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Teves lawyers say he intends to come home but security is a concern

Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves (Negros Oriental, 3rd District) intends to return to the Philippines to answer allegations of his supposed link to the brazen killing of Governor Roel Degamo, his lawyers said......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 13th, 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

India resumes issuing visas to Canadians after spat

India will reopen visa services for Canadians, its embassy in Ottawa announced Wednesday, a move that could ease tensions in a high-profile dispute over the killing of a Sikh separatist on Canadian soil. Relations between India and Canada plunged after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month publicly linked Indian intelligence to the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. New Delhi dismissed the allegation as "absurd." Nijjar, who advocated the creation of a separate Sikh state carved out of India, was wanted by Indian authorities on charges of terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder. Canada has called for India to cooperate in the investigation into his death and expelled an Indian diplomat. New Delhi expressed outrage, and reacted by taking countermeasures that included shutting down visa services for Canadians. "After a considered review of the security situation that takes into account some of the recent Canadian measures in this regard, it has been decided to resume visa services," the Indian High Commission said in a statement. India's foreign minister, Subrahmanyam  Jaishankar, on Sunday had insisted on increased security for India's missions in Canada. He was quoted by the Times of India as saying security had been a concern and that "if we see progress there, I would like very much to resume visa services." Canadian Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan welcomed the resumption, calling it "good news for Canadians."  He said the two countries had "strong people to people ties" and that it was important for people to be able to go back and forth, for example, for weddings or funerals. Canada's population features 1.4 million people of Indian origin. Sajjan recalled that "a Canadian was killed on Canadian soil" and he said India has yet to cooperate in the criminal investigation. Canada announced last week it had withdrawn 41 diplomats from India as a result of the row. New Delhi was about to revoke diplomatic immunity for all but 21 of Canada's diplomats and their families, forcing Ottawa to pull out the others. The Indian government had also advised its nationals not to travel to parts of Canada "given the increase in anti-Indian activities." Nijjar, who emigrated to Canada in 1997 and became a Canadian citizen in 2015, was shot and killed by two masked assailants in the parking lot of a Sikh temple near Vancouver in June.  Canada is home to some 770,000 Sikhs, who make up about two percent of the overall population, with a vocal minority calling for creating a separate Indian state called Khalistan. The Sikh separatist movement is largely finished within India, where security forces used deadly force to put down an insurgency in the state of Punjab in the 1980s. Hundreds of Sikh protesters rallied outside Indian diplomatic missions in Canada last month, burning flags and trampling on pictures of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The post India resumes issuing visas to Canadians after spat appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023

Shun mass protests in Egypt

Filipinos in Egypt have been advised to avoid joining any protests following the mass demonstrations, denouncing the bombing of a hospital in the Gaza Strip that reportedly killed at least 500 civilians. In an advisory, the Philippine Embassy in Egypt cautioned Filipinos against joining the random demonstrations and planned mass actions. “The Philippine Embassy in Cairo advises everyone to exercise caution, keep away from mass congregations, and stay home unless necessary,” it said. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are 1,990 Filipinos in Egypt. Egyptians took to the streets to express their anger over the bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, which left hundreds of Palestinians dead. In one of the demonstrations, a Palestinian flag was raised while an Israeli flag was burned. The demonstrations came after Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called on Egyptians to express solidarity with the Palestinians amid the Israel-Hamas war. This developed as top diplomats of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Friday denounced the ongoing war in the Middle East.   End bloodshed In a statement, the foreign ministers of the 10-member regional bloc called for an immediate end to the bloodshed. “We strongly condemn the acts of violence which have led to the deaths and injuries of civilians, including ASEAN nationals,” the foreign ministers said. “We urge the immediate end of violence to avoid further human casualties and call for the full respect of international humanitarian law,” it added. Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas are engaged in armed conflict following the surprise attack launched by the terror group on Israel last 7 October. The attack by Hamas has left more than 1,400 dead, most of them massacred on the first day of the assault. Meanwhile, the widespread airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have reportedly left at least 3,478 dead. ASEAN also called on “all parties to create safe, rapid and unimpeded passages of human corridors.” Last week, Israel imposed a 24-hour deadline for 1.1 million civilians to evacuate northern Gaza ahead of its ground offensive in the Palestinian territory. Since then, millions of civilians, including foreign nationals, have scrambled to move from northern Gaza to southern Gaza in hopes of exiting the war-torn territory. The bulk of civilians are swarming to the Rafah border in an attempt to enter Egypt despite the border remaining closed and the restricted availability of food, water and electricity.   Two-state solution Meanwhile, ASEAN reaffirmed its support for a “negotiated two-state solution that allows Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side in peace and security consistent with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.” “This will be the only viable path to resolving the root cause of the conflict,” it said. The regional bloc also called on the “international community to support the peace process in order to ensure long-lasting peace and stability in the region.” “We have issued our respective national statements on the escalation of armed conflicts in the Middle East,” it said. On Wednesday, the Philippines, one of the founding members of ASEAN, expressed its “profound sadness” over the bombing of a hospital in the Gaza Strip, which reportedly killed at least 500 civilians. Israel and Hamas denied being behind the attack and blamed each other for the bombing. The Philippines said all parties should “do their utmost to protect civilians in times of war and armed conflict.” “We support efforts of the United Nations to provide humanitarian relief in the conflict areas,” it said. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are 135 Filipinos in the Hamas-controlled Gaza.   Deep concern In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is attending the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, the Chief Executive expressed deep concern over the rising number of victims and the safety of those affected by the conflict. In his intervention during the 1st ASEAN-GCC Summit here on Friday, Marcos said, “All parties (should) exert their utmost efforts to de-escalate the situation, stop all violence, and engage in dialogue and diplomacy.” He called on the members of the GCC and ASEAN to work together to promote peace, security, and stability in the South China Sea and the Arabian Sea. Marcos also underscored the importance of cooperation between member countries of the two regional groups to ensure their continued prosperity. “As the two regional organizations located astride the major sea gates and vital corridors of the world’s commerce and communications, it is imperative that we work together to promote peace, security, and stability in both our regions, the South China Sea and the Arabian Sea, grounded on the rules-based international order to ensure the stability and prosperity of our countries and the rest of the world,” Marcos said. “Peace and stability are indispensable to ensuring continued prosperity in our respective regions and the world,” he added. The six GCC member countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while the 10 ASEAN member countries are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. President Marcos attended the ASEAN-GCC Summit, where he discussed business opportunities in the Philippines and urged investors to invest in the Maharlika Investment Fund, among other significant opportunities in the Philippines. The post Shun mass protests in Egypt appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2023

