The Filipino Express v27 Issue 31



The Filipino Express v27 Issue 31
VOL. 27 w
NO. 31 w
AUGUST 9 - 15, 2013 w
(201) 434-1114 w
Taiwan removes sanctions against PH after apology
TAIPEI -- Taiwan lifted its
sanctions against the Philippines
Thursday, August 8, after Manila
apologized for the fatal shooting of
a Taiwanese fisherman, an
incident which had severely
strained relations.
In televised comments,
Perez said he wished to convey
“the Philippine people's deep
regret and apology to the family of
Mr. Hung Shih-cheng over this
unfortunate loss of life of their
beloved one”.
“The government of the
Republic of China (Taiwan's
official title) announces that the
sanction against the Philippines is
removed immediately after the
Filipino side has displayed
apology and goodwill in written
statements and action,” the
foreign ministry said in a
“May I respectfully present
our official letter of apology to the
family of Mr. Hung on behalf of our
president and our people,” he told
Hung's widow, before giving her
the letter and shaking her hands.
The move came after
Amadeo R. Perez, chairman of the
Manila Economic and Cultural
Office which handles relations in
the absence of diplomatic ties,
In this photo taken on May 29, NBI agents assisted by Taiwanese probers inspect the bullet-riddled fishing boat Guang Ta Hsin 28 at the Tungkang harbor in
flew to Taiwan and offered an Taiwan.
The NBI has recommended the filing of homicide charges against eight Filipino Coast Guard personnel for the death in May of a Taiwanese
“official apology” on behalf of fisherman on his boat. AFP
Filipino President Benigno
was shot dead by Filipino coast north, which Taiwan also claims as port town of Hsiaoliuchiu to meet
Tensions had risen sharply guards on May 9 in waters near an part of its economic zone. Perez the family of the dead man, Hung
after the 65-year-old fisherman island in the Philippines' extreme traveled to the small southern Shih-cheng.
Taiwan's foreign ministry
said the Hung family and the
Filipino government had reached
a settlement on compensation,
without specifying its content.
It said Manila had also
agreed to hold further talks on a
proposed fisheries agreement as
part of their efforts to avoid
another such tragedy while
handling disputes.
Taiwan had rejected earlier
apologies by Manila as inadequate
Page 4
Taser did not work on “possessed” Fil Am
(© 2013 Fil Am Extra Exchange)
MUSHROOMING SHANTIES. Thousands of people living in shanties are now
occupying major portions of the coastal areas in Metro Manila. With a population nearing
the 100-million mark, the United Nations said the country will be among one of several
developing nations leading the global population growth in the coming years.
(Jacqueline Hernandez)
Relocation of
estero families on
By Niña P. Calleja, Marlon
Ramos and Nathaniel R.
clogged waterways, urban
sprawl, denuded watersheds
and fiercer storms.
MANILA – Soon, having
“Manggahan Floodway” as a
residential address in Metro
Manila will be a thing of the
past as the clearing of squatter
colonies choking Metro
Manila's waterways finally
began last Monday, August 5.
The first batch of informal
settler families, exactly 606,
will voluntarily dismantle their
dwellings along the San Juan
River in Barangay (village)
Salapan, San Juan City, so they
can relocate to new homes in
San Jose del Monte City in
The relocation is part of
the P351-billion program of
the Aquino administration to
a d d re s s f l o o d i n g i n t h e
metropolis, which in recent
years has worsened due to
Photo of Mylene “Mhai” De Leon Scott.
(FAXX/jGLi Photograb from ABS-CBN TV
Balitang America report)
there is nothing wrong with the
Taser gun, it is very likely that
Filipino American Mylene
“Mhai” De Leon Scott, who was
described as “possessed” and
under a “psychotic break,”
appeared to be getting strength
from a higher power after she
was hit with a Taser. She
struggled to talk but no word
came out of her mouth during the
Loudoun County, Virginia
Sheriff 's Deputy M. Safford
“tased” Ms. Scott but the Taser's
d a r t d i d n o t d e p l o y. H e
“squeezed the trigger of the
Taser again and again, it did not
(deploy). And it deployed on the
third attempt. It didn't sound (a
buzzing sound) like a normal
Ta s e r d e p l oy m e n t .”
According to another
Deputy J. Hacey, “I saw a dart hit
her in the upper right rear
arm/shoulder. (The other dart
hit her buttock area.) She turned
around and gave us the look of
the Exorcist like you (expletives)
I am going to kill you. Before I
knew it, she was gone. She had
the knife (13-inch, five-inch
Page 4
Filipina in California convicted of mail
fraud, immigration scam
SAN JOSE, California -- A 66year-old Filipina “immigration
consultant” was convicted of
mail fraud and running a
multimillion-dollar scheme that
victimized Filipinos who hoped
to get permanent residency but
really had no chance of getting it.
The guilty verdict followed
a 13-day jury trial before US
District Court Judge Ronald M.
Evidence at trial showed
that Sineneng-Smith operated an
i m m i g ra t i o n c o n s u l t a t i o n
business in San Jose, California,
from 1990 to 2008. She advised
foreign nationals, mainly Filipino
citizens who came to the United
States on visitors' visas, to apply
for a labor certification from the
United States Department of
A federal jury on Tuesday,
July 30, convicted Evelyn
Sineneng-Smith of three counts
“ T h e p rev i o u s
of encouraging or inducing illegal
administration tolerated that
immigration for private financial
one's residence could be a
gain and three counts of mail,
announced United States
Page 2
Attorney Melinda Haag.
Page 2 Evelyn Sineneng-Smith photo
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 2
Filipina recalls 'sexual harassment' ordeal in Saudi Arabia
By Maila Ager
MANILA -- An overseas
Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia
appeared in a Senate hearing
T h u r s d a y, A u g u s t 8 , a n d
recounted how she was allegedly
sexually harassed by a Philippine
labor official's driver in the oilrich kingdom.
Testifying at the joint
hearing of the Senate blue ribbon
and labor committees, the 28year-old Filipina accused a
certain Jojo, who was employed
at the Philippine Labor Overseas
Office (POLO) in Saudi Arabia as
a driver of Philippine labor
attaché Adam Musa.
She said she sought refuge
in the Philippine labor office after
her employer attempted to rape
her sometime in March 2012.
The Filipina said she went
to POLO's Bahay Kalinga, a center
for distressed overseas Filipino
workers where she was offered to
work as a janitress. There, she
met Musa's driver.
At first, she said the driver
seemed like a brother to the
distressed compatriots. “I
thought he was a brother to us,”
she said.
But she said Jojo would later
act strangely.
“Papasok siya (Jojo) sa
kwarto naming mga takas, hindi
man lang kumakatok. Tapos
tinataon pa niya na pag
nagpapalit kami ng damit.
Pumapasok po siya doon ng
madaling araw at bigla kaming
dinadaganan doon sa aming
higaan (He would enter our room
without knocking. He would
always do that wherever we were
changing clothes. He would even
go there before dawn and would
go suddenly on top of us),” she
“Then he would smile. It's
not a joke because it's lustful,” she
But the attempted rape, she
said, happened on August 21,
2012 while she and Jojo were left
at the office .
She said Jojo suddenly
grabbed her and tried to harass
her for about 20 minutes even
after she screamed for help.
Assistant labor attache Antonio “Tony” Villafuerte shows up at the Senate investigation on Thursday into the “sex-for-flight” scheme in
the Middle East.
Her assailant, she said, only
stopped when they heard the
nearby elevator opened.
Jojo would be given a disciplinary
more than P100,000 supposedly
came from Musa's pockets.
She said Musa also
supposedly promised to give her
the three-month pay of the driver
and an authorization that would
allow her to work outside.
Musa, who was present at
the hearing, vehemently denied
After the incident, she said
she escaped from their office and
got help to work as a beautician in
another area.
She said she later received a
call from Musa's employee, who
conveyed the attaché's advise to
keep hiding with a promise that
She said she was also told
that the money amounting to
10,000 riyal or equivalent to
Filipina in
California ...
of estero ...
From page 1
From page 1
Labor as path towards
obtaining lawful permanent
floodway. In the address itself,
it's already obvious they are
i l l e g a l s e t t l e r s ,” I n t e r i o r
Secretary Mar Roxas said in a
d i n n e r w i t h t h e I n q u i re r
re p o r te r s a n d e d i to r s o n
She charged her victims
$5,900 to file such
applications all the while
knowing that the law had
changed, and that her clients
did not qualify under existing
immigration regulations to
obtain lawful permanent
He was joined by Social
Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman
and National Housing Authority
chief Chito Cruz.
Roxas is spearheading the
interagency collaboration among
the Department of the Interior
and Local Government (DILG),
Department of Social Welfare
and Development (DSWD),
Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH) and the
Metropolitan Manila
Development Authority (MMDA)
to lead the clearing of waterways
in the metropolis on orders of
President Aquino.
The agencies begin the
relocation of informal settlers
along the San Juan and Tullahan
rivers, which the government
considers priority areas. The San
Juan River is a major tributary of
the Pasig River.
After the 606 families from
San Juan are relocated, 871 more
at the Quezon City-side of the San
Juan River will immediately
8 critical areas
San Juan and Tullahan are
among the eight critical areas
Musa said he immediately
conducted an internal
investigation after the incident
was reported to him but he could
no longer contact the Filipina.
Government agencies will be relocating informal settlers living along eight clogged waterways in
Metro Manila starting August 5. First to go are those living along the river in Barangay Salapan in
San Juan City who will be moved to their new homes in Bulacan. ARNOLD ALMACEN
identified by the DPWH that need
to be “widened, deepened” and
surrounded by a retaining wall,
Roxas said.
Roxas said more than
104,000 families were occupying
areas identified by the
government as danger zones,
such as railroad tracks, dumps,
canals, rivers and creeks. Of
these, some 60,000 families are
occupying the eight waterways.
Roxas likened the eight
waterways, which include the
Pasig River, Maricaban Creek,
Manggahan Floodway, Estero
Tripa de Gallina, Estero de
Maypajo and Estero de Sunog
Apog, to veins in one's heart that,
if not unclogged, could trigger a
heart attack.
Rainwater from Sierra
Madre normally goes into these
waterways and flows into Laguna
de Bay and Manila Bay but often
floods communities along the
waterways if the exit points are
According to the
testimony of several victims,
Sineneng-Smith failed to
inform them that they were
ineligible to obtain
permanent residence. In
addition, Sineneng-Smith
e n c o u ra g e d v i c t i m s to
overstay the time allowed
under their tourist visas and
work illegally in residential
healthcare facilities.
A s t o h i s d r ive r a n d
employee, Musa said, “He was
fired already.”
H e l a te r c l a r i f i e d h i s
statements when asked again by
Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada
and said that his driver had
actually resigned after the victim
came out in the media.
Charge of Homeland Security
Investigations, San Jose. “We
will continue to work with our
counterparts to investigate
those who manipulate and
exploit that system for their
own personal financial gain.”
S i n e n e n g - S m i t h wa s
indicted by a federal grand jury
on July 14, 2010. She was
charged with three counts of
encouraging and inducing
illegal immigration for private
financial gain and three counts
of mail fraud.
She will be sentenced on
November 4, after the court
considers post-trial motions.
The maximum penalty for each
count of encouraging and
inducing illegal immigration
for private financial gain is 10
years imprisonment and a fine
of $250,000. She also faces 20
years for each count of mail
fraud and a fine of $250,000,
plus restitution.
Assistant US Attorneys
Knight and Philip
“The flood management
prosecuted the case
master plan (of the DPWH) will
with the assistance of Tracey
not work if informal settler
Evidence at trial
Andersen and Nina Burney,
families will not be removed
showed that Sineneng-Smith
from the waterways,” Roxas said.
after a three-year investigation
deposited over $3.3 million
by the Department of
20,000 families in a year
dollars in payments from
H o m e l a n d S e c u r i t y,
The plan is to move 20,000
clients from August 2004
Immigration and Customs
families in 12 months from the 3through
United States
meter easement abutting the
waterways. By the end of
“Those who corrupt the
Aquino's term in 2016, all those
integrity of our nation's legal
choking the waterways will be
immigration system must
gone, he said.
Revenue Service Criminal
understand there are serious
and the United
“The point is, we know that
consequences for those
States Postal Inspection
actions,” said Joseph Vincent,
Service. (
Page 13
Assistant Special Agent in
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 3
Bombers to face 'full might of state'
By Delon Porcalla
DAVAO CITY -- Bomb attacks will
not derail the government's peace
initiative with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF), President
Aquino said here yesterday.
“Make no mistake about it: this is
a desperate act by a small sector
dead set against the attainment of
peace in Mindanao. You will not get
in the way of the peace and stability
that will help fulfill the potential of
Mindanao,” the President told a
business forum here.
Aquino, addressing the 22nd
Mindanao Business Conference,
warned the group that they “will feel
the full brunt, depth, and might of the
state's response.”
In a chance interview following
his speech, Aquino hinted that three
groups, which he refused to identify,
are out to derail or sabotage the
ongoing peace process.
“I have to be a little bit careful.
But basically, there are threat groups
that seemed to have banded together
for a common cause, primarily
because to a large degree, their
capacities have been weakened,”
Aquino told reporters.
“We are eyeing these three
groups, whose strength before were
kind of loose, but now they have
apparently joined forces in a serious
effort because they are so desperate
to block our peace agreement with
the Muslims who want peace in
Mindanao,” he added.
He said these groups are
showing “signs of desperation” in
their effort to derail the peace
agreement with the MILF.
“There are threat groups which
are combining because to a large
degree their capacities have become
smaller, we are looking at three
groups which are loosely allied, but
as of now they have become closer
together and are desperate to stop
our peace process here in Mindanao,”
Aquino said.
During the press briefing, the
President identified the Abu Sayyaf
as one of the groups disrupting peace
and order in Mindanao.
He said government forces
continue to conduct operations
against the bandit group.
Aquino said authorities now
believe the spate of bombing attacks
in Mindanao were linked to security
operations against the Abu Sayyaf
and the Bangsamoro Islamic
Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
“There is a theory that all of these
bombings are related to that, to
lessen the pressure of ongoing
follow-up operations against these
BIFF elements,” he told reporters on
the sidelines of the business
Aquino did not say outright if the
Abu Sayyaf and BIFF are directly
behind the recent bombings but said
security services are looking into
growing links among three “threat
groups” that he did not identify.
“Previously they were in some
sort of a loose alliance, but now they
are working together in a desperate
bid to halt the peace process in
Mindanao,” Aquino said.
A senior security official
revealed they are closely monitoring
the reported merger of the BIFF and
the Moro National Liberation Front
(MNLF), another group also opposed
to the peace talks with the rival MILF.
“ We a re h e i g h t e n i n g o u r
monitoring on the reported merger
because of strong indicators that
these bombings in Mindanao were
masterminded by the so-called
spoilers of the peace talks,” the
security official said.
The MNLF claimed they were
being left out by the government in
talking peace with the MILF.
The group, which had signed a
peace agreement with the
government in 1996, had threatened
to declare independence.
The security official revealed
MNLF founder Nur Misuari and BIFF
leader Ameril Umbra Kato have been
monitored to be talking for a possible
tie-up of their fighters to oppose the
ongoing peace talks with the MILF.
“The perpetrators of the Cagayan
de Oro City bombing two weeks ago
have direct links with the BIFF and
the Abu Sayyaf. They were trained on
bomb-making in Marawi City last
year and were deployed for a test
mission,” the official said.
“All these bombings tend to point
to the spoilers of the peace talks, that
is why several intelligence teams
have been deployed to specifically
monitor the activities of the MNLF,”
he added.
Sources also revealed a new alQaeda-linked Islamist militant group
c a l l e d t h e K h a l i fa I s l a m iya h
Mindanao-Black Flag Movement was
the primary suspect in the bomb
The group was led by an Afghantrained Islamic cleric, Humam Abdul
Najid, and had links with an
Indonesian Islamist group, police
intelligence sources said.
The Khalifa Islamiyah recruited
members of the Abu Sayyaf, the BIFF
and al-Khobar, a group engaged in
kidnapping and extortion, said the
security sources who declined to be
'Set of suspects'
Aquino revealed “a common set
of suspects” with some of them
believed to have been involved in the
recent bombing attacks in Cagayan
de Oro and Cotabato City.
“But I am not at liberty to tell you
all of the details of the ongoing
operations to neutralize or capture
all of these people wanted by the
government,” Aquino said later at an
informal news briefing.
He said the recent bombing
attacks that hit the cities of Cagayan
de Oro, Cotabato City and Midsayap,
North Cotabato and other areas in
Central Mindanao affected not only
the immediate areas, but also the rest
of the country.
As he expressed sympathy for
the families of the victims of the
blasts, Aquino warned the
perpetrators that the arm of the law
will eventually catch up with them.
(The Philippine Star)
Regalado, John Unson, Jaime Laude,
Cecille Suerte Felipe
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 4
What's in the Prague trip
By Charlie V. Manalo
Presidential sister
Ballsy Aquino-Cruz finally
broke her silence and
admitted she and her
husband had been to Prague,
albeit, she denies they were
involved in the negotiations
between the representatives
of the Philippine government
and Inekon, the Czech firm
bidding for the Metro Rail
Transit 3 (MRT 3) expansion
According to Ballsy, they
just went there to pray before
the image of Sto. Niño de
Prague and fortunately for
her, she said she got her wish.
Nothing wrong with that.
