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Dead people, minors, Filipinos abroad on list of ‘ECQ aid’ recipients – lawmaker

MANILA, Philippines — Dead persons, minors, and Filipinos already living abroad were among those listed as beneficiaries in the government’s cash assistance for people affected by lockdowns in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble. Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles revealed this Friday, citing reports his office received regarding the inclusion […] The post Dead people, minors, Filipinos abroad on list of ‘ECQ aid’ recipients – lawmaker appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerApr 16th, 2021

Solon wants House probe on ambassador’s maltreatment of her household staff

The chairman of the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs on Tuesday called for a congressional investigation into the alleged maltreatment received by a Filipina domestic worker from her employer, Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro. TUCP Partylist Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza TUCP Partylist Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza aired the proposal as the TUCP condemned Mauro’s behavior against a fellow Filipino while abroad. The mistreatment of the 51-year-old household service worker was exposed in the Brazilian media when video clips surfaced showing Mauro beating her in their home. “We in labor are utterly shocked at the behavior that was exhibited by Ambassador Marichu Mauro in the videos that were released. It is absolutely disgusting for a civil servant, and someone supposedly representing the interests of the Filipino people in a foreign country to so cavalierly beat and mistreat her employees,” said Mendoza. He added:  “And for what reason? Because she believes she is entitled to harm others who she may think to be in a lower station than her? “ “Our OFWs are hailed as our bagong bayani yet we cannot even protect them from abuse at the hands of our own diplomats!,” said Mendoza. Mauro has been recalled to home office and is now facing investigation by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Mendoza said Mauro’s actions should be investigated , adding that legal charges should also be filed if the envoy and others were involved in the “savage treatment “ of the domestic helper. “There is abuse of our kapwa Filipino being done overseas, right under the very noses of our government!  This is a very difficult situation, with the worker vulnerable and fearful for their job while in another country no less,” said Mendoza. The administration lawmaker also called on government to further strengthen its “mechanisms for reporting” instances of abuse against Filipino workers. “Should Ambassador Marichu Mauro be found guilty, she should be expelled from the foreign service. We are not tolerant of the abuse of workers, especially when we condemn the barbaric treatment our workers receive at the hands of their foreign employers,” the party-list lawmaker stated. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 27th, 2020

13 dead in Tabuk car mishap

Thirteen people – all relatives and including five minors – died after a sports utility vehicle driven by a jail officer fell into an irrigation canal in Tabuk City in Kalinga late Sunday afternoon......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 18th, 2021

More Filipinos Open to Work Remotely — JobStreet New Report

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform the working environment, many Filipinos have reportedly shown interest to work remotely while the willingness to work abroad decreases. Leading online job portal JobStreet has released its latest job report entitled Decoding Global Talent. More than 190 countries participated, including the Philippines, to determine people’s willingness to work […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMar 28th, 2021

Lawmaker raises alarm on DILG profiling amid police try to list activists lawyers

"This is yet another evidence of blatant terrorist-tagging of legitimate people's organizations, and an unwarranted act of harassment and intimidation. They say there is no red-tagging? This is clearly red-tagging," Rep. Ferdinand Gaite (Bayan Muna) said in mixed Filipino and English. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 14th, 2021

Bloodbath Day : Deaths, arrests reported in police raids in Calabarzon

Police raids that swept across three provinces in Calabarzon left at least two people dead including an activist leader, groups said on Sunday with one lawmaker describing the operations as a "bloodbath.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 7th, 2021

Lawmaker: Take down ‘no trespassing’ sign to foreign investors

It’s high time that the country’s 34-year-old virtual and clearly implied “no trespassing” sign to foreign investors is removed, so that the economy can flourish and the exodus of Filipinos seeking greener pastures abroad can be stopped, according to a member of the House of Representatives......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 1st, 2021

DFA adds 444 to list of Filipinos overseas with COVID-19

Filipinos abroad infected with the coronavirus grew by 444 on the first days of February, bringing the overall count to more than 14,400 by end of the week......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2021

Valid grievances

With more than half a million Filipinos already infected and nearly 11,000 dead, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a heavy toll on the nation. And even as we await the delivery of precious vaccines from abroad, the contagion is not expected to subside but even worsen with the discovery of a new virus strain that could further wreak havoc on our already overburdened healthcare system......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2021

Disastrous propaganda or brazen intimidation?