Trial of disgraced crypto star Bankman-Fried begins

The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of one of cryptocurrency's biggest exchanges, began Tuesday with a jury set to determine if he committed massive fraud by stealing billions of dollars from clients. The 31-year-old -- once one of the most respected figures in crypto -- now faces decades in prison and could see his name stand alongside Bernie Madoff and Elizabeth Holmes as the era's most prominent fraudsters. The first day of the trial was devoted to jury selection for a case that is set to last about six weeks. Bankman-Fried faces seven counts including wire fraud, securities and commodities fraud, and money laundering. He risks more than 100 years behind bars if he is found guilty on all charges. Bankman-Fried entered the courtroom alone -- without being escorted by security guards -- uncuffed, and took his place alongside his lawyers, an AFP journalist observed. Dressed in a dark suit and striped tie, his usually long curly hair was cut short, reportedly by a fellow inmate at the Brooklyn jail where he is being detained. "You have the right to testify in your defense in this case. The decision is up to you," US District Judge Lewis Kaplan told Bankman Fried. In just a few years, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate turned his FTX platform into the world's second-biggest crypto exchange, making him a tech world billionaire wunderkind. FTX became a global name through a marketing campaign that included celebrity partnerships with stars such as supermodel Gisele Bundchen and basketball legend Stephen Curry, and buying the naming rights for the home arena of the Miami Heat basketball club. Bankman-Fried also stepped in as a kind of savior of the industry when other crypto companies faced difficulties, with FTX swooping in to offer a financial lifeline. At the height of his career, Bankman-Fried was thought to be worth $26 billion as he attracted droves of small investors to invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. But his steep rise was matched by his ignominious downfall, which saw him escorted last year by police from his luxury apartment in the Bahamas and extradited to face charges in the United States. 'Gambling at own casino' His empire began to crumble last November when a news report pointed to unhealthy ties between the FTX platform and Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried's personally owned-trading company. The revelations kept growing and major investors pulled their money out of FTX, sinking it swiftly into bankruptcy. Once the dust had settled, some $8.7 billion in client funds was still unaccounted for and Bankman-Fried was accused of using FTX deposits to buy luxury real estate or donate more than $100 million to US politicians through Alameda. "He was gambling in his own casino and it created conflicts of interest," Michael Lewis, an author who followed Bankman-Fried closely during the period, told CBS. Everything "unravels because the depositors at FTX want their money back and it's not all there," the author of "Liar's Poker" and other titles added. The climax of the trial is expected to be when his former friends and colleagues take the stand, including Carlonie Ellison, his one-time romantic partner and Alameda executive, and Gary Wang, his closest associate. Ellison and Wang have also been indicted in the case and agreed to cooperate with US authorities, which may prove Bankman-Fried's undoing. After his spectacular arrest in the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried was initially held under house arrest but was ordered behind bars in August over alleged attempts at witness intimidation. According to prosecutors, while holed up at his parents' home in California, Bankman-Fried spoke regularly to journalists and passed documents to The New York Times in an effort to influence the testimony of Ellison. The post Trial of disgraced crypto star Bankman-Fried begins appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 4th, 2023

