Imee Marcos' claim that she graduated from Princeton is false, says student paper
PRINCETON, New Jersey (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - An independent student newspaper at Princeton University has reported that Philippine senatorial candidate Imee Marcos had falsely claimed that she graduated from the university.
Ms Marcos, 63, the daughter of former Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos, did enroll at Princeton in 1973, but no record shows that she graduated in 1979, The Daily Princetonian reported.
"In an e-mail to The Daily Princetonian, Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote that Marcos attended from fall 1973 to spring 1976 and returned again for fall 1977 to spring 1979. She had an independent concentration in Religion and Politics. 'Our records do not show that Ms Marcos was awarded a degree,' Hotchkiss wrote.," the newspaper reported.
Ms Marcos' official Facebook account also claims that she is "one of the first female graduates from an Ivy League School - Princeton University, graduating with honours". She also included this information in her official curriculum vitae during her time in the Philippine House of Representatives.
Ms Marcos is in her final term as governor of Ilocos Norte province in northern Philippines after being first elected as governor in 2010.
The Daily Princetonian also reported that "on Feb 14, Marcos posted photographs of an invitation to the Class of 1979 reunions to her Facebook account. The validity of the invitation, which was dated August 2018, has not been confirmed."
Ms Marcos lived off campus, escorted by Philippine security personnel, and was driven to and from campus by a Filipino chauffeur, according to the paper.
The Marcos family's last gasp
"On September 11, 1973, the Asian-American Students Association (AASA) protested the University's acceptance of Marcos, worried that the presence of Marcos and her security personnel would be threatening to students who were critical of her father's dictatorship."
The newspaper added: "The Marcos family has also been involved in several scandals throughout the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986 and the political careers of his children. In the 2015 leak of the Panama Papers, Imee Marcos was listed as a beneficiary of offshore holdings belonging to the family."
P8B lost each day during lockdown
By Mayvelin U. Caraballo, TMT, April 10, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine economy is losing as much as P8 billion a day because of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) restrictions, and the government must find ways to boost consumer spending to stop the bleeding.
The heavy cost of a lockdown was discussed at length by Marikina City Second District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo during a virtual roundtable with The Manila Times on Friday.
Quimbo estimated that the ECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila alone results in about P6 billion in losses a day. “But if it includes the nearby provinces, it’s P8 billion a day,” she said.
The government imposed the two-week ECQ that will end on April 11 in NCR Plus — Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal — to curb rising coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
Today, April 10, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolutions will meet to decide whether to continue the lockdown or modify it.
Quimbo sees the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth dropping by about 0.5 percent because of the ECQ.
Her estimate is within the 0.5- to 0.8-percent range provided by the country’s economic managers.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd has said the lockdown “probably will cost us one half of 1 percent [GDP expansion].”
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the ECQ “may shave off 0.8 percentage points from the country’s full year economic growth in 2021.”
The government expects the GDP to rebound by 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year after shrinking by 9.6-percent in 2020.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) also expects the lockdown will result in about 252,000 more individuals losing their jobs and 102,000 more poor individuals.
To offset the loss, Quimbo said the government must spend more to stimulate the economy.
“If you ask the economic managers, the amount of deficit spending that they are willing to have is, unfortunately, way less than what we think we should be having,” she said.
This is why the funding for the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act or Bayanihan 3 bill is only P420 billion.
“So, having a number like P420 billion, which is less than P1.3 trillion last year is a reflection of the tension between the two branches, particularly in terms of philosophy with respect to the amount of deficit spending that we ought to have,” she said.
Quimbo said the Philippines has the biggest spending deficit in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region.
“For example, the deficits of ASEAN countries are somewhere in the 6-percent range [of GDP]. Ours is at 8.9 percent.”
The Philippines is also behind in stimulus spending, with less than 3 percent of GDP, Quimbo said.
“Singapore has an 18 percent stimulus spending relative to GDP. I think Malaysia is 15 percent, Thailand is 12 percent, Indonesia is 5 percent, the Philippines is less than 3 percent,” she said.
Quimbo considered it ironic that “we’re spending the least for stimulus, but our deficit is the highest.”
