BY ED LIBRANDA
PBBM GOVERNANCE IN TROUBLE
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr faced restive members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Department of National Defense (DND) during the past ten days.
It all started when Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos announced in a press conference requesting the "courtesy resignation" of all the full colonels and generals of the Philippine National Police to eradicate the scalawags in the PNP and cleanse its ranks of officers involved to the illegal drug.
Many PNP officers resented the move by the DILG Sec, Abalos, which prompted the PNP chief General Rodolfo Azurin to file his resignation with President BBM "as a way to salvage PNP members and officers honor.
While these resignations are being played out in the media, the change of command at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) happened when President BBM re-installed former four stars general Andres Centino to replace AFP chief of staff Lt. General Bartolome Vicente Baccaro.
Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin presided over leadership turnover to Gen. Andres Centino as the 59th AFP Chief of Staff in a Change of Command at the Tejeros Hall AFP Commissioned Officers Country Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on January 7, 2023.
In a press release from Malacanang Palace, it said that the former Department of National Defence (DND) office in charge Faustino "knew of developments" in the AFP. The former DND OIC said he only learned of Andres Centino's oath-taking as AFP chief from news and social media reports.
"Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, retired chief justice of the Supreme Court (SC) Tuesday, January 10, claimed forme defense office-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. knew the developments regarding the appointment of Gen. Andres Centino."
On the same date, Malacanang Palace released a statement that the President, as the Commander-in-Chief, has the sole prerogative to appoint the AFP Chief of Staff.
Marcos terribly misinformed about PH dispute with China
By Rigoberto Tiglao Jan. 23, 2023
Repiblished from The Manila Times
In his only solo session at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, a 21-minute interview by the WEF President Børge Brende, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. showed how much he is so terribly misinformed about the country's dispute with China in the South China Sea.
While he may have been simply confused about the details of the dispute, still, his misinformation is as bad as that of President Benigno Aquino 3rd that led to his unnecessarily belligerent stance toward China, which eventually led to a dangerous standoff at Panatag Shoal and our loss of that territory in 2012.
Going to the topic of the South China Sea dispute, the interviewer asked Marcos: "What defines what is Filipino territory and what is Chinese territory." He replied: "We have no conflicting claims with China. What we have is China making claims on our territory — that is how we approach the problem we find."
That is exactly the "what-is-ours-is-ours approach' of President Aquino 3rd, which in effect portrays China as an aggressor, who therefore has to give in to the Philippines' demand and that there can be no compromise on this.
These are our ‘baselines’ which Marcos doesn’t seem to understand what these are. OFFICAL MAP ISSUED BY NAMRIA
Diplomatic sources claimed that statement alone has sent a bad message to China, which would likely be more cautious in dealing with the Philippines. They added: With that kind of hardline stance, China may just decide to cease all attempts at settling amicably its South China Sea problem with the Philippines.
Since the interview was posted in the WEF, Marcos practically boasted to the world that he is badgering China on the South China Sea issue: "There's no way to avoid the issue. There is no way to avoid it. We describe it, and I suppose in diplomatic language as one part of our relationship, but it is an important and unavoidable issue that we have to ventilate, and we cannot sweep it under the rug and pretend it's not happening because there are effects not only in the diplomatic sense, not only in the security sense but even in the livelihood of our citizens."
Marcos' saying that China and the Philippines "can't be sweeping under the rug" the South China Sea dispute would be insulting to the Chinese, whose announced policy on territorial disputes was formulated by China's revered leader Deng Xiaoping in 1978 that became the country's doctrine: "Set aside dispute and pursue joint development." That was the slogan based on Deng's lengthier sentence, "Let us put aside this dispute which future generations may have more wisdom to resolve. "
Is a strong peso net positive for the Philippines?
By JON VIKTOR D. CABUENAS, GMA Integrated News
Published January 12, 2023 7:02pm
The Philippine peso appreciated against its US counterpart for the past five trading days before losing steam on Thursday, but economists believe a stronger peso may not be all positive to the general public.
The local currency lost 49 centavos to close Thursday at P55.29:$1 from Wednesday’s finish of P54.8:$1, which was the local currency’s strongest performance in six months.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort considered the depreciation as a “healthy upward correction,” following the recent dovish signals, particularly on the possible cut in the first half of the year.
Ricafort said this could then bring about a possible pause in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’s (BSP) policy tightening, and a possible intervention through purchasing US dollars from the market to boost the gross international reserves (GIR), especially if there is “excess” peso appreciation.
He noted, however, that the peso continues to be at five-month highs against the US dollar, after hitting a fresh record-low of P59:$1 several times last year. Central bank officials believe the “worst is over the for the strong dollar.”
A stronger peso would be beneficial “in terms of lower importation costs/prices and overall inflation passed on to the general public,” Ricafort said in a mobile message.