Better sports facilities pushed

As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sports, I am saddened by the dilapidated state of the country’s iconic sports facilities. The Philippine Institute of Sports Multi-Purpose Arena, popularly known as PhilSports Arena, has come a long way from the time it was built in 1985 to house the Philippine Basketball Association until the league moved out in 1993 due to the lack of maintenance of the venue. The last time it was renovated was in 2019, when the country hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Among PhilSports Arena’s main facilities are the Multi-purpose Arena, Swimming Center, and Football and Athletic Stadium. While the arena was greatly enjoyed as a sports facility, it also served as a temporary shelter for evacuees after Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng struck the Philippines in 2009, adding to the facility's wear and tear. A quick look at the PhilSports Arena and the other sports facilities nationwide should make us realize that we should invest more in rehabilitating our iconic sports facilities. As I have suggested during the budget deliberations in the Senate, prioritizing funding for sports facilities would have been better than putting flood control projects in areas with little to no population. This concern about the support we are providing our athletes has motivated me to author and co-sponsor Republic Act No. 11470, which established the National Academy of Sports at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. In collaboration with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Education, NAS now offers a specialized secondary education program focused on sports where students can study and train simultaneously. I have also filed the Philippine National Games bill, which aims to provide a structure for a more comprehensive national sports program, linking grassroots sports promotion to national sports development by having a mini Olympics regularly. Providing opportunities to our youth will help develop their potential in sports but will also help keep them away from vices such as illegal drugs. I continue to support establishing sports-related programs and infrastructure to divert the youth from the lure of addiction and criminality. This is also part of my three-pronged approach to combat illegal drugs in the Philippines – law enforcement, rehabilitation, and prevention. Yesterday, I witnessed the Philippine ROTC Games 2023 Luzon Qualifying Leg opening ceremony held at Cavite State University – Indang Campus in Indang, Cavite. With Sen. Francis Tolentino, I encouraged our young cadets who participated in various competitions to get into sports and stay away from drugs. I have also remained faithful to my promise to visit and help our fellow Filipinos in most parts of the country. On 16 September, we attended the groundbreaking of a Super Health Center in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. We also visited the town of Damulog, where I inspected projects I have supported, such as a public market, road concreting project, evacuation center, solar street lights, and a multipurpose building. Later that day, we also attended the 25th Anniversary of Public Safety Basic Recruit Course Class 1998-Alpha at Acacia Hotel in Davao City. On 15 September, we attended a meeting of state universities and colleges leaders held in Davao City and hosted by Commission on Higher Education Chair Prospero de Vera. The night before, we also joined leaders from the CHEd, the University of the Philippines System, and various SUCs to honor the appointment of Atty. Angelo Jimenez, a fellow Mindanaoan, as the 22nd President of the University of the Philippines. We took the opportunity to voice our commitment to elevating the standard of education nationwide. This is also the reason why Republic Act No. 10931, or the Universal Access To Quality Tertiary Education Act, was enacted into law during the time of former president Rodrigo Duterte. Today, we continue to pursue this further as I co-authored and co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 1360, which aims to widen the reach of the law further. We visited Bislig City in Surigao del Sur to participate in its 23rd Charter Day festivities. We handed out grocery packages to 32 newlywed couples during a community wedding and inaugurated the country’s 159th Malasakit Center at the Bislig District Hospital. This is the seventh Malasakit Center in the Caraga region and the 40th in Mindanao. Our team also provided direct aid, including grocery packs, to 129 patients and 191 front liners, including security guards, utilities, and hospital staff. On 15 September, my office also attended the groundbreaking of Super Health Centers in New Washington and Malay in the province of Aklan. Meanwhile, we continue to support livelihood programs, especially those that can help people experiencing poverty overcome crises. Through our support, the Department of Trade and Industry provides livelihood kits to qualified beneficiaries affected by calamities and teaches them how to grow their businesses for the benefit of their families. Among those we have helped are 20 from Dipaculao, Aurora; 57 from Sanchez Mira and Abulog, Cagayan; 100 affected by the earthquake in Montevista and New Bataan, and 50 in Nabunturan in Davao de Oro; 196 in Malalag and Sulop, Davao del Sur; 20 in Mangatarem, Pangasinan; 21 victims of Typhoon Egay in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato; 132 shear line victims in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental; and 36 beneficiaries from Lutayan and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, and General Santos City. We also continue to support the National Housing Authority’s distribution of emergency housing assistance to disaster victims so they can purchase roofing, nails, and other home repair materials. We assisted beneficiaries, including 85 fire victims in Imus City, Cavite. Meanwhile, my office helped the 65 fire victims in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. We also provided assistance to 75 TESDA graduates in Victorias City, Negros Occidental. We also distributed additional support to workers who lost their jobs, beneficiaries of the TUPAD program of the Department of Labor and Employment, including 413 in Talibon, Bohol, and 150 in Plaridel, Bulacan. We also aided 333 poor residents in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro; and 234 in Antipolo City, Rizal. Together, let us continue bringing government services closer to Filipinos in need – from better sports facilities more accessible healthcare services, and implementing various programs to help uplift communities affected by crises. The post Better sports facilities pushed appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2023

Setting the Bar high

The legal profession has always fascinated me. Studying the rudiments of law and how these affect people’s lives and liberty is not a walk in the park. It entails a lot of money, patience, risks, and sacrifices to complete a degree. Without the law, chaos will reign in society; there will be no peace and order day and night, no settlements of disputes, and accountability for criminals who will freely roam the streets with no law enforcement officers to stop them. Lawyers, like doctors, are arguably held in higher esteem and standards than other professions. They are feared for reasons only known to men. Their sartorial elegance and eloquence often hold us in shock and awe, delighting ordinary mortals. No wonder many children dream of becoming lawyers when they grow up, only to be checked by the realities of life. There is no gainsaying that attorneys, as court officers, are key players in the country’s growth; that is why every Bar examination is a significant occasion and a step forward in attaining a just and peaceful society. This year’s Bar examinations will be held on September 17, 20, and 24 in 14 local testing centers nationwide, covering six core subjects. The Supreme Court said there will be 10,816 examinees — 5,832 first-time Bar takers and 4,984 retakers. The Manila Police District is deploying around 500 security personnel to check the peace near the testing centers, with some announcing a suspension of classes and resorting to home study in anticipation of the heavy traffic. Corporations offer a much higher pay scale for lawyers. Win or lose, lawyers always get paid in court cases, as being one usually guarantees financial success unless one chooses to offer his expertise pro bono. Due to the high cost and stake of the law profession and maintaining the prestige and lifestyle that go with it, many people, except the moneyed ones, are “allergic” to lawyers because they charge exorbitant fees, and the fact that the wheels of justice in the Philippines grind exceedingly slow, the opposite of which is legal fees running faster than taxi meters. The legal profession is studded with both intellectuals and rotten eggs; sometimes, the good and the bad can be molded into one. Lawyers can uniquely present the truth in different sizes, forms, and shades. These lines in a movie aptly describe it: “Mayaman sila, kaya nilang kumuha ng mahusay na abogado. Kaya nilang baluktutin ang tuwid at ituwid ang baluktot (They are rich, they can afford a good lawyer. They can twist the truth and straighten the crooked).” Despite the high pay, respect, and other perks, the lawyers’ population has dwindled since the first Philippine Bar Examinations in 1901. The decline is alarming. Consider this: There are only 84,236 lawyers reflected in the Supreme Court of the Philippines’ Roll of Attorneys as of 30 November 2022 — a minuscule number in the country’s estimated population of 117,337,368 at mid-year. And what’s the catch? The number of non-practicing lawyers exceeds that of active lawyers. Which brings us to this fundamental question: Why do we need lawyers? Let me dwell on the bright side. We need lawyers to check the imbalances and inequalities in life. We need lawyers to help fix things when these go rough, regardless of the cost. We need lawyers to give people experiencing poverty a fighting chance to preserve life, liberty, and property instead of simply walking to jail. As then-President Ramon Magsaysay said, “Those who have less in life should have more in law.” I have no quarrels with lawyers. In fact, I admire them, and I have some of them as friends. There were lawyers every step of the way during my stint in government — some of them good, some not really good. Considering the clout they wield, lawyers can be good influencers in modern-day society by helping illuminate a dark and dreary world. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. I would still gamble on hiring a good lawyer to clear my path. As a parent, I wish all this year’s Bar examinees well. May the deserving, particularly the brave hearts, succeed. The post Setting the Bar high appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2023

