Pryde Teves urges brother: Come home, face charges

Former Negros Oriental governor Pryde Henry Teves yesterday urged his brother, Rep. Arnie Teves, to come home and face charges......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 28th, 2023

Teves,12 others tagged terrorists

The Anti-Terrorism Council or ATC has designated Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. as a terrorist for allegedly masterminding the assassination of Gov. Roel Degamo last 4 March, which also resulted in the deaths of nine others. The ATC named the congressman, who had gone into hiding, as the leader of the Teves Terrorist Group, which allegedly included as members his younger brother, Pryde Henry Teves, and purported bagman Marvin Miranda. Pryde was unseated by the Commission on Elections after a recount of the votes cast in the 2022 Negros Oriental gubernatorial election showed that Degamo had won. Degamo was killed in a commando-style attack at his residential compound in Pamplona town. The slain governor’s wife, Janice, is the mayor of Pamplona. The assault happened just weeks after the Supreme Court upheld the Comelec’s proclamation of Degamo as governor. Also tagged as terrorists were Nigel Electona, Tomasino Aledro, Rogelio Antipolo, Hannah Mae Oray, Rommel Pattaguan, Winrich Isturis, John Louie Gonyon, Dahniel Lora, Eulogio Gonyon Jr. and Jomarie Catubay. In a three-page resolution dated 26 July and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin that was released yesterday, the ATC said Pryde and Electona “provided material support” to Teves in furtherance of his alleged terrorist activities. “Investigation also revealed that Hannah Mae Sumero Oray handled the operational funds for the killings while Marvin H. Miranda acted as organizer and recruiter of personnel for specific terrorist attacks,” the ATC said. In April, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla revealed the government’s intention to designate Teves as a terrorist, saying that his group’s alleged “activities that led to the killings are all covered by the Anti-Terror Law, [including] the recruitment, financing, purchase of firearms, and their distribution.”   In hiding Teves has refused to come home after being located last in Timor-Leste, claiming his life was in danger. There was talk he was already in the Philippines under the protection of a former high government official. The House of Representatives had twice suspended Teves for refusing to heed Speaker Martin Romualdez’s plea to come home to face the charges against him. The Philippine National Police had filed a separate complaint against Teves before the Department of Justice last March over the alleged political killing of three other persons in Negros Oriental in 2019. A Degamo lawyer said the Teveses could be linked to as many as 60 killings in Negros Oriental. In reaction, Pryde said in a radio interview that his lawyers would appeal the ATC resolution. He expressed dismay that his right to travel and earn a livelihood would be affected by the order. Saying he would not leave Negros Oriental despite the tagging, the younger Teves said he would be the last to resort to terrorism because he had been a victim of violence. Meanwhile, Ferdinand Topacio, a lawyer of Congressman Teves, lambasted the ATC whose order, he said, demonstrated the government’s prejudgment of the case and “desperation” to take his client into custody. “Since day one of the Degamo killing, the government has mobilized all the resources at its disposal, starting with immediately tagging Teves as the mastermind thereof without investigation, conducting illegal searches on his properties, laying siege to his powers and prerogatives as a member of the House, embarking on a massive media campaign to discredit him and prejudice the minds of the public against him, among other things, all in an obsessive attempt to blame him for a crime at the expense of his constitutional rights,” Topacio said. Topacio questioned why the government had to use the ATC against Teves, in a case for which the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 was not “designed.” “The agencies of government, having eggs on their faces due to the recantation of all the key witnesses, the lack of evidence against Representative Teves, the public backlash against his obvious persecution, and the embarrassing failure of the authorities to bully him into returning to the country in spite of grave and serious threats to his life has expectedly weaponized the Anti-Terror Act by using it for the purpose for which it was not designed,” he said. When it was first floated that Teves would be tagged as a terrorist, he posted a video of himself wearing Muslim garb and laughing. The post Teves,12 others tagged terrorists appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

Fugitive Teves claims ‘persecution’

Suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnie Teves claimed that the military and police raided one of his properties in Bayawan City without a search warrant. “This is real persecution already. This is too much. It’s not right anymore. It’s wrong. The trampling on human rights is too much. Shouldn’t you have freedom and peace in your home and community? Now it’s gone,” he said in Filipino in a press briefing conducted remotely yesterday. Teves is a suspect in the 4 March 2023 assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. One of Teves’ lawyers, Ferdinand Topacio, said his client is being subjected to “harassment” as government forces also raided a poultry farm that Teves owns in Bayawan even during the celebration of Eid’l Fitr or the Feast of Ramadan on Friday. Approximately 15 short and high-powered firearms, explosives, and ammunition were found during the initial raid on Teves’ property and two other homes allegedly owned by his relatives on 10 March. Teves’ camp decried as illegal the raid on his properties by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on 25 March. The authorities have linked his younger brother, former governor Pryde Henry Teves, to the killing of Degamo. The embattled lawmaker talked with the media through his Facebook page, where he said he hoped the raiders did not plant evidence. Teves also sought the help of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to stop government agents from raiding his properties without a search warrant. The President, however, had refused to be drawn into Teves’ problems, saying the legislator should just return home to face the charges.   Suspension from House His plea to Marcos came days after he revealed in an interview that he had also sought the help of a colleague in returning home after he had insisted on remaining abroad because he did not feel safe. Last 22 March, the President urged the embattled lawmaker to return to the country, assuring him of tight security upon arrival. Teves is also facing charges over loose firearms and a series of killings in the province in 2019. He has been out of the country since 28 February and his failure to return home to perform his congressional duties and face the allegations leveled against him prompted his two-month suspension by the House ethics panel.     PDP, Beijing party solidify ties   The meeting was aimed at strengthening economic and cultural cooperation between China and the Philippines.   Members of the major political party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan or PDP Laban yesterday met with their counterparts in the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China or IDCPC at the Sheraton Hotel in Pasay City. Former president and PDP Laban chairman Rodrigo Duterte joined the meeting via Zoom, along with vice chairman Alfonso Cusi, Senator Robinhood Padilla, Former Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Secretary General Melvin Matibag, and the party’s Council of Elders and national executive committee. The meeting was aimed at strengthening economic and cultural cooperation between China and the Philippines. The party leaders and the IDCPC delegation, led by the Director-General of the Asian Bureau Peng Xiubin, discussed methods for strengthening their relationship. Given his high approval rating of over 80 percent even upon his retirement, the conference was significant because former President Duterte’s influence within the party could affect its future direction. In addition, the meeting highlighted the growing relationship between the Philippines and China, as both countries have made efforts in recent years to strengthen trade and investment ties. China has made significant contributions to infrastructure and exchange programs in the cultural and educational realms. The Philippines’ strategic location and swiftly expanding economy in Southeast Asia make it a key player in the region. Therefore, establishing strong alliances with other nations, particularly China, is crucial for its future growth and development. The meeting signified a turning point in Philippine politics. It emphasizes the importance of international relations and political parties working together to influence the country’s future, as well as in the strengthening of “people-to-people” ties. The post Fugitive Teves claims ‘persecution’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2023

