China deploys fighter jets to disputed isle

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China deploys fighter jets to disputed isle
China deploys fighter
jets to disputed isle
Radar systems installed
on other reefs in Spratlys
REMEMBERING EDSA. A man installs Philippine flaglets at the
People Power Monument along EDSA, Quezon City on Tuesday in
preparation for the 30th celebration of People Power Anniversary
on February 25. Thousands are expected to join the traditional
Salubungan to reenact the 1986 uprising against dicator Ferdinand
Marcos. Story on Page 5.
Trump scores 2 big wins;
Clinton clinches Nevada
LAS VEGAS, Nevada—
Donald Trump, the billionaire
reality TV star, triumphed in the
Nevada caucuses on Tuesday,
in a stunning win that cemented
his position as the Republican
presidential frontrunner with
a lead that could soon be
insurmountable.
The businessman has now won
three of the four early nominating
states, after similarly convincing
wins in South Carolina and New
Hampshire.
The Nevada result was
called at 9:02pm local time by
the Associated Press. By 10pm,
with around one in ten precincts
reporting, Trump had a remarkable
44.5% of the vote.Marco Rubio
and Ted Cruz, the two senators
best-placed to challenge Trump,
were still battling it out for second
place, with both candidates
hovering above 20%.
Trump also claimed a big
victory on Saturday in South
Carolina.
Out West, former US Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton beat
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
for a crucial win in Nevada’s
WASHINGTON — China
has deployed fighter jets to the
same contested island in the South
China Sea to which it also has
sent surface-to-air missiles, US
officials said Tuesday.
Citing two unnamed US
officials, Fox News said US
intelligence services had spotted
Chinese Shenyang J-11 and Xian
JH-7 warplanes on Woody Island
in the disputed Paracel Islands
chain over the past few days.
Navy Captain Darryn James,
a spokesman for US Pacific
Command, confirmed the report
but noted that Chinese fighter jets
have previously used the island.
Woody Island, which is also
claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam,
has had an operational airfield
since the 1990s but it was upgraded
last year to accommodate the J-11.
“We are still concerned that the
Chinese continue to put advanced
arms systems on this disputed
territory,” James said.
The move was reported as
US Secretary of State John
Kerry hosted his Chinese
counterpart, Foreign Minister
Wang Yi, in Washington.
Last week, China confirmed it
had placed “weapons” on Woody
Island, defending what it said was
its sovereign right to do so.
A US official told AFP that
Beijing has deployed surfaceto-air missiles on the island,
apparently HQ-9s, which have
a range of about 125 miles (200
kilometers.)
Wang had been scheduled to
visit the Pentagon earlier Tuesday
but the visit was canceled due to
a “scheduling conflict,” officials
said.
(Please turn to Page 6)
US wants wider
challenge to
China claims
SYDNEY – Australia and
other countries should follow the
US lead and conduct “freedomof-navigation” naval operations
within 12 nautical miles of
contested islands in the South
China Sea, a senior US naval
officer was reported as saying on
Monday.
Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin,
the commander of the US Navy’s
Seventh Fleet, is in Australia for
high-level talks with defense
leaders and has discussed growing
concerns over Beijing’s military
expansion in the disputed region,
the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC) reported.
China claims most of the South
China Sea, through which more
than $5 trillion in global trade
(Please turn to Page 6)
Jihadist, 24
BIFF men
slain in clash
Democratic caucuses.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush,
who had done poorly in the first
three early Republican contests,
suspended his campaign after a
disappointing fourth-place finish
in South Carolina.
Clinton and Trump’s victories
put them in strong positions as
the 2016 presidential election
barreled toward Super Tuesday—
the multistate voting contests on
March 1.
“There’s nothing easy about
MANILA -- An Indonesian
jihadist, 24 members of the
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom
Fighters and four Army soldiers
were killed in heavy fighting since
Saturday as part of a three-week
offensive against the bandit group
in various parts of Mindanao.
The Indonesian terrorist
was identified by a source as
Mohammad Muktar, who was
operating under the BIFF’s
A b d u l l a h M a k a p a a r, a l i a s
Commander Bravo.
The Indonesian and two local
bandits were killed after soldiers
(Please turn to Page 5)
(Please turn to Page 7)
Donald Trump
ORDER OF SIKATUNA. President Benigno S. Aquino III confers
the Order of Sikatuna, with the rank of Grand Cross (Datu) on
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., on
17 February 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Also in photo is Mrs.
Maria Victoria J. Cuisia. (Photo by Bobby Crisostomo)
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Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
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Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
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VIEWS
& COMMENTARY
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
Tensions rise in South China Sea
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
GUEST EDITORIAL
Fast and loose with the law
A SENATORIAL candidate this week asked the Supreme Court
to compel the Commission on Elections to restore the security
measures that the poll body had decided to remove from the
automated election system. In his petition, former Senator Richard Gordon argued that the
Comelec’s decision to scrap printed receipts for voters disregarded
the required security features set out under the Automated
Elections System Law, which he helped write when he was in
Congress.
The seven Comelec commissioners earlier decided to scrap the
Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail, saying it could be used as a tool
for vote buying and also make the voting process longer.
In defending the poll body’s decision, Comelec Chairman Andres
Bautista said voters could use the printed receipts to prove how
they voted so they could more easily collect from vote buyers. He
also said printing receipts for voters could add from five to seven
hours to the election period on May 9.
But Gordon argues that Section 6 of Republic Act No. 9369
lists a voter verified paper trail as among the minimum system
capabilities required in an automated election system.
As such, he says, this is not an optional feature but a mandatory
one. Thus, the Comelec may not opt to turn the feature off,
regardless of its reasons.
Sadly, this is not the first time the Comelec has played fast and
loose with the law. In previous elections, it also did away with the source code
review required by law. The Comelec chairman who preceded Bautista also violated
provisions of the procurement law by granting a P268-million
contract to a favored service provider to diagnose and repair 80,000
vote-counting machines without the benefit of a public bidding. In that instance, the Supreme Court said the Comelec failed
to justify its resorting to a negotiated contract and struck down
the deal.
Similarly, the Court should strike down the Comelec’s decision
to deactivate the paper audit trail, a key security requirement
under the law.
The decision is even more critical as the nation heads toward a
close election, and when public confidence in the election system
is not particularly high.
The Gordon petition comes as a new survey showed that only
half of Filipinos (49 percent) expect the May elections to be clean
because the counting of votes is automated. The balance were
either undecided or believed that automation would not make the
elections credible.
On a separate question, a sizable plurality (39 percent) in
the Pulse Asia survey said they expect cheating to take place.
Significantly, 37 percent of those who expected cheating said it
would come in the form of tampering with the vote-counting
machines.
Given the already low confidence in the election system and the
tightness of the race, the Comelec has chosen a particularly perilous
time to continue playing fast and loose with the law. – The Standard
LESS THAN two weeks ago,
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry
Medvedev warned of a new Cold
War between East and West as it
accused the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) of being
“hostile and closed” towards
Russia.
While a Cold War between
Russia, on one side, and the
United States and NATO member
countries, on the other, still has to
unfold, it would seem that a Cold
War between the US and some
Asian countries, on one hand, and
China, on the other, has actually
begun.
China’s aggressive stance in
the South China Sea and the US’
recent moves to hasten its “Pivot
to Asia” policy are leading to
an escalated militarization of
the region. Both China and the
US have accused each other of
militarizing the South China Sea.
Last week, US Secretary of
State John Kerry slammed China
for its increased “militarization” in
the South China Sea after Taiwan
said Beijing placed surface-to-air
missiles on a disputed island there.
“There is every evidence,
every day, that there has been an
increase of militarization of one
kind or another. It’s of a serious
concern,” Kerry told reporters.
China, on the other hand, said
it was the US that’s militarizing
the South China Sea. Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman
Hong Lei told reporters that
patrols by US military aircraft
and Navy vessels, along with
joint exercises involving regional
partners, were the true reason
why concerns were growing over
peace and stability in the region.
“The above actions have
escalated tensions in the South
China Sea, and that’s the real
militarization of the South China
Sea,” Hong said.
The past week’s exchange
of missile launchers and radar
system on the disputed island
came only one day after US
President Barack Obama met
with leaders of the 10-member
Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) in Rancho
Mirage, California. The satellite
launchers were apparently
installed while the summit was
going on, an arrogant gesture
meant to challenge US power and
influence in the region.
The military escalation also
came a few days after a ministerial
d i a l o g u e i n Wa s h i n g t o n
DC among Foreign Affairs
Secretary Albert del Rosario and
Defense Secretary Voltaire T.
Gazmin of the Philippines and
Secretary of State John Kerry and
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
of the US, after which the four
officials issued a joint statement
that highlighted the importance
of parties taking active steps to
reduce tensions, including halting
the reclamation, construction on,
and militarization of outposts in
the South China Sea and to refrain
from any actions that harass,
coerce, or intimidate other parties
in the South China Sea.
Tensions in the sea — through
which one-third of global trade
worth $5 trillion passes every
year — have mounted in recent
months since China transformed
(Please turn to Page 6)
Battle for 2022 presidency has begun
FERDINAND “Bongbong”
Marcos Jr. and Francis “Chiz”
Escudero are not related by
blood or political affiliation, but
their provenance – Bongbong’s
biological roots and Chiz’s
political roots -- comes from
the same person: Ferdinand E.
Marcos Sr. Bongbong is the
biological son of the late dictator
and the Escudero political clan
was deeply associated with the
Marcoses during the martial
law years. Chiz’s father, the
late Sorsogon Representative
Salvador “Sonny” Escudero III,
was the last agriculture minister
of the Marcos regime.
But while Bongbong and
Chiz belong to opposing political
parties, their personal relationship
seems to be more professional if
not impersonal. Indeed, there is
no reason why the two political
“gladiators” would end up fighting
each other to death… that is,
Philippine Tribune
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VAL G. ABELGAS
BOBBY CRISOSTOMO
AILEEN GALON
MEH GUEVARRA
CERES VILLANUEVA
of accusations by both sides
followed reports, confirmed
by satellite images and neither
denied or confirmed by Chinese
authorities, that China installed
several surface-to-air missile
launchers and a radar system
on Woody Island, a part of the
Paracels island group that China
has controlled since a bloody
battle with Vietnamese troops in
1974 that resulted in the death of
54 Viet soldiers.
Experts say the missiles could
be used to target enemy aircraft.
HIS Jane’s Intelligence Review
deputy editor Neil Ashdown said
that depending on the version of
the HQ-9 deployed, the system
has a range of between 125 km
and 230 km, and would be the
most advanced surface-to-air
missile system currently deployed
on land in the South China Sea.
Ashdown described that as a
significant military escalation.
China’s Ministry of Defense
confirmed that “China has
deployed weapons on the island
for a long time”, but did not
specify which weapons were on
the island.
The ministry attempted to
downplay the deployment, saying
“China has the fair and legal
right to deploy defense facilities
within the boundaries of its own
territory.”
Reports of the installation
Editor
Chief Photographer
Marketing Director
Art Director
Account Executive
The Philippine Tribune is published by the PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE INC. Views and opinions
expressed herein by writers and columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher,
management and staff of Philippine Tribune.
politically speaking.
However, the intensity of their
rivalry, which is now warming up,
would increase in crescendo over
the next few weeks, as the May 9
election gets nearer. The question
is: Who will fire the first salvo?
Heck, who cares? But once the
shooting starts, all hell is going
to break loose!
Right now, Chiz and Bongbong
are probably sizing each other up,
probing the other’s weaknesses,
particularly their Achilles’ heels.
And both of them know that their
current popularity ratings are at
a statistical dead heat, in which
case they have to go negative
and pierce the other’s armor to
gain advantage. It wouldn’t be
surprising if, at this very moment,
their “black op” squads are busy
digging up dirt in the other’s
backyard hoping to uncover some
skeletons.
Ghost of Machiavelli
Am I beginning to sound like
it’s war out there? Hell, yes! And
it’s a war where not only the strong
survives, it’s also survival of the
cheatest! As someone once said,
“In Philippine elections, there are
no losers, only the winners and
those who were cheated.” Can
we then say that for a candidate to
win he has to resort to cheating?
Clearly, it all comes down to using
the Machiavellian mantra “The
end justifies the means.”
Indeed, the ghost of
Machiavelli seems to play a role in
every ambitious politician’s game
plan these days. In the case of
Bongbong and Chiz, one wonders
that while they’re both considered
formidable presidential timbers
with strong political pedigrees,
why didn’t they run for president
instead of playing second fiddle
to two presidential candidates
who may not even be around or
disqualified to run for president?
Bongbong vs. Chiz
In the case of Bongbong, his
presidential running mate is Sen.
Miriam Defensor Santiago, one
of the fighting-est politicians
who came close to winning the
presidential election in 1992.
Yes, Miriam is a good – nay,
fantastic! – choice to run under
as her vice presidential running
mate. However, she is fighting the
greatest battle of her life – stage 4
lung cancer, which she claims is
now controlled. However, at their
kickoff campaign last February 9
in Batac, Ilocos Norte, Miriam
told the crowd that Bongbong is
the “best person” to succeed her
potential position as president
“if something happens to her.”
Indeed, the odds are great that
Bongbong would ascend to the
presidency by way of presidential
(Please turn to Page 8)
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PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
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Is God your BFF?
THERE IS a man in the Bible
named Abraham who is known
as “the Friend of God.”. James
2:23 tells us that “Abraham
believed God, and God counted
him as righteous because of his
faith.” A friend is someone you
like and enjoy spending time
with. He or she is a person who
stands with you no matter what. In Tagalog parlance, a friend
is somebody who can make a
“walang iwanan” covenant with
you—a Best Friend Forever or
BFF.
God is your friend. He is
always there for you. It does
not matter what you have done
or where you have been. He is
always ready to embrace you
with His love and accept you as
you are. He will listen to your
problems and your heartaches
(1 John 5:14-15). He has good
plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11),
and He longs to spend time with
you (Philippians 2:1-2). He loves
you even before you knew Him,
in fact He gave His Only Beloved
Son, Jesus Christ, to die for your
sins (Jeremiah 1:5, John 3:16).
Each of us is in a relationship
with God. The Bible identifies
this as an “abiding relationship”
with Jesus Christ, our Lord and
Savior. The Lord Jesus, Himself,
describes this relationship
between Himself and His
followers in terms of a vine
and its branches in the first five
verses of John 15. The Lord Jesus
is the true vine and we are the
branches that should “remain” in
Him or continually maintain our
relationship if we are to bear fruit
in our lives. In verse for, the Lord
specifically states: “Get your life
from Me and I will live in you. No
branch can give fruit by itself. It
has to get life from the vine. You
are able to give fruit only when you
have life from Me.”