Professional members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police must be cringing in embarrassment after witnessing blunder upon blunder being committed by their organizations. First, the AFP made a list of University of the Philippines alumni that it claimed were “dead or captured” members of the New People’s Army. The […] The post Disastrous propaganda or brazen intimidation? appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2021

Biden to sign executive orders on Day 1, amid high alert for inauguration

Joe Biden’s top aide said Saturday the incoming president would sign about a dozen executive orders on his first day in office, as police fearing violence from Trump supporters staged a nationwide security operation ahead of the inauguration. Authorities in Washington, where Wednesday’s inauguration will take place, said they arrested a man with a loaded handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition at a security checkpoint, underscoring the tension in the US capital which is resembling a war zone. However, the man’s family told US media he was a security guard, rejecting the idea he was intent on causing harm. Incoming Biden chief of staff Ron Klain said in a memo to new White House senior staff that the executive orders would address the pandemic, the ailing US economy, climate change and racial injustice in America. “All of these crises demand urgent action,” Klain said in the memo. “In his first ten days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain added. As he inherits the White House from Donald Trump, Biden’s plate is overflowing with acute challenges. The US is fast approaching 400,000 dead from the Covid-19 crisis and logging well over a million new cases a week as the coronavirus spreads out of control. The economy is ailing, with 10 million fewer jobs available compared to the start of the pandemic. Biden this week unveiled plans to seek $1.9 trillion to revive the economy through new stimulus payments and other aid, and plans a blitz to accelerate America’s stumbling Covid vaccine rollout effort. On Inauguration Day Biden, as previously promised, will sign orders including ones for the US to rejoin the Paris climate accord and reverse Trump’s ban on entry of people from certain Muslim majority countries, Klain said. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward,” Klain said. – 500 rounds of ammunition – Meanwhile, Washington was under a state of high alert after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6. The assault left five people dead, including a police officer. Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington as well as state capitals over the coming week. Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington and streets have been blocked off downtown with concrete barriers. On Friday night, police arrested a Virginia man at a security checkpoint where he tried to use an “unauthorized” credential to access the restricted area where Biden will be inaugurated. As officers checked the credential against the authorized access list, one noticed decals on the back of Wesley Beeler’s pick-up truck that said “Assault Life,” with an image of a rifle, and another with the message: “If they come for your guns, give ’em your bullets first,” according to a document filed in Washington, DC Superior Court. Under questioning, Beeler told officers he had a Glock handgun in the vehicle. A search uncovered a loaded handgun, more than 500 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the gun, the court document said. Beeler was arrested on charges including possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. But Beeler’s father Paul told The New York Times his son had been working as a security guard on the Capitol grounds. Asked if the younger Beeler supported a peaceful transition of power, Paul Beeler told the newspaper, “That’s the reason he’s there.” In addition to the heavy security presence in Washington, law enforcement was out in force in state capitals around the country to ward off potential political violence. Mass protests that had been planned for the weekend did not materialize on Saturday, with security far outnumbering Trump supporters at several fortified statehouses, US media reported. In St Paul, Minnesota, for example, hundreds of law enforcement officers, some armed with long guns, ringed the Capitol with National Guard troops providing backup.  The number of protesters totaled about 50......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

37 more Filipinos abroad infected, 23 dead from COVID-19 

Foreign affairs officials on Monday reported 37 new coronavirus infections and 23 deaths among Filipinos abroad, with the total number of patients now at 12,929......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 4th, 2021

As Ulysses leaves trail of destruction, Duterte says Filipinos can rise up

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said Filipinos can rise up from the destruction brought by Typhoon Ulysses that also left 39 people dead and at least 20 missing in most Luzon areas. “Alam ko na kailangan ninyo ng tulong. Alam ko na inaasahan ninyo iyong tulong makaabot sa inyong panahon sa lugar ninyo,” Duterte […] The post As Ulysses leaves trail of destruction, Duterte says Filipinos can rise up appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 14th, 2020

