca Lapus, is
still in shock after seeing photos of
him beaten black and blue.
Lapus said she has yet to see
Navarro personally after the incident
because she can't bear seeing her
former husband in his current
"Parang sinasaksak ang puso ko. I
can't watch the interview," Lapus
said after the interview of Vhong
over "Buzz ng Bayan". "I haven't seen
Vhong since the incident kasi di ko
talaga kaya sa picture pa lang."
Lapus said she can't help but cry
and be worried for Navarro, whom
she described as a "good man."
"I'm really not good right now.
It's been days since the incident
happened and I'm still in shock. Hindi
ko mapigilang umiyak, matakot at
mag-alala. I'm almost 4 months
pregnant now kaya I'm resting kasi di
ko talaga kaya ang stress at pagaalala," she said. "Di ko matanggap
ang nangyari sa kanya, e mabuting
tao 'yun at walang kaaway."
Lapus said she is also in pain
because her son with Navarro, Yce, is
away from them, hiding in fear due to
alleged threats by the men who
attacked Navarro. The men
By Michael Joe T. Delizo
The recent posts of singer-actress Vina Morales
on Instagram have elicited reactions at the height
of the controversial mauling incident involving her
erstwhile partner Cedric Lee and TV host Vhong
Amid hullabaloo, Vina shared on Thursday a
message that seemingly hinted at the whole
“No need for revenge. Just sit back & wait.
Those who hurl you will eventually screw up
themselves and if you're lucky, God will let you
watch,” read her post.
Netizens linked the post to her ex's current
One such post added, “Amen ms vina. We love u
and happy kami na wala na kayo ni #cedriclee
masyado ka ping mabuti para sa ganyang klaseng
In an interview a few months back, the 38-yearold mother admitted that she's a member of “9262
Club,” which some took as referring to women who
are victims of violation of Republic Act 9262 or the
Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children
Page 24
Act (VAWC) of 2004.
Page 24
Singer-actress Vina Morales
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 24
Who is Cedric Lee?
By Bong Lozada
MANILA -- Everybody knows
the victim, but who is the alleged
According to Vhong Navarro,
who hogged the headlines after
being mauled inside a
condominium in Bonifacio
Global City, the attacker was a
c e r t a i n “ C e d r i c L e e ,” a
Navarro said in a television
interview that during the attack
Lee introduced himself while
several men were throwing
blows to his head and body.
Aside from Navarro's
mauling incident, Lee was also
accused of attacking
businessman and ex-athlete
David Bunevacz.
According to an article of the
Philippine Daily INQUIRER
dated Jan. 18, 2008, Lee and his
cohorts identified as Tyrone Ong,
Loiue Kau, Chito Ho and
Dominquie Sytini beat up
Bunevacz, their former business
partner, and seized the latter's
Porsche, expensive watch and
cellular phone.
In another report, Lee and
Bunevacz were former business
partners but it did not say what
caused their falling out.
Lee, is also the former
boyfriend of Vina Morales some
two years ago.
Professional life
In his LinkedIn, an exclusive
social networking site for
professionals, Lee is a contractor
by occupation.
He is the Board Chairman
and Company President of
Izumo Contractors, which built
the Davao del Sur Cultural Sports
Business Center, the Maasin City
Integrated Market Complex.
According to his LinkedIn
profile, the Izumo Contractors
has its office in Robinsons
Galleria Corporate Center.
Lee also posted several of his
architectural projects in the
social networking site Pinterest.
The alleged NavarroBunevacz attacker is also the
managing director of Colossal
Mining Corporation, the biggest
iron and sand concessionaire in
the Philippines, which in 2004
had tenements totaling 40,000
Lee is also the chairman and
president of Phil-Asia Dredging
and Reclamation Corporation,
which is on a two-year contract
to conduct dredging operations
on the Cagayan River.
Another of Lee's companies,
Waste Management
Incorporated, is in contract with
the provincial government of
Cebu that would manage the
province's landfill.
Lee has a Bachelor's degree
on Business Management from
the De La Salle University, his
profile said.
Photo of Vhong Navarro signing blotter report at SPD-DIDMS last Jan. 22,
2014. Photo from SPD
Condo guard: I saw
Vhong Navarro's hands
tied behind his back
MANILA -- Actor Vhong
Navarro's hands were tied
behind his back and his face
was covered by his ball cap
when he was taken inside the
condominium unit
Wednesday night, the security
guard said in his statement at
the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI).
Lero Garvin, on duty
security guard at the main
g a t e o f Fo r b e s Wo o d s
Vina Morales’ ...
From page 23
She refused to divulged details
of her “membership,” though.The
singer has a daughter with Lee.
Her other post suggests that she
will keep mum on the issue.
“Sometimes, its (sic) best to stay
QUIET. The silence can speak
volumes without ever saying a
word..” she shared.
Friends To The Rescue
Cosmetic surgeon Vicky Belo has
expressed willingness to help in the
recovery of Vhong, whose face left
was left black and blue.
The doctor to the stars disclosed
that she already called the TV host's
manager, director Chito Roño, to talk
about her offer.
Bianca ...
