NO HELP FROM CHINA IN 2016 POLLS – DUTERTE
MANILA — President Duterte has denied owing his election victory in 2016 to China as ranking Beijing officials had reportedly bragged, saying he didn’t need help from a foreign country to get 16 million votes.
In his regular televised address Monday night, Duterte also rained invectives on former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, who revealed receiving information on Feb. 22, 2019 that Beijing officials had bragged about having influenced the elections in 2016 to favor Duterte.
Duterte also threatened to file charges against the former foreign affairs secretary for insinuating that he had allowed foreign intervention in his presidential bid in 2016.
“You know, we are still investigating it,” he said, referring to possible charges against Del Rosario. “I’m not – I have not, for the life of me, sued anybody for libel or anything during my 23 years, four years as congressman then as vice mayor, and as president,” Duterte said.
“Anong China-China magtulong sa akin? Gago ka, saan mo nakuha ‘yan? Sixteen – 16 million makuha mo ng tulong sa ibang bayan? Sixteen million mabili mo? Ang aking majority is six million over. Lahat 16 million. Sixteen million plus voted. Six million of that was my majority over your friend (What do you mean China helped me? Who told you that? Help from another country for the 16 million? 16 million plus voted, six million of that was my majority over your friend),” he said.
The President said he would also like to throw a cup of coffee at Del Rosario’s face.
Reacting to Duterte’s tirade, Del Rosario said the people should vote in next year’s elections for a candidate who will promote the interest of the Philippines and not China’s.
'I WON'T TREAT HIM THE WAY HE TREATED ME', ROBREDO SAYS OF DUTERTE IF THEY SWAP POSITIONS
MANILA - While she reiterated Tuesday that she's still looking into multiple factors before deciding on a possible presidential bid next year, Vice President Leni Robredo gave assurances that if she runs for and wins the country's top post, and political arch-rival President Rodrigo Duterte bags the vice presidency, she won't treat him the way he has treated her.
"Parang poetic justice 'pag nangyari," Robredo told ANC's After the Fact, in response to a hypothetical question citing such situation in light of Duterte's recent pronouncement regarding his possible vice presidential bid.
"Pero, para sa akin, very, very seriously, ako, I will not treat him the way he treated me, kasi, I don't think it is to the best interest of the people na 'yung Presidente at saka Vice President nag-aaway," she added.
"Having said that, tatanungin ko siya, kasi narinig ko sa speech niya na kung manalo siya, matutulog na lang siya at maghihintay siya na mamatay ang Presidente o whatever."
Robredo said that if Duterte wins, she hopes he won't experience what she went through as the country's second-highest official.
"Para sa akin, andaming missed opportunities na kung binigyan lang ng pagkakataon na makatrabaho kami na bwelo, mas marami pa sana kaming nagawa," she said.
Robredo was given two posts in the Cabinet: housing secretary and co-chair of the anti-drug body. But she was removed later by Duterte due to their conflict.
As she still looks into other considerations, including her "viability", for a possible candidacy for president in 2022, Robredo pointed out one thing: The Philippines cannot last another 6 years of a Duterte-like administration.
"Mahirap 'yung padalos-dalos. Sabihin mo, 'Go, magkakandidato ako.' Tapos nagka-watak-watak lahat ... I've said it already before. We can't last another 6 years of this kind of governance," she said.
"Lalo na nasa gitna tayo ng pandemic (Especially we're in the middle of a pandemic). We've lost so much already," she added.
Asked what she thinks of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's possible candidacy, which experts say will solidly place the presidential family in further power if she wins, Robredo said: "I wish that whatever decision she ultimately makes, she will always bear in mind our country's welfare. Kaniya-kaniyang 'yung decison ... na hindi naman namin pwede pakialaman."
"Ayoko na pakialaman 'yung decision-making ng iba," the vice president added.