Justice assured for slain Rodriguez teen

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. on Saturday vowed to bring justice to the family of a 15-year-old boy who was allegedly killed by a police officer and his companion in Rodriguez, Rizal. Acorda said in a statement that the suspects, Police Corporal Arnulfo Sabillo and Jeffrey Baguio, had been arrested to face charges of homicide and attempted homicide. “We are committed to ensuring that the bereaved family finds justice for their deceased loved one,” Acorda said of the incident that happened on 20 August. John Ace Ompad was riding a motorcycle home with his brother when two men, later identified as Sabillo and Baguio, attempted to stop him. Ompad allegedly threw his helmet at them. In response, Sabillo reportedly fired four times in the direction of John Ace but hit his 15-year-old brother in the abdomen. The minor victim was taken to the hospital but died from his injuries. “Such actions are deeply regrettable and do not represent the values of the Philippine National Police,” Acorda said. “We will ensure a thorough and impartial investigation and appropriate action will be taken against those found responsible.” Sabillo and Baguio were arrested by the PNP on 22 August and were placed under investigation. Sabillo’s Taurus service pistol was confiscated. Also relieved from their posts were members of the Community Police Assistance Center 5 of the Rodriguez Municipal Police Station who would face administrative charges. The killing of the boy happened just weeks after the Navotas Police shot dead 17-year-old Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar in an alleged case of mistaken identity during a follow-up operation to arrest another suspect. The post Justice assured for slain Rodriguez teen appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2023

Teves loses over P1 million in salaries

MANILA, Philippines — Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. forfeited more than P1 million in pay for the 120 days he was suspended by the House of Representatives for his refusal to come home and face the charges against for the murder of his political rival, former provincial Gov. Roel Degamo. House Secretary General Reginald […] The post Teves loses over P1 million in salaries appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2023

‘Garbage, baloney,’ Remulla to Teves

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has called on Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. to return to the country and face the charges of murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder filed against him by the National Bureau of Investigation. Remulla on Thursday described Teves’ video rants to reporters as “baloney” and “garbage.” The Justice secretary made the call after Teves dared him to resign if he could not prove his previous pronouncement that Teves had applied for citizenship in Timor-Leste. “I don’t have to prove anything here,” Remulla said. “Teves is the one (who has) to prove that he can face the charges against him.” Remulla reiterated his call for Teves to return to the Philippines and answer the subpoena that has been issued against him. “The public should know that he is being summoned by the authorities to explain his involvement in the crime concerning the deaths of many people,” Remulla said. “It’s better for him to come home and face the music instead of talking too much,” he added. Teves has been accused of being one of the masterminds in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and nine other persons on 4 March 2023. Teves’ lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, meanwhile, claimed they have “intelligence reports” that some officials of the DoJ had tried to bribe a former aide of the lawmaker. Topacio averred the officials tried to sway Marvin Miranda, one of 11 suspects in the death of Degamo and nine others last 4 March, to pin down Teves as the mastermind. “We are verifying these reports, but rest assured that they come from sources [that] have been reliable in the past,” Topacio said. Ten of the 11 suspects who initially cooperated with authorities recanted their confessions against Teves. With Edjen Oliquino and Jing Villamente With Edjen Oliquino and Jing Villamente The post ‘Garbage, baloney,’ Remulla to Teves appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 8th, 2023

PBBM may bring up Teves issue with E. Timor counterpart, says Romualdez

INDONESIA – House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said the denial of Rep. Arnolfo Teves’ asylum application may be tackled in the upcoming bilateral meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Timor Leste Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak in the 42nd ASEAN Summit and related meetings here. Romualdez made the statement after the Department of Justice said Teves was in Timor-Leste and had applied "for a protection visa with the intent of asylum."  The Southeast Asian nation, however, has rejected his application and ordered him to leave the country in five days since Teves has been tagged as the alleged mastermind in the murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. In an interview with the reporters, the House Speaker believed Marcos was equally concerned about Teves' situation.  "We are also interested in the developments and his current situation in Timor Leste. From what we know, he applied for political asylum, which was denied yesterday. We have confirmed this information tonight (Wednesday)," he said. However, Romualdez clarified that he was still determining if the President had conversations about this matter on the sidelines. When asked if the President will ask the head of Timor Leste to "produce" Teves or ask him to come back to the Philippines, Romualdez said: "Well, I don't know if he will ask to produce him because he's already in Timor Leste and we are aware of that." Romualdez also clarified that the President would not ask Timor Leste to bring Teves back to the Philippines because there is no extradition treaty between the two countries. Instead, Teves has less than a week to leave Timor Leste.  The House Speaker also said there are three options for the congressman: To return to the Philippines and face the charges against him; continue defying orders and face further sanctions; or move to another country.  He urged Teves to return home and face justice, adding that the rights and privileges of a congressman are not meant to be used to evade justice. “So Cong. Arnie Teves, umuwi ka na (go home) and face the music and let the justice take its course,” Romualdez said. In a separate statement, Romualdez warned Teves that "another possible disciplinary action" may be imposed against him if he refuses to return to the Philippines after his 60-day suspension. The House Speaker also called on Teves anew to "return home immediately and face the accusation against him" instead of evading investigation in the Philippines." "Should Cong. Arnie continues to defy the return to work order after the lapse of the 60-day period of his suspension, the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges may be constrained to reconvene and consider another possible disciplinary action against him," Romualdez said. "This is our recourse in order to preserve the dignity, integrity, and reputation of the House of Representatives," he added. The post PBBM may bring up Teves issue with E. Timor counterpart, says Romualdez appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 10th, 2023