From page 23
threatened to harm Navarro's family
if he exposed what happened to him.
She said that despite being
separated from Navarro, they still
remain friends.
"I told him masakit sa 'kin ang
nangyari sa kanya, sobra. Siyempre
in the end, whatever happens,
pamilya pa rin kami. Naging asawa
ko siya, kaibigan ko pa rin siya at
mahal ko. And the agony of not
knowing where our son is because
he needs to be kept in a safe place
with a security is really hard for us,"
she said. Lapus expressed
condominium, appeared
before the NBI Monday
The members of the NBINational Capital Region have
already talked to the actor on
Jan. 23, a day after the alleged
mauling incident.
NBI Assistant Regional
Director Vicente De Guzman
said Navarro identified six to
seven attackers.
“I was looking at the wounds (of
Vhong), it's swelling. Parang
(there's) a lot of soft tissue injury. But
out of respect naman, I'm sure he just
need some peace and quiet now,
siguro by next week,” she said of in a
report aired on “Bandila.”
“It's Showtime” mainstays made
their presence at the hospital to
show their all-out support for their
badly beaten co-host.
“All of us are very devastated. The
most important thing is we're very
grateful that he's safe and sound now
and we're thankful for everyone that
has been praying for him,” Anne
Curtis said.
Jhong Hilario on Tuesday got
choked up and excused himself from
the segment “That's My Tomboy”
when friendship was being talked
about. Manila Bulletin
unwavering support for Navarro and
told him to remain strong amid the
difficult situation.
"I told Vhong, his family, the kids
and his girlfriend, sa pagsubok na 'to,
we are one family. We will draw
strength from each other through
prayers. Malalagpasan din natin ito."
Lapus also thanked all the fans
and supporters of Navarro who are
praying for his recovery.
"In behalf of our family thank you
for all the overflowing messages of
love, support and prayers for Vhong
especially during this difficult time.
Huwag natin siya iiwan at husgahan.
Isa siyang mabuting tao. Together let
us pray for his fast recovery safety
and justice."
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 25
Marian savors
showbiz success
THE CAST members of 'Sa Ngalan ng Ama, Ina, at Mga Anak’
'Sa Ngalan ng Ama, Ina
at mga Anak' opens
By Crispina Martinez - Belen
Almost two years in the
making, and almost not pushing
through, finally “Sa Ngalan ng
Ama, Ina at Mga Anak” is now
showing in theaters nationwide.
Star Cinema, in partnership
w i t h RC P P ro d u c t i o n s , i s
releasing the movie described as
“the most explosive actionpacked family drama of the year”
as part of Star Cinema's ongoing
20th anniversary celebration.
Hot on the heels of his Best
Actor win in the 2013 Metro
Manila Film Festival (for “10,000
Hours”), Robin Padilla plays the
lead role of Ongkoy in this period
film set in the turbulent '70s that
aims to address the truth and the
lies that shrouded the “Kuratong
Baleleng” controversy. Directed
by Jon Villarin, it valiantly proves
that love of family and country
will always prevail despite
troublesome times.
At the press conference,
Robin said, “This is a family
movie, hindi ito basta action film
lang na may mga barilan o
patayan. Kung malayo kayo sa
pamilya ninyo o wala kayo sa
kanila, sobra kayong makakarelate sa film na ito.”
Interestingly, “Sa Ngalan ng
Ama, Ina at mga Anak” is pretty
much a family affair that features
several other members of the
Padilla ctlan: Mariel RodriguezPadilla plays the wife of Ongkoy;
Rommel Padilla and his three
sons (Daniel, dubbed ABS-CBN's
Primetime Teen King, RJ and
Matt); and Kylie and Bela Padilla,
two top Kapuso teleserye stars.
Plans to include Rustom Padilla
(now BB Gandanghari) didn't
materialize; instead, BB will be
doing a movie with Robin in the
near future. This is Robin and
Daniel's first big screen
collaboration, and the former is
very excited, knowing how big a
star his nephew is now.
Daniel, who has remained the
same “mabait” and simple guy
despite his fame (“ang nagbago sa
akin 'yung lang siguro mga damit
ko,” he said) starred in “Pagpag:
Siyam na Buhay,” said to be the
highest grossing horror flick in
the history of the Metro Manila
Film Festival. He is the son of
Rommel with actress Karla
Estrada, who, incidentally, is also
featured in “Sa Ngalan ng Ama,
Ina, at Mga Anak.”
The movie also stars
Christopher de Leon, Dina
Bonnevie, Pen Medina, Lito
Pimentel, Dennis Padilla, Aljur
Abrenica and Bugoy Cariño,
among others. Manila Bulletin
MANILA -- She has made a name
for herself in the local entertainment
scene for her talent and beauty. But
unknown to many, Kapuso actress
Marian Rivera is also making waves
in Vietnam, Cambodia and maybe, in
parts of Africa.
In November last year, the GMA-7
Primetime Queen visited Vietnam to
appear on several shows in Today TV,
one of the largest networks and was
the first to air Filipino dramas in the
said country.
Marian was welcomed by a lot of
fans, which she didn't expect.
