Author Archives: Ingming Aberia, Inkdrops

Top communist leader slain in Bukidnon clash

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City: A top commander of the comunist movement in the Philippines was killed in an encounter with government troops in Bukidnon on Saturday..

George Madlos a.k.a. “Oris,” 72, of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army- National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) was killed, together with another rebel in a 30-minute gunfight and ground assault in Sitio Gabunan, Dumalaguing, Impasugong, said Maj. Francisco Garello Jr., chief of the Army’s Division of Public Affairs Office.

The other casualty was identified as Eighfel Dela Pena alias Pika/Maui, communications and medical staff of the National Operation Command (NOC).

The military launched the operations about 12:30 a.m. after receiving reports about the presence of heavily armed men conducting indoctrination and teach-ins in the area.

Military intelligence reported that the armed group were believed to be members of the NOC of the CPP-NPA Komiteng Mindanao (KOMMID); Regional Operations Command (ROC), HQ NEO, RSDG COMPAQ; and Guerilla Front 89 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Command.

Garello said that the military called for an airstrike before assaulting the heavily defended area that was surrounded by anti-personnel mines (APM).

During the clearing operations, the soldiers recovered two bodies, one M14 Rifle, one KG9 Rifle and ammunition of different caliber and other war materiel.

In a statement released on Saturday evening, Maj. Gen. Romeo S Brawner Jr, commander of the 4ID, confirmed that one of the fatalities was Madlos alias Ka Oris, the commander and spokesman of NOC-NPA nationwide; member, Central Committee – EXECOM/Politburo; spokesman of the NDF– Mindanao, and husband of Myrna Sularte alias Maria Malaya, secretary of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC)

Ka Oris is facing multiple criminal cases of murder, robbery, homicide and damage to property.

BSP assures adequate supply of banknotes, coins

IN anticipation of the heightened currency demand during the Christmas season, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) assured the public that there will be an adequate supply of new banknotes and coins.

In a statement on Saturday, the BSP said currency demand peaks in October and continues to rise through December of each year. Historically, during the holiday season, demand for 1000-, 100-, and 20-Piso banknotes, as well as 20-, 5-, and 1-Piso coins, has been higher.

“There will be no shortage of new banknotes in the Yule season. As in previous years and to support seasonal demand, 40 percent and 50 percent of the total volume of banknotes and coins, respectively, will be serviced in the fourth quarter of the year,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in the statement.

According to the central bank, the public is recommended to exchange their old banknotes and coins for new ones with their banks.

It also encourages the public to use correct banknote and coin handling techniques as part of its Clean Note and Coin Policy, which aims to extend the life of banknotes and coins, lowering the cost of currency manufacture.

Finally, the Bangko Sentral urged Filipinos to adopt digital money in order to achieve its goals of digital payment transformation and financial inclusion.

“Digital wallets offer a safe, efficient, and convenient way to transfer funds to family and friends during the season of giving,” Diokno said.

The central bank said that in the midst of the ongoing health crisis, using digital money is highly advised for reducing virus transmission.

KUWTT: Businesses push Alert Level 2 | Oct. 29, 2021

Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Friday, October 29, 2021.

READ: Businesses push Alert Level 2

As Covid-19 cases continue to dip, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey”Concepcion 3rd and business owners called on the government to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 2 to help businesses recover. Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3, allowing a 50 percent capacity for outdoor operations and 30 percent for indoor activities in select establishments. Concepcion, who is also the founder of Go Negosyo, said that business sectors look forward to the further downgrading of the alert level, as this would allow them to expand their operations.

READ: BBM again leads another survey

FORMER senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led another noncommissioned presidential survey showing that the public sees him as their preferred presidential candidate in the 2022 national elections. Marcos is running for president under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) banner. His camp on Thursday said the former lawmaker topped the survey conducted by the Issues and Advocacy Center or The Center from September 27 to October 8. Based on the nationwide survey conducted among 2,400 respondents, Marcos led the presidential race after securing 23.5 percent of the votes.