Shared history will see PH-US relations through — solon

The long and amiable history between the Philippines and the United States will have a bearing in the prospective relationship between President Duterte and US President-elect Joe Biden. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Kabayan Party-List Rep. Ron Salo on Thursdaysaid that both leaders “have the primordial interests of their respective countries and their people.” “I am confident that the Philippines and the US will have a robust and dynamic relationship under US President-elect Biden. The US and the Philippines have a shared history and long diplomatic ties,” said the former University of the Philippines (UP) law professor. Philippine-US relations as they appear today were arguably forged and tempered through the nations’ shared experiences in World War II nearly 80 years ago. The Americans were instrumental in liberating Filipinos from occupying Japanese forces in 1945. The aftermath of the war saw the signing of a Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the two nations on August 30, 1951, in Washington, DC. Americans have consistently been viewed in high regard by Filipinos compared to other nationalities, as per surveys. Meanwhile, there are said to be 4.1 million Filipino Americans in the US as of 2018, according to the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) figures. “There are many Filipinos in America as well as Americans of Filipino heritage who continue to contribute in shaping American life, culture, and consciousness. Filipinos also remain to be American’s brown brothers in this part of the globe,” Salo said. “Certainly, it is to the interests of both countries to maintain a strong diplomatic relation,” added the lawyer-congressman. Some observers are waiting how the dynamics between Duterte and Biden would turn out. This is mostly due to Duterte’s critical stance on the US government when Barack Obama was still the American president. Biden, a seasoned diplomat, served as Obama’s vice president from 2008 to 2016......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 12th, 2020

Realign portion of NTF-ELCAC’s P16 B to help typhoon victims — Hontiveros

Senator Risa Hontiveros said on Tuesday the government should realign a portion of the P16-billion anti-insurgency fund to relief and rehabilitation efforts for communities ravaged by super typhoon “Rolly.” Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Instead of funding a controversial program under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Hontiveros said the budget could go a long way in helping Filipinos recover from the calamity.“Ngayong panahon ng sakuna, ‘di hamak na mas kailangan ng mga kababayan natin sa Bicolandia at sa iba pang mga lugar na nasalanta ng bagyo ang milyon-milyong pondo ng pamahalaan. (During this time of calamity, our people in the Bicol region and other provinces badly-hit by the typhoon need government funds),” Hontiveros said.“It is clear that the billions earmarked for NTF-ELCAC would be better spent on helping Filipinos battered by the typhoon get back on their feet,” the senator stressed.“Unahin nating bigyang-tulong at pondo ang mga nabiktima ng kalamidad, hindi ang mga ahensiya na puro pagre-redtag at pagkakalat ng fake news ang ginagawa. (Let’s prioritize helping victims of calamities by giving them funds, not agencies that do nothing but red tag people and just go about spreading fake news),”  she reiterated.At the hearing of the Senate Committee on National Defense, the lawmaker noted that NTF-ELCAC has been allocated a proposed budget of P19-billion for 2021. Of this amount, P16-billion has been earmarked for its Barangay Development Program. Hontiveros also pointed out that the budget for NTF-ELCAC is “questionably astronomic” compared to the proposed budgets of other key agencies particularly the Department of Housing Settlements and Urban Development which only has P632-million, Office of the Ombudsman with only P3.36-billion, Department of Budget & Management (DBM) with only P1.9-billion, and even the Department of Finance (DOF) which only has P17.46-billion.“We should not spend such an inordinate amount of time and money on an agency running after ordinary citizens using the communist bogeyman. This is on top of the NTF-ELCAC’s bad track record of spreading fake news and silencing critical and dissenting voices,” she said. Hontiveros earlier defended entertainment personalities and women’s rights groups from the red tagging activities of Lt. General Antonio Parlade, chief of the Southern Luzon Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and NTF-ELCAC spokesperson.  She said she cannot begin “to imagine the anguish and emotional toll this must have taken on these women who have been directly-hit by these accusations, as well as their families.”“I am certain that it has also caused a chilling effect on citizens who only want to weigh in on issues of national importance and hold the government to account for its failures to the people,” she stressed. “The issues of the communist insurgency are not new to me. My party Akbayan historically has called for human rights accountability of non-state actors, at kasama dito ang NPA. I will not hesitate to speak against the violations of the NPA,” she further said. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