Remulla to Teves: Flight indicates guilt

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla yesterday urged Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. to come home and face the charges against him, saying his refusal to do so could be taken as “an indication of guilt” in governor Roel Degamo’s murder......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 17th, 2023

Mexico extradites son of cartel kingpin ‘El Chapo’ to US

Mexico on Friday extradited the son of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States to face narcotics charges, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said. Ovidio Guzman Lopez, also known as "El Raton" or "The Mouse," was indicted earlier this year on drug trafficking charges linked to the fentanyl crisis plaguing the United States. His father was convicted in 2019 of running what was believed to be the world's biggest narcotics syndicate and is serving life in a supermax prison in the state of Colorado. Garland hailed the extradition as "the most recent step in the Justice Department's effort to attack every aspect of the cartel's operations." "The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable those responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic that has devastated too many communities across the country." After Guzman's conviction, several of his sons, collectively known as "the Little Chapos," inherited control of the Sinaloa Cartel, US authorities said. Security agents captured the younger Guzman in the Sinaloa city of Culiacan on 5 January. Following his arrest, cartel members set vehicles on fire and created mayhem, an echo of the massive shootouts in 2019 when the younger Guzman was briefly detained but then freed to avoid bloodshed. At the time, US authorities had a $5 million bounty for his arrest, accusing him and his brother, Joaquin Guzman Lopez, of overseeing methamphetamine labs in Sinaloa state producing an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of meth per month. "Other information indicates that Ovidio Guzman Lopez has ordered the murders of informants, a drug trafficker, and a popular Mexican singer who had refused to sing at his wedding," according to a website of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ovidio Guzman, 33, will spend his first nights in a US prison just as his father's wife, Emma Coronel, walks free. Coronel, who is not Guzman's mother, was released from a California halfway house this week after completing a sentence for collaborating with Chapo Guzman in his narcotics activities. Coronel is a dual US-Mexican citizen. tjj/qan © Agence France-Presse The post Mexico extradites son of cartel kingpin ‘El Chapo’ to US appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

Federal charges for five police over beating death of African American

Five police officers already charged in the murder of Tyre Nichols, a young African American who died after being beaten, now face federal indictment, the Justice Department announced Tuesday. Videos showed the officers, who are all Black, repeatedly kicking and punching Nichols during a traffic stop close to his home in the US city of Memphis on January 7, three days before he died in hospital. "The country watched in horror as Tyre Nichols was kicked, punched, tased, and pepper sprayed," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a brief video statement posted online. The department said the five officers, who have been fired, "willfully deprived Nichols of his constitutional rights," resulting in "bodily injury and the death of Nichols." A federal grand jury in Memphis, located in the US South, on Tuesday charged the five former officers with federal civil rights, conspiracy, and obstruction offenses, the Department of Justice said. The officers -- Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, and Desmond Mills Jr. -- have already been charged by state prosecutors in Tennessee with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, official misconduct, and "official oppression." They have pleaded not guilty. Nichols, 29, was stopped by the five, who were members of a special police anti-crime squad called the Scorpion Unit, for an alleged traffic violation, according to police. He was beaten viciously by the officers, in scenes recorded in body camera and security camera footage that triggered outrage when made public later that month. Vice President Kamala Harris attended Nichols' funeral in February and Nichols' family members were invited to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address in Washington several days later. The post Federal charges for five police over beating death of African American appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 12th, 2023

Cop, brother face kidnapping raps

Southern Police District Director Brig. Gen. Roderick Mariano ordered the filing of charges against a policeman and his brother who allegedly kidnapped and illegally detained a female Chinese national. The suspects who will be charged were identified as SSgt. Lordgrin Figueroa, 39, assigned at the Pasay Criminal Investigation and Detection Group; and his brother “Nelson,” 20, now detained at the police custodial facility. Charges for Illegal Detention, Robbery Extortion, violations of Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Law on Firearm and Ammunition) in relation to RA 7166 (Omnibus Election Code), Falsification of Public Documents, and Article 179 of the Revised Penal Code (Illegal Use of PNP Uniform). Reports showed the brothers were arrested on Sunday, 3 September at around 10:48 p.m. inside Qing Qing hotel located along Figueroa Street, Barangay 74, Pasay City. Mariano said the Pasay police, under the supervision of city police chief, Col. Froilan Uy, conducted a rescue operation for a 26-year-old female Chinese national who was allegedly detained by the suspects inside the hotel room. The suspects reportedly attempted to extort money amounting to P500,000 for her release. A friend of the victim, a 34-year-old Malaysian national, sought police assistance and reported the incident on September 4. He provided the Pasay police with a photo of the victim in handcuffs, a PNP ID belonging to a certain PMSG John Reggie Reyes, and text messages from the suspects demanding for the P500,000 ransom money. The rescue operation, Mariano said was immediately conducted, leading to the arrest of the suspects. Police recovered one 9mm Taurus with serial number TBW77621 a property of PNP, one magazine loaded with 14 live ammunition, a PNP ID, a wallet, 14 pieces of P1,000 bills, five assorted identification cards and three cellphones. Mariano said, as members of the PNP, they are committed to upholding the law and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens and visitors. The post Cop, brother face kidnapping raps appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 6th, 2023