She said the country’s GDP fell last year because of two things: “We’re not spending enough, and we have the worst Covid situation.”
“We are a consumer-driven economy, so if we help households spend more, then our GDP will become bigger. And when we have higher GDP, we are in fact able to reduce our deficit,” Quimbo said.
Malacañang had raised the possibility that the ECQ in NCR Plus may be replaced with the less restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ if certain health conditions were met.
More than 167,000 people are infected with Covid-19, based on the Department of Health’s (DoH) April 8 tally.
Total cases have reached 828,366 with 14,119 deaths since the pandemic started last year.
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the release of P23 billion in emergency subsidy for 22.9 million individuals in ECQ areas.
ECQ restrictions include strict stay-at-home rule, a ban on mass gatherings, and reduced capacity of businesses and public transportation.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said that during the IATF_EID meeting on Thursday, Cabinet officials agreed to let the local governments “at the barangay level” handle the prepositioning of goods, including the distribution of wellness kits to those infected with Covid-19.
Roque also said an additional 2 million doses of vaccines a month are expected to arrive this month from China’s Sinovac Biotech and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute.
The government has vaccinated 922,898 people, Roque said.
The country has received 2.5 million doses of Covid vaccines.
The government aims to inoculate 70 percent of the population, or about 70 million Filipinos, before the end of the year. WITH CATHERINE S. VALENTE
Duterte may back Pacquiao, Moreno,
or Marcos in 2022
By Keith Calayag TMT, April 8, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte might support Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso or former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. if his long-time aide Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go would not run for president in 2022, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said.
“Kapag hindi tumakbo si Sara (the President’s daughter), hindi tumakbo si Bong Go because he will only run for president if the President would run for vice president, the President will have to choose who has the numbers and he will have to choose from Isko, Manny Pacquiao and Bongbong Marcos (If Sara will not run, if Bong Go will not run because he said he will run only if the President runs for vice president, the President will have to choose who has the numbers and he will have to choose from Isko, Manny Pacquiao and Bongbong Marcos),” Roque said during a forum of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. on Tuesday.
“Kasi wala namang iba ‘di ba? So, I think, ‘pag hindi tumakbo si Sara, hindi tumakbo si Bong Go, he will have to choose from the three (There is no one else to choose right? So, I think if Sara, Bong Go will not run, he will have to choose from the three),” he added.
Asked about the chances of Go running for president, Roque said he does not know because Duterte does not intend to run for vice president.
Duterte repeatedly called Go President in March.
“Ayaw ni President tumakbong vice. He wants out; he wants to rest (The President does not want to run for vice president. He wants out; he wants to rest),” he added.
Gesmundo takes oath as chief justice
By Keith Calayag, TMT, April 6, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — MALACAÑANG expressed confidence that Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, who took his oath of office on Monday, will uphold the independence of the judiciary.
In his press conference on Monday, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has named Gesmundo as chief justice.
Gesmundo took his oath of office before Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
Chief Presidential Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo told The Manila Times last Friday that the President signed Gesmundo’s appointment papers.
Roque said Gesmundo is not new to the judiciary, having served as an associate justice of the Sandiganbayan and the Supreme Court.
“Tiwala kami na ipagpapatuloy ng bagong punong mahistrado na i-uphold ang judicial excellence at independence, pairalin ang rule of law at pangunahan ang mga reporma para itaguyod ang integridad at propesyonalismo sa hudikatura (We are confident that the new chief justice will uphold the judicial excellence and independence, as well as the rule of law, and will initiate reforms to uphold integrity and professionalism in the judiciary),” he said.
Gesmundo, who was appointed associate justice by President Duterte in 2017, was chosen from the list of nominees submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council.
Also on the list were Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, who was appointed by former president Benigno Aquino 3rd, and Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by Duterte in 2018.
Gesmundo will serve as chief justice until November 2026.
He is the fourth chief justice to have been appointed by Duterte.
The others were Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Lucas Bersamin and Diosdado Peralta who retired on March 27.
FDA stops use of AstraZeneca
By Red Mendoza, TMT, April 9, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised the Department of Health (DoH) to stop giving the AZD1222 vaccine of British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca to persons below 60 years old.