To be “in a relationship” with
the Heavenly Father through
His Son, Jesus Christ, offers us
the privilege of living under the
counsel of the Holy Spirit who
convicts us of sin and gives us the
power to live a Christian life.
In the Gospel of John, our
Lord Jesus calls Himself “the
Bread of Life” (6:35), “the Light
of the world” (8:12), “the Door
for the Sheep” (10:7), the “Good
Shepherd” (John 10:11), and “the
way and the truth and the life.”
(14:6) Who wouldn’t want to
have a relationship with somebody
awesome like Him? God is my BFF. How about
you?
If you want to learn more
about Jesus and how to be “in a
relationship» with Him, we invite
you to join us in our Sunday
morning worship service at 9:00. We are Silver Lake Foursquare
Church, also known as, Open
Door Christian Fellowship. We
are located at 2808 West Temple
Street, Los Angeles, California
90026.
Trump scores 2 big...
(From Page 1)
running for president,” Trump
said at his victory rally. “It’s
tough, it’s nasty, it’s mean, it’s
vicious. It’s beautiful—when you
win, it’s beautiful.”
Clinton’s roughly 5-point win
eased the rising anxieties of her
backers, who feared a growing
challenge from Sanders.
Trump’s strong showing in
South Carolina marked his second
straight victory in the Republican
primaries and strengthened his
unexpected claim on the party
nomination.
No Republican in recent times
has won New Hampshire and
South Carolina and then failed to
win the nomination.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a pair
of freshmen in the US Senate,
were locked in a race for second
place in South Carolina. Bush
and other candidates lagged far
behind.
“This has become a threeperson race,” Rubio said of his
strong finish, which with Bush
leaving the race, bolsters the
Florida senator’s case that he
is the candidate of mainstream
Republicans.
Cruz, who has run as a political
outsider, harked back to his win
in the leadoff Iowa caucuses as
a sign he was best positioned to
take down Trump.
He urged conservatives to
rally around his campaign, saying
pointedly, “We are the only
candidate who has beaten and
can beat Donald Trump.”
For both parties, the 2016
election has laid bare voters’
frustration with Washington and
the influence of big money in the
political system.
The public mood has upended
the usual political order. That has
given Sanders, who put up a stiff
challenge to Clinton in Nevada,
and Trump openings over many
more mainstream candidates.
In Nevada, Clinton won
the backing of voters who said
electability and experience were
important in their vote.
But in a continuing sign of
Clinton’s vulnerability, Sanders
did best with voters looking for
a candidate they considered was
caring and honest.
Clinton capitalized on a more
diverse Democratic electorate who
helped her rebound after a secondplace finish to Sanders in the New
Hampshire primary.
“Some may have doubted
us, but we never doubted each
other,” Clinton told her cheering
supporters during a victory rally in
Las Vegas. “This one is for you.”
She said Americans were “right
to be angry,” but added they were
also hungry for “real solutions.”
Sanders, a self-described
democratic socialist, congratulated
Clinton on her victory, even as he
declared his campaign had “the
wind at our backs as we head
toward Super Tuesday.”
Clinton’s victory could be
vital in pushing back the Sanders
challenge that has been tougher
than almost anyone expected.
Clinton narrowly won the
leadoff caucuses in the Midwestern
state of Iowa, but the Vermont
senator had a runaway victory in
the tiny northeastern state of New
Hampshire.
Clinton now leads in delegates
pledged to her at the Democratic
Party’s national convention in
July, but only has a fraction of
the number needed to secure the
nomination.
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
1986 EDSA People Power:
Philippines’ gift to world
MANILA – Thirty years ago
today, Filipinos achieved the
impossible and brought down a
dictatorship.
The 1986 people power
revolution inspired prodemocracy uprisings in other
parts of the world and must
not be forgotten by Filipinos,
Malacañang said yesterday.
Presidential Communications
Operations Office Secretary
H erminio Coloma J r. s aid
Filipinos should “celebrate and
rekindle the spirit of EDSA as it
represents a high water mark in
our history” with the triumph of
democracy.
The peaceful revolt ended the
dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos
and propelled Corazon Aquino
to power.
“Demonstrating the primacy
of people power is the Filipinos’
gift to the world: we paved the
way for the peaceful dismantling
of the Berlin Wall and the return
of democracy in South Korea
and Romania,” Coloma said at
the launch of the People Power
Experiential Museum at Camp
Aguinaldo.
The Berlin Wall divided
Germany from 1961 to 1989.
A r e u n i f i e d G e r m a n y i s
celebrating the 25th anniversary
of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The
German government has given the
Philippines a section of the wall.
Based on reports, huge
rallies challenged South Korea’s
strongman Chun Doo-hwa a year
after EDSA, which eventually
led to democratic reforms,
Anti-government demonstrators gather at the grounds of Malacañang after the Marcos family fled during the 1986 people power
revolution.
among them the direct election
“The Philippines is probably
of president.
the only country that has set up
T h e o v e r t h r o w o f t h e this institutionalized recovery and
communist regime in Romania compensation processes through
and other parts of the world also official government bodies,”
occurred a few years after EDSA. Coloma said.
Coloma said the executive
Human rights victims during
branch would continue to work martial law assail the slow justice,
closely with the judiciary to the reemergence of oligarchs and
ensure that all those who suffered traditional politicians, as well
during the Marcos regime get as the return of the Marcoses to
justice.
power 30 years after the relatively
“The Human Rights Claims peaceful military-backed people’s
Board is processing more than uprising.
76,000 claims from individuals
As the country prepares to elect
and surviving families of those its new leaders, voters should
who were killed, tortured or who ponder the lessons of EDSA so
disappeared during martial law,” they can be more discerning in
he said.
their choice, Speaker Feliciano
Funding for claims would Belmonte Jr. said.
be drawn from ill-gotten wealth
He recalled that during the
recovered from the Marcoses EDSA revolution, Filipinos were
a n d t h e i r c r o n i e s b y t h e ready to lay down their lives
Presidential Commission on Good to “end over two decades of a
(Please turn to Page 6)
Government.
6
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
www.thephilippinetribune.com
China deploys fighter jets on...
(From Page 1)
Soldiers of the China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy
patrol near a sign in the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands), in this
photo taken on February 9, 2016.
US wants wider...
(From Page 1)
passes every year and which is
believed to have huge deposits of
oil and gas. Vietnam, Malaysia,
Brunei, the Philippines and
Taiwan have rival claims.
Beijing has been angered by air
and sea patrols the United States
has conducted near islands China
claims. Those have included one
by two B-52 strategic bombers
in November and by a US Navy
destroyer that sailed within 12
nautical miles of Triton Island
in the Paracels group last month.
Aucoin told reporters it would
be “valuable” if Australia and
others sent warships to conduct
similar operations within 12
nautical miles of disputed
territories.
“What we’re trying to ensure
is that all countries, no matter
size or strength, can pursue their
interests based on the law of the
sea and not have that endangered
by some of these actions,” Aucoin
said, according to the ABC.
“It’s up to those countries, but
I think it’s in our best interests
to make sure that those sea lines
remain open, I’ll leave it at that,”
he said.
Tensions between China and
its neighbors have risen further
since Taiwanese and US officials
said last week Beijing had placed
surface-to-air missiles on Woody
Island, part of the Paracels
archipelago it controls.
Australian Prime Minister
Malcolm Turnbull last week urged
claimants to refrain from islandbuilding and militarization in the
South China Sea.
SC asked to resolve GMA case
MANILA – The lawyer of
detained former president and
now Pampanga Rep. Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo has asked the
Supreme Court (SC) to rule on her
petition to end her trial for plunder
before the Sandiganbayan.
Her lawyer, former solicitor
general Estelito Mendoza, also
urged the SC to decide on her plea
to stop the anti-graft court from
trying her for the remaining case,
which involves the P366-million
fund of the Philippine Charity
Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“It is very unfair. The former
president has been in detention
for three years. She is sick. She
is being arbitrarily detained. She
does not deserve to be in detention
a day longer,” Mendoza told SC
reporters in an interview.
The lawyer lamented that
Arroyo is being treated unfairly
because most of the other accused
in the plunder case – including all
the PCSO directors who approved
the disbursements – have been
acquitted.
Mendoza believes there is no
more legal basis to keep Arroyo in
detention other than being “treated
like a trophy of an achievement of
this present administration.”
He made the appeal after
the 120-day status quo ante
order, which the SC issued to
halt the proceedings before the
Sandiganbayan First Division,
lapsed last Feb. 19.
The case against Arroyo,
he stressed, is weak as the
prosecution failed to present
evidence to establish or even
support its allegations.
“In all my years as a defense
lawyer, a prosecution lawyer, a
solicitor general for 14 years, I
have never seen a case like this
when an accused is being detained
without any single evidence
produced to establish that she
committed the crime charged,”
Mendoza said.
On Monday, the Washingtonbased Center for Strategic and
International Studies released
satellite imagery showing
what appeared to be a highfrequency radar installation under
construction on an artificial island
on Cuarteron Reef in the Spratlys.
Satellite images acquired by
the Asia Maritime Transparency
Initiative (AMTI) show that
apparent radar towers have been
built at Gaven, Hughes, Johnson
South and Cuarteron reefs in the
disputed sea.
«And when along with the
development of new runways
and air defense capabilities, they
speak to a long-term anti-access
strategy by China—one that
would see it establish effective
control over the sea and airspace
throughout the South China Sea,»
the AMTI said.
Construction on Cuarteron
or Calderon Reef, which the
Philippines also claims as part
of Kalayaan, Palawan, is nearly
complete and covers about
211,500 square meters.
Two probable radar towers
have been located on the northern
portion of Cuarteron Reef while
1986..
(From Page 5)
dictatorship where freedoms of
expression and of the press were
controlled, and the justice system
was barely allowed to function.”
“Significantly, this celebration
comes during an election year
– a genuine exercise under a
democracy that was made possible
because of EDSA,” Belmonte said
in a statement.
“In May, we choose new
leaders. It should also be an
occasion where voters should
carefully assess choices based on
history and our world-recognized
achievement that was EDSA,”
he said.
“We are each called upon to do
our role in choosing government
leaders whom we can trust to
continue to uphold the gains
of EDSA and not set aside the
very reason why we live in a
democracy today,” he added.
The Speaker said the country
has taken great strides since
February 1986 when Filipinos
overcame fear and fought
peacefully for genuine freedom.
He said a legacy of the
revolution is the continued quest
for good governance as well as for
a just and lasting peace.
“Let us enjoy the fruits of our
democracy and by all means,
speak our minds in all fora where
freedom of expression reigns,”
he said.
“This is our government and
it is our responsibility to sustain
what EDSA has won back for us,”
Belmonte said.
In Talavera, Nueva Ecija,
President Aquino recalled how
martial law had turned his family’s
world upside down – especially
with the arrest and detention of
his father and namesake, then a
senator – at Fort Magsaysay here
along with fellow senator Jose
“Pepe” Diokno.
A satellite photograph of Cuarteron Reef in the South China Sea’s
Spratly islands shows a possible high frequency radar installation
being constructed by China on January 24.
a number of 65-foot poles have
been installed across its southern
portion. The poles may be a highfrequency radar which monitors
surface and air traffic in the
region.
Improved radar coverage is an
important piece of the puzzle—
along with improved air defenses
and greater reach for Chinese
aircraft—toward China’s goals of
establishing effective control over
the sea and airspace throughout
the nine-dash line,» the report
said.
A probable loading crane, pier,
helipad and bunker have been
spotted on the northern section
of Gaven or Burgos Reef. The
feature also has a large building
in its center with a possible radar
tower.
Hughes Reef, which lies in
the center of Spratlys, features
a large building with possible
gun emplacements and a quay
with a loading crane, a helipad,
a probable radar tower and a
possible bunker, according to the
AMTI.
Johnson South or Mabini
Reef has a probable solar array,
lighthouse, helipad and quay. At
least two probable radars have
been built on the north and east
sections of the feature.
Tensions rise in...
(From Page 4)
contested reefs in the Spratlys
into artificial islands capable of
supporting military facilities.
Earlier, the US and China
already traded warnings and
accusations after China
conducted test flights on its newly
constructed airstrips on Fiery
Cross (Kagitingan island), which
the Philippines claims is part of
the Kalayaan island group.
State Department spokesman
John Kirby reiterated a US call
for a halt to land reclamation and
militarization of outposts in the
South China Sea, saying that to
begin flight operations at this new
airfield in a disputed area raises
tensions and threatens regional
stability.”
The Philippines and Vietnam,
which both claim Fiery Cross
along with other islands and reefs
in the area, protested the reef
landings as threats to regional
stability and were joined by Japan,
which has its own territorial
disputes with China.
The US has been very busy
consolidating its power and
influence in the region in recent
weeks. It has invited Asian leaders
to Washington, conducted the PHUS ministerial dialogues, invited
Asean journalists to briefings by
American military officials in
Honolulu, base of the US Pacific
Fleet; expanded its war exercises
with its Asian allies, and has
continued to test China’s resolve
by ordering its military planes
and warships to fly or sail close to
the islands where China has built
military installations.
The tensions have started an
arms race in Asia, with Vietnam
vigorously pursuing a military
acquisition and modernization
program that includes the purchase
of six new submarines and the
Philippines slowly beefing its
military capability with new patrol
boats and helicopters. In addition,
the Philippines is allowing the
use of eight military bases by
American forces and vessels
under the Supreme Court-upheld
Enhanced Defense Cooperation
Agreement (EDCA).
Washington is also deploying
more Patriot missiles in South
Korea, which would enhance
defense not only against North
Korean missiles but also against
Chinese missiles. Taiwan and
Japan are also beefing up their
forces.
China, apparently in a rush
to become a legitimate military
power, spent in excess of $145
billion last year as it advanced a
program modernizing an arsenal
of drones, warships, jets, missiles
and cyber weapons.
At present, China has close
to 2,800 military aircrafts. China
is also expanding its navy, with
the acquisition of one aircraft
carrier and the construction of
four more in the coming years. It
also has 45 frigates, 24 destroyers,
69 submarines and 353 coastal
defense crafts. It has the biggest
army with more than two million
active troops and more than two
million more active reserves.
Ian Storey, a senior fellow and
specialist in regional maritime
security issues at the Iseas-Yusof
Ishak Institute in Singapore, said:
“What we have seen over the past
few weeks has become the new
normal. Tensions ebb and flow
in the South China Sea and… I
suspect it could get worse mainly
because of these facilities on the
reclaimed islands which are being
operationalized.”
He added: “China is building
three airstrips; my guess is they
will become operational within
the next few months. That means
China will be able to exert a
bigger presence… and that is
likely to raise tensions and lead
to more incidents.”
There is no doubt that tensions
have built up significantly in the
South China Sea, making it a
major flash point in the world,
and with the US responding more
aggressively to the China threat,
the new Cold War can easily
escalate and place Asia – and
consequently, the entire world – in
the precipice of war.
