MARCOS ENDORSES ECONOMIC CHA-CHA, SAYS WILL NOT 'HINDER' CHARTER CHANGE MOVES
MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said he is backing amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution and that he will not "hinder" moves for charter change.
Marcos made the statement in a speech marking Constitution Day hosted by the Philippine Constitutional Association, which is led by his cousin, Speaker Martin Romualdez.
“We must allow this healthy and democratic debate to rage on, engaging and informing the minds of our citizens, especially since the socioeconomic development of our country is directly involved," Marcos said.
“I will neither hinder this dialogue nor encroach on the prerogatives of Congress and the sovereign will of the Filipino people," he added.
Marcos, whose family was ousted from power in 1986 by the same people power revolution that led to the current constitution, maintained the administration’s push for charter change is limited to its economic provisions.
“I want to make it clear, this administration’s position in introducing reforms to our constitution extend to economic matters alone or those strategically aimed at boosting our country’s economy, nothing more," the president likewise said.
The President said the Constitution prohibits “certain kinds of foreign investment and thus limit our economic potential and our global competitiveness."
Romualdez welcomed the President’s statement and his assurance that his support for reform “extends to economic matters only."
“At the risk of being makulit, we have been saying that we do not advocate any political amendment,” said Speaker Romualdez, who is also the Philconsa President.
Marcos meanwhile also highlighted the system of checks and balances in the constitution, amid concerns over the ongoing People’s Initiative.
The people’s initiative movement, led by Ramos-era PIRMA, seeks the power for the 2 chambers of Congress to "vote together" when approving changes to the Constitution by a three-fourths vote.
Critics, especially in the Senate, believe this would dilute and derogate the bicameral nature of Congress as this would mean that the 310-strong House could easily outvote the 24-member Senate.
“Our bicameral Congress and our built-in system of checks and balances are wonders to behold," Marcos said.
“We must allow our democratic institutions and their mechanisms made possible by our constitutional order to take their natural course," Marcos added.
MARCOS: CALL FOR A SEPARATE MINDANAO 'DOOMED TO FAIL'
MANILA -- President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Thursday vowed to defend the Constitution as he appealed to those calling for a separate Mindanao to stop their cause, which he said will not prosper.
Marcos made the statement in front of constitutionalists during the "Constitution Day" event of the Philippine Constitution Association and the Manila Overseas Press Club in Makati City, in celebration of the 37th anniversary of the 1987 Constitution.
"The new call for a separate Mindanao is doomed to fail for it is anchored on a false premise, not to mention a sheer Constitutional travesty," Marcos Jr. said.
The president made the statement in front of Philconsa Chairperson and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno and Philconsa President and House Speaker Martin Romualdez.
Last week, former President Rodrigo Duterte led the call for the secession of Mindanao, as he registered his opposition to the people’s initiative to amend the Constitution.
Duterte had announced that he instructed Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez to start soliciting signatures for that purpose. The former president's plan was criticized by lawmakers and legal experts, as well as the interim government of the Bangsamoro region. "I strongly appeal to all concerned to stop this call for a separate Mindanao," Marcos Jr. said.
DUTERTE ALLY DEFENDS MINDANAO 'INDEPENDENCE' PUSH AFTER MARCOS OBJECTION
MANILA — Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez on Friday defended the renewed push for Mindanao secession after President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. called the movement a "travesty" to the constitution.
Alvarez said they were mobilizing a "peaceful and orderly advocacy campaign" for Mindanao "independence", contrary to claims that what they were doing was "seditious."
"What we intend to do is resort to reason and tap the peaceful and common aspirations of the Mindanaoan people. Legitimate and lawful exercise yan ng aming constitutional rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and organization," Alvarez said.
On Thursday, Marcos openly rejected the calls for a separate Mindanao and urged its proponents to stop.
But Alvarez argued that what their initiative "is about the right of people to self-determination, as recognized by domestic and international law, so that they can chart their own destiny."
Asked about what they intended to achieve in this advocacy, Alvarez said, "Our aim is for Mindanao to finally be allowed to prioritize itself. Hindi yung afterthought lang dahil iba prioridad ng national government."