His sentiments were mirrored by ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Antonio Mapa, who said that imports would cost less. Still, exports would cost more and therefore lose their competitive pricing versus the country’s peers.
Section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that “the term ‘national of the United States’ means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.”
Therefore, U.S. citizens are also U.S. nationals. Non-citizen nationality status refers only to individuals who were born either in American Samoa or on Swains Island to parents who are not citizens of the United States.
The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a national of two countries simultaneously. Each country has its own nationality laws based on its own policy.
Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. national parents may be both a U.S. national and a national of the country of birth. Or, an individual having one nationality at birth may naturalize at a later date in another country and become a dual national.
UnionBank cuts rights offer size to P12B
By: Miguel R. Camus - Reporter / @miguelrcamusINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 04:08 PM December 28, 20
MANILA, Philippines — Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines is downsizing a planned rights offering to a maximum of P12 billion after signing a P20-billion loan deal in November.
In a stock exchange filing on Wednesday, the lender set the target size for its rights offer, however, other details, including the timetable, were not yet finalized.
“The bank’s latest balance sheet projections based on its economic outlook shows that any additional capital requirements beyond P12 billion can be internally generated from existing businesses,” the lender said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday.
UnionBank said last Oct. 28 it was planning an equity fund-raising exercise worth as much as P20 billion. This would take the form of either a stock rights offer or private placement, or a combination of both.
Last month, UnionBank signed a three-year $358-million (P20 billion) syndicated loan.
Outlook for Philippine tourism positive: DOT chief
November 9, 2022, 11:35 am PNA
LONDON, United Kingdom – The Philippines is ready to receive more tourists as the outlook for Philippine tourism remains positive, with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. making it a priority of his administration.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco addressed tourism ministers and international travel and tourism executives during the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Aligned Advocacy Dinner on Nov. 7 at One Great George Street in London.
Canadian doctors pioneer process to treat inoperable brain tumor
TRENTON, Canada – Doctors in Canada have performed the world's first chemotherapy on a child's inoperable brain tumor using ultrasound, it was reported this week.
The hope is that the procedure, done during a clinical trial at Toronto's Hospital for SickKids and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, will lead to better treatment for terminal brain tumors in children.
The problem in treating the brain tumor is what is called the blood-brain barrier, a protective network of cells that can prevent doctors from reaching and treating areas in the brain, doctors said.
JAN. 23 - 30, 2023
Ex-DILG official Martin Diño tagged in ‘PCGA’ recruitment scam
Martin Diño —PHOTO FROM MARTIN DIÑO FACEBOOK PAGE
By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosingINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 05:32 AM January 20, 2023
MANILA, Philippines —The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday said it has filed criminal complaints against former Interior Undersecretary Martin Diño and six others for the illegal use of the name, logo and insignias of the PCG Auxiliary (PCGA) group.
Aside from the illegal use of PCGA insignia, Diño and the others were also charged of estafa and usurpation of authority for collecting P15,000 from 480 indigent residents of Morong, Bataan, to join 101st Balangay PCGA Inc.
According to the PCG, 101st Balangay PCGA Inc. was not authorized to use the PCGA in its name. Last Tuesday, the PCG asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to cancel 101st Balangay PCGA Inc.’s registration
Año replaces Carlos as security adviser
ANO BACK IN AS SECURITY ADVISER President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (left) swears in former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Eduardo Año as his new national security adviser in Malacañang on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. Ano, who served as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the Duterte administration, replaced Professor Clarita Carlos, who stepped down from her post to join the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department. MALACANANG PHOTO
By ANNA FELICIA BAJO, GMA Integrated News
Published January 5, 2023 8:13pm
MANILA, Philippines — Año, who served as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the Duterte administration, replaced Professor Clarita Carlos, who stepped down from her post to join the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) of the House of Representatives.
"Former DILG Secretary Eduardo Año took his oath before the President as the new National Security Adviser," Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement.
"Professor Clarita Carlos has decided to continue her pursuit of scholastic endeavors as she joins the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) of the House of Representatives. The CPBRD provides the House of Representatives with technical service in formulating national economic, fiscal and social policies," she added.
Carlos, who assumed the NSA post in June 2022, said she has realized that "it is no longer politic to continue as NSA to the President."
Senate wants DBM, DepEd execs charged
The report Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Francis Tolentino presents a copy of the committee report on the alleged overpriced and outdated laptops on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. Contributed photo
By Bernadette E. Tamayo and Red Mendoza, TMT, January 20, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — THE Senate blue ribbon committee has found that the 39,000 laptops purchased in 2021 for public school teachers for P979 million were overpriced and recommended the filing of criminal charges against officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Sen. Francis Tolentino, committee chairman, on Thursday, said the panel also admonished former Education secretary Leonor Briones for the anomalous purchase.