This situation makes it even
more important for us Filipinos
to seriously study the emotional
conditions and foreign policy
programs of the presidential
candidates in both the Philippines
and the United States, which are
holding presidential elections
this year.
The new leaders will be faced
with tough decisions on what to do
with the powder keg that’s floating
on the South China Sea. Such
decisions can mean prolonged
peace or accelerated war.
([email protected])
7
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
Jihadist, 24 BIFF...
(From Page 1)
from the Army’s 51st Infantry
Battalion repulsed an attack
on a military post in Bayabao
Poblacion, Butig, Lanao del
Sur Saturday evening.
Muktar was the second
Indonesian terrorist killed since
Sucipto Ibrahim Ali, a member of
the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur,
one of the 10 foreign jihadists
with apparent links to the Islamic
State that slipped into the country
and were hiding in Mindanao.
The fighting in Lanao del Sur
started after the BIFF attacked
Charlie Company of the 51st
Infantry IB and the 2nd Platoon
of the 5th Mechanized Infantry
Battalion in Butig town.
Shortly after, the group
launched another attack on
Army troopers at a nearby post,
prompting Army commanders
to mobilize armored tanks
reinforced by two MG520 attack
helicopters and OV-10 bomber
planes, which pounded rebel
positions until Sunday.
The fighting spilled over to a
nearby village in Alog, Lumbatan
town, after rebels said to be
affiliated with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front ambushed a
convoy of military reinforcements
at 10:45 a.m. Monday.
Reports said military convoys
with two armored personnel
carriers from the 5th Mechanized
Battalion were waylaid by gunmen
believed to be followers of Edris
Salindawan, alias Abuhanif, an
MILF base commander.
The rebel force, armed with
high-powered firearms, numbered
about 100 and launched sporadic
attacks on Army positions, leaving
one soldier killed and six others
wounded.
Armed Forces spokesman
Gen. Restituto Padilla said the
rebels were trapped by pursuing
troops in Cadapaan village,
where fighting raged on until
late Monday.
Col. Roseller Murillo,
commander of the 103rd Brigade
said more reinforcements were
mobilized to take out the rebel
groups while airborne troops were
on standby.
At the town of Datu Salibo,
the BIFF also laid out land mines.
Padilla said about 100 of these
www.thephilippinetribune.com
were recovered during clearing
operations.
Padilla urged residents not to
venture in the surrounding town
until all land mines are recovered.
After 24 days of military
offensives, government troops
captured a major BIFF camp in
Maguindanao.
But clearing operations were
continuing after the bandits fled
the well-fortified stronghold
in Barangay Tee, Datu Salibo
municipality in Maguindanao.
Three soldiers were killed
when an improvised bomb went
off, said Maj. Gen. Edmundo
Pangilinan, 6th Infantry Division
commander.
Five civilians, including the
town treasurer of Datu Salibo,
were also killed when a roadside
bomb went off in Datu Saudi
Ampatuan highway.
The military said the BIFF
fighters fled deep into the
marshland, probably toward the
borders of Maguindanao and
North Cotabato.
On Monday, Army bomb
experts arrived to help locate
the mines so that residents could
return home.
The military could not say how
many BIFF fighters were killed in
the 24 days of fighting that started
when the BIFF harassed a private
construction company dredging
the Butilen River in a flood control
project.
The Office of the Presidential
Adviser on the Peace Process
said Tuesday construction of a
farm-to-market road to connect
the towns of Aleosan and Pikit
in Cotabato Province would
push through despite security
threats as part of the government’s
commitment under its ceasefire
agreement with the MILF.
OPAPP said the road is
expected to benefit more than 300
households when completed. Most
people in the barangays where the
road will be built are Bangsamoro
and civilian members of both the
MILF and the Moro National
Liberation Front.
Wo r k o n t h e p r o j e c t
was suspended in January,
however, when the BIFF tried
to extort P500,000 from the
local government of Barangay
Pagangan.
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
SolGen insists: Grace can run
MANILA – In a final push
to have the Supreme Court junk
the disqualification case against
Sen. Grace Poe, the Office of the
Solicitor General (OSG) has cited
“substantial evidence” to prove
she is a natural-born Filipino
eligible to run for president.
In an 11-page memorandum
filed last Monday, Solicitor
General Florin Hilbay reiterated
the OSG’s position that the
Commission on Elections
(Comelec) committed grave abuse
of discretion in canceling the
certificate of candidacy of Poe
over citizenship and residency
issues.
He cited Poe’s “physical
features (height of 5 feet 2 inches),
brown eyes, dark brown hair, low
nasal bridge and an oval-shaped
face, which are consistent with the
physical features of the ordinary
Filipino.”
He added her being found
abandoned in a church in a
“predominantly Filipino”
community is also an indication of
her being a natural-born Filipino.
He also pointed out that Poe
reacquired her natural-born
Philippine citizenship when she
availed herself of repatriation
under Republic Act 9225.
“She executed an oath of
allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines on 07 July 2006;
Sen. Grace Poe on the campaign trail
and she filed with the Bureau
of Immigration a petition for
reacquisition of Philippine
citizenship on 10 July 2006, which
was granted in an order dated 18
July 2006,” Hilbay said in the
memorandum.
The OSG added that Poe
has validly renounced her US
citizenship and has been a resident
of the country for at least 10 years
before the elections in May.
In a related development, the
Commission on Human Rights
(CHR) submitted an unsolicited
opinion to the high court
supporting the rights of Poe as a
foundling.
In a 24-page memorandum
filed through lawyer Francis
Temprosa yesterday, the CHR
told the high court that foundlings
like Poe have a right to Philippine
citizenship.
“By its nature, a foundling’s
right to Philippine nationality at
birth is self-executing,” the CHR
said.
It further explained that
foundlings, once adopted, are later
allowed to register as voters and
issued passports – enabling them
to exercise their rights as citizens
of the country.
“Foundlings, who may undergo
the normal procedure for voter
registration, are not expressly
excluded by the law from being
registered as voters,” the CHR
said.
Pacquiao disqualification doubtful - Drilon
GENERAL SANTOS CITY
- A vice-presidential candidate
and a reelectionist senator gave
differing views on the petition
to disqualify congressman and
boxing champ Manny Pacquiao
from running in the May senatorial
election.
Congresswoman and Liberal
Party vice-presidential bet Leni
Robredo said the matter of
Pacquiao’s disqualification is
best left to the Commission on
Elections.
“Actually highly contentious
yan. Highly contentious in the
sense na pag tiningnan natin
yung strict implementation ng
batas, sasabihin natin oo. Pero
pagtiningnan natin sa lens na
national interest sasabihin natin
hindi. Pero palagay ko yang bagay
na yan kailangan will be left to the
Comelec kasi sila naman talaga
ang may authority sa bagay na
yan,” she said in an interview.
LP senatorial candidate
Franklin Drilon said he sees no
basis for the disqualification of the
People’s Champ since his boxing
match against Timothy Bradley is
considered a public event.
“I seriously doubt kung yan
ang pagbabasehan. Kasi pwedeng
i-argue ni Manny yan eh. Public
event eh. So I don’t really see, I
don’t really.. I haven’t reviewed
it but just at the top of my head,
sa tingin ko medyo mahihirapan,”
he said.
8 PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
39% of Filipinos
expect cheating
The five presidential aspirants square off in the first of three debates held at Capitol University in
Cagayan de Oro City: Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Davao City
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
5 bets speak out in first pres’l debate
C A G AYA N D E O R O
CITY—They came to pitch their
message and slug it out with each
other—they did well there—but
their answers to questions about
their vulnerabilities would be
remembered most after the debate.
S u n d a y n i g h t ’s o p e n i n g
presidential debate at Capitol
University in Cagayan de Oro
City was the first national debate
organized by the Commission on
Elections (Comelec) in 24 years,
in cooperation with GMA 7 and
the Philippine Daily Inquirer, to
shift attention to policy talk in a
country where many have been
fascinated by personalities and
show biz-like campaigns.
To be sure, Vice President
Jejomar Binay, Sen. Miriam
Defensor-Santiago, Davao City
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen.
Grace Poe and former Interior
Secretary Mar Roxas were ready
for the criticisms, though some of
them grappled with the knocks on
their candidacies.
Binay faced the question about
how he amassed wealth while
in public office, squarely saying
some of his wealth were passed
on to him by his parents.
Santiago snapped back at
debate host Jessica Soho when she
read the question about her health.
“That’s my right,” Santiago
replied, explaining that illnesses
fluctuate and that it is her right to
choose to run for President.
Asked about her absences in
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
www.thephilippinetribune.com
the Senate, Santiago shot back
that she was suffering from stage
4 cancer.
“I waited to die, but my
guardian angel did not let me
die,” she said.
Instead of arguing with
Santiago, Duterte came to her
support.
“I will not go into a debate
with Ma’am Miriam. I do not see
Senator Santiago passing away
in the next 20 years so there is no
problem,” he said.
An amused Santiago replied:
“I do not want to spend the next
six years lying in bed feeling
sorry for myself … I felt sorry
for my country. Because graft and
corruption is endemic. Nobody
did much except Mayor Rody
Duterte.”
Duterte beamed and raised
his right hand as the audience
applauded him and Santiago.
Asked about his foul mouth,
reputation as a womanizer and
human rights record, Duterte
said he would continue to kill
criminals.
He denied allegations of
extrajudicial killings, but said that
if elected President, he would use
the law to go after illegal drugs
and criminals.
“We will order the killing of all
criminals,” he said.
Asked about the thinness of her
resumé, Poe, a freshman enator,
replied, “There is no proof that
you will do better because you
have been in office longer.”
Roxas said the presidency was
not “OJT,” or on-the-job-training.
Roxas, who had wooed Poe
to become his running mate,
said there was a “right time for
everything, especially since a
President is responsible for the
lives of 100 million Filipinos.
Roxas, who vowed to continue
President Aquino’s reform
program, defended his work at
the Department of Transportation
and Communication and the
Department of the Interior and
Local Government.
He also defended himself
against criticism about his absence
during Supertyphoon “Yolanda”
(international name: Haiyan),
insisting he was there before,
during and after the world’s worst
storm.
Poe said that while Roxas
had experience with three
administrations, she herself
had investigated numerous
irregularities involving her rival’s
former agencies.
“I don’t need extensive
experience to understand our
transportation problems,” she
said.
Binay opened the debate by
declaring that poverty was the
main problem of the country,
that he shared the suffering of the
poor because he used to be one of
them, and that he was successful
in reducing poverty in Makati
City when he took over as mayor
30 years ago.
MANILA - Four in 10
Filipinos, or 39 percent, expect
cheating to take place in the
elections in May, but 48 percent
still expect it to be clean and
credible, the latest survey by Pulse
Asia found.
Twenty-nine percent said they
did not expect cheating to occur,
while 32 percent were undecided
on the matter, according to the
survey taken from Jan. 24 to 28.
Most of those who expect
cheating in the upcoming
elections were from Mindanao
at 56 percent, followed by the
Visayas with 42 percent, balance
Luzon with 31 percent and Metro
Manila with 29 percent.
Among those expecting
cheating to occur in May 2016,
65 percent of respondents said
vote-buying was most likely to
happen. This was the predominant
view in all geographic areas and
socio-economic classes, with 56
to 71 percent and 56 to 66 percent,
respectively.
The second most mentioned
form of cheating was tampering
of the precinct count optical
scan (PCOS) machines at 37
percent, followed by attempts
to change the actual vote count
and the presence of flying voters
at 32 percent and 31 percent,
respectively.
Other forms of cheating cited
by the respondents were hoarding
of votes and the replacement
of ballots inserted in the PCOS
machines, at 25 percent and 24
percent, respectively.
Eighteen percent cited
harassment of voters and election
officers while 16 percent cited
stealing of PCOS machines.
Fewer than one percent cited
blackouts as a form of cheating
that may occur.
But the survey also found that
nearly half of Filipinos expect the
elections to be “clean” and the
results “credible” with the use of
the automated counting system.
The survey found 48 percent
of respondents agreed with the
statement “the May 2016 elections
will be clean and the results
credible because the counting of
votes is automated.”
Battle for 2022...
(From Page 4)
succession.
In the case of Chiz, his
presidential running mate,
Sen. Grace Poe, is facing
disqualification charges before
the Supreme Court in regard to her
citizenship status and residency.
If Grace were disqualified from
running, then Chiz would end
up without a standard bearer.
He would be like the Japanese
“ronin” of old, a samurai whose
master had died. And he’d be
campaigning solo for the rest
of the campaign season. Is it
good or bad? I’d say neither.
Actually, Chiz could turn the
situation around into a winning
strategy. Being a “ronin,” he
can find a “master” in any of the
top three presidential candidates:
Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas or
Rodrigo Duterte. They all have
the potential of winning but
their respective vice presidential
r u n n i n g ma t e s – G r e g o r io
Honasan, Leni Robredo, and Alan
Peter Cayetano – are no match
against Chiz… or Bongbong,
who, like Chiz, could also end up
a masterless “ronin.”
But regardless of whether
Chiz and Bongbong become a
“ronin,” it shouldn’t make a lot
of difference; that is, either one
could win the vice presidency on
their own strengths and resources.
And whoever wins would become
a strong candidate for president
in 2022.
Taste for power
In my article, “The 2022
presidential derby is on”
(October 16, 2015), I wrote: “As
I have postulated earlier, whoever
wins the vice presidency in 2016
would be the next president in
2022, which begs the question:
Of the six [only five left now] vice
presidential candidates in 2016
– Robredo, Escudero, Trillanes
[he’s out], Cayetano, Marcos, and
Honasan -- who wouldn’t want to
run for president in 2022 if he or
she were elected vice president
in 2016? What I am seeing in
my crystal ball is that all of them,
with the exception of Honasan,
will run for president in 2022. But
Honasan, who might not have any
inclination to seek the presidency
at this time, might have a change
of heart midway through his
term in 2019 and decide to run
for president in 2022. Once he
tastes power, he can get used to it.
Indeed, power is aphrodisiac: you
taste it once; you’d want more…
and more.
“With all six [only five left]
vice presidential candidates
who harbor a desire to seek the
presidency in 2022, you’d expect
each and every one of them to use
all resources they have at their
disposal to win – by all means
-- the vice presidency in 2016.
It would be shooting two birds
with one stone; whoever we elect
vice president in 2016, we’re also
electing president in 2022.”
Three-way battle royale
The latest Social Weather Stations
(SWS) survey conducted last
February 5-7 showed Chiz and
Bongbong tied in first place with
26% ratings. What is interesting is
that Bongbong overcame Chiz’s
three-point lead in the SWS
survey conducted on January
8-10, 2016. But this is a small
gap compared to the SWS
survey on December 12-14, 2015
that showed Chiz at 30% and
Bongbong at 19%, a whopping
11-point difference. That was the
biggest gap between Chiz and
Bongbong since March 20-23,
2015 when Chiz’s popularity
rating was at 6% and Bongbong
at 3%.
