MARCH 1 - 8, 2021
BY ED LIBRANDA
"HE WHO COMES INTO EQUITY MUST COME WITH CLEANS HANDS"
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has finally given his thoughts on the plan of two TV and movie personalities, namely Sen. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, Senate President of the Upper House, and Congresswoman Vilma Santos representing the Province of Batangas, who were so vocal and forceful in their desire to resurrect the expired 25-year franchise of the leading broadcaster ABS-CBN.
It will be remembered that the House of Representatives led by its former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his other committee chairmen on the franchise, and good government, and through a vote of 70-11 to deny the 25-year franchise application of ABS-CBN, citing several issues. Solicitor Jose Calida said, "the end has come. Justice has been served."
The franchise application just died a natural death and ABS-CBN ceased to be a major broadcasting network last May 2020.
But proponents of the major broadcasting network succeeded in asking the House Committee on the franchise to table the bill for consideration. But again, it failed to secure the necessary vote to pass the franchise application.
The Senate has even started hearing the bill without waiting for the House to pass the franchise bill, which by law, has to emanate from the House before it goes to the Senate for its consideration.
By YASHIKA TORIB
Manila Bureau Correspondent
Courage vs Capability
Beijing has recently passed a law allowing its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels in event of threats in the disputed territory of the West Philippine Sea. It also gave a go signal for the Chinese Coast Guard to demolish structures built by other countries in reefs at the said region as well as to board and inspect foreign vessels in waters claimed by China.
Amidst the global health and economic turmoil brought about by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and just a few days, after the United States welcomed its new president, China aggressively sets its foot down in claiming a maritime territory it believes to be theirs all along.
This isn’t news. How a Philippine senator reacted, is.
Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan commented that Indonesia and Vietnam refused to be intimidated, therefore, he “refuses to believe that they are braver than we are, and ours is not a nation of cowards.” The statement could have been a good pep talk to our foot soldiers who are to be at the receiving end of the massive Chinese naval artillery. But looking closely at the situation leads us to think that the issue is more than just about courage. We have a long and proud history of revolution against foreign conquerors and the blood of thousands of Filipinos have been shed in the name of freedom. In this case, however, we simply couldn’t deploy our men with promises of victory through sheer courage.
Biden OKs legal status for 11M immigrants
President-elect Joe Biden will soon embark on a new immigration involving 11 million immigrants.
By Associated Press, January 18, 2021
SAN DIEGO: President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to immediately ask Congress to offer legal status to an estimated 11 million people in the country has surprised advocates given how the issue has long divided Democrats and Republicans, even within their own parties.
Clark airport’s new passenger terminal turned over to DOTr, BCDA
The new passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport was officially handed over to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) by Megawide GMR Construction Joint Venture in a ceremony held at the airport site in Pampanga on Friday (Jan. 22, 2021). After the symbolic handover of the project, the DOTr and BCDA officially turned over its operations and maintenance to the Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) Corporation, the operator of Clark International Airport. (Photo by DOTr)
CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga – The new passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport has been officially turned over to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) by Megawide GMR Construction Joint Venture.
In ceremonies held on Friday at the airport site here, Megawide handed over the certificate for the completion of the Clark International Airport new passenger terminal building’s engineering procurement and construction (EPC) works to the DOTr and the BCDA, marking the official handover of the facility to the Philippine government.
Boracay, Palawan included in Condé Nast beach list
BORACAY BEACH (Photo File)
MANILA – White Beach, Boracay and El Nido, Palawan have placed second and ninth, respectively, in the Condé Nast’s Traveler's 25 Best Island Beaches in the World: 2020 Readers' Choice Awards list.
In a new release on Wednesday, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said the inclusion of the two destinations in the prestigious travel publication’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards is "sheer recognition of their unparalleled beauty and uniquely diverse resources."
House will send Trump impeachment article to Senate on Monday
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will send the article of impeachment against former President Trump to the Senate on Monday, a move that would likely foil efforts by Republican Senate leadership to delay the start of the trial slated on the second week of February.
"The article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection by Donald Trump will be delivered to the Senate on Monday, January 25," Pelosi said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had earlier on Friday announced that Pelosi had told him the House would send the articles over on Monday
Texas state now 100% open for business - Gov. Abbott
Republican Texas Governor Gregg Abbott (Photo File)
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas issued an executive order on Tuesday to allow the state's businesses to open "100%" and to lift the state's mask mandate effective March 10 as federal health officials warn states against relaxing restrictions too soon.
After a devastating winter storm, reported COVID-19 cases in Texas rebounded from a seven-day average of 4,412 on February 20 to 7,693 by Monday, according to The New York Times.
Solon wants to intensify Covid-19 vaccine info drive
Philippine House of Representtives
By Filane Mikee Cervantes March 3, 2021, 7:33 pm PNA
MANILA, Philippines —
A leader of the House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Department of Health (DOH) to boost its information dissemination campaign on the national vaccination program to increase public confidence in the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine.
In a media forum, House Committee on Health Chair Angelina Tan said the vaccination challenge is to persuade Filipinos to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
Scrapping of UP deal raises furor
No deal, bad deal Members of the University of the Philippines community hold a rally at Quezon Hall on Jan. 19, 2021 to show their opposition to the termination of the deal between UP and the Department of National Defense. Photo by Ruy L. Martinez
By Bernadette E. Tamayo, TMT, January 20, 2021
MANILA , Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to review the termination of the pact because it does not solve any problem with regard to communist insurgency.
“We are not saying that UP should be beyond the law. If there are issues of violations of the law, a search warrant is a remedy available to the authorities not only in other places but also in UP,” said Drilon, a graduate of UP Law.
