6 FEARED DEAD, 2 MISSING IN MAGNITUDE-6.8 QUAKE IN MINDANAO: NDRRMC
MANILA — At least six people are feared dead, and two are missing after a magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck parts of southern Mindanao, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The reported casualties include one in Davao Region and five in Soccsksargen, with details yet to be validated.
NDRRMC Director Edgardo Posadas stated that there are two reported missing individuals and two reported injuries, with 450 individuals requiring medical care. The alert status has been raised to Blue, signifying intensified physical monitoring, particularly by uniformed services such as the PNP, Coast Guard, and Bureau of Fire Protection. Blue alert also ensures that hospitals and health facilities are ready for emergencies, with medicines and supplies prepared for distribution.
A meeting of NDRRMC's response cluster nationwide is scheduled to further assess the situation. Mayor Lorelie Geronimo-Pacquiao of General Santos reported three deaths in her city, with infrastructure damage to malls and private establishments. The earthquake prompted the rushed admission of almost 300 patients, including children, to Dr. Jorge P. Royeca City Hospital. Panic attacks were observed among students involved in a school gymnasium activity during the quake. The chaotic situation challenged medical professionals to prioritize patient care, resulting in several being sent home, with only seven students remaining in hospitals as of Saturday morning.
PHILIPPINES, US TEAM UP TO PROTECT ENVIRONMENT, HUMAN HEALTH
MANILA — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the United States Environmental Protection Agency signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation on environmental and human health protection.
The memorandum of understanding aims to foster collaboration and information exchange on topics such as air quality, water quality, science-informed policymaking, climate change mitigation and adaptation, solid waste management, cumulative impact research and assessment, environmental incident response, environmental justice, and enforcement and compliance assurance.
The collaboration with the EPA also seeks to develop the capacity of the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau, environment chief Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said.
“As the adverse impacts of climate change and environmental degradation continue to impact the most vulnerable of the society, this collaboration will allow us to develop local adaptation and risk reduction strategies and integrate community and ecosystem resilience into green growth pathways,” Loyzaga said.
“The United States and the Philippines enjoy a strong and robust partnership, and with today’s action we are extending that partnership to address environmental challenges that affect the health and well-being of our people and our planet,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said.
The MOU was signed by Regan in Washington D.C. ahead of the signing ceremony in Metro Manila. The partnership will be in effect for five years, with the ability for extension upon mutual consent.
In a joint statement in May, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and United States President Joe Bien committed to boost cooperation on environment and climate change issues.
MARCOS SAYS FILIPINO FISHERS' PLIGHT RAISED AT MEETING WITH XI
MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said he raised the plight of Filipino fishermen to Chinese President Xi Jinping in a meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco, United States.
In an interview with the press, the President said he brought up incidents in the West Philippine Sea, including collisions between Filipino and Chinese vessels.
"I asked that we go back to the situation where both Chinese and Filipino fishermen were fishing together in these waters and so, I think the point was well taken by President Xi," the Philippine leader said.
Parts of the West Philippine Sea like Scarborough Shoal, which Manila also calls Panatag Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc, are traditional fishing grounds. That means countries should not block access to them.
"[H]opefully to find ways to avoid that and have ways to move forward from this situation. Essentially, we tried to come up with mechanisms to lower the tensions in South China Sea," he said.
Aside from this the two leaders agreed that the problems in the South China Sea "should not be the defining element of our relationship."
"But nonetheless, the problems remain and it is something that we will need to continue to communicate to find ways to avoid such incidents," he said.
PERUVIAN PRESIDENT INVITES MARCOS JR. TO MAKE OFFICIAL STATE VISIT
MANILA — Peruvian President Dina Boluarte has invited President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to visit her country and hopes the Philippines will establish an embassy there soon, the Palace said.
The Philippines and Peru established diplomatic relations in 1974. Lima plans to reopen its embassy in Manila, which was closed in 2003 as part of austerity measures.
The Presidential Communications Office said Boluarte told Marcos that Peru would be honored to host him on an official state visit in 2024 to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations.