Interestingly, Leni Robredo
at 19% is not too far behind
Bongbong in the latest SWS
survey. Can Leni catch up with
either Chiz or Bongbong? With
President Aquino’s support and
the Liberal Party’s huge war chest,
she can prevail over Chiz and
Bongbong. What’s going for her
is she’s untainted and the wife of
the popular late DILG Secretary
Jesse Robredo. Indeed, what
we’re seeing here is a three-way
battle royale.
But barring a bloody and dirty
battle between the two ronins –
Chiz and Bongbong – that could
end up with both of them losing
out to Leni, these two heirs to two
powerful dynasties – the Marcoses
of Ilocandia and the Escuderos of
Bicolandia – would put all their
resources to use to win – by all
means – the vice presidency.
And this is where Bongbong
might have an edge because of
the Marcoses’ reputedly amassed
wealth, which, if true, could make
a lot of difference.
Both Chiz and Bongbong have
one shot at the vice presidency.
And as I said before, it would
be like shooting two birds with
one stone; whoever is elected
vice president in 2016, would be
elected president in 2022.
Yes, the battle for the 2022
presidency has begun!
([email protected])
9
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
www.thephilippinetribune.com
HOMELAND NEWS BRIEFS
Gordon asks SC to compel
Comelec to issue vote receipts
MANILA -- Former Senator Richard Gordon on Monday asked
the Supreme Court to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec)
to issue receipts to voters after casting their votes in the May 9 polls.
In his 24-page petition for mandamus, Gordon who is also running
for the Senate and the Bagumbayan-VNP Movement Inc., said
Comelec should abide by what is stated under Republic Act 9369 or
the Automated Election Law.
Under Section 7 (e) of RA 9369, states that the Voter Verification
Paper Audit Trail or VVPAT is one of the minimum systems capabilities
of the automated election system and a major security feature of the
vote counting machine.
However, Comelec has decided against using the VVPAT because
it could be used as a tool for vote-buying and would also extend the
voting period by seven hours.
Gordon explained that VVPAT allows every voter to confirm whether
or not the machine cast the vote correctly based on the choice of the
voter, thereby ensuring the integrity of the elections.
“Several safeguards were put in place to ensure the sanctity of the
ballot. Among these safeguards was the VVPAT. A voter verified paper
audit trail consists of physical paper records of voter ballots as voters
have cast them on an electronic voting system. The voter-verified part
refers to the fact that the voter is given the opportunity to verify that
the choices indicated on the paper record correspond to the choices that
the voter has made in casting the ballot,” Gordon said in his petition.
He said that VVPAT is a “critical and indispensable” security feature
of the automated voting machine, one that the Comelec must implement.
“It serves as a deterrent against election fraud and provides a means
to audit stored electronic results,” the former lawmaker and principal
author of RA 9369 said.
Gordon further pointed out that Sections 6(e), (f) and (n) of the said
law is clear and unequivocal in mandating the use of the VVPAT and
that it is not up to the Comelec whether or not to implement it.
He further said that it is a time-honored principle under statutory
construction that a statute must be interpreted in its plain and concise
meaning.
Gov’t ignoring rice smuggling - Villar
MANILA -- Senator Cynthia Villar on Tuesday scored the
government for supposedly turning a blind eye on the perennial problem
of rice smuggling in the country.
Citing figures from the United Nations, Villar said around 700,000
metric tons of rice had been smuggled into the country in 2015.
Asked about statements from government representatives that rice
smuggling was already “controlled,” Villar said it was expected from
the government, adding that there was no reason for UN to cover-up
the truth.
“Syempre sasabihin nila yun, sila ang government. I think UN is
hindi biased, third party. Why will UN distort their figures, tell me?
What’s the reason? Kung walang smuggling, ano naman ang masama
sa kanila kung walang smuggling? I cannot comprehend the reason why
will UN distort the figure,” Villar said in a press conference.
“Kasi kaya gusto ko ring nilalabas yung UN, para malaman nila ang
katotohanan. Kasi parang ayaw nilang i-accept ang fact. Sasabihin ng
mga tao sa labas na rampant ang smuggling, sasabihin ng gobyerno,
hindi. Malalaman natin kung ano ang totoo so we cited the UN figure.
Ngayon kung ayaw nilang tanggapin, basta tayo ilalabas lang natin
kung ano ang nakita natin. Transparent lang tayo,” she added.
Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said
the reason why the recurring problem of rice smuggling cannot be
curbed was because of high-profile and wealthy smugglers who use
their influence.
“Talagang mayayaman ang smuggler and they can manipulate
people,” she said.
The senator also lamented how certain government agencies failed
to do their mandate to reduce the high incidence of rice smuggling in
recent years.
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
Enrile on People Power: Nothing
was accomplished after 30 years
MANILA -- Sen. Juan Ponce
Enrile, a major player in the
world-acclaimed 1986 EDSA
People Power, said that event “did
not accomplish the purpose for
which we laid our lives.”
“As far as we are concerned,
nothing was accomplished” in the
past 30 years since that fateful year
“because they don’t understand
the purpose or rationale of what
we did,” Enrile said.
For those reasons, Enrile
said he does not think about it
anymore. “Zero. Para sa akin,
tapos na yon.’’ (To me, it is over.)
“Ewan ko yong mga iba. Kami
buhay ang itinaya namin doon e,
pero kahit sinasabi nila na kami
seni-save nila, pero kapalit doon
ay naging makapangyarihan sila.
Wala naman silang ginawa, panay
pahirap sa bayan,” he said. (I don’t
know about their concerns but
we risked our lives although they
claimed they saved us by going
to EDSA to stop Marcos’ military
forces, but the flip side of this is
that they have become powerful
although they did not do anything.
They continue to inflict pain on
the citizenry.)
Interviewed by cellphone
while he was in his Cagayan
hometown facing the Balintang
Channel that separates Cagayan
and the Batanes Islands, Enrile
sounded bitter on the negative
result of the coup which led to
the People’s Power Revolution
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile
in EDSA, which will mark its
30th year anniversary tomorrow,
Feb. 25.
That coup had a strong cast
of characters –Enrile was with
now Sen. Gregorio B. Honasan
II, the charismatic Army colonel
who headed the Reform the AFP
Movement (RAM), and former
Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) vice chief of staff Fidel
V. Ramos, who later became
Philippine President; and many
others who risked their lives to
change Marcos’ one-man rule.
Enrile was then the Defense
Minister of Marcos for 17 years
but later rebelled against the
dictator, who was elected in 1965,
for a long list of reasons. Enrile
became Senate president from
2008 to 2013.
So, while the country marks
tomorrow with a holiday, this
major player in making the EDSA
People’s Power happen said he
does not want to celebrate the
1986 EDSA People Power.
“Bayaan mo na yong mga
nakinabang. Mag-celebrate sila,
tutal sinira nila yong ginawa namin
noong 1986. Wala ng kabuluhan
(Let those who benefited from
that event celebrate. Anyway,
they destroyed what we did for
the country in 1986. It no longer
has relevance),” he said.
The culmination of that coup,
after a standoff between the coup
plotters and Marcos’ military
forces, was the EDSA People
Power where people supported the
Enrile-Ramos rebels by filling the
main thoroughfare that is EDSA.
But asked why he rebelled
against Marcos, Enrile said: “I
will write another book, let us
leave it that way.” He has already
written a book on the EDSA
uprising.
A brilliant lawyer who
earned a Master of Laws degree
with specialized training in
International Tax at Harvard,
Enrile said he is enjoying his
life now. He is out on bail on
plunder charges arising from the
multi-billion-peso pork barrel
incident during the current tenure
of President Aquino.
10 PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
ENTERTAINMENT
Feb. 25-Mar. 2, 2016
Meryl Streep and CliveOwen
impressed by Lav Diaz’s new film
Expect to be hearing some fanfare over Lav Diaz and his eighthour film Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (Lullaby to Sorrowful Mystery)
as it took home the Alfred Bauer
Prize at this year’s Berlin International Festival, especially because
immediate fans of the film include
Academy Award winner Meryl
Streep and The Knick star Clive
Owen.
Meryl, who was appointed as
the festival’s jury president, immediately approached Erwin Romulo, sound designer of Hele, and
lead actor John Lloyd Cruz. “She
loved the film. She pulled me towards her when she found out I
did the sound. Clive Owen [approached me], too. They just loved
it,” Erwin tells Preen.
Meryl was also very impressed
at how the film was shot for just
less than a month and Erwin’s job
at completing the sound design in
a week and a half. She then continued to talk to Erwin about other
Lloyd soon found themselves in Meryl and
Clive’s posse. “[Clive]
was telling Nick Davies,
the editor of Sight and
Sound magazine, and
also another member
of the jury that I did the
sound,” Erwin continues, referring to the image of Clive pointing at
him. “There was an after-party that was going
on until 3 a.m. but John
Lloyd and I decided to
go home. Clive was telling us to go but we were
too tired.”
Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis
is a black and white film
adaptation of Jose Rizal’s
novel El Filibusterismo
John Lloyd Cruz with Meryl Streep
which follows the events
technical details that comes with of the 1896 Philippine Revolution.
film production.
The film also stars Piolo Pascual,
Of course, some like-worthy Assunta De Rossi, Hazel Orencio,
selfies ensued as Erwin and John and Ronnie Lazaro.
Madonna arrives
in Manila
Queen of Pop Madonna arrived
at the Ninoy Aquino International
Airport (NAIA) two days before
holding her first concert in the
Philippines at the SM Mall of Asia
Arena.
Madonna, 56, who is Madonna
Louis Ciccone in real life, and
her 42-man entourage arrived at
a reserved runway near the NAIA
I terminal aboard a chartered private jet from Macau, dawn of February 22, 2016.
She and her companions then
underwent the routine arrival
formalities and inspection by
immigration officers as well as
from personnel of the customs
and quarantine bureaus.
It was learned that among those
who joined Madonna in her Manila trip was her adopted daughter, Chifundo Mercy James, and
her adopted son, David Banda.
Madonna is currently on her
“Rebel Heart” World Tour and
reports said the show would cost
at least P3,150 for general admission, and up to P57,750 for the
front VIP section. The SM MOA
Arena has a full seating capacity
of 20,000.
Marian back on
screen
After taking a furlough due to
her delivery of daughter Letizia,
Marian Rivera stages a grand
comeback on the showbiz scene.
“I’m just so happy to be back,”
she says. “It makes me proud
knowing that GMA still has
strong faith in me, in what I can
offer the public. There are my
fans, too who continue to support
me despite my change in status.
I’m simply grateful!”
Upon her return, three shows
are lined-up for her.
“First is Sunday PinaSaya
where I have my own segment
called MD. I’m also to host a
talk show designed for wives
and moms like me. It’s exciting
since I will be able to share my
views and experiences. Then, of
course, I will play Inang Reyna in
the grand remake of the groundbreaking tele-fantasya Encantadia. Originally, it was portrayed
by Ms. Dawn Zulueta. I’m really
thrilled this early!”
It Pays to Advertise
with
Philippine Tribune.
Feb. 25-Mar. 2, 2016
ENTERTAINMENT
partner are back together after
nearly three decades, Rosanna
reports feeling whole and happy.
“Isn’t it obvious?” she asked Boy
before revealing their plans of getting married. “All the wrongdoing
I’ve done in my life, I feel like I’m
correcting already, including my
cigarette habit.”
Rochelle Pangilinan cries
in proposal video
James at the Big Dome:
Nadine, I love you!
MANILA, Philippines –On Feb.
16 during the presscon for On The
Wings Of Love (OTWOL) which
ends on Friday, James Reid and
Nadine Lustre were evasive when
asked by the movie press what the
real score between them was, saying, ‘We are very close.’
Last Saturday, Feb. 20, James
rocked the Araneta Coliseum
during his and Nadine’s sold-out
concert by screaming ‘I love you,
Nadine!’ towards the end, with the
SRO audience responding with
screams of joy.
People in the know claimed
that James and Nadine actually
became an item on Feb. 11, three
days before Valentine’s Day, but
successfully kept it to themselves.
According to concert director Paul
Basinillo, James informed him
during the rehearsal that he wanted to say something at the end of
the show and Basinillo thought
that James was just going to thank
the audience.
The title of the concert actually
said it all: JadINeLove (read:
Jadine In Love).
The sweethearts are scheduled
to go on a world tour in March,
riding on the wings of love.
Expect them to come back closer
than ever, more lovey-dovey than
ever.
Rosanna Roces reunites
with lesbian lover after
27 years
Rosanna Roces, iconic ’90s sex
symbol, has come out as gay after 22 years in the showbiz industry. She came out on Tonight
With Boy Abunda last night, and
revealed that she actually met her
current partner and future spouse
when she was 15 years old.
But they lost touch soon after she
had her eldest child Grace. “I had
Grace so we could have a child to
raise together,” she recounts. But
relationships can get complicated
and messy (as they are wont to
do), and this soon gave rise to a
misunderstanding: “She [lesbian
lover] thought I [loved] the father
of Grace but no, I just wanted to
have a child with him.”
“She just disappeared. Then I had
boyfriends, lovers, so many, you
know that, Kuya Boy. I [changed]
partners as fast as people change
clothes,” she continued in Filipino.
“But something was missing,” she
said, even while she was married
to banker Tito Molina for 11 years.
And now that she and her lesbian
Happy tears welled up in Rochelle Pangilinan’s eyes as her
long-time boyfriend, Arthur Solinap, asked for her hand in marriage.
A video uploaded by Nice Print
Photography on its official YouTube page showed how Solinap
came up with his plan to propose.
He eventually chose a gazebo at
Balay Indang Resort in Cavite,
where they first met.
On the night of his proposal, Solinap told Pangilinan how thankful
he is to have her in his life, adding
that she’s the one he would like to
spend the rest of his life with.
“’Di ba lagi nating kinakanta
yung ‘Ayaw Ko Tumanda?’ Ang
totoo talaga no’n, ayaw ko tumanda na hindi ka kasama. Lagi nating
sinasabi na okay lang lahat basta
magkasama tayo? Thank you for
everything,” he said.
A more mature ‘KimXi’
bounces back on TV
After hitting it big with their
last TV project in 2012, Kim Chiu
and Xian Lim are returning to the
small screen via “The Story Of
Us.”
At a press conference, Xian
expressed how excited he is to reunite with Kim.
“Nu’ng unang araw namin (ng
taping) sabi ko, ‘Kim ang tagal
nating hindi nagka-trabaho (sa TV
series) at ibang-iba ang ginagawa
natin ngayon.’ Maraming adjustments,” he said.