"Kung hindi kaya ibigay ng Pilipinas ang kailangan naming mga Mindanaon, edi bakit pa kami kasama diyan? Mas okay na magsarili na lang kami. Bakit kami sasama sa barkong palubog?" he added.
Duterte, the first Mindanaoan president, earlier explained that the lack of development in the island drove him to revive the push to separate it from the entire nation.
PUBLIC APPROVAL OF ICC DRUG WAR PROBE GROWING
MANILA — Public support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) probe into drug-related killings during the previous administration is growing, according to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
In the survey conducted from Dec. 8 to 11, 53 percent of respondents expressed support for the ICC investigation, with 25 percent strongly approving and 28 percent somewhat approving. This marks an increase from the 45 percent support recorded in March 2023.
Meanwhile, those who disapprove of the ICC investigation decreased from 24 percent to 21 percent, and undecided respondents decreased from 31 percent to 26 percent.
Additionally, 57 percent of respondents agree that the government should allow the ICC investigation, up from 48 percent in the previous survey.
Regarding awareness of the ICC investigation, 14 percent said they had extensive knowledge, and 30 percent had partial but sufficient knowledge, representing an increase from the previous survey.
Trust in the ICC to conduct an impartial investigation also rose, with 29 percent expressing much trust, compared to 22 percent in the March 2023 survey.
Overall, while 55 percent remain unsure about the ICC's impartiality, this is nearly unchanged from the previous survey. Those with little trust decreased from 22 percent to 16 percent.
The survey had 1,200 adult respondents with a margin of error of plus/minus 2.8 percent.
COMELEC: VOTER REGISTRATION RESUMES FEBRUARY 12
MANILA — With the resumption of the voter registration on Feb. 12, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday warned voters against multiple registrations.
Comelec Chairman George Garcia said the poll body would not hesitate to file criminal charges against those who will register more than once.
The Comelec will launch the Register Anywhere Program (RAP) simultaneously with the resumption of the voter registration to allow more people to sign up for the 2025 midterm elections, according to Garcia.
He said voter applicants must undergo an identification system that will enable the Comelec to easily detect multiple registrants.
“If you are a registered voter already, do not attempt to register again. Otherwise you will be charged with an election offense,” he said.
Garcia advised voters who have previously registered to check with the local Comelec offices if their registration is still active.
“Those who failed to vote in the past two elections need not register again. They just have to request for activation of their registration,” he said.
The Comelec will launch RAP in 166 malls nationwide.
Garcia said registrants may also apply for a national ID at the Comelec satellite offices.
ABS-CBN FOUNDATION ENDS STEWARDSHIP OF LA MESA AFTER NEARLY 25 YEARS
ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI) will hand over the management of La Mesa Nature Reserve and La Mesa Ecopark to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on February 15, concluding nearly 25 years of AFI's stewardship.
The move is in line with MWSS' Integrated Watershed Management Roadmap, focusing on the protection of the Angat, Ipo, and La Mesa watersheds.
MWSS Administrator Leonor Cleofas stated that La Mesa Nature Reserve's management will transition to its corporate office and concessionaires, while MWSS, along with the local government of Quezon City, will oversee La Mesa Ecopark.
Both areas will temporarily close from February 12 to facilitate the handover. AFI employees at La Mesa will receive severance packages.
Since 1999, AFI's environmental program Bantay Kalikasan has partnered with MWSS to rehabilitate La Mesa Watershed, heavily damaged by illegal activities.
Over 1.3 million trees have been planted, and 88.75% of the watershed has been restored, demonstrating the importance of preserving watersheds for clean water, air, biodiversity, and climate resilience.
DEPED URGED TO ADDRESS STAFFING SHORTAGES TO DELOAD TEACHERS OF ADMIN TASKS
MANILA — The recent Department of Education (DepEd) order to remove administrative tasks from teachers has raised concerns about staffing shortages in schools, hindering the transition within the mandated 60-day timeframe.
Despite the good intentions of DepEd Order No. 2, s. 2004, schools, especially those with limited non-teaching personnel, struggle to find the capacity to absorb the administrative workload.
Teacher shortages are particularly acute in schools with large student populations, like "Teacher Julie's" school in Metro Manila, which has over 2,300 students and only one administrative officer.
he issue is compounded in smaller schools, where principals like the one from Region 4A, managing over 200 students, find it impractical to comply with the order without additional administrative support.