Phl to strengthen alliances at ASEAN summit amid geopolitical tensions  

  President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is expected to push for a rules-based international order and for parties to follow the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea "especially in the South China Sea" during the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Summit next month, a DFA official said on Thursday. During the Malacañang Press Briefing, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Daniel Espiritu said Marcos would participate in the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Jakarta, Indonesia from 5 to 7 September 2023. Under the theme "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth," Espiritu said the summit will serve as a platform for leaders to exchange views on key regional and international issues, build consensus on matters of mutual interest and provide policy direction for the ASEAN community in the future. "The second summit will (follow) the May summit and will accelerate the momentum of the ASEAN community-building process," Espiritu told Malacañang reporters. "The Philippines will continue to uphold and exercise freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in accordance with international law," he added. Espiritu said Marcos is also expected to have meetings with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Additionally, the Foreign Affairs official said Marcos is set to engage in one-on-one discussions with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão. Plans for meetings with other leaders are currently in the process of being organized, Espiritu added. "With Vietnam, the focus will be on strengthening the strategic partnership between the countries and, of course, cooperation on rice and food security," he said. "We will reassure Timor Leste of our cooperation with their country in the years to come, especially in their preparation for final membership in ASEAN," he added. Espiritu mentioned that there are anticipated discussions between Marcos and Republic of Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol regarding exploring new realms of collaboration. Furthermore, the Philippine leader intends to convey his appreciation to Korea for its assistance during Typhoon Egay. "Also, they intend to donate, under the ASEAN Plus 3 Rice Reserve Arrangement, a total of 750 metric tons of rice to the Philippines, 400 of that are already in the pipeline," he said. On the other hand, Espiritu said Marcos and Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Manet would be discussing matters of "mutual concern between our two countries." He added that the President will also continue to emphasize the country's efforts to protect migrant workers in crises and combat human trafficking, especially with the use or abuse of technology. Espiritu said Marcos will also discuss other priority areas of cooperation with dialogue partners. Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian, and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual will join Marcos at the ASEAN Summit. According to Espiritu, the President will also bring a business delegation. The post Phl to strengthen alliances at ASEAN summit amid geopolitical tensions   appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 31st, 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

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

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

Trump charged with deleting home camera footage

A new indictment against former United States president Donald Trump lends weight to earlier charges that he allegedly mishandled top-secret documents. The new charge unsealed by federal prosecutors on Thursday alleged that he conspired with his personal aide and a new defendant to delete surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida in an alleged attempt to cover up illegal possession of classified papers. The new charges came the same day Trump said his lawyers met with Justice Department officials ahead of a separate expected indictment over his alleged efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election in which he lost to President Joe Biden. The twice-impeached former president was first indicted in the classified documents case last month, accused of endangering national security by holding on to top secret nuclear and defense information after leaving the White House. Trump kept the files — which included records from the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency — unsecured at his home and thwarted official efforts to retrieve them, according to the indictment. Thursday’s superseding indictment accuses the billionaire of acting with his co-defendant in the case, personal aide Waltine “Walt” Nauta, and property manager Carlos de Oliveira, to delete security camera footage at Mar-a-Lago. The fresh charges add to the existing counts of “willful retention of national defense information” and charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements and other offenses to which Trump pleaded not guilty last month. It also adds an extra count under the Espionage Act related to Trump allegedly retaining a classified document “concerning military activity in a foreign country.” According to the indictment, citing an audio recording of the interaction, Trump in 2021 allegedly told visitors of his New Jersey golf club of the defense document, “’As president I could have declassified it,’ and ‘Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.’” Trump Thursday night dismissed the new accusations as “ridiculous” during an interview with Fox News Digital. “It’s election interference at the highest level,” he said, blaming his potential campaign opponent Biden and the Justice Department for “prosecutorial misconduct.” The front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary is set to go on trial as the election heats up in May of next year. WITH AFP The post Trump charged with deleting home camera footage appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 28th, 2023

Huw Edwards named as BBC presenter at centre of explicit images row

Veteran news anchor Huw Edwards was on Wednesday revealed by his wife as the BBC presenter accused of paying for explicit images but police said no criminal offense had been committed. Vicky Flind said in a statement that her husband was "suffering from serious mental health issues" and was now "receiving in-patient hospital care where he will stay for the foreseeable future". At the same time, Metropolitan Police issued a statement saying that there was "no information to indicate that a criminal offense has been committed". The furor has been front-page news and the lead story on radio and television news bulletins for six successive days, with frenzied speculation on social media about the star's identity until the confirmation. It comes after the BBC -- whose brand is built on public trust -- was rocked in recent years by scandals that saw some of their biggest names revealed as serial sex offenders. Edwards, 61, is one of the most recognizable faces on UK television and was the man entrusted with telling the world that Queen Elizabeth II had died. The BBC has been under the spotlight since allegations emerged last week in The Sun newspaper from the parents of a young adult, who said that the presenter had paid for explicit images of their child. The young adult, however, called the claims "rubbish". The tabloid newspaper did not name the presenter but accused the BBC of failing to properly investigate the claims, sparking another crisis at the national broadcaster. Edward's wife said she was revealing his identity "after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family" and was doing so "primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children". "Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published," she added, saying that he only learned of the allegations on Thursday. Further claims have since been made against the presenter, as three more people came forward with complaints over the last two days. The BBC itself reported on Tuesday that another person in their 20s had come forward to say they received threatening messages from the presenter while The Sun reported that he also broke Covid lockdown rules to meet another young person he met on a dating site. Creepy messages The alleged pandemic breach has a particular resonance in the UK as the BBC was at the time reporting on the country's third lockdown and how it was being enforced. Covid rule-breaking in Downing Street also led to the long-running "Partygate" scandal that contributed to the downfall of former prime minister Boris Johnson. A fourth person also told The Sun the star sent messages containing love hearts and kisses on Instagram when they were aged 17. The first claims emerged in an article published Friday, in which the parents said the presenter had paid a total of £35,000 ($45,000) for the pictures. The family said their child had used the money to fuel a crack cocaine addiction, prompting lawyers acting for the young person to deny the claims. The post Huw Edwards named as BBC presenter at centre of explicit images row appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 12th, 2023

