JOURNALISTS CAN ONLY CONNECT TO STATE-RUN MEDIA TO COVER DUTERTE'S SONA
MANILA Â— Hours before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his penultimate
State of the Nation Address, journalists seeking authorization to cover the
event have yet to hear from the Presidential Communications Operations
As it is, Philippine and foreign media can only rely on state-run coverage
of DuterteÂ’s SONA, which he will deliver amid growing dissent following his
approval of the anti-terrorism law and shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN.
Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network Network Â— alliance of media
watchdogs and groups Â— on Monday morning said that neither the PCOO nor the
Inter-Agency Task Force responded to their request to allow a delegation of
independent media to cover DuterteÂ’s 5th SONA.
Â“Given how recent events have cast doubt on the integrity and credibility of
state media, we would like to sound you off on the possibility of broadcast
and online outfits hooking up to the [Radio Television Malacañang] feed but
airing on a slightly delayed basis,Â” FMFA said in a statement.
The PCOO last week announced that only state run Presidential Broadcast
Staff-RTVM will be allowed inside the Batasang Pambansa. This is among the
governmentÂ’s health and safety measures against the coronavirus.
The presidential communications said journalists can Â“hook up to the live
feed of PTV or live stream of the Presidential Communications and RTVM
Facebook pages and RTVM Youtube channel.Â”
SONA PROTESTS TO PROCEED; 12,000 EXPECTED TO DEFY VIRUS FEARS
Some 12,000 protesters are expected to defy fears of the novel coronavirus
on Monday as they converge at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in
Quezon City for President Rodrigo Duterte's fifth State of the Nation
Address, an official said Monday.
Around 90 groups of activists, lawyers, journalists, religious groups,
artists, students, workers, indigenous people, urban poor and various other
sectors will join the SONAgkaisa rally, said UP vice chancellor for
community affairs Dr. Aleli Bawagan.
Protest organizers agreed to enforce physical distancing, the wearing of
face masks and other health protocols, like they did during a rally last
Independence Day, she said.
"Malaking grupo po itong inaasahan natin, mas malaki kaysa noong June 12,"
she told DZMM.
Police said officers deployed around the campus will only "provide security"
and will not bar protesters from gathering. The officers cannot enter the
campus, which will be monitored by its own police, said Bawagan.
8-9 STRANDED PERSONS AT RIZAL SPORTS COMPLEX TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS
MANILA - Eight to 9 stranded individuals at the Rizal Memorial Sports
Complex tested positive for COVID-19 using rapid antibody tests, an official
said Monday, as the public criticized the lack of physical distancing at the
venue over the weekend.
Some 6,000 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) trooped to the stadium to
avail of government's free transportation assistance to their home provinces
through the "Hatid Tulong" program, according to Presidential Management
Staff Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo.
Persons who tested positive for the coronavirus in rapid tests were
immediately isolated and underwent confirmatory tests and their close
contacts were put into record and flagged to receiving local governments,
If the LSIs test positive in the confirmatory swab test, they will be
brought to a quarantine facility. If their results turn out negative, they
will be allowed to travel based on the assessment of doctors, Encabo added.
Those who were in close contact, meantime, will undergo swab tests and a
14-day quarantine in their home province.
The technical working group handling the program convened an emergency
meeting Sunday and "committed" that the "approach and preparations should be
somehow improved," according to the Assistant Secretary.
"As being concurred by officials of the different agencies, we plan to come
out with a cluster sendoff based on the request coming from the local chief
executive," Encabo said.
"Hopefully with the assessment and evaluation we conducted were very
confident that we could make it better and meet the expectations of the
public as well as other entities."
GOVT 'CHOSE LESSER EVIL' IN CRAMMING THOUSANDS IN STADIUM DESPITE VIRUS
MANILA Â— The government Â“chose the lesser between 2 evilsÂ” when it packed
thousands of stranded Filipinos into a stadium in Manila to shelter them
from rains, risking the spread of the novel coronavirus due to lack of
space, an official said Monday.
The Hatid Tulong program was supposed to help people who lost their jobs due
to the pandemic come home to the provinces. Authorities were supposed to
test the beneficiaries for the novel coronavirus at the Rizal Memorial
Sports Complex before their trip.