JUNKING OF FIRST ANTI-TERROR CASE WON'T HAVE 'SIGNIFICANT' IMPACT ON SC RULING: TASK FORCE
MANILA - The junking of a local court of the first known anti-terror law case against 2 Aetas will not have any "significant" impact on the petitions challenging the validity of the controversial law, the country's anti-insurgency task force said Wednesday.
"I think this will have no significant impact on the decisions to be done by the Supreme Court because... it wasn't thrown to them as a fact. It's not for them to take into cognizance. I think that it will be appreciated independently by the Supreme Court," lawyer Marlon Bosantog, legal spokesperson of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, said in an ANC interview.
An Olongapo City court has acquitted Aeta farmers Japer Gurung and Junior Ramos, who were the first to be charged as terrorists under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. They were granted the demurrer to evidence, which challenges the sufficiency of evidence filed against them.
Some 37 petitions were submitted challenging the anti-terror law at the high tribunal, with oral arguments concluding last May. Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo had said the SC would try to rule on the case within the year.
DE LIMA, DUTERTE CRITIC DETAINED ON DRUG CASES, WILL SEEK REELECTION IN 2022
MANILA — Sen. Leila de Lima, an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte who has been detained for over four years on drug cases that she says are meant to persecute her, will seek reelection next year.
A statement released by the senator's office confirmed this, noting that the "political persecution" of De Lima has only "strengthened her resolve to fight for her advocacies."
"I will run again. I will not give up. The fight continues," De Lima is quoted as saying in Filipino.
De Lima was acquitted earlier this year in one of three drug cases against her. The two others remain pending in separate courts.
This, despite De Lima's assertion that she is still in full possession of her civil and political rights, noting that the cases filed against her are still at the trial stage and she has yet to be convicted of any crime.
PHILIPPINES, OMAN AGREE TO END TRAVEL BAN
MANILA — The Philippines’ suspension of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Oman has ended after both countries discussed the mutual lifting of the travel and deployment ban.
Last week, the Philippine government, through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), suspended the deployment of OFWs to Oman after the Middle Eastern country included Filipinos and travelers from the Philippines in its travel ban.
According to POEA administrator Bernard Olalia, the Oman government agreed to lift the travel ban on the Philippines during a Zoom meeting between Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Oman Ambassador Munther Mahfoodh Salem Al-Mantheri and hosted by the President’s special envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, Amable Aguiluz V.
Olalia said Tuesday the Omani government clarified it was not their intention to block the entry of OFWs and Filipino travelers to Oman.
On the other hand, Bello said that when the ban is lifted, the Philippines will also lift its temporary suspension on OFW deployment to Oman.
Bello also reported that at the end of the meeting last Monday, “We signed an agreement. Ambassador Al-Mantheri promised to talk to his government to lift the ban. Maybe when the ban is lifted, we will also lift the suspension.”
LGUS TOLD: PREPARE PLANS VS DELTA VARIANT OF COVID-19
MANILA — The Department of the Interior and Local Government is urging local governments to develop strategies to address the possible local transmission of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant, which has caused the surge in infections in other countries.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the Philippines has so far recorded 36 cases of the Delta variant and it is possible that more people are carrying it.
"Since it (Delta variant) cannot be detected by ordinary test kits and genome sequencing is required, it is possible that a higher number of people are carrying this variant so everyone should be more careful," Año said during a meeting of the government's pandemic task force in Davao City last Monday.
"In the following days, the DILG will release a memorandum reminding our local government units to prepare strategies on the possible local transmission of the COVID Delta variant as soon as possible," he added.
CANON PH SAYS SUPPORTING ENTHUSIASTS REGARDLESS OF GENDER AS CAMPAIGN DRAWS FLAK
MANILA - Canon Marketing Philippines Inc on Wednesday ambassadors were chosen based on professional expertise regardless of gender after its campaign drew flak for lack of women representation.
The brand ambassadorship campaign was posted on its official Facebook page last July 19.
"Canon Marketing Philippines Inc supports camera enthusiasts and content creators regardless of gender, culture, customs, language or race. Our brand ambassadorship is always growing and always welcomes more members who are interested and committed," it said in a statement.