But Tolentino said there was no evidence to link Briones to the anomaly, and that she was deceived into approving the purchase.
The laptops were distributed to government teachers to help them conduct online classes at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
n a 197-page report, the committee recommended graft charges against officials of DepEd and the DBM's Procurement Service (PS) involved in the purchase of the laptops.
Gov’t plans to privatize Naia operations — DOTr chief
OCULAR INSPECTION President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leads an inspection of Naia Terminal 3 on Friday, following a power outage and technical glitch that left some 60,000 passengers stranded and 361 flights canceled on New Year’s Day. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
By: Daniza Fernandez - Reporter / @DFernandezINQINQUIRER.net / 07:11 PM January 12, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — The government, led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is planning to privatize the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) operations.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said this on Thursday during the Senate committee on public services’ hearing on the air traffic fiasco on New Year’s Day.
“We confirm that this government is planning to privatize the operations of Manila International Airport. We are open to a solicited or unsolicited proposal, although we prefer to have a solicited proposal,” Bautista said.
“The government now is working with the ADB [Asian Development Bank] and the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) Center for the finalization of the terms of reference. We’re expecting that we should be able to have this by the end of the first quarter of 2023, and we will be able to accept proposals from interested parties,” he added.
PCG probes 'harassment' at West Philippine Sea
Members of the Philippine Coast Guard arrive in Manila on board the BRP on Monday, December 12, 2022, after a mission to install navigational lanterns in the Batanes Islands. The PCG installed lanterns in Sabtang, Mahatao, Ivana and Valanga. The lanterns will help fishing vessels safely navigate the seas. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO
© Provided by The Manila Times
Story by Franco Jose C. Baroña • 15h ago TMT
MANILA — THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is investigating an incident of harassment at Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea involving a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese Coast Guard vessel (CCGV).
According to the PCG, the alleged harassment occurred on January 9, Monday, but was only reported by Filipino fishing boat (FFB) KEN-KEN captain Lito Al-os on January 20.
Based on the report, Al-os said CCGV 5204 allegedly drove the Filipino fishermen away from Ayungin Shoal.
The CCGV 5204 maneuvered towards FFB KEN-KEN at about 800 yards and deployed a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB).
The CCG personnel onboard the RHIB gestured for the Filipino fishermen to leave the area.
Consequently, FFB KEN-KEN altered her course and departed Ayungin Shoal.
However, CCGV 5204 continued to shadow FFB KEN-KEN as they headed toward Boxall Reef.
Upon receipt of the report, the PCG Task Force Pag-asa immediately deployed additional Coast Guard vessels to strengthen its presence in the West Philippine Sea.
Sandro explains what proposed ‘Maharlika’ fund is all about
Ilocos Norte 1st district Rep. Sandro Marcos (Facebook
Published December 1, 2022, 8:46 AM, by Ellson. MB
MANILA, Philippines — Essentially a national sovereign wealth fund, the proposal is embodied in House Bill (HB) No.6398. It has been called the Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF) and the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF)
“What the idea is, is that kapag–when you invest into certain assets, kapag kumikita ka dyan (once you turn a profit), the profit will be used to finance government projects na kukulangin yung pondo (that doesn’t have enough funds). So it is essentially another source of income,” Marcos said in a press briefing in his district office Wednesday, Nov. 30.
“Sometimes, sovereign wealth fund will put their investments abroad or other projects in other countries, doon sila kumikita (they will turn a profit there),” Marcos noted.
“I think the starting fund will be about P250 billion and it will be used to invest in…financial assets,” he said, adding that “It will be run like a private corporation.”
Another cop in kidnap of sabungero surrenders
Former corporal Roy Navarette's surrender came two days after his co-accused – former patrolman Rigel Brosas and ex-corporal Daryl Paghangaan – yielded to the Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) on Thursday.
By Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star , anuary 23, 2023 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Another former police officer tagged in the kidnapping of an online cockfight agent in San Pablo, Laguna surrendered to authorities over the weekend. Former corporal Roy Navarette surrendered to the Calauan police in Calauan town on Saturday night.
Navarette’s surrender came two days after his co-accused – former patrolman Rigel Brosas and ex-corporal Daryl Paghangaan – yielded to the Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) on Thursday.
Navarette was accompanied by his wife Herlyn to the Calauan police. He was wanted for four counts of robbery with violence, kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
No bail was recommended for the kidnapping and serious illegal detention cases filed against Navarette.
For the robbery with violence, the court recommended bail of P400,000 for each count of the offense.
Navarette was placed under the custody of the Calauan police.
Records showed Navarette, Paghangaan and Brosas reportedly posed as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation and seized READ MORE
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