DepEd's solution involves assigning clustered administrative officers to schools and allocating funds to hire more personnel. However, schools face budget constraints, with a significant portion of their funds already allocated to utility bills.
DepEd aims to hire 5,000 administrative personnel this year, but with over 7,200 unfilled positions, additional recruitment efforts are needed to meet the demands of approximately 47,000 public schools nationwide.
While DepEd's efforts are commendable, practical challenges persist in implementing the order effectively across all schools.
CHILD DUG OUT FROM RUBBLE 2 DAYS AFTER DAVAO DE ORO LANDSLIDE
MANILA — A child who was trapped under the rubble for more than 2 days was rescued Friday as a desperate search continued for survivors of a landslide that has killed 11 people in the Maco, Davao De Oro.
Rescuers used their bare hands and shovels to dig through mud for 100 people who remained missing in the gold-mining village of Barangay Masara, according to the local government.
Latest figures from the local municipal government showed that 11 people were killed, 31 injured and 110 were still missing after the landslide destroyed houses and engulfed three buses and a jeepney on Tuesday night.
The destroyed vehicles had been waiting for workers from a nearby gold mine.
"It is everybody's hope that people are still alive," disaster agency official Edward Macapili of Davao de Oro province told AFP.
"Our rescue team is in a hurry because every second counts when it comes to human life."
The landslide left a deep, brown gouge down the mountain. Rescuers pulled a person alive from the mud 11 hours after it hit, Macapili said.
"So there's a chance," he added.
Police, soldiers and rescuers from Davao de Oro and the adjacent Davao del Norte province have been deployed to Masara to help the search and retrieval operation.
While rescuers were using heavy earth-moving equipment in places, they had to rely on their bare hands and shovels in areas where they believed there were bodies, Macapili said.
Landslides, a Frequent Hazard
About 20 mine workers are feared trapped in the aftermath of a landslide, a common peril in the mountainous Philippines. Heavy rainfall, deforestation, and mining activities contribute to the risk.
The landslide occurred near a gold mine operated by Apex Mining, an area marked as unsafe. Despite the danger, people rely on it for their livelihood.
Ongoing rains and recent earthquakes have worsened conditions. Evacuations are underway, disrupting daily life and forcing schools to close.
With more rain expected, the threat of further landslides looms large, impacting operations and safety.
FUEL PRICES MAY GO DOWN IN MID-FEBRUARY: DOE
MANILA — Motorists could expect a price rollback for petroleum in mid-February, the Department of Energy (DOE) said on Friday.
Oil prices are expected to go down due to higher US production and lower demand, DOE Director of Oil Industry Management Bureau Rodela Romero told TeleRadyo Serbisyo.
Romero listed the following possible oil price rollback next week, based on the four-day trading prices.
Gasoline - P1 to P1.20 per liter
Diesel - P0.40 to P0.60 per liter
Kerosene -1 P45 to P0.65 per liter
QUEZON CITY ROLLS OUT LEARNING INITIATIVE FOR VENDORS
The Quezon City government introduced an adult learning initiative, the Vendor Business School (VBS), aimed at enhancing the business and technical skills of local food vendors. The program, a collaboration between the local government and CGIAR's Resilient Cities Initiative, selected 140 market vendors for its first batch. Mayor Joy Belmonte emphasized the crucial role of market vendors in public market operations and highlighted the significance of supporting micro- and nano-businesses, which form the majority of businesses in the city.
The VBS offers learning sessions covering entrepreneurship, food safety, market technology, nutrition, and other topics relevant to vendors' businesses. It also addresses issues like climate change and family arrangements.
The six-month program includes weekly group sessions and one-on-one coaching. Participants who complete the program will receive cash incentives of up to P20,000 under the PangkabuhayangQC program.
The VBS initiative, initially implemented in Nairobi, Kenya, aligns with Belmonte's GrowQC Food Security program and reflects the city's commitment to the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, which aims to improve food systems and address hunger.
AMIHAN TO COOL CHINESE NEW YEAR LONG WEEKEND
MANILA — The amihan or northeast monsoon will bring cooler weather during the Chinese New Year festivities, PAGASA said Friday.