She was also hailed "Most
Favorite Foreign Actress" by Today
TV during its Face of the Year Awards
last January 8.
Marian wasn't able to attend the
event because of showbiz
commitments in Manila but she sent
a video message thanking all her fans.
"Nakakatuwa and masaya (na
napapanood ka ibang bansa) kasi
hindi ko lubos maisip. Can you
imagine na minamahal ka ng tao na di
mo kalahi? Doon pa lang fulfilled ka
na sa sarili mo na sabihin mahal ka ng
tao not kung sino ka pero dahil sa
ginagawa mong trabaho," she said
during the press conference of her
Kapuso actress Marian Rivera
latest primetime series "Carmela."
"Marimar," "Dyesebel," "Amaya,"
and "Temptation of Wife" were
already shown in Vietnam and
Cambodia. "Ang Babaeng Hinugot Sa
Aking Tadyang" will follow suit.
The actress said that "Endless
Love," the Filipino version of hit
Korean drama "Autumn in My Heart,"
Page 26
Robin Padilla planning gay
film with BB Gandanghari
By Marinel R. Cruz
Actor Robin Padilla, whose
contract with home network
ABS-CBN expired in October, said
he was renewing it soon,
especially since the bosses
agreed for him to coproduce his
own projects.
“I want to keep making action
movies, and be given the freedom
to work on materials of my
choice,” Robin told the Philippine
Daily Inquirer during the press
con for the movie “Sa Ngalan ng
Ama, Ina at ng mga Anak.” He
coproduced the film with his
wife, actress-host Mariel
“I'm not getting any younger,”
said the 44-year-old actor. “I can
no longer work for 28 hours
straight. As for TV, I'd like to try
father roles. I leave the rom-coms
to the younger Padillas.” (Robin
appeared in three Kapamilya
s h o w s “ G u n s a n d R o s e s ,”
“Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw” and
“TodaMax”after signing up in
He'd like Mariel to join him in
ABS-CBN. She was last seen as
host of the defunct game show,
“Wil Time Big Time” on TV5. “I
want to see her hosting a show
again,” he said. In “Sa Ngalan,”
Mariel plays Indang, wife to
Robin's character, Kuratong
Baleleng crime boss Ongkoy.
Robin Padilla likes being his wife
Mariel's “baby.”
Wedding blues
Robin married Mariel in
Muslim rites in 2010. He said she
earlier wished for a church
wedding so they flew to the
Vatican. He recounted, “We were
rejected; she was hurt. That
shook her faith.”
He wouldn't mind trying
again. “I'm only waiting for
Mariel to tell me she's ready. A
c h u r c h w e d d i n g i s e ve r y
woman's dream.”
Robin admitted, however,
that he wasn't prepared to have a
child with Mariel. “I want to be
her husband and her baby … I
need her more than she needs
me. Masyado akong radikal
magisip at this point in my life;
she keeps me on an even keel.”
Gay film
They are going on a monthlong vacation in Stockholm in
February. “It's a religious
pilgrimage. I'm planning to
produce a film about gay
marriage that will star BB
(Gandanghari, his gay brother).
The project has been stalled
twice, so I plan to seek divine
intervention. I am looking
forward to the signs that I hope
God will give us.”
Asked if he was ready to see
BB marry another man, Robin
replied, “The family thinks of BB
as a child. He didn't grow up as
BB, but as Rustom. The progress
in our family [dynamics] has to
be gradual. 'Wag naman sana
niya kami gulatin.”
Robin said he'd like his son
Ali, 12, to become a soldier. “I
wanted to be one when I was
young,” he explained. “That was
why I trained all of my kids in
combat (martial arts).”
When his daughter Kylie was
hospitalized recently, Robin
cancelled all his show biz
commitments to spend time with
her. “When I learned it was
because of migraine, I worried …
she bumped her head during
gymnastics [training] many
times before. But she just needed
The cast of 'The Borrowed Wife'
The Borrowed Wife camp
responds to issues raised
By Rowena Tan
A call center agent has reacted
over a scene in GMA's afternoon
series “The Borrowed Wife” as
having supposedly mocked their
In its pilot episode that aired on
Monday, Jan.20, Rico (played by
Rafael Rosell) told Maricar (Charee
Pineda), “…Kinukuha nila ako bilang
call center agent. Kahit sino naman
yata matatanggap dun eh… Hindi ako
nag-aral para sumagot lang ng
JM Cruz, a call center agent and
creator of a local call center podcast,
alleged in a letter sent to
entertainment blog Fashion Pulis
that the particular dialog used
“sweeping, degrading statements”
that discriminated people in their
“We are enraged, we feel
violated… The nerve of these
supposed writers to discriminate
against an industry they know
nothing about! What about them?
How much research have they done
to make such sweeping, degrading
statements?” the letter read.
Hazel Abonita, program manager
of “The Borrowed Wife,” has
responded to the issue telling PEP in
a n i n t e r v i e w, “ We d i d t h e
appropriate research naman…
Kumbaga yung mga tao naman, are
doing what they are doing for the
program… pinag-aaralan naman
namin po kung ano ang ginagawa
namin, so there is viable data on the
terms that we used for the specific
Meanwhile, Jun Rufino, a USbased nurse, is claiming that the
theme song used in the series is his
composition and that it has been
appropriated without his consent.