Anomalous P170-M LRT 2 deals bared
LRT 2 (File Photo)
By ANGELICA BALLESTEROS, TMT, January 22, 2021
MANILA, Philippines —The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has found inconsistencies in the procurement of P170.3 million worth of equipment for the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT 2) to warrant the filing of charges.
Documents from the PACC obtained by The Manila Times on Thursday showed that re-railing and rolling stock diagnostic equipment delivered for LRT 2 were different from the brand specified in the bidding conducted by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).
Red Cross rolls out
SPIT IT Sen. Richard Gordon was the first to undergo the saliva test rolled out by the Philippine Red Cross on Jan. 12, 2021. If approved by the government, saliva testing will be a cheaper alternative to swab test, which requires the collection of specimens from the throat and nose. PHOTO BY ORVEN VERDOTE
By John Eric Mendoza TMT, January 25, 2021
MANILA — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will begin today, January 25, administering saliva tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), after the government approved its use.
Sen. Richard Gordon, PRC chairman, said the cheaper and less invasive procedure would cost P2,000, half the price of a swab test.
“The Philippine Red Cross brings the RT-PCR saliva test to the country for the first time,” he said in a statement, referring to reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.
PAEAN TO A DYING RIVER: MEASURING WATER QUALITY OF THE BELEAGUERED PASIG RIVER IN METRO-MANILA, PHILIPPINES
By Freddie Rabelas Obligacion, Ph.D.
The Pasig River, one of the major Philippine river systems, connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. Spanning 25.2 kilometers (15.7 miles), it bisects the Philippine capital of Manila and its surrounding urban area into northern and southern halves. Its major tributaries are the Marikina River and the San Juan River. The total drainage basin of Pasig River, including the basin of Laguna de Bay, covers 4,678 square kilometers (1,806 square miles).
The Pasig River was figured as an important transport route and source of water for Manila during the Spanish era. Unfortunately, as a
result of negligence and industrial development, the river....
OFWs repatriated due to COVID-19 pandemic reach 416,000 — labor chief
Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) - January 24, 2021 - 12:19pm
MANILA, Philippines — The number of overseas Filipino workers repatriated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has reached 416,000 to date, the country's labor chief said Sunday.
Such a figure is an increase of nearly a hundred thousand from the last reported in November 2020, and comes almost a year since government first made repatriation efforts related to the COVID-19.
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NEWS AT A GLANCE
PET questions Calida interest in private case
SC Justic Marvic Leonen (left) and Solicitor General Jose Calida (Photo File)
By: Tina G. Santos - Reporter / @santostinaINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 05:10 AM January 22, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), comprised of the entire Supreme Court, admonished Solicitor General Jose Calida for his inordinate interest in a private electoral protest that does not involve his principal client, the Republic of the Philippines.
“Lamenting a decision he posits as unfavorable to a particular family and lackadaisically invoking People’s Tribune are not hallmarks of a high-ranking government official on whom public trust is reposed,” the tribunal said in a Nov. 17 decision made public only on Thursday.
“The standing asserted by the Solicitor General should be reviewed. ‘People’s Tribune’ is not to be hoisted wantonly in big-ticket cases involving private parties,” the high court said in ruling on the inhibition plea Calida filed against Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on Nov. 9.
Duterte registers for the national ID system
President Duterte gives a thumbs up after checking one of the printed national ID cards following his submission in the registration process for the National Identification System administered by the Philippine Statistics Authority at the Malacañang Palace on Thursday, January 21, 2021. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
By: Darryl John Esguerra - Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQINQUIRER.net / 09:59 AM January 22, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has registered himself on the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), official photos from Malacañang revealed.
Photos sent to reporters late Thursday showed Duterte having his biometric information being taken by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) personnel for the national ID.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Duterte’s long-time aide Senator Bong Go were also seen having themselves registered into the PhilSys.
Pfizer or Sinovac
Published January 21, 2021, 12:17 AM, by Jullie Y. Daza
MANILA – Who wants to be injected with the Pfizer vaccine?
The President wants to know. We want to know which brand Mr. Duterte’s physicians will recommend for him, now that we’re learning a few things more about covid vaccines after 29 elderly patients died in Norway as a consequence of their Pfizer shots.
Pfizer called the deaths “not alarming and in line with expectations,” but Norwegian authorities brought down the “age group thought to be affected to 75 from 80,” reported Bloomberg. This means that persons 75 years old and older, especially if they are weak and show symptoms of serious ailments, should not be vaccinated. Among the Norwegian fatalities were 13 residents of nursing homes and some 85-year-olds. Pfizer is the only brand in use in Norway.
How ironic that the Pfizer-Norway incidents made headlines around the world just one day after the company “commits to give PH covid vaccine as quickly as possible” (front page, Manila Bulletin, Jan. 16, 2021). In the Philippines, Pfizer is the only vaccine with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) while Sinovac waits for permission to conduct trial runs.
Pinky Webb does ‘hair flip’ gesture as Roque loses cool in televised interview
Pinky Webb on this photo uploaded on her Instagram on June 19, 2020 (left) and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a televised briefing on this January 2021 file photo uploaded on his Facebook (right).
MANILA, Jan. 20. 2021 — News anchor Pinky Webb once again gained traction on local Twitter, this time due to her “hair flip” gesture in a televised interview with presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday.
During the interview, the Palace official, who earned his law degree from the University of the Philippines and was a long-time professor at the university, was asked by Webb for his opinion on the tweet of fellow faculty member Danilo Arao.
The latter posed a challenge to the university’s alumni working as top-level officials in the Duterte administration in light of the UP-Department of National Defense Accord termination.
“CHALLENGE: UP faculty and alumni who are Duterte’s top-level officials should denounce Lorenzana’s letter terminating the 1989 accord. This disregards everything that UP stands for.
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