READ: Michael Yang a foreign spy – Gordon

SEN. Richard “Dick” Gordon on Thursday raised suspicion that President Rodrigo Duterte’s former economic adviser, Chinese businessman Michael Yang, is a “spy” for Beijing. Gordon, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, wondered why President Duterte kept on defending Pharmally executives and “someone named Michael Yang”. The senators questioned the decision of the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) to award over P9 billion worth of contracts to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. despite having only P625,000 in paid-up capital.

READ: Pharmally execs can’t evade Senate probe

Meanwhile, Gordon said executives of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. linked to the alleged overpriced medical supplies cannot invoke the Data Privacy Act in refusing to cooperate with the Senate, as the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee resumed its investigation of the alleged anomaly. He said Pharmally executives Linconn Ong, Mohit Dargani, Twinkle Dargani and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang cannot hide behind Republic Act (RA) 10173 to evade questioning and in refusing to submit documents asked by the Senate.

READ: DENR mulls temporary closure of dolomite beach

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is contemplating closing temporarily the Manila Bay dolomite beach for expansion, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said. Interior undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a TV interview that there is a possibly that the controversial beach will be closed from All Saints’ Day “until such time” that the DENR has completed the expansion.

BUSINESS: Financial inclusion to drive growth

Topping business, financial inclusion will enable the vulnerable to step out of poverty, reduce inequality and help drive economic growth, a Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) official said. According to Land Bank senior vice president Randolph Monteza during The Manila Times’ anniversary forum, Let the Future Begin: Moving forward despite Covid-19, recent empirical evidence and a growing number of literature indicate that access to basic financial services like savings, credit, and insurance make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives.

SPORTS: Tapales to fight Japanese champ on Nov. 27

In sports, former World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales of Lanao del Norte will fight Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara of Japan on November 27 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in Nevada, USA. The bout will be an International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight world title eliminator as Tapales is rated No. 4 and Teshigawara is ranked No. 3. The 29-year-old Tapales has been training at the Brick House Gym and the Wild-card Gym in Los Angeles, California since July under coaches Ernil Fontanillia andLucas Sugar. Tapales said he is currently doing six rounds of sparring daily against different opponents in the two gyms.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Rigoberto Tiglao and Ruben Torres are today’s front page columnists. Tiglao believes it is the worst timing for an election for the opposition, while Torres discusses the workers’ agenda for the next administration.

Today’s editorial talks about challenges facing the COP26 climate summit. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

For more news and information, get a copy of The Manila Times on print, subscribe to its digital edition or log on to www.manilatimes.net. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and Keep Up With The Times.

On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. Have a safe Friday ahead.

KUWTT: Chua sees strong growth in 2022 | Oct. 28, 2021

Good day. Here are the Top Stories of The Manila Times for Oct. 28, 2021:

READ: Chua sees strong growth in 2022

SOCIOECONOMIC Planning Secretary Karl Chua on Wednesday said managing risks will allow the Philippine economy to go back to growth trajectory this year and return to pre-pandemic growth level by the latter part of 2022 or early 2023. He added that ramping up the vaccination campaign will help the country achieve a stronger growth next year. Chua said the government started to better manage the risks by implementing the alert level system. Chua, who is also director-general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), admitted that the long-run total cost of Covid-19 and the forced quarantine to present and future society is estimated at P41.4 trillion.

READ: ‘WE HAVE TO VACCINATE EVERYONE’

PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd on Wednesday said that the successful reopening of the economy hinges on the vaccination campaign against Covid-19. In the virtual forum organized by The Manila Times, Concepcion said the country has to vaccinate to “the max” and focus on addressing the vaccine hesitancy particularly in the provinces. The official said it is not enough that only the capital region reaches a high vaccination rate, but the entire country should be able to do so. Concepcion also emphasized the need to strengthen the bakuna bubble, which he said has two components — the family bubble and the negosyo or business bubble.

READ: Sara backers choose BBM – expert

FORMER senator and presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.s’ topping the PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. surve could be attributed to the people’s desire for continuity or departure from the current form of governance, a data scientist said. PUBLiCUS data scientist Dr. David Yap explained that this became more apparent after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio decided not to run for president. Yap said he is not at liberty to disclose the number of respondents who wants Duterte-Caprio to run for president.