Ballsy claimed she was
cleared of any involvement in
the botched Inekon by no less
than Czech Ambassador Josef
Rychtar. Unfortunately for
her, Rychtar's statement has
been cast by the Palace itself
as doubtful after documents
recently obtained by The
Tr i b u n e d e b u n k e d t h e
Ambassador's claim Inekon
was blacklisted in the MRT 3
bidding after the firm refused
to give in to extortion
attempts by some
D e p a r t m e n t
o f
Transportation and
Communications (DoTC)
According to the
documents obtained by The
Tribune, the name of Bally's
cousin, Jorge AquinoLichauco's name was
dropped by Inekon
representative to the
Philippines, Yorgos Psinakis
when he wrote to DoTC
Undersecretary Rene
Limcaoco in trying to sell his
f i r m' s p ro d u c t s t o t h e
Early this year, AquinoLichauco submitted his own
version of the terms of
reference to be used for the
MRT 3 bidding which was
then forwarded by Limcaoco
to MRT 3 general manager Al
Had Vitangcol decided
to use Lichauco's ToR and not
reduced the bid price from $3
million to $1.8 million per
train coach, Inekon surely
would have cornered the
Thus, according to the
source, Inekon, contrary to
the claim of Rychtar, was not
blacklisted but simply backed
out from the bidding knowing
fully well they stand no
chance of winning.
So, sorry Ms. Ballys, but
you simply cannot rely on
Ryc h t a r ' s s t a te m e n t to
defend yourself from this
Maybe you could again
try the supposedly timetested blame game of your
only brother, Noynoy, to try to
divert the attention from you.
But again, maybe
Noynoy's blame game has
already lost its appeal,
moreso after being subjected
to criticisms from various
sectors for refusing to
personally take the blame for
the worsening corruption
happening under his very
nose. Noynoy's accusing
finger apparently has lost its
In fact, my friend Rolly
says Noynoy might have even
lost his other fingers as he
now only has one finger left,
his index finger.
This finger, Rolly says,
points to everyone but to
Noynoy himself. He's clueless
as always on what command
responsibility means.
My friend says Noynoy
uses his index finger only on
two things: one, to squeeze
the trigger in his target
Photo of Taser gun
Taser did not
work ...
From page 1
Scott, who was gunned down at
about 3 p.m. on May 29, 2013 inside
the discount Costco store chain in
Sterling, Virginia.
If the knife and the scissors
were out of her hands, Deputy
Safford would not have been hurt
either as there was no more reason
to shoot Ms. Scott.
Ms. Scott, who was food
demonstrator of CDS, a company
that contracts with Costco to handle
food demonstration, was reported
to be having “some kind of psychotic
episode and was making random
statements that were not making
sense” earlier that day.
handle, eight-inch blade) in her
hand and (a pair of scissors on the
other) took off in the direction of
Deputies A. Raughley and K. Foster,”
who was moving away and shot Ms.
Scott point blank five times, four
them found their mark with an HK
P30 .40 caliber pistol. She died on
the scene. The fifth shot hit another
deputy, Safford, who was struck in
the left calf.
Ms. Scott, a 38-year-old Ms. Scott complaining about the
divorcee mother of two, took a few size of the pizza
P.D., a CDS supervisor, said Ms.
steps and falling down the floor, 19
was complaining about the
feet from the east end of the aisle,
still clutching the knife and the pizza serving size as being too small.
As food demonstrator, Ms. Scott was
one who waits the pizza on
L o u d u o n C o u n t y
customer as a product food
Commonwealth's Attorney James E.
Plowman is awaiting the result of
R.H., 50-year-old female front
the analysis of the Taser if it
Page 5
malfunctioned as well as the end manager of Costco, observed
autopsy report. Mr. Plowman Ms. Scott holding a large knife used
declassified a 37-page investigation to carve a roast beef that is also
report last July 29 surrounding the being made available as food sample
death of Ms. Scott, which was in another corner of Costco. Ms.
Scott was also holding another pair
described as “justifiable homicide.”
scissor on the other hand.
If the Taser did malfunction, it
D. M., 44, male trainer of Ms.
would explain why Ms. Scott
appeared invincible. If it did not Scott, heard her complain of a pizza
malfunction, perhaps, Ms. Scott cart oven not working correctly.
would have been still alive today as When D. M. checked the oven, he
there would be no more need to found nothing wrong. He saw “fire in
her eyes. Anger like I've never seen
shoot her with the pistol.
Although Taser is considered before, she had a strange look on her
by the United Nations Committee face, it was scary.”
Ms. Scott told M.A., her male
Against Torture as an instrument of
“I will protect my
torture for provoking “extreme
pain” as electric current radiates people. I will fight for my daughters.
thru the body of someone hit by it S h e a c c u s e d t h e m o f b e i n g
and despite numerous accidental controlled by her ex-husband,
deaths, it is still the preferred non- saying, 'you always outsmart me.
lethal tool used by Sheriff's deputies Not this time. I am not afraid of you.'”
and other policemen among The previous month, Ms. Scott told
responders, instead of a baton or M.A., “it's all a conspiracy with the
number two.”
P.D. and L.Q., another manager,
A baton or truncheon would
have been a less lethal but effective heard from Ms. Scott complaining,
instrument in striking the knife and
Page 6
scissors out of the hands of Ms.
sanctions ...
From page 1
and imposed a series of sanctions,
including a ban on hiring new
Filipino workers, an advisory urging
Ta i w a n e s e n o t t o v i s i t t h e
Philippines and the suspension of
trade and academic exchanges.
But diplomatic tensions eased
after Philippine authorities said
Wednesday they had recommended
homicide charges against eight
Filipino coast guards for Hung's
Perez had previously visited
Taiwan in May as a “personal
representative” of President Aquino,
but his apology was rejected by the
Taipei government because he had
described Hung's death as
The killing caused outrage and
protests in Taiwan, with President
Ma Ying-jeou describing it as “coldb l o o d e d m u r d e r ” a s Ta i p e i
responded with the sanctions and
with navy drills. (
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 5
What’s in
the Prague
Okada seeks criminal raps vs violators
of PH anti-dummy law in Manila project
From page 4
shooting practice at the firing
range; and second, to pin
blame of his failures to others.
Using his three years in
office pointing to his
predecessor for his
government's ills, Noynoy
now finds his index finger
getting shorter and now has
started pointing it at the
people whom he himself
appointed to their current
At the end of his term in
2016, my friend says
Noynoy's index finger will be
totally gone and so used up
that he'll end up sucking his
thumb to fill that gaping
mouth and complete that
“innocent look.”
Finally, a finger pointing
at himself.
So, maybe Ballsy could
ask her sister Kris to come to
her rescue. But then again,
Kris might have also lost her
c h a r i s m a a s h e r l a te s t
attempt to again exploit the
James Yap saga did not do
well in the box office.
Maybe it would have
Ballsy and Eldon Cruz
been different if Kris had
been infected again. That I
think, would do very well as a
diversionary tactic.
Otherwise, Ms. Ballsy
has to face the issue straight
up, as the burning questions
still remain.
Why did she time her
trip to Prague when the
Philippine delegation was
also scheduled to make a trip
there to meet with the
executives of Inekon? Did she
by chance, happen to meet
the Inekon executives during
one of her side trips there?
And did she travel to Prague
along with her first cousin,
Jorge, who was intensely
lobbying for the Czech firm?
And where was Pete Prado in
all these? Does hubby Eldon
work in the same Prado
Until then, she could not
extricate herself from the
issue. (The Daily Tribune )
MANILA -- The group of
Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada has
announced that it was pursuing
criminal charges against those
allegedly involved in the “illegal
flow of funds totalling $40 million”
that was supposedly used as
payment to Philippine authorities
to circumvent the country's antidummy law, according to a
statement by his company seeking
to build a casino in Manila Bay.
To enforce the filing of the
charges, Okada's Universal
Entertainment Inc. created a
committee that investigated the
illegal transaction, which
“inflicted damage on the
company”., and discovered that
the illegal payments were made by
“some managers who had ignored
the company's existing rules and
regulations” with regards to such
But despite controversy,
Okada affirmed commitment to a
$2-billion entertainment hub
being developed in the
Philippines, adding that it's
finalizing negotiations with a
prospective local partner
alongside efforts to deal with local
land ownership restrictions.
The Department of Justice
(DOJ) had recommended the filing
of charges against 26 people and
corporations, including Okada
himself, for alleged violation of the
country's anti-dummy laws.
The DOJ cited restrictions
under the fundamental law of the
land, the 1987 Constitution, which
re q u i re d 6 0 p e rc e n t l o c a l
ownership of land. Foreign
investment regulations likewise
cap foreign equity in the gaming
business at 40 percent, the DOJ
In its statement, Universal
Entertainment said it had been
“cooperatively” working with the
Philippine government's Officer of
the General Counsel (OGCC) since
2012 and was advised it would
have “until the completion of the
development to resolve the land
issue.” “Hence, based on this
recommendation we have since
sought ways to find an amicable
resolution to the problem.
Currently, we are already in the
final stages of negotiations to
secure potential local partners
and finding a conclusion to the
ownership of land,” the Japanese
group said.
Okada earlier lost the group
of taipan John Gokongwei as an
ally in his upcoming Philippine
ga min g hub b ut t here a re
“ongoing” discussions with
property tycoon Andrew Tan's
Empire East Land Holdings Inc.
Recently asked whether talks have
ex p a n d e d to i n c l u d e E L I ' s
potential ownership of land where
the casino and other components
of the project would rise, ELI
president Chalemagne Yu had
said: “Talks are very preliminary.
(They are) really expressions of
interest for a joint undertaking in
the residential development.
Universal Entertainment,
which would operate the project
through wholly owned Tiger
Resorts, Leisure and
Entertainment Inc., said it couldn't
help but “speculate and express
concern if there is any direct
influence from our civil litigation
against Wynn Resorts or the U.S.
Federal Bureaus investigation.”
Okada has been accused of
making improper payments to
Philippine regulators to secure a
gaming license. (
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 6
Foreign chambers weigh in ahead of NCR wage hearing
The umbrella group of
foreign firms operating in the
country has warned anew that
raising the daily minimum wage
of private sector workers now will
benefit only a few of them and
could force small businesses -which comprise bulk of the
business sector -- to retrench or
close shop altogether.
On the whole, a wage hike
right now is expected to benefit
only a few workers and stoke
inflation that will adversely affect
much of the country's work force. - Jonathan L. Cellona
In an Aug. 1 letter to Alex V.
Avila, chairman of the National
Capital Region (NCR) Regional
Tripartite Wages and
Productivity Board, that was emailed to media yesterday, the
Joint Foreign Chambers of the
Philippines (JFC) reiterated
support for the two-tiered wage
system the government rolled
out last year that consists of a
hike in minimum wage for those
earning below the prescribed
floor level and productivity pay
for those getting amounts above
“We, the Joint Foreign
Chambers of the Philippines,
support fair and competitive
wages for the Filipino work
force,” read the letter, which was
signed by the leaders of seven
business groups.
“Wages must be fair in the
sense that workers in both the
formal and informal sector must
be rewarded with just wages for
their value contribution to the
economy,” JFC said.
“ Wa g e s m u s t r e m a i n
competitive in the sense that
wage levels must not result in job
loss, as investors avoid the
Philippines in favor of other
countries with lower labor costs
and local markets sell more
imported than locally made
The group said its member
companies “generally pay above
the minimum wage level for new
hires,” who tend to be college
graduates with skills that enable
them to perform higher-quality
jobs “particularly in information
and communication technologyenabled services and
manufacturing sectors of the
Noting petitions for P83and P85-a-day increase in NCR
daily minimum wage filed by two
factions of the Trade Union
Congress of the Philippines,
which will be the subject of a
public hearing tomorrow, JFC
warned: “We believe such
measures will have unintended
adverse consequences that, in
the long run, can adversely affect
the very sector they wish to
NCR's current minimum
wage, which took effect on June 3
last year, is P456 for nonagriculture workers and P419 for
all others, inclusive of a P30 cost
of living allowance (CoLA).
Specifically, JFC warned
that “a wage increase at this
time”: could force businesses -especially micro, small and
medium enterprises (MSMEs)
which make up 99.6% of
registered businesses in the
country -- to pass on the cost to
consumers, which the group said
“will fuel inflation,” and even lay
off workers as these ventures
“streamline operations in order
to survive...”; will “imperil
increased interest in the country
as an investment destination,”
noting that Metro Manila's
$10.74-per-day minimum wage
compares with Myanmar's $0.52,
Cambodia's $2.03, Vietnam's
$3.15, Indonesia's $7.46, as well
as Thailand's and Malaysia's
$9.75; will benefit just 5.8% of
the country's total work force,
while its inflationary impact will
adversely affect 94% of workers;
and is not warranted by the
extent of erosion of the peso's
value, since the latest daily
minimum wage increase -including CoLA -- totaling P52
has been “more than enough to
cover inflation for the last two
years from May 2011 to May
2 0 1 3 ” ; m o re ove r, ave ra g e
inflation rate this year which
could fall below the lower 3%
end of the central bank's target
range “does not warrant any
additional adjustment in the
minimum wage and CoLA at this
“The real problem in the
labor sector is unemployment
and underemployment -- a total
of over three million unemployed
and some 12 million
underemployed,” JFC noted in its
“The key to improving the
plight of our workers is to
increase their employability and
competitiveness,” it added.
“We believe that, ultimately,
compensation should be tied to
productivity, as determined by
enterprise-level conditions.
Wages should not be political in
nature, legislated and without
regard for the nuances of the
i n d u s t r i e s a n d i n d iv i d u a l
enterprises...” the group said.
“Due to the foregoing
reasons, JFC is not in favor of any
Taser did not
work ...
From page 4
“How's this world doing outside?"
“Why does the carpet smell this
way” and “What's going to happen
to my daughters?”
At this point, Ms. Scott was told
by one of two managers to close her
cart and take the rest of the day off
“but she needed to put the knife
down first.” When she refused, the
managers called 9-1-1 and the
Sheriff's Deputies arrived.
The Deputies told her several
times to drop the knife and the
scissors, which she refused,
prompting them to fire the Taser
and later the pistol at her.
Although, he was not retained
by the heirs or estate of Ms. Scott as
a lawyer, Filipino American human
rights and executive director of
Migrant Heritage Commission
based in Fairfax, Virginia, Arnedo
Valera, said, “I am strongly
suggesting whoever their civil
lawyer is, to file a wrongful death
suit. MHC 's main interest, like other
Fil Am groups, is to bring this unfair
decisions for review by the Virginia
Attorney General and even to the
Virginia Governor's office for
independent probe and
Satanic texts
On Feb. 28, 2012, New Albany,
Ohio Police were called by Mr. Scott
to their home, regarding the text
messages he received from Ms.
adjustment in the current level of
the minimum wage in the
National Capital Region.”
The letter was signed by
leaders of the American Chamber
of Commerce of the Philippines,
Inc.; Australian-New Zealand
Chamber of Commerce of the
Philippines, Inc.; Canadian
Chamber of Commerce of the
Philippines, Inc.; European
Chamber of Commerce of the
Philippines, Inc.; Japanese
C h a m b e r o f C o m m e rc e &
Industry of the Philippines, Inc.;
Korean Chamber of Commerce of
the Philippines, Inc.; and the
Philippine Association of
Multinational Companies
Regional Headquarters, Inc.
Besides NCR, which
provides the benchmark for
adjustments nationwide, three
other regions have pending
petitions for increases in daily
minimum wage, namely:
Calabarzon (P79.50), Davao
(P80) and Western Visayas
(P113.57 for commercial and
industrial workers as well as
P96.35 and P100.45 for two
classes of plantation workers).
NCR wage board officials
were not immediately available
for comment on foreign business
groups' concerns. (Business
World Online)
“Satan is the most powerful
and he will win over god
“There is no other god than
“Do not stop the war”
“Satan, Satan, do not stop
“I command you Satan do the
violence now
“Don't save the children.”
Responding officers found
their two children, 10 and 7, upset
and scared in their home's upstairs
closet, as Ms. Scott was found
irrational and frantic. She was later
transported to Ohio State University
Hospital for mental evaluation as
she was “disorganized, agitated and
When she said someone was
trying to steal her identity, she was
described as having “new onset
psychosis.” She was prescribed antipsychotic Haloperidol.
The whole episode was
described as “psychotic break” and
Ms. Scott lost custody of her
children. She could only have
“unsupervised visit with her
children until approved by her
counselor and psychiatrist.”
She relocated to Northern
Virginia last July 10, 2012 and was
diagnosed with a Generalized
A n x i e t y D i s o rd e r a n d B r i e f
Psychotic Disorder. Her last doctor's
appointment was March 9, 2013
and she was reported not taking her
medications the past months.
She was advised to restart her
medications. The next scheduled
appointment would have been June
6, 2013. ([email protected])
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 7
ECOP & Joint Foreign Chambers Position
on Wage Increase is Heartless - TUCP
The Associated Labor
Unions-Trade Union Congress
of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP),
the largest labor federation in
the country, assailed the call of
Employers' Confederation of
the Philippines (ECOP)
president Edgardo Lacson and
the Joint Foreign Chambers of
the Philippines (JFC) to dismiss
outright the 85-peso wage
increase petition for minimum
wage earners in Metro Manila.
“The statement of the
ECOP and the JFC calling for the
wage board to dismiss outright
the 85-peso wage increase
petition of the TUCP by utterly
ignoring the realities
surrounding it is heartless and
despicable,” Gerard R. Seno,
executive vice president of ALUTUCP.
