Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Sunday, July 11, 2021.
THE “expelled” officials of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) belittled the order to oust them by party president Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and, in a show of defiance, announced that the general assembly on July 16 and 17 will push through as scheduled. PDP-Laban party deputy secretary general Melvin Matibag laughed it off, saying Pacquiao and his allies don’t have any authority to discipline national officers. Matibag is one of three officers expelled by the PDP-Laban National Executive Committee (NEC) for allegedly violating the party’s constitution. The other two are Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, the vice chairman, and Astra Naik, head of the membership committee. Matibag encouraged the officers of Pacquiao’s camp to challenge the actions of the two highest governing bodies of PDP-Laban – the National Council and National Assembly.
THERE is no legal impediment that prevents President Rodrigo Duterte from seeking the vice presidency (VP) if he decides to run for the post in the coming 2022 elections, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ). In a Viber message to reporters, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the Constitution does not prohibit an incumbent elected president from running for vice president in a subsequent election. Guevarra said what is prohibited is for a sitting president to seek reelection, citing Section 4, Article 7 of the Constitution.
THE proposed adoption of “micro-herd immunity” and “safe spaces” in malls and other workplaces will further ease coronavirus capacity restrictions on businesses, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd said, as the country’s economy continued to gradually open up. Concepcion made the statement during a recent virtual town hall meeting with experts, government officials and private sector representatives, where they threshed out strategies for the safe reopening of the Philippine economy. In his remarks, the Go Negosyo founder said private companies might be allowed to operate at almost full capacity if 80 percent of the people in their respective buildings were fully vaccinated.
The Department of Health (DoH) on Saturday rejected calls to include Philippine neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia to the current travel ban because of the threat of the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19, first detected in India, and the new Lambda variant, first detected in Peru. The Delta variant is now present in more than 90 countries and the Lambda variant in 30. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the government should strengthen border controls so that the variants will not enter the country. The current travel ban bars travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman and the United Arab Emirates from entering the Philippines. Vergeire said despite the absence of a local Delta variant spread, the country’s situation remains fragile.
In business, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported over the weekend that its Monetary Board approved fewer foreign borrowings by the national government in the second quarter of the year. The central bank said in a statement that monetary authorities approved $2.80 billion in foreign borrowings of the national government from April to June. However, the latest total is down 59 percent from the $6.84 billion approved in the second quarter of 2020. According to the BSP, public sector borrowings consisted of one bond issuance in euro worth 2.10 billion euros and one project loan worth $300 million.
In sports, as promising as the young Gilas Pilipinas squad is, head coach and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Program Director Tab Baldwin said he still prefers to have a national team infused with some players from the Philippine Basketball Association. Baldwin said infusing professional players into the Gilas program is a big boost for the national squad.
Marlen Ronquillo is our front page columnist for the day. He believes the “epic fail” of Philippine education is sweet music to warlords and clans.
Today’s editorial believes the probe into the C-130 crash in Sulu must address broader problems. 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.