READ: Pinoys’ quality of life worsened – survey

MAJORITY of Filipinos admitted that their quality of life worsened in the past 12 months, Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in its September 2021 survey results. It said that 57 percent of those surveyed said that their life got worse (losers), while 13 percent said that it got better (gainers), resulting in a Net Gainer score of -44 percent. However, 29 percent of the respondents said that their life was the same.

In World News

READ: Finnish scientists create lab-grown coffee

HELSINKI: Latte drinkers may in the future be sipping on java sourced from a petri dish rather than a plantation, say scientists behind a new technique to grow what they hope to be sustainable coffee in a lab. Heiko Rischer said his team of researchers at the Finnish technical research institute VTT believe their coffee would avoid many of the environmental pitfalls associated with the mass production of one of the world’s favorite drinks. The coffee is not ground from beans, but instead grown from a cluster of coffee plant cells under closely controlled temperature, light and oxygen conditions in a bioreactor. Once roasted, the powder can be brewed in exactly the same way as conventional coffee.

Topping Business

READ: WB urges reforms to aid micro, small firms

THE government should put in place several reforms that will help micro and small firms grow amid the pandemic, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand Ndiame Diop during The Manila Times’ “Let the Future Begin: Moving Forward Despite Covid-19” forum on Wednesday. Diop said the Philippines currently has large sophisticated and resilient firms and thousands of micro and small non-resilient firms. To support firms’ growth, Diop said the government should improve access to finance by improving the credit reporting system, collateral registry, and credit guarantees.

In Sports

READ: Braves rout Astros in Game 1 of World Series

LOS ANGELES: Jorge Soler smashed a home run on the first swing of the game and Adam Duvall blasted a two-run homer as the Atlanta Braves rolled over the Houston Astros 6-2 in the opening contest of the World Series on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). The Braves, who are in their first World Series since 1999 and haven’t won the Fall Classic since 1995, used a blistering start to post five runs in the first three innings and never looked back. Game two is Wednesday night in Houston.

READ: Knicks beat 76ers for 1st time since 2017

THE New York Knicks snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Philadelphia 76ers with a 112-99 victory on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier scored 19 and 18 points respectively to give the Knicks their first win over Philadelphia since April 12, 2017. Tobias Harris scored 23 points for the 76ers. Joel Embiid finished with 14 points and six rebounds, shooting just 2 for 7. He had been 12-0 in games he played against New York. In other games, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs in overtime, 125-120; The Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 106-98; and the Dallas Mavericks downed the Houstom Rockets, 116-106.

READ: Opinion and Editorial

In today’s Editorial, The Times says the demand for open spaces cannot be ignored following the thousands of people who flocked to the “dolomite beach” in Manila last weekend amid a pandemic. Read the full version on the Opinion Section of the paper or listen to the Voice of The Times.

Antonio Contreras, Yen Makabenta and Edcel Lagman are the columnists on the front page. Contreras writes about the “pink debacle” and how it benefits Bongbong Marcos; Makabenta talks about the energy crunch facingn the world and the COP26 in Glasgow; and Lagman writes about the obliteration of despots and tyrants.

For more news and information, get a copy of The Manila Times on print, subscribe to its digital edition or log on to www.manilatimes.net. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and Keep Up With The Times.

This is Christian Maghanoy reporting.

YouTuber Nas Daily ‘makes peace’ with Indigenous Filipino tattoo artist

PALESTINIAN-Israeli YouTuber Nuseir “Nas Daily” Yassin has “made peace” with Indigenous Filipino tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od.

Nas Daily confirmed this in a Facebook video on his page on Tuesday night, acknowledging the help of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

“Nas Academy worked for two months with the NCIP to visit Whang-od in person,” he said in a video. “Our Filipino team trekked all the way there for two days and we met with the Butbut tribe in person and reconciled.”

A separate video was posted on Nas Academy’s Facebook page on Sunday that showed their meeting with Whang-od at Buscalan, Kalinga last Friday.