JFC's and ECOP's position
was made after TUCP cited as
basis for the increase the series
of cost and price increases in
electricity rate, liquified
petroleum gas, tuition fees,
commercial rice and gasoline as
well as the impending increase
in MRT and LRT minimum fare,
water, and the SSS premium
“This grinchy response to
dismiss the petition outright
tends to show the top
leadership of ECOP and JFC is
losing touch with the reality and
continues to grow impervious
to the brimming inequality in
the Philippines by utterly
disregarding the economic
difficulties being experienced
by thousands of Filipino
minimum wage earners in
Metro Manila whose minimum
wage of 456 pesos per day have
suffered an adverse 20.45%
erosion, as of April 2013, as
records of the Philippine
government's National Wages
and Productivity Commission
(NWPC) show,” Seno stressed.
The current real take
home pay of minimum wage
earner in metropolis is P306
(P456 minus inflation and
mandatory deductions)way
below the P1,200 living wage
amount needed by a family of
five to survive in the highly
urbanized National Capital
Rejecting the petition
outright, Seno said, proved JFC
and ECOP are grossly being
unjust to Filipino workers who
largely contributed to the
country's so-called spectacular
economic growththe highest in
Southeast Asia and among the
highest in Asia which the
employers group like ECOP and
JFC themselves have been
bragging about. This is also an
acrimonious stance that does
not contribute to sway a healthy
and progressive social dialogue
between trade unions,
government and other
employers group in addressing
Filipino workers' right to a just
living wage.
ECOP's and JFC's threat
that many SME will close shop
which will result to layoffs
because of increase in wages is
untrue. This is not and this will
not happen in the Philippines
because those who cannot
afford the minimum wage rate
can be exempted by law from
applying the rate.
He pointed out that some
companies relocate to other
countries because of high cost
of electricity which is the
highest in Asia and one of the
highest in the world. They also
chose to invest in other
countries outside the
Philippines because of red tape,
endemic corruption and the
lack of adequate facilities and
infrastructure and not
necessarily because of high
wage rate.
It is also unfair to compare
the wage rate in the Philippines
with those in neighboring
countries in Southeast Asia due
to a mere fact that workers in
each countries operate in
varying political and economic
circumstances and procedures.
While the TUCP led by our
president Democrito Mendoza
shares with ECOP and JFC their
advocacy in smuggling, in
minimizing red tape and in
bringing down the cost of
electricity rate, this hard line
position towards the TUCP
wage petition shows their
mutual aspiration to further
widen the gap between the rich
and the poor in this country. It
also shows that there is still an
element of greed among their
ranks to permanently deprive
the millions of Filipino workers
of opportunities to improve
their economic situation, Seno
“We call on the members
of the wage board, the
government and workers'
representatives in particular, to
dismiss the call. The board must
objectively focus on how it can
help restore Filipino workers'
lost purchasing power. We call
on them to complete the
p ro c e s s o f d i a l o g u e a n d
consultation with all
stakeholders towards a fair and
just amount with the ultimate
goal of improving the lives of the
Filipino working class”, he
The TUCP re-filed its
petition for P85 wage increase
on June 5 after the board
rejected its first petition made
on April 3 for having been filed
before the one year prescribed
period ends. The wage board
has conducted two of its three
public consultations on the
petition. The discussions has
boiled down to how much
would be the amount of
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 8
Recent acquisitions bring the number of works in the collection to more than 500
Hudson County Community College Foundation Art Collection Marks Major Milestone
Elizabeth Catlett, “Gossip” (2005)
Faith Ringgold, “Coming to Jones Road,
Under a Blood Red Sky #8” (2007)
Frank Gehry, “Wiggle Side Chair” (2006)
Willie Cole, “Man, Spirit, Mask” (1999)
Hudson County Community
College Receives Gift from
Christ Hospital Foundation
$107,978 donation to be utilized for scholarships in medical profession programs
JERSEY CITY, N.J. / August
7, 2013 – Hudson County
Community College Vice
President for Development
Joseph Sansone announced that
the College's Foundation has
received a donation from the
Christ Hospital Foundation in
the amount of $107,978.00.
Mr. Sansone said that the
donation is a result of the Christ
Hospital Foundation being
dissolved, with pro rata shares
of that organization's funds
being provided to eleven
recipients. Hudson County
Community College will utilize
the gift for scholarships in its
Licensed Practical Nursing,
Medical Assistant, Respiratory
Therapy and Paramedic Science
“Hudson County
Community College has enjoyed
a long and very productive
cooperative relationship with
Christ Hospital and its School of
Nursing,” Mr. Sansone said. “We
are very grateful for this gift. It
will not only benefit our
students, but also our
community when the students
have graduated and are working
in these professions.”
JERSEY CITY, N.J. / August 7,
2013 -- Although it was founded
just seven years ago, the Hudson
County Community College
(HCCC) Foundation Art Collection
now includes more than 500
works of art. The Collection
i n c l u d e s h i g h ly r e s p e c t e d
paintings, sculptures,
photographs, limited edition
prints and American craft pottery
and ephemera from some of
America's and New Jersey's finest
The works, which have been
acquired as a result of the
generosity of many donors and
the astute direction of the HCCC
Foundation Fine Arts Acquisition
Committee, are permanently
installed throughout the public
areas of the College's buildings in
Jersey City and Union City.
“The intention has always
been to provide our students and
our neighbors in the Hudson
County community with
opportunities to have their lives
enriched by beautiful artwork,
and to provide a point of reference
and inspiration for everyone, but
most especially for our Fine Arts
students,” said HCCC President Dr.
Glen Gabert.
The Hudson County
Community College Foundation
Art Collection was established in
2006 to coincide with the
initiation of the College's Fine Arts
studies program. Since its
inception, several pieces have
b e e n d i r e c t ly d o n a t e d b y
individuals, estates, corporations
and other organizations.
Monetary donations for art
purchases are maximized by
matching funds, and donations
are given not only for acquiring
works of art, but also for special
events, and items in kind, such as
art books for the College Library.
T h ro u g h o u t t h e H C C C
Journal Square campus and North
Hudson Higher Education Center,
there are works by American
artists and a strong, growing
collection of emerging and
established New Jersey artists
including Arman, Richard
Artschwager, Jo Baer, Will Barnet,
Ricardo Barros, Mark Beard,
David Beck, Siona Benjamin,
Chakaia Booker, W. Carl Burger,
John Cage, Elizabeth Catlett,
Christo, Chuck Close, Willie Cole,
Edward S. Curtis, Marcel
Duchamp, Louis Eilshemius,
Dahlia Elsayed, Larry Fink, Frank
Gehry, April Gornik, Owen
Kanzler, On Kawara, Rockwell
Kent, Adolph Konrad, Joseph
Kosuth, Hiroshi Kumagai, Valeri
Larko, Hughie Lee-Smith, Barry
Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Maya Lin, Robert
Mangold, Sylvia Plimack Mangold,
Reginald Marsh, Agnes Martin,
Bruce Nauman, Don Nice, Claes
Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Gordon
Parks, Jon Rappleye, Man Ray,
Faith Ringgold, Ed Ruscha,
Carolee Schneeman, Ben Shahn,
Kiki Smith, Joan Snyder, Doug +
Mike Starn, Myron Stout ,
Michalene Thomas, William
Wegman, and Lawrence Weiner.
In addition to the already
famous artists, the College adds
two works each year to the
permanent collection that have
been produced by HCCC students
as part of its Heritage Collection,
celebrating emerging talent in the
D r. A n d r e a S i e g e l ,
Coordinator of the College's
Permanent Collection of Art, said
that the collection is remarkable
on several levels. “I don't know of
any other county or community
college that is doing what we're
doing, which is turning all the
public areas of the College into an
educational art museum,” she
stated. She also noted that there
has been a generous amount of
community input from students,
faculty, staff and community
members regarding suggestions
for acquisitions and placement,
and that the College's facilities
department has been
extraordinary in installing work.
In conjunction with the
Collection, the College publishes a
page in its monthly newsletter,
Page 9
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 9
Mayor Fulop to Swear
in 21 New Firefighters
Class of Fire Recruits Hired through Federal Grant Funding
JERSEY CITY -- Mayor Steven
M. Fulop and Jersey City Fire
Department officials will swear in
21 new firefighters at an 11 a.m.
ceremony on Friday, August 9,
2013, at City Hall, 280 Grove
“Public safety is issue
number one for our
administration, and utilizing
federal grants to increase the size
of our fire service is priority,” said
Mayor Fulop. “Just last week, I had
the opportunity to train with this
class of firefighters and have a new
understanding and respect for the
conditions under which they
work. We are grateful for their
service to the residents of Jersey
With the incoming class, the
JCFD will now have 562 uniformed
firefighters and supervisors.
The 21 probationary
firefighters, which includes two
women, began fire academy
training on June 3rd and were
Hudson County
Community ...
From page 8
“ H C C C H a p p e n i n g s ,” t h a t
provides information on new
acquisitions and correlates the
works in HCCC Foundation Art
Collection with exhibits and
articles on artists whose works
are included in the Collection..
The College also hosts a series of
“Foundation Art Talk” sessions
throughout the year which
feature noted artists. The first
session of the 2013-2014 series
is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18,
2013 at 11 a.m. with Kimberly
Camp, a Camden, New Jersey
native and former Director of the
legendary Barnes Collection. Her
paintings and dolls have been
shown in more than 100 solo and
Mayor Steven M. Fulop
hired with funding from an $8.1
million federal SAFER grant from
the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA).
Source: Press Secretary, City of
Jersey City
group exhibitions through the
United States. (The event will be
held in the Follett Room of the
College's Culinary Conference
“There is a presence of the
Foundation Art Collection in
every building on our two
campuses,” said HCCC Vice
President for Development
Joseph Sansone who explained
that several pieces have already
been acquired for the College's
new Library and Academic
B u i l d i n g , c u r re n t ly u n d e r
construction on Sip Avenue in
Jersey City.
“We are extremely proud of
the Foundation Art Collection. It
is a testament to the generosity of
our benefactors, and to the
appreciation the people of
Hudson County have for art,” Dr.
Gabert said.
Team of Detectives to Investigate Non-Fatal Shootings; Gather Criminal Intelligence
JCPD Launch Shooting Response Team Modeled
after Successful Operation Ceasefire
Steven M. Fulop and Jersey City
Police Department officials
announced the launch of a new
S h o o t i n g Re s p o n s e Te a m
modeled after the successful
Operation Ceasefire program,
which is aimed at curtailing gun
violence in urban areas.
shootings to gather evidence
and criminal intelligence, we
will have a cohesive and
immediate response to these
violent crimes,” said Mayor
Fulop. “Rather than to wait for
information to come in from the
different detective squads in the
districts, this unit will work
citywide on cases to bring
closure and to prevent
additional shootings.”
Jersey City's Ceasefire Unit
is a squad of five detectives led
by a lieutenant, with the squad
working from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
the times when most shootings
occur. The detectives work the
non-fatal shootings to quickly
gather evidence and criminal
intelligence. The preservation of
the crime scene by the first
responding officers is vital to the
collection of evidence and
witness statements, as well as
information regarding the
suspect's vehicle that may have
fled the area after the shooting.
When the team of
detectives begin investigating a
shooting they will be dedicated
to that case for the first 48 hours
which law enforcement has
identified as one of the key
components to the success of
the Operation Ceasefire
program. Should a shooting
occur at a time when the unit is
off, two detectives will be on call
to respond and begin the
investigation for the unit.
“By establishing a unit
dedicated solely to investigating
Another key component of
Ceasefire Unit is that the unit
partners with patrol officers to
conduct hot spot enforcement in
an effort to curb street disorder
and gather intelligence.
Additionally, the unit leader and
his or her detectives will foster
connections in the community
to build positive relationships to
enhance the unit's mission.
“By increasing our officers
on patrol in the districts and
placing an emphasis on
community policing, our
officers can work with the
community to gather
information to assist in these
investigations,” added Mayor
The Operation Ceasefire
program has proved successful
in other urban areas, and before
launching this week, Jersey City
Police leadership met with
officials from the Paterson
Police Department to learn how
their program was
Jersey City man, 21, identified
as victim of latest fatal shooting
By Terrence T. McDonald
The victim in last night's
(August 7) fatal shooting in
Jersey City has been identified
as a 21-year-old man who police
found lying on Forrest Street,
riddled with bullets.
Ryan Wynn, of Jersey City,
becomes the city's 14th
homicide this year, and the
eighth since June 30.
Authorities are on the hunt for
one or possibly two gunmen
who fled the scene after the
shooting, according to Hudson
County Prosecutor's Office
spokesman Gene Rubino
Wynn was found on
Forrest Street near Martin
Luther King Drive shortly after
9 p.m., said Rubino. Jersey City
cops had been responding to a
report of shots being fired.
Upon arrival, they found
Wynn lying on the street with
multiple gunshot wounds to his
upper body, according to
Police and other officials are at the scene of a fatal shooting on Forrest Street off Martin
Luther King Drive in Jersey City. Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013. -- Joe Shine/ForThe Jersey Journal
He was transported to the
Jersey City Medical Center, where
he was pronounced dead, Rubino
According to Rubino,
investigators believe one or two
men approached Wynn, opened
fire and then fled the scene.
There are no descriptions
for the gunman or gunmen yet,
according to Rubino. It is too
early in the investigation to know
the motive, he added.
Je rsey Ci t y i s
experiencing a surge in gun
violence this summer. There
have now been more homicides
since January -- 14, all but one
involved guns -- than there
were in all of 2012. Anyone
with information about Wynn's
murder is urged to call the
prosecutor's office homicide
unit at (201) 915-1345. All calls
will be kept confidential. (The
Jersey Journal)
Editorial & opinion
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 10
Sleight of hand
IF there is one thing the Aquino administration is adept at,
it is distracting public attention from potentially embarrassing
situations. Like practiced magicians, the President and his men
will point at an issue and stir up outrage to divert attention away
from what they seek to conceal.
In this regard, the administration has plenty of help from
the conscript press, which often serves as a willing extension of
the Palace propaganda machine.
Consider the lessons of the alleged pork barrel scam, which
continues to divert our attention away from the secrets buried in
the administration's P2.268-trillion budget proposal for 2014.
In the second week of July, a newspaper famous for brownnosing the President broke a story that alleged that senators and
congressmen had funneled their pork barrel to non-existent
projects in exchange for kickbacks. Suspiciously, the allegations
involved only critics of the administration, and the source of the
accusations was dubious, at best. The allegations also referred to
P10 billion in funds diverted but provided no specific
breakdown of the projects involved, or how these totaled P10
As if on cue, the President's usual hatchet men and women
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Revenue Commissioner Kim
Henares, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and
presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda took turns over the
succeeding days in confirming that the administration took the
charges seriously. No, they didn't seem interested in
investigating any administration allies, but they would certainly
question the opposition lawmakers implicated.
With public discussion still roiling over the alleged pork
barrel scam, the other shoe fell about a scant 10 days later. The
message that the President included with his five-volume budget
proposal was clear: troublesome lawmakers would no longer be
able to specify projects for their pork and would instead have to
choose from a menu of Palace-approved projects already
incorporated into the budget.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad pitched this as an
innovation, calling it a “budget-as-release” document, but it was
clear the Palace's real intention was to seize control of the P27
billion allocation for pork.
Was the Palace merely reacting to the pork barrel expose,
or did they know about it from the start? The fact that the
Executive department already wrote in all the pork projects into
the five-volume budget released just 10 days after the expose
not a simple feat suggests the latter, and that the Palace was
using the allegations of wrongdoing as a bludgeon to browbeat
the lawmakers into accepting the new pork regime.
Beyond pork, there are more budget issues that the Palace
most likely prefers would stay hidden. These include lump-sum
allocations of P120 billion for pensions and gratuities and
P449.95 billion for the “Special Purpose Fund” belying the
Budget secretary's claims of greater transparency.
There are also issues of the Executive encroaching on the
fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary, a move that cuts into the fabric
of our system of checks and balances and the notion that it is a
good thing to have co-equal branches of government.
But none of this is as sexy as a good corruption scandal, and
this administration has proved it knows how to shovel dirt.
So prepare to be distracted by the Palace's sleight of hand.
Greater sins will be committed while we are looking away.
(Manila Standard)
Founded in 1986
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Lito A. Gajilan, Jr.
Columnists: Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq.,
Juan L. Mercado, Jonathan Suarez, Joel Baclit
Correspondent: Contessa Bourbon
The opinions expressed by columnists are their
own and do not reflect the opinion of the paper
nor that of the publisher
Contact us:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 201-434-1114 Fax 201-434-0880
EB-2 Visa without a
Master's Degree
Professionals can qualify
under the employment-based
s e c o n d p re fe re n c e ( E B - 2 )
category if they have a master's
degree or higher and if the
position requires an advanced
degree. This category is
appropriate for workers in highly
skilled occupations, such as
physical therapists, doctors,
lawyers, engineers and
An EB-2 classification is
desirable primarily because
there are no visa backlogs under
this category, except for nationals
of India and China. In contrast,
under the third preference (EB-
3) category under which most
professionals and skilled
workers fall, there are significant
waiting times ranging from at
least six years to over ten years.
The requirement to obtain
labor certification from the
Department of Labor (DOL) may
also be waived if the EB-2 worker
can show that the waiver is in the
national interest of the United
States. The exemption from labor
certification through the national
interest waiver (NIW) can further
speed up the green card process
by about a year.