Kedy Sanchez, GMA Records A &
R manager, was surprised by this
claim and told PEP that they will
“clear” the matter. Manila Bulletin
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 26
Luis and Angel 'kissing' photo
goes viral
Pauleen shares what she
loves most with Vic Sotto
By Pau Aguilera
Have Angel Locsin and Luis
Manzano rekindled the flame?
Some of their followers are
assuming so, based on several
now-viral Instagram photos
that both have posted recently.
In a photo posted by Luis
(luckymanzano) on Saturday,
Jan. 25, he is seen giving a
smiling Angel a peck on the
cheek, with the caption, “Kulet
and Kiti headed back to Manila
.” The photo has garnered over
19,300 likes and almost 1,200
comments as of this writing.
Another photo posted by
Luis showed him and Angel
standing together near what
looked like a stage. It now has
over 20,800 likes and 1,200
comments. Angel posted a solo
photo of Luis on her own
Instagram account
(therealangellocsin), which was
seemingly taken inside a plane,
and captioned thus: “Maraming
salamat po sa mga nanuod ng
asap live dito sa dubai! Pabalik
na ngayon ng pinas kasama
netong seatmate ko simulan na
ang masarap na usapan.” The
upload has garnered over
17,300 likes and over 1,000
Actress Pauleen Luna
The two call themselves 'Kulet' and 'Kiti' (Instagram)
comments as of this writing.
Apparently, the photos were
taken during a recent trip to
Dubai, where Luis and Angel
joined several other ABS-CBN
talents for a live taping of an
episode of the Sunday variety
show “ASAP.” During a press
conference for the show held
Thursday, Luis shared to media
his feelings for Angel, saying, “I
love her.”
His statement came only a
week after the actress, herself,
admitted that she still loves her
MANILA -- KAPUSO actress
Pauleen Luna admires boyfriend
Vic Sotto's simple living despite his
name, status and influence in the
local entertainment scene.
According to the 25-year-old,
the "Eat Bulaga" main man
appreciates the little stuff and
values quality time more than any
material thing money can buy.
"If you really know him,
makikilala mo kung gaano kasimpleng tao siya. Hindi siya
extravagant, hindi siya maluho, ang
nakakapagpaligaya sa kaniya are
the little things," she said.
Pauleen continued, "'Yun ang
gusto ko sa kaniya, wala sa ulo niya,
sa lifestyle niya kung nasaan man
siya ngayon."
Vic's latest success is the 2013
Metro Manila Film Festival entry
"My Little Bossings," which he top
billed opposite child star Ryzza Mae
Dizon, showbiz newbie James
Aquino-Yap, and singer/actress
Aiza Seguerra.
The movie tops the box-office
and reportedly raked more than
P400 million during its two weeks
Marian savors ...
From page 25
is now being aired in some African
Even with the warm reception
and success she's experiencing from
those countries, Marian remains
focused on her job.
"Lahat naman ng bagay may
pressure, yun e kung paano mo
itatake yung pressure. Nililihis ko
siya. Mas more on naeexcite ako,
mas more on masaya ako kaysa sa
ipressure ko ang sarili ko," she said.
"Nagiging posible naman ang lahat
ng ito dahil sa GMA. Sila ang nag
distribute sa iba't ibang bansa para
mapanood ako."
Marian's latest challenge is the
evening series "Carmela," which she
top bills opposite Alden Richards.
This is her first primetime project
after renewing her contract with
GMA-7 for three years last August.
According to the actress, the
station gave her four scripts to
choose from, and she was given the
liberty to pick her leading man.
"Nilatagan nila ako ng mga
If many thought the film's
success translates to grandiose
gifts during the holidays, Pauleen
was fast to dismiss this. She said
they don't even have gifts for each
"Hindi kami materialistic. Hindi
kami maregalo and mas mabigat sa
amin yung time spent with each
other. Kasi anything naman
mabibili niya, anything naman
mabibili ko, so it's really not that
important," said Pauleen.
Pauleen was also asked if Vic
already gave her a engagement ring
as Christmas present, the actress
said they're not there yet.
"Kung napag-uusapan, napaguusapan naman talaga. But you
know, until that day na mayroong
solid plans, wala pa."
The actress said she doesn't
want to assume anything but they
are both very happy with the status
of their relationship, especially now
that they've become very vocal
about it.
"Ayokong pangunahan ang mga
bagay-bagay. But like what I've said,
we are very happy with where we
are in our relationship. We are very
open to each other," she said.
She added, "Kung ano 'yung
gusto niya and gusto ko, nasasabi
namin sa isa't isa. Kaya kung ano
man ang mangyayari, hayaan na
lang natin mangyari bago natin
Pauleen added that her parents
are much okay now that her
relationship with Vic is out in the
"For them mas okay 'yung
pinag-uusapan kaysa 'yung hindi
talaga pinag-uusapan. Wala naman
sigurong magulang na may gusto na
may boyfriend 'yung anak niya
tapos hindi pinaguusapan at all,"
she ended.
gusto kong gawin and pinapili
talaga nila ako," she said.