"We appreciate learning from your voices in the community. We are listening. Our activities have just kick started and based on your valuable feedback, we will enhance your experience with us," it added.
Canon said it abides by the "Kyosei" philosophy which is "living and working together for the common good."
The electronics distributor encouraged consumers to continue sharing their feedback so it can "grow better" moving forward.
The said statement, however, has also received criticisms for "lack of apology."
PH SAYS 3 CREW MEMBERS OF COVID-HIT VESSEL DISEMBARKED BEFORE GETTING TEST RESULTS
MANILA - Three crew members of a COVID-hit vessel from Indonesia disembarked in Butuan before getting their COVID-19 test results, an official said Wednesday.
The vessel had arrived on July 14 and the three crew members left the ship the next day to buy food at the public market, said Butuan City administrator Rey Desiata. The ship left Butuan on July 16, he added.
The public market has been disinfected and contact tracing was conducted, Desiata said.
"Nung umalis na 'yung barko dun kami nasabihan. Right away we did our contact tracing. Investigation is ongoing and we’ll be submitting it to (Interior) Secretary Eduardo Año within the day po," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"Medyo challenging po ang contact tracing natin. We did decontamination muna. May surveillance unit kaming nilagay."
Health authorities earlier said 12 of the 20 all-Filipino crew members had tested positive for COVID infection. The tugboat is now docked in Albay, it added.
Another crew member who disembarked and commuted to Cagayan de Oro City has been turned over to Zamboanga province and placed in quarantine there, according to Desiata.
The local government of Butuan was not informed of the crew members' swab tests as these were done by a relative of one of the ship's personnel from Agusan del Sur, Desiata said.
"Sa ibang laboratory pala pina-test 'yung samples ng mga tripulante, from our neighbor province," he said.
The Department of Health earlier said it collected 5 samples from the COVID-19 patients aboard the vessel and sent these to the Philippine Genome Center for sequencing to determine if they are infected with a foreign variant.
The vessel's point of origin, Indonesia, is the current epicenter of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia and cases there spiked due to the more transmissible Delta variant.
'BIKOY' FACES ARREST AFTER NO-SHOW AT ARRAIGNMENT IN PERJURY CHARGE
MANILA — A Manila court has ordered the arrest of Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula due to his absence during his scheduled arraignment Wednesday morning in the perjury case filed by 3 lawyers from the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG).
“In view of the failure of the accused to appear in today’s hearing despite notice and upon motions of both the private prosecutor and public prosecutor, let the cash bail posted by accused Peter Joemel Advincula be forfeited and confiscated in favor of the government,” Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 17 Judge Karla Funtilan-Abugan said in a 1-page order dated Wednesday.
“Issue a warrant of arrest against him with bail set at double the amount of the previous bail posted by the accused,” she added.
In view of Bikoy’s absence, the arraignment is reset to August 26, 2021 at 8:30am.
NBI SUBPOENAS 7 HOSPITALS OVER OVERPRICED REMDESIVIR
MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has subpoenaed seven hospitals for allegedly overpricing the investigational antiviral drug against COVID-19.
The NBI will look into patients’ allegations that the Remdesivir vials were sold in these hospitals for P12,000 to P15,000, up to as high as P30,000 per vial.
Among the hospitals subpoenaed were the Metro North Medical Center and Diliman Doctors Hospital in Quezon City, St. Clare’s Medical Center in Makati, City of Imus Doctors Hospital in Cavite, Assumption Specialty Hospital and Medical Center in Antipolo, Allied Care Experts Medical Center in Pateros and Manila East Medical Center in Taytay, Rizal.
Representatives of the hospitals explained to the NBI that they did not receive copies of the Department of Health (DOH) memoranda on the suggested retail price (SRP), according to the NBI Special Action Unit executive officer Kristine dela Cruz.
The hospital representatives also blamed the suppliers for increasing the price.
The hospital management could face charges for violating Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act. The NBI will summon seven more hospitals next week to explain the alleged overprice.