However, beneficiaries spread word of the program to other locally stranded
individuals (LSIs) who flocked to the stadium without pre-registering with
authorities, said Hatid Tulong lead convener Presidential Management Staff
Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo.
Tents had not yet been set up outside the stadium when rains started pouring
Tuesday night, forcing authorities to pack people inside the stadium. There
were up to 4,800 LSIs there at one point, Encabo said.
Â“Doon po mas vulnerable sila sa sakit, lalong-lao na iyong mga bata, mga
buntis, senior citizens at PWDs: Dahil po sa pagbagsak ng ulan, talagang
kailangan naming maisilong ang mga tao,Â” he told ABS-CBNÂ’s TeleRadyo.
Â“We have to choose between 2 lesser evils here,Â” he said.
Ensuring that the stranded travelers had enough distance to prevent an
outbreak of COVID-19 Â“really took us timeÂ”, the official conceded.
COURT STANDS BY RESSA VERDICT, TELLS DEFENSE: PRESENT EVIDENCE IN COURT, NOT
MANILA - The Manila court which convicted Rappler CEO and executive editor
Maria Ressa and former writer-researcher Reynaldo Santos, Jr. of cyber libel
in connection with an article about property developer Wilfredo Keng stood
by its earlier ruling sentencing the two to up to 6 years in prison.
In a 13-page order dated July 24, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46
Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa insisted, it was the defense that failed to
present evidence to defend themselves.
She stressed the court can only decide based on the evidence presented by
"Under existing laws and rules of procedure parties are required to adduce
and offer Evidence during the trial of the case in court. It is not
presented and adduced in front of media platforms especially after the trial
of the case has been concluded," the judge said.
"Not only does this undermine the integrity of the courts but it also gives
the public a misconception on how cases are tried and heard by the courts of
law," she added.
US DELIVERS ADDITIONAL P11.4 MILLION IN MEDICAL SUPPLIES
The US Army and Marine Corps service members, in partnership with the
Philippine Air Force, Army and Coast Guard, delivered an additional P11.4
million ($236,000) worth of personal protective equipment and medical
supplies to hospitals in 11 cities in the Philippines.
The latest donation brings the total assistance of the US government to the
Philippines' efforts against COVID-19 to P989 million (more than $20
"This latest delivery of U.S. government assistance for Filipino frontliners
in the battle against COVID-19 is a testament to our ongoing commitment to
help the Philippines defeat the pandemic," US Ambassador Sung Kim said.
SENATE SET TO PASS 'BAYANIHAN 2', WORK ON BILLS IN RESPONSE TO PANDEMIC
MANILA Â— The Senate of the Philippines on Monday opened the second regular
session of the 18th Congress on Monday with 23 senators present, although
some attended the session remotely.
The Senate members present through video teleconference were: Kiko
Pangilinan, Richard Gordon, Koko Pimentel, Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos and
Only opposition Sen. Leila de Lima was not able to join the session, as she
was disallowed from participating while in detention.
The Senate did not announce any changes to its officers or to the
chairpersonships of its committees.
Upon the opening of the session, Sotto said that he would be willing to lead
the legislative body in crafting a "holistic agenda" that would focus on the
following amid the COVID-19 crisis:
-improving the digital landscape
-distance learning amid community quarantine
-improving the public transport system
-encouraging new business
-support for the arts
Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri announced that the upper chamber on
Tuesday afternoon would be passing 'Bayanihan 2' Â— an extension of the
'Bayanihan to Heal as One Act' that gave the president sweeping powers to
address the COVID-19 pandemic Â— on its third and final reading.
Along with the extension of the Bayanihan Act, senators have previously
cited probes into the alleged corruption and mismanagement within Philippine
Health Insurance Corporation and the deaths of high profile inmates at New
Bilibid Prison as priorities.
BULACAN COPS ARREST COMMUNITY LEADER, CONFISCATE 'SUBVERSIVE' NEWSPAPERS
MANILA Â— Urban poor alliance Kadamay on Sunday condemend the arrest of a
community leader in Pandi, Bulacan and the confiscation of copies of Pinoy
Weekly, an independent newspaper, saying both were done despite police not
presenting any warrants.