Their tandem, KimXi, is onto
more mature roles here.
“Iba po ang atake dito ni Sir Richard (Somes, director), hindi na
’yung mga eksenang may malalaglag na ballpen tapos pupulutin
namin at magkakatinginan kami
tapos may tutunog na music… talagang real life issues na ang tinatackle namin,” Xian said.
The two will have their firstever love scene. She may have
thought it awkward at first but
maintained, “hindi siya sobra, hindi malaswa.”
“Kaya rin naman ako napa-payag na gawin ito (love scene) dahil
hindi lang naman basta, ‘Uy, gusto kong maging matured. Gusto
kong magka-love scene.’ Kasama
siya sa kwento at sa journey ng
characters namin,” she added.
Their love scene is special as
it was shot somewhere unusual –
on a roof top of an old building in
Manila.
According to Richard, his idea
was to make the scene remarkable.
“Gusto ko magkaroon ng larger
than life na love scene and I really
felt na ’wag sa kwarto gawin, so
I decided to put them sa lumang
building na may malaking billboard at maraming ilaw at may
sirang couch lang,” he said.
“The Story Of Us” follows the
story of childhood-bestfriends-
turned-sweethearts, Tin (Kim) and
Makoy (Xian). Their relationship
will go downhill as Tin has to go
to the US to look for her estranged
mother.
The two stars could relate well
to their characters.
“’Yung pagka-passionate at
pagkagutom ni Makoy na magkaroon ng mas magandang kinabukasan talagang nasa akin po ’yun,”
Xian said.
While Kim added, “I work for
my family and family naman po
talaga ang una kong priority, and
ganu’n din si Tin. Inuuna niya
’yung pamilya niya bago siya.”
According to Richard, the series
is not your run-of-the-mill love
story. It also tackles the hardships
some Filipinos endure working
abroad.
“‘The Story Of Us’ reflects how
’yung malaking mundong iniikutan natin sa Pilipinas, pagdating
du’n sa abroad lumiliit,” Richard
said.
The series also stars Zsa Zsa
Padilla, Aiko Melendez, Gardo
Versoza, Susan Africa, and John
Arcilla, among others.
It premieres Feb. 29 on ABSCBN.
After starring in several romcoms like “Bakit Hindi Ka Crush
Ng Crush Mo,” “Past Tense,” and
“Bride For Rent,” it was a challenge for Kim to do heavy drama.
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
“Nu’ng first time naming nagshooting pinapa-shrug off nila sa
’kin si Kim… nahirapan akong
tanggaling ’yung pagka-kwela at
pagka-bubbly ko,” she said.
But she is thankful to the show’s
director for being patient with her.
“Uulitin talaga niya ’yung eksena
kung hindi siya naging okay. Tapos kung hindi pa rin okay after
nu’n, magpapa-music sila para
(ma-internalize) ’yung emotions,”
she said.
She also has good words for
Xian.
11
“Si Xian sobrang nag-grow as
an actor. Sobra akong proud sa
kanya rito sa ‘The Story Of Us.’
Dito pinakita niya na deserve niya
ang ganitong role,” she said.
She even related, “Hindi mo
si Xian maiistorbo ng umaga kasi
nagbabasa na siya ng script. ’Pag
umarte na kaming dalawa, parang
ang dami niyang luha, parang
umurong ’yung luha ko sabi ko,
‘Ang galing mo na, Xi.’”
It also helps that the cast has
maintained good camaraderie,
making work a lot easier.
Xian recalled being inspired by a
“one for all, all for one” moment
the production team shared.
“Meron kaming isang eksenang
kinunan around 12 a.m., kahit sobrang lamig na kailangan naming
lumangoy sa tubig… nu’ng tatalon
na kami nina Gardo Versoza sa dagat, hindi lang kami ang tumalon,
buong staff tumalon para lang
ipakitang sama-sama tayo rito (sa
proyektong ito),” he shared.
As part of their immersion, Xian
and Kim underwent swimming
training.
“Nag-training po kaming (lumangoy) binigyan po kami ng halos
isang linggo na training. Nag-train
kami before sa swimming pool
pero iba pala ’pag sa dagat na –
walang gear na kasama, we’re
open sa lahat ng mga hayop du’n,”
Xian said.
Feb. 25-Mar. 2, 2016
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
13
Study finds anti-AIDS vaginal ring partially protects women
WASHINGTON — In a new approach to HIV prevention, women
modestly reduced their risk of infection by inserting a vaginal ring
coated with an anti-AIDS drug
once a month, according to two
long-awaited studies from Africa.
The ring proved safe although it
cut HIV infections by less than
a third overall, researchers reported Monday. But surprisingly,
it worked far better in women 25
and older, leaving researchers
wondering if the youngest women,
who got little to no benefit, simply
didn’t use the device properly.
“For a woman to have a prevention tool that she can control
is an incredibly important goal,”
said Dr. Jared Baeten of the University of Washington, who led
a National Institutes of Healthfunded study of the ring. “I want
rings, pills and other strategies to
be on the shelf for women so they
can make choices for what’s going
to work for them.”
Despite the questions the
studies raise, the nonprofit International Partnership for Microbicides said it considered the results
promising enough to seek appropriate regulatory approval for
wider use in parts of Africa.
“You can’t just say, ‘Until something is perfect, we’re going to
wait,’ ” said Dr. Zeda Rosenberg,
founding chief executive officer
of IPM. “We have to give women
options.”
Women make up more than
half of the nearly 37 million people worldwide living with HIV,
most of them in hard-hit Africa,
and scientists have long sought
tools to help them protect themselves when their partners won’t
use a condom.
Aside from condoms, healthy
people also can take a daily antiAIDS pill to lower their risk from
an infected partner. That so-called
“pre-exposure prophylaxis” isn’t
widely available in poor countries, and other attempts at HIVblocking vaginal gels haven’t yet
panned out.
But the age disparity found in the
vaginal ring studies is so puzzling
that the NIH plans to consult with
outside experts on next research
steps.
While women need a discreet
form of HIV prevention, “it’s going to be absolutely critical” to
determine if the younger women
really didn’t follow instructions,
or if there was some biological
difference, cautioned Dr. Anthony
Fauci, director of NIH’s National
Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Vaginal rings are sold in the
U.S. for birth control, but the antiAIDS version tested in Africa contained no contraception. Instead,
it slowly oozes an experimental
virus-blocking drug named dapivirine into the surrounding vaginal
tissue. Women would replace the
ring once a month, when it was
time for another dose.
Two studies involving more
than 4,500 women in Africa are
being presented at the Retrovirus
Conference in Boston, comparing
women who used the dapivirine
ring with those given an identicallooking but drug-free version. It
offered modest protection, reducing by 27 percent to 31 percent the
participants’ overall risk of HIV.
But closer inspection of the large
NIH-funded ASPIRE study in
Malawi, South Africa, Uganda
and Zimbabwe turned up some-
This photo provided by the International Partnership for
Microbicides shows a ring that is coated with an antiAIDS drug designed for women to insert into the vagina
once a month to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
thing odd. Ring users who were 25 and
older were 61 percent
less likely to be infected while those ages 18
to 21 essentially got
no benefit, Baeten
said.
While the ring is
designed to stay in
place for an entire
month before being
replaced, there are
signs the younger
women didn’t use
it as regularly, said
Baeten, whose results
also were published
online Monday in the
New England Journal
of Medicine. He said
women had to get
comfortable with the
how to use a device
they’d never seen before, but those who
used the ring continuously saw protection that continued
throughout the 2½-
year study.
“The ring must be used consistently to achieve protection,” the
IPM’s Annalene Nel told reporters Monday as she discussed the
second study, called the Ring
Study. Conducted in South Africa
and Uganda, that study likewise
showed a trend toward greater
protection for women over 21, she
said.
While that study isn’t completed yet, the IPM said South African regulators asked researchers
to switch all the remaining study
participants to the dapivirinecoated ring rather than the placebo
version.
Early studies of those daily
anti-AIDS pills also found less
protection in younger people, who
did better at sticking with the tablets only after their effectiveness
was proven, said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC,
which advocates for a range of
HIV prevention tools. He said
there is “a global imperative” to
answer remaining questions about
the ring.
14
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
www.thephilippinetribune.com
Feb. 25-Mar. 2, 2016
Destination: Davao City
(2nd of 2 parts)
If it’s an exciting vacation destination you are looking for, Davao
City will not disappoint. Not only
is it famous for the country’s highest peak, or the magnificent Philippine Eagle or the rare WalingWaling orchid, Davao itself is a
huge tourist attraction because of
its popular beaches, amusement
parks, water parks, gardens, ancient churches and cathedrals, and
numerous resorts that offer a relaxing and peaceful environment
for the wearied soul.
One such resort is the Banana
Beach Resort, one of Davao del
Norte’s tourist attractions. Part of
the sprawling Hijo Estate, the resort is located within the expanse
of the sprawling property with a
thriving banana plantation in Barangay Madaum, Tagum City.
The resort offers a stunning infinity pool plus various water and land
activities that make for fun bonding experience that is sure to bring
everyone closer together. Foodies
will be excited to know that Banana Beach Resort serves the best
of the Philippine cuisine as the
resort’s talented chefs make sure
that every meal is a memorable
culinary experience for the guests.
Land activities at Banana Beach
Resort are both exciting and exhilarating. We set off to explore the
plantation and eventually wound
up in a forest where we monkeys
and tiny wild pigs.
We went on a “safari” trip within the plantation through centuries-old trees and coconut groves,
where we learned that there are
From left Ella Sebaron , Jane Stark and my two great friend and Tour guides in Davao
colonies of monkeys, wild boars,
monitor lizards, and emerald
doves abound.
Hijo Plantation is rich in history
being the first plantation in the
country to start exporting bananas
to Japan. The estate bounds in
natural resources, thus it combines
eco- and agri-tourism.
Another leisure property within
the Hijo Estate is the Lanikai Resort, once the original plantation
house built in the 1920s. The resort’s name which means “heaven
by the sea” in Hawaiian, aptly describes the resort, with its peaceful, rustic and relaxing environment.
If you’ve been in the city for
so long and you are searching for
Jane Star at Pearl Farm resort
some peace and quiet away from
the chaos and noise of everyday
city life, Lanikai Resort is an ideal
place to wind up where you will
enjoy much-needed vacation.
Hijo Estates Resorts has everything a traveler wants – sprawling
beach, vast river, lush forest and
plantation, fresh sumptuous food
in a comfortable accommodation
amid a beautiful relaxing natural
landscape.
We had our lunch at Lanikai
where feasted on baby roast pig,
which was super juicy and yummy! After lunch, we spent the afternoon exploring and shopping at
Ayala Abreeza Mall.
I also took the opportunity to
meet and get together with my
long time Facebook friend Ella
Sebaron. We met at one of the
coffee shops in the mall, call “Habi
at Kape”. What makes this coffee
shop unique is that they only serve
premium Mindanao coffee which
is an ideal companion to various
traditional Filipino comfort foods.
Another favorite at the Habi at
Kape is the native hot chocolate
that is prepared in the old, traditional Filipino way. The hot chocolate is usually served with the
coffee shop’s premium ensaimada
topped with white cheese.
The following day we motored
to Samal Island, where we were
booked at the Pearl Farm Resort. Idyllic is probably the perfect word to describe Pearl Farm,
which is surrounded by pristine
beaches.
Once an actual pearl farm
where thousands of pink, white
and gold pearls were cultivated,
the place evolved into an island
getaway that it is today. Over the
years, Pearl Farm Resort has been
recognized for its signature hospitality that does not fail to pamper
the guests. The resort prides itself
with luxurious lodgings, enchanting beaches and mouth-watering
cuisines.
Our day was marked by activities that took us to the Monfort Bat
Sanctuary, the Giant Clam Sanc-
tuary, the Vanishing Island, and
Hagimit Falls and still found time
to indulge ourselves in various water sports activities.
Monfort Bat Sanctuary is one
of the interesting places to check
out in Samal Island. The tour was
very educational as we got to see
countless fruit bats in their natural
habitat. The Monfort Bat Cave was
officially recognized by the Guinness World Record in 2010 as the
largest single colony of this kind.
Another must-see attraction in
Samal Island is the Giant Clam
Sanctuary. The place is a big farm
of giant clams called “Taclobo”.
Enjoy the experience of getting
up close with these giant clams –
however, you are not allowed to
touch them.
And if it’s a unique experience you are looking for, visit the
Vanishing Island of Samal like
we did. It was a beautiful experience to be stepping on this island
that vanishes when the tides roll in
and emerges once the tide recedes.
Mangroves surround the island
and a single cottage on stilts stands
on it.
We capped our Samal Tour with
a visit to Hagimit Falls, which is
ideal destination for a quick picnic.
The cascades of falls and multilayered natural pools are perfect
backdrop for your favorite photos.
After four activities-filled days
we were ready to fly back to Manila. The trip was another educational tour for me. After ten years
I was again re-acquainted with
Davao, one of the Philippines
exciting destinations. As I left, I
made a solemn promise, I will be
back again someday.
For all your travel needs, call
us at Travel International Group at
(310) 327-5143 or at our toll-free
number at 1-844-320-1499. You
can also check out our amazing
tour packages and special promos
at
www.travelinternational.net.
Travel International Group, Inc.
has a global network of offices in
Yangon, Myanmar; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Bangkok, Thailand.
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
Feb. 25-Mar. 2, 2016
Ultimate Heartthrobs Piolo & Sam Hair raising!
with ‘Pokwang’ & Darren Live
Should you be
at Pechanga in March
worried about hair loss?
Two of the most sought after young
Filipino actors, both on screen, cinema and singing sensation, Piolo
Pascual and Sam Milby— along
with comedian extraordinaire,
‘Pokwang’ and budding male actor Darren Espanto, in one of a kind
performance ever will lead the pack
of performers live at Pechanga Resort & Casino on March 26 at 8p.m.
and March 27 at 5pm.
Pechanga Resort & Casino is
well-known for hosting the best and
the brightest Filipino entertainers
and performers such as international
singer Gary Valenciano, Megastar
Sharon Cuneta, the singer/actress
and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, popular comedian and actor
Vice Ganda, winner of “Star Power
Search 2011” Angeline Quintos, international actress and top endorser
Anne Curtis, and Pop Star Princess
Sarah Geronimo - who all gave
wholesome entertainment to the delight of the crowd.
Dubbed as ‘ Heartthrobs Reloaded Live at Pechanga, ‘ Pascual,
an award winning actor and singer,
was tagged as one and only ultimate
heartthrob due to his peculiarity,
smart looks and hot appeal. He’s
being link to well-known famed
celebrities and is notorious as every
lady’s dream man.
