Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Sunday, July 4, 2021.
SEN. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao linked more government agencies to corruption. In a virtual press briefing on Saturday, Pacquiao said in addition to the Department of Health (DoH), which he named previously, the others are the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Energy (DoE). Pacquiao made the announcement as he left for the US on Saturday night for his “serious” training and preparation for his boxing match against undefeated WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in Las Vegas on August 21. Without giving details, the senator said he would submit all documentary evidence he has gathered from different sources to President Rodrigo Duterte and the Senate blue ribbon committee. Pacquiao was also quick to exonerate the President, saying that he believes Duterte is unaware of the corruption in his administration.
THE government should have fully vaccinated at least “3 million” people in the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila before it could say that the inoculations had helped reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an official of the independent OCTA Research said on Saturday. At the same time, Professor Guido David, the group’s senior research fellow, cautioned the government against putting NCR under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) because “we are not out of the woods yet.” In a phone interview with The Manila Times on Saturday, David said the low number of cases that were being recorded these past weeks could not be directly attributed to the number of vaccinated individuals in the region of about 14 million people.
VACCINE czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has warned the public against the illegal sale of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) jabs, saying this does not only hamper the government’s vaccination rollout but also “puts our countrymen in danger.” Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF), stressed that selling Covid-19 vaccines was illegal because these were not cleared for commercial use.
TAAL Volcano ejected three phreatomagmatic bursts on Saturday, state volcanologists said, showing signs of increasing unrest after a day of relative calm. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said these bursts, resulting from interactions between magma and water, occurred at 10:25 a.m., 10:47 a.m. and 11:01 a.m. At 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, active upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in Taal lasted for 27 minutes. Its crater generated plumes that reached 2,400 meters high, producing volcanic smog, or vog, in the vicinity. Phivolcs said Alert Level 3 remains up, signifying “magmatic unrest” that could drive an “explosive eruption.” Over the past 24 hours, 48 volcanic tremors were recorded, including two volcano-tectonic earthquakes, six volcanic tremor events that lasted up to four minutes, and 40 low frequency volcanic earthquakes.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar reiterated on Saturday that the PNP would not arm anti-crime volunteers. In a virtual briefing, Eleazar said the PNP will not buy guns for the volunteers but they should buy their guns based on the PNP’s protocols. Eleazar said volunteers who would apply for gun licenses “will go through the eye of a needle” to get one, pertaining to the strict process of acquiring a firearm license.
The Department of Health (DoH) on Saturday advised against the mixing of Covid-19 vaccines from different platforms until it was proven safe through extensive studies. Germany and Canada were reported to have approved the use of Vaxzevria from British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca as first dose and the Pfizer-BioNTech tozinameran or the Moderna mRNA-1273 as second dose.
BUSINESS: BSP nets P100B from securities
In business, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) weekly securities auction netted P100 billion. The central bank’s one-month BSP bill was oversubscribed by 1.58 times the offered volume of P100 billion, resulting in a total of P158.20 billion in bids “amid strong interest from market participants,” according to BSP Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr. In a statement, he said that the weighted average interest rate on the 28-day BSP bill remained stable at 1.8115 percent, down from 1.8158 percent last week. During the auction, the yields accepted shifted marginally lower and remained narrow at 1.780-1.825 percent.
Over to sports, Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena continued to display his readiness for the Tokyo Olympics, seizing the gold medal at the Taby Stab Gala Street Pole Vault tourna- ment in Stockholm, Sweden early on Saturday (Manila time). Obiena cleared 5.80 meter in his first attempt to claim the championship. Then, the 6’2″ pole vaulter from Tondo tried to break the 5.87- m Philippine record he set on June 30, but he failed to do so.
Marlen Ronquillo is today’s front page columnist. He talks about the second worst place to be in this Covid season.
Today’s editorial hits Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao for prioritizing drama and money instead of probing the supposed corruption in the Duterte administration. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.
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On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. Have a safe Sunday ahead.