New-look House leadership off to a good start, say solons

House members can’t help but notice a sense of synergy between Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez in just their first few days of working together. Case in point, according to Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes, and Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred delos Santos, were the two important bills that the House leadership was able to deliver without a hitch during the conduct of special sessions this past week. The Majority Bloc solons were referring to the passage on third and final reading of measures House Bill (HB) No.7727, or the P4.506-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) of 2021; and HB No.7884, or the proposed Act authorizing the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications. “The performance of the new leadership during special session was very commendable. This is a very encouraging sign in our mission to approve the legislative agenda of President Duterte,” Barzaga said. “The Velasco-Romualdez leadership (is) off to a good start,” added the veteran congressman and former Dasmariñas mayor. For her part, Robes said she is “extremely delighted that the leadership impasse in the House of Representatives had been resolved peacefully and amicably by our two honorable leaders, Lord Alan Velasco and former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.” “I look forward to a renewed, more united and inclusive leadership at the House of Representatives led by Speaker Velasco with Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. I believe that Speaker Velasco and Majority Leader Romualdez are both righteous and committed to steer the House of Representatives to new heights to become a more effective and responsive institution to serve the Filipino people especially in these trying times,” she stressed. On the other hand, Delos Santos believes that the new-look leadership of the Lower Chamber will continue to work beyond 2020 even as he praised his colleagues for passing next year’s budget bill. “We are very happy that it (GAB) already finished the third reading. Our goal is always to fast-track the process to help out fellow Filipinos. These are not normal times, and gusto po nating matugunan agad yung mga pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin (we want to quickly address the needs of our people),” Delos Santos said. “We want to assure government agencies (will have enough) resources for them to be able to function in the new normal,” he added. The passage of HB No.7884 or the Anti-Red Tape Bill followed soon after the chamber gave its final nod to the 2021 GAB. Both had been certified as urgent by President Duterte......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Local Roundup: People aged 15-65 free to leave home

Malacanang said Filipinos wishing to travel abroad considered as non-essential trip could leave the country starting October 21, as it also allows people aged 15 to 65 years to go out of their homes even during community quarantine......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Party-list lawmaker Romero among 50 richest Filipinos

The billionaire Michael Romero has been among the richest congressmen since at least 2018. .....»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 17th, 2020