“Our genuine focus is on education and our efforts to showcase the culture of the Butbut Tribe was misunderstood,” said Nas Academy Philippines head Jacqueline Lim.

Nas Daily said his team had celebrated together and danced to traditional music, as well as eating traditional food, exchanging gifts and sending personal greetings.

Whang-od, whose real name is Maria Oggay, was happy over Nas Daily’s return to their area to reconcile.

“It’s really good that you guys are here,” she said in her native language. “I can’t say anything but thanks. Coming here shows that you are sincere in offering this reconciliation.”

NCIP chairman Allen Capuyan welcomed Nas Academy’s move.

“Napakaganda kasi nakiki-open ang puso ng Nas Academy, na kung anuman ang nangyari na hindi naman nila sinadya, handang-handa silang pumunta rito,” (It’s very good because Nas Academy has opened their hearts to whatever happened that they did not intend to do, they were ready to come here.) Capuyan said.

The NCIP further confirmed the apology in a statement on Sunday.

“It was good that the Nas Academy came over to convey their apology to the Butbut ICCs/IPs [Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples] of Buscalan regarding the misunderstanding among the company, community, and Whang-Od family,” the statement wrote. “The community through their elders thanked the Nas Academy for their sincere apology and requested that for the next time, they must follow the procedure since the art of tattooing is not practiced by the Butbut ICCs/IPs alone.”

The statement was shared by Whang-od’s granddaughter, Gracia Palicas.

Nas Daily announced in his video that he introduced free educational workshops, where thousands of FIlipinos enrolled and they signed Filipino creators to “help them teach”.

The famed YouTuber was under fire in August for supposedly exploiting FIlipino culture with the Whang-od course under Nas Academy, as Palicas initially stated that her grandmother did not sign any contract with him. The controversy resulted in the drop of Nas Daily’s likes on his Facebook page and subsequent suspension of operations of Nas Daily in the country.

UP opens applications for SY 2022-2023

THE University of the Philippines (UP) has started accepting applications for freshmen admission for the academic year 2022-2023.

“Due to the dynamic developments in the public health situation in the light of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), there is no final decision yet as to whether an admission test will be administered for intake year 2022-2023,” said UP in a statement.

Admission to the university is based on students’ performance in the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) and their high school grades, but in the absence of the UPCAT, their high school credentials will be the basis to determine their UP Grade (UPG) that would factor on whether they will be accepted into their selected UP Campus and degree program.

Interested applicants must create an account on the admissions portal to upload the necessary documentary requirements including their fully accomplished personal data sheet, high school records, and a Department of Education (DepEd) Certificate of Registration or Permit to Operate if graduating in 2022 from a local HS or their HS diploma if graduated earlier.

There is also a non-refundable application fee for non-Filipino applicants: ₱450 for resident foreign applicants studying in the Philippines and US$50 for non-resident foreign applicants.

The deadline for filing applications is on Nov. 30, 2021.

KUWTT: Yulo wins gold | Oct. 25, 2021

Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Monday, October 25, 2021.

READ: Yulo wins gold

FILIPINO gymnast Carlos Yulo ruled the vault event final round to win a gold medal at the 50th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Kitakyushu General Gymnasium in Japan on Sunday. Yulo scored an average of 14.916 points after an exquisite performance, which saw him record 14.800 points for his first vault and 15.033 for his second. Eager to bounce back after failing to defend his floor exercise title on Saturday, Yulo showed he’s on a mission right away as he executed a near flawless three-twirl act in mid-air for his first vault. The 21-year-old, who placed third in the vault’s qualification phase with 14.808 points, then bolstered his chances of winning the event with an impeccable Dragulescu in the second vault where he launched himself high for multiple body rolls on the way down. Japanese Hidenobu Yonukera claimed the silver medal with an average of 14.866 points, while Israeli Andrey Medvedev captured the bronze with 14.649.

READ: Survey validates Bongbong’s lead in street polls

THE lead of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the recent survey of Publicus Asia validated the results of the series of Kalye Surveys conducted in the first two weeks of October. The Publicus survey showed Marcos, the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard bearer, way ahead of the other presidential bets vying in the 2022 elections. The Publicus poll showed an “overwhelming preference” for Marcos in key voting areas. In the National Capital Region, he got over 40 percent preference, and 55.7 percent in North and Central Luzon.