In a statement, Kadamay said that personnel of the Philippine National
Police came in "squads" to arrest one of its leaders, Rose Fortaleza, after
they "entered the occupied Villa Lois housing site to conduct illegal
searches without a warrant."
"The cops entered FortalezaÂ’s home, arrested her and confiscated the groupÂ’s
flyers along with issues of the alternative news publication, Pinoy Weekly,"
the group's statement reads.
Mimi Doringo, Kadamay spokesperson, said in the statement: Â“We have always
said, often, that the poor will be hit first by Duterte's repression. Is it
illegal to distribute a brochure and newspaper today? The police did not
have a search warrant and there was no basis for the arrest and confiscation
of our materials but they continued. Who is the criminal here?Â”
According to Kadamay, Fortaleza remains detained at the Pandi Municipal
Police Station without any formal charges pressed. Her family, they said,
have been barred from seeing her.
In a separate statement Pinoy Weekly editor-in-chief Kenneth Guda condemned
the confiscation of copies of their newspaper, saying these were Kadamay
"What [Police Captain Jun] Alejandrino and his men did was illegal.
Secondly, either the police chief is ignorant of the
constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of the press and freedom of expression,
or he chooses to trample upon it. Either way, he and his men are committing
a crime," he said.
'Subversive' materials were 'voluntarily surrendered'
But Pandi Municipal Police Station has a completely different account of
what happened, according to a source.
A source, who declined to be identified for lack of clearance to speak to
media, told Philstar.com in a phone call that the station took what they
identified as subversive materials after they were voluntarily surrendered
Guda, citing reports from witnesses, said that the police had "said the
magazines were 'illegal' and that they should give up the copies or else
'may mangyayari (something will happen)'."
The source also said that what happened was not a raid, adding that those
living in the projects were concerned about having such materials around
Philstar.com was also told that they were classified as subversive and had
content and graphics of President Duterte.
UP HOLDS FIRST VIRTUAL GRADUATION EXERCISES
MANILA Â— The University of the Philippines System successfully held its
first ever virtual commencement exercises yesterday as it complied with
physical distancing restriction amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Leading Class 2020 were a bumper crop of 28 summa cum laude, an academic
distinction for graduates who earned a weighted average grade (WAG) of 1.20
Figures from the Office of the University Registrar showed that 302 received
the Latin distinction of magna cum laude (WAG of 1.4 or higher) while 683
graduated cum laude (1.75 or higher).
Of the total candidates for graduation, 2,892 received a baccalaureate
degree and 897 were conferred graduate degrees in the diploma, masterÂ’s and
Observing the health and safety protocols set by the COVID-19 Inter-Agency
Task Force, the virtual commencement exerices were limited to key
The 109th Pangkalahatang Pagtatapos carried the theme Â“Maglingkod,
It called on the graduating class, particularly in these challenging times,
Â“to serve the country with empathy and conviction so that excellence, rights
and justice may prevail.Â”
It also paid tribute to frontliners and those who lost their lives to
COVID-19. It was also a protest against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and
CongressÂ’ vote to not renew ABS-CBNÂ’s franchise.
PHILIPPINES' COVID-19 CASES NOW OVER 80,000 AS 2,110 NEW CASES CONFIRMED
MANILA - The Philippines reported 2,110 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on
Sunday bringing the countryÂ’s total to 80,448.
Of the confirmed cases, 52,406 were deemed active, of which 89.83 percent
were classified as mild, 9.25 percent were asymptomatic, 0.49 percent were
severe and 0.42 percent were critical.
The government however still has thousands of backlogs in validation, with
110,910 tests turning out positive as of July 25.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that Metro Manila may
revert to much stricter Â‘modified enhanced community quarantineÂ’ measures if
the number of confirmed virus infections rises to 85 thousand by July 31.
The National Capital Region had the most number of new cases at 1,345. It
was followed by provinces of Cebu with 304, Laguna with 109, Negros
Occidental with 66 and Rizal with 40.
The Department of Health also reported 382 new recoveries, pushing the total
number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 26,110.
Thirty nine more deaths were reported from the illness, bringing COVID-19Â’s
death toll in the Philippines to 1,932.