House vs. condo: Which is a better investment?

Buying your own home is a decision that undoubtedly ranks among the most critical choices an individual can make. Discovering the ideal space for your safety, comfort and personal preferences is paramount when considering property investment. It must be a place where you can find solace, freedom and a breath of fresh air away from the chaos of daily life. But the question that looms large for many is whether to invest in a house or a condo unit. The certainty of buying a property during a recuperating economy is a valid concern. However, according to Collier International’s latest report, both the local office and residential property sectors are expected to recover from the disruptions of the past year. The gradual reopening of the economy will support the demand in the residential sector, including pre-selling and secondary markets. Cost efficiency is subjective when it comes to owning a property. Condominiums are typically less expensive than houses due to their size, and their maintenance is usually cheaper as you are only responsible for the interior of your unit. With association fees in place, you won’t have to worry about exterior maintenance or administrative assistance. Condos have a dedicated Property Management Team consisting of professionals who are specifically trained to oversee the day-to-day operations of the property. While houses provide homeowners the freedom to customize a larger space and transform it into your ideal home, you will be responsible for all maintenance and repairs. Regardless of whether you choose a house or a condo, it is essential to have a realistic budget in mind before beginning your property search.   Functional facilities Condominiums offer a plethora of state-of-the-art functional facilities such as swimming pools, fitness gyms, kids’ play areas, game rooms and lounges. Communal areas provide condo owners with an abundance of ways to relax and unwind without having to travel too far from their residences. These communal spaces also foster interaction among residents, enabling them to forge connections and establish a sense of community. On the other hand, houses may not offer as many amenities to homeowners. Depending on the type of lifestyle you want, the amenities incorporated into the spaces play a crucial role in enhancing your quality of life. Security is a top consideration when looking for a place of your own. As condos have shared spaces such as lobbies, hallways, parking and amenity areas, they often have dedicated security personnel and 24/7 surveillance systems in place. In contrast, houses have individual entrances and private spaces, which may require homeowners to implement their own security measures. Moreover, condos often have controlled access points, such as key card systems and intercoms. These help regulate who can enter the building and add an extra layer of security. Houses, on the other hand, rely on individual means of access control, such as locks, alarms, and security systems installed by homeowners. Convenience-wise, condominiums are usually strategically located in prominent business districts and mixed-use communities, offering unparalleled convenience to their owners. These prime locations give residents effortless access to a myriad of lifestyles and commercial establishments. From trendy retail outlets, cozy cafes and vibrant entertainment venues, condominium dwellers find themselves amidst a thriving urban ecosystem. MidPark Towers, located in the heart of Aseana City, is the epitome of sophisticated city living. With its world-class amenities and convenient access to transportation linkages, lifestyle centers, businesses and services, it offers a luxurious retreat from bustling city life. The property is also just a 10-minute drive from Ninoy Aquino International Airport via NAIAx and is near the Entertainment City, home to Solaire Resort and Okada Manila. Developed by Aseana Residential Holdings Corp., MidPark Towers is a four-tower residential property set for completion in the last quarter of 2023. The predominantly glass façade of the four towers exudes an elegant and sophisticated ambiance. The units are spacious and livable, ranging from studios (40 sqm +/-) to three bedrooms (120 sqm +/-), offering endless possibilities for creating a perfect home. MidPark Towers also provides a host of amenities to support growing families and inspire the imagination and creativity of children. From kid’s play areas to outdoor pools, fitness gym and private and business lounges, it offers a truly rewarding experience of luxury and comfort. The post House vs. condo: Which is a better investment? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 7th, 2023

Bacoor City safe for plebiscite, says PNP

The Philippine National Police on Wednesday said that the city of Bacoor in the province of Cavite is assessed to be peaceful for the looming plebiscite on 29 July 2023. Bacoor deputy police chief P/Maj. Renalyn Lim said during the joint security command conference held Tuesday that the city is under Category Green Areas of Concern, which means the place is generally peaceful and orderly. Though the evaluation of Lim of the area is safe, they will still deploy support units and forces at the borders of the city during the plebiscite period. “The PNP personnel of the station will not be complacent and will provide airtight security and assistance,” Lim said. The Plebesito Para sa Bacooreño 2023 is a proposal to merge 44 barangays into 18 and rename five barangays. Bacoor is home to 114,416 voters and has 223 clustered precincts. According to Commission on Elections chairman Erwin Garcia, the conduct of the plebiscite in the area will be shouldered by the local government of Bacoor since they are the ones who requested it. He added that P30 million is the total amount for the conduct of the plebiscite which will be used for polling precincts personnel, ballots, allowances or honoraria, paraphernalia and other expenses. The 22 polling precincts was already inspected and as per the assessment of the police there are no threat, no criminal groups monitored but authorities said there is no room for complacency during the plebiscite. Garcia also stressed the importance of voter’s education and encouraged the active participation from the public to ensure the success and integrity of the plebiscite. Meantime, Bacoor Mayor Strike B. Revilla expressed his gratitude to all the participants and emphasized the commitment of the local government to holding a fair and successful plebiscite. He also highlighted the importance of the plebiscite for the city’s future and the need for unity and cooperation among all stakeholders. with CARL REYES The post Bacoor City safe for plebiscite, says PNP appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 5th, 2023