READ: Covid cases going down fast – OCTA

CASES of Covid-19 are declining fast, falling by 35 percent in the past week, OCTA researcher Dr. Guido David said on Sunday. During the seven-day period, infections went down from 8,400 to 5,400. David said the decline could be attributed to the vaccination campaign since those getting infected were people without jabs, or were vaccinated but with comorbidities or those whose bodies cannot reproduce as many antibodies to fight the virus.

READ: Sale of Chevron’s Malampaya share invalid – Gatchalian

SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian said there was enough evidence to show that the sale of Chevron’s 45 percent stake in the Malampaya gas project to the Udenna group was “defective and invalid.” Gatchalian scrutinized Udenna’s buy-out of Chevron in Malampaya during the hearing of the proposed 2022 budget of the Department of Energy (DoE). Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told Gatchalian that no prior approval by the government was needed in Chevron’s transfer of its stakes to Udenna’s UC Malampaya Philippines Pte Ltd. Cusi added that it was based on an evaluation using the so-called “farm-in process,” which according to Gatchalian made DoE’s explanation all the more confusing.

READ: Survey sees pay rise for employees in 2022

FILIPINO employees could expect a salary increase of around 5.6 percent in 2022, a survey by a global brokering company of 1,405 companies from 13 markets in the Asia Pacific found. Willis Towers Watson’s 2021 Salary Budget Planning Survey provided data on salary budget increase percentages for the past and current years, along with projected increases for 2022. Those in the sectors of medical technology, business support service, including business process outsourcing (BPOs), and manufacturing industries posted the highest average salary budget increase — between 5.2 and 5.7 percent, according to the poll. By 2022, it is projected that medtech will remain as the top industry for a salary increase at 7.3 percent, followed by construction, property, and engineering at 6.2 percent, and business support services including BPOs and pharmaceuticals and health science at 6.1 percent each. Workers in the financial services, insurance, and energy and natural resources industries can expect the lowest pay increases for 2022, at 5.1, 4.8, and 4.7 percent respectively.

READ: Ongpin assails drug charges

JULIAN Ongpin questioned the filing of drug charges against him by the Department of Justice (DoJ), claiming that he was denied his right to appeal the resolution issued by government prosecutors. The son of former Trade secretary Roberto Ongpin asked the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando City in La Union to defer the issuance of an arrest warrant and suspend the proceedings on his controversial drug case. Ongpin, a person of interest in the death of artist Breana “Bree” Jonson, said that he only learned about the DoJ resolution recommending the filing of a complaint against him from online news portals.

BUSINESS: 2021 inflation seen to average 4.3%

Over to business, analysts anticipate a higher average inflation rate this year, with generally balanced risks, according to a poll done by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The central bank said in its 2021 Third Quarter Inflation Report that the findings of a survey of 21 private sector analysts revealed that the mean inflation outlook for 2021 has risen to 4.3 percent, up from 4.1 percent in the previous survey, The projection for 2021 was faster than the 2.6 percent average in 2020. It is, however, slower than the BSP’s forecast of 4.4 percent, but it exceeds the government’s aim of 2-4 percent.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Rigoberto Tiglao and Fr. Ranhilio Aquino are today’s front page columnists. Tiglao hits out at critics over presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ supposed “degree” at Oxford University, while Fr. Aquino talks about rationality and the polls.

Today’s editorial welcomes broad political views, but people should choose wisely in next year’s elections. Read a full version on the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

For more news and information, get a copy of The Manila Times on print, subscribe to its digital edition or log on to www.manilatimes.net. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and Keep Up With The Times.

On behalf of The Manila Times, this is Aric John Sy Cua reporting. Have a safe week ahead.

The NPA as terrorist

The New People’s Army (NPA), the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is behind innumerable instances of atrocities and human rights violations. Pushed to the corner by inequities and state-sanctioned terrorism, it has, over the years, evolved to become a terrorist itself. But let no one forget the genesis of the madness… Read More »