When asked why she chose
Alden, Marian explained: "Mahal
niya ang trabaho niya and yun ang
mahalaga sa akin. Pag mahal mo ang
trabaho mo, lahat yan mag follow
"Si Alden din ang naisip ko nung
sinabi na bata na leading man. Alam
naman natin na dedicated siya sa
trabaho, magaling na artista at
Alden recently turned 22 while
Marian is already 29 years old.
Aside from the series, Marian
will be featured in two movies
under Regal Films. She hinted that
her leading men will come from
rival networks.
"Nabanggit 'yan sa akin pero
alam naman niyo ang soap opera
and movies, hangga't hindi na nagro l l a n g c a m e ra , m a ra m i n g
pwedeng magbago. Wala akong
reklamo sa leading men ko and mas
gusto ko na nag-try ng bago.
Hangga't maganda ang pelikula, go
"Carmela" premiered last
January 27.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 27
Sharon, Richard
reunite - only on TV
By Digs Ramos
Stephen Schwartz (
'Wicked' composer
Schwartz soon in PH
By Renz Emmanuel Raquion
Composer Stephen Schwartz, is
scheduled to visit Philippines on
Sunday, Feb. 2, to check out the Manila
leg of the blockbuster musical
“Wicked.” It was Schwartz who scored
the magical musical as with other hit
shows including “Godspell” and
Schwartz, who has earned several
awards throughout his illustrious
career including four Drama Desk
Awards, three Grammys, three Oscars,
and one Golden Globe, has
contributed lyrics for a number of
successful animated features for
Disney, like “Pocahontas” (1995),
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
(1996) and “Enchanted” (2007).
'Wicked' remains one of
Broadway's most popular musicals,
and features the story of the
relationship between two young
women who grow up to become
Glinda The Good Witch and the
Wicked Witch of The West, known in
the musical as Elphaba.
Catch “Wicked” in CCP Main
Theater in Pasay City. Tickets are
available in all TicketWorld outlets.
Manila Bulletin
“Madam Chairman,” Sharon Cuneta's first
prime-time comedy-drama TV series, bids the
airwaves goodbye on February 28 after 20 weeks on
the air.
The show, about a kind-hearted cook who has to
deal with a philandering husband and duties as
barangay chair, has reportedly settled for singledigit ratings despite a strong support cast. It is
directed by Joel Lamangan.
News programs and teleseryes on rival
channels dominated the prime-time slot. Even so,
insiders pointed out, the show, originally slated for
only 13 weeks, was extended for another seven.
“The cast and staff are sad about this,” says
Cuneta, “so we avoid talking about it.”
This is Cuneta's second show with TV5. The
gabfest “Sharon: Kasama Mo, Kapatid” lasted eight
months before the curtains came down. Her only
remaining show on air is “The Mega and the
Songwriter,” a musical-variety show that she
cohosts with Ogie Alcasid.
Mega (for “megastar”), as Cuneta is known in
the biz, is expected to take a break before working
on the planned series with Gomez.
First-love role
Details of the new show, whose working title is
“My Pirated Family,” are being finalized. Insiders
say the proposed story revolves around a “fake”
family that the lead character (Cuneta) teams up
with to claim an inheritance.
The actress says she may do a made-for-TV
movie at the end of the year. She is also set to sing
the theme of one episode of a weekly drama
anthology, “Minamahal.”
“It's like, there's going to be a song of the week,
Richard Gomez and Sharon Cuneta may be
paired anew in “My Pirated Family.”
based on which they will write a story that will be
dramatized,” Cuneta explains.
“Madam Chairman” airs weeknights after “Let's
Ask Pilipinas.” Gomez's four-episode guesting
started on Thursday. He plays Enzo, Madam's first
love. It's the former couple's first teamup in a
2 PH films in
Portland fest
Two Filipino films will be
screened at the 37th Portland
International Film Festival in Oregon
on Feb. 6 to 22. Brillante Ma.
Mendoza's “Thy Womb” will be
shown on Feb. 15 and 20; Hannah
Espia's “Transit,” Feb. 13 and 15.
Apart from established masters,
the fest also features first-time
filmmakers like Espia.
She is one of 28 competing for the
New Director Audience Award.
Anthony Chen's “Iloilo” (from
Singapore) is also lined up
Only $30 for 25 words
(deadline for
submission is
Wednesday noon)
RED HOT Chili Peppers
'7107' organizers promise a Red Hot 90-minute set
By Allan Policarpio
Quelling concerns that Red
Hot Chili Peppers - main act for
the coming 7107 International
Music Festival - was to play only a
few songs, event organizers have
announced that the iconic US rock
band would perform a 90-minute
“Red Hot Chili Peppers will
play a full show. I'm not sure how
many songs, but their target is 90
minutes, give or take,” producer
Mike Pio Roda told the Philippine
Daily Inquirer at a recent press
The music fest - slated Feb. 22
and 23 at the Global Logistics
Gateway City in Clark,
Pampangawill feature 11 other
foreign acts, including DJ/record
producer Kaskade, hip-hop star
Kendrick Lamar, alternative rock
group Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
and electro-synth pop duo Empire
of the Sun.