Built by Bo, bonded for Bo, believe in Bo

This is not the first time that Bo Perasol has had a recruiting haul this huge. Now heading into his fifth season in the University of the Philippines, he has brought in blue-chip recruits such as Gerry Abadiano and Carl Tamayo and talented transferees like Joel Cagulangan, CJ Cansino, and Malick Diouf to a team that already has Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, and Ricci Rivero. And don't forget that Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan are only sitting out the next season - and what lies beyond for them is yet to be determined. This is not that different from his time in Ateneo de Manila University when he scored UAAP Jrs. Season MVP Jerie Pingoy, UAAP Jrs. Finals MVP Hubert Cani, NCAA Mythical selection CJ Perez, and NCAA Jrs. standout Arvin Tolentino in his first few years. Those promising prospects then joined forces with Blue Eagle stalwarts Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal Unfortunately, all of Pingoy, Cani, Perez, and Tolentino - along with the rest of the so-called "Magnificent 7" - found themselves with academic deficiencies and, therefore, ineligible by the blue and white's standards. Not long after, they transferred to different schools and squads and then had varying degrees of success. Will Coach Bo's tale get a different ending this time with the Fighting Maroons? Perasol is making sure of that. "From my experience in Ateneo, natuto ako. Ngayon, meron kaming grupo sa programa na nagha-handle lang ng academics ng players," he shared. He then continued, "Sinasamahan sila sa mga klase, pinapakilala sa mga propesor, ine-explain na player natin yan, pag merong problema, coordinate lang po tayo." Apparently, this academic assistance team is made up of former student-managers who have graduated. Now, their first job is all about seeing to it that State U would not have to go through the same sort of headache Ateneo had with its "Magnificent 7." With that, you could be sure that UP's pillars of honor and excellence still stand strong even as all these new faces join Men's Basketball Team. "Walang special consideration. Pumapasok sila, bumabagsak sila. Binibigyan sila ng extra work, humihingi sila ng extra work," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Ang ine-explain ko lagi sa players at sa professors, ang mahalaga, basta masipag pumasok at nagpapakita ng intensyong matuto." STARRING AND STRIKING At present, just about everybody is still getting used to blue-chip recruits and talented transferees going for UP. That is why there are more questions than answers each and every time they announce a new player. And along with the question of whether or not all these new faces would be up to par in terms of the honor and excellence the Philippines' prime public university prides itself in, there is a question of just how the Fighting Maroons got here in the first place. How could State U, not that far removed from its self-proclaimed "dark days," get all of these players? And not just players, at that, but many big name players. The categorical answer? The program could now afford it. "Meron nang pondo salamat sa sponsors," head coach Bo Perasol explained. "For example, kung makikita mo lang yung patches sa harap ng jersey, malaking pera yun. Nag-aagawan ang marami para dun." At present, the shot-caller said that UP has eight corporate sponsors all getting together for the funds for the program. And unlike Ateneo which has Manny V. Pangilinan or National University which has Hans Sy as primary backers, the Fighting Maroons' system is quite different. "Ang source ng funds ng UP, halos lahat galing sa alumni. Tapos lahat yun, mina-manage ng nowheretogobutUP," coach Bo said. According to its website, nowheretogobutUP (NTGBUP) is "a volunteer group of UP alumni that aims to help, assist, and support the development, improvement, and advancement of the varsity program of UP." All of the finances it manages, however, are not necessarily donations. As Perasol put it, "Yung model ng UP is unique kasi yung support nila, kailangan may balik din from us." For example, the tactician said that many of their players have made appearances, online in this continuing COVID-19 crisis and in person prior to the pandemic, to cheer up employees of Palawan Pera Padala, one of the team's sponsors. More importantly, Coach Bo reminded yet again that the only reason they have all these new faces is because they have to. He pointed out how Abadiano and Filipino-American Sam Dowd would make up for the losses of Jun Manzo and Juan GDL as well as how Diouf and Cansino are already waiting in the wings once Bright Akhuetie and Ricci Rivero graduate. "We're also recruiting for the impending need," Perasol said. "Hindi naman ito biglaan. Since nagsimula kami rito, we all did this nang dahan-dahan lang. Kaya rin yung support from alumni for funding, hindi na rin naging mahirap." DREAMING Still, the mere fact that UP is now a big-time player on and off the court in collegiate basketball seemed so farfetched just five years ago. Before Bo Perasol, the Fighting Maroons were stuck in a vicious cycle. Now, though, they have back-to-back playoff appearances and have traded blows with traditional powerhouses for recruits and transferees. All of this made possible because the very moment he came in, Coach Bo already knew the secret to success. "You cannot build a program without funds," he said. Perasol furthered that his biggest takeaway