Born Piolo Jose Nonato Pascual on January 12, 1977 to Amelia
“Amy” Nonato and Philip (Herzig)
Pascual. The youngest of six (four
girls and 2 boys), Peejay (his nickname) was considered a “miracle
baby”. Pascual was discovered by
a family friend who picked him up
and on their way home and stopped
at the taping of the late German
Moreno’s That’s Entertainment
show. It was there that a staff member saw a potential star in Piolo. He
was asked to audition and later got
a call back to be part of the show.
He also became one of the country’s
leading endorsers. Billboards lined
up in highways with him endors-
ing brands such as Hammerhead,
Max’s chicken, San Mig Coffee,
Bench, Belo, Banco de Oro, etc.
Meanwhile, the Philippines’
‘Rockcoustic Heartthrob’, Sam
Milby is an established actor and
multi-awarded singer who is one
of the few homegrown actors to
venture into Hollywood while
maintaining a successful career in
the Philippines. From being just another Pinoy Big Brother housemate,
the Filipino-American looker has
eclipsed even his own popularity
with sold-out concerts and Platinum
albums, top-rating TV soaps. Born
and raised in Troy, Ohio, Milby is
the youngest son of Filipina Elsie
Lacia who hails from Surigao Philippines and American entrepreneur,
Lloyd Milby.
Commonly known as Pokwang—
A comedienne, television host, and
singer. Born on August 27, 1960
as Marietta Subong. She is a wellknown actress, who won the Clown
in a Million contests in ABS-CBN’s
comedy-gag show program. Yes,
Yes Show! (2004). She is the ninth
child in a family of twelve.
Darren Lyndon Gonzales Espanto (born May 24, 2001) is a Filipino
singer. Born in Calgary, Canada to
Filipino parents, at 10 years old,
he won the Masters Finals of the
Pinoy Singing Sensation competition in Edmonton. He made his first
television appearance at the age of
ten when he joined YTV’s reality
television The Next Star in 2012; he
became the youngest finalist in the
history of the show to be included
in the Top 6.
Espanto rose to prominence after
joining the first season of the The
Voice Kids Philippines, the youngest artist who staged a major solo
concert at the age of 13. Piolo, Sam,
Pokwang, and Darren— are perfect
combinations to thrill you come
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www.Pechanga.com.
Finding loose strands on your
hairbrush every time you brush or
comb your hair is normal. In fact,
we can shed as much as 150 strands
a day!
But there may be certain life
events or health-related issues that
may lead an individual to shed more
hair than usual: pregnancy or childbirth, getting off hormonal treatment, stressful events or situations,
severe illness, significant weight
loss or extreme dieting, or sometimes, a skin condition that affects
the scalp, among others.
This type of hair loss can be
classified as Telogen Effluvium or
Anagen Effluvium. It is important
to know that hair undergoes a life
cycle. The anagen phase is when
hair grows. It usually takes three to
four years for the hair to stay in the
anagen phase.
Roughly 85 percent of the hair
is in this current state. The catagen
phase is the transition phase between hair growth (anagen) and hair
shedding. This falling or shedding
of hair marks the tenogen phase.
Usually, 10 to 15 percent of hair
is on the telogen phase. This lasts
for three to four months before the
anagen phase begins again (when
new hair starts to grow). When hairs
are triggered by certain stimuli, like
15
a health-related condition or life
event, the normal life cycle of the
hair gets disrupted.
Telogen Effluvium occurs when
the hair at the telogen phase increases. When this happens, hair in
the anagen phase goes into telogen
phase sooner, causing more hair to
shed and fall. Usually, Telogen Effluvium begins two to three months
after the trigger. The increase in hair
fall varies from person to person, but
the hair in the telogen state increases
to as much as 30 percent of the hair.
Anagen Effluvium, in contrast, is
downright shedding of hair due to
treatments like radiation or chemotherapy. Hair shedding occurs in its
growing phase, hence its differentiation from Telogen Effluvium. This
type of hair loss does not only affect the scalp but also includes hair
shedding in other parts of the body.
Usually, this type of hair loss occurs
abruptly and leaves the scalp almost
hairless or bald.
In both cases, there is no treatment or medication to stop hair fall.
Usually, as the triggers stop, like the
end of chemotherapy treatment or
post-childbirth, the hair goes back
to its natural cycle in a few months.
Simple practices like eating the
right food that promotes healthy
hair (Vitamin D, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids as found in fish,
chicken, dairy, and nuts), massaging, and gentle combing may somewhat help in managing hair fall.
More than its physical effect, hair
loss may damage a person emotionally as well, especially for women
who are used to having a head of
full hair. If you suspect that your
hair is shedding more than usual,
visit your doctor so he/she can conduct a medical history to check for
underlying causes of hair fall. Even
if it may be as simple as damaged
hair from excessive hair treatments,
a stressful event, or a disease, it is
best to know the cause immediately
to remove the trigger or take the
necessary action as soon as possible.
TRIBUNE
16 PHILIPPINE
COMMUNITY
www.thephilippinetribune.com
www.thephilippinetribune.com
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
Filipino community in Coachella
Valley hail President Aquino visit
PALM SPRINGS -- Coachella
Valley is at its best this time of
year. The magnificent weather
allows you to enjoy both the
beauty of snow-topped mountains
and green grass, which has started
to sprout everywhere due to the
rain in the past days. You can
enjoy both just wearing shorts
and a T-shirt. No wonder that for
some time, the Coachella Valley
is dubbed as the “Presidents
and celebrities playground” and
“the golf capital of the world. ”
President Obama arrived a few
days earlier and was able to play
4 rounds of golf. Indeed, Coachella Valley was
buzzing the last few days, as it just
concluded the US- Asian Leaders
Summit, which was held here on
February 15-16 in Annenberg
Sunnyland, in Rancho Mirage.
In his welcome address, Obama
said, “Welcome to the beautiful
warm Sunnyland.” He also said
“that’s the reason why I held this
summit here because Washington
is too cold.” It was heartwarming for the
Filipinos, especially those here
in the Coachella Valley, that
our own President was here.
I sent him a letter, being the
President of Filipino-American
Association of Coachella Valley
(FAACV), inviting him to have
lunch or dinner at the Palm
Springs Hilton with us Filipinos
and that Filipinos here in Palm
Springs were so excited to see
the President in person. Some
even went to the Palm Springs
International Airport just to see
and take picture of our flag carrier
Philippine Air Lines A340 Airbus
that was parked nose to nose
with US Foreign Secretary John
Kerry’s plane.
In my letter to the President, I
stated that the FAACV is trying to
lead the Filipinos here to project
the image of what a true Filipino is:
hardworking, honest and always
ready to lend a hand when a need
arises. During typhoon Haiyan/
Yolanda, FAACV delivered and
distributed 56 jumbo balikbayan
boxes directly to the victims.
In my letter, we also asked the
President in what way we could
help the motherland Philippines in
our own little way. He answered
some of our hearts’ questions last
By Leni V. Dinsay
February 17, during the “Meet the
President” evening at the LAX
Hilton.
Here is an excerpt from Pres.
Aquino’s address: “There’s
improvement in the economy
and education is in line with
international standard…kung
walang corrupt, walang mahirap
(if there are no crooks, there are
no poor people).”
He also encouraged Filipinos
to vote in the upcoming May
election so that the right people
can take over at the end of his term,
so that there will be continuity of
the positive image Philippines is
enjoying now internationally. He
said piliin ang daang matuwid
(choose the straight road). He promised to improve the
He admonished Filipinos in
the US to encourage their friend
and relatives in the Philippines to
vote for the appropriate person
who would continue this positive
standing of the Philippines.
“Matuwid na daan ang piliin or
our country will go back to a
negative situation again.”
The night was indeed a night
to remember. Things were very
orderly at registration, where
ladies manning it had their friendly
welcoming smiles ready, dressed
in their beautiful Filipiniana dress.
The delegation from Coachella
Valley was equally commendable.
From FAACV: Leni Dinsay,
Daniel Frederick Saam , Larry and
Lorie Nelson.
F r o m N A FA : ( N a t i o n a l
Alliance of Filipino Associations)
Isabel Chapman , president; Delia
Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III is welcomed by US
President Barack Obama in Rancho Mirage, California.
Health Department. “Bigyan ng
ayuda ang nangangailangan at
libreng paggamot (help the needy
who need medical attention for
free) and the creation of more and
more classrooms.
He said the Police is well
equipped now with the purchase
of new patrol cars and other
equipment.
He said in union we could
easily reach our goal.
He said some told him
nawawala na daw ang buhok niya
(losing his hair) but he doesn’t
mind, he said, kasama sa trabaho
ang pagnipis ng buhok. Bayan
muna bago self. Jose Antonio Vargas
Vargas raising $1M for
immigration news site
NEW
YORK
—
Undocumented immigrant activist
Jose Antonio Vargas was in
Florida, on a recent Friday. Then
three days later, he was on his way
to Georgia, and soon to Wyoming.
Vargas, a journalist who rose to
prominence after he came out as
an undocumented immigrant in a
New York Times Magazine essay
in 2011, says he practically lives
in airplanes, hopping from one
state to another.
The reason? He is trying to
raise $1 million in 60 days for
his new venture #EmergingUS,
an innovative video-driven
digital news site that explores the
intersection of immigration, race
and identity in the United States.
“#EmergingUS is a corrective,”
he said. “It is correcting the
mainstream media’s failure to
really cover this demographic
earthquake that we, as a country,
are going through — with
aftershocks everywhere.”
Vargas, 35, believes that
the national media do not fully
capture what the true picture of
America is and what will it be in
the future, culturally, racially or
politically.
He hopes that his new media
outlet would fill that void.
“This is the time that our
population has grown more Latino
and more Asian, with Asian people
being the fastest immigrant group
in this country — documented and
undocumented,” he said.
J. Price, Angeles Sapigao, Mila
Aguinaldo, Rey and Nida Gerada, Imelda Villar, Rey Calanno, Ana
Conroy, Elizabeth Razon and
Christy Marie Jeziorsky.
Consul General Leo Herrera
Lim, accompanied by his beautiful
wife, Fides, opened the night’s
festivities.
Filipinos should be proud of
our Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia
Jr. With him our tourism has
improved, investments have
improved and made the USPhilippines relationship robust.
The President was accompanied
by some of his Cabinet members. “But I think the media, when
they talk about us, there’s kind
of almost have one dimension,
and we’re lucky if we get a few
dimensions on the story. So, we
don’t really get the richness of our
experience,” he added.
Even by just watching
this year’s election coverage,
according to Vargas, he feels as
if Asian people didn’t even exist.
“They talk about the Latino
vote, the black vote, but not
the Asian vote,” he added.
But the country that has been
predominantly black and white
is now going to talk about issues
that are not black and white; it is
going to be the fundamental issue
of American identity.”
#EmergingUS was originally
a joint venture between Vargas
and the Los Angeles Times, at a
time when the paper was trying to
find new ways to experiment with
digital initiatives.
After meeting in 2015
with then-Los Angeles Times
publisher and chief executive
Austin Beutner, Vargas started
#EmergingUS in the Times
newsroom.
But Beutner was fired last
September. Then the Times and
Vargas agreed to transfer the assets
developed for #EmergingUS
to his company so that he may
pursue the project independently.
Now partnering with Beacon,
the journalism crowdfunding
platform that helps raise funds
for journalists around the world,
Vargas needs to reach the $500,000
goal in two months in order to get
Beacon’s matching funds.
“Jose’s tireless immigration
reporting has earned him the trust
of readers and lawmakers alike,
and has already sparked a national
conversation about identity,” said
Dmitri Cherniak, co-founder of
Beacon. “We’re excited to see
what happens when he has the
resources to broaden his purview
even further.”
Vargas, as the publisher and
editor, launched #EmergingUS on
February 18.
“We should be the center
of the narratives. I am tired of
being marginalized. I am tired of
being just the minority,” he said.
“I think that is something that
you’d tangibly see in the way
we are covering the stories in
#EmergingUS.”
17
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
www.thephilippinetribune.com
www.thephilippinetribune.com
BUSINESS
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
Oil slumps 4% as Saudi Arabia
reaffirms it won’t cut production
Refinancing opportunity
is back; rates down
to all-time lows
CALLER: I have a
$300,000.00 loan with 4.125%
rate and my credit is above 680.
Can I sill get a better rate? I really
don’t want to pay fees because I
just refinanced last year.
Ken: What we can offer you
today is a 3.625% rate 30 years
fixed without paying loan fees,
escrow fees nor title fees. Your
credit is OK, don’t need to be
above 700, you are at 60% LTV,
therefore no additional cost to
refinance. With your savings and
good credit standing, we actually
will not have a problem getting an
approval. Your savings is $ 175.00
a month that is a lot which makes
it worth for you to refinance and
put that extra $175.00 back into
the principal. So, if you refinance
and put the savings towards your
principal reduction your savings
will be about $39,779 over the life
of the loan and you don’t have any
fees going into this loan.
Recommendation: DO IT
NOW!
Caller: I am a single mom
that works as a CNA making
about $4,000.00 a month, I am
selling a piece of property in the
Philippines that will net me close
to $150,000.00. I would like to
buy a house and pay off some
debts. Please advise me on what
is the price range I can qualify
for and where I should be buying.
My two grandchildren will also
be immigrating to the US to live
with me.
Ken: I congratulated her for
being able to hold on to a piece of
real estate and selling it for a profit.
However, due to her income and
her debts, I can only qualify this
caller to buy a property around
$200,000.00 that will leave her
with about $50,000.00 of her net
proceed from the sale of the land
overseas. Due to her age and
added responsibility that she will
have to care for, I am advising
her to just rent in a better area
with a good to decent school
district for her grandchildren.
I am afraid that because she
cannot find anything decent for
$200K to buy that will ensure
her grandchildren good education,
renting would be a better option
for her now. If she buys and
almost deplete all her savings
just to own a house, she might
be stretching herself too thin.
Home ownership comes with a
lot of responsibilities towards the
property that will cost money. Her
income is very limited, especially
if she is expecting to support more
family members staying with her.
Recommendation: RENT
first and keep your funds in an
interest-earning Mutual funds and
buy a house later when the market
retreats and your new family
members are settled in.
Caller: I have a 1st mortgage
of $350,000.00 at 4.75% 30 years
fixed and I have a second loan
at 8% for $60,000.00. I would
like to see my payments become
lower, I have good credit and I
have a good job.
Ken: Your property value
is right around $410,000.00.
You’re paying a combination of
$2482.77 for both. Your property
value is just about worth exactly
how much you owe now on your
mortgage. Unfortunately you are
neither a Fannie Mae or Freddie
Mac loan and, therefore, you
will not qualify for the HARP
refinancing. Since your second
mortgage was included in your
previous bankruptcy 7, I would
suggest that you try to negotiate a
settlement payoff with them. You
have some savings that you can
offer the second lender to wipe out
this debt. Since you are already
slightly behind on the payment,
this would be a good time to ask
for a settlement payoff.