"And so we look forward to welcoming you to Peru with open arms and warm heart to have that brotherly and sisterly treatment between our countries," PCO quotes Boluarte as saying at a meeting on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco.
Among the Philippines' exports to Peru are tuna, electronic products and other products while imports include metal products, clothing, and ores and metal scrap.
The two countries can work together in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, food, and tourism, the Palace also said.
PISTON: 3-DAY NATIONWIDE TRANSPORT STRIKE TO PUSH THROUGH
MANILA — PISTON's planned 3-day nationwide transport strike, beginning next Monday, will proceed despite calls from authorities to reconsider, according to PISTON President Mody Floranda. Around 100,000 members and local federations will participate to voice concerns over the government's public transportation sector upgrade plan.
Operators and drivers argue that replacing traditional jeepneys is cost-prohibitive and that the modernization program disproportionately benefits corporations and large cooperatives over smaller operators. Floranda emphasized that PISTON would support consolidation if operators retained franchise ownership.
Authorities warned of potential franchise revocation for strikers, a stance contested by PISTON as a violation of their right to strike and seek redress. Floranda highlighted the challenges of forming cooperatives or corporations under the modernization program, expressing concerns about the financial burden on small operators.
PISTON noted the inadequacy of guidelines in the transport modernization program, emphasizing the lack of assurance for operators to return to the road post-consolidation due to high costs. An estimated P40 million is required for consolidating 15 units.
Transport regulators clarified that traditional jeepneys would still be allowed if they joined cooperatives or corporations. Consolidation, considered the "first component" of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, raised concerns about potential phaseouts later in the 10-component plan.
PISTON argued that upgrading existing jeepneys would be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than purchasing new units. Critics contended that modern jeepneys are expensive and would disadvantage single-unit operators in route franchise allocations.
MARCOS TO PARTNER WITH TIKTOK TO HELP MSMES: PALACE
MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. will partner with video-sharing platform Tiktok on "edutainment," and help micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises sell their products on the app, Malacañang said on Saturday.
In a statement, Press Secretary Cheloy Garafil said Marcos Jr. and TikTok Chief Executive Officer Shou Zi Chew met in San Francisco, California on the sidelines of this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
"The President wanted TikTok to train local sellers, particularly those in the rural areas, to promote their products," said Garafil.
Two projects are already in the pipeline under this initiative, and would boost inclusivity to online sellers, according to the TikTok CEO.
TikTok promises moderation, cooperation with government
He also vowed for the safety of sellers and consumers in the platform, which currently boasts of 50 million active users in the Philippines.
“We want to give more resources and highlight and train the local sellers in the more rural parts of the country because that’s one thing interesting on the platform. What we want to do is highlight local products, especially from smaller [sellers], he said.
“So, if there’s anything that crosses the guidelines, we will moderate. And we have local representative who is working very closely with one of the regulators as well. We get feedback and move very quickly if there is something that we spot is violated on the platform and that’s something that we take extremely, seriously.”
Marcos Jr. echoed Chew's sentiments on the platform's safety.
“But just the differences in opinion and how they’re expressed, that sometimes is very hard to determine whether you… where is it excessive and where is it acceptable but I suppose you have all the rules and… that you need to do that,” said Marcos.
“Because Tiktok, I mean from the beginning was quite really just a very lighthearted platform but then just because of its popularity like for example, for someone like me who’s in politics, if you’re talking to 50 million people, then I need to be part of that conversation ...So, it’s inevitable ... the many sides, multi-faceted side will come in.”
The Palace said TikTok Shop's gross merchandise value in 2022 reached $4.4 billion in Southeast Asia alone.
MMDA PROPOSAL ALLOWING '5-VEHICLE CONVOYS' IN EDSA BUSWAY FOR VIPS MET WITH CRITICISM
The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) supports the Department of Transportation's (DOTr) decision to limit EDSA busway use to public transport and emergency vehicles, excluding top government officials. However, MAP criticizes the proposal by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to allow a "convoy of 5 vehicles of officials" on the busway.
While the MMDA's proposal was approved by the DOTr, MAP argues that it should not become a policy due to its deviation from globally accepted busway standards aimed at ensuring efficiency. The busway is designed for dedicated use by buses to transport commuters, providing an effective solution to the previously chaotic and inefficient bus service.