“Kaskade and Kendrick Lamar
will each play 75-minute sets; the
rest, 60 minutes,” Roda said.
The two-day outdoor event
likewise boasts an expansive
roster of around 40 local bands
and artists led by Up Dharma
Down, Sponge Cola, Radioactive
S a g o P ro j e c t , I tc hy wo r m s ,
Rocksteddy, Taken by Cars, She's
Only Sixteen, Yolanda Moon,
Loonie and Abra.
Roda assured fans that the
possibility of big acts backing out
last-minute was unlikely. He
pointed out, “They've all been
announcing their participation in
social mediaTwitter, Facebook…”
Diverse genres
Executive producer
Conchitina Herrera added that
most of the bands had already
been paid in full, “Otherwise they
wouldn't have given us materials
for promotion.” The veteran
events producer is also behind
Philippine Fashion Week.
Herrera said “7107” was
patterned after the annual
Coachella Valley (California)
Music and Arts Festival. The goal
for the Philippine event, she said,
was to create a full festival
experience not limited to a few
music genres. “We didn't want to
offer just one genre; we have a
little bit of everything that the
audience can enjoyrap, hip-hop,
R&B, electronic, dance rock and
To help them mount “7107,”
organizers hired an international
festival management team from
Los Angeles, who had been
involved in Coachella, Ultra Music
Festival Miami and the Electric
Daisy Carnival, among other
“We didn't want to do this by
ourselves, though we had the
option and the experience to do
so,” Herrera said. “These guys
produce about 60 festivals a year.”
Herrera envisions “7107” to
become an annual “global music
platform” that will “represent the
best of the Philippines” and,
hopefully, boost tourism. She said
her team tied up with the
Department of Tourism to help
with the promotion.
“We're relying on the global
acts to help us [generate]
attention for the Philippines. One
tweet or one Instagram picture
from the foreign artists will give
their fan bases a glimpse of what
it's like here,” Herrera pointed out.
“But it's also about individual
experiences - how people will talk
about it after.”
Part of the festival's proceeds
will fund rehabilitation and relief
projects for Supertyphoon
“Yolanda” survivors through Help
PH and EJ Litton Foundation, said
Herrera. “We want '7107' to
remind our countrymen that
music moves, and that help is on
the way.”
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 28
Bradley: Pacquiao
killer instinct gone
By Roy Luarca
LAGUNA GOVERNOR ER Ejercito with DepEd Sec. Armin A. Luistro and
Pagsanjan Mayor Maita Sanchez-Ejercito
(Photo by Mark Balmores)
2014 Palarong Pambansa
grand launch held by DepEd
By Crispina Martinez - Belen
The recent launch of Palarong
Pambansa 2014 held by the DepEd
at the ULTRA in Pasig City was a
grand and star-studded affair.
Laguna won the bid to host this
year's Palarong Pambansa, the
Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) of which was signed by
DepEd Sec. Armin A. Luistro and
Laguna Governor ER Ejercito.
In his pledge of commitment
s p e e c h , G o v. E R e x p r e s s e d
excitement over Laguna's turn to
host the games on May 4 to 10. He
stressed that Laguna is all set to
welcome 15,000-17,000 athletes,
coaches and officials from 17
regions of the country. The athletes
will compete in 19 sports
disciplines in 399 athletic events in
seven days.
“This is the time that the
Province of Laguna is hosting
Palarong Pambansa and this
momentous event is the best time to
showcase our unique traditions,
culture, products, services, tourism
destinations, as well as our
successes and achievements in local
governance,” Gov. ER said. Laguna
has six cities and 24 municipalities.
“It is a great honor and a
testament of Laguna's capability
and preparedness to stage the
country's grandest Palarong
Pambansa ever, which aims to
develop the character of the youth
of our nation and instill in them the
values of discipline, dedication,
humility and self-confidence
through sports.
These are the same values that
our youth need in all aspects of their
lives. After all, in Laguna, sports is a
way of life.”
Gov. ER also said they started
the ground works for Palarong
Pambansa 2014 last year in order to
ensure its success. To start off, the
30-second TV ad of Palarong
Pambansa in Laguna has already
been aired on major television
networks as early as December
“The La Laguna Festival: The
Festival of Life, awarded as the Best
Tourism Event of the Philippines in
2011, 2012 and 2013, and is
nowadays DOT-ATOP Hall of Fame
Pearl awardee will be incorporated
in our historic hosting of Palarong
Pambansa 2014.” Gov. ER concluded
his speech by saying, “The Palarong
Pambansa in Laguna will be the
benchmark of future Palarong
Pambansa.” Manila Bulletin
Hong Kong fined P1.4M for racial abuse
By Jonas Terrado
The International Football
Federation has fined the Hong Kong
Football Association was fined
30,000 swiss francs (P1.4 million)
for racial abuse made by its fans
during last June's friendly match
against the Philippine Azkals.