Recommendation: Call your
lender to settle on the second
mortgage that is included in your
BK 7 previously.
Caller: I currently have a
30 years loan that I have been
paying on for about 9 years at
4.5% interest rate. I have a lot of
equity and would like to know if it
is worthwhile for me to refinance
the loan. I took out some fund
for home improvements from my
credit card with 0% interest for
10 months.
Ken: You’re in a sweet
situation now having yourself a
lot of equity. I am sure a lot of
people will love to trade places
with you. You’re at an age where
you probably want to think about
retiring and would be opposed
to starting your loan over again
for 30 years. So, I will suggest
a 20 year loan fixed for you. I
am also suggesting that you pay
off the credit card balance of
$25,000. I don’t care if that is zero
interest. You will still need to pay
it off when time comes. Because
you will stay in this house for a
long term and you want a lower
payment, I am suggesting a no
points loan and that you pick up
your own escrow and title cost.
You will save about $200.00
and not have to start a 30 year
mortgage again.
Recommendation: DO IT
NOW!
RATES ARE DOWN, I
RECOMMEND THAT YOU
START TO INQUIRE ABOUT
REFINANCING.
I could be reached at 562508-7048 anytime or at the office
562-697-7028 or write to me at
[email protected] Don’t
delay. CALL NOW.
NEW YORK — Oil prices
slumped Tuesday after Opec
kingpin Saudi Arabia’s oil
minister reaffirmed opposition to
a production cut to address global
oversupply, expressing hope only
for an output freeze next month.
US benchmark West Texas
Intermediate for delivery in April
tumbled $1.52 (4.6 percent) to
$31.87 a barrel on the contract’s
first day of trade on the New York
Mercantile Exchange.
In London, Brent North Sea
crude for April, the European
benchmark for crude oil, finished
the session at $33.27 a barrel,
down $1.42 (4.1 percent) from
Monday’s settlement.
Matt Smith of ClipperData
said the market rallied too much
Monday on a report from the
International Energy Agency
“that was just less bearish than
expected and nothing more than
that.”
“And today we’re selling off
far stronger than we really should
after (Saudi Oil Minister Ali)
Al-Naimi has a similar tone that
we’ve heard from him over the
past year.”
Naimi, speaking at a Houston
energy conference, said freezing
output was more realistic than
cutting because “not many
countries are going to deliver,
even if they say they will cut
production.”
Naimi expressed hope that
other producers would join a
tentative freeze to January output
levels it had agreed with Russia,
Qatar and Venezuela last week.
Naimi said that “hopefully
sometime in March, there will
be another meeting and probably
(we’ll) gather more agreements
on freezing.”
But Opec member Iran, which
ramped up production in January
in the wake of a nuclear agreement
with major powers that lifted
sanctions, criticized the idea of
a freeze.
“Some neighboring countries
have increased their production
over the years to 10 million barrels
per day and export this amount,
then say let’s all freeze our oil
production,” Iranian Oil Minister
Bijan Zanganeh said, according to
the ISNA news agency.
Traders, meanwhile, were
betting the US Department of
Energy’s weekly petroleum
inventories report Wednesday
will show another increase in US
crude stockpiles.
2015 OFW
remittances
hit $25.8B
MANILA -- Cash remittances
sent via the formal banking
networks by overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs) amounted to
$25.76 billion in 2015, up 4.6
percent from $24.63 billion
in 2014, the Bangko Sentral
ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday
reported.
BSP Governor Amando M.
Tetangco Jr. said remittances
continued to be “a major driver
of domestic demand.”
The total remittances accounted
for 9.8 percent of gross domestic
product and 8.3 percent of gross
national income.
The BSP had expected a flat
four percent growth because of the
dollar appreciation vis-à-vis other
major currencies where overseas
Filipinos are located. In the
meantime, cash remittances from
land-based and sea-based workers
amounted to $20 billion and $5.8
billion, respectively.
For the month of December
alone, cash remittances went up
by 4.9 percent year-on-year to
$2.5 billion.
The Central Bank also reported
that personal remittances – fund
transfers that were not captured by
the banking sector – increased by
4.4 percent year-on-year to $28.5
billion as of end-December.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima receives the Finance Minister of
the Year 2015 award from FinanceAsia deputy and features editor
Richard Morrow in Hong Kong on Jan. 27.
Purisima named Asia’s best
finance minister for 6th time
MANILA - Finance Secretary
Cesar Purisima has been named
the best finance minister of
the year by Hong Kong-based
business publication FinanceAsia
for the second time and his sixth
in total during his six-year tenure
under the Aquino administration.
This is the second time the
magazine is ranking finance
ministers of the region’s 12 largest
economies. Malaysia was at the
bottom of the list.
FinanceAsia said Purisima
deserves this award, having
improved the country’s finances
and avoided missteps that could
have undermined the remarkable
growth story in the Philippines,”
FinanceAsia said.
The 55-year old Purisima was
first hailed as finance minister of
the year for Asia by Emerging
Markets magazine in 2011, an
award he also received in 2013.
In 2012, Purisima was also
named best finance minister by
Euromoney. He was once again
the choice of The Banker the
following year as finance minister
of the year for Asia-Pacific.
18
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
Top diplomats meet at fraught
time between US and China
Obama
makes final
push to close
Guantanamo
WASHINGTON -- President
Barack Obama launched a final
push on Tuesday to persuade
Congress to close the U.S. military
prison at Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, but lawmakers, opposed
to rehousing detainees in the
United States, declared his plan a
non-starter.
In White House remarks,
Obama, a Democrat, pleaded with
the Republican-led Congress to
give his proposal a “fair hearing.”
He said he did not want to pass
along the issue to his successor
next January.
The Pentagon plan proposes
13 potential sites on U.S. soil for
the transfer of remaining detainees
but does not identify the facilities
or endorse a specific one.
“We’ll review President
Obama’s plan,” Republican
Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell said. “But since it
includes bringing dangerous
terrorists to facilities in U.S.
communities, he should know that
the bipartisan will of Congress has
already been expressed against
that proposal.”
Paul Ryan, the Republican
speaker of the House of
Representatives, said Obama had
yet to convince Americans that
moving the prisoners to the United
States was smart or safe.
Obama pledged to close the
prison as a candidate for the White
House in 2008. The prisoners
were rounded up overseas
when the United States became
embroiled in wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan following the Sept.
11, 2001, attacks on New York and
Washington. The facility in years
past came to symbolize aggressive
detention practices that opened
the United States to allegations
of torture.
US & WORLD
www.thephilippinetribune.com
US President Barack Obama
“Let us go ahead and close this
chapter,” Obama said.
“Keeping this facility open
is contrary to our values ... It is
viewed as a stain on our broader
record of upholding the highest
standards of rule of law,” he said.
EXECUTIVE ACTION?
Obama is considering taking
unilateral executive action to
close the facility, situated in a
U.S. naval station in southeast
Cuba, if Congress does not vote
to allow transfers to the United
States. Republicans oppose any
executive order.
The White House has sought to
buttress its argument for closing
the prison by focusing on its high
cost. Obama said nearly $450
million was spent last year alone
to keep it running. The new plan
would be cheaper, officials said.
The transfer and closure costs
would be $290 million to $475
million, an administration official
told reporters, while housing
remaining detainees in the United
States would be $65 million to $85
million less expensive than at the
Cuba facility, meaning the transfer
bill would be offset in 3 to 5 years.
The prison, which Obama said
once held nearly 800 detainees,
now houses 91 detainees. Some
35 prisoners will be transferred
to other countries this year,
leaving the final number below
60, officials said.
WASHINGTON— The top
diplomats of the U.S. and China
meet Tuesday in Washington at a
fraught time in relations between
the two world powers.
It’s been seven weeks since
North Korea conducted a nuclear
test and they still haven’t agreed
on how to censure Pyongyang.
Also, tensions are rising in the
South China Sea after Beijing
deployed anti-aircraft missiles on
a disputed island.
Secretary of State John Kerry
and Chinese Foreign Minister
Wang Yi sparred over much
of the same territory a month
ago in Beijing. But as they sit
down for more talks at the State
Department, both situations have
only grown more serious.
North Korea followed up
its Jan. 6 underground nuclear
explosion with a Feb. 7 rocket
launch that was condemned by
the U.N. Security Council because
such rockets use technology
that could be applied to ballistic
missiles.
While China has joined in
the international criticism, it has
balked at imposing the kind of
tough economic sanctions that
the U.S. wants, fearing it could
threaten the stability of North
Korea, a neighbor and traditional
ally of Beijing.
In the meantime, the U.S. has
taken tougher steps of its own.
Congress passed the most
stringent U.S. sanctions yet that
aim to restrict North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un’s access to hard
currency. The restrictions could
hit Chinese banks and companies
that do business connected to
the North’s nuclear and missile
programs and its human rights
abuses. President Barack Obama
signed the bill into law last week.
And on the security front, the
In this Feb. 12, 2016, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry,
right, shakes hands with China’s Froreign, Minister Wang Yi, during a meeting in Munich, Germany, before the Munich Security
Conference.
U.S. and close ally South Korea
have begun talks on deploying a
missile defense system that China
fears could be used against it as
well North Korea.
The U.S. and China are
expected, eventually, to fashion
a compromise over a U.N.
resolution, as both sides oppose
North Korea’s development of
nuclear weapons and the missiles
to deliver them.
But they appear leagues apart
on the South China Sea.
Washington and Beijing
have been trading accusations
of “militarizing” those waters,
an important thoroughfare for
world trade where six Asian
governments have competing
territorial claims.
The accusations intensified last
week following reports that China
had deployed anti-aircraft missiles
on Woody Island in the Paracel
chain, which is occupied by China
but also claimed by Taiwan and
Vietnam.
The U.S. and its Asian allies
are watching now whether China
puts military assets on artificial
islands it has built in the Spratly
island chain, further south.
The Obama administration
is under congressional pressure
to step up the U.S. response.
Lawmakers are expected to raise
their concerns at a Senate Armed
Services Committee hearing
Tuesday with the commander of
U.S. forces in the Pacific.
State Department spokesman
Mark Toner said Monday that
the U.S. would continue to press
China to stop its militarization in
the South China China. He called
for a diplomatic process to settle
territorial claims peacefully.
A couple of U.S. Navy
operations close to disputed land
since October have already riled
Beijing.
19
PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
BUSINESS
SOLUTIONS
Claro R. Perez
Free credit repair for home
buyers and homeowners who
wish to refinance or
buy their dream homes
S TA RT I N G O c t o b e r 1 ,
2015 up to December 31, 2015
CRP will offer free in-house
credit repair and enhancement
program for consumers who
wish to buy their dream home
and to homeowners who wish
to refinance their home. CRP
has been helping home buyers
and homeowners for the last 20
years, improving their credit
history to be able to buy their
dream home and to homeowners
to lower their existing interest
rates to be affordable through
refinance by utilizing the
Streamline Program for FHA
loan and HARP 2 refinance their
Fannae Mae or Freddie Loan
even if there is no equity and
or are negative in their home
value. In addition to that, CRP
has help numerous homeowmers
to keep their homes through
Loan Modification Program that
experienced hardship.
Below are two loan programs
to lower interest rates to be
affordable even if there is no
equity:
FHA Streamline Program:
Provided your existing loan is
insured by FHA and will lower
your mortgage insurance from
1.25% to .85% and lower your
interest rates from 5% to 3.75%
no appraisal, no loan fee, and 0%
broker origination and discount
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your existing loan is owned by
Freddie Mac or Fannae Mae and
will refinance the existing loan
even there is no equity to a lower
interest rates and 0% broker
origination and discount points
Loan Limits:
FHA Maximum loan limits
for Orange County and Los
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and for Riverside County and
San Bernardino county is $
355,000.00. Conventional loan
limit for Orange County and Los
Angeles county is $ 625,000.00
and high balance loan have
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Below are the three important
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about loan requirements:
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a fico score of 620 and up and
bankruptcy is discharged after 2
years, Deed in lieu, foreclosure,
shortsale, and loan modification
must be 3 years old. Important
things to know: your credit history
must have no unpaid charge,
unpaid collection. CRP provides
US & WORLD
www.thephilippinetribune.com
in-house credit repair that takes a
maximum of 5 months, depending
on how bad is the credit and
minimum of 1 month.
Two years of employment
with acceptable income: requires
2 years tax return, W2 and 1
month paystub to determine Debt
To Income Ratio. For salaried
borrowers, they use the gross
income and self employed
borrower they use net income.
Down Payment for FHA loan
is 3.5% and Conventional loan is
5% down.
Debt to Income Ratio for
FHA loan is maximum of 57%
and Conventional loan is $ 43%:
Example: for $ 355,000.00 loan
FHA 3.5% down is $ 12,425.00
and Conventional 5% down is $
17,750.00.
Income requirements for
FHA: Gross Income per month-$
5000.00
Income requirement for
Conventional loan: Gross Income
per month-$6200.00.
If you are a self-employed
owner of a business for two
years or more Stated Income
Verified Asset loan program is
available and required Fico score
of 720 and up and down payment
of 25%. Also requires 12 bank
statements that show sources of
down payment and at least 12
months of mortgage payment
reserve. Stated Income doesn’t
require tax return and pay stubs
or proof of income. For more
detailed information call CRP.
Other CRP Programs:
Loan Modification Program,
2nd Lien Debt Settlement Program,
Credit Enhancement/Credit
Repair, Refinance, Real Estate
Selling and Listing, Home Loan,
SBA Business Working Capital
Program
And our Life Line Program
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5 : 0 0 P M S AT U R D AY B Y
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Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
ISIS bombs kill more than 140
as US, Russia press Syria truce
SAYYIDA ZEINAB, Syria
— A string of suicide bombings
near a Shiite shrine outside Syria’s
capital and in Homs claimed
by jihadists killed at least 142
people Sunday, as Washington
and Moscow worked to secure a
ceasefire.
The Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria (ISIS) group said it was
behind the carnage.
US Secretary of State John
Kerry said a provisional deal had
been reached on the terms of a
truce in Syria’s brutal five-year
conflict, only for the bloodshed
to intensify on the ground.
Near Damascus, a car bombing
followed by two consecutive
suicide attacks ripped through
the area of the Shiite shrine of
Sayyida Zeinab and killed 83
people, Syria’s official news
agency SANA reported.
SANA, quoting a police
source, said 178 people, including
children, were among the
wounded. State television said
the attacks came as pupils were
leaving school in the area.
The Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights gave a lower toll of
68 dead but said many wounded
were in critical condition.
An AFP reporter said the
blasts struck about 400 meters
(yards) from the revered Shiite
shrine containing the grave of
a granddaughter of the Prophet
Mohammed.