MAP emphasizes the importance of restricted access and exclusivity in maintaining the standards of the busway and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. These standards contribute to the cost-effectiveness of the urban mass transit system, making it one of the most efficient globally.
The MMDA had previously announced increased fines for EDSA bus lane violators, and MAP expresses concern over the violation of standards, warning that such deviations could jeopardize the success of the EDSA busway. MAP highlights the efficiency of the busway, with 550 buses carrying up to 450,000 passengers a day as of December 27, 2022.
MAP concludes by stating that accommodating convoys of officials demonstrates an inconsistency in public policy, favoring the privileged few over the majority of commuters and motorists who deserve an efficient EDSA Busway.
LTFRB ISSUES SHOW CAUSE ORDER TO VICTORY LINER AFTER FATAL SHOOTING INCIDENT
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued a show cause order to Victory Liner following a tragic incident where two passengers were shot inside one of the company's buses in Nueva Ecija province. The order requires Victory Liner to explain in writing why its certificate of public convenience should not be revoked for alleged failure to provide safe and dependable land public transportation. A hearing is scheduled for November 21 at 1:30 p.m. Victory Liner has pledged to triple security measures, emphasizing the importance of safety. The incident, captured on a dashcam and shared on social media, led to renewed discussions about enhancing security in buses, including the possible return of bus marshals, although logistical challenges were acknowledged.
INVOKING ARROYO ACQUITTAL, NAPOLES MOVES TO DISMISS PLUNDER CASE
MANILA — Janet Lim Napoles, commonly known as the "pork barrel queen," has filed a 158-page demurrer to evidence seeking the dismissal of the plunder case against her. The case inmillion in Priorivolves the alleged misuse of P172 ty Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Napoles claims a defective criminal charge and insufficient evidence as grounds for dismissal.
The anti-graft court noted Napoles' filing of the demurrer without permission, and it will be resolved simultaneously with the main decision after the presentation of evidence for accused Jessica Lucila Reyes, Enrile's former chief of staff.
Napoles, Enrile, and Reyes face accusations of conspiring to amass kickbacks from Enrile's PDAF funneled through ghost NGOs created by Napoles. While Enrile was allowed to file a demurrer to evidence, Reyes was not. Reyes started testifying, and if Napoles' demurrer is denied, she risks forfeiting her chance to present defense evidence.
Invoking a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that acquitted former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of plunder, Napoles argues that the information against her is void because it fails to identify a "main plunderer." The Supreme Court ruled in Arroyo's case that the prosecution must specify who the main plunderer is in cases involving multiple individuals charged with plunder. Napoles contends that Enrile and Reyes are not clearly identified in the information, creating a fatal defect.
Napoles insists on applying the main plunderer doctrine, asserting that it is unclear who between Enrile and Reyes is the alleged main plunderer. She emphasizes that the failure to identify the main plunderer violates the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusations against them, echoing the precedent set in Arroyo's acquittal.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
MALAYSIA WINS MISS GLOBE 2023; PH BET ANNA LAKRINI IS 2ND RUNNER-UP
MANILA — Malaysia's candidate Manvin Khera was named Miss Globe 2023 at the coronation night held on Saturday (Manila time) in Albania.
Khera bested 50 other delegates with Katia Agbodo Rodriguez of Spain as 1st runner-up.
Meanwhile, the Philippines' delegate Anna Lakrini ended her journey as 2nd runner-up.
During the Q&A portion, Khera was asked: What's one lesson you learned as a child that still affects you in your life?
"Every single one of us grows every single day and I have learned from my mistakes," she said.
"I believe that failure is a key to success and every time I fail, I always tell myself 'Manvin, you're gonna and go out there and put yourself out there.' Because I believe when you fall 7, you stand up 8, and then you do that, you become unstoppable and unbeatable," Khera responded.
Duru Esther Chidera of Nigeria was hailed as 3rd runner-up followed by Kirstin Yvonne Bangs of USA as 4th runner-up.
Last year, Philippines' delegate Chelsea Fernandez ended her journey in the Top 15 with Anabel Payano of the Dominican Republic winning the crown.