from his time in Ateneo was that competing with the traditional powerhouses on the court entailed competing with them as well off of it. "Alam ko yung kakayanan ng Ateneo and siyempre, kakumpetensya ko rin nun yung La Salle so alam ko rin yung kanila. Ganun na rin ang kakayanan ng NU and yung iba pa, kakayanin din nila kung gustuhin nila," he said. He then continued, "Kaya kung ang objective ng programa is to be in the top four, your program should be levelled din sa capacity ng top four." The General Santos native then went on to point out how training in the country or abroad, recruitment local and overseas, housing, and food and nutrition all have costs. "To sum it up, everything you're going to do would entail financing. Hindi ito kakayanin ng UP as a public school dahil wala namang pondo ang gobyerno para dyan," he said. He then continued, "Ang pinakasagot nalang ng school is yung scholarship. And siyempre, yung nag-aaral ka sa UP." That doesn't mean, however, that their hands were tied. In fact, the answer to the questions had always been there. "The good thing about UP is there's millions of alumni all over the world and a lot are successful people and businessmen who are willing to help," Perasol said. BELIEVING Indeed, having educated Filipinos for over 112 years now, UP has, without a doubt, more than a few successful alumni. It was all a matter of uniting - and then unleashing - them. Even before Bo Perasol came home to Diliman, NTGBUP was already organized. They were not necessarily thrilled with the Fighting Maroons, though. "Nung una, dahan-dahan lang, ambag-ambag lang para merong kakainin, pambayad sa dorm. Merong nag-donate ng shoes," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Pero siyempre, they want first and foremost a program with improvements and direction." NTGBUP and the UP community got just that from Perasol as a 3-11, seventh-place finish in 2015 became a 5-9, sixth-place finish in 2016 in Coach Bo's first year. In his second year, the squad improved to a  6-8, fifth-place finish. From there, the Fighting Maroons have been in the Final Four for back-to-back years now - and even made the Finals in 2018. "Nagsimula maging excited ang alumni nung nagsimula ring manalo," he shared. "When we started winning, nagkaroon hindi lang ng physical support, but financial support as well. We were ascending eh." In his third year at the helm, State U, finally, officially had corporate sponsors. And you know how that year went? That was when they ended a 21-year Final Four drought and then a 32-year Finals absence. Safe to say, the sleeping giant was awoken. "Yes, sleeping giant talaga tayo and when we say nagising, ang pinaka-catalyst was the winning," its fearless leader said. Now, UP MBT has a mean machine of financial support on its back, paving the path for its big-time recruiting haul in 2020. Even better, they now have a loud and proud fanbase that is making up for all the lost time they stayed away during the "dark days." "Actually, sa pitches ko sa recruitment, kasama sa presentation ko yung machi-cheer sila nang ganung klaseng crowd," Coach Bo said. SURVIVING At the same time, though, that loud and proud fanbase expects much, much more from this brand new power. For each and every one of them, Bo Perasol has but one reminder. "What we have done in the past years is to level up lang. We have a new gym, we have all these players, we can train abroad," he said. He then continued, "Pero yung mga Ateneo, La Salle, 20 to 30 years na nilang ginagawa yan. What we did was just to level up alongside them." Again and again, Coach Bo has said that what he has been doing is, put simply, putting UP in the best position to win. Still, with a roster as overflowing with talent as this, he could only acknowledge that just about everybody sees them as having gone championship or bust. Credit to him, however, Perasol was blunt with his assessment that he would also be disappointed if they would not be able to taste their first championship since 1986 sooner than later. "Yes, it will be a failed plan kung hindi tayo makakakuha ng championship in the next three to five years," he said. He then continued, "Yan naman talaga ang plano and ang ginagawa natin ngayon is all going towards that objective." And again and again, he is putting all those great expectations on his shoulders - and on his shoulders alone. "Ako naman, hindi ko rin pwedeng hindi gawin itong ganitong recruitment kasi hindi rin naman ako magkakaroon ng chance kung ganun. I have to be in the best position to succeed so that we are in the best position to succeed," he said. Only time would tell if all the seeds he has sown would bear fruit. But Coach Bo is already guaranteeing that whatever happens then, he would have no regrets. "In the end, alam ko namang babalik ang lahat sa akin. Alam na alam ko namang ako ang leader ng team," he said. He then continued, "Ang mahalaga is we gave ourselves a chance. Anuman ang outcome, basta nabigyan natin ang sarili natin ng pagkakataon." After years and years and years as the laughingstock of men's basketball, it looks like it's now UP's turn to smile and wave. Whether or not that ultimately turns into jumps for joy for their first title in three decades remains to be seen. But maybe, just maybe, Coach Bo is right - this is all worth it just to have a chance to compete. Just remember that in the "dark days," that chance to compete wasn't there at all. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