Yellen to visit China, raising need to ‘responsibly manage’ ties

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is set to visit Beijing this week, the United States said Sunday, marking the second trip by a cabinet official to China since ties between the world's top two economies deteriorated earlier this year. Yellen is expected to discuss with her counterparts the importance for both countries "to responsibly manage our relationship, communicate directly about areas of concern, and work together to address global challenges," said the Treasury Department in a statement. Yellen's planned July 6-9 trip comes just weeks after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met China's top leader President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Beijing in June. Blinken was the highest-ranking US official to visit the Chinese capital in nearly five years, and Xi said on the rare trip that he saw headway in the strained relationship between Washington and Beijing. In Beijing, Yellen will discuss how the United States views its economic relationship with China, a senior Treasury official said Sunday. She will meet with senior Chinese officials and leading US firms, the American spokesperson said without providing specifics. While the US seeks to secure its national security interests and protect human rights, actions to this effect are "not intended to gain economic advantage over China," the official added. Washington also looks towards "healthy" ties with Beijing and does not seek to decouple the economies, while pursuing cooperation on urgent challenges like climate change and debt distress, the American official said. The United States does not expect "significant breakthrough" from this initial trip, but it does aim to build longer-term channels of communication with China, the Treasury official added.   - Restarting engagement -   "I think the US government is clearly trying to put some floor under the deterioration of the economic relationship," Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) told AFP, speaking on the Treasury secretary's intentions to visit China. A Yellen trip could "restart a steady pattern of engagement at lower levels," he said, adding that the US has shifted from being ambiguous about how far it was supporting decoupling to explicitly adopting a strategy of "derisking" instead. This means "focusing on a narrower range of items that have strategic importance, trying to build fences around those items, but otherwise trying to continue to nurture a reasonably robust US-China economic relationship," Alden said. But observers do not expect a quick resolution to tensions. President Joe Biden's administration is considering a program to restrict certain US outbound investments involving sensitive technology with key national security implications -- an issue that has riled Chinese officials. Other possible sticking points include amendments to China's anti-espionage law which recently broadened the definition of spying while banning the transfer of information relating to national security -- a move that has spooked foreign and domestic businesses. The senior Treasury official told reporters Sunday that Washington intends to communicate its concerns over the law. While significant disagreements may not be resolved in a single trip, the US seeks to deepen and increase the frequency of communication with China and to "stabilize the relationship," avoiding miscommunication and expanding collaboration where possible, the official said.   - Global growth, debt problems -   For the US, discussions with officials from the world's second biggest economy "are important to help spur stronger global economic growth and to tackle the mounting debt problem of the Global South," said Wendy Cutler, vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute, discussing a prospective Yellen visit. On Beijing's part, officials are "looking for concrete steps taken by the US to show that 'decoupling' and holding back China is not the ultimate goal of the United States," Cutler added. But despite US policies that have drawn ire from Beijing, officials likely have an awareness of China's continued export dependence and the importance of the US market, CFR's Alden said. "I think that there's a growing awareness in Beijing that China also needs to play a role in nurturing this economic relationship with the United States, because it's simply too important to China as well," he added. Washington and Beijing recently have clashed over trade, human rights and other issues. Relations came under further stress this year when the United States shot down a Chinese balloon it said was used for surveillance -- a claim China strongly denied. But Blinken's reception in Beijing has been seen as a symbolic sign of lowering temperatures. bys/mlm/dw © Agence France-Presse The post Yellen to visit China, raising need to ‘responsibly manage’ ties appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2023

Prosecutors tell Trump lawyers he is target of classified docs probe: reports

US prosecutors have told Donald Trump's lawyers that he is the target of a probe into his handling of classified documents after leaving the presidency, in a sign he might be indicted, US media reported Wednesday night. The notice came from the office of special counsel Jack Smith, The New York Times, CNN and other news outlets said, and gives the clearest sign yet that prosecutors are moving closer to charging the former president, who is seeking a return to the White House in 2024. The Times, citing "two people familiar with the matter", said it was not clear when Trump's team had been told he was the subject of the investigation. Special counsel Smith, named by Attorney General Merrick Garland, has been looking into a cache of classified documents that Trump had stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence after leaving the White House. The FBI carted away some 11,000 papers after serving a search warrant on Mar-a-Lago in August, and Trump could face obstruction-of-justice charges after spending months resisting efforts to recover the trove. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. "No one has told me I'm being indicted, and I shouldn't be because I've done NOTHING wrong," Trump posted on his Truth Social network Wednesday. "I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI," said Trump, who has already been indicted in a separate case. Investigators have been scrutinizing several suspected attempts to obstruct them from getting access to documents and footage from a security camera near the storeroom at Mar-a-Lago where documents were kept. Trump has openly acknowledged taking and storing the documents, undermining his lawyers' suggestion that he took the stash inadvertently in the confusion of a chaotic departure. Meanwhile, investigators have obtained an audio recording of Trump in which he acknowledged he held onto a classified Pentagon document after he left the White House, according to US media. On Monday, US media also reported that Trump's lawyers met with Justice Department attorneys. John Rowley, James Trusty and Lindsey Halligan were seen by reporters arriving at the DoJ building in Washington but did not make any comment. The Washington Post reported at the time that Trump's lawyers had come to make their case that their client should not face any charges. One expert told MSNBC that Wednesday's news would suggest an indictment is in the offing. "If a prosecutor tells you that you are the target of their investigation, it means they expect to indict you," former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said. "When I was on the other side of the aisle, when I was a federal prosecutor, when I told someone they were a target, that's what I meant." 'Dramatic and divisive' Trump has already been charged with dozens of financial crimes as part of an alleged hush-money scheme to silence a porn star claiming she had sex with him, and is due to go on trial next March, in the middle of primary election season. The former president is facing a growing list of Republican primary opponents, including his former vice president Mike Pence, who avoided taking an absolute position when asked about the probe during a CNN town hall interview Wednesday night. "Let me be clear that no one's above the law," Pence said. "I would just hope there would be a way for them to move forward without the dramatic and drastic and divisive step of indicting a former president of the United States," he added. Fellow 2024 candidate and former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson took a stronger tack, urging Trump to drop out of the presidential race. "Donald Trump is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation and he should step aside & put the good of the country above his candidacy," he tweeted Wednesday night. In addition to the hush-money and documents probes, Trump is being investigated over his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the southern state of Georgia and his involvement in the January 2021 storming of the US Capitol by his supporters. Other politicians have been found to have kept government documents at their private homes in recent months. In January, Garland named a separate special counsel to examine whether President Joe Biden violated any law after the discovery of some classified documents at his former office and in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Delaware. Pence was recently cleared of any wrongdoing over materials he uncovered at his home in Indiana.   The post Prosecutors tell Trump lawyers he is target of classified docs probe: reports appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 8th, 2023