Making Filipinos proud through our folk dances

The summer that Marielle Benitez-Javellana participated in the performances of the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company in various barangays of Manila, she was balancing her time between football and folk dance. [caption id="attachment_175404" align="aligncenter" width="841"] Marielle Benitez-Javallana with son Lucho.[/caption]   She had just graduated from De La Salle University where she played for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. She was also a member of the national women’s football team. Between her graduation and return to the football field, she attended the Philippine Women’s University’s Bayanihan folk dance workshop. This culminated in a class recital at the Folk Arts Theater where she danced “Aray.” As she recalled in her interview with the DAILY TRIBUNE, it was quite a challenge for her to give her equal attention to football and dance. She recounted laughingly, “I would run from one rehearsal to one training. Or from a game to a performance. In the car, I would fix my make-up or change into my costume or my sportswear. “I stayed in dance because I enjoyed the company. We goofed around a lot, and we didn’t care if we fell from a bench, tripped or looked awkward because of our mistakes. We kept trying and we learned how to do the steps correctly.” It was a rite of passage for Marielle and the new Bayanihan applicants because they had to follow the rules, “such as attending rehearsals with our makeup on and our hair pulled up in a bun. They were inculcating in us the standards for which Bayanihan was known and admired.”   Grace and precision While folk dancing may be different from playing football, she somehow found similarities in both. “At first, I felt a little bit awkward because I was a football player and at the same time dancing Itik-Itik, Binasuan and Tinikling. In both, precision and grace are important. Both require commitment and hard work. And in dance, as in football, you perform as a team. You can’t do things by yourself. You have to be in sync with the other team members and be connected with them.” She would have her first international engagement in August that year and, to her delight, it was in Athens where the Olympics were being held. “Just like most athletes, my dream was to be part of the Philippine team in the Olympics. And there I was exactly at the Olympics, but I was not in my athlete’s uniform. Instead, I was in my Filipiniana costume, with my hair teased up. We were the Philippine representatives at the Cultural Olympiad, which took place alongside the Olympic Games. “We had shows at night over the week. One headline said, ‘Philippines bags the gold in the Cultural Olympiad because of Bayanihan.’ I was there mesmerized by all those athletes gathered and there I was, all made up, dancing to Philippine folk music. Still, being there for my country and eliciting thunderous applause made me proud of my country and the Bayanihan.” The rest is, of course, history. She went on to dance in various international performances, festivals and competitions and had been part of many award-winning showcases.   A challenge every day Fast forward to 2023, Marielle is the executive director of the Bayanihan. One would think she has adapted to the rigors of managing a world-class performing arts group and can now take it easy, having become accustomed to running the organization. On the contrary, Marielle clarified, “I think it’s a challenge every day because, number one, I obviously would continue all my mom’s programs but, at the same time, I would also need to move forward. “At the time that she was on top of the administration of the Bayanihan, she had different challenges naman. And I think, what she was able to set and implement will now create more challenges and opportunities for me. What we share is our passion for work and for a cause. Like her, I work passionately and enthusiastically. “If you ask the younger generation now who the Bayanihan is, they wouldn’t know it the same way the older generation knew the prestige of Bayanihan. That is a challenge for me. Without having to put the Bayanihan on TikTok, it is my responsibility to make ourselves visible and relevant without breaking the Bayanihan traditions.” But if it was a top dream for the young women then to join the Bayanihan so they could see the world, today is quite different “since everyone could travel now. What has remained is that certain character that qualifies one to be a member. There is no money in Bayanihan, so one has to have that desire for advocacy to share with the world the best of our country. A Bayanihan member should be capable of taking to heart our mission to promote Philippine culture. It’s a cause. A thing of the heart. That’s why we’re also known as cultural ambassadors.”   Hall of Fame Bayanihan has survived, Marielle explained, “because we always have new trainees. We constantly recruit and we receive applications often. But of course, we also see through the applications. Not just anyone would really be able to last long rehearsals. One has to have that specific attitude and frame of mind that they need to be able to balance school or work and rehearsals. There has to be a certain kind of maturity, which comes from exposure and work ethic that one learns in a working environment. The thing is if you’re working, you cannot just leave for tours and performances so all these factors come into play.” “Right now, we have 30 members — 15 men and 15 women,” Marielle said. “We also brought in new trainees in our annual production Continuum — A Dance Spectrum Through the Years. In the short time that Marielle has assumed the post of executive director, Bayanihan has added to its long list of awards at the same time that it scored new milestones. “Last year, we won our 14th grand prize in Korea so we have been installed into the Hall of Fame. This year we are participating as a guest organization.” “Last year, we were the first Philippine dance group to perform in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Early this year, we were the first Philippine group to perform at the Royal Opera House in Oman, Muscat.”   First face-to-face festival Looking forward, Marielle enumerated future plans including a tour in September that will bring them to Cyprus and Greece, and in October, to Korea. Marielle will also be active as an officer of the Federation of International Dance Festivals, of which her mom was the local chair for Asia. “When I came in as Bayanihan executive director, it was crucial for me to continue what my mom had begun. Fortunately, during the election last October, I was elected as vice chair for Asia.” In December, Bayanihan will finally host its first face-to-face international dance festival. So far, countries that have confirmed their attendance are Austria, Spain, Poland, Korea and Indonesia. They will all perform in week-long productions. Marielle acknowledged the support of her brother Philippine Women’s University president Marco Benitez and the Bayanihan Board of Trustees composed of its chair, Congressman Kiko Benitez; the president, Ambassador Rosario Manalo; and the members, namely, Rosky Balahadia-Hilado, Judith Pantangco, Imelda Trillo, Leni Cabili, Neny Apostol Regino, Chingay Lagdameo, Marilou Mirasol, Rachy Cuna, Marilou Mirasol and Boy Abunda. Of course, behind them too is the PWU chair Vicky Nazareno. Finally, Marielle shared, “We will continue with our mission to research our dances all over the Philippine archipelago and create our distinct Bayanihan adaptations. And, of course, we will strive to continue inculcating in our members the Bayanihan values that I believe make our performing artists stand out — commitment, discipline, perseverance, leadership, teamwork, time management and the ability to balance late-night hours of rehearsals with your work and home responsibilities when you wake up the next day. These practices make us excel as dancers and because we do our best to excel, we proudly represent our country and hopefully make our countrymen proud.” The post Making Filipinos proud through our folk dances appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 25th, 2023