For Mike Nieto, all roads lead to leading

Mike Nieto's leadership is not just for the basketball court. Apparently, his voice carries just as much weight inside the Nieto household in Cainta. "Hanggang bahay, umaabot yung pagli-lead ko," he shared with a laugh. "Rinig na rinig palagi boses ko sa bahay. Since I've proven to them na I can be a leader sa court, siyempre, I can also be a leader dito sa bahay." What does that mean exactly? Well, let's just say that whenever the Nieto family decides they want and need some quality time together, it's the 23-year-old who sets the time and the place where it would happen. "I think nasanay na rin kasi sila na ako ang palaging nagsasalita kahit sa ganyang bagay so most of the time, ako na talaga nagsasabi saan at anong oras kami pupunta," he said. This is not at all that surprising as when you talk about Mike Nieto, you talk about leadership. That has long been the calling card of the 6-foot-2 swingman - from his days as a Blue Eaglet to his time as a Blue Eagle and from his stint in Batang Gilas to his current run in the Gilas Pilipinas pool. But… Why do people say that in the first place? What is it with Mike Nieto that just speaks, leader? FTW: For The tWin To get the answer, we need to go back to the start. As in, the very, very start. Technically, Mike is the leader of the four Nieto siblings as he is the firstborn of Ateneo de Manila legend Jett and super mom and dentist Girlie. Matt is his brother, but is younger by two minutes. Make no mistake, though, the twins have always gotten along. "Kami ni Matt, ever since, close na talaga kami. We started playing basketball at the age of six and from then on, naging magkasama na kami sa lahat ng bagay," Mike said. He then continued, "Even course namin sa college, pareho kaya almost lahat ng classes namin, classmates kami. Ever since talaga, unusual na hindi kami magkasama." Indeed, the Nieto twins have always been some sort of a package deal. Hence, the reports of their commitment to Ateneo for college had headlines such as "Ateneo scores 'twin kill' as Nieto brothers commit to play for Blue Eagles." Through and through, however, Mike was thought to be the leader - even though Matt is the point guard. The reason for that? Because "Big Mike" is more vocal. And why is he more vocal" Well, because he had a two minute headstart on "Matty Ice" at letting his voice be heard. Seriously, though, Mike said it was just because he doesn't waste any time at all in being vocal - and that's why he's being heard first and more often. "Siguro, mas maingay lang kasi ako kay Matt. Ako kasi, kapag may nakita akong mali sa ginagawa ng teammates ko, siguradong makakarinig agad sila sa akin," he shared. He then continued, "Hindi ako papayag na lilipas ang isang bagay na alam kong makakasama sa team. Talagang maglalabas at maglalabas ako ng mga salita hanggang ma-solve ang problema." That doesn't mean that Matt doesn't lead, though. As his twin put it, "Matt is the leader on the court. That's the assignment Coach Tab [Baldwin] gave him and I think he has done well with that." Well, yeah, Matt has three rings as court general of the Blue Eagles' dynasty to show for that. LOL: Lead out Loud It was another court general altogether, however, who had made the biggest mark on Mike Nieto. While he never was a point guard due to his wide frame, he was always trying to emulate one of the best ball-handlers in the history of Philippine basketball. "Jimmy Alapag is my role model when it comes to leadership," he said. "I'm just very lucky that for a long time now, he would talk to me on how I can affect the team positively on and off the court." When Alapag was in his prime as captain of Gilas Pilipinas, Nieto was put on the pedestal as skipper of Batang Gilas. While he knew full well that was a tall task, he was also eager to prove himself worthy. "Sa Batang Gilas under coach Jamike [Jarin], he made me team captain kahit second year high school pa lang ako. But that made me realize na I have the capabilities of being a leader," he said. With that, Mike had the responsibility of making sure the likes of Paul Desiderio, Richard Escoto, Jollo Go, Jolo Mendoza, and Renzo Navarro were kept in line. And from then on, he just did not stop keeping at it. Whether it be as the Jrs. MVP as a Blue Eaglet or a rotation regular as a Blue Eagle, Nieto's biggest contribution has always been his leadership. "Being a leader is never easy. At the end of the day, you have to gain the trust of your teammates and your coaches - that's the hardest part," he said. Ask his teammates from high school, many of whom were still his teammates come college, and they would say they always have his back. "Buti na lang nakuha ko ang tiwala ng lahat ng tao na nakapaligid sa akin. Kaya rin ako nag-succeed being the team captain ng every team na nagiging part ako," he said. While he has always had the full faith of longtime teammates and good friends Thirdy Ravena, Gian Mamuyac, Mendoza, and of course, twin Matt, Mike could only acknowledge that it was another challenge altogether being the voice of the team that swept the season. "Ang malaking naging difference ngayong college from high school, kinailangan kong magsalita ng English mas madalas," he said, through chuckles. With foreigners such as Ange Kouame and Filipino-foreigners like Raffy Verano, Nieto, indeed, did have to make sure his communication lines were crystal clear. The thing about leaders, though, is that they give their all in anything and everything - whether that be giving a pep talk or passing the message to somebody like Kouame who only started learning English in 2017. IMO: In My Opinion And the thing about leaders? They do not necessarily care about themselves. Imagine Mike Nieto, a Jrs. MVP, a team captain for Batang Gilas, a literal blue-blood in Katipunan. Do you know his averages through their three-peat? In 47 games total, he saw 14.2 minutes of action and had 5.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Still, that did not matter at all. All that mattered for Mike are all those Ws. "To be a leader, you have to prove palagi that you can lead on and off the court," he said. "I think yun ang napatunayan ko kay coach Tab - na handa akong i-sacrifice ang personal goals ko para sa ikabubuti ng team. Wala akong pakialam sa sarili ko since ang nasa utak ko lang is kung ano ang makabubuti para sa team namin." But did he? Did Nieto prove himself to Coach Tab - a coach who has gone around the world and seen it all? The talented tactician's statement right after Ateneo completed its perfect run through UAAP 82 speaks volumes. “Look at all of us and think about where we’re gonna be in 10 or 15 years, you’ll forget most of us,” he said in the post-game conference where he sat alongside the Nieto twins, Ravena, Isaac Go, and Adrian Wong. “But you won’t forget Mike Nieto.” Coach Tab then went on to explain why he said so. As he put it, "Mike is a natural leader. Mike is a communicator. Mike is a thinker. In terms of touching people, making lives better, and making sure that everybody around him has a better chance than what he has, that’s our captain." High praise coming from the very mentor who has been getting nothing but high praise. Safe to say, though, Mike has proven himself to coach Tab. TBC: To Be Continued In doing so, Mike Nieto has also made it possible for the two of them to continue working together. Mike, twin Matt, fellow Blue Eagle Go, University of the East's Rey Suerte, and San Sebastian College-Recoletos' Allyn Bulanadi were the first five names listed for the Gilas pool. The likes of Ravena, Dwight Ramos of Ateneo, Justine Baltazar of De La Salle University, Dave Ildefonso then of National University, and the University of the Philippines foursome of Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano, Kobe Paras, and Jaydee Tungcab also made the list not long after. But the fact remains that "Big Mike" - he of zero starts, but three titles in a row in his last three years in blue and white - was one of the first names there. With that, he is now one of the few Batang Gilas players who have successfully gotten promoted to the Men's team. "Of course, sino bang ayaw i-represent ang bansa natin, 'di ba? That's why I'm very grateful for this opportunity to be part of the Gilas pool," he said. He then continued, "That's why I've been working on my game even harder so that I can provide whatever Gilas needs from me." Of course, what Gilas would need from Nieto is, first and foremost, his leadership. After all, that is still and would always be his greatest strength. To do so, though, the youngster would have to prove himself yet again - not only to Filipinos who are forever invested in their national team, but more importantly, his teammates, many of whom are already superstars in the PBA. For Mike, however, this is nothing new - nothing new at all. "Ever since I was in grade school, people have been doubting that I can progress my game to the next level. What we can't forget is that at the end of the day, it's in your hands if you want to prove them wrong or prove them right," he said. He then continued, "I actually enjoy these kinds of moments since dito talaga lalabas ang totoong pagkatao mo. Ang sigurado ko lang, I will fight for my spot in Gilas." And so, from a successful high school career and then an even more successful college career, Nieto is now seeking success as part of the Gilas pool. Does he deserve to be there? That's for the haters to hate, the doubters to doubt, and the bashers to bash. And that's for Mike Nieto to lead them out of the darkness. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2020