Even without an advanced
degree, however, a professional
can qualify under EB-2 if the
position offered requires a
master's degree or higher but the
employer will accept a bachelor's
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p ro g re s s ive ly re s p o n s i b l e
experience, and if the
professional possesses the
requisite education and
The employer, however,
may not simply require a
master's degree or bachelor's
degree with 5 years experience
just to make a position qualify
under EB-2. For instance, it
cannot require a master's degree
in business administration for an
accountant position unless the
higher educational requirement
is related and necessary to the
The job requirements
Page 14
Leapfrogging infection
Doctors dub it “metastasis.”
That's when a disease leapfrogs
from one part of the body to
another. The Commission on
Audit has documented persisting
metastasis of the pork barrel.
Mid-July, Benhur Luy blew
the whistle on the P10-billion
pork allegedly cornered by Janet
Lim-Napoles of JLN Corp.
t h r o u g h 2 0 b o g u s
nongovernment organizations.
Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Juan
Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada,
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and
Gregorio Honasan, plus 23
congressmen, delivered the
The COA sifted through
pork chits from 2007 to 2009,
Chair Maria Grace Pulido-Tan
revealed. It found that 98
administration and opposition
lawmakers shoveled P2.19
billion in pork through 15 bogus
NGOs. That's metastasis.
Senator Lito Lapid burned
P20 million of pork in 2011 for
“anti-dengue inoculants” for
Polillo, Teresa, Baras, and Pililla.
These towns “had no dengue
fever case.” Last Friday, whistleblower Merlin Suñas tagged the
agriculture department's
gatekeeper for NGOs as a conduit
of a web of fake NGOs controlled
by JLN.
“Greed is a tree that grows
even on arid soil.” Were the eight
congressmen who had ladled tax
money into the Kaupdanan Para
sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc.
conned? The two-figure donors
include Masbate's Scott Davies
Lanete (P30 million), Lanao del
Sur's Mohammed Hussein
Pangandaman (P15 million), An
Waray's Neil Benedict Montejo
(P14.2 million), and Davao City's
Isidro Ungab (P13 million). Or
were they happy to be fleeced?
“Even if only half of the
allegations [are] true, Napoles …
qualifies as the country's
foremost expert on corruption,”
the Inquirer's Randy David
wrote. “Should she land in
prison, and need a benign
intellectual pursuit… I
recommend she write a
participant-observer account of
the social system of corruption.”
Thomas Jefferson once
Page 14
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 11
OPINION War looms again amid hopes of peace
By Val G. Abelgas
Just as the Aquino
administration had expressed
optimism for lasting peace in
Mindanao following an
agreement with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF) on the
establishment of a Bangsamoro
entity, the Nur Misuari-led Moro
N a t i o n a l L i b e ra t i o n Fro n t
(MNLF) raised the specter of war
in the region.
Misuari criticized the
government's failure to comply
with the provisions of the 1996
peace agreement and warned of
renewed war if the government
life worth
Ellen Tordesillas
What if Czech Ambassador
J o s e f Ry c h t a r r e f u s e s t o
cooperate in the investigation of
alleged $30 million shakedown
by officials of the Department of
Transportation and
Communication in connection
with the Metro Rail Transit
expansion project? Is that the
end of it?
Under the Vienna
Convention, the international
treaty that governs diplomatic
relations, ambassadors cannot
be compelled to appear in any
investigation conducted by the
host country.
The National Bureau of
Investigation under orders of the
abrogates the accord that was
reached during the time of
President Ramos. MNLF leaders
also warned of war in Mindanao if
the government were to sign a
final agreement with the MILF
and continued to ignore the
peace pact with the MNLF.
“President Aquino's action
to put an end to the 1996 peace
accord is a kind of a divide-andrule tactics which is tantamount
to the declaration of war on the
MNLF, and we have no option but
to declare independence in
Mindanao,” Ustadz Pendi Colano,
chairman of the Central
Mindanao's MNLF sub-wing
Selatan State Revolutionary
Committee, said.
Zamboanga City Rep. Celso
Lobregat also issued the same
warning, and urged Malacanang
revolutionary government which
apparently is its answer to the
soon-to-be established
Bangsamoro entity to be headed
by the MILF.
The statement , which
suggested a “United Federate
States of Bangsamoro Republik,”
said it has established a
revo l u t i o n a r y g ove r n m e n t
constitution in Mindanao.
to include Misuari's MNLF in the
peace accord to attain complete
peace and prevent a
“conflagration of the entire
After Malacanang
announced that the government
has reached an agreement with
the MILF, the MNLF sent out a
statement that revealed the
creation of the group's own
“B a n g sa m o ro Re p u b li k ,” a
The threat to the fragile
peace in Mindanao does not only
come from the MNLF, but also
from the Bangsamoro Islamic
Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a
breakaway MILF group headed
by the ailing Ameril Umbra Kato.
The Sulu Sultanate, a known ally
of Misuari, joined the fray and
rejected the inclusion of its
ancestral territories to the
Page 12
Why should the burden of truth on MRT-3 be
on Czech envoy?
President is investigating the
reported shakedown which even
dragged the name of presidential
sister Ballsy Cruz and her
husband, Eldon.
“I wish to state that the
allegations that members of your
family were involved with
discussions with Inekon on any
projects in the Philippines are
simply untrue and malicious,”
Rychtar said in a letter to the
President last June 29.
The Cruz couple visited
Prague in 2011 upon the
invitation of Rytchar. They
reportedly met with Czech
businessmen during their visit.
A Czech company, Inekon,
is bidding for the P3.77 billion
MRT-3 project that would
involve purchase of 48 new
trains for the line that spans the
EDSA from Pasay-Taft to North
But Rychtar,in a meeting
with DOTC Secretary Joseph 'Jun'
Abaya named MRT general
manager Al Vitangcol III as one
of those involved in the extort
attempt, according to Abaya.
Vitangcol has gone on a one
month leave starting July 24.
Reports said the DOTC
officials' demand for
commission went down to $2.5
million to $30 million. In his June
29 letter to the President, after
the extortion try was exposed by
media, Rychtar said: “The Czech
proposal for the MRT3 capacity
expansion and modernization is
a government-to-government
deal which cannot contain any
provisions for commissions.”
But Rychtar complained
about the non-action of DOTC
under Abaya, whom he first met
last April.
Presidential Spokesperson
Edwin Lacierda one again took
his usual defensive stand every
time allegations of anomalies
involving officials of the Aquino
administration is involved.
Lacierda puts the burden of
getting the truth into the
extortion try on Rychtar. “Every
time there is an issue on
corruption we have always asked
the party to present us evidence.
It is no different just because an
ambassador said it,” he said in a
Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar
radio interview.
Lacierda further said:“It
requires every person, including
the Czech ambassador, to submit
Page 14
One time, big time
As presidential promises go,
this one was definitely
underwhelming. In less than a
month, according to President
Noynoy Aquino, a plan to finally
address deeply entrenched
corruption at the Bureau of
Customs will be unveiled.
“I directed them to do so,”
Aquino said, referring to the plan
that is purportedly being crafted
by Customs and the Department
of Finance to reform the bureau. “I
have been on board from the
The real problem with
Aquino's alleged plan for Customs
is, of course, not how he started it
but how he intends to finish it.
Unlike the other corruption
scandals plaguing his
administration the pork barrel
mess involving Congress and
various Executive departments
and the MRT coach-procurement
scandal supposedly involving his
sister come to mind it was
Aquino who put the focus on
smuggling in Customs in his
speech at the Batasang
But since that time, Aquino
has done nothing to follow
t h ro u g h . H e h a s re t a i n e d
Commissioner Rozzano Rufino
Biazon and did not act when
Biazon's two top deputies offered
to resign; he has remained silent
even after Deputy Commissioner
Danilo Lim expressed frustration
about the political patrons of
corrupt Customs officials and
smugglers have thwarted any
plans to institute significant
reforms at the bureau.
Now, suddenly, we hear
about Aquino having a “one-time”
(his words) plan to end
corruption at an agency that he
himself has exposed for
smuggling agricultural products,
vehicles, guns and drugs into the
country. And we are supposed to
believe that he is still “on board”
or even serious about reforming
this corruption-plagued agency?
Excuse me while I try to
suspend my disbelief. But I will
only believe that this
administration is making
headway in the problem of
smuggling when independent
authorities like the International
Monetary Fund, whose Direction
of Trade statistics show the
humongous gap between the
value of goods exported to the
Philippines and the value of these
same products as they are
reported when they enter the
country, say so.
And according to IMF, an
estimated $33.2 billion in
smuggled goods entered the
Philippines in 2010 and 2011.
That makes Customs the most
corrupt agency in government
today and the biggest cause of lost
government income from duties
and taxes by far.
But that's what the Senate
and some thoughtful pundits
have been saying long before
Aquino got on board and began
looking into the problem of
smuggling. And that's why if, by
the end of the month, if nothing
still changes at Customs, I won't
be surprised in the least.
That provinciano who
heads the Metro Manila
Development Authority tried to
do an Erap yesterday. And
Chairman Francis Tolentino
failed miserably, earning only the
ire of thousands upon thousands
of his fellow Caviteños who have
to commute to the metropolis
daily for work or school.
Tolentino copied Mayor
Joseph Estrada's ban on buses in a
desperate bid to show that he did
not want to be remembered
primarily for hanging ornamental
plants along Edsa and then
allowing them to die for lack of
care. But because Tolentino
obviously did not think his ban
through, he merely stranded
thousands of carless commuters
at the Coastal Mall on the corner
of Roxas Boulevard and MIA Road
in Parañaque.
The scene at the mall was
total chaos, since there were not
enough jeepneys, vans and other
means of public transport going
into Metro Manila from the new
Page 14
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 12
Japan unveils biggest naval vessel since war, as Philippines welcomes refurbished US cutter
Tokyo, Manila beef up naval fleets amid island rows with China
Source: South China Morning
Agencies in Tokyo and Subic Bay
Japan and the Philippines
have unveiled major new
additions to their warship fleets,
amid escalating tensions with
China over territorial claims to
disputed islands and waters.
Tokyo showed off its biggest
warship since the second world
war at a ceremony in the port city
of Yokohama yesterday, the 68th
anniversary of the dropping of the
atom bomb on Hiroshima.
The 248-metre helicopter
carrier will be a centrepiece of its
naval power.
“We express our concern at
Japan's constant expansion of its
military equipment. This trend is
worthy of high vigilance by
Japan's Asian neighbours and the
international community,” the
ministry said.
“Japan should learn from
history, adhere to its policy of
self-defence and abide by its
promise of taking the road of
peaceful development.”
Japan should learn from
history, adhere to its policy of
self-defence and abide by its
promise of taking the road of
peaceful development
The Japanese-built carrier
can accommodate nine
helicopters and is expected to play
a big role in disaster and rescue
missions, as well as defending sea
lanes and Japanese territory. It is
unclear when it will go into
Meanwhile, the Philippines
yesterday celebrated the arrival
of a decommissioned US Coast
Guard cutter as its second major
warship to challenge China's
territorial claims, which
Philippine officials say have
intruded into their country's
potentially oil-rich offshore seas.
Controversially for China,
the ship has been dubbed “Izumo”,
the same name as the armoured
cruiser that led naval operations
in the Battle for Shanghai during
second world war.
President Benigno Aquino
saluted as the 3,250-tonne white
cutter, renamed Philippine navy
frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz,
docked at a wharf in Subic Bay
Freeport, northwest of Manila.
In Beijing yesterday, the
defence ministry accused Tokyo
of “constant” military expansion.
A part of the former US
naval base will soon be turned
into a Philippine military hub
after the government approved a
plan to shift its assets closer to
the disputed islands in the South
China Sea.
“It will further intensify our
patrolling of the Philippines'
exclusive economic zone and our
capability to quell any threat and
bad elements, respond to search
and rescue operations and take
care of our marine resources,”
Aquino told a crowd of
dignitaries that included US
ambassador Harry Thomas.
The arrival of the ship,
which was obtained under a USPhilippine military assistance
programme, signals the
Philippines' resolve to upgrade
its antiquated equipment and
move away from a reputation of
having Asia's weakest military.
The acquisitions by Japan
and the Philippines point at an
arms race by China's neighbours,
which have been alarmed by
B e i j i n g ' s a s s e r t ive n e s s i n
claiming vast waters and backing
that by deploying new maritime
forces and refurbished vessels.
L a s t y e a r, C h i n a
commissioned its first aircraft
carrier, the Liaoning, as part of its
military build-up. The Liaoning
went into service in September in
a symbolic milestone for China's
increasingly muscular military.
Japan's new destroyer, “Izumo”, is unveiled in Yokohama. Photo: Reuters
But the vessel still requires
a carrier group including
destroyers, frigates and
submarines, while fighter jet
pilots need more training before
it is operational, according to
navy officials.
Yesterday, a leading Chinese
foreign-policy thinker warned
Manila and Tokyo that they had
been mistakenly emboldened by
Wa s h i n g t o n i n t e r r i t o r i a l
disputes with his country.
Ruan Zongze, vicepresident and senior fellow at the
War looms again
amid ...
From page 11
planned Bangsamoro region in
Mindanao. Abraham Idjirani,
spokesman of Sulu Sultan Jamalul
Kiram III, said the Sulu
Archipelago comprising Sulu,
Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga
and Palawan belongs to the
sultanate and the government had
no right to turn them over to a
political entity controlled by the
It seems every effort of the
government to find a lasting
solution to the Mindanao
insurgency problem is only met
with even more hostilities. After
the Marcos administration signed
the Tripoli Peace Agreement in
1976, an MNLF faction, led by
Hashim Salamat, rose up in arms in
1978 under the name Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF).
On the eve of the resumption
of peace talks between the
Philippine government and the
MILF in August last year, a
breakaway group of rebels made it
known that even if the two panels
reached an agreement, there
wouldn't be peace in Mindanao
short of the establishment of an
independent Bangsamoro
republic. The BIFF, led by Umbra
Kato, occupied several towns in
Maguindanao province after a
series of attacks that resulted in
the death of two soldiers and two
BIFF fighters.
Umbra Kato and two other
MILF commanders also launched
China Institute of International
Studies, said: “No one in this
world will try to contain China
and no one in this world is
capable of containing China.
“Since the US has adopted
this new strategy of returning to
the Asia-Pacific region, some
countries have made the wrong
judgment that the US will
encourage them to challenge the
sovereignty and territorial
integrity of China. This is a
misjudgment on their part.”
violent attacks in Central
Mindanao in August 2008
following the Supreme Court
ruling that stopped the signing of a
Memorandum of Agreement on
Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) that
the Philippine government and the
MILF were about to sign in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia. The MOA-AD
would have granted the
Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE)
its own internal security force, a
system of banking and finance,
civil service, education and
legislative institutions, full
authority to develop and dispose
of minerals and natural resources.
The BJE would also reportedly be
able to send trade missions abroad
and enter into international
agreements under the MOA-AD.
The attacks killed 44 people,
including 23 soldiers, and brought
back peace negotiations to Square
And now war looms in the
horizon again for the beleaguered
people of Mindanao as hostilities
threaten to break out again, this
time not just with the Philippine
military, but also between the
MNLF and the MILF.
Recent clashes between the
government and the BIFF have
resulted in several deaths and the
eva c u a t i o n o f h u n d re d s o f
residents. Blasts have also rocked
Cagayan de Oro and Cotabato City,
which also resulted in several
deaths and injuries.
Will there ever be peace in
Mindanao? Should the
government give up on
negotiations with the rebels and
Page 13
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 13
War looms again ...
From page 12
Just follow the strategy of former
President Joseph Estrada and the
advice of Senators Panfilo Lacson
and Jinggoy Estrada to just
annihilate the Moro insurgents?
Should the government just let the
MNLF and the MILF erase each
other from the face of Mindanao? Or
should it continue treading the path
to peace by painstakingly
negotiating with all factions of the
Moro insurgency?
“Peace in Mindanao cannot be
achieved unless a tactical victory is
attained by the Armed Forces of the
Philippines,” said Lacson, the
S e n a te' s d e fe n s e c o m m i t te e
chairman, following the BIFF
attacks last year. “It is time we
untied the hands of our soldiers and
authorized them to fight the MILF
on equal termsand not handicapped
by the so-called peace talks
characterized by treachery and
But President Aquino was
right in not giving up on peace. One
should never give up on peace, even
if it takes one rebel group at a time.
Eventually, a workable solution that
would be acceptable to both sides
would be found. Ceasefires during
peace negotiations also give a break
from violence, however fragile, and
a much-deserved rest for the people
of Mindanao.
Peace has indeed been elusive
in Mindanao, but the country needs
peace in that region if it wants to
attain the economic prosperity that
the people richly deserve.
([email protected])
of estero ...
From page 2
annually, 19 or 20 typhoons hit the
country. We know that flooding is
going to happen. Thus, it is a
criminal negligence if we don't do
something about it,” Roxas said.
He said the President was
bent on clearing the waterways.
“On this one, the President is
pressing us.”
For this year, the DSWD and
the MMDA have identified 19,440
families to be moved out of the
eight critical areas in the next 12
P10B for new homes
Giving the informal settler
families new homes will cost the
government P10 billion, which is
in addition to the P351 billion for
the flood-control infrastructure
that the DPWH and the MMDA will
Roxas said the relocation
would be done “segment by
segment” to make the systems
manageable and measurable
“rather than moving thousands
but not moving forward.”