Degamo Slay Case Answer raps, DoJ dares Teves

The Department of Justice has challenged suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves to answer the complaint for multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder, and multiple attempted murder filed against him in the 4 March 2023 killing of Governor Roel Degamo and 10 persons. Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony D. Fadullon said a subpoena has been issued by a DoJ panel of prosecutors against Teves to answer the charges. Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Mary Jane E. Sytat is the head of the panel of prosecutors that will handle the case. Fadullon, however, did not mention any deadline for Teves to file his counter-affidavit and the date of the start of the preliminary investigation. Earlier, Teves was slapped with a second 60-day suspension as a legislator, as he continued to return home despite the lapse of his travel authority on 9 March 2023 citing “security reasons.” The embattled solon has been tagged as “one of the masterminds” in the killing of Degamo, the deaths of nine other persons, and injuries sustained by 18 individuals. He has denied the allegations. He was reported to have applied for political asylum with the Timor-Leste government which denied his plea. He appealed the denial before Timor-Leste’s Supreme Court. It was not known, as of posting, the status of the appeal. The National Bureau of Investigation filed the criminal charges against Teves on 17 May 2023 in connection with the killings. Aside from Teves, also charged were Angelo V. Palagtiw, Neil Andrew Go, Capt. Lloyd Cruz Garcia, Nigel Electona, and a person identified only with the aliases “Gee-Ann” and “Jie-An,” allegedly a sister of Palagtiw. The suspects were charged with 10 counts of murder, 14 counts of frustrated murder, and four counts attempted under the Revised Penal Code. Under the RPC, murder is a non-bailable offense and a heinous crime. The post Degamo Slay Case Answer raps, DoJ dares Teves appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2023

EU explores agri development, investments with DA

Delegates from the European Union-ASEAN Business Council and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines discussed last week mutual interests in agricultural development, trade and investments, and other matters including potential areas of cooperation, the Department of Agriculture reported over the weekend. DA officials led by Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban conferred with the delegates, bringing up several issues including the need to address the high prices of sugar in the local market. As of the 24 May report of the DA-Surveillance, Monitoring, and Enforcement Group, the price of refined sugar ranges between P86 to P110 per kilo in Metro Manila. Washed sugar, meanwhile, is priced at P82 to P90 per kilo, while a kilo of brown sugar can be bought at P78 to P90. Phl sugar production Sugar Regulatory Administration administrator Pablo Luis Azcona revealed that the country’s sugarcane production is expected to increase to 1.78 million metric tons and the need to import some 440,000 MT of sugar to cover supply gaps. Currently, the Philippines has about 390,000 hectares of sugarcane plantations — 90 percent of which are owned by small-scale farmers. With over five million Filipinos dependent on the sugarcane industry, Azcona said the SRA intends to increase the industry’s productivity and profitability by adopting climate-resilient agricultural practices, promoting drought- and wet season-resistant sugarcane varieties, upgrading select mills in Luzon, consolidation of sugar farmers into 30-hectare farms, and mechanizing and modernizing plantations in the country. Leveraging European expertise “European businesses are at the forefront of innovation and sustainable practices in agriculture, and today we stand ready to share these best practices and expertise to support the continued growth and advancement of the agriculture sector in the Philippines,” said EU-ABC vice chairman Tassilo Brinzer. “By leveraging our expertise in agribusiness management, sustainable farming techniques, and market access, we hope to uplift the livelihoods of Filipino farmers and contribute to poverty reduction in rural areas,” he said. The DA also highlighted various efforts towards food security in the Philippines, which includes promoting opportunities in agriculture among the Filipino youth through the Young Farmers Challenge, reviewing the Department’s key commodity investment plans through the Philippine Rural Development Project, promoting accessible and affordable healthcare for local agricultural laborers and their families, and improving local food production and competitiveness while also opening the country’s doors to collaborative activities with the EU and other foreign partners. With the World Risk Index 2022 ranking the Philippines as the number one country with the highest disaster risk worldwide, the DA also stressed the importance of immediately mitigating and addressing the impacts of climate change in the Philippine agri-fishery sector. Measures to address climate change ome measures being implemented by the DA to address this concern include allotting P1 billion for a Quick Response Fund, attending fora and other engagements related to climate change, working with stakeholders in building up climate and disaster resiliency, developing climate-resilient crop varieties, advocating for eco-friendly agricultural practices, and just recently, preparing for the El Niño phenomenon by the third or fourth quarter of 2023. The DA also underscored its mission to build climate-resilient livelihoods and communities through the implementation of the Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) Program, the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project, and the Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP), among many others. ECCP Executive Director Florian Gotten expressed delight in the Philippines’ growth and potential, saying, “the efforts of this administration, in particular what President Marcos Jr. is doing by traveling around the globe inviting investors to come to the Philippines, are slowly picking up.” New era, golden age of investments Gotten said, “The Philippines is now on the map and I think that this is a new era, a golden age for investments into the Philippines. We are very much optimistic that we will see more European companies coming here, supporting your efforts, and maybe reckon trying to work with you to bring the agriculture in this country to the next level.” Panganiban thanked the European delegation in it’s interest to collaborate with the Philippine government for the advancement of the agri-fishery sector in the country which he said will benefit not only the Philippines but also other countries. “Increased cooperation and foreign investments spell more jobs, higher incomes, better access to basic commodities, less inflation, and collaboration and partnership over confrontation. The more unbounded the flow of both, the stronger the momentum for economic prosperity and peace among nations,” he said. The post EU explores agri development, investments with DA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 28th, 2023