The legal woes of Donald Trump

Former US president Donald Trump is facing four criminal indictments, all filed since March -- with the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 White House race possibly navigating a series of trials as he campaigns. On Thursday, he was formally arrested on 13 counts in the southern state of Georgia in connection with his alleged efforts to interfere with the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Trump has already been indicted in federal court in connection with election interference in multiple states, and over his handling of classified documents, making him the first former US president to face federal criminal charges. The twice-impeached Trump has also been charged in New York with making election-eve hush money payments to a porn star. Here are the key cases involving the 77-year-old one-term president -- and others that could materialize: Georgia election meddling Trump stands accused in Georgia of pressuring state officials to overturn Biden's election victory -- incidents that were also referred to in a federal indictment. Evidence includes a taped phone call in which he asked Georgia's then-secretary of state to "find" enough votes to reverse the result. Fulton County's top prosecutor Fani Willis has charged Trump with 13 felony counts including violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, as well as six conspiracy counts over alleged efforts to commit forgery, impersonate a public official and submit false statements and documents. Eighteen co-defendants also were indicted, including Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, for pressuring local legislators over the result after the election, and Trump's White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows. 2020 election interference Special Counsel Jack Smith had already slapped Trump with four federal charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, as well as conspiracy to obstruct and obstruction of an official proceeding -- the January 6, 2021, meeting of a joint session of Congress held to certify Biden's election victory. He is also charged with conspiracy to deny Americans the right to vote and to have one's vote counted. The indictment mentions six co-conspirators but none are identified -- Trump, currently the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is the only named defendant. Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, as Congress met to certify the presidential election results. Before what was ultimately a deadly attack, Trump delivered a fiery speech urging the crowd to "fight like hell." Classified documents Trump, in another indictment brought by Smith, is accused of endangering national security by holding onto top secret nuclear and defense documents after leaving the White House. Trump kept the files -- which included records from the Pentagon, CIA, and National Security Agency -- unsecured at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida and thwarted official efforts to retrieve them, according to the indictment. Trump was initially charged with 31 counts of "willful retention of national defense information," each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A count was added related to a classified document "concerning military activity in a foreign country." He also faces charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and other offenses. The federal judge in the case has set a trial date of May 20, 2024, at the height of the presidential campaign. Stormy A New York grand jury indicted Trump in March over alleged hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Prosecutors say the money was paid prior to the 2016 election to silence Daniels over claims she had a tryst with Trump in 2006 -- a year after he married Melania Trump. Late in the campaign, Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a payment of $130,000 to Daniels in exchange for her pledge of confidentiality, prosecutors said. That case, in which he faces 34 felony counts, is due to go to trial next March, in the middle of the Republican primary election season. Other probes Trump was found liable in a civil case for sexually abusing and defaming a former magazine columnist, E. Jean Carroll, in 1996, and ordered to pay her $5 million in damages. In New York, state Attorney General Letitia James has filed a civil suit against Trump and three of his children, accusing them of fraud by over-valuing assets to secure loans and then under-valuing them to minimize taxes. James is seeking $250 million in penalties as well as banning Trump and his children from serving as executives at companies in the city. Trump has denied all wrongdoing. The post The legal woes of Donald Trump appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 25th, 2023