PHILIPPINES COULD RECORD 140,000 COVID-19 CASES BY END-AUGUST, WARNS UP
MANILA - The Philippines could record up to 90,000 COVID-19 cases by the end
of July and up to 140,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of August, an expert
from the University of the Philippines said Monday.
Mathematics professor Dr. Guido David, a member of the UP OCTA Research
group, said the group had to adjust its earlier projection of 85,000 cases
by end-July as caseload of new COVID-19 patients continued to rise
particularly in the National Capital Region.
"Hindi pababa sa ngayon pero ang trend sa Cebu is pababa na. Na-fa-flatten
na ang curve sa Cebu. Ang trend talaga sa NCR pataas, hindi lang sa NCR,
pati Calabarzon nadamay din," he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's
SWS: 7 IN 10 FILIPINOS RECEIVED AID FROM GOV'T DURING CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
Seven out of 10 Filipinos said their families received financial assistance
from the government since the start of the novel coronavirus crisis,
according to a Social Weather Stations survey released Sunday.
From July 3 to 6, the polling firm asked 1,555 adult Filipinos: Â“Since the
beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, did your families receive help like money
from any branch or agency of government?Â”
Seventy-two percent of the respondents said they received cash aid from the
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
KATHRYN, DANIEL CELEBRATE 8TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A DUET ON 'ASAP'
Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla marked their eighth year as a couple
with a duet on Â“ASAP Natin To.Â”
Treating their fans with a special number, the two took the stage of the
variety show on Sunday to do their own version of the Eraserheads' Â“With A
Sending their supporters abuzz, Bernardo and PadillaÂ’s number immediately
trended on social media with the hashtag #KathNielCelebr8OnASAP making it to
the trending topics list on Twitter Philippines.
Â“ASAP Natin ToÂ” airs every Sunday at noontime on the Kapamilya Channel (Sky
Cable Channel 8 on SD and Channel 167 on HD, Cable Link Channel 8, G-Sat
Direct TV Channel 2, and PCTA member cable operators).
FOOTBALL: MANCHESTER UNITED AND CHELSEA CONFIRM CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPOTS WITH
VICTORIES IN FINAL PREMIER LEAGUE MATCHES
Manchester United and Chelsea have sealed spots in next season's Champions
League, after the two clubs won their final matches of the season to confirm
their places in the top four.
With Sunday's results, United and Chelsea will join title-winners Liverpool
and second-place Manchester City in the Champions League next season, with
the Red Devils sealing their return to the competition after finishing sixth
Meanwhile, Leicester City and Tottenham are headed to the Europa League
after their results on Sunday, with Wolves left waiting for the result of
the FA Cup final, which will determine their European fate.
United confirmed a top-four finish thanks to a 2-0 win over Leicester,
scoring twice in the second half following a tense first 45 minutes.
The game's pivotal moment came in the 70th minute when Bruno Fernandes fired
past Kasper Schmeichel from the spot after Jonny Evans fouled Anthony
Martial inside the box. Jesse Lingard then selaed the victory in the eighth
minute of stoppage time.
Fernandes' goal doomed Leicester to a fifth-place finish, with the Foxes
needing all three points against the Red Devils.
Leicester's recent results saw the Foxes fall all the way from second to
fifth, after the club remained in the top four from September 21 to July 22
before failing to return on the final day of the Premier League season.
Chelsea, meanwhile booked their Champions League spot with a 2-0 win over
Wolves, with the Blues going into Sunday knowing that even a point would be
enough to seal their spot in Europe's top competition.
The Blues all but confirmed their top-four finish with a two-goal flurry
just before half-time, with Mason Mount's stunning free-kick giving Chelsea
the lead in the first minute of first-half stoppage time.
Just three minutes later, their lead was doubled, with Olivier Giroud adding
the Blues' second while severely damaging Wolves' hopes on the day.
With Wolves' loss, Tottenham were able to push their way into a sixth-place
finish thanks to a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.
Spurs originally took the lead in the 13th minute thanks to a finish for
Harry Kane, but Palace were able to fire back in the 53rd minute through
As a result, Spurs moved into sixth to book an automatic spot in the Europa
League, while Wolves will need Chelsea to beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final
this weekend for their seventh-place finish to be enough.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
- Edward Abbey