People gather in the aftermath of a multiple explosive attack in the
Sayyida Zeinab area, 10 km south of Damascus, Syria, Sunday,
Feb. 21, 2016.
At least 60 shops were
damaged and cars reduced to
mangled metal. A January attack
in the same area — also claimed
by ISIS — killed 70 people.
The Observatory also reported
that two car bombs killed at least
59 people and wounded dozens
in the pro-regime district of AlZahraa in the central city of Homs.
ISIS said online that two
suicide bombers struck in Sayyida
Zeinab and two others drove
explosive-packed cars into crowds
in Homs.
State television footage from
Homs showed emergency workers
carrying a charred body on a
stretcher past devastated shops
and mangled cars and minibuses.
Al-Zahraa — whose residents
are mostly from the same Alawite
sect of Shia Islam as Syria’s
ruling clan — has been regularly
targeted.
World powers, which have
been pushing for a halt in Syria’s
nearly five-year war, had hoped to
see a truce take effect on Friday
but have struggled to agree on
the terms.
On Sunday, Kerry spoke with
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov at least three times to try
to nail down a truce.
US rejects North Korea peace bid
WASHINGTON –The United
States said Sunday it received a
North Korean proposal to discuss
a peace treaty for the Korean
peninsula but rejected it when
Pyongyang refused to consider
reducing its nuclear arsenal.
State Department spokesman
John Kirby disclosed the exchange
when asked about a Wall Street
Journal report that President
Barack Obama’s administration
had secretly agreed to peace talks
to formally end the Korean War
of 1950 to 1953, days before
Pyongyang carried out its latest
nuclear test early this year.
That January 6 test — the
country’s fourth after previous
tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 —
brought an end to the exploratory
contacts that took place at the
United Nations, where US and
North Korean diplomats can
mingle informally in the absence
of formal relations between
their two countries, the Journal
reported.
“‎To be clear, it was the
North Koreans who proposed
discussing a peace treaty,” Kirby
told reporters traveling with
Secretary of State John Kerry in
Amman, Jordan.
“We carefully considered their
proposal, and made clear that
denuclearization had to be part of
any such discussion,” he added.
“The North rejected our
response. ‎Our response to the
NK proposal was consistent
with our long-standing focus on
denuclearization.‎”
Citing unnamed US officials
familiar with the matter, the
Journal claimed the White House
had dropped a long-standing
condition to talks — that North
Korea first take steps to cut back
its nuclear arsenal.
20 PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
www.thephilippinetribune.com
SPORTS/US-WORLD
Arum says Pacquiao fight not
in conflict with polls; no reset
MANILA – Top Rank chief
Inc. Bob Arum said postponing
Manny Pacquiao’s fight with
Timothy Bradley this April is
not an option, stressing there is
no conflict of interest between
the bout and Pacquiao’s bid to
become Philippine senator.
Speaking to Steve Carp of
the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
Arum reacted to a senatorial bet’s
petition urging the Commission
on Elections to halt Pacquiao’s
third fight with Bradley on the
grounds that it violates the fair
elections law.
Former congressman Walden
Bello on Monday claimed
Pacquiao’s scheduled fight on
April 9 in Las Vegas (April 10
in Manila) gives the boxer an
unfair advantage in the form
of extensive exposure for his
campaign as senator.
B u t A r u m o n Tu e s d a y
countered that there is nothing
to worry about, insisting that
the Pacquiao-Bradley fight will
Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao
proceed as planned.
“This is like the (US presidential
candidate) Donald Trump birther
issue (with Ted Cruz),” Arum
told Carp. “There’s no chance the
(election) commission will force
him to postpone the fight. Our
attorneys looked into this very
carefully before we made the
fight (with Bradley) and there was
nothing there to suggest Manny’s
fighting constitutes a conflict of
interest in terms of campaigning.
The Comelec earlier said it will
study whether the fight indeed
violates election law.
A r u m , h o w e v e r, s a i d
Pacquiao had been in the same
situation before when he ran for
congressman of South Cotabato
province in 2007, wherein he
lost to then incumbent Darlene
Antonino-Custodio.
Tabuena now ranked 108th golfer in the world
MANILA -- The numbers just
keep getting better for Miguel
Tabuena.
A day after winning his biggest
ever paycheck with a shared
runner-up finish in the
Maybank Malaysian
Championship, Tabuena rose to
108th from 176th in the Official
World Golf Rankings released
on Monday.
Tabuena will try to break into
the Top 100 when he competes in
this weeks ISPS Handa Open in
Perth, Australia.
Tabuena’s hot start to the
season has seen him win about
P15 million and becoming
the country’s youngest ever
millionaire athlete.
His new ranking puts him
ahead of major winner Padraig
Harrington, Miguel Angel
Jimenez, Davis Love III and the
inactive Tiger Woods.
Here’s how Miguel improved
his ranking in recent events:
(Event, Finish, Rank)
Maybank Malaysian
Championship T2 108th
Leopalace21 Myanmar Open
T38 176th
SMBC Singapore Open T4 173rd
Sony Open in Hawaii.Missed Cut
213rd
Philippine Open presented by
ICTSI Win 216th
Thailand Golf Championship
Missed Cut 357th
Ho Tram Open T44 354th
Resorts World Manila Masters
T18 344th
The World Classic Championship
at Laguna T30 345th
UBS Hong Kong Open Missed
Cut 336th
Venetian Macao Open Missed
Cut 323rd
Yeangder Tournament Players
Championship 2nd 322nd
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
US & WORLD NEWS BRIEFS
Australia warns Beijing over
threat of conflict in S. China Sea
SYDNEY, Australia—Australia urged China on Friday to refrain
from the “militarization of islands” to avoid walking into a conflict, a
day after the United States slammed Beijing for deploying missiles in
the disputed South China Sea.
China said Thursday it had weapons on one of the islands in the
strategically important region, which US Secretary of State John Kerry
said was evidence of an “increase of militarization” and a “serious
concern.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was critical for the region’s
prosperity that China and the US used international law to resolve
their disputes.
“We urge all claimants in the South China Sea to refrain from any
building of islands, any militarization of islands, any land reclamation,”
Turnbull said in a joint press conference with his New Zealand
counterpart John Key in Sydney.
Turnbull said both Australia and New Zealand wanted to see a
lowering of tensions as he urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve
all disputes in the seas—through which one-third of the world’s oil
passes—through legal means.
“President Xi of China has said that one of China’s biggest
challenges is falling into what he calls the Thucydides Trap, which
essentially is where a rising power creates anxiety among other powers
such that conflict occurs,” he said.
“If China wants to avoid falling into the Thucydides Trap, as
President Xi describes it, then resolving disputes in the South China
Sea should be done through international law, through all of those
mechanisms that are available to us.”
UN warns of nuclear material
falling into terrorist hands
VIENNA — The head of the U.N. nuclear agency warned Monday
of the dangers of nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists
and urged world nations to apply an agreement meant to minimize such
dangers. Two-thirds of the 89 countries agreeing with the Amendment
to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material must
ratify it for it to enter into force. Yukiya Amano of the International
Atomic Energy Agency says ratification by 11 more nations is needed.
Its application would “reduce the likelihood of terrorists being able
to detonate a ...’dirty bomb,’” which can spread radioactivity over a
wide area and also reduce the risk of an attack on a nuclear power
plant, said Amano.
He noted that nearly 2,800 incidents of radioactive material going
missing have been reported to his agency since 1995.
Some are of serious concern. Moldovan police working with the
FBI last year stopped four attempts by smugglers to sell nuclear
material to extremists in the Middle East over the past five years. In
one instance a year ago, undercover agents were offered a large amount
of radioactive cesium.
In the most recent reported case, the agency said last week that it
had been informed by Iraq of the theft of an industrial radiography
device in the city of al-Zubair in November.
Experts say the amount of the substance is too small to pose a
terrorist threat. But if mismanaged, it could be fatal on exposure over
several days, or in some cases as little as a few hours.
NK slapped with new sanctions
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama slapped North Korea
with more stringent sanctions Thursday for defying the world and
pushing forward with its nuclear weapons program, weeks after it
launched a satellite-carrying rocket into space and conducted its fourth
underground nuclear test.
Both actions led to worldwide condemnation of the reclusive country
and fueled fears that it continues to move toward building an atomic
arsenal.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers, many of whom argue
Obama hasn’t been tough enough with North Korea, overwhelmingly
approved the bill last week and sent it to the White House. The House
voted 408-2, following a unanimous vote by the Senate.
Obama signed the legislation away from the news media and issued
no statement. Up until Wednesday, the administration had said it didn’t
oppose the bill but declined to say whether Obama would sign it into
law.
Wealthy donors move to Rubio
WASHINGTON -- Within minutes of Jeb Bush dropping out of the
presidential race Saturday night, some of his donors were preparing to
throw their financial support behind Marco Rubio, who has emerged
as the strongest candidate among the establishment wing of the party.
“Jeb’s network is already naturally migrating to Marco,” said
Gaylord Hughey, a top Bush fundraiser from Texas, echoing what four
other top donors told Reuters. “It’s the clear path.”
“It’s a stampede,” added another donor, who spoke on the condition
of anonymity because he wanted to give Bush some time after dropping
out before he went public with his support of Rubio, the U.S. senator
from Florida.
Three other Bush donors, who declined to be named, also said they
now planned to support Rubio.
Although he has failed to win any of the first three nominating
contests, Rubio is considered by many political strategists as the
best positioned to challenge frontrunner Donald Trump, a billionaire
political outsider, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has campaigned
on an anti-Washington message.
The likelihood that some of Bush’s deep-pocketed donors will back
Rubio comes at an opportune time for his candidacy, as he heads into a
series of contests in March that will be crucial for building momentum.
Brian Ballard, who raised money for Bush last year but switched
allegiances last summer to Rubio, said: “It’s flooding tonight. Ninetyfive percent of Jeb’s money is going to end up with Marco.”
Rubio had only $5 million in cash on hand at the end of January,
federal campaign finance reports released Saturday night show, a slim
buffer by modern campaign standards.
22 PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
NaFFAA leaders finalized plans for the Fil-Am Vote Program at a
national summit held in Las Vegas, Nevada last month.
FilAm leaders kick off
register and vote drive
WASHINGTON – “It is
now generally known that Asian
Americans are the fastest growing
voters in the United States today,”
says JT Mallonga, Chairman
of the National Federation of
Filipino American Associations
(NaFFAA).
“ T h e y a r e e m e rg i n g a s
a key voting block that could
significantly influence national
and local elections in the coming
years,” he adds.
Confirming this trend is
a report from the Center for
American Progress, which shows
Asian American voters in the last
decade nearly doubling from more
than 2 million voters in 2000 to
3.9 million voters by 2012, and
is estimated to reach 5 percent of
the voters nationally by 2025 and
10 percent by 2044.
“As the second largest Asian
American population in the
U.S., our challenge as Filipino
Americans is to translate these
numbers into political power,”
adds Mallonga. “That means being
COMMUNITY
www.thephilippinetribune.com
actively engaged as informed
citizens, exercising our voting
rights and casting our ballots on
Election Day.”
To achieve this goal, NaFFAA,
a non-partisan organization
recognized by Washington policymakers, private industry and other
advocacy groups as the voice of
Filipinos and Filipino Americans
throughout the United States,
will launch Fil-Am Vote on July
25-27, 2016.
NaFFAA chapters in the
following cities will kick-off this
voter drive: San Diego and San
Francisco, California; Las Vegas,
Nevada; New York, NY; Chicago,
Illinois.
Fil-Am Vote is a national
program aimed at strengthening
the voter registration, voter
education, voter protection and
get-out-the-vote capabilities of
Filipino American communities
nationwide.
The latest U.S. Census Bureau
data indicate there are 2,790,928
potential Filipino voters
nationwide.
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
Marcos seen to carry survey
momentum to victory in May
LOS ANGELES –
Businessman-designer Fernandico
Gonong Jr., chairman of the
Bongbong Marcos Movement
(BBMM), hailed recently the rise
of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong”
Marcos Jr. to the top of the
vice presidential race as a clear
recognition by the people of
his vision, achievements and
leadership.
“As it becomes apparent to the
voters that Bongbong is the most
qualified among the six major
vice presidential contenders, the
late president’s namesake son will
continue to increase his numbers
in the surveys and carry this
momentum to victory in the May
9 elections,” Gonong said.
The latest SWS survey,
conducted from Feb. 5 to 7, showed
Marcos tied in first place with Sen.
Francis Escudero with 26 percent
ratings, the first time since SWS
conducted its preference polls in
September 2015. Escudero had
previously enjoyed a wide lead
against his rivals – even getting 30
percent during the November and
December polls last year.
In third place is Camarines
Sur Rep. Leni Robredo who got
19 percent (from January’s 17
percent), followed by Sen. Alan
Peter Cayetano with 16 percent
(from last month’s 14 percent).
Sen. Gringo Honasan is in fifth
place with six percent and Sen.
Antonio Trillanes IV placed sixth
at five percent. “Senator Marcos has conducted
a very positive campaign in which
he patiently presented his platform
to the people without having
to throw mud at his political
rivals,” Gonong noted. “This,
plus his various achievements
BBMM-USA chair Fernandico Gonong Jr. with vice presidential
bet Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
and experience as governor,
Marcos is running in tandem
congressman, and senator have with presidential aspirant Sen.
made the people realize that he is Miriam Defensor-Santiago, but
the most qualified to serve as the supporters of other presidential
nation’s second highest official candidates have also adopted
among the candidates.”
him for the VP position. Among
BBMM, which was put up t h e s e a r e f o r m e r S p e a k e r
by Gonong using his personal Prospero Nograles of Davao
resources to support Marcos’ city, representing ALDUB
vice presidential bid, is holding (Alyansang Duterte Bongbong);
regular caucuses and helping in Mayor Amy Navarro of Santiago,
the campaign through the social Isabela, representing the BIBO
media and through telephone (Binay-Bongbong); and Pandan,
calls.
Antique Mayor Jonathan Tan,
G o n o n g , a s u c c e s s f u l representing AROMA (Alyansang
architect in the Philippines Roxas-Marcos).
before immigrating to the United
“Bongbong is running with a
States, went to the Philippines message for national unity, and
in December for consultations people from across the country
with Marcos and his campaign and here in the US are responding
managers. Last month, he invited overwhelmingly,” Gonong said.
businessman Greggy Araneta, “We at the BBMM will do our
husband of Bongbong’s youngest best to help spread the word of
sister Irene, to a well-attended unity so that the country will be
gathering of Marcos supporters great again.”
at FACLA Hall in Los Angeles.
23 PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
www.thephilippinetribune.com
Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016
24 PHILIPPINE TRIBUNE
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Feb. 25 - March 2, 2016

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