Michael Ted Macapagal: Making tracks in public service

If life were a train, then Michael Ted Macapagal’s has been quite a ride. Raised by a labor leader and human rights lawyer father who served the people of Olongapo, including the workers of the US American Base in Subic, Michael Ted Macapagal had always wanted to become a public servant. It took Ted, though, a long journey to reach his goal, first achieving success in the insurance field in the United States where he lived for 20 years starting in 1991. Today, he is the chairman of the Philippine National Railways, a position “that allows me to make a difference in the lives of my countrymen,” he shared during his recent visit to the Daily Tribune office in Makati. Ted, good-looking and affable, proudly spoke of a father, his namesake, Atty. Teddy C. Macapagal who, early on, exposed his son to a firsthand view of a gentleman who looked beyond himself and his personal interests, and instead dedicated his career to protecting the common man and bettering their lot. The elder Ted served as a city councilor for 10 years. In 1984, he ran for the Batasang Pambansa, and in the late 1980s, for city mayor. “In all these electoral processes, I was involved and saw for myself how my father related to the people. He was a sincere man who helped them in the best way he could. He provided free legal services to those in need,” Ted recounted. Ted grew up in Olongapo, his place of birth. It was in the neighboring province of Pampanga, though, at the Don Bosco Institute in Bacolor town, where he first studied, but he eventually returned home to Olongapo, where he finished high school at the St. Columban. Aiming to become a lawyer, he enrolled at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, where he majored in History, which he intended as his pre-law course.  Not unexpectedly, he joined the Upsilon Sigma Phi, his father’s fraternity. He also joined rallies where he stood with those who wanted the retention of US bases in the Philippines, in keeping with the sentiments of his townsmen. “It was the one concern where the whole of Olongapo was united,” he recalled, “because the people’s livelihood was connected to the base and the American presence in the community.” As a lawyer who specialized in labor, his father himself handled cases for the base employees. In 1988, his father lost his mayoralty bid in Olongapo. He fought against his fraternity brother, Richard Gordon. Actually, the two had been fighting it out for decades. “Olongapo became too small for them,” shared Ted. “A vivid memory to me to this day was the night I cried after my father lost. I was heartbroken because, for the most part of my life, I saw him give his all to the people. Throughout all those years, I just loved assisting my father. I followed him whenever he visited his constituents. I was a witness to everything that happened to him, his conflict with his political adversary and the loyalty of the people who believed in him and saw in him the man who would change the face of politics in our city.” The elder Macapagal became OIC-Mayor in 1986, but only two months after he received his appointment from the new president because the incumbent mayor did not easily give up his post which he was required to vacate under the new revolutionary government. “The next local election was the most expensive political exercise that our family ever waged,” Ted recounted. “It was then that my father decided that I pursue a new life in the United States, away from politics back home. “All the while, my heart never left the Philippines. Even before I left, I promised myself I would return to continue what my father started.”   First non-white president Ted stayed in San Francisco for 20 long years.  He had a tough time at the beginning of his new life.  “I started off doing odd jobs. I worked as a security guard, janitor and waiter in a pizza parlor. “I also guarded the heavy equipment in a construction site in San Francisco. Thievery was a problem in that kind of situation. We would sleep in a trailer. “I transferred to a construction firm because I found out it offered a bigger salary. But I didn’t know the technical aspects of construction. Once, I made a portable ladder, but it fell apart, for which I was scolded by the owner of the company. I was fired on my third day on the job. Too bad because it paid high.” Ted then decided to pursue another degree, one that would be more useful in the United States. He took up Human Resource Management, a four-year course at the University of California in Berkeley. When he finally entered the corporate world, his first job was as a clerk. It wasn’t long before he became Division President of Stewart Title Company, one of the largest underwriters in the world, with offices across the United States, and in some 80 countries around the globe. He was based in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I may have been the first non-white president,” he said. “And I was a division president for the whole of North America. I was the first Filipino to reach that level.” Of his trailblazing accomplishments, he shared, “I was able to bring cultural diversity to the company, which enhanced its value. I got the top post because I asked for a meeting with the president. I told him we were not diverse enough to appeal to the non-white clients, and there were many of them who were first-time home buyers. Then, I told him to make the rounds. He would see that none of the home buyers was white. They were of different ethnic groups. I told him that if he appointed me as vice president, I would give him multi-cultural buyers because I would appeal to them and they would be our first-time buyers. So, he appointed me, and one month later, he made me president.” As an adjunct, he lectured on the topic of title insurance and escrow procedures in several community colleges in and around the San Franciso Bay Area.  Through it all, he chose to keep his Filipino citizenship.   The ‘Railway President’ For all the successes he was enjoying, the Philippines beckoned. He felt he still had a mission to accomplish. “My father was surprised. He asked me why I would still want to go home when I was doing well in the States. I insisted, so I came back and I plunged into political life. I worked on difficult campaigns, like the one for Rodrigo Duterte.” Back to his first love and passion, the political arena, he was in his element and served as president of PDP LABAN in Olongapo City from 2016 to 2021. In 2022, he joined LAKAS-CMD as its local chairman. This engagement led to his original target, as his father had achieved in his lifetime — serving the people. This time, he would be appointed to key posts in the government. He became director of the Clark Board and Gulf Oil Philippines. He took his oath of office as chairman of the Philippine National Railways on 28 April 2023. It is a job in a government agency where he is confident “I could make a difference because I can see that President Bongbong Marcos is really intent on improving the railway system of the country. “On my part, I want to make a difference.  I want to be able to contribute whatever I can to help the president to achieve that objective. I call him now the ‘Railway President’ because I consider him the father of the railway system in our country.” Of course, he noted that many plans have been formulated during the time of President Rodrigo Duterte. Moreover, he recognized that President Gloria Arroyo “navigated our country through the global crisis. I was in the United States when the global economic crisis happened, and the Philippines was one of the countries spared, and I give credit to her. The economic fundamentals were very strong during her time.  Being an economist, she was there at the right time when the country needed her the most.” With President BBM at the helm, he is confident “we will be able to push through with our development plan and finish the projects we have started, like the North-South Commuter Railway, which is a 147-kilometer stretch from Clark to Laguna. We hope to have the dry run in 2026 and it will be fully operational in 2027.” He also looks forward to the completion of the Bicol South Long Haul project. He is equally hopeful for the North Long Haul, the Subic-Clark and the Mindanao railways. He clarified that “we are now talking with the proponents, while some negotiations are being undertaken.”   Working boots and a hard hat It would seem that this successful insurance executive was out of place in the railway sector. He pointed out, though, that “coming from the outside, I have the technical advantage of being able to look outside the box. So, I’m looking at it from outside the box, looking in. I am able to see the problems that need to be fixed. Stoppage is one of the problems so we have a bus augmentation program. We will also deploy UV Express units. We are closely coordinating with the LTFRB to provide emergency alternative transportation.” On the other hand, his exposure to people of all backgrounds from his youth, being his father’s son, has given him the advantage of “knowing how it is to be one of the boys. Something that I also experienced in the United States. “When people ask me what my management style is, I tell them straight I like to go down to the ground. I like hands-on supervision. I want my hands to be dirty. If you open the trunk of my car, you will find my working boots and my hard hat. I enjoy going to the construction sites and seeing for myself the progress, the problems, whatever it is that needs to be attended to. “Finally I want those working in the field doing the most difficult tasks to be satisfied and never to be hungry. Gusto ko, busog sila lagi. I am not happy when I get invited by the constructors and I am honored with a feast-like lunch or dinner, and not knowing what the workers are eating. I am on a diet anyway, so I make sure that my hosts bring the food to where the workers are eating. I can only eat so much and I would rather that the workers and the staff are full and happy. I am vocal about my displeasure when the construction workers are not eating the same food that is served to me. I may not be able to invite them to where I am eating but I can have the food brought to them.”   Smiling from heaven Without a doubt, the old man Atty. Teddy C. Macapagal is smiling happily from his heavenly perch. He had served his fellowmen well, but he had done right as well by raising a son who took after his heart, to whom service to the people and compassion for the less fortunate matter more than any personal gain. His father, according to Ted, “died a broken man at the young age of 63. But whatever he lacked in longevity and riches, he made up for it with his compassion for others, for the free legal services that he gave to the people of Olongapo. “If you didn’t have money, you went to him because he was generous with his time and expertise. He would even give you some cash to use for your transportation fare to go home. That was my father. “The people whom he helped in turn would come to our home and bring him gifts like eggs, fruits, fish, vegetables and native chickens that they raised in their backyards. My father accepted them all. When I came home and saw all this, I teased him and said that he should probably open a sari-sari store so he could resell them. “Of course, we had a good laugh. But beyond the laughter, we both knew in our hearts that doing good to one’s fellowmen is its own reward and nothing in this world can take the place of personal fulfillment for having put a smile on people’s faces because you somehow made their lives better. “I am grateful that I have been raised by such a great father.” The post Michael Ted Macapagal: Making tracks in public service appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 14th, 2023

2019 Negros killings: Teves to face raps

State prosecutors have found sufficient evidence to file multiple murder charges against suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. in connection with the killing of three persons in the province in 2019, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 12th, 2023