DUTERTE GREETS MUSLIMS ON EID’L ADHA FEAST
MANILA — President Duterte and Palace officials yesterday joined the Muslim community in the observation of Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice.
“It is my sincere hope that our Muslim brothers and sisters will find renewed faith and spirituality, especially when called to emulate Ibrahim’s devotion to this belief. I stand in solidarity with you in pursuing our shared goal of building a society that transcends religious, political and cultural barriers,” Duterte said.
He said Eid’l Adha is a significant occasion and a testament to the unyielding faith of the Muslim community.
“Its narrative remains a fervent reminder to the people that, even amidst life’s difficulties and challenges, our sacrifices have profound value and meaning. May you have a solemn and meaningful observance. Eid Mubarak!” Duterte said.
J&J VACCINES DISTRIBUTED IN BARMM
MANILA — The first batch of one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines allotted for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have been delivered.
National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said 30,000 doses arrived in Tawi-Tawi on Monday. The vaccines will be rolled out in Sitangkai, Turtles Island and Mapun Island.
Galvez cited the need to protect Tawi-Tawi due to its proximity to Indonesia and Malaysia, which are experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.
“Our main consideration in deploying these vaccines to areas with reported cases of Delta variant is because these J&J doses require only one shot,” he said.
Another 30,000 doses were delivered to Basilan on the same day.
A total of 40,000 doses allocated for Sulu were expected to be brought by an aircraft of the Western Mindanao Command yesterday.
HEAVY RAINFALL WARNING UP IN METRO MANILA, NEARBY PROVINCES DUE TO HABAGAT
MANILA - The state weather bureau on Wednesday morning warned of heavy rainfall in Metro Manila and nearby areas due to the southwest monsoon.
The habagat is enhanced by Typhoon Fabian and a severe tropical storm outside the Philippine area of responsibility, PAGASA said in its 5 a.m. bulletin.
The weather bureau raised the following warnings over parts of Luzon:
Red warning - serious flooding is expected in flood-prone areas
Orange warning - flooding is threatening
Yellow warning - flooding in flood-prone areas
Light to moderate with occasional heavy rains may persist within 3 hours over Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Rizal, and Quezon, according to PAGASA.
Fabian is unlikely to bring heavy rainfall to the country, but hoisting of storm signals over the Batanes-Babuyan Islands region remained possible, the weather bureau earlier said.
It is forecast to pass close or make landfall in the Ryukyu Archipelago in Japan on Friday, before exiting the PAR on Saturday.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
MISS UNIVERSE 2021 TO BE HELD IN ISRAEL IN DECEMBER
The Miss Universe organization announced on Monday that the 70th edition of the pageant will be held in Israel at the end of the year.
The coronation night will be broadcast live globally in December 2021 from Eilat, a port city in the south tip of Israel.
The organization announced the venue through a video, showing past and recent Miss Universe winners, released across its social media channels.
Among those shown in the compilation are the Philippines’ own Margie Moran, who won in 1973; Pia Wurtzbach, 2015; and Catriona Gray, 2018.
In total, the Philippines’ has produced four Miss Universe winners, including Gloria Diaz in 1969.
The country has been on an 11-year streak of its representatives placing in the semifinals of the pageant, starting with Venus Raj in 2010.
Rabiya Mateo, the Philippines’ 2020 delegate, finished in the top 21.
Mateo’s successor, who will be crowned on September 25, will compete in the international pageant in Israel.
NBA SCORES JULY 20
1 2 3 4 T
2 Suns2-4 16 31 30 21 98
3 Bucks4-2 29 13 35 28 105
GAME 6: MIL LEADS 4-2, FISERV FORUM, MILWAUKEE, WI
C. Paul PHO
26 PTS 2 REB 5 AST
G. Antetokounmpo MIL
50 PTS 14 REB 2 AST
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
The youth gets together the materials for a bridge to the moon, and at length the middle-aged man decides to make a woodshed with them. - Henry David Thoreau