“After 100 meters have been
cleared, the DPWH and MMDA
come in to dredge and put up
retaining walls. Then we will work
on the next 100 meters,” he said.
Asked about the possibility
of violence erupting in squatter
communities, Soliman said the
social preparations, including
dialogues and tours at the
resettlement sites, had made sure
that resistance from the relocatees
and urban poor groups would be
“They were given options.
They were offered relocation offsite, near-site and on-site, and
these are explained to them very
well,” she said.
Amortization, subsidy
Roxas said the informal
settler families were offered
amortization rates of as low as
P200 for their new houses in the
resettlement areas and an P18,000
subsidy for those who were still
waiting for relocation.
He said the amortization
would depend on the place of
relocation, with on-site
resettlement areas commanding
higher rates.
The families also have the
option of setting up organized
communities to build medium-rise
housings, which will be financed
by Social Housing Finance Corp.
Biometrics listing
The first batch underwent
the biometrics listing initiated by
the DSWD to prevent “professional
squatters” from taking advantage
of the government's financial aid.
Soliman said the
government had made
arrangements with schools near
the relocation site in San Jose del
Monte to accommodate displaced
Officials expect the
execution of the program not to be
that easy.
Cruz said of those whom the
government social workers had
talked to, 80 percent signified their
willingness to be relocated. “We
expect opposition from the 10 to
20 percent,” Cruz said.
Laws on clearing
Roxas said clearing the
waterways was covered by
existing laws.
Section 28 of Republic Act
No. 7279, or the Urban
Development and Housing Act of
1992, allows “eviction or
demolition… when persons or
entities occupy danger areas such
as esteros, railroad tracks, garbage
dumps, riverbanks, shorelines,
waterways and other public
places, such as sidewalks, roads,
parks and playgrounds.”
A more recent law, RA
10121, or the Philippine Disaster
Risk Reduction and Management
Act of 2010, says the state should
“uphold the people's
constitutional rights to life and
property by addressing the root
causes of vulnerabilities to
disasters,” Roxas said.
The law also said the
government should strengthen
“the country's institutional
capacity for disaster risk reduction
and management, and building the
resilience of local communities to
disasters, including climate
change impact.”
Billions in losses
Roxas noted that the country
was losing billions of pesos to the
perennial floods in the capital and
that the poor were feeling the full
brunt of the disaster.
A study has found that
students in 813 public schools in
flood-prone areas missed 10
percent of the number of school
days every year due to flooding, he
Roxas said the government
plan to clear the waterways of
illegal settlers was finalized even
before the death of then Interior
Secretary Jesse Robredo in August
last year.
During a conversation they
had in January, Roxas recalled
Aquino telling him that he had
been gravely affected by the
number of deaths in the recent
storms that hit the country.
As early as 8 a.m. Monday,
representatives of the national
government and the local
government of San Juan will go to
the small barangay of Salapan to
oversee the dismantling of houses
of informal settlers in the area.
Salapan is the northernmost
barangay of San Juan. With an area
of 17.73 hectares, it is bounded by
two waterways: the San Juan River
to the west and the Ermitaño Creek
to the north and east.
Roxas, Cruz, MMDA ChairmN
Francis Tolentino and San Juan
Mayor Guia Gomez will oversee the
dismantling of houses and other
structures along the 3-meter
easement of the two rivers.
The interior secretary will
also travel with them to their new
home in San Jose del Monte. “These
families have agreed to voluntarily
move to the relocation site. They
have been the most socially
prepared for this,” Roxas said.
An initial 87 houses in the
barangay, mostly between the
Ermitaño Creek and A. Luna Street,
will be dismantled today.
The city government said the
affected residents would be
relocated to a settlement in
Barangay Muzon in Bulacan.
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 14
EB-2 Visa ...
From page 10
should not be greater than those
assigned by the DOL in its
Standard Occupational
Classification system. Otherwise,
the employer must explain that
the higher requirements are
justified by a “business
Progressive experience is
not defined in the statute or
regulations but it entails an
increase in the employee's level
of responsibility over time. Good
indications of progressive
experience include the addition
of more complex job duties,
payment of higher wages and
promotion to different job titles.
The five years of experience
One time, big
From page 11
terminal of buses coming from
Cavite. Tolentino's other claim to
fame as the official most offended
by author Dan Brown's
description of Manila as “the gates
of hell” was particularly ironic for
the commuters, the victims of the
MMDA chairman's new hellish
Why did Erap succeed
where Tolentino failed abjectly?
For starters, there are simply
more modes of transportation in
Manila whose routes are
redundant with the buses than
there are in MMDA's new terminal.
There are more jeepneys, FX vans
generally means full-time work
experience. There is no definite
standard for full-time
employment under the EB-2
category but it is believed that a
35-hour workweek meets the
minimum standard for full-time
The experience must also
have been gained after
graduation from the bachelor's
program. Any experience before
the bachelor's degree will not be
counted towards the required
five years.
Moreover, the experience
and the educational degree must
have come before the filing of the
labor certification application. If
a NIW is sought by the
beneficiary, he must fulfill the
requirements by the time that the
I-140 petition is filed.
and even tricycles along Manila's
major thoroughfares like Taft and
Quirino Avenues and that were
targeted by Estrada for traffic
unclogging; and Manila has two
lines of the Light Rail Transit that
provide yet another important
and high-volume public transport
service which prevented the
commuting nightmare in
Parañaque from happening in the
Commuters in Manila were
forced to walk a couple of blocks
before taking another ride to their
destinations after Estrada banned
the buses. Not so the workers and
students from Cavite, who had to
walk kilometer-length distances
(in the pouring rain, no less) just
to look for a connecting ride.
Meanwhile, the extension of
the LRT from Baclaran to Bacoor,
For positions that do
require an advanced degree, the
EB-2 category is an attractive
alternative for professionals who
have the necessary skills for the
job but perhaps chose to forego
graduate education to instead
gain work experience.
Furthermore, given the
rather nebulous progressive
experience requirement, it is very
important that the professional
adequately document his
experience and qualifications to
help ensure that he meets the
(Editor's Note: REUBEN S.
SEGURITAN has been practicing law
for over 30 years. For more
information, you may log on to his
website at or
call (212) 695-5281.)
Cavite, promised a couple of years
back by President Noynoy Aquino,
still hasn't left the drawing board.
Not one single pile has been driven
into the ground along the route,
perhaps because the officials and
presidential relatives involved in
the purchase of train coaches are
still haggling over their kickbacks.
Of course, Tolentino was
also cursed for being anti-poor for
dreaming up a traffic plan that
only made life easier for people
with cars, who whizzed past the
waterlogged commuters after
going through their newly busfree “gates of heaven.” Perhaps it's
really time for Tolentino to return
to Tagaytay, where he can direct
traffic at his town's single traffic
light and forget all about his term
a s M e t ro M a n i l a' s b i g g e s t
headache and nightmare.
Why should the
burden of truth ...
From page 11
allegations of corruption to submit
evidence to prove these
allegations, and that's what due
process is all about.”
Lacierda has not thanked
Rychtar for exposing the extortion
attempt, which we are sure was not
easy for a diplomat to do. The
government has an extensive
network which it can mobilize to
find out the truth if it really wants
to. Aside from the NBI, each
department has its own
intelligence budget.
They should not give us the
line that without further
Leapfrogging ...
From page 10
warned: “If we allow the process of
earmarking, pork barrel spending,
to go forward, it will be an eternal
scramble among members who can
get the most money wasted in their
state. And they will always get most
who are the meanest.”
The tag “pork barrel” bobbed
up in the West in the 19th century,
when households stored a barrel of
salted pork. “I hold a family to be in
a desperate way when the mother
can see the bottom of the pork
barrel,” James Fenimore Cooper
wrote in his 1845 novel “The
Chainbearer.” The term became
derogatory by 1873, the Oxford
English Dictionary notes.
Filipinos do not have a
monopoly of this abuse. Poles
speak of “kelbasa wyborcza,” which
translates into “election sausage.”
Finns say “siltarum pupolitiikka” or
“culvert politics.” It pinpoints
politicians who construct culverts
and projects to curry favor with
voters. Danes call poll pork
During the 2008 US
presidential campaign, the Gravina
Island bridge in Alaska was
slammed as the “Bridge to
Nowhere.” Republican senator Ted
Stevens' pork barrel underwrote
the projected $398-million bridge
to serve the island's 50 residents.
The Catholic Bishops'
Conference of the Philippines has
called for scrapping the pork barrel
as institutionalized sleaze. That
resonated with the 1984 counsel of
Cecilia Muñoz Palma, the first
woman to be appointed to the
Philippine Supreme Court, against
accepting P2 million in pork. She
had, by then, been elected Quezon
City assemblywoman. “Tiene
cojones” (She has balls) was the
irreverent but heartfelt accolade
paid to this lady.
Senators Grace Poe, Bam
Aquino and Antonio Trillanes agree
that the pork barrel should be
scrapped. Indeed, the pork barrel
costs are much greater than its
benefits, the Inquirer's Solita
Monsod wrote. Yet, it flourishes.
“Simply because those who
benefit are the ones who decide
whether the system should
continue or not,” Monsod wrote. At
least P21 billion a year of
MRT Gen. Manager Al Vitangcol III
cooperation by the Czech
ambassador, the investigation
would not push through. Is that
“tuwid na daan”?
taxpayers' money is squandered
through pork, she wrote. “The
'servants' of the people screw their
bosses with impunity. … [N]ot all
legislators are involved. True. But
they haven't done a thing about it
“Ang tawo nga mahakug, wala
pagkabusog,” goes a Visayan
proverb. A greedy person is never
satisfied. Most strident in the
squeal of protests against the
proposed abolition of the pork
barrel are 29 congressmen who've
banded into the “Visayan bloc.”
“Our districts and
constituents have benefited from
[pork barrel],” Iloilo Rep. Jerry
Treñas said, adding that pork is
used for scholarships,
hospitalization and infrastructure
Non-Visayan members are
Cesar Sarmiento of Catanduanes,
Sonny Collantes of Batangas and
Pedro Acharon of South Cotabato.
The bloc's viewpoint is shared by
many legislators who fret that their
names could well surface in scam
reports yet to come.
Meanwhile, senators in the
pork mess dismissed out of hand
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's
suggestion: Take a leave of absence
pending formal investigation.
Delicadeza, alas, is the first victim
when corruption metastasizes.
Since then, Senator Santiago
has bounced back. She filed a
resolution for the phased
scrapping of pork. She suggests
slashing senators' pork from P200
million to P100 million in 2014, to
P50 million in 2015, then zero in
2016. Also, chop congressmen's
pork from P70 million to P35
million in 2014, to P15 million in
2015, and nil in 2016.
Plug, meanwhile, those
loopholes that allow legislators to
slurp pork. How? Release it for
“hard projects” and directly to
national government agencies. Cut
out NGOs. “This strict rule should
be nonnegotiable.” In the past, local
chief executivesoften spouses or
other kin of legislatorssquandered
pork. Bar the LGUs, too.
That'd be the day when
metastasis of a corrupt institution
would recede. “Turn off the pork
barrel spigot,” former US President
Bill Clinton once urged, “and
deliver for our children's future”.
E-mail: [email protected]
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 15
Tubbataha Reef marks 25th year as marine protected area
By Ellalyn B. De Vera
For a dozen dedicated park
rangers standing vigil over the
Philippines' massive bed of coral
reef, the Tubbataha Ranger Station
has been a second home to them.
The Tubbataha Reef has seen twin
groundings of foreign vessels early
this year, making crucial the role of
park rangers in supervising and
managing the 97,030-hectare coral
The Tubbataha Ranger Station
has seen better days, but that was
before a decade of serious
The World Wide Fund for
Nature-Philippines (WWFPhilippines) has been raising
money for the construction of a
new park ranger station, estimated
at P50 million, that will serve as
research hub and springboard for
enforcement operations in the
97,030-hectare Tubbataha Reef
Natural Park in Palawan.
S i t u a te d 1 6 0 k i l o m e te r s
southeast of Puerto Princesa City in
Palawan, the squat white offshore
b a r r a c k s , w a s o r i g i n a l ly a
makeshift base station built by the
Philippine Navy Seabees to shelter
law enforcers in 1995.
But at present, it serves as a
forward operations base for up to a
dozen park rangers composed of
dedicated men and women from
the Tubbataha Management Office
(TMO), Philippine Navy, Philippine
Coast Guard, and the local
government of Cagayancillo.
Park rangers usually spend
two-month shifts to supervise and
protect the Tubbataha Reef from
both internal and external threats.
“The station has served the
country well, but we must
revitalize it to be able to deal with
fresh threats,” WWF-Philippines
consultant and architect Dylan
James Melgazo said.
Melgazo spent three weeks
assessing the offshore complex in
“Poacher incursions,
grounding incidents and climate
change effects are critical issues.
Enhancing our capacity to protect
Tubbataha makes perfect sense, as
the reef provides food and
livelihood for millions of Pinoys,”
he added.
Just this year, the Tubbataha
Reef Natural Park lost 6,247 square
meters of reef from back-to-back
groundings of a United States
warship and Chinese poaching
vessel in January and April this
year. However, as of July, no fines
have been collected for the damage.
In celebration of the Tubbataha
Reef 's 25th year as marine
protected area this August 11, the
TMO and WWF-Philippines
unveiled plans to build a brandnew ranger station.
Designed by Melgazo, in
cooperation with a team from the
Emerging Architects Studio (EASt)
composed of Kim Pullante, Dean
Ramos, Don Sebastian and Marc
Virtucio, the space-age structure
draws on technology like solar
panels, micro-wind turbines and
rainwater collectors to maximize
both resource sufficiency and
operational capacity.
The project proponents have
slated the groundbreaking
ceremonies this October.
“Sitting in the middle of the
Sulu Sea, it's hard to resupply the
station, which is why we designed
it to be as self-sufficient as
possible,” Melgazo explained.
“Sunshades double as
rainwater collection systems while
wind slats provide continuous
Page 18
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 16
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 17
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 18
In this undated photo, Tubbataha Reef Rangers posed as a group. WWF-Philippines said a host of institutions,
such as the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), have already pledged to contribute
to the construction of a new park ranger station.
Tubbataha Reef
marks 25th
anniversary ...
From page 15
ventilation. We also added a
helipad for medical evacuation
(MEDEVAC) purposes. Years back,
a ranger was bitten by a Great
Barracuda and had to be rushed
to Puerto Princesa by speedboat.
He made it but his scar will always
serve to remind others that out
there, the sea is boss,” he added.
The new station, which will be
built beside the old barracks, will
feature a research building for up
to eight marine biologists, whose
trips have always been confined
by the weather to summer
expeditions on live-aboard boats.
Likewise, a library, visitor
center, merchandise shop, and
museum will also be built as part
of the complex.
WWF-Philippines said a host
of institutions, such as the
Tourism Infrastructure and
Enterprise Zone Authority
(TIEZA), have already pledged to
contribute to the construction of a
new park ranger station.
TIEZA has pledged P40
million to jumpstart the station's
Likewise, Lafarge Philippines
has committed to provide special
Type 5 marine construction
cement, which is explicitly
engineered for the sea. Also, the
Enfinity Propmech and several
private individuals have pledged
financial and in-kind assistance.
Cebu Pacific Air, Banco De Oro
Unibank (BDO), Gruppo
Struktura, plus Magsaysay's
Travel People & Travel Solutions
helped fund the architectural and
structural designing of the new
ranger station.
The United States Agency for
International Development
(USAID) expressed interest in
deploying submerged closedcircuit TV cameras.
The Tubbataha Reefs Natural
Park, a United Nations
Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
World Heritage Site, boasts of
over 360 hard coral and 600 fish
species in the Sulu Sea.
Tubbataha Reef is famous for its diverse marine life. Tubbataha
Reef Marine Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home
to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world and the
best place for snorkeling and diving in Asia. The Tubbataha Reef
Marine Park covers 33,200 hectares, including the North and
South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very
high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a
nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent
example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m
perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.
Piolo, Angeline & Florante to
light up Fiesta 2013 opening
FA M A S - a wa r d e e ,
recording artist and TFC star
Piolo Pascual will join folk-rock
legend Florante, platinumselling singer Angeline Quinto,
c a b l e T V c h e f F r. L e o
Patalinghug as well as consular
and tri-state officials at the
opening of Fiesta In America
2013, the event's organizers
announced. Early comers will
have the opportunity to join
exciting activities right after
the ribbon-cutting.
Nonprofit Fiesta In
America 2013 is marking its
15th Anniversary edition at its
home for the past 10 years, the
Meadowlands Expo Center in
Secaucus, NJ on Saturday,
August 17 and Sunday, August
18. Film hunk Piolo, singersongwriter Florante and other
luminaries will grace the
ribbon-cutting ceremony
beginning at 12:00 noon on
Saturday, August 17. Rousing
multicultural dance numbers
are being planned for the
ceremony, setting the stage for
two full days of business
networking, a trade pavilion
with over 120 exhibit booths,
boasting exotic products not
available in U.S. stores, a travel
showcase, free small business
and self-improvement
workshops, Vedic yoga and
arnis instructions, a special
fusion cooking show by EWTN
TV's Fr. Leo, and a food court
packed with native delicacies.