DOJ: Teves assets frozen this week

The government is expected to freeze this week all the assets of suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. and 12 others – including his brother, former governor Pryde Henry – following their designation as terrorists over deadly gun violence in the province in 2019 and this year......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2023

Teves eyes remedies for terror designation

Available remedies are being eyed by the camp of suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. after the Anti-Terrorism Council or ATC designated the lawmaker as a terrorist. Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, counsel of Teves, said they had expected the designation as it was mentioned earlier by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla. “On our part, we were just waiting for a formal declaration by the ATC so we can file the appropriate remedies, either administrative or court,” Topacio said. On 26 July, ATC Resolution Number 43 was approved and was signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin designating Teves, his brother former governor Pryde Henry Teves, and 11 others as terrorists over several alleged killings and harassment in Negros Oriental. The ATC said their violations included committing terrorism; planning, training, preparing, and facilitating the commission of terrorism; recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization; and providing material support to terrorists. With the designation, the Anti-Money Laundering Council froze Representative Teves’ assets. “The Anti-Money Laundering Council’s issuance of a freeze order was based on the Anti-Terrorism Act’s Section 25 in relation to Section 36,” AMLC legal officer Luis Anthony Warren said at a Palace press briefing. He added: “Upon the designation of an individual or organization, it is ministerial upon the part of the Anti-Money Laundering Council to issue an ex parte order to freeze without delay the assets of the subjects in this case. So, that’s all.” Topacio said their camp had no knowledge yet of the matter but that they would have remedies for it under the law. The solon was tagged as the mastermind of the assassination of the late Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on 4 March which also left nine others dead and several wounded. Degamo’s widow, Pamplona town Mayor Janice Degamo, said the designation of Teves as a terrorist gave hope and a sense of security to the people of Negros Oriental and it vindicated the victims who had given their testimonies.   Light at the end of tunnel She said they are seeing the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and this will have a ripple effect. Meanwhile, DoJ Assistant Secretary and spokesperson, Atty. Mico Clavano, yesterday said all the assets, including bank deposits, of Rep. Teves, his brother Henry, and the 11 other persons designated as terrorists are expected to be frozen within the week. Clavano said this type of process is meant to be quick “precisely because we want to prevent the dissipation of assets.” Also designated terrorists, aside from the Teves brothers, were Marvin H. Miranda, Rogelio C. Antipolo,  Rommel Pattaguan, Winrich B. Isturis, John Louie Gonyon, Dahniel Lora, Eulogio Gonyon Jr., Tomasino Aledro, Nigel Electona, Jomarie Catubay and Hannah Mae Sumero Oray. Clavano, who is also the ATC deputy spokesperson, said the council will issue a Sanction Freeze Order or SFO to banks relative to all assets of the designees. The post Teves eyes remedies for terror designation appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2023

Teves could join legislative proceedings, but only if he asks

During a hearing on Tuesday, hours before Arnie Teves was designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council through Resolution 43, Manila Rep. Benny Abante, a panel member, said Teves could join proceedings in the House of Representatives via personal request. The House ethics and privileges panel, which jurisdiction includes administrative complaints and issues filed against House members, will let suspended lawmaker Teves participate in legislative proceedings via videoconferencing only if he would make a "personal request." "Because we have a rule here that must appear [in person]. The ruling here is this if any congressman would like to make use of the videoconferencing, he has to make a personal request on that and the reason why," Abante said. He underscored that Teves is not excluded from this privilege, which is afforded to all members of the House. "If he wants to participate with us through video conferencing, then he must make a personal request, not through his lawyers. He himself personally," Abante stressed. The lawmaker made the remark, notwithstanding that Teves has since pleaded that he be allowed to attend legislative proceedings via teleconference but has been denied. To recall, Teves lambasted the House leadership, questioning why colleagues were allowed to join meetings, sessions, and hearings through video teleconferencing while he was not. He had earlier cried over being considered absent--that later resulted in a twice suspension-- despite attending the legislative proceedings via teleconference, which he lamented was permitted by Congress. The lawmaker, who was being tagged as the "mastermind" behind the murder of his political foe, Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, and nine others on 4 March, has been headstrong in his decision not to return home and physically attend the House ethics panel motu proporio, citing serious threats to his life. Ako Bicol Rep. Raul Angelo Bongalon, the panel's vice chairperson, in the same hearing, echoed Abante's comment, citing Speaker Martin Romualdez's recent order that "all the congressmen are required to attend physically or face to face all activities here in Congress" following the lifting of State of Public Health Emergency. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., through Proclamation No. 297 issued on 21 July, ordered the lifting of the state of public health emergency that had previously been declared throughout the country owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, which had claimed thousands of lives. "That's why he (Teves) has to make a request personal to the Office of Speaker or to the Secretary-General to avail the videoconferencing," Bongalon said. The panel chairperson, Rep. Felimon Espares, meanwhile, stressed that "he needs to report [for work] here in the House," citing the lawmaker's expired travel clearance. "He left with an approved travel authority which already lapsed, so he needs to show up here,” Espares noted. The panel chairman thus explained that Teves has no reason to hide since there is no arrest warrant yet against him. The post Teves could join legislative proceedings, but only if he asks appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

DOJ: Teves a terrorist but not a fugitive

  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not yet issued a warrant of arrest to the suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. despite the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) labeling the congressman as a "terrorist." In a Malacañang press briefing, DOJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said Teves is not yet considered a fugitive for the congressman to be considered an outlaw or a person running from the law. "(Teves) is not considered a fugitive, as this is separate and distinct from a criminal action. It is only when you are issued a warrant of arrest that you become a fugitive or your status becomes a fugitive," Clavano explained. "Right now, he is a terrorist, but that's as far as he goes," Clavano added. However, Clavano did not mention the government's next step against Teves and 11 others allegedly tagged in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and other political killings in the province. In the same briefing, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said the terrorist tag would allow them to freeze the assets of Teves and other parties. "The (AMLC's) issuance of a freeze order is based under the ATA (Anti-Terror Act) Section 25 in relation to Section 36. So upon the designation of an individual or an organization, it is ministerial on the part of the AMLC, to issue an ex parte order to freeze without delay the assets of the subjects in this case," AMLC's Atty. Luis Warren said. Teves hasn't been in the country since February. He won't come back to face the multiple murder charges against him because he fears for his safety. The Department of Justice (DOJ) said earlier that Teves was in Timor-Leste in May 2023, where he reportedly asked for political asylum. Teves's lawyers have said more than once that Teves had nothing to do with Degamo's death. At the moment, 11 of the suspected gunmen are under police arrest. Ten of the suspected gunmen have returned to what they said at first, saying that they were involved. Teves has been named as the mastermind. The post DOJ: Teves a terrorist but not a fugitive appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