The recommendation comes after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Wednesday that it found “possible links” between the vaccine and blood clots in 16 cases across Europe.
The EMA pointed out that the clots were a “very rare side effect” of the vaccine and that taking the vaccine remained beneficial.
FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo said the National Adverse Effects Following Immunization Committee has not received reports of possible platelet and thrombotic issues among those who had been inoculated with the vaccine in the country.
However, Domingo said the FDA advised the Health department to restrict the use of the vaccine in light of the EMA warning.
“We have asked the DoH na kung may natitira pang AstraZeneca vaccine, siguro ay ‘wag muna nating gamitin sa mga people below 60 years old so we get clearer evidence and clearer guidelines from the WHO (We have asked the DoH that if there are remaining AstraZeneca vaccines, let’s suspend its use on people below 60 years old so we can get clearer evidence and clearer guidelines from the WHO),” Domingo told a Laging Handa briefing on Thursday.
He added that those who took the first dose and did not experience any adverse reaction will be allowed to take the second dose.
“If nothing happened after the first dose then [there should be] no problem [on the] second dose. This is very rare, but it will be included in the things to watch out for so we have to review the data and prepare before the next batch of vaccines come,” Domingo told reporters in a Viber message.
“I want to emphasize that this temporary suspension does not mean that the vaccine is unsafe or ineffective — it just means that we are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of every Filipino. We continue to underscore that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh the risks and we urge everyone to get vaccinated when it’s their turn,” he added.
The country expects to receive more than 900,000 doses of the AZD1222 vaccine through the Covax Facility in May as well as additional doses procured through the private sector in the third quarter of the year.
A number of nations have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for younger populations after it was earlier banned outright in several places over blood clot scares.
The United Kingdom on Wednesday said it would adopt new medical advice to offer most people under 30 an alternative to AstraZeneca if possible after reporting 19 deaths from clots among people who received the shot.
The EMA examined 86 blood clotting cases, 18 of which were fatal, out of around 25 million people in Europe who received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Most of the cases were in women aged under 60.
But EMA chief Emer Cooke said no particular risk factor had been identified and the clots might be linked to an immune response to the vaccine.
“The benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19 overall outweigh the risk of side effects,” she told a news conference. “It is saving lives.”
The World Health Organization’s vaccine experts on Wednesday echoed EMA’s findings, saying a causal relationship between the vaccine and blood clots was “plausible but is not confirmed.”
AstraZeneca itself said two studies by British and European regulators “reaffirmed” that the benefits of its vaccine “far outweigh the risks.”
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands are among countries not recommending the shot for younger people. WITH AFP
Filipina killed, burned in Vancouver, Canada
MAR 26, 2021 6:06 PM PHT AIRO BOLLEDO
A 49-year-old Filipina was killed and then burned by two suspects in the City of Burnaby, Vancouver, Canada, local police reported on Thursday, March 25 (Friday, March 26 in the Philippines).
The victim was identified as Ma. Cecilia Loreto, an immigrant from the Philippines, whose burned remains were found by Burnaby Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on March 18 at around 1:57 am.
Suspects Carlo Tobias, 21, and a 15-year-old unnamed suspect were arrested by the police. They are facing charges of first degree murder and indignity to human remains.
Loreto was first reported missing on March 17. The following day, the Burnaby RCMP responded to a report that burned human remains were found at Burnaby’s Greentree Village Park near Garden Grove Drive.
Initial investigation revealed that Loreto was in the park a few hours before she was killed.
“Through a comprehensive neighbourhood canvass, investigators have determined that the woman may have been in the area up to two hours prior to the report of the fire,” said Detective Lara Jansen of Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
“There is also indication that the woman may have been associated with a dark colored, smaller to mid-sized, hatchback SUV or crossover-style vehicle,” the detective added.
Sergeant Frank Jang, IHIT spokesperson, said the killing of Loreto was planned and deliberate. He added that the victim probably knew the killers.
Loreto was an active member of the local Filipino community in Burnaby and a known singer in local events. She was working in a grocery store in East Vancouver up until her murder. – Rappler.com