Poor, sick Filipinos to get free virus vaccines

President Duterte on Friday said that the anti-COVID 19 vaccines will be free and that poor and sick Filipinos will be the priority recipients. (Keith Bacongco/ MANILA BULLETI) In a taped public address,  Duterte said that COVID-19 vaccines will be free for Filipinos and that the priority recipients would be the ones who are receiving cash aid from the government and the sick people. He said that while some may take advantage of the free vaccine, he vowed to go after the people who will try to make a profit out of them. The Chief Executibe threatened to kill these profiteers. “Maraming palusot na nagpapabili, na humihingi ang the worst baka maghingi pa ng bayad. Mapatay talaga kita. T***, totoo (A lot may want to buy them, ask for them, or worst, sell it. I might kill you if you that, really),” he said. “Puntahan kita doon. Baka akala mo. Bababa ako dito, puntahan kita (You might think you’ll get off easily. I’ll go down there and hunt you down),” he added. Duterte  admired China for stating publicly that the Philippines will be one of the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines once they are complete. According to the President, once the country gets its hands on vaccines, it will be the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who will supervise while medical professionals and health care workers administer the vaccines. “This will remove partisan, favoritism; this will remove petty corruption… However you do it, I don’t care. I just want a unified monitoring pati supervising authority, and that is the military,” Duterte said. “I know what you should be doing. I do not have to tell you about it. Must be under the general supervision and monitoring of the military,” he added. In his promise to vaccinate every Filipino, Duterte said he may even allow members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to receive the vaccine if they behave. “We intend to vaccinate every Filipino for that matter. That’s quite a big number, actually. So in the provinces, gawin ko rin (I’ll also do it),” he said. “Yung mga NPA, pabakunahan ko ba (Should I vaccinate the NPA)? If you stop fighting for a while during the period, or until December because my soldiers would be busy monitoring, supervising, huwag lang ninyong galawin, puwede kayong sumali, pumila doon (you can queue up and get vaccinated),” he added. China, the origin of COVID-19, had earlier announced that the Philippines is a priority recipient of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing after Duterte revealed in his fifth State -of -the- Nation Address (SONA) last Monday that he asked President Xi Jinping to let the Philippines one of the first countries to get the vaccine......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020