Visitors coming early to
Fiesta In America 2013 will
find that the event's opening
will glitter with stars, yet it
merely foreshadows the expo's
climax on both nights. The
multicultural show beginning
at 4 pm will regale the crowd
with high-energy kung fu and
arnis de mano demonstrations,
classical Chinese and Korean
dancers, sensational Chinese
singer Eric Xie, up-and-coming
reggaeton stars Anayka, En
Alta and Tailon, plus, to top it
all, OPM pioneer Florante,
TFC's Angeline Quinto and
Piolo Pascual.
Nonprofit Fiesta In
America is the largest two-day,
indoor gathering of Filipinos
on the east coast. Full-day expo
tickets are $25 per adult; $30
after 5 pm. Limited VIP concert
s e a t s a t $ 6 0 . Fo r m o re
information, call 212-6826610 or visit our website
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 19
Pinoy math wizards
dominate HK contests
By Jonathan M. Hicap
Filipino students dominated three
Hong Kong math competitions held recently,
garnering a total of 401 medals including 66
Close to 1,000 students from six
c ou n t ries in c lu din g 263 from t he
Philippines competed in the Environmental
Math Competition 2013, King of Math 2013
and Asia Cup Math Olympiad.
Fourteen Filipino students emerged as
champions in the three contests. The
Filipino math wizards brought home 66
gold, 157 silver and 178 bronze medals to
top the competitions.
The Philippines' medal haul was
followed by Malaysia with 163; Hong Kong,
85; China, 68; Macau, 47; and Indonesia,
The Philippine delegation was headed
by Dr. Archieval Rodriguez of the
Mathematics Development Academy of the
Philippines (MDAP) together with Myrna
Agtarap and Manuel Kotah.
The contests were organized by the
Gifted Students Association of Hong Kong.
Philippines is ASEAN's
main economic engine
By Paolo G. Montecillo
The Philippines is now
Southeast Asia's main economic
engine, fueled by strong
domestic demand, to lead the
rest of the region ahead of Asia
this year, rating firm Standard &
Poor's (S&P) said.
While growth across Asia
will continue to be dragged by
worsening economic conditions
in China and the tepid recovery
in the US and Europe, S&P said
in a report this week that strong
domestic demand would allow
Southeast Asia's major markets
to fare better than their tradedependent peers.
S&P said Indonesia,
Malaysia, Philippines,
Singapore and Thailand were
expected to grow collectively by
5.5 percent this year. This is
faster than the rating firm's 5.3percent growth forecast for Asia
Pacific as a whole.
“These economies are
more domestically focused than
t h e n e wly i n d u s t r i a l i z e d
economies and therefore tend
to do better when global growth
is sluggish,” the report said.
S&P said the Philippines
wo u l d s t ay a h e a d o f i t s
neighbors in the region, given
its lowest reliance on exports
compared to others in
Southeast Asia.
“The Philippines, which
S&P recently upgraded to
investment grade, has taken
over the Asean growth
leadership role from Indonesia,”
the firm's report said. “We
p ro j e c t P h i l i p p i n e g ro s s
domestic product (GDP) to
expand by almost 7 percent this
year, moderating to 6-6.5
percent in 2014 and 2015,” S&P
said. The firm's growth forecast
for the Philippines this year
matched the top end of the
government's target growth of
6-7 percent.
S&P said the biggest threat
to the Asia Pacific's growth was
the performance of the Chinese
economy, which is expected to
grow below the government's
official target of 7.5 percent
partly as a result of a credit
crunch that has choked
businesses and households.
(Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Moody's assured of reforms
By Ann Rozainne R. Gregorio
The government has
assured officials of credit
rater Moody's Investors
Service that the former will
c o n t i n u e t o u n d e r t a ke
measures to improve the
country's finances and
business environment, a
central bank official said
Friday. “We emphasized to
them (the Moody's team)
that the reforms on fiscal
consolidation continue to be
institutionalized, among
others through zero-based
budgeting, the establishment
of the GCG (Governance
C o m m i s s i o n f o r
Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations) for
oversight of GOCCs and
stricter project oversight,”
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
(BSP) Governor Amando M.
Tetangco, Jr. said in a text
message, when asked what
central bank officials
discussed with visiting
Moody's officials during their
meeting last week.
“We also emphasized to them
that the government is
working to ensure the
changes that have been
introduced to guard fiscal
space and eliminate rentseeking behavior will
continue to be in place
beyond this administration,”
Mr. Tetangco added.
Last week, government
officials met with a four-man
team of Moody's officials led
by Christian de Guzman,
Moody's vice-president and
senior analyst.
The team conducted
due diligence in the country
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 20
Traffic jams cost
retailers P2.5 Billion
every day
By Kristyn Nika M. Lazo
Because of the heavy
traffic along Epifanio De Los
Santos Avenue (EDSA),
retailers lose P2.5 billion
daily in income, according to
a Philippine Retail
Association (PRA) executive.
Samie Lim, PRA
chairman, said the traffic
along EDSA and other major
roads discourages people
from going shopping, thus
reducing the income for
Lim cited National
Economic and Development
Au t h o r i t y re p o r t s t h a t
retailers lose P2.5 billion a
d ay b e c a u s e t h e E D SA
gridlock either prevents or
delays people from going to
About 300,000 vehicles
pass through EDSA everyday.
Retailers and malls
“tend to consume energy and
labor in the morning without
much customers coming in
[so they lose resources],” Lim
One solution, he said, is
for malls open at 10:30 a.m or
11 a.m. so that retailers, mall
employees and even
shoppers would not
contribute to the heavy influx
of people rushing to reach
their offices or schools in the
Malls usually open at 10
Lim said the country
does not have a road map for
the retailing industry.
“Private sectors here are
afraid to speak out because
they are afraid that the
government would get back
at them,” he said.
“Many retailers find it
difficult to survive,” Lim said.
(Manila Times)
Weak growth
could hit banks
Philippine banks are
year would be loan growth,
seen to post weak earnings
higher margins and lower
BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr.
growth even as the country is
cost structures.
forecast to expand the fastest
Nomura noted that
and are expected to come up
consolidation, which
in the Association of
while earnings of Philippine
with a report in the coming
includes improving the
Southeast Asian Nations
banks are still expected to
country's financial
(ASEAN), the research arm of
grow, higher bond yields and
The visit was held a few
management and
a Japanese investment bank
gains “have substantially
days after the debt watcher
maintaining the budget
inflated earnings.”
announced that the country's
deficit at 2% of the country's
Nomura Equity
“Higher yields, though,
Ba1 foreign and local
gross domestic product, will
currency long-term issuer
remain a priority of the
Research kept its
imply downside risks to nonand bond ratings were under
“underweight” tag on
fee non-interest income (i.e.
review for a possible
The country's budget
Philippine banks listed in the
b o n d ga i n s ) . D e c l i n i n g
upgrade, given improved
gap stood at P51.3 billion as
local bourse as earnings and,
interest rates have provided
government finances,
of the first semester, wellconsequently, profitability
banks a strong backdrop for
continually robust economic
below the government's
are expected to grow slower
posting bond gains and so
growth and political stability,
P238 billion ceiling or 2% of
backdrop is likely to
among other things.
the GDP set for the year.
in our view,” said the
The zero-based budget
As of the first quarter,
approach is a method used by
the country’s debt-to gross
the Budget department to
domestic product ratio this
play out for ASEAN banks:
“The Philippine banks
assess whether the
year stood at 48.9%, slightly
steepening yield curves and
stand out as the biggest
government should continue
above the government's 48%
falling commodity prices (in
losers in this scenario given
to make allotments for
target for the year, but lower
tune with the slower China
the substantial gains booked
specific projects against the
than last year's 51.5%.
growth),” said the bank.
over the past few years. Nongovernment's spending
Debt as a percentage of
non-interest income now
GDP is a measure used by
for over 30% of the
The GCG, established
many debt watchers to assess
banks' total
under the GOCC Governance
the credit worthiness of a
from 17% in
Act of 2011 (Republic Act
sovereign. A lower ratio
ASEAN, we see the strongest
10149), is mandated to
indicates that a country has
oversee state firms.
more than enough resources
growth in 2013 in Thailand
These profitability
Finance Secretary
to settle its liabilities.
and Indonesia, and the
concerns, coupled with high
C e s a r V. P u r i s i m a h a s
weakest growth in Singapore
valuations, prompted the
stressed that fiscal
Page 21
and the Philippines.”
Key growth drivers this
Page 21 photo
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 21
More investments in regions key
to employment, lessening poverty
By Edu Lopez
The National Economic
and Development Authority
(NEDA) has underscored the
n e e d
t o
b o o s t
competitiveness and attract
investments to the regions in
order to generate more
employment and reduce
poverty in rural areas.
Planning Secretary and NEDA
Director General Arsenio
Balisacan told participants of
the first regional
competitiveness summit that
spreading economic growth
will provide alternatives to
investors who would be able
to take advantage of the
resources and unique
attributes offered by different
“For the people, it would
mean better opportunities for
employment, and having the
ability to provide for a better
life for their families. This
would also give people more
chances to contribute to the
development of their
community and their
country,” said Balisacan.
He stressed that
achieving inclusive growth
would require development
in the periphery through
integration of the lagging
areas or regions with the fastgrowing, leading areas or
regions of the country.
Sixty-two percent of the
entire country's economic
growth is concentrated in
Metro Manila, CALABARZON,
and Central Luzon.
Based on first semester
assured of
From page 20
Mr. Tetangco said
talks were fruitful with
Moody's officials as the
latter were impressed
with the reforms
implemented by the
government so far.
“The meeting went
well. It reinforced their
positive views on the
gains we have so far
achieved, based on the
reforms we have put in
place,” he said.
“Of the items they
continued to view
positively, a number are
directly under the
purview of BSP such as
current stable inflation
environment and
outlook, the healthy
external liquidity
position and the stable
Arsenio Balisacan of NEDA
2012 poverty estimates,
poverty incidence is highest
in the Autonomous Region Of
Muslim Mindanao,
Visayas and Zamboanga
On the other hand,
poverty incidence is lowest in
the National Capital Region,
CALABARZON, and Central
Luzon. Fifty seven percent of
establishments and 65
percent of employed are
concentrated in these areas.
“We need an impetus
that will encourage new
businesses to open in areas
where development is most
needed,” said Balisacan.
“As other centers of
development are created, we
encourage growth not only in
these regions but in the whole
c o u n t r y. W e h o p e t o
contribute to these efforts by
spearheading the
formulation of area
banking system,” Mr.
Tetangco further said.
Inflation eased to
2.5% in July, near the low
end of the central bank's
2.2-3.1% target for the
month and lower than the
revised 2.7% average
posted in May.
The figure brought
the average rise in
consumer prices to
2.86%, below the central
bank's 3-5% target for the
year and 3.3% forecast.
Reserves continue
to be healthy at $81.64
billion, as of end-June
2013, and already 93.84%
of the BSP's $87-billion
target for the year.
The capital
adequacy ratio of
universal and commercial
banks rose to 17.83% as
of end-2012 from 17.28%
the year before, over and
beyond the 10% required
by the BSP and the
international norm of 8%.
(Business World Online)
development plans (ADPs),
which aim to transform less
developed but resource-rich
areas into globally
competitive areas,” he said.
The ADPs have
identified specific areas
based on natural economic
units or natural-resource
boundaries that shall be given
focus to boost development in
the farthest areas of the
The Philippine
Development Plan (PDP)
2011-2016 and the various
regional development plans
have also identified priority
industries which are seen to
have the highest growth
potentials and can generate
the most jobs.
Balisacan said more
emphasis will be given to
employment generating
s e c t o r s s u c h a s
manufacturing, agriculture,
t o u r i s m , I T - B P O, a g r i business, and housing.
Infrastructure projects
have been programmed to
support growth in these
industries in the peripheral
As of the first quarter of
2013, 926 local government
units (LGUs) or 57 percent of
all 1,634 LGUs in the country
h ave s t re a m l i n e d t h e i r
processes and reduced the
time to register businesses to
5 days for new applications
and 10 days for renewal.
The Philippine Business
Registry has reduced average
processing time to register
businesses to 30 minutes.
(Manila Bulletin)
Technology expo
set at SMX Manila
Systems Integration
Philippines takes over the entire
ground floor of SMX Manila
Convention Center from August 15 to
17 for an expo that will showcase the
latest electronics and gadgets
representing brands from around
the world.
“Systems Integration
Philippines is our answer to the need
for businesses and local government
units to streamline and upgrade their
operations and productivity in order
to keep up with the booming
economy. Visitors will find a jampacked show with exhibitors excited
to present their best and latest
products and solutions,” said event
organizer Patrick Lawrence Tan,
chief executive officer of Global-Link
Exhibitions Specialist Inc.
The event fuses seven
industries into an comprehensive
showcase of technologies:
Commworld (information
technology and telecoms); Corporate
Gifts Expo (gifts and promotional
products); Digital Electronics World
(consumer clectronics and gadgets);
Educa Expo (e-learning
technologies); Palmm Philippines
(pro-audio, lights, music and movie);
Signs and Media World Expo
(signage and multimedia); and
T.O.P.S. (Total Office Products and
Services) Show (business products
and services).
The expo is headlined by EZ
Touch Corp. and Panasonic as the
platinum sponsors and Power Mac
Center as the minor sponsor.
For three whole days, visitors
can also check out special
international pavilions from Korea,
get up to 50-percent discount on
premium selections, attend technical
seminars and workshops, and join
many fun activities. Doors open from
10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Entrance is free.
“It's another sold-out show for
the most awaited technology and
electronics event in the country. We
have so much in store this year. We
invite everyone to upgrade your
business at the biggest and best
Systems Integration Philippines yet,”
Tan said.
With over 30,000 trade visitors
expected in attendance, Systems
Integration Philippines is set to
generate multimillion pesos worth of
business deals. (Manila Times)
Weak growth ...
government's infrastructure
Consumption should be
robust on the back of healthy
remittances and buoyant
consumer sentiment. Investments
should also be boosted by
improving business confidence,
government reforms and low
interest rates.
Nomura sees the economy
growing by 7.3% this year, above
the government's target of 6-7%.
In the first quarter, it grew by 7.8%.
-- Bettina Faye V. Roc (Business
World Online).
From page 20
“underweight” tag, Nomura said.
The country's strong
fundamentals, though, will
continue to drive investment and
credit growth.
While sluggish growth is
expected for banks, it noted that
the Philippine economy will
continue to be strong even as
external risks remain.
Economic growth is
expected to “remain relatively
high,” driven by progress in the
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 22
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 23
Vilma Santos, Jasmine Curtis-Smith
lead 2013 Cinemalaya winners
By Chuck Smith
MANILA --- Actresses
Vilma Santos, Irma Adlawan
and Jasmine Curtis-Smith won
the top acting awards at the 9th
Cinemalaya Independent Film
Festival on Sunday.
Vilma won the Best
Actress award in the Directors
Showcase category for her
performance in Jeffrey
Jeturian's “Ekstra.”
“Ekstra” also received the
Best Supporting Actress award
(for Ruby Ruiz), the Audience
Choice award, and the Special
Jury Prize
But it was Jerrold Tarog's
“Sana Dati” that dominated the
Directors Showcase category.
The film won Best Film, Best
Director, Best Screenplay and
Best Supporting Actor (for TJ
Trinidad). It also received all
t h e c a te g o r y ' s te c h n i c a l
No winner was declared
in the Directors Showcase Best
Actor category.
'I really did not expect this'
In the New Breed
category, Hannah Espia's
“Transit” was received the Best
Film and Best Director awards.
“Transit” stars Irma
Adlawan and Jasmine CurtisSmith won the category's Best
Irma Adlawan, Marc Justine Alvarez and Jasmine Curtis-Smith receive a
Certificate of Recognition for Ensemble Acting for the film "Transit" during the
9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival awards night. Photo by Dexter
Rodrigo Matilla
Charice will be staying in the US for a month for commitments
Actress and Best Supporting
Actress awards.
“I really did not expect
this. When I went to the
audition, sabi ko lang, 'Hey, just
go in there and see what you
can do. And kung may film ka
this year, go ahead and do your
best',” she said during her
acceptance speech.
Jasmine further said, “The
experience was more than I
wanted. I'm looking forward to
more projects with
“Thank you to everyone
who helped me become the
person that I am now and the
actress that I am now.”
The cast of “Transit” also
received a Certificate of
Recognition for Ensemble
Transsexual actor Mimi
Jureaza was named Best Actor
for the film “Quick Change,”
while comedian Joey Paras was
named Best Supporting Actor
for the film “Babagwa.”
There were five films in
the Directors Showcase
category and 10 films in the
N e w B r e e d c a t e g o r y.
Martin Nievera's three decades of
success sealed with a hundred bucks?
By Walden Sadiri M. Belen
Martin Nievera may have
gotten back more than the
P100 he gave a beggar boy
three decades ago on his way to
Folk Arts Theater for his first
major concert. Not
superstitious at all, he
considers it a highlight or
moment that has defined who
he has become in the
entertainment industry for 30
years - a Platinum recording
artist, a respected and soughtafter host and still the reigning
"Concert King" in the country.
The day was Aug. 21,
1983 when he was seated
inside his car memorizing
ly r i c s o f h i s s o n g s a n d
visualizing himself on stage
when a small boy approached
his vehicle. Surprised, he took
whatever was in his pocket,
which was P100 and gave it to
the boy. He described him to
"literally levitated" in
happiness. The boy held his
hand and said "Salamat po."
That moment for him could
have cemented his flourishing
three decades in showbiz.