ATC tags Teves, 12 others as ‘terrorist’

The Anti-Terrorism Council designated Negros Oriental Third District Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. as a terrorist for allegedly masterminding the 4 March slaying of Gov. Roel Degamo and 9 others. Teves was also named by the ATC as the leader of the "Teves Terrorist Group." Aside from Teves the council also tagged 11 others as terrorists, including his younger brother and former governor Pryde Henry Teves, and his alleged bagman Marvin Miranda. The ATC also tagged as among those involved in the so-called terrorist group were Teves' former bodyguard Nigel Electona, Tomasino Aledro, Rogelio Antipolo, Hannah Mae Oray, Rommel Pattaguan, Winrich Isturis, John Louie Gonyon, Dahniel Lora, Eulogio Gonyon Jr., and Jomarie Catubay. The ATC in its three-page resolution dated 26 July, said Rep. Teves was the alleged leader and mastermind of the group, while his brother and Electona "provided material support." "Investigation also reveals that Hannah Mae Sumero Oray handles the operational funds for the killings while Marvin H. Miranda acts as organizer and recruiter of personnel for specific terrorist attacks," the ATC said. With the designation, it ended a months-long process for the ATC to brand Teves as an alleged terrorist. The designation of Teves and his cohorts as terrorists was first disclosed by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla in April. Remulla said that Teves may be designated or proscribed as a terrorist. "In this case, the activities that led to the killing on 4 March all are covered under the anti-terror law: the recruitment, the financing, the purchase of firearms, the distribution of firearms," Remulla had said. The embattled Solon remains overseas and was last located in Timor-Leste, refusing to return to the Philippines due to purported threats to his life. He was suspended a second time due to his continued absence from his duties at the House of Representatives. The camp of Degamo had expressed support for the move to tag Teves as a terrorist, with lawyer Levito Baligod saying they had "concrete evidence" linking the embattled lawmaker to terror groups in Mindanao. The post ATC tags Teves, 12 others as ‘terrorist’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

DoTr chief’s CLA endorsement questioned

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista could face graft charges for endorsing a foreign-owned container monitoring system without undergoing the usual bidding process or a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) from the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA). Industry insiders who asked not to be named noted the unusual decision by Bautista to endorse the Container Ledger Account (CLA) as an alternative to the controversial container deposit imposed by international shipping lines on importers and brokers for the use of their containers. The (DoTr order) violates Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. In essence, the DoTr endorses container deposits and favors a foreign private entity to collect them. The Transportation chief wrote a letter to all shipping lines about the order, contradicting President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s instructions during a Cabinet meeting. In his 12 July letter to Joseph Collantes, operations manager of RCL Feeder Pte. Ltd., and Jesus Sedano, owner’s representative of RCL Feeder, Bautista said: “The delay in refund of container deposits and unreturned deposits in millions of pesos continue to burden and create financial difficulties for many importers that has become an industry problem. Various stakeholders have raised this matter for government intervention in the transport and logistics services sector.” The DoTr secretary added: “The Department of Transportation urges Shipping Lines/Shipping Agents/NVOCCs to accept the following alternative for container deposit practice in the Philippines.” He continued, “Discontinue container deposit practice or continue to collect container deposits contingent upon the ability to refund within 14 days, and subscribe to container deposits from Container Ledger Account subscribers or other providers that offer equivalent services.” But industry insiders questioned Bautista’s order saying the CLA still needs to undergo an RIA from the ARTA. “They are pushing for the CLA, but it did not undergo an RIA. Since 2021, it has been vended by the Association of International Shipping Lines. Then let us read between the lines,” the source told Daily Tribune. Further, the source revealed that during a Cabinet meeting, Bautista endorsed the CLA to President Marcos, apart from reporting that the Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System or TOP-CRMS will be reviewed by ARTA. Still, the President aired contentions to the CLA. “The President said ‘baka ma-pingpong yan (CLA) [it might by bounced around].’” Bautista told the President, “No, because ARTA is currently reviewing it.” “Then why did the Secretary endorse it to international shipping lines without ARTA releasing the RIA?” the source asked.   Only an option ARTA Director General Ernesto Perez was quick to admit the CLA had not undergone an RIA because it was not implemented by way of a regulation by a particular government agency. “No, it has not. To my knowledge, probably because it is not being imposed by way of a regulation by a government agency. But if a stakeholder can show that (the regulation) is being imposed by a government agency-DoTr, then we can ask that it be subjected to an RIA. Otherwise, if it is only an option and the shipping lines are not required to use CLA, then there is no regulation by DoTr to be subjected to an RIA,” Perez explained. ARTA is doing an RIA of all Administrative Orders issued by various government agencies to ensure that regulations are subjected to proper consultations and evidence-based analyses before issuance. The RIA is being done to help government agencies, local government units, and other government instrumentalities enact sound and effective regulations that benefit citizens and stakeholders without causing any undue burden or cost.   ARTA on CLA Based on the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) of ARTA to CLA obtained by Daily Tribune, the source said the CLA is not workable, as it requires the voluntary participation by the CLA principals or subscribers. “Being voluntary, the CLA cannot ensure the issue of the delay in the refund of container deposits. Moreover, CLA also does not address the issue of deductions from the container deposit or amounts associated with alleged damage to containers,” the ARTA RIS on the CLA said. Further, the ARTA RIS stated that considering that the refund of the container deposit is dependent on the approval of the Shipping Line/Shipping Agent/NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier), it seems the same issue as the current system, described under Option 1-Status Quo or Do Nothing, remained.   The post DoTr chief’s CLA endorsement questioned appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2023