Zero hunger is possible

As grade school students back in the day, one of the more important lessons drilled in our young minds was to know the basic needs of man. In the relatively simple and peaceful universe we lived in then, we were told these were food (and water), clothing, and shelter. Years later, a more sophisticated, technologically advanced, and complex environment exposed men to new challenges and corresponding changes. To that simple three-item list were added — apart from the basic physical needs — emotional, mental, and spiritual necessities, and a host of others, including, and most especially now, communication facilities or an Internet connection. Within the Philippine setting, Undersecretary Dennis Mapa, our National Statistician and economist, appended health, education, and personal care as essentials. High on the list is food, and rightly so, for the nutrients we get from it make our bodies strong and healthy as these replace cells worn out from wear and tear. Yet a United Nations Sustainable Development Report released last year revealed alarming news: between 720 million and 811 million persons were suffering from hunger, roughly 161 million more than in 2021. And in the same year, a staggering 2.4 billion people, or above 30 percent of the world’s population, were moderately or severely food insecure, lacking regular access to adequate food. On the home front, despite our vaunted natural resources and seemingly inexhaustible bounty from the land and seas around us, a survey has shown that one out of 10 households in the Philippines suffer from “food insecurity.” The survey also cited the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Region VIII (the six provinces and seven cities in Eastern Visayas), and Region XII (the Mindanao provinces of Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat) as the three most “food insecure” regions of the country. It may not be a coincidence that these three areas are among the country’s poorest regions. Admitting this is a national concern, the government has said it considers food security a top priority. Late last year, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said they were watching out for surges in the prices of goods and services due primarily to recent typhoons that hit the country, affecting workers who complained their wages were barely enough to buy or pay for their basic needs, especially food. He added that the administration was bent on ensuring consumers an adequate and affordable food supply. Food security has been defined as “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life,” according to the 1996 World Food Summit. At the same time, food should be readily available, easily accessible, prepared and eaten the right way (nutrition-wise), and procured regularly, the world body added. In the Philippines, the most common food security problems are poor or inadequate agricultural harvests attributed to practices or methods that have either been discarded or have not been adopted or kept pace with the times. Suggestions have been floated as possible solutions to food security like introducing more diversified crops, improving infrastructure, building new road networks linking farms to markets, enhancing or restructuring current trade practices and policies, working on programs and advocacies to combat the adverse effects of climate change and maintain sustainable green economies. Boosting agricultural production would mean “more investments in the food value chain and research and development to enhance farm productivity and improve the efficiency of post-harvest processes,” Balisacan said. “Getting the government to facilitate private investments in marketing infrastructure including storage, transport, and logistics, and continuing to provide cash transfers and fuel discounts are crucial to achieving durable food security.” Is zero hunger attainable? The optimist (and farmer) in me believe it is possible, but only when we aggressively push for renewable agricultural practices and work hard at growing more crops on every piece of land available. Then, we can say that we will never be hungry again. The post Zero hunger is possible appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 28th, 2023

US, Microsoft warn cyber actor attacking ‘critical’ infrastructure

The United States, its Western allies and Microsoft said Wednesday that a state-sponsored Chinese cyber actor had infiltrated critical US infrastructure networks, and warned similar activities could be occurring globally. "The United States and international cybersecurity authorities are issuing this joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) to highlight a recently discovered cluster of activity of interest associated with a People's Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored cyber actor, also known as Volt Typhoon," said a statement released by US, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and UK authorities. In a separate statement, Microsoft said Volt Typhoon had been active since mid-2021 and had targeted critical infrastructure in Guam, a crucial US military outpost in the Pacific Ocean. "Microsoft assesses with moderate confidence that this Volt Typhoon campaign is pursuing development of capabilities that could disrupt critical communications infrastructure between the United States and Asia region during future crises," the statement said. "In this campaign, the affected organizations span the communications, manufacturing, utility, transportation, construction, maritime, government, information technology, and education sectors. "Observed behavior suggests that the threat actor intends to perform espionage and maintain access without being detected for as long as possible." The US and Western security agencies warned in their advisory that the activities involved "living off the land" tactics, which takes advantage of built-in network tools to blend in with normal Windows systems. It warned that the hacking could then incorporate legitimate system administration commands that appear "benign". Microsoft said Volt Typhoon tried to blend into normal network activity by routing traffic through compromised small office and home office network equipment, including routers, firewalls and VPN hardware. "They have also been observed using custom versions of open-source tools," Microsoft said. The director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Jen Easterly, also released a warning related to Volt Typhoon. "For years, China has conducted operations worldwide to steal intellectual property and sensitive data from critical infrastructure organizations around the globe," Easterly said. "Today's advisory, put out in conjunction with our US and international partners, reflects how China is using highly sophisticated means to target our nation's critical infrastructure. "This joint advisory will give network defenders more insights into how to detect and mitigate this malicious activity." China offered no immediate response to the allegations. But it routinely denies carrying out state-sponsored cyber attacks. China in turn regularly accuses the United States of cyber espionage. The post US, Microsoft warn cyber actor attacking ‘critical’ infrastructure appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 25th, 2023