"The first concert I ever
did was the day I realized my
Charice excited to
see US fans, Oprah
after 'coming out’
By Jecelyn V. Macahindog
Charice has left for the US on
Monday (August 5) morning for
her first major performance after
her much-publicized “coming
out” as a lesbian.
The international singing
sensation is set to perform at the
2013 Major League Baseball
Beacon Awards Luncheon in
Chicago, Illinois on Aug. 24.
A c c o rd i n g t o re p o r t s ,
Charice will be singing the US
anthem “Star-Spangled Banner”
before attendees that include
2013 MLB Beacon Awardees
Aretha Franklin and Bo Jackson.
In a report by “Kape at
B a l i t a ,” M o n d a y, C h a r i c e
expressed excitement to see and
perform for her US fans again.
“I'm very excited kasi first
time ko na kasi ite-televise 'yun
eh, 'yong performance ko eh
mag-a-appear, you know, since
nag-come out ako (as a lesbian),”
the “Pyramid” hitmaker said in
the interview at the Ninoy Aquino
International Airport (NAIA)
Terminal 2 before her departure.
Charice is also hoping to
touch base with mentor-turnedgodmother Oprah Winfrey, who is
set to grace the awards luncheon,
the same “Kape at Balita” report
The American talk show
host-producer had once referred
to the YouTube phenomenon
Charice as “the most talented girl
in the world.”
Oprah's self-titled program
is one of handful of shows that
paved way for Charice to break
into the international music
scene back in 2008.
The former “Glee” guest star
will be staying in the US for about
a month for other projects and
engagements. (Manila Bulletin)
Martin Nievera
dream to be a singer. All
throughout my childhood I
only wanted to be a singer. So
pag labas ko ng stage, opening
number pa lang umiiyak na ako
because I can’t believe it," he
Three decades in show
b u s i n e s s i s a c t u a l ly a n
"unbelievable feat" nowadays
for any artist. Martin Nievera's
career may have hit some
snags and bumps along the
way, but his three decades is
still a huge success. .
To celebrate his three
decades in showbiz, Martin
Nievera is staging a solo
Page 26
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 24
'BHKCNCM,' Kim Chiu's
highest grossing movie so far
By Crispina Martinez-Belen
“Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng
Crush Mo” (BHKCNCM) is Kim
Chiu's highest grossing movie
so far, with its P10.5-million
opening day gross alone. The
movie, part of the 20th
anniversary celebration of Star
Cinema in the movie industry,
is now on its second week.
Kim and his on-screen
partner Xian Lim are of course
very excited about the
commercial success of their
first ever movie teamup, a film
adaptation of the best-selling
“self-help” humor book by selfproclaimed “Internet action
star” Ramon Bautista, and
d i re c te d by b l o c kb u s te r
director Bb. Joyce Bernal.
Kim is also very happy
that her dream to see Paris was
realized recently when she and
Xian were sent to London for a
TFC (The Filipino Channel)
show. “Masaya and excited
kami ni Xian sa trip na ito at sa
kwento ng movie namin kasi
sobrang kakaiba siya at
talagang nakakatawa,” said
Kim who confessed that she did
everything to give justice to the
story of the best-selling book.
“Sana maraming ma-inspire
kasi ako mismo natawa sa sarili
ko. Iba 'yung role ko dito. Ang
layu-layo sa lahat ng nagawa
kong pelikula. Hitsura ko pa
lang malayo na!”
On his part, Xian said that
both he and Kim enjoyed the on
and off-screen experience
while shooting “BHKCNCM,”
Xian shared. “It's our third
project together and our first
movie together so siyempre
mas open na kami sa isa't-isa.”
Scripted by Irene Emma
Villamor, the witty yet funny
“BHKCNCM” is a “self-help”
comedy movie about the lives
of brainy “ugly duckling”
employee Sandy Veloso (Kim),
a 24-year old virgin, and his
rich and dashing boss Alex
Prieto (Xian).
According to Kim, just like
the other masterpieces of Star
Cinema for the past two
decades, the characters in
“BHKCNCM” will share stories
that moviegoers can connect
with and talk about.
Aside from Kim and Xian,
also featured in “BHKCNCM”
are Pokwang, Mylene Dizon,
Xian Lim and Kim Chiu
Freddie Webb, Kean Cipriano,
EJ Jallorina, Cholo Barretto,
Marnie Lapus, Cheska Inigo,
Cecil Paz, Diane Medina, Sarah
Gaugler, Jojit Lorenzo, Ryan
Boyce, Lilia Cuntapay, Tonton
Gutierrez, Angeline Quinto and
the author himself, Ramon
Bautista. (Manila Bulletin)
Sexy comedienne Rufa Mae Quinto
Rufa Mae denies 'Huling
Henya' is her last film
MANILA -- Sexy comedienne
Rufa Mae Quinto denied rumors
claiming that "Ang Huling Henya"
will be her last movie.
"Kaya lang naman nilang
sinasabing huli kasi ang title 'Ang
Huling Henya,' so I think doon lang
nila ginamit, maybe yung movie.
Pero linawin ko lang po, title lang po
'yung 'Huling Henya,' hindi po siya
last movie," Quinto said.
Quinto hopes to continue
being a comedienne, a job she has
done for 20 years.
"Ang comedy nga kailangang
ituloy din ng Rufa Mae na tinangkilik
nila for almost 20 years," she said.
Quinto is set to have her own
coffee table book to mark her 20th
year in the local entertainment
The comedienne recently did a
sexy pictorial for her coffee table
"Iba't ibang photographers na
naka-capture sa akin from my
movies, modelling whatever, to the
latest na pictorial for the coffee table
book na ang exhibit ay next year,"
she said.
Quinto said she will also
record a new album for her fans.
Jennylyn Mercado and Luis Manzano
Luis Manzano has message
for gossip-mongers
MANILA - Television host Luis
Manzano is getting tired of
clarifying rumors concerning his
relationship with actress Jennylyn
In the past months, the couple
has been plagued with rumors
claiming that they have either
separated, or they have already tied
the knot.
Manzano gave some "advice"
to those who keep on spreading
gossip about them.
Page 25
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 25
Dingdong Dantes in
ABS-CBN movie anew
Charee Pineda
Charee Pineda to portray
kontrabida role in new series
MANILA -- Actress Charee
Pineda is gearing up for her first
kontrabida role on television in
"Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas."
The 22-year-old actress is
back on the Kapauso Network
after her five-year stay in ABSCBN. According to her, she
properly bid goodbye to the
Kapamilya channel bosses before
signing up with GMA-7.
"Sobrang thankful lang and
masarap sa feeling kasi warm
yung welcome nila sa akin.
Maganda din siguro yung nagpaalam ka ng maayos para at least
anytime na gusto mong bumalik,
wala kang kaaway at nasirang
samahan," she said.
Charee added that she's not
the type of person who burns
bridges with her past employers.
She's also adjusted well to
her new career in GMA-7 as she's
working with the same crew from
her early days in the network. The
actress said it's a happy reunion
for her and old friends.
"Mahirap naman na
magkaroon tayo ng kaaway dito sa
show biz kasi maliit lang ang
mundo natin. Then paglipat ko
naman dito, hindi naman
Luis Manzano has
message for ...
From page 24
“Nakakagulat nga, may
hiwalay na kami, may
pinagdadaanan, may live in, may
kasal. Sabi ko lahat ng gumagawa
ng issue mag-usap-usap para iisa
lang. Kinasal daw [kami ni
Jennylyn] sa Dubai, sa Batangas.
Mag-usap-usap naman para isa
lang ang sasagutin namin,” he said.
Manzano maintains he and
Mercado have never been happier,
but they are keeping their
relationship out of the public eye.
“We may be artists, we may
live in the public eye, pero hindi
kami natatakot magtira para sa
sarili namin. Kumbaga, alam ng
masyadong adjustment sa sa akin
kasi yung mga taong nakasama ko
dati, sila pa naman parin," she said.
Charee shared she will be
paired with Gary Estrada in the
series and for the first time, she
will play a mistress on television.
"Kontrabida yung role kaya
kakaiba siya. Mas doble yung
pressure kesa sa mga dating roles
na paawa sa tv. Lalong mas
challenging," she said.
Aside from Estrada, the
series will feature Solenn Heusaff,
Steven Silva, Rocco Nacino, Lovi
Poe, Cesar Montano and seasoned
actress Helen Gamboa.
The upcoming evening
series will be directed by Laurice
Meantime, Sun.Star sought
Charee's side on rumors
surrounding then co-star JM De
Guzman's hiatus in show business.
Charee said she's close with
JM's family and are constantly in
communication with his parents.
But besides that, the actress
refrained from giving more
She said she prays that JM
will finally return to the business.
mga tao ang storya namin, pero we
still have that fine line na para sa
amin lang. We may be showbiz, but
hindi talaga kami showbiz,” he
Mercado was with Manzano
and his entire family during the
premiere screening of “Ekstra,” the
first independent film of
Manzano's mom, Vilma Santos.
Asked whether they are open
to working together, Manzano
said: “In terms of network, medyo
mahirap, kahit na nakatsamba
kami sa mga guesting nung mga
birthday namin. We wouldn't want
to work together kasi showbiz na
nga kami, ihahain pa namin talaga
a n g re l a t i o n s h i p n a m i n s a
industriya, hindi na.”
Manzano and Mercado have
been together for over a year now.
MANILA -- Dingdong
Dantes feels "fortunate" to be
part of the year-long 20th
anniversary celebration of
ABS-CBN's film production
The 32-year-old actor,
who is considered one of the
prized leading men of ABSCBN's rival network GMA-7, is
starring in yet another Star
Cinema film to mark the third
year in a row he has been
involved in a high-profile
Kapamilya project.
"I'm very fortunate that
I'm given the opportunity,"
Dantes said.
Referring to the movie as
among Star Cinema's 20th
anniversary offerings, the actor
added, "Pag gano'n, medyo
special talaga 'di ba? And I'm
very fortunate na makakasama
a ko s a ga n o o n g k l a s e n g
celebration, even though I
wasn't there since day 1. But
over the last 2 years, kahit
paano [naging parte ako]."
Although largely
identified with GMA-7, Dantes
has appeared in a number of
ABS-CBN projects, including
the Metro Manila Film Festival
entries "Segunda Mano" and
"One More Try."
Both produced by Star
Cinema, the films scored backto-back Best Actor trophies for
Dantes in 2011 and 2012.
New leading lady
For his third film with
ABS-CBN, Dantes will work for
the first time with Bea Alonzo
in a story that centers on the
pair as best friends.
Although the two have
previously worked together in
Dingdong Dantes
fashion shows and, most
recently, a magazine shoot, they
have never co-starred in an
acting project.
"I'm extremely happy na
finally makakatrabaho ko siya,"
Dantes said, referring to his
fourth Kapamilya leading lady
after Kris Aquino in "Seguna
Mano," and Angel Locsin and
Angelica Panganiban in "One
More Try."
Alonzo is likewise excited
over her team-up with Dantes.
"Ako, I'm excited na finally
makakatrabaho ko na siya, kasi
alam naman natin na hindi siya
everyday nangyayari," she said,
before turning to Dantes to add,
"I'm very honored na
makatrabaho ka."
Like her new leading
man, Alonzo said she feels
grateful to headline a project
that is part of Star Cinema's
anniversary line-up.
"Syempre masaya [ako],
kasi alam naman natin na every
Page 27
Mom not yet ready to
talk about BB's love life
BB Gandanghari
MANILA -- Following the
reconciliation of BB
Gandanghari and Robin Padilla,
the mother of the two actors
said she just wants to enjoy
every second that she gets to
spend with her children.
Eva Cariño said she is glad
to finally see Robin and BB
engaging in conversations
“Kitang kita mo naman na
sabik si Robin kay BB kasi
sinusuntok-suntok niya.
N a k a k a t uwa n a m a n k a s i
nasasangga ni BB. Sabi ni
[Robin] 'Okay ka pa, BB ah!' she
Cariño said it was Robin
who told his siblings that
Rustom is "already dead."
“Puro na ka ka t uwa ng
usapan. Sabi ni Robin, mula
ngayon, tanggapin na natin si
BB, tanggapin na rin natin na
talagang patay na si Rustom.
Tawanan kami nang tawanan,”
she said.
Amid the happy
atmosphere within their family,
Carino said she is not yet ready
to entertain the thought of BB
having a boyfriend.
“Hindi pa namin pinaguusapan iyan. Ayaw ko pa isipin
iyon. Manugang? Mahaba na
namang istorya iyan. Puro
kasiyahan pa lang ngayon,” she
Meanwhile, Robin's wife,
Mariel Rodriguez, said she is
elated that her husband is now
getting to know his “new sister.”
“Nakakatuwa silang
dalawang magkasama. Robin is
getting to know his new sister.
BB would text regularly. Finafollow na ni Robin sa Instagram
si BB. Nila-like niya yung mga
pictures,” she said.
Rodriguez said she and
Padilla are both excited to
organize a gathering, which will
be attended by the Padilla
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 26
Jericho Rosales proposes to Kim
Jones, announces engagement
By Marjorie Duran
Coleen Garcia
Coleen denies causing
Billy-Nikki breakup
MANILA – “It's Showtime”
host Coleen Garcia distanced
herself from the recent breakup of
singers Nikki Gill and Billy
This after many netizens
accused Garcia as the "third party"
in the former couple's four-year
long relationship.
Garcia said people should not
put malice to her closeness to
Crawford because all of them on
“It's Showtime” are like family.
“Ang masasabi ko lang,
there's nothing going on between
me and Billy. I'm close to him but
I ' m c l o s e t o e ve r y b o dy i n
'Showtime.' Huwag sanang bigyan
ng kulay 'yun saka wala akong
kinalaman sa breakup nila. I think
that's a very sensitive topic so
ayoko talagang makisawsaw dun,”
she said.
Garcia shared Crawford has
already apologized to her since her
name is being dragged into the
issue. “Well, he apologized na
nasama ako dito, so 'yun lang
naman. He texted, 'Sorry ha na
nasama ka sa isyu na ito.' Sabi ko,
'It's okay, I understand naman kasi
showbiz nga.' I have thought about
it. Siguro kasi ako lang ang single sa
'Showtime,'” she said.
Garcia said she is not
anymore surprised that issues like
this exist.
“I thought about it, showbiz is
full of rumors. Siguro I'm not
surprised. People want to know
certain answers and they will not
get it from me, kasi wala talaga
akong alam diyan. It's part of it, it's
part of the job na rumors come and
go,” she said.
According to Garcia, she will
not be affected by any kind of
intrigues as long as she knows the
truth and she is not stepping on
On Tuesday, an exasperated
Crawford lashed out at critics for
dragging Garcia's name into his
controversial break-up with Gil.
Martin Nievera’s
three decades ...
always been intentional not to put
his guests' names. He also wished
to relive the "past feel" of his past
solo concerts during the hey days
of his career.
"I really want to see if they'll
come for me hoping that when
they leave wow ang daming bonus
pala... This is one show that it is
almost 99.9% my songs. And if
some people are looking for a new
song that's sikat today or is playing
on the radio maybe I'll use it in
another way. Maybe I'll use that
when I thank my sponsors. But
basically I want to try something
old school na I want to cover
myself," he stressed.
He may be going "oldschool" with "3D" but when it
comes to the songs he would
perform in his concert, Martin
revealed he went modern as
tweeted and commented as his
followers tweeted and commented
on Facebook.
But of course, expect to hear
his classic hit songs like "Be My
Lady?" "Each Day With You,"
"Holiday," "Please Don't Throw My
Love Away," "Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa
Akin," "Say That You Love me,"
"Kahit Isang Saglit," "You Are My
S o n g ," " I k a w L a n g A n g
Mamahalin," "Forever," "Ikaw Lang
Ang Aking Pangarap," "Kung
Nasaan Ka Man" among others.
(Manila Bulletin)
From page 23
concert aptly titled "3D (Tatlong
Dekada)" on Sept. 13 , 2013 at the
Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Produced by Viva Live Inc.,
and Redstone Media Productions,
the show will feature Rowell
Santiago as director, Louie Ocampo
as musical director and the ABSCBN Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Gerald Salonga.
So what is there to expect
from Martin Nievera's "3D?"
Martin said that he is going
"old-school" with his upcoming
concert that is why it is described
as a "solo concert." The focus will
be on him and the songs he sang
and recorded in those 30 years.
"That's why I'll probably
asked Viva if they could make this
show when they promote it to put
just my name the way we did back
in the old days. As you can see
there's not a hundred million
names besides me. I really want to
see, I'm really curious to see will
they come for me?. Then all the
other people you see on the show,
would be like in my past concerts,
surprise guests or bonuses," he
He added that in the solo
shows he did in the past, it has
Jericho Rosales has asked
his girlfriend, model-host Kim
Jones to marry him.
The actor-singer did so at
the New Life Christian Church in
Alabang on the day of her
birthday, Aug. 4.
A happy Jericho took to
Instagram on the same day to
express excitement.
“Ok here's the real one i
love you, Miss Jones. You are the
love of my life. Thank you for
saying YES (to forever) to me.
Happy birthday! God is amazing!
Yeeeeeehaaa! We are #engaged
! ! ! ! # j a c k p o t # g ra n d s l a m
@kimcamjones,” his post read.