"Over this long weekend, lalakas pa ang ating amihan. Maaaring umabot po ito dito sa Luzon hanggang sa Sunday, then Monday and Tuesday maaaring umabot pa ito sa Visayas," PAGASA weather forecaster Benison Estareja said.
"Mababawasan yung mararamdaman nating init at alinsangan sa tanghali," he told TeleRadyo Serbisyo.
The weather bureau is not expecting any brewing storm this long weekend, he added.
On Friday, the amihan will bring cloudy skies with light rains over Batanes and Cagayan.
Ilocos Region, the Cordilleras, and the rest of Cagayan Valley will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains due to the amihan.
Localized thunderstorms and easterlies or the warm and moist winds blowing from the Pacific will affect Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
ENRIQUE GIL FINDS LIZA SOBERANO 'AMAZING' IN 'LISA FRANKENSTEIN'
MANILA — Actor Enrique Gil visibly adored his partner Liza Soberano's performance in "Lisa Frankenstein," the actress' first Hollywood film.
Liza was in Los Angeles for the film's world premiere while Enrique attended the Philippine premiere to show his support.
"I'm so happy, I just can't believe it. We were just there in New Orleans shooting the film and just to be here at the premiere, it doesn't feel real," Enrique said. "I've always been a supporter since Day 1. Sabi ko talaga, 'Til the day I die, I will always support her.'"
The actor shared that Liza will briefly step away from promoting the film and come back to the Philippines just before Valentine's for a work event.
He sent her a message, hoping they can meet up during her brief return to the country as Liza needs to immediately fly back to the United States for other commitments.
After the screening, Enrique shared his initial reactions to "Lisa Frankenstein," singling out how funny it was and commending Liza's performance.
"The movie is amazing. Hopie was so amazing. I mean she said it was funny but I wasn't expecting this funny. She's amazing guys, you gotta watch it," Enrique said.
Enrique left shortly after the premiere but Liza's manager James Reid — who was also present with other people from his label Careless — echoed Enrique's comments.
"It was hilarious! Hope was both funny and a really great actress," James shared. "A different type of genre for her that we've never seen Liza in, and I think she killed it."
James noted Liza had a lot of screentime for someone in a supporting role, expressing his gratitude to director Zelda Williams — herself part-Filipino — for the opportunity to cast her.
NBA SCORES OF GAMES PLAYED ON FEB 7, 2024
1 2 3 4 T
27 30 23 34 114
27 30 22 27 106
Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
D. Mitchell CLE SG
40 PTS , 8 REB , 5 AST
K. Kuzma WAS PF
28 PTS , 4 REB , 2 AST
1 2 3 4 T
27 27 37 32 123
36 24 37 20 117
Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
R. Barrett TOR SF
23 PTS , 6 REB , 5 AST
M. Bridges CHA PF
45 PTS , 8 REB , 7 AST
1 2 3 4 T
37 30 23 27 117
35 36 24 30 125
TD Garden , Boston, MA
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
S. Bey ATL SF
25 PTS , 9 REB , 1 AST
K. Porzingis BOS C
31 PTS , 3 REB , 1 AST
1 2 3 4 T
15 33 43 36 127
22 23 23 36 104
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
A. Wiggins GS SF
21 PTS , 10 REB , 1 AST
R. Council IV PHI SG
1 2 3 4 T
31 20 26 27 104
32 21 25 38 116
Kaseya Center, Miami, FL
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
D. Vassell SA SG
19 PTS , 3 REB , 3 AST
T. Herro MIA PG
24 PTS , 6 REB , 7 AST
1 2 3 4 T
31 39 27 36 133
36 27 36 21 120
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
J. Ivey DET SG
37 PTS , 6 REB , 7 AST
D. Sabonis SAC C
30 PTS , 12 REB , 7 AST
1 2 3 4 T
36 19 24 38 117
19 28 22 37 106
Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
C. McCollum NO PG
25 PTS , 7 REB , 4 AST
J. Harden LAC PG
19 PTS , 8 REB , 5 AST
FOREX $1 = P 55.91
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Sometimes, you need a door slammed in your face before you can hear opportunity knock. - James Geary