FIFA said that the HKFA is
sanctioned for breaching Articles
58, 65 (b and e) and 67 (1 and 3) of
t h e wo rl d g ove r n i n g b o dy ' s
Disciplinary Code after some fans
threw debris and hurled racial slurs
at Filipino fans during the Azkals' 10 win at Mongkong Stadium.
The incident also saw a group of
Hong Kong fans displaying a banner
that read “Lest We Forget Manila,
8/23/10”, a reference to the Manila
hostage crisis in 2010 when eight
Hong Kong nationals were killed by a
hostage taker inside a tourist bus at
the Luneta Grandstand.
FIFA is also requiring the HKFA
CHF 3,000 (P150,000) to cover the
cost of the investigation that began
last November.
In a statement, the Philippine
Football Federation praised the
decision. “The decision shows that
FIFA vigorously implements the
non-discrimination provisions of
the FIFA Statutes wherever the
conduct is displayed and whoever
the guilty party is. It also stressed
the responsibility of the host
Member Association for the
spectators' conduct in any friendly
match within its territory,” the PFF
On the other hand, HKFA chief
executive officer Mark Sutcliffe was
“disappointed with the initial
decision and the association has the
right to lodge a formal appeal once
more information is given.”
“In my opinion, the incidents
were very minor in nature and there
was significant provocation by a
number of the Philippine players.
Having said that we do not condone
any acts of violence or racial
discrimination and as I stated
publicly before, we will implement
stadium bans on any individuals
convicted of an offence of this
nature.,” Sutcliffe said. Manila
M A N I L A - - H a s M a n ny
Pacquiao lost his killer instinct?
Timothy Bradley thinks so,
and believes it will serve him in
good stead when they clash anew
fo r t h e Wo r l d B ox i n g
Organization welterweight
crown on April 12 in Las Vegas.
“He (Pacquiao) doesn't have
that killer instinct,” Bradley told Sunday.
“Yeah, he didn't have that
killer instinct in that (Brandon)
Rios fight.”
Bradley was referring to the
Filipino ring superstar's 12round domination of Rios last
Nov. 24 in Macau.
Though Pacquiao won
lopsidedly, Bradley felt there
were instances when the Fighter
of the Decade could've finished
off Rios, but didn't do so.
Instead, he said, Pacquiao
chose to play it safe and coasted
to victory.
Bradley said he believed that
Pacquiao was a “little scared” of
Rios' punching power. The
undefeated American noted that
Pacquiao's reluctance to mix it up
will work to his advantage when
he dangles the title he wrested
AP photo
from the Filipino by a widely
disputed split decision on June 9,
According to Bradley, he will
legitimize that victory by beating
Pacquiao convincingly this time.
Having repeatedly watched
the tapes of their first encounter,
Bradley said that though he isn't a
power puncher in the mold of
Rios, he was able to hurt
Pacquiao that time.
Bradley also noted that
Pacquiao turned defensive in that
first fight and “only worked like,
maybe, a minute in every round.”
Bradley, who bolstered his
stock with victories over Ruslan
Provodnikov and Juan Manuel
Marquez, respectively, said he
expects Pacquiao to be on the
defensive in their rematch.
“I don't think he's going to
engage that much, man,” said
Boxing pundits have actually
noticed Pacquiao's diminished
finishing kick in his fights since
They felt that Pacquiao was in
a position to stop Antonio
Margarito in 2010, Shane Mosley
in 2012 and Bradley, but did not
go for the kill.
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 29
The challenging Year of the Wooden Horse
By Lea Manto-Beltran Supplements
Editor & Photos by Edwin Muli
THIS year will be a challenging
year for the Philippines,” declared
master geomancer Joseph Chau Kam
Shing, who has been a primary figure
in the practice of Feng Shui in many
parts of the world for the last three
T h e C h i n e s e N e w Ye a r,
specifically the Year of the Wooden
Horse, commences on January 31,
2014 at 00:01 a.m., but based on the
Chinese Lunar Calendar, its formal
duration only begins on February 4,
2014, 6:03 a.m., and is set to end on
February 3, 2015.
The Philippines is fortunate to
annually have Master Chau in the
country for Chinese New Year, as he
leads the celebrated Chinese New
Year festivities of The Mandarin
Oriental Manila in Makati City. This
year, the traditional prosperity
parade will begin on the eve of the
Year of the Horse on January 30, and
will conclude with the midnight
Lauriat at the hotel ballroom.
“There is too much fire this year,
which means there will be more
violence, robberies, explosions, and
car accidents. Natural calamities like
earthquakes, typhoons and volcanic
eruptions will also happen this year,”
offers cures and remedies besides
interpreting the energy and
positioning of the five basic
elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal
and Water, Master Chau assured a
news conference this week that
there is a very simple solution to all
these dangers.
“[You can counter them if you]
just put fountains everywhere,” he
directed. “Fountains represent the
water element that douses fire.”