The Philippines has two Miss Globe winners: Ann Lorraine Colis in 2015 and Maureen Montagne in 2021.
Since 2004, the Miss Globe pageant has crowned queens advocating for the woman's role in the world.
Here are the other placements and special awards of Miss Globe 2023:
Melissandi Matthews (Jamaica)
Lilly Sødal (Norway)
Sonia Sallaku (Albania)
Aishwarya Paatapati (India)
Pimjira Jaroenlak (Thailand)
Huang Shiyao (China)
Myroslava Lisikhun (Ukraine)
Alina Plakhotniuk (Kazakhstan)
Dominika Staniaszek (Poland)
Daniela Rosales Ma (Venezuela)
Head-to-Head challenge winner: South Africa
Miss Friendship: Hawaii
Best in National Costume: Taiwan
Miss Bikini: Brazil
Miss Talent: Malaysia
Miss Social Media: Japan
Miss Fashion: Albania
Miss Eleganza: Czech Republic
Miss Photogenic: Laos
Miss People's Choice: Jamaica
Miss Golden Girl: Belgium
Miss Tourism: Germany
Miss Dreamgirl: North Macedonia
MAGNOLIA DEF. NORTHPORT, 112-74 (PBA) NOVEMBER 17
Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots (3-0) demolished the NorthPort Batang Pier (2-1), 112-74, securing their third straight win in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Friday, November 17, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Five Magnolia players finished in double-digits, with Tyler Bey leading the way with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting, along with 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Mark Barroca had a solid performance of 17 points (7/10FG, 2/2 3pts), to go with 2 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal while Paul Lee added 16 points (4/6 3pts), 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.
MAGNOLIA 112 - Bey 25, Barroca 17, Lee 16, Jalalon 11, Sangalang 11, Laput 8, Escoto 5, Reavis 4, Corpuz 4, Dela Rosa 4, Dionsio 3, Eriobu 2, Tratter 2, Ahanmisi 0, Murrell 0.
NORTHPORT 74 – Tolentino 22, Jois 16, Salado 8, Chan 6, Zamar 4, Flores 4, Caperal 3, Munzon 2, Paraiso 2, Taha 2, Amores 2, Ayaay 2, Yu 1, Calma 0, Balagasay 0.
Quarters: 28-8, 56-30, 82-48, 112-74.
GINEBRA DEF. CONVERGE, 100-86 (PBA) NOVEMBER 17
Barangay Ginebra (1-0) defeated the Converge FiberXers (0-3), 100-86 to secure their first win in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Friday, November 17, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tony Bishop Jr. led all scorers with 34 points (12/25FG, 11/22 2pts, 1/3 3pts, 9/9ft), to go with 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Christian Standhardinger had a double-double of 25 points, a game-high 16 rebounds, 5 assists and a block while Scottie Thompson added 13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.
GINEBRA 100 - Bishop 34, Standhardinger 25, Thompson 13, J Aguilar 11, Pringle 8, Ahanmisi 7, Pinto 2, Cu 0, Pessumal 0, Gumaru 0.
CONVERGE 86 – Arana 20, Vodanovich 13, Balanza 13, Zaldivar 9, Nieto 7, Melecio 7, Stockton 6, Winston 5, Racal 3, Caralipio 3, Wong 0, Fornilos 0, Tallo 0, Maagdenberg 0.
Quarters: 25-30, 54-52, 80-67, 100-86.
NBA SCORES OF GAMES PLAYED ON NOV 16, 2023
1 2 3 4 T
27 25 31 32 115
30 30 35 27 122
Kaseya Center, Miami, FL
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
L. Walker IV BKN SG
23 PTS , 3 REB , 1 AST
J. Butler MIA SF
36 PTS , 5 REB , 3 AST
1 2 3 4 T
39 28 27 34 128
24 36 25 24 109
Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
S. Gilgeous-Alexander OKC SG
24 PTS , 2 REB , 7 AST
J. Kuminga GS PF
21 PTS , 6 REB , 2 AST
FOREX $1 = P 55.67
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of childhood into maturity - Thomas Henry Huxley