In a phone interview with
“The Buzz,” the Urian Awardee
narrated how he proposed to his
“I went up onstage, the
pastor called me (while) he was
talking about how much God
loves us and pag-akyat ko…I
opened up with 'Why me? Why
does God love me after
everything I've done in my
life?'… He has that unconditional
love for all of us and he keeps on
p rov i n g h i s l ove …”
After talking about God's
love, Jericho went on by
Kim Jones and Jericho Rosales (Kim Photo from Instagram)
recounting that he again asked
“Why me?” but this time…
“Take out the 'H' and add
another M, so it becomes capital
'WYMME'… And those words
(mean) Will you marry me?” he
After the proposal, he
admitted that ““I cried…she
Jericho said the proposal is
not meant to “publicize
everything,” but he felt the need
to express his love for the FilBritish model in front of people.
“Nobody knew, walang
may alam talaga (na magpopropose ako),” he quipped
Kim expressed elation over
their engagement through her
T w i t t e r
a c c o u n t
“ I
l o v e
y o u
@jericho_rosales!!! Thank you
for making me the happiest lady
in the world!! Now I can say "I'm
her post read.
The two plan to have a
beach wedding. (Manila
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 27
Heart denies secret
marriage to Chiz
MANILA -- Actress Heart
Evangelista denied rumors that
she and Senator Francis “Chiz”
Escudero have tied the knot at a
popular restaurant in Tagaytay.
This comes after the 28year-old actress posted a photo
on Instagram showing a woman
whose face is hidden by what
looks like a wedding veil signing
a document.
The caption of the photo
read: “I will never forget today.”
However, the actress said
that she was not the woman in
the picture.
“Pumunta lang ako doon
[sa restaurant nung may-ari]
and it was a nice day, relaxing.
I'll announce [if I'll get married
na] but it's not anytime soon,”
she said.
The actress explained that
she is not yet ready to settle
down soon because she she is
still enjoying her independence.
“Ayaw ko pa. I mean it's
there, the idea is nice and
wonderful. But I still need a lot
of time to do the things that I
want to do. You cannot turn back
time. I have yet to discover
things and go on adventures pa
Heart Evangelista
now that I am independent,” she
Escudero first admitted
that he and Evangelista are a
couple In October last year.
Following Escudero's
admission, their relationship
was tested after the actress'
parents went on record last
March, saying they do not
approve of their daughter's new
Evangelista, however,
happily shared that she and her
father have recently patched
things up.
“Yes, my dad and I are okay.
As much as I want to share what
happened or what it is now, I
want to do a total opposite of
what happened months ago and
not so much talk about it,” she
Evangelista thinks it
would feel more sincere if she
just keeps quiet about this
Cristine Reyes denies
dating married man
MANILA-- Sexy actress
Cristine Reyes denied that she's
dating a married man.
"Hay! Hindi ah. Sino ang nagimbento noon? Wala akong date,
wala nga akong dini-date. Wala
akong time para mag-date," Reyes
told members of entertainment
media in a recent interview.
Reports that Reyes is dating a
married man surfaced after a photo
of her and a man circulated online.
In the interview, Reyes also
denied that she's dating a gym
instructor. "Kasi 'yung instructor ko
ay pamilyadong tao, si Peter Ross,"
she stressed.
Currently, Reyes is busy
shooting the movie "Trophy Wife"
with Heart Evangelista, John
Estrada and Derek. Ramsay.
Cristine Reyes
Chito Miranda to press
charges for leaked video
Chito Miranda and Neri Naig
MANILA -- The camp of Parokya
Ni Edgar vocalist Chito Miranda is now
considering filing raps against those
who leaked and posted photos and a
video of him and his girlfriend, actress
Neri Naig, in an intimate moment.
According to Rommel Cajayon of
Backbeat Management, which handles
the career of Miranda, they are now
consulting lawyers to identify the
social networking sites that shared the
sex video.
Cajayon said Miranda is decided
about pressing charges against the
unnamed suspects.
After issuing an apology to his
Dingdong Dantes
in ABS-CBN ...
From page 25
project, every movie na ginagawa
nila for the 20th anniversary, ay
maganda. Sinimulan 'yon ng 'Four
Sisters,' tapos ngayon may 'Tuhog,'
and these movies are doing very
well," she said.
The actress was referring to
the family "dramedy," "Four Sisters
and a Wedding," and the black
comedy film, "Tuhog," which are
still showing in cinemas
Alonzo is also among the lead
cast members of the Cathy GarciaMolina-directed "Four Sisters and a
Wedding," along with Locsin, Toni
Gonzaga, Shaina Magdayao and
Enchong Dee.
No pressure
Asked if she feels pressured
with the prospect of her latest film - it being her first team-up with
Dantes, and her second Star Cinema
anniversary movie -- Alonzo said
she prefers to simply "enjoy" the
experience of being with a new
group of people.
"Ako, I don't want to get
family and that of his girlfriend,
Miranda's sister Yna Dalisay expressed
support to his brother and the actress.
"The family is 100% behind
Chito and Neri. I personally think there
was absolutely nothing wrong with
what they did and for me, there is
nothing to be ashamed of or
apologized for. Ang may mali 'yung
nagnakaw ng video at ang mga patuloy
na nagkalat. Alam nila it was meant to
be private," Dalisay said.
Talent manager Manny Valera,
who handles the career of Naig, also
shared the same sentiment.
"Shame on those who continue
to share the video on their social
networking sites. Let us not judge
them. They are people in love. But it's
clear that Neri Naig's rights were
abused and violated. She did not
approve or consented to the uploading
of a private video," Valera said.
On Sunday, Miranda showed
that everything is okay after he posted
a photo of him and Naig on Instagram
with caption: "Di nyo kami matitinag."
pressured, lalo na this early. Ang
gusto ko lang mag-enjoy habang
ginagawa 'tong pelikulang 'to, to get
to know this person (Dantes). I just
want to have fun doing this movie.
"Tapos na ako doon sa
nakaka-pressure na movies, hindi
ba? Nando'n na 'ko sa 'I want each
moment to count,' and to make
memories with them, with this
group," she said.
Agreeing with his new onscreen partner, Dantes added, "I
think mag-e-enjoy talaga kami rito.
Enjoy, meaning enjoy sa paggawa,
and definitely 'yung mga
manonood, ay mag-ee-njoy sila sa
mapapanood nila. At the same time,
maraming mapupulot na mga aral,
about relationships, about
By this time a frequent
collaborator of Star Cinema, Dantes
was asked whether he now
considers the film outfit his
"I love doing movies, gustunggusto 'yung mga taong katrabaho
ko, and everytime I'm on the set,
and everytime na gumagawa ako, I
always treasure them. I always treat
everyone just like family," he said.
The title of the film, as well as
its director, have yet to be
Roach fires
fitness coach
By Nick Giongco
Hall of Fame trainer
Fr e d d i e Ro a c h h a s f i r e d
conditioning coach Alex Ariza in
a major move to resurrect the
career of Manny Pacquiao, who
will come out of a year-long
inactivity against Brandon Rios
on Nov. 24 in Macau.
In place of Ariza, who
began serving under Pacquiao in
2008, will be German-born
Canadian Gavin MacMillan, an
expert on speed and power
training based on his work with
athletes from triathlon, track
and field and the National
Football League.
This is not the first time
that news came out regarding
Ariza's dumping since it was not
that the Filipino puncher
himself but Roach who gave the
Colombian native Ariza the pink
MacMillan heads Sports
Science Lab, one of the world's
fastest-rising elite athlete
training centers, and is being
groomed as the fellow who will
bring back the old Pacquiao.
However, Rios doesn't
believe Pacquiao can still be
rehabilitated following the
sixth-round knockout defeat to
Juan Manuel Marquez last
During a chat on ESPN
during Rios and Pacquiao's
stopover in Bristol, Connecticut,
Freddie Roach
as part of their promotional tour,
the 27-year-old MexicanAmerican expressed doubts
whether Pacquiao can still
“I'd say it's his chin,” said
Rios when asked about
Pacquiao's weakness. “Let's see
if he can take a great shot now.
Another one is him coming in
too much.”
Pacquiao's ultraaggressive style also cost his
downfall against Marquez, who
sent a careless Pacquiao to
dreamland with a right hand to
the kisser.
Pacquiao and Rios will do
two more appearances in New
York and Los Angeles before
setting the stage for their
respective training camps.
(Manila Bulletin)
2 PH teams fall
in world series
By Jonas Terrado
Team Manila and Laguna
suffered a pair of
heartbreaking defeats in their
respective divisions yesterday
in the Softball World Series in
Sussex County, Delaware.
The defending Big
League champion Manila
softbelles lost a three-run lead
by surrendering eight runs in
the sixth innings to absorb a
10-5 setback to Jessup,
Pennsylvania while Laguna
dropped a 1-0 thriller that
lasted eight innings at the
hands of Milford, Delaware in
the Senior League tilt.
Manila fell to an even 1-1
record in Pool B of the Big
League tourney while Laguna
remained winless through two
games in the Senior League's
Pool A.
Angelie Ursabia gave
Manila a 5-2 lead when she
slammed a three-run home
run off Jessup pitcher Alissa
Steier with one-out in the
bottom half of the fifth inning
but relief pitcher Baby Jane
Raro couldn't preserve the
team's precious lead in the
Meanwhile, Laguna
battled Milford to a scoreless
tie after seven innings to force
an extra frame but it was the
latter which went home with
the victory when reliever
Genella Cruz yielded a Jenna
Campbell single that scored
Megan Fry from third with two
outs in the eighth.
The loss wasted another
solid performance by Laguna
pitcher Gazelle Dilay, who
struck out seven batters in
seven innings. (Manila
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 28
Boxing experts say
Pacquiao must win big
By Nick Giongco
CEBU CITY -- Boxing
luminaries in this fight town
are one and the same in the
belief that Manny Pacquiao
doesn't only need a win but a
resounding one at that when
he goes up against the brash
Mexican-American slugger
Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 in
Two members of Team
Pacquiao training assistants
Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy
Neri and promoter Wakee
Salud said the Filipino icon
badly needs an emphatic
victory to resurrect his career
following the heartbreaking
loss to Juan Manuel Marquez
last year.
“It has to be a very
impressive victory and not
just an ordinary win,” said
Salud, who put up last night's
big show at the Waterfront
Hotel featuring a world
bantamweight title fight
between Namibia's Paulus
Ambunda and Japanese
Tomoki Kameda.
Fernandez, Pacquiao's
Manny Pacquiao
boyhood friend and Freddie
Roach's No. 2 man in training
camp, said such is very doable.
“Rios will be there to
fight and Manny's going to hit
him and he won't be able to
take it,” said Fernandez.
Neri likens Rios to a
smaller version of Antonio
Margarito, the plodding 5-11
banger who the 34-year-old
Pacquiao beat to a bloody pulp
in late-2010 in Texas.
“Rios doesn't move much
so Manny won't have a hard
time landing his big punches,”
said Neri.
“He'll end up like
Margarito,” said Neri, who has
an idea of what Rios will look
like after the scheduled 12round welterweight war at
The Venetian.
From what Neri sees,
Rios, much younger than
Pacquiao at 27, will likely be
rescued by the referee or by
his handlers from taking
unnecessary punishment.
Salud said that Pacquiao
is going to conduct a punching
clinic come fight night .
“It will be eat-all-you-can,
buffet-style for Manny,” said
Salud. (Manila Bulletin)
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 29
Former overseas worker finds new career in organic food
By Maurice Malanes
BAGUIO CITY --- After 24 years
as an overseas worker in the Middle
East, Mauricio Sandico returned home
to explore business opportunities and
ended up choosing a venture close to
an advocacy he shares with his wife,
Felyorganic and healthy food.
Shortly after retiring in April
2007, Sandico says he and Fely
invested in a farm land where they
could specialize in cultivating organic
crops because they have championed
healthy eating all their lives.
“[Buying] land is still one of the
wisest investments because it is
permanent,” says the 57-year-old
The couple bought a 4.4-hectare
farm for P3.8 million in Rosario, La
Union, just an hour's drive from
Baguio, after failing to find a suitable
farm land here or in neighboring La
Trinidad, Benguet.
The Sandicos lost no time in
gradually transforming their newly
acquired propertya former tobacco
and corn farminto an organic hub.
Sandico contacted the La
Trinidad Organic Practitioners
Multipurpose Cooperative (LaTop), an
influential group of organic producers
in La Trinidad and Baguio. In late 2007,
he took a basic course in organic
farming given by LaTop.
They began shipping sunflower
stems from Baguio to their Rosario lot,
which they shredded and mixed with
weed and grass for compost.
They have since cultivated
organic riceboth inbred varieties from
the Philippine Rice Research Institute
(PhilRice) and some heirloom upland
varieties from the Cordillera such as
BAGUIO-BASED Mauricio Sandico invests his retirement money from an overseas job in a La Union farm. He and wife Fely are the main distributors of alfalfa sprouts
“balatinaw” (a violet rice)in some
areas of the farm. Some of the farm
space have been devoted to lowland
vegetablesokra, eggplant, bitter gourd,
tomatoes, string beans and almost any
other vegetable found in the “Bahay
Kubo” children's song.
In between or around the
perimeter of the crops, they planted
lemongrass and marigold to ward off
pests and insects.
“But eventually I maintained
only the lemongrass, which we can also
sell,” says Sandico.
Aside from farming, the
Sandicos wanted to explore other
related ventures that they could
engage in while at home in Baguio
waiting for their crops in La Union to
be harvested.
Sandico discovered that among
the more than 200 members of LaTop,
only former LaTop president Pat
Acosta tends and sells alfalfa sprouts at
the local market.
Alfalfa sprouts are popular salad
ingredients, which are rich in iron,
magnesium and vitamins.
Alfalfa seeds are much like
sesame seeds, which are almost as tiny
as pechay or cabbage seeds. Week-old
alfalfa sprouts, he says, are about 10
times smaller than monggo sprouts.
Health experts say alfalfa
sprouts are antioxidants (or have anticancer substances).
Acosta's alfalfa sprouts are
patronized by the Baguio branch of a
pizza restaurant chain, as well as by
restaurants at Camp John Hay.
But Sandico notes that Acosta's
alfalfa sprouts could not meet the
growing demand, so he decided to join
that niche market in 2011.
Sandico says he was fortunate to
have a brother in the United States,
where he orders alfalfa seeds, which
are certified organic by the US
Department of Agriculture. His
brother sends the items by courier.
Sandico then had to embrace the
fact that he needed to discover for
himself how to grow sprouts in Baguio
“There are minute details [in
growing alfalfa sprouts] which I myself
HOW TO PLAY: Place a number from 1 to 9 in each empty cell so that each
row, each column and each 3x3 block contains all the numbers from 1 to 9
Solution to Issue 30 Sudoku
Solution to Issue 30 Crossword
h a d t o d i s c ove r, s o I h a d t o
experiment,” Sandico says.
For example, Sandico says he
learned that too much chlorine in tap
water did not help germinate the
sprouts. “We had to invest on a water
purifier,” he says.
“It took three months of
experimentation before I came out
with the perfect sprouts following
trials that destroyed a lot of seeds,” he
Sprouting alfalfa turned out to
be a good source of income for the
Sandicos, augmenting revenues from
their organic farm.
“Some neighbors would say,
'Good for you, you can earn come rain
or typhoon,'” says Fely, who delivers
their alfalfa sprouts to their various
The Sandicos produce and
deliver daily an average of 75 to 95
packs (each pack contains 100 grams)
of ready-to-eat alfalfa sprouts to their
outlets here. Fely says they earn
between P4,500 and P5,700 daily.
Their outlets for alfalfa spouts
include the LaTop cooperative stores
at the Baguio Convention Center and in
La Trinidad, the Cafe by the Ruins, the
Baguio public market and the organic
vegetables' stall of Catholic nuns at the
Baguio cathedral compound.
Consumers buy alfalfa sprouts
for sandwiches, fresh vegetable salads
and soups.
For soup or any kind of stew,
Sandico says one should not cook the
sprouts to preserve their nutrients.
“Just put the sprouts in a bowl of readyto-serve hot soup,” he says.
Children usually avoid
vegetables, but they love alfalfa
sprouts when mixed with sandwiches,
“so you are assured that they are eating
something which contains the vital
minerals and vitamins they need,” says
With the promise of regular
income, the Sandicos transformed the
three-room top floor of their house
into germinating beds for their alfalfa
and shortly later, broccoli, radish and
clover sprouts.
The Sandicos follow a six-day
routine for their alfalfa sprouts. The
alfalfa seeds are first soaked in purified
water for eight hours, after which the
seeds are placed in trays in a dark room
for two days to germinate.
On the third day, the tiny sprouts
contained in a tray are transferred in
four trays to give more space for the
now growing sprouts and would now
be transferred in another room with an
open screened window to allow
sunlight in.
“As with any other plants, the
sprouts need sunlight (which is
regulated through a light curtain from
the window),” says Sandico. Inquirer
Northern Luzon
1. Prods
6. Rope fiber
10. Plate
14. Way to go
15. By mouth
16. Bright thought
17. Shed light on
19. A region of SE Pakistan
20. Associated
21. Unhappy
22. Sit for a photo
23. Nude
25. Ballots
26. Easy gait
30. Wears away
32. Introductory
35. Carouse
39. A breed of hound
40. Give delight to
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44. Breakdown
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47. Muscular contraction
50. Scattered, as seed
53. Helps
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55. Craving
60. 62 in Roman numerals
61. Re-beautify
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small intestine
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38. Lease
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45. Gilded
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48. Picture element
49. French farewell
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pump this
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58. Stair
59. Canvas dwelling
62. Female sheep
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August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 31
August 9 - 15, 2013
Page 32