With several large-scale
calamities already hitting the
country in 2013 - from frequent
typhoons, the earthquake in Bohol,
Super Typhoon Yolanda in Central
Visayas, and just this month, the
floods from Typhoon Agaton in
Mindanao -Master Chau advised the
government to continue improving
public services and infrastructures
so if and when natural catastrophes
do strike, the country can better
cope with the situation.
Master Chau also suggested the
use of a number of luck enhancers.
For colors: Green, red, pink, violet,
peach and maroon are generally
believed to bring luck this year,
although Chinese Zodiac Sign also
has its specific list of lucky colors.
For wealth: Treasure Bucket,
Treasure Guard, Vivacious Prince of
Wealth, and Flying Golden Pei Yau.
But since Feng Shui is a practice that
Guarding Malacañang
Hong Kong-based Master Chau
is particularly concerned with the
fortune of President Benigno Aquino
3rd whose birthdate is February 8,
1960, which falls under the Chinese
Zodiac sign of the Rat, and directly
“clashing” with the Horse this year.
“This year will be very, very
difficult for President Aquino.
Many unlucky stars are under
the Rat. Those born under the Year of
the Rat will face lots of problems and
hindrances at work,” explained the
Feng Shui practitioner.
He lamented that Aquino's
fortune will directly affect the
country, which is also predicted to
endure a challenging year.
With the Philippines'
Independence Day dated June 12,
1898 -“a date that is “full of fire
elements,” according to Master Chau
- there is a need for Malacanang
Palace to be on continued alert. The
element of fire for the country is
apparently intensified with the
formal commencement of the Year of
the Wooden Horse on Feb. 4, 2014,
which is also full of fire elements.
Chau went as far as to suggest to
keep Malacanang's fountains
running 24 hours every day to douse
the “fire.”
There is a piece of good reading
however, in that the Malacanang's
fountain is said to be positioned in
the southwest, which is the luckiest
direction in the Year of the Wooden
Horse. If turned on by the President
HOW TO PLAY: Place a number from 1 to 9 in each empty cell so that each
row, each column and each 3x3 block contains all the numbers from 1 to 9
Solution to Issue 04 Sudoku
Solution to Issue 04 Crossword
on Day One of Chinese New Year,
Chau believes it will do him -and the
country -a world of good.
Romantic year
On the brighter side, while
President Aquino faces a “very, very
difficult” year in his post this year,
Chau happily added that “his love life
should be much better.” The Year of
the Wooden Horse happens to be a
romantic year for the sings of the
Rat, Horse, Rabbit and Rooster.
“I recommend that he marries
someone who was born in July,
August or October. If the President
will get married this year, then he
will have enhanced luck. If he doesn't
get married this year, his luck will
decline,” Chau cautioned.
He quickly clarified, however, “I
cannot certainly say that the
President will have bad luck, but his
luck will be very weak, it will drop to
the bottom. So think about what can
It can be recalled that in 2013,
Aquino was romantically linked to
lawyer Mariness Ledesma and
beauty queen-turned actress Bianca
Manalo. His last officially declared
girlfriend was Valenzuela City
Councilor Shalani Soledad who is
now married to Representative
Roman Romulo, while his constant
dates for a time with TV host Grace
Lee was also highly publicized.
Lucky businesses
Finally, and thankfully, Chau is
positive that 2014 will be a “good
year” for the Philippine economy.
Lucky businesses include gasoline
( f u e l ) e l e c t r i c i t y, e d u c a t i o n ,
garments and fashion, furniture,
health foods, herbs, restaurants,
construction and real estate, hotel
and tourism and publishing.
And as always, despite his
mostly ominous predictions for the
country's fortune in the Year of the
Wooden Horse, Master Chau
concluded his annual forecast by
stressing that ultimately, a person's
fortune will always depend on hard
work and a positive attitude. Manila
Help Wanted
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 30
Personal u
fabrication workers,
polishing, installations.
Insurance, good pay.
FULL TIME only. Work
Permit a must.
Call 201-527-6199 Rich
Estd. Garment
Import Company in
Mid town
Manhattan seeks
female assistant
with excellent
computer and
skills and able to
do multi task. Must
be organized.
CNC operators for busy
stone fabricator.
Experience helpful but
we'll train right person
with some CAD skills.
Work Permit a must.
Call 201-527-6199 Rich
Helpers and Foreman.
Experience helpful.
Good pay, FULL TIME.
Work Permit a must.
Ridgefield Park, NJ
Call 201-527-6199 Rich
Help Wanted
Opening for
Live-in caregiver
for DD facility
Fully furnished salon and spa
located in busy section of
Jersey City
555 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Contact person: Joy
Phone: 201-234-7152
Email: [email protected]
Good Salary
Email resume,
Attn. President:
[email protected]
Wanted for
Motel in
New York
Full Time
Christine or Art
in Oceanside
Must speak
March 15
Please send
resume/references to:
[email protected]
The Filipino Express is only
$40 a year for 52 issues
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 31
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014
Page 32

Similar documents

The Filipino Express v27 Issue 33

The Filipino Express v27 Issue 33 misconception that the pork barrel has become a form of 'horse trading' and a major source of corruption in the government is apparently starting to become real in the eyes of the Filipino people,”...

More information